Class #2973

Reformer Workout

45 min - Class


Get ready for another short, sweet, and effective Reformer workout with Sarah Bertucelli! She focuses on exploring your range of motion so you can work on improving your flexibility and strength. She also offers unilateral variations so you can balance out the two sides of your body.
What You'll Need: Reformer

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Alright, we're gonna do another short, sweet, and effective workout here on the reformer. We are gonna use the box over here for some short box and long box stuff, and let's get started. I'm set up here with my blue spring on so that I can do a little spinal movement here. Lifting nice and tall with your arms, stretch up. Take the arms wide, and then peel down one vertebrae at a time, catching the edge of the reformer with the heels of your hands.

Then lunge forward, stretching out through the back. Now, here we've got this locking mechanism on the bars here, so if I happen to lean a little on the bar, it wouldn't fall forward, but I really encourage you not to lean on the bar, but to sense where it is. Rounding through the low back, keep the legs very close to the bar if at all possible, and come all the way in getting that nice stretch through your low back here. Then extend forward sensing also the movement and the pelvis tipping the tail bone back and up. Stretching out, opening through the underarms.

Exhaling to round and roll in again, so we're finding that nice stretch through the back, trying to keep the legs somewhat still if possible and using the bar as just a gauge without leaning on the bar. Reaching forward. Exhale to round in. We'll just do this last one here and then roll up again. Bring in the carriage all the way into the stopper, and here's where I want you to pay attention to limiting how much your legs go back in space and roll up.

Take the arms wide, good, enjoy the view. I'm hoping to see some dolphins today. They were out there earlier. Rolling down one vertebrae at a time. Reaching forward.

Tipping the tailbone back and up. Stretching through the underarms, really enjoying this stretch. I'm even feeling compelled to wag my tail a little. That feels wonderful. Round in.

Let's take it a step further on that forward motion. We go first to that straight back feeling, like a downward dog, and then I'm gonna let my shoulders draw a little more onto the back of my body and extend my back and gaze forward. That feels gorgeous, a nice little chest opener. Then reach to that more neutral or flat back position, and then round in. So we'll do that again.

Really trying to keep those legs still. Extending forward, chest open, tailbone back. Then I'm gonna let my shoulders actually come back to my back body a little more, and I'm sort of pulling my heart through. Enjoying that little bit of back extension. Round and roll all the way in.

Let's do that one more time before we move on. So, reaching, first stretching through the underarms, and then I draw my shoulders back onto my back body a little more, gaze forward, I'm going to go just a little deeper because that feels wonderful, better than I expected. And we round and roll all the way in here. And then, again, notice that moment of lift-off. And try to keep your legs more underneath you, if at all possible.

So, let's set up for a little bit more abdominal warmup works, so I'm going to put a red spring on. I started with the blue, and I'm just going to keep my bar up, so I don't have to make as many adjustments, but if you feel more comfortable with yours down, you should make that arrangement. I'm going to have a seat here I just have my toes hanging off the edge a little bit, my knees together. And the straps are pulling, my arms to straight, but I'm pulling my shoulders back. Now, from here, exhale to round and roll back, and I want to feel myself rolling equally over both sides of my pelvis to the point where my low back is resting, but I'm not going down into the reformer here.

And then round and roll up, nice little articulation, sitting nice and tall at the end. Round through the back first, and then peel back. Inhale. Use an exhale to round up, or breathe when it makes sense. Work on keeping the knees together, using the inner thighs is gonna provoke a little bit more functionality also in the abdominals, and in the psoas.

Now, let's just do one more like that. Another thing I want to pay attention to when I'm rolling over my pelvis like that is feeling that I'm rolling over both sides equally. So, we're gonna roll back again and then move into a little rotation. Another thing here, is if you were to go with a lighter spring, it would be a little more challenging for you, since this is the warmup, this works for me. I'm gonna rotate both arms, I'm gonna lift up a little with my left arm here, and I pulled down a little with my right arm.

