Hi, I'm Brett Howard, and this is Class two of "Building Upwards with Brett: On the Reformer." So once again we have Tetsuo Yoshida who will be my demonstrator and who you can follow along with. So for this class, you're gonna want a pair of arm weights. I would suggest to have either one pound or two pounds or three pounds. We're gonna use two pounds for today. And what you can do is, you can just have the arm weights handy, just place them to the side of your reformer, you could place it by the leg, or you can put it underneath the reformer where you're not going to trip on it.
Okay, we're gonna start similar to how we started last time, you're gonna lie down onto your back. We're gonna start four springs, and we're gonna start with our foot work series on the toes. Once again, make sure that the negative space on either side of the body is the same, make sure that the negative space on either side of each foot on the foot bar is also the same. Zipper up, extending out, and in, and two, and in, and three, and in. Notice we're going just a little quicker now with the foot work than we did last class.
And let's go for five more. Stretch and in, stretch two, and in, stretch three, and in, stretch four, and one more, and stretch, and coming in feet together, knees together, bird on a perch, toes over heels under, zipper up, extending out. And two, and three, and in, and four. Make sure you get to full extension, but don't lock and hyperextend the knees, and out, and in. Let's go for three more, and two, and 10, and in.
Now let's go onto the heels of the feet. Once again, make sure that the little toe side of the foot pulls back just as much of the big toe, and in, two, and in, out three, and in, out four, and in, out five. Let's go for five more stretch and in, stretch two, stretch three, stretch four, and 10. Come in, let's stay in. Now let's go onto the toes, heels together, toes apart, and then knees in line just to the outside of the shoulders for tendon stretch, zipper up, extend and hold the position, wrapped to the seat, draw the inner thighs together.
Three counts, lower, lower, lower, three counts. Lift, lift, lift. Then lower, lower, lower. Lift, lift, lift. Lower two, three and up to three.
Make sure the heel stay together. And up to three. Don't hyperextend the knees. Up, let's go for five more, lower two, three, and lift two, three. Draw the inner thighs together.
Lift two, three. Wrap through the seat and lift two, three, and lower two, three. Lift one more time and lower two, three. Lift two, three, bend the knees coming in. Now let's lower the foot bar, knees into the chest.
I'm gonna have this come down. Now today we're gonna get into it a little different than we did last time. So we're gonna start with the elbows bent in at the sides, then from here find a little bit of tension in the strap, roll the head, neck and shoulders up. Now keep the tension, try to push into the handle a little bit to curve up just a little higher with the upper body. Exactly.
Simultaneously extend the arms and legs forward with the arms slightly above the waist, 100. Pilates stance, pump up and down, and breathe out, two, three, four, five. Inhale, three, four, five, and exhale, three, four, five, in with the air. And exhale, three, four, five, inhale. And exhale, three, four, five, in with the air.
Exhale, three, four, five, more in with the air. And exhale, three, four, five. Inhale, three, four, five. And exhale, three, four, five. Keep it curve of the upper body.
Exhale, two more sets. Inhale. And exhale, three, four, five. One more set. And exhale, three, four, five.
Bend the knees, bend the elbows. Good. So I'm gonna take you to two springs. So two springs off. Then from there, lift the head, lower the headrest, and then I'm gonna take these from you.
And we're gonna do a little preparation for short spine massage. So we did the frog last time with the long straps, today we are gonna do this frog with the short straps. So it's gonna be a lot more tension. So it's gonna provide you for a little more feedback. All right, the straps fall inside of the knees.
Same idea, push through jello, zipper up, extend the legs out, and bend the knees and come back in. And again, press through jello and pull back in through jello. One more time, pressing out, keeping weight on the tailbone, and then bend the knees and come back in. Great. Let's add onto this.
I call this next part of the exercise, hamstrings. So zipper up, extend the legs out to a 45 degree angle or your level of control. Now the legs stays straight, forward at the hip joints. Bring the legs as far back as you can without the tailbone rising. So it might be at a 90 degree angle, it might be a little bit past that.
Everyone's gonna be a little bit different. Now in the N position there, think of sticking the butt out a little bit more. Yes, and that's gonna increase the stretch. Then bend the knees and just return to the starting position. Let's try that again.
