Hi, guys, Courtney Miller here. So excited to be back on Pilates Anytime. I love coming here to hang out with you guys. I have a really fun workout today. I call it luscious legs.
Ya? So we're gonna work the whole lower body, lots of glutes, lots of inner thighs. It's gonna be hard, but you can do it. I'm also gonna sprinkle in a little bit of core and a little bit of upper body, but this is a great workout to choose if you are like I want to work my legs, cool? I've got the ring.
You can omit it or you can use something else, like maybe a TheraBand tied in a knot for the same purpose. So if you have one use it. If not, try to replicate something similar or you can just do without it. I have the headrest up in a position that's good for me. Make sure you choose yours.
I have mid-bar position for some leg and footwork. And I have a pretty heavy tension on three red springs, one blue. Take that blue off if you're feeling a little tired today, though. All right, let's get started. So the best way to get on the reformer is to start in a seated position.
Go ahead and roll into it, and then place the feet onto the foot bar. For this series, I'm gonna take the ring around my outer thighs. Okay, so it's gonna help to activate my adductors, the lateral part of my legs as I'm working the front and back of my thighs. I'm gonna begin with heels on, feet hip-distance apart, and I have pressure in the ring, sacrum heavy, arms active. Let's breathe in to press out straight legs.
Exhale to resist in. So as I press out, I am activating through my glutes. I'm also drawing up through my vastes. Those are the muscles that act on the patella, on the kneecap. Okay, so as I press out, I am feeling an opening sensation through the front of my hips.
Last two full range. And last one. I'm gonna come halfway in and hold. All I'm doing now is pressing for ten, nine, eight. So I'm pressing out on the ring.
Last four... Three... two, hold the pressure, push out an inch, come in. Five, sacrum heavy. Four, three, starting to feel the burn.
Two... and one... press all the way out to a long line. And resist to come back in. So changing now, so that the toes are on.
Heels lifted high. Again, slight outward pressure in the ring. Inhale to press and exhale to resist. Now that the toes are on here, guys, make sure we have really focus on even weight through the big toe and baby toe. The ring's gonna help you with that alignment but don't shift all your weight to the outside edge of your foot.
So the pressure pushing out on the ring is not coming from my foot. It's coming from up in here. That's what I'm pressing out on. Last two. And one, exhale to come halfway in, hold.
Push out on the ring from here. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, hold the pressure, out an inch, and in. Control it and keep breathing. Last three... Two...
One. Press all the way out, find length, and resist to come in. From here, I'm gonna take the ring out, take my feet back on, elbows into my side. Breathe in to press out. As I lower the heels, exhale, squeeze the ring.
Inhale, shhh. So I've got that little upper body engagement here. I'm working as I resist my heels under the bar, and as I lift them back up. Notice my fingers are reaching long on the ring and not closed fist. Last two...
and one, bend the elbows as you come in. Lift those heels nice and high, press out. Heels go under, arms extend as the heels lift. Ten times, shh. Triceps working, too.
Three, yes you're feeling the muscles in the feet. That's good, that's part of our luscious legs. And four... Three... Two...
and one. And resist to come all the way in. Now from here, let's put that headrest all the way down. Move away from the shoulder blocks for some bridging. Heel, the foot's gonna go on.
One leg's coming up to the sky. The ring is just here to help me as a reminder to keep my leg where it's supposed to be. Abdominals in, give it a squeeze as you lift the hips up. And resist down... shh, and down.
So as I lift my hips, I'm gonna squeeze the ring. Using those glutes and hamstrings to assist, last three. Shh, two... stay up, pulse the hips and squeeze the ring. Ten...
Nine... Eight... Seven, stay level, six Five... Four... Three...
Two... one, resist down. You can take a second set, you can take a stretch on the leg you just worked, and then you're ready for the other side. Heel of the foot is one, arms are long, inhale as you prepare. Exhale, lift up, find the level hips.
Lift from the seat, not just from the belly or the hamstring. Fingers reaching, I go down, up, squeeze. Down, shh, squeeze. Down, shh, squeeze. Good, exhale up...
last three, shh... And two, shh. Here's one, shh... pulse the hips and squeeze the ring. Ten...
