Week 3__Program Design__Student 1

Reformer (Beginner without Knees Off)

Footwork (all)--Cueing to focus on lengthening of the body and stretch of legs for the first 3.  I would also use hands on to facilitate the stretch of the foot in each position and stretch of the tendons, by pulling heels down in Tendon Stretch.



Leg Circles

Stomach Massage Series --Cueing on the reach and lengthening and twisting from the waist for II, III and twist.

Short Box Series--Cueing the lifting of the lower back and abdominals in I-IV and on the lift and twist for II and IV.


Knee Stretches (w/o Knees off)

Running --focus on the stretch of the heel as it moves under the foot bar.

Pelvic lift--focus on length and articulation of the spine on the rolldown.

Mat on Cadillac (beginner w/out side kicks)


Roll Down

Single Leg Circles--use hands on to show the full range of motion.

Rolling like a ball

Series of Five (all)--focus on the stretch and pull to the body of the leg in single straight leg stretch.  Focus on the lift and curve of both shoulders lifting off the ground.

Spine Stretch Forward---focus on stretch of lower back and tension of the belly button pulling back to spine

Neck Roll--focus on extension of upper back and slow roll of the neck with head heavy.



Push Through--maximize the stretch when client pushes up on bar by kneeling in back and giving added push.


Roll Back --focus on articulation of spine

Roll Back with One Arm (including stretch)--focus on breathing through the stretch.

Week 3__Program Design__Student 2


-Footwork 1-4



-Leg circles

-Stomach Massage 1-4

-Short box series


-Knee stretches


-Pelvic lift


-Roll up

-Leg circles

-Rolling like a ball

-Single leg stretch

-Double leg stretch

-Single straight leg stretch

-Double straight leg stretch

-Criss cross

-Spine stretch forward

-Neck roll



-Roll back

-Push through


Week 3__Program Design__Student 3


I would emphasize feeling length in the body, as well as, moving without gripping to add a sense of fluidity.


Footwork Toes

Footwork Arches

Footwork Heels

Footwork Tendon Stretch



Leg Circles

Stomach Massage Round

Stomach Massage Flat

Stomach Massage Reach

Stomach Massage Twist

Short Box Round

Short Box Flat

Short Box Side to Side

Short Box Twist and Reach

Short Box Tree


Knee Stretches Round

Knee Stretches Arched

Knee Stretches Knees Off


Pelvic Lift



Roll Down

Single Leg Circles

Rolling like a Ball

Single Leg Stretch

Double Leg Stretch

Single Straight Leg Stretch

Double Straight Leg Stretch

Criss Cross

Spine Stretch Forward

Neck Roll

Side Kicks


Small Barrel:

Stretch over Barrel

Arm Circles

Leg Series Circles

Leg Series Scissors

Leg Series Beats

Leg Series Bicycle

Rest Position



Roll Down

Arm Circles


Roll Back

Roll Back with One Arm


Push Through

Week 3__Program Design__Student 4

Beginner Reformer Sequence:

Foot Work 1-4

-Extra cueing to get longer during foot work; stretch assist during tendon stretch.



Leg Circles - Cue getting longer and pressing out of hip sockets

Stomach Massage - Tactile cues at lumbar spine to stay on sits bones during the “reach” portion and to get taller when twisting away.

Short Box 1-4

Extra emphasis on getting longer and stretching taller during all straight back work. Provide an extra hamstring stretching during Tree.

Running and Pelvic Lift

Push Through Bar on the Cadillac - Cue spinal extension portion

Roll up - extra assist to reach long past the toes

Single leg circles - cueing length for leg on the matt

Rolling like a ball

Series of 5 - emphasizing the stretch aspect of each exercise

Spine Stretch Forward - cueing the reach forward

Sidelying leg springs on the Cadillac - cueing both legs reaching longer on the mat; emphasizing length rather than height

Finish with a hamstring/gastroc stretch on hanging bars

Week 3__Program Design__ Student 5

I would focus my cuing on stretching the limbs and also the flexibility of the spine by moving through different planes). Specific examples are noted below.


