Class #2225

Reformer Workout

35 min - Class


Build strength into the places that are most imbalanced in this beginning Reformer workout with Rachel Taylor Segel. She focuses on continuing to move safely to get stronger in the powerhouse so you can begin to advance in your Pilates practice. She also works on creating a floating quality of movement so you can achieve what Joseph Pilates called, "one pound of effort for ten pounds of product."
What You'll Need: Reformer, Pilates Pole

About This Video


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Hi, I'm Rachel Taylor Siegel from the [inaudible] center in Boulder, Colorado. And I'm here today with Laurel and Jackie to do a beginning reformer class. So we have a client who is more than beginning and a client who is more like beginning. And so we will, I will, I will try to speak the words of getting on and off and the words of transitioning from exercises as well as not put too many, uh, complicated thoughts into their mind as they move, but hope that they get a, uh, at tempo workout that is nevertheless still beginning. And I keep them safe first of all, and I keep them moving and they get stronger in the places. That beginning work is supposed to make you stronger, which is primarily your abs and your hamstrings, pelvis, and maybe a little bit most nowadays, the upper back, I think. All right, so we're gonna Start and you start mounting the reformers standing right here at the front corner of your carriage facing outwardly just a little bit.

So you're gonna face me. You can have your arms out in front of you or they can be crossed. And you're gonna try and put your right cheek on the corner, the carriage lifting and inhaling as you go down that tummy lifting right there picks your knees up and you put your hands by your sides. As you swivel around to the left and you put your feet toes apart, heels together and slide your bottom towards your feet and lay your spine right down on to head in between the shoulder blocks, straight arms down by your sides. Good. I see Dan, you too. And then press gently your feet into the foot bar like you're like, you could almost embed your feet.

Take a big inhale up and go out with your leg straightening and exhale home. We'll do 10 of them. Inhale, stretch and exhale, bend. Good. Let your inhale start even before your knees start so that you are focusing on it. It turns your tummy lengthy, beautiful, and makes you feel y wide and deep in the mat, in the keep your heels as steady in space as you can so that they feed right up into your body. We'll do one more. I think. Big Breath in hot exhale home and that belly pulling into the hot exhale picks your feet up and takes you to bird on a perch. Your heels are really low.

Knees together, toes wrapped, heels wrapped and that he'll wrap. Gives you your hamstring down to your sits bones. So you inhale and let your breath take you out. Exhale, come home. Nicely done in with the air and exhale. Good. Think of the breath.

Polling the springs so that every core beautifully done moral, every coil com has breadth with it, so you're not necessarily gonna put your knees down, you're going to take your legs with your breath. That Nice Jackie, can you feel the difference? They're beautiful you. To bring the heels under just a little bit more as you come home. We'll do one more. I'm not really counting. Hopefully it's about 10 and then last one in and Tommy is strong to pick your knees and heels up and you place your heels on the bar. And I said from high up, kind of from a perilous toes flexed back towards your shins. Push into your heels to breathe your breath up and exhale home.

Nice. So the more you breathe in filling the whole circumference of your rib cage, let your back rest. Let your breath take you out. Work less hard. Nicely done. Exactly. So when I said work less hard, you let your back relax a little bit, but it's beautiful. Tozer flex back. Even when you bend your knees, you're trying to keep them back strongly.

When you do that, you feel it here more, right? One more time. How to exhale toes back, back, back. Nicely done that valley and on an inhale, lift your knees, places your toes on the Bar, dead center and you're going to straighten your legs out. And then 10 times we're going to lower the heels under the bar and lift them back up. Keeping the knees straight, lower, lower, lower. In a three I always waltz in my head. Good.

Meanwhile, your heels are pressing together, which means your whole inner leg is trying to touch whether it can is not as important as the activity and your big toes are reaching for each other, even if their employees Veela at your back rest and wide and and stand on your feet. Nice and breathe your breath high up under your armpits between your blades up under your collar bones. Yes. And you know you've done almost 40 movements. Now you may feel that you've gotten a little compressed in the shoulder blocks, but as you get better and better at this, you will meet the spring tension better and therefore not have that happen. Last one up and knee bend coming home. Exhaling.

