Class #4532

Straightforward Reformer 1

45 min - Class


You will build awareness and strength through flow in this Reformer workout by Sarah Bertucelli. She starts with foundational movements to check where you are today. She also highlights Footwork to show the value of this first exercise and how it compounds later in the series.
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box)

About This Video

May 18, 2021
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Good morning or good afternoon or good evening, whatever time of day it is where you are. I'm Sarah Bertucelli and I'm so happy to be here at Pilates Anytime with my outdoor Zesty Flow Series. So what you can expect from this workout is a nice zesty working experience but I also want you to feel grounded as well. So make sure that you listen to your own body. If at any time you need to modify or adjust, I leave that up to you.

Of course, I'll always give you options. And I think we should just get started. I've got my reformer set for my footwork spring. For me, that's three red springs and a blue spring and I'm on the middle bar on the reformer. Let's go ahead and lie ourselves down and settle in for a moment.

So regardless of whether you're at the beginning of your day or the end of your day, I think it's always important to find time to settle before we begin. Check in and make sure that you're even on your reformer. So you might put your fingers next to your neck and realize how much space there is. Soften your breath. Allow your sternum to soften.

Allow your pelvis to settle. Arms down by your side, perhaps. And maybe turn the palms to face up so you're promoting a little bit of an open chest. A little bit of external rotation. Feel the feet on the bar in a nice, comfortable position.

I'm just above my heel at the bottom of my arch for my pelvic curls. Inhale through your nose. Exhale. Engage your abdominals just as flex or flatten your back without yet endeavoring to lift the legs up. And let's repeat that. Exhale, abs first.

(exhales deeply) And inhale, soften the pelvis down. Now, if it feels good to you, I welcome you to go beyond that neutral position and go to a little bit of extension and stretch a little bit through the front waking up the back extensors. Exhale to flex the spine and inhale to soften the pelvis and go beyond if it feels good. (breathes deeply) Exhale, curl up a little higher this time. So find the height of your pelvic curl right here, right now.

I like to start slow. Inhale. Exhale. Lengthen your spine and lower down one vertebra at a time. Inhale. (breathes deeply) Exhale. Curl your pelvis up. Feel the backs of your legs and find your high pelvic curl, wherever that is for you. Try to spiral the thighs in a little bit.

Engaging the hamstrings. Inhale. Use the exhale to lengthen your spine and lower down one vertebra at a time. (breathes deeply) Again, exhale. Abs first. Curl up second. Spiral the thighs in.

Don't be shy. You can use the arms to press down and lift a little higher. Do think of lengthening your spine here. Inhale and exhale to curl down one vertebra at a time. Let's do two more pelvic curls please.

Breathing and moving. That's all we're doing. If I don't cue the breath, just remember to breathe and feel free to change as needed. Inhale here. Use the exhale to lengthen your spine and lower down one vertebra at a time.

Keep the spine settled in neutral. Take your arms either to the pegs or to the frame for your shoulder stretch. Release the legs to one side and feel a little released in your low back perhaps and exhale to pull back to center. I find that many people overdo the back extension component when going into spine twist here. So I'm going to encourage you to not try to twist as far as you possibly can, but to be mindful of this idea of keeping the abdominals engaged.

And then as you pull back, think of stretching the low back a little bit. So we're inhaling perhaps in twisting to the one side and as you exhale, you're drawing that pelvis back by pulling the rib cage down. Let's try it just one more time. Nice and easy. Exhale. Find the abdominals but go for stretch through the low back as well.

So I'm actually flexing my spine just a little bit to stretch through the low back there. Beautiful. Bring your feet and knees together with your heels resting on the foot bar. Float your hands up to the ceiling here in how for nothing. Use an exhale to lift your head and chest up nice and high. Taking your arms down by your side.

And we'll inhale to lower down. Let's heat up a little. Exhale to lift the head and chest gazing in the direction of your core. And inhale to lower down. This time we're gonna lift and hold.

Feel free to take your hands to the backs of your legs. Lifting just a little higher. Holding this shape. Hold on to one leg with two hands reaching just beyond the knee here. Straighten the other leg.

Single leg stretch. Let's change and change and change. Find a breath that suits you. Perhaps it's an exhale with each extension of the legs. Perhaps it's a long inhale, followed by a long exhale.

