Class #692

Reformer Fundamentals

45 min - Class


This class is for everyone! Whether you are a student new to Pilates or wish to visit the fundamentals (an experience that is always valuable), this workout covers the whole body. Featuring mini rollups/oblique, single leg reverse knee stretch, and stomach massage using the box.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Apr 23, 2012
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Okay, so today we're going to do a reformer workout. We're going to explore some fundamental low level intermediate work. So I'm excited and I'm ready to go. I'm starting with a pelvic call. I've got the bar down and I'm just going to put a fair amount of springs on, let's say three red springs just to keep the carriage nice and still nice and supported while we do our early spinal articulation.

So with that sitting on the reformer, the headrest is down. That's important. Coming all the way down onto our backs, sliding into the center of the carriage. The heels are on the foot bar. It's kind of a long position for the pelvic curl, but it's a nice position in my opinion, pressing the arms downwards into the carriage. We feel just a moment of taking a little bit of time to just find our alignment, lengthening out through the top of the head, pressing the tailbone down in back, feeling the ribs, the bottom of the rib cage. Just soften down into the ground and inhale and just exhale. Letting tension out of the body, putting focus and awareness into the middle of the body and one more India.

And now exhale, just flattening the lower spine into the character. We're just going to do a little gentle rocking, flattening the back. Inhale coming to neutral. Let's go just beyond neutral into a gentle arch and XL. Pressing the abdominals down. Feel the upper arms pressing as well.

Inhale, coming through neutral position into a gentle arc of the spine and finding neutral. That's a nice way to just feel that the difference between the posterior cheerlead tilted pelvis, the flat back, the neutral pelvis with the pelvis is straight across and a slightly arch spine where we're lifting the lower back and sending the tailbone below the front of the hip bones and in Hilton neutral, as we exhale, coming into a full pelvic curl, we roll through the spine. Feel the back sides of the legs working the hamstring specifically rolling all the way up until the knees and the shoulders were in the straight line. Pausing there. Two inhale, exhale, feel the chest drop between the arms, but continue to reach the arms very long so there's nothing in Pele's where we don't have a full body experience. Let's say an in, you know at the bottom and drawing deeply down through the abdominals. Tighten up the backsides of the legs before you start picking up the pelvis so that they're ready to bear that weight.

Send a little energy forward with the knees so the knees are reaching out towards the big and second toe. Pausing to breathe in and breathing out to come down. Continue to reach the arms. Nice long arms, nice relaxed position in the neck and XLP Ling the Baca reaching up, up, up. You want to keep the pubic bone higher than the front of the hip bones. The ribs lower than the pelvis and Xcel to roll down to nice leg warm up as well as a spinal mo. Warm Up. And from there taking the hands. There's hooks here, right where the straps live. We're going to hold onto those hooks, pressing the upper arms down and get it.

Just a gentle sense of trying to pull the handles apart. So we start to feel the back muscles working there, the upper back muscles lifting one leg at a time. When you're ready to pick up the bottom leg, make sure you're nice and supported. So by the time the leg meets its friend, we've got the abdominals working already for the spine twist. I'm going to go into the ocean first, pressing the opposite arm and shoulder down and Xcel to come finding center and inhale as we work across to the opposite side of the pelvis and XL to find center. So things that are important in this movement are the stability and stillness in the shoulders and neck and center.

The alignment of the knees and hips. So as we lift one hip off the carriage, we don't let one knee drop lower than the other. We imagine that the leg is just one piece, the two legs or just one piece and center. And on top of all of that, all of the work is being funneled through the waist lens. So we drove back away from the knees as we tilt. And then we place the spine with control into the center of the Mat, drying back away from the knees with the abdominals as we tilt and exhale using deepening the abdominal contraction to find center. Just one more for today.

In here, arms are still the opposite arm and shoulder presses down. Xcel to center. Inhale across and Xcel to center. Okay. Sliding one leg down, pressing it down into the foot bar. The other leg comes down to meet that leg. Reaching the arms forward.

