Class #2849

Full-Body Athletic Reformer

55 min - Class


Maria Leone joins Pilates Anytime with an athletic Reformer workout that will work your entire body. Her clear cues and imagery make it easy to follow along with the many different exercises and variations she teaches. She finds creative ways to challenge your stability and balance during simple movements to make sure you are always working from head to toe!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Nov 17, 2016
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Hi, I'm Maria Leone, and we're going to be doing a reformer workout today. So come onto your reformer if you're not there already. Go ahead and take your foot bar and bring it into a footwork position. On this machine it's gonna be the center position, and we're gonna start the machine with three or more springs. So I'm gonna set my machine up with three reds and a blue spring but work with what's comfortable for you.

I'm gonna put my headrest up but there's also the option for you to keep your headrest down if you'd like. Come onto your backs, place your heels wide on the bar, close your eyes, and take a few breaths. So for right this moment, I just want you to allow your body to get heavy, bring your awareness into your body. Take one more deep breath in through the nose and then exhale out through the mouth. Open your eyes, and we're beginning with second position.

I'd like you wide on the heels, with a little bit more weight on the outside of the heel versus the inside of the heel. Go ahead and engage the inner thigh, so pulling the heels towards each other on the foot bar. With that initiation, the carriage presses out and we're pulling it in. Back out, two, resisting in, pressing out, three. And as you're flowing, begin to think of lengthening the spine with each and every rep.

So the legs are moving, but there's an emphasis on the full body, and really focusing on the way in as much as the way out. Two more here... Last one... Stay in halfway and begin to scissor from the inner thighs. So we're constantly moving with a sense of the inner thigh propelling us rather than the knee.

Continue to pull the heels towards each other on the foot bar, and three, and two, and one, press all the way out, find that length. Resist to come in, put the balls of the feet exactly where the heels are, and the heels are lifted high now. Engage the inner thigh, press the carriage out fully, resist in, back out, two, and in, reaching the crown of the head straight back to the wall behind you. The ribs are pressed to the mat, the pelvis is neutral. Squeezing out, resisting in, keep the heels high.

Press, and in, last time, come in halfway and pause. The heels are lifted, that same scissoring action. And on top of that scissoring action, there's a feeling of pulling the big toes towards each other on the foot bar. So the carriage is doing part of the work but you're doing the rest. Don't rely just on the spring, three, two, pull yourself all the way along, find length in the lower spine, and bring the carriage in to pilates V stance.

Fist distance between the big toes, heels are glued and lifted, knees the distance of the shoulders. And press out, and in, and two, starting that action from the sit bones as well as the inner thigh, wrapping and pulling the inner thigh up each time. So ideally, with each and every rep, your legs become more rotated, and that rotation's from the hip, and pull. Create length in the spine, two more, press. Last one, come in halfway, pause, and again, those little motions up from the hip.

So the knee is not initiating. It's almost as if your knee moves on its own. The action is coming from the hip and the inner thigh. The spine is long. Two, one, pull the carriage out all the way, spin the inner thigh to the sky, resist to come in, heels up on the bar.

Fist distance between the heels, find the initiation from the back of the leg and press out, and in. Press the thigh bone down, creating length in the spine, and integrating your breath. So this feeling is of pushing the thigh into the well, and taking the crown of the head out. So ideally we're working the top of the leg, but also the back of the leg. Last one like that, come in halfway and pause, and again, right from the sit bones, little presses up.

And again, it's almost as if the knees move on their own. The action is here, the initiation is here. The ribs are tight, the pelvis is neutral. Press the carriage out fully, and resist all the way in. Ten toes on the bar, heels are lifted fist distance between the big toes.

Press all the way out and stay here, create a little bit more length, really pulling the legs right out of the trunk. With control, the heels lower, and lift, right over the big toes. Lower, and lift, it's a lower, not a drop, and lift, keep moving. So it's almost as if the carriage isn't moving. Think about that.

Physically impossible, but try to move your ankle and your foot and keep the carriage still. Crown of the head is still lengthening to the wall behind you. Last one, right into walking, one heel down, one heel up, and change, and change, and the hips are perfectly still. Feel the alignment of that leg, the kneecap or patella's pointed straight up and your weight is over the big toes, and three, and two, and one, come on in. First spring change, lift yourself up.

Place your headrest down for me please, and come to three springs, any three springs you'd like. The lighter the machine is, the heavier the work is gonna be on the hamstring. Come back onto your back and your feet are gonna be hip distance, and if you find yourself a little cramped up here you might wanna adjust your carriage out a little bit. Hands are by the side, from here tuck the tailbone under and bridge your hips up, reaching the knees out over the big toes. Breath in here, exhale, peel back to the mat.

