Swakatee on the Reformer
Swakatee on the Pilates Reformer is a great way to level up your advanced Pilates Reformer practice. Swakatee wasn’t always seen as an exercise that everybody could do. It’s often considered one of the “men’s exercises.” However, depending on your equipment and springs this exercise is now available to anyone who is ready for it. However, when possible make sure to practice Swakatee on your Arm Chair. This way you have a more stable platform. You do not need to do all four variations when learning this exercise. However, be sure to do both sides and you can do them after Arm Circles or do Arm Circles in between each side.
Press the pinky side of your hand into the handle the whole time.
With one spring on kneel facing the side of your Reformer. Place your inside leg up against your shoulder blocks. Hug your heels together or keep your knees and feet a hips distance apart. Reach your knees down and even thought they are apart squeeze your legs towards each other. Place the handle in the hand that is on the outside. For example if your left knees is against the shoulder blocks place the handle in your right hand. Hold the handle with your palm facing your chest. Elbow at the level of your shoulder. Shoulders over your hips and your knees.
Part 1: Keeping your hand and elbow at the level of your shoulder, reach your hand out to the side straightening your arm. Then bend your elbow and repeat 2 more times.
Part 2: Switch hands and place the handle in your inside hand. Reaching your knees down and lift your heart up and reach your hand up and “shave” your ear. Bend your elbow and repeat 2x.
Part 3: Switch the handle into your outside hand. Knees can be against the shoulder blocks or move them out about a fist distance. Place your inside hand on the shoulder block. Pull on the strap 3x like starting a lawn mower. Then keeping your gaze on your shoulder block hand draw a circle, one in each direction with a straight arm.
Part 4: Switch the handle back to the inside arm palms up and both arms reaching from your back out to the side. Reaching your hands up towards the ceiling and then return the spring home. Repeat 2x.
Switch sides. It’s ok if you cannot actually opening the spring.