Class #1717

Build Awareness on the Mat

50 min - Class


In this Mat workout, Monica shows how she progresses Kacie from their previous Mat Workout. She reviews a little, but she keeps it moving forward by adding more flow and more exercises like Saw, Seal, and others. Monica also works on building awareness so you can still find a challenge while keeping yourself safe.
What You'll Need: Mat, Hand Weights, Pilates Pole

About This Video


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All right, Kacie. So we're going to go ahead and lie down. And we're going to do a beginner mat, stepping it up a little bit from last time. So I've taught you once, but a lot of viewers really enjoyed seeing your workout and wanted to know, what would I do with you next? What was the next level?

So we're going to review a little bit, but keep moving it forward. So in Pilates, we always have a straight line from one shoulder to the other, down to your hip bone, across to the other hip bone, and back up to that shoulder. So we have our Pilates box or frame that'll stay square throughout every exercise. So we talked about how your shoulders won't shift, or your hips won't go up and down. And all of its generated from your powerhouse.

So we have a 5 inch band of muscles around your waist and your lower back. And we always focus on that to initiate every single exercise. That's pretty much what keeps your body square as well. So we're going to go ahead and start off with the Hundred. The Hundred is going to be inhaling for five counts, and exhaling for five counts.

We're going to keep your head down to start. I want you to take a deep breath, and exhale. And actually think about inhaling into the mat. So in with the air, into the mat. That's kind of an interesting concept.

And exhaling. Because we like to really lift up from the mat when we take a breath. But little by little, we want to move towards inhaling into the mat. And as you exhale, really pulling the belly in and up. Good.

That's about how long the breath is, because we're going to be inhaling two, three, four, five, exhaling, two, three, four, five for the Hundred. So pulling in your belly, pulling in your powerhouse, I want you to bring your right knee into your chest and give it a hug. Good. And now pulling in with your belly, let's bring in the left knee as well. Great.

And we're going to have our knees right over your hip bones. And the legs are going to be at a table top position. Long arms by your side, making your shoulders pull away from your ears. Good. And now lift them up at the level of your hipbones.

And we're going to pump them up and down. Inhaling two, three, four, five. Exhale, two, three, four, five. Inhaling into the mat. Exhale, pulling your belly in and up, scooping it out.

Good. In two, three, four, five. Exhale. On the next exhale, we're going to lift our head, pulling into the mat with your belly. Good.

Curl up a little bit more. The bottom of your bra strap needs to stay on the mat, where the bottom of your shoulder blades is. Just a teeny bit down on there. Good. Inhale.

Good. Exhale. Good. Now we're going to keep pulling in, but we're going to extend the legs in a Pilates stance, having the legs wrap and squeeze, challenging your scoop. Beautiful.

Two more. And exhale, two. Pull away from me. Pull away. And on this last exhale, really pull in, in.

That was your best one. And go ahead and hug your knees in, and rest your neck down. Good. So when you exhale, you really want to imagine maybe a balloon that's completely deflating. So your stomach wants to feel like it's completely deflated into your abdominal cavity, OK?

Go ahead and use your legs to help rock up to a seated position. We're going to get a little spinal awareness before we go for the full bit. So in today's class, I forgot to mention, we're going to be using probably our three pound bar, and then two pound hand weights at the end. Look at your bottom on the mat. It's always good to see, are you centered?

So do you have equal space? Look right here, from here, and here. So we want to scoot over just a tad. That's great. It's always better when my clients can square themselves off instead of me.

Because I will throw you off, whereas if visually, you can change yourself. Let's place your hands underneath your knees and around your back. So you're rounding your spine. Here's the top of your box. Here's the bottom of your box.

Those hip bones, right? And we're going to start rolling back the bottom of your box. So we're going to roll back your lower back. Those hip bones are going to point towards the ceiling instead of pointing toward your feet until your arms are extended. Take a breath.

And exhale. Use that belly to pull in and to deflate like a balloon until your shoulders are back over. Great. Let's take a little further. Take a breath, and then exhale.

You're going to roll down one vertebra at a time. Those hip bones point up to the ceiling. You're going to slide down your thighs until you touch the bottom of your shoulder blades. Take a breath. And exhale, curling up, one bone at a time, trying to keep your waist band on the mat, as long as you can.

Good. Now go down on your head. Taking a breath, exhale, roll back the lower back first. The hipbones, the next vertebra, bra strap, and then go all the way down through your neck. Inhale, lift your head up to look at your belly.

Exhale, scoop it in and curl up, one vertebra at a time. Did it very nice and even. Really good. And let's enjoy a stretch by straightening your legs. Good.

And stretch towards your ankles. Great, great, great. I'm going to use a strap, because we have a nice, high tower mat. So slide until you can slip your ankles under. Great.

