Class #3218

Elite Athlete Reformer

65 min - Class
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If you are an elite athlete or just want a challenging workout, then you will love this advanced Reformer workout with Diane Diefenderfer. She uses her years of experience of working with athletes to teach movements that will allow different types of movers to feel benefits they need from Pilates. She works on using your breath to create fluid movement while working your entire body with challenging exercises.
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box), Jump Board, Magic Circle

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Hi, I'm Diane Diefenderfer, and I am delighted to back here, Pilates Anytime, this beautiful studio, great view with my buddies here, Laura and Gia. I'm going to give an advanced reformer class workout today, and the workout is primarily focused towards an elite level athlete. Of course, anybody can do this, just use your equipment that you are used to spring-wise, what you're used to doing at home. I'll give you some guidance, but if you're an advanced level, you know what your springs are for you hundreds and so on. So, many exercises you'll know.

Again, the inspiration for this has come from many years of dance training and what dancers need in a good workout, what gymnasts may require. I've worked with a lot of Olympic-level ice skaters and divers and also, no names mentioned, but some pretty well-known baseball players, so it's interesting how these different forms of sport and art as well may also use the same kind of, find the same benefits from our Pilates work. So, enjoy and we'll get goin'. All right, we're gonna start with some leg and foot work. Go ahead, ladies, put your feet on the ledge and roll on down.

Just for your information, they have three red springs. If you wanna go a little heavier, you could, depending on you. Let's bring your legs up to a prehensile position. I'm going to show two types of prehensile that I've learned from two of my mentors. The first one is Ron Fletcher, and I like to start with this because it does give a nice calf and Achilles stretch.

So, the ladies have their toes wrapped on the bar, grasping the bar, all 10 toes. Go ahead, gals, press out, and we're gonna take a moment here to just feel where we are, which is nice to do. Toes wrapped, heels deep, calves stretching, quads pulled up so the knees aren't jammed, gluts fired up, pelvis neutral, always, for now, in this position, unless we're doin' a tuck, but for now, a neutral, belly button to spine, shoulders down, long neck, chin lifted. Let's breathe here, and come on in, good. We're gonna do eight.

And pressing out and in. And fluid movement, one of our principles, and without breath, it's hard to move fluidly, good. So, both Ron and Romana taught me to breathe in on the extension and out, exhale, on the close, and that's in general throughout the program. Good, number-- Seven. Seven (laughs), terrible counter.

And eight. And let's pause. Move your feet up on the bar for the prehensile that I learned from Romana. It's right into the nice instep area of your foot, which opens up the bones over the feet, so we really get that feeling of opening across the top, and begin, stretch, and good. If you ever roll your foot over a frozen water bottle to massage the instep, that's kinda the spot that you're on.

The toes are still curved, curled. You're not getting the Achilles stretch as much, but it's a wonderful feeling for the top of the foot. Good. Good. And stop when you've gotten to eight.

All right, move to heels on the bar, feet firmly flexed. I like the heels high on the foot bar, and begin pressing out. And in. So, with a high heel, you really have to control. Good.

Resist as you go out. Resist as you come in. So, you really fire up the backs of the legs. Good, pelvic floor again, good. Neutral pelvis, belly tight.

Good, is that eight? And good. Point the feet to stretch the insteps 'cause they feel like they need it at this point, and slide into releve or high heels, balls of the feet, and begin pressing out, and in, good. So, for the dancer in particular, we want a nice high releve, as long as the foot is in good alignment, not pronating or supinating, weight on the center of the metatarsal, excellent. Pulling up under the seat.

Good, seven, and bend, one more, yeah. Eight and pause. Turnout to first. So, Pilates stance or if you want to work a little more turned out. If you are a dancer, you need that openness.

Doing it correctly is fine. And begin drawing the inner thighs in, and good. So, the thighs are equidistant in their range and in their turnout. The pelvis is anchored, excellent. High in the inner thigh, draw together.

Use the external rotators. Good, two more. Inner thighs taut, plie, one more, and good. Go on out stretching and rotate to an open parallel that should be hip width. Flex your feet, lift your arms.

And releve, arms down, eight times. And two, and releve, good. So, minimal amount of coordination required here. Good, feel reach through the fingers and a nice tightness in the triceps. Good, I like the open stance.

I think of the legs as being together, yet apart. Two more, seven. High releve, eight. Let's stay flexed, I'll give a stretch which feels good, lower your arms and bend your knees in line with your feet. Yes, watch they don't go in.

Now where you are, developpe the legs to an open perpendicular. Spacial awareness, open slightly, turnout, flex your feet, come to the corners of the bar. Good, so ice skaters often do that big open second position, yeah? So, they need to have that control so they don't lose their balance. God example here.

All right, flat back, belly tight, neutral pelvis, go. Pressing one, thighs open. And two. Thighs open. We're looking good, Laura.

Knees over the feet. Good, so you don't over turn the foot out. You can really feel the back of the thigh. Five, lift the chin a tad, Gia, good. Six, watch the ribs.

Two more. And in, excellent gals. Eight. Let's do little pulses, and out and in a little farther and in, really firing up the gluts for strength. Out and in and out and in, last set.

Good, stretch tall, long, and slowly bend with control, control, control, control, control. Close the legs, put your feet on your ledge and roll up using your abdominals, and we're gonna have them take a spring off because we're gonna work one leg at a time. Are we good? All right, nice. The back is healthy.

Again, it's an advanced class. Every time you come up and down to change your springs, you're gonna use your abdominals to do a roll up. All right, let's put the right foot on the bar, hip width underneath your right sits bones. Sit bone, one of 'em. Left leg at table top.

You're gonna do four at table top, then we'll segue into four developpes and four grand battements, and begin, pressing one and in. And two, beautiful alignment. One leg, one line. And good. One more, press, come in, extend the left leg.

