Side to Side is one of the trickiest exercises in the Short Box Series. One day I learned a practice tool for the Side to Side on the Baby Chair, aka Pilates Arm Chair . And, as soon as I did the Side to Side on my Arm Chair it changed my Side to Side on the Reformer. It's so easy for us to "drop" into a side when doing a side bend. But, the goal in every exercise in Pilates is to maintain our two-way stretch. And that means having the longest spine in everything we do, including the longest Side Bends.
Reach up into both springs from your waist, keep tension on springs.
Sit on your Arm Chair with your back to the chair. Make sure your entire back takes up space on the chair and no gaps. It's tempting to slouch but you want to feel as if your spine is growing in two directions down and up the back of the chair. Your feet have two options 1) you can press the soles of your feet together, knees open but not hanging 2) knees bent, feet and thighs parallel, pressing your feet firmly into the floor. Hold the hands in your hands with long fingers. Make sure the entire handle presses into your hand and your fingers are long and together.
Reaching both sides long and up into the handles and rooting down through your legs, lift your torso up into the springs and over. Then, lift back up to center and over to the other side. Repeat 2-3x each side. If one of your springs loses tension or you feel your back leaving the chair, "gaping," then you know you've lost your longest length on both sides. Reset and try again. Less is more! And then be sure to hop on your Short Box or Ladder Barrel and give the exercise a go.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Arm Chair exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Arm Chair training!