Class #1783

Archival Reformer Exercises

60 min - Class


Amy Taylor Alpers teaches an archival Reformer workout from footage of Romana Kryzanowska in the 1940s. The movements are more staccato than we typically move today, but it is a nice change of pace that keeps you present during the class. Amy teaches many challenging exercises like Headstand, Side Bend, and much more!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

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Hi, I'm Amy Taylor Alpers from the Pilati Center in Boulder, Colorado. And I am here with these two lovely ladies and we're going to do an archival reformer. And what I mean by that is there's an old film of Romana probably in the early forties. Um, she's maybe 20, something like that. And uh, this, this series of exercises is, you know, familiar to most of us, but with slight detail shifts and you'll see that and I'll talk you through it, all of it. Um, and there will be some exercises that you might be familiar with that we actually skip. And that's purely because they're not on the film. There's no other story there.

We're just literally copying what's on the film and bringing some of that material back so you can do this material. And what we do nowadays is kind of sometimes, oh, let's do the archival reformer or the archival rowing today, or let's do the archival of chest expansion today and not necessarily do all of them. And you also could do all of this and throw in the exercises that you also do, like pull straps and t and teaser, et cetera. Okay? So that's the only story around this. And I will give you lots of thoughts as we go along and also give you some helpful hints around safety issues and springs, et Cetera, as needed. Okay, so here we go. All right ladies, have a seat and lie down.

You're going to place your toes in the standard first footwork position, but it's going to be a little more turned out maybe than you're used to. So a little more turned out and heels lifted nice and high. And then the other thing about all of this work is that there's a little bit more of a Staccato beat, a little more of a dynamic, almost military kind of rhythm to it. All right? So not slow and me, Andrew, but really brisk, right? So we go right away, we go stretch shit out, come home, stretch out, come home. That's right. And the breath again, it's a silent black and white film. So, not all of that is on the film, but we'll just use our standard breathing. So inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, two more.

And stretch and out and stretch and good arches. Very much the same out and in just that nice, strong dynamic. Good. So inhale, exhale, and you're on. Bring your legs a little bit closer. There we go. And out and hit [inaudible]. [inaudible]. And really that dynamic actually does change things pretty quickly. Now let's come in and switch to the heels and out.

And it is very clear on this one that the toes are coming with the legs, right? So that you're trying to pull them with you and then trying to keep them there on the weight in the strong flex and up. Inhale and home to more stretch out and in and out and into the balls of the feet. This one has a little bit of pulse, so you stretch out, you drop pulse, lift, Durup, pulse lift, Durham pulse lift. Good. Now as you're doing a few more, watch your hyper extension a little bit, right? So, yeah, I think that that's also more of an issue we have nowadays.

It doesn't even show in the films, people were maybe not quite as flexible back then and down, down, up and last time down, down, up nice. And you come home, you lower your foot bar right into hundred. The only distinction of hundred is basically that you're not going to come up quite, quite as high as you might be used to. So you take a big inhale, you exhale good, strong fists around and we go into three, four, five and out. Two, three, four, five, one, two, three, four, five and out. You got it. Nice, good. Maybe a little bit lower. That's right and out too. So some, for some reason on the mat the hands are quite high, but when you have the strap it's a little bit lower and in and out. We'll do two more. We'll cut reps a little bit just because some of this new material uses a little bit more energy than you're used to. And then last one, exhale, just straight arms up, lower your legs down.

We'll go ahead and put handles in one hand to come up and drop down to two springs for our overhead. The transitions are not on the film, so we'll just use our traditional ones. Legs and arms are straight. Now this one has the most kind of choreographic issues. Okay, so we're going to start down. Let's market once for everybody to practice. You're going to come here, I'll go with Laurel. You're going to come to 90 degrees with the hips, a little bit lifted hands will come down, right? So you've come to this moment, you're going to come over, you're going to tap if the carriage ended right here or the frame, tap that frame and up. Then you're going to jack knife down you pike to this position.

Then you come to three inches and then arms and legs. So lots of little details here. So you come up to the three inch hip lift, hands come down. Then you go over tap lift and you don't want to go below the edge of the frame. Then you jack knife down to, I think of it as kind of knees over face, legs parallel to the ground. And then you come to three inches and then down. All right, one more time. You come to three inches over, tap on lift. Then you come Jack knifing down.

You come to three inches and then you lower and lower. Nice. Bend your knees to your chest and then lower your elbows to a um, coordination the head face down. You go out, it's got strong beats. One open to close, three then four, then arms out open. Close bend arms. You got it out. Open, close bend last time out, open, close, bend bad, very nice. All right. Handles in one hand.

Come on up, drop down to one spring. Now the rowing all again, have little details in them. So you're going to start, it's hard to say on the film if they're here or more here. So you can play with that a little bit, but you curl all the way back, like you know, and then you open now instead of curling, you arch the chest, you got it. Press those springs back and then lift them around and reach all the way to your toes and from your toes. You curl all the way back again. Curl all the way back and open the arms and arch your chest out. It feels lovely and lift the hands and circle around and we'll do one more and swoop it all the way through and open the arms. Chest it out.

Nice, yummy stretch. Lift those arms big and high and circle them all the way from there. Straight arms come up to sitting and then flex the elbows. As you lengthen back, look down at your feet and curl a little bit. You come sitting straight up, elbows tee years, lower the hands to 90 then turn and then curl forward.

