Tendon Stretch on the Reformer
Tendon Stretch on the Pilates Reformer is one of my favorite exercises in Pilates. It challenges your endurance and makes you face any fears you have of falling. When I do Tendon Stretch, I like to think I am on a swing. You can’t go further forward than you can go back. There is a rhythm in Tendon Stretch. And, it might be a smaller range of motion than you think. As you practice this exercise, feel free to try it out on the Wunda Chair first. When you do Tendon Stretch on the Reformer, have fun! Don’t make it so hard.
Keep your heels reaching down and hug your hips, especially on the in.
Place two heavy springs on the Reformer (ideally on the outside so that your feet can be in the middle and not press into the springs). Place your heels off the carriage. Ideally, this exercise is done parallel but feel free to try it with a slight turnout if you need it to connect to your seat. Place your hands on the foot bar with your thumbs next to your fingers so you don’t accidentally pull the bar up. Lift your center up, reach your tailbone down and allow your head to hang and gaze through your inner thighs. It’s tempting to look forward as you press the carriage out.
Reaching from your back, lifting up through your ribs, press the carriage out and then as you lift your ribs, dig your heels and reach from your back pull the carriage closed. Then without breaking repeat 3-5x. Your hips should not go past your foot bar. You want to be mindful that the amount of time you spend going out your spend coming in. It’s easy to go far and fast going out and then you’ll struggle to come in. Or, to take your time going out and ride the springs in. Make the out and in even. Keep your heels reaching down the whole time, especially on the in.