Class #2724

Breaking Down Transitions

55 min - Class


Turn on your whole body with this Reformer workout by Benjamin Degenhardt. He teaches the third class of his Reformer progression, adding in new exercises throughout the class. He works on breaking down the transitions as well and he adds preps for exercises like Horseback, Snake, and much more!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Aug 18, 2016
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[inaudible]. Hello everybody. My name is Benjamin. I'm here with Nicole and with Christie and we will continue our reformer progressions with our third class. Um, I hope you watched the first two so that you know what's going to come. We will continue to add exercises as we go. We will break them down somewhat before they become a full on traditional reformer sequence. Are you guys ready? Let's get on our reformers.

We begin with footwork. We're on two grads reformers here. We are currently set up on three to four springs depending a little bit on your level of strength and comfort here. This is an exercise that we've done many times. You can go right into it. We are on our toes. Go ahead and extend it. Oh, come on.

Way Back in 10 of these to start, just to reiterate, this is an exercise that really connects our lower body into our center as well as just give us a sense of how the reformer moves and to build a little bit of strength to start from warming the body up, entering your practice. One more time. Go all the way out to the top bend back in. We changed the positions to the arches of the feed. Heels curl onto toes over 10 times here, same exact movement, so we're moving the legs, but we were also looking for length through the spine, allowing the rib cage to get heavier and building a connection into our breath. Three more times, all the way to the top of bend back in for two and in the last one all the way down. Last positions on the heels.

Curl your toes back as far as you can and go for 10 ones here. Go all the way out and back in. Extend your legs fully. Let this be your quickest set as well as to work on speed a little bit. See if you can extend your legs a little quicker than before and in. Let your breath just flow in and out the body as well. Push and pull.

Push and pull. Last one, come all the way in and come back to your toes. Tendance stretch. Go all the way out. You lower the heels underneath the foot bar, but you try to stretch out through the crown of your head, lift back up and do that nine more times. Each time you get to the top, watch out for your shoulders, lifting into the blocks. Watch for you heels coming apart. Try to keep them together as strongly as possible.

Shoulders will lax against the blocks and try to lengthen through the spine. From that push of your toes should almost feel like you're pushing the ball away from you. Rather than lifting your heels. Lift lower and then when you're done, come all the way and soften your knees. Close the carriage. We move into our a hundred the foot bar lowers down. You take one foot under the bar, kick the kickstand away.

Move yourself slightly away from your blocks. Pick up your straps, stretch your arms straight up to the ceiling, your legs extend over the bar. Think of that tendon stretch possess. We were just in. You reach the legs out of your body like you're pushing a bar away from you. Pick up your legs, pull into your straps, lift yourself into position. Just stay here for one full breath in.

One full breath are leeching through the legs and then very slowly reverse out of that. The arms lift the legs, reach away from me. They lower down. We'll just do that one more time. Pull yourself into your position. Just remind you, this is really about turning on your whole body, right? Connecting your shoulders, connecting your arms, finding that reach to the legs that we just worked on and footwork and linking it to this movement. Release back down. Arms go up like it's come down and now we get to pump diva and they have the repair. Press on down. Lift your head, neck and shoulders up a hundred times.

You pump the arms, inhaling and exhaling. What we're looking for in this exercise is a quick pump of the arms, but a very slow sustained breath so you get to breathe in a little deeper with each one. Excelling, fully narrowing the ribs and the front, curling up nice and beautiful. We're looking for an even curve throughout the spine, so it's not just head and neck, it's not just upper back. We're also looking for the middle and lower back to participate so that you can offset the weight of your legs. Breathing in, breathing out, getting warmer in here is add one more deep breath. Exhale all the air out. Now stay right here. Push into your handles.

Try to move those springs up just as titch more and then release legs down. Arms Up. Head comes down. We prepare for overhead. Last time we broke the exercise down into various steps. Well now try to flow through it a little bit better. We change our springs down to two, so come on up.

Take one spring off here or two if you were in four and go ahead and lie back down. Same start position as before. Your arms are straight up to the ceiling, your leg straight out. Think about pressing your legs together like they're holding each other up. And then we begin from here. Arms go down, legs go up. Begin to roll over, sending your hips over your head and stretch your legs straight up to the ceiling. Push into the handles and then with control, roll yourself all the way back down. Reaching your legs opposite to your hips and where we cover coming all the way down we go again. Arms go down, legs go up. Roll the hips up in over central, a straight up to the ceiling. Create more length through the sides of your waist and then delay the descend.

Our legs come down, arms lift up. We'll just do one more here. Progressing down. Let this be an expression of your breath as well. So move with your own breath. Legs lift, push into your handles. Roll yourself down. Keep the springs out long and then recover. Legs down. Arms Up. Last one in this sequence here on your back, you bend your knees into your chest. You Bend your elbows down by your sides.

You curl that neck and shoulders back up. Think of your a hundred position. We are approaching it from here. Press arms down. Extend your legs out long and low. We open the legs, we close the legs. You draw your knees back into your chest with a full XL and you bend your elbows again in how pressing. Ouch. At this point in your practice, open and close. We only do three repetitions of each exercise so that we get a lot more done.

One more time, press out, open the legs, close the legs, knees, and first get them a little deeper. Yes, bend the elbows and Ah, release and that is our supine warmup. We're on our back for the first few exercises. Now we get to change the equipment around a little bit. You can step off to the side, at least your handles down to the ground. We set up our long boxes for our swan dive.

The long box is going to go right against the shoulder blocks. We stay on two springs for this next exercise. You might want to use your pad as well around the edge of the box here. Now last time we broke this exercise down as well. Today we try to make it one flowing motion.

You set yourself up with your toes inside the frame. Heels touch, toes apart. The boxes edge goes right below your hip creases and you drape your body over the box arms just hanging down by your sides. We'll just repeat what we did last time. One more time here. Push through all 10 toes and extend your legs all the way out. Swing the arms forward and find your highest backbend with straight legs.