Take a breath in, exhale, tuck and peel up, leading with the pubic bone, feeling a nice openness through the hip sockets. Inhale, and exhale, pull yourself back to the mat. Inhale, exhale, tuck, articulate through the lower spine. Press the hips high, and peel back down. Last one here, inhale, and exhale, tuck and peel up, stay here.

Extend the arms to the ceiling, pull the carriage in. Extend one leg up and hold it. From here, that top leg does a little circle around and up, around and up, and your goal is to be still, so I don't really care about the size of the circle, but I do care about the stability of the pelvis and the opposite leg. One more like that, put the foot down, re-establish the stability of the hips. The other leg reaches up, and little circles with that top leg.

And again, the work is on the right side and the spine is still, and the carriage is in. Two more here, and last one, and put the foot down, hands by the side, peel slowly down, and tuck and peel back up again. Open the front of the hips, extend the arms to the ceiling. One leg comes, and from that opposite leg little presses up. Up, up, and there's this sense that you're poking a hole in the ceiling above you.

The hips stay level, and the action is from the opposite leg. Stay lifted, place the right foot down quietly, without any shift at all. Extend the other leg up, and it's beautifully long. And from here, press up, and two, really focusing right where the thighbone comes into the pelvis. Right at the base of that glute.

Bring that foot down, peel down through the spine, hands by your side, and sit yourselves up. We're gonna move into hundreds, so we're gonna do a spring change here. I would recommend one heavy spring, and then one medium spring. The headrest is gonna come back up. Grab your loops and come onto your back please.

Have a little space between your shoulder and the shoulder rests, legs to tabletop. Take a breath in, exhale, lift to your very best hundred position, and pause. From here, take a breath in through the nose. On an exhale, pull the tailbone under without changing the legs at all. Squeeze the legs tight, control the lowering back to the mat.

Inhale here, and exhale, lift, to perfect hundred position. Pelvis is neutral. Inhale, exhale, draw the tail under, and lower down, you may not even feel any movement at all. Inhale, exhale, lift, so we're looking for a sensation. Inhale, exhale, scoop the belly, point the pubic bone up.

The legs are still, look for that lower belly sensation. And lower down, adding the breath without the movement of the arms. Inhale here, exhale to hundred, hold it here. Five breaths in through the nose, and five breaths out through the mouth. (focused breathing) And lower back down.

So we're gonna add the walking legs now. Take a breath in, exhale to that nice, full position. Begin your breath, in for five, and out, two, three, four, five, and adding the walking of the legs. And out, two three, four, five, in. And out, two, three, four, five, no wobbling heads.

Out, two, three, four, five, reach through the arms. Out, two, three, four, five, stabilize the shoulders. Out, two, three, four, five, last time. And out, two, three, four, five, lower down. Two feet to the bar, open the arms, take the knees one side.

And take the legs the other direction, just getting a little spiral stretch, easing the back, come back center. Hands back up, legs to tabletop. Take a breath in here, exhale back to hundred. Hundred, pause here. From here, the two knees pull in to one side.

And back center, and exhale, pull in. And back center, maintain the position of the upper body. And there's a rotation on the pelvis, so your weight will shift from one hip, back to neutral, to the other hip, back to neutral, using your breath as well. Last one there, and lower down. Okay, for the next set, the head and shoulders stay down.

Extend the legs to the ceiling. Lengthen the arms by your side, and really reach vigorously all the way through the arms and the fingertips. Lower one leg over the foot bar, it hovers, and now the top leg circles around and up. So we set this up a little earlier during bridging. The spine is absolutely still, the bottom leg doesn't move at all.

Last one there, bring the bottom leg up, lengthen the legs, lower the other leg down, and it hovers. The top leg circles around and up, around and up. Focus on the spine and the bottom leg, not your circle, last one there. Two legs up, arms up, two feet down. Moving into a double leg variation, so take the legs back to the ceiling.

Lengthen the arms fully down by your sides, reach past the edge of the carriage. Turn the legs out. Inhale, lower the two feet over the foot bar, pause. Exhale, pull the legs up. Squeeze the heels, inhale lower down, pause.

Full exhale to come up. And again, lower the legs down, pause. And exhale up, almost like the breath is moving you. Inhale, lower the legs down, and exhale to lift, arms up, two feet down. So we're gonna repeat that, but we're gonna add some movement of the arms as well.

Take the legs back up, turn out the legs, lengthen the arms by your side and pause. Inhale, open the shape. You should still have tension on the rope, exhale, up, inhale, lower and pause. The ribs are pasted to the mat. Exhale, up, long fingertips, inhale.

