Class #4978

Traditional Reformer Flow

30 min - Class


Learn how you can make every exercise work for your body in this quick Reformer workout by Maria Leone. She teaches Nicky, who is a Pilates instructor, and Kenny, who is a professional football player, showing how she makes adjustments to help each of them work in their range. She includes a combination of strengthening and stretching movements so that you can work your whole body in a balanced way.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Jul 11, 2022
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

I'm Maria Leone. And today, we're gonna be doing a traditional fast-paced Pilate's workout with Nicky and Nicky's student Kenny who's a professional football player. So keep your eye on these two, 'cause I'm gonna be treating their bodies a little bit different. Let's get started. Come on to your backs. We're gonna begin with footwork.

The headrest is up. I have Nicky on three reds and a blue. I have Kenny on all of the springs. So onto your back with your feet wide on the ball of the feet. The heels are lifted.

Hands stay by your side, the abdominals pull in, and let's get moving, pushing all the way out and all the way in. The legs are externally rotated. We're driving the carriage from the inner thigh and immediately thinking about taking that energy right up through the crown of the head for me, pulling the ribs right outta the legs. Two more here, all the way out, and in, last time out into the halfway point, and pause. From here, little pulses up here, and these pulses are coming from the inner thighs for me, please, not the knees.

Maintain the height on those heels. Take a little scan, make sure the shoulders, the neck, the back are relaxed, and now freeze where you're at, and the heels go down and up. So we're rolling through the foot. You'll notice the carriage is nice and still. We're warming up the feet here.

We're gonna use this movement again a little bit later. For three and two and one. From here, press the carriage out all the way, create length, come all the way in. Heels on the bar parallel right away. The knees point straight up.

Let's start moving out and in and two and in. Keep pulling that spine long. Nicky's gonna transfer to a single leg here. Kenny's staying on two legs. If you're doing single leg, count them out.

Do equal amounts on each side, about five. Last time everybody, come on in, two heels on the bar, take the carriage out halfway, and little pulses here again. Really encouraging that the kneecap is pointed directly straight up and that action's coming directly from the glute. For three and two and one. Press out all the way for me, come all the way in, 10 toes onto the bar right away.

Press the carriage out, create length, and the heels go down and up. Lower and lift, lower and lift. And the weight is right over those big toes. And it's a lower, not a drop. For five and four, let's pick up the tempo, and three, and two, and one, and come on in.

Something just a little bit different. Press right back out. We're gonna stay on the right leg only. Right heel goes down and up, down and up, down and up. Yeah, and just leave that left leg up on that foot bar.

Bias the work all into one foot, and come on in, all the way in, and take it right back out, and the other foot goes down and up, down and up. So we kind of save ourselves a little time here without having to get up and do a spring change. For three, really working that calf, two, right over the big toe. And everybody come in for me. We're gonna move into bridging.

The headrest goes down, set yourself up on your heels, and we're gonna be bridging up and down in and out of a neutral position. From here, press your hips straight up. Really opening the front of the hip socket. The hips go straight down, and right back up, two, and taking it down, right back up, three, and down. and the carriage is not moving, back up, four, and down, back up, five, and pause here.

We're gonna move in a triangle pattern. Take your hips one side, lower yourself down, one glute will touch the machine, and then back to the top. The hips travel the other direction, and up to the tip of the triangle, down, and up, pushing through those hips, lower and lift and lower and lift. So the pelvis is doing this nice little rotation here. Try to keep your knees and feet as still as you can.

And just changing this angle on the thigh bone changes how your hamstrings are being engaged. Come back to the top, pause here, lower it back down. I'm gonna split these two into two different levels. Come back to the top. Kenny's gonna stay here at the top and take little pulses.

Nicky's gonna lift one leg up. Go ahead and start pulsing Kenny. Nope, just straight up. And she's gonna do that triangle pattern again. So it's pretty challenging to keep that triangle pattern with just a single leg.

Even it out for me, Nicky. Keep moving for me, Kenny. You're doing great. Really pivoting those hips if you're doing the single leg, trying to keep the stillness in the knee. Last time, and all the way down for me, everybody.

