Class #2476

Tower Workout

40 min - Class


Grab your unitard and join Tracey Mallett in this fun Tower class! She integrates the upper and lower body for a total body workout. She also adds a few balance challenges and she reminds us why it is important to keep practicing.
What You'll Need: Tower

About This Video


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Hi, I'm Tracey Mallett. Today I am sporting my new unitard, and you're wondering why I'm telling you I'm sporting a unitard. Well, 25 years ago I was actually in London, introduced to Pilates and I was wearing the same, a unitard. It was probably purple, but it was very similar. So, basically everything comes around in a full circle.

So, I'll get onto the workout. We're going to do a fabulous workout today. We're going to use the wall unit, and we're gonna be integrating upper and lower body and it's a total body workout. All right, let's get down onto the mat. Alright.

Let's grab our dowel, and we're gonna reach the arms out straight and the legs out straight. So we're gonna press down, open up your chest, open up your collar bones, and looking up inhale here, exhale and we're gonna roll down. Inhale here, exhale and curl yourself all the way up. And come up to a straight spine. Inhale, exhale round.

Now remember, as you're rolling down, you're pressing down into the bar. The most you press down into bar, the more you're gonna activate the lats and the serratus, and the more abdominal contraction you're gonna get with those intercostal muscles. Lift up, inhale, exhale rolling down. (breathing) One more time, inhale, exhale, round. From here, we're gonna press and pull in.

And pull in, elbows going directly to the side of the body. (breathing) Just do a couple more. Hold it there, inhale, round. Lift up to a straight spine. Now, we're gonna pivot down, down the right side of your body, back to the center, up on the left side of your body and back into center.

Let's go back the opposite direction, down the left, back to center, and lift up with the right. Let's just keep going in the same fashion down the right side of your body, back, and lift up working those obliques, coming back to a straight spine. Opposition, drop your shoulder blades down, down the one side of the body, exhale as you lift up. From here, take you hand into the center, and place your opposite hand and wrap it around your midsection. We're gonna roll down into the center and then roll back up again.

This time, you're gonna roll down into the center, open, reach, wrap, center, roll up. And again, so initiate with the core as you're rolling down, rotate, reach, center, and then back. And again, rolling down, rotate, reach, center, and back. And again, round, rotate, reach, center, and back. Last time, round, now rotate your torso, reaching out, back to center, and lifting up.

Switching with the other side, make sure it's in the center. Wrap around, and let's just roll down first. Exhale, curl into extension. Exhale curl. (breathing) Let's add the little rotation, so we roll down, rotate, reach, wrap, and come back up again.

Now, be mindful that you're keeping both hip bones down on the floor as you rotate. The opposition hip bone, the opposite hip bone is to stay firmly planted on the mat. And again, round, rotate, reach, center, and lift. And again round, rotate, reach, cross center, and lift. Drop your shoulder blades down, rotate, reach, and let's just do one more, curl, rotate, reach in that beautiful stretch, center, curl yourself all the way up.

Reach both hands forward into that nice stretch. Curl in that beautiful hamstring stretch. Flex your toes up, press the energy out through the heels, enjoy that stretch. And then slowly articulate all the way up to a straight spine. From here, we're going to bring the knees together.

And from here, we're gonna take your feet over the top, and we're gonna slowly roll down. Now look, my head, neck, and shoulders are off the floor, now from here we're gonna try and roll all the way up, and using the abs by rolling, and we're gonna slightly bend the elbows as we come up, and you're gonna go up to an extended position. The elbows are going to the side of your body. And then, you're gonna roll down a little bit. This is just assisting you right now.

So you can see my elbows, and you're rolling as you go all the way up, lifting to here. Elbows are slightly bent. And then you're gonna roll down slowly. So the arms are assisting you just a tad to get yourself up, inhale exhale round. Draw in those abdominals, lifting up into the extension, and then extend the arms and articulate them, really focus in on that articulation.

(breathing) Lift up, and then extend the arms. Inhale, exhale, lift, round as you lift up. Now, as you lift up, open your chest, bend your elbows, and lift up, and then round back, slowly round back, head and shoulders are off the floor. (breathing) Lift up, open that breastbone up to the sky, your heart center's reaching, and then round, round, round, round, back, one more time. Exhale (breathing) Lifting up, elbows bent, and now extend the arms and gracefully come all the way down.

Bring the legs back, roll yourself up, and release, nice work, alright. Let's work those legs now. So, get that lovely safety strap. (humming) Alright, and we're gonna bottom load it. And do two adds.

