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Hi everybody, it’s Girl Time. I’m here with my bestie, Meri. (Meri cheering) I’m Kristi, and we are gonna just do kind of a quick get to it workout. Shall we? Yeah.
Let’s start. We have our Balanced Body Reformer set up on full springs, so ready to do our foot and leg work, which will come shortly. But for now, let’s just lie down and do some warmup. Pelvic curls. We have our headrest down for this.
We left, or put our bars up on purpose because we like the sensation of feedback. Our feet are stuck to the bar, our arms are down, and we’re just beginning. We inhale. Start the exhale and peel the hips up, kinda relaxing the feet to the extent that you can as you roll your spine all the way up, finding the backside of your body, feeling maybe an instant opening in the front, we inhale and exhale, melt our way back down. I always have to re-relax my toes somewhere along the way.
Inhale at the bottom. What’s wrong with your toes? Starting… What’s wrong, there’s nothing wrong with them, they just try to help. They’re like 10 little soldiers trying to help me, when they’re not really needed here.
All the way up. And this is like in the beginning class where I like to feel how I can stand on my arms a bit, squeeze my glutes a bit, and then roll back down. Some of those things you don’t really get to do during the normal course of a day. We’re down at the bottom, taking the inhale. Start the exhale and just notice how that naturally allows the abdominals to drop and start to do their job.
You wanna speak to the feedback you like about this, Meri? What do I like? I like to pull down with my heels on the bar. And as I roll down, I pull down on the bar and I try to take my pelvis towards my feet.
I’m not, at the top, I’m kind of just standing on them rather than dragging down with them. But as I’m like up and downing. Yeah I pull down. Up and downing, I love it. Let’s do two more.
Inhaling at the bottom. Exhaling. Doing our best to keep all 10 toes pointed straight up rather than them swiveling to one side or the other. Inhale at the top. And then sometimes I like to focus just on the ease with which you could come down without just falling down.
Was that two or just one? I think it was the one, but- Let’s go one more. (laughing drowning out speakers) We’re in trouble. We’re in trouble. I can’t count at two.
I’ll let you take over in just a second. But anyway, let’s go back down and do a little bit more with this warmup. So hopefully elongating the spine down. Then we’ll just take the arms, swivel them around and grab onto the posts. If that doesn’t work for you, you could also just have your arms out to a T, both knees come up to tabletop, bolt them together.
Let’s go to the right. Inhaling, keeping those legs together as if they were one. Start the exhale and draw the legs back to center. Other side, inhale up and over. And it’s as if the ribcage got heavier and it allows the legs to sway back to center.
And inhale, to the right. Let that opposite hip lift. But do your best to keep the shoulder down. And exhale, back to center. Sometimes I think I wanna skip this one or something like it.
You think you wanna skip- Sometimes I feel like, “Ah, let’s just get on with it.” But it really does help everything else when this part’s warmed up, that rotation. Hoping you can’t hear the back cracks that are happening. Me too. Inhale over and exhale. Can we do just one more to each side so we can move on?
Yeah. And center. One more. Knees are lined up. Pull back to center and then go ahead and rest your feet back on the bar.
I’ll just keep mine together, and lace your fingers behind your head so you’re fully supporting. You can adjust however you need to. We don’t have to come all the way back down, but hopefully you can support your head as we inhale. Start your exhale, curl your head, neck and shoulders up. And to the point of earlier, that feedback, you can subtly draw your heels down.
Inhale, exhale, go back down. And inhaling, exhale, curl up. Sometimes when you engage the hamstrings you can really connect deeper to the abs, believe it or not, and exhale down. And inhale. Noticing how when you start that exhale, it almost can relax parts of your body that should be, and allow the areas that get you lifted to work more.
Inhale, exhale down. And again, two more. Up, up, up. Dropping your head back into your hands even as you’re going forward. Inhale, exhale down.
And let’s do a full one, here it is. Sometimes I actually like to pull myself a little forward, then put the hands back so I kind of know the height that I could get and come down. So I’m gonna aim for that on this next one, but we’ll move it into oblique. So inhale, exhale, rolling yourself up. Hold it there, inhale, exhale.
Go to your right, keeping those heels and knees where they are. Inhale as you come across the center, exhale the other way. Aiming that shoulder to hip. Inhale, stay high across those shoulder blades, exhale. And inhale.
