Class #5347

Straight Up Reformer

30 min - Class


You will feel the burn with this challenging Reformer workout by Maria Leone. She doesn't waste any time and starts flowing immediately, encouraging you to integrate your movements with your breath. She includes creative variations that will build strength and improve your balance and stability.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Jun 27, 2023
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Hi, I'm Maria Leone and I'm working today with Miku, a lead teacher from my studio. Machine is on one red today. Find yourself facing the back on all fours. The knees go against the shoulder rest, thumbs and fingers overhand on the frame. Start neutral. Inhale here.

Exhale around the back, coming into that beautiful C shape. Inhaling, opening the chest, shoulders away from the ears. Exhale, rounding the back, really pushing down through the shin bones. Inhale, opening the chest, the heart moves forward. One more time here.

Round the back, and inhale, opening the chest. Take a moment to sit yourself back into a child's pose. Step off your reformer. We're gonna move those same shapes now. So find yourself facing the foot bar.

The foot bar should be up where it would be for footwork. Bring your foot against the shoulder block and your two thigh bones in the same plane. Round your back here, drop the shoulders. Inhale, push the carriage out. Open the chest. The heart goes up.

Exhale, round the back, pulling the tailbone under. Explosive here as the chest goes up. Really pushing through that heel and rounding the back and pressing out, letting the hips go nice and low. And again, around the back. This is gonna be very individual.

And open the chest. Bring the carriage all the way in. I'm going up and over to my other side. And again, the star position. Thigh bones in the same plane.

Really pull that tailbone under, you're in cat. Push the carriage out. You're in cow. And you're in cat. And I'm taking the head a little bit more freely and opening the chest, opening the throat, round the back, pull that tail under and inhale into cow.

And last time here, rounding the back and inhaling into cow. Bring the carriage in for me and we're gonna change your spring to either a heavy and a medium or a heavy and a light. You're going onto your back. We're gonna do some supine arms. The headrest can be up or down.

Find yourself with your hands and your loops and your legs at tabletop. From here, bring one arm to the side. Exhale, press the arms into your hips. Inhale, open to the second side. And exhale, pressing down and into the center of the body.

Inhaling to open front ribs to back ribs. Continue to flow like this on your own. Just integrating with your breath. Really keeping control of the carriage and the elbows nice and soft. Now some of you will begin to extend those legs out, maybe all the way out, maybe part of the way out.

The legs are sandwiching together. We got two more here. And then bring your knees in and let the two feet go to the foot bar for a moment. Knees in, arms up, two feet down. Let's repeat that series. So the legs come back up. Find yourself in that nice L-position.

Keep the legs still at first. Exhale, lift into your ab curl as the arms close. And then everything lowers with control and grace. Exhale, lift. Really lifting the heart and lowering it down.

And you choose what you wanna do with your legs. Keep in mind that even just sliding the legs out a few inches is gonna add a lot of heat to the center of the body. Continue using your breath. Continue to flow. Don't worry about where the legs are going. Put your intention to what is happening on the center of the body.

Last time here. Exhale to lift, hold it. And lower everything down, two feet to the bar. Okay, we're moving into a series I call Break the Bar. So this might be new for you.

Bring your legs to tabletop. Hold them here. Exhale and lift to your ab curl. Chest lifts and pause. Take the right foot and put it right under your foot bar.

And then push into the foot bar as if you're trying to pull it up off the machine. Continue to intensify your shape. Press your lower back down into the machine. Energy through the arm so you aren't resting. You're building and building and building your heat here.

And everything comes down. Second side. So lift the top of the body first. Extend that leg under the foot bar and then push it away. Opposite knee is driving in, in, in, in, in. The chest is lifting.

There's energy out through all 10 fingers. Push up on that bar a little bit harder for me. One more breath and lower down. We're gonna add to this. Lift the chest back up. First leg goes back under the bar.

The top leg reaches up and you're gonna drive that thigh bone into you continually. So now you're driving the thigh bone, you're lifting the chest, you are breaking the bar. You're not resting in this shape. You're intensifying. You're deepening the shape. Come all the way down.

Second side, lift the chest. One leg goes under that bar, it drives the bar away. Top leg comes up. Bring your chest and your thigh bone together. So I might not see you moving but you should still feel like you're trying to move.

Keep deepening and deepening. And yes, Miku, the breath is gonna help you here. And lower yourself down. Last set. Inhale here. Exhale. Lift that chest up again. The first leg goes under the foot bar.

You press into the foot bar, top leg now just to 90 degrees. We really wanna feel that connection of the top of the thigh bone into the socket. And here we go. Circling the leg around and up. Hips are still. Around and up for two. Around and up for three. Hold it here.