  1. Footwork Series (all)

  2. Hundred

  3. Frogs

  4. Leg Circles

  5. Stomach Massage Series (all)

  6. Short Box (all)

  7. Knee Stretches (all)

  8. Running

  9. Pelvic Lift


  1. Roll Up (I would cue them to work very slowly through this exercise, rolling through the spine 1 vertebra at a time, while reach the heels forward)

  2. Single Leg Circles (stretch both legs)

  3. Single Leg Stretch

  4. Criss Cross (“rotate and wring the waist out”)

  5. Spine Stretch Forward

  6. Neck Roll (As there is not much extension in the beginner system I would specially focus on this exercise to create length and flexibility through their spine through extension by cuing the client to keep their ribs and belly pulling up to the ceiling and keeping the entire spine long).


  1. Push Through (I would cue a very snakelike fluid motion of the spine by using the power of the abdominals)

  2. Side Leg Spring Series

Small Barrel

  1. Stretch Over Barrel

  2. Arm Circles

  3. Leg Series Circles, Scissors, Walking, Beats, Bicycle

Week 3__Program Design__Student 6

Client Request - Improve Flexibility

Basic Reformer





Tendon Stretch


Frogs/ Circles

Stomach Massage


-Arms Back


Short Box


-Flat Back



Knee Stretches


- Arched

Running & Pelvic Lift

Basic Mat    


The Hundred

Roll Down

Roll Up

Single Leg Circles

Single Leg Stretch

Double Leg Stretch

Spine Stretch Forward





Special Focus on the Lengthening for each exercise. I will emphasize that in lengthening and strengthening our muscles we become more flexible. I will use cue words like reach and stretch.

Week 3__Program Design__ Student 7

1. Reformer

Footwork (toes, arch, heels, tendon stretch)

“When pushing the carriage out, make sure to extend your leg so they are straight - without blocking your knees - “

“Use the resistance on your way in to lengthen the spine.”


“Really extend your leg away from your midline as if someone was pulling on them, press the inner thighs together and lengthen your arms while pumping vigorously.”

Stomach Massage Series

- Round: “Really stretch out those legs as much as you can in order to get a good stretch while maintaining your back rounded and your elbows wide.

- Arms Back: “Use the shoulder blocks to maintain the stretched in your arms and keep elongating your legs.”

- Reach:” Reach your hands towards mine and bring your spine as forward as possible using the scoop of your stomach. Your legs remain strong and straight.”

Short Box Series

- Round: “Articulate your spine down one vertebra at a time until you feel your abs working.

Come back slowly to your starting position paying attention to curl up starting from your lower back and keeping your back rounded the entire time.”

- Flat: “Reach both arms AND legs as straight as possible. Hinge back and keep your back long and straight, elongate through the arms to add on some stretching effect.”

- Side to Side: “ Reach sideways making sure your collarbones are ahead of your hips, deepen your side stretch by squeezing your buttocks ”.

- Tree: “Sit up as tall as possible, pull your upper body to your leg. It’s more about keeping your upper body upright than bringing the leg towards you. Hinge back keeping your leg and upper body in the same angle. Lower slowly by walking your hands down that leg and give yourself a full back bent if it feels comfortable.”

Elephant / Running and Pelvic Lift: usual cues.

2. MAT on the Cadillac:

- Roll-Up as a start,  since we did the 100 already, giving the client a hands-on cue to assist in the stretch going past the toes (one hand on lower back, one forearm to help scoop the abs in).

- Single Leg Circles: I would perform a hands-on on the bottom leg to help elongate and stretch it while keeping the hips still.

- Rolling Like a Ball: usual cues

- Single Leg Stretch: hands-on on the bent leg to stretch it even more.

-  Double Leg Stretch: extra hands-on on the upright leg to straighten it more.

- Spine Stretch Forward: assisted hands-on (one hand on lower back, the other on upper back) to deepen the stretch.


Leg Springs

- Circles:” Control the springs and lengthen your legs as much as you can while making the circles. Think of precision of  movements in a small range of motion”.

- Walking: “Stabilize your legs and the springs,control your legs when walking down and up, think of opposition with your arms”

- Bicycle: “ Slide your leg

- Beats: ”Super strong and long legs to perform those beats, keep thinking long’

- Rond de Jambe: “With your leg low towards the mat, draw small precise circles keeping tension in the springs, think of scooping your abs in to keep the back anchored to the mat”

Arms Springs

- Circles and Triceps: usual cues.

Push Through:” I would assist with hands-on to lengthen the back when the bar is lifted and to push it down when the bar pushes through.

