Class #5341

Overball Reformer Flow

30 min - Class


Use the Overball to give you proprioception in this challenging Reformer workout by Maria Leone. She flows through this quick class giving you options for each movement so you can make each exercise work for your body. She includes creative variations that allow you to focus on unilateral work, balance, stability, and more.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Overball

About This Video

May 24, 2023
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Hi, I'm Maria Leone. And today, we're gonna do a reformer workout. I'm using a ball and a box. Set your machine up for your footwork. At least three heavy springs is what I recommend.

Come on to your back. Headrests can be up or down, the footbar wherever you do your footwork. Feet are wide on the bar. Take a moment to settle. Take a breath in, and on an exhale, begin to flow, pressing out and in.

Most of you have probably done this footwork series quite a bit. So just focus on your breath, focus on the length of your spine, deepen your connection to your body on the way in. Feet are nice and still. Stay in, let's change the feet to first position. Heels are high, and wrapping the legs to pull out.

Spinning the inner thighs up to the sky. Really making sure that the tension isn't squishing you. So lengthen that spine. And that length comes from the center of the body. Inner thighs drawing into the midline.

Check back in with those heels again, there's a tendency for them to lower. Last time here. All the way in. And the heels come on the bar, feet are nice and parallel. From the back of the leg pressing out and in.

Really feeling the movement of the hip socket a fraction of a second before the movement of the knee. Take a moment to focus on that. Keep moving. And I'm gonna invite some of you to bring one leg to tabletop. So we've just doubled the tension.

Depending on how you were set to begin with, you may not be doing this. And then of course, changing legs. I'm changing now. Pressing that thigh bone straight down. Feeling a connection to the center of the body.

Still loading and moving from that hip socket. Two more like this. Come on in. Find yourself with all 10 toes on the bar, legs are tight. Pull yourself out.

See if you can get one inch longer. Maintain this length. Lower the heels, lift the heels. Continue like this. And I want you to really seal the legs together and see if you can feel the wrap of all 10 toes on that bar.

Jo did focus a lot on the feet. It's one of the beauties of the work that we do is that we integrate literally the footwork into what we do. Last time here. And then come on in, sit yourself up, and pick up the ball. Back on your back.

And we're gonna place the ball between the knees. And if your headrest was up, go ahead and put it down. And you're gonna just take a little drawing in on the ball, not as tight as you can, but just to bring awareness to the sit bones. And let's bridge your hips up, and bridge them down. And I'm doing a neutral bridge right now.

You might be articulating, you might be neutral. It's up to you. Power comes from the hip, and always adding that little drawing in at the top. Or if you're not up to that today, just going up and down, using the ball more as a guide for the tracking of the knee. Make sure at the top of your bridge the rib cage is still closed.

Very different than a yoga bridge. Same word but means very different for us in Pilates. Stay up at the top. Pause here. Now from here, the hips travel to one edge of your reformer, and back to the top.

And then the hips travel the other way. So one glute touches the carriage and you come up. Continue to move like that. So it involves a little rotation of your hips and it's sort of surprising how much harder that is. See if you can keep the connection to the ball.

I want the ball relatively still. It's not gonna be perfectly still. Just changing the angle here on the thigh bone, changes what part of the hamstring we're focused on. Two more. And stay at the top for me now.

And now from here, staying at the top, a little twist. One hip goes to the ceiling and then the other. Sort of like a little belly dance action here. Pure rotation. You're not releasing, you're not dropping, you're constantly building your intensity.

For me, my inner thighs are on fire. Breathing in, breathing out, and checking in, make sure you're not frowning or tensing the forehead. Easy movement, efficient movement. And all the way down. Slide that ball to your ankles.

Hands come wide on the shoulder blocks and we're gonna do a little corkscrew prep. Rotate over to one side, pause here. Exhale, pullback, center. Inhale, up and over, really controlling the dissent of the legs, and exhale, center. And again, that ball between the ankles kinda keeps you honest, right?

