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Class #4329

Playful and Creative

30 min - Class


Gia Calhoun invites you to play with her in this creative flow from The Pilates Daily. She works your entire body in this condensed class with fun challenges throughout the workout. This is the perfect class for the end of the week where you can just enjoy and take pleasure in the work!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Feb 16, 2021
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Hi, I'm Gia, and today we're gonna play on the Reformer. This class is great for the end of the week when you just want to have fun and play so let's get started. So we're gonna start with footwork. I have my Reformer spring set up for three reds and one blue. Feel free to do whatever springs you'd like. My head rest is up because I prefer it that way.

So just make sure you're working to what you prefer on your body. So we're gonna start on our heels I have my legs glued together but you can come hip distance apart if you'd like and then we're gonna just take a deep inhale as you stretch long exhale to come back in. So my heels are just at the top of the foot bar. If I wasn't connected to the foot bar it would feel like they were gonna slide off so this is a good way to make sure you're connected to the equipment, really standing on your feet as you're moving. Good, we have four more.

Just feeling the pelvis grounded into the mat. Finding that length in the legs, the hug into the midline, last one. Good, staying parallel, come onto your toes lift your heels up as high as you can and then stretch long and then back in. So I'm trying to keep my heels up as much as I can, like I was in high, high stilettos or trying to reach for that top shelf because I'm fairly short. And stretch, and in.

Trying to just get the legs active my abs are already engaged, one more. Staying on the toes, we're gonna turn the legs out. The heels together, toes apart all five toes on the bar and stretch long and then coming back in, oops. Stretch, and in. So I'm trying to keep my chin up so I'm not letting my chin come down to my chest.

So a habit I have to look at my feet to make sure I'm centered but once I've made sure I'm centered I try to remember to look up to the ceiling again. So that way, nothing is getting shortened. Four more. And three, resisted in two last one, good, come all the way in. We're gonna bring your feet to your heels wide on the foot bar, second position turning out from the hips stretch long and then coming back in.

Again, I'm trying to push into those heels really stand on them on the foot bar. So I'm not just going through the motions. I'm really staying active with my feet. And stretch and in. Trying to maintain that neutral pelvis especially in this turned out position.

Four more. Good, and three getting a nice flow and rhythm in here. Last one. Good, we're gonna go into tendon stretch we're gonna do a little progression. So you're gonna start on your toes, parallel push all the way out lower your heels down one time lift them back up, bend your knees come all the way in.

And we're gonna go into two, stretch all the way out lower and lift two times. And lift. Lower, and lift, bend your knees, come in to three, and stretch out we lower, and lift lower, lift, last one. Good, bend all the way in four times. And lower, try to think of your glutes pulling you up, your abs pulling you up.

It's not just moving in the ankles, one more. Bend your legs, come all the way in five, and stretch. And we lower. Lift, really hug those legs together three and four five, bend your legs. Last time, we're doing six and stretch, good long legs.

And two three, keeping that control you're not just dropping in the heels five and six, bend your legs, come all the way in. Good, shake it out. And then feet back onto the foot bar parallel on your toes push all the way out and we'll go for a nice little run. Lower one heel and switch. So the bent leg is facing up the ceiling.

You're passing through the center every time. You should really feel those calves now after the tendon stretch. So now is your chance to kinda stretch out a little bit while we're still working through. We're gonna do four more sets. We have four and three two last set, both heels up, bend your knees come all the way in.

So come on up, we're gonna change the springs. Gonna have just two red springs on and then we're gonna lie down and go into a hundred. So we're gonna do a little progression with the legs. So I'm gonna start with the legs in tabletop arms are gonna come over the shoulders take a deep inhale, as you exhale just push your arms down, curl up keep your legs where they are. From here, you're gonna pump your arms to a hundred.

So inhale and exhale, squeeze the legs together. Inhale, keep curling up, exhale. Keep pumping the arms, stretch the legs up to the ceiling. And exhale. Inhale and exhale.

Lower just one leg, inhale toward the foot bar and exhale. Inhale, and exhale, scissor the legs to switch. Inhale and exhale, keep curling the chest up. Inhale, and exhale both legs over the foot bar inhale, and exhale squeeze the legs together, last set and exhale, and hold, curl up a little higher and then come all the way in. And then hang up your straps.

