Class #3157

Reformer Connections

55 min - Class
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Description

Connect to your body and to your equipment in this Reformer workout with Lesley Logan. She encourages you to be aware of what your back is doing so you can create space while you move from your back body. She includes preparations for exercises like Horseback and Single Leg Tendon Stretch that will help you coordinate your body to do the full exercise.
What You'll Need: Reformer, Pilates Pole, Theraband, Magic Circle

Transcript

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Hi, I'm Lesley Logan. I have Ashley and Chanda with me, and we are about to do pretty advanced reformer all about connecting to your body and the equipment. So lie on your reformer, and you can set up for your springs to be whatever your footwork springs are. I like three, but four might work for you. Before we move though, I really wanted to I want you to be really aware of what your back is doing.

Especially in footwork, 'cause it sets us up for the rest of our whole reformer. So you could do this at a wall if you wanted to, but ideally we're here on the reformer. You're just gonna lay on your reformer and place your shoulders down. But there is a space between your shoulder blades that tends to get tight and pushed up, which makes your ribs flare out. And we need the ribs to be connected to our bodies, and we also wanna have space in our back.

And I really like the idea of the widest back. So the widest back without having rounded shoulders. So I want you to feel the lowest parts of your ribs getting wider, and your upper arms even pressing down, and feeling like they're pulling out. Kind of like an accordion. And then you'll feel whatever your lower back wants to do here, and you'll feel your sacrum on the mat.

And then you'll feel your feet into the foot bar. And so before you move, breathe into the widest spot of your back, feel your ribs fall into the mat, and then start your footwork on your toes, heels together toes apart. And go ahead and go, we'll do ten of these. And as you go out and in, I want you to really focus on how can you start to move from your seat and the widest part of your back. Like, what if your footwork wasn't just for your legs, and what if it was a full body exercise, and what if you could actually start to warm up that upper back so when we go into our hundred, you don't have to shimmy around.

You're gonna go right onto your arches and do 10. And try to move your feet over the top of your foot bar so that the back of your legs can actually pull you in and not just be pressing out into the bar. I want you to feel like your feet could actually move forward. And after 10 of these, you'll lift both feet at the same time, and go right onto your heels. And push out, and in.

And that in you'll still be pulling your wide back on the reformer. So getting as wide as you can and feeling your lats, your wings spread already, even though your arms are right next to you, those wings are ready to move. And then you'll jump right back onto your toes. And you'll go into your tendon stretch. I would love for you to actually not just drop your heels.

What if we could have lowered the heels only as far as the heels stayed connected, and then lift them up. And then travel that energy up to your seat. And what if your heels lowered because your seat hugged in and they lifted from your seat, too. So we'll do a little mini version of this later, but how can you use your connection to your heels to actually connect you to the rest of your body. And on your last one, lift your heels nice and high, hug your outer hips in, and then pull yourself in.

For your hundred, take your foot bar down, grab your handles, lower your legs on top of the foot bar, heels together toes apart. Now, with your arms up before you move, just feel the width of your back. Arms straight up, hold here, take a nice inhale. And with the widest wings, curl up for your hundred. Legs go to your level, and then you lengthen your arms long and start pumping your arms vigorously.

And so I'm a big believer in not fighting with your straps, your straps are your partner in crime, they're like your best friend and they would never push you around, they're the real best friend. So you're gonna feel your handles pull into your back, but then that allows your back to get wider. Right, so that you can actually feel your wings just start to pump up, 'cause we will be using them very soon for our rowing. Do two more cycles of breathing for me and try to sync more of your spine and more of your body into the reformer. And on your next exhale, finish, hold.

Find your wide back, lower your legs as long away from you as you can and lift your arms up. Good, take your headrest down for overhead. Teaser up, and drop yourself down to two middle springs. So for overhead, depending on when you're doing this class, it could be not the most fun thing right after the hundred. You're not excited to lift your legs up.

So you are able to do a couple overheads where you just go over and roll your spine down. And so I'm gonna let these ladies decide, too, for their body. You're gonna press your arms down from those wide wings. Lengthen your legs over to stretch your back. And then you lift your legs up, if you're doing that on this first one, and then you'll roll down, but the more you can stand on your arms and connect your head into the reformer, not your neck but just your head, the longer you can reach your arms away from you, the better.

So again, let's go over and up. And then how wide can your back get. So I'd love to see your arms press all the way down, and your head press down so that your body can just flow onto the mat. Let's do two more today, so arms down as you reach them long, lift the legs up, and those tendon stretch ankles are here for us. You're gonna roll down and reach your body away, 'cause your head and your upper back are something you can stand on.

They're like a stool, right, so that you're not balanced on your neck, but you're balanced on this wide, wide back. You'll lower down for this one, and we're not gonna think too much about it, 'cause your legs'll hit the reformer. And then you'll curl up and bend your knees into your chest at the same time. And then for your coordination, press out. Open the legs quickly and hold it.

How much can you use your body to close your legs. Slow, slow, slow, drag your knees in. Curl higher as you bend your elbows. And then press out, same rhythm but pause on your arms. How shouldn't you stand on your whole arm as you close your legs, push your shoulders down, your upper arm bones down, bend everything in.

Keep your upper body, upper arms connected to the mat. Press out, open, close. We're gonna do one more of these. Bend your knees in. Before we go into rowing, we wanna really widen that upper back, so how much can your arms press to get that width of the back that you would if you were on the wall.

And then bend your knees in. And sit up, spin around, take a spring off. We're gonna row. So we're down to one spring, and the legs will be between the shoulder blocks. And I would love for you to press your thigh bones into the mat.