Finish the same way, circling those arms so there's no grab and stretch. Straight arms. You come up, you flex and curl a little bit. Curl elbows nice and high, and then straight up to the ceiling, right next to your ears. Then lower and you'll still be straight at that point. And then you curl and you circle around. Let's do it one more time. Straight arms. Yes. You flex and curl back.

You sit straight up, eyes up. Then lower the arms. You're still tall. Then you turn and curl. Circle all the way around and the handles in one hand and turn and face the other way. Okay. Now this rowing, you're going to have your thumbs out nice and strong. Sitting back. The feet are kind of in what we termed the flaunt. It's like a halfway point, halfway flex. So like Barbie foot kind of, right?

So you have the toes up with the ankle but you're not sure if that's deliberate or not, but just try it. Alright, so hands bred on your side, the seams and elbows really far back. You stretch out straight. Then you turn and go down, you come up, then you budget for just a little bit and then you get to take a big nice circle here. If your shoulders can handle it and you come back, inhale out, turn and down, come up and reach and big stretch and around. Well Mar tie and it hell out. You got it. And down. Whole body goes into this spring around, hands down, round over, reach past your heels. We're all up to sitting fists. Reach forward again.

You know he was a boxer, so a lot of times it's fists round over. Reach low to your heels. Let the spring set you back up and stop a little lower. Lower. There we go. And then reach it again and around. One more time around, over and reach. Nice and low. We're all up to sitting. Less elbows, a little more chest up. You got to put your Joe on. Get your Joe on and around. Good leg. Stay straight. Flip your handles. Come to the top of your shoulder.

Straight. Arms up and down and down. All right, inhale and exhale. Nice, and last time. I'm good. Very good. Okay. Hook your handles. Step off. We're going to grab your boxes and do swan. While they're getting their boxes, I'll just describe a little bit about the distinctions of this exercise. Okay.

Big Distinction is you're going to put the foot strap around the back of your heel, makes a huge difference, and it's pretty awesome except for it's a little bit of a pain to get in and out of. So best way you're going to have your two springs put your pat on your box, so you're ready. You're gonna thread one foot through that strap and then kind of step up there and get yourself situated on your box. And then you can walk your feet back. So another distinction is the feeder on the foot bar, not the frame. Then you put the back of your hands together above your head, right? We are to way back and open the arms to the side, keeping your arch chest to the box, and then you come back art.

You try to bring the backs of your hands together and you stretch out and around over. There you go. And how way? Back in. Open the arms and exhale and inhale way back and stretch it out and around over. We'll do it one more time. Beautiful. Ladies up we go and feel how that you'll feel. I think right off the bat, if your strap is the right length, that it actually connects the whole back line of your body beautifully and enables you to go even a little farther than yours too nice. And then when you step off, you gotta kind of figure that one out. Again, nice job and come home.

But now they don't show backstroke or they show pull straps and t. So we're going to go right into backstroke. One of the distinctions on the film is that somehow the straps seem very short. So if you want to imagine shy slightly shorter straps, you can play with that. But also coming as far down your box as you can without falling off the front can help. Okay. Other than that, it's just a little bigger and again with those little dynamic stops in it.

Okay, so hands above the head carriage all the way home and knees in close and you stretch up, you open very wide. You come down to a v and then clothes and come home and you go up open very wide. Go down to the V and close, come home one more time. Up and out and down and or around and home. Beautiful. Now we're very lucky because there's no teaser handles in one hand and we'll step off, but we are going to do breaststroke and horseback. All right, so we're going to move down to one spring. You're going to get on.

The typical way if you're used to doing breaststrokes is straps in front kneecaps just off your box. But then you're going to lower your hands to the carriage and maybe a little farther back. Palms up like this. Now there's, and you can have them right on the carriage there. Ab. There you go. Now there's just one kick instead of three. So you bend the knees once and as you straight you reach through, you lift up, you are Taram. As you come down, you bend and as you straighten you reach. So it's very connected and around.

One more time and down reach and up really high and rest. Very nice. And you step off again. As with backstroke, there's no reverse. All right, so now horseback getting on the way you're used to. So switching your straps and looking one leg over. Now these are done in single circles. It's quite nice. It's very clarifying is what I find. Okay, so you're gonna start with your feet very flexed up besides the Canon.

Pretty narrow. Okay. So you sit, you sit for a second, lift your feet up higher. Yeah. And come in a little narrower. You're going to point your feet, reach your hands forward, and just stay for one sec. Get your oppositional. So you're reaching, you're reaching and you're pulling your guts back. Pull your guts back. Yes. Lift your guts up to your hands. Come up to sitting.

Flex your feet and point. Reach pulled up, got back. Lift your guts up. Sit and flex. One more time. Point. Reach out. Belly comes back. So less elbows or belly. You got it. Lift the belly.

Come up to sitting, flex and come down. Nice job handles in one hand and step off. All right, so you hook your handles are going to take your box away on your way back. Put your head rest up. Get your black pad and we'll do long stretch. The only distinction for a long stretch is that you are um, uh, gonna do it again with that nice rhythmical, get there and come home, no meandering. Right. And you can also do this exercise on top of the shoulder blocks if you would like.

So they do it in front of the shoulder blocks flat and which means you don't actually need your black pad, but we'll have it there right now. So we're going to go hand, foot, hand, foot, and you can go in front of your shoulder blocks and if you want to try one or two where you're on top of the shoulder blocks, it's actually quite nice. All right, so you go out and come home and you could be, you know, on two or one spring for this. So two is too heavy. Then I would go to one cause you want to be able to get there and come home. There you go. Nice.

