Class #5286

Unilateral Reformer

40 min - Class


You will find a greater depth of connection to your body with this detailed Reformer workout by Meredith Rogers. She teaches a unilateral class designed to help you improve the imbalances in your body. She includes exercises that will improve your strength and mobility so that you can find more movement and length in your spine and extremities.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Jun 13, 2023
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

Hi, thank you for joining me. Today, we are going to do some work on the reformer, and we're gonna do a unilateral focus in today's class. Okay, here we go. I have a blue spring and a box. We're gonna take a moment, stand tall, feel the arms reaching down, feel the spine lifting up.

Take the arms up, round the spine forwards, and place your hands on the box. Begin to elongate your spine. So we establish the flat back shape, and then we take the spine down. Take that flat back shape down. Push down into your feet, push the box away as you articulate back up to standing.

And again, we establish the flat back. The box moves in relationship to the movement of the spine. We take the spine forward and round. We'll repeat one more time like this. Find a flat back.

Take the box forward, take the spine down. Maybe you'll go a little lower this time. She says to herself, roll up. All the way. Take the arms up.

Roll back down. Place both hands on the left side of the box. Reach out into that flat back shape, but this time, let the right ribcage reach down as the left ribcage reaches around and round, coming through center. And flatten and take rotation, and round coming back through center. So just the arms are offset there.

And flatten and rotate. Maybe you'll go a little further and around and come up. And take the arms up and roll down. Take the hands to the opposite side of the box, however it's comfortable for you, really. They don't have to be one on top of the next, so you'll just organize as you wish.

Reach out and into rotation. The right ribcage this time lifts up as the hands are on the right side of the box. We articulate the spine back in. And inhale, reach out long and rotate. Going nice and low in that rotation, and round.

And last one, reach out and rotate. And round. And stand up. And take the arms up. Last thing here, round down.

Hands go on both sides of the box again, just the way we started. Go down into that low flat spine. The magic of this is that we'll get probably a lot lower in that second pass through. Bend your arms. Feel the shoulders, draw down away from the ears to take the arms back to straight and bend.

Elbows go wide. Abdominals lift up into the spine supporting that shape, and bend the arms and feel the spine reaching out with the arms as the scapula pulls down towards the pelvis and articulate the spine to come back in. Once the box comes to a stop, roll up onto your feet. Okay, so we're gonna bend down. We're gonna put some springs on for footwork.

I'm gonna choose to use three red springs. So when you're choosing your springs, know that you wanna choose a spring that you can comfortably push with one leg. Come all the way up and sit down on the box. We're gonna place the feet on the foot bar. Lift the spine tall, reaching forwards, and then roll down onto the box.

Take the arms back. Allow the upper spine to reach over the top of the box. Reach around, press down with your feet, reach forward with your arms and roll yourself back up to sitting up tall. And inhale and roll down. Feel in that low spine come into the box.

This is difficult for your spine. You can always reach back. Put your feet underneath the strap. Go back with the spine. Come around with the arms.

Roll back up. All the way, nice and smooth, nice and fluid in the body and back. And reach, and around, and forward. Come all the way up to sitting. Reach up to bring your hands behind your head.

Feel the feet evenly placed on the foot bar as you rotate, and center and rotate and center, pressing the legs into one another, feeling the length of the spine as you take your rotation. The head stays steady in the hands, meaning I'm not turning with my eyes so much as I'm turning with my spine. And rotate and center. And rotate and center. Now, try this.

Take rotation. Now, just look with your eyes in the direction that you're going and go further. Oh, wow, it's like magic. And come to center and take your rotation. Just the eyes, look where you're going.

And now go where you're looking and center. Take the arms forwards, roll down onto the box. Lift one leg and down. The leg that stays down pushes down as the opposite leg floats up. We're gonna repeat this three times through.

That's one, two. And two and three and three. Hold that leg up. Lift the opposite leg to join it. Reach back, hands behind your head.

Take both legs down at the same time. Keep the low back connected to the box, and up and down and up. Three more times, down and up. And two more times. Keeping the height of the torso.

If it feels too difficult, scoot a little forward on the box. Last one. And lift. Take the hands to the left leg. Drop the right leg in a hip hinge and change, using the arms to help rotation.

And change and change. So I never like to use my arms to make something easier. Instead, I like to use my arms to look for depth of connection. And change. And two and two and one and one.

