Hi, I'm Julie. And today we're going to do reformer class with post-baby. I have three and a half year old twins. Um, since having children, I've discovered that my body has changed. It's completely different to the pre-baby body I had. And one of the things that I've found is that my body is even more symmetrical than it was before. So we're going to do a lot of work today on symmetry and trying to create some symmetry.
But the one thing I do want to make clear that this is not an immediate post-baby workout. This is not for maybe three, four months after having your baby. It's not for the six week post-baby period. We're going to start kneeling on the reformer, and I've got a really light spring. It's a yellow spring, and you're going to kneel with your knees against the shoulder rest. We're going to place your hands on the wooden frame, so you're in a quadruple four point kneeling pose. So we're gonna start in a neutral spine. So my hips are level with each other and with my pubic bone and I bring my rib cage to meet the inside of my shoulder blade.
I'm going to inhale and as I exhale I'm going to flex at my hip and knee, but I'm going to keep my back neutral. I'm going to try to keep the carriage off the spring. So this is a really good lower back exercise and also for separating the hip from the pelvis. We're going to do a few more of these. So what we're looking for is the upper body doesn't move you keep your upper body as still as you can. Then we're going to change it just to let the carriage come back towards the spring.
This time you're going to posteriorly tilt your pelvis, you're gonna Tuck the tailbone under and you're going to flex to pull the spine underneath and then push it away. It might touch the stopper. That's fine. So again, we're not allowing the upper body to shoot forward of the hand. This is all about getting some flexibility and back into the lower back, the lumbar spine. You can recreate this exercise on the Mat as well, but obviously you move a little bit more differently on the mat. You'll sit back towards the feet rather than the bottom coming underneath.
Let the carriage come to the stopper. And now we're going to work more into the obliques. I'm going to bring my left hand round onto the side of the frame. Next to my right hand. I'm going to try and keep my weight square through my knees.
I'm going to inhale and as I exhale I do the same tucking movement and that sun is really warm and again, half a dozen
Are we going to turn round carefully? Cause they machine is really lightly sprung and we're going to put a little bit more weight on. We're going to do, I'm going for blue and I'm going to take the yellow off. I'm going to place my hands on the football and I'm going to curve my spine some almost in a cat position as if I was about to do knee stretches. I'm going to press the carriage away so my head comes between my arms and now I'm going to articulate my spine here, articulate my spine here. So again, I'm using the carriage to help me move my spine. So I'm pressing the carriage away, articulating into a little extended spinal position and then flexing in. Let's do two more. Inhale to curve.
Exhale to extend, bring the carriage home, place the hands on the shoulder rest, and you can just take a little hip stretch. Lift the chest to the ceiling.
Now this time we're going to stay with the legs straight because I want you to feel you're really standing up. So if the machine was vertical, you'd be standing on your toes. And then as you breathe out, think of sending the shins forward and controlling mcclarigen so we don't touch the stock for the machine remains sprung. We're going to do two more. So this is going to be our last one. And then from here we're going to lower the heels so we don't have to stay in our V and you lower the heels, really
We've got middle of the knee, middle of the hip, second toe, one more on each leg. And then again, find that moment where it really is as if you are standing onto the feet and then you bend the knees to bring the carriage home. Allow the carriage to stop and we're going to go wide apart onto the heels this time. But again, check that you are aligned every time you change position, especially when you've had a baby, your body becomes slightly different to you. So just make sure you do check in between. And again, inhaling to straighten and exhaling to bend. So we're pretty much doing the movement. We were doing four point kneeling, except now we're upside down. No we're not. We're on up.
Where am I? Two more. And you can play around with a breath. Whatever helps you feel stable. The most important thing is that as you straighten and bend the leg that you are secure and stable in the spine. So if you need to play around with a breadth of do. So from here we're going to come down.
I'm going to put the feet onto the foot plate, inhale straight. And so this one is really good for activating the back of the hip. Now I'm going to stay with the legs straight. I'm only going to come in half way. The moment we're really focused on is the moment here is the hips really extend and then halfway when we have small children, we spend a lot of time bending over and we need to really make sure we extend the spine on the hip. Two more.
