Class #4900

Upper Body Reformer

45 min - Class
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Focus on your upper extremities with this Reformer workout by Delia Buckmaster. She teaches a full-body workout with a little more emphasis on your upper body so that you can work on your posture during every exercise. In addition to the creative variations she teaches, she incorporated Planks and Push Ups throughout the class to give you a fun challenge.
What You'll Need: Reformer

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Hi, I'm Delia Buckmaster and welcome to my level up series on the reformer. Today we'll be doing the upper body. And just like I had said in the lower body workouts, it's not just about one part of your body, but the focus will be on posture and your upper extremities, but you'll get a little bit of everything today. So we're gonna start with the reformer on one yellow spring and your foot bar up to its high position. And this is an Allegro 2 balanced body reformer, so yellow would be a quarter spring if you don't have a balanced body at home.

The straps I'm actually going to put on the L-hooks because I'm gonna be stepping into the well today, and there is a tendency to maybe trip over the ropes. So for safety, I just want them a little lower, but always be careful stepping inside. So this is where we're gonna start. So standing about what you consider torso length away from your shoulder blocks, you'll be able to adjust in just a moment, but reach those arms up to the sky and give yourself a nice stretch in the shoulders and bring those arms down. This is just a nice way to start to focus, reaching those arms up, and then checking all the parts of your body with your mind.

So feet to knees, knees to hips, hips to ribs, shoulders, and the top of your head. So I'm gonna fold forward and place my hands on top of the shoulder blocks, bringing my body back. So that's right above my ankles. My knees are soft, my torsos lengthened and my palms are intently holding the shoulder blocks. With my eyes lifted, I'm gonna take a deep inhale breath, on my exhale with long arms, I'm gonna round my spine, start to straighten my legs and come into a nice standing cat stretch, pulling that resistance towards me for a little extra stretch in the back.

As my arms move forward, I allow the carriage to move forward. And then I'm going to set myself up back to star position. Exhale as I round the spine. (Delia breathes out sharply) Inhale as I extend the spine. Now you're welcome to move back and forth.

You're not in concrete. So if you need to readjust the position of your feet or stand a little bit closer to the carriage or a little bit further away, it's totally up to you. And just to stretch through that lower back as you exhale, making sure that you're not just stretching between the shoulder blades, that's where most people wanna stretch, but that's mainly where we are more slouching. So we wanna get into that lumbar spine. Let's try that two more times, extending the legs so that you work the hips, sending your bottom back, finding that neutral, one more time as you exhale breath and inhale to return.

I'm gonna go ahead and roll myself up as a reset, reaching my arms up to the sky. And I'm gonna go over to just the right shoulder block. So I'll bring my right hand over, and then my left hand on top of the right shoulder block. So I am rotated slightly here, finding length at the lateral side on my left side. Exhale as you round your spine to pull the carriage in inhale as you extend.

Now that yellow spring is a suggested spring. I don't like a lot of resistance on this exercise in particular because I don't wanna overuse my lower back in rotation. So this yellow spring works perfectly for me. (Delia breathes out sharply) You don't wanna make it about your arms, you wanna make it about the movement and spiraling of your back. Let's try that two more times.

Inhale breath, exhale to flex. (Delia breathes out sharply) Last one as you reach. And then around the spine. I'll release the carriage forward gently, come back up to the ceiling with my arms and exhale flex forward, left hand on the block right hand on top of the left and the same thing here, exhale, inhale. It's important to bend and flex the knees on this exercise because then you get that lower extremity warm up as well.

You get that movement in your hips and you'll start to feel the glutes, hopefully, 'cause when you're on your feet, if you're not using your bottom, your glute max, you'll be overusing your lower back. So just remember that exhale. (Delia breathes out sharply) Let's just do that two more times and let those eyes follow the move into the spine, leading you into that extension and then into the flexion, releasing that carriage slowly and then rolling yourself all all the way back up. Now I have an Allegro 2 here, so there is a back platform, but if you don't have a back platform, you can easily just put your feet on top of the edge of your frame, if you feel safe. If you don't, you can keep your feet on the ground.

I'm gonna place my hands on the shoulder blocks and I'm gonna find that back platform with my feet. So once my feet are on there, I happen to be a good height for this particular exercise, but I'm gonna push my palm firmly into the shoulder blocks. So that way it pushes into the stopper, so the carriage isn't going to move. And then I'm gonna lift myself up into pike position and almost like a down dog, I'm gonna drive my heels down to the frame and feel that nice stretch. Articulating through your spine, find your plank again, lining up your shoulders, hopefully right over your wrists.

