Class #5168

Zesty and Creative Reformer

30 min - Class


Add some zest to your practice with this advanced Reformer workout by Lesley Logan. She starts the class with Footwork on a single spring so you can begin to connect to your Thass® from the first movement. Her detailed cues and creative variations will help you stay aware of the backside of your body so that you can keep your strength and Thass® connection throughout your Pilates practice.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Pilates Pole

About This Video


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Hey, I'm Lesley Logan and today's fasts class is an advanced performer, so we'll have some zest in our pace. If any exercises don't work for your body, feel free to repeat an exercise we already did. If you are wanting to go a little slower, just skip some exercises along the way and have some fun finding your fasts with me. We'll start with footwork on one spring, so it's one heavy spring. If you're using weighted springs, I would definitely make sure it's one of your heavier springs.

You don't wanna go flying, but I also want you to have to close your own springs. So onto the balls of your feet, heels up and together. Let's do 10 of these. If you have long neck springs like me, you are going to have to close your own springs without doing funky things with your toes or dropping your heels. And the goal of this one spring is just to make it really simple to warm up the back of our legs and get them to be part of this reformer party that we're about to have.

And then once hit 10, lift both feet up at the same time, land on the arches. If you're used to being on the front of your football, try to go on top with me today. It might feel like your feet are gonna slip off. The good news is they probably won't. And you're also on one spring, so it's not like you're having to push four springs open with your feet in this position.

But it allows the back of your legs where your thigh meets your booty to connect and help you close this spring. Three more together here. And then we will come on our heel. So lift both feet up and out and in. And if you have a foot that slips off, don't worry, it's just a sign that that leg needs to reach more from the backside of the leg.

And you're probably pushing the knees down instead of opening the front of the hip. And that is common. And so we just have to reframe, refocus, and move the thigh bones away from us, not the knees down. And then come all the way in. Come on to the balls of your feet, press all the way out and hugging those heels together.

Only lower the heels as much as they can do that. So for me, I have the flexibility to just hang out, but then my heels come apart and I roll out onto the pinky toe side of my foot. Instead, spreading that weight across the balls of your feet, reaching your heels under this is gonna help really connect your legs to your center. That's what tendon stretch your sport, anyways, last time. And then come in for a moment just to make sure that your feet didn't slip around.

Go back onto the balls of your feet like you did for footwork toes. Press out to straight legs and we'll do our hundred again on one spring. So I, again, I really like this, especially when warming up the fast connection. If it's elusive connection for you, it was for me for many, many, many years. The good news is, is once you find it, you can't unfind it and it's just a matter of strengthening it along your Pilates journey.

Five more cycles of breathing here. If you feel this in your ankles or your knees, that is a sign that you are not using the back of your legs where your thigh meet your butts. So hug those outer hips in, hug your ankles towards each other and stand in those hamstrings. Last cycle of breathing, and then come all the way in. I'm gonna do overhead. So teaser up and do two springs here.

So a heavy medium or two mediums and headrest down. If you're not doing overhead exercises, please feel free to meet us at coordination so you can get started early. So legs long on the foot bar, arms up to the sky right here. Before you begin, your legs should feel ready for takeoff. So hug them tight together like they could just levitate.

And then get those arms down as you lift the legs up and over. And right here as you reach for the ceiling where you reach from as not your ankles or your knees, go ahead and roll down, stretch the legs away. You're literally reaching your legs up from your waist and your thighs. So feel those fasts, reach for the ceiling and then roll it all the way down. If you're like, what it's okay, that's what tomorrow was for.

Reach, reach, reach. And then roll everything down. Bend your knees and your elbow simultaneously for coordination. Press your arms and legs out. Open clothes, pull the knees in and bend.

If you don't have the fast connection already in your body, it's gonna take time. It takes time for the brain and the body to connect all the pathways. One more time. So just know that it may be working and you're just not able to feel it. Sit all the way up, spin around on your way over.

Drop a spring off for some rowing. So if your legs can fit between your shoulder blocks, great, you can push out on those shoulder rests like it's a magic circle. If you're crossed, then you'll just think booming status and you're gonna squeeze everything together. Either way, our fast is working for us here. So if you are pressing out, just double check.

