Another way to challenge your Pilates practice is to do your Abdominal Series from the Mat on the Pilates Cadillac with the Arm Springs. This will be more difficult than using the Roll Back Bar due to the placement of the springs. If you struggle curling your head and chest up, this is not the best challenge for you to take on. But, if you are working on your head and chest lift, have no neck or shoulder issues then give this a go! It's also excellent for learning how to stand in the springs and connect to your back.
Feel the springs connect your arms to your back and into your center.
Laying down with your head near the end where your arm springs are, place your hands into your handles. Test the placement of your body by curling up and pressing your arms straight and down to the mat. If it's too hard, slide back. Too easy, move forward away from where the springs attach. You want to be in a place where you can curl your head and chest up and it's a challenge but not working your neck.
Single Leg Stretch: Press your arms down, lift your head and chest up, pull one knee in and reach the other leg out. Then switch. Repeat 5x each side. You can rest or continue on to the Double Leg Stretch. Press your arms down and pull your knees into your chest. Then, as you stretch your legs out to the diagonal, open your arms up staying connected to your springs. Bend the knees in, press your arms long by your side and repeat 5x. Rest, or, press your arms long, maintain the lift in your chest and reach straight legs up to the sky for Single Straight Leg Stretch. Lower one leg and then pull the top leg to you 2x then switch. Rest or continue on to the Double Straight Leg Stretch. Pressing your arms long, curl your head and chest up and lower both legs and lift 5x. For Criss Cross, you can do as you would normally on the Mat without using the springs. Or, place one arm between your legs. Easier have bent knees with your feet on the mat and pulse 5-10x. More difficult one knee in, one leg out and pulse 5-10x and switch.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Cadillac exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Cadillac training!