Checking back in, can you drop your head back? Yes. Inhale. Yes. I could. And to the left.
One more each way. Inhale, center. Exhale, right. Inhale, center. Exhale, left.
Inhale, center and take it down. You wanna take us through foot and leg work? Sure, so let’s separate the feet a bit so that they’re aligned with the sitting bones. Did you put your headrest up? Did you put your headrest back?
I did. Okay, then I’m going to too. I also like to have my headrest up ’cause I like to see what my feet are doing. Yeah. So we’re gonna, without pushing on the carriage yet, push into the bar with your feet, find the back of your legs and then move.
So we’ll do I think three more here. Nice and simple. Two. And one. Coming all the way in and then moving down on the bar onto the toes.
Filling the bar under all 10 toes, take the legs out straight and then bend. So the, what we did in the pelvic curl, that kind of sensation of dragging downwards on the bar works here too. You have to create it, but it does create an effect, if you will. Keeping the feet still, the heels still, ’cause the feet don’t actually have to be, can’t be still, ’cause the ankles have to change. I think three more.
Look at that, and-
Pull the carriage in. So stretch, I think almost of working more on the down than I do on the up. So lengthen, contract. As an idea. Feeling equality of pressure between the two feet, the two legs.
So one doesn’t get to work harder than the other. We’ll do four more. And three. Two. And one.
Come all the way back in. Swivel the heels back apart so we’re back into parallel alignment with the feet. Take the carriage out and then fully flex the heels underneath the bar. And left and under. Can you hear our toes cracking, both of us?
(amused laughing) And up. I certainly can. I thought it was just me, but I can hear yours too. Yep. So check in with the back of the pelvis.
Make sure one side of the pelvis isn’t heavier than the other, but instead they’re equally weighted on the carriage. We’ll do three more here. So get that full stretch, pull beyond the where the springs pull. Those springs will pull a bit, but try and go further. And one.
And then into prancing one knee. Bend, we come up in the center and change. Up and then down. Up and then down. So full range using the leg that’s bent to push in and stretch those toes.
And then the other foot as the heel reaches under those toes, wrap around the bar. So we get two different stretches, but a stretch in both feet nonetheless. We’ll do three, and three, Kristi. (amused laughing) Two and two.
One, I mean three.
We’ll change the spring. Please try not to kick me next time. So we’ll use, I’m gonna use a red and a blue. Same. You could go up to two reds if you’re braver than I.
But I’m gonna stay on a red and a blue. Coming back down, taking the straps in our hands. A red and a blue is nice ’cause it gets us set up for our hip work, which is coming next. So setting the arms just above the shoulder joints. So straight up from the ground, lifting the legs up, we’re going straight into the coordination, coming up in deflection, open and close.
Bend and lift the body and come down. And exhale as we come up, open, close, pull and try to find more height. And down, and up. Open, close. Lift the spine, and down.
Let’s do three more. Up. Open, close. Briskly and- Briskly. Briskly, what a word, huh?
Nothing feels brisk these days. What feels- Nothing feels brisk these days. Well let’s do two more so you can find some brisk. Boom, boom. Boom, boom.
Lift and down. And last one, up, open, close, pull and down. Awesome, let’s step into straps, yeah? Yep. Okay.
Keeping the same springs, just walk into your straps. Settle your hips so they feel level, coming into the frog position to begin. From here, heels are together so you can feel the outer hips but also the inner hips as you extend fully and draw the legs back in. I’m kinda thinking about what you said, Meri, about the feet on the bar, it’s sort of the same idea of pushing out and pushing in. Keeping the connection to both sides of your body, or at least the backside a little bit.
And out, to draw in. I like to think about standing in my straps with my feet, with my, the muscles of my legs before I move my legs. Oh, nice. So then it feels like the carriage is actually going out from underneath you. Cool.
Let’s do one more. And then when we get there, you can allow your feet to softly point, and bring them up. I’m gonna go parallel today. And from that top range, where your hips are still down, go ahead and lower the legs, circle them out, around and up. Bring them all the way back together and begin the pull again.
Exhale down. Imagine getting a little longer in your waist, making it give you more space, really. Sometimes we can just kind of crank through these. They tend to always feel good in my opinion, but- I love. Yeah.
