PilatesShort and Sweet Reformer with Kristi Cooper - Class 5300

Short and Sweet Reformer with Kristi Cooper – Class 5300

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Welcome to class. Performer, short and sweet, not too short. We’ll cover everything. So just line yourself up, get yourself ready. Decide how you want it to go for yourself.

You want more energy, you wanna walk outta here feeling more relaxed. Some of that’s just gonna be up to you as you address each exercise. I’m starting with a foot bars down. I have my springs on prepared for foot and legwork. So for me, that’s three red and a blue.

Go for all four if you have a four-spring reformer or lighten up where you need to. That’s up to you too. So let’s just go ahead and sit down. In fact, lie down so that we can do some pelvic curls to warm-up the spine. So your, headrest is down, heels are on the platform.

You could go all the way up to the bar if that’s more comfortable for you. I’m just kinda resting my toes on the foot bar. Arms are down. Without going anywhere, just take a deep breath in. And again, just sort of thinking about where you are now and where you wanna be in about a half an hour.

Exhale. Inhale, fill up. See what happens in your body when you take a full breath. Do the bony landmarks change? Does your belly rise?

Just noticing and becoming more aware of yourself in the space that you’re inhabiting. Inhale, we’ll start some movement here. Start the exhale and roll up through your spine. Just warming up. Always do a little adjusting in the beginning and then try to minimize it.

Reach the arms down. Inhale, exhale and melt your way back down. Keeping that rhythm, inhaling at the bottom. Start the exhale. Allow for what happens naturally through the trunk as you roll up, reaching the knees, over those toes or in that direction.

Inhale. Exhaling down. Just keep going. Exhaling up. This is that place where I kinda go, “Why am I gripping,” or, “Why don’t I grip more?” You know, just kinda just learn where you are today and decide, like, “I wanna loosen my back up more.” So I need to use a little less legs, I think, for myself.

Maybe ask yourself some questions. Exhale, curling up. (Kristi exhales sharply) Check out your toes. Are they semi-relaxed, hopefully. Inhale, exhaling down.

I’m just gonna do about three more. Sometimes I think about, “Go ahead and go up.” I think about, “Can I set my spine down a little bit further on the mat as I go down,” sort of elongating as I articulate down. (Kristi exhales sharply) Inhale. Exhale down. Do one more.

Check out your shoulders, collarbones wide, not jamming ’em into the shoulder blocks. Up we go. Take a moment when you get to the top. And this time, just check yourself out. Hands may be on top of the hip flexors or where the hip meets the leg, and see, can you tuck a little more around the back, a little more step on your feet, a little more?

Oh, there’s some legs you want, wanna feel. Hamstrings, and come on down. (Kristi exhales sharply) Cool. Take your arms out to the side, reach back if you can and hold onto the pegs. You might have to scoot down a little bit.

Bring your knees up to 90 degrees. Knees side to side towards the window. We inhale to rotate. Exhale, bringing it back. (Kristi exhales sharply) Just getting a rhythm going internally as we go through some familiar movements.

Inhale. (Kristi exhales sharply) Yeah, it’s almost like, see if can you reach your legs even further. I don’t mean straighten ’em, but reach ’em further. Not even lower, but further. I don’t know what else to say it.

Exhale, back to center. It’s like I’m trying to stretch more from the waist up, up almost to a high diagonal. And then from that same place, I bring it back to center. Inhaling over. (Kristi inhales deeply) And exhaling back.

Subtle sense of deflation in a way that allows the abdominals to do their job rather than bracing. And again, (Kristi exhales sharply) let’s just add on a little bit here. Inhale to the front side again. Extend one or both legs, (Kristi exhales sharply) and come back to center folding them. I’ll do that on one breath cycle.

So to the back, inhale. Keep inhaling, stretch those legs out and now you can exhale to bring them back to center and fold, to the front. Inhaling, overreach, reach, reach the legs if you’re going to. Are your toes lined up? Yes, is the answer.

Exhale, back to center. And last one. (inhales deeply) Reaching out, still from the waist, center, and down we go. From here, holding on behind the thighs, press your hands, or thighs into your hands, curl yourself up and get a little rocking action. Little bit more of a warm-up there for the spine.

(Kristi exhales sharply) Let’s do two more. Careful as you come up. Try to come up and hold. Ooh! If the springs weren’t there, we could have done it even more solid or I could have back up ever so slightly. Hands on top of the knees this time, push your knees into your hands, and roll down to the shoulder blades.

