Class #2829

Connecting to your Reformer

45 min - Class


Work on connecting to your equipment in this Reformer workout with Lesley Logan. She makes changes to the typical spring choices so you can work with the springs rather than fight them. It's a great way to work with what you have and to see where you may be compensating.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Pilates Pole

About This Video


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I'm Leslie Logan, and today we have a reformer workout for you with Chanda and Gia. So let's get started Hop on. We will start with foot work toes on your regular foot work springs. So three or four springs is fine. And today I really want us to work on connecting to our equipment, so I might make some changes to the spring choices than you're used to, so just pay attention, and then do what feels good in your body, alright?

Pressing your heels together and your toes into your foot bar, take a stretch out, and bend your knees and come all the way back in. So as you do nine more of these, start to feel what's touching the equipment. Your shoulders are in your shoulder blocks, your ribs are into the mat, your tailbone is pressing onto your mat, especially as you come in, and then take a look and feel what your heels are doing. Are they pressing together tightly so you can connect to your seat on your way out and on your way in. And then come all the way in, teaser up to the side, and then take off everything but one spring.

So this is a little tricky if you've never done it before, but what it does is forces you to really just work with what you've got. You can't fight the springs. You have to just be with what's going on. So take your shoulders to the left a little bit, Gia. Alright, here we go.

So again with the toes. So just so you can feel what it's like pressing your toes into the foot bar, press out, and then be a little cautious on the first one, because again, it's one spring. And then pull yourself back in. So when you don't have all the weight of the spring, you're actually able to really take a look at what pulls you in. You always hear resist the springs, and how do you do that?

Well, you have to take control over them and pull yourself in. So Chanda and Gia are doing amazing and not letting their legs slip off of the foot bar. This also helps with hyperextension in your knees, 'cause you can't go into the position. Come all the way in on the next one, and let's go on to your arches. And today, take your arches over the top of the foot bar so you're really a bird on a perch, and then pressing out, hugging your legs tight together, pull yourself in.

So with the feet over the top and only one spring, you won't feel like you're slipping off the top of the foot bar, and you'll actually feel like you're pulling yourself in. So that should help connect you to your seat, which is really needed when we get into our hundred and our overhead next. Let's do two more, guys, hugging the outer hips in as you go out, and dragging yourself back in. And then we go for the hard one, the heels. Placing your heels on the front of your foot bar.

Press out, remember you're on one spring, so you can't go crazy, it's not four. And you don't want your feet to slip off the foot bar, so you only go as straight as you can reach your heels into the foot bar. Good job, Gia, keep pressing this one in, yeah. Alright, we have four more of these. Good.

They're harder than you think on one spring, right? It's like, how can one spring be harder than four, but it's true. So then come all the way in, and then teaser up and add as second spring for your tendon stretch, because it feels good. Let's go with an outside spring, or an inside spring so you're even, yeah. And lie onto your back.

Go toes onto the foot bar, heels together, press all the way out, and then lower the heels and lift. And as you lower and lift, can you feel the same abdominal connection, the same seat connection when you only had one spring? Can you wrap the outer thighs in, so the heels stay hugging together, especially as they go under the foot bar. And rather than thinking about the heels dropping, can you reach them under? So it's not as juicy of a stretch as you have on four springs, but you can really find how much you can reach your heels all the way under, try to to touch your toes with your heels and lift them up.

And then bring your knees into your chest, come all the way in, take your foot bars down, let's go into our hundred. So we'll stay on two springs for the hundred, because besides the fact that I love you, you don't have to fight with the springs on the hundred when it's on two, so you can really find the handle connection. So take your arms up to the sky, take a deep breath in, and then exhale, press your arms down, lift your chest up, and float your legs up to your hundreds level and start pumping. Ten cycles of breathing. And as you pump, allow the handle to push back into you.

So feel how your shoulders can actually plug into your back, and then pump your arms from your back. And so with two springs on, is it nicer than four? Yeah, Gia's like, yes. And can you find your back more, so you can press your ribs into the mat more and take the strain out of your neck and let your abdominals hold you up. One more cycle of breathing and hug the heels tight together.

Finish your exhale and hold. Lower your legs, lift your arms, and your chest goes back to the mat. Just reach back and take your head, rest down for your overhead. Arms will look to the ceiling. And now, before we go anywhere, press your hands into the handle just enough to feel the connection of your handle into your arm, and then hugging the legs tight together, find the back side of your legs so that you really have your seat on, 'cause that's what's gonna take your legs overhead.

