Class #3466

Connecting to the Reformer

50 min - Class


You will feel how much you're in control of your movements after this Reformer workout with Lesley Logan. She uses the knowledge you have of the Mat work to help you find a connection to your Reformer that starts with your seat and center. She encourages you to use the springs to help you find your back body so that you can find more ease with the more advanced movements.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Pilates Pole

About This Video

Jun 25, 2018
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So I love the reformer and sometimes like a little too much, right? Because we tend to go, oh, I don't need to work out and I don't want to do the mat cause it's too hard. So we use a reformer cause it's full. All the support. It's got the springs, it's got the straps, got the shoulder blocks, got all the things that will kind of help us get through the workout. But what I would love for you to realize while you're doing reformer today is how much knowledge you have of the mat and how much were a former helps support that so that you, I don't know, go to the mat and some times and some more. Right? So let's get started. We're going to do footwork on one spring.

And the reason is, is because if we're on the mat, we would have no springs. But I also love having your, your, uh, connection to the reformer. Start with your seat and your center. And it's really easy to go onto your footwork toes. Do 10 and think of four springs and just push out and then and get it done.

Pilates Stance

But what I would love for you to feel as how much you are in control of this, and you don't want to feel the carriage bounce, right? Because that would mean you're like locking those knees and you do want to feel like you're pulling the carriage all the way in. Just like you would pull your knees into your chest for your double leg stretch. Okay? After you do 10 he'll go onto your arches and you'll press everything out.

And, and, and I just want you to think how much your legs have to squeeze together because the more your legs squeeze together, when you're doing your roll-ups, your spine twist, anything where the legs have to actually touch, the more strength you have. So if you can find that here, it's going to be get a lot easier as the reformer goes along. And then you'll go onto your heels. And the heels are the hardest ones on one spring. So be careful when you go out, you'll find out if you are legging it or if you're using your bum because the more you use your seat and your inner thighs, the more your feet can stay connected to the foot bar. But also the more you're gonna feel how much your knees actually have to pull into your chest, just like in your double leg stretch or you're rolling like a ball. And then for Chanda, we're actually gonna put a second spring on for your tendon stretch.


So you can sit up at a second spring. I'm just, because it's more fun to do tendon stretch with an extra spring. So press all the way out. And then as you lower your heels and lift your heels, remember that this isn't like a calf stretch, right? You're actually finding some more length into your lower back and some more connection into your seat. And if we were doing leg pull on the mat, you would actually have to use the whole strength of the back of the leg to lower your heels and lift your heels. So let's do one more and then pull yourself all the way in.


Take your foot bar down. We can do the a hundred on two springs. When you're doing it on the mat, you don't have anything to work against, so it'll feel something similar. So taking your legs long on the foot bar, have your handles in hands into your handles, and then really feel the whole handle. If you're going to have a handle, you want to feel super connected to it. And then you're gonna float it for your a hundred and pump your arms vigorously. So because of the spring tension, we tend to like fight with the springs, with our upper chest, our pacs, and our neck. And I want you to use the spring to find your back so that when you are on the mat doing the hundred, you're not like, oh, it's the hardest thing in life.

Tendon Stretch

It actually should be nice and you're floating. So we've got five more cycles of breathing here and I want a little more connection to your whole carriage. So the carriage tells us what's going on in the body. And if it's bouncing, you have to let your shoulders find your back a little bit more. You have to plug your arms into your lower ribs. Yeah. And let the carriage was still right. Do One more cycle of breathing.


And then on your last exhale, stretch your legs across the room and your arms all the way up to the sky. So we have two springs on. We're ready for our overhead. Just take your head rest down. Now in the overhead you have the help of the springs. In your rollover you don't.

So I want you to reach your legs across the room and then stand in your arms for your overhead all over with the legs and then up. And now hold it here like you would for your Jack Knife and stand on something, right? And then as you roll down, stand in your arms like you have nothing but you and your head and your back. And then reach your legs across the room and lift up. So it's the same rhythm as Jack Knife over up. And then you can take your time going down because I want you to take the time to create the space in your back. Reach your legs across the room.


One more time. Stand in your arms. They are there to help you and then lift your seat up as you lower your back down just like you would on the mat when you have no help. Lower the legs, lift the arms and then come into your coordination. Good. Press everything out. Open-Close pull the knees in and bend the elbows. Hold for a second. So we tend to just let the knees fold and I want you to press everything out like your hundred open-close. Now pull the knees into your nose like you would for your double like stretch and then resist. And again, press out two more, right?


We can easily let the legs fall in. But what if each coordination, we got deeper and deeper into our center to really help us out because guess what? We have to row next. So spin around on your way. Take a spring off. Okay. Legs go through your shoulder blocks. We're going to start with end to the Chester into the sternum and before you go anywhere, make sure your knuckles are facing forward and then pull your thumbs into your chest round back. Think like you're going down for a roll up and then open your arms up like you would for the AA kick or Swan and press back from your upper back and then reach your arms around. Now maybe your thumbs touch. What I want is your whole upper back to work, work, work, and then lift her arms up in circle so you don't have to get obsessed with clasping the hands go again.