Nine... Eight... Seven... Six... Five...
Four... Three... Two... one, resist down. You can take a second set if you really love those or you can give yourself a nice little stretch.
Good job. Okay, we're gonna give those legs just a mini break here. I'm gonna flex the spine up, take the ring between my ankles so my adductors are gonna be working and I'm gonna have some core engagement as well. Hands behind the head, look through the ring. Extend and squeeze, three, two, one, resist.
And reach, shh, shh, shh. Make sure you squeeze evenly, both legs into the mid-leg, in, in, resist. Two more sets, shh, shh, shh. Watch the ring turn into an oval, hug, hug, and I resist all the way down for a break. So now I'm gonna take a variation on double leg stretch.
Nod the chin, flex up, flatten the belly, find your tabletop. From here, I'm going to reach the legs long, give it squeeze. As I bend them in, exchange the ring between the wrists. Bend in, ring to the ankles, reach, squeeze. Bend in, ring to the wrists.
Inhale, shh. And, shh. Last two, work those inner thighs here. And then press out on the ring-engaging delts here. Last one, shh.
And reach. Well done. Coming all the way in for a little break. Good, so our legs are starting to get warm, yeah? Fronts of the thighs, outer thighs, inner thighs, back of the thighs.
But we're not done. From here, I'm gonna kneel on the carriage, so as you can see, I still have quite a lot of tension on here. I haven't changed it from my leg and foot work. So it's pretty secure. I'm just gonna do some thigh stretch variations to get that eccentric quad here, abdominals and concentric glutes.
Give that ring a bit of a squeeze, chest open. Inhale, lean back as you reach forward, shh, exhale, pull it back towards the chest. Look at the ring as you hinge, and exhale. Now, if all you're feeling is quads, you might be forgetting about the importance of the hip extensors in this exercise. So glutes, glutes, glutes, glutes, glutes.
And let them help you come back up. One more time. And exhale up. From here, place the ring at the achilles tendon. Take it underneath your cheek, hands onto the shoulder blocks, leg lifts.
I squeeze, ten... Nine... Eight, it's a small movement but it's mighty. Lots of hamstrings and glutes here. Hold, pulse at ten...
Nine... Eight... Seven... Six... Five...
Four... Three... Two... one. Leg goes down, lift up, grab that ring.
Second set of thigh stretch. So, posterior tuck... lots of glutes. Inhale, reach forward. Exhale, pull back.
Squeeze that ring. Inhale... and exhale. As you go back, it's as if you're in a plank. So do engage to those abdominals.
Feel that support. One long line back, one long line back up. Last two. Shh, last one, shh. And you're ready for the other side.
So I place the ring at the achilles tendon, and then I place it underneath my cheek. From here, the shape of the leg lifts up and I squeeze ten... Nine... Eight... Seven...
Six... Five... Four... Three... Two...
one. I lift at one, two, three, four, belly in, five, six, seven, eight, and release. So you could do multiple sets of those, and those are exercises that you could do at home without your reformer as well. Awesome, let's keep playing. From here, I'll leave my foot bar in the mid position.
And I'm gonna take some of the tension off. I now have one green spring. So if you're not on a balanced body equipment, it's a little heavier than one full spring. Taking my hands onto the foot bar and rising up to a standing position. I'm gonna step one foot back against the shoulder blocks, one foot forward, squaring my hips, preparing for a scissor lunge which is gonna feel really nice after those hamstring squeezes.
Inhale as I press back, I use my upper body to facilitate the stretch. Keeping the hips square, exhale to come back in. So it's an inhale to press. And exhale to pull. Just three more.
In, it's the calm before the storm. And out, two more, scapula anchored. And exhale, feeling that belly engagement to help support the shape. Now, from here, I'm gonna inhale, press out, bend into my front knee. Now, perhaps you take your hands onto your thigh for a little more support.
If you feel confident, the arms can come up. I inhale, tap my knee, exhale, rise up. So here's a crescent lunge. And lift with the knee tap. Last three, shh.
