Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions! 7!

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions! 7!

Welcome to the 7th installation of Transitions! Transitions!

We’ve been working our way through the Order of the Pilates Reformer Exercises.

Post Short Box and into the Short Spine Massage

Perhaps my very favorite transition!

Just as you were efficient in your set up into the Short Box, try to work with the same economy of movement to return the box, pole and pad to their respective spots.

  • Step off.
  • Place the pad where it lives.
  • Take box and pole back to their spot.
  • Done!

Remember way back to our Long Box transitions?

(Check out this video for a quick recap of how to be your own Pilates minion!)

If you've been following along, your straps will be already set up for the Short Spine Massage. All you need do is pick them up.

  • Place your straps in one hand.
  • Walk as much as you can to sit on the Reformer and lie back.
  • Lift your feet into the straps and enjoy!

A word about getting into the straps for Short Spine Massage

Notice I use the word ‘lift' to get your feet into the straps. I know, not a surprise…

In the spirit of a-little-exercise-before-the-exercise, work to lift yourself and therefore your feet to the straps without moving the carriage. 

Do not pull on the straps to move the carriage and straps to your feet. Remember you are about to do the Short Spine Massage. You should be able to lift yourself into position for this exercise.

Think of it as good Pilates etiquette.

Post Short Spine Massage and into the SemiCircle

You've got 2 options for extricating yourself from the straps post Short Spine Massage. I use them both depending on how much Reformer I will be doing in my workout.

1. The Fun Way

This one's a bit of “Look what I can do!” and is of course another exercise-after-the-exercise kind of transition.

  • Begin another repetition and pause when your hips are over your shoulders.
  • Use control and lower your legs to be approximately parallel to the floor.
  • Flex your feet to allow the straps to fall off your feet and into the well of the Reformer.
  • Roll down onto the carriage with control and continue to SemiCircle.

The Fun Way is the right transition to pick if you will be working more at an intermediate level and finishing up your Reformer with just a handful of additional exercises. The straps can be deposited into the well because you will not need them for the rest of your workout.

If you plan to proceed to Chest Expansion and beyond, I would choose option #2.

2. The Make-your-future-self-happy Way

You know you will need the straps (handles) again for Chest Expansion and beyond so you will place them exactly where you will need them next: where they live behind the shoulder rests.

  • Finish your Short Spine Massage.
  • Remove the straps/handles from your feet.
  • Undo them so the handles are free.
  • Replace the handles onto the pegs behind the shoulder blocks. Later you'll find them all set up for Chest Expansion.

With the straps all sorted out, you're ready to slide down the carriage to position yourself for the Semi Circle.

Enjoy this short video tutorial. 

Questions? Please leave them in a comment below.

Thank you so so much for watching!

In case you’ve missed one…

  • Check out the first Transitions! post to learn the purpose of an efficient Pilates transition.
  • Catch up on the 2nd post as well and move smoothly through the Rowing Series.
  • The 3rd installment will enhance your scoop and take you successfully into the Backstroke.
  • We hashed out the Big Transition into the Long Stretch Series into shape in post 4.
  • Transitions! 5! took us deep into the rhythm of the Stomach Massage Series.
  • My favorite, the Short Box Series gets the royal treatment in post 6.

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions! 5!

Welcome to the 5th installation of Transitions! Transitions!

We've been working our way through the Order of the Pilates Reformer Exercises.

In and Out of the Stomach Massage Series

The Stomach Massage Series presents us with yet another opportunity for efficient pace and tempo within an exercise series.

You'll strive to connect the exercises as though they were one continuous movement.

The body positions are slightly shifting and you are nearly in the same place on the apparatus.

But you've got some tasks to attend to (removing a spring) as you keep your steady pace.

Let's Move!

Stomach Massage Series #1: Round

Thanks Order of the Exercises: Transitions! 5!

First off you'll neatly sit into your first position. This one is ripe for futzing and fidgeting as you get into the “perfect” spot on the carriage.

No need to hang your butt off the edge of the carriage.

Sit where you'll find the most success to lift up out of your low back. I recommend a pad to sit on.

  • Sit with control and assume the position…
  • Notice the rhythm you'll create as you do your repetitions. You'll strive to keep pace with the rhythm you set up here as you remove the spring between exercises.
  • On the last repetition, get ready. You know which spring to remove and where you'll go to position yourself for the next exercise. This is part of your control. Know what you'll do and where you're going.
  • As you return the carriage, just as it closes remove 1 middle spring.
  • Keep your rhythm and begin #2: Hands Back as the carriage moves out again.
  • Relax, it's easy to get panicky, but you will calm yourself over time.

Stomach Massage Series #2: Hands Back

Thanks Order of the Exercises: Transitions! 5!

  • Keep your initial rhythm in place throughout the repetitions.
  • As the carriage returns on the last repetition, reach down and remove a second middle spring (you are now left with 2)
  • Move to #3: Reach as you move the carriage out.
  • Enjoy yourself!

Stomach Massage Series #3: Reach

Thanks Order of the Exercises: Transitions! 5!

  • Keep your initial rhythm in place throughout the repetitions.

Stomach Massage Series #4: Twist

Thanks Order of the Exercises: Transitions! 5!

  • Use your exhale to set the rhythm for this twisting exercise, which may slow your tempo a bit.
  • Finish the exercise and come up to standing.

