Class #3366

Spine Stabilizing Reformer

45 min - Class


You will find a sensation of openness after taking this Reformer workout with Meredith Rogers. After receiving requests to continue on from her Spine Stabilizing Mat, she teaches the entire class keeping the spine in a neutral position. She even adds Squats for all of the spring changes so that you can stay stable during the transitions.
What You'll Need: Reformer

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Hi, recently I found a mat class, a spine stabilizing math class, and I got a bunch of requests for a reformer spine stabilizing workout. So that's what we're going to do today. It's actually quite a lot easier I feel on the reformer because mat work is so much inflection, so that was a little bit challenging. But I think keeping the spine in a neutral, stable, straight position will be quite easy and we can actually do a lot. So let's do [inaudible]. We'll start lying down on our backs. Um, I've set up the spring to go into foot work after this. So whatever you, whatever springs you enjoy for your foot work, you may maybe want to get that set up. Now I'm going to just lie down.

I've got the feet, my feet on the bar and the bar is down. I'm just going to take a minute here. I like to close my eyes just taking a minute to ground feeling the weight of the body, the weight of the bones of the body. So maybe what does that mean? That to me, that means I can feel my scapula just flatten into the mat, can feel the weight of my arm, bones on the mat, the weight of my spine. And then I like to imagine that once all the bones are heavy, I can create lightness in the tissue.

Okay. I don't know whether or not whether or not that's imaginary, I don't know. But um, it feels nice. Okay, so let's take our hands one on the ribs and one on the pelvis. I just want to stay in here, put the abdominal down and let the friend of the ribs separate from one another.

So we're practicing that intercostal breathing or her lateral breathing. And then as we exhale, we're going to slide the front of the ribs down the body and deepen into that abdominal area. And then in half IA the abdominals. Drop away from your hands and exhale, just continuing to create sensation and creates support. It's just you two more breaths in here. Can imagine like core sitting or imagine core sitting around your waist, narrowing and energizing. I'm just one more breath there.

Inhale and exhale. Okay. Yeah, take the hands off the ribs and just rest the heels of the hands just on the front of your hipbones and run your fingers along your pelvis. We're going to do just some really simple abdominal work in which can be quite powerful and quite deep. You just have to look for it. So inhaling, feeling the abdominal area drop as you exhale without shifting at all in your pelvis. Lift the left leg off the bar. It's surprisingly challenging. Lift it up, tech sailing, and place it back down. Now we're going to go straight across to the right leg, but we have to do that without allowing the pelvis to rocks.

We need to imagine again that the bones in place that the lightness in the tissue and we just lift that right leg. So if you're just watching, it doesn't really seem like much, doesn't really seem like how could that be challenging? But if you're feeling into it, you'll feel that it is, or I feel that it is. And we'd go down and in here and as the one leg lifts up, let's push the other leg down. So creating opposition all the while using the breath and using that depth of connection to stabilize. Whoa, what we're really working here as our hip flexor with our deep hip flexor muscles, but we're using our abdominals to create stability around the pelvis and around the spine. We're going to do one more to eat. Side. Inhale, Xcel to lift. Inhale to go down extra to the left. Inhale to go down.

Now step the feet together on the bar. Glue them together. Inhale. Imagine that they're stuck to the bar, but as you exhale, try to lift them off the bar. Hold one, two, three, and really inhale, deepen the abdominals. Try to pull the skin of your body, your skin away from your clothing as you try again to pull the feet up off the bar and then relax and do that three more times. Inhale, exhale. Try to lift the feet off the bar. Hold one. Hold to hold three and really, and inhale and exhale. Try to lift the feet off the bar.

Hold one. Hold to hold three and really SLAs. Time. XL dominoes. Draw in hip bones narrow. Try to feel their hipbones are pulling together underneath your hands. Hold one. Hold to hold three and then release.

