Class #4917

Front Body Reformer

45 min - Class
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Have fun while working your abdominals with this challenging Reformer class by Carrie Pages. While it is a full-body workout, she focuses on movements that incorporate flexion and target your abdominals. She starts with Standing Footwork that flows into Mat work on the carriage then moves into useful variations ef exercises like the Hundred, Teaser, and much more.
What You'll Need: Reformer

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Hi everyone. Today, we are going to do a front body workout. So what that means is, is the focus is gonna be mostly on the core and flexion. And we're just gonna have a lot of fun with a lot of abdominal work and abdominal focused work. We'll hit all points of the body, but the focus will be front body.

Zoe, we are gonna get started by having you stand right like you are. And this little exercise is standing footwork. We're gonna flow the standing footwork into a series of mat work on top of the reformer on the carriage, and then come back up and do more standing footwork. So following along, you're gonna start in this Pilates V stance with your feet. You're gonna cross one arm over the other, and take a moment there just to send the shoulders down and back.

All we'll do here is, with the heel squeezed firmly together, she's gonna raise her heels up with an inhale, and then simply press her heels down with an exhale. Inhale, raise the heels up, wrap the thighs, perk up those cheeks, exhale, heels pressing down. Only raise your heels as high as you can, without your heels separating. So inhale as she goes up, she might limit her range, just so that her heels stay together, press those heels down. How much can you integrate your core here?

Inhale, heels up. Exhale, heels down, strong from the low belly. Raise the heels, inhale up, exhale, heels down, and we'll do one more for good measure. Raise the heels up, press those heels down. Now without looking for the carriage, Zoe's gonna have a seat.

Bring her hips down onto that carriage, she's gonna roll down. Now at home, I want you to roll directly back, We're just gonna spin her a little to the side so you can see easily what she's doing. The single leg stretch from the mat work is next, one leg extends out. She's gonna pause right there, deep and through her middle, use the belly to pull that knee back, Zoe, and use your arms a little less. switch legs, inhale, one and two, exhaling two and two.

Inhale three, exhale, curl into it. Inhale, exhale, both knees in, take a little pause. She's gonna recenter herself on that carriage, and rock herself up, there you go. Plant your feet into the mat. Stand up, cross the other arm on top.

Basically whichever feels most, the most awkward is the arm that goes on top. From here, we're gonna bend the knees down. From here, the heels raise up. Then she's gonna stretch her legs straight, and send those heels right back down. She bends the knees again, too.

The heels raise up while she stays low, then she stretches those legs up straight, presses the heels down. Let's inhale, bend the knees. Keep the breath coming in as you raise the heels. Exhale, stretch the legs, keep the exhale going as you press the heels. Inhale, bend the knees.

Keep breathing in as the heels rise up, exhale, stretch up long, and keep exhaling, heels down, two more today. Inhale, bend, exhale, lift. Go ahead, keep exhaling if you can, and the heels press down. One more, inhale, bend. We'll keep the inhale going on the heel raise.

Exhale, extend the legs. Exhale, press the heels. Zoe, go ahead and sit down on that reformer again, spin yourself just a little bit down as you roll back. At home, you can just lay straight back. This is the double leg stretch.

So with the hands on the knees, she prepares with an inhale, arms and legs extend out straight. Exhale, circle those arms, Zoe, knees to chest. Inhale, reach it out, two, exhale, circle it around. Inhale, reach out, three, exhale around. Inhale four, exhale around, two more today.

Inhale five, exhale around, one more. Inhale six, exhale around. She'll spin herself around, get herself back up. She's gonna plant those feet, stand all the way up. Cross the other arm on top again, and now we do the reverse of those legs.

So, her heels rise up, she bends the knees down. She presses the heels into the mat, and then sends those legs straight, keeping the heels down. The heels rise up. You bend those knees. Exhale, the heels press down.

Keep exhaling, stretch the knees straight. Inhale, heels up. Keep inhaling, bend the knees. Exhale, heels down. Keep exhaling, stretch the legs straight.

Inhale, raise the heels. Exhale, bend the knees. Heels go down. Stretch the legs straight one last time, raise the heels up. Inhaling still to bend the knees, exhale, heels lower, and stretch those legs straight.

You're gonna sit back, find that carriage one final time. She'll spin a little bit. And then from here, she goes hands behind head, extends one leg out straight, twists towards her bent knee, crisscross. Inhale one, and two, exhaling two, beautiful Zoe, two, inhale three, exhale twist, and twist, two more sets, inhale, exhale, both knees into chest. And you can simply turn yourself a little bit to just lay back on the center of that carriage there, very nicely done.

Now, the next thing I'm gonna do is bring her foot bar up for her, and we're gonna work this next exercise really, really light. So I'm actually gonna take her to the lightest spring, which is a blue spring on the peak reformer. And this is going to be a hundred beats with her feet on this foot bar. So it's a little bit of a different variation, if it's new to you, just watch. Scoot down a couple of inches off your shoulder rest, Zoe, you wanna make sure you have no contact between shoulders and the shoulder blocks.