Back - One

I really want you to think about in your double leg kick, how much do you actually work your upper back? So here in your rowing you actually connect your arms to your upper back to stretch you around. Let's do one more time into the sternum pullback. Open the arms up, find your back connection, dive into your roll up, and then reach your upper arm bones towards each other, even as you circle them, open and around. Cool. 90 degrees. So you lift up and now you're going to lean back like your thighs stretch. Your legs are standing on the mat for you and you lift up and reach your arms forward. And then just press your arms back here and again, find your double leg, kick arms and circle all the way around. So by now, maybe your thumbs can touch, cause maybe your back has opened enough or strong enough to connect your thumbs together without hanging off your shoulders. So she reaches her arms back.

Back - Two

She's going to pull, she's going to connect her upper arm bones towards each other. Yeah. Then she can lift them all the way up and around. Let's do one more. So again, stand on those legs. So you're free to lean back as much as you can. And then you lift all the way up, round your spine, like your roll up and then returns back. Connect your arms to your back here. Don't hang off your shoulders and then circle everything around. Beautiful. OK. Spin around. Um, for rowing three.

So from the chest is really easy to just be from the chest. Right? But what if it was actually from the back? So reach your arms forward and find a push up here. Connect your arms to your back. Yes. Now lower your arms and lift your arms and hold and stand on your handles and stand on your legs. And then open your arms all the way up. And again, reach forward.

Front - One

Find your back connection as you lower the arms and you lift them back up right here. Spine twist. Don't miss the spot where your arms connect to your back like you would in your spine. Twist on the mat, reach lower. Go ahead, lift all the way up and then stand in your handles so you can find that on your mat. And then from the hips, flex your feet round forward. Reach all the way like spine. Stretch forward. Now lift out of it. Good. Feel the connection of the handles. You can sit this tall without them. And then round forward again, good reach. Reach all the way for the foot bar.

Front - Two

Now lift up. And then we try not to move the carriage as we stand, as tall as we can and open our arms. I know it's true though. You try not to move the carriage on that last part. So you're going to lift up and she's going to grow so tall like she wouldn't spine twist that she doesn't move the carriage. I can't do it either. So sit like sit for your and hug hands behind your back had and then go ahead. Okay, so now go ahead and just do three shaves right here.


Just do the shave the way you think it's done. Okay, so now let's just move ourself away from the shoulder blocks a little bit. We're gonna do this. Shave again. Yes you are. Okay. Hands behind your head. So you have the strength to do this because you know how to sit in yourself. You're gonna push your knees down and then as your elbows go wide, you reach up and over. Yes. It's Kinda like you're diving into water. Reach up and over. There you go.

So now you're not resting against your shoulder blocks. Cause on the mat you don't have them. And then you're going to open up your legs and go for your hug. I won't make you do the hug twice, but you do have to do the hug away from the shoulder blocks. So open the arms up and close.

Hug A Tree

So just don't forget that this is for the back, right? So if we were on our stomach doing our swan with our arms wide of the side, they'd be connected to our back. So as your arms go forward and back one more time, it is from your back, right? Okay. Swan on the long box. If you are like no way Jose, you can do swat on the floor while we're doing this, you can use one on your ladder barrel while we're doing this. But don't scrape your swan because it prepares you for the rest of the series.

So we're going to add a second spring in the middle and then stand on the frame of your reformer. Place the tops of your thighs on the box. Here's the deal with Swan, whether you're a girl or a guy, you put the box where you need the box. So your knees can be on the outside of the frame or on the inside of the frame. It depends on the day for me. And then we're just going to do the regular ladder barrel swan.


So she's going to lift everything up. Try not to move the carriage and then she'll lower partway down and stretch her legs out whole. Now stand on your legs and then lift it up. Now get ready. You have to think rolling like a ball or double leg stretch. You've got to round your back. Pull your knees to your nose and round over the box.

Then your stomach is already lifted so you can go right up into your next one. Lift up and then lower partway. Stretch out cold. Reach your tailbone for your heels yet lift your low belly to lift you up and then get longer. Keep lifting your lower belly, bend your knees and find your willing like the ball. Yeah, one more time. Lift it up. Good. Stand on your feet. Lower, part way down and stretch out. Reach your tailbone for your heels so you get super long and then pull it all together. Rolling like a ball. Yeah. Good. Sit back to your heels.

Take a spring off and join us for the pull straps. Okay? Okay. So when you're doing pull straps, it's similar to being a swan on the mat. It is not about how high can your test get off this box, but how long can your spine get for me? So I like to spend my inner thighs up and squeeze them together.

Pulling Straps

Just gives me a little bit more space in my lower back. And then do press your legs down across the room. So there's your arm strap, pull back, find a nice lift in your chest and then reach your arms forward. But what if you were doing like a really low swat, like a baby swan? Are you gonna just lift the chest towards your feet? Are you going to reach your chest across the room?

The more you can stand on these handles, one more time, the more you can actually find a longer swan and not worry about how high you're getting. Right? Slide your hands down for your tea pool and open your arms up. Yeah. Okay. So here as your arms go back, if you're like me, they actually have to lift up a little bit. Yeah. So if I'm doing my double leg kick, my arms are not going to just go back to my feet. They're going to go up towards the sky.


Same thing here because as you do your t pull, your chest lifts, syrup hormones has to lift. It's gonna allow you to connect to your back more. It makes it easier when you're on your mat. Good hop off at a spring. Backstroke, I love the backstroke. Yes, it is your double leg stretch. It's pretty obvious. Like, do you really think about it when you're doing your backstroke today? We will. So I all the way down. We're gonna do three in each direction.

