Class #4980

High Intensity Reformer 2

20 min - Class


Find the delicate balance of speed and control of your Reformer with this high-intensity interval Pilates workout by Maria Leone. She uses smooth transitions to help you maintain a steady tempo throughout the class. She includes simple variations to work your lower body and challenge your stability.
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box)

About This Video

Sep 05, 2022
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Maria Leone. And this is Nikki. And we're about to do a high intensity interval Pilates workout. This is the second part of our hip workouts. We're gonna be flowing for 30 seconds non-stop with 10 seconds in between.

Set your machine with one heavy spring, one light spring. And we're starting with scooter. Footbar is up. Standing leg is a little bit behind the leg that is on the machine. I'm gonna set my timer and let's begin moving.

Pushing out and in, feeling the connection of the heel to the glute. Your tempo is smooth. It's steady. And you're pushing it a little bit. Pelvis is still. The shoulders are down. You're light on your hand.

Listen for your breath. We got about 10 more seconds here. These sets are gonna feel a little bit longer than you would traditionally do in a Pilates class. Keep your flow. Keep moving. We got two more seconds. And relax.

You got 10 seconds before our next interval. Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. And find yourself in our next start position. The foot that was on the reformer is forward. You're in a low-runner stance.

And let's start moving stepping up and down. Real simple, up and down. And really pushing your tempo here. You got a couple of options with this leg. You can tap it to the machine if you're worried about balance, or you can pull that knee up high into the chest.

I'm really looking for this nice, vertical position that she's doing, because we are still doing Pilates, right? So the crown of the head is heading up. You're pushing through the heel. The whole foot is pushing that reformer away. We got about six more seconds here.

Push your tempo. Push, push, push. Yes. Nice, Nikki. For two, for one, and take a moment. You got 10 seconds.

We're going back into a scooter. This time, your leg is gonna go wide to the machine and you're taking a yellow spring off. You're in this external rotation. Take another moment or two just to feel your shape. And now let's start moving.

Pressing out and pulling in, really focusing that we're pushing from that glute. We're very light on the hand. Abdominals, of course, are lifted. It's gonna feel like you're reaching that heel back towards the back corner. And you're moving at your own tempo.

So you might be moving much quicker than Nikki. You also might be moving slower. Wherever you're at, try to keep that tempo smooth and constant. We got about three more seconds here, everybody. And you have 10 seconds here.

We're gonna move that foot in closer to you. You're still in that external rotation. You have another few moments here to breathe before we start flowing again. Take a deep breath in, and here we go. Pressing out and in.

Really feel a connection of that heel to that sit bone. Notice the shoulders are still square. The hips are square. You'll be feeling this a lot in the glute. If you can take full extension, I would prefer that.

Keep pushing yourself. Keep that body nice and still. You still got 10 seconds here. Push your speed, but try to keep control on the machine. So it's all about that delicate balance when we're doing high interval Pilate workouts.

You got about two more seconds, and we're out. Transitioning to tendon stretch. Have a seat on the machine. Take a moment here. These 10 seconds get shorter and shorter as we go through this.

Go ahead and stand yourself up into the hamstring stretch. Just take a moment here. Drop the head. And let's begin moving. Pushing through those heels and pulling yourself in and up.

Now you're gonna decide how far out you take that machine and get that carriage all the way back in. We're using a beautiful C shape here. See if you can integrate a motion of the arm, pushing that footbar away from you as you take the carriage out and in. This is a little bit long for tendon stretch. So hang in there. Use your breath.

Use your whole body. Belly button pulls in to take you up each and every time. Squeeze the carriage in. Keep listening for your breath and have a seat. You have 10 seconds here.

Catch your breath for a moment. And we're gonna transition back to scooter. So the yellow spring is going back on. Foot against the shoulder block. Standing leg behind that leg.