She's gonna slowly stretch her legs straight. Very slowly, it's lighter than you think. Now with the legs straight, we're gonna work in a parallel stance with the feet rather than in Pilates V just for this. She's gonna take a nice long breath in right here. And as she exhales, she draws the chin into the chest and she's just gonna curl up for me, reaching her arms nice and long.

Now, as a prep, let's take the hands behind the head for just a second, tuck the elbows in a little, just let the neck release slightly. All I want you to do is raise your heels up, high tippy toe, inhale. Now lower your heels down with an exhale, and think, lift that foot bar up while dropping your belly tight. Raise your heels, inhale, The heels go down as you lower the heels, you think, raise the bar with the belly, as you sink it tight to your spine. Once again, raise the heels up.

Now exhale, lower those heels down, I want you to maximize that effort of the belly. Rest your head down, take a moment. Now, the feeling that you had when your heels were low and you felt that belly kinda lock in nice and tight is the way I want you to position yourself for rear arm pumps 400. So you can bring your arms down beside you again, Zoe. You're gonna breathe in to prepare, go ahead and exhale, chin to chest, curl up.

We're just gonna do one heel raise, inhale, heels come up. One heel lower, exhale, when the heels get to the point that you find the maximum effort from your belly, you pause, pump those arms, inhale two, three, four, five, exhale. So throughout this series, she's just thinking, it's just a 10% effort. If you work too hard to lift those feet up into the foot bar, you're actually gonna just fatigue your quads, so let the quads chill a little, see how much you can press up into that foot bar, really more from the belly. Breathing in, and out.

Breathing in, and out, two, three, four, five, two more breaths today. Inhale, exhale, two. One more big breath in, exhale two, three, four, five, and pause. Take those hands, Zoe, put 'em behind your head again. See if you can let your neck release just a little bit, and for some extra sass, let's crunch up for eight, and seven, she's pushing her feet upward as she pulls the belly in, lift up, five, six, seven, she's gonna float up and hold, pull this left knee into your chest, Zoe.

Rotate towards that foot. Give me five crunches there. Five, keep pushing the right foot up. Four, she lifts five and hold, comes back to the middle. Send that foot onto the foot bar.

Pull that other knee up into the chest, twist towards it. Crunch five times. One, push this opposite foot up, two, three, four, five, curl high, come to the middle, put the foot on the bar and gimme five more right there. Go one, curl up, two, memorize this effort of this curl, three, four, and five, relax it down. Gorgeous job.

She's now gonna bend her knees to come in, and we are gonna do another series of footwork, where she actually puts her legs through the leather straps. So Zoe, you go ahead and sit up. I'm gonna ask you to change your spring. We're gonna put her on a medium spring today, a yellow. You have to play with this at home a little bit.

If your spring tension is too heavy, it will really pull on your back. I encourage you to work only just the littlest bit heavy so that you feel the ab work, but not so much that you can't stabilize in your pelvis. So the other thing is, is you wanna use your short straps. So if you have handles, thread your foot strap through your handles, or if you have short and long loops, your legs are gonna go through your short loops. You want the short tension there.

Scoot all the way forward with your bottom to the core, to the shoulder rest, and then those feet go through. Now my little trick on this, is you take the strap as close to your knee as you possibly can while being on the thigh. So you just don't wanna put the straps really high up your thigh, it won't be quite as much fun or as effective, okay? So what she does next, is she's gonna roll back and then she just uses her hands on the shoulder blocks and pulls herself down. So she's nice and little, so her head has a lovely place to rest, not everyone has that option.

So if you don't have an option there, you would just hold your hands behind your head so that you could actually relax your neck. And you're not hanging from the edge of the carriage. To do the exercise, Miss Zoe, you are going to take a moment there. Let's take your hands and put 'em down beside you for a second. I want you to breathe in right here.

And as you breathe out, recruit from your belly to pull those a little closer to you. That was an inch and that's all I wanted. Breathe in to prepare, keep the knees where they are, tuck your chin into your chest, curl up for me. Options here are to reach the arms long or hands behind the head, if you wanna make it harder, I would just reach the arms long today. Extend the legs upward and outward, that's an inhale.

Bend the knees into the chest, exhale. Continue for six, Zoe. You wanna be careful to not let the legs go too low, two things happen, if the legs go too low, the shoulder rest get in your way, also your straps will lose tension. You almost wanna work your legs a little higher to make it a little harder. This is five, exhale, knees in, and this is six, exhale knees in.

Hug the knees. Zoe, put your head down, take a moment to rest. All right, we're gonna do a second set. Her first set, she was in a little Pilates V stance. This next set is gonna be like bird feet. So it's gonna be parallel, with the feet kind of pointed forward.

Preparing with an inhale, chin to the chest, you curl up, exhale. Now take a second, use the tummy to hold those knees where they are, and let's reach those arms long. Extend the legs, inhale, they go out, exhale, knees, pull to chest, one. Curling up into it, just like you curled when you had those feet on that foot bar. Inhale out, three.