Come back into center, reach forwards, place one foot down, place the other leg down. Now, the big mystery of the day is, can we come back up from there and take the arms down? That was difficult. We're gonna move the box out of the way. We're going to set up the foot bar.

We're already set up with our springs. We're going to sit down and lie down. I like my headrest up for this. You can decide what you like. The heels of the feet are on the bar and the feet are flexed.

We're gonna feel the backside of the legs engaged to stretch the spring and resist back in. And press at and back in. And press at and back in. Thinking about stability, thinking about control, one more time. And in.

Hold here. Lift the left leg off the bar, stabilize in the pelvis and stretch the right leg only. And bend and stretch out and bend. Heavy spring for the one leg. I like it.

And bend, and two, fully extending through the leg. And one and in. Place the left foot down. Push out just once, recalibrating and back. And lift the right leg and press with the left.

Five and four. If you move faster than me, you can do more repetitions. Three, I like to move mindfully and slowly. Last time, it's a good rhythm for me. And bend.

Place the right foot down. Press out one more time. Recalibrating and bend. Come on to your toes. Take the carriage out and in.

Feel the arms active on the reformer on the carriage. Shoulder blades are wide. Collarbones are open. Last two and last time. Come in, lift the left leg, press out with the right leg for five, keeping that heel still.

And four and three. Working from the back of the leg to initiate till, and one. And back, both feet on the foot bar, press out once. And in. Lifts the right leg.

Press with the left leg, five. And which leg is easier for you? Can you guess which one's easier for me? Three. And keeping the pelvis steady, Meredith, two and one.

Come back in, both feet on the foot bar, press out one time and bend. Bring the heels together so you're in a small V shape, supporting through the hips as we take the carriage out and bend, squeezing the heels together. Two, squeezing the inner thighs together. And three, keeping the pelvis in neutral. And four and five.

Come back in. Lift the left foot, keep the rotation in the hips. Press out with the right leg. Five and four. And finding control, stability.

Three and two and one. And join the feet. Press out one time and bend. Left leg stays on the bar. Right leg lifts up and we go out and in.

Not shifting the pelvis. Two and in. And three, working the spring in both directions. And four and back, and five and back. Join the feet together.

Press out one time. Recalibrate, come back in. Swivel the feet so that we're back into parallel alignment. Press out and lower all the way under the bar, and up, all the way under, wrapping the toes around the foot bar and lift from the back of the leg. And three, and by the back of the leg, I mean, not just the calves, but all the way up into the hamstring.

Last two and last one. Can you lift the left leg and take just the right foot down and up? And two and up, and three and up, and four and up. Last time, and both feet on the bar. One time with both feet.

And up. Hold the left leg still. Hold the pelvis still. Lift the right leg up and take the left heel down. And five, down, and four, down, and three, down, and two, down, and one, both feet on the foot bar.

One time with both feet down at the same time, and up and alternate. And changing the legs, meet in the middle, and one leg bends and one leg reaches. And as we continue to alternate from side to side, we stay nice and supported in the pelvis. Nice and controlled in the pelvis. Nice and steady.

Get that full stretch underneath the bar. Try to maximize that range of motion. Two and two, one and one. Lift up, bend in, reach over the top of the foot bar with your knees. Take your arms up towards the ceiling.

Lift your head and chest. Roll up. Take the bar in your hands, lift your spine. And that's just a fancy way to sit up and change the spring. So I'm going blue and red.

Now reaching forwards. Rolling back down. And place the feet onto the foot bar. Take the straps, push out, place the feet into the straps. Heels together, toes apart.

Frog position and reach at and in. And feel the backs of the legs working to press at. Feel the center of the body working all the time. Oh, my legs are tired. Three, fun fact, two.

And straighten the legs. Lift them up, keep the pelvis heavy, and press down and around. I'm laughing 'cause both of my hips just popped. And around, full circles, full stability and around. Touch, and two, completing the circle before we move again.

And one, around. And take the reverse, open, press down and together, and back up, open, press down and together and back up. And three. Stirring in the hip joints. Everything else is steady.

Two and one. From there, bend the right knee, reach the left leg long. Pull back to center with the straight leg. Bringing the legs together and change. The straight leg is where we pull from.

It's harder that way. And reach, the legs separate evenly the thighs. Separate evenly and together and change and together. And three and together. And three and together.

