Class #3408

Reformer and Barrel Play

30 min - Class


You will feel like a million bucks after this Mixed Equipment workout with Benjamin Degenhardt. He uses the Reformer as a warm up so he can play on the Ladder Barrel. He recommends this class for advanced practitioners who are familiar with the traditional order as he breezes through the work.
What You'll Need: Ladder Barrel, Reformer w/Box, Mixed Equipment

About This Video

Apr 20, 2018
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Hi everyone. My name is Benjamin Degenhart. I'm here with my great friend, Frank Zito and we are about to work out. We are going into a practice that will take us to the reformer and the ladder barrel today. And I would say that this is probably more of an advanced practice, meaning this is a good practice to join in on when you really familiar with the classical orders and the original work because we will breeze through it hopefully, um, to get ourselves warmed up on the reformer. So my queuing will probably be more towards the number of repetitions we do and the transitions rather than really explaining each movement in detail. All right. Shall we get started? I'm ready to work out. I'm excited.

Let's go ahead and lay down. We're on grads reformers by the way. We're starting on three springs to get ourselves warmed up and we're gonna start with the footwork had pieces up. We're going to go and lie down and get this party started. Heels together, toes apart. We'll only do six repetitions in each position. Go ahead, press all the way outs. Come back in, go for five and back. Keep the height of the heels throughout. Let's take three and a two. Final one. Let's change to the arches. Knees together. Heels under, go four, six out and five n n four, four and three. When you feel your back, expand against the mat. Last one, come to the heels.

Pilates Stance

Pull your toes back. It's really, get those feet warmed up. Let's go for six pressing out and back. Fuck and return for willy. Come all the way home on each one three and to move the carriage from the center all the way home. Let's come back to the toes for tendon stretch. Same here six times. Just getting the body warmed up.


Just putting some weight into our feet. Feel a body start to activate against the spring tension. We got four and three stretching out through the head and a two final one. Let's stay up on the toes for a second. We really tried to get your lower back into the mat here just as a little precursor for the hundred, which is next. Bend your knees.


Come all the way home. Foot bar comes down, slide yourself away from the blocks. Grab the straps, long legs over the foot, bar, arms straight up. Fist, Ribault long, hands up to you. Let's go right into it. Press into the scraps and yeah, pump, inhale and exhale where 10 inhale and exhale we are 20 keep going. Reach into the straps and exhale. We're at 30 gives you a little back into the mats and the legs far across the room. Exhale, we're at 40 deep breath in. Deep breath out talking to myself.

Tendon Stretch

You have to make sure there's space in your neck with across the chest. Exhale with 60 breathing in and 17 I'm trying to move the carriage back a little farther that the arms a little higher. XL, we're at 80 breathing in and ouch. Final on. Breathing, breathing out. Pause for a second. Push the carriage back a little more. Release all. Let's take the handles into one hand. Set up.


We're going to drop down to two springs. I don't know about you, but I am warmed up. If your head piece flat, it's not already. Think this continues where we just left off. Arms come down, legs lift up. We go right away into the full expression, up and over. Jack left up. Roll back down like you're trying to sit down on your springs release. Two more. Arms down, legs up Jack. Knife. Roll with control. Push into the handles.


Get your head to lengthen out the opposite way. One more lower the legs. Lift the arms. That's transition to coordination. Your choice of head up or down. I'll leave mine down for today. Three times. Press it on one. Open to close. Three knees in four. Bend the elbows. Five again out open, close. Knees go in. Elbows bend. Last one, oppositional length through the crown of the head. Knees in elbows.


Bend. Scraps them to one hand. We'll sit up. Turn around a rowing. Now this is where we start to pepper in some variations on the original work. They alternating the different pieces of rowing. We'll go into the first one and then right away into the second. We'll repeat that three times straight. Arms for stark, half roll back, one opening arms to round over the legs. Three, lift the back to lift the arms into biceps, triceps, curl back, sit up to come forward. Release the strap tension.

