Class #750

Basic Reformer Breakdown 4

15 min - Class


This class is the fourth class in a series Monica calls Basic Reformer Breakdown.
This 10 minute video describes the particulars of the Short Box series from how to pick up the box to the details of the exercises performed in this series.
These segments are to be done in the exact order they are presented. The healthy individual should not omit any exercises to obtain the Pilates' benefits. Once you are well versed in these segments and feel comfortable on the reformer, you are able to move forward at attempting a Basic Reformer at a moderate pace. Enjoy!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video


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Okay, so let's learn about the short box and how to properly set it up. Let's go ahead and lower down your bar. Great. Leave the pad there. We're going to use it for later. You want to lower your box, stamp your head piece down so that it's safe when you put your box over it. When you grab your box, try to grab it with your body square, so you want to kind of walk in front of it. Good and either grab it like that, still walk a little more square with it.

Perfect. Then the knees a little and use your powerhouse. Nice. Now bring it over and you're going to want to make sure it goes over the shoulder pad but in front of the eye hook, so that's great placement where you can still see the eye hook and then make it nice and center and the bar right in front. Perfect. Now the only other thing is that pad, it's best if you put it right here for my height. I end up not working really well with it, but most people work well with that. You want to measure a hands with distance? Great. So now you know where you're gonna sit. Okay, go ahead and reach down and grab your straps. We're sticking with our two springs and you're going to carefully sit down with control and then get your nice position.

Great. Alright, so when the hands with distance is very, very important, because right now we're at a basic level and we're just going to be rolling back our lower back. But one day you're going to roll back into a full back extension and you want the box to support your lower back but not jab it. So if you were to forward it would jab you and your middle back and if you're too far back it wouldn't support you. So it's important to start that habit now of the hands with distance, then your legs there, they're active as there are in every exercise, but they're not gripping. So you're never to want to tighten the quads and pull up on the strap.

You might do that when you're starting and, and maybe even for a while, but your goal is to relax them. Sometimes people even have to bend the knees as they're doing it so that they can really relax it. I actually had do probably for a good first year with my knees, a little bit bent. That's what Romana wanted me to do. But the leg should be pulled back. So those strap goes right over the, not the middle of the foot and not quite the ankle, but somewhere in between.

And you're going to pull back your feet so that from your bottom one day you're going to push away those heels and have that nice long line. Great. So the first exercise is going to be around back. We always do a round to start off, like in stomach massage, right? So the object here is to wrap your arms around your stomach. And it's super important because all day long he, myself included, we end up wanting to use our back to stand and that really tightens our back.

It doesn't let it be very s, um, flexible. And then it also naturally pushes out our stomach. So when we do an exercise like this that's really challenging on the way up, our natural tendency will be to push out our belly and use our back. So our hands are there, especially on the way up to pull in and hug into your back. Okay? So you really want to feel your stomach hugging into your back.

So to start off, I always love prepping shoulders of course, or right over your hip bones. But we do want to round our back and everyone's super good about rounding their upper back. But it's that lower stiff part that I was just talking about. That's so important. So I like you to just breathe for a little bit and just inhale. And as you exhale, try to really per hug your belly into my hand.

And then inhale, and as you exhale, hug in, in, in, and inhale. And as you exhale, trying to pull it in rounding. Now the hardest part is can you pull your belly in and squeeze your bottom? So you're going to take a breath, exhale, pull in and, and squeeze up off the seat. Great. And then relax everything. And we'll do that one more time and then we'll start our exercise. So taking a breath, exhale, hugging the belly, squeezing up.

Great. So now let's inhale and roll back your lower back. Roll back as far as you can. With that inhale, not as far as you can. Just do the weights down and then exhale forward hugging in. And you're ready for an inhale. So you're going to inhale, roll back, use that breath to move and exhale, hug those arms in. Wonderful. Rounding your back and we're going to inhale, roll back all around and going down one bone, getting the waistband down and exhale up, hugging in. There you go. And let's do two more.

So when you're starting off, you actually do more reps because you're trying to get more comfortable with the work and exhale forward scooping in. Good. And we'll do one more. When you're super advanced, super superstar, you're going to do like three of these, but when you're starting off, we're going to do five and then exhale, scoop in. That's it. Nice round, lower back. And then you get to take a little break there. Good. We're going to grab your bar and we're going to first sit up tall. So shoulders you want to scoot back and inch it look like, maybe just a teeny bit forward. There we go. Alright, so shoulders are nice.

They're right over your hip bones. And if I put this bar behind your back, we would want every vertebra to pull in there. So get the waistband more. Don't lean back with the shoulders there yet. Go good. And then if you can add any above that, great. But the most important are the ones between the bottom of your shoulder blades down to your waistband. Need to be glued onto that bar. Now we're going to stay like that and you're going to lengthen the fingers.

We don't grip the bar implies cause then that changes the energy. So we want the arms to lengthen from our powerhouse. So we're going to pull the belly in and up and the arms come up just in our peripheral vision, not too far back, not helding forward right there. Lift off your seat. And I want your legs to be lengthening this way as you go back six inches.

