Knee Stretches: Single Leg Knees Off on the Reformer
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Single Leg Knees Off on the Pilates Reformer is a very challenging exercise. It will challenge your endurance and your connections to your center. It's easy to get caught up in the choreography of Single Leg Knees Off and lose the longest round shape of your spine and start doing it from your lower back and knee. Instead, focus on moving from your center. Worry less about how big or fast you go and instead move with strength and keep your breath flowing. And, just like every other variation of Knee Stretches be sure you close the springs all the way!
Reach the carriage out with back of your leg, pull it in from center.
Set up as you would for Knee Stretches Knees Off or Single Leg Knees Off Prep. Two heavy springs on, both feet start back in the shoulder blocks with the balls of your feet pressing down and back and your inner heels pressing back as much as your outer heels. Hands on the footbar with wrists straight, round your spine as if you were going to do Knees Off. Then hover both knees 2 inches off of the carriage. Pull one knee into your chest, the foot will tuck in towards your seat. Keep other knee low.
With the knee into your chest press the carriage leg out, Then as you close the spring reach the "free" leg straight back as if it was pushing the carriage out. Switch and repeat 3-5x before you switch sides. In between sides make sure you keep your knees low. With every rep it's tempting to lift up more and more. If going well and you want to add in the "jane fonda" an arabesque, keep the carriage closed. Begin to take your flexion and move into extension. Chest pulls up and forward, back leg reaches back up and your foot reaches for you head. This is not necessary but an extra challenge if you are up for it.
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