Two, posterior tilt when you're in a lunge guys. It keeps the lumbar spine long. One, float the hands down, pivot on the back foot so the heel comes down, push down to the outer edge of the foot. Windmill up, here's your warrior. Press to the front leg, resist.
Posterior tilt. Two, shh. Three, keep your eye line steady, feel lots of inner thighs. Four, arms long and reaching. And five, windmill the arms.
Bring the carriage in, and switch to the other leg. So here's our welcomed scissor lunge. Both legs long, inhale, press. Exhale to pull. I am using my arms to give me a little bit more umph.
Two, elbows soft however. Three, I'm trying to pull my left hip back. Four... And inhale back. Exhale five.
So now I press back, getting ready for the crescent. Bend into my front knee. Here's the progression. Walking the hands to the thigh, maintaining this position. Advancing it is arms up.
Inhale, bend the back knee, just tap it, don't rest it. One, posterior tilt with the pelvis. Two, strong glutes, strong abs. Three... this is four.
And five. Take the hands down for support. All I have to do is pivot the foot, windmill up. Here's my warrior. Inhale, press out, exhale resist.
This is two. Stay long for that back leg. Three, posterior tilt. Four, shh. Five...
Windmill the arms and bring the carriage in. Well done. From here we're gonna step off to one side. So taking it from a lunge into a single leg plank. Let's do it.
Luscious legs. We have a purpose. Front knee is bent, Eve's lunge position. Notice my foot is in align with the front foot of the reformer frame. My hands are about shoulder width.
However, I'm not centered on the bar. I am a little off to the side. Back leg engages, get a nice steady grip. Here's my lunge position. Posterior tilt, strong glute, strong thighs.
From here, the leg sweeps. Here's my plank position. Let's flow. Lunge, shoo. Lunge, shoo.
Lunge, brush sweep. Lunge, sweep. Last two. Shoo. One one let's hold it, shh.
Put the foot down, lean back. Single leg knee stretch. One, so I'm pushing with my back leg. Two, lots of quads on that back leg. Three, soft elbows.
Four, back leg goes long. Five. Six. Abs in, seven, one more time. Eight, bring the carriage in.
Rise up, and step it off to the other side. Great work, guys. So here we are, the calm before the storm again. Foot down and heavy. When I'm in a plank, or a lunge, excuse me, try one hand on your belly, one hand on your sacrum.
Find that scoop. That's the position you're in. It's gonna fire into your glutes, fire into your core, and elongate and decompress your low back. You're not here, okay? Good, just making sure.
Okay, here we go lunge. Shoulders down, so here's my lunge. Leg lifts, I feel stable. Here's my plank. Down lunge, whoo.
Down lunge, whoo. Just like every plank, find that head and cervical spine alignment. Last three. Two, whoo. One, foot goes on.
Lean back. Single leg knee stretches. Back leg presses. Shoo, stay scooped through the belly, shoo. Four more.
Four... three... Two... and one. Bring it in and rise up.
Great job, those are tough. Let's change the muscle focus a little bit. I was feeling a lot of quads there. I'm gonna take the loops off and just let them rest in the well for a little bit. Grabbing our box and placing it on short box position.
Now I had a green spring on before. And I still have a green spring. So I haven't made any changes there yet. Carefully stand into the well. From here, my legs are hip distance apart, parallel, and they're gonna be underneath my hips.
Hands can go onto the box. Leg extends back. Now I can keep my upper body lifted in this position, one long line, or I can come down onto my elbows and forearms. You pick what feels better for you. So from here, point the toe, standing leg is soft, hips square, I lift the leg up.
I tap, and lift eight. Every time I kick, my belly draws up. Six... Five... Four...
Three... Two... Hold it for one, stretch it long, and pulse it. Eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Flex the foot, bring it in.
Tap down, kick up, one. Two, three, feeling a lot on my standing leg, four, five... Six... Seven... eight.
From here, the leg externally rotates. Pull it towards the elbow. Reach, kick back, two. Three, whoo. Four, whoo.
