Hi, Chrissy and I are gonna do a workout on the Reformer. Thanks for playing with us. So we're standing just in front of the Reformer. We've got our foot bars up, they won't get in the way. Now I have one red spring attached.
Reach your arms down the sides of your body and just take a minute, maybe close your eyes. Are you gonna get all serious now? Uh-huh. Close your eyes. Feel the weight of your body on your feet.
Feel the lightness that you can gather through yourself lifting up through the spine. Feel that lightness travel out through the top of the head and just take a minute just to commit yourself to your movement for today. Now you can open your eyes and take your arms out and up. And we're gonna dive over the foot bar. And we're gonna take the hands to the Reformer.
So we're in very rounded back here. Feel weight on your heels and then start tipping the pelvis up so we pour the pelvis forward and as that happens we allow the carriage to move forward. And I'm using the foot bar kind of as a guide to reach around, like I'm trying to wrap my pelvis forward around the foot bar. And then tip the tail bone under and resist the springs coming in with front of your body. Again, tip the tailbone up bring the pelvis forward.
Reach out through the spine sending the carriage forward. Carving out through the way so your belly doesn't hangout on the foot bar and then round the spine and decelerate the springs. I'm gonna do two more. Tipping the tailbone up, we'll move a little faster now. We're gonna pause here in this long back.
Inhale, bend the elbows, bring the carriage in. And exhale, stretch the arms a feel the spine lengthen. And now round the spine and come back in. We'll do that one more time but this time we're gonna do five arms. Tip the tailbone up, stretch the body long.
Containing the ribcage but stretching the pelvis away from the bottom of the ribs, bend the elbows, inhale. With every time you straighten your arms you reach your spine a little further. Inhale then, and exhale sliding the shoulder blades away from the ears. I lied, we're only gonna three. Bend and stretch and round the spine coming all the way into the stopper as the carriage comes to the stopper we just let the hands float up.
We roll through the spine and come all the way up to standing. So let's take some time now to set up our springs for our foot work. I'm choosing to use three reds and a blue. Chrissy's not telling. Oh, I'm using three reds and a blue as well, of course.
Bone by bone we peel the spine away from the Reformer. So we have nice and high, feel weight on your feet and lift through the pelvis. Inhale, and exhale feel the head reach away from the feet. The spine travels in a long line along the Reformer as you roll all the way down to your tail bone. And inhale, feel first the imprinting of the lower spine then we start bringing the legs into play as we peel the body up.
Using this extra space that we have because of the foot bar to really take some time, rolling down, to manipulate to work through any sticky spots in the spine that you might have. We'll do two more, inhale and exhale. Curling up, pressing up, feel that the knees are reaching away, reaching past the feet. And the feet are pulling closer and then pulling so you create a sense of opposition through the legs. And taking that nice stretch through the lower spine.
Dropping the pelvis all the way down, one more. Inhale and exhale, we'll curl up. Reaching and reaching and reaching and inhale. And exhale to take it down. So what I'd like for us to do now is to turn so that your position yourself cross ways on the Reformer.
You can face this way. So basically I've set myself up so my shoulder blades are just on the end. We're gonna take the hands behind the head and hold the legs up at a table top position. From here inhale, hold the back still, or the lower back still and arch the spine over the back. And exhale curling up, getting a nice high lift in the chest.
And reaching back inhale and exhaling to lift. We're gonna do five. So really milk that up position. And lifting up three, pressing the knees together. See what pressing the knees together does to help you feel more work in your center.
Here's two. And here's one, so from the top we're gonna let the legs drift away from us. Be careful of your back, they're gonna stay bent and then reach for the floor. Do not let your lower back leave the mat. You go as low as you can and you pull back in, five.
Inhale, legs down, holding that nice lifted position in the trunk, and pull. I like to think about the backside of my legs working as my legs go down and lift, last two. Down and lift, one more. And lift, so rotate towards me and hold onto that outside side with both arms. Take the opposite leg, the one you're not holding onto and reach that leg away.
So now we use the arms to help us find that nice rotation. We're gonna use 'em the whole time. And change, turning. I like to use my lower arm to remind my bottom ribs to slide inward. And turn, so we're never ever using the arms to make things easier, using them to find more efficient perhaps better, deeper, work, two more.
