How to do the Swan in Pilates?

The Swan is a Classical Pilates exercise, similar to the yoga 'Cobra' pose. It is performed after The Saw in the Pilates Mat order. This is a great exercise for stretching your spine. Begin by lying flat on your stomach, facing down on the Mat. Your arms should be bent with your elbows close to your sides and palms facing down. Make sure your elbows are up and legs are together. Float your hands off the Mat, pressing your hip bones into the Mat. Slowly lift your chest off the Mat. Press your hands back down on the Mat and lift your upper body higher, floating your hands off the Mat as you begin to lower then place your hands back on Mat as you return to the starting position. The Swan can also be performed with a Magic Circle between the hands.

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