Class #2382

Mat Workout

50 min - Class
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John Garey joins us at Pilates Anytime with this wonderful full-body Mat workout. He teaches creative and fun exercises with the Theraband that are easy to follow and great for muscle conditioning and stretching. Start with standing Footwork to warm up, then work your way through Thigh Stretch, glute and hamstring work, the Series of Five, Breaststroke, and much more.
What You'll Need: Mat, Theraband, Magic Circle

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Hello and welcome, we are doing a mat class today, and you'll need a fitness circle or palates circle, and a flex band or a resistance band it's also called. I am working today with Kelly Curtis and Jake Robinson, they are both instructors for me down at my studio in Long Beach, California. And we are ready to work, so let's get started. We're gonna do a really cool full body mat work program for you today, and we're gonna start with our flex band. So if you guys would grab your flex band, we're gonna do some standing work to begin with.

And think of it like Standing Footwork from the Reformer, 'cause that's a lot of the same positions we're gonna use. But we're gonna do it in out of order just a little bit, just so you can get connected to start with. I want you to stand on the band, and I want you to actually have the band under your heels, 'cause that's where the emphasis of this exercise is, and you're gonna be about hip distance apart. I want you to choke up just a little bit so when you're standing, there's just a little bit of tension on that band. From here you're gonna come down into your squat, without any tension on the band, now make sure just glance down, you wanna make sure that your knees align with your toes.

Yeah, and from here as you rise up, you're gonna do a bicep curl, so just come right up front. Good, inhale as you go down, and exhale to press up. Come on down, watch the tracking of the knees, and come up. So really good rule of thumb guys, as you're doing this, is to make sure your weight stays center on your feet as you come down and up. You wanna keep your spinal alignment neutral, meaning you're gonna hinge the torso forward, but you're not gonna arch your back, and you're not gonna tuck your tailbone under.

Stay as neutral as you can in that spine. Inhale down, and exhale up. Are you guys counting? (laughing) Anybody know where we're at? Let's just do two more, Kelly says 10, I beileve her.

One more, and then come all the way up. Alright, and relax. So you should start to feel your body warming up right away. We're gonna switch now, and you're gonna change to our first footwork position, so it's gonna be toes apart, heels together. Now I want the band flat underneath the ball of your foot, and kind of coming out in front of the toes here, so the that the ball of the foot can stay on it the whole time.

We're gonna do a clutch bicep curl this time. So you're gonna come down in this position, your heels are gonna stay down for this one, you're gonna come down in this position and you still align with the toes, as you come up, you pull your hands up in front of your chest this way. So you inhale to come down, and exhale up. Now hold it right there, we're gonna keep the heels together guys, you're gonna rise up on the balls of your feet. And lower back down.

So come on down, come up, rise up, and lower down. So I want you to inhale and lower down, exhale to come up, inhale life your heels, and exhale to lower down. What I love about this variation here is as you lift up the heels, you're adding more tension to your biceps even though they're not changing length. So come on back down, come up, rise up balance, and lower back down. How we doin' there?

Down, and up, lift, and lower. That wasn't a good one for me. Come on, down (laughing), we'll try this again. Keep your balance lift up, and down. So this is much more balance oriented, and hopefully you guys can feel your hamstrings, I can really feel my hamstrings on this one, yeah, no?

Yes, everything, I can feel everything. Lift and lower, let's do it one more time, breath. Inhale and exhale. Breath in as you lift, and exhale lower down. Just relax your arms now.

Tough one, right? We're gonna switch our feet again, you're still gonna have it under the balls of the feet, this one's gonna be a little bit more challenging, we're gonna do what's called a front raise, but it's gonna be at a 45 degree angle. It's also called scaption. So from here, let's just do the arms. So make sure you're standing, watch your knee position when you're standing guys, make sure they're neutral and not hyper extended.

From there, we're just gonna raise the arms up on that 45 degrees. Now we have a pretty strong tension spring here, so as you life make sure you're not arching your back, make sure you're keeping your abs connected, and then lower back down. Now, from here, we're gonna add our squat. So you're gonna come down, rise up as you lift your arms, hang on, rise up on to the balls of your feet, and then lower back down. Here we go.

And it's down, breath in. Exhale to lift, inhale, rise up find your balance point, and come back down, that's okay I did it last time. Come down and up. This is super challenging. Rise up, see in the center of the ball of the foot, lower down and come back down.

Can we do five more? Lift, raise up (laughing), down, their smiling. And back down again. Raise up, and lift, and lower, and down, good. And again, lift up, you've got it, reach, lower, oh my gosh I came right out of that one.

Let's do it again. Up and lift balance, down, can you feel the calves working and the shoulders? Last one. Up and lift, lower, and relax the arms. Okay, I am warm, are you guys warm?

That's what foot work should be, it should be a way to warm up your body. So let's move on from there, and we're gonna move on down on to the knees on the mat. You're still gonna need your flex band. So let's kneel facing each other, and you're actually gonna place the flex band around your back. Now if kneeling doesn't work for you, you can do this first part and just do the arm work for the first two exercises, seated.

So what I want you to do is just get the band kind of spread out right underneath your armpits, right around the bottom of the ribcage here, try to get it as spread out as possible. Let's just do the arm work first, which is just reaching out, straightening the arms, and then coming back in, yeah, feel that? (exhaling) Give me that exhale. And then come back in, do that again. Exhale, and come back in.

