Hey everybody, I'm excited to share a mixed equipment class with you today. We'll do three different pieces of equipment, the reformer, balance body reformer, a chair, and a barrel. Each segment will be about 20 minutes. You're welcome to do them in the order that I'm doing them, or switch them up as you prefer. There's some corresponding themes throughout.
We'll do some modifications, or not, depending on what you wanna do, so let's have fun. I'm using three reds and a blue. One thing you need to know about me, is I like it heavy. So, if it feels like it's too heavy, then stop me for a second and change the resistance. So, let's do footwork first of all.
Come on down, and let's place the balls of the feet on the foot bar. Reach your arms long across the seat, and get that spine to feel so nice and long. Find your breath, and on the exhale, press away from the foot bar, and just take a second to allow the heels to drop down, and just calm through the system. On the next inhale, raise the heels on up, and exhale, pull yourself in, so we'll do balls. Exhale pressing, inhale to pull, back and forth.
I always like to start with a little bit of footwork. It's familiar, kinda gets me in my body, finds my breath, and all of that good stuff that you guys already know so well. So, let's do two more like this. One more, we're going to change foot orientation on the straight leg, just bring the heels together so it's a little tiny V, and then go into V feet. Allow those hip bones to widen and narrow as we go back and forth in the carriage.
And we find that exhale, and inhale to pull, exhale. See if you can wrap into the back of the legs. Let's do two more here, last time here and hold. And again, we'll change with straight legs. Reach out into a wide V feet, natural turnout, and again those hip bones get wider here and narrow at the top.
I really like to try to access the back of the legs as well as the front. Remember, it's hips, ankles, knees, gently straighten. Hips, ankles, knees, gently straighten, two more. One more time and pause. Migrate the feet back into the center, raise up onto your tippy toes, and let's do some single leg kicks.
So, one leg kicks high to the sky, it doesn't matter which, a little sticky to switch. Try to keep your spine in the same orientation as the leg comes up and down. And of course, find your breath. A little heel lift now for four, and for three, and for two, and for one, and pause. Allow the heels to go under for tendon stretch.
We'll go eight, lift up, drop down. Find a lower core activation as we lift the heels on up. Let's do four more like that, four pressing, three pressing, two pressing, last one here we come, all the way back in. So, now let's put the headrest down as we move onto some bridges. Heels on the foot bar, scooch away from the shoulder rest.
So, we're working on stability first, before we mobilize. So in one swift motion, we'll exhale and raise the hips up to the sky. Find the back body, and in one same motion, drop the hips back. Think about your heels, your hands, and your shoulders pressing into the mat, and then straight back down. Let's do two more like that, exhale to rise, find the back body, inhale to lower.
Exhale to rise, inhale to lower. Now let's move on, let's go up into a high bridge. Push back, find pelvic press, allow the hips to come down. The biggest mistake I see here is when the hips stay high, so let them drop. Let the hips come up, and down we go.
Three more like that, bridge and press, up and down. Bridge and press that foot bar away from you, up and down. Last time, lift and press, and up, and this time, sequentially roll all the way down. Move the feet all the way to the center. To knee drop bridges, and this was inspired from Elizabeth Larkam, so you can thank her for these.
Allow the left knee to drop on up, go up into a high bridge. As we push out into our pelvic press, connect the legs together, lift the hips back up, sequentially roll on down. Let's do that again. Right knee bridge, knee drops out, hips go high, push back, connect it to the center line, up we come, and down we go, two more times. Left knee drops, hips go high, pelvic press pushing back, knees come up, and down we go, last time.
Right knee drops, left hip high, push on back, hips up, and sequentially roll all the way back down. Balls of the feet on the foot bar, running in place. Push on back, find one heel, drop it down and focus on the down towards the heels as we go back and forth. Now, lift the heels and think up, and up, and up, and now put them together, down, up, down, up, down, up, for four, and three, and two, and one. Put the breaks on, heels high, and come all the way back down.
Let's transition, bring your legs underneath the foot bar. Bring your hands into your lower back area, nod your chin towards your chest and push all the way up. Bring your arms out in front of you and let's do some roll downs. So, scoot your bum forward a little tiny bit, and then here roll on down one vertebrae at a time. If you need to assist again, put the hands back down.
