The Long Stretch Series on the Pilates Reformer includes 5 exercises - Long Stretch, Down Stretch, Up Stretch, Elephant, and Long Back Stretch. And, each one of these exercises is incredibly doable, tricky, and hard. Many people can do these exercises but because of how we access or don't access the muscles of our legs especially our inner thighs. So by adding the ball into this series you have a reminder of what muscles to be activating when doing each of these exercises. Giving this a try with the ball (or yoga block) and then trying this series without the ball.
Hug the ball to ground through your entire foot in each exercise.
Long Stretch: Try with only 1 spring because your heels will be against the shoulder rests like in Up Stretch. Place the ball between your ankles or inner thighs. Focus on using the ball to help ground the feet.
Down Stretch: 2 springs on, ball between the knees or inner thighs. Hug the ball and reach it away as you open and close the spring.
Up Stretch: 2 springs on the ball between your ankles or knees. Use the ball to help ground your feet so that you can press into the shoulder rests from the back of your legs.
Elephant: 2 springs ball between your ankles or inner things. Use it to ground your feet so that you are not rolling in or out.
Long Back Stretch: 2 springs ball between your ankles or inner thighs and use it to help use your legs throughout the exercise without relying solely on the arms.
After you do it with the ball, remove the ball and see if you can keep what you learned with the assistance of the ball. This will help you use your legs more in this series and make it a full body workout in each exercise.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!