And my twos are twos on both sides. So we've got one more on each side to go. Here it is and here it is. And then both knees in, take the backs of your legs. Push yourself up, turn back around onto your back for footwork.
So we're matching a breath and you know you're gonna have to find a rhythm that does work but I won't go much faster than this, or slower. Kinda considering this as part of the warm up. We'll do five more. Here's one, stretch the waist as you come back in. Here's two, can you soften around the neck and shoulders a little, maybe the ribcage too.
Two to go here. Reach, we're gonna stay out on this next one though. So stay there and check in, are you just hanging out on the legs or can you find some sense of the back body? Shift your weight so that you're in the arches of your foot. Still parallel, still apart, legs still straight.
I'm gonna ask you to hike the right hip. Put most of the weight on your left foot. So the right foot can come off, just keep both legs straight and then transition, all the pressure goes into the right arch. Left heel or left foot comes off. So just shifting the weight of the hips, the legs.
Hiking one, level it, put it back. Just alternating, giving it one more. Right foot off, left foot off and I do hope you're alternating and not trying for both. Come down and position the balls of the feet, still in parallel, feel slightly lifted. A subtle downward drag, off we go, exhale reach out.
One, pull it back in. Nice, kinda heavy in the hip sockets. Stretching and pulling finding length even in the waist. Let's do five more from here. Press one pull in, press two no sense of starting over.
Staying with it, three, last two. Once again we'll stay out there. This time just lower the heel slowly and try to resist the idea of just dropping. Push into the balls of the feet, lift up, lower slow. Lift up and reach, we'll keep that going.
Connecting the movement of the ankle deep into the whole leg trying to draw from somewhere higher and five more here. One, stretch lift, two, and stretch, here's three. Four, stay pretty high, bend the knees come on down. Touch your heels together, push out, full extension hold. From here, yes there's a sense of a wrap around but not so much that it picks up the whole front of the thigh.
Lengthen out the front of the thigh then Dana gave me is the idea of drawing the idea of drawing the kneecaps, like almost squeezing the knees, the tops of the knees together. Without losing the backside, see if that does anything. We'll bend the knees to come in and right back out. In other words it's not only backside of the body. Of course the inner thighs.
We keep the sense of length. And in and out, two, pull in. Let the backs of the arms press into the mat. Last five, here we go, one pull, two. Stay out on the next one.
Do your best to keep your heels together. They may come apart, that's alright. We're just gonna lower the heels like that. Lift up for five, one, down again. Lift two, try not to roll out on the feet too much.
Three, four, and five and come on in. We'll do one more foot position. Heels wide and let's, if this is a new position just sorta find what works for you but make sure you block your toes so your knees are kinda tracking over the toes. I'm gonna try for a little wider today cause I haven't done it this way in a while. It's the same idea, keeping weight throughout the heel.
Here we go, press out, full extension. Nice heavy through the front and bend. We'll go two, big strong inner thigh connection. Three and pull and four. Five to go.
One and pull, nice long neck, two and reach. Resisting coming in slightly. Give it one more here. Full extension bring it home and I'll hand it back.
I'm gonna go to a red and a blue. Push off the bar and put your feet into your straps. So let's start with a couple of frogs. We'll just feel the heel connection. Stretch the legs out, stretching the waist away from the feet and then drag your heels towards you.
So it's a much lighter spring than we were doing with our leg work but can you find the same power in it. You create the same power, last time. Bend the knees halfway in so they make a long diamond shape. Now pick that position up without changing the angle of the knee. To move the legs back down in a hinge we're gonna push the knees away from each other so we feel the backsides of the body working.
Inhale, bring the legs up. And exhale rotating the knees trying to bring the legs just about parallel to the bar without any instability in the back. And reaching down, and lifting up. And reaching down, and lifting up, one more time. So we're gonna take it to the bottom.
Now what I want you to do is pull through the waist. Try to stretch the legs forward without moving the Reformer too much. It's pretty challenging. Bend the knees back into that long diamond and lift up. And now stretch the legs to the ceiling letting the femurs drop into the hip joints.
And then back into that long diamond rotating the knees as you go. Press down and keeping the Reformer still we stretch the waist to straighten the legs. And bend and reach up and stretch the waist down to straighten the legs up, we'll do one more. Bend, rotate the knees to reach down. Stretch out, keep the Reformer so still.