Slowly, developpe, stretch. Flex both feet. Point both feet. Reach it through, good. Again, stretch, keep your hips still, flex, point, beautifully.

Two more, and when you extend your leg the next time, put it under the bar. Under the bar, yes, so you know where those legs are. You decide, you know where it is. Good, under the bar. Grand battement, up and flex and kick over the bar.

Reach, again, strong belly, down, and up and good. Under the bar next time. And up, point the toe under the bar. And last, yes, good. And change, beautiful, other side.

Good, foot underneath the sits bone, knee aligned. Beautiful table top. The knees are basically, they're not touching, but they're together on the same plane here. Table top, good, and begin. Four.

Good. A lot of inner thigh strength required to keep the foot from sickling or supinating or pronating. Here's four, extend the leg. And stretch, flex, point. So very beneficial to dancers, so they find that neutral pelvis while doing a nice high-leg extension, and they don't cheat and tuck.

Good. Yes, I was just gonna say, one more, good. Standing leg, yeah, keep it, and under the bar. Good, grand battement, strong belly, down, up. And through and good.

So, those legs can go flying as long as your belly is tight. Good, under the bar. Don't go too low when you kick down. And good, rest, all right. Hug your knees to your chest.

Good, feeling good? Yeah. All right. Let's put the right heel on the bar, good, and keep your other one for now, put it under the bar. (laughing) I just decide.

You could hug it to your chest. We're gonna have it under here, which requires a little more belly control, right? If that's a problem, you'd hug this knee to the chest. You could do a high bar here for more work on the quad. I'm gonna leave it the way it is for now.

Pressing out, one. And resist, in. Continue eight times, two, and resist in. Good, so I really like to work on flexed feet as well and make sure the foot is truly flexed without sickling, really strengthening for the anterior tibialis. You feel it there?

Yeah, I know you do. And two more. And good, one more. And now little pulses. ? Out and in, and out and in ? ? And out and in ? A little more in.

? Ba bum ? This'll really trigger VMO, good, for strong landings when you jump. Keep going, you feel your quad, your VMO? Do you feel it? You sure? Mm-hmm.

Okay, and stretch all the way, developpe your left leg, take a hold of it, pull it to you, get a stretch, feels good maybe, I hope. Put that heel on the bar. Sneak the other one underneath. And come on home and do eight on this side. One, and in, yes.

Perfect. So, this leg below is also a working leg. We wanna be aware of where it is, shooting right out of its hip. Boy, you two are easy to work with. You look great.

Yee! How nice. Seven, good, keep that low belly right above the pubic bone tight. And pulses, out and in, and out and in. So, the legs doesn't got all the way straight, nor does it come all the way in, and you can experiment with where you feel it more in the VMO, the vastus medialis oblique. Couple more, maybe further out, maybe further in.

One more set, I think we're even, yeah. Stretch out all the way, control it, developpe the right leg up, take a hold of it, give yourself a stretch. Woohoo, put that heel down. Now, you'd be open since you were at sits bone's width, and plie, and I bet you wanna point your feet now, don't you? (laughing) All right, put your feet to the ledge please, gals.

You look great. I lied, hug your knees. There's one more thing I wanna give. (laughing) Good, so a lotta leg work here because I feel like, as I spoke of, we're working with dancers, skaters, gymnasts, a lotta leg work involved. But we'll be moving away from it shortly.

All right, put your right foot, please, on the center of the bar turned out and the left leg in the little ankle coupe position. Hips square, it's almost like part of first position. So, the gals are gonna developpe to the front. Go ahead, take it to the front. Lower the leg to fifth position flexed.

Take it to the front, point, take it to side and fondue or bend into the coupe. Go ahead, take it out again, front. Lower fifth position, tight inner thighs, point the foot, take it side, and come on in. Good, again, up the shin to the front. Flex fifth, take it front, and then side, and was that three?

Yeah. Let's reverse it, developpe to the side. Flex fifth, take it side, point, take it front, and fondue in the coupe. Very dance exercise, dance-based exercise. Flex fifth, take it side.

I'm cuing them to keep their standing hip from rolling over. One more. Side, flex fifth, take it side, in front of your nose, and that's enough. We did three in each direction, that's plenty. Beautiful.

Bit complicated, but you guys are great. All right, your heel's pretty much in the center of the body. The hips are square. Both legs are working legs, not just one. Take it to the front.

Flex fifth, take it front and side, keeping your standing hip open, and to the ankle, beautiful. Up the shin bone, front, flex fifth, and front and side. And in. One more this direction. Good.

So, this hip stay, she's doing great, stays down. Reverse, developpe to the side. Fifth position, side, and front, and fondue both. Two more, up the shin bone, side. Good, beautiful control of the standing leg staying turned out.

Nice, one more. Good. It's easy to watch, stand here and talk about it. And, thank you, excellent. Beautiful.

Now, you could put your feet on the ledge. Let's take the arms to the ceiling, inhale. Exhale, roll up, use your abdominals. Good. Add your third red back on.

So, they had gone down to two red springs for single leg work. Now, we're back to three reds for running in place. We're gonna start with pulsing the eight, the right heel down eight pulses, the left eight, the right four, the left four, two, two, two, two, one, one, one, one. And the breath will be (breathes heavily) all the time. All right, feet in the releve or high heels.

Good. Open neck. Beautiful. Upper body, it's part of the work. Awareness, elegance, great.

Press out, inhale. Your lengthening exhaling, nice long open waist. Lower the right eight pulses. (breathes heavily) Watch the knees, Gia. Six and seven and switch, left, one, that's right.

Three and four, excellent. She's controlling her hyperextension. Four on the right, two, three, four. Four on the left, keep the seat muscles working. Yes, two right, ankles in line.