You have to be at the edge of the box. So are you double check. Chanda rocked it. Here we go. Arms and legs up open. Circle around and find that nice reach. You're doubling, searching up, pull it all the way in and close your springs up. Open and circle. Hold. Now as bend. And as you're doing this, there's actually no rest on the bend in. So it goes around and to do one more in this direction, she bins and she goes right into the next one. That's the rules.


That's how we do it. Bend. And because otherwise you're just taking a break open circle. One more time. You have to find that pull in like you would figure it out. But like stretch last one and then rest, I mean rules is such a strong word, but that's just like the way you challenge yourself. Take a spring off for your teaser. Okay, so we're going to do teaser a little differently today.

I'll do arms and then we do the second one. We're going to do legs, but it's not circle. So stick with me. And then we're going to do the leg circles. So go ahead and feel yourself just like hanging over this box. And then tell yourself you're going to meet your body to your equipment all the way up and float yourself up. Now hold it here. So this is just your teaser on the mat right now.


As you lower and lift your arms, I want you to feel how much you can actually reach into your center more. So if you were doing an open leg rocker on the mat or your teas, or you wouldn't just be like avi, right? Roll everything down. Now lift everything up. And then I want you to think about your double straight leg stretch lower just the legs and lift the legs. And I want you to push the legs away like you do in your lower lift and then pull them up one more time and then lift and roll everything down.

Now there's a reason why I want you to do that because when we do leg circles, it's so easy to drop the legs, lift the legs, drop the legs, right? So now as you circle your legs, just the leg circle, you're going to think about your lower lift. So you push the legs down, you pull the legs up, reverse, push the legs down, lift them up. So it's easier for them just to float and look how awesome her arms aren't even moving. That's a perfect teaser. And then lower all the way down. Woo. That was awesome. Okay, so enough celebrating. We have to do the breaststroke. Okay. So, um, for breaststroke, if you again, are not doing that, you can just do with swimming on your long box, but you grab your handles, you're on one spring and you're gonna reach out and grab the front of your box and then lie on your back. Now Chad is a little lucky.

She had a lie on your stomach. Excuse me. She has me. If you're home alone, you know you'll do what you can do. And so I have sometimes no help either. Um, now in theory, if she'd been attorneys, she would be four inches forward. So I'm going to have chance to scoot forward. So her knee caps are on the box. Yeah, if you're home alone and that feels like you're gonna fall on your face. Okay. You can scoot back a little bit, but you can also just put your hands on the front of the carriage and that will give you a little support. Now she's gonna think about her double leg kick here. She presses her hips down and kicks her seat three times. Then she reaches her arms forward and finds her swimming and then she lifts up, opens her arms and stretches forward. Right. So again, kicked three times she slayed that.


But I want us to reach the chest more forward than up. So get longer. Yeah. And again, kick three times. You're not looking for your legs to lift up. You're looking for your legs to reach away from you. You're going to do a reverse. You kick three times and then you find your arms.

Why do the side yet reach it forward? Find your swimming, lift your stomach up as you lower down. That was amazing. Okay. This is the Combo. So choose a or B or do the Combo with us. Kick like your single leg kick. Press your arms forward, lift up and then flip your palms. Don't get lit. Yeah, there we go. Hurry told and lift up and go down. Woo. So horseback. No, I'm sorry. Hamstring curls. That's a lie.

Sit on your box shorts. Find your straps. Um, so I love hamstring curls in a workout because, um, I think we tend to just skip that part of the body and we do a single, a kick and double leg kick, but it's really important on our former workout that our hamstrings are really strong cause it's part of our seat and helps us work. Also, if you're like me and your knees are unstable, it's super great for strengthening the whole leg. So here we go. Um, put your arms on the front of the box actually and do two springs just for us. So if you're new to hamstring curls, your legs are together. Let's do knees together today. Yeah. And then you'd see how the hips want to pop up like a Nicki Minaj move and you're going to move your pelvis down. If you laugh, it's harder. And then you're going to pull your heels towards your seat and then reach them away. So the more your knees can lift up a little bit, the better. So this is what you want to feel when you're doing your single leg kick and double leg kick. You want to feel this much work in the hamstrings.

Hamstring Curls

It's possible to do it without springs. Now you can stick with two or I'm going to be a little mean or nice. It depends on, you look at, take a spring off and put your hands back like you would for double leg kick. So now she has to support her whole body on this. Reach her tailbone long. Lift the knees up and pull the heels to the seat.

So now you're really doing a prep for the double leg kick and it's not like, oh, I just kicked my legs and I reached back, right? Do One more. And then she was in a transition for a horseback on top. You can obviously do it in any way you want. Please don't fall off your long box, but you'd slide forward setback. Grab your actual handles. Okay, here's the deal about horseback.

I know no one likes it, but we all like spine stretch forward because it feels so and easy. So just think about your spine Schwartz for when you horseback here. All right, here we go. Reach your arms forward. Hold it. Find the spine switch forward, reach in your back, and then just circle the arms and the arms are just there to distract from how hard you're working, your legs on this box and your stomach back. And then flex your feet and set. We're going to do two more sets, so reach forward, find your spine, switch forward. If you just want to hold it there, that's fine. Otherwise, circle, but let the arms connect to your back by letting the handles feed into your hands. Right flex last set, reach forward. It's almost over. And again, lead the tail, reach for the heels, like it would a little bit in spine switch forwards for the ribs can lift up into your back and then arrest. Okay, hop off.


