Class #3414

Reformer for Traveling

30 min - Class


You will open your chest and hips with this Reformer workout by Gia Calhoun. She teaches exercises that will give you relief after sitting on a long flight or being on your feet all day sight-seeing. She flows from one movement to the next with exercises that will lengthen your entire body so you can feel good while you travel.
What You'll Need: Reformer

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Julia. We're going to do a reformer class today. I recently went to Australia and the long flight and walking around the city took a toll on my body. So these are some of the exercises that I did to kind of help me get back into my body and feeling good. So we're gonna start with some leg work because I was walking around so much I didn't want to do too much with my legs. I wanted to just kind of lengthen them out. So on my leg work, I'm only using three red springs. If you want to do more, feel free, or if you want to do a little less, that's fine too. I'm on three full springs.

Calf Stretch

I have my head rest up because I like that, but if you like it down, feel free to do that as well. So I have my feet on my toes. Just hit this sense apart. I'm just going to push all the way out. Push the heels under the barring, just get a nice little stretch. If you want to close your eyes. It feels nice to just inhale, fill your legs, lengthening and exhale and again, inhale and exhale, spend. You're right and you push that left heel under a little bit more. Inhale an exhale. Nice. Full breath.

Switching sides, right heel under. Getting a nice stretch on that right calf. Exhale, push both heels under one more time and then bend your knees. Come all the way in. So I'm going to bring my feet a little bit higher on the bar so it's more in the ball of my foot. And then I'm going to go into a prehensile position. So I'm wrapping my toes around the bar, pushing my heels under the bar, and then as I push out, I'm reaching out through my heels and then bending the knees to come all the way in. So I'm trying to really wrap those toes around the bar. And then back in springs aren't too heavy.

Prehensile Toes

It's more just to get the movement in my legs and then I'm trying to keep my knees parallel. They sometimes like to roll in when I bend. Inhale that bet. Stretch. Exhale to Bendon. Let's do two more. Yeah. Back in trying to keep the pelvis nice and neutral. Just setting yourself up for the rest of the class. So come all the way up to your heels. Still hip distance apart.


Flexing the feet back toward the shins. Inhales he stretch long. Exhale as you come back in. So as I'm flexing the feet, I'm trying to flex the whole foot, not just the big toe side. I'm trying to bring the outer edges of my feet back to, that's harder for me. I like to only flex one part of my foot. So while I'm trying to flex that whole foot, I'm also concentrating on keeping the knees in line with my second toe. So then not rolling, not rolling out because I'm in a nice, true parallel position to more.

Okay. Inhale, stretch. Exhale to come back in it. Slide back down to your toes. We're going to have your heels together. Toes apart. My knees are just in line with the shoulder rest or like gluing those heels together. Inhale, lengthen. Exhale to come back in. So as I stretched legs, I'm thinking those sit bones coming together.

Pilates Stance

So I'm wrapping around the legs, trying not to pop my ribs forward, just keeping my spine long form more hugging up the midline and three, keeping the arms nice. Long chest is open too and looking up at the ceiling to keep my neck long. Glass one switching to second position on the heels to feed her wide. Just let your feet legs turn out as much as you can and then you're just gonna pull it back on edge and it'll inhales these stretch long axial to come in. So as I'm working my second position, I like to pull my feet toward each other or feel like I'm pulling them toward each other just to activate my anar thighs a little bit and then really flexing those feet for more.

Second Position Heels

I'm not at my full range of motion with my turnout. I pulled it back a bit just so I'm still in my neutral pelvis. One more [inaudible] coming back to parallel hip distance apart, lifting the heels nice and high. I'm going to push out once keeping the leg straight and the lower the heels under the bar and then lift the heels back up for a little [inaudible] lower and lift. So as I'm lowering and lifting my heels, I'm focusing on pulling my quads up, pulling my knee caps up with my quads, I should say. So that I'm not just hyperextending my knees or locking into the backs of them trying to use the whole leg, not just my calf.

Tendon Stretch

So this kind of helps me get all the way up into my glute to lift the heels up to more. Last one, feel like or hear my ankles cracking and the into running in place of bending the right knee. Push the left heel under, lift up and switch ankles. Still cracking and right and left. So with the leg that spent, I'm really pushing that foot into the bar so I'm not just stretching the straight leg. I'm stretching that opposite foot as well. Keeping the knees and the hips stable. Parallel passing right through the mid line. We'll do four more sets and three, two last set and lift both heels up.


