You will learn how much you lean into one side, if you can keep the connections when you lose the spring and if you let the springs push you around.
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Do this exercise from the right place and you’ll feel the standing leg and your center working harder than the working leg to move and resist the spring.
The Neck Stretcher’s tiny spring might have you think it’s easy but you’ll quickly learn how much power that spring has to challenge your body’s connection.
This doesn’t just require strength but coordination as well. Like all exercises in Pilates, you need to focus on the return more than the lunge itself.
This classical Pilates exercise is not necessary for everyone and should be done with care and caution. It’s a challenge for connecting your entire spine.
This exercise will teach the reach and strength you need in exercises like Rowing 2, Bicep Curls on the Cadillac, Handstand on the Ladder Barrel and more.
When you look at this exercise it might not look difficult or necessary. Once you start to do move you will quickly learn where you’re not connecting.
This exercise is not one you want to learn your backbends. It’s one you want to challenge them with. Go slow for one or two to learn then get your flow on.
Rolling In and Out will bring together and challenge what you know from Chest Expansion, Thigh Stretch, Push Thru and more and make you flow it.
Long Back Arms connects you to your back and advances your Pilates practice by opening your chest. You’ll learn to stand in your legs and strengthen your back.
Make Thigh Stretch harder and skip the “back up” after Chest Expansion. To make it easier, back away a little more than suggested to get more spring tension.
This version will help challenge and strengthen your Side Bend on the Mat and also teach your hips some information they need for your Side Kicks.
In this version your legs are bent and both arms are working. Use this to train your side bends, your two-way stretch and challenge your arm back connection.
Rolling Stomach Massage combines the fun of Rolling Like a Ball, the stretch of Short Spine Massage and it literally elevates your Shoulder Bridge.
Breathing also reveals if we are ready for exercises such as Shortspine, Overhead, Roll Over, Jackknife and other exercises where we must lift our hips up.
Spread Eagle truly allows people doing it to feel the articulation, two-way stretch, and full body connection. A great way to seal off a day’s practice.
The combination of the Cadillac’s stable platform and you kneeling versus standing make it an excellent teaching exercise for doing Chest Expansion elsewhere.
The Roll Back Bar will help you find the connection of your arms to your back and find the lift and “up stretch’ that we need when doing flexion exercises.
Slow doesn’t mean controlled. Work the springs from arm-back connection. Use your center to support your back. It’s tempting to make it all about the arms.
Feeling strong and confident in Squats and Single Leg Squats with the Roll Back Bar? Replace the bar for handles. It’ll reveal the asymmetries in you body.
Looks easy, then you do it. You’ll find that if you let go of connections when the springs lose tension you’ll have a hard time going one move to the next.
Use Side Arm for asymmetries in your body and do the side that needs more support and connections first, then the strong side and back to the first side.
It is surprising how standing on 2 feet can change the feeling of the Hug from when you did it sitting on the Cadillac, Arm Chair or Reformer in your practice.
When you’re ready to challenge your ability to stand strong in your entire body give Shave a try. You can start first with a Roll Back Bar if necessary.
This version of Swan requires open and very connected shoulders and as much length in your back as possible. Give yourself time to practice and build up.
Candlestick is much like a handstand. And so, it requires balance, trust, and connection. Building up to it is key for confidence, connection and execution.
If doing Beats as a transition out of an exercise then you may want to put the Trapeze part away. Building up to this exercise is key to feeling successful.
Practice flipping into the Splits so that you arrive at the Splits fully connected versus trying to find your connections once you’re there upside down.
Seated Mermaid with the Push Thru Bar will challenge your ability to keep the length on both sides while Side Bending. Focus on the length of bottom side.
The Seated Push Thru Facing Out might not work on every tower. It does depend on where the Push Thru Bar attaches and if there is a mat or Reformer.
Seated Push Thru Side is done “outside the box. The Seated Push Thru Side makes it fun to challenge the arm-back connection and support a Pilates practice.
Single Leg Hip Lifts on the Cadillac help you strengthen your hamstrings and glutes while challenging the strength and the connection of your entire center.
Big Circles will challenge all the Leg Circles you’ve done with Leg Springs and the Reformer. Building up to Big Circles is key for success in this exercise.
It’s tempting to live in the stretchy part. Work the strength in this exercise from your center out instead of from your arm or shoulder.
While doing Standing Long Back Arms with the Roll Back Bar you’ll lose tension in the springs. Continue to work even when there is no spring tension.
When preparing for the Pull-Ups and Hanging Pull-Ups on the Cadillac practicing the Prep for Pull-Ups is key. This prep is useful for many other exercises.
While it’s easier to do the Squats with the Arm Springs. Practicing with the Roll Back Bar allows your weaker side to learn from the stronger side.
It’s tempting to focus solely on the legs. Instead, move the legs and arms from your center simultaneously and you’ll get more out of this exercise.
