Class #4681


35 min - Class


You will find rotation in many places with this creative Reformer class by Mariska Breland. She uses intricate and detailed movements to help you find rotation in your shoulder joints, hip joints, and torso. She balances exercises that will strengthen and stretch your body so you get a well-rounded workout.
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box)

About This Video

Oct 25, 2021
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So welcome back to Pilates-Ish: On the Reformer. Today, we're going to do rotate. So we're gonna be rotating our arms within our shoulder joint, our hips or legs within our hip joint. We're gonna be rotating our torso. We're gonna be rotating a lot of things.

We're gonna start with two red springs. If you want this to be heavier, you can. I'm gonna start with my head rest down. I generally just go for two red springs when I'm doing footwork, because I don't like to make a lot of changes with springs kind of as I go along. So go ahead and start lying down and we're gonna have your legs so that they're essentially parallel, but you're on your toes.

Now we're gonna knock your knees together. When you push out, your knees separate, you're gonna turn your legs so that your heels will touch when you come in. So knock your knees, push out, rotate, heels touch, and we're gonna keep going in this basic pattern of movement, just getting some lubrication in your hip joints. This should generally feel nice. So we'll do maybe four more like this.

This is two, three, and four. So now we're gonna do the reverse of it. So you start with your heels together. You push out, rotate into internal rotation, push out heels together, knees together as you come in. Heels together as you push, knees together as you come in, heels together as you push, knees together as you come in.

Let's do four more after this. Here's one, two, three, and four. So I'm gonna let my right leg open so that it's in slight external rotation from the position it's in. I'm gonna bring my left leg over towards it. So my left hip is lifted kind of up some, and then I'm actually gonna exaggerate that a little bit by rolling a little bit onto my right hip.

So basically my left glute is lifted off. I'm gonna push out, drop my hips down, lift back up, bend to come in. Push out, down, up and in. Push out, down, up and in for eight total. Heres four, two.

Or that was one more. Can't count. Two, three, and four. So now push out like just regular. When you come in, open your top knee, like it's like a clam lifting your knee straight up to the ceiling.

Push out, knee opens, push out, knee up and out. We'll just do... Well, let's just do eight, just to be consistent. Four, five, six, seven and eight. So I'm gonna leave my right foot where it is, drop my hips back down, move my left foot over, shimmy my hips over if I need to be more centered, bring my right foot over.

And then I have a little bit of a hip shift to get my right hip off. I'm gonna push out, drop down, lift up, bend to commence. We'll do eight of these. There's two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight. Now just push out regular.

As you come in, you rotate your right knee up and then bring it back. And we'll do that eight times. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, and last one, and eight. We're gonna come back in, we're gonna come to center. You can be still on your toes, if you want, you can be on your heels.

We're just gonna push out. I'm gonna hold on to the posts, I'm gonna lift my right leg up and I'm gonna let it go towards the left and really let my hip lift up. And then I'm gonna bring it back up. So I'll just do four, thinking about letting my hip lift off entirely, so I'm really rolling towards the side. And last one, lower that leg down.

I'm gonna hope that my wall is not too close, and it isn't, excellent. So we'll do four on the other side. Two, three, and four. Go ahead and bend to come all the way back in. We're gonna come to your arches on.

If your headrest was up, go ahead and lower it. We're gonna press into your feet, peel your back up. So this is kind of a weird little rotational movement. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna lift my left leg up. So, it could be closer than tabletop, it could be kind of tabletop, that doesn't matter.

What matters is where our rotation is coming from. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna drop the up leg down entirely so that I've rotated from my left, my left hip bone is down, and then I'll lift it back up to square. Lower down, and lift up. I'm just gonna do four. Lower down and lift up, and lower down, so it's a little twist, and lift up.

Now I'm gonna bring my left leg into slight external rotation. My right leg, I'm kind of rolling onto the outside of my foot a little bit. I'm gonna push out, extend my left leg and bend. And I'll just do... It's not really up, it's more out a little bit.

And I'll do last one. And then I'll go ahead, lower my left foot down, just take a little break. I'm gonna push up, lift my right leg up. I'm trying to keep the carriage still as I rotate, drop down and lift up. Drop down and lift up.

Two more, drop down and up, and drop down and up. Slight external rotation in both. I'll push out and in four times. Two, three and four. Foot down, I'll go ahead and lower down.

I'm just gonna hold onto the posts and I'm gonna bring my legs in. They don't have to be in tabletop, they can actually be a little bit closer than that. Elbows are gonna be wide. I'm just gonna let my legs go out to one side without letting my shoulders lift off. And then back through the middle, over to the other side, ideally my knees are gonna stay stacked, they're not exactly stacked, but life is really ideal.