Okay. Place your feet on the foot plate, bring the arms up. We're going to inhale and as you exhale we're going to roll up through the spine. I'm going to change the springs for some arm work, so I'm going to re spring the machine so it sprung from the center spring to give the carriage some balance and I'm going to roll back down again. I'm going to take my straps, place my feet back on football and again I'm just going to recheck my spline burry. Then make sure you press forward into the hands and really feel that you have the loading of machine in your hands so that as you take your feet off the bar, the carriage shouldn't remain still. We're going to inhale, press the arms to the sides.
This time as you press your arms down to the carriage again, get that sensation of reaching the fingertips to the football and the crown of the head backwards to the riser.
So we're slightly laterally rotated the shoulder joint and we're going to use this move again later. Two more.
Inhale to pull the arms down, exhale to change. So one arm is going up to the ceiling and one arm is going out to the side. Try to keep the same amount of tension on each arm. So we're gonna do one more each side. So we started with left arm out to the side, right arm up.
So we need to do one more to even ourselves up.
So they're just about kissing the football.
Try to squeeze a little extra lift out of the spine. Then bend the elbows. Inhale, open, close. Exhale. Inhale, open, close. Exhale and bend. Straighten the arms, rest your head down. Feet on the bar. We're going to place the straps into your left hand or right hand if you prefer.
I'm left handed so I always tend to go left first. We're going to lift the feet and we're going to glamorously swing round so we can change our leg springs. So I'm going to go back down to do my feet and straps. So I've gone to red, so I've taken the middle spring off and again put one on each side so it's more balanced and we're going to go down. Again, it's glamorously as you can. We're going to place the feet into the straps and just have a little wriggle and align yourself as you best. You can. Again, just check that your left hips level with your right hip, with pubic bone if you wish to for your first few frogs. Keep your feet. Sorry. Keep your hands. These are my hands.
Those are my feet. Keep your hands on your hips and we'll do a few little frogs so you can relate this to the exercise we did right at the very beginning where we are keeping the spine still and moving the hip and the knee joint. We're going to steroid on the legs and now I'm going to just do a few little circles and we used to keep them quite compact and I want them to be true circles so that you're not doing a d bike-to-bike where the legs meet and then lift the little circles, five, six and then we reverse. So all the time off feature in the straps, we're having that same sensation we had when we were doing the footwork that the fitter reaching away on withstanding into the strap as we lengthen up through the crown of her head back was just take care though I know I have a tendency to extend my spine, prioritize the spine, then the legs come together. We're going to flex the feet, press the heels way. I'm going to bend my left leg, but as I bend I want my heel to come down the center line of my body as I open my right leg out to the side. So now I'm going to straight in my left leg, pull my legs together, and now my right heel is going to come straight down the center line of my body as I open my right leg, left leg out to the side and straighten. So I learned this as Peter Pan. You might know it as leaping stuck.
Well, what we're trying to do is keep the bending knee in line with the center of the body and you can take it as low as you want and clearly as wide as you want. The priority again is keeping the pelvis stable. I'm gonna do one more each leg and keep pressing through the heal likes together. Now I'm just going to put my headrest down. We got to come back into the frog and again, I really want you to get that sensation that you are using the strap.
You're pressing into the strap. It's not just the springs pulling you into yourself. You are really continuing to feel the tension, the loading into the spring, into the strap. As you bend. When we get to here, we are not going to change the angles of the hip. We're going to positively tilt the spine, do a little shorts
Reach the arms along the carriage. We're going to bend at the knee and a hip, and then we're going to roll down again, same as before. So I'm not going to use the hamstring part of the exercise. We're going up, I'm really reaching into the strap. I'm going to bend and I'm going to roll down two more. So this angle can be as open as you require it to be or as flexed as you need it to be. Just allow your body to to work for you
Glamorously and we're going to change the spring again. So this time we're going to go, I'm going to go to a blue, so not too light.
So we're going to have at least a hands gap between you and the shoulder as maybe a little bit more. You're going to pull the strap and you're gonna have a strap just either above or below the knee joint, depending on your perspective, you're looking at the knee, but you just want to make sure it's not too tight around the knee. Then holding onto the carriage and the shoulder rest. You're gonna bring your bottoms close to the edge of the carriage as you can. So apologies. You are going to have my bottom facing you. I'm going to roll back. So from here, I'm going to rotate to the rise of first with my leg.