Now we're actually going to allow the legs to lift now. So breathing in, start the exhale, feel all of the same sensations, and then keep everything stable. Is that legs just float away from the bar and inhale, reach them back down. Don't allow your stomach to push up. Exhale, pull them up and pull down through the waist and in him release and deepen. Exhale, pull in an app and in your release an x helpful. And they're not trying not to allow the stomach to push up at all and down on one more. Exhale, pull and they're not. And bracing them as you place them down.

Send your arms along sides of your body. Separate your legs. Breathe in here. And as you breathe out, we're going to press down into the feet and we're going to bridge. So straight spying, bridging neutral spine bridging. And then just straight back down and bridge and straight back down. So what I'm imagining is that I lay my spine back down to the reform or by pushing it down with my, the front of my body, with my abdomen and press up and pushing the spine down with the front of the body. Feel the arms long and straight and heavy.

And just trying not to shift from side to side or foot to foot, but staying nice and even over both feet, waking up the back of the body. We just woke up the front of the body and we wake up the back of the body feeling in the back of the arms, the upper back, just heavy on the mat. And we'll do three and uh, and to, and uh, and one more. So now what we're going to do up here in our bridge position is that same walking action. Leave the left leg on the bar, pickup the right, place it down. Can you put that foot down and pick up the other one without shifting from side to side and down.

And we do one leg and see if you can get that same sense of using the abdominals to lift the leg through space without reorganizing the positioning of the spine at all. Lift and down, lift and down, lift and A. Okay. We'll do a couple more to each side starting now. So two more to each side. Notice as the leg goes down and the opposite leg comes up, do you feel your weight transfer across the shoulders or can you keep that really still too? And then the last time, lift and down and oh, so tempting to round the spine down, but we just dropped.

Roll to your side. Help yourself up with your arm and put the foot bar up heading into foot work. So we'll start with the heals of the feet on the bar, pressing, sliding the heels down the bar, just energetically, not actually moving them. As we stretch and bend, stretch and bend. The shoulders are down, the arms are long and active.

We get that full extension in the legs. Full extension, lifting the kneecaps away from the shins. Breathing and breathing and trying to connect with your abdominals as you're moving through your lower half. Just two more like that and down and one more. And in placing the feet, the toes on the bar, finding weight throughout the full whole foot. Take the carriage away, feel a little longer as the leg straighten.

Then keep that length as you bend and stretch out and stay long as you're coming in. So has, we're moving through space. Just continue to check in, checking in with the shoulders, checking in with the commitment to concentration around the midsection of the body. Checking in that we're initiating that moment with the backs of the size and finishing this movement with the front of the thighs. And we'll just do three more out and pull and two out and pull in and one more ounce and pull in. Bring the heels together, toes apart on the bar. Heels pressing together, knee, shoulder distance apart and reached. Tightening through the hips, maintaining that neutral orientation of the pelvis.

And if you have any doubt in your mind that you're in a neutral place, you just put your hands on your hip joints, run your fingers across your pelvis and make sure that that though those, the what you're measuring there has straight flat, right? So the pubic bone is level with the hip joints or the Asi es, the hip bones front of the heads, which is going to more times here out and pull in and out and pull in. And then we're going to take the heals of the feet to the outside of the bar, feeling that their heels are gliding towards one another in space. Reachout bend, reach out, bend in all the wow south, fitting the ribs down into the mat. All the wow feeling the length of the neck, the arms reaching for the feet as the feet get further away from the fingertips, arms reaching through the feet as if he get further away from the fingertips.

So we create, Eh, we create movement and energy and awareness because you can manifest what you create, right? Working mindfully, we manifest what we create. One more time coming back in. Shifting so that the toes are on the bar pressing. Yeah, and bending in, feeling that inner thighs strong and pull arms, reaching for the heels, heels coming back towards the fingertips. So there's always that, that relationship between the region, the arms and the movement in and out of the heels, which is really a carriage movement more than anything. We'll do two more breathing, staying connected on and come all the way back in. Bring the feet back into the middle hip distance apart, sitting wound distance apart will press out, take the heels under all the way and then up under all the way and then up [inaudible] breathing, feeling the back of the legs energized and we'll do four full range. Getting that articulatory pattern in the feet. Last two and one more and then alternating the feet.

