Class #5428

Shoulder Care Reformer

35 min - Class


You will find new ways to take care of your shoulders with this innovative Reformer workout by Andrew Aroustian. He focuses on the muscles around the shoulder girdle, using progressions to give you options to help you find what works best for your body. He includes creative variations to exercises like Foot Work, Elephant, and much more.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Theraband

About This Video

Oct 26, 2023
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Hello, everybody, and welcome. My name is Andrew Roostian, and today we'll be doing a shoulder care reformer class. Joining me today, I have Sally Anderson, who will be helping me with today's class. Now to get set up, what you're going to do is set up your a footbed down to start with just like I've got it here with that blue spring on the balance body reformers. Now if you don't have a balanced body reformer.

That's okay. Just use a light spring. So something that's not too heavy will be a great way to start. Also, at the back here, as you can see, I've got a Therabane kind of wrapped around the rails that will be used a little bit later. So keeping tune with for that one. Alright. So you're gonna start off by setting yourself up inside the reformer. Well, it's self. Okay. So we're just gonna start with just a little roll down just starting from the base of the head and the top of the neck.

So just rolling the body down And as you roll down, you're gonna take hold of the shoulder rest here. So feet are parallel, hit with the part, just a nice, comfortable position here. So what you'll do first is as you breathe out, you're going to just round the spine, just drawing the reformer in activating through the abdominals, and as you inhale lengthening back out. So we're gonna do about 6 of those. So as you breathe out, you're going to lift through the abdominals and spine, and inhale pressing away.

So what you'll notice is as we're doing these exercises, I want you to focus on the muscles around the shoulder girdle self. So here with this gentle pull, when anything of the muscles underneath the armpits and around the shoulder blades, so your serratus and period. There are 2 more here. As you exhale, just thinking about relaxing through the back of the neck, inhale, let it go last one. You're gonna hold this last one just slightly into that halfway.

What I want you to do here is we're gonna extend the spine shortly just a little bit here. There we go. Now, from here, just bend those elbows and just pull the beds back in towards your legs. And let it go. Good. So once again, just activating into ceratis anterior there, finding that nice balance between upper trapezius and ceratas anterior. So we're doing a lot of that today focusing on that nice balance between those 2.

So keeping that upper trap nice and relaxed one more time, breathing out, pressing in, release, rounding the spine once again, to roll up to standing. Nicely done. Okay. Let's head on back now down to the reformer. So coming on out.

Let's put your foot bar, footwork springs on. So whatever they they're going to be, I'm going to put on 3 reds and a blue here, but like I said for you, whatever your footwork springs are, however you decide to do that. And we're gonna leave the foot buzz down for this part here. Yeah. So we're just gonna leave the footbed down. We're gonna start with a couple of pelvic curls and a little bit of an abdominal warm up here. Alright. So laying down onto your reformer, You're going to keep your feet up onto the foot bar here. That's also laying down. Now I'd like you to go a little bit further away from the shoulder rests.

That's why we've kinda got the footbed down to give you a little bit of room here. So laying yourself down there now, grab onto the pegs behind you, and hold this position. So ideally, you want to be in kind of like a diamond shape position here. Now the elbows don't have to be all the way down or all the way up or whatever. Whatever your shoulder allows here, you just wanna think of a nice wide shoulder blade. So just take a couple of breaths here just to center yourself on the reformer.

That's it. And now we start with our pelvic curl. So as you exhale roll the pelvis under, lifting the hips right up, take a nice inhale at the top, And as you breathe out, rolling yourself down. Easy done. Alright. So eggs helped to roll it. We've got 6 here.

Whilst you're up here in that nice shoulder standing, think of wide shoulder blades, exhale roll down. Good at rolling up again. Take your breath in at the top. Eggs hard to roll down. So just keeping ourselves in a little shoulder stand, 3 more, rolling up. Now, if you want a little bit extra, you can have a little bit of a pull on those pegs with your arms, exhale roll it down, which kind of helps activate through the lower trapezius there too, to more.

