Class #5167

Thass® Connection Reformer

30 min - Class
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Description

Find a connection from your thigh to your glutes in this intermediate Reformer workout by Lesley Logan. She helps you maintain this connection throughout the class, even in exercises that move the upper body, like Rowing. Her clear and precise cues will help you refine your technique and deepen your practice.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Pilates Pole

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Hi, I'm Lesley Logan and today we're doing an intermediate reformer workout where we're gonna connect to our thass. So if anything doesn't work for you, feel free to replace it with something we've already done that does and let's get moving. We're gonna start with our footwork on one spring. So one heavy spring. If you're using different colored springs, I would definitely consider your heaviest spring or the next one down.

And just remember when you lie down that you are on one spring, sometimes I forget to. So we're on the balls of our feet, heels together, toes apart, and get those heels up. Not so high that you're in your stilettos, but somewhere in between dropping and all the way up. Keep those heels there, squeeze 'em together as you press out and then pulling yourself in. What you'll notice is that maybe one of your feet gets a little light on the way in.

For me, that is my left side. So I have to really think about reaching that foot into the foot bar, especially on the way in. As we do this one spring, it's mostly to notice how much your core has to work in your footwork, but also as we lift both feet up at the same time and land on our arches, you'll start to feel the back of your legs. I remember when I first learned footwork, I felt heels only in my quads, and people would say, no, you should feel everything. And it wasn't until I tapped into a one spring footwork that I understood what feeling I should have.

So hopefully this helps you with other footwork. Squeezing those legs together standing down on the arches as you pull yourself all the way in. And then stay in. Lift both feet at the same time and land on your heels. By the way, if you did this one foot then the other, that isn't the same time.

So lift up both feet at the same time and land on those heels. And then you have to pull yourself all the way in. If a foot slips off, it's just a sign that that's the leg we have to focus on today in this thass workout we should focus on connecting that thigh to your booty all the way in. And for those of you with long neck springs, like me, yep, this is really mean. You have to close your springs all the way.

One more. And then lift up both feet, land on the balls of your feet, press all the way out, stay out for your tendon stretch. For today, let's play with this lower the heels down, turn the heels out, lift the heels up and then hug 'em together. It's easy to do this around the ankle, so focus on doing it from your thighs. Reach the heels under only as much as they can stay together.

Turn the heels apart, lift and squeeze. One more time this version, lower. Reach those heels apart from your outer hips. Lift and then hug together. Now reverse it.

Open the heels up and then reach the heels under your foot bar. Squeeze 'em together and float it up. Two more like that. And reach. So you should feel it all happening inside the hips.

And then once you're even, lift the heels up, come all the way in for your hundred. You're gonna not use the handles, we're gonna keep it on one spring. Just replace your feet so you know that they're on the center of the bar with the balls of your feet on there. Press your legs, just straight, lift those arms up, and then lift your head and chest up for your hundred. Pump your arms here.

So instead of focusing on the pumping or how much we don't really love the hundred, (laughs). Instead breathe into those low ribs and then check out your feet. So what you wanna see is evenness across the balls of your feet on that footbar. And then walk yourself up with your eyes to your knees. And what we don't wanna see is them locked out.

We also don't wanna see them just bend. So can you keep a straight leg without locking your knees? And then look towards your hips. Those outer hips should feel like they're hugging in. They should look alive, those muscles and the opening of the front of your hips.

And by now we've done a hundred. And you know you're standing in your thass, so let's do 10 more pumps just for fun, just for extra credit. And then come all the way in. All right. Teaser are on up.

And then add a second spring. Drop off your footbar and we'll do some coordination. So your goal here is to remember what it felt like to reach your legs into that footbar and connect to all those muscles of the legs. So grab your handles. Place your elbows in, lift your head and chest up.

And then keeping your elbows on the carriage. Press your legs out, open/close, pull the knees in and bend the elbows. Can you make this feel like your footwork? So you're pushing an imaginary footbar away, you open/close, and then as you bend in, you're pulling yourself in, you're pulling that carriage in like you did on your footwork. Two more.

