Class #4947

Total Body Rise

45 min - Class


Feel fluid and light in how you move! This energizing flow with Kristi Cooper is all about connecting and initiating your movement from your center. You will work all areas of your body with exercises focusing on your core, arms, and lower body.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

May 31, 2022
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Hi, everybody. Welcome to class. We're doing the Reformer. I will use the box at some point. I think that's all you need to know, unless you have props that you like to use, like towels for your head.

But otherwise, the intent is to have a little bit of fun, a little bit of flow. The hardest part is over, we're here. And yet, isn't this going to be the best part of your day? Let's begin standing with our feet parallel, just rooting yourself into the ground, rooting yourself into whatever intention you wanna set for yourself for today. Let your arms hang heavy.

Let your spine have more space. It's something that happens when you don't try. So you're just here. Feel your feet, you're rising up. And then maybe put your hand on top of your head, just flat on top of your head.

Reach into it, press into it gently. And then draw the front of the body into play. It's light, it's just an awareness that you're not hanging out in your ribs or you're sticking your butt out the backside. Let's zip up. Tighten up, if you will, just a bit.

From there, let's take a deep breath and inhale. (Kristi inhales) Reaching up, you can let everything come with you and then exhale, just let it come down almost let go completely. Inhale up. (Kristi inhales) And exhale down, drop them in. Inhale up, this time, look up a little bit, but try not to stick your butt out, keeping your low back long.

Inhale up (Kristi inhales) and exhale. This time, let's take the arms to the front rounding the upper back. You can bend your knees, too. Forward and inhale just open up to straight. Exhale rounding forward, bending the knees.

Inhale, open up to straight. Do it again, exhale. Inhale open, let the arms come down. And both arms back up. (Kristi inhales) Both arms back down.

We're gonna take the arms to the front, but let the right arm keep going. Inhale, look at that hand. Take it back behind you, the hips stay where they were and then arms down. Bring them back up to shoulder height, but the left side, sorry, right side keeps going all the way around. Line back up and drop.

Inhale here, (Kristi inhales) left arm goes up, up, up. Look at it, reach back, keep the hips forward. Land where you started. Bend and dip, inhale. Right arm goes up and around.

Look at it, look at it and bring it home. Both arms down, both arms way up, both of them. Stretch and exhale, let go. Okay, here's what we're gonna do. A little bit more warmup of course.

So I have a light spring on. We're just gonna sit onto the reformer near the front edge or near the foot bar and straddle, okay. So place your hands on the foot bar. It's really the middle of the palm so you have that firm connection. You can actually press into it.

And feel how it just cuts right through your arm to your lat, which hopefully taps into your back just a little bit. Straight spine, we inhale, grow taller, at least the sense of it. Then from the low belly, we start the exhale. We pull those hip bones back. Eventually, the whole spine will follow.

It's not that big. We're not trying to move the carriage and we're certainly not trying to collapse. Inhale, grow back into that long line. Those inner thighs help. You can hug the frame.

Exhale, draw the belly back. The focus really is on that low back. So enjoy it as a stretch. Inhale, grow long. This is more where we have to be careful not to thrust the hip bones forward.

Try for a long neck and spine. Exhale, roll it back. (Kristi exhales) Inhale, you can even spread the bar apart. It's all just a sense of how can I connect to my middle. Exhale. (Kristi exhales)

One more like that, inhale. Long, long, long, not straining. No need to strain, really, and round. All right, coming back to the straight line. I'm gonna undo the spring or just go lighter if you have that option.

I'm gonna just take it off. We're not gonna get crazy here. But it's gonna allow me to back up a little. So I moved the carriage back just a bit. And now, of course I'm leaning more forward and so will you be.

From here, we do the exact same thing. We inhale, carriage will move this time. Connect inner thighs and exhale. Round the spine to bring it home. And inhale, the tailbone now starts to reach out.

Try to stop at the flat back for the first few. Exhale, rounding forward. (Kristi exhales) Remember your head is attached to your spine, so it will change a little bit, too. Inhale (Kristi inhales) and exhale. (Kristi exhales) Not much going on with the feet.

They're there, they're flat. Inhale, this time, take it a little further. You can actually tilt the tailbone up a little. Look up a little. Enjoy the arch, start the exhale and just go back to the round.

We'll just do two more like that. Inhale, it's as if the spine is moving the carriage. And exhale. (Kristi exhales) One more. (Kristi inhales) Go ahead and enjoy the arch, just monitor the ribs so that they're not just dropping out of nowhere.

