Class #2513

Cadillac Workout

50 min - Class


See some of the different things the Cadillac has to offer in this creative workout with Mariska Breland. She uses her "Pilates Playground" to teach fun sequences that challenge your stability and control. She includes many movements you haven't seen before and she uses the equipment in a new way.
What You'll Need: Cadillac

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Hi, I'm Mariska Breland from Fuse Pilates in Washington, D.C., and I'm here with Meredith, who works for me, or with me, or for me, kind of depends on the day. And she's also a very regular student in my classes, which is great. So the Cadillac obvious is one of the best pieces of apparatus that Pilates made. But I really think about it as when I'm not doing rehab work as the Pilates playground. So today instead of doing so much of a class, we're gonna just work at kind of taking apart some of the different things that it has to offer, like push-through bars, roll-down bar, and doing little kind of fun sequences that might be out of the area of something you've thought of before.

So we're gonna do a roll-up bar sequence, an unweighted push-through bar sequence, a bottom-loaded push-through bar sequence, a standing spring sequence, and then we're gonna do a little bit of stuff with the trapeze bar, but without the trapeze. So we're gonna start with Meredith extending her legs all the way straight, pushing up against the rails here. Sit up really tall. And then we're just gonna do a regular roll-down, so tilt your pelvis under, into round back. Try to keep your heels attached, which I always say the first one doesn't count in many things.

So you can slide in a little bit if you want. And then chin to your chest. Begin to roll up slowly, rounding your spine, keep your belly moving back, and then at the top actually think about reaching forward, so you're gonna come forward more towards me. And then roll back down, so tilting under. Now let's say you have a student and Meredith is not the student, but let's say Meredith was the student, that has a really tight lower back and has problems articulating down.

Go ahead and come back towards me. Shoulders drop. So what I'm gonna do instead of having her do this regular is I'm going to push into the bar and tell her to push against me, and we're gonna try to get a little bit more articulation in her spine, so don't drop me 'cause I'm your boss and that would be bad. So you're gonna really try to get your low back to touch down, then each vertebra, shoulders last, and then you have to push me up. Chin to your chest, and begin to push up, trying to round your spine a little bit more.

So coming forward more towards me. Good, and then again rolling back down, so push me more. Good. So try to push more, good. And then rolling down to more of a tilt of your pelvis.

Good, and then one vertebrate at a time, all the way back down, we'll do that one more time. So chin to your chest, drop your shoulders. Hold your belly in, push me away. Good, and then we'll come all of the way up. Go ahead and slide your legs so that they're closer together.

Round back about halfway from where you are. You're gonna keep your pelvis tilted under, and then I want you to press the bar down and lift your right leg up and tap the bar. And then lower it back down. Press down, left leg lifts. And lower, right leg lifts.

And lower, left leg lifts. And lower, one more each side. And you could play around with doing this more externally rotated, so bring your legs into more of a turnout, good, and then lower back down, left leg lifts. And lower back down and you could play around more. Press down, lift your right leg up.

Slide your right leg along the bar to the left, back to center, and lower back down, arms can lift up slightly. Press down, lift your left leg up. Slide it towards me, back to center, and lower back down. Come all the way up to seated upright. Go ahead and bend your knees.

We're gonna shift your weight so you're on your left hip with your right leg lifted off, and you can actually go over a little bit more than you are. Roll down 'til your low back touches the map. And then when you lift up, you're gonna bring your right leg up at the same time, so you're sort of doing crunches, gonna get kind of in both sides of your waist at the same time. Lower back down. And then exhale to lift, try to maintain the shape of that right leg.

Lower back down. And exhale to lift. Two more, 'cause these are awful. We should really do 10, lift it back up, and lower down, keeping those abs pulled in, and lift it back up. Come back to center, switch over to the other side, we don't wanna leave you crooked, tilt your pelvis under, round back about halfway.

As you lift up, your leg lifts up. Good little pinch, and lower back down, or as some students like to say, shark bite. Which seems appropriate with the ocean behind us. Lower back down. And lift, twice more.

Lower back down, and lift one more time, lower back down, and lift, come all the way back through center. Come all the way up to seated. We're gonna push the bar down, step your legs over the bar. When I'm in class I'm always like, I don't like where this is going. Go ahead and lie down onto your back, so reach your arms forward.

