In Pilates, the backbends are always about the length. Which means you need a lot of strength and connection. But most of the backbends occur without any feedback from equipment. If you're on your stomach you can get some feedback. But many the backbends occur while you're kneeling or in your short box. There isn't anything letting you know that you are skipping the length or doing it form your neck. That's why I like this simple exercise. It allows you to take what you know about your roll up and use the proprioception of the Pilates Spine Corrector. Great for understanding your body's backbend tendencies.
Your arms should be so connected they pull you into your backbend.
Sitting in front of the Spine Corrector place your hips as close to the barrel side as possible. Extend your legs out in front of you and hug them firmly together. Press your heels into the mat and round forward over your legs. Then initiate the movement from your center as you round back into the barrel and then over the barrel into extension. Be careful not to rest here. Take your arms overhead and feel you are in a strong not relaxed backbend. Then lift your arms up and then your head and chest and round forward over your legs. Repeat 3-5x
Notice as you go back if you skip any parts of your spine or if you "sink" down to go back. Then pay attention to how your back muscles engage as you take your arms over your head. The arms should pull you more into extension. As you lift the arms up don't let them pull you up. Move from your center and round back over your legs. While rounding forward notice if you are "hanging" over your legs or if you've rounded off your two-way stretch. After doing a few of these see if you have made any new connections and go to your Reformer to try out a backbend.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Spine Corrector exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Spine Corrector training!