Class #3770

Back Body Reformer

50 min - Class


Build strength in the back side of your body with this creative Reformer workout by Mariska Breland. She focuses on the hamstrings, using all parts of the Reformer to help you target this area. She teaches fun variations inspired by friends and colleagues, including her mentor Julian Littleford, as well as a version of Back Bend that will allow you to get into position without needing a spot.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video


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Hi, I'm Mariska from fuse. Pilati is in Washington DC and I'm here with Casey and Mary and we're going to do a reformer workout. Um, we might consider this workout a hamstring focused workout, but we're going to do a lot of backside of the body and then some just other stuff. And I'm going to throw in an old Julian Littleford exercise, which you may or may not be speaking to me afterwards because of it, but it is a really good workout and I'm also going to do a variation of a back bend. That is my cheat on how to get into it if I don't have a teacher there with me. So we're gonna start with headrests down and then go ahead and come to lying down on your back. We have three red springs on currently. You could do this on two red springs, but like I said, there's a lot of hamstring exercises in here and um, this is also a hamstring exercise.

Pilates Stance

So going a little bit on the heavier side is going to be nice for you. Let's go ahead and start in a plotty Zvi with your arms stretched all the way long by your side. All 10 toes onto start, heels together, toes apart. Press the carriage all the way out and then inhale to come back in. It's an exhale. Go out for two. Inhale in for two. Exhale press. And in exhale, press and in.

And you want to feel that your body is really heavy into the mat and that you feel a lot of heaviness in your sacrum. And also in your shoulder blades. There might be a little bit of space between your low back and the mat, which is totally fine. We're gonna do four more here. Here's two and three and four. Come all the way into the stopper. Nothing about your foot shape is going to change. You're just going to lift it to your heels. So heels on, toes or off, um, heels together, toes apart.

Bridge - Pilates Stance

Push the carriage out a couple of inches away from the stopper and then tilt your pelvis, your appeal, your backup bone by bone coming into a straight line from your knees to your hips, to your shoulders. And then from your throat all the way down to your tailbone. Lengthen your spine all the way back down. And then the challenge in this don't move. The carriage exercise is to come out of that posterior tilt to come back to neutral again to tilt your pelvis, peel your back away, bone by bone, good and then slowly lengthen your spine coming all the way back down to the carriage. We're going to do one more like this, so it's a tilt and lift up and then at the top you're in that nice straight line from again, knees to shoulders.

You're going to push the carriage out and then try to come back into where you were, which is not all the way into the stopper. We're going to do that that 10 times. Here's to and pull in. Here's three and it makes sure your ribs are kind of not popping out. Skits. Want to make sure that you have that length through your low backs to safer for your low back. Whose counting? Mary's county. It's five. They have five more.

Bridge - Pilates Stance - Out and In

Here's one and in and two and in and three got two more outs and they're doing a really good job of finding the same spot each time. Should I know is like basically impossible to do. Come all the way now, all the way into the supper in an in an in and then lay your spine slowly down bone by bone change is going to be separating her legs so that they're hip distance apart. So, um, right where your legs come out of your like hip socket. So I'd go a little bit narrower and then we're gonna do, I'm just 10 presses out in, in this time. Pretty fast out. Pull it in out, pull it in. Here's three and in four, five, six, seven good. Eight and nine and 10. Come all the way into the stopper. Try to keep the carriage docked.

Heels Hip Width

You're going to peel your back away bone by bone and then lay your spine down. One Vertebrae at a time. We'll do, let's say just two more like this. Press into your feet. Lift your hips up. Okay, good. And then lower back down. Okay. And then one more like this and you'll stay up. Press up to lift. So you're lifting your hips up, up, up, up. Now this time when you push out, I want you to almost drop your hips all the way down and just time it.

Bridge - Heels Hip Width

So you're pushing out hips lower almost all the way, and then you curl to come back in. Come back to that nice straight line needs to shoulders, press out, drop your hips, come in, lift your hips. So is anyone feeling their hamstrings? I'm like vicariously feeling mine and I'm just standing here. Press out and in. We'll do just three more out and in, up, up at the top, out and in.

Bridge - Heels Hip Width - Out and In

And we've got one more out. Come all the way into the stopper, hips high and then slowly layer spine down bone by them. We've got one more variation. You're going to go ahead and separate your legs so that they're the width of the foot bar. And then you want, let's actually go a little teeny bit narrower than that. Just a little bit like kind of. Yep. And then from there, go ahead and we'll do 10 out in, in pretty fast. Go out and in.