So the hips and the ankles are stacked. Pull yourself back from the center of the body. Check in with what the shoulder blades in the upper arm are doing. They should be nice and wide. Last one like this.

You can stay like this or add the little circle. So we go over. The legs go over the footbar, you rotate to the other side and come up. And repeat that. Fine here if you wanna work with the knees bent.

Inhaling, exhaling. Really finding that nice full rotation. Head and shoulders quiet. One more each way. Increasing the intensity in the core as we go through center.

That's where you gotta check in. Right there in that center moment. The knees come in, the ball goes in your hands, lift your hips up and place the ball under your sacrum. Actually, you know what? Bring the ball up to your lower back for a minute.

Open the knees and just drop. Yeah, we're in extension. Gently rock yourself from side to side. That should feel pretty nice. Just allow the hips to open.

Come back parallel and let's move the ball down now to right under the sacrum. Take your legs to the ceiling. From here, wrap the front of the ribs, lower one leg down, and exhale up. Really feeling the connection to the core, and exhaling up. We're also working on how we're tracking the leg.

Nice alignment from the toe to the knee of the hip. And of course, some of you are gonna take this immediately to two legs. You can continue with that just taking one or two legs straight up and down. You can also come halfway down, stay here and take a little flutter. little bit more challenging.

Check in with your arms. Make sure you're not bracing and gripping the arms and the shoulders to hold your body still. For three, wherever you're at. Two. Wherever you're at, one.

The knees come in and the feet go to the bar. Take the ball out, lower your hips, suit yourself up. We're doing our first spring change. We're gonna be working with a single arm. I recommend one heavy spring.

That's gonna depend on what your reformer ride feels like. Kind of an awkward transition. One hand into the loop. Headrest can be up or down. And now the opposite hand, you might have to look up at me for a minute.

The opposite hand and the ball goes on top of your thighbone Not on top of your knees, thighbone. Bring your two legs to tabletop and just settle into this shape. Ribs are tight. Now I want you to feel like you're pressing in on the ball with the hand and mostly the knee. Keep this connection and then the loaded arm goes straight down, straight up.

Straight down, straight up. Don't get distracted by the arm. Keep compressing in on that ball. Front ribs are tight. Now, if this is your first time, you might just wanna stay here.

There's a lot going on. Brain is really being overloaded. Eventually that free leg is gonna reach over the footbar and it might stay there the whole time, it might go out and in. Up to you. All of our rules of moving the armor at play.

What does that mean? The arm is connected to your back for me. Keep the arm down and this begin to bend and straighten that elbow, adding a little bit more heat to the tricep. Now I'm coming out of this shape. I'm going back to tabletop 'cause that is what my lower back is telling me to do.

Last time here. The arm goes up, two feet to the bar. Put that loop down. Hopefully that other loop is right there for you to pick up. Mine luckily is.

The hand goes up, set yourself up. Hand and ball tight, other leg to tabletop. Just take a moment. You should feel engaged. You should feel a little work even though you're not moving.

And then begin to float that arm up and down. And you'll definitely notice a difference. Side to side. My body's wanting to shift now. I have to really hold my attention onto my spine much more than I did on the first side.

Once you get your bearings, feel free to extend the free leg. Put your attention back on the compression of that ball. Put your attention back on the ribcage being closed. Put your attention on how you're moving that arm. Consider beginning to bend and straighten the elbow.

And again, I'm changing 'cause that's what my body is telling me to do. I don't need to be a hero today. I want you to really control the machine in both directions. The up and the down phase equally important. Last time here.

The arm goes up, the two feet go down. Well, that was fun, wasn't it? I think so. That was fun. The ball is going between your knees.

Your tension is gonna be what you usually use for arm work, facing front. Either in a medium or heavy. The balls going between your knees, grab hold of your loops. You also have some control here by how close or far away you are from the shoulder blocks. This you probably know already.

Hands are here. And on an exhale, we're gonna press the arms out, and in. Just simple server tray. Now the ball is there, just to give you a little proprioception for your pelvic floor. Pelvic floor lifts.

