Hi, I'm Delia Buckmaster and welcome to [inaudible] anytime. I'm really excited to be back to teach another reformer class. This time we'll be using the box for the entire session of your workout. We're going to be starting off with a box and it's short box position up against the shoulder. Rest on the carriage. A lot of times we will put the box over the shoulder blocks if you're a taller person, but we need to keep it in front of the blocks for safety so that the box doesn't slide back and forth.
I have the bar at its high bar position. There are several positions, or actually it's low bar position. Uh, we could start up here, however the next few exercises will require it to be a little bit lower. So for sake of moving around a lot, we're going to keep it down a little bit lower. I also have one red spring on the reformer. This is a balanced body reformer, so one red sprang would be equivalent to one heavy spring if you have a Stott piece of equipment or a classical piece of equipment at home. So we're going to go in and get started with a warm up sitting on the box.
Careful when you don't have that much resistance on the reformer because the carriage is mobile. So you've got to sit kind of careful here. My feet are going to be on the platform, sitting up nice and tall, wherever your legs feel comfortable, and we'll start with some forward breathing. Taking a deep inhale at the top and on your exhale you'll flex forward. Maintain this flex position. And basically here you're trying to spread the shoulder blades apart just to create a little bit more mobility in the shoulders. Take a deep inhale breath and exhale breath. One more deep. Inhale breath.
And on your next exhale, just go ahead and stack yourself up nice and tall and we'll try that again. Nod your chin and exhale to flex forward. Maintain an active fluxion so you feel your abdominals. Flex your spine sitting on top of your sit bones as you breathe. Inhale breath and exhale breath. One more deep. Inhale and exhale, stacking your spine nice and tall. We'll warm up the arms by reaching them up towards the ceiling and circling them around and allow for mobility of the shoulders.
So you're moving through the shoulder blades, allowing the shoulders to rise towards the ears. I like to allow my body some freedom in the beginning of my class and not restrict the movement so I could see where all my tight spots are and will all my actually cooperating parts of my body are reversed. The arms. Inhale, breath and exhale down hand again, deep inhale and exhale. One more deep. Inhale breath and then bring the arms out in front of the shoulders and we'll retract and protract the shoulder blades here. So pull your shoulder blades apart or together, excuse me, and then pull them apart. By retracting the shoulder blades, you're going to allow for mobility in extension and by protracting the shoulder blades, you're going to allow more mobility and flection.
So these are important movements because the movements of the shoulder blades are synonymous with the movements of the upper body. And then you can hold your arms here and just give yourself some scissor arms. Bring in one arm towards extension and one arm towards fluxion watching the movement and pattern of your head here. If you're moving your head too far forward as your arm comes up, then you might be moving too far into that flex position with your arms. And then go ahead and draw the shoulders down your back and then elevate them and depress them and lift them from your back and lower them down your back one more time and then bring your arms out to a tee position coming towards you on rotation and then back to center and then over to the other side.
And then making sure that you are flowing a breath cause this breath in the beginning of your warmup is going to maintain consistency throughout your workout. One more time on each side. Inhale breath and exhale to the middle. Last one and exhale. Now one more mobility exercise of your spine. Interlacing the fingers behind your head and pressing the weight of your head heavy into your hands as you just lift up towards extension.
And then back to neutral. And a couple more here. Inhale, breath and exhale. And last one. Inhale breath and exhale breath and just letting all of that go. We're going to warm up the feet as well while we sit here. So I'm going to place my feet onto the foot bar and I'll just have them in a high HAFTO, which means it's just a kitten heel and not your high heel with your hands pressed up against the box sitting nice and tall. Just extend your legs. Now you only have one red spring or one heavy spring, so this isn't really meant to load your legs. It's really more so that you can warm up your ankles, knees, and hips, and then you can get a visual of your feet here.
When you're lying on your back doing footwork, you can't see what your legs are doing, so you could actually see if you're super Nadian opening up the ankles or pronating and if your knees are cooperating with your hips and then you could try some lower and lift. Inhale, exhale, warming up the ankles, flex and point. I live where it's winter, so I don't wear high heels a lot where I live, especially this time of year. So I like to mobilize my ankles on the reformer. And then you could also go into some running, dropping one heel down, and then the other. And then this one actually will test your stability of your spine, making sure that you have some awareness in your core, your abs, your back. And then lastly, heels together, toes apart.
And you can work on some first position work here, pressing back and forth. And when you do, turn your feet out and draw those heels together. Just make sure that the turnout came from the hip and it's not just from your ankle so that you're maintaining consistency in the hips, knees, and your ankles. And then lastly, just extend your legs and fold forward and stretch and then sit up nice and tall. I'm actually gonna move the reformer foot bar up one so that it's a little bit easier for these next few exercises. If I need some assistance, if I'm while I'm standing on the reformer, cause we'll be standing up on the carriage.
And for some of you it might seem a little bit unstable, only having one red, so what the foot bar a little bit higher. It's an easy reach if you need some stability. We're going to start off standing with your feet flat on the reformer carriage and your legs just slightly forward of the box and into just some regular squats. Here we see in the arms out in front and then stand up. In athletics we call this the triple flex, so ankles, knees and hips moving and this is a front load exercise on those quads, but if you think about your back body and you think about your glutes, it could also be a really great hip strengthener and without those strong glute max muscles, it'll cause some issues with stability in your hips and I am a horrible counter. I think we've got four and three, two on the very last one. Reaching those arms out. Hold it here.
