Hi, I'm Courtney Miller, and I am gonna be teaching a circuit style class today. Now, the way that I'm gonna be teaching it for you is I'll start on the reformer, and I'll be on the reformer for about 20 minutes. Then I'll be moving over to the chair, love the chair, and we'll be there for 20 minutes, and then the last piece, we'll be using the tower with the mat. So, what I suggest to you is you go through the workout with me, and you stay with me on each piece of equipment. But as you continue to take the class, you might choose to do a little bit of one section on the reformer and then move over to the chair and then move over to the tower and then go back to the chair and back to the reformer.
So, each piece that I'm doing on the apparatus doesn't necessarily have to be executed in the order that I'm teaching it to you, but stick with that order, at least in the beginning, so you can learn it, and then have tons of fun after. So here we are on the reformer. I'm gonna begin with some footwork, and this is footwork with a little bit of a twist. I have the same spring tension on that I would normally do my single-leg footwork. So for me, on the Balanced Body equipment, that's two red springs and one blue.
So, find what works for you. My bar is in mid position, my headrest is up, and I'm ready to go. Now, I'll begin my placing my legs over the foot bar. So it's right resting behind my knee. My tailbone is pretty close to the front edge of the carriage, and then as I roll down, you'll see that I've got not only enough room to lie down, but I have some space between my shoulders and the blocks.
That's where you wanna be. So take your time. Find that setup. Squeeze your inner thighs together. Drop the tailbone down into a pelvis-neutral position.
Draw the ribs and abdominals in and up. Take the arms overhead, wider than the shoulder blocks. Start to circle the arms around to the sides as you nod your chin towards your chest. Now, just for a moment, pause. Press down with your legs.
The idea here is to get out of the hip flexors as much as possible. Exhale, flex, scoop, and roll, rolling to a C-curve position. Inhale at the top. Start to roll back down. Exhale, massage the spine, opening the arms wide again.
Inhale, nod the chin. Exhale. (Courtney exhales) Push down with the legs. Breathe in, begin to roll down, and exhale, take your time. Flex and then lengthen.
One more like this, nodding the chin as the arms circle in, coming into your hundred position. Palms are still up. (Courtney exhales) Coming up, taking your time as you roll down, circling the arms around, taking the heels of the feet onto the foot bar and flexing up into abdominal crunch. Feet are hip distance apart, tailbone heavy. Press all the way out for a moment.
Exhale, resist to come back in. Inhale to press, and exhale to pull. Now, if you feel like you're sliding back into those shoulder blocks, you may have to put a sticky underneath your bottom, but you should be away enough that you feel like you can curl up without those being in your way. Let's continue with our bilateral presses. Exhale to pull.
Last three like this. (Courtney exhales) Two. (Courtney exhales) And one. (Courtney exhales) Single-leg footwork. One leg comes off.
Press out and pull in. We'll do five times. Now, because you're in a flexed up position, you can see what's happening in the hips and pelvis. You can see what's happening at the feet, so make those corrections to improve your form. Adding a lift and a twist as you press out, rotate towards the knee that's bent and come back through center.
(Courtney exhales) Push down through the opposite heel. Five repetitions per variation. So two more here, and one. (Courtney exhales) Bicycle leg. Straighten it and bend it, five times.
(Courtney exhales) At that moment when your pressing leg straightens, you should be in your highest abdominal crunch. Hold the next one, freeze. Extend the leg to the sky. Reach the opposite hand towards the ankle. As the carriage comes in, twist to center, lift up.
Exhale, rotate to the leg. (Courtney exhales) Three more. (Courtney exhales) Two. (Courtney exhales) And on the next one, hold. (Courtney exhales) Lift up for five, reaching to the ankle, four, pressing down through the hips, three, (Courtney exhales) two, (Courtney exhales) one, and come all the way in for a mini-break.
Toes on, press out. Take a moment. Lift and lower. Just find this length again. Find your Pilates breath.
Our goal is to create strength in our center without creating stiffness, so just let it all open up for a moment before we go into the other side. Heels lift high. Bend your knees and take the heels of the feet on. Let's begin with the bilateral presses again. Flex up, all the way out, and control to come in.
So, you're not up here just to work your abdominals. You're up here to self-correct. So how are the knees tracking? Are they over the mid-feet? Do you notice the legs are not straightening all the way?
Can you draw up through the front of the thighs a little bit more? What about the feet? Are you drawing back with the toes each time you press out? See if you can be a little more passive in the feet and push from the hip extensors. Here we go, five, and four, hips are level.
Use the back body to press. Three, stay lifted. Two. Adding the rotation on the next one. Exhale, press, lift, and rotate.
If you're into the shoulder blocks, slide on down. (Courtney exhales) Three more like this, (Courtney exhales) keeping the elbows wide, crossing opposite armpit to shoulder or opposite armpit to hip, (Courtney exhales) adding your bicycle here, (Courtney exhales) and stretch the leg long. (Courtney exhales) And stretch. This is a lot about timing and sequence, so at the moment that your pressing leg is straight, boom, you're into your best rotated abdominal crunch. One more here.