So we always think about how the handles are gonna work on our body, but I want your legs to actually be super connected to your mat so they can actually move the carriage. Have your handles set up with your knuckles facing down, and then round backwards, pull the handles in with you. Hold it back there, make sure your legs are still heavy as you open your arms out to the side. And then as you push your arms back from that wide back, you dive in. As you lift your arms up, it from the width of the spine.

Your legs are pressing down to make room for your ribs to pull up. Lift up and do two more. Rounding back, good. Ashley's gonna press her legs down and pull her ribs back as she pushes her arms back, yeah. And then her arms lift her ribs off her thighs, and her thighs push down to make space for her stomach to have room to open up her back.

And they round back. And the shoulders are nice and down 'cause you've got this wide back to support your arms. And then you lift your ribs up because it's gonna prepare you for a lovely tendon stretch later on. And then we'll go into our 90 degrees. So 90 degrees is a little bit less than, so let your hands be a little further away than you think.

And then the more you can stand on your legs, the less you have to use those arms. So push your legs down to lean back as far as you can go without lifting your legs. And then lift your arms up. Great, and then as you round forward and you push the arms down, I wanna see the ribs lift off the thighs. And then you circle the arms around.

And then all the way back up, find a nice, tall back for me. And then lean back, good. As you reach your arms forward, think about how you can keep your tail slightly pulling toward your heels just to keep that line going. You wanna keep the opposition. It's really hard to stay connected to your equipment if you over lean forward.

We'll do one more, and so as you lean back the legs are driving away from you. And then as your reach your arms forward, you still wanna keep that line of the lower back. Take your palms, and then the ribs go up. And then you lift your arms up, and you'll circle around. All right, let's spin around and do from the chest.

So from the chest, it's easy to think about all of this arm stuff, but let's try to find the legs. How tall can we get. So squeeze your legs together really tightly, and then press them down, and then inhale. Reach your arms forward, and then lower your arms from your back. And that wide back that we found on our footwork is gonna lift your arms up.

And then you'll get wider as you press your arms down. And again from the chest. They might feel short, these arms. When you work from your back it's easy to actually feel like your arms are stunted. But that just means you're not resting in your locked elbows and your forward shoulders.

Just one more time. Yeah, so let this wide back pick your arms up, and then open your arms all the way. Flex your feet, dive your head in, and let's reach forward for where the gear bar is. So reach your hands all the way down to the bar and pause, let your head hang, lift your ribs up, and then lift just your arms. Hold it, find your back.

So let the handles press into your back, and then you can lift all the way up. The carriage has to stay still, and then circle around. So if your carriage moved a little bit, all it is is just telling you what's not working. Right, which is maybe your shoulders are working too much so you're gonna lift the arms, plug the shoulders, and then circle the arms down. We'll do one more.

Round forward, reach. I wanna see your hands try to touch the gear bar. Now leave your head down and just lift your arms up, and then let the shoulders pull down your back. Now, push from your back into the handles. That's better, and then circle around.

Good. Cross legged, shave and hug. Okay, take your hands behind your head, and then go ahead and press yourself up and down. Let's just do two here, 'cause this is a nice, comfortable spot, right, being against the shoulder blocks. It's like, oh I'm connected to my equipment.

But bend your elbows, come down, and then move just a bit away from those shoulder blocks, because while I love being connected to the equipment, sometimes we rely on it too much, and you don't connect to yourself. So you're actually gonna sit up a little taller, pull these ribs in a little bit more, and then you'll push straight up. And maybe nothing happens, but Ashley's a beast and something did, so amazing. Chanda got it to. So your knees have to push down for you to have the ability to lift your arms up.

And so you don't always get to have someone push your knees down, but what if someone did, what would that feel like to you. Right, and let's just do one more, 'cause this is miserable. And then open your arms up, switch the cross of your legs for your hug. The hug is the widest back, it's all about those wings. We've all seen the videos of Eve doing this, and like how can you go, okay thank you chest but I have this beautiful back, and backs are sexier anyway.

So how can you use your back to open and close these springs while your knees stay pushing down. Maybe one more. And then hook up your handles. Let's grab our long boxes. We are gonna do swan on the long box.

If you hate it and you have a ladder barrel, hop on over to your ladder barrel. It's the same swan. We'll add two springs. And you can put a pad, I like to have a pad on the front of the box. Your feet, I'm not picky.

They can go on the foot bar or on the frame of the reformer. Your knees can either be on the inside of your frame, or I have to do mine on the outside of the frame. So it's really something you get to play with and you get to make it special for you. If they're on the inside, go ahead and close your spring a little bit. If they're on the inside, what I want you to do is push out on your knees so it feels like a magic circle would, just so you can find your seat.

Because your seat is gonna be your savior on this exercise. So the arms are forward, and then you'll keep your carriage as still as possible. Inhale, lift up, you get to do this nice, long, big back bend, beautiful. And then you're gonna lower down. And then you're gonna straighten your legs out and you'll get really long, and hold.

And the next back bend is as big as your legs can be when they're straight. And then you reach out, you get longer as you lower all the way down. And we'll do that again. I like to curl my tail around the box to help my lower back be long. Press out, or sorry don't press out.

Just do a big back bend. And then lower down, and then straighten out. And then you press out and you get longer. Not from your neck working too hard, but from your legs. And then bend yourself all the way in as you grow.

Good, we'll do one more time. So reach the tailbone towards the springs, and then inhale. Use your stomach and your back to lift you up. And those arms are reaching from your back not from the neck. And then you lower down, lengthen out.

Strong, long legs get longer, less neck. Longer spine, right. The next gets short. And then you lengthen out, get long, and then draw yourself all the way in. Sit back onto your heels.