Breathing in. Allow the sternum to just gently fall between the shoulder blades. Good. One last one. Exhale to roll up. You wanna try and keep that bed nice and still if you can, and then rolling all the way down. Alright.

Beautiful job. So just coming into your tabletop position here, 1, 2, now come up into your chest sleeves holding onto one leg, going into a single leg stretch. Now just before we go, you'll notice that you're quite close to the end of the reformer, and I like that, because it gives your pelvis a little bit of a tip over the edge, so you need to work just that little bit more to lift to that neutral. So we're going to start with 10 single letter at Here we go. We've got 10. We've got 10. And swap 9. 8. Very nice. 7, 6, 5.

4, 3 now going straight into our criss cross no stop, and rotate to the bent knee 10. And across 9. And a leg height can be whatever your body's telling you for the time. 5, 4, 3, 2, last one, back to center, letting the head come down having a little rest there. Okeydoke. Alright.

So let's get ourselves up. We're going to lift that foot bar up nice and high. So coming on up into your footwork settings now. Gonna be a little bit of a setup here. So if you're working with your clients, what you'll do is you're going to grab onto the Theraban for footwork.

So how that will work, is the Therabane is wrapped around the, rails here. He's asked asked your clients to slowly just press the carriage out, and he just give your client the straps. Now I'm gonna attempt to do that myself here on the reformer. So bear with me. If you're by yourself and you can, you can do it this way. So laying down What you'll do is grab on to the end, on your toes on the foot bar, press the carriage long, and just jump rope it open. Just like that, and then come all the way down. Okay.

We're getting ready to move. So what you're going to do is start with heels parallel, on the footbar, and just press the carriage all the way out and hold it there. So here, Find it your strength on the Theraban. You want the arm straight up with the little tricep activation there. Okay? Then as you bend the knees to return, the elbows go with.

So you exh hard to press away. Do ten. And in, and press 4. 9. That's it. And 8. So being careful not to let that humorous kind of rock and roll too much.

Good. And we're 4 left. 4. And 3. Nice job.

2. Last one and back in. Lovely. Just go to the toes, parallel, hip width, and same thing. Eggs helps you press away and in. And 9. Good. You can pick up a little bit of pace here.

That's it. And 7. Good. 6 more. 5. Good. 4.

That's it. 2 to go, you should start to feel a nice little bit of work through those triceps. Last set on the v. Here we go pressing out eggs, how to press 10. Good. 9.

8. So as you can tell, we're working into that tricep, and also the stabilization through the shoulder blade, nice and wide on the bed. 2 more here. Last one and return. Good. So we're gonna set up differently now. So take your Therabance, still hold them in your hand.

Gonna go wide. What you'll do is press the carriage out again and go nice and wide with the arms, but we're going to transfer to the heels on the heels wide. So arms are up here, and then as you come in, keeping them bent keeping them straight, sorry, by your side here. So arms straight, heels wide. As you extend the legs, you're going to bend the elbows in towards the waist like a lap. Pull.

That's it. Exhale to press. Now there's no real, reason to do it in this direction. You can change the direction. Good. 4 more. So meaning you can keep the elbows bent as you come in 3, because you're a little bit more activation on the way in. Last one. Good. And we swapped to the toes.

Eggs, I'll press out and return. And 9. Good. That's it. So working through the lat press, choose which direction you wanna go. You can go either way. It's no big deal here.

Good. 4 left. That's it. 3. Nice job. 2 to go.

Last one, have all the way in come back to parallel, straight up towards the ceiling, stretch the legs all the way, out hold it there. As you lower the heels under the footbar, bending the elbows slightly, exhale straighten those up. So just a little tidy little pulse through the tricep, and press and 5 and 4. 3 nicely done, 2, last one, and then come all the way back home. Now you can just let those bans go.

Come on up. We're going to change the springs. So we'll change to our abdominal springs. So whether that's 1a half, one spring, whatever you're working with, changing those springs around will come straight back down on the mat. Okay. So rolling down, going to start with just a little abdominal sequence here. So hands in straps. Good.

