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exercise of the month

Back Splits on the Reformer

May 2019


The aim of this exercise is to stretch the hamstrings and open up the hips, whilst requiring control and balance

Starting Position

Stand on the carriage with both feet and face away from the footbar.  Hold onto the handles of the shoulder rests with each hand.  Place the right foot onto the middle of the headrest.  Extend the left leg back and place the left foot sideways onto the footbar so that the whole foot is in contact with the footbar.  Bend the right knee and move the carriage forwards until the right ankle is directly underneath the right knee.  The buttocks will lower as the leg comes into the lunge position. Carefully take one hand off the shoulder rest and start to extend the spine.  If balance allows, take the other hand off and fully extend the spine into an upright position.  Extend the arms out laterally to shoulder height.


Inhale – To prepare

Exhale – Extend the right knee to push the carriage further away

Inhale – To bend the right knee and return the carriage back to the starting position. 

Repeat with the opposite leg

Target Muscles

Hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps


Ensure that the waist remains long and even on both sides to avoid any hip hitching on the side that is being stretched

Keep the shoulders level and away from the ears

Try to keep the pelvis at the same height as the carriage moves back and forth

Ensure that the front knee does not lock

Try to have a focal point for the eyes throughout to assist balance

Maintain good core engagement to aid control and balance

Contra Indictions

This exercise may be contraindicated for certain knee problems

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July 2022

A lovely exercise for spinal articulation to open the back of the body and assist in coordination

View exercise >

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