Pilates Stomach Massage Series on the Pilates Reformer, like most series in Pilates include a Twist. And true to form the Twist is one of the hardest parts in the series. It takes the Reach Up and takes it to another level. If you struggle with the Reach Up, then skip the Twist for a bit. The Stomach Massage Twist will reveal everything your body is lacking strength, connection and flexibility wise. But, don't skip the Twist for too long because it will help your Reach Up, Round and Reach Back. After all, Pilates exercises help each other! And, our spines need all the Twist we can get!
Twist from your waist and not your arms or neck. Shoulders over hips!
From the Reach Up you can immediately go into the Twist. You don't need to change your springs. In fact, the more you can maintain all you gained from your Reach Up the better! Balls of both feet on the foot bar, heels together and lifted. Arms reaching up from your back, back lifting up from your center and legs reaching from your seat.
As you press your legs to straight twist your spine and reach both arms in two directions. As you bend your knees to close the springs bring your arm back around and reach up. Repeat on the other side. Do 2-3 on each side. Your heels will want to come apart or drop as you do this exercise. Focus on reaching the springs open from the back of your legs and not your knees. Only twisting as much as you can keep both heels together, lifted and hips square. It's easy to also lean back to "twist more." Focus on twisting only as much as you can keep everything reaching. Less is more. If needed, put your hands on your shoulders and make sure you are twisting from your waist and not from your arms.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!