And exhale up, do not break your wrist. And last time, inhale, and exhale, up. Arms up, two feet down. Sit yourselves up. And we're gonna go to some arm work facing the front of the reformer.

This requires a spring change. You can go to either a heavy spring or a medium spring. Let's go to blue, and come up onto your knees, facing forward for me. It's a little precarious when you mount the reformer so be careful as you come on. Knees are against the shoulder rests, push the shins into the mat and find the nice, stable position through the spine.

Hands are by the side. From here, press the arms straight out and up, hold it there and lower back down. So the shoulder blade slides down as the palms lift. Don't lean back at all, and lower down. And again, keeping your focus on the spine.

Shoulder blades slide down, palms go up, and lower down. And pressing forward, there's a softness in the elbow, and lower down. And one more time, pressing out and up. Stay here for a moment, spin your thumbs out a little bit more, opening the front of the shoulders, and lower down. We're gonna continue with that, but add an extension of just the upper back.

Start with that feeling of external rotation on the shoulders. Press the arms forward and up, the belly button stays super tight. From here, lift the sternum straight up and up so much that you begin to go back. And lower the arms down. And scoop the arms forward, draw the belly button in and up.

Lift the chest up, open the shoulder heads, and back to the start. So look for a feeling of stretch, pull the arms forward. Stretch on the abdominals right now. Push the shins into the mat. And lower back to neutral, here we go, last one.

Press the arms forward, the shoulders are down. Lift the chest, move the upper back, but not the lower back, and lower down. So we're gonna add some rotation. Go ahead and spin one direction and lift that elbow. Zip up the belly button from here.

As you exhale, spin straight forward and reach that arm straight out. Lift the elbow and spin, creating length. And exhale, move the spine and then the arm. And turn and twist, and again, spine to arm. And lift and twist, the hip stays still.

Exhale, twist and reach, float the head. And rotate, last one there, twist and reach, and twist and rotate. Keep the hips still, lower that arm down. Second side. (background voices talking) Me too (laughs).

Turn to the left, and on an exhale, spin and reach straight out. Make sure you don't overcross here. Twist and move, lift the breastbone. Exhale, hips to arm, bend the elbow and lift. And again, exhale, arm moves last.

And lift and spin, and again, twist and reach. And lift and spin. Last one. Truly, the last one. And back to the left, stay here, lower the arm down. So we're gonna move to all fours.

The foot bar's gonna come down and you might be able to handle a little bit more tension for the next set. So I recommend a heavy spring, for some of you maybe a green, sometimes maybe a heavy and a light. The headrest is down. We're gonna do a series on all fours. So face the front of your machine.

The hands are at the edge of the carriage and the shoulders are right over your wrists. The pelvis is absolutely neutral. From here, extend one leg straight back behind you, and hold it here. Make sure the hips are square and your kneecap is pointed absolutely straight down. Without shifting at all, extend the opposite arm up over your head and hold it here.

The crown and the head are pulling away from each other. So it's not just about the balance, it's about the length of the spine. Come down to all fours, no big adjustments, the other leg shoots straight out, and hold it. It'll almost feel like you're turning in. Other arm reaches up over the head.

The ribcage is closed, the belly button is pulled in, and make sure you're not shifting and relying on that front arm for your balance. Come back to all fours. We're gonna add to this. Opposite leg reaches out, the other hand reaches up over your head, but you can also take this hand back to the carriage. From here, the arm and leg travel side.

Flex the foot, maintain the stillness of the spine. Back to your start position. Your gaze is straight down, and again, carry the arm and leg side. Resist the temptation to lift the head, and come back to your start. And again, carry side, flex that foot, reach that opposite arm long, like you have wings.

Back to your start, and again, pause, lift the belly button in, come back to your start, and back to all fours. Second side, the other leg reaches out. I have a feeling in the arm of spinning the biceps forward. The opposite hand comes up over the head, and from here everything carries side. Hold it, and back to your start.

Parallel with the back leg right now. And again, carry side, two hipbones point behind you. And back to the start. And one more time, carry side. And that would be your sit bones, not your hip bones.

And back behind you. Okay, and again, hold... And back center, pause here, to all fours. So we're gonna add the machine now. So grab, let's say, your left loop, and make sure your loops aren't crossed like mine were.

Okay, so that left hand is reaching back behind you. Come back to the quadruped position. Shoulders are square, hips are square, and now quietly reach that opposite leg back. The ribs are closed, the belly is tight. From here, we do a bicep curl.

Slowly in, and slowly out. And you can feel the challenge here, adding the stability to a very simple bicep curl. And so what I love about this is the bicep is kind of a "blah blah" exercise to me. But incorporating it into this shape, we get the work in the core, we get the work in the hamstring and the glute. And I've just distracted you a lot, so you have not realized how many we've done.

