Class #2216

Magic Circle Love

55 min - Class


If you love the Magic Circle, then you should try this Reformer workout with Kristi Cooper and Meredith Rogers! They use the Circle for almost every exercise, throwing in challenges when they can. Even though you will be working hard, you will feel energized from this exciting class!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Magic Circle

About This Video

Jun 22, 2015
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So here we are again. Meredith and I, are gonna have another little bout of working out. It's what we call girl time. I think both of us were, came in a little tired today, but we are psyched up now. And happy to be here with you.

So what we're gonna start, we are gonna use the Magic Circle. Quite a lot, actually, so have that very nearby. And we're set up for foot and leg work. I think we both chose three red and a blue. Yep.

Three red, make it medium to heavy, whatever you are working on. And our foot bars are down now because Meri's gonna start us off with something in particular, Meri. We're gonna start with the pelvic curl, so lie down. You can choose here to either put the ring on the insides of your knees, or the outsides of the knees. But I'm gonna choose to put the ring on the outsides of my legs.

And to space my legs just enough, so I'm not gonna push out and abduct my knees. But I'm just gonna use the ring for tracking. The head is down. The arms are down. Do you have your feet on the wood, or on the foot bar?

No, my feet are on the foot bar. And I'm just, was about to talk about organizing them so that they're straight, right? So that they're parallel to one another. Okay, just a little gentle pressure into the ring. And we're just gonna inhale to prepare.

On the exhale, first let the spine flatten so the pelvis rotates in a posterior direction. And then we roll the spine up. So lifting up, and as you lift up you'll feel how the knees might even press a little harder out into the ring. Inhale to hold, working the outsides of the knees. And then exhale, let the chest drop.

Let the ribs drop. Feel the space between the ribs and the pelvis elongating. And then drop the pelvis down. And taking another inhale at the bottom. As you exhale and roll your pelvis up, reach through your arms.

And also feel that you're pressing backward with the arms and lift the hips nice and high. And exhale as you start dropping through the throat. Through the front of the chest. Through the back sides of the ribs, back side of the navel. And all the way down into the pelvis.

Inhale, we'll do three more. Exhale, as we roll up, we feel, activating the arms. Send the head in the opposite direction. Pressing up nice and high. Inhale.

And exhale, to come down. Maximizing the curvature of the lower spine. Just using this today as our spinal warm-up, as our, just an opportunity. Here we go again, lifting up. Opportunity to check in with our bodies, to bring awareness into the room.

And to start mindfully working. Rolling down. Piece by piece. This is the last one we're gonna do. Inhale, notice the weight distribution of your feet.

Are your feet equally weighted on the bar? Is holding the ring in the outsides of your knees making you push out into the outside of your foot? Hopefully, no. It's making my hamstrings cramp. (laughs) Oh, good.

That's, that's good, Kristi. That makes me feel very happy. And now, we'll curl down, all the way. And soon you'll forget all about your hamstrings. 'Cuz, so we're gonna lift up and we're gonna take the ring.

Lift the legs, place the ring in between the knees. Bring the feet together so you have, like, a triangle or a diamond shape with your legs. Place your head back down, and reach back for the pegs with your hands. Heading into Spine Twist Supine, give your ring a little squeeze. Keep that squeeze, inhale as we go to the left.

And then think about the bottom leg, it squeezes into the top leg and pushes you back. And inhale as we go over to the opposite side. And we bring our awareness to the bottom leg, to the obliques. Inhale as we go across, keeping the opposite arm and shoulder, heavy and still. Keeping the head still.

And inhale, just gentle spinal rotation here as we get starting our movement. You can squeeze the ring as much or as little as you want to. Just keep in mind that there is going to be a lot of holding of the ring in this workout, so. That's just real. That's happening.

(laughs) And center. Pace yourself. So, do what you want. Okay, one more Krissy, over to the left. And center.

Over to the right. And center. So now what we're gonna do is we're gonna lift and just turn yourself around on your Reformer. Keep the ring where it is. You wanna set yourself up so your shoulder blades are just at the edge, because we're gonna go into a thoracic extension over the back.

So hands behind the head, inhale. The legs are gonna stay still at this moment. We're gonna reach the upper spine back. And we're gonna press into the ring as we curl the head and chest up, keeping the tailbone heavy. Inhale, as we reach back, you can release the ring a little there.

And so we'll, gather the energy in the inner thighs, and lift. And inhale to reach back, we're doing five. And, lift. And back. I love this, this is one of my favorite things to do.

I do it all the time. Last one, it's about to get a little bit more challenging, though. Are you ready? We're gonna hold our upper body, lift it. And now, start to hinge the legs away from you.

Do not let your lower back lift off the Reformer, you go as slow as you can without any instability in your spine. And we pull back, we'll do five of these too. They're all gonna be that slow, huh? (laughs) Uh-huh, they're gonna be that slow, Kristi. Great, alright, I better pace myself.

Kristi likes to work really hard. So I'm gonna help her out with that. Thanks. Inhale, down, two. Three.

And, lift. That's already three, we're getting close. Last two. It's easier if you squeeze your knees, not your feet, just saying. Oh.

And one. And then take your ring, bring your legs together. Take your ring behind your head, right at the base of your skull. So now the ring helps you up, and now we get a little help with that. The right leg is gonna hinge its way towards the floor.

We're gonna lift and we're gonna bring the knee across and touch the elbow. And switch. Try not to shove with the ring, your head out of alignment. The head just sits in the ring. And across, touch, squeeze the knee and the elbow together.

Across, touch, squeeze. Last two. And two. And one. And one.

