Class #4982

Vertical Workout

30 min - Class


You will get a full-body workout without lying down in this creative Reformer workout by Maria Leone. She uses minimal spring changes and exercises that are standing or seated to keep you flowing from one movement to the next. She includes a mix of the traditional repertoire and innovative variations to keep you engaged throughout the class.
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box)

About This Video

Jul 25, 2022
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

I'm Maria Leone, and today we're doing a vertical workout which means you will not be laying down on your stomach or your back. I have Ryan here joining me today, he's been practicing Pilates on and off for a few years and he'll be doing some different variations of what I'm doing. Let start standing. Your foot bar is down and I have my machine on one heavy spring. Bring your hands down to the edge of your carriage, open your feet, hip distance.

From here, press the carriage out and take your chest down into the well, lifting the sit bones to the sky. Take a moment to feel your weight on all four limbs. From here, round your back and bring the carriage into a strong cat. Again, lift the sit bones up, take the carriage out, the spine is long, abdominals lifted and rounding the back. Maybe there's a softness in the knee.

Again, taking the carriage out. And exhaling, rounding the back. Take the carriage back out, pause here, we're gonna change. Inhale, lift the chest up and then take the carriage right back out. And again, inhale to lift.

And really let the weight of the spine move the carriage. Inhale to lift. And exhale, lower back down, weight on all four limbs, inhale. And exhale back down, finding width between the shoulder blades. Round your back, bring the carriage in, soften the knees, peel slowly all the way up and step around to one side of your machine so that you can see me.

One foot under the reformer, the other foot turned out and against the shoulder blocks, the arms come up. This is a standing mermaid. From here, side bend, push the leg out and lean into the carriage, just enjoying that little side stretch and then lift yourself back up. And again, the weight moves, that takes the carriage out, armpit to the ceiling and all the way up. Two more here, up and over.

This should feel good on your body. And up, last time here, and up and over. And all the way up. We're gonna transition, the hands come to the shoulder blocks. Take one foot back to the ledge, the other foot back to the ledge and find yourself in a perfect plank.

Sandwich the legs, let's start moving the carriage out and in. You'll notice the carriage is light, the body is still. The neck is long. Last time, and come right down to your knees. You can hook your feet over the edge, hands into the loops.

We're into chest expansion. Arms pull back and the arms come forward. The arms pull back, you get tall, and the arms come forward. If you need more tension, choke up and the arms come forward. And drawing the arms back and forward.

Last time, pull them back, take the arms forward, put the loops down. Step off your machine to the other side, you're gonna have my back, and bring the foot up against the shoulder block, again, the leg is turned out arms to a T. Standing mermaid, here we go. Pressing out. Arm reaches up over the head and then all the way back vertical.

And again, using your body weight here to facilitate that stretch, and all the way up. And again, reaching out listening for that breath and all the way up. And last time, reach energy through the fingertips, all the way up. Pause here, hands to the shoulder blocks. Step one foot back to the ledge, the other foot back to the ledge, you're in perfect plank again.

And the carriage moves out and in. And the abdominals are staying engaged. Of course, the neck is long. Squeeze the legs a little tighter together. So the more you can use the legs here, the better.

Last time, come down to your knees, and we're gonna do proper chest expansion this time. So we're gonna add the motion of the head. Find your start position. Pull the arms back, pause here, turn your head right, left, center the arms, come forward. Pull back and pause.

Turn left, right, center, the arms come forward. Getting tall, arms pull back. Right, left, center, arms move forward. Pull the arms back and left, right, center, come forward. Put your loops down, have a seat facing the back.

We're gonna move into some traditional rowing and then change that. So the arms are gonna start up in 90 degrees, glue your sit bones, be very tall, hinge back from the hips, straight back, pause here and right back up. Again, in one piece, press back and all the way up. Make sure the spine is staying neutral. Tipping back off the sit bones, and all the way up.

Last time, reach all the way up, cross your ropes, straddle your machines, a little different row now. Stand yourself up. Make sure there's no slack on your ropes, belly in, tail down and begin to pull the arms back behind you and forward. And I'd like you to try to find the connection of the arms to the back. So the action begins by you pulling those shoulder blades together and the arm is the follow through.

My preference is palms up when you pull, but it doesn't really matter too much. Pull, and pull. Using your breath, the breath works really nicely with this one. Last time. And we transitioned, pitch forward from the hip, put the loops down.

The hands come to the shoulder blocks. Some of you might need to scoot forward a little bit and now begin to push the carriage out and in. And it's not gonna feel that heavy right now on those arms. I want your creases of your elbows spinning up and I want the weight on your legs. It's very tempting here just to lean into your hands, don't do that.

