Class #4179

Reformer on the Mat

25 min - Class


You will improve your stability with this fun Mat workout by Larry Gibas. He teaches the Reformer repertoire on the Mat, covering as much as he can in a short amount of time. He offers a few variations so that you can translate what you feel on the equipment to your Mat work.

This class was filmed as part of a donation event to benefit Campaign Zero, an organization that focuses on ending police violence in the United States. If you would like to donate to this cause, you can go to their donation page.
What You'll Need: Mat, Towel

About This Video

Jul 14, 2020
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Thanks, Dana. I had to switch the glass into a Go Cup because here in New Orleans, that's what we have. We have Go Cups. Okay, so I appreciate the cocktail because it is still brunch time here in New Orleans on a Sunday. So it's our favorite way of day drinking.

So, hi, everybody. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for participating in this wonderful fundraiser. You have no idea, the difference that you are making in the world. I'm a true believer in chaos theory.

I believe that small things have a way of rippling outward and creating big changes. So, the little bit that we're doing here is gonna believe me, it's gonna make a huge difference in the world we live in. Okay, so let me put this down. I wanna introduce one of my star instructors, Carla. She was my first baby.

She was the first one that I helped get through the training program. And she's one of our favorite teachers. So she's gonna be helping me get through the reformer map today. I'm gonna be going pretty fast, because I only have 20 minutes. And normally this would take a little bit more time to get through.

I'm gonna try to cover as much of the intermediate as we can. So try to stay with me. If there are things that you have to leave off, that's fine. I know you've been working out already with the other instructors. So if you have to leave stuff off, that's fine.

If you're not on a surface that easily slides, we'll try to show a few variations. But make sure you have your towel. If you are on the surface that allows you to slide a little bit, then that's what we're gonna be doing for a few of the exercises. Okay. So lie down on your back and we'll get started.

All right. Pull those knees into your chest. Right, there you go. Hug those in because that helps anchor your back. Really sink that belly button in, right?

Now I want you to put your hands behind your head, because that's gonna serve as your head piece or as your reformer, right? You get a nice little bit of a V position. And you're gonna go ahead and start your footwork. Take it out and bring it in. Right, you're gonna try to maintain a nice horizontal movement here.

You're not gonna be traveling in a diagonal, because that's what makes it different than, say, like our props and things like that, because we wanna go ahead and try to pretend there's a football right there. Keep that power house in, right? And if you have to keep it up a little bit higher, that's fine, okay? 10 of these, right? Because we wanna make sure we're thoroughly warmed up.

And then on the arches, right? You wanna pretend that that bar is here. So flex your feet, curl your toes over the bar and then go. Push, and in. Yes, exactly.

Squeezing through the inner thighs, right, so that we're actually working on our stability here. Yes, very nice. Even breaths on the heels for 10, right and keep moving. If you only do five or eight, that's fine too, 'cause I know you've been working out, okay? Get that power house in.

Just keep that upper body just in a forward lean. You don't have to really pull on your head, right? And then on the last one, you're gonna stay out, turn out just a little bit into your V, and then flex and (mumbles). Right, there you go. Keeping everything pulled in.

Remember the weight of the lower body 'cause there's some pretty big heavy muscles and bones through here, you really have to support through here, otherwise, the lower back is gonna try to hold back to that. So you wanna make sure that everything is down. So wherever those legs have to be in order for you to maintain that stability, that's where you place those legs. Right, keep working through all little bones and muscles in your feet, right? There's a lot of them in there, right?

And they all go towards working towards your balance and coordination. Well then slide your feet down on the mat, right? Your arms are down at your sides. There you go. Now you're gonna give me a nice inhale and exhale.

Right? Inhale and exhale, right? Inhale one more time. This time as you exhale, bring your knees into your chest. Inhale as you stretch the legs up to the sky.

Exhale as you lean forward. On your next inhale, start your hundred. Inhale and exhale. Inhale for five, exhale for five. And you wanna be sure, again, that you just need to get a nice solid position, so that you're really developing a good sense of your core muscles and how they work to support you.

So that no matter what else you do in your body, whatever position that you're in, you're always gonna work from a strong center. That's pretty much the definition of pilates that teaches you how to move anywhere, move your extremities from a strong core, okay? You can pretty much say that that's every single one of the exercises that you do. Pumping and breathing. And make sure to really stretch through all the toes and all the fingers so that you maintain some nice little length right there.

And then when you get to your last one, you're gonna go ahead and pull your knees into your chest. Get head down, right? Arms down on your side. Okay, our short spine. Go ahead and press those legs out.

Wrap lift up, right? And then you're gonna soften those knees a little bit of space in there, make room for your ribs as you roll down. Let your heels lag behind a little bit and then they join the seat. Again, wrap and lift. Use your seat to lift, not the swing of the legs, right because we wanna be safe.