Breathing: usual cues.

Roll-Back:” Maintain contact of your feet against the poles by pushing your heels on them and straightening your legs as much as you can, without locking your knees. Use the roll-back to stretch down and push your shoulder blades firmly on the mat.”

Week 3__Program Design__ Student 8

REFORMER -- Beginner

Footwork Series




    Tendon Stretch



Leg Circles -- special focus on cueing: anchoring the spine while lengthening the legs

Stomach Massage Series -- special focus of cueing: lowering the heels together for bigger stretch


    Hands Back


Short Box Series



    Side to Side -- special focus on cueing: lifting in the waist when bending to the side


    Tree -- special focus on cueing: straightening the leg and rounding forward putting their nose on their knee

Elephant -- special focus on cueing: straight legs but not hyper-extended to stretch the spine & legs

Knee Stretches




Pelvic Lift

MAT -- Beginner

The Hundred

Roll Down / Roll Up

Single Leg Circles -- special focus on cueing: elongating the leg and increasing the circle by lowering down to the opposite ankle all while maintaining strength & control.

Rolling Like A Ball

Single Leg Stretch -- special focus on cueing -- drawing the bent knee in close to the shoulder/ear

Double Leg Stretch

Single Straight Leg Stretch -- special focus on cueing: keeping the legs straight for bigger stretch

Double Straight Leg Stretch

Criss Cross

Spine Stretch Forward -- special focus on cueing: sitting tall with straight legs and rounding forward with the abdominals supporting the spine for maximum stretch

Neck Roll

Side Kicks


LEG SPRINGS at the Cadillac -- Beginner

Special Focus on Cueing: elongating the legs without locking the knees while pulling the abdominals in & up





Rond de Jambe

PUSH THROUGH at the Cadillac -- Beginner

Special Focus on Cueing:  both legs & arms stretched & long and the spine tall for maximum stretch and for less flexible clients encourage them to push the bar to or slightly past the poles.

Week 3__Program Design__ Student 9

This week emphasis is on gaining more flexibility- I would group lengthening in with becoming more flexible and therefore stress the exercises that focus on lengthening the body.


Foot work 1- toes

Foot work 2- arches

Foot work 3- heels

*Foot work 4- tendon stretch


Leg circles


Stomach massage 1- round

Stomach massage 2- flat

*Stomach massage 3- reach

*Stomach massage 4- twist

Short box 1- round

Short box 2- flat

*Short box 3- side to side

Short box 4- twist



Knee Stretches 1- round

Knee stretches 2- arched

Knees off


Pelvic lift

Vocal cues: throughout the footwork series I’d be sure to tell the client to really lengthen out as they send the carriage out, keeping tail heavy- really stretch through their legs to open the springs. Tendon stretch- I’d use my hands here to bring the heels lower and lift them higher for deeper calf engagement. For frogs, as you press the legs out reacccchhh your heels further towards me to really push through the legs here, now bend to drag them back out. Stomach massage 3, reach- keep a straight back as you press your legs out behind you, keeping arms lifted and shoulders relaxed. Really feel the opposition here as you reach forward to keep both the legs and back straight. Stomach massage 4, twist- twist through the ribs as you open back and to the side, keeping a straight back.  Short box 3, side to side- lift up and over to the side, reaching top hand up and away as you anchor the opposite hip down to the mat, keeping shoulders relaxed. Tree- keep a straight back as you bend the knee into the chest, straightening and bending the leg in and out- really reaching toward the ankle with a flat back. Round nose to knee and rock back over the edge of the box, flexing both feet as you walk down the thigh and open your chest into the well, and walk back up. Round yourself up and sit up straight here before switching sides. Running- really lift and lower those alternating heels- stretch up and stretch down as you lift and lower each foot above and below the bar.