Back Variation

Take a big circle and we'll start again as to chest open, round forward, arms up and around by so curl back. Sit Up. Release the spring tension long in the back. Big Circle with the arms. Final one. Open round forward. Pop up your back roads. Take Leon's around. BICEP curl, back, hinge. Send the hip creases back until the spring.

Tension releases. Big Circle Defenders. Let's take a stretch. Hands to feet. Pull yourself long. Lift yourself up. Turn over your right shoulder. Face the other direction. We're still in one spring here. Separate your straps. Make sure they're not cross like mine and go ahead and sit back against your shoulder blocks. Hands going into the handle from above. Elbows back strap is under the arm. Go ahead and lift up out of the way.

Stretch forward and up. Down with the arms. Up and around. We're going into from the hips, right from, here's a flex your feet roll down. Press out again, alternating these two variations against one another. Finishing with that big arm circle from the chest. Forward, down, up and around. Big circumflex to feed. Roll down. Press it up. Pull the toes against the head. Restack your spine.

Front Variation

One last time from the chest. High diagonal, apt depth all the way up. Lift, lift, lift, arms come around, flex your feet, roll down. L, rebuild your spine. Pick the straps up. Big Circle around. Just go ahead and point your feet. Change the grip of your handles. Hands to ears, ribs in stretch straight up and slowly let the straps pull back on your arms to open the chest. We'll do two more. Straight up, lift out of the waist, arms come down. One more time. Stretch it up, hold the arm straight, arm, circle out to the side and down. And then we're done here with our warmup. I am glistening. How are you doing? Go ahead and get rid of your straps.


We're going to set up our boxes. Next. I'm going to put them on the long way for a little warm up four pole straps, which I like to call the swan hopper. It's a hybrid of our swan dive and the grasshopper. Actually, let's go ahead and get rid of the straps. So now, so they're not in a wet, it doesn't really matter what spring tension you have on here, so we'll just keep it on one so that we're ready for pulling straps right after. We're going to mount the boxes facing the back of the reformer and you want to come forward far enough so that your hip creases up pretty much right at the edge. Your arms are straight, so you start in plank line of sorts. Your hands underneath your shoulders on the frame. From here, let's go ahead and pull the arms gently bag without moving the carriage, pulling the chest forward and up. Stretch your toes back from here we go.

Swan Prep

The elbows bend, the legs pick up behind us. We'll just take a dive down, hold it right there, and then lift your chest up. Push into the frame to lift yourself back up. So that'll be our preparation here. We'll do one more like that. Bending the elbows back. Chaz did it takes a dive legs lift up and reverse back up.

Continue to push down into your hands so your body doesn't slide forward. We'll add a bend of the knee. Take a dep, bend your knees, lift the knees towards the ceiling. Re straighten the legs, push into the hands, and lift yourself back up. Last one, take it down, Ben. Denise, stretch it up. Lift yourself back up, and then from here we'll just step off to the side. Take your scraps with you, and we're getting ready for pulling straps. All right, so if we're pulling straps are separate, your straps step over your box, line your shoulders up with the end of the box or your shoulder blocks. We'll add a little something in here that comes straight out of a previous exercise. Get your hands around a strap, release your head down for a second. Release your legs down for a second. We begin from here. Activate your arms by pulling.

Swan Dive Variation

Press the hip bones down. Stretch your legs back as the arms reach back and then against your hands pulling back. Peel your chest forward and up. Lift your size a little. Bend your knees like you. Try to get the soles of your feet and your head together. We straighten the legs and then slowly come back.

Pulling Straps

We'll do one more like that before we go into tee. Pull, release everything and build it back up. Hips down, arms, back, legs, back, chest forward and up. Bend your knees. Open the collarbones why unfold and return. Same in t hands. Slide to the start of the strap. Arms out wide head and feed down for a second. Building up from here, hip bones. Press down on spoil back. Chest lifts, legs lift, knees, bend, unfold. Open and release everything. Last one, hip bones pressing down, chest lifting up. Pull the arms back, lift the thighs up for just a little extra activation in the back of the body.