Two left. Two right. Two left. Single, one and one and one and one, breathing in and in and out and out and good, make sure you add the lift your buns. Good, (gasps) down, (gasp) down, the accent is up, not down.

Good. (gasps) Bump, you're all fine, I'm just mentioning it 'cause it's important. And down and down, last set, and they've done enough. Good, let's have you all releve. Make sure you can. Flex deeply, feeling good.

Woohoo! And then, yes, you're careful for the knee, great. All right, come on home. Good, don't they look good? Good, all right, gals, feet to the ledge. Again, roll up, breathe in, deepen the belly, rolling forward.

Good, foot bar down for hundreds. We'll do our, I would call, traditional hundreds, a breath in five, out five, yes, classic. We use these words now. (chuckles) The first way I ever learned it. All right, red and a blue is good.

Some people might wanna use two reds. Depends, yeah? Move your shoulders away form the should blocks and take your straps, all right. I'm gonna have you do the one through five in parallel and then six through 10 in turnout. So, we give a credit to both schools.

So parallel legs, five, turnout, five. Six through 10. And on the six through 10, we'll, on the exhale, you'll beat the legs in first, all right? Let's have the arms to the up, legs to the table top, already engaging the scapular muscle activity, pulling those shoulders down. Take a breath in, come out to parallel, long line, chin over chest, in five, in two, three, four, five, out, out, out, out, out.

Make sure your breath is full and intentional. So, you're not just making noise. You're really taking air in and pushing it out. Good, beautiful. Five out, out, out, out, out.

Fifth set. Good. Now, slight turnout or Pilates stance. Two, three, four, five, now beat. Two, three, four, five.

Your arms keep going. One, good, three, four, five, eight, nice gals. Inner thighs, three, four, five, nine. Good, shoulders are down but off the mat, 10. (tapping) Really percussive, good.

Parallel, inhale, bend everything, exhale. Take your shoulder blocks, rest your hands with your straps, feet down. Cross the right leg over the left. Take a breath, sway your legs to your left, inhale, exhale. It's a little break here, minimal break, give 'em a break.

Feels good, center, inhale, other way, exhale, same legs. Yeah. Good. Come back, do the other side, and while they're doing that, I'm going to pick up the magic circle. We love these, don't we?

(laughing) All right. Good, you go both ways? Yeah. Good. All right, gals, we're gonna do these coordination with the circle between your ankles.

So, if you would developpe your legs to the ceiling, I will place it for you between your ankles, got it? All right, and as well, you. We'll do the more advanced coordination with the one smooth breath. You're not gonna open and close your legs 'cause there the circle will drop. (laughing) All right, so bend your knees to table top, bend your elbows.

We're gonna do 10 sets. One through five, we'll come to table top. Six through 10, we'll come way in, so it's belly more than hip, knee. All right, you're at the ready. Don't move, take a full breath.

Exhale everything, so you know where you are, and you begin, reach out. Bend the knees, table top, and then the arms. The head stays up. Again, inhale, reach. Exhale, knees and arms.

Inhale, reach. And knees and arms. And four, squeeze it. And knees and arms. Here's five.

And knees and good. Continue, flex your feet. And pull the knees way in and then the arms. And reach to me with your heels, squeeze it. And knees to your chest and arms.

And if the pelvis lifts because your ness are coming so far in, then so be it. It's because you're using your belly so much to pull the knees in. I think we have one more, two more. Last one, squeeze. Is that 10?

Mm-hmm. Rest, okay, I think they're done with that. Okay. (laughing) Why don't you turnout, do a little butterfly stretch for a moment because the way you've worked those legs. Were you okay?

Mm-hmm. All right, and if you do do this stretch, just be mindful that you don't go too crazy sway with the back. All right, good, good, good, good. All right, let's go ahead now and put the feet in the straps and you are on, still, you're red and a blue, which is perfect. We'll put the headrest down.

And we'll do four short spine stretches, and I'm gonna give the stretchy, what I call the stretchy version. They're advanced and they are fine with this version. So, we start in paralleled. Don't move, but breathe in. Flex in the hips, let the legs go where you can, getting a full hamstring stretch, and pause here, inhale.

Exhale, peel the belly up vertebra by vertebra by vertebra by vertebra. Bend to the diamond, inhale. Exhale, roll down with a long exhalation, really opening up the back, deepening the belly. Bring the heels to the bottom. Sacrum down and shoot the legs out.

Pause, inhale. Let your exhale help you bring your legs back, flexing in your hips, getting a good stretch. Take air, and roll. Feel that tailbone going way up. Bend to a diamond.

Beautiful, exhale, roll down. Her knees are right over the should blocks. They're not dropped into her body. Heels in, use your belly, and push to parallel. Two more times.

Take air, enjoy the stretch. Yes, just let the legs float, float, float, float. Take air, and scoop the belly, good. Feel lots of space between your vertebral joints. Inhale, whole purpose of the exercise, stretching the spine one bone at a time.

Heels in and out. Was that three reps? One more, I promised four, inhale. Exhale. Easy neck and shoulders, yeah, rolling on the exhale.

Yeah, you can use your buns up here. Good, bend with care. And roll. Yes, you never wanna drop your knees when you're rolling down. Heels in and push through, lovely.

All right, headrest up. We good? Mm-hmm. Are you sweating? Yeah.

Sweating a little bit. Okay, good. All right, we're gonna do a little prep before like circles. So what you'll do is you're gonna turnout, just hang on a second, you're going to open, you're going to flex, but these are the legs, you're gonna close, you're gonna point, you're gonna parallel. All right?

So anchor the belly always. Make sure your pelvis is neutral. Your spine is long, good. Turnout one, open two, flex three, close four, point five, parallel six. Turnout, open to small V, flex, squeeze, point, parallel.