Ben Knees come all the way in and then sit up for him to change the springs. So I'm going to go down to a red and a blue or a full and a half spring. You can do what feels best for you. We're going to do some abdominal work cause I'm scooting away from the shoulder rest just a little bit so I don't get crunched up there. When I do curl up, grabbing onto the straps, making sure they're even just going to bring my legs up to tabletop. So the nice long spine legs are glued together. Inhale with the arms up. Exhale, he push the arms down by your sides. Inhale, arms come up.

Arm Press Down

Exhale as he pushed down. So I'm trying to find a connection from my ribs to my lobe dominance, so I'm not letting the ribs jet forward trying to keep that connection in my center. Exhale, depressed. One more. Keep the legs here. The next time you push down you're going to add a chest lift because you pushed down lifting the chest. Inhale as you lower. Exhale as you lift. So I'm trying to keep my pelvis still.

Chest Lift

I'm just lifting my upper body up toward my legs, not moving my legs toward my chest. One more. And the next one, we're add the legs. Inhale down. Exhale, Z. Curl up, stretch the legs out, and he'll pull them back into tabletop. Stretch them out as you curl up. Three more, okay to trying to stay parallel with those likes. Last one. Hold up here. Now instead of the pumping with the hundred, we're just going to do the a hundred breathing with some legs. So an hills, you bring the legs up. Three, four, five. Exhale. Two, three, four, five legs come up as you inhale. Three, four, five, and lower. Easy. Exhale, three, four, five. You curling up. Inhale and exhale. Good. Says four, and exhale. Good. Lift the chest. A little higher. Five.

Chest Lift w/Leg Extension

Squeeze those legs together a little bit more. Halfway done. Six. I don't know if you can see, but I'm shaking lower and seven. Good, really good. Those inner thighs. Eight. Push into those straps a little bit more. Curl yourself up a little higher. Two more. Nine deep, full breaths. Exhale.

Hundred Variation

Last one 10 and exhale and pull your knees in. Rest your head, good senior to bring your legs up to the ceiling. I like the feet flex for this one. If your hamstrings are tight, you need to bend your legs, that's fine. And then you're gonna bring your hands to a prayer position. So for this exercise, you want to focus on keeping the pinkie side of your hands together and the heel of your hands together. Because when you start to let them drift away, it'll feel different. So inhale with the arms up. Exhale. Just push your hands to your legs. Your head will stay down. Inhale, arms up.

Double Arm Press

Yeah. Exhale. Push your hands to your legs. Really pushing them together. Arms up and back down. So while you're moving the arms, you're trying to keep the chest open even though your hands are pushing into each other and you'll really feel the center of your abdominals. Okay, four more. Gets through everything right into the Midland and three, and to keep checking your hands, this is where they start to drift apart and back down.

Good. We're going to bring your feet into the straps. Okay. And we'll go into short spine stretch. So going to bring your headrest down, arms down by your sides.

Short Spine Massage

You're gonna bring your legs over towards your face as far as you can go. Do you want to try to get to the stop or, so if your pelvis needs to lift a little bit, that's fine. Once you're at the stop, you're going to lift your hips up, reaching toward the corner of the ceiling and the wall. Now Bend your knees, just mind with the shoulder rest so the feet will be right over your face. And then keep your feet there as you rule down one by at a time trying to keep your neck long once you can't go any further, bring your feet in towards your tailbone and then push the legs back out.

So I have my legs parallel to start bringing them up and over, getting a nice hamstrings stretch once I can't go any further. I roll my spine up and then I'd turn out my legs and say, Ben Heels together, toes part, and then feet stay over my face as I roll down one bone at a time all the way down. And then feet come in and then push out two more legs over [inaudible] and then roll up. Alright. And then the legs roll down and then bend the legs a little bit more. Push out. Last one.

I'll let you breathe. How it feels good to you. Sometimes I take a few more breaths in certain areas just because it feels good. Roll Up. Okay. And the knees bend in line with the shoulder rest. Roll down, trying to lengthen my spinal way from my, and then bend legs and then push out and bend your knees.

Take your feet out of the straps. So we're gonna come up and grab the box. We're gonna put the long box on. Okay. And then lower the foot bar down just so it's out of the way. We don't need it. Okay.