For the double leg stretch, we reach the arms back, legs out. Exhale, scooping, bring it back in. Be kinda sharp about this. So it’s hit and drag it back in. Inhale, now exhale, pull back in.

Inhale, exhale, inhale. The body isn’t moving, right? The legs and arms are, but not your trunk. Let’s do two more. Reach.

Pull it back. Reach, hold it in. Right leg in, hands outside the ankle, left leg stretches out. Switch, switch. And I’ll go, inhale.

Inhale. Exhale, exhale. Go ahead and hug that knee and really hug it in. Stretch the other leg. Stretch the other leg.

Four. Four. Three, three. Here’s two. Two.

One. Both knees in, rest your head. (Kristi exhales sharply) Going right back up. Pushing. I like getting into this position solid, that’s why I come down in between.

I wanna make sure I’m there pushing the shins or knees into the hands. Extend right leg up, left leg out on a diagonal and we’ll pull. Pull, switch. Pull, pull. Holding behind that calf.

Pull, pull. Pull, pull. Reach, reach. Reach, reach. Reach, reach.

One more each leg. Both legs up, bend the knees, hands behind your head, crisscross, rotate to one knee, extend the other leg, and we go. Inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale. Come on, in. In, stay up on it.

Little tempo. In, out. Out, on a cycle. In, in. Out, out.

Both knees in. Rest your head. Feet back on the bar where they started. Arms down for a pelvic curl again. Exhale, roll up.

(Kristi exhales sharply) All the way. Nice long arms, broad collarbones. Inhale, and exhale down. (Kristi exhales sharply) Knees come back up. Hold on, or just rock up.

Two, put your foot bars up for foot and legwork. (metal bars clanking) Lock that bar down, and here we go. I’m gonna put my headrest up halfway. You do you as I was told today. (chuckling) Heels on the bar, parallel. You know what to do.

You lock in, you stretch and you pull yourself back in. We are in charge of the springs, not the other way around. (Kristi exhales sharply) I tend to exhale on the way out, but feel free to change. (Kristi exhales sharply) Five more. Sometimes if you check out your bum, you wanna make sure it’s not lifting off the mat.

Three to go. So I put my thumbs there sometimes, just to make sure. It’s usually pretty easy to tell. Last one. Come back, lower to the balls of the feet.

Heels are lifted. Half of a high heel, I guess. All the way out. Pull it back in. So really the action’s happening at the ankle and knee.

Not so much, you’re not dropping heels at all. (Kristi exhales sharply) Press and pull. Press and pull. So ready to go. (Kristi exhales sharply) Right on, come in, stay ready, just swivel, so the heels, touch each other.

Take a second, really press the heels together. Go ahead and use the glute a bit to do that. Elongate all the way. Take a second. Check to see you haven’t tucked, right?

Maybe you think hamstrings down toward the carriage a little, and then we’ll go normal pace. Here we go, in. Exhale, press out, and in. (Kristi exhales sharply) Two more. Finish it, finish it, finish it.

Come on back, swivel back to parallel all the way out. Lower the heels down, lift them up, bend your knee, come back. Going out again. This time lower down and up twice but we’re not dropping, okay? You’re placing the heels down.

Bend the knees, come in. Number three, press out. Lower three times. Up. Up.

Up, and in. Number four. (Kristi inhales deeply) I’m, again, exhaling on the way up, but just breathe. Three and four. Come in, we’re aiming for six, so you know.

I’m not trying to psych you out, I’m just trying to keep count. (chuckling) Three. Four. Five, come in. Last one for six. And down up, one.

Feel your feet. Feel how they connect all the way up. Three more here. One, and, and come down for a moment. Woo-hoo.

Feet are still where they are, right? Go back out. Lower one heel, other knee up. Take a stretch for a moment. Push off that lower heel and switch.

And now we run it a little. It’s up, down, up, down. Placing your body where you want it. Very controlled, not super tense. Can you go any faster for yourself today?

Come up, down, up. Don’t move that reformer. It’s really all the connections throughout the body, trying to come together in this fast motion. How about four more rounds? One.

One. Two. Two. Three. Three, and four, and four.

Come on down. Let yourself drape your legs over the bar and then maybe, like, right in the meaty part of your gorgeous lower leg and just rock ’em side to side. You’re welcome. Roll yourself up to change your springs for a little ab work and some feet and straps will come after that. (metal bars clanking) So for me, I’m dropping it down to one and a half, red and a blue.