Okay, this is how we're gonna try to get up. I don't know if I can do it. It could be an utter failure, but you ready? We're gonna send the legs out. Oh, okay.

And we're gonna roll ourselves up. How far? All the way. All the way. Yay, we did.

(laughing) I thought for sure-- Good. You're going back down. No, no. I was gonna fire you. (laughs) As my teacher. Oh.

(laughs) Okay, so what is it? So let's put the foot bar up. Then we'll go into foot work and you can take over. Great. Foot bar up, lock it in if you have that option.

And then, I'm gonna put my head rest up. I'm not really sure why, it's just habit. Plus I feel like I can see better. So, we're gonna lie down. And heels on the bar.

Parallel, making sure it's firmly there, and you're active through your feet. For now, let's bring the ring close to our chest with the elbows wide. And, sort of, what's nice about where the shoulders are hitting, of course, the shoulder rest. If you start collecting too much tension in your arms, you're gonna feel them hit that shoulder rest. So, let that be a reminder to, kind of, let your shoulders relax, both away from your ears and into the carriage.

So let's just inhale. Don't go anywhere with the legs yet, exhale. And just put some resistance into the ring, as if your entire upper arm, whole arm, was involved. Not just your hands, is what I'm trying to say. Inhale, let it go.

One more like that, exhale. The hands are pretty soft. And you can wrap your fingers, but just don't overly grip. And release. Next time we'll use the legs, we'll straighten them.

Inhale, exhale, everything together. We press all the way out. Full extension, you have resistance. Let's not overdo it, where you feel the shoulders. Press in, inhale down.

One or two more, just to get a feel for it. Pressing out. So I am squeezing more on the ring as I engage the legs more. (exhales loudly) And I'll go only a little bit faster. But let's put the awareness to the back of the legs too.

It's a lot going on, you can always get rid of the ring, if it's too much. And, out. And, in. Now, what you can also do, we're gonna just keep going. As you let the ring go, actually pull a little bit, outwards.

'Cuz you're kind of connecting to the whole back line of the body, back side of the body. And, back as you pull. I like that. What's that, you like that? I like the pull, mm-hmm.

Oh, good. Me too, I'm glad I thought of it just this second. (laughing) Alright, that's enough of those. So, come down, stay down. Just move your feet down to the balls of the feet.

Soften up on the pulling part of the ring. This time, as we push out, push the ring. But go ahead and extend the arms. Remember the back of the shoulders is heavy into the mat. And bend.

And trying to keep that, the arms, going vertically straight up. They're not drifting over your head or towards your knees. And press. And if all of a sudden it's just too much to think about, just, you know, get rid of the ring. But remember that you can be involved in all parts of the body.

You are, whether you know it or not. So you might as well pay attention to it. Let's do just about five more. One. And, in.

Of course, you can pull a little bit as you have those fingers wrapped. And pull to bring it down. Push a little to take it up. And pull. And push.

And pull. To push. I'm doing one more, no matter what I said. And all the way up, all the way down. From there, turn the feet out, in the Pilates V.

This time we're just gonna take the arms straight up. Go ahead and go there now. Maybe a little bit of pressure on the ring, but let's see about it coming from as if the ring were at your bicep. So it's more of a sense than anything. Knees are not too wide, you, kind of, aiming toward your own shoulders.

Let's go, press all the way out. And pull it in. Connecting the back of the legs, initiating a little from the hamstring and glute. Here's three. And pull, you're working both directions.

Here's four. And. (exhales loudly) And. (exhales loudly) Letting it feel kind of good and connected. Keeping it going.

Stretch, all the way through. We're not hyperextending in the knees. We'll give it one more, after the one we're on. Here it comes, out and back in. And, in.

Alright, let's go on a wide stance. Not so wide that you can't put the ring there though. So we're gonna be in an external rotation position. I'm up on the heels. Alright, I often say, "Imagine you have a Magic Circle." Well, let's not even imagine.

Let's just put it there, arms down. Here we go. Exhale, press out, squeeze the ring. Do the best you can. It kind of depends on how tight your ring is.

But try to close it up. Squeeze in. All the way. Now, what you want to be careful for is that you don't start rolling the thighs forward and in. It's still a sense that it's coming around the back side.

Hopefully. Full extension, adjust when you need to. That's hard. It's hard, well, good. (laughing) Too, right back at you then.

(laughing) Just do two more here. Reach, and resist. Reach, we can squeeze hard, but, stay down. But you don't want to tuck the pelvis. We get to do one more.

But I am gonna change it a little one. This is a little strange. Put it at your ankles, and put your feet. So the feet aren't as wide as they just were. And you do need to bring the ring, or the knees up, a little bit.

Okay, so we're just gonna go out. Here we go. My feet, and knees, and legs are turned out a little bit. And if you didn't position it, centered, you're gonna wobble a little. So make that adjustment where you need to.

Here we go, squeeze. And my point, really, isn't to put the focus on the ankles, of course. It's like, squeeze everything above the ankle, right? Yes, your feet are also engaged and active. But, it's not that I'm just trying to get you to work that low.

It's just putting a little more emphasis, hopefully, through the whole body. Not to mention just some variety. Press and in, pay attention to what happens to your feet. If it's just messing up the whole position and it's, may not be worth it. But it's kind of fun to throw in some challenges.

Let's go one more here. And in, and then all I wanna do, is I'm gonna go parallel with my feet. I'm just adjusting mine, so I can do that without losing it. Close up the knee a little, so that you're. It's gonna be wider than probably your hip bones.

