Class #3362

Athletic Reformer Flow

45 min - Class


Challenge your stability with this athletic Reformer workout by Maria Leone. She teaches creative sequences that focus on strength and control throughout your whole body. She includes variations to exercises like Rowing Front, Mountain Climber, and so much more!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Pilates Pole

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Maria, and today, we're doing athletic reformer, which will require you to be standing on either side of the reformer at one time or another. And I just wanna take a minute and show you the length of my ropes. I'm working with a rope about that long. So, set yourself up for footwork. Headrest can be up or down.

I have three heavy springs and one light spring on the machine. Come onto your back. Bring your knees into your chest. Allow your body to ground, and begin by just circling the knees in the socket. Warming up the hip sockets.

And allowing your attention to come into your body and be aware of your body on the reformer. Okay, feet wide on the bar, hands are by your side. Engage the belly button. Take a breath in, and on an exhale, press the carriage out. Resist in, back out, two.

Heels Second External Rotation

And in. Begin creating that length in your body immediately, sending the crown of the head to the wall behind you. And making sure that you resist each time as you come in. Last time like that. Changing to an internal rotation, knees touch.

You're still on your heels, pressing out and in. So the thighbone is gonna stay internally rotated throughout this. Toes point in, knees point in. I know this is a little bit weird for some of you, you're not used to doing this. But just move with me for right now.

Heels Second Internal Rotation

The pelvis is still neutral. Last time. Into traditional first position. Heels are glued, heels are high. Wrap the legs, and in.

Pilates Stance

Really twisting the thighbones to the sky. Listen for your breath. (exhales) Last one here. All the way in, and this time, heels up on the bar. Flex the feet, draw the inner thighs together, and resist in.


So, the feet are staying still here, and there's really a scissoring action of the inner thighs, hugging into the midline of the body each time. Two more. Last one. And then close everything up really tight together today. Start from the sit bones, press out, resist in.

Listen for your breath. Find something you can let go of. Maybe the arm, maybe the neck, shoulder, maybe even just your face. Last time. And onto the ball of the foot.

Heels Parallel

I'm gonna work with the heels high, and everything tight together today. Press all the way out and straight to relevase. Lowering and lifting. So, as you're flowing through this, I want you to have the sensation that the carriage is staying still. So, that's not possible to do, but I want you to try.

Tendon Stretch

Hug the legs in, hug the outer thigh in. Feel all 10 of your toes wrapped on the foot bar, getting that work at the sole of the foot. Last one, and right into walking. One heel and then the other. We're gonna begin slow.


And let's start building that to a quicker tempo. Maybe inhaling for two, and then exhaling for two. Inhaling for two, exhaling for two, and come in. Take your feet back wide in second position. From here, curl your sacrum just up off the mat.

Pelvic Lift

Make sure the ribs are really thumb-tacked to the mat. Working just from the glut, short, pressing out and in. So what I'm looking for is that the action's really coming from the back of the leg, right? So don't kick out from the knees. Pull from here, isolate that action.

Pubic bone goes up, thighbone goes down. Last one here. All the way down, same thing in first position. Come to that low tuck, ribs thumb-tacked to the mat. Moving from the base of your glut.

Pilates Stance Pelvic Lift

Out and in. The thighbone pushes down as the pubic bone goes up. Find something to relax. Find a place you can go a little deeper. Last time here.

All the way in, all the way down. Back to the heel position. Everything very tight together. Curl the tail up off the mat, pressing from here out and in. And you can see it's kinda short, right?

Pelvic Lift Heels Parallel

I could take it further out, but then I'm gonna lose the shape. I'm gonna lose that curl in the base of the spine. Two more here. Last one. And all the way down.

Come on up. We're going to our first spring change. I'd like you to go down to two heavy springs. Come back onto your backs. Feet in first position.

The carriage is light. Pull the carriage out. Really wrap the inner thighs in and up. From here, without shifting. The right leg comes to a beautiful passe.

