Class #4707

Strengthening Reformer

60 min - Class


You will focus on your pelvic health with this strengthening Reformer workout by Madeline Black. She starts with a self-assessment to see where your body is before you move. She then transitions into exercises that will give you more support of the trunk and more expansion in the pelvic bowl.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Knee Pad, Jump Board, Overball


Read Full Transcript

Welcome. We are going to do a reformer class based on pelvic health. My name is Madeline Black, and this is Erin, who is my client today. Okay, so we're going to start with just a little bit of self-assessment. So turn and face the window and just have your hands on your thighs and just close your eyes a little bit and start to sense in your body where is the weight distributed on your pelvis?

Do you feel your right sit bone heavier than the left sit bone? Or do you feel the left sit bone a little heavier than the right? There's no right or wrong. I just want you to sense where is your body today? And then take a mental note of that.

And then I want you to take a few small, easy breaths, just normal breathing. And I want you to go internal and start to sense where is your breath moving in your body? Where can you feel the expansion of the inhale? And when you exhale, how does your body weight settle? So the inhale expansion, you might notice, it's maybe moving through the rib cage more on one side than the other.

You might notice that your pelvis is expanding or maybe the breath isn't quite getting down into the pelvis. So again, just kind of have a sensation and make a note of that because we're going to revisit this sensation to see how it changed at the end of the class. All right, Erin. So come lie down. And what we have is a deflated ball. If you don't have a deflated ball, you don't actually need one, but it's kind of nice to have something that your pelvis is going to just as it starts to settle in, to release into, then perhaps the reformer.

Yeah. See, I'm going to put on a couple more springs so that if the carriage doesn't really move. So I've got two reds and a blue there, so, all right. So this place in, under your sacrum, under the pelvis. Yeah. Very good.

And I like that, that you've done that where your hands are just resting on the front of your pelvis. You can separate your legs a little bit. Good. And then just again, take a couple of slow breaths, just nice and easy. No big, just kind of normal, easy breathing.

And then as you exhale, just kind of settle in. Great. And the ball should be in a place where you can feel your lower spine just completely relaxing. So we're working on just letting go of any kind of tension being held in the body. But primarily I want you to focus on the pelvis itself.

Good, nice and easy. And as you settle in, you can also start to feel your rib cage kind of sinking into the carriage. It's like you're leaning into the carriage, but not with a lot of effort. Just allow that to kind of settle down and sit there. Okay.

Now with your feet, what I'd like you to do on the frame there is to push your feet gently down into the frame, and then start to think about pulling your heels back towards the carriage or towards your sit bone without sliding your feet. So we're engaging the lower legs, the back of the legs, actually, you're going to feel the whole leg. Right. Right. And then just let that go. There you go. And again, take a breath and just let it settle.

And again, pressing your feet down as if you're pressing into sand, pull the heels back. So we're really activating the whole leg. You can feel that. And by doing that, you might notice that there's also an activation naturally happening in the bowl of the pelvis. And then relax that. Just let it go.

Exhale. We're going to do one more like that. So pressing the feet firmly down. Imagine you're pulling the heels back towards the carriage and hold it for a moment. Don't hold your breath.

Just hold that and then relax and let it go. Great. All right. So we're going to do that on one leg. So on your left leg, do the same thing. Push down into the frame and pull your heel back.

'Cause that's going to create stability for this leg and then just float your right knee up and place your hand on top of the knee. Yeah. And you can let this drop, just let it dangle. Good. So I want your left leg to be active and this leg a little more relaxed, that's it.

And then push down a little bit with your hands. So you're like settling down. Yeah. Good. Now the ball creates a little bit of a wobble. So the more the active tip of this leg will hopefully anchor this side down.

So as you're pushing down, don't push so hard that you tip on the ball. Okay? And if the is too wobbly for you, go ahead and take it out. It's fine. Okay.

And then I just want you to do a little tiny circle with the knee, just real small and see if you can notice how your pelvis maybe will wobble on the ball. Okay. So you don't want to wobble too much. There will be some movement. So don't think you have to stop that. Good and go the other way.

And we're just trying to release a little bit in the depth of your hip there, the hip joint itself. That's very good. Okay. And then float your leg back down onto the frame. Get oriented again here. All right. Now engage your right leg.

Push down, pull the heel back and float the other leg up with a dangling leg. Good. And just take a moment here. So you can really feel the contact of your right leg. That's your support. And then this leg is going to sink into the socket.

Very nice. And then little circle. Just really easy. Yep. It's okay if you're a little bit of rolling with the ball, that's okay. Good. And go the other way. Excellent. Good.

And place the leg down. Great. Now let's remove the ball. All right. Very good. And just having your arms by your sides, like you're doing, we're gonna, you're going to do the same feeling now. Standing leg active, exhale.

Bring your right knee up with a dangling leg. I like the dangling idea. That's okay. And then come back down and let's do that two more times. So feel your standing leg and just float your leg up.

It should be very easy. Yeah. And come down. So we're working, just kind of releasing the femur into the socket, getting a nice hip flexion. Very good. Now engage your right leg to stand on it. Prepare yourself and then float the left leg.

Excellent. And just notice now, how is your pelvis situated on the carriage? It should feel pretty solid on the carriage without a lot of tension. Yeah? Good. All right. Now come up with the right leg.

Good. Now pause there and bring your left leg up. Very good. And pause there. Feel your femurs kind of set down. Feel the weight of them into the socket. Bring your right leg down and your left leg down.

Bring your left leg back up. Right leg up, left leg down. Right leg down. We'll go around one more time. Right leg up. Very good. Left leg.

Right leg down. Left leg. One more time left, right. Now we're going to stay here. Okay. Now I'd like you to grab your wrist. So grab the wrist and I want the wrist right across from the middle of your breastbone here.

