Class #2228

Reformer/Tower Progressions

60 min - Class


You will feel some of your favorite exercises in a different way in this creative Reformer/Tower workout with Courtney Miller. She divides the class into three sections - Reformer, Tower, and then a surprise at the end. She encourages you to slow down and focus on precision so you can build up to the challenging progressions she includes. This is a wonderful class to improve your endurance and to feel your entire body working!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Tower

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi, Courtney here and I am doing a combo class for you. I hope you enjoy it. The class will be about 1/3 on the reformer, using a tower unit. Pretty cool, huh? A lot of the exercises I do using the tower unit in conjunction with the reformer, you could do those as well without my little addition.

So if you don't have the tower, that's okay, you can still do that. Then I'm going to do a section just using the tower and then I have a little surprise at the end I'm not gonna tell you. So it's about 1/3, 1/3, and 1/3. Alright, let's get going. So I'll begin with some footwork with a twist.

I like the headrest up when I do my footwork, or in half position. You choose what's best for you. My bar's in the mid position, and my spring tension is a little lighter than I would normally do. So I have three red springs on. You choose what's best for you.

I would go about 25% lighter than what you would normally do on your footwork. I'm gonna grab ahold of the yellow springs first, holding onto the loops. And then I need to make sure I've got a good hang of these as I lay down onto my back, placing my feet up onto the foot bar. Now I'm gonna press back with my toes on so that I can get into position. I'm gonna grab the spring firmly and then wrap my leg through the loop so it sits above my knee and it'll stay there.

And then I'll have to put my foot down so that I can do the other side. Grab firmly, because this has got a fair amount of resistance on it, and then place it through. And then return back in. Now here's the cool thing. So essentially I'm just weightless here, I'm levitating.

And this allows me to do a lot of amazing Pilates work without dominating through the hip flexors. Let's actually begin today by just sort of opening up those hips. So my sacrum is heavy, shoulders are down the back, arms down. And I'm just gonna start with some leg circles. So I'm pressing evenly into both springs.

I'm trying to keep my legs in parallel as I circle and my shins level to the ground. Reverse. Inhale. Inhale. Last two.

Just feels amazing. We don't circumduct enough in the hips, we don't circle enough. Now from here, I'm just gonna allow the knees to sway and go into an extension. Come back to center, sway, and extend. Bend and through.

Bend and through. And already I'm really feeling a lot of hip extensors work, some inner thighs work, and I'm kicking into those obliques. And through, nice. Now that I have a little awareness of what these are doing and I'm into my neutral pelvis position, let's place the heels onto the foot bar. Heels are on, feet are hip distance apart.

Then I'm gonna press all the way out with my legs and press down with the springs. So I'm using the backs of my thighs and my hip extensors. Exhale to pull myself in. Inhale to press. Exhale to pull.

So this is an excellent series for those of you who have a problem feeling their hip extensors during footwork. If all of that you're feeling is your fronts of the thighs, this is an excellent modification. You really feel how you have to draw up through the front of the knee and engage to the back of the knee and lift through the seat as you press. Let's take it for three. Two.

And one. Come all the way in and change so the toes are on. Still in parallel, press down through the big toes. Push all the way out and down on the springs. Do you see that?

Often people come here in footwork, so I really have to work to engage. And then pull my feet towards my seat and inhale. This is also a wonderful variation for those people who hyper extend the knees. With the activation of the muscles behind you, you'll find the strength and balance in the knee cap and you'll be less likely to hyper extend. Let's press for four.

I like to exhale to pull myself back in. Three. Two. And one. Press all the way out.

Lower the heels under. Now we're always talking about pushing your heels through imaginary mud. Well, now you really have to create that resistance. Inhale, lift. Let's take it down for 10.

One, up. Two, up. I'm still very strong through my thighs. Three. Four.

Five. Six. Seven. Even energy through big toe, baby toe. Eight.

Nice and open. And that's 10. Bend the knees to come in. Now from here, one leg floats to a tabletop position. Just because it appears to be hovering doesn't mean it's not working.

Otherwise they'd be slingshotting backwards. So I have to engage hip extensors to keep it stable, I have to work my pelvic stabilizers as well. I'm gonna inhale to press out, exhale to pull back in. Let's do five of these. Three more.

