Issuu on Google+

advanced

Reformer A FULLY ILLUSTRATED MANUAL

second edition

Original copyright © 2003 by Merrithew Corp., Toronto, Canada. Reprinted 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007, 2005, 2004. All rights reserved. No part of this book, including photography, may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher. STOTT PILATES; Intelligent Exercise. Profound Results.; CORE Athletic Conditioning & Performance Training; Fitness Circle; Flex-Band; Merrithew Health & Fitness; SPX; Stability Chair; STOTT PILATES Network; The Professional’s Choice; V2 Max; Total Barre and ZEN•GA are trademarks or registered trademarks of Merrithew Corporation.

INTELLIGENT EXERCISE. PROFOUND RESULTS.®

merrithew.com

basic principles BREATHING The method incorporates modern theories of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation through the Five Basic Principles. As the basis of the exercises in the technique, these biomechanical principles are related to body awareness and proper alignment. Rather than being separate entities, the five principles – breathing, pelvic placement, rib cage placement, scapular movement and stabilization, and head and cervical placement – work together to create Intelligent Exercise that is both safe and effective. Teaching clients the principles at an early stage in their program ensures that they will become aware of how the body moves and functions. This will help enhance skill level and mindfulness, and ensure focus and control, allowing them to reap the full benefits of this method. BREATHING PRINCIPLE EXPLAINED

Incorporating proper breathing during exercise may help relax the muscles and avoid unnecessary tension. A relaxed and full breath pattern can encourage focus and allow concentration on each task. Proper inhalation and exhalation may also help achieve dynamic stability during exercise. In all exercises the initial breath and awareness of stabilization should occur before the actual movement.

This will provide more complete stabilization through the pelvis and entire lumbo-pelvic region. Anatomically, during exhalation, the rib cage closes in and down while the spine flexes slightly. For this reason, an exhale is suggested to encourage spinal flexion. During inhalation, the rib cage opens out and up while the spine extends. Therefore an inhale is suggested to encourage spinal extension. An exhale may be used during spinal extension in order to maintain abdominal recruitment to stabilize and support the lumbar spine. Although this type of breath pattern is specifically useful while practicing , other types of breathing may be more practical when performing other activities. Developing an awareness of breath patterns will facilitate adaptation to any training necessary. BREATHING PRINCIPLE EXERCISES

The following movements demonstrate the principle of breathing. 1. NOTICE NATURAL BREATH PATTERN

With body supine, breathe smoothly, noticing natural breath pattern. Is breath affecting one area more than others? Consider the abdominal cavity, upper chest, sides and back of rib cage.

The breath pattern used during exercises should contribute to the execution of the movements rather than hindering them. Breathing shallowly only into the upper portion of the rib cage may cause overuse of the accessory breathing muscles and create tension in the neck and shoulder area. We encourage a more three-dimensional breath, expanding the rib cage posteriorly and laterally. There should be light engagement of the abdominal wall, and the diaphragm should depress, causing the abdomen to expand slightly. It is also important to breathe into the lower lobes of the lungs, because there is more efficient gas exchange.

2. BREATHING FLEXED FORWARD

INHALE

through nose, feeling sides and back of rib cage expand.

The breath pattern used in should encourage the engagement of the deep stabilizers of the torso. This involves activation of the transversus abdominis first, followed by the oblique abdominals. Simultaneous engagement of the pelvic floor and the multifidus with the transversus is encouraged during both the inhale and exhale.

EXHALE

through pursed lips, allowing rib cage to close.

This may encourage breathing into the sides and back of the rib cage. Start sitting in a neutral position, weight on top of sit-bones. Arms relaxed. INHALE

to prepare.

EXHALE

initiate from top of head and sequentially articulate spine into forward flexion, relaxing over legs.

Then …

Complete 3–5 repetitions On last exhale, initiate from tail and sequentially articulate spine, rolling up to starting position. Repeat.

Breathing Flexed Forward

start sitting

4

flex forward

B A S I C P R I N C I P L E S • A D VA N C E D R E F O R M E R M A N U A L

return © 2013 MERRITHEW CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

3. LATERAL RIB CAGE BREATHING WHILE SUPINE

Start supine. Encourage release of any tension. Allow body to feel relaxed and heavy on the mat, specifically through the sacrum and rib cage. Relax shoulders and neck (use a foam cushion under head if needed to avoid discomfort in the cervical spine), and feel clavicle wide. Place hands on the sides of the rib cage. On an inhale, feel the rib cage and abdomen expand anteriorly and laterally into hands. On an exhale, feel the rib cage and abdomen return to neutral. Keep thoracic spine in its normal curve, slightly convex posteriorly, neither flexing nor extending.