Exhale knees, pull in. Inhale out, four. Exhale, they come in, just six today. Inhale five. Exhale it in.

Last one is six. Exhale, hold those knees, put your head down, take a moment. Nicely done. Next position is gonna be like doing heels on the foot bar. So she's gonna flex her feet back.

Nice inhale to prepare, Zoe, with that exhale, chin pulls to chest, you curl right up. Keeping those knees where they are from the connection of your core. Then you send your legs out, breathe in, knees to chest, exhale. Now here's a little tip. As you bring the knees back, think, could you put your knees on your nose and your nose on your knees?

Three. Nose to knees, knees to nose. Inhale out, four. It's a mean cue, but it works. Five.

Exhale it in, one more is six. Exhale it and hold those knees, Zoe, put the head down. All right, now we're gonna skip, kind of demonstrating, you know, the heel lower lift from the footwork, and we're gonna sneak in crisscross instead. Little coordination to this, prepare with an inhale, curl up with your exhale. First thing she's gonna do is put her hands behind her head and extend her legs up and out, not too low.

From here, she bends one knee and twists towards it. Then she meets those legs in the middle, that's her inhale. Go the other way, exhale, this has to be done slowly. Zip those legs together through the middle, exhale, twist to the right. Inhale, zip through the middle, curl high, exhale, twist left.

Inhale, up through the middle, exhale, pull that knee back. Inhale up through the middle, pull the knee back. You go up through the middle, hold, curl a little higher, pull those knees into the chest, hug your knees and rest your head. Gorgeous. It's always worth a repeat on this exercise, we're gonna do that one, one more time.

When in doubt, legs higher. Okay, if you get tired and those legs start to wanna drip down and it actually makes it more harder. (laughs) I think that's fair. I think that makes a lot of sense. Prepare with an inhale.

With an exhale, curl up for me. Hands behind the head, I'll cue it a little quicker, but it's still gotta be controlled. Legs out, inhale. Twist to the right, exhale. Zip through the middle, breathe in.

Twist to the left, exhale. Zip through the middle, exhale, rotate. Inhale, exhale, rotate. One more set. Exhale, knee back, through the middle.

That knee comes back, through the middle, both knees in, hug them, head down, release. Beautifully done, Zoe. You're gonna get yourself out of that somehow. This is the most awkward thing to get out of, she did that very gracefully. Somehow sit up, undo those, and you're simply gonna take your feet out of there.

Now she's gonna turn around, she's gonna change her springs for me. She's gonna go to two medium springs or two yellows on the peak, and we're gonna do frog and short spine next. So what frog and short spine are gonna do for us today, is prep our body for overhead. Which, overhead is basically a jack knife with your hands and the straps, if you're not familiar. Basically, short spine is like a jack knife with your feet in the straps, So the equipment gives you a lot of assist and a lot of building up to be able to successfully do the overhead, which is coming next.

So Zoe, go ahead and roll yourself back. You're gonna put your feet in your short straps again, and just to get kind of acclimated to being on this rolling reformer with the feet in the straps, we'll do five frogs. Inhale, extend the legs out. Exhale, bend those knees in. Just use that breath.

Inhale out, connect to the core as you let the breath out, flex at the hip, flex at the knee. Inhale three, exhale, brings it back. Inhale out, four, exhale bend. We'll do one more full frog. Five, exhale to bend.

Now for short spine, listen for the cues. It's gonna be a little different today. Extend your legs out with your inhale and you hold. Zoe, you're gonna think, lift your bottom before you even move your feet. Nothing actually happens.

Then she's gonna reluctantly let those feet move, her bottom will lift up, and that is her truly recruiting from her core to get over for that short spine. Now from when the carriage hits the stop, she's gonna bend her knees, inhale, everybody pause. Don't move. Can you pull from your belly to send your spine down to that mat? So gravity does less work, you do more. with an inhale, send those legs out.

You think, "I'm gonna lift my bottom before I move my feet," reluctantly move those feet and it takes you over. Bend the knees with an inhale, don't rush this moment. How much can you pull from your middle to send that spine down into the mat? It's beautiful work, we're doing it one more time, legs out. Think bottom before feet, exhale, take it over.

Gorgeous. Bend those knees, inhale. Exhale, go ahead and fully roll through, Zoe. Bringing those hips down to the mat. We're gonna come out of these straps, now, she's just gonna go one foot at a time, reaching one foot to the foot bar, other foot down, safely coming out, and then she's gonna adjust to holding her handles on her hands.

So this is that overhead as promised. Another exercise where there's a little bit of coordination involved in it, so listen for the cues. We're gonna break it down a little bit, her legs are gonna extend up to the ceiling above her, and I'm just gonna get this foot bar out of her way. With a nice Pilates V stance, she inhales to prepare. Arms don't move, simply lower the leg, Zoe, they go down to where she can manage them.

Hold the legs steady. Hit the mat, boom, one. Now jack knife, over and up. Now as she comes down, she's gonna think back to the way that she will rolled out of her short spine. As you roll down, how much can you pull from your middle, so gravity does less work, you do more?