It's not happening in your knees. It's gotta be those outer hips, knuckles together. Round back, you get to go back as far as you can, keep your legs reaching away. So if you go back and your legs turn off, I want you to come up a little bit, open the arms, push 'em back, dive forward. If you can touch your thumbs, great.

If not, don't worry about it today. Hugging those legs down and together into your carriage. Circle the arms around over to your feet, roll it up and again, pull the waist back, open the arms and reach those arms back as you dive forward, hugging those legs together. Again, I mentioned it earlier, but worry less about the hands touching and more about the fast pushing your thighs into this carriage. So you're in control of the carriage, not the springs.

One more round back, open, reach, hug those legs tight, press those thigh down, not the knees. So take a look. Are those knees reaching down? They like to do that, you know. Elbows up for your flat back or nine degrees, whichever you like to call it. And then you lean back as you squeeze your legs together, lift all the way up.

I can go as far as my outer hips can hug in. So that's gonna stop me sooner than my flexibility will. That's good 'cause then we get a nice two-way stretch, nice opposition again, elbows nice and high. Push your thigh bones away, squeeze those outer hips as you lift up. And then how much can you reach those legs down?

As you round forward, it's gonna create a nice lift, a nice space between your thighs and your center. Last one, reach and up and then press those arms down and back and circle if your legs are already shaking like mine. Good job. Spin around rowing from the chest. So easier is against the shoulder blocks.

Harder is just like a fingers distance away, right? You can just slip your hands back there and then hook your thumbs. So straps should be underneath your arms. Reach those arms forward, lower and lift. And when you get here or to the ceiling hold, are you working those legs?

Do you feel your thighs working? You should feel inner thigh, hamstring, outer hip. Circle the arms around. Two more reach, lower it down, lift it up and then open the arms out and around. Last one after this, we do from the hips.

And the more your legs are working, the easier it is. I promise it won't feel easy, but it will be more possible. So flex those ankles. Hug your outer hips in, hands along the carriage, slide 'em out. You can go as low with those arms as you can keep your legs reaching down.

Lift everything up and circle. And I'm not asking to levitate your legs, but it should feel like they're working so much, you could just hover off of this carriage, right? One more time if you're like what? That seems a little esoteric. Well it is, but we're trying to get our entire leg muscles to work here so we can get out of those hip flexers.

Sit cross legged and shave and hug three of each, pressing those feet down. Elbows nice and wide. Index finger and thumb together. Then on your third one, lift up. When you do this switch, it is your fast that does it. Your outer hips.

Open the legs and then guess what they get to do, also close them and you'll open those arms up for your hug. So it's kinda this fun thing if you're using your hands to switch the cross to your legs, you will miss out on that fast action. And then once you're done with your hug, after three, hook up your handles. So I'm gonna do the big swan 'cause the more you use your fast, the easier it does to say out of your lower back. If you wanna do a swan prep, you're more than welcome to.

So two springs on and grab your long box. Depending on your pants, you may want a sticky pad. So just keep it in mind. You can place it right here on the edge of the box. And depending on your frame, you might want a sticky pad here.

So feet go either on the frame or on the foot bar, you get to decide and then heels together, toes apart. Knees can be inside or outside the frame. I know options. How fun is that? I like to put my inside and I squeeze my heels together and push my knees out into the frame just to turn that fast on right before I begin. Then without letting those knees just hang out down there.

Lift the arms head and chest up right here. You stand in your feet, you should feel the back of your legs holding you up. And you can go into a nice back bend. Then lower yourself down first press your legs towards straight. Lift up for that second back bend only as much as your knees can stay straight and the back of your legs is supporting you.

And then around down, pull yourself in. Should feel kinda like a reverse coordination. Okay, lift everything up, big back bend. If you feel this in your lower back, you're probably not standing in those feet which are not connected to your fast. So just keep that in mind right here.

It's a moment to stand on those feet, get your hamstrings to work against gravity, fill that fast work for you and then stretch out and come down, last time. Arms come up and back. Stand those feet, lower yourself down, reach. And then give yourself one more back bend here and come all the way in. And then what you can do is you can step off or I like to sit back onto my foot bar.

