Class #2063

Feel-Good Reformer

65 min - Class


Play with movement in this feel good Reformer workout with Courtney Miller. She teaches many of her favorite exercises which allow freedom in motion while you work on power and precision. She also works on positive body language so you are open to receive the happiness that comes from movement.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Jump Board

About This Video

Feb 09, 2015
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Hi, guys. I'm Courtney Miller here. I'm teaching you a reformer class. It's just a feel good class. So I'm just going to choose the exercises that I love to do and hopefully you love them too.

I've started with a jump board. I have a very light spring tension on. I have one green. I just want to move. If you want to make it a little heavier, you want to feel the burn, try a red and a blue, or two reds.

If you're not on a Balance Body piece of apparatus, try two springs and play with it. I also have the headrest up in mid position. This helps me keep my ribs closed while I jump. You may need the headrest up or down. So again, make those modifications.

And let's have some fun. Lying down on our backs, shoulders snug against the shoulder blocks, arms along by the sides, collarbones are wide, feet together and parallel, pelvis is neutral. Before I jump, I'm going to press. And lift and bend and lower. And press.

And lift, bend, and lower. So I just want to wake up the muscles around my ankles and relearn the proper biomechanics of the jump. From here, I'm just gonna tap the heels and lift and I'm focusing more on drawing up through the front of my thighs, maintaining a level in neutral pelvis, and articulating through my feet than I am actually working my calves. Now, on the next one, I'm gonna keep my heels down, and try to keep them down as I come all the way in. And as I jump, I'm gonna try to get my heels to come down each time.

We're ready to move. Exhale and in. And in. Now, I'm on such a light tension that I can feel a lot of core. So my thought, my consciousness, is really wrapping those ribs, drawing my navel down towards the spine, maintaining that I have no tension in my neck or collar bones.

And here's a little trick, guys. If you are open, feeling that you are tensing in your neck, try turning your palms up. This will help you open through your collar bones. This is also a really nice position. Someone told me once, if you are feeling a little anxious, and maybe having a confrontation, if you have your palms open, you are open to receive.

It's really positive body language. So take it or leave it. Separate the feet hip distance and jump. Now, I'm making sure that my knees are tracking right over my feet, especially when my legs are apart. It takes a lot of work of my inner and outer knee to keep that alignment.

Again, articulating through the foot. I'm trying to get those heels down each time. Separating the feet the width of the board and I have the Jumpus Maximus on, so I can go quite wide. If your jump board is a little narrower, you'll have to stick with the width of the board. I'm still in parallel and exhaling to jump.

Four. Straighten your legs all the way. Sometimes we do this. But really push and point. Now, start to tailor it back in hip distance and together, using your inner thighs.

Hip distance and wide. And if your spring tension is heavier than mine, your tempo is gonna be a little quicker. Or if your jumps are smaller, your tempo might be a little quicker still. Now, I'm gonna take out that middle part and I'm just gonna go wide. And together.

Wide. And together. And I'm definitely feeling my thighs. And press. But I also feel like I'm getting a nice burst range of motion and the front of my hips are opening.

Now, one more set like this. Land with the feet together and go into external rotation, turning out from the top of the femur. Trying to keep the heels together the whole time is a lot of inner thighs. As I draw in through my inner thighs, I draw out through my pelvic floor. Palms up.

I'm open to receive. Inner thighs burning. Or palms down, whatever feels better for you. Now, adding a little bit of coordination here. I'm gonna land with one foot higher than the other and switch each time.

Now, just what I said before, make sure the legs extend all the way. Go for that length. Check in with your hips and pelvis. Are they neutral? Are they level?

Four. Three. Two. One. Come back to parallel, feet together.

Keep the jumping. Now, I'm gonna do three little jumps. One, see how my knees stay bent. Two. And three.

And one big jump. So I'm really using the muscles in my feet to push. And push. And straight legs. So if I was at the ballet barre, this is when my thighs would be shaking.

And then I go straight. Two more sets. Little. Little. Inner thighs engaged.

Little. And big. And little. Little. Little.

And big. Separate the feet. Flex the spine. Lift the head, neck, and shoulders. Now, I'll often float my hands behind my head here.

Get a little bit of cervical support. I like doing jumping in flexion 'cause I can see where my feet are landing. Four more. Three. Two.

Single leg, right leg first. In. In. In. Stay lifted right up to the tips of those shoulder blades.

Take your time. Really work to get the heel down. I'll show you what it looks like if the heel doesn't land. I'm good at it. Oh! Just pushing from my toes.

So much more work in my knee, so much more pressure in my knee, and I don't get the benefit of that eccentric lengthening through my calf. Good. Last time, each leg. Hands behind the head. Feet together.

