Hi, guys. Courtney Miller, here. I'm so excited to be back on Pilates Anytime. The sun is shining. It's a beautiful day.
And I am sharing with you a Pilates sculpt class that I've designed. It's about 50% standing Pilates using some weights, doing some lower body, upper body. Then I'll take you to the mat. We'll incorporate the weights there, too. It's definitely an athletic approach, so keep an open mind.
Do be sure to keep all of your Pilates principles alive. Remember that precision and effective movement are the most important things as we flow through this series. The more you do it, the easier it'll get. Stay with me, okay? All right, let's get started.
I have two sets of weights. I've got a five-pound and a two-pound set of weights. You can play with all kinds of stuff. You could do this series without any weights at all. You could amp it up if you wanted to.
You could use water bottles. So just pick what's available to you, and as you get stronger, do progress, okay? I'm gonna begin with my lighter set of weights. These are two pounds. So I'd like to begin with some exercises that you would typically see done on the reformer, the leg and foot work.
I'm a firm believer that this is a great place to start our session, because our foundation is from our feet, and it affects everything. Parallel, feet together. I'm gonna take my elbows and bend them, turning the palms up. Just releve and lower. So my feet are together.
I'm doing a vertical lift straight up and down. I add the arms, they go up with my heels. My legs are engaged. So the front of the thighs are long. This would be just like doing releves on the reformer.
Vastis engaged, ankles together. Stay, balance, close, and lower. So a little hold, open, close, and lower. You're gonna feel those ribs wanting to pop, so don't let them. And lower.
Last three. Elbows up. And down. Two. Are you breathing?
And down, last one. And down. Quick, little change, turn the palms up. Externally rotate, releve. Just up and down.
Notice that my heels come together before they touch the ground. Let's add the arms, reach and pull. Reach and pull. So I feel my lateral rotators and my inner thighs. Two, changing the arms.
Follow me. I hold, open, close. It's our offering. Reach forward, close those ribs, and down. Reach.
And down, two more. Up, vertical lift, and down, one more. Up, open, and down. Excellent. Point one toe, open the arms to the sides.
Lift the leg and balance. Lift 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, take the arms and the legs to the front, and lift. One, two. Belly in and up, collarbones wide. Up, up, up, and hold.
Open it up, and switch to the other side. Lift, 10, nine. Turning out from the top of the femur head. Four, three, two. Take it the front.
10, nine. Find that balance, keep breathing. Up, up. Three, two, one. Open it up.
Now I'm in a wide second position just like on the reformer, bending the knees, and lowering the arms. Knees over toes, and down. Bend and up. So open those inner thighs. Reach.
Draw those abs in and up. You should start to feel warm. Getting those big global movers workin'. Quads, hamstrings, and glutes. So drive the heels down.
Last three like this. Two, one. Here's a change. As I go down, my arms lift up. You got it.
Bend and lift. Now really resist when you go down. Resist and up. Down and up. Five, squeezing the glutes.
Feel like you're trying to pull the heels in and towards each other. Hold it here, bend the elbow. I pivot light on my toes, bend the knees, and come back through. Bend, one more slow. Pivot light on my toes, bend the knees.
Now just a little bit quicker. It's lunge, center, lunge, center. Abs in and up. Center. Turn.
Four more. Turn. This is three. Good. Two.
One. Lunge and hold. From here, I bring the arms in. I go down, and open bend. Down, open bend.
So lunge, and together. Really wake up those feet here. Arches are alive. Abdominals in. Last three, two, one, and I want you to hold this.
Bring the arms in and the elbows in. I go down, wake up the outer hips. And up. So getting a nice heat through the body, focusing on precision. It's challenging.
You don't have the reformer carriage behind you to maintain neutral alignment as you do this leg work. So lots of awareness. Last two. And one. Come back through.
Open it up. You're ready to go to the other side. We'll do it slow, though. Bend, pivot, lunge. Come back to center.
Bend, pivot, lunge. Little bit quicker. Turn, center, turn. As I rotate, abdominals in and out. Keep breathing.
Put those weights down if you need to, but stay with me. Last five. Good. Four, get that back knee to drop down. Two.
One. Turn and hold. Bring the arms in. Step to a chair, and in. Together.
