Class #3264

Reformer Duet Ideas

55 min - Class


You will learn how you can layer movements for your clients in this Reformer workout by Troy McCarty. He shares what he looks for when he is working with his clients as well as the cues he uses to get the quality of movement that he wants. He also includes hands-on tips that your clients will love.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Jan 03, 2018
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Hi, I'm Troy McCarty. Thanks for watching me. I've got Erin, I've got Meredith, and we're gonna do a class, and I'm kinda gonna gear this class to some teachers out there. So, please enjoy. Okay, so, Erin and Meredith, let's take all the springs off.

Be careful the carriage has no tension on it. Move the carriage back and sit on the carriage with your feet on the floor. All the way? Yeah, not all the way back. Just come on back here.

Yeah, here we go. Careful there. And then you wanna get your sit bones up to the front so you're not dangling. Sit your sit bones up to the front so you're not dangling. Okay, so, this is how I like to start with my clients that are band new and coming to me.

So, it gives me a chance to look at what is their posture like. What am I gonna be working with, alright. And also it gives them a chance to think about what does this machine do, what's this weird thing that I've heard about, all my friends are doing. So, it's the reformer. Alright, so what I want you to do is I just want you to kinda push the machine back a little bit, and then pull the machine forward, right.

And go push back. Excellent. And bring it forward. And keep on going. So what I'm looking for here is I'm looking for where their knees go.

Are their knees tracking over that second toe? How are they sitting? Are they able to move the carriage back and forth and maintain that good core strength? And let's do one more. Exactly.

And bring it back in, excellent. Can you scoot back just a little bit? Scoot back. Bring your feet back, you too. So scoot the carriage back.

Yeah, perfect. Now we're gonna add to that. So, as we go back we're gonna flex the feet. As we go forward, we'll go upon the balls of the heels. All right.

So here we go, we go back. And the feet flex, right, and we come forward, and the heels rise up. Good. And we go back and we flex, exactly. And we come forward, and the heels raise up.

And let's keep on doing that. So here I'm looking at the flex of the foot, how much of a flex they have. And as they raise their heels up, what are they doing? Are they able to go up without rolling out on the big toe or little toe? And I'm kinda getting my mind, I'm getting ready for some foot work here, alright?

And also, for my older clients, I'm kinda emulating walking. I'm seeing they're striking their heels, they're going through their balls of their feet. So it's a nice healthy moment for them. Just do a couple more. Exactly.

And go back, excellent. And back forward, one more. And we go back and we flex the feet. Toes up, good. You're feeling it, you're feeling a little bit of hamstring.

Yeah. Back and forth. Alright, very good, bring it in. Okay, let's go into footwork now. So I'm gonna use three red springs for footwork, alright?

So go ahead and hook your springs up for me. Right, lay down properly on the machine. Aim that shoulder right in there, and bring your heels up on the bar. So I like to start in a parallel position, right? So we're gonna be parallel, and we're gonna be in that strong flex.

And the knees will open just a little bit, so we keep that nice alignment. And I want you to feel that your heels, you're right in the middle of that heel. Without moving the carriage, let's take an inhale. And during your exhale, let's crawl the pelvis up slowly, bone by bone. So we're rolling the spine up.

Very good. Take an inhale and an exhale. You roll down, you soften the chest, and you're going bone by bone, alright? So like in my other classes, I talk about that strand of pearls. So lots of space between each pearl.

That your vertebral and your disk creating space. Let's take an inhale and exhale. Let's roll that spin up slowly, bone by bone. Good. And I'm watching where the knees go.

Take your inhale and exhale, roll back down. Exactly. And just stay there a moment. Come on down and just rest a moment. Another image I like to give my clients is that I've got a wheel on your right hip and a wheel on your left hip.

And we're gonna take these wheels and spin them towards you, and that's gonna peel your pelvis off. Alright, so let's place that. So we've got the wheels on our hips. We're laying down. I got lots of width across the shoulders.

I have my soft neck. I'm in my neutral spine for a moment here. My arms are reaching down. I've got the scapulars down in the palms, okay? So, we're gonna start spinning those wheels towards you, and that's gonna peel.

Oh, that was beautiful, Meredith. Very nice. Good. And the thighs reach forward, right, and they roll back down through your spine slowly bone by bone. Good, Erin.

And we roll that spine up slowly, and you think of the wheel spinning. And those thighs reach and the knees reach., excellent. And let's hold there for a moment. Take another inhale. And sometimes I like just to slightly pull those thighs a little bit forward.

Now roll back down, get some good space in between. That was very broad. That was really lovely, wasn't it? Yeah. Good.

Excellent, you can pay me after class. Alright, so we flex those feet now. We're ready for footwork. So let's take our inhale. And during your exhale, let's go ahead and push the carriage out and stretch one.

Okay, now pull the carriage back in. Alright, good. Let's hold there a moment. What I like to tell my clients with their heels on the bar to do is feel like you're pushing the foot bar softly across the room. You're pulling the foot bar back to you softly.

So it's a soft, it's a very structured movement. So let's take that, alright? So let's take an inhale. And during your exhale, let's softly push the foot bar across. There we go.