The main thing I want you to think about is your spine more so than anything else. If you can maintain a neutral position, then you will fill your glutes. If you feels like the pulsing works better for you to activate those glutes and you could do that or you could just hold this exercise isometric, make sure that the arms are not too far towards extension or flection to cause any tension into your neck and then stand nice and tall. Now this is a little bit more unstable. That's why I pull the bar up a little bit higher but I'm going to bring my heels up to a high half toe and so from here you might get a little shifting in the box. You'll just have to make sure that it's nice and up against the shoulder blocks.
But what I like about the heels here for the next exercise is as I'm coming down into a flex position, I actually have contact with the back of my body cause the heel is lifted and resting up against the box so I'm not fully loading my quad muscle. I still have awareness in the back body. The arms can come forward for this one. If you prefer to change arm positioning just for sake of mobility of the shoulder or that changed her balance, then you can bring your arms out to the side. You can even bring your hands to prayer or you can even bring your hands to your hips wherever you feel the most stable.
I'm going to go back out to a tee position with the arms just a couple more. And on the last one I'm gonna do the same. I'm just going to hold and I'm going to think about my spine. Be nice and tall. I'm thinking about my quads yet. I'm bringing awareness to my glutes and my hamstrings being shortened.
My abdominals are pulled in and then I stand all the way up. If you have balance here, just draw your heels together and squeeze them into first position. Shoulders back. This time I'm going to go ahead and bring my hands behind my head. Elbows nice and wide and I'm going to give myself a little short plea. A, I'm not a dancer like a lot of these plays instructors, but I am an athlete so I could really feel my hip flexors grip on me.
So the heels are going to be up against the box. When I say athlete I kind of mean it in a washed up way, but I used to be. So you're going to bend and extend and plea a and lift and try to keep your tailbone right over your heel for just a few more. And on the last one again you can hold it here and little pulse is press, press, press or you can hold isometric counting in your head. Breathing really big, pressing the head up against the hands.
So this is like a nice way to end this because you could actually stretch and strengthen the back of your neck in between your shoulder blades and find a nice tall posture and then stand all the way back up, lowering your feet to the carriage carefully. We are going to go into some side legs, so I'm going to take this bar back down one. So facing you. I have my left foot on the non-moving platform and my right foot on the moving platform, which is your carriage. I do have my foot right up against the box and I am in a parallel position with my legs. From here.
I'm just going to press the carriage out because my leg is further out and up against the box. There's not as much resistance, so it's more about the mobility of the legs moving in this direction than it is about strengthening the outer thighs or the AB doctors in Halen as I press away and exhaling, and that breath may not work for you, so you decide where you want to inhale and exhale, but play around with both so that you understand that it changes the objective or the focus of the exercise. I'm going to add rotation, so as I press the carriage away, I'm going to rotate pause there. I can feel my platform leg, hip working to rotate my torso in this direction. Then I'll return back to center. This is a great exercise, especially if you're somebody that golfs or plays tennis. It's a great functional rotational exercise. Inhale and an exhale and again and just a couple more and make sure that whole body from the hip is coming with you.
Last one and then return that carriage stabilizing here. I'm going to bring my left hand onto the foot, bar, my hand onto the box, and I'm going to find the edge of the carriage. My feet are still lined up in parallel. Now there is going to be more emphasis on that outer thigh. I'm going to find a skating position with my knees bent again, that triple flex position, ankle, knees and hips all lined up and I'm actually going to just bring my hands to prayer here to give them something to do and then I'm going to skate that like out and when I skate that leg out, you're doing a couple of different things you're working to strengthen in mobility on that right leg, stabilizing on the left leg.
One of the great parts about [inaudible], one of them is this association, so can you disassociate the rest of your body with the one moving part and that's normally what makes [inaudible] more challenging. It's not about adding spring or more repetition. It's about adding coordination and disassociation. One more time return if you don't have to stand up and arrest, don't. But we're going to extend from the platform leg and when we extend from the platform leg, this is a little bit more challenging because you don't want that foot to come in from underneath you, so otherwise you'll fall to one side.
But the right leg right now should be right under my hip and my left leg is moving just a couple more. Again, I don't count very well. So you do as many as you'd like at home and then go ahead and return and stand hand on the bar. Hand on the box, you're going to kneel and take a knee. Now my back foot is off the reformer and my left foot is going to be at the corner of the platform so it's turned out and lateral rotation. You do have to have the other leg right up against the box and preferably in parallel. Once you find this position, you're gonna want to wedge that heel onto the platform and extend with that leg. Once you find that position, you can take your arms out to a tee, so you're just going to press out and then return and press away and return.
Again. It's a little bit more difficult if you don't have the stability or the rotation in that hips. You're just going to have to find a comfortable position for you if it feels comfortable for you, hold onto the box because that's more stable than do so. But if you do that, then go ahead and just arrest the other arm as well. One more time as you press away and you hold and then from here you can give yourself a little stretch to the side and then return continuing on with the legs in the same place.
I'm going to rotate back towards the bar and when I do so I'll place my hand on the bar again for safety, right heel is going to be up against the block or the box. This time, some hip extension, press the leg away and you might have to send her that foot on the box because of it being sideways like this. You might end up shifting it to one side otherwise, but here you are in a lunge position. We are not going to let go over the bar. Um, during this exercise you're welcome to do so. But I'm going to keep my hands there for stabilization and work into the extension of my hip. Here's where I think about my upper part of my body.
I think about my neutral position of my spine. I think about my shoulder blades. I think about the position of my neck. A lot of times people will like to look down towards the spring. I promise you the spring will still be there when you're done. So it's much better if you look out in front of you and work on that glute.
So one more time. And then from here you can go into a little split stance and find a nice stretch and then return. And now we're going to have to do that all on the other side. So I'm going to place my right foot on the platform that does a move to turn around and then I'll stand nice and tall. So from here back to just your side legs, I'm going to take my arms out to a tee to maintain consistency. What the other side, inhale and exhale.