And I'm looking, now, off to the right. And I'm gonna do a little lifting up and little pulling down. Lifting up, and pulling down. I want both sides of my pelvis to stay weighted. Pause here.

We'll come back through to center, we'll do the same thing on the other side. So, I'm actually lifting my right arm up a little bit and I'm rotating myself around here. And then, little pulses up, paying attention to feeling still my low back connected to the mat and also feeling both sides of my pelvis equally weighted. And one last time here. Come back through to center and let's roll all the way up to sitting.

So, first connect your straps to the pegs, and then just take a short moment of rest, taking your head forward, relax. Sway a little side to side. And then we come on up. So moving into our footwork, I like to work on three reds and a blue, and you can choose whatever spring suits you, but that's what I'm working on. And we'll lie down, I also like to work with my headrest flat, certainly if you'd prefer to have yours up, that's fine.

One challenge is when I'm cuing myself, I find myself looking at my feet, so I'm gonna try not to do that as best as possible and just gauge by feel. So we want to engage those abdominals, feel those hamstrings, and we're gonna press out and in here. Pay attention to this idea of lengthening throughout the entire exercise. Lengthening as you travel in is the hardest piece to get, in my opinion. See if you can feel softness through your feet, and a nice inner thigh engagement.

So, I like to focus on the top lengthening more through the crown of my head and also kind of pulling my inner thighs together a little bit. We'll just do two more there. And then we'll come on in and shift to the toe position. So, when I say the toes, I really mean the balls of the feet. See if you can soften your pelvis, feel your inner thighs, set your body, and then out you go.

So the balls of the feet are what is connected and then the toes are kind of softening over the bar. The ultimate goal is to keep the feet stable in the space when I teach this most of the time. So you want to try to feel your ankles moving, but your feet stable. And then once again, remember to connect with the inner thighs and the hamstrings on the way in, this idea of control. So, I say inner thighs cause a lot of times people will flop their knees out a little bit, and hopefully you're able to manage that.

And we'll do just one more there, come all the way in. Slide your heels together and make your small V position. Settle for just a moment and really visualize the thigh bones rooting deep in your pelvis, engage your abs, pelvis is heavy, and exhale to press out. You can change your breath, you can inhale out, you can do whatever makes sense to you, whatever you feel like today. I often cue a breath, but then I have no problem with people exploring a different breath.

Really, the most important thing for me, is that you're breathing. So, feel that pulling together of the upper inner thigh as you straighten. And sense that's there's a softness and an openness through the front of your hips. I think often times, we're grippy here and we want to be a little softer. And we'll do just a couple more here.

Breathing and moving. And, one last time here, please. And then come all the way in with control. Settle your feet on the bar in a wide position. Feel open through your collarbones, heavy through your pelvis.

Flex the ankles back and drive energy through the heels as you press out. Again, feel that the abdominals are working on the way in, just as much as they're working on the way out to stabilize the core. What that means, really, is that the pelvis is stable, so that the hips can move a little bit more freely here. Let's do just a couple more there. Think about pulling your upper, inner thighs together.

Another cue is to sort of drag the heels a little bit toward one another as you pull out or press out, rather. As you press out, you're pulling in, is probably a better cue. One last time. And we come on in here. Shift to the toe position, still in this wide V.

Then see if you can kind of spread the weight across your feet, thinking about pressing through the big toe and the pinkie toe, metatarsal is really what I mean. So it's not the actual digit, but it's the ball of the foot. There we go, I had to look up and make sure I was even. Just once this time, hopefully. So, feel this lengthening up through the crown of the head, feel the inner thighs, and then at the top of the movement, make sure you're checking in with that inner quadricep and gently pulling up through the kneecap, breathing and moving, feeling the ease.

One more time here. Come all the way in. We'll bring our feet close together, I usually bring them all the way together, so I can feel centered and grounded. Then separate just a bit. And let's press the legs out to straight, we lower the heels down and up, and we'll bend and come in.