Then at the top, bend your knees down, lift your chest up a little higher. Make sure you can still breathe in this position. So good you guys. Then stretch your legs back out. Reach forward through the arms and then release all the way back in. Make that one motion. Now extend the legs out.

Lift yourself up at the top of your lift. Bend your knees, lift your heart forward and up. We straighten your legs. Keep the abdominals lifted and release back down. It's just one more time. Stretch forward. Lift yourself up. So it's still a very simple movement. We continue that push of the toes like we're doing footwork on the stomach, taking it into a full backbend and now we're ready for pulling straps. You can step off to the side. Transitioning right into our next exercise.

You take your pat off. We take a spring off. We're now left on one spring here. Positioning yourself on your stomach so that your hips are supported by the box, your shoulders right over your blocks, and then you hold onto your straps. All right, so think about the last exercise and how we fired up the whole back of the body. We're now focusing and isolating that effort into our upper back. A little bit. Working on posture.

I want you to press your hips down into the box and stretch your legs actively back behind you. So it's your hips and your legs that hold the legs up from here. Go ahead and pull your arms straight down and then back. And once you have your hands by your heads, begin to lift your chest forward and up along with your hands coming up high or keep your low back long and wrinkle free. And then slowly return arms down, arms forward. Really just two more times Pulliam straight down. First, pull them next to your sides and then simultaneously pick up your hands and you're just keeping the low back. Nice and long. Chest floats forward in, up against the legs, reaching back and in Yukon. One more time.

Don't let me hold you back on this one. Go into one big. Reach down, back up, and lift the chest forward and up. Try to keep your arms a little closer to gather on this one. Very good. And then slowly return. We changed the position into our t pole. The hand slide back to the start of the strap. Your arms go out to the left and to the right.

Imagine you're trying to touch the sidewalls with your knuckles. Maximum Wingspan. Chest is lifted and neck is long. Beautiful. From here we go straight back. Pull the chest forward through the arms. Press the hips down, legs lengthen and open with control. Two more times. Pull on bat.

Feel how the box moves forward on your reformer and Theo outwardly turns as you open the arms wide to the side and your last one, you try to delay that somewhat. You pull the arms back, stay. You don't keep the box right here. Open the arms wide to the side. Do you lay the spring nice. And then relax everything down. Let your legs fall over the foot bar for a second. Release your head down. Yeah, just a moment of rest because why not, right? Take your straps with you. Step off to the side. We're transitioning into our backstroke.

Now remember we have a version of backstroke where we sit on the front edge of the box. We do a half roll down, right? Last time we added the full movement with the springs, we'll go right into that and at the reverse. All right, we're in true springs. We'll change them. If you didn't already have a seat on the front edge of your box. Feet are on the foot bar and I'd like to start the exercise like this.

You pick your feet up off the bar, you find tension on your springs and like rolling like a ball on the mat. You bend your knees into your chest, you heels to your seat and with great control you roll yourself down just about to your shoulder blade tips. You make a ring with your arms right around your head. Keep that tight little ball and then think that this exercise is all about being synchronized between arms and legs. Are you ready? Take your arms and legs up open. Swing them forward.

Hold the highest lifts and your feet forward, almost down and bend back in. Go again. Take your arms and legs up open. Circle forward. Think of this as a low teaser, right? That's next. Bend your knees and elbows in. Just one more time. Then we add the reverse up open. Squeeze your legs together.

Push the handles towards your knees. Come all the way back in and now reverse it. Come into your final shape first. Curl up a little high are now open the arms and legs out to the side. Circle them all the way in. Two more times, perhaps a little faster. Open lift. Curl back in. One more time. Once you're out, can you keep the box where it is?

Yes. Brought everything back in. Take the handles into one hand. Swing yourself up and take one spring off. Alright, t's a time. Great, great. Write it down on your back. Bring your arms out to the side. Remember, you have options here, right? Perhaps you just swing yourself up into a hundred shade, bringing your arms from the side out in front of you. Perhaps you come all the way up. If you do, then we add on.

Find the tension on your straps first. See how your body feels today. Stretch the legs out of your body. Pick yourself up. Find your balance right. Originally, this exercise was also called the control stretch, right? So think of that. How can you stretch into your straps? Lift out of your back, reach the legs away from you, unclench the toes and your lips. Take a full breath here and then slowly come all the way back down, right?

Find those things first before you add choreography, which we will on the next one because you guys were amazing there. Let's do one more chin over chest. Lift yourself up. Stretch the legs out of your body. Find your highest high. Try to UNSYNC your back. Lift the arms up nice and high. Then lower the arms down just twice down and up without it changing your spine or the height of your legs down and up. One more time. Hold the highest lift.

How high can you go? Instead of deciding to come down at the strap, hole you onto your box with control release, release your head back down. And we'll do the same thing with our legs. Let me call it a day as far as teaser is concerned, right? You in over jazz, lift yourself up one more time. I wouldn't that be nice if it could be done after this and it gives health. I've lived out of your ways now. Nothing changes above the waist.

Lower the legs, lift the legs. Keep lifting up into your strap. Think of your spring tension as your helper here. Last one, down and up. Hold up now. How high can you lift those legs? At what point does it bring you down? Find that place. And then with control, lower delay. Your descend almost there. Almost there. Almost there. And relax fully. Alright, teasers over. Forget all about it.

Then get rid of your straps. Step off to the side. Want to stay on one spring here. Just a quick little recap on what we did last time for breaststroke. Um, the long box stays right there. Last time we did a version where your foot part is lifted, you hold onto your bar and you face it. Today we're going to use our straps for the exercise, right, so actually go ahead and pick them up or the transition.

You want the straps to pass in front of your body, right? So organize them so that you can face your foot bar. Place your hands on either corner of the box, and then step over your straps to get into position. That's pretty much the hardest part of the exercise, I promise. Think of where your shoulders and your knees are and put the box right in the middle of those two points. That's where you want your body to be, so your shoulders should be off. Your knees should be somewhat off, right?

