Class #4662

Straightforward Reformer

25 min - Class


You will flow through a traditional Reformer workout in this quick class by Diane Diefenderfer. She keeps the pace consistent by adding seamless transitions that will allow you to move from one exercise to the next. She includes the exercises that she taught in a series of tutorials to show how you can incorporate them into a full-body class.
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box)

About This Video

Sep 27, 2021
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Hi, I'm Diane Diefenderfer. And this is Laura Hanlon. I'll be talking, she'll be demonstrating. We're going to do a straightforward, pretty traditional reformer class. It's at a fairly brisk pace.

So hopefully this'll wake you up. Still remember that it's a full body workout. I'll give you some spring suggestions. You can do what you're used to on your own equipment at home or in your studio, all right. So we're gonna start with some leg and foot work.

Laura is using, she's using two reds and a green. I usually, at home, use three reds foot bar at the height that you like. All right, go ahead, she's rolled down to the reformer. She's at the ready, her belly button's to her spine. Her spine is lengthened and her sacrum is connected, neither arching or tucking, all right, bring your feet up to prehensile please.

We got a good wrap of the toes, heels down. I'm gonna give her one stretch to start, go ahead, press out all the way. And I'm gonna give her a stretch, which if you are with someone, you can do that. Otherwise you're on your own, getting your heels deep, achilles tendons really lengthened out. Great and come in, let's go for 10 and one and in.

So it's a fairly, as I said, fluid, continual pace, and I'm gonna move these and press and in, good. She's got her back nice and long, her low belly pressing in, her legs in a good parallel. You're counting I hope 10. Using her hamstrings and glutes without tucking. Nice, good, heels on the bar is next.

The good flection of the feet and begin. One, she has her heels high on the tip of the heel, really activating hamstrings here, working on the way out, working on the way in. So you're always firing the back of the legs. Again, the glutes without tucking, beautifully flexed feet. Nice, open neck and throat.

Nice, remember the whole body and the breath. Good, all right, we're gonna go to Pilates stance or a small in dance first position. Go ahead, and one and in. Good, so she has her knees in line with her toes, externally rotating from her hips. Beautiful, really pulling inner thighs together.

You may breathe how you wish. If you're going fast enough, you may wanna take a breath in and out for every other one. Just don't hold your breath. Is that 10? And good, nice, go to parallel.

Nice high heel position. Good, and begin 10 here, one and in. So we have our high heels or relevé. Make sure you're not pronating or supinating, really working good ankle alignment, again using the back of the thighs and in and press, and in. Nice, good, I think you have three more.

Eight, you wanna do eight, you can. We're doing 10 today and hold there for 10 and exhale there. Good, we're gonna go into running in place. And one and two and one and two. Really being mindful of your good ankle alignment, centered on the metatarsals all the time, knees pointing to the ceiling.

She's got a nice, flat, low belly, working her transverse abdominals to really stabilize the pelvis. Almost finished, change and change. One more and good and finish high and low heels. Getting that stretch. Take a breath in and return your carriage, feet to the ledge, arms to the ceiling, inhale, exhale.

Use your abdominals to roll up, your foot bar goes away and you're getting ready for hundreds. So foot bar should be away and Laura's going to use two reds. You may use a red and a blue. Again, it's your choice. Challenge yourself appropriately.

I had moved those because of the sound. All right, good. So we're gonna do the classic hundreds, in five out five. Make sure your shoulders are away from the shoulder blocks. You're not ending up stuck up there.

We'll go to tabletop knees. And then she has the shorter strap, arms are up. Shoulders are down, inhale, go right into it exhaling and, one, two, three, four, five, exhale, three, four, five, two, good, you're counting. Her arms are a small but taut movement. She's really reaching through her fingertips.

Good, one more should be five. So we'll do five in parallel and little turnout. Six, two, three, four, five. Four, five, seven, two, Fill your lungs, out, out, out, out, out. It's a breathing program after all.

Nice, beautiful. She's got a nice upper body curl without dropping her neck, 10, two, three, four, five, good and pause. Parallel inhale, let's bend everything and nice. Feet in the straps. Same springs, she's on two reds.

