Criss Cross




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Published January 31, 2018

Following on from Book Openings we have Criss Cross.

This is good for

Criss cross is a great exercise for our intermediate clients to challenge pelvic stability and to develop strength in the abs – particularly through the obliques.

How to do Criss Cross

Pilates Can Criss Cross
  • Start with your legs in tabletop and chest lifted
  • Exhale to straighten right leg and rotate upper body towards left knee
  • Inhale return to start position
  • Exhale to repeat on other side
  • Think of drawing rib across to opposite hip each time you rotate
  • Move from the ribs, not the elbow or shoulder
  • Keep pelvis still throughout

Things to focus on

Ensure that you are rotating the upper body from the ribcage, not the shoulders or elbows. Think of drawing a rainbow from the bottom of your ribs up and over the belly button to the opposite hip.


  • Throughout Criss Cross, ensure you maintain a consistent height in your chest lift – it can be tempting as you get tired to lower the shoulders and head back towards the floor. Each time you come back through the middle ensure you close the distance between your ribs and hips.
  • Be careful to keep the weight even across the back of the pelvis. There should be no rocking side to side in this exercise. If you feel the weight shift through the hips, keep the legs still in a table top position and just focus on the upper body rotation (see our Hula exercise).

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors, try our Semi-private Equipment sessions.

Our Manuka studio is within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

About the author 

Claire Gunther is a PAA Principal Level Pilates Instructor with over 20 years and 20k+ hours of professional Pilates delivery experience.


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