Hi, I'm Amy. I'm going to be doing a reformer class today. There'll be a level one, two, and I'm using a balanced spot, a reformer, but no box today. No other props. Uh, the only prop I am using I should say is a belt. And I've gotten this from home. It's my husband's belt. Uh, you can certainly use a belt from your bath robe possibly, but the class will be a little more simple in that regard. Nothing really to change. I've got, um, we're set up on our loops. I've got the risers up about three quarters of the way high bar and we'll be starting with our footwork on three springs.
I've got three red springs for a balanced body reformer. So my approach with this is to give a good amount of attention to the shoulder girdle and upper body and upper arm work. Uh, is a way to prepare for some of the more, uh, intense pieces that you may have with weightbearing. There won't be any weight bearing on, in this class, on your hands. There is a little bit of knee work. Um, and I'll show some modifications for that when that time comes. So come on down and we'll start first just lying on our back and you can have, the other thing is you don't have to have the prop.
It's just here for a little extra. So if you don't have one that's great. Come on it. Uh, but I am going to just lay it across my belly for a second and just start level with my pelvis on the uh, rebel. I'm gonna just pulsed my pelvis about seven times. Just locating my sacrum there. I want to make sure that I have space between shoulders and the shoulder rest and keep checking in on that as we go through. I'll keep reminding you as well, but we don't want to have that tension in the interruption of the shoulders.
Ribs are relaxed. We're just going to warm up our shoulder girdle. So reaching both arms straight up, locating the shoulder blades and feel them flat. We'll move them. Now as we reach the arms up, you'll pull those shoulder blades forward or off of the mat in a protraction and then retract. Bring them down and together and again, reaching the shoulder blades up off the mat, forward of the ribs and then back to the mat and down and again, reaching up and reaching back. Feeling a good sliding the lighting quality there. Now just the right arm, I'm going to think arm and shoulder blade and bring it down.
Same arm two more times. I'm just trying to loosen up a little bit in that upper back, maybe around those, a upper thoracic vertebrae, left arm, I'm doing three and you might even take this time to check in on if there's a side that feels different or a little tighter, could be a weaker side. And so, all right, so we're going to take the right arm again and begin adding more of a rotation of the upper thoracic vertebrae and the ribs. So I'm going to exhale and reach across and down. One more arm, shoulder blade and rib cage and lower.
Now the left side arm, shoulder blade, ribs and return bringing some awareness into that upper back and across the shoulders. Okay. And lower down. So I have to pick up my [inaudible] my belt here. All right, so I'm going to have this hold different ways on the with the belt and if you can, if you don't have your belt, just lift your arms up. You'll do the same thing. Create your own resistance just through the the air. So we're on heels parallel arms starting tall. I've got my thumb hooked in.
It's going to be an easy exhale to press back and inhale center
If you start to feel that kind of fatigue or heat up in your neck area, probably should rest a little bit. Find a flowing breath. Let's just take last one here. Now I'm going to hold myself and hold the belt light hand pivot on the balls of the feet. So now we're back in the parallel. Lower the heels, reach the arms up, lift the heels, pull the strap down, lower the heels, reach the arms up and bring the re the strap to the chest. So I am building a little coordination as well. Trying to feel both elbows bend at the same time.
Both heels lower at the same time. Exhale. Let's take five more.
No prop. I'm just going to rest my shoulders. Here we go in press and in 10 times press trying to find that lengthening quality through my torso. It's actually starting way down at the pubic bone and lengthening up the front. The sides and even in the lower back press press seven even when I think I'm fully straight, I'm gonna really try to connect to more upward extension and my last one there. Press and down balls of feet also in the corners.
Make sure you have that pinky toe up there. A little lighter on the pinky toe. I'm going to go back one more time. Arms straight up. My palms are facing in and the arms are come straight down and lift just like we did in the first pattern. Exhale, reaching out with the arms. A slight pullout on the strap.
Seven and eight, just eight more one too, like trying to articulate those feet, like pushing off that foot bar. Seven and eight lift and bend. The knees to come down. Okay, so I'm going to have a snow. Use the belt and put your feet through it. Put your through it and press out on the edges there.
Set your heels on the bar and you'll notice that you're standing a little wider than in hipbone width. Of course, I do want you to connect to purely pressing out. Now from here we're going to take the carriage and stretch all the way to straight and you may have to readjust your feet to continue pulling up and in just five times, press out keeping that pelvis level. Exhale, press out and press out and in one more. I'm going to add a little extra to this. Now pull in halfway. Hold pumped back five times. I'm going to go back about four inches and for last one, five come all the way forward.
