Class #4629

Bone Building Reformer

35 min - Class


Focus on strengthening your bones with this fun Reformer workout by Amy Havens. She uses different props to give you more of a challenge as you work on finding deep connections with isometrical work. In this osteoporosis-safe class, you definitely feel the intensity in your arms and legs as she includes Jumping, Weight-Work, and much more!
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box), Jump Board, Hand Weights (2), Theraband

About This Video


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Hi, everyone. Amy Havens here. Very excited to be back presenting some jump board material for you. A little bit of jump board, some reformer mixed in together. If you have any osteoporosis yourself, or if you have students that have any osteoporosis, this is a great strong class for them.

Great for bone building but if you don't have osteoporosis, it's fine. It's good for anyone. All right, we're going to start on a yellow spring, very light spring. You'll also need a strong Theraband, pretty long one and a set of five pound hand weights or equivalent. Let's go up with our weight. So part of the idea here is to strengthen and do a little bit more than just the lightweights. Okay?

So let's get started. We're gonna stand inside the reformer back in this empty space here. And you'll see what I've done is I've moved my straps out of the way, and I've just hooked them on the back of the reformer. No need to do that. I've just gotten them out of the way. That way I won't step on them.

And then they won't bounce around when we jump. All right. So I love starting with some decompression of spine for elongation and decompression all the time. But especially before some jumping work and some extra weight work like this. So come on along, you're gonna take your carriage back. I want you to walk all the way back to the very back, put your hips straight between those risers bend your knees, you're getting into that nice primary, hip hinge position, and allow the carriage to drag your arms forward and let your shoulder blades also get taken up into upward rotation.

I don't want you to pull your shoulders down, let the stretch happen. See if you can create some space between the pelvis and your lowest rib cage, and then also go deeper inside your spine and think about all the joints of the spine from the base, all the way to the tip of the head. More length, let's take about three breath cycles, inhaling big. We know that the inhale can help create more space. Exhale, just let the air go out.

Feel your abdominals contract softly. Inhale, let that spring pull you a little bit. (Amy exhales ) One more big breath (Amy inhales deeply) and exhale. (Amy exhales) All right. Keeping with the breathing. Elbow stays straight.

I do want you now to retract your shoulder blades, Pulling them down and back, and then let the shoulder blades come back up. Okay. So you simplify it. You can just say shoulders down your back (chuckles), shoulders up. You all know what we're doing here. Scapular mobility, getting them to glide up and down the ribs. We're about to use some heavy weights. So I want you to get some good scapular and warm up here.

Okay. Now you can start adding a little bit of bend of the elbows but do scapula first bend your elbows, pull that reformer toward your knees back ago, back out, and then let the scapula go up. So scapula. Pull. Release, and let the scapula go up a little bit of breath. (Amy exhales) (Amy inhales deeply) (Amy exhales) Couple more, keep feeling that elongation you can squat down a little deeper if you're ready.

It's a great arm workout itself, but it's really meant to warm up your scapular relationship on your ribs. Now from here, I want you just to start walking the carriage in. Okay. Just walk it in and then just do a little easy. Bring yourself up to standing. All right. So step out. Oop I'm gonna go this way.

And we are now gonna start down on our back with three red springs, no more yellow. So you can pop that off and pick up your weights. They're gonna be with us for a while. Okay? Yep. And then as you lie down, you'll probably want to go on your side, roll onto your back. And we'll start with our feet legs, in parallel.

Push the reformer out. Toes can either be at the top of the jump board there or if you're, if you have the ankle mobility, you can come all the way down lower, which actually puts your legs more anatomically straight underneath your pelvis more like you would be standing, right? If that works for you. Great. I'm gonna do that. And I'd like for you first, just to set your elbows down, organize your shoulders, get yourself spine neutral. And then we're just gonna go with some nice, easy bends to the knees. Just kind of get those ankles ready.

Okay. This is just three red springs, you're just testing this and I might actually walk my toes just to weave it up. Let's get those ankles a little more ready for that. There we go. Okay. But let's start adding new weights. So as you push the legs, we're gonna also reach the weights up.

