Prep for Arm Circles on the Reformer

This Prep will help you practice how much this exercise is about the legs and not just the arms. Grab a set of one or two-pound weights to give this a try.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: Reformer, Light Weights (I love using the Contrology Reformer.)
  • Reps: 3 circles in each direction
  • Warning: Not ideal for some knee and shoulder issues
  • Questions: Contact us here

Prep for Arm Circles on the Reformer

** Private online Pilates sessions available with Lesley Logan on request, click here **

Kneeling Arm Circles is one of the harder versions of Arm Circles we have in the Pilates studio. But, if your springs are all the same weight, it can be hard to feel like there will be a time when you can do the Arm Circles. This Prep for Kneeling Arm Circles on the Pilates Reformer allows you to practice the exercise without getting pulled around by the springs and straps. It also helps you practice how much this exercise is about the legs and not the arms. Grab a set of one or two-pound weights to give this a try.

Lead with palms up, pinky side of the hand engaged while the legs hug.

With the light weights in your hands, come kneeling on the carriage. Place your feet into the shoulder blocks. Heels press back, balls of the feet into the blocks, and all your toes pressing into the carriage. Lift your hips over your knees. Even though your knees were only a hips distance apart reach your knees down and hug them towards each other. With your palms facing forward, make sure the pinky side of your hand is pressing into the weights as well.

Reach your arms up towards the ceiling as much as you can from your back. Then open your arms and circle around and repeat. Be mindful that the hands will want to turn. Keep the palms facing up and lead with the pinky side of your hand. Reverse directions. Focus on how much work and energy you can get from your legs. It's easy to sit back or think it is all about the shoulders. This is a full-body exercise and the more you practice that the easier it will be to add in the straps, handles, and springs. You can also do "serve a platter." If the circles are going well, grab your handles and reach your arms forward and pull them back with the palm of your hand up the entire time.


Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with Lesley Logan.

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