Beginning again by pressing your hipbones down to activate your hips and your legs. We begin with a double kick like last time. You kick your heels to your seat once and then twice simultaneously. Extend arms and legs away from each other. Just hold that for a second. Keep the crown of your head reaching straight forward. Swim your arms out to the side and to a t back behind you until you lose tension on the spring. And then you come all the way back into your start position.

Hands Underneath your shoulders. We'll do that two more times. Kick your heels to your seat. One to simultaneously extend arms and legs. Reach your arms out to the side, stretch your legs back and almost down and come in one more time. Last one, kick your heel to your seat. One to stretch your arms and legs away from each other. This is a very simple version of our breaststroke.

Reach your arms out to the side like you are indeed swimming. Take your hands right to the front of your box. I look good. More of this in the next class. You step over your straps off to the side. And here's one more new exercise. Now you do get rid of your straps. We say on one spring, we don't really move the springs at all in this next exercise, which was a preparation for horseback. Everyone's favorite. Um, but we'll just leave one spring on for now just so we don't have to change the apparatus around. You will straddle your box sitting facing your foot bar for what the exercise is about to become.

You want to be about a hand with away from the back end of your space, so not too far back. Um, and we begin with our hands here on our hips. The feet are flex, the legs are fully extended. Once you almost feel like your heels are resting on something, like your feet are about to push into something, right? So I'll give you my hands here to push into simultaneously point your feet. Like you're pushing something away from you. Round your spine. Try to lift your curl, curl your tailbone under and stretch your arms out in front of you all at the same time.

Keep pushing through the feet like you're doing foot work on your toes. Hold that position but not the breath. And then slowly slide all the way back in. This is one of the more elusive exercises and really complex who teach and get all the nuances out of it, right? Literally think of pushing your toes away from your auditor. Deepen your belly, curl the tail under. Lift yourself off the box.

I'll give you my hands here as well. Push into my hands. How would your spine reach the arms forward? Try to lift your bottom ever so slightly off the box. Take the arms and reach them right next to your ear. So they lift up on a high diagonal. Your spine, however, states curved.

Then flex your feet, pick up your legs and slide back onto your box. Very good you guys. We'll do one more like that. Stretch the arms. Stretch through your toes, round through your spine. Curl the tail under deeply to lift your hips up off the box and to soften into your lower back so it can stay nice and round. Flex your feet. Try to pick up your heels in space. Slide your elbows back behind you.

Land back in your saddle. Ah, and then step after the side, we're going to add one more variation on how you can prepare yourself for horseback, um, at a spring. Now we will move the spring. Grab your straps, organize them. So that you can straddle the box. Again, we have two springs here, even though the exercise calls for one cause, we're not doing the full movement here. Take your hands right in front of your waist, right in front of your belly button. In fact, right? So you almost have a little belt built by the straps around your waist. Take the same position through your legs. Your feet are flexed and lifted, and then you curl yourself into your spring tension without moving your arms.

So what the springs provide you here is a little bit of something to lean into so that you can really flesh out your c curve here. Letting the head be in line with that, curling the tail under and exploring how you can hold the shape. Nice. Flex your feet again. Just slide back into an upright spine. We'll do that two more times. Pretty cool, right? I'm gonna use all of the lessons that you can learn in this little prep in our next class. Let's do two more times. Curl into your springs, rounding back through your spine, pointing through your toes, and then trying to lift your bottom off the box.

It doesn't look like much is happening here, but if you see them up close, you can see that they're shaking. It's quite a lot of organization work that's happening right here. Flex your feet. Peg Up the heels and slide use back into an upright spine. We just have one more. Take a deep breath in or around your spine in without moving your arms.

Just think what would happen if you had to extend your arms out in front of you? How would that change the alignment of your back? How would that use your hips differently? Can you hug your legs into the box? Nice. And then flex the feed. Pick up the heels, come all the way in. Horseback is over thing. Heavens right?

Get rid of your straps at last. Also get rid of your boxes. We prepare for the long stretch series. Finally, something familiar. That one we've done and almost throw it away, but we won't. Um, set up your head pieces in an upright position or high position. Your pad goes on top just to make sure we don't slip off. There's two springs attached for the exercise and our foot bars go up into a high position as well.

Bring yourself into your plank with your toes right in between the shoulder blocks, straight legs, straight arms, and most importantly along spine. Quick little reminder while these guys hold, the shape is not about how far you can push out. It's about how long you can stay. As you push out. Go ahead, press your arms out, kick the heels back as we turn and pull the chest through your arms. Come all the way into the stopper. Do that twice more. Pressing out heels. Kick back. Have you had reaches forward pressing your legs into one another.

This is your last one. Pressing at. Pull the chest through the arms to initiate your return. I'll stay here. Lower the niece. Separate your knees and feet. Continue the exercise on your knees. Same idea. There's a little back then involved, right? Your hips, press forward, you heels kick back, hands go down, chest lifts up. Once you have that, go for it. Press out again. Inhale, how far can you go while keeping that length, your chest through the arms all the way home. You've got two more. Inhale, exhale, come all the way. One more time. Inhale up. Exhale, come all the way back in.

Sit your hips back towards your heels and then stand up on your tippy toes. We go into our up stretch like last time. We'll break the exercise down just for one repetition and then we work on flow on this one as well. Try to lift your hip creases as high as you possibly can. Yes. Then push your legs back to let your hips curl down towards the carriage.

Once you are down as far as you will go, come all the way and try to bring the carriage into the stopper. Now press down into your hands and then roll up through your spine. Upper back first, lower back last. Now we work on flow in one breath. Push the legs back, roll the hips down, come all the way in, and then ripple through your spine. Turn. If your hip creases up and again pressing apt. Come all the way in.

Now press up into your hands. Beautiful Roll all the way through. You've got one more that this be your preparation for the elephant, which is next and next time you're round stay made you feed flat. Make you heel so heavy that your toes can lift while you're here. Look at your knees. Look at your feet, right? It's a good place to look at them and see if there's anything that you don't like. Maybe your knees curling in towards one another.