But you're gonna try, so you're already in action, right? Yeah. Push straight out. So knees are pointed straight up. But you have a sense of wrapping around the back.

Lower the heels. Oh, can you do it, or do they hit the spring? I can do it. Okay, and up. And flex.

And up, I'm hitting the spring a little bit. Just so you know. But, it's working still. 'Cuz I couldn't flex that much more anyway. You could tilt the ring a little if you need to.

Full extension and up, feel the feet. Maybe you should try to find the spring. What? Look for the spring. Try the spring? That's an idea, like.

Look, try to go low enough so you do feel the spring. Oh, there you go. Now I'm trying, now I can find it. Oh, really? Yeah.

Okay, I thought it was just my placement. Or my short legs. (laughing) I wasn't sure, but good, that's good to know. So from, from the down position, use the whole foot for a second. It's like your suction cup in the feet.

And then use it to propel you way up there. But, of course, you're still squeezing the ring. You've still got that all going on. Let's do that, three more. A little bit more with that foot involvement.

Rather than just calf up, down, right? Everything, one more time. And bend the knees to come on down. You want to take the next bit, Meri? Sure.

Why don't we just keep the ring right where it is? Oh no, we'll have to sit up. So, here's what we'll do. We'll stretch the legs out. (laughing) Oh, Kristi.

You said sit up. Roll up. Swivel. Your gonna bend your knees, put your feet down. Keep your ring in your ankles.

Just to see, just to see if you can. If you can't, that's fine too. I'm changing my springs. I put my red and a blue spring on. We're gonna do Hundreds.

When I was thinking about doing the Hundreds, and I was trying to decide whether I wanted to pump the legs or squeeze the ring. And then both sounds, really, like, a lot to handle. So I don't know if we're gonna do that. But let's try. Okay. Okay.

So how are we gonna get back down? We're gonna swivel, bring the legs back out. And, roll down. Okay, so your ring is still in your ankles. You're gonna grab your straps with your hands.

You should now have a red and blue spring on. Or a red spring, or whatever springs you decide that you want to use. Take your straps in your hands and bring them over your shoulders. Inhale. As we exhale, we're gonna lift up into the Hundred position, and pause.

Let's just do that two more times. Inhale to come down, bending the knees. Exhale to lift up, pressing into the ring. Pause. And, down.

Last one, we'll stay up. Reach out. Inhale. And the arms, exhale. Two, three, four, five, in.

You can try to add your legs too. It's a lot, it's like patting your stomach and rubbing your head at the same time. You're squeezing them? Yeah, with the pulses. Oh, no.

I said if you want. I don't want. Four, two, three, four, five. Curling the body, higher and higher. Reaching through the arms.

In. Seven, just drawing a little attention to the ring, at least, inhale. Eight, two, three, four, five, inhale. Nine, two, three, four, five, inhale. Ten, two, three, four, five.

Inhale. Exhale, bend the knees. Lift the arms, lower the head. Bring the arms out to the T position. Stretch the legs, out, as you lift your body up.

So we're in flexion, the arms are in a T shape. We're gonna press the arms down. And bring the legs to the body. And inhale as we reach out, and, lower. And, pull up.

And open, keep trying to lift up away from the shoulder blocks. And pull up. And pressing into the ring in both directions. Notice the legs traveling evenly. And down.

And three more. Pulling up, dropping into the tailbone. And, open. And, two. And, open.

And, one more. And bend. And bring the body down. Aah, that's hard, fun, hard. Okay, you want to take over?

Sure. Yeah, keep the ring here, where it is, if you can. And put your feet in the straps. I'm not sure that's gonna be the easiest thing in the world to do. How can you do that with your, without taking the ring out?

I don't really know. I'm not recommending it now that I did it, but. I'm gonna take my ring off-- Okay. My, out of my feet. I'm gonna choose (laughs) to bring my feet.

I just don't think I'm that coordinated, Kristi. And I don't wanna embarrass myself. Even though it's possible. I had to do it 'cause I said it. I won't in the future, note to self.

Okay, so now I have my ring in my ankles as well. Okay. So here, we're, turn the legs out a little bit. And we're in a frog. Exhale, squeeze and reach.

You don't have to squeeze hard, but you do want to squeeze. I like this one for me personally, because of my propensity to hyperextend. And just when I get there, let's just go there for a second. You're at your straight leg. Even if you're not in an obvious hyperextension, if you drive energy into the knees too much, you actually lose the ability to squeeze the ring, don't you?

Mm-hmm. Right, so don't. Yeah. Keep the legs straight, squeeze the ring more. And then bend.

You don't have to keep it that tight the whole time. But just that idea. And bend. Oh my God, I already feel the inner thighs. Well, you should.

A lot. (exhales loudly) And my feet, I'm not trying to point them a lot. I'm also not in major dorsiflexion, although that would be alright. I'm just sort of, but I'm trying to stay active in them. Let's just do one more.

Then, from here, go a little more parallel with the legs. A slight bend in the knee. With the intention of almost, like you're gonna do a hamstring curl. You're almost gonna bend the knee down, but you don't. Just subtle, active back there.

Allow the whole leg to come up in that position, without changing your pelvis. Little more squeeze, and lower it back down. Alright, so I'm, for me, and you. I think it's a good idea, really, for anyone, to just almost like you're gonna pull down. 'Cuz we are in a minute, but just a little knee bend from the action of the hamstring.

And up. And down. Keep those knees, oh, look at me shaking. I better hurry up and cube one more. No, we gotta, we can do two more.