Arms float up, and those legs lower down. Leave the legs where they are, tap the mat with the hands, go over, exhale, lift those feet up. Start to roll down. And you try to see how much you can recruit from your own center strength. Arms lift up and the legs lower down.

Only one more to make three, hit the mat down. Take it over and lift those feet up. Gorgeous. Now send the belly to the back. Yes, Zoe, and send that spine down as a result.

Arms go up, the legs lower down, we're gonna hover here for three, hover for two, hover for one, knees to chest, take a rest. Gorgeous. Hook those straps on the poles. The next exercise we'll do is the backstroke. So Zoe, you can stand up.

You need your box for backstroke, so we're gonna put it on long ways. Springs are gonna stay the same, the two medium springs, and she need the handles in your hands, so go ahead and have a seat. Scooting really close to the front edge of the box, She'll then roll back, so she's got support underneath her, and she's got grab these handles in her hands. Bringing the hands to the starting salute position, you're gonna try to curl as much as you can, whether that rolls your carriage or not, you just wanna find your best curl, without losing your curl, inhale, arms and legs straight up to the ceiling. Exhale, open to a tiny V.

Press the arms and legs down, reach over those knees and hover, hold, one, get a little higher, two, get a little higher, three, bend those knees all the way back in. Take it up, inhale, one. Exhale, open tiny V. Inhale, reach. Now, listen, you're not gonna get anywhere, but you try higher, higher, higher, bring it all back in.

Again, take it up. Inhale, three. Open, reach around, I know there's gonna be no movement, but you just yearn for it. How high can you go? Bring it all back in, two more today.

Inhale, up. Exhale, open. Inhale, reach around, hover, hold one, two, three. Bring it in, exhale, last time, take it up, inhale. Exhale, open tiny V, circle, reach it around.

Holding one, holding two, holding three, bring it all back in. I'll take these handles, you rock yourself up to a seated position, and we're gonna get ready for a fun variation on teaser. So this teaser, is actually kind of amazing, I think. If I do say so myself. You're gonna take your spring tension down to just your one light spring.

And what we're gonna be doing is using the foot bar as a tool to execute the teaser, so that we can program the movement of teaser in our bodies and then maybe add the straps. So Zoe, what I have I'll have her do is bring her feet up onto the foot bar, the foot bar is on the high setting, and very similar, we are gonna think back to that hundred beats that we did earlier. She's just gonna stretch her legs straight. Good. Sometimes you need a grippy, depending on the fabric of your leggings. How are you feeling?

You think you're stuck? Okay, okay. If you start to slide, make sure you get a grippy or something to stick you. So let's go parallel with the feet, just like we did for the hundred today, and just reach a arms out. And basically what I want Zoe to do, is find a teaser-like position at the top here. Yeah, so you can see, she kinda shifted back.

So rather than sitting totally up straight, which is just natural, what we wanna do. I'm having her rock back a little, find a little tucky butt, that little posterior tilt, and then she's gonna take those heels, dig 'em down, and then she's gonna press those feet up. And then she starts to shake and vibrate just a little bit. She breathes in right there. With an exhale, she's gonna roll down.

And as she rolls down, she's pushing up with her feet so that she can imprint that spine, and then lets her arms and head release and hang back. Just like if she had the straps in her hands. From here, Zoe, we're gonna practice the coordination needed for straps. So curl, look at your toes, bring your hands in right next to your hips. This is the moment we have to hit with straps.

Now teaser up, pushing those feet up into the bar to give yourself the leverage to lift. Exhale, roll yourself right back down, send the belly to the back, send the tailbone under, take those arms, release it down. She's doing a great job here, we're gonna do it once again. Lift the head, bring those arms under, find that moment, right here's important. Now, bring it up.

To add a little sass to it, we're gonna take those arms up, exhale. With an inhale, she lowers the arms down, she's doing an awesome job here, as the arms go up, nothing is changing from her head down to her tailbone. Inhale, lower those arms. Exhale, lift them. Circle 'em around now, Zoe, around.

Good, and inhale, lift them up. Circle 'em up and around. Good, inhale reach 'em up. Circle 'em up and around. Gorgeous. Reach 'em up and hold.

Go ahead and teaser that down so you can get a little release, and stretch. Gorgeous. Now I'm gonna let you go ahead and tick-tuck your chin in. Curl yourself up. Good. Yeah, just get yourself all the way up.

Good. Good, good. Bend your knees, roll in. We're gonna give her a little stretch. Hold the bar with the hands, round your spine, and stretch back. Just a quick stretch there, Just to take a moment, 'cause you gotta do teaser again.

Isn't that exciting? Mhmm, yeah. So we do need to change the spring for real teaser. So yeah, if you just wanna swing your feet, I'll do it. I'm gonna go to a medium spring.

I'm also gonna get the foot bar out of the way, so that the legs can rest down on the bar. Now here's the thing on teaser. A lot of people get frustrated and feel just stuck on a teaser. To me, what she just did was teaser. I thought it was beautifully done, she accessed all of the, like, movement qualities that we need to be able to do the teaser.