Heels Wide Second

Here's two and three. Four. Good. Five, six, seven. Good. Two more. Three more math. Understood. There would be no math [inaudible] but yet there is, there's sort of counting. Go ahead and come out about, let's go about halfway out now trying not to move the carriage.

Bridge - Heels Wide Second

You're gonna lift your hips up, peeling away. Good. And then lower all the way back down. We're just doing three of these, trying to keep the carriage still. Don't forget to untuck your hips. Tuck your pelvis, lift good, and then lower back down. Nice. We've got one more and then a last little variation. Lift up, hold at the top. You're going to come into the stopper. I want you to clap your knees together as you come in and then press out.

Bridge - Heels Wide Second - Out and In

Bring your knees back to where they were. Go in tap and out. Go in, tap and out. Let's just do three more in and out. They don't even have looks of relief on their face and maybe I should give them a little bit more. Well now they're laughing, I don't know. And then come all the way back in layers, spine down, bone by bone. And we're going to go right. Their legs are really warm.

So we're going to stay working on legs. We're going to do legs and straps. Um, partially because my arm stuff is single arm and I think it's just easier to do it in this order. So we're now in two red springs. You could also do a red blue. You're going to go ahead and put your feet into the straps, however you like to get in them. And we're just going to start with a couple of frogs because who doesn't love a frog? Heels together, toes apart, legs all the way straight. And just go ahead and start bending your knees in and you can go as far in as your tailbone doesn't lift off. And then press that bend in. Good and push out. Good.


Bend in and press out. Really find that squeeze on your inner thighs as you're pressing your legs all the way straight. Nice. Spend in and press out now on this one. Bend in and stop your knees. So that they're directly above your hips. Try not to let the carriage move. As you think about gliding your heels along an imaginary wall, extend your like straight up towards the ceiling.

Knees Extend and Flex

Don't let the carriage move as you bend your knees to come back down. Good. Three more like this. Lift your legs straight up and then bend to lower. Lift your leg straight up. Good and bend to lower. Lift your legs straight up and pause. Right leg only. Right leg bends down like you're just doing a frog on one side and lift back up.

Single Leg Knee Extend and Flex

Make sure you keep tension. The same in both straps. Left leg Benz and lift back up. Would you two more each sides so right like Benz and lift back up. Left leg Benz and lift back up. One last round, right leg bends. Good. Lifted back up. Left leg. Bens lifted back up. I'd say we're done, but I'm lying.

I'd be lying. We're going to take both legs together, open them out, don't move the carriage and then squeeze. Come all the way back in. Open them out and squeeze to come back in. So maybe I'm want to go. We're going to do single leg, a little preview. Maybe don't go as wide as you possibly can. You're just going to kind of have to control how wide you go based on how much your obliques can control it. Pause at the top right, like only goes out.

Out and In

Try not to let your hips go with you and then come back in. So your leg is moving completely independently of everything else. Left leg out and back in two more rounds. So right leg reaches and back in left leg reaches and back in one more each side. Try not to move the carriage right legos out and back in and left leg goes out and come all the way back in. Don't move the carriage.

Single Leg Out and In

Slide your heels down that imaginary line again. Pause both legs out. Try not to move the carriage bend to come back in. They're not even being paid to be here. I would just like to say that. Go ahead and reach your legs out and then Ben to come back in. And last one, reach your legs out and like stay there.

Knees Extend and Flex - Wide Second

And then thank God, squeeze your heels all the way together. And then you get to end with some leg circles. Sudden end. And it's an end of this series. So circle your legs around, down and together. Just say whatever pace feels good for you. Cause a day without a leg circle. I mean it really, is that even a day? It's true. She agrees with me.

Leg Circles

I feel like somebody needs to make a tee shirt. So people out there, tee shirt. And then we'll go ahead and switch directions. And then we have one last little legs and straps exercise before we move on, which may or may not have a couple of little parts to it. So go ahead and lower your legs down. You're gonna frog back in against stopping your knees.

They're directly above your hips. Now the carrots will move. You're gonna take your, the shape of your legs and roll it over. So end up with thighs above your eyes. So from your tailbone up, you lift it up. Try Not to change the shape, lay your spine back down so you're keeping the tension in the straps as you lay all the way back down. Beautiful. You guys should be like fitness models. I'm going to do, I mean they are, but they should be. Go ahead and lift yourself back up and over and then back down. We've got one more before we do our fancy last thing.

Roll Over - Frog Legs

So one more like this and pause serving over. Now squeeze your knees together. Think about maintaining tension in both straps. This one's a little confusing. We're gonna take your right leg, straighten it as you push it towards the foot bar and then lay your spine all the way back down. Bend your right knee back in and roll yourself up in over switching legs.

