Class #5565

Pelvic Strength Reformer

30 min - Class


Feel lighter, balanced, and spacious with this whole-body pelvic health-focused Reformer class by Claire Sparrow. This class provides a safe and nurturing environment to strengthen your pelvic floor, enhancing its responsiveness to daily situations like jogging or sneezing. You'll familiarize yourself with the landscape of your pelvic floor and reimagine traditional Reformer exercises with the health of your pelvic floor at the forefront.
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box)

About This Video

May 01, 2024
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

Hi there, everyone. I'm Claire Sparrow. Welcome to class. We're going to be working through a whole body pelvic health class on the reformer, which is actually a progression on from my last class. So if you haven't done the other class, on here, I would really encourage you to go ahead and do the fundamentals first, and it will lead you into what we're going to cover today.

We'll start sitting as we are, and I will get you to put your springs on so we're ready to have a smooth transition into our exercises. 1 red and 1 blue spring and we'll sit up nice and tall. Go ahead and close your eyes and take some cleansing breaths. Allowing all of the breath to fully empty so that your inhale becomes a reflect. So we're going to become familiar again with our palvic floor and the landscape of your pelvic floor, knowing that There's a series of muscles, interwoven, interconnected, attaching to your pubic bone, tailbone, and each of your sitting bones and reaching beyond down through your legs, to your feet, and beyond up through the center of your body.

As you're inhaling, feel the widening, encourage a little bit more widening. And then as you're exhaling, feel the narrowing, widening, and expanding, narrowing and lengthening up. And imagining now that your breath It's almost like helium. So as you're inhaling, you're drawing down, you're pulling that helium down into your pelvis. And then as you exhale, the helium rises, lifting each vertebrae up, creating space and height and ease until your head is floating at the top of your spine.

Allowing the helium to make you taller, lighter, balanced above your pelvis. Last focused breath here. And then letting the lights come in through your eyelids, blinking them open, ready to come and lie down on your reformer. Scooch to the edge of the carriage. Lay yourself down nicely.

Onto the carriage. Center yourself. Make sure that your pelvis is in the center. And go ahead and have the balls of your feet on the bar and your feet and knees together. Take a few breaths to let your body spread into the carriage.

Give your weight. Let the back of your body warm your carriage. And then we're going to press the foot bar out pause here with your legs long reaching the foot bar away, and we're going to Achilles stretch. Reach your heels down and underneath the bar, and then find the base of your second toe, push through that for your heels to rise up. So they come up automatically because you've pressed into that second toe. So we're just gonna keep repeating that push to left, reach down, and under.

There's an arching feeling as your heels go down and under and then down and up. Almost like you're stretching out the arches of your feet here. Let's do one more in this foot position. Lift your heels. Now creak pure toes a tiny little bit apart. So they're in a very small v. We're gonna repeat the same thing, reach your heels down and under, and then push through the ball of your second till particularly to lift your heels up.

Reach down and under. And you know, as our legs are long, we want to pay attention to our kneecaps. I think about them like bottle tops, and you're just unscrewing them a little bit And then up, pause this time with your heels lifted. Spend your heels out. So your heels are pointing out reach them down underneath.

So we're moving through all the ranges. Our feet and ankles and also our our hips and pelvis, reach them down and under, and then push through the ball of your foot to come up, reach them down and under, push through once more, reach them and push through. Go ahead and bring them back to parallel and come all the way in. We're now gonna do a little bird on the branch. So your toes now are gonna curl over as much as they can over the top of the bar and allow your heels to drop under. Keeping that position as you press the bar away and then come back in.

And you might get a few clicks and pops. My knees and ankles were very musical there. It's absolutely fine. Keep your heels under. Really hold on to the bar and press it forwards away from you.

It's really important that we've got the intention to push the bar forward rather than you back. You're going to go back. We know that that's gonna happen. Your crime is going to lengthen away. Your heels are staying low.

One last one, pressing away, and then come back all the way in and pause there. Notice how you feel, how stable your pelvis is, and how much your feet have been involved with that relationship to your pelvis. We're gonna change the foot position to just above your heel. So just where your heel meets the arch, and we're gonna be feet together here. Stand into your left foot.