And two, keep the pelvis steady. And together. And two and together. Last time. And last time on this side and center.

We're gonna, if your headrest is up, please take it down. From there, lift the legs until they're perpendicular to the ground. Roll spine up, standing in the straps, trying to hold the reformer steady. Lift all the way up. Use your back extensors.

Open the legs about shoulder distance apart. Roll down through your spine. Keep the arms active. Roll all the way down, drop the pelvis, take the legs down and together. My voice is not working well today.

I'm sorry about that. Come to up. Roll up. Nice and tall. Lot of back extensors.

Open lot of hip extensors to hold the carriage steady. Rolling down. Trying to come evenly down onto the pelvis. Touch down, down, together, and up, inhale. Long spine.

Exhale, roll up. Open, roll down. Challenging myself to come down evenly. That's not easy for me. Touch together last time.

Inhale and roll up. And open and roll down. All the way. And come down and together. Bend your knees and take your feet out of the straps.

Place the straps down. Turn to your side, help yourself up. And we're going to just one spring. I'm using a red. Okay, we're gonna stand up.

I'm on the right side of the reformer, so I'm gonna put my left foot up on the shoulder block. The right heel is gonna line up with the toes of the left foot. Bend your right knee, stand on your arms around your spine and pick that left leg up. Now, hold the torso stable as you take the leg out, and at, exhaling to bring the carriage and think of using your abdominals. Pull the leg in from the center of the body.

Two and one. Take that round spine into a flat spine and take the leg out. The right leg doesn't move, it stays bent. The arms are helpful here. Think of pulling the shoulders away from the ears.

Last two, last time. Come all the way back in, round the spine, place the knee down, bring the carriage in, and come around to the other side. The right foot goes up onto the reformer. Toes are tucked under. The left heel lines up with those right toes.

We find some strength in our arms. Keep the shoulders back, round to the spine. Float that right knee up. Square the pelvis. I'm doing my best so I hope I'm square.

And we go at and in and at Pull in, focus on pulling from the center of the body. Three, and at and back to, and at and back. Hold and flatten the spine and reach out and back. And two and in, and three and in, and four and in, and five and in, and round to the spine. Bring the knee down.

Bring the carriage in. Come up onto the reformer and push it out just a little bit so you can step one foot into the frame. So what I do is I let my leg just block the reformer while I put my left foot up against the shoulder block. Right knee is going to bend, and we're going to press the left leg out and back, lifting the spine, pressing away from the bar with the arms. You're welcome.

Breathing. Now, to go into the ham stretch, to go into the hamstring stretch, we're going to straighten both knees. Squaring the pelvis and breathing. I have my front foot flexed. We're gonna bend the right knee, bend the left knee, come in and up into that foot bar and breathe, using the back of that left leg to maximize the stretch through the front of the left leg.

And now both legs straighten, and breathe. Bring both knees to a bent position. Come back in, bring the carriage in so it touches the back of that right leg. Oh, springs and change. So again, just block the reformer with your leg.

Reach back and place that right leg onto the shoulder block. Then we can position the pelvis, lift the spine up and back, and breathe. And then take both legs to straight, as you take the carriage back. And breathe. Bend both knees.

Bring the spine into the upright shape. Think of arching the back and pressing the pelvis forward and drawing the abdominals in to create support for the lower back. And then we take both legs to straight. And breathe. And bend both knees.

Bend both knees and lift the spine. Come in, bring that left leg back up. Come all the way in and change the spring. I'm gonna use a yellow. Doesn't sound like it's very heavy, does it?

I think you'll be happy with it. We're gonna collect the box, bring it to the reformer, put it down, sit on it. Yellow spring, you say, for chest expansion? Yes, yes. So we take the arms back, lifting the spine and forwards, pressing the knees into one another, and take the arms back, and forward three more.

Take the arms back. Are you sitting exactly upright? I just caught myself leaning forward a little bit. So hopefully, I've corrected that. And two and one.

Now, here's where you're gonna be happy with the lighter spring. I imagine I actually quite like this on a light spring. We're gonna pull back with just the right arm and turn and center. Catch both tensions. What I mean by that is as you take a rotation, the one spring will go slack.

The one strap will go slack, rather. I cannot get my words together today. Twist and center and twist and center. One more, twist and center, and twist and center. And bend forward.

