Up Stretch Combo on the Pilates Reformer is definitely an advancement of the Up Stretch. In fact, it's literally the advancement of Up Stretch on the Reformer. And, it requires you to have all the reaches, connections, strength, and courage. The Up Stretch Combo will take your Down Stretch, Swan, and Elephant and show you exactly where you are connected and where you are needing to focus your strength and reach. This exercise is great to add on to your Long Stretch Series when you are ready. Then slide on into your Elephant and keep your two-way stretch going.
Reach through legs even as you close the springs. Stand strong in feet.
From the Up Stretch it's basically like doing another rep from the start. It's while you're in the exercise that you add in the extension, combo. Ideally done with 2 heavy springs. Hands on the footbar, heels halfway up the shoulder blocks, "Hundreds" curl in your upper body, strong reach from your waist through your legs. In the set up, start position, you want to have at least 50% of your body weight in your arms and 50% of your body weight in your legs. Avoid "down-dogging" the start position so you can keep the movement from your center instead of your back.
After doing 2-3 strong reps of the Up Stretch go into the combo. The beginning looks much like the Up Stretch. Lifting your upper abs up press your legs back without pressing the springs out with your arms. Continue to press the legs out until your spine goes into your "Long Stretch" then keep stretching the springs and open up your chest and go into your Swan-like chest as you close the springs. Then keep your Swan chest as you push the springs back round your upper back into your "hundreds" curl and continue to lift your waist as you close the springs like you would in Elephant. Repeat 2-3x.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!