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Hello, I’m Sally Anderson. Thank you for joining me for a reformer class focusing on hydration or achieving better whole-body tissue hydration. Andrew Aroustian is here to help by demonstrating for me. And we’re going to have a focus on pace, pump, bit of twisting, those things that help move fluid and hydration through the body. So we’re going to start with the foot bar down and the long box on.
Let’s take our foot bars down all the way. Thank you, Andrew. And one blue spring is what I’ve got. You could use a red spring, so a single spring, definitely no more. And then we will start sitting on the foot bar, straddling the reformer.
I’d like the feet to be in relatively close to the reformer and just stable. So feel like you get a nice, stable position. Sitting bones or ischial tuberosities on the backside of the foot bar. To begin with, we’re just gonna do a few little micro movements to prep. So we’ll start with arms up.
So palms facing in to begin with and really drop the elbows down. I want the arms to be heavy. You’re just gonna bring them around the torso. So think of the humerus just rotating around the torso, and you’ll end up in a little external rotation. Palms forward as you go.
Now, the key part is to think about this happening from the scapula. I want the scapula gliding on the ribcage. And then we start to make it a little pace here and like glide. Two. This can take a number of kind of practice runs to get that glide, to kinda get the scaps a little untethered and moving.
So we’ll just rehearse a few little more, but don’t feel like you need to get it now. Practice it daily if you can, but for a little while to get that moving ’cause it’s all about movement. All right. And once we start getting that movement gliding, add an overhead press. Up, down, and in.
Always coming back to that really dropped elbow position. That’s it. Nice and loose. And as I say, I wanna see scapula kind of gliding back and forward. And then on the overhead press, I wanna see it go up and around like our shoulder mechanics should do. Let’s do four more.
And one. Two. Good, three. And last one. Beautiful. All right, so that’s really loosened us up in the upper body, got things moving, slightly untethered.
Hands to the box, we’re gonna do a spine stretch. So I’d like our arms as straight as they kind of get there. Exhale, just curl forward like a spine stretch. So you’re drawing back, rounding the low back. That’s our preparation.
Breathe into that low back and let the tissue spread. Exhale, stack the spine back up. Getting taller, taller, taller, and lift. One more like this before we add. Just curling, rounding, leaving those sitting bones over the back of the foot bar.
Stacking back up. Same thing but we will add now. Exhale, curl through. Find the round C curve spine. Now, send the spine forward but from the hips. I really wanna work into that hip joint, groin.
Curl it back. Stack the spine. We’ll do three more. So curling through, keep the feet nicely pressed into the ground. And then really work through the hip joints. Sacrum moves then you get to stack back up on top of the pelvis, sitting bones at the back.
Last two. So that one spring allows you to have a little bit of feedback through the body but to push away. And on this last one, we’ll just have a look at how far the shoulders can go. So curl through. Extend from the low back.
Now, keep pushing with the arms more, more, more. Let all that stretch and release. And then bring it back, stacking the spine. Going into the saw, I’ll have the left hand across to the right, right arm out. We’re going to rotate into the saw like you just did.
This back arm will come back. Now, here, I wanna do six little pulses from the center. Two. I don’t mind what happens with this back arm if it comes this way, this way. I want the pump from the center.
And then bring it back over the hips, changing sides. So that pump is everything I want here. Just tuck that arm in. And then from the core of the body, that really kind of spinal canal movement, I want the pump. Five, six, stack the spine up, and center.
And we’re going to step off the reformer and come around for a single-leg stretch. But I want you to bring the foot bar up to its regular kind of leg and footwork position. Nice to have an assistant to move the bed for you. And add a half spring. So 1 1/2 or stay on one spring if you’re smaller because something we’re going to do, you don’t wanna get pushed off the box.
But we’ll start with single-leg stretch crisscross, which is kind of the go-tos for hydration. Starting with knees tucked in, draw them in around the back. Find your chest, lift, and then away we go for 12, 11, 10, nine. So you exhale, exhale, just keep that going. You can breathe over the movement or with each repetition.