(Courtney exhales) Extend the leg. Reach the hand to the outer part of the ankle. As the leg drops down, the arm goes up, and exhale, lift and twist. Now, keep that gesture leg long and strong. Two.
(Courtney exhales) Three. (Courtney exhales) Four. And holding for five, lift up. Saw off your baby toe. Four, three, two, one, bring it in, bring it down.
Hands come down. Second set. Just take a moment. Let everything open up. The idea with doing the footwork in flexion is that you should still get the benefits of doing your leg and footwork.
So, if you find that lifting up compromises your form, perhaps you're not able to maintain the pelvic neutral position, then just work your way to that variation. Maybe only do a few reps in flexion and go back down to supine, and then build your way up. Bend your knees, come all the way in. Taking the backs of the legs onto the foot bar again, inhale, open the arms, nod the chin. Exhale, (Courtney exhales) flex up.
Inhale, begin to roll through your C curve. Exhale down. Three more times. (Courtney exhales) And take your time. Count the vertebra, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine 10.
Try not to miss a bone. (Courtney exhales) Last time like this, and we're gonna stay up on the next one. Nod your chin towards your chest, exhale. (Courtney exhales) Curl up. Come to a side position.
I leave the same springs on here for my side line footwork. Your head, neck, and shoulders will need to be supported. Your options could be rest your head here, rest your head here, or use a prop. So find what's best for you. Top foot goes onto the foot bar.
Toes point forward. Bottom leg stretches long. Just take a moment, press out, and pause. So in this position, I should feel my inner thighs working. That's what's helping to keep this lower leg from collapsing.
My inner thighs also get me into my deep pelvic floor, so that connection's important. Exhale, press all the way out to a straight leg, engaging through the seat. Inhale, resist to come in. (Courtney exhales) And down. We're gonna do five repetitions per variation here.
So this is four, to a straight leg, and this is five. Hold the position. Bottom leg squeezes up, and two, three, four, and five. Come all the way in. Slide the top foot back so it's the toes that are on.
The heel is lifted only two to three inches. Second set. Press all the way out. Straight leg, find the alignment. Lift through those floating ribs.
Inhale, bend the knees. Push out. Two. (Courtney exhales) Three. (Courtney exhales) Four.
And five. Little squeeze up, two, three, this is your chance to get more into your deep abdominals, and five. Bring it all the way in. Take the heel down and pivot on the heel, finding external rotation without rotating in the hips. Press out to a straight leg, and resist to come in.
Two. Each time you press out, just rotate a little bit more, getting into those glutes, feeling the inner thigh wrapping to become the outer thigh. Two more. (Courtney exhales) And one. Straighten that bottom leg more.
Bring your attention to here. Squeeze, two, three, four, five, and come in, taking the toes on but staying in external rotation. Now you're not up into your highest releve, so you just drop an inch or two. Exhale, press out to a straight leg. Hips are square and level.
This is two. Push away. It's like there's a party going on in your neighbor's backyard, right, and you've got a fence, and you wanna see what they're doing, so you push, and then you just come up a little bit more to see, right? Yeah. And press.
(Courtney exhales) One more time. Press, find that length. Squeeze, two, three, four, five, and resist to come all the way in. Press out, lower the heel. Lift the heel and resist to come in.
Press, lower, lift, and resist. Press, lower, lift, two more. Press, lower, lift, and resist. One more. Press, lower, lift, and resist to come in.
Nicely done. Now, there's a reason that we worked to wake up the glute, okay. The next series that we're doing is facing front. So before we go into our footwork on the other side, remove a spring or two. I'd love for you to have one spring on.
I have one red. Put your headrest down if it's not already. So, the leg that was doing all the pressing, that leg where you're feeling your glute, that's the foot that needs to be forward now. So, here we are, coming into a lunge position. Now, you'll notice, I have my toes curled underneath me on my back leg.
I don't need it yet, but I will need it in a second, so make sure that you're there. You can uncurl the toes temporarily. Let's begin just with some bicep curls. (Courtney exhales) Elbows high. So, ribs are closed.
Shoulders are over hips. And you should be feeling that seat that you were just working and that ankle that you were just working. (Courtney exhales) Let's change our bicep curls to chest expansion. (Courtney exhales) (Courtney exhales) collarbones are wide. (Courtney exhales) And now that we know them both, let's do it alternating.
Curl and press, switch. Curl and press. Now, this is where you test the water. If you feel like your balance is compromised here, I'd love for you to continue practicing this series. (Courtney exhales) If you feel like you have a strong foundation and you wanna advance to even further, curl those back toes under, because we're going to be rising up.
So you need that back foot to be strong and the front foot to be strong as well. Now, I will tell you this exercise looks a little bit scarier than it is. The springs and the straps are there to support you, but remember to connect with your center before moving. Inhale in preparation. Arms are forward.
As you exhale, you rise up to do a bicep curl. Now, in this position, I've got quite a lot of tension. I don't feel very wobbly. I actually feel very secure. It's during the down that I have to really control myself.
