Short Spine Massage on Pilates Reformer

Spinal articulation and strengthening the abdominals. 

Reformer Setup: Start with 1.5 to 2 springs. Short Spine Massage becomes more challenging on a lighter spring setting. Lower the headrest to flat, footbar is up.

Start Position: Lie flat on your back, and place both feet onto the footbar. Press out and carefully place the leg straps over one foot and then the other. Then press both arms firmly into the carriage. Legs start in frog position, with both heels together, knees shoulder width apart. 

Movement: Reach the legs out to a 45 degree angle, straight and together. Fold at the hips to bring both legs towards you, still straight and pressed together. Once the carriage comes into the stopper, use the abdominals to roll through the spine up to the shoulder blades. Reach your sitsbones to the ceiling to create a long spine and lift from the abdominals. Both arms are pressed firmly into the carriage throughout. Bend both knees towards the shoulders, opening them shoulder width apart while keeping both heels glued together. Keeping the feet where they are, roll down through one vertebra at a time back onto the carriage until the legs are at about a 90 degree angle. Press the tailbone into the carriage and return the legs to the starting frog leg position. Repeat two to four more times.

Precautions: Ensure that the headrest is flat prior to starting this exercise. Not recommended for clients with cervical spine injuries.