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Class #4331

Traditional Flow

30 min - Class


Gia Calhoun is back with The Pilates Daily series, but this time on the Reformer. She begins with this condensed traditional class that will work your entire body in just 30 minutes. Start your week off right flowing seamlessly through this challenging workout along with Gia's calming energy.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Feb 02, 2021
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Hi, I'm Gia. And today we're gonna do a traditional reformer class. I haven't been on a reformer in about eight months due to the pandemic, but I'm excited to get back on it. And this traditional class is a great way to start off your week, just get moving and flowing. So we're gonna start with footwork.

I have my spring set up on three reds and one blue, or three full springs and one half spring. Feel free to choose whatever you like for your springs. And we're gonna start in a Pilates V. I like my head rest up. So go ahead and do that if you'd like that as well.

So I have my heels together, toes apart. I'm trying to make sure all five toes are on the mat. And before we get moving, I just wanted to take a nice deep breath to help get us settled in our pelvis, feel our breath, and stay nice and calm. So take a deep inhale through your nose, (breathes deeply) and exhale out through your mouth. Feel everything get heavy into the mat.

On the next inhale, you're gonna stretch your legs long, exhale to come back in, inhale, stretch out, exhale to come in. So as I'm moving, I'm trying to keep my heels glued together to keep that connection to the midline of my body. And in, inhale, stretch, exhale in. Four more. Thinking of wrapping around those legs, feeling all the way from the glutes down, using your abdominals to pull up, one more.

Now we're gonna switch to the arches of your feet. So legs are glued together. We're gonna try to grip the bar like a bird on a perch. Inhale as we stretch long, exhale to come in. So again, I'm keeping those legs glued together, trying to hug that midline really trying to work my feet against the foot bar.

Same breathing, inhale long, exhale to return. So we expand as we inhale, contract as we exhale. Two more. Last one. Now switching to the heel. So sliding up to the tips of the heels, flexing all five toes back.

Inhale to stretch long, exhale. So you can also do this with your feet hip distance apart if you prefer. I like the challenge of trying to keep my legs glued together. Four more. Three, trying to stay settled in the rib cage.

So you're not flaring. One more. Good, coming back to a small Pilates V, a little bit smaller than the first one. Knees are just in line with your shoulders. Inhale, stretch long and hold.

We're gonna do a tendon stretch, so you're gonna lower the heels under the bar for three, and lift up, two, three, nice and controlled. Lower, two, three, and lift, two, three. So you're trying to take all three counts to lower, and then all three counts lift up. So constantly moving lower, and lift. So again, I'm not just moving my ankles.

I'm feeling it all the way up my glutes, even in my abdominals pulling up. Lower, my arms are reaching long to give me that little bit of opposition. Two more. And lift. Last one. And lift up.

Bend your knees, come all the way in. And then I'm gonna change my springs. Feel free to stay on this spring if you'd like. So I'm gonna do two reds. I'm gonna take off one of the reds and the blue spring that I have, and I'm gonna grab my straps.

So if you haven't already checked, make sure yours are even. I'm gonna bring my legs to tabletop just for a starting position. Arms are just right over the shoulder. So the springs are already engaged. So you need to take a deep inhale here.

Exhale, come up to your a hundred position. Legs are long. Arms are reaching out, heels together, toes apart, and pump the arms. So inhale, two, three, four, five, exhale, two, three, four, five, inhale, (breathes deeply) and exhale, reaching out through the toes and the fingers, and exhale, trying to curl up a little higher. Inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale.

Inhale, trying to keep the carriage as still as you can so it's not moving all wild. Inhale and exhale. We have four more. Inhale, try to lower your legs a little bit if you can. Exhale, lift the shoulders a little higher off the mat. And exhale. Two more.

And exhale, really glue those legs together. And exhale and hold. Reach a little further, curl up a little higher, and then come all the way in. So now we're gonna go into coordination. So you're gonna glue your elbows into the mat.

Your elbows are gonna stay on the mat the entire time. Knees into your chest. Try to keep your tailbone down. We're gonna take a deep inhale here, as you exhale, curl your head up, stretch your arms and legs out. Open, close your legs, bend your knees in, curl a little higher, then lower back down.

So you'll stretch out long,, open, close, bend in, and then lower down. Stretching out, open, close, try to curl up highers as the knees come in. And lower. Three more. Reach, open, close, pulling higher. And in. Last two.

