PilatesPick Me Up Reformer with Kristi Cooper - Class 5173

Pick Me Up Reformer with Kristi Cooper – Class 5173



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Welcome to Pilates Anytime. I’m Kristi Cooper. We’re gonna get right into it. Revive you, hopefully, energize you, but you also have a choice, so decide how you wanna feel at the end of this workout. Stand with your feet parallel.


Kinda shift your weight forward. Find your center of gravity. I’m a little over here, a little over there today, so I’m gonna take a second. Let the arms hang heavy. There’s a sense of the bones being heavy, even though you can start to feel a lightness in your body.


That’s how you’re gonna feel your rejuvenation. Let’s just inhale. Take the arms up, look up. Reach for what you want and just exhale and let the arms drop. Let’s do a few of those.


Inhale. Reach up. Fill up. Keep your weight over your feet. Exhale.


We’ll change that a little bit. I’ll just turn sideways for that. We’re going to inhale, rise up. Weight is centered, and then just draw the elbows down and back as you continue to lift your spine. Looking up.


Ooh, that alone could make my day. Reach back up and let the arms just fall. Kind of let go of tension. Inhale. Up. You’re up there, you’re reaching for something.


It’s okay to let those shoulders come up. When else do they, except for stress? Let’s do it on purpose. And then draw those elbows back and down. I am squeezing my shoulder blades a lot.


It feels good to do it. I’m trying not to just thrust everything forward. Keep the rest of the body in alignment. One more time. Inhale up. Exhale, bring them down in that goalpost, and then when you’re at the bottom of that and you’ve squeezed as much as you can, just drop the arms and shake it out.


I have the reformer on my full load, which is three red right now and a blue. Four springs works just fine. We’re doing foot and leg work, so put your bar up where that suits. Have a seat. I like my headrest part way up.


It’s up to you. Lay yourself down. Heels on the bar in parallel, arms down, and just kind of take a moment to feel that setup that you gave yourself. Hopefully you already have a little bit more space. Let’s try to keep it as we press the legs all the way out.


Hang out for a second. Drop into it so you feel the sacrum. You feel the length in the front of your legs. Your feet are flexed but not straining, and we come back in. Push out. (exhales) I tend to exhale on the way out, which will matter in a minute, but in the end, you can really change it. (exhales) Just connecting your body to the reformer.


Starting the dance, if you will. We’re gonna do about four to go, four more. One, and feel yourself pull back in. Two, and feel yourself pull back in. Here’s three. Back in.


One more time, we’re going almost all the way in. Here’s your inhale. We’re gonna start pulsing. Exhale, exhale, and inhale. Inhale and exhale.


Exhale and inhale. Inhale. Last set. Exhale all the way out on that second exhale, fully extend, feel long. Find space in your waist. Come on back in.


Both feet together, down to the balls of the feet. Let’s push all the way out. Take a second here. Maybe unlock your ankles, maybe. In other words, they’re not dropped way down, but they’re not at the tippy top either.


You’re somewhere in the middle and you’re gonna hold that. Inhale. Pull in. Exhale. Press out. (Kristi exhales) Finding your way. Warming yourself up. (exhales) Doing your best to keep all 10 toes on the bar.


I’m doing about five more. Here’s one. Feeling the sense of the back of the body, if you can. Three more. (Kristi exhaling) So we’re out on this one.


Now, we come in on that inhale. We start the exhale on this double, or this pumping. It’s a double exhale. (exhales) Now inhale. Make it bigger, make it stronger.


And exhale, exhale. And in, in. And exhale all the way out. Boom. Finished it. Inner thighs are semi engaged but not touching.


Bring it back. Once you’re settled, sacrum is down, swivel so the heels touch each other. Knees are turned out a little bit but not super wide for today. All 10 toes on the bar. Squeeze those ankles.


Here we go. Pressing all the way out. Adjust. Find your length. Sometimes this is an easier position to feel the straightness or not of your body. So take some time and just, you know, minor adjustments or just notice. (exhales) We’re doing about six more.


All the way. It’s almost like the feet are stuck on the bar and you’re lengthening away from them. Three more. (exhales) Connecting hopefully the center of your body. Last one here. As we go in, we inhale.