We'll do that same choreography a few more times. And I'd really like you to pay attention to the transfer from the legs to the feet. So here I'm using my legs to do the movement and then the feet. Legs, legs, feet, legs. I think a lot of times people gear up for doing calf work and they forget to use the legs first.

Stay here, calf raises. We'll just do about five since we've done a bunch already. Check in with the lengthening of your spine, engaging of your inner thighs, equality between your two feet. Prances, pressing down and pressing up, so you want to use both feet to press up each time and both feet to press down each time. So, I want you to pay attention to the leg that's on the up position and make sure there's enough weight there.

Switching and breathing when it makes sense to you, nice little pace here. And hold the stretch. So, I usually like to move my foot and really just settle in and be in a stretch that I can ah, receive the spring, soften my face, soften my eyes, and just be. And switch legs. So again, find a spot that suits you.

I always find on my left foot, I need the bar a little bit closer to my arch, and I get a really nice stretch there. On my right foot, I like it a little closer to the ball of my foot. And I think it's important that we respect that our bodies are different, and the different sides, and the different pieces of the bodies, may not be the same, but you need to explore and feel what it is that you need to feel. And let's press up, bend the knees, and then we're gonna come on in. Let's come up to a sitting position.

We're gonna do some side-lying single legs today, so I like two red springs for that. Okay, so I'll face you first. Now, the way I like to get in is with my arm in a nice shoulder stretch. So, I put my arm through and I hold the rear peg, and then I'm going to arrange myself so it's like my chin is just right around in the area of the shoulder rest. And I'm gonna keep my hand there.

Organize so that my core is engaged. My foot is going to be a little bit forward, I don't want it all the way to the very front, it's a little back from the front of the bar, is probably a better way to put it, and then I'll press out to straighten right here. So, should you need to make an adjustment, you can use your bottom foot to do so, if you really feel your supported here and what not. But, I like this leg up here for now. So now I find that if you have your hand here and here then you're gonna be a little more stable, without slipping up on the reformer, so we're bending in and we're pressing out.

Now, I put my foot purposely in a position that doesn't allow me to come all the way in cause I'm looking for that idea of ankle flexibility, so I want to keep my heel down. And then the other piece is this idea of really playing in this position right here with the knee bent and feeling that outer hip holding the thigh up. Think about that for a second, my outer hip is holding my thigh up. So I want to feel the energy coming from the back of the leg and the outer hip. Good, we're gonna do just a couple more in that position.

And then we'll change it a little bit. This is the last one here, so we'll keep the leg straight now, and shift to the ball of the foot. And now, you should have no problem going into a full range of motion. Keep that knee sort of soft, and we press all the way out. What I mean by keeping it soft is I sort of sometimes will say like, let it droop down just a little bit or hang.

And the main reason I say that is because a lot of people will go into external rotation here, and I'm trying to keep neutral alignment with the leg. So, just kind of gauge that for you. For me, I get a lot of engagement in my outer hip when I just settle there for a moment and just kind of explore where my knee needs to be. So, I'm may look like I'm doing a little bounce, and perhaps I am doing a little bounce, but I'm really just trying to check it out. And boy, I get such great glute work here, I hope you do too.

Love to work my glutes. We're gonna do just one more there, please. And then we'll go ahead and come up to sitting position and just enjoy a stretch for that same hip that we just worked. So again, I like to sit kind of far forward on my reformer, and I'll just cross my leg up and over, and before I do any leaning forward, I'm settling in. I really want to feel both sides of my pelvis equally weighted, and then I'll just kind of let my hip release a little bit.

Often times when I've just worked that hip, I can't stretch too far, too deep. And so I'll just kind of hang here for a moment and enjoy. And I'm a huge fan of exploring stretches rather than holding something so rigid. See what you need. And so what I'm feeling is when I lean into my leg a little bit, I get a really nice little massage on my hamstring and my glute into the reformer.