You may use the red and the blue and I'll have her put her head rest down. There's many versions of short spine. I'm gonna do the one that I do the most frequently, parallel alignment, nice, long open neck and throat. Don't turn your head, legs come back, inhaling. Their carriage is close to stopping on this version.

Exhale, use your abdominals to roll up, then to a nice diamond, inhaling, feet together. Exhale, roll through the spine, ribs closing, belly deepening, excellent. Bring the heels right in toward the bottom and exhale through and again, flexing in the hips. It's really nice how she has her neck long. Roll up, toes up to the sky.

And bending without dropping the knees. Beautiful, and then rolling vertebra by vertebra, by vertebra, by vertebra. Heels down and use your belly to push your legs through at the end. Two more, we'll do four of these today. Exhale, beautiful.

Bend, and exhale down. I encourage you to think of opening your back in the wide direction as well. Use that belly and good, one more time, inhaling and exhaling. Good, I think she got a little higher each time, which you may do as well as you get warmed up. Heels deep and press out, beautiful.

Take your feet out of the straps, you can loop the poles. Good, and Laura's gonna roll up again. Every time you have a chance to roll up and roll down, you know to use your abdominals, I'll get her the gripper for stomach massage, two red springs, which she still is on. So it's convenient, your springs aren't changing a whole lot. All right, so we go to the position that you need to.

And what does that mean? Not too close, not too far. Depends on your height, your hip health and all those good things. We'll keep it moving, holding onto the bar. She takes a nice preparatory breath in.

You're sweating, and then belly in, exhaling into position and begin. One, flex the feet, two, rise and bend. Press, we're doing five. She has nice control of the foot placement, not too high or too low, and her thighs are tight. Her legs are not too turned out, just a bit.

Pilates stance, good, press, that belly is deep. This five, and good, hands behind you for the flat back version and same legs and breath. And up and down. Here we have a beautiful lift of the sternum, so you really open up the chest, feels good. Her back is very straight.

Do the best you can to keep it straight. Good, five of these. There's more in this section, but as I said, this is a quicker workout, just to get you going. And rest. All right, we're gonna go to pelvic press, which is really a Ron Fletcher exercise.

Three reds, thank you. Head rest is down, make sure it's down. And she's going to roll down again. Foot bar, reasonable height for your height and proportions, feet to the sides here. Yes, so slightly wider than hip width.

Good alignment parallel, she's going to inhale. She uses her low belly and peels up vertebra by vertebra by vertebra, press the carriage away. Inhale, let's do one exhale to return and roll down. So you do sustain your breath on this one. Inhale at neutral, exhale, scoop, pelvic floor, inner thighs, glutes, hamstrings, beautiful, inhale.

Exhale. Neutral pelvis, scoop. Nice pelvic tuck, good. You got a nice hip flexor stretch here. Beautiful, if you need more breath, more air, just take it whenever you need it.

Just don't hold your breath. Good, two more times, good. So Ron Fletcher had a very prescribed breath pattern on all the exercises, which was very clear and wonderful. Romana's teaching to me was to breathe with the heartbeat. So just breathe.

Good, and last time. Yeah, nice. (breathing) Inhale, exhale, beautiful, Laura. Hug your knees to your chest. Good, place your feet on the ledge.

All right, arms to the ceiling and you'll roll up again using your abdominals and we'll go to two reds for the knee stretch series. All righty, so kneeling on your reformer. First one is a rounded back, knees on, deep contraction, beautiful curved spine and begin. One and in, two. Good, we're doing 10.

This is old school, 10 of each, it's tough. Really keep that spine curved, pelvis tucked, belly contracted, beautiful. You could count them in 10. Okay, good, release to flat back. Actually kind of stick your butt out.

Sits bones over your heels, long line, belly in and go one, and nice. See the difference here, make sure you find it. So first one's rounded back, second one's back flat, pelvis released, still using the belly. Good, nice, her shoulders are down. Her neck is long, lovely.

And then breathe in and out to contract, knees off and go. One and in, two and in, beautiful. So this one's a tough one. Knees off, that's right. Good, keep those legs low and, beautiful Laura, and rest.