Here’s your double exhale. Here we go. (exhales) And inhale. Try not to push so much on the feet that the reformer moves, and I think that’s the exhale. I’m doing one more full round. And all the way out, full extension.


Oh, enjoy that. Oh, what are your shoulders doing? Mine were kind of creeping up. Now I feel long. Come on in.


Back to the parallel position, but still on the toes. Press out. We lower the heel slowly. Just check yourself out. You could even help yourself.


Look at your feet. What are their feet doing? Check it out. Then push up. Try to keep ’em parallel. Down we go and up we go.


Down we go, up we go. And it’s easy to think of this as only foot or calf work, but I’m gonna invite you to consider what’s going on in the middle. Just a connection, no deep ab work. Sometimes just a connection is all we need. Let’s do about five more.


Notice if you roll in or if you roll out. (Kristi exhaling) Next one, stay high. Let your left leg or one leg go down, the other knee goes straight up. Be mindful of overly hyper-extending or resting on the straight leg. Now, use that foot of the straight leg to push back up to straight.


Both legs are straight. Switch. I’ve said a lot of straights. That’s all right. Do what I say. Up we go.


We’re gonna go quicker now. No room for words. Up. Up. Up. Or down, up.


Down, up. Maybe you could hear it that way. But make it smooth, smooth. Roll through your feet. Roll through your feet.


Keep going, keep going. Gotta wake those babies up for the rest of the body to stay alert. I’m doing four. Three. Two.


Next one, hold it down. If you need a full break, take it. Otherwise just hang one foot underneath. The other one is there for support. Maybe even bend the knee of the straight leg a little bit, but keep the heel pressing under the bar.


And then help yourself back up to straight to switch. (Kristi sighs) Different feet, different legs, different body, it feels like sometimes, but it’s not. It’s all one. We just gotta get ’em talking to each other. Maybe bend that straight leg, the knee of the straight leg for an additional stretch is what I’m going for there.


Come on up and bend your knees to come down. We’re gonna sit up, change your springs to lighter, so now you’re in your ab work, your leg work. I’m going with a red and a blue on this Balanced Body Reformer, which is like medium weight. Maybe two springs will work for some of you. Come on back down.


Take hold of your straps. You check that they were level beforehand. I’m inching away from the shoulder rest a little bit. Keeping the arms straight for now, and just from underneath the shoulders, lower those arms, feel what that is. Come back up.


Do it again. (exhales) I start the exhale a split second before I go. Just one more of those. And I’m doing it really to connect my arms to my back so we can move on more efficiently later. Open wide like a T, and really expand so you feel a stretch in that chest, perhaps. And then close it up like you’re gonna clap your hands under your butt, but don’t lift your butt.


Inhale, open. Exhale, close. Those are elements of what we’re about to do. Last one here. (exhales) Then bring your arms back up over your shoulders and chest, straight. Exhale, curl up to the hundred position.


Come back down. Curl up to the hundred position. Reaching now, really reach through the arms, but not so much you’re restraining ’em. Kind of let the handles push your shoulders up a tiny bit so you really feel like you’re in concert with the handles in the strap. Come down.


Two more. (exhales) And down. Next one, we’ll stay up, hang out there. Reach into it, not by your arms, but by curling your chest more. Turn your entire arm open or thumbs toward the sky. Open the arms out like that T we just did.


Exhale, squeeze underneath. Inhale, open. It’s like a snow angel without the legs. (exhales) Inhale and exhale reaching. It’s like you’re trying to squeeze all the air outta your lungs with your upper arms. Imagine that. (laughs) (exhales) One more time.


Oh, for fun open the legs, and close, same exercise. I only do three. Here’s number two. (exhales) One more. Viola. Help yourself back down. Feet on the bar so you can step out and step one foot into the strap and then the other.


You may find you wanna make this heavier, I doubt it. See if you can go for control. So I’m putting my heels together, arms are down, feeling hopefully a little more connected, I do, and let the knee really bend in. And again, that interplay with the feet now in the straps, like we talked about with the hands in the straps. Put a little pressure on it to allow you to drop the tailbone down.


