Class #2629

Functional Reformer

45 min - Class


Work on functional movements in this Reformer workout with Ed Botha. He starts with a warm up for the thoracic spine and abdominals to prepare your body for the rest of the class. He then adds intense glute and hip extensor work as well as isometric contractions to strengthen your body.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

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Hi, my name is Ed. It's great to be back here in Pilates Anytime, the most beautiful studio in the world. I'm gonna take Kylie Lugna and Inge Pretorius through a Reformer workout. These two girls are colleagues of mine in my studio in Cape Town, South Africa. I'm going to have the two of them sitting on the end of their Reformers facing the headrest with their legs out long.

We're gonna start with some gentle arm work. I'd like you to sit right to the back edge of your Reformer. We've got half a spring on and we're gonna reach for the straps. We can go ahead and just start with the arms up, straight in front of you, with the palms facing down. Super, all right.

We're gonna gently start bending the elbows out to the side. Excellent, and then just pause where you're about 90 degrees to the shoulders. Excellent, all right. We're keeping the scapula quite wide and then on an inhale you can allow the arms to go forward. It doesn't matter if you lose resistance on the straps.

It's just all about the shoulder movement and then exhale as we go into a little bend. Excellent. So they're reaching the arms forward, inhale going foreword, so you guys can go at a nice, steady rhythm. And exhale, bend, great. So we're really warming up the deltoids, rear deltoids.

Supraspinatus is getting good work with the shoulder abducted position there. And keeping the scapula quite wide initially. And then we're gonna take the arms foreword and we'll just do one more time and then let's hold it at this position here. Now I'm gonna ask you two to just bring your elbows a little bit closer together so we get a little bit of work in the actual rhomboids, so now the scapula are adducting together. Excellent.

So we do wanna have a little bit of a crease between the shoulder blades. Now separate the shoulder blades as a primary movement and then take the arms out long again. Excellent, good. All the way out, long with the arms. And again, don't worry about resistance.

So we're gonna bend. You could do this without any straps at all. And now we're adducting the shoulder blades, super. Allow the shoulder blades to abduct and taking the arms out forward. Excellent, all right, so one more time.

So yeah, go ahead and do one more. Lovely, a little bit of length out of the lower back, but without the ribs, super. And the arms go forward again, all the way. Good, all right. Now we're just gonna work with the right arm, so we're gonna bend the right elbow, same movement.

Left strap goes slack, and now add a little bit more and look over your right shoulder, so you have a bit of rotation through the thoracic spine, good. And we're gonna bring it back to the neutral position and then we're gonna change sides. So we're gonna bend left arm and we look over the shoulder. You can do that simultaneously, so it's a rotated movement, excellent. And then bringing it back in, shoulders square off.

Good, one more on each side. So on the exhale, we're creating length and rotation at the same time and bringing it back. And I'm a firm believer that if the thoracic spine is warmed up and flexible, we absolutely avoid a whole lot of problems through the session. And bring it back to the center, good. And then just relax the arms.

Keep the straps, but relax your arms down for a sec. And then we'll start with the arms up in front, but this time you're gonna turn the palms to face each other, all right? So we're gonna open the arms out into a T position, so as you exhale ... Good, so we're just going a little bit longer (mumbles), but now we're keeping the scapula wide again, and bring the arms forward. Good, excellent.

And opening out (exhales). Strong in the wrists. Good, super. Slight softening in the elbow. So we always want the bicep to stay involved in the movement so we're not hyper-extending with the elbows.

And out ... Good. And then bring it back to the front. And pull as the ... Inge ... Ky, bring it all the way to the front, good. And then both of you can do one more time, so we're just getting back into sync there. Exhale ... And bring it forward.

All the way, super. All right, so you can hook your straps over. I'm gonna change your spring while you're sitting there. I'm gonna put on one spring, so if you're working on a Balanced Body Reformer it's a red one, all right. And then you're gonna scoot yourself halfway down the Reformer and we're gonna take the thighs, or should I say, put the straps over the thighs for the knees in the straps, double leg.

All right, so this is a great exercise. It warms up the hip flexors. We're warming up the abdominals and the particularly abdominal obliques are involved. All right, can you scoot a little bit further forward? Kylie, you're in a good position, though, great.

So let's see if we can do this, if we can roll it down from a teaser prep. So we're gonna lift the legs up to a tabletop, and you can hold onto those legs. Perfect, good, that's great. That's great, that's great. All right, excellent.

