Grasshopper is one of those Pilates exercises that you will find in a few different places in the Pilates studio. On the Ladder Barrel, it's one of the tougher ones. It requires a lot of reach and maintaining your center so that it doesn't go into your lower back. For some, on the Ladder Barrel, they may have to place their hands on the bottom frame either due to height or finding the two-way stretch. Be mindful to stay in this exercise to stay in your strength and not dump into your flexibility. It's not about the choreography. It's about the connection.
Keep your back long through the exercise and lift through your center.
Stand facing the Barrel and lay over the top. Place your hands on the bottom rung or for some the second from the bottom rung up. Stretch your body over the barrel to start but don't rest. To the naked eye, it'll look like you are just resting over the barrel. But really, you are reaching into your arms and reaching out through your legs. This two-way stretch will help you connect to your center and that's exactly what you need to maintain length in your lower back when you bend your knees and take this exercise into the extension.
To begin, stretch your legs out, lift them up, your arms will bend, your chest will reach and you'll be in the longest extension before you bend your knees and kick towards the crown of your head. Then reach your legs out and away as you beat and stretch away into a long line and back into your start position. Repeat this 3-5x always lifting through your center, stretching your tailbone away so that your legs can truly reach and your back can stay long no matter where you are in this exercise.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Ladder Barrel exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Ladder Barrel training!