And come forward. Take a little break with your bottom, pull the belly in and up and you go back and forward. Good. You want to imagine that this is like a paint roller and we're going to be painting the ceiling as you go back and forward. Let's do one more scooping in the back. Never breaks. Take this with you and forward and a little break and rest your arms down so the back goes nice and straight. You don't sink in your lower back as you go or arch as you go. Very nice.

The next one is side reach. So we're going to still think about our nice straight spine scooping in and then I want you to still keep your stomach as you lean a little forward so that your shoulders are significantly in front of your hipbones. Very nice and keeping that nice lift. You're going to lift your arms up from that feeling good. Feel both sit bones are on the box and we're going to pull in our belly and we're going to reach with it. Take your ribs with you. Yes.

And then try to use your waist to come back center. You want to feel like you're in a Corset, like you're just pulled in and now you're going to reach and you don't want to stick yourself over here. So you're reaching over and then you're gonna Scoop back in. Ideally, go ahead and reach over to the right. Ideally your shoulder blades are staying away from your ears and you're stretching your spine over and scoop. And then to come home, good and up and stretch up and over rainbow over there and come and center. Good.

And pull it in and reaching your spine more than your arms. Take your ribs with these, your spines going yes. And we're do one more. So this always stays three sets. So we're going to pull in super advanced or beginner, doesn't matter. And rest your arms down. Great.

Put the bar away and we're gonna learn about tree. Everybody's favorites. Hmm. So we always want to keep our box square. Later on you're going to learn an advanced or intermediate exercise called teaser and teaser. You have to hold both legs up at a 45 degree angle while doing um, a controlled roll-up really hard, right? Well, tree actually helps you learn how to do those things.

We're holding up one leg at a time while going down and up. So today we're going to sit up nice and tall and try to keep our frame our box and imagine that our powerhouse is drawing that right leg out of the strap and bringing it forward. Good. Alright, so nice and square. We're going to keep that leg there. In other words, you're not going to lower the knee as you straighten the leg, you're going to hold it there as you straighten and bend. Good. And straighten and bend. Nice. And straighten and bend. Now hold it up.

And your stomach's always in an upstate tall for a moment. Walking your hands up as high as you can. Great. And then imagine there's like a big physio ball here and I want you to reach over it until you get there. Nice. Even out those shoulders, that one wanting to lift. Good. And we look at the line of our hips and I want you to roll back your waistband with your powerhouse. That left legs just going to come with you. This one has to stay. There you go.

Walk down your leg till your waistband touches and you're going to curl up trying to keep this leg as light and long as you can come up and stretch over it. And we're going to do two more. Rolling back a bit right there. And now. Walk down your waistband. Keep lengthening this leg, keeping the line of your hips long and coming up, reaching and up and over that leg. And one more. Pull in, always back from your bower house and then walked down that leg until your waistbands on the box and come on up. Scoop and in lengthening and reach on over again. And now sit up tall and try to grab your toes.

We call this picking the apple off your tree. Good, very nice. And switching legs. Great and nice and tall like a rocket. And we're going to straighten that leg. Nice and bend. Beautiful. Stretch and bend and stretch and bend. And now hold it up. Walk up that leg. Good. And again, we're really reaching as you go. Good.

We're going to try to keep this left hip reaching under us as you roll back your waistband and walk down to your waistband. Good. And come up. So your leg is, I love it at staying, kind of like with the front edge of that box. Then I want you to let it lower down a little bit and stretch over that ball. Then I want you to use your powerhouse to roll back just so that that leg comes back a little. And then you're going to walk down rolling. Or we're doing a roll up with your powerhouse here. Keep that left hip, reaching away so they stay square and stretch over that leg and one so this good.

And then this likes rapping and squeezing as you roll away and scoop it in an app. Comment all the way forward over the leg for a big stretch. Beautiful. And then grab your toes and try to lift tall, opening those collar bones, big stretch length in the back of your Ah, and bend that leg. And relax, bringing it down. Very nice. That is completes our short box. Very good. Nice.


1 person likes this.
This is not working. It stops and starts.
Monica Wilson
Bummer. We'll get right on it and try to get it to work for you.
June ~ I'm sorry you are having trouble with this video stopping. I recommend using the alternate video player and trying a lower setting. You can change your video player here. After you save the changes, you can go back to the video and play it. I find the medium setting works best for me.
1 person likes this.
I followed the site's excellent & clear instructions to close everything else running on my computer and all went smoothly! I just LOVE Pilates Anytime! It is a truly great site! Let's have more for beginners and people with bad back and recovering from injuries who have Reformers!!!!! Many thanks and hugs from the East Coast!!!
Monica Wilson
I will keep that in mind for my January taping:)
Thank you Dr June Reinisch! We really appreciate you coming back to let us know everything worked out and are thrilled that you are happy with the site. We are always hoping to offer more and with clear instructions no matter what aspect of the site you're dealing with. Thank you for the feedback!
Brilliant tutorial for the Tree which has really helped my technique!
Jennifer J
Your classes help me understand a lot, thank you!

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