Hi, I'm Delia Buckmaster and today I'm gonna be leading you through a reformer workout using just one red spring. If at any time the one red spring is either too much resistance or not enough resistance for you then obviously you are welcome to change it. Otherwise, let's get started. So, we're gonna start with a nice standing warm up first before we get on to the reformer with just some arm reaches. So just reach those arms up to the sky and bring those arms back down.
So maintaining that pelvic stability in neutral will be really helpful to engage your glutes. So just one more time as you bring those arms down and up and then just some rotation of the spine. And this is actually a really great place to assess your clients. So you can watch how their feet move and their knees and their ankles and hips and shoulders and see where they might feel stiff and just a few more. And we're just gonna end with a roll down before we get on the reformer.
So let's get started. You're going to have the reformer on the right side of you and the foot bar's going to be in position number two and just as a reminder, it is just one red spring and I do have it set in the middle because the carriage will move a little bit more smoothly if it's set centered and if at home you don't have springs that are colored, it's your heavy spring. So you're gonna place your right foot up against the shoulder block, and your hands on the foot bar. So two things here. The left foot should be lines up preferably with your springs and your right hand lined up with your shoulder and that'll help keep your body square.
And on this next one just hold it back here. Feel that nice stretch. Make sure the hips are nice and square and then take the left hand off the bar turning the palm up. You're gonna rotate your upper body. And more so then focusing on the rotation, focus on the right hip stretching.
So this'll open up that hip. Big inhale, exhale as you return the carriage and before we go to the other side we're gonna transition onto the reformer. So you're gonna stay on the reformer with both knees, feet up against the shoulder blocks. And your bottom will be onto your heels for just some light calf stretches. So rounding through your spine, exhale, breath, and then inhale on that extension.
The right hand will turn up so that you can get more rotation out of that shoulder and then really feel that left hips stretching. Take in a big deep inhale breath here. And then returning the carriage. And now we're gonna get onto our back on the carriage supine on our backs so that we can do some of the foot work and abdominal work. So, with your head between the shoulder rest and just a reminder that you have one red spring here.
So, with the balls of the feet on there plantar flection, just go ahead and extend the legs just back and forth and this'll bring some awareness to your inner thighs, your pelvis, and because there isn't a lot of weight there, there isn't a tendency to try to work the bigger muscles of the legs. This is just for your inner thighs, a deep connection of that pelvic floor, your transverse and then sinking your breath and we can try a few of those with our arms up towards the ceiling. The arms are right above the shoulders and here you'll know whether or not you are really using your arms to stabilize and again, heavy sacrum nice and neutral with your spine if possible. From here, we're gonna add a hundred prep. So as you extend your legs lift your head and shoulders up and flex through your spine reaching for your feet and hold it here for just a moment.
We're gonna hold the hundred. You can start to pump the arms inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. (exhaling) Inhale two, four, five and exhale two, three, four, five and inhale. And exhale two, three, four, five really reaching with those fingers. Rounding through the shoulders just enough to get your upper body up just a little bit higher.
And exhale two, three, four, five and hold here. And lower yourself all the way back down. And if that wasn't the full one hundred you could do the full one hundred breaths at home. Sometimes I lose count. So extend your legs out.
And what's really great here is that the left leg which is actually really important for the one legged circle sometimes, people don't focus so much of that or are more focused on the range of motion of their gesture leg, this helps stabilize that leg. So allow that right hip to slightly lift off giving yourself a little bit more mobility in that hip and you can start those circles here circling down and around and stop at the top. I like to inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale but you breathe how you want to breathe and what's gonna help you move that leg around smoothly. We're gonna reverse that circle.
And then we'll return the carriage to do the other side. So both feet on the bar, extending your legs nice and long, left leg in towards you for a little stretch and then mobilizing that right ankle up and down. And then bending with the plantar flexion there, extending that leg up towards the ceiling. Left leg is lined up with your hips, hips are nice and square, palms on the carriage. Just side to side.