And here we go, arms down legs over, parallel to the flor, and squeeze them up to the sky and hold it. Press your arms down into the mat more, reach into your handles. Now press your feet up to the ceiling as you roll your back down. You're really trying to lift your tail bone, but push your ribs. And find each bone into the mat, and then lower the legs and lift the arms.

Do two more, reaching your arms down, taking your legs over, great. Nice, Gia, hug those heels tight together, keep 'em together and then roll down, vertebrae by vertebrae, but you have to lift your tail bone up, so that you can roll your spine down. Lower the legs, lift the arms, let's do one more. Arms down, legs over, squeeze those heels together, Gia, on your way up, and then hold it, get the toes over your eyeballs, Chanda, yeah, now lift your tailbone up as you roll down, so really feel your whole upper back get long into the mat. Reaching your hands into your handles, lower your legs, lift your arms.

Alright, simultaneously, curl into a tight ball, elbows bend, knees into your chess for coordination, and pause. Press your elbows into the mat, press your hands into your handles, feel that connection, and then inhale, press your arms and legs straight, hold it, let me see your outer thighs, open your legs, and squeeze with your inner thighs. Now drag your knees into your nose, and bend your elbows. Press your hands into the handles. Again, two more, press out, open, close, and then as you bend your elbows, can you press your hands into your handles a little bit more, one more time.

Press out, open, squeeze it closed, drag your knees all the way to your nose, and then bend your elbows. Great, let's sit up, and let's go into rowing from the chest on one spring. So you'll sit against your shoulder blocks, and you'll face in toward your foot bar, hook your thumbs into your handles, and then are you crossed? Yes, let's uncross you. Great, okay.

So from your chest, before we go, take your legs and hug them into each other and then press them down into your mat, so you really have something to sit on. And then, take your handles, reach your pinky side of your hand into your handle as well. As you inhale, press your arms straight off from your chest and pause, let the handles plug your shoulders on your back before you lower your arms. Now lift your arms up, but from the back side of your body and hold it. Before you go open your arms up, let the handles push your shoulders onto your back, lift your chest up to the ceiling, and then press your arms down wide to the side.

And then go from the chest, lower the arms, but lift your back. Lift your arms up and connect to your back. Feel your back here. Hold this, Gia, now open your arms up and press all the way down from here. Press all the way down to your hips.

All the way the down, all the way down, all the way down, and then go back up to the chest. One more time, press out, lower the arms, let your ribs pull back into your back as your arms go up. Hold it, reach into your handles from your back, but plug your shoulders down to your hips. Then open your arms wide to the side. Flex your feet and squeeze your heels.

Let's go from the hips. So hands all the way to the mat, and I want you to stay on the mat as you reach out. Round forward, put the top of your head on your knees, and then squeeze your heels tight together, press your arms out to your heels, and hold it. Just lift your arms up for a moment and pause. Put the top of your head back on your knees to lift your ribs up.

Now, as you lift up, let the handles plug your shoulders down your back, feel your back lift you up. And then open the arms up, press the arms down by your side, all the way down to your hips. Round forward, reach. Press your hands along the mat, hold it. Lift your arms up to the level of your shoulders, and let your shoulders plug into your back.

That's it, Chanda. And then lift up from your back, the carriage stays as still as possible, even as she opens her arms up, keep the carriage as still as you can. One more time, round forward, squeeze those heels tight together, great, wrap the outer thighs and press out, lift your arms up to lift your body up, and then hold it, lift your back up, let your shoulders plug down, open your arms all the way out to the side. Let's sit cross legged with our hands behind our head for shave. Take your palms behind your head, press your index finger and thumb together.

Go ahead and bend your elbows to start. Now hold here, go ahead and take your ribs back a little bit for me, Gia, and lift up a little taller. Then, pressing your index finger and thumb together, press up and hold. Can you bend your elbows and pull the handles down towards your back. Right, lift up, reach towards the sky to reach out of your lower back, but then as you bend your arms, pull the elbows down and wide, and again lift up, last time here, bend the elbows, and then we'll go up only to transition to hug.

So lift up, switch the cross of your legs, open the arms and pause. Press the pinky side of your handles into the handle, and then hug your arms, and then push open. Really keep the whole hand attached to your handle, because then as you open your arms, you can feel your back open your arms as opposed to just letting the springs open your arms. One more hug, reach, press your pinky into the handle to open, hook your handles up on your pegs and hop off. Let's grab our long boxes for pull straps.