I think that's enough. Let's lower down. Inhale here. No resting. Right back up. Energy through the fingertips. Elbows are soft. The other leg goes under the foot bar. Push into the foot bar, take the leg straight up.

Nice straight line from the heel to the hip and circling that leg around and stop for one. Around and stop for two. Around and stop for three. Hold it here. And lower everything down. Two feet to the bar. Great work, everybody.

Let's sit up and do a spring change. We're going to two red springs. Your headrest can be up or down. We're going into a little frog series. So the loops are coming onto your feet.

And we're just gonna play around with speed here. So press the legs out straight, seal the inner thighs. And this begins simply bringing the legs in and squeezing the legs out. We do wanna have a sense here of control on the out and the in. And the action is a scissoring of the inner thighs.

Stay out. We're gonna go into jumping frog. So you're gonna come in about halfway, open the legs out wide and then pull them together. Come in halfway, open wide, and pull together. One more like that. In, open and close. And now begin to pick up your tempo as if you're in water, swimming, propelling yourself.

And feel that connection also to the center of the body. (exhaling audibly) Two more here. Keep the legs closed. Flex the feet, bend the knees in about halfway. Take the legs straight up.

Take the legs straight down. Right from the seat of your pants. The back isn't going to change. The heels are glued nice and tight. Working on the way up as well as the way down.

(exhaling audibly) Paying mindful. Paying attention to what's happening in the center of the body. Take the legs straight up, take them straight and parallel. Open the legs the distance of your reformer. Sweep them down and together.

Come up to 90. Open. Sweep them close. With that tempo. Up, open and quick. So we go slow, slow, quick. A little syncopation. Up, open, close. Up, open, close. Never any slack on that rope.

Open. Close. Two more. Up, open, close. Last one. Up, open, close. Bring the knees into your chest. Take off one loop and then the other loop. And up we go.

We are gonna grab your box now. We're going to an extra short position with the box. If there's a handle on your box, make sure it's facing the back of the machine. Take your foot bar down one level and we're gonna go to at least three heavy springs. Sort of what you do for footwork.

Bring your feet on the ledge here. Wiggle your lower back into the box. Some of you might work with your feet on the ledge. Push the carriage out a little bit and then bring the balls of your feet to the foot bar and then bring the carriage in as deeply as you can. Really try to get the carriage all the way into the bumper.

From here, the belly button propels us into the box to straighten the legs. And in. Right back out for two. And in. So this is stomach massage. Those of you that know the traditional work. Exhale and inhale.

Exhale and inhale. Two more here. Wrapping those legs. Last time. Press out, stay out. Lift the arm straight up over your head. I'm keeping mine down.

And we're gonna do some releves here. Lower and lift. Lower and lift. Lower and lift. Lower and lift. Lower and lift. Two more here. Last time, keep the heels up.

If you haven't already, reach your hands back to the back corners of the box. Push down through the heel of the hand. From here, release one leg under the bar and we come in and straight out. Two and out. Make sure you aren't leaning into the box. Use the box to help you get more height in the trunk.

Last one, two feet come up, the other foot comes off. And we go in and out. Powering from the back of that thigh bone. Making sure the head is not moving forward in space. Last one here.

And the two feet go onto the bar, bring the carriage in. Ideally the feet stay here. Reach under, take a spring off. Bring the arms up in front of you. Stretch your legs. Rotate one direction. Don't lean against the box.

And we come in. And then we rotate. And in. Really feeling action in two directions with the rib cage and two directions with the arm. We twist. And in. Let's not forget about that scissoring of the inner thighs. Last one, stay in.

Slowly bring your hands by your side. Stretch your legs and bring your feet right to the edges of the foot bar. The legs go straight, drop the heels down. Be seated tall. The arms come east and west of your body.

Rotate one direction and we come into a saw. Bend way far forward. Drop the heels, feel the opposite hip down. And all the way up. Rotate and reach forward.

The foot bar here really keeps you honest, doesn't it? Keep dropping those heels. All the way up. Rotate and dive forward. Reach, reach, reach, reach, reach. And all the way up.

Twist and dive forward. Sink the opposite heel and hip. Come all the way up. Hands come down, feet to the ledge. Bring the carriage in.

Bring your hands right on top of your box. And from here we come straight up and we go right to a little set of dips. Down and up. The back is nice and straight. Shoulder blades stay wide.

And let's hold it at the top. Step your feet on top of your foot bar. Push into your feet and lift the hips up. Lower down. You can sit if you need. Right back up for two.

Try to stretch the hip flexors and lower down. Right back up, three. And lower down two feet to the ledge. Back into a set of dips. Down and up. These can be as big or as small as you'd like. Make sure the elbows are pointed straight back.