Make sure you go all the way out. Two. And again, I like to exhale in on these ones. And adding your bicycle. Push into the spring.

One. Push into the spring, two. Stay level. Three. Four.

And five. Now let's leave the leg extended and lift it straight up. One. And two. Three.

For me, this is so much harder than traditional footwork. Four. And five. Adding a circle. Open and up one.

I'm just gonna do three in each direction. Two. And three. Reverse. Pull in with the inner thighs.

One. And two. And three. As you come in, plant the foot. Opposite leg is up.

All the way out and resist. For people who have problems keeping leg in tabletop, this is a wonderful solution. Two more. Inhale to open. Pull the foot to the seat.

Adding the bicycle. I have to work both directions. The cool thing, and I challenge you to feel this in your own body, is once you do this series like this, repeat it without the support and you get a whole different experience. Lift up and down. And down.

Three. Four. Five. Here's my circle, three in each direction. One.

Two. Circle only as large as you can stabilize, you know this from your mat work. In and up one. Legs are parallel, two. And three.

Come all the way in. Good. Let's take it a little bit wider, heels are on. Let the legs open. Now again, because I have the support, I can't just let my legs flop.

I'm very active evenly through outer thighs and through inner thighs. Inhale to come in. And press. So I also teach bar classes and one of the challenges in a bar class is really to get people to engage their inner thighs. We talk about zipping the legs up.

Now this is an exercise where you can really feel that zip. As you extend the legs, so as you straighten them, you should also feel like you can engage a little bit more through those deep pelvic floor muscles. If you need to change the breathing to feel that, then go for it. Last one like this. Good.

Now I'm gonna add a little bit of dynamic movement. Bend, parallel and lateral. So I'm just doing an easy little circle. Two more this direction. And now I reverse.

Push out in a turn out, come in in parallel. Five. Four. Three. Heels driving down.

Two. And one. The last variation is first position. Toes onto the foot bar, heels together. Press all the way out and just freeze for a moment.

I want you to remember this sensation. Toes down, inner thighs engaged, pelvis neutral. Pull yourself towards your heels. Push and pull. Get the loops to touch each other.

Right around here, get them to touch. Inner thighs squeeze and resist. Squeeze. Five. Four.

Three. Heels are squeezing. Two. Press all the way out for one, lower the heels under. And up.

Last set of 10. And I'm feeling my feet, my calves, my hip extensors like I've never felt before just with the footwork. It's not that it's better, it's just different. So again, I encourage you to try both variations, one after the other, and you can really identify how the muscles work differently. Last time.

And resist to come in. Now from here, take those legs up again and just for a moment just sort of stretch the legs out. Again, from the backs of the thighs. Exhale to reach. Four.

Three. Two. And one. Both legs together. Out, resist.

Now these are exercises we do on the mat with the upper body lifted, and that's definitely something we could do here. I'm just not gonna do that right now. I've got another plan for you, so leave your head heavy for now. Last three. And two.

And one. Bend the knees and relax. In order to get the legs out of this contraption, you have to push the carriage out. Draw one leg up, allow the spring to release. And if you want to just drop it back, you can.

And then switch to the other side. And this would be your perfect opportunity to pause this video and go into your leg and footwork. Okay. So changing focus just a little bit, I'm gonna reduce the tension so I now have one red and one blue spring. I'm also going to lower the springs on this side, okay?

So when I started, on my tower, just FYI, they were 1/3 from the top or about shoulder height for me. I've moved them down one. I'm gonna have to grab ahold of these and come back down. So the next series that we're gonna do will be our bridge series. Now that the carriage is lighter, you're gonna notice it will move a little bit easier as well.

So just be careful because you've got a moving surface under you and you've got springs pulling you. I'll have to get in the exact same way, so make sure you've got that loop available. Slide the foot in. If you're a Pilates instructor, then you might just want to make these adjustments for your clients. If you're working out at home, play with the adjustments so they work best for you.

Now because I'm going into a bridge, I have to put my headrest down. If yours is up, go ahead and do that now. I personally like to be away from the shoulder blocks during my bridge work. Now just as before, I'm gonna take my heels onto the foot bar. Now you see how far out I am here, it's much easier for me to press this way, it's much harder for me to pull back in.