He'll go down than we need in the middle and switch, meet and switch and just create a rhythm and maybe bring your hands back to your pelvis and feel that the pelvis is so stable. You feel the hips are rocking up and down or back and forth. Try to manage that or reorient or deepen into the center body connection. And here's four and four, three and three, two and two. One [inaudible] and one just taking a stretch under. I like to Hook my foot over the top of the bar and pull with that heel to get a deeper stretch in the calf.

And then we'll switch. So taking your stretch, maybe hooking the office, that heel over the bar, if that's something that sounds like it might feel good to you. Hello, always choosing to do what works best in your body. Bend in, come back in. Turn to your side, press with your arm and sit up. I'm, I know you lower the reformer now. Springs two, two reds and come back down. I'm gonna lie down on my side. We'll do some sidelines, single leg work.

So I just put my arm through my shoulder blocks and I put my head down on it. You could also, there's lots of different strategies. Get yourself a pillow, put your head rest up, whatever works for you. And then finding that nice straight, stable, connected to the center of the body spine. And press resist, press resist. So as I'm pushing in and out, I'm trying to slide my heel backwards on the bar towards my tailbone and in that way, energizing through the back of the leg all the time.

Yeah. And we'll go for pulling in, resist and three, resist and to enjoy hopefully one and bend back in. I'm here just going to roll onto my back. Okay. Put that ankle. It was my right leg, the right leg on the left knee. And believe it or not, if I just pushed my right knee away from me, that's enough of a stretch for me right now. Yes, I know.

If that's not enough of a stretch for you, feel free to lift the left leg and foot towards the body. I'll get there in a second so you can lift the left leg and pull it towards the body. It's a little tougher for me because I have to, again, trying to keep the spine stable, so without having to lift the pelvis, I don't get very far. That's just me. We're all different. So do what works for you and then then put that foot down and try to turn over to the other side, sliding my arm through the shoulder blocks, finding my nice long supported spine, making sure there's no overextension in the middle of the spine and push out and in sliding the heel backwards on the bar to keep the back of the leg encouraged or working. [inaudible] last four and three rest to [inaudible] and one resist turning onto our back again. [inaudible] taking that working leg and placing it up on the opposite knee.

Okay. Again, this is not even a tighter side for me, so I just, I'm going to start here. Okay. Dropping the tail and then perhaps if you can without shifting in the pelvis, reach for the back of that five and draw it in a little closer. [inaudible] that's all I've got without losing my pelvis. So that's what I've got.

[inaudible] placed the feedback down onto the bar. Reach back for your straps. Now for me, this is going to be a good challenge. Just checking the length of my straps, um, on this spring. You may want to lighten it if you want to do that. Do that. Now I'm going to start with my arms directly over my shoulders and we're going to try to use our arms to create some abdominal work. You think we can do it?

I think we can. So we lift the leg up and I would just hold that position. Want you to feel that you're pushing your arms forward as though you going to curl into a chest lift and you're pulling your thigh bones energetically backwards. It just using those two oppositional forces to create some warmth, some sensation. And now from there we just press the arms long in a way and lift. Exhale, drop the sternum, drop the ribs and reach and lift. Drop the sternum drops over him.

It's an overreach and lift and just continue to breathe and feel that energy of the downward of the arms and the inward pull of the five bones. Creating a little sensation around the midsection. One more time. Yeah. Press down now.

Turn the palms of the hands to face legs and breathe into the ribs and the ribs in the direction of the arms. And then push the air through space. Bringing the arms back. Feel that you're trying to tighten your legs together and feel that you're trying to keep the abdominals pulled back into the spine all the time. And instead of lifting and lowering the belly to breathe, we feed the air in and out. By maximizing that lateral movement of the rib cage.

