Reformer Short Box Series: Round Back

I used to hate these exercises until I learned how they work.  And that was a revelation because in this series lies the kernel of the whole Pilates Method:

— The Round Back on the Short Box is the Reformer equivalent of the the Roll Up on the Mat, just with the added difficulty of the Box.

There is a lot here!  In fact, there’s a lot in the whole Short Box Series.  We’ll be moving our spines in every plane of movement.  There’s foot and legwork.  And you can start off easy and dig deeper and deeper as you get stronger and gain confidence.
But it’s not just that: in this series – even gt beginner level the whole kernel of the Pilates Method is shown to us.  Here is a summary of Pilates:

“Pilates is moving your spine around a stable limb(s), or moving limb(s) around a stable spine…”

— Sean Gallagher (with permission)

Not wanting to make things unnecessarily complex, but we should also add:

”  … and the Transitions in between.”


What’s it good for?


Related exercises?

Roll Backs on the Spine Corrector.
Short Box Abdominals on the Ladder Barrel.




Reformer Short Box Series: Quick “how tos” …


The Set Up

To avoid repetition the set up for the short box series could be found here.

The Stomach Massage: Reach Up – “how to”


Starting the Roll Back


Going into extension (work towards this …)


Swap the Arms over and Roll Up


Don’t forget to breathe!

Inhale:  sniff before you begin the Roll Down and before you Roll Up again.
Exhale:  as your Roll Down and Roll Up again

Hints and Tips


Variations & Modifications





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