Point them straight forward heels, heavy toes lift. Press the carriage out and come in. Just take a few of these aiming to keep your back button red. The highest point of your body, your head, super relaxed, your arm, super support. If you've got one more pressing out, come all the way in and stay. Now try to keep the shape of your spine the same. We're going to add a one legged version here.

Your right leg lifts up behind you but only parallel to the floor. You flex through your foot, like you kicking it back behind. You take even weight into both your hands and again puff your back up and then do the same movement from before in one leg. Press out, come back in, press. I'll come back in two or more. It's not often that we get to do one side at work, especially on the reformer after three change for the other side, cause the reformers really as symmetry tool. Right?

So the few moments and opportunities we have to work on one leg, we can learn a lot about asymmetry, known bodies. You push it back out through the right leg, come back in. Nice. Keep reaching actively back through the heel. Like you're kicking me away from your last one. Come all the way in. She doesn't want to kick me away from her. That's okay. We'll, we'll come at serve off to the side and we'll go back into this idea.

Once we get to our stomach massage. You all said with elephant you wanted to do a few more. All right, I totally understand that. We go into a long back stretch. We're going to keep it super simple like last time. So no dipping a, we just take a position where your hands are behind us. Feet go against the blocks, super flat toes pulled back, and I want you to actively link this exercise to elephant, right? Think about it. Your spine was rounding, your legs were starting to move.

You push through your heels. Can you make that same thing happen? From here? Push your heels forward, rounding your spine, press your arms back behind you and see how much movements you can get onto the springs without letting you heels. Come off the blocks and then come back and try that four more times. Press out, push out through the heels, back through the arms. Get longer through your backwards, stretching the long muscles off the back. Look straight ahead. We have three more. Press it out.

Keep the chest nice and open. Slide back into the go. So there's a little bit of chest expansion in here, right? It's that same idea. Your arms end up behind you because you moving the legs forward, you use that space or take a deeper breath. NYSE, you come all the way back in and you're done with that one. Great step after the side. It's time for stomach massage. We're just gonna keep it simple. We'll just do one variation, add a one legged version and the sticky pad moves down. We stay on two springs.

I like it on two springs. The tradeoff is because we have less tension. You have to come all the way to the front of your pad. All right, so have a seat, okay. Okay or not. It's like forward on your pad. Get your hands right around the front edge of your carriage. Take a moment here to get in as deeply as you can, right? I look at this exercise as a squat, right? Which would essentially is, or a child's pose of sorts, right?

Your back should have that same relaxed rounding over your legs. It shouldn't be aggressive in the way that you use your arms. Your arms should really just give you some support here so that you can keep your shoulders close to your knees. Go into the motion, you stretch the legs out. You lower the heels, you lift, you come back in. Now each time you come back in, you try to come in a little bit deeper. Closing the springs more, getting a deeper squat into your hips, knees, ankles, and your spine. Three more here. Stretch, lower lift.

Come in all the way deep in the belly, away from your heel, the specially as you lower them for to take one more and then pause as you bring the carriage all the way to a stop. Stay right here. Take your right foot off the bar now and extended underneath the bar. All right, I'll be out of your guy's way. Now what's tricky here is that your body starts to shift from one side to the other. I want you to use your arms to calibrate your center. Find Center, be even on both hips, and then do the same motion on your left leg. You press out, you lower the heel, you lift the heel, you come back in.

We keep that idea of a slight turnout so that you can squat in a little deeper to more lower lift and in last one down, up. Close the carriage. Stay in as you change to the other side. So a fun little game to play here as you transition. Yes, and then stretch out. Lower lift, come back in. You can go for it. You now know the way. Start to notice also your leg. That's free in space. Where does it go?

Can You keep it forward over your hip the entire time. So there's work through the inner thighs to down, up. Come in. Last one, lower lift, come all the way home and then step off to the side. All right, so that's our one legged stomach massage. We can take this idea into all the other variations as well. We've got to keep moving forward today. All right, our next exercise is a preparation for tendon stretch.

We'll keep the pat on here, but we will turn it around instead of right against the edge of the carriage. That'll serve as our support so that the feet don't slip. Um, I like this preparation, especially if you've never done this exercise because it gives you a sense of how heavy the springs are and how they hold you in place. For that. You sit on your foot bar facing, um, the opposite end of your reform and you want to actually sit yourself so far forward. Your sitting bones are in front of the foot bar. It literally feels as if you're about to slide down and then your feet are halfway on the pad. Your arch should meet the corner or the edge of your carriage. Here.

Think of your long backstretch, the exercise we've done in just a few minutes ago. Take your arms down against the foot bar and press back so that your chest is already open. Then all you do from here just three times, extend your legs out. It's like seated footwork on your football, which is not a thing. It's just a way to get into understanding how the reformer supports us here. Do that twice more.

And that is the reason why you want to sit sort of in front of the foot bar because the second you press out, you don't want that spring tension to push you back over your foot. Right on the next one. Keep your legs out straight. See if you feed on the right position. You want to be able to drop the heels and get that feedback from the springs pushing back into your arches so that you actually feel attendance stretch. Now think long back search again. Press your arms back into the bar, try to unweight your hips off the bar, around your nose, down to your knees, and then pull yourself into your tendon stretch start position.

And that essentially is already the exercise. Now we go out and in a few more times like that, push back to the ons out through the feet and come back in. So again, in the same way you push the carriage out in long back stretch with your legs out against the blocks. You now push into the edge of the carriage. Take three more here. Keeping that round horseback, like shaping your spine. Four two, pressing out through the heels, back through the arts. Curl back in. One more time. Try to close the carriage all the way on this last one.

Lift the hips up high, bend your knees, have a seat on your bars, and then step off to the side. Our next exercise is short spine massage, which seems like an unrelated movement, but it actually really comes out of tendon stretch. I want you to think of that pushed through the arches of your feet when we have our strap set up. Um, a little furniture change here. The foot bars come down. We get rid of our pads, we stay. The springs headpiece must be flat for this one. Um, and then take your straps with you. As you lie down on your back. We'll adjust the straps from here, right? So we often think of short spine as a, as a passive way to stretch our bags, to have the straps lift us up into an overhead position, right?

