Class #1001

Mat Workout

20 min - Class


Niedra teaches another "'Reformer on the Mat" workout that uses different props to create interesting variations for the Mat work. Some of the exercises she shows are Coordination with the Theraband, Short Spine Stretch with the Magic Circle, and Rowing with the Hand Weights. Enjoy the challenge these props give you!
What You'll Need: Mat, Hand Weights, Theraband, Magic Circle

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi there, I'm just going to go through a few of the reformer on the math exercises using props. I actually had a request for this because everything you do on the reformer you can do on the map. It is bloody hard is the Brits would say and adding a little bit of decoration. Just give some more space to light. So I thought this would be fun for tonight. Short Mat, uh, taking the band, making sure it covers the balls of the feet.

Okay. I'm lying back and down and curling my head and chest up and then I'm starting with the footwork. So the whole premise here is if you want to work even harder, you pull the band further. If you don't want to work as hard, you keep, you keep the tension that works for you. And then coming back in, now I'm adjusting my feet slightly, so the balls of the feet and the heels are together and I'm slightly working the bird on a perch. So I'm wrapping my toes into the ball, into the band.

And it's pretty interesting because you really have to work those toes pretty hard to get that bird on a perch alignment. Then coming into heels, I'm gonna put my head down just for a minute to relax my neck, flexing up, crawling up and working again. So it's a wonderful way to get the legs to work the spine to work and have a good think about what you're doing from a different perspective. Okay. Lowing my head down, bringing my feet back to the balls of the feet. This is for the tendon stretch variation and making sure the toes are covered.

Now to add a little bit, once my toes are together, I'm spreading my knees and my toes. A parts of tractioning through the strap, pressing out and working. The flexing point like some point, flex and point, flex and point, flex and point and calming back in and relaxing down for a minute. So hundreds can be interesting just using the theraband again, hitting a nice scoop. I'm pressing the legs out and lifting up and instead of working the pumps that way, working them this way. So breathing in, exhale in, exhale.

In exhale, [inaudible] working those legs, a little whore. Exhale and exhale and exhale coming up if you want. Exhale in five. Exhale. Very good. Now I'm pulling the band in as much as I can see my biceps are really working, rolling down, lengthening out, and bending the legs back in. So from here, just going to put the band aside and bring in the magic circle for short spine massage. So placing the magic circle between my ankles, pressing my hands down into the mat, stretching the legs and squeezing, bringing the legs over with a squeeze and lifting up, bending down, still working. The inner size takes a lot of control through the spine, extending the legs out, scooping the pelvis to lift up, bending the legs towards the shoulders, squeezing to roll through.

And one more time like this, stretching, keeping that squeeze, lifting up through the trunk, bending the leg, squeezing, rolling, rolling, rolling and down. And going back to the third band again for coordination. So placing the band around the balls of my feet, pulling in and lifting up, extending the legs out, opening and closing. This is just fantastic. On the outer size, extending out, scooping, opening and closing, bending deeply and I can lower my head down. Again, extending outside, not extending my arms all the way you could if you wanted to. That works too.

You just have to make sure you don't lose traction on the band. Open and close, bending in, bending in and coming back down. Now going into rowing. Rowing can be done in a variety of ways but it's very interesting if you add little hand weights to it. So I've got two pound weights. I would really not recommend for women to do more than two pound weights. Um, it's often, even though it seems pathetic to normal gym people, one pound weights are pretty wise to start out with and sitting really nice and tall with a spine scooping and pulling the bar, the weights into the sternum. I'm rotating.

So complete external rotation here and then working from the shoulders, working from the shoulders, keeping those weights high, nodding them, letting them go low and then lifting. So it's a nice way to challenge the arms and rolling back. Shoulders are down, shoulders are down, pulling in. And one more time, lift and roll. So sometimes I will just do this movement a few times in a math class using the weights of people. Start to get that scooping, rolling feeling, but at the same time the arm work out all the way around.

Push, push, push, push, lift the powerhouse to go down and big circle up all the way around. Reach towards the feet and coming back up for the 90 degree angle so the shoulders are down, reaching long and if you have a table like me you can take the hands way back. So again, same thing. It's a nice way to get the range of movement happening in the arms. Big Lift, leaning back.

You can go all the way to the floor if you're doing it on a mat, on the floor and back. Big Circle all the way around and stretch. One more time. Big Lift, leaning back, rolling through to get all the way back. Trying to come up as much as possible in one piece and big circle back and all the way over, all the way over and lengthening down. Now making sure I'm sitting up. If someone has really tight hamstrings, I sometimes have them sit on a chair literally so that they have a chance to get there. Their spine lifting up.

So depending upon the condition of the person, you can do this with the legs straight or you can do this literally sitting in a chair. Very nice to start to get those arms and chest and back nice and long and then stretching out a little bit more awkward if you're doing it in a chair or come back to the traditional position which is here, sliding out, lifting up all the way down. One more time, sliding out, lifting up all the way down and shaving, shaving again, easily done in a sitting position and working up and down. I personally like to work the elbows wide. You can have more of a focus with the elbows, more forward in the shoulders down this way, sitting someone against the wall, amazing and changing the whole chest and then working the arms together, broad back, working those arms, working the chest, keeping the spine long, keeping the shoulders down. Very nice to get the arms to work. Now after this, I like to sometimes work with chest pulling on the straps, but working with a band or the Sarah band behind.

So if I click case, the band behind I have my arms are really long. Pull the band a little bit and lift. So it's a nice way to get the upper back and shoulders to engage. Shoulders down, pull the band apart and lift. And one more time. Pull the band down, broaden the shoulders and lift.

