Tutorial #2898

Reformer Transitions

30 min - Tutorial


Learn how to get in and out of each exercise in this tutorial with Monica Wilson. She guides you through the transitions of each exercise to help fill in any gaps you may have after watching her previous advanced Reformer workout. This is a wonderful break down that will help you improve the flow of Reformer classes.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Pilates Pole

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(Pace N/A)
Jan 07, 2017
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Okay. So this is gonna be a tutorial on the transitions on how to do the workout we just did with my friend Kirsten Kiwi. So that one was a really working the powerhouse in between an intermediate and advanced workout and I wanted to keep the flow up because it's super important in our plot is that flow is a crucial element. So keeping the flow up means that you might not have been able to keep up with all of the exercises. So this tutorial will hopefully guide you in the and fill in the gaps where you need it. I will not be doing and repeating the exercises.

I'm just going to be showing you how to get in and out of them. So we're going to start off with the foot work and the foot work we do with four springs. If you have a balanced body or other form of reformer, you um, we're going to try to include a, a little combination of what springs would be for what, but I use a grots reformer. It has four springs of equal equal tension. I'm going to start off with four springs, adding them all on. Also keep in mind that this is not a how to do the exercise.

There's a lot of uh, kind of tutorials on [inaudible] each exercise that you can look on a our website as well. So we're going to lie down on either side for foot work, using your powerhouse line down. We're going to start off with toes, so it's a little wider than [inaudible] stance. And you're going to do 10 on your toes. Knees are actually in line with my shoulders. After 10 of those, you're going to go to arches. So squeeze everything together and round your toes over the bar in your heels, under the bar as if you're a bird on a perch. And then we're going to go up to the heel of the foot.

Try to do all these transitions together with both arms or legs, whatever the transition is rather than right. And then left. And then we're going to go down after 10 you're gonna do tendon stretch. So we're going to go down to toes a little smaller than your first foot work on the toes and we're going to, you'll go out and we're going to lower and lift 10 times. So generally I won't be doing the Xs, but occasionally I'm going to need to to get my point across. After the tendon stretch, you're going to do the hundred so you use your hands to slide a little bit away from the shoulder. Pets, you take one of your foot feet and you tuck it under the bar and you take the other foot and grab underneath the side Bar and they your both your legs elongate to lower down the bar. That's how you do it on a garage for farmer.

At the same time, you should be able, I always have to lift up my ponytail to not grab onto my hair. Flip your head piece down and grab your handles for the hundred. Notice I didn't change anything with the springs because you do your whole, which is the footwork and the hundred on the same springs. Cassie, your elbows are going to go down, your knees are into your chest, and on one single count you're going to get into the hundred position. So I'm going to lift my head length in my legs and straight and my arms.

And here we go, one, two, and up into position. And then you do your hundred after the hundred, you're going to bend everything and we're going to get ready for court and uh, overhead and coordination. So always trying to use our powerhouse. Always doing a teaser. Both handles go in one hand and you're gonna roll up into a teaser position. Head looks at your belly here into your teaser.

You use your free hand to turn your body. Sorry, at my back to you. You use your free hand to drop to middle. Spring's always using your powerhouse, right? Use your free hand to turn back forward and then melt down. And now your legs actually go straight on the bar and your hands go straight up so that you're ready for your overhead. All right, you finished your overhead and we just came down and we're back in this position and you fold up for coordination. You tried to do it also on one count, we're going to use your powerhouse to fold everything up and knees get bent and you'll go into your coordination. Okay? After the coordination, we're gonna put both hands in your hands in both handles in one hand.

And we're going to one of my favorite transitions for rowing. So we're gonna roll back up into that teaser head, looks at your powerhouse, use that powerhouse. And we're gonna use that free hand to turn us again towards whatever hands holding the springs. And as you're rotating, you're gonna drop a spring. So we are down to one spring. Now you're going to continue rotating and slip your legs through the, uh, shoulder pats.

I like to be about a hands with distance and then we're going to be ready to go with your palms facing down, elbows out. And we're ready for rowing one. So rob, this is the starting position for rowing one. I'm going to do a round back, right? And so then after three of those I'm going to do a flat back. My arms go to a right angle, and my back is nice and straight for me to do the straight back.

