Class #2506

Reformer/Tower Workout

40 min - Class
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Prepare your spine and torso to move in all planes of motion with rhythmic whole-body coordination patterns in this Reformer/Tower with Elizabeth Larkam. This flowing sequence integrates all of the myofascial continuities and every exercise combines the moving carriage of the Reformer with the Tower springs. You will develop hip mobility and then connect it with strength and control of the trunk and arms.
What You'll Need: Reformer/Tower, Stability Sling

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Welcome to Palladio's any time. I'm Elizabeth Larkam, so happy to be back with you this time. Using the reformer tower for our class. Here's what you'll need. A box. You'll have a red spring on the carriage and a foot strap for your ankle. Take a look at the end of the tower. We have two blue springs crossed from above to long purple springs with some padded double loops. You can use single loops as well, and then the two long yellow springs with handles. As we go along, we'll make use of a stability sling. Your first move, you'll be seated on the long box and the long of the short box and the boxes on asymmetrically so that it's possible to sit towards the back edge of the box without tipping off over the reformer. Then when your foot is forward, your leg is forward.

You can have a comfortable angle at your hip joint with both sitting bones on the box. Take a hold of the push through bar. The back palm is up, the front palm is down. As you inhale, it's lateral flection side bending. Press the bar far away from you. Taking the longest stretch from your little toe to your little finger. Bend your elbows and come up to vertical. Okay.

Inhale to press down. Exhale to push out. Inhale to reach a little longer. Exhale to come up. Now we'll build on that side. Bending. Come up a little bit. Rotating to the floor, push away and rotation to the ceiling.

Turning this side, bending into an undulation with rotation coming all the way up, right. Rotate. Dive towards the ground. Reach away, rotate to the ceiling. Inhale to turn. Exhale to push. Inhale to rotate and come on up. Okay, careful letting go of the bar. It's sprung and the new side awaits. Shift the box, so now it's the short box in the other asymmetrical direction.

Last, so your ankle with the foot strap. Both sitting bones are on the box and your whole leg is forward in a little bit of hip flection reaching for the push through bar. The back palm is up. Inhale to pull X. Hell to push. Push away with the bottom arm. Pull with the top hand, taking the longest distance from little toe to little finger.

Okay. Then inhale, exhale to dive. Inhale, reach a little longer. Shoulder blades descend. Add onto this with some rotation. Rotation into flection. Push away rotation into extension.

Again, side bending, rotation with flection, side bending, rotation with extension. And then rotate at the top. Dive into flection rotation at the bottom into extension. One more side mermaid with undulation and make your way all the way up. Easy letting go of this bar. Climb off the box and you won't need the box anymore.

So just take it off. Put it away. Okay, now it's time to get rid of these crossed blue springs. Take the push through bar down and replaced the short blue springs with your long yellow springs. They are ready in the wings. Yeah, off with the blue on with the yellow and bring the foot bar all the way up.

Okay, now put the head rest up and come to lie on your back. [inaudible] push back, reach for the loops and one long loop goes around the back of your knee. The other long loop around the back of your knee as well. [inaudible] push off and you'll grab the brass ring. No.

The yellow loop handle here you are ready for open kinetic chain jumping, which is a long phrase for too much fun. Here we go. Exhale to push out. Inhale to bend in. Now I have a red spring on the carriage which is making woo the carriage move quite a bit. You could put a yellow spring on also and that would slow you down a little bit.

Only one side gets the turn by itself only the same side, arm and leg. I'm going to aim for a total of six of each, so we have two more here. Anchoring through the sacred [inaudible], reaching through the foot. Now the new side is next same side, arm and leg anchor. The sacrum moved from hip extension to knee extension and I of course I've lost count, so there's one more coming up here.

Alternate sides only the same side, arm and leg, only that side, arm and leg articulating from hip, knee, ankle and foot. Now it's time for the diagonals, one leg and the opposite arm. Aim your foot below the bar. Change now to the new side. Six of these. Anchor your sacrum.

In a neutral position and drawing the shell left shoulder blade towards the back of the pelvis. Now we alternate diagonals, one shoulder blade to the opposite hip, one shoulder blade to the opposite hip. So you have a post Steria Oh oblique sling system and an anterior oh bleak slings system. Easy. Now let the swing come to arrest and carefully let go of the springs. The arms springs in here you are in Nice circles. Circles of the femurs.