And then as I exhale I'm going to twist towards the football in height comm center. And as I exhale, my work is not just twisting my lower back. I'm thinking about the obliques, making sure that my upper body does move. Inhale. So again, you can play around with breath Putin, but make sure your legs don't start to move away from your tour. So you want to keep them quite flexed at the hip. So I'm really making sure that my gaze is down the center line of my spine.
So as my feet go to the riser, I'm almost thinking of twisting my up. Sorry, is my legs go to the foot? But I'm always thinking of twisting my priorities to the riser in opposition. I'm going to do one more towards the football and then the last one to the riser. Allow the carriage to come home. You're going to sit up and take your foot and like add to the strap. So now I'm going to turn around and do the other side. And again, you're gonna measure at least a hand scout, potentially more pull strap
This is a really great movement. Forgetting the waste working. Let's do one more. So we're going to go towards the football
Am I going to bring your bottom as close to your feet as you can and then we're going to place the hands through the strap
You can even put something, a ball between your knees and your chest to make sure you're not cheating, but the menu cheat on the reformer. You know what it gives you away as you just saw. So I'm going to tip back and again, if you go too far, you're not going to get back up and you'll end up in the springs. So just keep and I can feel already and I'm shooting as well. I'm talking,
Keep reaching all the way, even when the carriage has gone dead. Before you roll back up. And again, we're going to roll back, open the arms, press the spine forward to give space for the arms to move into. Roll the arms forward. Try not to clash the sprains if possible. And again, rolling back. Open the arms. So from here, really think it's my spine going forward.
That gives me the space to move my arms into. Circle the arms round and roll back up. I'm going to turn round and I'm going to bring my bottom against the shoulder rest. I'm gonna organize myself.
Two more just to feel all those different directions of opposition. Head to the ceiling, tailbone down, fingertips away from the shoulder blades which are hugging the back of the rib cage and n not from here. I'm going to go down to top of carriage, up to t to touch the ceiling and then I'm going to circle. Try not to cut the circle short and back in. So there's your choreography. We're going out, we touch the carriage, we touch the ceiling and we reach and I think I just stepped my boobs out.
Then try not to stick your boobs out. Keep them on a check
So I found these exercises really useful because when you've been carrying babies, your upper back, I lost a sense of where it was, where my ribs were, where my boobs were, these helped. So from here I'm going to reach the arms up and I'm going to find as best I can, a straight line from my sit bones through my shoulders to my fingertips. As I breathe in, I'm going to bend my elbows and I was like, exhale, I'm going to reach my arms up
You can see when people lose the momentum. We get this really work and you've got options. If it's too hard at the back of the head, you can come to the front of the head. You can do crown of the head, or you can do shaving the head. From here, I'm going to open my arms out to hug a hip cocker tree. There'll be very big hips if they were here, they might feel like it after you've had your baby, but they never will be.
Topic two more. So again, really feel it. The rib cage is flat and touch you and not flat, but touching the inside of the shoulder blade one more and then bring the onset, hang the straps and now we're going to put the non-box on. I'm gonna leave the red spring on. Okay, so make sure your books are straight for stock. Always helps. If your equipment straight, it gives you more of a chance to be straight yourself.
We're going to place the hands on the box and we're going to come into the box. So I want my lower ribs on the box, my shoulders over the shoulder rest. Actually for this first one I'm going to come off a little bit more because we're not going to be pulling the ropes to start with. You're going to cast your mind back to how we started with the hands on the frame here. Now my hands are in front of my body quite, quite markedly. My arms are straight.
So if you go for as much fluction in the shoulders you can get, that's what we're going to place the hands. We're going to allow the upper body Tucker forward. Breathe in, lift the head, try and locate the neutral first of all, before you extend the spine and allow the carriage to move through the arms and then down. So is it just a really nice simple way of people placing themselves on the machine? Before we introduce the rope. So now I'm gonna take the hands outside the frame of the rope. And again, how how you hold up the rope is going to tell you how heavy are you going to work because clearly if your hand handy starts here up on the rope. By the time you brought the arm to here, you've actually moved the spring quite far. So you'd want to pick your poison. Okay, maybe hold a lower more movement higher.