It feels so good. Necessary, I must say. Let's do the second side. So, I'm just gonna spin around on the other side to make it a little faster. Again, I like to have my arm like so and I'm gonna hold that rear peg if at all possible.

If not, you can adjust and do it however you need to. My foot is not at the very front, it's a little back from center, so I don't want my heel to be down at this moment. I want it to be something I'm striving for. So now, squaring the pelvis, engaging the abs, the other leg is bent at about 90 degrees at the hip, and then we bend in. And so this happens to be my much less strong side, and that was a very politically correct way to say it from my left leg.

So, my range of motion is actually a little bit limited on this side, but I'm working toward balancing that out. So, the rules here for me are that you want to find that low position and feel that your foot is still flat, so you want to really keep that heel down. And then you also want to feel also that you're pressing through the front of the foot too and that you kind of let the leg droop is the word I'll usually use, but just not lifted up, so find that spot where it's just a little there. Beautiful. So we'll do the same thing with the heel lifted.

I'm gonna just change my foot a little bit, there we go. And we'll do, now you should be able to come all the way into the stopper, same rules apply, except now your heel's not down, so it just opens up a little more space. Still feel that idea of just kind of softening the thigh bone down a little bit. Just to make sure it's not lifting up, so if you tend to be too internal then you certainly don't want to go too far. Feel the back of the leg driving the movement and the hip holding the leg up.

We're gonna do two more on this side. And then we'll stretch, and just so that you don't have to look at the back of my body, I'll just make the little shift and spin around and stretch the other leg. You'll have a nice little seat here, you'll cross your leg over. Again, feel yourself just kind of like settling in first, give yourself a moment to really just be here, and then reach forward and relax and enjoy that stretch through the hip there. So let's move into a little more abdominal work.

I'm gonna be on a red and a blue. And that's what I'm gonna use for my hip work as well with my feet in straps, so that's why I'm choosing to use the slightly heavier spring. You can go less, but you'll have to get up and change, that's fine too. So, with your hands just above your shoulders, you want to slot your shoulders back into your back. Not back into your back pockets, but where they belong, how's that?

Back pockets is not a good cue here. Draw your belly active, lift your legs to tabletop, here we go. We're gonna lift the head and chest, ooh I'm a little stuck on the reformer, fix that. Try to feel that the movement is being fueled by the abs, not the arms. One more time here.

We're gonna lift and hold this position, I just need to wiggle my clothes a little bit, there we go. So, we're gonna flex the feet, extend one leg out, and switch. Switch. Switch. One more time, one more breath is really what I meant.

I was doing a couple movements for each breath. Lower the body, we're gonna add on here. Exhale to lift, open the arms, extend the legs. Just one more time. And legs.

Lower your body down. So, from here, we'll put the feet in the straps. And we'll move right into some circles. So, the most important thing for me when you're using feet in the straps and doing any movement, is really keeping the pelvis still, using this as an opportunity to explore what range you have. Often times people ask me how big my circles should be, and I always say they should be as big as you can control, so right here explore the idea of going a little bit lower than you might think, but make sure your core hasn't changed.

As we open those legs wide, you can go nice and wide if you have the stability, but really make sure you've got that pelvis in place when you come back up together. Let's do two more. And that same, nice, big, beautiful range. I'm currently working an outward rotation, and let's reverse. So, here we want to feel that spinning outward to glide those legs back together.

Again, I'm going low, but my abs are on. And up through center, and down nice and low, feel that abdominals and hamstrings here. Just one more like that please, and then we're going to work with a little bit of changes, so what that means for me, we'll come up to the middle range, you'll frog with one leg, and open with the other. Really flex your feet here, just for a change. And then just to get the ya-yas out, push with your bent frog leg and then do the same thing to the other side.

Push with the bent leg, and now you're going to pull with the leg that's out more than push. So really want you to use the inner thigh of the straight leg and then we alternate here, use the inner thigh of the straight leg to pull in. The bending leg is just a guide for the movement, flexing the feet, and pulling in. And flexing the feet, whoops, I got confused there, and pulling in, and one more time. One final exercise, in parallel alignment.