If you get a little hip click here, it's a sign that we've lost that fast connection. Don't worry, don't get too frustrated, I promise, by the end, hopefully you'll have found it. So hook up your handles and then sit on up, drop back down to one spring. So we'll do a little rowing. So rowing, you're like, how's this have do with my thass?

Well, with everything actually. So as you're sitting here, it's easy to kind of relax the legs. Can you hug those legs tight together like they just reached out into a footbar? Feel that, you should feel a little lifting. Easier to sit against the shoulder blocks.

A little harder is to have about a hands with space behind you. And then hook your thumbs. So the strap should be underneath your arms for rowing. Three, reach your arms towards that high diagonal. Reach the arms down, lift the arms up.

And right here, as your arms are lifting up from your upper back, can you double check that your inner thigh and outer hips are squeezing? And then open the arms out to the side. And again, reach forward, lower and lift. My goal is that by the end of rowing four, your legs are like, please let me crisscross applesauce. That should feel so ready, right?

And this, the more we can use our hamstrings to reach down into our carriage last time with this, the more outer hips hug in, the less you'll fill it in your hip flexors. Flex those ankles. Squeeze your heels together like footwork heels, place your hands on the carriage, round forward, and then slide your hands out underneath your heels. Lift the arms the level of your shoulders. Lift everything up without moving your carriage.

Open the arms out to the side and hug those legs tighter together. Again, slide your hands along the carriage, lift them up. Ooh, should feel like a lot of leg, a lot of core right there. One more time. Reach and lift.

Stand in your handles from your upper back, but sit into the muscles of your legs so you can feel a two-way stretch there as you open the arms all the way. All right, as promised, a little reprieve. Sit crisscross. Press the feet down. So a lot of people like to push the knees down.

I like to push the blades in my foot down. And that actually gets me a little bit more, (inhales), it's a technical term. A little bit more thass connection there. Then lift the hands up and behind your head for shave. So index finger and thumb press together.

And it is a little tough if you moved away from your shoulder blocks, but do the best you can to push down into the feet as you reach up into the handles. Two more. And then on this next one you'll lift up, switch the cross of your legs, open up for the hug, and then press down into those feet as you open and close the arms. So we're a little bit less about what the hands are doing or the elbows are doing here today. You can focus on on another day.

Instead, can you stand into these feet and get your hips to have a little bit more space? You can sit up out of them. One more. All right, hook up your handles. Let's grab our long box.

We're gonna do a swan prep today. So you'll want two springs for stability and then placing your long box on. If you know the big swan and you wanna do that, you can. Full permission. But make sure you're focusing on reaching your legs from your thass.

So headrest down if yours is up. And then lie on your stomach facing your footbar. Place your hands around the frame, like kinda where the footbar meets the frame. And then line your shoulders up over the wrist. Now spin your inner thighs up.

So it's gonna feel a little pigeon toed in your femurs. So it's not about the feet touching like the toes touching. It's more that we just want your legs to be really parallel here. They don't have to be touching. They can be a little bit apart.

Reach those legs long and even reach your tailbone for your heels. Then lift your heart up. Keep lifting your heart up as you lift your inner thighs to rock and twist swan. And then reach your heart across the room. So if you feel your hamstrings working more than your arms, you did it, you found your thass.

If you feel like you're doing supported pushups, then it's a sign you're not in your thass. (laughs) Two more, and the last one. All right, step off to the side. Drop down to one spring for your pull straps. So we get to take that same feeling of our thass from our swan and we're totally prepared to use it here in our pull straps.

So line on your stomach, shoulders at the edge of the box. If you are someone who likes to be more forward, for me today, just see what it's like to pull yourself more onto the box so that you have to hold your legs up from your thass instead of letting the box hold onto your legs for you. So we walk our hands up the straps. Again, spin those inner thighs up. You can be dramatic about it.

I like to be just to be sure. And then we're not dropping the legs down, we're also not lifting them up. They just reach from that from your center. Pull the arms down along the floor, back towards your hips. If you wanna pull your heart forward like your swan, you can.