Take your box away. Long stretch series. So two springs and your head rest up and your pad on your head rest. All right. When you're doing your long stretch series, I want you to think about obviously, um, leg polls, right? Or pushups. Go ahead and add a spring. Yeah. Okay. Come on already in your plank and then allow your shoulders to connect to your back. Like you would if you're on the mat. And then for a moment, go ahead and hug that or hips in and press your feet down into your head rest and then press out and think about your leg pulls, right when you do your leg pulls on the mat, you don't just fall into your heels, so you're not going to fall into this head rest and just let the spring open. You're actually going to reach your leg back and then pull your legs in and let's do one more.

Long Stretch

You're going to keep the carriage close and you're gonna use all that, all that energy and all that stomach work to lower both knees at the same time. That was amazing. And place your heels back. Okay, so now we have our single leg kick basically, right? So her heart is going forward and eyes are facing the same way. Reach your heels back and then pull yourself through so it's not like legs out. And then I fall forward.

Down Stretch

I want you to really feel your inner heel reach back to connect to your hamstrings. And then your heart is always pulling forward, just like it's always pulling forward in your single leg kick. One more time. Okay. Up Stretch. So lift your center up, lower your heels halfway down. And then here's the hard thing. You gotta stand on your arms just as much as you stand on your legs. And if I were to flip her on her back, this would be double straight leg stretch or a hundred so it's the same body parts, same muscle parts, right? She's going to lift her ribs up, push her legs away, and then pull it in so it's not throw the legs back, lock the hips into place, it's pushed the legs back.

Up Stretch

And then pull your hundred over your foot bar. One more time. Press the legs into the shoulder blocks, and then we'll bring it forward. Lift your center up, and then lower your heels down. And for your elephant, I want you to feel the weight even in both your hands and your feet. Okay? And then as your legs press back, it's your double straight leg stretch. So you have to push the legs away and then you got to pull your center and to lift your legs.


You can't let your head and chest drop down and up as you lower and lift your legs in your elephant can't do that either. It's got to be so strong and so stable. Let's do your single leg elephant, take one leg back, point the foot, and then spin the inner thigh up so it's very square. It's very similar for doing scissors or your a single leg circles. Push that standing leg back and allow this reaching leg to help you find your center more up. Yeah. And then switch your legs so the leg gets to the back isn't to like change the shape of your body. It's to actually help increase the lift of your center.

Single Leg Elephant

Right. If we were doing control balance on the mat, this leg actually helps around your body into this shape. Good. Okay. After this one, when you're even hop off, long back stretch, so hand, hand, foot, foot. We're still on two springs and then it's easy to think this is an arm exercise. So let's make this a seed exercise and just think about your leg. Pull front, right lower down, and then move your pelvis into your feet, right? If you had a kick your leg up off the mat right now, you would need all the strength of your seat.

Long Back Stretch

Your arms are just there as like a kickstand. Go ahead and reverse. Lift the hips up, reach into your heels, bring the carriage in. So try not to let the carriage close as you're lowering your hips. Dow. Do One more time. You can do it. Push out. Don't let the carriage glows. Lower your hips, lower your hips, low. Come all the way yet it's so hard.

It's Kinda like semi-circle. You don't want the carriage to move when you're moving. Move the um, pad down for your stomach massage. You will love stomach massage. I have a challenge of myself. We're all gonna love stomach massage after my trip here. So put the springs on that you like for your foot. Work four or three.

Depends on you. Put the outside one on and then take the middle one off. No, both middles. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So toes on. Okay. You are in, you're rolling like a ball but is your own like a ball really small or like really big. Feel it the the biggest rolling like a ball you've ever done. And then press your legs out lower, lift your heels and then come all the way in. Good. So I tend to ride the springs home because by now we've been working for a long time. But you have to stay connected to your foot bar cause you have it. So you have to pull your heels to you as you come in.

Round Back

Just like you'd pull your knees into you and your double leg stretch. Okay. When you come all the way on your next one, take a, take your hands back, lift your chest up and then you can put your hands on the tops of the shoulder blocks or you can put your hands towards the sides of the shoulder blocks. Yeah. And then you can lift up and try not to hang out in your elbows cause you wouldn't hang out in your elbows. If you're doing your hip circles, would you? Would you okay. Press all the way out, lower the heels and lift the heels. As you're pushing out, you're reaching into your hands. Don't, don't rest or push with your hands.

Flat Back

They're just reaching into those shoulder blocks to connect you to your back. And then again, pull your heels to you. So you find your double leg stretch as you come all the way in. So this is actually a lovely exercise. One more time and then reached down. Remove a spring in the middle, take your arms forward and then go out.


And then your heels can step the whole time. But this is where you really have to pull your heels to your seat so that you can stay super connected in your stomach massage. Add your twist and find your spine, twist, and then switch. So what I want to see is both feet staying even on your foot bar because that tells me when you're on your mat you're going to keep your legs together. And even right one more time. Each side. Aha.