Try and out and in. Good. Okay, nice. And come back down. Add a spring if you're not onto already. We're gonna do down stretch. Also very similar, but you get to go a little farther. So you get to push all the way out. Me Be so far back. Your thighs end up on the mat. Look on up the whole time and then let the springs push you through.

Inhale, push up farther. Eyes up, everybody. Stay up and exhale. Good. Watch your elbows and inhale. Push your whole body out as an exhale. Nice. Okay, pike up. We're going do up, down Combo. All in one. All right. They don't show just upstretched separately, so you're more forward over your hands to start ears between the elbows.

Exactly. You press down without moving your chest very much. Then you aren't and you get to go very low if you can. And then you go back, you curl and when you come in you bring your ribs over your hands more than you're used to and then you push down and out. You are. She had way you push it down and out and then you lift those ribs up over your hands. And let's do one more push out and our shoe push out and curl.

Lift that curl. Nice and step off. No elephant. Okay. Then we're going to do long back stretch. The distinction is that you keep your elbow straight the whole time. And on the film they alternate directions instead of doing three and then three. So we'll do that. All right, so you're gonna go hand, foot, hand, foot. Now it takes a couple tries to figure it out, but you push out to go down to go out farther to come up and in.

Now you reverse it, you're up, down and come home and then you push down out. That's it. And come up and then go up out, down and come in. Let's do one more time. So go down, go out, lift your hips and come home. Yeah. And then go out, up, down, and then come home. And it is, it is different and stuff off. Yeah. So play with that one a little bit. You've got to kind of push out to go out. So it's not just out, but then out and then farther out and then lift to come home. And then the reverse maybe makes a little more sense just cause you're already there. Okay. All right. So three each alternating each way.

Now we'll take your black pad and bring it forward. We'll do stomach massage on the film. The only show round back forward, and the distinction again is those Nice, strong beats. So you could go three, four springs, whatever you like on your carriage or on your piece, you're as close. You're much more forward, forward, much more forward. This old school, way forward, ears really between the knees, right and rounded, rounded, rounded. Pinch your tail way under and you go straight out.

Stay then lower, then lift come home. So it's got those little beats. Now Watch your hyperextension and lower and lift. Then come back home and we go out and lower and lift. Come home and out. Lower. I'm Lyft, come home one more time. Out Lower. And the main thing is is just stay for one second.

You want to hit that first one. So you go out and you have to stay here for a second. Up, up, up. Yeah. You can't set down so much. Then you go under, then you come up, then you come home. Exactly. One more time. Stay up in those feet and then lower and then lift on, come back home. And they do show it with one leg. So let's drop down to two springs. If you aren't already, put your right foot up and your left foot will thread through.

But the pattern is the same. So you go out and lower and lift and come back in. And again, just watch those hyper extension. Stay on your foot instead of hanging off it and then go out. It's a little easier to switch when you're out. We'll switch feet and then come home and stretch out and lower and lift and come on home last time. Stretch out and lower. I'm Lyft, I'm coming back home. Very nice. Good.

And then we'll step off and we'll do tendon stretch. So tendon stretch, you can bring your head forward. Um, really the distinction here is that there's a little bit of an arch so you don't go very big. Go about halfway out. You look up and then you curl and come back home. Right? So hand, foot, hand, foot. Nice. You're in a nice lifted curl, two springs. You reach down with the heels and push out and look up, and then you curl and come back home and you push out. Just watch your hyper. Yeah.

Stand on your feet instead of the backs of your knees and lift your belly up. You can lower your heels a little bit. Amia, go down into them a little bit more and then last time out and look up and then come back home. Oh, the way in. Nice. And step off. Okay, great. And now as we all love to have short spine comes next. So you'll get rid of your pad, we'll put your foot bar down, you'll stay on two springs, you're going to lie on your back, right? You'll loop your handle over your leather and put your feet through.

And now what we're going to introduce here is this prayer foot position, meaning that the souls of the feet are together like your hands would be, right. And then they're turned towards you. And there's, this is another one that has a lot of little variations in the choreography. So let's just walk, walk our way through. Now you want to have the outer sole of the feet together, but the knees narrower so that that is actually happening in your ankle and not in your hips. So you might have to play with that a little bit. It's that the feet are doing this and not so much the hip, right?

The feet are pointed towards you and we've used this. Maybe if you did the archival mat, you saw it in the seal, right? Straight legs up to the ceiling. The carriage will move a little bit. So push the carriage out a little bit. When you get to the top, you parallel and maybe push it out just a little bit farther, Amy. So it's really 90 degrees right here. Okay?

Now the carriage moved on that movement, but it doesn't move on the next. You rise straight up without moving your carriage. Okay? Then you bend your spine to bring the carriage home. Then you prayer foot back in, bend the knees and you roll down and pull the strap with you. Okay, so again, yes, you're going to keep playing with that prayer foot position, which is unusual, but it's really amazing. If you play with it for a while, you go straight up, the carriage will move a little bit and then you parallel at the top, you rise straight up. You let that cares.

Come on when that's a tricky moment for sure. And then you prayer foot back in and you roll it down. Let's do that twice more. Okay, so you go straight up, the carriage moves a little, then you parallel, you go straight up. Carriage doesn't move. You bring the carriage home by folding your spine. Yes, you bend your knees back into prayer foot at the ankle and you roll it down and you're trying to go, you're not like going crazy trying to get your knees narrow.

