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Published May 12, 2018

Our next exercise after Prone Leg Lifts is Quadruped.

This is good for  

Quadruped is an excellent exercise for so many reasons.  There are a lot of benefits – abdominal activation and control, hip and shoulder disassociation, hip and shoulder stability and strength, axial elongation, and weight-bearing through joints just to name a few.  This exercise is great for almost everyone, however, you should avoid this one if you have wrist problems (e.g. carpal tunnel) or SIJ issues.

How to do Quadruped

Pilates Can Quadruped
  • Start in quadruped position
  • Exhale to slide one arm our along floor and lift (if shoulders are stable). Inhale, return. Alternate arms.
  • Repeat with legs moving
  • For an extra challenge try opposite arm and leg!
  • Maintain stable position throughout – shoulders and pelvis stay still
  • Ensure ab connection throughout

Things to focus on

The main thing to focus on for this one is maintaining a good quadruped position.  Ensure your set up is good – wrists under shoulders, knees under hips, abs engaged, spine long and head in line with the rest of the spine.  Maintain that position while you breathe. Only progress to adding the arm/leg movements when you are confident you can do so without losing the alignment through the body.


  • Keeping the shoulders/hips square to the mat is very challenging in this exercise. Keep the range small at first, gradually increasing the range to add challenge.
  • Keeping the spine long is difficult here. You need to ensure the torso doesn’t sag at the abs or shoulders, so keep the abs lifting in and up and press the floor away through the heel of your hands.
  • So many times we see people drop their head towards the floor here. Make sure that you are keeping the back of your head up in line with the rest of your spine. Your neck will thank you for it.

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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