There is a rule by Malcom Gladwell that says 10,000 hours of deliberate practice are needed to become world class in any field. I have the same advice to give when it comes to mastering the pilates tendon stretch. This exercise requires alot of strength and alot of flexibility. You really can’t pull this exercise off without those 2 key factors.
Here are 3 progressions to help you get closer and eventually master the Tendon Stretch.
1. Tendon Stretch prep using the Barrel
To get the right muscles firing, you need to get the abs engaged enough to scoop up and away from the barrel. Practicing this basic move will help you find your lat connection so your upper body can support this lift.
2. Tendon Stretch on the Reformer
Everything that happens in the prep above, will happen here on the reformer. There are some extra things to think about though. Now your hamstrings and glutes need to stabilize your pelvis, but they also need to be flexible enough to get into the initial start position. Start slow and find the right control.
3. Tendon Stretch on the Chair
The chair definitely steps up the challenge. Everything that is working above, is working even harder on this variation. Once again, take your time and make sure the right muscles are doing the right job. It is fairly hard to cheat on this variation. If your abs are not working, you won’t get the pedal to lift.
If this is too challenging, revisit How to get better at Swan!