InStep Pilates | 722 W 19th Street Ste A, Houston, TX 77008 | | 832-600-6296

                  Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 6am to 7pm & Sat - Sun 8am to 2pm

Servicing the greater Houston regions and its surrounding areas

(Downtown Houston, Greater Heights, East Downtown, Midtown, Houston Heights, Timbergrove, Shady Acres, Garden Oaks/Oak Forest)

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Reformer - Short Spine

January 29, 2016


Objectives: spinal articulation, strengthening and controling abdominals, increase flexibility in hamstrings and lower back.


The short spine is a complicated, intermediate/advance Pilates exercise requiring a high level of coordination and control. As an instructor, please spot your clients if this is their first time performing this exercise.




Describe the movement as the person goes through it. Make the directives simple and to the point. It is easier if you break the move down into short segments that are coordinated with the breath pattern:


ExhaleStart in a frog position, then straighten the legs out to a 45 degree angle and point the feet.


Inhale: Hinge at the hips and bring the legs up toward the ceiling. Both arms long are pressing down toward the carriage and the chest is wide open throughout the exercise.


Exhale: Use abdominals to roll up onto the shoulder blades, avoid rolling onto the neck. Reach your sitz bones toward the ceiling trying to keep the toros lengthening by using the abdominals to lift towards the ceiling.


Inhale: Externally rotate the legs and bend the knees to a frog position; knees toward the shoulders and heels glued together; while still keeping the length in your torso. 


Exhale: Articulate the spine down one vertebrae at a time. Keep the feet over the face to feel the hamstring stretch as the legs straighten. To feel more of a stretch in the lower back, as the spine articulates down, feel like the tailbone is reacing towards the foot bar.


Inhale: Flex the feet, draw the sacrum down securely and return to the starting position.






Ensure the headrest is completly flat prior to performing the exercise. Exercise should not be performed by any individual with neck or spine injuries, osteoporosis or disc problems. This exercise may also not be appropriate for individuals with high blood pressure or glaucoma.

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