And then reach the arms down, stretch 'em forward. And again. If you prefer to do this with hand weights, like one or two pounds, you can, because the focus today is not on how far our arms go back, but instead how much our inner thighs and thass are working together to support our legs. T-Pull. Cause I dunno about you, my legs are really long and if I don't use my thass, then I'll use my lower back, which is not pleasant.

So arms at the level of your shoulders can slide those hands down anywhere on your strap that allows you to be in an actual T. Then the if your heels came together and toes apart, let's flip those in, your thighs up, pull your arms back and up. So I did say back and up 'cause I do mean that. As your arms go back, they tend to lower down. So lift them up and that will help lift your chest up.

Two more. Inner thighs up, top of the hand up. Last one. Those never get easier, especially the more you include your legs. So step off, we're going to go back to two springs for some backstroke.

So we're gonna walk on the wild side, grab your handles, and as much as you wanna be further back on your box, I'm gonna ask you to be pretty close to the edge so that your thass has to work to support your legs. So come to that edge and then lie onto your back. Heels together, toes apart, fist over your forehead. So same thass connection that we did with our footwork. We're just here on top of our box.

Arms and legs reach up, circle everything around and hold. Right here in this moment we're not resting. This is that we're floating on the water kind of thing. And outer hips and thass are supporting your legs. They stay on to bend everything and go right into the next one and circle hold.

So I know it's tempting to rest when you bend in, but instead bend in and go right into the next one. Imagine we're swimming. One more time in this direction. All right. You can keep doing that if you don't wanna do a teaser.

I do wanna add teaser in today because it's a barometer if your thass is working or not. So full permission to get into teaser from your knees into your chest and rolling up if that's where you're at with your practice. Otherwise, legs long and hugging together. So take a moment here to breathe in, (inhales), and then exhale as you hug your heels from your outer hips and come up to your teaser. So right here in this moment you can just pull.

This is, you did it, celebrate, you're here. But if you can, lower and lift your arms. So this is a moment where our hip flexors want to take over and our pelvis wants to pop forward. Can you keep reaching your legs from your center and having those outer hips hugging as you lower everything down? Take a moment to inhale, exhale all the way up.

Lower and lift those arms or go ahead and draw circles. Three. In one direction, and then hold it up. Imagine you're doing double straight leg stretch on the mat. Push those legs down in a way that'll help you gather up your strength of the backside of your legs and then roll back up and reverse your direction of your circles.

If you forgot which way you went the first time, it's really okay. You can do the same direction and then roll it all the way down. All right, toss those handles into the well, hop off. So I'm gonna add a second spring just to transition, but I'll probably take it off for hamstring curls. So you can totally do single leg kicks or double leg kicks on the mat if hamstring curls is not in your practice right now.

But having two springs, I like to sit on the box. Short spine your straps. This is my fancy transition. All right, then we'll cross the straps. Place the loops on your feet.

So not on your ankles but on your feet. Look at which strap is on top and then slide a little bit away from it so that you have room on your box to point your feet and flip on over. So I know it's tempting to flex, but pointing is the way to go. You can keep it on two springs, especially if you're working with like a medium light or two mediums. For me, I'm gonna drop down to one.

So there's no shame in one spring on hamstring curls. For sure. Slide yourself forward, so your knees are on the edge of the box. We'll start with heels together, toes apart, hands and arm in front of your box or here on your carriage. Have a nice long chest and then pull your heels towards your seat.

Try to do this without flexing your feet 'cause that's actually kind of cheating. So it's cheating your thass, not mine. But I'm here to help you walk with your thass up high. So keep those knees slightly levitating, toes pointing, heels together for two more. And last one.

And because we don't live in a turned out world all the time, pull yourself into parallel and do the same thing five times. So squeezing your knees and feet together parallel. If they can't be together, that's okay. Just make sure they are still parallel back there. And then shake those straps off your feet, ditch your box and let's, we'll go into our down stretch from here.