Now this is a bit too easy, so we're gonna do a kneeling squat. So from here keeping the spine neutral, reach your arms forward, hinge your hips, and lower back toward your feet, and then come back up, good. Exhale, sink back. Inhale forward, beautiful. Now you are already feeling the quads kick in here, right?

This is a really good quad strengthening exercise. And come back up. We're also getting the triceps, the back of the arm here, you're getting the front of the delt, and you're getting the pecks on this. Really good work for the upper and the lower body. Nice strong abs as you hinge back, and come back up, are we close to 10?

(laughing) Reach back and come back up. I think you'd say that no matter if you were on two or 10. (laughing) So one more time, reach back, and come back up, now let's just get the arm work for the next part. So reach it out, open the arms out. We're gonna do a chest fly here.

So you're gonna pull around the center, and then come back out, good. Exhale forward, it's also called hug a tree, right? If you're doing Cadillac or Reformer work. Come around to the center and come back. But again, this one is too easy for you guys, so we're going to do not a squat this time, but a hinge back, this is one of my favorite exercises.

So you're gonna keep your hips open, your arms out, you're gonna hinge back, exhale, bring the arms in front of you and inhale to come back up. So it should feel like those arms are holding you up as you hinge back and then come forward, really nice. Do that again, exhale. Good, that's it, come on Jake, live dangerously here. Go back there, stretch those quads.

And if you know thigh stretch on the Reformer and on the Cadillac, this is very similar to those exercises. Yes, back and up, let's do it one more time, make sure you stay neutral, don't collapse in the rib cage as you go back. Head forward, really nicely done. And then come all the way up. Perfect you guys! So from there we're gonna kneel on the band.

But we're gonna do a different exercise for now, so face me and spread your band out like that, right? Across the mat. And let's come over to this side of your mat, and you're gonna come down on to your knees like this. Yep, make sure it's secure underneath your knees. You're gonna pick up the long end now.

And hold it in the hand on the same side. This is tough, you ready? (laughing) If you know side kick kneeling, this is a little tougher. So we're gonna come down onto your opposite hand, you pick up the foot that's closest to the long end of the band, and put it flat against that band. And just curl everything in in front of you.

Good, now try to hinge on that bottom hip a little bit more if you can, exhale straighten the arm and the leg, and inhale, come back in, good. And again, exhale, press out, and come back in. So what I'm looking for is, Jake, let's try to get your leg a little more parallel to the floor. Make it a little bit harder, you feel that? And come back in.

Guys, make sure that that band is stretched out under your foot. If it starts to bunch up, take it off and reset it, Because if it slips off, it's gonna go in places you don't want it to go. So press out, (laughing) and come back in, one more time. Exhale, press away, nice strong oblique connection. Come back in, now, keep your elbow bent, but straighten your leg.

Yes, from there, drop your foot to the mat, pick it up as high as you can, exhale. Good, and down, and pull it up, beautiful. And lift it up. Just tuck your arm right into your side here, yeah beautiful. Inhale down, exhale up, good.

And up, now I want them to spend, and I want you to spend more time in the air then you spend on the floor. So you're just gonna touch the floor and bring it right back up. Touch the floor and bring it right back up. Now hold it there, give me little circles. Small circles, push your foot into that band.

Just five, breathing, and go the other way. Good, slide the shoulders away from the ears, get out of your upper traps, good. That's it, now bend your knee. Relax down, you can let go of that band, and I want you to sit right down on that hip. So right over on that hip.

Stretch it out, that should feel really good. You'll like me again, right? Okay, so we're gonna move on to the other side. Stretch your band out. How we doin'?

(whispering) Good so far? Yeah. So (laughing) scoot to the end. There's no cursing in class, Jake. (laughing) Come on over to the other side.

Pick up your band and hold on to the end of it. Put your free hand on the floor, take your foot up, and put it in. The hardest part is setting it up. Once you have the setup, pretty much everything else is just the exercise, which is challenging, but at least you're in the right position. From here, you're just gonna straighten the arm and leg, exhale.

And inhale, come back in. Again, double check, make sure the band is spread out over your foot so you don't lose it. Inhale to come in. Exhale, press. Really good job, you can see Kelly and Jake both have a really strong wrist.

So their wrist isn't in any funky position. You wanna make sure you keep that strong neutral wrist alignment, nice you guys, let's press out two more times. Press, try to get that leg parallel to the floor, don't let it droop down. That's it, now this time, hold your arm into your body, straighten your leg, drop it to the floor, just touch and lift it up. Inhale down, exhale up, the whole time, staying nice and steady through the pelvis.

So the obliques really have to work. You don't wanna see the pelvis moving forward and back. Push into that strap, one more time, you got it. One more time. Now hold it up there, give me little circles in one direction.

Five, four, three, strong core, and then just reverse the direction. Good, stretch your knee a little bit for me Jake, make it a little bit harder. That's it, now bend your knee, and sit down on that hip. Oh they feel great right now. (laughing) Good work, alright.

Hopefully you're feeling it as much as they are. We're gonna move on now to our ab series. So what I want you to do is grab your fitness circle. And you can move the band off to the side. And just take the fitness circle, and you're gonna place it above your knees.

That's it, and then lay back down on the mat. So we're going to give their outer hip a rest, and really focus on the inner thighs here. I want them to take their hands and place them behind your head. How you guys doing, are you smiling? Are you still smiling?

Good. Alright, keep smiling. From here you're gonna breath in, and as you exhale, let's just work the upper body first. I want you to come up into your flex position, we're gonna perfect this position. So every time you come up, what I want is for your elbows to be in your peripheral vision.