Roll all the way in between the shoulder rests. Hands down or hands up, I'm going to keep mine down. Nod your chin, roll through the spine and lift on up, we'll do just one more. We'll roll on down, sequentially, finding that front body as you roll on down. Inhale and exhale, cervical nod, curl, roll through the front body, all the way up, arms in front.
Let's get rid of this foot bar. Bring the legs on out. Let's adjust the spring to one red spring low. So, I had my footwork springs on, I'm taking those off. I'm using this balance body reformer, so I'm going to bring the kickstand between me and the carriage.
Make sure you don't get your fingers bitten off there. Bring your bum back into place and we're going to continue right here. We're going to do some spine stretch forward. So, inhale, spine stretch forward. Exhale, should feel really good across your upper back.
Inhale and exhale, one more time, inhale and exhale. Now, you can continue like this or straddle the reformer. I'm going to straddle to do spine twists. Allow those hip bones to get really wide. Let's go left arm, left arm reaches, exhale back.
Right arm reaches, and back, for three, and for two, actually we'll do two more 'cause we started on the left, sorry. One more, out and return arms down. Let's move on, kneeling abs facing front. We'll come onto the reformer, hands on the standing platform, and move the knees quite far forward to the front edge of the carriage. Slide the knees back so they're underneath your hips.
So, now you've got that all fours position. Find the armpits, find the head high, find your neutral orientation. Keep the carriage relatively still and hover the knees off the seat in a exhale. Inhale return, and exhale, lift your body from the ground, and down. Now, continue your movement as you lift.
The higher you go, you'll experience less abdominal tension. So, you get to choose and exhale, hold. Find that abdominal sling, right through the front body. Now here with your breath, invite the carriage away from you and pause, and in, knees down or not, you choose, for six, and in. Find your breath, long through the waist.
Make the work come into the trunk rather than into those legs, so the trunk to the legs. I think we've got two more, last time, knees in, knees down. Walk your knees back, come up, and just roll out the rest, ease the rest. One more variation, so that was a stability all fours. So now, let's work on articulating.
So, you're about half way down, lift and press the carriage back, walk your feet together. Think elephant, round your spine up, tap the kickstand, come straight back down. Lift and tap, down you come, just for three. And again, exhale the breath, inhale through the back. Exhale to the belly, inhale the back.
Really invite those abs to lift the hips. Last time, find those shoulders, and down, and knees in, and release, I'm happy that's over. Okay, so rolling the rest, let's move into some knee stretches. Let's bring this foot bar back up into the middle position. One red spring high we'll do knee stretch or thigh stretch.
So to begin with, I stand slightly in front of the shoulder rest. Here's the key, bring your hands together on the foot bar, heel up, and then the second trick is to bring your standing leg right up against the side of the carriage. I've got my left leg on, so I'm sliding my left leg out, and first of all I just get set up. And again, I'm on all fours. Self touch increases awareness of where we are, our proprioception, so I'm gonna use my free hand just to check.
Knee's gonna come in, for an eccentric load on my quad, and press out, so I resist, resist, resist and reload. In two, three, out, work, two, three, out. Breathe and press, now continue with this, we'll go for about four more. Finding the breath, and three, and four, and pause. Step your right foot forward, find Eve's lunge, so, extend the spine and then invite the head to the tail through the front.
Inhale to lunge, exhale to curl. Extend the spine and the hip and flex. We'll go for two, last time out. Enjoy this feeling right here, come all the way around to the other side. So, don't forget, we stand slightly in front of the shoulder rest.
Two hands together on the footbar. Right heel comes up, left foot in front hugs the carriage of the reformer and here we are. So, head is high, we're on all fours, we're bringing the leg in, finding the heel on the shoulder rest and away we go. Resist, two, three, press. And we press, use your other hand to check your set up keep it going and we'll go for four and three, finding the stretch in the thigh, two, one, pause.
Hop the left foot forward, reach through the heel and extend the spine. So squeeze that back glute and then exhale here. So Eve's lunge, inhale lengthen through the back and the front and exhale. Think about the chest getting broad, not too narrow and back. Two more in, and out and in and out and release.