We lift the head and chest. Yeah, and soften the knees, pushing the shins into the foot bar. We curl the spine all the way. And from the top I'm going to change springs again. I generally like this on one light spring, a blue spring is my preference. A little bit easier to manage with a red spring. Um, so there a couple of choices. We're just going to turn around here, create a little bit of space behind you on the reformer, let's say about five to six inches and hold onto the straps right above where the buckles are. So we press the knees together and we lift the spine in.

Yelling for a mini roll at we round down the spine, drive deeply back through the abs and press the shoulders heavily down towards the hips. Pause as you come into a low curl position and XL as you curl back forward rounding. We're going to stay round today. So even in this high position, we've got a firm sense of drawing back of contracting through the middle and y'all feeling the back of the body. Expand. Exhale, curling down, pressing the knees together and squeeze your bottom. Just a bit. Feeling as the low back comes into the carriage, we inhale and exhale guiding the low back. The low back is actually the last thing to leave the reformer and as the spine comes back over the hips. So notice here that I've got my shoulders right on top of my pelvis and we exhale to roll back. Plugging the upper arms into the shoulder joint, slightly downward pressure and XL to Rola, drawing backwards, drawing backwards, working just as hard at the top is at the bottom, and one more time rolling backwards, reaching the feet downwards, using the backs of the legs to support the pelvis.

So I'm talking glutes and hamstrings here and rolling back up. Okay, we're going to make it a little bit more intense, but let's lift the spine up first. Then the arms just get a little bit of back extension. They're coming out of that rounded position for just a moment. Again, rolling back, pressing the abdominals back towards the spy. Using the springs. Not to make the exercise easier, but to increase feeling or to increase depth. Pausing in the low position, we just make a tiny little mini curl. Can you curve your spine without actually moving your carrot?

That's challenging. Inhale down. Exhale, curling inwards on yourself so it's not an up and down feeling in my mind. It's more of a forward curl. Exhale, lift. Inhale back. Exhale, left. Just allowing the weight of the straps to help you. Just the littlest bit. Exhale, curl in. Hilda keeping the neutral position in the pelvis last two times and down, one more time and down. And now we will, all the way up through the spine, staying round, staying around.

But as you stay around creating a sense of long round or lengthening, as you round lifts the spine, bend the elbows to the side. Look straight ahead, take the arms back forward. Start to flex through the spine. Allow the low back to move before the shoulders move round down onto the reformer. Find the lower back connection. Rotate to the left. Exhale that same mini crow, lifting and down, trying not to move the reformer much. Um, things that are important. What we anchor the opposite side of the pelvis. We seal a deep rotation through the spine. This looks like not a lot, right? There's not a lot of movement happening, but there's a great deal of intensity of effort, of focus. And last two times and last one time, we're gonna roll all the way up that side.

And then as the shoulders come over to the pelvis, we're gonna around, back through center, lifting to a straight back, bending the elbows to the sides, assessing at the elbows and the shoulders are lined up with one another. The arms now straighten. We allow the lower back to bend first and nothing happened in the upper body yet and now we bring them back down into the reformer. Pausing as the low back comes into contact, rotating the other direction and lifting. Now if it was too hard, if it's too hard for you to come this low, just keep it a little higher. So figure out where you can work within a range of motion that feels supportive, that feels in control. And we'll do three more here.

Lifting still working the backs of the legs, pushing the heels down into the reform and pulling them slightly back towards my body. Last two times last one time rolling up that side, up, up, up, all the way, finding the center and then one last time we lift the spy and then just let the chest lift. Looking slightly upwards. If you're looking for a challenge, take the arms out all the way to straight, and then reaching all the way back forward there. I just placed this boom. Yeah. What I wanted to do was place his straps back down without making a huge banging noise, but I couldn't quite get there. So anyway, nobody's perfect. So I'm setting up my springs for footwork.

