Class #5275

Reformer on the Mat

25 min - Class


You will feel the burn in your abdominals in this quick Mat workout by Gia Calhoun. She teaches her favorite Reformer exercises on the Mat to give your regular practice some variety. She includes variations on Pulling Straps, Russian Splits, and much more.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi, I'm Gia Calhoun, and today we're gonna do a reformer on the mat class. So all of my favorite reformer exercises, but on the mat. So we're gonna start on your mat, lying on your back. I'm gonna go into some footwork. So disclaimer, this class is gonna be a lot of abdominals, so just get prepared for your abs to burn.

So we're gonna start with your legs at tabletop. Your hands can either be behind your head, one on top of the other, or they can reach out by your hips. Whatever feels better to you. I'm gonna keep my hands up my hips today. You're gonna curl your head and chest up.

If your neck bothers you at all, you can always keep your head down. We're gonna start in a prehensile. So you're gonna kind of grip your toes and think of reaching out through your heels. So you're in a little bit of a bird on a perch position. We're gonna take a deep inhale as you stretch the legs out to straight, inhale as you bend them back into your chest.

Inhale, exhale, pull in. So I'm trying to keep the legs glued together. Keep that little bird on a perch with the feet. So I'm really working the feet as I'm working my core. Legs are reaching long to that diagonal.

Pull it in. Three more and in. Two and in. Last one. Now we're gonna change the feet.

So I'm gonna pull the toes back to the shins. Keep flexing out through the heels. Reach legs out and in. Inhale, stretch, exhale, bend. Trying to not arch the back.

So if you need to bring your legs a little higher to keep the shape of your spine correct, go for that. Reach and in, two more. Reach, in, last one. Now I'm gonna turn my legs out from my hips. So my heels are together, toes are apart.

Same thing in this position. Keep the heels together, and then bend it in. Reach, so I'm in this little V. Reach, pulling into the abdominals. Exhale, in, four more.

Reach and in. Reach and in, two more. (exhales sharply) Last one. Good, we're gonna keep this rotation of the legs. Just bring your legs out, so they're about hip distance apart, still turn out, still flex the feet.

Reaching the legs out and in. So this one's a little bit tricky cuz you have to make sure your legs are moving at the same time. So try to arrive together and bend. Four more. Reach and in.

Reach and in. Last two. And last one. Now we're gonna bring the legs together again. We're gonna point the toes, reach legs out and hold.

Keep the legs there. You're gonna flex the feet and point for a tendon stretch. Flex and point. Flex, point, you can work through the toes. Point, four more.

Flex, point. Flex, point, last two. (exhales sharply) Last one. Bend your knees in. Rest your head down.

Turn your head side to side. Loosen up your neck. Take a breath, and we're gonna go into the hundred. So arms come up to the ceiling, shoulders plugged into the sockets. Take a deep inhale here.

As you exhale, push your arms down, curl your head up, and reach your legs out to your a hundred position. And we'll pump the arms. Inhale, two, three, four, five. Exhale, two, three, four, five. Inhale, two, three, four, five.

Exhale. Reach the legs long. I have my heels together, toes apart today, but you can do them parallel if you like. And exhale. (exhales sharply) Inhale. And exhale, if you are turned out, keep rapping around the legs.

Inhale and exhale. This is seven. And exhale. Arms are strong, inhale, and exhale. Last two, inhale, and exhale.

Last set, inhale, and exhale. And then hug it in. Take a breath. By now your abs should be nice and warm. We have one more abdominal exercise before we take a little bit of a breather.

So we're gonna go into coordination. So you're gonna bring your elbows in by your sides. You want them to be by your sides the whole time. You can hover them off the mat if you'd like or you can kind of rest them down. Whatever feels better to you.

We're gonna take a deep inhale here. As you exhale, you're gonna curl your head and shoulders up. Reach your arms and legs out. You're gonna open, close your legs, bring your knees in, and then bend your arms. Reach out.

