How to Do the Swan Pose in Pilates

Four Methods:Getting in the Starting PositionPerforming the ExerciseAdvanced VersionFrequency

This low-intensity exercise engages the hamstrings, upper back and shoulders.

Method 1
Getting in the Starting Position

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    Lie down on the pilates mat on your abdomen, keeping your elbows bent towards the back of the mat and your palms resting downwards on the mat. Your forehead should touch the mat. Keep your palms just outside your shoulders. Push your belly button in towards your spine. Extend your legs behind you, and point your toes towards the back of the mat.

Method 2
Performing the Exercise

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    Inhale while pressing downward into your hands, lifting your upper body off of the mat. Contract your buttocks while lifting up.
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    Exhale and lower your upper body back onto the mat, while lifting your legs up toward the ceiling. Repeat this exercise for the desired number of times.

Method 3
Advanced Version

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    To make this exercise more challenging you can reach your arms forward until they are extended all the way during the upper body lift portion of the exercise, and hold for 10 seconds.

Method 4

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    Do 7 repetitions of this exercise per set. Repeat until you've completed 3 sets.
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    For faster results, increase the number of sets/times per week you do this exercise.


  • The benefits of these exercises are increased strength and flexibility in your hamstrings, back extensors and buttocks.


  • Those with poor balance should be careful when performing this exercise.
  • Potential injuries may be incurred if this exercise is performed incorrectly.

Things You Need

  • Pilates mat

Article Info

Categories: Pilates