Inhale one, exhale two, three, and four. Point five, and six, one more, rotate in the hip, open with control, flex, close, point, and parallel, nice. Now, your circles will be, just listen, up and parallel, turnout, and close. Back to parallel, up, turnout. So, you're incorporating circle plus rotation in the hip.

Anchor the belly, first and foremost, open the neck. And begin, up, turnout, and circle around. Back to parallel, up, then we get it going, and we flow around, parallel. Feel the difference, parallel, turnout, turnout, parallel. Up, around, turnout, inner thighs, parallel.

Inhale, beautiful. Exhale, good. And they both have their legs equidistant, but that's a big thing to remember. Two more should be eight. Good, one more.

And pause, parallel. Now, do the reverse, please, with flexed feet. So, you're still parallel first, okay. Now, turnout. Parallel, use those hamstrings.

Turnout, open, parallel at the top, use the hamstrings. Continue a little more fluidly and a lower, and a out, don't go any lower, Laura. And yes, and in, beautiful. Da down and a out, good. Legs together, yep, two more.

Make sure they meet at the top. Good, one more. Feel good? And good. Now, come up for a moment.

We're gonna have a little bit more, go to turnout, and I'm gonna allow them to open and stretch, which I'd mentioned this is another of my videos, you may only do if you have students that are aware of how they can do this with care. You could strain your back or your inner thighs, so be careful. But if feels good if you've been tightening, tightening, tightening, tightening. Then, as they have their hands on, use your hands to help you close, and we're gonna do Peter Pan. So, let's turnout, usually flexed feet is the easiest to not lose the strap.

Hips anchored. How do you do that? Belly! Ooh, okay. (laughing) All right, hold it still. Let's have you all bend your right leg and open your left.

And begin. And to first. Other side. And to first. Good.

The heel, the leg that's bending, the heel comes right down the center line toward the crotch, exactly. Then they meet long. Good. Now, feel like you're gonna reach to me. Yeah, so the legs always work tight but long.

And bend. And squeeze. How we doin'? Good. Bend, feeling good, and squeeze, one more, and squeeze, all right.

Bend your knees into your chest, and I'm going to do this for them. Let your carriage come in a little bit more, come on in. I'm moving them to one red. If you're on your own, you have to do it on your own. So, you'd dismount and come up and change to one red.

You're using one spring, one strap, and one leg. So, take your left strap off, put it on your pole, and you wanna make sure the strap doesn't end up in the track of the wheel. Good, and take your legs up to perpendicular. All right, so now you have the challenge of pressure on one leg but not the other. So, it's an interesting feeling if you've never done this one.

Again, the abdominals are in, on fire. All right, we're gonna stay parallel and do a scissor-like movement. Let's lower the right. And switch, lower the left. And then continue.

So, the legs are scissoring and they're almost touching as they pass. So, you need to know where you are in space. Yes. And do a little less range of motion with a little more control. Feel the difference?

So, it's not about a big split necessarily. Switch. And right, use your hamstring. And switch. And good.

And now, turnout and flex, pass through first. And pass through first, yeah. So, you don't wanna, keep going, you don't wanna drop the leg too low. And there, good. And right.

You feel that? Yeah, I love this one for hip strength, pelvic stability, equality. Now, lower down and developpe the right and do your bicycle and yes. And turnout, good. And there we go.

So, this is advanced, this takes some coordination. Your strap will go where it goes, and reverse. Yeah. (laughing) You're on your own now. So, one is, yes, there's a split second where they're both straight.

There's a split second where they're both straight. Reach, Gia's doing point, she's doing flex, both fine. And stop where you are. Place the bottom foot on the bar or the ledge. If you're able, you can get a nice stretch here.

Woohoo! Again, advanced. You don't wanna overly stretch. Well, it feels good stretch, but do it with care, with control and knowledge of what you're doing and about your own body. All right, now you're gonna reach back and get the other strap on the other leg and off we go. Good, on the left.

Right, interesting to feel here now if there is any difference from leg to leg. So, we did parallel pointed and then we moved into turned out flexed. All right, we're gonna lower the left first, scissoring, one, and switching, two. And switch. And good.

So, we have fluid movement with an absolutely stable pelvis. Reach to me. Parallel, Laura, you're almost turning out, yeah. So yeah, when you use your hamstring in your gluts, it could encourage you to turnout, but you still wanna use them in parallel. Yeah.

Last set of this. And turning out now, flexing now, definitely using external rotation. Reach to me. And no lower. Yes, yeah, that's low enough.

Good. And very good. And good, now lower the left and then developpe it to begin the bicycle and change. There's a moment when they're both straight and they're both straight. Sometimes, we do this, certainly on the mat work, bicycle, scissor, or on the small barrel.

Good, and you're gonna reverse it. Bend and push through your heel. Bend and push through, or the toe. Reach, good, lift your chin. I know you're checking.

Keep your neck long, good. And reach, last set. Right in line, find your center, and good, get a stretch. Feels good. Yay! Good.

All right. So, that feels nice, I hope. Good. Let's take your feet out of the straps and keep your hands, take your hands. They're great, they don't know what they're doin'.

They're just, really, you're doing great. All right, bring your legs to table top. Okay, and then I'm gonna bring the circle to you. Yes, okay, into the knees this time. So, the legs are at table top with the circle between the knee at about where the vastus medialis hips, so yes, there's a combination of inner thigh work going on and certainly arm work.

We're gonna do arm circles. Let's start with your arms down. We're on one red spring here. You could add a little bit. If you had some should issues, you could go lighter.

The squeezing is not crazy tight, but there's certainly an involvement in there. All right, let's go ahead, inhale up. And around. Eight times. And if you're going to squeeze more, it would be now on the exhalation.