So we get the hip flexors working straight away. And now gently ... So you can hold on there, Ky, no problem. Okay, so for that extra bit of support. And now slowly start articulating the spine down. So we go down vertebra by vertebra just to the tips of the shoulder blades, good.

And now bring the knees in a little bit deeper than your hip joint. Okay, so we wanna feel safe in the lower back. You guys good there? Yep. Excellent.

All right, and be sure that we don't drop the heels. Now, without moving, bring the hands behind the head. We're gonna interlace the fingers, elbows nice and wide, super. All right, now, extra attention to the abdominals. Slowly reach the legs out to 60 degrees.

So we don't wanna go too low in this position. We want the back to stay secure. You can let the legs go. Even if you lose resistance on the straps. And now exhale.

Think of the knees drawing towards the forward. So we're going in, we're going in, we're going in towards the forward. Inge, we can do more. Kylie, there we go, good. And pause.

So we're not gonna do many, and then we go out again, inhale. Abdominals connected, and exhale (exhales). Good, and again. Inhale, opening the elbows slightly, good. And exhale.

So we want deep work. We always want deep work. It's not about the repetitions. And we go one more time. Inhaling ... And exhale.

And then we're gonna hold. So guys, take your hands behind your thighs, abdominals in, and we're gonna just gently roll up like a ball, so slowly roll back up, all the way to sitting. Your feet can touch the headrest. There we go. And what I like to do is just rest with the arches over the front of the headrest there.

Good, so you're giving the feet a little bit of a prehensile stretch. It feels good after all the pointing there. Okay, so let's sit up again in the teaser position. So you can hold onto the thigh. What I actually like is we've got two different variations here.

Inge's over the top, Kylie's got her hands under the bottom. So it's cool that you can see both. So Inge's more in a traditional double leg stretch position here. And let's gently roll it down to the tips of the shoulder blades. Remember the knees, we want them to come in.

So we want the knees to go in. We wanna create a deeper scoop, excellent. Bring the hands behind the head, interlacing the fingers. All right, without moving the trunk, reach the legs up and out, inhaling. So 60 degrees, no lower.

Exhale, bring the knees in towards you and then rotate over to your right side. So up and over. And guys, hold that position. When we're doing these rotations, I don't want any lateral flexion, I'm thinking left shoulder blade, scapula, rolling over the right scapula. That's the image you want.

And then we bring it back through the center. The legs go long and we pause. This is the money. This is where the abdominals are working at their hardest. And then we bring the knees in again ... and exhale.

And I love it, they're going scapula over scapula. So it looks like a dish and then we go back through the center, legs going long. Were gonna do one more on each side, and exhale. Up and over, all right. Hold there for a sec.

That's it, we wanna pull those legs evenly and then back through the center. This is the last repetition. And exhale (exhales). But these two are making it look easy and then we bring it back. Long legs, it's not easy.

Stay neutral with the trunk. Come up a little bit higher, the two of you. And then bring the knees back into the bend position. Hands under the thighs and slowly roll it back up (exhales). Back up to the sitting position, good job.

So let's take the straps off. That should give you a good warmup of the trunk. All right, and then you can go ahead and turn around for me and I'm gonna give you three springs. So on these Reformers, we're looking at three red springs. So the foot bar is up.

I haven't got it on it's full setting. I've got it on it's mid-setting and that gives us a good position to do our footwork, so you can have a lie down onto your backs. So hands are relaxed down at your sides. All right, so we're gonna start ... You know, I come from a BASI training and we generally start with the heels parallel position there so we're looking just to be generic, about a fist apart between the feet.

When you're in this hip flexed position with the knees bent, taking your feet into your maximum dorsiflexion. All right, and then on an exhale, we push out with the legs (exhales) without rocking the feet. Inhale drawing back. And touch, and exhale (exhales). Hold it there, and then inhale, draw it back so we can get the timing together more or less.

Exhale (exhales). And Inge draw ... Kylie, so draw back in a little bit deeper and then exhale as we press, good. Again, I'm not counting repetitions necessarily, I just wanna see that we've got good technique, good form. I wanna see that we're drawing those knees up. The quadriceps are engaging and the feet are staying in maximum dorsiflexion when they come in in this position here.