Good. If you're at home, you can always slide your feet under a couch, or something heavy, with your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor, or you could just slide them under like this. All right. Let's also grab that three pound bar and reach it to your feet. We're going to hold it shoulder width apart to frame the rest of your body.

Long fingers, so you don't change the energy into a hand grip. Instead, it still plugs in everything. And reach forward, head down between your arms. Nice. Good.

All right. Beautiful stretch. But now, instead of your shoulders being up by your ears, let's slide those down. That's it, so that you stretch your spine instead. And let's roll back one vertebra at a time.

So we're going to roll back like your powerhouse is pulling this heavy weight down. Lower back, middle back. Good. Shoulders into the mat and away from your ears. And exhale.

Reach it back a little bit. Really good. Now here's what I want you to do differently. I don't want to be able slide my hand underneath you. And inhale, the arms come up to the ceiling, and your head.

And now, exhale, push the bar down as you curl up one vertebra at a time. Beautiful. Scoop. Great powerhouse. Reach.

And inhale, start rolling back. And then, exhale the rest of the way down. This time, don't let your spine come off the mat as you reach back. Make sure you're anchored. Good.

Double time that tempo for me. Two more. Arms up, head, and in with the air. Exhale all the way to your feet. And then roll back.

Inhale to start, and exhale to roll down the rest of your spine, reaching the arms up and back. One more. Inhale, arms, then head, and exhale all the way to your feet. Watch the shoulders. And inhale, pulling back with your waist.

We're going to keep the bar right there. Good. Scoop, scoop, scoop. And then reaching back. Good job.

What happened there? Just building awareness. We're not going to be-- oh, she's going to do another one. Great. Exhaling forward.

Got to end on a perfect note, right? And then inhale to start, and exhale, roll back. Lower back, middle. Slide the shoulder blades away from your ears. And then reach back without losing your spine this time.

Great. Arms up. And you're going to put the bar down by your side. So we're done with that one. Good.

And now I want you to hug the right knee into your chest, and straighten the right leg up to the ceiling. Good. Good, good, good. Is that an easy stretch, or a hard stretch? Um, well, not hard, but a little stiff.

OK. Uh-huh. I'm going to bring your shoulders over, and your head over just a teeny bit. Good. And let's see.

OK. So I'm going to have you bend this knee and put the foot flat. This is how we did it last time. But you are right in between, where you could have this leg straight while doing the exercise. But what I want to do is make sure that your hips are aligned.

And so, this hip right now, the way your knee is and your foot is, is making it lift up a little higher than this hip bone. So I'm going to turn out that thigh a little, and the knee, and now they're straight across. Can you feel that difference between this, and then rolling it in, what happens with that hip? So we're going to keep it like that. And I want you to pull the belly in.

I want to add a little extra thing today. I want you to reach the leg just straight down, with your belly scooping in, straight down the middle of your body. And now pull it up with your powerhouse. That's great. And so we're going to hold it up as high to your nose as you can.

Cross to your left shoulder. Circle down, and then scoop it back up from your stomach. That's it. And the tempo is cross around, up, cross around, up, cross around, stomach, cross around, up. One more.

Cross around, hold. Go the other way. Reach down. Cross, around, up. As you cross, don't let that knee roll in.

And try to get all the way up to that shoulder. And two, scoop it in. Last one. And hug in the knee. Good.

Good, good, good. Also, last time, I had you put your hands on your hipbones. And today, your arms are straight on the mat. Place this foot down. Hug the left knee into your chest.

Straighten that leg up to the ceiling. Good. And we're going to go straight down the middle of your body, so that you can connect to lifting this leg up with your stomach. So pulling it up. Excellent.

All right. So you can use your arms a little more by pressing them into the mat, and that helps to stabilize too. So stomach's in, and we're going to cross up to your nose, over to your right shoulder, down, around, and up. Great. Four more.

Cross, around, and up. Cross, around. Good. Two more. I love how your hips are staying square.

And let's go the other way. And down. And you're really using your waist to stay pulled into the mat. Nice and anchored. And two.

Using those obliques. One more. And up. Good. Hug in that knee.

Great. Good. Put the foot down. And now, I want you to use your stomach as much as you can to sit up. So you're going to bring your head up, and you're going to sit up.

Good. All right. Put your hands on the mat. And I'm going to have your feet-- we're going to come to the front edge. So I want you to literally lift your bottom forward to your feet.

So that was a slide, right? So let's go back a little bit. There you go. So you're going to use your beautiful shoulders and triceps, your arm muscles, to lift your bottom, so that we get a little bit of a work out here too. There you go.

Nice transition. Good. All right. Now I want you to keep your belly pulled and in, and circle your arms around, and grab underneath your knees. Don't push that out.