And tabletop legs. Head rest is kind of as you need it for your body. So as you breathe out, you're just gonna lower the arms and come into a chest lifted to exhale to lift, and then release. We're gonna do 8 of those. And so now wrapping the shoulder blades around The rib cage. I like to think of almost triceps to ribs as a little cue here, which is nicer helps just to open up through the front of that shoulder, 4 more.

And we have 4. Good. 3. Two left here. On the last one, I'll get you to hold it there.

Hold. Now what you're going to do is you're going to sit here, and you're gonna let the carriage come forward another inch or 2. So as you breathe out pressing into the straps and release, it's gonna do 6 of those. It's a small movement, and eggs help depress 3. Oh, shaky voice. Two more.

Last one. One arms up, head down, and you can rest those legs on the foot bar. Good. So the next thing we'll do go straight into a little 100 progression, and then everyone's favorite a set of the 100 mind sure is And as you breathe that lower the arms chest with long legs, and we do one more of these. Exhale. Hold your position.

Start beating those arms in for 5. And That's it. Good. So what you wanna do here is try and get that bed as still as you can. 3? And out. So what happens is if you start to let go as the arms come up halfway there, the shoulders are gonna rock backwards, and you're gonna do this little bounce your thing. So try and keep those straps nice and taught. That's 8 in.

And out. One more set. Here we go. Almost there. Out. Reach and hold.

Knees in. Arms up. And you can rest out there. Good. Going to go straight into feet, leg strap works. So if you've got one and a half springs or two springs on. Excellent work. If not, this is your chance to change it now. So change your springs to your leg strapwork springs. And then come back down onto the reformer and go straight into feet and straps.

1 and 2. So just a nice little leg strapwork series here, letting the hips release, the x how to press. Good little frogs to start. Just turn here will be enough so you can get your breath. Good. And 5 more after this.

Good. Following here, we'll just go straight into those circles down around and up first and then reverse after that last one. Press bend the knees, straighten the legs up towards the ceiling, lower the legs down, circle around and lift. Now I'm happy for you to go with whatever range your body allows. Just be careful that you wanna keep the pelvis steady as you can. A little bit of movement's okay, as long as it's controlled, last one here will burst.

Hold at the top in how to open the exhale press down. Good. So lifting up, circling around. Nice job. Excellent. 2 more here.

2. Last one. Circling around. Good. And then just rest the knees back into your little frog position. And that's it. Let's come out of feet and straps.

One foot at a time, and let the carriage come all the way home. Okay. Nicely done. Let's get on up. Good. So the next thing we're going to do is working to a little bit of a knee stretch kind of down stretchy cobra kind of variation. So, focusing mainly on the internal and external rotation of the shot, I'll I'll let you know when we get there. So setting your beds again to 1a half springs, 2 if you desire, but we'll come onto a kneeling position on the reformer.

So kneeling on Good. Okay. So just in your regular down, knee stretch position, what you'll do is start with a nice round back. Head down, and you got a nice neutral kind of arm bone and shoulder blade here. So press the carriage out just slightly with your hands. Now, as you press the way you'll notice the head will drop, allow the internal rotation of the arm there.

Now, as you come through, think of a little down stretch prep. So keep the carriage kind of still let yourself come up into that extension, return the carriage home, and then as you scoop the arms go back to neutral. Good. So you press away a nice little internal rotation of the arms external rotation triceps to ribs as you come through chest forward, and then exhale to back to neutral 3 more pressing out. Inhale. Find your nice long position triceps to armpits.

Yes. Ex our in. In her press away, eggs, I'll find that chest up position in her return, lift lift. One more for good luck because it feels so good, pressing away, send it through outward rotation, good, lifting all the way up here, and then scooping through. Nicely nicely done, standing up onto the reform and after a little up stretch too. So progressing this again, from one exercise to the next, just standing on up.

You've got heels halfway up the shoulder rest. And again, same sort of position you were in earlier. So just like a nice neutral, neutral shoulder blades sort of position here, Now, as you inhale to press away, I want you to keep that shoulder still. So allow the body inhale to rotate along the shoulder go. Eggs help pulling back in.

