Class #2365

Short and Sweet Mat

30 min - Class


This short and sweet Mat workout with Kristi Cooper is a great way to start your day! Because of a special request from Pilates Anytime member Monika, she teaches a class using the Fitness Ball. You will feel energized as she works the entire body with this challenging sequence of exercises.
What You'll Need: Mat, Fitness Ball

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi there. We are going to work out with a ball, uh, by special requests from Monica in Krakow. I would say your last name, Monica, but I don't know how I practiced and I'm afraid. So this one's for you. It'll be kinda quick for those of you who want more, um, easing into it. Um, I just filmed another little short balanced slash wake your body up ball class that you could do right before or even after this one. But for now, just come on down onto the mat with the ball nearby. This is, it's Kinda big. It's a, I think it's a 65 centimeter, slightly deflated, 55 auto work if it's full. Um, let's just see what happens. Of course. So I'm gonna just have this lie all the way down. Placing your feet on the ball and for them for the moment something nice and easy feet are parallel. I'm doing my best to rest my feet sometimes because of how many years of flip flops that toes come up. Just rest your feet as best you can.

Then stretch the ball away. Flex the feet consciously without hyperextending the knees, a little downward pressure on the ball as you drag it back and feel those hamstrings working to help you do that. It's not just the drag of the feet white, something does that. Push it back out. Just inhale and stretch and when you do check your pelvis that you're not in a big tough, that you're actually trying to open up through the joints and Xcel bring it back. I had a little pressure on the ball, but not so much that you're really wildling it around. Flex the feet there at the end. Really spread the toes.

Wake yourself up that way and then relax the feet a little bit, but almost like now you're sectioning into the wall and again for rested out full X. Watch the hyperextension of the knees and whatever your shoulders might do, bring it back to to go press it out. Can you feel the hamstrings? When I say work, I mean active. It's not like they're painful yet. Last one push message thing. I'm not going to try to make you have pain, but I do hope that we all feel them. So now you bring the ball in. Make sure your feet feel secure on the ball, that if you put pressure and lift your butt, which you're about to do, that it doesn't go flying away. So from here, inhale, use the arms as support to exhale. Roll the pelvis, roll the back into the mat until the pelvis comes off. Go about halfway up, just halfway feel what happens. Where is your weight going? Minus, I'm not gonna tell you. Where's your weight going? Even it out. Then come back down and inhale. If you find your knees are walling, put a cushion right between them or a ball or something else.

Just to hold them stills possible. Exhale, Peele halfway again, just halfway. Feel the stretch through the lumbar spine. How can you do that? You can try. You can actually feel the tailbone kind of reaching through the knees and then roll back down again. I'm not pushing on my feet a lot yet. Some for sure. It's almost like I'm dragging them down the ball without them actually moving.

Checking and check your shoulders and then unfurl it back down. One more. We'll play with a little a little bit. So adjust your feet at any point you need to come back up. This would be hard to do a socks by the way, without the groupies, so I'm not suggesting that. Okay. Are you in your deep tuck? Prove it to yourself. Can you just let them, the bones of that area of your spine just fall into the map more then so your mark curved and then you can exaggerate pushing your feet down on the ball.

Tighten your butt more and then press more on the right leg down into the ball. Don't undo the left, but just press more on the right. Even it out. Press more on the left. Even a doubt. Now you fill your hamstrings, don't you? If not, and you are curious why I would do this. Try to feel your hamstrings. Sometimes you're the better cure than than anyone you're hearing it from, right?

Oh, but where's your low back? Is it still around it? I'd like it to be for now pushing left or pushing in the second side and down. Let's do one more each way. Push again. Both feet are still in contact the whole time. One more time. I'm just trying to figure out where I am in space and what wants to take over both legs or even we roll our spines down, stretch the legs out.

Flex the feet and the toes too. Yeah. Then we come back. Same idea. Now that you kind of know a little bit more perceptively of what's going on in your body, we're going to try to keep it relatively even as we go all the way up. Inhale, exhale, roll the spine up. There is some weight of course in the ball, but I'm not exaggerating it right now. I'm just needing it. I'm relying on it as I need to. When you think you're there and I swear I would've told you I was. I'm not.

