Class #1624

ABC - Arms, Back, and Core

40 min - Class


Courtney Miller teaches a Reformer workout she calls ABC - Arms, Back, and Core. She uses the Roll Down Bar the entire time to change the emphasis of the exercises and she shows many ways to increase the level of difficulty for each exercise. Courtney's fun personality and "wilderness" cues make this class fly by!

Courtney recommends doing a short warm up before taking this class. You can try her Standing Mat Workout so you are ready for this class.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Pilates Pole

About This Video

May 05, 2014
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Hi, guys! I'm Courtney Miller. Super excited to be here back on Pilates Anytime. I love it. I have bangs, so you may not recognize me, but it is still me. If I act weird or awkward, it's the bangs.

I have a super cool workout for you guys. I call it A-B-C. Arms, Back, Core. All the exercises I adore. Yeah?

I am using the roll down bar. I'm gonna use this for the whole workout. You could sub in the dowel, or you could use the loops. The reason I'm using this is it just sort of changes the emphasis of the exercise. I can sometimes get a little bit of a heavier weight and get more into my core using this.

It just creates a little bit more variation. Sub it in if you'd like, or take it out if you'd like to, as well. The other thing I wanna say is, I'd love you to start with a 10-minute warm-up. I have some 10 minute warm-ups on Pilates Anytime that you could try, like the standing Pilates, and then I've got a 10 minute cardio warm-up as well. We're just gonna go right into it, and you're all warmed up and you're ready to go.

So, I'm gonna take this dowel and I'm gonna place it on to the hooks. So leave those loops on. But, as you can see, it just kinda clips in. Like that, and then it's in. Okay? And I'm gonna do the same thing on this side.

Now, if you didn't have this roll down bar, you could use a dowel and you could thread them through the loops. Awesome. Today I'm gonna put the headrest up in mid position. Make sure you put it up for your body. I've got the foot bar in mid as well.

And, I've got one red spring on. Just a quick little note here, you can see that when the dowel is on it shortens the lever. Right? So these aren't quite around the silver pegs. That makes it feel a little bit heavier. So you're red is gonna feel more like, just slightly lighter than a red and a blue.

So, feel free to adjust for your body. Great! I'm gonna lie down supine, preparing for some abdominal work. So, I like to move my shoulders away from the shoulder blocks to get started, sacrum down and heavy, abdominals connected. I'm in a neutral pelvis here. I take my hands onto the dowel, thumbs onto the inside of the eye hooks, fingers onto the outside.

Quick note here, notice that my arms are starting over my shoulders and not back here, so I've already got my lats engaged, which helped to co-contract my obliques, and that'll help me to flex my spine. Inhale to prepare, through the nose, nod the chin, exhale, flex, reach, hold. Inhale as you resist back down, again you're stopping the hands right about here. Don't let them go too far back behind. Let's flow.

I exhale to flex, inhale to resist. Hug the midline with your inner thighs and really pay attention to your eye line. Look at your knees or look at your toes. Now, on the next one I'm gonna stay up and continue with the arm and leg movement. This would be an advancement.

So, maintaining that flexion is something that perhaps you progress to. Keep your wrists and elbows long. (exhale) And push from your back. Nice. Let's do one more here. (exhale) And resist for a mini break.

Now, resist as you bend the elbows into the sides. Note that they're hugging, but hovering. If you need to modify, lower them down, that'll give you a little bit more leverage in your flexion. Let's repeat the sequence. I press and extend, resist and bend.

(exhale) As you curl up into that chest lift, look at your own abdominal muscles. What you should notice is a flattening, or a compression. What you what to avoid is a popping, or a bulging. Option to keep the head, neck, and shoulders in the flex position. Press for five.

Hug the midline, four. (exhale) Three. Two. And one. I like to finish with a hold before resisting.

From here, I'm gonna thread my feet under the bar. So, there it is, right at my knees. Like a trapeze artist, if you will. Headrest is gonna go down for this next variation, cause I'm going into an inversion. So, I'm gonna squeeze the bar so that I don't lose it.