Exhale, breath. Find your pike, inhale breath, find your plank. And we'll do that several times moving through the joint of the shoulder, moving through the hips, loading the shoulder, but be careful not to collapse through those shoulder blades. And again, you can do this with your feet on the ground. One more.

Yep, and then go ahead and lift yourself back up. Now from here if you don't need a break, just hang here for a couple of breaths. I'm gonna add a little pushup. So I'm gonna shift my body weight forward. I'm gonna do a little mini pushup, a little bit like a yogi pushup with the elbows close to the ribs, and then I'm gonna lift myself back up to a pike.

So I'll come forward, you can even have a teeny bit of momentum, confession, I am not a huge push-up person. I keep mine pretty modified and reach and inhale breath, plank strong through the quads, naval to the spine. Let's try that one more time and down and up and then stretch it back. I'm gonna step into the well carefully reaching my hands towards the floor, feeling pretty warm now. I'm gonna roll myself all the way up to standing, reaching those arms up to the sky and I'm bringing them down to the hips.

I'm gonna step over to the other side, which is away from you. So I'm gonna carefully step out and then I'm going to face this direction, still on that one yellow spring. Grabbing onto the strap, that's closest to you. Now, whether or not you use the shorter loop or the longer loop, it's gonna be really dependent on your resistance and arm length. So what we're gonna do first is do some standing internal, external rotation of the shoulder.

So I'm gonna hold on to the longer, actually the shorter loop, we'll do that today, making it a little bit more challenging. My legs are just as comfortable position apart and I'm gonna give myself a little internal rotation of the shoulder. Now the more, the closer you are to the spring, the harder this is going to be. So you're actually gonna have to find where you wanna work today. My free arm is pressing up against my thigh, the side of my thigh., so that way I could give myself a little bit more stabilization in my torso and make sure that my feet are grounded.

Now you don't want a lot of resistance when training your shoulder, you really wanna train your shoulder for mobility and for endurance and for flexibility, more so than loading it with weight. So you could go until you are completely fatigued on the side, that could mean five repetitions, 15 repetitions, it's all you. So just let's do a couple more 'cause I'm fatiguing one more time and then release. I'm gonna scoot over to the other side or a little bit closer to that side so I can do some external rotation. So remember, the harder it's harder, the closer you get to your spring load.

So I'm gonna do a little external rotation here. So what's the proper position of that elbow, it should not be pressing into your side. It should be kind of floating right underneath your shoulder naturally. And you wanna move from the external rotator of your shoulder. Again, keeping that arm nice and steady by your side, nice tall spine, nice external rotation, filling that shoulder blade just gliding towards the center of your spine, nice and healthy.

And again, this is just a fatigue. Another thing too, is make sure that you keep your wrist nice and straight, so that you're actually moving from the shoulder joint and back and not just from your forearm. We'll do a couple more here as I'm fatiguing again, last one and then release. So now a little bit more in rotation of the torso. I'm gonna open up my legs a little bit wider and take my arms out as though I am holding onto a barrel.

So you could actually be parallel or you could be turned out. I'm slightly turned out. It's trial and error as to where I'll be standing. But from the rib cage, I'm gonna rotate. So it's just a spine twist rotating towards your upright and then rotating away from your upright.

and the movement should be coming from the middle of your back. So here's a little tip, a little bit of fun facts, your shoulder blades, your shoulders, your ribs, they all should be moving and the middle back together simultaneously. So you're training right now for everything to move in synchronicity, nice rotation, upper middle back, couple more, last one, rotate and then return. Holding onto the same strap with your right hand, you're gonna rotate. So now my left foot is lunging forward and my right foot is back.

I'm gonna go into a bicep curl here. So I wanna set myself forward a little bit more so that my arm is towards extension to start. My left knee is bent and my right heel is driving towards the floor so that I could feel a nice stretch of my hamstrings while I have an opportunity to do so. My left hand will be resting on my shoulder and I'll start with a bicep curl. You wanna be in a position where your arm can flex and extend.