Now let me just talk about this real quick. When we have our arms, this high, we're not gonna over protract the scapula, which could push your thoracic spine too down on the mat. See how I'm doing that there, not good. Let's not do that. Scapula stay flat. Spine stays extended.

Let's carry on and exhale one. (Amy exhales) We'll do eight of these. Two (inhales) and I'm really just keeping my fist nice and neutral.(sighs) I would challenge some of you to do this with kettlebells. That would be so cool to try to balance that kettlebell. I'm imagining that here, hold this position.

Now, turn, so your palms face your legs. Open your elbows down like a bench press eight times. (Amy inhales) Two It's a great chest stretch. You've got to control how you lower those arms and five. (Amy inhales) Six. Remember not to over push the shoulder blades seven (inhales) and eight, push back one more time.

Lower your arms. Turn your legs into a Pilates V and then I want you to rotate your arms the other way, palms should face up, doing some bicep curls, just eight of these pretty basic. Two. Three. Four.

I'm gonna try to get a lot of the arm muscle groups in and six and seven and eight. Okay. Spin back out to parallel. And then come back into arms here. We're gonna do a little bit of marching in place. Take one knee up other arm up and bend.

Place your foot down and reach, the transitions is interesting. Feet and arms down, one leg up one punching up. Okay? You can see it. And one (Amy breaths). Two. So I'm back to the first arm angle with arm straight up. (Amy exhales) Four.

(Amy inhales) (Amy exhales) Five. Leg muscles aren't getting too challenged right here on three red springs, but that's okay. Seven and eight. Now let's do the change of the arm position this way. And one, slightly different in your biceps and shoulders (Amy breaths heavily) Three, (Amy exhales) four, five, just three more. Seven and eight. We're not gonna do the turned out marching.

Just place your hands back down. Okay. Now let's get into some abdominal work here. We've got some blood flow. Take your knees into 90-90, to a little bicep curl and reach your arms straight up. Okay. So easily start to open your arms out toward the sides. Not too low.

You should still be able to see them in your periphery. And then let's exhale as we bring the arms up. Inhale as you open. I want everybody's back nice and flat on the mat. (Amy exhales) So no rib cage arching. (Amy exhales) Only take your arms open as far as your shoulders allow.

All right, we'll take four more here, everybody feel strong. Move those arms at the same time timing (Amy exhales) and seven and eight. Okay. And then lower your arms just down. Place your feet back on the board. All right, moving on. We're gonna change the foot position.

Everybody's stand more on the balls of your feet and then spread those toes and then just push yourself halfway back. Okay. Now you'll feel your legs. The first part was pretty easy. So we're gonna work just these little easy pulses. You've seen me do these before.

You've seen other teachers do them before. I'm trying to use the inner thigh, the quad, the back of the leg, the side of the leg, everything evenly. You're gonna be doing this for a bit. Raise your arms up. So that movement you just did of opening the arms to the side.

We're gonna do four counts to open four counts to raise. We go one, two, three and four, raise them up. Two, three again and down. Two and a three and four and four, three, two more sets of this. Here we go. Same thing. You can go a little bit faster.

Two, three and four, four. This is kind of coordination building. Yeah, timing and coordination and four and four, three, two and then pause. Lower your weights for a moment. Spiral your legs to external rotation. The same exact thing. If your arms are getting tired, you can just put them right down here.

Here we go. One. Two. Three. Four to go up.

One. Two. Three. Three more sets and breathing (Amy breaths heavily) and up. (Amy breaths heavily) Two more sets and one really well, even on the balls of the feet and up two, three and four, one more set. Two. Three.

Four and up two and three. And four lower your weights. Just stretch your legs long. Take them down. And everybody come all the way in. Okay, good. Now I'm gonna just sit up real quick and take off one of those springs.

So I'm gonna put that weight down, come on up and just take off one of those reds. So that leaves two red springs. Grab that weight and come all the way back down. Okay. We're gonna start some jumping. Okay. I like to start with my legs out straight getting a nice long position.