Roll Over - Single Leg Extension

Left leg pushes towards the foot bar. Move the carriage as you lay your spine all the way back down. Beautiful. Bend your knee and then up and over. We're just going to do one more each side cause these are a little bit of spicy and then push forward and layers spine down. Nice. Bend that knee.

Go up and over last one and then push your leg forward. As you lay all the way back down, let both legs go straight. Reach your legs up towards the ceiling and then just grab hold of the straps and give yourself a little pull just to get a little bit of a hamstring release. You know, just in case you maybe felt your hamstrings just a little bit on that one. Go ahead and take the straps off for a second.

Single Arm Reach

I'm changing their springs for them. Full service here. So we're coming down to one spring. You can do it on a red or a blue. I think they're both strong enough to do it on a red. Sorry. Sorry guys. Um, and we're going to be doing some single arm stuff. I think that for the first part it's definitely more beneficial to have it heavier. For the second part, it might be more beneficial to have it lighter. It just kind of depends on your body, tabletop legs and breached your right hand into the right strap and your left hand is just going to rest all the way by your side.

Start by pressing your right arm all the way straight down five times. And your goal is that when you're pushing your arm, you're not letting your hips pull from one side to the other. So here's three good and we're just doing five, four and on the five we're going to keep it down. So on five you stay down, bend your right elbow, extend your right arm, extend your left leg at the same time, reaching both out and then bend to come back in. We've got five. Here's to reach out and bend, reach out, and Ben, two more like this.

Tricep Press w/ Opposite Leg Extension

Reach out and bend. Last one like this, reach out and bend. Reach your right arms straight up towards the ceiling. You're going to take your left hand and bring it over your right hand. Inhale here on an exhale, you're going to lift towards the right, coming to the outside of your right leg and then lower yourself back down. Got Two more like this and it'll make a little fancier lift up too and down. Lift up three and down.

Chest Lift w/ Rotation

Now on this next one, I want you to extend your legs, lift up legs, extend both together, lift out, extend your legs and lower back down. Now this next we're going gonna lift up and hold. Lift up and hold. So instead of doing your hundred, we're going to do 50 and you're going to take your left hand and you're gonna lift it over two, three, four, five and back. Two, three, four, five and over and back. The control that they are exhibiting right now is really something to see who over. Okay, we've got two more because we were only doing 50 cause obviously we have two sides and we'll catch up. And then last one plus, who doesn't want to break their hundred up over like maybe 10 sets of 10 and then go ahead and we'll lower it all the way back down.

Chest Lift w/ Rotation - Legs Extended - Left Arm Open Close

Bend everything in fee can come to the foot bar for just a second. Hang that strap up. Grab the left strap with your left hand, and we're going to start with your legs and tabletop. Right hand by your right side. Knees directly over hips, feet as high as your knees. Just press your left arm all the way down five times. So we're going down and think reaching it up in a way, and then press when you're pressing, think area right underneath your armpit and lift back up.

Single Arm Press

Three more like this. Nice. Lift up. Press down and lift up and press down and pause. Bend your left elbow, extend your left arm, right leg reach five times. Bend in bent, push out, good and bend. Press out. And Ben got to more reach and bend. Last one like this, we reach out and bend.

Tricep Press w/ Opposite Leg Extension

Go ahead and extend your left arm up towards the ceiling. Right hand is just gonna Cross over it. And then you're going to lift up towards the side. The strap is on. And then lay your spine back down. Add two more here, lift up and down and last one without adding anything else on it. Lift up and down. Then we have the straight leg version.

Chest Lift w/ Rotation

So you're going to lift up, extend your legs all the way straight. I don't care if they're parallel or turned out. And then lower back down. This one we're going to stay up and you owe me the other half of your hundred. Go ahead and lift up. And here, take your arm over two, three, four, five and back. Two, three, four, five and over and back and over. And when you're going over, you're trying to square everything off so your shoulders are square, you're facing up towards the ceiling. I think this is the last one. We're all super grateful for that and over and then all the way back up.

Chest Lift w/ Rotation - Legs Extended - Right Arm Open Close

Beautiful. Let's go ahead and take that and we'll hang it up. We're going to grab the box wrench, change our spring to one blue spring. We're going to do an entire series on one blue until we move it on and we take it to all springs are more springs, so we're gonna put it on short ways to start. And we're gonna do our swans on the short box. And what I like about the shoebox is it gives you more range.