Open, close, knees in, arms in. So you can choose to keep your head up the whole time. Or if you wanna bring it down in between each one, you can. Reach out, open, close, knees in, and arms. Reach, open, close, curl up higher as the knees come in, and bend.

Reach, open, close, knees, one more. Reach, open, close, and in. Hug your knees in. Rock side to side. And then we're gonna sit up, give our abs a little break.

We're gonna go into rowing. So you're gonna sit with your legs straight out. You can either cross one on top of the other, or you can keep them just right next to each other. If you do cross, make sure when we do the other side, you'll switch which leg is on top. So we're gonna start with the round back.

So you're gonna pretend like you're grabbing something in front of you. You're gonna sit up nice and tall, pull your arms toward you as you round your low back and roll down halfway. Hold here, arms are gonna reach out to the side. You're gonna push your arms back to bring your body forward. Dive your head down toward your legs, grab your hands, get a nice stretch on your shoulders.

And then release the arms. Circle 'em out to the side. Reach toward your feet. Roll your spine back up to sit tall. Pull your arms in and round back.

So even though we don't have any springs or resistance, you wanna make your own resistance with your arms. So push them out to the side, push back to reach forward. Dive your head down through your legs, and then reach the arms back. Arms circle around, reach for your feet, and then roll up, one more this way. So you pull in, find that resistance, round your back, hold that half roll back.

Arms push out to the side, push back to reach forward with your head. Dive down towards your legs, reach the arms back. Circle the arms around. Reach for your feet. Roll spine up.

Sit nice and tall. We're gonna change the first part. So you're gonna pull into a 90-degree angle with your arms. Keep the spine long as you hinge back from your hips this time. You're gonna come back up, reach the arms forward, push them back behind you.

Grab your hands again, same ending. You're gonna circle the arms out to the side. Reach for your feet. Roll your spine back up. Bend your arms to 90.

Hinge back with the flat back, and then come back up. You're gonna reach the arms out, push them back, grab your hands. Reach the arms back. Circle the arms around. Reach for your feet.

Roll up. One more time. Pull into 90, hinge with your flat back growing out through the top of your head. Coming back up, arms reach forward, push the arms back, grab your hands. Reach the arms back.

Circle them around, and then reach for your feet. Roll up. So we're gonna go into rowing front. I'm gonna flex my feet just cuz I like to have a little bit of variety in my leg position. We're gonna start with your hands by your waist.

Shoulders are down the back. Your spine is lifted tall. Gonna reach your arms out to a high diagonal. As you push your arms down, you're gonna grow your spine a little bit taller. Bring the arms back up by your ears, circle 'em around, hands go back to your waist.

Again, you're using that resistance that you found. Reach the arms out to that diagonal. Push down, lift your spine up. Arms come up. Circle, hands back to the waist.

Two more, reach, and press down. And then arms up. Big circle around, back to your waist. One more. Just watch what your ribs are doing, make sure that they're not thrusting forward.

Up, circle, back to your waist. Now you're gonna keep reaching out through your heels. You're gonna reach your hands forward towards your feet as you dive your head down. Good, you can feel a little stretch in your hamstrings. I'm gonna roll up one bone at a time.

Arms will come with you. Circle your arms around, hands go back to your waist. So you're gonna reach forward. Keep pulling your abs in and up as you're reaching so you're not hanging out here. You're gonna roll up.

Circle the arms around, hands to your waist, two more. Reach out through the heels, find that length, and unroll up. Circle back to your hips. Last one. And reach and roll up.

Circle back to your hips. So we're gonna change your legs. So you're criss-cross applesauce. We're gonna bring your hands behind your head. So you're gonna come into a little triangle with your hands right behind your head.