There we go. Okay, we're gonna come down, to work our legs. (metal clinking) Alright. Now, we're gonna put our heels first, wanna make sure that And put the hands either side of your body. Now, the heels are in the center of your bar.

Now, we're gonna try and drop the tailbone down onto the floor, reach your hands out and they're gonna be in neutral position. We're gonna inhale, bend the knees, exhale and push up. Now, obviously depending on your flexibility, depending on where you're going to be on your reformer Not your reformer, your trapeze table. Inhale down, exhale and push up. Inhale down, exhale lift up, relax the head, neck and shoulders as you lift up.

Four more. (breathing) Three. (exhaling) Two. (exhaling) One more, replace the heels with the toes. You're in a neutral position here, inhale bend, exhale lift up. (breathing)

Be mindful that you're keeping your knees in line with your ankles. Try and keep that tailbone down into the floor. (breathing) Three more. (breathing) And let's turn your feet out into your Pilates V position. Inhale bend the knees, exhale and lift up.

The knees are going just in front of your springs, and the heels are connected together. Gonna really open up your hips. Now remember, as you push away, focus on drawing in the abdominals, you're pushing away with the abdominals. If you put your mind so that you're pushing away with the abs, it'll really help you engage the core as you're pushing away. (breathing) Just do a few more. (breathing)

Now, moving away, we're gonna go externally rotated at the hip, and place your foot on the edge of your toes. Now, we're gonna bend your knees, slowly bend your knees, your knees are going to the corners of the mat, and then you're pushing back out again. So knees going to the corner of your mat, and then back. Inhale, so there's an incredible amount of flexibility here, remember this is all about flexibility. Alright, think of really stretching out those hamstrings, you open up your hips, you're working the rotator muscles in your hips.

But don't forget, your abdominals are active. They're stabilizing your pelvis as you move, So put a little bit more effort into using your abs as you push. Exertion, inhale, exhale, exertion. There you go, three more. (breathing) And lift, replace the heels with the toes.

There we go, ready and inhale, exhale. (breathing) Five more. (breathing) And last time, nice work, bring your toes into the center, flex your feet, lift up and down, there's your hams Obviously your hamstrings will stretch, and now we're working your achilles and your calf muscles, and let's walk through the feet quickly. Nice stretch in those calves, we always forget the calves. Let's do four more, four, and three, and two, and one, flex your feet.

Hold that, and then we're gonna bend your knees. Bring your feet out, alright let's move out. And we're gonna take one of the springs off. Take the red spring off. Alright, let's come back again.

Alright, so let's bring both toes up. Hands on the bar, now bring the tailbone off the mat There's that beautiful lower lumbar spine stretch. Now, let's come all the way up into our monkey. We're gonna come all the way up. Flex, point, and then bend the knees and curve like a cat, and then lift the hips.

Let's try that again, drop the tailbone down, lift all the way up, flex the feet, point the toes, and then bend the knees and round like a cat as you lift the hips and again. Flex, point, back. And lift, flex, point, and back. Let's do one more. Lift, flex, point, and then back.

So worth it for that stretch. Let's relax, and let's turn around to the side and come out. Beautiful, alright, let's come out of this. Let's just take a little off first. Alright.

And we're gonna move on to some strap work now, my favorite. Alrighty, so I've got two straps here. Let's lay back down again. Now if we're here, we should take hold of the bars here and push yourself down so your arms are straight. So I want you to think of pushing away, and as you push, you're depressing in that position.

Drop your tail bone down, and just reach the legs out. So go into that position for, see I'm pushing and depressing and my tail bone is down, so let's start with some froggies, very simple, we're gonna bend your knees, and then extend out, you wanna keep your heels in line with the knees as you push out. (breathing) Inhale, think of the knees on the same plane as your heels, and then push back. Focus on the back of the leg, the hamstrings. Try not to let the hip flexors ping your leg back.

You gotta focus on the back of your body, the extensors, the posterior chain is doing all the work. But you're pushing with the hands and depress. Sometimes, if I focus on pushing in opposition, it really helps activate a little bit more through the hamstrings and the inner thighs. 'Cause it forces me to be in the correct position. Three more. (exhaling)

Two more. (exhaling) One more. (exhaling) Bring it all the way up, tail bone down. Drop down, pelvic curl all the way up, roll the tail bone down, and come back up. And drop down, keep your feet still as you can, pelvic curl all the way up, roll down one vertebra at a time, and come back up again.