So, if you get to the stopper and your elbow isn't in full extension, then you need to step little bit further forward and exhale, nice and tall with the spine. No matter what you're working with, whether it's your lower or upper body, really focus on your torso and make sure that you've got good posture, good alignment, and that you're using all the proper inner core muscles, inhale breath, exhale breath, pulling the abdominals in as to not to arch that lumbar spine, driving that right heel to the floor to feel that extra stretch and then feel the weight on that left leg so that the glutes are also working for support and balance. One more time. (Delia breathes out sharply) And then release. Lastly, we'll go into little tricep.

So I'm gonna step back a little bit, 'cause that's a little bit weaker part of the shoulder when I pull it up towards the ceiling. So I'm gonna back a little further here. From here, my arm is in my peripheral vision, same position with the lower half of the body, as I bend and extend the elbow. The only moving joint here is my elbow joint. My eyes are forward, I'm focused.

And again, I'm getting that nice stretch of my calf, exhale, naval to the spine. And you can see, you can get pretty creative with some of these. You can continue on with several different movements of the shoulder if you'd like, let's do three more, two, one more and then slowly release back. I'm gonna place that long loop onto the L-hooks because I am gonna stepping back into the well as a transition to do those plank series again. So, step in, face towards your shoulder blocks, arms reach up towards the ceiling, fold forward with bent knees and then find the back of your reformer wherever it is for you.

Or you can go ahead and just keep the feet on the floor. So starting off in a nice strong plank, I'm gonna take it up to a pike and then I'm gonna set back into a plank. And you can do several here depending on what you feel like today. And then I'm gonna go ahead and add the pushups. So forward shift, slight bend of the elbow.

So I got a little bit more play here now, 'cause now my upper body is a little bit warmer. So I'm able to go down a little bit deeper. If it doesn't look deeper, don't tell me, 'cause in my head I think that I'm actually making some progress with this pushup. So inhale, exhale and again, and bend extend. Let's do three more, inhale, elbows close, head stays aligned with the body, two more, press.

The last one, take it forward, bend extend, and then step carefully in the well, and I'm gonna step over towards you on the right side. Same thing, now you'll be seeing my back as we work, I'm gonna grab a strap. And then from here I'm gonna go into internal rotation. So my right arm is pressing up against my hip and arms are gonna be different, one arm might be weaker than the other, but you could probably see a little bit of what's going on with my shoulder blade back here. I actually have several things going on.

I have one shoulder that's been injured, but I've been working really hard at it and exhale. That's what happens when you do too many outdoor activities and don't take a break. So again, two fatigue for you. And since I can't judge what that might be for all of you at home, we're gonna go to my fatigue. So I'm gonna do a couple more here, external or internal rotation and release.

So now I'll grab onto the strap with my right hand, scoot the other direction, so I can go into my external. Now I didn't cue you this on the other side, but you can take your free arm and place it up against your elbow to see if it stays steady in space. And you wanna think about the shoulder blade gliding back into the center of your spine. It's taking a lot of stability for me to do the arm, keep the body straight, keep the legs strong. So in my mind, this is a full body integration, exhale, even though I'm working that shoulder to that fatigue.

So we're only doing two more on this side, Last one and then return. Now, keeping that strap on my left hand, I'm returning in this direction. My right leg is forward, my left leg is back into that lunge and I'm gonna go into that bicep curl. So I'm gonna wanna walk forward to where my left arm feels like it's an extension at the humorous. From here, I'll go into my bicep curl.

Now, if you decide as you're going, you wanna super set these, you can. So if you wanna add a little bit more resistance, you could just walk forward. If you wanna release some of that tension, you can totally walk back. You can make it your own workout here. I'm getting a nice stretch in my left calf.

My right leg is nice and stable. My shoulders are nice and wide. (Delia breathes out sharply) I'm gonna go four more, four. Remember the elbow is the only moving joint. It's like your elbow is just hooked behind a bar back there.

Two more, one more. And then I'm gonna step back so that I can bring my arm over my shoulder. Same leg forward, arm overhead, hinge the body forward and then go into your tricep bend extend. (Delia breathes out sharply) Elbow should be pointing forward, neck aligned with the shoulder. Careful here, if you have too much movement in the humorous, you're kind of gonna lose the plot of what you need to be doing here.

It's really about keeping that elbow nice and stable and the shoulder nice and stable. Two more, two, one more, press it out. And then go ahead and bring that arm back. So I'm gonna place the straps back onto the L-hooks and I'm going to have a seat. I'll be kneeling here, but I'm gonna take it to one blue spring.

