Class #2252

Keep your body in Balance

40 min - Class


Keep your body in balance with this Reformer workout with Amy Havens. She teaches her go-to exercises that work on pelvic and spinal mobility, chest opening, quad lengthening, and hamstring strengthening. All of these movements are like your daily vitamins because they work on what you need to stay aligned.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video


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Hi Everyone, I'm here. Did you a reformer workout or give you a class of what I've got planned really is something that some of my goto exercises for myself. And I remember when I went through my final exam with the Physical Mind Institute, Joan Breitbart actually tested me out. I was very, very nervous. Uh, rightly so. But, uh, one of the things we had to do to test out was to show her, um, and the other faculty, they're a 30 minute or so work out that was really designed for us as individuals for our own corrections for us. So what do I know about my body that the plots work has helped me, you know, with muscle and balance or alignment issues or things like that. So that was a really great project.

I would encourage anyone to do that for themselves. Like, what, what do you need? And not just to like, you know, a list of exercises all the time, although that's wonderful. Maybe pick out some of the pieces that are really going to be your vitamins in a way. Um, so for me, because of my really nice long spine, um, mobility is a good one for me. So what, and flexibility flection of the spine. So, uh, what I'm going to give this class is stuff that I do and if for those of you who have assigned a spine that similar to mine, this might feel nice for you as well. Um, so you're going to see pelvic stability focus. You're going to see spinal mobility, a lot of flection in articulation, some side bending, um, some back extension but not excessive, just more into the upper back, upper thoracic, some chest opening, some lateral line stretch. So you know, it's is right, it's everything. But I've selected a few, uh, probably more of the intermediate level and so, and quad lengthening, hamstring strengthening, you get the just, so let's come down, have some fun.

And it doesn't have to be a corrective exercise workout program either. It could just be a workout or a class. But I'm on a grass reformer today because it feels good and I like to change the equipment that I work on because I also think it's nice to adapt to myself to different things and to let my body respond to different apparatus and to teach myself what those feelings are. And again, just move my body on whatever apparatus I'm choosing. So here we are, we're in our Pilati Zvi. Let's talk about spinal stability or pelvic stability first and foremost through our footwork. So let's take our inhale as we extend and exhale, press in 10 reps, stay focused on your pelvis, keep it simple. What's your pelvis doing? Really think about that level from hip, hip, pubic, bone pulling.

You're lengthening your spine up out of your pelvis is the thought here. Oh, maybe the pelvis is what's moving the reformer for us. So that feeling of length and eight even weight on the feet and 10. So I'm going to wrap into the bird on a perch and length. And again, pelvis is stable. I'm gonna really try to anchor my sacrum on the bed and let my sacrum kind of guide my movement. So that I'm feeling the work really low. Deep in my belly. Yeah.

Yes. An already starting to feel and work and think about my hamstrings to open up my quadriceps to lengthen this line across my thigh and nine and 10. All right. Heels parallel. Same thing. Move. Try to lengthening out the quadriceps. Lengthen and engage the hamstrings. But once again, nice stable pelvis. [inaudible] rib cage.

I did leave out another one that nice thoracic pelvic stabilization you'll see in the long stretches for me and eight and nine. Let's just take one more and then we'll do some tendon stretches. So if we just take the balls of the feet down on the bar, lift the heels and we'll press three counts to lower to three and lift two, three. So again, pelvis, where is it? Hopefully not tilted back. You're not arched too much at all. [inaudible] your lower back is nice and long.

It's really allowing the ankles to flex and extend ruling through the balls of the feet. [inaudible] trying not to lock out those back the knees. Last one, press lift and [inaudible]. Alright. So I'm gonna move a little bit away from the shoulder blocks. Take my head rest down and arches of my feet on the bar so I'm now, that was some stability work. I want to think mobility, spinal mobility, and I'm going to breathe in here first. Working a pelvic curl.

Now I know this traditionally doesn't happen on a growths reformer right now. That's okay. I'm moving my body. Breathing in and working that mobilization, kind of fortifying all the joints of the spine in this movement. Inhale level pelvis. Let's shoot for four of these. Exhale rolling up. So yeah, again, the hamstring focus for me is a big one.