You're just trying to make the prayer for what happened more in the ankles. One more time. We go up and parallel rise up, bring that carriage home with your abdominals. You're going to want to do it with an emergency brake on in your legs, but you're really bending your spine. You're to prayer foot, come in and then roll it down and bring your feet down. You got it. Okay. And then take your feet out.

So that one's actually quite nice too. So there's another really good example of how we might be just doing a regular reformer, but we're going to do the archival short spine or something like that just because it's fun and it's different and it really does. It opens you up to, I dunno rethinking, maybe we can get a little bit habituated, you know, and all of a sudden these throw you a little curve ball and you've got to rethink them a bit. And they also are just really nice options to realize that. Who knows when it changed. We have no idea when it became the short spine that we're more familiar with. But all of this stuff did exist at one time and it's really fun to play with it.

Alright, so we're going to step off. We're going to do the head stands. Those are optional for you guys at home if you've done them before. Great. There's not a ton of difference here. Just again, that nice dynamic rhythm. You're going to have your head rest up. Yeah, it does. There make you very hot. Yeah. Talk about internal shower. Okay. We're going to bring our foot bar up.

Now you have the option in the head stance and this is just nice for in general that they can be done in the Pilati Zvi or parallel hip width. Typically we might've learned, I'm holding onto the back of the hand of the shoulder blocks, but on the film hands are doing more of a pushup, which actually is quite a nice option. If you've never done head stance, this might be your first choice. Then if you should try no hands, I'm going to give you the option. They're probably not going to show it, but just so you know for information, the hands would go to the sacrum in the back and then the ultimate version is you stretch that spring out. So far the hits come all the way forward, bounce onto the carriage twice and then pull back in. So there you go. Well we'll try. All right, so hand on that carriage, then foot and then other hand put your head down and then your other foot again parallel or Pilati. Zvi and you can play with both. Actually. Sometimes the parallel is a little bit nicer for some people are first learning it or maybe have a little um, concern in their low back or something. Right? So these hands are helping you find your curl. Maybe bring your head down, your head rest a little farther, like just yet. Bring it down there.

Yeah. So you're really on top of your head, right? You're not, um, on your forehead. You're on the top of your head. Watch your hyperextension. Everybody stand on your feet instead hips, two feet, curl your spine. So you push out and you would ideally keep pushing until your pelvis can come through and you can go bounce, bounce. And they do that on the film with no hands crazy. And you go out and you curl that sacrum through and you're stretching your belly. So far there's no compression and come all the way home.

And then one more time. And again, you know, if you want to try some people, if they have not very little, a imbalance in their spine, it's not that hard for them to balance and then step to the floor. All right, so in the back head stand again, plot his V or parallel hip width. You're gonna have a seat and lie down feed. Go on the foot bar and either one of those two positions, you put your hands on, your shoulder blocks, you pick your whole self up so you don't roll on your head and you get yourself up into your head stand. So you're coming out into semi-circle, you're going to take a break. Okay. All right? So you go on out and then you get to do a lower lift. If you have the range and you come home right and again it's that nice.

Get out and then lower and then come up and come home and go out and lower and lift and come home. And then you push up with your hands and curl yourself through and roll down. And I'll just give you the other hand options as well. You can put your hands on your forehead, you can cross your arms on top of the head rest or you can reach the arm straight out over and into the well. So those are, again, if you're taking your hands off. All right, now we're going to go into semi-circle. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to put some blocks in their tracks.

So we're putting in a regular stopper and then adding a little more length because the old reformers were much shorter and just like I said in that a j, uh, overhead at the very beginning, the, you used to be able to do the overhead and tap the end of the reformer. That's how short they were in the old days. We had to always have the head rest up because you literally would hit the back and you would lose two more inches if you didn't have your head rest up. So you always had to have your head rest up for this. So we're just adding some blocks into the track to make them shorter, to replicate that idea. All right, so you're going to slide up and over.

They show it both bar down and bar up, so that stays the same. The only thing again is that there's that little extra dynamics. So you go drop, literally juror up, push out, come up and come home and go drop, push out, come up and come home one more time, down and out and up and reverse. Now another thing is you'll notice the hand position, right? So many of us were taught more the side grip on the film.

They're doing this one. It's a nice option and home and maybe on the last movement when you come in, you come in and you really come home and almost bounce that carriage a little bit. They go bang, Bang, like that a little bit. There's that nice little dynamic and that pulsing thing and now you're going to slide back onto your carriages on step up. All right here we're going to learn a new, well actually let's do our chest expansion inside arms and then we'll do the new exercise cause it's very unclear where it shows up in the film so we're going to go into chest expansion. Thigh starts. You could take your blocks out of your track so you don't hit them and I think that has to do with the physics of the fact that because the frames are longer, the strap is now like three to four feet longer also and that changes the physics of things so that you have to take the block out of the track for some of these later exercises. Not totally sure. All right.

We're going to take her foot bar down. We're going to do chest expansion now. This just expansion. I love it. We do it a lot now because it seems to make in some cases for many people, a little bit more sense. Two Springs, if you have the option of slightly lighter springs, especially for women, I would try it on a slightly lighter like you know if you have bounced body springs, we'd do it often. On a red, blue. Okay. We don't have that choice here, but that's okay. You can try it on one. You just have to be, don't, don't pull too hard. Okay. So you're going to kneel facing your shoulder blocks just like you normally would. You're back a little farther back, but you don't have to hook your feet because of the mechanics of this particular version. You're going to take your wood handles instead of the leather, right? So now we're much farther back down the strap instead of being out here.