Exhale up. (Courtney exhales) Inhale, down. Knee taps. Exhale up. (Courtney exhales) Inhale down.
Three more. Exhale up. (Courtney exhales) Inhale, down. Two more. Exhale up. (Courtney exhales)
Inhale down. Now you see why we had to get into those inner thighs and glutes. Go halfway down with the legs. Just the arms. Five, (Courtney exhales) four, drive down through your front heel, three, two, (Courtney exhales) and one. (Courtney exhales)
But you're not done yet. Go all the way down. Hook up your straps. Hold onto the shoulder blocks. Let's open up the front of the hips by going into a high plank position.
So, find your alignment. Scoop up through the belly. Strong arms. Take both legs back. Now maybe just the hold is where you wanna stay.
To add on, forward presses. Inhale to push. (Courtney exhales) Exhale to pull, five of them. This is two. (Courtney exhales) Three. (Courtney exhales)
Four. (Courtney exhales) And five. (Courtney exhales) Take one knee down with grace, then the other. Sit back. If you need a stretch, take it, and we're gonna repeat the whole series from the side leg work, okay?
So, we need to add a spring or two, depending on what you had for the other side. Come down into your side line position and recreate the same cervical support you had on the other side. Take your top foot onto the foot bar, so your knee's traveling over your midfoot. Straighten your bottom leg long, abdominals in, and press out. Now, from here, bending into your front knee and pushing through the heel to find that seat activation.
Five presses. (Courtney exhales) Now that you know where we're going, you can really start to feel why it's important to get the seat on this leg and the inner thigh on the bottom leg so that you can balance in that lunge position. Bottom leg lifts up, two, three, four, and five. Resist to come in. Slide the foot down so that it's toes on, heel lifted just a little bit.
Press out and resist to come in, five times. Exhale. (Courtney exhales) And control. Two, (Courtney exhales) and control. Straighten that back leg a little bit more.
Three, and four. Lift up through your ribs. Push out, stay out. Squeeze, little lifts. One, two, three, four, and five.
Resist to come in. Pivot on the heel. Externally rotate but keep the hips as square as you can. Press out. (Courtney exhales) Resist to come in.
Go for a full range of motion here. Two, and three. Stay long and engaged through the lower leg. Four. (Courtney exhales) And five.
Squeeze to lift up, two, three, four, five, and come all the way in. Maintaining the shape, just take the toes on. Heel lifted high, bottom leg lifted. Exhale, press out to a straight leg. Inhale to come in.
Find those square, level hips. That's two. (Courtney exhales) Three, four, deepen that rotation if you can, finding the inner thigh, wrapping. Squeeze up. Two, three, four, five, and resist to come in.
Starting to feel it. Press out. Lower the heel. Lift the heel and bend to come in. Press out.
Stretch, lift, bend. So, really important that our ankles are not only strong, but flexible. (Courtney exhales) And come in, last two. Press, lower. Lift, resist.
Last one. Press, lower, lift, and resist to come all the way in. Help yourself come up on to a seated position. Remove a spring or two so you're left with only one spring on, I have a red, and find your lunge position. Now, you have to be in a place where eventually, you can curl those toes underneath you if you're gonna be rising up.
But in the meantime, we can chill. So, let's try the bicep curls again here. Shoulders stacked, abdominals in and engaged. Exhale. (Courtney exhales) So now that we can anticipate the challenge that's down the road, really feel that sequence in your body, stabilization of the core, before we pull with the arms.
(Courtney exhales) Two more here, then chest expansion. (Courtney exhales) Take the arms back. Press. This is where you get to test the waters. So drive down through your front heel.
You should feel your seat. You should feel your inner thighs on both sides engaged and ready to support you when you come into the lunge balance. Let's try the reciprocal movement of curl and press, switch. (Courtney exhales) Now, we're not the same side to side, so if this side is feeling very challenging to you, you may wanna continue this sequence for a few more days, for a few more classes, until you're able to build that balance to come up to the standing lunge work. Last time.
(Courtney exhales) (Courtney exhales) And take it down. From here, adjust your back foot. Your toes have to be able to touch something. Front foot is forward, abdominals in and engaged. I'm gonna find a focal point, lift my arms, and begin with tension.
Drive my front heel down. Simultaneously, rise up as you bend the elbows to your bicep curl position. Take your time. It's the going down that's hard to control. Exhale, up. (Courtney exhales)
Inhale down. Exhale up. (Courtney exhales) Inhale, control. Three more. Up, straight legs, and down, two more.
(Courtney exhales) And down. Let's go halfway down on the next one. (Courtney exhales) And just do the bicep curls. Five, (Courtney exhales) four, three, two, and one. Resist down, hook up your straps, but don't be in a rush.
We've got one more plank to do. So find the foot bar with your foot. Press out. Prepare, abdominals in and up. Take the opposite foot back.
Maybe this is where you wanna stay. Hold and breathe, breathe and hold. To advance, push forward. Exhale, pull. (Courtney exhales) Push forward.