Single Leg Developpe

Left side stays anchored. Extend that leg out. Pause. Rotate that leg in front of you. Keep reaching through the toes.

Lower the leg to the bar. Reset, rewrap. Other leg comes to passe. Right side stays pasted to the machine. Extend that leg out.

Draw the leg in front of you, turn it out a little further. And lower it down. Back to the first side, passe. And extend out. Make sure you're not bracing with the shoulders.

Hold from the center of the body. Pull the leg in front of you. And lower down. Left leg to passe, really hold the right side still. Extend the leg out.

Turn the leg out. And lower down. Lower the heels. Lift the heels up, come parallel. Right leg into the chest.

Hamstring Stretch

Little hamstring stretch. Take the leg out, drop the heel down. And just a gentle stretch right now, not the biggest, grandest one you have. Inhale and exhale. Second side.

The other knee comes in. Compress the knee into the chest to begin with. Extend the leg out. The opposite heel is sinking underneath the reformer. Deep breath in.

And exhale. Come on in. Reach behind you, put your headrest down. We're gonna go into some bridging. Set up parallel on your heels.

Carriage is absolutely still. Tuck and bridge your hips up, reaching the knees forward over the big toes, and then peel right back down. Inhale... and exhale. Curl, lead with the pubic bone.


Really drag those heels back to the sit bones. And peel slowly down. Last time there, inhale... and exhale, curl. Send the knees forward over the toes.

Hold it here, inhale... and exhale all the way down. We're gonna start moving the carriage. Flex the feet. Press the carriage out.

Bridge Variation

Lift the hips up one inch. Now, come to that high position you just had. Curl down down through the spine. Press the carriage out. Lift the hips up.

Pull in, drag those heels to the sit bones. And articulate down. Again, press out. And lift. Pull the carriage in.

And peel down. Take your feet wide to second position again. We're gonna go back to that internal rotation. So pull the knees and the toes in, and then swivel the legs out. One more time, really squeezing the knees.

Hip Rotation

And open. And last time in... and press out and stay here. So we're gonna put all of this together. Press the carriage out.

Bridge Variation with Internal Rotation

Lift yourself up. Internally rotate as you come in, hold that. Roll down through the spine. Swivel out, press out. Lift up, come in, draw into the midline.

Roll down. And swivel out. Back out. Lift, pull in. Open the front of the hips.

Roll down, swivel out. Last one. Lift, pull in, hold it. Roll all the way down. And hug the knees into the chest.

Moving into our abdominal series. I'm gonna put my headrest up. You may do whatever you like. Grab your ropes and set up with a tiny bit of space between the shoulders and the shoulder rest. Legs to tabletop.

Arm Circles

Stay here. Without moving the carriage, the arms open. From the lat, exhale, down with the arms. Inhale, up, pause. Keep tension on the machine.

Open and exhale, down. The further legs are away from the center, the more you're gonna feel the center of the body working. Last one here. We're gonna add hundred position now. The arms come up.

Open, exhale, into hundred. Whatever your hundred is. Come slowly down, open. Exhale, lift. So this might be what your hundred position looks like.

Arm Circles w/Chest Curl

Down, open. Exhale, lift. Control the lowering. Keep control of the carriage throughout. We're adding to this a leg circle.

Open, exhale, lift, pause. From here, the two legs come up. Open, circle. And lower down. Open, exhale, lift.

Arm Circles w/Leg Circles

Press the bra line into the mat. The legs come up. They open, they circle. Draw the legs tight together. And lower down.

Last time, open... and exhale, lift. The legs come up. Open, pull in. Lower down.

Two feet to the bar, let the knees drop to the right. (exhales) And let the legs drop to the left. (exhales) Come back center. Legs to tabletop. Inhale here, exhale back to hundred.

Hundred, we're going to jumping frog. The legs turn out. They come in, they open, close. In, keep the thighs still as you open, close. In, open.

Jumping Frog

Now let's pick up that tempo. In, open, close... in, open, close... Last one, in, open, close, and lower down. Come on up for me.

