Hi there, I'm Kristi and ready to do a reformer workout. Let's see what we're capable of today. Coming around to your end of your reformer. I have a red spring on. The tension, you want some support.
We're just doing our roll downs to prepare and see where we are to begin with. Feet can be together or apart, I have mine apart. And I like the sense of, no matter what I have planned of going, "Huh, but how do I feel first." So that's what I'm doing. I hope you will too. Finding the feet on the floor, stacking your spine.
However you do, but in a way that at least lets you know that you're giving it a shot to have some good posture, with the arms hanging heavy. And maybe it's the bones you have to think about. Just rotate the arm bones out. It has nothing to do with your back or muscles or anything like that. Just do it.
And then release the arms. From the shoulder, again just spiral them outward. You're not reaching down, you're not reaching up. You're just opening and maybe changing the position from where you started. Let 'em go, one more time, just open 'em out.
And then can you feel the top of your head reaching for the ceiling? Maybe that's too strenuous. But, maybe it can connect without you trying. From there, take the arms let 'em float up. Just inhaling, filling up.
Really just seeing what is there naturally first. Exhale, I've turned the palms away just cause I like to and push down or let them come down. Next time we'll move a little more. Turn the arm bones out again if they changed. Inhale up, fill up.
(breathes) And exhale, push the air away to the side. Grow little taller but now let your head go forward. Let your spine go forward. We're gonna reach for the carriage. Hands just about shoulder distance, maybe a little wider to start.
And then just push the carriage away as you go down, continue down with the spine. Try not to shift back or forward, but you might, initially. That's part of the analyzation we're doing. Bend your knees a little. Can you reach the tailbone up a little more?
Lengthen the back a little more, soften the neck a little more, and broaden your back? Maybe the carriage move further, maybe not. Check it out. Can you stretch that position further? So, to my mind it's crown of my head trying to reach towards the edge of the carriage.
The tailbone reaching to the far side of the room, but also slightly up. My arms strong, not tense just strong. They're helping. Reaching, I'm stretching, creating space. Inhale.
On the exhale, as if the spring suddenly got heavy, you support yourself in the lower body. Allow the tailbone to be heavy, to round. I'm not coming all the way up so don't get too fast. Let's push out again. If your knees can be straight and you can do this, fine.
Either way, it's really more about the mobility. I'm just doing back and forth. So inhale, bend the spine, around the spine. Exhale, stretch the spine. Imagining maybe that the spine is like the springs.
Don't look at the springs you can feel it. Soften the hands a little bit, keep the arms straight. Stretch further and up. So here I am. I'm inhaling, same thing, didn't change.
I'm inhaling, just stretch. For me, I ground my feet, I exhale as I round. Try that or some version of it, that you feel that you know where the two ends of your body are. And that they are separating. Or getting more space in between those places that should have it.
One more time, inhale. Actually stay here, you're nice and long, you're bent over, exhale. Now, keeping the length, allow the elbows to bend sideways, you know me, this isn't so new and different. But you can stretch the spine further, even there. Exhale, straighten the arms.
Let's do a few more. Inhale, bend. Exhale, drawing the belly in, but not strenuously. You don't need it right now, right? Let's save that energy, press, straighten, one more time.
Keep the arms straight next time they get there. And then, you can even slightly press down on the carriage. More so as you come in closer to the stopper. Allow the carriage to hit, arms leave the carriage. And up you come.
Inhale up, and exhale. Good, I'm gonna put on the foot springs now. So, for me, today I'm gonna do three red and a blue, which is pretty heavy for me, especially today. You choose. (springs rattling) Foot and leg works coming, that's not what we're doing yet.
My head rest is down cause I know we're gonna do some mat work first. So hopefully your foot bar is down, even if it's on a bit of an incline, that should be okay. If that doesn't appeal to you, you can do this all on the floor for now, but be ready for foot work. Sitting near the edge of your mat, use your hands, push yourself up and again, now you have some sense of being able to help yourself, so do that, I'm pushing into the ground, to lengthen and then I wanna keep it, I don't wanna drop, I probably will a little bit. That's only cause I have long arms.
You may have heard me say that. We're rolling down, bone by bone, however you see it, just get yourself to the mat, arms go up, maybe not overhead depending on the shoulder rest, I'll stop, just maybe, before I touch, inhale, reach forward, look at your feet. I have my feet totally together, including the big toe joints, do what you can, if your knees don't touch, your ankles don't touch, that's okay. You might enjoy a small ball, or pillow, or something to hold onto, just so you have that connection. Inhale, exhale, lift off, but as you lift off, not just coming up, you're still keeping that sense of circling forward.