Last one... And release, okay, other side. So that opposite arm reaches back, the shoulders are square, the hips are square, opposite leg goes back, ribs are closed. And begin your bicep curl. Now, during this bicep curl, the upper arm is staying absolutely still.

In fact, think of it being pinned into your body. And I also want you to think about the concentric contraction, and the eccentric contraction. So it's always about us controlling the machine and finding the work both ways. So we're never riding the machine. We're always controlling the machine.

The machine is just enhancing our sensation of the exercise, but we're not relying on it. Last one like that, and come on out. Okay, let's get up, go grab your box. And we're gonna prep-- we're gonna prep for a more challenging exercise we're gonna do a little later on. So we're starting with the plank on the forearms.

Forearms on the box, shoulders over the elbows. Step one foot back, and the other foot back. Push your forearms into the mat. Reach the heels back, have the collarbones open. Squeeze the legs tight, pause here, and just focus on taking the breath into the back and the sides of the ribcage, also known as ribcage breathing.

You will quiver a little. Continue to squeeze the legs. From here, without changing your head and shoulders, drive one knee into the box. The tail will pull under, the hips stay even, and it's always hard to do this. I don't think it ever gets any easier.

Step that foot back, hang in there. Other knee pulls in, draw the tail under, fight the quivers, use your breath, and step that foot back. Step forward, lift your box up, and we're going into long box. So long box is right like so: make sure you've placed your box in the middle of your machine. We're gonna start with a simple swan, so the foot bar's gonna come up, and we're gonna put it in the position we use for footwork.

And one spring, usually a heavy spring, will work. Lay yourself down with your chest just off the edge of your machine. Hands are shoulder distance, and the arms go straight. Okay, in your setup, the shoulder blades are down. The belly button is up, the legs reach to the wall behind you, and they don't move.

We're gonna start with baby swan. So the upper back lifts. There's a push down through the palm. The action is just in the thoracic spine. And come right back neutral, and pause.

And again, as you inhale, push down through the armpits. Find that mini back bend, just the thoracic spine. The legs have not moved at all, and take it back down. And now, moving on, so past through that mini swan, push down, begin to lift higher. The hipbones come off the mat.

Pull in the belly, look for a stretch in the front of the abdominals. And take it back down, and last time there, pushing down through the palm of the hand, moving the thoracic spine still, all the way up, and take it back down. Okay, from here, make sure your hands are truly shoulder distance, and bring your body back neutral. And without any shifting in your pelvis at all, reach the right arm to the side, and pause. From here, bend that left elbow in, and exhale, back over the head.

And if this is too heavy for you, go ahead and take your spring down. So the spring setting is sort of not relevant. Feel what's happening in your shoulder girdle, in your pelvis, in your neck, in your legs. Two more here, inhaling in, and exhaling out. And last time, inhale, and exhale, stay here.

Be aware as you bring that hand back to the bar. Did your body shift? Find your weight equal on both hipbones. Without shifting, take the hand off. And there's gonna be a little shift, on one side at least.

Bend the elbow in, and back out, 'cause we're not robots. We are humans, inhaling in, and exhale out. Keep the legs reaching back, keep the belly pulled in. And press out, and you're looking at that spring. So the neck is in a nice line.

Two more here, inhale, and exhale. And last time, inhale, and exhale. Two hands on the bar, bringing the bar in. I need a little breath, take a little breath, and resetting. So we're going into twisted swan, this is a little unusual.

Take the arms out straight, the ribs are closed. Without any shift at all, take one hand behind the head. Let's say it's the right hand. The carriage is not going to move. From here, rotate to the right.

Keep the legs still, and come back center. It's probably gonna be pretty small. And again, rotate from the upper back. Push down through the left hand, and come back center. Now, adding on the full swan position, so start that rotation, push down on the machine, bring the carriage in, and then come all the way back, square to the mat.

Rotate the upper back, push down on the bar and lift the belly. Use the back of the leg as well here, and back down, and two hands to the bar. Reset, feel equal weight on both hipbones. No shift as the other hand comes off. And now really quiet here.

Rotate, the carriage doesn't move, and come back center. Try to hold those legs still, and rotate. One leg should not get higher than the other. And come back center, moving on. Rotate and lift, open the chest, and all the way, it should feel kinda good.

And rotate and lift, open the chest, and all the way back down. Bring the carriage in all the way. We get a little rest, put your foot bar down. Come on up, and we're gonna face the back of the machine. And now we get to round out our back, which is gonna feel delicious.