I'm gonna recommit to that Tuck, that sense of dropping the bones in my back down, but my hips higher. Oh boy. You know, you feel that and roll down. If you don't, that's okay. So long as you don't feel it in your back and you are attempting to stabilize. I have a feeling or okay, roll up again. Come on. [inaudible] notice just what happens with the ball when you think you're there. Check.

You can look down, you can maybe tuck some more so it's super flat in front of the hips. You can now push into your feet. Please do keep those knees where they started. They didn't splay and come on down. Roll down. You can slightly lighten up on the legs naturally. Oh and roll back up, up, up, up, up.

I'm getting wobbly here as I go. That's all right. Check your position. Check your shoulders. Use your arms down into the ground. Push on your right foot more. Go ahead, prove it and then even it out. Push on your little left foot more. Go ahead. It's all right. If it cramps it. Cramps, you just deal with it right side again or first side. Even last one. Now all the while the hips are meant to be staying still.

You knew that though. Then roll down, even at out rolled out. Stretch your legs out, flex your feet as you go. Check that you're not sickling. Your feet are letting them just hang out, right? You're really reaching them. Bring them back. Yup. You know it's coming. Well, at least we think we do. We might change our mind before we get that roll up. Oh boy. Oh boy. I'm not taking a leg off actually, if that's what you thought.

[inaudible] although it's tempting. Start to push the ball away without letting the hips drop. And I'm trying to keep the feet on the ball as best you can. Bring it back. A subtle downward push of the feet up is appropriate. Right here. It's gonna lighten a little bit as you extend the legs.

And by that I just mean some, not all the way and bring it back. Challenge yourself to moderate what's happening in your spine. If you push the ball away and you start arching your back, you've lost a big important connection. Bring it back. One more recommit to the glutes. Use them more weight where you don't have it in the feet.

Bring it back and my goodness roll down. Oof, oof. Stretch his legs out. Full exome. Yes. From there, just bring your right knee in and then without bringing it to your maximum or hug it, but let it back off quite a bit. That's funny. That scared me that you'd think I'd be used to that extend a little bit. Start to stretch it out, but kind of just like flip kick it. Just boom. Don't not, don't go past where it can easily go though.

And you'll see it starts to just kind of work its way into an easier place where it's not quite so scary. And then when you get up to few more where it feels a little bit looser, hold it where you can as straight as you can, whether it's behind the thigh or if you can go a little higher, do okay. We want to make sure that you're not arching your neck or back to do this. I'd rather you bend it a bit. That's, that's fine. Or hold lower. You could even lift your head, but you know, huh.

Flex your feet foot here like you did before. Push that like right through the ceiling and then change, resting it on the ball. Same thing. Even though it had a little more rest, it still needs that little bit of babying. Plus it's not a bad idea for stretching. You can just let it recoil. Stretch for turn, stretch, let it return. Put a little forest, let her go. One or two more. You can hold it up there. Oh, it'd be two more. When you're there, just hold it where you can make sure that you're not height, hiking the hip and draw the leg cliffs or if it is appropriate. We don't need to hold behind the knee. It's just not necessary.

Risk thigh calf, that's all cool. And he's probably okay generally, but the day it's not flex the foot. Oh and bring it down. So now what legs are straight back on the ball. And I have maybe a little bit more of my leg on the ball. So I brought the ball a little closer to me so that I can lift again.

So parallel your legs. They're together. My feet are together as best I can. I mean they're together. We'll see if it stays that way. Peel up. Okay. Now that we're up there in that long line again, again, you get to use your arms without rolling down. Just hinge down, touch, come back up. One, down, up, touch and up. Keep the legs straight. Now if you hyperextend significantly, what you might have to do and what I might have to do is slightly act like you're going to pull the ball towards you.

So it's not just that you bend the knee, you have to actively use the hamstring in order for it to not be in hyper extension. So play with that idea for for more one I sent even two and three and four. Sorry, hold it there. Come back up my fault. Take the right leg off, one touch down. You know you have to deal with the hyperextension. Two only three. Here's three. Put it down. Other side care, full one. Whoa, fun. Two, three. And from there, roll your spine down. Drag the ball into you as you hug UNIS.

Cool. Bringing the ball even closer. We'll sell arms out to a T. Position. Palms up from here. So I'm bringing the knees not totally to 90 but a little closer still as we keep them exactly together and roll the ball to your right knee. Stay lined up using the sensation that your back is a ball.