(Hundred- would leave it out, not twice in one session)

*Roll up

*Single leg circles

Rolling like a ball

Single leg stretch

Double leg stretch

*Single straight leg stretch

Double straight leg stretch

Criss cross

*Spine stretch forward

Neck roll

*Side leg kicks- front /back

*Side leg kicks- up/down

Side leg circles

Beats to switch, repeat side leg series other side


Vocal cues- Roll up- feet flexed back here for a deeper stretch- roll up and over keeping the navel to the spine, head in line with the arms, reaching forward with the arms as you pull back into the lower abdominals. Single leg circles- start with a small motion out of the hip- keep both hips anchored here to circle across the body, down, and around. We’re working up to gain a wider range of motion in the hips. Single straight leg stretch- straighten one leg up to the ceiling and the other straight to the wall, and hold the top leg at the ankle, pulling it twice to meet your face- elbows wide. Pull it towards the face on the first pull, and come even closer and deeper into the stretch for the second pull, also working to keep both hips anchored. Spine stretch forward- sit up straight as if against a wall, bending at the knees if necessary. Nod the head to the chest and slowly peel each vertebrae off the wall, rounding forehead down towards the mat as if there were a beach ball underneath you- pulling navel to spine. Side leg kicks, front/back- maintaining Pilates turnout- kick forward twice, kicking two inches further on the second kick, and keep hips steady as you bring the leg back behind you for one. Side leg kicks, up/down- kick up towards the ceiling opening the hips and resist the leg back down to meet the other.


*Roll back

*Single arm roll back


*Push through

Vocal cues: Roll back- sit up straight to start, tuck the tailbone and slowly roll down to the mat emphasizing the low back, middle back, and upper back along the mat. Single arm roll back- focus on keeping the rollback bar level as you articulate your spine to the mat, now trace the opposite arm down and around the head on the mat to reach towards the back pole, or edge of the mat- feel the stretch here as you look to the armpit. Push through- feet wide against the poles, sitting up straight, bending at the knees if necessary. Grab the push through bar and with straight arms press up to lift the bar, lifting through the middle back. Keeping straight arms, tuck the tailbone to round back, pressing the bar down. Now curl up and push the bar through the poles while pulling navel to spine. This is a big opposition stretch, pulling navel to the spine while also reaching forward with the bar!



*Roll down

Vocal cues: Stand one step away from the wall in Pilates stance- pressing the spine firmly against the wall. Iron out your spine as you inhale and exhale here, engaging the powerhouse to press each vertebrae into the wall. Roll down- keep the back entirely against the wall, navel to spine, as you slowly lower your head and peel down beginning with the upper back, middle back, and lower back. Make sure to articulate your spine back against the wall as you roll back up.

Week 3__Program Design__ Student 10

55-minute beginner session for improving flexibility:

I would do a full beginner reformer, basic mat, and then move over to the cadillac.


Footwork Series (toes, arches, heels, tendon stretch)- 10 each

-I would emphasize the tendon stretch and how it brings length to the back of the legs

           The Hundred

           Frog- 6 times

-I would emphasize the pulling in of the legs into the frog with tailbone dropped to increase the angle of the thighs to torso for a stretch.

           Leg Circles- 6 each direction

           Stomach Massage

                       -Round- 10 times

                       -Flat- 10 times

                       -Reach- 4 times

                       -Twist- 3 times

- I would emphasize the difference in spinal orientation between round and flat to encourage more movement.

           Short Box

                       -Round- 5 times

                       -Flat- 4 times

                       - Side to Side- 3 sets

                       -Twist- 2 sets

                                   -”Grow taller as you return to center!”

                       -Tree- 3 each side

- I would cue them bringing their body toward their leg, and really lifting up and growing tall.

           Elephant- 8 times

           Knee Stretches (round (8) arched (8) knees off (8) )

           Running - 20

           Pelvic Lift



           Roll Up- 5 times

-I would encourage the peeling of the spine to increase space between their vertebrae.

           Single Leg Circle- 5 each way

-I would emphasize  the stabilizing of the torso so the leg finds more freedom in the socket.

           Rolling like a Ball- 6 times

                       “Try and have your entire spine contact the mat as you roll back and up.”

           Single Leg Stretch- 10 sets

           Double Leg Stretch-10 times

           Spine Stretch Forward- 5-8 times

-I would have them sit up straight against my leg and peel themselves off as they stretch forward to really find that stretch in their back.


           Roll Back- 5 times

                       -I would encourage keeping the legs straight

           Roll Back with One Arm- 2 each side

                       -I would make sure their back is flat during the stretch

           End with two hands- roll back

           Push through- 4 times

-I would encourage their legs stay straight and to push the bar through as much as they could while maintaining powerhouse support.


I would have them finish standing against the wall so that they could check into length they may have found during the session.

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