Up Stretch on the Pilates Reformer is usually the third exercise in the Long Stretch Series but is also one of the last ones you’ll learn in the series. However, it's not because it’s any harder than the DownStretch but the understanding, strength and stamina required can be a little more complicated. But, like most complicated Pilates exercises when you break it down it’s just the Hundred upside down, a combo of long stretch, down stretch and elephant and so much more! So, before you think the Up Stretch isn’t for you yet just take your other Pilates knowledge and give it a try!
Press your heels into your shoulder blocks as you close your springs.
With two springs on your Reformer place your heels halfway down the shoulder blocks, hands on your football and round your spine. Reach your lower body down into the shoulder blocks, your upper body into your footbar and feel the ability to oppose this by lifting your center up. Maintaining weight on your hands and the lift of your ribs press your legs out into the shoulder rests to find a plank in your lower half while your upper half remains in a round position. Press your heels into your shoulder blocks as you close your springs and then curling your tailbone down to your feet lift your center and return to the start position. Repeat 2-4 more times before lowering your heels to begin Elephant.
Some signs you may be cheating this exercise from its full amazingness: 1) You snap your hips down into place- Press your heels into the shoulder rests so much that your create space for your hips. If you can no longer press into the blocks then return the carriage in the shape you are in and start again. 2) Your shoulders move from being over your hands to behind your hands - It’s easy to press the carriage away by using your shoulders and arms. Try to find your strength from your seat. Press the carriage away from your seat and maintain the upper body reach into your hands.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!