Take off the yellow spring. Again, these are always just suggested, the blue spring is a half spring on these reformers. I'm gonna come up to my knees. Once I'm on my knees, I'm gonna go into a kneeling position with my hands on the frame, legs or knees are gonna be against the blocks. Starting off in just a typical little quad or pet position, giving myself a few stretches here.

As I'm giving myself stretches, I'm thinking about that shoulder joint. We're working with the upper extremities. So I wanna make sure that I've got a nice pivot going on around my shoulder and the lower half of my body is stabilizing. So when you're doing pilates, there's always gonna be something that's stabilizing and something that's moving. So, and you have to disassociate those two.

Now from here, what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna do some little pushups here from here, so you're gonna bend and then you're gonna press up. So what are many pushups? So earlier when I said I'm not a big, huge pushup fan, I literally do my pushups like this on all fours, like a cat. And you could place your fingertips forward depending on the size of the frame of your reformer. And focusing on maintaining a nice long line from your tailbone to your head.

Now, going into the movement of the carriage, the first part of this will be more about stabilizing the shoulder and then mobilizing the hip. So I'm gonna find a nice flat back, pull my abdominals in and from here, I'm gonna pull the carriage forward. So even though the movement is coming from the lower half of the body, I'm working the upper half of the body and stabilization, making sure that my shoulder blades don't collapse, I'm nice and wide through the collarbone and through the back. And I'm using my obliques and my abdominals to control that carriage forward. Four more.

And three, eyes towards the well, two, and one, and then release back. You are welcome to a child's pose in between sets to stretch the shoulders, take a deep inhale and exhale. Back to your all fours position. Next, we're gonna be doing this in a round back, which is a little bit harder. You gotta really focus on those lots, scoop those abdominals in and now see if you can keep that lower back, nice and flex looking towards your knees hands under the shoulders, same thing, exhale.

Now the hardest part here is not coming out of that round spine and not maintaining that C-curve and that flex. So think about really pulling those elbows behind you. So they're pulling back and that'll keep the shoulders out of the ears and hopefully focus it on the front of the body as you're pulling that carriage forward. So abs are working, lower back is stretching and again, your shoulders are working for stabilization. Two more, last one.

And then slowly release back for a nice stretch. Pause for one breath, take a deep inhale, and exhale back to your all fours position. Leave your right hand where it is for the next one and take your left hand off the frame and bring it over towards your right hand. So now you're finding that length just like you did when you were standing. So, the beginning part of your workout will usually resonate to the rest of the hour or the workout here.

So you're gonna go ahead and pull on this side, exhale, stabilizing the right side of the shoulder. So you're pulling the right armpit towards the right hip as your hips are moving the carriage. And then you're maintaining that lengthened spine on the left hand side, two more. Last one. And then before you rest, let's just switch over to the other side, left hand on the frame, right hand comes around to meet it.

And the same thing focusing on the shorting of your left oblique and the lengthening on your right. (Delia breathes out sharply) These are not that easy, so make sure that you're doing them really precise and only as many as you can keep that precision, and then release, take a little breath back at child's pose, take a deep inhale breath. And then we're gonna go ahead and shift the weight forward again. So time we're gonna make it a little bit harder and load the lats a little more. So I'm gonna walk my hand slightly forward, my thighs are leaning up against the blocks.

And then from here, I'm gonna pull the carriage forward with my lats to take attention on the spring, maintain a nice flat back and then pull with the hips. So it's actually easier on the hip part, but way harder on the upper body, exhale. (Delia breathes out sharply) Try not to collapse the back as you're pulling that carriage forward and keep that head lined up with your spine. Two more times, exhale breath, one more and then you're going to release back and then back into your nice little child's pose and then rolling yourself all the way up. And if you have the ability to maybe sit in this position, you can reach those arms up and then just give yourself a nice little stretch over to one side and then a stretch over to the other and then release that tension.

So we're gonna go ahead and have a seat on the carriage and we're gonna go into your seated rowing series. So I'm gonna sit about a hands width away from the back and extend my legs long through the shoulder blocks. I'll reach back and switch it to a red spring off of a blue, but again, whatever you'd like today. So my legs sometimes don't fit depending on where I sit on the carriage, but right now they seem to be doing okay. You can always cross them, just remember to uncross and cross the other direction between each set, so that way you're not just resting on one hip, grabbing the shorter loops, tall through the spine.