There you go. Good. And you're going to keep the feet on the mat, because I need the stomach to really stay scooped in. Does that feel comfortable? Is it OK?

Great. And I want you with your belly, and we're going to balance with the right foot just a little bit off the mat. Great. So just like last time, we don't want to just lift the right foot. You actually want to-- like as if there's a sling around your knee, and when I say, pull up your right foot, you do it by pulling up their whole right leg an inch.

So lift the thigh. Uh-huh. And hold. And then, down. Good.

More powerhouse. You have such a tiny belly that I have to really keep an eye on it to make sure that you're using it. And you're going to pull in and balance with the left up. Good. And down.

And now, balance with the right foot up. Good hold. And we're going to balance with the left also. Excellent. And your eyes really want to stay right here.

Your stomach's scooped out like an ice cream scooper, right? And we're going to imagine there's a rocker here. And I want you to rock back and rock right back up. Great. So when you came up, did you feel you were a little rocky on each hip?

So right now, I want you to actually use your hands to pull your belly against your thighs. Yeah. And now, inhale to go back, and exhale, pull your belly away from your thighs. Fantastic. In with the air, and exhale, pulling away.

Hold it there. So you can do that very nicely, Kacie, so now we'll challenge you by stepping it up to hands on your ankles. Now it's harder to keep your heels on your seat. So you're much tighter rolling like a ball. Heels close to your bottom.

Pull them in. And with your belly still staying back like that away from your thighs, let's dive your ears between your knees. Good. So now when you come up, you really have to scoop in. So go ahead and inhale, roll back.

And exhale, scoop, scoop, scoop. Excellent, Kacie. That's what you want. You want to be challenged, not easy, right? So let's pull back those hip bones away from the thighs, instead of pushing into them.

There. Oh that's gorgeous. And you're going to roll back, pulling them back. Exhale, lifting up. We want to just keep challenging you right there.

In with the air. Roll back that lower back. And exhale, scoop it in. Are you breathing? Good.

And in with the air, roll back, exhale scoop, scoop, scoop. And one more time. In with the air, and exhale, all the way forward, holding a little bit more of the pelvis. A little bit more back. That's it.

And rest your feet down. Good. So that's taking rolling like a ball to a little bit more level. Let's use those arms again. So we're going to put your arms behind you, about another foot and a half behind you.

Way back. Go, go, go, more. There you go. And now you're going to lift your bottom back, so that your legs are straight. Perfect.

Go ahead and lie down onto the mat. Bend your knees and place the feet flat. Today, we're going to do the full series of five. This is the series of exercises that undoubtedly really strengthens your powerhouse. So we learned Single Leg Stretch.

We're going to do single, double, single, double, and then we're going to do a crisscross. And I tell you that because I'm going to go slow through them. And then we're going to do them all to tempo together. OK? So we're going to bend the right knee into your chest.

And the right hand goes on the ankle, and the left hand goes on the knee. And that makes sure that you stay nice and in your frame. And you're going to put that foot down. And we're going to use your belly to bring in the left knee. And it's going to be the arm that crosses over your body goes to the knee.

The outside arm goes to the ankle. And put that foot down. And let me see it come-- oh, nice correction. You were about to bring that leg in just with the quad and your hip flexor muscle, but then you changed it to really scoop in. So, great.

So, bring in the right knee using your powerhouse. Fantastic. Good. And putting it down. And let me see that also with the left.

Wonderful. Good. And put it down. And we're going to pull in the right. Stay there.

And pulling in again, you lift up your head, and you're curling in. Great. So throughout the series of five, if I looked at just your box, I would not even know you're doing any exercises. OK? Everything else is choreography.

So we're going to extend the left leg down just a little lower than the ceiling. Watch the locked knee. Soften that. Instead, use the outer thigh and your glute. Good.

And we're going to switch, pulling in your left with your belly. Let me see it. That's it. Squeezing. And switch.

Softening that knee joint. That's a hard thing for women. We love to use our joints to hyper-extend. And switch. But you want to use the muscles above it.

And switch, pulling in. Scoop, scoop. That's it. So you keep working on not pressing into your knees. And I'll just keep looking at your belly.

And switch. And pulling in right. Pulling in left. Pulling in right. We're stretching your right leg in.

We're stretching your left leg in. And bend both knees, and rest your head. So that's called Single Leg Stretch, because you stretch one leg at a time. Now we're going to do Double Leg Stretch. So we're going to put your hands on your ankles.

And when we stretch, it's lovely. You push down on your pelvis, and then bend your elbows to pull the legs towards you. So this is down and up. I feel like you're arching your back off the Mat. There you go.

Good. And relax these elbows that way. There. So I want your pelvis to pull down and this way. Now we're talking.

Do you feel that difference? OK. So every time you come in, you try to give yourself this stretch. I want you to go ahead and lift your head. Excellent.

Your stomach's super in. Everything good? And now I want you to reach your arms up to the ceiling as you squeeze here. Now, here we're going to pull water. Cup your hands, so that they are like this.

And now, you're going to pull yourself through water as you come back to your ankles. And inhale. That's it, but scoop, scoop, scoop. And exhale, hands on ankles, stretching them in. Inhale, reach.

Exhale, scoop, scoop, scoop. Good. Inhale, reach. Exhale, scoop, scoop, scoop. One more.

Imagine there's a nail here. Don't get pricked. Exhale, sorry. [LAUGHING] My fault. Do one more without me in your way.

So a little higher. And then come around. Good. And rest down your head. So that's actually a really good, even though I was in the way, really good concept there is, as you get stronger, you can take your legs, instead of here, bend your knees, your legs can go up here.

When you're really strong, your legs-- go ahead and lift up your head. See where your eyes are? Your legs will go out to eye level. And then at the same time, put your hands on your ankles. If your legs are going straight up, your arms will go straight up.

So, straight up. Yes. Nope. They're a little back right now. Bend in.

Put them here. Now your legs are going to go a little lower, so your arms have to go a little lower. So let me see you go a little lower back there, behind. Go back, back. Not your head, just your arms.

Go further, arms. Go, go, go, go, go, go. Great. So see, they follow the same relationship. Circle back and grab your ankles.

And with my support, you're going to reach them all the way back, your arms only, at the same level as your eyes. But your belly's scooped in. Scoop. Bring your shoulders up a little bit. Curl towards me.

Oh, that's nice. Now take your arms only. Back, back. Oh, yeah. And then, circle back.

So, rest down your head. A lot of times, we kind of lose awareness of where our arms are. And our legs might only go at a certain level, but our legs are all the way back, so when you circle back, they're behind you. They have to open up evenly. Wherever your legs are, your arms are, and they both go down evenly.

Does that makes sense? We're going to put your feet down. Bend the right knee into your chest. Straighten the right leg up to the ceiling. Good.

And I want you lift your head up and use your powerhouse. Crawl up behind this ankle. So now we're doing Single Straight Leg. Can you drop your shoulders into the mat more? Good.

So they go away from the ears. Staying right there, now we're going to bring this leg up. And I want you to lower it down the middle of your body. Use your powerhouse to pull it up. That was a little heavy.

Reach. Switch ankles. Grab onto here. And lower this leg. And now scoop this in to pull it up.

There. Switch ankles. Keep this in. And I want you to maybe grab behind the calf, because these need to plug in more. And use this part.

Oh, that's much nicer. Now reach that left leg down the middle of your body. And pull it up with here. And switch to your left. And pull it up.

So we always pull the leg up from here. And up. And you can even squeeze that right cheek down. And pull it up. And squeeze the left cheek down.

Watch those shoulders. And one more right. And left. And now, see if you go right and pass each other as you switch. And pass as you switch.

And pass. And pass. And pass. And right. And left.

And right. And left. And that's enough. Bend the knees and rest your neck. Very good.

So your legs should fly freely through the air, not hard and muscular, because it's all through your stomach. Place your hands one over the other, behind your head. So we've done Single Leg Stretch, one leg in at a time. We've done the Double Leg Stretch, where you reach your arms, circle back. Then we just did, just now, Single Straight Leg, switching one straight leg at a time.

So I want you to take a breath into the mat. And I want you to exhale, pull your belly in and up, to lift up and look at your belly. Can you come up any higher? Can you slide your shoulder blades down, away from your ears? Excellent.

Open your elbows. Yes. Great. So that's your upper body. It does not move in this exercise.

Lift the legs up, turning them out a little bit. And I want you to lower them down just an inch, and use your belly to pull them back towards you. Lower an inch. Exhale, scoop them in. Come on, come up.

Higher with your upper body. In with the air, exhale. Remember, there's a nail right here. You don't want to get poked. And exhale.

This time, don't push out your belly. Oh, yeah. Two more. Keep it in. And up.

Try to wrap and squeeze in those legs to help your stomach, and that's enough. Bend the knees and rest your head. But just keep your hands behind your head. Thank you. So that was Double Straight Leg.

OK, and now we're going to finish our series of five with the Crisscross. Ideally, there is a straight line down the middle of your body. And ideally, we wrap our upper body-- you're not going to have to hold onto it-- around the bar, and your lower body around the other way. So what I mean by that is, go ahead and pull your belly in and lift your head up. Slide those shoulder blades back into joint.

Better. Good. Now with them down like that, can you curl up and higher? Yes. Good.

All right. Knee needs to be able to come in. Good. I want you to straighten your left leg. Right here.

Can you scoop your belly in more? Thank you. So imagine this line, and I want you to touch your left elbow to the right knee. Good. Inside the knee.

And really twist around that imaginary pole. Use your belly to pull the left knee in as your right leg goes straight. And inside the knee, right there. Good. And we're going to scoop, scoop, scoop.

That's it. And switch. Pull in the right knee with your belly. That's better. Keep those hips squared.

Can you pull your belly in? That's it. And switch. Pulling in, keep your hips square as you twist. Use the glute, and stomach.

Come up higher. That's it. Give me one more set. Right. Yes, and left.

You really kept your hips square. Going in. And hug in your knees. Great. Rest your head down.

So we're going to run through all of those now. Starting with a Single Leg Stretch, you're going to bring the right knee in, right hand on your ankle, left hand on your knee, and lift up your head using your powerhouse. Great. All right. So let's do two sets of this.

Pulling in right, and left, and right, and left, and right, and left. Bring in both knees. And grab both ankles, and try to do the Double Leg Stretch. Inhale, reach, and pull in. And inhale, wrap and squeeze.

And exhale. Two more. Inhale, reach, and exhale. One more. In with the air.

And exhale. Now bring your right leg up, and grab behind that calf. And if you can keep your head up, even better, so curl it up when you can. And switch, pulling in. So all of this is what's the most important.

So really pull in. Pull in, and up, and up. And really quickly. Right, and left, and right, and left. Now both legs up, and hands behind your head.

And we're keeping the bra strap glued, and scoop it in. Can we get a turning out in the leg. And go down and scoop up. I don't want you going so far. And just to there.

And now let me see this disappear. That's what I want. Keep those wrinkles, and pull up. And keep the wrinkles, and pull up. One more.

Keep them. And squeeze your seat to help pull up. And then bend that right knee and twist to it. Twist, twist, twist. And pulling into the mat.

Twist. One more set. Pulling into the mat, twist. Last time. Pull in.

And hug both of knees into your chest. That was very good. There's a lot of goals in those exercises, and a lot of things we're going to be working towards. But that's exactly where you want to be right now. You want to keep it safe and challenge yourself.

All right. Let's go ahead and sit up. We're going to do Spine Stretch forward. So earlier, you had asked me off camera why we have these boxes. So this is one of the two exercises that we really need them.

So no matter what size body you have, how tall you are, short you are, and whether you or me, you have your box. And your feet should be open about three inches wider than your shoulders. So that's about where the boxes are. So Joseph Pilates designed these boxes for you to put your heel right in the middle, not only lengthwise, but width-wise on a box. So go ahead and put your heel right there.

A little further back. Perfect. And this one too. And now, you have the right alignment to really open up your lower back for this exercise. So I want you to stack up your spine.

This was a good one for you last time, where we used the pole right behind you, since I had it. So you're going to put it right by your sacrum. And then you're going to lift up, and try to get every single bone on here. Lean a little forward. There you go.

Arms up at shoulder height. Pull your toes back, so that they're pointing up to the ceiling. Pull your belly into the pole, and slide up the pole, lifting off your seat. Can you feel your bottom squeeze? Great.

Take a breath. And now, exhale, bring your head to your chest, and curl off my pole one vertebra at a time. Good. Exhale, exhale, exhale. And now, inhale, roll up, stacking your spine right here.

Freeze. Freeze. Slide your shoulder blades down. And now roll up the next bone, the next one, the next one, the next one, and finally there. Good.

Go ahead and exhale. Just relax. Just staying there. And back. Good.

So exhale. I want you to take another inhale. And exhale, head to your chest, and curl off, one vertebra at a time. Very nice. So your hip bones are going to stay right here, right over your sit bones as you stretch.

Try to touch the crown of your head to your mat. Can you go any further, further, further? That's it. And now, take a breath and roll up, stacking your spine right on up. Rolling your shoulder blades down.

Good. And take a breath. And exhale, curling off. Good. So like last time, you did a beautiful job going down, and actually coming up as well.

And taking a breath to come up, but I need you to hold right here, head down. And all of these have to get here first. And then one by one, really open up those collar bones. Good. One more time.

Take a breath, and then exhale down. Exhale, exhale. Keep those hip bones right where they are, right over your sit bones. And roll up, stacking your spine. Right here, work the hardest, one bone at a time.

One, one, one. There you go. Excellent. Good. All right.

That's enough of that one. So it's really stacking the spine, but as you go forward, really trying to touch the crown of your head down to the mat. And when you went for reaching your head down, go ahead and do that one more time. Arms up at shoulder height. Pulling into that imaginary pole, lifting up, and exhaling.

The goal is to touch the crown of your head down to the mat, but not between your calves, and not between your knees, but making your spine so flexible that it touches between your thighs on the mat. That's a really big lower back stretch when you do that. And go ahead and roll up. And nice. Good.

Very good. Relax your arms. Go ahead and bring your legs together, and lie down onto your back. Bend your knees. Just bending them.

Good. Feet flat, and arms by your side. How you doing? Good. Good.

All right. So we're going to use your belly to bring you right knee into your chest. And go ahead and hug it. And then bring your left knee into your chest. Nice.

And hug it as well. Good. And you're flexible enough to do this next exercise, which is corkscrew. So we're going to press your arms down into the mat, and extend the legs up to the ceiling. Good.

Really try to imagine some barbershop poles. Red and white stripes. I love using that image. And from your hip bone, I want these stripes to be rolling out, all the way to your foot, so that your feet naturally turnout, because your thighs are wrapping. And now, I want you also to imagine a zipper, right behind your thighs.

And I want it to zip up, so that the back of your inner thighs are squeezing nice and tight. It's really important that you try to find those, and I'm able to hold up your feet. If I wasn't able to hold up feet, you'd start tensing with your quads and hip flexors instead. But we're going to go down a little bit with your legs, like we did earlier. And now use your belly and squeeze your seat to pull them back up.

And it's an inhales always, and exhale to pull into the mat. One more. And pulling in. Now without me, do a couple. In with the air.

Changes it. And watch that belly. And last one. See how your feet are now turning towards each other. And exhale, scoop, hold it here.

Now keeping the legs up high, see if you can drop them, not your head, but just the feet towards the ocean. And use your obliques to bring them to center. And now, away from the ocean. And use your obliques. You got to pull the belly in more to the mat.

A little bit over to the right, and then scoop it in. And a little bit to the left, and then pull into the mat. One more. Get those obliques working. That's pretty good.

You're connecting. And scoop them in. Now we're going to add all of it. So bend your knees for a moment, so we don't take too much in those quads. OK.

Because this is definitely one where momentum helps you stay in the right muscles. And if you go too slow and steady, then you can strain instead of feel the right muscles. So, here we go. We're going to go first towards the ocean. Down a little bit, away from the ocean, and center.

So that would be to the left, down a little to the right, and exhale, center. Now do two sets on your own. To the right. Around and pull center. And to the left, around, scoop, and center.

And one more. To the right, around, scoop, scoop, scoop. And to the left, around, and scoop. The last one was your best one. Bend your knees in.

You really were able to scoop in. So you want to keep feeling that you're holding that, and that you're not using your back, or hurting it, or anything. All right. We're going to sit up. We're going to do two more exercises on the mat.

You're going to straighten your legs. And this is another one where your heel wants to go right in the middle. So last week, last time, we safely did spine stretch forward. Anything going forward, super easy. But now, we're going to add a twist to it.

So your arms are going to be up to the sides, but you can see your pinkies in your peripheral vision. So your arms are not behind you. There you go. Good. Can you feel both sit bones in the mat?

Good. Exactly that, though. Pull your toes back. Good. All right.

So our sit bones are going through the mat. And I want you to pull your belly into your back. Good. And lift up as tall as you can. And now, twist to the right.

Scoop, scoop, scoop. Good. And we're going to take your left pinky, and you're going to reach it for your baby toe. Good. And eyes down, following your spine.

Go down towards the knee. Excellent. Inhale, sit up tall, and untwist it. And over to the left. And now exhale, reach your right pinky for that baby toe.

Good. Inhale, up, and twist. Always your center. And now, exhale. Make sure your left cheek is still on the mat.

That's better. Inhaling up, use those waist muscles to twist. Your arms are a bit flying away, so make sure they stay in front of you. And exhale. Now if you had a bad shoulder, I'd have to modify this.

But you're doing great. And we're going to lift up nice and tall. So arms, right there. Lifting in your waist. Lift up through here.

There. Twist to your right. And now, exhale. Head down. And this arm's coming here.

And use your obliques, and your stomach, your powerhouse, to really reach, and stretch, and stretch. Exhale. Inhale up. Twist. Pull those toes back.

And exhale, reaching. Reaching. This side's easier for you to sink in. Now do one more. Inhaling up, tall, lift, lift.

Twisting. And exhale. So this side stays pulling in. There you go. So that's the side that needs to get a little stronger.

And inhaling up, tall for me. Lift the spine, off your seat, even. And then twist to your left. And exhale, and this is going to pull in. Beautiful.

And stretch. One arm's reaching forward. One arm's reaching back. Arms lift, and rest your arms down. Nice job, Kacie.

So bring your legs together. Good. And I want you to reach your hands for your ankles. And head down. Good.

So I'm going to transition you into seal. Kind of a weird way. Actually, sit on up. Go ahead, and sit on up. And put your hands by your side.

And lift your bottom forward, just a little bit, more and more and more and more. Great. Good. And keep your weight on your hands. And let your knees open, so they're shoulder width apart.

Excellent. Now try to keep your belly in, but take your arms, and then palms up right between your legs. Very good. You're keeping your balance right there. Now as if your stomach is connected with a string towards your ankles, pull back more in your waist, and let your ankles float up, and your hand slip under your ankles.

But don't lose that waist pulling away. That's it. A little lift in the shoulders. Try to relax them. Yeah.

Great. Hugging them in. Good. So this is similar to Rolling Like a Ball, but a little more free. We're going to keep our stomach for our balance, always.

Working on balance. We're going to massage our spine as we roll back and as we roll up. Good. And coming up. But the difference-- so we're not to do that, though, right?

We're not going to pop your hips forward. That's it. That's going to strengthen that. But what you're going to do is you're going to actually roll your feet back as if they were going to touch the floor behind you. So start by pulling back your waist.

And let your feet reach back with you, and then come back up. Exhale. Hold. Good. Inhale, roll back.

Really good. Exhale, roll up. Hold with your belly. Inhale, roll back. Roll through each vertebra.

Exhale, roll up. Try not to hang out so much back here. Inhale, and right back up. Exhaling. Two more.

In with the air. Exhale, right back up. I'd rather you hold this here. One more forward. And pull it in, hold.

But then we're going to stay up there. Let's go. Hold. Let me see the balance in your powerhouse and the pelvis. Fantastic.

Rest your feet down. Good. That was good. So that's the important part, is that you hold your powerhouse to balance when you're here. And I loved when you rolled back.

You didn't roll back out of control, or up onto your neck. You still had your shoulder blades on the mat, which was great. Go ahead and stand up. And we're going to grab these two pound weights right here. Good.

So we're going to do some arm weights, like we did last time. And I think it's so good for you, because you do a lot of work for us. Heels together and toes apart. And a lot of it is going to be computer work, right? So our upper body, no matter what, ends up getting compromised.

So this was great to really plug in on the shoulders. So you want weight on the ball of every toe. Weight right here, on the ball of the big toe, the next toe, and maybe bring this foot in just a teeny bit. Just an extra bit turned out compared to the left. All right.

And you also want weight on the side of your foot, and on your heel. But if you had a choice, you would have more weight on the ball of your foot than on your heels. I should be able to slip a card right under your heels. I want you to think about your box. And from those hip bones right there, it's nice and square, we have the barber shop pole muscles.

So we're really wrapping, wrapping, wrapping all the way down to our ankle. And that zipper, zipped up the back of our inner thighs. Our seat's really nice and engaged. We also have our line from one hip bone to the other, and our stomach always wants to pull behind that line, like it's a laser, or an alarm. And if your belly's pushing out in front of that line-- I thought I'd get a little bit more-- than you're going to set off that alarm.

Finally, in this position, I need your shoulders to be a little in front of these hip bones. Not behind. So try to get comfortable with that position. And like we talked about last time, you want your stomach to feel like it's lifting your chest up, like a big light up to the ceiling. That's really nice.

So just leave your arms hanging like that. And we're going to take five counts to releve. So we're really going to keep our heels together, because we're wrapping and squeezing. And we're actually going to make our bottom smile as we come up, as I like to say. We don't want our bottom to ever frown.

So imagine all those muscles on the back of your thighs and seat are lifting rather than losing control, and your heels separate, because you're using only your calf and your knee joint. OK. So pulling in and out, we're going to take five counts to slowly releve. Here we go. Pulling in one, two, three, four.

And we're going to hold it here. So we're really scooping in our belly. We're really wrapping and squeezing, and we're keeping our chest up like a light. And now we're going to take five counts to almost push something away with our heels, being conscious of keeping the weight on the ball of your toes. We're going to do that one more time.

We fell back a little on that one, yeah? All right. So pulling in, we're going to pull in up, two, three. You should feel your belly pull in more, and have your energy up. Really nice wrap and squeeze.

Your heels look good from here. And now, we're going to take five counts to go down. Scoop it in down. It's really to talk while keeping it all engaged. Good.

Stay forward. Good. Now bring your weights together. And pulling in your belly, I'm going to turn to the side, but you stay right there. I want you to be careful not to let-- you're nice and forward.

I don't want you, as your arms come up, for you to sink back with that upper body, OK? So pulling in your belly a little bit more behind. That's it. We're going to lift your arms up to the ceiling. Squeezing your seat.

Slide your shoulder blades a little down. Squeeze your seat forward a little more. That's it. And now bring them down in front of you. I need you to push through this line a little bit more, and lift your hip bones up a little bit more towards the ceiling.

That's it. Good. That's nice. And now, pulling in, keep that. Scoop, scoop, scoop.

Excellent. Look at you. And then coming down. Good. And now, turn the palms up towards the ceiling.

And in line with your shoulders, I want you to lift the arms up to shoulder height. Let's try that one more time. We lost our stomach, and those elbows hyper-extend, so soften the elbow. And now, scoop. There you go.

And now with the stomach in, lifting up the chest bone, hold right there. All right. And I want you to engage the bicep and the shoulder muscle as you pull in that weight to your shoulder. All the way to your shoulder. And now, resist straightening your arms.

Like you don't want to straighten them, but you're keeping those beautiful arm muscles tight. And really contract those arm muscles to pull them in towards you. So I love what you're doing with your arms. And go on resisting. Last time, we used the image of the springs.

We're starting to fall back here, though, so we're going to pull in first. We're going to squeeze this. And now, we're going to lift up a little. Yes. And resist straightening your arms, like your strings are pulling you, pulling you, pulling you.

Good. Keep this in. Stay a little more connected to my hands here. Can you pull in? And pulling in towards you.

And resist straightening your arms. Lift, lift, lift. Soften the ribs, but lift the chest bone. That is so hard. And one more time.

Scoop it in. Nice. And resist straightening your arms. Good. Pulling in.

Good. And rest your arms down by your side. Now we're going to keep your arms in your peripheral vision. Keep your palms out to the side. But lift your arms up right here.

All right. Those elbows really are taking a lot. So, soften them up. And drop these. Good.

Now, on your own, can you hold those arms up a little higher? There you go? Can you lean your shoulders forward in front of your hip bones? Yes. A little more.

Stay there with your arms, but take a breath. And exhale, pull into me more. Uh-huh. Not your shoulders . Not these guys up here, but your ribs.

Yes. So that this spine right here is a little bit more-- it's hard to keep your weights up, so thank you for doing that. Hold it in tight. That's good posture here. Now bring your hands to your shoulders, contracting those muscles.

Good. Pulling in. And now resist straightening your arms. Pushing me away. Come on.

There you go. And tighten all this. And pull into you. Got to keep your weight there on the ball of your foot. There.

You went a little too forward. I'm gonna pull here. Watch that elbow. Soften it. Yes.

And pull it in. And extend. So things that I'm fixing on you is I'm keeping your elbows up at shoulder height. And good. Really working those.

But most importantly for you is your upper back keeps falling down into your heels. Use your belly to keep your chest up over the ball of your feet. And resisting with those arms, going straight, and give me one more. That's looking a lot better, Kacie. And stomach pulls in.

Beautiful. That was your best one. And extend. And then let your arms hang down in front of you. And now we have these two pockets we talked about last time.

You're gonna put your elbows right there. OK. I like how your seat is squeezing. But we've got to pull this in. And again, take this forward, over the ball of your feet.

There you go. Good. Now, tighten the bicep, and you're going to pull like the springs are attached to the floor. You're going to pull, tighten those arms, and pull the hand, 'til it touches your shoulder. OK.

Now keep your hand on your shoulder and lift your elbows up as high as you can without lifting up your shoulder. Can you go forward more with your elbows? Not out to the side? And now come down. Glue them right here into the pocket of your oblique and tighten the back of your arm as you extend.

And stomach in. Pulls up those imaginary weights. Tighten that up more for me, honey, and then bring the elbows up. You have really good guns. Really strong arms.

And bring them down here. And tighten the back of your arm to extend the arms. And two more. So right off of the bat, tighten. Yes, that's what I wanted to see.

And up, up, up, up, up. And bringing it down. And now, tighten the back of your arm as you extend. And give me one more. Stomach in.

Weight on the ball of your foot. And bringing it up. Good. And bringing the elbow down. I really love how you're keeping it in the back of the arm.

Nice job. Now, I'm going to take the weights this time. And to finish, it's always nice to just breathe one time, and learn how to keep your weight forward. So bring your hands together. Keep your weight on the ball of your feet.

Try not to have those shoulders go back. Keep it just a teeny bit more forward. There you go. And I want you to take a big breath and lift your arms up, leaving your frame where it is. And exhale, just turn your palms out here.

But instead of being out here, pull it all in. That's it. So you exhale. And now, we're going to inhale, and you're going to pull your belly in to lift up. Push down.

Push the earth away as you lift in your powerhouse. Come on. Pull the belly in more. Lift, lift, lift. A little bit more forward with your shoulders over the ball of your feet.

And exhale here. Good. And you're all finished. Nice job. Thank you.


Did the STANDING ARM SERIES come from Joe Pilates himself? Is there any video footage or documented proof that he used the hand weights as we know them to-day with his students?
Thank you.

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