So you're gonna see me kinda hug my heels towards my seat. That's to help keep the bar in place. Pressing the hands down, breathe in to prepare. Exhale, flex, lift. Inhale, articulate the spine.

So, this exercise (exhale) reminds me of airplane prep on the Cadillac. Curl, balance, and resist. So, I am using my arms to stabilize. Absolutely. But, what I'm trying to do is get as much into a flex position as I can.

Watch when I'm at the top. It's almost like I'm in short spine position. So belly scooped in, scapula wide, chin away from chest. And resisting down. We'll do three more. (exhale) Reverse crunches, two.

(exhale) Articulate and really find that sacrum heavy, one. And resist. From here, grab a hold of the pole the same way you did in the beginning. Slide it down the thighs. Find your tabletop, nod your chin, prepare for the hundred.

Exhale, flex, up. Begin to pump. Inhale. And exhale. (exhale) Inhale. And exhale. (exhale) Now, one of the things I love about this variation, is I can measure my flexion by how far I can keep the pole away from my thighs. If you notice it's touching your thighs, see if you can scoop a little higher, reach more energy through your arms and press it away.

You're almost there. Don't give up. Pump those arms. And reach. Inhale. One, two, three, four, five.

(exhale) Last two. Inhale, five little pumps. And exhale. (exhale) Last one. And exhale. Hold the position.

Flex higher. Open the collarbones. And take a break. Good. Remember, the headrest is down. We're gonna take this into a rollover.

So, I grab ahold that dowel again. Press down low. Now, if I needed to, I could just repeat my little reverse crunches. Maybe 10. (exhale) Switch angles.

If I'm able to, I'm gonna take it into the mat rollover. This is really gonna teach us how to use our arms as a prop to help stabilize us. I begin on my low diagonal, abs in. Exhale into the inversion. Now, here my arms are long, my wrists are long, my chest is open.

Ideally my legs are about parallel with the ground. Inhale, separate and flex. Exhale, push the dowel away from your bum. Lower the legs to your diagonal. Repeat. Exhale up. (exhale) Inhale, separate, flex.

Nice straight legs here, guys, cause it is a hamstring stretch on the way down. And together. One more like this. On this one, think about your feet a little bit. Spread the toes.

Activate the deep intrinsic muscles of the feet. Here we go with the reverse. (exhale) Legs together. Toes pointed. Externally rotated. I look at my inner thighs to make sure they're engaged.

Exhale up. (exhale) No weight or pressure on the cervical spine. Exhale down. One more time here. (exhale) Zip it up, point, externally rotate, and push that bar away from your tush so that you can make that landing. Great job! From here, the feet are gonna go onto the bar.

Headrest can go up, if that's comfortable for you. Awesome. You see I'm still away from those shoulder blocks, huh? Good. So, if you don't have a sock with a sticky bottom, you might wanna use something to assist with your traction. Don't wear a regular sock, it'll be too slippy.

You might be okay with bare feet though. Okay. I'm gonna start in my froggies. Heels together, toes apart. This is a great exercise to really challenge lumbar pelvic stability.

Hover the hands and just practice. Into bend, knees in line with the shoulders, exhale to reach. What you should see is the bar moving in a straight line. it's not going up or down. It's like I'm rolling a rolling pin along a counter, creating that pizza dough.

If I wanna challenge more, I can flex up. However, I've got to maintain that neutral alignment. So, as soon as I go into a posterior tilt or a flat back, we need to modify. Okay? So, I've got that space between my lower back and the mat. I could rest a cup of water on my low belly.

If I needed to, I could take a little bit of support at my cervical spine. Last two. (exhale) And last one. (exhale) Head, neck, and shoulders can go down. All I have to do is pivot on the toes and here I am in parallel. Let's try that again. Arms reaching.

We'll keep the head down in the beginning and just press. Now, the lower you send the legs, the harder the stability will be to maintain through the lower back. This is what I mean. If the legs go low that it makes you arch your back and lose it, then lift the legs a little, find that connection, and continue. So, remember, quality of movement is gonna create better results.

The more efficient and the more quality you move, the more you're gonna see those results. Right? (horn blows) Woohoo! Flexing up and continuing. Now that I'm in parallel, if I wanted to I can add a little lift bending down. So I'm, again, increasing the level of difficulty by making the coordination a little bit more challenging.

