Overhead on the Reformer

Overhead is a great way to prepare for the Rowing series. Reach you do towards the ceiling will be the same reach you need as you Row and do your Teaser.

  • Author: Lesley Logan
  • July 27, 2019
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Overhead on the Reformer - Online Pilates Classes
Table of Contents
Overhead on the Reformer - Online Pilates Classes
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Equipment Needed: Reformer (I love using the Contrology Reformer.)
  • Reps: 3-5
  • Warning: Not ideal for those with neck and shoulder issues.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Overhead on the Reformer

Overhead on the Pilates Reformer gets a lot of flak. Many people wonder why on earth do we do this exercise so early in the workout. But the truth is, Overhead is just like Roll Over on the Mat. And this exercise is more than meets the eye. While it looks like Jackknife, it’s a great way to stretch your spine and warm up your back. Overhead is a great way to prepare for the Rowing series. The reach you do towards the ceiling will be the same reach you need as you Row and do your Teaser and rest of your Pilates workout.

Overhead is a great way to prepare for the Rowing series.

To set yourself up for the Overhead on the Reformer have two heavy springs on your Reformer and take your headrest down. Laying on your back place your hands in the handles and reach your arms to the sky. Your legs are long on the Reformer (footbar is down). Simultaneously press your hands down to the mat and lift your legs up. Then your hips will lift overhead as you press your whole arm into the carriage. Reach your legs long behind you but not down towards the well. It’s easy to let the legs drop down. Then lift your legs to the sky and then roll down towards the carriage. As your legs reach down to the footbar lift your arms to the ceiling and return the carriage with control. Repeat three to five more times.

As your legs move in space watch out that you don’t look down towards your stomach or legs. It will change the length of our spine. Maintain your gaze to the ceiling as you move. Once the legs reach overhead it will be tempting to drop them back down but remember how you did Jackknife on the mat? Continue to lift your hips and reach your legs up as you lower your spine down. You’ll need a lot of seat for this control. As the legs lower towards the footbar press your arms and shoulders back resisting the urge to lift the head and shoulders.

Overhead is a great warm up exercise, it stretches and warms up your back for future exercises in the workout. It also has a great rhythm that helps connect you more to the exercise. You’ll go Over and Up on a 1, 2. Then you can take your time lowering down and reaching the legs long onto the footbar.


Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!

By Lesley Logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

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2 comments

  1. Wow!! I just got your Reformer Flashcards and I am blown away. So much hard work went into these and your related tutorials. I was a regular attendee at in-person Pilates classes before Covid hit. When things shut down, I got a reformer at home but there is nothing like the assistance and keen eye of an instructor. Your cards are a great help until I feel comfortable going back to the studio, and I am sure will be a great complement thereafter. Thank you!

    1. Wow, Jennifer, thank you!! I’m so happy these cards can support you in your personal practice at home. I hear ya on the in person. It took me some time to get used to self-practice. And, I try to make sure the way I teach exercises helps you be your own teacher. Let us know if you have any questions xx~LL

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amazon flashcards website pop up | Online Pilates Classes

SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

CRAB SPECIAL

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I've had a lot of questions about the Crab on the Mat and I think there are a lot of fears around it. I believe you can Crab sooner than you think! On the Mat, the focus is about the Crab which comes at the end of the order, so let see how everything we do is to prep for it. On the Reformer, there's so much we can strengthen and practice so that you can do the Crab. Let's make a Crab Special!

Mat - Magic Circle. If you don't have one, you can use a ball or theraband or an old pair of leggings

Reformer - no props needed

See ya in class,

xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle (ball, theraband or old pair of leggings) and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    LOVE A TRANSITION

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    I'm not a big fan of cardio anymore. I used to be! OMG did I use to be! I loved to run! But, the move to Vegas made running half the year torture. And then I discovered that cardio isn't super awesome as I age. SOOO.. in come more Pilates and weight lifting. That being said, getting your heart rate up is amazing. So, when you flow...meaning you transition from one exercise to the next without stopping you will feel your heart rate spike! It also can be quite the challenge. So full permission to rest!

    No props needed

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    HIPPY KI-YAY, MAT & REFORMER

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    To find the work, we’ll use a hip band and mix some reformer exercises into the mat workout and some mat exercises into the reformer workout. We’ll work on finding connections to our hips while loosening them up and making them stronger.

    Mat Props: hip band, light weights, and something to prop the hips up.
    Reformer Props: hip band and your typical reformer pieces

    See you in class,

    Rachel

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band, light weights and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      TWIST LOVE

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      Continuing our love month with another spine shape to love -Twist! Again, if you can't twist you can still enjoy this workout on the Mat or Reformer because we still explore the power of Round, Extension, Side Bend and Tall!

      Twisting is tricky and key! Its one of the first spine shapes we lose if we take it for granted. So get ready to explore all the twists. And, find strength while doing it!

      No props needed.

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      WISH I WAS A BALLER

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      In this class, we will use the small ball in a variety of ways to find more connection in each exercise. Finding your upper back, Thass and inner thighs to name a few. We have added a few variations and a little creativity to make this class fun and challenging. Hopefully in the end you will feel like a baller!

      Props needed:
      Reformer - small ball and sitting box
      Mat - small ball

      See you in class,

      Mindi

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball, sitting box and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      WINTER WONDERLAND

      Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

      OPC Teacher Christine loves the snow! Snowy days make her happy. So during the winter season, her Pilates practice is more to support her snowy activities. Skiing, Ice Skating, Snowboarding and more! In class, we’ll work on some breathing, balance, lower body stamina, and upper body strength to carry all that gear!

      Cadillac/Tower = no props needed
      Wunda = no props needed
      Reformer = no props needed
      Mat = no props needed

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      THE BIG 4-6

      ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

      It's Mindi's BDAY month y'all and she is turning the Big 4 6!!! Oh yeah, which means that we are going to be doing either 4 reps of an exercise or 6!!! Alternating between the two means you get to explore what it feels like to have more reps or less reps to play with an exercise.

      Mat class - have your magic circle ready!

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      Every Which Way But Loose

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      Pick any Pilates exercise and you’ll find there are multiple directions of movement or reach to focus on. No need to make ourselves crazy trying to master them all! Pick one or two or maybe something new as we explore the Rowing Series on the Mat and the Reformer. We’ll reach, circle, bend, extend, and anchor …moving every which way but loose!

      -Tami-Adrian

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights (or cans of soup) and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, box and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.