Once you approach it more actively, especially now that we just come out of tendon stretch. All right, so we shortened the straps on the grads. We form, you pull the lever, loop through the handle. You step your feet into your straps, preferably without moving the carriage as you set up exactly. You draw your heels in towards your seed. You get your back down flat and then extend your legs out on a high diagonal. They can show that the straps don't really touch the shoulder blocks here, right? So it's a version of footwork. If you will, bend your knees back in, come back down. Just do that a couple of times and remind yourself of your tendon stretch just now, right? How you sat on your foot bar.

You push the carriage out with your arches a few times. Can you link that sensation to what's happening right now? One more time. Press out so the straps pull into your feet. Now can you push into them to lift your hips up and over? The same as tendon stretch before?

Let the carriage come too close before you bend your knees, lifting your hips up towards your heels, bend the knees down towards your ears, and then keep your heels with your seat. As you roll the spine onto the mat, we'll be focusing on the smaller the back, stretching down sick mentally. Once you're down, go back out. We'll just do two more here. Curl the hips under, lift into your straps and lift up and over, bending your knees rolling down. So you could almost think of this as a continuation of the previous exercise rather than a new one. One more time, pressing out, pushing in through the arches. Lifting up and over. Bend the knees down. Lift the hips up. Try to keep tension on the straps throughout heel. Then seat stay together as you roll the spine unto the Mat.

He massaging your back all the way down. And just for fun, stretch your legs out. One more time. Lift your legs up and over. And then with control, flex your feet, lose your straps, you end up in a rollover position. Shake 'em off. That's right. And then roll yourself all the way down with control. You can step off to the side. And then we're ready for our chest expansion and side stretch series.

Want to stay on true springs? Grab your straps from the end of your reformer and then set yourself up on your knees with your feet. Crowed around the front edge of the carriage. Oh, something familiar, right? We've done this one many, many times. Um, I'd like to hold on to the handles for this one just so that you have your arms already, a little farther back behind you. You get to open your chest for this one. All right, so really hold onto the wooden dowel there if possible. And then take a full breath in. As you pull your arms back behind, you open through the chest, pulling a lot of air. That's what you're opening the chest for. Attorney had right and left.

Look straight ahead and with control, Paul the carriage back against the stopper. We'll do three more. Inhale to Paul, hold your breath, turn the head one way and the other straight ahead. Come all the way in. One more set. Right and left. Think of this also as a way of extending your hips. Hip bones, press forward the same way that you open your chest. One last time, Paul, turn your head left and right straight ahead. Come all the way in. We'll transition into our thigh stretch adding a spring behind us, but coming back to a kneeling position, we moved the knees against the shoulder blocks for this one, right? Since we've done this a few times already, maybe a place to get familiar with what our feet are up to here.

I like to look back sometimes and see where my heels are pointing. Sometimes they do crazy things right and they get away with it because we never look at them. So make sure that you hear point straight up the central line of your Shin straight down into the carriage and with that feel like you're pulling your knees towards one another and go into your thighs stretch hanging off your straps. Take your body back, stay where you end up. Take a full breath in. Take a full rep out. Nice and then come back up.

If that made you change your mind about your range of motion, just know that for your next one we go again. Lengthen the tail down. Keep your eyes straight ahead as you take your thighs stretch. Sometimes I even like to curl my tail ever so slightly under to avoid arching the back, lift yourself back up. We will add it back then eventually for right now we'll make it all about the size last time. Curl the tail down. Keep those heels pointing up behind you if you can. Yes. All right.

And then lift yourself back up. Bring the carriage all the way to a close and then step off to the side. We're going to get rid of our straps and we're going to learn something new today. Are you ready? We're going to stay on two springs rather we changed to two springs, so take one off. We're going to learn to sneak just the start position of it. All right. Um, I'd like to do it on two springs just because it gives us a lot of support for this first preparation that we're doing.

Now you might even want to add more springs was to feel more secure, but these guys are rock stars, so we do it on two springs. Just the set up and trying to find space within that before we add movement. So let's all come to the left side of the reforms. When you call, come over here, you will step your right foot onto the horizontal part of your foot bar and I like a parallel alignment so that the heel is right in the corner of the toes pointing forward. What I like to do here is to wiggle my foot in and out a little bit to make sure that my foot understands there's support even as I start moving my ankle around. Then you take your left hand and you place it on your far shoulder block opposite of your foot.

You bring your right hand either right underneath your shoulder, driving a fist down into the carriage, or you wrap your hand around the edge of the carriage like Nicole as over there. Both versions are great. Try them both. See which one works for you. From here, straighten your right leg, thread your left foot in front of the right, and then just hold the position you're in. Try to lift your left hip crease up towards the ceiling and distance your hip away from your left hand. That's pushing down into the block and then we just stay here and breathe. Taking a full breath in, pushing through the arms, pushing through the legs, excelling all the air out.

You almost want to untwist your left hip up and back a little bed, taking one more full breath in, exhaling all the air out, and then you take your left foot down, unraveling it step into the ground. We'll do the same thing on the other side. Easy as that. I'm sure you agree. That's an exercise in and of itself, right? Keeping the carriage closed in and we don't do a lot of rotation on the reformer. Again, there's a good reason for that, so we'll introduce it in a body intelligent way. Your left foot is on the horizontal part of the foot bar, right hand across from it on the far shoulder block, left hand under your shoulder or around the edge of the carriage. Find the same setup here, right for threads in front of the left this time you almost want to think that if we could, we might just take your right leg off for this exercise, right?

So I don't want you to use this foot against the foot bar adar because that'll get in the way of doing the exercise later. Try to lift your right hip crease up towards the ceiling as far as you can, getting length into your body, almost extending the spine a little bit. Taking a full breath in, taking a full breath out. Unravel the right foot. That is plenty more fun to be had with the snake later on.