And then I want you to pull. So you're pulling the wrist here and you can feel how that activates through the rib cage into also the carriage. Right. So your rib cage is resting on the carriage. You're activating with the arms. Okay.

And now you're going to do a double touch of your toes to the board, to the frame and come right back up on one. Exhale. Ready? Take a breath in, exhale. Tap. Keep exhaling, come up, keep pulling. And I'll pause. Take a little sniff in exhale.

Touch. Keep pulling up. Exhale. Good and exhale, go. So you just take a little sniff at the top and keep breathing out. You're breathing out longer than you're inhaling and down. Okay. Now pause for a second.

Switch your risks. That's it. (Erin laughs) (laughs) Good. And now pull and go, exhale. Keep exhaling as the knees come up and again. So getting the diaphragm to move and work.

We want that exhale to be much longer than the inhale. One more time. Good. Okay. And lower your legs down and relax. Great. And place your arms by your side. Okay.

Now we're going to sit up and we're going to use the short box and do a little bit of leaning back for the hip. Okay. So why don't you grab the box for me? And we're just gonna keep the springs on. We're actually not using the carriage. We're just gonna sit here.

All right. Perfect. Great. So depending on the size of your box, you can have your feet on the frame, which is a nice angle. But if you have a smaller box, your feet can actually be on the carriage if you want. Okay.

So we're going to be working in eccentric contraction of the hip flexor area, which includes the trunk. And I'm interested in the pelvis moving on the femur here. So what I want you to do is you're going to hip hinge forward, grab your right leg. Your leg is relaxed, completely relaxed, and you're going to bring yourself upright and bring the leg with you. Exactly.

So now keep your leg relaxed, and you start to lean away. Don't move your you're going to straighten the arms. So this doesn't move your leg. Your leg doesn't... Great. And now pause here. You're going to let go.

Now you have to hold your leg and slowly lower it down. 4, 3, 2, 1. So four counts and then come back. So lean forward to pick up your leg. Make sure your leg is relaxed.

Lift it up, leaning back, arms straight. Let go. Hold it. And down four counts, 4, 3, 2, 1. And repeat. Keep going, lift. Good. Lean back.

So the pelvis moves away from the thigh. Let go and hold lower down slowly and come forward. Great. And come up, lean back. Let go. Right. And come up one more time back.

Back, great. Really slow. 4, 3, 2, 1. Good. One more time. Very nice. Go slow, slow, slow.

The slower you go, the more the muscle has to work. Okay. Let's do the other side. And lean. Let go. 4, 3, 2, 1. Come up. Good.

Excellent. She's making it look very easy, but it's not. So the idea is, keep going. So you're leaning back. So we're getting that eccentric contraction and control of the trunk.

And then the leg is moving away from the pelvis. Right. This really helps with any tension you might have in the hip flexion. And it's also strengthening the support of the trunk. Okay. One more time.

So support of the trunk is very important for pelvic health. 3, 2, 1. Excellent. So that's a good warmup. Okay. So we're going to go and place the jump board in the reformer.

So now we're going to be working with the jump board and I have two reds and a blue spring. You could go to reds if you'd like, all right. So we're going to start with the feet on the top of the board. All right. So go ahead and push out for me with two legs and stay straight.

Okay. We're to take the left foot and bend the knee and just put your toe on the board. Yeah. And that's just because we're going to be working one leg right away. All right. So now lift the leg up.

Good. And now bend the knee and slowly, good. Now push through your heel and press out. Good and really lengthen the leg. Good and come in slowly. Good and feel the heel.

Push into the heel. I purposely have the toes off the board, so we have to really work the rear foot. So she's pushing through the foot and extending the hip. Great. Now put your toe on the board just to make a transition and slide your foot a little further down.

Good. And then lift your knee and then push out. We'll do about three reps in each position. We're going to walk down the board. Good. And three good.

Now toe to the board and slide down to like you're standing. All right. And here we go again. Really feel the whole foot. Now you can also feel the metatarsals, heel, push into the foot. Good and push into the foot.

Okay. Let's place the left foot on the top of the board and bring the other leg. Got it situated. Good. Right leg up, good. And in, push into the heel.

Now this is more midfoot, rearfoot. Yeah, but keep the toes on the bar. Yeah. Kind of reach, that's it. Good. One more time. And then transition.

Bring your toe to the board so you can slide your foot down. Excellent. And go and press. Good. Feel the metatarsals when you push out. That's it. And transition, toe to the board, slide down.

So like you're standing on a straight leg and press. And you'll notice that your dorsi flexion, the ability to bend in the ankle changes the lower you go. Exactly. Okay. And then come up to the top of the board again. Great. And come parallel, both feet.

Okay. So now we're going to do a series on the board. If you can imagine a circle on the board or like a clock on the board. So this would be 12. Okay. So we're going to go through 12 and then a 45 degree angle, then a wide position and then a lower up part of the clock, a 45 degree angle and back to parallel. All right. So we'll do three in each.

There you go. So pressing out. One, good, feeling the heels, two. And now stay out on three and change your feet to a 45 degree angle. Not too wide and go and out. So we're working the hip in different diagonals and angles, really working through there.

And now we're going to go wide, whatever your wide is, you can go to the edge of the board. Exactly, with turn out. Erin has some great turnout. So whatever's comfortable for your hips. Good. Two. Now stay out there.

Now we're going to stay at that lower level, but do the 45 degree and again, and press. Good. Two, three. And then we're going to come parallel at the bottom here and then bend. Good. Good.

Okay. I'm going to throw something in here. A little surprise for Erin, she's not prepared for this. Okay. So I want you to flex your feet. So press your heels. Lift them up. Really pushed away from the board.