You might get less movement because you're going to take a springs to quite a far stretch. So from here I want to do the same thing. We're going to allow the head to be down. You're going to pass through neutral as you extend the spine as almost a natural moment where the arms want to work and then lower. Find that movement. When we're on the mat, it's really hard to really allow the spine to go through this full range. So we're going from flex position, appreciate the neutral position and then actively extend.
Reach the arms back in opposition and down. We're going to do two more. Head away from chest, chest away from hips and down. One more. Sorry. Allow the spine to flex in between.
So from here, as I inhale, I'm going to lower my legs and as I exhale, I lift in low as far as you can. Exhale it, but do not let it go into the lumbar spine. This again is your priority. Inhale into the lower exhale, lift. You can exhale to lower, or if you want, I really don't mind. Stay safe in your spines. One more. Inhale to lower.
Exhale to lift to come out to the safely. Place the hands on the box. Carefully lower the legs and sets up
So now we've got how that feels. We're going to ditch one spring, one strap. I'm going to put that hand behind my head, so this time as I exhale, I'm going to press back with my right arm.
I'm going to change that spring. Okay.
Just I'm now facing the football rather than the riser. I'm going to bring my hands to my sides.
Now if you want, you can start to add in a lift lower, but you don't have to. We're going to do one more and lift and then to come out of it safely, we're just going to lower ourselves down. Bend the knees in, hands on the box on sits up. Okay, so now we're going to show the box.
Then think of pressing down through the elbows to really encourage
Straighten the arms up. Now lean forward a little bit like we did for shaving the head. We're going to inhale to lean back. Exhale to come forward. So again, I'm directing my tailbone down way from my head. Inhale back. Exhale forward. Inhale, back. Exhale forward. Now add in a little twist on center.
So I twist my spine is now moving directly backwards. I hope I'm center one more each side. Twist up. Last one. I'm getting rid of your poll. I'm going to turn some over the edge and a little fly eagle. I'm gonna start with my arms out to the side. Okay,
As I go over, I'm going head and foot away. And again, as I come up my head and my foot are going away from each other. I'm trying not to compress myself. Very tempting to do that. So from here we're going to go into Flying Eagle, arms out to the side. As we go over to that long diagonal, bring your arms over your head.
Then from here I'm going to twist some. I'm reaching forward into that flection we found in your pulling ropes moment. The arms are going to go up. Now I'm going to come back forward and I twist and come back up. So we're putting together a few of the elements we've already done.
We are going to go arms up. Find your length twist. Now remember when you want the long box, how you allow the spine to flex forward. Now we're going to reach forward and up. Let's do one more arms out as we go over.
Twist, flex. So we're allowing the arms to encourage the spinal movement. Okay, so now we change sides [inaudible] turn round. So my left foot is hooked under the machine. Now under the strap it's going to organize myself, arms out. So as I come from my right home comes in front of me, I find that long diagonal and then I allow the side bend to happen.
I'm going to reach up through the crown and had been away from my foot. You can add in the reciprocal stretch. We come out, we find that long diagonal like a rocket. Then allow the flection to happen
We're going to bring the arms up so we're going to that long line. I'm going to turn to face the inside of the machine. As I flex, my arms are going to come up. So they're encouraging the flection. Now as I start to come back, I bring my arms over my head under,
I'm going to hold my ankles. So from here I'm just going to remember that road in likable moment I had when I was holding the straps. I want you to really feel that shape and how you had to move the carriage. Then we're going to put the feet on the bar. We're not plotting stands that we started in with a foot work.
The hands come onto the carriage. So lift the heels, inhale to push the carriage out, lower lift. And then as you exhale, keep the heels lifted and really try to curve the upper back. Inhale, lower lift. Exhale. We're going to do two more. Now take the left hand to the shoulder, rest the right hands of the shoulder rest. And we're going to lift. So I want, you're still slightly tucked under in the pelvis, but you're lifted almost like we were in teaser when we were on the box, so again, the heels are lifted. As we inhale, we press away lower lift and as you pull back in, try to lift out of the lumbar spine even more. Inhale lower lift. Exhale two more. Last one. Now I'm going to change the spring.