Externally rotate. Open, together. Open, together. Get those heels to connect before they meet the jump board. Open, together, open, together.

Four. Three. Two. One. Head down, keep on jumping, breathe.

You can do it. Turn the knees to one side. Toes to one side. Five. Keep those inner thighs connected.

Three. Two. And switch. So actually, more than my thighs, although I feel them for sure, I feel my feet, the deep intrinsic muscles of my feet. That makes me happy.

Now, turn side to side. And turn. And turn. And rotate. I'm trying to keep my hips down and level and initiate this movement from my femur in my hip socket.

Now, come back to center, and like I'm jumping over a pebble, I'm landing on one side of the jump board, then the other. What I'm not doing is rotating anymore. I'm staying in parallel. For five. Four.

Three. Two. Coming back to center. And jump. Lift the head, neck, and shoulders.

Going back to our single leg, this time adding an oblique twist, center, twist, center, twist, center. Center. Center. The bigger you jump, the more time you have to get here. Four.

Three. Two. One. Come to center. Last three.

Lift a little higher, two. And one. Bring it down, good. Rock the knees from side to side, reach back, and grab your straps. Now, remember I had a green on.

So I'm not gonna adjust my springs. If you had anything heavier than one green and one blue, you might want to reduce the tension now. Taking the hands right over the shoulders, set the shoulders down the back, tabletop the legs. Inhale to get ready. Easy lift.

And exhale. And down. Now, there's a sequence here, and the breath does start the movement. But before the arms start to do this, my shoulders have to do this. So here I was, down.

And see if you can feel that in your own body. Now, adding the leg extension, if you choose. After all of those jumps, the hips are pretty engaged, to say the least. So if you feel that when you add the extension of the legs, you no longer feel the abdominals because the legs are dominating, might be a better modification to keep the knees bent. One more here.

And take it down. Open the arms to a letter T. Exhale, draw the arms in, flip the palms down, inhale, lift. Take it to a letter T, draw the arms in, flip the palms down, lift. Now that you know it, flow.

Draw it in and up. And up. To advance this exercise, lift the head. Open, scoop, flip the palms. Open, scoop.

Open, scoop. Last time this direction. Open. Carriage stays still as I go from the T to the sky. Open, scoop.

Eyes just at the knees. Work to lift a little higher with each breath out. And scoop. One more. And hold.

Single leg stretch. 10. Nine. Eight. Seven.

Six, push with those arms. Five. Four. Three. Two.

One. Arms up, head down. Rest the feet, rock the knees from side to side. Release any tension. Hook up those straps, preparing for some side jumps.

So from here, I'm gonna lie on my side. Headrest is gonna go in the down position because I'm not actually lying completely on my head. Taking the elbow onto the headrest, holding onto the shoulder block, and coming into my lounge position. Keeping the hips stacked, the space between the ribs and the hips and lifted from underneath. Top hand onto the carriage, or onto the shoulder block.

Top leg in line with the hip. Don't worry about that bottom leg. It's out of the way. Jump. And jump.

Now, again, I'm upright in this position, so I can see what's happening with my foot. I like that. That way I can be tough on myself, make sure I stay in good form and alignment. Form and alignment is not just important for safety, as you know. If we move with precision, then we have more to show from it, we have more results.

So if we're moving from a good place, the exercise is more effective. And that's what we're trying to get through precision is effective exercises. Turn the knee and toe up. And continue. Try to keep those hips square.

Now, as you start to fatigue, this bottom shoulder might come like this, right. And although I called the position lounge, it's not really. Think of it more of a side plank. The best position for your shoulder, here, is down and back. So your neck is long and in line with the rest of the spine.

I still haven't changed my spring. It's a green. I think it's perfect. I definitely feel it. Adding parallel and turnout.

Parallel and turnout. When I rotate my leg, it's from the top of the femur. So my knee will travel over my foot if I turn out from here. Parallel and turnout. One more each.

Parallel and turnout. Good, come all the way in. Now, I still have that green spring on, which is not light for this next series. But I believe you can do it. So here I am, pressing out with both my legs.

I may need to readjust a little bit and that's okay. The top leg is gonna come in, foot's gonna come into the loop, and then the bottom leg can come in to meet. Now, ideally, I'm gonna have the strap in line with my patella. But I'm raised up a little bit here, right. I'm not side lying.

So in this particular exercise, it's gonna go under the knee as I press. And inhale, resist back in. Now, I often like to think of the jump board as precision, or excuse me, power, and I like to think of the straps as precision. But with this last series, the resistance on the jumping was a little bit on the lighter side, and I was really focusing on articulation through my foot, where the strap right now feels like it's a little on the heavier side. So for me, this is the power part, and the jumping is the precision.