This is where we get the tibialis anterior to engage. All right, important for the dorsiflexion and our gait. Exhale ... And then back, and pause, great. Okay, so lets change to the toe position. All right, so the heels, a slight lift.

Again, it depends on your flexibility, but I don't want the heels dropping when the legs fully extend, so we're gonna exhale and press out and then think of pressing down on the big toe side of the foot and then back in and exhale as we press out (exhales). Big toe, good. That's really important that we keep the big toe pressing (exhales) ... And back in, yes. And exhale (exhales). Keep the heels, there we go (exhales).

And we'll do one more time. Exhaling (exhales), good. And then bring it all the way back to the stopper, and touch, all right. So the heels go together. So the last one we're gonna do is the small V, all the way onto the stopper, exhale as we press out (exhales).

Now guys, this is the small V position so the knees don't have to be much wider than your shoulder width, but I really want you to connect with the heels and again, drawing up through the inner legs. So great work on the VMO, all right. Supporting the knees, strengthening the knees. If you're doing any kind of sports, such an important muscle for stability of the knee. And again, exhale as we press (exhales).

So lets go ahead and do two more times. And out breath pressing out (exhales). Go down ... What we love about the Reformer is we're lengthening. We're not shortening in our exercises. And then bring it back, and pause.

So, that's great, you're gonna stay on the toes, turn to parallel. Okay, so we're back where we started. Okay, so we're gonna work an isometric position. So have the carriage just push off the stopper. Good, a little bit more.

All right, so we're sitting in the iron chair. We could call it the iron chair position. All right, so for any of you who like to snowboard or ski or paddleboard, this is it. The exercise is isometric contraction of the thighs because that's what you're going through in your session, right? Okay, keep the carriage still, lift the heels up for me.

There we go, and lower the heels (exhales). And lift the heels, and lower the heels. Good so you guys can keep going while I'm talking, just enjoy that position there. So we isometrically contracted. And guys, again, we're putting focus on the soleus.

So not the big part of the calf, but down over here, and they are so involved when we are in a squat position and we are dorsiflexing and plantar flexing the feet. Muscles that often get neglected, and then people wonder why they can't bend down into a deep squat. Okay this is it, and lower, and lift. And lower, and lift, good. And then let's do the lower, and pause.

Right, straighten the legs out for a bit of relief and then bring it back in all the way for a little bit more relief and let the legs hang over the bar. All right, so we're gonna do the same thing with prancing. So we go back onto the toes, we find the iron chair ... Good, that's it. All right, you got it? Yes.

Okay, that sounded good. All right, promising. Lifting the left heel, and then the right heel switching. There we go ... And change, and change. So what we generally use in BASI is a long breath pattern, so it's inhale for two lifts, exhale for two lifts.

If it's confusing, just be natural. More important is getting the movement and the technique right. Okay so just working and prancing, good. We're just treading, we're treading, good. We're treading, we're treading, we're treading, and treading, and last one.

Up ... And switch, bring it back down with both heels, straighten both legs out, all the way out, all the way out, Ky, good. And bring it back in, great. And let the legs hang over the top. Okay, good little stretch. Okay so what I'm gonna do is just take a spring off.

I'm taking the outside two springs off for each of them. I like to keep the middle spring involved in this exercise. Hopefully it's a one spring. If not, it doesn't really matter if it's out to the side slightly, but I want your legs to hang over the top of the bar, scoot yourself down, good. All right, so we're just setting up for the semicircle.

So you're gonna take your hands and you're gonna press onto the shoulder rests. The first thing you do is straighten out the arms with your legs hanging over, so, yeah. Just straighten out the arms, shuffle. Go, go, go, go, go, go, excellent. So this is a lot more comfortable to get in like this and then we're gonna bring the feet up onto the bar from there.

Uh-huh, cool. So now, again, we're more or less in that small V position, so not too wide, but we're gonna bring the pelvises up. So come up ... And now we're gonna draw towards ... Towards, towards the stopper. So this is the best part.

Okay the thighs, or the quads, are crying for this after the iron chair position to get a little bit of relief here. All right, trying to minimize the movement of your carriage, we're gonna start articulating the spine down. So we go down, and we go down. Keep the triceps working, Kylie. I can see them. I can see them.

Straight arms, good, good, good, good. And then release the pelvis. So let the pelvis hang. Now we're getting thoracic extension. All right, now we push away with the legs, push out, almost straight, pause.