After I get do those and get my delicious stretch forward. And you finish here, you're going to put both handles in one hand again, again, you can alternate other hands so that you work, your body bounced. We're gonna swing around in one fluid motion. So I'm going to use my other free hand to help. And I'm gonna up. Let's put down your handle's first. So handles go right here and you're going to swing around and slide your bottom between those handles back against the shoulder pad.

So you're still on one spring. You take those, see how my thumb has the handle and I'm going to pull forward so that my elbows are at my ribs and my hands are coming from my chest. So that's the next one that we caught from the chest. And then after we finish that, we're gonna be out to the side and we're going to transition. So I'll do one so that I finished it correctly. So it's gonna go up and down and then you're going to come up here and we're going to lift lift, lift. So you're done right here. Ah, and then your hands return here from, from the hips.

You're going to pull those toes back. Hands are on the mat and you're going to scoop in to round over. To start from the hips. I'm going to do one so I can show you the transition into shaving. Huh?

And really enjoying this powerhouse workout today. Lifting, lifting, lifting. I just finished it and now I'm going to think of shaving. So I'm going to turn my wrist, palms are up, I'm going to draw the knees into cross legs are Indian style while simultaneously pushing into my handles to get ready for shaving. I finished shaving here and to make sure hips are even, I'm going to switch legs as I open my arms in, get ready for the hug and I finished the hug right here and I get to relax for a second. I hang up my handles and it's time to get our long box.

So we're going to get down and always practicing keeping your box. You're going to grab your pole at the same time. Grab your box. Hello. Pick it up with your powerhouse. My friends always laugh at me when they travel with me because I always make sure they pick up their suitcases like this instead of with one arm dragging them up the stairs. And we did swan.

So we're going to get our pad and we're gonna put it over our Lom box and we're going to put your pad on the very edge. Okay? So we're going to be looking, thinking about the line that goes from one hip to the other. For this exercise, cause you're gonna lie this edge of the box right below that line right here. Okay. We're going to put two springs on. So we, I only have one from my rowing. I'm going to add a spring. All right? You're going to approach this exercise from this point of view. You're going to put your hands on the box, stand up with one leg and then the other, and I'm gonna walk my hands up so that they're just about like the top third of the box.

And I'm going to push it out while spending my knees into the well and placing that line of my hipbones right above the line of that box. I'm going to let my tailbone go down instead of taking tension and I'm ready for the swan with my powerhouse. And after you finish the Swan, you want to go to one spring for your long box. Hands back here. Use Your power house to pull up. We're up on the foot bar. You lose your pat, you lose a spring, you're gonna take your hands back top third and we're going to do squeezing the back of your thighs. You're going to do a plank, right? And then you're going to lower yourself down in one solid piece.

My feet notice are holding the bar out. Why? Because now you're going to grab just where the leather starts and the handle, and you're going to assist yourself to get up as high as you can on that leather. All right? And now you're my top of my shoulders are in line with the top of the box. I'm going to release my toes and slide into position and slide down as needed. So your hands are grabbing up as high as you can on the leather, okay?

And they're starting just outside of the reformer, just outside of the wood or the aluminum, whichever one you have. Nice Long, straight line from your head to your heel. Okay? Then you're going to do three pool strap. One, you're going to slide down, keeping the handle, slip your hand inside the loop as well. And now reach straight out from your shoulders like a letter t and you do three more like that. Once you're done, put both handles in one hand, it's time to turn around onto our back. So both handles are on one hand, you step down to the side. Don't leave your belly on the box, pull it up with you.

Turn so that you're facing forward. Add a spring with your free hand. Now while you're looking forward, you take a handle in each hand. I just looked back to make sure it's common that we cross our handles at that point. Notice this strap is taught. I'm going to keep it taught, not slacked, taught to put my hand down on the box. You could do it like this. If you have a problem with your wrist, you can also make a fist to put it down. Okay, but I can hold it here. I'm going to walk as forward as possible to put my left foot just off center of the foot bar.

Notice my bottom is not on the a bar and not on the box. It's off k cause we're going to use our powerhouse to bring up the other leg and I'm going to do basically a tricep dip as I lower my tailbone, just off the front edge of the box. Now with my hands in the handles, I'm going to roll back and get ready for backstroke. That's backstroke. All right. We did that with our combination and reverse. And I'm going to put both handles in one hand and I'm going to roll up into my teaser. Notice my free hand. Okay, so I'm gonna roll up into my teaser and turn pushing with this hand.