Think about it when you do it at home. Now, I'm gonna mimic the jump board pattern and go into external rotation. Again, working to keep my hips square. I'm trying to keep my heel on the same plane. I don't want my heel to go up or down.

I want it to roll, like a rolling pin, along an imaginary countertop. And I've got three more here. Two. And one. Bend the knee in, take the foot out of the strap.

From here, I'm gonna come up to a seated position and just give myself a little bit of a break 'cause I know if I don't do this now, I'm gonna get a cramp when I go to lay on the other side. So give yourself permission, especially if you are really bringing a muscle to fatigue, to go ahead and stretch before going to the other side. So here we go. We'll jump first. Place the elbow.

Find the position. I'm trying to stay lifted, stay long through my neck. Bottom leg out of the way, top foot hip height, and I press away. This is a nice modification. It's a nice variation to be up like this.

I like it because I can really feel how I'm recruiting my back and my shoulder and my obliques to stabilize my spine. Inhale. And exhale. Just make sure you don't lose the position of the shoulder, which looks like that. If you feel the shoulder block touching your armpit, you've probably just sank a little bit.

So lift up and out of your joints. Try going into the external rotation. This is a beautiful time to notice if there's any asymmetries in the body. Is this hip a little tighter? Maybe.

Is this leg a little stronger? Possibly. Five. Four. Three.

Two. Put them together. Land in parallel. And turnout. And parallel.

And turnout. Right from here. Parallel. Turnout. Parallel.

Turnout. Without moving those hips. Four. Three. Two.

One. And come all the way in. Grabbing ahold of that strap, adjusting as necessary. Bottom leg can help support as the top leg goes in. Already feeling it in my glutes.

Stay lifted. Lift the leg, parallel press, and resist. So as I press, I'm really trying to stay active through my heel. That's gonna better help me engage through my glutes. Five.

Four. Three. Two. And one. Turnout.

And press. Really keeping my heel along the same level. So not up and down, just in and out. Five. Four.

Three, stay with it. Two. And one. Bring it in. Put out the fire, take the foot out, and help yourself come up to a seated stretch so we can keep going with all the great exercises.

Figure four, flex. And lengthen to come all the way up. Now from here, I'm gonna remove the jump board. I've done a nice warmup with my lower body and now I want to use the foot bar for some fun exercises. So take your time as you remove your jump board.

I'm gonna leave the same spring tension on and move the bar to high bar position. Lock it in. Now, after all that jumping, I just want to open up my hips a little bit. So foot onto the floor, foot against the shoulder blocks. Bend into it, chest lifted.

To intensify, go ahead and lift that back knee up. Enjoy a hip stretch as you pull your hip back and try to square out the pelvis. Now, adding a little dynamic movement here, I'll come up to my plank position, single leg. Enjoy it. Second step, come into a pike position.

And there's my reward. Third step, come in to a cross and take it back. So now that we know the three that we're doing, let's flow. And down. And down.

And down. Repeat. Scoop. And lift. And twist.

And repeat. Scoop. Lift. Twist, last set. Up.

Round. Hold. Place the foot. Recollect yourself. Rotate.

I put my hand in the center of the bar, guys. Rotate on your standing leg, getting ready to open it up. Okay. Outside leg lifts, press the carriage out, kick the leg forward and back. Open the hip.

And back. And back. Kick. And back. Two more, just allowing some freedom of motion.

Back. Stay lifted through those obliques. Take your time as you rotate back through. Place the foot. Get a little low here.

Bend both knees. Back leg pushes. And I take this as a second just to kind of find my center again. Four. Three.

Two. And one. Now, before I go to the other side, step feet together. Let's walk them back towards the headrest. They're together, so my feet are not on the shoulder blocks.

Hold on, releve, press the carriage out. Inhale, push back. Exhale. Inhale, push. And exhale.

Now, the tension is loaded. It's a green. So I'm actually working harder to push myself back than I am to pull myself forward. So I'm really working those shoulders and my postural muscles to hold the shape. Last two.

And one more here. Hips come up. Now, just to give my hip a little open on that leg that I was working, roll into an arabesque. Scoop the belly in. Lengthen the spine.

Now, my knee is bent. You can extend to a straight leg. But I'm just really trying to open through my hip here, getting a nice stretch through the psoas, so the front of my hip. Four. Three.

Two. And one. Similar to three-legged dog, tap the headrest, kick. Five times, two. Three.

Four. And five. Place it down and get ready for the other side. So a nice hip opening series. Bend.

This is where it all started, if you remember, in this place of ease and happiness. They all make us happy though, don't they? That's why we're doing it. So bend into that front knee. This was position one.

From here, I'm up. And go back to where I was. This is always gonna be my home base. Here, scoop and pike. And back.

