Long Back Stretch on the Pilates Reformer is not many Pilates lover's favorite. It's the last exercise in the Long Stretch Series and it's easy to feel like you're hanging in your wrists, shoulders, or knees. So, the idea of doing it with one leg is often skipped or practitioners doubt they could even do it on one leg when two is so hard. However, what the one leg version reveals is what parts of your body are coming along for the ride. Which will help you enjoy and get more out of the two-leg aka regular version of the Long Back Stretch.
Stand in your upper back muscles and reach your legs from your glutes.
Use the same spring setting for the one leg version as you do for the two-leg version, 2 heavy springs. Hands are on the foot bar and feet are pressing into the shoulder blocks with the heels pushing down into the carriage from the backside of the legs. Make sure you are not hanging out in your knees. Before you get moving, stand in your upper back muscles by not over flexing the wrists, locking your elbows, and locking your knees. Place one heel on top of its shoulder rest. The other heel is pressing down into the carriage and forward into the shoulder rest.
Bend your elbows while lifting up in your center as you reach your legs forward. Hold the carriage still as you straighten your arms from your back and lift your hips to close the spring. Repeat 2-3x in each direction and then switch legs. If you find that one leg is stronger than the other, then be sure to practice weak, strong, weak. And when you're done try to go back and do the two-leg version applying what you learned about your body and which side may not be working as hard.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!