Together. Keep breathing, and pull. Open, lunge. Open, lunge. Three, two, and one.
Excellent, elbows in. Down, press lift, together, and up. Flex the foot here. And getting into those outer hip muscles. (exhales deeply) Feeling the leg, that's stabilizing you as well.
And up. And up. Three, two, and one. Bring it back, and roll up those shoulders. Your lower body should be feeling good, so should your upper body.
But I do wanna change to a heavier set of weights, and focus on some standing upper-body work. So I'm gonna put down my twos, and I'm gonna grab my five-pound weights. Remember to listen to your body. Begin with a wide second position stance. We've been here before.
But just to reiterate, the feet are wider than the hips, and you're in a natural turnout. Draw the arms into your sides, and as you bend your knees, reach out, draw in. So think to yourself, you're doing your kneeling, hands, and strap work on the reformer. Okay? So that's where we're getting this from.
Lots of connection through the back. In, pull up. Reach out, pull up. And with each bend in the knee, you stretch out through the crown of the head. Last three.
Two, little change coming up. One, bicep curls. Elbows lift. Reach out, squeeze up. Out, and up.
Reach, and pull. Stay strong, guys, you can do this. Lengthen, and out, and in. Last three, two, and one. Turn the palms forward.
Reach out, press. Press up as you go down. Overhead press here. Bend, and lift. Shoulders over hips.
Deep abs in. Last two, and one, take the arms down, roll the shoulders out. Pivot turn into a lunge position. Bend into your front knee, lengthen your back leg, and hinge forward. Abdominals in as you row up.
Now as you draw those elbows up, navel in and up as well. Stay long through the crown of your head. These types of exercises that open and engage the back of the body are so important. They reverse all of the bad habits we get into by working on our computers or our phones all day long. Last two, and last one.
Rise up. Changing to a bicep curl with a lunge. Arms forward. Bend, and push. Both of my knees are bending, shoulders over hips.
Right up onto the toe ball mound on that back foot. Almost there. Definitely feeling that upper body. Two more. One.
Go back to the first lunge position. Lean forward, open it all up, and pulse the arms. 10, nine. Arms higher than the hips. Abs are in.
Four, three, two, and one. To finish, rise up. Reach the arms out to the sides as you go down. You can play with the palm position. Thumbs up is a little easier than thumbs down.
Three, two, (exhales deeply) and one. Turn back to center, roll up those shoulders. Pivot turn, other direction. We'll begin with the row. So bend into the front knee.
Get that back leg long, lean forward. Elbows up. Don't forget about the core. This is a Pilates workout. So everything that we do is initiated from our breathing, and from our center.
Squeeze. (breathes deeply) Last four. Knee right over the ankle. This is two, back leg long. One.
Rise up. Curl, and reach. Use the seat on the back leg. Curl, reach. Elbows nice and high.
Four, three, (exhales) two, (exhales) one. Go back to the stationary lunge. Hinge forward, neutral line, abs in, pulse up. 10, nine, eight, seven. Keep those hands higher than the hips.
Good, four more. Three, eye line forward. Two, one, rise up. From here, let's turn the thumbs up, bend and press up. Down and up.
Remember, by flipping the palms, it's gonna be more challenging, you choose. Straight lines. Down and up. For four, three, two, and one. Turn back through, and roll it out.
Good, we've got some more upper body to do. We're gonna do it on the mat. So coming to a kneeling position, combining our thigh stretch exercise with some upper body. So hands are down by the thighs. Posterior tilt in the pelvis.
Fire into those glutes and obliques. Eye line forward. Exhale to lean. (exhales deeply) Inhale to come back up. Exhale to lean. (exhales deeply) And inhale to come back up. Let me show you what can go wrong.
Releasing the glutes, or extending the spine. So be careful. It's one shape each direction. The axis of movement is my kneecap. Glutes and obliques keep me there.
Two more. Reach. One more. Reach. If you have knee issues, eliminate the hinge, just do the arms, bicep curls.
So I lean back as I reach, and I (exhales) pull back in. Keep those glutes alive. Reach the arms forward, and pull. One shape back, (exhales) one shape up. Four more.
Neck is long. Good. Eccentric quads, that's what you're feeling, the burn in the front of the thigh. Two, (exhales) and one. (inhales deeply) Take it all the way down. Well done.