When learning Single Leg Squat with the Roll Back Bar the transitions are not as smooth as with the Arm Springs. When ready swap the bar for Arm Springs.
While the exercise is called Scissors it’s important that you’re not “swishing” the legs past each other. One leg moves while the other is still & vice versa.
Roll Down is great if Roll Up on the Mat is a struggle for you. Use it to help you find the connections through the tightest part of your back.
The first time, play with where you put your “free” arm. It can go behind your head or your lower back and should help you remain even, long and connected.
It’s not about how high you can go in your Swan but instead how long you can be! Allow the Push Thru Bar to help you find your arms on your back.
Not your everyday gym bicep curls! Nope, Bicep Curls on the Cadillac are very tough and don’t actually look like much of a Bicep Curl once you get into them.
It’s not about opening the springs, it’s about working your two-way stretch! Focus on how much you’re lifting up against the down reach of your legs.
Be mindful of your wrists. They may bend or do some funny things as you move. It’s tempting to make this about the triceps. Focus on your elbows being wide.
If you feel this in your hip flexors go back to the Kneeling Long Back Arms and do exercises to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes connections.
Once you have it down skip the prep and go right into Rolling In and Out. Move from your whole body and not just your chest as you move through the exercise.
There are two ways to get into this exercise but most often you’ll do it after Shoulder Roll Down on the Cadillac. It makes for a good transition.
Think Push Thru but on your knees. Start with a tall back, then a round back then reaching that round back as far as you can. Restacking before repeating.
The first version is easier to do. As you advance you may decide to do the second variation. It’s your practice, choose the Big Frogs that works for you.
Work the springs so they are not working you. It’s tempting to bend your knee so your heel touches your seat. Bend as much as you reach into the springs.
If you feel these in the back of your knees or the springs are bouncing around pause, reset and reach from the legs and the rest of your center.
Hanging on the Cadillac is one of the few exercises that is great for ending your Pilates session. Think the Shavasana of Yoga for Pilates. Get upside down
Half Hanging and Full Hanging do require you to understand your health conditions as going upside down does have several contraindications.
The spring wants to tell your foot and leg what to do but you have to reach from your center into the spring no matter where your leg is in space.
The spring helps you tap into more muscles in your hip and center. And, you can train your body on what muscles to turn on when you don’t have the springs.
Small Circles with the Leg Spring is similar to Small Circles on the Mat Side Leg Kicks. Using the spring will help you get the most out of the Mat version.
In this variation of the Side Leg Springs reach into the springs more than you think. Make sure you’re closing of the springs and not the other way around.
Working on backends on the Reformer, Snake and Twist, Twist Teaser, or Swan? These variations in hanging will help you get better at all of those and more.
This is a great exercise to teach you where to reach from when you’re doing Side Leg Kicks on the Mat. It’s also an incredible challenge for your center!
Chest Expansion is a great ending to your Pilates practice because you practice Pilates while standing and as you walk away you can take Pilates with you!
Gain connections for Reformer exercises – Short Spine, High Frogs and Long Spine Massage with this series. It’s a great way to prepare your body and practice.
This Hug will challenge your ability to sit tall against the springs. Making your Reformer Hug feel like a breeze. Keep handle vertical for max benefits!
While mostly done seated or standing, you can do this one kneeling. Keep the entire palm of your hand on the handle throughout the entire exercise.
An incredible exercise to challenge your arm-back connection. Doing it on the Cadillac is a great place to practice the exercise without a moving carriage.
From the Chest on the Cadillac allows you to work on the movements from the most connected places and practice feeling connected without any spring tension.
Because the mat isn’t moving like a carriage it’s easier to learn the exercise. However, the springs are heavy, you may find it more possible on the Reformer.
Since the mat doesn’t move on the Cadillac or Tower it’s a great place to learn the parts of Rowing into the Sternum to help your Reformer practice.
The board provides a “closed chain” to learn Airplane before only doing it with foot straps. The board will show which leg is lagging behind or overworking.
Beat too fast, lose the effectiveness of the exercise. Go too slow and miss out on the challenge. Find a balance in creating swift controlled beats to level up.
Start off slow to learn where to “step” from then speed up without losing control. Use to learn how to reach legs from your center in asymmetrical exercises.
If you have a hip click teaching your body where to move from, stabilizing your pelvis, and working from your center is key! Great exercise for any level.
If struggling to connect your legs to your center on the Mat or Reformer springs can help you feel where your legs are reaching from and how to control them.
Whether you’re working on your full Traditional Ending or just want to work on standing in your center this exercise is worth doing in your Cadillac workout.
The length you gain in your spine and the strength you challenge in your back will make you want to do Shoulder Roll Down every time you hit your Cadillac.
It’s very similar to an upside-down Push Up and if you use the Trapeze to your advantage you’ll find you have even more power from your center.
Feel the length and strength of your Swan on the Cadillac. Then feel and find your “Swan” in other places on the Cadillac and on your Mat and Reformer.
