Stomach Massage Reach Up on the Pilates Reformer is the third exercise in the Stomach Massage series. It has the least amount of choreography but requires the most amount of strength. No longer do you have your arms to help you lift and find your "up reach." You also don't have the heel lower/lifts to help you connect your legs to your center. Nope, this is where you test what your body has learned from the first two Stomach Massage variations. If you are working on your Hip Circles, Teaser and Horseback, this is a great place to practice!
Keep heels together and up and lower back lifting as you go out and in.
If you were using three springs on the Reach Back, remove one. Ideally done on two heavy springs and also for flow purposes ideally two "outside" springs so you're ready for Tendon Stretch. Your feet do not change positions from the first two variations. And, your arms reach up and forward from your back. It's easy for the spine to sink as soon as you take your hands off the shoulder blocks. This is why it's key not to sink into those hands in the Reach Back.
Press your legs straight from where your thigh meets your seat. Keep the heels lifted high as you go all the way out and come all the way in. Feel like you're pulling your heels to your sits bones as you lift your head to the ceiling. Your arms are reaching forward as your shoulders reach back so that you don't reach your arms "off" your back. Continue to go out and in with a flow 3-5x. If you're doing the full series, feel free to only do 5-8 of the first two and 3 reps of the Reach Up. And prepare to go right into the Twist without stopping. If you're leaning back on this variation, skip the twist and focus on your lift!
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!