Inhale, and exhale, and down, and keeping it going (breathes), I'm walking forward, cause I had to, you might need to too, or perhaps you are more skilled, than I am at the moment, theoretically it's meant to stay still, right? But, I'll keep working on that one. And then here, stay here if you would, imagine you've got something between your upper arms, between your wrists, forget about the hands for a minute though keep 'em involved. And squeeze that, so you can involve the whole body, so you're not just sitting up here waiting to move again, you're using it, and drop back to go down. Let's go ever so slightly faster for three more, inhale reach forward, exhale, trying to keep it one move, even though there's all this breath cuing in it, breathe however you want, two (breathes), feel some sense of opposition, like your arms and legs are reaching as far away from each other as they can, even now as you're rounded forward.
This'll be the last one, come down, reach back, find the posts if you have them, if not you can grab the frame, you can put your arms by your side, but your knees are coming up for a knee side to side. So, allow the knees to either be at 90, that's a bit harder of a start, and not necessary for what I'm really trying for. I'm really just trying to open up the spine a little bit more with ease, so that I'm ready to go for everything else. Let the knees fall toward you, if that feels better, it's fine, keep 'em together, to the front, we inhale, it's worth looking, keep 'em lined up, exhale, start the ribs, the heaviness of the ribs, bring everything back to center, the other way, inhale, keep the shoulder down, but yes, the hip can come up, there's your anchor point, exhale center, and inhale, there's nothing to try for but what feels good, I think, is the inner seam of the legs pressing together, and back to center, and to the back, maybe push the bottom leg into the top, maybe you squeeze a little, but let's only use what we need to for now. Well maybe always.
And notice how, how do you breathe into it? It doesn't really matter either way, I do think the exhale is great for bringing you back, I think the inhale is really natural for rotation. So that can be a good start. And to the back, notice if the front of your thighs are starting to kick in too much. If they are bring your knees closer, or you can do it with the feet down, one more each way, inhale.
I just noticed my white knuckles on the pegs here, so apparently I'm going further than I need to. You could also put your arms down. And, back to the center, okay, let's put our feet down, we'll do just a few pelvic curls to get us really into it, so that once we get going, we don't feel sticky, hopefully anyway. Feet are apart, I have my heels on the wood of the, of the base of the reformer, toes just resting on the foot bar, here we go, again, can be done on the floor, exhale, feel that initial tuck of the pelvis, the rounding of the spine, keep going though. As you lift your hips off, it's as if your knees are reaching over your ankles, no need to grip in the toes, hopefully, if they do, just check in.
Can you go higher? I bet you can. Not in your back, but use the feet, push down with the feet, while you're still trying to tuck, and see what happens, inhale here at the top, from there keep that. Now it's almost as if you're pulling with your feet, you're not, and roll down from the upper back. Get as much curve, as much space, as you can, as you go all the way down, and sometimes we can even go a little further than what we'll call neutral, exhale, bring it back up, I'll let you go with that for a bit.
Should feel kinda good, right? Why not stand on your arms and your feet? And down we go, there's a sense of strength, I think, in that where you're coming from, but the stuff in the middle is supposed to be soft, yeah I said it, inhale, exhale, up we go. I'm a pretty good example of it too, up we go. From there inhale, and I'm actually serious, if you overly brace and overly force, which I did for years, you don't get anywhere.
You kinda make it look right but it, let it go, try two more, I'll shush. Up we go, arms, feet, open, hips, and exhale down. One more, gets a little wobblier doesn't it? It's alright, you can handle it. Perfection is overrated (laughs).
Inhale, and exhale, it's about symmetry I think, thank goodness, alright. You've got your foot springs on already, right? So we're gonna just hold on behind the thighs, bring the knees up, of course, strong hold, right, so from there it's as if you are doing an ab curl, push your thighs into your legs, so you're definitely not in neutral, you're in a rounded back, and you can get a rocking motion, and you're not rolling all over the place, you're just knowing in about two more, you're gonna sit up, how about one more, and voila, that's your teaser prep for the day. Put your foot bar up, here we go. We'll do a little more abs in a minute, but let's get hotter in the legs and rest of the body, so you sit, lie down if you want your head rest up, do it, I think I'll leave mine where it is for today.
Heels are parallel, they're secure, tailbone pretty heavy, I'm noticing I'm having to, drop mine a little more than I want to, because I'm sitting more than normal this week, so, check in with yourself, what do you need? Here we go, we press all the way out, take a second, at like, to inventory, you should to hopefully, I don't know if you'll like it, inhale back, push out, and press, and pull and press and then start, don't worry about counting, just start finding a rhythm almost with your legs in relation to the springs, with your spine in relation to the springs, with your energy in relation to the springs, or the reformer, or yourself. Let's do four more, one, finisher, doesn't mean it stops, doesn't mean it stops, it means you complete the range, come back down, keep your energy in the middle as you slide both feet at the same time, to the toes, press out, and by toes, I mean ball of the feet. And two, alright, we're not counting, just reach. Can you connect, on this round, through the back of your body?