And bring it back in, exactly, aiming those knees over those toes. And push the bar across. And pull the bar back in. And push the bar across. Good.

And pull the bar back in. Let's make those spring sing a lovely melody, and push, that's it, and pull it back in. Let's do two more. And we go push the bar. Pull the bar to you one more.

And we go push, very good. And we pull to you, excellent. Okay, now, let's move the feet down to the base of our toes, alright? So we want the heels to match the gear bar. Alright, so the gear bar is where you put the spring on, of course.

So want to keep the heels lined up with that, therefore it isolates the movement into the hip joints, right? And again, we want that action up, pushing the bar away slowly, and pulling the bar back in. When we do this, we don't jerk the pelvis in that first move. We're keeping that nice punchbowl pelvis idea. It's like filled with punch, and we're keeping the punch inside that bowl calm.

All right. So let's take our inhale. And during your exhale, let's go ahead and push the bar softly. Good. And then pull the bar back in.

And we push, and we push the bar softly. Excellent. And we pull the bar back in. Good. And we push.

Good. And we pull it back in, and we press. Good. And we pull it back in. Let's do one more.

Let's stay out there a moment, alright? So we push and we stretch and we reach long, and we hold now. We're gonna lower our heels softly underneath the bar. So we lower down. We maintain everything in the pelvis and the spine.

We bring it up without popping the movement. We lower down. We're looking at the foot position. We're looking how the client is moving the carriage back and forth, down three. And we bring it back up.

We go down four. Excellent. We bring it back up. Perfect. We go down five.

Very good. And bring it back up. Bend your knees and bring the carriage back in. Okay, let's go into a wrap position now, alright? So we're gonna wrap the toes around.

I love this exercise because it's so healthy for your foot. We put our feet in shoes all day. Our clients, they come in, they take their big shoes off. And that foot has been in that little cage all day, and now we're gonna do the opposite. We're gonna make them grip over.

And that really, really works the intrinsic muscles of your feet. It kinda wakes those feet up. So wrap those toes around. Take your inhale softly. Push that bar away for me.

Push one. Good. And bring the carriage back in. And push two, excellent. And bring the carriage back in.

Good. We're aiming those knees right over that toe, and push three. Good. And bring it back in. And we push four.

Good. And bring it back in one more. And we push five. Perfect. And we bring it back in.

Excellent. Okay, so now let's bring our heels out to the sides of the bar. Let's put this a little bit of external rotation into your hip joints there. Alright, so once again, that heel, we're touching that bar in the middle of the heel, so we can feel the backs of our legs, alright? We're looking that our clients hold that pelvis in that stable position.

We're looking at what their shoulders are doing, what their necks are doing, what their arms are doing. And I try to get my clients to breathe during footwork. I'm not real adamant about that. It helps because I'm also afraid that they might hyperventilate a little. So, sometimes I go for the movement more, then I add the breath quality to it.

So let's try that. So, remember, we're gonna push that bar softly across the room and pull it towards us. Let's flex those feet back. Let's aim those knees over that second toe. Here we go, inhale, and go exhale.

We push the bar away. We pull the bar back towards us. Good. And you push the bar away, excellent. And we pull it towards us.

Nice. And go push three, and pull it towards us. And we push four. Excellent. And pull it towards us.

And we go push five, good, and we pull it towards us and back in. Great. Let's go back to our parallel position, alright? So we're gonna be on the heels again. Alright.

So, I like to do some rotation as we push back to parallel as we bring it in. It's like the feet are kind like these windshield wipers. They're going the wrong ways, because usually windshield wipers go this way, but we're gonna go out this way, alright? So, we're gonna rotate and we're gonna rotate outwards as we push the carriage away. So take your time with this movement.

Don't go right into your turnout. Give yourself a chance to kinda coordinate the movement once it turn out, right? So, let's make those springs have a nice lovely melody here. Let's take our inhale. Let's exhale, and just go rotation.

Good. And bring it back to parallel. You bring it in so don't rush back into your parallel. And we go rotation, we open. Good.

And we bring it back in and we return. Nice. And go rotation. And we reach the ears out long and we bring it back in, and we go rotation. Good.

And bring it back in one more. And we rotation. Very good. And bring it back in, excellent. Alright, good.

So that's the footwork I like to teach. Why don't you go ahead and change your springs to two, we're gonna do some arm work, alright. I think footwork is valuable, valuable tool for our clients. Every time that foot touches that bar, we're hitting muscles, we're getting exercise, we're intrinsically waking up muscles in the feet. And it's so valuable for our senior clients, right?

We've gotta work with walking on them. We've gotta work with balance and things like that. That foot has gotta be strong to hold that body up. Okay, let's go ahead and lay back down. Let's carefully grab those straps, alright?

So be careful grabbing those straps. And let's bring those arms up to the ceiling. All right. And bring your legs up to your table top position. Your heels will touch, your knees will open just a little bit.

I squeeze the heels. Your arms must start below your shoulders. We're just gonna do a few simple arm exercises here, alright? So we're gonna take our inhale. And during your exhale, you're just gonna pull the arms down softly.

