Class #5181

20-Minute Reformer

20 min - Class


Move through all of Meredith Roger's favorite exercises in this quick, 20-minute Reformer. Even though this class is quick, you will work all your major muscle groups: back, core, and legs. This is a class that you will return to again and again - especially when you are short on time and looking for a full-body workout.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining me here today. We are gonna do a very quick reformer class. I think quick is pretty much what most Pilates teachers can fit into their days. So, these are my favorite things to do when I only have a little bit of time.

Are you ready? On the reformer, I am set up for footwork with three red and one blue spring. You can choose your spring. And we're gonna start laying down. So, positioning your back flat on the reformer, taking a minute to organize and get your spine aligned.

The heels of the feet are on the foot bar. Taking just a moment or two to sink down, feel the back of the ribs on the carriage, just mentally preparing, mentally connecting. And then we inhale. We're getting ready to move. Not a lot of time to kill time in this class.

We roll up, roll up, roll up, roll up, doing a bridge. Keeping the carriage still, which isn't so, so difficult, because it's a heavy spring, coming all the way up into that straight line and in here. And then rolling the spine down. Feel the pelvis to to get further away from the ribcage as you lay your spine down, so just an articulation process. And inhale.

Feel a downward dragging action on the bar with your heels. So, we can bring attention to the hamstrings, the back of the legs. Bring attention to the back of your arms, the back of your head heavy on the headrest. Inhale at the top, and exhale to roll down. Using the front of the body to create the back body movement.

The manipulation of the spine comes from the opposite side of the body. The front of the body will do two more, lift up. Active all the time in the hamstrings. Send the knees forward over the feet as you pull your fingers towards your heels and your heels towards your fingers, and roll down. It's a nice way to just get organized, I feel.

All the way, one more. And inhale. And lifting up, and nice and high. Get that straight line. And I oftentimes have to remind myself to look for the precision in the movements.

No lazy, don't be lazy. I'm not talking to you, I'm speaking to myself. And then we're gonna take the hands to the frame of the reformer. If that doesn't feel good for your shoulders, just hold the pegs. Lifting the legs up, and taking a spine twist.

On the inhale we take the knees to one side, and come center. And take the knees over to the other side, and come center. Keeping the knees aligned side by side all the time, reaching across, pulling into the reformer with the opposite arm, and center. And inhale up and across, and center. We'll just do two more to each side inhaling over.

Keeping the upper body still, exhaling back, inhaling over. Looking for a range within reason, within the stability, your body's ability to stabilize well, and center. And last one over. And last one back. Place the heels on the foot bar.

I'm gonna pop my headrest up, I prefer it up, especially when I don't have eyes on my body so I can see what's happening. Keep it down if you want. Optional. Feel the heels pushing into the foot bar before you push the carriage. So, you find the back of the legs and then move the reformer out, pull it back.

Press into the bar, reach out, and back. So, just a reminder, we're thinking about initiating the movement from the back of the legs. So, that's where that press into the heels cue comes that feeling that bar beneath your feet before you start moving springs. There's always some room to think about what the arms are doing. Are the shoulder blades stabilizing?

Are the abdominals working? We are doing three more. Fully extending the legs without taking the knees into hyperextension too, and back, and one. And come halfway in and push out and pull down, and out and down. So, it's less of a bouncing sort of a sensation and more of a push and pull.

Oh, four more. And three, and two, and all the way to straight, and bend. Moving on to the toes. Keeping the legs aligned with the sitting bones, taking the carriage out, and in. So when the legs are straight we have a pointed foot in good alignment.

And then the heels stay right there as we come in. And what I want us to think about or what I encourage us to think about is as we're bending the knees, do an active bend. So, it's the action of pulling the heels towards the back of the leg. And pulling the heels towards the back of the leg. Almost like you're working harder on the in than you are on the out.

We're doing four more here, outs. Keeping the pelvis aligned and neutral. And three, and bend, just flowing through each repetition too. And one, coming back in, halfway down. And push and drag, and push and drag.