Take a spring off for your pull straps. Ditch your pad. And then normal pull straps, so go ahead, they're gonna lace their handles around their wrists and walk their hands up as high as they can. I like to, before I get started, I love to make sure I'm in line with my box, right. Shoulders are at the edge if possible.

And then spin your inner thighs up. 'Cause it's really easy to use your legs too much in this exercise. And then have a feeling that they're pushing down and away. So my tops of my thighs are really connected so that your low belly actually will lift off. I find this is the best exercise for my lower abdominals.

And then you'll take your arms, and you'll pull them down and back. And you can lengthen your chest forward as much as you don't use your lower back to do it. So lower down, we'll do two more. My good testament of that is, are my hip points driving down into my box, these frontal hip points. Or, are they off and letting me get super long in my spine.

That's three, so that's lovely. And you're gonna slide down to your T pole and open your arms right up. And your gonna see the same thing, those inner thighs are still spinning up and your hip points are still trying to levitate off. So the more you can connect the top of the thighs, go ahead and pull back three times, the more you can lengthen your spine. And these arms, they're reaching from those wide wings.

So it becomes less about your arms reaching your hips, and more just about the width of your back and the strength of your back. All right, so we'll step off, you'll add a spring for your back stroke. We're gonna do both directions of back stroke today. You can totally just do the one you like. So lying on their backs with their tailbones at the very, very edge is where I want it.

Like almost off the box, 'cause that's ideal. So let's try for it today. All right, so we'll do three in each direction. Curl up a little higher, pull your ribs down into the box. And then arms and legs will go straight up.

Open your arms and legs wide, circle around and hold, because if you're in the water we're floating, floating, floating. Then pull in, no break, go right into the next one. Up, open and circle. Those ribs are heavy, almost a little too high. There you go.

And then bend everything in, and up, open, circle and glide and find what's still touching your box and pull it in more. Bend everything and go right into your next one. Just reach right out, find your wide back as your circle up and around. And again reach out, pull the low stomach in as you lift your legs up. Just one more of these.

And then lift it up, good. They'll teaser to the side, whatever side you want. Take a spring off. We have a special treat with teaser today. Stay tuned.

Here we go. Take everything long. Find your tendon stretch heels, find that seat, and from that back connected to your handles float up to your first teaser. Hold it here. Lower the arms, and lift the arms.

But when you move your arms, see how you can move it from your back, because these handles are your friends. And not from the chest where you're gonna sink down. You'll roll down, you don't take too much of a break there. Just a breath, and then you'll float back up. It's like a marathon, we don't stop we just circle the arms.

And I like wider circles. I mean eventually I want you high, but wider, reverse, is a really nice way to find the back and get less caught up in your shoulders. And then roll all the way down. We're gonna roll back up, and this is the leg circles. So for the leg circles, hold at the top, get your arms connected to your back.

Find that reach as you circle your legs. So the more you reach into your handles, the freer your leg circles can be, I promise. And then you finish your last circle, and you're just gonna roll all the way down. You're gonna take one moment, and you're gonna come back up. This is the treat, here you go.

Roll it up. I know, four. We usually think we're done at three. Take your arms one direction, your legs the other. And then bring it back, and you're reaching from your back as much as you can, think of your spine twist on the mat.

Or your tick tock, right. Find all of this. We're even, so we're gonna roll down. And now you can go (sighs) because it's over. (laughs) So slide off to the side and we're gonna do breast stroke.

Breast stroke, when you have help, is nice. And when you don't have help, is mean. And so one of these lovely ladies is gonna have help and one's not. And so you're gonna hook your thumbs, and you're gonna reach forward and put your hands on the front of your box and just slide on. But what I find with breast stroke, slide as far forward as just your knees are off the box, so Chanda a little bit more forward.

Having help is great, but also can, you know we don't always have that luxury, and you'll get stronger in your back without it. So let your arms reach back. You'll press your hip points, or not your hip points, your hips into the mat. So like the creases of your hips. And kick your seat three times.

And then when your arms reach forward, your legs reach down and back, and you use the connection to your handles to get longer. So Ashley has this really nice back bend. You don't actually have to have that, and if you have no help, you probably won't have this Instagrammable moment. I'm gonna let her find herself on her own. Right, so that was, you'll see, when you don't have help, you can't always go back but what if you go more forward.

This is the last time in this direction. Open the chest. Now if you can do the reverse, join us. You're gonna kick three times. You'll actually lift your chest up as your arms go out, so it's a lot like spread eagle, or flying eagle on the cadillac lower down.

And then we're gonna do a combo. So we'll kick three. You'll stretch everything out, you'll lift up, you'll open up, and you're staying in your handles, 'cause when you reach your arms back you can't have lost that connection, right. Good job, Ashley's amazing. Thank you Chanda for being on your own.

Sit up for your horseback. So you can actually get on your horseback any way you want. If you slid up like Chanda, that's amazing. If you stepped off, doesn't matter. It's all the same, we're just getting into our horseback.

So take your hands in your pockets. Take your legs and try not to do too much internal or external rotation. I actually do just want you to hug the heck out of the box, and that's just the goal. And then look where your foot bar is, or actually even the edge of your box. And then as you reach your arms forward, find your teaser in your back.

Reach, hold, circle the arms three times. And if you can find the width of your back as you circle, those wide circles. Flex your feet and rest. Better, right? You're all in for a special horseback.

We're gonna spin around. I find the hardest thing to connect to is the spine. In horseback it becomes a lot like a triangle. You're either lifted too high or you're sunk too low. So you'll slide back to the edge, or not edge, hand's distance from the box.

You'll bring your arms up like rowing one. And then you're going to do rowing one. You're gonna bend your elbows, pull yourself back and around back. Then you're gonna open your arms up. Better be squeezing the box, I promise it'll help.

