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All right, friends. It’s Erika Quest and it’s time to play. In this session we’re set up on our reformer that’s kind of similar to Sync, if you’ve taken that session. I’ll talk you through that in a moment, but you’re gonna notice that I’ve got something pretty fun in my hand. This is a small stability ball.
Now, my small stability ball is about 8 to 10 inches, and it’s inflated so I’ve got some really good, firm feedback behind me. Find whatever you have at home or find whatever you have in your studio, but make sure that you have like some good feedback as we’re starting to use this tool along this session. You’ll notice that I have my foot bar down. And in this session, since this is all about playfulness, you’re gonna get a whole body session for sure. I wanna try and minimize as many spring changes as possible.
So we’re gonna stay on light or very light for the majority of this session. And in this entire series of Flow, it’s all about making things simple, easy, effective, and flowing through all of the exercises. You will not need your small stability ball for the warmup, and we’re gonna warm up actually inside the rail. So the best thing to do is to get yourself set up with your long box on the side of your reformer in line with the wooden edge of your reformer, and place the small ball in your shoulder rest. We’ll grab that in just a moment.
And also, remember, we may not be on the same reformer, so I’ll try my best to help you make some adjustments and/or think about that now and as we move through the session, if you’re on a reformer that may be on the floor and those types of things. So let’s go. Let’s step inside of our rails safely. Make sure that your loops are still on your pegs because you will need those after the warmup when we move to the other side of the reformer. Place your hands down on your shoulder rest.
Take a step back. And I want you to find your heels, right? So I want you to just see what’s happening in your heels. Make sure that you can wiggle your toes and just notice where you’re at in space just in this kind of forward folded position, and just drop the head in between those arms if you can. From here, take an inhale, drink that air in.
Exhale, I want you to drop the tail, round the spine, mobilize it if you will, and let the carriage draw towards your knees. Okay, so your range of motion is your range of motion here. It may be bigger or smaller than mine. I’m not sure. But I want you to just pull that carriage in because you’re rounding and hollowing the spine out, starting to activate a little bit of the backs of the arms here as well.
And as you come back to the stopper with the carriage, you go back to that forward fold or that hinged position if you will, if that makes sense. Inhale feels good to kind of, for me, shine my tail feathers up. Exhale, feels good as I round, but just make sure that you’re breathing. I’m not gonna always coach your breath on every exercise, so just make sure that you’re taking nice, deep drinks of air in, and exhaling out. Good, give me two more of these and then we’re gonna pivot our feet.
Inhale, exhaling as you round. And now, I’ve got my box over to the side of my reformer, so you can’t really or maybe you can’t see my feet that well. So I want you to know that I’ll get you through this. All I want you to do is pivot both sets of toes in one direction. So I’ve pivoted my toes towards you, and I’m gonna carry on with that mobilization as I pull.
And what I’m feeling now and what you’re feeling is you’re gonna notice how this feels a lot more directed towards the side of your core, right? So you’re feeling your obliques, the sides of your body, just a little bit more here in this warmup. Give me two more. As you exhale, pull it in, again, just acclimating to where you’re at in space with your body. There’s no judgment, right?
So today is a different day. Every minute to minute moment to moment is different. So don’t judge your body as you go through this session with me. Now, pause for a moment. Take your front arm, the arm that’s closest to your box, bring it up and back behind your head, take your forward leg and reach it out to the side.
So now you’re in a single leg stance, and you’re still in that pivot. From here, we’re gonna exhale, round again, and pull the carriage in, and add some rotation. So we’re just changing angles of the spine, getting a bit of rotation in here from that middle back. And also starting to really challenge your balance on that standing leg in weightbearing. Exhaling as you pull.
And that arm is doing a single arm pull now as well. And exhale. You got it, team. You got one more. We’ll do five from side to side, and then we’ll pivot over to the other side.
But before we pivot, let’s hold for a moment and place both hands back down onto those shoulder rest, both feet back onto the floor, make the number 11, toes forward, heels back. Give me two with the feet forward and the heels back or the toes forward and the heels back, just to reorganize a bit, and then pivot your toes the other direction. So I’m just gonna do that slight little pivot. I walked back just a tiny bit to make that micro adjustment on the floor. So please feel free to do that.