I'm using three red springs and my bar is going to come back up, sliding the back, back down into the reformer. I'm looking for alignment and we start with the heels on the foot bar, feeling a neutral position in the pelvis. So as you flat out that pelvis, make sure that the middle rib, the middle back, and ribs have an arch pressing the upper arms down. You can leave your head rest up or down. That's your choice. Want to tighten up the backsides of the legs before we go anywhere. And with that, we move from there, straightening the knees and bending the knees and straightening the knees and bending the knees in healing to come in and excelling to come out.

Now it's something that's very common is a hyperextended knee. So it's important that we keep the knees just in front of the ankles and as the legs extend, as we reach that straight leg position, feel that you're lifting the kneecap up with the front and the backsides of the legs. The arms reach oppositionally. So as my leg straighten, my arms are reaching for my feet. It's also important to check in. Do you feel both sides working evenly? Just last two times drawing downwards. So we feel the stability in the center of the body.

The pelvis stays in neutral the whole time and we come all the way back into the stopper, moving to the toes, pressing out through the legs, allowing the feet to point here and then keeping the stillness in the feet as we bend in the knees. What I mean by that is that when the legs are straightened, the feet are pointed, not locked into a high position, but just in a uh, uh, as much as they can be pointed at with a straight knee. Now as we move the carriage in and out, we keep the feet still in that position. So if the ankles are locked, the tendency is for them to want to drop up and down. Just hold as though there's a ledge that we're pressing the feet into and we just stretch and bet. Nice, smooth, even movement and bet and stretch. This is meant to be, of course it's leg work, but it's also meant to just warm up the larger muscles. So it's part of our warmup as well.

I'm going to go two more times and in and one more time. And and from the bottom we just swivel the heels together. Allow the knees to open slightly about as wide as your own shoulders. Once again, recheck the pelvis and here again, squeezing the heels together. Feel the inner thighs working.

We tighten up the hips to press out and we bend it and tighten up the hips to press out and bed so the glutes engage before the movement happens and we pull ourselves in. So the focus on the backs of the legs isn't just occurring on the way out. We want to feel almost a sense of trying to pull the feet into the body and out and pull the feet into the body and, and just working rhythmically here and we'll do three more. Rechecking the ribcage, rechecking the alignment of the pelvis and last one coming all the way back in. Moving the heels out to the outer edges of the bar, finding ankle flection. So again, don't flex the feet from the toes. Flex from the ankle joint.

Feel a squeeze is that you had something in between your knees to squeeze. In fact, put your hands there, push on your hands, keep that momentum that squeeze happening and replace your arms back down. And from that place we stretch out and we come back. We energetically squeeze inwards as the, we're trying to draw our legs towards one another. Sealing each time. Again, I'll say it over and over the engagement. See the backs of the legs is what gets us going.

It doesn't change the position of the pelvis at all. It just, that's where the movement begins and that's where the movement finishes and four more and pulling back. And three and two and Paul and, and then we just slipped down to the toes and knees are still y, same ankle position as before and stretching out and coming back and working deeply. So it's nice sometimes even if you're a more advanced instructor to return and focus on the fundamentals, allow yourself to go deeper into the work because it's truly the fundamental work that is the avenue that for, for allowing us to get to the more advanced work. So if we have a strong grasp on the fundamentals, we'll be able to more easily understand what needs to happen. Can we get to movements that are more complex? Okay, last two, exhaling and inhaling, exhaling and inhaling it. And then we're going to bring the feet into the middle of the bar, about two or three fingers apart from one another and parallel from there, pressing out, taking the hills underneath the bar all the way, pull them under and then rise up through the hills, working from the backsides of the legs.

So as the heels go down to lift up on the backs of the legs from the glutes. And so there's a kind of an oppositional action happening or energy as the heels reach. We're pulling up through the back sides of the leg, supporting the knee joint, reaching down and lifting and reaching down and lifting and really work the front of that Shin. Make sure the ankle stay straight with one another, that their feet, stay straight with one another and we'll do three more. Checking with the arms and shoulders. Is there a lot of tension in the upper body? There shouldn't be. And one more time coming. Nice and high up onto the toes. Check out the pelvis.

