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Pilates Has Your Back | 3 Reformer Exercises for a Strong Back

Image of a woman doing a Pilates exercise

Everyone knows that Pilates is one of the best ways to strengthen your core, but did you know that your core isn’t just your abs? ” Your core is made up of your abdominals, gluts, and back muscles,” says physical therapist and studio owner Jen Metcalf. “If a student has lower back issues, it’s important to strengthen the muscles that actually attach to the spine, not just work on your 6 pack!” Try out these 3 Pilates exercises that anyone can do on the Pilates Reformer to improve strength, and mobility in your spine!

  1. Swan Stretch : Start by lying on your stomach on top of the long box facing the foot bar. Press away from the bar to straighten the arms, keep your arms straight and direct the box inward towards the football creating extension thru the spine. Be sure to keep your hips pressed down into the box. Repeat 10 repetitions
  2. Pulling Straps : This is the same set up as Swan, but facing the other direction. Hold your Pilates loops on the outside of the Reformer with your arms straight. Press your arms back, and raise your chest. Keep your chin tucked slightly to maintain good neck alignment. Repeat 10 repetition
  3. Bridge with Hamstring Curl: Lie on your back with your feet hip distance apart on your Reformer footbar. Roll your hips and spine up into a bridge, then slowly extend the Reformer carriage out, draw the carriage back in and roll down one vertebra at a time. Repeat 10 repetitions

We hope to see you in a Pilates Reformer Class in Aspen soon!

Love, and Planks!

Higher Terrain


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Written by

Jen Metcalf

Jen Metcalf from Miami is a physical therapist, and Certified Pilates Instructor. After taking a Lagree Method class …