The back is long, the head is still in line. Bring the carriage in, lift your trunk upright, I know those legs are still working. From here, we go side to side. One side to the other, staying low in your shape. Checking in with where that tail is pointed, very important.

For five, and four, and three, and two, and one. Come center, sit yourself down, uncross the ropes, we're going back to that first rowing and adding just a little bit. The arms come up to 90 degrees, stay here. And from here, hinge straight back. Come straight up, open the arms, and back up.

And hinge and up, and a little bicep curl, keep the upper arm still and back and lift in one piece, open, bicep curl. And back, and up, and open. Bicep curl, pause, cross your ropes, you know what's coming, straddle the machine. Lift yourself up. Begin with that basic row.

And then some of you might begin to pull just one arm at a time, it's up to you. Also, if you're super extra special, you might try lifting your heels up. I'm not even gonna demonstrate it. You know what it looks like, so go ahead and do it if that's a good fit for you. Remember to connect though to how we're moving the arms.

Shoulder blade and then arms, shoulder blade and then arms. Last time here. And from here pitching forward, the back is flat, hands on the shoulder blocks. And start with two hands pushing out and in. And then some of you are gonna go just to a single arm.

It actually feels really nice. It's very doable. But particularly if you have a shoulder issue, you might just wanna stay with the two hands. (exhales sharply) Listen to the breath. Calm your mind, feel where your body is in space.

Last time. Hands behind the head. And we go into our side bend, side to side. And if you're super extra, go ahead and lift those heels up. Maybe if it's just for a rep or two, challenging yourself for five, and four, and three, and two, and one, come center.

Lower down, you should have a lot of heat in those legs now. (chuckles) Come on up. And unhook your ropes. We're doing something very unusual now. Come all the way to the back of your machine.

Ow. Straddle the machine. And we're back in this low shape again. Let's start by lifting the arms up, circling them back behind you, put them down on the frame. Yes I said that.

One foot against the shoulder block, other foot against the shoulder block, and you might need to position yourself a little bit here. Reposition yourself. From here, we pull the carriage back. It actually feels really nice, and it's fun. Round the back and forward.

Stay high, pull, curl the tail under and get tall each time. Big exhale, back. See how far you can get your hips back. Pull them back and exhale. Last one, and exhale, and straddle.

We're gonna reach forward, we're gonna grab these shoulder blocks again. Feel familiar? Pull in and out, and two and out. And it's the same form, the back is nice and flat guys. Connect to your breath.

And you might move quicker than me, that's fine. Last one. Stay here. Lift the arm straight up. Circle them back behind you, again, put them on the frame.

This time, the two feet go together in the center. From here, bend your knees and lift your hips up. Pull the shoulder blades together and lower down. And again, bend the knees, push through the hips. Use your shoulder blades and take it back down.

And again, lift. A feeling of a tuck on the tailbone please. And take it back. And last time, lift and tuck the tail. Take it back.

Straddle the machine. Reach forward for those shoulder blocks. Option to do one arm at a time now. Keeping the shoulders out of the ears. Finding a way to use your legs to help you here.

The back is staying nice and straight. (exhales sharply) And I like the elbows to point straight back. And my wrist by the way is nice and straight as well. So I'm really using my fingers here to help me. Last one.

Stay here, lift the arms up. Circle them back behind you. The hands come back, the feet come back around the shoulder blocks, and we do a little combo here. So we're gonna pull the hips back, take them forward, bend the knees and lift up. Pull your hips back, round your back.

Come forward, bend the knees and lift, head to the ceiling. And again, round the back, come forward, push your hips up. Last time, pull back, come forward and lift, come back and step outta here. One foot out the other foot out. Grab your loops 'cause we're gonna need them, repeg them, and step to this side of your reformer.

We're setting up for scooter. So the hands are behind the back. The foot on the ground is behind the foot on the machine. Back flat, and we're gonna press out and we're gonna pull in. So we got nothing here to help us with our balance.

So just keep that in mind. It's helpful if you engage that glute and then keep it engaged throughout. (exhales sharply) My preference is the spine is neutral, but if you wanna do this in a rounded lower back, that's fine. Two more. Last time.

Hopefully my head's not too low. (chuckles) It always is. Stay in, have a seat facing forward. We're gonna go to rowing facing front. A little bit more traditional this time, the legs are straight and the hands are by the hips, and we're gonna build this as I normally do.

Round the back, press the arms forward, pause, spin the biceps up. Feel the weight heavy on the back of your sit bones and come back to the start. Inhale here on the exhale, round the back, the lower back moves backwards. And all the way back to your start. One more here.

