Class #1692

C-Curves for the Powerhouse

50 min - Class


Monica flows through the Reformer, Mat, and Wunda Chair in this Mixed Equipment workout. She focuses on using C-curves to get deep into the powerhouse. Enjoy exercises like Stomach Massage, Spine Stretch, a preparation for Table, and much more!
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair, Mat, Reformer w/Box, Mixed Equipment, Pilates Pole

About This Video

Jun 16, 2014
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All right, Juliana. So we're going to do a basic workout today, but what I would call a real deep powerhouse workout. And we're going to see different shapes here as well as on the mat and then on the one to chair. So we're just going to kind of flow through all three. So go ahead and lie down, trying to have your bottom closest to this edge and rolled down. I'm working on grots reformers, so it has four springs. And when you start off, you can do your footwork on either three or four springs, depending on your, um, on, on how it works for you.

Since you usually don't work on grots. I'm going to do it on three today. Okay. So that you don't, cause I know you're really athletic and strong. I don't want you to just muscle through it. You're really great. Um, you have great plottings background, so you're probably gonna use your powerhouse anyway. But I really want to nail that home. So Pilati stance and nice frame. I love it. And we're gonna pull our belly away good and into the mat.

Really feel that sinking in. And I want you to just think about that. Like your stomach is so strong that the legs aren't even gonna help you. You're gonna pull the carriage out with your powerhouse. Go ahead and pull out. Good all the way. Hold it here and even feel it. Come in another half an inch and get longer and taller.

And then keep that powerhouse in an up feeling and come home. And now double time that tempo. Keep it in and pull and did good am pulling up. Good. Just really scooping it. So keep going for four more. One of the easiest positions to fill your stomach is in a round backer.

In a c curve. Come on in. Stay here. We're going to go to arches. The arch of the foot right there. Knees together, aunt. Go ahead and pull in and go out and come back in. Good. So the arch of the foot is on the bar where we're wrapping our toes, pulling our heels around. Good. But try squeeze. He'd be like squeezing together. Yes. Again, scoop. Nice.

So round back or c curve is one of the easiest to really strengthen the abdominals. We're going to do one more and we're going to really think about that here and bring up your heels. So on the carriage here, we have a bar that holds up our legs that kind of allows for your back naturally just to pull into the mat and go ahead and do ten one on your heels. We're gonna pull out and pull in and pull out in the toes. Start pulling back as if they're kissing your knees. Good. I didn't even think of like, um, just that really nice scoop.

Kinda like cradling a baby. That feeling that's, you've got something holding up your head right here, holding up your legs so all the energy can go right there. One more. And now we're going to go down to toes. So you're going to see that seat curve shape a lot today. We're going to, this time you're gonna stay out. So pull in away from the carriage, but all the resistance of the springs into their grown taller. Really feel the wrap and the seat. And now push down your heels under the bar two, three and from your outer thighs and glutes. Pull up. Good. Down, down, down and pulling in and stretch, stretch, stretch in the stomach, pulls in and up, up, up and dad, dad down and pulls in and up. Up, up. One more.

Actually let's do two more after this and Dan. Dan Down. So a total of 10 and give me one last one. Use more outer thighs. More seat. There Ya go. Oh, all of that up. And Bend your knees and come in. We're going to give yourself a little space from the shoulder pads slide away and there's two handles by your ears. We haven't switched any springs.

We're going to do our whole warm up, which is the foot work as well as the hundred on three or four springs. Okay. So here is our little cradle position. Lift your head up and pull your arms forward. Good. Keep it there. I'm going to go ahead and lower the bar so it's out of your way and I want you to just stay there as you pump your arms up and down in with the year. So here's your hipbone and you're gonna pump above and below your hipbone.

So nice range of motion. About five inches and every exhale you really feel your stomach scooping. That's the most important thing I want. I want that like just that nice cradling. Then if you can keep that cradling feeling, extend your legs to my hand.

Turning out the thighs for me so I can see some of your inner, it's good. Waking up the outer thighs in the glutes. Good. Very nice. Still Scoop and then still seeing that cradling and for the last 10 why don't you lower your legs as low as you can keep that school right there is good. Excellent. Bend everything and take a break. Nice job. I love that. So I'm gonna put s take a spring off.

So we're on two springs now for our frog and our leg in our leg circles. I'm going to add some extensions and we're still going to keep that nice cradle feeling. So our powerhouse has no choice but to work. But sometimes because our feet are being held up by these straps, it is actually really easy to take a break with our stomach and then it starts to look like a loaf of bread rising in the oven. We're not going to have that happen again. The knees in here. Good. And we're going to bring your feet back and put them in here. Good. So goal, no loaf of bread rise in the oven. Did we get some dirt? Sand in your eyes?