Sit right at the edge of the box, and you're gonna choke up so that as soon as you start moving, you feel the tension on the machine. Sit beautifully tall, start from the base of the spine, pull the pubic bone under, pause there. Let's do just that one more time. Come all the way back up, so what I don't want is this, which is a slouch. Start beautifully tall.

From here, the tailbone pulls under you. The head and shoulders don't even move at first. From here, continue to sequence down, bone by bone. Get the lower back to the mat. The mid back, the upper back, and if it's comfortable for you, go all the way up and over.

From there, nod your chin, peel the sternum up off the mat. The arms stay low. Push into the box as you come up. Sit beautifully tall, take a breath in. Pull the tailbone under, sequence back.

Let's go all the way up and over the box again if that's available for you. If not, stop at the bra line. The chin comes in, the sternum lifts more than the chin, come all the way back up, and sit beautifully tall. We're gonna move on. Tuck and peel back to the bra line, and pause.

Make sure the collarbones are open. Bring the right leg to tabletop, left leg to tabletop, and make sure your booty is not stuck under you. From here, begin to bicycle, and I want really large bicycle. And during this bicycle, the collarbones are open, and there's a sense that you're pulling the heel to the sit bone. And the foot may even be going lower than the box.

And you're integrating your breath, of course, which I can't do because I'm talking. But continue moving, and integrating the breath, three, two, one. Knees in, rock yourself up. So I'm gonna show you how you can make this whole series a lot harder. Sit up nice and tall, take your hands by your side, freeze here.

Okay, now from here, the box is not gonna move at all. You're gonna do the same very simple roll back. Tuck and peel yourself back, carriage doesn't move this time. Fight for it, ugh, fight for it! To the bra line, and pause. Here's the harder part, carriage still as you come up, pull in and all the way up, and release the carriage.

So you can integrate that way of moving as you'd like as we go throughout. We're about to add teaser, so you might wanna have the assistance on the machine on this one. From here, tuck and roll back, so this is reverse teaser. To the bra line, right leg comes up, left leg comes up. Take a breath in.

On an exhale, peel yourself up to the best teaser position you got, which might be here. I'd like the back really lengthened. From here, bend the knees. Here's the interesting part, the descent. Control the descent back to the bra line.

Collarbones are open, take a breath in. Exhale, peel right back in and extend the legs up. Create length in the spine, I love a pointed toe. If it doesn't work for you, relax them. Prettier pointed, though.

Bend the knees. Ooh, I'm shaking a little bit. Peel back down to the bra line, and a quick breath in, last one, and exhale up. Remember that walking we did? Let's put it in here, inhaling for five, out, two, three, four, five, in.

Out, two, three, four, five, fight to stay long. Out, two, three, four, five. And let's be done with that. The ropes go down, and we're going to move to short box. So bring yourself up, so the placement of the box is gonna depend on your height.

I assume you already know that. I'm quite petite, in case you did not notice. So my box is going right here. Have a seat on your box. Let's have at least two springs on the machine, and that's just so the machine doesn't rock and roll around.

Bring your two feet underneath your strap. So I'd like you set up so that you're able to comfortably hold that side over strap. I'm not having to fight to be in the strap. My legs are comfortably in the strap, and I don't really care how far back you are right now, because we're not gonna roll at all here. We're going to flat back short box.

Take your hands behind your head, and I'm gonna give you a specific breathing pattern, and I'd like you to do it with me. Inhale, lift yourself up, really pulling the ribs, not the shoulders, but the ribs up off the pelvis. Exhale, hinge back, just like an inch or two, tipping back off the sit bones. Stay here, inhale, get taller. Exhale, tip back to the back of the sit bone, a few inches more, squeeze the legs.

Inhale, get taller, exhale, hinge back a tiny bit more. Stay here, inhale, fight to be long, and exhale all the way up. You will feel a quiver, you saw mine, right? Let's go again, come back-- They're all nodding "yes, yes, Maria was quivering". Come back center, take a breath in, exhale, tip back.

Okay, the danger is popping the ribs or falling into the lower back, don't do that. The ribs are tight, inhale, exhale back. Get long, go for length, pull the head right off the body. Inhale, get longer, exhale back. You're tipping back, stay there.

Inhale, get longer, the front of the ribs are tight. Exhale all the way up. One more if you'd like, and if you'd like, go ahead and take the arms up. Just a full extension all the way through the arms. Take a breath in, exhale, the whole shape comes back, pause.

Take that breath in, let me hear it. Exhale, shift back. Stay there, let me hear the inhale, and exhale back. Last one, inhale, and exhale all the way up, hands behind the head. Rotate one direction, and pause.

