Class #4977

High Intensity Reformer 1

20 min - Class


Find a balance between control and speed with this Reformer workout by Maria Leone. She teaches a high-intensity interval Pilates class focusing on the abdominals and arms using 30-second intervals of movements with 10-second breaks. She encourages you to work at your own pace as she gives an overview of each exercise instead of cueing beat by beat.
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box)

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Hi, everybody. This is Maria Leone. And today we're doing a high-intensity interval Pilates workout. That means we're working for 30 seconds at a brisk tempo, with 10 seconds in between. You'll be surprised how those 10 seconds get shorter and shorter.

Let's begin warming up. You've straddled your machine. And you're just gonna do side bendings from side to side. You'll be following Nikki here, who's my body for today, because I have to work this timer. Keep going from side to side.

And for this workout, you're gonna be working a lot at your own pace. So you're gonna hear me queuing kind of differently, more as an overview rather than taking you through beat to beat. From here, pivot to one side. Follow Nikki. She's gonna gonna take a quick quad stretch.

She's gonna lean back and just give that hip a little bit of a stretch. And let's pivot around and go to the other side, and take the other leg back behind you. Lean yourself back. Make sure you don't have too much pressure on that knee. We're just trying to give that quad a little stretch.

We're about to begin our intervals. Bring your headrest up. Have your machine on one heavy and one medium spring. Come onto your back. Start with your hands to the ceiling.

The hands are in the loops, Miss Nikki. The legs are at tabletop. And 30 seconds, here we go. Pressing the arm straight down and straight up. Continue like this.

And as you're moving, play around with the positioning of those legs. Maybe taking the legs a little further away from the center of the body, keeping the ribs nice and tight, and a smooth deliberate tempo. So maybe moving a little faster here than you would normally do in your Pilates practice. But we don't wanna create slack on those ropes. Keep the connection to your breath.

Keep flowing. Keep squeezing those legs. You have 10 seconds to relax, to feet down. Take a moment. Getting ready for our next exercise. We're gonna build on that.

So bring your legs back to tabletop. Take your hands by your side. Start taking the legs. Arm straight up, straight down, and start changing your legs. Change and change, change and change.

It's a smooth and controlled breath. You're moving briskly. You're holding onto the center of the body. You're pushing the tempo, keeping that front ribs driving down into the back ribs, reaching the foot past the edge of the machine. Quickening that tempo, driving through the legs, driving through the arms, holding onto that stabilization.

And you have 10 seconds. Knees in to feet down. Take a couple of deep breaths in here. And you'll see what I mean about these 10 seconds getting shorter and shorter. We're gonna start lifting the upper body.

This time, the legs come to tabletop. Start moving the arms and the legs as you were just doing. So single legs stretch with the legs. Arms up and down. And now you're gonna lift your body up and down, and up and down.

Continue with that nice, continuous pace. And even though you're moving quick, as we come down, you're holding onto your center, keeping your engagement, keeping your intention. So just because we're moving quickly, we don't lose our Pilates principles, right? Still hanging onto that control and that link to breath, you've got 10 seconds, and come down. We're gonna change to a double-leg variation.

And the arms will reach out to a T. Be ready to go. Arms to a T. Here we go. Pressing the arms into the body and open.

And just starting with that T, and then adding the motion of the legs if that works for you. Taking two legs out and in, maybe taking one leg out and in, it's up to you, keep your tempo up. Keep moving. Again, if you always move slow, push yourself a little bit. See what happens when you move a little quicker.

Make sure you don't start to ride the machine. Really hold the carriage as you come in. And we got 10 seconds to come up and transition. Up to one red quick, quick, quick, and facing the back. You're on your hands and knees facing the back.

The hands are under the shoulders. Knees are underneath the hips. Round your back and start pulling that carriage in and in. So kneeling abs facing the back. Some of you are gonna go ahead and lift those knees up and be doing this with the knees lifted.

Same form, just a little bit harder exercise, because you're holding your weight. Make sure the shoulders are out of the ears. Really focus where you're folding for. I'd like you to feel that fold in the center of the body, not just the hip socket. Let's see how we are on time.

You got about three more seconds here for two, for one, the knees go down. Release your feet. Quick stretch, right arm up. You got 10 seconds. And bring that hand down.

And the other arm goes up and it comes down. Move your two hands to one side of the frame. Tuck the tailbone under. Begin driving that carriage in. Think of pulling that knee to opposite shoulder.

Anchor with the arms. Use your breath of slight feeling of a drawing under here as you move. Push the shin bones down. Toppy view is nice and still. Keep that tempo.

Keep your pace for three, and two, and one. A quick child's pose here. Let the tail be heavy. Take a deep breath in. Long, slow exhale.

