Semi Circle with the Bar Up on the Reformer
Semi Circle in Pilates can be done with the bar up or down on the Pilates Reformer. And while you should definitely learn it in your body with the bar down, you may find that your body prefers the bar up. Or, you may use the bar up as a way to challenge your Semi Circle. Not only will you have more room for more spinal articulation but you will also find a challenge in maintaining a lift in your heels and a connection to your upper back. So if you’re ready to up-level your Semi Circle give the bar up version a try.
Keep your heels lifted and together throughout the spinal articulation.
Similar set up to the Semi Circle with the bar down, two springs on, ideally two outside springs on so that your hips can go between the springs. But, in this version set your foot bar up. Place the balls of your feet on the foot bar with a slight turn out. Have your heels together and lifted. Place your hands on your shoulder rests just above your shoulders and slide out until your hips are lifted over your heels and your carriage is closed or as close as possible. Make sure that there is space behind your neck and between your chin and your chest.
Without moving the spring (ideally), articulate your spine through the space between your carriage and the springs. Feel your upper back wrap around the carriage. Press the carriage out with your whole back until your knees are about 90 degree angle. Without moving the springs, articulate your spine up and then close the springs and repeat 2-3x. Then reverse, press the carriage out with your hips lifted until your knees are 90 degrees. Then, without moving the carriage, articulate your spine down then close the spring and roll your hips up. All the while keeping your heels up the whole time.