It's up to you whether you wanna ever so gently feel like you're drawing those sit bones together. Keep growing tall. Push those shin bones down. And now bring the hands into your waist and pause. Arms are still, we're gonna do a squat.

So the hips go back, and the hips come forward. Squat, way trickier to do and teach than you might think. Really moving here from the hip socket, hinging and pressing. Head and shoulders stay more or less the same. Your gaze is gonna be straight ahead here.

Last one like that. Okay, little coordination. Let's see if I can do it. One squat and then server tray. One squat, and move the arms.

Inhale, and exhale. And again here, try to get some power from your legs and your hips. That's sort of the secret here. The little trick if you might, right? I'm not relying just on the strength of my arms.

Come back down, and now we're gonna reverse that. So we start with the arms out, we lift, hands to the waist. Exhale out. Hips back, arms forward. And up.

Spin the biceps forward, spin the palms up here. You may not make it all the way straight with your arms. You may need to lower the arms down. Move from that center of the body integrating everything head to toe. And come on up.

Okay, put one rope down, rotate to the back with the ball between your knees. We're going into a tricep. So be nice and tall. Your distance on the reformer will play a role in your tension. Begin pulling that arm straight back and in.

So you've done this very often, I'm sure. Go through your little checklist. Don't worry about how much that hand is moving. Move the upper arm. Move from the tricep.

And now let's add rotation in the direction of your rope, whatever side you're on. And we're gonna continue on just that side. Hips are staying nice and still, and the crown of the head is just going straight up to the sky. Continue to draw in on that ball for me please. Last one.

And let's change sides. Hand goes into the loop, be beautifully tall, and let's start moving. Collarbones are open. Just that beautiful ease of movement. Doesn't mean the work is easy, it means you make it look easy.

Keep your breath flowing for me. When you're ready, you can add rotation. Up to you. If you're rotating, the action of the arm is exactly the same. It's precipitated with an action of the rib cage rotating in the direction of the rope.

Two more like this. And last one. Keep holding that loop. Turn yourself all the way back around to the front of the machine. Pick up the other loop, and just a sweet, quick server tray here.

One more time. Pressing out and in. This time adding a little chest. Out, open, close, and in. Out, open, close, and in.

Keep flowing. If you need it a little bit harder, move a little forward. If you need a little lighter, just scoot yourself back a little bit. Two more here. Lift the chest, biceps up.

Keep growing tall. And we're done with that. Moving on. Put your loops down, come off your machine. You are going to go and grab your box.

Box is going to go into the long position. We're gonna begin some extension work. Get your foot bar out of the way, and we are still working with the ball. Put your machine on one heavy spring. Ball is in your hand, come onto the box, and let's start with the chest off the edge.

Drop your head and shoulders off and bring the ball behind you. Energy through the legs. Roll the ball away from you and peel the chest up. Stay here. Keep the neck long.

Pull the abdominals in. Breathe into the front of the chest. Lot of rhomboid. Lot of posterior delt. Lower everything down.

You can stay with that exercise or move on. Roll the shoulder, heads back, lift the heart. Stay here. Now the ball's gonna move. Open the arms to the side, transfer the ball, and then come all the way back behind you.

And then open over the head. I'm staying lifted. But certainly if for any reason this were uncomfortable, just come to neutral. Much easier to be in the neutral position. I think I will do that myself right now.

Abdominals are pulled up. The spine is so long. Really be aware of the positioning of the head. Do not let it drop. Keep the breath full.

Last one here. Ball in your hand, and then bring yourself up. Turn and face the back of the machine. I know you need to round that lower back. So bring the ball right into your lower back, and find a little comfortable C shape.

You can even bring your hands under your thigh bones for a minute just to really feel that round shape. The hands come forward. We're gonna do a little gentle pulse here. Many of you are just gonna continue here. Another option is take the hands behind the head.

Believe it or not, just changing the arm to this position really changes the intensity of your exercise. Last one like this. Push the ball away from you and just lift the chest. I always like to incorporate little counter stretches. Bring the ball back under your lower back.