So we'll stay on one spring for your pull straps. Put the box in front of your shoulder blocks and lie on top. So I like shoulders at the edge of the box, unless you're super tall, and then you can slide forward, 'cause we definitely want your entire powerhouse supported by the box. Take your hands through the handles, ladies, and then walk your hands up and do this. Take your thumbs on top of the leather today, just so you can really feel yourself connected to your equipment, and then press your pubic bone into the box so that your low ribs connect into your spine, and your low belly is on.

Now keep that as you reach your thumbs towards the floor for pull straps one. All the way down and back. Press it back, hold it, reach your fists back behind you as you pull your heart forward, and then press your pubic bone into the box, that's it, so you can lengthen your lower back. Now lower the arms down, two more like that. Reach your feet down towards the end of your former, so your heart can reach forward to the other side.

And lower, one more time. You're pulling your arms from your back so you should feel your shoulders draw down your back, and your fists reach back. Lower all the way down. Let's slide our hands to the end of the leather for t-pull. Reach your arms as wide as you can, and then again, take your thumbs and push them in to the leather.

It's gonna make this harder, you're welcome. Pressing your shoulders down your back, push into your leather with your thumbs and reach your arms as wide as you can, and then push out as wide as you can. Yeah, so that you can keep your wrist super straight, let's press the thumb here, yep, right there into the leather. Yes, you're actually trying to bend the leather and stretch it, that's it, and then push it wide, so it really forces you to take the hyperextension out of your elbow, you can't do it if you've got your thumb there, 'cause you won't keep your wrist straight. And then reach wide, and enough of those, 'cause those are hard and tough.

And we're gonna hop off and add a spring for backstroke. So two springs for backstroke, and then come to the front of your box and lie onto your back. Alright, here we go. I love backstroke, I do. It's amazing.

But we're gonna take the rest out of it. So bring your knees into your chest and make fists over your forehead. And then before you go up, press your ribs into the mat and feel your shoulders plug down your back. Yep, then inhale, take your arms and legs straight up, curl your chest into your handles. Open the arms out to the side, circle around, and hold it here.

This is your pause, this is the only break you get. Bend everything in, go right into your next inhale up, open and circle hold, 'cause you're swimming through the water. Bend in and go right into the next one. Up, open, circle, hold, feel your handles, plug your shoulders on your back. Bend it in, let's reverse it, guys.

Press all the way up, hold. Open, circle up, lift your chest up into your handles, Gia, bend your knees in. And again, reach out, shoulders down, pull the ribs in, Chanda, yeah, and then bend and one more. Reach it out, hold it, lift your chest, open up, curl higher to take your arms to the sky, bend everything in. Teaser up, let's take a spring off.

So we have one spring for your teaser, and then, good Gia, just make sure you're a little more on the left, that's it. Okay, so find your breath. Reach your hands into your handles, and then feel your tailbone curl towards your heels, hug your heels tight together, and roll up all the way to your first teaser, and reach forward towards me. Great, let the handles plug into your shoulders. And then, as you lower your arms, reach your hands into the handles, so that when you have to reach forward, it doesn't knock you off your seat.

And then lower your arms two more times, and reach forward, pulling your ribs back. One more, lower the arms, press the hand into the handle as it goes back, so when it comes forward, it's holding you up, and then roll your spine down, let your ribs go into the mat. Stretch your tailbone towards your heels, take a breath in, exhale, roll all the way up. Hold it here. Take your pinky side of your hand and turn it up into your handle.

And the open your arms up and draw circles. And your circles might feel like ovals. They don't have to be super high, 'cause we want those ribs to stay back and the shoulders to stay on the back. Hold, reverse your circles. And as your arms go down, can you push the pinky side of your hand into your handle more?

Hold it up there, pause. Push your ribs back, reach your hands forward, and roll down. Only take an inhale there 'cause on your next exhale, you'll roll up, reach forward. Your handles are gonna help hold you up, so stay into them. Take these legs, and let's draw circles, three in each direction.

Good, this is a surprise for them. And then reach forward and reverse it, pull your ribs back towards me, yeah. Nice, and then hold it up, and then roll it all the down. Great, hop off, take your boxes back, and let's do your long stretch series. I don't want us to fight with the springs, and I don't want us to not be connected to our equipment, so one spring, today.