Feel free to press into the bar a little bit with the backs of your legs to feel those hamstrings working a little bit there. One more time here. Bring your two knees and lift a little higher again. See if you can feel that openness through your back body. Soften the tail down if it lifted like mine. Hold here.

Float your hands behind your head. And let's go into the criss-cross twisting and lifting. So if you find it difficult to stay lifted, whatever time of day you're doing this, always feel free to use a hand to help you lift up a little higher. I like that assist. Otherwise, the hands can stay behind the head and you're doing all that work.

Not with your arms, but with your abs please. Exhaling to twist perhaps and twist one more on each side. Draw your two legs into your chest. Lifting your chest a bit. Lifting your pelvis a bit and see if you can just very gently get a little rocking and a little rolling going here.

Now just be mindful of where you are in space and where you are on your reformer. And if you can rock up, rest your legs over the bar, press down into the bar and straighten the legs. Release the legs and roll yourself back. We'll do that two more times. A little rocking and a rolling.

I always find myself a little tight through my low back so this is a nice way to loosen up in the morning. And then we're gonna come up again. Aaahhhh! Let the legs hook over the bar, press down. Straighten the legs, pushing into the bar and open the heart a little. (breathes deeply) And then relax those legs. And we'll roll down.

Settle into your reformer for your foot work. Again, check in and make sure that you have space between the two sides of your neck. Your heels are on the bar. Your arms are by your side. Feel free to look up and make sure that you're centered on the bar.

You'll see me doing that a fair bit. Rotate into external rotation with your arms and press out. Let's stay with our legs straight for a couple of moments and really feel this idea of lengthening through the spine and organize your pieces, if you will. Keep your palms facing up if you want or turn them down if you prefer. But notice that by starting an external rotation it helps to open the chest here.

Gently come in. Hand we press out. And in. And out. So you can find a pace that suits you.

And you can work a little faster. You can work a little slower. The most important thing is that you're breathing and you're moving. Exhaling and inhaling. Think of pulling the inner thighs into action as you press out.

Think of pressing into the heels as you come in. We'll do one more here. Press your legs to straight and stay. So with the straight leg position, move your feet down just a little bit. So that you're on that sweet spot, just above the heel, the bottom of the arch.

Settle for a moment. Growing taller through your spine, through your core, but feeling your legs organized. I want you to think of letting the foot bar into your feet. Trying to keep your feet relaxed as you press out and as you press in. So this is a new position for those of us that are BASI trained.

I like doing this because it really helps to soften my feet. I'm still thinking inner thighs and pressing into the heels but it really helps me to loosen up my feet, massaging almost. Just one more here. And then we'll keep the legs straight again. Focusing on lengthening through the spine, move your feet down just a little more.

So I'm near the ball of my foot, but I'm not there. I'm on the top of my arch. Again, lengthening through the spine, we bend the knees in and we pull out. Think of pressing in and pulling out. Find your pace. Find your rhythm.

The goal here with the feet is to keep them relaxed. So it's a little bit like our prehensile position but the difference is I'm not asking you to drop your heels. I'm asking you to be mindful of the footprint of your feet and try to keep the feet stable. Keep the footprint as is as you come in and out. Last one here. Let's come all the way in.

Shift to your classic toe position with the heels lifted, pressing through all five metatarsals, we press out and we pull in. We press out and in. So think inner thighs on the way out. Think pressing into those feet on the way in. Finding a nice flow.

Do check in with the backs of your legs and make sure they're working. And do check in with your two legs and make sure that they're contributing equally. I find that on many occasions, I tend to overwork one side or the other, depending on what I'm doing. One more here please. Come all the way in.

Slide those heels together. Feel the rotation from your hips. Engage your core. And out we go. (breathing heavily) Think about keeping the rotation at the end of the movement.

So there's this openness across the top of the hip here, the front of the thigh or the hip crease. Think of squeezing those upper inner thighs together to complete the movement. (breathes heavily) Just one more please. Again, check in and make sure that both legs are contributing equally. Find your open V from the heels position.

So heels are wide on the bar. I like to relax into a little openness through my adductors first and feel a little stretch there by going side to side. And then settle heels on the bar. I'll bring my knees in just a little bit and encourage the rotation with my hands. Engaging the core, out we go.

Exhale (exhales deeply) and inhale. Again, make sure that both legs are contributing equally. Feel that you're initiating with that rotation at the bottom. So really think about feeling the rotation. Rotation is different than opening your legs.