I'm gonna take my arms out in front of me palms facing up. From here, bringing your fists together, nice and strong, shoulders nice and wide, and your posture nice and tall, and then extend the arms out in front. So not only are you working on shoulder stability movement here, but you're also working on that internal rotation, a bit of the shoulder and always tall posture. So if you can't keep a tall posture on these rowing exercises, it might have to do with your hamstrings and your hamstrings attached to your sit bones. And so what it'll do is it'll pull that pelvis in a posterior position.

So you could always bend the knees to get up a little bit tolerance, actually feels a little bit better, but for a sake of the exercise, I'm gonna try to keep my legs nice and long. On the next one as your fist come together, roll yourself back into flexion, into that roaming position, elbow to elbow, or lined up with the form in between, and then I'm gonna sit up tall, return my arms to start. Exhale, to roll back, inhale. Allow that protraction of the shoulder blade as you find that intentful flexion of the spine. So you're not collapsing here.

You're intently moving your back into flexion. Your head just follows, so don't force it into any position, let it just drop onto the shoulders. If you keep your eyes forward, it'll do just that, exhale. Inhale, just sit up, one more time, exhale, and then sit up tall. Arms out in front, palms face up.

Let's try some bicep curls from here. Your elbow to shoulder, you're humorous should be below the shoulder, it's all gonna be dependent on your stability here. So if your arms are too high, then you might kind of try to lean you back a little bit. So again, sits bone energy from the sits bone to the head and then from the hip to the toes. Nice and tall.

Find a nice, nice breath here. That's going to make this motion nice and fluid. (Delia breathes out sharply) We're gonna do one more, and then we're gonna add a hip hinge. So arms go out in front, and as you gimme a bicep curl this time, hinge at the hips, lean back, activate the abdominal. So right here in this hinge position, your abs and back are working as a team, sit up nice and tall.

(Delia breathes out sharply) And if you recognize some of these exercises, they're prep exercises to those full rowing exercises. But these are effective enough to work the upper body without adding the rest of the movement. You just have to decide what is it that you wanna achieve outta your class that day, find your objective and start moving. And again, hand bend. One more time, lean and then reach, woo, that was a lot on the shoulders.

I'm gonna open up the chest now. I'm gonna bring my arm through the straps for my rhomboids. So once my arms are up, my elbows would be in about the same position that they would be if I was doing the bicep curls. So what I like to say is bring the arms through straps and like the doctor that just washed his or her hands, just bring your arms out in front. Now from here, find goal post arms.

Palm should be facing your body the whole time. So if I'm somebody standing out in the back of my reformer, they should not see the palm of my hand. They should just see my pinky. So I'm going to pull my arms out and bring my arms forward. The movement of your arms should be coming from your back.

So if you could visualize this movement at the center of your spine, pulling the middle trap together, inhale to open, exhale. That's a suggested breath, but whatever you decide and what pattern, it's an inhale through the nose for the most oxygen into your blood and exhale to engage the deep layers of your abs. Get the spine nice and strong here. One more time. As I open up my arms, I'm gonna hold it here, and I'm just gonna do some thumbs back, a little emphasis there on the rhomboids, squeezing that together.

For the record, I'm on one red spring and I've been on one red spring for 20 years. I have not changed the resistance of these. I just work a little bit harder and on my range of motion and on my endurance, one more, and then my arms will come forward. I'm just giving them a break, but we're gonna keep them on the forearm. So now I'm gonna take the straps, pull 'em back towards the elbows, take my hands, interlace them behind my head.

So I'm just gonna take it underneath my ponytail here. So, it's kind of nice, 'cause I could kind of lean my head in there and then I'm gonna actually come back just a bit, just to get my calves from squeezing against the inside of the shoulder blocks. So from here, I'm going to hinge back, and it's gonna look very similar to like a neck pole. So what you you do with your feet is up to you. You could flex your ankles if you'd like, I'm gonna keep mine pointed so that I have more range of motion.

And then from my hip, I'm gonna come up to tall spine. I'll make this an inhale breath, pressing the head up against my hand and then pulling my head into my hand as I come up. Inhale breath and exhale. So I'm working on opening my shoulder. I'm still working on retracting my shoulder blade, so there's still upper body work going, but I am recruiting the abs and back on these and they feel so good.