You reach your arms back and you dive up and over your legs, and you'll get some air time. And then you use the connection to your handles to lift your stomach and your ribs up. And you sit all the way up. Let's do that again, 'cause it's kind of new to all of us. Round back, find your rowing one, open your arms up from your wide back.

Push your arms back and hug the box to lift you up. So as you lift your arms up, and you're looking at your stomach, you're actually feeling the shape of horseback. Yeah? So then, spin around and let's do horseback again. So as you could tell, when your arms lifted up that's when your body wanted to fall.

Same thing as you do your arm circles here, but you just have to find your back more so you don't. So, here we go. Reach your arms forward, just one set of these. So make 'em amazing. Pull your ribs back, and let your arms circle from your back that's rounded from your horseback.

Flex your feet, and take a moment. And now I hope you liked horseback a little bit more. 'Cause I did. I prefer that to the regular one. Okay, hop off, ditch your boxes.

Let's go into our long stretch series. For long spine, you can do one or two springs. I prefer one for my body on long stretch. But you can always rock two, and good for you. So headrest will go up, and foot bars are up.

And then choose your spring poison and then come on for your long stretch. Okay. Yup, hand, hand, foot, foot. So before you get moving, the more straight your wrists can be, the better. So I know it's a little scary, soft elbows, and then lift your heels up over your toes and press yourself out using your legs more than your arms.

And then hug your outer hips in and draw yourself all the way in. Let's do two more, go ahead and reach from the legs. And all the way in. So you might not go out very far if you're just using your legs and your stomach it might actually, let's do one more, I lied. It might actually not be as far.

Hold it out here, press your feet down to find your low stomach. Then pull yourself all the way in. Stay all the way in, get as far forward as you can 'cause you're so long and strong to lower both knees down. Good, if you're on one spring, add a second spring for your down stretch. And then reach your heels back and your chest forward.

And let's do three of these. The more you can connect your inner heel into the shoulder blocks, especially as you come all the way in. So your chest goes forward as your heels reach back. And then as your heels reach back, your chest can go forward. Oh, little bit more, uh huh.

So the more your heels stay connected to your shoulder blocks, the more you stay connected to your seat, stay in, get longer from your heels, and then fold inside for your up stretch. So up stretch can be on one or two springs here as well. And you're gonna take the down dog out of it. And we're just gonna do three regular up stretch first. Push your heels back into the shoulder blocks, and then bring yourself all the way in.

And then ribs up, tail down. Again, reach your heels into your shoulder blocks and stay connected to your shoulder blocks as you come in. Last time with the ribs up. Yeah, push your legs out, and bring yourself in. Then we're gonna do the combo, so if you're on two and you wanna go to one, go for it.

But lift your ribs up to start so it's not so down doggy. Reach your tailbone down and then press your legs out. While you're out there, open your chest and come all the way forward. Stay on your shoulder blocks, 'cause you gotta push back out from here. Then your head goes in, then your ribs go up and then you close your spring.

And again, ribs up towards the sky as you push your legs out from the back of your legs. And then open your chest, bring it all the way forward. So strong, push your heels back. And then let your head come in. And then this is the hard part, ribs up and tail down to bring it home, and one more.

Press the legs out, and then pull your chest through over your bar. And then push back with those strong heels and seat and let your head come in, and then round your spine. Then your heels will just fall into the mat. And your ribs will come up, and you'll take the weight a little bit more forward. So elephant, ideally on two.

One's pretty miserable, but you can, whatever you like. And then you'll lift your toes. And you'll push your legs back and in five times. And you can just go out and in. And how much can your shoulders connect to your back, and your heels drag down to lift your stomach up.

And then for one leg, sweep your leg back, point the foot from your stomach. And then how do you use your leg that's out to actually round your back. So I like to reach my leg down and away, 'cause this is like your tendon stretch leg. So you might as well start to warm up here. Lift your inner thigh up to the sky.

And then switch your legs. And again, just so you know if it's new to you, it's not an arabesque single leg, it's just a parallel, pretty boring leg. But it's pointed and helping you round your back rather than dipping your back down. Bring your foot down. Make sure your springs are closed and step off to one side.

We are doing long back stretch, 'cause we're strong and amazing, so hand, hand, foot, foot. I know, it's the one I wanna skip every time I'm doing my reformer, which means I need it double. So, here we go. That's what my teacher says. If you need, if you hate something, you need it twice.

So, go ahead and lower down, reach your heels forward, lift your hips up, and come all the way in. So let's stop for just a second. You're gonna go down and reach forward. When you lift your hips up, your carriage cannot move. And then you bring it in, so it's like semi-circle, lower it down, push out, you stand on those heels and you lift your hips.

Then the carriage moves. Let's reverse it, lift the hips up, push out, hold, that carriage stays still as you lower. Yes, ma'am, that's it. Lift all the way up. We have it, reach forward.

And stand on your heels and your wide wings as you bring it all the way in. One more time, reach out, and lower down. The carriage is still, and then you bring it all the way in. When the springs are closed, you can step off. That was really awesome, 'cause they had no idea that they had to do it like that.

So, wipe down if you need to, and then move your pads down for your stomach massage. I know everyone hates stomach massage, I don't care. It's amazing, you're gonna add your springs. Because I love it, thank you. I love it, it took ten years but I love it.

(laughter) So, you're on three or four springs, right. And if you're on four make sure you drop on on the next one. But let's just flow for the first round. You'll do ten. You lower lift your heels.

And I want you to find that lower lift from our foot work. That it's not, how far can I drop my heels down, but how much can I connect to my seat so that when we have no arms we actually can use our low stomach, right. That we actually can massage our back. And then after ten, we'll go into the reach back, but I love this pace of just moving through the stomach massage, just to keep it up. Because when you get to ten, and stretch, you wanna have that rhythm, you wanna be like you're on a swing.