I love this for the dancers, well for everybody, but the tendency to arch the back as the arms go up. You're okay, you're, a little click there. Uh, the tendency for the ribs to go out is always there, so we need to be mindful of the exhalation, closing the rib cage, one more. And on the reverse, you're gonna straighten your legs, and up and straight up. Flex your feet.

And two. And press. And three, good, press down in the lats, yes. So, the shoulders stay down all the time. The neck stays long.

How we doin', girls? And squeeze. And around. You could do this without the circle, of course. Around, you hating me?

(laughs) One more. And rest. I'm gonna take the circle. Bend your knees into your chest, together and in feet pointed. But you're not done yet.

Hand, fingers to the sides of the rib cage. The head is down. You're gonna do little presses. And go. And bend, fairly quickly out.

And bend, and press, and bend, and press. Keep going at an upper body contraction, press. And bend, reach through the palms, shoulders down. Shoulders are gonna wanna come up. Bend and press, now extend your legs, and now the legs come in, the arms go out, and one, the belly pulls the knees in, and out.

The belly pulls the knees in, and good. And good. And four more. Deep contraction, good. Phew, and bend.

How we doin'? Reach, you feel your bellies? And that's enough and rest. Good! Thank you. They're really doing well, aren't they?

I'm so pleased. All right, so straps on your poles. Let's have you do this this time. We're gonna have you come up. You've been on your backs for a while.

Stretch your legs out. Yeah, I mean, I know, you're not on the floor, but you could do that 'cause your foot bar's down, and take your arms to the ceiling. Pull your shoulder blades down. We're gonna go this way. Take a breath in.

Gently nod chin over chest and reach forward, so you have a roll up. Good, all right. And let's have you straddle the equipment. Yes, and put your foot bar up to the moderate height, and let's put on all three reds for security. So, the girls, the ladies (laughs), my beautiful friends, they've been on their backs for a while, so now we're gonna get up here.

I've told this story before, I don't wanna go over too much talking, I wanna keep the pace going today, but Ron Fletcher shared with me that Clara Pilates allowed him to straddle the equipment, Joe never did, but Ron said it was okay to work on turnout, so that's what we're gonna do. All right, so have your legs nicely turned out, wherever you are, it can be minimal and it can be more, just don't overly screw the ankles around. And let's do this first, let's put your hands the bar, have a nice, tall back, so we have a pretty much flat back. The neck is fine, sorry. Ribs are in, let's take a breath in and hinge forward, and it's nice to know what a hinge is.

Flat back, and come back up. And hinge forward. And as Laura goes forward in the trunk, the knees are going open. And upright, and hinge forward. Those sits bones are anchored into your carriage.

And upright and hinge forward. Good. And upright, take the arms side and hinge forward here. Your arms stay in a nice 180 degree line. And upright, now bow the head.

The neck is in line with the spine, good. And upright. And two more, watch the ribs, yeah. Like a board, your back's like a board. Good.

And forward, good. And come back up to center, reach out. Let's rotate to the right and get a nice rotation in the spine. Center, inhale, other way, exhale. Take your head naturally where you're going.

Center, so we have full rotation. Low back, middle back, upper back, neck. And center. And other way, good. And go once again to the right, put your right hand to the shoulder block, left hand on the bar, and give yourself a little, you know, extra stretch, belly to spine.

This is kind of the feel good portion of the workout. It's nice to rotate. Come back through center, energy through the fingertips. Shoulders down, go the other way. Breathing, you wanna exhale on your deep rotation.

Beautiful. Good. How ya doin'? Good. Good, now, come back and let your legs, where they are, just let 'em turn in a little bit just to relax for a second because, yet again, we have the circle, okay.

Good, I love these things. They're so easy to travel with too. I feel like I'm sellin' a circle. They're just fun, yeah. Okay, take them in your hands please, all right, and let's have you, instead of hug-a-tree, we're gonna do this, kind of same idea.

Shoulders down, back broad, watch the ribs, let's breathe in, and squeeze it on the exhale. Good, there's so much material, keep going, that I had to decide what to do today, and so I chose this since I had the circles out, and I thought we could use it between the knees, between the ankles, and the hands. There's more to come. Stay tuned. (laughing) Good, take the arms out a little bit.

And we all know it's harder with the arms straight. Good, I love that they've instinctively stretched their fingers instead of having a grip, good. And two more here, great, woo, your arms look good. One more, good. Right, now take the circle up, careful that, in fact, lift your shoulders, and then pull the shoulders down so.

This is so tempting for the shoulders to create that. Now, keeping your circle over your head or slightly forward of it, like your halo, angels that you are, take a breath, and go to the right. Take another breath, go a little farther. And keep that left hip anchored. Your circle's over your head.

Come back to center, inhale, center fully, exhale here, stay. Good, other side. Lift up, one, and do the left, and another breath, and a little farther, come center, shoulders down. And once more right. Up, reach, ribs off of waist, so when you go sideways, you're not sinking into the side that you're going to.

Lift up and center. One more to your left and, watch the ribs, yeah, you're still turning out. Your buns are on fire, aren't they? And center and put that circle down, good. You feel that?

Yeah, you could certainly do that without a circle. You know, arms up, you could hold a towel. You could simply do an arm movement that direction. All right, let us go into the, a little bit more arm work. You could choose a red here or lighter if you have some shoulder issues.

We're gonna do a port de bra, a carriage of the arms, a movement of the arms, yeah? So, sit back at the edge of your, at the back edge of your reformer, and take your straps in your thumbs. This is kind of a cousin of rowing front. I know I'm doing this. (chuckles) 'Cause most people put their whole hand in the straps. You got your thumbs, and then pull those elbows into your sides like little wings.

Ribs in, gotta watch those ribs, both of you. All right, here we are, the shoulders are down, your belly's tight, right? So, you don't lose it. You're going up to eye level, look up. Down by the side of the wood frame.