You're okay care. We're going to bring down your feet. This is a knees apart, shoulder width and Pilati stance. Great, right back to that cradling feeling. Okay, stomach sinking in and it shouldn't be too hard to reach those legs away and really feel that belly pool in opposition. And Ben did. I love the physics of this exercise. No energy in those feet and stomach and all the resistance goes into your stomach and maybe wrapping and squeezing and coming in, but not gripping and stomach in and reach and pull it in. Now let's do it with a little bit of flow. So you go out as far as you can.

And you pull it in and one more, you're going to pull in the belly and pool and okay, now we'll go to our legs circles. So we have our stomach, no problem at staying in, but we're challenge it with how just like you did in the hundred when your legs go lower, that's when your back wants to tighten work and your belly has a harder time pulling it, not just you but everybody. So that's when we're going to resist that low for breath. So we're going to push out with your belly really thinking and how the legs come, not straight to the ceiling, but just shy of it. So right here is your starting point and we're going to open about the width of the carriage circle down. And as you go down the belly pulls in more and more and more.

Squeeze the legs together and bring them up the center. That's your range of motion. Now go to tempo, belly in and open and circle down together and up and open and circle your belly pulls in more gorgeous and stomach and reaching. Wrap in squeeze and two more. Very nice stomach in good and little bit more circular than linear. Yeah, I know that dancer in you, right. And squeeze your legs together.

We're going to reverse it. Go down. Surprisingly, this is when you open util that's the hardest part. So if you were more of a novice, not so much into doing plies as you are, that's when you would feel. Try not to come straight up to the ceiling though. Just a little shy. Thank you. And two more squeezing down and one more stomach pools in and go down around and up. Good. And Go ahead and bend your knees. I'm going to take these straps off. Very good job.

And the next exercise is going to be stomach massage. So go ahead and step off. And it's, most people don't like this exercise at all, but I do. It took me a long time to like it though. So we're going to put your pad down and the goal is to have your pat all the way here. But here's your frame, your box and your shoulders always have to be right over your hips. So when you round your back on this next exercise, your shoulders still have to be over your hips.

And the further forward that pad comes, the harder it is to do that. I'm going to put you on three springs to start your stomach massage. Um, actually I'm gonna put you on four, I think you're up for it. So we're gonna do four springs to start. Go ahead and sit down right there. Good. And then you're gonna put, you can keep your hands behind you to not fall back if you want, but put your toes on the bar, the lighty stance. And now one hand at a time, grab onto the front edge.

So let's have those shoulders right over the hip bones. But let me see that nice round c curve cradle back. Yeah. Toes a little bit lower on the bar so that you're going to be able to. Yes. And so we're going to pull your belly in. And again, as if that's the only thing pulling you out, let's go ahead and pull out. Good. Now press your heels under the bar.

Lift and bend in a little more forward with those shoulders. Yes. And we're going to pull out two arrests down, lift and it, and really pull out good for us dam lift in it. And as we get more advanced, two, three more here. We want to create capital letter c rather than just thinking a small letter c and two more. Oh, pull it. Good. And one more time. Keep your hips even pulling out down lift and stay here with your belly in.

See if you could slide your hands back and put them. Oh, let's do both of them at the same time. And then we're going to put up on the shoulder pads behind you. Good. That looks really close for you. Let's lift your bottom forward a little bit more. That's good. I'm going to drop a spray now. So the first one's on four, the second one's on three knees are shoulder width apart and with your belly.

And can you lift your chest and chest bone? Good. Good. Now that looks good, but women love to hyperextend so I'm going to turn your hand to face that way. And some people can still do it, but it does make it harder to hyperextend like that. Squeeze a pencil right between your shoulder blades, always supporting with your stomach and pull out with the belly. Go Out, down with the heels, lift and in. Use Your stomach pool into your waistband and grow taller. Damn lift.

And in four steps, pull out all the way down, all the way up and in and pull out. Beautiful Damn lift and, and keep trying to lift your chest up. Yes. And two more. Keep lifting your chest. Mm, that's beautiful. And one more. Even as those heels go down, your chest goes higher. Yes, that's enough there. I'm going to drop one more spring on. Hold yourself with your stomach as they come at the same time. This time. Ooh, Nice. Relax your shoulders. Beautiful.

And now you're going to go out using your belly and come back in and exhale till you touch my shoulders. Good. Inhale, roll. Pull out stomach, no legs and exhale. Come in forward and try to use your stomach. Excellent. And inhale out and exhale scooping in. So this shape is seeing so much politesse one more time. Where are they armed?

