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In a pilates workout the footwork is a fundamental section of the Reformer routine. Usually it is also the first series of exercises taught in a pilate lesson. It encompasses the whole body like, not just legst and feet but also spine and pelvis and even shoulder alignment against the shoulder blocks. The footwork provides for an experienced pilates instructor great insight into the client's imbalances and is taught in four separate exercises:

1. Toes: The toes are placed on the bar in a pilates V position (about four fingers apart) and the heels are together. The heels should stay lifted up in the air as high as possible as the carriage is moved in and out to provide the full benefits.

2. Arches: In this second variation the arches of the feet are placed on the bar and you try to wrap your feet around the bar. The heels under the bar the toes over the bar like a bird's claw. Now you are working with parallel feet and closed together.

3. Heels: In this variation your heels are pressed against the bar and your toes and the ball of your feet are lifted up and towards your knees, again with your feet parallel and together. Think of pushing the bar away from you and try not to change the angle of the sole of your foot which should be vertical.

4. Tendon Stretch: Here we place the feet on the toes again in the pilates V position and keeping the legs straight we lower and lift the heels. Most people love this one as it feels great on the calfs and releases tension in your feet. Now your feet and legs are warmed up and ready to move on!

Francisco Benitez

The Authentic Pilates Studio Marbella

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