Very nice. So the next exercise is the hundred and we're going to take one foot underneath the top of the foot bar and the other foot is going to search down for the buttress. And you're going to lay your foot bar down with both legs nice and reach behind you for your handle. If you feel like you've got a little compressed, scooch down away from the shorter blocks, half an inch. She said that you feel, um, that you can make use of them and not be bullied by them. Tammy. And as you straighten your legs down on the foot bar [inaudible] and your legs or heels together, toes are all the way pointed and you squeeze your inner line all the way up through your belly as you take a big breath in. And then exhale forward straight arms, head in, shoulders up, nicely done. And you start pumping your arms about 10 inches high.

Good. Up and down with pat with vigor, right? And as you continue, you let the breath come up. So if you're feeling your armpits held down tight, you won't be able to breathe as well. So lift your shoulders just ever so just ever so right. And feel yourself having some freedom to fill up.

So we want people to see, I'm supposed to breathe that big and that hot. You open your mouth to exhale. You'll feel it differently in your belly when you do that and you can relax your back. So laugh to give me your legs, right? Let your back relax and feel your gut. Nicely done. Now you're going to resist just a teeny bit as you need. Bend towards your nose, Elbow Bend, and put your head down. [inaudible] nicely done ladies. Good. Take both handles in one hand, Tammy, and curls you up and swivels you to the side.

You're holding the handle knees together and put your feet on the floor. Good job. Stand up. And we're going to put the black straps on force, um, leg circles and fraught. So I'll do one why you did the editor. So you're gonna put the straps through, not only the loop, but the handle [inaudible] and you're gonna place the, um, you're going to hold both hands, both straps in your right hand and come back to the carriage. Good. Now we have the straps in our one hand and we're going to come close to the carriage and have a seat close to the very end.

And I reached down and remove one spring. So we started on three. Traditionally we do four, but if the springs are heavy for beginners, we'll go down to three. So from three we did, we took off one spring and we're now on two legs. Circles and frog. So keeping your inner thighs together as best you can tell me and is gonna lift your knees and swivel you around and lay you down onto your carriage. And then you're going to bring your feet up above your face, lifting your hips if you need to. This is nice for the back and put your arches evenly right and left.

And then also you want to watch that the straps are not only even with each other, but that the single uh, layer of fabric is here at the strap and handle and that the hardware is on the outside because amazingly enough they can hit each other and unclip one. So you want that on the outside and you want it even here. Even that little bit of fabric can make a difference. You pull your tummy and bend your knees and bring your heels to your bottom. Good. Now from this position, the hips are just a little bit off the mat so that you feel your belly immediately as your feet are going to press up into a 90 degree ish position in the air. Okay, so you're going to come up into the air, straightening your legs to about here. Okay.

Theater pointed. We can do it in Palase view. We can do it in parallel. So let's do it. Employed SV today. So we keep the back on the mat and the pelvis on the mat. No matter where the legs go, we inhale, open the legs to shoulder with or reform or with. We pulled down, the carriage moves away.

We come together and we exhale. Return to where we started. Good. Open the legs equally. Right, left. Pull down equally right, left. Come together and exhale. Return. Good. Open and pull down. Inhaling, come together and exhale. Return. Nicely done in with the air. Lifts you up into your ribcage. Far from your feet. Good.

Let's reverse it. So you're going to come straight down the middle. Inhaling, open and exhale. Return. Center in with the air. Press away from and what you should feel as you press away from his hamstrings and inner thighs. Tommy scooping and breath. Big Up in your ribs. Exhale, return. And one more time, I think. Inhale, open. Exhale out your mouth and bend your knees to your shoulders. Good.

Bring your heels to your Tush and lift your butt just a little bit, right? So that your knees are near your shoulders. Good. As you inhale, press your heels out on a long diagonal. Similar to foot work, but up in the air. And exhale, bend. Next time, take a couple inches lower. Inhale, push out, right? So you go to where the straps hit, the shoulder blocks. Classically, you know, generically less toe crunching, more solar, the foot stepping out into and even out into as you bend. Nicely done. Two more. You do five or eight? Good. Is your back relaxed from before? Because this is easy.