So check in and make sure that when I say feel the rotation that you're not just flopping your knees open. Now we're working here by ourselves with me teaching you from afar. So you need to make sure you're using your hands and your own eyes to check in every now and again. Good. One more time here. Let's press out.

Come in, keep this position. Roll your knees together. Feel a nice, little release through the outer hip there. And then here, sway one leg in letting the other leg out of the way. (panting) Sway the other leg in a little more and out of the way. Bring your feet close together.

I like to bring them to touch first and then separate a little bit for calf raises. So I've got the balls of my feet on the bar. I'm gonna press out. I'm gonna press the feet down and press the feet up. I really like to think of lengthening my body as much as I can when I go down.

So I encourage you to think not about going down but growing up. Growing taller as the heels sink under the bar. Think about that. Again, check in and make sure you're using both feet equally. And check in (breaths heavily) and make sure you're pressing through all five metatarsals.

If you happen to be looking at me, I got a huge smile on my face because these birds just flew over. It's pretty cool. Press up. Stay. Prances. Bend one knee, stretching. Press up and change.

And change and change. Make sure that you're breathing at a pace that suits you and moving at a pace that suits you. Notice that you should be using both feet equally. So it's not a shifting side to side, but it's actually using the bench leg and the straight leg simultaneously. Hold the stretch on one side.

I always like to bring my foot to a position where I feel like it's quite secure and I can just sink in. Breathing (breathes heavily) and releasing. Feeling length still through your spine. Abdominals energized. And then we'll gently change legs.

Feel the idea of really releasing the heel under the bar. Lengthening through the crown of your head. (exhales deeply) One more breath please. Hmmmmmmm. Press up and come in.

Now for single legs, I like to use the same spring. I'm going to encourage you to change the spring to a lighter spring if you need. Otherwise, keep it as is and just set your heels on the bar. I like to use my less strong leg first so my left leg stays on the bar. I'm supporting myself.

My other leg comes to tabletop. Exhale to press out to straight. And inhale to come in. Now notice my other leg, it's a tabletop but I want you to be aware of not overly pointing your foot. Keep your foot in a slightly pointed position but try to be mindful of not overusing your toes here.

Just think about that for a moment. Feel also the backs of the legs are initiating the movement. Feel the inner thighs still engaged. (breathing heavily) And we'll do just two more here. Lengthening every time.

And beautiful. So just notice the difference between your two sides. Place your other foot on the bar and find your tabletop without over pointing the foot. And we'll go ahead and press out here. And gently press in.

And pressing out. And pressing in. So think about using the back of the leg. Think about the inner thigh. Be mindful of your pelvis position.

Your pelvis should stay stable, which for most of us means that we have to almost make some adjustments in order to keep it stable. So I wanna feel like I'm standing on the right side of my pelvis and keeping length through the left side. (breathing heavily) Breathing and moving. That's all we're doing here. One more please.

And let's change positions again and move to the toes. So placing the ball of the foot on the bar. Let's take that leg back to tabletop and exhale to press out here. Get organized for a moment. Be sure that your pelvis is square.

So length through the right side. Grounding through the left side, because I'm working my left leg. And we press in. And out. And in. Now I'm working at a nice pace here with the single legs, because I wanna push myself a little bit and I wanna get nice and warm. You're welcome to work at a slower pace if that's a better choice for you.

And do fewer repetitions. Do think of straightening the knee all the way and lengthening through the crown of the head. (exhales deeply) Just one more here please. And gently come on in. We'll change legs.

Again, real comfortable position with the ball of the foot. We press out. Notice that with the toe position here, we're thinking about keeping the foot stable in space so the foot is not rising and falling ideally. Breathing. This adds a little bit of mobility through the ankle, which is nice.

And stabilizing the pelvis. And growing a little taller. And a nice pace here. Make sure you're thinking about the control in. That pressing in.

We have just two more now, please. Here's one and two. Good. Welcome you to hug your knees into your chest for a moment. Perhaps lift your forehead toward your knees.

Stretch your low back. And then you can roll yourself to the side and come on up to a sitting position. It's time for reverse knees stretch. So you're gonna take all those heavier springs off and leave yourself with a light spring. A blue spring is what I'm on on this reformer.

So I'm going to come to my knees. I like to do this with my knees together and my feet together. A little bit away from the shoulder rest. We're gonna lean in to those arms, round through the back with intention. Pull that carriage in and hold for a little bit here.

