Studio Workout for Stiff Upper Backs - Pilatesology

Studio Workout for Stiff Upper Backs

Show Me...
Workout Tempo
Observe & Learn
Other Languages

Watch the preview

Sandy leads you through a mixed apparatus workout focused on fixing tight upper backs. You'll begin with 3 quick moves on the Cadillac, and then move to the Reformer for a complete full body workout that emphasizes opening the upper back. To top it off, you'll finish on the Ladder Barrel with some juicy backbends. Get ready to feel inches taller! Filmed at Vintage Pilates.

What Others Are Saying


  1. mary walter 6 years ago

    Hi Sandy! Loved this workout! Great flow! Beautiful articulation of movement.

    NICOLE CORRAL 6 years ago

    Hi Sandy,

    I taught the first three cadillac exercises, along with the wall variations from your Teachers Clubhouse back connection video today to three of my stiff upper back clients. Every single on of them had an “AH HA!” moment. Connecting the lift of the arms from the wall ( via the back connection) to the lift of the arms in the push through.
    I could see their arm movement all the way from the base of the pelvic and consistent activity through their center. It was such an exciting moment for me as a teacher!

    Thank you and Karen for sharing!

    • Sandy Shimoda Author


      That is soooooooo exciting! Congratulations on your good work. Keep exploring the back connection all over the studio!

  3. pilatesgal50 6 years ago

    Love the version of the Front Splits. Makes so much sense to do it in that order! Thank you for sharing. Also appreciated keeping one main focus throughout a workout. It can be easy to get distracted by other things, so it was nice to see the discipline to stay on that track. I desperately need this workout and am doing it today!

  4. Kerry 6 years ago

    I am only getting a small box picture of this workout and no video. Only sound. When I go to other videos there is no problem. Also often when I sign in and select a video to watch, I get prompted to sign in again, even though I have already logged in.

  5. LKVB 6 years ago

    hi Sandy! Yes loved the front splits. How come no star?

    • LKVB 6 years ago

      Hi it’s liesbeth

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Hi Liesbeth! You made me laugh out loud! I would ABSOLUTELY put the star in a workout like this to help build the support and strength of each side as my body moves. It is one of my favorite exercises…so…next time! Will you join me?

      • LKVB 6 years ago

        I would more than love to be triple Sandy in this scenario. p.s. I don’t see the stiffness in your upper back. In your breaststroke you are waaaay up there with the cool kids and nobody push in your wheelbarrow. Impressive.

        • Sandy Shimoda Author

          Well, um, it’s great to know that my body does progress. Thanks LKVB. I’ve been waiting to hang with the cool kids.

  6. joelcrosby

    Sandy, Loved the workout. It gave me some good material to work on so as not over-recruiting my upper body. Also it helped me see some of the suggestions you have given me to work on in the past.The flow was great. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.

    • Sandy Shimoda Author

      Joel, I am so glad you were able to apply this workout to your body!!! You are a strong and athletic man and it can be tempting to overuse the upper body in lieu of getting the spine to move during your workout. Thanks for your comments and kind words, Joel.

  7. Sandy Shimoda Author

    Hi lghammerle! Oh – I am so glad you asked about the Front splits.

    This is the way Jay was taught the front splits by Joe. I love trying exercises the way Jay learned them because it helps me look into the exercises in a new way. What I love most about starting kneeling is that I get that incredible hip and thigh stretch that warms me up for the standing lunge.

    When you focus on moving the carriage from the back leg you are building strength and stability in the low body. When moving the carriage with your back leg, you will find better balance and strength in your center.

    • lghammerle

      Thank you Sandy for the reply! It makes sense to start in kneeling for a progressively more challenging order with regards to balance.

  8. lghammerle

    Hi Sandys!
    What a great workout with consistent flow! The swan early on with 0 springs is challenging. May I ask about the front splits- they seem to me a reverse order, the kneeling part before standing? And each of the three parts are motivated by the back leg, including part II (standing with hands behind the head)?
    Thank you for sharing your workout with us!

Leave a reply