We're going to go to an exercise called rowing front. Take your machine down to one heavy spring please. And get your foot bar out of the way. There are several versions of this. We're gonna use this movement again a little later.

Start without your ropes, sit up as tall as you can, hands are by your side. So here's our first shape. Inhale... exhale, come into a cat position. Biceps up, waistline is pulling back.

Rowing Front

From here, we change the whole position. The tailbone goes back. The chest and the head goes forward. Stay here. Lift a little bit higher.

And get longer. Really using the muscles in the upper back. Come a little higher and get longer. A little higher, yet longer. Then all the way up.

And press the arms down. So, the point at which you get flat's gonna depend on you and the flexibility. We're going to flow that now. You can use your ropes or not. It's a beautiful exercise without the ropes.

Hands here. Inhale. Exhale, dive forward, find that C shape. From here, change the whole shape. Get flat.

Over the legs. Take the shape all the way up. Palms are out. Press the arms down. And again, into cat.

Pull the waistline back, shoulders are down. Flatten out. Keep thinking of using your upper back. Come straight up, palms are out. Press down.

Last one. Exhale. Inhale. And exhale. And relax.

Come on out of there. Bring your machine down to a light setting. Whatever that is for you. Step to one side of your machine. And we're gonna go into a lunge position, which we're gonna use again later.

Bicep Curl w/Lunge

One foot back, one foot forward. Hands are on your waist. And I just want you to hold this, and really set this position. So, I'm looking for a straight line from your hipbone to your knee. And I wanna make sure that you're not here.

This is probably where you are. Back it up. Put some weight onto that back leg as well. If you're secure here, close your eyes. Listen for your breath.

(exhales) And step your two feet together. Now, reach for your rope, the one that's closest to you. Establish that lunge again, okay? Same shape. Deep shape.

Straight line through the front of the hip. Make sure you have no slack on the rope... and from here, bicep curl. And open. Exhale, up.

So, same form we'd do anywhere else, except this time, we're stabilizing this lunge position. (exhales) Try to keep your upper arm more or less still. Keep your awareness also on your spine. Last one here. Come all the way up and quarter turn.

Come into a wide second position. A little wider than we would do on the reformer. Set yourself up with your hands in front of you, so that your hand is right in front of your sternum and you have no slack. Be beautifully tall. and on exhale, rotate...

Single Arm w/Spinal Rotation

and back center. And rotate, two. Really going right around your own axis. (exhales) And exhale. Working both ways.

Work here, control the machine there. Hold the left knee back. The left knee is gonna wanna come in. Hold it where it is. Stand yourself up.

Inhale in... and exhale, back down. This time, hands behind your head. Again, set yourself up with no slack. Choose where the rope's gonna be: either in front or behind.

Single Arm Side Bend

Side bending, take it over. And back to center. Back up and over, two. And center, make sure you're not rounding that back at all. Three, chest really open, elbows really open will help you maintain the position of the chest.

(exhales) Last one here. I know those legs are burning already. And come all the way up. Bring your headrest down. And have a seat on your machine.

Arms Reaching Forward

Five fingers distance from the back edge. The loops are gonna go over your hands. And sit nice and tall. So, the tension is light. Press the arms straight up over your head.

Stay here and get vertical, vertical, vertical. And lower the arms down. And again, the shoulder blades slide down as the arm lifts up. The temptation is to do that. Don't don that.

Ribs tight, go up. And lower down. Again, back up. This time, let go of the gripping in the front of the hip. (exhales) And lower.

Last one. Straight up, getting tall, like you're getting pulled up through a straw. Narrow the waistline, really see it. All the way around to the backside of the body. And lower down.

Second side, everybody. Okay. This time the right foot will be forward. Left foot is back. Set up your position.

Look what you're looking for: 90 degrees at the knee. Straight line from the hip point to the opposite knee. Hands on the hips. Eyes closed if you can do it. Really feel where you are in your body.