Hug your knees into your chest. We're gonna do a spring change. You can stay there, Kenny. We're setting up for supine arms. I'm putting Kenny on two heavy springs and a medium spring.

Headrest is going up loops into your hands, everybody and legs to tabletop. We're gonna start with the simple supine arm circles. The arms open to a T and the arms push down to the hips. Inhale as the arms come up, open, exhale, close. Nicky's gonna add some legs to this, challenging the work of the core.

So the legs could be at tabletop, but they could be anywhere in between tabletop and a straight leg position. Front ribs to back ribs, coordinated with the breaths. And now we're gonna add the lifting of the head and shoulders, arms come up, open, exhale, lift, lower, up, open, exhale, lift, again, lower, open. Moving from the center of the body. Two more here, up, open, exhale, finding that lap, up, open, and lower everything down.

And the two feet go down. Good. From here, legs back to tabletop, hands to the ceiling, lift the top of your body up, hands go down, stay here, pull one knee in and stretch the other leg over the bar, single leg stretch, change and change and change and change. Nicky's gonna take this to two legs out and in, change and change, the shoulders stay down, the belly stays driving into the lower back, three more, for three, and two, and one, knees in and everything goes down, okay. For the next series, I always try to do a series with the head and shoulders down. So head and shoulders down for everybody, legs to tabletop, arms into a beautiful T.

And now, really focusing on that lap, pull the arms into the hips, inhale as you open, exhale, back down. And inhale as you open, exhale, down, and pause. Now, we're gonna add the motion of the legs. The legs lower as you open. The legs come in as you close.

The legs lower and then pulling in, and the lower back is very, very still for me. Really feel the control in the lower abdominals, keeping that lower spine absolutely neutral. And you can see that they're doing two different movement patterns, each appropriate for their size and their shape. Last time here, beautiful guys, arms up, and the two feet go down onto the bar. Great, you guys.

Moving on to pulling straps. So up you go. The box is gonna come onto the machine in the long position. The foot bars are going down, and you're gonna lay on top of your machine. Now, Kenny's gonna be on one heavy and one medium spring, and Nicky's gonna be on just one heavy spring. Choke up on the ropes.

You can go ahead and begin, Nicky, pulling the arms back to lift and lowering everything back down. Inhale, pull the arms back, the chest goes forward, and then lowering it down. Energy out through the legs, energy out through the crown of the head and lowering down. The placement of the legs, they might be wide or they might be all the way together. Definitely more challenging with the legs together, but also a little safer on the lower back when the legs are spread wide.

Make sure you're moving from that bra line. And the shoulder blades are staying sliding down on that back. Everybody down and take a moment. Slide your hands down to the very end of the loop. And we're going into a giant T position.

The arms reach east and west. We're gonna pull the arms into the body and then slowly open. Finding again, that connection right to the lap. The head is right in line with the upper back. There's a beautiful straight line out through the legs and even out through the toes.

Now, some of you will add extension. You can follow Nicky, or just stay simple here with what Kenny's doing. One more here, and let's lower the body down for a moment. Let the whole body just round and the head drop. We're gonna move into a kickback.

So the spine comes back, neutral, pull the elbows in by your side and begins swinging like a pendulum, out and in, out and in. And some of you can follow Nicky and add extension to this as well, or just stay neutral here, hugging the elbows in, feeling that energy out through the legs and the feet, pointing those toes. Last time here. And lowering everything all the way down. Okay. We're moving to a rollback series.

So sit yourselves up, have a seat right at the edge of your box with the two feet on the headrest. So for Kenny, I wanna make sure I have him forward enough so that most of his back is supported. Let's start beautifully tall for me. Tuck the tailbone under, peel all the way back into full extension if that works for you. If you get dizzy, it's really not worth it.

Chin in, peel in, and all the way back up. Take a breath in here, and exhale, tuck, and peel yourself down. Opening the chest at the bottom. The chin comes in and peel in and up. Let's do one more like that.