Okay. Internal rotation and external rotation. Dorsey flection of the ankle, plantar flection of the ankle. Keep the corners of your pubic bone aiming down to the carriage. Reverse internal rotation.

External rotation Dorsi, flexion of the ankle, plantar flection. Hmm. All the while. Settle the back of your ribs and the back of your lungs down on the carriage. Easy. Now let the swing settle down off with one loop.

The high foot bar is ready for you. Careful letting go of the long spring. Slide on in. Now it's time for articulation of the torso. For this. I'm going to leave the long, the red spring on the carriage and bring the foot bar all the way down.

Bring the head rest down as well, and it's time for the stability sling. I'll attach this sling to the long yellow springs. Now if you don't have a stability sling in your Pele's treasure chest, don't worry, you can make one of your own. It's a crafts project and you can take two loops and attach them to a carabiner. Now to get into your stability sling, take it over above your head and Nessel this sling around the close to the bottom of your ribs.

Now we have a situation you are sprung ready to go through the goalposts, the uprights and the carriage has sprung as well. Caution, have a seat on the carriage. It will come forward back yourself up. You're bent knee. Feed her on the head, the head rest and give yourself about a one hand width from the back of the carriage. You know in the 1980s I studied with Diane Severino and Michael Pod Wall and I remember to this day 2016 that they taught me to put a one hand width at the back of the carriage. When you get ready for the roll down, you see here you are seated with both knees bent. Keep the stability sling around your ribs and as you exhale, drive your sitting bones towards your heels and you will have a support spine flection back into the sling. Now we go into spine if it flection and roll your pelvis over the head of your femurs into spine extension, reverse extension and flection and extension and extension.

Just in case you're not so clear on the sequence, let's take it on the road with rotation rotation. Now we have two flections flection with rotation and flection more flection with rotation. Start again. This pair is flection and extension. Next you change the order spine extension spine fluxion and two extensions at the end of it. Change to the new side. Exhale to roll back. Inhale to come up.

Exhale to roll back. Starting with your pelvis, your lumbar spine extension extension roll through the pelvis to extensions. Now of the spine from one side to the other. Rotation and flection come through the middle rotation and flection reverse rotation and flection extension and rotation, Upenn, Oh over the stability, sling extension and rotation through the middle. As you progress, of course you can practice this with your legs outstretched, so you start with your knees bent and that will make it easier for you to articulate your lumbar spine and your pelvis over the head of the femurs. Then as you progress, then you can have your knees straight and it will be more demanding on the articulation of the lower spine. But don't worry, you haven't lost that opportunity because now we're going to take the um, um, straps in the arms and work on spine articulation.

Careful on the dismount, let the carriage go back, don't slam into the frame and then stand your ground. Make your way up to vertical because the stability sling is sprung off with the sling and now you can change your long loops off the purple springs and attach the handles instead. Okay. Take the handles in your hands. Get ready to climb a board. The moving carriage.

Taking a tip from Michael Pod Wall and Diane Severino. Here you are with the one hand. With that the back of the carriage. Hold onto the handles and here we go. This time with knees extended as you exhale, shoulders descend, elbows bend. Nod your nose downward and roll back as if you're painting the dotted line on the highway and roll up.

Now you can make fluxion more active and your abdominals more active. If you stick out your tongue, that will make your abdominal stronger. Now when it's time to go into spine extension, ankles, plantar flex, touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, behind your upper teeth flection, tongue out extension, tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Extension tongue stays up, feet stay pointed. It's, it's difficult to demonstrate all this tongue action and talk at the same time, but let's give it a dry exhale. Ha.

[inaudible] AH, tongue stays up. Come, comes out. But wait, there's more the eyes or the advanced team of the spine when it's time to go into flection. Glide your eyes down to see behind the cheekbones of your face. In this case to my left down, lift down low [inaudible] flection and extension. Tongue out, eyes down, feet flexed, tongue up, eyes up, extension, extension, eyes up, tongue up. Fluxion, eyes down, tongue up, extension. Eyes lead up and back. Tongue is up to time for rotation, tongue up, eyes up, feet pointed.