And pull. Three more. Push forward. (Courtney exhales) Pull. Last two. (Courtney exhales)
And one. (Courtney exhales) Take one knee down carefully, then the other, and we're ready to move onto our next piece of equipment, which is the chair. Good job. Here we are on our next piece of apparatus, which is the chair. Now, after the last series, I really wanna open up the front of my hips, so we're gonna do some bridging.
I have both pedals loaded with one spring, and on this Balanced Body chair, that spring is second from the bottom. So here's the key. You should feel like the pedals are supportive enough for you to lift your hips up, but if they're too heavy, you won't be able to press the pedal down. So play with your resistance and find what's right. Also, I have a pedal that I'm able to split into two, but I have the dowel in so that it's working as one pedal.
It's not gonna be like that the whole time, but that's how we're starting. Begin lying down onto your back with the arches of the feet onto the pedal. So, find the position that's right for you. You should also be able to start in a neutral pelvis. so that when you go into your pelvic curl, you're rocking from a neutral alignment.
Hands down, palms down. Chest is open. Breathe in to prepare. Exhale, scoop the abdominals, using the core to pull your pubic bone towards your chest. I'm barely pressing into my feet at this point.
Then I exhale, start to fire into the seat. Keep the collarbones wide and articulate up. Inhale while at the top. Feel the tailbone reaching under and towards the chair. Exhale, massage the spine down.
Thoracic spine first, and return to pelvis neutral. Now, we've probably done a bridge before, so why don't we amplify it a little bit? Take the arms straight to the sky, collarbones wide. Second set. Exhale, scoop, using the abdominals.
Then you can press into the feet to roll up. (Courtney exhales) Hold the top, inhale, and exhale, massage the spine down. Notice if you're rocking to one side more than the other. See if you can find your center. Let's add on even more.
Breathe in. Exhale, scoop, flex. (Courtney exhales) Inhale, press the pedals down a few inches as the arms open. Exhale, arms come up, pedal comes up. Inhale at the top and exhale, massage the spine down.
Now, if you feel like you need to make an adjustment or two, now's the perfect time to do it. Scoop, lift. (Courtney exhales) Stay at the top. Exhale, press open. (Courtney exhales) Inhale, everything comes back up, and massage the spine down.
Now, on the next one, we're going to try to do three presses the legs and opens with the arms. So let's go. Exhale, flex, scoop. (Courtney exhales) Inhale to prepare. Exhale, one.
Resist back up. (Courtney exhales) Two, resist back up. Three, resist back up. Maybe you can lift the seat a little bit more, and massage the spine down. That was awesome.
Take the arms down, chest is open. Inhale to prepare. Exhale, flex, scoop, roll again. (Courtney exhales) Now, take a moment to feel length through your wrists and through your fingers. Find an open chest position and close rib cage.
Inhale, draw one leg up to the ceiling. Keeping that leg straight and strong, lower the hips halfway down, and lift up by pressing into your stabilizing seat. Four more times. (Courtney exhales) (Courtney exhales) Two. (Courtney exhales) And one. (Courtney exhales)
Bend the knee, place the foot. Massage the spine down, and find your neutral. Second set, other side. Flex, scoop. Feel like you're pulling your sit bones towards your feet.
Stretch longer through your wrists. Open your collarbones. Close the ribs. Inhale, lower halfway down, keeping the pelvis level. Press, point, lift.
That's one. (Courtney exhales) Two. (Courtney exhales) Three. Can you push down to come up, just a little bit more? That's four.
(Courtney exhales) There's five. Place the foot down. Exhale, massage. Even though you're tired, don't collapse. One bone at a time.
Find your neutral pelvis. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm feeling my hamstrings. So let's give it a stretch. Legs are straight. Press down to the pedal.
This is a lot like what we did in the beginning of our class together on the reformer. Nod the chin. Circle the arms. Look to the toes. Exhale, (Courtney exhales) rolling into a C curve.
The only difference now is the legs are straight, but you've gotta push down. If you feel like your legs are coming up, too much happening through the hips. Start to roll down and circle the arms back. Do it again. Inhale.
I like this circle, 'cause it reminds me to get into my back. My lats help me to fire into my obliques, and I need those obliques to come up. (Courtney exhales) Inhale at the top, and exhale, press down into the calves as you articulate down. On the next one, we need to stay up a little bit longer, because we're gonna remove the dowel. So nod your chin to your chest.
Inhale, (Courtney exhales) exhale up. Now, depending on where you are or your chair, you will be able to remove the dowel just as you are. Otherwise, make a quick switch. Pretend like it didn't even happen. Legs back on, here you are, and roll back down.
Seamless transition. Great job. So come back to your arches on, again, finding that 90-degree or so position at the hips. Now that the pedals are split, I'm able to push them independently. Inhale, preparation.
Exhale, scoop. (Courtney exhales) Roll and lift. Now, I'm gonna try to push the pedal down with my left leg, but as I do, I'm trying to lift my hips higher, like there's a fire burning underneath my tush. Hips a little bit higher when I press down, and resist to come up. (Courtney exhales) And resist.
