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Hi, my name is Regina, and today's intermediate Reformer workout, we're gonna explore the concept of balance. The more we pass through balance, the less life is going to throw us off balance. So let's get started. We're gonna do your footwork, I do my footwork on three, so that's what you're welcome to do too. We're gonna do 10 repetitions of toes, we're gonna flow through this first portion here.
You find your two-way stretch and you breathe. And actually, you know, the one beautiful thing about the apparatus, well, there's many, but the one I'm gonna talk about today is how the apparatus actually helps us find the balance already. You know, maybe you're pressing off with your left foot more than you are with your right foot. So really do your best to try to see if you can engage your whole body and even out the power. So I just went right into my arches and we're gonna do 10 repetitions there, right?
No judgment, but just notice if, like, the right shoulder is pressing against the shoulder block, more than the left. And all you've gotta do is just come back to your center and focus on that. Breathing through it. Okay, now we're gonna bring our heels on the foot bar. We are creatures of imbalance passing through balance.
So we're gonna try to pass through balance more often here by staying connected to our center. I just went to my heels, we're gonna do 10 of those. We always start with our footwork with 10 repetitions of each position. And that might be my last one, and then we go back to the toes for our tendon stretch. Pulling the belly in, finding your two-way stretch, keeping your spine nice and long.
Finding the balance of your energy. That is my last one, and then we come on in. We're gonna go right into the hundred. Lift your foot bar up, lower it down, and hold onto your handles. And already find your connection here, balance between the upper body and the lower body.
And we're going to go right into it, and we pump. Five sets of in breaths, five sets of out breaths, balancing the inflow and the outflow of your breath, and we do it 10 times. The more we practice, the better we will return to balance. Keep reaching into the handles. I'm more than halfway there.
Pump your arms as much as you can, try not to move your head. Keep reaching into the handles and keep reaching those legs away. This might be my last set. Now, stay connected as you lay down on your back, keep your legs together. Teaser up to transition.
Let's drop one spring down, if I can get it out, and then go back on your back. So now, we're gonna go into the full overhead to balance in-between the shoulder blades. So I dropped one spring, I'm on two springs now, my arms are reaching up to the ceiling, my legs are reaching away. I'm gonna connect right into my center immediately. And you balance in-between your shoulder blades, reach your toes to the ceiling, keep reaching, reaching, reaching, as you lower down with control.
We'll do two more repetitions. Go over and up. Keep your toes right in front of your eyes as you lower down. Last one, feels great. Reach into the handles.
Now, go right into coordination, bend your elbows and your knees, press, open, pull the knees in, bend your elbows. You can actually see your legs here, right? Evenly opening and closing. So really come back to your midline as you bring your heels together, and then bend your elbows. Both handles in one hand, come on up, we're gonna drop into one spring, we're gonna flow through our rowing series, back rowing first, right?
Make sure you measure your palms distance away from the front of the carriage. And we go into the back rowing, elbows out. Press out, round forward, pull the belly in, lift your arms up, open out to the side, reach forward, and then come back up. We'll do two more of those. Round, press, round forward, pull the belly in, bring the arms up, up, up, to stretch your shoulders.
Back - One
One more. Reach, back, lift, open, and then come up with control. Elbows greater than 90 degrees. Flat back. Lift up, reach forward, pull the belly in, bring the arms back, we finish the same way.
Back - Two
Open, we'll do two more of those. Finding the balance between the upper body and the lower body helps us connect to that center. Stretch, keep rounding, and then coming back to sit. All right, place your handles down, we're gonna to turn around, do front rowing. Again, flowing through this, we've got a lot of ground to cover.
From the chest, push up and down. Get long. Two-way stretch, keep your spine nice and tall, elbows back. Two more of those. Breathing.
Front - One
Open out, exhale. One more here. From the hips, flex your feet, round and stretch deep in the stomach. Stretch, stretch, stretch up, open out and come back. Two more here.