Inhale back. I feel good as subjective, but they feel good to me, one more time, inhale back, and then exhale, arm forward and then release. And sometimes it's okay to collapse. And what I like to say is unpilates your body for a moment, it'll feel pretty good. Then I continue to face this direction, and I am actually going to keep the red spring on.

Sometimes blue spring feels good too, gives you a little bit less resistance, but we're gonna straddle. And I do understand that some people do not have the capability to straddle. What is helpful though, is if you have bare feet or grippy socks, because if you have slippery socks, you're gonna end up working a little bit too hard on the groin to try to keep your feet here, 'cause we are gonna go into a hover. So I'm gonna grab the straps again and then I'm gonna lift my bottom up. Now again, this is all arm length.

So wherever you stand here is gonna be dependent on how much resistance you want and how much room you have. So we're gonna start with a nice low row, shoulders nice and wide, I'm right on top of my hips here with my shoulders, hopefully. Hopefully that's what you see in the camera there. So arms reach forward and back, and pull. So from here I am working my legs.

My legs are getting a little bit of work here in that hover, but I am also working on those lower traps, elbows nice and close, working on that range of motion of my shoulder and building that endurance. Exhale. I want you to hear what it sounds like if you don't have enough room. So you do wanna make sure that you have enough room to go into that full range of motion or you'll hit the stopper. Now, just for a little rest, you'll drop the bottom down and then turn your arms at a diagonal.

So, if you had a clock, your elbows are gonna be facing four and eight o'clock on the clock. Lift your bottom back up and then pull in that direction. So we're getting more of a mid trap workout, arms long. (Delia breathes out sharply) Make sure those hips feel comfortable. You wanna work really hard, you can come even lower into that hover.

I'll give you a lower body option. A little challenge here. We can level that up to and pull, just a couple more, one more. Arms reach, bottom comes down and you rest. Arms come up with a palm facing down so that we can go into our upper trap.

So I would say this is like three and nine o'clock. So I'm gonna lift my bottom up and the same thing, inhale, exhale. (Delia breathes out sharply) Again, making sure that you don't have too much resistance. You definitely wanna work on that range of motion on that shoulder, building that mobility. (Delia breathes out sharply) One more, and then back down to your seat.

Now here's your little added bonus, if you wanna take it, you can lift your bottom up, pick your poison with your arms, hold the arms there, and you can come into some pulses here, bottom towards the floor, thinking about the tailbone coming down and lower and lift. I'm still working my upper body PS. I'm still working on my posture, but my legs are getting some work for three and two, add one and then having a seat, and placing those straps on the blocks or wherever it's most convenient. And then I'm just gonna take my right hand over to the opposite shoulder block and then just stretch here on that shoulder, taking a couple of breaths, inhale and exhale. And then over to the other side, we'll do that again, if it feels good or you can add it in wherever you'd like.

Ah, and then the hands forward. Back onto the knees. So, if you're a pilates person and know names of exercises, you'll know what the long stretch is. This is called reverse long stretch. So instead of my hands being on the bar facing the other direction, I'm facing this direction.

Now the only setback to these exercises is that sometimes these aren't comfortable on the wrists. So be careful here. You can place your hands down, maybe if you'd like, go into like an L-grip around the blocks or just do less repetition and it'll be a little bit easier, but make sure the wrists are comfortable either way. I'm on one red spring, just checking, 'cause if it's anything less than that, this is gonna be too challenging. So my feet are curled up against the platform here and my legs are adducted and I have to tell you legs adducted give me more stability.

It's like a pedestal for my hips to squeeze those inner thighs together. Find your plank position and hold, you'll know right away if this exercise is for you. I want you to take that weight out of your shoulders and out of your wrists and really pull it into the center of your spine. So you wanna find that belly button, find that center, squeezing the inner thighs together, elbows pointing backwards, your plank feels strong and then you'll lower the knees down. You're pushing against that resistance, so it's a little bit different when you're reversed.

So now, if you're good, we can level that up. So we're gonna take you back up to your plank and from your shoulder, you're gonna move the carriage, grid it, while you bring your arms towards flexion. So when the arms move forward and towards your head that's flexion, and when they move past your hip that's extension. So, breathe here. Lengths are steady.

It'll be very tempting to come out of that stable position of your lower body, but don't do it. Keep it nice and strong. One more. And then you're gonna drop those knees down. Here comes another dreaded variation of a little bit of a push up.