Shoulder blades are drawing together. Let's sit for a minute. Two feet to the top of the foot bar. I'm gonna move my hands further back from my tabletop this time. You can keep yours where they were if you'd like.

And then stepping into your feet and lifting up, and lower down, especially if you're taller, you're gonna want a little bit more space. Step, push up, and lower down. Last one here. And lift up, and lower down. Hands back to the edge of the box, feet to the ledge. Lower yourself down.

And let's move the foot bar. And we're gonna change the spring. I recommend a medium spring now. Turn and face the back of your machine. Carefully step up right in front of your box.

Let's have you take your right hand into the loop. I'm gonna work without the loop today. I'm taking care of a shoulder. From here, that straight arm pulls straight back and slowly down. Back for two.

Check in with the lower back. Check in with the head position. It's really nice here to have this box. So some of you bring the arm down, reach that opposite leg straight back behind you. Remember the foot bar might be in the way if you didn't put it down.

And now start moving that arm with the leg up. Sweeping it back, lowering it down. The kneecap is pointing straight down. Very doable here with this box here for support. Last time, stay here.

Some of you bending the elbow and pressing out and in. Working in both directions. Important that you never feel slack on that rope. Last one. In and out. Lower the arm, lower the foot. Put your loop down, grab the other loop.

Also, reminder, you have control of your tension by where you're holding that loop, right? Arm is straight. Let's start pressing the arm back, and in. Back and in. And if you can be just on your fingertips, that's gonna give you just that little bit extra, that feeling of balance.

Hold the arm down. Maybe reach the opposite leg back. Maybe not. You might have to slow your tempo a little bit. Keep the collarbones wide. Keep your knee cap pointed straight down.

Moving from your tricep, guys, not your hand. Keep your focus on that shoulder joint moving. Pull the arm back and stay. Some of you begin to bend and straighten the elbow. Relax the upper traps in the neck.

I prefer that bottom leg to have a little bend in it, right? So we're also working stabilizers of the ankle, knee and hip. Last one here. (exhaling audibly) Lower the leg and bring that loop down for me. Okay, we're coming off.

We're gonna change your spring to a heavy setting. We're gonna move into a little skater series. So you need to stand on your ledge. And we're gonna start with your foot right on the edge of your box. And your heel might be up or down, hands behind your back.

We're gonna start with a squat. So we lower ourselves down and we come up real vertical. Inhale and exhale. So you're essentially doing a one-legged squat. So this leg on the box here is just helping me out with my balance.

It's not helping me come up. Real clean hip hinge. Upper back real straight. Stay down, get your bearings, and begin to press the carriage out and in. Abdominal stay lifted, shoulders out of the ears. Working the machine in two directions.

And my heel comes up a little bit when I get that box all the way in because of the flexibility that I have in the ankle. Last one. Keep the carriage in. Come straight up. And now adjust that foot right to the edge of the carriage.

Traditional skater. Bend both knees. And then begin pushing out and in. So say muscle groups just worked a little bit differently. You can think of a quick out and a slow in.

And then notice the temptation for your body to wanna shift weight onto that working leg. Keep your weight over the standing leg. Last one. Stay here. Bring yourself up. I always step back behind me. However you transition, do it carefully.

Come around to your other side. Always step to the ledge. All the way up. The other foot goes to the edge of the box. Hands behind the back. Then start with the squat. Taking it down and up.

Knee goes right over the toe. Feeling the power from the hip, not the knee. Almost as if you're doing a vertical jump. That's how vertical I want you to get. Machine is still.

Two more here. And now let's stay down, pause, set up those hips and then pushing out and in. Two and in. And you can play around with the tension when you do this next time. I always like to start a little bit more on the lighter side just to get form into place.

But I wouldn't mind a little bit more tension on this, to be honest right now. Abdominal stay pulled in. Feel that action. Again, from the hip, not the knee. So tempting just to punch the knee. Last one.

And come all the way up. Put that foot right to the edge of the carriage. Bend both knees into traditional skater pressing out and in, from the hip. Also be mindful of that upper back. The tendency is to start to kinda wilt forward with the head and the shoulders and the chest.

You'll notice the standing side is where you're gonna feel the most work. I think that's always a little surprising for clients. Two more here. And last time, bring that carriage in. Stand yourself up and then carefully step down.

We're gonna move our box into a long position now. And we're doing something that I call Superman Toss. And then Swan Dive Toss, which as far as I know, has not been done before. Bring your foot bar up where it was for footwork or maybe one level lower. Your machine's gonna be very light.

So we are on a yellow spring here. You're gonna lay with your head and shoulders off the edge of the box. And the hands are gonna be about shoulder distance. The arms go straight. And I just want you to find yourself in an absolute straight line from head to toe.