Open unfold. Bring the carriage all the way in. Let your head and feed fall for his sake and just let your hips wiggle. Side to side for a moment of rest. Not the most photogenic, but it feels good. After what we just did. We're going to get rid of our straps and move right into our next sequence, which was our long stretch series. So the box has come away. Good News as well.

Skip our teaser. Come back with a sticky pad for your feet. The headpiece goes up into the high position. We're on two swings for this next exercise and we'll set it up. Hanford, Hanford, stepping right in, creating a nice long lines through the body. Think of your pole straps here. Pull your chest forward, head forward, heels back, three types. Press it up. Come in with controlling the carriage all the way into the stopper for two and one more.

Long Stretch

Yeah, all the way home. Continue on your knees, also known as your down stretch. Heels back forward. Chest up, three out. Lift back up to keep kicking your heels back as you come in. Tail down towards the knees. Last one, three. Come all the way home. We'll combine our up stretch with our down stretch today. Lift your hip, creases our fall yourself in half.

Down Stretch

Get situated and then push the carriage out with the arms and legs pass. Lift your chest up into a back bend. Come forward a little and reverse push back up. Lift your hips up, release the span and go twice. More out. Chest leads the way, reverse push up. It increases lift and falled. One more time. Press it out. Try to keep the carrot in place as you change from your back.

Up Stretch 2

Bend out into your forward fold. Nice transition into elephant flat feet, heels of hands and heels or feet pushing down on lift. The back press are one and press out to come in. Press out three. See the sweat fall of your nose. If anything like me, you've got three pushing out and trying to drag the carriage back in with your heels and your stomach. Last one out and him and it's up after the side. Next up we're going into chest expansion and our thighs stretch. Just opening up the front of our hips a little bit, which will prepare us for what I got planned on the ladder barrel in two springs here. We can't get rid of our sticky pads at this point.


Go ahead and grab the straps as you set yourself up. Hooking your feet right around the edge of the carriage, hands in the handle rather than on the strap for today. So we can create a nice strong Fisker, but your hands just start. Pull your toes forward against the carriage hips forward. Let's go for it right away into our neck. Turn. Inhale, lift and exhale as you release. Three more to the left, to the right, straight ahead.

Chest Expansion

If the dress slowly come back in one more time, you just started straps. Don't have to move all that far back and in last time. Hips forward, arms pull back. Turn the head left, right straight ahead. Let's come back in and let's change our springs to add a third for our thigh. Stretch this time, the knees all the way forward. Hands on the strap. We'll go forward toward a total of four.

If you want to add a backbend that's added on the third and fourth or just do four regular ones, Chin in slightly. Tailender shins pressing down. It's go stay for an inhale and exhale. Then lift this wraps or pull yourself back in. One more time. Always late. Taking this little break here just to give my hips a chance to push up and forward against the strap tension.

Thigh Stretch

Lift yourself back up if you want to add it back, then do it now. Granted, pulled back. Not entirely sure yet. Let's try Chin over Chester return. Lift yourself back up and one more time. Take it back. Open the chest, reverse that lift all the way back up. Nicely done. Let's look off to the side.

Take the straps with you when it changed. One spring at this point to get ready for some arm circles, we'll be opening up the chest again, letting that hip or continue feed against the shoulder blocks down by your sides. Go for three each way. Press your hips forward. Go for it. Lift it up and around. Biggest circles you can make and two and around. One more time. Up and around. Reverse it. Keep the hips pushing forward.

Arm Circles

Arms come down and two and three. Now without skipping a beat, sit back on your heels. Toss the straps back behind you. Lift the foot car up. Add a second spring. Think of that same work coming from your upper body, but also from your hips slightly pushing forward towards the bar. As you get ready for your knee stretches, we'll go right away.

Knees Off

And your knees off. You're ready. Let's pick up the knees. Let's go for 10 which should that, yeah, not eight seven, six all the way in five oh three two last one. Lower the knees. Attra springs and while it still hurts, lay down on your back for running. Okay at last, here we are back. Oh, go ahead and stretch out. Let's go for a nice set of around 2010 on each leg. Ah, finding your heartbeat and side your chest again, relaxing your breath a little, letting all of that work. Sink in a little and then come all the way home.