Reach your arms forward, tilt your pelvis under, we're gonna start with just some bridging, which should feel nice, so go ahead and lower all the way back down, arms press down into the mat. Walk your feet in a little bit closer than they are. On an exhale, tilt your pelvis, press into your feet, and peel your back away. So you're coming to that nice straight line from shoulders to knees, and then from your throat to your tailbone you're gonna lengthen all the way back down. So I think that the toughest part is at the bottom to draw your tailbone down without letting your ribs pop up.

So again, we'll tilt and lift up. Good, and then slowly lower back down. On this next one we're gonna add your arms. So as you lift your hips, arms reach up and overhead. You might hit the bar above your head, which is fine, so keep your arms reaching back, so they're gonna reach back more, Good you don't, convenient.

And then keep your arms reaching as you lay your spine down bone by bone, so you're creating a little bit of traction in your spine here, trying to get your ribs to drop down, nice. Tail bone's the last thing down, let your arms come forward. Arms plant down. Press into your feet, lift your hips up, float your arms up and overhead. And if I'm feeling nice, which I am, you can reach back behind here, give her a little bit of a stretch with the strap in my face, and then slowly lower back down bone by bone.

Try to drop your ribs more. Good, and then let your arms reach all the way to your sides. Float your head and chest up. Reach for the bar, this is where nobody likes where this is going. Alright, scoot in a little closer, this way, if I were you.

If you want life to be a little bit more pleasant. Okay. Go ahead and lie down your back. Head and chest come back up, hold onto the outside of the bar, reach your knees in towards your chest, and then straight up towards the ceiling, and begin to pump your arms for the 100. Find a little bit of external rotation and squeeze your heels so tight together that I can't separate them.

And I want you to try to lift your chest up the tiniest little bit more forward so that this bar doesn't touch your leg. Shoulders are down. Try to drop back with your upper body the tiniest little bit. Right, does that feel more awful? Pretty much equally awful.

Equally awful? Yeah. Sometimes more awful, sometimes a little less awful. And that's still not touching your legs. Move on to a full 100, that's what, like 60?

60. So go ahead and bend your knees, hug the bar with your legs, bring your hands behind your head, interlace your fingers all the way to the webbing. Inhale back. Exhale head and chest, lift, pull your knees into your chest at the same time. Keep your upper body lifted, keep it lifted, just pull your knees into the little pulse one.

Pulse two, pulse three, pulse four. Four more, one, and two, and three, and four, knees go towards your right shoulder. And back to center. Knees towards your left shoulder. And back to center, we'll do one more each side.

Right shoulder. And center. Left shoulder, and center, legs back to center. Lift your upper body up towards the right. So little bit of a twist.

Legs go a little bit away from you as you come back to center. Lift up towards the left, pulling your legs in. Inhale, back. Exhale, twist. Inhale, back.

Exhale, twist. So as a teacher, I'm gonna really watch for that her low back doesn't begin to pull away from the mat. If it does, I know that this is either too high, she's too far back, or it's just not the exercise for her at whatever point she's in in her practice. Go ahead and come all the way back to center. Lower your upper body down, lower your feet down, take a little tiny break.

We're gonna do one bridge, just because. So press into your feet, peel your back away from the mat, straight line from knees to shoulders. And then slowly melt your spine back down. Pull your knees in so you can grab the bar, we're gonna keep your head down. Legs are going straight up towards the ceiling.

So we're gonna take this into sort of a rollover jackknife. The important thing is to remember to keep your head down, stay looking straight up towards the ceiling. And you don't want this distance of your neck between the mat to get smaller, like you don't wanna roll up so much that you're on your neck, you're not really rolling past the base of your shoulder blades. So legs are going up and over as you press down with the bar. See if you can lift your legs up a little bit higher from there.

Good, now let your legs go back first. Slowly lay your spine down bone by bone, trying not to let your butt touch the bar. Good, and then let your arms lift up at the bottom. We're gonna do that again. So exhale up and over.

Try to draw your shoulders back the tiniest little bit. Reach your legs up. We're gonna pump your arms like we were continuing our 100, so inhale. Yeah, don't fall. And exhale.