Everyone’s body is different, so don’t feel like everyone’s setup is gonna be the same. So do what feels good for you. Good. That’s three for me. I’m gonna do two more on this side before I release that top arm and that top leg.
Good, last one here. Inhale. Do you feel a little different on this side? You might, and that’s totally, totally fine. All right, so from here, we release that top leg and that top arm.
I’m bringing my fingers back behind the head. We’ve got a beautiful day at the beach. So let’s exhale, rotate down. Good, and inhale, unfold the line. We made it to five on the other side.
So let’s get to five here. Ooh, I got a shaky standing leg on this side. It’s working hard to find its balance and its stability. Good. Two more times.
Exhaling as you rotate. Inhaling as you unfold that line. Last one here. Exhaling as you rotate. Inhale, come all the way out.
Fine that line. Give yourself a moment. Place both hands back down onto the shoulder rest. Just one for reorganization here. This time, toes forward, heels back.
Exhale as you draw that carriage towards the knees. Yes, and then inhale as you let it come all the way back out. Now it’s time to pick up the ball. So grab that small stability ball. Safely come out of the rails in front of your long box and have a seat.
So I want you to place this ball near your low back. Now, here’s the deal, team. We all have different lengths in our bodies, in our spine. So depending on how tall you are, you may wanna go up a little higher, but you need to make sure you have some room behind you on that box. Once you’ve found your spot, you’re going to then take the peg or the loop off of the peg that’s closest to you and loop up your foot.
You saw some of these similar shapes in the Sync session if you’ve taken that session. And we’re gonna do them here with a different feedback tool behind our back, and it’s gonna feel so different. So I’d like you to keep your core stable as you start to press out and in with that leg. Okay? And maybe you wanna reach that other arm forward.
And if you’re feeling really good about yourself, you let go of those rails. The rails are here for your support if you need them, and you reach the other arm forward. So you’re just starting to feel your stability core in action. Imagining that this is like a hard boiled egg behind you. Give me two more, and then we’re gonna start a little bit of that lift and lower of the leg.
So hold the leg long. And from here, you’re just gonna let that leg come up and down. So your range of motion might change here, and that’s totally fine. It’s all dependent on what your hamstring can give you and what your flexibility level is, so don’t judge it. Just know that it’s gonna be different.
Good, you’ve got two more, and then we’re gonna add some challenge with that ball behind the back. Last one here. Great job. Now, from here, take your outside arm or your arm that’s closest to me, and bring it back behind your head. I want you to inhale.
Now let the spine go over that ball. On an exhale, you’re going to lift up and leave the legs straight. Good, inhale as you take it back. Exhale as you lift. Good, so now we’re really working that mobility core.
We’re getting some spine mobility. We’re challenging ourselves with that ball. Whoo! Starting to heat up here for sure. Last one here, inhale, and exhale as you lift. Now, can we add some rotation?
Release that arm from the back of the head if that feels okay to you. And from here, I want you to unfold that line. So the leg is gonna lower, the arm is gonna reach back. And as the arm comes up and the leg lifts, I want you to rotate and reach towards that ankle. Inhale, unfold the line, feel that nice sense of opposition.
Exhale as you lift and reach. Now, I still have my rail arm up off of the rails. If you need support at any time, place your fingertips down on the rails of your reformer, out of the way of your carriage. Good, let’s do 16 more. Just kidding, last two.
Inhale, exhale, lift and rotate. Really starting to feel that sling system, and that inner thigh fire up on this side. Fantastic job. From here, we are gonna flow you through over to the other side. So bring yourself up off of the box.
You need your ball to come alongside or come along with you, but we have to move the box. So pick up the box. Place your long box up on the reformer, and we’re going to place this small ball inside our waistline. Do me a favor and pick up the loop on the forward peg or the peg that’s closest to me. The ball is gonna come in for kind of a bit of support but also feedback, and I want you down on your forearm on the box.