And now, cross. Elbow to knee. Let's flow, here we go. Up and down. Pike and down.

Twist and down. Good. Up and down. Twist. Now, as I go into that plank, abs in, drop the head, twist from the ribs.

Abs in. Round the whole spine. Twist from the ribs. Three. Twist.

Two. Twist. And one. Up. Twist, place it down.

Take my time. Hand goes to the center. I reorganize my foot, preparing to come into my star. Press the carriage out, lift the leg. Reach overhead as the leg kicks forward.

And up. Reach behind. Up. Stabilize from your back. Kick, up, back.

One more each, guys. Kick and back. Place the foot. Rotate. Get low.

And just press with that back leg. Set the shoulders. Allow the wrists and the shoulders to release. Four. Three.

Two. One. Come on up. Lift the heel, place it. Let's do our planks first, guys.

Releve, step back, press it out. Okay, so second set of these. If you'd like to spice it a little bit, one pushup, okay. But I call this my feel good class and I don't really like pushups. But I'll do them for you.

If you're doing them, I'll do them. Inhale, back. Forward. Down and up. Two more.

Back, forward. Down and up. One more. Back, forward. Down and up.

Hips up. Okay, over and done with. Now, we can lift the heel. Roll the hip open, lengthen the spine. Inhale.

Remember, if you want to extend the leg straight, you can. The reason I'm doing these exercises is I have tight hips. So for me, shortening the lever with a bent knee really helps me to get the essence of this exercise, which is opening from the hip. Four. Three.

Shoulders are square, hips are rotated. Two. And one. Square. Tap and kick.

Five. Four. Three. Two. And one.

Take it down. So from here, take a stretch, and I lean back. Now, I can do this because my foot bar is locked in. So if you have a different foot bar that doesn't lock, choose a different stretch. I'll do this because it decompressed my wrists and I can feel the stretch all the way through my lats.

Let's stay here for a second. Inhale into a flat back. And exhale, round back. Two more, inhale. Even bend those knees if you need to get that pelvis to articulate.

And exhale. Inhale into a flat back. And exhale. Into a round back. Good, step off to one side.

Reduce the spring tension. I'm putting a blue on. A lot of people like to do tendon stretch on a red. It's more resistance. It's a different feeling.

So on a blue, you have to work hard to pull yourself back up. On a heavier spring, you have to work harder to push yourself through. So play with it. And if this exercise has a fear factor for you, which it often does for some people, choose a more supportive resistance. I'm also gonna leave the bar in high position just for a little different sensation for the biomechanics.

So here I am sitting. My heels are hanging off the back and I'm choosing this exercise 'cause I actually really like the stretch part. So squeeze your fingertips. It's a beautiful sunset right now, guys. I wish you could see it.

Squeeze your fingertips, chest is open, lift the hips, forward fold. So I'm pulling my forehead towards my knees and my abdominals in and up. Now, I've got to squeeze the bar with all five of my fingers, keep my arms and knees straight, inhale as my body sweeps through my arms. This is as far as I'm gonna go, even though, technically, I could keep going. Okay, the essence of the exercise is to go right to here.

Exhale to come back up. So it's a controlled motion in both directions. Let's flow. Inhale. Inhale.

Inhale. Two more. One more. Inhale as you sweep through. Bend the knees a little.

Bend the elbows. Five chest-opening tricep dips. Three. Two. One.

Finish how you started. And bend the knees and take a seat. Good job. All right. So we're gonna keep moving the body in this direction.

I'll add a few more springs on. In fact, all of them to stabilize my carriage. My foot bar will go down in the flat position and my safety foot strap will come up and available for the next series, short box. So grab ahold of your box. And place it onto the reformer.

Depending on the type of reformer you have and the length of your body, you may have the short box over the shoulder blocks versus in front. I'll show you what's best in a second. I'll take a seated position on the box. So my feet are gonna go under the safety strap. Now, on some reformers and for some exercises, your feet will press right up against the foot bar.

So I have a tight locking sensation in my heels. You'll notice there's a lot of space behind me to roll back. Depending on the series, I may want to be more in this position without about a hand's width behind my sacrum. And I'm gonna do both today. But where you don't want to be on this box is here, where you have nothing to roll back onto.

So make sure you adjust yours accordingly. My series is gonna start here. So sitting tall. Sometimes I'll even press into the box to find it. Roll the shoulders down the back.

Arms forward. Nod from the neck. So exhale, roll from the pelvis, press into the feet, eyes forward. Inhale, lift, rotate, and open. Take it down and flex forward.

Let's repeat. Roll back. Inhale, lift, rotate, and open. Take it up. And repeat.