And here we go. Let's get moving out and in. So we're doing the same sequence now. So you know what's coming, you can focus a little bit on your form. Shoulder blades are beautifully sitting on the backside of your body.

The pelvis is nice and square. Really focusing on that glute and that hamstring. So I don't want it to be a kick from the knee. I still want you to bias the work from the glute. Even though we're moving quickly, we're still holding all of our Pilates form.

You got about two more seconds here. And take a second. Bring that foot forward for me. We're getting ready for our step ups. One more breath.

And let's start stepping up and down. Really looking for that nice vertical position here. Crown of the head to the ceiling. That standing leg is pushing the carriage away. The foot is spread.

Keep pushing. Push your tempo. Some of you can go really fast. I know you can. But if you need to go slow, go slow. If you need to tap the foot, tap the foot.

So it's about figuring out what pushes you here. You got five more seconds. For three, and two, and one. Okay, take that yellow spring off. We're setting up for the external rotation.

So just pause in your star position, get your bearings, do your little check marks: head, shoulders, pelvis, knee. And let's start moving, pressing out and in. And again, really feeling that action coming from the hip socket first before the knee. The leg straightens ideally. But I really want the push to come from the glute.

The breath is smooth and steady. You're keeping control of that machine as the carriage comes in. Using power as the carriage goes out. Neck is line with the back. Keep pushing yourself.

We got about four more seconds here. And you got 10 seconds to transition. Catch your breath. We're going narrow now. Deep breath in. Long, slow exhale.

And let's do one more breath in, long, slow exhale, and start moving. So you notice this narrower stance is just gonna hit that glute a little bit differently. Same muscle, but just a little different sensation in that glute. Notice the connection of heel to sit bone here. Body is nice and still.

So there's a lot of stabilization always involved in our scooter. Keep that emphasis on the hip socket. Push your tempo a little bit here. Keep that pace for three, and two, and one. Come on in and have a seat on your footbar.

We're setting up for tendon stretch again. Thumbs and fingers forward. You might need to give your hands a little bit of wipe. From here, stand yourself up and just enjoy the stretch for the next few moments. And let's begin moving that carriage, digging from the belly, really tucking and pulling that pubic bone up towards the ceiling, almost looking for a feeling of sensation of stretch in the lumbar spine.

Smooth and continuous, but getting that carriage all the way into the bumper each and every time. Dropping the head way down to the feet. Feeling tendon stretch through the whole body: the arms, the center, and keeping those legs so straight. I was distracting you with all my talking. You got two more seconds, guys.

And have a seat. Okay. Transitioning. Out a yellow spring to your machine. We're gonna be moving into some planking now. Find yourself up on the balls of your feet with your heels against the shoulder blocks.

Drop your head and pause here. And moving on, here's our sequence. Push to plank, shoulders over the hands. Push the carriage out. Bring yourself back, forward, and lift yourself back to the start.

So we find planks. Shoulders go forward. Push the carriage out. Come back in and lift up. Continue to move like this, planking, pushing with the arms, drawing yourself in, lifting the abdominals, moving forward. And continue.

I'm cue-ing you. I shouldn't be. You guys just keep moving. Finding your own tempo. Smooth and continuous. (laughs) And come on in. Take a second. Put your heels down.

Take a quick stretch. You got about 10 seconds. And then you're coming off the machine. Come down to the floor. Put your forearms on the machine.

And set yourself up into a forearm plank. Here you are in your forearm plank. It's a perfect forearm plank. Begin pulling one knee in and then the other knee in, and then begin to challenge your pace here. Some of you will take this all the way to a full run, driving down through those forearms the whole time.

Keeping it nice and crisp and light on the feet. I'd like that booty to stay about the same level. I don't wanna see it bouncing up and down. For three, and two, and one. From here, a little hamstring stretch.

You got 10 seconds. Maybe you add a little rotation stretch here to it as well. Okay. (laughs) Interesting interpretation. And we're coming back down again to the forearms. We're adding a twist here.

