Rowing 5 and 6 also known as Shave and Hug on the Pilates Cadillac are easier said than done. In fact, I would do Shave and Hug on the Reformer twice before I would want to attempt them here on the Cadillac. The combination of spring tension and lack of support from the shoulder rests makes doing these variations on the Cadillac the most challenging. It will force you to truly find the reach down through your lower back and legs to maintain your lift and connection to your back. And the lack of spring tension as your return the springs requires you to maintain the connection your powerhouse even more.
As you get stronger, challenge yourself to sit taller over your hips.
For the Shave, sitting cross-legged facing away from your arm springs, place your index fingers and thumbs together. Elbows will be wide but not so wide that you cannot maintain the connection of your arms to your back. As you go to press your arms forward and up, you'll need to equally press your legs down in order to resist the pressure of the springs to fold you down. Bend your elbows but maintain the connection to your center that you found when you opened the springs. Repeat 3-5x. Be mindful that as you get stronger you can challenge yourself to sit taller over your hips.
For the Hug, switch the cross of your legs and open your arms wide. Be careful not to pinch your shoulder blades together to open your arms wide. Instead, have as wide a back and chest as you can. As you "hug" your arms toward each other, find the lift in your center to maintain your height. The reach down through your back and legs is as important as the arms coming together. Then keep the lift and connection as you return the springs closed and open your arms. Repeat 3-5x.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Cadillac exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Cadillac training!