Class #4258

No-Frills Reformer

45 min - Class


Kristi Cooper comes home to the studio in her first Reformer class since quarantine. She invites you to be with your apparatus and get moving with this basic, no-frills Reformer workout. Connect to yourself and what your practice means to you.

This session was filmed safely using social distancing, a very limited amount of people in the studio, and ample time for breaks outside.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Oct 22, 2020
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Today's workout is something I'm calling coming home. We're filming this in the time of COVID, and it's our first little test back in the studio, second actually. You'll find it really great class from Amy Havens. But for me, it is my personal coming home, my personal first chance to be with my reformer in the studio here. And I don't know where you are in this situation, but I think we always have the opportunity to remind ourselves what this work can provide for us.

Sometimes it's just a familiar place to do the practice. And sometimes it is just being on a certain piece of equipment. I might name her soon, her? Yeah. Anyway, welcome to class, basic, just get moving, that's what we're doing. And I'm so, so happy to be here and to have you here with me.

So we're gonna just start with an inhale here. I'm gonna go around the end here in a second and do a rolldown. But for now, let's just find ourselves in the space that we are in. Find ourselves in this space we are in our bodies as well and inhale, and I am raising my arms. I'm gonna fill up this room like never before today for myself.

Breathing w/ Arms

I hope you do the same wherever you are. Exhale, but stay tall. Do it again. Pick everything up. Your feet stay on the ground. That's all we're asking for right now.

And exhale. I'm finding myself naturally wanting to extend the spine. So inhaling up, as I exhale, I'm still, it's like, I'm trying to cut up and out and through the roof. It's subtle, but it still feels really good. Make yourself feel good, inhale up.

And exhale. Just gonna walk around to the edge of the reformer. Come with me, or you know what I mean. I have one red spring on at the moment or one full spring, just to spring. Because we're just gonna start to massage the spine and get more into the workout.

Hamstring Stretch Pushing Carriage

Here we go. Inhale, one more time. Your feet are parallel. Exhale, round four, take your arms with you. Put the heels of the hands on the edge of the carriage. I go wide. I also bend my knees in the beginning.

I let my head dive down. Inhale to extend your spine. Try to leave your pelvis over your ankles. Oh, and then from there exhale as if you're lifting your pelvis, your abdominals, your body off that foot bar. Go again. Inhale. Try not to change much at the lower body.

Stretching yourself up, even extend or shrug your shoulders, reach far, far, far. Let them kind of... let the carriage push them back into place and then start to roll up. Just pay attention to yourself and what's happening, inhale. That's how you come home.

Pay attention to you. And exhale. Again, inhale. You could do it lighter. I wouldn't go much heavier. We're not trying to effort here so much as find space in the spine.

Find some room for ourselves. Come all the way back in. Keep rounding, keep rounding. Tailbone's getting heavier the closer you come to that stopper. When you do, let your hands come up, and then hold onto the bar.

If the bar's really low, bend your knees more. And then from here, it's not gonna look like much, but just the subtle sense of pressing the heel of your hands into your foot bar so that you can find a sense of elongation even without real movement. Inhale, and exhale. Kinda relax on that. Inhale, I'm pressing and just thinking upwards, even though I'm hinged slightly forward, and exhale.

Breathing w/Hands on Footbar

And then inhale, press a little, exhale. Just stand up, let the hands be free. Raise them up. Inhale. We're gonna just put our arms off to one side, exhale, round forward. Let's take both hands a little more to the left.

Hamstring Stretch Pushing Carriage on One Side

You can even cross them, but I just go left and inhale. The rest of you basically stays the same, but same idea. A long spine exhale, draw it in. A little more focused on one side, inhale. And exhale.

Didn't change where my feet were standing just one more, inhale. Trying to kinda slinky our spines and come in. We don't have to do a grand finale, but do let yourself just roll up through the middle. Maybe hands on the bar, inhale. Let's go back down again and we'll go the other side.

So both my hands are going to my right. I'm trying to keep my knees slightly bent and forward. They could be straightened. Do the same thing. Inhale, push out, exhale. Again.