No in a waist. Joe said one pound of effort for 10 pounds of product. This will be the last one. When you bend your knees there, shoulder with right. So narrow. Now you're going to take your spirit, your straps off your feet. So you're gonna bring your hands up and hold on. Close to your in steps and lift it out of your feet.

And now you own the carriage. So you're going to let the carriage come home, bring your feet down if you wish, right? And take them on one hand, curl up into standing, swivel to the floor. Put your feet down and stand up. Nicely done. So let's take right now and drop the springs. Drop the straps into the well. Okay. Eventually we'll probably take the black steps off at that time.

But in the beginning, reformer, we don't really need to do that yet. Okay, so now we're going to do what's called stomach massage. And in the beginning reformer, we do stomach massage round and arms back. So you're going to go back to your three springs, whatever the springs were you had when you started, and you're going to pick up your foot bar and place it on its sledge and you're going to use the pads. So you place one pad right up to the very front edge of your carriage and you can put the other pad behind it so it creates a little ledge that helps you cheat you and keeps you from sliding back or losing your pants. Let's hope so. We're going to mount like we did in the very beginning.

All right? So you're standing up at the front corner, arms kind of forwarding fish, and they come, they're knitted into you and lifting you up a bit, right? As you inhale, you become sitting down without sticking your butt out too much good. And then that tummy lift that you got from that sticking your butt up, picks your knees up, you swivel around, staying seated. You can put your right hand down, toes apart on the bar. Bring your feet down to toes apart, even a little bit more, even a little bit more. Yup. So you want as many metatarsal on that foot bar as possible and you're at sitting a little closer on the front edge, on the front pad.

And then you bend your elbows and you put your palms on the front edge of the uh, reformer carriage. K, your elbows are really wide lead bent. Your spine is in a capital c from the bottom all the way up to the top. And then you pull your breath up into your ribs to straighten your legs. Stay there. Lower both heels, lift both heels, exhale, knee bend and come home. Nicely done. Inhale, stretch, lower and lift. Exhale.

Nice. See if you can lift that breath up into your ribs, like the mercury in a thermometer rising on a hot day and that, or like lemonade in a straw coming up the straw and down the straw. Let's go a little bit faster in with the air out. Lower lift and exhale home. Nice. Not Fingers, but palms two is quite different, right? It makes you use your belly more. Nicely done, Jackie. That's it.

Good Laurel. One more time. Good. Let your waist lift you up. Out of your hips and forward over and stop. Good nap. Take off one spring, probably the middle one and then bring your arms behind you onto the shoulder blocks, knuckles facing backwards. Good in this hand. Position lets you lift up your chest and open and stretch your trust in front of your shoulders. [inaudible] kind of extends your upper back, but your lower back and pelvis is still rounded underneath you.

Try and lift your heels just a teeny bit higher, which will be a little more challenging as you inhale up your lemonade straw, lower lift and exhale, come back in. Good in with the air, right? Push less hard. Yeah. Almost like you're floating out there because if you float up and out, your belly will turn on, the carriage will move, your legs will straighten and you'll feel it somewhere else does. Always nice to fill in the gaps. Gorgeous. Last one out.

Resist lowering and exhale home. Nice. Now you kind of keep your two springs now and bring your elbows up and forward by your ears, so you're reaching arms reaching [inaudible] and then you're going to, that tummy is going to pick your feet up off the bar and bring you to the floor on the side. Swivel it over and stand up. Life. That's it. Good. Those swivels are killers. All right, so we're going to take the blue pads and put them on the floor and lower the foot bar. We have two springs on, which is plenty for the next exercise, which is the short box, you're going to go and get your box, lower your head and put the box on behind the shoulder blocks. So as you can see, we've put the box, the boxes in two different places based on the height of the practitioner.

So if you're a little short, say five, three, five, two, five, maybe even five, four depending on your equipment at home. Makes a difference too. You have some choices around putting the box in front of the shoulder blocks, five, six you would have put it behind the shoulder block. And for safety sake if you have, if you can use that little, uh, I bolt to wedge it so that it doesn't shift forward and backwards. Okay.