Notice how it is involved, how? Find out, explore it. Let's do two more. Front to the back, no changes in the spine, come all the way down, just from the hips, in fact maybe put your hands on the outer thighs, push them apart as you draw the heels together. Not a big move, but you can make it come from the hips, make sure you didn't tuck, I did, check yourself out, off we go, hold on, are you tucked here?
Are you gripping? It's a really easy place, drop the tail, nice and long in front, long thighs, here we go, bring it in on the inhale, there it is, and exhale, as you know you can change that breath. I'll try not to over cue it, but just breathe and feel that you're bringing it in, you're letting it out, whichever way it works. Oh, what are your shoulders and neck doing? That was interesting.
For me. Give yourself one more, press out, come back in, all the way down, take both feet off, you're going heels wide, and it's not super turned out today, or you can if you've been doing it the other way, just sort of straight off the angle of your hips naturally, off we go, we're there, check it out. For this one, let's just stay it straight leg, a shimmy, not shimmy, that's not quite right, but a little more weight on right leg, then left, then right, you don't have to see it, just feel, that without even really noticing it, you can change that energy and come down slowly doing that. Judith Aston taught me this, and I really like this sort of sense of feathering, and we'll roll out one time, and then I'll give you back your speed that you want. Whatever we were doing.
Just a sense of letting my brain know, who's doing what. I can't tell yet, honestly, I don't think I need to. I think the body is smarter. So with that, off we go, try for equal, out, and in, out and in, it's not that the rest of the bodies just laying there, but in a way, it's getting a bit of a break, it doesn't have to over commit to anything. You can feel those inner thighs, or the inner seam of your whole leg really, including the inner heels drawing toward each other.
How about three more? One, here's two, push out, here's three, same drill on the toes, without the feathering, unless you want it, go for it, otherwise we're out. One, there's the cue, checking in, what do you do? What do you do naturally? Do you push into the shoulder rest?
Do you, is this just good? Are you just waiting for more? What happens for you when you lay down to do your practice? And do you care? Three more here, one, as even as you can on the feet, and then come on down, feet back to parallel, balls of the feet, push out, lower both heels, from somewhere that's not just the feet, lift up, bend and come home, go out again, we'll do two lowers this time, down, up, one, and reach down, up, two, bend, pull in, and push right back out, three, down, up, one, down, get longer in the waist, two, down, up, three, bend, pull and again, out, here's four, down, up, do you wanna know how many we're doing?
Two, three, here's four and then take it down, we'll do six. Here's five, and reach down, down, breathe however you want but do, uh-oh, four, five-ish, and down one more, I'll wait in case I was off, and out we go, down, up six, one, reach try not to hyperextend, no don't try, don't, three, down stretch more when you go down, both directions, darn it, five-ish, six, and off we go, down, hold it. I know you want a break but not yet. Out, bend the right knee up, straight up to the ceiling, left heel way under the bar, your hips are not changed, they're still level if you could see in ariel view, you use the bottom foot to bring you back to the top, they're both straight, change, take it, enjoy that stretch and now run it a little bit more, here we go, down, up, down, up, down up, down, up, now, if I really pushed it in my feet I would move this wood reformer on the wood floor. I'm doing my best not to, because I don't need to, I'm picking myself up, I'm lifting, up, and up, and can you go any faster?
You can hear the springs, go head, let 'em bounce, let the straps bounce, if it does, it does, just do a few more, know that you're in charge, even it out, I think I am, and down we come. Yep? Okay, waiting for an answer, how weird is that? Sit up, take your springs down. I'm moving onto some ab work and leg work, so I'll go to a red and a blue.
So, move a little away from the shoulder rest, hands up over shoulders, take your feet off when you're ready, and I'm not quite there, I'm wanting to drop my shoulders, knees are off, you could do straight legs, I've just left my foot bar up cause I wanna use it in a minute, and that's how we're doing it. Here go, for now just reach down, down for a few, when you get down here, you can make the fist, right, I think that's quite common, I'm gonna leave mine straight because I'm working on something with my arms, which is keeping 'em straight, and then right back up, shoulders are heavy, right, you always gotta, kinda, adjust these things, I think, for yourself, so, come along with me but make it work for you, hopefully, just one more, just feeling that straight, easy place, that your arms can be, we'll go right up into the hundred, include the legs, up, hold, and from here, first, exaggerate the reach into the arms, please, then let the, without collapsing in the elbow, and that's the hard part, let the arms kinda hang on you a little bit more. Let the straps pull on you a little, like you're hanging on a hanger, a little bit more, from there, it's inhale, two, three, four, five, and out, two, three, four, five, three, filling up, and out, I'm not gonna do all hundred, I'm gonna go a little longer on the breath though, and out, not by counting, just in, make it longer, slower counts, and (breathes), and inhale, and out, and in, feel it where you can, don't over commit those shoulders being down. You lose lung space, I think, sure feels like it. Can we do one more?