I'm making an oval movement. Let's reverse. The cool thing here, is I can really start to see what my dominant side is. I think it's my pedal leg. Pedal to the metal.

Wants to push. So find your stability. Move from your center and make those legs move in unison. Last two. (exhale) And last one. (exhale) It's also quite nice just to go into some hamstring stretches here. And, again, you're working those intrinsic muscles of your feet.

But, we'll stretch later. We have more tough exercises to do. So, from here I'm gonna grab ahold of the bar, reach my feet down, take a little break if I need to, and then rise on up. I'm gonna keep the red spring on, putting the headrest back down, preparing for some spinal mobility. So, I wanna move pretty much center of this carriage for this next series.

What's most important though, is I'm gonna have room to roll backwards. So I'm going into a half rollback here. Same grip, thumbs on the inside, fingers on the outside. Feet are nice and comfy. Still have my red spring on.

Inhale, find that tall neutral vertical. Exhale, flex the spine rolling to your c-curve, or your half rollback position. Thumbs are under. Inhale. Lift. Exhale. Resist. And inhale, rebuild.

It's a four part exercise. Exhale. Roll pelvis away from femurs. Inhale, eye-line forward. Exhale, and lengthen up. Two more here.

So, remember the name of the class. We're working arms, we're working back, and we are seriously working some core. Scoop and lift. Last time. Find the c-curve. Initiate from the pelvis, not from the cervical spine.

Initiate from the low back. Well done. From here, just inch yourself back a little bit. Extend the legs. Just a quick safety check here.

Okay, yep. I've got one hand's width behind me. I know it's still safe to roll back. So, I'm gonna go into some rowing with a twist. I'm gonna lean back, pull my elbows out wide, and rise back up. So, I lean, elbows wide, and rise up.

I'm hinging back on a neutral diagonal here. Although, you could add some extension and I'll show you what that looks like. So, I can lift the chest a little and come back. Honor your body. A little extension if that feels good.

And come back. One more each side. Chest open, and close those ribs at the top. Hinge and resist. From here, I'm gonna take that around the world.

I'll lean back. Here's my diagonal. Steer the bus. I'm gonna pull, scoop through center, come to the side, and return back up. Other side.

Lean back. (exhale) Through center. Back to the side. Lift up and center. Again, I turn hinge and row. As I come to my c-curve, I release the bar.

It's a lot of core to hold me here. Take the twist, pull it back. Come back up and release. Turn, hinging a row, melt those ribs into the torso. Doing a lot of posterior delts here.

And rise back up. Bicep challenge. Take an underhand grip for this one. Inhale to find the vertical neutral. Exhale, roll the pelvis back.

Elbows low to begin, toes pointed. I pull to just below my chin, and release two times. Slightly higher to the elbows now. I pull towards my chin two times. Slightly higher to the elbows, I pull towards my nose two times, deepening the c-curve.

Slightly higher still, I pull towards my eyebrows two times. Last one. Pull towards the top of the head. One. And two. Now let's take it down.

So, stay high. You can do it. One. And two. Take it to the eyebrows. Really isolate that humerus and feel those biceps burn, baby. To the nose two times.

(exhale) To the chin two times. One, and two, and down low. Last set of two. As you release the arms, flex the spine, and enjoy the break. Awesome! Let's keep going.

I'm gonna take a mermaid position now. And I've got my bent leg in towards the bar here, and my shin about parallel with the front edge of the carriage. I'm also gonna decrease the tension. I'm adding a blue. Once it's on, it's safe to delete the red.

I've got a light tension. If you're using a different piece of apparatus, it would be a half spring. So, make sure you're comfy here. If this is not working for your knees, then please choose an alternative seating position. I'm gonna go ahead and take an underhand grip, center of the bar.

Have a little support here if I need to. Chest open. I exhale, laterally flex and reach bicep by the ear. And inhale back. So, I draw it into my body first.

(exhale) Then up and over. And return. Let's increase the level of difficulty if you're ready for it. No more balance aid. I take it over for four.

And back. And three. And back. Two. And back.