Feel where your weight is on your feet. (exhales) And step your feet together. Reach for the rope closest to you. Establish that lunge again, and you're gonna be fairly close to your reformer. And on an exhale begin your bicep curl, up...

Bicep Curl w/Lunge

and open. Back up, two. Fight to be still in your body. And maintain that lunge that you had. It's a deep lunge.

So, this is how we're getting the majority of our leg work today. (exhales) Two more here. Notice my wrist stays really stiff. So I don't wanna see this. Like that.

Don't wanna see that. Come on up and turn. Legs are wide. Set yourself up with the rope right in front of your sternum. And from here, rotate.

Single Arm w/Spinal Rotation

And back center. And rotate. Feel where that right knee is in space right now and hold it back. Rotate. And center.

Pelvis is still. Control the return. Exhale... and inhale. Exhale...

and inhale. Last one. Stand yourself up. Give yourself a moment to take a breath. And then reset.

Single Arm Side Bend

Straight down. Hands behind the head. Be vertical. And then straight side, really sandwiching the spine front and back. And I always like to take that little pause.

Little pause... Little pause. Just to make sure I have full control of the machine. 'Cause we don't wanna just ride the carriage, right? That's when it starts to feel like your springs are maybe too light.

If they're too light, go for more control. Control. Last one. And all the way up. Okay, we're gonna use that position one more time.

Straddle your machine. You're gonna be pretty far back to the edge of the carriage. Up to you whether the ropes are crossed or not crossed. From here, stand yourself up. So we're back in that same stance.

Bicep Curl w/Wide Second

Here we go. Exhale, simple row, pause. Inhale. Do the breath with me. Really take an exhale, pause and hold that breath.

And inhale. So this becomes a flow. Exhale... and inhale. We're gonna add to it.

Exhale. The heels lift. They lower. And inhale. Exhale, hold the breath as the heels go up.

Down. Inhale forward. Exhale, pause. The heels lift. They lower.

And forward. Last time. You should have a burn in those legs again by now. Now, this is very important. Take a look down.

Make sure you have place to sit, okay? I've lost a lot of clients like that. They sit into the well. And we're coming up again. So come back up.

Reset, this time one arm at a time. So you're gonna rotate... and back center. Real simple. And rotate.

Single Arm w/Spinal Rotation

And think about your rotation three dimensionally, right? So there's always part of us going forward in a rotation, and the other side of us is going back. So there's like a little yin and yang to rotation. That's how I like to think about it. Turn and center.

Last one. Always an option for those of you that want to lift your heels up on that. So, let's take a back stretch. Two reds, two heavies for short spine. And you can do this however you're used to doing it.

So, I'm gonna do it multiple ways. The first one I'm gonna do, I'm gonna enjoy that hamstring stretch. So I'm gonna keep my sacrum down. I'm gonna take that nice deep stretch in the hamstring. Get the carriage in, peel up to my shoulder stand.

Short Spine

Bend the knees. And peel myself down, really compressing the knees into the chest. That is feeling good for me today. I'm gonna repeat it just like that. (exhales) (exhales) But this last one I'm gonna change, 'cause there's a lot of questions about all these different styles of short spine stretch.

So, from here, the legs go out. I'm gonna lift right away. The end position, this shoulder stand is the same position. It's just how we got there that is different. All the way in, pause here.

And we're done with that. Bring yourself up. And grand your box. And we're moving into swan. So, the box is going into the long position.

Set yourself up with one heavy spring. But truthfully, right now the tension is neither here nor there. Okay, you do that more gracefully than me. Lay down with your chest off the edge. Hands shoulder distance.


And start with your body in a perfectly straight line. Take a moment to make sure the abdominals are lifted. Inhale, push down on the bar. Take the heart forward, lift into your swan. Pubic bone stays on the mat.

And lower down. And again, inhale. Grow tall and take yourself really far forward as you lift. Control as you lower. Last one here.

Draw down and lift out and up. And take it back down. So, if you have a shoulder issue, you might wanna go a little bit lighter for the next thing. I'm gonna keep where I am. Reach around and grab your left foot.