I said, I didn't like them and I've added them 700 times into these exercises, but it's good for you, just keep 'em in short range of motion. So I call these caboose arms. I don't know what they're called officially, but we're gonna bring ourselves back up to the plank. I'm gonna slightly bend my elbows, I'm gonna push the carriage away with a bent elbow, extend the arms as I maintain a steady carriage and then bring the underneath my shoulder, bend, press, length and return, inhale, exhale, maintain one breath pattern, one more, and then drop your knees. All of these can be done with no rest, but I'm gonna rest in between.

The next one is a reverse motion. So I'm gonna come back up to my plank. It'll be my arms going out long, first elbows bend, draw the elbows underneath the ribs and extend the arms. So you wanna find the shoulder with your hands and push and inhale. Don't forget to keep that weight center of your spine.

So it's not all on your wrist. One more time, and then up, and then the knees lower. Nice, take a break if you need to, to stretch your wrist, but I have one more exercise variation for you, which is gonna be great for those hips that we worked with those straddle moves earlier. So, coming back to your plank position, you're gonna take your right leg, bend it and place it on the carriage and then press forward and feel the stretch. Now, everyone's position of this hip is gonna look a little bit different, it's just gonna be dependent on your flexibility.

You could always just bring your knee in that parallel position and just stretch it out. But whatever you do, don't collapse the shoulders maintain that tall spine. The challenge now is to find a nice steady plank and then you're gonna alternate it. Now how fast you move is dependent on your stability. And if you feel confident that you're going to grab onto that platform with your toes, then you go for it, as long as you're not sloppy, inhale, exhale, adding a little bit, a little boost, a little cardiovascular boost here.

How long should I go? Let's do two more sets, inhale. One more set. Last set or last one I should say. And then the knees come down.

So hopefully that felt pretty good for you. I'm gonna straddle the reformer again. I give myself a little stretch, so I'm gonna reach my arms up and this time I'm gonna bring one arm back and then the other arm. And if you have that ability, you can use the hips to press the shoulder or the hips forward or the carriage forward, excuse me, and the hips will stretch, and then you return. I am using my feet for help the gripping the floor and pushing forward.

And this may not look like gorgeous form, but what I'm actually just trying to do is give my front of my shoulder, just a teeny little stretch. So I'm gonna press forward, ah, and back. And if that doesn't work for you, just do a single arm one like we did a little bit earlier. So now moving on to the long box, I'm gonna step off to the side and I am switching my spring back to a blue. Actually, yeah, let's just do a blue.

(Delia laughs) I got really close to challenging myself and then I changed my mind. So I'm gonna bring this down, it's okay. So I'm gonna take that box, bring it over to the reformer carriage and then we're gonna stay on the blue spring and then we're gonna work on some extension, but still incorporating the arms. But we're gonna start off just over the front of the box, like you're riding a surfboard and then make sure that this feels comfortable here. So, if the start of these don't feel comfortable, it's not gonna get any more comfortable.

So you wanna make sure that your sternum feels good that nothing's hindering your breath or anything like that. I'm gonna do a little prep for my lower half of my body so that my lower half of my body cooperates while I work my upper half an extension. So I'm gonna place my hands down to the side of the shoulder blocks and I'm gonna give my upper body some length here. So I should feel energy out of my back. And then I'm just gonna do little single leg lifts extension, single leg extension.

And what you wanna feel here, is you wanna press that pubic bone down, pull your naval to your spine and feel the stretch of the quad as you lift through your leg. And I've trained myself to at this point, not to squeeze my glutes and mainly because over-squeezing my glutes was causing me some pain, some back issues, a little bit too tight of a sacrum. So, I now easily can just engage my glute muscle without over-squeezing it. And it's a really good cue, if you're somebody that struggles with some strain in the low back. Now also while you're here, let's lift them both together and down, so bilateral.

Now, ideally the legs close together, ideally we'd like to have legs close together, but they don't need to be. So, I'm trying to getting as close as I can so I can really feel that inner thigh connection. All right, so I've got it now. Now, with the lower half of the body fired, I'm gonna reach my arms up the frame, drop my head towards the well and give myself that thoracic flexion. With long arms, lift your eyes and then pull the carriage for a modified swan and then release down.