It's going to stay absolutely still as we've been. One knee straight up towards the ceiling. Rise onto both toes and change. So it's an up, down action, a push pull action. One foot pushes into the bars, the opposite foot is pulled under and lift, change and lift change. And this is our prancing and change.

Beautiful stretch occurring through that calf and change. Nice strong work occurring in the calves as well. Don't forget about the higher muscles in the leg working from the hips. And we'll just do two and two and one and just hold that foot under the bar. Hold onto the frame of your reformer and give it a little pull. Not a lot, just a little increasing this, the stretch for yourself.

And then we come on and reach to the other foot down and Paul, come on in. The needs to bend to come all the way. Dropping the knees over to one side, putting the hand on that near shoulder block, helping yourself up to sitting and adjusting the springs. I'm going down to one red and one blue spring and while we're here we'll do our ab work, our hip work, and a little bit of arm work. So we rolled all the way back down onto our back again, setting up nice and straight. Okay, I'm going to skip myself a little bit away from the shoulder blocks because we're going to start with some apps. Picking up the straps. I always like to make sure they're nice and even they are.

I take the straps in my hands. Notice that I haven't lifted my legs yet. First I set my arms, I the shoulder blades flat onto the mat underneath me, not squeezing together, and then I put a little pressure on the strap from my back muscles. Once I'm nice and supported through my upper body, that's the time to start to lift the legs up. So right away as the legs come together, I'm ready to move. Inhale, prepare. Exhale. I lift my sternum, reaching. After that, my arms down towards my body. Inhale, the arms come up, allowing there is to be challenging the abdominals and I just placed my head and shoulders back down, reaching the sternum up, allowing the arms to respond by pressing down into the hips, letting the arms start lifting, drawing the shoulder blades down, and allowing the head to come down and lifting the sternum.

This is the a hundred prep. Exhale, pressing the legs together, reaching down. Allow the head to come down and exhale to lift and the arms, and then the body. Don't ever just let the straps go. And what I mean by that is there's always tension on the straps. In addition, we want to move the body. Before we move the arms, here we go. Last one, lifting up into the a hundred prep position. I'm going to hold it here.

I'm going to take my legs out straight and I'm going to bend my knees and curling my chest up into my thighs. Inhale the legs, reach out straight and squeezing the backsides of my legs. I'm reaching the arms past the hips and the knees in and inhale and exhale and just two more. Inhale and exhale and inhale and Exxon and lifting the arms to come all the way back down. Pretty simple, but not super easy. Okay, so the feet on the bar, push out with the legs. Take one of your feet and put it into the the, what is that? That's a strap and then put the other foot in as well. Okay, so we're going into our basic hip port series, like for you to focus just as much on your abdominals as on your legs.

Bending the knees in the knees are just outside of the straps. The pelvis is in neutral. Tighten up the heel. Squeeze, tighten up the gluten. From there, reaching out and bending in. Feel as the legs go out. There's two muscular focuses in terms of the lower half of the body.

One is the hips and the second is the inner thighs. I'm just, I'm flexing my feet here as a preference could also point, it's up to you could also just relax the feet. Now again, we want to find the pole in just as much as we want to find the reach. Ah, an idea that you could play with is allowing the abdominals to try to pull the carriage up first and then allowing the legs to respond to that movement. Meaning can we start working the center of the body first and then allow the legs to move? Lifting the leg straight up. From here, we turn the knees and toes away from one another. That's a hip joint action. It's called external rotation. Press the legs down from there. Separate them in circle, symmetrically them back together to touch in the center XL.

As we press down, inhale as we reach up around and just tap together. Exhale to press down again as the legs come up. It's important that we're not changing the position of the pelvis at all. If you don't have any doubt, if you are or not, put your hands there. Here's another idea. As the legs come up, can you allow the front of the legs to relax the muscles right up at the top of the hip, crease and down and keeping the back of the legs, the focus and yeah, and reaching out, allowing there to be like a cyclical action in the hip joint.