I need that for knee support. Knee that to open up in Linkedin, my quads, it helps an attraction that spine, like getting that posterior chain that's really feel your movement. Inhale level pelvis. Exhale, curl up. So we're going to stay up there this time and just four. So maybe reps today, three or four little reps, but deep work and just little push little pool. So focus it right where your leg meets your butt right there. Stay focused there. That is opposite of the hip joint in the front. So I'm gonna open this one. Got a squeeze and contract back here. Okay, that was for roll it all the way down.

I'm gonna stay on the the spring setting I have, which by the way was three, four a single leg. But I'm not going to do single leg till I go up against a roll back up. So just stay on there for a moment and connect into those. Sit at them a glute work glute muscles and just raise one thigh. Four presses on the single leg. Yes, it's heavier.

It's single leg movement will be smaller. So really focused right in that set of muscles and four. All right, and step down. Ready for four, squeeze to push. Don't push until you can track that glute and squeeze, push, squeeze, push, squeeze and push. Set the foot down. Let's take a nice deep breath and exhale as we roll all the way down, massaging through the back. Okay, so I am going to keep this spring setting for the 100 and here we go. So again with a nice long flat spine flection is really important to do.

So let's go for it. Curl Armada, extend your legs. Little v with the feet. Arms are lifted and work the flection of that upper back. Upper spine. I'm thinking about like my upper back is coming up and over the front of me, my chin over my chest in four, five exhale, three, four, five, two. So it's an ever evolving chest lift.

I could get pulled back toward the head rest, but I want to stay curled forward. I'm going to unlock those knees. Energy but not tension. But inside I'm thinking about the decompression I'm doing of my my spy. So I've got a length. Tried to space those discs. You, him injury, nine five ten two three four, five in and down. Okay, so I'm going to take one of my springs down and go into the overhead.

Take your headrest down. Mobility now again of the spine, more abdominal work flection, all the things I need. Take a breath, exhale your arms down all the way. Pick up your pelvis and rule over. Flex the feet. Open the legs. Now for just a moment. Reach into the hands, reach back through the heels, feel those opposite movements and begin to roll your spine down. Don't give way with your arms. Keep those arms active.

Now I'm not going to get fancy today. I'm just going to bring my legs together. Raise my arms up. Inhale. XCL Flex, open, pause, reach. Take a breath, flex the spine. Worked in mobility, work in mobility, stay focused.

Open up the shoulders, legs together. Arms come up. One more. Exhale and down. [inaudible] flex, open breathing. And exhale, rolling down. Reaching into the wood handle, reaching back through those heels. Nice Mobility. Elvis band. Let's pick up the chest for coordination just as wide as the shoulders.

Would that leg open class. Pull the knees even deeper into the head and fold the elbows. One more. So all that is deep flection, deep abdominal work. And pause. Okay, so am coming up. I am going to choose a rowing exercise, but the one facing front, not gonna face the back.

[inaudible]. So one of the other things I need a lot of is some chest opening and some lat to work. And some lateral line work and more flection. So the rowing facing front, it's the second one of the facing fronts. Putting your hands near your mat, squeeze your legs, take an inhale, sit as tall as you can, and then just let the air out. Do a couple more. And again, I'm trying to establish health.

So the relationship for me that my rib cage and hips are in this vertical line, but that the ribs aren't in front. That's really important. Take a big breath. Moving on, curl forward. Now I'm going to reach my hands to my feet. But what if it's the pelvis that pulls back the pelvis, pulls back against the reach of the hands? Roar [inaudible] it again. I'm just sitting tall. Now here's where I'm going to work. Those, the lats, the lateral line of my body being stretched. That rib, hip connection and open, open, open two more times. So again, we don't have to go fast.

I want to think about my pelvis pulling back against the shoulder rests against the reach of my arms. There's that opposition. Articulate to sitting tall. Reach to this space in front of you. Lift. Imagine that you're holding your spine like a string of pearls. Nice and open. One more to go. And Ben, Elvis pulls back against the reach of the arms, even the arms at shoulder level and reaching to the space in front of you and lift. Sitting taller, feel the chest, get broad, open, open and around. Okay. Pulling straps is next.