So you're gonna press into your left foot, and the right leg is just naturally hovering away from the bar. You come back and stand into your right foot and the left one comes away. Imagine if you were standing up, if you were gonna stand on one leg for sure, you would put all of your body weight down through that leg before you lifted the other one up or you would fall over. So think about this in the same way. Pressing into your foot, sending the footbar away to release the other foot up twice more.

Feeling the transfer really smoothly through your pal this. Great. So we're kinda rehearsing for real life here. We're gonna go ahead and change the spring. So roll over onto your side. Take your time. Come up.

Let's place an x extra red spring. So you already had a red and a blue. You're gonna add a red so you've got 2 reds in a blue. Make sure that your head rest is down. We don't want a block or a headrest because we're going to do some bridging.

Lay yourself back down onto your back send to yourself, and let's have our feet wide about your shoulder width. It's not quite as wide as the bar. And knees and feet slightly turned out. So when we did the foundations, the fundamentals class, we did footwork, the butterfly footwork. Today, we're going to do butterfly bridging.

So we're standing into her feet. The knees are pointing out so your tailbone and sacrum come up and then turn your thighs in without dropping your pelvis. So you stay lifted and then melting your spine down from there. Turn your thighs out, bridge up from here, tailbone sacrum rising, and then spinning your legs in, your bottom's gonna want to drop straight away. I want you to delay it coming down.

And again, so we've turned out we're reaching the inner thighs. Our butterfly is open. Close your knees in Let that gradually come down. Now we're gonna reverse it. Keep your knees connect to tailbone. Sacrum. It's not glutes and hamstrings all on their own. Let's work as a team, open, and come down. Spinning in.

Reach your knees up and forwards. Openning out. Coming back down. Let's go one last one. Reach your in or knees away.

And then open and melt back down. Great job. We're gonna go ahead and set up and change our spring, taking off a red. So we're left with a red and a blue and then lie back down again. This is a really fun movement to do, and it's also vital for pelvic health. It's important we're training our pelvic floor for what we need and want it to do. So if we're always moving slowly or always being on our back, we're not sourly, giving it the stimuli, it needs to learn what to do in real life.

So this movement is just a pulsing action. So you're going to go out a little bit. And from there, pulse, press the bar with your feet as if you were gonna jump, we're not gonna jump, but imagine that kind of explosive intention. You're marrying your legs together as 1. So almost like you've platted your whole body two halves together up through the middle.

And you're just doing these pulses. We're on the part of the foot where your heel meets your arch. Last one and come in. They happen quick. Go into Pilates, the really small v, same part of your fit, go out a little bit, and then pulse from there. Like, you're gonna jump.

So with the pelvic health, it's important that our pelvic floor is healthy and responsive in all the activities of our life. And often one of the situations that comes up is walking quickly or running or coughing or sneezing where the pelvic floor hasn't had an opportunity to learn what to do. So we're giving it a really kind of easy environment to learn. It's a no stress environment to learn. Last one, and come in. Go ahead and spin your knees in. And we're going to do the same thing out a little, and then like you're gonna jump really connect through your feet. Push.

Push. Push. And you're using your breath in and out all the time. Sometimes with these new things we're learning, we hold our breath, and we just need to let the breath come in and out. Jump as if you're gonna really go for it, jumping.

Last one, and come in. Great job. We've got our straps ready. We've got our 1 red, one blue. We're gonna do feet in straps. So pressing out, placing one foot securely in, have the arch of your foot in the strap if you can.

And press away. Let's go ahead and start with our legs bent. Like the fundamentals clash, we're gonna do these initial movements with the legs bent, but now we've got feet in the strap. So let's go ahead with the familiar bent knee openings, keeping the carriage quiet, and you'll feel straight away. There's a big difference when you have your feet in the straps than when you have your thighs in the straps. I'm also, yeah, feeling that difference, getting a little wobble, That's okay.

It is real. Let's make that the last one. Now instead of keeping your feet together, we're gonna open the legs. So stay bed. Keep the carriage quiet open and slowly close. Oh, there's the wobble.

It's okay. And we're gonna inhale, open, exhale, close. Inhale. Open your sit bones. Open out through the inner thighs. Think about that butterfly.

Of your pelvic floor. So the wings of your pelvic floor and your inner thighs all pen. What a great feeling? Let's do one more. We're gonna kinda rinse that out a little bit by straightening your legs and doing some circles. When we're circling, I want you to think of your circle happening in your hip sockets.

