Swan on the Pilates Mat is one of the best extension Pilates exercises out there. But, it's easy to forget the importance and connection of the arms to the back. And by using the Magic Circle its easy to find the connection of your arms to the back in the Swan and also to help you find the longest length in your extension. As we know in Pilates the longest extension in our Pilates practice is always the goal. The feeling and strength you'll find in this exercise will help you in your Single Leg Kick, Double Leg Kick and Swimming as well!
Press down into the circle as you pull your chest forward to go up.
Laying on your stomach, reach your legs long on the mat and if possible spin your inner thighs up and hug your legs together. If that irritates your back, then slightly separate your legs. Reach your tailbone long and feel the lift of your hip points. Place the Magic Circle an arm's length away from you with your hands stacked and the heels of your hands on the top pad. The bottom pad will be on the floor or mat. Your head will lower between your arms in the start position. Reach your arms from your back instead of your ears.
Feeling your arms reach on your back, press the heel of your hands on the pad and lift your head and chest up and forward. Be mindful that if you are not pressing the circle down more than your chest needs to stop lifting up as it will likely just be your chest going back. Find equal pressure on the circle and length in your chest. Lower your chest down as you lift the circle back up and then repeat 3-5x. Then place the circle to the side and try to do your Swan with your arms connected to your back.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Mat exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Mat training!