Good, and inhale. And exhale. I think we did like 60 of our 100, so we're gonna call this next one after this the last one. And exhale. Arms stay reaching.

Slowly lower your spine down, bone by bone. Let the bar, hug it with your legs. And just rock yourself up to a seated position. And then we can take your feet out from under there. And we can consider our adventures with the roll-down bar over.

We're gonna move to, the other side of the machine we're gonna do some stuff with an unweighted push-through bar, so, Push-through bar, it swings, we're not gonna put any weight on it. I'm gonna move this, just so it's slightly out of the way. So we're gonna go ahead and start with your feet on. And so, Meredith is one of many people who gets foot cramps really easily, so we're gonna let her have her arches on instead of having her toes wrapped around, so sometimes we do toes around, sometimes we do arches on. So arms are forward.

On an exhale, round down, low back touches, begin to extend your legs out, go it all the way flat onto your back, arms can start at about shoulder height. Inhale head and chest, lift, you're gonna pause. Exhale, as your roll up, pull your knees in towards your chest at the same time. Again, exhale to roll down. It's really tilting your pelvis under, so we're trying to find as much length through your spine as possible.

And then exhale. Head and chest, lift, knees come in towards you. Good, we'll do that a couple more times. So roll back down. Arms reach.

And then roll back up. Try to relax your shoulders. And on this last one, let's roll down only about halfway. So roll down to just about there. Extend your legs out.

Pull them in as tight in towards your chest as you can without losing the space that your back is in. Inhale to extend, exhale, knees come in towards your chest. Inhale to extend. Exhale, knees in towards your chest. Couple more here, inhale to extend.

Exhale, knees in towards your chest. Inhale to extend, hold it there. Bring your hands in to a lengthened prayer position. Slight rotation to the right as you pull your knees in. Come back to center as your legs go straight.

And then rotate towards the left. Good, and back to center, so we're alternating. Rotate towards the right. And back to center. Rotate towards the left.

And back to center, one more each side, rotate. And center, I sort of lied, 'cause this is a transition. Rotate. And center, so this next one we rotate and hold. Try to keep the bar a little bit more in, so we're gonna aim to try to maintain its position right between these two rails.

Roll down about halfway from where you are, and lift right back up. try not to push your feet forward. Roll down a little bit. And lift back up. Roll down a little bit, and lift back up, and try to keep your knees on exactly the same level.

Roll down a little bit. And lift back up so your right knee's dropping right into me. good, roll down, nice, roll down a little bit. And lift back up, and one more time until we go to the other side. And then go the other side.

So reaching around, good, try not to push this bar through, so the bar is staying put. Roll down, try to keep your knees on exactly the same plane. Good, roll down. And up, and this bar is moving a little bit, but this is extremely different, is it extremely difficult? Yes.

It is extremely difficult, I have verification on that. So try to keep this bar not moving is one of the hardest parts of this exercise. Do we have one more or two more? Let's call it one. Okay, we'll call it one.

And then come all the way up, nice, go ahead and lay down all the way back. You might wanna scoot in a little bit more here, in fact you do wanna scoot in a little bit more. We're gonna try to keep this bar right in the same position again, so it's right between the two rails. Try not to push it forward, I'm holding it a little bit with my hands, so she's limited in how much she can push it forward. Tilt your pelvis under, peel your back away from the mat bone by bone.

Good, I'm letting the bar go. Try to extend your legs all the way straight. And then pull it back in, landing it right between the two rows, perfect, press it out. And pull back in, so try to find a little bit more of a tilt of your pelvis, nice, press it out. And pull back in, press it out.

And pull back, it's just like doing it on the reformer, except not. And pull back in, we'll do two more. Press it out. And pull back in, last one like this, press out. And pull back in, lay your spine down bone by bone.

Good, hug your knees into your chest. And then go ahead and you're gonna rock yourself all the way up to seated. When it comes to sideline, so scoot away a little bit from where you are. But actually lift the bar up, so again, the bar has no spring holding it on, so you have to keep it from falling on your head. You're gonna lay down on your side with your feet facing that way.