And then returning the carriage, from here we'll just do some pelvic curls. So you can place your foot actually underneath the foot bar onto the platform and then with a little bit of room here from the shoulder blocks so you're not rubbing there and you can just give yourself some pelvic curls since you were using those hip flexors for the last three exercises and flexion. Just rocking your pelvis back and forth. Giving your hips flexors a little break, engaging those glute muscles. And then we're ready to sit up for the next series of exercises.
And to get to the other side of the reformer you'll just swing your legs around the back and then you'll be seated in the same spot just facing the other way. So your feet will be slightly to your right, left hand is going to be on the bar. Go ahead and stretch over. And return. And that's an inhale, again focusing more on the length of the torso in lateral flexion versus shortening on that oblique side.
Once you get that length, then it's gonna be much more effective to work on the obliques. One more time and then just a nice rotation. Both hands onto the bar. Deep inhale breathe through the ribs, and then exhale breath. (exhaling) And return the carriage.
A little counter stretch to the other side. And then you're ready to move on. So we're gonna go ahead and face the back of the reformer. And we're gonna work on some more abdominal exercises here starting with the half roll back. So grabbing onto the straps, you can hold anywhere.
So with the palms facing each other, inner thighs are connected, tall through your spine. You'll just go ahead and give me a nice half roll back and then sit back up. And I do like to exhale as I roll back, (exhaling) to allow a little bit more air there in the belly but if you wanted to feel that stretch in your spine then you can inhale as you roll back and then exhale as you sit and float up. So just a couple more, focusing on the lumbar flexion. So all the time people will roll back and then they'll stop and then they'll lean their upper body back instead or really focusing on the deep flexors of their pelvis.
So holding here you can really feel your abdominals working. Eyes forward. As you come up this time, we're gonna stay rounded and bring on leg up to tabletop. So that table, leg will come up. Your body will come forward and then you'll bring that right foot down and come back into your half roll back.
Inhale to come up. And exhale. I've chosen the inhale breath here because I really want to increase that expansion of the ribs behind me as I come up and exhale as I roll back. And we'll do one more on each side. And then back to the center.
Sitting up nice and tall. If you have really tight hip flexors you can always give yourself a little break here and it's not the best exercise for everyone, so just make sure you're comfortable doing the half roll back here. You can also extend your legs which we will do here in a second for back rowing. We'll go into some obliques. The arms are gonna be out in front again.
Exhale to your left. (exhaling) Inhale back to center and then sitting yourself up nice and tall and now you're ready for some back row and exercises. So, extending your legs long and through the shoulder blocks. Not everybody can fit between the shoulder blocks, so as long as you're about a hands distance away from the back then you can make those adjustments for your feet. You can cross those ankles.
Your arms are lined up with each other, your forearms and then you're gonna sit back up. And then you can exhale to roll down. (exhaling) Now the breath is important here to start because it will lead you throughout the full exercise. Exhale breath. And then inhale and up.
And I'm not a big person on gesture of the feet but it is helpful to keep the feet pointed so as you're rolling back, the weight stays forward on your legs. So hold here on this next one and then take those arms down to an A position. Palms are facing backwards. The carriage should stay nice and stable and as you bring your arms here to the side it should almost feel like your body wants to extend forward, so it is a challenge to keep your torso and flexion here. Fists come back together and then you can back up.
Inhale at the top, exhale to roll back. (exhaling) Inhale, arms to an A. Exhale, back together and then inhale as you sit up. Exhale to roll back. Deep flexors of the spine are working here.
Shoulder stabilizers are working. Fists come back together and then you sit back up and we're gonna add on from there. Inhale at the top. Exhale as you roll back. (exhaling) Arms come to an A.
We'll do that just one more time. Exhale to roll back. (exhaling) Inhale, arms to an A. Increasing that flexion of your spine. Increasing the extension of your shoulder and then go ahead and sit back up.
We're gonna go through the full exercise. So roll yourself back. Take your arms down. Dive your body forward. Take your arms out to a T position.