Zipper up, extending out. So you forward at the hip joints and you slowly bring the legs back to where you can without the tailbone lifting. Strong in the legs, down through the tailbone, then bend the knees and come in. So the weight across the sacrum stays the same. One more time, zipper up as you extend, then forward at the hip joints, bring the legs as far back as you can without the tailbone rising.
Notice you might get a little further and further each time, press down to the tail, then bend the knees and come back in. Great, we're gonna add on to that next time. So I'm gonna have you either grab the handles and take those off, and then you can bring the elbows in at the sides again. And then what we're gonna do is, we're gonna go for the coordination. Now first, we're gonna work on the choreography.
It's not very difficult, but this is where we're gonna take those arm weights. So I'm gonna have you take the arm weights into the hands, bring the elbows in at the sides. Now you have a little bit less help from the strap, so I'm just gonna spot for right now. Roll the head, neck and shoulders up. Simultaneously stretch your arms forward as, actually let's try that again.
Simultaneously stretch the arms forward as the legs go front. Then from there, you're gonna be on a fairly high diagonal. Here open the legs, close the legs, bend the knees in, then bend the elbow second. Twice more. Simultaneously arms, legs, stretch front.
Open the legs, close the legs, pull the knees in, bend the elbows. One more time, inhale front, the legs are parallel, they open. Hold the breath, close. Exhale, bend the knees, exhale, bend the elbows, rest the head. Now we're gonna do the same thing with the handles.
So we're still on two springs. Now to find the exercise, you're gonna roll the head, neck and shoulders up. Now don't stretch the arms. He just pulls into the strap until he's at a right angle with his arm. Now keeping the tension, think of curving over the rib cage with the upper back.
There we go. So we're already engaged in the upper abdominals. Simultaneously stretch the arms and legs front. Now push open, press. Now pull close, now pull the knees in, and then bend the elbows.
And again, stretch front, press something up and pull something close, pull the knees in, then bend the elbows. One more time, inhale. Hold the breath open, close. Exhale, pull the knees, and keep exhaling as the elbows bend. One more, I guess.
(laughs) And then open, close. Exhale, pull the knees in. Keep exhaling, and then rest the head down. So you see it's a coordination of breath and movement. Now while we're here, I'm gonna prep for another exercise.
Let's keep the knees into the chest. I'm gonna prep with another exercise, which is backstroke, which would normally come a little bit later on in the reformer order, but we're gonna do it now since we're already in position here. Next time we're gonna do this on the box. You're gonna bring your two fist above the forehead and roll the head, neck and shoulders up. Great.
Now this is similar to that leg circle where we're gonna split the body from the right and left side of the body right through the middle. Both legs are gonna go straight up to the ceiling. Hold that position, parallel legs. Now open both arms and legs, circle forward and reach one, reach two, reach three, bend the knees and elbows and come in. And again, arms and legs straight up, so the right and left side are mirror images, open circle forward, and reach for one, curl a little higher, two; curl a little higher, three.
Bend knees and elbows, and come in. Let's go for two more. Arms and legs up, open circle and reach. So we're in a slightly higher diagonal than we're gonna do it next week and come back in. And one more time, arms, legs up, open circle, reach, because you wanna make sure, you keep the integration between your pelvis and rib cage and come back in.
Great, so we'll remember this one for next time. So roll to your side sitting up, and let's take this to one spring now. And we're gonna now add the long box on. So first, just to get used to the straps, I'm gonna have you sit down onto here facing towards the back. Now the heels are gonna hug into the box, the feet are resting onto the headrest there.
Now grab the strap, lift the spine nice and vertical. So you're going to pull the arms straight back as far as you can and hold for three, hold two, hold one, and release. And again, pull back and crack the walnut in between the shoulder blades. Two, three and lower. One more time, pull back, shoulder blades pull together.
Two, three, and lowering down. Great, I'll take these from you. Standing up, let's just place these on the i-hooks right now, so we have them for later. Now you're gonna wanna grab your arm weights, you're gonna lie down onto the stomach. You're gonna have the shoulders flush with the front edge and then take the arm weights in each hand, let the arms hang down by the sides and then reach them yes, forward on the slide diagonal.
The palm side of the hand is gonna face in towards the frame. Now lift the legs slightly, just in line with the sits bones. It's one line from the crown of the head to heels like a long piece of steel. Now pull the arms with straight arms, straight back as you lift your upper back, up and hold for three counts. Hold two, hold one, and lowering down.