You're gonna hinge forward slightly with the flat back. You gotta make sure your ribs aren't thrusting forward, they're on your back. Elbows are wide. You're gonna reach your arms forward for shaving and then bring them back behind your head, and reach forward, and back. So the wider we can keep the elbows, the better it is.

Try not to thrust the chin forward as well. You wanna keep your neck on the rest of your spine, so everything's in alignment. Reach and in. And reach behind your head, two more. And reach.

And we're lengthening the spine just as we were before. Good, now switch the legs so the other leg is in cross or the awkward side. Arms are gonna come out to the side into a hug a tree. So gonna inhale to close and exhale to open. And inhale, again, we're resisting.

Exhale. So we're not just moving the arms, we're finding something to push against. Like we're moving in water. And reach and open, four more. Close, open, close, open.

Last two. Open, last one. All right, we're gonna go into pulling straps. So you're gonna lie in your stomach, head is facing down, legs can be apart or together, whatever feels good to you. I'm gonna keep my legs apart.

Arms are gonna be down by your sides, palms facing up. You're gonna inhale as you float your head, hands and chest off the mat, trying to keep a long spine, exhale as you lower everything down. Try to keep your feet down on the mat. Inhale, lifting everything up. Exhales as you lower down.

So if you're on the reformer, we'd be pulling the straps back behind us up into this position. And then lower. Two more, lift, and lower. Last one, lift and hold. We're gonna turn the palms to face down.

And now we're gonna go into T-pull. So you're gonna open your arms out to a T, and then push the hands back to your hips. Lift your chest a little higher if you can. Open and push back. Open, keep pushing the feet down into the mat.

Try not to let them lift up. It's more your upper back lifting than your low back. Last two. And back. Last one, open and bringing it back.

Lower down. Turn your head to the side for just a second. Relax. So we're gonna come back into your pulling straps position again. So you're gonna lift your chest and hands up, find that position and hold it.

We're gonna do little pulses up. Pulse, pulse, almost like you're doing the a hundred but just with the arms back. Really work the triceps as you're pushing the arms up. We have four, three, two, one, and lower down with control. Push back into child's pulse.

Let's take a breath. Come on up. We're gonna go into our short box. So I'm gonna have my legs in front of me about hip distance apart. You can decide as you're moving how far you want your legs away to be from you.

I like mine fairly far away from me. Not right up against my chest. Arms are gonna come up to an "I Dream of Jeannie" position. You're sitting up nice and tall. Take a deep inhale, grow a little taller.

As you exhale, you're gonna round your low back, roll back halfway, and then roll forward, and then lengthen the spine. So I'm trying to keep my feet down on the mat without letting them float up. So really keep the weight on your feet so that way I can move my spine freely. And then roll up and lift, two more. And then roll up.

Lift, last one. Good hands are gonna come behind your head, one on top of the other. Long spine, elbows are wide. Take a deep inhale. You're gonna grow the lower back, the flat back, and then come back up.

So you might not go as far as you did with the round back and that's totally normal. Just go where you can, again, where your feet aren't floating up, you wanna keep pushing down into your feet. And then lift up. If you're feeling your hip flexors is on, you might need to straighten your legs out just so they're a little further away from you. One more.

Now we're gonna add a twist to that. So you're gonna twist to one side. You're gonna lean toward that side with the flat back, come up, and then back to center. Twist to the other side. So try to keep both hip bones on the mat so you're not rocking to the side and letting your hip lift up, lean, and up.

Center, and twist. Lean. One more each side, twist. Lean, up. Center, last one.

Good, sitting up nice and tall, you gonna lift up, side, bend over to one side, and then back up to the center, side bend over to the other side. Again, I'm trying to keep both hipbones down, side bend over. Try not to rotate my spine at all. So you wanna imagine you're in a toaster, you can't turn anyway. You can only go side to side.

Up and to the side, one more each side. Lift up and over, and lift and over. Lift up, release your arms, and we're gonna go into our long stretch. So we're gonna come to a plank. If you prefer to do this on your knees, you can.