Pelvic lift arches to the corners and he's a nice and wide table and crows under to the height of your head. We'll go for just five here. Go ahead and press the legs out straight. Keep the tape crawl under, come back in. Keep the space between hips and ribs. Nice and long. Press out and in Yukon for three, bring the carriage all the way home. Like you're sending your knees away from the shoulders for two final one. Push come all the way in like you're trying to sit down on the springs, release the hips back down and let's stand up.

Pelvic Lift

Do One more exercise on the reformer or front splits before we take it to the barrel. We changed down to two springs from here. It's many different ways to approach this, but let's stand on the carriage facing the foot bar first. Set your right foot onto the foot bar between the hands and then jump your left foot back into a turned out line so that the heel is just on the headrest and the outer edge of your left arch, your back leg against the corner of his shoulder block. Use your arms like chest expansion of pulled straps to pull your chest forward for a second. And then just straighten your front leg any amount as far as it'll go where you end up past at the lake. Shake a little bit, send your right hip back in space, left it forward. Ah, and then bend your front knee police.

Front Splits

Have all the way home. Do that one more time. Press it out. Two is closed as straight as you can. Keep this alignment and even weight in your hands. You can even push with both arms a little. Alright, maybe have a little more in the second Rep. Come all the way in. Let's do one more here. Stretch it up.

Push with both hands in the right and back. Left hip forward and a little down towards the springs. Bend your knee. Come forward. Stay. Lift your back heel up. Turn your leg parallel and low. You need towards the carriage. We'll just take a tiny little stretch here. Pull the carriage into the stopper.

Bring your right hip forward against the heel. Lift your chest up, and then push the carriage out. Just a millimeter with your left knee. Keeping your right hip forward until you feel a stretch in your left inner thigh. Lift both arms up. If you can hold the carriage in place, keep sending your right hip down. You'll lift it forward, and then take your hands back to the foot bar. Bring it in and we'll change sides. So step on up, come back to standing. Same setup, left foot steps onto the foot bar between the hands, right foot jumps back.

Find your lunge stance. Turn the right up in and down. We'll go for three here. Any amount. First one is the longest one. Hold it there for a second and breathe into it and bend your front leg. Come all the way in and to both feet. Push away from each other and come back in. One more time. Press away, left it back, right hip, forward and down. Nice. Bend the knee.

Come all the way forward. Back Heel lifts first. Then you turn it parallel and he comes down. We'll install your right foot against the shoulder block. Pull yourself in all the way to start chestnuts up. It's like a one legged down stretch almost.

And then you push your right knee back, [inaudible] millimeter or two. Once you feel like you have the position, you can sustain it. Lift the arms up. Keep sending your left hip crease down, lift the chest up. Look for your fingertips. Come all the way in. Bring the knee forward to close the carriage.

It's step off to the side and we're done on the reformer. I don't know about you, but I'm definitely warm, very warm enough to play on the ladder barrels a little bit, so that's what's going to happen next. All right, on we go on a ladder barrels. Finishing up this workout. We'll start with swan dive, so we'll step in against the rungs of the ladder. You can stand against the base of it as well, but we'll go right up here against the lowest two runs. With our heels together, our toes apart, your center on the highest point of the barrel, the arms just draped over and down. We'll go with the we full swan dyes. Taking an inhale, lifting the arms forward and up. Exhale to bend backwards.


Stretch out the legs. As you inhale, press push back into your feet as you lift yourself up again. Second back bend, come forward. Draw the center up in and puff up your ribs and drape yourself back into just start position. We'll do two more like that. Inhale, exhale back. Inhale, stretch. Push into the latter. To lift yourself back up. Stretching forward, annex, come back down. Last one. Inhale up, reaching back, stretch it forward. Thinking of that work we did on the long box earlier, lifted chest. Reach the arms forward. Push it into your toes and come all the way back down.

