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great hip stretch into external rotation in Pilates

Pilates Mermaid Variation: The Z-Sit Thigh Stretch

exercise tutorials May 07, 2018

Try this variation of the Mermaid position. Even without this variation, the Z-Sit is a great hip stretch into external rotation (foot that's in front of you) and internal rotation (foot that's behind you). By adding these movements, you will additionally improve your hip mobility into extension, something almost all of us need.

How to do this stretch correctly:

  • Begin in the Z-Sit.
  • Place one or two hands behind you on the floor to help support your body weight.
  • Begin by rolling the internally rotated hip forward and towards the opposite knee.
  • Add an additional thought of lengthening the knee away from the hip, reaching the knee and thigh long.
  • Repeat this a few times.
  • After you feel that this movement has become a bit easier, add the curl.
  • First, roll the hip forward, then tuck your tailbone under.
  • We're looking for a posterior pelvic tilt. So, it's not so much about lifting the hip, as it is about curling the tailbone under.
  • Note: If you have trouble starting with both sit bones on the mat (this means your hips are a bit inflexible into internal rotation), then focus on bringing the sit bone as far back down onto the mat, after rolling it forward and curling the tail under. It's the reverse goal, but equally important and helpful. Remember one of Joseph Pilates's goal with his method was balanced muscle development.

Let me know how it goes and feel free to send me your questions and comments.

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