Otherwise, come to your full plank with your feet on the mat. Hands on the mat, right under your shoulders. Legs are together. You're gonna push yourself forward over your hands, and then push yourself back towards your heels. Push forward and back.

Push forward and back. Forward, back. Two more. Last one Good, come on down to your knees, shake out your wrists. And we're gonna go into our up stretch.

So same position with the hands, this time we're gonna have the legs hip distance apart. So you're gonna push out into your plank. We're gonna come up into our up stretch position. So you're pushing back almost like a downward dog. You're gonna keep your spine rounded as you push your weight forward over onto your hands.

Your upper back is round, and then you're gonna come back into your up stretch position. So you push forward into that long plank, and then back into your up stretch position. So in the reformer, we keep the upper back rounded. So we're attempting to do the same thing here. So we're not coming to a full plank.

But if that feels better for you, you can do that. And then push back towards your heels. Two more. And push back. One more.

And forward toward that plank and back. Now we're going to elephant. So you're gonna keep your hands where they are. You're gonna walk your feet toward your hands, so you get a stretch in your hamstrings. If you can get them through your hands, go for it, and then walk back into that up stretch position.

Same thing, walk forward, hands through your legs, or sorry, legs through your hands if you can, and then back. One more time. March forward. Good, get that nice hamstring stretch, and then back. Push the heels down one last time.

And then slowly come onto your knees. Shake out your wrists, and we'll go into our knee stretch position. So we're gonna just find our little hover with our knee stretches like we would do for knees off. So we're gonna start with a round back. So we're gonna round your spine.

Hands are right under your shoulders. Your knees are right under your hips, toes are tucked under, and you're just gonna hover, find that position and hold. Keep your eyes on your navel. Pull your abs in and up. You're gonna hold for five, four, three, two, one.

Rest, shake out your hands. We're gonna try the same hover with the flat back. So we're gonna find that flat back position. Shoulders over the hands. You're gonna find that hover, toes are tucked under.

Pull into your abdominals, keep that spine long. I'm gonna hold for five, four, three, two, one, rest. So we're gonna go back into that hover, but this time we're gonna add a single leg movement. So if that feels better for you to just keep with the hover that we were just doing, stick with that. You can alternate the round back and the flat back.

So otherwise, if you're gonna add on, find that flat back position again. You're gonna hover the knees, you're gonna reach one leg out, and then pull it back in, same leg. Reach out and in. The other knee should be about an inch or two off the mat. And in, two more.

Last one. Bring the knee down, take a breath, and then we'll hover to the other side. Other leg reaches out and in. Reach and in. And in, try to keep the hips square.

Last two. Last one. And then lower down. Shake out your wrist. You can even stretch 'em out on the mat if that feels good to you.

(exhales sharply) So we're gonna come up, we're gonna stay on your knees. We're gonna do chest expansion. So you're in one straight line from your head all the way down to your knees, think of pushing your hips forward. So the front of your hips are flat, arms down by your sides, you're gonna push your arms behind you. Turn your head to the right, turn your head left, look center, arms come forward.

Push back, this time we look left first and right, center, arms come forward. Push back, look right, left, center, arms front. Push back, look left, right, center. One more each way. Look right, left, center, arms front.

Push back, look left, right, center, arms front. Now you're gonna turn your palms to face forward. Bend your arms slightly and think of scooping your arms up, finding that resistance that we had earlier, and then pulling them back. And then resist arms forward and back. And reach and back.

Reach, two more, and then we'll turn this into a circle. Last one. Now you're gonna make a big circle with your arms up and around, again, resisting the whole time, like you're moving through water. Two more. Last one.

And reverse. Out, around, and forward. And out, around, down. Two more. Last one.

Good. We're gonna lie on your back. We're gonna go into some bridging, and then we'll finish with a few standing exercises. So your feet are about hip distance apart, fairly close to your sit bones. Arms are just pushing down by your mat.

