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Exercise of the Month: STOTT PILATES® Snake

Snake is an Advanced-level STOTT PILATES® exercise that’s performed on a Reformer and is the lead up to the Twist. Like all of the STOTT PILATES Advanced repertoire, it’s a full-body challenge that promotes fluidity of movement matched to a two-breath pattern.

In this video, Merrithew® Lead Instructor Trainer Adriana Rotella invites us inside her home studio to talk about how to safely and effectively progress and cue your clients through this exercise, and how to ensure they’re initiating and executing it correctly. For her demonstration, she uses a red spring and a blue spring on her V2 Max Reformer.


  • Depending on the size and strength of your client, use between one and two springs. Lighter springs may make this exercise more challenging because they’ll have less support, so you might need to make some adjustments to find the right balance for each person
  • To strengthen their upper body before progressing to the Snake, get them to practice Up Stretch and Long Stretch
  • Use a four-breath pattern initially to break this exercise down
  • Cue your client to zip up the inner thighs and initiate from the hip extensors as they push the carriage away; once they have extended into the plank position, the second part is the articulation of the spine from the base of the spine to the crown of the head
  • Check that they’re not dropping or collapsing the hips once they’re out in the long line
  • Hands can be positioned on top of the shoulder rests or wrapped around the front base
  • Once extended, their wrists and arms should be stacked under their shoulders for maximum support, not pushing the carriage out further
  • Keep practicing!

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