Tutorial #1768

The Saw Up Close

10 min - Tutorial


The Saw is one of the few rotational exercises from Return to Life, which is made even more difficult with the added challenge of crossing the midline while in a forward bend. In this tutorial, Benjamin Degenhardt explores the Saw and its modifications and variations, such as the archival Standing Twist.

For more insight and information on this exercise, be sure to read The Saw Up Close from Benjamin's blog.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

(Level N/A)
(Pace N/A)
Aug 10, 2014
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1 person likes this.
Thank you for this exploration of the Saw!! I love the idea
of teaching it in standing. I always try to communicate that
the arms are reaching in opposition. But restrictions in the
shoulders often makes it difficult for students to sense the
pull of the back arm. Doing the exercise standing is a
wonderful way to find this oppositional energy through the arms!!
I like the Variations of the Saw and i see the same Problems in my group.
Thank you for explaining.
1 person likes this.
(Edited by Moderator - Kristi Cooper on August 12, 2014)
Love this tutorial Benjamin! I hope everyone takes the time to read your blog post on the same subject. We can hardly wait until we release your tutorial on the hundred!
Ever since taking your one day workshop on 'The Hundreds" when I teach mat cannot help but think how any one of the mat exercises can be made into a workout in and of itself. So much valuable information.
Thank you for taking the time to put this together Benjamin !
I taught this to my beginner class in Anytime Fitness. I like it ... not sure about my students. They probably think I make em' work too hard :)
I do this excercise in my men´s only class......they loved it!!!!
does not provide options for people who are unable to reach the toes (sitting or standing saw)....would alternative version be to reach towards the knees? wish he would provide more suggestions for people with all kinds of abilities/flexibility
oh and all of those twists....anyone with back pain...DO NOT DO THAT PART....he won't tell you this on the video.....if you do, you'll be sorry... first strengthen your muscles, then you can do the twist...inch by a inch....NOT his entire twisting sequence
Pilates Tot ~ twisting is a movement that is advised against with spinal/back injuries. If you have an injury, chronic pain, or severe pain anywhere in your body, we strongly advise you to first consult a Physician and a certified Pilates instructor prior to taking any Pilates Anytime classes. This will help you understand your range of movement and limitations to keep your body safe. If you did not have back pain and were simply unable to reach your toes, you can always sit on a box, or folded towels, to relieve some of the stretch on the hamstrings, and reach in the direction of your toes (without actually straining to touch them).
Hello Pilates Tot - I completely agree that caution is due when back pain is present, in fact that is true for any pain, any exercise, and any remote instruction without the teacher having his/her hands and eyes on you. As for your first comment, note that the instruction is to reach "towards" the toes - whether you actually reach them or not depends on your overall mobility, coordination, and strength, and is not the priority. The general purpose of the exercise remains the same - it is more important to work towards increased mobility across the back body than for your hand to touch the leg or toes. Feel free to consult the blog linked above, too. I hope this clears things up for you!
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