So what you'll do is headrest up, footbar up, and we're gonna skip long stretch today. Go right into down stretch two springs, so a medium heavy or two mediums, and then dig your feet into your care. So this is really important for your thass. If your heels are off the shoulder rests, we're not gonna get what we need. So I know our feet are in shoes all day and this is pretty uncomfortable, but get those heels back and then heart forward.

So with your hands on the top of your footbar not behind it, lift your chest and find that swan like feeling. Then using your inner heels, push the carriage away and then pull your heart forward. So if you feel yourself doing this with your arms, you are. So really reach into those heels, especially the inner heels for most of us and down into the balls of the feet for one more. And then lift your center up.

Drop your heels down for an elephant. So instead of setting up way back here with the weight all the way in your feet, let's put half the weight in your arms. Reach those heels down, down, down and lift your ribs. So you feel like you're doing the hundred in your abs right here. Then dig those heels down and back.

So as you go out and in with this elephant, I want you to look through your legs, so you're not using your neck. And just notice if you're pushing the carriage away with the back of your knees, maybe you're pushing with your arms or are you pushing with those hamstrings we just worked in your hamstring curls. If you're still questioning it, stick with two legs. Otherwise, sweep one leg back for a single leg elephant. Now it's super tempting to flatten the back.

So lift your center up. The leg does not need to be super high, you can have it above the shoulder rest or somewhere towards parallel as long as the leg is not turned out. So keep it parallel back there and then reach the carriage out and in. Use your head, dropping between your arms to watch where you're pushing the carriage from and your legs. And then switch and reach.

Inner thigh nice and high. Double check, you're still feeling that hundred curl in your center and then step all the way down. So stomach massage. You gonna stand on two springs, don't fast forward. Here we go.

I'm only gonna make you do five as well. So put your sticky pad on, two springs on and then have a seat as close to the footbar works for your body. And then balls of the feet on the footbar. Hands on the front here. And then lift yourself up and over your hips, which is hard for me.

I told you I have long legs, so I get as close as I can. I push out, lower the heels, lift. And as I come in on this first rep, I try to use the space of the springs to help me lift. It is okay with me if you don't close your springs here today, but you try each time 'cause I want the lift of the center and I want you pushing the carriage away from the back of the legs, not the knees. One more.

Yeah, there we go. Ooh, felt that. Take your hands back. So if you can't have 'em directly behind you, they can go to the sides or they could even come down the shoulder rest. All I want though is that we are not holding ourself up with our arms.

So stand into the balls of your feet, feel the back of your legs, turn on, hello, thass. And then use that to push the carriage out and in. Four more. So maybe you don't get all the way to what your version of straight is because you're finding that you're reaching from the back of your legs. That's okay.

It doesn't have to, it's not about straightening the knee, it's to open the front of the hip. So using the back of the legs. Arms forward. This is not gonna feel any easier than before in our normal stomach massage. But hopefully you're able to stand on the back of your legs as you come in, standing in that thass.

And then if you're ready for a challenge, twist and come in. Those arms are reaching apart, especially that front arm to keep your shoulders over those hips. And if you're like Lesley, I cannot think about that on my thass. Then please just focus on your thass. One more time.

We have a whole lifetime to focus on other things in our practice. And in. Good, hop off. Footbar down. We're gonna do part of the short box series, not all of it.

So footbar and headdress out of the way. Grab your box, if you have a bar, let's use it. If you don't, you can still do this. Lucky you. So, here we go.

Place the bar so you can grab it in a second. Put both feet into your straps. We're gonna use this strap as if it was a magic circle. So I want you to instead envision, you've got this magic circle to push out into. Just happens to be a strap today.

Then instead of reaching the knees down, I want you to reach your thighs down. Think hamstring curl strength here. Wrap your arms around your waist, and then as you round back, press your feet out into your imaginary magic circle. If you can go all the way back, great. If you can't, it's not a big deal.