We'll do that thing twice more so all the way out. Connect to pulling out halfway in pause, five pulses and one press out. Push three, getting that hip, this association here for five and all the way in. Last one, a full press. Are you fully stretched? Then halfway in pulse for five one and two three pressing out and for last one five and come all the way in. Okay, let's work on rolling the hips a little bit.
So we'll reach back and lower your headrest. We want that piece down and to move a little bit of waste, I'm not jammed in there. This first pelvic tilt, again pulling out here on the outside edges of that, the belt. Now I'm going to roll my hips up and I want to stop just there. So this is a way I like to measure. I put my fists underneath my pelvis and I can ensure that my ribs are down, but my pelvis is in that tilt through that rotation.
Pull out lot of scoop here and I'm going to push back and forth eight times, not all the way out to straight knees. I'd like to keep this tilt. Why is to stretch the low back and a connected to this nice hollowing in we dropping in the tummy and Oregon's back into the lower spine. Just one more in and then reroll the hips down. Let's do it again. Inhale, exhale. Rotate. The hips pull out. Here we go. And exhale when you could go further back, if you can keep your hips rotated such as this. So if you go back though and you feel that your bum drops that you've, you've lost it a little bit, there are a lot, so keep it in your mind. It doesn't have to be big.
You want the quality of this pelvic tilt seven and eight. Let's make it all the way in and roll the spine down. So let's challenge ourselves and go up higher on the spine. If you'd like to exhale hollow in, pull out, I'm going to roll up to the spine, up to the base tips of my shoulder blades and take a moment there. Never a problem to stop and just pause. You can adjust things.
We're looking for that nice flat ramp. Here's what would we watch out for is the drop. You'd probably start to feel the strain here and that's defeating the exercise. You may want to go back to the lower position. All right? Otherwise has tried to challenge and push up.
Pull out on the low of the loop there. Pull and in eight times. So this may accentuate your awareness in your lateral hips, the side of your hips, but also back underneath them, the bottom and last two press return, press return. And now can you think of lengthening your whole spine toward your belt? I'm thinking about from here as a roll down that each vertebrae takes a little bit of a walk toward my feet, walks again, getting longer and peeling the shoulder blades back and down and we've arrived down in level pelvis and you can just shake it out. So that felt pretty good.
I'm going to lift my head Rez back up. Take the belt off my legs, bring myself up and drop this spring tension. I'm going to go to one red and a blue. Additionally, so one red, one blue, going back down. Now let's just put the belt off to the side for a moment. Reach back. Pardon me? One more thing. I do want to do this. Put that back across those knees. Okay.
Obliques. I wanted to warm those up first before we get into some of the regular arm pulls. So as you've got your belt across your knees, pull out. Again, I'm gonna have you take your arms in the kind of reach back and hold the posts here. Your shoulder rest would be fine. Take a deep inhale and on your exhale try to pull your rib cage a little closer to your spine and that you're more connected to your mat surface here. All right? So if you're laying there and at home, you might feel as though you're arching your back.
If you reached under and it's felt that hollow space, check it out first before we go on. You want to get rid of that space so you're real close to the mat that comes from here. All right. And you may choose just to stay like this while we go on ahead. I'm going to lean my knees and my legs over to my right, very small as a lean over. I'm actually still pulling outward on this side of my thigh.
It's kind of interesting what I'm sensing now is this really good, uh, strengthen my center all across from pubic bone up to my heart really. And I come back over to the other side. Lean the weight just a little. This tip does come off the mat slightly, but I'm pulling out here. All right and center. Let's take a nail. Exhale as we go over.
Inhale, come home, exhale as we go over
So I'm going to be working in sets of three on this. I'll try to do my best to remember that. Let's pick one knee up, pull your arms forward slightly and feel that work in the shoulders and the back. Exhale, bring the second leg up. We're going to hold for three breaths.
Inhale, they come. Exhale, always trying to stay away from those shoulder blocks. All right, that's our three. Next set of three arms. Keep going. Extend your legs either on a slight diagonal here. If you feel steady in your spine or you may choose to just go straight up to vertical. Either one works last one for three. All right, keep all that going. Added chest lift, so now I'm going to pick up my head and chest and squeeze that belly down.
Inhale, keep the breath flowing. Inhale, lower. Last one. Exhale. Let's hold for three. Inhale, exhale.
That might give you more weight in your spine. And of course mostly I'd love you to just breathe deeper and try to get those abdominals to feel, you know, connected to the spine, the spine, to the mat, and also you could raise your arms a little bit. All right, here we go. Exhale. Just the arms. One lot of energy. Fingertips here, wall to wall. I'm trying to reach wide. Last one, just the arms. Same thing with your leg variations. Either straight up or on a slight diagonal. Watch for that spine though. True. Feel that spine. Stay against your mat. Okay.
