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A phone call from someone used to doing reformer classes and is moving to a new city and feels she needs to learn how to set spings on her own.

Well, that can be very detailed and confusing, or you can look through an idea and reach a better ability to set the springs on the equipment you are using (especially equipment that you may not be familiar with.)

Ya follow that?

This lesson may have to grow later with pictures, but for now, it's the most intriguing Pilates question that has come up today.

For now:

Gravity forces the issue of alignment.

Alignment is perceptible, via tension.

It takes two endpoints of tension to trigger fluoresence.

The idea of the method is: uniform eccentric loading through progressive patterns of movement.

In order to be eccentric you must start at ease.

The springs support load to enable an eccentric effort.

So if the spring tension is set to facilitate something that you would find more difficult in regular gravity, that's good. If the spring tension takes you out of good posture, or makes you strain, or move faster than you can control, that's bad.

Practically speaking, when you're on your back (most supported, most grounded) the heaviest load of spring tension.

When your hips are lifting, less spring because you are supporting your self from your shoulder axis.

Fundamentally, springs in Pilates support load to facilitate eccentric initiation. The tension of the spring also facilitates the triggering of more uniform usage of the musculature. And the tension of the spring makes it easier to sense alignment.

Beyond that, using the spring for resistance training, is like any other.

It's not the resistance that counts, its the quality of the engagement.

In addition to springs, what about the headrest on the reformer?

Why am I asking that question? (because if you are using springs to assist in the roll over, you want the headrest down so you don't place strain on the back of the neck.)

There's a lot to this. Keep in mind Gravity, at ease to be Eccentric, Alignment is Perceptable via Tension between two endpoints.

Uniform usage is the state, the tension of the springs helps you attain it.

Copyright ©2004 Michael Miller. All rights reserved.