Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions! Transitions!

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions! Transitions!

Tevye, of Fiddler on the Roof fame, works hard to perfect his Pilates transitions (Transitions)!

Transitions connect Joe Pilates' exercises into one continuous movement of dynamic stretching – which requires great strength and control.

Transitions consist of everyday pedestrian movements for which your Pilates workout diligently prepares you. You'll get up, get down, kneel, balance and turn, step up and down, reach and lift objects. You will strive for efficiency in these movements creating a deliberate but brisk tempo to your workout.

Aerobic, you say?

Yes, efficiency is the name of the game. The more efficient you are with the exercises and the transitions the more you will build endurance and stamina.

Often a transition may be more difficult than the exercises it connects.

Some common transitions on the Reformer include:

  • Lowering the footbar with your feet before the Hundred while lying down after the Footwork.
  • Sitting up and turning in a Teaser after the Hundred to remove 2 springs before Overhead OR Setting up the long straps for Frog and Circles – getting into them and out of them before Overhead.
  • The Teaser transition after Backstroke to remove a spring for the next exercise (Teaser).
  • Getting rid of the straps on your feet after the Long Spine Massage.
  • Efficient pace and tempo during exercise series like Stomach Massage, Short Box and Knee Stretches.

Transitions elevate the order of the exercises to dizzy new heights.

How cool are you when you not only perform the Backstroke and Teaser on the Reformer, but also connect them seamlessly while removing a spring.

What an icebreaker at parties.

Thank you so so much for watching and stay awesome, my friends!

Wanna see other transitions in a video? Look no further:

To efficiency and beyond!

Pilates Vlog: Joe and the Small Barrel

a fairy tale…

Remember Joe?

Pilates Vlog: Joe and the Small Barrel

By now you've seen him grace many a Pilates vlog of mine. He does a good job, he's a good sport and he's got a lovely sense of humor about his Pilates workout. Read more about his workout here.

He also professes to do only the Mat.

Which is mostly true…

Don't get too excited, only in my dreams does he beg me to teach him a Reformer exercise.

But he does use the Cadillac. He enjoys Leg Springs, Arm Springs and as you all saw, Rolling Back.

More recently, however, he's become a fan of the Small Barrel.

Pilates Vlog: Joe and the Small Barrel

I know, the small round apparatus… SO CUTE!

Battling the Computer Slump

It came to pass one day, after Joe had completed his Mat exercises, that I suggested he add some stretching over the barrel to his routine. For over a year now Joe has been in school for web design. Since that time, he's logged countless hours slumping sitting in front of his computer.

Hence my subtle suggestion.

“Stretch over the Barrel” (the Ladder Barrel I was thinking).

Now please keep in mind, if he were my client, I would have never decided to begin his barrel career with a Backbend on the Ladder Barrel…he also wouldn't exclusively be doing the Mat…etc…you know how this goes…

Joe is quite flexible (not quite loosey-goosey, but darn close) especially bending forward (my 1st clue) and he is not short.

And he's my husband, he does the full advanced Mat, and in the spirit of totally trying to look the other way and not pick-pick-pick his entire workout…blah blah disclaimer, blah…

This was indeed a day for learning.

Goldilocks and the Three Barrels

One second of beginning to lie back over the Ladder Barrel made Joe groan and abort.

“Whoa, that's hard…”

Okay, let's get the Spine Corrector…Joe sits on the step and tries again.

“No. I think it's too much here too…” Ix-nay on the Ine-spay Orrector-cay…

Small Barrel? For a man? That is not stiff?? (or so I thought) Well, one barrel left to try – let's give it a go.

“Oh yeah, this is doable…

Not ‘fine', not ‘good' but possible. And quite hard work for him, even now. The Small Barrel (we did a few Arm Circles only) was a good challenge for him.


Small Barrel. For a man. That evidently cannot bend backward nearly as easily as he can bend forward…

Yup. Now I get it.


Paying it Forward

I notice that with each workout Joe includes the Small Barrel.

He clearly sees the value, or moreover, feels the value of Small Barrel exercises in his body. He speaks of seeing various body types of older men, 20 or 30 years his senior, some of which have a hunched forward posture.

Joe sees the Small Barrel as his #1 way to remain upright for a lifetime.

The Vlog

In this short video Joe does 3 exercises on the Small Barrel:

  • arm circles – using 1 pound weights (he sometimes uses 2 pound weights)
  • one arm up/one arm down – using the weights
  • breathing (using a light pole)

Thanks so much for watching!

Related videos to combat the computer slump:

Computer Refresher 

Subscribe to receive a Special Bonus Blogpost
How to Fall in Love with the Exercises you Hate
We respect your privacy and never share your information.