If we're using momentum instead of muscle, there's a chance you could accidentally go into the wrong muscle group and pull something. So we always wanna be safe. And then press it out. Wrap and lift up and then bend and soften. Roll smoothly down.

Sink in those ribs. Get every muscle in that back to come down, right? Give me one more there, Carla. Wrap and lift. There you go.

You get it all on the roll. Last one, you just keep those heels right down at your seat. Once again, lean forward, right? Bend those elbows at 90. Look at a little coordination. Here we go.

Press it out, open, close, bend your knees, bend your elbows. Press it out. Yes, really concentrating on those inner thighs. Out and in. That's the emphasis.

And we're gonna do one more set. Let's try some crosses here. Press and cross. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Bring it in.

And in. All right, go ahead and roll out. And we're gonna flip over on to our side (mumbles). Okay? All right.

So you may notice I may skip a few exercises just for time constraints. So just know that a lot of times we do this one right here. Okay. So here we go. Pull back for the pull stretch. Squeeze.

Right, keep those feet down. Squeeze up in here and then slowly bring it down. And again. Pull all those imaginary straps. Stretch into your feet.

No tension here. And then roll back down, right? Again. And, perspect. So we wanna be able to lift the chest without compressing that lower back so we wanna maintain length.

And then slowly down. Now open those arms out into a big cross. Bend. Fall back. And try if you can to get your palms to hover right over your toochie.

And then slowly put in down. Again. Back. Pull back, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. And then bring it down.

And if you have the presence of mind, mindfulness and breathing, inhale, suspend the breath just a little bit at a time and then exhale and bring it down. All right, and then you're gonna sit back on your heels and stretch. Yes! All right. You feel okay, Carla? Yes. Okay, good, good.

That's the right answer. Okay, I am (laughs). Let's do the backstroke. Okay. So this would be the other half of our long box, right?

So here we go. Stretch it up, open and reach (mumbles) and then bring it up. And again, open, stretch. And you notice, this is basically our position for her hundred. And then bring it in.

Then up, open, and then reach. Hold, hold and bring it in. Let's do one in reverse. And stretch, hold, hold, hold, open, together, in and now bring it down. Let's get ready for some teasers.

Teasers, everybody's favorite. Right, right. And scoopy woo, come on, up. Lift, lift, lift, lift. And then lower lift three times.

Remember, the movement of the arms and the lifting of the arms is to help you facilitate some length in your waist. It's not really about our arms. Come on up. Lift and open. Lift and open.

Lift and take it down smoothly. Always with control. Come on. Boom, yes! And she went right into a reversal. I love it.

She's a good student. And now stay up there in that shape. Stay lifted too. Stay lifted, truly holding it and then smoothly down. All right, come up to a seated position.

Now we have our short box series. So we're gonna start with the hug. Wrap your hands around your waist and then roll back. Right, and then come on up. You can add a little bit of stretch at the bottom there, guys.

And back. If you wanna stretch your arms all the way out if that's an area for you that's a little tight 'cause some of us spend a lot of days in front of a computer these days since quarantine and all that. So getting a little bit more lengthening and a little bit more movement into shoulders and upper back is always a good thing. All right, hands behind your head, lift up top. Put a little bit of traction on the bottom, on the neck.

So you're gonna take the bottom shelf of your skull and you're gonna give it a little bit of a lift, right. So you're again, decompressing and then come back up, right? And then lift and go back and come back up, only as far as you can go back and keep your feet down. Once you have pushed, but I don't want you to get unbalanced. And then lift up top, clasp your hands at the top.

Over to the right. And if you wanna give it a little extra stretch, you're just gonna pull a little bit on the opposite wrist and lift and lengthen, just again facilitate a little bit more lengthening. And then up and over. Lean in and out. And again, as far as you can go without lifting your hip, right?

You still want that stability, create stability in order to facilitate mobility, right? And again, one more time. All right, now the twist. Hands behind your head, lift tall, twist, lengthen as you go back. So you're not just trying to go down towards the floor, you're trying to reach out as much as you can.

Lift, twist, reach with that elbow. And then come back up. Lift, twist, reach, and come back up. Lift, twist, lengthen. Let's do it one more time, Carla.

I know you're getting tired, right? All right, good. All right. We got thousands of people watching you as well. Don't be nervous.

They love- I know. They've all been waiting for it. Go ahead and stretch forward there. Give yourself a little break. A little treat.

Alright, let's go ahead and do the tree. Okay, so go ahead and hang out underneath there. Stretch up. Three and two, and one, climb up. Body to leg.

Leg back to the body, right? Try to keep this stable right there. And then when you come back up, see if you can come up without moving the leg until the lower back comes up before you return to your original position, right? So it's the same way you went down. She's here, she's vertical, and then she's gonna put her back down.