How are you doing? Alright, let's go long stretch. I'm gunna put my headrest up. I'm going to have a red spring high and a yellow spring high, so find your long stretch springs. Two hands on the foot bar, two feet on the headrest.
So I like to go one and two and here we are. Again we're in that all fours orientation. So the head is high, your ribs are in, your legs are squeezing tight and away we go. Exhale press away, you choose how far. Inhale lift up and forward.
Exhale it might just be a wee little bit or you might be able to go further. Your practice, you choose. I'm quivering a little bit. Two more and all of the sudden I'm sweating, you might be too. Out and forward and thankfully the knees come down.
Now, the good news is that's over but the bad news is we've got jackrabbit or knee stretch so I'm going to keep those springs. Come straight back up. This is almost to the end of our little reformer vignette here, so I'm going to do a little kitten heel on the shoulder rest. I'm going to press on out. We're going to go into our long stretch, get behind that foot bar and then come forward just a little bit.
Bring the knees in, get your booty out there and then press. Resist, two, three, press. It's not completely classical by any stretch, but when you have more of an athletic body, you might appreciate the thigh stretching. We'll go for three, push and two, push and one push, lift up, walk your feet in, sit your bum down, give your wrist some traction, let your head go down. Wiggle a little bit from side to side.
Alright, so now we're out of breath, let's move on to the chair. Okay so here we have the balance body chair. I'm using the classical chair with the split pedal with four springs. I'm only going to use the two inside springs, the high. So I'll refer to them as high number two and high number three and you can adjust as you see fit for standing leg pumps.
So stand a little bit away from the chair, find your posture, grab hold of your forearms and broaden out your upper back. So the elbows are wide and the shoulder blades are wide. We'll start with a little single leg balance on the left. The right foot comes up. Find your center line and get so tall.
Bring the foot to the foot pedal. The sweet spot right there, the apex of the foot pedal and the first time just bring it down and hold it for a second. We're trying to find that sweet spot, just like on the reformer on the foot pedal. The apex of the curve. So here we go, we'll do eight.
So we'll exhale, pull down get tall, inhale up and away. The foot bar comes to us and away. Down and to us, up and away. For four, this would be four. So we'll go for five, yup, and six, you can always use the handles.
Seven and eight and bring it up. Spine stretch forward, I know we did it already on the reformer but we're layering in here. Get tall, use your knee as your ball, inhale over that ball or knee, exhale back. Just to broaden up a back and back, don't fall over. Inhale and exhale.
Spine twist, to the right only. Right side out and return. Follow the hands, open the rib cage, open and return. Now, either hands on the handles or be brave and go handle-less. Put the foot down, step ups, or mountain climbers, step the left foot on top.
Now, here's a little trick; if you're nervous, scooch your left foot forward and grab the top of the... Chair, not the carriage, cuz this is not a reformer. The chair with your foot and the more seasoned you get the further back the foot can come. Grab our posture, push down into the standing leg, which would be our left and then down. So to begin with, we might shift forward on the diagonal.
Loading up the front heel and glute. As we get more confident, bring the arms back and begin to share the load between the front and the back and I do believe that was six or seven. So we've got two more. Up, one more up and then down. So let's layer in the jackrabbit from the reformer and spine stretch forward, so we're going to come up halfway.
Spine stretch forward and hold it, I know we're balancing. Bring that right knee up and go for six. Exhale, I can't talk because I'm working. So just stay with me for three and two and one and thankfully that's over. Hands go down, now that left foot, scoot it back in arabesque.
Lift the head and the hips and tap down, flex the spine, inhale extend. Move the spine as it would naturally move. Try not to hold things too stiff. We'll go for two more. Last time, put that foot down.
Parallel the feet, so big toes together, heels apart. Lets do some pull ups. So here again, lets do what we did earlier, shift to left. Find the sweet spot, round the spine, drop the feet down. Start like that, exhale, draw in from the navel, drawing the legs towards the center and just pause for a minute.
How are you doing? If it feels like you'd like a little bit more, then start to bring your hands on top and rather than shifting forward, scoot your booty back. So you won't notice much difference visually, but in your practice you'll feel the weight shift into your legs so it's for four, however you choose, three, two, one and down. Bring the right foot back to the ground, keep the foot pedal down, bring yourself back up, bring the leg back up, single leg balance and put the feet down and shake it all out cuz now we have to do the other side. So we're going to stand on our right.