Front - Two
Feel the strength evening out between both hands as you use your reach to go into the handles. Shaving, cross your legs, hands outside, and press the thumbs and the index fingers together. Press your knees out, keeping your spine as tall as possible and breathing. Last one here. Switch the crosses of your legs as you open your arms out for hug, pulling the belly in as the fingertips coming together.
Last one, that was five. Okay, we're gonna take our long box now and we're gonna balance on the box. So you're gonna add your second spring, and then you're gonna put the long box on your carriage. We're gonna explore the swan as we balance on top of the box. So some people put their heels underneath the strap, for me, I'm gonna balance on my toes and my heels are gonna be off the strap.
Hug A Tree
Hands are on top of the box, heels are together immediately as you mount, push the box away a little bit and you're balancing. For me, my sweet spot is just in the middle of my thigh. You round forward, and then now you're gonna pull the belly in and you lift up, open up your heart and exhale down. Inhale, open, stretch, straighten the arms and the legs, balancing on the box, lift the upper body, and then exhale, come back to start. Woo, that one takes your breath away.
Okay, we're gonna do two more repetitions. Inhaling, open and exhaling. In, now open your heart. And exhale, stretch, pull the belly in, upper body lifts. And round.
Okay, last one. And down. And breathing and stretching and lifting upper body only, and then come down with control. Press down into the box to lift your hips up, pull the carriage in, drop one spring, and then immediately lie down on your long box. Again, today we're gonna bring our hands through the handles, and then we're gonna walk your thumbs to the screws or the divot.
Now, pull the belly in here, keep reaching your legs away, and then open up the chest. Two more. Last one. Now slide your arms to the edge, and then keep your palms facing down for T. Notice if you're pulling stronger on one side than the other.
Pulling Straps - T Position
Again, no judgment, just notice it. All right, replace the handles back, and then we're gonna do backstroke. Step off, add your second spring. Now, this is a fancy way of mounting, you're gonna place both handles in each hand, you're gonna place your hands on the box. You're gonna balance on your foot bar and you're gonna lower yourself as close to the edge as possible, and then lie down on your back, bending your elbows and your knees, lifting the upper body.
Reach, open out and stretch, bend your elbows and your knees. Two more that way, up. One more. Reverse it. Reach and bend, two more.
Last one. Circling the arms and the legs up, and then bending your elbows and your knees. We're gonna teaser up to transition. So keep your legs up, balancing at the edge of the box, building that resiliency, dropping a spring, and then coming down. Okay, take the arms up and the legs, reaching away.
Connect to your center, find your composure, open your arms out, and then roll right up into your teaser. Let's do pumps first, we'll do four. Keep reaching your legs out. Two, hold it here, and then stay connected to the handles, lowering down. You know, for some, this might be a little tricky, because you're hovering over the ground and space.
So that really builds that strength, that builds that connection. We're doing circles now. Two. One more. Hold it, and then lower down with control.
Now, we're gonna do arm circles and leg circles. Rolling up, circle the arms first four times, Hold it up, circle the legs four times. Keep reaching into the handles. Hold here, stay balanced, and lower down with control. It's a balance of energy as well, right?
All right, now we're gonna come up and we're gonna drop down one spring for hamstring curls. Oh, sorry, we're already on one spring. You don't wanna do hamstring curls on two springs. Okay, so you place the leather through the handles and you cross them, right? So you sit at the edge of the box, and then you're gonna take your left foot on the strap that's on top, your right foot goes on the other strap underneath.
And then now, because the strap is on top on the left side, you're gonna turn away from the left to balance on your box. You're hovering over the edge of the box, placing your hands behind you, and then both knees are coming in. Again here, since you're hovering over the ground, it's really a great way to exercise your brain and your vestibular system. When we challenge our vestibular system, we actually activate our center. We just have a few more here, hang in there.
Remember, even distribution of power as best as you can. And then, now we're gonna swing the legs around, we're gonna balance to do our horseback. You just reach down, and then hold on to the handles. Straddling your box, squeezing into the box, thinking about your teaser here, right? So you're gonna squeeze into the box, find the lower body reach, and then reach your arms up, and you're gonna balance and hover over the box.
