This backbend after Thigh Stretch on the Pilates Reformer may be my absolute favorite back extension. It is equal parts flexibility and strength. There is a way to prepare and practice training the body for this big backbend after you do your Down Stretch on the Reformer. So, if you're looking at this and thinking it's not for you, then, after you do your Down Stretch, try to lift both hands off the Footbar and up to the ceiling and then back towards the shoulder blocks. Next, lift back up and go into your Up Stretch. When you feel ready when you can stay in the backbend reaching through your legs and up into your arms then give this back bend a go!
Hug legs towards each other and reach your tailbone towards your knees.
After you have completed your Thigh Stretch on the Reformer, hook up your handles and change your springs from three springs to two springs. Lift your Footbar up and ensure that it is secure. Stand on your knees against your shoulder blocks and facing away from the Footbar. Even though this an extension exercise it's still a leg exercise. Reach down through your legs and up through your back. Hug the legs towards each other even though they are apart. Reach your tailbone down towards your knees.
To begin, lean back as if you are about to do another Thigh Stretch and then as you go back, backbend and reach your arms overhead and place your hands on the Footbar. Once you have your hands on the bar, press your arms to straight and bend three times. Don't forget to reach down through your tailbone and into your knees to maintain the two-way stretch. After three arm presses, maintain straight arms and try to move the carriage out and in with your legs. Then, close the spring, simultaneously lift both arms up towards the ceiling and then fold forward over the should blocks. Take a child pose rest before you get up.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!