So we're gonna lie down on one side. You can choose how you want to have your head. I like my head on the headrest and just holding on to the little pole behind the shoulder rest. If you want to have your arm through you can have the headrest flat. You can lie on your elbow whatever feels best for you.

So my hips are toward the back of the carriage. My top leg is gonna be on the foot bar toward the front my bottom leg is gonna reach out underneath the foot bar. So I have that bottom leg out long. It's not resting on the platform, I'm lifting it up so I'm using that inner thigh to lift it up. Keeping the knee in line with the foot I'm just gonna push out and then all the way in.

Pushing out, so I'm trying to use the back of this leg, the top leg to push out so it's not just my quad doing it. I'm using my glutes. And push out and in. Out, that bottom leg is still lifting up slightly. I'm pulling into my abs trying to have a little space underneath my waist so it stays long.

Hold it out in this next one. Bottom leg lifts up to the foot bar. Lift, and lower. Lift, good, so I'm not, trying not to shift my hips at all. I'm just using this inner thigh to lift.

We have four, and three two hold it up, we're gonna hold for five, four, three two, one, lower it down come all the way in. Good, turning out this leg. So I'm gonna come onto that heel knee is again, in line with the toes. Turning out from the hips, keeping the hips stacked. Same thing, I'll push all the way out and then back in.

This bottom leg is still lifted so it's not dragging on the frame. Good. Then using the glutes to push out. We have four more. And three two last one, good halfway in little pulses here for five four three two one, stretch all the way out one more time.

Get a little length. And then come back in. Good. Bend that bottom leg. We're gonna come over to the other side.

And then lie with your hips toward the back. However you prefer, top leg is the front of the foot bar, parallel. Bottom leg is reaching out underneath. And then you're gonna push all the way out. And then back in.

So I'm gonna have a space underneath my waist my hips are stacked one on top of the other trying to find length. Pulling into the abdominals now that they're already warm. That bottom leg is lifting so that inner thigh is active. We have four more. Three.

Think of pushing into that heel to get into the back side of the leg hold this one out, bottom leg lifts up and lower, lift. So you'll notice one side feels easier than the other and that's normal. Three more. And two, hold this next one up. Hold for five four, three two one, lower down with control, bend your leg turn the top leg out, knees over the toes and then you'll push out, and in.

So I'm turning out from the hip socket trying to use my glute to push. Really pushing into the heel, into the foot bar. And three more. Two last one, little pulses for five, four three, two one, stretch all the way out and then come all the way in. Lie on your back.

We're gonna do a little figure four stretch. So whichever leg you did first cross that leg over the opposite pull that leg into your chest. Breath into that stretch. And then we'll switch sides. Crossing the leg over the opposite knee pull that opposite leg in.

Sometimes I like to use my elbow to push this knee out to the side just to get a deeper stretch which is always an option for you if you'd like it. Hug both knees into your chest come on up, and then we're gonna grab the long box. So, we're gonna do a little seated series. For this one, I'm gonna use just a blue. Just 'cause I want it a little bit lighter for some of the single arm work we're gonna do but feel free to use a red if you'd like.

So I'm sitting in the middle of my box and then I have my feet on the edge of the carriage with my feet flexed just so I don't let the feet dangle. You can also have your feet off the edge especially if you're taller and you can cross your ankles just try not to let your feet kinda swing around while we're moving. So you're gonna grab the strap that's in front you're gonna put it in the hand that's further away from it and then wrap the other hand around that hand. Sitting up nice and tall, we're trying to use the obliques, not the arms. So it's like you're holding a big beach ball and you're just gonna twist from your waist and then come back to center.

Twist from the waist toward the foot bar and then back to center. So obviously the arms are working because you are holding them up here. But I want you to focus on initiating your twist from your waist and not just pulling that arm toward the foot bar. Good, trying to stay over my hips without leaning. The tendency is to lean toward the foot bar to move.

So you want to stay as vertical as you can. Two more. Last one. Good, now we're gonna have the strap in the hand closest to it. So if you want to make it a little bit harder you can scoot away from the strap.

We're gonna bring this elbow into the side. You can also choke up on the strap if you need to. So elbow into your side, palm is facing front, you want to try to keep the shoulder rotated out. I like to hold onto the strap on the side too just to give me a little bit more stability. And you're just gonna bring the hand forward and then open.