So they're not yanking forward. But you don't have them all the way out to the side either, they're slightly forward here. And then lower back down. Do that on your exhale. So exhale, you should feel like your rib cage, come on up, it should feel like your ribs are sliding down.

Nice Jake, and the elbows come slightly in front of you, and then come back down. That's gonna allow you to get more mobile through the upper back. So let's do that again, exhale up, and come back down, alright, leave your upper body down for a second, and let's add what we do with the legs. So typically we're in a neutral position here, but if your abs are a little tired today, or you don't feel like they're that strong, you can tilt your pelvis back slightly, just going into what we call an imprint. It's just a slight tilt back, maybe not that much.

Just the abs doing it, not glutes. Yep, so neutral or imprint, whatever you can hold throughout the exercise. From here, lift up the legs, squeezing the circle gently, and then lower back down. This is really gonna help take the pressure off the outside of the hip from what we just did. Exhale up, and inhale down.

Now the movement is hinging at the hip joint. There shouldn't be any movement in the spine once you get that going. One more time like that, make sure you're giving that circle a little squeeze as you lift up. And come back down, let's put these together, breath in. Exhale, lift your upper body, bring your elbows slightly forward, squeeze the circle, and lower everything back down, do that again.

Exhale come up, and inhale back down. Now let's see if we can do this upper body and lower body movement with the lumbar spine staying in the same position. So really bring your focus to the center of the body, and try not to curl the tailbone up as you bring the legs in. Yes, show that body control, perfect. And come back down, let's do that again.

Exhale up, good. Now as you go down, just keep the ribs in check. Nice, one more time. Exhale come up, and then lower back down. Alright now take the fitness circle from your legs, and you're gonna take it and place your head against the inside of one handle, and put your hands on the other side.

So it looks like you have headgear on, but it's really gonna feel good on your neck. So from here you're gonna breath in, notice the elbows are slightly forward. Now exhale, come up into that position we were just in, and make sure that your head is supported by the circle, 'cause that's the reason the circle is there, to take the tension out of the neck, and to help you put that extra work into the abdominals. How you doin' there, good? (laughing) Come all the way back down.

Show me that one more time, exhale come up. Good, you got it! Now from there, stay right there and you're gonna stay there as long as you can if you feel like you're losing it, and you need to take a break, just lower your upper body back down then come up when you're ready again, alright? So this time, we're gonna go into our imprint, everyone, so tilt your pelvic back slightly, make sure you don't use your glutes to do that, use your abs and bring your legs into tabletop. Beautiful, reach 'em up to the ceiling. So stretch 'em.

Now lower them down on your exhale as far as you can without losing that position of your spine, and then come back up. Exhale, lower down. And come back up. Good, so let's exhale on the way down. Inhale and come back up.

You're gonna do two more, perfect ones. Exhale to lower down, inhale to come back up. Bring your upper body up a little higher, right there. And exhale, lower down. And then come back up.

Bend your legs into tabletop, just lower your upper body down, take a little break, breath. How we doin', good? I can see the core is active, they're both working really hard, these look like simple movements, but you can feel it at home, it's really getting into the abdominals. That was your break, alright, you ready? Come on up, exhale.

We're gonna do single leg stretch. So hold gently on that circle, reach your right leg out, and then switch, good. Now I don't want you to come back to the center and switch, I actually want both legs to move. So reach one leg out, as it's coming in the other leg's going out. Good, and switch, and switch, and four, and exhale, three, good, inhale as they cross exhale as you reach.

You're gonna go right into your crisscross. So you're gonna rotate toward the bent leg. Yep, take a break anytime you need to, and then to the other side, good. Now don't take your leg as low. Yeah, only as low as you can stabilize, you can see the pelvis moving just a little bit, so maybe the legs are going too low, keep 'em more up at that angle, so you can really stabilize there, how we doing, good?

One more set on each side. You're looking great. Come to the center, that got a smile out of them (laughing) Put your feet down and lower your upper body down. Now take the circle out from underneath your head for a second for me, yep, and just rest it to the side. Put your arms on the floor, and I want you to just press your hips up.

So exhale push the hips up. This will release the hip flexes a little bit and give them a little break, breath in. And then exhale and lower back down. We're just gonna do that two more times. Really fill the air with lungs, and then exhale lift up.

Inhale stay, and exhale lower down. We're just gonna do that one more time. Nice deep breath in, and exhale, lift up. Stay there, breath in, and then exhale to lower back down. Alright now, that was good, worked the glutes and hamstrings, we're gonna flip over, and we're gonna do even more intense work on the glutes, hamstrings, and the upper back.

So turn over, you're gonna need your fitness circle, we're gonna use that for a little bit longer. And you're gonna hold the fitness circle out in front of you. Yeah, shimmy back there a little bit so you can be on the mat. Yeah, and just put the circle at the end of the mat. That's it, place your hand closest to the front here on the circle, and your opposite hand on the top.

Yeah, switch your hands around there Kelly. So put your hand closest to the front. Yeah, right there. So from here, I want you to just see if you can get your arms to be in a straight position at the elbow. So you might have to shimmy back on your mat a little bit more, just scoot back on your mat so the circle, I want the circle on the end of your mat here.