Longer, longer, longer, longer, who cares if it's six or eight? Exhale, just as long, long, long, long, long. When it's over, bring it in and come on down, from there, co-ordination, bass-ee style, legs will curl up, legs open, close, bend, everything comes down, including those same straight arms, exhale, reach, open, close, bend, inhale down, exhale curling up, make your spine work, make your spine, squeeze the air out, right here, boom, boom, boom, bend the knees as much as you want, suppose bass-ee style would probably stop initially at the center but not always, not always, make it work, press, push, pull, pull, and down, let's do two more, exhale everything, for a long time, and then you inhale to come down, last one, and, voila. Feet on the bar, step out to step in, two straps, same springs, situate yourself, step into your straps, I kinda like to do that feathering thing here a little bit too, just to kinda see where I'm at cause I can't see where I'm at. Bend like a frog, heavy tail, heavy ribs, and easy legs for now, press out, pull them in, and in a way, I mean, decelerate, or hesitate, so I'm not trying to drag my hip flexors into the scene, they don't have to be here that much with the spring, that's sort of the joy of it, but we don't wanna just let the springs, not push us around, even if they feel light, especially if they feel light.
How deep can you take that hip flexion, without the tail coming off? You can go slower, you can go faster, whatever you need but play with the idea of this action, cause it does lead to things, right, we'll stay out on the next one, softly point through the ankle, the toes are pretty easy, legs come up, and then, only to go right back down for now, down, around and up, and together. So if it feels a little out of control, make it smaller, if you're testing your range, go a little slower. If you're really flexible, I would hold back, and slightly change the angle of things, just so your body stays with you in a way. Can you stay with it?
I'm exhaling on the way down, I'm not sure that really matters, but it does feel like it holds me in place. Stop at the bottom, next time you get there. Pick it back up and literally it's as if your legs were attached higher. Open, exhale, around, it's up, open, it's a balance really with the work, the rest and the play on this one, I think, right? You could just ride, you could just play, or you could, know that you're in concert with the straps, and intend to pick them up.
Or you can overdo it and not feel a thing. Hold it down when you get there, I've turned my legs out a little more. I'm imagining I can reach further into the straps, and in doing so that would become the floor, so my head can reach the opposite. Legs straight to the side, best you can stay on that level for now. Try it again, and by that level I mean the feet probably more than the legs.
The legs might look like they are changing more than the feet, try a few, or you feel like your legs are skimming underneath, ahh, what, an imaginary table top, glass top, then, allow them to go up a little, not a lot, and pull 'em down a little, and then the trick on that one, I think cause it could become easier, is to do your best to just make it the inner thigh, there might be a little more hamstring involved, of course, but, you don't wanna over do, and then, let's change that a little, as you open it slightly lower, as you close it slightly raise, you might find some information in there, I just did when Sarah Borderchelli made me do it. I can tell you which one I feel the most, but I am gonna stop soon (laughs). This is it, shall we do short spine? Of course, start from the beginning, we're in the frog, so that's why, we did that warm up. How much can you bring it in, without lifting?
How much can you do it without arching the ribs? Press out to straight, fold the legs, I'm going all the way over before lifting, get that stretch to your extent, your hips will lift probably, up we go, peeling up, long to the trunk, keep the length of the trunk, bend the knees toward the shoulder rest, without collapsing, I think I, want to remind myself right again, roll down, then I'm flexing the feet and bending the knees a tiny bit more to bring them over cause I needed to, press out to straight, here we go, fold over all the way, find the stopper with the carriage, keep the carriage on the stopper, peel up, you can stand on your arms, why not? Long spine, bend the knees, keep the spine long, it's not to say it's not rounded, it is. From the throat roll down, come on, come on, find the bones, find the bones, when you know you can't go lower without doing some crazy stretch to the legs, pull it over the top with the straps, out we go, press to straight, inhale refold, watch those hyperextended legs. We're not pulling on the straps, but we are using them for support, up we go, bend to frog, roll down, keep those knees pretty close, pretty close, as long as you can, stretch it out more, flex your feet, take it over, last one.
We're gonna stretch it slightly differently but not enough to look at your TV or screen. Over go, up we go, bend, now this time the only difference is to keep those knees and thighs as close to you as possible. Maybe you already were I just touched the shoulder rest for the first time, but I'm still trying, I'm still trying, I have to open up the knee angle at this point. I'm still reaching the spine, I'm done to that extent, I flex the feet and I pull the whole thing over. Take the straps off your feet, replace it, toes on the bar, parallel.