You're gonna reach up for the bar with your right hand, holding it palm facing that way. And just rest your head on a long arm. So, part of what we're going for here is just the stabilizing effect, I'd move your hand a little teensy bit forward. The stabilizing effect of having to hold this bar in space. So we're gonna take your top leg up, lift it about hip height.

Try to keep this bar where it is, we're gonna send your top leg forward. And then it's gonna come back, you're gonna get a little bit of a hip flex or stretch. Good, and then you go forward, do double kicks. So kick, kick. And reach.

Good, and kick, kick. And reach back, good, kick kick. And she's doing a good job of keeping everything basically stable and this bar basically still. Kick, kick. And reach, one more time, big kick forward.

And reach. Good, now bring your leg so that your top leg is at about the height of your hip. Your bottom leg is gonna come up and tap your top leg, and then lower it back down. Up, tap, and down. Up, tap, and down.

Up, tap, and down, four more, one, and two, and three. Hold both legs up, we're going for a little walk. One leg back, one leg forward, and switch. And switch. Good, and switch.

And switch, four more, one. And two. And three. And four, coming back to center. Go ahead and lower your legs down.

Just roll onto your other side, I've got the bar. This is where I feel like always telling people, don't fall off the machine, when you're rolling over. So your arm is gonna be slightly forward of your shoulder. Legs are slightly forward of your hips. Lift your top leg up, hip height.

Good, we'll swing it forward, so it's coming forward. And then you'll move it back, so you're gonna give that little bit of that hip extension, and then comes forward. So just about to me, yeah. Good, and then kick it back, so if you're ever wondering how far forward your legs should go, if you start to fold at your waist, your leg has come too far forward. So you're trying to move your leg independently of your torso.

Good, forward towards me. And back. And two more times, forward towards me. And back, and last one, forward towards me. And back.

Stack your top leg over your bottom leg, top leg is at about hip height, lift your bottom leg up to touch your top leg, and lower back down, swing your legs the tiniest little bit towards me. So the reason I'm doing that is because I can see from the front that her ribs are like kind of popping out in the front, which means that she's arching her back too much. So I just wanted her legs to be forward so it takes a little pressure off her low back. Lift, tap, and down. Lift, tap, and down, four more, one tap.

And two. And three. Leave your legs connected, and then you'll separate them as you go for a walk, so one leg forward, one leg back. And switch, and switch. Switch, four more times, one, and two, and three, and four.

Gonna go ahead and hold onto this. You go ahead and let it go. Move onto your stomach. Scoot back some. And I'm gonna let this go.

And we're gonna have this like right between the two rails again. So go ahead and rest your hands on the bar. So you can have your legs all the way together, which is more advanced, puts more pressure on your lumbar spine. Separated is a little bit easier, I wanna go separated today, because I do wanna take this into kind of a bigger back bend at some point. So you're gonna press down into the bar, pull the bar towards you, taking your ribs with you.

So we're lifting up, nice. And then you'll take that shape forward. So we'll just do upper body a little bit first. And you're a teensy bit crooked, so I'm just going to bring you this way the tiniest little bit. Good, press down.

Lift up. Nice, and lower back down. And so if she wasn't taking her ribs with her, so let your ribs pop out, I would just bring my hand underneath her and lengthen from the front and the back at the same time, so pushing down and up. Because I don't want her to really arch too much in her thoracic spine, I want it to be really spread out, or in her lumbar spine I want it spread out throughout her entire spine. You're gonna take this into a swan dive, you go forward, your legs lift up, go pretty fast, 'cause it's a more satisfying experience.

Back and forward, back and forward, I always think when you do this slow it's not fun, and the point is fun. And two more. And last one, lower back down. Now turn your head so that you're listening to the mat with your right ear. We're gonna bend your elbows out wide to the side.

You're gonna have your elbows kind of really high. And then try to keep the bar where it is as you lift your upper body up to straight arms. Good, and then you push It forward as you lower back down. And listen to the mat with your other ear. Bend your elbows again out and slightly up.

So it's coming up a little bit higher than you would think. Lift yourself up, the bar stays where it is. Good, and then lower back down, straightening your arms all the way. So we're gonna try to go for the big back bend, which is possible, although really difficult without any springs helping you. So turn your head to one direction, if you get stuck I'll help you.