Hands behind the head and we’ll go press. Two. Good. So keeping up that twisting and pumping really pushes the hydration around the body. And back in. Stepping off the reformer, come onto your tummy.
Head down towards the foot bar and just lay on the box for me. We’re going to do a prone back extension or a little bit of extension. There’s two things. This is where you might want a nonslip mat under you if you’re going to get pushed off the box and why you need to bring the spring down if the foot bar push starts to press you off. We wanna keep you on the box.
So start with the arms just pressing out and back in. Good. So it’s just a little preparation. Now, the shoulder blades come around as you push out, and they settle back in. So there’s the scapular glide that we started with as well, and back in, slightly the overhead press position. Then we’re going to add a little extension.
So press out, let the foot bar press you up into extension, press back out, bring it back in. So we find that range at a controlled pace. And then we’ll slightly escalate it because we’re going to add some legs to it now. So escalate the pace and as you come up, bend the knees. Up and out and in. Good.
Press. Bend. So it might make that range smaller, but as you’ll see through variations of the hydration work, the range getting smaller means we get more pump, we get more push. So last three. And you can just take your own range.
Two. And last one. And bring that bed back in, pause, and step off. We’re going to take the long box off and add some springs for your leg and footwork. So I like three, 3 1/2 ’cause I want a little bit of load.
Going into your bridging pelvic curl or legwork position, so supine. I’ll start with heels on the bar and I’d like the headrest down because we are going up with the hips first. So first thing, we’ll take a few breaths, just setting the pelvis. Inhale deep into the pelvis. Exhale, just let that settle.
So you find your body kind of easing into the carriage. Then on the next exhale, curl up. Knees over toes for your bridge position. Breathe in at the top. Uncurl back down all the way to the carriage.
You’ve got five more. Good. Inhale at the top, exhale, shoulders wide. Just try and like get the space in the torso the whole way through. You just take these repetitions of the bridging or pelvic curl to find everything switched on and the torso nice and open. This is number four.
Uncurl down. We’ve got one more before we add. Good. Uncurl down. So that’s a nice pace. Now, on this one, you’re going to go into little pulses out, about 2/3 of the way. So one, and two, and three.
We’ll do five more. One. Two. Three, keeping those hips up. So there’s a lot of work going on there in the back of the body, hip extensors.
Uncurl back down and we’re going into leg and footwork using the heels first. Now, just before we get started, I’m going to take the straps off the pegs just so that they don’t distract you as we’re going through here. ‘Cause we’re going to do some pumping, funny that. So we’re gonna have four extensions to begin with. Just stretching all the way, bringing it all the way home, setting this range of movement.
Last one of these. Then we’re pumping, so go all the way out, halfway in, and now pump in that mid range. Two, we’ll have 12. Four, five, little bigger, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. Last two, one, stretch it out, bring it back home, hold.
Onto your toes, different variation. So now, you’re stretching out, calf raise. Under, up, bring it home. Stretch, under, up, and home. I like exhale, inhale.
Now, keep the pace and flow. This is a nice pace for me that Andrew’s got because it’s still under control. You’re getting the flow, and you’re getting a little bit more pace than really staying in the control mode. So we’ve got another six, I do believe. We’ve got another six.
Five. Good. Don’t forget to get all that reach under with heels as you go through. Three. If you wanted to bring your headrest up, you can on the leg and footwork too.
So I like it down or slightly elevated, whatever allows you to be moving the best. Now, next variation is heels wide. Back to the same as the first variation. Four extensions. Two, exhale on the way out.
Three. Rest of the body is settled. And then we’re going into our pumps. And one, two, three, good. We’ve got 12. And if you find the bed just moves a little, you’re probably getting a good pump, which is great.
And we could put a little nonslip under it if you feel like your bed’s got a little give in it. Come back in and we’re into prances. So toes back to the center of the foot bar. Stretch all the way out. Now, a few slow ones first.