I kind of push this hip back this way as I lower one spring. And now I'm going to use this hand to push this hip back a little further so that I have more room here as I lower down. And now I'm ready to go. Because when you did backstroke, your tailbone was off the front edge, but for teaser you want to be more in this position. And then after you finish teaser, you roll down again and both handles go in one hand and or you can just drop them either one. And we're going to step off. So I'm gonna put them down and we're going to go into short box. Our head pieces are ready down. So I'm going to grab my box again, always keeping my body square using both handles.

And it's gonna reveal that we have that bar underneath, right? So I'm going to turn it on the garage. I put it right before the I hook and now I'm going to just tip it a little bit to release that bar and get it nice and centered. All right. Centering your box is very important because you're going to sit in the center of your box and you're going to do everything centered and if it's not center, then you're going to keep strengthening your stronger side. We do need two springs, so you're going to add a spring and you're going to grab your pad and we're going to put it down. You don't have to use a pat, but it's a nice, especially on the last few, so you're going to put a pad about a hands with distance from the back edge.

Grab your safety straps. There should be two and you're going to sit down. Notice how I stepped on and then I'm sitting down and sliding my feet. Some people like to slip their foot in first. It always scares me that they're going to twist their ankle as they do that, but that is your preference.

As long as you get somewhere quickly and seamlessly, that's what's most important. So the first one is the hug. Then after four to five of those, you're going to grab your bar and you're going to hold it shoulder width apart and you're going to find your sit bones and you're going to sit up tall. After four of these, we're gonna rest and you're gonna do side reach. Side reaches the same position, but leaning a little forward and you'll do side reach. And then you're gonna rest. And after side reach, we're going to do the twist.

So now we're gonna get nice and tall again and you're going to be ready to rotate, right? So that's your twist. I'm not going to do it the reach right now, cause we're again just moving it along so you can enjoy the real workout. And after the twist, we're going to do side sit-ups. So I'm going to sit, keep my left foot on the under the strap, and I'm going to sit on my right hip, bending my right knee on hooking my right foot. You can either do that or you can put the right knee on the front part of the box and start it from here, either one.

And so that's one side. And then we're gonna roll flat on your bottom. Stick your right foot under and again, either sit here and hook your left foot underneath your leg or scoot a little forward to hook your knee under the front part of a front corner and get into position to go. All right, now we're done with side sit-ups and we're going to turn around and do tree. So both legs, I like to start off really nice and square just like you're going to do the hug and don't shift it all as you draw in the right knee and then use your powerhouse to pull it up. Hands go under and you do your tree and then the other leg, so you finished the tree. And then same thing, both legs are under and use that powerhouse to scoop up, not changing your posture and everything and do the other tree. Then we're going to slip it. We're all done actually.

And you also do the side tree to finish. So side and then we are all finished so you're gonna step down, taking your box with you. So you want to always move quickly. So we stepped down, we bring our pad back into, actually we just bring it down here, grab your bar with one hand and a handle, grab the other handle and back you go. We're going to set it down, bend the knees, use your powerhouse. But the buyer back and we're getting ready for the long stretch series. As we return, we'd say, do we need to do anything with our straps? No, we don't.

Do we need to do anything with our head piece? Yes, it has to be. We put the pad over the headpiece, we put anything with the springs. We're going to start off with two springs. We've been on two springs for all of short box and we're going to continue on two springs right now, but we will be chopping them during this workout, during this first exercise. So lift the bar up, secure it into position. And now I was very clear with Kirsten that I wanted her to nail the position right from the beginning. So you do a hand, a foot as this foot goes, the ball, the foot right where the shoulder, the head piece has a crack with the mat is the ball, the foot. You're gonna straighten this leg, draw the belly and already picturing that plank position.

The left arm goes honored whatever arm you don't have on yet and now you're going to use your powerhouse to bring the other leg right in to position into that plank. After that, after you do your um, four on two springs, you gently step forward, drop a spring, cause you're going to do another set of three or four on one spring, getting right back into position with your powerhouse. After three or four of those, you step forward again holding the carriage in and you drop the remaining springs. There are no springs on now and you're going to hold that powerhouse and you're going to keep the carriage in as you return. And then you get to kneel both knees down, phew. Done with that, and add those springs back. So we got two springs going and you're going to s put your feet back against the shoulder paths, and you're going to use the back of the thighs and seat and your belly to squeeze and to lift for the down stretch.

