Class #2699

Reformer Workout

60 min - Class
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Empower yourself to feel strong and capable with this prenatal Reformer workout by Courtney Miller. She focuses on finding the power inside of you so that you are physically and mentally prepared for labor. She includes different progressions which allow you to build as you go so you feel strong and mobile.

This class is great for all bodies, whether you are pregnant or not.
What You'll Need: Reformer

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Hi, I'm Courtney Miller and I am here on Pilates Anytime to film my third trimester pregnancy reformer workout for you. I'm 34 weeks, got a great experience so far. I'm preparing for giving birth, and I'm just nothing but excited about it. If you are following along with me and you're pregnant as well I hope you're feeling the same way. This class is called Empower so the theme is about feeling powerful and having that power inside of you, not just for this workout but, and not just for your birth either but just as an overall idea or theme.

I think it's great to feel strong, to feel capable and that's what inspired this workout for me, and that's something that I wanna take with me into my delivery and then as a parent as well, it's a quality that I wanna teach my children to feel empowered. So, hopefully that means something for you. If you can keep that in mind as you move today. I'm standing on the box as you can see, so this is a nice, wide stable base of support versus standing onto the platform which is a narrow base of support. I feel like my balance is pretty good but definitely my center of gravity is shifting so the wider box just makes me feel a little bit more solid in these positions.

I have a blue spring on, I'm just gonna make sure I got the spring I want. So just the blue only, the bar's in low position just out of the way and I'll begin facing towards the carriage. Standing with the feet hip distance apart or even a little bit wider, just take a moment to find your posture, find where you are in space. Root down through your feet, through the four corners of the feet. Drop the tailbone so it's heavy, roll the shoulders down and back and take the hands down by the sides.

On a breath in, sit the hips low, reach the arms forward. Let the spine tilt forward a little bit and that is your inhale. On an exhale, place the hands onto the carriage and lift the hips up flexing the spine as you do. On an inhale press the carriage out, heels will lift high coming to a high plank position. On an exhale scoop the belly, heels will go low, hips will go low.

Inhale, lift the arms and exhale, rise back up. So, let's do that a few more times just knowing that you can widen your stance or narrow your stance depending on what feels right for you. Inhale, reach forward, sit low. Exhale, hands to the carriage. Inhale, press out.

Find that position where the shoulders are right above the wrist. Scoop the belly, exhale. Lower the heels, lower the hips. Inhale, lift the chest. Exhale, rise back up.

Two more times. Inhale, feel opposition. Hips go down, arms go up. Exhale, hands down. Inhale, lengthen out, just waken up that whole back body.

Exhale, lower the heels, lower the hips. Inhale, squat. Exhale to come up, one more time. Inhale, reach. Exhale, flex.

Inhale, press, push evenly into all the fingertip pads, into the knuckles of the fingers, keep the elbows a little soft. Exhale, scoop. Lower the heels, lower the hips. Inhale, reach and exhale to come all the way back up. Hopefully it's starting to create some heat and warmth from the body.

Turn so you're side facing now. Now again, this is a series that could be done on the platform but by using the box I have a wider, more stable base of support. So for me I just feel a little more confident up here. Drop the tailbone, hands are down. Try to find balance between the feet and level stable hips.

The foot that's on the box is the one that's gonna be doing the bending, that's the knee that you'll bend. Inhale, sit low. Exhale, lift to come up. And if you want to you can bend that carriage leg, you can bring the carriage in as far home as you can or you can just leave the leg extended. Inhale, sit low.

Exhale to come up. Now, what I'm really working is the leg that's on the box. Exhale, so it's working to stabilize me. As I bring the carriage home and I rise back up I'm pressing down through that box leg through the heel, working the inner thigh, trying to lift up through the arch of the foot. Four more here, inhale down.

Exhale, up and I'm getting a nice stretch through my inner thighs. Doesn't feel like I'm overstretching. That's the nice thing about having my carriage foot at the edge of the platform so it's really gonna limit that sense of overstretching in the hips. Inhale, hips go back, chest goes forward. Exhale, rise up.

On the next one we're gonna stay down. So isometric hold, bring the carriage leg in, exhale, press out for five. (exhales) Four, think about your upper body, three. Two. And one.

Lift to come all the way up. Well done. Pivot and turn so you're facing away from the reformer now. You have your toes onto the edge of the carriage, hips are square. Just make sure your stance isn't too narrow, I want you to feel very stable up here.

Keep the hands on the hips in the beginning, keep your carriage leg solid and bend the knee that's on the box sending the carriage back going into a stretch. Now, if you're feeling tightness or compression in your lower back a nice way to remedy that quickly is just to tilt forward. Exhale using the carriage leg to rise back up and do try to come to a straight leg. One more time with the hands on the hips, inhale. Either pitch forward or stay vertical.

