Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions! 3!

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions! 3!

Welcome to the 3rd installation of Transitions! Transitions!

We've been working our way through the Order of the Pilates Reformer Exercises.

Check out the first Transitions! post to learn the purpose of an efficient Pilates transition.

Catch up on the 2nd post as well and move smoothly through the Rowing Series.

The Order of the Universe

Let's look briefly at a simple Transition! that you don't want to miss. It will take you deftly from the end of the Overhead and into Coordination without losing your connection.


Post-Overhead and into Coordination

This Transition! is just a moment, but it's a nice Double-leg-pull-esque moment as you move from long limbs and the finish of the Overhead into your tiny curled up position for Coordination.

  1. Make sure you fully finish the last of your Overhead: legs down and arms reaching to return the carriage.
  2. Try not to relax too much – I know the Overhead is no easy feat – keep it together – it's just Coordination.
  3. Use your stomach to pull your legs and arms into position and lift your head up. Everything together into a tiny ball.

Post Pulling Straps (Pull and T) and into the Backstroke

For the Transition! after Pull and T Straps you have 3 options.

Remember the purpose of the transitions is to stay connected and moving in your workout. You'll be as efficient as possible.

If one transition allows you to move more efficiently and smoothly to the next exercise, then it may be the best one for you. See what you think.

My Pilates training taught me the first 2 options.

The 3rd one I have observed in the field. It's been used by many diverse clients. It works for them, it's simple and they sort of discover it naturally.


Option 1: The Romana Special K

  1. After you finish the T, take your handles into 1 hand.
  2. If your handles are in the left hand, step off to your left.
  3. Use your free hand to add 1 spring (for a total of 2).
  4. Take one handle in each hand behind you and walk toward the front of the box.
  5. At a certain point the straps will be taut and you'll have to sneak your lower body forward and away from your handles to sit at the very edge of the box. The carriage should not move. It's hard to sit on a moving target.
  6. Use your stomach to lie back with control and assume your Backstroke position.

The Romana Special K may work better if you are taller (maybe I say that because I'm short) and you can get yourself easily centered on the box when you get there.

I do it, but then I'm often over-concerned: am I centered on the box? And there's a lot of wiggling that ensues.

Just because you're wiggling doesn't mean you're using your stomach.

Option 2: The Levitator

This is the Transition! I personally use.

  1. After you finish the T, take your handles into 1 hand.
  2. If your handles are in the left hand, step off to your left.
  3. Use your free hand to add 1 spring (for a total of 2).
  4. Take one handle in each hand behind you to begin.
  5. Stepping off to your left after T now puts you on the right side of the Reformer. Put your left hand on the box and left foot on either the footbar or the frame. Do not sit!
  6. Without sitting you'll put your right hand on the box and right foot on the footbar or frame. Keep your bottom up!
  7. Finally, sit on the front edge of the box.
  8. Lie back with control into the Backstroke.


If that sounds crazy, please know that it's not. You may just want to watch the video and then say “Oh, yeah. I get it.”

Option 3: Autonomous Rex

I've seen clients successfully use this one. They know their order and they know where they're going.

Hey isn't that called #control?

  1. After you finish the T, take your handles into 1 hand.
  2. Sit up on the box and turn to the opposite side.
  3. Reach down with your free hand and add 1 spring (for a total of 2).
  4. Put one handle in each hand and turn to face the front of the Reformer.
  5. Sit on the front edge of the box and lie back with control for Backstroke.

I did not formally learn this Transition! but it seems to work well.

Efficiency Builds Stamina

Try these Transitions! options in your next workout.

As you shave off moments between exercises you'll open yourself to receive more riches and exercises from the Pilates Universe.

Your workout will always be about an hour, so challenge yourself to work as many exercises within in this timeframe as you are capable.

I know you're up to the task! Be brilliant!

Enjoy this short video tutorial.

Questions? Please leave them in a comment below.

Thank you so so much for watching!

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  1. Enlightening! Great to know we have many options for that oh so challenging pullstraps-to-backstroke transition! Thanks!

  2. Yes! It’s nice to find the one that works the most efficiently for you. Not often is it “Ladies’ choice” in our Pilates workout…LOL So glad you found the video helpful and see you soon! xo

  3. Great video Andrea, I love your spirit made me feel refresh… very efficient movements and keep the stamina up! Always you give us a great amount of learning tools and made very joyful way to keep waiting for the next video! and you are not short your are Petite 🙂

    I am short lol love Luz

    • Luz!!! Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words about my videos. LOL if I were taller everything would be better, right? ha ha. Love to you and keep up your good Pilates work. Can’t wait to see you in UK 🙂

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