So that's where my work is gonna be. Exhale to lift the hips up. Lots of glutes, heavy in the heels, chest is open. Inhale to press out, that's the easy part. That's the hard part.

Exhale. And resist. Pull and push. So sometimes it's challenging for clients to really feel the seat and the feet, that connection? Or concentric hamstrings.

Well, here you can feel it instantly right away. Four. Three. Two. And one.

Press all the way out and release the hips down. Now taking it into single leg variations. The nice thing is is that I have a little support. So go ahead and press out first, heavy the heels, lift the hips up, take one leg off. Push all the way out with the leg that's on and then work to pull yourself back in.

You might only go half the way but you have double the load. Three. Four. And five. Adding on.

One. Two. This really helps me to keep my form. Three. And alignment.

Four. And five. Before we switch legs, lower the hips, come on in, do whatever you have to do to feel relaxed, and prepare for the other side. Precision is so important during these exercises. So I like to press out, get into my heels, and anchor my feet.

Then I lift up to prepare. Leg comes into tabletop. Five presses, the accent is that pull. Two. Three.

Four. And five. Adding on. One. I have to work so hard to pull this leg down.

Two. Three. Four. Five. Place the foot.

And resist. Awesome. This time, we're gonna take the heels wide. Again, if you'd like to press out to find your connection. Arms are long, chest is open.

Lift the hips up, pull, and press. Pull and press. Just three more. Knees right over the mid feet. Two.

And stay in for one. Now from here, knees open an inch and close. 10. Nine. Eight.

Seven. Keep pulling your heels and your hips towards each other. This is five. Hips are up. Four.

Chin away from the chest. Three. Two. Navel to spine. One.

One last pull and release. Good work. From here, we're gonna take the feet out the same way that we did before. Just be careful, because there's a lot of spring tension on here and again, remember to release it back. Nice and easy.

Again, this would be an awesome opportunity to stop and go into your traditional bridges. I'm telling you, it's such a cool feeling. Now I'm taking off another spring so I have one red only. So I went from heavy to medium to light. Notice that as I reduce the tension here, I reduce the height here.

You may have a different ratio or you sort of play with how your springs feel. I'm now gonna move these down two spaces so it's right around belly button height for me. And I'll have to get in the same way, so I have my loops. For this next series, I'm gonna put the headrest up. For me.

So if you didn't see it before, the way that I get in is I just sort of move myself away and I roll in. Okay. So if you can find a better way, go for it. Now we're not putting the loops through the thighs again. Something totally different.

We're putting one loop around the arch of one foot. Right about there. You see how it's a little closer to my heel than to my toes? And finding a parallel position. My arm has to be active here too, so don't forget about this arm.

Bend the elbow. Once I feel like I'm prepared, I can start to release the tension from my other leg and it comes up. Voila, here I am. Now the challenge as I press both my arm and my leg is to push evenly into both. So I'm not trying to dominate with my leg or my tricep.

What I'm trying to do is feel even energy, pushing all the way out. Two more. You'll notice that the carriage is moving slowly. This is a good little sensation to get me to activate through my deeper stabilizers. Now from here, I'm gonna lift my head, neck, and shoulders off the carriage.

I can use my opposite hand as a little training wheel and repeat the exercise. Five. Four. Of course you could keep your head down. Three.

Or take the hand behind your head. Two. And on one, the arm and the leg stay straight. I lift the arm and the leg up and then I pull them down. Remember, even tension here.

Lift and up. Now if you're somebody that speeds through exercises like the video's on fast forward, you know who you are, this is a good series for you because you have to slow things down a little bit. Let's do one more. And let's try the same circles we learned earlier. So I pull down, open the arm and the leg away from each other.

Open the arm and leg. Tons of obliques. Reverse, open. In and down. Open.

In and down. One more. And relax, good. If you want a little stretch here, you deserved it, take it. Otherwise, let's go into the other side.

So just take your time. I find it's easiest to switch when my legs are straight. Moving away from the shoulder blocks if you keep sliding back. Arm is up. You want to feel that tension cause it's gonna support you.