Let's warm up the spine for some extension. I'm gonna use my larger weights. I'll get these guys out of the way. I'll need them in a little bit. So the weights that I have roll.
If yours don't, you could eliminate the weights, or you could use a foam roller in place. Get that out of the way, okay. So my arms are long, heels of the hands onto the weights, upper body drops down. So let's first find our position. Pelvis heavy into the mat.
Hips heavy as well. Abs are in and up, and yes, my glutes and back body is alive. Press into the weights, inhale as you roll up. The weights roll to the tips of the fingers. Eye line forward, breathe in.
And exhale. (exhales deeply) Roll it away. So I have to push down in order to get up. That's an inhale. And exhale. (exhales deeply) Reach it away. My elbows are a little soft.
And what you may or may not be able to see is that there's a sequence happening before I lift up. Watch. I pull my shoulders down. Do you see how the weights move before my chest does? That gives me the green light to lift.
Belly in and up as well, and down. Okay, let's do one more here. Set the shoulders. Press up, (exhales deeply) and take the whole thing down. From here, I'm gonna press into the weights, and I'm gonna lift.
But I'm not coming to my highest point. I'm about 50% there. Keep one hand heavy, hold the opposite weight in your hand. The leg and the arm lift up and lower down. Remember, if this is too much, you can simply do it without the weight.
Lift from the seat, (exhales) and down, two more. Up. One more. Up, and take it down. Other side.
So I come to about a 50% lift, hold onto the weight. It's my opposite arm and leg that rises up and down. Be careful you're not doing this. It's not the knee, but the hip that's initiating the movement. Try it without the weight.
Up. And up. (exhales) Two more. (exhales) One more. (exhales) And take it down. Awesome. From here, fingertips go underneath the forehead. Keep the legs apart, externally rotated.
Bend your knees, flex your feet, heels come together. Press those hips down, forehead heavy. Exhale, squeeze, lift. Now little pulses, three, two, one. Take it down.
Exhale up, three little pulses. One, two, three, take it down. Again. Lift up, squeeze those heels together. One, two, three.
One more set. And up. Three, two, one, take it down. Extending the legs long. Taking the hands under the shoulders.
Coming back to that extension. This time, the legs come up as the chest goes down. I'm a human seesaw. Bend one, two, three, lift higher, and then press up. The only reason that my chest is going down is because my legs are driving up.
One, two, three, lift higher. Well done. My chest never truly touches the ground. I'm resting on my belly. Lift higher.
One more time here. Thighs up. One, two, three, lift higher, and press up. From here, simply rotate. All right.
Top knee is bent in front. Onto the elbow and forearm. Really roll that shoulder down and back. The worst place for your shoulder in a side plank is here. So roll it open, set it up for success.
Bottom leg lifts up. Up, and down. Up, and down. You can flex the foot, point the toe. Choose what's best for you.
Our inner thighs are so powerful, but underused. So really connecting to them now. Notice how when you engage through your inner thigh, you're better able to engage through your deep abdominals and pelvic floor. Two more. (exhales) One more. (exhales) Let's make it harder. Now I'm gonna use the weight of the top leg to challenge.
I'll point my toes to make it pretty. Both legs lift up, and down. Now I still feel my inner thighs, but a little bit more obliques. Up, and down. Lift, and lower.
Knee coming towards the earlobe. Last three. Three, two, one. Here's a little change. Bottom leg bends, top leg extends.
Bend knee to knee, flex kick. It's in, and up and back. In, and up. So I've got an internal rotation angle, and I'm kicking back. What I'm not doing, however, is letting my abdominals dump forward as my leg moves behind me.
So get the most out of it. Press, and press. This is when I start to visualize the tushy that I want this summer. (laughs) Motivating me through. Last three, and two, and one. Don't go anywhere.
Bring that foot so it's in line with the rest of the body. Point the toe as you lower, and little circles here. Up, up. Now anytime we circumduct the leg, it challenges the stability of our center. So don't let it wobble, but stay connected.
Three, two, one, reverse. Up, up. Lift those ribs, I almost forgot. Up, up. Up, hold it here.
Flex down, point up. Flex down, point up. Down, and up. We'll do five more, eight in total. This is four.