So practice breathing first, making sure you can sustain the shape. Squeeze the heels together. Squeeze the knees together. Inhale the legs back. Exhale the legs in.

Do feel like you're supporting with both arms equally. And that's you're pulling in with both legs equally. Legs, I did say that. Sometimes I'll use one leg more than the other but the focus here, of course, is on keeping the spine inflection and the abdominals active. Gently come to rest.

Coming to like a child's pose position. You can let your forehead rest on the head rest for just a moment and roll your hips side to side. Good. Let's come up from there and arrange our springs for our hip work. So I'm going to use a red and a blue for that. A red and a blue for my hip work.

So lie back down and we'll put feet in straps please. All right. I am getting warm. That feels nice. Go ahead and put your feet in your straps and set up for your frogs.

The frogs with the heels together. Ankles are endeavoring to be flexed. Pelvis is a neutral. Abdominals are active. Heart is open.

We're gonna bend the knees in and we're gonna press out. Inhale in. Exhale out. So the easiest way to explain this is to say we're bending the knees, but I want you to try to take the knees out of the equation and use the backs of the legs in the inner thighs in your mind. So it's not about straightening the knees. It's about sending the legs out and together.

Think about that a couple more times. Exhale. And one more time. Exhale. Here point the feet if you had them flexed in the other position. Actively point the feet and find your high position. So high position with your pelvis grounded.

So about 90 degrees or a little less than that, if you're less flexible. Let's press those two legs down. Inhale to come up, squeezing those heels together. And exhale to press those two legs down. So just do one more like that before moving into circles.

Pressing down (breathes heavily) and up. Exhale, we press down. We circle around to the top. Find that top position. Organize it and then press down through center.

Open. Here I want you to really organize this shape. Squeeze those heels together. Feel those inner thighs. Oftentimes people ask me how big the circles should be. The circles should be, (chuckles) that was funny.

The circles should be a range of motion that you can control. Pause here at the top. Open the legs and draw those heels together. Now, when I'm trying to get my inner thighs to engage, I'll soften my knees just a little bit and really focus on the outward rotation as I pull those heels together. So right here, I soften the knees and I squeeze together.

Let's do two more. And we're finding those nice inner thighs. Yes. And one more time please. (breathing heavily) Open the legs wide. I like to flex my ankles but in order to get my maximum stretch, I have to push through my toes a little bit.

Then I'll point the feet and close back together. So flex first. Open, open, open. And then when you have to, let your feet adjust so you can go deeper into the stretch and then glide those heels together. And flex to open. Nice big stretch.

And point and glide. And let's just do one more like that please. Stretch. I can feel my inner thighs and pull. Let's bend the knees in and just take a short pause. Usually for the short spine, I need a little bit of space.

So if you know you need a little bit of space, you might move a little bit away from your shoulder rests. If you don't know the short spine, listen up. I do have a modification for you. Press your legs out to straight. We're in the frog shape.

Straight legs now. We're gonna fold at the hips and find that same point we stopped before but we're gonna continue moving allowing the back to stretch a little bit. When you've gone as far as you can or as far as you want to, you're gonna bend your knees, hollowing your belly in keeping support. Flex the feet. Come back to the frog.

Press out to straight. Let's repeat that. Fold and get the hips here. Feel the stretch. Enjoy the stretch.

Maybe you're at the stopper, maybe you're not. Bend the knees. Hollow the belly in. Flex the ankles. Use the legs.

Press out pointing the feet. We're gonna do that one more time as a team here. And then those of you that are not familiar with or comfortable with short spine, you can continue doing this circular frog. Press out. Short spine is happening now for those of us who are ready.

So start with the knees bent. That's classically where it begins. Press the legs to straight. We fold at the hips until we find our way to the stopper. Once at the stopper, use your abdominals.

A little bit of support from your arms to roll up. Bend your knees big, staying engaged through your core. Roll down through your back one vertebra at a time. Pull those legs through. Flexed ankles.

Push out to straight. Let's repeat. We're gonna fold at the hips until we find ourselves at the stopper. We're gonna roll up with energy. We're gonna bend the knees, keeping the core stable.

We're gonna roll down, stretching the back. Pull the feet through. Again, folding. Feeling that beautiful stretch. Find those abdominals to roll up.