So what you'll find is you'll get a gentle in, external rotational inhale, eggs how coming back in. Good. So now we're just loading up that shoulder joint. As a little progression here, 3 more. In her press away, I think triceps, 2 ribs, exhale. 2 to go.

Chest forward just as much as your feet press back. Last one, inhale lengthen out. Take that nice lift. Exhale. Come back in. Excellent.

Coming off the reformer. Alright. So we'll do a little spring change here. I'm going to go back down to the half spring. I'm going into an elephant. I know. We're gonna reverse the elephant.

So what you're going to do is Grab onto your long box. I've got a little sticky mat here as well, which comes in handy a bit later. Just so that, you know, if you feel like you need to get 1, go grab 1 as well. I'm gonna put the straps off the the pegs and just onto the floor. Just to get them out of the way.

So the short it's gonna be a short box. You know, place the short box on the rails now. How far you press them back really is dependent on the body length and the ankles you wanna get to. I don't mind wherever you like to put that just a little bit further away from the shoulder rest, so just put that sticky mat on the box. Alright. So sticking mat kind of in the center of the box to give you a guide and idea of where to put your hands.

So I've only got a half spring on, so it's light. So be really careful when coming on and off the reformer. So what I want you to do is put your hands first onto the box that's nice and stable here. Now place your hands sort of in the center of the box, just so that it doesn't later on, you'll know what I mean. It doesn't sort of rock backwards and forwards or tilt So one foot goes up onto the bed, the foot comes up. We're in this position here.

Bring your feet back away from the shoulder rest a little bit. Hands are centered into the box. Now fingers, I got the fingers kind of splayed a little bit here. To kind of give you a little bit more surface area to, to hold on to. Now a little scoop through the lumbar spine. Nothing major. Just a nice elongated curve here. Now you're gonna have that outward rotation of the arms, and you're kind of looking towards the center of your thumbs. As you breathe out, you're going to just scoop through the pelvis and bring the carriage back.

In how to come out. Exhale. Scoop. Now, like I said, you can gauge this however you'd like, you want to try and keep your body or your pelvis over the legs when the carriage is in 4 more here. You're gripping with your hands onto the box.

I like to just hold on just with the outsides of the hands. Get a little bit extra pressure there. Which encourages that outward rotation. 2 more. 2. And last one. Good. What you're going to do is leave the carriage where it is, or just, you know, what? Let's pull it back. It's just a centimeter or 2 or an inch or 2. Now from here, extend the spine shortly, just a little bit here so you got long tail, long hamstrings, pull the elbows in towards the waist and drag that carriage in, press it back out.

So now we're using the arms and that press of that serratus anterior and shoulder girdle to draw the carriage in and knot those legs. Good. 4 more external rotation as you bend the elbows, and 3 pull Good job. 2 more. Pulling in.

And last one hold of it for just a little bit longer. Get the relaxers up at trapezius and then pull back. With control. Lovely job. Okey dokey now. Like I said, just the way you get off is the way you come on. So one foot onto the ground.

And then come all the way off. Alright. Nicely done. Well done. Okay. So we're gonna pop the box back down onto the mat just onto the floor, I should say just for the moment, I'm just gonna move on. Just a little bit of arm work here. Okay. So But I show you 2 different variations here.

So I'll I'll do one variation and feel free to do the variation that that Sally will be doing, as we move on through this series. So what we're going to do is let's go one spring. We're doing arm work here, shoulder girdle stabilization works. So Whatever your body's calling for, sometimes a lighter spring is gonna be more efficient, heavier spring for different reasons. So The more global you wanna work, global musculature like deltoids and lats and things like that got a little bit heavier.

We're looking, you know, rotator cuff and smaller in transit work, then a little bit lighter. So I'll leave that up to your fabulous minds to figure that one out for yourselves and whatever you need for the day. But what we're gonna do is we'll come onto the reformer. Sally will be sitting, just cross legged, or however you wanna sit towards facing the footpath. And holding on to your straps.