What I want you to focus on more is that your legs stay reaching down into the box and out into your strap. The more you use your thass here, the easier it is to keep your legs from sliding around. And the more free your spine will feel to go back there. So if your legs are coming together as you go back, your body's not gonna be feeling very secure back there, right? So work that thass.

Here we go, grab your bar. If you don't have a bar, just hook your thumbs above your head. Cool. So straight wrists, pull this bar apart or pull your thumbs apart, look at something across the room from you and stay looking at it as you reach those legs down and away. And then come all the way up.

You'll feel it way less in your neck if you're staring at a certain spot. You'll feel way more of your center if your legs are reaching down and away. Nice little shake. Here we go. A twist.

Pushing those legs apart. Lean out, come up in the twist, center. If you hear your strap moving, it is. So I want you to reach those thighs down and apart and then only twist and reach as much as your legs can keep reaching exactly the same way. So if they start to narrow, you've gone a little farther than you can today and that's okay, right?

Our body is different every day and it's better to strengthen the muscles so we can do further tomorrow. And last time. Okay. Still your bar for now. We'll set up for some side setups.

So you're lucky I skipped three for most of you. (laughs) So here we go. Heel up. I know a lot of us like to do toe up, that's quad. Heel up.

And then place your hand on your head rest just to get it alongside so you're not hanging out here, right? If you've got anything going in your back and you just wanna be here in lightly touch, that's fine. Top hand behind your head, heel presses up into the strap. Bottom hand behind your head. Hold here or dip down and come up.

As much as you can keep your heel pressing up into the strap. So if you come up and it drops down, you've lost your thass. Last one. And then same setup, other side. So heel up, into the strap, use your hand to lean out and get tension so you don't feel like you're free falling.

And then this foot, I don't hook it. So you can see on this view better, it's just underneath my leg so I can push that whole thigh bone down. Top hand, bottom hand, and then up and down. Three more. How much can you push up into your strap, especially as you come up.

I promise you're gonna use that strength in just a second. Hop off for your chest expansion. So a lot of exercises, it's tempting to think that it's just about moving the spring. But the more you can connect to your thass, the more you're gonna use your entire body and you'll be surprised what it allows you to do. So we'll keep two springs on.

You already have that. Hook up your handles. And then I like to kneel into my shoulder rest. If you are glutton for punishment, you can hook your feet. So anyways, knees down and then they're hugging towards each other.

And these muscles we just worked for your side sits up, they're wrapping in and securing your pelvis over your hips, over knee... (laughs) Your hips over your knees. Here we go. Pull those arms straight back and then look, look. Once you look forward, reach arms forward.

So if you lost your thass and you just made about your arms, you'll feel pretty unsteady. Reach those knees down, hug those outer hips in and then look, look. Keep reaching those knees down and working your thass as you close the spring. Three more. What's so fun, the more you use your legs here, the easier these two springs can feel and the more full body we get.

Okay, so thigh stretch. Add a third spring and then come back into your shoulder rests. Walk your hands up your straps a little bit, and without pulling on your straps with your arms, find your arms on your back, reach those knees down and together and then lean back. So you're doing a reverse hamstring curl to go back and to come up. This should feel like you're stretching your quads.

If you feel it in your knees, just reach your knees down and towards each other a little bit more. And that activates those inner thighs and tends to help out with any knee issues. Two more. Last one. How low can you go and also come back up without shifting in your hips.

Okay, here we go. Let's do our knee stretches. So we'll stick with, we'll move back to two springs. So you should have two, like a medium heavy or two mediums and you'll come into a round. So we did this with our downs stretch.

We made sure that our feet were really set up for this. I used to feel knee stretches only in my quads. I'm not saying you won't feel that today, but hopefully it feels like a whole orchestra is working in your legs. Straight wrists, if you can, round your back. Instead of sitting down here where our thass is just hanging out, float those hips up into a spot where you feel your hamstring glute connection turn on.

And then keep your hips there as you push the legs back and then pull it in. It's not about how far out you can open the carriage, but how much you can stand in your feet. Two more. Last one. And then try to keep the pelvis where it is, just pull your heart forward.

