Seated Flat Back with Neck Stretcher on the Cadillac
Seated Flat Back with Neck Stretcher on the Pilates Cadillac or Tower is a great teaching tool for all flat or tall back exercises. How do you feel about your Thigh Stretch on the Reformer or Cadillac? What about your Flat Back in your Short Box Series? Tall back exercises can be tricky if you struggle with where to move from, where your head goes and how to align all of it. When you use the Neck Stretcher and you do the Seated Flat Back version you will feel the strength, length, and where to move from! After you do this go try one of those exercises.
Sit tall, press your head into the strap, and reach your legs long.
Hook your Neck Stretcher to your leg springs (you can use your arm springs but try the leg springs first). Sit on your Cadillac or Tower mat and face your springs and Neck Stretcher. Set yourself up far enough away that the springs are long and not hanging/drooping. Stretch your legs straight and as wide as the mat. Flex your feet and press them down into the mat and reach your legs away. Place the strap around your head and hold the front of the strap tight against your forward. Elbows wide like you’re doing Shave on the Reformer.
Sitting up tall, shoulders over hips, lift as tall as you can and reach your legs away as you lean back with the longest, tallest back. Your head is pressing into the strap to move the spring. Then lifting tall, sit all the way up to the start position. Repeat 3-5x. It’s easy to try to “muscle” through this as you lean back and leave your head behind. Be sure to press your head into the strap and move your entire spine down and up together. Also, make sure you’re not over pressing with your head and “arching” so that when you lean you don’t have your lower back off the mat.