Put a pad on your head rest, and put the foot bar up. I love long stretch series on one spring, 'cause it really does take the fight out of it, but it doesn't make it easier. So if you are dealing with anything, then keep it on two springs. Otherwise, step on for you long stretch in a plank. Take your hands as much as you can to the front of your foot bar, so you can really grip the front and have strong, straight wrists.

This will keep you out of the hyperextended elbows. Then reach your tailbone for your heels and press out, and then just like your pull straps, pull yourself in from your back. And then reach out, reaching your tailbone towards your heels, hugging the backs of your legs together. Let's just do one more. As you press out, hug those heels together, and then pull yourself in, reach the crown of your head over your foot bar so much that your knees come to the mat, an then yes, keep it on one spring for your down stretch, and here's why.

Take your heels back, press your heart forward, and then really lift your pubic bone and hip points up towards your ribs, so you're not in your lower back, and then reach your heels back. So Chanda's gonna stand on my hands actually as she reaches out, and then she's gonna pull herself back in. So that's a little far out with those legs, so she's gonna lift her chest up, push the heels back, and then we pause. Now reach your heels into me as you come forward, reach into me, reach into me. One more time.

So I'd really like her to find her fanny, which is going to work really hard on the way in. Last time, press out, reach the heels back, and then reach your heels back as you come all the way and lift up so much you can tuck your head in, dive your waist up to the sky, and your tailbone down for up stretch, lift all the way up. Hold it here, heels are halfway up your shoulder blocks, and the carriage is gonna be closed. So you lift your ribs up even more, and let's take you a little more forward, Gia. Yep, keep your ribs up to the sky, so Chanda a little bit more of a hundreds curl in your ribs, and then press your legs out, just enough until you're into a plank.

Hold it, and then just draw yourself all the way in, lift yourself up and dive your tailbone towards your heels. Press out, and then hold it in your plank, come all the way in. Then as you lift up, keep the carriage closed by lifting your ribs and curling your tail. And again, press that, reach your heels back into your shoulder blocks. Stay connected to shoulder blocks as you come in, curl the tailbone under, and lift the ribs up.

Hold it there, with your ribs to the sky, lower your heels. Close your carriage to start, lift your ribs up, and bring some more weight into your arms. Yeah, draw your shoulders down to your ears, that's it, lift your toes, push those heels down, and take your legs back, and drag 'em in. So I'd really like us to find our double straight-leg stretch on the mat here, our hundreds curl here, so the ribs go up, and you just pull the heels forward. One more time, hold it up there, lift your ribs a little bit higher, and then just take a step off, just careful 'cause it's on one spring.

That was a trip. (laughter) So good job guys, that was not easy. Bring your pad down for stomach massage, and only on two springs. So let's do two outside springs so we're set up for the next exercise. And then have a seat for your stomach massage round.

So, I told you I don't want you to fight with the springs, and I really want people to love stomach massage. I think it really is kind of amazing. So on two springs, you can find its juice. Look into your abdominals and press your legs out. Hold it, lower the heels, lift the heels, and then pull yourself in.

And it's kinda nice to do round on two springs, so how can you find a little bit more of your feet into your foot bar, as you bend in, and a little bit more of your ribs pulling up and back as you go out. We'll do three more, and Gia, let's just pull your shoulders down as you curl a little bit more forward, a little bit more ribs, there you go. And then, when you come in, you don't have to take any springs off, you'll just reach back, take your hands back onto your shoulder blocks, great. Now, right here, soften your elbows, and feel like someone's picking you up from your upper arm bones. And then stick your upper butt out of it, so that you can stay up up on your sits bones a bit, and you'll press out.

Not only will you feel taller, but you'll keep your pants on as you bend in. Keep pushing that out, yeah, that's it, go ahead and in, out, lower, great. And then all you have to just double check in every once in a while is that you're not holding yourself up with your elbows, but that you're holding yourself up with your core. Let's do one more. Double check these elbows a little bit, that's it.

And then come all the way in and just reach your arms forward for your reach up. Nice, pull your shoulders back and then press out. And then drag the carriage back in. So you've done all of that work and you know the weight of the springs, so it's not a change for you. You can keep pushing your seat back and up, so that you control the carriage on the way in and it's not pulling you in and underneath yourself.