And one. Good. Straight arms if you can. Up, four. Call this the halo.

Three. Chest open, neck long. Two. Now get ready. Interlace your fingers.

laterally flex towards the shoulder blocks. Use those obliques to bring it to the springs. Inhale. And exhale. (exhale) Inhale.

You get that great assisted stretch, but then you've gotta recruit those obliques to come back. So, I'm lengthening, lengthening, lengthening. Exhaling one more time. Try to keep the bar right over the top of your head, and flex from your torso. Open it up.

Relax. Turn around. Let's do that other side. So, I've got a nice, light spring tension on. Here's my mermaid legs. Feel free to modify this position.

If this is what's stopping you from doing the exercise, I'd rather you choose something else, okay? So, sit on a prop, change the legs to criss-cross applesauce, but find what works best for your body. So, here we are to begin. I have a little balance prop. I bend my elbow and I exhale.

Reach overhead. Resist it back in and resist it away. Bend, bicep by the ear, reach. Elbow to hip, adding on if it's appropriate. And reach, and away.

Keep the neck long and tension free, that's two. And keep those hips heavy. Really focus on separating the upper body movement here, disassociating what's happening with the arms and spine with the lower body. Straight arm variation. Up over the head, one.

(exhale) Two. (exhale) Three. And on the fourth one, interlace those fingers, laterally stretch towards the shoulder blocks, exhale towards the springs. Keep the bar right on line with the top of the head and the belly drawn in. Two. Keep that neck nice and long.

(exhale) Three. Last variation here. (exhale) And four. And open it and resist. Well done! Feel's great! Okay, arms are feeling great. Back is feeling great.

Core is feeling great. It's all good. From here, I'm gonna go ahead and I'll leave that blue on. I'm gonna take it to a single loop. I'll go ahead and hook this other guy on.

(click) And that way he's good to go there. Okay, so now I just have one. If you were using a dowel in the loop, for this next series you'd have to use your hand to steady the bar in the loop, so it didn't slide. Okay? I'm gonna go into some kneeling work here.

And I'm gonna begin side kneeling. If I'm in the center of the carriage, the level of difficulty is intermediate. If I were to come in towards the shoulder blocks, the level of difficulty would be more beginner, so I have this tactile cue to help me feel more stable. Additionally, the weight will feel a little bit lighter if I move this way. If I wanted to advance this series, I would come even further away towards the foot bar from center.

Move your body so it's best for you. The first thing I'm gonna begin with is just some twist rotation. I've got the bar in my hand. Elbows in by my sides and nice and wide. I start rotating towards the pulleys.

From here, I'm just gonna simply twist and resist. This is just a nice exercise to start to learn what this is gonna feel like. Now, if you're ready to add on, we go straight arms, elbows in, and then straight arms push. No momentum here, (exhale) just muscles. I pull, rotate, push.

The great thing about these exercises is they're combining movements that you'll do in everyday life, right? Think about it. Maybe you play tennis, maybe you're just unloading your groceries from your grocery cart into your car, right? You're gonna have to grab, pull them in, put them in the trunk. (laughing) Two more here. Pull, press, reach.

Keep the pull level to the ground, and reach. Okay! Another very functional one if you're Canadian like I am, chopping wood. So, now I rotate to face towards the foot bar. Again, I just have the one in. This time my hand goes under where the attachment is.

You see that? I'm not up and over, I'm under. Good. So I take an overhand lift and reach. Here's my ax, and I circle it around and back. So, I take an overhand lift and reach, find that vertical alignment with the pole, and circle around.

I can even add (exhale) a little spinal rotation to get into those obliques. And, up and over. And down. (exhale) Up and over. Lots of delts here.

Up and over one more time. (exhale) And down. Taking it into a rotated chest press, grab ahold in the original grip. Rotate to the foot bar, push three. (exhale) Two.

One. Little break. Do it again. One. Keep that pole level. Two. Resist it back towards you.

Three. Give it a break. Last set. Twist to the foot bar. Engage the belly as you push. Three. Two.

One. And resist it in. Grab ahold, you're not done yet. Take it into some standing work. I haven't changed anything yet.