Next time, two rotates. Roll, lift, one. And two. And flex, scoop. And up.

Roll back. And one. Two. And flex, scoop, and up. Next time, three.

Now, if you had a light weight in your hand, you're gonna get a little more delt work, although I definitely feel my arms working here 'cause I'm resisting them through air. And I'm coming up. And rolling. And it just feels so great on my back. Lift.

As I twist, I think about detoxifying as I'm working my abs and coming all the way back up and all the way to where I started. Now, I'm gonna move back to that second position and you'll see why in a moment. My feet are still hooked around the safety strap and my feet are flexed in dorsiflexion so that I don't lose the position. I'll begin by reaching my arms straight forward. At home, guys, make sure you have a hand's width behind you.

You need something for your sacrum to roll back on. As I exhale, I start to roll back, except this time, I'm not gonna stop at that half rollback position. I'm gonna keep going. And back. Inhale, lift the arms, tuck the chin.

Exhale to go all the way over. Inhale to rebut. Inhale. Exhale, roll. As I go back, I'm still reaching forward in resistance.

And everything goes back. And I could just stay here, honestly. This really is the happy class. We can just chill for a second. It feels so good.

Lift the arms, tuck the chin, exhale. I'm trying to get my ribcage to glide down over my organs and towards my hips. Come out of that. Try one more with me. So I roll back.

Now, of course, if going all the way back doesn't feel right for you, then you can hold this position as we go back. Lift the arms, tuck the chin, exhale. Not just lifting from the hips, but really working to get that mobility. Now, speaking of mobility, let's add on a little bit here. So roll back.

And reach. Now, from here, I'm gonna take my hands to the sides of the rails, so close to underneath my shoulders, and I'm gonna take my feet out 'cause I've got my hands on. I'm not gonna go anywhere. I'm gonna press down through my heels, lift my hips up into a high bridge position. And take it back down.

Now, I'm gonna do that two more times. Be careful that your knees don't open too wide. Hug the midline. Exhale, lift. Pulling your heels towards your head here.

And resist. And one more time, inhale. And exhale, up. Now, you could go into some fun single-leg variations here. Inhale.

And exhale. Now, to come back up, extend your legs long, tuck your chin, use the abdominals you just worked, flex forward, and come all the way up. Good. And let's go for another chest-opening tricep series. So step your feet forward.

Lift the hips up, eye line forward. We press it for five. Four. Three. Two.

And one. Nice, take a seat. And now, to bend your spine in the opposite direction, flex forward, forehead to the knees. If you can reach that foot bar, go for it. Scoop the belly in and back.

And slowly roll all the way up. I don't know about you, but my hips are feeling lovely. So let's keep the short box on. Safety strap can go out of the way. We won't need it.

Mid bar position locked in. And for this next series, I'm gonna go back to my original tension, which, again, remember, was one green. So find the equivalent for you. And taking the hands to the foot bar and stepping onto the carriage. So I'm using the box here to push against.

So I'm gonna lift my heel up, right foot, heel against the box. Left foot onto the gray platform. And I'm gonna get low here. So I'm in a nice low lunge. Shoulders down the back.

Bend the back knee in and press. Great hip extensor work. Eccentric quads and nice little hold here, isometric, through my left leg. Now, if you want to add a little bit on, hands to the thigh, or why not go for the big shebang? Up.

Five more. Two. One. Hands down, straighten both legs. Now, think about pressing evenly through both legs.

I like to really work on pushing and pulling. So the pushing is my right hip forward. The pulling is the meaty part of my hamstring backwards in space. And up, lift. Two more.

And up. One more. And up. Bend it in. Take your time.

And switch legs. So push with the back leg, bend into the front leg, set the shoulders, in and out. Remember, our bodies are not the same left to right. So take your time. We're not in any rush.

Maybe on this side, you don't lift the hands. It feels less stable. Perhaps you stay right on the thigh, or if you're going into the full expression, arms are up, chest is open. Pressing for five. Four, posterior tilt in the pelvis.

Three. Two. And one. Arms go down. Both legs straight.

Press back and just pause for a moment. This time, I'm trying to draw my left hip forward and I'm pulling the meaty part of my hamstring, my hip extensors, on my right leg back. And easy lift. Two more. And one more.

And I'm up. Good. All I need to do from here is pivot the box from short to long. And I'm also gonna reduce the tension. I'm taking my tension to a single red.

So it's just a little bit lighter. I could probably do that last, this exercise on that last spring on a green. But this is my feel good class, so I'm gonna do it on a red. Play with the tension that feels right for you. So we didn't do a ton of supine abdominals in the beginning of our session.

So let's get some of that work in now, maybe with a slightly different emphasis. Hands on straps, sitting towards the first 1/3 of the box. Breathe in. Exhale as you roll back. To the tips of the shoulders.