Go to one side and then come back, and then go to the other side and come back. So I'm gonna make my way up just to do a quick little spring change. I want it to be a little bit lighter. We're gonna be doing some legs in straps and also some very minimal one arm exercise. But I want it to be a little bit lighter for the arm one, and then I can just kind of stay on the red blue for a good length of time.

Okay, so, I wanna hold onto the straps, but I want them to come up to my elbows. So I've got the long straps and the short straps. I'm gonna bring the long straps up to my elbows. I'm gonna scoot away from the shoulder rests a smidge, bring my hands behind my head, and then I'm gonna do a criss-cross. So I'm gonna twist and then come back to center, and twist and come back to center.

It's not a huge twist because I have a reasonably heavyweight that I'm pulling when I'm going into one direction. So we'll do four more. One, two, three, and four. I'm gonna go ahead and lower down. See, there was hardly any arm work there at all, but I think this is a reasonable weight to do some arm work.

So we're just gonna do kind of big circles. So you're gonna bring your legs in, you're gonna push your arms down, lift out around and up. And so sometimes we do this thing where we kind of stop here and we're like, don't move the carriage, lift up. That doesn't really suit my purpose of this class, which is kind of free moving rotation. So I'm letting my arms lift up a little bit higher than I probably would, but I'm, maybe an inch or so away from the shoulder rests, so I'm not hitting them.

Let's go ahead and switch directions. We're going up, out and down, up, out and down. We'll do two more. And last one. And then I'll go ahead and bring my feet to the foot bar.

I will scoot up some up against the shoulder rests. And I'm gonna press the leg out, bring one foot into the strap, bring the other foot into the strap. And the most obvious thing to do here will be leg circles. So I'm not going to do that because that's a little bit too obvious. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna bend my legs into sort of a diamond position.

So the soles of my feet are together and my knees are apart. And then from here, I'm gonna do a little tiny leg circle with my legs in this position. So, I'm starting in that external hip rotation. We'll do a couple more this direction, and then we'll switch directions. And then we'll come back to center.

You can push your legs all the way straight. I'm making a little adjustment, 'cause it's sliding down my heel in a way that feels like it's going to slip, which I do not want. And then I'm just gonna let my legs kind of reach out a little bit and then I'm going to rotate them within the hip joint. Now I don't have great external rotation on my left leg, it just doesn't like to do that. But I'm just moving them a little bit internal and a little bit external with the assistance of the strap there.

Now I'm gonna go ahead and bring my legs back into sort of a diamond position, but come in a little bit further. Now without moving the carriage, I'm gonna open my knees out a little bit more, bring them in, open out and in. So essentially think you're doing a clam on your back or trying to keep the carriage still, for all the reasons that we'd wanna kep the carriage still, which is just the challenge of keeping the carriage still. We'll do four more like this. Two, three, and four.

Go ahead and push your legs straight. So we're gonna take your legs up and over, and we're gonna prop your hips up in your hands. So if your head rust is up, go ahead and lower it. So I'm gonna let my legs lift up and I'm gonna basically bring my legs into my hands. I'm gonna start by bending my knees down, open my legs out, straddle my legs, bring my legs together.

So notice that the carriage is not moving. I am just keeping tightness on the straps. So we're going down, out, open and lift. So it's straight down, out to the side, open and lift. Straight down, out, open and lift.

Then we do the reverse of that. So we go out, bend, knees together, straight up. Straddle out, bend, knees together, and lift. Straddle out, bend, knees together, and lift. Last two, out, bend, knees together, and lift.

Last one, out, bend, knees together and lift. Go ahead and lower your knees. Lower down slowly, bone by bone. You can go ahead and push your legs all the way straight. We're gonna do a little stretch here.

So it's gonna be an internal rotation of one leg, external rotation of the other leg. So I'm gonna have my left leg go down towards the front, my right leg is gonna reach out. If I wanted to take that into more of a stretch out, I can out to the side. I genuinely like the stretch a lot. You could also take the up leg and then really work on that sort of internal and external rotation in the hip.

Then to come out of it, I usually just bend both knees in. I'm gonna lower the other leg down. So this is my tighter hamstring and also my tighter quad. So I'm not kind of out as far, but you can work on internal and external rotation of that hip. And you can straddle it out a little bit more.

And then you can go ahead and just slowly make your way out from there. We're gonna hang the straps up and then we're gonna come up to a seated position and we're gonna be on sort of a one blue spring, lengthy time. So one blue is good, one red might be good if you are a lot stronger than me. I'm gonna start on blue. And then I'm gonna turn to face the risers, and I'm just gonna have a seat.

So right hand is gonna grab the left strap. So I think I'm probably gonna change my mind kind of as I go along as to where exactly I wanna hold onto this. But I'm holding onto my hand strap part. So right now my thumb is facing up. I wanna turn it so my thumb is facing to the left.

