Pulling Straps on the Pilates Reformer can be a tricky couple of exercises to do. It's easy to use your lower back, over do it with your triceps or joints. And, since you're facing gravity while doing your Pull Straps, you can easily lose the connection to your center. With these tips, the goal is to help you feel and find the places you should be working from when you add in the springs. Try these out with weights, pads and more and then take those tools away and try to add the straps and springs back in. See what you might need to add back in as necessary.
Props are tools to help us find connections. Use them then let them go.
Grab a small pillow, pad, 1 or 2 lb weights and a ball. You don't want to use all of these props at once but have them near by to try out first which ones provide you with the most feedback. For every prop suggestion the placement of your body is the same. Shoulders line up at the edge of the box. Leg long, together and parallel. It will feel like your inner thighs are spinning up.
Pillow/Pad: Place the pillow or sticky pad under your lower ribs/upper abs. Do your Pull Straps 1 and T Pull and notice if you press down into the pad or if you can keep your connections while you are moving.
Weights: Instead of the straps use 1 or 2 lb weights. Do your Pull Straps 1 and T Pull and notice where you might be connecting to your center differently then when you add the straps back in.
Ball: Hugging a ball between your ankles helps you connect to your midline without gripping in your lower back.
After using each of these props, try doing the Pull Straps with the spring and the straps. See what connections you can keep and which ones you need to keep practicing and checking back in with.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!