Swan Dive

And I love doing a swan where can actually have like a dive in it on the shore box. So go ahead and place the box on and then you're going to come onto the box where you're laying over the box, but your pelvis is going to be kind of right at the edge. Almost like if you're doing swan dive on the chair and then your hands will come onto the pedal. So we're gonna start by zipping your legs together. If that works for your back. It does not work for everyone's back. If it doesn't work for your back, they can be separated.

I want you to start kind of up and then we'll have your hands up in your chest up. So pull in, you come in with your chest up and as you press out, think about dropping your chest lower than the box, lifting your legs up beautiful. And then pull to come all the way back in. Really Nice. And then we're going over. So your legs are gonna lift up, up, up, up, up. Really diving down. Getting a nice stretch through here and then lift back up. So you're gonna try and get that stretch through your shoulder blades.

We're going to do, I think, let's do six. Here's three. Dive, lift your legs up Nice. And then reach back up. Couple more. Reaching over. Think about getting your legs as high as you can without arching too much into your low back. Just think about firing your glutes and Oh my God. Hamstrings to get your legs up there good and reach out and then come all the way back up. You can bend your elbows. There really is no beautiful way to get into this.

You're going to come into a plank on your knees, on the box with your hands on the foot bar. So once you're on your knees, you want your hands to be directly underneath your shoulders and then you're gonna push your knees back so that you're basically in a plank on your knees and you might think, oh, we're on our knees. This is going to be so much easier than regular planking, so much worse. So make sure you're not arching your low backs. You're really pulling everything in from your shoulders.

Plank on Knees on Shortbox

Go ahead and come into shoulder flection so your arms are reaching up and you're pushing the carriage out as far as you can without sinking into your low back. And then you come all the way in. Nice. And then you press out. And then if it does become like a battle between like, do you feel like your back is arching, then let it tuck under a little bit. It's totally fine. Reach out. I mean the plot is police are going to arrest me eventually.

They'll probably get me before they get you. We'll do a couple more times, reach out. Okay. And then come back in and reach out and we're not done just because, you know, sometimes I feel like you're finishing up some reps than people think you're done, but not necessarily case. Come all the way in. Now I want you to press out when you come in, bend your elbows to bring yourself forward and then push your arms away. So push away as you get. So it's a bend. Come towards the foot bar, press go away from the foot bar. Good and bend in and press. Are we having fun yet? Bend in.

Plank on Shortbox w/ Pushup

So much shaking happening and press out and last one, bend in and press out. Bring your knees underneath you so that you can sit your hips back on your heels. Good. And then carefully make your way off. Cause I'm going to move the box a little bit to do an exercise that partially is an exercise my friend Shamburg Garak has done that I've seen and I really liked it. And I was like, why have I never thought about Xbox not being all the way up against the shoulder rest? Um, because it's actually a cool variation. So what we're gonna do is you're gonna move the box out a little bit so that you have enough room for your closer to the, um, shoulder rest knee to be on the carriage.

Internal and External Hip Rotation

And then you're gonna sit on your opposite hip. So let's say right knee down left, it's like left cheek on the carriage. Okay. But you're writing these down almost like you're just kneeling down on it. Okay? Yup. Perfect. So have it all the way. So scooted out maybe a little bit more, cause you want your knee to be able to just be resting on the carriage.

It's super comfortable. So good luck. Okay. But your weight is really on the left. Now you're gonna take this scoot forward enough that your left foot can be hanging off the front. Yep. And then you're gonna put the strap on your ankle. I know, right? Like why did we not think of this? And then this foot is hanging down on the floor. Okay. So think about it.

And this leg is all the way down. Kneeling. Yep. So you're, we're really comfortable here. We're sitting all the way upright. Arms are forward because you can, and then I want you to take your leg and just do internal and external rotation to move the carriage. So you're going in and out. Nice. Isn't this like a very pleasant way to do this exercise and not feel like you're gonna fall over? Right. This is why sometimes you have to steal ideas from your friends, go in and press out. The next part is in his, it's mine.

It's like he has another variation. That's really awesome, but we're not going to do that. We're going to do my main variation. Not that this isn't mean. I feel like it's very effective. I felt like this is me well yet. Okay, we'll do a couple more rounds. So we're really working on rotating from your hip joints. So you're taking your femur in your Acetabulum and you're just rolling it around. Now stop where your leg is, neither internally nor externally rotated.

You might need to lean back a little bit. You might not. It's going to depend on you. I want you to not move the carriage and lift your knee up 10 times. See now you're making faces. Two, three, four, five, six s seven nice. Eight nine on the 10 just hold it up. See if you can lift your arms up by your ears because why not?