We'll find our posture, now you know what's coming and you can just run through it with me. Right leg, we're standing high, left foot finds the sweet spot, push the foot pedal down and wiggle into place. I dunno about you, but there's always a little bit of a wiggle. Foot pedal moves away, we go for eight, here we go. Find that posture with your breath, get so tall every time.
This is four and for five, six, seven, eight, lift it up and pause. Spine stretch forward again, so your upper back is gunna feel so great. Inhale over that knee exhale restack. Inhale slide the ribcage up and forward and back, last time in and out. Don't forget the twist, left side.
Inhale open and exhale close. Open and exhale close, last time, open and close. Now, stepping up on top, either handles or be brave, push down. Find the spot that you prefer, remember the last time where our foot was. Either arms up or here, I'm going to shift my weight back already, find my right heel, lift on up, wiggle in to space and we go for eight.
We push down and we go, and we push through the standing leg and try to go as vertical as we can. I do believe this is four and for three and for two and for one and pause for a minute. So now let's combo; spine stretch forward and the knee up kind of like jackrabbit. Lift up and pause, hovering, here we go, just six, round forward and here we go pump. Three, two, one, do it again.
Three, two, one, and down. I tricked you, you thought there were just going to be three, but there were six. Take that right leg back and arabesque. Head and pelvis, round the spine, extend the spine. If that doesn't suit you, just keep the spine steady.
Kick that leg, let it have a little freedom. One more time, and down, and release for a second. Let the heels go down, let the head come up and just take a breath in and out. That was for me cuz I'm panting. And so pull ups.
So I prefer to have my hands on top cuz I'm working on wrist mobility and you can join me. For the first time, again, you might shift to left. As you get more efficient, you'll eliminate the shift and you'll just lift, booty goes back. And (breathing) and (breathing) lets do three, lets do two, lets do one and pause. Taking the left foot to the ground, stand on up, find your single leg balance, we're back to the beginning, we made it.
Good job. Let's do some plies, so we'll need to make an adjustment. I'm going to go for one number four and remember I'm only using the inside spring. And I'm going to do the classical Pilates, is it heavy enough, yes it is. Alright, so I'm in a natural turn out we'll Plie.
The arms will come above the head and I'll lift my heels a little bit, extend my arms, I like to think of them as my wings. I'll come down into a Plie orientation. Now, we'll just stay here for a second. We'll try not to rest on our laurels, but we'll lift up high, connecting through the heels through the center line. Hands come to the foot pedal, three pumps, ready.
(Breathing) Inhale, exhale, inhale up, exhale down, get ready. Three sniffs ready (sniffs three times). Inhale last time, exhale down, bring the hands in sniffing breath to the back body. And here, that's it, arc time. Okay, last but not least, is our arc.
I'm using the balance body styrofoam arc. To me, I like it, long torso, long arc, goes very nicely together. So now we're really warm, we can really work on some mobility, some spine mobility and this is on of my all time favorite routines right here. So I bring the arms up in front of my shoulders. Together lets roll on down into the arc.
We'll keep our eyes on our fingers first of all, just to integrate a little bit of head neck control, that cervical nod. Press down into the arc and come on up. I'm just going to layer it in, you'll come as you can. We roll on back, eyes on the fingertips, cervical nod, press gently down to resit high. Come down and exhale left, moving on.
Roll on down. Now the first time, bring the hands behind the head, elbows in, roll on back and invite your spine to go over the arc rather than the neck. Oh, that doesn't even feel very good. So we're rolling back, spine, head, neck. So you'll feel where the head should naturally go.
It'll just line up, kind of architecturally with the rest of your spine. Nod your head, roll on up and arms come on up. So I don't like to assume that we know where we're going. Here we go, we roll on down, the spine goes over the top, the arms frame the head, swim the arms around the outside, cervical curl all the way back up. Rinse and repeat three more.
Inhale as we reach, exhale to roll on forth. And down, breath in, nice chest breath and press gently down into the arc. Last time, roll and reach and around and sit. Reverse, the fingers scrape the floor, again, frame the head. Now this time, increase the intensity.