And come back to a neutral place. Let's take both hands to one side. Keep the hips as straight ahead as much as possible. And we'll just do two each side, like this. So I'll go arch first.

Oh, looking up. And then exhale rounding. You'll feel a little stretch more to one side. And on the rounding, I notice I am gently pulling. Or is that a push?

I'm pulling a little bit. Inhale, allow the tailbone to go up. And exhale, I find my lats again. Stay close to the source of the center. Come back to a neutral, switch the arms to the other side.

And inhale, arch. Exhale, round. Inhale, arch. Exhale, round. (Kristi exhales) Inhale, arch.

Exhale, round. And then just walk yourself center, set yourself up and let's put on the foot and leg work spring. So generally heavy, maybe four springs if you're on a Gratz, four springs if you're on a Balanced Body or any piece. I am doing three red and a blue. So that's heavy leg work for me.

I'm backing up to put the foot bar back up. Mine locks in. If yours does, please make sure you do that and let's... Actually, let's do some more warmup here. So I just put my foot on the foot plate.

Hold on to the knees and sit tall here. Inhale, exhale, start to roll yourself back. Roll yourself back. My heels are just on the footplate or the edge of the frame. I'm going to my low back, inhale.

Start the exhale. You should be able to see the abdominals initiate as you come forward. Go ahead and use your arms, it's okay. That even allows you to press further back with your abs. Sit up as tall as you can, inhale.

Exhale, those hips bones go back first. It's okay to use the arms, it really is right now. It almost allows the back to release down. Stretch out the arms. You're about mid-back, inhale.

Start the exhale. If you're really pulling on the arms, make sure you oppose that pull by holding the waistline back. And sit up tall. Inhale (Kristi inhales) and exhale, roll. Roll, roll, hold, inhale.

Exhale, come up. (Kristi exhales) Start to get a fluidity in your movement. Look for it, expect it. (Kristi exhales) And up. (Kristi exhales) And just one more like this.

(Kristi exhales) All the way down, all the way. Scoot yourself away from the shoulder rest a tiny bit. Holding onto the pegs, we'll bring the knees up to tabletop or you could rest your feet on the bar. Knees are bolted together as if your legs are one. So we're gonna rotate toward the window.

That means that hip is gonna come up. Hip comes up, but the shoulders stay down. Take a moment, look to see that the knees are lined up side by side. Start the exhale somewhere around the chest. That makes sense, doesn't it?

And come back to center. Other way, inhale. Swaying motion, exhale. It's sequentially bringing it back so we're not just one block going from side to side. Rather, as we exhale, we feel the ribs, maybe then the waist has a little more energy and then closer to the lower abdominals over to the back.

And exhale. Sometimes all we need to do here is line or gently squeeze through the inner thighs and then let the rest of the legs just be weight against your abdominals or your trunk. And to the back. (Kristi inhales) Ooh, how hard are you holding onto those pegs? Or if you don't have pegs and you have just eyelets, you can have your arms out straight.

Just try not to over grip with the arms. One more set here. (Kristi inhales) (Kristi exhales) To the back. (Kristi exhales) (Kristi inhales) Right on, hold the knees into your chest, really hug them in. It's okay if your rear end comes up.

Pull your head up to match it where your knees are as best you can. Now, we set the tailbone down as much as we can. We bring the chest up a little more. Knees are together. Let's just reach everything forward.

That's your inhale. Exhale, squeeze it back. And then you can roll the hips up a little, but they go down first. So soon as you let go, get the tailbone back down. Inhale out.

You can even press your legs there with your arms. Exhale, drag it in. Go ahead and pull up. And inhale out. (Kristi inhales) And exhale in. (Kristi exhales)

Inhale out, exhale in. Inhale out, exhale in. A little change, inhale out, stay there. Arms go all the way around. We're still inhaling.

Now, we exhale in. So we go forward, then reach the circle of the arms around. Exhale in, inhale forward. Keep, exhale as you come in. So it's a long inhale.

(Kristi inhales) And now, exhale scoop to bring it in. Inhale, reach forward. Exhale as you come in. Last one. (Kristi inhales) (Kristi exhales) Hold onto the right knee.

Right hand to right ankle, left leg out and we switch, switch. You can breathe however you want. I tend to go inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale. Strong arms here. You can actually pull in opposition.

