Swan Prep on the Reformer

This Swan prep is great to get the benefits of doing Swan before Pull Straps. It helps you connect your arms to your back and work your two-way stretch.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: Reformer, Short Box
  • Reps: 3-5
  • Warning: Not idea for neck, shoulder or back issues.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Swan Prep on the Reformer

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Swan on the Pilates Reformer may be one of the least liked Swans in all of Pilates. I happen to love Swan on the Reformer. But it did take some time. The good news is that there are many Swans in Pilates to help get you ready for Swan on the Reformer. This preparatory Swan on the Reformer is a great place to get the benefits of doing Swan before the Pull Straps. And also helps you connect your arms to your back and find the extension in the right places. Combine this with a Swan on the Ladder Barrel and you'll be doing the Full Reformer Swan soon.

Reach tailbone towards heels, lift legs from inner thigh and hamstring.

Place two springs on your Reformer just like you would if doing the Full Swan, also the same as Grasshopper on the Long Box. Footbar down and Long Box on. Lay on the box facing the Footbar. Place your hands at the edge of the frame and Footbar. Slide your shoulders over your wrists. You may need to adjust depending on your height. But, edge of the box is near your lower abdominals. Stretch your legs long and behind you with inner thighs spinning up. Hugging legs together and tailbone stretching to your heels. Shoulders back and neck long.

Reaching your legs long, lift from your inner thighs and hamstrings causing your upper back to go forward and towards the edge of your Footbar. Your elbows will bend backward and the further your legs lift and reach the more your chest has to reach in opposition. Then as your chest lifts and reaches forward your legs lower and stretch long. Repeat 3-5x. The goal is not to lift your legs super high or to lower your chest to the Footbar - it's to find your longest extension possible. The connection you get in your upper and mid-back prepares you for your Pull Straps.


Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!

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