I keep the knees in because it's... I'm all about trying to find ease right now. And it allows me to stretch the tailbone or that into my spine upwards. Even as I reach forward, we'll come back all the way, all the way. Let the hands float to the middle and just roll on up.

Ah, one more deep breath just for nothing, because of we need to breathe and let it go. Let's get on reformer. I am going to go straight into foot and leg work today. I'll get into abs stuff in a bit, but for now, three to four springs. So on the balance body, I'm doing three red and I might stop there.


No, I'm going for it, three red and a blue. Let's go for it. So what that really means, no matter what reformer you're on, is I'm gonna pushing it a little bit, for me. Some of you will need all the springs, and some of you will need less. That's really all that was to say.

So we get ourselves forward. Foot bars are locked in. I do have my head rest up, partly up. It's up to you you can go higher, or you could have it down completely. Heels are parallel. Oh baby.

I already feel like I'm home. Heels are on, and heavy pelvis. Maybe lift and drop so you can kinda feel the difference if you're gripping anywhere, and off we go. We exhale, press out, stay there, just get long. And then come on home.

Exhale out, trying to keep the ankles still. That'll be part of the theme in this series and three, and pull in. If you wanna go faster, go ahead. I'll try to avoid counting. Just breathe.

And connect on both sides of your body, out and in. Out and in. Check for yourself that you're not snapping the knees, you're not gonna land. You're not gonna pull those feet off the bar. You're gonna place yourself.

You're gonna pull yourself back in. You are at one with your reformer. Once again, last one out and in, stay in. Be ready to hold everything else the same, pull the toes down or the balls of the feet down. Off we go, we press out and pull in.


And out. Can you connect to the back of the body or do you go straight to the quads and wish the springs were heavier? If they feel light, maybe you think about a subtle drag-down of it, the balls of the feet, just an intention. Breathe whichever way you want. I'm choosing an exhale out and inhale in.

How about two more? We're just trying to heat up. Must call that two, geez. It's been awhile. Swivel, not just your heels touching, but the whole leg kinda turns toward each other from front to the back.

Pilates Stance

Knees are not that wide. Here we go, press out, finish it, needs touch if you can, and pull in. Try to get at least the inner thighs together for some, that means the heels won't be. That's all right. Maybe you need a ball or something so you can feel the connection all the way through.

Oh, I'm doing my best not to just ride the carriage or the springs. It's out, and it's a pull in. I often talk about the infinity sign. It's like the energy stays. It just keeps getting pushed onto a new place.

A couple more, let's say. Stay out on this next one and just check yourself out. Are you so gripped in your glutes and hamstrings and legs that you're really rounded upwards? If so, explore perhaps letting your tailbone or your pelvis rest down, then squeeze inward as much as you want and go for that. That's cool.

Come on back, heels wide on the bar. Heels basically near the middle of maybe lower, feet flexed, knees are slightly turned out. Off we go, press and pull in. Out and in. If you really want to search for connections, see if you can imagine that your legs started up somewhere around your sternum.

Heels Wide Second

And imagine that it initiates from somewhere up there. It almost feels like less than your legs at first, but it can be worthwhile. Let's go for three more, one, two, here's three. Come down, same exact thing. Just move your feet down to the balls of the feet.

And off we go, we lengthen out. Check your pelvis, check your grip, but loosen the reins and then draw inward. Here we go. Sorry if I slowed you down there. Off, we go out and we pull in.

Toes Wide Second

Heels are still. I'm gonna do one more after this one. Out and down and then back to parallel. We'll do some calf raises. So we're on the balls of your feet again with the feet a bit part, take it out.

Heels Lower Lift

Both legs down, watch the hyperextension if you do that. Oh, enjoy that. Enjoy that. Imagine you were lengthening out the crown of your head too and rise up and lower down. So word choice there kinda matters. It's not just let yourself down.

It's lower down or work your way down or I don't know. You can think about that, but you're not just dropping. That's what I'm trying to get at. And then just for a few, nothing you'll even... I'll see or you'd see, but try emphasizing one side a tiny bit more, just a little bit.