If you're gonna find extension, find it in your upper back there, not your booty. So keep your hips where they are. It should feel right here, like a lot of work just to wait. And then push your legs out and in. Again, I like to reach into my inner heel 'cause that's where I tend to roll off the shoulder block.

And then as you do two more, instead of doing knees off today I wanna do a single leg knee stretch. It's like a prep. So you'll take one foot, you'll place it to the front of your carriage. You can leave the other knee down, or if you can lift up from your center, you'll float that other knee up. This back leg is what pushes the carriage out.

This other one could literally float up if I asked you. Three, two, and one, woo! You should feel that. You should feel that in your legs. All right, other side. So again, this foot is back here where I can stand on it.

So sometimes you have to tell the pinky toe what to do. And then this foot is here. It's pretty light. It's not here on the frame. Then again, if you did it on the first side, float it up on the second side, push out and in, out.

Ooh and out. Three more, and rest. If you found a weak leg like I did, you can also go that side, your stronger side, that side again. So feel free to pause and do that if you'd like. Otherwise, add three to four springs on.

So whatever you normally do in your footwork and lie on your back for some running and pelvic lift. Headrest up if yours is down. Press your arms down by your side and then stand on the balls of your feet. As one heel goes under, set a focus on how much you can stretch that Achilles. Can you take the knee that's bent, push into the ball of that foot more, should feel the back of your legs, aka, hello, thass, right there.

And then from that connection lift up with both heels and switch. So we're focusing on the up always, but especially on the knee that's up. Focus on that leg standing into the footbar. Yep, you get less of an Achilles stretch, but really you're just not hanging off of your ankle joints. So you're welcome, and you're able to connect to your thass even more, so no matter what workout you do tomorrow, your thass is nice and high and you can use those muscles.

Once you're even come all the way in, take your feet wide on your footbar and then slightly turned out. Now, instead of like dropping your heels down, I want you to feel like you're doing footwork arches and float your hips up. Sometimes I put my hands here, just make sure I'm not too high. So like a fist distance off your carriage. Press those arms down, and you go out only as much as your thass where your thigh meets your booty can push the footbar away, and then you come in.

So for me, that's not a very straight leg. Some days I can, some days I can't. But instead of pushing the knees down, you're pushing your thighs forward into your footbar and then you're standing on those feet as you come in. Two more. Yes, you should feel this back there.

Last one. And woo, roll it all the way down. Celebrate what you did do today. Here's the deal. Not every day is gonna be the day that your thass talks to you.

And if it took you the entire class just to find what we're talking about, that's still really awesome, that your brain connected to those muscles. Give yourself that space and grace, use them in your next workout. I promise they'll keep talking to you. And as they get stronger, they'll be easier to find. Thank you for letting me teach you and I'll see you next time.

Comments

1 person likes this.
Loved the workout!  That's definitely a weak area for me. 
1 person likes this.
Really informative and fun. (And I discovered that my hams are much weaker on the left side. Yikes, but such a good discovery. Thank you!)
Erin L hey same for me! Its stronger now but took me awhile. Keep practicing and the connections will get there. Keep me posted xx~LL 
1 person likes this.
Maggie R my left one too! And I totally thought when I broke my right leg that my left side would finally get as strong as my right...haha nope! Its definitely closer though so keep giving that left side some love and you'll see it improve xx~LL 
1 person likes this.
Lesley - fun  class as always. Love your pace and cueing.
Lori M yay! I'm so glad you had fun! Thank you :) 
1 person likes this.
Found the class way to clow pace and would be helpful if the instructor advises what springs to use 
1 person likes this.
Thank you! My brain & thass were both worked! 😂
Susana A I'm so sorry about that. While I do call out the springs mine are the same weight. I don't know what Reformer you are using but here's a guide 3-4 springs reds and greens. 2 springs 1 red and 1 green and 1 spring 1 red. Happy to chat more about if you need. xx~LL 
Amanda B woohoo! Love that you got both worked out! Thats awesome xx
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