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How to Do the Saw in Pilates

Learn how to do the Pilates mat exercise saw from Core Pilates NYC instructor Sarah Ruback in this Howcast workout video.


So Saw is an exercise that will incorporate spinal rotation, so twisting
the spine as well as reaching forward for the toe. So if you have any
back issues where you can't twist or reach forward this
exercise will need to be modified.

So leading right out of spine-stretch forward, you'll extend your legs in front of you, Madeline, and open your legs up here a little bit wider than the mat. And reach your arms out to a T-position. So when your arms are in this T-position be sure that you
are aware of your fingertips and peripheral vision so the arms aren't
floating away. Find yourself a nice tall posture here to begin. Inhale. Then as you exhale twist toward me and cut off your pinkie toe with your pinky finger. So in this position, her back palm is turned up, and her head is gently looking back toward her shoulder. Be sure you're not twisting your head, and her pinky finger is sawing past her pinky toe. Inhale. Stack your spine up then exhale. Twist all the way to the
other side, and cut off your pinky toe. That's it.

In this position it's important to feel both hips continuing to sit on the mat, as well as the abdominal still lifting in and up. Remember, we're not about the chest to the
thighs in these exercises rounding forward. Inhale. Stack the spine up
to seated, and twist. Exhale and reach. Inhale. Articulate the spine to
seated. Twist and exhale. Dive forward to reach.

Let's try one more to each side. Inhale and exhale. Reach forward. Last time. Inhale. Lift to the spine. Twist, and then exhale. Dive forward cutting off the pinky toe with the pinky finger. Come back up to seated, and then lower your hands
down to your sides.

So a way to modify this exercise is just to do the twisting without the reaching. So reach your arms to the sides here, Madeline, and just twist toward me gently focusing on lifting the abdominals. Inhale to the center and exhale twist. That's it. Then come back to the center and lower your hands down. Also, like Spine Stretch Forward, you can bend the knees if you're having a difficult time sitting up nice and
straight. And with every Pilates exercise, to advance it you flow with it. You go a
little bit more quickly through flow and the movement.

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