Just one more here. Hold that, and then come on down with control, we're just gonna do one more set of those with the circles of the arms now. Squeezing in, circling the arms, reaching away. Hold it there, and then come down with control. Place your handles back and let's move the box away, and we're gonna do one leg variations in our long stretch series.
So you're gonna grab your pad, place it in-between the headrest and the carriage, lift your foot bar up and add your second spring. So now, we are on two springs. Now, you come up, let's do one repetition of the two legs to set ourselves up. Keep reaching your legs away, find your spinal alignment. Now, all you have to do is lift one leg up, staying connected to the center.
So lift the right leg up, reaching away, push back and come forward. We'll do two more of those. Last one. Switch, left leg goes up. Again, when we work one limb at a time, we build that strength to the connection of our center.
Long Stretch Variation
Come on down to your knees for down stretch, chest up. Breathing. Keep reaching your heels back. Now, balance on your knees, press up, open your arms out, open your heart out, and then bring your hands back to the foot bar. Lift your hips up, one repetition each of your up stretch.
Push back, come forward, and then come up. Now, we'll do the combo, you push back, you come down, opening up your heart, pressing out, coming back home. Now, lift the right leg up for your first push out. Now, just come forward, regular up stretch, we'll do two more of those, keep reaching that right leg back. One more.
Come back home, switch, left leg hovers. Breathing here. One more. Push your heels against the shoulder blocks, and then lower the leg down. Now, let's just do one combo.
Up Stretch w/Leg Extension
Right leg goes back, push out, come forward, open up your heart, round your spine to come in. Switch, left leg hovers, push out, come forward and out, and then come on in. Lower the heel down, and then step off carefully. All right, now we're gonna do our one legged version of your long back stretch. First, we just prepare ourselves with one repetition of the two legged one.
Up Stretch Variation
So you lower down, you press out, hold, reach, reach, reach, don't move the carriage, and then come in. Let's go the other way, push out, and then lower, and then pull yourself back up. I'm gonna sit on the foot bar for a little break. Now, you're gonna take one leg, this is gonna be my left leg and I'm gonna rest my left heel on the shoulder block, the right heel is below. Rest the left heel down, push out, hold, don't move the carriage as you lift, and then come back in.
Long Back Stretch
And then reverse it, out, don't move the carriage, and then come in. Okay, switch. Left heel down, right leg up, it's small, but it actually makes a big difference. Down and press up. Reach, it's a small movement, it's a small change, but now you've really gotta work that one leg that's on the bottom, and then you go the other way, and then down, and then you come back to center.
Long Back Stretch - One Leg
All right, now it's stomach massage time. I love stomach massage, just opens up my back, we're gonna flow through this. Adjust your pad, come as close to the foot bar as possible, holding on to the front of the carriage, and we're just gonna do five repetitions with each exercise for the first two. Breathing here. Three more.
Two, last one. Open up your chest, bring your hands back and keep your spine nice and tall. Two more here. Now, reach down, drop a spring, three with the arms reaching up, just bending and straighten your legs. Now, we add that twist.
Twist to the right. Twist to the left. Two more each way. Last one. Okay, so now we're gonna do tendon stretch, it's actually one of my more favorite exercises.
We're gonna do one variation with just two legs, we're gonna do maybe like two repetitions, and then we're gonna do one leg variation, okay? So standing on your pad, your arches are right at the edge of the carriage, holding on, and you push out and you come in. Now, for your one-legged variation, right hand goes in, right leg goes out, push out three times. Hold it. Switch, right foot goes down, right hand goes out, left hand in, left leg out.
Woo, that's a doozy, it's a good one. All right, now we're gonna move on. Place your pad down, we're going into short box. Make sure that the handles are out and down on the floor, your headrest is down, you put your pad on top of the box and you get your dowel, place it in front of the box and let's get to work. Reach down for your straps, place your feet underneath the straps and really pull against it.
My teacher says try not to make any noise when you move here. So try to not make any noise when you're moving. So rounding your spine, pulling your legs apart and going as far back as you can now, opening up the chest, really stretching your spine, pull the belly in, and then exhale, come up and over. And again. So much of Pilates is working that spine right, and that spine is really the center of our body, it's a guide for our center.