Both heels stay up and with you and come all the way in. Okay. Pop off tendon stretch. We're just gonna do the regular tendon stretch today. So your two springs on the outside makes it easier for you and then come on hand, hand, foot, foot. Now what you can do, heels together, toes apart or parallel doesn't matter to me. It just has to be connected to your seat.

Actually stand on your arms and visualize your open leg rocker. How much do you reach your arm from your back and actually connect your arms to your ankles? They have to be so strong. And then when you do your tendon stretch, it's not like flow out fast in, it's a rhythm out and in and just open leg rocker and en and find yourself rolling back and find yourself rolling up and then you take the bang out of it if you can. There we go. And you stand on your arms. Do One more time. If you laugh, it's harder and then arrest. Good. That was awesome. I liked it. Okay. Sharp box.

Tendon Stretch

So you should have two springs on already. Headrests down, grab your short box and your pole. Okay, so come on to your short box with your feet in this strap and then find a spot on your box where the strap is actually around your feet. You're flexing back and pushing out. So similar to like the other class I did here with the magic circle, you're just going to find that in your seat. Wrap your arms around your waist and then find your roll up Brownback and you can go back as far as you can.

Round Back

As long as you think about the roll up to come up. So I know the legs are a part on this and they're not in the roll up, but you still have to reach your legs away in the roll up just like you would on this. So the legs don't move on our short box one more time and then come all the way up. She's going to grab her bar. So are you, and you're gonna lift up and then I want you to keep your arms reaching up, Kinda like you do for your thigh. Stretch on the mat. But what if right now you are hanging off a pole, right? If you take like the ladder on a Pilati studio wall and you were to hang off your arms, how would that change how your arms are connected to your back? Then think about your thigh, stretch on the mat, lean back, stand on your legs and come back up. Good again.

Flat Back

Stand on those legs to go back and lift up. It's really easy. If you pick a spot on the wall, they'll look at. Then when you go back, your eyes don't look at the ceiling. You're not like, oh my God, it's so far. One more good, hold it, twist and reach. Stand in your legs, lean out and get longer in your top side. So it's the same as corkscrew on the mat. When you go down on the side and you come up, you don't get shorter.

Twist and Reach

Both sides get longer, so long left side. And then as you go to the other side, long right side. Now we go around the world. And this is your course roots. So stand on your legs like you'd stand on your shoulders and then twist, reach out, open up, get super long for me. Twist to the other side and get up. Yes, the other sides. Stand on your legs and lean and then get really long and lift it up. And whew, thank goodness we just do one stow your bar.

Around the World

Let's go to the tree. So I wanted you the tree where we eventually go back into a backbend for the leg circles. You don't have to do that at home, but know that someday you're working there. So lengthen and bend your leg one time and then walk up to your ankle and bring your head to your knee. So when you rock back, now we've found our scissors are single, like straight leg stretch on our control balance. It is not about this leg coming to her head or your head. When she walks down your leg, you're actually feeding the leg to the sky.


You can go back as far as you want and then you have to think about the roll up. The low belly has to meet the box. You walk up and your head goes to your knee, you don't lean forward, right. And then walk back down. If you want to reach back and grab the underneath underside of the frame and give yourself a stretch, you can, this leg reaches up to the ceiling and then you roll up and find your roll up, find it, find to find it. Yes. And then you're going to go back again and you're gonna walk down.

And if you can, you put your hands on the floor and then you find a lovely reach. And then you do your single leg circle. And just like you would on the mat, you stand on that left leg and you stand on your arms. Just three circles each direction. And ideally everything is super still and super strong, right? Because you're connected to your equipment and then you roll up, find your roll up and then leave your low belly on the box cause you're doing your roll up. And then set all the way up and switch sides.

Single Leg Circles

Alright, one lift. Walk up to your ankle, head to your knee, find your scissors, find your single straight leg stretch feeling, and then walk down your leg and then allow your body to extend where it goes and then do your roll up, right? So when we do our roll ups on the Mat, we don't like lift our low back and come up, stretch out. We pull our low belly into the mat and connect to it to come up. Same thing as our tree. That's what the short box is. Nice. And therefore, and last time, go into your back bend. Stand on your right leg, stand on your hands and do your circle for me. I have to always stand more on the opposite hand so that I actually am not rocking around. And you might be different or the same, but push into both ends of your body and then find your roll up, curl into yourself, pull your stomach into the box, and then roll all the way up. Okay. That can go away. Short spine, it's kind of the nice part.


You're like, Oh yes, short spine and then, and then you do it. So go ahead. You still have two springs on short spine, your straps, your head rest should be down. And then when you get yourself on for your short spine, I really want us to focus a lot on how we move with the equipment because it's the same thing as if you are doing rolling like a ball on the mat, right? You don't rock in your mat slides out from underneath you, your mat stays pretty still. So as she does her shorts find on you, do your shorts and your carriage should move with you. So she's going to press out, lift her hips all the way up and over at the same time.

Single Leg Circles

And then when she bends her knees in like her double leg stretch or her roll in like a ball, the hips have to stay up and then you roll down. So I think sometimes when we do our shorts, when we get all the way over there and we go, oh my God, and then we just pull our knees in. But you have to pull your knees and from your center while You keep everything lifted up so that you could just rock and roll this. If it was on your mat, lift your hips to lift you and go over. Yeah, don't let the straps pull you around. Just do one more so you can get that feeling. Stand in your straps, press out, lift your hips to lift you. Yeah, see how much higher you can get when you do that. And then that way you can really stretch your lower back when you go into that double straight leg stretch, double leg stretch shape. And then roll down.