Put the straps down. Turn to one side. So we're gonna sit in the center of the box. I'm reaching towards the strap that's at the front, touching the box with my free hand. This hand comes up like you're listening to your hand with your ear.

And then we go straight up from there and bend. And straight up trying to hold the body steady. That's the difficult part for me. Shoulder blade goes down as the arm reaches up, and down and two and down and one. And put the strap in your opposite hand.

The other free hand comes to the box, presses against the box. Take the arm out and straighten and back. So we go upper arm and then lower arm, and bend and back, and three and back, and two. Fair amount of stability work. Last one.

Trying to hold the body stable. All the way back, reach down, place that strap back and turn around. So reach down and take ahold of the strap that's closest to the front. The free hand is pressing against the side of the box. We bring the hand up next to the ear.

Everything stays centered as we take the arm up and bend. The elbow is just in front of the strap and bend. The spine is stable, the legs are together. Last two, and bend. One more.

And bend, change the hands. Starting just in between the belly button and the ribcage, take the upper arm, the lower arm, the lower arm, the upper arm, so the back of that shoulder initiate that movement. And three and in. Keeping pressure against the box with the other arm too. And back and last time, and all the way in.

Put the strap down. Come up off the box. We're going into side overs next. So we take the box and turn it. Take the bar down.

Stabilize the carriage with your springs. Grab the strap. Come up. Hooking the top foot in underneath the strap, reach down, place the hand down on the headrest. Organize yourself into a straight line.

Bring the hands behind the head and go over the box, and back to that straight line and over the box. And back to the straight line and over the box. And back to the straight line. And two and back and one and back. Place your hand down.

Reach down with your arm or your elbow to the headrest would be fine too. Take that top arm in. Reach overhead, reach the leg in the opposite direction. You're welcome. Leaning into the stretch, take rotation.

One hand on either side of the frame. Come up. Turn around. Change sides. Starting with the hand on on the frame, just to give yourself an opportunity to square the body.

Hands behind the head, and go over and long, and over and out. Full range and up. Full range and up. One more time, my friends. Over and up.

And the hand goes down and the arm go reaches down, and the opposite arm reaches up overhead and you lean into that stretch. Come into rotation. Come up. Step out, turn the box back into the long box shape. Go back to one blue spring.

Once you have the blue spring hooked up, come up onto the box. I'm gonna finish in centering, centering. Walk up, put your hands on the risers. Energizing through the legs, we take the elbows out and lift the spine. Think of pulling the risers apart.

And reach back down, control. If you feel yourself sliding on the box, you might get a sticky. Reaching the spine up and down and pull wide with the elbows as you bring your chest through towards your hands. And down. And two.

Opening the chest and down. And one. And down. And carefully come back. Once the carriage comes to a stop, come up off the box.

Come around and stand at the front. Oh, my body feels like it's been challenged. Take the arms overhead. Round down, put your hands on the box. Elongate your spine.

Take the spine down. Do you have more range in your body? I sure do. And around. Keeping the pelvis over the feet, and reach out, and round just one more.

And reach out and round. When the carriage comes to a stop, we find our weight on our feet. We come all the way up. We're bringing the arms up overhead and opening them out to the side. Taking a pause there and then all the way down.

Thank you.


2 people like this.
Duuuudeee.  Your cues were on point!  With no dance or physio background at all (literally just a home pilates junkie) I’ve always appreciated your straightforward  descriptions  but this workout required zero ‘looking at the monitor’ for me!     Instant favorite.    Thank you!
2 people like this.
Absolutely spot on cues. Perfection. Meredith, thank you so much for this unilateral reformer session at home. Loved it so much and will do it again and again. 
2 people like this.
Thank you for the beautiful class, Meredith! I am feeling strong and centered and love it!
1 person likes this.
Thank you Meri! I needed that- simple, challenging and mindful- perfect! You really are the best. Miss you. 💕💕💕
Melissa D
1 person likes this.
Great class! Love the flow!
1 person likes this.
Thank you Meredith - perfect for a hot day in London!  (Love your leggings too).
Jill Y
1 person likes this.
Another great video, but love all of Meredith’s videos
Courtney W
1 person likes this.
I am yet to meet a Meredith Rogers reformer class I did not love! This was perfect in every way ❤️ 
1 person likes this.
Love!  Thank you Meredith 
1 person likes this.
I really liked the single leg heavy footwork.  It was quite challenging for my quads!  As always great cues!
1-10 of 32

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