Now, even if you visually don't see my pelvis or feel your pelvis moving higher, you should feel like you're engaging more into the seat than if you were just to let it drop, okay? Let's do two more each side. (Courtney exhales) And up. (Courtney exhales) And up. Hips high, resist.
Last time. (Courtney exhales) And up. And massage down. (Courtney exhales) I think we did a pretty good job on that. So your reward after doing that exercise correctly is that you make it harder the next time around.
It's not fair, I know. Inhale as you prepare. Exhale, flex, scoop, and roll (Courtney exhales) to come up. Let's keep the hands down. Press one pedal down.
As that pedal comes up, the other one goes down. Hips are high, here we go. Five, (Courtney exhales) four, (Courtney exhales) three, (Courtney exhales) two, (Courtney exhales) hips up, one. (Courtney exhales) Lift a little bit higher, and massage down. Okay, I'm over the backs of my legs now.
So nod your chin, flex up, draw your knees to your chest, give them a hug, send your legs to the sky, split your legs, flex your feet. Tap the pedal with one leg. Stretch, stretch. It's a little easy scissor here. Less abs, more stretch.
(Courtney exhales) One more, each side. (Courtney exhales) (Courtney exhales) (Courtney exhales) And release. Nicely done. Come on up to a seated position. Let's place the dowel back through so the pedals move as one.
Take one of your springs off. So now I have one spring, and that spring is still loaded second from the bottom, but you'll have to pick what's right for you. And come to a kneeling position beside your chair. Now, the only way to get into the perfect position is through trial and error, 'cause everyone's arms length, torso, and femur length is a little bit different. So I'm gonna see how I do starting here, but you'll probably see my shift a little bit, and I want you to do that as well.
Take your arms out to the letter T. Inhale, roll the shoulders open. Lift one arm up, the other down. The fingertips should touch the pedal slightly in front of your shoulder. Now, lift up to go over, coming into lateral flexion.
And almost simultaneously, take your outside leg to lift it out to the side. Now, I wanna come a little bit further away. That feels better for me, so that's my adjustment. Lift that outside leg up. Tap the ground.
I lift it up. Five. (Courtney exhales) Four. (Courtney exhales) Three, close the ribs. (Courtney exhales) Two, and one.
Take the knee down. Slowly rise all the way back up and come back up to your kneeling position. Round two, lift up to go over. Find the pedal. Exhale, press it down, almost at the same time the leg comes out.
The pedal's all the way down to the ground. Lift the leg, circle it. Five, four, three, two, one, reverse. (Courtney exhales rhythmically) Now, instead of coming back up, plant the foot. Look to the pedal.
That's where you're going. Take both hands there and extend both legs straight. Shoulders down the back. Bring one knee in, (Courtney exhales) switch to the other. In, in, in, in.
Five, four, lift your sternum, three, two, one, and done. Now, what I like to do here as my reward, open the knees wide, float the pedal up with control, and sit the hips back so I get to open my pecs. Now, you may not love planks, but they're better than pushups, right? So just remember that. We didn't do pushups.
Come on up, and let's try this series on the other side. So, begin in a kneeling position. You'll probably have to readjust. You should be able to touch the pedal. Lengthen up.
One arm goes up as the other goes down. Reach to the pedal. Laterally flex the spine as the pedal comes down, and almost at the same time, you shift into your side kneeling legwork. Arm is long, chest is open. Make a little adjustment or two if you'd like.
Lift your top leg up. Tap it down, (Courtney exhales) lift it up. Find more length through your side body. Three, four, and five. Bring the knee in.
Take your time. Rise up. And let's do it again. Lift up to lengthen. (Courtney exhales) Lift the leg up, stabilize the rib cage and the pelvis, circle five, four, three, two, reverse.
Five, four, three, two, one. Plant the foot. Look to the pedal. That's where you're going. Take both hands on.
Pivot turn. Come back to your plank position. Bring one knee in and step it back, the other knee in and step it back. Pick up the tempo. (Courtney exhales rhythmically) Five, four, three, two, one, done.
Widen the knees. Let the pedal rise up as you go low. Let's come off the mat and onto the seat of the chair. Nicely done. Let's begin with a seated mermaid to open up the side body.
So sitting up onto the chair, I haven't changed the springs. I think they're good where they are. Hips are square, chest is open, arms to a T. Inhale. Windmill the arms as you laterally flex.
Keep the toe anchored. Just get a nice little stretch into the side body. Scoop the belly, reach to the pedal, lengthen back to the side, and come on back up. We're only doing one more of these before we go into our flow, so enjoy it. Exhale over. (Courtney exhales)
Reach, twist, come back to the side, and lengthen to come all the way up. Perfect. From your mermaid position, send both legs straight and come into your side line position. So find that balance where you're a little teeter-totter. You need enough weight over your upper body off the chair, enough weight from your lower body off the chair.
Ideally, your shoulder's right over your wrist, and you're one long line, not piked forward. Let's keep our hand down as a little training wheel to begin. Exhale, lift up, cinch. Squeeze the inner thighs. Inhale, lengthen to lower.