Little side cinch, five. Six... Seven... And eight. Now my standing leg is tired, so here's how I'm gonna break.
My foot place is onto the carriage, the other foot comes on to meet it. Exhale, shift forward, flex. Inhale, so I'm articulating upper body stays heavy. My weight shifts over my elbows. And long, one more time.
Shoo, and long. Drop to the knees. Come up to the hands if you're not here already. Spread the fingers, modified push up. So just giving our legs a little bit of a break here and sprinkling in some upper body.
Eight if you can. Four more. Four, one shape down. Three... Two...
And one. Check it out, all I have to do is step my foot forward and I'm ready to go. If you modified onto the elbows, go there now. Square the hips. One...
Two, use the glutes. Three, neck stays long. Four... Five... Six...
Seven... Hold eight. Little pulses, focus on length through the crown of the head and through those toes. Three, two, one. Flex the foot, bend the knee.
Knee down, kick up, eight. Seven, don't lose it in the upper body. Six, stay lifted, five, full body integration here, three, two... one. Bring it in, reach it back.
In, you can add a cinch. In, back. In, back. Four, shoo. Three, shoo.
Two, shoo. One, shoo. Place it down. Step it up. So you can go into your same piking planks.
You could rock forward, rock back. Choose a mountain climber variation, whatever feels better for you. Second set of pushups, let's do eight Down, elbows in. Two... Three...
One shape down, one shape up. Four... Five... Six... Seven...
And eight. Good job here, guys. From here, taking a seat, the spring tension is set up for this exercise so no adjustments needed. You're gonna wanna sit towards the front of the box for some more hamstring work. Go ahead and bring the feet forward so the achilles are on the shoulder blocks.
Let's begin sitting tall, feet flexed. If you're having problems keeping the feet here, use a sticky. But the trick is to press down, not up. So feel it heavy. Find that tall vertical neutral, hands pressed into the box.
Four pulls like this. Hamstrings working, three. Two... And one. Let's add some rotation.
Twist. And two, shoulders are hips. Good. Last one, each side. Grow taller with each rotation.
Cross the arms into genie, roll back to your C Curve. Pull, little release. And squeeze it in. So you're not getting that release, you're feeling those deep abs engage. Four...
Three... Two... One, stretch the legs long as you sit tall. Take a stretch if you'd like, reaching forward and enjoying the release. Good work.
We're not done with this box yet. So carefully come off. Let's change into long box position. And we're gonna go into some of my favorite series. So here I am long box, decreasing the tension to a single blue spring.
And let me get this guy out of the way So bar's out of the way. I'm gonna need these straps again, so don't forget about these. Now, this exercise could be done on a red if you'd like to increase the level of difficulty. Go for it, you'll be my hero if you do. Okay, four point kneeling on here.
It's a light tension, so mind your balance. Here I am, right? To get my foot in the strap, I'm gonna grab a hold of the loop, I can anchor my foot if I need to. But I'm gonna have to come a little further forward here so I've got the movement in the lax in the straps, slide it on my foot. From here, I have to plantar flex in order to keep the strap on.
Now once I'm in, if I need to do any more adjustments, I can. Essentially, I need to be in a tripod position. So hand... Hand... Knee under my pubic bone.
My hips should be square and not sway to the side. When you look at your femur, it is gonna be on a little bit on a diagonal. It's not gonna be totally vertical, and that's fine. Okay, so nice neutral spine, toe points to the ground. Exhale, lift hold.
Inhale, resist. So opening up the front of the hips as you work the back body. Let's do eight of each variation for these. Four... Three...
Resist, you should be able to balance a cup of water on your low back. Two... And one. Flex the foot, kick it back, one. Resist, shoo.
Two... No movement in the head, neck, and shoulders, three. Four... Five... Almost there.
Six, really encourage those glutes to engage. Seven... And eight. Lower the knee. From here, we're gonna get ready to come to a sideline position.
Rest the foot onto the side. Use the hand to assist, and you're gonna come into a supported sideline position. Elbow and forearm onto the box, abdominals engaged, bottom knee bent in. Depending on your body length, this could feel more or less supportive. So you could always take the box off right now and just lie onto the carriage itself.
Chest open, bend the knee, begin by pressing. So square the hips, draw the abs in, find the foot at about hip height, and then bend it in. Keep the neck long as well. This is three. Luscious legs, just keep saying that, it's your mantra.
Luscious legs, five. Six... Seven... And eight, sweep the leg forward. And back, yes, abdominals working for sure.
Two, open up that shoulder, stay strong. Three... Four, that's our halfway mark. Five... Resist it forward, squeeze it back.
Six... Seven... Last time here, and pull eight. Bend it in and release. Great job.
Now before you go to the other side, you might wanna take a quick little figure four stretch. So the leg that you were working, flex the foot, open the chest, hinge forward, let it all open up. Okay, we gotta do it again. So we're gonna do it on the other side. We can do it.
Second time around should be performed better because now we got it, right? Not worse because we're tired but better because we've perfected it. So here we go, better. Hands are gonna be on, right under the shoulders, soft bend in the elbows, guys. If I haven't shown you this already, as soon as you lock out your elbows, it's a recipe for a lot of neck tension and wrist tension.
So as the eye of the elbow spins forward, my scapula's gonna elevate and turn on my upper traps instead eyes of the elbows roll towards each other, anchor the shoulder, elongate the neck, and now I'm set up for success. Knee under pubic bone, leg down, eight times. Up, hold and resist. Keeping those hips nice and square. Three...
Leg long, four. And belly in. This is five. And six, resist the temptation to round the back. Seven...
And this is eight, bend it in. In... Squeeze press, that's one. Two... Three...
Four, stability is hard here so work for it. Five... And six, don't let the head drop. Seven... And eight.
Good job. Get ready for your sideline. So in this position, now you can see my elbow's gonna be directly below my shoulder, bottom leg is bent, top hand could go onto the hip for more of a challenge, or down onto the box for less. Press the leg out, just take your time, find it. Energy through the leg, you're growing taller.
Inhale... One... Two... Three, mind the height of the leg here, it's not changing height, it's going straight out, straight in. Five...
Neck long, shoulders down, six. Seven... And eight, sweep it to the window. Sweep it back. So longer lever means it's gonna be harder for lumbo-pelvic stability, so if you need to, shorten the range, four.
And squeeze. Five... How you doin'? Six... Second side's always harder, huh?
Seven... And eight, bend it in, rise up. You can take the same figure four I showed you or if you'd like a variation on that same exercise, you could do it standing. Chest open, foot flexed. Step the back foot back and hinge forward.
A nice little standing pigeon. Good, how are your legs feeling? Cool, if you can't feel them anymore, that means it's working. Wa-ha-ha-ha. Okay, mid bar position.
So now I have one red spring on and the only thing that's important here is that it's gotta be away from the center, so there's some exercises that we do like semi-circle where you would touch the spring if it's loaded in the middle. So I've got one red, but it's all the way over here and that's gonna leave the center clear for me and you're gonna see why. So carefully standing on, I'm gonna take one foot so the arch of my foot is into the carriage, hanging off, so it's secure. Kind of like tendon stretch, right? I have to have it secure.
I press the carriage back and step the other foot down. It's not scary, you just get there, just take your time though. Standing leg's a little bent. Use the foot bar to stabilize. Abdominals in, press, resist.
Both legs working here. Two... Eight of each if we can, three. Again, stay square, use the hip extensors to press, four. If you'd like to make it harder, opposite arm to leg behind the back.
That's five. Six... Seven... And eight, I could pulse it. Eight...
Seven... Six... Five... Four... Three...
Two... One. Float it up. And if you need to, take a break. That was awesome, let's do the other side.
I don't need to move the spring, it's out of the way, it's fine. But make sure that yours is also out of the way. So here I go, I just push it back a little and step into that space. Then from here, I can make any adjustments I need. Hips square, use the foot bar for stability, collarbone's wide.
Press to a long leg. That's how I'm gonna get this to engage, too. Three, make sure that knee stays right under your hip. Four, belly in, do you remember what I showed you in the lunge? How you are in that slight posterior tilt?