A word about removing the springs

For the Stomach Massage Series, you'll begin with 3 or 4 springs.

Let's use the example of 4 springs.

After #1, use your right hand, reach through your legs to remove the middle-right spring (If you started with 3 springs, you'll get a pass on removing a spring at this point and continue on 3 springs for #2.).

After #2, use your left hand, reach through your legs to remove the middle-left spring.

Why?

I'm being very specific here and if my clients are working hard and sweating and moving along I probably wouldn't mention it.

However

For many people it's quite a stretch to reach all the way down to remove the springs from these compact seated positions.

Remember your arm is connected to your back. You can get a little extra back stretch – and practice reaching for things in your daily life even!! – on each side as you remove the 2 springs in the Stomach Massage Series.

I never miss an opportunity for a juicy back stretch…

Thanks, Joe.

Tendon Stretch Recap

Post Stomach Massage Series and into the Tendon Stretch

  • Slide the pad from Stomach Massage Series to the end of the carriage and hang it off the end a bit for security. I like to turn my pad longways at this point.

Otherwise, your Reformer is all set up for the Tendon Stretch – 2 springs and footbar up.

I know I could use a bit more practice on my transitioning into, during and out of the countless variations of the Tendon Stretch.

The Reformer is ready. Let's hope you are too.

Who's with me?

In and out of the Tendon Stretch 

  • I recommend a pad on the edge of the carriage.
  • Step up into position one hand, one foot, other hand, other foot.
  • Step off after the exercise one foot and then the other foot.

In and out of the Tendon Stretch one-leg variations

Here's a recent vlog on learning how to begin working on the Tendon Stretch one leg variations.

This week I have another clarification to add that I've found to be helpful.

  • We all have a tendency to be really heavy on our hands in the Tendon Stretch (and in many exercises where we get to hold onto that footbar).
  • In order to remove a hand while taking a leg to the side you cannot have all your weight on your arms.
  • Transfer your weight into the lower body.
  • With the carriage all the way in, work to really stand on your feet. 

Questions? Please leave them in a comment below.

Thanks so so much for watching!

In case you’ve missed one…

  • Check out the first Transitions! post to learn the purpose of an efficient Pilates transition.
  • Catch up on the 2nd post as well and move smoothly through the Rowing Series.
  • The 3rd installment will enhance your scoop and take you successfully into the Backstroke.
  • We hashed out the Big Transition into the Long Stretch Series into shape in post 4.

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions! 2!

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions! 2!

Welcome to the 2nd installment of Transtions! Transitions!

The Order of the Universe

Working through the order of the Pilates Reformer exercises, let's go back a bit to the very beginning before continuing on through the sequence.

Post-Footwork and into the Hundred

The very first transition you'll get to enjoy precedes the Hundred. Speedily and without getting up you'll use your feet to lower the footbar after completing the Footwork series.

One foot will lift the footbar while the other catches the support bar. It's even a little bit of an abdominal exercise as you control both bars down into place without a bang.

Please note: Depending on the manufacturer of your Reformer, this may or may not be possible: for example if your Reformer has a locking mechanism on the footbar. Alternatively you can cleanly sit up to take it down efficiently with your hands – no worries, you can still get a clean and efficient transition out of it.

In and out of the Rowing Series

So far we've covered 4 transitions: (Find the ones you missed here.)

  • Footwork into Hundred
  • In and out of the long black straps after the Hundred and Frog and Circles OR
  • Hundred into Overhead
  • Backstroke into the Teaser

Going back a bit in the order, we'll pick up the efficient transitions within the Rowing Series.

Coordination into Rowing 1+2

After Coordination you've got a few things to accomplish efficiently. You'll remove a spring and you'll turn around to get into position for the first exercise in the Rowing Series: Into the Sternum.

For maximum efficiency in this transition you'll get into place first and then remove the spring once you're there.

  1. Take the handles into one hand.
  2. Sit up and turn all the way around. Place both legs into the space between the shoulder rests.
  3. You've still got a free hand. Reach behind you to remove 1 spring (you'll have 1 spring remaining for the Rowing).
  4. Do the Rowing exercises 1+2: Into the Sternum and 90°

Please note: the headpiece will be down from the Overhead. If you are not currently doing the Overhead, the headpiece may be up and you'll have to put it down. Just an extra moment to show off how efficient you can be.

Rowing 2 into Rowing 3-6

You've finished the first 2 exercises in this series and you'll need to turn around for the next 4 exercises, the remainder of the series. I have found the following transition to be most effective.

  1. Place the handles on the carriage beside your legs, approximately in front of the shoulder rests.
  2. Bring your legs around and turn to face the front of the Reformer.
  3. Slide back in between the handles and pick them up for the 3rd exercise in the series: From the Chest.
  4. Do the Rowing exercises 3-6: From the Chest, From the Hips, Shave and Hug.
  5. After the Hug, replace your handles onto the bolts where they live. Now you're ready for Long Box 1!

Efficiency builds stamina

A word about the purpose of transitions: connection!

You'll connect each exercise to the next.

Moreover, you'll keep the workout going. Your connection to your center will be enhanced by your transitions.

This is not a time for resting. Keep your focus.

Keep your workout seamless and challenging.

Enjoy this short video tutorial.

Questions? Please leave them in a comment below.

Thank you so so much for watching!

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.