Take the next one to come in and add your twists. Do two twists each side to that one, yeah, and then reach to me as you twist, twist, twist a bit more. Good. Can you stretch your fingers forward as you take the other arm back? Good, nice.

Hold it, come all the way in, get taller. And then take a step off and let's do tendon stretch. So tendon stretch with your pad, turn it around to the end of the reformer. Your two springs, and we're actually gonna do the regular tendon stretch first. So come on, hand, hand, foot, foot, in a forward fold.

Let your heels be the only thing that is off, and then lift your ribs up like you did your up stretch. So before you go, can you press your hands into your handles to find your shoulders on your back? And then drag your heels under the carriage, and then lift your ribs up. So you only have to go out and in a little bit, 'cause the in and up is more important. It should be like you're on a swing.

I like to think, look at me, look at me, look what I'm doing, it's kind of an amazing exercise, right? So one more time, ribs up, tail down, and then ribs up to bring you in. And now step off to the side, guys. We'll do tendon stretch one leg prep. So I love this one, because no matter if you wanna do tendon stretch on one leg, or you just wanna get strong in your hips, it's perfect for both.

So they're at the front of the carriage, and they'll take their right hand in between their legs, and then their left hand will be outside their left leg. The hand that's between the legs, it's palm up, and the hand outside is palm down. So you wanna have this foot bar, remember, it lifts, so you wanna have good control of it so it stays down. Then they're both standing on their left leg, and they'll take their left hip directly over it. Push down into the floor, and lift up into their waist before they lift their right leg up.

And they take their left leg out to the side, and then they lower it down. And they'll do that eight times. And what you'll feel if you're in the right spot is that your left glute is doing as much work as your right one is. And so that one day, you could do single leg tendon stretch, or instead of doing those awesome side kicks on the mat, you can come to your reformer and get these done. When they're done, they'll just switch sides.

So other hand, we gotta make them even. And then reach, take that leg up, and I like to think about lifting the waist up, so you're still finding your up stretch and your tendon stretch in the exercise. After eight of these, they'll take their leg down and they'll roll up on bone at a time. Good. Alright, guys.

How we doing? Ready for short box? So take your foot bars down. Take your pads with you, and then grab your bars and your short boxes. The head rests will be down.

Great. So you still have your two outside springs on, and when you set up for your short box, what I love about having these double classes, they make lots of noise. So we're not gonna make any noise, 'cause we're gonna stay super connected to our equipment. So make sure your strap is at your ankles, and you really flex around it, and then press out wide. And then for the round, just wrap your arms around your waist, give yourself a nice hug.

Lift up off your seat, and then round forward. And before you take yourself back, reach your heels forward, and press your thighs down, and then round back, and you can got back as far as you can keep reaching your heels forward. And then dive your head in, pull your tailbone towards your nose, so you can round all the way through your spine, yes. And then round back, amazing. Press those heels out on your strap as you go back, 'cause as soon as you get back there, it's so easy to let go of those legs.

Yeah, nice, Chanda. Do one more, guys. As you reach out, press your thighs out, and down into your box. And then dive your head into your body and round forward. And then grab your bar.

You can slide back on your box if you need to. Then again, press out, and for the next three exercises, keep those heels pressing wide. Take your arms up to the sky. Let the shoulders plug down your back, lift up tall, and reach your thighs into your box as you stretch yourself back, and then lift up, nice, Gia. And again, lean back, taking your whole spine with you.

Good, let's do one more as you push those legs down even as you come up. Good, lean slightly forward. We have to do one good side-to-side. So think about side sit-ups here, and how can your obliques pull you back up, so you're not just hanging into yourself. And then lift it up.

Good, go up, reach over, I lied, we're doing two, and then come all the way up. And then come back over, and lift and pause. Get a little taller in your body, twist to the right, reach out long pushing your legs apart, and then twist more as you come up, and then come back through center. Good, and as you twist to the left, pull your right hip back so you can pull your right ribcage around more. Nice, two more times each side.

Find length in your top side, especially this right one, Gia, find more length in your right waist, yeah, good. One more. Mmhmm. As you go this way, pull yourself in. Keep yourself connected as you go back so that bellybutton stays to the spine, and then center.

Wonderful, store your bars, and let's go into the tree. So bring your right knee into your chest, reach your left heel forward underneath your strap and lengthen and bend three times, just to find your height, catch your breath, and then walk up to your ankle, and before you go anywhere, pull your ribs away from your thigh, and then reach your right hip around like it's hugging towards your left one. Guide the top of your head towards your knee and think about your single straightleg stretch on your mat. And then rock back, pushing your leg into your hand. Now keep this leg super strong, reaching to the ceiling as you walk down your leg.