This is a challenge for your strength and coordination as much as your connections and will help improve your Rowing on the Reformer and other exercises.
The Pull-Ups are incredible for the arm-back connection that we all need to have in our entire Pilates practice. Try to do these every week more than once.
Teaser is not about holding the position, it’s all about staying connected while doing the variations. The Push Thru Bar helps you practice this.
One leg Pilates exercises show us where we overwork, underwork and also where we twist, turn or need more attention. Try doing weak leg, strong and then weak.
Challenge your Chest Expansion! Reach your arms past your hips like your goal on the Reformer. Adding this version in? Try Thigh Stretch with Arm Springs.
Feeling good about Thigh Stretch with the bar? Switch to your handles! You’ll discover which side is doing the work and which side is along for the ride.
It’s not an exercise you’ll use to learn to do the Teaser. However, if you’re someone whose Teaser is strong, it’s fun to challenge your practice.
Strengthen your High Scissors, High Bicycle, Jackknife, Overhead, Long Spine Massage, to name a few. Then you’ll want to work your Single Leg Tower.
Tower with Push Thru Bar on the Cadillac will also help you see how your feet connect to the equipment, learn where you are moving from and how to find that two-way stretch!
Push Thru is great for teaching your body the Roll Up on the Mat, Elephant on the Reformer, Push Down on the Wunda chair and many more exercises.
Neck Stretcher exercises like the seated forward bend help you coordinate where you head goes in the shape you’re making without cheating your center.
Tall back exercises can be tricky if you struggle with where to move from. Using the Neck Stretcher helps you align and coordinate your head on your spine.
Single Leg Spring is one of my favorite teaching tool exercises. It’s not a difficult exercise to do but its effectiveness is more than meets the eye.
Monkey is a great stretch but also an amazing exercise for teaching you how to do other exercises like Tree, Elephant, Stomach Massage and more.
Use this exercise to learn how your arm connects to your back, to lengthen your side bends and how to root down through your legs and reach taller.
From the outside, they look like a simple pull, press, resist and repeat. But, on the inside, your center and seat will be working harder than your arms.
Footwork happens everywhere in Pilates! Not only can you do it here on the Cadillac or Tower but on the Reformer, Mat, on the Wunda Chair and probably more.
Flying Eagle on the Cadillac is a great way to challenge Pulling Straps. If you’re looking to do Breaststroke, this is a good place to strengthen your practice.
Are you ready to fly? Airplane on the Cadillac is an exercise that will allow you to feel the strength of your body and also like you are a gymnast!
The stretch feels delicious but the strength is more important. In this third part, focus on your reach in both directions and the lift in your center!
Even when you see the word “stretch” in a name it’s not about stretching. It’s always about strength. Can you stand in strength as you challenge your reach?
The Arm Springs will challenge your Roll Back! Reveal where you need to work more or work less to balance your asymmetries.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn the two ways you can do the Hundred with your arm springs to help you get even more connected to your center!
It’s important to remove springs from our Pilates practice from time to time to see where we’re relying on the springs too much. Be sure to work your reach!
Practicing Coordination on the Cadillac is good for those who think they are pressing their arms but really they are throwing them, causing the carriage to bounce.
Reach through your legs and challenge yourself, try doing this whole exercise with no hands! Think Spine Stretch Forward or Single Straight Leg Stretch.
This exercise can be a teaching tool or a challenge to your practice. When you’re done, hop on your Reformer and see if your Backstroke is more connected.
Once you figure out what to do in Fencing it’s a lot of fun and a great challenge to all of your Pilates practice. Let it reveal what you need to practice.
It may seem easier to stand for the Shave and Hug but, it’s also so easy to lock your knees, sink into your back, or get pulled off your feet by the springs.
It’s easy to get distracted with the arm behind your back. Work both arms equally so you can maintain your length and find the strength in the exercise.
Whether you’re enjoying the full hang with backbends and twists or feeling like you’re doing a half hanging meditation your body will love the traction.
Boxing is an arm spring exercise that will challenge you to keep this a full-body exercise without being pushed around by the springs. Have fun boxing!
Learn how to “stand” in your arms and upper back. And, a great place to learn how to keep length and space in your upper back as you lift your hips up.
A great teaching tool for Russian Squats on the Reformer. And will help you with exercises like Rolling Like a Ball, Double Leg Stretch, Rowing 2 and more!
Challenge your flexion, connect your arms to your back and center with this variation of the Ab Series. It’s great for learning how to stand in the springs.
This will help you do more asymmetrical exercises. You’ll learn the knowledge and strength you need to reach through one leg while working the other.
Leg Springs are more than a leg workout. The name suggests that they are all about the legs but in fact, they truly help connect your legs to your center.
It’s easy to let go of the connections you gained when you open the springs. Closing the springs is the most challenging part of the Arm Springs Series.
I feel that we often try to make our bodies “look” like the ideal Teaser instead of connecting to our own muscles and finding our own version of the Teaser