So all I'm gonna do is I'm going to turn, look towards the right, now my thumb is up towards the ceiling, so I've rotated my arm. And then I'm gonna reach forward. Turn and reach forward. So we have a rotation happening at your waist. You also have a rotation happening at your shoulder.

And then this is where I might decide I don't like my spring choice or I don't like where I'm holding on because we're gonna add a tricep extension. Which doesn't seem like it would be that hard, except it just gets really heavy, really fast. So then you're gonna push, bend and reach. And we'll just do four. Push, bend.

I feel like I'm making faces. Pull in, push and reach. And last one, pull in, push, and then reach all the way forward. I'm gonna go ahead and now I have my left hand, palm facing down. I can have my right hand on my hip.

I'm gonna rotate, so then thumb is up as I look towards the left. And then I'm back to center. Twist two, twist three, four. I don't know how many we did. I think we did about six, and then we added the triceps from four.

And six and then four of the nasty ones, where we do a pull, push. I'm weaker on that side, apparently. Pull, push. Pull, push. And the last one, pull and push.

I had to almost grunt through that last one, which is fine, such is life. So we're gonna go ahead and come to kneeling. Knees are gonna be up against the shoulder rests, and then you want to sit down on your heels. So we're not gonna do kind of the regular kind of pulling. We're gonna be pulling from your elbows.

So think about it's your lats that are doing the pulling, but there will be a rotation in here. So you're gonna pull and back. So this is reasonably easy. Pull and back, 'cause it's a reasonably light spring. Pull, we'll do a couple more like that.

Pull and back and pull and back. Now we're gonna turn this into one of my favorite thoracic rotation exercises, which is where you have a hand down and you rotate open, but we're gonna add the pull at the same time. So you have one hand just kind of behind your ear, you're gonna pull, twist open, and back. And we'll do four. Two, three, and four.

And then you'll switch. So you have your other hand on. Hand behind your head, pull twist, open one, two, three, and the last one is four. And then you can slowly make your way up from there. Maybe a couple of different shoulder rolls.

And then we're gonna turn around to face the other direction still on one blue spring. Now I want to be able to use the frame, this gray exfoliating pad here. If you feel like you need to have some sort of padding on that, go ahead and grab something. I'm just gonna lower the foot bar down just so it's not in the way of my face. And then I'm gonna turn so that my knees are facing towards the right front corner.

And then I'm gonna bring my hands so that they're on the frame. And so I'm gonna start by pushing out. I'm gonna drop my hip, sort of like a little snake, lift my hip, pull to come back in. Go out, drop and pull, we're doing eight of these. Three, four, five, six, seven and eight.

Next one, we go out. Just kinda stay there, you're gonna lift your top knee up eight times. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. And then we'll come all the way back in. We're gonna turn.

I always like to just start seated, so we kind of know where we're going to, that we're in kind of the right position. So your knees are aimed to now the left front corner. You're gonna bring your hands onto the frame. You're gonna push out, drop down, lift up, pull in. We do that eight times.

Two. And if your knees aren't perfectly stacked, that's fine. Three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. Now on this next one, we'll push out, we kind of stay there, and we're just gonna lift your knee up eight times. Two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight.

And then pull to bring yourself all the way in. Now you can definitely heavy it up some if you want to. I am going to keep it on the blue. But we're gonna do some side bending and some rotationally type things. So I'm gonna be close to the footbar.

I'm gonna bring my left leg up onto the headrest and then we'll push out. So my left leg goes straight and I'm kind of in this side plank on my knees and then bends to come in. I'll just do this four times. Two, three, and four. And now one more to go out.

I'm just gonna reach my top arm up and overhead. I'll look down and then I'm gonna pull back in and look towards my foot. Rotating my torso, rotating my head, and then lift back up. And I'll do three more. One and back up, two and back up, and three and back up.

Go ahead and make my way onto my opposite side. So I'm turning facing back. And so I have my right foot up. It's an external rotation. I'm gonna push away and pull in four times.

Two, three and four. And now I'll push away, I'm gonna reach my top arm up and then down. Reach up and down. Three more times. One, and two, and three.

And then go ahead and we'll come all the way in. And so we're gonna turn. You can definitely come to a heavier spring here if you want. I'm going to stay on the blue, I think. So I'm gonna have my legs sitting in sort of a pigeon, diamondy, mermaid kind of position.

So this is actually from Garuda on the Reformer, which is James D'Silva's stuff. So I took that training and I really like all of his mermaids. And this is just a short section of some of his mermaids, but it's some great rotation. So what we're gonna do is we're going to think about rotating. So my left shin is up against the shoulder rests.