And let's bring your hands over to the other side and begin moving, pulling the tail under. And that feeling of oppositional pull here, opposite knee to shoulder. So we're hitting the obliques now a little bit more than we were on the other exercise. Use that breath constantly keeping that engagement. Use the breath.

Tuck the tail. Almost done here. And quick transition onto your back please. The loops are going over your knees. Spin around, Nikki.

The loops are going over your knees and you're coming onto your back. Quick, quick, quick. You're onto your back. Your hands are behind your head. The legs are up and we're moving.

The legs are straight. And you're pulling those legs in and out, in and out. Really feeling the weight as the legs move away, okay? Don't lose your intention as the legs move away. I know we're moving quick, but I want everything.

I want control and speed together. Press and press, syncing those abdominals into the mat for two, and one. Go ahead and rock yourself up. Hug your knees. Take a second. We're gonna repeat here.

We are gonna add some oblique work. You got about about three more seconds now, I would say. And come back down onto your back. Take your legs to the ceiling. Hands behind your head.

And begin twisting the upper body with the legs, a little oblique, oblique. Two legs pull in, and you twist, and you twist, and you twist. Keep driving the pubic bone up. Hold onto that tension as the legs move away. Feel that rotation from the rib cage.

Twist and twist. See if you can quicken that pace, for five, and four, and three, and two, and one. Knees in. Sit yourself up. Take one loop off. Go back onto your back.

Legs to tabletop. You have a few more seconds here. Hands behind the head. And we're moving into crisscross, crisscross, all the way across, all the way across. So this is the ideal version of this.

But if this is too challenging, put one leg down and just come to one side, okay? So don't kill yourself. Make a choice that works for your body and your back, two legs or one leg. Keep the tempo. Keep using the breath. Make it continuous and deliberate.

You still got four more seconds. Sorry to say. Keep going. Keep pushing. And sit yourself up. You get 10 seconds to relax.

I told you the 10 seconds get quicker and quicker and shorter and shorter. Change the loop. And back onto your back. Hands behind the head, and into crisscross. So she's gonna show the advanced version first.

And, hey, you can do half this and half the other version, okay? So you have choices. You always have choices. Always have choices. So here's the full crisscross. She's gonna go into the modified version of this with one foot down.

So maybe half and half. Whatever you're doing, we're working to push, push the intensity here. That's why the exercises are more simple so that you can focus more just on speed and holding that contraction, and sit yourselves up, and into hip stretch, whatever that is, Nikki. Oh, butterfly hip, butterfly stretch, and hip stretch. That's what hip stretch means.

Sometimes I don't understand my own notes. Okay, so we're changing completely now. So that was your little ab interval series. Now we're gonna do arms. Turn around and face forward.

And we are going to start on one blue spring. The hands come into your loops. You can be down on your knees. You can be up on your knees. You can be forward and back hands, or, here, start moving pressing the arms up and controlling the lowering.

And the chest is really lifted. The biceps are spinning up for me please. And we're still keeping that nice Pilates form. So I really wanna see those shoulder blades sliding down the backside of the body as the arm goes up, and this nice spine sandwich. And, again, you're pushing your tempo.

You are not locking those elbows, controlling the machine as it comes down. You got 10 seconds' child's pose. And in this child's pose, see if you can really focus on taking the breath here into the back of the lungs, and exhale, and one more time, and all the way up. We're going into server tray. So the hands are here at the waist.

The arms push straight forward and they pull in. So it's a push. And now this pull equally is important. And then you might opt to add this onto this and add an opening of the arms and back to shoulder distance and in. So either just this straight out and in, or adding and doing what Nikki is doing with that T action.

Again, I don't want you to get too confused with your brain. I'd rather you choose something that you can stick to (laughs) last time like that, and come into child's pose, all the way down. Stay there. And take a breath. Okay. Come back up onto your knees.

Okay, we're gonna be moving one arm at a time. So let's start with the left arm at your shoulder. And from here, you're just gonna press straight forward and straight back to the shoulder. Exhale out and inhale in. And exhaling out, and notice the position of the elbow as she comes in.

And now adding rotation. So turning and looking back to the elbow and reaching straightforward. Continue to push the tempo. Remember, we're doing high-intensity interval training today, just using the Pilates of repertoire for that. Notice the alignment of the hand here, right?

Her hand reaches straight to me. And you can always stay with just the simple movement of the arm. And you got 10 seconds to rest. Child's pose. Deep breath in and out.

And, of course, we need to repeat that on the other side. Bring yourself up, take a moment. Bring the right hand into the shoulder or the other hand into the shoulder and start just with the arm straight out, straight in. Make sure the shoulder blade is staying on the backside of the body here, like your shoulder blade in this little pocket. And then some of you will add rotation.

