wikiHow to Do the Pilates Mermaid Exercise

Three Methods:Getting in the Starting PositionPerforming the ExerciseFrequency

This low-intensity exercise stretches both sides of your waist and helps stabilize the wrists, hands and shoulders.

Method 1
Getting in the Starting Position

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    Sit cross-legged on the mat with your hands in your lap. Make sure that your spine is straight, pushing your shoulders toward the ground to elongate your neck. Fix your gaze straight ahead of you.
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    With your left leg still in the cross-legged position, straighten your right leg in front of you with your foot flexed and your toes pointing to the sky.
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    Bend your right leg and gently swing your foot behind your right buttock. The bottom of your foot should be facing up with your toes pointing behind you. Your left foot should be gently pressing against your right inner thigh.
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    Straighten your arms to your sides, allowing your finger tips to touch the mat next to each side of your body.
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    Bend your right arm at the elbow and with your palm facing up, align your right hand just below your belly button.

Method 2
Performing the Exercise

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    As you inhale, raise the arm that is touching the mat, gently stretching at you, then curve it over your head. Make sure to keep your hips pointing straight ahead of you with your hips planted on the ground.
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    Slightly tilt your torso from the waist up in the same direction as your arm.
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    Hold the stretch for a few seconds, and then exhale and return the arm to your side with your palm planted on the mat.
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    Inhale and press your weight into the hand on the mat, raising your hips upward and lifting the free hand until it is extended vertically with your open palm facing ahead of you.
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    Tilt your head so you see the tips of your fingers in the air.
    • Press into your knees as you stretch your hips forward.
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    Exhale and return to the starting position.

Method 3
Frequency

  1. 1
    Do 5 repetitions of this exercise per set on both sides of your body. Repeat until you've completed 4 sets on your right and 4 sets on your left.
  2. 2
    For faster results, increase the number of times per week you do this exercise.

Tips

  • The benefits of these exercises include increased strength and flexibility in your arms, shoulders and torso.

Warnings

  • Potential injuries may be incurred if this exercise is performed incorrectly.
  • If you have poor balance or experience pain in your knees, be particularly careful when performing this exercise.

Things You Need

  • Pilates mat

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