Just see how that goes and then switch it. And then try to make them even without sacrificing length or reach. Next one, stay up as high as you... Pretty much as you can without rolling the ankles out. And from there you bend, let's say right knee goes to the ceiling, other heel way under.


The lower heel, the left foot in this case, pushes you up, up, up, and you can line up easily. Switch. Take that second. Hips didn't move. Let's go a little quicker. We go up, we go down. We push up. We reach down.

We push up. Yes, yes. That's like all familiar, but I am not familiar with it anymore in that way, if that makes sense. It's like we measure ourselves against the message sometimes. And that's how we know where we need to go next.

Or what we might need to do outside of the studio. I'm giving us four more, one up, two up, three up, four, we're up and we come on down. Whew. I'm taking it down a little bit, like a half spring. I think I did that, yes.

Side Lying Single Leg

So I'm taking it down to three full springs. You might even go lower. I might even go lower in a second. We're gonna lie on our sides, a little untraditional, but something I wanna do. Lying on your side with your head at the headrest, of course, but your shoulder and hands on this side of the shoulder rest.

One foot is, depending on leg length and stuff, you may have to go way forward with the heel or back, but you want to be able to be firm on your heel for this one. You might even need to lift your headrest. Okey-dokey, bottom leg. Let's just pull it up off the foot bar altogether. If you've got really long legs, and I do not, you might feel more comfortable straightening your leg, so that's an option for you.

Here we go. Press out, take a second to get out there and then see what you're doing. In other words, are you rolling back? Are you rolling forward? Are you wedged into either one of those shoulder rests?

Try to line up your hips so one is on top of the other. Your toes are a little bit free and then come down. Let's go. We press out and in. You don't have to come in so far that you have to lift the heel. Out and in.

And out and in. Three more, press out, in, out, in. I should learn to count. Here we go. Now it's a pumping. So it's gonna be 10. It's one and two and three and four, little bigger, five, full six, seven, eight, nine, go all the way on, 10, out, out out.

Side Lying Single Leg Pulses

Prove it. Prove it, prove it, long waist on both sides. Good, come on down. Turn that leg outward. You can move it forward a little, but you probably don't have too much. Kinda wishing I went a little bit lighter at this point. Here we go. Same thing, reach out.

Side Lying Single Leg w/External Rotation

And we don't collapse. We allow or pull ourselves back in. Here's two and in, three, The foot's just kinda stuck there. Just doing six. Here's five. As far as I know.

Here's six. Now, we do the same pumping for 10. If you want a breast patterns. And in, in and out, out and in, in and out, all the way. Oh, welcome home. Switch sides.

Side Lying Single Leg w/External Rotation Pulses

So the setup again is that you wanna be hip stacked. Theoretically, knee parallel to those hips. If you can pull the other knee up, if you want to straighten it out. Check out where your head is once you get set. Off you go, press all the way and you might be able to go further than you think.

Side Lying Single Leg

And that kinda comes from making sure you're not collapsing at the waist. And in. There's two. We did a few more than six on this first version. So hang on with me. Making sure the spine stays as it was when you set yourself up.

Full extension of the knee without just locking it, it can be straight, but it doesn't have to be resting in a locked position. I'm gonna do two more here. And then we came almost all the way down and did our pumping. Let's do 10. Is one and two, and in, in and out, out and in, in.

Side Lying Single Leg Pulses

And I think this is out all the way. While I come down hopefully not much else changes. You just rotate the foot, the whole leg really from the hip upwards, we press out six. One, bring it back. There's two finding the backs of her body.

Side Lying Single Leg w/External Rotation

There's six. I'm inhaling in to start this. And I start on the double exhale for the 10. Here's exhale, exhale now, inhale, exhale, exhale and in, in last two, exhale all the way out. Oh, that's good. I mean, this is all good to me.