Arms are down and let's do another one of those roll ups. We're all warm now, fair warning, we're close, it's light, if you need to move your feet to your heels, do. Off we go, we're gonna keep the carriage where it is, peel up, peel up, rely on the spine moving, rather than, just let go, then you're gonna feel the legs, holy cow, up, up, up, same thing as before, and roll back down. Alright, let's do it again. We'll stay on the carriage this time, Kristi, up we go, peeling, spine, spine, spine, pretend you could almost lift your feet, you can't but try, when you get past that sticky point, the cramp factor, push into the feet, get it up there, use the back of your arms, and down we go, oh, there's that hard part again.
Spine, bend the spine, bend the spine, and then let it be free, one more, sort of, exhale up, meaning you're gonna add to it, up, up, up, up, up more room, more space, more everything, then we're there, we take off the right leg, we extend it up, as we push out we lower the leg to match the other and we bring it up. Ooh, now it's a good calf-ish one, and up, just one more, trying to keep everything level. Back up, hold it to the stopper. Roll it down like that. Try not to let the knees splay, to the side, and then replace the foot.
Ooh I had a good inch or so, I'll do better this time, maybe. Up we go. Peeling up, peeling up, peeling up, when you get there, left leg up, as you press out, you extend the leg long, let your upper back come down a little, be nice to yourself, and up one, out of three, two, oh isn't this fun, and then from there, once you hit the stopper, we roll down, roll down. Voila. Now we come on up.
Let's stretch those babies out. So, you can leave the springs where you are, or I'm a little more familiar with dropping it a bit to the red, so I'm taking of that lightest, have one full spring, one medium to light spring, for just a nice easy stretch, use lunge-ish. Forward leg, I'll start over here, forward leg is about where the foot is, it does depend on your size, but you can move the carriage to the back, from here rather than just sinking, there's a little bit of a bias, of a tuck of the pelvis, in fact it's gonna look like I'm arched, and I will be, but I'm not letting go, I'm taking my pubic bone with my sternum, and taking 'em both that way, even though the legs are going the opposite way. That's when it feels good. And you kinda settle into it, but you're not just chilling, right.
There's an attempt to push the carriage further back. Not for the sake of the sight of it, but for the energy that I continue to gain out of the stretch. From that place, not much changes in the back, we just extend the forward leg. I'm gonna suggest a common thing that people do, I'm just gonna suggest you take that forward hip backwards. And you might even allow the carriage to slide in a little, cause it's real common to just wanna twist into it, so it feels okay, it should still feel okay, but at least there should be this nice long stretch through the back of the forward leg.
Let's do that again, so you just let the forward leg go down if it was up, come right back where you were, we're taken the entire trunk forward and up, encouraging the whole foot, or as much as you can, into the head rest, shoulder rest, back, so you can feel that separation, not dropping down onto it but finding where it feels, literally like spaces being made. And then, this time, maybe, instead of adjusting when we get back there, maybe we think of slightly bringing the right hip, in this case, or, the hip of the leg on the carriage forward, other one back and then start to straighten it up. That might be an easier, six, ooh, what's your ankle doing? You rolling out? You rolling in?
What's your knee doing? Hmm. They should line up. And then bring it in, and walk around to the other side. Can be done on the floor too, if you have low reformer, it works, but it might be easier to just to do it off the floor, I mean off the reformer, on the floor.
Alright, my foot's pretty straight, made contact, again, you don't wanna just drop, you wanna find yourself almost lifting first, then see what you can do with the back foot. You don't have to be up on the fingertips, get down, you know, hold the bar, so you can really feel those differences in the pelvis and trunk. Sometimes I even like to do that forward and back motion with the hips here. To get myself psychologically ready for the straightening of the front leg, which is a little harder for me. So, I'm, before I straighten the forward leg, I'm pulling that hip slightly backwards, then I go, back is straight, you don't wanna drop into a nice rounded back, I mean it's nice but it doesn't do as much, right, you wanna pull that hip up, and it tends to be easier with the back straight, or even slightly arched.
Allow the forward knee to bend again, the foot went flat, and it's, lift the pelvis and the chest first, I don't know how to say it differently, I just know I did it differently forever, and it sort of locked down, and this feels better, so if I think everything's going up, and, oh, yeah, my legs gotta go the other way, it almost connects itself on the back, and does feel more open. Doesn't hurt as much, feels good. (breathes) Another thing you could do, then I'll move on, is you can see, is your hamstring engaged? A little, yeah, it could be, it should be, probably. A little, at least.
And coming in, right, move on to the carriage, either a red or a blue, I'll just leave it as it is. I'm sorry, a red and a blue, maybe you need to go two red, depends, on size, I'm going light, so, I'm actually gonna deemphasize the legs now, and focus on the inward pull of the abdominals for the knee stretch series right here. Hands are on the bar, arms are in that straight position I've been practicing again. Maybe we can just sit back on, or towards the heels, if you can't sit and then scoop, like you're doing that pelvic curl we did a minute ago, and remember how the calves wanted to cramp and the hamstrings probably did cramp. Or at least mine did.