I'm on a diagonal towards the reformer. Grab ahold of the bar. The closer I stand to the pulleys, the lighter it's gonna seem. I'm gonna be right about here. I'm gonna lunge back and row, and resist to come back up.

I'm gonna pull and resist. Keeping the elbows wide and the neck long. Last three. Two. (laughing) And one. On the next one I'm gonna stay back, and I'm just gonna do the arms for four.

Three. Two. And one. Come all the way in and resist. Nicely done! Okay, let's take it over to the other side.

So, all I'm gonna do is hook this guy up. Unhook this guy. I'll step through and I'm ready to go. Okay? So, I started with the rotation.

Be careful when you come on to the equipment, especially if it's just a blue spring on. Anticipate a lot of movement and a balance challenge when you come on. So, I take my wider grip for this one. Here it is. Bring the elbows to the chest and I can practice just rotating.

Exhale to twist. (exhale) Keeping the head in line with my spine. If I'd like to amp it up a little, I can reach, pull, twist, and reach. Reach, pull, (exhale) twist, and reach. Reach and press for three. Melt those ribs into the body and keep your elbows high.

Two. (exhale) And one. (exhale) And bring it back. Take your time. Use the foot bar to stabilize, if you need to find a comfortable kneeling position. From here I take the hand from under, exhale as I go up. Find that alignment first.

I'm not gonna be here. Arms are long, pole is vertical, then I circle it down by my side. Up. And down. If I wanna increase the challenge, I can allow my body to rotate a little, and then I'm gonna have to use those obliques to come back to this.

Inhale, three more. (exhale) And resist. Two. This'll get you better at fly fishing, too. (laughing) For all of you Pilates folk who do fly fishing.

Take it into your rotated chest, press, and go. Three, and yes, I feel more weight now on my right side. Two. And one. Back.

And again. Three. Two. And one. Good work, guys. One more set.

Here we go. Twist from the center. Stabilize and push. Resist it back in each time. (exhale) And back.

Awesome job. Arms, back, and core, they're working. Here we go with our lunging again. So, here I am on a diagonal. I'm not facing the equipment.

But again, I'm on slight diagonal, holding on, ready to row. I step back as I pull. And resist back in. Pull. And resist.

Exhale. And inhale. When finding that lunge, be mindful of your form and alignment. Lunges are done better if they're wide. Lunges are not so good if they're small, okay?

Two more. See if you can go a little wider back. Nice! And one. Let's hold the lunge and just do the row. Hold it, hold those abs in.

Five. Elbows up. Four. Three. Two. And one.

Lift all the way up. Good job! It's making me sweat! Okay, from here, I'm gonna hook both back on, so they're connected again. I'm just gonna rest that there. I'll use this box in a second. Let's get this guy close though.

Okay, so little bit more tension for this next series. I already have a blue on, so now I also have a red. Red and a blue? Medium. From here, I'll kneel onto the carriage. Knees against the shoulder block safely, and abdominals engaged, of course.

Take an underhand. Take a seat. Now, the lower body portion of the series, may or may not work for your body. If you're experiencing any knee discomfort, grab your box, sit on the box, do all the same upper body as me, and just omit the lower body part. Cool.

Here we go. Bicep curl with hip lift. So, I go into a posterior tilt, rise up as I do a bicep curl, and resist down. So, posterior tilt, little bit of a thigh stretch position, and resist down. (exhale) Be careful that you don't get pulled forward.

As you can see, right about here, I'm in a slight diagonal back. That's how I'm able to maintain my balance. If I was perfectly vertical, I'd fall forward. Two more. (exhale) And down.

One more. (exhale) And down. Take an overhand grip, rise up for your thigh stretch position, lift the arms. Two movements at once, thigh stretch and row. One long straight back, and resist up.

I lean back from my knees and lean up. You guys keep going. Lots of eccentric here, don't forget about the concentric glutes and those obliques. Let's do four more together. Lean.

And resist. Elbows nice and lifted. Lean, and resist. Two more. Lean, and resist.