Keep yourself in the midline. Let's go, pull, pull, pull, pull and pull. Pull two more. Last set, one and one. Bring both knees in.

Let your head go down. Put your heels on the bar. If your headrest is not down, put it down now, please. Feel the backs of your arms, feet are parallel. We roll up the spine one bone at a time.

Step onto those heels, step onto those arms, looking for a long slant lower position and that your knees don't flare, inhale. Exhale, melt yourself down from the throat. The middle of the chest, don't forget that part. The ribs, the waist, deepen your curl here. Sometimes not trying, don't brace.

It makes it harder and you just become stiff like a board. We're down, take an inhale. Start the exhale, we go up again. The arms matter, use them. Use them, you're gonna have to later.

Think of this as a prep for a lot of overhead stuff. Find your hamstrings. When you think you're at the top, come down ever so slightly. Retuck the pelvis to meet. That means pubic bone toward chest.

And then step up higher into it. Use those hamstrings. When it's time to exhale, you start melting your way back down. Find every bone, readjust if you need to. Tail goes down, two more.

Inhale, exhale, up we go. (Kristi exhales) Sometimes you have to check out what your head's doing. It'll move around, it has to. It's fine if it does, but don't leave it looking way back behind you or something else weird. And come down.

(Kristi exhales) If you notice your legs are going way to the side, it generally means you're overcommitted to the glutes. You might lighten up there and think more inner thigh. Or check it out, you're your own teacher. You know that. It's like, what do I need to do to do what she said?

(Kristi laughs) Explore. And here we go, coming on down. Come on down. Milk it, enjoy it. We're there.

We're gonna take the right leg up and just stretch it up, oh. Reach the tailbone down and it's almost like you're picking your leg upwards and grabbing onto the calf and pulling upwards, letting my pelvis just fall back to the mat. Yeah, now, pull on it a little bit, stretch the other leg out. And then just switch. You could rest the first leg on the bar for a moment.

Pull it to a gentle stretch. Think up with the whole leg bone, while you're doing that. Now, you can just let the hip fall. Give space in that hip socket, all right. Let the first leg stretch out.

And now, we bring the head, neck and shoulders up and it's pull, pull, switch. Pull, pull. Pull that top leg further. Pull, pull, pull, pull, pull, pull, pull, pull. Keep going, in, in.

You wanna know what you can do, it's fun. Press on the lower bar, too. Press, don't let it pop your hips up, but just notice that opposition really helps you in the middle. Both legs come up, hold. Take your hands behind your head.

I like to lace the fingers. Curl up a tiny bit more. Then drop the head into your hands, reach the legs away from you. Exhale, come up almost to the bar or to the bar. Inhale, start that exhale, bring it up.

Inhale and exhale. Just two more. Don't you hate it when someone says, just two and you're ready for none? All right, hold it there. We are rotating to the front.

Bend that knee, rotate to it one, switch. Switch, keep going. You know this. Get up there, pull that knee in. Stretch that leg out.

And go, and go, and go. The elbows stay where they start. You're not letting the elbow get in front of your face to make you think you're twisting further, actually twist further from the ribs, from the ribs. Let's do two more sets. That was one, here's number two.

Back to the center, hug your knees to your chest, put your head down. We're getting ready for foot and leg work. So if you like your headrest up, now's the time to do that. Feet in parallel. Arms down, you feel them?

Off we go. We press all the way out, take a second. Check yourself, tailbone's down. You're looking almost for a sense of length in the front of that hip. And try not to drop into your knees, really common.

So from that point, let's come on down and off we go. Push out, one and in. (Kristi exhales) And in, three. And in. (Kristi exhales) And in. (Kristi exhales)

(Kristi exhales) Trying to keep the feet flexed the whole time. (Kristi exhales) And I probably don't need to remind you. You wanna delay coming in or reluctantly come in, resist coming in. Any one of those words or a different one that works for you. Stay here, though.

Go to the balls of the feet. Rest all 10 toes on the bar, off we go. We press out, we pull in. We press long, long, long. You still feel the back of the arms.

(Kristi exhales) (Kristi inhales) (Kristi exhales) For a moment, just focus on a consistent breathing whichever way you're choosing to do it. I'm inhaling in and exhaling out at this point. And I'm thinking about keeping my heels stationary. (Kristi exhales) How about two more? (Kristi inhales) Feel the legs, it's a good thing.