Side Lying Single Leg w/External Rotation Pulses

So yourself uptake it down to one and a half or whatever you're used to doing on the hundreds. So maybe you're doing two springs. Makes sense to me, not me though. I'm doing one and a half. I backed down. I'm just going to leave the bar here.


We'll use it again soon. Grab hold of your straps. Clear your shoulders a little bit away from the shoulder rest. I do start with my arms up because I just want to feel this connection from palm to lat. You could do it another way if you want as well.

Both knees are up, put a little resistance on it. We inhale and here or you go exhale, curl everything. I'm shoot the legs out. Or to let them be high. It's inhale two, three, four, or five out. You gotta breathe.

Inhale that's the point and out. Three and out. Four, and out. Here's five. You can get fancy and do something else if you want.

I'm gonna go up to three, four, five. Up two, three, and buy up by me my legs. It's up to you. That's not super fancy I know, but you might know others. Three to go bump, bump, bump. Focus on the breath in...

Hundred w/Legs Lower Lift

Coordination almost just there to spear you up. Oh, is there one more, I think there is one more. Let's do it anyway. Cool. Bend your knees, let your arms come up. Put your feet on the bar, push out and step into it with your right foot.


So the strap is right in the middle of the foot. Once you're there, you get to step into that. So the other foot comes up, left foot is, Situate yourself shouldn't be a whole lot of adjusting and heels are together. Toes are apart, bend like a frog and here's this. This is worse I think, I ended up checking yourself out.

Sometimes I take the two thumbs and just put them in the crevice of the ... The difference between the thigh and the pelvis and let the thighs come in. Hopefully not letting the butt curl up. That's about where we want to come. Some of you will be able to come away and go for it.

Why not? It's your body. Now without over exerting, just straighten the legs back. You can exert as much as you want on the inner side closing, but let's just see what happens. If it's like use as little as you need and stay under control. And then put your hands down when it feels right or sit ever did.

I got my feet flexed. It's like I'm drawing the wall into me and I'm pushing it away. I'm in charge, that'll be the day. But it feels like it right now and it feels great. So look for that in yourself as well.

I'm going to do just two more. There's one, pull in. Staying out there on this next one, just stay there. Let the legs come up. For the record, I still have them ever so slightly turned out.

Leg Circles

You don't have to, but I do, ever so slightly though. Now here's that thing again. The crease at the hip, heats the pelvis down so you didn't roll your spine. There's no difference in the pressure on your low back, separate the feet, nothing changed and then bring them back together, down low. So it's a bit of a circle.

It's a bit of a square, depending on your situation. Here we go. I'm inhaling, drumming both legs up. Separate and exhale. And honestly it's been long enough, certainly on this reformer, that it's worse kinda taking that little pause at the top to see if I can stay under control as I open.

How about three more. Stirred up. So we're at the top. Let's go down for a second. Sorry I didn't know what to say there. Often around, would come together and then pull down.

Open around. You can go really wide. If you're really flexible, I'd encourage you to hold back a little because that will be different. Try to push it without changing your spine or pelvis if you can. I'll call three more from here. One.

Two and three. I am gonna do a little short spine here. Put your head, rest down if it's up. Some springs out, it'd be pretty good. We started in that frog position and here's acute.

Everyone does a little different so feel free to do your own version or come with me. We press out two straight legs. I'm gonna keep my hips down as long as I can. Fold over until I feel that stopper. Yes, my hips are trying. They have to come up a little off.

Short Spine

That's just me, but I'm not just letting them. Now we roll up the spine. This carriage doesn't move. We're standing on our arms a little bit. We connect to the back. Stay lifted in your body, but bend the knees like a frog again.

Melt your way down. Roll your way down. Get yourself down. Whatever you have to do without pulling on the carriage. When you've gone as low as you can select your feet. Call up those hammies and bring it back to the start.

Exhale, fold it over, inhale. Once you've hit a roll up. It's like you're not pulling on the straps, but you're in concert with them. Bend the knees from the top of your throat, your spine, roll down. When you've gone as low as you can, flex the feet and drag or pull the whole thing over.

