Tutorial #3790

The Reach: Lower Body

5 min - Tutorial


Explore the two-way stretch you experience in Pilates exercises to help refine your technique with this quick tutorial by Andrea Maida. She breaks down Foot Work and Frogs to demonstrate the different actions you might do when you are reaching your legs out. By exploring both sides of this oppositional movement, you can make the most of every exercise.
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box)

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Jun 16, 2019
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Hi, I'm Andrea. And today I have a tutorial for you. I like to look at the Flonase method through the lens of our oppositional forces. Sometimes that's called the two way stretch. And using the two way stretch, we kind of look at the body from as the upper body and lower body. And so in this way it can kind of create a nice singular focus for your workout. And today's tutorial is going to be about the lower body reach.

And the lower body is really the lion's share of our body. It's the no matter who you are, that's the biggest part of your body is the lower body. So it has a lot of kind of places where things can get bogged down from our center all the way to our toes. And if I were to describe the two way stretch the most succinctly, if you can imagine our signature mat exercise, which is the double leg pole, sometimes it's called the double leg stretch. And this is really, um, a shining example of what applies exercise can be.

So you have to oppositional, reaches away from a strong center. And really the more you can maximize your reach, it's really going to make your strength, your strength of your center increase even more. And so today we're going to be talking about this action, which you can already see. It's um, it's very much like many of many of our exercises in choreography. And we're going to look at two exercises on the reformer, the footwork and the frog. My two favorite exercises for finding the lower body reach.

So let's get started. I'm going to use, I have a growths reformer and I'm going to actually use three springs for myself. I'm petite and that's why I don't have four. And I am also can't be trusted to not just push with my legs. So I really should give me two. Let's go to two springs. I'm going to lie back and I'm going to be in the first position with the balls of the feet on the bar and the heels lifted. And if you're someone who's very talented with lifting your heels, don't go up as high as you can and don't have them dropped, but just have them kind of in the middle. And then stretch out.

And when you get out here, you're going to push into the bar to bring the carriage home and that push is going to help use the bottom, the back of the legs and also the part of you that is basically trying to stand on the foot bar. So I kind of feel like we can distill down the upper body reach and the lower body reach into reaching and standing. So today we're talking about standing, but of course employees we don't often get to actually stand. So when we do it's very exciting. So when you push on the, you may feel like at some point it becomes not, you're not able to push anymore and just kind of notice. And also if you feel like you can't figure out how to push, just push so much that the carriage stops and then just kind of try not to care that if the carriage ever comes back again.

Let's go to the arches because as we make our way to the heels, it's going to be, we're going to get a little bit more help. So I am going to push my toes forward, my heels under the bar and into the bar and come all the way in. Okay. And then for me especially because I just want to push with my legs and there may be some of you that are like that as well. I'm going to just use the same things I'm resisting with when I get back to go back out again, which I'm feeling is very different from what I actually want to do.

Okay, so now let's go to the heels. Now you get more of a, the bottom and the heels share a special relationship. So now you can actually figure out how to push a little bit more and it's really the standing aspect of it that's going to help you stand with all of your body that your lower body that starts kind of up here in the upper stomach, middle back area, [inaudible] and then I'm just going to abort the footwork, uh, there because I want to look at things that are sending the lower body out in space and the tendance stretches just a little bit different shape. So we're going to do two things that are the same shape. I'm going to switch to frog. I'm going to keep my two springs that I had for my foot work, but you're going to be on two springs for frog and I'm going to set up my straps. So I have a leather strap and a handle.

And then I'm lengthening the leather strap with this black strap. Okay. I'm going to take the black straps. I want to know where the wooden handles are so they don't hit me in the head and I'm not going to move the carriage when I put the straps on my feet. So now we have our same scenario as the foot work that we did except now than what we're standing on is not as supportive.

So we need to have a little bit more imagination to stand. Yeah. And again, if it feels like you don't know how to stand in the strap, just try to hold it still and you'll kind of figure it out. Okay. And whatever you resist with on the way in, you're going to push with on the way out.

Okay. And then to get out of the straps, I'm just going to take all of these things so nothing hits me and put them on the floor behind me. So these are the two exercises that we're going to use our imagination and create the feeling of footwork, the feeling of frog in all of our other exercises that are not so straightforward. Occasionally we'll find some exercises where we actually get to stand on our feet or have some semblance of that which is going to be helping. And as we go along in our, uh, class, there's a class that, uh, is all about finding the lower body in all the straightforward exercises.

So then we can apply it eventually to our more complex exercises. And we're really just using our imagination and our will because all of our applies exercises are the same versions of each other. And that's why we're going to, everything else might fall apart. But for right now, we're just going to have that one singular focus of what is our lower body doing. And Are we standing? So thank you so much. I hope you watch the class as well. Bye.

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Always love your tips and tutorials!
Thank you so much Ann! Thank you for watching :) xo
Hi Andrea ~ I really liked your cue -  'whatever you resist with on the way in, you're going to push with on the way out'.  Thank you!
Thanks so much lorily so glad you found it to be helpful. Yes, use all that stuff you resisted with on the way in to help you move the carriage out on the next ones :) 
Thank you for the helpful tip!
You are so welcome Maryam - thank you for watching! xox

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