Adding the chest lift, three repetitions. Exhale. Really press the year out. Bring it in. Ah, three. Oops, that's just two actually now for three. I was looking, getting ahead. Three breaths here.
50 we'll come down, we'll pick it up for 50 more. Here we go. Curl it up. Connect. Here we are, end in three, four, five. Exhale, three, four, five, two
Here we go. Guys. Curl up. Reach. If you're getting fatigued, you can choose to keep the head down. Bend the knees. Those are modifications. Three, four, five, three, two, three, four, five, four. I'm going to go a little lower here for two, three, four, five x sail and last breath, three four five x sale, three, four, five and all the way in. Okay, so I'm going to have a step the straps down and come on up like you to lower your foot bar mainly because it doesn't need to be up any longer. We're still on a red and blue and we'll, we'll use our strap again. So this first section we'll be putting our
Now when you put up that second leg, sometimes we take this for granted. This is kind of interesting. You've got to secure yourself and press against that strap, anchor those abdominals, and here you go. Step Up. That could be a lot of work. It could. All right, so here we are. So what this is all about, I've just shortened the lever length or the lever length so it can specify maybe a little more clearly the correct muscle focus we're looking for, which right now I want us to think about our hamstrings and the adductors and even some of the external rotators. Alright? Instead of having the strap up there on the foot, which sometimes you may feel behind your knee this way, you take that, that feature out of it and you're just shorten things down. All right, now for right now, we can just hold the belt.
I'm just gonna kind of hold it in my hand and what I want you to work on, if you start in tabletop position, again, anchor your rib cage is just a slow, subtle press down into the back of the legs against the strap, and then slowly bring the thighs back up. So we're looking to extend and open the hip joints and then refold or reflects the hip joint. Now you could keep going further this way, but I'd watch out for having it go so high that you lift your bum up right now. Okay. This is just working the thighs, hip, this association, and back up. We'll take it two more times. I am squeezing the back of my legs against the foot loops to bring my thighs down. My knees are pressed together and back up.
So now we're going into a circle motion just like you would if your legs were up straight. You're going down. Now I'm going to let my knees fall apart and let my feet leave each other and stretch those add doctors and then bring them back in to tabletop. Four more. We come down.
And when you take your feet straight up to the sky, if it's too difficult, you may choose to work these for a while. So last one, open around and close five the other way. Try to find those muscles in the back of the legs and press them against the straps that are behind your legs and press wheeze and up.
I'm going to try to stabilize my ankle position and my legs in parallel. Press out so that I connect again here. And we're gonna work on Bendon stretch of the knees. So again, level pelvis, flex the knees and hips. This is an inhale. I'm going to press through my heels on the exhale. Inhale to bend. Now you may notice that one leg starts to lead.
Try not to let that happen. So we're looking for equality between both legs and whoops and press out. Are you fully stretched and return? Let's take two more. Everybody prs it out.
Now from here, reach back. Take that head rest down again. And to work some hip rolls, you may need to adjust and push yourself down from the shoulder rest. So pressing out. Roll your hips up. Rule Up. Now if you feel as though you're sticky in your lower back and you need a little help, here's where you could do this. You could lift your pelvis, you want the wheels to be right at the bumper. Breathe in, roll down. By pulling this in more, you're again, you're letting you your vertebrae walked down, rolling to your pelvis. Let's straighten the legs as a transition.
All right, so we do this. Inhale, bend, exhale, roll to the shoulders. Inhale on roll and exhale stretch. Two more. Ben, roll. So is this the sits bones are going to sit up on the ceiling, roll down and straighten last time. Here he inhale.
How deeply can you scoop in and roll those vertebrae rolling down? Now you may choose to stay with that version or take a take. The full version meaning go over with straight legs. This allows you to pass through that very deep hamstring stretch. Now what starts the curl is that deep contraction in rolling up to the shoulder.
So I've used my back. I've used my stomach flex. Breathe in. You're pulling out on the belt. Exhale, roll across your spine. We'll only do two more. Inhale. Here I go. Slowly pass through the hamstring stretch. Your hips will start to come up. Most likely. Roll Up. Lift the sits bones to the ceiling. Inhale. Here we go.
And rule spine down. One bone at a time. Pressing through. Here's your last one or hoping this is feeling good.