The straight and the legs are straight and everything's pulled in. He'll do it standing. You'll do it. Lying on your back. Knees a little narrower for me. Everything. All right, go ahead and step off and I am going to add a box or actually would you grab it? Use both handles and of course your powerhouse. That's it. And we're going to put it over the shoulder pads.

The other ways for short, yes. And right before the little eye hook, I'm also going to grab this bar. Good and make sure it's a little more centered. So you set consenter yourself on the box. Good. Your bar will go right there and the pad goes about a hands with distance from the back edge. Go ahead and sit down and put your feet right under here. Good slide back so that you're again, your have the width of your hand and put it right behind you and you want to be touching your pinky. There you go. Separate your legs. That's it. And hold that strap tot. Nice. So let me see that nice cradle position.

You're gonna wrap your arms around your stomach and round your back as round, round, round, round as you can get it. So again, the shoulders will stay over the hips. Very nice. Good. I want you to pull your belly into my hand. Lift off your seat without losing your belly. And now think about your waistband in your lower back. And I want you to roll back both sides of your waistband.

Pull him back, get the, feel it on the box. If you could scoop, scoop, scoop, and then exhale. Come forward. Leaving that there as long as you can and rolling into yourself. Good. Pulling in, lift up off your seat and not sitting up tall, but just like you're on a bed of nails and you gotta whip. Pull up still around though. There you go. Juliana and roll back both sides of your lower back.

Good, nice. And even you want to see if you can touch your waistband down to that box. And then exhale, home's scooping in and up. Beautiful Scoop, beautiful. And two more. Lift up off your bottom and then roll back. Good. And exhale forward scooping. Nice.

Getting a little adjusted there. One more stomach in and pulling back both sides of your lower back on the box and exhale forward. Good lifting, lifting, lifting. And now go ahead and grab that bar that's under you and put on top of your thighs and sit up tall and you just felt your stomach work really well. Can we hold our belly in and sit up tall and bring your arms up to the ceiling just in your peripheral vision. So not too far back. Yeah. Good. Now imagine that's a paint roller and you've got to paint my ceiling.

So I want you to use your belly to lift up and we're going to stay straight, not arch, not round, not sinking, but straight and lifted and go back about six inches going backstay lifted and lifted and lifted. And lifted and pull forward. Now that looked really good on the lift. You could do just a teeny bit more pulling away from me here. So a little more [inaudible]. And now keep that as you go and go and go and come forward using that.

That's great. And two more pull away and now you're moving with your shoulders before your waist. So pull NTR. There you go. Nice. Always initiating from that and pulling forward. And we're going to do one more stomach in and pulling and pull forward with your belly and always lifting off your seat and rest your arms down. Good. The next one side reach. So I want you to do the same thing. Nice, tall spine and let's lift up that paint roller to the ceiling.

[inaudible] pool in it. This time though, you're gonna lean your shoulders in front of your hip bone so you're a diagonal forward. Lean forward. Good. Do you feel both your sip phones on the box? Why don't you to keep them there and hug your feet like someone's hugging your waist in and reach over to the right. Taking almost like both shoulder blades in front of this corner, side bending, just side bending. Yep. And then stack your spine good. So starting from the top of your spine, reach over to the left, always pulling in though and reach and reach and reach. And then use your obliques to stack up your spine and a little more forward.

You got Upright again. So lean forward [inaudible] and then pull it in and reach this vertebra away from this one, this one and stretching and your left will bleak. Pulls in and in and stacks up your spine. And again, pull it in. Go to the left, reaching one bone at a time for a side band and you're right, obliques, pool you back home. And one more set is still leaning a little forward more for me, especially your right shoulder. The other right signs of a good teacher am pulling in and lean to your stretch. To your left, we have to train ourselves to think right is left and left is right.

So you can mimic your, you know your client, right? And rest your arms down. All right, we're going to do the twist. Okay. We're going to re lift up with your belly in. Good. Our Rye and I, we are going to twist your body, but I want you to think just about this little area here and I want you to twist this left rib over this right hip bone, using the obliques. Pull away from me away from a good twist as much as you can. Now keep that straight line and reach back a little bit and then come back up.

Good job on twisting. Now this hip, this rib over that hip bone. Yes. And pull this oblique away from you to reach out. Long reach back. There you go. And pull back up. That's it. And again, pulling in, you're gonna take the left rib over your ripe, beautiful, and scooping in. Good. And coming back up and taking your right rib over your left hip and pulling in your waist. You're going to reach out nice and long. Great. And coming up and give me one more pull on it and twisting this rib more over here. Oh yeah. Ample enough. Up.

Just that little bit more of work for you and right rib over left hip, but pull into your waist more and pull back from here and in, in, and come back up. Love it. Reach down and hook that bar underneath your toes for a stretch. So you're going to just stretch forward. Hook it onto your toes, head down, and just stretch. Very nice job. That's your little passive stretch. You don't get many. So we're going to put the bar back under our legs and sit up tall and I want you to pull in your belly and take the right leg out and put your arms underneath your hip. Good.