You might want to move your straps up just a little higher on your feet. Okay, in parallel alignment we're going to work like a knees together frog, or just a bending. So, let the straps kind of pull your feet into a flexed position, keep your abs active, and your knees pressing together, and we press out through the heels. Now, many people's knees, you know we all have different shaped bodies, but I want this, the goal here to be to keep the legs together, so you might stop here, and that would be fine with me. If you can go all the way out to straight and keep your feet flexed, great, but if you can't, then don't.

But really focus on keeping the knees together. It's a different set of muscles, inner thighs, psoas, helps me feel my abs, you can see my legs shaking away here, this one's hard for me, harder than we think at times. Just rest your legs in for a quick moment's stretch there. We're gonna take one foot out, take the other foot out, we'll do a little bottom lifting here. So, I'm gonna keep the springs the same, I'm still on a red and a blue.

It's pretty difficult with this spring, but you certainly can add more spring if you wanted to, but let's see if we can do this with the middle of the foot on the bar. Sort of a prehensile foot, in that I don't want you flexed or pointed too much, but like a soft foot. But it's not really a prehensile foot because we're not wrapping the toes actually around the bar, we're just soft. So here, let's focus on really trying to keep the carriage still and noticing where we falter. So rather than making the goal to go all the way up, make the goal to keep the carriage in, and so right here I can feel my hamstrings kicking on, so I'm gonna stop there.

And I'm gonna work through that hamstring cramp, I hope. I hope. Here we go my friends. We're gonna engage those abdominals, we're gonna feel the spot where it's like do or die, basically. Can you go all the way up using your hammies, or do you pop your belly open?

And now, second one, I think I'm gonna get there, or at least closer to there. Good, and by the third one I think I'll be able to get pretty close to where I want to be, which is not necessarily my highest point. Holding that lift nice and high, we're gonna press out. Keep an eyeball on your pubic bone cause I don't want that to get out of here, I don't want it to change, it's that hip extension here, pulling the carriage in, and pressing out, and pulling in. Let's do just one more like that.

And lower all the way down. Nice. So let's do the same exercise in external rotation, and essentially, for me, this is a preparation for the semi-circle, and make sure you can do this. Engage your core, feel your inner thighs, and we go up. Little easier for many people to get the height that we're looking for, but important that you can articulate without too much carriage movement.

Let's do that again. Exhale to go up, and lower down. And we'll do just one more like that and then we'll do a few extensions there. Exhale to go up, holding here we're gonna press out, and we're gonna pull that carriage in. Whoops.

And pull that carriage in. And one more time. And lower down. Alright, you saw your teacher struggle keeping that carriage still as well. So here we're gonna move into some knee stretches.

One red spring for that please. I'd really like to take an opportunity to really stretch through the bottoms of my feet whenever I have the option, so this is a great opportunity to do that. I've got a good stretch on my feet, put my knees down, sit deep, round through my back, inhale back. Ooh. I didn't mean to do that, my friends.

One more time here. Stopping in this kind of middle range of motion, still very engaged in the core, I'm gonna straighten out my back, change my gaze, and then now explore the flat back position. This is where it's gonna get just a little bit fun, I hope. Fun opportunity to explore. So let's hold middle range of motion and put a little more weight in your right hand and hover your right leg.

We're still looking for that flat back supported position. And we're gonna move out and in a few times. So this hand can float or not, your call. But the goal here is to really keep the pelvis from shifting too much. Okay, and do the same thing on the other side.

Put a little more weight in the left hand, hover the left leg. This side's a little harder for me to avoid shifting my pelvis, and these are the things that you don't notice sometimes unless you actually try a single leg or a single arm version. And so it's a good idea to do that at times. We'll do just two more like that. And come all the way in.