Inhale, drop the legs down, now pelvic curl, you're in that pelvic bridge position, curl down upper, middle, lower, really work that spine, neutral, back up. And again, depress your scapula, push away, drop the legs down. Now, pelvic curl, keep your feet still, upper, middle, lumbar spine, tail bone down, control it, lift it back up again. One more, those legs those inner thighs are on fire. Pelvic curl, hold it there, and let's see if we can do some circles, circles, and circles keeping that hover, keep that hover.

Four and three and two and one, hold it, and then down, around and up. (breathing) Breathe (breathing) Four more. (breathing) Hold it still, pelvic curl down, lifting up. Coming to parallel, drop the legs down, flutter kick. And flutter kick, and down, and up.

And down, little flutter kick, and up. Pull your shoulder blades down, try not to carry too much stress and tension in the neck, head, neck, and shoulders, pull the work into the lower body, and your abs are stabilizing, allowing you to move at the hip joint. They're doing a lot of work there. Can we do one more, or are you already dying? Okay, let's do one more for good luck, there we go.

And up, stretch, that was well worth it. Drop your shoulders down, and push on your thighs, just about your knee. So you've got those two little sticks there, you know my favorite sticks, from your ribs, your bottom rib to you hip, you've got those sticks. So there's no hiking, and hold that stretch. And then slowly bring the legs together.

Let's come out of this position here, and draw the knees in, nice work. Alright, we're gonna roll up. We're gonna take the strap, and we're gonna come all the way down. Now, are you in the middle of your mat? Your leg is gonna be the corner of you mat.

So it's a great way of knowing whether your in the right position, your body's in the middle, and your leg is in the corner. I'm gonna put my hand here for support 'cause the spring is a little heavy. So I'm externally rotated, and I'm just gonna go up and down. Now, you have to be careful, 'cause you're gonna wanna fling the leg all the way up, 'cause the spring is pulling you. And you've gotta stop the spring from pulling you.

So yeah, the underneath obliques are firing, the top oblique is firing, the hand on the forward is stabilizing your body. And let's just do four more like this, four, lift, three, lift, two, lift, one. Hold it there, coming to parallel. Underneath leg is gonna join in. (breathing) But that top leg has gotta stay stable, that's the hard part. (breathing)

Four more. (breathing) Hold it, kick, flutter kick, kick, kick, kick, kick kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick kick, kick, kick, kick, kick! There you go, that's my little tune. Did that make you laugh, good, that means you did it. Good job, let's go to the other side. Alright.

Let's come down. Alright, get ourselves into position here. The middle of your reformer, hand in front, and your feed towards the corner of the mat. Slightly externally rotated, we're gonna press down. Keep the hand in front.

Remember if the purple springs are too heavy, there's always the yellow springs, which is probably advisable to start with, is the yellow spring. And then graduate up to the purple springs. Let's do five more. (breathing) And four. (exhaling) And three. (exhaling)

And two. (exhaling) And one, now into parallel, underneath leg. (breathing) Keep that top leg still, that's it. Four more, and four, and three, and two, and one, kick! Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick kick, kick, kick, kick Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick kick, kick, yes Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick Kick, kick, kick, kick, Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick! And bring the legs down. And bend your knees, and gracefully, let's come out.

And then roll all the way up. How are you guys feeling, good? Alright, let's move on. Okay, so I'm gonna move on to some upper body. I'm gonna take, for now, I've got two yellow springs.

And I put them on the wall unit here, the second from the last hole at the top, okay? So we're gonna come back, now you're gonna find where your resistance is. Your feet are hip width apart, and in this position, what I'm gonna ask you to do is come back a little bit more, so you can feel the resistance there, and I want you to come into like a wall squat. So, our goal is to try and get the shoulders over the hips, so you're in that lovely wall squat here. Shoulder blades are pulled back.

And what I'm gonna ask you to do is draw the elbows back and then forwards. So your core is activating first before we even move the arms, we exhale, (exhaling) inhale. Take your weight onto the heels of the feet, so the toes are up. (exhaling) There we go, let's just do a few more like this. And three.

And two. And one, hold it there, let's go a little bit deeper if you can. Now, we're gonna take your right hand first, right hands comes back, and we're gonna rotate, and you're look over you shoulder, and then as the arm goes forward, the other arm goes in the opposite direction. You're looking down over your shoulder. And then replace, so you can see my upper body is rotating.