Arm Pull

And then I'm going to do one red spring. If you want to do a blue, that's fine too. We're going to do a little back extension and then I'm going to use some grip ease cause I don't have good grip strength in my hand. I'm working on it. But if you don't need that, that's fine. So you're gonna lie on your stomach. I have my shoulders off the edge of the box, hands on the frame, a thumbs are on top. And then I'm going to keep a long straight spine. I'll inhale here, exhale, I'm just gonna pull myself forward through my arms and then back. So my arms are bending a little bit, partly because I have long arms and I can't keep them straight.

And also so I can keep my back flat and then forward exhale the pool and trying to keep my shoulders away from my ears. Some thinking about using my serratus to kind of help pull me forward in the lapse of it too. One more. And then the next one we're going to add a little extension. So same beginning, you pull yourself forward and then once you get through your arms, you're gonna lift your upper spine up and then lower down as you pull yourself back. So you pull yourself forward, lift your chest up, and then back as you lower down. Two more. So as I'm lifting up, I'm not thinking about getting high.

Arm Pull w/Extension

I'm thinking about reaching my chest forward. Last one. So the sternum is reaching forward as you lift and then reaching back. Good. Come on up. We're going to keep this same light spring.

Single Leg Stretch

We're not going to actually use it, but I want it there so that you're not using any momentum. So you're going to lie down on your back. We're gonna do single leg stretch and double leg stretch. I want you to have the shoulder blades just at the edge of the box. That way you can stay curled up and we're gonna do a little extension with it later. So curling up as high as you can.

We're going to bring your legs up to tabletop and then one hand and from the other gonna push your right leg away from you as you reached that left leg along. So the arm and leg are pushing into each other and then switch. So inhale for two. Inhale and exhale. XLC using the opposition of the arm and leg, pushing together to activate your abdominals. Exhale, elbows are wide. Inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale. Last set. Inhale. Inhale. Exhale. Exhale.

Hug your knees in for double leg stretch. We're going to change it a little bit. Seal. Inhale, reach your arms, legs out to the same angle. Arms come up. You're going to go into a little back extension. Circle the arms around, curl up, and then bend your knees into your chest. So arms and legs. Reach out, arms come up, circle back and around as you lower your chest curl up. And then back in two more. Reaching back all the way around with the arms curl in, trying to get those shoulders off the box. Last one, reaching out, arms reach up, reaching back and around and then back in. Legs come up for scissors. So grabbing onto that right leg, lowering the left one down. You're going to pull in, inhale, and exhale. Exhale, same breathing as before. Inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale. Legs are long. Inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale. Last set. Inhale.

Double Leg Stretch Variation

Inhale. Exhale, exhale. Hug your knees in. If you want to let your head go back a little bit, it feels nice. Take a breath and then come on up. Good. So we're gonna keep the same spring. Keep the box, sit down facing your headdress. Feet are just going to rest on the headrests. And then I like to sit toward the middle of the box so my knees can stay over my feet. And then just grabbing onto the straps. I'm going to put my wrist inside the straps so I'm not actually holding on in.

Single Straight Leg Stretch

Gripping the arms down by the sides. You're reaching your arms down so your spine is lifting tall and then just watch your ribs to make sure that they're not jetting forward. Inhale, arms here. Exodus can reach those arms down and back, and then resist. I'm forward so your palms are facing you so you can open your chest. You're externally rotating. Your arms just a bit.

Chest Expansion

So you're using your back to move your arms. So it's not just the hands moving. So your whole back, the whole arm. Exhale, press two more like this. Yeah, last one. Now instead of going straight behind you, you're going to reach to the back corner. Let's feel annual to arms by your side.

Is he actually going to open out and back and then back to your sides. So you reach out and back. Feels a little bit different on the arms. Still working from the back. Yeah. I'm not trying to pinch the shoulder blades together.

I didn't want to keep my back broad. Focusing on length, reaching out and back to more. Last one. Okay. And then cross the straps one over the other. So I'm still holding onto the loops. Elbows are gonna come into your sides. You want to keep them glued here.

External Rotation

And then the forearm will be at a 90 degree angle. It's parallel to the floor. So you inhale with the arms forward. Exhale, rotate the arms out to the side. Inhale, hands confront. Exhale as you rotate. So again, you're using the back to move the arms, watch for your risks. A lot of people like to bend the risks one way or the other. Try to keep them straight so they're in line with your elbow.

[inaudible] and then again, watch. So you're not pinching your shoulder blades together. Trying to keep the back open as you're opening your chest as well. [inaudible] two more. Lengthening the spine. Last one. And I'm cross your straps. We're going to hold a little bit higher up on t.