Little freedom in the hip joints. What we're looking for, pausing at the top, separating India, reaching down as we exhale and keeping the lights connected together as they come straight up the middle, separate, rotate within the hip joints. The legs come down and squeezed together and inhale to lift and open and reach down and away from you. So here's another idea. Lots of ideas. Can we get a feeling of reaching the legs away from the hip joints? Now in order to do that, we've got to put a lot of abdominal focus in it.

We pull up on the ams and the legs reach out further and further each time and inhale to left. And again, I've got a really concentrate on working my uh, my right side specifically. That's the one that just won't turn on unless I actually think about turning it on each and every repetition. So a lot of us have that discrepancy, that one stronger side and one not so strong side. So it's important to keep that in mind. Pausing at the bottom of my circle. Now I'm going to go straight out with my legs. No Up, no up, straight out, straight out, straight out. And then tighten up the NFS, tighten up the abs and bring the heel all the way back together.

And any other legs, draw a straight line, a horizontal line and out. So imagine a horizon in front of you. Just trace the horizon and center and in here and strong abdominal focus as we pool the legs together and in here and oh, the lakes together. And two more. Pull the legs together and last one. Yeah. And then bending the knees here, taking one foot out of the strat.

Placing that foot on the bars that are nice and controlled here. As we reach out to take the other foot out of this strap, we bring in our carriage in all the way bending the knees, heading into some arm work. So we start with the arms. Once again, just over the shoulder as again, we'll just like in the Ab work, I've set my shoulder connection first, lifting one leg at a time. From there, from the back of the body, I pull the arms down into the reformer, reaching them past my amps in healing to lift them up, resisting that action, excelling to press down and inhaling to lift up. So the moving part of the body is the arms. You might feel some energy in the backs of your arms and I want you to, but I want you to put more energy than that in your upper back, the muscles all around the shoulder joints. And keep in mind that if the ribs are arching up, we've got a little to 10 too much tension in our back.

So you want to keep those old 12 ribs pressing down into the reformer. We use the abdominal muscles to hold the legs still in space. I'm going to go take us through one morning. We come down to the bottom, rotating the palms to face one another, taking the arms wide to the sides. Don't let the shoulders move at all XL to press down. Now feel the entire body expand as the arms expand and press down.

It's a great place to practice our lateral breath. We feel the ribs expand into the fingertips and then we squeeze like a bellows. The arms press all the air out of the body and in and out and while you're at it, squeeze your legs together. It's focused on all the details. All the tiny little details is what makes this work so beautiful. What makes this fundamental work so challenging? Forever and ever.

Last time and now we come to center, rotating the palms to come down. It's an upper arm rotation. We take the arms up, hold the carriage, still open to the sides and down. This is our up circle in heel to come up. Keeping tension on the straps all the time from the back and inhale to come up and open and, and inhale. And as that arms reach from the up to the out, there's absolutely no change in the stability of the reformer up to out and down. We'll do two more right and down, last one and down. And we take it through the rivers. We come out, we keep the carriage still.

It's a little harder in this direction. And pressings straight down. Inhaling, open. Feel that nice mobility and stability in the shoulder joint and open. Re squeeze the legs where you squeeze the abdominals and open and hold those shoulders steady, holding the carriage steady. And we'll do two more. Holding everything steady and down. [inaudible] and at the bottom press the upper arms to your sides. Don't put the arms down.

Keep them just near your body. Bend your arms, elbows into the waist, shoulders away from the shoulder blocks. And we just straighten the arms and bend the arms. Now I'm not just working my arms, I'm never just working my arms. I want to feel first that the shoulder blades reached down, the elbows pulled to the hips, and then from that bat contraction, my arms start to straighten Elvis to the hips and straight ribs down, shoulders down and straight. The upper arm stay hovering off the carrot. They don't change at all.

They don't move up and down in space. They say very, very stuff, very, very controlled and five and bet four and bet three work the shoulders down the even on the bent two and band one and all the way out. Placing the feet back down onto the foot bar, taking the straps back onto the hooks where they belong. Turning your body over to the side, putting your hand on the nearest shoulder block, helping yourself that and changing to one sprain. So I have one red spring on the reformer. I'm going to do a quick stretch. I'm putting both hands on the foot bar, putting the inside leg onto the shoulder block and the knee down on the carriage. The front knee is bent, the hands are resting on the foot bar.