Bend your knees big and roll down one vertebra at a time. Let's do one more for me. Pressing out. Pointing the feet. Big stretch.

And roll up. Bend the knees. And we roll down. Flex the feet. Press out straight.

Let's take a quick pause just with the bottoms of the feet together and the knees open. We were upside down so you wanna make sure you get up mindfully. Take one foot out of the strap. Find that foot bar. Take the other and let's make our way upright please.

Beautiful. (breathing heavily) Moving in to the ups stretch. So I'm gonna be on one red spring for the ups stretch or pure mid position. Make sure you're mindful to hold with your two hands before you step up onto your reformer. Heels are up against the shoulder rest, lifted comfortably, but not super high. Do try to find weight in those heels.

And then, I want you to think a little bit about what your arms are doing before you begin. So we're lengthening through the back here. And a lot of times I see people overextending in the shoulders. I want you to be long through the back, hopefully one straight line. I want you to really think about the arms squeezing them toward one another as if you could bring your hands toward one another or your biceps toward your ears the whole time.

That's gonna help you use your upper back a little more. Using your abdominals to support, we slide the two legs back and we slide the legs in. You can move at a pace that suits you here. I generally like to do this nice and slow. Inhale back. Exhale in.

Exhale in. Exhale in. Think about those arms. Exhale in. Lower your feet flat for me so you feel that you can really weight through those heels.

Perhaps lift the toes or keep them relaxed. Same idea with those arms. Think of squeezing the biceps toward your ears as you slide out and you slide in. So the elephant is a little bit more stretched-based but I do want you to really still think about the idea of hollowing those belly muscles in and really using the abdominals to support the spine. But put a little more attention on that upper back today.

That squeezing together of the biceps, keeping that upper back involved. Just one more here. Pulling the carriage in, stay. I'm gonna walk my feet just a little bit forward, like an inch (breathing heavily) or a couple centimeters. (breathing heavily) And then if you can bring your hands down to your reformer, relax your head, find a forward fold.

So you may bend your knees. If you can hold the edge of the frame that's ideal or the carriage rather. That's not the frame. That's the carriage. If you can't, you could just rest on your legs here for a moment.

So if you can hold the frame here or carriage, I could get my verbiage right, that'd be great. (laughs) Bend your knees and see if you can come back to a deep squat where you might be sitting on those shoulder rests. Try to relax your head. And then press back up. So this would look a little different if you weren't touching the frame. You might just put your arms on your thighs and press back up.

And this time we're gonna go down and we're gonna stay down. So here you'll use your hands to pull yourself forward a little so you're on the five toes or metatarsals, if you will. Roll over if you're able to to put the knees down, nice foot stretch. Push back. Do that two more times.

Now if this doesn't work for you, you can find a modification that does. We'll work up to it. It's important that our feet can move like this. We're gonna come forward here. Untuck the toes.

Tap them out and move on to some arm work. So let's have the spring stay the same for me. That's one heavy red spring. I'm sitting right at the back edge of my reformer with my legs out in front of me. Now, a lot of times when we do arms sitting we put a lot of energy on where the legs are.

I want you to de-emphasize the front of the leg by grounding down through the heels and really sitting on your sitz bones. You'll notice that I don't actually actively straighten my knees. I try to keep my quads soft and I keep my feet soft as well. Give it a go, if you'd like. Hands are in the straps here.

We're gonna pull the arms back for chest expansion position and just stay for a moment so your arms are just in front of your body. Here, gazing forward or slightly up. Feel that you're opening your heart. Feel that you're hollowing the belly in and just check in and make sure you're sitting equally on both sitz bones. Yeah. And then let's move the arms behind us.

Exhale and inhale forward. Think of leading, not with your hands, my friends but opening through your heart. This is a chest expansion exercise. So often I see too much arm movement in our minds. Like we move too much with the hands.

The hands of course are moving in relationship to the shoulders. Let's add on. We press the arms back. We stay here. We look up. We open the heart.

We come back forward. Arms come forward. We press back. We hold two straight arms. We look up. We open the heart. Oh, that feels so wonderful on my back.

And I can feel the heat. Repeat. And we open the heart. Oh, I'm just so happy to be here. And one more time. And rest that.

So bicep curls. Two straight arms. Again, check in with your sitz bones. Bend your elbows. Now I want you to use this today as an assessment.