This first round we all just holding the weights right here. Again. Imagine these are kettlebells. They been moving a lot of round, really works the stability. Okay. So my idea of a jump is slow at first, we do a deep bend. We jump and we land and we don't pop the heels up.

We do it again. Nice slow jump, land, push from your legs, land, push, and land. Now we've got eight in a row. One. Still try to land all the way on the heel. Four more. And one, you can challenge your height of jump, but now land and land and hold. Okay? Good.

Let's do it in turnout. Same thing. We're gonna start with two straight legs. Hands are just here. Ready? Bend, jump. and then hold it. Jump and hold it and stretch the heels down.

Stretch the heels down. Let's go eight in a row. One, two. You can try to keep your heels in touch, touching in the air. Five. Six. Seven.

And hold it and then stretch the legs. Okay. So it's really easy patterns, we're gonna go back to the first pattern, which is parallel. Now I'd like to challenge on arm, strength and connection. Raise your arms, just like this, same thing. Bend, jump, hold it and hold it and hold it.

(sighs) And hold it eight in a row. (Amy sighs) It's a little different load on the upper body and the arms as your hold without your elbows on the mat. One more and hold it down here. Okay? Stretch your legs. Heels together. Rest your arms if you need to.

Lift, same thing, four and then eight, (inhales deeply) four with hold. one, two, three, four, eight in a row go. And one push your jumps. (Amy exhales) Open your chest. Four more, three more. Two, we gonna hold it down here. Hold and stretch and relax your arm.

How you doing? Let's come back to parallel. Okay. Biceps are active. Elbows are down. Pick one knee up. Bend that knee.

No, we're gonna jump the same leg eight times. This arm is gonna reach up when you jump, ready? Eight times. One, land. Two, land.

Three, land and four, four more and one. Two, remember not to protect that shoulder blade so it doesn't leave the mat and then hold it. Change. Ready for the other side. One and two.

Three. Use your legs guys. Jump and five, six. and seven and eight and then hold. Lower both feet, lower your arms. I'm gonna do a bicep curl, same principle.

So now you're pulling the weight up as you jump. Here we go. And one and two and three, my elbow is still on the mat and five, six, seven, (giggles) and eight hold it, change sides, I giggled cause it's like, 'Okay, we got it. It's eight counts.' Ready? One. (Amy exhales) Really pull that weight up right?

Pull and push it. Pull it toward you, push it away, pull and push it away. Last two, last one and rest. Okay. Everyone set your legs up on the board for a moment. Lower your weights. Just take a couple breaths, huh, feeling good. A little bit of sweat, little work in the legs and work in the arms.

We're going to progress, but I'd like us to take the weights off the reformer now. Put them on the floor, but we're going to need them on either side of us in a little bit. So just put one here. See if you can put the other one over there and we'll come up off of our back. Okay.

Now, although we put the straps away for us here at the beginning for the jumping section, we're about to need those straps here. Take your springs down to blue only, and let's go get our straps. Okay. Just walking around. Pick those things up, put them around. We're gonna work on some tricep kickbacks, some rowing facing the back. So climbing onto the knees and get into a quadriped set up here for just a moment.

So hands can go up on the shoulder rests, get a very, a good sense of length in your back. You're up on a little diagonal just because these are higher and let's give our lumbar spine two flexing, flexion moments. Okay? So just take a deep inhale (inhales) and just flex through your lumbar spine. It's not too complicated, but after doing all that jumping, it may feel like you just wanna stretch this here. Okay. And then come into neutral.

And then just do next one. Exhale little lumbar flexion (exhales) and neutral. Okay. I'm using this strap. This is my left hand. The other hand can stay up on the shoulder rest.

That's a nice wrist weight-bearing if you're fine with that. If that's not for you, you can come all the way down on a fist. You could put your other hand down flat. I'm gonna take, keep it up here. Bring this elbow tightly by your side. And here we go. Tricep work.