You're choosing what feels best for your body. Exhale to rise up. Hands down, we're gonna add the arms. The arms will lift in opposition to the body lowering. Inhale, reach.

That's the vertical option. That's the pitch forward option. Exhale and you're choosing what feels best for you. Inhale, reach. And exhale, up.

Three more here. Inhale, reach. And exhale, up. Two, inhale, reach. And exhale, up.

On the next one we're gonna reach and hold. Small scooters with the back leg. Five. Four, keep reaching through those fingers. Three.

Two. One. Come all the way up. Pivot turn and you're ready for the other side. So I'm gonna turn around so you'll be able to see a little bit more clearly what's happening with my hips.

So standing foot is solid. Foot goes on to the edge of the carriage. So, hips are as level as you can get them which means the carriage may be pushed out a little bit. So each time you return you might come to a soft knee or perhaps the carriage doesn't touch the stopper. I want you to notice how I allow the hips to go back.

The chest goes forward, the arms go forward. Exhale, it's the standing leg glute and inner thigh that's working to pull me home. Inhale, sit low, reach forward. Exhale to come up. Again.

Inhale, sit low. Exhale, up. Think of your power leg being the leg that's on the box. (exhales) Don't forget about the upper body and don't forget about your posture. So because we're vertical, this is whole body work so there's a lot to think about.

Last three. And it's normal for your heart rate to start to accelerate as you go down low and up high or you change the levels that you're working on. It's when your heart has to work a little bit harder. So down low, (exhales) up high. Let's stay out on the next one.

Find your stable place and push for five. Four. Three. Two. One. (exhales) Come all the way up and bring the carriage home.

Pivot turn facing your back towards the equipment, so facing front. Again, making sure that that stance is supported, if it's too narrow you'll feel too wobbly. Let's try two with the hands on the hips like we did before. So just bend into that front knee, slide back. Test the waters.

Does it feel better to pitch? Does it feel better to stay vertical? Exhale, front leg is doing the work. Front leg comes to a straight leg position. One more time with the hands on the hips.

Inhale. And exhale. Imagine your back foot is just gliding on ice reaching the arms forward in opposition and glide to come back up via the power of your standing seat. Inhale finding length. Exhale rising up.

Inhale, just take your time, you're in no rush. This is one of the ways that we build those long, lean muscles. Take your time working through the eccentric and concentric elements of the exercise. So stretch open, squeeze lift. Let's stay down on the next one.

Bend and extend the back leg. Five. Four. Three, don't collapse in the chest. Two.

And one, rise up. Pivot turn and carefully step both feet onto the box and come on off, very good. Let's continue with the box. So I'm gonna grab it. I'm placing the box on so that it's over the shoulder blocks but not over the silver pegs.

Now, depending on the equipment you're using you're gonna have to make little adjustments. The reason I've decided to put it here is I wanted to have enough space for me to sit on to the carriage. So, you can play in front of the shoulder blocks, over the shoulder blocks. Just make sure you can sit your hips down. I did have a blue spring on and I changed my springs to a single red.

Take a seat. Feet up onto the platform. Now, the box is gonna be used as a surface for my shoulder blades and for my head. So, just find a position where you feel you can comfortably rest the shoulders down, lift the hips up and rest the head. Now, your hand position we're gonna play with it.

We're gonna add some upper body work but for right now I'd like your hands to be behind your head making a little pillow, okay? So the hips are high. One of the counter indications to prenatal exercise after specific duration of weeks is lying on your back with your hips and shoulders the same height for a prolonged period of time. So, this is allowing the hips to drop down, it allows for some decompression to happen and allows for traction actually both in the thoracic spine and in the lumbar spine. So if it feels good for you to let the hips hang go ahead and let them hang.

I'm keeping my feet onto the gray platform, you could adjust your feet so they're actually onto your foot bar so lots of room to play here. On an exhale, scoop the belly, lift the hips up. On an inhale, lower the hips down finding length. Exhale, scoop the belly, lift the hips up. Inhale, traction and length.

Four more here, exhale lift and I am trying to keep the carriage hugging into the stopper, it's not easy. Exhale, lift. Remember, we're only on a red spring, that's one spring, it's pretty light. And on the next one, exhale, lift and hold. From here, make sure the feet are anchored, inhale, press out.

Now, notice as I press out I'm on a slight diagonal so I'm not trying to lift my hips as high as I can. I do feel the hips are higher than they were when I started but they're still low relative to my shoulders, and pull the carriage in. So pressing out and pulling in. (exhales) Pressing out and pulling in. (exhales) One more time. Push back and trap the knees right over the toes. Lower the hips down, we're gonna stretch.

