Front Splits on the Reformer
Front Splits on the Pilates Reformer is an easy one to get “wrong.” And, it’s not just because it’s hard to push with your back leg. Rather its also hard not to go for what you think is the “splits” in this exercise. But, if you can focus on what the back leg is doing while also still reaching up you’ll find a delicious split that equals a great stretch and strength! Focus not on the opening of the spring but rather the closing of the spring and how you can resist that and enjoy the challenge. Also, keep in mind you can do one or all three parts of this exercise.
Press the carriage out with your seat instead of your front leg.
With 2 heavy springs on, kneel on the carriage and place one foot on the Foot Bar and the other foot into the shoulder rest. Make sure the toes are flexed and pressing down and the heel is pushing in the shoulder rest. You want to stretch the whole foot. Have your hands on the Foot Bar and lift your sternum up. Press your back leg back into the shoulder rest to open the carriage without using your front leg. Then lifting your sternum resist the springs and close the carriage. Repeat 3x before attempting the 2nd and 3rd parts.
If the Thigh stretch is going well and you want to take it up to the next level lift your back knee up, turn your foot out and down. Pressing your back leg into the shoulder block. Leave your hands on the bar and press the carriage out. and then resist the springs closed 2-3x. If this feels good reach your hands forward and lift yourself up like you would Swan on the barrel or long box and place your hands behind your head. Press the back leg out and in 3x. Be mindful you are not going up and down but instead forward and back. Switch sides and repeat.