So that elbow stays into your side the whole time. Again, watch out for leaning. So you don't want to lean away from it or toward it. You're staying vertical. Try not to let the shoulder round forward keep it nice and open.

Two more. Watch out for that wrist bending as well. Good, now we're gonna switch so the hand's back in the strap if you had it onto the loop. I'm gonna just come a little bit closer 'cause this one's a little bit more challenging for me. This elbow's gonna come right in front of your shoulder.

Again, I'm trying to keep the shoulder open and away from my ear. I'm still holding onto the side of the box with the other hand. I'm gonna bring the arm up as far as I can and down. So upper body strength is not my forte. So if you can get your arm all the way up to vertical, go for it.

So this is about as far as I can go without letting that shoulder come up. Just two more. Last one. Good, hanging up that strap. We're gonna turn to the other side.

So again, I'm sitting toward the middle of the box. My feet are on the frame just pushing my heels in. So that way I don't let the feet dangle around and twist. I'm holding the strap in the opposite hand away from the strap, of the one closest to the foot bar. And then my other hand's just wrapping around the hand.

I'm sitting up as tall as I can. I'm starting with my hands just in front of my chest and then from my obliques I'm gonna turn to face the foot bar and then back to the center. So I'm trying not to shift my hips at all. And I'm trying not to lean. Just nice rotation.

Good, and make sure your arms stay in this nice round shape. So you're not bringing your hands toward your chest. That would pop your beach ball. You want to keep that beach ball in front of you. And twist and center.

Just whatever breathing works for you is best. I like to exhale as I twist because I find it gives me a little bit more rotation. Two more. Last one. Good, I'm gonna scoot toward the foot bar just a little bit.

And then I'm gonna hold onto the loop higher up. My elbows into my side. I'm holding onto the strap of the box with the opposite hand. Keeping the shoulders open I'm gonna bring the arm forward and then back out to the side making sure my wrist stays open or stays straight I should say. So it's just like a door swinging open and closed.

Four more. And three two trying to keep the weight even on both sit bones. Good, now I'm gonna come a little bit closer to the strap for the last one. Bringing my hand back in the loop still holding onto the side of the box with the opposite hand. I'm gonna bring this elbow right in front of my shoulder and then try to lift it up and down.

So I'm trying to keep that elbow facing front not out to the side. And I'm trying to keep that shoulder away from my ear as I lift the arm up. Waist is long on both sides. Last two. And last one.

Good, hang up that strap. We're gonna come into your hands and knees. So for this next exercise I'm gonna lower the foot bar down just so it's out of the way. We just don't want to kick it at all. I'm gonna stay on this blue spring but feel free to go up to a red if you'd like.

The hardest part of this one is the setup. So I'm gonna start with my left leg in the center of the box. My right foot's gonna come to the frame. I'm gonna grab this right strap with my right hand and then I'm gonna pull it, try to get my foot inside that strap and then my other hand's gonna come to the front corner of the box. So my right leg is straight with my foot in the strap.

My left leg is right in the center of the box. Trying to keep my hips as square as I can. My back as long as it can be. I'm gonna bring that leg back just in line with my hip and then back down to the side of the carriage. So I'm not going into extension with my back I'm just trying to get it in line with my hip.

And pull back. So this is actually working your full body. It's working your shoulders. I'm pushing up out of my arm so I'm not sinking into my shoulders, pulling up into my abdominals for support trying to keep my hips square and then working the legs as I'm moving the right leg and stabilizing with my left. Two more.

Hold this last one back try to keep the back of the neck long. Open this leg out to the side. And then bring it back behind you. Open it out. And then bring it back.

Just go as far as you can. It doesn't have to come all the way out and it doesn't have to stay hip high. Just go where you can. One more. And then slowly bring that leg forward down by the side of the carriage bring your foot back to the frame and then you can safely take that foot out of the strap and come back to the stopper.

Other side. So I'm gonna bring that knee that's gonna be on the box to the center. I'm gonna bring that other foot onto the frame. Pull it in a little bit so I can get that foot on the strap. Set up is the hardest part.

So once I have my foot in the strap both hands on the front corners of the box. That leg is straight. I'm trying to keep my hips and shoulders square with a long spine. And I'm gonna pull the leg back in line with my hips and then bring it back to the side of the frame. Pull back.

And forward. Again, watch the neck. So I'm looking down toward the floor. I'm trying not to look up or in front of me, which is where I want to look. But that will shorten the back of my neck.