Feel like you're moving. Yeah. Feel how that creates a length through your body. Now try to keep that length, roll through your feet and lift your heels up. Good. And then roll through your feet and bend the knees and come in a little bit.

I'm going to repeat that. So push out heels flex, push on the board. Create that length, feels very good in the trunk, doesn't it? Now keep the length in, lower your feet down. Lift the heels up, lower the heels down.

Bend the knees. We'll do that one more time. Push out, heels push into the board, lengthen through the trunk, roll through your feet. Lift the heels, heels come down. Excellent. And then bend.

And let's come back to the top of the board. Okay. All right. So let's go down to have somewhere where you're comfortable. You feel like you can get good dorsi flexion. That's it very good.

Now what I'd like you to do is turn your feet parallel diagonal, if you can do that, and we're, what I'm looking for is your knees are still going to stay in line with your hips, but you're just doing internal rotation and external rotation. Right? So we don't want to turn the feet too much. All right. Now, push out in that diagonal.

That's it. And come in. If you have one leg that's slightly shorter than the other, it's going to feel kind of odd. Yeah. So just do your best. Good. One more time. Right, now, swing your...

Come back to parallel and now turn 45 degrees or less. That's it, bend. So you like this side, this is a good for you. (Erin laughs) Good. Meaning that she has a preference for a right externally rotated hip and a left internally rotated hip.

So this is more even for her. Yeah. Feels really good. Okay. And then straighten. So you might notice that yourself come back to parallel. Let's do it one more time.

So here's your, so take your time here. This leg that doesn't like to really turn in. Yeah. Okay. And bend. Yep. Let's try to keep it. There you go.

So you want your knees kind of heading a little bit towards your second and third toe, even though you're turned in. That's it. You feel the work? Excellent. Really good. Let's do one extra one here for you on this side. That's it.

And turn let's switch and we'll just do three. Here you go. Great. 1, 2, 3. I'm going to come back to the parallel. Good.

And now lowering your feet a little bit down the board. Excellent. So we're going to roll through the feet. So let's just bend the knees and come in and you're going to keep the knee bent and roll your heels up off the board. That's it. Now from this position out and then lower your heels.

Bend the knees, lift the heels. Roll. Feel like you're rolling through the feet. Push out and down and again. Good. Roll through your feet. Push out, down. Let's reverse it.

Lift your heels. That's it. Roll. Take your time with it. That's it, good. So you really feeling the heels and then the metatarsals and rolling down. Excellent. Okay.

And then come on in. We're going to do a sideline position. Okay? So why don't you face the other way first? Yeah. So you might want something for your head.

Are you okay there with the? Okay. I just want to make sure your neck is okay. So yeah, that looks pretty good for you, but you may want to take a towel or have a little bolster and rolled it up if you need something to support your head. Okay.

So let's get your feet on the board high again up here. Good. When the leg's straight and we're in parallel position. Now that's a lot of spring. Is it pushing you a little bit, Erin?

Like your shoulder? Okay. Come in. We're going to do a little bit. I'm going to make it two red. So why don't you slide down a little bit in the carriage and make sure that your hips are not behind.

Let's bring your right shoulder back a little bit, the right one underneath. There you go. Come back more. Is that okay on your neck and head there? Okay. So let's start out again. Push out. That's better.

If the spring is too heavy, it tends to kind of shove the body up and then you get the shoulder rest uncomfortable in your neck there. Okay. So I want the top foot parallel here and the bottom foot parallel. Let's bring this foot forward a little bit. There we go.

All right. Now we're going to bend the knees only to the place where you can keep your heels on the board. So that's going to be different for everyone. Now stay right there. Okay.

Now I want you to allow this need to drop a little towards the carriage. So it's going to be in a more externally rotated position. So it's going to be a little odd on the foot, but just see if you can keep the foot that way. And this one's going to be the level here. So we're purposely kind of turning out the bottom leg.

Good. Now just push out with both legs. I know it feels a little weird. Now bend and see if you can track that right knee towards the carriage. Exactly.

So we're working a little more of that lateral hip. Good. Excellent. Good. Now bend the knees and stay there and take your underneath leg, your right leg and touch your inner knee of your left.

So your toe is touching. Yeah. In dance we call it a passe. Right. Very good. Now push out the standing leg. Good and come in slowly.

She's doing a great job keeping the thigh at the level of the hip. Now we have an option here. You can keep moving, Erin keep moving, everyone. You can extend the lower leg if you'd like. So extend your lower leg in front of you.

Just low and hold it there as you're doing this. So bending and straightening. There you go. And again, make sure you feel your heel, push the board and feel the connection between the heel and the back of the sit bone there. Excellent.

Okay. You're gonna do one more and stay out there. All right. Underneath the leg. You're gonna lift it up and come down.

Now, if you want, you can go higher and then up and then a little higher. Good. And then back to the middle and then low. Or you can just keep it low and middle and higher and middle. Let's do one more round and middle and higher, and good, and low, bend the knee again and bring the carriage in.

That was awesome. Let's switch to the other side. Yeah. Why don't you scoot down a little more. There you go. Perfect. Really nice.

Okay. Just get, straighten the legs. It's always easier to get yourself a range. Let's bring your feet forward though on the board a little more. (laughs) I like that little doming action.

Okay. Now, if you do have one leg shorter, most of us have one leg that's a little bit shorter than the other one. Your butt's a little bit behind you. Let's bring you forward in this back a little more. Good.

Okay. So let's bend the knees to where you can keep your heels on the board and pause there for a second. Right? And the underneath leg is going to drop a little bit towards the carriage. All right.

