Class #491

Reformer Stretch

25 min - Class


Seeing as it was often said, "Your equipment is like your dance partner, you work with it......not at it", Amy puts together a series of stretches on the Reformer that satisfy the need to stretch the major muscles of the lower extremities and hips. These are stretches that feel great after a long walk, run, hike, or bike ride and are not altogether traditional stretches on the Reformer. Creativity and exploration often lead one on a journey to find a new way of doing, sensing, or moving. This stretch series would be wonderful with a little light music to help you relax and move through the positions and can be done many times over. Enjoy!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video


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Yeah. All right. Hello. I'm going to do a stretch class this afternoon on the reformer and some of these stretches may be appropriate and useful for after a run or a hike or maybe something that you do outside the [inaudible] studio and you want to come in and utilize your reformer maybe for 15, 20 minutes for some stretches for the larger muscle groups down in the lower extremities. So, um, I've got my head rest down amount of balanced body reformer. I have the straps up about three quarters of the way high. And the way I've measured my straps, I've got my d ring right over the post that works for me. Um, and I'm on a short bar to start and I've got one red spring, but you'd most certainly could do this on a green or even lighter if you'd like to. But I'm going with the red.

So now have a start flat on our back and just placing the feet down on the wood, actually on the front and a little space between the feet and the legs and not spending a great deal of time on any abdominal or core work. I'm just going to take a couple of nice deep breaths and just stretch the lower back a little bit. So by taking that pelvis and giving it that nice tilt feeling the wide open, lower back at that deep feeling of the belly supporting that stretch and then coming back to a level position, probably do about five of these. Ah, and I do get clients and I'm myself included sometimes after doing something outside of the studio that I may or may not do a complete stretch for myself. Um, maybe I've just taken a hike and I, yeah.

Uh, don't want to stretch or I don't want to take the time. Maybe I'm coming back in and teach a class. I've done this series with myself before. If I've had just 15 extra minutes or after a nice long walk. Maybe just to keep some stretch and the muscles that got activated.

Right. I'm going to go one more time. So Nice, easy, low back stretch. [inaudible] all right, so this might be fine to put your toes just slightly up on the foot bar. I'm going to stretch myself out Mon, a little Relevate or a little mini tippy toe. I'm gonna take the arms up. Nice big wide inhale as the arms open. Okay.

And the x and just in the shoulder with nice big expansion and exhale [inaudible] and after a nice a little cardio outside, you're probably sweaty or a little warm. So this could be a also meant to cool you down and kind of slow your heart rate down a little bit. [inaudible] and utilize the endorphins in this, uh, heat that's in your body after cardiovascular exercise. So I've just circled my arms around, I'm gonna pull out on the shoulder rest a little bit. So just keep stretching the chest and I am going to bend my knees back down in toward the stopper and just adjust and lower my feet.

Now back down on the wood, I'm going to take a nice breath and on the XM gonna rotate my hips toward my right on my legs. Toward my right. I'm going to be careful not to arch the side of the back and I'm just going to take a nice easy pulse x sail [inaudible]. So the lower back you can usually or can sometimes get tight in maybe a hike or run, or if you've taken a long walk. So some of these early stretches here are going to be meant to open up and stretch the lower back, just doing eight. And then coming back to center and over to the left you can take the feed and stack them. Knee over knee, just an easy reach of the knees toward the side.

Wow. So I'm really thinking about my abdominal muscles supporting this stretch my back, the side of my back, staying in contact with my mat over here. Two more little reaches of the knees to the side and reach. I'm gonna do that again and over to the right end. Exhale. [inaudible] thinking of reaching the knees on the diagonal, but also down toward the floor.

Wow. I'm trying to a long gate. Those big broad muscles along the spine coming home and over to the left. Wow. Important to keep those ribs anchored in and for three [inaudible] and last one. Okay. And then coming home again, it could do this.

I've done this before either with the feet down on the wood, although that could happen, that little rotation of pelvis and lower back arch. So I would suggest actually stepping the feet up on the foot bar and then keeping them there. I'm on a low bar, I'm gonna take my right leg through a little pos. I develop a and lift and then back to my knee. Here's another rotation. I'm going to go back to my left side. I was going to lift my hip and twist. Now I realized the standing foot, I've pivoted. I'm going to try to pivot it back to parallel if I can, which is going to take me out of my rotation a little bit, but I'd rather have a straight parallel standing leg.