We're gonna put those two movements together. I go up, back, pull and down. Up. Back. Pull.

And down, two more times. Think of this as much about working the seat and the hamstrings as it is the core, okay? So feel that, course it three dimensionally wrapping to support your shape and take it all the way down, or to a comfortable place that you can hold. Trying some single leg variations, this will be an advancement on what we've already done. Picking the hips up.

Let's practice the weight transfer. So right now I've got my weight evenly through both legs. I have to anticipate the weight transfer, I'm gonna put more weight into my left leg and lift my right leg up. Put the right leg down, anticipate the left leg coming up and place it down. Lower the hips and let's do a second set.

Hips come up, so anticipate so I can really prepare for the weight transferring from bilateral legs to one leg, and lower down. One more time and for me I noticed one side is a lot more stable than the other. Think of those glutes. That's my harder side and this is my easier side. Lower the leg and send the whole thing down.

Let's add some upper body work here. So tuck the hips, lift the hips. Let the head be heavy and reach the arms to the sky. Inhale as you push the carriage out, open the arms. Exhale as you pull the carriage and close the arms.

We're pressing for four. (exhales) Three and I'm focusing on abdominals closing with the arms, so there's this marriage of upper body and abdominals. Two. (exhales) And one. (exhales) Lower the arms, lower the hips. Now making sure that your hips have somewhere to go is important so you can sit all the way back up, nicely done. Let's adjust the foot bar, let's adjust our springs.

I'm going to move the foot bar up. I'm going to add a spring on. So, I'm not in my mid setting, I could go a little bit higher, I could be here for this series. I'm not in high bar so I'm in the lowest of the settings without taking the bar all the way down and the reason I've selected that setting for me is that just feels best for my hips today. The higher the bar, the more flexion I'm creating in my hips.

Sitting nice and tall, this exercise is gonna be about posture. So pressing the sacrum firmly against the box, rolling the shoulders open and sitting tall, just try to remember that. You can press the elbows in forearms into the box and come to your toes on position. Heels are high, I'm in external rotation. I'm not allowing my knees to flop open.

Knees are over toes. Elbows are pressing, chest is lifted. Inhale, push out. Exhale, lower the heels. Inhale, when my heels lift I'm gonna press down onto the box and try to sit a little bit taller, exhale, bend.

So I'm evolving as I go. In, exhale. Lift everything, bend the knees. In, exhale. Lift everything, bend the knees, two more.

In, down. (exhales) Up and bend, one more. In, down, up and bend. Now, that's a good place to continue if you're feeling challenged. If you wanna increase the challenge we're gonna take the arms out of the equation for the support that is, and we're gonna add them in to make life a little bit more difficult. In, the arms will lift up when the heels go down.

The arms will lower and exhale, pull. I have to work a little bit harder through my core. In, the arms will lift up. The arms will go down and I'll bend. Three more.

Press. Think of your stomach massage series, flat back version but the box is giving me a little bit of help. And lift, bend. One more time. Push, lift up, tighten the tummy, bend, adding rotation.

Open press and close and we're gonna alternate sides to side. The nice thing about controlled rotation because throughout pregnancy we don't rotate to our end range but controlled rotation in the thoracic spine creates space and we need space to accommodate a growing baby, right? So we have to lift up, lengthen and try to keep that space. Lift up and center. Lift up and one more each side.

Lengthen lift and bring it home. Lift and bring it home. Good job. Carefully come out of this position, let's adjust the foot bar. I'm moving it up one notch and for this next series I'm gonna choose my spring tension being one red spring.

So I've reduced it a little bit, come to a kneeling position so you're facing towards your box. Knees are right underneath the hips and I'm actually gonna come down onto the elbows and the forearms. For those of you who are feeling a little bit more sensitive in your wrist in your third trimester, you're not alone. It's a real common symptom so this will take that out of the equation. Shoulders are in a strong, anchored position.

Be mindful not to let the chest collapse down. Instead you feel like you're pushing up. Heel of one foot goes on to the foot bar and you'll press it to a straight leg. Now just pause here for a moment. What I don't want you to do is overwork through hip on your stabilizing side.

Instead, just keep that knee right under your hip, square your hips, stay lifted through your chest and see if you can maintain that position as you press out. Now, it's important that you push all the way out to a straight leg. It's when you go to that very straight leg that your seat muscles can effectively work, okay? So we're going straight legs squeezing the buns, drawing out through the tummy resisting to come in. Three more. (exhales) Two. (exhales) And one and since this is an empower class, I feel like I can do anything so I'm gonna go into a superhero, dun dunada and then come back in.