So we're gonna attempt to do it with straps, some days we make it, some days we don't. Let's give a shot. Go ahead and lay back, Zoe. You'll need your handles for this exercise in your hands. Usually, the tips of the shoulder blades are towards the edge of the box, yes, you wanna make sure you've got enough box underneath your bottom so that you have something to teaser up onto.

Just like I said on the previous version of this, I want you to take a moment when your head is lifted and you're looking to your toes. Prepare with an inhale there, Zoe, and with your exhale, lift your arms and head, your hands are at hip level, and you're mashing your low back into the box. Go ahead and try to teaser up there. You got it, you got it, girl. Now take it right back down, exhale.

Reach for me, and you do the work, rather than gravity. Release that head back. So we're back to that same feeling, we had a moment ago in our overhead. Curl through, try to find that connection, teaser up. That's it, I got you, I'm gonna give her a little push on her foot.

That's all she needs. And then she takes it right down, yearn for me as you go down, spine to box, hands to me, she's gonna try to give me one-third and final teaser. Lift that head, look to me. Gorgeous, yearn for it and teaser up. Beautiful, beautiful.

Teaser down. Reach like you're gonna touch my fingertips, Zoe, pull the tail under and release. Drop those handles on the floor, she's gotta gimme one more teaser without straps. Lifting that head, she'll teaser right up. Good, use those hands as needed.

Nice, Zoe, let the knees pull into your chest, bend them and she can rest there. So what I hope you've learned were a few ways, 'cause sometimes even just doing that lift and curl where you're looking at the toes, for me, that's teaser some days. And then I just release back down. I don't actually get up and come down, I have a body that really is challenged by the exercise teaser. So I've had to figure out how to get some success.

Hopefully that was helpful, let's move on. We're gonna do the tendon stretch next, so we'll get rid of the box. Now we're gonna do some fun variations on tendon stretch, but we'll start with regular tendon stretch. Zoe, change your springs to two medium, so, the spring is important on tendon stretch. Usually, two medium springs for this exercise, it all depends on your body proportions, your height, your size.

So I usually use two medium springs that gives me the boost I need to be able to do a tendon stretch. That amount of spring actually throws Zoe around a little bit, it's too much for her. So we work her on a medium and a light. So Zoe, put that medium and light spring on, foot bar goes all the way to the highest setting, and then she's just gonna have a seat on her foot bar. So for tendon stretch, half of your foot's on the carriage, the other half is off, so just put that arch right about at the edge.

And we are going to practice getting into this exercise two different ways. The first way, take those little hips and wiggle 'em forward just a little bit, so your sit bones are kind of on the front of the bar. Push your legs out straight, Zoe. And so what you'll notice is, if you weren't in the right place, you naturally had to wiggle yourself forward a little bit. This is option one for getting into tendon stretch.

She's gonna take that upper body and dive it forward and just create as little space between her legs and her head as possible. Trying to close up like a suitcase is what I call it. That makes no sense, but it does kind of. So from here, she's gonna breathe in, and as she breathes out, she's gonna lift her hips, lighten them off the bar, and then maybe she gets up to where the carriage closes to the stopper. She slides that out again, inhaling.

And then with exhale, she brings herself up. So if you're feeling super stuck, consider heavying up your spring a little bit so you can get in. Do it one more time, Zoe, go down. And then exhale, bring that up. Up, up, she's gonna sit on the bar, and take a little moment.

Okay, so that's gonna be our first, most manageable way to get into the exercise. I'm gonna challenge her to do it a little differently this time. So now, instead of moving the carriage out, she's just simply gonna stand right up on those legs. Good. Now, to try to find your core a little bit more, it's scary, but I'm gonna encourage you to shift your weight forward over your toes more. So that you bring less leg on the bar, more belly activation.

Now from there, she's gonna go into three more tendon stretches. Inhale, take it down. Yes, now consider that option of returning to the feeling of being up and over those toes. Yes, Zoe, inhale. take that down, two. And then with an exhale, she brings it up, up, up.

Yes, one more, take it down, three. And with an exhale, she pulls it up, shifting that weight a little into the toes, and she's gonna sit down, and take a rest. Very, very nicely done. Now the next variation is a one-leg variation that I know is super challenging, but I believe it's doable. Okay? So that's the whole spirit behind this is taking some of these super advanced exercises and making them doable.

Zoe, to get into this exercise, stand up on the floor, walk around to the other side of your bar. She's gonna swing her left leg around, it's going over the bar and it's just gonna rest right where it was. This is the one variation, where she's going to be swinging one leg back, to the side, to the back, to the side, while the carriage is rolling out and in. If you've never done this, I highly recommend watching it first. From here, what she's going to do, is stand up on that left leg, bring her right leg out to the side, and really try to bring it rather forward and up.

Now the carriage is gonna roll out and this foot is gonna swing back. So she's rolling out with her leg behind her, then she comes up and lifts that leg up. Add some momentum now, Zoe, inhale, take it out, exhale, lift the leg up. One more, inhale takes your leg out, exhale lifts that leg up. Now stay there, swing the leg back, stand on the floor behind you. Beautiful.