And our carriage doesn't move. Roll the pelvis up. So we're articulating, articulating, articulating. Keeping the arms straight, so triceps. Particularly for the ladies.

You guys want the triceps to work. And then coming back in, gliding in. Keeping the pelvis high so we get our lovely stretch. Good, good. And we go down again.

So we articulate, we're rolling it down, we're rolling it down, we're rolling it down. So they're both doing well not letting the ribs go, but we are in an extension, so you don't wanna press the ribs down. We want the spine to extend. Press out with the legs slowly. Almost straight, not quite straight, pause.

Articulate up through the spine. Great ... And then glide back in all the way as far as you can. You still okay there? Good, all right. So you often get the situation where a client goes into unexpected hamstring cramp, so for you guys at home, just be careful.

Be prepared and let's roll back down. And roll down, and roll down. This is our last time. We roll down, we roll down, we roll down. Good, and then we push out.

Don't forget about the triceps, good. You should always feel like you have a little bit of a dimple in the back of the arm. And then we roll up with the pelvis. And you're getting a beautiful lat stretch here. A lovely stretch in the lats, and then coming back in.

And we glide and we glide and we glide and then you're gonna pause. And if you are doing this work with a partner, it would be great if they just gave you a little stretch here. You okay there, Kylie? Yeah. Good, and when you're done, Ky, you can scoot yourself back in.

I'm just gonna give Inge a little stretch there. Is that okay there? Yeah, that's great. Yeah, there we go. Awesome, and then relax.

And shuffle yourselves back in. Awesome, all right. So can I get you guys to hop up for a sec? Okay so what we'll do is for our hip work, we're gonna do the side kick kneeling. Okay, so we're gonna do a mat exercise.

So we're gonna have one blue spring on. I'd like you to keep the foot bar up and then we'll modify the exercise using the Reformer in a sec. So you're gonna find a comfortable kneeling position. I'll just show on Inge for a sec. Inge, can you come back a little bit?

All right, on the Reformer? Because I want her to be able to use her hand on the headrest. So before you do that, let's go up. Nice and tall, arms out to a T position there. So slowly we're gonna tip and we're gonna lift the leg up.

So you're gonna lift the leg up and you're gonna find the headrest. So it's a little bit of a leap of faith there. Hopefully you know your piece of ... Apparatus by now, so if it's your own Reformer, it really helps. Okay now, the leg goes out long. Abdominals ... Both of you plantar flex initially.

Plantar flex, plantar flex, plantar flex is the other way, good. (mumbles) for you. (laughing) Then you can reach towards me. Okay, super. Now we bring the leg forward.

So we're gonna flex one, two little pulses, plantar flex, inhaling two pulses, good. And then forward and then to the back. Let's try to keep time and exhaling. There we go, two more to go. And exhaling ... Inhaling, last time.

Push, push ... Pull, pull. Bring it to neutral. Neutral ... Bend the knee. Bring the leg down and bring yourselves back up to ... Super, and then relax the arms for a sec.

Okay, ready to add a bit of resistance? Okay, so this does make the exercise a little bit more challenging, so if this is where you are in your practice, then this is where you would stay. If you want to step it up, we're going to put the hand ... You're gonna lean over and put the hand on the headrest straight away. You're gonna take your strap ...

For them it's the strap that's in the front ... And you're gonna hook your foot straight away and place your foot on the Reformer so that you're secure. Good, all right. Then you press the pelvis forward, good. And this is where it gets tricky.

You wanna try stabilize the carriage and then lift the leg up and this is like we're doing martial arts and we're kicking the leg out. We're kicking the leg out and it's almost like the leg goes into a little bit of internal rotation in this position here. Good, and now it's got a different kind of sensation. We bring the leg forward. So we don't have that freedom in the flexion.

And then we just keep the foot plantar flexed and we pull. Not too far, Ky. So we're only working in line with the body. So we bring the leg forward. We bring the leg forward, press the hips.

There we go ... And we're pulling ... Just to there. Pause ... And then we bring the leg forward. Try push the pelvis forward and lift the leg. I know how much this left glute is loving this. Good, lets do two more.

And we bring it forward, forward, forward, forward. And bringing it back. And guys, if it's shaking, it means it's working. And bringing it forward. Good, then it's working.