Ideally we do that without shifting in our hip state squared. That's is for another lesson. We're going to just keep pulled in and try to straighten your leg up and bend it and straighten and bend. Making sure you're getting a good stretch. Hold it up and walk up hand over hand till you get to your ankle. Good. So while you're here that what I need you to do is check that your box is square so your shoulders look good, your hips.

I feel like this one's a little forward and this guy's a little lifted. So try to relax that leg a little bit. Not The hip, which is hard, but oh, there you go. Good. And now, pulling in your belly round over your leg, thinking about touching your stomach to your thigh. Your chest gets to reach all the way to your knee. Good. Good. Now, eyes on your hip bones and I want you to roll back your hip bones, your pelvis evenly, keeping them square. This leg comes with you and just holds onto that strap by your hips. Even. That's what you're working. Okay, good.

Now see how your knees or your elbows are bent. I love that because that gives you a little more um, ability. Drop, that shoulder [inaudible] to really pull in your belly. So to make your arms go straight, I want you to pull back your waist into the box. Like really sink into it. Get that left side a little more down. Yeah. And now walk down your legs. You roll away from it and then roll right on up.

We're going to come right on up. Head to chest first and scooping up and walk up. You did everything right. And now come keep the leg here and try to get onto that leg. Really stretch. Ooh, Nice. And we're going to do two more. Roll back both sides of your waist. Let me see those arms go straight first. Pull back that way. So yes, and then walk down a little bit. It's just in keeping this basic, I know you're capable of more walk up, but it is hard to work these little details and one more.

Pull those arms straight by pulling your waist into the box and walk down a little bit. Keeping your hips square. This guy has to work the MDA a little bit more and we're going to come up scooping up. That's right. And now, yeah, you can bring that leg forward and stretch over it again. And then grab the toes and sit up tall, tall, tall, tall. Watch the hyperextending knee. Open it up a little bit and then lift it up as high as you can lifting your chest. Very flexible. Very nice. And we're going to switch legs, doesn't it? I wish I was working out right now.

We're going to stu three times. Stretch him. And that was better though. You did keep more square and bend and stretch it and bend. Try to keep your shoulders right over your hip. So forward and hold it up. Now we'll walk up that leg and you're going to again, make sure your hips are squared. Can I feel like the thighs just lifted up a little?

So just rest it down a little and now stretch forward over that like good. Good. That's it. Wonderful. Roll back. Keeping both hips even. Yeah, and once the right foot has you, I want you to pull back your waist to straighten your arms, pull into the box and working this hip more. Good. And I'll walk down a little bit, rolling out basically to a straight spine for me and then coming back up. Keep that hip, reaching away.

Good and stretch and two more. Pull your waist into the box and walk down that leg. Use the outer fine hip to hold that leg hip from rising and exhale curling into yourself. I love to picture my six pack imaginary six Beck here and one more time, Poole in. And so as I go down, I use my lower set as I walked down and then my middle and then my upper and to come up by, use my upper set and then my middle and I can't just the little bit more detailed, a little more amphetamine powerhouse. And now stretch forward over that leg with your hips.

Even grab your toes and you're going to pick the apple off the tree. So just the toes. You get a little bit more of a Sadek nerve stretch and lift up your chest nice and tall. Sitting a little more on this hip. There you go. That's it. Good. All right, go ahead and step off and you're going to grab both handles and bring that box down. I'm going to lift this far up and start setting up for our next exercise called elephant and that's fine. We'll just leave that there. Elephant, we're going to lift this head piece and we're going to have two springs, right? I'm going to keep it just like the short box was.

We always want to get on hand, foot, hand, foot. So I want you to put your right hand on that bar and left foot up on the, just straight onto the mat in front of the left shoulder piece pad would be great. And then left hand and right foot just for safety. It's always good hand, foot and foot. Not just standing up with your feet. Right on. So this is the shape we've been looking at a lot, but flipped over. So you've been on your back and gravity has helped pull your belly in and your arms are reaching forward or your legs are being held up. Now we're just reversing this image.

We want your shoulders right over the bar that holds the springs great. And I want you to lift your head up and look out the windows and let your backhand good. And you're probably thinking, what? What are you doing? Cause this is my ha. This is exactly what I don't want you to do. So I sometimes like my clients to feel, what is it that I don't want you to do? I don't want your head up.

I don't want your chest open or your ribs out or your stomach hanging. And I don't want your pelvis like this. I don't want your tailbone like that. So I want you to pull your head through your arms. I want you to lift your chest up into my hand, rounding your upper back, and you get to use the opposition of your hands. So you push your hands here and you pull the chest up.