And then I'll change it. Oh my goodness, I'm going to be so tall. One more down, and up. (exhales loudly) Okay, so we're up to the high point. Again, make sure you haven't lifted your hips.

Then, what we're gonna do is bend the knees. I'm still lightly squeezing them, not by much though, and then straight back up. But be a little, if you're totally vertical, you're gonna have some motion of the carriage. Which is fine, it's not really keeping it still. It's just, zeroing in, on those hamstrings.

As much as you can, given how much. If you're like me, the inner thighs are talking to you. Oh, I really want to go into Long Spine. But don't we need a break, no? I think, maybe, I don't know.

I think we can do it, Krissy. We can do it. We can do it. Are you sure? I can try.

Okay, so then, go back up, stay up. And we're, put your head rest down if it's up. And here we go, we're in parallel. Bring the legs a little more over you than you just had them. Oh, I must be crazy.

So we do Long Spine a little different, by the way. We're not adding straps, obviously. We're gonna go straight up from here. So now you do want to keep that carriage absolutely still. Aah, that feels better.

At least my hamstrings can work harder now. Mm-hmm. Open up the front of the hips. Oh, I wanna just stay here and give my (laughs) inner thighs a break, but we won't. We'll squeeze them a little more.

And we'll just roll right back down. Oh, keep it still. And by still, I mean the carriage. Reach through the arms so you feel that base of support. And then just lower the legs away.

Bring 'em back. Just over the hips, maybe subtly more forward over, beyond your hips. Then you feel the lumbar spine, the lower back. Reach into the mat, peels you up. It's as if your lower body's like a conveyor belt vertically going to the sky.

Use those hamstrings. If you start moving and you let them get over you, it's not even fun. And then bring it down. Imprinting the bones of your back into the mat. Piece, by piece.

I'm catching one knee wanting to straighten more than the other. And, and essentially, they are meant to be straight. But, again, you wanna watch that hyperextension. Let's do two more. Oh boy, oh boy.

Exhaling up. (exhales loudly) Calling. Can you feel from the back of the legs? All the way into the glute. You can squeeze a little tighter here as you roll down.

Imagine setting your spine down, further, towards the springs or the foot bar. Push away. Last one. Inhale, you getting quiet over there, Meri? Well, this is hard, I can't talk.

Okay, up we go. (exhales loudly) Woo, I kind of laddered my way up that one. Feel the hammies? Yeah. Little pressure into them?

Yeah. And down we come. Squeeze more, if you've got it. Longer in the front of the hip. For as long as you can.

And then finish it. Bend the knees to frog. And I'm gonna take the ring out, (laughs) to get out of it. (laughing) And where'd you sit it, to get out? You just held it?

I just held it, yeah. Details. Alright, take it off your feet, straps off your feet. Just lower into it. Can we have a little break for the inner thighs now?

Yeah. Just a tiny-- Just a very small one. Please. Please, absolutely, no more inner thighs, intentionally. For now, I'm not promising for a long time.

I'm just saying for now. Can we do a stretch? Can we take the right leg on the bar? And put the left foot in the, ring. Anchoring the pelvis and just let the, I'm letting my right knee bend.

And kind of just drape over the bar. Then drawing back on that left leg. And I put the ring, I put my, just the pads of my feet right underneath my toes on the pad of the ring. So that I can reach my heel through. Let's bend here, inhale.

And then create as much or as little, pull against the ring, as much or as little, active tension. And stretch. And inhale to bend. And exhale to stretch and you could pull back more, or not. And we'll just do one more.

And then let's take the ring into the left hand. Maybe take the right hand and hang on to the, the handle, the hook, where the strap lives. And then bring that leg out to the side. Oh, ow. (laughs) (exhaling loudly) I'm gonna switch my hand.

M'kay. I like to think it's my long arms, but it's just more support for me. And then start taking that leg back across the center. Switch hands, or do what you need to, Kristi. And then I'm doing, holding my, I have my circle in my right hand.

My left foot is in the circle. And we're bringing the leg across to the right. And right now I'm endeavoring to keep the left side of the pelvis really heavy on the mat. Just so like, the leg's just crossing the body. Okay, and coming back through center.

And placing the foot down. And then bringing the right leg up. Placing that into the ring. Finding a straight leg. And then bend.

It's like so different, then stretch. And bend. Pulling down against the ring to create your own resistance. Making sure the tailbone's not curling up off the mat. I just caught mine trying to do that.

So I'm going to say it out loud. And stretch. And then I'm holding the ring with my right hand. You, obviously. I do too, I just do it underhand grip.

Oh, I see. That's all I'm doing. I didn't know what you were talking about. It's just too. Okay.

I feel like I'm working my arm too much. To hold my leg out. Alright. Bring the leg across. (exhaling loudly) Carefully bring the leg back through center.

And then across to the opposite direction, I just switched hands. Letting the pelvis be heavy on the right side. If you feel this a lot in your knee, maybe I should of mentioned it on the other side. Just soften the knee. We're just looking for a hip stretch here.

And then let's take both feet into the ring. Lift the head up. Push into the ring, and do like a little tipping. And then tip yourself up. And then you can just bend your knees and take the ring out.

I feel like the only stretch that we didn't really get was a hip flexor stretch, I want one. So let's do this. Take, just go down to one red. And we'll just let the ring, be out of use for 30 seconds or so, a minute. I'm just letting, I'm just resting it on my carriage.

I'm gonna take my left knee, and bring it all the way back up against the shoulder block, on that side. Right leg is forward. Are you sweating? Am I what? Sweating.

Am I sweating? Yeah. Yeah. I'm totally sweating. Good, exercise is hard.