Work your feet, three. Spread your toes, two. One, and done. Bring it in, pat it out. Turn around.
I'd like to start with the same extension exercises we did. So roll the shoulders open, breathe in. Remember, it's this movement that's gonna really help to rebalance us after everything we do. One, two, three, up high, lift. And one, two, three, up stretch, and lift.
Limit the range if it you feel it in your low back. Up lift. One more. One, two, three, up lift. Excellent.
Turning to the other side. And I'm gonna show you from this diagonal, so that you can really see what's happening in my back body. Top foot is on, bottom leg is long, foot is flexed. Lift, and lower. Lift up, and down.
So stay connected through those ribs and shoulders. Four more. Four, three, two, one. Adding the weight of the top leg as well, toes pointed. Lift, and lower.
So I might be able to go higher if I rolled my hip back, but I'm trying to stay square. Four, three, two, one, well done. Switch. Square those hips, down, press, in, and press. Keep that lower back stable.
Pull in through the front. Knee to knee, push back. And press. Set the shoulder. It's easy to forget, press.
You kinda go into lounging at the beach mode. Last four. Three, two, and one. Bring the leg forward, point the toe lower. It goes up, up.
Remember what I was saying about a circle. Find the stability from your center, and reach energy through your toes. Three, two, and one, reverse. Up, up. Once you do this correctly, the size of the circle doesn't have to be big for the movement to be effective.
Four, three, two, and one. Flex down, point up. Flex down, point up. Really open through the front of the hip. Good, just two more here.
This is two. Nice. One. Bring it in, pat it out. Excellent.
Press back. Quick little breath, guys, into the back and sides. You're doing great. This is a sculpt class, the flow is quick. So take extra time if you need to.
Pilates-style pushups. Spread the fingers. One of the most common things that I see are people who say they feel pushups in their wrists is they do them with their fingers together. Yet, if you spread your fingers, and you press into your fingertip pads, then you're distributing your body weight a little bit more effectively. So try that.
Another option would be to elevate the heel of the hand on the edge of your mat. Elbows into the body. One shape down, one shape up. (exhales deeply) Pull the belly in. (exhales) It's almost as if you're allergic to the mat. So you don't wanna touch it like this.
You wanna pull away from it. Five more. Five. Only go as low as you can stabilize those scapulae. And push.
Two, (exhales) one, and breathe it out. So far, so good. Roll on up. Go ahead and grab these weights, and let's lie down onto our back. So we'll grab these.
I will use them later. Lying down, chin away from chest, flip the weights, press down into them. What I have done is I have created a very unstable surface, and anytime I do so, it's tricking my abdominals to work harder than maybe they want to. So press down as the weights. Open the collarbone.
Feet hip distance apart with the heels under the knees. Lift up, and lower down. Lift up, and lower down. Now I'm not articulating in this bridge. You can if you'd like.
But what I'm doing is focusing on maintaining a sense of neutral. Last two. (exhales deeply) Last one. (exhales deeply) Triceps are alive. Stay up, one leg comes up. Kick the leg to the sky, tap the tailbone. Eight, seven, six, five, four, hold the shoulders down, two, one.
Switch legs, stay with it. Top, lift one, two, three, four, five, hips level, six, seven, and eight. Foot down, hips down, but only for a moment. Grab a hold of those weights, breathe in, hover them off. Lift the hips up high.
Lift the arms up overhead or over the chest. The hips go down, and exhale, lower the arms in opposition. Inhale. (breathes deeply) Exhale. So big time shoulder stability here. I almost feel like I'm doing long stretch on the reformer.
As I pull the weights from this range, I feel my lats working in those great eccentric capacity, right? I'll tell you when. Right here, that's when I feel those lats fire. And reach, two more. (exhales deeply) And reach, one more. (exhales deeply) I'm gonna leave the weights, and I know you want to, so let's do it. Articulation, upper, middle, lower, and neutral.
Awesome job, guys. Nod your chin towards your chest. Flex up. Roll through the weights, drop the sacrum, find that neutral, lower an inch, and exhale. (exhales) Melt the belly into the mat behind you without flattening your low back. I am pressing down on the weights, and in doing so, I'm recruiting the whole lateral sling here, lats and obliques to assist (exhales deeply) inflection.