So pushing out both feet through the heels. Good. And in, so feel the heel contact and press. You want to kind of focus on this connection between the heel and the sit bone here. That's it. Very nice.

And just breathing naturally. Make sure you're not holding your breath. Okay. Now stay here and bring the underneath leg to passe. There you go, and straighten out.

Good and repeat. Mhm. And then it's an option. You can hold the straight leg out in front if you'd like. So you can straighten this leg to hold it as you're doing this, or you can stay in the passe. It's fine.

Good. Okay. Then stay out. And now we do those lifts. Low middle, high, middle, low. Good. Keep going. We did three rounds.

Just bring this forward a little bit. There we go. You got to keep working this lateral hip. I know one more time. Keep pressing into the board. See, that's the thing, even though you're gesturing this leg, it's this leg that has to maintain the support. Exactly. And bend the knee and come back in.

All right. (laughs) Okay. We're going to stand up and do one more thing with the board and I'm going to, we're going to go, I'm going to make it blue spring. You could do a red spring, but I would suggest trying it with a blue spring first. And then if it feels pretty easy, you can increase the weight. And this is a little bit of a tricky position.

'Cause I don't want the carriage to chop your leg off. So you're going to stand. I'll do that part, all right. You're going to stand inside the well, and you've got to stand. Yeah. Parallel. And you're going to use the board.

Yeah. For support. You got it. And then we're going to place your foot here. Now just pause here for a second. You can let the knee come forward a little bit.

So I like the hip flexion. Is that okay? All right. Mhm. I'm going to let go of the board. So hold it there. Perfect.

Right, so pelvis facing forward, you really want to be standing up on this leg. So we're active in the lateral hip. Then just push your heel back and we're not going to let the pelvis go back at all. It's yeah, there you go. If your hip flexors, most of us have tight hip flexors, the front of the thigh.

So it gets, it's more about the stretch in the front, right? And again, you can start to feel that connection between the heel and the back. There you go. Excellent. Very nice. And as you start to warm up more and the length happens in the front and you can start to push it a little bit further back, but I don't want the pelvis to change.

All right. So we're not doing an arabesque. We want to just do very simple hip extension, which is really only about 10 degrees. So it's not a big motion. Good. She's doing about 10. So we're about nine and we'll do one more and good and bring it in.

I'm going to hold the carriage for you and switch your legs and bring your foot in a little bit more. There you go. Knee open a little bit. Excellent. All right. Stand up on this leg. There you go. And push out. Yeah.

You want to make sure that you're not standing in a hip sway like that. That's good. That's it. So the standing leg is your support. So with pelvic health, you know, is we're working with the trunk and the pelvis. You really want to think about what's moving and what is supporting.

So she's having to work. She's got that left side. It's a little bit weaker. Yeah. So it keeps focusing on that. If you think about really the outer edge of your foot, a little bit in the heel, you're going to connect into the lateral. Exactly. There you go.

Little toe side of the foot and the heel, and you're going to activate that lateral hip. Good. I think that's nine. Yeah? And 10. Okay. I've got the carriage and come step out. So we don't smash yourself and we're going to move into a kneeling series.

So we're going to do a kneeling series. There are many choices with the reformer, how to do a set up. You could use that platform, you know, that attaches into the reforming, the standing platform. Or you can just use the frame. This frame is thick enough for us to use this and the style of bar here, we need to pad the bar because your shin, you know, it's uncomfortable on the metal.

So we have two pads here for the bar and then a pad here. And we're going to start with the blue spring. I suggest if you haven't done this movement before to start lighter so that you get comfortable with it. And then you could add a red spring, not add a red spring, but go up to her at spring. (laughs) Okay. So we start kneeling one knee on the carriage, one knee here.

Mhm. Okay, great. So before we start, actually the movement, what I want you to do is to reach behind and put your thumbs in the middle of the sacrum here. And what I want you to do is think about like dragging it just straight down, like as if you're like pulling your shirt downward. So you drag the skin down and then just push it forward. So you're going to be pushing that sacrum forward, which is going to open the front of the hip more and you're going to feel hamstring and gluteals working and you're right on the edge of your knees as if you're almost going to fall over, which means then you have to use your support.

Okay. So to maintain that position, place your hands behind your head. There you go. Perfect. All right. And then we're going to push out. We want to feel both hips moving.

You don't have to go too far, and then slowly drag the carriage in. Good. And again, reaching out very nice. Yeah. Wait 'til you see your back next run. (laughs) Good. And back. Pull it in, pushing it out. Nice.

In, and do 10. What she's doing really well is as she's pushing out, both femurs are gliding inward. You want to feel that the greater trochanters are really coming in towards that midline, both sides and the pelvis sinking down towards the floor. The pelvis is dropping down to really activate the hip joint. That's excellent. Okay.

On your next rep, you're going to stay so push out and stay here. So you have to hold onto the support and just turn your chest to the right and come back to the middle. Keep the carriage out there. Don't let it move. Go to the left. That's it.

Come to the center and then drag the carriage back in. Excellent and push out. Here's the hard part. You got to keep the carriage out there, rotate in the ribs and come back to the center. And exhaling kind of helps when you do that too.

So we get that diagonal there and come back in. We're going to do two more like that and out, staying, rotate. Nice Erin, very nice. And turn and come center and bring it back in. And we're going to stay on the next one.

So stay there and rotate to the right and stay there. Now take your right hand and place it on the back of your right thigh. And then from here, push that forward. Push your thigh forward and think about doing a little bit of extension backward and then bring your torso back up and place your hand behind your head and come back in and twist. Yeah. Okay.

One more time, pushing out. So it's rotation. Put your hand on your thigh, push the hip forward and then start to lengthen and reach back. Beautiful. Come back in. We're going to do two more. Erin's very mobile. So she's going to next rep actually reached for her foot.