One. Good. And bring the arms back up. And we're gonna open the spring up. So go ahead, open the coils of the spring, and close the coils of the spring.

And we go three and press. Good. And we go back up. And we go four and press. Perfect.

And back up. Let's do one more, please. And we go five and press. Good. And bring it back up.

Excellent. Let's just hold there. Now we're gonna add one more movement to this. The legs will stay where they're at. They're at that tail bone down.

They're balanced. We're gonna pull the arms down, and we're gonna bring the upper body up into a thoracic curl, so forward flexion. And we just wanna come up to the tips of our scapular. I'm looking how my client opens a spring and closes a spring, how the movement flows, what muscles are they using to pull this straps, okay? So here we go.

We take our inhale. And during your exhale, you pull your arms down, you bring your upper body up. The legs stay absolutely still. And we lower back down softly. Think about articulating the bones.

Inhale, exhale, pull. Good. And we bring it back down. Let's do one more. Take your inhale and and exhale, go pull.

Perfect. And then you bring it back down. Okay, so let's add one more element to this now. Alright, so, arms, upper body, and we're gonna extend the legs out, and hit bullseye every time. Same point.

Here we go, take your preparation breath. Fill your body up with some nice air here. And exhale, go pull down, extend your legs out. Upper body and you reach, and you lower back down, return. And we go reach through those fingers.

Legs are long, we're separating the toe and the thigh, and bring it back, and let's do one more. Let's take your inhale and go exhale, reach. Very good. And you bring it back down. Excellent, let's put our feet down on the bar.

Rest for a moment, alright? So, simple arm movements that I do. I'm trying to get the body to coordinate. I'm seeing if my client can separate parts of the body, use the right muscles. I'm looking for flow.

I'm looking how they open the spring and they close the spring, using my voice. It's a little hard to walk globally around my clients, but I move my body around. Sometimes when I'm teaching, I'll be right with my client, I walk out of that vision, I'm talking again to see how they move to see what's going on. I bring my voice back. So I'm always challenging them too.

Alright, so, let's do some coordination. I love coordination, alright? Still hard to this day, and I've been doing it for years. All right? So the word coordination always gets my clients like, "Oh geez, here it comes.

"I gotta coordinate. "I don't know if I can do that. "I haven't coordinated anything in my life "in the past 15 years, I don't know." So here we go. So, elbows bend, alright? And legs are in table top.

Okay, and let's take the hands and make soft, alright? So, we know Joe is a boxer, right? They had a lot of this type of movement. So probably hands are like this, alright? But I don't let them fist it.

I don't let them grind it together. Softness is what I want, alright? So we're gonna pull the hands down, extend the legs out, bring your upper body up at the same time. So let's inhale, and let's exhale, and let's go. Over you go, hold.

Now open close your legs, one two. Bend your knees, stay up. Bend your elbows and lay back down. Good. And go.

Press and stretch, open close, bend, return, one more, and go. Press and stretch, open and close, bend and return. You can put your legs down, rest them a while. I love this exercise. When my clients get this, I kinda add a little bit more.

I'm trying to challenge them in very appropriate ways. So what I'm looking for is when they go out. It's a soft movement. Then the open and close is a sharp movement. They go back to their soft movement to lay back down.

So I got two different types of movements that I was going on. I got soft and I got sharp. It's like learning the movements for them. In life, we move that way. We're not all the time, slowly.

We do things fast, we do things quick. And I tell my clients this helps you at home, because sometimes you're gonna make quick movements, sometimes you're gonna take a slow movement. And I want you to be conscious on how you do that. Alright, let's bring those arms back up. Let's make those soft little boxer hands there, alright?

And we're gonna go pull the arms down, extend your legs up. Upper body comes up. That was soft. Here's your sharp. Open, close.

We bend soft, and you lay back down soft. Again, press and stretch, two. We open, we close, we bend, and we return back down. Let's do one more. Press, you open, you close, and you bend, and you lay back down, put your feet back down on the carriage.

That was excellent. Alright, good. Let's go ahead and let's do one more arm exercise, right? I love arm circles. It gives my clients a chance to get those shoulders open, move in a different dimension, alright?

So let's bring the legs up to your table top position, extend your fingers up to the ceiling now. So now we're in soft hands. We're gonna take the circle, and we're gonna move the arms out to the walls, down to our hips, and back up to the ceiling. And back up, then we come back up, alright? And we go two and around.

And let's keep on going. So, I'm looking how my clients open the arms, pull the arms, and press the arms back up. I want the circle to count. I want them to feel like they are using their back. These arms are extensions of your back.

You're feeling this whole room up with your back. Let's do one more and press. Very good. And bring it up. Now let's pull it down.

We push down, we press the walls up. We bring it back, push that ceiling up. Down, two, out, up, down, three. We open the springs, we close the springs and we control it back up. Four, let's do one more.

Let's finish on five. And here's your last one, and make it flow, and open, and up. Alright, very good, bend your knees and bring it in. Okay, we're gonna go to one red spring. We're gonna put the foot bar down.

And we're gonna take the box and put it on long. So we have a long box, we have one red spring, and the foot bar is down. That's the other thing I do while I'm teaching. I really make sure that my group classes and my privates understand my commends. I don't wanna be authoritative teacher, but I want them to be listening so that we can move the class and progress the class accordingly.