Never get tired of them. I’m only gonna do two more for about six. Inhale, round up. Feeling that, I don’t know, I always think of a mortar and pestle with my hip bone and my pelvic bone. Lower down.
Let’s reverse it from here. Coming up on the inhale, open, circle around. You can go wider than we are, but just keep your pelvis stable. And if you’re really flexible, I’d encourage you to kind of rein it in a little bit. Number three of six.
And up. And around. And up. And around. From here, just opening out on the same level- Still in parallel?
I turned my legs out, thank you. Opened out, and then this light flex maybe, but I don’t think too much about the feet to just bring it straight back together. Let them float out. Trying not to let them go up or down. If anything, it’s the imagination that your legs are getting longer so that you’re gonna reach your heels to touch each other a little further out than the last time, maybe.
Three more. Two. I’m trying to take my legs further away from my torso every time. Every time, love it. Last one, last chance.
(amused chuckling) Cool. Go ahead, and bend. Let’s go into the semi-circle today. Okay. Will you teach me through that? Yeah.
Are we gonna keep the same spring or do you want a lighter spring? Oh well I, whatever you decide. Lighter’s fine or keep it. I think we can probably manage, don’t you? Okay, so drape the knees over the foot bar.
Push out with your arms. The thing about the heavier spring is it’s a lot more upper bodywork. I usually use the lighter spring to… What’s the right word? Take that away.
Okay, so keep the arms really strong like you’re doing a handstand over your head and lift your- And your feet are how? My heels and feet are in the small V-shape. We’re gonna roll up to create a straight line from the knees to the shoulder, straight elbows. But if that’s all we did- From there, we’re gonna roll the pelvis down, keep the carriage still. Keep active through the arms until you’re all the way down towards the springs.
Press out about three quarters of the way, feel the springs underneath your pelvis. Then hold the carriage still as you articulate up, taking care not to lift your heels, just your pelvis. And then bend the knees and come back in as far as you can. Take that stretch, roll down, arm stays straight. Roll all the way down into the spring.
Press the carriage out. Articulate the spine up, keeping the heels connected but not lifting and lowering the heels. Bend the knees and come in. We’ll do one more in this direction. Oh, it feels so good, I’m stalling on purpose.
Keep the carriage still as you articulate up, sending the knees out over the feet, over the foot bar, nice and high up into that hip flexor stretch. And push out. And roll all the way back, I know. I must hear music. What kind of music?
I don’t know, it’s like- A symphony. A choir, yeah. I just didn’t know if you were like thinking, if you’re hearing a rap in the your head- A little hip-hop. Which one? We’re coming all the way back in, we’ll roll up one last time, unfortunately.
Keep the pelvis up. Take the hands off the shoulder blocks and reach for the frame. Careful with your knees. If you have any sort of dysfunction in your knees, maybe skip this. But let’s use the arms to pull the carriage in.
Closer, closer, closer, closer. Can you reach the foot bar? Not everyone can, we’re all different lengths. And then step the knees over the foot bar. Take the arms to the shoulder blocks and then pull the carriage in.
Nice. And then come up. How about a little hip flexor stretch? Okay. Always a one, always on a one?
I think a one, I think a one. Okay, don’t judge me. Very tight. Okay, that’s all right. Aren’t we all?
Let’s go to, so we’re on one spring, kneeling. I’m tempted to lower my bar but I’m just gonna do my best. Taking my right foot up. It’s not quite in the middle, but it’s close. Trying to anchor the back foot against the shoulder block.
So here I’m on my fingertips and I have long arms. So I’m doing my best to bias the pelvis towards a tuck, lift just and then with whatever you can, just send the knee or the carriage back a little bit. You don’t have to travel backwards, but just see what you can do in that stretch. Breath in. Easy to hold your breath here.
Then using the forward leg primarily, you’re just gonna straighten it out. Try for a flat back here. You may have to pipe the hips back a little. Even if you don’t get to a fully straight leg, aim for the flat back. That oughta give you what you need.
If you can go straighter with the leg, do, but think of reaching the tailbone back, or the heel forward. And come in, we’ll do it again. So again, there’s a connection from the pubic bone up to the chest or sternum. Opening up, pushing the foot back a bit, into that shoulder block. Breath in.