Also don't want to took toward my legs because then that will round my back and I want to keep it as long as I can. Two more. Push up out of those shoulders keep that upper body nice and strong hold this one back. We're gonna bring the leg out to the side. And then bring it behind you.

And to the side, try not to lean to counterbalance. Trying to stay as centered as I can. We have two more. Last one. And then bring that leg forward.

Carefully bring it to the frame and then we can take that foot out. Good, we're just gonna come to a little child's pose on the box. So feet together, knees apart. And then just hang for a second. Roll up and then we're gonna take the box away.

We're gonna do a little roll back on the carriage. So again, you can do a red spring if you'd like. I'm gonna stick with my blue. Makes it a little bit more challenging. And then, I'm gonna sit with my feet on the head rest and then I'm pretty close to the shoulder rest.

Just like, little bit more than hand distance away. So you want to make sure you have space to roll back because that's what's gonna support you as you do your roll back. So I'm gonna grab onto the taped part of these straps just at the ropes. And then my feet are together my knees are apart in a little diamond. These are gonna be diamond rollbacks.

So starting with a straight spine I'm gonna round the low back starting with the tailbone coming under and then I'm gonna roll just to my shoulder blades. Once I get here, I'm gonna take a deep inhale exhale to roll me back up. And then sit up tall. Sitting tall, tailbone under, roll down. And then roll up as you exhale.

Lengthen the spine, tailbone under. So the lighter it is the harder it's gonna be. If you need a little more assistance feel free to make it heavier. It will give you a little more help on the way up especially. Roll back.

And then back up. So we're gonna add onto this. So you're gonna roll back and hold just to that little chest lift position. Shoulder blades are off the mat. We're gonna lift the right leg up stay in this diamond shape, lower it down.

Left leg lifts up, and lower. Right leg up. And left. Think of lifting from your core. And left, one more each side, right.

And left, both feet down. Take a deep inhale exhale roll all the way up. And lengthen the spine. Same thing, roll back we're gonna add on. So you can keep doing what you were just doing or you can lift both legs up and lower.

Lift, and lower. Two more. Last one. Both feet down, take a deep inhale exhale, roll up. Lengthen the spine.

Roll back again. You can stick with what you were doing before. We're gonna lift both legs up stretch the legs out to parallel bend back to your diamond lower it down. Feet come up, stretch to parallel bend to your diamond, lower. Two more, stretch out bend, lower, last one.

Lift, stretch then lower, take a deep inhale exhale, roll up. One more set, we got it. Take a deep inhale exhale, roll down find that chest lift position. This time you're gonna lift your upper body and your legs. So you're gonna lift your legs stretch them out bend back to your diamond lower it down.

So everything is moving together and lower. Two more, lift. Stretch, bend, lower, last one. Stretch, bend lower, from here just let your head come back a little bit. Watch your hair if it's long so it doesn't get caught in the springs.

And then chin to your chest roll all the way up one bone at a time. Lengthen the spine at the top and then we'll hang up your straps. So come on up. We're gonna turn around, I'm gonna change my springs. So I'm gonna put on just a red spring.

Take off anything else you'd like. We're gonna do some planks. If you want to make it more challenging you can always do a blue, or a lighter. That will be more challenging on your abdominals and more challenging in terms of stability. But if you want a little bit more work in your arms or a little bit more stabilization in your core you can do a red and a blue or two reds.

So, I'm gonna bring my hands on the foot bar and I'm gonna have my feet against the shoulder rest. Finding that long plank position I'm just gonna hold it for a second. Try to keep the shoulders down glutes are engaged, legs are long. Trying to keep the back of my neck long too. I noticed myself looking up a bit.

And then from here, once I'm stable I'm gonna push back from my arms and then come forward over the foot bar. Trying to stay in one long line the whole time. I'm really pushing my heels into that shoulder rest to keep that connection to the equipment. Two more. Last one.

Good, come on down. Shake out your wrists. We're gonna change it up a little bit. So we're gonna come back to the plank. This time we're gonna bring the knees in and out.

Almost like a knee stretch. So find that plank position. You can cheat your hands forward a little bit so it doesn't bend your wrists too much. Keep your upper body where it is and you're just gonna pull your knees in and out. In and out.