So we were gonna lay down on our stomachs. Our chest is over the edge, and you're gonna reach up and grab the straps above the hardware. We have one spring on. Alright, now what I want you to do is have your upper body drape over the box. So I tell my clients that I want their upper bodies to drape over.

I want it to be like a piece of chiffon draped over the box, not burlap. Okay? Alright, so, we're gonna take the hip bones and we're gonna push in, and we're gonna use an inhale breath for this. We're gonna inhale, we're gonna pull the arms back, and we're gonna lift the body up into an extension, right. And we go exhale.

We lower back down through that body. And we go inhale, and we lift up. Going the shoulders away, scapulars, lie down your back, and exhale. We don't wanna lift the chin too much because we don't wanna get the neck. Okay, let's just hold a moment.

I'm sure we all see this is as teachers where the clients break the wrist. They do funky things with the wrist. So usually what I like my clients to do is to hold it and point their fingers, their index fingers out. So hold the little strap and point your fingers up. Now the next time we're gonna lift that chest up into an extension, and you're gonna take your index fingers and point them towards your heels.

So here we go. We pull and we point those index fingers. There we go. It's a nice placement there. And we lower back down.

Good. And again, the fingers goes towards the floor, towards the corner, the floor meets the wall, and right to the wall and lower back down. Let's do one more. And we go pull and we reach it up, excellent. Now let's see if we can come down bone by bone again.

Now coordinate that movement with your arms and come down, excellent. Alright, very good, and bring it in. Now let's just bring the body up and just right off the edge of the box there. Alright? So I'm getting you lined up.

So if I was to flip this reformer over, and you were slight onto your feet, you'd be in perfect posture. Okay. Exactly. Let's pull the arms back towards your hips now, and go ahead and point your fingers again. How's that feel?

Yeah, it kinda makes you really hold that strap in different way, yeah. Okay, let's do some triceps, alright? So we bend our elbows, then we go. Press and push, one. Now make it smooth.

We open and we close that spring, two, yeah. The coils close, they open, three. Excellent. We go four. Shoulders are wide, that next is soft.

And let's do one more, and we go five. Very good. And then lower your body back in. Excellent. Okay, let's go ahead and step off the long box now.

We're gonna take the box and put it on short. And we're gonna put all the spring on now and get our foot strap ready to sit on the box. So short box on, all the springs on. And let's get that black strap up. Okay, so, with the feet, what I like to see is that we take the legs and we reach out to this side.

So we're pushing our legs slightly out to the side, so therefore we get a little bit more energy through the hips, alright? And we're gonna start with that classic position with the arms here, alright? I level this out. So what I'm looking for in my client is that they demonstrate a good sitting posture. We see the ear, the shoulder, the mid-rib, and the hip lined up with a natural curve to its spine.

I'm asking my client to sit on the sharpest point of their sit bones they can find. So that they're not sitting forward on their hamstrings or they're not sitting way too back. They are finding that. Sometimes I like to use my five-breath approach. I got them in this perfect posture.

And I ask my clients to take an inhale. And during your exhale, I want you to feel how you're sitting on the sharpest points. So let's take that, exhale, and visualize sitting on the sharpest points of the sit bones. Let's take inhale again. And during your exhale, I want you to feel how those shoulders are down out of those ears, the scapulars are sliding down.

We go inhale ad we go exhale. And we talk about the spine being nice and long. Good. So we do that five times and we come up with different images. It kinda brings that awareness.

It slows my client down. It makes them remember something a little bit more. Alright, now, let's go into a simple roll down, alright? So we want some energy in the glutes. We don't wanna squeeze the glutes that we reposition the pelvis, but we want a little tone.

And we want some tone behind the backs of the legs. Take your inhale, ladies, please, and exhale. Let's pull the pubic bone back, and roll the spine down. Let the arms come down some. Perfect excellent.

Take a sniff of air without changing the shape of your spine. Exhale, bring your body forward, and roll back out, and your eye level goes out to that beautiful scene you have there. Take your inhale, exhale. Pubic bone starts that movement. Good.

And I'm looking for that nice flection of the spine, and take your inhale and exhale. You roll back up, and let's do one more, and take your inhale and exhale. Let's roll down through that spine. Okay, and let's just hold there a moment. Let's take the arms and reach out to the walls.

Simple, this change. Bring the arms, recross back over. Let's roll that spine back up slowly, bone by bone, stacking the vertebrals up nice and tall. Inhale, lift up through that spine. Ears up to the ceiling, shoulder blades are sliding down, exhale.

You scoop, you hollow. Perfect, it's a lovely movement. Let's reach those arms out. Feel that difference. Feel those arms connected to your back.

Bring your arms back in, curl back up, and roll that spine back up. Let's do it one more time. Take your inhale and exhale. Curl down and roll. We've got energy behind the legs.

We have little energy in the glutes. The shoulder blades are sliding down your back. You reach out, you feel that. Let go of those belly muscles. You recruit, recruit.