You can continue to push with your thigh. That's what I would opt to do, (laughs) but go ahead and you're going to rotate and now she's going to reach towards her right foot as she goes into extension and she can hold her foot and then bring her body back up, bring her center and bring the knee in. Let's do that one more time. Push out, hold the carriage and rotate. And now we're doing rotation and extension and you can push the hips forward a little bit.

Like you're doing the limbo there. That's it. And then I'm dating myself by saying that and then come back up. Very nice. Okay. Rest. Let's do the other side.

I'm going to switch the pad for the bar. Okay. You probably feel a little bit. (laughs) Okay. (Erin laughs) Okay. So first we're going to start with that sacrum again.

Now you'll see how she's doing it here. Is that okay? So thumbs in the middle of the sacrum and then it's a dragging down, like you're stretching the skin, and you're pushing it forward. Yeah. Don't move the carriage yet. Don't move the carriage yet.

So it's not so hard really. So I don't want to tuck under, I'm not asking you to tuck. I'm actually asking you to pull the sacrum down and push it forward. Okay. So it's not a tail under. That's it.

There you go. Perfect. Now hold your hands behind your head. Very good. Okay. First we just push out. (exhales) That's it. And then draw in.

So as a teacher, I'm remembering that in the standing lunge, holding onto the board, that her left lateral, posterior lateral hip wasn't as active as she was on the right side. So I want to make sure as the teacher, I'm going to be watching that and making sure that she really gets that greater trochanters there. So it's got a sink in, so that femur needs to go deep into the pelvis. It's got to go deep in there. There it is. See?

So it's just a reminder for her to do that. Very nice. Yes. And then you'll notice, especially for the teachers who are doing this is that as she gets that glide in the hip, her pelvis actually goes down in space. It goes down towards the floor. Yeah. Very nice.

All right. Let's stay out on the next one. And we do the rotation first, thoracic rotation to the left, mhm, and then to the right, and then center. I'm just checking her left hip and come back in. And one more time here or actually two more after this, but there you go. Now don't overdo it that you don't get your right one.

We want both. We want both working. There you go. Mhm. Twist. Excellent. And come back in. All right.

So I believe we did three full ones before we did the arching. So we'll finish this one, feeling both sides, lateral posterior hips here and come back in. All right. This is the one where you're going to stay. Come out, stay.

Now you're going to rotate left, reach behind to your left thigh, push it forward a little bit. Lift your chest. Reach that elbow is kind of nice to have that field. That's good. That's enough, Ms. Mobile.

(laughs) And then come back, ta-da and come back in. (laughs) And again, we'll do two this way. Good. And push that hip forward. There, do you feel that? So you're getting that anterior glide of the hip.

Good. And come back or the next one, we stay and go for the foot. It's your option. Personally, I would stay with just pushing the leg myself, but let's see what she can do. And it's different on each side, you opened these ribs that will help, opening these ribs will help.

Nice. Yeah. There's a little stiffer on this side. That's okay. And then come back. No worries. I don't think stiff's in her vocabulary though.

Okay. One more time. Keep that sacrum forward. Keep it forward. That's it. That's really important. Good. That's it.

Keep the leg out there. Keep it, keep it. It's a challenge for that left hip. That's the struggle. Not so much her ribs as much as that hip. Excellent. And then come back up.

Wonderful. Okay. We're going to continue with the kneeling series with the knee stretch. So with knee stretch, we're going to do one blue spring and one red spring, and we're about the same height. So we're going to do a middle setting on this type of bar. Feet against the shoulder rest.

Great. And then I want to have the pelvis more in a neutral position and I want deep hip flexion. Okay. Very good. Actually, I like this angle. This is a nice height for her height and the length of her arms.

All right. So what I'd like to do with your arms is I want you to think about pushing and pulling, but don't pull so much, I guess this bar is locked. So, but you know, it's not really like pulling the bar, but with your hands engage. So try show me that, just pull the bar towards you, pull. Yeah.

Do you feel how that kind of connects into your back and then push with the wrist, kind of push away and see how that connects into your ribs. Right? So the pulling, you'll feel that, and the pushing, you'll feel that. Really good. All right. So as you push out with the knee stretch, go ahead push out, right.

You're going to pull a little bit, pull the arms, that's it. And then as you pull your knees in, you're pulling, you're pushing, sorry, pushing the bar away. So we get that connection, right? So it's a little bit of pull as you push out and pushing as you pull in. So I want you to be aware of like your diaphragm area, right.

So push out, you're going to inhale as you're pulling and then exhale as you, as you push, push, push, push, push, push, push, push. Good. Minimize the coming up. You're going to come up the ahead and up. There you go. That's what I want more.

Exactly. Okay. And pull, exhale, push, pull. Very nice. Erin, push. 'Cause we're working that hip flexors and the posterior hip. We're getting that diaphragm with your breathing.

Exactly. So it's inhale out. Exhale. Good. Great. We're going to do a couple more. Mhm. Good.

Excellent. Okay. Now stay here. Now we're going to take the feet and put them on the outside of the frame. That's it. And then come back gently into this position.

Okay. Now pause for a second. We are internally rotating the femurs and I want to make sure that... I don't want your heel, can you get your heel up? This way. No, just your heel. You're rotating your tibia out.

And I want the tibia up. Your heels are out. Is that okay on your knee? Okay. And so you don't have to go too deep. You okay? (Erin murmurs) Yeah. (Erin laughs)

You don't like to internally rotate. So her leg alignment is where her femurs like to turn out in standing and her tibias also do that somewhat. So I want them, she's got, I'm trying to make her do more of an internal rotation, an internal rotation, but very slight. Now you notice that she's not as deep in the hip flexion and that's okay. Because this is where she's, this is the edge of it.