I'm going to drop it down slightly to make it slightly lighter and we're going to find that position again that we had for flat back stomach massage. Bend the knees in. Now bring the left arm up and the right arm up and really lift. I draw the you do a few repetitions and be as able to be in your spine as you can be. Then a couple that get really progressively worse. We're not going to do the tendon stretch. We're going to inhale as you exhale, try to sit taller and reach actively through your arms, so I want you to think of recreating your rowing. Has. You reached into the strap and you pulled your ribcage back to meet the inside of your shoulder blade. We're going to straighten the legs.
We're going to lower down to tap the carriage. We're going to bend the knees and the lift, straighten, circle in burry. Then lift, breathe out, lift and circle. I put an extra one in there for you and n down to touch the carriage up to touch the ceiling circle and in one more down to touch the carriage up to touch the ceiling. Circle hands on the bar, press the carriage back and have a little stretch and then bring the carriage home. Place your feet on the foot plate. I'm going to step off. I'm going to leave a foot bar up, put the shoulder rest up and I'm going to go for a read. I've read in a yellow for my long stretch, I'm going to step onto the machine, hand, foot, hand, foot, and I'm going to bring myself to my long stretch position. As I breathe in, I press away and as I exhale I pull in.
So the challenge is keeping my spine neutral. I'm moving in space and I'm trying not to regal around my joints. So I'm flexing and extending my shoulder. One more. I'm going to bend my knees now. Hold on the football, try to not move the machine as you press the hips forward. So we're extending the hip joint and then lift the upper back.
So we come into a extended spine. Try to be equally extended through the joints of the spine. Inhale to press back. Exhale to lift. Inhale. So again, we're trying to not change the shape that you found.
We're just moving up the shoulder joint. I'm just a little bit of movement at the knee joints as well. We're gonna do two more. Lift the heart to the ceiling and if you'll gaze to the ceiling as well. Bend the knees.
So from here we're going to go back to the thought processes we have for that exercise. Right at the beginning, hands are on the football. You can make it go a little bit heavier. So I'm going to put the blue on and take the yellow off. I'm going to do knee stretches. So I want you to think how you were on the couch before, at the beginning and how you were moving the pelvis underneath you with the carriage.
We're gonna press the carriage out and bring your ears in line with your elbow. Some rounded into my spine. So as I breathe, I'm going to push my legs away and I'm going to put it and I'm going to really work here. So my work is to stay rounded as I push away an inch and away. And, and now we're going to do the flat back version. So I come to a flat neutral spine. I push away and I think seat two feet, seat two feet. Cause I push and again, seat two feet an n. From here I'm going to come up onto the carriage.
I'm going to drop the spring again. We're going to do a prep for snails. So it took me awhile to be able to get back into doing snake after having a baby, as you can imagine. So I use this as a preparation to help me get back into it cause you're following a similar pattern. So from here, I'm going to cross my legs. So if you think of this as a cross between a baby snake and an up stretch. So from here I'm gonna push away to come to a straight spine and I pull forward.
I'm going to flex head to hip to pike up, and I'm going to press away through my hips to come in. I'm going to flex head to hip and I'm going to extend hip to head. Inhale one more and en change sides. So be aware as well that one side will be probably be a little bit more forgiving than the other. My upper body is square to the football.
So from here again, I'm going to extend hip, find my neutral spine. There we go. One side, very different to the other and in Flex, head to hip, extend hip to head. Guess which side my kids like to sit. Okay, carefully. Whew. Kneel on the reformer. Bring your hands to your hips and just press the hips forward to get a little bit of hip opener and rest.
Okay. So from here I'm going to leave the springs as they are and I'm a turn around the other way. I'm putting my headdress down. So the hardest part for the next two exercises is actually getting into your stop position. I'm going to rest my forearms on the carriage and I'm going to put my feet. Let me think about this. Yeah, I'm gonna put my feet on the football.
Here we go. So now from here I'm gonna press again. I'm in a long flat spine. Inhale, push away x Helen, and then you pike up. Press away in hell. Push way too. Hopefully I'm going a flat spine or lengthen spine and then come in foot on the foot plate. Now if that feels okay and you want a little bit more, you can go through to control front. If not just stick with the previous exercise. So from here again, I find the hardest part is getting myself into the position, my face or on the football. We're in the Pelosi stance, the is v that we started with. From here, I'm going to press my out to a long flat line.