And again, pull back. Now he is doing good at this, but just be careful at home not to lift your legs up as you pull back. And lower down to the legs, stay in place. One more time. Inhale, pull back, let's hold the breath.
Two, three, exhale, lower down. Great, I'm gonna take these arm weights. Now we're gonna do the same exact thing. In between you can rest your legs down, but now we're gonna use the strap. So let's lift the legs, one line from head to heels.
Now the palms are still facing inward. You pull back along the side of the frame and hold there, making sure the elbow stays straight. Now keep it straight elbows, lower the body all the way down. And again, pull back, lift the upper body up and hold for three, hold two, hold one. Exhale, lowering down.
One more time, inhale, pull back keeping the palms facing in towards the body. Two, three, exhale, lower the body. Rest the feet for a second. Slide the hands all the way back to the backend of the leather. Then from there we stay relaxed in the upper trapezius muscles.
Now lift the legs, one line from head to heels, pull back, keep the palms facing down towards the floor the whole time, and then lower the body back down. And again, pull, you draw a little V. Two, three and lower down. One more time. Pull back, crack that walnut and hold for three.
Hold it two, hold it one, lower down. Let's drop those straps into the well, and then standing up. Great. Let's take this back to two springs, and then we're gonna turn the box around. So you notice the order is slightly different this time, and you're gonna sit down onto the box.
Once again, you can have the box forward or behind the shoulder blocks depending on your height. I'm gonna take a bar and we're gonna have it ready just underneath the legs there. Let's start with the short box round, round over the forearms, shoulders relaxed, tailbone initiates, curl down to where you can control it, and curling forward. And again, slowly curve under and curling back. Make sure you lead with the lower back, try not to lead with the upper back, lead with the crown of the head to come up, twice more curving under.
You really stay rounded over those forearms and coming back up. One more, round back, keep opening out into the strap and curving back up. Now lift through the spine, we're gonna go for the short box flat. Bring the hands behind the head, wrap to the ribs, squeeze your bottom, open into the strap, lifting hinge backwards. Good, now come up to center.
And again, lifting a hinge back to, and up center. Lift, you start zippering from the pubic bone all the way up to the belly button and come up. So the initiation is from the lower abdominals and come back up. Try not to lead from the upper back, and now hinging back and come back up to center. Now the side to side.
Lift and go over hurdle and come back to center. Lift, go over hurdle, and center. Lift, lengthen over hurdle, and center. Lift and lengthen. Remember to keep equal weight on both sides of the pelvis.
Let's go one more set, lift up and over and lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, and lift to center. Last time, lift over and lengthen, lengthen. Keep opening those feet and lift to center. Great, we're gonna add in an exercise now. Let's first actually keep the hands behind the head.
Now you think of yourself like a revolving door. Someone pushes your left shoulder blade, which is gonna twist you to the right. Now someone's gonna push your right shoulder blade, which is gonna twist you to the left. You twist to the right to keep it, both right and left side of the back equally long. And now you initiate with the right to twist to the left.
Someone moves the door to twist and rotate the door. Someone presses against that right shoulder blade to twist you to the left. Great, now let's do the same thing, but take the bar. You're gonna bend at your elbows and bring the bar in between the crook of your elbows here, and then your goal is to keep the pressure of the bar against your back the same. Now you still initiate from that left shoulder blade to twist right, but you don't wanna feel one bar, part of the bar pushing to the back more than the other side, and come back to the center.
Right side, twist to the left, and come back to center. Make sure the head stays on the spine as you twist. So it's all lower back, and come back to center. We're gonna isolate just the lower back as you twist. Try not to move the middle or the upper back, and come back to center.
It's just gonna move with it. Twist to the right as you exhale, and inhale. One more time, exhale, exhale, exhale as you twist, and inhale. So we are twist, you're thinking of wringing a wet dish cloth, all the water out, like wringing. So when we're twisting, we're wringing the air out of our lungs.
Now round over and you're gonna stretch, relaxing those shoulders. And then we can take a little dessert there. All right, roll up. Now if you still would like to use the strap, use the strap like we did last week. Otherwise hold onto the back of the thighs, and you'll pull the thigh up.
