Class #987

Magic Circle Reformer

25 min - Class


Niedra includes the Magic Circle in this Reformer workout for extra challenge. If you really want to experience the work differently, learn how a diminished spring tension can increase the intensity of an exercise.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Magic Circle

About This Video

Feb 22, 2013
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

Good evening. Tonight's class is going to be a short reformer using the magic circle to get extra juice out of the routine and I just wanted to add that everything that we do on the reformer can also can also and always be done at on the mat as well. And I'm going to do a separate class doing just about almost everything on the math so it can be a parallel grade if your teacher with a lot of people and not enough reformers, people love jumping on and off and sharing the equipment and still working out. So starting out with foot work, I am actually going to give myself a hard workout and I'm putting the springs on one versus four so it's a very lightweight, which means I work a lot more into my powerhouses and going out and in because the spring is actually not bringing me in. I have to work to draw every time into the center.

I haven't done this for a while and this once you know, your form is an amazing way to really challenge your trunk and your body not to release and let go and rely on anything external to challenge you. So of course this tension of the springs is up to all. This is going to be the most interesting one because it's all my integrity of alignment, which I'm finding out about Aurora because the springs are not, I'm not that strong. So it's really me and my hamstrings and calves that are drawing the machine back in. Yes, back to tendon stretch and working again. It's more, the spring is a guideline and me using the integrity of my inner and outer thighs. Oh, this is fun. I haven't done this for a long time. Bending the knees and coming back in.

So coming up, adding a spring, coming back down, the foot bar comes down 400 so I'm adding the magic circle and reaching out to deep scoop, squeezing the circle. One, two, three, four, five, two, three, four, five in and out. Two, three, four, five in out. Now I'm going to see if I can keep the legs pulsing in and my arms pumping and my stomach scooping and breathing off, but have a lot to do and speak at the same time. But here we go. Oh two three, four, five. Last one for me today out two, three, four, five coming back. Yeah, and getting my stuff ready for overhead. So challenging with the magic circle. Whoops. Had restaurants down, arms go down, bringing the legs over and lifting up and what's fantastic when the circle is here, I get to really work through that powerhouse and make sure the inner thighs and nice and long arms up, legs down and again, arms down, lifting up, squeeze a circle, rolling and eat. Elongating the spine, legs down, arms up in one more time.

Pressing lift and squeeze. Reaching those legs too. The ceiling, stretching the arms out, bending the legs in and lifting up for coordination, extending out in or thighs, bending in, bending the arm, extending out, squeezing in, bending the legs, bending the arms. One more time, extending out, squeezing in, bending the legs, bending the arms. So before I go into rowing magic circle around the size, lifting the spine and spreading the thighs apart, spreading the FYS apart, spreading the size apart. It actually helps sometimes to decompress. A lot of tightness that can build up or stagnation that can build up in the hips so the sockets aren't as mobile or this area can get very tight.

Sometime. This can be the secret ingredient that really gets those hips and thighs and lower back starting to release and just to get the rest of my legs working. I'm placing it between my calves and working the shinbones, so shinbones in shinbones in, because sometimes we work so much up here, but from the knee down there's not enough intelligence and this can wake up that part and then coming into the ankle. So again, depending upon what's going on with people's ankles, working the ankle bone in, working the ankle bone-in or working the ankle bone in, working it in, working at an an lifting and lowering can be amazing to get the integrity of all the different, the feet, the shins, the thighs, all working in a symmetrical Waco. Sometimes people are knock kneed or bow legged or different zigzags in the legs. This really gets the whole area waking up.

So once spring going into the rowing sequence and rolling back, pressing scoping. So I'm breeding, lifting in my powerhouse and then long arms away, long arms parallel to the shoulders, lifting up as far as I can and now I brought my shoulders, I'm pulling back in my stomach, I'm lifting it away from my thigh and I'm stretching my head down. But lifting my stomach up nice and long and again, scooping, pulling in, Woo Hoo. Stretching out, pushing, lifting through the stomach, trying to keep the ribs as far away from the hips and seeing if I can touch. Then I lengthen the arms. Long parallel, tried to keep them as close as I can, opening them out and down. And one more time just for flow. Nice and long. Big Work.

Staying with that tension through the springs and long work. Opening out the back, pulling the stomach up and now my next variation, 90 degrees, big long's back. First of all, I'm going for 45 degrees up. Now I'm taking my arms out and reaching up with a long spine. Spine is long arms along, seeing if I can actually touch the floor and stretch, getting the arms as long as possible and keeping the spine long so it's a different sort of a stretch. Next one, I'm going further back further back, further back til I'm parallel and using my trunk and powerhouse, long spine all the way through the crown of the head and pulling down and back so the back is very, very long. Long through the arms, long through the shoulders, long through the crown of the head, coming back up. And last one, keeping this lovely length parallel by the ears, lifting up by the ears, long, long, long, long lengthening out. What I'm, one of the things I'm paying attention to as I do that is that I feel the pressure staying even on both sides of both hands because the springs are phenomenal. To show off.