Bend, lift and stretch up and then from here we'll do five big circles in each direction. So reaching down, feel the heels come together. And folding the legs up and rotate. Get that same sense of rotating from the hips that we just practiced with the knees bent. Feel that your standing in the straps equally with both feet.
And watch as your legs come into your line of sight as the come together smoothly and evenly. Last time. And then let's take that in reverse. Here I'm gonna reach, I'm gonna flex my feet through these circles coming all the way together and push. Sometimes, I don't know, for me, just that flex of the feet helps me create longer lines.
Whether that's imaginary or not, I don't know. Feels good. So we'll do two more keeping. I just caught one of my feet flexing and one of my feet being really lazy. So I'm owning that and maybe we wanna look for that.
Okay, one more. Down around and back to the top. Okay, so let's bend the knees. Take the headrest down. We're gonna do the short spine next.
So we start again in that bent knee position. What we're gonna do first is stretch the legs out straight. Point the feet, fold the legs over the body. Folding in half until the legs come over. You're piking at the waist, the carriage comes all the way.
And to touch and then we roll up towards the shoulders. From the top bend the knees. And then start rolling the pelvis away. So the pelvis starts to move away from the feet. I want you to try to keep the carriage still.
So the sides close to the body then flex the feet and take that whole shape through and hinge. We're gonna press out, point the feet, we'll do two more. Folding in half, wait until you feel that click as the carriage comes home and then lift up. Keep the carriage still as the knees bend but also stand in your straps. Keep a little tension on your ropes all the time and then rolling down, bringing the thigh bones close to the body dropping the hips down, flex the feet and hinge through.
Last time, reach forward, point. Fold in half, keeping the legs external rotation. We'll turn that through this whole movement. We're gonna bend the knees. Gonna roll the spine.
And then flexing to bring the legs through. Chrissy, I'm gonna take us through a little stretch here. So what you're gonna do is pick a leg. We're gonna bend that leg, so I'm gonna chose my left leg. I'm gonna bend it, I'm gonna bring the foot just near the frame, but I'm gonna let my foot come to the floor.
Then if you don't already feel a stretch in the front of your leg you could let your foot, your left foot if you're with me, slide a little further back. Then the right leg can either stay straight or bent. I prefer a bent knee. So I'm gonna bend and I'm gonna let that leg reach out to the side. So it's a stretch, you should do what makes you feel happy.
You could could straighten your leg. You could play around with your position. I'm just telling you how I get into mine. So what I wanna do here, cause we don't wanna pull on that leg, that bottom leg. Or I don't wanna pull on my bottom leg.
So we're gonna put some weight on the foot that's still up. Push with that leg, the other leg will easily float away from the floor and we'll switch. So the opposite leg comes down to the floor and then again how much you bend that knee bringing the foot backwards of the knee will affect the stretch. And then the left leg or the opposite can reach out. It can stay bent or straight.
It's nice to notice where the pelvis is and does the pelvis wanna lift and do you want your pelvis to lift? I guess that's your question. I'm gonna try to keep mine down. I don't know the answer though, is all I'm saying. Okay, so now we're gonna put some weight into that leg on the top we're gonna use it to push that foot, the opposite foot will come off the floor.
We're gonna bend both knees. Take one foot out at a time, placing the feet onto the foot bar and put your straps away.
You can put the foot rest, or foot bar down. We'll do a little short box abdominal section. Cause I love it. I keep, the way I'm gonna teach this is the way that Rael taught us as some what of a prep but I really still like it, I prefer it. I can kick in my hamstrings more and because I'm not so tall I keep mine in front of the shoulder rest.
You can do this traditionally and go over the box with the, I mean over the shoulder rest with the box if you like. My legs are gonna be bent. You can have yours straight again. If you know the sequence you can do it whichever way you like. Wow, look at the waves.
Let's keep with the energy. I'm sitting pretty far forward if you're doing it this way and that's how I'll cue it. Both feet under the strap, nice and close so that it's snug. Much like when Mary did the initial warm up pelvic curl, that downward pull of the heels on the foot bar can kind of work for your advantage here. Arm over arm, sitting tall we inhale.