Knee Lift

And hold for eight two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight and then go ahead and lower all the way back down and we'll take that side off and we'll go ahead and kneeled facing the other direction. So on this one, I just say be careful on the box because you know how the box in short box is a lot like a little bit longer than the carriage. I feel like sometimes if you're sitting on it, it tips a little bit not to where it'll fall, but just to where it sometimes is a little startling. So just be careful. So now your left knee is down, your right heel or foot is going to be hooked and you're sitting all the way up tall with your arms reaching forward. And then just think hip rotation. So we're just taking your hip through. Maybe not it's Max internal, external rotation, but to where you feel like your hips are working, going out to the side and back in and out to the side and back in.

Internal and External Hip Rotation

Good. So serious. These women. Hmm. Okay. Go out and back and we'll do two more and then we'll do the lift. Yes.

Okay. Now pause with your knee and your foot in one line and you're going to do 10 knee lifts off. Lift up one. Try not to move the carriage lift off too. And it doesn't have to be like a foot lift. It can be an inch lift, a centimeter lift. Okay, what are we on? Seven see there? Even there's an in sync, which is nice. Okay.

Knee Lift

Now on 10, you hold it and then lift your arms up by your ears. And we hold for eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight. Nice. Let your leg lower all the way down. We're going to take your foot out of that and hang it up. What we're doing next is we're basically changing a reformer into a machine that I really liked. That's a gym machine called a glute ham machine. So it's, it's all about hip extension and back extension. Um, it's also very height dependent and so it might take a little maneuvering.

Hamstring Hinges

I want you to put all this springs on just because you don't want the carriage to move and you're going to have the box B all the way up, up against the edge. We're also going to take the foot bar and lift it so it's on its highest setting because we're going to use it as something to hold your feet. So when you have the box all the way up against the shoulder blocks, what you want to be able to do and it might need to go over the shoulder blocks. This is totally, I guess again, height dependent is you want to be able to have the fold of your waist be able to go over the box completely flat and lift up completely flat. So let's see if that worked. If not, we'll have to make adjustments.

Go ahead and lie down on your pelvis and Hook your heels so you scoot all the way forward so you're basically able to float in space. Good. I like that. Hands can be down like don't go crazy first. So your heels being hooked. It means you're pushing up with your legs to hold on. Bring your hands kind of just behind your ears and we're just going to hinge forward at the waist. So you're folding over and then lift back up. We're going to do eight of these. Here's two good and lift up.

Here's three and up. Here's four. I've got four more like this. Then we get a little break down. Up One, down, up two. Does anyone feel their hamstrings? Yeah. Okay, good. Down up three and down. Up Pause. Hands can come down. Just let your legs lower down a little bit.

So you release that. So now we're going to do single leg. What what we're gonna do is take your left leg and hover it over the foot bar. Think happy thoughts. We're just going to do for each side, hands behind your head, and then you're going to fold over and lift up one good fold over and lift up to fold over. Lift up three and for, and let's just get the other side done. Switch feet. Okay. Don't forget to breathe. Hands behind your ears.

Single Leg Hamstring Hinges

And then we're going to do four more down, up one. Beautiful. Down, up two, down, up three and down up four. Nice. And then we'll come all the way up from there and make your way off. There's really no way to get off that. That looks good. Um, we're going to go ahead and lower the foot bar back down to its normal height. And then we're going to keep, um, the set up the way it is because we're gonna do some abs.

Shortbox Round w/ Arm Variations

We haven't really done a ton of abs in this class, so we're gonna do some abs on the box. Go ahead and have a seat. Um, and then Hook your feet under the strap and you'll know if you need to make adjustments based on if you're like six foot eight, this is probably not set up for you. What I want for you to have is about a hands distance from your seat to the back. So if you go back, you want to be able to have like not your hand this way, but your hand this way behind you just so you have some space. And then I want your feet separated and flexed. I'm going to start with your arms. Let's start with your arms down by your sides.

And then as you round back, you let your arms lift up to shoulder height. So you start here. So getting some nice back extension. Exhale to round, back. Good. And then as you come up, you're going to press your hands down to end in that little bit of back extension. Good. And then exhale as you reached back, arms reach forward. Beautiful. And then come all the way back up. So we have two very strong women who both don't mind doing backbends. So we are going to do some back bending here. So if that is not your jam, then you come back to this. We're going to go back. Pause. We're not in the back bend yet. I'm just giving a little prequel.