And that's part of the reason why we have to hook our hand, our feet, cause otherwise we're gonna nosedive. All right? So what we're gonna do instead is pull the arms farther back than you're used to. Lean back slightly onto your hands and then lift yourself off your hands and stay there. Look right, look left. Look Center. Return your hands. And then the carrots, right? So you pull back, you lean back slightly, but you also push yourself off.

Yeah, look, look, center and return. You got it. Pull back. Lean on, lift, look, look, center, return and straps. Last time, pull back. Lift up, look hands a little narrower fist if you can, and then come forward and nice job. All right, you're going to add a spring and we're going to do thigh stretch. Now actually, if you wanted to for this, you could even go to four springs. If you're used to doing five stretch on three, you might like four for this one, you're going to walk forward to your shoulder blocks and you're actually going to take the leather loop like a handle. Okay? You pull that next to your thighs and you do thigh stretch like that. All right, so you're taking the handles with you.

Some people would find this one quite nice. Other people struggle with it a lot so you can play. Yeah, you could. And again, again, try out a little heavier spring ultimately all the way back and arch into that spring. If you should know that you were going to do that and have long hair. I would put a pat on the spring so you don't catch your hair. Okay, good.

And this can be a nice one also to play with with your roll down bar on your Cadillac, both of those where you lean back for your chest expansion. And when you go back in your thigh stretch, it works nicely too. All right, so there's no backbend and we're going to go into sidearms. All right, so you can hook your left handle, keep your right one, turn to your right and go down to one spring. All right, so we've got a couple variations on the theme here of the sidearms as well. Um, all right, so wipe it on down. Okay, so we're gonna do, um, I'm trying to think of, okay, so we're going to just do two. You're going to be right up against your shoulder blocks.

You're going to actually have your handle in your right hand. You're going to be in the side bend position where you're leaning over to the right. Good. But your right hand, sorry to the left, but your right hand is going to be down in front of your left hand. Okay. So you're on your front shoulder block, and yet you can be on the heel of your hand or the knuckles you're gonna keep your eyes looking left. Pull up on a diagonal, kind of like you're starting a lawnmower. Pull up and out on a diagonal. Turn your head to face front, and then lift the strap back up and over your head and down to your left hand and then look right at your left hand correctly at your left hand. Pull up on a diagonal, but you're still looking at your left hand.

Then you turn and look straight front. Then you let the strap come over and you bring the hand down. Looking at your left, you pull up, you turn the head and you lift the arm and over. Bring it down. Turn the head and pull up. Turn the head lifted up and over and bring it down.

Nice job. Okay, switch hands. Your other hand can be on your hip or out to the side. All right? You're going to have a nice fist right next to your chin. You go straight arm up all the way if he can. No, and then she's like, yeah, that's not happening.

You're going to go straight arm up and then open the arms straight out to the side and bring it back and you go up and then open it actual open. You're going to open your hand and then you come fist in up and then you put it out fist in up. There you go and open the hand up nice-to-have. Okay, turn to face front, grab your other handle. They do the arm circles as well, but we're going to do a different one. We call the bicep curl. You could stay on your one spring, maybe you'll decide you want to go on two because this one you could use a little more weight on. Basically your arm starts slightly behind, you carriage at rest, you pull curl, the elbows come slightly in front of you into a little curl and then you release it back out again and then you pull curl in and you stretch it back out again and pull and stretch it back out.

And let's just do one more like that and Ho curl in on stir. I sit back out. Nice stuff. Okay, Hook your left handle and then turn to your right and we'll do these first two again. So you start in your side, bend right hand on your shoulder, block, left-hand down near your right hand, looking at your right hand, pull up on a diagonal, turn the head straight forward and then sigh. Bend over, bring the hand down, pull out one, turn the head to arm, goes three and then comes down four and pull. Turn the head tip arm comes over and down us time. Pull on, look to our CIDO over and through.

Switch hands. You go up, Oh, been in, that's right open and you get to use a little bit of that right now. Chesty chesty with pecks and shoulders. One more time. Chest, I was at three or four and we're done. Awesome. Hook your handles and step up. All right, so now let's do the side bend. All right, so side Ben is going to start a little bit like a star. Again. You can go on the lightest two springs you have, you might even consider second gear if it feels like this first moment is too tough. Same as it's going to feel like star in that same way.

So if you have that struggle and start, you might have that struggle here. Okay. This is sort of like a version of side bend like you do on the mat down on the reformer. It's quite cool. It's tricky. All right, so what we're going to do is we're going to go hand Kinda just near. So if you could cut, put a line right in the middle, right? So for saw r for star or for this, when you're going to be just this side of that halfway line, you'd take your under foot and put it by the shoulder rest or the Yup. And then the other leg goes right on top, just like star.

And your top hand is on your thigh, right? You side bend towards your arm. And now first movement is just out in, in, in the side bend. And as you go in, you slide your hand down, your leg to side bend. You even more. And then you push out gut. Now if you want to add the full Shebang, you go out, you stay out, you arch, and then you come back in, palm goes down and slides and then step backwards and we'll go the other side.

Okay, so second year or one spring. Those are some options depending on your spring's hand. Thumbs with fingers underneath foot. You go up into a, just a nice side plank. Look at your hand, side bend, go out and in twice, just in the side bend. And then if you want to try the arch, it's while you're out and then you are chop and you can look straight forward and then when you come back, palm goes down and you slide it out and then step backwards. Good. Now just be aware of a couple things here. Again, you know you have to remember to be Joe.