This is the round back. Exhale, let the pelvis curl your whole spine back. Go back with it, you can go as far as you like but find the sense of the downward pressure of the thigh so you can have some help there. Inhale, exhale and round back forward. When your shoulders are over your hips stack your spine.
Just let the arms fall. Exhale, it's as if something's pulling the belly button through the spine maybe even bigger allowing you to round the whole spine. Inhale, if you wanna go further feel free. Exhale and come back up keeping the curve until this last moment sitting tall. And again rounding back.
Round that back, I'm gonna go a little further this time. Letting a little extension of the upper back. It's okay if you don't. Inhale, if you did go bring your head back. Curve, find the hamstrings so the hip flexors don't pull you too much into an extension.
One more time, back we go. Keep those shoulders connected. You decide if you're gonna go over or not. Find the inhale, exhale start your return. And sitting tall, take the hands behind your head.
I didn't grab a pole cause I didn't want to. But again, now would be a good time if you have one nearby. So laced fingers or hand over hand but whatever you do first go up with the sense of pull on the back of the head. And then slightly pressure head back into your arms. Here we go, flat back.
We inhale, tilt back. Start that exhale don't forget those hamstrings if you rely only on the hip flexors. And they'll work, it gets tougher. Inhale back, go go, think long, think long. Start the exhale, let it shake a little, it's okay.
Up we come where you're taller than before. Three more, inhale. And exhale. I'm looking at the waves trying my best not to wave through this motion. It's really pretty mechanical yet there's a lot going on inside, isn't there?
One more. The tilt to your right. Inhale up and over, you can go long with it. Exhale back to center, do you best to keep both hips down. A slight angle toward the left rotation and reach long.
Exhaling up to the right. Little rotation then I lean, it's not huge but it's enough to feel it, and up. And over. And up, let's go right into the twist. So to your right you're gonna rotate, inhale.
Hinge back like you do in flat back but on that diagonal. Start the exhale, come back up in the rotation and center. To the left, inhale, get tall. Gently pressing your head back. Knees are still together, exhale.
So if you're doing this version resist the temptation to bend or straighten one knee. Keep 'em together as if one. Over and up and center. Over and up and center into the climb a tree. So take the right leg out.
And for this version we're gonna hold on top. Hug it in close and think of the three exhales. The three pulses as an opportunity for extending your back. So here they are, exhaling one little taller. Two arms are strong, three keep the height, extend the leg.
Hinge back, doesn't matter exactly what the left leg does but let it help you. Now walk down, one, two, you can go over or not. I'm gonna go over. Inhale, you can either continue holding the leg or hold the box or let your arms circle if you're up for that. Sit real tall, bring that leg in even closer.
Let's refold and do the pulses again. Exhaling one, pull up two. It's like you're sliding the shin upwards, three. Keep the thigh in place, hinge it back. As you walk down imagine the leg reaching right through the ceiling extending over the box, or not.
Bring it back, up we come, keep the tree there as best you can bringing a little closer each time. One more time for three. Pulling up, one, pull two, three try to keep the thigh where it is. Get a little more each time then we tilt it back until the leg is vertical. Walk down one, two, three, inhale.
Fill it up, it's a good spot to inhale. Exhale all your air, get right up on it. Right up on it, take the right inside that right in step. The leg in the air get taller, taller, taller and then left hand, folks I'm not rolling back. I'm just gonna take a little stretch out to the side.
You can flex the foot, sit up as tall as you can. Bend the knee, you can bend the arm too, right. And then extend it. And let's cross that leg over the other knee for a little stretch forward. Going for a pretty straight spine and then round over.
So you don't wanna sit back on the hips right. Get kinda vertical first and then you can round over and enjoy the stretch. Other side. Getting it in close, left knee in. Square off the hips as best you can and you know, you get to use your arms right.
So help yourself here and literally pull the thigh in. Drop the shoulders and feel that energy underneath the arms and to the lat. Pulse three, one, two, three extend up. Hinge it back, oh she was too close. And walk down one, two, three, ease the thigh into the box for help.
And up we come, one, two, get up on it. Encouraging more stretch each time. Refold, sit tall, pull one, pull two, pull three, extend. There's a big inhale there. Hinge back, walk down the leg will just stay there.