Tendon Stretch Variation
And we'll take one more here, really articulate that spine, stretch, stretch, stretch, and then calming back in. Now, reach down, grab your dowel, take the arms overhead, adjust if you need to. Now, pull against the dowel from your upper back and lean back. Find your two-way stretch here. Remember, all those components, right?
Your two-way stretch, your spinal alignment. One more. Now, reaching side to side, just three each side, flowing through our short box. Building that connection to the center, we go right and left. Now, we twist and we reach.
We come up and twist, twist to the other side, I'm twisting to the left now. We're gonna do one more each way, and then now we're gonna go around the world. So we twist, we reach, go around the world, balancing both sides of the body, both sides of the brain, right and left brain hemispheres, and then coming back down. Now, we do our tree. So much is in Pilates, so much of building resiliency, so much of building strength to the connection of your center.
Walk your hands up, that was three repetitions, rounding over. Now, walk down, go as far back as you can, pulling the belly in, opening at the chest. If you want, you can touch the floor, walk up and walk back. And you want, you can touch the frame. Walk up.
And last one, keeping that right leg reaching, touch the floor again, maybe a little closer to your box. Hold it there and stretch that right leg up, up, up, as you push down into the floor. Walk up. Oh, that feels nice. Okay, switch.
Around the World
Right leg goes in the strap, hands go behind the left leg. Tall spine, walk up, and round, walk down. Maybe touch the floor, walk up, and then walk back down, touch the frame. Are you making any noise with your strap? I hope you're not.
And then last one, touch the floor. Now, hold onto the floor, press down into the floor, reach that left leg up to the ceiling, and then walk your hand up, and then come on back home. All right, so let's bring the box back to the side and we're gonna do short spine. So remember, place your straps through the handles, set yourself up for success. You're staying on two springs.
You lie down. We're gonna do three repetitions of short spine by itself, and then we're gonna test our balance by doing a little high frog. So first, three repetitions of short spine. Press out, lift, bend, roll your spine down. Two more.
Find your two-way stretch. Feel your spine getting nice and aligned. One more. Now, keep your hips up, balance on your shoulder blades for high frog. One more here, hold it, reach, and then bend your knees, roll your spine down, and then gently place your handles and your straps in the well.
And then, now we're gonna do semi-circle with the foot bar up today. So I actually just started lifting it up with my feet, but you can stand up, and then lift it up with your hands, but that was just automatic for me. You're gonna come all the way down as close to the foot bar as you can, holding onto the shoulder blocks. Now, you've gotta keep your belly in, find your two-way stretch, lift up, and then slide down, keeping your heels together, stretching your arms out. Now from here, you roll down just like we did before, but now you've got a little bit more space to move your spine, and then come back into center and you roll down again.
You're balancing on your toes on the foot bar, and then one more this direction, it feels so good on your spine. And again, that spine is the guide for our center and the axis of our body. We're going the other way now. Try not to move the carriage as you articulate your spine. We'll do two more.
And you're breathing as always. Last one. Come on in, roll your hips up, and then now carefully pull yourself back in to the carriage, and then stand on up with control. Now, you're gonna drop your foot bar down for your chest expansion, okay? So you might have to re-grab your straps, place them back, and today we're gonna try chest expansion balancing.
So the way I learned it, when you balance with chest expansion, with your toes up, you come against the shoulder blocks. So you have to find your two-way stretch, you have to find your spinal alignment here, pulling the belly in, pulling down, opening up the chest, hold, turn right and left. Again, it's really getting the right brain and the left brain. Alternating which side you start on. And I'm gonna start with my left for this last one, and then I'm gonna come back home.
Okay. All right, now one of my favorite balance exercises is snake. We're going to drop down to one spring, leaving the foot bar down. So your right foot is gonna step on a diagonal in a corner. So your toes are on top and your heel is to the side, your left hand is on the shoulder block.