Yeah, so just, yeah, just shimmy over to the side a little bit so you're not running into each other. So from here, we're gonna start with the top arm, and what I want you to do is just push the top of the circle forward. Just push it forward, and you wanna stretch, feel the stretch right through the lat, and then just slide it back, that's all I want you to do. So slide the top shoulder forward, reach, get a good reach there, and then slide it back. Good, really good swimmer stretch here, really good mobility through the shoulder, we're gonna add a little bit of mobility through the spine as well.

So you're gonna inhale, reach forward with that top arm, and then as you pull it back, bend that elbow, lift up and look under your arm on that side. Yeah, just so you wanna look under your arm. Reach forward, breath in, and then exhale. Draw the elbow back, so lift this elbow up, yeah right there, and then go forward. So it's like a swimmer coming up outta water and taking a breath, come back, and come forward.

Alright, so here is the neat part of this. I want you to actually use your bottom arm. So what I want you to do is push down on your bottom arm as you begin to do that rotation. Press down, it's gonna give you support underneath so that you get more mobility up above, and it helps to relax those muscles a little bit. Feel the difference when you do that?

Do that one more time, pull back pressing on that bottom arm, rotate, come all the way back to the front, good, perfect. All you're gonna do, switch hands. The one that's on top goes on bottom, the one that's on bottom goes on top, and we just start with shoulder mobility first. So just reach the top of the circle as far away as you can, and then pull it back but keep your elbows straight, we want the movement to be coming from your shoulder here. So just reach forward, lengthen, nice.

And then slide it back, beautiful. Now let's add the elbow bend. So as you pull the top of the circle back, bend your elbow, lift and rotate to the side, and come back to the front. Remember our trick pressing down with that bottom hand. So as you pull back, breath in, look right underneath there, and then exhale, rotate back and reach forward.

Do that again. Inhale, pulling back, lift up, good, and forward. Make sure you're active through the lower body as well, so the glutes are engaged, hamstrings are engaged, feet are reaching away from you, so they stay stable on the ground. Open legs like these guys have is gonna help you feel more stable as you do the rotation part. One more time, pull back, lift up, rotate and then reach all the way forward.

Really nice you guys, now you're gonna come up onto your seat, and let's face each other. Grab the circle, and you're gonna, we're gonna do a little bit of a stretch forward here. So spine stretch forward, you're gonna take the circle and place it on the floor, your feet are about as wide as your mat. Here about shoulder distance apart, maybe a little wider, and this always reminds me of Looney Tunes, where they're gonna, you know, use the explosives. So keep that in mind as you do that.

(laughing) So sit up tall, breath in, and then exhale, flex forward. Think of like the Wild Coyote, and then come all the way back up, sitting up tall, breath in, stack the spine up, and then exhale, blow something up Jake. Flex down, there ya go. Now what that does, pressing down on that, is help to activate not just the abdominals in front, but it also activates your lats, and it activates underneath, all underneath your arm, your delts even get a little work there. That helps to actually release the back extensors and the muscles in the back.

So one more time, exhale flex forward, just getting a little mobility here, good. Alright, trickiest exercise we're gonna do in terms of getting into the right position. We're gonna do breast stroke, and we're gonna do a modified version of it. I'm gonna give you a couple really fun variations. So you're gonna flip back over, and let's put your heads so your heads are in, and your feet are back.

From there, bend your knees and reach back, and put the circle between your ankles. This is the trickiest part, you may have to have somebody help you with this. But if you don't, you can do it this way. Those guys are mobile enough, flexible enough to do it, what you can do is stand up, put it between your ankles, a little bit higher than the ankle bone, and then place your hands on the floor, lift your heels and then walk out. And then pick up your feet.

And magically you'll be in the right position, okay? Try that a couple times, it might take a glass of wine. (laughing) Just kidding. So here we go. Put your hands right underneath your forehead, and rest your forehead on your hands.

From here, I'm gonna work just on the leg portion of this exercise first. So I want you to just gently squeeze the circle, and I want you to see how close you can get that circle to your seat, without your hip bones lifting up. So gently engage the glutes to help keep the front of the hip open. Now, send the circle away, you can release the tension on it, and just find the floor with it. So don't rest it on the floor, just barely touch the floor with it, perfect.

Use your exhale to flex your knees, bring the circle to your seat, and squeeze the circle, and then send it away. Now, if you feel your hips lifting, you're not engaging the glute enough, or you're not actually, you might be bringing the circle in too close. So you only wanna be able to bring the circle in as far as you can without your hips lifting up. So one more time, come on in, show me how far you can go without your hips lifting, Jake, press your hips gently down into the floor, perfect. That's where you wanna be every time, and then reach it away.

So now just bend your knees and hang onto the circle with your knees bent, you don't have to worry about squeezing it right now, we're gonna work on the upper body portion of this. If you sit at a desk all day, this is gonna be the exercise for you once we get it all together. From here, you're gonna bring your hands with you, and you're just gonna float your upper body up as high as you can with your head attached to your arms. So head attached to your hands, right there, there you go, lift up Jake. Come on up, I know you've got more.

Yes! And then lower back down. Good, and do that again. Exhale and lift up. Now I don't wanna see any kind of ab squishing out of the sides here, so I want them to focus on pulling the abdominals in on all sides. Yeah, so no muffin top, pull it in.

So do that again. Exhale, lift up, inhale, lower back down. Alright, we're gonna put it together. So you're gonna send the circle toward the floor, just barely touch the floor with it, give me an inhale. Exhale pull the circle toward your seat, don't let your hips lift, lift your upper body up, try to get that circle as close as you can, inhale, release away.