And then this leg not so rotated. One, same thing. I'm going to press my knee toward the sidewall here but also try to stay parallel on the standing leg. So I'm feeling Inter adductor there but also really nice stretch on the side of the and the lower back again for me two more and reach and then flipping back, stretching that leg, a little heel point and leg down to the foot bar and then the other side going through a little passe and an extension and back through the pos. Same rotating toward my right. I'm gonna re correct my standing legs from trying to get more parallel on my leg. And again, exhale, reach [inaudible] to reach, reached my hip toward the foot bar but at the same time get some diagonal cross seven and eight and then I'm flipping back, leg up, little flex teal and point.

Real big long reach of the leg toward the foot bar and similarly like up and stretch back over to the rotation. Re correct that standing leg and I'm going to take the leg on the diagonal. I'm going to keep a soft foot really working more the hamstring, again, outer hip and hip to the uh, foot bar. But now thinking of this straight leg coming up and how toward this top a riser [inaudible] four more and three, two and one and then back through a total knee rotate leg up and the foot bar, other side to the knee, lift to the knee and flip. Once again, try to parallel extending that leg, softening the foot and reaching that hip toward the foot bar.

And then leg up toward the top riser. We've got an exhale. So again, if your body's warm and after doing some cardiovascular work, you have a lot of blood flow and some heat. So these stretches might be able to get in there nice and deep. Feel some lengthening seven and eight back to the knee and rotate leg up. Flex and lower.

I'm going to reach the arms up and all the way down. Okay, I'm going to go back to some more rotation this time. Crossing the knees over. I keep my arms up. I'm going to lower that foot. And then once again going into the diagonal of retwist eight little pulses one so my back, a little more loosened up can handle the weight of both legs and five. Thinking of reaching, I'm not bouncing, I'm reaching my knees farther to the side and over. Gesture. The leg up, switch and cross legs to the side might have to scoot your hip out of the way and reach this particular section here. You can also do a without the foot bar up so you're completely out of the way.

You don't have that bar in your, waive your ankle and there. Okay, now I'm going into more work with the strap, so I'm going to stretch myself out. Again, I'm going to use the, the strap this back on my right now put this on my right foot. Oh, okay. So depending how far you'd like to go, I'm going to stay parallel on my bottom leg and letting the leg come through. Pretty deep hamstring stretch. So choices again, this foot on the foot bar is fine or you could just step down a little lower, which may help you get farther back this way. With the leg. Now I'm going to activate my hamstrings slightly to bring my leg down just past 90 degrees.

So I'm going to move through these stretches rather than do them statically and just held and a contract a little to draw the leg down. [inaudible] and lengthen. Trying to keep those hips as square. [inaudible] and linkedin would be four to six movements in each position. I'm pushing a with the uh, opposite leg just slightly.

Okay. Okay. Come me through 90 little external rotation with both legs dropping that leg toward the right. Now this is where things could get a little crazy. What's the pelvis? So we don't roll to the side too much. That's, I turned my other leg out and I'm in an external rotation with a little weight on the foot to help me stay bare on the other side. Same thing. I'm going to go a little higher contracting slightly with the leg pushing slightly with the other and leg up.

[inaudible] open [inaudible] so again, getting those larger muscles in the lower extremities stretched after all those bigger movements of hike or run, or even just a good long walk open. And in one more time, I'm going to take it up. There we go. And back to parallel. Now the it band, I'm gonna take that leg across my midline, still working in reach that hip toward the foot bar. Similarly, I'm going to take it a little higher if I can, and slightly down. So my leg is across the midline, reaching the hip to the foot bar. Enjoying that nice big stretch on my hamstrings and the hip. Whole glute. Three more movements.

Yes, sure. Last one. Now I'm gonna stay with the leg on the diagonal and get a little deeper, pure form. So if I bend the knee and you use my opposite hand and tried to bring that heel closer toward that side of my body, but I'm also bringing the leg close to the body and again, hip toward the foot bar. Okay.

What a lower and a little away and pressing in little away. So I'm having some pretty strong contact with my foot on the strap. That's what I'm using to press away [inaudible] and three more coming in feeling through the back of the hip and two. Now this last one, I am going to stay in up. Last idea on this leg, on just these showing the positions. I'm going to now reach my leg and I'm thinking my foot really toward the side more. Cross my midline. Really feeling that stretch.