Rounding, lengthening the spine in this beautiful round shape, and back to your start. We're gonna move on this time. Dive back forward, stay here. From here, we roll all the way up, the hands move with you, they arrive over the head, palms out. And then push the arms down and back to the hips.

And again, exhale forward. And peel yourself up bone by bone by bone, reach for the sky, and then explode those arms down for me. And again, changing the lower back, rolling yourself up, the palms go up, press those arms down. Last time, round the back, peel all the way up. Reach for the sky, press the arms down and moving to your other side for scooter.

Find that start position. Reminder, the foot on the leg is behind the leg on the machine. And from here, the back is flat and pushing with that heel out and in, to and in. And then just continue to flow here. Listening for your breath.

Allowing moments in your workout where your breath becomes the soundtrack. (exhales sharply) Connect with that heel, connect with the glute. Feel very square in the shoulders and the pelvis, last one. And back on your machine. We're going back to that same rowing, but we're gonna reverse it this time.

And it looks really pretty. (chuckles) But that's not why we're doing it. Arms to the side, reach the arms out and up over the head. From here, dive like you're diving over a giant ball, and then roll yourself in and sit up. The arms reach straight up over the head, reach for the sky.

Really start this at the top round and reach, reach, reach, reach, reach. At the last minute, let everything come in and peel up through the spine. The arms reach out and up, belly tight and then dive. Long neck, and the hands come in and up. We got one more left arms go out and up.

Ribs are tight and then move from your spine to create that round shape, all the way in and slowly up. Okay, put your ropes down, stepping off your machine to the front of your reformer. Cross one leg over like so. I recommend hands here, I recommend that you come full. So we're doing curtsy lunges from here, stepping up and tapping the machine and lowering down.

My first one was a little wobbly. Up and down, and up and down. Control, control, control, getting nice and vertical. Crown of the head to the ceiling, two more and now stay up on the machine and set up for skater. Bending both knees deeply, hands behind the back, back is flat.

Stand on the leg that's on the frame and then pressing out and pulling in and the knees are really like headlights here, pointed straight ahead the whole time. And then I want you to work on the out and the in. Concentric eccentric. Concentric, eccentric. I'm gonna be quiet for a bit, so you can just listen to your own breath.

(exhales sharply) Last time like that. And then slowly stand yourself up. Moving into a little set of squats. So we're gonna bend down and we're gonna stand up. The hips go straight back and straight forward.

Last one, and pause here. Same thing on a single leg. This leg is gonna stay straight. So we squat down and we come up, and we squat down. So your body is not moving out at all.

You're seeing right over your legs. Hinge at the hip and lift, hinge from the hip. Perfect Pilates posture, hinge, and up. Last one, hinge and up, and now we get to go down the way we came up. You know what that means?

We're into our curtsy. So we're gonna step down and up, to and up. Careful of this front knee and up. Inhale and exhale. (exhales sharply) Try to keep that machine from making noise.

Last one, we're coming down, we're staying down and we're turning around, you're gonna have my back. So starting with that curtsy, crossover, get your bearings, hands to prayer, back is flat, and stepping up. Up to down, up two. (inhales sharply) And three. Body should be feeling really good by now.

Five. Energy all the way through the top of the head. Two more. Stay up, bend your knees, setting up for skater. That leg pushes out and in.

And two. Check in with your head, and I'm gonna go silent for a bit. (exhales sharply) (inhales sharply) Two more. Come in, stand yourself up. Preparing our squats, lowering down, hands to prayer.

Hips push forward, you go up. Down for two and up, down for three and up and pause. Into that single leg variation. The leg on the frame bends, you go down, you go up, you go down and you go up. So it's the same action, the only difference is you have one leg straight.

So it feels really different on the body, but try to approach this in that same way. Hinge and up, the tail lifts, the tail goes back down. (exhales sharply) Last time. Stay here, hands to prayer, bend forward. We're coming down, step down to curtsy and up.

Down, two and up. Use your whole body guys. Almost, don't do it, almost like you're gonna jump here at the top, but don't do it. Don't ever try it, but just an image in your mind's eye. Exploding up, exploding up, last time, step down and we stay down and we bring the footbar up.

And we add a yellow. Back to some traditional things. Up stretch. We're on the ball of your foot. Your weight is back on your feet, your shoulder blades are wide.

The first action, push the carriage open, lower the hips, pause here. You're in a plank, the head and shoulder should be up. Open the chest Ryan, pull the carriage back to your start, back to that triangle. Again, push out, open the chest here, lift the hips up and bring it in. One more here, push out, the head and shoulders come up into that plank and then pull in.

So we're gonna build from here, push back out, stay here. Now bring the carriage in. The shoulders go over the hands. You're gonna round your back, pull yourself back to the start. And push out, the arms are in front of you.