Great job you guys. So after introducing our body to a little bit of spinal rotation without the last exercise, even though it was a very passive rotation, right? Holding a position statically, we'll go into it a little bit more dynamically with corkscrew and TechTalk no springs needed. We will keep two on just to make sure that the carriage doesn't move. For this next exercise, the headpieces down, you guys can go ahead and lie down on your backs head in the headrest and this is where we get to use those little metal pegs that hold the shoulder blocks in place. You go ahead and grab those with both your hands, opening your elbows out to the side as wide as you can, creating the illusion that you're trying to pull the shoulder blocks away from one another and then from there take your legs and send them straight up to the ceiling. Oh, I mean these long parts here that really give your grip strength there.

You extend your leg straight up from here, heels together, toes apart. So there's two things that happen here. You pull the shoulder blocks apart, but you also hang onto them. We started with a little lower and lifting here, bring the legs away from you as far as you can. Keep your spine strong and the carriage and then lift your legs back up, right? So go again. Stretch the legs away from you. They come down. Then reach them out even farther to lift back up.

We'll do that one more time as a preparation. Reach the legs away from you. This is the lowest point of your circle, which we're going to take next. Your legs go back up. Take your legs to the right, circle the legs away from you. To that point you just found over to the left and back to center. Take an inhale. As you begin your circle, use the to draw the legs back into your center right side down.

Circle them away from you. Over left, back to center, left side. Same thing. We take one more set here so then isolate the rotation of our spine into what's called tic talk. You guys doing an awesome job not getting into each other's way. I'm very impressed. Take the legs down, around and up. Hold yourself here in center.

Soften your knees in towards your chest for just a moment of rest. Letting your low back release a little bit. Perhaps a little shake or rock side to side. Feels good here and then we engage your arms. Tick-Tock is our next one. Your legs go straight up to the ceiling.

Try to maintain your 90 degree angle at the hips. Take your legs over towards the right side so you roll onto the right hip. Your left arm will have to do a lot more work here. And then draw the left and back into the carriage to take the leg straight up we go the other way. Take your legs over to your left Wiz through your spine with control and with breath. And then lift your leg straight to center. Just one more time.

You side full rotation of the spine. The most intense one we've done yet. Lift your legs back up over to the left. Last one key pulling apart and the backup. I meant shoulder blocks. You know what I mean? Bend your knees into your chest. Give yourself a squeeze around your legs. Hug them into your chest. All right, enough rotation up. We're going to work on your hips next.

Take all the long boxes and put them back on so you guys can go ahead and step off to the side. So the short wall goes against the shoulder blocks again. So we're going to learn a couple of exercises that now have the straps around of feet. Again, the most complicated part will be the setup for this one. We own two springs. You sit on your box facing the Polian of your reformer, have the straps within reach, and then go ahead and grab onto the leather part of it.

We're going to let the hands slide down where you can shorten them like you did for short spine. That's available too. Here's the complicated part. You Cross your scraps, you put your feet into the straps and then you cross your legs over one another to uncross your straps. You flip over onto your stomach. You bring your arms against the front wall of your box so that you can pull with your arms, lift through your chest and there we are. Very good heels up together. Knees are slightly apart so that you are in a diamond shape through the legs.

Here's the order of what's going to happen next and it will not create a lot of movement. You press your hips down, you stretch your knees back behind you, you pull your heels towards your seat simultaneously, pulling your arms into the front of the box to lengthen through your chest. That's it. Maybe creating a little bit of a lift. Once you have your movement, then you pick up your thighs ever so slightly without getting cranky in your lower back. Nice. And then slowly unfold the legs again until you lose tension on the straps. So it's a very small movement we get to see right, but it feels like it's a lot. You parse your heads down, you pull your arms into the box, you draw your heels to your seat, keeping the low back, long optional.

Last step is to and unweight your thighs off the box. But think really more about stretching your knees way back behind you slowly unfold your legs. We'll take just one more here. Pull the heels to your seat, add a little back, bend through your upper spine so your chest lifts forward and up. Draw your shoulder blades together and slowly release more of this later. Now draw your heels into your seat.

One more time and stretch your arms back behind you. We go into a variation of rocking. All right, so you might have to wiggle your hands back one at a time until you have your hands in and around your feet. Find a place just above your straps here so that they don't get into your way. Bring your knees to about hip distance apart, your feet the same. Start again by pressing your hipbones down and then allow the straps to assist you here. You kick your feet back into your hands, you'll lift your chest forward and up. Unlike on the mat, you'll find that the springs actually pull you up a little bit higher.

It feels quite lovely sort of right. So when you come all the way back down, pulling your heels to your seat, getting long through your back. We'll do that two more times. Draw the hip bones into the mat of the gearbox and then lift yourself back up. Open through the chest and slowly release back down. One more time. We'll just take that position once more.

Try to draw your knees towards one another so they don't open too much into a diamond shape. They definitely want to here. So you want to keep those inner thighs engaged to make sure that your lower back doesn't have to pick up all that slack. You come all the way down from here and we do one more thing here. You let your straps go. You slowly let your feet go. Rather stretch your legs back behind you. Flex your feet to loose your scraps, stretch your arms straight out in front of you.

And while we are here on the box, we go into our swimming just as if we're on the mat, but we have a little box to give us space to let our chest reach forward. Now one arm opposite leg up and then we switched side to side switch and switch and such and such. Reaching forward through the chest. Keep your arms a little closer together if you can. Nice. Press the hips down, stretch your legs back and up for three, for two for one and relax all the way down. Release your head, release your legs, step after the side, zoom a little toe touch on the side of the reformer just to release our backs. You can soften your knees, place your hands flat down in front of your big toes. Just a moment of counter stretching cause that is quite intense for the backline of our body. How's everybody doing? All right.

As similar stretch to that would be our tree on the short box, which we are going to do. We're going to skip the rest of the short box today just to keep it concise, but we've worked on some one legged stuff. So here's our tree. We turn the box around, move it over the shoulder block so it's right in between the blocks and those little screws and then have a seat on your box facing your foot bar. Find a strap for your feet and then it begins essentially like a one legged stomach massage. You dry your right knee into your chest, make sure that you have even weight on both your hips.