Now you could absolutely do this with your other legs straight. Takes me out of my stretch a little bit. I think we do need to keep that knee bent. All right, so here's what we'll do. We're going to put those together. I'm going to start with my leg at a slightly lower, maybe just past 90 degrees. I'm gonna do through each position. I'm going to go around the world, so to say, four times open.

It's gonna go it band, stay on that diagonal and go through Piriformis and then hamstrings and adductors. [inaudible] it band. Stay on that diagonal knee bends, but you're still reaching foot to the side. Let's go two more times and hamstrings. There we go. I got to the bumper that time and open. Let's see if I can get there. Yup.

Might be a barometer for you to try. Ah, weight and pure formless. I use my hand a little extra help. One more around the world or [inaudible]. Yeah, and circle. Oh, and Piriformis. Okay.

Other leg. You absolutely can do it with the other strap too. On the diagonal. I haven't, I've done that before as well. Just today I'm going with the same strap, his foot. All right, so I won't spend as much time talking about where to go since we know what we're going for. I'm going to start taking that leg through hamstring. We're in parallel and to get a little contraction to help bring the leg down. We did about six [inaudible] little contraction [inaudible]. Yeah, keeping those muscles supple and loose, keeping that blood flow and heat going through your body. Two more.

This might be a nice series to just take, give clients or yourself and maybe a little different choreography than their normal stretches. All right, last one I think. Okay. Okay. And then the add. So again, you're going to turn your standing leg out. Just staying on little tippy toe, but net leg fall open leg toward the side and external rotation. And remember you're gonna pull a little bit with the muscle contract a little bit. Push a little with the base leg [inaudible] most certainly could go lower to the floor if you'd like a bigger straddle today. This is what I'm meeting. All right, now I'm going to go it band. So over we go.

Okay. Oh contraction to help the lake come down and reaching over. Hipbones are still reaching toward the foot bar. Still feeling support from your abdominal wall and I'm really just keeping my foot relaxed in the strap. I'm not doing any extra flexor point.

You certainly could play with angle of your foot. Can add some bend and stretch with the knee. Yeah, one more time. [inaudible] now I'm going to take that knee bend, but I'm still thinking the leg is on the across the midline. I'll take my hand to my heel, bending that standing knee slightly and trying to bring that thigh closer to the body. Little press away.

So even though my femurs across midline, I'm still trying to reach the foot to the side. Pelvis Square. [inaudible] [inaudible] one more time. Okay. Ran The world series of four all the way round. So we've got our hamstring. A CV can go a little further and pass 90 a little lower than 90 out to the adductors. Ah, little loop around to the it band.

Keeping the leg on the diagonal. Cross the midline when a crease that hip. Hmm. Trying to get that foot across. Okay. Hamstrings and fold at the hip. Okay. Ah, oh. In through the chest.

Okay. Cross the midline and Piriformis. Two more around the world. [inaudible] there we go. Okay. [inaudible] and Piriformis. So one more time around the world. I take my hamstring stretch.

Okay. Little press through that leg out to my adductor stretch. Yeah. And around this edge, this little swerve here for my it band and then staying on that leg across the midline, getting my pure formless one more squeeze in there. A little stretch. Okay. All right. And so I'm going to take that strap off.

And again you could use again the diagonal, so you could always use the right strap for left foot. It pulls in, Mix the resistance a little greater so it just changes how the play is, um, on that. So feel free to play and experiment a little bit. So I'm going to come into more quad stretch and uh, we're good. I'm going to cate and take my foot bar all the way down and I'm going to go into kind of a, um, Eve's lunge stretch, a traditional eaves lunge, but quite a bit more exaggerated actually. So I like to go little bit more out here in a step. My foot near the front leg and I want to adjust my, my, a ball of foot back there. Okay.

So this is also hamstrings for me. Quite bit of that. I'm not going to really work on getting this nice straight, I'm just going to keep it kind of where it is. What I want to get connected to is the IX, my left extended leg. Now this is a cue for me. I love, I put my hand on my hip and I pull my hip back and that helps me keep a little more squareness in this stretch, but go down a lot lower now. I'm not, uh, right now doing too much in the back leg. The the front, the front of it is getting a great stretch. The back leg, the hamstring area.