That’s where it kind of takes my breath away right there. Me too. And then hinge back for the hamstring of the forward leg. Flat back. Let your head fall in line with it.
Play with questioning whether your hips are square. You tend to find out pretty quick. I’m pretty sure mine are. (amused laughing) And let’s come on in and just go to the other side for more- But I promise I am trying. I guarantee you, me too.
Just whip that other foot up there as I do it with all, both hands. All right, square yourself off as best you can in this position. Bias towards the tuck. Press the carriage away a little, as you think maybe about allowing your chest to stay lifted or climb higher. From there we can go ahead and start to straighten the forward leg.
Think about the flat back. Enjoy the differences in the sides. (amused laughing) How do you like that? It’s a nice… What’s the word?
(indistinctly chatting) Oh, the backside. There are differences. Oh, you’re so welcome. My poor little leg, let’s come back in. Same thing.
Find the front of your body and I do mean the whole front of your body. Maybe feel it more to the back if you engage that hamstring. That’s cool too. Ready? Let’s do it.
Extend, when you know you’re about to swivel big, stop there and pull that hip away from the foot that’s on the foot bar, and then see about the flat back. From there, you can straighten the leg, or not, as the case may be. Right on, come on in. Arms? Yeah.
So let’s do some seated arms today. Keeping the same spring, turning around. The headrest will need to be down. You wanna position yourself right to the very back edge of the reformer, and then taking the straps in your hands, orient your spine so that it’s all the way upright. And if that means the knees need to do a little bend, that’s okay.
The arms are gonna come to the sides of the reformer. Little bit in front of the pelvis. Push down with your arms, lift your spine a little taller, and then take just the arms back and forward. So you’ll feel your arms, but can we start by finding the muscles in the middle of the back first and then moving the arms in just a different way, like finding the place that you want your body to feel. That didn’t sound good, but you know what I mean.
Finding the initiation point or the muscular focus of the exercise with your brain and then moving from there.
And remember to reach down and as you reach down, lift your spine in opposition, two. If I count out loud, maybe I’ll keep track, number three. And last time. Take the arms all the way forward, lift them up to shoulder height. Plug the arms into the shoulder joints and bend and straighten the arms.
Not super hard on the bicep, in my opinion, on this spring. But what we could focus on if we’re looking for some challenge somewhere is the spinal extensors. The upper back stabilizers. Always room for a little abdominal focus. We’ll do four more, keeping the arms still, keeping the elbows just in front of the shoulders, three.
Lifting into the spring as you bend your arms, two. Meaning, get taller. And last time. Straighten the arms. Change the straps so that they come over the elbows.
Take the arms up again so that they’re kind of in the same parallel alignment to the ground. Once again, find your spinal shape and then take the arms out to the side. Think about elbows forward, thumbs backwards, reach the elbows side to side and then come back. We won’t go slowly, as slowly every time. We wanna bias towards that little bit of external rotation and then that widening through the upper back, is what I’m thinking about.
Like the elbows are going to the right, into the left, or to the east, into the west, or wherever we are, oriented against a compass. I have no idea, but you know what I mean. I do actually. Last four. We’ll take those hands behind the elbows in your imagination.
It’s probably almost impossible to get them back there so just the effort is enough. Last two. And one more. Coming back, taking the straps in one hand, turn around. Scooch to the shoulder blocks.
Separating the straps again. Sitting nice and tall. Taking the arms out to the side and they come forward and open. Keeping a slight bend in the elbows, forward and open. All the time, lifting taller.
Forward. That idea of west and east or left and right with the arms widening so the shoulder blades stay wide and still. Last four. As you start moving your arms, pull first with your abdominals towards back. And last two.
And one more. And then we take the arms and bend them, keep the elbows just in front of the straps. The hand come, hands come just outside the temples. We pull the shoulder blades back as we reach straight out. Elbows pull wide, hands come close.
And reach and bend, checking that you’ve got equality of work in both sides of your body. And bend, think elbows forward, hands back, as the hands come back and forward and bend and forward. Just do two more, I think, of these as enough. What do you think?
Yeah, you happy? Your legs quiver? Both of our legs are like having an earthquake. Yeah. You’d think that California’s actually having an earthquake in the summer.