So you're way far back and now come in, the shoulders go over the hands. Dive under the hips, lift last. And again, push open to perfect plank. Hold that plank as you come in. Dive through, lift the hips last, last time.

Push open, come forward, dive through and stay here. The right hand comes center. Pull the right knee into your chest tight and now extend it up behind you into a beautiful arabesque. Heel in line with the hip, shoulders are wide, lower the leg down and up for eight, down and up. And two, try not to lean on those arms, three, and four, and five, and six, two more, and seven, last time, hold the leg up, eight.

From here, pull the knee in and push out to plank again, one action. Go back to arabesque. And again, one action in, drive the knee in tight, all the way up. In, all the way up. Last one, in, all the way up, hold it here.

If you're fancy, take a hand away, carry the leg all the way side, hold it as high as you can. Lower the foot down, walk your hands to the other way, (chuckles) oh, other side. Other knee in. Take the leg up, turn it out, feel that relationship, so don't open the hips, keep them square. Neck is long, just the leg, goes down and up.

For two. Ah, this side feels a little bit lower for me. (chuckles) Four and five, try not to lean on the hands and six, and seven. Last time, eight. (chuckles) Hold it up.

And now pull the knee to chest, find that plank and then take it back up. The knee comes in, the arm stays straight, push the footbar away from you and all the way up. And again, pull in, and all the way up. And pull in. And all the way up, hold it here.

Maybe take a hand away, carry the leg side. (exhales sharply) And lower the foot down. Come down to your knees, have a seat. I'd like my stand in now. Blue spring.

The rope closest to you is coming over your knee. And come down and scoot your booty really far forward. And then down to your forearms, legs to tabletop, feet higher than the knees. Push into your forearms, and now you're gonna twist and just back to the center. And again, moving the pelvis, and back to the center.

The crown of the head is constantly going up for me guys. Twist. So it's very different to initiate from the pelvis or to initiate from the knee. I want pelvis and up. Two more, pelvis, back center, last one, pelvis, back center, we're done.

Up we go, the loop comes off. Step back into your well. They should feel sort of familiar. Down in your downward dog here. (inhales sharply) Take a nice big breath in and on an exhale, round your back pull the carriage into you and then lengthen back to downward dog.

And round the back and use your fingers here to pull the carriage in and lengthen the spine out. And again, exhale, tuck the tail, shoulder blades are wide, and lengthen back out. Two more, round. And take it out. Last time and round and take it out.

We're coming out of here. We have another side to do. You'll have my back for a moment. Grab the rope closest to you. It's going over your knee. Back to the forearms.

Legs to table top, press through the forearms, twist to the footbar and back center. And to your footbar and center. Make sure you don't sink into those forearms guys. So they're there to help you get taller, not for you to rest on. And twist.

Two more, twist, getting tall, last one. Twist and we're out. Come on up. The rope comes off. Step back into your well.

You're there. You're in downward dog. Now we move into cow here. Inhale, lift the chest, pull the carriage in and exhale back down. Keep your wrist straight, inhale and take it out.

I'm gonna be quiet and use the breath. (inhales sharply) (exhales sharply) (inhales sharply) (exhales sharply) Last one. (inhales sharply) (exhales sharply) Stay here. Bring your hands down to the floor. Walk your hands into your feet, drop your head, soften your knees.

Slowly, keeping your knees soft. Roll yourself up. Stacking yourself. Feel the shoulder blades slide down the back. Feel the sternum lift.

The very last thing to happen is you lift your chin up. From here, inhale, lift the arms to the ceiling, pull the belly in, look up, present your chest to the sky. Open the arms, hands come by your side. And we are done for today. Thank you for joining us.

Thank you Ryan. (clapping hands)


Elena S
Thank you Maria, very good workout. Definitely will repeat this class! 😘
1 person likes this.
I love this series! Definitely a favorite. Quick, challenging, unique. 
Great class! I really enjoyed the creativity and flow
This class is AWESOME!  Thank you!
It’s feels like Christmas Morning waking up to another DYNAMITE class from Maria!
great pace and variety of exercises. A great go-to class for a quick sweat and unwind!

1 person likes this.
Maria! Absolutely loved this sweaty, super fun workout. Loved that we moved quickly and got our heart rates up without compromising any of our Pilates principles. This was incredible. Loved it. More like this, please. Loved, loved, loved!
Hayley K
Why can’t I keep my carriage still when doing those arabesques?
Great standing work with so many transitions!
Hi Maria, can I do these exercises also if my Reformer is the one that is near from the ground? I have an Allegro Balanced Body.
1-10 of 29

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