Press your left heel down and forward, and then head can go back, you open your chest, but if it comes up, you have to pull the ribs in, and then pull the waist down, and then walk up to your leg, but try to leave your low belly on your box. Yes, then pull your head to your knee, stretch your back. Then walk down two more times. Reach the heel forward, hug this left hip in, 'cause it's what's holding you up, right? And then dive in and find your waist pulling down the top of your head on your knee, but here's the hard part, pull your shoulders out of your ears, good.

One more time. Reach this leg up, and hug this left hip in. Then head in, ribs to the spine, waist to the box, top of your head to your knee, sit all the way up, guys. Take a deep breath in. Alright, let it out and switch your legs.

So hold your leg up, but before you think about, sometimes when we hike our knee up, our hip hikes up to us, so scooch your left hip forward so you're square. And then straighten and bend your leg three times. And then walk up to your leg, and again, find that same pressure as you push your leg into your hand, you can take your left hip towards your right inner thigh and rock back, pulling your shoulders down your back as you go. Now walk down your leg and find your roll up from the mat work. And so that as you come up, even though there's no mat there, you're still rounding one bone at a time off.

And then again, good, nice catch. And walk down, and then reach your right heel forward so that your right seat is still on. So there's no break, right? Our whole body's still working. Last one, hugging the right outer hip in, Chanda, reaching your right heel forward more.

Dive your head in, pull your ribs down, and then let your waist stay back as you pull your head to your knee. Then sit all the way up. Good, let's hop off, take the boxes off. Take your bars back, and then your head rest is already down. Just grab your straps for short spine massage.

So we're still on two springs. Alright. When you place your feet into your straps, hold your heels together, toes apart. Great, let your arms press down by your side, Gia, and then let your ribs pull down. So you have to find what you're gonna stand on.

So that's the back of your head, not the back of your neck. It's your upper arm bones. And then you'll press your legs out to the high diagonal, but don't stop, just lift your hips up, so you go all the way up and over, and then when you bend your knees, keep your hips high, drive your knees down to your shoulder blocks, pull them there, squeeze those hees tight, and then leave your feet over your nose as you roll your back down. Go as far as you can, and then feel like you did a hamstring curl, pull your heels towards your seat, press out, and just reach right out, lift up. Let's go right into the next one as you stretch up and over, up and over, push your arms down, you're still connected to your mat.

Bend your knees in with tension on your straps, and then leave your feet here. As you roll down, find your ribs into the mat before your whole back goes down. Press out, last time, reach, arms press down, lift up as you're pushing up into your straps, pull your feet into them so that you stay connected. And then roll it down. Let's go one bone at a time, pull the feet towards your seat to finish off, and then take those straps off of your feet.

Step off to the side, and we'll come back onto our equipment for chest expansion. So kneeling, and today, for me, kneel up against your shoulder blocks. You still have two springs. You can also do it on one, but I really like two. Place your thumbs on the leather like you did, and then take your arms long by your side.

Now for chest expansion, the legs are usually parallel, But you can press the heels together, so let's try that today. And hug those heels tight, so that you can push your hips up over your knees and you can find where your thighs meet your fanny, your little fanny right there. And then as you push your arms down and back, imagine you're a gymnast, you're on the parallel bars, so you can stand on those. With the ribs in, look right and left. And then take your arms forward and reach them forward.

And again, hug your heels tight to press your hips over your knees. Reach back, look both ways, good, and then reach your arms forward. Gia, can you push your ribs into your back a little bit more? And press your arms back, nice. Hold that.

You guys have one more, with your arms reaching long, and your whole body staying connected, press your feet down into your mat even, and then reach your arms forward. Now take your handles in one hand, sit back and add a spring for thigh stretch. And now you'll separate your feet back to parallel. Choke up on your straps so you have good tension and connection. You really want 'em to help you.

And then, walk on the wild side a little bit, and make sure that your body's on the front of your knees so you could tip forward, but then at the last moment, you'll lean back. Your whole body will go back in one piece, then push your feet into the mat to press you up and forward over those knees to go right back into the next one, letting your arms stay connected to your back so that as the straps pull forward, it pulls your whole body forward. One more time. Lean back, press your feet down, Gia. Yep, reach your tail bone between your knees and then lift yourself up all the way over, over, over the top, so your knees and rest.