It feels really good, doesn't it? Exhale, come in, at least it feels really good sitting here and watching. (laughing) And then release. Make sure you're not doing that at home, you need to get down and do this. Do that again, pull it in, lift up, bring the circle towards your seat, yeah, and then reach it away, really nice, let's do it one more time.

Exhale come up, you see the nice open elbows, shoulder blades sliding together, really good, head position is perfect, because they can't lift it away from their hands. And release it away, really nice guys. Alright, you're gonna sit up again, bring that circle around, you're gonna face each other, have a seat on your mat. How we doin', good? Yes, and you're gonna have your feet open about shoulder distance apart, or if you're on a mat, a good distance is about almost to the outside of the mat.

From there you're gonna hold onto the circle, you ready for the saw? We are. Okay, breath in, turn towards me, and lift the circle up above your head. Now exhale, reach out over that leg, and put your head right between your arms. Drop your head between your arms.

Inhale, come all the way back up, and then exhale, just turn to the center, and bring the circle down in front of you again. Breath in, turn toward the back, arms go up, exhale, lengthen out over that leg, reach forward, inhale to come back up, and exhale come back to the center. Okay, I think we can move a little faster now. So inhale, reach up and rotate, exhale, lengthen out, take the circle out over your foot. So aim that way.

Now inhale, come all the way back up, and then exhale, bring the circle down in front of you, center, inhale rotate, exhale lengthen, reach out, inhale come back up, and exhale come back to the center. How we feelin', good? Yes, let's do one more on each side. Inhale up, so this is your little break, exhale lengthen out, it should feel really good, you're just kinda hanging on to the circle, it's helping to give you really good proprioception of what's going on throughout your body. Yeah, just keep moving, rotate, reach out over, you're gonna lengthen all the way back up, and then come back to the center.

Alright the next one, you have to make sure you're in the exact right position for it to work well. So you're gonna have your legs out in front of you and you're gonna take the circle to one side, yeah take it up onto one side, and we're gonna do a variation of our neck pull, we're not gonna go all the way down to the ground, we're just gonna go partially back. So hold onto that circle there. Your elbow's gonna be bent but don't let it just sink down, kind of activate the lateral delt here and lift it up. Take your other hand and just rest it behind your head.

So sitting tall, breath in, now if you need to bend your knees here you can, if you wanna bend your knees and get up on top of your sit bones a little more. Exhale, you're gonna roll back, and then simultaneously I want you to push down on the circle, good, breath in, stay right there. Exhale, keep the pressure on the circle, and flex over your legs, and then stack your spine back up, releasing the tension on the circle. Let's do that again. Exhale, roll away, so your arm will straighten as you roll back.

That's it, breath in, now exhale fold forward, let your elbow bend, try to keep the circle vertical the whole time, and then stack the spine back up. By putting, keep going, by putting pressure down on that circle on one side, you're really activating the obliques on that side a little bit more, can you guys feel that? The trick here is don't let your body rotate as you do it one more time on the side, roll back, exhale, flex back, inhale stay, exhale come forward, over your legs, and then stack your spine up, now look at where it is on the floor, you're gonna switch it over to the other side and make sure it ends up in exactly the same place. Yep, hand behind your head, if that's forcing you to push your head forward, just put your hand in front of your head like a solute. Breath in, exhale, flex back.

Use your glutes here, round your back. Press down on that circle, breath in, exhale, come forward over your legs, really nice, and then stack the spine back up. So there's no tension in the start position. Then exhale, press down on that circle to roll back. Breath in, exhale, flex forward over your legs, holding down on that circle.

And then come up to the top, let's do it again. Exhale roll back, you're looking really good. Breath in and stay nice and centered. Really good guys, exhale, flex over your legs, and then release the tension as you come up to the top. I think we have one more on this side.

Well, I'm gonna say we do. So exhale roll down, push down. Inhale, stay. Exhale, fold forward over your legs, pressing down on that circle, and then come all the way up to the top. Yeah?

Okay, we're gonna do side lines, so I want you to lay on your side facing me with your heads at this end, and put the circle underneath your bottom ankle. Yeah, so put your bottom ankle on it, lay down on your side, and then put your top ankle on the top of the circle. That's it, yeah. Head resting on your arm, use your top hand for balance here, and we wanna, yeah, well what I want you to do is just fold your arm underneath you, so your head isn't cranked up to the side. Yeah, just hold your arm underneath your head, or you can stretch your arm out if you have room.

From there, I want you to see if you can stabalize, now you can use your hand on the floor in front of you, or if you can stabilize, hover your hand above your thigh. That's gonna work the stabilization muscles a little bit more. If you feel really out of balance there, just place your hand back down on the floor. You're gonna press down with that top leg, give me five presses down, and release. Four, good.

Exhale press three, let's bring your head back in space a little bit there so you're nice and straight from head to toe, good, alright, now hold it right there. That's it, what I want you to do is lift your bottom leg up, and then bring it back down. So bring it up, and lower it back down. Can you bring the legs together? Lift it up, there you go, now you're working.

And two more, lift, and lower down, and one more. Lift and lower down. Now place that bottom leg on the circle, I want you to take your top leg and I want you to float it above the circle. Yes. And we're gonna do what's called a half moon.

Yeah, you probably wanna put your hand on the floor for the first part 'til you see what we're doing. Bring your leg forward and touch the floor, otherwise you're gonna roll right over. Bring your leg all the way back, and touch behind you or as far as you can go to the floor without your hip rolling. The whole point is to move your leg in a half circle, but not do the salsa with your hips. You wanna keep your hips nice and steady.