That's a lot of moving parts, but just didn't want anybody to be bored. Not careful on the dismount. Slide the carriage back. You've got a lot of torque on these springs. Careful bringing them up. Now it's time for the push through bar again. We'll get rid of the purple springs. Just put them out of the way.

Okay. And the push through bar is going to have one blue spring on the diagonal. That's my preference. One blue spring on the diagonal. Okay. By all means, you're welcome to to blue springs if you'd prefer. I do.

Well in terms of my strength for one and when it's crossed over, it's a little bit stronger and it pulls the bar a little bit higher. Now you'll need a yellow spring on the carriage, so off with the red and on with the yellow. Come onto your shins. Now with the front of your thighs up against the shoulder rest, and here you are holding the push through bar with palms down. Torso is vertical.

You are well prepared for this spine articulation. Nod your nose downward. Look behind the cheekbones. Have your face around forward inflection from the top down. As you inhale, sitting bones spread up and wide behind you. The light from your chest bone shines on the push through bar.

Exhaling. Nod your nose downward. Roll Your Spine to upright. Turn your arms, palms up, lift your chest bone. See the ceiling behind you, bend your elbows and slide the carriage. Yeah, slide back. Drawing from pubic bone up underneath your chest bone, something related now, but starting with spine extension. Inhaling, chest bone lifts, collar bones wide. Exhaling partially in Deflection, in Hail, in the direction of extension. Continue coming up into extension, palms up, lift your chest bone, lift your gaze drawing from pubic bone up underneath your chest bone. Come on up.

So we've had a flection cat and an extension cat with knees straight ahead. Swivel your legs now so such at your feet, windshield wiper to one side and your knees are aiming on this diagonal. That also changes the facing of your pelvis to this diagonal and the facing of your chest bone to this diagonal. Now full disclosure, let's just realize that you have a lot of options here. You could dive through the uprights through the push through bar with your chest bone facing forward while your lower body faces to the right. Or you could keep the diagonal axis all the way through here.

Um, all choose the latter. Although if you have lots of time, one rainy afternoon, feel free to do both. Exhaling, nod your nose downward. See behind the cheekbones of your face. Inhaling spine extension, lifting your chest bone high. Exhaling, nod you nose downward, keeping your chest bone towards the right diagonal. Turn your palms under so it's spine extension and then elbow flection. Pushback and come up spine extension on this side. Extension and flection and extension.

Lifting your chest bone, lifting your gaze, palms up. Continue in your arch elbows bending and come up. Swivel your feet now to the new side and start with flection. Palms down. Nod your nose downward as if you could roll down inside your unit hard.

The pelvis moves over the head of the femurs into extension. Nod your nose. Downward pelvis comes underneath your rib cage. Continue in this smooth arc, palms up spine extension and come back. Stay at this angle and stay in extension to come forward.

The light from your chest bone shining the windows to the waves curl flection are kin to extension and make your way up. Change your grip and come up. Come back to the center now and yes I, I have not forgotten the tongue. So let's just put the tongue back in with the eyes for a full body flection experience. Here we go. Exhaling, curl down, tongue out. Ah, inhale. Tongue touches the top of your teeth.

Exhale to curl. Inhale, tongue up, eyes look up and back. B underneath your eyebrows into spine extension. If you're enjoying this just so much, just be aware that there's some additional variations you could do, which is flection and rotation building on what you already articulated in sitting inflection and rotation, extension and rotation and of course the other side, flection and rotation, extension and rotation as well. [inaudible] hours of entertainment. Meanwhile, we'll be moving on.

Careful on this mount. Take the blue spring off of the push through bar and you'll be ready now for one yellow spring in the middle. You can just leave the Caribbean and attach the yellow spring to the middle. Take the sling away. Okay, I'm onto the yellow spring.

You attach the long spring for this. We'll stay with one yellow spring on the carriage and now you'll put this long loop on the sole of your foot. Probably best to sit down, sit down, Lasso your foot. Now we have a situation you are being pulled one way by the tower spring and the other way by the carriage. Scoot on down. Take a hold of this spring and make your way knee bent. Make your way onto the head. Rest, and here we go. Bend your knee.

As you exhale, drive from sitting bone to your heel. We'll have four of these. Lift up your ribs and lift up your waist. Best to keep your foot in the loop. Best to keep that ankle flexed so that you keep the loop on your foot.