It's almost that same feeling, when our feet were on the bar. So push into the shoulder rest, get this opening again, we worked it, we're ready for this, inhale push out, and I'm doing it slow at first, you don't lose that opening but instead you're gonna almost hinge mid-belly or above, so this stays open, here we go, inhale, it's a lot faster than that though, isn't it, exhale, in, pull it in, that's why I did it light. So yes, I have to use the legs, yes my hamstrings are working, but I wanna work in, and in, blow out your air on the in, see how that feels, your arms are just stable, I think, let's do four, three, inner thighs are involved, two, hold it in, one, all the way in and then if you can sit back, do. So I've gone into a flat back, almost arched but not fully, hover a bit, heels in contact if you can, same thing, back is still, this time it's more of a hinge at the hip joint, isn't it? Imagine pulling that bar apart, not even pulling but spreading it, in and, in, push, it's both directions, you are in charge, four, push, three, two, and one, all the way in.
From there I'm gonna start with a little bit heavier spring, a red and a blue, leaning forward just enough to come up into a pyramid shape. Finding that long line, there's a little bit of opening in the hips, so there's going to be some lower back rounded, ness, roundedness, but, I'm also trying to stretch my head toward my arms, and not below it, in other words, line up your ears with your arms, and gently press the legs back use the legs to do it. Then let the springs work to bring you back in but draw the belly in just like you did a minute ago. And, back and pull in, just a few, feel that, one more, come back in, then we'll go into the plank. So instead of maintaining a round position anywhere, we're just gonna drop right to the plank, boom.
Go right back where you just were, boom, the arms themselves don't change much, in other words, in space, they're not going forward and back. Your body is hinging around the shoulder joint. Your legs are hinging around the hip joint. I suppose it's all your body, but hopefully that made some sense. And open, strong legs, strong abs, open, one more time, hold it in the open, and then take it forward, going as far as you can, you can round here.
No big deal, don't hurt your shoulders to touch. Then lift up and back. My challenge today, for you, and me is to come in as far as I can which will be the stopper and then to hinge back without just using the hip flexors. I'm still using my abs, I'm just not rolling through, as sometimes we do. One more like that.
So here it comes. You inhale to plank, I'm still inhaling theoretically as I talk, and back, I'm gonna reverse this on us. So inhale forward, carriage doesn't move until I get in to position. From under the shoulders I slide back. Then into the pyramid again, inhale forward, flat, push back, hinge, oh this feels good today.
What are we capable of today? Who knows when we start. Worth a shot. Hold it in on this, flatten your feet, you may need to walk 'em forward, I tend to like to, for my height, but either way, from there, you wanna go lighter, let's do it. Take off the lightest spring if you have a couple on, if you can and just control it.
So, imagine you're lifting up, someone is pulling you from the hip bones, maybe a little higher, up off the mat, you can be a little more rounded on this one today, toes are up and pull in, I should say push out first, and then, pull in, and then just squeeze, don't imagine, squeeze the inner thighs toward each other but keep them in place. Let's do a few more, one. A few more being four, two. Even feet, three, one more time. Here's four, voila.
Come on down, step off the machine, the machine, the reformer, the equipment, whatever you call it, and grab your box. I got a little short box series. Let's take the foot bars down, and load up your springs. We're not gonna need the carriage to move, so we wanna make sure it doesn't move without our consent. Grab hold of the straps, sit right up on top.
Bass-ee style, sitting at the front of the box. And this is just how we learned it, and I honestly don't like to leave it, I love this version of it on this box, it's a bit higher than some of the other boxes, and I love to feel the connection to the back of the legs, so that's why I tend to do it here, and that's why we're here now. If you're used to doing it another way, you can do that too. The cues will probably be the same. Arm over arm, doesn't have to be way up here, but in fact, I'm pushing the bottom arm into the top to create a sense of a kinetic chain, legs together, butt bones together, inhale, on the exhale, imagine you could leave your shoulders behind, and just pull the pelvis back, in fact, come back to the start, do it again, inner thighs were strong together, I will go further, don't worry, but just feel that power that you have, really, there at the bottom, come back up.
I'm not pushing down so much, but a little. A little. I also have to pull up because I'm about to go over, here we go, we've inhaled, we exhale, we roll back. Your spine'll change naturally. Go on, go on, go on, you can go as far as you want.
I'm gonna wait to go over, and then come forward, exhale, stay curved, until your shoulders are maybe over your hips and then come on up. Change the cross in the arm, same thing, create that kinetic chain. Exhale, pull back, remember your head is part of your spine, you don't have to look so much, maybe, inhale, exhale forward. And it doesn't have to stay still either, that's more my problem. Switch the arms again.