Drop a spring for pull straps. So here we go. We're just gonna do three of each. It's a moment to take in what you just had from your, from your swan, right? So you should feel the back of the legs working here. Even if you didn't fill 'em in your swan, it might be a little easier to find them here.

So pull those arms down and back. Open the chest and lower all the way down. Two more, reach and lower, last one and lower T pool. So your thighs, remember it's where your thigh meets your booty, not where your booty meets your back. So if you're feeling your upper butt gripping into your lower back, then we are working in the wrong spot.

So I want you to reach your tailbone away to to give yourself a little bit more space in your lower back. That'll make more sense as we continue. So hop off, stay on one spring we're gonna do a backstroke and to teaser combo. Lucky you, if you don't wanna do that, you can just do backstroke or you can just do teaser, cool? You take your handles one each hand behind your back instead of setting up exactly what you do for backstroke or a teaser, you'll be kind of in between the two.

So it'll feel a little close to the edge in the teaser and a little far away from the backstroke. That's the perfect spot. So make this, squeeze those heels together. Reach everything up open, circle around. Once you hit your backstroke, flip your palms and come up into your teaser.

You can hold here or lower and lift your arms. I want you to feel like the fast is actually supporting your legs, like that's just holding your legs up in this position. And then roll back into your back stroke right here. It looks like a hundreds position with your palms up. Bend everything in, up, open, circle.

Flip the palms. Teaser. Three circles each direction or hold. And if you're starting to feel like your pelvis is tipping forward, it means we got out of our fast and a little bit more into our hip flexors and lower back. Roll down to your back. So right here, see if you can find your fast before you bend everything in.

Up, open, circle, flip the palms, last one. Okay, you can just do a little double straight leg stretch here with me. So we're just pushing the legs down and lifting 'em up. Or you're thinking about pushing your legs into an imaginary magic circle. Just to help you connect into the backside of your legs.

Hold it up, roll everything into the backstroke, bend in and toss those straps off. Box goes away. We will go into your down stretch. So we have a couple options today. We're gonna do a down stretch and a single leg stretch.

Yeah, I said that. So two springs on, foot bar up. So if you can't do the one leg, it's fine. Especially if you've got stuff going on with your knees and you just can't have that kind of weight on it, you'll just keep doing extra down stretch, cool? So press your feet down and back, especially those inner heels, we really wanna make sure that foot is reaching down into the carriage and back into the shoulder rest.

And then hips forward, open your chest, then reaching your legs back. Push the carriage out. Heart forward to come in. So if you struggle to find your fast connection in your swan, this is the exercise to prep you for tomorrow. So reach those legs into the shoulder blocks, even as you come in, last one.

Then all you do is take one foot and place it on top of the shoulder breast, like that. The other leg presses out three times and in. So you're gonna find out real quickly, which fast is asking your arms to do all the work for it. So which side, if yours is really dramatically different, feel free to do that side first. Your strong side, then that side again.

So it pauses for or the end of the workout. It's totally fine. Okay. Ups stretch, so up stretch, the more use your fast, the more possible up stretch is the less you'll fill it in your shoulders. So let's do it together. Lift your hips, lower your heels two-thirds of the way down your shoulder rests.

Double check that you're not in this really interesting downward dog and that you feel more like a reverse backstroke where your arms and legs are reaching up. Lift your center and then because my knees were already doing it, just take a look at your knees and make sure you're not pushing back. So the carriage goes away with the backside of your legs from the fast, you end up in this upside down one hundred, pull it in, lift your center, come back to your start position again. You can only push the carriage out as much as it comes from the fast. So if you get stuck halfway out, that's okay.

Just bring that shape in. Reach. Someday we'll be able to do the combo. And the combo only works if we can stand in the backside of our legs. If we're standing in our lower back or our knees, it's gonna feel like we're being shot out of the cannon. And lift it up, elephant, heels down, lift the toes, lift your center three times out and in.

And then single leg, take one leg back three times. You're spinning your inner thigh up so you're not in a turnout. And then both fast sides are working. One's pushing the carriage away, one's holding the leg up in space. Come all the way in, step it down, shake it out.