Yeah. Most of these exercises assume more upper body mass and power, less weight in the hips, less flexibility in the hips. All right, so for most of us as women, we're going to tend to side Ben a little bit like this. When we really want to be doing this and when this gets low, we're going to start kind of leaning on that outside of the leg. So you really want to feel like, especially if you're very flexible, like these ladies are, that you're standing on your foot more than you're hanging off the side of it or the side of the hip and that there's more power up here. So even if all you know, even if that's not your body type, imagine that you have a stockier body, that you have more upper body mass and power, less length and flexibility and less weight in the hips.

And surprisingly that actually does help, right? So in in general with all of bloodies, I think you should in a way, kind of imagine that a little bit and you'll find that the exercises make more sense. They're great because the uniformly develop most of the community of PyLadies enthusiasts because they're mostly women, right? And we actually don't have Joe's body, so we just sort of imagined Jo's body, it's going to help us. All right, so that's the side bend. They do do star on the film. If some immune has seen it, then you know that Ramana does this beautiful piece of choreography and it's quite beautiful. We're not going to do that. We're going to move on. Um, okay.

So we're going to go into corkscrew. So we're going to take the bar down. We'll still have our two springs in the old film. There's kind of three variations on corkscrew in at least two of them are done on the reformer. We're going to show one, so you're gonna lie on your back. This one's kind of the nicest, most fun one.

One of the distinctions of a lot of this work too is that they are holding the back of the reformer, the actual carriage as opposed to the handles on the shoulder blocks. So you might want to lose your straps. Yeah. And try holding the back edge of your reformer. Okay. You're going to take your legs 90 degrees, you're going to just jack knife over, not up. So you just gonna come over right and over means the feet are just a little higher than parallel to the floor.

Now what we're going to do is just circle three times the same direction. So we go to the right, we circled down around and stop. Continue. Right? So you're kind of used to maybe alternating this, but this is a nice option and good. Now twist more ladies, twist and get on your hip and then go way down. Get on your hip and then come over. Right? So big generous twists. Yes, you're holding on so you're fine. And then last one, twist and stretch. You got it.

And around and up. Beautiful. And come on down and then you can just come up to standing. Right? It's quite nice just to get to go three times in the same direction instead of always alternating. Staying in that slightly lower position in that hand grip. They all can be just a little more freedom and a little more like just possibility for range. Yeah. Yeah. And again, it is, we tend to get a little sticky in here, right? Because we are not as strong there and then tend to maybe lock down a little bit. So big chesty movements, lots of pecs, lots of ribs.

Lots of arms. Yeah. And then enjoy the fact that in your mind's eye, your lower body is lighter and less of a momentum builder. Right. And then suddenly you can actually move a little bit of peril a bit more. Yeah. Okay. So now we're going to go long box. So they're going to do rocking. There's, uh, you can do this with or without straps, without somebody to help you. There are some fancy ways to get your feet in those straps, but I'm going to, um, help Laurel get her [inaudible] straps.

And Amy's going to show without the feet and the straps. Okay. So you're going to get on like you're getting on for rocking. All right. We're just going to hook the straps over the toes. Then she can bend her knees and take hold of her arches. Right now you don't actually rock in this one.

You basically just with quite a strong dynamic, straighten your legs, you go straight and then bent and then straight, really strong. That's the way. And Ben, you can lift your knees a little bit higher so it doesn't pull you back. That's the way. Whoops. Yeah. So you want to be almost their mar and down. One more time and stretch and nice. Straighten your legs. Just kick your leg, your straps off your feet, take your arms around, lift everything up, right. And then we swim, swim, swim, swim, swim.

But what they're doing is banging their quads on the box. Right. Maybe move forward a little bit. Lossy Gill, Amar Quad on the box. Yeah. Little slower. A little bigger. Little more dynamics. Exactly. Perfect. Great. And step off. So they don't do this. [inaudible] all right. Or the grasshopper. All right, we're going to take her box and turn it short box and put it over probably over your shoulder blocks. Exactly. Two Springs. You'll have a seat.

Um, grab your pole and then climb on your box. You use your straps first, exercise round back. They show round back and flat back with again. Always a slight tweak in your thought. Um, and no side bends or, or twists or twists on hips or any of those kinds of things. Um, they do, I think at one point, maybe show around the world. I can't quite remember. But, um, at another place on the film there is a tree. So we'll do tree. It's good back a little bit. Yeah. Okay.

Round your arms and curl forward and now and bring your knees a little narrower. Okay, now they are rolling all the way back into the arch hand. Stay on the chest, go all the way back into the arch. When you get backed into the arch, then you can take the arms over to the forehead or all the way to the floor. And then the arms come back, curl chin to chest and around.

And then even here they come up to sitting flat and then you curl back and you are cit and the arms go down and over the head and curl and through. And we'll do one more and curl it back, lengthen it out, stretch it out. Nice and long. Beautiful hands. Come forward, Chin to chest. Nice. And then actually, you know on the film they don't really use the pulse. So let's actually do without the pole hands go behind the head.

Now they actually do this in quite a bit of extension. So as tall, as long as you want. And if you want to go a little extension, just be careful. Use your belly a lot and we go back. Yeah, and come back up. I can go back and come back up and we'll just do one more and way back. Soften the knees, stretch the belly instead. I'm back up. Nice job. Okay, good. Now tree is very simple. All they basically do is scoot back a little bit, bring one knee to the chest and straighten that leg up. Just take it up and hands to your ankles and then they walk on down. Ah, and they come back up. Try to touch the very top of your head to your Shin.