Now if you've done any of the matte classes with me, whenever we do Famous circles or one leg circle. I talk a lot about imagining that your hip sockets are narrower than you think, and it it just works magic. So you can think the same thing change direction into the socket. Circling your thi bones and your feet are following. Very connected into your pal this year. Let's do one more circle.

Everybody loves feet and straps. It's definitely one of my favorites. We could stay here all day, but we got lots of other things to do. One last thing here, though, reach your feet away. So your legs are long.

You're in that sweet spot where it feels quite easy to be here. There's limited sort of effort to be here. And we're gonna do heal clicks. So you're gonna open and close, but we're gonna do it quite rapidly. Keeping the carriage still.

And even although we're calling it heel clicks, actually, it's coming again from the top of your leg. So can they open close, open close from the top of your legs? Think about the top of your inner thighs and your sit bones opening. Opening, opening. And then, of course, closing. Closing. Closing. Okay.

Unrest. There. Go ahead and bend your knees carefully taking your feet out of the straps. Secure your straps over your shoulder rest or posts. And then we're gonna come up to sitting to notice just how we feel from all of the feet and straps. Oh, wow. Yes. So straightaway, you feel your pelvis underneath you a little bit more.

I definitely do. We'll change our springs now to one red and one yellow. So we're just swapping over the blue spring for the yellow spring. And then we're going to come on to all fours. So coming on to your all fours position, we've got our hands on the foot bar.

So previously, we've done hands down on the platform. Today, we're going to do it onto the foot bar. I want the balls of your feet against the shoulder rest, not your heels pushing, and I would love it if you could have your knees together. Really is gonna make a difference to this. Experience. Set your bottom back a little bit to start with, and then you're going to curl and release.

We call this the mini cat where you focus on tailbone and sacrum curling and releasing. Tailbone and sacrum curling and releasing. Then we'll continue that from your tailbone. So make sure you start with your tailbone internally, then your sacrum curling into a little cat. Stretch. From here, you're gonna press the carriage out and in for knee stretches.

We're going to do this like the heel clicks we did on our back quite quickly. So you're gonna go out and in and out and in. And when you're going out and in, your bottom is going to want to stick out, but we're not gonna let it because we're talking to our tailbone all the time and bringing it under not your glutes. So we've got our knees in to just do as a favor, really, making it easier for us to find the pelvic floor and not clint our bottoms to do this movement. Our glutes tend to take over.

They are cheeky. Last two last one and rest there. Great job. Changing your spring to just one rest. We're dropping the yellow spring off, and we're coming into some side lying. You can pop your headrest up to support your head a little bit in the side lying.

You scooch in and put your head down. If it feels like your head is hanging off, you can just bring your arm in underneath your head as well. So that's what I'm doing. And then bring your top foot to the front edge of the foot bar hand is holding the shoulder rest. This hand is quite important because as you push out, it's going to help to stabilize your shoulder. So the first thing we're gonna do is push out, and you're just gonna pause here. Just check that your underneath leg is active.

It's not just flopping around. It's standing into the carriage here. Alright. Secure your fit. We're gonna do hip hitches.

So you can see here My top leg is pushing the footbar away so much that it rules me off my stacked alignment. And that's the goal. That's what we're gonna work on here. Press away and then back. Now there can be a tendency even for me here. I'm having to talk to my knee, so just unscrew your kneecap a little bit. And when you're doing the hip pitch, it comes a lot from your inner thigh.

So reaching right at the top of your inner thigh away and towards you, away and towards you. Last time, And then go ahead and stack your hips. So you've got one hip on top of the other, and we're gonna bend and stretch. There's gonna be a point where your heel has to come off, and that's fine. And then reach your heel down as you go out again. If your heel can stay on, keep it on.

If it has to come off, bring it off. Great job. Let's use our exhale to press out and our inhale into your bottom. So let your pelvic floor really spand, and then exhale feel everything connecting in. We'll do 2 more exhale to come out Inhale to come in. Last one.

Oh, I'm your fit. And back in. Great job, Rob, where you feel it. And then we're gonna come up to sitting We'll take her south around. I really like it when we walk around because then you'll feel the the differences in one side.

It's very strange. Sensation before we then do the other side. So go ahead and take yourself down port your head in the same way as you did on the other side. Your underneath legs hooked up and your standing on it. And then your foot on the foot bar, it can be towards the front or slightly further back to your comfort. And then press out, check everything out.