And then I want your ribs pulling and really spreading open in this back in the middle back. And then here is our powerhouse that's gonna pull in and really fill up our lower back and finally lengthen the tail bone away from you so that it's pointing towards the floor. Yeah. Oh yeah, that's great. And you got that little lower pit of your belly working now and now go all the way downs. Try to not press the knees. So soften the knee a little. Push the heel bone into the pad nat, and lift every toe up. That is your elephant shape.

We're going to hold our upper body here and our shoulders over those springs. But you're going to push out the carriage from your hamstrings and glutes a few inches. Hold it there and see if you can use your lower pit of your belly to bring your tailbone underneath you. Excellent. All the way home, you got two more inches, three, two and out. And exhale. I love that you added breathing to it. Cause you do have to breathe on this and you're going to go out and you're going to exhale really beautiful pulling up in dear two more back of the legs and Hampton, uh, glutes and, and, and one more time out and lift up every toe if you can.

And then I want you to kneel down and we're going to do the same shape, but kneeling, your feet are against the shoulder pads. Great. Knees a little wider. So they're in line with your feet. This left foot actually has to open up a little wider. Do you have good knees, Juliana? Anything I should know? Okay, good. So let's regain that shape head through your arms, chest rounding, opening the ribs. Really scooping in. Oh, that was a great correction for you. And I want you to sit back just another inch. If you can't, great.

And I want that lower belly to feel like it's curling your tailbone under too. You good? So with our belly feeling like it's holding us back like this, you're going to push the carriage out, almost a straight legs. Go, go, go. And then use your belly to curl it under again, curling under the pelvis and going out one more slow and pulling it in. Now the tempo will be smooth out, a quick crunch and smooth out. Exhale in and out and pull it back in.

And we're pulling it in and pulling it in and three more go a little straighter and in just challenging your belly a little bit more and hold beautiful all the way in those, Ooh, we got to get it all the way in, in, in, and yeah, it's often that last little luxury, but that really squeezes the juice out. Now you keep your belly in, but lift your head up and stick your chest out and stick your bottom out. So you can go to a beautiful arch back. Keep going, keep going, stick your tailbone up to the ceiling and you don't need to let your bottom, your belly go. You can still support a, a sway in your back. Okay. Now using the hamstrings and glutes, you're going to push back and pull back in. Good and out and and beautiful.

Smooth and quicker in smooth and quicker in and smooth and in and through. One more. Now here's the really hard one. Head down, round your back. Your hips are now going to be more over your knees for this, for the basic version of this good. Pull up your chest more. Use that opposition with those hands scooping in and you are really strong. So I know you can demonstrate this. We're going to keep your belly in as we lift your knees up to ankle height.

Great. Little higher actually. Good. And now push back and scoop under your tailbone. Eyes on my hand. Good. And think about curling the tailbone under cause it's about pulling that pelvis under instead of just quoting this exercise and smooth out. Quick, smooth out. Quick in one more all the way in and lower down. Very nice. Go ahead and step off. Very nice. I'm going to add a spring again.

So we're back to three springs and you're gonna lie down for running and pelvic tilt. So these are our cool down exercises back to our nights, lying on our back so our stomach can easily pull. We're going to slide over just a little bit with your shoulders and head. So our s our stomach could easily pull into the mat, toes on the bar. Good heels together. Nice. Good. And so we're gonna [inaudible] pull in and go all the way out.

Use your belly to go all the way out. Great. And with your belly and Ben one the lower one heel, but straight up to the ceiling for me. The knee [inaudible] head switch. Go ahead and pull. Good. And just make all the mechanics. We're going to double time at temple from here, from your stomach instead of the leg being what pushes up in those good.

They can pass each other. And I know you're a runner so you can take this to a little quicker pace. There you go. Yes, good, good running. So I'm concentrating right now on your scoop and feeling light on your legs because your energy and weight is lifted. There's all ton of to this exercise, but that's what I'm concentrating on right now. It's really nice last time and come back in and now we're going to do arches on the corners so your feet are a little turned out and your knees have to follow that turned out position. So just a little more. They have to always, the knees point between the big toe and little toe.

Don't let those knees roll in as you sink your belly and try to imagine your backs like a strand of pearls and we're going to start lifting up your tailbone and the next bone and the next bone, a little higher. Beautiful. Try to keep that position throughout the whole exercise and you're going to go out and pull the carriage all the way in. Good. You're good. Keep going. Don't worry and pull it in. We're starting though to go to a diagonal and I still want it to look kinda like a ski slope. So a little more hanging in that lower back so that you can open it and stretch it and your belly. So hold.