Lift the arms up, open the arms, keeping the carriage sta and pull the arms back. Lift the arms, uh, remembering that we're trying to use this. Yes, it's an arm series, but we're trying to use it to bring awareness to our abdominals. Out Pole lift, open. Pull, defunding that abdominal connection each time. One more open, pull, reverse. Go Out, stabilize the carriage as the arms come over the chest and press.

Rotate the palms in. Reach out, lift up over the shoulders at press. Reach ass. Lift up over the shoulders. Press and we'll just do two more like that, eh, one more like that. [inaudible] keep the arms down at the size of the body. Keep them reaching. Bend your knees. Inhale, exhale, stretch the legs out.

Feel the arms reaching out with the toes and pull in and press out. Reach the arms and the direction of the legs and then reach the fingers to the heels and press out and bend in and pull in through. The waste is you reach out and bend. And two more times. Reach out and bend in. One more time. Reach out and hold. Turn the pumps of the hands in.

Open the arms and legs and come back and open the arms and legs. Come back. Feel that there's support, there's stability. Even as we allow the shoulder joint and the hip joint a little freedom. We'll do three more pool together and two more and pull together. One more. Uh, pull together, bend the knees and lift the arms up and play $50 to the foot bar.

Push out with the length or one leg, putting the opposite foot. If you can wrangle it into the strap. Stand in that straps so everything else stays still and put the other foot in the strap, heels together, toes apart, pull back through the abdominals and I'll have the legs to just stretch and Ben Press out. And then so every time can we pull deeper? And that's just something that, excuse me, that you have to look for.

That's just something that you have to look for with your imagination and with your muscular connection and with your energy. So he, yeah, he is our mind body principles to be aware and to happy. Supportive into fine connection. Okay, pause there. Press the legs down out. Bring them around and press the legs down.

Open all round together. Spine is super still pal spine is in neutral cause my head's down. Pelvis is in neutral. Sort of just keeping everything in the trunk still while we allow for some mobility or freedom of movement in the hip joint. Yeah, watching the legs come together evenly. We'll do three more.

Okay, two more. Last one. Okay. And the legs come together at the top and then we open. Press through the back of the legs, feel the legs stretch away from you as they come together and lift separate press legs down and together, feel the legs stretch away from you.

So that's actually a really interesting sensation for me. It enables me to feel like I have the potential for elongation. I think we all do that. Potential for openness or elongation, imaginary or otherwise. The sensation that we're looking for is that sensation of openness, of ease of stability. Yeah.

And we'll do three more like that app, reach down and together lifter, Oh Ben, reach down and together. Last one, lift, open, reach down and together. And now pause here and inhale, take the legs out and reaching away. Take the legs out and back. And we just feel there that the heels just glide along a flat surface and as they get wider and wider away from the pelvis in order to keep that surface as an imaginary line, it feels as though they're slightly lifting at the top, kind of a smiley face, sort of a feeling to me. And we'll do four and pooling and three and pulling back. And two pulling back and one and uh, coming together, bending the knees.

Look to keep the tailbone down as you take one foot out of the strap. That's the hard part. When you take the other foot out of the strap and come all the way in. So roll to your side, help yourself up with your arm. Yes. And now I'm just going to go to one spring. Okay.

So using a red spring or green spring or whatever spring works for you, we're going to do some sliding plank, some a long stretch. So just standing next to the reformer, put what? Put your arms on, then step with a straight leg onto the reformer, stabilize the trunk, step with a straight leg onto the reformer, and then push the carriage away as far as you can mean to gain your Splank position. Maintain your shoulder stability and, and pull in and her reach away and pull back. Lifting up off of the bar with the abdominals and push out. Pull in, push out and reach through the legs as you pull back. And we'll do three more now and back. And two more ads. And back and one more out and back. And to get down, just bend the knees and step off.

Yeah, so let's bend down with a straight back. We're going to take the straps and put them on the ground. Stand up, come and get your box, and when you pick up your box, that's a bend the knees into a deep squat. Keep the back straight. Brace with the abdominals. Lift the box. The box is now gonna come. No, almost to the end of the reformer, which is why I removed the straps.

