On the Pilates Reformer, there are several Backbends that occur in the more Advanced or even "Super Advanced" series. Backbend after Thigh Stretch known simply as Backbends is one of those Backbends that you'll possibly find yourself working towards. It's not as big as some of the others like the one with the straps on the head or even Headstands. However, it still requires an incredible amount of strength to go with your flexibility. If you've been working on your extension within the Thigh Stretch exercise then grab a spotter your first round and give this one a go!
Continue to reach long through your lower back to maintain the length.
After you have done your Thigh Stretch, remove one heavy spring, put the foot bar up and kneel against your shoulder rests. Make sure your legs are reaching down and also hugging towards each other even though they are apart. Reach your arms up from your back to create length and space. To go back into the foot bar your thighs will do a "thigh stretch and you'll extend your upper back and grab the foot bar with both hands. Lengthen your neck to align with the extension of your spine and continue to reach down through your knees.
From your start position, you may come right back up and that can be enough. Or, if you're ready, add in the "shave." Press the arms towards straight and bend them. This will open and close the springs. Your body should not compress or allow the lower back to bend more. Continue to reach through your lower back to maintain the length. After 3-5 shaves, you can either close the springs and return or add the legs in. Press your arms out and then move the knees out and in 2-3x. Then move the arms and the legs simultaneously 2-3x. Close your springs reach your arms up and come up and over your knees and then fold into a rest pose.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!