So with the arms reaching back, push out and in. And to still have that wide back that we got from the beginning of our reformer, soft elbows. And then the trick to not losing the pants is to lift your upper butt out a little bit. Like if your booty cheeks could just pop up, you will keep your pants on, and you will actually control your carriage. That's a trick, but it works.

And then drop down to two springs. Reach your arms forward, but hold here. I want you to reach your arms up kind of like rowing three, so that you're connected to your wide back, and then push out. Three times. So that your upper back can actually lift you out of your lower back.

And then they'll lower their arms to the level of their shoulders and add the twist. And you get bonus points today if you can find your low stomach shaking as you push the carriage in. Right, like can you find your teaser stomach as you pull the carriage in on these twists. I found it the other day, it rocked. You can take a stretch here, it's lovely.

Catch your breath, come all the way in, move your pad down for tendon stretch. So I like to be on two springs for tendon stretch. And then hand, hand, foot, foot, fold in half. So the way I love tendon stretch is actually from the back and the ribs and the seat. So it's more up and less out than you think.

And you treat it like a swing. So go ahead and find your tendon stretch where you actually just reach your hips through your arms and not beyond the foot bar, right. You're gonna just be more forward than you prefer to be. Maybe you'll feel like you're falling, that's a good sign. And then if you love doing tendon stretch, just keep doing that.

But we're gonna do a little single leg prep here. So you'll hop your right hand in, and your right leg out and just hold it. Don't let the carriage move, get your ribs up and your left hip up. Then hop your leg back, and hop the other leg in. And so practicing this without the carriage moving is an awesome way, go ahead and hop one more time each side, to get ready for a single leg.

'Cause it can be scary, and you really need to learn how to keep your hip over the standing leg and not to the side of it. So keep hopping, or you can join Ashley on the single leg. And you're just gonna go in and out. Chanda's gonna keep hopping if you wanna be with Chanda, or you can do the single leg with Ashley and switch sides. And try not to lose the rhythm, right.

That's the hardest part of the tendon stretch, right. So you wanna stay in that swing and have a little fun with it. And when you're even, you hop, close the spring, and hop off. And take a moment. It's like a cardio workout, that tendon stretch.

My teacher always tells me, why do you make it look so hard, it's supposed to be fun. But, we're still learning, it's not fun yet. So short box time. Take your foot bars down, you should be on two springs. And grab your short box.

Also, this is where you're gonna grab your theraband or a magic circle. Ashley's gonna use a theraband, and Chanda's gonna use a magic circle, so whichever you have at home is gonna work for you. We're gonna take this time to catch our breath, but also to connect to our box. Because I find that the short box is where people struggle the most with actually keeping their legs still. And so if you have a theraband, you'll do it twice, as tight as you can with your legs together.

If you have the magic circle, it's gonna go above your knees and you're just gonna push out on your theraband, or your circle and theraband. We have a grot, all of these have two straps. Other equipment just have one strap. It actually, just whatever your equipment wanted to do. But the sound is what you don't wanna hear.

So my teachers say, he worked with Joseph and he would say, he would come over if he could hear those class make any noise. So you can call these girls if the class make any noise today. But your class, we're gonna be totally silent 'cause you're actually using these props to find your outer hips, to push out, and then press down into your box. Not from your knees, but from your strong glutes. Wrap your arms around your waist, we should all be set up wherever we are.

And go ahead and go into your round back. And with the props you might find that you can't round back as much, 'cause you won't be sliding around on your box as much. That's a good thing, that's okay. It will come back to you. The bigger extension will come the more you find your seat.

But as you can hear, it's silent and no one's letting their legs close. The class aren't making any noise. And so we'll do one more here just to, the round's really nice, to find that press out as you come all the way up. Right, grab your bar and continue this investigation. Here we go.

Arms are gonna go up to the sky. Before you get really comfortable, make sure your elbows aren't locked and that you're pulling out on your bar to find your wings. And then push out on your prop to lean back, and then push out on your prop to come up. And again it might limit your range of motion today, but I would rather limit how far you go back and find more strength in your body. You don't have to always use a prop here, but I have used it, and it really has made my life a lot better without it.

So when you don't have it, it's nice. After that, you lean forward and you side bend. Side to side. And you can use your prop to actually help you anchor your hips down, because how often do we go to one side and we're like, oh I have to push that hip down. And then we do something funky.

No, just use your thigh bones spreading wide to help you side bend more and anchor your hips more. And then when you're even, we're gonna do twist and reach. So twist, push out on your prop, lean out super long with your top side, pull yourself up, and then go over to the other side and twist. So we'll do two times each side. And you get longer in your top side as you go.

So use the pressing out on your circle or your theraband to get longer out of your hips. Yeah, this might be the one spot where you actually feel like the prop allows you to get more length. And then we're gonna go around the world, so join us on this trip. Twist to the right, lean out, open up, push out on your prop, twist over, and then come all the way up. And then go the other way.

Twist, and you get super long, and you open up. And then you're gonna come all the way in. And take a moment. Good, tree, yeah? So this is where you have to ditch your prop.

You won't have it. But can you find it in the tree, right. So I find that the hip likes to hike up, or it falls, and so what we wanna do is actually find this outer hip working for us. So lengthen your leg up and down. Just do two or three of these, and think about that standing leg.

And then walk up to your ankle, forehead to your knee. And pull the shoulders into your wide back. Then you rock back, and let's do one where we walk down the leg, walk down, down, down. And then reach your right seat into your right heel and walk all the way up, or your standing leg if you decided to switch, right. And then walk down, and then this time you're gonna go all the way down, you're gonna reach your hands underneath the reformer, and you're gonna give yourself an awesome stretch.