Let’s press out for frog. Pull in. Press out for frog. And in. (Kristi exhales) It’s like you just kind of have to know you’re in charge, so you don’t have to strain to be in charge. Ooh.


Somebody write that down for me. (laughs) Let’s do one more on the way out. Stay out there. And can you just in your mind’s eye lengthen your waist a little more. It’s like letting go. Then you can draw a little more energy to the inner thighs.


We bring both legs up to about 90. Keep the hips down. Open the legs, circle ’em down and around. Up again. Now, you can go wide on this if you want.


I’m gonna suggest if you’re really flexible, hold back and control it, and vice versa, challenge yourself if you wanna try it another way. Next one up, pause at the top. Let’s reverse, go down. Around and up. (Kristi exhales) I try to bring my heels all the way together before pulling down, so I know I’m in a little bit of control, but you could keep it fluid.


Let’s go a few more here. (exhales) Not too much tension in the feet. I’m gonna do one more. Here it comes. And down from about midway, let’s call it 45, but some of you may wanna go higher. Rotate the whole leg bone out, separate the feet.


And here’s the trick, try not to raise or lower them. It’s really hard to know it, but you’ll feel it if you don’t. The idea is that the feet are sliding in and out on the same level without a whole lot of hamstring, and the inner thighs work. Anyway. Another way of saying that is do as little as you can, but don’t let your legs go up and down, and my guess is you’ll feel it.


Do two more, really like barely any energy. Only what you need to bring those heels together. Last one. Woohoo, we did it. Bend to frog.


Lower your headrest if it up, and we’ll do a little short spine from here. Press out to straight legs. I’m doing the version where I’m folding all the way over till I hit the springs. My rear end may come up a little, but I’m trying to avoid that. From there, that interplay between the feet and the straps is there again.


Exhale, rise up. Don’t pull on those straps, just let them help you. Bend to frog, body stays up. From here, oh, just milk it. Bone by bone, take it down.


The thighs will come closer to you. The feet stay over your face. When you’ve gone as far as you can, you’re gonna try even a tiny bit harder to press the spine into the mat. Flex the feet, bring ’em back to the frog. Whew! Again, press out.


Fold over. Breathe. I’m exhaling to go up. I do use the back of my arms a little bit. Why not?


Inhale, bend to frog. And from the throat, the chest, oops, the front of your ribs. I got a little too into that one. Move myself around. And bring it down for frog.


One more, two more times. Fold it over. Okay, enjoy this piece of it. Feel your opposition, then peel up. Bend to frog.


You have space, right? You can breathe, you could talk to me. And roll down. Roll down the feet. Stay where they are for now.


When I’ve gone as far as I can without fully straightening my legs. For you flexible people, leave a bend. Flex the feet and pull the whole thing down. Did I say two more? I did.


Last one. (Kristi exhales) Peel it up. Oh, no. Can you find more space this time? So when you bend your knees, your spine doesn’t move.


You keep the resistance on the straps, oh, and roll down. Oh, it’s fun to examine ourselves every day. When you’ve gone as low as you can, you flex the feet. You continue the energy of the spine into the mat and you finish. Let’s take our feet out of the straps, help ourselves up.


You can just put the straps away. Help yourself up to change the springs for rowing, which is usually one spring, which is what I’m gonna do. So I’m taking my blue spring off, sitting toward the back of the reformer. Grabbing hold of the straps. You’re welcome to cross your legs through the headrest if you’d like.


I’m gonna see where I go today. There’s a little room behind you, because we are gonna roll back, so you’re gonna want a little, maybe a hands width behind you. Right. Extending the arms. And in this, it’s almost like you’re holding reins, but you’re lifting really, really tall. Try not to use the shoulder rest too much, but if you need to a little, go for it.


Inhale, just bend the elbows right to you. Exhale. From your spine, you roll down. You find that lumbar spine, you turn the palms under. Start to pull back, dive forward.


Hands go behind you, almost into the well. Open those shoulders. Push into those handles to come up and over all the way, even as you draw your belly back and sit up tall again. No big deal. Here we go. Bend. Roll it back.