I like to make a fist with my hand and place it on the carriage, about four inches away from the carriage. Some people hold on to the carriage, what works for me is may a fist and placing my hands on the carriage. You already have to connect your left hand to your right, lift up from your center, push your left foot down into your right and breathe. Now, you push the carriage out, and then you open up your heart, really pressing into your left hand and your right foot, rounding and coming in. Two more that way.
Push down into your legs, open up your heart, open up the chest, connect to your center. Last one. Open out, breathe, and then come on back in, step off, and we have to do the other side, as you know. Left foot goes down on the foot bar, right hand on the shoulder block, left hand making a fist or holding on to the carriage. Lifting up, pushing down into that right foot is key.
Opening up your heart. Exhale, come back in. Two more. And then, come in. Last one, right brain and left brain really working together to connect to our balance.
And we are done with that. Now, we're gonna come back on our back, add your second spring for cork screw. Let's do one plane with your hips down, legs up. Right first, then left. Now, you're gonna balance in-between the shoulder blades.
Lift up, roll to the right, come up through the left, balancing in-between the shoulder blades. Let's do one more each. You can try to keep your elbows out, but for me, my elbows come in a little bit and that's okay, it's just something I work on. And then, come on down with control. Next, is control balance.
So we're gonna slide down and we're gonna measure ourselves by bringing the arms over the head. From here, you're gonna hold on to the shoulder blocks. And again, we're gonna balance on our shoulder blades and also work the right and left brain. Legs straight out, inhale, lift all the way up to the ceiling. Now, touch the frame with your right foot.
Touch the frame with your left. Keep reaching, touch the frame with your right, and then bring the legs together, rolling down with control. We'll do one more, this time starting with the left leg. Lift up to the ceiling, touch the frame with your left, touch the frame with your right, touch the frame with your left. Keep reaching to the ceiling, lowering down with control.
Ooh, that's a good one. It opens up the back and it really gets that center connection. So now, we're gonna stand up and we're gonna lift the foot bar up, we're moving into mermaid. Drop one spring down, so now you're only on one spring, and you're gonna have a seat. The goal is to try to get your shins against the shoulder blocks.
You're gonna take your right hand just in front of your shoulder, and then your knees are stacked. I'm a little tight, so you might see a little bit of stuff going on in my feet, but I'm doing my best, okay? So that's just information for us, we all have things that we work on. So you reach out, and then come up. Holding onto the shoulder blocks, right arm up and stretch.
Reach and up. Right arm up and stretch alternating sides. Now, let's try a little balance here. Take your hand off, and then, whoa, grab the shoulder block, and then wrap. See, for some people that's easy, for me, that's where I have to do my work and find the challenge here, okay?
We're gonna try the other side. Left hand just in front of your shoulder, legs are stacked, pressing out, and then coming up, holding onto the shoulder block and wrap. And lift as much as you can, reaching and down, right going to the right. And now, we're gonna try that little balance here, let's see if it works, holding onto it. Lift, holding onto the shoulder blocks.
Yay, I did it. Left arm wraps around, and then left arm comes up. Okay, now we're gonna do long spine. The idea is, is just to keep practicing, right? The more you practice, the more you build resiliency and the more we can recover back to that balance, okay?
Extender straps go through the loops and the handles for both. And you saw that I added my second spring, so now we are on two springs, okay? Again, hooking them here and not on the shoulder blocks, so that you can set yourself up for success. Okay, try not to move the carriage as you come in, bringing your arms down for long spine. Pushing out, lifting, levitate.
Now, lift up, balance on your shoulder blades, open out, keep reaching, reaching, reaching, find that two-way stretch as your heels reach away, your belly pulls in. We'll do two more this way. Okay, legs go straight up, open out, reach, reach, reach. Last one this way, lifting up, open. Now, reverse it.
Open the legs out, lift up, close the legs, reach through the heels, balance, balance that energy, okay? Find that two-way stretch. There's that push and pull. There's that spine staying aligned. Ah, let's do one more.
Ah, you can tell in my voice that there's work happening here. And then you come on back in. Bend your knees, lift your foot bar up just for a little reprieve. We're just gonna do three frogs just to return to center. Now from here, let's just do three circles, returning to center, returning to our breath, reversing it.