So if you're filling things in your wrist, we gotta work on your arm back connection. That's another day. But stay more in your fasts for your long back stretch and it'll feel really good. So if you can't do this, you need dips off the back or anything we've already done, you'll take your hands on your foot bar and your feet into your shoulder rest. So here's the deal.

I used to only feel this in my knees. I need you to take a moment to push your heels down and lift your hips up a little bit. You should feel your fasts already working. Then bend the elbows and stand in the fast muscle to push out. Your arms are not holding you out here.

Your legs are. Then stand in the backside of your legs to lift your hips up as high as you can and pull it in, again a little faster, reach. Press, stand in your fast. Woo down, reach, lift, reverse it. So you push up and out.

Stand in your fast muscles as you bend your elbows. So it's really tempting to just to drop. But if you're standing in your legs, you're not gonna just fall through your springs. Woo. Rest, shake it out.

Okay, single leg stomach massage. So two springs. We'll start with two legs and then we'll take a leg off. You'll have your sticky pet on and have a seat. For your round shape, place the balls of your feet on your foot bar.

Try not to lean back. Find yourself up over your hips. Then let's do two with two legs. So you press out, reach the heels under, lift the heels and come in, one more. And on the next one we're going to the single A. So you press out, you'll take one foot off the foot bar.

It's gonna hang out between the foot bar and the frame. Your hip flexor wants to do this for you. Can you feel the fast muscles, hamstring and glute? Hold this leg up in space as you go in and out three times. Then the flag that's on the foot bar, the fast is holding you up.

It's not happening in the knee. Press out to switch down, up and in. So really pushing the leg away from where your thigh meets your butt, not where your knee pushes below the springs. I know all the cheats my loves, I do them. Come all the way in, hands back.

Okay, you can place your hands all the way back to the corners or down the finest spot where you can lift up. And then again, two times with two legs with this reach back and then three times with a single leg. So this is the moment to stand in where the ball of the foot meets your seat. What? Yeah. So the ball of foot is helping you connect to your fast here.

If you're hanging out in your knee, it's likely that you're kind of gripping with your toes or your foot is kinda slipping around on that foot bar. All works together. Then three times with two legs on. So I'm not gonna make you take a leg off too. That would be really mean. Add and in three times.

And then add your twist two times each side. Can you stand right here in the backside of your legs? Or do you kinda feel that you're holding yourself up in your ankles and your knees? It's okay. It's called awareness. Once you're aware, then you can make changes.

Cool. Okay, put your foot bar down. If your head dresses up, make sure it's outta the way. Grab your short box. We are going to do an entire short box series, but with a little zest, we tend to slow down at short box. Not today.

So have a bar. If you don't have one, you'll hook your thumbs above your head and then feet into the strap. All right, so you're gonna make this strap be your fast circle, okay? So we're not just like putting our feet there or the strap here. Get it down at the base of your ankles, make sure it's tot and push out. Double check it's not happening here in your knees, but it's happening here in your outer hips.

Then you get to take your arms around your waist, round back as far as your legs can stay reaching apart and out and away from you. So if they start to narrow, you've lost your fast. So it's funny how our body will do whatever it takes to work a little bit less, but then it takes us out of being able to do some pretty cool stuff. So one more time with this round back, you don't have to go into the extension to connect to your fast, but you can go into the extension if you're connected to your fast. So fun fact, grab your bar, lift it up, look straight ahead, press your thigh bones down and away.

Double check you're not doing it with your knees. And then three times, lean back and up. So how much can you push your thighs away as you lean your chest back and then stay up, twist and reach. So we're gonna do one time to each side, then we will go around the world. If you wanna just keep doing twists and reach, you can ready, twist, reach.

Open to the ceiling. Is your fast reaching your legs out and away, twist to the other side and come up. And then reverse, reach. Open and twist and all the way up. Whew. Okay. Tree.

The ultimate test if you're using your fast or not. Here we go. So this leg is reaching, it's not resting. The strap can be loose, but the leg is already active, right? So you can sit on it, bring the other knee in, straighten the leg. We're just gonna do one time, walk up to the ankle, give a little flex, point.