So you'll actually just grab the frame of the reformer and pull. And you're reaching your standing leg into your strap and out of it, and then you're lifting your free leg up, and then grab your leg and walk all the way up. Head to your knee, shoulders down your back. Walk down, let's go into circles. And if you're like, oh, no, that's not what I signed up for today, just do a regular tree.

But take your hands down, find your length in your back bend and then circle the leg three times. And you wanna have a free circle. So your standing leg is so strong, your circling leg is as free to move. After three circles in each direction, grab your arms up towards your leg, pull your stomach into your box, put your head on your knee, give yourself an awesome stretch. Sit up, and let's switch the legs.

We'll do the same thing on the other side. So bend your knee into your chest and lengthen and bend. How tall can you get, how much can you stand on your free leg already. Walk up to your ankle, head to your knee, and rock back. Walk down your leg.

This one's just the nice round one, go back and then hands come up. But try to leave your lower back on the box, right. and then head to your knee, walk down. So that's the thing, we tend to climb up to the ankle and we think the ankle is the goal. And it is for your hands, but your stomach is trying to stay connected to your box so you can stretch your back.

And then walk down, let's do those circles. And so as you circle your leg, you press your arms in and you circle. But this standing leg is reaching. Yeah, you find the same seat muscles, reverse if you haven't already, that you had when you had the theraband or the circle. And then you walk up, and you pull the stomach into the box and your head goes to your knee.

And then you give your back a beautiful stretch and you sit all the way up. Great. The boxes are gonna go away, we're gonna go into short spine. So two springs with your headrest down. And as you set up for your short spine, I would love for you to get your feet into your straps and then find that upper back again.

You know, we get flowing into our workout and it gets really easy to forget what we have to stand on. I would love for you to, before you press your legs out, get your width of your back so that you actually feel like you have control of the short spine. Sometimes I think people get scared about how high they can go, because they don't have something to stand on. So heels tight together, press your legs out, no rest here, you just go up and overhead. You go as high and as back as you can, and then you bend your knees in.

And you're standing on your shoulders, and you roll down. Pull your heels into your seat, and then press out, no break. Just go right up and over. But as you go up and over, move with your carriage, right. You and your body are a part of the equipment now, so that as the legs go up, the carriage should be going into the spring.

As your legs go over, the carriage is still moving. If you find that your body is moving but your carriage is not, the equipment never lies. It really does tell us what's going on. So let's go do one more short spine. And we're gonna go into high frogs.

And if you are opposed to that, then short spine away. But I really think that you're set up for it because you have this strong, wide back. So go all the way up, and then stand in your straps even as you bend your knees, and push it back up. So you have the width of your back, so you get to stand on that wide back you found. Finish this last high frog, go into your short spine with those tight heels, and then roll down that strong back of yours.

Take a moment, and ditch your straps. We're gonna go into semi circle. And you have a choice of doing it with the bar up or the bar down. I prefer the bar up for myself. I think it's amazing.

But you are your own person, so bar down is fine too. Lie all the way down, headrests can be up just to have a nice spot to rest your head when we're done. So put your hands into your shoulder blocks, lift your hips up and press out. And then before you get going, get off your neck and find that wide back. How can the shoulder blocks push your arms into your back.

And then roll your back down, and it's not about anything other than trying to articulate your spine into the well. And then press out from those arms. And then roll the hips up without moving the carriage just like your long back stretch. It's funny how those things work out well together, everything repeats itself. And roll down, and then let your hips dust the springs.

Like let 'em reach through and let your ribs wrap around the carriage. And then when you roll up, let the shoulder blocks push into your hands to find the upper abdominals. One more time in this direction. I really like how I can let the shoulder blocks help connect me to my shoulders and my back which helps me find my upper abs. And then you'll reverse it, the hips go up and you roll down.

And then you're gonna keep your ribs wrapping around the carriage as opposed to pushing out. And when you lift your hips up, be mindful that your hips are what are going up and not your ribs that are popping out. And then roll down again. So how can you let your carriage connect your feet into your seat, and your shoulders into your back. So that your powerhouse is able just to unwind.

This'll be our last one, so enjoy everything out that you want out of it. And then your hips are gonna come up, your heels will stay together, you'll reach forward and grab your ankles. And if you lift your hips higher, just double check that it's your hips that are going higher and not your ribs that are making you think your hips are higher. And then grab your shoulder blocks and slide yourself on. 'Cause we tend to think, like, oh I got higher.

But you just popped your ribs out. Okay. It's tendon stretch, no that's not it. We're gonna hop off, we already did that. So let's do chest expansion instead.

So take your foot bar down (laughs) and then we'll keep moving. So I prefer knees against shoulder blocks for myself, you can be away from your shoulder blocks. But have two springs on, and then take your knees against your shoulder blocks, grab the end of the leather. I love pressing my heels together in this exercise, so if you can do that, try it. 'Cause you can squeeze the heels into each other to press your thigh bones forward so that your body is going (clicks) like that.

It's actually right over your knees. And then you're gonna pull your arms back. And it's not a huge deal, they're just gonna pull back and you're gonna look both ways. And then you're gonna reach your arms forward but push your feet down and together so that you actually can find your seat even on the way in. But we tend to forget about that wide back, so before you go on your next one, pull the ribs in.

It's gonna feel like almost like you're doing the hundred. And then open up your arms. It also might feel like you're gonna fall on your face, and that's also a good sign that you're probably in the right spot and not a comfortable spot. So pull back, hold, last time, look both ways. Hug those heels, push the thighs forward, and get yourself ready for your thigh stretch.

