Hula Pilates Exercise




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Published January 22, 2018

Next up in our series of Pilates exercises is the Hula!

This is good for

This exercise is fabulous for further challenging your pelvic stability, as well as activating and strengthening your obliques. With the added element of rotation it is a great one to prepare us for activities in everyday life where we need to turn our upper body. Great for the waistline and a great one for golfers in particular, who are looking to better their swing.

How to do the Hula

  • From your chest lift position, exhale to rotate one rib towards the opposite hip
  • Imagine drawing a rainbow with your ribs towards the hip bone over the top of your navel
  • Keep the pelvis stable, and the front of the hips heavy and soft throughout

Things to focus on  

Throughout the Hula, make sure you maintain a good connection through the abdominals. While tempting to relax your head and shoulders back towards the mat each time you come back through the centre, your waistline will thank you if you are able to maintain your chest lift height throughout.

Another area of focus for the Hula is the work of the obliques in initiating and controlling the movement. Think of the movement as being like a big X or a rainbow on the front of your torso. Imagine a diagonal line connecting the bottom of your rib cage on one side of the body to the hip bone on the opposite side. The elbows and shoulders should stay well out of the way!


  • The Hula challenges your pelvic stability. If you feel your pelvis rocking from side to side as you rotate the upper body... Stop! This is a sign you are trying to make the move too big! Reset your abdominal connection and make sure you are initiating the movement from the ribs (not the elbow or shoulder).

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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