Now you keep the bottom foot, the one that's underneath the strap flexed and extend the right leg up and down, one. Very easy, up and down two, up and hold it. Then you rotate it, walk up towards the ankle. Bring your forehead forward to the shinbone, relaxing the shoulders in one piece. Curve back.
When the leg gets 90 degrees, hand by hand walking down to the hip, hand by hand walk up as you upright the spine to a nice tall lifted back and fold the forehead to shin, relaxed in the shoulders. We're gonna go one more. Now when the leg gets 90 degrees, hold that position hand by hand, walk down to the hip hand by hand, walking up as you lift the spine, as you right the spine right over the hips. Now hold there, flex the foot and point the foot. Flex, we try to stay as lifted and tall as possible, and flex and point.
Let's rotate the leg parallel, bend the knee, and we're gonna to do the same on the left leg. So hold on to the back of the left thigh, we're seated right on the sits bones, not behind them or forward of them, but right on top, and extend the leg up and down, up, down, up and hold it there. Rotate the leg, hand by hand walk to the ankle, upper body relax, curve back. When the leg gets 90, hand by hand walk down to the hip, hand by hand walk up as you bring the weight directly onto the sits bones again. Once again, forward forehead to shin, so going down slightly different, we stop at 90, then we walk down to two different actions.
Now, one action, as you come up, you rock forward as you lift the spine and walk up. Now stay there, flex and point. Flex, and flex, and point. Rotate the leg parallel, bend the knee, and then you can step to the floor. Great.
Now I'm gonna take the box back. Then I'm gonna lift the headrest, and for today I'm gonna actually put all the springs on. So we're gonna have four springs, and then let's lift the foot bar. Now one hand, one step at a time, step one hand on, then right foot will go right into the middle of the shoulder blocks, other hand, other foot. So the toes are right in the crease, the heels are in line with the shoulder blocks.
Hold this position for five. Hold four. The goal is to not move the carriage. Two, one, bend the knees down. Then reach down and take one middle spring off, so now we're on three springs.
Let's find that straight arm plank again, same position. Try not to move the carriage and hold it here for five. Hold four, hold three, hold two, hold one. Without moving the carriage, lower the knees down. Let's take a second spring off.
So now we're on two springs. Let's find the position again. The goal is to keep the carriage still. Hold it for five. Hold four, hold three, hold two.
If you're secure here, press back, but the heels stay still, and come back in. Shoulder blades, pull down the back as the heels of the hands press forward into the bar and come back in. And again, press out, we keep the heels directly over the toes throughout and come in. And again, press, making sure that the pelvis is in line, don't let it drop below or above. One more time, press forward through the hands down through the shoulder blades, lead with the crown of the head to come in, and then let's stand up.
I'm sorry, let's stand up on the carriage, and we are gonna go for the elephant. So this one we did last time, you are gonna round the back like an angry cat, dropping the head, dropping the tailbone, nice and curved in the lower back. Lift all 10 toes equally, then press out one count, pull in for three, pull in two, pull in one. Press out two, and pull under, under, under. Press out three, and under.
Nice and relaxed in the upper back and out. And under, under, under. Let's go for one more, press, and pull under, under, under. Great, and step down to the floor. And then we are gonna go to either three or four springs for the stomach massage series, whatever you started footwork on.
If you feel it's a little bit too hard to hold though, if you started on four, you could take it to three springs. Now we're gonna not use the box this time, we're gonna actually just put a pad down just to prevent sliding. And now you can sit down. I like to put a vertical, you could always do it horizontal as well and bring the toes onto the bar. Make the space on either side.
He is gonna grab, hold round for now. He still imagines he's against the box. So bottom ribs down, he is gonna push into the imaginary box. Bottom ribs up, he is gonna spine stretch forward. So press into the imaginary box, lower the heels, lift the heels and come back in.
Press into the box, lower the heels. Press into the box and come in. Press into the imaginary box, lower into the imaginary box in. Spine stretch, and come in and out, lower. Let's go for five more of these, out.
Stay nice and broad in the elbows, out. Let's not speed up, and come in and out, lower. Lifting in, two more, lower. Lifting in, last time, lower. Lifting, come in.