Modified Rocking

And just find a quad stretch, right? 'Cause we already did a very big, heavy quad set. So, really enjoy that stretch. Notice your pubic bone and hip bone is too the mat. Take the machine out now.

And from here, kick the foot back and lift into a modified rocking horse. And come all the way down. And again. Push down and lift. So, the machine is really assisting me quite a lot.

I would not look like this without this machine right now. It would not be nearly so pretty. Push down and lift. So, really allow the carriage to help you get that height. Push back with that back foot.

Come all the way in. And let's change sides. So, first enjoying that quad stretch. Really bend the elbow. Pull the heel into the glut.

Of course, if there's a knee issue, you're gonna be very mindful here. (exhales) Push the left arm straight. Drive the hips to the box. Push the foot back and lift. And lower down.

And again, and lift. Stay square with those shoulders. Last one. Big inhale. And lower all the way down.

Come on in... and take your foot bar down. Okay, so getting into the next exercise can be a little bit awkward. This is what I do. We're going into a hamstring curl.

You can get there however it works for you. The more grace, the better. Loops onto my feet. And my little circus trick. And there you are, okay?

So, start by bringing your hands onto the frame, and just push the carriage out. Turn out the legs and pull the heels tight to your behind. So, notice there's no slack on my machine. My goal is to keep my legs. I'm gonna take one hand off.

Double Leg Hamstring Curl

The other hand off. Back is straight. And now from here, little pulses into your sit bones. And if you need to adjust the carriage, go ahead and do so. I'm on a heavy spring and it feels pretty good.

Four, three, two, one. Lower the legs. Reach behind you, interlace your hands. Pull the chest out, reach the whole shape off the box. So, this is the stretch from double leg kick.

Inhale, into the chest. Exhale, lower everything down. Hands to the frame, push the carriage out again. Same thing parallel. Knees together, feet together, heels close to the butt.

Don't let the butt do that. Pubic bone down. Release one hand, and then the other. Put your focus here. And then little pulses up.

So I'd really like you to experience your gluts with your hamstring. Not just screaming hamstring pain. Ah, I'm getting out of breath. Three, two, one. All the way down.

Double Leg Hamstring Curl Parallel

Interlace those hands again. Inhale, lift yourself up. Open the chest. Inhale into the chest. Exhale, lower all the way down.

And let the ropes drop. Come on up and face the back. So, you scored points if you made it through without dropping those loops off your feet. Have a seat at the edge. We're going into rollback, which is gonna feel awesome on the lower back right about now.

Tuck the tail under, and peel yourself back. If it's available to you, going all the way up and over the box. Chin in first always. Peel up, compressing, pushing that back into the box. And all the way up.

Roll Back

Again like that. Tuck, right? Keeping length, so I don't want you to be here. Keep length as you roll back. Open the chest.

Deep breath into the heart. Chin in. Enjoy that sensation in the abdominals as you come back up to vertical. You can continue that if you'd like. Tuck and peel back.

Roll Back Variations

We're gonna try teaser. You may or may not try that today. One leg to tabletop, the other leg to tabletop. Inhale here. Exhale up to teaser.

You have the machine here to help you. I just used it to help me. I don't know if you saw it, but I did. From here, legs to tabletop. Control the descent.

Inhale. And exhale, right back up. Ooh, that one I did all on my own. Stay here. Inhale, lower one leg down.

Big exhale, up. (exhales) The other leg down. Let go of something in the neck, the shoulders, the face. Big exhale up. One more time.

Inhale down. Almost like it's the breath, the exhale that pulls that leg up. And float the leg. Inhale. And big exhale up.

Bend the knees. Two feet down and sit tall. We're moving on. We are going to short box. However you usually set up is fine for me.

And if you have a stick handy, grab it. But no need if you don't have it. Have a seat and anchor your two feet under your strap. And to start, I want you to set yourself up so that you're really using the strap. The hands go up overhead.