I want to tighten up the backside of the leg. Keep the shoulders as upright as I can over my pelvis as I drag my back knee backwards, opening the front side of the hip. From here, I'm going to breathe in and out just a couple of times, okay, and on my next exhale, now lift my entire front foot and start to stretch that leg out. Now notice I've taken my spine slightly downwards. Breathing in and out here, feeling a slight elevation through the tailbone, drawing the abdominals in and up, holding to breath. As the front foot goes down, the front knee bends. I start elevating my spine. So in the hip flexor portion of the stretch, we're looking for a back extension.

We're looking for a slightly posteriorly tilted pelvis, meaning a little bit of a Tuck or a trying to attack. And then as I start to straighten out my front leg, I work for a slight anterior tilt in the pelvis trying to arch my back slightly. That's going to help me tap into those, those hamstrings. Breathing in and out, holding the head in line with the spine. Don't just hold yourself up with your hands here. Hold yourself up with your back muscles. That's always important.

Bend the front knee, come all the way the carrots touches. We step carefully off and walk to the other side. Foot is up against the shoulder block. The front knee is bent. Assessing that the spine is straight up so we don't want to arch the back to to stretch the hip that we're going the stretch. That way we want to feel the pelvis pressing forward as the Nigos back.

If you've got a mirror, it's nice to to check in with the pelvis. I use my hands trying to look for a squared pelvis and then my front leg straightens and again looking for that nice straight across position in the hips. Lifting the tailbone up just a little bit, holding the head in line with the spine, looking for the alignment of the foot. I just caught my foot doing something funny, so there's lots of little details that you can look for. Bending the front knee, lifting up, up, up, out of the pelvis, holding to breathe. It's tightened up the backside of the leg. That's always going to give you more of a stretch in the front.

Tighten up the ABS. That's always going to give you more of a stretch as well. And now we stretch out. One more time. Reaching, finding the alignment, finding the slight arch of the back, checking for stability, checking for an even foot and bending all the way in. Lifting the spine, taking the foot down. I'm gonna Change to a blue spring here. We're going to do a little bit of a knee stretch action or reverse knee stretch action on with one leg. So want to come up against the shoulder block.

We're going to place one knee up against the shoulder, black line up the legs. Place the hands on the frame and from that place draw the pelvis inwards and the chest downward. So we have a very, very rounded back. My outside hand is in front of my inside hand. My abdominals are lifting and from their shoulders pressing down. All I do is try to curve my spine more.

That allows the nature respond by pulling slightly in with the carriage. Inhale to release the knee. Exhale, two deep in the curvature of the spine, bringing the knee in and release. And if you just move the leg, it's not going to feel like anything. You've got to really focus on the app. And if you do, you may even be able to get a stretch in the lower back area and in here and squeezing the legs into one another and in here. And Excellent, nice, strong, deep, deep abdominal work.

Super simple exercise. Last time here, I bring them carriage all the way back and I tell them up, taking the foot down, coming around to the other side, placing the knee down on the reformer, the hands on the frame and the legs are lined up. I don't do anything until I get my spine into position. So before I even move, I'm in the middle of the movement. I'm in the middle of the exercise working without movement. And then I just look for depth as I bring that knee in and release. I'm looking for around round, deeply, deeply rounded spine and back. And as the knee comes in, the shoulders press backwards away from the lake and back and focusing on the breath is also helpful. Focusing on not moving the leg, but instead trying to create the work by bringing the pole vis forward.

I want to just do want to do that about four more times. Pressing inwards, do both lengths and two on one. And then I carefully let my carriage come in and I step down. I'm going to get my box and I do a little bit of stomach and massage. I really like the stomach massage with the back supported against the box. It's a nice place to learn in a nice place to teach this movement.