Yeah, everyone with me. Cool. Okay, so I'm going to go back into that deep squat shape. I'm going to set a blue spring and take off that full spring. Stand up. Now we're going to come onto the knees. Yeah, reach out with your arms and place your arms on the box.

Organize so that you're in a neutral position in your pelvis, and then draw the scapula down slightly. Pulling the carriage towards the box in your there. As we exhale, we're going to lift the neighbor to the spine. We're going to use the abdominals to stabilize as we bring the carriage underneath and in here. So I'm attempting to do this with a perfectly neutral spine. Hopefully I am achieving my goal.

Scapula slides towards the thighs, the size slide in under the box. Breathing out as we pull the box in. Again, maybe doesn't look super exciting, but if there's a lot of depth to be had here and it's about to get a little trickier. So here we go. Hold the carriage underneath. Create stabilization in your trunk. Shift the weight of your body onto your left leg and without shifting anything else, bring the right leg back and up and out. Just the left leg pose and back.

Just left like pause, stabilizing both shoulders. Just the left like Paul's rightly reaches away and we'll do too. And one bring the leg back in. Okay. Organize restabilize of dominoes or in left leg goes back, Riley pose and opens.

Abdominals like pause and open scapular draw down and back and two more and back and back. Now as you bring your left leg down, can you do that without any rocking or rolling in the pelvis? Stretch the arms out and then just let the body hinge down. Give the shoulders a stretch, and then start to walk the hands back towards the box. Press up. Okay.

And stand up. Okay. Yeah, it can up the box. Okay. Putting the box on the reformer.

Deep Squat change springs red. Okay. Bending over with a flat back to pick up the straps and standing up. So now we're gonna have a seat on the box. Okay.

Sitting in an elongated position hinges forward to pick up the straps holding onto the straps just underneath the buckles [inaudible] and bringing the arms just in front of the hip joints. Legs are together touching, and we're going to press the arms down and back down and forward. So feel, without going into any additional back extension that you're just lifting the chest just a little bit and lifting the chest just a little bit and back. So there's a element of extension. Okay.

An element of extension. Yeah. And breath and connection to the center of the body. Just one more. Okay.

And then from there, pivot forward, keeping the spine straight. Bring the elbows up next to the body. Pin the shoulders back and down. And tricep extensions back and en. Knees stay together. Inner thighs can oftentimes be an avenue towards a center body connection.

Breathing, excellent depress. Restabilizing the shoulders. Every time there's something I have to tell myself. So fan the correct positioning, and then move, reposition, and then move. I'll just do one more. I'm coming all the way back in. Across the straps in front of you and hold onto the handles.

Yeah. So from here, stabilizing, sitting tall, we're going to externally rotate the upper arms. Reach the arms out to the side, bring the elbows forward and the hands back as you return your arms to your sides and bring the hands in. X, terminally rotate the shoulders, elbows forward. Hands back as you straighten your arms. Then knee Elva and return and open.

Inhale. Exhale, reach out in hill bend. Exhale home. Two more. Extremely rotate. Reach at bend in. Return home last time. Externally, rotate. Reach out.

Yeah, bend in and return home. Step off the box. [inaudible] putting the straps away. [inaudible] keeping the spine neutral. Izzy reorient the box to a short box shape.

Deep Squat. Let me put the springs on all of them. [inaudible] it's more challenging than I thought to do all of these things without changing the spine around at all. But we're getting there. While you're there, make sure you have your strap [inaudible] in place. Ready to go. So he stand up. I'm going to sit on the box. We're going to lean over right away and put the hand down onto the headdress trying to maintain that alignment.

Then you have to go looking for the strap with your foot. [inaudible] finding a straight body skin to take one arm up that and I'm just going to go behind the head there. I'm comes behind the head. She's going to hold this position for five, four, three. So in that whole side body energize. Put your hand down. Rest when we're thing here. The only thing about this exercise and a non spine bending class so you don't get the, I mean beautiful stretch at the end but that's okay. I'm ready.