You're going to lower your hands down. Touch the box, lift up, arms by your ears. Lower back, down, down. Touch the box and lift up up by your ears and lower back down. Let's do two more. Down and up. Up and down. Last one like this. Down. Lift up. Go up and down.

Round to come all the way up. Hands on the box. Extend your chest. On this one we're going to go into a little bit of a back bend. Um, some people did not learn this in their teacher training. I didn't learn it in my first teacher training. Those handles on the side of the box are your rescue system. If you feel like you get stuck and you can't lift up without lifting with your back cause you want to be able to pull in and lift up.

Shortbox Round w/ Backbend

So if you feel like you need them, hold onto them and give yourself a little bit of assistance. We're going to start with your arms reaching forward. Begin to round back, so tucking your pelvis under and then if you are feeling it, you can, once you get low, reach your arms back towards the outside of the carriage or towards the floor. Get a nice little stretch. Don't stay there too long. Bring your arms forward, let your arms lead, chin to your chest, begin to round forward. Come all the way up. We're just going to do two more like that. So exhale to round back and then you can keep going.

As long as it feels okay for you, you reach back. And this is also sort of warming up for an exercise that's coming next and then you'll go ahead and come back up. Good. And last one, not next, but next. And then go ahead and one more time round, back and reach. And remember arms lead, head follows. Make your way all the way back up from here. Just go ahead and fold forward. Reach towards your feet. And they're going to slowly make your way out of that.

We're going to put the boxes away because we're done with them and we're going to take all of the springs off the carriage. So we're coming to no springs. Obviously if you have no springs you could just go flying across the room. So you're going to be very careful when you get onto the carriage. And we're going to do a variation of knee stretches with no springs on at all.

Knee Stretch Round Variation

So you want to be kneeling kind of in a way. You can have your feet up against the shoulder rest, sort of like regular knee stretches. We're just going to have this in a slight variation. Okay. Bring both hands to the right side of the frame frame, not full bar.

Okay. So from there I want you to push your legs back and then exhale, pull them back underneath you. And again, there are no springs, so don't go crazy. Press back and exhale, pull in. We're doing 10 this side, we're also doing 10 the next side, but just in case three. Good pull four. Okay, pull five, got five more. And you can be on the frame or on the foot bar, like if the frame feels a little too like crazy beyond the foot bar, but still be towards one side. So it's a little bit more obliques.

I know you haven't lost count. Yeah. Okay. And then obviously you wanna be careful coming all the way in so that you can bring your hands either to the other side of the foot bar or the other side of the frame. But whatever you did on the last side, just repeat it. You're going to go back. We've got 10 to come back in, pull in one go out, po into, go out Ho in three for almost halfway there. Five sex, seven good. Here's eight, okay. And nine.

And we've got the last one and 10 we're still going to have no springs on the carriage, but we're going to turn around to face the opposite direction. And you're gonna have your hands come to the frame and your toes are going to tuck under and you're going to come into a plank with your hands on the frame and your toes tucked under on the, Yep. So you're just pushing into the ball of your foot on the carriage. Come into a plank from there. So if you, different reformers are different on some of them, the way the carriage goes, you will like hit your som and that is not a fun feeling. You only do it once, but just to try to not have you do it ever have your thumbs with your fingers. So bring your thumb to finger site. Okay, so we're going to pike the carriage towards you. So lift your hips up. Good.

Reverse Plank to Pike

And maybe you dropped down to your heels, maybe you don't. And then press back out. Nice. Crack in your ankle there, lift back up Weldon, and then press back out. So we're just doing eight. Here's three. If you want it to make this harder, you could do it on a yellow spring. I would probably not go any more than that. It's really difficult to do, period with no springs. And then after you've done eight, we'll just stay in your plank and we're just going to do like five little baby pushups.

[inaudible] almost done. And then we're going to put some springs on the carriage. Aren't you excited? [inaudible] okay, then go ahead and just kind of push yourself back. And then what I want you to do is first doesn't cause we're not moving to carriage. It doesn't matter how many springs you have on. I would go kind of on the heavy side so you don't accidentally move the carriage when you're trying not to.

Reverse Plank Push-Ups

This is our last hamstring exercise. You're welcome. Okay. So what we're going to do is you're going to actually turn to face towards the back. And I think the foot bar can be where it is. I think that would actually be okay. You're going to hook your heels underneath the strap and then push your toes into the wood part. So if you turn facing this way, I did this on Instagram and somebody was like, oh my God, how are you doing that? And I was like, yeah, on my feet are being held by something.

