Pilates Reformer – Stretching

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 41,806
    Fitness Expert Tanya Merryman demonstrates how to do pilates reformer stretching excercises.

    Tanya Merryman: This is Tanya Merryman and we've just worked out the core, the lower body and the upper body in a great workout. Now, it's time to go into our stretching. So, when I do my stretching, again I'm going to play the resistance controls but because I want a lot of movement on the carriage, I have very light resistance.

    So, I've almost removed all of the resistance controls except for the two smallest ones, closing my platform. Then from here I'm going to go into a seated position, nice and tall and if this is uncomfortable for you, you can just lay your legs on the floor or can keep them out in front of you without touching the floor.

    I am taking that hand nice and strong on that foot bar. I am going to reach my arm out, inhale, lengthen the body, and stretching. I feel this nice stretch out though the side of my body but notice that I have a lots of distance between my ear and my shoulder and then exhaling it back up.

    These are stretches, so just enjoy the movement reaching it all the way out, bringing it back up, reach lengthening. I still of course feel my ribcage controlled and engaged but I'm lengthening through my spine, through every single vertebrae, feeling that space in between each one and of course, the torso and the side of my waist, bring it all the way back up.

    I have a nice strong arm pressing into my foot bar then releasing and resting the carriage at a complete stop. Before I go into my next movement, really great for the legs, I'm going to take my pad which I'm going to use again for extra padding under the knees, you don't necessarily need it. Taking my hands to the foot bar again I still have a nice easy resistance, one knee pressed forward as if it's a lounging position.

    So the leg is not back, it's up towards the front, so it can help stabilize my position, nice strong arms, long neck. I'm just going to send my hips to the floor, feeling a nice hip stretch, keeping my hip square and I'm pulling it back in and again just sinking the hips down stretching the hip.

    Again, we are going to make this a little bit more extreme, so some of you can stay with this movement, this is a great stretch. Often times what happens if your resistance controls are too extreme you start to use your arms and you're really trying to push, so just make sure you have nice alignment strong arms, long neck.

    We're going to go on to a split. So I have the nice hip stretch but I'm going to extend that front arm dropping my head down. So, I'm extending my front leg. This is our splits, holding it here three breaths, and we go further. When you are ready, exhaling back in, bending the knee, gently bringing the carriage back.

    Let's try it again. I send the hips down getting the hip stretch and then extending the front leg, pressing, using my upper body to help me increase that stretch, holding it here three breaths. When you're ready bend the knee, pulling it back, gently releasing the carriage to comes to complete stop.

    That ends our stretching but it also ends our full body workout on the pilates reform machine. I'm Tanya Merryman and thank you for joining me.