So I just put the shoulder block right up against my, or the box against my shoulder blocks. I'm going to use two red springs for this one. Red and one blue would also work. Um, I think two reds is plenty. So I'm going to get myself and I start by putting my feet down on the frame so I can set my back. I want my pelvis to be right up against the box. And from that position, I'm going to lift my legs up onto the bar. Okay, so we've got the legs in a small v shape.

The hands are going to start on the front of the box and I don't want you to hunt all the way forward. I want you to feel that the whole back from the pelvis to the bottom of the ribs is on the back and then just the chest as reaching forward. So it's like a little sit up, you're pressing the abdominals into the box, the arms press backwards, the elbows bend and pull wide and I come in as much as I can from there. And from that exhale, pressing into the box with the ads, the heels go down and up and I pull myself in and it's exhale and great place. Really focused on the ABS, the, we've got some feedback there for them and down and up and in.

Don't forget the arms, pull the elbows out, press the arms in. Nice strong position. It's always, always working the front of the body here, down, up. Then in one we're down, up and in. And then I lift my back. We're not going to do the whole, the whole set today we're going to lift the arms up. So now we work with a straight back. The arms are, let's say just reaching between the ears and the neck and I just press out from there, pressing my spine into the box, down and up with the seat and in the back stays nice and stable. Nice and straight. As I work from the hips, work from the APPS. The arms are reaching out in space, but the shoulders or the arms are plugged into the shoulder. Joy.

So there's a sense of stability but also a sense of length. Reaching out, down, up and, and reaching up, down, up and out, down, up and in. Reaching out, holding here, take the arms behind and just lift the chest. Sliding the arms down on the box, sliding the arms down the box, opening through the shoulders, dropping the feet down and we bend the knees to come back. Yet separate the feet.

Reach between the feet with your hands, lift the back between the length, press out with the legs, press the low back into the box, stretch the legs as much as you can there. Then allow the knees to soften. Allow the spine to start to get longer, longer. So we use the arms, but also the back muscles as we pull away from the box. And then we just try to ease those knees a little straighter. It's a fantastic stretch in abandoned knees. Again, when would work that one more time. So he lengthen out through the back.

Stertz the legs and then we come in coming in enough so that you can take your feet down and then come all the way down and climb out. Okay, so moving on, we're going to finish with a little bit of lateral flexion and rotation and also send back extension. So I'm gonna turn my box long ways. This can be done on a chair, on a box. Standing up. I'm just going to do it facing the camera. Okay, so I sit down. Yeah. What I want. I, I have my feet on the reformer, but you could also just allow the legs to hang. I like the feet here cause it helps me find my pelvis. I'm going taking the hands behind the head, lift up on the neck, press back through the ribs and push the skull, the head into the, into the hand.

I have my fingers fully interlaced here and then I'm creating a hammock. And from there pressing the right hip down. I'm going to stretch out, out, out to my left. And then as I engage my right obliques, I lift my spine taller and I reach out and I'm actually pulling on my head a little here, creating a little traction. I'm not letting my knees change and excelling to come back and inhale as I reach up, not overextending, not overarching the ribs. I have to keep reminding myself of that. That's mostly for me, but it's a common problem. So check in there and reaching out and up and coming back to the center and reaching out and up and coming back to the center. And just one more. I'm trying to find a stretch and center and from there in here, just going to keep the knees and the pelvis still doing a gentle rotation to the right hand side. Inhale as we unwind, exhale, gentle rotation to the left hand.

Inhale to unwind. So again, the head stays nice and still on the arms. It does not comfortable for you to put your hands behind your head here. Allow the arm to just come into like, what is this and I dream of Jeannie position. Let me just reaching across and center and reaching a Cox and center. Okay, finishing with back extension.

I'll have one red spring hooked up to my reformer, my boxes in the long position. I'm going to climb onto my box and lie on it with my stomach. The base down. I always like to look and make sure that I'm lined up properly or straight. Okay, so first step, we're going to put the hands on the foot bar. Second step, we're going to lift the abdominals or just engage them lightly and lightly engage the backs of the legs too. So I don't want you to lift the legs higher than the box, but I also don't want you to lower the legs below the box.