So you've got some choices there based on the length of your leg and um, no, that's primarily it, I think. So having the boxes on, then they're going to bend down and pick up their bar, which is a different bar from mat, shorter and lighter and put it on the carriage in front of the box. [inaudible] then have a seat on the box and reach forward and get your two black straps. And we use two for safety and we put them on the ankles to stretch your legs out in front, you put a hands with a space behind your hips to the back edge of the mat so that that place is not only your pelvis but your upper thigh in, in uh, the right position to do the exercises. And you can do it with straight legs or bent knees. You have the calf or the ankle against the fabric, not against the spring bars or the wood, but against the fabric of the carriage. And You keep it there throughout, which is hard. All right, we're going to start with what's called round back.

So you cross your hands in front of you and then you bring them against your ribs and you pull them towards you, into you and round your spine forward. They should encourage you to keep your shoulders broad, but your spine round [inaudible] right? So the push in. Exactly. And then as you start your inhale, keep your legs where they are, but roll your pelvis backwards and your sacrum and your low back. And then start your exhale. Hug your arms into you and ran forward over them.

And start again. Pelvis before upper back. Inhale, push your legs gently down into an outwardly and exhale forward. Good. Less work here. Maybe more breadth. Ah, shout your ex. Ha. Good. Oh, nicely done. One more time.

Easeful chin, not chest. Spine rounds in new places. Good. And then reach down and take bar. Bring your arms, elbows by, ears up above you. [inaudible] and now you're going to do flat back. So from sitz bones to poms, you're one straight piece piece and you're going to tip back. You can curl your tail a little bit, get more belly, but tip back on your sits bones. Don't move your legs and Exhale, come forward, nave and inhale.

Lift up into [inaudible] and exhale. What have you. Act failed into like a little word bubble above your head. So exhale doesn't mean you get shorter. It keeps making you grow taller. Good XL little sooner. Come forward. One last one a little faster even yet. Inhale back.

Exhale forward. Nicely done. Exactly. And bring your arms down. Good job. So your elbows are by your ears. Your hands were shoulder with apart was excellent form you, kept your legs exactly where they should be and stable so the rest of you could move. It was great. So Tammy and you're going to step off the reformer and I'll put the bar down at the end and take your, come back for your box and put it away too. You can lift your head rest on the way back and maybe even as you walk around you're going to inhale and exhale thoughtfully so that you do a movement with a breath and another movement. With an exhale, you're going to lift your foot bar up and we're going to stand onto the carriage very carefully for the elephant.

So you put your closest hand first about where, I'm sorry, I guess it's your furthest hand about where it will be shoulder with and your other hand. And then you step up with your heels against your shoulder blocks, legs straight. So he'll feed flat feet flat down [inaudible] heels against the shoulder blocks and then toes up, right? So your heels are really digging down into, you're bringing your whole spine rounded nose towards shins, right? But a strong stance on your arms. As you inhale, your heels push back. You're looking at them and as you exhale, you let them bring you forward. [inaudible] so you push down into your heels to go back and push down to exhale forward. Nicely done.

Inhale big time into this rib cage that's in a new position. Now it's like, it's like aiming to the floor. Must be really easy to get your breath in there. Good. A little faster. Inhale, exhale, big breath. Exhale everything. Nicely done, Jacky. Inhale, exhale. Good. We do eight to 10 very nice. Come home and stay gently. Lower your knees to the carriage.

Flex your feet against shoulder blocks so they scooch back a little bit. [inaudible] your knees are hip with the part. Your hands are still shoulder with the part and you round your spine is still rounded. So you, you're kind of doing a handstand, but your arms are deep in your shoulder. So you sit backwards, but not so far that it takes your arms out of your body. Nice Laurel. Then squeezing your inner thighs just a little together, ish or towards one another. You're gonna press your knees and balls of your feet back and your heels to go back. Inhaling and exhale forward. Good. Don't hyper extend your elbows, but instead maybe pick the bar up into your body a little.