Well, you're super warm. So I hope you all are too, we're not done yet. Stomach pull is next. You could leave it on the two reds or go red and blue, your choice. You shouldn't have to power through this one.

This is really from the Ron Fletcher program, a high V or a stomach pull. You're on a bit of a high heel position. So it's not super high, centered on the metatarsals, hips up to the ceiling, there's the V, The height is in the tailbone to the ceiling. And press one, and pull. And two, we're doing eight of these.

So Ron called it the stomach pull because that's exactly what he wanted us to think of to bring the legs in. Hips, yes, good. Pelvis released, good. So there's a little hip extension and a hip flection. Do eight and then that's good.

Nice Laura, feet flat, same thing. Good, go ahead eight times. I wanna say this is a little bit like a yoga downward dog, but not completely. We're not going into a sway arched back. We're keeping that sharp V as best you can.

If you want more stretch, you can lift your toes. Do be careful if your knees are hyperextended, that you don't lock back into the back of the knee joint. Nice, good, Laura. Okay, you may put your hands on the carriage and carefully roll up through the spines. You don't wanna stand up too quickly.

We're going to go to arm work. I'll have you step on this side and we'll go to one red or a green. She likes to work pretty strong. She is strong, so she can do it. Good, that's nice, get the foot bar out of the way, head rest flat, which it is.

And we'll do some very basic biceps, triceps and hug a tree, taking the shorter loop. Beautiful posture. Wow, look at that back, and eight. One and reach, two, good. Remember it's a whole body workout.

I think I've said that a few times. So it's not just arm work. Nice neck line, flat back, using your muscles of your spine. I think you're at seven, excellent. Eight and turn for triceps.

And a one and through. Look at the posture, beautiful. Back, the wrist is straight. The fingers are extended, good, five. Make sure those palms are facing straight back.

Seven, and then we're gonna do a little variation using both, one bicep, one and turn, one tricep back, and through, three more of this. Good and back, beautiful. Bicep, look how her elbows stay at that nice level. Her upper arm is parallel to the floor here. Beautiful, last time, and good.

All right, loop your shoulder blocks. Turn around and face that way for hug a tree. Pectoral work, works more than just the pectorals, but primarily pectoral work. Make sure the arms are shaped nicely rounded. Good and begin, one.

Good and two, so you can imagine you have a big Sequoia tree or something in front of you, whatever your tree of choice. Good, do be sure the elbows are higher than the wrist and the shoulders slightly higher than the elbow. So you're not here, you're not here wrapped, yeah. Huge Sequoia, smaller Sequoia, eight of these. Beautiful, good.

All right my dear, you can keep those handy. We're gonna go to long spine stretch. So you'll need to change to two reds. That's our typical one. If you have to do extension straps or adjust your straps, do what you need to do.

You could pause your camera if you need to. Otherwise we go right into long spine stretch with the longer straps. Good, good, good, good. All righty, and she'll start with her legs on a nice 45 degree angle. A nice, long neck, open throat.

Yeah, she's working hard. All right, the legs come back, much like short spine stretch, exhale, roll up. You'll feel taller, longer because of the extension. Small V, the legs become small V and you roll through vertebra by vertebra, by vertebra, by vertebra. Use that belly to anchor sacrum circle and close.

Two more of these, inhale and exhale, starts from the low belly, beautiful. Open to the V, good. As you roll down, you wanna think of your toes reaching up as your spine rolls down, yes. Anchor sacrum using your belly. One more this way, inhale, and exhale, nice.

Small V, it's about the width of your wood-frame. Keep the neck open, which she's doing beautifully. Do press into your mat, that's appropriate, oops. (laughing) Stand back, reverse it. Circle to the V and roll up in the V.

Nice, close the legs tightly. Roll down, this one gets a little more challenging to keep those inner thighs together. Anchor belly, now use hamstrings in belly to lower. Two more, inhale, to the V, exhale, roll up, lengthen through the toes. Close the legs, roll down, open the neck right away.