Keep the legs actively lifted to the height of the box, draw the elbows slightly below the risks and from there press the arms out by drawing the shoulder blades down. So we feel the oppositional work happening and as we bend in, we draw the elbows down. And why not down into the springs, but just slightly below the risks. And I like a feeling of trying to pull my hands apart on the bar. And there's not that. That doesn't mean move the hands apart. It just means create a pulling of heart energy.

And we reach down, down, down an n and reaching out. Exhale and drawing the elbows wide and down, putting a little resistance from the upper back. I'm going to change it on us. We're going to take it out. Holding the leg stuff. We start reverse articulating through this vine, lifting the neck, keep the legs strong, lift the middle back, lift the middle back. You can come as high or as low as you want to, but what you can't do is lift the spine so much that the legs drop down.

So I've lifted quite high just to show you where you can go here, but it doesn't have to be this high and we take it all the way back down, undulating through the spine, allowing the eyes to drop downwards, finding neutral, allowing the cervical spine and the neck to extend. Leading that from there into the thoracic, the middle spy. From there we start to work the the lower abdominal, the lower back muscles, all the while staying nice and focus in our opera back muscles holding, pulling old way in if you can. We stretch out the abdominal muscles here and then we reach out an out and out and one more lifting the head. Now you could just come to the ribs, that's all you need to come or you can continue to challenge that back extension. Just don't by pass the upper back to do it. Lifting on, tightening up the legs and lowering all the way down and bending the homes to come in. And only when I'm all the way finished, do I allow my legs to stop working? Stepping off the box when I change the a red spring for a blue spring, and Stan just near the front looking for alignment, bowing forward, allowing the hands to come onto the edges of the box.

And from there I'm going to start to round over the bar, over the bar, over the bar, looking for that deep flexed position. And from there I'm going to lift the pelvis out, straightening out my back, and inhale and curling the spine, looking for the deepness in the curvature, reaching all the way in with the box and inhale and exhale, rounding downwards first, don't go too far down, then start to lift the pelvis up. And once you achieve a flat back, then you can take the flat back more forward if you wish to. And inhale and exhale. It's a beautiful leg. Stretch, a beautiful back stretch, nice shoulder stabilization work. And we'll do that one more time. We take the carriage down or the spine down.

The carriage will move away in response, the back starts to lengthen. It's like you're yawning through your spine here, lifting the pelvis, ah, drawing the shoulders, plugging the upper arms into the shoulder joints, and from there we curl all the way back in, reaching in, [inaudible], lifting up off the box, taking their arms all the way up as we lift up through the spy and allowing the arms just float all the way down. And as day two, we just create a little more left, create a little more energy. I don't we take that energy with us. Thanks.


2 people like this.
Lovely class for a day when my back is sore. Thank you so much :)
1 person likes this.
Lovely class Meredith. Being curious. what position did you have the gear bar in for footwork First or 2nd?
Thanks ladies!

Jamie, I generally keep the bar in 2nd gear but....thats just a preference. :)
ok I was just being curious George. I think you and I are around same height . Sometimes I feel like I am too close to the foot bar. I am almost 5'7" (thanks to Pilates!)
I think that either choice would be appropriate Jamie. I am a mere 5'6". In my opinion, you should do what feels best for your body. Thanks for taking class :)
1 person likes this.
wonderful! working my way back from surgery. perfect
1 person likes this.
I love, love, love this class! As always, beautifully cued and beautifully performed. A really deep, precise and lovely workout. I had a question for Meredith- when you say you have 3 red springs on in 2nd gear, you mean the gear farthest away from the carriage, right? I know that some teachers say it the other way around, and I just wanted to clarify.
Thank you again for an inspiring class!
Yes Emilie, that is exactly what I mean. Thank you for taking class and sharing your lovely thoughts!
1 person likes this.
As always Meredith, a lovely class and beautifully cued. I loved the short box- stomach massage!
1 person likes this.
Wonderful cueing and technique!
Thank you meredith
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