Good, arms and legs reaching long. In and lower. Last one. Open, close, pull in, and rest. Hang up your straps. We're gonna come on up for rowing.

So swivel up. I'm gonna change to one red spring. I like to choose the one in the middle so the carriage feels more balanced. Take off the other springs, and then lower your headrest down. So legs are gonna go through the shoulder rests.

You can have your legs side by side. You can cross one over the other, or you can have your knees bent. Whatever feels best to you. I'm gonna have my legs side by side. Grab your straps.

Make sure you have at least a hand's distance behind you, because we're gonna lean back, and you want that support from the carriage. So you're holding onto the straps with your fist. Fists together, elbows are gonna open wide. You're gonna pull your hands to your chest with the long spine, and you're gonna start with your tailbone. Roll down to that C curve.

Stay in the C shape. You're gonna reach the arms out to the side, push the arms back to dive your head forward down to your knees. Try to reach your hands together. And then you're gonna reach out long, open out to the circle, hands reach toward your feet, and then roll up one bone at a time to stack the spine. So hands to the chest, starting with the tailbone.

You roll down to that C curve, open out to the side, push the arms back to come forward. Hands reach back. You're gonna reach arms out and around. Still pulling up in the abdominals, and then roll up, stacking the spine. One more like this.

Pull into your chest, round back. So the upper body is still long. Open out. You're gonna reach back to dive forward, hands back. Reach out and around, shoulders away from the ears, and then roll up.

We're changing the beginning of it. This time you're gonna pull into a 90 degree angle with that bicep curl. Keeping your back flat, you're gonna hinge back, and keep that back flat as you come back up. Reach your arms up and forward, then push them back. Trying to get your hands together again.

Same ending. Open out into that circle. Reach for your toes, and then stack up the spine. Long spine. Bicep curl to 90. Keep the arms coming with you as you hinge back, and then lift up, arms reach up and back.

Hands together, open out and around, shoulders away from the ears. Stack up the spine. One more. Bicep curl to 90. Long spine as you hinge back, and then lift up. You might go a little bit further each time.

It's always nice to see and challenge yourself. Hands back, open out, and around, and then roll up. Good. Keep your straps in one hand, we're gonna turn around, and then I like to sit criss-cross applesauce for this one. You can sit with your legs out in front of you if you'd like.

Make sure your straps aren't criss-cross, and we're gonna start with your hands right by your ribs. So you're gonna reach your arms out in front of you to a nice high angle. Tap down to the carriage. You're gonna lift the arms up and around, circle back to your ribs. So the arms reach out to a high angle, and lower, and then keep them straight as you lift them back up, circle around.

Good, as you're moving the arms, try to push your knees down. I have a habit of letting my knees float up. So try to keep it into your powerhouse so that doesn't happen. So you're gonna push out, tap down. Arms stay straight as you lift up.

Circle around. One more. Reach out, tap down, and lift, circle. So keeping the hands here, you're gonna stretch your legs out. Again, if you want to cross your ankles, you can. You're gonna lower your hands down to your waist just a little bit.

So this time you're gonna reach the arms forward a little bit lower, reach toward your feet, round your spine over. Then you're gonna roll up, bringing your arms up with you, up above the head, circle around back to your waist. So reaching the hands forward, sliding them out, reaching the top of the head toward the toes. Rolling up the spine. Arms circling around back to your waist.

Two more. Reach. Pulling the abs back as the arms reach forward. Roll up, circle back to the waist. One more. Reach. And then roll up, circle back to the waist.

Now we're gonna go back to criss-cross applesauce but switch legs so that it's the uncomfortable side. It's always nice to change it up. Arms out to the side for hug a tree. So you're sitting up tall. Try not to lean back on the shoulder rest.

Again, you're using your abs to lift you up off of your hips. You're gonna close the arms like you're hugging a big tree in front of you. Open up to the side. Inhale, hug, exhale, open. Two more with this breathing.

And open, inhale, hug, and open. Inhale for nothing, exhale as you hug this time. And changing it up. Inhale, open, exhale, hug. Inhale, try not to let the arms go behind you.

You should be able to see your fingers in your periphery the whole time. And hug. One more. Good, keep the arms in front of you, hands together. So you want the index fingers and the thumbs touching. You're gonna have your hands either to the front of your forehead or behind your head.

Whichever you can do. If your hands are behind you, try not to let your head jut forward. You want your neck in line. You're gonna hinge forward slightly at your hips and just reach the arms out for a shave and then back behind your head. Reaching out and then back in.