Lighter weight, basically. Come back down. Find your straps, place them in your hand, give yourself a little pull away from the shoulder rest. And now, you know, rather than just popping the knees off, think about picking your knees up. But don’t do it yet.

Just like I’m about to, I’m about to lift my legs. And so you get a little contraction in the middle right away. Then pick ’em up. It goes like this. Exhale, curl up into the under position.

Turn your palms out, legs out and just open and close, reaching under the legs. Open and close. Big breath. Exhale, squeeze everything out. (Kristi exhales sharply) Let’s do three more, make them good.

Curl into it, curl into it. Don’t fall out of it. (Kristi exhales sharply) One more. You like it? Feel it, reach it.

Bend. Come down. With your feet on the foot bar, push out carefully. Step into your strap. (Kristi panting) And you are in that turned out position again with the heels touching.

It’s not really turned out, just semi naturally, actually. Frog. Bend and straight. (Kristi panting) This is one of those ones I try to do as little as possible sometimes while keeping my heels together. It just sort of centers everything where I want it to go.

And if you overpowered, it’s really hard to control. (Kristi exhales sharply) Just a couple more there. Okay, everybody’s favorite it seems. Let the legs rise up. You can do it in parallel or turn down.

I’m staying turned out. Lower the legs down, open ’em out as wide as you feel like you want to without moving your pelvis. They come together at the top and you exhale down again. So it’s inhale all the way around. Exhale, pull down.

(Kristi exhales sharply) Just gonna check it, check yourself out in your mind’s eye, are they moving pretty equally? Do you feel like one is dominating? If so, try to align that. I’m doing one more full one here. All the way to the down position.

Hold and reverse it. Pick the legs up, open and take ’em around. So just like a self-correct tool when your legs go up. You don’t feel any more pressure in the mat with your spine, right? Nothing in your spine is changing.

Not yet. (Kristi exhales sharply) Give yourself two more. (Kristi exhales sharply) Okay. We know the openings, which both legs going equally out, right? You have the same amount of resistance on the straps.

You bring them back. Let’s do one more of those. It’s gonna be generally the same idea, except you’re gonna bend the front leg, keep the resistance identical. Lead with the straight leg to keep it feeling like they’re both working equally, alternate. So we’re going to the other side, bending it nice and wide.

Lead with that straight leg and they come together in the middle. Again. Open. (Kristi exhales sharply) Open. Same deal with the bony landmarks of the spine and pelvis.

They’re not moving. (Kristi exhales sharply) Feels kinda good, doesn’t it? Once you get it. (Kristi exhales sharply) One more each way. Oh, sorry, one more each way now.

Bend. Last one. Okay, we’re gonna play with short spine here a little bit. So make sure your headrest is down. You might, should be away from the shoulder, rest a little, you know, probably won’t need to.

We’re gonna start by bending the legs over as far as you feel like you can. Now rather than if you know short spine going straight up, let’s roll our spines up, bending the knees until the knees are over the forehead, and then just come right back down. It’s like a pelvic curl in the air. Just roll up again. Bend.

So it’s the feet are kinda just holding you in place. Roll up, up, up, and roll back down. If you can get to straight, go ahead. You don’t have to go to straight each time. Bend to roll up, and come back down.

Changing it a little bit. We’ll start that same way. Bend to come up. Arms can be used, you know, just for support. Straighten the legs up here.

Keep it straight and roll down. Now you’ve really gotta bend and this is adding onto it. So you’re gonna bend and draw the heels towards your glutes, kinda back in this frog position. Press out to straight, Roll over. We’re gonna bend to roll up, so right here, just roll yourself up.

You can either just roll down or go to straight legs and roll down like that. Now when you’re almost down, or if you’re all the way down, good for you. But we wanna make sure we, when we’re pulling the straps from this straight leg position, that we also focus on getting the pelvis back down. So that’s what’s happening there. Okay, push out to a diagonal, fold over with those straight legs again, roll yourself up with bent knees.

Extend your legs up, roll them down, down, down. When you’re almost there you start to pull the feet towards your glutes and press the glutes downwards. Let’s do one more. I know I already said it, but let’s do it again. Folding over with straight legs.

Once you hit that stopper, stay on it. Roll up to bent knees or do the straight leg version. Now we straighten, everybody, and peel our way back to the mat. Bend the knees, tailbone down. Help yourself out of the straps and let’s come on up.