So. All right. So we're gonna do the same thing here. Okay. So you're gonna pull as you go and exhale, push, as you come in. That's it? Is that okay?

Yep. So there should be no discomfort here in the outside of that it's hard to do. All right. So if there's a sensation of any kind of gripping in the hip joint or any kind of pressure in the knee, stop doing this one, but it is a really nice challenge, there you go, to get the femurs to roll in. All right. That's enough.

Very good. Now bring your feet back where they were. Mhm. Excellent. All right. Now what I want you to do is we're gonna, as you push back, go ahead and push back. All right.

Now, as you come in, I want you to favor your right sit bone towards your heel just a little bit. So you're going to kind of sway to the right. Nice, and come up through the middle and sway to the left. Just tiny, tiny amount and up, sway to the right. Nice.

Very good and sway to the left. And what she's doing great is keeping the pelvis nice and level. And we're getting into the depth of the rotators of opening up the posterior part of the hip. Great. Just one more each. Excellent and rest.

Good. All right. Let's come on up. I think it should maybe walk around the reformer just to get your hips. Yeah, that's okay. It should feel pretty good.

All right. We're going to do a little lunge series. Okay. So we're gonna take the box at this end. Okay. So we're gonna do this all with a blue spring.

So here at the end. Thanks for... I make the clients do the work, you know? Okay. It doesn't have to be too close. All right. So I'll show you what you're going to do.

So you're going to stand up on the box, fairly close to the bar, but not too close. Okay. And we're going to reach this foot again, out here. So the feet are parallel. So we're having to stand. So already this is challenging in terms of the hip.

So we're going to bend the knee so that you can put your hands on your hips and kind of push this side of the ilium down. Okay. And then we're going to push the carriage away. It's a very small moon. We're going for that glide of the hip here. And then we're going to resist as you come back in.

So we'll do that a couple of times, and then we're going to straighten out and then I want you to push further like this. And then you're going to bend the knee here, trying to keep the carriage out there. And you're going to drag the carriage in. Okay? So Erin, come on up. It feels really yummy in the hip.

Yeah. Not too close because we're going to push out. Exactly. So start with your hands on your pelvis, right. So yeah. And bend, the knee is more like it's forward. Like when you bend the knee, think of your knee moving in space forward. Yeah. Keep the carriage in.

There you go. Stand on this leg. That's your left leg. So yes. Okay. Now push the carriage away. Good, and then bend the knee forward, resisting the carriage.

Think of your knee going that way. That's it. Push it away. Mhm. Bend the knee forward, push it away. And if I had a string, I'm pulling your knee this way. Let it come forward. That's it.

Push it away. And can I make one adjustment? Bring your foot on the inside of the carriage a little bit more. Exactly. Can you bend your knee for me? There, really bend. More.

There, because you want to allow that to drop there. Okay. Yeah. Really bend. Now push the carriage away. Now you got it. Now resist as you...

There. Can you feel how that's dropping? Yeah. Mhm. Perfect. So this ilium will come down a little bit. That's good. It feels good though, doesn't it?

Yeah. All right. Now you're going to straighten your leg and now you're going to go further. You're going to push out kind of lean in to that. Now stay there with the carriage and bend the knee.

Bring it forward. Exactly. And then slide it in. Perfect. Very nice. And again, straighten and lean. Stay there.

Bend, drag it and keep working in through here. Really nice and push lean, then drag it, mhm, one more time. Push, lean, bend, bring it in. Okay. We're going to add some rotation. So now I want your hands behind your head again.

So we can do like you did kneeling. So straighten your leg, lean. Now you get to stay here, huh? And rotate to the right. (laughs) There we go. And return, bend the knee and slide. There you go. And push.

Good. Hold it there. Turn, come back to the front, bend the knee and bring it back in. And one more time, and lean, rotate. Excellent, and good. Okay.

I'm not going to ask it to do touch the floor behind you. (laughs) Let's do the other side. That was very, very nice. Now this is your left side. So we're going to pay attention to it a little bit more. Yeah. So yeah.

Yeah. So get that hip to drop. 'Cause this is the side that you don't like to have that hip down. There you go. Put your hand in the crest in the groove there. Turn your hand the other way.

Yeah. So get in the groove. This is actually a good thing to do to yourself there so that you can feel that and you can kind of push down on it. Exactly. So straighten your leg and push down with this hand so you can feel it right? You feel the groove.

Exactly. Mhm. And again. Good. That's it. Now we see your lateral posterior hip working very nicely. Yes. Good.

Mhm. Yeah. So when you kind of feel like your hip socket's not like really sitting well in the socket and that's usually when you're kind of standing in one hip a lot. 'Cause that really weakens it. This is a way to kind of reset it. When I talk about resetting movements, this is one of those ones.

Okay. Now straighten. And now you're going to lean out nice and stay there as you bend the knee and then drag the carriage in. Mhm. Good. Straighten the leg and slide, then drag it in. Excellent and out.

Good. Move the carriage as your straighten your leg. Yeah. You're mobile. So it's easy for you to straighten your knee, you know, without your moving the lower legs. So move the carriage as you straighten the knee.

There you go. Good. And then don't lose it as you bend the knee. Exactly. Okay. Hands behind your head. And we're going to stay out there and reach out.

Now stay and rotate. Nice, center. Bend the knee, come back in, and again, so just keep imagining that right there. Excellent. Rotate. Mhm. Bend the knee. Come back in.

We get to do two more. When you come back in, okay, get that suction going on in here. Okay, go ahead then, yeah, go ahead and go out to rotate. That's good. Now as you bend the knee, bring the knee forward and feel that in there.

