How to Do Sparklers in Pilates: Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits and Common Mistakes

Guide to do the sparklers in Pilates. (Image via Pexels/Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)
Guide to do the sparklers in Pilates. (Image via Pexels/Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)
Shuvangi Sen Chaudhury

If you’re thinking about doing sparklers in Pilates, you’re already one step in. This particular exercise focuses on the arm and is perfect for a quick arm workout.

Even though it is usually included in heavy workout sets, it's also a great workout for individual exercise. If you want to finish a quick arm workout due to time constraints, this is something you should opt for.

The correct form for doing the sparklers in Pilates

The first thing to know about any given exercise is the correct form or technique. If you grasp that concept correctly, everything else that follows becomes quite easy and effective.

This exercise should be performed with a lightweight dumbbell, unless you can handle a heavier weight.

  • Take a pair of dumbbells in each hand.
  • Stand with your heels together and toes apart, or the Pilates position.
  • Hold the dumbbells with your arms in front of thighs and palms facing each other. Ensure to hold the dumbbell from the middle.
  • Open the elbows slightly to keep the bicep muscles tense.
  • Maintain this posture and slowly shift bodyweight to the front of your feet and engage the core muscles for proper balance.
  • Start making small circles with your arms. As you make the circles, raise your arm over your head with eight circles.
  • Hold that position for a few seconds.
  • Bring your arms to a neutral position by reversing the 8 circles.

Tips to do the sparklers in Pilates better

  • Do not start with a heavy weight. This could potentially lead to injuries, which will become quite painful for your joints.
  • Always warm up your shoulders. If you start this exercise without warming up, it could make your shoulders sore from the constant movement.
  • Do some cool down movements afterwards. This will ensure you are giving the joints the time to relax and stretch the muscles to avoid unwanted stiffness or joint pain.

Benefits of the sparklers in Pilates

When you know the benefits, it automatically acts as a catalyst to put the exercise in your routine.

Works the upper body: When you’re moving your arms in circles, other muscles around the chest and back also come into play. This exercise will help strengthen your upper body.

Works on the core muscles: When you do the sparklers in Pilates, you have to engage your core muscles. This constant engagement helps with strengthening and toning your abdominal muscles.

Toning the arms: One of the bigger benefits of the sparklers in Pilates is that it shapes your arms. It is a great way to put pressure on the entire arm which helps to tone it.


Helps with coordination: Whenever you do the sparklers in Pilates, you are working on your coordination as and when you move your arms in circles while moving them upwards and downwards. Not only does it help with coordination but also balance and stability.

Common mistakes

You cannot master something without making mistakes. The more you practice, the better you’ll become. However, it’s good to be aware of some of the common mistakes so you can avoid them from the beginning.

Shifting positions

When you’re doing the sparklers in Pilates, quite a bit of pressure falls on the core muscles. But, because the arms are moving continuously, the center of gravity shifts and you might feel unstable. It’s important for you to ensure sure footing during this movement and not shift positions during the exercise.

Not maintaining posture

When you’re doing any exercise, posture is extremely important. So, even during sparklers, you need to maintain the posture at all times. Not only will it help with balance, but it will also provide stability for the arms.


Too much bending of elbows

When you’re doing the sparklers in Pilates, the arms get worked the most. So, how you keep your elbows plays an important role throughout the movement. While you should ease your elbows slightly, avoid bending it too much. This takes off the load and the intensity in the arms.

Bottom line

The sparklers in Pilates is a good workout for anyone who wants to focus on toning their arms. However, you must not try to do too heavily towards the beginning. Take your time to understand the exercise and the posture, do it with lighter dumbbells to understand the movement, and move to heavier weights as your arms get stronger.

At all times, ensure you take care of your shoulders and elbows. These two joints take on significant pressure during the movement.

Edited by Sabine Algur


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