Bring it back in, and you roll that spine back up, and you stretch. Go ahead and relax. Great. So we're gonna grab our wrist now. So let's grab our wrist.

And what I can see is like a little gentle pull outwards, just real gentle. So we get some back energy going on. Let's do some rotations now, alright? So we take our inhale. And this is a chance to lift your spine higher.

Find the sharpest point of those site bones. Exhale, pull the pubic bone down. So roll down there. Go ahead and roll. Nice, and let the arms come down some.

That's it, right there. Now let's rotate to our right, and so make your rotation. Good. We stay centered with shoulders and back in the center. And let's rotate over to the left, good.

And this stays down. We stay centered on those sit bones, knees are level, and back to center. And rotate, resist. Excellent. And back in the center.

And we rotate and we resist. It's like we're wringing a wash cloth out there and back in the center. Hold, take an inhale, exhale. Curl your spine back up. Sit up nice and tall on those sit bones.

Let's do it one more time. Remember, before we start, rotation happens at your waist. Let's say that your clients have really, really improved with this. Sometimes I tell them think of taking the rotation four fingers below the navel, and see what happens. So it's gonna make your movement a little bit different.

We're not gonna have a big range, but I think we're gonna find that really, really lower, lower belly, low pelvic floor. Yeah. So here we go. We inhale, we lift the spine up, your eye levels are out. Exhale, we pull the pubic bone back.

We roll the spine. Alright, so it's below the navel, and we go rotate, and we resist, rotate. Ooh, very good. And back to center. Different, yeah?

Rotate, resist, and back to center. Let's do it one more each side. We go rotation, excellent, and we resist it one more, and we go rotation, perfect, and we resist. Now to get inhale, exhale, brig your body up, sit up nice and tall, and just relax a moment. Very good.

So that bringing it down below the navel really changes the dynamics. It doesn't make a big rotation, but it really certainly gets into those abdominals a lot deeper, those obliques, pelvic floor. And they kind slows my client down. I give a chance to look at a different type of rotation. So let's do a straight spine one, right?

So let's do our hinge. I like to put the hands on the forehead with the elbows forward just a little bit, alright? Again, these elbows are not all the way back where they're popping their chest out. Right. That's a little bit too much tension, but I bring them forward a little bit.

That slides everything in place, and my clients can feel the sides of their back. All right. So, let's take our inhale. And during your exhale, let's go ahead and do our hinge back. So we go hinge back, one.

Perfect. And we bring it back up. We lift to go back, so we lift and go back. And we don't change anything about the spine and we bring it back up. And shaking is good for the heart.

Yeah, take your inhale and go exhale, back. And we shake and back out to see one more. And we go back, very good, excellent, and bring it back up. Okay, so relax a moment. So what I'm looking for is my client to be able to do a hinge, and not to change anything in their spine.

They're recruiting all those abdominals that we've already discovered. We're putting them altogether, and we're giving them a big challenge. Let's do one more. Let's add a little arm movement to it, okay? Kinda mix it up a little.

Hands are back here, alright? So we lift the spine up and we're gonna go hinge back, and we're gonna hold. We're gonna open the arms out to the sides, and we bring the hands back, and we bring the body back up. And we go back, and we open kinda like what we did with the first movement, right, and back up. Let's do one more.

And we go out, and we open, and we close the hands and bring it back up. Can we try one more time? So let's add just one more thing to it, alright? So let's start with your right hand on your forehead and your left hand out. So out here, alright.

Now make this arm part of your back, alright? Now your palm will face forward, alright? So palm forward. Now as you hinge back, you're gonna change your arms. So here we go, hinge back, and we go change.

Come back forward and change. That's it. And we go change. Exactly. And we come back forward.

Let's do one more. And we go change, exactly. And we come forward and bring it back in, very good. Alright, good. So nice short box, alright.

Let's go ahead and take the box off. We are gonna go to two red springs, and we're gonna get into your leg straps now, alright? So feet in leg straps. I love to see the bar down for the feet and the straps. Then I get a good clear vision, and go ahead and slip into those straps.

When your clients are putting their feet in their straps. I think it's a valuable moment in your class to set them up, alright. Having your legs up in the air kinda give them a chance to think of like reverse circulation. It's a total different environment now that we're putting our clients in. We've had them on their backs.

We've had them laying on their stomachs. Now we get them back on their backs with their feet straight up to the ceiling. So go ahead, raise your legs up to the ceiling, and bring your legs up, and let's be parallel. We wanna be sure that we have the clients put the strap down by the mouth of the heel. We have to use the back of the legs so much in Pilates.

This will really help. Also, we wanna make sure that the client's foot is not pronating, supinating, sickling, doing weird things up there. So I ask my clients if they can see all 10 toes. And I might remark, "I love the color of your toe nails." as I just change it up a little bit. And just a soft point.

Alright, so what we're gonna do is we're gonna take an inhale. And during you exhale, you're gonna pull your legs forward. So let's go pull forward, one, and we bring it back up, just a simple movement. Let's do it one more time please. And go forward.

Nice. And we bring it back up. And let's hold. I ask my clients to think of their foot reaching through the strap. I don't want them to think that they are taking their foot and pushing the strap down.