It's supposed to be. (laughing) And then you go down. (laughing) It's usually a little later than now, forward. (laughing) So pressing the spine up away from the bar. And then just, you know, going down is as low as you want to.

It's always a good idea to keep the abdominals lightly engaged here. Or pull back with the abdominals. Re-la-tive, I can't speak. Back with the abdominals relative to a forward, energy forward action in the pelvis. Okay, and let's bring the Reformer back in.

Standing on the right foot, slide that leg off. So, organize the ring so it's out of your way. And come around to the other side. (breathes loudly) And I'm trying to get my shin kind of vertical in space. And resting the hands on the foot bar.

And then just going down into a lunge. Yeah, we needed this, I think. Yeah, I like flexing my foot. And I'm not sure why, but I feel. I feel it better, different.

Just a suggestion, feel it beat your leg in. (mumbles) I'll have to take the full course. (laughing) Okay, so what's next? So then let's just go into Up Stretches. Okay.

One, and two, and three, or. Okay. I'll cue it. So we can use the ring for this too. But.

I think you would probably use one full, or red, or heavy spring, right? For this. Yeah. Or use a red and a blue? No, a red or a green for me.

I think I'm gonna choose to use a green today. Okay. So that's our heaviest one that we have the option for. You might, at home, want to join us. But have it a little bit heavier still.

Depending on height, weight, that kind of thing. But this is what we're used to. So, I think we could do it at the ankles, right? Yeah. So I'm getting it pretty close to where I want it.

And then we're gonna back up and put the heels part way up the shoulder rest, sort of in that. Not quite super high heel, but. And what's great about this, I think, is, well, for someone who rolls out on their feet. I get to think about the whole inner seam of my thigh. All the way down to the big toe, kind of lining up.

And as I do that with my knees pointing straight ahead it really seems to line up my feet a little bit better. So our carriage is on the stopper. Our arms are, about, shoulder distance. We're stretching the pelvis one way, the head the other, so the back is long in this version. Just push away a little bit, inhale.

And now keep the squeeze on the ring, but act as if the springs in the carriage were bringing the carriage home. Inhale, push back. Connect the front of the body, the back of the body, and now the inner seam of the body. If there's such a thing, it's all one thing, isn't it? Let's go a tiny bit faster.

You can hit that stopper, inhale, push. Exhale, it's as if you got lighter on the carriage. Really almost lifting your feet off. It's not about the feet, it's about the middle of your body. Doing that.

(breathes loudly) And, I'm gonna change this next one to what we call Up Stretch Two, which is a bigger version of it. We'll go into a Plank. So you're gonna push the legs, rotate around your shoulder girdle. And there you are. It's okay if the feet come off a little to accommodate the ring.

And then exhale, bring it back. Right timing it, so it's all lined up again. Here we go, inhale. Nice and long, keep reaching the heels backward. Exhale, pull up in the middle.

Let the spring do the rest of the work. Here we go, push, inhale. Exhale. Really bringing everything back at once watching the ribs that they don't lead the way. Nice long line, let's not forget the head.

Everything at once. And one more like that, inhale. And see, you'll notice our arms aren't going forward or back, in that particular one. Let's do one more, just with that point. In other words, you're not gliding at all.

You're just rotating around. Now, I'll change that rule. First, just get into it the same way. You just hit your Plank. We'll go forward, try to come all the way over the stopper.

Take care of yourself. And keep the carriage held to lift back up. Inhale, into Plank. Travel forward, keep the ring squeezed. Hit the stopper.

Lift yourself up staying glued to the stopper. Back to the Pyramid shape. Inhale. Plank. That's sort of like a sharp, not sharp as in fast, but sharp as in clean move.

And up, shall we reverse it? Sure. Keep the carriage up then. Go over the bar, first, you're still, there. Now you glide back, careful how far you go.

And then, bring it back to the Pyramid. Take your body over the bar. Use the back side of your legs here. Don't roll out, Kristi. Slide back.

Pyramid. And one more like that. Over the bar. Slide back. And lift it up.

Then adjust yourself, careful the ring may want to hit the stopper. But you can come forward a little bit more than normal. To flatten your feet. Level out the feet, squeeze the inner thigh. Watch that the knees aren't collapsing on themselves, right?

And now, toes up if you can. Inhale, it's a small push back. And a lift, to pull in. If you notice this is all happening only in the front of your hip, meaning you don't feel anything in the abdominals. I would encourage you to do a slight tilt to the pelvis, or tuck, rounding of the low back just a little bit.

And then. (exhales loudly) And yes, it's a light spring. But you can still, it makes it even better sometimes. To have to lift up off that carriage. Almost literally like you're going to.

Let's do three more, a little quicker. One, push down to go back. Down to go forward, two. Down to go back, down to go forward, and voila. That's good.

Now what about, stay here. Yeah. Just stay here, keep your hands where they are. But go into a rounded spine. And so we just mimic the Pike here.

Alright, so what, my idea is that. That a carriage doesn't move, so you have to keep pulling forward all the time. I have shifted slightly forward, more towards my hands. Now we're just gonna Pike the heels up. Watching, looking down, you can see the alignment of your ankles.

I really like this with my ankles. Because it helps me a lot. And then exhale, drawing in. Getting pelvis and ribs closer. Exhaling to lift is what I'm doing, yep.

I'm talking to lift, is what I'm doing really. But yeah, that's the idea, exhale. And down. And just, let's just do two more. I like this, it feels good.

Yeah, I'm getting a lot of work in my peronealis outside. Yeah. Woo. One more. (exhales loudly) Okay.