One more. Lean, and resist. The last thing we're gonna do here is add in some extension. I'm not gonna lean back quite so much on my thighs, but instead focus on opening my chest, and lengthening up. So, I roll my shoulders open, extend evenly through each vertebrae of the spine, and up.

I'm most bendy through my neck and through my low back, so for me, I'm trying to lift from my heart as much as possible. That bar is a great reminder for me because it's coming right towards the part of my chest that I need to focus on extending. And release. One more series here. Take a seat.

Let the legs come through. Inch your bottom forward so you've got some room to lie back. The bar is gonna be resting on the knees and the thighs, but depending on the fabric of your pants, it might slide off. So, you'll see me use my hand as just a little support. Just notice, I'm not gonna be pulling with my arms.

I'm gonna be pulling with my core. Okay, so I'm gonna row back. Find that position. I'm now gonna be in an imprint. Abdominals engaged.

I've shorted the distance between my hips and my ribs without squeezing my glutes. And I take my legs up. There is it. So you can see it could balance, but I'm gonna give it just a little support. Inhale, the legs go away.

(exhale) Pull them in. Five times like this. Two. Three. Four.

And five, adding a twist. Five times. Four. Three. Two.

And one. Take a little break. It might feel good for you to drop your head back or you might wanna stay up with some cervical support. I'm gonna change the hand. Again, it's not my hand that's pulling.

This is no longer an arm exercise. It's a lot of core, particularly feeling the fibers of those lower rectus abdominis and obliques. Okay, so here I go. I like to cross my ankles. You can choose to do that, or not.

Hand behind the head. Just the legs for five. (exhale) Four. (exhale) Three. (exhale) Two.

(exhale) One. (exhale) Adding a twist. Five. Four. Three.

Two. And one. And take it down. Good work! Okay! Remembering that any time you're doing that kind of rotation, it's coming from your center. It's an illusion of rotation if your elbow comes to your knee.

Keep the elbow open and try to rotate your rib towards your hip. I'm gonna add all the springs on to stabilize the carriage. And I'm gonna take you through some classical short box exercises with a little bit of a contemporary twist. Make sure the short box is in the right position for you. You're gonna have to play with that at home.

Generally speaking, the taller you are, the more you're gonna be moving the box back. So you might like your box here, over the shoulder blocks. I'm gonna have mine right in front of the shoulder blocks for today. My safety strap is gonna be available for me to slide my feet under, before I come on. And then once I'm on, all I have to do is slide them under.

I still have my roll down bar. The theme of the day. Okay, I'm in. Good. Notice here, just like on the reformer, I have room to roll back.

Really important. I'm gonna begin with a straight back hinge. I'm gonna use this pole to help maintain my alignment. I'm gonna reach the pole back behind me and grab it with my other hand. Now I've got something to feel if I extend or flex.

You know how we always say to pretend like there's a broom stick behind your back? Now you don't have to pretend! Inhale to sit really tall, close the ribs, exhale to lean. Inhale to hold and exhale to come back up. Inhale. Exhale.

Inhale to hold. And exhale. This one really makes me shake. It's hard! You're using a lot of obliques to stabilize your shape. Exhale to lean.

Inhale to hold. And exhale up. Switch the stick so it's in the opposite hand. Grab ahold, collarbones wide. Let's try three more.

Inhale, grow tall. Exhale to lean. Inhale and exhale up. Do your best to keep that tummy flat. Inhale.

And exhale to lean. Inhale and exhale. Remember, your range of motion should be appropriate for your body. Inhale to prepare, exhale to lean. And come all the way up.

Good job! Now that we've found that stability, let's change focus to mobility! Arms are long. Inhale, set the shoulders. Here's a little trick, guys. Pretend like you're breaking the stick. Let's say, you had to make firewood.

You went (breaking wood noise) and you cracked a piece of wood over your knee. That's what you're doing here. By pressing down through your pinky fingers you're gonna engage your lats. They're co-contractors with your obliques. Those are muscles that help you do this.

Okay? So, break the stick. Set the shoulders. Exhale to roll to your C-Curve. Inhale, pole comes up.

Exhale, twist, and lower one side. Exhale, twist, and lower other side. Exhale, deepen the scoop. Hollow out the belly. Inhale, rebuild.

