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 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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Reach through your legs and challenge yourself, try doing this whole exercise with no hands! Think Spine Stretch Forward or Single Straight Leg Stretch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
If Leg Springs on the Cadillac is going well, then take your practice to the next level. Challenge yourself to lift your hips and reach in two directions.
Single Leg Springs 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.
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.
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.
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.
Tower 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!
Footwork happens everywhere in Pilates! Not only can you do it here on the Cadillac but on the Reformer, Mat, on the Wunda Chair and probably 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Rolling Stomach Massage combines the fun of Rolling Like a Ball, the stretch of Shortspine Massage and it literally elevates your Shoulder Bridge.
Rolling In and Out will bring together and challenge what you know from Chest Expansion, Thigh Stretch, Push Through and more and make you flow it.
The combination of the Cadillac’s stable platform and you kneeling versus standing make it an excellent teaching exercise for doing Chest Expansion elsewhere.
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.
Push Through 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.
This variation will force you to truly find the reach down through your lower back and legs to maintain your lift and connection to your back.
The spring tension changes throughout these exercises, teaching you how to maintain the connection to your center when you have no tension in your springs.
This version allows you to practice the movements and challenge the connection to your springs even when you lose the resistance.
Teaser is not about holding the position, it’s all about staying connected while doing the variations. The Push Through Bar helps you practice this.
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.
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.
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