Bend your elbows out wide to the side. Begin to push your arms up and overhead, and you take, awesome, you take it up with you. Beautiful, and then go ahead and slowly lower back down. Turn your head to one direction. Good, and we'll do one more.

So bending your elbows out to the side. If you don't get the lift started soon enough, you get stuck. And then slowly lower all the way back down. That was not as graceful as I think we could have ended it on, so we're gonna do one more. So go ahead and tilt your pelvis under a little bit.

Good, bend your elbows out wide to the side first. Begin to lift up. Good, nice, we'll take this into a bigger stretch so it's a different exercise. So go ahead and drop your chest more, so you're getting a little bit more of a shoulder stretch. Good, then turn your head to one direction as you're lowering down, good, nice.

So much more smooth lowering down. Good, you're gonna go ahead and let the bar go. Flip yourself over so you're lying down on your back with straight arms, holding onto this bar. And everything is out of the way over here. So go ahead and start with your legs up to 90 degrees.

But scoot out just a smidge more, just so your arms can be straight. Good, so legs are up to 90. Bar stays still, but you are pressing up into the bar. So the bar can't move 'cause it's got these, whatever these contraptions are. So exhale your legs up and over towards me.

Good, separate your legs about hip distance apart. Flex your feet and try not to let me push you down. Good, and then we're slowly gonna lower down. So laying your spine down bone by bone, you can let your legs be straighter. And then, so we don't use momentum to stop your legs at 90 degrees.

Again, exhale up and over, flex your feet. Good, and then slowly just resist me as you're lowering back down, try to get your legs a little straighter if you can. Just a little bit more hamstring stretch. And then legs go back down. We're just gonna do one more, just these regular ones.

So exhale up and over. Nice, coming a little bit more. Good, and then slowly lowering back down, bone by bone. Good, and then one to transition, exhale, up and over. Try to keep your legs basically parallel to the mat.

Extend one leg straight up. Good, and then we'll switch legs midair, so your goal is to tap my hands with your foot. Good, and switch. And switch. And switch.

Good, for four. And two. And three. And four, both legs straight up. Slowly lower down bone by bone.

And then you can let go of this bar. Hug your knees into your chest. And I think that seems like enough fun with the unweighted push-through bar. So we're gonna move on and we're gonna do bottom-loaded push-through bar, so we need to safety strap. If you are ever at a studio and they don't either have safety straps or use safety straps, then you run away really quickly and you try to find somebody who uses safety straps, because they are important.

So we're gonna lift this up. Not too high, trust me. You will not want this lifted too high for this exercise. Okay, so I think right about to there. You'll find out very quickly why you don't want it too high.

And then we're gonna take, we actually have a blue spring, so we have kind of a light spring, because I don't wanna make this an impressively difficult weight because of one thing that we're gonna be doing with it, so we're gonna be doing some stuff with single legs, so I don't want a heavy spring. So you're gonna spin yourself around. And kind of scoot yourself that way maybe just a little bit. Good, press your arms straight, we kinda want to find a space where her hands are going straight down to her shoulders, so you might scoot back just a little bit, it'll actually be a little bit easier. Go ahead an leave your legs bent to start.

Bend your elbows, so you kind of release that tension on the spring, press your arms all the way straight. Chin towards your chest, roll yourself up to seated. Good, now this is actually totally normal and everyone does this, but I don't want you to. You're gonna pull your ribs back and sit slightly behind your sit bones, there. So I want you to come up to only that position, 'cause that's really more your teaser back.

Tuck your pelvis under, round down. Good, and coming all the way back down. And the reason I said that is because a lot of times when we lift at that very last minute, what we do is we fire our back extensors to try to get a little bit more height, but it's really the not using our abs, it's using the opposite muscles. So chin to your chest, straight arms, roll yourself up, and we're gonna maintain that curve. Good, now from there, bend and extend your elbows three times.

Bend, one, try not to draw back. Two, can you bend more? And three, straight arms, tuck under, round back. Extend your legs all the way straight. We're gonna take this into a teaser, so chin to chest.

Roll yourself up, float your legs up, as your body comes up, remember not to come too far up. Good, and then from there, bend and extend your elbows three times. Bend, one, bend two, bend three. Tilt your hips slightly, good, roll down so you're letting your vertebra touch, low back touches, legs begin to lower down. And you're trying to time it so your head and your feet touch at the same time.