Short Spine

Did your straps head rest up? Semi-Circle. You can do it with the bar up or down at home today. It's up to you. I like it. With the bar up, we'll see what Shanda does. She's gonna get the bar up as well. Your springs ideally are on the outside too. Heavy springs and then hopefully you're nice and slippery and can slide into place. So that's my favorite way to do so my circle. Okay. Um, a lot of people would think about shoulder bridge here and you totally can.

But I actually want you to think a little bit about the upper body and how it goes in and out of an extension and flection. So you're gonna roll your back down into the mat and then you're going to find this baby swan and your upper back or on your carriage and you press out. And then when you roll your hips up, you're going to actually lift your hips up and there's going to be a little bit of flection in the front of your chest. And then let the weight of the springs help connect that even more. So kinda for me feels like a hundreds curl and then a swan and then a hundreds curl.

Semi Circle

And so that way you're not just shoving your arms around into the shoulder blocks. You can actually tell to a one more in this direction. Then we'll reverse how much you're using your upper body to actually find extension. And that tells you how far to go out. Cause when you can't back bend over the carriage anymore, you really can't go out any further. And then you reverse and as you roll down you'll roll through, fine the connection of your back to the carriage, come in and then roll up and allow those front ribs to come in like you would for a hundreds curl or your abs series. Same thing. Yeah. One more time in this direction. Press out again. Heart first, then ribs. The hips are staying up as long as they can.

Then the hips and then the hips, waist, and then the heart is last. Reach forward. Take a stretch. Okay, good. Okay. Slide yourself on. Let's do chest expansion. So foot bar down two springs are already on and grab your handles cause I like to do my chest expansion with my knees against the shoulder blocks. You can totally challenge yourself and hook your feet off the edge.

But for today if you want to join us, this is where we are. I also like to play around sometimes with squeezing my heels together just because as a runner it's really easy for me to sit back a little bit in my hips. So the more I press my heels together, the more I can walk on the wild side and let my thighs go a little forward and then my chest has to go a little four and then I can pull my arms back. And you want to stand on your legs like you would your thigh stretch on the mat to look both directions. Good. Do three more like this. The arms are reaching back not to crack walnuts, right?

Chest Expansion

Just like when you are pressing your arms onto your mat work, you don't want to like push down to your shoulders pop up. You want to press down to get strength and width in your back. Finish your last one and then we're going to go into our thigh stretch. So add a spring and you're gonna separate your feet. Side stretches. Not about going down towards the springs on the Mat.

That wouldn't even be possible. I mean, some of us might be able to go all the way back, but maybe not. Right. Let's be realistic. I like to walk my hands up a little higher. And then when you go back, you're actually getting taller and longer cause you're standing on your legs and reaching your legs away from you. And then you lift yourself up the arms just follow. So try not to pull on your straps, but actually let the arms be connected to your back and then reach yourself long in a way like you would on your mat.

Thigh Stretch

And then use your legs to help you lift up and set of writing the spring. Right. Do One more good. Okay. So hop off of there and let's go into our corkscrew. So, um, uh, you can add your straps for your long spine. Now take your head rest down and go down to two springs.

I want you to be surprised that you're on three when you do your thigh. Stretch your, sorry, your long spine massage. Yeah. So we're gonna do corkscrew. Um, if you want to go all the way up with us, that's amazing. If you want to stick with your ups down, totally cool by me, but lie on your back and then take your hands onto your handles with your legs up to the sky. Okay. Before you roll up, connect yourself to the mat and feel the width of your back. So your strength is in your back and not in your neck. And then float yourself up for your corkscrew. And now as you sweep yourself, you'll roll part way down and onto one side.


Oh around all what are the other side and lift up and how much can you take from the knowledge you have of all the twists on the mat here to really make this be from the waist and how much reached have you learned from your corkscrew on the mat where you have nothing to on to, to bring into here so that you don't whip yourself around, right? And once you're even, you'll roll down for your tick talk. Yeah. And so tic talk is your spine twist as your legs go to the right, you look to the left, but you don't look super fast and drop your legs slow. You actually have to time it. So if you're going to take your leg super far to the floor, you have to speed them up and slow the head down and then vice versa, right?

Tick Tock

So I really want you to twist your waist and not just move your legs side to side. It's not just like a stretch like that. You're actually doing your spine twist on your back, which is a great way to learn it. And when you're even slide yourself out of your shoulder box for your control balance off. So layer your hands over your forehead and then create that space. Now you can just do the prep with us if you want.

If you're like not someone who likes to cartwheel off, I get it. Roll all the way up, but take your hands to the side of the shoulder blocks for the prep. Yep. There you go. When the leg comes down, the opposite hand comes to the top of the shoulder block and then you press into it to lift this leg up and reach this leg down. This leg is not falling, it's reaching. Lift the other leg, backup and switch. Switch your hands, push into it, lift that leg back up. We're going to go back to the first leg and there's going to be a moment in time where that foot is going to touch the mat and the shoulders are still touching the shoulder blocks and you lift, find a salon, beautiful. And then come down. Find your single leg, single straight leg stretch or your scissors to pull yourself back on. So the calming on part isn't something your body doesn't know.