I didn't mention this before, but you can think about your innercise here and returning the carriage. I hurt my back not that long ago and maybe a year ago. And I learned the importance of strong inner thighs and also flexible inner thighs and they are like a pedestal for your spine. And without those two things makes it really difficult to have a strong low back. We're going to add rotation. So as I press the carriage out, I'm going to rotate. I'll pause for a minute because I really want to feel that that right glute came with me and then I'll return and rotate and back.
Inhale and exhale again, play around with your breath, play around with your focus. Think about those inner thighs as your return. Think about that rotation. We'll do that a couple more times. Rotate and back last time and then return. Now the emphasis on the outer thighs, hand on the bar, foot closer to the platform. Um, my reformer at home, I have an Allegro too and my foot. It feels more comfortable being hooked to the edge there so you could try that as well. Knees bent. Hands are in prayers.
You can't see them but they are and you're going to skate that left leg out. I could be here for awhile because this is where the views are, so maybe I'll lose count on this side and you'll press and press. Think about fire pattern. Think about your side of your glute firing first and then your thigh firing. If you think of those two things, then you're less likely to fire into your low back. Couple more.
Last one without resting. Let's try that platform. Sigh, press away and return. That left leg is steady on the carriage. The right leg is moving. Just a few more. Last one and then return. Here's where we take a knee, right hand is going to be on the bar.
Left leg will come down and my foot will be at the edge. I'll take my right foot slightly forward and it'll be a turnout. I've squared my hips off. Again, you could start with just your hand on the box just to make sure that you're stable and then once you're nice and stable and feel like your hips are in the right place, you can take those arms to a T position. Nice and tall. T position arms for me helped me stay on taller. I could retract my shoulder blades and gaze forward.
One more here and then you're going to hold it steady and then give me a nice stretch here to the side and breathe into that left rib cage and then back to a T position and then return continuing on with the feet on the same platform. Right foot comes forward in parallel. Left heel comes back just about center. You don't want to be lined up complete like a slalom ski, but pretty close. Your right shin can rest on the bar as long as its shin isn't taking all of the work.
Shoulders are back and then you bend that back knee and find the extension of the hip. One red spring is not enough to really load the quad on the negative resistance or on the return. So you should have a lot more emphasis on the glute working in hip extension. Couple more, last one. And then you can find that split stance if that resonates with you, give yourself a nice stretch and then return.
So careful here as you sit down. So that concludes the footwork portion of your workout. And we're going to move on to abdominal work, uh, on the short box, but we're going to need to add all of the Springs. And you also need to have your safety strap. The foot bar right now, does it matter? You could have it wherever you feel comfortable. So I'm going to attach, and I could do this from a seated position.
If you can't, then stand up and put all your Springs on [inaudible] I think that's it. Okay. And then you're going to place your feet underneath the safety strap. You'll sit close to the front, but you don't want to sit so far forward that you don't feel like you're on your sits bones. But you also want to feel like you're pretty comfortable in your legs. And I'm actually gonna wedge my feet pretty close to the front so that way I feel like I'm secure. Starting off, we'll just have our arms out in front of us, palms facing each other as though you're on the mat.
We're going to go into a half rollback, so start by tilting your pelvis away from your legs so you're rolling back and your legs will slightly extend and you can bring your feet with you, especially if you want to promote that mobility in your ankles and then you're going to sit back up and we'll do that a few times. I like to inhale the tilt, the pelvis back, exhale to let all the air out, inhale to pause and then exhale. Sometimes a two breath pattern is more just to slow you down and I'll do that when I'm teaching a class. If I feel like my class is feeling rushed, I'll make them breathe more. Inhale and exhale and flex. Inhale and exhale, and what I'd like for you to find is maybe a deeper reflection each time.
Not only are you becoming more confident in your flection, but you're actually creating a little bit more mobility in your spine. You're finding an act of flection so that you actually feel your abs are working to flex. I know there's a lot of controversy out there with fluxion in the spine, but for me, if anything is being done actively and I'm meaning to do it, then it's probably okay. And then exhale to flex and then inhale and then back up. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to push the weight of my feet up against the strap. So that's going to activate my outer thighs. Cause my first instinct is to clench my inner thighs together if I don't feel safe back here and flection.
So now I'm promoting a little bit more outer thigh work. Arms are out in front. Try it again, exhale to flex back. This time you're going to hold your flection and pause and make sure that you've got that little extra posterior tilt of your pelvis from your ribs. You'll rotate the upper body. So I'm coming towards you and then back to center. And then I'm going to go away from you and then back to the center that I'm going to sit up nice and tall. So I will layer these. Inhale at the top, exhale to flex back. I'm going to the left now. Inhale, exhale to the middle. Inhale, exhale to the middle and sit up.
And I'm inhaling on my rotation because I want to increase that rotation and not shorten it. So inhale to the right. Exhale to the middle. Inhale to the left, exhale to the middle and sit up nice and tall. I'm going to add on, and remember earlier I said coordination is what makes PyLadies harder. So exhale to flex. Anal is I rotate to the right and bring my arms up towards the ceiling.
That's going to make this harder because I brought weight up. I'm going to come back to the middle and then reset my arms. I'll go to the left, bring my arms up, rotate back to center, bring the arms down to reset the arms and then sit all the way back up. Having forced myself inflection for a minute so you might see a bead of sweat. Inhale, exhale. As you flex to your left. Now, arms come up, come to the middle, arms come down, take it to the other side, arms come up, come back to the middle, arms come down and then sit up.