We're going to flat back, which I'm gonna rename the catch for right now. So get very vertical. Hinge straight back. Hold it there, that's your catching point. Come all the way up tall.

Flat Back

And again, hinge straight back. Long body. And get tall as you come up. Last time. Tall as you go back.

Do not sink. Tall as you come up. And lower down. So, we're gonna start building an exercise called fire baton. We're gonna use that catch.

Fire Baton

The arms come up. Scoot yourself forward. This time, the feet will be on the platform. Lift the chest up to the sky. Reach way past over the feet, drop the head.

Change the shape from the tail. Curl under, take it back just a smidge. From here, dive forward. Now, we did this earlier in rowing, remember? Tail back.

Upper back flat. Straight up... into your catch. All the way up. One more time.

Chest up. Go way far forward, over the legs. Tuck the tail, roll back just part of the way. The waistline goes back. Get very flat here, low to your legs.

Straight up... into your catch. And all the way up. So, let's flow that now. This is where it gets fun.

So, the chest goes up. Reach forward, peel back. Go forward. Out and catch. And back to the start.

Last one. Heart goes up. Go forward. Peel back. Dive forward.

Out and catch. All the way up. And lower down. We're gonna move into side overs. Put your pole down.

(pole clatters) That was a bit noisy. Tuck your foot. This is how I want you to set up. Fingertips onto your headrest. Other leg parallel.

And then a straight line here. Both sides of the waist are long. Take one arm up over the head, the other one straight forward. So, from here. Full range down.

Side Sit Up

Back to just the straight line. And again, full range. And up to the straight line. Two more here. And keep lifting that right leg up into the strap.

Pause and change. Come back over. And up. I know it doesn't look any different, but it is, right? You really wanna drop that left arm, I know you do.

Hold it in close to your ear please. Pause. Full range, remember. Pause, not too many of these, if you can. Over.

And to the straight line. Over, two. Yes, I am quivering. You know why? Pilates is hard.

We make it look easy, but it's really hard. Pause, hold it. Get longer. Relax. Beautiful stretch.

Twist and crawl your hands up the rails (exhales) Okay, second side. Again, listen to the start position. I'm over on the side of my hip. Foot can be tucked or in front, but I'm looking for this stacking. Fingertips only, and a nice straight line.

Left arm goes up, right arm in front of you. Here we go. Full range. And up. Full range, two.

And up. Keep flowing. (exhales) Listen for your breath. Change arms. Take it over.

Reach through that bottom arm to come up. Take it over. And get longer as you come up. (exhales) Last one. Inhale.

And exhale, two hands if you can. Keep those arms hugging into the midline of the body. Ooh, maybe go smaller if you're dying. (grunts) Two more. Inhale.

And exhale. Last one. Inhale. And exhale. Ah, and finally, time for that stretch.

Crawl the hands along the rails. Drop the head. (exhales) Come on off. Pick up your box for me. And notice how I place the box.

Right in line with the carriage and in close to the machine. Change your machine to one heavy spring. And we did this shape earlier. We're going back to those lunges. Watch how I place myself.

One foot against the shoulder rest. Ball of the foot. The other foot a little bit forward. But my thighbones are more or less in the same plane. Hands on your hips.

Take a breath in, and go straight down and backwards. And pause. Find that same alignment we did earlier. And step yourself up. Inhale here.

Lunge w/Long Box

And exhale, straight down. You don't really wanna be struggling with the weight right now, right? Since the shape itself is already challenging enough. So, the machine is adding this level of instability and a little bit more weight. (exhales) Pause.

And you bring yourself up. Don't rely just on the machine. Back down, pause. And up, and notice I even syncopated a little bit, right? So, it's down...

and up. Last one like that. Straight down. Look for that straight line. And up.

Okay, we're gonna change the shape. Come back down again. Straight down. Pitch yourself forward from your hips. And the back leg goes straight.