So it's been a while for me since I've done this. So my arms are definitely shaking. Elbows are wide, shoulders away from the ears, and reach long. Try to keep that contact of the index fingers and the thumbs. And back in. Two more.

Keep pushing those knees down. Abs are lifted. One more Good. Open the arms out. Hang up your straps. And we're gonna grab the long box. So before I grab my box, I'm gonna put this foot bar down.

'Cause we don't really need that. And then grab your long box. Just put it in front of the shoulder rests. So I'm still on that red spring. If you want to go down to a blue, we're gonna do pulling straps, so you can change the spring if you'd like.

So you're gonna lie on your box. I like my chest just off the box. And then I'm gonna grab onto the taped part of the straps in front of the metal hardware. So arms are straight, legs are active, abs are pulled up. Before I start, I'm gonna pull my shoulders down my back, and then I'm gonna pull my arms back, lift my chest up at the end.

And then reach the arms forward as I lower my chest down. Pulling back, lifting out through the top of the head, and reach forward. Two more. Reaching those toes long so you have that nice opposition, and pull it forward. So pulling up the abdominals.

So I'm trying not to crunch into my low back. I want to move my upper back, and lower. Good, if you need to lower your hands down a little bit more in the loops, go ahead. Arms are gonna come out to a T. You're gonna pull your hands back again, lift your chest, and then open out to the side.

So for T pull, I like to keep my palms facing down. Keeping that external rotation of my arms. Good. Two more. Pulling into the abdominals, reaching long. Open. Last one.

And then open out. Good. Just hang down for a second. Shake out your legs, and then put both straps into one hand. And then we're gonna add on a spring. So I'm gonna add on a blue spring.

So I have one red, one blue. And we're gonna go into backstroke. So I'm gonna put one strap in each hand. I'm gonna sit on the box, make sure you're sitting toward the edge, and then your head is off as well. So you're gonna start with your hands by your forehead, knees into your chest.

Again, trying to keep the tailbone down. Arms and legs are gonna reach up to the ceiling. Open both to a small V, circle around, reach to your a hundred position, and then pull everything in. Reaching up, open, circle around and reach, curl higher, and then deepen that curve to come in. Reaching up, open, circle around, reach, and in.

Two more in this direction. Open, circle around, reach, and in. Last one. Up, open. Good. Now we're gonna reverse.

So you're gonna reach out to that a hundred position. Circle up to that V, close the arms and legs. Bend back into that starting position. Reach, circle around, up, close, curl higher. Reach out, circle up.

Good, try not to drop that head and chest. Reach it out, circle up, close. And in. One more. Reach, circle up, close, and in. Both straps in one hand, we're gonna teaser up.

I'm gonna take off the blue spring, and then we're gonna come back down onto your back. So scoot back a little bit so you have a little bit more space on your bottom. And then arms and legs are gonna reach out. So your arms are in about a T, legs are just resting on the foot bar. We're gonna go into teaser.

So just take a deep breath here, find that nice stretch. And then as you exhale, collect everything together. Curl up into your teaser, and just hold, and then roll down. It's been a while since I've done that. It feels nice.

And then again, roll up, trying to roll through the spine, feet are eye level, roll down. So we're gonna add some arms. So you're gonna roll up, hold, and then you're gonna scoot the arms back and front. Keeping that nice bend in the elbows, and front. Try not to let the legs get too high, and front, one more.

Reach the arms forward, keep reaching toward the toes. Roll down. Gonna do one more 'cause it feels nice. Roll up. Hold. We're gonna change the arms.

We're gonna circle them around, and up. Circle. And up. One more, and then reverse the circle. Around. Two, last one. Reach the arms toward the feet as you roll down, keep reaching everything away, trying to get your back and legs down at the same time.

And just hold it here. Get a nice little stretch in the abdominals. And then when you're ready, we're gonna come on up. So hang up your straps. We're gonna turn the box around to the short box.

So if you want to put your box in front of the shoulder rests, you can. I like mine behind the shoulder rest. Just that I have long legs, even though I'm not tall, just feels a little bit better for me. And then I'm just gonna add one more spring. It doesn't matter which one, just so your carriage is a little bit more stable.