Lift from underneath. If you'd like to keep your hand here, please do. Otherwise, lift up and down with the hand on the thigh. Try to lift your legs a little bit higher as you come up. We're only doing five for each variation, so you can do it.
Stay with it. Two more. (Courtney exhales) One more. (Courtney exhales) Nice. Split the legs, one leg forward, one leg back.
Hover through the arm and scissor the legs. Five, four, three, two, one, and turn to face towards the pedal. Look at it, 'cause that's where you're going, and take both hands on. When I'm in this position, my belly button is right off the edge of the chair. That's how I know I'm in the right position.
Another alignment to look at is shoulders over wrists. Legs are long, keeping the femurs heavy to begin. Inhale into your extension. Exhale, halfway down. Inhale, bend the elbows, and exhale to press.
Inhale, press to lift. Exhale, halfway down, so I'm in a neutral line. Inhale, bend, and exhale, lift. Now, you can continue with that flow, or if you'd like to advance it, try it single arm. I usually slide back the slightest amount when I go into single arm.
Hand behind the back. Inhaling to lift, exhale, halfway down. Inhale, (Courtney inhales) up, down. Bend and extend. Up, down, bend, and extend.
One more. Up, down, bend, and extend. Other side. Draw up through those abdominals. Hand to the low back.
Find your long dart. Inhale, lift, lower, bend, extend. Inhale, lift, lower, bend, extend. Keep those legs alive. Lower, bend, extend.
Chest lifts, lower, bend, one more time. Up, (Courtney exhales) bend, and extend. Take both hands on. Now, come even further off than you were before, keeping the pedals down, finding the most comfortable position, 'cause it's not that comfortable. Right about there is working for me.
Legs lift up. Swim the legs. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, and lower. Second set of hip extension work. Inhale to prepare.
Legs come up. Together. Up, together. Up, together. Up.
Stay connected through those core muscles. Together. And up, two more. (Courtney exhales) And up, one more. (Courtney exhales) And up.
Take it down, awesome. Taking your inside hand onto the pedal, preparing for the side work on the other side. So, as graceful as you can, flip around. Use your training wheel to begin. Squeeze the legs together.
Exhale, lift, cinch. Inhale, lengthen, lower. To advance, hand to thigh. Lift up and lower. Keep those legs squeezed together, collarbones open, and lower. (Courtney exhales)
Lift up, and lower. (Courtney exhales) Cinch as you come up, cinch as you go down. One more. (Courtney exhales) Scissor the legs, reach through the arm. Switch, switch, switch, switch, four, three, two, one.
Legs together. Come all the way up. Split the legs to finish how you started in mermaid. Arms out to the side, roll the shoulders open. Inhale up, exhale over.
Keep the leg down and just stretch, opening the side body. Flex, twist, come back to the side, and come all the way up. One more time. Lift, lengthen. (Courtney exhales) Rotate.
Come back to the side, and all the way up. And release down. That was our section on the chair. If you love the chair, you could stay here and do a few more exercises. Otherwise, follow me over to the tower.
Here we are, using the tower. I love using the tower. If you'd have a chance to see some of my other classes on Pilates Anytime, you'll see that I'm doing a lot of vertical standing work on the floor using the tower. That's not what we're going to be doing today, however. I hope that you enjoy this just as much.
I have the short yellow springs with the triangle handles on. I'll be doing a series of four-point kneeling. I'll be working both my upper body and the lower body, and then we've got some fun push-through stuff to do as well. When I come up to a kneeling position, I hook up the spring to be right around shoulder height. So play with this for you.
This is what works for me. Taking the triangle handle in one hand, and then moving back. Now, because the springs are the same for me here as they are for you at home if you're using a Balanced Body yellow spring, you'll have to adjust your body forward or back to really make this exercise your own. So at any point, go ahead and do that. Starting in a four-point kneeling position, now I wanna move my body over to the same side the spring is coming from.
From here, knees are right underneath my hips, and then my stabilizing arm is right underneath my shoulder. Now, you can even just press down with the spring like I am and perhaps do a few spinal articulation exercises to help you find your neutral position. Lift up through those ribs. One of the things I work on is my head alignment in a four-point kneeling position. So see if you can find that in your own body.
Taking the arm out to the side, it's a straight arm pull. Straight up, and to about the height of the hips. Inhale, resist to come down. (Courtney exhales) Now, I feel so much through my abdominals here. (Courtney exhales) The upper body challenge in certainly there, but for me, it's all about stabilization.
We'll do again five reps per variation. If you'd like to do more, please feel free. On the next one, I'll hold the arm up. (Courtney exhales) Bend the elbow. Exhale, press and extend, keeping your elbow up, locked into your ribs.
Four. Each time I press back, I try to get more length through my spine. Three, (Courtney exhales) two, (Courtney exhales) one, and resist it down. Let's add some pulses, lifting the arm and pumping. Five, four, three, two, one, and resisting down.
Sit back into a child's pose stretch and let the spring give you a pull to decompress that wrist. Our second set will be the same upper body work with lower body integration. So let's set it up again. Now, before I begin the arm, I find my four-point kneeling, opposite leg to arm lifts up. Draw up through the abs.