And then finish it at the out position. In the out position, bend your knee. Place your foot on ... Place your foot on, get secure. Take your hand onto the strap. Excellent, good. They made it look pretty simple.

Okay I can assure you it's tough. All right, so why don't we turn around. Okay, so we're gonna go around to the other side. A little bit of antisocial behavior, but it's all in the name of balance. Okay, so we are kneeling up tall again.

So now we're starting with the arms out this time. That's it, stretched out, abdominals engaged. We're tipping over, we're tipping over. You're gonna use ... If you need to look down, you can. If you need to look down, you can.

You want that support from the hand on the headrest. You see you've got a good grip. Reach the leg out long. So we go ... And we're holding. Nice strong straight leg.

Tighten up there, Ky, tighten up there. Yes ... And we bring the leg forward. Flex ... And back, yes. And two ... Just to there, and out. Three ... Good, and abdominals.

Lift up the leg a little bit higher. And four ... And back, good. And five ... And then just into a line. Bring it into a line. And what makes it difficult on the Reformers as opposed to the mat is that this foot doesn't give you a connection on the mat so you really have to use that bottom internal rotator to do everything.

And all right, let's bend the knee, that's it. And then bring it back up. And I can assure you your bottom leg's gonna be working now because that's the one you used on the previous exercise. Cool, and relax ... Okay. So this time we take an easy stretch over to the side and you take hold of the headrest.

We take the strap in your free hand and you hook the strap on and put the sole of your foot flat on the mat. All right, so if you can imagine the single leg skating on the Reformer, that's the same action with the foot, so we're gonna ... Hand behind the head and you're gonna just slide your foot away, and up. Slide the foot away, and up. Good ... Ky, let's not get too ambitious initially. There we go.

Press the pelvis forward for me. Good, and then the leg goes slowly forward, not too far. It's all about control, and then bringing it back. Inge, abdominals ... Yes, good. That changes everything.

It normally does. And (exhales) ... Good. When in doubt, you just pull the abdominals in and then that sorts out all of our problems. There we go ... Good. Kylie, press the pelvis forward ... Good, yes.

I know, I'm a (mumbles) here, but this is what we want. We want those glutes to strengthen. Balance, good. I have lost count, so let's do one more. And this is the last one (mumbles), good.

Okay and you're lifting up, lifting up, lifting up. Kylie had the hard leg on the other side. And bend the knee, place the foot. Ah, excellent. And let's take it out.

You guys are amazing. All right, and you can hop off. Nice and relaxed. You can take a walk to your long box, you can grab your long box. And if we could put the box in a ...

Let's put them in the long box position, ironically, yep. Okay, so why don't I go ahead quickly and you do that ... Excuse me. And now we'll work on just plain hip extension, all right? So you're gonna go onto all fours on your box, facing your headrest position.

Okay and then I'll go ahead and assist each of you. So I'm gonna take the strap of the left leg and I'm gonna put that on the left foot. Inge, you can step on the edge here and just bring your right leg in more to the center. Ky, can you see what she's done there? Yep.

Okay, just so she's got a little bit of symmetry. And she's gonna let this left leg hang ... I'll bring it for you. And you're gonna let that left leg hang so we've got a leg that's perpendicular to the floor. So I've got that, cool.

And you can do this yourself, but while I'm here, I may as well assist you. All right, cool. And yeah, so you're both holding the edge of the box. We want to keep as neutral as possible. Scaps pushed out there.

What I'm gonna say is, don't go too high. Try not to rotate the pelvis. It's just about creating a long line. We wanna get our hip extensors working and we often forget is this bottom leg, the hip flexor that's working. Okay, so this is great exercise for people with swayback postures because of the amount of pressure that we put down on this bottom knee.

All right, so we're gonna bring the leg up into a long line, so on the exhale, we being it up ... Just there ... Great. And then inhale, bring it down. Try to find the perpendicular leg. Excellent ... And out breath (exhales). As we lift.

So in this position here, you're thinking posterior, if you can. Now when the leg swings down, it's gonna want to pull you posteriorly, thinking almost a little bit of sitting bone out. So there we go, three ... Excellent, and then we bring it back in. And out for ... Two (exhales).

Good, and then bring it back and we're gonna do one more time. Scaps, scaps, scaps, good. Now pause ... All right. So we're gonna do one additional movement. You're gonna take your left leg out into the airplane position, so slowly ... slight external rotation and we bring the leg out, and out, and out, and out.