Same arm, same leg, reach and come back. Three more. (exhales) Two. (exhales) And one. (exhales) And come all the way in, okay? So no alternating or staying on that same side. I'm gonna pivot and turn so now stabilizing leg hasn't changed, pushing leg, toes and heel onto the foot bar. Hand onto the box so I have a little bit of support.

Push all the way out, let's stay here for a moment so we can find it. What we're not doing is flexing in that hip. So find that position where the knee is generally underneath the hip area. I am in some rotation but notice my shoulders and my hips are evenly rotated so I'm not actually twisting in my spine. Inhale to bend, exhale to press. (exhales) Pushing through my heel, push out. (exhales) And resist.

Now, I definitely feel the leg that's doing the pushing but I also feel the leg that's helping to hold me up. And I feel them in two very different ways and that's fantastic work. Shoulders are down, neck is long. Inhale as you bend, exhale as you press. Last two like this. (exhales) And last one. (exhales) There's a third part to this series.

I'm gonna pivot on my kneeling leg and pivot on my pressing leg so I'm now in external rotation. I'm also gonna take this into a balance challenge once I'm ready by lifting my opposite arm. So hand is down for now, press out, let's find it. So my stabilizing arm is working hard to hold me here. Shoulders down and back, back is strong.

Option to be here or of course, keep the hand down onto the box. Inhale to bend, exhale. (exhales) This is a great way to get some of those side plank muscles working, right, when you're in star. You're working obliques to hold the lift, you're working your lats on your supporting side. Exhale, push all the way out, straight leg.

Inhale, bend. We've got four more then we're moving on to the other side, that's four. Three. (exhales) Don't sacrifice your form if you're getting tired, stay with it, two. And (exhales) one. Come in, place the hand, pivot turn and let's set it up in parallel to repeat on the other side.

Anticipate some differences as we go from side to side. It's totally normal. Elbows are gonna be right below the shoulders, shoulder's in a strong position. Remember, we're avoiding that sense of sinking. Leg goes back so this time I'm working through my opposite leg, press and pause.

Sometimes it helps to do what you're not supposed to do so you can feel that in your body. So to say that's bad, I'm not gonna do that and then bring the knee back underneath your hip, square the hips, stay lifted through the sternum and you're ready to go. Exhale, push. (exhales) Inhale and press. (exhales) Notice if you feel like it's challenging for you to keep your pelvis and your lower back level. A nice image is balancing a lemon on your low back. Would it spill off to the right?

Would it roll back off your tailbone? Or could you keep it in that little curve in your low back throughout the series? Ideally we can keep it there. (exhales) Let's add our arm reach so it's the opposite arm to leg that reaches forward and come in but we're not alternating sides so we're just pushing, same arm over and over again, right? Finding that rhythm. (exhales) Superhero.

Four more. (exhales) Three. (exhales) Two. (exhales) And one. (exhales) Bring it in, very good. Keep the foot on, pivot the hand. Use the box to help you and rotate your body. You'll keep your toes and heel on and your stabilizing knee hasn't changed. Press all the way out and pause for a moment.

No exaggerated flexion in the hip, just keep the knee relatively underneath the hips. Shoulders are stacked, inhale bend, exhale press. Inhale bend, push through the whole foot and press. Remember, lots of upper body engaged here. A lot of obliques.

Think of this instead of doing some of those side plank series. Exhale, press. Take your time with these, so really work it, find that straight leg and resist to come in. Last two. Last one. (exhales) Pivot turn both legs so my stabilizing leg pivots and my pressing leg pivots and I will go here but I'm just gonna make sure that I'm balanced before I do.

Press out, if you feel like you need to do a little adjustment now would be a good time. Feel free to keep the hand onto the box. If you're in this lifted position you've got to stay strong in that bottom shoulder. Inhale to bend. (exhale) Exhale to push all the way out to a straight leg. Five.

Four. (exhales) Head in line with spine. Three. (exhales) You can't see but I'm smiling, I like it. Two. (exhales) Last time, push all the way out, one. Bring it in and bring it down. Awesome.

Okay, so our set up with the equipment is gonna relatively stay the same. Our springs are gonna change. I was on a heavy spring, I was on one red spring. I'm now going to my lightest spring which is the yellow, it's a quarter spring. You'll also wanna make sure that your straps are accessible to you and you just need one at a time so that's gonna be perfect.

And I'm kneeling beside the box. Notice that the strap I have is the one that's in front of me. I didn't grab the one behind me, okay? You'll notice right away if you have the wrong strap. Rise up to a kneeling position.