Are you stacked up to start with? From here, we're going into the hip hitches, lengthening your inner thigh. So I'm placing my hand here just for a moment to check that my hips not rolling forwards. Because we can have such a lot of tension through our pelvic floor and the top of the inner thigh, that we don't necessarily even know. It's there until we do a movement like this.

And our body will just find a compensatory way of doing it. So it's good to just check-in. Remember your kneecap. So we've seen it unscrew it We'll make this your last one. And then finding your middle point ready to bend and stretch. Arch of your foot presses away and then release. If you need to lift your heel off, lift your heel, but then reach your heel back down.

And don't be surprised if there's a difference from one side to the other that on the other side, maybe you were fine to keep your heel down. And on this side, you need to lift it. Working through all of these things that we've done today where We are making sure that we have good range of movement through our feet, ankles, and hips, will take any strain off your pelvic floor that might be there and will help it to activate and work responsibly when you need it. This is your last one. Definitely the last one.

Jutter. Jutter. Come all the way in, rub where you feel it. And then just as we did on the other side, Come up to sitting, walking around, noticing how it feels. And we're actually gonna finish at the end of our courage. Feel your feet underneath you. Your pelvis underneath you.

That glorious feeling of being supported by your body from underneath. So we're nice and free above. We've got one red, which is gonna do perfectly for a little washer woman to finish. So bring your arms up towards the ceiling. Pause here with your arms reaching up towards the ceiling. Pams forwards.

Can your ribs Stay soft in your body. Can you unscrew your kneecap so they're not pushing back and you're ready to go? You're held up. Like you're a swimmer just about to dive off the diving board, you're gonna curve up and forwards and your hands reach the carriage. I love coming over the foot bar because it reminds me to come up and over. From here, you're gonna press the carriage out and extend out. Send your bottom out.

Let your knees bend. And then curl in. Send your bottom out, pelvis out behind you. And then curl in. Feel how your pelvis can really empower and motivate the movement of your spine.

It's like a massaging. We've talked before in class about fanning out your chest feathers and your tail feathers you're gonna do the same here. Really fan out fan out and stay here. Bring the carriage in and lift a little bit more. And I lift a little bit more.

And I last time, lift a little bit more and out and then curling back and let your hands drift away. Flow your arms up. Towards the ceiling. Oh, yes. Even taller now. I'm sure. Bring your arms down.

And that's where we're gonna finish our class today. I hope you've enjoyed the class. This is definitely a progression on from our fundamentals. So do go back and practice that one as well, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.


Torunn J
1 person likes this.
Hi Claire,
Thanks for these wonderful series about the pelvic floor. 
As a medical midwife with pelvic floor rehabilitation experience and Polestar Pilates certified instructor I’m so happy and proud that Pilates can be used and considered as a valuable, solid and serious approach on today’s approach to pelvic floor health.
Love the variety, the global approach and the teaching.
Thanks to you and the ongoing  quality  and effort of Pilates Anytime.
Katie M
1 person likes this.
question— when your saying unlock knees, unscrew— are you cueing for not locking or do you want a slight bend? thanks loved the class!!
Adeline S. H
1 person likes this.
Thank you for this thoughtful and deeply connected class, Claire! I appreciate your gentle, clear cuing and my teacher's body feels so great after taking the time to do this class with you.  
1 person likes this.
Wonderful class Claire, I found it gentle but with a little bit of spice! Love the cues and the holistic pelvic floor work. Thank you!
Dawn P
1 person likes this.
As a prenatal postnatal yoga teacher I love this way of working with the pelvic floor Thanks
Kate A
1 person likes this.
Great class. Thanks so much for these exercises!
1 person likes this.
I really enjoyed this class Claire, thank you!

Savannah B
1 person likes this.
A little too gentle to be an intermediate class. I barely felt anything, especially with only 1.5 springs for footwork.
Claire S
1 person likes this.
thank you for the wonderful feedback everyone. It means such a lot to hear how impactful you are finding the class and more importantly that you are taking time to do class for yourself. I know so many of you are teachers and prioritising our own practice is so very important. 
David B
1 person likes this.
Title is somewhat misleading as there are no strength exercises involved, but it was a nice gentle, relaxing, low effort way to start a morning. It would be nice if we had a way to filter for classes to differentiate between actual workouts and gentle flows.
1-10 of 11

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