After the down stretch, you actually end with a back bend. And then you're going to go into your up stretch. So your hands are going to go here and you're gonna Hook, whip up your body and get onto demi point. So you're just gonna slide up and have the shoulders directly over the bar that holds the ribs, I mean the, the springs, and you're ready to go. So you're in this position, you're also going to do the Combo. Then we're going to lower the heels. I'm going to be a few inches in front of the shoulder pads because I'm height challenged.

But you might be able to keep your heels against the shoulder pads and staying right here for your elephant. After your elephant, we're going to step down to the side. And we're ready for stomach massage. So I'm going to keep this flow of looking at the reformer from this angle. I don't need the box, I don't need the straps. I the head pieces, right? But I do need this pad. As you get advanced, we call it the dancing pad because it dances its way down.

And I'm gonna put it right here for stomach massage. I want four springs on. So I'm going to come just to be always safe. It's always better to come from this angle, put them on, and I'm going to sit down for our stomach massage, always using the powerhouse and in control, man, that those islands look gorgeous right now. And you're going to do your stomach massage after your eight to 10 of these. You're going to drop a spring and you're going to put your hands back, but you're not going to use, you're going to try to use your powerhouse to lift up and then use, put the hands back and you really want to do it that way. Because I had Kiersten do the last five just with no hands, right?

And then you're going to reach forward and we're going to drop one more spring and we're going to do the reach. And after the final reach, we added circles also to the side keeping the same shape. Alright, we're done with stomach massage. So we're going to stand up and we're going to put the pad, the dancing pat, just a little lower for tendon stretch kinda hangs off on the edge. So for tendon stretch we did both the regular and then one leg. So you're going to put your right hand and your right foot.

Thinking of a Pilati stance with the arch right on the edge and then your left hand and lift up your hips as the left foot meets. Do three to five regular. And now I'm going to try to use my left thigh and hip to hold my weight there as I put my right hand in between my legs and reach my right leg out for the single leg. Okay. Very important to keep the powerhouse. Put your foot back. Returning the hand to the outside. Okay. Using your right thigh and hip. We're going to hold that as we reach out.

And then you step down to the side from there and you stand up, stepping off. And so now we're going to get ready for short spine. So we're going to now work our flow this way. So we look at the foot bar and we want it down. So we're going to have it down. We think about the springs and we want to stay on to springs. So we're perfect. Do we need the pad? We don't. So we're going to bring it down.

Get rid of the pad. We're doing good here. How about our head piece? While we're going to do short spy massage, where our hips are going to roll right over. So being supported by our shoulder blades, but there will be way on our neck. So we want the headpiece flat so it's nice and safe for our neck. And now we just need to grab our straps and I just go ahead and put them on our loop. You can loop them right now and walk with them and sit down.

Either one's perfectly acceptable. And we're going to go ahead and lie down nice and centered and you're going to grab the handles if you haven't looped them already. I let the hardware slide a little bit. Then put the leather through the handle. It's similar to a needle, it's the little eye hole and the thread goes through the little needle hole.

Okay, and then you're going to use your belly. Remember that I said, always try to do both legs or arms at the same time. So you're trying to bring them both in and extend to get into your short spine. After you do your short spine, which was a nice treat, you get to go into semicircle. So you're going to reach your legs back. I'm going to take the straps off and I'm going to just lower them down into the well and I'm going to put my toes on the bar that holds the springs, I mean the reformer bar and I'm going to use my hands here to slide down and I want my tailbone off the front edge so that I can use the back of my thighs and see at this point with the carriage home to lift up over my heels. Okay, so I'm going to go up and I'm going to slide with my hands until I'm in position. Okay, so this is your short a semicircle position.

When you're done with semicircle three one way three, the reverse. You're going to use these hands to help pull you and you're going to slide until your back is on the mat again and allow your back to kind of decompress before moving on. You don't want to just jump up and go on this one. Just give yourself a second and we're going to run Rola. Always using your power. Stand up and get ready for snake and twist. At this stage of the game, we're doing it more advanced, so we want to do it on one spring.

