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Top 5 Ways to Connect to your Short Box Series

Updated: Feb 2, 2023

I LOVE the Short Box Series on the Reformer! I tell everyone that it is the "everything" series! Meaning it has everything you need to help your Mat practice, as well as other Reformer exercises.

Don't know what Short Box is?? Here's a quick video of the basic set:

Let's not forget about Side Sit Up!

**I was taking my friend (and content creator) Mindi Westfall's class here!

Here are my Top 5 Ways to Connect to this exercise set:

  1. Give your sacrum SPACE!

  2. REACH into your strap

  3. You GOTTA use your BUTT!

  4. THINK small...

  5. Grab a PROP!

Time to dig in to what these mean...


  • Your sacrum's size is about the width of your hand. Place your hand behind you on the box and make sure that you have a hand's width between your body and the back of the box.


<I wasn't screaming, just emphasizing >

  • A lot of people feel discomfort and lose connection because they do not have the right amount of space behind their body. LAY that sacrum on your box and you may feel more connected and the difference may surprise you!


  • I see a whole bunch of people resting their feet/arches on the carriage - almost pushing into the carriage instead of USING the STRAP. *I know that some Reformers don't give you the option to keep your feet from touching, that's okay - you can still apply the REACH!

  • FLEX those FEET! Just do it - pretend the strap is your life line.

  • Reach the legs/feet up into the strap, then out to engage MORE LEGS


  • Do whatever you need to do in your body to bring your butt to the party. Engaging the glutes and keeping them engaged the whole time may seem to make the exercises harder BUT (pun intended) by turning on your back body, it allows you to open up your low back and helps stabilize you.

  • You may find that you can go farther.

  • You may find that where you may have felt discomfort or pain during Short Box - it's no longer there.

  • The KEY is to KEEP the back body (butt) engaged throughout. You may "forget" your butt on the way back up, but try to remember you got a booty and you got to use it.

4. Smaller Range of Motion

  • Just because something looks "cool" doesn't mean you should do least not right away.

  • First focus on #2 and 3...and do it with a smaller range of motion.

  • Once you consistently REMEMBER to reach into your strap AND can keep your back body engaged...then you can start to play with range.

  • It seems simple, but it will WORK!!!

  • Plus, if you are using your legs and butt to their fullest potential - you might WANT to keep your range small while you build your Short Box series.

5. Prop it like it's Hot!

  • You won't need a prop for each exercise, but if you aren't using your pole for the classical variation for Flat Back, Side Bend, or Twist - you might want to. You can connect more to your body when you close your kinetic chain. Putting a prop between your hands will close the chain.

  • No pole? No problem. First - you can go to your local hardware store and get a dowel for under $7 (1 - 1.5" diameter). Otherwise, you can use a resistance band or braided towel.

  • Resistance Band + Tree = AMAZING!!!

  • If you've been working on your Tree and need help squaring yourself, have a bit of a hard time holding onto your leg, or are a little weary of rolling back into the open well...RESISTANCE BAND!!! See video with variations below!

Those are my Top 5 Ways to Connect to your Short Box.

If you found this helpful, please let me know! I can always use more YouTube shares and subscribes, so if you found these videos helpful - please subscribe and/or share with your friends.

I created the video below for one of my clients. I LOVE doing short videos to help people find more accessible ways to do the work, so if you have ANY requests - please feel free to send me an email or comment on any of the YouTube videos on my channel.


Need some ways to make Tree more accessible? Try these variations!

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