Single Leg Springs on the Pilates Cadillac is one of my favorite teaching tool exercises in Pilates. It's not a very difficult exercise to do choreography wise but the feedback you get in your body is essential to learning the connections to your seat and your center. It's easy to press a leg out into the air but can you control where it goes? Can you resist the pull as the springs recoil? Where are you supposed to be reaching from anyways? All this and more can be understood by doing this "simple" yet super effective series on the Cadillac.
Press into the spring from your seat and your inner thigh throughout.
Laying on your back with your head at least one hand distance away from the edge of the mat and your hands on the vertical poles slightly higher than your elbows, place one leg spring either on the leg that is on the same side or on the opposite leg for a more difficult variation. The leg that is not in the spring can be bent with your foot pressing down into the mat to help balance your hips and your knee straight up to the ceiling for more of the exercise. At the point you add in the circles you will want to reach it out to straight.
To begin, press the leg out and in being mindful that the spring doesn't pull your leg "up" as you go out and that you don't "drop" your leg down as you go out. Keep it on the same line the whole time and truly open the spring. After 3-5 of those, press your leg out and then lower it down from the back of your leg, bend the knee, drag the foot in and pick your leg up. Then press the leg down, reach it out along the mat and lift the leg up before bending it in. Repeat 3-5x. Finally, with a straight leg draw circles as you press into the spring from the back of your leg. Be sure to control the lift of the leg by reaching into the spring even as it closes. Draw 5 circles in each direction and then switch legs and springs. You may want to repeat the weaker leg.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Cadillac exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Cadillac training!