Hands to the barrel. Stepping down. We're going to our side. Set up some nicks facing to the right. First little cross the left foot over against the lowest rung. Set your left hip on top and then Hook your right foot underneath the top. I usually put my bottom leg right against the back of the ladder where I've put my top lake forward a little bit, so I'm in the nice national turnout line here and it's go behind the head.

Upright your spine as much as you can. Activate your bottom leg will go for three. Take it up and over to the left. Drape yourself over the barrel. Up we come. And two and up. One more time. Lifted up and stick. Little surprise. Arm Up. Grab your left wrist with your right hand switch up and over to the ride while keeping your bottom leg active. Come back to center.

Side Sit Up

Let's switch sides. Stepping down, facing the other way across your right foot over. Set your right hip on top left foot hooks underneath. Really strong in your bottom leg. Hands behind the head. We'll go for three and up. You can use your top foot to pull yourself back up a little bit, but keep your bottom leg nice and strong and gate so that the right leg, sorry, the right side of your waist stays nice and long. Arms go up, grab your right wrist with your left hand stretch over, come back to center, hands to the barrel and we'll take it down from here next door. We did not do our short box on the reformer because we will do it here, so we'll take a seat just below the highest point of the barrel feed. Hope underneath the top rung.

Make sure that you have the apex of the barrel still behind you. Arms around the waist, a little hug, drought, your ribs. We're going all the way down into our back-bending one. Go ahead and roll your tailbone under. Drape yourself against the barrel, release the head, take your arms to the ground. Flat Palms. You can push into the ground for a little Hybridge like feeling, keeping the legs straight, the feed hooked.

Round Back

I could stay you all day but we won't. We come back up, arms around the way it shouldn't have a chest. Paul, with the feed as you're roll yourself back up. What does that one more time rolling back. Just getting ready for what's to come. Pushing into the hands. Lifting the chest up as if we could take all of our body weight into our hands, which we will in due time. Chin over. Just roll yourself back up and sit up nice and tall.

Next up, we'll just go into a little bit of side stretching here. For this, I actually like to place my feet against a lower rung so that I can really stand into the ladder. Keep my legs straight, lift out of the ways, Hook my thumbs together, send the hip creases back, and then we'll just stretch over to the right side while pushing with both feet, especially the left one and coming back to center. Up and over to the left and back to center two more times and center to the left. Final said, really go by what this feels like rather than what it looks and want to stretch the side seam of your body so to speak. Come back through center. Release the arms down and next up we'll go into our tree, which takes us into our Wakil. All right, so let's talk the left foot underneath the middle of the top rung, sitting slightly in front of the highest point of your barrel again, right knee comes in, polished against you to lift your chest, stretch your leg out any amount, wherever it goes. Walk your hands to where your ankle is. Straighten your top leg as you take the leg back with you.

Side to Side

And then let's go head like our back bending one drape yourself over the barrel. Push the ground away with your hands. What kind of right back up from here. So don't let it go just yet. I know you can hardly wait to take your hands around the leg. Again, pull with to left foot. You lift yourself all the way up to the top and it's really the other side to just outline our path before we take it off of the barrel. Left knee comes in.


If you dry it against you, lift your back up against it. Stretch your leg out any amount. See where it goes. Hold on where the ankle is. Pull yourself slightly in as you take the leg back, this leg straightens out underneath the top rung. Drape yourself over the barrel. Highbridge with one leg up, pushing into the hands. I could taking weight into them and then we come back up. Hands around the leg, lift yourself to the top, top leg.

Ben's here to pull yourself in and then we'll take it a step farther. So we'll do the same thing again. This time we're taking it into a walk over. So bring the right knee back in. Stretch your leg out. Let's take our time with this. Bring your hands to the ankle, round yourself in, stretch out your left leg, and then slowly drape yourself over the barrel. Again, set your hands down maybe a couple of inches farther away from the barrel this time just so we can actually load some weight into our shoulders.

Tree w/Walkover

Your left leg releases from underneath the run, but plays as a place it on top for now. Your right leg, it's going to teeter towards the body, but your left leg is still suspending itself backwards so that you can land, which would almost feels like a one legged elephant. Setting out the feet side by side, rolling yourself all the way up. That look pretty good from the corner of my eye and it's through the second side, sitting back up. There's also a way to get back on, but we will not do that today. Left knee comes in. Sit Yourself up nice and tight again.