The tree, three and. Exhaling up. Sit tall, tall, tall. And last one, make it a good one. Pull two, three, keep it in closer, challenge your stretch.
It's okay, down we go. There's some use to the arms on the walking up and down but you can minimize that part of it. Like right here make it more abs. You can be all graceful about it. Here we are we're gonna stay here, keep it up.
Left hand inside the left in step. I was holding the box to pull me more forward first then sweep it out, oh. Bend the knee kinda that knee angling just outside the arm or underneath the arm. Stretching it. And then cross over for the hip stretch.
Sit up tall first, hinge forward a slight bit and then if you need more you would round forward. Oh I don't need much more on this side.
Once you're sure you're set and ready to go. The foot's pressing up into the strap. The right hand comes away. We're gonna reach over, all the way. And then reach out to lift up.
We're gonna do five of these so let's make em really beautiful. Challenging yourself as you go over the top of the box. Last two times. Reaching out and up. And reaching out and up.
Let's take the arms up overhead and then reach all the way down and as much as I love the exercise I think I just have to admit I do it so I can stretch. So I can do this. So I like to take my hand just in front of me on the frame. Let my pelvis roll backwards a little bit. And just be gentle with yourself as you start to turn yourself around and then let your spine stretch forward and down.
Cool, so turn sides. Right so it comes underneath the strap. Left hand to the head rest, right hand behind the head. Find your lines, left hand behind the head. And we go all the way down.
And it's not up in my mind, anyways, it's out. And all the way down. Like you're standing on one leg on the diagonal. And down and reach out. And down.
And reach out. And down. And this is our last one we reach the arm stretch overhead. And then come all the way over. Reaching into the stretch.
And those things I mentioned before are just suggestions, right. Feel free to do whatever makes you happy in this position but again I hold the front of the Reformer on the frame underneath it and I let my pelvis roll back and then I start turning. And I take my spine, I think of pulling it. So the strap is an anchor (train whistle) and that is a train. And I'm just pulling my back long and down.
(sigh) And then we'll help ourselves up outta that. Okay, so let's go to one spring, one red I'm gonna chose. And then we're gonna get down off the box and turn the boxes around so that they're long ways. You're gonna sit on the box with your feet on the headrest. We'll do some chest expansion here.
So taking a hold of the straps. I like to hold on just above the hardware on the ropes. And then bringing the arms just next to the body. So from there checking your alignment. Your body is right over your pelvis.
And then we're gonna reach the knuckles down towards the floor and then back. And then down towards the floor and forward. So we're never letting the tension go completely. Once we start the movement it's just the right, the extra challenge of trying to bring the arms behind us. But there's a working, a working release every time.
We'll do five more. Back and resist forward. Reaching down all the time, four. And three. I like to feel create oppositional uplift with my spine.
We'll go one more time. And then taking the arms all the way forward. I'm just gonna hold both straps in one hand and reach back and put another spring on. I'm choosing a blue. (laughing) It's trickier than it looks, Chrissy.
Okay, so it's an exercise in itself. So we're gonna roll the spine backwards and I want us to come down so that we feel just the lower spine imprint on the box. Then we're gonna bend the elbows from there, so five. Four. Three, we're about to pick up the ab work a little bit.
Just a warning, okay so now, the arms are gonna straighten. When they bend again the left leg comes up and down. Again same leg, left leg and down. Left leg and down. Hold it here, brace, be prepared, pick the right leg up.
Place the left leg down and we go arms straight leg down. Arms straight leg down. Leg and arms bent. Arms straight leg down, leg and arms bent. We'll do two more.
One more. We're gonna hold it there. We're gonna lift the left leg back up. We're gonna straighten the arms. We're gonna roll up, up, up.
Stay back in a hinge, place the seat back down and bend the elbows wide and forward. And wide and forward. My back is straight. You could also do it with a round spine. I just feel like there's so much rounding all the time that sometimes it's nice to keep it straight.
But I'm not, not using my stomach. I am still using my stomach. I'm thinking about co-contracting the front and the back of my body to stabilize. We're gonna go one more time and then we're gonna take the arms forward, we're gonna roll all the way up again. So setting the straps back.