We’re gonna do arms kneeling now. So, I go to one spring if that tells you anything based on what I’ve been telling you about my spring. Some of you are gonna wanna keep it a little heavier for this one. But really heavy doesn’t serve its purpose. So you wanna have the, sort of play between balance and strength.

The strength, you almost don’t need to strap, to be honest. All right, put your feet or knees right up against the shoulder blocks. Holding on at the buckle or above it so you have some resistance. And, you know, the real tendency is to lean back, right? Well, we don’t get to do that, unfortunately.

Or, fortunately. Be as upright as you possibly can, almost where it feels like you’re gonna go forward and that’ll help you connect to your back body, which is gonna be key for a lot of things. All right, here we go. So now that we’re there, we’re gonna draw the straight arm, straight down and back. And right here, is the tendency to roll forward on the shoulders, so don’t.

Collarbones wide, reach the knuckles down even further. Sometimes if you squeeze those up arms towards each other, you’ll really feel it. Keep that sensation as the arms go back to the start, pulling back. (Kristi exhales sharply) And forward. Don’t let your wrist do anything funny.

Keep them straight down, knuckle, straight down, and forward. Sometimes people get to a certain point and then they do a weird wrist thing, thinking they’re getting further. No, think upper arm, upper arm, upper arm, upper. Go back as far as you want but just don’t let them splay. (Kristi exhales sharply) Two more.

Let the exhale start you so you kinda relax around the neck a bit. So it gets harder when you start creeping up and tensing up. Last one. (Kristi exhales sharply) Cool. Put those away for a moment.

Let’s lighten the spring. So for me, I am going to a blue for at least the next two. Taking off that full spring, placing your feet back at the shoulder blocks, grabbing your straps. Okay, now you just made it lighter and you’re about to pull the carriage out from underneath you literally. So be careful as you go into this.

Start by thinking maybe those shoulders are down, arms are already straight. Bring ’em by your side. Hang onto that form. Up we go with the arms. Try for all the way if you can, right alongside your ears and then directly down the side of the body, not behind you.

Up. Open. Up. Open. A nice spiral of that shoulder joint, broad chest, broad back.

Up. Open, and one more here. Okay, going to reverse it as you probably expect. Just, again, don’t let them pull your arms behind you. You come right up the side, you can even see your hands.

You get to the top, you turn your palms up and come right down the front. Still working those hamstrings. Up to side. Turn the palms, and down the front. (Kristi inhales deeply) (Kristi exhales sharply) Three more.

Surprisingly harder this direction, doesn’t it? Two. One, you get to stay up here on this one. Thumb and index finger touch. Ooh, I had to look today.

Elbows pretty wide, and just let the hands go right behind you and straight up if you can. So we’re not thrusting them forward ’cause we’re gonna keep the body upright. (Kristi exhales sharply) And keep those fingers touching at the top. (panting) Three to go. One.

Nice broad body in the good way. Okay, let the arms come apart, take ’em behind you, hold onto them with one hand, and let’s put the heavy spring back on. You could either take, I’m gonna do both, so you could take the light one off now. It’s up to you. Come right back up to kneeling.

Now your arms are back behind you, all right? I’m gonna actually, I’m actually gonna let my feet go flat so I can move forward, get even a little more resistant. So my feet are now flat, meaning, tops of my feet on the mat. Upper arms as high as you can get ’em with your shoulders staying nice and open. Then you keep the upper arms where they start it or where you just put ’em and bend the elbow.

Back to straight and bend. (Kristi exhales sharply) A subtle sense of engagement through the inner thighs. Nice chest opening bicep. I love this exercise. (Kristi exhales sharply) Sort of, the anti-sitting-at-a-desk exercise.

(Kristi exhales sharply) Keep the palm in the middle, strap in the middle of your palm. I’m gonna do about four more. One. Two. Okay, fabulous.

Carefully, set your straps down and we’ll go into a quick stretch. So just come off the side. I’m gonna lighten mine down to just that one full spring. Just a quick hip flexor stretch. Dropping into that.

Staying nice and tall. (Kristi exhales sharply) Yes. Then from here, your hands are on the bar, it’s up to you if you wanna add to this. Go ahead and push the carriage away so your knee comes off to a straight leg. Ooh.

And then bring it in. And go ahead and walk around to the other side. Best you can, you’re getting the sole of the foot right up against that shoulder block, forward knee is probably near the leg of the reformer frame. Just finding the stretch to begin with. It says if your leg is going one way and the rest of your body’s trying to go up and forward.

