Class #747

Basic Reformer Breakdown 1

10 min - Class


This class is the first in a series in which Monica breaks down the basic Reformer exercises into easy short segments covering:

The Footwork and The Hundred
Frog and Leg Circles
Stomach Massage Series
Short Box
Elephant and Knee Stretches
Running and Pelvic Lift

Each segment details how to set up your reformer safely, with correct placement, and teaches you what you're striving for in each exercise. These segments are to be done in this exact order and if your body is free of injury, you should not omit any exercises in order to obtain the benefits of Pilates. Once you are well versed in these segments and feel comfortable on the reformer, you are able to move forward at attempting a Level 1 or 2 Reformer class at a moderate pace.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

All right, so let's go over our footwork in quite detail. So go ahead and lie down with control. So this is the very first, the footwork in the hundred are the ways that we warm up our body, getting it ready for the rest of our workouts. So you want to be in a Pilati stance, which is toes apart and heels together. And I usually adamantly stress that you should not just put your feet and applaud his stance, but that you should work from your hips and then that naturally turned your feed out. So you do want to think about that too. But in this case you do just have to put your feet.

It's a little bit wider than normal when for the Po, when the very first foot work, okay, so it's not quite apply stance a little bit bigger yet you're still trying to hit all those, the metatarsal of every toe. You want to make sure that your spine is nice and flat and get comfortable with that. You could push in and out all day long with your quads and not change anything in your body and just use your major muscle group and, and then you'll just make a stronger muscle even stronger. But the foot work really works to center your body to warm up your powerhouse and if work your feet of course. So we're going to keep your heels right where they are and that'll make sure that you don't just use the quads. If you push down on 'em, go ahead and lower them down as you go out.

Then you would use more quads and come on in. So we're going to keep them right here. We're not going to lift them as we go out. We're just going to wherever they were naturally is usually okay. And we're going to really lengthen out, making sure the spine is flat.

Pull your belly in and up to go out and bend in. Good. And you want to go out and out. Let's stay here for just a second and see if our stomach can pull in and up and really linkedin out. Oh, that's gorgeous. You've got longer neck. Get a little longer in those thighs even, and keep that length. Now as you come in, you never want to just get shorter. You want a length.

Now let's hold it there for one more second and now pull in with that length. Great. And now more to tempo going and in silver. Keep pulling the arch and everything lifts with us. So you're lifting the arch, lifting the inner thigh, lifting that powerhouse. Wonderful. Hopefully feeling those out or thighs and the back of your inner thighs. And then we're going to do one more, lengthening all the way out and pulling in. Good.

Now we'll go to arches. So we do these all on four springs, on a grots reformer. But if you are really light or just getting back into exercise, um, or not feeling just strong enough effort, just feels like you're muscling through it. Then three springs is definitely appropriate. So now I want you to feel like you're squeezing and zipping up the back of your inner thighs and we're going to pull out, again, always pulling out with our powerhouse and pull the machine in and pull out. Ideally you're going to never stop.

You're going to stretch as long as you can and come in as much as you can. And then we're right back out. Always going to the full potential as if you're a the wave of an ocean just rolling out into the sand, pulling back in, going out as far onto the sand as you can. Then coming back in instead of really stopping, always working the machine. Last one coming in, hold it in. Now we're going to go up to heels.

So on that one you were really trying to wrap the foot around the bar and now you're going to push the heel bone and pull back your toes and going out and pulling back your toes wonderful and out. So the footwork warms up your body by making you warm up, your powerhouse and your legs. But it also warms it up internally by hitting different pressure points on your foot. So it does stimulate your heart and your liver and your intestines announced and stimulating your kidneys. So it warms up your body inside as well as outside.

And we're going to linkedin all the way out. Pulling back all those toes. Sometimes we keep going to more, we pull back just our big toe. You want to make sure like you're doing, pulling back the pinky toe equally with the big toe. Stay here. Nice. We'll go into our tendon stretch. So now this is almost a little smaller than your normal polite stance.

