Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits and Common Mistakes

Corkscrew is an exercise you’ll recognise if you’ve ever done at least some level of Pilates work.

This exercise is the corkscrew in Pilates, and it offers a great challenge for shoulder stability and abdominal work as you rotate the legs opposite a still, calm upper body.

While it can be intensified to become an advanced exercise, it is best, of course, to be performed at an intermediate level.

How to Do the Corkscrew in Pilates with Correct Form?

Lie on your back with your shoulders away from your ears, arms along your sides and palms down. Extend your legs toward the ceiling, and keep them together. Hug the midline of your body by keeping your lower back on the mat.

Breathe deeply before you begin; lift one leg off the floor at a time, and straighten it as much as possible without arching or rounding your back.


To do the corkscrew in pilates:

  • Lie on your back, and pull your knees into your chest.
  • Lift your legs toward the ceiling, squeezing them together as tightly as possible.
  • Move your legs to the right, allowing your hips to lift away from the floor.
  • Return to the centre, keeping your lower back pressed against the ground.
  • Move your legs to the left, and allow the shoulders and rib cage to lift off the floor if possible before bringing your legs back in toward your body.
  • This counts as one rep. Repeat ten times.

Tips & Techniques for Corkscrew in Pilates

To get the corkscrew exercise, keep in mind the following tips and techniques:

  • Core strength can be increased by drawing down through the navel, lifting up through the pelvic floor and using your arms for support.
  • Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, knees bent and legs lifted toward the ceiling.
  • Slowly lift your hips toward the ceiling till your feet are over your face.
  • Hold for one or two seconds at the top of the movement before returning slowly to the starting position.
  • Keeping your torso stable, allow one hip to drop from its support as you stretch out to the side till you feel a mild discomfort in your oblique abdominal muscles.
  • Hold for a few seconds before bringing your hip back to its original position and repeating on the opposite side.


Although some may doubt the utility of this exercise, including it in your regimen can provide you with several advantages. The following are a few of the most important benefits you can get with this exercise:

Stronger muscles: The corkscrew exercise is a sort of resistance training that can help you build and highlight your core muscles.

Help with weight loss: The corkscrew workout will almost certainly need more energy than your usual everyday routine. Increased muscle mass also aids in calorie burning. Both of these factors can aid weight loss, but neither can ensure it. If weight loss is your objective, keep in mind that there are superior workout options.

Improves mood: Exercises like corkscrews encourage the release of chemicals that make you feel wonderful.

Reduces back pain: Exercises that strengthen the core, such as corkscrews, can help to relieve or prevent back discomfort. If you have back problems, you should be cautious and see a doctor before beginning this workout.

Improves sleep quality and length: Exercises like the corkscrew can improve the quality and duration of your sleep, which has numerous advantages.

Slows ageing: The corkscrew exercise has no effect on the number of days since your birth. Exercise, on the other hand, can decrease the progression of certain age markers linked to unfavourable health impacts.

Common Mistakes

To perform the exercise, keep your upper body relaxed and not pressing too hard into the mat.


Using Momentum: The power to move your legs should come from your core muscles only. Allowing the legs to swing due to momentum or gravity is not recommended.

Arching your back: Keep your lower back pressed to the mat during the entire exercise. When your legs are moving, don’t lift them up.

Separating the legs: Keep your thighs and ankles pressed together while they’re moving through the corkscrew.

Key Takeaway

If you’re a Pilates fan, the corkscrew exercise is one you’ve probably been doing for years. If you’re new to it, now is a good time to start. Having the corkscrew in your repertoire of Pilates moves can assure that your lower core workout is complete and effective.

The fact that it’ll also strengthen your back and improve your balance only makes an already good exercise better.

Studies have shown that adding this exercise to a workout routine can lead to greater core muscle development, especially in the upper regions of your abs, as well as better overall core strength. Although there is some debate over which muscles get exercised the most when doing this exercise, it definitely does work your core muscle group.

Q. Have you tried the corkscrew Pilate exercise?