I need it, I need that help. Up, three more, (exhales deeply) two more, (exhales deeply) and one. Stay up. Grab those weights, reach through the arms, and take the legs up. Awesome.
Reach the arms overhead, and a pull. Now at any time, you wanna just ditch those weights, voila, okay? So I want you to own this, make it your own. Pick a number. (exhales) Maybe you can do four with the weights, six without. Reach, pull in.
Reach back, pull in. Last two, and one. Lower down. Quick little mini break. Allow those knees to rock from side to side.
Bring the weights over the chest, squeeze them together. One at a time, the legs come up, maintain neutral, flex the spine. One leg, then the other. (exhaling sharply) Keep the sacrum heavy. So the challenge is stabilization in the pelvis against the reciprocal movement.
So functional. Every time we take a step, we have to stabilize. Let's add a twist. Twist towards the knee that's coming in. Five more.
Five, four, three, two, one, and take it down. Great job. Leave these weights, unless you wanna keep those heavy weights, and find your lighter ones. So I've got them right here behind me. I'm just gonna use one weight for this exercise.
My legs are long, my ankles are crossed. So I've got my right leg on top, so I will have the weight in the opposite hand to leg, other arm is down. If I was on a full mat, I could have my hand out like a letter T for a wider base of support. The arm goes overhead, pelvis is down and heavy. I press into the mat and reach towards my knee, my shin, or if you wanna get extra special, your ankle if you wanna get fancy, and take it all the way down.
So it's an exhale, (exhales deeply) and inhale down. Exhale, (exhales deeply) and inhale. So I am absolutely pushing to come up. So it's not cheating. I'm pressing down to come up.
Exhale, (exhales deeply) and inhale. Four more. Four, and three, and two, and one. Keep the weight, roll onto the hip. I still have my ankles crossed.
You can always omit those weights, guys. So again, keeping again the idea of pushing down to come up. You're gonna see that again in this exercise. I roll onto my sacrum, press into the mat as I lift my arm overhead, and then reach back behind me, okay? So it's a modified teaser.
Chest open, (exhales) lift up, and down. Six in total. Up, and down. Again. Up, and down.
Two more. Up, and down. One more. Up, and down. Very good.
Lie onto your back, crisscross opposite ankle on the top, switch so you have the opposite hand to leg. Let's do one slow together. So I press down, and I lift cross. Inhale to lower. Little bit quicker.
Up and down. (exhales deeply) And down. Either reaching to the shin, the ankle, (exhales) or the knee. Five more. Five, (exhales deeply) four, three, two, and one.
I leave my ankles cross, and I roll onto my hip. Make sure there's enough room behind you that you don't roll off the mat. Inhale to prepare, set the shoulder. Exhale, up lift. Inhale, down stretch.
Exhale, up lift. Inhale, down stretch. Scoot from the low belly, and down, just three more. Up, (exhales) and down, two more. Up, (exhales) and down, one more.
Up, (exhales) and down. And from here, the weight goes down. Roll onto the tummy, and let's stretch out that belly. Legs are apart, shoulders are over top of the wrists. Inhale up, great job.
Look to one side. Back to center, look to the other side. Back to center. Take it down. Let's go for a swim.
Imagine you're diving into the cold ocean. It would feel so good right now. Arms are forward, weights are optional. I have my legs apart, externally rotated, hips heavy. Inhale to prepare.
Exhale, legs come up. Let's practice just the legs. Right, left, up, up, up. Up, up, up. The biggest issue I see here, not firing into the glutes.
So lift from the tush. Five, four, three, two, and one. Little break. Feel free to repeat the exact same series again. To intensify, to rev it up, add the upper body.
It looks like this. Abs in, hips heavy, everything up. Opposite arm and leg. Up, up, up, up. We've got eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, hold everything up, and take everything down.
Release those weights, coming onto all fours. We are almost there. Your whole body should feel rejuvenated. Okay, so my knees are right underneath my hips. Shoulders are over my wrists.
All I need is one weight, or I can feel free to not use any at all. One leg extends long, opposite arm to leg. Lift everything up, bring it in and under, reach it out and long. Now what can go wrong here is the belly dropping, the low back drooping. (exhales) In, and reach. About eight to 10 here. (exhales) In, and reach.
I'm gonna do two more. I scoop. One more. Pulse them. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, bring the elbow up, bend the knee.
Reach everything out together, everything in. Press, pull in through the center, press. Eight more, this is eight, seven, six, keep the back of the neck long. Knee stays up here. As I bend, I'm using my hamstring.
Four, three, two, one. Everything up, and everything down. Awesome job. Let's see if we can recreate it on the other side. One weight, if you choose to use it.
The leg extends. So does the arm. Everything lifts up. Under, and reach. Navel to spine, and reach.
Pull, and press. In, and reach. Soften that elbow on that stabilizing side. Scoop, reach. For four.
(exhales deeply) Three. (exhales deeply) Two. (exhales deeply) One. Pulse them up. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
Bend the knee, everything out. And keep that elbow nice and high, press. Belly in and up, press. Hips square. There's a lot to think about, but it's worth it.
We're almost there. The light at the end of the tunnel is coming up. In, press out. In, press out. Last three, knee up, two, (exhales) one, (exhales) and done with that one.
Sit back, breathe it out. All right, grab a hold of those heavier weights again. Stay with me, guys, this is the end. Taking a seat onto your bottom. Legs go forward and in front.
Sit up as tall as you can right on top of those sit bones with the weights in hands. Articulate the spine, roll back from the pelvis first. Lift up an inch, and down. (exhales deeply) So when I come up, my goal here is to deepen my C curve, and you'll see why in a second. Four, three, two, one. Roll all the way down.
Extend the legs. Reaching the arms back overhead. Now the weights will help me. Anchor those feet, glue the inner thighs together. Inhale, arms down by the thighs, lift the head.
Exhale, deepen that C curve like you are practicing. Flex forward. Inhale, roll halfway back. Exhale the rest of the way, arms go back. Inhale, arms by the thighs.
Lift the head, flex. Articulate the spine as you go over. Keep the C curve, and roll back. (exhales) Three more, so this is all about articulation here. The weights are facilitating that. So you see, they're not always used for evil.
Sometimes they're used for good. (laughs) And exhale down and reach. One more. Weights go down. I flex, I deepen my C curve.
I feel each vertebra touch down onto the mat before the one before it lifts off. And reach. Okay, now this one we're gonna stay at. Nod the chin. (exhales deeply) Flex lift. Rise up.
Quick little break. Last exercise. I love rolling like a ball. We have to do it. So find yourself in the center of the mat.
Roll back, create a C curve, stretch the arms, legs are up. Inhale, one shape back. Exhale, up. Inhale, one shape back. Exhale, up.
Inhale, massage the spine. Exhale, up. Let's add on, inhale. Exhale, up, press to the sky. Inhale, down.
Exhale, up. (exhales sharply) Two more. Inhale, and press to the sky. One more, inhale, and press to the sky. Take it down. Whether you'd like to use your heavy weight or your light weight, let's wrap it up.
Seated mermaid. The weight is gonna help to facilitate the stretch, so don't put it down now if you still have it. All righty. I have my legs in mermaid position, arms are out. Windmill towards my bent legs, and allow the weight to give me a little extra pull, a little extra stretch, chest open.
Rotate towards my leg, twist. Come back through the side position. Switch the weight. Place the hand, and laterally flex. Let the weight be an anchor pulling you down.
One more, this side. Begin with the arms open. Laterally flex. (exhales deeply) Feel that whole line pull. Take the twist. Take it back through.
Grab a hold of the weight in the opposite hand. Let it pull you up and over. I think of a fountain at the Bellagio. Get height before you get a stretch. Let's do the other side, and then we're done.
I hope you guys feel good. Definitely toned. (laughs) Mermaid legs, weight in hand. Laterally flex over to the side. Ah, feels so good. I believe that stretches feel better when you work very hard for them, and we certainly did do that.
Rise up, switch. Let it take you over, cascade. One more. And exhale, stretch. Take the twist.
Back through the side. And let it give you a pull, up and over, and release. That was a tough one. So more of an athletic focus to some of the Pilates exercises that we know and love. What you saw me do today was bring in exercises that I use a lot on the reformer or on the stability chair where the apparatus provide resistance.
Today, all we had was our weights, gravity, and our core strength. You did a great job. Try this class again. The more you do it, the easier it'll get. Thank you for watching.