Okay. Now, listen, I'm not saying that's easy. (laughs) But it is somewhat doable even if you just get up there and hold that position with that leg out to the side, holding the bar. Build the strength there, and then maybe add in the swinging. So here's the other leg. All right.

Take a deep breath in, with an exhale, she's gonna bring that leg out to the side and around. It's gonna go up up, up. Now if we can, we swing the leg back, roll the carriage out. Exhale, bring the leg up, bring the carriage in. Inhale, take it out.

Now, momentum is your friend here. Inhale, exhale, bring it up. One more time, inhale, exhale, bring it up, up, up. Swing the foot back, stand on the floor and take a rest. Beautiful.

So if you've never done that before and you did have to watch it, definitely pause the video, go back, give it a chance to get it in your body. I do believe though, that that is more, it's definitely scary, but it is doable. The next exercise is gonna be corkscrew, laying on your back. I'm gonna suggest loading up all the springs just to stabilize the carriage, and then we're gonna take the foot bar all the way down too, just so it's not a bother. Now this is gonna flow from corkscrew into tick-tock, into balance control.

So you'll be up on your shoulders for a little while. Go ahead and lay on your back, Zoe. All right. So for corkscrew and for tick-tock, you're holding the silver poles in your hands. You're gonna make a nice fist around those poles, and then you're gonna pull those elbows east and west while trying to draw the shoulders down.

So it's real tempting to dig the shoulders up into the blocks, try to soften them down as best you can. You're gonna take your legs up to the ceiling above you and we're gonna do big daddy corkscrew, which to is just the over up starts in a jack knife. So lower your legs down one time, Zoe, and go ahead and jack knife over, and feet come up a little. We're only doing two sets of this today. Those legs are gonna shift to the left a little bit.

The spine rolls right down the middle of the mat, inhale, she goes down. She's gonna take her legs low, around to the right, and then she's gonna come up and pause. Resetting the shoulders and elbows as needed, send the legs to the right, Zoe, and roll down. So this comes down the middle of the mat, those legs are on the right side, they go to the middle, they circle around to this left side and she comes back up, and re-lifts those feet a little bit. She's gonna go for it to the left again.

Over, she rolls it down, those legs circle, around and up, and she goes to the left once again. She rolls that down. Around, and rolls it up. Now we're give her a break here, she's gonna roll down through her back, bone by bone, and I'll give her a second to hug those knees into the chest. Now for tick-tock, if you've never done that, that's holding the poles with the hands, the legs go to one side, as you look to the opposite direction.

Bring the hands to the poles, Zoe, extend the legs up to the ceiling above you. Now the heel stay glued together, inhale, she prepares, with an exhale, she's gonna send those legs to the right. Now, keep your heels together, and then inhale, bring those feet to the middle. She sends the legs the other direction, exhaling, the opposite hip lifts clear off the mat, and then she's gonna pull down from her belly to come back to neutral. Go the other way, send those legs to the side.

Gorgeous, exhale, pull those legs back up. Take the legs one last time to the right as you look left, and then bring those legs up. She gets to hug her knees into her chest one more time. Good. You're doing great, these are hard to flow all together. Now balance control is next.

Zoe, why don't you put your feet down on that foot bar for a second. So for balance control, the thing that you're going for, is one leg while you're in a jack knife position, one leg is gonna try to come down and tap this frame, the other leg is yearning forward and away from you. Okay? So you have to think to yourself right now, think about the equipment that you're laying on, think about where your headrest is positioned on the apparatus, and think about the width of the frame, Maybe touch the width of the frame and just kind of recognize like where it is. Yeah, because that's how wide your leg has to be to be able to tap the frame behind you. So, you can hold the poles to get into the start position.

You're gonna extend your legs to the ceiling above you, again, Zoe. I'll let you get a little momentum, lower those legs down. Go ahead and take your legs over, take one arm down beside you, rest it on the mat. Other arm down beside you, and rest is the wrong word, the right word is press, use those arms. She prepares with an inhale.

As she breathes out, one leg tries to find the frame as the other leg yearns up for the ceiling above you, inhale, meet in the middle, pause. With an exhale, switch. So how much can you recruit from your belly, like you did your overhead and short spine to find that carriage? Or that frame, rather. Inhale, meet those heels together.

One more set, exhale, that one leg comes down, the belly suctions in, and that other leg yearns up and away, inhale, meat in the middle. Exhale, other leg goes. And as you find that frame, you see, could I yearn that leg up another inch? Inhale, meet in the middle, exhale, Zoe, lower your legs down low, roll your spine down into that mat. And relax.

That was gorgeous. So that was your corkscrew, tick-tock, and balance control. Zoe, you can sit up and we're gonna go ahead and do short box next. So for short box, you need your box and your bar, so find your bar. And we are going to have a seat on the box.