Keep the knuckles together. A little intention here, right? With your collarbones, your hip bones, everything is sort of in alignment in their own way. Turn the palms under, open ’em. Push back.


Dive forward as if you’re going over something. Fingers come very close together if not totally. Reach the arms up. Circle ’em around when it feels right. Straps are loose.


Just sit up tall again. Two more. Inhale. Exhale. (sighs) If you creep back, you know, sort yourself, you know. Turn. Collarbones are like an extension of your arm right now, so keep them wide as you pull, then dive forward.


Let the arms go back. Collarbones are still wide. Push up and over. I promised you one more, here you go. Inhale, get taller as you pull in.


Exhale, roll back. Mm. Open. Push, pull, whatever that is for you. Reach back.


Push up to the sky, up to the sky, up to the sky, then spin the arms when the time is right to sit up. If you wiggled back, move forward. Next one, this version, you’re sitting tall. I tend to lean back, so I might be exaggerating a forward leaning, maybe you should too. Inhale. Bend the elbows.


They stayed on that same level. Collar bones, guess where they are? Wide. Roll down. (Kristi exhales) Here’s the fun part. Squeeze those inner thighs.


We’re gonna roll right back up, but along the way, we’re gonna extend the arms with the spine, and lower. Bend to 90 at the elbow. Roll down. So when you’re down here, the upper arms are kind of in line with your body, but you’re still looking towards your toes or above ’em. Come forward.


Start elongating. Reach the arms up. Keep ’em straight as they lower down. Two to go. Pull. Are you leaning back?


Don’t. (exhales) Hold there. Check yourself out. You can stay here all day. All sorts of tricks you could do there. Come on up.


At least that’s what you hope for. Last one, bend, almost like you’re leaning into it. Then you roll those hip bones away. Everything else just follows. Inhale. Hold.


Exhale, deepen your contraction in the abs and just come back up to lower. Turn yourself around. I am holding the straps in one hand, switching around, so now I’m back against the shoulder rest. Not wedged, but I won’t mind a little support there, just a little. If you need to, you can bend your knees, otherwise we are taking the thumbs into the straps.


Little different, maybe. Feet just flexed. We’re gonna extend the arms forward. Turn the thumbs down, touch the mat. You’re still tall in your spine.


Just reverse that position but go all the way up to your ears and around the side, but not behind. So many words. Inhale, bend the elbows. Exhale, shoot ’em out. Turn the thumbs down, get taller in your spine.


Lift the arms up to match your spine and come around the side. Two to go. Bend. (exhales) Lower down. Lift up. Circle round. I think I said another one.


Do it anyway. Here we go. And down. Come up, up, up, up, up. Can you make your waistline longer? Then come down the side, almost like you’re gonna move the carriage till the very end.


Let’s leave it at that. Actually, let’s move to hug a tree. I’m skipping the fourth rowing for now. Going to hug a tree, feet across. Hands in the straps as normal.


Again, try not to rely on the shoulder rest to hold you up. If you have to lean forward a little, that’s okay. And we just exhale to bring the arms almost together. Sometimes I think it’s like hugging a square ’cause if I go two round, I just fall. So I kind of imagine right there at the end I’m squeezing something.


Pecks are still involved. Two more. (exhales) And open. And then everybody’s favorite, cross the legs opposite if you can. Lean into it a bit. I’m taking the thumb and the index finger together, making a bit of a triangle, trying for a long spine.


Bend those elbows behind my head without dropping it. And exhale, rise up. And up. So it’s like this, when I bend the elbows, I almost feel longer in my spine or at least I’m trying. I’m gonna do a few more. (exhales) One more.


And allow the arms to come down. Replace the springs. We’re all set up now for our stretch. So I’ll start on the front side for a simple lunge here. Placing one foot at the shoulder block.


Do your best to really get the whole sole of the foot up there. It’s not always easy and certain aspects of the stretch might be, but give it a shot for other positions to come. The forward leg generally is somewhere near this front leg of the reformer. Bend that knee. Bias the pelvis towards a tuck and push the leg back. (sighs) You’ll know it when you find it, right?