(Amy inhales deeply) And (Amy exhales) So we're no only wanna work the back of the arms back of the shoulders. I was planning eight of these, here's five, keeping your spine centered and these nice one arm movements give your obliques some subtle workout. All right. I bet you felt that, that was your eight. That's it. Put the other down, get centered. Tuck your elbow by your side.

Nice long body. Here we go. Eight, seven. So yeah, you'll probably feel those obliques. Keep weight on, even on your knees, long spine (Amy exhales) six, (Amy exhales) seven and our last one, eight and there, okay. Pick up the other strap.

So, now we have it, a little bit of balance work coming from us here. I'm gonna leave it up to you. You can stay this far away from the shoulder rests, which is more challenging. Or if you feel like a little unsteady right now, and you want more security, you can bring yourself all the way forward, where you do have a little bit of guidance from the shoulder blocks. I think you're fine. Come on back here (chuckles).

So, slowly with control, pull on the straps and I'd like you to cross the straps. Look forward, take a moment and just kind of look at my posture for a moment. Not ideal. See how the hips are back here for this next series. Really want us to get into hip extension as flat line here as we can, all the way up the trunk. That's the balanced challenge.

'Cause there's a reflex that could happen like that. Okay? So it's the rolling, I want you to bring your shoulder blades back, bend your elbows. I've turned my wrists face up. Now I wanna spend a moment here gathering my shoulder blades together. It's not a rib push. It's shoulder blades, release that and let the arms go forward. Palms rotate down.

So its shoulder blades, pull, get a little gathering between the scapula release and forward. We can start adding while you're back here lingering in that scapular connection, getting some upper thoracic extension. So I'm loving that. Lifting my chest toward the sky and releasing straps. Go forward. (Amy exhales) Let it flow.

Right up in to upper back extension. Trust your balance. Okay? Looking forward release. Now I'd like you to do it again. Cross the other strap on top. We'll go right into the arch.

So scapula elbows, keep them gathered. Lift high up on those knees. Feel the hamstrings, supporting your hips, using your upper back, gaze up chest toward the ceiling and release. Three more. (Amy breaths heavily) Last two.

Nice up in the upper back. Keep lifting. You don't have to bend so far back, more about the up, up, up, and we have one more. Here we go. Scapula, elbows, hamstrings, everything, those deep extensors, deep, deep, deep, and lift release. Uncross your straps. And let's put the straps down for a moment, everybody. Okay.

Now, this is an interesting thing. This is kind of a mobility moment. Okay. We're just gonna do a move a foot to here. (laughs) Not pretty, but move it there. Come up on your knees.

There's a little balance going on now. Come back down. Take that foot back. Try to lift it, not drag it, lift it and put it back. Second leg. It's a lift.

You place it. Come up into a high kneeling position, some activity here, come back down. Nice neutral spine, lift and put the foot back. (Amy sighs) A little bit of mobility and balance work. (Amy breaths heavily) I'm gonna dare even to say this might be some functional things on the floor.

Maybe having enough move, motion in your hips to play on the ground. Three more now. And then we're about to turn ourselves around for some scooter push, glutes. And hinging and picking a weight up off the ground. It's kind of a neat little section coming.

Okay. So I wanted to give you this hip hinge and lifting the body, lowering the body because that's what's about to happen next. Okay. So come on to those two knees. Step off your reformer and then scooter. Okay. So for scooter, I'm gonna start on the side that's facing you guys. Here move your weight up there.

Okay. Two things it's out of your way and you're gonna need to grab it in just a moment. So as we set up for scooter, we're gonna need more weight. Red is pretty nice. If you have a green, go for green, a little more to push. Okay. Before we scooter, I wanna have a little different setup.

I want your arm on the jump board, forehead down and have this weight near you enough that you could reach it here. Okay? Now I wanna hover the knee that's on the jump board. I'm right over the frame of the wood. Nice long flat spine. Now push and hold that leg for a moment and bend it in with control, (sighs) push and hold. And, and, so I have my foot down where it would be set up for the Eve's lunge.