I want to contract a little bit so I'm going to give it a little more focus here. Ugh, that's no really getting that front quadricep hip flexors zone and even to go a lot lower. Drop my head down and just enjoy that. Ah, that's what I was looking for right there was to get so much that my leg hovered up off of the reformer bed. [inaudible] one more breath for me there. Yeah, gently bring the leg down. I'm just going to wheel that carriage in and walk around and do the other side.

So nice deep hip flexor and quadricep. So I'm getting a Tuck foot. I'm near the front leg. I'm still on my red spring. I'm trying to get back and square the hips as much as possible. I bet you they won't be perfect. All right, so I'm going a little lower.

I do also have my torso divided right over the railing of the wood. I didn't mention it on this side. Pretty important. That's the center of the my body, my pubic bone and naval and right over that. So it's going to help me stay even on right and left side. Okay, so no delay. If I get a little more work in my hamstrings to extend my hip, see if I can hover that thigh. There we go.

[inaudible] great. After a hike. [inaudible] [inaudible] two more breaths. [inaudible] all right, I'm going to lower that leg carefully. And then again, just letting the reformer coast back in. Okay, so next, I'm probably the last one in the series. I'm going to lift my foot bar up to the high bar and we're going to walk around the front of the reformer. So I'm standing at the outside of the reformer, got my high bar up and I'm pulling the reformer toward me and I'm going to just walk back, feet apart and reach and reach my hips.

Back head is right between the, my feet are slightly forward of my hips. I realized that I want that and I'm going to work on getting my, uh, pelvis a little bit more lifted or my sits bones and take a soft play with my knees and just breathe into that, pulling those abdominal muscles up so I'm not locking my knees here. Oh, so one more stretch that I will do on a fairly regular basis outside the edge of the reformer. I'm gonna walk in with the little round back for a second and may have come from some dance training, but I'm in a turnout and I'm down on my, in another lunge. I'm okay with my foot being the top of my foot there. You absolutely could do it with a tuck toe. I'm going to keep my foot down.

I'm going to press with the top of my foot a little bit and my Shin so that I'm not dropping all my body weight down. So I'm going to just press a little bit. I'm using my hands and I'm pressing on the foot bar. So activating a little bit of upper back extension and one more hip flexor stretch in case it wasn't stretched from that last one. A little lift up into the Swan or upper back. You could take an arm up, never dropping that weight down. G lifting, lifting, lifting out of that and take my arm to the side and just down ominous pull with the foot on my hands on the foot bar and bring myself up. And then again back, I'm slightly turned out in my uh, down in my front leg. Little turned out in my back leg, pressing down with the hands pressing with the foot in the shin.

There is that lift up and out of the pelvis, reaching forward. Really feeling the upper back extending. Ah, yes, he's the only nose. Nice open hips, taking that arm around and once again, pulling the body up last, well one more stretch back in this time I am going to see if I can get my feet farther back, hands down to the floor, letting that head drop. And here we go to roll our self up to standing. Oh whew. I'm all stretched out, so you might try to play with those after life's run all. Hi. Thank you.


I woke up this morning very sore in hips and glutes from a tough workout yesterday, logged into PA and waalaa there was Amy with this fantastic stretch series! Just what the doctor ordered.. wonderful stretch series Amy and I can incorporate alot of these moves in my teaching. I have several clients that are runners so just KNOW they will love these!
BTW ,where oh where did u get the great shirt? I am learning the Barre workouts and just love that.
Thanks Amy!! Jamie
Hi Jamie! Yay, so glad these stretches came at a good time for you. They will absolutely be easy in incorporate into any Reformer session and can be a nice break from the 'norm' of stretches we typically do. Regarding the shirt....! I'm a Booty Barre teacher also and this is one of their shirts. It's really comfy, check it out!
Thanks Amy! Anytime you wanna teach BootyBarre here I am with ya.
Thanks Jamie!
Perfect after your jumpboard session....this will be awesome after a bike to the beach too! Thank you thank you thank you! PA is one of the best "investments" I've made! Cheers
Thanks for your wonderful feedback Jennifer!
Lisa Hubbard
Thank you Amy, I love this stretch series and have incorporated it into my repertoire!
Thank you Lisa!!
Around the world rocked my world! That felt great after a long day of teaching. Thanks Amy! I love your insight.
1 person likes this.
Hi Sarah!! Glad you liked the 'round the world'!! It is a nice little series isn't it?!! Thanks for your comments!
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