So putting my feet underneath the straps, trying to get them right up to the ankles. And then I like to push my ankles into the back of the carriage just to make sure I'm not using my legs too much. That way I don't grip in my hips and my quads. So I'm gonna wrap my arms around my stomach, round into a C curve, trying to keep the shoulders away from the ears. Starting with the tailbone, I roll back as I inhale, and then exhale to come up.

Inhale. Roll back. Keep flexing those feet. And then this is where I push into the heels to roll up. Two more, trying to keep your chin off your chest, and then scooping in and up. It's like you're coming into yourself.

One more. Rolling into a little ball. Good. Come on up. Adjust if you slid forward like I did, and then hands behind your head. So elbows are wide again.

I like to keep them in my periphery. You're gonna lift up, think of lifting up off your seat, hinging back with a flat back this time and then back up. So you don't have to go too far to feel it. Lifting up to go back and lift. Again, pushing into the backs of my ankles.

So I don't use my legs to help me up. I'm really pushing into my core. Lifting up and back, and lift one more up off my seat. Good. Keeping that lift in your spine, you're gonna take one leg out, grab on behind your leg.

Sitting up tall, you're gonna stretch that leg out, and then bend it back in. Stretch out and in. Hold the next one out, grab onto your ankle. You're gonna bring your forehead to your knees. So keep flexing that other foot in the strap.

You're gonna roll back, bringing your leg with you. Walk down, roll back a little bit further, and then walk up. Come all the way up. So your forehead stays at your knees. You roll back, pelvis is under, walk down, and then walk back up, and roll forward.

One more. This time, if you'd like to go all the way back, you can. Oh, that feels good. And then chin to your chest if you're all the way back. Walk up, sit up tall, try to get your leg a little bit higher, and then bring that leg down.

So again, without shifting back to move your spine, try to just bring that other leg out of the strap. Hold on behind your thigh. This leg might feel tighter. You're gonna stretch your leg out and in. I feel like I'm leaning back.

So try to stay over your hips. Stretch, hold this next one out. Walk up to your ankle, forehead to your knee. Keep flexing that other foot. As you roll back, walk down, just roll back a little further.

Roll up, and then roll forward. Forehead stays at the knees. You roll back, walk down the leg, walk back up, and roll forward. One more time. Shoulders away from the ears.

Walk down. The time you can go all the way back if you'd like, actually, and then chin to your chest, roll up, sit up tall, lift your leg a little higher if you can. And then come on down. Good. So we're gonna get rid of the box.

You can just get rid of the little strap. Put the box off to the side. And then we'll bring the foot bar back up. I like mine in the middle setting 'cause, again, I'm not very tall. Swap that in.

And then for long stretch series, I'm gonna, since it's been a while, I'm gonna do one red and one blue. You can also go a little bit lighter if you're stronger. It just makes it a little bit harder on your abdominals. So I'm gonna bring my head rest up as well. I'm gonna have my feet on the headrest.

So I want the balls of your feet on that little crack between the headrest and the carriage. Hands on the foot bar. I like to keep my hands forward a little bit so it doesn't bend my wrist too much. So you're in a long plank, legs are active. You're not lifting up on the heels.

You're actually pushing the heels toward the headrest. And then we're gonna push back from the arms and then come forward. Just go as far as you can control it. Push back. The scarier part is when you come forward 'cause you're over the foot bar, and push back, especially if you're taller.

And forward, pull back, and forward. Two more. Try not to lock the elbows. One more. Good. Come on down to your knees with control.

Feet against the shoulder rests. I'm trying to get my toes on the carriage as much as I can. So I get a nice stretch in my feet, and then hips are gonna reach forward. Shoulders are back. So again, using your glutes to protect your back, pulling up in the abdominals, you're gonna push back from your arms, and then come forward.

Try to keep the heels connected to the shoulder rests. Push back, and then you can lift the chest as you come up. Two more. Lift. One more. I like to inhale, back, exhale, lift.

Good. Into up stretch. You're gonna lift up. You're gonna slide your feet forward a little bit so your heels are about halfway into the shoulder rests, and then put your weight back into your legs. So I'm trying to keep my shoulders away from the ears, my arms straight. I'm gonna push my legs back into a plank while keeping my upper body round.

Keeping that round in the upper body, I'm gonna bring the carriage forwards. And then once I can't go any further, I'm gonna lift my hips up, diving my head between my arms. So pushing the legs back, keeping my eyes on my abdominals the whole time. Once I pull the carriage all the way in, hips push up, shifting the weight back, legs push back, arms pull you forward. And then hips push up, one more.