Just reach the heel. Reach the heel. I want inhale for two. Then exhale for two. Then you can build that pace again. Remember, we really wanna pump the work through the body.
Keeping a little sense of control while we build the pace. So even a little more. Last eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, and bring that home. Now, we’re going to do a single-leg variation, but start with both legs on the bar to press out. Then take the weight out of the right foot.
Just tip that foot on the bar. That’s where it’s gonna come to each time it comes down. But we’re gonna kick it up. Flex the foot to kick and tip. Kick.
Four more. Three. Two. One, and change sides. Tip the toes. Flex it up, one.
Now, you use your range in that I call it a baton. It’s a kick up from the hip, straight leg. And six and both toes on the bar. Stretch out a little further just for the sake of it. Bring it back home and pause.
So we are going to go into our hundred now. So what I want for this variation is to move down the bed just a little and hook your feet over the foot bar. So springs are staying the same, there’s no straps. So wherever it works for you, I will kinda wanna get a little grip over that foot bar with the legs. So your torso will be to the end of the bed.
Not too far, just find your position. And we’re gonna come up in a chest lift where you can just hold this. Hands above the foot bar if it’s long or just pause. We’re not going to start with the arms just yet. So I want the legs to be actively drawing the tension in.
Pelvis dropped, chest lifted, pecs off, no beating. Find the movement on the inside. Inhale, two, three, four, five. Exhale, two, three, four, five. So inhale into the back and the ribs.
So we’re really trying to expand the breath, expand from the inside out, find the ribs coming back, and exhale. One more of these. So you’re really getting the chance to find some work up through the base of the pelvis. That’s five sets. So we’ll call that 50s. Now, we’re doing five with the beat, two, three, four, five.
Two, three, four, five. So working on that breath, expanding in all directions. Then the arms pump as well. Legs are working actively to draw you in. This is last two sets coming up.
Good. Think about it being from the breath, the inside of the body expanding. Arms are adding the beat. And then you can pause, come back down, slide back up. And we’re going to put feet into straps.
So (straps clinking) once you’re set on the bed, actually, come back in, Andrew. If you’ll just take these, we’re going to change our springs down to I like two red springs. Or you could go one 1 1/2 if you’re smaller or you want a little bit light, a bit more abs, you can do 1 1/2. So then putting your feet into the straps, keep that leg bent, pop the other one in if you’re new to doing this. But otherwise, I’m sure if you’re used to putting your feet in straps, all good.
Let’s clean them off a little too. All right, starting with the little frog, exhale, press away, and pull it in. Same as we’ve been talking about, I wanna find the range of movement, find the control, and then we’ll try and add a little bit more pace or flow to it. And think about how much you’re moving around the groin, the lymph nodes, all the base of the body, hamstrings. If you just get that little bit of core control or centering there, the legs can move quite freely in the hip joint and get lubricated in the hip joint.
We’ll do two more. Good. And then we’re going into coordination. Now, I like to start this fully extended. So legs come out at that 45-degree angle, roughly, where your abdominals are in control. Slightly separate the feet. Keep them parallel.
One knee bends, the other foot flexes up to the ceiling. So it’s sometimes called walking on the ceiling. Back out. Walk on the ceiling. So if that top foot, depending on how your strap’s being held, can flex, you’ll get the sense of that walking on the ceiling.
I think, is that what they did in Mary Poppins? This is our Mary Poppins moment. And back out. Good, we’ve got one more each side. So I like inhale as the leg comes up.
Exhale, back to center. Good. Then bring both legs up for circles. I’ll have six circles each way. Keep a little movement in them. So exhale, press down, and around.
Not too big, down and around. Nice. Keep that flowing movement without too much thrust. Give it flow and control as you get your pace through the joints. And reverse. Exhale, around. Inhale, up.
Two. Good. Not much for me to cue here because it’s a really nice, easy movement in the hip joint. If you can just focus on that and your breath, it’s a familiar exercise I’m sure. Now, bend back into the little frog position. We’re going for extended frog, reaching away first.