I like to hold onto the tape part, but if you want to hold higher, that's fine. We're going to keep lengthening your spine. We're going to go into a bow and arrow. So you know, pull your right elbow back by your side as you twist and then come back to center. The arm that straight, that strap will be lax. So really just using the one arm twist. As you're rotating though, try not to let the straight arm remove with you.

Bow and Arrow

You want to keep it in line with your shoulder and then to the left. So while you're spiraling, you're thinking about lifting up. So you're always spiraling up off your hips, but then your hips are grounding you down into the box. One where each way elbows reaching back. Last one [inaudible] and hang up your shops. I'm going to get rid of the box.

Okay. And we're going to go into long stretch. So bring the F bar back up. [inaudible] I'm going to keep it on just the red. So I like my head rest up. We're gonna bring your hands onto the foot bar, feet onto the headrest.

Long Stretch

I have my ball on my foot right on the little crevice. I'm in one straight line from my head all the way down to my feet and just pushing back from my arms and then reaching forward. So trying to keep my elbows from logging and try not to go back so far where I can't control it back in. So I'm really using my abdominals to keep that connection, squeezing the legs together to help support me. One more. Lengthening out through the top of the head and out through the feet.

One more, and then bend your knees. Come on down. So I'm going to bring your feet against the shoulder rest feeder about hip distance apart, pushing your hips forward. Shoulders are back for long or down stretch. He pushed back and then lift the chest up as you come in. And then pushing back legs thing that spine, lifting the chest up two more.

Down Stretch

Still using the backs of the legs to kind of help support me because that's not going into my low back too much. It's standing up for elephant. I'm going to bring my feet flat. Do you want your feet all the way back against the headrest or your shoulder rest? That's fine. I like my feet a little bit in front just so I get a better stretch and then I'm going to around my back, bring my weight forward a little bit so I'm not just sitting back into my legs. If you also want to lift your toes up, that's another option.


So pushing the feet back, really digging those heels into the mat. And then you using your abdominal subpool you in pushing back as who are you in time lifting the abs up toward the ceiling. Trying to really round my back. [inaudible] keeping my head between my arms, trying not to look forward, which is a common habit of a lot of people pushing back. And then just like when I was stretching my calves earlier, I'm really pulling up my quads to pull up my knee caps so they don't go into my hyperextension two more last one. So I'm going to step back toward the shoulder rest a little bit and do Arabesque. So I'm gonna reach one leg up. I'm gonna let my hip open.


My back is a little bit flatter than before and I'm trying to reach toward the ceiling with this top leg. And from here I'm pushing the leg back and then reaching that top leg toward the ceiling as I come in. So pushing the carriage out and then pulling back in. I'm trying to keep my shoulders of squares. I can, but I'm letting the hip open. One more.

[inaudible] all I n keep reaching that leg up. Let the hip open even more. You can bend it and just reach it leg back. Just get a nice stretch on that in front of the hip and on that hamstring. Bring it like back to square and then put it down. Other side region, that leg up toward the ceiling.

Letting that hip open, shoulders are square, pushing the carriage out and then pulling it all the way in, reaching out, pulling it back in. Go ahead. Trying to get the length in your legs. One more. All the way in. Ben, that leg just opened up the hip a little bit more. It feels really good on my front hip flexor. Am I right hip flexor? And then bring that leg back up and then pull the leg all the way in.

Good. Come on down. So we're going to go into a semicircle. So I'm going to go into a red and a blue again. If you want to keep your foot bar up, that's fine. My knees don't like that. So I'm gonna bring my foot bar down.

Semi Circle

So lying down on your back, hands go on the shoulder rest. They're just going to slide herself out any way you can really cause usually by now you're getting stuck on the reformer. And then I had my heels together, toes apart. I'm really pushing into that shoulder rest. Few are on the shorter side and need to do Fisk. That's fine too. From here I'm gonna push out just a little bit. So I have room and then I'm going to roll my spine down one button at a time till I find the springs. Oh it feels good.

And then pushing halfway out so my knees are still bent and then curling my tailbone up, rolling all the way up till I'm in a flat line and then pulling myself all the way in. So rolling down, trying to keep that care distill as I can when I roll, pushing halfway out, curling the tailbone up to rural backup and then I'm standing on my shoulders. I was like, come back in one more in this direction. This melting down should feel good. Rolling back, pushing back. Rolling up and then hip stay. Good. Reversing, pushing out, halfway rolling down through the spine.