My right side of my left side is stronger or working harder and being the dominant one. I can see subtle adjustments activate my weaker, more lazy side. So as we get more advanced, it actually means more control and more sensitivity to what is and what is not working. So here I am reaching from my shoulders. I'm actually trying to feel the reach from my rib cage, long arms, trying to press a hence the wall in front of me and then lifting from the base of the spine through the fingertips. So I'm way up and now I'm trying to go right to the side, not in front and stay in the spring tension and get taller as the hands come down. So stretch, lengthen way up through the crown of the head and all the way down. Now flexing the feet. I start with this school, press beyond the feet and stay in the spring. Tension on the way up.

So it actually becomes a lot of work into the trunk, into the arms, into working the even side of the body. And one more time, like this pressing, pressing, pressing, stretchings. I'm actually working all the way from my waist coming up and I'm shaving. I flipped the handles and two different variations of what shaving can be done with the elbows forward and the shoulders down or working with the elbows wide, which is what I'm going to do today. The shoulders have a tendency to write up more, but it opens up the chest a lot further.

So as I stretch up, I'm working from the ribs through the hands to get the length and hold it. Now I'm going up a little bit further and work from the waist through the hands and now I'll work from the hips looking to get even more space and keeps sustaining it. And last one from the tailbone all the way up through the fingers, really opening up, staying tall, flipping and changing the hands to the side. Big Breath in and close in and close. So the whole time I'm working, I'm lifting through the spine, making sure that my waist is very narrow and stable and using the movement to get even more extension through the spine. Oh, okay.

So stepping off, I'm going to go into the long strip series. I'm adding a spring headrest is up one hand, one foot, one hand, one foot, and I like the heels is far forward and I'm checking that my shoulders are right above my wrists. From here I'm checking that the hips are fully engaged, pressing out and coming in with control and pressing out. Coming in with control, making sure my head and neck is long. One more time. My hips should not be going up or down very long and bending the knees and lifting the hips up. Sometimes I like to come up to get that extra length in the front of the body. So this is about bringing the hips way forward to the sip bones.

Go down and lifting up in the waist, the waist on both front and back. Body stay long and lengthening AARP lifting up through the ribs. One more time. Lifting up and are lifting the chest to the ceiling. One more time. Lifting up, extending up to the ceiling. Arms are up.

Getting that extra lift out of the lower spine and arguing, arguing, arguing are king and up. Stretch. Keeping the heels back. Now old way of doing this. He tried to get your head as close to your knees as you could. So I'm actually diving between my arms, but at the same time I'm pulling the naval way up to the tail is almost scooped over. Keeping the position pressing out, coming forward in one long beast and pressing up, pressing out one long piece. Coming up. One more time. Pressing out, coming in, not learning anything. Shift and coming up.

Coming into elephant, I'm lowering the heels and shifting. I've shifted my weight forward now so I'm halfway between feet and hands. Broadening the shoulders back and forth without the pelvis moving or the shoulders pressing. Now seeing if I can take one leg up without anything changing. Okay.

Lifting the other leg up without anything changing. Taking one hand off, taking the other hand off and just for the fun of it with one hand off without shifting in the pelvis and other side. Oh, okay. Bending down for knee stretch. Okay. Really scoping back. So again, my focus is to open up this whole back part of the body, back part of the shoulders, and dig the heels in. Okay.

Looking to sustain the shape as I do this can even work to accentuate it by dropping my head way down, staying with my hips in exactly the place that the carriage comes fully in and creating a long spine. So from hips to the crown of the head, the body is long and again and scooping again. Really filling up the APPS. Now I bring the body a little further forward and lift and fall out in, in, which works the thighs a lot, looking to get as much scoop as I can possibly have in my stomach. Yeah. Kneeling down and coming into stomach massage. So making sure from an upright position that I brought my sit bones slightly under and placing my feet up.

And I'm just going to test for a minute because I'm on two springs and I would like to have three. So the body wants to fall backwards. So the whole work is to keep the body up and lifted, but using the trunk and the powerhouse, not the arms per se. As I go out, the arms are stabilizers. If the spring tension is strong, but I'm really challenging my trunk to be what holds me in place and is not letting my hips go away back, which they want to do.