Let's see if we can find a breath. Inhale at the top. Exhale to roll back and held to rotate and reach the arms up. Exhale to come to the middle and bring our arms down and he'll rotate to the opposite side. Bring your arms up, exhale to the middle. Bring your arms down. When you inhale to sit up tall, it'll lead you right back into your exhale. Roll back, rotate to the left side. On your inhale, rotate to the middle. Bring your arms down, go to the other side, bring your arms up, come back to the middle, bring your arms down and then sit up nice and tall.
And just to reset here, I'm going to take my arms out to a tee and give my little self myself a little stretch on both sides. That feels good. One more on each side. Again, there's that inhale breath again as I stretch. And then back to center. I'm going to rotate towards you to do some side bending work on the reformer box. Still in a short box position. Still all the Springs on my platform.
Foot is all the way to the edge and I'm going to allow my knee to collapse where it wants to collapse so that I could square myself off. That's your first thing. If this bothers you to have your knee up, you could do any of these exercises with the leg hanging off the front, but maintain consistency. So if you have one good hip, one bad hip, you're going to have to accommodate the bad hip on both sides. I'm going to have my leg up. You're nice and tall. My knee is just hanging forward cause I just want my hips square, arms out to a T. I'm going to take my hand to the head rest and when I do so I'm going to turn my strap leg, my safety strap leg to parallel so that it faces forward and I'm going to bring my arm overhead and then maybe even bring my forearm down to stretch my side.
And here what I'm doing is trying to find my end range for the most part and then I'll bring my free hand over to my head and press my head up against my hand because that's going to line up my spine as the easiest way. If you've got nobody telling you if you're straight or not, and then I'm going to switch my hand onto the headrest so I can bring myself up tall, so hopefully I look pretty good here. From here you're going to bend your head, arrest arm, your elbow towards the box that's going to increase lateral flection and then I'll extend how much you want this to be. Your arm is up to you because you could easily just shift all of your weight onto that hand. I'm more concerned about increasing that lateral flection, so that's where I'm working to get towards.
If this is easy for you, you can move on. You can bring your hand towards the floor, catch the head rest, inhale, exhale, catch the headrest just twice more. Last one. And if you're really feeling jazz today, you can put both hands behind your head and then go ahead and do it with a free, with your arms, not touching anything, making it really difficult. So we're only gonna do one more and I'm going to bring my hand to the head rest to rest and rotate my upper body to find rotation. My hands are on the frame and I'm just relaxing my low back.
And to come out of this, reverse everything hand on the headrest arm up bend that need to help you up your platform knee. And then just counter flex to the other side and hold and you'll turn around. So just don't even think about it. Just switch your other foot. We'll go into the safety strap and then my left leg will go on top of the box again, hips square, this is not the first priority. My hips are the first priority. Hand goes onto the head rest first.
The strap leg rotates to parallel. Now I'm straight, then I'm going to rest my forearm and give myself a stretch here. If I don't gain mobility on the opposite side, that I'm never going to actually get the side that I'm working on. Say my oblique to work to my advantage. So you have to stretch the opposite side. Then you'll take your hand behind your head and straighten out your body by pressing your head up against your hand and you should look straight.
Then you'll take your hand to the head rest, bend your elbow, find your deep lateral flection. Inhale and exhale. Let's go for four repetitions, just a couple more here and then if you'd like, if you it to the other side, you're unfortunately committed to this side and two, three and four and of course I committed. So here we go for four one, two, exhale. Last one, put your hand on the headrest and then rotate and round forward. And to come out of that again, rivers hand on rotate Ben, that needs to pull you up and then stretch over to the other side and we're going to move on from there.
So I'm going to step off of the short box and take it to long box. And that pretty much just simply means make it look long this way. Okay. Again, you're in front of the headrest. I have OCD as do 99.9% applies instructors. So I think that it's even in the center there. And then I am going to leave my foot bar. Um, I think I'm gonna bring it up one.
And the reason being is that it'll flow better to the next set of exercises. I'm also going to go down to one red spring. If you have a reformer where the red spring is in the center, I recommend that are your heavy spring. Otherwise just pick the red spring closest to the middle. I just feel like the carriage moves a little bit better that way.
So we're going to start the next series facing away from your foot bar and your feet will go onto your headrest. And we're going to go into some more abdominals here. I'm grabbing onto your chew, your my straps. If you have straps at home that have the double the longer loop and the shorter loop, I recommend using the shorter loop, but you can immediately make it less difficult or less resistance. By holding onto the longer loop, I'm going to bring my arms through.
I'm going to place the straps as high as I could place them without annoying me. I'm going to pull my body forward and I'm going to take a lie down on the box. Okay. I like to have my shoulder blades back and the reason I like them back is cause a fight. Choose to find an extended spine for rest. Then my shoulders and my neck are consistent and that's really important.
Otherwise you're pulling your neck into extension without your upper back. Okay, so the straps are on. I'm still at one red spring. I'm going to interlace my fingers behind my head and I've pulled my legs up to tabletop. From here, I actually am going to extend back for just a moment to give myself a little thoracic extension and then I'll lift my head and shoulders up, looking at my legs. So single leg stretch here, holding onto the straps. I'm going to extend the left leg out and I'm going to pay attention to my toes and make sure that they're lined up and then I'll switch. Now the benefit of having the straps back is that it's helping my thoracic flection because the resistance wants to pull me forward, so it actually helps me to find that contraction in the upper part of my back.
So it definitely is an assist. Inhale and exhale and reach one more and then you'll pull both knees in and then you can rest back. See how convenient it is when you're back here. Now inhale breath. Exhale as you come back and flex this time, extend your left leg out. We'll go right into your obliques. You're going to rotate towards that knee. Now what I like about this is the emphasis pulling on that strap for that rotation to happen and my right elbow to reach towards the floor.