So untuck your toes, sit back on your feet for just a moment, give yourself a stretch for your shoulders and your back, if that suits you. Bring the carriage in, and then we're going to step up to the elephant, a nice hamstring stretch. So, cautiously, I'm still on a red spring, flatten my feet, and enjoy that stretch. So, I'm looking for, you can do one of two things, classically we do shoulder width, I really like bringing my arms closer together, and sort of resting my head between my biceps, so if you need your arms wider, go for it, and then just really enjoying the stretch here. So I'm doing a flat back elephant position, I know classically we often do, classically is often done round back, I really enjoy focusing on the stretch here through the backs of my legs.

And we'll just take that for one more repetition. And then relax your arms down, relax your head, bend your knees, deeply feel your chest, if you can resting on your thighs, your head hanging, and then stretch up towards straight. And bend your knees deeply, relaxing your head, feel that and press up. And one more time. And press up.

So we'll come down from there and put the bar flat or down, so we can do a little bit of short box. So, I'm gonna add some springs for short box. Basically we want to lock the reformer down, right? So you can add all your springs or most of your springs in whatever arrangement suits you. So, for me, the short box needs to be just a little forward of the shoulder rest, so that I have plenty of space.

And I've actually been giving myself even more space these days because I really want my knees to stay a little bent in the beginning, so I can just move more freely, I've found that that's really been helping me. So notice I'm kind of far forward, my knees are quite bent. It helps me keep my inner thighs and my hamstrings on a little bit here, so just play with it if it works for you. So here, let's just take the arms out, you know I've been actually really liking a straight arm, so I'm gonna work with that. So take the arms wide, you're gonna round through your low back, taking your arms forward, so you've got that opposition.

It's kind of Martha Graham-ish. Here we go. Oh, Martha Graham. Inhale here, and exhale, so we're gonna keep that shape, now your gaze will be down, you're really strong through your core, and I want you to feel yourself down with your hamstrings. Rolling your over your two legs equally, and then bring yourself up and sit tall.

I said rolling over your two legs, but I mean rolling over your two glutes. Feel this, and then we're going to kind of like pivot, and feel yourself equal on both glutes, both sides of your pelvis, and open up. Exhale here. And we're gonna reach back, and up. One more time.

Round. And up. Good, let's take the hands behind the head, and really set the intention to lengthen upward. Elbows are wide, belly is active. As you twist to your right, in your mind reach forward with the right leg and the right side of your pelvis.

Unwind. When you twist to the left, reach forward with the left side of your pelvis and the left leg. Unwind. Do that again, so feel that conscious anchor point, which will hopefully allow you to rotate a little more fluidly when we move faster. So here we go, we rotate first, we hinge back, we come up, we unwind.

We rotate first, we hinge back, we come up, we unwind. We rotate, and hinge up, unwind, one more time. Rotate, and hinge and up, and unwind. Let's stretch. So, I'm gonna do like a hybrid of the teaser, not the teaser, but the climb a tree, here, focusing on stretching, so we're gonna pull the leg in deeply, and then sit up as tall as you can, this is all familiar.

And rather than pumping, we're gonna hold. Then we're gonna stretch the leg to straight and we're gonna hold. Then we're gonna pull ourselves to this position. This is where we're gonna hang out for a little while, so rather than going back, I want you to really tap into your belly. Feel the two sides of your pelvis equally weighted.

Feel that you're using your leg, but you're not using your leg as much as you're using the rest of your body. I think we hinge on the foot too much, and then stay there and hold, a little leap of faith. Take your hands around to the side of your box and you're gonna pull the leg in. Five, four, three, two, one. Reach up, hold onto your leg, pull it in.

Tip forward and bend the knee. And we'll do that one more time and then switch sides. Give it a hug, really, really working on that stretch, equal weight on both sides of your pelvis, and then stretch the leg to straight, you'll have to adjust as needed or stretch as straight as you can. We're gonna tip back, and we're gonna really work on that stretch there, so we're keeping leg straight up, hopefully perpendicular to the ceiling. And hold that, and you're gonna hold it, hold it, hold it.