We're below the highest point of the barrel. Stretch your left leg. Ouch. Walk yourself in. Take it down. Drape yourself all the way back, hands to the ground, toppled releases. Find a split leg action here and it's really that left leg coming forward. The right like reaching an opposition that helps me slow this down.

Roll yourself all the way back up to the top. Awesome stuff. Now to finish it up, to reward ourselves a little bit, we'll take it into our backwards stretch and maybe throw in a little Jacknife there. For this one, you want to position yourself about a foot length away from the barrel. You want to have your sacrum against the downward sloping part of the barrel. Take your arms around the waist. Let's go ahead and just set it up, rolling ourselves back and then grabbing the top run first. I like to take some time.

Back Bend

It will pull against the top run before moving myself to the second and then maybe to the third. At this point I have to walk in a little bit. Maybe you do too. Maybe at this point your feet already come off the floor. Go ahead and cross them and let your legs just dangle side to side for a moment. Maybe just let them pendulum swing out. Put the other leg on top for good measure.

UNCROSS your feet. Set your feet back onto the ground. Push against your second run. Walking your hands back up. We'll come back out of this for a second. First run, push away. Stand on two flat feet, arms around the waist, Chin over. Chest. Roll yourself forward.

Straighten your legs so we can really drape yourself over. Now most barrels have a crossbar or something similar to hold on to. If you can reach for it, go ahead and grab it and then roll yourself all the way back up. What do you think? Should we take this a step farther? All right, let's finish strong. We're going to do the same backwards stretch again. This time I'm gonna tilt the legs up and essentially do an overhead from the reform all over again and if we feel like it and we might add some splits in there to go ahead and drape yourself back. Taking your time again, hands to the top run. Second run. Just make your way down.


Probably don't want to go lower than the third here this time, but the legs come off the ground, but side by side, think of your hundred on the reformer. Stretch your toes across the room to lift them up and roll over. You might be lucky to get your toes against the top rum. If so, hang out here for a second. Push you arms into the room to push yourself into the barrel. Jack, knife your legs up. Take a deep breath. Make sure your head is firm against the barrel. That's your right leg.

Fall towards the ladder. Forward your left leg suspense back and switch and switch any of that and switch and switch. Let's do one more. Each wet both legs up and just like coming out of overhead. Roll the spine down at your feet from over your head. Lower the legs away from you.

Place your feet down. Walk your hands up the ladder. Push against the top rung for a second. Arms around the waist, Chin over, chest drape yourself over. Straight legs. Grab on again for Nice little stretch we sure deserved and let your hips roll side to side a little bit. Shake out your head and then walk your hands out in front of your feet for a second. Come away from the barrel. Walk your feet together underneath you. Soften your knees and roll yourself all the way back up to standing.

Whoa. I feel like $1 million right now. Do you feel like $1 million? I hope you guys feel like $1 million to thanks for watching.


WOW!! Amazing job from both of you! What a challenging fast paced class! Benjamin you are simply awesome! I love the way you teach! Thank you both for an amazing workout! Saludos desde Costa Rica ;))
4 people like this.
So ace to see men working out together. Loved the class & pace :) Thank you
Thank you Benjamin. You are an extremely talented teacher and an amazing practitioner.
4 people like this.
Yeah, you gotta love when we get to see the men in action. Lovely movement.
9 people like this.
Working out alongside a good friend is my favorite thing!!
4 people like this.
This was like watching dance. What a beautiful flow, performance and such simple but powerful cues... Btw, is 'second-hand lengthening' possible? I feel extended from just watching!
1 person likes this.
1 person likes this.
Great workout, loved it! cant wait to try it on my self... love your teaching and learning from you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
1 person likes this.
Great class thank you. Even though I couldn’t do the latter barrel because I don’t have one I just continued on doing my own exercises.
2 people like this.
Love classical pilates
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