The movement happens way down here. These straps are just for guidance. So we direct the energy out of the foot. We put it down here in the thighs, and we have the clients think of that toe and thigh separation that they're reaching their legs all the way across the room, and then all the way back up as they come back up. Again, the tail bone is down.

That pelvis is a punchbowl. Shoulders are wide, necks soft, arms reaching down. So we're constantly thinking about that laying down posture, how they look, what they're feeling. So let's try that again, alright? So we take our inhale and exhale.

And the movement starts... Yes, much better, good work. Excellent. And we bring it back up. Let's do three more, and we go reach the legs long, and reach them back long.

Then bring it back up, and let's do one more. And we reach the legs long. Good. And we bring it back up to the ceiling. We open the legs now to the width of our hips.

So a little bit more dynamic. They don't have the inside of the legs touch any more for stability. So we're looking that the client can hold that navel down, recruit those abdominals, and not change anything in the pelvis, or the upper body. Again, it's the same idea. We're using the back of the legs, not the foot through the strap.

It's the backs of your legs. Take your inhale, please, exhale. Let's go ahead and pull down. Go down. Perfect.

And then bring it back up. And we go down. Think of a long path. Reach the toes out to the wall. Good.

And it goes wall. Corner the wall where it meets the ceiling and ceiling. Let's do one more. And go ceiling, corner wall, wall, and we go wall, corner of the wall where it meets the ceiling, and ceiling, very good. Bring your feet together.

Let's turn out in first position. And let's connect the heels together. So now we have some rotation in the hip joint, at the top of the hips. I'm having my client squeeze the heels together, so they can feel that aductor, that inner thigh. They're still keeping organized, sorry.

This is organized up here in the upper body. Inhale please and exhale, let's go. Reach those legs long. Perfect. And then bring those legs back up.

Nice. And we go long, reach them, squeeze the heels. And squeeze the heels and bring it back up. Let's do one more. And we go reach the legs long.

Excellent. And we bring it back up, very good. And let's go back to parallel now. Let's make circles now. So like our arms.

When we circle, the whole movement counts, how we open the legs, how we pull the legs around them together, and how we bring it back up. All has a meaning, how we open the springs and close the springs. The coils open with control and close with control is what I'm looking for. So here we go. We inhale, the legs open.

We come around, we pull, and we connect the legs, very nice. And you bring it back up. We're gonna stay parallel for this. Good Erin. And we open and we pull around.

And let's make it flow now. I wanna see those coils open and close. I wanna hear that lovely melody those springs can make every now and then. Perfect. And go press around, excellent.

And back up. Let's do one more. And press around, good. And brig it back up. Now let's reverse that.

So we go down with the backs of the legs. It's not the feet in the straps it's the backs and legs initiating that movement. Perfect. And go down, two, and around, lovely. Go through, pull down, and around.

Good. And we go four, pull down, and around. And we got one more to do, please. And we go five, pull down. Good.

And around. Very nice, lovely movement. Now let's take the legs and turn out in the first position. Pull your legs down to a 45-degree reach. Alright, so, these are the frogs or plie as I call them.

We are gonna bend the knees. We're gonna flex the feet, and we're gonna pull the heel towards the body. Right there, we wanna make sure that the sit bone and the tail bone are still down. And we exhale and we push the carriage away. We pull the springs back together, and we open those springs back out.

And we go heels towards our navel, and we push back out, and let's do one more. And go in. Good. And we press back out and stretch. I like to add one more thing to the frogs.

As we pull the springs in, we're gonna keep that navel where it is. As we push the springs out, press the legs back out, those knees stretch, we're gonna lift that navel higher. You got it? Alright, so, we pull the heels towards our body. Now we press the carriage away and we pull that navel up.

Knee stretch, navel lifts. We bend our knees, that navel stays there, and we're lifting that body, and press out and stretch. Good. And go pull. Now this time as you press, lift that navel, pull that navel up, and reach your ears long.

That's it, good Erin. And one more bend. Excellent. And press, very good, and stretch. Very nice, Meredith.

Bring your legs back up to the ceiling and stretch your legs up. Let's open our legs out to the side, and let's give it a little stretch there. Excellent, and you can put your hands up there the straps or cords, and you can do a little general pull. Perfect. And we bring the legs back together, and let's repeat that one more time.

There we go, back. Excellent. Good, and we bring it back together. Perfect. Go ahead and slip out your leg straps, please.

We're gonna go to a red and a blue. We're gonna bring or bar back up to our footwork position. And we are gonna stand up on the carriages for elephant. Alright, so we get up holding the bar, and we're gonna put our heels up against he shoulder rest to start with. And your flat footed there.

All right. Let's do a flat back elephant first. So we're looking for the back to be flat. It's almost like somebody is pulling the hips back. The sit bones are reaching back to the wall, and the a little bit up towards the corner of the wall where it meets the ceiling.

So they're getting this lovely stretch. Look at the feet. What are my feet doing? What are my client's feet doing? I love that color.