From here, the back knee comes in, and then straight back out, pushing through the heel. Inhale in, and exhale out. So I really wanna feel like you're propelling yourself from the back of that left thighbone. The right knee isn't changing at all, and the upper back is super straight. This kinda reminds me of mountain climber on the chair.

Single Leg Press

So think about that. See if you can make that connection in your mind, to how we're moving, and what you're doing in the back. And this stabilizing leg. All the way in. And now we change sides.

So pop yourself off. Take it around. Place your box. And up we go. So, one foot against the shoulder rest, the other foot a little forward.

My thighbone's relatively in the same plane, vertical. From here. Straight down. And up. Whoo! (laughs) And again, straight down and pause.

Lunge w/Long Box

And slowly up. Back down again. Pause. And up. Feel where your shoulders are.

Feel where the crown of your head is going. And up. And again, I don't want you struggling with that weight, so if you are, make note of it and go a little lighter next time. Pause. And up.

Two more, I think. Hold. And up. And last time. Straight down.

And all the way up. Moving on. So, take it back down. Watch this transition. From the hip, the tail goes out.

Single Leg Press

The upper back is super straight. Now, that back leg shoots out, and in. And back out. And in. And you may be surprised that your sensation is on this standing leg.

And that's correct. That's what it's gonna be, alright? Glut med as well as quad. Keep your upper back straight. Try not to move your head around the way I'm doing it because you will lose your balance.

Upper back, nice and straight. Really focused in the body. Taking those two hips straight back. The tendency is also to start to sit in that hip. And in.

Last one. And in, and bring yourself up to your box. Onto the floor. Okay, we're moving on. Clear your...

the frame of your machine here. And we're gonna work on one heavy spring. We're going into a forearm plank. You might need some sticky pads on your machine. One forearm down, the other forearm down.

One foot to the frame. Push yourself out. Set up with your shoulder... just maybe a skosh forward of your shoulder. Then take the other leg back to join it.

Glue the legs and pause. And just feel your shape. Feel your body. Have a full body sensation here. And from here the hips begin to do a little twist.

Forearm Plank w/Hip Twists

Right around their own axis. Remember the yin and the yang we talked about. So, you'll feel a tiny weight shift from leg to leg. But I really want you to try to isolate this action in the pelvis, and keep equal weight on your forearms. Belly button is pulled in and up, hip points pulling in and up.

Tail to the heels. Now, to come out, bring a knee to the machine and ride it in. So you can repeat that again if you'd like, or move on to something I called handstand. And, it actually looks super impressive, but... I don't think it's that difficult.

Plank w/Inverted V

I think most of you, even if it looks scary, try it at least once, okay? So... The hands are gonna be sort of midpoint on the reformer. Grab the non-skids if you're nervous. Take one foot back to the foot bar.

And then set yourself up, okay? Shoulders a little bit in front... Hands a little in front of the shoulders. Come to your plank. And now from here, lift the tail straight up and get the hands under the shoulders.

Really extend the tail up, up, up. Come back to that position. Back to your plank. From there. One leg lifts.

Allow the carriage to come in. Extend that leg up. Spin the biceps forward. Back to your plank. And again, the other leg lifts.

(exhales) And back to plank. And knee. (laughs) One more if you want to, I don't. Go ahead, finish that up, that was beautiful. And come on in.

Okay, we're gonna move on to tendon stretch. Also, not an easy exercise. Have a seat on your foot bar. And we've kept the tension throughout all of this on one heavy spring. So, this is a light tendon stretch.

Notice the position of my wrists. Nice and straight. Stand yourself up. Drop your head down. Hold it here.

Tendon Stretch

Tuck the tail. Push the carriage out. All the way out. Pull yourself all the way back in. Pause.

Again, tuck and push. This moment right here should feel like chest expansion. Pull in and all the way up. Try to lead with the pubic bone. Pubic bone points up.

Come in. And up. Last one. Tuck. In and up.

And have a seat. Add a spring to your machine. This is just for fun. No, it is not Pilates, but it's fun, so who cares? Okay, so we're going into crow.

