After Pulling Straps 1 on the Pilates Reformer, it's great to go into Pulling Straps 2. You can do this with or without Straps! One or two-pound weights are helpful. This exercise, like most Pilates exercises, can be deceiving. You'll want to lift up before it's time. Ideally, your chest lifts because your upper back lifts it up. As you do this exercise, work the return twice as much! If you have been doing Swan or Swan Prep on the mat well, then try to add this exercise into your Reformer repertoire. Do this after you do Pulling Straps 1.
Think of this as a body exercise and your entire Pilates practice changes.
After you have completed Pulling Straps 1, slide your hands down to the studs on your leather straps or where your hands are in line with your shoulders for T-Pull. You are still on one spring. Keeping your upper arm bones in line with your back, reach your arms back towards your hips and return to start. Just like Pulling Straps, the chest may lift - it's because the back lifted the chest not because the chest came up on its own. Repeat 3-5x.
When doing Pulling Straps, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1) Use the Straps: If possible, hold the strap in your fingertips to help connect your arms to your back instead of pulling with your elbow or triceps.
2) Straight Wrists and Elbow: It's super easy to bend the elbows and pull or try to pull too much and compromise the wrists. All of these are ways our bodies tend to cheat to make the exercise bigger than we are ready for.
3) Use your Stomach: I know, you against gravity and it's easy to want to press your stomach into the box. But the more you reach your lower back out through your legs, the more your lower abs can support you. This allows you to find more extension in the upper back and work your entire body
Can also be done seated with one or two-pound weights arms slightly to the side.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!