So you're moving forward and backwards at the same time. Come back center. Rotate the other direction, and notice there's a yin and a yang to the motion. Come back center, so it's three-dimensional. Rotate, this is your prep.

Two directions move equal distance, and back center, and spin around your own axis. Push that right elbow back and come back center. Combining those actions now, so spin, tip straight back, come straight up, and center. And twist... Hinge back...

All the way up. And center, and twist, get very tall, tip back, all the way up, and center. And twist... Tip back, all the way up, and come center. And we're gonna move to side over.

So have a seat over on one hip, and I recommend you tuck your foot under you. But the foot could also be here. What I'm looking for is that you feel very anchored into that side strap, okay? So that foot is pushed up into the strap. Come down and place just your fingertips on the headrest, and now find a straight line in your body.

So both sides of your waistline are absolutely long. This is gonna be our start and our end position. One hand up if you'd like, or work here. From here, you're gonna side bend down into the well of the machine. You're gonna lift up, you're gonna find that straight line, and pause.

Now you're gonna bend the opposite direction. Notice my food doesn't move, and come back center. So we go over, we lengthen to that center position, we bend the other way, that leg doesn't move. The leg holding doesn't move. And again, take it over, lengthen to the center position, and side bend...

Lengthen to the center position, and over... And reach... And bend... And lengthen... And reach, don't hang here, reach.

Come to the center, and opposite direction, come center and pause. The other hand comes up. Get longer and longer and longer. Stay absolutely still, but now spin on your axis. Open the arms, reach to the crown of the head, and come back center, two more.

And spin, pull that left arm back, keep your upper back flat, and come center. Last one like that, and spin, grow tall through the crown of the head, come back center, all the way up. Ah, second side, okay, so notice my setup here. So I'm here on the side of my hip, okay? The fingertip is here, and I don't want you over too low to start.

We're kinda working in a little bit easier diagonal to begin. One hand over the head if you'd like, other hand around the waist. And now lengthen out, go down into the well, get taller to the center position, bend the opposite direction, and come back center. And now also be mindful of the movement of your head. Lengthen to center, so the head is just going along for the ride.

And lengthen to center, so where the spine goes the head goes, like a balloon floating on the top of the body. And get longer, always to center, all the way down, lengthen to the mid point. I think we have one more. And all the way over, lengthen to center, keep that left leg lifted, find center and pause. And from here, take that other hand up over your head, maintain the length in your spine.

From here, we twist. Twist, remember that yin and yang action? Come back center. So it's here as well. Opposite and negative motion, and back center.

And last time, keeping the upper back long and flat. And back center, and come all the way up. Okay, let's come off, let's take the boxes off. And we're gonna move to scooter series which is a little bit tricky in the setup. Depending on your machine, I would recommend a heavy and a light spring, or just a heavy spring.

Oops, oops, oops! And the foot bar back where you had it for footwork. So one foot goes against the shoulder rest. The foot that's on the ground is gonna be a little bit behind that knee. Tuck your tailbone under, so it's like round back knee stretch. If that's what you were thinking, yes, you're correct.

Bend the bottom leg, and now lift that bottom heel up. And ideally, just one hand on the foot bar is my preference. From here, the thighbone pushes out and in. Out and in, the pubic bone is pointed forward here. The belly is lifted, and it's gonna be a short range.

Keep the shoulder blades down, and that hand is on there really just for balance. Stay in, lower the heel down, stretch the standing leg straight and change the position of your spine, so you're flat now, really keeping the focus on the upper back, the ribcage closed, and now it'll be more full range. So the leg presses all the way out, let's pause there, and in. And again, push out, pause... And in...

And again, push, and in, and like everywhere else it's the thighbone to the foot. So you really wanna think in your mind's eye of moving from your hip socket instead of your knee. So it's a reach back with the heel, and not a kick sensation at all. And in... And press...

And in, every now and then check yourself. Press, and in, the whole body is working here to stabilize the body. The shoulders are down, last one. Come on in, and let's come to your second side. So again, with the setup, the foot that's on the floor is gonna be a little bit behind the knee that's on the machine.

Draw the tailbone under so you're back in a cat position. One hand on the bar, bend the standing knee, and then lift that heel up. From here, the thighbone pushes out... And in... And out...

And in, and this is a shorter range, why? Because the tailbone's under. You shouldn't be able to get that leg all the way straight back if your position is correct. So the pubic bone is pointed to the foot bar. Press, and in, keep lifting the belly button in and up.

We're almost done. Push with the heel. Stay here, the heel goes down, the leg goes straight, and change the whole sensation in your spine. The sit bones point straight back. Upper back is flat, now full range, all the way out, pause there, control it in.