Stay here, lower the heels for three counts. One, two, three, work through the foot to get back up where you just were. Do it again. One, two, three and up, two, three. Imagine, I mean, where do the legs stop really anyway?

The whole body is the whole body, so let's think about them all the way up to the chest. So there's some energy in the whole front side of the body. We're only doing one more for now. And then you're gonna bend your knees, come on down. Stay ready to go, but now just swivel so the heels touch each other and push out again, all the way, close it up, bend the knees, come home.

(Kristi exhales) I like it when the workout just starts settling in. I hope that's happening for you. It's like, right, I've done this. I know how good I'm gonna feel. (Kristi exhales) I am committed, I'm finishing every exercise, nothing is old news.

(Kristi exhales) I'm gonna do two more for us, all the way. There's two, come down, please. Take your heels wide. And you have the option of leaving them, they're not quite parallel, but slight diagonal or go for a wider turnout. But make sure that turnout if you do it comes from the hip.

Some people are really flexible at the ankle and they turn from there. That's not good. We want the leg to work where you can feel the backside over where the hamstring ankle meet. Here we go, we press out, squeeze as if you had a magic circle between the knees and come back. And two.

(Kristi exhales) (Kristi inhales) (Kristi exhales) (Kristi inhales) (Kristi exhales) Let's go for about five more. And two, and... (Kristi inhales) (Kristi exhales) (Kristi inhales) Right on, come down. We'll do one more thing. Just slide both feet at the same time to the balls of the feet.

One of those positions, either really wide or less wide and off you go. We're out and in. Out, take a few where you push a tiny bit more with one side and then alternate it, push a little more with the other. I think it's hard to tell which leg leads and most likely one of them does. So I sometimes do that.

You won't see the difference, but maybe in your own body, you'll feel it. Do two now where you think you're doing it equally. (Kristi exhales) And again. Come down, put your feet back to parallel on the balls of the feet. There's a little space between them still.

Push out and let's say the left heel goes under the bar, straight under the bar. The right knee points straight up to the ceiling and the hips are square, just like they've been the whole time. The left leg, the one that's down is the foot that works. Work through the foot, all the way up, all the way up to tip top to where both legs end up straight naturally. Slowly do the other side and enjoy it slow like this 'cause it's about to go quicker.

Oh, all right, work the right foot. The left foot's just there with the heel hanging up waiting for the other one to catch it. Are you ready? Here we go. We're gonna go down, up, down, up, down, up.

Long necks, I just caught myself looking behind me for some reason. Let's go, we're all engaged, but nothing's working harder than it needs to so that the feet, the calves and everything else upwards works as a support system. And down and up and faster and up and down and up and feel your feet, feel your feet. You're gonna put shoes on I'll bet you right after this. Try not to, walk around and feel how great they feel after doing something like this.

I don't wanna stop, but I will in four, three, two, one. Take that first foot, hold a stretch underneath it. Okay, if you need a full break, just bend and come down, that's cool. Then play a little bit with the weight distribution. So I'm on the ball of foot basically, but if I roll a little to the outside, that just feels like, oh, there's home.

So I'm gonna roll a little to the inside toward the big toe and I get a better stretch there. And then what else I could do is slightly bend the knee of that same leg and it just changes the stretch a little bit. Come up, switch sides. So now that left leg that just got the stretch, it's light. You're down with the other side.

All right, and play with rolling, find your foot, what feels good. Know what feels good, do more of that. All right, slightly bend that knee. And just ease out. I'm just gonna come down for one knee bend and I'm going right back out.

Take that, I'll say left leg, set it on the arch. And now, the right leg is just gonna support you as you pick up the left leg and move it around, but somewhere different on the arch each time. Just stepping into your arch, let the rest of the foot be just loose. Loose, so it just naturally hugs the bar. You're higher toward the ball of the foot, then move it down toward the heel and then we'll switch.

So just use the left leg now. You can put it wherever you want and I almost think of a cat how they do that thing. I don't have cats, but they do that thing with the pillow. It's kind of like that. At least that's how it feels.

Just moving the arch around, a little more on the inside, a little more on the outside. Ooh, closer to the heel, closer to the ball of the foot. And that's good. Come on home. Right, sit yourself up, we're gonna take some springs off.

So far, so good, smile on your face? Fake it, fake it sometimes. All right, I'm going back down. We'll grab those straps in a moment, but once you're down there, feet on the bar, you're near your shoulder rest, but give yourself a little breathing room to come up. Knees off, for one, just connect your arms to your back.