So, it’s not meant to be in your back. It’s not about range. It’s about how can I find the stretch in the front of that hip that even extends into my abdominals and so on. From here, if you’re up for it and you’ve got all toes on the ground, extend that leg. Try not to lift a lot. (sighs) Bend it.


Come right back to the position you were in. Lightly touch down, straighten it again. (exhales) Yeah, that’s one. We need one more of those. Press it back. You’re kind of light on your arms, but don’t be afraid to use ’em.


And come on down. You’re gonna help yourself out of that gently. Walk around to the other side. You know what to do with the foot. Forward foot is there in front.


I move the carriage down a little just so I can get that bias, that sort of sense of tucking, so that when I push the thighbone away, I’m anchored. I’m not just dropping. I don’t feel this in my low back at all. If you do, I wonder what you could do to make that different for yourself. From here, we’re gonna extend the leg, if you’re up for it or just hang out and bend back down.


You can lift a little, but we’re kind of trying to maintain the same level, even if your leg doesn’t get all the way to straight. And back down. And one more time. Boom, boom, boom. And bring it back in.


Okay, you can stand up. I’m going into up stretch series, so I only had it on one. I’m gonna put another half of the spring on. Sometimes people do this with even more weight, like two full springs, so you decide. We’re doing the basics.


Just step up onto, I’m going straight into what I call up stretch one, or what I’ve learned is up stretch one. Your heels are partway up the bar, not so high, but partway up. Draw your energy backwards towards your hips, like really backwards, almost driving the tailbone to the sky. Then you can sort of drop into your arms a bit, like put some weight forward and allow your back to stay straight for now. Push the carriage back, and then exhale as if there were no springs.


Lighten up on the carriage so that the springs, yeah, they’ll bring it back, but you still feel like you’re in charge. Push back. Pull forward. Okay, so that might be easy with two spring, but do it anyway, because here comes the next one. Up stretch two. We push out, we rotate around the shoulders.


We find a flat spine. Draw from the abdominals to bring you back and you hit that same pyramid shape as you started in. Open and close. (exhales) Do your best to make it from either lightening up on the springs or thinking about your abs, whichever that is, or go lighter. This is it here. Now, we open up, we hang out.


We’re in this nice long line. We push out. We pull in. Pressing the backs of the legs toward the sky almost. And in.


One more back. One more almost all the way in and try a push up. Your elbows can go wide and come back up. One more. Elbows can go wide, come back up.


Push back and come back to a pyramid. Awesome. Heels down. You might wanna lighten this one for elephant ’cause I think sometimes it’s easier to feel. So your back at the shoulder blocks with your heels down this time.


Same idea, reach your hips back, drop into the shoulders, and now you might tuck the pelvis a little more than before. Press the feet back and, oh, drag it back in from the soles of your feet or abs. (Kristi exhales) And. (exhales) Again, it’s one of those places where you almost do as little as you can in this scenario. And on the next one, you can just stay in, maybe lift the toes. Take a deeper stretch, then come forward down to your knees.


Wiggle your feet back to the shoulder blocks. Same deal as before, right? You got your feet right up against ’em and we’ll head into a down stretch. So for me today, I’m gonna roll myself into it. So I’m tucking the pelvis, feeling the back.


Keeping the sense of the back of my body, especially pushing into those shoulder blocks, even if I weren’t touching. We slide back and you keep pushing those shoulder blades back, even as your body brings the carriage forward. The rest of your body up. And up. Pushing back and coming up.


One more time, the fun one, come all the way in. Keep your shape. Walk up to the fingertips. You still have your back body up. You raise the arms and you come down and you rest.


Let’s go into some side work. Coming into a mermaid. Just sit facing front. Same spring should do. We put the shin right up against the shoulder blocks, and my suggestion is to like, even now, just think of gently pushing the shoulder blocks away from you.


Try to keep that sensation throughout. Yeah, try to get your hips down. If they don’t, they don’t. Arm is at about the middle of the bar. Shoulder, this shoulder that’s holding the bar is down.


Really easy to not let that be down or bend the elbow. None of those are what we’re doing. We’re up. Even if we have to lean away, we press out. We rotate.