Come from the arms, spine stretch forward again, restack the torso. Down we go. We sweep, we (exhales sharply). Two more times, down, up and around. Having fun?
I hope so, it feels so good. Up and around, moving on. Single sided, left arm, reach it far away from you. Invite it back up. Right side, reach it far away and straight back up.
Lets do it four times. So, two on each side. Think kind of cork screwy, how we press down on one side of the spine, two more. Last time, and over and pause. I'm moving on again.
This is inspired by circle saw, so left arm, it goes down, it circles over the torso, over the right, up the right and reset. Same arm, opposite side. Think circles or in the trap table, move through the rib cage up and around. Right side, right side reaches, side bend, forward bend, all the way up, right side goes over to the left, up, around. I'm adding on again, or not, two arms go to the left.
They go around the world, just like short box on the reformer, press down and reset. Around, over and reset. I'm layering on again, two arms, gotta get your coordination, move away from one another, cross over the center line and sit. Reverse, come back, over and again two more. Something like this, in this genre, so one arm, another arm, cross.
One more time to get that cross body. And all the way up. Hands go behind the head, elbows come in. So kind of pull up on the neck a little bit and get a long neck. Roll on down, some rib glide.
So we're going to move into thoracic extension. Find the ribs and exhale pull the ribs down and let them go. Be mindful that it's not a chin nod. So it's a (exhales) and up. You might find a little quiver in your system.
I'm going to start coming forward a little bit more. My intention is a little bit more flexion in the upper spine. We'll go two, we'll go one, bring the arms forward, push down all the way up. How you doing? Feeling pretty good?
Lets go sideways. So here we sit, we call this a z-sit or a mermaid orientation. Arms are going wide. First of all, let's translate the spine. That means shift the spine to the left in this case.
So I'm moving over my arc to my left. I'm reaching, reaching, reaching. I change my mind, I'm working obliquely. I push down and I restack. Inhale, exhale, we'll do two more and I'll layer in some imagery for you.
You're reaching. Think about your spine being the staircase and you're even listening to something that's happening across the room and you change your mind, you don't want to hear it. You're listening, you're lifting, and/or lifting, and back. We're moving on. We're reaching away, so now the left side and my right side are connected as I go down, I decelerate.
Waist, rib cage, armpit, arms go over the head. We'll initiate from the top arm. We'll bring it up, we'll slide from underneath and restack. Translate the spine, reach, left, over and again. Now, either stay with that version or move on with me.
Get into place. Now this time, lift the left arm up and the right leg, so this becomes truly contralateral. Lift up and restack, very nice. Two more, over, reach, head/neck control, up. Should we do one more just for fun?
Over reach, over, up and (Exhales). Now this exercise is called hide-the-head and I learned it from Jennifer Stacy, who was trained by Cathy Graham. You literally hide your head in despair cuz you're butt's gunna burn. So you bring your head to your forehead, like so. Round the thoracic spine and that right leg's gotta get behind you.
Find the outer right glute and if you can, lift it up and bring it down. It's not as easy as it seems. We'll go for eight, so that was one. Lifting the leg, you're in despair, so there's a little thoracic flexion. I do believe this is five and six and seven and eight and down.
How's your bum? Right there, bring your hands out, extend the spine just for a little bit and release. Let's do the other side, so I'm just going to turn around. We're sitting in exactly the same orientation that we were before. Hello helicopter going by over there.
And I get to look at the ocean, this is so awesome. Alright, so spine translation. Lets find our staircase. Reach on over, I'm listening for the surf over there, I change my mind, then I come on back. Inhale into it, exhale away.
Find the oblique line in the front and in the back. Last time, over and back. Now lets layer on. Reach, lift the left leg, so you're attaching left to right sequentially roll down through the waist, through the ribcage, through the armpit, arm goes up. We'll initiate from the left, all the way up, tuck the leg back in and restack.
Translate, balance, sequentially roll down, waist, ribs, armpit, arm and start again. Now either stay with that, or move on with me. So we are reaching in the same manner that we did. This time, I'm going to initiate from the right arm, underneath, so the right arm and the left leg lift to make it truly contralateral and back. We go over, out, right, left.