That means you're not gripping so much with the hands, but the shoulders. It's as if the shoulders were in these straps, just lower the arms down without popping the shoulders up. You still have wide collar bones. Reach forward to come back up. This time, bring your head, neck and shoulders up with it and look forward, okay.

And down, you wanna keep the knees together. Let's do one more of those. And remember, we don't just go with the spring. We're in charge here. (Kristi laughs) And work the spring back to its position.

Let's add the legs extending through three. One, you're up, up, up. And come on down. Number two, (Kristi inhales) and down. (Kristi inhales) And three, we're staying up on this one.

Are you up? Now, just the arms come up a little bit and down. Carriage doesn't need to move 'cause you're reaching so far forward. Up, inhale and exhale, squeeze it down. Inner thighs are glued, inhale up and down, two more.

Up and down. Big inhale, big inhale. Squeeze it all out. Was that two? I'm gonna pretend it is.

Bend your knees and come on down 'cause we're going right back up. Everything same position. Get up there again, exhale, stay up. This time, the legs, they open, they close, they bend. Now you come down.

Exhale, go up. You're still exhaling, you inhale when you bend the knees. Actually, that's not true. It's a long exhale. So I'll just do it and here we go.

Exhale, still exhaling, still exhaling. Now when you're ready to go down, you take the big inhale, head touches and you're right back up, exhale. (Kristi exhales) Inhale. (Kristi inhales) Stay in charge of that spring. (Kristi exhales) and (Kristi exhales) coordination.

One more like this. (Kristi exhales) You can keep doing that if you like. Otherwise, we're gonna do little scissors at the top. Exhale, go up. Instead of opening from closing, you switch, switch, switch.

Oh, try saying that eight times. And then bend the knees and down. I'm aiming for eight. Exhale, up we go. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Bend and down, two more sets. Exhale, get up with that chest. And one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Bend, inhale down. (Kristi exhales) Last time.

(Kristi exhales) One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, bend and down. Left foot is on the bar, push out. Be careful it's not super heavy. Step into your straps. Voila.

So we're on that 1 1/2, two springs. You come to a frog. And then here, this is one of those things where you just have to not do much to get the work. If you overtighten, it's too easy. So really all we're doing is getting the shape, which we call frog and then extend the legs, but the whole leg doesn't have to be tight.

And you'll find out if you do enough of them with this whole series that if you just lightly engage the abdominals, I'm sorry, the glutes and the inner thigh, that makes this action. The abs don't have to do much. So no need to grip and hold your breath. Sometimes I think of it if you'll bear with me, I think of it like the straps were heavier, pushing on my feet so that my legs can just relax a little and the pelvis relaxes. So the leg bones just floating in the hip joints, rather than gripping there.

Out and come in. Legs easy, heels together. (Kristi exhales) (Kristi inhales) Finish it by going back out. Raise the legs up. I just stay in a little bit of a turnout.

And we're gonna go into down circles. So you exhale down, open up, come around and right back to the top. Exhale down. Be free with these. What needs to stay stable is everything above the legs.

So the pelvis isn't rocking around, you're not feeling pressure changes on your spine. Around and up. Let it feel good. That might be my theme today. I came in with an open mind, but I'm noticing I'm stretching out the ones that feel really good.

On this next one at the top, stop. Check that your hips are still down, open it. We're reversing it down and around. Bring it up. We're choosing where the springs or the straps go.

We're not letting them pull us around at all. You can keep it small, you can go wider. If you're super flexible, I challenge you to go smaller than you can. Long necks, arms are intentionally placed on your mat. How about one more?

We'll come down and out about 45 degrees, I suppose. You are definitely turned out now. Imagine reaching further through those straps and we simply separate the feet. We don't raise them or lower them. And bring them back.

Not a whole lot of movement here, but if you do legitimately just go out and back and you're not pressing downward, which is really easy to do, you will feel, I bet, your inner thigh. And if you're just watching, you will see my straps jumping all over the place because I have fatigued the proper muscle group for the inner thigh. Keep going, it's like, can my legs be longer? Can I bring them all the way together and can they be longer as I go out? Not down or up.

One of those exercises where less is more, a lot more. Okay, one more. Whew, whew, whew. Thank you, put your headrest down. Make sure it is and for the moment, we are gonna just flex at the hip joint, bring the legs in as much as we can.

Further, further, further. Then bend your knees and bring it back to the start. Just one more of those, a little bit of warmup. We're doing long spine in a moment. If you want to extend straps, you could do that.