One way to feel activation of the transversus is to lie supine in a relaxed neutral position and place fingertips just medially to ASIS (anterior superior iliac spine). On an exhale, perform a submaximal contraction of the pelvic floor, feeling it gently lifting. At the same time, feel the abdominal wall tighten slightly beneath the fingertips with a sub-maximal contraction of the transversus abdominis. Avoid the feeling of hollowing or pulling the belly button toward the spine, and there should be no muscles bulging beneath the finger tips. As well, do not allow the lumbar spine to flex or allow the rib cage to overly depress and flex the thoracic spine, as this will not facilitate engagement of the transversus.

4. PELVIC FLOOR ENGAGEMENT SITTING

Simultaneous co-contraction of the pelvic floor muscles along with the transversus abdominis offers stabilization and support of the entire lumbo-pelvic region. The pelvic floor muscles form a sheet that lies between the pubic bone, the coccyx and the two ischium. To achieve an optimal sub-maximal engagement, imagine these muscles gently contracting and lifting. This may be more easily felt in a sitting, quadruped or supine position depending on the individual. 5. TRANSVERSUS ENGAGEMENT SUPINE

The muscle fibers of the transversus abdominis wrap horizontally around the sides of the torso between the lower ribs and the pelvis. They attach into the abdominal aponeurosis in front and the thoracolumbar fascia in back. Tightening this muscle acts as a girdle around the torso, and allows activation of all the inner unit of the lumbo-pelvic region. Whether inhaling or exhaling, activation of the transversus enables local support to the entire area throughout an exercise.

6. BREATH PATTERN SUPINE INCORPORATING ABDOMINALS

This last step puts all the elements together into the breath pattern used in the exercises, not only supine but in any other position. Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth is employed to help regulate the breath and encourage a fuller breath pattern. Exhaling through slightly pursed lips may bring more awareness to the contraction of the transversus abdominis. Start supine with arms relaxed at side. INHALE

breathe in through the nose, expanding rib cage three-dimensionally.

EXHALE

breathe out through the mouth. Focus first on gentle pelvic floor and transversus engagement. As you exhale more deeply, you may feel the obliques engage to help press the air out.

A flattened appearance of abdomen during an exhale should occur as a result of the abdominal wall contracting not as a result of the spine flexing.

Lateral Rib Cage Breathing While Supine

breathing into sides of rib cage Š 2013 MERRITHEW CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

A D VA N C E D R E F O R M E R M A N U A L • B A S I C P R I N C I P L E S

5

exercises SWAN DIVE Position box lengthwise on carriage up against shoulder rests for the entire First Long Box series.

NOTE:

| FIRST LONG BOX EXERCISE INHALE

extend legs to move carriage out. Simultaneously, lengthen spine to neutral to form one line from feet to head (dart position), reaching arms to continue line, palms down.

EXHALE

extend spine, reaching chest toward ceiling, flex knees and extend hips. Simultaneously, reach arms up toward ceiling, opening them slightly and turning palms to face each other.

INHALE

extend legs, lowering and lengthening torso to dart position, reaching arms to continue line, palms down.

footbar position #3, 2 springs

The version of this exercise performed on the ladder barrel can aid in learning the exercise, before attempting it on the reformer.

NOTE:

STARTING POSITION

Prone on box, head toward pulleys. Upper thighs positioned at front edge of box (for comfort, avoid being directly on pubic bone). Pelvis and spine neutral. Legs laterally rotated and flexed to bring carriage in as far as possible without shifting position on box. Balls of feet on footbar, heels together, toes apart. Scapulae stabilized. Arms rounded around sides of box and reformer.

Repeat extension of spine on exhale and lowering to dart on inhale. EXHALE

flex knees to return carriage and lower torso, rounding arms around sides of box to return to starting position.

Complete 3 full sets. NOTE: Heels

can come apart slightly as legs extend fully, but come together again as knees flex.