Forward, not too high yet, open, and bend. Inhale fluidly, one and two and three, open, spread your wings, four. Now, let's really reach up. And back, good. Now, if you can, come all the way by your head, as long as you don't lose it, and fold in, nice.

And one, beautiful. And two. Hold your back, bring your arms by your ears, and open. Reminds me of Swan Lake a bit here. Forward and down in the back.

And up, hold the belly, hold the ribs, up, up, up, up, around, and bend. Nice, feel good? I love that one for shoulder mobility. You could go behind your head if your shoulders are healthy and you're not losing it. I would advise doing that on a lighter spring.

Okay, good. Let us go to, you can put your straps on your poles, we're going to go to pelvic press with some more thigh work. All right, so three reds is great, all right, and the foot bar at the height that you are accustomed to, not too high, not too low. So go ahead, gals, and roll down with nice intention, using your abdominals. Good.

Arms down, and let's do this, developpe your legs to the perpendicular. Open them to a V, the width of your outer frame of your foot bar, bend your knees, and find your pelvic press position. So, some people do it here with their foot on the metal bar. Some people do it here. Whatever looks right to me, no, whatever feels best to you.

The knees are naturally bent in the alignment where they fall between your hips and your feet. Good, for some people that are petite, this is fine. You went, this is too wide, yeah. All right, long neck, open throat. We're gonna do a Ron Fletcher pelvic press first.

Breathe in. Use the belly and the pelvic floor and up you go, vertebra by vertebra by vertebra by vertebra by vertebra. You're in one line. Press the carriage back, inhale. And we're gonna exhale to return and roll down through the spine.

Good, moving, inhale at the bottom. Tip the pelvis, use the pelvic floor, high hips, stretching the hip flexors, press. Return. And roll. Beautiful.

All the way to a neutral pelvis. Inhale. And scoop. Nice. Buttocks high, on fire, press.

Return, nice line there, and close the ribs. Two more, inhale, deep in the belly, press into the feet. They're both very even, hip to hip, good. Good, now open the throat as you roll down. Sometimes, we tend to tuck as we roll down.

One more time. (breathes heavily) Good. And roll down. Nice, ladies. We're back.

Okay, again between the knees. You can fix how you, yeah, feel secure. And then bring your, both of you, bring your feet, wherever you were, we're gonna bring the feet inward toward the black, on the black roll bar and so, parallel for sure. By the way, I don't do this, really never, on the ball of the foot, it's not about that, or on the heel, but right into that kind of, I call it the massage spot, (laughs) I'm gonna tickle you. All right, you're gonna squeeze the circle.

You're gonna release. And squeeze the circle. We're tryin' to keep a neutral pelvis. Release, and squeeze. Release, and squeeze.

Release. Next time, you're gonna squeeze and do a slight pelvic tuck, deliberately small, pulse the carriage. (breathing heavily) ? Out and in and out and in ? ? And good and in and out and in and back and ? How we doin'? The derriere should be fired up. ? And out and in and out and in ? And try not to roll out.

? On the feet ? ? Last set, bum bum ba dum ? And rest. Relax the pelvis, down. Are we doin' okay? (chuckles) All right, good. Now, take your circle and developpe your legs and thread them through the circle.

All right, good. Now, instead of adduction, more abduction. So, I talked about ice skating and dance, and well, so many things. You need equally strong inner thighs and outer thighs to have healthy hips. So, we're addressing a little bit the outward push.

So, just feel it for a moment, push it out. Yeah. And I'm gonna lighten your springs. So, instead of two reds, we're gonna go to three. Bear with me here as I experiment a bit with this equipment, but I would like them to work a little, not that you're working, not working hard, but this is gonna be a little more challenging 'cause it's lighter.

We good? Yeah. Three to two, not two to the three? We went from three to two. Oh, I said it wrong.

Yeah, so they were on, (mumbles) thank you, three reds for the other pelvic press that they had done thus far. Now, they're on two reds. So, lighter is harder. You're gonna do a, same thing, up and down. So inhale first, exhale, as you push out on the circle, peel up.

That carriage is looser, kinda murder. Now, push out four times. Pull it in. And two and how we doin'? Okay?

Three, you okay? And four, come on in and hold. Take air and roll down. Are you good? I don't know why I keep ask, I ask 'cause I care.

(chuckles) All right, breathe in. Curl up again. Good, now you're you gonna extend your right leg on a line and push the carriage four times. One and in. Two and in.

Three. Good, this is a tough one. Four, come on in. Put the foot down. Inhale, exhale, roll, sink the ribs down.

Breathe in. Peel up again. Good. Buns on fire, extend the other leg and four extensions, boy are you even. Beautiful, two.

You may feel different from side to side. Three. And four, beautiful, gals. Put the foot down. Give a little extra boost to the hips.

Roll down, ribs, ribs, waist, and good. Okay, excellent. You can take your legs outta that circle and put it off or you just give it to me. I'll keep them. (laughing) All right, thank you.

Let's put your feet to the ledge, please. Let's take the arms to the ceiling, inhale, and exhale, roll up. Good, gals, all right. You should be feeling a lot of things going on here, yes? Good, we're going to go on to some standing work.

So, let's stand to the floor. Put on a red and blue spring, is what I usually use. Again, you may change this depending on your studio where you are. And we're going to start with, it's actually from Ron Fletcher, his stomach pull. We're gonna move into arabesque and then some one-legged work.

So, let's go ahead and stand up onto the reformer and your feet are at the shoulder blocks, not on a super high releve, hands on the foot bar. So, go ahead into position on a slight releve, everybody. Good. So, the idea is that the stomach is pulled up, oh, excuse me, up and in. The sits bones are pointed to the ceiling.