Woodpecker - Hamstring Strengthening

So does that feel okay whether your feet are there or do we need to move the, okay. Are you good? Okay. So imagine that you are, let's say like a woodpecker or something and you're going to try to keep your hips stach directly over your knees. Let's start the easier version. You're gonna bring your hands behind your back and then you're going to just hinge forward and try to touch your nose or your chin down. And you want your weight to be hips over knees. So you're actually more forward than you think. And then you make your way back.

[inaudible] and it should be really hard. So if it's not really hard, you're not doing it right and you need to lean more forward. Lean over. Yeah. Can I have you go a little bit more forward? Yep. Okay. It hurts your knee. Okay. Then come up [inaudible] so if it, if you have knee issues and it's bothering your knee, then you can go into a different position. So you can come a little bit more back. Now on this next one, can you bring your arms just kind of behind you?

So like think tricep extension. Yes. And then again, hinge forward. We're going to pause there at whatever position you can can hold, see if you can bring your arms to a t. Beautiful. And then back towards your hips. Just three more reach out. And then I promise we're done. And back reach too. And back. And last one, reach three and back.

And then go ahead and make your way slowly all the way up. And then you're going to unhook your heels. Take a breath. If you need a breath, we're going to come to a red and a blue spring for them. It's also for me. So I feel like we're like roughly in the same size. We're going to do thighs stretch, which is kind of light for thigh stretch cause sometimes it's up to three springs but we're going to take it into the back bend.

Thigh Stretch

But what I'm going to do is, this is the way I do it when I don't have a spotter. So when we go back into the back bend where your hands go to the foot bar, you'll, I'll talk you through it, but you have both handles. You hold on with one hand, reach back with one hand, then you let the streps go reach back with your other hand to come out of it. I always feel like I want to know how do we get out of it. You actually just turn towards one side and then you can like lift yourself back up, which is sort of the way that a lot of people get out of it anyway.

Serina start with knees all the way up against these shoulder blocks. And also just another thing here, if you want more space, which I actually often want more space, you can gear out the carriage, hold on to the straps and kind of hold onto them, not on the straps, but above the straps. And we're going to start with just like three size stretches. So nice length in front of your hips. You're going to lean back. So going back, you don't have to go crazy far back and then lift yourself back up. This is the worst named exercise and all applaud his stretch.

Don't trust anything named stretch in the PyLadies world. Lean back and lift up knee stretches. Am I right by a stretch? Okay, so again, we're going to lean back into our size stretch and then lift back up. And then on this next one we're going to do is transfer the straps to one hand. Now if you know another way to get into this back bend, you don't have to do that. You're going to lean back and then reach your arm up and overhead behind you.

Thigh Stretch w/ Backbend

Grab hold of the foot bar and then release the strap. Reach with the other hand. Good. And then you're going to bend and extend your elbows three times. Bend press one bend pressed too. Nice Bend, press. Three. Best Way to get out of it is to just turn, lift your arm up to the ceiling and then come all the way up. Take a child's pose.

I feel like everyone needs and earned a child's pose after that one. And we're in our home stretch. Um, I think that the spring is going to be a little bit too heavy on a red blue. So I would say doing one red, we're going to do, um, the control front with your feet on the foot bar and your hands on the shoulder blocks. They can also be on, you can also have your feet on the wood and your hands on the carriage, whichever you prefer. I like to get into it from a lunge. So go ahead and turn and you're just going to stand on the carriage. With your hands on the shoulder rests.

Balance Control Front - Prancing

Reach one foot to the foot bar and push yourself out. You're going to do lower. Okay. So go ahead and reach out and then reach the other foot on. And so from there I just want you to prance your heels. So going to bend one knee, good and switch. Good and switch. Now you're perfectly welcome to just keep doing that.

If you want to make it a little bit more challenging for basically everything you can pike your hips up at the same time as your prancing, which is like making your brain have to work super hard. Or You could just pike or you could hold in that position. We're just going to do a couple more breaths cause everyone's sort of doing a different thing. And then on this last one, you carefully make your way back onto the carriage, so foot onto the carriage and then come all the way back in. Okay. Ran. Do a little homage to Julian Littleford. Um, this is one of his exercises as his star. Um, you always had variations of classical exercises that were his variations.

Star - Julian Littleford Version

I think this one is less scary yet maybe harder on your hips. Um, so I think one red spring is fine. A blue would be easier on your shoulder, harder on your abs. So I think red is going to be good. The way you're going to actually get onto the reformer is you want to be, um, one leg is going to be all the way up against the blocks here and you step the other leg through and then you're going to reach all the way to the foot bar and then you'll have the your other leg reaching out into sort of a star type position. And all we're going to do as a hip dip down and lift back up, hipped it down and lift back up.