And if I said roll down one bone at a time, what would you do? Okay, can you tilt a little more towards you? Tilt your yes. So try to keep that while you're going out. So go out, you lengthen out. But as you come in, kind of get a little more yes and owl and control it in and out and control it. And give me one more and pull in. Beautiful, beautiful.

And now rolled down one bone at a time. Slide your feet together, hug your knees into your chest. And we're going to go over to the map for our basic map. Okay, so we're going to now do the mat. Go ahead and lie down with your feet. This way we're going to done the a hundred already. So we're just going to go into the Roland t, take your bottom back.

Say you're a little more full length of the mat. Good. And lie down long legs, long arms. Good. And as I say that, maybe slide forward just a little bit to me cause I'm gonna use this strap for today but, and it's wonderful if you have one of these mats. If you don't and you're trying to do it at home, then you can uh, either you just honestly put a towel over your legs and all of a sudden that image and that weight helps you keep your legs down. Or You could slip your feet under a couch and that helps to hold your legs down. But the bar, I want him. Beautiful. Long fingers. Yes. Good.

And Go ahead and just reach back with your belly. Staying in. Good. And so we're going to bring the arms up and we're going to keep the arms as you bring your head through your arms, using your stomach and then push the bar almost down as you curl up one bone at a time. Start curling up, curling up. Good. And keep this scoop as you reach all the way forward. That nice round seeker. And then pulled back that bars. If it's a really heavy bar, good.

And you're gonna roll down your spine. Let's get the waistband first, then in the middle of the back, then you're brought back to your bra strap or bottom of your shoulder blades and roll through each toe. Good. So now you've got the idea. We're going to double time that tempo. Arms head for next and then curl it up, bar going down. Good and exhale all the way forward. Inhale to start rolling back like someone's pulling you back with your waist. Exhale, rolling all the way down on reaching back and arms head and exhale, scooping in and up. Good. Reaching forward in how? Rolling back. Exhale all the way down.

Beautiful Scoop and reaching back and two more arms, then head and then scooping in, reaching and rolling back. Lower back, middle and upper. And one more time and arms head. Good. And you can do this clearly with straight legs, even if you didn't have the strap and rolling back. But it helps if you bend your knees. If it's really having a hard time doing this exercise, you can do it with bent knees.

Let's take that bar and you're going to bend the right knee into your chest and give it a hug. Straighten that leg up to the ceiling. Hands behind your thigh and stretch. Now I already know you're flexible so I'm keeping this leg straight, but otherwise you can also do it with a bent knee and the foot flat, arms down by your side. Is that belly in? Good. We're going to keep it in as you cross to the shoulder. Keep your belly in as you go down around and pull it up.

Good and cross around and up. Good Cross. No loaf of bread rising in the oven, right? And this is where we think of those legs circles that we did with the straps. And one more. So taking that feeling and reverse. You did a beautiful job on the reform with your leg circles. So now it's harder.

We don't have help. We don't have straps holding up our feet to more, yet we still have to pull up our legs from our powerhouse. One more and hugging that knee. Good. Switching legs and here you can either put it under the strap or not. Either one and hugging and then good. And then straighten the leg and put your hands. Good. Arms down by your side.

That hip is hiking a lot. Can you reach it long? Talk to it. A little arm. That's it's it listened. Now we're going to pull it up as high as you can. Cross your body. Go down around in a good and scoop around enough and ski and from your belly. Think of having a strap there. Yeah, go one more on your foot and reverse.

Really reach out of that hip. Don't let it hike up on you. Pull it around. Two down, around and up. One more time. Try to kick me up here. There we go. Hug the knee into your chest. Good. Put that leg down and we're gonna bring the right knee into your chest. Good. Actually bring both knees into your chest.

[inaudible] lift up your head and look at your powerhouse. Good. Keeping your belly and straighten the left leg forward. Good right hand slides to your ankle. On the left. One's going to stay right here, good and relaxing the legs. I want you to pull your belly in and switch.

Good is all about your powerhouse. This is about that cradle, about your stomach sinking and everything else was long and loose away your whole time in this next four exercises. After this, it's all about the stomach pulling it and one more set a right when another set right and a left. And now grab both ankles and hands on the ankles and the double version. Arms go up and hold it right here. This is scooped into the mat. Scoop, scoop, scoop and circle the arms back to the ankles. Inhale, reach and exhale. Keep your arms still a little higher because the legs are not quite as low and there we go. And on your own two more. Inhale, reach and exhale. Taking that same feeling of that cradling and exhale or that c curve.