She's ina beautiful V with her head in line with her spine. And she's going to press out four times. One, pull the hips high, in. And two. And pull, the hard part is not to engage the shoulders, and these two are doing very well.

Out. And let's do some more. I'm sorry, I didn't, again, out. Lift the belly up into the back to bring the carriage in. Two more.

And pull. One more, bring it in and pause. Now, let's bend the right knee to parallel, kinda like a flamingo, and shoot the leg out, parallel hips. This is our pretty classic arabesque. And go.

Out and don't lift your right hip. Yeah, the hip bones point to the floor. This is a tricky one for proprioceptive awareness. Where I am? Good.

And out. Now, good, as you push the left out, pull the right knee into the chest. And then extend the right leg out, good. And continue, that's right. Trying to keep the hips square.

The body doesn't move and leg out. One more. You okay? And good, bend that knee, put it on the should block back where you started. And extend the left parallel, out and four here, one.

Hips high. Yes, it's a subtle feeling, subtle movement. Good, we're strengthening the hip flexor, using the belly to pull the leg in, and four. Good, now when you push the right leg out, pull the left knee to chest, and reach the left leg out. And controlling and reach and in with the knee and good.

Beautiful, girls. And good. Bring it to parallel and let's stand flat. Let your arms drift down to the reformers, bend your knees and roll up to standing, so you get a chance to get up. (laughing) And just stretch your wrists a little bit here.

That should feel kinda good. All right. Now, you'll go down again on flat, same thing, stomach pull. This is not the elephant. It's a V, upside down V, and then Laura's gonna do penche on a flat standing foot.

You're gonna do it on a releve because of your hyper-extended knees. Okay. That's my decision, all right. I'll talk about it as they go. So, roll on down, take your hands to your foot bar, fingers forward, torso low, head nicely, do it wrong for a minute, Laura, drop your chin, yeah, or lift the head up.

Okay, not good, so we have a beautiful neck alignment, shoulders down, lots of space here, good. And proceed, out and in. And pull with the belly. And out. And pull.

And press. And pull. And that's four, we'll do four more. You may lift your toes. Gia should be careful.

She has beautiful hyper-extended knees. We don't want her to lock back and overly stretch the back of her knee. And in. And good and now stop. All right, you go to releve against the should blocks, good.

Now, let's take the left leg, I'm gonna come over here, and reach it to the side, round and up, that hip will open. The bottom leg is parallel, and go, out. Am I pushing too hard? In. Stretch the knee.

And good, Gia. And out, shoulders as square as you can. One more. Come on in and pause. Lift the leg higher, take it out to the side.

And down. Good, get my hand outta there. (laughs) Other leg, right leg out. And up. The hip is open. Boy, your foot's almost on the roof beam.

Pressing out. And in. So, this takes a lot of control, a lot of stretch for the open hip, lot of stretch for the standing hamstring, easy shoulders. Fourth and nice. Reach it up and out and down and good.

Flat feet once again. Let the hands drift down. Bend your knees to be safe and slowly roll up, use your abdominals. And how we doin'? Good.

Good, all right. So, there is an advanced one where you're standing also on top of the should blocks. So, those the different ways to do the penche. Flat, releve, on the top. Good, all right, let us do now back control.

So, you may step off. (chuckles) We'll put the headrest up, and I would typically use a red and a yellow. Now again, depending on your equipment, not too heavy, not too light, so that might mean different things. Some people do this with the foot bar up. Some people do it with the foot bar down. I don't care.

You don't care. You are so flexible, in more ways than one. (Gia laughs) Down is good. I'll do up then. Okay, fine, all right.

So, we're gonna do the back control and then into the Russian splits. So, we're gonna, yeah, good, advanced. So, step up onto your carriage, please. Let's go ahead and put the left leg back on the, what is it, the foot bar, caddy corner, and then carefully walk your right foot forward halfway up the step. This is how I learned this.

All right, be very, very, very, very, very careful that your back knee's not hangin' out. So, you wanna have a connection and control from your left quad. Come up to a nice plie in second arabesque. I think you should put your bottom foot further up the step, now that you're up there. Are you good?

Mm-hmm. Your knee is line with your shin and you are in as deep a plie as you can, which is harder with the high bar, and extend the front leg out and in, not all the way to straight. Go deeper in your plie. And there we go. So, if you can get the front thigh horizontal, that is terrific.

Watch the knee in line with the foot. Eight times. Good, opposite arm reaching forward. You certainly need to be mindful of your balance. Good, one more.

Come on in, put your hands on the should blocks. Straighten your front leg, and you may go out carefully and do a split or somewhere near there, cautious of knees, good Gia, you're being careful. Go ahead, go out a little bit more if you're able to. Make sure you don't slip. Great stretch.

Front leg parallel, back leg turned out. We'd been there earlier with that one penche arabesque. Good, and then carefully come out of this. I have yet to develop a clean choreography for the dismount here. (laughs) Workin' on it still. Okay, back leg, ball on the bar, on the metal, heel on the black.

Don't, you're at the very edge, my dear, don't wanna slip off. Front leg, up the step. You're in a deep plie. Bent front leg, left, sorry, right arm forward. Good, knee in line with foot, carry on.

Inhale, exhale, that knee is stretched. I can spot you. Belly in. Little deeper plie, there we go, beautiful. Good.

So, ice skaters, axle, land, you need to have control. Dancers, grand jete, tour jete. Land on one leg in second arabesque. Baseball player, a pitcher that I worked with, loved this exercise as his follow through after he pitched the ball. I'm not even gonna try to demonstrate that.

Go ahead, straighten your leg, put your hands down carefully, and go ahead and split as you feel you're able to. Gia's bein' real careful of knee. Good, Laura's tryin' to go and put her head on her knee, aren't you? (laughing) Nice. Good one, woo! Do the same amount you did before.