Bring it back to center. Go the other way. Inhaling over the opposite hip. We'll lift by the way, and bring it back. And again, stretch the arms as you roll the ball over. Go a little further. If you can keep the opposite shoulder down and back. And last time like that, over and back. All right, from here we're going to go ahead and just get up. Okay. And sit on the ball.

Just that flash back from happy days. Sit on. I'm turning sideways because my Mac helps my feet and I think it's a better view if you do need to see. But mostly we're going into abdominal situation. So here we are. Tuck the pelvis under, rolling it down, roll yourself down. Walk yourself out and hands behind your head. So the position, everyone's going gonna feel a little different. You feel comfortable in it. Um, I'm actually, you can even back up a little more if you want more work to the AB. So long as you feel uh, stable and all we're going to do is stretch over the ball before and after.

Um, I think I can talk you through this so you don't have to look. I'm s you're stretched over the back slightly. Tuck your pelvis just slightly so you have action in your glutes and everything you just worked a minute ago. That's part of why I did it. So from there you keep that little sense of awareness there. Now nothing else moves. You bring the upper body to hit. So in other words, you didn't drop down, right? You stayed where you were. Inhale, stretch back, exhale to come up, keeping nice, wide elbows in.

But by that we don't go so wide that it causes more tension. Right? It's just the sense of they don't change. Ha, keep going. We'll be here a little while. Here's what you can think about them as you're curling up. Maybe if you think of pushing your spine into the ball, you'll feel it more. In other words, you're not just getting up off the ball, you're pushing down into the ball and it forces that action. It forces the work. Otherwise, we'll have to be here way too long than any of us have, so let's, let's consciously go ahead find it more. You Curl, the harder you're pushing almost backwards into the ball.

Yeah. Then curl up. Stay there, rotate to your left or towards where you can see I didn't change the lower body, didn't change it. Everybody. Other than that rotation from here, I'm going to go more forward with the idea of pushing the spine backwards. I am definitely in rotation almost even on my feet in weight. There's probably more in that front like for sure, but I'm not giving up on it. The hips are trying to stay as level as possible.

Just little reaches forward and let's go a little faster. Press and press and press or push, push, push and hold. Come through the middle. Watch that the ball is pretty still go the other way if you can. If you need to adjust, of course adjust. Just don't swing those hips out.

Here we go. A little slow at first forward, slight ever. So slight release forward and now something to check for. It's like your head is pressing back into your hands. Create that resistance. Keep the rotation hips his level as possible. We'll go a little quicker now for eight and one.

Two I'm thinking into the ball. Three, four, n five, six and eight. Keep your contractions, come to the middle contract more. And by that think of pressing that mid back into the ball. More head into the hands more. Stretch it back without losing the glue thing we did earlier. I know you want to but don't not yet. And curling up.

Press your head back into your hands. Create a wall there, right? So you're not just giving into it, but there's an equal resistance. Come into it more. Tuck a little more if you need to and stretch it back again. Curl, listen basic. But there we are and back. Last one here, currently up and before you go all the way or go all the way, but then push into your feet. Not to move the ball, but to make sure your glutes are working and then reach your arms forward. 100 inhale, keep those hips up. Exhale.

If you feel like you're almost sitting up, you got to back down a little and in walk the feet closer together. If you need more challenge and out in he reaching forward and make the arms worth it, you can even push it down a little, right? We're in a different angle here so you can down using the whole side of the arm into the back and I'll quiet my breath just a little. Give yourself three more full rounds, five and five out [inaudible]. Let's try and squeeze the legs together if they are together. I've got one more round based on what we just agreed on. I hope [inaudible] and from there start to stretch out your legs.

You can either rest the hands on the floor if you're near enough on your legs or you could take them overhead or to the side for the stretch. It should be pretty supported here, right? If it's not, just walk forward. That's all I have to do with that. All right. Keep your body basically down, but walk yourself forwards by bending the knees. Sorry. That's I had to do is bend your knees, hands behind your head again, so we're in a different place than we were in the little more.

