Long Back Stretch on the Reformer

Looks can be deceiving! This is not an arm exercise. It’s all about the seat and reach from your legs. How far can your legs reach?

  • Difficulty: Intermediate | Advanced
  • Equipment Needed: Reformer
  • Reps: 3 in each direction and option to do single leg 1-3 in each direction each side
  • Warning: If dealing with a neck or shoulder issues make sure you can put weight on your arms when they are behind you before trying this exercise.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Long Back Stretch on the Reformer

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After you have been doing your Long Stretch Pilates Reformer series for awhile you may be wanting to finish out the series and do the Long Back Stretch. This is the final exercise in the Long Stretch Series: Long Stretch, Down Stretch, Up Stretch, Elephant, Long Back Stretch. And also one of the toughest. Not because it's hard to do but because it's hard to do it right. It's really easy to think about doing this exercise from your arms. But, you really want to use the reach of your legs and seat. The arms will come along for the ride.

Hold the carriage still as you lift and lower your hips!

With two springs on your Reformer stand facing the shoulder blocks and place both hands on the footbar and feet into the shoulder blocks. Open your chest, connect to your back and reach your heels into the shoulder blocks. To start bend your elbows and lower your hips and legs towards the carriage then reach your seat forward to move the carriage out. Hold the carriage still as you lift your hips up and then close the carriage. Repeat 3x times in that direction. Then Reverse! Lift your hips up as you press the carriage out. Hold the carriage still as you lower your hips and legs to the carriage. Close the springs and then press your arms towards straight. Repeat 3x and then step off.

This exercise is often taught that you are drawing a box with your hips. But, keep in mind that it's not about sticking your butt back to come in or using your arms to move the springs. Maintain the reach from your arms to your back as your stomach and seat move your carriage around.

Before doing this exercise try Long Back Arms on the Cadillac and on the Wunda Chair.


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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