Down Stretch on the Reformer

Try flowing into this exercise by bending both knees to the carriage simultaneously from your Long Stretch exercise as you open your chest.

  • Author: lesley.logan
  • July 27, 2019
Table of Contents
Down Stretch on the Reformer - Online Pilates Classes
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: Reformer (I love using the Contrology Reformer.)
  • Reps: 3-5 times
  • Warning: Listen to your body. When in doubt, leave it out.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Down Stretch on the Reformer

Down Stretch on the Pilates Reformer is typically the second exercise in the Long Stretch series. Done on two springs this is a great exercise open up your front and strengthen your back. You’ll want to swing out and let the springs bring you in but if you can find the reach into your shoulder blocks from your seat and oppose that with the openness in your chest by connecting your arms to your back it may become one of your favorite extension exercise. Try flowing into this exercise by bending both knees to the carriage simultaneously from your Long Stretch exercise as you open your chest. Then place your feet into the shoulder blocks. This will be allow you to take what you learned in the Long Stretch and thread it into what you will do in the Down Stretch.

Channel your Pulling straps to find the beauty of Down Stretch.

With your feet in your shoulder rests and your hands on the footbar (thumbs with your fingers) open your chest and lift the crown of your head towards the ceiling. Press the carriage away with your heels and your seat as you reach your heart forward. To return, press your heels back into the blocks and resist the carriage home. You’ll be tempted to drop your head or hang in your lower back. But, keep the opposition of this exercise in mind! Crown of your head and heels pulling away from each other. Repeat the out and in 2-4 more times.

To avoid hanging in your lower back pull your stomach in and reach your tailbone towards the carriage. It may feel like you are “tucking” but you will simply be keeping length in your lower back. If your elbows tend to hyperextend remind yourself to soften and connect your shoulders to your back. As you press out it’s from the legs and the pulling in comes from the back instead of the shoulders. Something that will take time to understand. But, if you channel your Pulling straps then you’ll be on your way to finding the beauty of Down Stretch.


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

By lesley.logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with OPC Teachers
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eb 3 online pilates classes

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ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

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On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

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This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

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Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

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Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

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Mat: magic circle for the warm up. If you don't have a circle a ball and a theraband.
Reformer: no prop needed but can use a theraband or circle for short box

See ya in class,
xx-LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, magic circle, a ball, a theraband and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, a theraband or circle for short box and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

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Light hand weights needed for the Mat class!

See you in class,
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    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    The key to longevity is being able to get down to the ground and up again with as little assistance as possible. In this weeks class we are going to focus on how to stand in your feet no matter where they are in space.

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    No props needed.

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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    Mat class: Magic Circle and squishy ball

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    ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

    Grip strength as well as upper body strength plays an important role in so many different exercises throughout the mat and all apparatus. Our grip can influence the connection from our wrists - to our arms - to our back. And building strength in our chest and upper back can help us connect more to our center in every exercise.

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    Props:
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    Mat: a pole
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    See ya in class,
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    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

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    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, short box and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.