And then right here, can you push your leg into your hands from where your hamstring meets your glute, boom. So it's not the knee, it's where the ham meets the glute. Pull your head to your knee and then as you rock back, your outer hips are working towards each other. Then you can just walk all the way down. If you win, wanna go all the way back, you can.

And then walk all the way up. And again, walk down. You can find that extension. Just make sure that when you do the extension, this leg to the ceiling doesn't just kinda rest and hang out there. So again, reaching.

As I walk down, I'm still reaching my fast into my hands so it stays active and allows me to get this leg to stay. Reaching, reaching, reaching. It's gonna help you with your next overhead. Switch legs. It's gonna kinda like some of the exercise we're doing now.

Help you for the next time you hit your Pilates practice. Straighten the leg, flex point. Push your leg into your hands to find that fast connection. Make sure the leg under the strap is already working. Pull your head to your knee and then as you walk down your leg, use your hands and your leg to keep that fast on so you can find your longest tree.

Two more, lock down. (breaths deeply) And up. After this last one, we are gonna put everything away and we're going to do some short spine. And if you want some high frog, don't have to do it. So put the box and bar away.

Your headrest should already be down. You should be on two heavy springs. You'll want that. It is way more supportive. Then shorten your straps. If you have straps like mine, if you have those double loops and you're pretty much ready to go.

So lucky you. Here we go. Lie on your back. Then grab your straps and lift your hips. Place your feet into the loops simultaneously. Put those heels together.

Find that hamstring curl to pull your heels over your hips and press your arms down. When you press your legs out, find that footwork stomach massage. Push from the back of the legs. Then instead of taking the feet to you where your fast turns off, instead stand in your straps to lift your hips first and then go over. It might feel a little crazy, it might feel a little high.

With your hips there, bend your knees. Feet are still pushing into the straps so that your fast can stay on. And then you can roll the hips down and leave your feet over your face to do a hamstring curl here at the bottom. Or I'll show you the other version. Here we go. Lift our hips first, everything comes over.

You're looking straight at the ceiling. Pull those knees in and then you can keep the shape and you'll just roll the spine down. This shape helps keep the fast on the whole time. So if it's you're still new to your fast connection, that's an option. So on this next short spot, I'm gonna add high frogs.

If you're still learning your short spine, please stick with that. Lift the hips, come all the way up. Stand on your shoulders, bend the knees and reach. The goal here is your fasts cannot turn off as you bend your knees. If it does, it makes the high frogs harder.

Press out, lift your hips up and over your shoulders to finish your short spine. Pull those knees in. Roll everything down. Woo. All right, so hook up your handles.

Step off. Kneeling chest expansion. We're just gonna do two and then two thigh stretch. So just a little moment to gather up our leg strength. So you can see how your thighs helps you with your arm circles.

Yeah, we're doing it. So knees down, they're gonna hug towards each other. Pull your arms back. You should feel your outer hips hugging in to keep your hips over your knees and reach arms forward. One more, pull and look. Look and bring it forward.

Add a third spring for your thigh stretch. Two thigh stretch here. So reach your knees down and towards each other. Lean back and then press your feet into the carriage to come up. One more. Reach and lift.

Isn't it fun when you only do two, you give the best shot you got. That's the thing about limiting the reps. Okay, drop down to one spring. So if you're on weighted springs, I think a red is gonna be great for you. Like a medium is gonna be great.

The more we use our fasts here, I promise the less you'll hate these. So dig those feet down and press 'em back. Then if you look down, remember that's where you're gonna go. So look straight ahead, take your hands into your handles. Get the pinky side of your hand in the handle, and then push the carriage back with your legs to circle your arms three times in each direction.

The more you reach your heels back, the easier it is to hit that reverse after three, which trust me is not the easiest exercise for me, woo. All right, but the more I work my fasts, the less I hated those reverse. Okay, we are gonna do snake. No twist, don't worry. If you're not ready for that, go back to ups, stretcher elephant.

Okay, so one spring and then put your foot on the foot bar turned out. This is all about the fast is not the arms. It's not your back. It's from the backside of your legs. Got it? Place your hands and then lift your hips across the foot.