So now, I'm incorporating the obliques, I'm pulling my shoulder blades down, I'm looking back. Your gaze follows the shoulder. And you're breathing as you rotate, those obliques are firing. Now, be careful that you keep your palm facing inwards. And don't lift up, go down a little bit lower.

I'm gonna go a little bit faster now, ready? (breathing) Oblique, oblique, and four, and three, breathing. And two. And one. Back to center, back into the squat, pelvic tilt.

(exhaling) And neutral. (exhaling) And neutral. You may use the abdominals closing that pelvic tilt. (exhaling) Push back a little bit more. You should have resistance here.

(exhaling) Four more. Four, and back. Three, and back. Two, and back. And one, hold it here, pulse for eight seven, six, five, four, put your palms flat.

We pull back and forth, back and forth, now the elbows are high, somewhat in line with your shoulder joint, and I'm still in that beautiful squat. (exhaling) Can you give me four more? Four, pull those abs in. Three, neutral spine. And two, one more, hold it! Release and come all the way up.

Nice work, turn around. We're gonna put your hands out into hug a tree, but this time I want you to think of pitching your body forward. So I'm gonna come a little bit further forwards. I'm gonna find where I can feel the core, so I'm hinging forwards from a diagonal line from the crown of the head to the heel. Now, I'm gonna exhale and pull together.

You may have to adjust yourself, I'm gonna adjust myself a little bit more, 'cause the spring's a little heavier. Exhale. (exhaling) Inhale, now it's coming (exhaling) all from your core. It's very challenging to talk while you're doing this, because it is, if you're talking, then you're really not coming from the core. So I'm gonna stop talking for a few seconds, and really show you how I'm moving from the core.

Watch, depress. (breathing) Three more. (breathing) Nice, it's hard to talk and do it correctly, so remember that, breathe as you do it. Take your leg forwards, and now well let's just go into a beautiful calf stretch. From this position, what I'm gonna ask you to do is bicep curls.

Now, I'm pitching the body forwards, and my back leg, the heel is down. I'm taking every opportunity to stretch out my muscles. My calf is being stretched while I'm working my biceps. Pitch the body forward in that diagonal position from the crown of the head to the heel. Remember, to make it harder, step further out.

To make it easier, get closer to your wall unit. Let's do a couple more. (exhaling) One more. (exhaling) Beautiful, and come back, replace the other leg, pitch the body forwards, drop that back heel. This time, you're gonna take your hands forwards, pitch yourself forwards, bend the elbows, we're gonna go into our triceps.

So make sure you're in that right position, pitch your body forwards, now triceps. (breathing) Now, be mindful that the elbows are in line with your shoulders, a lot of times people open up like this, we wanna keep the elbows in line with your shoulders. Now, pitch your body forwards. Moving from your core, the elbows are lifted. Let's do four more: four, and back, and three, and back, and two, and back, and one, and resist back.

So remember, when you're doing some of these exercises, it's easy to move on the extension, but you've gotta resist the spring as it comes back, so that both phases are just as important. So remember that on the inward phase, you've gotta control it, it's a good thing to remember. Okay, we're gonna grab our lovely bar, and from this position here, I want you to try and resist your shoulders, you're gonna bring your legs together. And you're gonna take your right leg in front, left leg in behind. Now, we're gonna try and go into a lunge position on a relevé and hold that position.

Draw your shoulder blades down. And then we're gonna lift back up again. So we go down and up, now I'm doing this to work the legs, so we've got balance challenge going on here. If this is too challenging, you can drop the front heel and then just keep the back heel elevated. Remember the legs are not too far apart.

We're going down, and actually going down I want you to think of pressing your hands into the bar. Let's do a few more. (breathing) And then hold it here, press down. (breathing) And four, three, two, one, hold it. Transfer and lift, hold that balance.

And then bring it into a knee. Transfer it back, bring it into a knee. Transfer back, bring it into a knee. Transfer, press those arms down, bring it into a knee, gonna do a few more. (breathing) It's just a balance challenge here, and hold it.

And then slowly come back. Bend you knees, and stretch, that nice shoulder stretch. Lift your head up, reach back out, Stretch out those hamstrings. Curl, round, and lift back up again, alright. Now we're gonna take the opposite leg behind.

On a relevé, plié down, get yourself into that position, nice and strong. Alrighty, we're gonna go down and up. Down, and up. (exhaling) Down, now remember all the time trying to press you hands into the roll down bar. Okay, for balance, this is helping your balance.

Good. (breathing) Do a few more. (breathing) One more, ready, hold it here. Now press down. (breathing) And hold it there, lift up.