Bend your knees so that you could pull back from there. And now what we do, keeping the legs straight, you're gonna come to 90 or ever so slightly maybe further than 90 closer to you. Without a whole lot of feet, foot, leg effort, you're gonna peel the spine up, maintaining what tension you have on the strap. Way up, way up, way up, come on. Separate the feet and melt back down, bone by bone, bone by bone.

Circle the legs around like you did a moment ago. Here we go. So if you got up there and you started falling, that probably means you need to bring your legs a little more over you to start. All right, here we go. Exhale, peel up.

Arms are helping you. They're your kickstand. Up, up, up ,up, up, up. Long legs, long hips, open and melt it back down, like your feet is paint melting down the wall. Once your tailbone is down, you can circle round.

Let's do it again. Inhaling, I'm gonna go in a little bit more. Exhale, find the hamstring right away as if you were about to do a hamstring curl, but you don't. Or at least not yet. Up, open, melt it down.

Woop, and circle. So the idea is when you're going up and down, the carriage doesn't move. Maybe should've said that a little earlier, but I'll give you another one. Here it comes. When the minute your tailbone lifts up, we're not moving that carriage.

Up, up, up, up. Up, up, up, up. Then separate your feet a little. Let's play with this. Don't look over here, just bend the knees.

The carriage will move a little. The thighs do not come closer to you. Try to bend the knees and then straighten back up. So your thighs are staying where they are, but the heels go down, like I can't see my heels now. And oh, there they are again.

I went back to straight. Two more, keep your butt up. I love hamstrings and glutes, one more. Hah, peel your spine down or melt your spine down. (Kristi exhales) Circle the legs around together.

Bend your knees. Let's take the right foot off, out, step on the bar. And then you can easily take the left one out. Rerack or repeg or put your straps away for the moment. Come on up and we'll spin around.

We're gonna do just a little bit of rowing. So I'm gonna do that with one spring, one full spring. I'm just gonna leave my bar up. If it's in your way, you can take it down. Backseat version, so if you know a different version, feel free.

They are very similar, but this focuses ever so slightly. All right, I'm holding onto the straps. My back is upright and straight. I'm gonna pull the straps to my chest, then roll down. You could do that simultaneously.

From here, turn the arms out almost to a T position. Deep in your belly, that's where you're anchoring. That's where your power is gonna come from. Pull, press the arms back. When they're really by your side, you get to dive forward, arms go down, way down.

Open those shoulders, press the arms up, circle them around all the way over to your feet and roll back up. The straps are loose. So let's go again. Pull in, get tall, tall. Now roll down.

Unwind the arms out to the side. Pull them, dive forward. Press those straight arms way up, keep them as close together as possible until you have to spin them around over your feet and up you come. Bend, and roll. Open the arms, push, dive forward, hold the waist back, hold the waist back.

We've warmed it up there. Press the arms up and over. Circle the arms naturally. Reach for the toes and roll it up. This time, arms are right up at shoulder height.

We're just gonna bend to 90 degrees. Check yourself, and now you roll down, keep the arms. Ending with the arms right alongside your spine. Then we go right back up, but we'll extend the arms as if they're part of the spine. Lean forward a little, turn the arms as we go through that process of taking the arms behind you, circling them back to your feet.

Lot of words there, so I'm just gonna let you do it. Inhale, bend, exhale, roll down. Line your elbows up with your body. That means your low back is rounded. We start to come up, up, up.

Get those arms almost to straight. Then you can hinge forward, circle the arms back behind you, up and over. And we will do one more. Inhale, bend, exhale, roll down. Inhale, start to grow tall.

Get those arms up, up. Lean forward a bit. Circle the arms down, all around and up you come. Hold onto the straps and turn around. Sit up against the shoulder rest, but try not to wedge yourself.

It's a bit of a cheat. You can bend your knees, though. We'd rather be upright than straight legs and rounded. I have my thumbs in and it goes like this. So the strap is under near my armpit.

We press out, we're tall, we're proud. Then turn the arms down or the thumbs down, touch the carriage, come right back up till the arms are right by your ears. And then we come right alongside through that T position. Start again, arms shave up to the shoulders, press out, turn down to touch the mat. Arms go up right by your ears, you're tall and then they circle to the side of your body and down.

Inhale up, exhale out. Inhale, turn and touch down. Spine just stays where it started and come down. Let's do one more. Inhale, (Kristi inhales) exhale.