Same setup. From here, rotate to one side. Hand behind the head. And from here, we rotate down to the machine and back up. We're gonna be doing both sides here.

So sort of count them out for yourselves. This is gonna depend on your tempo. How many you'll do on each side? We're about halfway through. So change sides wherever you're at.

And then really using the center of the body to rotate, getting your shoulders square to the ground each time. And you have 10 seconds here. Take a quick hamstring stretch. Hold it there. And coming back up onto the machine. We're gonna go to that same plank series again.

This time, we're gonna add the lifting of the leg. Let's begin. Near the chest as you go to plank. Hold it there. Take the carriage out. Bring the carriage in.

And then everything lifts. Other leg pulls in. You go forward. You push the carriage out. You come in. And then you lift. The knee comes forward.

Continue on your own at your own tempo, now that you know the action. Keeping it brisk. Keeping the carriage in control. No banging like Nikki just did. And up and out.

Shoulders stay nice and wide. The belly takes you back up to the start. And we are out. Little stretch. Put your heels down. Grab, hold, and take a breath. And we are going to transition back down to the floor again.

Back to the forearms. Forearms Come on the mat. We're gonna add the movement of a leg. So come into your forearm plank. Listen carefully.

Take the right knee to right shoulder. Pull that knee across the body, twist. Go back to where it was and take the foot back to plank. Other knee lifts up. It pulls across two, back to where it was and out on your own.

Now, so there's a one, two, three action of that knee. And then quicken your tempo. Always back to that perfect plank position for me please. Keep pushing down through both forearms. It's really gonna help you to feel the weight distributed through both forearms.

We're almost done here. Pick up your tempo. And you have 10 seconds. Okay, from here, your footbar's gonna go down. And we're gonna do a spring change to a blue.

If you need a red, that's fine too. Okay, find yourself in plank position with the two feet on the edge of the reformer. And we're gonna go into a plank pike. So from here, push yourself out into plank, and then lift yourself all the way back in, pulling in tight to the bumper, just that. Continue out and in, really dropping the head.

Continue like this, squeezing all the air out of the lungs, feeling the belly button pull all the way up into the lumbar spine. Try to keep the achilles tendon long and the heels dropping down, continuing at your own pace here, and then finding a way to utilize your breath. You got about three more seconds here, everyone. And last time here. And come down and onto your knees.

Take a quick child's pose, and then transition to seated position facing the camera. Two feet on the floor. And we're gonna start to move into some squats here. So lift your tail off. The machine hands are in prayer.

And then stand up. And then we're back to squat, and pushing through, and sit. So we're not sitting on the machine again, unless you have to sit on the machine again. That's fine. Keep your breath, keep your movement.

Some of you will take this into a jump now. So vertical jump, nice and light, easy-breezy. Quicken that tempo. We got about four more seconds here. Nice and light when you land.

And have a seat. Moving back to the machine for me please. Into a forearm plank, you don't have to move just yet. We're almost done. But we're gonna add that one, two, three action of the knee that we did earlier on.

Here we go. Push into plank. Take the right knee and take it over, across, back to where you started. Pull the carriage in all the way. Back out, the knee lifts right away.

Two, three, and pull in, back to your plank and continue on your own here. Really utilizing that twist, pushing down through those forearms. Feel the position of the neck. Get the carriage all the way into the bumper. Move quickly, but have control of your carriage for me please.

One, two, three, and down to your knees, and into a little rest position. Pause here. Okay, we're gonna go back to your squat. We're adding a little combo here. So be in your start position.

And from here, stand yourself up. Come all the way down onto your back into crisscross. And we twist one, two, three, and then you come up from your squat. And you come down and you twist one, two, three, and you come up. Continue like this at your own tempo, taking that little jump at the top or simply standing up and sitting back down.