And you relax, alright? And then looking at they're not rolling their foot, that they're not collapsing into that arch, they're maintaining that good structure. Let's take that, push the legs back, please, using the back two legs, and hold there. We're gonna push down into the heels and return the coils back in, excellent. And we're gonna inhale and press the legs back, and we're exhale and push into the middle of that heel and pull it back in.

So you;r pushing down and you go back and press that heel down. Let's do one more. And we go back and we push the heel down, excellent. And we bring it back up. Let's bring our feet away from the shoulder rest just a little bit.

Bring your legs together, alright. So feet together. And then raise your heels up. Now, let's take that spine and round it way up to the ceiling. Good.

So the legs are together, heels are lifted, and we're pressing that spine all the way up to the ceiling. We're pushing those abdominals up. With control, we open that spring up, go ahead. And we close that spring. We're keeping that spine nice and round.

And we open. And we close, and we're lifting those abdominals all the way up to that ceiling. We press back. And we close it, let's do two more. We press back, excellent.

Lift those quads out of those knees and go back, nice. And back in, let's done one more. And we go back, very good. And we pull it back in, and lower your heels down. Perfect.

Go ahead and step off the carriages for me, please. We're gonna go to a blue spring now, alright? And you're gonna kneel on the carriage with your feet against the shoulder rest and your hands on this bar. Okay, so I want you to push the bar away, and I want you to drop your back into a table top. So go ahead, push the bar away, bring your hips forward right there, alright?

Not too far, bring your legs forward. Now, take your right hand off the bar and put it right across your right knee, grabbing the edge of the carriage. So there, right there. So that's our start position. Shoulder blades are down.

So I'm looking for neutral spine. I'm looking for this angle of the hip. We're gonna take the supporting arm. We're gonna bend the elbow. And the elbow goes towards the thigh.

We bring it in, and we push the carriage away, and we stretch. We bring it in. That elbow aims towards that thigh. And we press. And we go in, and we're not changing anything in this upper body.

It's staying right where... Oh, yeah. You feel that? Yeah. Let's do one more.

Good, and then press out, now stretch, now hold. Now hold there. We are gonna take the opposite leg to the hand on the bar and extend it back. Now what I want you to do is not to sit over on that supporting leg, but try to... Yes, try to stay center.

We bend the elbow, we bring it in. Go, yeah. And we push away, excellent. And we go in. And we push, let's do two more, and go in.

And think of the leg lengthening away from the body one more, and we go in. Lots of tricep, yeah. Lots of core, whoo!. Very good, and bend and bring that back in. Let's try the other side, okay?

Just make sure that when your clients, the hand is on the bar that we're not into this type of wrist. Fingers over. And we start with, yes, one hand down now. And that goes right across from that thigh. This is all level.

I'm looking for neutral. I'm looking for long neck. Still some energy back here in the backs of our legs. Bend the elbow, bring it in. Aim that elbow towards the thigh.

And we push out and we stretch. And we go in, two. Good. And we stretch. And we go in, three.

Good. And stretch, let's do one more. And go in, four. Very good. And stretch, we hold.

Now take the opposite leg from the hand on the bar, it extends. Now you don't want your clients to shift over and sit over on this supporting leg. We're still maintaining that neutral spine that nice pelvic position. We bend the elbow, we bring it in with control. There, you're looking at the springs.

Open and close them for me. See how you close them. See how you open them. Go three. And we exhale softly, good.

And one more, and we go four. Very good. And bring it back in, and return that, and bring your carriage back in. Good work. Let's go to three red springs now, and just lay down on our backs.

Okay, so, we're gonna do the pelvic lift series. We're gonna put the heels right across from our two sit bones. We're gonna flex the feet. We kinda started class this way. We're gonna add one more movement to it.

We're gonna take our inhale. And during your exhale, we're gonna curl the pelvis up slowly, bone by bone. So, we have the wheels. So we're gonna spin those wheels and bring that spine up. So go ahead, our wheel is spinning and that's lifting the spine pulling these pearls up one at a time.

Take your inhale here, exhale, push the carriage out and stretch one. Excellent. Pull the carriage back in, good. Press out two and stretch, good. And pull it back in.

We're looking for knees over that second toe. Go three, good. And pull it back in. Let's do one more, please. And we go four, perfect, and pull it back in.

Now hold, take your inhale, exhale, soften the chest, roll the spine back down bone by bone. Shoulders relax wide, neck soft. Good, let's take our heels out to the sides of the bar, your thighs are open. We flex our feet back. Take your inhale, exhale, we start spinning those wheels that peels that pelvis off.

Good, and we curl right up there. Shoulders are wide, neck soft. Take your inhale. Exhale, open this coils of the spring. Close those coils again.

And we open the coils of that spring and we close the spring, and we go press three. God, and bring it back in. And we go press, four. Lovely, lovely. And bring it back in.

Take your inhale and exhale. We roll the spine back down. Perfect. Bring your legs together. So I'm gonna show this with Meredith.

This is something I like to do with my clients. This will keep your clients coming back to you, and they'll ask you every time, "Can we do that again?" You're gonna say no. You're gonna do it every now and then because it's a lot of hard work on your body. So what I need you to do is you're gonna reach back and grab the pegs for me, alright? Bring your legs up to a tale top position.