And then I come back to center and then over to the other side. So what you're getting is emphasis on the back body, which we sometimes forget. We're in a flex position or focusing on our abs. Inhale to the middle and or exhale to the middle. Inhale to rotate. Exhale to the middle.
Inhale to rotate back to center, and then over the other side for your obliques and then back to the middle. And then you'll rest back. A couple more exercises here. If you're with me, head and shoulders back up. We're going to go into the double leg stretch, but without using the arms to start, you'll just extend your legs out and then return them. Now you have a heavier lever with both legs out, so you want to make sure that you're stable here and that you're not rocking the body forward and back and coming out of that act of flection. Now if you'd like as your legs move away from you, you can take your hands off your head and reach your arms behind you and then bring your hands back behind your head and bend the knees. Inhale, extend the legs away. Reach the arms out. Bring the hands behind your head, bend the knees twice more. Inhale. Let's make it simultaneous. Exhale, one more. Inhale, reach away, maintaining that flection and then return and then rest.
We're not done. Inhale breath. Exhale as you flex up and extend your legs up towards the ceiling. We're going to go into your scissor. Legs are hamstring pull by lowering your left leg in line with your hip. And what's nice about being on the box, you can even go a little bit lower for that stretch or hip opener. Legs back up, other side, back to center. Inhale, exhale, lower and lift.
Lower and lift. One more lower and lift. Bend the knees and relax back. And to come out of this, you'll have to find your headrest. Grab onto the straps and pull yourself up like you're holding on a rains. Okay, that was hard because sit back for a moment and we're going to dive into some back rowing preps. My feet are still on the headrest. My length of my femur is on the box and so that way I can press my calves up against the box.
We're just going to start with some plowing tall on the spine and just pull the straps back. You're still on that one. Red spring, so plenty of resistance to do this work. And what I'm going to do here, because I've done so much fluction in the last few minutes, I'm going to allow some extension of my upper back and I'm going to give myself an inhale and exhale and inhale and exhale and I'll do that one more time and inhale and then exhale. And then from here I'm going to bring my arms back behind me, extend the spine, hold it there for a second, circle the arms out, bring the arms forward and then bring the arms back to start position. So some arm circles with extension. Inhale and then exhale forward. So without going into full rowing, I'm just taking the benefits of the rowing and the mobilization of the shoulder blades and the consistency of the arm movement with the back and the neck. And then release those arms forward. The straps are going to go and that was pretty much just an antagonist to some of the abdominal exercises.
I'm going to place the straps back onto its hook and then I'm going to turn around and we're going to do some extension from here. So line on the long box facing your bar, you'll put your chest over the box. Okay. And then your first position on this may not be your best positions. You'll have to adjust and then you bring your hands onto the bar and push yourself out. And like I tell all my clients, you're not in concrete. If you told, feel right, stop fix yourself and put yourself in a better position. Plata is, doesn't get more comfortable. As you move it gets more difficult.
So you've got to start comfy. Okay? So once you know that you're in a good position, then you'll find your lower half of your body position. So from here, my legs are in parallel and I prefer that they be close together because I feel like it gives me the true extension of my back. But if you can't, you can open your legs about the width of your mat. Lateral turnout, just don't over squeeze your glutes because then you can't come into the extension. So pubic bone presses into the box, abs are pulled in hands, you're wide. Let's just start with some easy shoulder presses. What this'll do is it'll give you moment to S to just reset. And if you are an instructor and you teach, it gives you a moment to assess your class, which is one of my favorite things to do is just to see how everyone's doing and give them options to layer their exercises on the clock.
My head is pointing to noon and my elbows are pointing to three and nine o'clock. So from here I'm going to add a little rotation. With extension, you'll extend your arms out and if you feel stable here, you'll take your right hand underneath your forehead. Your Palm is facing down, rotate your upper body towards that bent elbow and then come back to center. And the left arm is there just to stabilize and it's important to move your body in all planes of motion. So now we're tackling extension with rotation and do that a few times. And this is a moment where if this is too much resistance for you, you're looking right at your spring.
Just change it and make it so that it works for you. One more time and then both hands on the bar. I like to reset, so I'm going to bend my elbows, reset my body and extend my arms. Now I'm going to move to the other side. My right arm is stable, my left Palm is facing down. I'm going to lead with my elbow to rotate and then look down towards my spring.
Inhale and exhale. Pay attention to your feet, so if your feet start to move, that means that you're not just focusing on the upper part of your back. You're actually moving a little bit too much into your lumbar spine, in your hips. That should be stable or we're going to do that one more time. Inhale to rotate back to the middle, both hands on the bar and then you reset again and one of the things is too is that you might be sliding around. I'm a little bit sweaty. I'm not going to complain because it's 25 degrees at home and the sun feels really good. So I'm gonna extend my arms. Hold from here. Set the upper body so as though your arms are like your wings and the base of your wings are at the middle of your back. Okay.
And then you're gonna swim the legs just up and down. Nice and slow. Not like you're swimming away from a shark. Just slow. Then release your right arm. If you can take it out to a tee position, turning the Palm towards your thigh. And then Steve, you can look over that right shoulder. So continuation of that rotation with extension, but you're lifting a little higher and then bring that arm back and then the other side, you're gonna rotate. Look over that left shoulder, stabilizing the right arm and bringing it back. We'll do that one more on each side cause this is actually pretty challenging.
A lot of extension work. You're increasing that rotation. Hopefully mine got a little bit higher on that last one. And then the other side, and you rotate and you swim, and then you come back to the middle and then you bend your elbows. And I'm going to fix my hair because it's in my eyes. Okay? Now, next thing, and you don't have to do all of these in a row. If you've had enough of extension, you could take a little break in child's pose.