Remind yourself what that felt like, and as you pulled any in holding on behind your thigh, allow your spine to even round a little bit just for today, see if you can link this to your one legged stomach mustache, like a one legged squad, like your single leg stretch on the Mat, right? And then from there, extend your legs out, lift your chest up against that at the end of your stretch and then fold back in to that a couple of times just to limber up. In the meantime, make up your mind whether your left foot is really hooked into the strap because you're going to need that in a second stretch and bend and your next one, you hold the leg out straight, you lift your chest. I was high as you can. You walk your hands into your ankle and then instead of pulling the leg up to you, pull yourself down towards your leg. Again, think of you as one legged stomach massage. How one foot was pushing into the foot bar. That is your bottom leg. How the other one was reaching out straight out in front of your hip. From here, take the whole shape back until you feel that the strap securely holds you in place. Take a moment here. The leg keeps reaching up.

You walk down the back of your leg, you release your head all the way down. Remember that you have options. Once you push your elbows into the back wall of your box to give yourself traction or to even take your arms over your head, go far down until you're back. Then as far as you're comfortable, and then return hands around the leg, Chin over, chest. You Walk Yourself back up. Come forward on your hips again so that you take a moment to release the shoulders. Find that flection in your back and then maybe a deeper stretch.

Can you let go through here a little bit? I know it's hard, so I already take your body back. We'll do it one more time. Oh, each through the leg, right. This leg is the star of the exercise. It's like a sh shooting rocket out of the head. Yeah. You want to keep this really, really strong and then come all the way back up. Lift yourself right to the top, hold onto the ankle, out of the waist, and let's try to finish up with a straight leg and a straight spine. See if you can lift out of the ways that was great.

Cross your foot over the opposite hip. Take your hands behind you to the back wall of your box and then just fold yourself over, allowing your hip to stretch that way to lease the head on down. Nice so you guys can feel the connection right between that one legged stomach massage and this one. So it's, think of it that way. All of a sudden the second side left knee comes in and give it a strong little hug. Again, allow your back to round a little bit into the pull of your leg. Make sure the strap is secure.

Straighten out the leg at the end of straightening the leg, lift the spine. We'll just take four here. Stretch and bend. Nice and stretch and bend your breath. Normalize here. Yeah, one more time. Stretch the legs out. Lift your back, walk your hands into the highest point of your leg, round yourself in. Take yourself down towards the leg, secure your strap, likes the foot. Take your body back and again, your leg is on a strong trajectory.

It reaches up and away from you in opposition to your spine. Rolling down, Chin over the chest, come all the way back up. Climb up on the back of your leg and then lift yourself back to the top. You get two more of these rolling back, stretching through the leg. Hold your strap, secure in place by continuously flexing the third, right. It's not there by accident. You want to use that as well. Lift yourself all the way up to the top, but just stay with two on the side as well.

Lift yourself up and out of your waist. Try to finish with a straight spine bend uni. Cross your foot over the opposite hip, hands behind you and you get to relaxing and yeah, with your hands behind you here. Really allow that space between your shoulder blades to open for a second. After all that hard work, the shape is very much like the tree where we were just in as well in a way, right? Roll yourself all the way back up.

Step off to the side and we're coming down the mountain. We have to work a little bit more or get rid of those boxes. We go into our knees stretches next running, pelvic lift, and then an a to our finish. All right, so at this point, all familiar movements. Thank goodness Ford Park comes up. You have your feet against the shoulder blocks. You hands on the bar and your hips around, back towards the heels, right?

Think of this as elephant with your knees on the carriage and your knees being your feet. All right, you push through the arms, you puff up that space between your shoulder blades around through your spine, wind up some energy, and then off you go. Push and pull in, push and pull in, push and pull in. You've got six more heel. Just do aid in each position. Four, five in, four in three to hold it in on one. Keep the springs close. As you round your spine into the opposite direction, you are actually your low back. You open through the chest. Same movement here, pushing and pulling seven more. Keep those arms reaching forward strongly that your chest pull through the arms. Think of your pole straps here. Nice out and around your spine again. Draw your nose to your navel. Now again, create your elephant spine. Think about what lifted your hips up and horseback. See if he can pull your knees down and forward so much.

Kick you heels back so much that your stomach can pick up the weight of your knees. Hold it there for just one full breath and exhale. Lower it down, right? This might be the exercise for you, right? Same thing last time. If you're working on mastering, just that whole, this is great exercise in and of itself. It's through just that one more time, easy head left yourself a whole the shape or kind of three, two and release down. All right, if you've got that and we add some movement, can we do six of them? Let's try and lift your knees up. Straighten your legs all the way out. Once you're there, pull back in. Take five more kickback through the heels, out through the arms, or three in four, two in four, one hold it in Patho. That space between your, and almost almost good thing we have two more classes, right?

We're just building up now. Add another spring or two. Same setting as 'em that we have for footwork. Go ahead and lie down on your back. If you had piece up, Oh my God, you are running as if we could do anything else, right? Your heel there apart, slightly straighten out and runaway. Remember there's we didn't, not much to be found in this exercise other than a cooldown.

A way of just settling back onto our backs, checking in with how our heartbeats inside our chest and listening to that, that means you're alive. You just worked very hard. Good stuff happened, right? Three, two, one. Stay on one side. Allow your breath to take you a little bit deeper into the stretch. You take a full breath in and then imagine the shoulder blocks push. Not just your heel under the bar, but your entire body and then change to the other side.

Give yourself a stretch there. Again, not off on one leg here, right? So see if you can do that without letting your hips go off whack, right? You want your hipbones to be right next to one another. Switch to the first side. One more time. Deep breath in and think of your rib cage sinking down really heavily. Push the heels even more beyond the foot bar. Switch to the other side.

