Chest Expansion on the Arm Chair
Another place to do Chest Expansion is on the Pilates Arm Chair. This one is really special because, like the kneeling version on the Reformer and Cadillac, it takes the knee and feet out of the exercise and allows you to focus on your back and center. But, unlike the Reformer, the springs are lighter. And, unlike the Cadillac, the handles being separate allows you to see which arm or side might be “going on for the ride.” Chest Expansion is a great place to learn to reach from your back, open your chest without scrunching your shoulder blades together.
Press your heels together to get even more seat connection.
Kneeling against the Arm Chair, feel your head and knees line all the way up. It’s easy here to let the ribs pop over the edge of the chair. Hold the handle in your hand with your entire palm pressing into your handle. Press the pinky side of your hand into your handles to really connect to your back. Hug your knees towards each other even though they are a fist distance apart, press your heels together to get even more seat connection. Double-check that the front of your hips are open. If yours are tight, it’s hand reach down through your knees so you can get taller out of your back.
Press your arms back past your hips and look to the right and then to the left then look forward and resist the springs to move your arms forward. Repeat 2-3x. You can also walk your knees back away from the chair and challenge yourself to remain tall without having the back of the chair to hold you accountable. Then, repeat the arm presses and look-look and then resist. Decide which one you like for your practice.