Round Back on the Reformer is a Pilates exercise that involves flexion of the spine and flexion and extension of the hips. It is great for strengthening the abdominals and working to lengthen the hip flexors against resistance. It can also performed on the Ladder Barrel, which is a great place to teach it, because of the fixed rungs to secure the feet, as well as the rounded surface of the barrel to fully support the back. Then progress to the Reformer where there are beginner, intermediate, and advanced versions of this exercise. A trained professional should spot the client during this exercise.Start Position:Begin in a seated on the box in a neutral spine position with about a handÌÎÌ_Ì´å«s width distance between your seat and the edge of the box. Your feet should be secured under the foot strap. Knees should be bent with your achilles tendon pulled against the edge of the carriage. Hold the opposite forearm in each hand with your arms resting in front of you.To Perform the Exercise:Exhale and engage the glutes and hamstrings to roll your pelvis back and keep your feet secure in the strap, but achilles may leave the carriage. Simultaneously flex the spine from tail to head to sink back. Inhale and reach your arms over your head. Then exhale and maintain the flexed shape of the spine, keeping your arms over your head and flex at the hips to bring your upper body over your legs and the pelvis to a vertical position. Pull your achilles back against the edge of the carriage to help engage the hamstrings and release the tension on the hip flexors. Inhale as you articulate your spine from flexion to neutral returning your arms to the start position. Complete 3-5 repetitions.
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