So legs come out to me. Now, carry the legs all the way wide before you fold them in, keeping the pelvis nice and flat on the bed. Three each direction, all the way around. Now, really try to wrap the legs. Tailbone down. Find as much movement in the hip joints as you can.
One more this direction. And wrap, press, and around, good. So this is the reverse direction. It gives you the opportunity to really working the hip joint. Feel like the femurs just kind of rotate and wrap and get as much movement in the joints as you can as you open out.
And let’s just have one more. So you get that sense of the knees going first, heels, and then bring that around. Pause, bend them back in. And we’re taking our feet out of the straps. So holding onto the straps, take feet back to the foot bar.
I’ll take these for Andrew. And then you’re coming up to do a knee stretch variation. (straps clatter) Good. So for want of a long name, I call this knee stretch knees-off pseudo single leg. I’m sure there’s a much better name, but let’s give it a shot.
So we’re going up into our knee stretch knees-off position. It’s still two springs. Again, you can take it down to 1 1/2 if you prefer it. So we’re in that knee stretch knees-off. Take the left foot forward, tip the toes, but no weight in this leg.
So all the work’s in the back leg. You’re going to inhale, press. Exhale, under and under. And under. Three.
Four, you’ve got 10. And pump it. And this leg is also giving you some really deep hip flexion pump while the back leg really works for you as well. Once we’ve done 10, under and then change sides. So take the front foot to the back, back foot to the front.
Take the weight out of this leg. Keep that hips down and away you go. Use that back leg to pump. Two. Good.
Stay up with the upper body over the arms a little more. There we go. And once you’ve done 10, take the feet back and into an elephant position. So flat feet in front of the shoulder rest. Long spine and I would like this to be lengthened today.
So really, yes, send the tailbone high, a little like a pike position. Wrap the armpits around. So I really want those armpits facing down to the bed and pump your elephant. And under, under. Three, four, five, six.
And hold. Now, we’re adding the right hand down to the left. I want it just above the crossbar or about halfway down into rotation. Twist that torso even off the pelvis here. So I’m looking for these sitting bones to be nice and high.
You’re good, Andrew. And then move under. Two, three, we’ll do eight. And hold. Hands back to the center, change sides. So that hand comes a little lower than you first feel like you want to.
It stretches all that out, wraps it around. Sitting bones high for eight and under. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, perfect. All right, hands back to the center. Then bring your fingertips to your toes.
Just relax the head and body down. Take a moment to bend the knees. And exhale, roll up through the spine. To standing where you can step off the reformer. And we’re going into some arms.
Starting sitting, facing the foot bar. And we’re going down to one spring, so take one spring off. You can leave the foot bar there or you can put it down. Let’s just put it down for the moment. (hardware clunking) Good. Now, I like the cross-legged position.
I think that’s a really good position for us to sit in. But if that doesn’t suit you, you can have legs forward or you could sit up on a little box or a high box. Just find where you can sit for this exercise. So we’ll start with hug-a-tree. Andrew will take one of the, oh, very professional.
One in each hand and take the arms out to a hug-a-tree position. So we’ll just take all the tension off that we can. And then exhale, fold the shoulders. So imagine you’ve got stitching down the front of the shoulders and it’s a long arm position forward. Inhale, open.
And exhale, forward. Good. Now, as you open the arms, I want you to think about lifting the sternum, giving me the upper ribs wrap back into a little kind of almost thoracic extension. But it’s more about the upper ribs just lifting. And little more pace. One and open.
Two and lift the sternum, manubrium up. Three. We’ll do one more. Four and hold. Now, we’re going to stir a pot of soup. So exactly. And it’s further forward in front of you.
So it doesn’t need to be all the way in. Kind of we’re using that idea of two big cauldrons of soup to stir but using the upper arms to do it. So feel like you’re getting upper arms just round the movement in the shoulders, in the elbow. And then reverse it. So it’s harder than it looks.
But if you think of the upper arm and let the scapula kinda glide on the ribcage as well. And then build the pace. But we’ll build the pace slowly. Last four. Three, he’s still smiling, that’s a good sign.