Inge, I'm watching you. We've got windows, I can see everything. (laughing) Okay keep the leg up and then bring the leg back. Keep it high, keep it high, keep it high. So we (mumbles) on from the side kick kneeling.

One more time, so we take the leg out to the side, out to the side, out to the side. Are you guys thinking obliques? Yes. Yes. Think obliques.

All right, and then bring it out and back and out and back, and pause ... And bring the leg down slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly and you can unhook your strap there with one hand. Cool, so you hook it over the pole. Super ... You're gonna scoot across with your knees and see if you can hook the strap in yourselves. Exactly.

Let me give you a little hand there. (mumbles). That's it, there we go. Good, that's it. Super, okay.

So hanging the leg perpendicular. Ky, a little bit of tailbone out for me. Oh. Yeah, exactly. Okay, so like I said earlier, when the leg comes in, it has the tendency to pull you this way.

So then you want to think sitting bone's away, of course, not going with the ribs. And when the leg goes out, then you wanna connect more with the abdominals. All right, so lets go, leg goes up. Lengthening, lengthening, lengthening. I'm gonna turn this one in a little bit and then bring the leg down, yes.

So it obviously comes out to the frame of the Reformer and exhale as we pull (exhales). Good, and you know, all these exercises, it's not what we're doing, it's how we're doing them that makes them effective. And exhale ... If you do this quickly, if you do it with bad form you're not gonna feel anything and then bringing it forward again. Inhaling ... And exhale (exhales). Good, I'd love two more in this position there.

You're doing great. So you get the hinge on the hip joint, exhale (exhales). That's it ... And you know, although the hip isn't a hinged joint, but it's a ball and socket joint, but we talk about this hip hinging action. Okay, (exhales), and then hold it up at the top. Ky, a little bit of thoracic extension.

Now that leg is going into the abduction and rotation. So abduction and rotation and then bring it up and around to the back again and hold ... Good. And then we're taking it out, and out, and out and out, and pause there, pause there, pause there. Over the fence and bring it back and bring it back and brink it back give it everything, give it everything. That's it ... And then bend the knee and bring it in slowly.

Excellent, you can take your strap and we go in slowly, hook it on the poles. Great, and you can take your boxes off for a sec. Cool, good work. All right, so I'm putting the foot bar back up. We're going with a red spring.

We'll go into a (mumbles), okay. Just a quick stretch. So you're gonna stand up on the carriage with your hands on the foot bar. Heels up at 45 degrees, more or less. And if you can, keep the carriage on the stopper and ... Are you guys okay to hold for a sec?

For me, why this is such an important movement, because if you like surfing, to pop up on your surfboard, this is the movement. You're gonna get your leg through your hands. All right, so, and what's (mumbles) is that we do it on both sides. Okay so if you're a natural foot surfer or a goofy foot surfer ... Right, you're just opening up a whole new world there.

So let's start with most people's weaker leg. We're gonna step the left leg through the hands. So this is for a natural footed surfer. So natural means you've got your left foot in the front. Ky, can you go more on your toes?

So we're gonna push the carriage away a little bit and lower the pelvis. All right, so I'm looking for this knee above the heel. That's it, and the chest open. So they're using their thoracic extensors. Tight back leg.

So we're taking a moment here just to get a little bit of hip flexor stretch. The posterior tilt, it's quite a familiar exercise. And then from there, we're going into the hamstring stretch, so we start pushing away with the front leg, but without dropping the pelvis. Without dropping the pelvis. Without dropping the pelvis, Inge.

Without dropping, go, go, go. Can I get that leg just a ... Yes. There we go, super. Ky, I'm gonna sort this out and ... Yes, good. Now bend the front knee, gliding back in.

We're gliding back in, we're gliding back in. We're gliding back in and we pause and we just repeat one more time. And then exhale as we push out. So we're stretching the front hamstring here. The glute maximus is getting a bit of stretch in this position as well and we put emphasis on the back extensors here.

On the back extensors, good. And then we go back in, and we go back in, and we go back in, and we pause. Chest up, Ky, pelvis lower this time. So sink, sink, sink, sink, sink, good. All right, both hands onto the bar and then just step the front leg out to the back, lift up into the up stretch, so up stretches all the way up and back.