Control Balance

You know how to do your scissors. Go ahead and do the other prep on the other side. So we have to do the prep up, switch prep, and then switch. Stretch that leg to the floor to pull you off. Find a beautiful swan. And then when you come on, it's your tree, it's your scissors. Pull yourself on into that shape. Beautiful. And then roll all the way down. It's actually not as scary as we think.

Slide on. Okay. Long spine massage. So, um, about, now this is when I'm like, why did we do this? At the end, but it's cause we're ready. Um, you can do, uh, you can also just watch us do this if you're like, I'm not into it, but I really love long sigh massage cause it really shows you the length you've created. And if you're on the mat, you already have that length, right? But I want you to take the rhythm of your Jack Knife into this. So don't take your time going up. Think about how jack knife is like an over up, right? We're just going to go out and up. So here we go. Out and up like Jack Knife, but then open and stretch and lower down.

Long Spine

So the more you think about lifting your hips like you did in your Jack Knife, the easier it is to lower down. That's even better. Reach out longer, longer, longer. And then you reverse it up. Hold. Push your feet into me. Yeah. Push your feet into your straps. Keep lifting your seat as you go down. Lift your seat, lift your seat. Yep. Push your head back like you would if you're on the mat. And then that was awesome. Go ahead and do it again. Reach out.

I think the reverse is easier push. You can really say hug your legs together and do it. You might not agree with me. And then reach out, reach out, reach free to lift your hips, lift your hips and then lift your head rest. I'm going to do your frogs and circles because it kind of rents this out like the long time. So I was like, oh my God. But then you get to frog and it's like, oh I love Palazzos potties is so nice. But can you frog like you're doing your double leg stretch, pull the knees in rather than just letting the springs pull on you.


I know we're out of breath after a long spine, but you kind of have to still do the work and then do your circles. And it is easier than if we were doing leg springs on the Cadillac. But it could be like your single leg circles on the mat and how much can you actually move the carriage rather than the carriage moving you. Once you've done five circles in each direction, bring your knees in like you mean it, pull them in to you and then take your straps off. Good. Okay. So we are going to do star.


If you want to just stand in your star with us. That's okay. Some days that's what I want to do too. So you put your foot bar up, you should be on two springs. Trust me, it is better on two. One is easy to go out, but then there's no help coming in. So you place your hand on the foot bar and your other, your foot on the shoulder block and you come up. So the reason I care about the star is this is your sidekicks.

And I think the sidekicks are so hard to do if we don't think about our bottom leg. So you're just gonna push the carriage out to lift the atop arm and top leg and then close the carriage and lower them. So it's like you're up, down on your sidekicks, push the carriage out, lift the leg, close the carriage, lower the leg. Two more. Push the carriage out with your bottom leg and then close stand on your bottom leg guy side kick up and down and then step off. Beautiful other side. So if you miss that, if you're like, oh my God, I hate the start again. You can just hold, there's a lot of strength and hold in a carriage clothes, float yourself up. And then before you go anywhere, stand on that bottom leg and then lift yourself into your sidekick and come all the way. And so top arm and top leg go up because the bottom light goes out.


So you push the bottom leg out to lift them up. You get more lift because of what you're standing on. Then what you're moving right? Last time, close it, come all the way down. Knee stretches because we must, so your two springs are on there and you'll sit back toward your heels and then you're just gonna think about how much this is your double leg stretch and you're gonna push out. And then, and if this is your double leg, stretch to your hips, get to wobble around when you're on your back. No. So you actually just push your legs out where you can keep your pelvis under you and then you pull your knees in.

Round Back

Like you went on the mat and then you find a little swan and then you think about your single leg kick. And Are you allowed to drop your stomach and your single leg kick? No. You have to push the legs out in, in like you would be kicking, kicking, kicking, kicking. Okay. So knees off. You are so ready for this. Lift your knees off. Find that rolling like a ball shape.

Flat Back

And then think about your double leg stretch to keep knees low towards the carrots cause you gotta really pull the knees in. There we go. Close the spring. Two more. Where you actually close the spraying. Actually do it and then arrest. Okay. Anyways, let's run cause you've earned it. Um, add to one or two springs and lie on your back. Okay. So I know we like to, my clients love running. They're like, oh I get to run. But when you press out, if you could think about your leg pool and make this an actual exercise where you reached one heel under and lifted up, like you're trying to pull your body under and push the body up.

Knees Off

So if you were on your hands and your toes, you would actually be using your ankle to make change and connection in your center. And not just like, right. Okay, come all the way in. That's an actual technical term. Fine. Your arch is wide on your foot bar. Allow your heart to go. And now think about that shoulder bridge and so easy on shoulder bridge to think that up his lower back up and not stay stable. Pelvis and connection into the center.


Stand on your arms and pull yourself in with the same muscles that would actually help your shoulder bridge. And then when you come all the way and you get to roll all the way down and you're gonna take your foot bar down, Myrna, go into the side splits. So I like, I'm on one spring, one heavy spring. Um, you, you can choose your own adventure, but you know, once super challenging and awesome. So, um, the way, uh, let's go to one spring. Yeah. Okay. So standing on your carriage first. Don't let it move. Okay. Put your frame foot on there and then he'll tow out. Here we go. So you don't have to go to your shoulder blocks. Some days I can.