The outside of the hands will be facing each other because of the natural rotation of the shoulder. So when you sit back up, you'll turn those palms up. Exhale as you roll back. (exhaling) Inhale. Exhale to dive forward.
Inhale as the arms come around around the shoulder height, hands come together and sit up. And I love this exercise because I can really feel my shoulder blades mobilize and it's so important that those shoulder stay and feel lubricated around your ribs. Roll yourself back one more time. Arms to an A. Dive the body forward, circle the arms around, allow those shoulders to rise just a little bit for a stretch.
Take one deep inhale. You're at the end. And exhale as you sit back up. Okay. So moving along to some hip work.
As I extend my leg I could actually straighten out my body to make sure that I'm nice and long and with my OCD I have to make sure that my back is lined up with the back of the reformer and then I'll place the strap onto my free leg. As you extend that leg then you can pull the bottom knee in. Now this is really important for shoulder stabilization here. Do not collapse in this exercise and don't try to move too far away from the shoulder block so that you're flexing in the opposite direction. So as tall as you can sit or lie.
So that leg's just gonna come forward. You're gonna do the kicks here. Side lie leg kick or side kick. I've learned so many different modalities of Pilates that sometimes I don't know what it's called anymore (laughs). Inhale as you bring the leg forward and then exhale.
And allow for a little bit of mobility here. So let that leg come forward. If you need to stretch then take the stretch. As it comes back, feel how your hip opens up. So you can feel your glute working in extension.
Forward and back. One more. And if you'd like you can add some leg circles here. So that leg will come forward and circle around. You are limited in range of motion with that strap.
These are really hard. (laughs) So you'll lose your class about half way if you don't control the repetitions on these. One more time. And then we're gonna shut the door. So bend that knee in and then press and shut the door.
I don't know why you'd be shutting the door in this position but if you are then you're prepared. So inhale, bring the knee in and exhale to press out. And you can allow for that mobility, so even if you're lying on your back doing two legs in the straps for hip work, sometimes I just allow the leg to come in if it feels good for that glute stretch. And the last thing here, you'll take the leg out, bring it in front, turn that foot medial and just up and down with that heel and this is the burner here. This is where you may lose people in class.
It doesn't always have to be work. Sometimes it can just feel good. Go into some right circles. Forward, down and around. And I didn't say this on the other side but if your foot is in parallel or if it's in lateral turn out it doesn't matter to me.
We'll do this one more time. And then we're going to shut the door in this direction. So, bending that knee, allowing that stretch if that feels good to you. Inhale breath. And then exhale breath.
Okay? So the right foot will go onto the bar, and then you'll just extend. And then bend and like I said in the very beginning you are not committed to your first position. Fix your foot if it's not right. Fix your shoulders.
Come down to a child's pose if you need one. And then just be really careful here 'cause the tendency here is to use the arms. And if you're using the arms then you'll see that that other leg, the stable knee will shift forward. I want you to think about the arms being like legs here for stability. Pressing out and pressing back.
If you're struggling with your shoulders maybe turn the elbows backwards. Soften them just a little bit and think about this as being your plank. Last one. Hold. Feel that extensor at its end range and then return.
And before we move on to the other leg we'll go into chest expansion but in a lunge position. So just shift that right foot forward and find a lunge position where you can balance, and just as a warning in this position if you go to grab the straps really quickly and tug without being ready, then you might fall over. So, I'm gonna grab on to the small loops and it's just like skiing. The closer your feet are together, the harder it is to balance. So you can actually even press your foot up against the block.
Just a couple more. Inhale, breath. And exhale. (exhaling) One more inhale. You're gonna pause here for a second.
Hold, challenging the triceps, the lats, the back extensors. And then release. And you're ready for the other side. Straps on here first. Knees back underneath the hips.
Otherwise, you're gonna get a calf workout here and it is a lot more about the hip extension. Just a couple more. Again whatever breath works best for you. And then return and then you can just smoothly shift the foot forward, grab onto the straps, find balance and then press back. And this is actually, I don't want to jink myself here but this is actually my balance side.