I think a lot of times when we do this, we don't feel enough because the biceps are stronger than the spring we're using. But I think also, sometimes we're not using our muscles as much as we need to. So I'm going to ask you to put one strap down. How about the right strap? I'm gonna put your right hand on your other bicep and press up a little bit.

Feel the bicep when the arm is straight. Now, I want you to keep that bicep engaged as you bend. Whoo! That's hard. That spring. Good. And straighten.

So for me on this left side, I lose my bicep connection if I go past this point, I can feel it. Something happens. I know what happens, but we don't to talk about it too much. Let's just do one more here. Feel it.

So I'm gonna stop at just about 90 degrees for me. You may have a different stop point. Good. Let's change sides. I can feel my bicep. Yay. So now I've got my right arm out.

My hand is on my bicep. I can feel it. I'm pushing into it with my bicep. Now I'm gonna bend my elbow and boy, on this side I can bend quite a lot more. Quite a lot more and I'm still engaged.

So one I'm stronger, but the elbow joint is also more flexible related to the backside, to the tricep. So I have a little bit more room here. Check in with you. Notice what you have. Good. I think that makes us about even.

Let's do just a couple more with two arms and see where your stop point is. So we're sitting nice and tall. We're gonna bend those elbows. There's my stop point. Both biceps are working and straighten.

Just two more. Bend. Feel it. Biceps and straighten. And one more. Bend and rest. Good. Let's put the straps on the elbow joints and move into our rhomboids.

Start with your palms facing your face. We're gonna open out to the side, sitting nice and tall. Equal weight on both sitz bones and come back in. As you open, think of external rotation. That means hands go back or thumbs go back, elbows forward and spread your collarbones.

(exhales deeply) And then add on here, if you'd like. You can squeeze your shoulder blades together to continue bringing your arms back and forward. Do make it a two-part movement. We're gonna open to the first position spreading external rotation. Continue moving really using that rhomboid to your maximum and forward.

Let's do two more like that. And we open. (breathing heavily) And in. Good. And one more. Open and in. Nice.

Let's finish up this series facing the other direction but spin around and face me for just a moment. And just take a quick little stretch side to side. Legs are wide. Just enjoy for a moment. My hip flexors feel okay.

But I think a lot of times when I ask people to sit for too long, we're using our hip flexors more than we need to. So just make sure you give them a little bit of a rest if needed. So we spin around scooping the flesh out from underneath you and sitting all the way up against the shoulder rest. And then you're gonna hold your two straps. And press your arms out for me.

Sitting up nice and tall here. I want you to try to keep your elbows pretty straight as you open and exhale forward. Keep your arms in your peripheral vision and find that first point where it feels like something wants to go and spread a little bit more. Yeah. What usually goes is the shoulders squeezed together or they lift up. Breathing and moving here.

Find the breath that suits you. Spreading here. Feeling a little bit of a stretch and then pulling in. Again, if you look at my legs, you're going to notice they're nice and soft. I'm not using my quads.

I'm not using my feet. That allows me to use my abs, my core a little more and my upper back. It's a choice. One more here please. Bend your elbows, placing your thumbs near your temples.

I want you to play with the push and the pull here. As we press the arms to straight, it's as if you're pulling them together but you're not. As you bend, it's as if you're pulling them apart, but you're not. So you can think about that coming from the hands, but where it's really coming from is the shoulders. Spreading the collarbones in the shoulder blades and lengthening through the underarms.

Spreading the collarbones on the shoulder blades as you bend and lengthening through the underarms. Let's do two more. Check in and make sure that you're sitting equally on both feet. And check it and make sure that your two, I said both feet, (chuckles) both hips. (laughs). We'll do a couple more.

I'll recover. I wanted you to check it and make sure you're using both arms equally. So let's just do a couple more here. (breathing heavily) Good. We're gonna bend the arms in. Put the straps away and let's move on.

We're gonna keep the same red spring. You can adjust if needed. I'm gonna ask you to do the tendon stretch right now. Now if the tendon stretch is not in your repertoire currently, you can do a modification with me. So you're gonna have a seat on the bar, placing your hands next to your seat.

Use your feet to press the carriage out. You're gonna drop the heels under and you're gonna sit here for a moment. Hollowing the belly in. Feeling active flexed ankles. So honestly, you can stay here and work up to it, if you need to. Up to you.