So come forward as far as you can, and go back as far as you can. It helps to inhale as you come forward, and exhale as you go back. 'Cause as you go back, you can recruit those abs, and keep the pelvis from moving. Really nicely done you guys. That's it, alright, so take that leg up, finish that one, and take the leg on the inside of the circle and rest it against the handle at the top.

That's it. Anchor your bottom leg down, how we doin' there, alright? And press the top leg against the circle. It's not gonna move very far, but you wanna give it as much tension as you can without the bottom leg changing. Give me three more to make it five, three, exhale, two, let me here that Pilates breathing, one, good, and release.

Now put your leg right in the center of that circle, the top leg, and I want you to draw little circles without hitting it in one direction. Doesn't matter which one, just move forward, inhaling and exhaling on each one, yeah? Are we about five? Reverse, go the other direction, and try not to touch the circle, stretch that leg as long as you can. Good.

You should really be feeling a lot of work in the top of the hip right now. (laughing) Now put the top leg against the handle, that's it, and all you're gonna do is lift the circle up. So from there, exhale lift, and then lower it back down. Lift up, this is super challenging, make sure your hand is in front supporting you, and really work on not rocking the hips back as you lift up. Beautiful.

Last one, and come on down. Alright guys, now you're gonna roll onto your back and grab that circle. The top leg is gonna get the circle, we're gonna do what's called the windshield wiper. So lay right on your back there, yep. Now the leg that was the top leg, put your foot right against the inside of the circle.

Yep, now stretch your other leg out, and what I want you to do is use the opposite hand, hold the circle with the opposite hand, take your free hand on the floor. You should be able to pull your leg across and let your hip rotate and go to the side, and this should feel amazing right now. So you're gonna take your leg up through the center, you're gonna switch hands, now this time as you take your leg out to the side, notice that you don't want your pelvis to roll over to that side, try to keep it stable. Bring the leg up, switch hands so you're using the opposite hand, and when you take your leg to the side, let your pelvis rotate to the side, and that'll give you a really nice stretch through all those muscles we just worked. One more time, three times.

Up, and switch and take it over, use your exhale and reach it out to the side. Good, bring it up, take it over and give me that last stretch. Over, back to the center, and bend your knees. Good, now you're just gonna roll onto your other side. Yeah, put your head up at that end, and just face me, perfect.

We've got to do both sides. (laughing) Alright, so here we go, otherwise you're gonna be walking around in circles. So you're gonna lay down, put the, yeah, put the circle underneath the bottom ankle, and then put your top ankle on it. I like it to be just above the ankle bones, it feels more comfortable in that spot, and think about the alignment of your body right now. So Jake you can scoot your hips forward a little bit more, perfect, 'cause we wanna have the hips in neutral not inflection, and rest your head, even in your hand back there.

Just move your head back into your hand, yep! Right there, and then we have a nice straight line. Again, for this very first part, if you can hold your arm above your leg you can do that, if you need help with stability just put your hand on the floor. Press down on that top leg, yep. Press, two, and exhale three, good and four, one more time, give me a good squeeze down there. Now just stabilize that top leg and lift your bottom leg up to greet it.

Up and down, try to connect not the big toes, but think about drawing the inner thighs together. That's gonna give you more work through the adductors, the inner thigh muscles, and you're not gonna be hooking your feet to try to get into that position. Good, one more, yeah. You got it, that's good, and now lower the leg down, anchor it, lift the top leg up, and you're gonna bring that top leg forward. Put your hand on the floor for this part, yep.

And then take it back, exhaling. Inhale through the nose to bring the leg forward, try not to move the hips. Exhale take the leg back, if you can get to the floor, get to the floor, if you have to roll your hips to do it just go as far back as you can with a stable pelvis. Reach back, and come forward, beautiful, let's do that again, reach back, exhale, and inhale forward. Now take that leg, place it on the inside of the circle, and up against the handle.

And up against the handle. From here, you're gonna give me little presses up into that handle for five, four, three, it's not a lot of movement, but it's a lot of work. One more time. Now, find the center of that circle, so drop your leg down, and draw a little circle with your foot, trying not to touch any side of the circle, just a draw a little circle. It's about reaching the leg away rather than lifting and lowering it.

Now reverse it for five. And breath on every one. Inhale and exhale on each one. I like the exhale as you kinda pull down and back. Good, yep, alright, and now you're just gonna place that leg right up against the circle, how we doin' there, we good?

And the last, the final, but certainly not the least, lift that circle up. Exhale lift, and lower back down. Now the goal is to lift the legs without sinking through the waistline. So feel this lift underneath here, and don't let it get any lower as your legs lift up. You almost done there?

Yeah, they're almost done. One more time, and lower back down. Alright, now roll onto your back for the windshield wiper. So again, the top leg, the one you were working the most is the one we're gonna work right now. So grab onto the circle, and stretch your bottom leg out.

You're gonna use your opposite hand to the foot that's in there to do the first part of the exercise. Take your leg across your body, allow the pelvis to roll, keep the opposite shoulder down and give me a nice exhale there, recruit your abs. Inhale bring the leg up through the center, switch the hand that's holding onto the circle, now you take your leg out to the same side, and keep your pelvis as stable as possible. Come on up through the center, switch hands, and rotate away. Good, just drop your chin down ever so slightly there.