Your neck is nice and long with your chin away from your chest once you roll up. Take a deep inhale here at the bottom. Exhale as you roll up one bone at a time. Reach your knees past your toes, find a nice long line. Inhale at the top, exhale as you roll down one bone at a time.

Inhale at the bottom. Exhale and roll up. Inhale at the top. Exhale, roll down. Keep pushing into the arms.

Try to keep the chest open and roll up. And try not to let the space between your wrists get too big. You wanna think of that part of your arm staying long too. So you're really reaching out to the top of the head through the arms, out past the knees. And then roll down.

Hold this next one up. Take a deep inhale. As you exhale, you're gonna squeeze your knees together and then open. So the feet aren't moving, it's just the knees like you're squeezing a magic circle between your legs. Squeeze, open, four more.

And three, hips a little higher if you can. Two, last one. And then roll down one bone at a time. And then we're gonna come into standing. Hug your knees into your chest.

Rock up to a seated position, and then we'll come on up. So we're gonna finish with our Russian splits. So you're gonna have one leg in front parallel. You're gonna bend that front leg, and then the back leg is gonna be slightly turned out behind you, and that leg will be straight. So it's almost like a warrior 1 in yoga.

So we're trying to get both hips facing the front. We're gonna bring the opposite arm to the front leg forward and the same arm to the front leg out to the side. You're gonna straighten that front leg and then bend back, and straighten and bend. So even though the front leg is the one that's moving, that back leg is still active. So think of the outer edge of that foot staying down.

You're really pushing down through that heel, and forward and stretch and bend. Two more. Last one. Keep the leg bent. You're gonna bring your hands down to the floor.

Try to square up your hips as much as you can. And just straighten that front leg. Get a nice stretch. And then bend that leg, reach that front arm forward again, other arm out to the side, straighten the leg, and then we'll just turn to the other side. So the front leg is parallel, the back leg is slightly turned out.

I'm trying to get both hips as close to facing front as I can. So the opposite arm to the front leg is reaching forward. The same side to the front... Same arm as the front leg is reaching out to the side. You're gonna straighten that front leg and bend and straighten.

So if you're on the reformer, you'd imagine the carriage moving and your body would be staying still. It would just be that leg going out and in. So we're just changing the movement a little bit to recreate that feeling that you would fill in the reformer. Two more. Last one.

Keep that leg bent. Reach your hands down to the floor, and then keep the hips square as you straighten that front leg. Just find that nice stretch, breathe into it. And then bend that leg, reach the arm forward, lift your spine up, and then straighten your legs. We're gonna face the front.

Bring your legs together. I like to bring my hands on my hips for this one, but you can have your hands wherever it feels good to you. We're gonna go into running in place. So you're gonna bend one knee, lift that heel up, and then lift both heels up as you switch. And lift and switch.

If you're struggling with balance, you can do this on the floor instead of the mat. It'll make it a little bit easier. And switch. Make sure you pass through the position where both heels are up each time. Switch.

Switch, relax the shoulders. And three more. And two. Last set. Both heels up.

As you lower both heels down, grow your spine nice and tall. Once your heels are down, you can relax your arms, shake 'em out, and you're all finished. I hope to see you again next time.


1 person likes this.
Loved your variation and the challenge! Thanks Gia! It was a great start into my day!
1 person likes this.
Great class, Gia! Always love new reformer on the mat classes to mix it up!
Gabriella D
1 person likes this.
Mega !thanks 🦾
1 person likes this.
Thanks, everyone! I'm so glad you enjoyed this class!
1 person likes this.
Great class ☺️
1 person likes this.
Great class ☺️
Lina S
1 person likes this.
Interesting class!
1 person likes this.
Great class! Happy to find you did a new one as I do your other classes often!
1 person likes this.
Fabulous as always Gia. Thank you.
Great flow! Thank you
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