Tutorial #3128

Picking Up the Box

5 min - Tutorial


You will think more about your alignment when picking up the Box on the Reformer after this tutorial with Sherri Betz. She looks at all parts of the body that are used during this functional movement and turns it into a fabulous exercise. This will remind us to keep Pilates in our daily lives, especially when we pick up heavy objects.
What You'll Need: Pilates Pole, Reformer Box

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Jul 28, 2017
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Let's talk about how to get Pele's into everyone's daily life. How about that? Sounds great. Sounds good. So when I'm teaching reformer classes or evaluating my teacher's performance as they teach the students in my studio, I often look at the way that the students pick up boxes and put them on the reformers. So Candace, I'm going to have you pick up the box and put it on the magic generic reformer. Okay. So without shaming her too much that everything was wrong with that, right? Every joint was probably in the wrong position.

So I wouldn't never tell her that personally tear her face. But um, but what we would do is say, okay, what do we need to do to correct what she just did? So if we did that in slow motion, I'm going to pick up the box here and show what she did in slow motion. So she took the box and did this right? And then we're going to do it with this hand and then flung it up onto the reformer, right? Or The table. So what we want is to look at all the body parts that she's using to make that movement happen.

That's an extremely functional movement and we can turn this into a fabulous exercise. All right? Time to have you do it again. I want you to stand with your feet facing the box. All right? And then have your feet in parallel. We're going to spread those toes apart like you just learned in the Bunyan class, right? And then I want you to place your left hand on the top handle and you're going to push the box toward the wall right away from you.

And now I want you to hinge up the hips and find the handle underneath. So she's going to take the opportunity. Okay, so what did she do here? She rounded the back. She kept the knees straight to lift the box, right? So that's going to put her into a precarious position for her spine. So come back up Candice, and let's do that again.

That was Kelly in the back of my leg. You are perfect. You're the perfect model for this. And I know she's acting right now. Bring your head back to the stick. And so you're going to keep the three points of contact and I want you to do that same activity as you pick up the box. Okay? So keeping the three points of contact and I'm just going to let her do whatever she interprets that to be. Okay. So that's a little bit better. Okay.

So I'd like you to bend the knees, right? And stick your tail feathers out. There you go. And lower the head just a little bit. Great. Now stand up and, and pick the box up. That looks a lot better. Now if we have her turn, what she's doing is she's using her neck to lift the box still. So we're going to work on that as well. And then I want you to place the box on the table.

So that attempt was much better just with the feedback of the pole that's going to protect her spine. So we always think about the spine when we're, when we're picking up something, don't we? And you know, people know how to pretty much, uh, keep their spine straight as they lift something when it's heavy or when they're being watched, right? If you're not thinking about, then often you, you go into your old patterns of movement and I know that you have some shoulder stuff that you're dealing with and some neck, right? So if you lift like that with the elbow high, you end up using your neck muscles to lift the box, right? So we're going to teach you how to keep the shoulder blades down. Really anchor the shoulder blades to your back as you lift. Okay? So let's try that one more time. We're just going to have your face.

I'm going to have you face here and then I want you to put your hands under the handles and you're going to bend your knees a little bit. Feet pointed straight ahead. Separate the feet, a good bed, stick your tail feathers out right now you're going to anchor your shoulders down and then bend the elbows and pick the box up and just let it rest against your belly and you can pick it up. Just keep, pretend like you've got a tray of glasses on the top of it. So do it again. So come down, pretend like you have a tray of glasses on top of the box. Then you go and then pick it up. Now she's still using the neck a little bit. So let's bring those shoulders down a little bit more.

Keeping the neck sort of length in here. She will use the upper traps a little bit, but not, not so much good. Now carry the box over there and put it back down and let's see how you do with that. And you're going to hinge at the hip joints. Stick your tail feathers out, heart lifted, shoulders down, and then put the box. Yes, exactly. So every time you have an opportunity to pick something up, you can face me. Now every time you have an opportunity to pick something up, if you think about that technique. So here's all of the things that you want to think about. Feet to head, feet pointed straight ahead. So we're going to stand this way. Feet pointed straight ahead knees.

And I even think of knees out over the fifth toe instead of not separating your feet though, because what'll happen is people separate their feet and then their knees are still in. So feet fairly narrow. That's about hip width apart. Knees Bend, tail sticks back, right? And then knees slightly apart so that you can see your big toe inside your knees. So that's going to help you keep from collapsing the arches. Exactly. Good. And then hinges at the hips, so that protects the spine. You've got your feet, ankles, knees, hips in the right. Alignment spine is good.

Then the last frontier is the shoulders. So you know, bend the elbows. That's right. Shoulders sink down and back and then you stand up. So everything's in really good alignment. So it's easier, it's easier and more efficient. Right? But we tend to do it. Yes. You know, kind of without bending our knees somehow. We're always trying to not use our legs to do things. But when people say, use your legs to lift, that's what that means. Okay, so let's do it one more time and see how you do with all that feet pointed straight ahead, slightly apart. Knees move out towards your fifth toes, so you're separating the knees a little bit.

You're going to push the box away from you. Find that bottom handle. Anchor this shoulder down. Now come up, turn the box right. Keep it close to you. Exactly. Biceps are lifting the box. Shoulders are anchored down. This is going to keep her out of the shoulder impingement position.

Keep the neck relaxed. La-La. Excellent.


2 people like this.
Thank you Sherri, it is very helpful in everyday's life.
1 person likes this.
Thank you Sherri. Very good tips to lift the heavy stuff.
1 person likes this.
Very informative. Loved it!
1 person likes this.
Thank you , Sherri !!!!!! Beautiful tips, very helpful!!!!

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