Pull the elbow to the side, anchor the tailbone, little bit of space in your neutral pelvis position. One. And resist. Even energy. Two.

And resist. Three. This leg's working too, that tabletop leg? Good spatial awareness. Four.

And five. Lifting the head, neck, and shoulders if you did on the other side. One. Use your training wheel if you'd like. Two.

Or put the hand behind the head. Three. Four. That elbow should be hovering, by the way. And five.

Keep everything straight, it goes up. Inhale. And exhale. One. Inhale.

And exhale. Two. Inhale. And straight arm. Three.

Even, even energy, so important. Four. Ready for those circles? Five. Let's do it now.

We go up first, open, not too wide, and in. Up first, open. One more. Can you lift up just a little bit higher onto those shoulder blades? Here's your reverse.

Down first. Try not to move that tabletop leg, that's really hard for me. Two. And in. One.

And in. And release. Give yourself a stretch if you'd like and when you're ready, let's release those springs. Now just so that you can feel the difference, let's go into some supine abdominals and you'll really feel how much those springs change the muscle emphasis. Let's do the 100.

Why not, right? Arms up, shoulders down. Inhale to prepare. Exhale to tighten abs. I like to lift the legs one at a time, nod the chin, and you're up.

Inhale. Halfway. Curl a little higher, bend the knees, and resist down. I think it's so cool. It's totally different.

It's like a whole new world. Okay. So let's change it up a little bit. I'm now moving down to one blue spring only. That means this is gonna move like a skateboard, so be careful.

I'm also gonna use the push through bar with one blue spring. So we're color coordinating. Remember, when you come onto this, it's gonna move. When you pull on this, it's gonna move underneath you. So just be careful.

Press the knees onto the shoulder blocks so you're stable and just sit your bottom onto your feet to begin. Let the hips go back and the chest to go down. Drop your forehead down, take a deep breath in. Press into the push through bar and let your back muscles just start to open up here. On an exhalation, begin to round your spine.

Push your knees forward, tuck your hips, and come into a diagonal, right about there. Now bend your elbows and lift your chest. I like to take it back because I really like that thigh stretch. Tuck your chin. You have the assistance to come up.

Control it, and sit back down. Okay? We'll do two more. You can go a little bit faster, I was going super slow. Tuck.

Pull. Hinge. Don't let go. Lift. And resist.

Right about here is where you have to be really careful with your balance. One more time. I'm lifting up from this, okay? So watch. Squeeze the glutes to come up.

And then I keep those glutes active, so I could just stay here and really focus on lifting my hips. If you want to take it a little bit further, go. And up. And take it back. Yeah, that's what it's all about.

Put your headrest down if it's up. Take your proposal position. Trust me, you're gonna want to be a little bit wide on this one to start. So I have my hands onto the push through bar, hips are square, and let's just row. And back.

So I feel a lot of glute in my front leg, you might too. We're gonna do five of each. Three. Four. And five.

Now from here, my back foot is gonna move just the slightest amount forward so that it's on. You see that? Change your grip to underhand. When I pull forward, I lift up and when I go back, I go down. If this is a little like "What is she doing?" go back to the first one.

Two more. And one more. Same thing, it's my glutes that are lifting me up. That's why I'm stable. If I try to lift from something else, I'll feel wobbly.

Take an overhand grip again. This time I'm gonna come up and I'm gonna stay up. And pull. More upper body, now that I stay vertical. Two.

Three. And four. Straighten your arms. Lift your front heel, bend both knees, and pulse. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.

Take it down and prepare for the other side. Just be careful as you switch legs. And again, I'm in a nice wide position, okay? So this side might feel different, let's find out. Rowing first.

This is like layer one. So if you want to stay at this layer and then build to two and three, I think that's a good idea. And pull. And one more. Pull.

Okay, here I go, squiggle the knee forward. It's an anatomical term, to squiggle. Palm up. So underhand row as I come up. And everything down.

Two. Press down through that front heel. Three. Four. And five.

Awesome. Switch, overhand. Lift up. Stay up. It's more upper body now.

One. Two. The nice thing about the staggered stance like this, the lunge, is that I feel pretty stable versus if my feet were next to each other parallel. One more, shoulders down. Go back, lift that front heel up, get low.