Maybe you do. Maybe you don't. Look back to that elbow and push straight ahead. And now see if you can use your trunk to help you move. So it's not just the arm muscling through that rotation. It's the spine turning in the arm reaching out.

And back to child's pose. Okay, quarter turn towards us, everybody. And you're gonna be holding one loop in your hand. We're going into single-arm, tree hug. You all know this.

Judge your distance. The arms come out. And pull the arms close and open. And pull the arms close, two. Keep the heart really lifted.

And three. Now some of you are gonna add rotation to this. So you'll come to tree hug, and then you'll twist the tree hug. You'll come center and you'll open. The shoulder blades stay wide on the back.

She twists. She comes back center and opens. Smooth and continuous, maintaining that tension on the machine. Do not ride the machine. And we are out.

From here, turn to the back of the machine for me and bring your right hand up into a bicep curl. From here, begin that bicep curl up and open. Once you get the feeling of that bicep curl, let's add a little tricep press in. So we do one bicep curl and one tricep press. Now, if you're struggling with that tension, you know, you can always move forward or backward on your machine, right, to handle that tension.

I'd rather you not stop to have to do a spring change. So you'll work that out next time you come back to this. And straight back, and last time there, and pressing the arm back. And turn all the way over to the other side. You got a few seconds here to catch your breath.

Begin setting yourself up for tree hug. You get about three more seconds. Arms to a T. And here we go, pulling those arms close and open. And I always like to just start with that basic exercise first, get all my ducks in a row.

Make sure those shoulder blades are stabilized, and then adding the rotation. Notice the rotation comes right from that waistline. The hips are absolutely still, clean rotation, ground through those shin bones. And then keep your tempo. Keep your pace deliberate.

Push yourself a little bit here. Push yourself. And we got 10 seconds. You're gonna transition to the back of the machine. And we're going into bicep curl. So you might need to judge right now where you need to be on that machine for your bicep curl.

And let's begin with the bicep curl, straight up and open. Keeping that upper arm ideally as close to shoulder height as you can, but you might need to lower it down depending on how heavy your machine is for you. And now add the tricep press in here. And all the same rules here. So tricep press is always chest expansion for me.

So I'm looking for the collar bones to open and the chest is up. Keep your tempo. Do not get sleepy with it, okay? We don't always have to be moving slow for it to be Pilates. And you got 10 seconds to turn all the way around and face forward.

And the hands are going into both loops again. And your feet are right against the shoulder blocks. The hands are by your side. And we're gonna do full circle. So the arms are gonna come forward and all the way up, get tall, and then open the arms.

Good. Let's take the arms straight side forward and all the way up, really lifting the ribs out of the waist and then pushing straight down forward and all the way up. The palms go forward. Get tall and push down. Use that breath.

Keep moving, keep flowing. Keep the ribs tight. For me, this vertical moment is the most important moment. Almost done here, guys. Push a little bit more.

Push a little bit quicker. Last time, and into child's pose. And take a moment here. Deep breath into the back of the ribs, and a long, slow exhale out through your mouth. And we're gonna do a quick cool down.

And we're gonna do leg circles. So two red springs. Headrests can be up or down. It's up to you. The loops come onto your feet.

And we're gonna move super, super slow here. So again, we're using leg circles for cool down. So stay here. Go ahead and open the legs. Really let the legs open and drop, drop, drop.

And then scoop the legs around and together. Come slowly up. Feel a heaviness in that sacrum. Enjoy the stretch of the hamstrings. Open the legs wide.

Let them drop and circle together. Do a few more of these on your own tempo. Just connecting your action and your breath together. Last time here. Knees come into your chest.

Take your ropes off of your feet. Bring the carriage in. Bring your feet into butterfly position. Let the knees drop open. Hands by your side.

Just take a couple deep breaths there, in through the nose and out through the mouth. So there were two high-intensity interval workouts that I've put together. This is one. So go check out the other part as well. And then you'll have 40 minutes.

Take care, everybody. I hope you liked that.


Elena S
Great as always! Thank you Maria, looking forward to another class šŸ˜˜
Loved this c)ass. Hope to have moreĀ  high intensityĀ  reformerĀ  classes.
Nicole S
Brilliant as always - I don't see the second high intensity interval class that you mentioned?
1 person likes this.
Nicole SĀ ~ The 2nd class will be on the site soon. We hope you enjoy it as well!
Loved it! I canā€™t find the second HIIT class?
Katherine P
Great Class, Maria!
That was lovely and just what I needed! šŸ’—
BethĀ ~ The second class will be on the site soon! We hope you enjoy it as well!
Briana B
Looking forward to the second HITT class!!
Michele M
WonderFul class! Ā Just what I needed today and loved the high intensity quick flow! Ā Thank you for sharing and look forward to more high intensity short classes soon:D
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