Head and feet lift at the same time. And then think about folding yourself in half, but without making a V. So you're sort of in a little bit of a scoop. And then slowly lower all the way back down. And because this is not the end of teasers, we're gonna make this end of teasers like this.

Go ahead and let the safety strap catch it. Bring your hands back behind you and we're gonna bring your legs up, and we're gonna do a little tower variation. So legs are coming up, this is one of my favorite variations of any exercise in the world of Pilates. So Meredith has kind of tight hamstrings. So if you want to you can scoot that way a smidge, 'cause I want her tailbone to be down, especially for this variation that we're doing.

Okay, so it's sort of like when you're doing corkscrew on the chair, a little bit like that. Go straight up first. So lifting straight up, you're gonna shift from the waist your hips towards one side. Lower down so you're a little bit more on the right side of your body. When you get down to the bottom, you're going to just slide your hips along one plane over to the other side.

So literally you're sliding along the mat. Then you're gonna lift along that side. And at the top you come back to center. So you rotate. Lower down, so this should feel good, this should sort of feel like massage on your back, try to get your hips a little bit lower.

And then you come back up, and center, so it's a rotation. A lowering down. Rotate. And lift back up. And you sort of kind of keep going with this, so you're just rotating from side to side, literally sliding your tush along the map and lifting up on the opposite side.

We'll go ahead and come back to center. Lower your hips down. Let your favorite leg stay on the bar and your less favorite leg find the mat with the bend. So from there you're gonna keep this leg straight. This one can get into your back really easily, so you're gonna keep the lift, the pelvic lift, very small.

So you're gonna lift your hips up slightly so it's slightly, a little bit more length through your low back. Good, now you're gonna take your left leg and bend and extend it four times, bend, extend, one. Bend, extend, two. Try to make sure that knee doesn't come in. So bend, extend, three.

And bend, extend, four. Hold your leg there, drop your hips down an inch. Exhale, lift. Down an inch, exhale, lift. Down an inch, exhale, lift.

Down, and up. Four more, one, and up. Two. Three. And four, now we combine the last two exercises.

Bend and lower down a little bit. Bend and lower, lift. Bend and lower, lift. Bend and lower, lift. Bend and lower, lift, and then slowly keep that leg straight.

Lay your spine all the way down. And switch legs, so right leg comes up. Left leg lowers down to the mat. Go ahead and press into your foot, peel your back away, but just a couple of inches, so barely even off the mat. We're gonna bend and extend this leg, so bend, extend.

So going slightly more towards your shoulder. Three. And four, did we do in the last set or did we do eight? Four. Okay, well to keep your legs straight, and then drop your hips down, and lift.

Down and lift, and you're trying to keep your torso equally long on both sides, and I think a lot of times when you're doing single leg bridging, it tends to shorten on the side of the up leg, so you really want to make sure that leg is straight. Now we're gonna combine the two exercises. So bend, drop, press, lift. Bend, drop, press, lift. Bend, drop, press, lift.

Bend, drop, and press, lift. Good, and then we'll slowly lower down, bone by bone, and then go ahead and bend your knee. And we'll come out of that. So I've got this. Good, and then we're gonna come around to the other side.

So we're still using this, but we're not going to actually push into it, this is where I say you don't want it to be that high. Going to rest your heels over this bar. Now if teasers are not your friend, you are in good company of many people who teasers are not your friend. So I'm going to tell you how to cheat on this exercise in a way that actually still works your muscles. So you're gonna lay down on your back first.

So this little strap here, if you wanna hug it with your legs, it will make it easier to come up. So if you start to feel like you're getting stuck, just squeeze your heels together on this part of the strap and it will make it easier. So chin to your chest. Roll up, try to keep your arms traveling parallel to your legs. Remember, you go where your eyes look, so if you look down, you don't tend to get where you're going.

So slowly lower down. And you're trying to keep your feet attached, 'cause they're gonna wanna come off, but I want you to have a little bit of pressure down as you come up. So chin to your chest. Roll yourself up. Reaching for your feet.