I guess what you might call a tabletop. Your head or the ball is sort of two of the legs in your own feet or the other two and you're as square as possible to get back into those glutes again, we're gonna n just hinge at the hip. Your head will come off to stay in the straight line of the spine, or at least basically neutral hips go down. Then just push right back up. Find your the room you need. Right, so it's down. There'll be some rolling of course, depending on the size of the ball. Well, I don't even know if it depends on that. There will be some, but I, I guess the thing that I would think of is I'm not trying to straighten my legs.

I'm trying to just get my hips up, my hips down, hips up, hips, down. Everything goes with it, of course. But let me show. We're not with the ribs. That's go five more, a little quicker, one and down that much quicker but to and down. Finish it up there. Three. We'll stay up on five. Here's four. Next one. Stay up and bye. Yay. Take your hands out if you're not where your head can rest and make it so that you are arms out to a t. Now for this one, what I'm doing with the ball and that same spot is I'm disregard the ball.

I'm sliding to one side and then the other side from the ball trying to keep my lower body pretty still so we're in the chief position. Head is on the ball almost and then just start to take the rib cage to the left and then her, not that big, but it could throw your balance a little, which is fun. If you are careful as you row as you slide, that's a better word slide. You're not twisting it. The hips are trying not to. Okay. Almost left center, right?

Almost I guess typewriter like right and now I'm changing that whole thought process. You can either keep doing that or now we're gonna slide first, but you're going to rotate the upper body. Almost like you're going to clap hands and then come back and level everything out. Go the other way. So you slide first. When you rotate turnout to drop the hips, there'll be changes. Now more than before and almost like you're going to clap right and bring it back. [inaudible] I got balanced. You got a slightly different lateral action. Certainly. Then we do like this, but I like to do things that are [inaudible] and center. That's good. That's plenty. Okay, so let's just walk ourselves back so we can get up, not up to our knees actually for a little more lateral flection.

Thinking of it as mermaid. Basically the stance can be a little bit wide. So you've got a nice stretch hand on the ball or I'm out. We're going to do a side bend over, go all the way for now and then come back up. We'll do two of those and then I'll make it a little different for us. I had been over and uh, now that you're, this isn't up, if you can bring the knees a little closer cause it actually gives you more of a stretch for where I'm heading. We are going to side bend, not so far that the arm goes all the way, but as far as you can, you draw in on the abdominals and rotate to try and find that ball.

Okay. Try not to let the hip sink back behind. You either reopen and, and come back up again. Take it out, rotate big twist, open it back up and come back out. Just one more like that. Take it out, find the, the rotation coming back up and then s come to up right. Bring that ball to you or go to it depending on where you are so that you can bring it right into your hip and hold it or the floor. I'm going to have to rely on my balance for this one. Let it goes out. So just straight out in line.

You can put the other hand either to bind your head up in the air on the ball. It's up to you. But whatever we do, I'm going to go straight out. It's a list and a lift. You almost don't have to overthink how much you're stretching through the body. She just listed in lower the leg will be all right, lift and lower.

Get it up there though. Up Up. All else is basically still up. Next time stay up. Hold the ball if I'm you and I'm not big on me, so I'm going to flex and kick forward. Then back for five. Here's two and back. There'll be some motion, but minimize it. Three, keep it as high as you can for one more time to the back. Get it back there, get it back there, set it down on the ground and then just reach for the floor. Rotate your body toward the ball, leave the leg where it was for a little stretch hopefully, and then bring it all back in and switch sides.

All right, here we go. The Mermaid, just a full side van. We were, I started a little wider last time. You'll decide which one you like better or which one suits your body more big. Lifting up first. Then over, so not much of a lean there and then back, maybe you'll bring your legs a little closer together and we do with with the rotation, with the arm not going over as far. So we have side bent, we rotate, keep the gentle press forward to the hips, reopen and up two more side bend. And it's almost like you're pushing the ball away and pushing your hips the other way. It's not that dramatic visually, but that's a sense you can maybe give yourself and up. Last one, rotate big, big, big stretch there. Reopen it up. We can scoot in or over to the ball, bring the ball to you.

Try to bring it right to the side of your hip as you extend that other leg out. Real tempting for those of us who want to arch our backs to do it here. So be careful of that. Here we go. Lift the leg up and and up and down. If you do this class more than once, you don't have to go all the way down.

You might just stay at the high point and try to go higher and down. Right? It's kind of same idea, just slightly more challenging. And I like the full range for other reasons. That's up to you do one more after this one. And then from here I'm holding the ball. You do it, you want flex and come forward for five and him back.

