Exercise #4050

Down Stretch

1 min - Exercise


Muscle Focus: Shoulders and Back Extensors.

Objective: Strengthening the back extensors shoulders.

Reformer Setup: Start with one medium tension spring. Tension can be made heavier or lighter depending on the resistance desired. The Footbar is up.

Start Position: Kneel on the carriage with feet against the shoulder blocks. The toes should be tucked under with the soles of the feet against the shoulder blocks. Hands are on the Footbar shoulder-distance apart. The hips are pushed forward into a posterior tilt so that the spine is in extension.

Movement:Keeping the arms straight, press the carriage back, maintaining the position of the spine. As the carriage returns home, the chest should lift slightly to elongate the spine. Repeat as desired.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Let's take a look at the down stretch. So Christie, what I'd like for you to do, please, is come down onto your knees on the carriage, with your feet coming up against the shoulder blocks. And one thing that's important in this exercise that's difficult for many people is to really try to get those toes tucked way under, so that the feet sit flush up against the shoulder blocks. Taking the hands to the foot bar, we're on one red spring here. What we wanna try to do as we go into the setup is we wanna bias towards a little bit of a posterior tilt or rotation.

So that Christie is really feeling her hamstrings working. And she's really feeling her abs working. So that's gonna help protect her low back. Now we're gonna lift the chest. We're gonna pull the shoulder down just slightly and now she exhales to take the carriage away.

And you'll notice that that shape that we created in the setup just stays completely consistent. So once you get the setup done and the shape achieved, the only change here is the angle of the shoulder joint. It's possible to do it on a heavier spring, which makes it harder to push and easier to come in. But this spring that Christie's on, makes it easier to push out and much harder to pull the carriage and we'll do one more. And, that is, the down stretch.


1 person likes this.
What are your recommendations for people who can’t get the toes tucked under and feet fully flush against headrest?  Thanks!
Lori that is honestly so difficult for me as well. I take a lot of time tucking them under so they stretch enough before I put weight back in my legs.  Something helpful is to just kneel on the ground with the toes tucked under and the pelvis resting on the heels.  It is an intense stretch and can be painful at first but will make a difference.  Let me know if that helps!

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