Ideally, you will feel the back of your legs and seat working as you push and pull the carriage out and in. Not allowing your upper body to change.
I love to do the Single Leg Elephant here because it helps you with Single Leg Tendon Stretch with your leg back and Tree among other exercises.
Press your shins into the carriage to help you find your seat and hamstrings in this exercise. You’ll need them in Thigh Stretch and Arm Circles.
Channel your Double Straight Leg Stretch and your Stomach Massage you’ll discover some great nuances to the lower body reach and the opposition it creates.
If you are doing Single Straight Leg Stretch, Control Balance on the Mat, Roll Over, and High Scissors this exercise is in your wheelhouse!
Try flowing into this exercise by bending both knees to the carriage simultaneously from your Long Stretch exercise as you open your chest.
The Swan looks like it’s all about the back bend. But the truth is, it’s all about the length. How Long can you get in your Swan?
As you do this exercise keep in mind that the names of exercises can be deceiving and Pilates exercises are for the whole body! Stand in your legs.
If you’re feeling strong in your Double Leg Stretch, then challenge what you know with Coordination on the Reformer.
Horseback requires you to call upon your Spine Stretch Forward, Teaser, Open Leg Rocker, and Arm Circles to name a few.
Try to find your strength from your seat. Press the carriage away from your seat and maintain the upper body reach into your hands.
Overhead is a great way to prepare for the Rowing series. Reach you do towards the ceiling will be the same reach you need as you Row and do your Teaser.
Also, keep your heels over your toes. An easy way to cheat this exercise is to drop your heels towards the headrest to move it.
Remember to stand on your leg that is under the strap and reach your arms from your back as you round down and back up.
Looks can be deceiving! This is not an arm exercise. It’s all about the seat and reach from your legs. How far can your legs reach?
Thigh Stretch sounds like it’s all stretch but it’s a lot of strength! Your legs, center and back will need to be all systems on deck each rep.
Opening the springs is easy. It’s more important that you close the springs every rep. The final inch of closing the springs requires you to use your center.
Work the extension up your spine, reach into the blocks from your seat and this exercise becomes full body and helps your entire Pilates practice.
Pulling Straps as a name is misleading. It sounds as if you’re just supposed to pull on the straps. But, in fact, its really all about the REACH!
You’ll want to work on the part where the springs offer resistance. But, the challenge is that we should be working the closing of the springs.
As you move through your exercises notice when your ribs want to take a break this may be where your range of motion ends.
Rowing on the Reformer is a wonderful series for training our bodies and helping us connect to our back.
Once you start you need to keep your reach in both directions and remember that you and your Reformer are a partner in crime together. It’s a dance!
If Tree is not your favorite exercise it’s because you truly do need it. Focus on the length in your waist, and “climbing” your tree from your back.
I promise you if you learn to love this series your Teasers, Snake, Boomerang, Hip Circles, and many movements in life will feel stronger and better
There is a way to prepare and practice training the body for this big backbend after you do your Down Stretch on the Reformer. Practice your backbends.
If you have a friend handy have them stand at the back of the Reformer and lightly press into your calves as you reach to help assist in this exercise.
The sooner you are able to safely add Teaser to your Reformer repertoire the sooner you will see your Teaser on the Mat get better!
The Hundred on the Reformer will reveal what the Hundred on the Mat often cannot.
Ideally, your chest remains up and your upper abs and connection your box remains constant no matter what you arms and legs are doing.
If you can keep your whole palm pressing into the handle throughout the movement, you will be able to stay connected to your back.
When I first get on the Reformer I begin with Footwork. Like the 100 on the Mat, Footwork prepares the body for what is to come in our workout.