And again, press... And in, try not to rely on that front arm too much. Press... And in, think of moving the thighbone faster than the foot. Think about that, thighbone faster than the foot.

And what that should do is target the back of the leg a little bit more if you're kicking from the knee. And push, shoulders stay down, and press, control it in, remember we talked about that eccentric work. On the way in, right here, and relax, okay. We're gonna do something a little untraditional. We're moving to a roll-up on the machine.

Take your foot bar down one lower than you had it. Very light spring, just one, a medium or a heavy. Come onto your back, and we're gonna integrate roll into a saw here. So you're on your back, bring your feet to first position, squeeze the heels. A little space between the shoulders and the shoulder rests.

Very slowly, from the inner thigh, squeeze them together and stretch the legs out straight. Wrap the legs, hands to the ceiling. From here, perfect roll-up, rolling up in a count of five. Let's begin peeling up, five, four, three, take the waistline back, two, one. You're in that beautiful C shape, the shoulders are dropped.

And slowly back down, starting the action from the tail, roll yourself back, squeeze the heels with control, and take the arms back overhead. Take a breath in, and exhale, peel up. Peeling from the sternum, squeeze the heels, hold the carriage still. Come back forward, stay here, roll back halfway, halfway only. Stay here, take the arms up by your ears, and now from here the arms reach back behind you as you peel back.

Take your head with you, and take a second to readjust if you didn't fit back in. One more roll-up, take a breath in, and exhale, sequence up, all the way back forward. And let's peel yourself all the way up, open the arms, open the feet. Let the heels lengthen through the foot bar, and lift yourself up. And not just up, but really up, creating length on both sides of the waist.

Carriage is absolutely still, here we got with that yin and yang motion again. Rotate, carriage is absolutely still. Come back center, get a little taller. Lengthen the heels through, and rotate, keep lengthening the heels, and come back center, adding a bend to that, rotate. True saw, reach forward, press the back arm back, stay here.

Lengthen the heels, two hips on the mat, come all the way up and come center, get tall, and twist, and get tall, and reach forward. Heels are down, come all the way up and center, one more each way. Rotate, and reach, push back with the back arm. All the way up, and center, and rotate, get long, and then bend. Twist, pull that armpit around towards your knee.

Come all the way up and bring the carriage in. Okay, all the way up, the foot bar goes down. We're going into a plank on the reformer with no springs, and we set this up earlier on the box, so your body should be warm and ready to go. Step into the well, clear your frame, 'cause your hands are coming here. The hands come to the frame, the shoulders are over the hands.

Step one foot back towards the center of the carriage. Reach that Achilles back. Take the other legs up to join it, squeeze the legs, collarbones are open, head is in line. Think of that ribcage breathing right now. The head stays in line, do not drop it.

From here, pull one knee into the chest. Tuck the tail slightly, keep breathing. Take that foot back, reset your plank. And the other knee draws in, the tail pulls under, hold it, and take it back, and step out. Okay, stand up, big breath.

We're gonna do one more, okay? If you have to, stay in plank. Come on back down, hands to the frame. One foot back, set up the shoulders, you know where we're going. Take it back, glue the legs, front of the ribs are closed.

Stay here if you'd like, or pull the knee in. Carriage is still, that foot goes back, keep breathing. The other knee comes in. Step back, pause, step out. And step to your side, we're almost done.

Okay, so we're moving to standing splits. Bring the carriage in, and the machine should have a medium ride, so that's gonna somewhat depend on your body weight as well. I'm gonna try it with one heavy spring. Clear your frame so you can step up onto your frame, and really important how we get onto the machine here. Always stepping to the frame, why?

'Cause that side moves, okay? All the way up, and then you're gonna adjust your foot out, and it's gonna be a pretty wide stance. The wider the feet are, the more challenging. The taller you are, the wider your feet will be. Hold the carriage in now and reach the arms east and west.

Be beautifully tall, you should be working already. From here, the carriage is absolutely still. The sit bones lift and you fold forward, and stay here. The front of the ribs are closed, the arms are long like wings. If you had to-- don't do it, but if you had to you could lift your heels.

From here, allow the carriage to open. Wide, to your full expression. Pull the carriage in tight, so tight that the spring does nothing. Look at your spring, make sure it's not engaged at all right now. And again, allow the carriage to open.

Keep focusing on the spine as well. Pull the carriage in, all the way in, so I could take off the spring right now if I needed to, you would not move. And open, don't lean back on those heels, and pull in, hold the carriage tight. Last one, open wide, front of the ribs are closed, pull all the way in, and pause. Remember that saw?

Here we go, saw to one side. The carriage is in, open the chest, head in line with the body. Come back center, fight to keep the carriage still. And the other side, the carriage is in. Keep pulling it in, head in line with the spine.