That's it. So that this hip drops a little bit. Mhm, one more time. Nice, Erin. Really nice. Good. And rest. Okay.

Come on up the box and we're going to switch the box to the side. Okay. And we're going to do more lunging, (laughs) but I want you to do, we're going to play with kind of more like a gait pattern. So we're going to swing the arms, but so you're going to stand like you did in the well. All right, so you're here.

So this knee is bent, so it's the same position. So at first you can just like have your hands here for that and then just feel what this feels like. This time, you'll be able to start to work that. Your leg's going to get straight if you can eventually. Okay?

And then after we're going to take it down and then I want you to, as you straighten that leg, I want you to bend that one. And then I just want you to feel like you're kind of rotating. We're getting that rotation of the thorax. Okay? Yeah.

My footprints right there. (laughs) (Erin laughs) Okay. So just start here so we can feel how it feels to be on this standing leg. Right. And this knee in just a little bit. Okay, good. You know what? Hop.

I was a little bit further away, but with your leg alignment different than mine. I'm a lot, a little bit wider. Perfect. Okay. Yeah. 'Cause I want this knee here. Okay.

So just first push back so you can feel what the action is. Yeah. Very good. So you want to feel balanced and feeling the resistance is good, right? It's a blue spring still. Okay. Now as you go ahead and keep going.

Great. Now bring your arms down as the knee comes forward and you can bend the standing leg as you push back and then swing, that's it. And then bring it back and stand up and swing, and just come to like normal, straight. Good. Turn your chest and keep looking at me. Yeah. So you're rotating in the yeah.

So your neck, sternum that way. Keep your head towards perfect. Yeah. So it doesn't have to be a big swing. It's really just the upper manubrium area, the upper ribs. It's not that big.

It's your arm swing that makes you rotate. Exactly. Good. Straightening that back leg. (laughs) That's it, we want it all, Erin. There you go. Exactly. One more time. Good. And let's switch to the other side.

Oh, awesome. You got it? Yeah. Okay. Okay, so yeah, first just feeling that and back and forward. Excellent.

It should feel pretty good to straighten, you've already worked that pretty much. Good. Awesome. Okay. And then adding the swing and bending the opposite leg. That's it. Now look at me though.

Yeah. (Erin laughs) Because I want, what I want is this rotation in the upper manubrium. Right? So it's not like a huge rotation, right? It's just your arms swing, arms swing.

That's it much. That's good. It should be nice and easy. And then really straighten that back leg. Turn your right knee out just a little bit. Yep.

Turn it when you bend, turn it outward. Uh-huh. That's it. Think of the knee coming forward. Try to rotate up in here. Not so much down here.

That's it. Two more times. Excellent. Good. Okay. And rest, come on up. All right.

We're going to do a little back extension, little swan, Pilates swan type thing. And I'm going to stick with the blue spring because if the spring is a lot, you'll slide off the box. Okay? So I want your hip flexors right through here on the edge of the box. So what you're going to do, I have to move this out of the way.

You're going to come up here like this and you push the box out, get up on their toes and get your groin right at the edge of the box. Okay. Now notice my feet. They've gone into the, well, all right. So get your feet in the, well, now there's a bar here, so I can't get my feet all the way down. So just right here is fine.

And I want dorsi, so you're going to bend. Okay. So I want the sacrum flat. So this is not a tuck like this. And at first, just you can hold the box like this, and I want you to reach your heels back. Now, actually, I'm going to give you a pad for your pubic bone.

Some people are sensitive, like I am, on the pubic bone so I can kind of feel that pressure. So we'll add a pad. And then from there, I want you to just bring your arms by your side and then you're going to push out. And then this is where you're going to float your body up. And then you're going to come down.

You can go higher. It's just the need to give you a pa. All right. And then I want you to reach your arms forward and we're going to stay here and then you're going to do a little bit of swimming and then come back in. Okay? But definitely the edge of this box quite hard.

So we'll be kind. All right. So go ahead and come up. That's it, great. And walk your feet into the well, great. And then bend the knees.

That's it. Now the weight of your legs will take your pelvis with you. Right. So come in a little further. I want a deep hip flexion. That's it. Yeah.

As deep as you can go. That's perfect. So if I had a water bottle and stuck it here, it would stay. Okay. So just first feel pushing out and keep the heels here. That's it.

And bend the knees down towards the floor as you come in. So push out and stay. Good. Now don't move the box and bend your knees, and then slide in. Okay? Yeah. So there's just that moment that you start to bend the knees before the box sliding.

You see how that engages? That's really good. Keep coming in, especially the back of the knee. That's it. Excellent. Arms by your side. That's it. And same thing.

Go out now, stay there and just do a little lift of your trunk. So you're gonna, you're gonna actually less extension here. More pelvic lift, lift your pelvis. That's it. So that's where I see the pubic bone. Mm.

Yeah, exactly. And come down. (laughs) That's why I didn't lift so high. Okay. And bend the knee and come back in. Good and push out. So it's a pelvic lift. The top of your pelvis is lifting off beautiful. That's it. Not so much extension.

I know you can do it, and come back down and bend. Now reach your arms overhead. We'll do a couple here 'cause you're so good at it. So your option is you can keep your, keep your arms by your side. Nice.

Nice, nice, nice. And bend and come down. Okay. We'll do one more like that. And lift, now keep your legs straight and come down on the box and place your hands on the frame here.

Just on the outside. You're going to use your hands. Okay. So you're gonna lift your right arm up, like swimming, and your left leg. Push with your other hand into the frame and press your heel, the standing leg, because you feel that, you're pressing that.

Right. And then switch. So use the hand on the frame to press in and the foot. That's our support and you're lifting the opposite line. Good.