So I was talking about that needing to work extension, um, in the upper back. So here we go. Still on one spring long box comes up. So let's talk about that. Uh, I want us to put, if you're working kind of the structure I'm at today, chest right at the front, maybe your armpits at the base of the box. They're not any further forward. Okay. Reach way ahead on the leather or your straps and just put your head down.

And then for a moment, let your legs, they're engaged but aimed them down a little bit so you can pull that stomach up. And here we go. I'm going to think about my eyes moving first. My nose, my chin, my chest, and the shape of my upper spine. Changing to drag my arms back behind. I'm going to lower the arms and change the upper shape of the spine or this shape of the upper spine. So same thing. Eyes, nose, chin, chest starts to drag the straps. I'm trying to change the shape of my upper back, not my lower back and lower down. I'm just going one more repetition. Eyes, nose, chin, chest.

The base of the rib stays against the box pool reaching the breastbone. Forward and release. Okay. The t position. So something with working my body. I've got to work on those. Re the back of my shoulders to keep my shoulders open. So here I am, I'm going to start in a plank basically.

And as I start to do that little bit of lift in my upper back, that's what's dragging my arms along and open up. So again, trying to change the shape of the upper spine just a little bit, just a little bit, reaching wide, engaging those upper back muscles and pause. Okay, let's check into the teaser. My favorite exercise, the teaser. Alright, so lots of ways to set up today. I'm going to start like this, the way I learned it how long ago, which is my memory bank base of shoulders at the back of back of the box, you'll see where I'm at today. Legs or lungs open up. So again, I'm going to think about the pelvis pulling against the box. Chin hovered over the chest, scooping and working abdominals.

[inaudible] I'm gonna Pause and as I roll back where the energy of my arms is still reaching ahead toward my toes. What if the pelvis tilting back is what makes the carriage move? It kinda did. And then we'd go back articulating, getting that mobility again of our back. It's about mobility and strength of course. Ah, one of the biggest catches in teaser is the mobility. Here we go, tip your pelvis to let the spring start closing and we'll just do one more and we go.

Okay. And back, I'm trying to mobilize with control. Okay, good. And I was, I'm proud of that one. I remember not doing so well on my test, however, that one she asked told me I needed a little work on that. That's okay. So here we go. That was a long time ago. Set yourself up for a horseback. So I want you to open up your legs, have yourself near the back of your box and put your hands just on your pelvis.

Okay, nice and proud sitting on your horse. So what I want us to do is start to articulate the feet and engage your adductors. Pull the abdominals in focus just for very simplistically on a c curve of your low back. Here we go. C, curve over your low back. Okay. More parallel with the legs is what we're aiming for and sit back down. I'm going to do it this way now. Hands here.

So as I extend my feet, I want to reach forward, add docked. I'm simply thinking c curve in my low back. That's really what I'm trying to envision. [inaudible] and down I go. And one more time. Okay.

So working that flection of the lumbar spine, it's a long seeker and down we go. All right, all is going well. Let's take the box away. We're going to come back around for some weightbearing. So on the way back up headrest stays up to springs. So this is another concept I like to talk about, which is the rib to pelvis relationship or rib hip connection. In other words, the stability of that line, the frontline.

So no arching of the back. Ideally this planking position is a standing in vertical to people. So we don't want to lose that. We want to find it and train it here. So we push and we pull and we like them. And I'm off. I'm going to do five of these.

Really thinking about the rib cage to stability mainly for me right now. Here's four and and and five. And in [inaudible], setting the knees down. Reposition the feet. So I talked about the need to strengthen the hamstrings, to lengthen the quads. This is one of those exercises for me, so I'm not going to overarch my back. Let's do just do that today. Think about this as your hamstrings right now. More than anything else, engage them a little bit deeper and use that to push through your heels and pull back in [inaudible] hamstrings to heels push.

And Paul [inaudible]. Do you want to add little bit of upper back extension? It's just going to be changing the shape of the upper back. Not a big one. Upper back. Last one coming left, l a up stretch. So here we go. Climbing up.

Oh my. Which version? Well, I'm going to do just a small one, meaning not the full articulated one. I want to focus on moving the reformer with the strength of my hamstrings again. Okay, so it's going to be pretty tiny back and forth. Push and pull. Push and pull.