Transfer. and then back up. And transfer back, and then lift up. Think of this as just balance. Many times, we forget that we need to practice our balance to get better at it.

Just 'cause we're not good at it doesn't mean to say we shouldn't be doing it. Otherwise, if we don't practice, we're never gonna be able to balance. And as we age, this is really important that we do it on a daily basis to really get, activate the core muscles, all the muscles, all the stabilizing muscles for functionality, and for ease of movement. And let's just hold it here in that position. And then slowly come back.

This time, I want you to step away a little bit more. Relevé, bend your knees, come all the way down, and stretch. Drop the heels down, and see if you can stretch. Drop the booty down, the hips down, lift up. And then round, let the spring pull you up.

As you're reaching forward, hips are going opposite direction. Draw those abs in, curl. And lift up, beautiful, the stretch, the springs assist you into that elongation of the spine. Okay, moving on, we're gonna grab you leg straps here, We're at the middle of the unit. And we're gonna place your outside foot.

We're gonna hold on to the front, just about where your spring is. We're gonna start in first position, and we're gonna point the foot forwards. Now, that hand is on your hip. We're gonna do eight reps, so we start as we elevate, eight, seven, so you can see I'm hovering the floor. And my hand is on the hip to stop it from hiking, right?

Four more, four, I'm depressing, and three and two, and then hold it here, little pulses, eight and seven, keep lifting up, six, and five and four, and three, and two, and one, and hold it there. Can we balance and lift up? Hold it, and then come back to center, back with the hand on the hip, parallel. Hover the leg without hiking the hip. Depress the hip so it's not hiking.

Alrighty, we're gonna take it out and in. And if you need to slightly bend your supporting leg, you can. Now, you're purely working your glute medius here. So you're parallel. (breathing) Let's do five more, and five, and four, and three and two, hold it here, one, pulse and eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, hold it there.

This time, can we truly balance? Hold it there, balance... eight seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one. Nice work, beautiful, and stretch. And just push on that knee and open up your hips. Ready to do the other side?

Alright, let's take, I'm on a yellow spring, by the way. If you wanna go crazy, you can go on the purple. But I like the yellow today. Alright, so we're gonna put your hand on the bar, turn your feet out into your Pilates V position, point the toe forwards in external rotation, depress before we even start, hover the foot, We go to the side, and back, two keep depressing on your hip, three keep that leg low, four, you're hovering the floor, five, exhale six, exhale seven, and eight, hold it here, and eight and seven pulse back, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, hold it here, your pubic bone's over your heel. Try and balance.

And then release, bring it into parallel. Depress, hover without hiking, Depress, out and in, remember if it's too easy, go a little bit further out. Make it a little bit harder for you. Let's do four more. And four. (breathing)

And three. (breathing) And two, now hold it here, hold pulse eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, hold it. Can we balance, keep the pubic bone over the heel. Hold it there in that beautiful balance. And then recover, take the band, take it away, and stretch.

I'm gonna turn to you, and stretch, good job. Hold that stretch. And release. We're gonna come forward, so we're gonna do a nice stretch to finish off. Hope you're feeling good, it was a lovely, all-over stretch.

We're gonna slowly take nice deep breath in, and we're gonna exhale roll down, and then roll all the way up. Reach the hands behind the head, so we're gonna go into a little extension as you extend through the upper body. Back to the side, center, to the side. Heart center lifted up. Curve into that rounded position.

Back into that beautiful extension, open up your chest. And then release. Good job, you guys, that was a great workout. Look forward to working out with you again. Have great day, see you soon, bye.


3 people like this.
Beautiful form and beautiful spirit! Love Tracey's workouts and instruction.
3 people like this.
All over body stretch and workout with great cueing! Thank you Tracey:)
2 people like this.
Awesome workout, as always! Your little tune made me laugh, you are always true to yourself and genuine! :)
2 people like this.
All my tower favorites in one workout! Thank you Tracey!
1 person likes this.
thank you Tracy:)
1 person likes this.
Loved this! I got nice and toasty on this snowy snowy day. Feeling stronger to go shovel.
1 person likes this.
Nice mix of Pilates....and standing Pilates aka barre! Love it. Thank you
1 person likes this.
Yes, great workout for a snow day. Thank you, Tracy.
1 person likes this.
Beautiful class!! I loved the standing work especially! Thank you:)
1 person likes this.
Lots of fun. I especially enjoyed the standing series at the end.
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