Bring your knees up onto the box and just start to find this side body position. Push into the box so that you feel that side body really nice and strong, and let’s test the waters here. We did this in sync, but it felt very different because you did not have a ball underneath your waist and you were also using the box in a totally different position. So this is your bicep curl to your punch. Yes, I love it.
And then why not? Let’s add that leg extension. So we got about four to five of those out those. Let’s carry on with about four to five with the leg extension. Woo.
Good, inhale. We’re gonna add onto this here. Remember, I’m on a pretty light spring and I like to stay there, especially when I’m working through my upper body stuff. Last one here, and I want you to stay here. Now you’re gonna come down towards your hip and you’re gonna sweep your arm forward.
So this is an arm sweep forward, and then you’re gonna come back. I’m setting you up for a little bit of reciprocal arm to leg, and that is coming next after three more of these. So we reach forward for three, and we reach forward for two. Reach that leg nice and long out to the side. Give me that energy line.
And one. From here, now the knee is gonna bend and the arm’s gonna go back. You reach to me. Are you with me? Yeah, you are as you reach.
Here’s your reciprocal arm to your leg. So it’s that bicep curl to the reach, the knee bend, the leg kicks forward. Good, and reach it. Super. And go for four more.
Four. Awesome. And last three. I’m gonna get you around to the other side, but it’s gonna take me a little bit, so I’m gonna flow you through in a facing the risers position after this last one. As you reach, hold it.
Beautiful job. From here, just turn right on over. Face your risers and place that ball again close to your low back position. You’re gonna wanna pick up both loops with your hands. Just making sure my small stability ball doesn’t roll away.
And again, you need a little bit of room back behind you and kinda choose the position that feels the best for you. Again, there’s a way that you can really kinda smoosh, I don’t know if that’s the technical term, into the ball and relax. This is not what we’re looking for. You wanna really engage that trunk or your core and imagine that that small ball is a hard boiled egg. From here, overhead reach, you come up above the head.
You let the spine go back. you make a nice, big circle and come all the way around. If you wanted more tension without changing the spring, what could you do? You could just choke up a little bit higher towards the ropes. Maybe you have a D-ring on the top of your loops and you would grab that or hook your thumb into that.
Totally up to you. Nice, big bold shoulder mobility here, spine mobility. Definitely work through the mobility core. Good, let’s lift one leg. So we’re gonna start to change your contact points and challenge things by lifting one leg and reaching it out and pulling it in as you return.
Good, give me three more. So we’ll do four from side to side here. And good. Two. Again, feeling that sense of that opposition from the leg to your knuckles.
And you’ve got one more. That might’ve been a bonus repetition. I’m kinda known for those. I oftentimes feel like I don’t go short, I go long. So let’s switch to that other side.
We’ll go for about four to five here as well. So reach that leg long, circle around, pull it back in. And last three. And then you kinda have the roadmap of where we’re headed ’cause we’re gonna turn right on over to the side body and do that other side before we bring the box back down to the floor. Good, that’s number four.
Now, do you think we could maybe do a couple with the double leg lift? I don’t know. Let’s try it. Shall we? If you’re willing and you want to, you’re gonna come with me. So we’re gonna take the arms overhead.
You’re gonna circle and you’re gonna float. Ooh, did you make it? There we are. From here, toes go down, overhead reach, circle, and float. Good, toes go down.
We’ll do four of these as well. Overhead reach, circle, and lift. Last one. Feels so different and definitely challenging using that ball behind our back. Fantastic job.
So you guys know where you’re headed. I’m gonna turn and face away from you now, and that ball is going back into the side of my waist. So as I turn, I’m gonna place that ball into the side of my waist. My forearm comes back down onto the edge of my box. My knees are tucked up towards me.
I’m in that nice perched clam position, and we start to test the waters by doing that bicep curl to the punch. So it’s that bicep curl, punch over the head. Great, I think we did about three or four of these and then we started to add that leg extension. So let’s add the leg extension on this one. So addressing that outer side of that leg line now.
Those are called the abductors, the abductor muscles, or the lateral system. Really great area of the body to work because, I don’t know about you, but I don’t wake up in the morning and say I’m gonna walk sideways today. Good. Last one here. Keep that leg nice and long and let’s take that nice forward arm sweep. So you’re gonna come forward with that arm.