Now I'll take a spring off, but at home just reach through the legs. Okay, one spring off, so we're on three springs. Now if you were on three, just stay on three. Now the hands go against the shoulder blocks and I want a two-way push here. He is gonna push forward with the upper back while he draws the inner thighs together while equally he's gonna push back with the hands.
So it's equal push, pull, the elbow stay bent. Let's repeat. Go out, lower lifting in, and two, lower lifting in. So you wanna equal push with the hands and the feet. Make sure you're not over-pressing with the legs.
Really stabilize yourself with the arms, draw those shoulder blades together. Let's go for four more, out, lower lifting in, and out. Lower lifting in into the imaginary box. And one more time, out, lower lifting come in, reach through our... Yep, okay.
Reach through the legs, take one more spring off. Now imagine the box is there, reach up on a diagonal. Try not to lean into that imaginary box. As you stretch out, go off that imaginary box. Now going in lengthen, lengthen, lengthen.
Go off the box as you come, go out and now lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. Two more, go out, and now elongate, elongate, elongate. One more time, inhale. As you come in, think of going through the legs, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. Come all the way in and grab the front there, round over for monkey stretch.
And bend the knees and come in. And stretch two, and bend the knees and come in, two. One more time, stretch three. Now hold that, lower the heels and lift the heels, lower the heels and lift the heels. Lower the heels, lift the heels, and then bend the knees and come back in.
Great. Standing onto the floor. Now if that was hard for you to grab and maintain the position, you can always take these straps, wrap them around the bar, and then you can then have a little bit of a extender there. So I'll just show real quick, so if you need it, you can hold anywhere on that strap all the way at the very bottom or walk yourself up. And that way it makes the exercise a little bit easier, if it's difficult to grab a hold of that bar.
Great. All right, so we just did our stomach massage. Now we're gonna stay on two springs. Let's lower the foot bar, let's keep the head rest up, and then we're going to setup for the leg circles. Let's switch the order today.
We're gonna do leg circles, then we're gonna do the frog second. So I'm gonna come to the very back of the reformer here, and I loop this through, then I place it on the wrist. Always two hands free to work with, I loop this through. I'm gonna make sure that the hardware is on the outside and the middle, so it doesn't catch. And then let's bring the straps to the feet, and then we take the straps, we place it right in front of the heel.
So you'd never want to put it in the middle, place it always in front of the heel. So we're gonna do one frog to go out. So zipper up, extend out. Now leg circles, open lower together and lift, and open lower together and lift. So today we're making it a little more circular, less of a box like we did last time.
And one more time, open lower together, lift. Let's reverse it. Lower, open up and gather. Two, open up and gather. Three, open up and gather.
Two more, open up and gather. One more, open up and gather. Bend the knees, come in, let's do the frog here with the long straps. Zipper up, and pull in, and zipper up as you extend, pull back in. One more zipper up, and pull back in.
Hold there. Let's reach and grab hold of the straps there. Great. Now we're gonna keep the left leg bent, and then you're gonna extend the right leg out to the side. You wanna keep equal weight on right and left side of the pelvis, and bend and come in.
Now stretch the other leg to the side and really press your tailbone and sacrum down onto the mat to create more stretch in the adductor there. And bend and come in, and stretch to the side opening there, and come in. So this will be a little warmup for us because we're gonna do a deeper adductor stretch later. Stretch, and pull back in. Great.
So let's take these straps off of the feet. I'm gonna have you roll to one side sitting up, standing up. So today we're gonna practice the knees off a little more. I'm gonna have you kneel facing back this time. And instead of staying on two springs, I'm gonna move this to one spring.
Now we did this one last time with the, right before the elephant, but we're gonna add on to it today. So you're gonna curl the toes under, round the back like an angry cat. Now without moving the carriage, lift the knees up, pretty much halfway up the blocks. Then you probably have to walk forward a little bit, so you're really snug against the shoulder blocks. Now upper body stays still, pull the knees towards the wrist and go out, in and out.
Three, let's go just a little slower. Four and out. Five more. In and out. Two, and out.
Tailbone under, and under. Let's go for two more, in and out. One more, in and out, gently bend the knees down. Great. Now we're gonna do the same thing facing to the front.
I'm gonna put us back on two springs. You could do this on one spring, but let's do it on two today. So kneel facing into the front, round the back like an angry cat. Now from here, keep the carriage still, lift both knees up. Same thing, press and pull in.