You maybe just kind of let your hands find a hold or not, or hold onto your leg, whatever you need. Five, four, three, two, one. And we'll come in. Switch sides. So I know many of you feel that the best part is the satisfying part going down, and I agree with you, but I find that many people are not necessarily doing it from the right place, so I really want you to feel the strength and the power first.

Hug the leg in, stretch it out, feel equal weight on both sides of your pelvis, feel your leg grounded, the one that's down. And then we're gonna pivot back a little bit and then this is where we're working flexibility and strength. We're gonna be here, we're gonna hold this position. There's that little leap of faith and this leg doesn't like to stay there, so it's one of the reasons I like to do this. And then you take your hands around and you go five, four, three, two, one.

Oh. And here we go, another time sitting tall. So, make sure you've got weight on that hip. I find that I really don't sit on my left hip well enough, and I've found that this is a really great place for me to practice it. And what it relates to is I'm a lot less strong and I'm a lot less flexible on that side, so this is something I've been working on for my own body.

I feel so much more stretch on this leg than I do on the other leg. Historically, this is my looser leg, so it's interesting how that changes. So, we're gonna hold that, we're gonna take the hands down, and we're gonna do a little five, four, three, two, and one. And you'll hug your knee in. I like taking a few spaces here and there, a few moments.

Alright, we're gonna do some side overs here. So if you need to move your box out a little bit for your leg, you can. I also really like to work on the anchor through my straight leg, so what I'd like you to do is find a place where you can comfortably rest your bottom arm, and reach out through your straight leg heel. And try to feel that outer glute working. And spend a few moments here also pushing down through your other leg and really ironing out your spine.

And then voila, nothing should change when you come up to this position. So, let's do a couple with the hands behind the head. Really, reaching out through that top leg, and then lets do a couple with arms straight. Up and over, big stretch. Big stretch.

One more time. I know, I'm not gonna give you the stretch right now. Gotta take the stretches later. Short and sweet and effective is what we're aiming for, right? So, we're gonna reach that back leg, that straight leg back a little bit.

Use your hand to help you find your position. Here we go. We do just two with the hands here, or you continue on like that if you need to. Alright. Some long box work here, so we'll turn the box to face the other way.

And we're gonna have a seat for a few moments. Okay, one red spring, or a green spring I think would be ideal here, depending on how strong your upper body is. So, I'm gonna have you sit with your heels kind of tucked up against the box and hold the ropes above the buckles. So this is just a nice variation on your chest expansion, really root down through your pelvis, and lift up through the rest of your body. And we start going here.

I think a lot of times people chest expansion, chest expansion? A lot of times people initiate the chest expansion with their hands in their mind, and I want you to really feel your abdominals creating the stability to open the heart, it's chest expansion here, so we want to really feel that lifting of the sternum. Try to keep your elbows very straight. Let's do a little rotation because I really enjoy that. Very hard to do with a full spring, so if you need to keep both arms in play, that's okay, you can work up to it.

Let's do two more with both arms, feeling even, hopefully, through the two sides. Beautiful. Now we're going to hold on to the loop part and you want to be far enough forward so you feel safe rolling back, so gauge that. And, it's nice to hug your heels into the box a little bit. It's a little bit of a leap of faith here because there's a point where you don't have any spring, so you're gonna keep your elbows straight, you're gonna round through your back, you're gonna find that place where your low back touches, and then that's where you're gonna lift one leg up, and then the other.

I don't really love my arms, let's fix that, Sarah. So we're gonna work on the idea of bending your elbows in your mind with your abdominals. So with straight elbows, we're gonna take the one foot down, we're gonna take the other foot down, and we're gonna roll ourselves back up to sitting. So now here gauge that you're in a place where you wouldn't be afraid to balance, yeah you think you might know where we're going, right? If you feel you need more spring, you can change your spring.