So you do want the care to be all the way into the stopper on this because it's a little bit far. If you're on the shorter side, you might need to lift your foot bar up. Or if you have one of those moveable foot bars, move it in a little bit. So you're gonna have your hand soon, arms to a tee. Just make it pretty. Reach out, come to the foot bar, reach your outside leg up. Now think about pushing with your carriage leg out and try to drop down to that hip. And then you're going to lift yourself back up.

Good. Press out and lift yourself back up. Good. Let's do three more outs and back up. Good. Out and back. Up and last one out and back up hold. You're going to reach your top arm forward, bottom leg back, and just kind of arch back towards your back legs slightly. Beautiful.

And then come all the way in and then carefully make your way out of that. And then one 80 to face the other direction. Good. So arms to a t, find length through your spine and then reach over towards the foot bar. Let that let your outside leg lift off. And then we've got, I think about six where you're going to lower down and then lift back up. Nice. Lower down and up.

Good. Trying to keep your shoulder depressed but not sad. And lift back up. Three more. Down and up. Last two things. We're doing our stretches, so just so you know, down and lift back up. And then we're going to do the um, the up and then just the sort of arm forward, leg back, arch. Beautiful. And then we'll come all the way in. We'll stay on this spring weight of one red. And then let's just turn to face to kneel on the carriage.

Hip Flexor Lunge Stretch

And we're going to bring your, I'm going to say let's bring your right foot onto this gray exfoliating pad on the front of the reformer and your left foot up against the shoulder rest. That's like right in line with you. So we're just going to do a little lunch stretch here. So I want you to keep your front shin attached to the bar and think more about pushing your back knee backwards and you can be upright or holding on. But I want you to think more hip flexor on this one.

So leg back as you're sort of lowering yourself down. Good. And lift back up. We'll do two more like that. Lower down. Okay. And lift up and last one lower down. And you can hold it there. If you're feeling it, you can extend your right leg and you can hold on to the foot bar, not I always hold onto the foot bar and reach yourself back for more of a hamstring stretch, which you may or may not need. Who am I to say?

And then go ahead and you can do a couple out in, in on that side. And last one we'll go out and then come all the way back in and we'll switch legs. So first we did three that were more hip flexor focused than three that are more hamstring focused foot on. Keep Your Shin attached as you push your right knee backwards. So you're pushing your knee back, dropping down, dropping down, dropping down good. And then lift to come back up.

Trying to keep your hips as square as possible. Good. Lower down and lift to come back up. And last one like this, lower it down. Now hands on or hands off. Go ahead and press yourself into more of a split stretch. Okay.

And then lift yourself back up. You've got two more of those. Press back and then lift yourself back up. And then press back and lift yourself back up. We're going to go ahead and just step off to the side wherever you are. Often side reach your arms up, big stretch up, reaching up, and then chin to your chest. You're going to roll all the way down. Bring your hands to the floor or however close to the floor they come. And then just you can peddle your legs, swing a little side to side, try to get a little bit of a hamstring stretch in there.

Roll Down

And then when you are done, you're welcome to stay there for the rest of the afternoon or make your way all the way back up to standing. Um, you are done. Nice job guys.


Gerri M
2 people like this.
Great variations and lots of challenges for hammies..loved it
Cowabunga!  Loved, loved, loved your creative, precisely described instruction, super fun program today.  Thank you 😊 

1 person likes this.
 Ditto to David’s comments! Loved swan on the short box and the single legwork in feet in straps.  I need to work on the back bends though. Thank you Mariska! 
1 person likes this.
What fun! Your creativity and variations are always such a treat, Mariska. Thank you so much! xo
Paola Maruca
1 person likes this.
awesome class as always....more please, much more
1 person likes this.
1 person likes this.
I love your creative classes! Especially the single leg work in straps.  I couldn't do the backbend, but will work on it.  Thank you for ALL of your classes you bring to PA. :)
What a great class, Mariska! If the pilates police arrest you I will post bail. Working on that back bend. Funny, I can do one from supine in the mat, but they terrify me on the I did sort of a one-sided, single arm, still holding my straps variation...hey, rotation plus extension. 👍
2 people like this.
Amazing class!! I am obsessed with your classes!! Thank you for a great workout!
Thank you all for taking the time to comment, and I'm glad you enjoyed it! Genevieve Malcolm  - I might be needing your number to add to my Emergency Contacts. ;) 
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