Five, opposite hand behind the low back to challenge. Six... Seven... That was eight, I can pulse it. Eight...
Seven... Six... Five... Four... Three...
Two... One, hand down, float it up, voila. Well done. Okay, lots of you don't think that I do this series 'cause a lot of my exercises are really mean, but I do it, feet in straps. I totally do it.
I just do it at home. Okay, so evil, the ring of fire is what I've heard this called before. I think that's good ring of fire. I've got two red springs on. I like my headrest up when I have my feet in the straps, for me, I like being in a little bit of flexion.
It helps me to maintain my ribcage connection against the long lever of my legs. But you can adjust any way that you'd like to. Okay, so here I go, lying down. It works quite nicely if you just rest the ring onto your belly, and then you can reach back, grab your straps. The trick here, guys, is place them a little closer to the heel.
Then to the toes. Okay, so it helps to engage your hip extensors by pressing more towards the heel. Awesome. Now here I am, inner thighs. Hello, inner thighs, okay.
So find the neutral again, long legs, active. Neutral pelvis, abdominals in, inhale, sacrum stays heavy, squeeze the circle as you lower. Four, three, two, one, up. Four, three, two, one, one. Two, three, four, up.
Two, three, don't let it bounce. It's hug more, hug more, hug, parallel legs. Four, three, two, almost there, four, three, two, hold it here, hug the midline, ten little squeezes, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, bend it in. Notice how the straps are right over my knees, so see if you can find that positioning each time. Here we go, guys.
Squeeze and bend. The challenge here, yeah, inner thighs for sure. But maintaining the stability of your pelvis against the movement of the legs. Here's what could go wrong. If you roll into a ball when you bend your knees, no good.
It's too much tension. The idea is to keep that neutral. It's the best position for your spine to be in because it's least compressive on the discs. Yeah, keep it long, keep it stable in neutral position. I'm adding plantar flexion when I squeeze and dorsi when I come in.
Two more, press. One more, press. Hold it and squeeze. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Bend it in, good, let's get rid of this.
The stronger our inner thighs, the stronger our deep abdominals will be. They connect, they are co-contractors. Leg circles, I know you've been waiting for it all day. Do you ever dream about doing these? Or when you're in traffic, you're all stressed out.
Don't you wish you could just put your feet in loops and start circling? I'll never forget the look on people's faces the first time they do this, too. It's like I bet you never thought you were gonna be putting your feet in straps and... Making big giant amazing leg circles today, I love it. Reverse, you go down and around.
Okay, so here's the thing with this, for me, I believe muscles should move you, but they should also be able to stabilize you. So allow the movement to happen but keep the stability here. Circle the legs as big as you can stay stable. And the more you do it, the easier the stability will be able to be maintained and the bigger you can go, voila. Headrest goes down for this one.
Come away from the shoulder blocks. So combining our rollover and feet in straps, called long spine. So if you haven't done it before, maybe watch once and then do it with me cause you don't wanna be turning your head from side to side here. Inhale, hinge at the hips. Exhale, keep the sacrum heavy as you stretch.
And then roll out, bringing the carriage into the stopper. Inhale, separate, about shoulder-width, externally rotate. This is where the power comes from. So, exhale, my spine holds position as my hip extensors press. Then I control it down and all I have to do is adduct my legs.
So check it out, inhale, hamstring stretch. Exhale, scoop and articulate up, pull the tummy in. Inhale, separate, extend, push your feet into the straps, reach them away from you, and then you go down. Let's flow, inhale. And here's the reverse.
Lots of hamstrings. Never roll onto the head, neck, and shoulders. Externally rotated, use the glutes, and resist, one more, inhale. Zip it up and press. Great job, bend it in, and take the feet out one at a time.
Great work today, guys. We got lots of awesome lower body in. Lots of inner thighs, super important for fabulous legs. Lots of outer thighs, quads, hamstrings, we snuck in a little upper body and core. It was a great class, thank you for doing it with me.
Please try it again soon, bye.