Noticing if you're a little bit more even now, right? As you've built strength over this past session. And then now, lower yourself down with control, lower your straps down, and then come on up, let's do our knee stretches. We're gonna do one limb variations on our knee stretches for the round and the arched. So you're on two springs still, you're kneeling, and we're gonna set ourselves up first.
So you're gonna round your spine with the two hands and let's just do two, pushing out with both hands, okay? So now that you've found that, wrap your left arm around your waist, press out and pull in. Let's do five total. Two more. Switch, left hand on the foot bar, right arm wraps around your waist.
That hand is just in front of the left shoulder, we'll do five repetitions here. Now, both hands down for your arched and let's do two repetitions to set ourselves up to find where we are in space. Now, wrap your left arm around your waist. Five repetitions here, returning to the center by using only one hand. And switch, right arm wraps around, five repetitions here.
Knee Stretch Round Variation
Now, both hands down for knees off to balance. So you're gonna round your spine and you're gonna lift the knees up and you're gonna try to go 10 repetitions with knees off. Push. You're really balancing on your hands and your toes. Push, pulling the belly in.
Ooh, that one's a burner too. Okay, we're gonna come back down on our back, add your third spring, that's what I started on with my footwork. Lying down, returning to baseline and breathing. Alternating with your right and left. Again, finding that strong connection as you pass through balance more often.
Arch - One Arm
Lift both heels up, come on in for your pelvic lift. Lift up. Now, push out strong now. Levitating, hovering. Let's do three more.
And then, come all the way down. All right, to finish, we're gonna do one round of splits, we're gonna do our front splits. So let's drop down one spring, so you're only on two springs now. Let's get your pad. You're gonna place one pad at a diagonal, so that the outer edge of your left foot can be against the shoulder blocks.
So I'm gonna go ahead and step onto it right away that way. My right foot is gonna go in-between the two outside springs down on the frame. So from here, you push off from the back leg to straighten the front leg. That's where that two-way stretch happens, that's where that unilateral work comes in. You push off with the back leg to straighten the front leg.
Staying connected to the center. One more. That connection to that back leg really helps. And now, stay there, balance, place your hands behind your head. Now again, push off with the back leg to straighten the front leg.
We'll just do two more here. And then, you come on down, and then you step off, and then you switch. You're gonna move the pad to the other side, I'm gonna have to step around the carriage and the Reformer to get to the other side. Right foot goes on at a diagonal, the outer edge of the right foot on the shoulder blocks, both hands on the foot bar, left foot on the foot bar as well, in-between the two outside springs. From your belly, the right leg is pushing out to straight the front leg, and you come in.
We'll do two more. Last one. Now here, connect to your center, push off that back leg to lift your upper body up, both hands behind the head, push out. And notice, if you tended to put one hand first behind you, try to get the other hand behind your head this time, okay? Reach your arms up, come on down, and then step on off.
And we're gonna do one last exercise to leave, and then we're gonna practice our star basically, okay? So you don't need the pad. some people like to use the pad, I don't use the pad. If you wanna practice on two springs so that the carriage doesn't move, you're welcome to do that. It's always safer to start with the two springs first when you're practicing your star.
I'm just gonna drop it down to one spring, because maybe I'll show you what else we can do with the star. But for now, keep yourselves on two springs. Your right hand is gonna go just a little bit in front of the foot bar, the right foot is gonna go against the shoulder blocks. From here, connect to your center already, lift yourself up, and then just balance, right? Balance on right side, keeping your belly in.
Now, if you feel really good about being in this position, maybe play with the idea of pushing out if you're on a one spring. This is not necessary, it's just an option, okay? So for some of us, we can just work on that balance, working on that mount, okay? And then, let's do the other side, okay? Just to see.
Left hand on the foot bar, right foot on the foot bar, mount, come into that position already, really feeling that alignment, that spinal alignment, that two-way stretch. And if it's available, go ahead and push yourself out. And my last repetition here. And then, we step off. And there's your intermediate Reformer today.
I hope you pass through balance more often in life and we'll see you next time.