Short Box Series on the Pilates Reformer is incredibly useful. It has all the spine shapes you use in Pilates in one set of exercises. You get to practice your Round, Tall, Side Bend, Extension and Twist in the whole series. And, while few people enjoy Tree it is one of the most revealing exercises there is in your Pilates practice. The important thing to understanding the Short Box Series is to use your legs more than you think. The strap placement is incredibly important. And makes a difference in you being able to get connected to yourself or hang off your hip flexors.
Reach and press out on the strap to maintain connection to your glutes.
Place your box on your Reformer, ideally over your shoulder rests with about a hands distance behind you (for shorter legs you may have to place in front). If your Reformer has 2 straps use both and place them over the base of your feet by your ankle. Press your legs out wide to activate more of your outer hips. You will want to sit on a sticky pad so you do not slide around and place a long pole under your legs for some of the other variations.
Round: Sit as tall as you can in your flexion and wrap your arms around your waist. Pressing out on your strap, round back as far as you can without the strap moving or your legs sliding together. Then round back up and repeat 2-4x.
Tall: Grab your pole and sit as tall as you can, press out on your strap and reach your arms from your back. Look straight ahead and lean back and lift up without arching or rounding your spine. Repeat 2-4x.
Side to Side: Sitting tall, lift up and over to one side and then repeat on the other side. Keep both sides long. Repeat 1-2x on each side.
Twist & Reach: Sitting tall, twist without moving your hips and lean towards the back corner of your Reformer. Then maintain your twist as you lift up. Repeat on the other side 2x on each side.
Tree: See tutorials on the tree for more information.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!