Frogs and Circles on the Pilates Reformer, often called Feet in Straps, are harder than they look. And, they're easy to overly enjoy! How often have you explored how much you can circle the biggest, stretchiest circles you like? In an ideal world, the more you can focus on the stability of your pelvis while you move your femurs and lower leg around the better. Focusing on not letting the springs bend your knees in and reaching into the straps even as your legs circle up, is key for strength, stability and teaching you essential skills for the rest of your Pilates practice.
Press into your straps the entire time, maintain length in your spine.
With two heavy springs on add your extension straps or use the longer loops. Part of the Pilates practice is the transition in and out of the straps. Bring both knees in at the same time and holding one strap in each hand place the loops on your feet. If you are doing one strap at a time be mindful of your safety and also that you are not always doing the same leg first each time. Press your arms long by your side. Heels together toes apart and knees following your second toe.
Beginning with Frogs press your legs out towards the high diagonal. The springs are not super heavy so this is not a leg exercise. Be sure to not lift your legs up as you go out or to drop your legs. Instead, aim for a diagonal that is with your control. Bend your knees and maintain reach into the straps to control the springs pulling you in. Repeat 3-5x. Then reach the legs out and begin circles. Your legs can go as high as they don't pull your tailbone off the mat, as wide as the Reformer, as low as it doesn't change the length in your spine or stability of your pelvis and together. Feeling this in your inner thighs and hamstrings is great. Keep them controlled but faster than you might want. Do 3-5 circles in each direction.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!