Hands High, elbows back. And we'll just do one more and roll it on back. Big Arch. If you want to take your hands to the floor, you can and then curl back up. Head to Shin. You can flex your foot and give yourself a little stretch right here. And then place that foot down and other foot and the leg just goes straight up. Hands to the ankle.

Round and curl. Walk yourself down. Nice big arch. Yep. Curl it back in and up. Hands High, head low. And then back down. Pull the belly in, arching your spine out. [inaudible] curl it back in. Nice job. All the way up. Head down, hands high, elbows, low back. And Bend your knee.

I know we're slippery. Knauer slippery but beautiful. Step off. Okay. Ready? Take the box away. The polar way. Sorry I made you get your pole. You couldn't use that obviously for your flap bag. Just trying to keep it as exact to the film as possible. All right, we're gonna do long spine. Okay, so you're going to take your straps, you're on your two springs, which is great. Your head rest is down. All of that stuff is the same. Um, the distinctions of the long spine here are that you actually do close the carriage maybe all the way, maybe most of the way to rise up.

Um, not on the way up. You do have the carriage clothes at that point. And I know that there's been different theories about that too. So in this case, they closed the carriage to rise and then pull out from there. Okay. So you're gonna lie on your back, head rest down. Of course. Always putting your metal to the outside if you can, if you remember to.

But also specifically not having the metal in the loop part. So you're always on the fabric, right. All right. So we're gonna straighten the legs home and we're going to rise straight up from home. Yeah. And just bring it all the way, even in more eemian and then rise up. Good and nice and high open. Again. They're going a little wider than we're used to. You can go a little wide, start your pole and roll down.

Then they come down to sort of a low V and close, bring the carriage home and then rise up. And it might be, you know, all the way home or maybe just slightly before that, but open wide roll on pole and then reach down to your v close, come home and rise up and open, um, reach shit and down and have just a little moment here before you close. Then we're going to reverse. I can't remember if they start at the bottom or top, but you were arise up nice. And then you pull on your body and your legs pull at the same time. And again, you guys try to stand more in your feet so that you're not pulling with the backs of your knees. You are standing in your feet. Stand your feet, pull your feet, pull your feet, pull your feet. Exactly. And then last time up we go. Yep.

And then pull your feet. Yeah, and I saw that's better. Beautiful. And then you can finish here and take your straps off again. I can't remember if they start or end at the top or switch at the top. I'll look that one up. Alright, now we're going to into the leg poles. Now you can move into second gear for these. Again, especially if you are taller.

Definitely we want to go into second gear for these. Um, that first moment of push is the trickiest one. And because again, most of us are women, we don't have quite the upper body mass for it. If you're struggling with that, I would move into second gear. Flip bar comes up. You're onto springs. All right? So the distinction of the leg poles on the archival film is that there's no kicks. Okay? So you guys want to try it in first gear and see, okay, so we're going to go hand, foot, hand, foot, and we'll find out pretty quickly. Yeah. All right. Now all you're doing is a nice big open the carriage, right?

So we go open the carriage and close the carriage and open the garish and close the carriage and open it and close it. Good. And then you can bring it home and step to the floor. Now for the reverse, technically Romano would say you would come back home to first gear for the reverse. But we find that again, for a lot of women it's still nicer and second gear, very much like that chest expansion we did where you actually, instead of starting way here and having to pull, you get to start here and push back. And here, a lot of times we're going to start like this and not be able to get decent leverage. So we're going to end up here. So if we can get ourselves placed so that we can move this, this way, we'll be happier. All right, so if you want to try it in first gear, we'll try it. So you go opposite hand and then arch again, no kicks on the film. It's just the arm movement. But you've got to watch your hyper extension. Pinch and tuck under a little bit. Yes, yes.

And then you push back, right? Push back and come up. And those hips are in an ideal world. They're way up there. Yes. Ah No. Let's move. Let's try it. Sorry, I let go. You're too fast. So Watch your hyper extension. You got Pinch your button steady. Yes. Right. So that's the thing about the hyper extension. You if, if you're in the high verse engine is be really hard to find your power.

So you know, I would even bend the knees pins about a little bit and then chest it out. Yes. And you can push, push and go almost a straight and get your power. So you might even try one spring. And again, if you do have options, like I said on the balance body you or red blue and that'll help you a little bit. So that is a really hard movement for all of us. 95% of us are women who are doing this. So trying to get those shoulders back and not be sucked under by that spring is really hard.

So you want to play with it and see if you can't finagle up position second gear or different springs, et cetera. Maybe somebody gives you a little help to get you going. Okay. All right. Nice job. All right, so now we're going to do knee stretches, both directions, knee down and up. So we have our two springs or back in first gear. Head rest is up so it doesn't bang around. Okay. What's nice is that it's much lower.

So you get way down here. You get your head and weighed down here and then you push out from there. You go out and you come home and out and come home and each time you come home, get your hips lower. I can get your hips lower. Yeah. And think about how you actually not on your knees. You're on your feet again. You're on your feet. Exactly.

And on your feet and on your feet and you're going to stay in and you're going to arch your back and you're going to be really low. Stay on your feet and use your inner thighs a little bit more so they're not wide. Yeah. Get even low or any get down. Yes, exactly. It's way down. You could get lower. Yeah. Down there without hanging in your shoulder girdle though. Stand on your feet and your hands stand on your feet and your hands. Right. As opposed to hanging in the middle.