Two, so you only go as far as you can control the upper body. Out and in. So upper body still, just the legs are moving through space, out. Three more, out and in. Two more, out.
And one more, out. All the way in, in, in, and then gently bring the knees down. Great. Standing up, and let's move to the running. So three or four springs, whatever you started with, and we lift that foot bar back up.
So lie down, lie on your side, flip over onto the back, feet together, knees together, high lifted heels, zipper up, try not to tuck the pelvis as you stretch out. Now we're gonna take it slightly quicker and up, and up. Two up, two up. The accent is on the up, and four. For a good indicator, if that reformer is moving, that means you're probably accenting it downward.
Up, and up, and up, and up. Three more sets. Up, and up, and up, and up. One more set. Up, and up.
Bend the knees, come back in. Now feed into the corners on the arches or the heels. Keep the carriage still, roll up to the bottom ribs, tailbone to the sky, press through jello, molasses, peanut butter, something thick can come back in and pressing two, and coming in, pressing three, and pull it in, press it out. Pull it in, pressing out, five. Pulling in, let's go for five more.
Press, and pulling in. Press two, and pull in. Three, make sure that both hips are lifting up equally, and in. One more time, press out to all the way in, in, in. Now keep the carriage still, slowly roll the spine all the way down, and then bring the knees into the chest, hug the legs.
So we'll skip the circles today, and then roll to your side, sitting up, standing up. Let's do the eaves lunge that we did last week. It's always a nice little stretch to do at the end. So let's take it to one spring. Kneel down onto that right knee, and then slowly go out, lengthening there, and come back in.
And again, pressing out, two. And lengthen in, one more time, pressing out, three, hold there. We keep the right hand on, take the left arm and actually keep it down, but circle it around and grab the outside of the thigh there. So just it's gonna bring the stretch a little bit more lateral now. Now you're going to take the hand, bring it on, and let's come all the way in, and then we go to the second side.
So walk to the other side and then kneel down onto the left knee, and then out lift to the spine as you go out. Good, and then lengthen and come back in. And again, press out, make sure the pelvis is nice and square, and come back in. Let's go for one more, and pressing out really forward through that hip, then take the right arm off, circle around and grab the outside of that left thigh. Pull down to the left shoulder blade, twist, then bring the hand on and come all the way in.
We're gonna stay on this side. You're going to bring the right foot on the inside of the reformer right next to the leg. Good, now walk a little forward, so then your shinbone is touching the frame. Now you're gonna bring your left foot onto the carriage, and then the foot will be very flat here. One hand on to the foot bar, one hand will then go on to the frame, the other hand can join it onto the frame.
So slowly walk the hands out, and now we take a deeper adductor stretch. You only go as far as you can control or what feels comfortable for you. Now walk back in. The hands, spine and hips are all in one alignment, and walk out. So always make sure everything goes out together.
Good. And then walking back in. Our goal is to keep both legs straight. One more time, walking out, go to where it's comfortable, where you can control it, you don't have to overdo it. And then walking back in, all the way in, and then step one foot down, and then rolling up.
And now let's do the other side. Unfortunately, you have to have your butt to everyone. All right, so bring the foot on. And then, yes, walking out, and walking back in. And again, walking out.
Make sure that we keep the rib cage, don't let it splay or go. We're still focusing on pulling in and up to the lower abdominals. One more time. Walking out, so the upper body is nice and stable, so we can get a good stretch there. And walking back in.
Good. And then step the foot down. Then turn, so you're facing back. You can stand right to the side of that. Stand parallel hip with distance, roll down to your spine for four, three, two, one.
If you touch the floor, that you do; if you don't, you don't, it's okay. Bend the knees for four, three, two, one. Stretch the legs, two three, four. Now soften the knees and roll up to your spine for four, three, two. And as you roll up, you can stretch the legs, one.
One more time. Roll down for four, three, two, one. Now four counts to bend the knees. Two, three, four. Four counts to stretch the legs.
Two, three, four. Now soften the knees, curl the tailbone under. Roll up for four, three, stretch the legs, two and one. And that is all we have for today. Thank you guys.
Thank you, Tetsuo. And I'll see you next time when we build a little further with the reformer. Take care.