Change now to abduction in parallel and add duction in parallel. Keep your toes aimed directly forward. We have just two of those because now it's time for external rotation from the hip joint going up and external rotation coming down. Inhale, exhale to come down. Internal rotation happens. Next.

Drive your heel to the ceiling and your toes to the ground. Heel leads up and toes. Leigh down. Alternate between the two. External rotation and internal rotation, internal rotation and external rotation. Last round of these turning out from the hip joint.

Turning in, turning in and turning out, but wait, there's more sidekick. Inhale forward into fluxion. Exhale, sweep back. Take an inhalation to drive back further into hip extension and one more round of these. Inhale to come forward. Exhale, drive from sitting bone to heal. Draw from pubic bone up underneath your chest bone and now it's time for side leg circles forward up and around to the back. Lift up your ribs, lift up your waist.

She said to herself and to you rivers up and around to the front x hell to drive back. Inhale, connecting from pubic bone up underneath your chest bone. Now careful on the dismount. How will we do that? Sometimes the transitions are trickier than the exercises themselves. Careful letting go easy and make your way up from here and the new side of weights. One thing we know for sure is that the new side will be different.

There always have been differences between sides. There always will be differences between sides and we'll always do Palase in order to do something about it. Have a seat on the carriage Lasso your new foot. Make your way with a bent knee spring foot onto your side. Here you are.

Inhale to bend as you Xcel. Drive from sitting bone to heel. Lift up your lower ribs and lift up your waist. Drive the top. Asi S is bone at the side of the pelvis. Derive it a little bit forward since the default, which is not optimal, is to go back. Now abduction.

Inhale to come up. Exhale to drive down. We have two of these. I'm intending to be in parallel now intending to be an external rotation. I say intending because I have a very abnormal leg from a an injury playing soccer when I was 15 and I'm much older than that now, so there've been many bony changes. This is an internal rotation. Now I'm alternating between external rotation, turning out internal rotation, coming in, external rotation out and in.

Change it up, turning in, rotating, oh, turning in, rotating out. Time for sidelight. Click sweeps. Inhale, as your foot goes forward, drive your tail bone back. Exhale, drop from sitting bone to heal and as you sweep your leg back, be careful to keep it parallel to the ground. Don't go into a abduction again. Inhale to come forward. S coxix back leg forward and start now. Don't wait.

Draw from pubic bone up underneath your chest. Bone, leg circles. Circumduction of the hip joint comes next forward. Lift up your ribs and lift up your waist as you sweep to the back. Here comes the train forward, up and around to the back, rivers, back up and around to the front. [inaudible]. Now for your dismount, figure out your strategy off with this loop.

Careful landing the carriage and we live to tell about that one. Now you're going to change the yellow spring from the center to one side off with the blue spring and the yellow spring goes on the high bolt. We'll keep the foot loop here and while we're up, while I'm up, might as well prepare for the new side, so we'll be ready when the new side awaits. You'll keep the yellow spring on the carriage and you'll put the long loop on the sole of your foot. Again, have a seat. Just making sure that you don't go through the uprights in an unplanned fashion.

Stand your foot firmly on the ground because remember there's a loop pulling it off and you don't want to lose it and then Hook your foot in. Dorsey flection over the edge of the carriage so that you have a ground force from the top of your foot to the carriage. You can use some the cushion underneath your wrist if you'd like. One Hand is on the side of the shoulder rest and the other hand is on the headrest. Now the first rounds of this, the spine will be fairly steady as you exhale, drive back, connect from pubic bone up underneath your chest, bone into hip extension, but not too much spine extension yet again. Now depending on your leg length and your reformer height, you may be able to drive your heels straight down from your sitting bone.

That's not my situation currently. Um, so I have to make a little bit of a detour outside of the um, outside of the joint line into abduction and then swing back into hip extension. As you go into hip extension, press with your hands down, create a ground force there and connect your abdominals up. Now we'll continue with this motion with spine flection, spine flection, exhaling as you pass into hip extension. Also move into spine extension, lifting your chest bone higher than your chin. This is not such a good look. Shortening the back of your neck.