That gives you more belly. Nicely done. So as you come forward, come all the way home. That's the knee stretch part. Yep. That's the tummy part. Nice. I'd sit back a little bit, Jackie more, right? And you're both doing a really nice job of keeping from hand to hip, pretty stable and moving. Just your legs back and forth underneath you. Let's go just a little faster and x and x. One more goes, don't even touch me, right?

And stay home and then change your spine. So you're going to curl your tail up, lift your eyes, nose, chin, and chest. And you're going to sit back just a little further. So again, you're sort of reaching for the bar, but not so much that it takes your arms out of your shoulders and your heel. Your inner thighs are squeezing towards one another. Your heels and knees push back and exhale forward. So it's a little harder here to keep your tummy up and not move your spine.

[inaudible]. Good. So as you go, come home, don't touch me. Right? So really keep your sitz bones up like flags. Add a girl, keep 'em up more, more up other way. That's right. Even more up, right? Yes, right. And resist coming home just a little right, cause you don't have to pull yourself home and use your hip flexors. You get the springs to bring you home. You don't have to work to do their job.

You've could control them and where you control them. From this, from your hamstrings and our thyme, wrath and belly. Last one. Good. Stay home and round your spine into your original ram position. Sit back, but keep your arms deep in your shoulders. And let's do six to eight of the same. Inhale, press back. Exhale, forward and forward. Good. Take your tummy off my fingers. Added a girl, but bring the carriage all the way home. Yes.

Nice. Good. Yes. Beautiful. Arm Floral. Keep your Tammy off my hand as you go back, right. In other words, don't let your pelvis shift on your spine last nicely done and rest and step to the floor. Now we're going to do the running and the bottom lifts. You're going to add your springs back onto three cause that's how we started. Turn around. Stretch your arms and sit down with that sticking your fanny out to the back.

Said Tommy lifts. Beautiful. Put your hands down, lift your knees with that belly and lay yourself down. Cedar parallel and the balls of the feet are on the dead. Center of the carriage. Heels are a little bit high. [inaudible] so you feel that in your hamstrings, hamstrings in Tami. And as you inhale, you let the breath raise you and move your springs out there and then bend your right knee to the ceiling. Stay out if you would, Jack, you've been one knee up and lower the opposite heel. [inaudible] and change. Alternate your leg. So you're prancing, you inhale for three or four of them, you exhale for three or four. All right? Think that you're going to put at least 50% of your weight on your bending knee. Yeah.

Which is a kind of a different thought because we get seduced by that lovely calf stretch and we look for it. But it'll happen anyway. Right? So put your hands on your hips and notice that when they are steady. So if you have 50 50, 50%, they stay steady, equally supported by both legs. Then you can breathe big exhale fully nice. You two good. Move the carriage a little more Loral, so that yes, you get the range. Nicely done.

Then gently straighten both legs and bend your knees and come home. Exhaling. Good. And we'll do bottom list. So the arch has come to the outer corners and your knees are as turned out as your toes, whatever that is. Okay. And as we get more advanced, we turn out more in preparation for more advanced exercises. So, but at the beginning we curl our tail and our sits bones up about fist tight and you can stick your fist under your sacrum to measure. So crow, your tail and hips. Put your fist under your sacrum. See what what is, you know, four inches, give or take. And you can leave your hand there for a time or two if you wish, as you inhale and stretch your legs and exhale and bend. Think both legs equally and as if they were the springs underneath you so that your inhale fills your ribs, takes you away from you. Don't even, you don't even care that much about the moment of knee straightening, even though you know you're going to straighten because your breath, yeah, is moving the carriage and not your shoulders, but your breath in your cage, in the length of your waist and therefore in the strength of your hips.

Nicely done. Take your out from under there and see if you can hold it with that for two more. Nays use your left leg equally with your right, even though you're on the way home. Beautiful. And when you come home, roll the spine down, bring your feet together and lift your knees to your chest, curl up and rock up into sitting and swivel and step off to the floor. Good. And we'll do one final exercise, which is the front splits. So you're going to go to two springs and you put your hands again shoulder with on the foot bar and you step up on the carriage, sort of like elephant. But instead your feet are close to you. Now you're going to bring your front ball of the foot of your right foot to the foot bar just off dead center.

