Pilates Reformer – Standing Lower Body Exercises

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 45,160
    Fitness Expert Tanya Merryman demonstrates how to do pilates reformer standing lower body exercises.

    Tanya Merryman: Hi, I'm Tanya Merryman and let's continue with our lower body exercises in this full body workout that we are going to be doing. As I go on to my standing leg work, I am going to check my resistance controls, I am actually going to lighten them up, I am going to take off all the fat or the thick resistance straps. I am going to close the platform, so I only have the two small straps, which is the blue and the yellow. I am coming over to my foot bar, adjusting it. I want to make sure, my foot bar is all the way down, out of the way of this movement. There is another adjustment which controls the distance, just to make sure it's pulled all the way back. Releasing the hand straps, just let them fall, to the floor and for safety it's always important because we have a moving section of the reformer and a non-moving section. When you step, you want to step on to the platform first, stabilize your body and then step on to the moving carriage. Make sure you have proper alignment, so I am pointing my tailbone down, still controlling my breathing, still have my rib cage supported, I am just going to release that carriage sending it away inhaling with my legs together. So I am exhaling away, inhaling getting nice and tall, bringing it back in, exhaling away. I have a good control, so you don't hear the machine, banging against the stopper. It's nice and smooth and that does take practice, don't expect yourself to be perfect the first time. You want to practice on a regular basis, at least once a week but three times is even better and if the arms get tired, just bring them right to the waist. I always want to think about, I am getting nice and tall, so I take all of that work that we did laying down, and now you are being challenged while you are standing. My legs are nice and softly bent, so I am not doing a squatting position, but I don't want to have my knees locked out. I am going to challenge myself going into another position while we are standing, I am just going to bend the knees but still keep my tailbone in alignment. What happens is, often times when I lean forward, and loose the alignment. So I have nice and tall, stacked ribs to hips right over my feet and then I just again exhale out and inhale breath back in. Exhale it out, inhale it back in and I am moving with feeling it more towards the outside of my legs versus the inside in my inner thighs with the straight legs. I am going to challenge you with a little combination and I am going to go ahead and do three more of these. I try to do 8-12 reps, and again, we can even make it harder by going a little bit slower. So my last one, I am going to go super slow, controlling using the muscle fibers and then bringing it back in and then releasing nice and tall. So this next combination, if you are feeling coordinated today, I am going to pull it down, keeping that tailbone in alignment, press with bent knees, without moving the carriage, I am going to try to straighten out my legs and then zipper everything back in. So I pull it down, press with bent knees, keeping the carriage from moving, extend my legs and then pull it back in. So I will try to do about eight of these bending, and you get better with each one. Pressing and pulling it back in and I start to feel my body want to come out of alignment, but I am fighting to keep it in alignment because I've got the nice controlled breathing, the nice relaxed shoulders, pressing it out, extending, pulling back in. I can challenge myself by adding some arms, always lengthening as I lift an extend. Let's go one more, bend, press, straight, pull back in and again, when we leave the machine I want to make sure I stand on the part that's not moving, find myself to the floor and we are done with our standing exercises. So that ends our standing leg work. In our next clip, you will see some core movements and some core training, working the abdominals with the back.