Swan Dive

48

1. starting position

2. lengthen to one line

3. extend

4. lengthen to one line

E X E R C I S E S • A D VA N C E D R E F O R M E R M A N U A L

5. return Š 2013 MERRITHEW CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

exercises TEASER

| FIRST LONG BOX continued

2. TEARDROPS OUTWARD

EXERCISE

footbar position #3, 1 spring

To begin...

STARTING POSITION

Supine on box, head toward pulleys. Upper body (from about mid-scapulae up) extended off end of box. Lumbo-pelvic region neutral, upper thoracic and cervical spine extended. Legs straight, adducted, as low as neutral pelvis can be maintained. Arms straight reaching down by sides of box, hands in straps, palms facing up. Scapulae stabilized.

INHALE

initiate from head and begin to flex upper body. Simultaneously, initiate arm movement by stabilizing scapulae, and reach arms forward and slightly in toward midline to begin moving carriage out.

EXHALE

continue to sequentially articulate spine off box, rolling through imprint, then reach legs up and continue to roll spine off box to balance in V position. Simultaneously, continue to reach arms forward, directly in front of shoulders, as high as possible up to eye level, palms facing up.

Teardrops Outward

60

1. starting position

2. begin to flex

3. balance in V

4. circle arms outward

5. circle arms back

6. reach arms forward

E X E R C I S E S • A D VA N C E D R E F O R M E R M A N U A L

© 2013 MERRITHEW CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

exercises BREAST STROKE

EXERCISE

1. BREAST STROKE

INHALE

reach arms straight forward shoulder-distance apart, palms facing floor. Simultaneously, extend legs to form one long line from feet to hands.

EXHALE

circle arms out to sides then back toward feet and extend spine as high as possible maintaining abdominal support. Draw back of pelvis toward back of femurs to extend hips and lift ASIS off box, bringing torso higher. Simultaneously, laterally rotate and abduct legs just wider than shoulders. Stabilize scapulae and use resistance of springs to help lift torso.

INHALE

lengthen torso down onto box and flex elbows and knees, returning to starting position.

EXHALE

remain in starting position ensuring neutral pelvis, engaged abdominals and stabilized scapulae.

footbar position #3, 1 spring STARTING POSITION

Prone on box, head toward footbar, positioned so kneecaps are just off back end of box. Pelvis and spine neutral, upper body parallel to floor. Legs parallel and adducted, knees flexed with ankles plantar flexed and toes gently pointed. Hands in straps, elbows flexed by sides with hands next to shoulders, palms facing in. Scapulae stabilized.

Getting onto the Box

place hands in straps

| FIRST LONG BOX

Complete 5 repetitions.

lunge forward and hold end of box

Breast Stroke

1. starting position

2. reach forward

3. extend spine

4. return

© 2013 MERRITHEW CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

A D VA N C E D R E F O R M E R M A N U A L • E X E R C I S E S

69

exercises ARABESQUE / ATTITUDE ESSENCE

footbar position #1, 1 to 2 springs

transversus abdominis to compress abdomen and stabilize lumbo-pelvic region; deep pelvic floor to aid in firing transversus; erector spinae isometrically to maintain extended position; obliques to prevent overextension of lumbar spine; hip extensors of supporting leg concentrically to push carriage out, eccentrically on return; hip flexors of supporting leg concentrically to return carriage; hamstrings, gluteus maximus and lateral rotators of gesture leg isometrically to maintain height of leg; obliques and multifidus to resist over-rotation of pelvis; scapular stabilizers TARGET MUSCLES:

STARTING POSITION

Stand on carriage, one foot against shoulder rest, ankle dorsiflexed and hands holding footbar. Spine slightly extended. Pelvis over supporting leg, slightly rotated toward gesture leg but as square as possible. Gesture leg long reaching up directly behind hip, laterally rotated and extended (arabesque position). Shoulders completely square, heels of hands placed on footbar, shoulder-distance apart, scapulae stabilized. Arms long without locking elbows, elbows angled back. EXERCISE INHALE

keep torso, arms and gesture leg stabilized and still in space and extend supporting hip to press carriage out only as far as stability can be maintained.

EXHALE

keep reaching gesture leg up and flex supporting hip to pull foot back under pelvis and return carriage.

Complete 5 repetitions on each side.