And again, I encourage you to really move at your own pace. I do encourage you to go quick if you can go quick. But if that's not available to you, just move slowly. I teach workouts like this to people of all ages, of all sizes, of all shapes. And we're done with that.

You got 10 seconds you probably needed at this moment. We're going back for our last interval here. Come down onto the machine. We're going into a plank, but you're gonna adjust your hands down closer towards the footbar, because we're going to a headstand's feeling, not a real headstand. So let's begin.

Push out to plank. From here, lift the hips up high. The hips get right over the shoulders. And then back to plank. And we're gonna add on, pulling into that handstand, lifting one leg up and down, the other leg up and down, and into your plank.

So any option works for me. Just continue to move taking the simpler version of the exercise or the more challenging one like Nikki is doing. Actually, anything if as long as you're moving works for me, keep moving for me. Perfect plank. When you go into that plank, reaching the foot to the sky if you're doing that more advanced variation.

And we're almost done here. Keep using your breath to help you. About three more seconds. And bring the carriage in and take yourself down to your knees. Take a little stretch.

Okay, we're gonna begin our cool-down now. So come on to your back. I'm gonna put her machine on two reds. And we're gonna do some leg circles. So the loops go onto her feet.

But we're gonna use your leg circle as a cool-down. So we're gonna move really slow here. Start with the legs straight in front of you. And then slowly bring your legs up to 90 degrees. And really let the sacrum be really heavy here and encourage that nice feeling in the hamstrings.

Go ahead and open the legs wide. Pause here for a minute. Make sure the knees are soft. Allow gravity to do the work for you. And then you use your breath here.

Circle the legs down and together. Let's move a little quicker this time. So the legs come up and the legs open. Pull the legs around. The belly is tight. And take the legs up and open them wide and circle them down and together.

Last time here. Open, circle them down and together. Take the legs up, open them wide, stay here, and just let your hips kind of rock from side to side, taking a little bit more stretch into one inner thigh, and then the other inner thigh. Bring your feet together. Find a butterfly position and allow the feet to come down, either to the carriage or down into the well.

Palms are by the side. You've placed the rope somewhere where it's comfortable. And just stay here and take a deep breath in, and a long exhale out. So this is one of two high intensity interval Pilate workouts. So you can always go and check out my other one as well.

Thank you for joining me. Bravo to Nikki. (claps) See y'all later.


Loved this Maria. The studios I'm working out are demanding more and more dynamic, high intensity classes and it's really not my background and training, so loved this. Felt it's a good achievable class for everyone. Can't wait to use it soon. 
Looking forward to trying this one!  I have one question though, can you offer a substitution for tendon stretch?  I can’t do that one due to shoulder issues.  

Enjoying this series.  Thank you.
Julia  M
Love this! I Would love to see more classes like this from you. Thanks for sharing
I love this series!!! I really feel like I can push my boundaries. Thank you Maria. 
Sweaty sports bras in Pilates? Sure; all the time. But dripping in sweat all over Pilates? Not so much. 

Maria, such a great HIIT class on the reformer that is totally doable for most since you utilized Pilates exercises that everyone is familiar with (and should be proficient in if you're doing this class). No crazy made-up exercises that increase intensity but also are precarious and/or unsafe for many. 

Thank you again for this series. Really enjoying it.
1 person likes this.
Maria is one of the VERY BEST! Thank you!
I love this scooter series … the going up front in the middle of the scooters is very effective - I also like the headstand pikes super hard great pace great cuing but is it more “outer core” ? it feels like it’s too fast to really get inner core with this style I still loved it just saying - I felt more inner core with the 20 min fast paced arm - amazing instructor!!! 
Lynn E
Wow!!  Love this class for those clients who don't like too much of the slow, controlled, gentle Pilates type workouts. 
Michele M
Another amazing practice in a short period of time!  Just what I needed today and loved the fast controlled pace and fun balancing exercises! Thank you Maria!:D
Awesome workout 🙏🙌
1-10 of 15

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