Press and in [inaudible] and press, that's all I'm going to do. I'm stepping down now for elephant. This one, definitely a little more attention to detail. Unlocking the knees, lifting the abdominals up, squeezing through my glutes, dive in the head down without shrugging a shoulder. So how much flection can along flat spine do when I'm trying to work on here? More in my low back, if anything, and then fast or movement.

Three, holding on to all that work. Five, six, seven, eight, nine and 10 coming down on the knees. So the knee stretch series is next. Okay. This is to lengthen the quadriceps. Again, flection of spine, hamstring work, rhythm. Let's go a little faster. Smaller movement. Two, three much collection.

Can you maintain? Five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 arched back. Same thing. How much extension but not in the lumbar. Long from Tail Alpha top of the head. If anything, a little more in their upper back, hamstrings and glutes. Again, here we go. To linkedin, the thighs. One, two, three. Push with your heels. Five, six, eight, nine and 10. Yes, let's go on to knees off. So come into round position again and I want you to put some weight over your arms trying to keep the carriage quiet. Lift.

Reposition your feet a little. Now this is not the conventional place to do it from. Let's see if we can get lower round more then push and, and of course we're trying to get those knees about two inches off the mat. Lumbar flection, seven, eight, nine and 10 and kneel down with control. Okay, so let's go in. I'm going to drop the foot bar down.

Now keep on to a two springs unless come down on our back. For some feet in the straps, which will get a little more activity in hamstrings, add doctors and of course that wonderful, uh, short spine exercise, which is like a vitamin for me and probably everybody watching or at least a favorite thing to do. All right, so I've got the leather straps there and I'm going to put my hands near that and pull these drops to my feet. I'm not a, I don't know, I don't really like that low mount here for today, so I don't know. Takes a little more balance and flexibility to do that. And you don't offset your sacrum and your SSI joint as I'm learning more and more about my body. So frogs, why would I do frog? Well here, I'm going to work those as the hamstrings and sit bone muscles, just five of them. So here's four. Let's stay out on five.

Okay. Parallel for a minute and just do up and down. So I want to charge up my hamstrings and really think of lengthening the legs long. Not Low, but long toward the wall in front of me. Just five times the hamstrings that move the legs. My feet are a little prehensile in the strap. Hamstrings. Move the straps in. One more time.

We're going to stay down and just do an external rotation. Open clothes five times. Trying to be that same horizontal line. Pelvic stability shows up in this one again of course for and last one. Now when we come in for the short spine frog first reached back, take your head rest down. If you feel as though you've gotten shoved up into the shoulder blocks, just take a quick little wiggle. Here we go. Lainson now start to pick the hips up and control how you let that carriage return home. As you bend your knees, you're still thinking of doing more lumbar flection, more lumber, more up and over, up and over. Keep in a feed here on rule.

So again, we're doing much, much more mobility of the spine and here's more hamstring work. All these exercises have such a theme in them, don't they? Up and over. Even when you bend your knees, you're still lifting into the c curve of your back rolling down. How long can you get your fine before you have to bend your knees? Search for more each one. Three more to go.

Okay. Okay. Little bit longer. Try to get, that's fine. Almost to the end of the mat. Wouldn't that be something for rich last too? Okay.

Last one. Lift those hips. Keep the abdominals contracted up against the spine. Lift the back up toward the feet and bend the knees. Exhale as you unroll. How much more can you put your butt on the Mat? Reach it out to put it down and finish.

All right, we're going to be coming up for some kneeling arm work now, so just take your feet out of the straps, guide your carriage home. You can take your leather out of the loops and just set these down while you're [inaudible] get yourself up off your back here. And then we'll come up for kneeling arm work. So you're gonna want just one spring for this. We're coming into some kneeling arm work now. I'll face you, kneel right up against the shoulder rest and for just a moment, feel even weight on both of your knees.

You can tuck your toes behind you and put your toes up on the mat to engage your low gluteals. And you also may feel a continuation of stretch in your quads. Three times. Pull the strap control. So as mentioning I needed a chest opening work. What happens there? You have to use your back muscles and the back of your shoulders to get your chest open. So this is for that. A lot of shoulder stability. Three times. Work in the lateral line, trying to stay evenly weighted on the knees and three.