Yeah, you wanna feel like the back of your neck is nice and long. Reach up through the center, switch sides, and open it out, this is the best part of the day, isn't it? We're gonna finish up on the other side, so coming up through, we give you that nice stretch to finish with the rotation stretch, come right over the side, and come back to the top. And now we're gonna do the monkey. So from here, you're gonna take both feet and place them on the inside of that circle.

Yep, and hold on to the other side of the circle with your hands. You're gonna start down on the mat and you're gonna pull your knees in. It is okay to allow the tailbone to curl in here. I want you to come in to a nice tight ball. From there you're gonna extend your knees and fold up, so straighten your legs and fold up, and point your toes against that side of the circle.

Then, you're gonna keep your upper body lifted, you're gonna use your arms to pull the balls of your feet down and reach your heels to the ceiling. This should feel really nice. Point again, and now you're gonna bend your knees, and come down into the start position. Now if you can keep your hips down keep your hips down, but if your hips are rolling off a little bit, that's okay, it gives you a good lumbar stretch. So press up, exhale, point all the way up, fold up as high as you can there.

Now keep your body lifted, bend your elbows and reach the heels to the ceiling. Point again, come all the way up, and then bend your knees and sink down into that mat. One more time guys, inhale, reach up. Good, exhale, flex the ankles, and reach the heels toward the ceiling, sinking the glutes down, inhale, point back up, and then exhale and release all the way back down. Alright, we're gonna put our toys aside for a minute, and we're gonna come on up, and we're gonna do a modified version of our push up.

So this is a little more challenging than a regular push up, we're gonna do a roll down to a tiger walk. It's a really cool exercise. So what I want you guys to do is stand up, and just so you don't hit each other, let's have Kelly, you stand, yeah, you can stand right there on that side, and Jake you stand here on this side. Yep, right there. So what I want you to start with is a roll down.

So find your neutral posture first, be nice and tall through the spine, head up on top of your shoulders, breath in. As you exhale you're gonna articulate from the head down. If you need to bend your knees to get your hands all the way to the floor, do that, and then you're gonna walk out until your knees are just above the floor, yep. And your spine is as neutral as possible here. So here's the really fun part, it's gonna take a few times for you to get it.

It's the tiger crawl. So you're gonna take one arm forward, and the opposite knee goes to that elbow on that side, and then switch. Do four steps forward, trying to keep your body as steady as possible, and then four steps back. Really stabilizing through the spine. Once you walk back, put your feet together, straighten your legs, walking your hands back toward your feet, stay back there, drop forward into your forward flex position again, so lift your hips, walk your hands back toward your feet, straighten your legs so you can roll back up.

So from tail to your head, alright, you got it now? Let's try that again. So breath in. Exhale, flex forward from your head down, bend your knees, you can lift you your heels here and walk out, and stop when you're in the crawl position. So notice, hold it right there.

Notice you're in neutral from your head down through your tailbone, your knees are as close to the floor as you can manage, this is a really tough position to hold, and then you're gonna step forward with one arm and the opposite leg, and then switch. Keep the body as flat as possible, as you move your arms and legs forward. Nice, Kelly, drop your hips just a little bit for me, and walk back. Yes, beautiful, that's it, now once you get your four steps back, bring your feet back to the same position, lift your hips, drop your head, and then roll all the way up to the top. Perfect, third times the charm, we're doin' it one more.

Here we go. (laughing) Roll down, exhale all the way down. We, as if I'm doing it with them. But you know what I mean. Okay, so walk, find your position first, and then four steps forward, here we go.

Walk forward one, and two, but it is getting better every time. Three and four, and then walk back. Four and three, and two, backward is much harder than forward, straighten the legs, drop your head, and roll all the way up through the spine. Perfect, have a seat on your mat. (laughing) Bend your knees and keep your feet flat.

So that was all forward right, that was kind of a forward plank. Now we're gonna do a reverse plank. So we're gonna take this in stages, you're gonna have your knees bent, you're gonna reach your arms back behind you. How we doin' guys, are we doing good? So we went from very simple kind of exercises with the band and the circle kind of helping us and now we're doing full body, we're integrating everything that we just did into each exercise.

So from here I want you to start pushing your hips up. So push your hips up, yeah now, this can be tough on your shoulders. Put your hips back down for a second. So look at the hand position, super important here, you wanna have the fingers pointed out toward the side. If you point them forward, sometimes that closes the shoulder joint, so keep them out to the side there.

And the higher you lift your hips the more stress you put on the shoulder joint. So you can start by just lifting the hips slightly off the floor, try that. Yep, and then lower it back down. Yeah, so you can start there, or you can lift it all the way up. Yes, and back down.

When you lift it all the way up, keep your eye level forward so your head doesn't rock back. You'll end up doing a head nod. Lift up, good. Now you can keep doing that, one of those two versions, or you can do the swing. The swing is really fun.

You're gonna start here, and then you're gonna straighten your legs, pull your seat back under, your goal is to try to pull your seat back through your hands and then come back up. If you need to set your hips down on each one you can do that. But as you pull back you see you flex through the spine you drop your head, and you do almost a crunch here. And then you come forward. This is a really good training program for people to be able to do the leg pull later.

Pull back through and then come all the way back up. You've got it, one more time. Pull back through. Who can lift a leg? Alright.

You gotta lift the other one though. Come back through, gotta lift the other one, we gotta be balanced. You always lift your favorite one first. Yes! And then down for a second. And just let's do a spine stretch forward again, so take your feet apart, put your hands in the center, no tools, just flex forward, exhale.