So sit back, add a spring. And then separate those heels now. You should be really comfortable pressing those shins down from that chest expansion. Find your wide back as you lean backwards for your thigh stretch. And then dig your knees down to help pick you up and let your shoulders be connected to your back.

And let's go again. Lean back, the knees drive down, so do the pinkie toes. And then you're gonna lift it all the way up. That was good listening. And then lean back, take the ribs with you, stretch it out.

Your shoulders are on your back so when you lift up, it just brings you forward and then maybe a little further forward than you'd like. And let's step off. Take off your springs, and we'll go into your arm circles. So you'll be on one spring for arm circles. And then you'll bring your heels into your shoulder blocks.

So it's got a lot of down stretch in it, and a lot of that horseback we learned. So the heels have to press back as the arms lower. That's just the key to making this actually rock. So reach your arms forward and circle three times each direction. Your thighs are hugging towards each other as your heels reach all the way back into your shoulder blocks.

You'll reverse without thinking too much about it 'cause if you do, it's over. So keep reaching your heels back and let your arms lower. And then finish your circle. And rest. All right, ditch your handles.

And then you're gonna go into snake today. You can just go into the position, right. You can also hold it, and there's a lot of work in that. So we're on one spring. I like to put my foot up turned out on the foot bar.

So Chanda's doing that option. Ashley's gonna do it too, perfect. So hand, hand, and then you hop your other foot in front of your standing leg. And you lift that bent knee hip up. All right, elephant and a lot of butt.

Here we go, push your right foot down into your foot bar as you press yourself out. And then look in, and then milk this. Like pull your ribs up and then close it with control. Press that standing foot, the outer edge of the foot down. And then when your head comes in, don't be in a hurry.

Lift your ribs, curl your tail, stand on your limbs. And then we'll go for the twist. Push halfway out, and then hold that carriage down as you twist. And then pull yourself in, stand on your feet, and enjoy the way home. One more time, press out.

You can pick how far out you go, but you have to stick with it. Or you have to be happy with that decision. And then lift it up, and then pull yourself in. Stand on your feet to step off the carriage. And then go do the other side.

Good. Take your foot bar foot up, and then get really comfortable with the outer edge of that foot, and then hop your other foot up. If you were to do any standing thing, you would never wanna fall onto the inner side of your foot so don't do it in your snake. Go ahead and push out, and then stand on the outside edge of your foot. Let your head come in and lift your ribs up, yeah.

And then press out more ribs. And then again, lift it up. You're gonna curl and pull the ribs up. Think elephant. And then go halfway out, hold it still, stand on your feet, twist, and then pull your stomach in, stand on your wide back and your foot, and bring it in.

And let's go one more time with that twist. And you'll really find that it's easy to twist if you're in those wings we found from our foot work. And then step to the floor with the carriage still. And then whoo. We survived that.

Let's add our springs, our extension straps for a long spine while we're up. So we're gonna go into corkscrew and all the things. But we'll put our straps on now. So you'll have two springs on, and your headrest will be down. And when we do corkscrew, you have the option to not roll up.

I think it's fine because it's just such a good thing to do here, we need some more twists in our life. So after you're set up, lie on your back. Grab your handles behind your shoulder box. Take your legs up. If you're gonna do the full corkscrew, go ahead and roll up, but before you get started, did you roll up too high, 'cause that's a tendency.

We think if we get higher up it's more strong, but it's actually less. So find your width of your back first. Pull your shoulders on your back, and then go to the right, circle down around. And then all the way up. And hold, and go left.

And I would love for you to find that your upper back is something you can stand on and trust throughout the whole thing. We're gonna do one more time in each direction. So that as your legs go away from you, as much of your body is touching the carriage as possible so that your stomach has something to work away from. So let those legs reach and your stomach pull in. And now that you're even, or when you're even, you're going to finish and roll all the way down with control.

And then keep that width of your back and those ribs in, they tend to pop out 'cause we think that that's strong. And then we'll take our legs over to the right for tick tock, and we'll look to the left. And your legs can go as far as your ribs stay down. So that wide back, if you're really being honest with yourself, you might not get your legs very far. But it doesn't matter how far your legs go if you're twisting from the right place.

And I like to even think that my big toe on my top side is maybe an inch-ish longer than the bottom one, so that I'm being honest that I'm not shifting in my pelvis but I'm actually doing a twist. And when you're even, take your hands and slide yourself out for your control balance. And so with control balance, again you want the back. So let's take the hands onto the shoulder blocks and take your legs up to the sky. When you roll up to your shoulder stand, and you tap your right foot for the prep to the right side of your reformer, push into your left hand on the shoulder block.

And then switch. And again the hand presses down into the shoulder block to stay connected to the back. And then you're gonna go back to that right foot and that left foot's not hanging out, it's touching the ceiling, right. And you're just gonna roll all the way off. And you're not gonna make it a big deal, you're gonna land on that foot, you're gonna do your thing.

Right, and then you're gonna roll right back on. And you think tree on the reformer to get yourself onto that round shape and that tall leg. And then let's do the prep again, let's go left. So the right leg is trying to touch the ceiling. It's not trying to touch your foot bar or reach away from you, it's just going straight up.

And then you go back to the left side. And when you roll off, I don't do an arabesque, I just go there and I find it, and it feels super strong. And I come down, but if you need an arabesque in your lift, you do it, and you can do the heel thing too. It's what your body needs. And you lift your leg up to lift you on.

And then you roll down. And then you shimmy yourself back on, and you go like, thank you that was over and it was awesome. And then you're gonna go into your long spine. And you're gonna bring your feet into your straps. Chanda just put a third spring on, and that's because you can.

You can do this with two or three springs. So just know that, if you got three springs on, it's a lot of weight, so you really wanna be in control of your body. But I found it helped me in my long spine. When you press out, it's just a press out. When you lift up, think a little short spine.