I like the challenge of the light spring, you'll see me sweat a little. Take one leg up, the other leg up, we're gonna do a few bicep curls. Deepen the core. With straight arms, we work to straighten one leg. We work to straighten the other leg, and we roll up to a teaser.

Just a little assist there. And we're gonna roll down. And one more time up, holding there, lower one foot, and lower the other foot. And put your straps away. So let's go ahead and, it's a little tricky sometimes to put the bars up when the long box is on, so if you need to make that adjustment, do.

But I do need the bar up for the next couple of exercises, we're just on one spring. A red or a blue is fine. Anything more than that, you might slip and slide. So this as much of a strengthening exercise as it is also an awareness exercise. Three pieces here- the legs are hovering, and you want try to keep parallel alignment.

My head is just above the bar, and I'm gonna star by just pressing out and in. So for me, this very first movement is setting the intention, I'm just gonna move forward a little, setting the intention of moving from the arms to the back of the body. A lot of times when this exercise is done, I see people sort of push up in space. I want you to really keep your body still. So feel yourself moving your arms out and in.

Now, if you don't feel this is challenging enough, make it a green spring or do a red and blue. If you don't slip off, it will be just fine. So that's part one. Alright, part two, we're gonna hold this in position, and we're gonna, without the use of the hands, find back extension, thoracic extension, so that's my extension. No help from my hands, and that's what I'm gonna maintain.

But now I want to really feel that I'm not pushing from the front of my body, but I'm really using the back of my body to create this. My arms as well, eventually start to fatigue a little bit. And just breathing, I'm usually exhaling when I push out. We'll do one more like that. And then here's that satisfying back extension we all have been waiting for.

Keep the arms straight, we're gonna let the spring kind of into the shoulders, to lift up, to find the extension that suits you, maybe you make it all the way to the stopper, maybe you don't. And then you push yourself back out. Stretching. Let the shoulders kind of sink onto your back body, the spring assists you, finding that beautiful, satisfying, full back extension. And one more time, please. We'll bend the elbows.

Bring the carriage to rest. I'm gonna step around right here and just enjoy kind of a forward fold with my arms out over the box. Hips back, sway a little bit side to side, and then kind of come, walk my hands back and roll up to a standing position. Mmmm. Now, let's just finish together with a roll down or two from standing.

Your feet grounded on the floor, take your arms up, open your arms wide, roll down. I like adding the arm movement to my roll downs, because I really like bringing my body as open and as tall as it can be, certainly you don't have to do that. Bend your knees, relax your head. And then roll up to standing, and let's just do one more there, please. Big reach up, look up, check out what's going on up there.

Open wide, roll down, feel the ease, the neck, the shoulders, everything is at ease. Feel free to bounce around, bend your knees, do whatever you need to. And roll up standing. Thanks for playing.

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2 people like this.
Great morning class. Love the variation on climb a tree!
2 people like this.
Thank you for a great session! The cues were thoughtful. Some were the ones I already use and that was validating...some were new and they helped me dig deeper! Now where did you get those leggings.? them!
1 person likes this.
Thank you Sarah. It felt very good. I loved the Swan series.
Thanks for the feedback! Happy to hear each of you enjoyed the variations and cues. Jennifer, the leggings were a great find at a bargain store. Just LOVE when that happens. Take care.
1 person likes this.
Loved this class! Thank you Sarah!
1 person likes this.
Love this workout. Feels great!
1 person likes this.
Short and sweet. Body feels awesome. Always love Sarah 's approach to movement. There is never tension, always a pleasant feeling of accomplishment at the end. Particularly appreciated the cueing during rotation on the short box and variation of tree. More Sarah, please
2 people like this.
Sarah always creative always engaging. Thank you.
1 person likes this.
All my faves with creative variations in this sweet workout. I love Sarah's energy so will come back to it again and again.
1 person likes this.
Thanks for a great class, clear cues and loved the short box series with focus on even weight in variation of climb-a-tree.
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