Now she's gonna try to return to that same position, and then come back up, right? So that way, you're not using the weight of your leg to pull yourself forward. Now if this is new to you, you may need to angle a little bit forward to give yourself a little bit of help. Right and on your third time, you're gonna go all the way to the ball of the foot. Again, give yourself a nice little treat there and stretch all along that whole rear posterior chain there.

And then bring that down to the other side. Okay, there we go. Stretch up one, stretch up two, stretch up three, recline body. Take it down, right. There you go.

And then back up. You know how I love your seats. I know that sounds weird but it's private joke. And (mumbles) and then going down and then you come back up, up, up, up, up. Torso up, get up there, get up there, get up there.

There you go. Then you're ready to come down. Right? Each time, right, and then come back up. Now you're gonna go ahead and grab the ball of your foot, give yourself that nice little treat once again.

Yes, and then you're gonna bring that down. All right guys, this is where you bring out your towel here. You're gonna put it on the end of your mat. If you're working on carpet, if you can slide a little bit, that's great. If you can't slide, you're gonna just try to flick some point your feet.

We'll do the multiplication here first. Okay, so get in your plank position, right? So you're really holding yourself. Now if you're on something that does not slide, you're just gonna flex and point your feet, right? And if that doesn't work, you just hold a plank position.

That is very powerful, very, very striking for your core muscles. You can just always just hold that. Now if you can, if you are on something that slides, go ahead and slide out and slide in, right? You're just gonna do that five times. And again, very good.

See, I don't have to really say that much. She's got this down. One more. All right, and then the down stretch you're gonna lower your knees, right. Now this one's a little bit more difficult.

So if you just wanna do a nice stretch here and just hold the position, right, go ahead and lower your knees, and then lift your chest into a stretch. And if you just wanna stretch here, that's fine. Now if you can, lift up your knees ever so slightly and slide back, or you can do another flexing point here if you want, okay, and just move just a little bit. One more time. All right, and then lower those knees, right?

Pull your hands in just a little bit, right and then raise up, pulling those ribs up again. This is the arm stretch, okay? So pushing out. Pull in, keeping that seat wrapped and then lift those ribs up again. Again.

Rest it up. Wrap pull in. Yes, there you go. And up. So she's working everything.

She's working seat, she's working chest, she's obviously working her core, right. And that's plenty of those. Now the elephant. Guys, all you're gonna do is just you're gonna walk your heels in here to try to keep the weight on your heels. Walk as close to your hands as possible.

You can walk right in between your feet, do that, right? It's close again. Walk your hands back out a little bit more. And then walk your feet in again, right? Keep the weight on your heels so that you're gonna be walking in with those toes up in there.

And walk it out again. Come back up, right? And then from here, once you're at the other end of your mat, slowly roll up from your back. Right, there you go. Now I'm gonna have you turn around, right 'cause we're working with a small space.

Go ahead and round down, right? Walk about halfway out right there and then you're gonna walk through your hands and have a seat. Now you might not be able to walk all the way through it. At some point, you're probably gonna have to bend your knees to come down and that's fine. All right, so now we're gonna get ready for our stomach exercise, okay?

So bring your knees into your chest, right? And your hands are gonna be slightly in front of your hips, okay. You're gonna stay in a very rounded back. Okay? If you can, try to keep those heels, those feet at same height as your chest, that's just if you can, so press it out.

Flex, point and in. You're trying not to change the level of the feet as if they were on actually the bar for reform. Flex, point. Flex, point. Right, we're just gonna do five.

All right, and now hands back, pull up your chest. You're gonna change the shape of the spine and really lift it and try to do the same exercise here. Push, flex, point. Push, flex, point, right? So all we've done same movement, but changed the way you're holding yourself here.

Right. Give me one more just because. There you go. And then the balance, right and now you're gonna extend the legs three times just to feel your balance. Right, 'cause you had the hands on the floor to help you balance till now, right? Now you're gonna enter, twist.

Twist and come in. March like you're going up a spiral staircase. So you're gonna lift and lengthen as you can. So again, you're creating space between those bones. Third set.

Right, all right, then hug those knees, stretch out those legs and give yourself another nice little treat, right? Those stretches are just really nice. All right, here we go. Let's go ahead and try to do the semicircle. Okay, we have a couple minutes.

We're gonna give it a whirl, okay? So lie down on your back. And again, you're gonna have your towel off on your slippery surface. All right. Yeah. All right.

So you're gonna lift up your hips. All right, and now what you're gonna do is you're gonna go ahead and take the legs out, lower your hips to an inch off the floor, right? And then pull it in, lift up. Out, down, in, lift the seat, right. Don't push your ribs out before you take it out.