Oh, enjoy that. Now, remember what we said about the shin, you’ll feel it in a nicer way perhaps. Reopen the same path and come on up. I’m gonna take the arm off right away, reach it up and stretch. Let’s do it again.


Find the bar. Shoulder down. Off we go. We press out. Feel the opposition, if you can. You know, find the stretch you want, that might be the best cue.


Opened and come up. Hold on to that forward shoulder rest or post. Sitting down into the hips, reaching up with the arms, side bend. Let’s go again. Reach out.


Rotate. Reopen. And milk your way back in. Find that sort of sitting back on the hip. Arm goes up. Take your stretch.


Take your stretch. It’s up and over and all we have to do is flip. Turn facing your shoulder blocks, other side. You know what to do with the shin now, right? Feel it, push it.


Opposition. Hip down as much as possible. Off we go. We slide down. Now it’s the ribcage that turns you.


The arm just follows. It’s not really about the arm. If it doesn’t touch, it’s cool. Reopen. Come back up, getting that hip down.


Hold onto the shoulder block or post. Reach up. Side bend the other way. And same thing. Out we go.


From the ribs, from the ribs. Find the shin, find the opposition. You can really drop your head in there and enjoy that if you want. Reopen. Come back.


Holding onto the shoulder block. Reaching up and over. Yes, you get to do one more, then back extension. Let’s go. Take it out.


Rotate. Rotate. Rotate. If you can hold the bar too, you can even assist yourself in rotation. And then re-unwind.


There’s a word. Come on back. You’re up. You climb taller on that side of the ribs and bend. Whew.


Okay, help yourself out of that. We’re coming onto our knees. If you cannot come onto your knees and you have a box, this works with a box. Or you could roll a small towel and just hook it under your knees. Or you could just hover.


I’ll let you make that decision. I am putting a red and a blue on. It’s really gonna be dependent on your shoulder strength and what you need. I would recommend going middle of the road first. So our hands are on the wide part of the footbar.


It’s all probably fully determined where I’m gonna sit in a second. What I want is to push out, so my shins are down, my heels are down. I wanna push out to find a flat back, okay? And it’s a temptation to drop my head, or to thrust my ribs, or to overly arch my back. I’m trying for really a flat back.


It’s a little hard without someone telling you, but sometimes if you just put your hand on your back, you can feel for that. From there, we just simply bend the elbow, stay low. Head almost hits the bar or does, and then from underneath your shoulders extend. It’s another one of those ones where if you overly grip in the hands, you’ll lose some of the fun of this. Imagine it came from just under your shoulder blades first, ’cause it does, turns out.


And we press out, out, out, out all the way. And as you come in, it’s like you’re separating the bar or sliding the bar longer with your hands. It’s like you pull to the sides of the room. And out. And in.


And out. And in. Don’t get too low or too high. Check yourself out every now and again or play with it. I’m gonna do one more here, then we’ll come in and you can leave it like this.


I’m gonna take one down. Sorry, I’m taking one half spring off. It’s the same exact position. This time though, I want you to push out. Careful ’cause it’s lighter, if you did what I did.


Take let’s say the left hand or one of your hands and just put it right at the edge of the carriage. You might decide you can move forward for more challenge, with your knees, I meant. And now press that other arm to straight. Same idea. Pull apart.


Press to straight, trying not to rotate. Pull apart. And out. And in. And out.


And in. One more. Out. And in. You can put the other hand on, both hands push out. The right hand or the other hand goes to the carriage, just there for support.


Keep your body square, as flat as possible. Abdominals aren’t doing much, but they could help. They could just support you. I bent and I straightened. Again.


And straighten. Again. We’ll do two more. Think about maybe the elbow pointing to the side, maybe slightly downwards, but here it is. All the way out.


Both hands on. Start to look over that bar, arch your spine, lifting yourself up. (sighs) Step off the reformer. Find your feet again. Take a deep breath. Exhale, shake off whatever you need to shake off.


Arms up. And exhale. Just roll down. Let the arms hang. Bend the knees a little and inhale. Ground your feet.


Stack yourself up. Build the structure of your body back into alignment. Hopefully feeling re-energized. Take a deep breath in. And shake it out.


And go enjoy yourself. Thanks for being here.







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