No grimacing, two. Shoulders nice and controlled. And open, good. Pop those back on the pegs. We’re going to turn around, and we’re starting with the same movement in reverse. So again, you could sit cross-legged still if that’s good for you.
I like that. If you need to change it up, please feel free. Don’t sit there if it’s not good for you. Now, shoulders are down. We’re going straight into that movement again.
Stir your soup. So those cauldrons are here like, do you see how like witch cauldrons, not just pots of soup. Good. And then you should be starting to really feel the work across the upper back here, back of the shoulders. We’re gonna do eight in each position.
I think that’s four. Five. And think about it being on a horizontal abduction, adduction position. So it’s not dropping the elbows down, but you really wanna work from the upper arms horizontally and around. And two. So they can get slightly smaller.
There’s a theme there with hydration. As it gets smaller, it gets faster, but you get the pump. We set the range of movement, as you know. So after we’ve done eight. The breath’s coming in, good.
From here, I want a diagonal pull. So we’ll start by going out to the right. One arm down, one arm high. And we’ve got our little rib pulled back that we started with and to the center. So lift that sternum.
Give me the rotation as the ribs lift back and wrap over. Give us that lift of the thoracic. Back to center. Same thing. Back of the shoulders are really doing the work.
Last two each side. And this should be well and truly kicked in now. One more each way. Good. And last one to the center.
Good. We hook those straps onto the pegs ’cause you’ll need them again in a moment. Turn to the side. I wanna stay with the cross-legged sitting, and Andrew’s fine with that, but you could go to zed sit or wherever it’s a little more comfortable for you. We need the foot bar up so that these can sequence together.
(hardware clinks) And then take the front strap with the hand closest to it. Draw that forward. You’ve got the strap in the hand and the other hand wraps around. Then allow the carriage to be home. You take your rotation all the way towards that hand, then the movement’s gonna come from the torso.
Exhale, rotate as far as you can. De-rotate. Good. Now, the arms stay in what would hopefully be kind of like a circle with slightly bent elbows. And the torso does the work, not the shoulders or the arms. So wrapping, you should really feel that wringing out through the center.
Four. We’ll call it four, two more. We’ll do six. And then bring it back. Hook that strap, and we’re going into our side reach. So the hand comes onto the foot bar.
The other hand’s down, and we’ll just take full lift right up to the ceiling with the arm up and over. And reach. So I want you to really reach and stretch that away. Bring that back down. I’d like this outside arm to lift to the ceiling before you go up.
So it’s going up and reach. Press away a little further. And bring it home. Two more in that. Lift. Reach towards me.
Keep that lateral line. And home, one more. Inhale. Exhale. I’m gonna give him a little bit of joy there. And home. Excellent.
All that on the other side please. So six rotations, four side reaches. Spinning around, cross-legged if you’re still happy to. Front strap, hand closest. Other hand around. Make sure you’re in a full rotation.
And then exhale, away you go. Inhale. These can get faster as well, but don’t throw it away. That’s the only thing with this. You’re getting a really good wringing, a really good twisting so I’m happy with that.
But then as it becomes more familiar, ’cause I know you’re gonna practice this every day, then you can build the pace to get wringing and really kind of get the breath into it, get a little bit more heart rate into it as well. After the sixth, hook it up. Four side reach. So lift to the ceiling, then take that over towards the foot bar. And the pleasure of having the sitting cross-legged for me is that I’ve got more weight or a little more kind of anchoring into the sitting bones when you go into these overhead side reaches.
Two more. Good. You get the juice. One last one. And remember to go as far as you can. Press it away as far as you’re happy to.
And up. Good. We’re on the homeward stretch. We’re going to do some skating. So stepping off the reformer, foot bar comes down. We’ll stay on one spring.
So one spring and then take any gear bars out of the way ’cause we need to stand on this standing platform first with the first leg. Second leg goes onto the moving carriage. Now, the thing with this one is I wanna set up the position first. So hands will be crossed across the sacrum, just for the setup. Pivot forward at the hip joint.
