Exercise #2190


2 min - Exercise


Muscle Focus: Abdominals.

Objective: Strengthening the abdominals while challenging stability on a moving carriage.

Reformer Setup: Start with one to two medium tension springs. Tension can be made heavier or lighter depending on the resistance desired. Place the longbox onto the carriage with the short end of the box against the shoulder rests. The footbar is down.

Start Position: Lie supine on the box, with the shoulders blades just off the back edge of the box, knees bent in towards the chest, head and shoulders curled in flexion, and handles in both hands. Arms will bend, bringing the wrists just above eye level with palms facing out.

Movement: Inhale as you reach both arms and legs straight up to the ceiling, legs together, maintaining the curl of the head and shoulders. Exhale as you open your arms and legs carriage width apart and circle them forward while keeping them straight. Arms and legs will reach straight to the wall in front of you, with legs gluing together. Hold for a count. Bend both knees and elbows to return to start position. Repeat two to three more times.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
May 25, 2015
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

Let's take a look at the backstroke first. We're set on one red spring on the balanced body equipment and you want to make sure that you place yourself on the box in a way that when you roll back, your shoulder blades will be just off the mat. And then here you can bring your legs to tabletop position and pause here for a moment. Next step is to retrieve the straps and then hold them in your hands with a soft fist. So the fist is going to be kind of just above your eyes. The carriage is no longer at the stopper. And here we want to make sure we're in full trunk flection. Nice, good abdominal curl, big focus on abdominals here.

We're going to take the arms straight up to the ceiling. We're going to take the arms open and then here circle around and you're essentially in a teaser type position here. And then the knees draw in and the arms draw in as well. So the arms go up and open and we circle around. That's a long exhale. Drawing the knees in.

We inhale up and open and we use the exhale to complete the movement. So a big focus here on the abdominals, there's also quite a big focus on coordination. So the idea here of being able to coordinate maintaining trunk flection while you lift the arms up and circle around. Let's look at that a little bit more. So come in here, pause. We want to maintain that trunk flection as the arms and legs go straight up.

Taking a moment here to ensure that we're at perpendicular with the arms and the legs with the ceiling or the floor, however you look at it without moving the carriage. Then we open the arms and then we use those back muscles to pull everything back to where it came from. Just one more time here, cleaning up and viewing the backstroke. Beautiful and gently come in and come to rest. And that's the backstroke on the reformer.

Related Content


7 people like this.
Love the idea of detailed single exercise demonstration, with text comments. Great for teachers. Thank you PA
5 people like this.
Good description. I like the individual moves on the equipment being demonstrated and explained!
5 people like this.
Thanks for this perfect explanation. You should do it for all the reformer exercises.
Nice explanation for a difficult exercise, always have trouble teaching this one, thank you Sarah :).
You give this as a fundamental move?
Wendy -Arbuckle shows her clients shoulders ON the box for backstroke.... Your client's shoulders are OFF . . Please clarify the differences. Thank you.
Anne ~ There are many ways to do every exercise depending on your training. Both versions are correct. I recommend trying both ways to see what works better for your body. I hope this helps!
Hi Anne, Gia is spot on. With the shoulders on the box, there would be more support for upper body; therefore, if the person is unable to hold the abdominal curl needed for the exercise, there would be less stress on the neck. With the shoulders off, a person will need to maintain a solid abdominal curl in order to keep the neck tension free. Additionally, for the sake of flow, the position of shoulders is dictated by the pelvis needing to be in the correct position to roll up to teaser which would be a logical transition when appropriate. I hope this helps.
Natalia D
Great explanation, thanks!!!
Great set-up and cues. Thank you
1-10 of 12

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin