Meet the Konnector, the Reformer innovation that connects your arms and legs as they move independently at the same time—and will change the way you work out for good.

By Viktor Uygan • Edited by Amanda Altman

Movement is my passion, and while Pilates has helped me to fulfill that, I always felt something was missing from my work on the Reformer. The fixed straps inhibited my ability to move, and I knew there had to be a better way to connect the body. I was searching for something to help the body heal itself by reestablishing natural movement patterns, rather than being forced into the movements the straps would allow. Being an inventor by nature, in 2007, I began to experiment with a new approach, one that would give far greater freedom of motion on the Reformer while staying true to the core philosophy and principles of Pilates.

In collaboration with Balanced Body, it took me more than three years to perfect the design and obtain the correct patents to produce the Konnector, a single-rope pulley system with loops for all four limbs that enables independent, simultaneous movement of both the arms and the legs. Even though the limbs are moving independently, your whole body is connected thanks to the single-rope system in place of the traditional spring mechanism.

The benefits of my device—and the workout that follows—are profound and caveat-free. While reinforcing the beautiful elegance of Pilates, the Konnector adds reciprocal movement, proprioceptive feedback as well as support and coordination for an improved range of motion. Exercises that were once limited to a small movement due to the nature of the straps can now be done with greater ranges without the carriage bottoming out.

Ultimately, the beauty of the Konnector is that it is an addition to Pilates, making the experience we all love so much broader and even more beneficial. Move yourself, so people can be moved by you! PS


Supported Swan

Setting: light resistance; gray straps on the risers

Prop: small mat (optional)

Purpose: provides extra support for the spine when rocking; strengthens the back and hip extensors

Setup: Facing the footbar, lie facedown (on the floor or a mat) beside the Reformer, with your arms completely in the gray straps and your body on a diagonal. Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders, and bring your legs together.

1. Bring your torso into extension by pressing your hands into the floor and straightening your elbows. Inhale, holding the position.

2. Exhale, rocking forward, reaching your arms in front of your body, palms in.

3. Exhale, rocking backward, lifting your torso into extension. Do 6 reps.

Tip: Focus on connecting through the entire back chain of your muscles, from head to toe, to create a “rocking chair” effect.

Modification: Catch yourself in between each rocking motion using your arms.

Advanced: Add an arm circle as you dive forward, extending your spine a moment longer as you open your arms out to your sides. Keep your legs squeezed together.


Hamstrings

Setting: medium resistance; all four straps on the risers, with the black straps on top of the gray straps 

Prop: Long Box

Purpose: strengthens the arms, back and legs, especially the hamstrings

Setup: Sit on the Box facing the footbar. Place the black straps on your feet, hold onto the gray straps, and lie facedown on the Box. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees, with your palms up, and reach your legs long and together.

1. Exhale, reaching your arms overhead while bending your knees to 90 degrees.

2. Inhale, bending one elbow and straightening your opposite knee.

3. Exhale, returning to the starting position. Repeat on your other side.

4. Do a total of 6 sets.

Tips: Support your back by engaging your abdominals and pressing your hips into the Box. Keep your knees slightly lifted to prevent hip flexion.

Modification: Decrease your range of motion and/or skip the oppositional movement.

Advanced: Make the motion continuous, using a sniffing breath pattern of 2 inhalations and 2 exhalations.


Horseback Star

Setting: medium resistance; all four straps on the risers, with the black straps on top of the gray straps

Prop: Long Box

Purpose: activates the core; strengthens the arms; challenges balance and proprioception

Setup: Sit on the Long Box facing the footbar. Place the black straps on your feet, and hold the gray straps in your hands. Bend your knees, straddling the Box, and bend your elbows by your sides.


1.
Exhale, extending your arms and legs, squeezing the Box with your inner thighs to lift your hips and torso off the Box.

2. Inhale and keeping your spine long, bend your elbows and knees before returning to the starting position. Do 6 reps.

Tip: Maintain equal pressure on both your hands and feet.

Modifications: Decrease the range of your knee extension without changing the arm extension. For more padding, place a mat over the Box.

Advanced: Flex your spine as you reach your arms overhead and extend your legs. Return to neutral as you bring your arms and knees back to the starting position.


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January 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm
Category: Articles, Exercises
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