Some of you will do that set again, that same pulse again if you want challenge, and it is indeed challenging. Hands behind the head. We rotate, we reach back over the ball, maybe not that far, and we come center. We twist, we reach back, and we come center, but not all the way up, pushing into the ball. And I know you can begin bouncing around here and bouncing off the ball to help you, don't do that.

Smooth and controlled. Inhale. And exhale. I'm certain some of you can touch that box with the elbow. Abdominals working the whole time.

Last one here. All the way up. And transfer the ball between your knees. Choke up onto your loops wherever you can be where there's no slack. Tuck your tailbone under, roll yourself down to the bra line and bring your legs to tabletop.

From here, staying lifted. The legs go down, the legs come up. Inhale. And exhale. You might be more comfortable with the inside edges of your feet touching.

That's fine. Up to you how much you're gonna work the ball. But what I don't want is for you to get distracted by how low the leg is going. All of your attention right now on the lower back. And the phase where the legs move away from you is where the challenge is.

Not the way up. That's not that interesting. The way down is the interesting part. Yeah, I'm distracting you again. I know.

Rock yourself up. Take a minute. Let's do a similar thing here. Pull yourself back. Belly in, the legs lift.

And now from here, the legs go down and up. Of course, you could do this back on your back. Again, we're not gonna be here for long. Inhale. And exhale.

And last one. Inhale. And exhale, two feet down. Just turn your head from side to side. Hands into your loops.

We're rolling back to the back, right to the edge of the scapulas, legs to tabletop, and begin a little bicep curl here. And if this is too light for you, always an option to go one arm at a time. Very hard to keep the pelvis stable like that. So you choose what's appropriate. Also, of course, an option to add the legs.

so the legs would lower and come up. Really paste the spine into the box. Few more here. Never losing slack on the rope, everyone. Last one.

And rock yourself up. We are moving on. The loops go down. Keep holding the ball. We're gonna move the box.

If you have a handle on the box please try to position it to the back of the machine, you'll be more comfortable. We're changing your spring down to a medium spring. And we're gonna be kneeling, doing a little plank series. Check out the setup. The ball is going between the knee and the box, forearms on the box, push the carriage out.

Kinda get yourself situated and know that the box is gonna stay still. So belly in, push down through the forearms, and then just lift the knee up and hold it. Now I want the back heel back. You're gonna try to push that back heel up, don't do that. Put the knee down.

And again, big exhale, push with the forearms lift, make sure the hips spill, square, and lower down. One more time. And push and lift. Really source energy from the arms all the way up to the center of the body, and lower down. Adding a little challenge.

Lift yourself up. Pause here. Now from here, roll the ball up the box, and down. Try not to touch the knee. Right back up.

You're still squashing the ball. And lower. Machine doesn't move, lift, and lower, knee down. Come on in. Let's take a counter stretch.

Place the ball behind you. Pull the knuckles down, pull the pubic bone forward. Big breath into the front of the lungs, and let's come back down. Ball goes in the same place. Forearms around the box.

Push yourself out. Lift the knee up, set yourself. Now from here, we do move the box. Everything comes in, the knee bends, and we shoot out. Three to five of these, I think, is ideal.

That's two for us if you're moving with me. You can move quicker. Ooh, that's do five today. Big exhale out, hips are parallel. Push through your hands.

Come on in, put the knee down. Let's go right to the other side. No stretch. Set yourself up. The forearms are down.

You know what you're doing now. Reach back through that opposite heel, and the knee comes up. Push into the ball. Lower down. And again.

Lift yourself up, drive the knee of the ball, make sure the hips are square, and lower down. And again. We sort of set up for this earlier on in that single arm exercise. Remember that? One more time.

We're doing an extra one. Compress. Compress. And down. And come on in.

Let's go back out. Lift the knee up, hold it here, roll the ball up the box, and down. Right back up, two. Carriage is still. Right back up, three.

And down. Bring the carriage in. Now let's take that counter stretch. Inhale, lift the chest, pubic bone forward. (Maria inhales) (Maria exhales) Okay.