Press into the arms. Round through your back, hollowing your belly in. I don't want you to think of going up to the full tendon stretch yet. I just want you to see if you can press into your arms and hover your pelvis off the bar. Scooping your pelvis forward, hollowing your belly back.

Then I want you to sway side to side. So I forgot to keep my ankles flexed. I just fixed that. Swaying side to side. Touching my lower arms.

Touching. Touching. Have a seat. You may find that you tend to use one arm more than the other. I know I do. Let's repeat.

That's the option one. Do try to keep your ankles flexed. Hollow the belly in. Hover the pelvis up. If you're ready to move on, you can scoop as you reach forward and you lift all the way up.

Now you can stick with the hovering should you need but the rest of us are gonna do five here. (exhaled deeply) Breathing inhale down and exhale up. And I believe we have two more but that might be six. Lucky you if that's the case. (breathing heavily) Beautiful.

We'll have a seat on that foot bar and gently step off. Moving into some standing work. Now I'm going to keep the spring the same. Most foot bars need to go down completely. If you happen to have the rivo bar like this, you can actually just put it down to the low position.

But most importantly, you need to be able to stand here on this foot platform, right? So I'll face you for the first one. Going to step with my one foot on the platform so my thigh or my lower leg can touch the foot bar and I'm going to step up. That was a little sloppy. I'll do it better on the second side.

And then stand nice and tall here. I'm gonna bend both knees. Staying engaged in the abdominals and asked you to take your hands behind you with a little bit of an internal rotation position of the shoulders to stretch here. And then here, we're just pressing out and gently coming in. We're pushing from the outer hip, not from the knee.

Think about that. From the outer hip, not from the knee. We'll do two more like this. And then a little add on. One more like this. Pause.

Take your same arm as leg out to the side. Swing around and come in. And swing around and come in. And swing. Changing your eyes.

Changing your arm. Enjoying a little bit of freedom of movement here. And one more time. Good. Come to rest. We should be holding with one hand on the frame and then stepping off of the platform there.

Let's do the second side. So we'll put one foot up on the foot platform here. Hold on to the reformer as you step your other foot up. Your toes are hanging off a little bit. We're standing tall.

Body stays upright on the plumb line. Bend both knees. Use the foot bar if you have it available to you to brace yourself a little bit. Hands behind you. Press out and come in.

And press and come in And wow, what a view. I'm going to do two more here before we add the arm. Same arm as leg goes out to the side and I swing. Enjoying the view and swing. And enjoy. (exhaling deeply) And we'll do two more here.

(exhaling deeply) Adding a little bit of rotation to this movement feels really nice to me. So be mindful of how you step down. We're gonna bring that bar back up to the middle position. Carrying up for the mermaid please. You can choose your leg position that suits you classically.

We have the foot lined up with the two shoulder rests. I find that it's a lot more comfortable on my body to take my foot up underneath my booty there. So feel free to do what suits you. Not a lot of bells and whistles here, but throughout the course, you'll find me asking you to do lots of creative things with the mermaid. So chest is open.

Sitting up tall. Sitting on both sitz bones. I'm gonna have you take your hand behind you in that stretch for your shoulder. And then we'll inhale to reach away. Exhale. Rotate around the two hands are on the bar.

Stay here for a breath to go a little bit deeper to feel more stretch. And then inhale to open. Exhale as you come up. Send that hand behind you and just look up a little bit. Look toward me.

Inhale. We'll reach away. Exhale. We rotate around. Perhaps you go a little deeper staying for an extra breath please. (breathing deeply.) Inhale, opening. Exhale. We come in.

Look up. One more time. Inhale, reach. Exhale. Here, scratch an itch in your mermaid.

What do I mean? I mean find something that feels good. See where you might need to breathe a little longer and stretch a little more and just enjoy it. And then come with me and unwind. And we'll go to the other side.

So again, choose the leg position that suits you. You may find that you'll always do the classic version. You may find that you wanna tuck your foot up underneath your booty like me. It's up to you. Placing your hand on the bar.

We wanna sit up nice and tall here. Take the hand behind you and fill that little stretch and a look up. Look forward. We're gonna inhale. Reach away.

Exhale, rotate around, looking toward the floor. Breathe. (exhales deeply) Inhale, open and exhale. Take the arm behind you. Look up. Little bit of thoracic extension feels so nice.

Inhale, reach away. Rotate around. Look toward the floor toward the spring. Breathe for a moment or two. (exhales deeply) Unwind.