Just a couple more. And then one more. You're gonna hold it back for a little pause and breath. (exhaling) And then return. So, placing the straps on first, we are gonna go through a little plank series here and there are a couple of options and I do like to layer my exercises so that if I have an open level class, people don't feel like they can't do the exercise.
So, inner thighs together or slightly apart and find plank, okay? This is step one. If that feels good to you then you're gonna be really to move on to the next few exercises and then lower the knees gently down. Okay. If you wanted, you can place your foot up on the foot bar which for a lot of clients it really freaks them out so you have to be really careful, depending on your audience about placing the feet on the bar and you can have them try this out.
Inhale breath. And exhale. (exhaling) One more. And exhale. (exhaling) And then, this is the part that's scary (laughs) for a lot is to bring that leg down carefully 'kay?
So I'm gonna do the rest of this series with my feet on the platform below. Hands on the shoulder rest, feet on the platform, find your plank. From here, we're gonna go ahead into that reverse long stretch by just pressing the arms forward and then bringing them back under the shoulder blocks. And I do like to do an inhale as I press my arms forward and an exhale to return the arms. And this is a lot on the wrist, so just one more.
Inhale and exhale. And then the knees come down. I do like to give people breaks in between so they can choose what they wanna do next, 'kay? Hands on the shoulder blocks again. We're gonna go into some front support or layman's terms some mountain climbers.
(exhaling) And then place those knees down. And lastly we're gonna go into some lunges, okay? So, feet go back down. You can see these exercises are well layered. So you're back to plank.
A little extension. A little stretch in the hip and then a little balance as you return to center. Left knee in, left foot to the floor, push the carriage forward and then come back. And this isn't meant to be done really slow. And if you have balance and speed, it doesn't compromise the control and precision of the exercise, then you're welcome to move a little bit quicker.
And it's an inhale, exhale. (exhaling) Inhale. Exhale. One more on each side. Inhale.
Exhale. Last one. And then return. Those were hard (laughs). Knees come in.
And then oh, a well deserved resting position. And then if you feel like maybe you've taken a little bit too much into your wrists, you can stretch those wrists out. Whatever you need to do. (sighs) And now we'll move into some box work. So we're gonna grab the long box and place it on the reformer and I'm gonna move the foot bar down just one and it doesn't necessarily have to be all the way to the bottom and I'll tell you why I like it here.
And this actually doesn't work for everyone. Not everyone can do the sternum on the side of the box but what's really important is that your flexion here of your thoracic spine is fine okay? So we're gonna start with a little prep. Hands are gonna go to the side of the shoulder blocks on the carriage. And your upper body is going to rest over the box.
And then we're gonna go active with the lower half of the body. So, pressing the hips into the box and the pubic bone is gonna make the legs rise naturally to its long line. So please make sure not to squeeze the glutes here. Make sure that it feels like your glutes and your hamstrings are active. There's no light coming between the hips and that your lumbar spine is comfortable.
Draw your naval to your spine per usual here. We're just gonna come into some extension. So it's almost like a little prep for extension here. And I'm actually gonna scoot my body forward a bit more. So, inhale up and then exhale and down.
And for some this is all that works especially if you're super kyphotic in the back, just coming to a long line is a lot of work let alone an extended spine. And then we're gonna try that with our hands underneath the forehead which is gonna lower the upper body and make it a little bit more difficult. You're gonna lift up, find a long line here and then lower yourself back down. And I do like inhale on this extension. (exhaling) And then the legs are preferably close together but if you can't get them together and they are open, just a slight lateral rotation is really helpful for the back.
On this next one you're gonna come to your long line, hold. Take your arms out and back and place your hands onto your hips. Elbows are gonna be pointing towards the ceiling. You're really gonna try to promote the retraction of the shoulder blade here because a retraction is what's gonna be helpful to find that proper extension. So just breathing and holding a few breaths here.
Strong through the legs. Abdominals are pulled in. Pubic bone is pressing down, shoulder blades are coming together. You should feel like you're about to shoot out of a canon. One more breath.