You're gonna feel the front of your legs but can you work the backs of your legs too? Last 4, 3, 2, and all the way out on one, and back. Bring the heels together. Allow the knees to separate approximately shoulder distance apart. Feel the heels squeeze together as you take the legs out straight, and come back.

So, we work the outer hips and the inner thighs. That same feeling. The back of the legs initiate the inner thighs, finish the movement. The same sensation of as the knees are bending, dragging the carriage in, and out, and in. Keeping the ribcage heavy on the mat, and in, and four, counting down.

Long fingertips, soft through the throat and through the gaze. Two, and in, and one, and in, halfway, and out, and down. Little please. Tightening the connection of the heels. Feeling the push and the pull.

Without bringing the knees any closer together, feel that they're trying to squeeze towards one another. Last four, and three, and two. And all the way out to straight. And all the way back in. Take the legs back into parallel, take the carriage away.

And the heels go under all the way and up. Full articulation through the feet. Fully reaching. Pull beyond where the springs pull. Beyond where the springs pull.

Feel the back of the pelvis level against the carriage. And up, and down, and up. And feel the back of the legs in your focus, engage, last three. Lifting up, two, lifting up, one. From the up we bend one knee and drop one foot.

Come through the middle and change. Moving with control. Fully articulating that underneath foot. Feeling the legs meet in the middle. And with the leg, the foot that's on the foot bar, can we really focus on pressing into those toes?

So, we're active in both legs. I'm gonna do three more to each side. Notice that the pelvis isn't moving from side to side but instead very stable on the carriage. Two, and two, and one, and one, and bend. Take your legs over the foot bar.

Take your arms up into the air. Lift your head and chest. Roll up. Take the bar in your hands. Let the knees slide and wrap over the top.

And then pull yourself up. Take your spine a little bit back, and return. Reach down, change the springs. I recommend a red and a blue. Roll back down.

Take the straps in your hands, lift your arms up so that they're just above the shoulder joints. Lift the legs up into a tabletop shape, and then curl the head and chest forward. Pausing here. Take the legs out, and in. Lift the arms and take the head back.

And head and chest. And take the legs out and in. Reach through the arms. Lift the arms and bring the head back, and up, and out. Pushing through the arms.

That reach of the arms is helpful in my experience to focus on deepening into that flexion shape. Arms come up, body goes down. Just one more. Up, out, in, arms and all the way down. Put your feet onto the bar.

Push out to bring your feet into the straps. Starting in a frog position with your legs, with the feet. Feel the squeeze of the heels as you take your legs out. Soften the feet and bend, and reach, and bend. So, just like with footwork, something to think about as you're initiating that stretch to the legs is to stand in the straps with the back of your legs.

You feel what you're pushing with before your legs move. Feel what you're pushing like with before you move and then move. Just two more. If you're wondering if I'm counting, I'm not. I'm just estimating.

So, if you're a numbers person, accounting person. and you're attached to a specific number of repetitions. Do you, take the legs out, down, open, around, keeping the pelvis down as the legs touch together and press. Open, around, and center. Feel the back of the legs move the carriage.

Down, out, around. Keep that pelvis down, and down, out, around, and center and down, out, around. Let's do one more, and down, out, around. Every little movement counts. So, do your very best all the time.

Open, take the legs down together and up the center. Open, take the legs down and together. And up in the center. There is a spider floating in the air right in front of my face. I'm hoping that it's not coming onto me.

I think we're gonna be friends. We'll do two more. Down and together, and up, feeling the flow in the movement, down and together. And hold. Take the leg straight up, and back and straight up and back.

Feel a resistance as the springs pull the legs wide, And then press into that resistance as the legs come back together. Last three, and back, and two. I think Mr. Spiders just doing Pilates with us. And last one, and back. Bend your knees, reach back.

Unhook the headrest If it's up. Take the legs out to straight, fold in half. Bring the carriage all the way in, touch. Roll up and back. Bend your knees into an upside down frog shape.

Take the pelvis away from the feet. Rolling the spine down, bringing the thighs into the body. Flex the feet, bring that shape in a hinge through to the start position. Push and point fold in half. Drawing the abdominals in as the legs pike over the body.

