I'm not a big fan of pilates variations, but this little additional move after Push Through on the tower is so fun and feels so great that I just have to share it with anyone who doesn't already add it into their Push Through movements.
After a few rounds of the regular Push Through (stretching up with the push through bar, rounding back, then pushing through), try adding these two flowing stretches:
-Begin the stretch after the last time you push UP on the bar.
-Take the right hand off the push through bar, palm up, and reach that arm back behind you. Follow your hand with your eyes. Stretch your arm back so its about shoulder height above the mat while your leg arm is also straight. Its almost like you are "hanging back" from the push through bar, but your whole body is really stretching out long.
When you do this long stretch, be sure to reach both heels into the poles, especially the right heel. This way, your whole body is stretching, in more than one direction.
-Next, keeping both arms straight the whole time, bring your right arm around the front of your body, under the push through bar, and grab hold onto the inside of the left pole, above the left foot. This is a sweeping motion of the arm from the back end of the mat all the way around to the front and to the pole. Push up on the push through bar with your leg hand.
Use your waist to twist into this position, and stretch UP on the push through bar so your spine is lengthening up.
Repeat with the left arm.
1. For a more advanced variation, add this in before you circle it forward to the left pole: Keep your eyes on your right hand.
After you stretch the right arm back behind you, continue following your hand with your eyes as you reach it further and further back behind you, until you can't take it back any further. Your waist will be stretching back more and more. In a "dancer-like movement", sweep the right arm overhead and almost try to touch the left corner of the push through bar.
Its one of the most amazing side stretches ever!
Be sure to keep following your hand with your eyes. After this extra stretch, reverse the movement, back all the way around to the left pole above your foot. Think of this variation as making a large, circular movement with your arm and torso.
2. Instead of holding onto the left pole from inside the pole, flip your hand around to hold the outside of the pole. Read more!