Now, we've all done our kneeling upper body work on the reformer. What the box does is it gives us a little more support but you'll also see when I go into lateral flexion it's allowing me to laterally flex without feel like I'm going a little too far, okay. It's giving me a little bit more of a lift so I can get my stretch without feel like I'm overstretching. Take the strap in the outside hand. Hand onto the box because that's why it's there, right?

Our little bit of support and let's practice the first part to this series. Shoulders are square, as are the hips, lifting the arm out to the side and bringing it right back down. And lifting the arm out to the side and bringing it down. So, if the strap is touching your belly that's okay. (giggles) Slightly bring the arm forward if it's bothering you, I'm okay.

Might be a nice judge, you'll be able to see, oh, I've gotten bigger this week. Tailbone is heavy, chest is lifted, exhale to lift and this is a great place to stay. I'm gonna continue to build on this series. Last one like this, wrists are straight. I'm gonna take this into a circle, so watch the series first.

I lift up and I look at the arm. As the arm goes overhead I laterally flex looking down to bend the elbow. Looking back up to extend the elbow and circling the arm all the way back down to where it was when I started. So you see now, that's why I've got that box. I go up and over with control.

Bend and extend and it's slightly in front of my body. I go up and I let it give me a little bit of a pull so it's as if the strap and the arm are dictating the lateral flexion of the spine. One more time like this. Lift up all the way over. Straighten it and all the way back.

Okay, we're adding on. We're gonna hold that lateral flexion and go to some tricep work. Lift up. Laterally flex. Option to look down the whole time, option to look up the whole time.

If you're feeling neck tension look down. If you're not, look up and make sure your elbow stays lifted so that you can isolate your tricep. Push into the box arm, push your hips forward. We're doing six in total so only four more to go. (exhales) Three. (exhales) Two. (exhales) And one. (exhales) Let's finish through the circle so we did a bonus one and take it all the way down.

Very good. Before we go to the other side pivot turn and have a seat on your box. Now, remember you're only a yellow spring so just be careful as you move on the equipment. I like to sit in a nice wide position so this opening of the legs feels comfortable and it also allows me to tilt forward and my belly can just move freely, okay, without any obstruction. If you're not pregnant or smaller you can always bring your feet in a little bit.

The hand that doesn't have the strap is gonna be participating. The hand that has the strap bend the elbow. Hand that doesn't have the strap reach forward, pitch forward. I'm gonna reach both hands forward so as if I have two straps, okay? I'm trying to keep my arms level back to that superhero, the whole empower theme, right?

Do, do, do, do. From here I'm gonna lift up. Now I'm using my core to stop me from going into extension. I'll use my core to hinge forward and only the strap arm will bend. Push. (exhales) Lift.

Pull. And bend. So I feel a nice amount of abdominal work and also work through my spine as I rebuild and I stack to come to this vertical place. Reach and bend. Push.

Lift up. Lean forward and bend. One more time like this. Push. Lift up.

Lean forward and bend. Let's build on this. Push. Lift up and hold. Keep a constant amount of tension in the strap and take the non-strap hand onto the box.

Laterally flex as far as you'd like to go. Push to come up. Hinge forward and bend. Yummy, right? Also a lot of work.

Lift. Hand goes down, now keep tension in the strap so the carriage should barely move if at all. Push to come up and lean. Think of this as your short box bow and arrow series. So, create that work through your obliques.

Don't collapse, use the muscles. Bend. Use the muscles to lengthen and pitch forward. This time push your arm forward. Length and lift to come up so nothing new yet.

Take the strap into the opposite hand. Okay, easy switch and take it down. So now you can see the strap is coming from the other side and what it's doing is it's pulling me this way, so I'm gonna be working the muscles around my core and my spine to pull against the rotation and to keep me in a parallel position. The hand that doesn't have the strap can reach forward so it feels like it's participating too. I'm gonna allow the strap to pull me a little or a lot, you choose what feels most comfortable for you.

Remember, focus on length here. Exhale pushing the arm forward, pause. So, I'm right now working to stop the rotation and I'm using my core muscles to do that. It's a beautiful thing. Bend and I rotate with intention.

Push. (exhales) Bend and push. And if you remember what I was saying earlier, the rotation that we do throughout our pregnancy is less about end range. I'm not trying to twist as far as I can, I'm not wringing out a sponge or detoxifying. What I do want to achieve though is movement in my spine and length in my thoracic cavity so it's about length and lift. (exhales) Turn the palms forward, straight arm opens. Think of your hug a tree, exhale, find the center.