Make sure that head's in a good position, and let's do it again. This is five, (Courtney exhales) four, three, keep reaching through that back leg, two, and tricep extensions, bend and press. Maybe the leg can lift higher. Press it out, one. Hips are square.
Two. Three. (Courtney exhales) Four. (Courtney exhales) And five. (Courtney exhales) Lower it down.
Keep the leg up. Here are your presses up. Five, four, three, two, one, and take it all the way down. That is not easy. Before we do the other side, grab a hold of both handles.
Move back enough so you've got an awesome amount of tension to support you in your thigh stretch series. So you don't wanna be too close here. Inhale in preparation. Press down into the springs. Exhale as you hinge, one long line.
Inhale, lift your chest, drop the head back. Maybe you can even just go a little bit further in the thighs to open. Come back up to your long line, and lift back up. Now, not only is this just delicious on your spine, but this pull that you're getting is opening up your wrists and elbows, decompressing after the last series. So I push down a little bit and lean.
That's my thigh stretch. Feel free to stop there. I pull to lift my chest up. Now, from here, I can draw back, top of the head down to the mat. Lift it back up, and come all the way through.
Release the other spring, and you're ready to go on the other side. So, remember that you're off to one side, squaring the hips, abdominals engaged. Hand is down. Exhale as you press. (Courtney exhales) Inhale.
Now you will feel right away if one side feels stronger than the other, or perhaps one side feels more coordinated than the other, and that's okay. We all have that. (Courtney exhales) Just find your precision and move from a place of power and strength. Exhale, triceps, five. (Courtney exhales) Four. (Courtney exhales)
Three. Two. And one. (Courtney exhales) And take it down. Here's our pulses up.
Find the length. Five, four, three, two, one, and sit back. Now, you're probably feeling your stabilizing arm. I know I am. But it's good work.
I feel my back, my triceps holding me up. Let's add the leg. So before I even begin, finding the position, sending the opposite leg to arm back and lifting the leg up. Abs in, hips square. Exhale to pull. (Courtney exhales)
Inhale. That's one. (Courtney exhales) Strong back body. (Courtney exhales) (Courtney exhales) And five. (Courtney exhales) Triceps.
Abs in, neck long. Two, (Courtney exhales) three, (Courtney exhales) four, (Courtney exhales) and five. (Courtney exhales) Presses up, straight arm. One, two, three, four, five, and sit back, let it stretch you out. Grabbing a hold of both triangle handles, second side of chest expansion.
Thigh stretch with some chest expansion, I should say. So, abdominals engaged. Shoulders over hips. You'll notice I'm slightly leaning back, 'cause that's because the tension is pulling me so far forward. Find strong glutes and obliques.
Press down, hinge back. (Courtney exhales) Stay here for your chest expansion presses. Down. Two, (Courtney exhales) three, (Courtney exhales) four, (Courtney exhales) five. (Courtney exhales) Chest lifts, arch back, and take it back if you'd like.
Come on up. Thigh stretch first, and all the way back up. One more time. Abs in, shoulders down. Hinge back. (Courtney exhales)
Chest expansion first. One, (Courtney exhales) two, (Courtney exhales) three, four, five. Lift the chest. Hinge. Lift, come back to your thigh stretch, and come all the way up.
Whoo! Thighs on fire. Very nicely done. From here, we can leave the springs. We'll be going into our roll-down next or using the roll-down bar. Excuse me, we'll be going to the push-through bar next.
So, hooking up your spring from above, I have one blue spring loaded from the very top. Come into a seated position facing away from your tower, and then lie on down, bringing the push-through bar with you. So the first thing you're gonna wanna do is find your right starting position. For me, that's the bar right between my chest and my belly button. When I push the bar back, you'll notice that it goes past the vertical frame, and this is what works well for me in this series.
Feet together. Anchor the feet. Make sure the feet are not too close to you. So walk them away a little bit and keep them heavy. Inhale, bringing the bar forward, nodding your chin towards your chest.
This is why we've been practicing our roll-ups so many times today. Flex, scoop, roll. (Courtney exhales) Lift the chest at the top. Inhale, begin to roll through the lower back, and then exhale, roll the rest of the way through, pushing the bar back. I'm gonna inch back one inch.
Second set. Inhale, bringing the bar forward. I watch the bar as it comes forward, and my head follows. Then my eyes shift towards my navel, and I'm looking for that compression as my ribs glide down towards my hips. At the top, the chest opens.
Now, here, I'm pushing out into the bar with my pinky fingers. Inhale, (Courtney exhales) and exhale, flex. And press. Adding on, taking the legs to tabletop position. Breathe in, bring the bar forward, nod the chin, exhale as you come up.
(Courtney exhales) Inhale at the top. Exhale, keep the legs, roll the spine, push the bar through. Adding on further, inhale, bring the bar, nod the chin, lift the head. Exhale. (Courtney exhales) Lift into your teaser.