Good, and then let’s take the arm down. Awesome. Next? I think we’re on sides and back, aren’t we? Okay, okay. Yeah.
I want you to do that side we talked about. Oh yeah. I love that. Oh yeah, okay, so what we’re gonna do for sides is we’re gonna come up onto our knees. And how you set up for this one is you wanna position yourself on your knees with one knee up against the shoulder blocks.
The knees are gonna be a little bit wider than the pelvis. There’s a little bit of a leap of faith here to get to the bar. We still on one spring. Take the arms out. Lean, and as you come to find the bar, we’re gonna bring the knees together.
So in this moment we have our one knee off the carriage and the carriage into the stopper. We’re gonna push out from there. Now we’re gonna bring the knees underneath the body so that it reaches, the carriage reaches back into the stopper as we take that upper arm overhead. Yes, pausing for the stretch, you’re welcome. That’s so nice. I know.
Reach back out, find your straight line, and pull the carriage back in. The arm comes down. Go out. Take the arm over the head as you side bend, that outer knee will drop down into the carriage. Pull the carriage right into the stopper, go out.
Arm comes out to the side. Arm comes down as the carriage comes in. One more, out. Side bend. Wow, so nice.
I know. And out. And then in, and then here we’re gonna take the arm and there we are, back to the start. Arms down, change side. Awesome, thank you.
So starting up against the shoulder blocks, once again. Felt like a pilot there. Once again, we have the knees a little wider than the pelvis. Reach the arms onto the side, reach over for the foot bar, stack the knees. Push the carriage out.
Side bend, bring the carriage into the stopper, landing on that outer knee. Take the carriage back away with the side body, with the waist, and then support yourself in that long straight line. As you come in, the arm comes down. Push out. Side bend, the underneath waist works to bring the carriage in while that upper waist gets that beautiful stretch.
Reach back out, the arm comes out to the side. And come in. One more, out. And reaching in. And going out.
And coming all the way in. Lift the arm out to the side. Here’s our leap of faith. We come back out, arms out to the side, and then we can just bring the arms down. And now your turn.
The chest expansion, yeah? Okay. Turn around. Little back extensions. So we’re gonna face the back, we’re still on that same red spring.
It’s probably enough, but some of you may wanna go further. I’m gripping up on the strap to where the tape is, or just above the buckle. Right up against the shoulder rest. The, you know, from the crown of the head to the tailbone, including even the thigh bones, are straight up and down. Arms are just in front of you.
Little bit of resistance. You’re already in sort of a natural extension. Let’s play with this. Pull the arms down and back. When they get behind you a little or right next to you, squeeze those shoulder blades, lift your chin up, look to the ceiling without dropping into your low back.
Come back to upright or natural, it’ll allow the arms to reach down and go forward. Again, regroup, pulling back. You’re rising even as the arms go back. When you get to your extent, open those collarbones, allow the chest to shine upward, look upward, and come back to neutral. Arms will go in front.
One more like that and we’ll play with it a little more. Pull back, squeeze those upper arms into your body. As you reach the arm, bones down, the chest rises. Hamstrings are very much involved for stability. Come back with your head and chest and forward.
Same thing, yeah. So now we’ll go… Well you can stay right there actually. Or you can simply slightly tuck your pelvis for, I’m just adding a thigh hinge. Okay. We’re gonna lean back.
Same thing goes where you feel like you can. Same exact position, extending the spine. Come back and back to upright. ‘Kay, so you’re gonna pull on the arms a little, maybe not quite as far back, but close. Hinge back around back.
So it’s hinging really from the knee. Then from there, extend your spine. Doesn’t have to be big. Bring it back to neutral and come up, just one more. Here we go, pull back.
Make sure you have that subtle sense of tuck to the pelvis as you hinge back for the thigh hinge. Then grow the spine long, extending back. Come back to neutral and back to upright. You can just set the straps down. Shall we end with the standing roll down?
Yeah. Cool. Come with me, friend. We’re just gonna shake it off. Feet are parallel.
Take an inhale and exhale just letting go. Let your head fall forward. Letting any tension that we created be released now, however you need to, shake your head. Maybe a subtle bend of the knees, but find yourself grounded to the floor to come right back up. Restacking, realigning.
Hopefully with a little more space than when you started to go do what else you want to do with your friends. Thanks for being here. Until next time, bye.