Get into that back knee, get it down there. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And it's down. Good job. Release.

Now here's how I'll come out of it. I'll anchor one foot, allow that to come up, and then allow the carriage to go back. Good. I have one final exercise series that I'll be doing on the reformer and I'm gonna be using these yellow springs again. Let's move them up to where they were in the beginning.

So eyeball height. I think I called that shoulder height before. I was hoping I was taller. Okay, one red spring for this next one. And you can have your bar in high bar position or mid.

I'm going to put it in high bar just because. I like to do elephant in high bar, so there it is. Okay, so careful when you come in here. Maybe I'll declutter a little bit, there. So this shouldn't be a new concept.

Slide on the garter belts. Sexy Pilates. And the other one. Okay. So I've done some R and D on this and I feel the best way to get into the position is what I'm gonna show you.

So be careful and if you have a more creative way, you're welcome to give it a try. So here's what I do. I put my hands on the wooden rails because I know they're not gonna move and then I put my feet on the wooden rails because I know it's not gonna move. Then from here, I walk my hands forward and put my hands on the foot bar because I know it's not gonna move. And then I put my feet on the carriage.

And that's the best that I can do. Okay. So how many of you have done elephant and you're like "I don't feel it, I don't get it?" Well, this is a really good one for you then. So flat back or round back, you choose. I'm gonna do round back.

Scoop the belly in and up, anchor down through the heels. Anchor down through the heels of the hands. Inhale as you press back. Now this is where the difference comes in. You have to pull against those yellow springs.

Pull the feet underneath you. And now you're like "Oh, that's what they meant "when they said use your abs to pull." So much abdominals. I challenge you, get that carriage to hit the stopper. Pull. Not with your arms, with your abs.

Two more. One more. Let's try it again, releve this time. I'm gonna change to a flat back position. Tailbone lifted, inhale, press.

As I draw my legs in, I'm trying to get my hips up more. Okay, so that's what I'm trying to do. Inhale. I did it. Inhale.

Two more. This is tough. One more. And take a little break, good. Go into flat feet this time and walk your feet more toward the center of your carriage and together.

You see where mine are? Now from here, I'm going to bend into my knees, lift up my heels high, shoulders down the back. Inhale, press out. Here's my plank. Knee stretches, totally different pull though.

Pull the knees under you. Lot easier for my upper body, a lot harder for my abs. Pull. And pull. Let's do five.

Can you get those knees lower? Four. Three. Two. And one.

Little break before we go into single leg variation. Okay, the sooner we start, the sooner we're done. Bend, heels up, get low. Opposite leg extends. Pull in.

Two. Three. Four. Five. Six.

Seven. Eight. Nine. 10. Other side.

Get low. Pull it in. One. Two. Three.

Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight.

Nine. 10. And resist. Awesome job. Allow the carriage to come all the way in.

Stand onto the wooden rails because you know that's not gonna move. Take your hands onto the wooden rails and then carefully step down. Walk back until you feel very little resistance and roll up. It's fun, huh? So there's so much you can do with this combination.

I encourage you to be safe but be creative. We're gonna move on now and I'm gonna use the tower vertically in a cardio capacity. Okay, so here we are now at the tower. I've got a couple of things set up here. I have my roll down bar with the shorter yellow springs.

I've got another set of longer yellow springs with triangle handles, and that's about all we need for right now. Just make sure you've got room to move backwards. My springs are set at shoulder height, thumbs to the inside, feet hip distance apart, and I just have a little bit of tension to begin. Press the bar down on a breath in and look down at it. Like a rolling pin, exhale, roll down, using your core to press.

Inhale while at the bottom and exhale, eccentric abdominal control to come on up. Inhale, down and look. Exhale to press. Inhale to hold weight into your toes here. Exhale as you resist to come up.

One more time, inhale down and look. Exhale, belly up, pelvic floor up, bar down, chin down. Inhale, weight to your toes. Shoulders out of the ears, exhale as you rebuild to come all the way up. Take a baby step back so your hands are belly button height.

Heels together, toes apart. Exhale, pull the bar to your thighs as you lift up. Inhale, resist down. Let's do 10 more. Lift up, 10, and resist.