Continuing that motion, off we go, press out. Inhale, exhale up, up, up, up, up. Bend, Roll it down. Flex the feet and bring it over. Can we do one more? Press out.

Stay connected to the back of the legs if you're there now even though you're stretching them. It's a little bit of a play. Up you go, peeling up, bend to frog. Not so low. So low anyway.

Roll down. Roll down. Roll down, finish it where are we started. From here, reach through grab the straps we'll do a little coordination. And again with it, you can do with the arms bend. I'm gonna do it the same way I did before with the hundred.


Check that your shoulders, the back of your shoulders are still on the mat and it goes like this. We exhale, curl up as if we were doing the a hundred, keep reaching forward. Open-close, bend the knees and come on all the way back down head touches. Exhale everything, shoots forward and close the legs. The legs, open, close bend, kind of a quick there and come on down, theoretically, all on one breath cycle.

It goes, exhale up. Keep exhaling, open, close, now inhale. Drag those knees in and come down. Exhale. Go right back. Open closed bend, inhale.

Again, open, close, bend. And open, close, bend, keep reaching into those handles. And down last one, we go push, open, close. Bend, bend, bend, reach for it, reach for it. Put your forehead on your knees. Just sort of kidding.

And you might be able to put your straps away. Come on up, let's do a little stretch here. I'm going to come up to a kneeling lunge. As eat lunch, kneeling lunge, It's not kneeling lunch. Do this. Put your knee on the carriage.

Lunge Stretch

I have my left knee on, right foot is forward near the leg of the year reformer. And then something I had to work on a lot was to get.. And still do to be honest. Try to get the whole foot on the shoulder block and keep it there. Ooh, it's been awhile. I should have come home sooner.

From here, by the way, I'm gonna take off one spring cause I don't need any more. It's okay to leave it, but I'm gonna leave it down on one full spring. It's this biasing towards a tucked pelvis. So pubic bone kinda aiming towards your sternum. It won't look like my back is rounded, but it's the energy that I'm putting into it.

Hands on the bar. And without just going back, I'm gonna start to slide the carriage away from me, keeping exactly what I just set up everywhere else or at least trying to. And that's where that foot comes into play. Use that surface area to push into it. If you're really dropped into it, you're gonna feel it in your back.

We're not doing that, We're just hanging out there for a minute. You can push as much as you want in fact. And now going to drop more weight into my hands, a tiny bit and really push with the leg till the knee comes off and hopefully get the knee straight. But nothing else changed. Well, there's a stretch I haven't done in awhile.

And then just allow the carriage to come in enough to set the knee down. Let's do it again. Go right back out. Nice long leg. And then bring it back in. From here, probably don't have to come in all the way maybe, but now just shift your hips back together and it's straightened up like this on the ground.

And the real trick here is lifting the tailbone a bit, getting the back flat. It's not necessarily going for a straight split. In fact you might feel it more if you don't go for that. Think of lifting or separating maybe the distance between your... If your right foot's on the floor, your right sit bone and heel.

Hamstring Stretch

Those two are getting as far apart as possible. And then we'll just switch sides. Carefully, she says. Put on. I'm taking my time because it's not easy and I will roll one way or the other.

Lunge Stretch

And I learned how important that is and how in a good way. Okay, here we are. Knees down. Let's think of that bias of the tuck. Start to push the carriage away. You can drop into the forward knee. No big deal.

Kinda easy on the hands. Come in a little bit, kinda lighten up on it. Let's go again, check your foot and go again. If you're up for it, this is that chance to use the surface area of the bottom of your foot. And you get to just nothing else changes.

It's just, can you push the carriage away and get the leg straight? And breathe and be happy or something. Let the knee bend. So it touches and you get a little support there. You can even come forward a bit.

I'm doing it again though right away. Off we go, forward leg is just helping to support. Let the knee come down. This is where we just start to shift back. And I know it's not a bad idea to check that your hips are level.