[inaudible] scooch it backwards just a little bit. And then knee bend really strongly that knee forward. So you've got two arms and a knee or an a foot. I guess I should say that you have, you're standing upline and you're going to tell your back, your back leg to the opposite shoulder block turned out [inaudible] heel down and move outwardly. Jackie to the, towards the wood. I had a girl. Good, nicely done. So that they hips and shoulders are fairly squarish, but the foot on the foot bar is in good alignment as well. So you know camp, it doesn't have to be perfect, but you're asking for all these various things.

You press into your back heel and the front foot simultaneously. As you inhale, stretch both legs and exhale bend, namely, breathe in the chest stays on that side. You can drop your head if you wish, right? But keep your chest on your thigh so and band home. In other words, you might not straighten your leg even though you're using, even though you're used to it. Right? That might not be the most important aspect of this exercise, interestingly enough. So as you work to keep your sitz bones and your pelvis squarish right, you might find that you get a stretch coming up your left tummy from your inner thigh up your so as which would be a wonderful thing to get. We'll do one more exhale home.

See if you can keep your insteps a little higher on the foot or a little more lifted in air as you inhale, big time, fluffy floating and exhale home. Good. And when you come home, you bring your front foot to the carriage, bring your back foot in and change legs. Nice you to to the ball of the foot just off dead center. Bend your knee way forward. And then you have the ability to freely move that right leg backwards toe, healing it back to the shoulder block as turned out as you can.

But because the turnout there really gives you a lot more musculature to hold your knee. However, let's lift your sitz bone up just a little bit and lift your hamstring up, right. Not your calf, although it may follow, but your hamstring, right? So when you did that little den, you fell, you're 10 anymore. Yes. So that's really good. So press your back foot away from your front. Inhaling and exhale home. Nicely done. You too. In with the air, big up like what if exhaling out of your mouth as you come forward.

What if you kept your shoulders over your foot longer. Nice. Exhale. And what if you filled your arups bigger sooner? Love it. That's tree, which we'll be doing later. And next level on the, I'm short box. Good. I think we're even, and we bring the front foot down and we bring the back foot forward and step to the floor. Good.

You add your spear springs back on, you stand up and you can read cholate yourself for having done such a great workout. Exactly. You Pat have. Do you feel good? Yes. So beginning were former, even though most of it is done inflection, like for example, you notice we haven't done any extension yet and we haven't done any twisting, but it's to build quickly the strength into the places that are most imbalanced, which is usually people's bellies. And then once that gets going, then we can add the other things in to a core that is ready for that challenge. So it's done swifter, maybe swifter than we did it today. I'm not sure. And um, and most of it is that way inflection so that you add in linearly.

So you'd get all of that under your belt so that you can then move forward into the next challenges. Good job.


3 people like this.
Thank you Rachel- your kind and encouraging method of teaching really shows through. Lovely to watch
2 people like this.
Thank you Rachel. Keeping the simplicity to the beginner level is so important to keep the focus easier to maintain. I love your quick simple explanations and encouraging manner that makes everyone feel successful no matter what level they are working at, any given day.
2 people like this.
Thank you, The clear instruction is so appreciated.
2 people like this.
fantastic beginner class! Thank you!
2 people like this.
I love watching Beginner's videos; they remind you of the fundamentals of Pilates and the specifics of the movements that Joe created. A Frog isn't just "bend and straighten knees" - a Frog is a deep hip crease with a little butt lift love it! Thanks Rachel!
1 person likes this. the deliberate pace here with attention to transitions. Looking forward to part 2, 3 4....etc. Thank you Rachel & thank you PA - again my BEST investment to my Pilates practice!
Happy New Year Everyone!! May the benefits of Pilates enrich your life every day (-:
Please watch me again, Rachel
1 person likes this.
Thank you Rachel! I love going back to watch the beginning work and appreciate how you taught transitions even at this level.

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