Cool. No idea. (laughs) Kneeling. Arms kneeling? Great.

Okay. So, let's go. I'm gonna change my green spring back to a red now. That's a better choice for me today. And we'll come onto our knees on the Reformer.

Bring your circle. Mm-hmm, yes, Kristi. So you're gonna bring the ring in-between the thighs. But what's okay, what's kind of nice about this, is you don't have to work super, super hard with your legs. You can just use it as, like, an awareness tool.

Because it'll just come right inside the shoulder blocks. So let it come through the shoulder blocks. Oh, okay. Yeah, for sure. Or that's what I'm doing anyway.

Okay, and then walk up so that you have your hands on the, ropes. I'm holding just above the hardware. Lift tall, press the pelvis forward. So the pelvis is, the hamstrings are working now. Inner thighs are working now.

Spinal extensors are working now. And now we press back, stabilizing the trunk with the abdominals. There's a lot of things going on in this exercise now. We reach down towards the floor with our arms. And, up.

Towards the ceiling. With the spine. We've come from a nice stabilized shoulder position. And just about five more, so reaching back. And, reaching back.

And, exhale. (exhales loudly) Trying to lean forward into the shoulder blocks. I think that's like one of the most common things is people like to lean back. M'kay. So that's, enough.

In my opinion. Which counts for everything. (laughing) Let's do circles. I don't know how we'll do it with the ring. Arm circles? Yeah.

Okay. So, I'm just leaving it how you had it wedged. Oh. 'Cuz why not? You don't have to.

I'm not using it, other than. It's actually kind of cool what I'm, just finding it with my feet again. But, that's, that just happened. I wasn't planning for that. You gonna use a red spring?

No, not with a red spring. I'm gonna go to a blue spring, sorry. Okay. So, here we are, just, just a few. So the palms are forward, same idea.

There's no shoulder blocks this time, right? So we're still, but we're, it's almost like you're pushing back with your feet. If you can get them to the shoulder rest, do. But the ring may prevent that. Here we go, exhaling up, and try for all the way above.

But be careful, we are on light springs. We dropped into a blue. And down the side, but not behind. Exhaling up, two. I'm gonna kind of just go for fluidity here rather than, sometimes I make them like a square.

So just up, the shoulders adjust as they need to. So that's it's still, just feels like, almost like I'm swimming. I don't swim this way, but (laughs) I don't swim at all. So, I can use my imagination. You know, not since I saw a shark in the water, have I (laughs) gone back.

Okay, let's go the other way once you get down. And this way's a little trickier. There is a weight shift and a balancing that happens. So, I do have my hands a little in front of me. And I'm gonna keep them a little in front of me.

As I let the shoulders drop, bring the arms right up above. Turn the palms over, as they come straight down again. Resisting the temptation to rotate back. Or lean back. Up, turn the palms, and down.

As your hands go down, imagine the crown of your head reaching to the sky, up. Turn them. And down. Up. Turn them, and down.

One more full one, then we will do the tricep. Still working through the feet, through the back of the legs, go up once more. And take the thumb and index finger together. Careful on this one, you're going to shave the back of your head, right down. But, so your arms are still, or your hands are still vertical.

And then almost vertical, straight up. Instead of forward. Bend. And up. And bend.

And up. You can let the elbows point a little toward the side. It's not purely tricep here. It's sort of like, can we keep the shoulders in place? And I don't mean totally still.

I just mean they're not, you're not raising the entire shoulder girdle up. We can just do two more. Bend, and straighten. Fully straighten, do the best you can. It could be a good lat stretch.

From there, let the hands come apart, carefully. Reach down and either switch it to one heavy spring, or you can leave the light one on and add a heavy spring. That's what I'm gonna do, I think. I'm not gonna keep us here too long. We're back up.

Inner thighs, feet, and elbows are quite high. Okay, not so much that you have to roll forward. But they are high. And then, you just move the forearm. And all the way back to straight.

And bend, a little bicep action. The body's still vertical. If you start leaning forward, it might be too heavy. Or you might just be cheating. That's possible.

(exhales loudly) I, this is, work on the computer a little bit more than I used to and I think this is. Again, one of my favorites. This version of it. Just that stretch to the chest. Keeping the ribs contained, that's why I'm still going.

Because it just feels so good. How about two more? Elbows still up, try not to rotate them out. Or down, or however that is, one more. They're still where they started.

And release. I feet better. What do you want to do next? Well, there's that rotational exercise. Have you, you remember the one we used to do?

We could do it up kneeling, or we could just. Let's stay down. So take the ring out from in-between the shoulder blocks. And then I definitely want to do Side Overs. Because they're, that's my favorite.

Which spring are you gonna be on? So I think, not that. How about a blue? So light, yeah. Yeah.

And then what I'm gonna do is take the, ring against my ribs, where my ribs come together. And the strap that's in the front, I'm gonna wrap around. The front. What's that, a handle? Handle, and then I'm just gonna hold it with my hands.

I'm holding it in place. And what, right now, what's wanting to happen is the springs are wanting to pull me around. Yeah, I'm gonna kneel, is that fine? What? I'm gonna kneel.

Oh, I'll kneel with you, if you'd rather. So, yeah. Yeah, that's fine. I think they both work. I just, my knees are tired.

M'kay, so what we're gonna do, it's harder up here. What we're gonna do is, we're gonna de-rotate the spine. So we're gonna go towards the risers. So the spring pulls you in a little bit here. And then you have to work against the spring to bring yourself centered.

Are you squeezing into it hard? I'm just holding it. Back to center. Yeah, I'm just gonna come to center. We're gonna do three like that.