Here's your Swan prep lift with your eyes, look forward, and then press back. Remember those wings, the arms attached to the middle of your back. Now lift your eyes and then lift your halo towards the ceiling as you come up. You can keep that halo facing the ceiling as long as possible before you lie. Completely neutral. Inhale and exhales is my favorite thing to do. We spend most of the day working that front body without even knowing it.
Uh, and we're gonna do that one more time because I selfishly wants you. So inhale up. It feels good. And then exhale. One last thing here. You can opt out if you'd like. We're going to do a little plyometrics while we're here, just to get the heart rate up a little bit more. Be careful here. Bend your elbows.
And what you're going to do is you're going to press the carriage back, float your hands off and catch. Now, this isn't anywhere to show off your strength to try to push as far back off the reformer bar as you can. This is just a catch a little air. And what that's going to do, it's going to fire those reactive muscles of your back. So if you want your back muscles in your abs to work together as a team, they have to do it without you thinking about it. This is a great place to practice that makes sure that your neck is not in too much of an extension, that your eyes are in a comfortable place. Just a couple more. Okay, one more.
That was a hint, but nobody took the bait. So I'm going to sit and I was sitting at the back of the box, and I am somebody that likes to just keep going and flowing. So from here, this is a perfect spot. We could do a front rowing. We did back rowing front, Roy, Oh, here we go. Okay, so you grab onto the straps and you're straddling the box. Your feet are going to be forward. A lot of people like to sit like this, but it's better for your hips if you just let your legs go out in front of you. If you have the option of a double double strap, then grab the shorter straps first. If it's too hard, then grab the longer straps. I love this mainly because of how it stretches my shoulders.
So sitting up nice and tall, elbows come back and just a little offering. You're going to bring your arms out in front of the diagonal and then you're gonna bring your arms back and then think about the stretch that's happening. It's an active stretch. I'm really aware of my limitations of my shoulders, but what I love about this, I could glide my shoulder blades together and then I can pull them apart if I'd like. So whatever my body needs. One more time out in front and then hug a tree, take your arms out to the side, and then hug. Elbows are soft so we could activate a little bit of that biceps.
You're not falling completely into that rotator cuff. Inhale, exhale. Just a couple more here and see if you can get taller with each movement of the arm and then the elbows come back. Next, I'm going to have you hinge your hip forward. Try to maintain a neutral spine as you bring your arms up towards the ceiling. And a good test of where the straps need to be is that they shouldn't be touching your arms so that you know that they're up towards the inflection, but careful that it's not pulling your neck forward. So in this position, I'm just going to do some tricep presses. Exhale, breath. Inhale. In these situations I exhale when things are harder. So when I want to exert, I'll exhale. If I'm trying to promote flexibility, then I'll inhale in certain places. But again, you find the breath that works for you.
Your head is nice and long it is. Head is an extension of your spine from your tailbone all the way up. And I do feel my back muscles working, but they're active and I know that they're working for me. And then to give yourself a last challenge, arms extend, come up with your arms. Now what this is going to do is pull your balance backwards.
So I want you to think about everything that you're using to be here. So my apps and my back are working my stabilizers and my shoulders are working, my arms are lengthened, my triceps are actually even working here for three, two, and then a little sweet with that sour. Give yourself stretch and then release the strap. Okay. All right, so I'm going to put, oops, I'm going to put these on these hooks and then I'm going to step off because I'm gonna change spring again. So I'm stepping off the reformer and changing to a blue spring.
And that for those that don't know is just a half of a spring tension. You could do these with a yellow spring or quarter spring tension. I don't feel like that's enough, but it's completely up to you and I feel like a full spring is way too much for me. Okay. I'll leave the bar here and if it gets in my way, we'll change it before. Right now I'm just gonna leave it. So I'm facing you guys. So I'm on this side of the reformer and I'm going to grab the foot strap that's closest to me before I climb onto the reformer. This is hip work, which means it's all going to be about the leg here in a second.
I'm going to step on to the reformer box on all fours. If you are tall, this is not the perfect scenario for you, so you need to maybe make some adjustments. I don't recommend moving the box in a short position because there's a lip on either side and you can flip forward or back, but I'm going to take that strap and place it on my foot. Okay, so right on the arch of that foot, I'm going to center myself on the box or where I feel like the spring is loaded, but it's not that hard to keep my foot parallel from here. I'll find a neutral position with my spine. Eyes are down so it maintains consistency with my back and I'm going to wag the tail.
And first I'm going to find that movement of the knee. Once I find it and I feel like I'm comfortable up here, then I'm going to follow it. So I'm going to maintain a neutral spine, but I'm also going to go into some lateral flections. So just gaining that mobility in the back and then looking towards that foot done on the mat without a strap. This is like one of the yummiest exercises ever. One more time and then just relax. But don't drop the strap.
Turn towards your uprights or backwards. Okay? Once you're turned backwards, you'll have your hands comfortably on the box. If your wrist start to hurt, then you might need to check and see if you're just putting all your weight into your arms. That's the first thing. Second thing, as you might have too much extension of your wrist, so situate your hands a little bit better. My free leg is going to be centered. Again, this is different depending on how wide your hips are, and my other leg is going to be to the side from here. Most of the time I don't allow that leg to freely move forward, but what I want you to find first is half of a teaser. Okay? So when you're lifting your leg up in a teaser position, most of you have probably done it. You'll feel your abs working. Your body will start to flex it. Your torso will flex, but you're trying to maintain a little bit of height with your upper part of your body, which is what you're doing here.