You could arch a little bit more here out and come in last time out and then we're going around and go into knees off. Contrary to how Armando would tell us later in the 80s where the shoulder girl had to come over the foot bar. They're actually staying way back and down and just lifting from back there and coming in and out and trying to find your tail curl so it's not your knees, it's your back, your back curls, your back girls. I know it's hard and we're tired and we're going to take a moment, have a seat and lie down. Maybe at a Springer too for your running. If you're totally, you know, you've been working at Man, you might just go three springs at this point. Um, ultimately four, if you can parallel running as the same, you stretch it out and then you go switch chance with chance, which is one thing is that it's much faster than many of us are used to.

It actually should always have been faster. Motto was always like, it's running, not walking or the characters are slower than, I'll just stand here. I'll put my Joe on its right. Good. And then that's right up, down, up, down, up, down, up, up, up, up like that. Now we're dating and come home and step up. Okay. Whew. It's getting crazy over here. All right, so we've got a couple um, split choices. All right, so the splits that you're familiar with, the regular front splits or front splits with control, if you know those, some of those are in the film. Often there's just a little variation as we've seen with so many things, he's often got them maybe using a Gondola pole for balance.

One in one hand, maybe sometimes one in both hands for a little balance. There's an old picture where he even had like a side rail to one of the reformers that he was using, so he was aware of the safety stuff. So don't be cavalier about it. All right? So what we're going to do is a little bit of a, like the Russian splits, but with straight legs. Okay? So you're going to step onto your carriage facing your shoulder blocks.

Technically the foot goes to the foot bar first, but for some people who have knee issues or whatever, that can be a problem. Now this is done with a bar up and with the bar down so you can see now, right? It would be nice maybe to have a gone to loophole. So we have straight arms and I'm just going to be here just in case. All right, so hands can be side, they can be behind the head, they can be on the hips and you're just doing a big grand day split. They do. And Vermont is very flexible.

She goes all the way down and all the way back up. So just know there's no end range other than your own. Again, no hyperextension stand on your feet instead of your knees and calves and push them apart and come back home. Nice. And then let's switch hands to shoulder, block, back, foot down, front foot back and then to your head, rest and then straight knees, no hyper extension. That's tricky, right? So you're going to push that front foot out and you use the back foot for power. So you're splitting the legs as opposed to standing on one leg and moving the other.

You're spooning the legs really powerfully and pulling them back. And then one more time. You can see it's a little trickier than the Russian where you get to bend the knees and maybe even hold the shoulder blocks. All right? Then you come back down and you come back off and we're going to do one last one. Maybe we should've done them in the other order, but let's do a side splits now. Okay. The distinction of this side splits is, yeah, keep your head rhe your pad for your headrest, you're going to go into kind of like the Gondola position except for that this foot is not going to be spanning these two things.

It's literally going to be like bird on a perching on here and you can be right in the middle cause you're going to be on your head rest instead of in front of a shoulder block. Yeah, so you're going to heel toe out. And again, this one can be bigger, right? There's no end range other than your end range and of course the carriage some point. But ultimately I remember very clearly in the old studio, people going all the way out, bouncing, pulsing down there, and then coming back in. Now would either of you like one spring or would that be too crazy?

The thought of one spray. Okay. Yeah, right. Center over the edge. But you could imagine maybe when you do feel a little more confident that you could with one spring go farther. Right? So stay out you guys and just do a little pulse. Go pulse out, pulse out, pulse out, pulse out and come home. Nice. And then heel toe back in and then we'll step over to the why. Right or off and then turn around. Yeah. Okay.

All right. So again, you know a Gondola Pole, but again, that's not the end all either in terms of safety. So if you're trying these at home, the turnout is much more challenging than the parallel in terms of just safety specifically. You may like it better in terms of the hip range. So you go out and you get to go for broke if that's available to you. And if and when you decide to go way out and do pulses, think of the pulses as coming from your hip joint as opposed to say from your inner thighs, right? So you're actually opening the hip sockets deep in the joint, and it feels a little bit, maybe less like a muscle stretch and more like a joint massage.

And then you come on home, heel to toe massage. Heel-Toe step to your white and step to the floor. And just take a moment, ladies. This is do one nice arm circle to get organized. Again. Inhale. Um, great job.


2 people like this.
Great class! A very sweaty and variety filled class. Thank you!
Thank you for going over these variations.
2 people like this.
Thank you for another awesome archival class Amy! Some of the variations feel so good and some (side arms) are quite the challenge! Wonderful to review again and again!
Thanks Ladies. :)
2 people like this.
It was so amazing to be with the Awesome Amy Taylor Alpers and my fabulous partner in sweat Amy Havens. This workout rocked and I can't wait to practice it again soon, this time I just watched ;)
1 person likes this.
I always enjoy seeing exercises from Romana
Practicing with you today, I believe it is your *courageous teaching* workshop today. :( With you in spirit as I reviewed this archival reformer workout! Always loved this! Every time I practice with you I *hear* and therefore *feel* new things! xo
Can you detail the head stand (25:55 & 27:) please.. Benefits. Or the thoughts behind it, it was stressful to watch as I wasn't expecting it.. But I've done headstand on the floor so can understand why take it to the equipment, just would love to hear about your insight
Way to go ladies!!!
Hi Heidi. That's a big question. Just know that the headstands - especially the backwards one - are advanced exercises for clients and students who are strong, flexible and in control. The Back Headstand is a full expansion of the skills you start developing way back in simple swan on the mat, pull straps and T, etc. Ultimately they are very empowering and strengthening.
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