Take the arm behind you and lift. One last time please. We inhale. Reach away. We exhale. Let's stay here for just a little longer scratching an itch.

So you'll hear me say that a fair bit. Kind of be curious about this position and see what you can find what feels good. Breathing. Finding more opposition, perhaps. And then we're gonna unwind.

Take one more little burst of back extension there. And then rest this. And let's move into a nice hip and a hamstring stretch. So I'm gonna keep the spring the same. You're welcome to lighten it at any point.

I'm still on a red. I'm gonna tuck my toes under. Get a good connection to my foot on the reformer. My standing leg carries half the weight. My back leg the other half.

I'm gonna bend into position lowering my back knee down. Trying to stay upright here. Opening through the heart. Maybe even gazing up a little bit. Drawing the shoulders back.

Maybe bending a little deeper. Feeling that you've got some weight on that standing leg. Do breathe. If you'd like to take same arm as leg that's back, reach up and reach over just a little bit. You might feel just a little more stretch there.

(breathing heavily) Put your two hands back on the bar. Look down. Stretch the front leg to straight, flexing the foot. Finding a nice little stretch for the hamstring. So you're welcome to go a little deeper here if you want.

I like to put my same hand as leg down on the frame to actually take some of the weight out of the standing leg and take myself into a slightly deeper stretch or organize my pelvis a little bit. Breathe a couple more breaths here. (exhales deeply) And then gently come out of it. And let's do the second side please. My hips feel wonderful.

So make sure you've got a good connection. Ball of the foot up against the shoulder rest. Foot near the foot of the reformer. Standing on both legs, we bend into position and do your best to square your pelvis. Check in with where your body's tight and try to breathe in to that.

I have very different lunges on the two sides. And what I am looking for is to be in the best picture I can be in, but also to honor what I'm feeling and try to go for sensation that feels good. I encourage you to do the same. So if you wanna take same arm as leg up and deepen the stretch a little bit, go for it. Maybe look up.

Breathe, my friends. (exhales deeply) Put your hand back on the bar. Look down at your front leg. Stretching the leg to straight. Sending the pelvis back, tailbone back.

Good. You can stay there if that's a good call for you. Or if you wanna put your hand down on the frame, what I'm doing is actually taking the weight a little bit out of my front leg. So I have a little bit of space to move my pelvis. That's really what I'm doing there. So I can move my pelvis back a little and I'm feeling just a slightly different stretch when I do it that way.

Then put your foot down. Return to your lunge and come on in. One final moment, my friends. If you'll come to the back of your reformer here, front, back, I'm not sure what we want to call it, but where the foot bar is please. And just find a deep squat.

So you're gonna hold with your hands and bend and find a deep squat position here. Let your head relax. Good. Now, if you can't sit this low, then just lean a little bit or find another way to do it. If you're comfortable here, you might take your hands just over that foot platform. Bend your elbows a little bit and relax.

Many of you may be comfortable with no assist. For me, just using my fingers allows me to be more passive and comfortable here. Rolling just a little bit side to side. Loosening up anything that feels tight. (exhales deeply) Use your arms and your body to stand up right.

And let's take three breaths together closing it up. Inhale big. Lift up. Exhale. (exhales deeply) Big lift up. (inhales deeply) (exhales deeply) One more. (inhales deeply) Oh! Feels so good. Thank you so very much for playing.

Zesty Flows with Sarah: On the Reformer


1 person likes this.
I really enjoyed it! 

1 person likes this.
This was a fantastic class since it allowed me to do so much in a short amount of time. (Your classes always manage to pack in a lot of exercises without feeling frenetic. Thank you for that!)
1 person likes this.
Wonderfully straightforward class, looking forward to more!
2 people like this.
Great class Sarah. Straight forward movement is often overlooked. Your workout created lovely connection and flow. Thanks from Noosa Australia
1 person likes this.
Sarah, I have very happy hips right now. Thank you. This was lovely.
1 person likes this.
Well that was just delightful, thank you Sarah! :) 
Yippee! Elizabeth  Thank you!! 
Stacey S thank you!! Next week will be a similar framework , but with more exercises packed in.  Hopefully still not feeling frantic. LOL take care. 

EvaMoves beautiful!  "see" you next week! 
Belinda R Yes!  While I love playing with the movements, coming home to straight forward work always delivers. Take care. 
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