Nine. This is all about posture. Eight. Sacrum heavy, pelvic floor up. Pull.

Five more. Really get those inner thighs to work, just like we did on the reformer. Remember I told you to remember that? Two more. One more.

Hold it. Zip up those heels so they're touching. Grow taller, push the earth down, stay here, pump the arms. Pump, pump, pump. Like you're standing up doing the 100.

No bouncing. Arms straight. Draw up through those front of those thighs. Inhale, one, two, three, four, five. Exhale.

Back muscles should be on fire. Inhale, one, two, three, four, five. Exhale. One more set. Glutes engaged as well.

And exhale, one, two, three, four, hold it. Lift a little higher as you press down. And resist. Good. Rotate back to parallel.

Flip your palms underneath. Right foot is gonna step back as I do a bicep curl, bar to my nose, inhale up. Let's stay on the same side. Eight. Seven.

Good. Six. Find that perfect lunge. Five. Four.

Neck long. Three. Light on the feet. Two. And hold the next one back.

Release the bar halfway out, lower down as you squeeze in. Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Lift up. Stay light on the toes, flip the palms, press down like how we started. Hinge the body forward.

One, two, three, and four. Up, two, three, little bit quicker. One and up. Two and lift. Hips are square here, and lift.

Two more. Up, up, push down into that bar. One more. Up, hold it here. Soften the standing leg.

Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one. Rise up, roll it out, flip the grip, other side. Back and up. Eight times. Keep those elbows lifted.

Three. Four. Five. Lots of anticipatory core muscles here so you don't slingshot. Seven.

And eight. Next one. Step it back, release the bar halfway. Eight, seven, six, five. Elbows higher.

Four, three, two, and one. Lift it up, flip the grip. Slow, one, two, three, and four. Up, two, three, little bit quicker. One and two, up, lift.

Kick, kick, up, lift. Kick, kick, up, lift. Last one. Kick, hold. Bend the standing knee.

Eight, seven. Keep the chest lifted here. Four, three, two, and one. Bring it in. And lift up.

That was a good full body. Let's take the roll down bar off and exchange it for the triangle handles. So I'm not going to change where the spring is, just putting the triangle loops on there. Just using one loop at a time for this next series, well, you see how it's a little higher than my shoulder? So I'm kind of splitting the difference.

For me, I think I'm gonna take it down because I can't get right at shoulder height. I think this would be a better one, okay? So maybe chest height is a better example. Now step away from the tower as you open your legs. Take your arms out in front of you.

If you want more tension, move away. If you want less, move closer. I'm gonna be right about here, splitting the difference. Down and squeeze the center. Down and squeeze.

Lower and squeeze. Squeezing from my chest and pecs. Down. Down. Down.

Now interlace those fingers and go down. Don't be shy. Move forward if you're feeling too much tension. Rotate away from the tower and back. Legs don't move.

Three. Don't just pull with those arms, twist from your center. Four. Five. Six.

Seven. Elbows up, shoulders down. And eight. Open it up. From here, I'm gonna pivot on my feet and pivot, turn away from the bar.

Now I know for this one I like to be a little bit closer so I moved back. Top hand onto the thigh, hinge forward. Pressing for five. Four. Shoulders down the back, ribs and abs in.

Three. Two. And one. Circle it around. Bending at the elbow, forward press.

Five. Four. Resist it, use the core. Three. Two.

And one. Lift up, switch the grip as you pivot, and you're ready for the other arm, tricep extensions. One. Two. See that shake?

Eccentric work is hard. Three. Four. Deepen that lunge. Five.

Now in the next one, keep the arm straight. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And bring it all the way in. Let's do it on the other side. Remember, I did move this down, so it's just a little lower than my shoulders.

I have my arms open, my legs open. Find the position that's best for you. As you plie, you'll hug the arms into the center. Eight. Seven.

Nice wide stance here, guys. Six. Five. Don't let the spring rotate you. Four.

Three. Two. And one. Come up, interlace the fingers, and go back down. Stay low as you rotate.

Eight. Keep those elbows up. Seven. Head just travels along with the torso. Six.

Five. Feeling my inner thighs for sure. Four. Elbows up. Three.