Head heavy, good, and let's see if we can bring the right leg through. This should be a little bit easier with your stronger hip. Good, all right. So we push the carriage back and down till the knee is above the heel. Good, so we've got the upper back lifted, awesome.

Can we lower the pelvis a little bit ... Yes. Good job, all right, so from there, here we go hamstring. So no dropping of the pelvis, no dropping of the pelvis. Quadriceps (mumbles) front leg, yes. Yes, long neck.

And Ky, you can come slightly lower with your heel, just there, okay. What they're both doing is holding their heel in slight plantar flexion so they're not dropping into the calf stretch. I want that stability in the ankle. You could add an additional stretch by lowering the heel, but this is a better position from you when we're talking about stability and balance. And then we're gonna bend the knee to come back in.

And we come back in, lift the chest. As you're doing that, drop the pelvis possibly a little bit. Just there, good, good. One more time, and off we go. We're pushing out.

So guys, when we did the side kicks and the hip extensions with the abduction and rotation, the hip flexors get a lot of work. So now we're getting a good chance to give it a little bit of stretch out. So as important as they are for explosive movement and for strength, they do need flexibility as well. Excellent, and then let's bend the knees as we glide back, we glide back, we glide back, and we lift up through the chest. Excellent, and let's step it out.

Lift the hips up, all the way up, carriage in. I'll secure the carriage. The feet can go flat. The hands can go down onto the mat and roll yourself up (mumbles) (exhales). Cool, all right, guys so just carefully hop off your carriage there.

We'll keep it on the one red spring. We're gonna go into a modified balance control front, but we're gonna use the hands over here in a pushup position on the edge of the shoulder rests. Okay, so I've got my thumbs secure. So let's go ahead and stand up on your carriage first, facing your shoulder rests. So you can stand up first.

The palms go flat on the mat, yes. We step one leg up onto the bar. You straighten your leg first. And you know, this is something that my teacher, Rael Isacowitz, was so particular about, is this control of the carriage. So you lift up out of the chest ...

Because this is a position where a lot of things can go wrong with the pelvis, the scapula. Now slowly step the front leg out for me, slowly keeping that carriage secure. Okay, plantar flex slightly with the feet, yes. All right, so again, this is a modification of the exercise, so what happens is we push the carriage away with the arms (exhales). So shoulder flexion, we bring it back in, pause.

All right, now, you're gonna demonstrate your best pushup for me. You're gonna do elbows bend in as close to you as possible, keeping the carriage still, push up. Excellent, hips up a little bit, Ky. Now bend your knees and bring the carriage in. The pelvis can lift a bit.

Yes, so it's like you're doing a squat in the air. Then we straighten the legs out again, so we go length through the thighs. We push the carriage out with the arms. We bring the carriage back in, we pause, good. Ah, Ky, Simon didn't say.

And now we bend the elbows, there we go. And then we push up, we bend the knees. And what is that, one more? Okay, so lets push out with the legs, good. And hold, chest up, push the carriage away.

Bring it back in, excellent. There's the pushup coming, inhale. Exhale, get a little bit of posterior, bend the knees, straighten out one last time. Ky, straighten out one last time and then bring one knee down and the other knee down and go in all the way slowly, good. All right, so what I'm gonna do is have the two ladies stand up.

We're gonna go into a Russian squat. So again, one of the most functional movements we have are transferable into our sports because it's a standing position, it's a squatting position. So I've got one green spring on this, so it's just a little bit less than 1.5, so you're gonna take a squat position, keeping the carriage quite secure and if you need to you can hold onto the shoulder rests and then you're gonna take your straps. While you're down there, you're gonna inch your hands up to the plastic, so you're gonna walk yourself up, why? Because you wanna get good tension on the straps.

Okay, so this is my version of the exercise. I find it works well for me. So I start with that tension. Now you wanna push slowly through your heels and start lifting up with your pelvis and getting your pelvis to drive forward, forward, forward, forward. We want hip extension here, we want hip extension, good.

So from here we're gonna go down into a rock bottom squat position and I love this position of the rock bottom squat because we get the hip flexors to relax a little bit, we get a little bit of stretch through the lumbar spine and we're gonna pause just there. Upper back is in extension, and then slowly we push up, slowly we push up, slowly we push up. Beautiful, and we're gonna do it one more time. We've got it, and then we're gonna go inhale as we bend down, bend down, bend down, good. I love the backs, the backs are staying straight.

