The Second Long Box Series on the Pilates Reformer is often overlooked. But, one of its exercises, Grasshopper, is amazing for teaching back extension, connection, and strength. It's also an exercise that you can do in parts or go big! You can do Grasshopper as part of a series or on its own. In the series, it goes Grasshopper, Rocking and then Swimming. Before you try it here on the Reformer where it is a bit unsteady, be sure to try it on the Spine Corrector and Ladder Barrel. Those are great teaching tools and then you can bring that to the Reformer and flow.
Find extension in your upper back, and kick from your hamstrings.
With 2 heavy springs on for stability place your long box on and your Foot Bar down. Lay on your long box with your head towards the Foot Bar side of your Reformer. Slide down so that your hands can be on the frame near the end of your Foot Bar or for some people even at the base of your frame. Find length in your spine, hug your legs tight together. Spin your inner thighs up and keep your knees tight together, this will be harder than you think. Feel your two way stretch as you lengthen your chest towards and then past your Foot Bar.
Lift your legs from your hamstrings not your back, kick your seat 3 times keeping your legs together and then as you stretch your legs up and away your chest lifts and lengthens. Bend your elbows and reach your chest forward and past your Foot Bar as your legs lift up and tip you over. Kick 3x and then reach long and away as you beat your legs, lift your chest and straighten your arms. You should feel like you are a seesaw and not doing this in your lower back. Repeat 3-5x. You can do this without the kicks and beats and just reach forward and back, up and down.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!