Come all the way back center, take the hands all the way down, bend the knees, we're coming off, and step down. Second side, come on around. Remember what I said about how you get up? Super important here. This is how accidents happen, is when we step up over there.

All the way up, heel, toe, heel, toe, carefully out. Maybe a little wider this time, maybe a little shorter, depending on what your experience was. Arms are east and west. It's a clean fold from the hip. Take it all the way forward.

Stay here for a moment. Shake the knees, make sure you're not locked in your knees. Carriage is still in. From here, allow the carriage to open wide, wide, wide. And pull all the way in, so tight that the spring does nothing for a moment.

And again, open, do not lean back on the heels, and pull the carriage in, all the way in, and pause. And again, the ribs stay closed, and all the way in. Okay, stay here, and into saw, holding the carriage in. Twisting the sternum, head in line with the spine, come back center, and opposite direction. The carriage is in, move the sternum, come all the way back up.

Hands all the way down, heel, toe, heel, toe, in, and step out. Okay, let's bring the foot bar back up. We are almost done. Okay, very simple lunge. So let's take foot against the shoulder rest and unlike scooter, the foot's gonna be forward.

The hips are square. Take your hips straight down into the well, and the chest is open. The hand that's closest to this leg, take it up. Okay, get tall, and now side bend. You're not gonna move very much away from that leg.

And come on in and up, let's come to the other side. The foot comes forward, the hips go straight down into the well. The belly is up, and if this is too much on your back here, go ahead and take it a little forward, okay? So the emphasis is on the front of the hip, not so much the back extension, although I like the back extension. Okay, that hand comes up, and not just up, but up! And now side bend, you're not gonna move that much, at least I don't.

Make sure the head doesn't come forward, this is not pretty. Head in line, and come all the way up. Come back to the first side, we're gonna add to this. We're gonna come into a plank position again. So you're on your first side, come into your psoas stretch.

Okay, now from here, your back foot needs to adjust a little so you can stand on it. Arms are straight, bring the carriage in, adjust your back foot, the front leg comes off. It reaches to the wall behind you, and step down, all the way down. Chest lifts, and come in, back leg goes straight, reach that leg back, and all the way down. And for the tricky ones, we're gonna add backup.

Stay here if you'd like, or carry that leg side. Flex the foot, take it all the way back, and step it down. That's enough tricks for once, eh? Let's go the other side. I like tricks, I do.

Come down into the psoas stretch. Chest is open, the hips are square. Prepare for the plank, bring the carriage in. The back foot adjusts a little, you see that on my back foot? Front leg lifts, shoulders are over the hands, and step forward.

And lift shoulders over the hands, sweep the back leg up, and step forward. Now the showoff move, and come on back in and up. Carry the leg side, flex the foot, back behind you, and all the way down. Come all the way up, quarter turn, and have a seat. You're at the edge of your machine.

Your two sit bones are anchored. One palm up, we're going into a side bend. Side bend up and over. The hips move like a typewriter carriage. Feel the armpit to the sky, head in line with the back.

And all the way up, and consciously breathing. Inhale, reach out and over. Stay here, inhale into that right lung. And exhale all the way up, really try to do that breath. And again, up and over, so focusing right here.

Take that breath right into that right lung. You'll feel more stretch there, and exhale, come all the way up. Let's change sides, boom boom. Sit up nice and tall. Opposite hand up, and side bend up and over.

This shoulder is out of the ear. And all the way up, keeping this hip planted to the ground. And up and over, so the more you plant this hip down, the better stretch you'll get in the QL, and all the way up. And last one, side bend up and over, nothing wilting like this, not very pretty. Get long and tall, all the way up.

Bring your hands back to your knees, and close your eyes, feel where you're seated on your sit bones. And begin to take some nice, full breaths. And let your mind settle. And let's together take one deep breath in through the nose, please, inhale. And hold that breath for a moment, and a slow exhale out through the mouth.

And open your eyes, and we are done for today, thank you.

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4 people like this.
Wow, thank you for giving a new light to these movements! This is one that needs to be watched again!
so much fun to see you here Maria! well done! loved it!
1 person likes this.
This workout was truly magnificent... and I decided that i really like tricks too:))))) thank you very much.
1 person likes this.
excellent - I feel great
Paola Maruca
Beautiful class!
Maria!!!!!!! So great to see you. Cannot wait to take this class!!!
1 person likes this.
Great flow. I love the cues on how to feel the correct muscles. I love tricks too!
really great class - thank you.
very nice class! Thank you
impressive...glad to see you on Pilates Anytime...please bring us more!!
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