Remember we’re setting yourself up for that reciprocal arm to leg. You got two more, just the arm, and then we’ll start the arm-leg combo pack if you will. Last one, arm sweeps forward. Now, as you come back, the knee’s gonna bend under the rope, thread that needle, and then shoot it out. Boom.
Good. Make it strong, team. Make it super bold in your body. Great. That was two. Let’s get to five.
Last two here. Boom. And you’ve got one more, please, and reach. Fantastic job. So that gets us through our side.
It’s time to now move that box over onto the other side of your reformer. So I’m just gonna simply take my box off the carriage, align it yet again with the edge of the reformer, and have a seat. Think about where you placed your ball last time and try and go about in that same position. Now, as you hear me talk all the time in my classes, micro adjustments are fine. No two bodies are the same.
Your body is not the same as mine, so you may need to shimmy, shimmy and move things a little bit, and that’s completely okay. So remember this is a what? Hard boiled egg. We’re not just hanging out right now. So find it.
Hand can go on the rail and just start that leg press just to see where you’re at. Yep. And if you’re feeling good, maybe you reach that other arm up. Watch the rope though, make sure that it’s out of your way, and then hold that leg out, and take that lift and lower on this side. Now, think about the angle of the rope.
It’s coming from behind, but also slightly off to the side. So you’re having to really fire up and bias to the inner thigh line or your medial line on this leg. Two more. Good. And last one here.
And from here, let’s go ahead and start a little bit of mobility. From here, that leg is gonna lower, the arm’s gonna lift, and exhale. You come straight in. And you can also always put that outside arm behind the head if your neck needs a little bit of help or a bit of comfort as well. Last two.
And then we start to add that rotation. And last one here. Remember it’s subtle, but it means something. So you inhale, reach the line back, exhale, come up, rotate, reach to the ankle. Good.
Inhale, and exhale, lift, and reach. You’ve got three more, team. And lift and reach. Last two. Great job.
And reach. And last one here. Inhale, and exhale, lift, and reach. You did fantastic. Safely take your foot out of that loop.
Replace it right down onto that peg, and we’re gonna move the box back onto the reformer for some prone work with the ball. So I’m gonna flow you through this yet again. We’ll do one side first, and then we’ll take a little break if you will and get on the carriage, and then we’ll move to the other side and then finish with a cool down. This is a little bit more of a playful shorter workout, but I wanna hit all sides of the body. So let’s come onto your belly.
And the best way to do this is actually to grab the loop that’s closest to you and bring the edge of the box to your hand. You can now safely get onto your long box, and I love a supported back extension and place the ball right around your chest area. Again, this is gonna be contingent upon how this makes you feel. For me, I struggle with getting into my back extensor, so this really helps me find them. My other arm is just gonna hold onto the front of the box.
I’ve got my legs out nice and long. If you wanted to cross yours over, you could. You could also bring your legs right up next to one another. For here, for me, I’m gonna stay about hip distance apart, and I’m gonna take an overhead reach, and come back down. So I narrowed my legs a little bit so that they can fit right through the risers.
So don’t go too wide here, team. And exhaling as you reach. So we’ve seen this kind of bicep curl to a punch in a variety of different ways. Let’s hold it and let’s add in a nice arm sweep. So you’re gonna come out, maybe look to that arm, feel what’s happening on the side body, and then take it all the way out and forward and back down.
So let’s punch and reach, and then we’re gonna take that arm wide and down. Should feel really nice for you to feel your upper back muscles with the support of the ball underneath you. And reach and open. Good, do that nice, big arm sweep out and wide. Pull it down, you’ve got one more on this side, and I promise I’ll get you to the other side, but give me a moment because I want to take the box off and have us use the ball on the carriage for a little bit.
So from here, what we’re gonna do is safely, Erika, get off the box. Grab onto the box like you were, and let the carriage come down to the stopper, and we’ll remove that box off of the reformer. Just put it on the floor. You’ll need it again in a moment. So you can lift your headrest up now if you’d like to.