Inhale. (exhales) Now this is a longer lever, this is more work. So if it's feeling challenging for you you can always work your way up through practice or you can go back to the bend elbow position. Inhale and exhale. (exhales) One more time. Open and (exhales) close.

Bring it in. Don't forget what strap you have, it's the other one. Hook it up and I think we should start at your kneeling position facing back although we could grab the other strap and start here but I don't wanna be too tired for the kneeling one. So, let's turn around. Come on to your knees, right against the box so you feel stable.

This is gonna stop you from over bending when you go into lateral flexion and it's right there if you need a little hand. Do make sure that your strap's accessible for you and take it in the outside arm. Light fingertip touch is great, chest is open keeping your elbow and your wrist long and strong, exhale, just smooth the arm away from your midline or AB duct. Lift. (exhales) And resist. So light fingers, wide scapula.

Another good thing to think about here is heavy tailbone. (exhales) Just to clarify too, that doesn't mean I'm squeezing my buns. If anything it means I'm tightening my low belly. Two more here. (exhales) And one more. (exhales) So, adding the circle is gonna increase the level of challenge, it's gonna increase the complexity.

Follow the arm with your eyes. Up and over, look down as you bend the elbow, look up as you extend the arm and circle it around and come through. Again, lift. (exhales) Laterally flex. Let the arm and the strap dictate the movement of the spine, really connect those two together. Lift. (exhales) Bend.

Push. One more time, these are tough. Lift. (exhales) Look down. Look up. And take it all the way, good.

If I wasn't being filmed right now I might skip the next series but I'm not going to, I'm gonna do it, so here we go. Up and over. Bend the elbow. Now remember, you can look down to reduce neck tension. I like to look up to make sure that elbow stays where it's supposed to.

If the elbow moves I'm not isolating the tricep. Six times in total, one. (exhales) Two. Notice the strap isn't touching my head. If it is, your elbow is not in the right position.

Three, hips are forward and square. Four. (exhales) And five, one more time. Inhale, bend. Exhale, press. Circle it all the way around.

Have a hold of that strap, you're not done with it yet. Take your time and come into your seated position, nice, wide position. Pitch forward finding length through the spine. Superman arm. The arms are level.

Lift, use your core to stop you from getting pulled backwards. Anchoring your feet helps too. Push, bend the arm. Both arms reach. Lift the chest, lift the heart.

Push forward and bend. Make this core work, make this postural work. It's not just about the arms, lift. Lengthen and lower. Three more here.

Push so the hands are level. Lengthen, come up to vertical. Notice if you're popping those ribs. Push. (exhales) Lift. As one unit lower.

One more time. Push. Lift. Up, up, up, up, up. Push forward and bend adding the lateral flexion.

Push forward, lift up. Hand comes down. So push into the strap, laterally flex the spine, carriage shouldn't move. Use the obliques to come back up to vertical, pitch forward. Good, again.

Superman. Vertical lift. Think biceps by the ears, push. Notice the hand is not behind me so I'm keeping this, push this pressure forward throughout pitching forward. Bending the elbow and repeating, press.

Lengthen. Laterally flex. Feels so good, come up. One more time and then we'll go into the rotation series. Forward reach.

Rebuild the spine. Laterally flex. Using the abdominals to rise up and bending the elbow. Push forward, hold, rise up. This is the easiest way to make that switch.

While the arms are up put the opposite hand in and you're ready to go, okay? So notice how it's crossed. The non-working arm is actually working as well, participating. Opposite arm is bent and I start, rotated towards the tension finding lift, finding length. Push and bend.

Exhale, press. This is a really good time to think about finding even balance through the front and the back of the torso. So if I overworked the front it's gonna look like that. I'm gonna use my pecs, I'm gonna round forward. If I overwork my back it might look something like that.

So what I'm trying to do is stay vertical and feel an even amount of work in my chest, in my back and an even amount of lift through the front and the back of my torso. (exhales) One more here. (exhales) Flip the palms open. This is getting heavy, exhale. (exhales) Close, that's one. How many did we do, six I believe. Two. (exhales) Lift.

Three. (exhales) Four. (exhales) Keep tension in that strap that whole time, no momentum. Five. Feel empowered, feel strong. And six. Bring it in, bring it down.

Don't forget which strap you were using. Hook the strap up and carefully come up. Very good. Carefully step off the reformer and grab the box, let's move it out of the way so I'm gonna place it right here. Adjust your springs while you're up.

Now, the next one, the next series you sort of wanna play with your springs here. I'm gonna do a single red but I'll tell you why I hesitated. On a red it's gonna be more supportive through the torso and it's gonna be harder through the upper body and that's the challenge that I feel like doing today. Tomorrow when I do this workout I might change it. I might do this series on a blue.