Two. One. Lift up, pivot. I know I like to step back, so you can too. Push.

Five. Four. You see how I'm pitched forward here? Three. I'm using my core to stop me from slingshotting back.

Four. And five. Circle it around, bend the elbow, forward press. One. Little harder on this side.

Two. For me anyways. Three. Four. And five.

Lift up, switch the hands, and there I am. Triceps. And bend. And bend. Don't be shy to move forward and back.

Just adjust it so it's right for you. On the next one, keep the arms straight, pulse it. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And draw it all the way in. Roll the shoulders down.

That's some good work. Now for the next one, I'm gonna turn so my back is to the tower. And I'm gonna step one foot forward, one foot back, coming back into this lunge position. I'm gonna bend both of my elbows and pitch forward, pressing the arms forward to begin and then flipping the palms up. I open the arms on a breath in and exhale, I close them as I close my ribs.

Open. One. Two. Three. Four.

And five. Now as I open my arms, I can add a balance challenge. Close, point. Close, point. Three.

Four. And five. Switch the legs. Let's see how we do on the other side. Hinge.

One. Elbows are up, shoulders are down. Two. Lean a little more into it. Three.

See the difference when I lean in? It's harder. Four. And five. Can we do it?

Lean, up one. Two. Good. Three. Four.

Five. And release. Good. Now that we've mastered the lunge and balance, the challenge it with fencer lunges. One hand up, one hand down.

Now, you'll be switching so it doesn't really matter but I have the outside hand on. Step towards the back of the tower so your heels are in line. Outside leg lunges on a diagonal as the arms reach. Five times. One.

Bring it in. Two. It's a creative rotator cuff exercise. Three. That really works.

Four. Five. Sunk, that's the switch. One. Two.

Keep your hips square. Three. Four. And five. Now before I switch sides, pivot to the bar, feet hip distance apart, arms up for a squat and bicep curl.

Down and up. Really lean back here, trust. Pull. And up. Press down through those heels.

And up. Two more. And up. One more. And up.

Other side. So align your heels with the back of your reformer. I have my outside hand on the top to begin and I'm lunging on a diagonal. Here we go. Five.

Four. Three. Two. One. Just switch the hands, don't change anything else.

Five. Four. Three. Two. And one.

Face towards your tower, step back a little bit more. Open the legs, wide second position. This time, plie and wide row. Down and up. Now if you want to add a challenge, feel free to lift your heels up here.

The springs are helping to hold you up. If you want more resistance, step back. Four. Three. Two.

And one. And bring it in. Good. There's so much more we could do here, but to keep you moving and to get everything in, we're gonna move on now. I'm using the push through bar and the safety chain.

It's very important that you have a stable safety chain. I'm using the safety chain to secure the bar in place. The position that I want the bar is right around navel height. So for me, it's right around here. So I'm gonna find that position and that's good right about there.

Okay. Perfect. Yeah, it just moved down a little but I'm gonna do this one. Okay. Now it's perfect.

Okay, so play with it so you adjust it for you. Also, make sure your reformer is secure so if you lean backwards, it's not gonna move. This was my surprise. Now you have a ballet bar. Let's begin.

Facing towards the bar, rock your weight to your heels, releve up, connect your heels together. Light grip on the bar, shoulders down. Eight times. Down, up, squeeze. Two, up, squeeze.

Three. Four. Use those glutes too. Five. Six.

Focus on posture. Seven. Eight. On the next one, stay down. Eight, seven.

Control it. Six, five, four, three, two, and one. From here, tuck the hips under, using the abdominals not just the glutes, and release. Thighs already on fire. Eight.

Shoulders stay open. Seven. Six. Challenge by getting lower. Five.

Heels up, guys, heels together. Four. Three. Two. And one.

Lower an inch, lift up, and shake it out. Good, you will build your endurance on this series. Feet together, side facing bar. Rock your weight into your heels to find your first position. Plie down and up for five.

Four. Three. Two. And one. Open the arm, open the stance.

Plie here, slide the foot in and the arm in, and plie again. One more slow. Plie, slide, and squeeze. Let's flow. Eight.

Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three.