Hard to do in this position but think about it anyway. Start to straighten the forward leg. And this is another one of those ones that even if you didn't straighten the forward knee, you could have a bent as long as your back is flat and you try to square off the hips. You're probably going to get a decent stretch. Some of you will look like you or can go further, but look for it, you know, really reach up and down.

Hamstring Stretch

Ready oh, bring it on home. We are going to go into arm work. This is no... You're gonna want this light. And this is sidearm or sidearms kneeling.

Single Arm Press

I would not go for most of us more than a blue or a what? Some of us call a half of a spring. If you have a yellow spring, you might even try that on a couple of them. Yellow, a lot of people don't have. So just take care of yourself.

We're coming right in next to the shoulders. Be careful when you get back on. (Kristi panting) Here's what we're doing. Look at your hand, it's right by your ear. Maybe even touch your ear for a second.

It's not going to stay there, but it's going to come away a little bit. The rest of you is lined up, elbows probably in front of that spring rather than way behind you. So you're having that already an external rotation. This might be one of the harder ones and we're aiming for straight up. That's all I got.

If I were to really focus on only getting straight, I'd have to lean. So I'm not gonna do that to myself or my shoulder specifically. Straight up and down. Straight up and down. Straight up, what's your back doing and not leaning back.

Your whole body's gonna wanna compensate for this. Let's go one more time. Switch hands. It's also is a hard one, depending on how many times you've jumped and fallen off a trampoline. Here's the deal though.

Drawing a Sword

I'm starting with the... I'm grabbing it. If your handles even better probably, but my fist is about mid chest, this version. Elbows is high, hopefully shoulder didn't go with it. And now it's like a Frisbee toss and I'm gonna take my hand on the spring or the strap and help me to make sure I'm okay with this spring until I go out.

You could throw in the wrist on it. I'm not doing that today. Meaning you could round the wrist then the elbow, then come back. But today I'm just gonna leave the wrist straight. And it's two and in rear depth, kind of where, if you're thinking muscles or you might be thinking to start.

Just two more. No big deal, right? Sort of. I'm gonna give you one tip. There's a real strong tendency, right about here to dip the elbow, try not to do that. Should I give you one more so you can focus on that move, call it six.

It's pull right here when you go to extend it, try not to drop that elbow. Boom. Stay on the side. Stay with the strap in that hand. Move yourself out so that your knees are closer to the edge. Do your best to get your hips over your heels.

Single Arm Tricep Press

Knees are still in line with the shoulder blocks. Open up that arm. Oh boy, oh boy, what was I thinking? Where's that yellow spring when I need it? From here, you're looking down, all I'm gonna do once my arm is overhead, is basically trace up, straighten the arm, bend it. And you really do wanna try for straight here, but again, not at the expense of change in much else.

Here's three. (Kristi panting) I have to do six otherwise I'll forget what we did on the other side. There's five. Is it last one? Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. I'll work on it.

Five was the magic number it seems. Put that away, carefully step off, let's go the other side. So we started with our knee right up against the shoulder rest. The hand that just worked, it's still working. Do your best to stay aligned, to not leaning back or forward.

Single Arm Press

Pitching at the hips. There's all sorts of things the body will do to help us stay alive. Hand pretty close to your ear so that you can... Anyway here we go up. Not quite a straight from me, but that's okay.

I'm still feeling the sense of the shoulder blade sort of dropping first as my fingertips at least try to stay on the same plane. They're not going over my head. There's three. Should we do six on this side too? I mean six on this one. I'm not sure, but we're going to try for it. I believe that'll be five.

Check yourself out. Here we go. Woo. Stay here but switch hands. Get a good grip on it. Make it in the middle of your palm, not your fingers.

Drawing a Sword

That's a whole different experience. Wow. That looks fun. Alright. Initiating from again, the back of the body, we almost Frisbee toss it out. I say that like I play Frisbee and pull and reach.

We did talk about the elbow not dropping in order to accomplish this. Once you've gone as far as you can you literally just follow that line. A couple more. This might be six, but I'm not sure. So I'm going to do one more.

If not, you just get to start setting up for the next one, which is to move your knees. Here it is. Boom. Okay. Then we come all the way back in. We carefully slide ourselves out of it.