Good job, Kylie, keep the knees abducted. Pause there and then exhale as we push up through the thighs, arms staying straight, good. And then to finish it, we're just gonna go down one more time to sitting. So we're going down to sitting, we're going down to sitting, we're going down to sitting, all the way, all the way, and then slowly I'm gonna just bring the carriage back to the stopper and then you can hook your straps. Awesome, and you can hop off for a sec.

Okay, good, all right. So we'll get both of you kneeling right on the edge of your carriage facing forward. Okay, yeah, so you're kneeling ... I've got one red spring, so we'll do a shoulder push. So right on the edge, there, Ky. And sitting right on your butt, good.

So we're gonna put the hands on the bar. We're gonna push the arms up all the way straight. All the way straight and all the way straight. And guys, this is gonna be our back extension. Because when we did the Russian squats, we're using a lot of lower back to keep us upright, so now we're gonna give the lower back a little bit of rest and focus a little bit more on the upper back extensors.

So don't worry about a bit of rounding. That doesn't matter, as long as the upper back extensors are working. So we're gonna bend the elbows. We're gonna slowly bend in, slowly bend in, just to where the top or the forehead area is getting to the bar. All right, pause, and then, yeah, I'm gonna bring you a little bit lower, Ky, because you've got that flexibility there, and then exhale as we push up.

So we're going into full shoulder flexion again, a stretch of the lats, and then inhale as we bend, just to there, and exhale as we push out all the way, good. Super, and bringing it back in ... Just to there. And exhale as we push, so super long arms. So again, focus on the triceps, so full extension of the arms. And we bend back in to there, and out breath as we press.

Good, love it. And then we're gonna bend in, and exhale as we press (exhales). Good, last two times. Inge, I'm gonna bring you a little bit lower with your chest there and then we bend in with elbows. Exhale as we push (exhales).

Good, and one more to go. And deep breath in, deep breath in. Pause there, hold there, hold there for a sec. Now, on this last one, really think of your scapula drawing down. So instead of thinking of pushing the bar away, imagine you're doing a pull-up and you're resisting the bar going away from you as you push with the arms.

So we push, so we push, and the scapulae are pulling down and are opposite directions, so the scaps are going down while the bar is moving away. And now slowly imagine you're drawing yourself towards the body. Your body is heavy. You're putting those shoulder blades in your pockets. You're putting the shoulder blades in your pockets.

Pause there, and then come up to sitting. All the way up, and tall, excellent. So you're gonna just have a seat on your carriage facing inwards, so legs are over the edge. You're gonna cross your left leg over your right leg in a figure 4 position, so we'll just have a quick stretch of your gluteal there, and then just gently stretch over. Let your back go, let your hips go.

That's it, just enjoy that bit of stretch there. Wonderful, wonderful, that's it. So deep breaths to relax into the position. And then restack your spine up for me, carefully, vertebra by vertebra. And switch legs, so we'll go to the other side.

And tall, and exhale (exhales). Excellent, so just letting the whole posterior side of the body relax here. Okay, we had a lot of work on the hips today, but again, my focus here was balance for action sports, for any kind of sport. Yes, good, and then re-stack the spine (exhales). Excellent, and we'll get you standing up.

And let's just finish with one roll down, so you can both face the front there. Tall position, arms relaxed at your sides. Now bend the knees for me a little bit, feel the bit of shakiness in the legs, yeah good. And we roll it down, head heavy. Vertebra by vertebra.

That's it, feel the weight distribution on either foot. Are you centered? Are you favoring one side? There we go, take a deep breath in. And building the spine back up tall (exhales).

All the way up. And then one more inhale to straighten the legs. (inhales), and just the last exhale (exhales). Now that's it, Ky, there we go. Thank you, ladies.

Good work. (applauds)


Yardley C
That was great, I loved the lighter weight and balance challenge while strengthening!!!!
Moushumi K
3 people like this.
Excellent explanation of each movement with a great flow of exercises!
Sharon O
A great stron session! Thank you.
Great class!! Thank you!
1 person likes this.
My body loved this class. My thoracic spine feels freer than it has in awhile and my legs feel nice and worked. All hail the "iron chair" variations!
Thank you !!! Guapo!!!
2 people like this.
Lovely class. The precise cuing and slower pace really let me get deeper into the work.
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Ed. Enjoyed the work. Looking forward to more.
Absolutely favorite!!!
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