And to practice keeping the height of the leg three. Thinking about the relative stillness of your back. There's four, Keith it back when you get there way back. Set it on the ground. Nope. Yep. Sit on the ground and then stretch. Turning your upper body into that stretch. You can slide the leg further back still. Yeah.

And then when you're ready, let it go. We'll finish with just a little bit of swamp. Yeah. And I'll walk. Walk us into this one. And you can be be where you want to be depending on which version you're happy with. All right.

Basically we're going to the, I think of it as being about, what is it? It's about pelvis centered from a, maybe a little more towards my thighs, where the majority of my weight is, activate the legs, make sure they're involved. So in other words, there's they're parallel. At least then you could live one leg without dropping the other one than the other, right? So that's your little test. You could do some reps too, but we're going to do this. We draw the shoulders down. You're going to let the ball roll here. The ball will come more up your chest as the legs go up, up, up. Keep those legs straight. Look forward if you're high. Then as you come down, you're straight and he arms. I'm just going to go there for now, probably for good today.

Then the elbows and I am using a push of the whole shoulder girdle as I use the back of the legs. All that work we tried to do in the beginning or did do to remind us how it feels and backup and again, push feel that arch in the upper back too, right? It's not just about the height of the legs. Legs don't have to be high and to to go push, reach. Keep that energy through the whole body. You're going to have to trust yourself or really think about keeping those knees straight.

Sometimes we bend them thinking we're working more cause we still feel the hamstrings. And then from there, come back to straight rule yourself back to your knees or just where you're comfortably hanging over the ball, including your neck or your face. I still love that one. All right. Get the ball somewhere in front of you. Come to your feet and then with your hands either right on top. I'm actually gonna say to the side a little bit of the ball.

We're just taking ourselves out into a straight line diagonally. He need to bend the knees do and then round and again her stay there in the straight arm, straight leg. If you were at straight, if you weren't at straight legs, everybody bend, reach the tailbone more. Collect the ribs more, reach to the top of your head, into the ball or that direction. Try to keep that sensation crown of the head to the tailbone and then straight the legs. And with that, take a deep breath. Exhale, just easy and long. Another inhale.

[inaudible]. Exhale, answer to roll yourself back. Bring the ball with you. Go ahead and let it roll up your legs so you're holding it and when you get upright, it's that pressure into the ball, into your body so you feel the connection there. You feel even the back of your body. Inhale as you grow taller, exhale and stay tall and let it out. And we'll add just that upper back thoracic extension in held gently pulling the ball in, sending the energy up. You find the backside of your body too, and it really feels good. An exhale.

Can we do just one more of those for the day? Inhale. Here it is. Breathe however you want to like inhaling as I go up and exhale short, but sweet joy your day.


2 people like this.
Nice and efficient workout. It' s so importonant to learn how to move correctly the torathic spine in orden to improve the lumbar back movements too and the relation between them. Fitball and softball are great to improve and deepen into Pilates exercises. Thanks for your cueing too Kristi
1 person likes this.
Thank you. Nice short but efficient class.
Loved it! Perfect for a quick morning workout, and your cues are excellent, thanks!
Laurie C
2 people like this.
Kristi, loved this quick but very effective workout. I did this class first thing in the morning now I'm ready to begin my day! A HUGE thank you for all your effects in creating this amazing outlet for all of us to enjoy! I just can't get enough of pilates anytime!! I hope one day I will be able to do a class at the studio.
2 people like this.
Thank you Kristi! It was an excellent class. It was nice to hear that the class was just on my special request, I feel special :) and waiting for more of that. Greetings from Poland!
Great! Loved the ab work! Will do the 100's in my class tomorrow! Seems like so many of us struggle with the 100s and this will make it very doable and effective! Thank you Kristi! Oh and I just loved when we were doing hamstring work on the ball and you talked about pressing more with the right foot and then the left.
Yay! I'm so glad you saw it Monika! It's even better that you liked it! Thanks for the suggestion!

Connie, Laurie, Laura, Karena and Mercedes I also really appreciate your feedback too! Thank you!
Stephanie Herman
great job Kristi, clear cues, good technique, good workout,
Thank you so much Stephanie!
PS: Laurie, I hope you do come to the studio one day!
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