Inhale, push away. Exhale, one, two, three, and and again away really extend the hips like we did a moment ago. And snake long stretch. Inhale two, three and pike. If you can keep the machine sprung in between the repetitions. One, two, three, man. Woo. Bend the knees. So let's take off that bar down.
Let's do some side splits. So again, after having a baby, really important, I felt like I need my inside thighs too to come back to life. So I found this a very useful exercise. We're going to do it in two different ways and then with a little bit of extra added on the end, first of all, we're going to do it with a red and a blue, which is slightly heavier. So I'm going to stand onto the foot foot plate first and I'm going to stand about fist distance from the edge of the carriage. And I want my feet to be as level as possible.
I'm going to check my alignment first. I'm level left hip to right hip and down to my pubic bone. Now as I'm standing here, I really want to feel that I'm not rolling in within in my ankle. So I'm really feeling my little toe on the foot plate and on the carriage. I'm going to bring my arms out and I'm going to inhale.
I'm going to push out and an exhale to pull in. When the machine is heavy like this, I am actively pushing the carriage out and controlling it in. That means I'm here, I mean these muscles, which is great, but we're also going to do it another way. I'm gonna do two more to get those inside sides, which is what we all want, really, isn't it? So from here, carefully bend down, put the yellow on. You could even just go to a red, depending on how crazy you're feeling. So I'm going to read in the yellow. I'm going to come back out. So now my work is going to be easy to push it out.
I'm going to have to really work to pull it in, so I'm going to press it out and then pull in. So we're looking to make sure that both legs are working equally. It's very easy to just lean on the one that's moving. I want to use the one on the foot plates as well. Hopefully it looks like I'm actually doing that two more cause he can go lighter than this depending on how much you want to work these.
But clearly if you go very, very light, your first repetition, you need to make sure you don't end up with the riser and can't get back in, especially if you're in the house on your own. So last ones. Now we're going to add in a side stretch. So I'm going to press out and I'm going to side reach and I'm going to row in the middle. I'm going to switch my arms and put in. So this is too heavy. You can go light that you need to be able to hold the machine out.
We are going to press out side reach, row, switch the arms and up. And I'm not going to be here. Here, right? I'm going to change my spring cause that's heavy. So yeah, I'm going to go now watch me. I'm gonna wind up on the floor. We're going to press out. That's, but I'm going to cider each. I'm going to roll and as I come up I bring my arms back. [inaudible] side rage row.
Try not to clash your springs. Last one out. Roll up and in. Okay, let's do the other side. So we need to put the spring back on first. So like go back to the heaviest setting. If you do asymmetrical work, remember that you do need to do the other side as well with the same settings. So this time going again, I'm going to stand on the foot plate.
Fist distance between the edge of the carriage and my hand. I'm going to take the time to check my alignment. My left hip is low with my right hip, my arms are at, I'm going to press in and again, be aware of the difference from left to right when your body goes through something like pregnancy, everything changes.
Make sure the springs us touching the the stop her before you change them. No one's out. So now I'm in those inside thighs. Inhale, push away. Exhale in. So I have a tendency to be on my left big toe. I need to be on my left little toe. Two, two more.
I'm going to leave my headdress down.
So I'm in a neutral spine. You can do this exercise on toes, arches or heels. Today I'm doing it on my arches. I'm going to rest my hands by my side. And before I start moving, I just want to press a little bit into the footballs. The carriage moves slightly. It's just to allow my spine to really feel that neutral cause I could feel that I was just slightly tucked.
So from here I'm going to start to positively tilt my pelvis. I'm going to roll my spine all the way to the tips of the shoulders and then I'm going to roll it back down again. Find neutral, really appreciate the neutral before you start moving again
So I'm not bothered about you straightening your legs. This is this Haler I want to keep hold of. We're going to inhale, press away and as you exhale try to deepen that lumbar curve in higher press away, x helpful and a little bit like one of those kids party things. They get where they blow and they unravels and pulls back in. I think of your spine a little bit like that, that as you pull in your role in the spine, back up and in and as you press out you're unraveling the legs. Roll the spine back under
Re timing your body after your babies and I hope you've enjoyed it. Thank you.