We're gonna go there. And finding center. 'Cuz sometimes we will just move right through the center and we don't even know where the center is. And then, when I was thinking that, that what we would do is we would keep the tension on the spring all the time now. And then go away from center.

So pulling the spring with us and then controlling back to center. And, away. So it's not your arms pulling in. No, no, no. Okay.

Like, the orientation of the ring to my arm position, that just comes with my body. So that's three already. And then we're gonna do the whole full range now. So we're gonna go all the way to those no resistance, through center. And across.

Through center, and back. And you could, it's interesting I think, to just bring your awareness to which part of the abdominals work in each section, right? So it will change. It changes as you move through the positions. Because it has to, and one more.

I like it. Me too. And let's carefully coming all the way home. And we'll just do the same thing on the other side. It's kind of a nice arm challenge as well I think.

I mean, I just feel my, I'm not moving with my arms. Right. I just feel that. Yeah, definitely. It's this, same thing, on the knees.

Bring it against the front of the ribs. Wrapped around in the strap and held onto. Okay, and so first we find center. And then we go away from center, towards the risers, so towards the back. And then back to center.

And then away. I think, I suspect that the pelvis has to move some. Especially when we do the full range. But, I'm trying as much as I can to stay as still as I can. You know what, it's helping me, is, if I think more about keeping the weight even on the knees.

It seems to help. In other words, if I rotate too much I come off one knee. Okay. So we're in center again, right? Yep.

We're gonna go towards the foot bar now. So we work this spring. Like, right here, don't you want to come off that front knee? But you're not going to? No. Oh, you don't?

Hmm-mm. Oh. I do, okay. Okay. Just, a thought then.

I feel, oh. I felt a, I just thought about it. And it feels lighter, to me, yes. Okay, but not in a really significant way. And then we're gonna go all the way around.

This is where I feel like the pelvis has to shift just a little bit. And then all the way through. And then all the way back. And, all the way through. And.

Last one. Okay, so I had this idea. When we're finished, about Side Overs. That would be really challenging. So, my suggestion is, is we set up for Side Overs.

But we're not gonna do a lot of repetitions. Okay. It'll be quick. Say, like three to each side. Lock down the carriage, grab your strap.

Put your foot in. M'kay, so my idea, is that we start over head. We go down. From our over head position. So first, let's just find our line.

Okay, the ring is ready, we're ready. We come up to the ring. We go, down. And up. And down, I was gonna move the arms forward here.

But we can't, I can't 'cuz of the. How far down you are? Of going too far, yeah. So that, this is hard enough. One more.

One more up, and then we're gonna go down just like that, but with control go down slow. Slow, so decelerate. And stretch, stay. And stretch. I like to hold the front of the undercarriage and let my pelvis shift backwards.

It feels really good to me. And then we'll rotate, the ring's just resting on the floor at this stage. And then what I like to do on this-- Do you push straight back here? You just reach it, it's more of like an energy than I'm thinking about really working it. Like, I'm trying to use it as an anchor.

A stretch, push it away. And it's also really nice to go, your right hand, my left hand, across to the opposite side of the frame. Yeah. That's nice. (mumbles) Yeah.

M'kay, so before you come all the way up, grab your ring. And switch, you did it. I did. Good job. I thought you were gonna get crazy on me.

I was, and then it didn't work out. Because my, my choreography idea, just didn't make sense. It made sense in my brain, but not in real time. Okay, so I'm gonna put my hand down. Because I like to line myself up that way.

I like to make sure I'm in a really nice position. Then I'm gonna take my ring over my head. And when I'm good and ready, which I am right now, you can take the opposite hand up to the ring. And we just go all the way over. And out into our long line.

All the way over. Here I push up on the strap a little bit. So I can use my abductors, a little bit. Last one. Last up anyway.

But I don't want us to just collapse. I want us to decelerate, work slow. Go down into the stretch. And stretch. Oh my gosh, three is enough.

I feel those long arms. Did I tell you I have long arms? (laughing) You were talking a lot about it, actually, today. (laughing) Okay. Okay, so I'm gonna hold on to the frame.

I'm gonna let my pelvis rotate backwards. And then I'm gonna rotate my spine. Wait, go back there again. Okay. Same stretch, but slightly internally, rotate that leg.

Top leg. Or is that just me? No, I like it. Okay, now what are we doing, rotating? Okay, now we're just turning.

We're just squaring towards the floor. And then I'm gonna take my right hand, it'll be your left, across towards the other hand. Okay, alright, Kristi, why don't you take over? And give us some back extension. Okay.

So come up out of here. You can leave the, if you have the ring keep it. We'll use it in a minute. But let's turn the boxes for Pull Straps. And we'll use the ring in a second.

So leave it where it is? Well, just enough that you can change it. I just didn't pick it up, you'll use it. One red is fine. Can't say I've worked out how I'm gonna put it.

Oh yeah, actually, it's probably not a horrible place to have it. (mumbles) Yeah, just 'cuz. Do you get, I'm gonna put it at the ankles. So I need your advice. Would you put it in now and climb on?

Or get it when you're down there? I think, for me it's easier to get on and put it in. After you're on. Yeah, I'm gonna lie. Me too.

What I'm gonna do is lie on the box, if that's what we're doing, putting it in ankles. I'm gonna bend my knees like a rocking shape. And put it in there. Just checking, (laughs) in case I've. So.

So, as you lie face down, it's just, not super far over the box, but pretty much at the edge. Or just over, and then, yes. Place your ring, between your ankles. Or call a friend and have them do it for you. (laughs) God, I haven't done that in a while.