From here, the hands come down. Relatively close to your hands. Bend the elbows, and set up your upper arms to be a little shelf for your knees. From here, play around with just shifting forward. Maybe that's it.


Maybe that's all you do, right? And then once you really feel secure there, and your knees can sit on your upper arms, play around with lifting one foot up, and then the other foot up. You're gonna be so happy when you do this, because really, you all have the strength to do it if you're doing this workout to begin with. Two feet down. And all the way up.

See, wasn't that fun? Okay, moving on to front lunges. Spin yourself around. One heavy spring, or maybe a heavy and a light. We're near the end, everybody.

One foot to the foot bar. Scoot the other foot back to the heel. Establish your lunge, okay? I like to set up with 90 degrees. Minimal weight here.

Front Splits

Upper back straight. From here, push the back leg straight. That's how the carriage is getting out. Make sure the hips are really square. And come back to that lunge.

Back just to the 90 degrees. And again, the back leg pushes the back leg. Don't worry about this knee, okay? Don't worry about that leg. (exhales) And come in.

Some of you might want to opt for the balance. (exhales) And all the way in. Hands to the bar, stretch both legs straight. And step out. Other foot to the bar.

Scoot the other foot back, anchor the back foot. Set your position, 90 degrees on the front leg. Okay. Stay there. Push back with the back legs.

Straight back, back, back, back, back. Listen for your breath. And come on in. Again. Back leg pushes back.

Always remembering, the key to stretching is the breath. So you have to make that brain part happen, right? Doesn't matter how big your shape is. Take it back. So, you could be in a very big, beautiful split right now, but if you're pulling away from it, you're not really doing yourself any good.

Alright, we're doing one extra on this side, 'cause I did not do the balance. (exhales) Really focused if you're doing that balance. (exhales) Hands down, step out. Okay, back to just one heavy spring. Come into the well of your machine for me.

Up and Down

And we're gonna do, like, a little vinyasa thing, so... Hands on the shoulder rests. Shoulders over the hands. Glue the legs, lift the heart, squeeze the legs tight. Emphasis is going up.

This is up dog. Take the tail back. This is close to a down dog. Keep lifting that tail up, get the spine really long. Now from here, bend the knees.

The knees come forward and the back comes into a C shape. So my body weight is moving the carriage. I'm really just kinda hanging here and enjoying that stretch in my lower back. That should feel really nice. Go back to that down dog sensation.

Tail is up. And the end. Notice the change in my hands. Tuck and peel back. Drop the shoulders.

Now suction the belly button into the lower back a little bit more. And come back to your down dog. Last one, tuck and roll back, drop the shoulders. (exhales) Take the carriage all the way back. Take your hands down to the floor right in front of you.

Get your hands all the way flat, even if that means bending your knees. Push the ground away. Pull the abdominals up. Spin the biceps forward. Inhale, in through the nose.

Exhale. Grab opposite elbows. Let the body hang. Have the knees at least a little bent. Bring your attention back to your body, to your feet, to your spine, let your head be heavy.

Release the arms. Without changing the legs, begin to roll up from the very base of your spine. Look for that transition when gravity just pulls the shoulder blades down. The heart lifts. The head lifts.

Inhale, in through the nose. And long, slow exhale, out through the mouth. We are done. Thank you so much for joining me.

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6 people like this.
Deliciously challenging and ... different ! Thanks Maria :))
1 person likes this.
Great new moves! My athletes will love this! I’m Still working on Crow... almost there.
1 person likes this.
Loved it. I will try the shoulder stand later on the floor! So glad to see you back!
One of my favorites! Very nice and challenging!
1 person likes this.
Amazing class!!!! Thank you for a great workout!
Yab-a-dab-a-do! Thank you.
Great class! So happy to see u back.
Awesome class. Great for legs..
6 people like this.
Loved it, and love your pants!! Does anyone know where I can find these?!
4 people like this.
Wonderful class! Maria always explains clearly how to do each exercise. My favorite teacher. Request more classes by Maria!
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