And so now we're gonna grab onto the straps to do some extension on pulling straps. And I like to hold on to the ropes themselves or to the hooks of the straps so I can have a little bit extra resistance. So again lying here with your legs and your lower half of your body active, abdominals pulled in, arms are reaching, leading with your pinky fingers, bringing your hands back to your hips and finding that long line of extension and then lowering yourself back down. Leading with the head as you come up, thinking about the sternum extending and then, or I should say the sternum reaching forward, the upper back extending. Just a couple more.
Inhale. Exhale. Now this time, (exhaling) find that swimming line and start to swim your legs. Up and down nice and slow. You don't need to go too fast.
Exhale, two, three, four, 20. Last set. And exhale two, three, four, five. Hold and pause and then release. So, placing the straps over the blocks.
And what's important here is that the shoulder blades come off so that your head and neck are consistent or your neck's consistent with your upper back. So this should actually feel comfortable here. It doesn't feel comfortable for clients with vertigo. I have a couple clients who cannot do this. But for some or most it should feel pretty good.
From here, interlacing the fingers behind your head and pressing the back of your head that would normally be resting into the head rest on your hands. So you push that weight into your head so you can get as much flexion of the upper body as you can. And then take the legs into a tabletop position holding here. And then just coming into extension to flexion. So you're actually mobilizing your spine in the opposite direction and I like to put clients in this position that are really kyphotic because that's what they need the most is mobilizing in the opposite direction and not in this flexed position.
From here we can do a couple of exercises from the mat. So lift your head and shoulders up, hold. Grab ahold of your right leg. Bring your right leg in for a single leg stretch. Right hand on the outside of the ankle.
Knees come in and then you can hold your head and feel that release in extension. We'll do one more. We'll just do the double leg stretch. So head and shoulders up. Exhale up.
Draw the knees into the chest and as you move along with your double leg stretch, you don't have to hug so tight. You can release with every repetition. Inhale and I don't care what your arms are doing. Some people are taught to take the hat off their head. So whatever feels good to you just make sure the arms do not go past the head and cause any more neck tension.
You're gonna hold on the last one, bring your arms around towards your feet. And lift up six counts. One, two, just a little challenge. Three, four, five, six, tucking your knees in, holding your head and resting back. And I think we should do one more set of those pulses.
So, we're gonna go into a little series on the carriage. It's a plank series to side plank. So we'll have to remove the long box off of the reformer. So from here we're gonna go onto the carriage and I'm gonna move the foot bar up to position number one. And the reason that I'm moving it all the way to the top is because it is a lot easier on the upper body for these exercises.
So you're gonna start by standing, or kneeling on the reformer. And we're gonna get into these exercises kinda like we would for a long stretch. The feet are gonna be slightly forward of the shoulder block. And the reason that they're forward is so when you come into a plank position your heel is about half way down so that you have a better point if reference for your feet. It's important with these exercises that your feet make some contact with the shoulder block, okay?
So we'll start by prepping into the plank position. Hands on the foot bar where they're comfortable. Elbows pointing back. Feet slightly forward of the shoulder blocks and we're gonna start by just doing some knee lifts. So lifting the knees up and then you're gonna see whether or not those heels are comfortable on your shoulder block.
And if they are you're in a great spot and you're gonna lower yourself back down. I'm gonna do that again. I'm gonna do it as an inhale breath so it feels like I'm floating up. Inhale. And then exhale (exhaling) to lower down.
Now I'm gonna find a full plank. So inhale to lift the knees. Exhale to extend the legs. And then you'll know here if you're in a good position or if it's too much resistance or not enough resistance. And holding plank here, we're gonna switch it over to a side plank.
Once you feel comfortable, that outside hand, that left hand here is on my thigh for support and I'm just gonna push the carriage away and return and just working on that side body. It is important that the shoulder does not feel like it's moving away from you. And if you feel like you're struggling then you need to come down so that you don't hurt your shoulder. And inhale out. On the next one here.