And now you can go a little faster now you know what to do, mhm. And you can point your foot to get more of the back of the leg. Good. Excellent. Mhm.

Good. Good. Are we even? And come in. Yeah, I think you are. Okay.

Great. Come on up. And we're going to challenge you standing on one leg. So let's move that bar. Perfect.

Take care of this. Okay. So I'm gonna have you stand here and gonna place the loop in the foot and around your thigh here. Okay. And I want you to pull the carriage, so it's a blue spring, so it feels real tight here.

And then you're going to stand on that leg and you're gonna bring this foot up onto the carriage. Now again, we got to watch the hike and then you're just going to stand. I'm going to have you lift a few times and then I'm going to have you lift and hold and see if you can rotate your whole body around that leg and come back down. So it's again, it's like a pelvis on femur motion. That's it. That's it.

Perfect. Great. Okay. Yep. Yep. I know. That's the challenge. Exactly. Okay.

Yeah. Put that foot down. Yeah. So you can put your hands behind your head. I like that because it kind of gets you connected to your trunk and then make sure that left hip is down. There you go. So you have to keep pushing into the strap with your inner thigh of...

That's it. And then just lift your foot up and hold and down. Good and lift and hold and down, lift and hold. This is awesome. Lift and hold. Mhm.

Good. I'm gonna do one more. Stay up. Now see if you can pivot your whole body, your pelvis around that standing leg, but keep your knees facing outward. That's it. And then bring it back. It's not a very big movement and place your foot down.

That's it. And again, so this is staying here. You see, mm, ah, good. Move the leg, right? Yeah. The leg and everything.

So you see this leg is not going to go with you. Go ahead. I'm going to hold it here so you can feel that. See how your pelvis has to rotate around. Yeah. So that's why you're not going to get very far. So I'm going to let go see if you can do it yourself.

So the pelvis is moving around that femur. That's different, isn't it? Yeah. Mhm. Okay.

Place your foot down. And let's switch to the other side. It's kind of fun, right? Yeah. Yes. You got to get organized before you lift your foot and keep that pressure into the strap. There you go. Hands behind your head.

Great. And now we're going to lift and down. So this is a great challenge for the balance Mhm, and lift. Lift. Excellent. And now hold it. Now, here we go. Rotate around.

All right. And bring it back. You're doing a great job. And again, up. Keeping that leg still, pelvis around. There we go.

That's that left hip for you and put it down and again, strong here. Turn. That's like a corkscrew here, and come back, and get to do one more. Turn pelvis. Not just your ribs. (laughs) Your leg goes, too.

Your leg goes, too. One more. Yeah. This whole thing go. There you go. You're like a swinging door, opening and closing. Okay. And come down and rest.

Good. Okay. All right. Let's wind down and we're gonna sit and I'm gonna have you just do a nice, easy stretch through the stomach massage. So probably low. Sorry. So you can just sit on the carriage.

Okay. I'll just do one red spring and then take a nice wide stance here on the... Great that's it. And then this is the stretch. So it was great for the pelvic floor release so that your legs should just opening and pull yourself forward.

Okay. She's flexible. (laughs) Okay. And then let go and push out once. Maybe I should have a little more springs. Okay. And come back in. You don't need to pull so much, huh?

Can you scoot a little closer to the bar for you? So we get a little more. Can you feel how that's I want you to think about releasing into the pelvic floor. It's not, we're not exercising doing a glute thing. You're actually trying to let go.

There you go. So you use the bar to pull and open those hips. Nice. And then you push out, just let, go and push out. Yeah.

And then pull it in one more time, and pull yourself in, nice and easy and breathe. Great. And then relax, and then turn and face the window again, just sitting, and noticing again, where's the weight on the sit bones, right? To me, it looks like you're more equal. Good.

It appeared to me that you were a little bit heavy on the right, but very subtle. All right. Now just lower the eyes a little bit and breathe in slowly through your nose and out through your nose too. And just notice where's your breath going. See if you can feel that it's filling more of the pelvis, there's more expansion happening in the pelvic bowl through there, and relax.

Okay. Thank you.


2 people like this.
Loved seeing how your mat work, Madeline,  transfers onto the equipment!  The gait piece was wonderful!  Thank you! 
That felt awesome! 
Cat W
2 people like this.
This was a great class. I learned a lot. The attention to detail was excellent. I liked the focus on pelvic positioning in each exercise. I also liked the explanation of the femur action and pelvis dropping during the side lunge.  I plan to watch more of Madeline's classes.
1 person likes this.
really wonderful, Madeline! Thank you for new inspiration and also that my hips feel warm and balanced after this!! sending Love!
Damon  F
1 person likes this.
I totally geek'd out! fluid transitions and brief but specific explanations! Well done! 
Sofie van der Sommen
thank you very much, I love you're playful way of using the reformer to feel the movement in the hips!
1 person likes this.
Wow, Madeline! Truly enjoyed this challenging pelvic health session. I could feel muscles coming back to life that haven’t been used in quite a while. The “Before” seated awareness vs the “After” seated awareness at the end was quite different. My pelvis felt heavier, and more equally weighted after doing all the exercises. What a wonderful class! Thank you!
Amy S
Hi Madeline,
What should I feel when I send the sacrum down and forward? Will this feel like an opening in the front of the hips? and a pelvic shift forward over the femurs?
And, would you use that cue for prone work , say,  swan for example? 
Thank you:)
1 person likes this.
I feel more equal weight on sit bones after the wonderful class ! One question about " Knee stretch", I can not get the feeling pull the bar while pushing the carriage away, would you like to explain more details , thank you very much !
1 person likes this.
Wonderful Class. I did feel the difference in weight and breath distribution before and after class.
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