Then bring that leg back and then find half of a Swan. So you bring your leg back. Your chest is high, but you're still active in this extension. Find your half teaser, exhale, breath, find your Swan. Inhale, breath. Exhale. So part of explaining that this way is so that way you understand that your abs are moving your leg to flection and your glute is moving your leg to extension. Exhale and inhale. This happens to be one of my favorite exercises, mainly because I could feel everything working, so it becomes a full body integration. And then forward.
And then one more. Hold it right here and then just give me half of your swimming. Just pulse and pulse and pulse. And if you flex your ankle, you'll feel something a little bit different. Actually a lot different, a lot more glute three, two, and one. And then you'll bend your knee. Place it on the box. Okay, safety first. I am going to turn away from you for the first set of exercises.
I'll be on my side. So I'm going to just turn and don't be worried. You're not going to go anywhere. I'm actually going to be on my forearm. I think I was subconsciously wanting to rest, but we can't yet. So I'm bringing my hip back from here. We're going to do some kicks.
So sidekick forward with that leg. You can still think about your teaser here and as you bring your leg back, you can still think about your Swan. So well what am I gonna do for you on this side as I'm going to add your arm. So the next time the leg comes forward, I want you to bring your arm out in front of you. Here's your teaser. As your leg comes back, here's your Swan.
Exhale. Inhale, exhale. You can't see me, but I'm smiling. Exhale. Inhale. Last one. Use your abs. Use your abs, use your absolute, you're active. Use your glutes, use your glutes, and then go ahead and return. I am going to shift to my arm here. So what I'll do is I'll grab the strap with my hand.
My the foot bar is up for this particular reason cause it usually ends up being my spotter. Then I'm going to lie all the way down and tuck my knees into my chest. And then from here, maybe just a little bit of my mid back series on my side, just moving up and down with that arm. And then here you can practice your sideline neutral. It's really easy to find your neutral when you're standing tall, not as easy when you're on your side.
And then some arm circles a inhale, exhale, breaths, reach it forward and back one more and then pause and reverse back and up. And I do like because again I feel that freedom and my shoulder blade a little bit, couple more. And then on the very next one I'm going to bring my arm to the ceiling and try some triceps here and press. Make sure that arm stays in your peripheral vision because if it comes too far back this way you'll be working in that end range. And not only are you working on that end range, um, but you actually will not work the proper muscle that you need to work.
You'll end up just stretching out the front of that rotator cuff and then you're going to bring that arm forward. Now this is a great place to dismount because now you have the strap in your hand, you have the foot on the bar, and then you can sit up nice and tall and second verse same as the first. So I have kind of turned around and do the other side. Okay, so from here we start again with the wag the tails, you're going to grab the strap, get onto the reformer and place your foot inside the strap. Once it's inside the strap, you're going to be on all fours. Again, good rule of thumb is the center. If that doesn't work for you, scoot one side or the other. It depends on leg length and torso length start which is moving the leg from side to side.
And when you move it from side to side and you're ready, then you're going to follow it with your eyes. Inhale and exhale wherever you'd like. Just continue to breathe. Another good cue here is make sure that your heart's between your thumbs and the weight of your body is centered on your torso. Just one more, and then you're going to go ahead and rotate towards the uprights, bringing that strap with you. You could see it if you had too much resistance on here. It's just a little much to navigate.
So now my right knee is centered on the box. My way to send it to my torso and my hands were comfortably at the corners with my heart. Between my thumbs, you're going to find flection of the hip, so half of your teaser and then you're gonna find extension half of your Swan. Once you have found your end ranges, then move, exhale and inhale and exhale and inhale. And it's really once you figured out that these movements are active, once you figured out what you need for say the teaser just makes the teaser just that more exciting and joyful. I don't, maybe not joyful, but you know what I mean. Exhale forward and then back. We'll do that one more time. Find that teaser, find that Swan, and then hold it here and maybe find that half swimming press, press.
I like to explain to people that the hips come in two parts, not just left and right, but top and bottom. The top part of my hip isn't moving. It's holding steady for me. The lower parts moving and then release. Okay, I'm gonna turn to face you for sidekick. Up on my forearm. Knee is tucked in. I'm in a diagonal neutral here. My leg comes forward.
This is your Swan or teaser, excuse me. And then this would be your Swan. And then exhale, that leg comes forward, you feel your abs working. And then that like comes back. I dislike the gesture part of this. So forward those. I always wanted to be a dancer, but I wasn't. So this is where my inner dancer comes out. Inhale. And then exhale, and then again and you reach, and then you bring it forward.
And this is your Swan and this is your teaser. Let's do that one more time and reach it back into extension and then bring it forward. And then you're going to go ahead and grab the strap and then lie on your side. So your mid back part of your mid back series, you're resting here, knees are tucked in. And then my bar works as my spotter. And then I'll start, which is the arm up and down, and then maintain that neutral. And you could find the back of the box here so that you can align your spine up and you know where you are in space, which is important.
And then you'll add those circles. So take it down, forward and around. Find a breath that's going to liberate that movement for you. Last one. And then reverse it. Inhale, exhale and up and back. That's just do two more too. Last one arm comes up and then your tricep. So there's a nice little flow and press two more. Last one.
And then you're going to go ahead and use the bars, your spotter and then come all the way up and then you're done with those. So I'm going to place the strap on the little hook. So that concludes that series and we're going to move on to the short box again. So I'm gonna step off the short box or the long box, turn it back, it's short way. And then I am going to change spring setting. Again, if you've paid attention, you could see that we've only had all the Springs on one time and either red or blue. So it's a really easy transition from series to series. So I'm going to put the red spring on and if I haven't worked hard enough, I think this is the hardest of everything we've done so far.