So you'll need your straps for this. I'll be I'll be kneeling. So you can do this either seated or kneeling. So coming on here, if you are kneeling, I'm just gonna start by lowering down onto the heels. And if you're seated, just here. We're just gonna go for a couple of little scoops here. So thinking about that anterior delts word here.

So if palms are forward, as you breathe out, you're just going to reach to shoulder height and then come back. So for those clients that have all those people that have you know, a little bit of that super spread artist issue coming above too high above 90 degrees is not recommended. So we wanna try and keep it in this range here to make it nice and accessible. Good. I see 3 and 2. Last one.

Now feel free as well. Let's talk about 3 more. I just wanna show another progression. Feel free to if you're seated on the heels, feel free to come up to the kneeling as you press forward and then see that as you come down. So there's a couple of different variations.

2, and last one. I'm going to stay kneeling for this one, turn the palms interface each other, open your arms out to the side. Now, what I'd like you to think about in this position, the t position is that scapular plane. So you don't wanna go too far back past that scapular plane because you're out of that anatomical space. So I do want it to be slightly forward of the shoulder. So as you breathe out eggs, how to press the the arms in, in how open up, being mindful of that scapular plane. Ex how to close. In how to open.

Let's do 4 more here. Ex how to close. That doesn't mean you can't get a nice stretch here. You think about the chest lifting as you open? And 2.

Good. Last one. Nicely done. And lower the arms down by your side and rest. Good. Working into circles now.

So all those options I gave you seated, kneeling, or sitting on your heels, are going to work. So we're gonna put all of those two things together, those two exercises and do some circles. So here we go. I'm gonna start kneeling. So you're going to breathe out. Press forward Now coming up, just give yourself a little shoulder extension, whatever the body wants, open wide as you come in.

And we're gonna do 4 in her lift. Lift through the upper body. Get that control all the way back. 3. So still being in control of the bed the whole time. 2 more.

If you're on your knees, you can definitely feel that hamstring abdominal complex working together to stabilize that pelvis. This is the last one. Now let's reverse. This is my favorite part. So as you open up, allow that shoulder blade to outwardly rotate and lift lift and press down.

Good. Inhale. Open the ribs. Let that upward rotation of that shoulder blade happen. Good at in. Good. 3 more.

Two to go. Almost there. The big, wide circles. Good. Last one. Nicely done and return. Good. Excellent work.

So just taking your straps down by the side, That's it. Now you're going to turn onto your side here. So just doing a little bit of lateral flexion. So what I'd like you to do is you can either kneel or sit as Sally was going to do with a seated position, a little zed sit or sort of, however, you want to work that on your reformer. So grab onto a strap. And I placed the strap into the elbow closest to the shoulders rest coming on up or seated hands go behind the head.

So you're holding this position as you inhale, I want you to lift away towards the foot bar and then come back. So you're just going to do about 6 on each side. Breathing up into that side rib cage, good, and 3 more. Elbows are slightly forward. Remember that not being back here in that plane there, just forward into that scapular plane.

One last one, inhale. And back. Good. Other side, taking a seat to change over. Stepping back and around. Now excuse my back.

As we come onto this position, And, oh, look. We get to look out the window, sir, and that beautiful ocean. Here we go. And as you inhale, lengthening through that top side and lift, opening up. Good. Careful not to just shift to one side as you work this. I want you to think about as much pool as you can get on those straps 2 more in her. Last one. And coming back in nicely done.

Okey dokey. So popping that strap back down coming off Your beds. Excellent. So from now, what we'll do is grab the long box again. Let's put the footbars down for this one. So if footpaths are down, 1 red spring or 1 full spring or a heavy spring, whatever you're working with, come and get your box. Okay. So we're gonna work into a little bit of spinal extension, but really focusing on this upper portion of the spine.