It can go all the way to the shoulder or to the edge of the carriage to do that just means you'll be in more of a lateral flection stretch. It's up to you. Other hand is on the shoulder block. Find your center first. You're not pitching away.

Single Arm Tricep Press

You're over yourself as much as you can be, then you open up. If that's all you did and you got to stretch, you're probably in good shape. Let's go press up one, looking down. Two. Do your best to not move that upper arm in and a way or either way.

And it's not six do one more and come on back. Set it down. Almost there. I am gonna change it down from a half a spring. It was on a half a spring, I'm going to one full. So just a slight bit heavier just to support my shoulder and this version that we're gonna do of mermaid.

Mermaid w/Rotation

Come onto your carriage, sitting on one side with your shins right up against the shoulder blocks. And this is one of those times where it really feels good to almost push into the shoulder block as a anchor, as a oppositional force. That makes the rest just really delicious I think. Hand is on the bar, pretty much near the middle of it. but maybe a little more forward and you'll take care of your shoulder.

Here's what we do we gonna push out, keeping the body as upright as possible until the arm is straight. So at the moment, I'm not on the carriage from here. Let's enjoy it. We go. It's both my arm dropping, my shoulder dropping and my shin pressing. And now I have those contact points that I'm gonna just hang on to. As we rotate the spine all the way, as much as you can, if you want to grab on you can or just get near it, reopen and come up.

Coming to that original starting position where maybe you're not on the stopper, your arms, stay straight. Push out, rotate, take it from the ribs. Take it from the ribs. The arm is just sort of your guide is not the thing that gets you there. Pull the abs in.

She says to herself, reopen and come up. Again press it out. Get long through the spine. Now it makes it easier to rotate, rotate, rotate, reopen, and come up. We'll do a slightly different version there.

Coming up, let's go. Open one more time, this is four. It is this one I know. Rotate, rotate, rotate. Now do what you can even if you have to come in a little to see what you can do to get both hands on the bar, you might have to move that initial hand over. And then it's a subtle downward pressure.

Mermaid w/Rotation and Extention

Looking forward to the wall in front of you. As you go into some back extension, even though the shin is still anchored on that shoulder block, you only get one. So try to find some joy in it, take it back down. Maybe your head will come between your ears. Maybe that's excessive.

Maybe you need to wiggle the hand back toward the middle reopen and come on up. Once you get there, you can hang onto the shoulder block or the other thing, been awhile. Arm goes up, lift up. Someone pulls you up and then enjoy some form of stretch. Play with that, other side.

Side Bend Stretch

I just flipped from here. I Just turn toward the shoulder blocks. And then I know where I am, which these days matters. No, don't ask me what day it is, but at least I know which way I need to go. Shoulders down, arms out.

Mermaid w/Rotation

I have to push out a little bit to get that initial lat contraction. And then from there, it's sort of just like a continuation of that same sensation. I'm exhaling to rotate, reopen and then it's like lift yourself back up. Keep your connections outward, go number two. Pay attention to your head, it's kinda hard to do when you're moving through things.

But like right here, when you're opened up again, is your head straight up or is it in line with the rest of your spine? I come up, there's little things you can think about that make a difference. Number three. So here two, as your ribs turn, your head is connected to your spine as are your ribs. So this will take it with you.

Reopen and up. Here's the one when we did that last little GC back extension piece. Take it out. Turn it. You may have to come in to find place for your hand.

You may have to move the other one so that you can move it all. And this is where it's just nice. And again, I have the heel of my hand there. I have the shin pressing into the shoulder block even as the shoulder block comes toward the foot bar. Oh.

Mermaid w/Rotation and Extention

Mary sometimes talks about, Meredith my good friend, girl time. Anyway, she'll sometimes pull and push and right now it's totally what I want. So I'm doing it. Thank you, Meredith. Let go of those hands and not let go, but lighten up on the grip. Take it back down so you can adjust that initial hand back toward the middle reopen and come on up for that other stretch where you held onto the shoulder block, you tried to get your arms straight up.