And I take the same principle with the band and the arms sideways. So I extend and lift and bend the arms a bit, extend them to the side so they're the t shape and lift. And I watch the hands. Don't plot and down. One more time. Extend the arms to the side and lift and come back down. Coming into child's pose, I have a nice little stretch here, working everything out and coming back up.

A few cat cows just to loosen up the spine, loosen up the shoulders and get everything kind of feeling juicy again. And then stomach massage is just fun without anything or you can add in the band. So again, I'm placing it around my feet, making sure it covers my toes and lifting up. So I have a nice scoop and from here just pressing out, looking to keep the scoop. So it's possible to do this just with the hands on the floor as well. So you press and you press and you press and you press.

Then coming back for flat back. Another way to work this is with the legs down so you have a chance to have a slightly different quality, easier to get the spine lifted and the trunk state and actually to start to stimulate the legs so you can add point the feet flexor feet, press point, the feet, flex the feet. One more time, press point, the feet flex the feet come back in and I always, if I'm on the Mat, I let people have a lovely little stretch. And then if you have advanced students and you really want to work and challenge people to another level intendance stretch on the reformer. We slide back and forth. If you put your hands on either side and you have people lift, lift one leg, lift the other leg and come back down, pull the stomach into the, get a sense of really how much the pelvis has to lift up, how much they have to engage in the powerhouse and come back down again, lifting up one leg and the other leg and come back down.

The other way this is can be worked is coming forward. One leg goes up on light, goes up, and then both legs go up and then reversing it. One leg goes up, one leg goes up and both legs go up. And even if it's just half an inch and half an inch, and both of them come up and it just nice rolling back down and then going into the long stretch, taking the magic circle. And instead of having it between the ankles, having it above just above the knees.

So bringing the legs long. Let's see. So I'm already working my inner size, lengthening up, scooping to go down and walking out, out, out, out, out to stretch, rocking forward. So what this is doing is it's forcing me to hug my midline a lot more. Otherwise the magic circle would disappear on me and rolling up. Now I'll add a little bit into this scooping to roll down, walking out with the hands.

Magic Circle is nice and tight and again, rocking forward, rocking back, rocking forward, rocking back, and now almost going into up stretch. So I'm pressing back, lifting the hips, coming forward, lifting the chest, pressing the hips back, coming, lifting the chest, pressing the hips, going back and coming forward and lifting up. Coming back and the elephant. Whoa that Joseph [inaudible] had. You walked forward and then you walked out and then you walked forward and then you walked out and then you can reverse it. Walking in, walking back, walking in, walking back, walking in, walking back and rolling up. And just because that was then down, we're adding it.

My magic circle between the ankles, narrowing and hugging, the mid line, lifting up and going for a walk. So a lot of work in the inner thighs, just taking a walk around the room without losing the magic circle. Everybody will feel it and they'll have a good laugh at the same time. There's no way you can be vertical coming down, coming back to a seated position or maybe not sitting, standing up tall and working the arms, giving them a nice little pulse, a nice little lift. Okay.

Bringing the magic circle in towards the chest, taking the magic circle back out again, bringing it in, elbows wide, lifting the chest and taking the magic circle back out again. One more time. Lifting the chest, coming in Nice, wide elbows and coming back out and I'm bringing my arms up and pulsing and pulsing, pulsing, pulsing, and again, pulsing down. This is going to be funny, but I always say, if you do this enough, you won't need a book jar because it'll lift everything up for you. Didn't do much for me. I'm still flat chested, but I don't mind. Even if I live in California and again, lifting up and coming back down. Ah, let me see. What can we do to finish?

Usually if we're on the reformer, you do running and then you do pelvic lift. So we'll go right for pelvic lift from here. So back on my back. Just do a final massage. Magic circle is between the knees with a nice squeeze, rolling the hips up. Nice and long pressing. I'm pulling my heels toward my bottom to really engage in the hamstrings.

Rolling down, releasing again, squeezing, rolling up. Nice and law opening, squeezing again and rolling down through the spine. And one more time. Squeezing. Rolling up, lengthening out. And I can do a few pulses here just to really get the inner thighs working well and rolling down. Rolling down, rolling down, rolling down. Ah, I hope you have fun playing around with these ideas. There's really lots of can be done. You can take any exercise on the reformer, you can play around with it. You can use weights, magic circle, theraband bolster. It's all fun and games and it actually adds a level of tonalities.

I hope you really enjoy this. Thank you.


Very cool thanks for the inspiration for my Mat class today :)
Thanks Niedra for your great ideas! Not only these ones :) I only teach matwork and love "reformer on the mat" exercises to make the sessions more versatile and challenging, especially for my more advanced students...
Hi Helene and Petra, Love that you both enjoyed this class and it helps you with ideas for your teaching.
So good to hear from you Helene, glad you are enjoying Pilates Anytime.
Yes, i feel like Petra! Bringing some interesting challenges to a mat class! Thank you!
Very good! I will have to practice this a couple of times to get it right :)
Cali, practice is the secret to success and repetition is where confidence and mastery come from , so enjoy your practice, you have the right attitude
Fun moves to add to a class.
It was a lotmofmfun, and I always like Niedra's classes and teaching style. However, I do think the classes need to say in the description that they are geared more for teachers reather than an actual work out.
Thank you for this suggestion Ana, I think it is a great idea to clarify the purpose for the class, I know I do both, workout classes as well as educational workouts so I totally agree that this should be added to the class description. Thank you .
Thanks for great ideas to add to my mat classes! Always LOVE your tips ! I like variety so my classes do not get bored! I love all your classes! Thanks!
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