Quadruped and Chest Lift

Quadruped Chest Lift

A few weeks ago, we told you all about Dead Bugs and Femur Arcs, two of the first exercises you may learn when you start Pilates.

In this blog, we investigate two more exercises from the Mat Pilates repertoire and their benefits: Quadruped and Chest Lift.



This exercise is performed kneeling on all fours. Hands under shoulders, and knees under hips, while the pelvis remains in a neutral position.

Breathing out, slowly slide your left leg backwards and your right arm forwards until they are straight. Do not go beyond horizontal. The pelvis does not move, you remain in neutral spine. Imagine you have a tray of drinks sitting on your pelvis and you don’t want to spill them! Take a breath in, then return the leg and arm to their initial position while you breathe out.

A common movement error with this exercise is the failure to maintain a neutral spine throughout the whole exercise.


Exercise Benefits:

  • Axial elongation
  • Improve shoulder stability
  • Improve neck and head control
  • Disassociation of the shoulder joint and hip joint
  • Improve lumbar-pelvic stability and core control
  • Integration of ribs with pelvis
  • Improve cross-over stability





Chest Lifts

Start by lying on your back with knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. In a neutral spine position, lightly cradle the base of your skull with the fingers of one hand and ensure your head is heavy in your hands. Imagine a soft peach under your chin! Anchor the shoulder blades.

Breathing out, lift your chest off the ground by drawing your ribs to your hips. You should feel this in your upper abdominals. Make sure the tailbone stays down on the ground (pelvic neutral). Breathing in, slowly curl back down.


Exercise benefits:

  • Proper recruitment of abdominal muscles
  • Strengthen the abdominal muscles
  • Improve thoracic and rib mobility into flexion
  • Improve lumbar-pelvic stability and control
  • Improve neck and head control



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