I used to be good at that. Okay, so there we are. Go ahead and straighten your legs, I think. Is it gonna hit your foot bar? If it does, it's probably hyperextension.

See, I could. So we're not, 'cuz we're gonna go straight, straight legs. In fact, before we even pick up the straps. Just take your hands out. Just so they're straight and resting.

And do, the legs I'm trying for, as much parallel as possible. A light squeeze of the ring, pretty light. Subtle drawing up on the abs, but now lift the thighs just a little bit. That's where they're gonna stay. Okay, now grab the straps, I'm gonna wrap.

I hold that we have this, sort of, taping that we're grabbing and wrapping so it doesn't pinch. But basically, just hold higher up. And from there the shoulders are, body is pretty level, let's say. But think legs up a little bit. Now, as you start to pull, shoulders come down.

And you're gonna start looking forward. Go ahead and look forward, we'll add the lift right away. Bring those arms in, right close to your body. Palms facing your legs, or your side of your hips. And then take it back down, but leave the legs where they started.

And starting at the shoulder, you look forward. Get a little curious about what's out there. Hug those arms in, more tricep to body. And, down. There's a little bit of movement in the upper body.

But, it's intended to be right, almost where the, the edge of the box is. So don't lift super high, curl more if you can. It's like a reverse chest lift, right? And down. Never fully letting go of the shoulder, or the arm, so it's having to regroup completely.

Here we go. (exhales loudly) Pull, pull, pull. And, return. And just one more like that. Looking forward, try and be heavy on the sternum almost.

Yeah, now look even more forward. There you go. And down. And instead of doing the T, I'm gonna just put these away, for now. Or away.

And then, reach back, bend the knees. Grab the feet. Squeeze the ring. Squeeze, as if there was a ring between the knees as well. Start to lift the knees, the upper body.

And a very subtle rock, careful. Very subtle rock, nice and fluid. Lift the legs, lower the legs. Lift the legs, but really it's all one piece. One more time.

And carefully let the thighs come down. And release the feet, stretch them out for a moment. Flex your feet. Real strong, strong flex. Curl through the toes to point them.

Bring the ring back up, remove it. Place it in the well. Are you happy with that? Yeah. Do you need another one? Yeah, no.

Okay, so with that, it's. You're not real heavy on the spring, but let's just shimmy back enough to come up to our knees. Hands can be wherever, on the shoulder rest, on the carriage, just to have a little stretch here. (breathes loudly) And before we're completely finished, and you put your hands up on the box. Just to help you up.

Step off the side. And I don't need to move the carriage. So we don't need to change anything. But I'm just wanting to take, parallel. Feet comfortably apart, I'm just reaching forward.

To kind of gently act as if I'm going to pull back. I'm not, I could lift it. But I'm just creating a curve along the side. And then just sort of step up, or step into a standing position and switching. So, yeah, adjust if you need more space.

For the (laughs) long arms. (laughing) You're really proud of those arms, I know. I guess so, I don't know. And then something I'm feeling I need, I'm just gonna stand up a little bit. I'm backing up just to get my forearms down.

I'm taking a wide stance, with my legs. And then, I'm just hiking, so my feet are down. I'm hiking one hip, yeah, that kind of got my hammies. I mean, my inner thighs. And if you want to bend the, the knee of the side you're hiking the hip up.

That might be nice too. And then straighten the leg, if you did bend it. Start by hiking the hip, so it almost is like there is equal weight on both feet. It's probably not equal, but you're not instantly coming off it. Then, if you want to bend the knee and come away from that straight leg a little.

Get a, touch, different stretch. And then back to the center. Walk the feet in. Maybe one stretch straight back. Nothing too severe, take a deep breath.

And on your exhale, just stand up. Let the hands drift off the box. Rotate the arms out when you get there. And just collect some energy back. And exhale.

Thanks for being here. Yay. Yay, thanks.


4 people like this.
These are becoming my favorite videos. Both you and Meredith are so fun to watch! Creativity in action! Love the challenge using the ring with everything. Crazy hard!
You are a great team together! Very challenging class. I always look forward watching your new videos whether it is a beginner or an advance class. Keep up the very good work!
Annie G
1 person likes this.
The 2 of you together is great!!!! keep them coming. Love love love
1 person likes this.
1 person likes this.
Thank you ladies :)) great work again.
3 people like this.
Cute but I would appreciate a little more pre planning before team teaching. Or edit out the,"I don't know what we'll do next. What should we do and how?" Moments.
Thanks Pele! Meredith and I are so ingrained to teach in "blocks" via the BASI Pilates system that when it comes to the next block we realize (and often mention) we have a specific set of exercises to choose from that fit that block. In other words, theres a warm up block, foot work block, abdominal block, Leg Springs etc... and within those blocks we allow ourselves the freedom to choose the exact exercise we'll teach to each other (and you) based on the level and experience we are having in the moment. Our structure is pretty constant, but our intent to play and respond to each other is also part of the point in these classes. I also hear that our questioning of what comes next may be frustrating if taken as if we are improvising completely so we'll try to better with that. Thanks again!
HI Dilek, Please tell us what it is that you are questioning.
2 people like this.
Cute with a good warm up by Meredith. However, I'd appreciate more pre-planning before team teaching vs improv. Or if you could edit out the parts where both of you are thinking of what to do next/ deciding and agreeing on the next move. For a smoother experience.
4 people like this.
Kristi and Meredith, is it possible to film a duet on towers? That would be a great birthday gift for me in July:)))))
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