It's gonna be a little bit lighter for my upper body and it's gonna be less supportive for my torso which means my abdominals will have to work harder. So I want you to play with changing that out as you do this class over and over again. Make sure you've got some space behind your sacrum so you're not gonna be rolling back but you will be leaning back, so just make sure that you have enough to lean back against. Legs are straight, chest is lifted, sit in your best vertical posture and take your forearms through the straps so that the straps sit above the elbows. Maintaining your best vertical alignment and of course bending the knees or sitting up onto something to modify.

Keeping the elbows so that they're shoulder height. Exhale, open. (exhales) So I have to sort of work a little bit harder to stay vertical. It'd be easier for me to lean back. Inhale, close. We'll do five of each variation here.

So I'm counting that last one as one, this was two. Exhale. Three. Four. And hold for five.

Now, without moving the carriage my elbows are gonna come down by my sides. Without moving the carriage my arms are gonna come up and I'm crossing one form over the other, inhale. I'm gonna choose the same form to be on the top because we're doing two sets. That's two. (exhales) Three.

Four. And on the next one I'll hold the arms up. Think about gluing the forearms to the forehead, inhale, lean back. Now as I do, I'm looking towards my toes. Exhale sitting as tall as you can.

Inhale, lean. Exhale. (exhales) Think of your short box abdominal series. Lean. (exhales) One more time. Lean. (exhales) Take the arms down, now I prefer to take a stretch in between doing sets here so I'm gonna go into a nice, wide straddle position walking my hands forward, let my head feel heavy, breathe into my back and sides.

(breathes deeply) You can keep going if you'd like. I think it feels good, it's nice little reward to stretch here. Rebuilding the spine and I'm ready now to do it again. So the legs come up, sitting nice and tall, sliding the elbows through. So it sits just above the elbow join on my forearm.

90 degrees, work that posture, modify if needed by bending the knees or sitting onto a prop. Notice the palms go forward as I open my arms and the palms face my face when I close the arms. Exhale up. Inhale. Three.

Four. And (exhales) five. Up and down. Squeeze in. Now, the opposite form is on the top.

This is gonna be your awkward side, always the second side. Otherwise, if it was your natural side you would have chosen that one first. Down and up. (exhales) On the next one, hold the arms up, think about gluing the forearms to your forehead. Lean and notice there's a slight tilt down with the eyes, I'm looking at my toes and coming back up to my best posture.

Two. (exhales) And back up. Three. And back up. We'll do one more here so we're even. (exhales) Up.

Take it all the way down. A nice stretch is to straddle and arms can go forward. Breathe into the back and sides, do whatever feels good for you. We are gonna continue working that upper body so there's not a break just yet. Hook your straps up as you transition from a seated position to a kneeling position and I haven't changed the springs, I'm still on a red.

So if you did that last series on a blue, my suggestion would be go up a little bit now and go to a red spring. I'm gonna kneel so that my knees are not against the shoulder blocks and I just like this. It feels comfortable for me. It also works well with the length of my straps. If my straps were shorter I might have my knees right up against the shoulder blocks.

You can see though when my arms are extended there is tension. Keeping the shoulders over the hips for a moment and let's just practice the upper body component. We're doing three sets of this series. First set will be a bicep curl. So exhale as you bend, inhale as you straighten.

Let's practice that arm series two more times. Pull in and resist down. Exhale. (exhales) And resist down. Okay, I think we definitely have that. The second part of this series is coming from what I call a low kneeling position into your thigh stretch.

Thigh stretch is not vertical, you're leaning back in thigh stretch so be prepared for some good lower body work. Inhale in preparation. At the same time that you bend your elbows scoop the belly, lift the hips and come to your thigh stretch. You see how I'm leaning back. Inhale, take it back down.

Exhale up. (exhales) Inhale down and this is also great core work because my obliques are working to help stabilize the shape of my spine. And down, one more time like this. Exhale up. (exhales) And inhale down. All right, moving on. Instead of a bicep curl the arms will be opening to the sides.

Let's practice it. Three. (exhales) Two. Wrists are straight. One. Now that we know the arms, we're ready to add the lower body.

Everything is the same. Scoop, lift leaning back. Sit the hips down. Exhale up. (exhales) Inhale down, see if you can make this more about the glutes like your heels are on fire and you don't wanna burn your buns. Lift, squeeze your seat and take it down.

One more time. Lift, squeeze and take it down. Awesome. I think I said there was three parts, right? If I didn't surprise there's one more part.

Instead of an arms to the side position it's an arms to the sky. Now, your arms will not go very high. They only have to go as high as you need the tension to help support your shape. Exhale up, that's the direction the arms will be going. Practice one more (exhales) and take it down.