Last time. Full breath in. Full breath out. Lift both heels up, bend your knees, come all the way home. We'll finish up with some splits. Step off to the side and we're going to add our side splits today. All right, so we're going to use our black paths here. There's many different ways you can use them. The way I prefer to use them is to make sure that Alpha does not slide off the wooden frame here. All right, we're going to take the foot bar down and we hug the pad underneath the foot bar here. So secure in place. All right, we are in two springs for this exercise.

We'll take one or two of them off and then step onto your carriage that's both faced in here. You move your foot onto the black pad first before you shift the other leg out to the side. Once you're there, wiggle your foot in and out. Again, just so that your foot understands where the frame is and where it's not. Mostly [inaudible] and then you can toe heal the other leg out as far as you're comfortable holding this position, right? It's your inner thighs and two metal springs holding that carriage in place right now, right? Increasingly over time it will let some of that tension go. Bring your arms out to the side really wide through the chest. Why?

Through the upper back as well. Ribs run in your tailbone, lengthening down, you decompress your spine. Now push both legs away from one another to engage with the springs. Stay right away. It gets stuck first time around and take another breath here. Lengthen up through the crown of your head and then try to float up so much the spring sort of automatically close underneath you and then draw the carriage into the stopper to really close it and go again. Perez back at length, the tail down, up through the crown of the head.

Decompress, flowed back in at the end. Pull the carriage actively into the stopper. Let's do one more stretch out. Lengthen up through the ways. Tailings down behind you. It's very easy to stick the booty out on this one, right? Lift back up, come all the way in and there's really nothing wrong with that, but we want the hips to stay. Engage your arms, come down, bend your knee. That's over the frame. Toe, heel, your foot in towards the middle of the carriage to step back on with both feet.

We want to do the other side for good measure. There's not that much that changes from side to side, but we'll do it anyway because the reformer holds you differently. So again, that foot, make an understanding of where the frame is and then walk the other foot out towards the shoulder block. Arms out wide through the side. That is one option. You can take your hands behind your head as well or have them on your hips depending on what you're looking for in your alignment. Let's start with arms outside. Open through the chest, open through the back. Press your legs out wide so you have on the second set, you can already feel that your legs can split a little further apart.

Lift yourself up, come all the way back in and go again, pressing out. This exercise is a lot about the art to continue pressing your legs apart even as you're coming in, right? So we're trying to find that opposition. It's the lift of our spine that gives the spring space too close. Just one more time pressing out. Last one here. Splitting the legs apart. The farther you go, the taller you get. Come all the way back in.

Bend your knee. That's over the frame. Walk your foot in, step onto the carriage. We'll step off the reformer from here and then we finish with our front splits right now that we opened up the sides of our hips. Let's give out so ass and the front of our head, the stretch, the foot bar comes up. We'll just do the final expression of the front splits, right? We've done these before. You can get rid of your pad here and you step onto your carriage. Again, holding onto your foot bar. Step your right foot on top of the foot bar, and then walk your left foot back against the headrest and against the shoulder block. So the alignment we're looking forward, just to reiterate, your ankle is right against the front corner of your shoulder block here.

Your turn out the leg as far as you know, your hip can process. And then make sure that your hips are side by side. To start, you need point straight forward over your right toes. Your arms pull into the foot bar to move the chest to the arm slightly. So there's a hint of down stretch in here. Now from here, straighten out your front leg, press the carriage out. We'll just do one repetition here.

Push both legs away from each other once you arrive, and then pull your right knee straight forward against your left heel. Kicking back. Close the carriage in all the way. We'll do one more repetition, bringing the body upright hands either behind your head, out to the side or to the hips. Whatever served you and your side splits here. We'll do one here. Straighten out your front leg. Allow the right hip to be pushed back by the front leg and then try to split both legs away from each other a little more. Once you're there, now is bend your front knee. Come all the way back in. Close the carriage. Take your hands back to the foot bar.

Lift your back heel up to terror on your leg in and to step that foot forward so that we can step back onto the carriage with both feet and then we'll change to the other side. So left foot onto the foot by in between the hands. We moved the right foot back. Jump it back against the shoulder block here so that the heel can be in the of the head rest. And then we'll do one slow repetition here. Press out your front leg, try to lengthen the left side of your way so you left sits bone, Paul's back almost towards the opposite heel here. Nice. And then you pull your chest through your arms to initiate the return coming all the way forward. Lift your spine upright.

Of course the orientation of your hips will change somewhat. Here you try as much as you can to lengthen the tailbone down towards the heel that's back behind you. Take one more app, straighten out the front leg. Once it's straight, can you push both legs away from each other? Now it's still squaring your hips are squaring your shoulders off against that perfect great adjustments. Bend your knee, come forward, and then we dissolve from here. Hands on the foot bar. Lift your back heel up to turn the leg parallel.

Making sure that we're not creating a torque on the knee. Step the foot in both feet are on top. You can step off to the side. And that is our third progression in this series. More to come. Thank you guys so much.

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1 person likes this.
Fantastic! Made my day...thank you!
Benjamin Degenhardt
Thanks for watching Tiffany, so glad you enjoyed this class!
2 people like this.
Nice job Benjamin, so clear and concise! Love your energy!!
Michele M
3 people like this.
Just what I needed after a long weekend of dancing! Thanks for a great practice Benjamin:) looking forward to more classes
1 person likes this.
I just loved this class. Can't wait to see more. Clear, concise cuing and a cheerful and fun way of presenting the work. Bravo!
Benjamin Degenhardt
Thank you so much Brenda, Michele, and Devra! This class is part of a series—there are indeed more classes to come (as well as two classes already online that lead up to this one). I hope you'll enjoy those as well! Cheers, Benjamin
2 people like this.
Thank you Benjamin! Lovely class.
2 people like this.
Can't wait to see the next class!
2 people like this.
Awesome job! I'm so sorry that I couldn't be there in person, but at least I got to work out with you all from home. Love!!
Having just repeated this class in the studio (with no cameras, lights or people) I'm happy to say my body loved and understood your great cues during Horseback much better You are a great teacher Benjamin. Thank you.
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