Let go. Hold here. Reach, ah, and bend, reach up and bend, reach up and bend two more recheck. And Ben goes, it doesn't look like much, but if you're feeling this with me, you'll, you'll know that it feels like a lot. Take the foot out and sit up catching the strap. Setting up the spine. Here we go. Both hands. We hold. One, two, three, four, five. Rest, both hands back and the arms.

Reach out and come back. Reach out and come back three and too, one hand comes down. When we bring that back up, slide your foot out of the strap, step off, flat back reorganize [inaudible] and then calm and flat back squat in to put the foot bar back up, and we're going to lower down to a blue. Okay. Since you've come on to the box, one hand can come down, bringing the whole back down in one piece, and then the body comes back.

I'm gonna take the hands onto the bar. I'm just going to maintain this orientation so I'm not in back extension, except for maybe just a little bit of thoracic extension. Lifting the abdominals away from the box. I'm gonna stretch the arms away and as I bend back in, I'm going to stretch my legs away. Pulling the bar apart. Stretch the arms away. So looking for connection in the upper back and then, and stretch keeping the sternum down on the edge of the box and Ben to them or a stretch.

Okay. And Bend. One more stretch in horn. Is it possible on out a weight, the right arm to lift the right leg and the left arm to put both arms down. Wait the left arm. Stabilize. Lift the left leg and the right arm. Dan and Ben, Domino's in. Press out. Wait the right arm.

Left arm, right like lift down. Right arm left like left down. And one more time. Reach out. Left arm. Right leg, left and right arm. Left leg, left and down and bend and come back. Step off. Push with your arms. Step.

Stand up. Remove the box. Yeah. So we're making the, making the moving into a box and it's into an exercise and it's come back around. Okay. And just sit down.

So are we going to go miss against the carriage and oppress against the carriage? Creates some heat in your upper back. Pull the abdominals back as the arms are pulling back, hinge the spine forward. Hinge the spine forward. Come back, let go. Weight in the feet. Stand up, arms down, arms up. Sit back. Hips. Come to the carriage arms. Come to the frame. Press back.

Just fusing the pressure down and back with the arms. Hinge forward in the spine. Hinge back up. Reach forward. Stand on your feet. Stand up, arms down. Arms forward. Sit back, arms come down. Push hinge. Navel to spine. Sit back. Ah, arms forward. Who weighed in the legs? Stand up, arms down, arms up.

Sit down and press hinge. Siddha arms forward. Lean forward onto your feet. Stand up, arms down, and enjoy the rest of your day.

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2 people like this.
As always, a great class.
1 person likes this.
Lovely. As always Meredith 😊😊😊😊😊
1 person likes this.
It was really hard to keep my spine straight. My lower back started to hurt and I have to admit, I had to sneak in some stretches throughout! What type of client would this type of workout be good for, Meredith?
1 person likes this.
That was great! After spending the morning making Kolaches for Easter (rolling pin, shoulders rounded) my body needed this. And I cannot believe how fast it went. As always your cues were spot on! Thank you Meredith !
1 person likes this.
Meredith! This as perfect timing I am recovering from a herniated disc and trying to keep a neutral spine. Thank you! Your movements are fluid and beautiful
3 people like this.
How refreshing to omit flexion! Even for those of us who are capable of flexion, it is great to flow without it. I love this!
1 person likes this.
Enjoyed this class before teaching this morning and wove a few of these exercises in to the class. Students response (after sweating and a little shaking through the hour) "uh oh, we can't leave her alone to practice any more" ;)
Ha, ha - thanks for some fun, challenging moves that are still safe for folks who can't handle flexion
1 person likes this.
Great class! Thank you
2 people like this.
Great class! I have a few clients with Osteoporosis who will enjoy a few new Reformer exercises too:) Thanks Meredith!
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much! I really enjoyed this class.
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