I usually say about two inches between your toes. This is more like a one inch. Try not to have the ankle bones touching. You're going to be lifting in the arch. Good. And we're gonna keep lifting in the arch as we pull out the machine with our powerhouse. Nice and long and now stretched all of the back legs all the way down.

And from the arch you're going to lift. Good. Try not to bend at the knee, but really reached through, right? And that powerhouse pulls in and up to lift and down to three of scale, a one to 10 you should feel your outer thighs and bottom about a 10 and if not, you want to just really send a message there and makes sure you're waking up that area. Because when we go to the hundred in a second and you don't have any tension to feel these muscles, that's how you want to feel your thighs. You want to feel them holding like that. You want to feel your seat awake. You want to feel the back of your inner thighs zipped up. Good.

Do you want to feel your powerhouse pulling in and up like this? Let's do two more. Down to three squeezing and last one, lifting the arches and squeezing and draw the machine back in. Great, so now you're going to, ideally our bar would be down right now, but we're just going to leave it up for a little bit. When you get more advanced, then you'll lower it down nice and coordinated.

You're gonna slide a little bit away from the shoulder pads. Good. And we're going to grab the handles that are by your ears. Good. Okay. Now I want you to use your stomach to bring your knees in and they're just nice, flat back and try not to have tension in your legs. Inhale, lift up your head and Xcel length in your arms and legs. Your legs are going to go to a 45 degree angle. Just pull on out. Good, good. So you're scooping in a little bit higher with the leg for the basic and we're going to pump and exhale. Great.

So always the most important part is that this part is down and then if we can, we're going to work our way out this way. So always scooping in and because he can, your ribs are nice and in length in your arms longer, like you want to pull the machine out as far as you can. Can you pull it out another inch? Oh yeah. Nice. And with that pool, you still want a nice open collarbones. Great God. Yeah. Your legs, like I said, still want to feel like they were in the tendon stretch. So you want to feel like you have a lift in the yard lift.

In the end of that I lifted the powerhouse and the back of your inner thighs are zipped up in squeezing your bottoms. Feeling like a 10 at squeezing so much. So all of that helps to really warm up your powerhouse. Everything from the bottom of your bra strap to the bottom of your bottom length in those arms a little more. We're gonna do one more. You're hugging in that belly, in and up and melt, relaxing everything and relax. Great. All right.

And those right back there.


1 person likes this.
Such a good intro to footwork
3 people like this.
Monica, I am curious. do you teach your beginning or early client on the mat first before placing them on Reformer? Or does it matter.
Monica a question: you ask your student, at the beginning of the class to : "make sure your spine is nice and flat and get comfortable with that". How do you achieve a flat back? and why do you ask for a flat back? Thanks.
In first footwork why doesn't she have client completely straighten her legs?
Monica Wilson
Hi Lali, That's a great question and I'm sorry I missed it earlier. This is a beginner class so I will try to answer your question from that perspective. When I teach a beginner client, I want them to feel their stomach (PH) pull in and essentially feel their back flat on the mat. As they become stronger in initiating from their PH, I will challenge my client to have correct pelvic position for their body. Again, as a beginner, my priority is to keep him/her safe while building strength in their PH. Please let me know if I can explain it further:) Hope this helps! Monica
Monica Wilson
Hi B, Boy! I'm not sure how I missed the questions on this class. So sorry! The client illustrated has worked hard to not hyper extend or internally rotate, especially in the 4th Footwork, the Tendon Stretch. The goal is to straighten or extend the legs as far as they can with proper alignment for his/her body. Footwork could really benefit from an instructor's careful eye assisting you:)
My reformer has five springs, two blue, two red and 1 yellow. How do I know which combo is four springs, etc.?
Jan ~ four springs means whatever combination of colors feels best for your body. It is different for everyone based on height/weight/strength/prior injuries and other factors. If you have a Balanced Body reformer, out of those colors red is heaviest, blue is medium, and yellow is the lightest. I would recommend using the two red and two blue, and if that feels too heavy for you, swap a red for a yellow.
1 person likes this.
I have been to several teachers and non say to keep back flat.
Is not it all about the abs and control. Neutral spine?
Thank you. Toes apart and heels together -- how far apart please?
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