Legs come up one at a time. Now, reach arms overhead and resist. This might be your groove. To add on, extend the legs. Four more here, four.

Three. Two. And one. Bring it in. Hug the knees.

Head back, if that feels good for you. Nod the chin, roll back up. Tailbone heavy. Hands back to the sides, leg tabletop, to the side. One.

Two. Three. If you're feeling like the timing is right, go for those legs. Five like this, one. Hug the midline.

Two. Three. Four. And five. And down.

Hug the legs. And if it's feeling good for you, drop the head back. Tuck the chin and help yourself come on up to a seated position. Now, I'll move more to the center of the box for this next one, but I still need box behind me. Arms extended long.

Inhale to grow tall. Roll back. Exhale. One arm low, one arm high. So really focusing on strong back body here, in particular, a very weak area for a lot of us, the posterior delts.

And scoop. One more each side. Looking towards the lower hand. And back. Hold the position, flex over the thighs.

Nice, shoulders are feeling good. Flip the palms up. Inhale to prepare. Now, consider this your teaser prep 'cause there's a bigger teaser coming up soon. This is the baby.

Roll back. Open the chest, lengthen the chin, but keep the lumbar spine scooped. One at a time, the legs come up, so I can maintain stability as I go into bicep curls. And pull. Now, I'm really focusing on knitting those ribs, keeping length through my thoracic spine, shoulder blades down, and of course maintaining my balance.

Last three. Elbows are up. Two. And one. And flex forward.

Now, just a wee little break here as I do a transition. So coming off to one side. If you have that heavier spring on, reduce it now to either one red or one blue. Coming into some extension. Love it.

Take the hands onto the corners of the box. Now, I've done a lot of testing to find the best way to get into this position and I really do feel this is it. But if you have a more creative way, then you can go for it too. But here I have my hands on the corner. One hip over, then the other.

Easy breezy, chest off the box, knees bent, ankles crossed. Now, I'm in extension already here. I can use my hands to help find that thoracic extension. Neck long. I take my hands to the width of the wooden rails and higher than the box, as I reach and bend.

And bend. And bend. As my arms reach overhead, I'm thinking shoulders down my back, biceps by my ears. Not shoulders by my ears, biceps. For four.

Neck long. No tension, three. I'm strong enough to do this. I don't need to strain my neck. Two.

And one. That's your mantra. Take the hands around. Uncross the ankles. Hold onto them.

Now, if you're having trouble reaching your ankles, try one at a time. I draw my legs a little closer together so that I get more of a stretch through my IT. Press my feet into my hands, my hands into my feet. Chest lifts, thighs lift. Chest.

Thighs. Four more. That one's hard. I can't talk through it. But we made it.

Okay, so here we go, hands onto the corners. Now, just a little trick here. You'll see my feet fiddling from underneath, right? You have to get under those straps so that you can sit straddle. Voila.

So here it is, the big teaser that I told you was coming. Sitting towards the first 1/3 of the box. Double check and make sure you've got that room behind you. Hands are in the straps. Go ahead, take your time, roll back.

Legs are extended long, arms are open. Now, in this position, I'm allowing my upper body to hang. It feels quite amazing. My legs are engaged and together. Even though they look like they're resting, they're active.

Precision, nod your chin, lift your head. Begin to pull with the straps. Find your abdominal connection. Exhale, everything comes up together. Inhale, arms.

One. Can you lift your legs higher? Two. And three. The spine moves down before the legs.

Once I'm to the tips of my shoulders, then my legs can go down, my head can go down. Inhale, nod your chin. Exhale. And just the arms. Pinkies and thumbs level, one.

Lift up through that chest. Two. And three. Spine, spine, spine, spine, spine. Then legs.

And open. Can you do one more? Yes, we can do it. Nod your chin, lift your head. And take it down.

Three lifts. Dig deep for it. Two. Three. Spine.

And legs. And chest. And release. Now, if you're able to, hook your straps up onto the silver hooks. If not, drop them.

Okay, nod your chin, flex over. Then back the other way. That was awesome. Okay, so it can't be one of my feel good classes if I don't do this next series. And I'm gonna leave the tension the same.

My recommendation would be one red or one blue. Hand, hand, knee, knee. I gotta do it. I love it. Okay.

So I walk my knees a little over to the right side, so that when I'm doing the full exercise, my knee that's holding me up is centered between my hands. Then I can take my foot to the ground and place my foot in the loop, so that it is closer to my heel and to my toes. And often, I'll take a second just to regroup. Knuckles point forward, shoulders down the back. Let's do a cat.

And long. One more time. This is not what you're gonna do during the exercise. So instead of this cat cow, you're gonna hold it. Reach it.

