The Most Difficult Pilates Move: Unlocking the Ultimate Challenge

Choose the move you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 7, 2024 05:40
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! Today, we're diving into the world of Pilates and we want to hear from you. We've scoured the globe, spoken to experts, and experienced the burn ourselves to compile a ranking of the most difficult Pilates moves. But we need your help to settle the score! Which move leaves your muscles quivering and your sweat dripping? Do you have a love-hate relationship with the Teaser or is the Boomerang your ultimate nemesis? Vote for your favorite, and if you think we've missed a move that deserves a spot on our list, don't hesitate to suggest it. Let's crown the ultimate Pilates challenge together! Cast your vote now and join thousands of other fitness enthusiasts in this exciting showdown. Remember, every vote counts, so stand up (or lie down) for your favorite Pilates move!

What Is the Most Difficult Pilates Move?

  1. 1
    38
    votes
    The Teaser
    Universal · Public domain

    The Teaser

    Joseph Pilates
    This move requires a strong core and upper body strength, as well as balance and control. It involves lifting both legs and upper body off the mat into a V-shape, then slowly lowering back down.
    The Teaser is a challenging Pilates move that involves a sequential series of movements requiring core strength, balance, and flexibility. It is performed while lying on your back on a mat with your legs extended and lifted off the ground.
    • Difficulty level: Advanced
    • Primary muscle targeted: Abdominals (particularly the rectus abdominis and hip flexors)
    • Other muscles engaged: Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and spinal erectors
    • Equipment required: Mat or apparatus with adjustable spring resistance
    • Starting position: Lying on the back with legs extended and lifted off the ground, arms reaching toward the ceiling
  2. 2
    16
    votes
    The Snake
    Brandenberger Rosalba · CC BY 2.5

    The Snake

    Joseph Pilates
    This move involves a series of controlled, undulating movements through the spine, requiring flexibility and core strength.
    The Snake is one of the most difficult Pilates moves that requires advanced strength, flexibility, and control. It is a dynamic exercise that challenges the entire body through a series of coordinated movements.
    • Difficulty Level: Advanced
    • Primary Muscle Focus: Abdominals
    • Secondary Muscle Focus: Back, Shoulders, Hips
    • Movement Type: Dynamic
    • Body Position: Prone
    The Snake in other rankings
  3. 3
    5
    votes

    The Control Balance

    Joseph Pilates
    This move requires a strong core and upper body strength, as well as balance and control. It involves balancing on one hand with the other hand reaching towards the feet, while the legs are lifted off the mat.
    The Control Balance is a challenging Pilates move that requires strength, balance, and control. It involves balancing the entire body on the hands while the legs are lifted off the ground and extended in the air.
    • Difficulty Level: Advanced
    • Primary Muscles Targeted: Core muscles, including abdominals and lower back
    • Equipment Required: Pilates Reformer with high chair or mat
    • Starting Position: Sitting on the high chair or mat with legs extended straight in front and hands on the sides
    • Movement: Shift the body weight to the hands and lift the legs off the ground, extending them in the air
  4. 4
    17
    votes
    The Boomerang
    Pearson Scott Foresman · Public domain
    This move involves a series of rolling movements, requiring coordination, balance, and control. It also requires flexibility and core strength.
    The Boomerang in other rankings
  5. 5
    12
    votes

    The Scissors

    Joseph Pilates
    This move involves lifting both legs up and crossing them over each other while keeping the legs straight, requiring flexibility and core strength.
    The Scissors is a challenging Pilates move that targets the abdominal muscles and improves core stability. It involves alternating leg movements while engaging the core muscles to control the movement and maintain balance.
    • Level of Difficulty: Advanced
    • Primary Muscle Focus: Abdominals
    • Secondary Muscle Engagement: Hip Flexors
    • Equipment: Mat
    • Starting Position: Lie on your back with legs raised towards the ceiling
    The Scissors in other rankings
  6. 6
    17
    votes

    The Swan

    Joseph Pilates
    This move involves lifting the upper body off the mat while keeping the legs and pelvis on the mat, requiring upper body strength and back flexibility.
    The Swan is one of the most challenging Pilates moves that primarily targets the back and core muscles. It is designed to improve upper body strength and flexibility while engaging the entire spine.
    • Primary muscles targeted: Back and core muscles
    • Benefits: Improves upper body strength and flexibility, engages the entire spine
    • Starting position: Lie facedown on the mat, legs extended, feet hip-width apart, hands placed beneath the shoulders
    • Movement: Press the palms into the mat and lift the upper body off the ground while maintaining a lengthened spine
    • Breathing: Inhale while preparing, exhale while lifting the chest
    The Swan in other rankings
  7. 7
    8
    votes
    The Side Plank
    Jaykayfit · CC BY-SA 3.0