Inhale, thumbs down, chest up. Exhale all the way around. Oh, we'll do one more. Inhale, shave up. This time, you are gonna round your spine.

Your elbows stay close to your body. You look down, start to straighten the arms out on the diagonal. Again, it's the backseat version, so you're long spine, arms by your ears, then just hinge to sit up. Arms come around the side, shave up, we inhale. Exhale, elbows go down so that they're again right by your body.

Start to inhale, lengthen out. As you get almost there, turn the thumbs down so your straps don't get caught on you. Look for the long spine, then sit up. Arms down, just one more. (Kristi inhales) (Kristi exhales) Inhale, grow long.

You can sit up to get long. Rather sit taller, higher I should say to get the long spine. And then fully up and come around, cross the legs. Sit up on the sit bones. I put the strap in like you probably normally want to on the palms and let's just hug a tree tall.

I'm exhaling forward. Inhale, keep the chest and the back wide. Two, (Kristi exhales) three, change the cross of the feet. Inhale, open. (Kristi inhales) Stay tall. (Kristi exhales)

(Kristi inhales) (Kristi exhales) I'm doing one more here. (Kristi exhales) Right, okay, you can put your straps down. Thank you. And then we'll come off to one side. The one spring ought to still be just fine for a stretch.

Who doesn't want that? Placing your foot... Let me just make this look prettier. Place your feet at the shoulder block. Knee comfortably on the carriage.

And the foot that's on the ground is a little bit more forward. Before you put your hands on the bar, think upright. Do that biasing of the pelvis. So it's almost as if you're tucking. So from the very start, you feel some hamstring so that we can stretch the hip.

Now hands on the bar and just push the carriage back. It almost feels like your body is just going straight down. So try not to drop into your back. We don't need to do anything with the back right here. Oh, push further if you can.

You can bend the forward knee as much as you want so long as you're not just letting go in the back. (Kristi inhales) And breathe. All right, from there, we're going to straighten the front leg. So essentially, you just shift back and you're looking for the flat back. So you might have to hinge forward more.

You might have to bring the carriage in a little more. If I told you you're trying to stretch the hamstring of the leg on the ground, look for it in your body 'cause sometimes it's just hard to follow through directions. It's just like, find a flat back and stick your butt out, square the hips, blah, blah, blah, find a hamstring stretch. (Kristi exhales) All right, set that foot down. Bend the knee, come in a little bit.

We're gonna do one more hip flexor stretch here, all right. And then if you're up for it, straighten the knee. So I push back so the knee came off the carriage and bend. Nothing else changed. Went back down, it touched, I'm going it again.

And back down. And one more. Okay, let's walk around the other side carefully coming out of that. The foot is on. It's a good time right now to try to get all five toes equal or on the ball of the foot.

Starting upright, biased so the back doesn't take over. And the hands are on the bar now. Start to push that carriage back. It does not have to be far to get a really good stretch if you set yourself up right. Just breathing deep into it.

And then this is the hamstring stretch or the leg on the ground. For me, it's easiest if I release at the hip. So I start by sticking my tailbone out a little. And then I push everything back so I can find that hamstring. Again, if you go into a rounded back, you're just not gonna find the hamstring stretch.

It would be preferable to bend the knee and keep a flat back. And I think you're more likely to get that hamstring stretch. So again, play with it. (Kristi exhales) All right, that foot goes down. Come into that first stretch.

Either stay here or press the leg back so far the knee comes off until the leg is straight. Ooh, and bend. (Kristi inhales) It comes down, go again. We did three. (Kristi exhales) And bend, one more.

(Kristi exhales) And back. Okay, so far, so good. What we're doing now is we're gonna grab the box and do some side and some back and done for the day. So keep your energy up. Here we go.

I'm not super tall, call it 5'4 on a good day. I put my box in front of the shoulder rest. You may need to put yours over because you're longer. That's all I have to say about that. And we don't want the carriage to move, so it's a good idea to lock it down so that it doesn't move.

There's your strap, get it ready to go. Sitting sideways on the box with the foot under the strap, I'm gonna have the shin up on top. The straight leg knee and foot, keep it parallel I guess or pointed forward, rather than up to the ceiling. Hand, the bottom hand is on the headrest for set up. And from there, you're not collapsing.

You're lifting as if the hand wasn't there. Find that straight long line. You can keep the arm down if you're newer to this or not feeling like you want more weight above you. Or you take both arms behind your head. We're just doing five.