Zoe, go ahead and do that. Your feet will go underneath your strap, and because we have done so much forward flexion, I'm actually gonna have Zoe start with flat back today just to give her a second to create some length in her spine there. So holding the bar in your hand today, Zoe, or in your hands, hold it out in front of you. Let's just breathe in to prepare, and with an exhale, bring the bar over the head and have just a little bit of a spirit of a swan. So yeah, just that little extra lift and then lower the bar down again, inhale.

Kind of come out of that spirit of the swan, and then exhale, regroup into it, float the bar up and just feel that little extra lift. Don't be afraid if there's a little bit of an arch in the back today. Lower the bar down, breathing in. And then last time, exhale, bring that bar up. Good. And now, get as connected through your middle as you can.

That was lovely, and lean with an inhale, flat as the board. Exhale, you grow tall, pull those toes up, return to start. Go again, can you think back to the start of class, remember how we pushed the feet up into the bar for a hundred? Pull the feet up on the strap, to give yourself more control from your core. Inhale, takes you back, three toes pull up, belly deepens in.

That's just beautiful. Two more, inhale back, exhale, growing tall. One more time today, inhale. Exhale. From there, just take the bar, bring it right in front of your shoulders, find your C-curve, and with an inhale, roll that back.

Gorgeous. And with exhale, roll that forward, almost using this as an opportunity to catch your breath. Inhale, take it it back. Don't worry about the range being huge, exhale, sometimes when we shorten the range and just get a little more focused, we actually feel it a little deeper. Inhale, exhale.

Gorgeous, two more. Using those feet on the strap, the way you pressed up on hundred, pull the toes deep and through the middle, and one more time. Inhale takes you back, and exhale brings you all the way forward. Zoe, you can sit up, I'm gonna take your bar, you're going right into side-ups. So she's gonna turn to the side.

Today, I'm gonna have her do her side-ups without the bar. Although that's always an option. She is going to bring her left hand onto the little headrest there. So that headrest is peeking out from under the box. If it's not, try to find somewhere where you can hold that hand.

Now, what I wanna do first is just try to give her the connection of her obliques being turned on. So she's gonna breathe in to prepare here, while resting that left hand and on the headrest, she's gonna almost lift this leg up, and suction this side in. Release out of that effort, breathe in, and just do it one more time. Think, press the foot up into the strap, the way we press the foot up into the foot bar. Now Zoe, maintain that, bring your right hand in front of your head.

Just like that. Now from there, keep yearning the foot up into the strap and bring the left hand in front of the head. Then take a big breath out and go down low, and then breathe in, and bring yourself up. Take it down again, exhale low. Now, press your foot up into the strap to suction the right side in.

Exhale, take it down, three. We're just doing five of these today. She comes up, exhale down, four. Press the leg up, pull the right side tight. Take it down, five.

Come up, let's pause right here, hold for one. Squeeze the right armpit to the hip, hold two. Focus even more, get a greater connection, three. Relax. (giggles) Wasn't that fun?

(Both laugh) Those little, just subtle moments, we get into our momentums and into our comfort zones of the way we do exercises and sometimes, just little shifts in energy and the flow can make such a difference. Take the right hand, put it on the headrest. Bring the other hand in front, or you can just rest the hand beside you, yeah, you had it right there on the other side. So all we're gonna do is just kind of, I guess it's not really lay there, you're gonna prop up on the hand, take a deep breath in. With an exhale, think, lift the strap up, Zoe.

And with an inhale, release out of that effort. And then with an exhale, you do it once again, you lift that foot up into the strap, just like you pushed your foot up into the platform or into the bar, rather, and bring your hand to your head. Other hand to your head, and then let a big exhale take you down, down, down. And the inhale brings you up as you push your foot upward. Exhale, take it down.

Focus on stretch, and then hard work to come up. Exhale, take it down, three. Press the foot up, up, up. Take it down, four. Press the leg, left side pulls you up.

Take it down, five. We'll come up, we're still hanging from that foot, we just pause, squeeze that left shoulder to the left hip, hold, hold, and relax. Beautiful job. You can go ahead and stand on the floor. We're gonna take the box away, and we're gonna get, we're gonna do long spine next.

So if you have double loops, all you need to do is use your long loops. If you do not have double loops and you need to do what I'm doing, you're gonna thread your foot strap through your handles, put your long spine extensor straps in, and we're gonna change the spring. The spring is gonna be two medium springs. So you can go ahead and lay on your back. So I like to call this exercise, "Timber like a tree." (Carrie laughs) Sounds classical, doesn't it?

So she's gonna brow ahead and bring her feet up into these straps. Hand, yeah, adjust them so they're right, and bring her heels down for, like, the start of a frog. So for long spine, I call it "Timber like a tree," because you basically, you come up, you prop up on your shoulders, trying to be as vertical from your shoulders to your toes as possible. Then you take that shape, pitch it down, and then you roll through your back. So, everything is integrated on this, but we are going to see if we can tie together that ab work that we felt in short spine, in overhead, and in balance control.