Keep your neck long while you are up. It's knee bending and the straightening. Press down with the little finger side of your hands in order to lift up your front body. Don't let your ribs sag. Inhale to bend. Exhale to press. Now we come into hip circles, spine fluxion and hip extension Kat.

Activate ground forces with the top of your foot and your hands are going to sweep up and around into circumduction and extension and again sweep forward flection deriving from your sitting bone through your heel, lifting into extension collarbones wide and then reverse the direction of the circle pressing through your heel and around to the front. Curl down flection and arch your spine. Extend your spine coming around one more of these. You wouldn't know until you try this that there's enormous amount of east centric control right about now. If you find the carriage banging into the frame, know that you are in the majority and it's not your fault, it's the environment. You know, if things don't go well, first of all, blame the environment. Second of all, blame the instructor and only third of all, do you consider that you might be making a contribution to the situation.

Okay, the new side awaits. Now have a seat on the carriage just to be safe about it and place the sole of your foot into the loop. Stand your ground. You've got a spring attached to your foot, and now you have Dorsey flection over the edge. Plant the heel of your hand on the headrest and to the side of the shoulder. Rest. Drive both sitting bones back.

As you exhale, sweep your heel from your sitting bone going directly down if the environment allows. Otherwise you do a little bit of circumduction. Press Down with your hands up with your abdominals inwards with your lower ribs. It's hip extension. Okay, we'll do that again because as we've discussed, every side is unique, okay? We never were symmetrical. We never will be and we'll never stop. Trying. Now while you're up, bend your knee to be symmetrical.

I mean to say Benjamin and we won't stop trying anyway, so why not lifting your thigh, lift in your abdominals, pressing down with your hands to activate your shoulder girdle as well. I'm intending to be in parallel with the left Asi s towards your inner, towards the inner right knee. That is my intention and I can keep trying. Okay, now it's time for a spine flection with hip IX hip fluxion and we'll take a circle from hip joint while you're up. Lift your chest bone, lifting your chest bone more than your chin. So the emphasis is on more on thoracic extension rather than cervical hyperextension. Sure, I'll get right on it. Flection. Press this the top of your foot and sweep around lifting your chest bone, lifting your gaze, widening your collar bones, and it's time to circle in the new direction on the dawn.

Coming around to the front. A lot of east centric control. Heres flection. Press the ground force through your hands, keeping the light from your navel shining slightly toward your inner right knee flection. Lift your abdominals, lift your chest bone, lift your gaze, plant the sole of your foot. Bring the carriage home. Careful on, attach yourself from the spring, and we're so done with that. Thank you so much. I'd love to hear from you. Be with us always on Pele's any time. Bye Bye.

Comments

1 person likes this.
So inspiring! Elizabeth you are amazing! I love the innovation of this workout! Can't wait to try this!!!! Looks so fluid and fun!
Z A
This looks so innovative and exiting, cant wait to try.
1 person likes this.
Loved the single leg work with the long yellow at the end! You move beautifully Elizabeth!
Nice, where do I find a stability sling?
Leelee, I order my Stability Sling from Balanced Body. It is a tower/trapeze table accessory developed by Marie-Jose Blom.
Ahh, That hip extension looks wonderful. Thank you.
I loved this workout however, when removing the strap off my foot from the long yellow spring during the kneeling leg work my long yellow spring metal end popped out through the spring (STUCK IN THIS POSITION) causing the metal end to pop out and I haven't figured out yet if / how to remedy this situation. Thanks for your attention.
David, I have not experienced this or any spring malfunction during the exercise, although I have been practicing and teaching this exercise (the last exercise of the workout) for at least three years. The large range of motion in hip circumduction does put rotational forces through the spring. However, I think that similar forces are at work in advanced trapeze table exercises. Please contact customer service of your equipment manufacturer. Although I have used Pilates equipment many hours a day, nearly daily, since 1985, fixing equipment malfunction is way outside my scope of practice
Thank you for the info. I will go ahead and order one. My only other problem is that being 5'1", I have to make sure someone else is home to help me with a few of these moves. My allegro II reformer with tower combo is a bit long for me on some of these exercises. That's okay, I can really feel this workout the next day.
Wow Elizabeth this is just about as good as Cirque du soleil! What creative examples of good fascial movement once again. As you say, hours of fun!
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