I'm gonna take the blue spring off and we'll do one last thing. So again holding above the hardware. If it's too heavy there you can always come just underneath. We're gonna lean forward on a straight diagonal line. Bringing that upper arms next to the body.
I'm a rib thruster so I have to remind myself not to thrust the ribs or to contain the ribs. And then we're gonna press the arms to straight. So you could think about this as obviously a tricep exercise. I hope we all feel our triceps but what I'd like for you also to consider thinking about is that it's not just an arm exercise it's a back exercise, an upper back exercise. A shoulder stabilization exercise.
So every time you go to straighten your arms you reset the shoulders. You keep the collar bones long. You think of lifting up through the breast bone. We're gonna go three more times. And two more times.
And last time. And then you can just round over and there are your pegs waiting for your straps. And we can put them down.
And a light spring is most appropriate here. So we're both down at one blue. You're gonna come over the top. Kinda finishing with some back extension and your chest is just at the edge, maybe slightly over. Reach out with straight arms and then with your legs long so they're not just hanging off the back of the box but maybe level to.
This downward pressure into the frame will allow you to draw the shoulders down your back. Just do a little bit of that first. So you didn't rise up at all and go back to the start. So notice that you can do that without bending your elbows. That's kinda key to getting this one otherwise it feels like I just gave you a really light spring but rather where does it come from?
It comes from the lower tips of the shoulder blade. Okay, so now that we've got that we'll start it the same way. Start to pull and then you'll have to extend a little, right cause I don't want you to bend your elbows. So continue to pull and as you need to raise the upper body, do. But imagine the sternum or the heart just sinking into the box or into the well and then returning.
Come on back down. I often let my fingers come off just to make a point. But you can certainly hold on, just minimize hand tension. You draw shoulders, it's like your head is just gonna go through the back end of the frame. And then as you start to run out of room you just allow your spine, your upper spine to lift.
Heavy in the ribs though, let's leave those ribs down. And back we go. I love this one, this one can actually be done pretty well with, almost without a spring. So let's think about how could you make this action without a whole lot of arm strength. Other than what it takes to draw the shoulders down and back.
Let's change it a little bit. As you're pulling, as you're drawing the shoulders down start to elevate the straight legs and then as you arch the upper back, bend the knees. Sort of preparing for rocking. Going back down extend it all back to a level position. For sequencing, shoulder blades raise the legs a little.
Start to arch the upper back and bend the knees. Do your best to keep the knees together. And everything back down. Two to go. Shoulder blades extending the legs, bend at the knee.
Bend at the spine. And down we go. And with that you can just let your body sink into the well a little bit. Let your hands side down the side of the frame. If you need to back up a little to be comfortable, do.
And then from here with the legs straight we're just gonna raise the arms out to the T position. Keep your body level so you're not raising it. Roll the shoulders back so the whole arm rotates and the thumbs even point to the sky. Reach the arms back to your legs, your body and let yourself look forward. It's as if your heart is skimming forward off the box.
Come back to the T position, palms down, rest. We'll just do one more of those. Rise up to the level position, lengthen your neck. Rotate the shoulders, feel it come from the shoulders. Push the arms back, the thumbs are toward the ceiling.
Extend that upper thoracic spine again. Come forward back to the T and down. Once your body settles just swing yourself off the side. From the outside. Unless there's anything else I'll wrap it up.
Okay, so just off the side here, sorta finishing like we started. Back up enough that you can find a nice extension of your spine hinging over. We're not gonna pull on the box but it is there for support. Bend your knees and round your spine. Letting your head just sink between the arms and then extend the spine.
Optional extend the knees. Inhale there, nice long body. Exhale, bend the knees let the spine follow as you round. That means your head will come down too. Looking towards the belly.
Restraighten the spine. So if it feels good to you to extend the knees, do. One more inhale, this will be it. Exhale bend knees, round your spine. Keep it round this time.
Inch yourself back to right over your feet and you can start to roll yourself all the way up. Straightening the knees, hands come off the box. When you get there and you're tall just rotate the arms out one last time for deep a breath in. Collecting energy back into your body if it's gone. Hopefully we brought it in.
Exhale, we'll do just one more breath for the day. Inhale. And exhale. Letting it go, thanks, fun to work out with you, thank you.