Let your head hang between your arms, then from your foot bar leg. So for me, that's my right leg. My right fast is gonna press everything out. If I can get my chest through my arms, I will. So will you. If you can't, no big deal.

Come back in and again, push. So it's tempting to do it from the knee, I promise. The more you find your fasts here, the better. Last one, reach heart forward. Find that swan chest stand in the foot to lift your waist and close your spring.

All right, let's do the other side. So foot turned out, hand lift up cross and let your head hang. So this is my other side, so I have to really think about my fast here as I press out just through the arms and lift the waist. Stand in your foot. So if you're pushing your knee back, it's gonna feel a little unsteady on that foot bar foot.

Really work your thigh back and your waist up to bring the carriage all the way in, woo. All right, you did it. Pat yourself on the back. So let's do some knee stretches. Two springs, home stretch.

So five round, five flat and then five knees off. All from the backside of your legs, ready? If you are not doing knees off, you can repeat any of the other two knee stretches. Here it is. So again, we're not sitting back here. Stand in your fasts already to start and then push the legs out.

And in five, on the fifth one, flip your spine the other way. Find the arch in your upper back and keep moving. Closing the spring all the way as you're reach into your heels. That's the hard part. And then round your spine, lift your knees off, go into your actual knees off.

Keep the knees low and the heels reaching in the shoulder blocks as you close the springs. I may have made you do six, sorry, not sorry. Two springs, Russian splits. You can do any or all of these Russian splits. So I'm gonna do all three.

You're welcome to skip or repeat or do something we already did that helped you find your fasts. So hands on your shoulder rets, feet together, you'll see other toes apart on the carriage. Let your head hang, your back foot goes back first. So heel on the horizontal part, ball of the foot on the vertical part. So not here.

Way over here. And then lift up, place the arch of your foot over the crease of your headrest. And then come into a lunge right here. Work that back leg from your fast into the foot bar. And then as you reach the carriage out and in this is that tree-like action we were doing when we straightened the leg and then we pushed our leg into our hand.

Yeah, stand in that fast as you lift everything up and reach out and in. If your back leg is bending, you've lost the reach from your fast. So press into that heel and then hold it all still in this lunge. Reach your arms out, round down, close the spring, move your heel forward. Right here is where we all wanna hang out in our flexibility, but not today.

We're gonna work from our fast press both legs out and then stand in your feet to lift your center and close the spring. Two more. Reach and lift. Last one, close it. Bring your front foot back first, and then back foot down and then switch. Bring it over here.

So Russian splits can be really scary if you are hanging out in the any hyper mobility. The more you can stand after three of the reach stand up, the more you can stand in your fast, the more possible it feels. Trust me, I'm not a tight rope blocker. This isn't my favorite place to be. Reach your arms up, round forward, close the spring, and then three with the straight leg.

Instead of trying to see how much your splits reach you can do. See how strong your legs can be as you go out. And then even stronger to come all the way in. Close your spring foot comes back, other foot comes down, step to the floor. Celebrate what you did today.

Be kind to what you weren't able to connect to this moment and know that Pilates is compounding. So whatever you did do is gonna benefit you next time and everything else you do. And once you find your fast, can't go away, you'll know it's there and you'll just keep finding more and more strength in it with each and every workout. Thank you so much for letting me teach you. Have a great day.


1 person likes this.
Great cues- loved the “upside down 100” cue. Thanks!
1 person likes this.
Upside down 100 cue was my fav! First time feeling up stretch like that!
1 person likes this.
Great class!  Short and intense and fun.  Thanks
Maureen G yass omg that is music to my ears!!! Thanks for taking! xx~LL
Malini S woohoo I'm so happy got to feel that! Thank you for letting me know xx
Eileen G yay! So happy you enjoyed that! xx
1 person likes this.
I rarely comment but this is so good, when your flexible like I am it is hard to lose this particular connection. You have given me that ahhhaa moment! Thank you! Love all the classes.💚
Peggy G Awe! this brings me so much joy! Thank you so much for sharing and this is just the beginning xx

1 person likes this.
TREE. The first time I really pulled in my outer thighs all the way through.. game changer Lesley! Thankyouuuuu! 
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