Last one. Good. And exhale and go ahead and sit up for me. And now we're going to put your feet one here, one here on these blocks, and slide back until your straight legs and your heels in the middle of the block. Thanks Joanna. All right, good. And we're going to sit up tall with your arms at shoulder height. Try to lower the shoulder bones a little bit. Nice and take, let's see. Take your left hip back just a teeny bit. Thank you. All right, pull your belly in and I want you to imagine an old fashioned magnet like a you magnet and there's energy coming out of the arms and energy out of the feet.

Okay? So I want you to pull in your belly, lift up, tall your spine, big, big breath, and now head down to your chest and exhale going forward. And someone's pulling energy out of your arms. But all of this is as gorgeous. You. In fact, stay here and take a breath and exhale, pull in more and see if you can go lower again using that six pack, that upper, set the middle, set the lower and then roll up your back. Starting from the lower back, the middle stack in your spine. Since this is basic, I'm going to have you take a big breath and then exhale, go down more advanced. You just move the entire time.

So keep pulling in and squeezing out there and inhaling up, up, up and exhale. And now inhale, pulling in and live tall and exhale, rolling forward. Energy out your arms like that magnet, keeping him up at shoulder height a little higher with them. There we go. Good scoops, skews, skews, and rolling back up from the waist and exhale and give me one more, a little more energy out of those feet. Flex the feet and exhale. Head down and curling and curling and really scooping into that nice c curve and cradle and roll up and great. Now we're going to go over to our one two chair. All right, Juliana. So we're going to do a few exercises.

I'm just going to pick and choose the ones that I want to work with you, but we're going to start off with kind of the granddaddy of a mall. The puller cause that for sure makes you feel your stomach. Okay. So are you familiar with the pull up? I have not done. Okay. Now on this one, on the grounds one a chair, but on the up bounced body, right? Yep. Okay, so I'm gonna start off with some nice easy springs for you. I'm starting with the spring on top and a spring on the bottom and I'm just wanting you to really feel what it your powerhouse working and then I'll step it up for you. So I want you to come on the side and put your hands right here on the sides.

And I like that your feet are on the floor and we're going to put one foot up on the pedal and bring it down and put your other foot on the pedal as well. Good. And take your toes back a little bit more and then heels together. Good. Now your hands are going to go right on this front edge and just shoulder with apart. Good. Your shoulders are going to be right over those risks. And look at that. We're back at the shape that we've been talking a lot about. Okay. Just inverted again, like it was on elephant, so I want you to look up out the window and again, let go and just tell me everything that you can't do in this exercise.

Right. And many people try to do the pull up and get really frustrated when they try to do it in this shape, but you can't. You have to have your head through your arms, your chest pulled up into here. Let's have your thumbs also with your fingers if that's okay. Good. Your ribs nice and open in, pulled up into here, your belly and really scooped in.

But I'd love a little bit more work in the seat and the Aha to curl that tailbone towards you. Your heels lifted beautifully. That's exactly the shape. I love imagining that there's a balloon wrapped around my waist and it's easy as can be. Yeah, if you stay, keep the shape and just help me out here. If you rock your weight back like this, most of your weight will be on the pedal and you will not be able to lift it. So you do need to have your shoulders right over your wrist. However, if you come to forward, it just will float up, push you up really and you won't feel any control. So right there and we're going to scoop in and take a big breath without moving.

Exhale, pull in and pull that pedal up to the ceiling all way up, all the way, all the way, all the way. Hold and go all the way down, leading with your tailbone. Good, good, good, good. And stay there. Take a breath and exhale. Scoop in your belly and pull all the way up and control it. Lead with the tailbone more. Aww, that's nice. Next time we're going to stay up there and do three little pole pulses, kind of up, up, up. Stay there, lower the pedal and inch and pull up with your belly lower and inch and scooping more.

One more lower and hold it up with that powerhouse and lower down all the way. Now with control tailbone first more. Yes. Yes, yes. Excellent. Keep the pedal down. Take your left foot to the floor and we're going to control it up with your bright, keeping your hands right there, right foot to the floor and round up your back to a tall back. Very nice. Good. How'd that feel? Ah, there you go.

So as you get stronger, we may get lighter and lighter so that it doesn't help you so much. And the ultimate goal is to have one spring, just one and on the bottom, uh, or even no springs at all going into a nice hand state. Okay. So we're going to now sit down here, did I had the springs correctly? Have one middle and one bottom. And you're gonna put your toes on the pedal and your hands behind you. And so this is just, I don't need you to do the exercise.

I just want you to actually get into the exercise. So what getting into the exercise means you're going to have to use your back of your thigh, your hamstrings, and your glutes to make a straight line from your shoulder to your knees. And there's two ways to do that. You can push the pedal down right now with your feet. Go ahead and then lift up your, keep it down and lift your seat up.