Inhale here, exhale, tuck, and a beautiful sequencing down through the spine. Opening the chest. Chin comes in, keep the arms low, and challenge yourself as you come up. Moving on, Nicky's gonna start in a ball shape. Like rolling like a ball.

From here, we're rolling down to the bra line. Nicky's gonna hit hundred position. It's a beautiful hundred. And then right back up into a tight ball for Nicky, and again, tuck, and reaching the legs out. Legs are glued together so tight, and right back into that tight ball shape.

Inhaling and exhale, sequencing down. Collarbones are beautifully wide. They're so beautiful together. One more, just 'cause I wanna watch it. (laughs) Tuck and roll back.

Take a breath in and exhale all the way up and take a moment. And now, we're gonna change your grip. Grab your hands right on top of your loops. Roll back to your bra line again. Just to the bra line.

From here, bring one leg up to tabletop, anchoring from the belly. Then the other leg comes to tabletop. Stay here. The arms are straight. From here, press the arms open and then let them close, and press open, two, keeping the leg supported from the belly, keeping the chest lifted high for me. I don't care how high the arms go, but I do want you anchored down from the center of the body.

Big exhale as the arms explode out and away from the center. Let's do two more. And last time everyone. Come on in, the two feet go down, and bring yourself up. Okay. Moving on to traditional short box.

We come off the machine. We're gonna take the box. Notice Kenny's box is a different size and shape than Nicky's. We're going over the shoulder blocks, but you work it out on your machine. Just make sure you have the side over strap available. You can start moving and follow Nicky, doing flat back while I set Kenny up.

Scoot yourself back. Be nice and tall. And let's meet together. Stay here. Kenny's hands are going behind his head. Inhale here, exhale, straight back, straight flat back, and then all the way up, getting nice and tall. And again, hinging back, pausing there, and all the way up.

You should have a little shake if you're doing it really well. Take it straight back, pause, and all the way up and stay here. We're gonna move on. We're rotating just to one side. So we twist to the right.

We do that same hinge straight back. We rotate right away up and all the way across to the left side. All the way vertical. We twist to the right. We hinge back, and then twist and lift all the way up. Again, to the right, lengthening back.

I don't care how low you go. Twist immediately to come up. Beautiful guys. Again, twist and reach out, one straight piece, come all the way up, twist. Let's do one more, and take it back. Your hands are too close, Miss Low, and all the way up and rotate and stay right here for me now.

Now, we go to the other side, and we hinge to that side. Rotate across and all the way, open with the chest, and back and hinge from the hip and all the way up. The weight is on two sit bones throughout, and again, reaching back, long body, don't care how low it is. All the way up, protect that lower back, and twist and reach, and twist in all the way up. Use a little bit more breath, Kenny, and again, take it back, and all the way up.

Come center. Open your feet wide here. A little stretch. The feet are going wide on the machine. Bend forward. Grab the edge of the carriage, stay here, and just take a couple of breaths into the backside of your body. All right, we're moving on to side overs.

Up we go. I want you to sit facing camera if you're at home. Kenny, come to your left tip. You can follow Nicky, and the right foot goes into the strap. Nicky start moving for me while I adjust Kenny. Yes, straight up.

Hands behind the head, and straight side and straight up. Pause at the up for me, Nicky. And let's move together over and up. Now, you're gonna choose where you wanna be with your arms. Both of them are pretty hard.

Certainly the arm straight is a little bit harder. Two more here, and all the way up, and last time, inhale over, exhale all the way up. Go all the way down into the well, take any stretch that you want. Anything that feels good. One deep breath in and one deep breath out.

All right, let's come up and do the other side. Up you go. Seated on the side of one hip. If you're ready, you can start moving with Nicky as I adjust Kenny. Right knee over there, left foot up. You're gonna choose where the arms are.

Keep flowing for me. That's beautiful, Kenny. Over and up from that waistline. I want you pushing that top leg into the strap the whole time, and the spine grows tall throughout. Bring that head back a little bit for me, Kenny. Yes. Big exhale, up, over, and up.

