Pilates Projects: Headstand on the Reformer

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  The Headstands on the Reformer seem scary to most people but the same skills you use for them take place in your very first session when you do exercises like the Elephant. Join Andrea for an exploration of a few basic exercises that will build the strength and awareness you’ll need to add the Headstands into your repertoire. Visit Andrea at Pilates Andrea.

What Others Are Saying


  1. EmmaJAS 4 years ago

    Any tips on head placement? You didn’t talk much about this in the video, in the crease of the head rest and so the back of cervical is long? I always love watching your videos, thanks so much 🙂

    • Andrea Maida Author

      Hi Emma,

      Thanks so much for watching and for your kind words. Yes, you are correct . I try to put the crown of my head in the crease and keep length in the back of the neck for the Headstand 1. For Headstand 2 facing up you’re looking for the same kind of position so you don’t get a crunch in the back of the neck. `Excellent question and yes I should have mentioned that in the video 🙂 Have a good weekend!

  2. androne 4 years ago

    Thanks Andrea this was great! I am always a bit daunted with the headstands and this really helped me. I love your cues. can you tell me how many springs you used for both headstands and why? as in …….is the intention to get lighter or heavier with the springs eventually? Hope this makes sense?

    • Andrea Maida Author

      Hi there 🙂

      The Headstands are done on 2 springs. Sometimes I feel like I could do them for myself on 1 spring – however then the carriage is VERY hard to return. I used to think this was a good option for me, but now I find that to work on finding my lower body muscles working together gives me the strength I need to use 2 springs. See what you think. 2 springs is standard I believe and I don’t think you need to focus on being able to do the exercises on anything other than the springs that will allow you to connect the most efficiently to your center. I hope this is helpful and thank you so much for watching !

      • androne 4 years ago

        OK I will practice them and let you know how I get one!! Take care, Jean

  3. Jeri_McD 4 years ago

    I am not a fancy tricks kind of girl, but when I saw this fun Pilates Project tutorial I decided to give it a try. The elephant and up stretch cues helped me feel what to use in my body for Headstand I. I found that I pressed into my forearms/shoulders to lighten the load on my head and take the pressure off my neck. Is that okay? For Headstand II I did all the prep you suggested, but coming up onto my head was a bit daunting. I started by lifting my pelvis, but staying on my shoulders to feel the tendon stretch through the length of my body. Next I, again, shifted most of my weight into my hands to push up, and once I found the upper back of my skull (mid-parietal bone) in the divot between the base of the headrest and the reformer carriage I was okay to straighten my legs…once only. The cue to push into the hands before before tucking in the head and rolling down was perfect. I look forward to improving on these challenging exercises! 🙂

    • Andrea Maida Author

      Hi Jeri,

      This all sounds like you had some great work on these 2 exercises. Yes, finding the correct place for your head for Headstand II can be tricky – but just as you describe, once you find it it is much better. I always think I am looking toward where the ceiling and the wall meet behind my Reformer – so no crunch in the neck. And hey, 1 is great – someday you”ll do 3 🙂 Thank you so much for watching and good for you!!

  4. Carol 4 years ago

    I love these exercises! Challenging and fun. Great job Melanie and thanks Andrea for the reminder to keep heels over toes on the foot bar.

    • Andrea Maida Author

      Hi Carol,

      Yes, those heels are important and help me not to press into my head too much – also using my seat – what a plus! LOL Thank you so much for watching and for sharing your thoughts here 🙂

  5. joelcrosby

    Andrea I always love how you break the exercises down. You always relate them to other exercises in order make the tough ones more attainable. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

    • Andrea Maida Author

      Thank you so much Joel – your kind words are so appreciated. This is a hard exercise for me to do, so I love that we have a method full of helpful exercises along the way 🙂 Thanks for watching!

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