So the foot bar is up and I'm actually now that's in the perfect spot. I'm going to step onto the carriage and have a seat on the box. And we're going to do a little knee stretch series here. So if you can only imagine, this is going to be a little bit challenging if you've done knee stretches before. So from here I'm going to have my heels on the box and they are at a high half toe or something comfortable.
What I like to tell people is gimme your highest heel and the soften at about a quarter inch. That's probably where you're the most stable and also probably where you need the most work hands are going to be on the bar. And then I'm going to lift my bottom up and I'm going to have to give credit to John Gary here cause he calls us the crouching tiger. So I always call the crouching tiger. So draw your shoulders down, your back from here with both legs we're going to press the carriage back but I'm going to have you find a round spine first. Just as though you were on the reformer carriage without the box, you'll press the legs back and then return the legs keeping as low of a crouch as you can. Inhale and exhale. Now you only have one red spring, so you need to maintain a lot of stability here in the torso to maintain that round spine.
But there is a lot of isometric work in the quads and I'm not about speed on this one. Just give me a couple more. Inhale, exhale, last one. And then you can rest back down. Series can be all done without arresting, but this old lady is going to take a break and we're going to do the next one. The next one's going to be a flat back or a straight back, so come back to your crouching tiger and maintain a straight back bottom. Should be slightly over the box from here. Fingertips forward, elbows bent backwards a little bit. You're going to do it again. Inhale. Now obviously with a straight back, you're going to be able to gain a little bit more mobility in your legs, so I could almost come to a full plank or a full plank. Inhale, exhale.
Here I recommend about 10 repetitions, so I'm guessing I have five more left and four, three
Draw the opposite knee in and find extension, which I've hopefully prepared you for. So acts, he'll pull it in. Inhale and back. Just three more, just five. Exhale. Inhale, last one. And then with control, which is the hardest principle to achieve and [inaudible] you'll put your foot down. Let's just get it over with and do the other side. So we'll draw the left knee in towards the chest. Extend that leg back, hold left leg comes over the box, you extend and you exhale and you flex and you extend.
Exhale. Inhale. Two more. Last one, hold performance piece. Put your foot down, put your bottom down and I can rest. Okay. From here, stand up on your carriage and then we're going to find a very modified elephant using the box on the carriage. So heels would go up against the box calves, depending on the size of your calves will be on the box as well. Hands will be on the bar.
Let's start by curling the toes up and then just pressing the carriage back to where you can maintain that distance and hold from your risk to your shoulder. And then just press the Cara slightly forward. You're actually going to be off the stop or the whole time. And the emphasis really is the stretch. So just focus on that. Keep your spine nice and long and the breath will change depending on your focus. If you want it to be about your abs, you could exhale.
If you want to be more about your legs and stretching. Inhale last one and then release. And one more option for you. You're going to put your heels up and then you're going to press the carriage back into your plank hold. And then from here, find your pike with your emphasis on the stretch of the hamstring, the pivot of the shoulder and the hinge of your hips. And even though this is a front load exercise, I really love ending or coming towards the end of my workout with the, with a pike cause I feel like I've gauged my strength, I feel really energized. My arms are pumped. One more time and then a return and then carefully have a seat and hold.
And just one more thing for you. We're going to change the spring to a blue spring from a red. So just reach down and put the blue one on and take the red one off. And we're going to start with our feet on the platform. Hands are going to be towards the front of the box and then you're going to sit pretty close in layman's term. These are going to be tricep dips.
If this doesn't work for you, step off the reformer, get to the edge of your frame, do your tricep devs there or do them on the floor so you can continue to flow with me. So fingertips or forward feet are on the platform. Again, you're on a blue spring, take your bottom off. Okay. If you can't hold yourself here, then most likely you can't do your tricep dips here. So from here, bend your elbows, inhale and then exhale. Everyone likes to do tricep dips and you know what? I didn't know why until I turned 40 which I'm creeping closer to the other decade now, but now I love tricep dips. Inhale and exhale and just a couple more and then sit up.
Now if that was enough for you then you can be done with that, but I'm going to continue. I would try some control front as well. So feet are going to go on the bar. Arches of your feet and why the arches of your feet are more stable on the foot bar, I am Maureen grippy socks, which are helpful, but also the emphasis will be on the lengthening of your hamstring versus the shortening. So hands are going to be at the front of the box. Legs are long. Soften your knees if you need to, to pop your bottom off and then extend your legs nice and long. From here with a tall spine, tilt your pelvis posterior so that your arms can move towards extension.
Find neutral with your spine and bring your arms neutral. Exhale and inhale three more times for five total. Three two, last one, hold for five, four, three, two, one with control. Return to neutral, have a seat. Place your feet down on the platform and then go ahead and stretch your body forward. My hands are on the bar and I'm just folded forward.
If you have flexibility, bring your foot to the foot bar and stretch from here. If your feet are on the foot bar, sit up nice and tall and we're going to end with some spine stretch. So put your heels on the bar, feet about hip distance apart, arms out in front, palms face each other, peel your spine off your wall and reach for your feet. And then sit up nice and tall and again, exhale as you flex, reach away, and then sit up. I'm going to add a little extension of course. So as you flex forward, I want you to pause from there.
Allow your shoulders to rise to your ears. Lead with your thumbs and find extension of your back. Fold back over your legs and sit up two more times. Flex forward on your exhale, flow right into your inhale, extension flow back into your flection. Sit up. You have one more. Reach forward.
Lead with your thumbs, flex with your spine, and then sit up nice and tall. Return the carriage with ease and reach those arms up to the ceiling. Take a deep inhale breath and then exhale to bring those arms back down. One more time. Deep inhale breath. Bring your hands to prayer. Bring your hands to heart center and you guys are all done today.
Thank you so much for joining me again. My name is Delia. I'm so excited to be here teaching you a little short box. Long box.