We're gonna come into a little twist. So as you return the carriage thread that left arm underneath your body and the hardest part here is finding that stopper and you're gonna rotate that upper body to really reach and then you're gonna come back to that side plank. The key here also is to not push the carriage out any further then right, keeping that elbow lined up with the bar. So that way you're not over loading that shoulder. Exhale breath and then inhale breath.
So arm reaches up. Don't push too far away from that foot bar and then rotate. And find that stopper. Hi. And then you're gonna go back to your side plank and exhale.
And round. And we're gonna turn this kind of into a cobra or up dog but we're gonna keep our knees on the carriage. So flexing through your spine. Keep your bottom slightly off your heels so you can maintain active abdominals. So sitting back makes everything just kinda collapse.
Find your stopper. Once you find your stopper, you can round your spine and come back towards your heels. Inhale as you extend. Exhale to press the legs away. (exhaling) Inhale as you come up into that cobra and exhale as you round twice more.
Lengthen. Reach, trying really hard not to collapse into the low back which with the one red spring could be easy to do. And back. But with the foot bar at position number one, it's a little helpful. So legs back.
Hips down, inhale breath. Ah. And exhale. And return. And we're gonna go to some standing legs on the reformer.
But an important queue which all Pilates instructors know this that this is mobile so if they step on this one first they might do the splits. So, hand on the bar, hand on the non moving platform, or foot, sorry. Other legs on the moving platform. So from here, we are gonna actually not try to load the abductors, the outer thighs. We're gonna work more on the stretch and feel good part of this exercise.
So, placing that foot about halfway on the carriage, and if you get to here and it's not comfortable, move it a little bit closer. You do wanna make sure that you can hold the carriage in comfortably at the stopper and there's no pressure on your hips or into the medial part of your knee. Hands on your hips. Hips shining forward and then just press out and back. And think about wearing a huge belt buckle and you want that belt buckle to face forward.
You don't want it to face the floor and you don't want it to face the ceiling. Just shines forward. And your hands can be wherever you'd like them to be. Prayer. Hips, oh I have a mic here so it's not as comfortable.
Or arms out to a T. And breathe out. And then back in. On the next one you're gonna push the carriage away and you're gonna bring the arms forward. Soften your knees.
Exhale to fold. (exhaling) Inhale to lift. And then exhale to return. We'll do that one more time. Inhale.
Arms to a T. Reach the arms forward in that same inhale breath. Fold yourself forward. See if you can get a little deeper each time into that stretch. And then lifting your body up using those glute muscles and back extensors and then turn your palms up at the end and lift your chest up high, and then switch to the other side.
I always say you could risk your life and turn around on the top of the reformer or you can step off the back with your moving platform leg and go around. So, this side here. Left hand on the foot bar. Left foot on the platform. It doesn't move.
Push the carriage out. Otherwise you'll use your low back depending on how much resistance you have. And we're gonna do this one more time and hold. So arms, or legs out, push out. Arms reach forward.
So it's an inhale arms out carriage move. Arms forward in the same. Inhale, really stretch. On your exhale fold forward. Place your hands on the frame.
Find a deeper stretch. Go ahead and lift up using your back extensors and glute muscles and then returning back. One more. Inhale. Arms forward.
Exhale. (exhaling) Inhale and then return. Turn your palms up. Lift the sternum and then return to neutral. Stepping off the back, we're just gonna end here with some little standing cool down.
We'll add little squats there as well. Dropping your bottom down and then depending on what time of day you're doing this class, you might want to walk out of here with a little bit of energy. And then holding here at the bottom, taking your hands to prayer. Maybe a little rotation. Shifting that hip back.
And then to the middle. And then over to the other side. And back to center. And then taking those arms over the head, interlacing the fingers. A little side stretch.
Ah. That feels so good. And then over to the other side. And then back to the middle and lastly just the hands behind, interlace. And open up through the chest.
And getting that nice stretch in the shoulder. Couple breaths. (exhaling) And you're all done. I hope you guys enjoyed that class and that's it. Thank you.