Spine doesn't move. 10. Take your time. Nine. Leg a pendulum.

Eight. Good. Seven. Stay long, rib to hip, or hip to armpit, whatever is a good image to you. Avoid cinching during this exercise.

Disassociate the leg with everything else. Two. And one. Open it a little bit wide and down. Try that again.

Way more obliques. Three more. Good. Two. Nice.

One. And bring it in. Now, the foot will come out of the loop. However, the exercise isn't done. I can either hold onto the taped part of the rope, or the rope, or I can hold onto the loop itself.

If I hold onto the loop itself, it's lighter. I've made my choice. Elbow up. Exhale. 10.

Nine. Stabilizing, elbows soft, okay. So that shoulder is down your back. This is six. Every time I reach my arm long, I reach the crown of the head forward.

Three. And draw my navel in more. Two. And one. And take it down.

Good. Relax. Regroup. And repeat. So walk the knees over to the other side.

Shoulders down the back, plant the foot. Here it is. So my foot goes in the loop. Hands are on. Place the knee for a second.

Belly scoops. And long. And scoop. Long. Hold the position, leg goes down.

10 times. Why do we do 10 of these and only eight of everything else? 'Cause I like these and it's my feel good class. So we do more. Inhale and exhale.

Halfway point. Five. Four. No cinching, find that stability. Three.

Two. Ready to fire into those obliques. One, it starts off the same. Pull, hold. Open a little and down.

Keep those hips right behind your shoulders. Down. Down. Two more. Lift, open, and down.

Lift, open, and down. Now, could you reverse those circles? No, it's too hard. No, you can. It is harder, though.

Okay, so here we go. Grab the same grip that you had on the other side and press. Now, you can see better on this side how important it is for me to keep my elbows soft on my stabilizing arm. Bad elbow, bad shoulder. Much better.

Abs draw in as my arm goes back. Crown of the head lengthens. Three. Two. Lift sternum up.

Shoulder blades should be flat on your back. One. Good, breathe it out. Come into prone. Now from here, I'm gonna start to walk my hands forward.

And walk, and walk, and walk. And on. Legs are long. Chest is a little lifted. Exhale as I pull.

Inhale to reach. Now, I'm gonna give you a little warning, okay, guys? If your tension is too heavy, you will slide off of the box. Focus more on precision, less on power. For me, this is not about my biceps.

For me, this is about my shoulder girdle and maintaining this little bit of thoracic extension as I focus on cervical length. Really, if I had to be quite honest, I'm thinking of a cartoon turtle, and as I pull my chest forward, my turtle lengthens out of my shell right about here. And back. Little insight into what is happening in my head. Three more.

My elbows are just slightly wide in scaption, about 45 degrees. So there's no tension at all in my neck. Two. And one. Now, get out of here with the same grace that you came in.

Walk, walk, walk, walk. Let's straddle sit. And flex the spine in the opposite direction. Breathe in. Let those shoulders roll down and back.

And lengthen to come up. Good, let's take the box off. We're almost done. I feel great. I hope you guys feel good.

My back, my hips, my shoulders, they feel good. My abs too. Okay. So... Mid bar position.

Going full circle. One green spring on, where we started. Step, step. Now from here, I'm gonna take one foot back, one foot forward, like I did before, except the foot that's back is gonna pivot. So I'm in external rotation on my back foot, pressing into the outer edge of my foot.

Check it out, guys, in case you missed it. So here's like a crescent position, and then I come to the toes, flat foot. My shin is against the foot bar. This gives me a nice solid foundation and proprioception of where I should be. And as gracefully as I can, I windmill up.

Looking over my forward arm, sinking deeper into my hips. Scoop the belly under, ribs stacked right over the hips. I press with my front leg. And resist. And press.

And resist. Four. Strong warrior position. Three. Two.

And one. Windmill the arms. Pivot, place the foot back to where it was. Leg up. Pulse the leg.

10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Switch sides. Really nice exercise. Heel lifts, foot on. Bend, pivot.

So you can see it again. There to there. Bend into that front knee. As gracefully as you can, windmill the arms up. Yeah.

Reach through the arms. Scoop the belly. Contract this space to this space. Keep your ribs right over your hips. Let the inner thighs open.

Solid through the arms. Inhale, press. Exhale. Inhale. Bringing a little zen to your practice.

Press. Are your glutes engaged? They should be. Four. Three.

Two more. Two. And one. And as gracefully as you came in, you come out. And the foot goes back.

Just to reset. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And take it down. Now, the last two exercises we're gonna do together are all about mobilizing the spine. And really, everything that we did up to this point supports that.

We got the body warm. We opened up the hips. We created proprioception. We got everything lubricated. So let's challenge it.