STABILITY:

scapulae and arms; spine and gesture hip in extension

MOBILITY:

supporting hip flexion and extension

hip extensors to maintain gesture leg in extension during movement

ENDURANCE:

FOCUS ■

isolate movement at supporting hip joint to move carriage; avoid moving from shoulders

maintain abdominal support to stabilize spine in extension during movement of hips

maintain scapular stabilization throughout

keep shoulders square to footbar

use obliques to stabilize pelvis in slightly rotated position

keep weight over supporting foot as much as possible rather than on hands

keep gesture leg reaching high and extended at hip as carriage is both pressed out and pulled in

Arabesque

1. starting position

86

E X E R C I S E S • A D VA N C E D R E F O R M E R M A N U A L

2. press bottom leg out

3. return © 2013 MERRITHEW CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

MODIFICATIONS 1. PREP / FLAMINGO. To master action of moving carriage with supporting leg, stabilizing spine and pelvis, without bearing load of gesture leg in extension. Starting with gesture leg parallel, flexed at hip and knee. Spine as neutral as possible. Keep gesture leg still in space; do not allow it to move as carriage is pressed out. 2. ATTITUDE. Start with gesture leg laterally rotated and flexed slightly at knee. Works gluteus maximus to maintain hip in extended position, but not as challenging as full exercise.

Can be used with Arabesque, Attitude or Flamingo. Foot of supporting leg on high half toe, with ball of foot on carriage and heel against shoulder rest. Challenges ankle stability more, but less hamstring and calf flexibility required. 3. HIGH HALF TOE.

4. HIGH HALF TOE ON TOP OF SHOULDER REST. Can be used with Arabesque, Attitude or Flamingo. Balancing on ball of foot on top of shoulder rest with heel raised. Challenges ankle stability further and balance in general; also more strength required from hip flexors to return carriage.

Modification 1

prep (shown in high half toe)

Modification 2

Modification 3

Modification 4

attitude (shown in high half toe)

high half toe

on top of shoulder rest

Š 2013 MERRITHEW CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

A D VA N C E D R E F O R M E R M A N U A L • E X E R C I S E S

87

exercises HIGH BRIDGE

continued EXERCISE

2. HANDS ON FOOTBAR

INHALE

stabilize spine and hips in extension and press knees away to slightly decrease hip extension and press carriage out.

EXHALE

stabilize spine and hips in extension, do not allow lumbar spine to extend further and slightly increase hip extension to pull knees in and return carriage.

footbar position #1, 2 springs STARTING POSITION

Kneel against shoulder rests facing pulleys with body in a ‘bridge’ position, arms reaching overhead to footbar. Spine in extension with front of torso facing ceiling. Hips fully extended, legs parallel with knees flexed and pressed against shoulder rests. Arms reaching overhead to hold footbar, elbows as extended as possible. Scapulae stabilized.

Complete 5 repetitions.

Getting into Starting Position

1. reach arm up

2. extend back

Hands on Footbar

1. starting position

88

E X E R C I S E S • A D VA N C E D R E F O R M E R M A N U A L

2. press out

3. return © 2013 MERRITHEW CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

exercises STAR

continued ESSENCE

2. STAR footbar position #1, 1 or 2 springs STARTING POSITION

Lean on a diagonal, facing side. Pelvis and spine neutral, one line from feet to head. Legs straight with bottom foot pressed against front shoulder rest, top foot resting on bottom foot, ankle plantar flexed. Supporting arm straight holding footbar in line with shoulder, scapula stabilized. Top arm straight resting along top side, palm facing thigh. EXERCISE INHALE

maintain long line from feet to head and scapular stabilization, and abduct supporting arm to press carriage out. Simultaneously, abduct free arm and leg.

EXHALE

maintain long line from feet to head and scapular stabilization, and adduct supporting arm to control return of carriage. Simultaneously, adduct free arm and leg.

TARGET MUSCLES: transversus abdominis to compress abdominals and stabilize lumbo-pelvic region; deep pelvic floor to aid in firing transversus; obliques and erector spinae to stabilize torso as carriage is pressed out and in; supporting with obliques and hip abductors to prevent pelvis sinking toward floor; hip abductors of free leg concentrically to lift leg, eccentrically as leg lowers; scapular stabilizers of supporting side, especially serratus anterior; deltoids and supraspinatus of supporting arm concentrically to initiate press out; latissimus dorsi and teres major eccentrically to control shoulder abduction, concentrically to initiate shoulder adduction; deltoids eccentrically to control return of carriage; deltoids of top arm concentrically as arm lifts, eccentrically as arm lowers; gluteus maximus, hamstrings and abdominals to stabilize pelvis in neutral; obliques and multifidus to prevent rotation STABILITY: scapula and arm of supporting side; torso; pelvis on supporting femur MOBILITY: shoulder adduction and abduction; gesture hip abduction and adduction

supporting arm and scapular stabilizers; torso stabilizers

ENDURANCE:

Complete 5 repetitions on each side.