If you would like more, now is a good time to add the push of the carriage, the straight leg. (Kristi exhales sharply) And come on back. All right, we’re getting there. We’re gonna do a little side action. I don’t really have a name for it, so just follow me.

I’m keeping the spring I have, and essentially, I’m just trying to get lateral flexion. So my knees are pretty close to the carriage and together. Hand is about middle of the bar palm in the hand and let’s just play with engaging underneath the shoulder on that hand on the bar and kinda finding a diagonal line. One knee will come off, that’s cool. And then come back in, just to feel that.

Okay, one more of those. Pushing out, (Kristi exhales sharply) and come back. All right, now we’ll just add a little flare with the arm and a subtle change on the return. We push out, arm kinda lines up opposite the other. Then as, instead of just gliding back in like we did two times ago, we’re gonna just let the carriage come in and create an arc-like shape.

Free arm goes overhead and you end up looking at the other one. Go back out to the straight. Boom, and go back to the arc. Just nice. Really try to get that carriage all the way in without rotating your body.

I’m rotating my head, but, hopefully, not my body. And in, in. (Kristi exhales sharply) Ooh, that’s good. (Kristi inhales deeply) (Kristi exhales sharply) One more time. Press out.

Pull it in. (Kristi exhales sharply) And then come on up. You know what we’re doing next. The other side. Walk around.

Knees are together pretty close to the edge of the carriage. It’s not right up on it though, you don’t wanna compress too much. Hand is on the bar, a little bit forward of center. And let’s do two where we’re just getting used to what it feels like on these knees as if they’re different, and slide in. I’m not really focusing on the arc yet, but it’s coming.

Slide in. And here we go. As we slide out, like before, arm goes up. Now we try to just bring the carriage in and bend the body. Arching the top arm overhead too.

Back to the straight line. Arching the upper body. (Kristi exhales sharply) Two more. Actually, I think it was three more so we’ll do three more. (Kristi exhales sharply) And, out to come in.

This is it, make it the good one. And in. Fantastic. So now we are going to round out this workout with a backstroke, sort of like a breaststroke. Follow me.

Your hands are gonna be wide on the bar. Now your knees are right up against the edge here or pretty close. If this is hard to be in this position, you can roll a towel and put it under your knees. That often helps a lot of people. Here’s what we’re doing, hands are on the bar.

I kinda have my fingers angled toward each other. Not severely, but some. We’re gonna just push out until the arms are straight. Now take that further until your back is straight. So I’m gonna tell you, I actually use my shins a little bit to help me in this flattening of the back.

And then, hopefully, your head is about right in between your arms or pretty close. Now we just bend the elbows to the side, drag ourselves in. Push out. And come in. Do you wanna heavier spring?

I do. I’m just gonna put that blue one back on just for now. Same exact thing, push out. And in. And maybe think about less hands for a moment.

And the shoulder blades, if you can imagine the shoulder blades start this movement and then you push out. Yes. My friend, Meredith, uses a cue. I’m not gonna get it quite right, but she talks about spreading the bar apart with the hands and kinda engaging it inward as you’re pushing out. So when I come in, I separate the bar, theoretically.

Hypothetically, I should say. And looking for some upper back work. (Kristi exhales sharply) We got it. We got it. Then come in.

Take one of the springs off. I’m gonna take that blue back off and see how I do. One hand right by your knee. Push yourself out again, and we’re aiming to not rotate the body this time. Bend the elbow, and back in.

You could also have your arm out to the side if you prefer. That sometimes is, you can tell if you start to rotate. Just one more. Stay out straight. Switch hands.

Lining up. Push out, and in. Decide if you wanna take your hand off. It’s slightly harder. It’s up to you.

(Kristi exhales sharply) Just one more. Both hands on. When you come in this time, look over the bar. Start to arch, arch, arch. Sit up.

Back up a little bit. You can keep your hands on the bar or put ’em down by your side and just stretch your body forward. Taking a couple of deep breaths, reminding yourself what you maybe hope to get out of class. More energy, less energy. Work out, hopefully.

And then just let your hands come down, roll yourself up, looking somewhere off in the distance, resting or standing, whatever works best for you. Take a deep breath in. Hopefully, feeling good about the time you took for yourself. Exhale. (exhales sharply) One more, shake out anything you need to or want to. (Kristi inhales deeply) (Kristi exhales sharply) And we are done.

Have a great day or night. See you next time.

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