Down, in, out. Now we're gonna reverse it. Take it down. Out, up, in down, out, up, in, down, out, up in and out. Roll down your spine.

Yes. All right. Hug those knees. Yeah, that's how I like it. All right. So now we're gonna do some leg circles, guys.

All right, so from this position, again, you got your hands behind your head because that's again gonna serve as your (mumble) for your reformer. Extend your legs, right? And remember, you might wanna start a little bit higher since you are gonna be lowering your legs, you don't wanna get stuck too low and then have to go down and then be too low and then your back hurts. So from here, you're just gonna open, down, together and up. Open, down, together and up, right?

Try and make bigger circles as long as it doesn't interrupt the stability you've created in your core muscles, right? And then reverse it. Move. Right, we're gonna do one more. Right, and once again, hug those knees into your chest.

That's just a nice little break in case you were starting to creep up into your back, especially after you've been working out for a while, some of that fatigue might be setting in, so you gotta just be really cautious and safe. So we're gonna come up into the hands and knees position. We're gonna do our little stretches. All right. We're gonna go right to the stretches number three that's within these off.

So you're gonna create your nice rounded back, knees off and stretch and bring it in. Now, if you're on something that again, it doesn't slide, you could actually make a little hop here and go in and out. So it's sort of like be the pilates version of a burpee, okay? There you go. Right and you're gonna try to do 20.

But we're gonna stop right there. And then we're gonna go ahead and flip over onto your back. We're gonna do running and pelvic lift, guys. All right, I'm surprised we got through this. This is where we've been working very efficiently.

Go ahead and press this out. Right. Now remember, as you point your foot, you're gonna bend that knee. The opposite leg, the one that's straight is gonna be flexed. Okay, so it's gonna take a little bit of mind and body connection here.

Go back and forth. Boom. Boom, flex. Flex, flex the straightened leg. (Carla mumbles) It's burning my legs. I know, I know.

You can see the smoke coming out of her ears. It's like Rosie the robot, from the Jefferson's (mumbles). All right, and then bring that in. All right. Put your feet on the towel.

All right, this is your pelvic lift, guys. Okay? So you wanna be a little bit wider than your hands, a little bit turned out, right? Maybe at the most 45 degrees. All right, you're gonna lift up your hips, right.

Using your hips. Don't use your lower back to push up. We wanna make sure that those ribs stay down. There's a little bit of a (mumbles) right there. Okay, and then go ahead and just slide out, slide in.

When you first try this, it might not move very far, you might be only moving a few inches and that's okay. It's mostly important that you get that muscle memory established, right, get those nerves communicating correctly with those muscles. And then once that happens, going bigger is not gonna be a big deal because you've already established those pathways. Right, one more time. And then roll that out.

All right, come on up. Okay, guys, that's my time. If you wanna do a little rolling like a ball just to stretch out, that would be great. Please make sure that if you're watching this, if you're sharing this, please let other people know about what we're trying to do and what we're all about, how we're trying to create a movement here. It's literally a movement with pilates movement, but also movement with our thoughts with our actions.

It really puts me in mind of a quote, when I was going through the training program Romana became more than just a teacher for me. She meant so much to me and still does. I still hear her every day when I teach. But at the same time when I was going through the program, there was another voice that I became aware of and that was Maya Angelou and her words and the way she phrased things in such a simple, concise, by a way of speaking, that resonated with me and I think with a lot of people. It was so important to me then and it is to me now when I'm looking for something, when things are going crazy, and I'm looking for a little bit of direction, I turned to her.

And one of the quotes that she gave was, "Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible." And that's it, that inaccessibility that we're trying to fix right now for future generations. There was a lot of stuff for us right now that was laid at our doorstep by previous generations that we can't ignore. We have a responsibility to take what was laid out in front of us and do something with that, not ignore it and to move on. So again, thank you very much for participating. I am gonna turn this over to Chris Robinson.

Most of you all know who he is. I got to meet Chris, when we were joined continue education with Romana in Dallas. He's an amazing instructor, S6 Fitness, author, and he's easy on the eyes. I don't know if I should be saying that to you now, but it's true. Take it away, Chris.


LOVED this workout x reformer on the mat I have so many ideas now to explore x thank you
Beautiful movement, beautiful instruction!  Thank you:)
Anahita S
The video is not very good and the sound is boomy and distorted. Sorry:) 
This is brilliant thanks!
Thanks, Larry - Love your personality and the class! I needed something a little different - This was perfect!
Please do more Pilates Anytime!!!
Sue D
Very nice!  Just a suggestion, instead if you can't slide on a towel you could put your feet on a small ball for some of the exercises.
The direction and moves are great. Not a 25 minute class because he speaks for the first 3 and last 2. Also, sound quality and ability to see the demonstration is poor.
Absolutely loved it!
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