We’re doing one spring change for this session, and now’s the time. Place one heavy spring on for me. That’s gonna be a red spring. I’m coming down onto my carriage, and this is the first time we’re gonna lie down onto our reformer together. So find your spot on your back.
Give yourself a moment to notice how you feel in this position because, primarily, we’ve been in other body positions where you don’t have the feedback on your back. Take one foot, put it on your foot bar or your platform. I don’t have the foot bar up, but I think we can still manage to this. And place one foot in your loop. As you press into that foot, you’re gonna place the ball in and or around your calf area, and you’re gonna come into a nice bent knee position.
So you’ve got one rope and a small stability ball to create some variation in your body. So from here, just start to press out and in. Yes. I’m gonna leave my legs parallel for now. That rope is not bothering me.
If you feel like you wanted to externally rotate, you absolutely could. If you wanted to bring the knee on the outside of the rope, totally fine. You’re just training a different angle of the hip there, but I want you to really tap into the inner thigh line here. Last one, and then go ahead and leave that ball in between the legs and lift the legs up. I’m just moving my ball, minor adjustment, micro adjustment, as I lift and lower, It’s all right.
These things happen. We are not perfect, nor should we have to be perfect, so give yourself the grace and the space to make the adjustments that you need during your workout. Good, you’ve got two more of these lifts and lowers. And last one here, as you lift on up, and you lower down, Great, now let’s do a little bit of a party trick. Take your ball.
Can you now bring that ball underneath your pelvis? So we’re here, and now the instability is coming from a different place in the body. And let’s do a little bit of running of the legs. So many things we could do here. We’re doing just like a nice bent knee to a straight leg press, but you could take this into some scissors.
You could also lift an arm up off the carriage to challenge yourself. Just have a little bit of fun with it. It’s all about play here, and seeing how we can create that moving environment where our nervous system and our righting response system have to respond, firing up different elements and different areas of the body. Believe it or not, you’re training balance right now as well. Last one here.
Great job. From here, you wanna bring that loaded leg up, remove the ball, come back down, and unload that foot. I’m gonna find my foot bar, I’m gonna find my peg, and it’s time for the other side before we go back to that prone position. So again, take a moment, press off of that foot bar or your platform, Load up that foot, feel good about it, and then push out. I’m loading that ball back into my calf-ish area.
I’m bending my knees. Again, I chose parallel for this one. Please play with external rotation as well. Both are great, but we really wanna focus on this inner thigh line here. Also the lateral line, so the outside of the core here, is having to work as well.
Last two, and then we’re gonna go straight into that lift and lower. And one. Good, from here, I’m gonna lift my legs up. I did it on the other side, so I’m gonna do it right here as well. I’m making my micro adjustment as I lift up and I lower.
Oh wow, such a different side. I almost feel like somebody’s taken an eraser and erased my muscles on my left side, and that’s okay. You guys hear me, if you’ve taken my other sessions, say this all the time, don’t judge yourself. From moment to moment and minute to minute, things are gonna feel different in your body, and that’s fine. That’s what movement and intelligent movement is all about.
It’s about illuminating those different feelings and sensations in your body. Last one here. I’m making you feel good of course as well. Great, from here, you’re gonna bend those knees. Remember we’re gonna go ball underneath the pelvis now, so you’re gonna simply kinda come up into that roll, slight roll up position, but we’re not going up onto our shoulders, and you’re gonna keep that unloaded leg bent, and then you’re gonna bend the loaded leg and straighten the unloaded.
Little running here on your back. We’ve done a lot of running movements and a lot of sprinting movements in some of my sessions and in this series of Flow, so I hope that you enjoy these kind of reciprocal movements of arms and legs and this one associated directly with the legs in this situation as well. Good, three more. Nice, team. And two, remember, you’re not limited to this.
You could go into some scissors. You could take one arm up. And last one here, fantastic. Do yourself a favor. Take that ball out safely.
Come on down. Remove that loop from your foot. Safely return the carriage to the stopper and bring that loop back onto your peg. Now, we gotta do that other slide in the prone position, and you know where we’re headed. But before we put that box back up, do yourself a favor, change your spring one last time.
