Headstand Facing Down on the Reformer
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The Advanced Pilates Reformer order in Pilates can get even more challenging if you're up for getting upside down. The Headstands come in two forms and will challenge more than your center. Like all Pilates exercises you can do these in parts. You can do Headstand Facing Down and not do Headstand Facing Up or you can do Headstand Facing Up and skip this one. And, I think you'll find that the Headstand is actually the easier part of this entire exercise. And, while the name suggests your head is doing the work, focus on your center opening and closing the springs.
Imagine you are doing Double Straight Leg Stretch to close the spring.
With 1-2 heavy springs on (ideally 2) place a sticky pad on the headrest while it is up. Place your hands around the should block handles. The top of your head toward your hairline on the gap in the headrest. Place one foot onto the foot bar and lift your center up into a "pike" to place the other foot on the bar. Hug your heels together and reach through the balls of your feet. If you've been doing this exercise for some time, you may also place your hands behind your back like you would in Double Leg Kick.
Without using your arms, press your carriage out as far as you can and more advanced reach your hips for the carriage. Then lift your center and close the springs. Imagine you are doing Double Straight Leg Stretch as you close the spring to connect more to your upper abdominals and maintain a reach through your legs. After 2-3 reps fully close the springs and lift your center so much both legs lift off the foot bar and find a head stand. Then, ideally, dismount by reaching both legs back to the foot bar. Dismount one leg at a time to the floor.
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