Side Bend Stretch

You kept going up. I'm not so worried about the shoulder creeping up. I'm not worried about anything to be honest, just enjoy. Last thing, a little back extension, kinda lot of back extension, tiny bit more arms. So what we'll do, is you kinda want it light and even you strong folks, try it light first and then you can prove me wrong if you want.

Pulling the Risers

But we're really trying to go for back extension. Not so much the arms, although you'll get both. I am going to do a blue, a half. I wanna come home and feel comfortable when I get home and I wanna do it well. And so again, some of you guys can do it, but make sure that focus isn't the arms.

Cause even if you focus only on the arms, it won't be enough. Knees are at the shoulder blocks once again. And we're just gonna walk ourselves out to the risers. If you don't have risers, what you get to do is hold the frame. Yeah, that's it.

So here we go. I'm just kinda taking a second before I start waddling out there and engage through the middle, take myself out, find my risers and then as best I can, I'm gonna straighten my arms or almost straight. And then it's literally just pulling through those risers. If you're on... If you don't have rises, you'll be going on a downward slope, that's okay.

Elbows are natural for me. I'm not pointing them straight back. I'm not pointing them super wide either. If anything, I'm slightly pointing them wide intentionally. But now here's the thing. We talk back extension.

You kinda hang onto the front of your body, your ribs, and you think about looking forward, but not so much just with your eyes or face as if your chest could somehow reach through an up like a reverse chest lift almost. A couple more. One more. And then let yourself find the frame and walk yourself back. From here, find a comfortable way to sit.

I was thinking of just stay right here. But I think what I'd rather do is either have my feet on the floor cross-legged. I'm gonna go cross-legged because less can go wrong from me, but you could have just sat on your knees as well. So whichever works best for you. We're just gonna finish this with a bit more back extension and maybe I'll turn sideways.

Chest Opening

You don't have to just try to make my point. Sitting comfortably, you can be in a diamond. You're tall, your arms are like holding a serving platter or elbows next to your body with the palm up is another way of saying that. I'm here, we're just going to send the arms forward. We're gonna reach them out without collapsing.

We're just gonna reach them out, but as they get near our side, right about here, in line with the body, start to lift your chest and look up. Then once you can feel, if you can feel that upper back a little bit, you could take your hands a little further and squeeze those shoulder blades together. Really go for it. It's okay. You can squeeze them. Go ahead and then relax it, bring it back to the start, serve it out.

You're tall. It's like we did it. And then we're opening allowing for more room and more space and reminding herself that upper back hangs on to so much for us. Once you're around the side of your body, this is where you've lift more in the spine. Then if you have it in you, you look up along with that and squeeze the shoulder blades. Release and come back.

And from there, I'm just gonna face you. Wherever you're sitting is fine. Just take a deep breath in, exhale out. One more time, inhale in, feel good about the time you took for yourself. And I hope you will come back again, back to yourself, home, back here to Pilates Anytime.

Breathing w/ Arms

See you again. Thank you.

Pilates with Kristi Cooper: Reformer Workouts


1 person likes this.
Hello Kristi, I am so happy to see you in the studio, I am happy to see vawes behind you. In our country are studios closed again...
Never mind, I have a reformer at home and I have Anytime. Nice word, "Anytime".  Stay negative, Kristi!
1 person likes this.
Nice class, thank you.
Catherine R
1 person likes this.
Loved this - thank you Kristi - from sunny England.
1 person likes this.
Love seeing more reformer
1 person likes this.
Thanks for a joy filled class, Kristi!  Even with the plethora of reformer classes on the site, it was wonderful to have a new one!
2 people like this.
yayayayayay.....PA studio is back!   Thank you thank you!
3 people like this.
Great class! Nice to see you back in the studio! 
Karen P
1 person likes this.
Thank you for a wonderful new class!!
3 people like this.
What a gift! This was on the home page when I opened and it was just what I needed today, thank you so much!
Robin S
1 person likes this.
perfect as always . Thank you
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