Last little set here. Go back to your start position with the carriage out. Square off the hips, compress the knee to the ball, hold it here, and now bring the carriage in and out. Ideally, you're making it all the way into the bumper. That's gonna depend a little bit on your knee and your length.

Push through the hands, hips are square, and keep working the ball. And come on in. And we are out of there. Pick up the ball. Stand facing me.

You're gonna get on your machine by stepping to the ledge, and then bring the other foot up right to the edge of your carriage. Arms like so. Now the machine is light. It looks like a leg exercise, it's not. Stand up nice and tall.

We got a little coordination here. Side bend up and over towards the back of your machine. See if you can get your two hands on the ball. You might be able to, maybe not. Bring the carriage in.

Keep bending. Keep bending. Keep bending. Then everything comes up together and open. Let's repeat.

Up and over. Getting long, pulling the hands towards each other, maybe they touch, maybe they don't. Bring the carriage in but keep bending towards the box, all the way up and open. Last one here. Up and over.

Draw in on the ball. Keep bending towards your box all the way up and open. To come out, step back behind you. And over to your other side, you're gonna have my back for a minute. Again, stepping to the ledge, and then the other foot to the edge of the carriage.

Arms are open in a T, tail is down, side bend over towards the box, bring the carriage in, keep bending towards the box. Everything comes up together. And open. Side bend, tail drops down. Keep getting taller.

The carriage comes in, get long, long, long. All the way up. And open. And again. Side bend.

Keep opening. Breathing into that top lung for me please. All the way up. Open the arms and then carefully stepping yourself down. You can peg your ball or toss it out of the way.

Bring your footbar up one position lower than you had during footwork, and add any other spring. Let's actually say it's a heavy spring. Have a seat on your box. Bring your two feet to the ledge of the machine. Hands like so.

Bring your fingers forward, that means bring your tail off the box, and little dips here. Try not to go for a huge range of motion. Let's just keep it small and keep the collarbones nice and open. And just kinda notice that quality of that pistonlike kind of feeling in the elbows. Nice alignment.

Crown of the head to the tail. And then have a seat all the way down. Push yourself out. And bring the balls of your feet right to the very, very edge of your footbar, drop your heels and sit yourself up tall. We're going into saw.

Do not lean against your box. Rotate one direction, and then saw yourself forward, reach past your pinky toe. Drop the opposite heel, feel the opposite sit bone anchor to the mount. Come all the way up. Rotate over to the other side, hips don't change, and bend forward.

Keep dropping the heels. Notice how badly you wanna lift those heels up. Come all the way up, rotate, and bending forward. You can keep your knees bent here if you need to. I'm gonna show that a few times.

So same action of the trunk. Just the knees are a little soft. Just to take the edge off of the hamstring. Come all the way in. So feet back to the ledge.

Bring the carriage in. Hands back to the box. Collar bone wide. And another little set here, down and up. But let's slow the tempo.

(Maria inhales) (Maria exhales) (Maria inhales) (Maria exhales) Last one. (Maria inhales) And have a seat on your box, cross your legs, bring your palms onto your knees, close down your eyes. Just take a moment to feel your body. Allow the hands to get heavy. Allow the sit bones to get heavy.

Just notice that feeling of being grounded and energized simultaneously. This is what brings us back to your practice. Thank you everybody. See you again soon.


That was lovely. Thank you!
Shannon P
Loved this! Can’t wait for more of your classes; you are a fantastic instructor.
Elena S
Amazing! Thank you XXX
This class was fun and challenging. I love anything that challenges my balance and proprioception. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Loved loved loved it! Especially the side split and saw variation!! Wonderful cueing as usual!
This was amazing, fun, challenging and creative.  You cueing is so awesome.  Thank you, Maria!  Looking forward to more......
Amazing! Just what I was looking for !
Amazing! Just what I was looking for !
Loved this class! You are my all time favorite! I wish I lived in CA!
What a great class! Some fantastic, creative new things - I loved the series with the plank family variations and the knee against the box
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