Just one more here. Keep that head back, Kenny, and up, and down, and take a stretch for me please. Good. Take a deep breath in here. And a long slow exhale, and up we go. We're taking the boxes off. You can get rid of them.

We're done with them for the workout. You are going to straddle your machine and face the back. We're going into a little rowing series. Ken is on a heavy spring. Nicky is on a heavy spring as well.

So we're gonna cross the rope, straddle the machine, and then stand yourself up. And then you're gonna scoot yourself back so that in standing, you have no slack on the ropes. We're in a deep end. From here, we exhale, we pull straight back and forward. Two more like this. Pull and forward.

Last time, pull and forward. Now, we're gonna add that little releve. Pull the elbows back, pause, the heels go up, down, back forward, the arms pull back, pause, up, down. Keep the chest high, pull back, pause, the heels go up, down, arms forward. Hold that head up, Kenny, pull, up, down, and forward.

Last one, pull, up, down, arms forward, look down. Make sure the machine is in. Have a seat. A lot of people fall into the well on that. Believe it or not. Indeed, they do. All right, right back up.

You're back up. You got choices here. So you might start just with two arms, back. You can stay with that or go to a single arm. Up to you. Choose what you wanna do. A few of you might follow Nicky and try lifting the heels up.

That's super, super rough. Kenny's gonna keep his heels down, but his chest lifted. Keep your breath, keep moving, keep flowing for me guys. It's looking really nice. Crown of the head to the ceiling.

Like you're holding the ceiling up, integrating breath, and last time like this. Make sure that machine is in, and then have a seat. Up we go. Turn and face this way. We're gonna go to some single arm work. Nicky's gonna be on a medium spring, and Kenny is going to be on a heavy spring, and we're gonna start with sword.

So the right arm presses out. Go ahead and start moving, and take it in. Right back out, two, and it's a back hand, and in, right back out, three, have the hand in close to your body, Kenny, as you come through. To the shoulder and out, and in, really connecting to the back of that shoulder, pushing down through the shin bones, feeling that nice beautiful plum line from the crown of the head. Last time here, lower it down.

The loop goes into your left hand and then scoot yourself out a little bit to the right. We're going a tree hug. The arms are out, exhale to close from the chest. Control the carriages you open, and exhale, pull, close, belly button stays drawing in as always. And again, exhale, close, and open.

Adding on. Pull the arms close, pause. From here, rotate across, come back center, open the arms. And pull the arms close, pause, and then rotate the trunk. Come back to where you were, and open the arms. Two more here.

Pause, then twist, back center, and open. Last time, pause, twist, back center, and open, lower the arms down, and let's go to the other side. So find yourself on the other side. However, that makes sense for you. You're on your two knees.

Oh, there are being all choreographed and all fancy. (chuckles) (hands slapping) Onto your knees. And we're starting with sword. From there, the arm press is straight out and straight in, back out, two, and in, and the arm is coming right across the body guys, and in. We are targeting here that posterior delt, and in, Keep growing tall, press, and in. Two more, push those shins down, and in. Last time here, press, and in.

Change to your other hand for tree hug. You might need to slide out a little bit away from the shoulder blocks. The arms are up and pulling the arms closed, keeping the chest high and open, and pulling closed, two, and open. lower your hands Miss Low, and three, and open. Right from the chest, and open.

Last one here. And now we add to this. So the arms close, pause, rotate the trunk, come back center, and open the arms. Pull the arms close, pause. Move from the rib cage to rotate, back center, and open. Again, pull close, and twist, back center, and open.

Keeping those shoulder blades wide on the back. Twist, center. Last time and close, and twist, back center, and open, lower down. Moving on to traditional knee stretch series. The foot bar goes up.

I'm putting Kenny on two heavy springs and a medium spring. It still might be too light for him. Onto your knees, facing forward, hands on the foot bar, round out your back. The tail is tucked. The legs start pumping.