Two. One. Open it up, stay low. Hand goes back to the hip, lift those heels. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.

Heels down. Take the arm out and plie in your second position. Pivot and turn. You got it? Down, turn.

Down, turn. Get that back knee to drop low. Open, turn. Open. Each time you go down, grow a little taller through your spine.

Last three. Two. One. Hold. If you need to adjust anything, now is the time.

Underhand grip, back leg scooters. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And bring it all the way in. Good. Go ahead and run it out.

Let's do the same thing on the other side. Turn around, heels together, hand on hip, arm is soft. Bend, up, squeeze. Bend, up, squeeze. Really work those inner thighs and those glutes.

Good. Last time like this. Open the leg, open the arm. Bend, slide, and squeeze. Open, slide, and squeeze.

Eight times. One. Two. Three. Four.

Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Open it up, lift the heels.

Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Heels down. Pivot, bend. Open, bend. Let's flow.

Eight. Seven. Heart rate's getting up. That's six. Five.

Four. Three. Two. One. Adjust, underhand grip.

Stay bent, back leg in. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And bring it in. Very good. For the next series, we're gonna really target those outer thighs.

So stand about an arm's length away from your bar. Parallel your feet, opposite hand to hip. Lift up like you're doing side overs on the box and place the elbow and the forearm down. Keep your chest open and lifted. Lift and tap.

Two. Leg straight. Three. Four. Five.

Neck is long like you're in a side plank here. Six. Collarbones open. Seven. Hold it up.

Eight little pulses. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, hold it up. Eight, seven, six, five, you got this, four, three, two, reverse. Eight, press down through the bar. Six, good.

Four, three, two, hold it up. Lift it an inch and bring it in. And feel free to stretch. We're doing great. Let's even that out on the other side.

Turn around. So an arm's length or so away, knees are soft, hand on hip. Don't just collapse. Like you're doing side overs on the short box, slide the leg. Eight.

Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three.

Two. One. Hold it up. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, circle it. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, reverse it.

Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, hold it up. And bring it in front to stretch. As you may know, there are so many beautiful exercises you can do on the ballet bar. I have a lot more that I'd love to teach you but we are gonna wrap this up with a nice stretch using the ballet bar. Standing with your hands onto the vertical frame, feet hip distance apart, one leg comes on.

It's a good idea to have grippy socks or some sort of non-slip wrap around your bar here. Lift up, press forward. Now from here, allow the leg to move forward and the chest to move downwards. Breathe and hold. You may be able to walk your hands down a little bit lower.

Forehead to the knee, perhaps. And bend to come in. Now before you're done, slide the foot towards the front, pivot turn, take a hand onto something stable, and try the same thing. Maybe you can go into lateral flexion. Five, four, three, two, and one.

Rise up and remove the foot. Now if you're feeling more bendy, you can come back away from the push through bar. The further back, the bigger of a stretch you'll feel. Go forward, take your stretch. Remember in these stretches, it's not about surrendering forward, it's a game of tug of war.

So push forward with the foot, draw back with the booty, walk the hands down if you'd like, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Rise up, slide it forward, pivot turn. Leg goes forward, take a stretch. Open the chest. We did so good.

I think that went by really fast. I don't know, what about you? It was a lot of fun for me to work out with you. I hope you enjoyed your workout today. There's so much you can do so stay inspired.

Keep coming back for more. Thanks for watching.


4 people like this.
Super ...
Great class, Courtney! And specially as a dancer I really enjoyed the work out for the legs. Brilliant :) Thank you.
4 people like this.
A killer. Thank you so much. Especially the elephant and knee stretchers felt awesome and really beneficial. You are a genious. Is it to much to ask for more;)))
Very creative! I love the final surprising! Courtney Miller is a wonderfull teacher! Thank you!
2 people like this.
You did it again. Another favorite class. More more more...
1 person likes this.
Courtney thank you for your creative collaboration of exercises on all of the equipment you perform on!! You are quite unique!!!
1 person likes this.
Wow, that was awesome! Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Wow !! So brilliant... so different... so inspiring... so challenging... so good for my body... Many many thanks Courtney :))
1 person likes this.
Brava Courtney x
Yabadabado! Thanks Courtney!
1-10 of 53

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.