Now for the overhead switch hands again, I'm going to kneel away just a little bit. Now I want to show you what too much would be would be leaning out. It feels really kind of Nice to stretch that side open, but I've lost my alignment. I really would love to stay evenly perched on the knees and if I can pull the arm up and rebound overhead just three times. Pool and overhead and last one pool and overhead and then just trained straps.

I'll face you, you'll see the back of me, you know that. So they hand on the inside hip or thigh. Take a moment to feel evenly weighted and what I did before is tucked my toes up so that I could actually engage those low glutes again like I did in foot work earlier and three times pulling the sword. One really want to open up that collarbone to work the back of those shoulders. Three n n changing arms. This is a smaller movement.

Work on stabilizing and leveling your shoulders to even wait on those knees and three. Okay, kneeling away slightly. Arm goes overhead. Once again, even weight on the knees. Here we go. Arm to the ceiling and bend if I haven't said it yet, these Groth springs are nice and heavy. You can see three and n kind of heavy for the kid hello working at, so chest expansion. Let's move back so that your feet are going to hook over the ends.

Once again, you can probably get that hamstring squeeze more opening of the quad. Here we go. Lengthening down with those arms. Inhale, we pull, hold, turn and look. Turn and look. Center release again. Inhale, keep a hold of those hamstrings and turn center. I'm gonna do two more. Thinking down to pullback, turn, turn center. Last one down to come back, turn, turn, center and relax. Okay, fine.

Stretch. I like two or three springs today. I'm going to work on two. Kneeling closer now, right up against the blocks. Thumbs on the leather or the strap and take just a moment to kind of sit back in. It is kind of the easy zone. So right now I really am just hanging in this position. So lean up over your knees, take a chance, squeeze those hamstrings again. Find that rib hip connection.

Open the collar bone. Here we go. I'm going stay looking right out to the wall in front of me. Maybe even down the wall a little bit. I'm contracting those glutes, hamstring, glute. I'm gonna lift my arms and then return trying to establish your torso line. Just a lovely stretch of those legs. Lot of strengthening Lyft.

Return. One more. No, back then and left. All right, let's do semi-circle. Semi circle on this reformer course, the grads. We've got that a block and some of your reformers may have the block at home too, or in the studio to, to stop the carriage from traveling so far. Uh, please put something back there to stop your truck carriage from traveling so far. Um, we don't need to go that far with us, so, hmm.

What do you think? I think because I'm trying to link to my quads more and more all the time. If I'm higher with my foot bar, I'm in a greater pitch in my bridge, so that'll get me more lengthened out. If I'm down here, it may not provide that for me. So here I go. Come on down. Get yourself pretty low and step onto your foot bar, balls of feet. Now as another, something you can do if you're, uh, working on wrist strengthening, couple options, you could have your fist or your wrist here, or you could even push your fists against the shoulder rests.

Play with that. If it's new for you, it's kind of a nice sensation in your back and your spine. You may be able to leverage a little different spot of articulation in your thoracic spine. I would encourage you to try this on the fist. Okay, here we go. So how close can we come to the bumper? How close? What's going to get us closer are the hamstrings that are squeezing them, pulling yourself forward. Let's breathe here now, articulating more mobility all the way through the upper back, the middle back, the mid back, even more and lower.

Ah, the diaphragm isn't a very lengthened position here. Inhale, you're going to feel that stopper, pelvic curl. Lift your bridge and coast your way, and let's go two more. Take a breath. Exhale, articulate. I'm pushing significantly with my arms.

There's a little traction for that spine. Hopefully my voice didn't change too much there with moving through that part of my back. Curl up a lot of strength in the hamstrings or hold that cared steady Edmond. Bring it in one more this direction. Exhale. Visualize your back getting wider, not just longer, but wider as you go through there and then pushing back and left and then so long quads right there. I hope you feel that. Now. Let's reverse it. We Push, we articulate way out here, upper back, middle back, lower back over the edge and sit into that spring. Well, curl up last too. My hands are slipping everybody. I'm going to change my fist and press and roll.