If this doesn't feel so great on your knees, sometimes it doesn't for certain people, absolutely do it with knees bent, you'll still get a lot of stretch here. Okay, couple breaths. And then next we'll be coming up and doing some back extension. A little bit of hindering work so you can close the feet. So take the straps off the feet and set them down. Alright, so up we come and I think we'll just keep one red spring here. Turn to face the back of the reformer.
And now I don't usually sit this way on the reformer, but I'm going to do this for us today just to give your hips a little more freedom to sit wider. By all means, you can go back into the classical position and put the legs in, but I'm going to check it out here. I've got about a handling behind me. Reach ahead, pick up the loops, and we're going to do as similar as we did on the knees. We're going to put them at the elbows, right? They're two elbows. Okay. Now as you have them on the elbows, your palms facing your forehead, feel your shoulders set down and not really doing a full bicep curl, but I want you to activate your biceps. I'm thinking of bringing the muscle ends, this end and this end closer together.
All right, ribs are connected inward. I'm going to do a very slight hinge or you might think it look like a lean back. I'm going to exhale. Inhale. As they come up, the ropes are helping me, but I'm resisting slightly and exhale, lean and inhaling. So what as I do these trying to keep my shoulder blades back on my back. Here's what it will look like incorrectly is this protracted shoulder girdle like that and leaning back.
You may feel compression in your neck or your low back. So we want to wrap those shoulders back, lay back with lengths and coming up. Exhale. Last one. Everybody lay back. No. Can we hold it for three breaths? Looking up to the sky. Maybe see the clouds or birds flying by something nice. Now when you come up, can you eat long? Get yourself lift live, take the compressive quality out of your low back, make those muscles work to help you sit up tall and then just simply rest and may feel nice to just stretch your back right now. Okay, so moving on. Lower the straps, come around and sit cross legged.
I'm going down to one yellow spring only, nothing else, and don't worry, that's plenty. You can go blue if you'd like, but I'm going to go light. So inside strap I'm going to make a fist with that hand. I'm going to bring that hand up above my head. Now ideally it's in the middle of my head. If you notice though, if your hand is up there and all you're feeling is your side neck, that's not the right position for you, you'd probably want to move it over here. Lower your shoulder.
This is what we're trying to connect to is this stabilization. Okay, now adding this into a side bend, we'll do two different kinds of side bins. One toward the right, one toward the left, my left, so first one, keep the arm fixed in that position. This is an inhale coming up. You're accessing these obliques. Okay?
So be ready for that sensation.
So the seat is anchored. It's the spine. This doing the bend. Here we go. Last one and all the way up. All right, I'm going to lower. Feel free to do five of those if you'd like. Today it was three. So back strap, opposite. Nope. Excuse me, same hand and turn your body toward the ropes and again, make a fist and you'll start with a the rope taught. Now the other hand, I've just got in this position here, I'm going to take the palm and open it, and first just turn and return. I've done this type of thing before, sitting up on the long box holding the magic circle. So this is similar, but if you don't have the box or the ring, you can get a lot out of it. Just here, I'm gonna add on. Everybody watched the hand.
I'm going to push the hand straight and out in front of my left leg and return two more. It's a lift up and a reach and push and return. Exhale. Last one. Returning to the ropes. All right, so working through those, that oblique system. So as I turn around here we go setting the shoulders, picking up the first strap, make a fist, try to bring it above the head. But before you go any further, listen to what your shoulders telling you. If you need to set it down lower, that is fine. And we inhale over. Open Up. Exhale, try to level both sides of your waist.
Inhale slowly over. Exhale coming up. Inhale and exhale. Now going to the other side, I'm going to show an alternate arm position. I didn't show it on the first side. So this arm is going to act as a guide to go straight on a horizontal line.
Inhale. So as I reach over, it's this side that's getting longer. As I reach, reach, reach, reach, reach. It may help you go further. Let's return lengthen, but make sure that opposite hip doesn't come with last one in our side. Bend and rest. We'll lower that arm down. Changing straps now and make that fist turning face first toward the ropes. Again, you have in a fist to begin. Other arm is in a slight circle.
Your shoulders are set. Here we go. Exhale, easy rotation toward the foot bar. End of the reformer and center. You're trying to establish a vertical line and rotate around that so the whole torso is turning in one unit. Now here's the change. This hand holding a loop. I pushed it to heel of the hand and I early get off straight arm.
I'm stretching more. I'm also activating a lot more around my back and my obliques and the dancer in me wants to make this more of a porter bra with this arm. So I kind of feel like I need to go there. All right, now we're going to move on. Let's go ahead and set that down and we'll come around to facing the front of the reformer now, and I'm going to choose a blue spring instead of the yellow. This is where we'll be doing some kneeling work.