Two more, exhale. If you want to go further, you can either, stay here on this inhale, which we all will, you can take your arms up, or you can go back over the barrell, I mean over the box, exhale, bring 'em back and roll up, it's just a longer exhale for you. Last one, switch again. And (breathes), you decide, you can either do arms up on the inhale, you can go all the way over but use your hamstrings, use your hamstrings, and forward and up, nice, hands behind your head now, you could use a pull too, if you have that nearby then feel free. Otherwise, I'm gonna lace the fingers fully, and give myself some traction, elbows slightly forward, then the most important part for me is, press my head directly back into the hands, hamstrings engaged, now we inhale back, bring your hip bones with you.
Exhale back up, right, we don't want to arch it all on this one. If anything, it's a subtle tuck of the pelvis first. Feel that connection there, then just like before, when we were stretching, we keep the pubic bone with the chest bone. No different, just straighter. If that's to easy, take your thumbs, hooked at the top, hug your ears, longer arms, anything that makes the length longer, that's where the pull would usually come in.
And don't be afraid of that tremor. Look for it actually. Move that lower back with you, ooh that was a bit bigger of a tremor than I was hoping for. One more. Again, the arms can be folded, I'm gonna leave mine here for now.
As we skim, I'm just gonna show this one, as we skim the fingertips along the side, then you're gonna reach, and come back up. So it's as if you're sliding the whole ribcage first, then you're gonna reach but you keep both hips down. That's the idea, it works the same here. Here we go, to the front, or right, whichever way. Inhale skim, notice how those hamstrings will help you, we're not rotating really.
Eventually you're gonna lean forward a slight bit, but, so you can do that if you want. Keep that opposite hip down. Let's do one more each way. Reach, reach, reach. And center, and, oh, this one's hard for me, all these little intricacies make me sweat more.
Alright, either keep your hands there, or fold 'em behind your head, as we do the twist. So rotate to the front, nothing else changed, look at your knees to make sure, then we do that similar thing, we come back on the diagonal, come back up on the diagonal, and center. Ooh, what's your head doing? Push back, inhale rotate, hinging. I'm leaning kind of for the back corner, not off the reformer so much right now, but, so that's the challenge.
We go again, rotate, long neck, long body, and exhale up, and center, again, inhale, keep inhaling if you can, spiral more, as you exhale come up, and if you wanna challenge yourself, try the straight arms, inhale rotate, go ahead, go ahead, go ahead. Exhale up, remember to take your lower back with you. Inhale rotate, it's really easy to think you're going further just by arching your back and it's not good. Center, right. Alright, you can back up a little, not a lot.
Take your right leg out, or front leg, whichever, however you are seeing it. Sit tall and it's like you're scooping the skin of the shin up off yourself. Just sliding it into you, or up. Back as long as you can get it, and just focus on that for three beats, just longer back, longer neck too, and there's three, stretch the leg up, try to keep the back as it is. Notice where you are now.
This is where it's really good to have your foot here and your knee bent. You're gonna come back 'til the leg is about, 90, from there we get to walk down and how you get this power of this lower leg, you can do anything, so use it. We're gonna walk down, you can hold on, you don't have to let go, you can reach for the floor, you can have coffee, whatever you want. Walk up, now here, barely use your arms and imagine digging deeper into the belly. Can you leave the leg there for long?
I can't but I'll do better on the next one. Sit tall, get right up on those bones again, back as straight as you can, fold, and we go pull, two, three, and stretch, maybe a little more I got it, roll it back and down, two, three, stretch, reach not just for the floor, avoid your frame and up we go. Bend it when it's time, and by bending it I mean that lower leg. Last one here, pull, one, two, three, and up, okay, come on Kristi, come on guys. Challenge it, don't hurt yourself but just see, what are you capable of today?
Down, down, down, strong lower leg or this doesn't feel good. Strong lower leg, this should be easy this part. Bend when it feels right, nice and tall, nice and tall, fold the leg over, sit up really tall if you haven't yet. So just crossed it over, easy, and I'm gonna, yeah, I can do it, barely, I'm gonna hinge forward from here. You can, some of you will be able to easily grab the sides to hinge forward, but before just rounding, hinge as far forward as you can with a straight spine, and the knee flat or as flat as possible.
Then round all you want for the springs. Meet you on the other side. Let's do it now, switch feet. Okay, again, situate yourself so you're as even as you can be, and then again, for me, it's a sense of, if I draw the, almost, the skin on the bone up, it gives me an opposite feeling of the skin down the back. Here we go, pulse in one, two, three, hold the spine as best you can, even if the leg doesn't go straight.
