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How To: The Up Stretch

Instructor: Kristine Chaussard
Level: All Levels

*Equipment Needed :     Reformer.

**The positioning for the Pilates Up Stretch is similar to 2 other well-known positions or movements: the pike and the plank. The pike can also remind us of the down dog in yoga and the movement into it, if coming from an up dog, involves the undulation of the spine. Try to think of all the different Pilates exercises that replicate these 2 positions. Know that the movement principles as well as the positioning will be relatable to those exercises often as well.

Class Level :     ALL levels.

The Course of this Class :     The Up Stretch is in a series of 3 exercises, this is the last of the 3. First we see the Long Stretch next the Down Stretch and lastly, the Up Stretch. We will cover 3 main positions or actions: 1) Pike; 2) Plank; and 3) Undulate. We will talk about the proper alignment and muscle engagement in each position, as well as how to move from one to another. We’ll cover the benefits of the up stretch as it is excellent for mobilizing the spine while lengthening and stretching the backs of the legs. The undulation can be the trickiest part to get and getting a visual can help understand how to perform that in one’s own body. We hope that this explanation today will give you a better handle on this exercise, it’s one of our favorites!

Pilates depends on certain technical foundations, understanding these better will set you up for success in your practice; protect you from injuring yourself; as well as teach you the best alignment your body can achieve! Plus, practicing with the right form, you’ll get A TON more out of the exercise, your level will increase quickly if you stick to it, and so will your results!

See also these tutorials/how to’s : How To: The Long Stretch, How To: The Down Stretch

How To: Neutral Spine STANDING, How To: Shoulder Positioning, How To: Serve a Tray Series, How To: Pilates Breath the Foundation of it all

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