That tightening, that suctioning in of the belly, we're gonna really try to access that here. So legs extend out, Miss Zoe, and we're gonna go parallel with those feet for this. The trick, or the hard thing on overhead, or I'm sorry, on long spine, is that sometimes you miss the boat on the first rep. So we're gonna just do one rep without me saying too many fancy things. From here, she starts to bring those legs back, feet go about perpendicular to the body.

And then she to just rise up from there. At home, make sure your carriage doesn't hit the stopper, it never should. From here, she's gonna separate her feet, she's gonna push her feet into the straps and try to do "Timber like a tree." And then she's just gonna roll right down. Eventually, those legs lower, and they come together. She was really lucky, she made it on her first one, it doesn't always happen.

So work throughout any of those little kinks you may have had at home. And now what we're gonna do is really yearn for, the straightest position we can get at the top of the shape. So Zoe, I'm gonna challenge you a little bit on this, okay? The legs come back, inhale, feet about over hips. And then from there, little more energy, shoot up, exhale, dynamic, up.

That's what I want, girl. I need lots of butt, right where the butt meets the thigh. I want the feet to push into the straps as the butt pushes back over your head, yes. Now, "Timber like a tree," push out into those feet, and then start to roll the spine down, but how much can you access from your core and your arms to smooth it out like creamy peanut butter, which she did so well, I'm just gonna tell you at home, I couldn't have done that that well. That was really good.

We are also gonna add a little opening of the legs now. So this just challenges it a little bit more. Legs a little lower, Zoe, you can go, yeah, you wanna start where the straps are right above the shoulder rests. All right, so at the top, we'll also add an opening of the legs. The legs come back, feet over hips, inhale.

Dynamic exhale. Rocket up to the top. Yes, Zoe. now separate the feet, only shoulder width apart. Now, push those arches into the straps, like you're almost gonna push your butt back and your feet forward.

Yes, Zoe. Then when you're ready, roll through. Find that connection, that same balances control, and then push those legs down, and bring them together. Again, inhale, feet come back, you rocket ship up. Lots of seat, lots of seat.

Open the feet, push up into those straps, "Timber like a tree," and then eventually work through that spine. Those legs are low, and they come together. Now from here, we reverse that three times. It's just a little harder. It's especially at the top where it gets hard, so you've gotta have a lot of butt and a lot of energy into your feet to be able to close your legs.

Here we go. Legs come back. Oh, sorry. Whoops, hold on. Legs separate, then they come back. The legs are apart as you go over, and rocket ship up.

Now here's where you gotta get lots of butts. Zip those legs together, push up into your feet and lean, and then articulate down. Pushing forward as you're going. She's doing a great job here, legs go down, they separate. We do two more today, legs come back.

You send it up. Close those feet, press up and out. Let's timber a little longer this time, I believe in you. And then roll it. Nice, Zoe! Man! One more time, open those feet.

Bring it back, send it up, up, up. Close the feet, push up and out. See how long you can timber, and then recruit from that middle. And those legs go down. We're gonna sneak three legs circles each way, inhale, up through the middle.

Open those legs, exhale, bring them down, and together. Again, inhale up. This just is such a nice recovery after long spine. And after that nice, long, hard workout. Together, one more time, inhale up.

Open, exhale around, and together. Bring the feet over the hips. Start the reverse three times, take that down. Open, bring 'em back and squeeze. Inhale, down two.

Open. Back, squeeze one more time. Take it down, three. Open, bring it back, and squeeze. Bend your knees in, reach up for your straps, take those straps off of your feet.

She can just drop everything down into the well, we're gonna change her springs. I'm gonna take her to all four springs for running, in that nice parallel stance. She slides right up to the top, and she's gonna run. Lower one heel, and the other, good. Inhale one, and exhale.

Now really use that breath to recreate the feeling of the core work that you've had throughout this session. While this has been an abdominal focused session or a front body focused session, we have definitely worked that whole body. Let's see if we can pull it all together, though. Glutes engaged, arms pressing. Inhale.

Exhale, two more sets today. Inhale. Exhale, both heels up, Zoe, bend those knees, roll all the way in. And that is gonna cook you for today. Thank you guys so much for joining us for this front body workout, and I'll see you next time.

Progressions - Playlist 10: Breakthrough to the Advanced Reformer

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Abdominals, Front Body, Creative, Fun

May 05, 2022
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45 min
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Comments

1 person likes this.
Wow!  Loved this class!  Carrie - I really appreciated the cueing and set up for 100's, that was an amazing way to really tap into the abs.  I am definitely going to be using that one on my clients.  Great build ups into the tougher exercises as well, I will definitely be repeating this class often.
1 person likes this.
Loved this class!  Your cueing always make a difference! I am loving your new reformer series!  Thank you!
1 person likes this.
I’ve just started to watch, and a que toes&bar that ingages the abs was something new ( delicious) for me, I’ve already used this cue on my clients :) Thank you !!!
1 person likes this.
Awesome class thanks Carrie, can really feel the ab connection, love your cues!
1 person likes this.
My new favorite! Excellent cues and pace!! 
1 person likes this.
Thank you Carrie! Your cueing is always so helpful.  And, also always fun and enthusiastic!  This was a really fun and challenging class.

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