Pelvic Lift

Some days I can't. But as your arms go wider, the side, think about your spine twist and how your arms connect there. And then as you push your legs apart, I want you to think about your aside kicks again. And then as you lift your center up, you're gonna think about your spine twist. So you push the legs apart and then you get tall, tall, tall. Because I think on spine twist, it's so hard to sit out of our lower back with the more connected we have to our inner thighs in our seat, the easier it is. And then for fun, push out and then spine stretch forward, down. So arms go, you round the carriage, just staying still and then you roll up and the carriage is still still, and then you close the spring and you're going to spine stretch forward again and then you're going to roll up and then you make sure the carriage is still closed. We'll pretend it is and he'll tell, I know at home it probably wasn't there. Okay.

Side Splits

Spin around or walk around however you want to get on. You can take the long way. Stand on. And um, if you guessed it, we're going to do the saw on this side. So just prepare your mind for that. Here we go. So again, stand really tall on the center and think about how tall torso is in your spine, twist and then just push the legs apart and then use your center to grow. Todd to lift you up. So it's easy to think that this is like an out in like coordination out in, but it's really how much can your torso lift off your legs to close the spring so your legs are like along for the ride and then you press that and you hold, you saw off one foot, you lift up the carriage stay still, you saw off the other foot and then you lift up close the spring.

Wouldn't it be great if saw was that hard? And then it should be, this is how it should feel. You're reaching so much into your legs that you can twist and bend and then the carriage is still closed as you, he'll tell all the way in. Good. Okay. Step off foot bar up. Second Spring on, we're on into your front splits and then you can wipe off. So here we go. Come kneeling first and then put one foot on the foot bar.

So I think sometimes we think the single leg stretch and the mat is like this easy thing and it's really not. It really has a lot to do with your leg that's reaching out. So this leg would be the leg that's free and this leg is the one you're pulling into. You push that back leg out without using your front leg. Again, push the back leg out, use the back of your leg to do it so you can really connect to your seat and get a stretch, right? And then you're going to come all the way in and you can stay there if that's where you want to go. Or we're gonna come up into the lunge of the front split. So you turn your foot down similarly to like a warrior one, pull the hip across and then again reach with the back leg.

Front Splits

So care more about the back leg. The front leg is along for the ride, right? Not like on the Mat. The front knee into your chest is along for the ride. But if you can really work that stretch of that leg, it will prepare your Palladia is a method workout for so much more. And then come all the way in. Lift your chest up, put your hands behind your head if that's possible. And again, stand on your back leg and push it out and then come all the way in so that if you were to lay on your back and pull your right knee into your chest, you're getting a stretch of your right hip, but you're really stretching and working that left seat and really getting the left center to work. Good. Roll that knee down and then we have the other side. Okay, so now you have your uh, left leg up and your right leg back.

So again, you're going to reach into your right leg and find that seat. Find that stretch through the hip. The more you think about this exercise as being more than a stretch in the actual work, the more work you're going to get out of it and the stronger you're going to get because then you can stand on your leg. So turn your heel down and come into the lunge. And then it's really easy to roll into this inner foot.

So press your outer heel down and really reach into it. Let that front leg just come with you. You don't, except for that. It's standing on the foot bar. You don't have to think about it too much, and then come all the way in and stand on your legs. Good. And then push this leg back and then stab your front knee forward. Very violent. I know, but you've got to move that knee forward so that you don't go up and down in your lunch. Let's do one more. Come all the way in. Come all the way down.

I hope your single leg stretch has some more meaning. Next time, hop off. You're a farmer and thank you for joining me. I hope you enjoy your reformer thinking about your mat. Work on there and now hop on the mat and just do it. Maybe it's not as hard as you think. Thank you.

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Lucie Bécus
1 person likes this.
I really enjoyed all the connection to the mat work - we sometimes overlook that it’s all the same principles and movements so this was a good reminder 😊
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Loved the pace and flow of this class and also to think of the mat exercises, I feel like going to the mat :)
Kim W
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Lesley, you totally rocked!! Loved tha exercises, the cueing, and the pace.
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Lesley! Loved the pace and flow of this for teachers and all the lovely connections to our mat work. You rocked this. Thank you so much for a challenging, yet pure, reformer session. Loved! (P.S. I'm @livesinyogapants on insta!! xx)
1 person likes this.
The mat is the foundation - this is an outstanding and artful way to reconnect with that foundation. So many outstanding cues! I wasn't able to complete every single rep or exercise, so I'll be coming back to this one!
Lucie Bécus Thank you so much for taking my class! And, I agree, in my recent practice I have been really playing with how I can use the rest of the exercises to help me out. I am so happy you enjoyed this idea too! xx~LL
1 person likes this.
Jennifer yay!!! That is exactly what I was hoping someone would say! And, my latest mat class on here channels the Reformer. So, hopefully, you enjoy a little love from the Reformer on your mat! Thank you for taking class with me xx~LL
Kim thank you so much!! So happy you liked my new class xx~LL
Lori M Thank you for putting a comment to an IG!! Thank you also for you love note here. I am so happy you enjoyed my new class. xx~LL
Amy thank you so much for taking class with me! I love how you can come back to this class as often as you want and see how much you have progressed. So, cool! Can't wait to hear how it goes next time! xx~LL
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