    The Side Plank

    Joseph Pilates
    This move involves balancing on one hand and the side of the foot while lifting the hips up, requiring upper body strength, core strength, and balance.
    The Side Plank is a challenging Pilates move that targets the muscles of the core, particularly the obliques. It involves balancing on one forearm while keeping the body in a straight line from head to toe, with the side of the bottom foot resting on the ground.
    • Primary muscles targeted: Obliques
    • Other muscles engaged: Core muscles, including the transverse abdominis and quadratus lumborum
    • Equipment: None or optional use of a Pilates mat or cushion
    • Difficulty level: Advanced
    • Body position: Lateral or side-facing with one forearm on the ground
  8. 8
    3
    votes
    The Corkscrew
    David Monniaux · CC BY-SA 3.0

    The Corkscrew

    Joseph Pilates
    This move involves rotating the legs in a circular motion while keeping the upper body and arms stable, requiring flexibility and core strength.
    The Corkscrew is a challenging Pilates move that targets the core muscles and improves spinal flexibility. It involves controlled rotational movements of the legs and hips while maintaining stability in the upper body.
    • Difficulty level: Advanced
    • Primary muscles targeted: Abdominals, obliques, hip flexors
    • Secondary muscles targeted: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes
    • Equipment: Mat or Reformer with straps
    • Starting position: Lie on your back with arms by your sides and legs extended in a tabletop position
  9. 9
    11
    votes

    The Control Push-Up

    Joseph Pilates
    This move involves lowering the body down to the mat and pushing back up while keeping the elbows close to the body, requiring upper body strength and control.
    The Control Push-Up is considered one of the most challenging Pilates moves. It is a variation of a traditional push-up exercise that requires precise control of movement and engages multiple muscle groups.
    • Difficulty Level: Advanced
    • Muscle Groups: Core, chest, triceps, shoulders
    • Starting Position: Begin in a plank position, with hands directly under the shoulders and feet hip-width apart
    • Execution: Lower the body down, keeping the elbows close to the body, until the chest is just above the ground. Hold for a moment and then push back up to the starting position
    • Breathing: Inhale while lowering the body and exhale while pushing back up
  10. 10
    6
    votes

    The Leg Pull

    Joseph Pilates
    This move involves lifting the legs off the mat and pushing the body back into a plank position, requiring core strength and control.
    The Leg Pull is a challenging Pilates move that targets the core, upper body, and the stability of the legs. It requires control, strength, and flexibility.
    • Level: Advanced
    • Primary Muscles Targeted: Abdominals, glutes, and upper body
    • Secondary Muscles Targeted: Legs and shoulders
    • Equipment: Mat or Reformer
    • Starting Position: Start in a plank position with the hands directly under the shoulders and the legs extended straight behind you

Missing your favorite move?

Graphs
Discussion

Ranking factors for difficult move

  1. Complexity
    Consider the number of steps, body parts involved, and the coordination required to perform the move accurately.
  2. Balance
    Take into account the level of balance and stability required to maintain the proper form throughout the movement.
  3. Strength
    Evaluate the degree of muscle strength needed to execute the move, including core strength as well as upper and lower body strength.
  4. Flexibility
    Consider the range of motion and stretching involved in the move, and the level of flexibility required for successful execution.
  5. Body awareness and control
    Assess the degree of awareness of body alignment, positioning, and movement needed to perform the exercise correctly.
  6. Progression and variations
    Take into account the existence of a progressive sequence or variations that can make the move more challenging or accessible for different levels of ability.
  7. Risk of injury
    Evaluate the potential for injury if the move is not executed correctly, especially for complex moves or those that put stress on vulnerable areas, such as the lower back or neck.
  8. Duration and endurance
    Analyze the level of endurance required to maintain proper form and complete a series of repetitions or hold the position for a specific duration.
  9. Learning curve
    Assess the level of difficulty in learning and mastering the move, taking into account the need for specialized instruction and practice.
  10. Equipment
    Consider the need for specialized equipment or props to perform the move and the level of difficulty in setting up and using the equipment correctly.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult Pilates move. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or move is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 1641 views
  • 133 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each move once every 24 hours. The rank of each move is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Categories

More information on most difficult pilates move

Pilates is a popular form of exercise that focuses on building strength and flexibility through controlled movements. It was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century and has since gained a huge following worldwide. While most Pilates exercises are designed to be challenging yet achievable, there are a few moves that stand out as particularly difficult. These moves require a lot of strength, balance, and coordination to execute properly, and often leave even experienced Pilates practitioners feeling challenged. In this article, we'll explore some of the most difficult Pilates moves and what makes them so challenging.

Share this article