Again, looking for those springs coming all the way in and the until then the pelvis up to rule yourself back to that straight line, pushing halfway back. Trying to keep my neck long. Again, I'm looking at the ceiling just so I'm not shortening the neck. I want to keep my chest off of my Chin and then pushing out last time rolling down. Okay. And then back in and peeling up. Good.

Come all the way in. If you can grab your feet or you can grab the foot bar just to get a little bit more of a cache stretch and then try to push your heels down. Really get the quads long. Let's breathe into that stretch and then we reach back up for the shoulder rest. Lift your head up and then slide back in. Any way you can.

I'm stuck. There we go. And then we have our springs already set up for feet and straps that are going to bring the feet and the straps right in the arches and want to start with leg circles. So for the first set I'm going to keep the legs parallel. And then the second set we can go a little wider turned out. So with parallel legs it's pretty narrow.

Leg Circles

So you're going to go up to the ceiling open a little bit wider than your hips lower together. So in order to maintain that true parallel position of the legs, your legs can't go very wide. But it's just more for stability of your pelvis to kind of ground you after all that mobility that you just got from a semicircle, just to get you back into your body. Two more this direction. Last one. Now for the reverse, we're going to turn out single a little bit wider open, lift up together.

Think these are my favorite exercises and don't think I can do a plotty session without having my feet in the straps doing something cause they just feel really good on my hips. Two more. Trying to keep my tailbone down, especially as my legs come up. Last one. [inaudible] and heels together, toes apart. Flex your feet then into a frog position just in line of the shoulder rest and push out.


So pull your knees all the way in as much as you can without letting your tail bone change. Soon as your hips start to Tuck under, you've gone too far. It feels really good to get full range of motion with this exercise. Four more and 32 last one. And just bring the soles of your feet together. Pull your legs in. I like to pull on the straps a little bit, and then I use my elbows to turn my knees out just to get a little bit more stretch on my inner thighs and then take the feed out and hang them back up. Last exercise, we're going to bring that foot bar back up if yours isn't already. And then just one red spring or one full spring.

Frog Stretch

We're gonna go into Eve's lunch. So I have hands on the foot bar, one foot against the shoulder rest the knee is down, and then the opposite foot is all the way at the front toward the front of the frame of the reformer. So before you start pushing back, I think of tucking your hips under a little bit to lengthen the front of your hips. Before you start right there, I already feel a stretch and then I'm going to deepen that stretch by pushing back. And I sit a lot at our office. So this is really good for me because my hip flexors get very tight. So I have my left leg back cause I'm going to reach my left arm up and then I'm gonna lift up toward the ceiling as I bend over to the right. Okay. Just get a little bit deeper into that stretch and then the round forward toward the foot bar, bringing my hand back down, roll my spine up as I come in and then walk over to the other side.

Eve's Lunge

[inaudible] so my foot is on the shoulder, rest my knees down, my other foot is all the way to the front. And again, I'm pulling my hips under me as I come into position and then I pushed back. So that way I get that deep stretch in my hip flexor and it's not just going into my low back. It's really getting into my hip. [inaudible] it's breathe into that stretch, and then I'm going to reach my right arm up, lift up and over away from that leg that's getting the stretch. Okay. And then round over toward the foot bar, hand back down, and then pull yourself in.

Okay? And that's it. I hope you guys enjoyed this class.


3 people like this.
Thank you Gia, I did not travel, but we had a family wedding and it was very busy. This was perfect as I woke up feeling so out of sorts! Moving is a perfect remedy!
6 people like this.
Wonderful class Gia, so nice to see you teaching us so beautifully!!
4 people like this.
This was such a perfect class after a weekend of playing in the outdoors. I feel longer and more open. Loved the pace and smooth transitions. Thank you!
Lovely class! Very clearly demonstrated and cued.
5 people like this.
Great class! Especially love cueing for stretching your feet on running and “prayer” ab work was fabulous! So happy to have another great teacher on this site. Going into regular rotation for me and can’t wait for another of your classes!
6 people like this.
Very nice feel-good class :)) I found your calm tone of voice and straight-to-the-point cueing very pleasant. Thanks a lot Gia :))
Yay Gia!!!!! Lookin’ great girl! Awesome class!
Thank you Gia ! You have a lovely teaching voice and the class was delicious :)
Very nice workout Gia!! A short but very effective and yummy class! You should teach us more classes, the cueing and tone of your voice were perfect!
Gia, (moderator) and teacher! Clearly multitalented. A great short class, perfect before or after a run. Thanks.
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