Send the tailbone out, bend the knees, and then give me that little kind of ribs up and overhead in line with the spine. Yes, that we’ve worked on by getting sternum up, ribs back. I want all that held from the back of the shoulders here. Then just take the arms out, preparing for what we’re going to do with skating, which is our rotation and the arms. So arms and torso.
Pelvis is gonna stay on the same plane and go. Two. Good. So then yes, what I’m looking for is that we glide on the same plane here, get to the straight legs, and then build that pace again. One and two, and three, and four.
Let’s call it last four. Three, and you’re looking in the direction of the back arm if you want that cue. Last one, hold. Come back upright. Step back off the reformer with the leg off the carriage. And then come around to the other side.
So again, as this gets a little more familiar, you can really loosen that up and go for a nice flowing pumping. So set that position. Hands across the sacrum. Shoulders back. Pivot, really get that hip hinge. Even here, I like to kinda cue forward ’cause it really makes these do a lot of work.
Arms come out. Good. And then away you go for 10. Nine. Good. Both legs pushing equally. Don’t get too fast too soon. Go for that flow.
Good. I’ve lost count but Andrew’s onto it. Three, two. Two. One, you’re done. Good.
Standing back upright. Carefully behind you. And we’re coming into a little stretch just to finish you off, a bit of functional finish. A rectus femoris stretch. So we’re gonna bring the foot bar back up to its leg and footwork position.
One spring is fine, although you could add another half spring just for a little bit more oomph in this exercise. We’re gonna really lengthen the rectus femoris. And Andrew will have the joy of a little non-slip mat. ‘Cause by the time you get to the end of this workout, sometimes you need a little nonslip under your knees. So coming around facing the shoulder rest, start by holding the shoulder rest and putting the toes of this inside leg up onto the foot bar.
That’s it, so just in line with the hip there, Andrew. I’m gonna bring you across there. That’s it. So then knee down. The front foot forward in line with the peg where the strap is hanging. And then just starting, the first part of this exercise is just holding on, but not too much weight or load into the upper body.
So from here, it’s footwork. Press out, plantarflexion, and then let the heel come back over the bar, dorsiflex. So six of these, just allowing that foot to start giving you some lengthening over the knee joint up the thigh. And you should start to feel that lengthening of the rectus femoris. One more.
Good, then hold. Pause in that position, come upright. So now, I wanna feel like this hip that’s on the stretch side is open. You can just put hands on your hips and work the foot again. So presses and pulls back. Now, you should be getting a really nice sensation of stretching or lengthening upright over the hip joints and across the thigh.
So enjoy that. And you’ve got six, so I think two more. The more you just focus on the heel coming back as the bed comes in, the more you’ll settle into that. All right. Hands down to help you off. And come around to the other side.
Same thing. So starting with the hands down for six. Then coming up to your functional finish position for six. So toes in line with the hip joint. Sometimes, we just gotta come in. We think our hips are a bit wider than they are.
Knee down. So weight out of the upper body. ‘Cause that then gives you, yes, a good start to it. So six with the foot. Press away and bring it home.
Press. Just make sure that standing leg is right forward for your lunge position there. Andrew, you could probably come forward a fraction more. That’s it there. Gives you a little bit more lunge. Is that four?
Two more. We’ll call it four. That’s a Pilates four, could be anything around there. Good. Then hands to the hips. Come upright, yes. Breathe because you probably need the distraction.
You got six, nice. Two. So then just, I like to look for the body being in its really upright functional position while we’re getting that length across the front of the hip, the knee, the thigh, and enjoying the last little moments of hydration. Good. Hands down to step off. I’d prefer not to roll down at the end of this class.
I’d like to leave you upright, open in the hips, flushed with hydration. And thank you for joining me. Thank you, Andrew, for a beautiful demonstration. That was hydration reformer. And you can use any of those bits integrated throughout your day on a reformer.
I’d be happy.