Now we're gonna get rid of the bar here. There we go, alright. And we can do this one of two ways. We can stand on the platform ourself or we can take the box. Sometimes I like to take the box as I get older.

It's a little bit more easier for me. In my younger days, when I was teaching, I was all over the reformer. I was standing on the edges. I was standing on these edges. I was on the carriage of my clients, until I had the basketball players come to me.

I couldn't do that. Even if I stood on the carriage, their legs were taller than me, and my hands and my shoulders are up and I'm trying to guide their legs. As I get older, I'm now standing on a box, alright. So just go ahead and relax there. You can watch.

You can sit up and watch us, alright. So we're gonna grab these legs here. And Meredith is gonna really hold on. She's gonna hold on real tight. And I have her legs.

I'm holding my abdominals and my knees are softly bent. We're gonna roll that spine up slowly. So let's go ahead, curl that spine up, lovely. And I'm gonna give her a little bit of tension, and she's gonna roll down. And she's gonna go, "Oh my god, can we do that all day?" No.

(laughs) And we go, inhale, exhale, we curl up, and we roll. So that feel good. (mumbles) Huh? We can do it for a while, right? Yeah, we can.

And we'll roll back down. Let's do one more. Inhale and exhale, curl up and roll. Good. Alright, now we're gonna take that and we're gonna do a little rotation.

Now I pull hard on the top leg. I return the carriage back, the pelvis back. I pull hard on that left leg. Right. And back.

So the top leg I'm pulling this a little bit more to get that stretch and back to center. Now I'm pulling on that top leg again, good, and bring it back again. And then I roll the spine back down. Excellent. Alright, scoot back just a little bit for me.

Right there is perfect. Now, we're gonna put your ankles, your feet right into my hip joints. And you're gonna hold straight. You're gonna give me your hands now, alright, and I grab the wrist. We're gonna curl your chin forward.

We're gonna roll that spine up, and stretch. Alright? Now you're gonna pull the pubic bone back, and we're gonna roll down and really pull. Really pull those abdominals back in. I bend my knees and I guide.

This is a good roll down, right? We are articulating those bones. We're giving that strand of pearls, right? Chin forward, we curl up and we roll. This is a lovely teaser right here, isn't it?

It's gorgeous. Take your inhale, exhale, pull that pubic bone back. Roll that spine down. Good, nice. Let's do one more.

And go inhale and exhale. Curl up. Pull that navel in. Hold that. Pull the pubic bone back, roll that spine back down.

Excellent. Good. Alrighty, and we bend those knees. Let's do a little back stretch there if you knees can handle that. That's fine.

Okay, great. Let's go ahead and stand up on the floor. Bring your bar back up here. Let's go to one red spring. And let's do a thigh stretch.

Alright, so we're gonna put the foot against the shoulder rest, rest the other foot on the ground. The hands will be on the bar. I like to see the hands over here, and I wanna see the hands resting on the bar. I don't want them gripping up in the shoulders. I want to flip forward.

I want that my clients, my students to be conscious of that knee and toe alignment. We take our inhale, we exhale. We push the bar or the carriage away. We lower the body down. Nice.

Now this knee is reaching forward over that toe. This knee is reaching back, and we're getting that lovely, lovely opposition stretch. We bring it back up. Let's try one more time, inhale, and exhale, we lower down. Good.

And we inhale, and we exhale, we bring the body back up. Perfect. Let's try the other side. So the foot is right against the shoulder rest. The toes are curled under.

So the client really feels this. The leg is forward, shoulders are sliding. Those shoulders are down, the scapulars are sliding down the back. My hands are resting on the carriage. We prepare the body with the inhale.

This is the chance to kinda lift and feel your body above there. And we exhale, we softly push. And we give that knee opposition. That knee is reaching forward, the other knee is reaching back, creating this nice oppositional stretch. And we bring it back up.

And let's do it one more time and go. Push. And just breathe and feel that. A lovely stretch. Great, and bring it back in.

All right. Erin, Meredith, thank you very much. Thank you very much. (applauds)


Troy ! So many useful cues and imagery for our teacher brains ! I appreciate your enthusiasm and sincere voice :)
Deborah Wasko Thanks Deborah. It is always nice to hear and see someone else teach. Sometimes it just enough of a spark to make us think or move differently. I have some other videos on PA I hope you will view them and let me know what you think!!
1 person likes this.
really good useful cues and imagery and yes love the the solid sensible voice. only saying something, sometimes I just fill the silence I think ! so a good reminder for me
1 person likes this.
A Sometimes silence gives that student just that bit more of concentration to put in to correcting a movement or maintaining a good postural habit. When I first started teaching I felt I had to fill the whole hour with my voice. I got over that really quick because it overwhelmed my clients. So happy you watched my class I have some others hope you will watch them also and let me know what you think!!
Amazing! Loved your short box series and the quadruped triceps! We are experiencing a “snow day” today in Omaha so I’m all alone in the studio, but cannot wait to do the end series! Cues were amazing. Thank you!
Connie Thanks Connie-- I love snow days I so glad I could be part of yours. Thanks for watching I have some others on PA I hope you get a chance to catch those and let me know what you think.

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