Go all the way up and over. Your carriage can close, everything is great. And then you're gonna open your legs up and lift up out of your seat and find that airplane and find that upper back. And you go down and you try to go down as a straight thing and you come back up and over. And you don't have to go ugh, I can't do this.

You just keep moving, and get your hips up Ashley that's it. And close and lift it all the way up. So you've got this long short spine, and then you've got this awesomely long airplane. You've got the breast stroke we've done in the beginning. And then you're gonna reverse it.

You go up, and then you go up, up, up, Chanda reach out, out, out into your straps. And you stand on that wide back. And two more, up and around. Good, and then you're gonna reach out and you're gonna use that seat, and you're gonna lift it up, and you're gonna find your bottom, and you're gonna come all the way down, and you're gonna do one more time because it's awesome and you can. And we're doing Pilates, and you reach, reach, reach.

And then your headrest will go up. And then you just frog. I always can tell at frogs, right now, if I've been connected to my back this whole time. Because all of a sudden my seat and my inner thighs and my hamstrings feel it. And then just go into your circles, and they're not big, they're just small.

This is where I feel, oh, yeah I'm getting stronger and my hamstrings, inner thighs work. And it was the first time I thought, oh this is why we circle our legs. And then you come all the way in, you ditch your straps. You have to do star because we need more side body in our life. So put your foot bar up.

We're not doing the big star situation, but you can if it's something that's in you. But you'll just think long stretch. If you've never done star, all it is is your long stretch on your side. So your right hand on the foot bar. Right foot is cupping the shoulder block.

And then get long and go over your bar. And then just hold it, right. Chanda's got her leg up, so does Ashley. And you can just stay here and lift your bottom hip up a little bit and connect to your back. Or you can push out and in three times.

And you can do the arm and leg up if you wish, or you can just hold and just go out and in. And you'll just find this nice length. You close your spring, you keep it closed, and you step off your reformer. And then you go and do the other side. If you're confused, like what do you mean long stretch, you can just find your long stretch now.

They're gonna go up into their left side, and then go okay that's how long I got, then step on your side. The body is going forward, and then you hold or you move it out and in a few times. And you find the strength of your back, 'cause that's what's pushing the carriage out. And your bottom hip, and then your step down. It's not the elbow, it's not the wrist, it's not the shoulders.

If you feel it, find your back and do it again. Okay, knee stretches. Now we do 'em. So sit back toward your heels, and find that inner heel connection from your down stretch and round your spine like your horseback and all of the things. And push out and in.

If you can think this whole time about that inner heel pushing out and in, you are going to really feel your low stomach finding this carriage. Then reverse and go right into your next one. And make the arch be in the upper back. And try to take any twerking out of this. It's not as extended as we like it to be, it's actually just a nice, long back.

And then you'll round your hips over your knees. And you lift your knees up. And then you push out and in, and you get to go out and all the way in. And when you listen to your springs the emphasis should be when your knees come in. And then on this next one let's say that's a plenty.

And then lower your knees, close the springs and hop off. Add your footwork springs on, we'll run. Good. Lie down and then press out. And because running and pelvic lift are kind of the spots where we figure out did we get what we needed, right, did we actually find something different than when we got on here for foot work, can you feel the width of your back on this mat and is it easier to find now.

Is it nice and wide. And then come all the way in with both heels up. And then get onto your pelvic lift. And that wide back is on the mat. So don't go so high that you miss it and you go into your neck.

You have a nice long neck, and your chin's a little up, and your ribs are really wide, and your stomach is helping you pull this carriage in, not just the springs. And do one more just to enjoy it. Keep the springs closed, and from your wide back roll all the way down. Step off to the side of your reformer. And because you wanna be able to take your lift with you and this connection to your Pilates with you wherever you go, we'll do something standing that you can do kind of anywhere.

Heels together, toes apart. I like to do the shave arms so that my hands are behind my head just to find that width of the back. And then you'll lift your heels up, and you'll lower your heels down. And it's not as high as your heels can get, it's only has high as they can stay together. And then your big toes, they have to stay down too.

So we tend to go up too high, and then drop it down. And I would love for you just to feel like you're on the reformer and you're lifting and lowering your springs, right. We'll just do one more. And then they freaking killed it, and so did you. So thank you so much for joining me in this class today.

(applause)

Comments

1 person likes this.
Beautiful cueing and explanations, Lesley!
Holly Thank you so much for taking my class! Happy to hear my cues and explanations came through xx~LL
2 people like this.
Sorry, I gave up after 16mins. Was not able to keep up with the pace with all the spring changes.
2 people like this.
Love the classical workout
1 person likes this.
Hi Dorit thank you for letting me know. It is a level 2/3 fast paced class (it says deliberate which means no breaks). My other reformer class (#2829 on here) takes a bit more time in between exercises and has many of the same exercises. I would recommend doing it a few times and feel free to pause me anytime I am going to fast. Then come back to this class! I hope this helps and feel free to ask me any questions. xx~LL
Thank you Madhavi for taking my class! So glad you loved it. Hope to have you again some time soon xx~LL
1 person likes this.
love this ..can't wait to smash it out
2 people like this.
Thanks Lesley Logan -loved the reverse horseback and its connection to rowing RB. This class does move fast. Had to hit pause a few times, and will heed your advice to revisit your other reformer class so I can get "up to speed"- pun intended๐Ÿ’™
1 person likes this.
Love sequences that you bring to combine.... get wonderful workout for this video and really great cueing from you !!๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’—โ˜˜๏ธ
1 person likes this.
Julia yay! Enjoy smashing it out!! Thank you for watching and have fun xx~LL
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