In, out trying to keep that spine long and neutral. We've got four more. Three two last one. Come all the way in, lower your knees down with control. Shake out your wrists, whoo! Getting shaky in there.

So we have one more. And this time we're gonna go into a pike. So find that plank position again. I'm gonna push back just a little bit. So the springs are open.

And then from here I'm gonna pike my hips up and then lower down. So this time, I'm pivoting at my shoulders in addition to moving at my hips. Lift and lower. Think of the head diving through the arms or between the arms, I should say. We have two more.

Lower. Last one. And then with control, come on down. We're gonna have your feet together, knees apart. Keep your hands on the foot bar and just push back into a child's pose.

Just give your shoulders and your back a nice stretch. Come all the way into the stopper, roll up. And then we're gonna go into scooter. So I'm gonna add a blue spring on so I have one red, one blue. I'm gonna have my standing foot kind of in the middle of the carriage and then my foot that's on the carriage, it's right against the shoulder rest.

So I want to keep my hips square my legs are parallel and then I have a long spine. So I'm not rounding I'm not arching. It's just a nice, neutral spine. So with this knee off the carriage this standing leg is slightly bent so I don't lock it and I'm just gonna push the leg back and in. So I'm thinking of using my glutes and hamstring to push.

Out, and my abs are controlling it in. Out, and in. We have two more. Last one. Good, come all the way in.

I'm gonna turn this standing leg out just slightly from the hips. The leg on the carriage, I'm gonna bring that to the top of the other shoulder rest. Try not to have it at the bottom because that's gonna put a lot of pressure on your ankle. I have it at the top so that way I can turn out naturally and not overdo it. And then from here, with a flexed foot I'm gonna push through that heel, push out. So it's gonna work your glutes a little bit more.

Still trying to keep my shoulders square. The hips are open a little bit. But I'm trying not to overdo it with that rotation. Pulling into the abs to come in. We have four more.

The standing leg is still slightly bent. Last two. And last one. Bring it all the way in. Bring that foot back to the original shoulder rest.

Bring that knee down to the mat and then the other leg is gonna come forward. I'm gonna take off the blue spring bend that standing leg and go into an eve's lunge. Just stretch out that hip flexor lift the chest. Tailbone is reaching down. Front of the hip is reaching up.

And then come all the way in. I'm gonna walk over to the other side. So I'm gonna add that blue spring back on. Again, my standing leg is about halfway in between the carriage. Or, in the middle of the carriage I should say.

And then the other foot is right against the shoulder rest. I have this knee off the carriage. My standing leg is slightly bent so I don't lock it and then I have a long, neutral spine. From my heel, I'm gonna push back and in. So I'm trying to work the back of that leg out and in.

Good. We have four three, control it, in two, try not to let your weight go with you just pushing out and in. Now I'm gonna turn out that standing leg from the hip, just slightly. The other leg is gonna go to the top of that opposite shoulder rest. Turning out from the hip trying to keep the knee in line with the toes again.

And then from here, I push out and in. Again, make sure you're not letting your weight go with you. I'm staying over the standing leg and just letting that leg push out and in from the hip. We have four more. Three two last one, come all the way in.

Bring that foot back to the original shoulder rest. Bring the standing leg forward and parallel. Take off the blue spring and then as you tuck the hip under you'll push back into a nice lunge. Try to relax the shoulders down. Open the chest.

And breathe into that stretch. One more deep breath here. So come all the way in. And then you're all finished. Thank you for taking class with me.

See you next time.

The Pilates Daily: A Class for Each Day of the Week: On the Reformer


Thank you,great
3 people like this.
Another great one. I love these they’re just perfect! Thank you Gia! you are such a good teacher
2 people like this.
Another fun, 30-minute reformer class. My hips feel wonderful. Thanks again, Gia. 
1 person likes this.
Another great one! Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Fun, creative classes Gia! Thank you!
1 person likes this.
That was great 
Ines J
1 person likes this.
Super Clase! saludos desde Ciudad de Mexico... Gracias bonita
2 people like this.
These are fantastic - exactly the right length and challenge level and so well taught!
1 person likes this.
Perfect flow and great moves that were challenging but felt good. Can't wait to do the whole series, and also love the 30 min length! So convenient, no room for excuses. Thanks Gia!
1 person likes this.
Thank you Gia.  Just what my body needed.  I feel so much better. Can't wait to do the others. Perfect length too.
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