Star

1. starting position

2. press out

Š 2013 MERRITHEW CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

3. return A D VA N C E D R E F O R M E R M A N U A L • E X E R C I S E S

223

advanced

REFORMER FOOTWORK

3 OR 4 SPRINGS 10 TO 12 REPS

12345

SECOND POSITION

SECOND LONG BOX

3 OR 4 SPRINGS 10 TO 12 REPS

ROCKING

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

HUNDRED

2 OR 3 SPRINGS

FEET PULLING STRAPS

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

SHORT SPINE

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

SWIMMING

2 SPRINGS

4 SETS

COORDINATION

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

SWAN DIVE

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

GRASSHOPPER

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

ROUND BACK

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

BACK ROWING

123

12

FRONT ROWING

1234

10 SETS

SHORT BOX FIRST LONG BOX SWAN DIVE PREP

2 SPRINGS

3 SETS

STRAIGHT BACK

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

1 SPRING

5 REPS

TWIST WITH ROUND BACK

2 SPRINGS

3 REPS

BACKSTROKE

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

LEAN

123

2 SPRINGS

3 REPS

TEASER PREP 1 2 3 4 5

1 SPRING

4 REPS

TREE

123

2 SPRINGS

3 REPS

BREAST STROKE 1 2

1 SPRING

5 REPS

MERMAID

123

2 SPRINGS

3 TO 5 REPS

HORSEBACK PREP 1 2 3 4

1 SPRING

4 REPS ELEPHANT

12

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

10 REPS

2 SPRINGS

10 REPS

ARMS PULLING STRAPS

123

LONG STRETCH

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

LEG CIRCLES

DOWN STRETCH

2 SPRINGS

2 SETS

LONG SPINE

UP STRETCH

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

KNEE STRETCHES

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

RUNNING

3 OR 4 SPRINGS 20 TO 60 REPS

3 REPS

HIP LIFT

2 OR 3 SPRINGS

10 REPS

SHOULDER BRIDGE

2 OR 3 SPRINGS

3 REPS 5 TO 10 REPS

1234

ARABESQUE ⁄ ATTITUDE

PREP

LONG BACK STRETCH

PREP

2 SPRINGS

STOMACH MASSAGE

123456

2 OR 3 SPRINGS

TENDON STRETCH PREP

5 TO 10 REPS

123

2 OR 3 SPRINGS 12345

2 SPRINGS

3 REPS 10 REPS

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

HIP ROLLS

2 OR 3 SPRINGS

OVERHEAD PREP

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

SINGLE THIGH STRETCH

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

SEMICIRCLE

2 SPRINGS

3 REPS

FRONT SPLITS

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

6 REPS

BACK SPLITS

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

3 SPRINGS

5 REPS

SIDE SPLITS

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

CONTROL FRONT

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

4 REPS

CONTROL BACK

SNAKE PREP

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

3 REPS

HIGH BRIDGE

TWIST

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

3 REPS

STAR PREP

CORKSCREW

2 SPRINGS

3 REPS

BALANCE CONTROL

2 SPRINGS

2 REPS

CHEST EXPANSION THIGH STRETCH

1234

12

12

SIDE ARM WORK

123456

REVERSE EXPANSION

12345

123456789

12

123

123

1 2 TO

2 SPRINGS 8 TO 10 REPS

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

6 REPS

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

6 REPS

2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

1 OR 2 SPRINGS

5 REPS

m e r r i t h e w. c o m 2 2 0 0 Y O N G E S T R E E T, S U I T E 5 0 0 , T O R O N T O , O N , C A N A D A M 4 S 2 C 6 . 4 1 6 - 4 8 2 - 4 0 5 0

© 2013 MERRITHEW CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

A D VA N C E D R E F O R M E R M A N U A L • W O R K O U T C H A RT

227


Advanced Reformer Sample