Trying to keep the weight over the big toes. So I'm not rolling out to my baby toes. Legs are nice and long. And weight comes back. Keeping this position, just lowering down to flat feet.

If you happen to be very flexible in your hamstrings, you can always bring your feet a little bit forward. Since it's been awhile for me, I'm gonna keep mine right against the shoulder rest. And then I like to pull up into more of a round back. So my weight's a little bit more forward just because my hamstrings are on the looser side. So I'm gonna push the legs back and then pull it in.

If you want to lift your toes up, you can. Push the carriage back. Abs pull it back in. Again, keeping the eyes on the navel. Try not to let my head lift up.

It's a common thing I've seen. People like to look at their hands. But it's a lot more beneficial if you're keeping your upper back rounded. And pull it in. Inhale, press.

Exhale, scoop the abs to pull in. Four more. 'Cause it feels nice. And in, and three, pulling up in the quads, protect the knees. And two. Good, keeping those arms nice and strong.

Last one, and in. Good. We're gonna come onto the knees. We're gonna go into knee stretches. So same foot position as we did for down stretch.

You want the toes as much on the carriage as you can get, the heels against the shoulder rest. And then this time you're gonna sit back toward your heels, but not on your heels. So you're gonna have a bit of space between your heels and your bottom. Round your back, think of curling your tail under. Your upper body stays still.

You're gonna push your legs back behind you, pull it back in. Push back, abs pull it in. Three and four. Good, try to keep the upper body as still as you can. Just the legs are moving, pulling into the abdominals.

One more. Good, pull it all the way in. Keep the foot position where it is. Just lift your chest. Almost think of arching your back slightly.

It's just gonna come into a flat back, and then same thing: out and in with the legs, out and in. Trying to keep everything still, just hinging at the hip to push the legs back. Out and in. So pulling up in my abdominals, two more, last one. Good. Feet together, knees apart.

We're just gonna go into a quick little child's pose. Just a stretch. You can push against the shoulder into the foot bar, and then roll up, nice and controlled. So we're gonna add the springs that you did your foot work with back. So I had three reds, one blue, and then we're gonna lie down for running in place.

So make sure you're centered Toes on the foot bar. This time in parallel, you're gonna push all the way out and hold. You're gonna bend one knee, push the other heel under. And then lift, and then switch legs. So make sure you find that lift between each side.

Good, and go a little faster. I like to inhale for two, (breathes deeply) and then exhale for two. So as you're moving, make sure your hips are square. You're not letting the hips shift side to side. Your knees are pointing straight up to the ceiling.

You're passing right through the middle. Two more sets. Last set. Lift both heels up, bend your knees, come all the way in. And we're gonna bring your feet to the outer corners of the foot bar, slightly turned out, and then you're gonna lift your hips up slightly.

So don't lift up into a full bridge. You want to bring your hands underneath your hips, and then once you can clear your hands, then you can put your hands back down. That's as high as you need to go. You're gonna push out and then come all the way in. So again, you're not into a full bridge where you're on your neck.

'Cause our headrest is up. You only want to lift the pelvis. And lift. That way we protect the neck. Inhale and exhale, inhale, exhale.

Two more. Think of using the backs of the legs as you stretch. Good, roll your hips back down, hug your knees in. Rock side to side, and then rock 'em up. And then you're all finished.

Thank you for taking class with me, and I'll see you next time.

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


4 people like this.
Very excited for this series! I find a 30 min class is perfect for me to get in a good, well paced reformer class, especially when I want to also get in some cardio or weight training that day.  This is perfect.  Gia I love your teaching “energy”!  Your cueing is always great as well.  Thanks for filming new reformer classes!
4 people like this.
Yes!! Thank you so much for an equipment class more please on all equipment!
3 people like this.
So great to see an equipment class!! I also love your style and energy! And the 30 minute!
3 people like this.
Wonderful! I really enjoy your classes - they are wonderfully paced and clear, and I am SOO glad to have a new reformer class!
2 people like this.
Loved your class, Gia!!! Hope you can make more 30 minute reformer classes - perfect workout for a busy day. 
Chanda Hinman
Yay! Gia is back!
2 people like this.
So excited to see an equipment class!!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. 
I'm with Chanda H! YAY!!!
1 person likes this.
I'm so glad you're all enjoying this first class! I have a few more coming and I hope you like those too!
Gia,  thank you (again!). 

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