Bend the knees, roll the spine, roll on through. Good. Now, that's a series that can feel a little rigid, I think. I'm really trying to hold in. So let's add a little bit more dynamic movement to it.
Nod the chin. Keep the knees bent as you roll up. (Courtney exhales) Don't come to your teaser position. We're gonna roll like a ball as we roll down. The shins come to the bar, and we roll up.
(Courtney exhales) We roll down, shins to the bar, and up. (Courtney exhales) Little ball. Roll down, shins to the bar. (Courtney exhales) Roll up. Next time, teaser.
Roll up, and lift. Do it again. Massage the spine. One. Roll.
(Courtney exhales) Two. Roll. (Courtney exhales) Three. Next time, teaser. (Courtney exhales) And roll all the way down, good.
That's a lot of fun. If you wanna keep doing it, go ahead, keep doing it. Okay, I'm gonna take the bar back behind me now. So I'm stopping the bar from sling shotting. So don't let go.
And I'm pushing out with my pinky fingers out to the sides, preparing for a rollover. The legs come to tabletop. Inhale, extend the legs long, abs in. Exhale (Courtney exhales) to roll up. Now, from here, I use the bar, see how my shin comes on, to help me find my control balance position.
So it's a fun exercise, but it's also preparing you for something bigger down the road. Find the bar. Opposite leg lifts up. Good. Both legs come low.
Exhale, (Courtney exhales) roll through, and why not? (Courtney exhales) Come up here. Let's do it again, roll down. Legs come up, send them long. (Courtney exhales) There's your rollover.
You see how my voice doesn't change when I roll over? It's 'cause I'm not onto my neck. One shin onto the bar as you lift the opposite leg. Push out into the bar. Set your shoulders strong.
Straighten your leg a little bit more. Scoop your belly. Switch. Shin to bar, abs are in, stretch. Both legs low.
Control it. (Courtney exhales) And you're up. (Courtney exhales) One more time. Push the bar back. Set it up.
(Courtney exhales) This time, shin to bar. Lift up. You know the position 'cause you've been here before. Let's switch the legs three times. One, (Courtney exhales) two, (Courtney exhales) three. (Courtney exhales)
Both legs low. Roll through. Take your time, no momentum. Bring the bar forward, nod the chin. (Courtney exhales) Exhale up, and bend the knees.
Good. Let's bend you back the other way, and then you're done. So the first sections of our workout together were a little bit more focused on finding strength and unilateral balance. Here we're adding a little bit more movement in the spine. It feels good.
So now when I come up to my kneeling position, I hook up my purple springs, which are my leg springs, about my height, so right around the top of my head, and then for this one you could use the soft loops if that's more comfortable for you, or you could even use your triangle handles. We're not putting our feet in the straps, sorry. I rarely, I rarely do that here. At home, I do. (Courtney laughs) Okay.
So I'm here. I'm not sure why that is. So, let me show you the treat before you do the work. The treat is you get to go into this child's pose position where the springs are opening up your lats, shoulders are down the back. Your arms are weightless.
It's awesome. But in order to get there, you need to work for it. So come onto your abdomen. Separate your legs the width of the mat that you're on. Straighten your legs.
Externally rotate, taking the arms by your sides. Head is down, shoulders are down, abs are in. Now, when I say shoulders are down, don't put them down by your ankles, but keep them in a secure place on your back where they're not gonna move. Inhale in preparation. Begin to press into the springs.
Exhale, press down to come up. (Courtney exhales) Inhale, start to lengthen. Exhale, lengthen the rest of the way down. Inhale, exhale. (Courtney exhales) Press down to come up.
Inhale, begin to lengthen. Exhale, down. Let's add on. Inhale, (Courtney exhales) exhale. Come on up.
One arm up, just a little bit. Switch, switch. Four, three, two, one. And send it down. Next time, we'll be drawing a circle.
The circle will bar around like this. It's a little bit like a Gyrotonic machine. Inhale, exhale, abs in. (Courtney exhales) Press down to come up. Draw the hands close, then away.
Three. (Courtney exhales) Two. (Courtney exhales) One. (Courtney exhales) We'll reverse when we come up. Inhale, exhale.
(Courtney exhales) Press down to come up. Draw the hands away, then in. (Courtney exhales) Three, two, one. And take it all the way down. Inhale to prepare.
Exhale, you're not coming up as high. Press into the springs. Lift up. (Courtney exhales) Legs come up. One leg comes high as the opposite arm presses down.
Now, this is a slow swim. So there's not a shark chasing you. You're totally cool. You're just swimming in the ocean, nothing to worry about. 10, abs in.
Eight, long through the spine. Six, take this time to realign your body. Four, three, two, one, and done. Remember what I showed you? Hang on.
Dig your elbows down so you can press back. The further back you are, the better I think this feels. Drop the head. Let it open you. Sway the arms from side to side.
Let the body go for the ride if you need it. Find your beautiful Pilates lateral and posterior breath. You worked hard today. You worked everything. And we are on a ton of awesome, fun equipment.
I hope that you did have fun, and thank you for joining me. I'll see you guys again soon. Bye!