Great job, guys. Let's step off to the side and take off everything but one spring in the middle for your arm circles. Now I hated arm circles my entire life until maybe two years ago. So kneel facing me, and grab your handles behind your back, and I'll tell you my secret. So it's no longer an arm exercise.

Go ahead and stand up on your knees. This is a leg exercise. So press your heels into your shoulder blocks, and get the pinky side of your hand into your handles and don't let go of those two connections. Then, reach forward, open your arms, and circle them around. And again, these can be ovals, right?

They don't have to be circles, because we're not circling from our shoulders. We're circling from our legs and our back. Reverse your circles after three. Keep pressing your hand into your handle, even as it lowers, and then get those heels back into your shoulder blocks, and this last one, don't let 'em go. Wasn't that amazing?

Hop off. Take your handles, put your extension straps on. We're going into corkscrew, but we wanna have those ready for our leg circles and frog, and I'll add a second spring for you guys. So when we do corkscrew today, we're not going to go overhead. So we'll just do a regular corkscrew, and I really want us to feel how much our shoulders can stay connected to the mat.

So take your hands back, your headrest is still down. Take your legs up to the sky, and then before you take your legs to the side, pull your whole upper body into your mat. And then, as you take your legs over to the right, lift your left hip up a little bit more so your toes feel together, that's it, now circle all the way around, feel how your waist can connect back to your mat as your legs come back from the left. And then reverse it, go to the left. Lift your right hip up higher, yeah.

Let's do two more times each side, but press your arms down into your mat more, especially as your legs go from one side to the next. It's easy to let those elbows lift off. So keep them in. And when you finish your final set with your ribs pulling in 'cause they love to sneak out, bring your legs back up to center and pause. Pressing your arms down, now you'll go into tick tock.

So your legs will go to the right, but they don't need to go lower or up. They'll just reach over as your ribs pull back, and get a nice juicy stretch. And then pull your legs tight together, take 'em back over. So as you reach over to the other side, your right rib cage is gonna pull down a little bit more, Chanda, and then it takes your legs back. Let's do one more of these each side, just so we can wring out the waist, juice out our obliques.

It also feels that amazing, and then you'll bring your knees into your chest, take your headrest and lift it up. Place your feet into your straps to start with our frogs. So, often, we think, why do we do frog and legs circles? It's so much easier than the leg springs. And it's true, because it's not a leg exercise.

It's for your body to connect into your mat, and so that you can connect into your straps. So press your legs out, and imagine you like you were on your foot work. How can you get your feet to connect to your straps even as the springs lose their tension? Bend your knees in and pull the straps towards you, and then four more times. Press out, and then hold the knees in.

Feel like you're doing your double leg stretch on the mat so when the knees come in, it's from your core, but as your feet stay connected to your strap, you won't be losing any of the work. There's no rest at the bottom. On the next one, you guys can stay out like this, and we'll go into our circles. So as you circle your legs, I want you to find how much work there is on the lift, so that the springs aren't pulling your legs up to the sky, but rather your legs are pressing into your straps, and you can keep your tailbone reaching to the mat. Do one circle in this direction, and then reverse.

Good. They're both doing an awesome job not letting their shoulders creep up into their ears as they finish the last two, and we're gonna get really exciting around here. We're going to see how well you're connected to your mat by bringing your knees into your chest, take the right strap off, just hook it up on your peg, 'cause you'll need it in a moment. Place your heels tight together. And then press your legs out to the high diagonal.

So when I was recovering from my broken leg, this is how I did some assymetry work. So, they're gonna keep their right leg, it's their free leg without a strap, and they're gonna circle this left leg. But you don't get to go as big as you just did, 'cause it's the same springs, it's two, but now you only have one strap. And if you weren't connecting to your mat the whole previous part of the workout, you're gonna find out now, 'cause that right side's gonna wanna lift up. You've gotta press it down, and you have to reach that right seat long so you're holding your leg up.

You would do five in each direction, and you'll find that one leg is gonna be stronger than the other, and it's a really nice thing to take note of. And in your practice you can do the weak leg and then the strong leg, and the weak leg. You'll bend your knees in, and we're gonna make these girls even, and you even at home, so you're gonna do the other side. Put the strap on, take the other one off, and then place your heels together again, and press all the way out. Good.