Okay. You could keep it there or follow the next place up wee higher. It's a little more glute work up there. Push, (Amy breaths deeply) push. And push. Why don't you do 12 of these. So that was number eight, nine, it's some really nice standing hip strengthened on this hip.

Nine, eleven (laughs) and twelve. Okay. Everybody. Now what we need to do as a transition, set your knee down, lower that foot, lift yourself up. We just did that facing the other way. Now hip hinge, you might have to put the other hand down.

I want you to pick up this weight, use that standing knee can stay bent and then reach it up overhead. And then you're hinging at the hips and you're putting the weight down, coming back up. Okay? So I'm gonna pick up the tempo a bit. (Amy exhales) It's very linear, hingey. There's that tricep kickback.

There's that bicep curl, that reach that we did when we were jumping. It's all in here. It's just now in standing. (Amy breaths heavily) Okay. So we're taking eight, four more, sorry, for a total of eight (Amy exhales) and down. Don't land on your toes Amy. And lift.

Trying to do that lowering with a nice flat back. (Amy exhales) I did not show a modification, if you wouldn't, I'll show you in just a second. Should have said it at the beginning, but I forgot. So if you are not able to get this low without your back, staying flat, you may have wanted to put maybe a little box right there for maybe the next time you do the class so that you're on a moon box so it's a little bit higher. Okay?

Tuck that underneath your reformer everybody. Let's go to the other side. Have that weight out there where you can grab it, get yourself down. Your forearm is on the foot or you're on the jump board. Your head is on your forearm.

Standing leg is next to the working leg and the knee is hovered. And we started with the foot down, push and hold and in. My standing leg remains bent. (Amy breaths heavily) Nice long extension. Okay. You can stay there or take the foot up a little higher (Amy exhales) and you may feel you get just a little more power to push with, from those glutes.

(Amy breaths heavily) Four more now and extension of the spine. Good. And number eight there for a total of 12 pushes, put that foot down, bring yourself up, hinge down. And we're gonna pick up that weight, put it near your shoulder, reach it to the ceiling down hinge and set the weight down and then bring your body back up. Okay. We did eight of those. So lots of lowering, (Amy breaths heavily) hinging those hips. So once again, if that weight is too far away, next time set it on a little box. I really don't want you to round your spine if you don't have to, (Amy breathing heavily) We have four more. Yes. Functional stuff, picking things up, lifting them up, setting down with control.

Three. (Amy exhales) We're doing great everybody. We've got one more little section after this, which is very leggy and very balancy and extremely functional (giggles). Okay. So that was your eight. You're gonna tuck that underneath. Now we need our Theraband.

This is to help us track properly and give you some feedback for your AB ductors. Okay? We're gonna do a little step up here. I've done this before. You need to be safe, please knot all of your springs so that this carriage doesn't move at all. Okay. Step your foot flat.

I have the, not the leg closest to the footboard, other one. Go underneath your knee. So a lot of my clients that I teach here at home are a little on the, over 55 range or up. They need a lot of balance work. We need a lot of bone strengthening work so, you see what I do with this. Okay.

Put your hand on the jump board. Hold that Theraband. You may want it nice and snug. So see, what's gonna happen. Pull out a little bit. That's gonna help you so that you don't collapse your knee in, shift your weight forward, stand up.

And now you're gonna feel the, feel the Theraband behind your thigh also to get a little bit of hamstring connection. And then as you step down and hinging just rock back onto a stable leg. Ready? And press and down. Now I know this is might. If your knees right away are like, ouch, just don't do it.

It's not worth it. My knees are okay. I am trying to track parallel. I am pulling out on this knee. Theraband is there for that feedback.

(Amy exhales) Three more. And I'm feeling no Theraband behind my thigh to keep my hamstrings active as well. Okay. One more for eight. All right. And then we can do the other side.