Like literally get it up and lower it down. I live the battle up or you can do it. So that's using more your survivor muscle groups. You're back in your quads or you can keep the pedal up and you're gonna use the back of your thighs and glutes to lift up. So that's what I want you to try to do right now.

Go ahead and squeeze and try not to push down the pedal, but lifting and lifting and lifting as if you're making a rainbow. Lift up that hip a little bit more. Hold to three and come down. Great job, because we're basic word. I just want you to do that one more time. That's hard enough as it is. And squeezing good.

Thinking about reaching the knees forward and using the hamstrings and glutes. Good, good, good. And it's hard, Huh? And then come and down. Good. Later on, you're going to hold that position and pump the pedal. While you're up there. Yeah. So go ahead and come off. So you did a great pull up.

And so now I want you to come over and we're gonna finish with an exercise called the push down. And there's three ways to do it. Someone who's the average height would do it right here about, about the dis body distance away and you'd roll down and push on the pedal. If you are shorter like myself, then you actually can kneel up here and then go like a candy cane. Go down and push. When you're nice and tall, you can add intensity by standing behind. Okay? So I want you to stand with your toes as close to that edge as you can without, you know, feeling like they're pushing into the chair and give me a Palati stance.

Great. And I want you to have your hands together right here and I want you to pull your arms up and see what that does with your body. What does it do with all the alignment? Yeah, it gets all nice and tall and long. And then you're going to open your arms. So they're just shoulder height. Good. And so right now you're standing nice and tall, but as you go forward, you're going to want to be in a comfort zone and push your bottom back.

So I'm going to stand behind you so that you don't push your bottom back. You have kind of a bumper there. And what you're going to try to do is roll off an imaginary wall, one vertebra at a time, literally using your stomach to reach forward to be on the pedal. Sorry that I'm going to make you stay there for a second cause I need to lose one spring. I dropped the bottom spring. So now we have only one in the middle. Okay.

So pulling in, you're going to start reaching your arms, always feeling that stomach pooling and take your head forward and the next bone and you're going to rule about five inches behind you. So I'm giving you a little comfort and you're reaching forward to put your hands on the peddle. Heels of the hands on the pedal fingers are all together. And look, you're once again in the same shape. Okay, we're gonna make sure our knees are not hyperextending. Try to feel a little wrap and secure stabilization with the legs. And you're gonna use your belly to push the pedal all the way down.

Taking your body with you. Yeah. And when you come up, you start roll. We're gonna roll up from our hip bones, pull up your hip bones and then the next vertebra. Good stain there and go down scoop and in excellent and scoop. Really pulling into that good no knees and reaching forward. Just like we did on the pool up.

Stay there and see if you can bend your elbows pulling up the pedal. [inaudible] pull up and as you straighten your arms, scoop in more. Stay down there though. It's just pushed down. Aha and bending and scoop. Oh yeah. One more. And Scoop.

Hold those arms long now and now roll up your tailbone goes under. Then the next bone. Make sure your quads aren't pressing back or your knees and roll all the way up until your arms are up to the ceiling. Palms out to the side and exhale. Turn your palms out. And now inhale, push me down as you lift in your powerhouse. Inhale, push me down, down, down, down, down, and exhale the rest down as you lift in your power has beautiful Juliana, you are all done. Nice job.


Thank You for a wonderful class Monica !
really enjoyed the easy flow of mixed equipment and the detail to directing powerhouse in each exercise. and what not to do…
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great and strong... due to your detailed cues, thank you Monica
I really enjoy listening to you, all the detail on each move!
Thank you ladies! I'm glad you enjoyed the class:)
Monica, you are one of my favorite PA-Teachers! You have a warm voice, friendly attitude and great cues!
Since this class has a lot of work for the abs, and you emphasize the powerhouse a lot, - would you in real life do some stretching or relaxing of those muscles at the end? I am more and more thinking that we are teaching the bracing to much..I would like your opinion! Thank you!
Hi Silke! Sorry for the delay in my response, I was away at an awesome camp! This class works the basic system and definitely concentrates on pulling in your PowerHouse. I like to concentrate on the PH engaging, pulling in and initiating every movement when one is doing the basic system. From there I hope to progress my client to the true feeling in Pilates, pulling the PH "in and up", especially in opposition of long legs or aiding in a beautiful back extension.
Before you can really get the "in and up" though, you have to start with the "in". This could seem like bracing but I actually want a much deeper use where you use the the transverse abdominis like a suction cup would work to pull in the obliques and more superficial abdominal muscles to support and stabilize the spine. Once you feel great about engaging your PH and not just bearing down, then you get to use it to lengthen with great fluidity in your more intermediate and advanced movements and all of your stretching blends in beautifully:)
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Really loved this. Amazing emphasis on the power house! Loved it!!
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Wonderful class-thank you Monica!

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