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Published January 2, 2018

Following on from the Diamond Press we have the Downstretch, an exercise which requires a considerable amount of control and strength, particularly in the upper body.

This is good for 

Developing trunk stabilisation, strengthening and stabilising the upper back and back of the shoulders.

How to do Downstretch

Downstretch start Pilates Can
  • Inhale, press out from shoulders.
Downstretch mid Pilates Can
  • Exhale, return to stoppers
  • Keep shoulders down and the same body position throughout (remember think of a frozen banana or old pirate ship ride!)
  • Glutes and hamstrings should be working (so back stays supported)

Things to focus on

Ensure your abdominals and upper back extensors are continually engaged throughout the exercise. You should feel the whole back of your body working – your hamstrings, glutes, back extensors, as well as abdominals for support.

The shoulder joint is your pivot point for this exercise. Think of the “pirate ship” ride at a theme park, or a frozen banana.


  • Maintain the position through the body.
  • Ensure the thoracic spine maintains good extension throughout.

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About the author 

Claire Gunther is a PAA Principal Level Pilates Instructor with over 20 years and 20k+ hours of professional Pilates delivery experience.


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