Let's do that again. (exhale) Inhale. Exhale, twist. Exhale. Inhale. Flex.

Get that all to pull in. And then rebuild. Adding on. Breathe in. Exhale, flex.

From here, inhale, lift, twist, lean. So that hip comes up. Exhale, find center. Inhale, other side. Plant the hip.

And bring it back. Rotate, and lean. That's your in. (exhale) Here I am. Inhale to length and open.

Plant the hip. Take it back, do it again. Rotate. Now, imagine energies through the top of the head connecting with that stick. Reach.

Can you grow longer? Take it back through center. Hollow it out. Take it to the side and plant it. Last time.

Twist. (exhale) Take it through. Take it all the way back. Anchor the hip, and come to center. The last thing I wanna do here is one of my favorites.

To teach. Not to do. No, I love doing it. Okay, so one leg comes out, the other comes in. We can do it, we'll do it together.

Side bends. Choose your poison, guys. Leg can come up here like this, or if it's more comfortable on your knee, dangle it off. But, if you'd like this to be more challenging, cross your foot behind. I'll do it like this.

Okay. The other safety thing is, make sure your foot stays flexed in the safety strap. Okay, let's use the dowel. Use it with purpose. We're almost done. As I lean, I find that long line.

Ribs are equally long on each side. Inhale, press forward. Exhale, scoop. Five times. In. (exhale) In.

(exhale) Two more. Push and pull. Connecting that movement with the arms, with core. Now we go up with the arms. In and pull.

That's one. Make the rainbow, and two. Reach. That's three. Up and over. (exhale) That's four.

One more. And five. Now, to amp it up, here's your bonus set. Leave the arms, set the shoulders, five more like this. Inhale, and one.

Pretending you're spearing a fish at the bottom of the ocean, and pulling it. That's two. Three. Four. And all the way up, five.

And relax. I just realized I'm using a lot of wilderness techniques. So, we're spearing fish, and we're chopping firewood, we're using an ax. You can be prepared for anything. Okay, here we go.

Let's do the other side. So, I take the twist. You won't be able to see what my arms are doing so much here, as I reach forward, but what I want you to focus on, guys, is using your obliques in both directions. So, I'm not falling, I'm cinching on my lower side and cinching on this side. I'm teaching my body to co-contract.

When I move my arms, I move my abs. I engage them. This is gonna make me stronger and more functional. One more here. (exhale) Arms over head.

Rainbow shape and pull. Two, and pull. Three. (exhale) Four. Keep those hips steady. Five.

Option to take a break or go to your bonus set. Set the shoulders, find the long line, inhale, exhale, up. One. Two. Three.

Head between the arms. Four. And five. Come all the way up. We did it! You've earned a really good stretch.

Take a break. Take the box off. Put your feet in the straps. Do your favorite feet in strap work, maybe circles, lower and lift. Awesome job, guys! Arms, back, core.

Thanks for watching. Bye!


6 people like this.
Courtney you are remarkable! Your creativity in your work reflects your uniqueness and that is what you bring to each of your workouts here on PA! Would love to see another mat workout from you!!
Paola Maruca
Courteney, it is so nice to see you back....
I do a very similar workout with the pole so I really appreciated this one.....As usual you are amazing....
4 people like this.

Awesome Class Courney !!!
prop classes are my favorites, I'll be working on this for a long time. as always your cueing is perfect.
and I know I can live off the land if Im brave enough for the wilderness ;)
1 person likes this.
Beautifully creative and inspiring--thank you:)
5 people like this.
Love ALL of her classes! Thanks Courtney!
3 people like this.

You ROCK!!!!

Thank you so much I can not wait till my next workout to do these ABC's

1 person likes this.
I absolutely loved this class. I can't wait to try it out tomorrow! So awesome!
2 people like this.
As usual a great class! Really love all your classes, challenging, precise and innovative! Waiting forward to see you soon with a new class...
2 people like this.
Very innovative and fun! Makes classical pilates appear mundane and dated by comparison. Thank you! You're the most creative out there.
2 people like this.
Courtney your classes are so FUN!! and your cueing is awesome, cant wait to try this tomorrow!
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