So I just need enough tension to support my thigh stretch. Inhale to prepare, exhale. (exhales) Inhale, take it down. Very good, this is definitely the hardest set of the three. Exhale. (exhales) And inhale. Exhale. (exhales) And inhale, one more time.

Exhale. (exhales) And inhale, hook the straps up. Come on to the shoulder blocks and take a moment to flex. (exhales) And extend and flex. (exhales) And extend one more time. So sometimes after creating all that strength we might feel a little stuck and we don't wanna feel stuck. We wanna feel strong and mobile. All right, guys.

One more spring change. Reduce your springs, I'm putting a blue. You could choose a blue or a yellow. Blue is like a half spring, yellow is a quarter spring. Walk the knees against the shoulder blocks walking the hands forward onto the rails all the way to the risers, we're gonna do some decompression, some scapular movement.

So there's no fancy way to get there that I know of. I just have to walk and walk and walk and walk and then there we are. So hips are gonna stay low-ish. My booty doesn't meet my feet. I'm gonna blame the belly for that one, so it's up a little bit.

Chest is long. Exhale as you pull forward. (exhales) Inhale, now this is a series that I introduced in the second trimester videos that I filmed but we're gonna add a little additional component here. So if this seems familiar that's good, that means you did the other video. One more time. (exhales) Stretch the arms long and take both hands to one riser.

Now just a stretch for a moment, let the head drop down, let the hips feel heavy. You should feel like you're stretching more through one side than the other. Lengthen through to a neutral diagonal and pulling on the diagonal. So feeling of a little bit more through my obliques and feeling my upper body in a whole different way. Exhale, pull. (exhales) Two more on this side then we'll walk it over to the other.

(exhales) Last one. (exhales) Walk, walk, stretch. Let the hips feel heavy, let the head feel heavy, you feel stretch on one side. I feel it just below my shoulder blade on this side. Lengthen up, exhale, pull.

Five. (breathes deeply) Four. Three, think about the heart lifting up. Two. (exhales) And one. (exhales) Take the hands on to the rails, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. Sit back, enjoy a nice little stretch.

Rebuild the spine and come all the way up. Now this would be a great time to go into some of your favorite stretches, maybe holding the squat, opening up the hips but this is also an amazing time to just chill, relax and focus on your breath. Part of feeling empowered, a huge part of it is actually in your head, right? So take the time to condition yourself. Have positive affirmations that you use.

These can be affirmations just about how your body moves, it can be about your emotional state, it can be about the whole birthing process of your baby. My suggestion to you is that you take at least five minutes after this video, find a comfortable position to stretch in or to rest in and to start to go through some very positive thoughts or words, you can say them out loud. Some of my favorites are about releasing fear and embracing excitement and joy. I also really like to just remind myself that my body and my baby know what they're gonna do more than I know in my head what I need to do. And remember that and have trust that your body and your baby intuitively know what to do.

I also want to think about your breathing and this is gonna be a very important tool for you during your birthing process. Your breath can facilitate so much as we know through Pilates. We move, we breathe, it's this beautiful marriage, right? So, remember that during this process where your body physically is working very hard. You're gonna need to breathe, keep a calm, relaxed breath pattern and feel empowered that your breath is gonna facilitate one of the most amazing things that you're ever gonna do in your life.

Thank you for joining me in this workout. I will be seeing you guys again probably not with a belly. Maybe. (laughs) Who knows. But thank you so much for joining me and I will see you guys soon. Bye.

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Comments

1 person likes this.
Fantastic creative sequencing for any body. I loved how you used the box for the first 20 mins of the workout. I also love how few spring changes there were. So much flow. I will use these box variations for my older clients. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
As always, an awesome and fun creative class:) You're looking so strong, healthy and happy! Congrats and hope you'll have (or had) an easy breezy birth:)
1 person likes this.
Congratulations! I enjoyed watching. I will use the box variations for myself and my clients. Thank you! Great workout.
1 person likes this.
I'm not pregnant and almost didn't take this class thinking I might not get as tough a workout as I wanted. I was wrong! Great, strong class. Thank you and best to you and baby (and partner!)
1 person likes this.
Perfect sequence, and selection exercises. Congratulations💋💋
1 person likes this.
Congratulations! Ditto Paula as well as Jeanne....there is nothing else I need to add :)
1 person likes this.
Congratulations! I m not pregnant but it was good work for me :)) ??
1 person likes this.
Covey workout for all bodies. Challenging and creative. Thank you. Best of luck as you enter mommyhood.
1 person likes this.
Creative class thanks :)
1 person likes this.
So creative and fun workout!
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