Out, in, out in, out, in, and the back is round. Out, in, drawing that tail under each and every time, the arms anchor, but you are not pushing from that arm guys, just the legs. And it's a pump, and try to tuck that tail under for three, for two, stay in, one, stay here without moving the carriage. Maintain that beautiful round shape. And now from here, float those knees up one inch, and lowering it down, carriage still.

And again, lift those knees up and lower and again, lift and the tail point straight down and lower. Last time, lift, and lower. Your choice to keep the knees down or up. Up if you're lifting up. Same knee stretch again. The legs go out, in, out, in, out, in, out, in.

Keeping that tail really pointed straight down for me, using the breath, for three, and two, and one, moving into elephant. So we're standing right up. The feet are flat against the shoulder blocks. I'm gonna have Kenny just hold the position. Nicky is gonna move.

The heels are pressing down. The sit bones are lifting. The shoulder blades are wide, and the breath is nice and full and steady. Remembering that stretching is a neuromuscular experience. Two more here. And moving out of this, have a seat on your foot bar.

I'm gonna make an adjustment to Kenny's foot bar because of his size. Thumbs and fingers go forward. Place your feet out in front of you. And then a little set of dips. Taking yourself down and up and two and up.

We're gonna really keep that chest lifted. We're not gonna worry about how low we're going at all. I want those elbows pointing straight back and nice stabilization in the shoulder girdle, using the breath for three and press back up, two, and back up, one, and have a seat. We're gonna move to one side of the machine for what I'm calling pop up to pike. Kenny's gonna be on a red spring.

I'm gonna put Nicky on a blue spring, and we start in psoas stretch with the right foot forward and the left foot back. Come down to your psoas stretch, stay here. And now from here, we bring the carriage in, we round the back and lift up, and then step right back down, excellent. And again, rounding the back to lift and stepping down, adding that feeling of extension like Nicky if you'd like, and stepping down, and again, lifting, getting that carriage in, and down. Just one more here guys, and lift, stretch that leg, and take it down, and up and around to the other side.

I am gonna get him to point his toe very soon. You'll see. It's coming now on this side. (chuckles) So starting just in that psoas stretch for me, and take a breath here and enjoy the stretch. Your hands are gonna be fairly close to you on the foot bar. And now from here, pulling the carriage in, lifting the hips, stretching the bottom leg, and lower down. That was a point of toe, everybody.

And again, and lifting up, and beautiful landing. And again, using everything you've got, and lower it back down. And again, abdominals arms and take it down. Last time here, and lift, lift, lift, and lowering it down. Bring this carriage in for me.

Have a seat on your machine, facing forward, open your feet wide, and bend yourself forward by hands and go all the way down to the ground. Stay here, and just take a nice deep breath into the back of the lungs and a long slow exhale out through the mouth. Slowly bring yourself up. Some of you might get a little bit dizzy as that head comes up. Bring the palms up on the knees. Close the eyes.

Take a moment just to feel the sensations in the body, the sensation of being energized and grounded at the same time. Take a deep breath in through the nose and a long slow exhale out through the mouth, and we are done for today. Thank you for joining me. Thank you, Kenny. Thank you.

Thank you, Kenny. (hands slapping) Thank you, Nicky. See y'all later.


Thank you Maria, Nikki & Kenny. All the essentials and more, feels great!
Nice class ! Volume was low though..
1 person likes this.
Thank you for sharing, Maria(Nikki and Kenny too!)! Such a great, safe, flow of movements. I feel great!
Thanks so much! I appreciated the progressions and regressions. Great to see different frames move well! 
Stephanie N
1 person likes this.
Thought this was an awesome flow with great variation based on size ,shape and strength !!! Thought football players would be muscle bound and inflexible ,was very pleasantly surprised by Kenny s ,ROM ,flexibility and awesome posture !!!
Maria certified me in Pilates. She is one of the best teachers … Thank you!
Wonderful! Can we have more of these please?!
1 person likes this.
Kecpotter ~ Maria has more videos from this series coming soon! We hope you enjoy them as well!
Ruchi K
i love this class and lovely transition from one move to another. 
My new favorite! Thanks so much. :)
1-10 of 21

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin