Headstand Facing Up on the Reformer

If your backbends, Swan and other extension exercises are strong and the first Headstand went well, then flip yourself over and give Headstands a try.

  • Difficulty: Super Advanced
  • Equipment Needed: Reformer, potentially a pole (I love using the Contrology Reformer.)
  • Reps: 3-5
  • Warning: Not suitable for neck, shoulder or back issues.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Headstand Facing Up on the Reformer

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Headstands on the Pilates Reformer come in pairs, like a lot of Pilates exercises. If you do it one way, you can challenge yourself to do it another. Think Leg Pull Down and Leg Pull. Or, Long Stretch and Long Back Stretch. When you flip over you change the way gravity affects you. If your backbends, Swan and other extension exercises are strong and the first Headstand (facing down) went well then flip yourself over and give this a try. I also like to do the Headstand (or Backbend) with Straps on the Reformer to prepare for this one. Ready to get upside down?

Press from your seat and remain fully connected to your center.

With 2 heavy springs on your Reformer and your foot bar and headrest up lay down on your carriage. Place your feet on the foot bar and your hands on your shoulder rests. Press yourself up into a bridge and place your head on the crease of your headrest. Your hands can hold the shoulder rests as a beginner, layer on your forehead or hold a long weighted pole. Pull your low ribs in and reach your tailbone for the back of your knees so that you can maintain length in your back. It's easy to overextend in your neck and your lower back.

Press the carriage out and if possible add a lower and lift of your heels then bend your knees and pull the carriage home. Repeat 3-5x. If you are holding the bar then press your legs to straight and lower the bar like Breathing on the Cadillac as you bend your knees lift the bar up. Repeat 3-5x. To dismount make sure you close your springs and then press yourself up to make room to curl your head in and lower your back to the carriage. You should feel very little in your neck if you are pressing from your seat and fully connected to your center.

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

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