Then start with some swimming. Breathing in for five and out for five. Really feeling that action coming from the thigh bones, not the feet. A lot of breath. Make a lot more noise for me, Miku. Inhaling and exhaling.

The head is still. No bobbing of the head. Shoulder blades nice and wide. Almost done. Few more here. Last time and bring the carriage in. Now this is not about a big push, right? It's more about the reach of the arms.

So the back is slightly lifted. She's gonna begin to toss her arms forward. The arms reach, and she lands. If you haven't done this before, and you really push, you might run into something with your feet. So keep that in mind. This is really fun.

I'm not sure exactly why. I'm not the most fun teacher in the world, but this is a fun exercise I think that I teach. Keep that upper back lifted. Last time here. Stay in, interlace your hands behind you. You're gonna roll the hands back and roll the chest up.

Really pulling the shoulder blades together. From here, release your hands, pull them in close behind you on your back. This is where we're gonna be jumping to now. The hands come back to the foot bar. And from here we're going into the Swan Dive Toss.

So the chest goes forward, the arms explode back, the heart lifts, and we land. As if you were trying to get those hands to touch all the way behind you. The abdominals are lifted, the chest lifts nice and high. Continue here. Without losing control.

Two more. No banging of the machine. Last one. And bring it in. Okay, add a spring to your machine. Add a blue spring and you're gonna put your foot bar down. And you're gonna join me at the back of your box.

The headrest is going to go down if it was up. We're gonna do a little roll-down series. Seat yourself right at the edge of the box. Choke up on your ropes. Make sure your ropes aren't tangled, by the way.

Bring your legs in to tabletop and into a little balance here. Sort of like a modified teaser. Drop your shoulders. From here, roll yourself down into your very best hundred position. And then pull yourself right back up to that tabletop position.

And again, peel yourself down. Squeeze the legs tight. Pull yourself up to tabletop. Stay there. Take the legs up straight and back to tabletop. Let's do that again. Roll it down with control.

Peel it up. Stay here. Take the legs straight or straighter. And back to tabletop. Last one. Peel it down. Come up to tabletop.

Take the leg straight and back to tabletop. Two feet down. Turn your head from right to left. Okay, we're gonna repeat that. We're gonna add a little twist at the top. So you're in tabletop.

Roll down to your hundred. As you roll up, twist your knees to one side. You're gonna feel your weight more in one hip. Come all the way back to your hundred. Squeeze the legs tight.

As you come in, shift the knees over to the other side. So one hip is off the machine, or almost off the machine. Back to hundred, squeeze the legs out. Pull yourself in. Arms stay low. Stack your legs.

And come back to hundred. Other side. Come in. Come back to your hundred. We go center this time. Straight up to center. Two feet down. Turn your head from side to side.

All right, I'm gonna do something a little different, Miku. Come back to the tabletop. Stay here. Roll down into your hundred. Pause. Now, continue to lower the legs and extend the chest. Maybe even going over the box. Legs go low.

Nod your chin. Push your back into the machine. Lift all the way up to perfect teaser. Hold it there. Roll yourself down. Reach the legs away. Drop the shoulders.

Open the chest, chin comes in. Push your back into the box. Lift all the way up. Bend the knees to tabletop. Two feet come down. Re-peg your loops. Step off your machine and face me.

Sit nice and tall. Or stand nice and tall. Nod your chin. Peel slowly down through your spine. Allow the knees to soften as they need to. Drop the head. Allow the weight to be really far forward on the front of the feet.

Grab opposite elbows and just kinda sway back and forth here in ragdoll. Breathing nice and deeply. Let the arms drop to the ground. Take a little plie. Heels stay down. And releve. And one more time.

And a plie. And straighten. And releve. Soften the knees and peel slowly all the way up. Find yourself in a beautifully tall position. And we are done for today. Thank you for joining me.

Sorry about throwing that teaser in, Miku. See you guys next time.


Fantastic workout! Whole body with core! Thank you Maria!
Caroline W
Always love Maria’s classes! Especially loved the supine arm work and teaser variations in this class - perfect 30 min workout! 
Christina R
That was so good until the teasers at the end! Still working on those...See you soon! Thanks for all the help over the last six months! --Christina Rodriguez
Miri J
Good Morning! Intense way to wake up the body. Great class!
Graham H
Love your classes Maria there all fun - or do I just have a strange idea of what's fun
Lynn S
What a great class! Thank you so much. 30 mins athletic classes are the best to get in before work
Melody B
Thanks so much Maria I really enjoyed that. I felt I’d lost my mojo today, and that has really helped me feel so much better !
Sara P
Like always a great class !!!! Thanks you 
Wonderful movement for my body this morning!  THANK YOU!  Loved the break the bar and skater series!

Fern K
Wonderful class! By the way, Maria, who says that you are not a fun teacher?!
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