Take the legs up and back. Hold the carriage still. Bend the knees. Feel the abdominal supporting you all the time. Roll away from the feet, allowing the thighs to drop down towards the body.

The carriage is still, still, remains still. Flex the feet hinge, and reach. One more time, fold, touch. Standing on the arms to support the shoulders up and back. Bend the knees, and roll.

Flex the feet. Take the legs through. Reach up, take the feet out of the straps, put them down. Hang the straps up. This time to come up we'll turn, help ourself up to sitting.

Take away the blue spring or one of the springs, so just one red spring. And we're gonna do some seated arm work. So, turning around, sitting at the back edge of the reformer. Taking the straps in the hands, bringing the arms just in front of the pelvis. So, even in the start shape, there is some significant activity happening in the body.

And now we take the arms back and down, and down and forward, lifting the spine. Back and down, down and forward. Holding the range, holding the body in an upright position. As the arms go towards behind you, can you feel the abdominals pulling back in that direction? Maybe even you feel your abdominals pulling back in that direction first.

And then you move your arm. That's a better idea. Last three. And forward. Keeping the eyes straight ahead too, and forward.

And one, and forwards. Taking the straps onto the elbows. We'll start by lifting the elbows just in front of the shoulder, sitting up all the way tall. And then we'll take the elbows out to the side. Just holding that same straight shape in the spine.

Little alliteration there, hard to say quickly. Straight shape, same straight shape open. And back. As you open your arms, reach your elbows away from one another. Send the elbows a little bit behind the hands, a little behind the elbows in your imagination.

So that the arms stay upright over the elbows. Two more. Can you feel your abdominals working still? And forwards, and one more. We make a change.

We go open. Now, send the elbows even more forward. Press against the straps with your arms extend into your thoracic spine. Come back, return. And open, straight across.

Point the elbows forward. Send the thumbs back. Take thoracic extension. Ah, feel so good. And then upright.

And then forwards. And three. And lift up and back. And come back, and in, and open wide, and thoracic extension. And back, and in.

And last time, open. Take your extension, go for it, any amount you decide. Come back and bring the arms in. Take your hands out of the straps, hang them up. Put your feet down on the ground.

Take your arms up. Take your arms around, all the way stretching through both arms. To come down you have to sit a little forward of the the foot bar to have enough space. One more like that up. Follow your hands with your face, with your eyes.

And then open out, and bring the arms down. And that my, friends, is my favorite thing to do in 20 minutes. I hope you enjoyed it.


2 people like this.
I love your calm voice and cues! I love the same exercises and it is so nice to have someone else tell me what to do! And LOVE the short classes that still accomplish so much. Blessings to you!
2 people like this.
Loved this! All I had time for as I’m rushing to catch a flight. Thankful to get some movement in and for someone else to tell me what to do. Thank you! More 20 minute classes please! 
2 people like this.
Thanks Meredith Rogers ! I always love how you launch an exercise and then keep layering the subtle nuances of focus to create more richness in sensation. Every time! Delicious and how I love to work and teach. 
2 people like this.
Loved this quick workout. It was a great way to move in a short amount of time. That cue, about dragging the heels towards the legs (during footwork), was INCREDIBLE. Where has that been all of my life!?
John B
2 people like this.
This was perfect for an instructor trying to squeeze their own practice consistently. It's quick, but Meredith's slow and calm queue's really help you get the most out of every move. Saved !
Thank you all for moving with me and for sharing your feedback.
I appreciate you so much!
1 person likes this.
Dear Meredith, 
it was once again wonderfully effective. My scoliosis has not become an "I" anymore, but it is very mobile with you. Thank you very muchThank you very much.
Christina B. from Hamburg
Gail D
2 people like this.
Thank you! Your favorite movements in 20 minutes are now my favorites as well! Great workout! I would love to see more shorter workouts as these are great when you are short on time!
1 person likes this.
Thanks Meredith 🕷️ 
Laurie G
1 person likes this.
Perfect class!
1-10 of 30

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