STOTT PILATES Sepbember 2009

Exercise of the Month: Tree

Targets quadriceps of gesture leg concentrically to extend knee as hamstrings lengthen; hip flexors of supporting leg eccentrically on roll down; rectus abdominis and obliques concentrically to create flexion; obliques and multifidus to prevent rotation

Footbar position #4, 2 springs, headrest flat


  • Begin seated upright on the Reformer Box, with your pelvis square to the front. Try to sit as tall and neutral as possible, but avoid gripping in your hip flexors. Hook one foot under the footstrap and flex the other leg. Place your hand under the knee and your outside hand reaching towards your ankle.


To prepare, inhale…

  • EXHALE Keep your pelvis square and extend the knee, lengthening hamstrings while keeping torso as upright as possible.

  • INHALE Flex your knee back to starting position.

    Complete 3 repetitions and on the last repetition…

  • INHALE Keep your leg straight and place other hand on ankle.


  1. EXHALE Initiate by rolling pelvis and flex your lower back rolling back of pelvis onto Reformer Box or as far as abdominals stay flat. Simultaneously, walk your hands down the back of your leg

  2. INHALE Maintain flexion and breathe into the sides of your rib cage.

  3. EXHALE Initiate with your abdominals to return to a sitting position while walking hands up your leg towards the ankle.

  4. INHALE Flex your knee and bring inside hand under the knee, outside hand to ankle.

  5. EXHALE Extend knee while staying upright.

  6. INHALE Keep your leg straight and place the other on hand on your ankle.

Complete 3 repetitions on each side.

Remember to start your workout with a warm-up routine. Go to

This exercise is excerpted from the Essential Reformer Manual, 2nd Edition. Including detailed photography and illustrations of 65 exercises and 93 modifications, this manual offers the complete Essential-level Reformer repertoire with step-by-step instruction.

Find more exercises in the STOTT PILATES Manual Library comprised of over 10 titles that document the entire STOTT PILATES exercise repertoire.

Remember to start your workout with a warm-up routine. Go to and click on warm up for a detailed description.

CAUTION: Please note the following important cautions before attempting STOTT PILATES exercises. Consult with your doctor before beginning this or any other exercise program, as not all exercises are suitable for everyone. This or any other exercise program may result in injury.

If you experience pain or discomfort during exercise, stop immediately and consult your doctor. To reduce risk of injury, never force or strain during exercise.

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