I have a medium tension on, one red, one blue. Low bar position locked in. We're gonna do a little bridge, semicircle inversion series. Sounds fun. Lie down.

Making sure your headrest is in the down position. Nothing underneath the head. Now, I'm gonna begin this series quite a ways a way from the shoulder blocks, but I'll be moving a lot more in a second. Hand, hand, foot, foot. Now, it's a medium tension.

I'm still gonna have to work to keep my heels and my seat pointed towards each other. Scoop. Lift. Inhale. Halfway down.

Five lifts. One. Two. Three. Four.

Stay close to those ribs. Five. Hands down and massage the spine down. Now, from here, take the hands onto the shoulder blocks. Begin to move your body down.

Just walk. That's the most graceful way I've figured out. Walk, walk, walk. Okay, so I've also changed my foot position to toes on Pilates V. Now, I just want to make a note, I'm not onto my neck.

I could lift my head, okay. But I'm not going to, it's gonna stay down. I'm onto the wider part of my shoulders. Heels together, hips are lifted, knees are open over my toes. Press out, inhale.

Ribs. Middle back. Lower back. Bend it in, scoop it up. Inhale.

And scoop it up. One more this direction. Inhale. Ribs, middle back. That's hard for me, guys.

And up. Let's reverse it. Ribs first, middle, low. Stay low. Hips, middle, ribs, bend in.

So I'm going ribs, middle, pelvis, press, pelvis, middle, ribs. Come in, one more time, middle, and pelvis. Good. Back. And up.

Come all the way in. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. And down. Oh, good, okay. From here, since my hands are back here anyways, just a little exchange onto the silver pegs for corkscrew.

Legs up to tabletop. Nice engaged abdominals. The legs extend on an exhale for this one. Inhale into the inversion. Now, just check it out, look at your knees.

Are they bent or straight? Are your legs together? Can you get your legs a little more parallel to the ground? You should be able to lift your head here. No weight onto the neck.

Without twisting in your hips like this, turn your toes to one side, roll down the center of your carriage along one side of the spine. Scoop, pause just for a second. Are you in the center of your carriage? Readjust. I'll wait.

Legs come up. And back to center. Toes to the other side. Roll down. And are you in the center?

Good, up. The exercise is inhale and exhale to lift. Inhale and exhale to lift. How are your elbows? Can you keep them a little bit wider?

Truly a massage for the spine. You know how Pilates instructors always say, this is like a massage, it should feel good. This one actually is a massage. And it should feel good. And down.

And up. One more. Roll down. And up. Roll down center.

One vertebrae at a time. Bend it in. Scoop. To finish, hands back down, head back down. Up.

Hips up. Let's just showcase how strong we've become, how open our hips are. One leg up, one leg down. Reach oppositionally. Switch.

One leg up, one leg down. Open through the front of the hips. Switch. Glutes, glutes, glutes. And reach.

One more each side. Keep the belly scooped in, chin away from the chest. Last time. Take your time. Toes over nose, roll down.

Send the legs away. Bend them in. And relax. Great work, guys. So we did a lot of hard stuff, but we did a lot of good stuff.

You should feel good. I do. I literally feel like my head is kind of floating on my shoulders. My shoulders are down my back. My spine has great mobility.

I actually got a few little adjustments in there. Hopefully you did too. It was a great workout. It got us warm. But I feel like it was a feel good workout.

And after all, that's what it's all about, isn't it? Thanks for watching, guys. Have fun and I'll see you soon. Bye.


This is eve better with my one day old tower reformer:)))))) thank you very much Courtney.
8 people like this.
I am always excited when Courtney has a new class...they never disappoint! This was the perfect way to start my day in the midst of yet another snowstorm in Boston. Thank you..awesome as always!!
Paola Maruca
Courtney is in the house..ouchhhhh (in a good way) but ouchhhh....beautiful class, awesome teaching....Thanks
4 people like this.
Absolutely LOVE your classes Courtney!! So happy to see you back on PA! Very creative and informative, can't wait to give this class a try.
3 people like this.
Love this - love how athletic and playful Courtney Miller makes her classes - always enjoy them.
Creative and challenging---Courtney!
1 person likes this.
Courtney we love u so muchhhhh!!!!
Sue-Ann H
5 people like this.
Courtney hands down is the Best Instructor!! Your instructions are precise and easy to follow. Great choreography flows smoothly and love the new exercises!! Always a fan! Wish you posted more videos frequently! Thank you for giving such great classes!! :)
3 people like this.
could you confirm what a green spring is? on a Merrithew reformer I have a blue and white which would be 3/4 spring is that the equivalent?
Creative, challenging, inspiring, and fun! Great class!
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