Now I'm releasing a spring, lifting my spine up as much as I can, taking the hands behind me and more advanced. The hands will be on the outside more basic if the shoulders are tight. I work with a person like this to start to stretch the chest because the chest first, the muscles need to work against something to open. So I'm going to do a few because I feel tight there today and now I'm going to change. Now I'm starting to ask my shoulders to just do the work on their own without pressure and a few more with my hands in front and a few more.

Opening and opening and opening and stretching further and stretching further and lifting up and going even more. So both arms are working and both arms are working and just to work the legs a little bit. One leg is under just to get the leg to work, other leg and coming back in, stepping off and tendon stretches. Next, so simple version of tendon stretch just to start out, sit bones on front, pushing the carriage out. Whoops, let me, I'm on two springs, but I want the two outer springs here so my heels have room to drop down. So pressing out, bending over, lifting and elongating the waist, lifting the hips, pushing further and folding in, getting those hips to pull up, bending, harassing out, scooping over, lifting, pressing further out to activate the Powell house and coming back in. And then a few US using that powerhouse to press and coming back down. So after this short by massage to give myself a little bit of a break, I deserve a break. I was working hard.

My teacher always used to say this is it, you have a time to rest and stretch and enjoy a nice massage, which is what short spine massage is supposed to be. So rolling up bending and I'm just using this to roll through, relax my spine, get the kinks out and again, rolling through, pressing out and one more time rolling through and pressing out and just to, as there's been a lot of work in the lower body chest expansion. So coming up on the knees, broad lifted chest, pulling back, head, head back. So I, what am I focusing on? I'm focusing on stabilizing my hips and my shoulders and arms so I'm not floppy but at the same time I looking to get those shoulders wide head head and reversing it. Pool head and head and to add in size stretch.

So I've added a spring, I'm on two springs, I'm checking that the leather is long and I'm taking the hipbones and lifting them up. So the hip flexes are really long and I'm checking that my feet are in line with my knees and not together, which they will definitely want to do. So lifting up, I'm going into a slight scoop so it's kind of like stomach massage or spine. Stretch forward. That feeling so that as I go back the hip flexors and the thighs get a chance to really be challenged to open and the leg bones to lengthen straight down from the hips. One more time going back, now I'm back opening the head and chest closing and coming back up. I love that. And to just add on long spine massage, I'm going to add two foot strap extensions here.

So straps go through. So when on a grads machine we don't take the handles on and off. I'm actually putting the lever through the strap through both the leather and the handle and securing that. The hooks are on the outer side of each other, making sure I have two springs and one foot and one foot. Lovely. So from here, just a few frogs to stabilize my pelvis spay, stabilize my spine, making sure my spine is nicely anchored and long.

A few leg circles, getting that sense of reaching the legs evenly from the hips and the right and left leg are balancing and then rolling up into long spine, which is like leg circles but with including a roll. So from a slight Diango or even a vertical, starting to roll up, roll up, rule a pro lap, open, engage into the hamstrings and roll down through the spine. One more time. This way, rolling up, opening and rolling down and reversing it with the legs apart. Engaging into those hamstrings to roll down again, rolling up together and rolling down. One more time.

Rolling up together and rural, rolling down and a beautiful stretch is taking the legs out. If you notice my heels a little bit below my hips, bringing them up a little bit, bouncing three times, moving them a little bit further, bouncing three times, moving them a little deeper, bouncing three times. So I'm just gradually moving up, getting all these different angles through my hips. It's a wonderful feeling and no matter whether your stiff or you're loose, this is a great stretch. Taking the straps off, sitting up for just a minute. I'm putting myself back onto four springs just for running and lying down.

Toes in heels are together. Nice big lift of the navel. And here I go. And just to get that integrity back and that stretch and length in the spine and work through the feet. Oh, it feels so lovely. And coming back in.

And so there you go. A few fun tricks to do on the reformer. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you.


Great reformer flow as always Neidra!
Niedra Gabriel
Thanks Jaimie, enjoy the workout.
Nice short routine. I like the leg circles variation.
1 person likes this.
Thank you. I like the way you took familiar exercises and made them feel new again through your great cueing.
Niedra Gabriel
Thank you Helen and Holly, enjoy enjoy - it is always good to work out.
Nice short class. Loved it.
Great short class...Always love your classes Niedra.
Love the emphasis on less springs being more work for the valuable for people to hear and do! I'm going to recommend your class to my clients that are new to Pilates Anytime! Thank you!
Niedra Gabriel
Thank you ladies, ( Heather, Davra and Danielle) for posting - I always look at your bios and feel like I know you. Glad you enjoyed the workout.
I LOVE your classes! Thank you. This one moved almost a tad too quickly - but felt great!
1-10 of 12

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