Oh look at that, I'm capable of more than I thought today. Straight up and walk down, use that bottom leg, push the thigh into the box, maybe, stretch or not, over the box, and then belly comes in, you get to use your arms, but you don't need to much. Sit up as tall as you can, and then refold, and pull, one, pull, two, try for vertical, three, on the six bones, and stretch, tip it back, use the lower leg, so the upper leg's just free, two, three, stretch. Oh, that feels good. Come round, now walk up, two, three, big stretch, bend the forward knee, so you can get right up on top, you get, one more, and fold, one, two, three, stretch and reach, tip it back, walk down, two, three, stretch over, all the way around.
Here it is, make it work. Still working belly to the spine, or some version of that thought, right up on top, refold, fold it over so you're in that sort of figure four position. If you can grab the box you do, but kind of find yourself upright, first. Hi Mary. Hinge forward more, and then if you have the flexibility and you're not getting enough, this is where you round over, I will be here.
Accepting what I'm not capable of today. Right, we got two more things to do, let's do 'em. Let's just stay here. Side overs. So, we're gonna turn sideways, with the version I'll do is with your whole, well not the whole leg, but most of the lower leg up here in that bent position.
And I'm not vertical, I don't want you vertical, we're off to the side, stretching the leg through the strap, nice and long, even as possible, both hands up, we'll just do four. Reaching over, stretch the leg, you know your opposition out, and find the long line and then come off a little more. Just from the upper curve, straighten it out again, and dive down, find the long line first, or maybe only. And then, not just the head hopefully, and then stretch out again, you gotta use the leg here, really, to find the straight line, two more. Down, up, little curve from the upper spine, straighten our back out, and down, up, curve, back to straight, hand down.
Take it all the way to the floor or to the frame, or the elbow, I'll go maybe the elbow today, and stretch. And then help yourself up, and do use both hands to do that. Other side for four. Sometimes even I don't think it's real. Out we go, long body, long spine, we go over, use all sides of the body, or use the leg, I think that feels more right.
And there, stretch it long first, then reach the elbow down into floor. Back to the hovering straight line, it's a diagonal line, maybe, most likely, until you fold right at the end, in this version, down, long line, upper body fold, long line, down. We're gonna make it, up, fold, straight, and down. And then help yourself up, and let's just turn the box, for a breaststroke prep and, or, swan. So that for me means, you're gonna put the foot bar up again, to where you started really.
Actually, you take the springs off first. Either a red or a blue, a red or a medium or full spring is appropriate, I think for most of us, maybe a little bit more, but you could also do it with less or none at all. So we're lying over the top, chest just near the edge, you can go over the edge too, but, we wanna have some room for the shoulders to, not be pushed down, but just be down, relaxed in both the direction of your hips and the floor. Elbows at the height of your shoulders, with the sense of stretching the bar to the sides like we did earlier. Then just straighten your arms, no big deal, kinda easy I know, but see what you can do with it.
Can you get longer in your spine? Can you do it without hanging your head, or shrugging your shoulders? Then, same thing, you spread that bar out, elbows point or stretched to the side of the room, to come back, keeping it all flat for now, push out, and stretch and pull in. Find your relationship to the springs one more time before we wrap it up. This time leave it straight, and almost forget about the arms, if they stay straight you won't have to do anything.
And start to articulate your upper back, your head, your spine, is really what I'm trying to say. Keep the legs straight and strong, and eventually, if you get any curve at all, you'll move the carriage a little, it doesn't have to be much, I'm not going for height. Going back down, same direction. Do the same thing while we're here. Start the head as if it were the top of the spine, cause, indeed, it pretty much is.
You get heavier almost in the sternum first, but not at the expense of the legs popping up. Can you move the carriage forward simply by curving your spine? One more like that. It's your head, up if you want to, and I know some of you do, keep going, but it's gotta come from the same place in my opinion, the legs can't lift or lower, or they shouldn't, or you gotta pay attention to it. You can look up, ooh, my legs dropped, what about yours?
Lots of hamstring if you're this high, and then same thing it's not about the arms. You're reaching the spine or chest forward, then once you get down, bend the elbows wide again. Push out to straight, bend 'em wide. Push out to straight, bend 'em wide. Stay in when you get there, help yourself off the box.
Come around where we started, if you're on heavier springs I would drop it to the one, finishing almost exactly as we started, inhale, take the arms up, exhale, find the box, push the box out, instead of the carriage this time, nice and long, find the stretch. Reach the tailbone a little, let your head hang if you need to, but then try find that alignment one more time, connection to the floor, acknowledge what you were and weren't capable of, and just feel good for the time that you took as you stretch here. And then once you feel your hips are over your ankles, hopefully still, you just roll back in almost all the way, and push back out, inhale, fill up, feel the space you created and exhale all the way home. Slowly, but surely, when the box touches the base, let your hands leave, standing tall, take one or two deep breaths in, look around. Oh nice, so thank you for joining me today.
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