So I'm going to come over here and I'm going to drop down to one spring. You can or cannot use pads. I'm going to go ahead and show you how to use pads. So you put it right here on the edge is prepare the other corner. Kiersten did it without pads. That's fine. Um, I'm a little shorter so I actually put my fall on my foot down on the frame here and I put the pad down here. So either one is fine. I'm just going to show you the um, average height person. We're on one spring.

I'm going to go ahead and lift the head piece up for this exercise and I'm going to put my hand first right hand on the shoulder pad. Then I'm going to put my foot right foot goes up and the ball of the foot is on this bar, the top of the bar and the heels on the sidebar. Then your right hand is going to go right on this edge and you're going to use your powerhouse to lift up to cross your left ankle in front of your right, okay? And Square off your body to the reformer. So that's your, and then the same thing with the twist. So that, and then you're finished. You know, dismount with the kerogen. Roll up with control. Walk around for the other side.

You're going to Osos the setup and position snake and twist. Just two different exercises, right? You're gonna put your right hand first, your left foot member, the ball of the foot on the top of the bar. He on the side of the bar. I again do it a little lower because of my height. And you're going to put your left hand right on that front edge and you're going to use your powerhouse to cross your right ankle in front of your left, okay? As the same time, you're going to square off with that reformer. So I'm going to scoop in and get ready for the snake and then twist.

You come down holding the carriage in and then you're up. All right, we're ready for our cork, our tick talk, a whole little combination. So going to come on this edge so you can see it a little bit better. I need to add my spring takeaway. These pads, two springs to hold the carriage securely and bar stays down. Head piece goes down again, another series where we're going to be up on our shoulders and neck. So you're gonna lie down and you're going to grab on right here to these bars.

And then you're going to start the tick tock. So this is your tick tock starting position as well as your corkscrew. And then you're going to go right into your long spine massage without straps. You want a little bit more room, maybe a couple inches, and you're going to hold underneath the carriage like so instead of holding these bars with your elbows flat, you're going to hold underneath and you're going to start the exercise here. So that's long spine massage without straps. Okay, so we've done our tick-tock, our corkscrew, our long spy massage, no straps.

And you're gonna go ahead and stand up. And we're going to do our knee stretches. So we're on the home stretch here. We're going to lift up our reformer bar springs look good. We want the headpiece up on this one again. And um, this is another one that I was a stickler on that you almost get right into position right from the beginning. So you're going to put your hand, your foot back here. And as his hand goes on, you're already in a scooped position to start your round. After eight to 10 of these, you're going to just change the spine using your powerhouse to a flat, to an arch. After eight to 10 of these, you're going to use your powerhouse to change your spine back to around back, as well as lifting the knees up off the mat.

They're going to be an ankle height. So I'm going to use my powerhouse to transform my spine and around back my hips. Come forward a little bit and up. Okay, come down. And we're done with those. You're gonna step now here. Usually what you start your warm up with four springs you're going to return to for your cool-down, but you also, if you are super advanced or just advanced, you can keep it on two springs. With Kirsten, we went back to four and it looked really amazing on her.

So I'm going to add my two springs and you're going to lie down for our cooldown stomach in using the hands just to rotate. And you're ready for your running. So after you do your running, you're going to come in and separate your arches onto the corners of the bar and you want to turn out where your knee can stay in alignment with your foot. So if my foot's way turned out, but my knee is pointing up to the ceiling, I can't even do that anymore. But you get the idea, then you've turned out your foot too much. You really want to turn out. It's all from the hip to make sure in your improper height of your pelvis, you might put your palms together like you're praying and put them underneath your tailbone and make sure you don't squish your hands as you go out, okay. That you can still have them together. And then once you know that you have the right height, then you can keep your arms long and where you do eight to 10 at us, and then you're going to melt down and slide the feet together and hug him in for your finale.

Now, after we did the reformer with Kiersten, we finished by rolling out a mat and doing an ice rolling exercise. But these were all the transitions you need to do the intermediate to advanced powerhouse workout. Thank you.

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Odalis M
Did not like it
Monica Wilson
Hi Odalis, I would love to know how I could make this tutorial help you do the real workout (class #2840) better. Was there something in particular you did not like? Was there something you were hoping to learn to assist you with doing class# 2840 that you did not see in this tutorial? Thank you for your input! Monica
great idea :) great tutorial than You Monica Wilson

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