Elizabeth Larkam performing swakatee

Elizabeth Larkam performing swakatee

For the Nike folks working on getting the “Pilates Passport,” here’s a list of the exercises that we expose you to in the Passport training.  It’s a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced exercises, so no worries if you’re not an expert after 5 sessions! Did I ever tell you the story about how psyched I was to lift up into full teaser from a draped position after 6 months of private sessions? Yup. It did not happen overnight.

These are the basic spring settings that I teach; other teachers may vary, so listen or ask in class. *Sometimes a variation of an exercise requires a different spring setting, so when in doubt….ask for the spring setting, even if the teacher has already said it five times.


Passport Exercise Page # Springs
Hundred pp 123-124 1 Red + 1 Blue
Footwork pp 112-121 3 Red or All Springs
Armwork: hug a tree p. 175 1 Red (harder) or 1 Blue (easier)
Armwork: salute p. 176 1 Red (harder) or 1 Blue (easier)
Leg raises n/a 1 Red + 1 Blue
Leg circles pp 136-137 1 Red + 1 Blue
Frog p. 135 1 Red + 1 Blue
Short spine prep n/a 1 Red + 1 Blue (hips stay down)
Short spine pp.146-147 1 Red + 1 Blue  Option to add 1 Yellow for assistance.
Pulling straps p. 203 1 Red
T-pull p. 204 1 Red
Teaser n/a 1 Red
Round p. 126 3 Red or All Springs
Flat Back n/a
Tilt p. 127 3 Red or All Springs
Sidebend p. 195 3 Red or All Springs
Tree pp 128-129 3 Red or All Springs
Round p. 158 3 Red
Twist n/a 2 Red
Flat Back p. 159 3 Red
Long Stretch p. 164 1 Red + 1 Blue = classic.  1 Red + 1 Yellow = less stable
Down Stretch p. 161 1 Red + 1 Yellow
Up Stretch n/a 1 Red + 1 Blue = classic.  1 Red + 1 Yellow = less stable
Elephant Round n/a 1 Red + 1 Blue
Elephant Flat pp 162-163 1 Red + 1 Blue
Knee Stretch: round p. 156 1 Red + 1 Blue
Knee Stretch: flat p. 157 1 Red + 1 Blue
Knee Stretch: knees off n/a 1 Red + 1 Blue
Reverse Knee Stretch (face pulleys) n/a 1 Red
Armwork Kneeling: chest expansion p. 177 1 Red or 1 Blue
Armwork Kneeling: scoops p. 178 1 Red or 1 Blue
Armwork Kneeling: teardrops n/a 1 Red or 1 Blue
Armwork Kneeling: rotations n/a 1 Red or 1 Blue
Armwork Kneeling: cactus n/a 1 Blue
Armwork Kneeling: swakatee n/a 1 Yellow
Running n/a 2Red + 1 Blue
Pelvic Lifts (aka Bridge) pp 142-143 2Red + 1 Blue
Standing Splits Side p. 191 1 Red or 1 Blue
Standing Splits: front 1 & 2 pp. 153-153 1 Red

Page #’s refer to the book “Pilates” by Rael Isacowitz Super affordable, super helpful.

Are you looking for the Rule of Thumb Spring Listing? Go here


In my classes, I’ll usually tell where you should feel an exercise (“oh, hello seat muscles!”) and I’ll often mention where you shouldn’t feel it (“your neck should never feel like it’s working.”) I’m trying to help you translate what your body is telling you, so that you can respond or adjust appropriately.

  • If an exercise feels uncomfortable, please say something! That means: either we need to adjust your form or we need to adjust the machine. It’s quite common for people who are petite, tall or large to need a couple machine adjustments during class. One size does not fit all, and the Allegro 2’s are highly adjustable.
  • If a spring weight feels inappropriate — too heavy or too weak — please speak up.  The spring adjustments aren’t always obvious. Sometimes adding a spring makes the exercise harder; sometimes it makes it easier — don’t guess!
  • Tip for Newbies: notice how much effort the people around you are putting in. If something feels super hard, say something — you may have missed an instruction to change springs.
  • Don’t see your favorite exercise? Joe invented more than 500 moves, and modern teachers have added even more….