Eventually. We don't need that Theraband, but here we are. So it's around the knee, thigh underneath, the extra bits are in your hands. Hold firmly on the top of that jump board. You're starting as parallel in your legs as you can be this hip, not in the hike, but down and now hinging everybody. As you start to transfer the weight, think of AB ducting your leg just a little bit to make sure that leg stays tracking parallel.

You don't even have to fully step up. You could actually just kind of come to a releve if you wanted to, that's a great preparation. (Amy breaths heavily) Okay. We did eight, here's number four. (Amy exhales) And number five, (Amy exhales) six. You also don't have to get a full straight knee on the standing up knee, but why not try for it?

Here's number eight and rest. Okay. Let's wind it down by sitting. How do your legs feel, body feels? Open up your Theraband, now instead of stretching it like this, we're gonna stretch like this. Nice long position.

Sit at the edge of the edge of the carriage and put one piece in your top pen, one in the bottom and work on just dorsi flexing that foot. It should feel very nice, long reach of the heel sitting tall. And I'd like you to put both pieces of the Theraband in one hand, bring this leg up for a figure, four stretch. Keep holding that Theraband and keep that foot in dorsiflexion. And you might feel the stretch more in your hip with your foot like that.

Breathe in, lean forward everyone. This elbow can rest on your knee. Be still. Let your brain quiet, let your body kind of start relaxing a little or slowing down. It's a nice opportunity to think back on everything we've done today in the class and how you feel with it.

If your teachers, how, what students you think might really like that material. Okay. Share it please. It's really exciting. Let's take the other side. Sharing is caring as they say, huh? So flex nice dorsi flex foot. Great to stretch those calves sitting up nice and tall.

And then we're taking that knee up, putting the ankle above the knee, you can switch hands, hold on, try to get the stable leg in parallel. And then once again, you're just simply leaning your weight forward a little bit. You'll feel that stretch on that outer hip. Now we can just kind of settle in for about three or four breaths. (Amy exhales) Feel free to up the weights as you get stronger with some of that work, certainly in the supine reaching work as long as your rotator cuff is okay.

Yeah. You all know that. All right. I wanna thank you so much for taking class with me and I am so happy over here. I'll see you next time. Bye.


Corinna S
1 person likes this.
Fun, creative, safe and detailed. You rock Amy! Thanks!
1 person likes this.
Great class! Love all the added weight work and slow movements. New placement of foot for scooter was an excellent idea! Thanks for the creative & fun with lots of functional movement.
4 people like this.
I woke up this morning thinking, I know what my body/mind needs to kick-start the day - an Amy Havens reformer workout! Well, lo and behold... I log on to Pilates Anytime to find this lovely new session with Amy. And, at 50 years young and post menopausal, I was so pleased to see that it was a bone-building/balance incorporating/functional fitness workout that incorporated the jump board for a little bit of a sweat as well. Thank you, Amy Havens, for always building such creative and worthwhile classes. I am happy to have this one in my faves! You always deliver, girlfriend! Enjoy today!
2 people like this.
Hey Amy, thanks for this video! At 41, I thought, oh this might be too easy for me - but I was wrong and pleasantly surprised. Great workout, great sweat and good length for a morning I had to really push myself to get a workout in. Thanks again! :) 
2 people like this.
Really great addition to the repertoire. So enjoy variety on the reformer. Thank you.
Robin P
2 people like this.
I loved this class and the variations with the jump board. Happy to see more osteoporosis safe reformer work.  Thanks Amy!
1 person likes this.
Went back in this AM with your suggestion of the kettle bell this time! Felt great, and enjoyed the added challenge there! Thanks again, Amy!
1 person likes this.
This was great Amy thank you! I have several clients that will definitely benefit. Clients always ask if we can we incorporate weights into a Pilates workout. We sure can! Thank you again!
1 person likes this.
Thanks Amy, love this class!
Sofie van der Sommen
Thank you Amy,as always, I like your approch of the pilatesmaterial as well a your guiding during the workout.Do you have "pilatestips" for woman at the menopause with high blood pressure? Kind regards Sofie from the Netherlands
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