Articulate lot of mobilization. One last press. Well of course the final stretch of that semi-circle is really delicious. Hands on the frame now as [inaudible] as tempting it was as it would be to arch your back in a big way to achieve more stretch. Keep those, keep this intact. Keep this long rib to hip connection.

Try to bring your heels and Sitz bones together and really feel that long line through your front. Okay, now put your hands back and just pull yourself or Shimmy slide. Slip and slide on your sweat if you're there and then set your feet wide. Bottom lift, of course. Who doesn't love a good bottom lift? So lift your butt right there. Again, that same place and let's just push and pull the carriage. Don't worry about going too high if you're not as familiar with this exercise.

The back of the back. The rib cage should be down, touching the mat with curled up as the Lumbar [inaudible]. Press your shoulders, use your arms a little bit [inaudible] we don't have to go all the way to straight knees most likely that would take you off of your ribbon print. Two more to go and last one and then all the way down. I'm going to stay in too little red spring to spring and press out and just do an easy treading from foot to foot. And then the last thing I'm going to do is a stretch that's going to complete into some hip flexors and hamstrings balance coordination. All right, and that's going to be facing the back.

So why don't we come on up and I'll lower the bar step on up. Not sure if I'm going to like that Joyce, but we'll find out. Step back with your right foot forward with the left foot. Now the back would I have there is turned out front foot is parallel and for just a moment I want to try to square my hips because I know I'm not perfectly square so just kind switched where there at the back one needs to come forward. The front one needs to move back.

Now I'm going to work on straightening that knee. [inaudible] bending, straightening, rebounding, three times. There's the third. Now if I can push with both legs, the back foot pushes, that's going to be some glute work front like pushes. But I'm also gonna Churn and try to put my ear near my Shin and bring the carriage in and out like this. Trying to square that pelvis. I'm really up against some uh, flexibility challenge here.

This is good. Feels different on the Groth reformer. So if you have an opportunity to play with different pieces of equipment, please do. One more time. There we go. And okay, step the front foot back kerogen, change it around. Go and turn out the heels up, toes on the sign, foot up on the headrest. Take a moment where your pelvis bones, can you kind of bring this back a little, the other one forward and work a little hamstrings, stretching three times. There's three moving forward when I try to bring my chest down in turn so that your face is the Shin and then come in and out all the while trying to square the hips each time and push with that back heel. I think you did about six on the first side.

So here's 5:00 AM last one. Six. You try to hold it just a little longer hold and yeah. And then to finish, I'm just going to step down and just stand and Kinda notice how I feel. So those are, like I said, are some of my go to exercises. Uh, yeah, fairly often to kind of keep things in balance. So let me know if that works for you. And if you enjoyed the workout, I'll see everybody next time. Bye. Bye.


Amy thank you. Really loved the fists version which actually did help a lot to find different spots:))
Terrific, quick "go to" class. Always appreciate your great fine tuning cues!
Hi Amy! Gosh I feel like I haven't done when your classes in ages! This was great! I loved your cues on flexion and extension for each part of the spine. Sometimes I feel as if when I flex my lumbar I also do the thoracic so it's good to really focus on what should be moving and what shouldn't be. Hope I'm making sense! Just love that hamstring stretch at the end.... just what I needed after going for a run on this lovely Sunday morning.
You explain things so well!! Love your classes!
That was really great. Loved how it was edited to make it snappy. Lots of variety and clear instruction. Teaser a bit tricky for me. Are there any variations you would suggest to make it easier??? Thanks Amy.
Great class, Amy! I like the way you think.
Michele M
Beautiful transistion from level 1 to level 2...great cueing! Thank you Amy:)
Really nice workout.Love your cues through semi-circle. Thank you!
Loved this, but I don't have the same pilates reformer, I had to modify mine, but I liked this video. I absolutely could not do 2 of them that required you to lift with your abdominals and take your legs over your head. Good work out though. If I can get my abs stronger and my back, then I might be able to do all of them. Maybe I need more level one to get me going better.
Great workout thank you Amy! enjoyed semi-circle with high foot bar which I have never done before. Horseback is one of my least favourite exercises which I normally avoid, but somehow you got me doing it!! thanks feel great
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