One more time, reach over and out and up. Lets hide the head, so the elbows. Now this does require a lot of thoracic flexion and rotation, so take it easy. Get your head down, draw your ribs in. Find the left leg, scoot it back a little bit and float it from the ground just one, do a little tester, and down, so you should feel that glute.
We're going to count that as one, we'll do seven more, so here we go. Focus on keeping the trunk a little steady. So it requires a little stabilization. Think about that glute. That's four and for three and for two and for one, wowee.
Extend the spine, get that chest up there and return. Before we move on, lets reach. So we'll bring the arms out in front of us. This is also one of my favorites. We roll on down, slide the legs up, pop the hips up and come into a perfect plank orientation.
Hopefully it's something like that. Come up, put the bum down, lift the legs up and restack. We're going again, we go out, find your stability and your posture, and up. I always visualize Rayale doing this, he's a rockstar and he does this amazing. I think, okay, I'm Rayale right here.
So here we go, we're going out. I'm going to go into controlled thoracic extension, sweep around and pop. We'll do three more, we'll accelerate, we'll add a little training pace change, two more out, stable, accelerate and up last time, stay with me. Out reach, stable, up, return. Now, here's your challenge: Can you stand up without using your hands?
Just kidding, up here we go. Alright, so now lets turn around, and I'm going to move this a little further forward just so I stay in your vision. We're going to visualize the arc now as the reformer and do a version of standing splits. So I'm gunna bring my hands down to the arc, I'm going to walk my feet down, drop my hips down, then lift my head up high, so I'm in a plank. And just for fun and just because we can, lower down.
What goes down, must come up, ready, one, two, three. Let's do three like that. Inhale and push that arc away. Down and push it, last time down and push. Hips up, heels down, up-stretch, or a downward facing dog.
Walk the feet towards the center line. Hi guys (laughs) Round the spine on forward, come back in to that plank. Should we do it again? I think we should, just for four. Ready? One, two, three.
I you need to modify, put your knees down, otherwise, stay with the big push ups. We've got one more, out and back, pit stop. Alright, so now the right knee. You're going to bring the right knee towards your chest and attempt to place it on top of the arc and pause. Now, figure out where you would like it to be.
If you have less dorsiflexion and comm-ability go on top, if you want to challenge it, come down below. Bring your hands to your knee, bring your torso up high. Find your balance point, I'm going to use my arms. So we're standing on the reformer. We're doing standing splits.
Carriage stays still, the floor stays still, we push away. Come on in, inhale and (exhales). Going down and pushing away. Two more, build your relationship with the floor. Press and pause.
Bring the hands down around the spine, over that right leg, draw the right hip back and roll the left hip forward. So here, bring that right leg back into you, push it back and extend the spine, just like we did earlier on, on the chair. Bring the knee into the chest, round, take it away from you extend, flex the spine, extend the spine. Two more, I think that would be five. And up, last time and up, bring the foot down.
Make a small Pilates v. Bring your finger to the lip, round your spine, to transition, we'll roll up. Find the legs, get your hips over your ankles, start with the arms, come all the way up, arms come down, we start again. So hands will go down, feet will go back. Lets go back into a plank position just for fun.
If you want to do another set, be my guest, I'm not going to. So the left knee's going to come on in. Find where you want it to be placed on the arc. Remember, either on the side or on the top. Hands to the knee, bend the back knee and bring your torso up.
So some of you will have more accessibility in the hip, for me, what happens is the spine extends, so I like to keep that back knee nice and bent. So, carriage stays still as does the ground to press. Get your balance on, fix your gaze, find your breath, find your posture, two more, down and press away. Down and press away. How's it going?
Almost there, hands are going to go down. Sweep that leg away, arabesque. You're version, whatever that feels like to you. And bring the leg down and tap. And lift extend, and round a little bit maybe.
Do what feels good to your body right here. One more time and back. Pilates v. Fingertips to the lip or fingertips to the floor. And truly round your spine.
Now this time, lift the heels a little bit. Just a little tiny bit to put you in your front body a little bit more. Pull up from the ground, reach your arms up all the way, all the way, all the way. Arms down by your side, parallel your feet. How are you doing?
That was super fun, we did three vignettes. You're a rockstar. Thanks everyone.