Flex forward, give your lower back a rest, that's it, just relax your arms down by your sides. Yeah, and then stack your spine all the way up. From here, what I want you to do is kinda spin around, we're gonna do a side bend, but have your hips at this side, have your feet at that side. Right on one hip, there you go. Bring your feet together.

So what you're gonna do is fold the bottom leg and put the top foot in front of the bottom foot. Start with your feet a little bit away from you, and if you know you have wrist issues, you can do this from your forearm as well. So from here, side bend, breath in, and then come all the way up, lift up through the hips, drop your head down to the side. Hi Kelly, and then come all the way back down. You look really funny upside down.

And do that again, come all the way up, lift your hips up, drop your head. The more you put your head to the side, yes! And then come back down, the more your head goes to the side the more you'll have that actually lateral flection throughout. One more time, lift up, pull the inner thighs together. Yes. And then come all the way down.

Yep, flip over to the other side. So make sure your feet are touching, yeah, that's perfect. Breath in, and then come right up and over. Lift over, draw up through the center, and come back down. So most people, when we start this exercise, we actually end up pushing with our arms and our feet.

What I want you to do is think of pulling yourself up from the center. So pull yourself right up from the center, kinda pulling yourself away from your hands and feet. That's gonna activate the muscles in the center of your body, we have one more on this side, right? So here we go, right up and over, lift up, go over to the side, and come back down. From here, we're gonna come on up, and we're gonna grab our flex bands again.

We are doing our cool down. How are you guys feeling? Good, yes, I feel awesome. (laughing) Okay, so we're gonna take these, and reach it right up overhead. So if you're familiar with Reformer Work, this comes from our Reformer repertoire, it feels really good with the bands.

So hold your arms right over your head, take your feet and open them about shoulder distance apart. We're gonna start with a side bend, so come right over to the side here, now from there, you're gonna soften your knees a little bit, rotate through the spine, bend your elbows and then press the band out to the side underneath you. Make sure it's underneath you. Now keeping the band stretched, rotate back to the front, and then releasing the tension on the band, come up to the top. You're gonna inhale go over to the side, exhale, soften the knees, rotate, reach the arms out, watch your wrist position here, lengthen your wrist.

Keeping the band stretched, turn back to the side, and then come all the way to the top, releasing the tension, feel good? One more time. Inhale over, exhale, bend your elbows, and then reach the arms out to the side, keep your arms long and the band stretched as you rotate back to the front, come all the way up to the top and release the tension on the band. That's a mouthful, one more time! Inhale over, exhale, rotate and reach out, reach the arms out. Good now rotate back, put your head right between your arms, and then come all the way up, and release the tension.

And you can relax down, put the band off to the side, and our last cool down exercise is called spread eagle with the fitness circle. So we're gonna start with the circle right up above your head, and I like the circle 'cause you can push and pull on it, which we're gonna do. So wrap your hands around it, and give it a little push, and then give it a little pull. We're gonna do both of those things throughout this exercise. So bring the circle down in front you're gonna follow it with your head, and then you're gonna reach it out in front of you, and have your head aimed down it like it's a halo over you.

Drop your arms toward the floor, roll up, bringing the circle up along your body, and reach it up over your head. From here, pulling against the sides of the circle, lift your sternum up and extend your spine. And then return back to the start. Let's try breathing. Inhale, bring the circle down, exhale, reach out and forward.

Inhale, drop the arms, exhale roll up through the spine, and inhale, pull against the circle as you extend, and return exhale, one more time. Roll down through breathing. Exhale, lengthen the spine, try to get that nice neutral alignment through the spine here, drop the circle toward the floor, roll up, all the way up above your head, now pull against the circle, lifting the sternum toward the circle, reach up to the top, and then from here, bring the circle down in front, roll down through. Bend your knees a little bit, place the circle on the floor, roll back up to the top, and find your perfect posture, bring your legs together, keep your shoulders open, stack nice and tall through the spine, and let's finish with breathing. So you're gonna inhale through your nose.

Expand the ribs, exhale like you're blowing through a straw, feel the ribs close, feel the abdominals engage, do that again, oxygenate the blood. Breath in deep, deep, deep, deeper, as deep as you can go, now exhale. Blow all that air out. And then inhale and relax, you are done. Thank you so much guys, that was awesome.

Thank you for joining me, and I hope to see you again next time.

Comments

6 people like this.
Yay John and STOTT!
4 people like this.
I love John Garey's workouts. I was so excited to see him on Pilates Anytime!
3 people like this.
That was great! Thank you John! The cue you used when doing side bends to lift the center and not push with feet or hands was huge! Thank you!!
4 people like this.
Congratulations on your awesome video!!! I follow you on FB ..... I like all the variations with the magic circle, I am looking forward to try this variations with my clients !!!!!
11 people like this.
So excited to see John here. I'd love to see even more STOTT-trained instructors on PA! Courtney and John are great. Thanks!
3 people like this.
This is going straight into my favourites. Challenging, fun and really new. I've never been a big fan of the theraband. Now I hate it seriouly, I just experienced a lot of new, interesting and tough exercises with it. I will be back for more!
3 people like this.
Wow!!! That was amazing Thank you John!!!
4 people like this.
So excited to see John Garey on here! Great class-I appreciated the variations (especially the side kick variations).
6 people like this.
Yea finally! Really enjoyed that class John! More John and more STOTT please. Such a proffesional. Fun to watch, great variations and just nice way to explain the exercises.
Thank you all so much for the kind comments! It was an honor to teach on PA! There's more to come, and I hope you like those as well.
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