So I'm think about rotating my left side of my pelvis to move the carriage and then come back and we'll do eight of those. Two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight. Now, we're keeping part of that, but then we're just kinda moving on. So, we're gonna dip our hand down as if we're trying to scoop down into, let's say there's water down here, the idea of water. So we're gonna reach down as we push out.

So now our arm is by our ear. We're gonna lift up the arm by our ear and then rotate it around. So you're reaching down, arm is by your ear as you lift up, and then rotate it around. So we'll do, let's do five of these. So there's three, four and five.

So that should all feel completely lovely. Now we're just gonna switch around to the other side. So literally you just have to move your legs and then you end up where you need to be. So your hand is on the footbar. So we're gonna start with your right pelvis moving the carriage eight times.

Two. Not that you have two pelvises, but I'm gonna say we have two parts of our pelvis. Four, five, six, seven, and eight. So the pelvis part stays the same as you reach down. Your arm is by your ear, you're gonna reach up and around, that's one.

Reach down, up and around, two. Reach down, up and around, three. Reach down, up and around, four. Last one reached down, up and around, five. Let's go ahead and turn so that we're facing front.

And then from this front facing position, we're just gonna, let's come to your feet tucked under, and you're just gonna push back. We're gonna add rotation by dropping one arm down, so you're holding on underneath the frame, or you could even reach your hand to the floor to get more of a twist. And then we'll come up to the other side. So I like to reach for the frame first, reach for the floor, give myself a little bit more of a twist. And I liked that, so I'm gonna do one more each side.

So I'm reaching down. I'm actually almost pushing against the spring and then back. And reaching down. The spring isn't there on that side. I mean, it's there, but it's further away.

And then go ahead and make your way all the way up from there. Let's go ahead and we're gonna switch it to a single red spring. We're gonna come to standing, and we're gonna be externally rotated, so your legs are externally rotated. So both legs are externally rotated facing perpendicular. You're gonna bring your left leg on the reformer, if your right leg is the closer to the floor one, and then you're going to bend into sort of a squat and then lift up.

Two, three, four, five, six, seven, we'll stay down on the eight. Reach your arms out and then you'll stand up and do a little side bend and then reach back out. So you bend your knee, stand up in a way you do a little side bend and back. We'll do two more of those. Reach up and down, and reach up and down.

So from there, we're gonna turn, we're gonna take your left leg down to the floor. Your right leg is gonna come up towards the carriage. And I'm still on the one red spring. So both legs are straight. I'm gonna begin to push back and I'm gonna open my outside arm and then I'll come back in.

Reach out, we'll do eight of these. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, and last one, and eight. We'll go ahead and make our way to the other side. So we're on still the one red spring. So I'm gonna stand this time with my left leg turned out.

My right leg is also turned out. I'm gonna squat down with my left leg with my right leg pushing and stand up eight times. Two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight. Arms reach as you push out and back up, reach out and up, reach out and up, and last one, reach out and up. So, I'm gonna come in, take a quarter turn, half turn, 45 degree turn.

And then we're gonna have your left leg pushing out, and your right leg is straight, both legs are straight. You're gonna reach out, reach your arm out, look over your shoulder, and back eight times. Two, three, four, five. My wall is a little closer, so my arm's moving a little bit different. Six, guess I could go like that, seven and eight.

And then we'll go ahead and come all the way in. Let's just have a seat down and just in a regular cross-legged position. And we're going to use the shoulder rest to get a little bit more of a rotational stretch. So left hand, right knee, right arm on the shoulder rest. And you kind of lift up and twist.

Take a couple of big deep breaths there. (Mariska breathing deeply) And now go to the other side. So, right hand, left knee lift up and rotate around, (Mariska breathing deeply) And then you can come back to center. If there's any last stretches that you wanna take, go ahead and take those now.


Valerie S
2 people like this.
I love your classes Mariska.  You are very creative.  Thank you.
Elissa D
1 person likes this.
Great, creative movements. I feel great after he class! Thank you!
Michele M
1 person likes this.
Such a good practice!  Loved the side bends, twisting, lateral lunges and hip rotation (great for runners and cyclists too!) Thank you for sharing Mariska!:) 
1 person likes this.
Such a lovely class. Lovely fluid movements that helped me ease out of places I feel restricted. Have added it to my favourites 🙏
1 person likes this.
That felt so nice on my body loved it 
1 person likes this.
So many fun ways to rotate, I love it!
Thank you! I love rotations and agree that they feel amazing!
1 person likes this.
Totally feel good class! Thank you
1 person likes this.
Rotations are my favorite. Those added to your amazing creativity have made my day :)) Thanks a lot Mariska. 
Question: do you know if there has been any scientific research that has looked into the reasons why rotations are so good for the human body and mind? I'd be super interested to know!
1 person likes this.
I LOVE the creativity of your classes Mariska, thank you so much for sharing this series!! 💙 
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