We're going out and down, here we go. Inhale, start to exhale, come up to the line you started with. Number two, (Kristi inhales) (Kristi exhales) number three. Can you get any longer, especially right here? Here's four, (Kristi exhales) five, just like that.

Okay, hang on, hang on, long, long, long. Take the bottom arm down and either go to the elbow if you can. You could go to the floor and stretch that top arm, stretch the leg through the strap, enjoy. Hopefully that feels good. And then to get out of it, let's take one hand to the frame, both hands to the frame and help yourself up.

Change sides. Just a tip, if you sit directly upright on your glute, it makes for a different kind of action and not quite what we're going for. So get off to the side, more greater trochanter area. Long line, hand is down just to make sure you feel good about your alignment. Then let go.

And off we go. We go down and we come up to that long line. And we arch over and to the long line. If you wanna lift higher to lift the long line higher, but don't crunch to the top. Inhale down, three.

(Kristi exhales) Here's four. (Kristi exhales) And five. That happily came quicker than it usually does for me. We're going into the stretch. I have my elbow on the headrest.

Stretch the top arm over, reach the leg through the strap. Before we got oh too comfortable, let's do some pulling straps. Use your hands to help you get up. I put mine on the frame, then the headrest, then the box and up we go. Turn the box so it's lengthwise evenly.

Good, and we're gonna go to one red, one full spring for me. The AeroPilates and Gratz are probably gonna want two, I think. It's gonna be heavy for your arms. Or not your arms, your back. We don't usually need a whole lot of weight for that.

I like to leave my bar up 'cause that reminds me not to hang my legs. So there's your cue for that. Lie over the top, the chest is just at the edge. Reach forward. I grab up onto where this little tape is wrapped and then wrap further, just so I have something to hold onto that doesn't slide.

So this setup is like so. The arm bones are turned outward so the palms face the frame, the belly draws up a bit. I stretch the legs so far, they hover just off that foot bar and they're gonna stay that way. Then we pull from the upper arm, just straight back, right until those arms line up with the body and come down. I'm not doing anything with the torso yet.

Initiate from just under the armpits and pull, pull, pull. Get them up, get them up, get them up without dropping into the well. All right, this time as you pull, you are welcome to start to look forward and lift up, but keep your chest bone down. It's like a reverse C-curve, like when you do your basic abdominal work. Up, oh, pinch those upper arms into your body, really pinch them in.

And then go higher and pinch them in. And then come down. Ooh, I kicked the bar. Kristi, pick up your legs, keep them straight. Pinch, pinch, pinch.

And again, do it like you mean it, do it like you mean it. Stay here. That was mean, sorry, but stay here anywhere. Keep your arms where they are, but bend them like triceps. Let's do five, we'll be done after that.

One, squeeze, two, you can look at the ground. (Kristi exhales) Long neck, three, pull. Here's four. You can see the finish line. La la, keep the arms straight as you lower them gracefully, controlled and back to the starting position.

Replace your straps, come off to the side and take that deep breath. (Kristi inhales) Exhale, take the arms forward, find the edge of the box. You're not gonna pull on it, but you're gonna use it for support. You might need to walk your feet backwards a little and just round your spine. It's like a gentle hug in its own way.

If you want to, you can bend the elbows, press the forearms into the box and arch your back. And round. And then slowly roll yourself up from there. Feel good about the time you took for yourself, find other things to feel good about and enjoy your day or night. Thank you.

See you next time.

Spring to Life with Kristi: Reformer Workouts


Karen P
1 person likes this.
Wow! This was wonderful. I really appreciate the arch foot work. It felt amazing! Thank you! 
John B
1 person likes this.
After a full afternoon of teaching, this is just what I needed. Thnks !
Alicia M
1 person likes this.
Great! Thank you!
Annie R
1 person likes this.
Great way to start the morning - including a foot massage - brilliant tip for the feet!
1 person likes this.
Whoa, I wasn't ready for all of those abs but wow this felt great! Thank you! 
1 person likes this.
Yahoo! Loved it, Kristi!
1 person likes this.
I always love your classes!  Great cues and just all over I know I will love whatever you put together!  Thank you!
1 person likes this.
This felt good .
Feels really great to know we all connected on this class. I hope to "see" you all in class again! Thank you! 
1 person likes this.
Another really great  Basic Session, with lovely Cueing.
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