So I'm going to show this modification first or variation. Really, the whole thing could be done sitting like this, just sitting on your, on your legs. If that though doesn't work for you, you'll know right away. You probably already know you could choose to go back down to Indian style or diamond. Okay? But if your knees are healthy, you're doing good. You want to check this out. We're going to start down grabbing a hold of those loops, putting them in the palms of the hands, and again, set your shoulder so on an exhale at scoop those arms, just shoulder level one as before. I'll do sets of three and exhale too.
So working into the front of the shoulders now and three no, you can stay with that or go up higher. Now, if I go up higher, I want my whole torso to come up and become right up over my pelvis. No, I'm not done. I want to continue squeezing my gluteals. Press a pelvis forward and just hold for a moment. Now as you go back, be careful not to reach with the seat. See if you can go right down in one line. Okay, same thing I'll show you what maybe we would watch out for is the booty sticking out, then a correction and then maybe a booty out there in down.
What makes this exercise kind of Nice is the challenge of balance so that you go up in one unit
Now turn your palms facing forward. Bring your hands by your shoulders and just let your chest stretch for a second. Three times pushing both arms straight ahead. One when the arms extend again, be aware of not protracting the shoulders. So you keep them set back. And here's your three. Now let's alternate arm to arm.
I'm going to take right arm first and push it straight ahead. This may challenge those obliques and your sense of rib control. And again, exhale, don't worry that that opposite side goes slack.
Now add a little rotation, slight rotation, left slight rotation to the right and to the left. So you've got to have a nice sense of control in your pelvis and your lower half so that it doesn't twist turn or Ben as you take your arm across the last one. Alright, working into triceps now. So I'd like us to interlace the fingers, bend the elbows and let the hands come pretty far back behind your head. Make sure you give a rib check ready. You know what I mean? And not that. But here we are and I'm going to take eight times everybody and straighten, bend, straighten, trying to keep my arms close to my head.
Four fi chest is up, six glutes are working, abdominals are back chopping wood basically with my arms hole. Now Open one more round upper body. Here we go. Hug a tree three times we've got one and you can think of it as opening the space between your shoulder blades, opening the front of your chest. Last one round and open. And let's come down. Okay, so I'd like you to take the body your body, turn it around to face the back.
Once again a up on our knees, but you could go down into the other positions if you'd like. I'm going to grab the tape up above the brackets and I've got my toes hooked over the edge of the mat so that I'm pretty secure here. Okay, so three times we're just going to take the arms straight back and we have one to trying to control that return. And three. Now as we've been doing alternating arms, I'm going to take my right arm first, bend the elbow and row the elbow back. Three on each arm. Here we go. Two more. So my arm is doing a little pivot. My wrist and my forearm are doing a pivot.
You'll see it better here. As I bend my wrist rolls up, my wrist rolls back to face, the other one, elbow behind the back. So it's a little challenging on balance as well. Alternating three times. We have one left side too.
Three other side guys and turn. Use this as an opportunity to go up in your spine. Take that, decompress him at or try to decompress here would be the opposite and pull down. We want to go up. A lot of these gives us as big, long, strong upward muscles. Okay. Uh, let's go ahead and hook these down. Now. Last thing we're going to do is this stretch and why I'm just going to continue stretching out the hip flexors.
I really believe that this line in front of our body, quadriceps, hips, uh, is really important. We should do something for that every day. Although session was a little bit arm focus. Uh, we can do some hips to stretch those out. So I've got a red and blue one. I'm gonna turn back to face my risers now and put my right foot up halfway up the head rest and you'll notice here my knees down. Now I'm going to scoot that knee back a little bit and look for the back of the reformer and set the ball of the foot right on the wood edge. All right, now as you go to straighten that back knee, lift those abdominals up and put a little weight in your arms. So you're just doing that runner's lunge type of stretch. This leg is active, the quadricep is active.
I'd like to get the knee straight so that it's not hanging here. All right. And you can look just right out the head rest. Just feel steady. Take a few breaths. There's a good sense of length out the spine and on the back top of the head. You can stay there or you could work a little hamstring stretching on the front leg
Straighten the leg. This knee is right above your ankle and you've got a good sense of length through your whole body.
What that means is more of a flat back rather than a curve. So you don't, if you don't get the knee totally straight, that's okay. It's more about your integrity of your back, your spine, and hold bending that knee down, coming off of your knees. And then we're just gonna finish with that stretch. I hope that's been informative. You've gotten a little workout. Repeat that a few times to build up your upper body strength, which may enable you to get more into those weightbearing intermediate and advanced classes. Thank you.