And again, reach this free leg long. It's helping you anchor yourself, and then circle your right leg around. And you're gonna press your shoulder of your left side down, especially that left rib, 'cause as that leg goes out to the side, it's gonna wanna lift up. So you're not just working your legs here, that's what I love about Pilates. There's actually a lot of work that you can't see happening in that left waist, 'cause that's what's gotta hold everything still.

And you may even notice that your body wants to twist around so after five, you reverse your directions. And how can you reach your left leg longer to keep your body square? How can you reach into your strap a little longer so you don't get twisted? And then bend in, take that strap off, toss it into the well, and let's hop off for knee stretches. So foot bars go up, and no I don't have any nice one spring for you.

You're gonna do two springs because that's how the best way to get connected to your equipment. So come kneeling. Place your heels back. And so we did all this work on the heels on the arm circles, that your knee stretches are gonna be amazing. Sit back toward your heels.

Soften your elbows, Miss Gia, so you're not hyper extended, and then press out into your heels, five knee stretches around. So that's nice, if you can keep your heels reaching back as your knees come in. Then on your fifth one, flip your spine and go into your flat back, and keep going, pressing your inner heel into that shoulder block. So even as the knees come in, you're not getting lying on your feet. And then round your back, and then let's do one leg knee stretches, so bring your right foot to the front of your carriage.

Lift your left knee off two inches, pull your shoulders to your back, and then push this left heel back into your shoulder blocks, and go out and in five times. Try to keep your left knee a little bit lower, Gia, so you stay hovering off of the mat, yes. Then you hold it in, pause, set your knees down and switch sides. So other leg will come up, reach your heel back before you lift your knee off, and then stay connected into your shoulder box. Press out and in, and so it shouldn't get light on the end.

That's right, Chanda's doing an amazing job trying to pinch my fingers in the shoulder block. I know, you love me. Shoulders back to your hips, now hold it in, set your knee down, hop off, add your running springs. Let's keep it on two today, but you can do three at home for this, if you want a little more juice. Lying on your back, feet parallel, press it out, hold it out there.

And then one heel up, and one heel under. And we can often, especially myself, throw running away, it's like this nice cool down, but what if you focus not on the heel reaching down, what if you pushed your ball of your foot into the foot bar as you lift your heel up? And how can that keep you connected to your foot bar, so that you're not just saucing away at the end of your work out, and throw in all that connectivity, and lift both heels up, bend your knees, come all the way in, and now for pelvic lift, take your arches onto the foot bar, stay parallel, go on the top of the foot bar, and lift just your pelvis up. So we're still only on two springs, and it might seem mean, but it's actually really nice. Lower your ribs a little bit, yeah.

So you wanna keep your ribs down and that press out, so you only have two springs, it won't be the same pelvic lift you normally do. And then pull back in. And what you'll have to feel is that pull you should have, rather than the release. It's so easy to work out and then at the end of the work out, let it go. But do two more, guys.

You're doing amazing. Press into your feet, and pull yourself home. This is the final thing you have to do to connect to your equipment, and then you, and then roll your spine down vertebrae by vertebrae, and you're done.


Lucie Bécus
Thanks Lesley - I enjoyed the flow and variations on the springs!
1 person likes this.
I am so excited about this class, because it will help guide me while I use my equipment at home. Thank you, Lesley!
Lucie, thank you for taking class! I am happy to hear you enjoyed playing with the spring variations. xx~LL
1 person likes this.
Lisa, love that you are going to try this at home! Have fun with it and can't wait to hear how it goes. xx~LL
1 person likes this.
Lesley terrific class thanks a bunch. Especially enjoyed the pace - controlled yet SO effective .
Paula, thank you a bunch! xx~LL
3 people like this.
I loved the workout! All of the cues and spring adjustments truly helped connect me deeper to my reformer. Also I the one leg standing tendon stretch prep you did was brilliant! That really helped me find the glutes in the exercise. I will definitely keep practicing this to help with that tough exercise. Thanks for sharing your expertise. I hope to see more videos from you
1 person likes this.
Well done! Thank you Lesley-that was great, loved the cuing and looking forward to seeing more classes from you
Joel and Patti, thank you for your compliments and feedback! I can't wait to bring you more. Yay for the one leg Tendon stretch! It's my favorite tool...ok well maybe one of my favorite tools to use. xx~LL
2 people like this.
Great class Lesley! Loved your cues. So connecting!
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