Mermaid on the Reformer

Working on your tall back and side bending? Then you’ll definitely want to explore Mermaid on the Reformer as it will teach your body and strengthen you.

  • Author: Lesley Logan
  • February 7, 2020
Mermaid-on-the-Reformer Online Pilates Classes
Table of Contents
Mermaid-on-the-Reformer Online Pilates Classes
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Equipment Needed: Reformer (I love using the Contrology Reformer.)
  • Reps: 2-3 each variation on each side
  • Warning: May not be suitable for some knee or shoulder issues.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Mermaid on the Reformer

Mermaid on the Pilates Reformer is often overlooked including by me. A trickier exercise for my body and super easy to cheat through it. But, when done right this exercise has some epic stretch, strength and a challenge for your two -way stretch. If you’re working on your tall back and side bending then you’ll definitely want to explore Mermaid on the Reformer as it will teach your body and strengthen your body for many exercises that require length and strength. You can also do Mermaid on the Mat. It won’t have the same feedback as the springs can offer but it will allow you to focus on your length.

Reach your tailbone down and reach both arms from your back to lift.

Place 2 heavy springs on, foot bar up and sit with your hip on the carriage and your shins, ideally stacked on top of each other in the shoulder rests. Place your inside hand on the foot bar and your other arm up to the sky. Sit as tall as you can, reach your tailbone down as it’s easy to stick it out in this position. Reach both arms from your back. This way you won’t press the carriage out with your shoulder or feel like the more you lift your other arm off your back and into your ear that you are getting taller.

Using your legs reach into the shoulder rests to move the carriage out and then reaching into your arms and legs lift up your waist and close the spring. Repeat2-3x. Then take your shoulder rest arm hold the shoulder block in front of you and take your outside arm up and over to counter stretch. You can also start or end the series by placing both arms on the foot bar and working a twist as your legs press the carriage out. Repeat each variation 2-3x. Then turning towards your shoulder rests repeat on the other side.


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

By Lesley Logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

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2 comments

  1. This almost looks more like the Cleopatra exercise to me, I’ve always done Mermaid with zig zag legs and side bending towards the foot bar, then rotating the spine towards the foot bar and grabbing it with both hands to do chest lifts sort of like swan. Is this just a contemporary variation? Im curious because this version looks so different than anything I’ve seen before.

    1. Hey Alina, so what you’re describing is a contemporary version mostly. Especially the legs. In a classical mermaid on the Reformer ideally the legs are stacked and you want the bottom leg to be able to push into the shoulder rest. Of course this is a difficult position for some people who do not have the ability to sit like this. While in the classical version there are variations where both hands come onto the bar its often used as a warm up or in addition too. What I posted here is the version taught to my teacher who studied with Joseph Pilates. I hope this helps. Also, the version you describe is quite useful for many so I don’t want one to be “right” and one to be “wrong.” Choosing the version that is best for the body doing them is what matters. xx~LL

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amazon mat, reformer, cadillac website pop up (1)

SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

CRAB SPECIAL

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I've had a lot of questions about the Crab on the Mat and I think there are a lot of fears around it. I believe you can Crab sooner than you think! On the Mat, the focus is about the Crab which comes at the end of the order, so let see how everything we do is to prep for it. On the Reformer, there's so much we can strengthen and practice so that you can do the Crab. Let's make a Crab Special!

Mat - Magic Circle. If you don't have one, you can use a ball or theraband or an old pair of leggings

Reformer - no props needed

See ya in class,

xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle (ball, theraband or old pair of leggings) and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    LOVE A TRANSITION

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    I'm not a big fan of cardio anymore. I used to be! OMG did I use to be! I loved to run! But, the move to Vegas made running half the year torture. And then I discovered that cardio isn't super awesome as I age. SOOO.. in come more Pilates and weight lifting. That being said, getting your heart rate up is amazing. So, when you flow...meaning you transition from one exercise to the next without stopping you will feel your heart rate spike! It also can be quite the challenge. So full permission to rest!

    No props needed

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    HIPPY KI-YAY, MAT & REFORMER

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    To find the work, we’ll use a hip band and mix some reformer exercises into the mat workout and some mat exercises into the reformer workout. We’ll work on finding connections to our hips while loosening them up and making them stronger.

    Mat Props: hip band, light weights, and something to prop the hips up.
    Reformer Props: hip band and your typical reformer pieces

    See you in class,

    Rachel

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band, light weights and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      TWIST LOVE

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      Continuing our love month with another spine shape to love -Twist! Again, if you can't twist you can still enjoy this workout on the Mat or Reformer because we still explore the power of Round, Extension, Side Bend and Tall!

      Twisting is tricky and key! Its one of the first spine shapes we lose if we take it for granted. So get ready to explore all the twists. And, find strength while doing it!

      No props needed.

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      WISH I WAS A BALLER

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      In this class, we will use the small ball in a variety of ways to find more connection in each exercise. Finding your upper back, Thass and inner thighs to name a few. We have added a few variations and a little creativity to make this class fun and challenging. Hopefully in the end you will feel like a baller!

      Props needed:
      Reformer - small ball and sitting box
      Mat - small ball

      See you in class,

      Mindi

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball, sitting box and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      WINTER WONDERLAND

      Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

      OPC Teacher Christine loves the snow! Snowy days make her happy. So during the winter season, her Pilates practice is more to support her snowy activities. Skiing, Ice Skating, Snowboarding and more! In class, we’ll work on some breathing, balance, lower body stamina, and upper body strength to carry all that gear!

      Cadillac/Tower = no props needed
      Wunda = no props needed
      Reformer = no props needed
      Mat = no props needed

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      THE BIG 4-6

      ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

      It's Mindi's BDAY month y'all and she is turning the Big 4 6!!! Oh yeah, which means that we are going to be doing either 4 reps of an exercise or 6!!! Alternating between the two means you get to explore what it feels like to have more reps or less reps to play with an exercise.

      Mat class - have your magic circle ready!

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      Every Which Way But Loose

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      Pick any Pilates exercise and you’ll find there are multiple directions of movement or reach to focus on. No need to make ourselves crazy trying to master them all! Pick one or two or maybe something new as we explore the Rowing Series on the Mat and the Reformer. We’ll reach, circle, bend, extend, and anchor …moving every which way but loose!

      -Tami-Adrian

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights (or cans of soup) and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, box and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.