We’ll do your prone position with the ball, and then we are headed into, ta-dah, ta-dah, ta-dah, your cool down. So nice, quick, fun, playful session. Oftentimes we can’t fit in an hour of a workout. Oh, let me… Hold the phone, please.
Let’s do this. So I’m gonna take my loop that’s closest to you. I’m bringing it over to the edge of the box ’cause that will allow me to grab the box and be careful about getting in. And as a reminder, make sure that your legs are narrow-ish, so that they clear the risers, and we’re coming up. I’m holding onto the front of my box with my other arm, and I’m gonna take again that bicep curl to the punch.
Boom. And then I’m gonna come back down. So let’s get a few of these done like we did on the other side, really focusing on that back body, that upper middle back. We can get fancy and call it the longitudinal system, whatever you wanna talk about it. But more than anything, it’s that postural area of the body that we’re really working on right here.
You’re gonna take that arm up and over, and you’re gonna hold it on this one. Boom, boom, boom. Take that sweep. Hello. I see you. You see me?
Look towards it, come sweep it forward, and bring it back down. Good. So from here, we go to that overhead reach and we sweep it, open, feel the side body start to wake up there as well. Reach it forward, come back down. I think we got three more in us, don’t we?
Yeah, we do. And reach it. Come wide and down. I hope that you’ve really enjoyed using a little bit of the ball in this session. I find it to be such a great small tool to add to any Pilates inspired reformer session or session just in general to really change things up, maybe assist things a bit, but also challenge things.
Last one here. Sweep that arm wide. Look towards those fingers. Come all the way around, and bend, and come down. Now take the ball out of the equation.
Keep it close to one of your hands. You can stay on a very light spring. Let’s put that loop back on the peg and step to the end of your foot bar. So if this setup doesn’t work for you, you could always just take the box off the reformer, but I’m gonna keep one leg on the floor and I’m gonna take my box side leg and I’m gonna bring it right up about the center of the box. So start here and just see how this feels.
You can keep the ball in your hand. So from here, open your arms out if that helps you create a bigger base of support and helps you with your balance, and just press out and in. So we’re just getting a little hip opening here, just noticing where we’re at in space now that we’re back standing on the floor, even though it’s single leg standing. Good. And on this next one, as we come in with the box, we’re gonna add some lateral flexion or side bending, and then open it out.
Good, exhale feels good for me as I do this, and I get a nice stretch on my side body. Inhale as I open out to the T. Great. Last one here, and then let’s add a little bit of rotation. So from here, you’re gonna exhale, rotate, and inhale, come back out.
Think of your arms as helicopter blades. So you’re keeping them straight out from your shoulders as much as you can. Give me two more and rotate and open. Face me, last one. Good.
And open face me. Fantastic, let’s get the other side done. So bring that box in, dismount, and turn right on around. Try and set yourself up as similar as you can to the other side. I’m switching that ball just to my outside arm to be consistent, and I’m just gonna simply start to press that box out and in.
And think about what’s happening on that standing leg. That’s your stability leg, and then you’ve got your mobility leg or your moving leg on the box. Give me two more of the leg presses, and then we’ll go straight into that side bend. Great. Last one here, press the box.
And as you side bend, the box comes towards you, uh-huh, and then open it back up. Think up and over as you pull the box towards you and you side bend. Gosh, what a beautiful day. Look at what’s happening out in front of you. Be present in what’s happening in your movement as well.
Last one with that side bend, and then we’re gonna add that rotation. So get those helicopter blades on and bend your knee and twist towards the box, and then twist away. Good, bend and away. Good, three more. You’re doing awesome.
This is just to finish us up. Last two. All right, friends. I hope that you had a great time in this nice, playful session using a small stability ball, but let’s ground you and finish this session. So feet are down on that floor.
Think about your tripods of support with your big toes, your little toes, your heels. I hope you really enjoyed the playfulness of this session, and that movement can and should be playful even when you’re getting a great workout, and noticing how this really changes up a lot of similar Pilates-inspired exercises that we do and work out with on a regular basis, and can make it more fun, more challenging, and more playful. Let’s play.