How to Do the Pilates Saw the RIGHT Way


Pick up the Kleenex, Herniate a Disk—Or Don’t!

The Pilates Saw contains one of the riskiest movement combos you can make with your spine—twisting and bending forward simultaneously.

It might seem like I’m being dramatic, but my friend herniated a disk while bending forward and slightly twisting to pick up a Kleenex.

It was terrible. And it took him months to recover.

On the surface, his injury was “out of the blue,” but in reality, it was a repetitive motion injury long in the making. 

Meaning he’d been doing this move for years, unaware.

He’s a modern human with a desk job and a long commute, so he sits a lot. 

And he mostly sits with his pelvis tucked.

Which makes his lower back round.

Spending lots of time sitting this way doesn’t just look slouchy. It creates a weak spine with a repetitive motion injury you can’t feel. 

Until one day, you bend forward to pick up a tissue, twist the slightest bit and “slip a disk out of nowhere.”

Only it’s not out of nowhere. It’s been building up for years.

The spine’s muscles and ligaments finally give way, unable to take the excess load of that slight twist added when you picked up that tissue.

Which brings me back to the Pilates Saw…

Depending on how your pelvis is aligned, the Saw can be an excellent tool to practice rotating and bending your spine safely or a terrific way to practice getting injured.

Done right, it strengthens your spine, strengthens your core, and stretches your body safely, which makes daily movement when you’re NOT exercising so much easier.

Today I’ll show you how to fine-tune this exercise so you can safely and effectively get the most out of it.

After you give it a try, I’d love to know how it goes. Make sure to let me know in the comments below.

With safe spinal mechanics,



P.S. Did you know Pilates Tonic has an online studio tooIt’s called Pilates Tonic Online, and it’s a monthly membership.

I teach stuff like you learned in this email and so much more.

The PTO membership will help you move more (and move better when you do move), so you can keep doing the things in life you love.

Learn more about Pilates Tonic Online and register…

If you have any questions, contact me directly and ask away!



Hi, I'm Sydney and I'm a Restorative Movement Specialist here at Pilates Tonic. My goal is to empower you with tools to connect and live in your body in new and better ways. I'm a passionate advocate for wellness through optimally aligned movement and I look forward to designing a customized alignment and movement program just for you! If you want to find out more, just give me a call at 423.702.5233, or email me at See you in the studio!

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