And then carefully step out of it, ladies, and good. You can step off. We're gonna take little break, and you may as well, folks at home, and get your jump board. All right, we're back. Hope everyone's gotten their jump board set up securely.

Springs is a matter of choice here. These ladies are working on, oh, Laura has a blue and you have a red, which is fine. So, a little bit more push with the heavy spring, a little more ab control with a lighter spring. I let you decide, yeah? All right, we're gonna start with the feet in an open parallel, depending on the length and stretch of your Achilles tendon, you'll probably have your feet higher than you would be on your leg and foot work foot bar.

So, in other words, if Laura were down here, she can't get her heels down at all. So, where here. As in jumping in dance, skating when you land, you're landing through the ball, whether you're parallel or turnout, toe, ball, heel. You're attempting to get your heels down, though you may not necessarily, depending on your extension or your flexibility of your tendon. Don't try not to get your heels down, still make the effort to get the heel down, all right?

A lotta belly work, try not to look at your feet. That's the hard part. Feel where they are. Let's do eight jumps in parallel. And press and toe, ball, heel.

Press, toe, ball, heel. Press, keeping the legs in equal distance. So, you're a little, yeah, that's okay, (laughs) The class doesn't necessarily have to be together. And good and when you come to eight, you may pause. Toe, ball, heel.

Toe, ball, heel. First position, so you're trying to get the heels downward, good. Equidistant turnout and same springing out. And press to first, knees over the toes. Good, so this is excellent for your dancers who are not jumping.

Maybe they're rehabbing from a ankle sprain or something. They don't have to worry so much about gravity, but they're still working on the control of the closure, using the glut and the quad to land, good. Putting the right foot in front, yes, that's your right foot, and you're going to simulate a fifth position, good. So, the gals will be like so, right? And then when you jump up, you're gonna cross the legs in fifth using your inner thighs.

So, go ahead. And bend. Don't rush, if you, and bend. A third one, then they're gonna change when they're out there, change legs, bend. Up and good.

The knees form a V equidistant. A third one. And a change. Now, let's do all changes. In dance, it's a changement or a change.

Change, good, change on the way out. Change on the way out, so we're always pulling the inner thighs together. Change on the way out. Good, use your belly. Change on the way out, yes.

Aw, cross your fifth sooner and fifth now, there we go. Two more. (laughs) Good, this is so fun to watch. Fifth and rest, hug your knees into your chest. Your carriage may move a little 'cause you're pretty light.

Do you all feel your bellies? I find you really can't do this and not feel your abdominals, so that's, it's a good, excellent ab exercise. All right, now for our ballet dancers, really, we're gonna have the right foot in front. You're going to do three entrechat quatre, so your right foot will go back, front, back, front, back, front, and then you'll do an entrechat six, one, two, three, Six really meaning six, two legs times three. All right, so hold your center.

Ready, begin. Entrechat quatre. Entrechat quatre. These are fun if you're not a dancer. And now change, cross, cross, cross, your left should be in front.

Entrechat quatre. Entrechat quatre. You work high in your thigh, one, two, three, and now, entrechat six, good. Again, entrechat quatre. Good.

The idea in our dance class is that you think of beading as soon as you leave the ground, otherwise, you're up there, it's too late. Yeah? You need to think of your six from your plie, not once you're airborne 'cause gravity will pull you back down to earth. And rest. Good.

Come up and do a little contraction for a moment, just get your backs stretched out. All right, now you're going to do some jetes, so put your right foot on the board and your left foot behind you, which is a little difficult here, but that's okay. And you're gonna switch from leg to leg to leg to leg. All right, go ahead. And up, change legs, and land.

Change and land. Change and land. Just trying to get the heel downward, and good. Switch and nice, show that position in the air. Land, one more and we'll stop.

And rest. That's enough, all right. Let's have you girls go back to parallel, and we'll do a similar movement 'cause you're gonna push off and then one leg. Push off, so in the suspension, both legs will be straight for a moment, equidistant, and we're gonna add a contraction, so you're gonna support your head and neck and use your belly. So, come into contraction and begin going up, bend one leg, you choose.

And stretch and bend. And suspend and bend. And suspend, deep belly. And suspend and good. You can, in this nice upper body contraction, you can see where your knees in line with your feet, and suspend and add a twist and up.

Twist to the knee and press and twist and press and twist and press and twist, four more. Nice. Good. And good, quiet landing, and rest. Excellent.

Do you feel a little bit of mm, maybe a little aerobic, dare I say? Aerobic meaning breath, so you've done that. Let's swing your legs to the side and stand up. Look at you in all blue, good, and I thank you both very much. You have nice warm backs, thank you.

(Gia and Laura chuckle)

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Comments

LOVE LOVE LOVE!! More please !
Agi
1 person likes this.
What a stunning class!!! Such beautiful grace in execution of power movements! Loved it! Thank you Diane Diefenderfer!
1 person likes this.
What a great class. Absolutely loved it. Thank you
1 person likes this.
Thank you!! Always great to hear you teach and cue, you are an inspirational teacher More like this please!!
3 people like this.
Loved this class, a keeper! Thank you Diane, this class really fuels my passion. Hope to see you back soon! And thank you PA for exposing me to the best teachers ever!
2 people like this.
My thighs are shaking! Great fun - thank you!
1 person likes this.
That was amazing. Inner and outer thighs will feel this one. I feel two inches taller and 20 years younger. Thank you so much, Diane. xo
1 person likes this.
Thank you Diane it felt good to be doing such a controlled class! Feeling every part of me and focusing on it.
Z A
1 person likes this.
Thank you Diane, this was like poetry🙏
1 person likes this.
Wow!! my new favorite class!! I loved every bit of it. Thank you so much for such a beautiful class!
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