So your thoracic spine coupling that with the shoulder blade and arm bones is really important here. Grab, once you're sticky mat, you're gonna place that kind of here at the back of the box. It'll make more sense when we once once we get to what we're doing. I might just put these straps on the floor too, just to get them away. So we need to work into activation of all of those spinal extenses, but also the spinal extensors that working shoulder girdle too. So you'll know what I mean.

So lounge your stomach onto the box and sort of chest off the front. Arms nice and long in front of you here onto the rails. Legs activated head down. So when your head is down here, you've got a slight internal rotation of the arms. What you're going to do is you're gonna lift the head first, pull on the rails outwardly rotate, send that sternum along between those posts, and then coming back down. So we use an inhale for this. So as you inhale, you can lengthen to lift and really think about pulling those elbows back keeping those arms nice and straight and allow the rotation of the humus to happen.

Still keeping the shoulder blades pretty wide and abducted. So when the arms are forward inflection, even though they were an extension, we're still in a little bit shoulder flexion here. Shoulder blades are abducted. Arms are externally rotated. Good. 2 more.

In home and left. And down. Bread pattern can be any way you want it to go to. Whatever works the best. In your situation. Alright. So what we'll do now is you're gonna walk yourself forward And grab onto those rails at the top.

This is where the sticky mat comes in. It's to help keep the box where it is. So you're gonna lift your head Just past those those shoulders and outward rotation and a little pull with the serratus here. So what you're going to do is you're just gonna bring one hand off the rail and then place it down. Ex how to lift.

So a little variation of swimming here and exhale. So one side has to really stabilize while you mobilize the other side. 2 more on each side. And down? 1 more in each side.

We're almost there. Exhale. Good. And then just lower the head, and you can walk yourself all the way back. Nicely done.

Have a little bit of flexion to counteract that extension. So you can go into a reposition shell stretch, whatever you'd like to on the box here. And just rounding off. Good. Few breaths there.

Alright. Nicely done. So coming off from there, gonna place the box back and lift the foot bars up. The last little stretch. Now one spring will be more than enough.

Feel free to add some more. This is kind of I've got inspiration from this. This is inspired by the long back stretch. So you'll take a seat onto the reformer, legs through the shoulder rest here. Now how far back you sit is again up to your client, up to you, hands on to the to the foot bar, and flex the spine.

So what you're going to do here is as you press away, Keep flex as you push. That's it. And then coming back up and rounding forward. And press. They're just a little opening through the shoulder. Now I've got my thumbs on the inside here. Because we're in shoulder extension.

Try and retract the shoulder blades as you come out. That's it. And pull through. Feel free to add some spinal extension so you're pressing through and you can lift slightly as the carriage comes in, rounding the spine, push it back out, come back in, one more like that. Press lift, let the carriage come back in, press, let it go back out, and then bring the elbows to come all the way home.

Okay. So there we have it. Thank you so much for joining me. I look forward to seeing you soon.


Such a nice class and a pleasant tutoring! Thank you very much!
Thank you so much Noa Vered Terry. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 
Hi Andrew, You cue shoulder blades wide with our hands holding the pegs when we lay supine to bridge. In fact it's the pecs that are wide in that position, not the scapulae.
Hi Rena S thank you for your comment and your interest in my class.  When you hold the pegs, there is an encouragement for the scapulae to open and widen during the shoulder bridge, allowing for space and articulation. If you are holding on with the elbows below the shoulders, or pulling inwards, then yes the scapulae are retracted, however this isn’t the position in the class. 
Thank you for watching and I hope this clears it up for you. 😀
2 people like this.
I really loved the version of elephant! 
Thank you Connie M!
Thank you for that class Andrew.  Just taught to my husband who has tight shoulders and he loved it!  Great cues and perfect pace
Carol H perfect! I’m so happy you are sharing this with your family. I have a Men’s Health Matwork and reformer workout on Pilates Anytime, he may be interested in those also. Thank you for your comment. 😀
Amanda W
Love love love this class, so creative and felt wonderful.
Thank you! Loved the flex band with footwork variation! So many fun options there (one leg, one arm, unilateral, contralateral) and an exercise I can modify for every level of class from very rehab to athletic.
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