Leading with the crown of your head, sending your eyes forward and then release. Inhale breath and exhale. It almost should feel like a stretch from the belly up to the front of the neck and release. One more time, don't forget to keep that lower half of the body fired and then back down. So everything's gonna relax, that was your swan.

We are gonna see the uprights back there, we're gonna reach for those. So blue Springs should be light enough to do this. So that's good thing I stayed at the blue spring idea. So I'm gonna pull with my hands on the frame and grab onto the uprights. I did it with one swoop, but it might take you a little bit to get up there and that's fine.

You're gonna press the pubic bone down, engage a lower half of the body and pull the abs in and now bend those elbows. You'll start with a nice straight back, inhale, exhale. And then, and as you get comfortable here, find a little extension. This can be done with a one yellow spring, just fine, so if you wanna drop down to the yellow spring do so or if you're sliding around. So, if you have light and weight, it might slide you around, if you are on just a blue spring, one more time and then release, hands on the frame, slide down and I'm gonna make a minor adjustment because I did slide up just a teeny bit.

So from here, we're gonna go back to the uprights, legs connected, lifted, grab the frame and go. I'm gonna grab those uprights, bend my elbows and start to swim my legs. Now you can stay here and hold steady, or you can extend those arms, inhale two, three, four, five, bend those elbows, three, four, five, inhale, two, three, four, five, exhale, two, three, four, five, legs stay long, shoulder stay wide. One more time, and then slide back down slowly. I'm leveling up, I'm adding on.

So if you wanna layer with me, then let's do it. So let's press the pubic bone down, legs lifted, arms out in front, I'm gonna go ahead and pull forward, grab those upright, bend my elbows, start to swim again, release the upright with your left arm, turning the palm back to your hip, looking over that left shoulder, breathe, taking a hand back to the upright, over to the other side. So you can keep those, the carriage steady, or you can go full length. The arm can lengthen and then you can pull and grab. And then that left arm lengthens and pull and grab.

Keep your extension rotation really consistent. This is your last set. Last one, and release. Nice. So from here, I'm gonna take my left forearm down to the headrest, bend my right knee and I'm just gonna reach around, and then just give that part of my body a little stretch.

Doesn't have to be anything fancy. You can actually just even push into the hand here to open up a little bit more and then I'll take it over to the other side and give myself a little stretch here and breathe and then pop yourself up carefully. If you surf, that might be easy for you, if you don't, take it easy as you come up. Nice job, let's do a little stretch here. So I'm just gonna let my legs hang like I'm on a horse and I'm gonna reach my arms up to the sky and I'm gonna grab onto my left wrist and give myself a little stretch over to my right, really getting those lats in there for a stretch and then taking my right wrist and stretching it out as well.

And then releasing back. And then I'm going to take my left arm now and hook it with my right. So it gives that shoulder blade a little stretch. And then I'll switch that out as well, stretch out those shoulders and release and then taking the hands behind interlacing the fingers, opening up the shoulders here and then the option to grab maybe the left wrist and pull it down. And then when you pull it down, you can look to the opposite shoulder and look down on that shoulder and feel the stretch in your neck.

When you work the upper body, sometimes it's a tendency to put that work into your neck. Let's go to the other side. Heck, there's sometimes where you work your glutes in it, your neck, you working as well. So, sometimes the neck wants to do everything, here we go. So interlaces fingers back, shoulders wide.

One more reach up to the sky, take a huge deep inhale hands to prayer, hands to heart center. And thank you so much for joining me today for your upper body. I hope you enjoyed it, something that I need and I don't do enough of, thank you so much.

Level Up - Playlist 2: On the Reformer

This Video
Upper Body, Planks, Fun, Creative

Mar 30, 2022
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Delia Buckmaster
Level 2
45 min
STOTT PILATES®
#4900
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Comments

Nice upper body work out
Looovvvee.  my upper body thanks you 
Excellent workout!
Even my tender lower back loved this class, as well as the lower body workout!  Keep ‘em coming!  
Oh I love this, super variations . Thank you Delia x
1 person likes this.
So happy to see another workout from you. Thanks! :)
Thanks for a great class Delia! Very creative along with great cuing partner to make to make the perfect classes.
Ahhhh- mazing, as usual!!
I LOVED that - thankyou for the challenge and the variations! I'm a volleyball player and this exactly what my rotator cuffs need!
1 person likes this.
My first class and a great start.  So glad I joined…
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