Beautiful, good, use belly and hamstrings. One more circle, and up you go. (breathing) Nice, close and roll. Do you feel like your spine has gotten longer? She's smiling, she's breathing so she's not talking, and good, take a moment, flip your head rest up.

We're going to add some leg circles with the longer straps here, they feel good. All right, pelvic stability using the belly and circle, one around and close and two, I'll stay here so I'm not in your way. People, don't go too wide on these. Sometimes you get enthusiastic. You don't wanna go too wide.

Can be a little bit be straining on the back. Good, two more this way. Keep the circle equidistant, flex your feet. Reverse one and lower, beautiful. Two, on that way down especially, use low belly hamstrings.

No tucking of the pelvis. Five, reach through the heels, six, nice, two more, and good, one more and beautiful. Go parallel, bend your knees, take your feet out. And you can loop your poles and you can roll up again. And we're gonna go into side controls.

One red, let's face the camera. Ta-dah, so she will stand with her foot on the ledge, and then on the carriage. This is how I learned it. For safety, You step on the stable spot first. We have an intentional pelvic tuck and begin.

This is the narrow side control. Let's do five, out and in. She doesn't need it, but I'm just making a mention here of how square those hips should be. Nice, keep going. I'm just moving these because of the sound for our audio.

Good, and then toe, heel out, nice. Arms in a nice T shape. I'm over here and go wide and tall. So folks, you wanna push into your carriage, not just out and in. And then tall and beautiful, she's really parallel.

She has her quads nicely engaged. So she's not sinking into the knee. Five of these is good, let's go out again and hold it. And just on this side, hinge forward to a flat back, maintaining the stability of the carriage, Come back up, don't move the carriage and return, just thought we'd try that on that side. Toe heel back in and step off on your left, walk around and she'll have her back to you all, but you can see how nicely she's working, standing on the ledge, stepping up carefully, arms low.

Pelvic tuck and go, one and in. Two, so I think you all can see too, that she's quite square. Nice, and you do wanna do both sides, both legs. And five, I think that is five, yes, okay. And toe, heel out, making sure a feet are parallel and we'll simply do the out and in.

And one and good, think of the pubic bone going right towards the ocean. So as I said, there's an intentional pelvic tuck. It really helps you work your medial gluteal area as well as everything else in there. Good, and then bring your foot back carefully. Nice Laura, you can step back there and then turn around.

We're gonna do the Eve Gentry exercise, one red. We've called this Eve's exercise because from the stories, I know, this is something, Eve Gentry, modern dance pioneer who's no longer with us, made this exercise up for a nice hip flexor stretch. All right, so you're on your knee, being very mindful of hip squareness. Go ahead, press out, and in. So I've seen this done, it feels good.

It's kind of a fun way to wind down. I've seen this done poorly where the body sinks, don't do it. But sinks down and the belly's connection is lost and you don't wanna do that. Five or six is good. Nice, and then walk around to the other side.

Yes, she's glistening. (laughing) All right, good, you can start, making sure your foot is in good alignment. Parallel foot, shinbone, knee over the foot. I hope that is understood, this is not a tutorial, it's a workout, but make sure you're mindful of your own alignment. Always breathe, always remember it's a whole body program, you should be in good shape.

Abdominals are key, all right. Good, you can stand with me. And that is a quick wake yourself up, Universal Reformer workout. Thank you so much, have a great day.


Elena S
Amazing flow! Thank you
Misia A
Great instruction Diane, thank you!
Kiersha W
Love the pace. Thank you for the workout.
Love it! Sometimes I just need a short one.
Loved Dianes fast flow and great instruction! Hope we can look forward to more reformer videos from her!!
Bravo, loved the cueing and seamless flow of the class! A full body workout indeed! Thank you for sharing Diane- excellent words, rhythm and flow, felt the connections even just watching the class! Lovely execution by Laura too!
Loved this! Thank you! 
Great workout and amazing energy)
So happy to see you back. I love all your classes! 
Edgar A
Great video! I really like the breathing in pelvic press to return the carriage and lower the pelvis back down in one long exhale. I also appreciate how you described the difference between keeping a flat back during the High V exercise instead of swaying the back the way you would in a down dog from yoga.
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