Reformer on the Mat is one of my favorite classes to teach and to take. Not only is it fun, but it will uncover where you have been cheating your own reformer exercises.
As a teacher it is really interesting to adapt the exercises from the reformer to the mat. You begin by looking at the Shape in Space, the goal, and where the work should initiate from. Some exercises are easier to adapt such as Footwork, The Hundred and Coordination. These exercises have a larger base of support, are supine, and are very similar to exercises on the mat. Footwork, for example, is much like the Hundred. The head is up, and your legs are up and supported by your powerhouse. The challenge doing these on the mat is the loss of the reformer support, namely the headrest and footbar. In addition, while in the Hundred the legs are stationary, in Footwork they are moving in and out, adding exercise complexity and challenge to stabilization. Can we say, hello Transverse Abdominas?
Other reformer exercises are a bit harder to recreate and execute on the mat. Tendon Stretch is one that comes to mind. There isn’t a lot of base of support; just the hands and a portion of your feet. It’s already a challenging exercise, and now you have lost the assistance of the springs helping you to go out and in. Additionally, you don’t have the added height provided by the footbar. YIKES.
Discover how to think about, approach, and adapt the reformer repertoire to the mat:
Join Nancy Gwinnell Hurd for the Virtual Workshop, Reformer on the Mat, June 10th, 2:30-4:30 EDT.
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Article written by Nancy Gwinnell Hurd