Nice, and then slowly roll back down. How many more do you wanna do? Up to you, boss. One more. Just up to you boss, I like that answer.

And then slowly rolling back down. And then hug your knees into your chest. If we were in class, it would've been five. (Meredith laughs) Or maybe 10. Go ahead and rock yourself all the way up.

And we're gonna actually come to standing, we're just gonna do some standing rows. So feet are gonna be planted flat. This one is not that hard, you can do it with a flat back, so let's show the flat back version. So walk your hips back a little bit. Fold forward at the waist.

You probably do wanna find, ah, the train. You probably do wanna find a little bit of length through your low back so that you don't wanna be lifting with a flat back, and a little bit of softness in your knees. Good, and make sure, and she pronates, like most of us do, so a little bit of weight to the outside edge of your feet. And then you're just gonna pull the bar up towards you, and lower it back down. And pull up towards you, and you wouldn't want this to be a red spring, would you?

Oh, no. No, okay, and lift up. And down. Good, and lift up, and down, and then you can do a couple standing all the way upright, so go ahead and walk in a little bit more. Stand up straight, yep, taking the bar with you.

And I feel like this is like an exercises people would do at the gym and there would be some big weight and like a pole, but we're just gonna do it on here. So go ahead and lift up. And lower back down, and what you would watch for as a teacher is that people are not lifting with their upper traps. The most overused and unnecessarily used muscles. So that she's really just almost working from her back side of her body and not the front side of her body.

Lifting up, and down, and one more time. And lift up. And down, go ahead and release this. I'll take this off. So that ends that section, so we're gonna move on to some standing spring work.

So we're going off the back of the Cadillac for these next ones. So now we're gonna work off the back of the Cadillac. Obviously if you have a standing wall unit, that works, if you have just the standing unit with springs, that works as well. You're gonna stand far enough away that when you push the springs back, you feel little bit of tension in the springs. Not too much that you can't hold it for a while, 'cause we're gonna hold it for a while.

And usually I'm going to set these up so that they're just a tiny bit higher than your shoulders so that when we do stuff facing the other direction it's not gonna hit her in the shoulders. So narrow up your V a little bit. Good, we're gonna start by pressing your arms back and lifting up onto your tip-toes, keeping your heels squeezed today at the same time, and then you let your arms go forward. So again, you press down, lift up. Lower down, arms come forward.

Nice, press down, lift. Arms reach, heels lower, we're gonna build onto that. So press down, lift up. Imagine there's a wall behind you, you're gonna bend your knees out to the side, slide down your imaginary wall. Come up your imaginary wall, arms come forward, heels lower.

So keep going. So press down, lift. Slide down the wall, lift up the wall. Arms reach forward, next one's gonna be a little bit different. Press down, lift up.

Slide down your imaginary wall. Hold it there, press your arms back a little bit further. We're gonna do little tiny arm circles, go for eight. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Stand it all the way back up.

Try to read my mind. Incorrectly, lower your heels, press down, lift up. Lower back down. And we'll circle the other way this time. So whatever the other way is, if it feels really familiar, strangely familiar what you're doing now, like deja vu, then you would move your arms in the opposite direction.

Good, now hold your arms back. Lower down more. So you're really feeling it in your quads, little pulses. Down, up, down, up. Down, up, down, up, four more, one, and two, and three, and four.

Nice, heels down, arms reach forward. Gonna step back a little bit more 'cause you want a little bit more tension here. We're still gonna be in the slight turnout, unless you prefer parallel, in which case knock yourself out, you're at home, I can't see you, I don't know what you're doing. Press your arms down, float your right leg up, and try to tap. We're going for underneath the bar here.

And then lower back down, so if you need to adjust, you can, and if you're not gonna touch this, that's fine too, so we're alternating. So she's got a little bit of a bend in the standing leg. Pressing your arms back to create counterbalance to lift the weight of her moving leg. So press down, lift. And release.

Press down, lift. And release, couple more, press down, lift. And release. Press down, lift, here's the mean one. And release, press down, lift and hold.

So you're gonna try to keep your leg attached, try to keep your upper body upright. And then press your arms back, little presses for eight. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, right leg down. Stand all the way up, other side. Press down, left leg lifts, little presses with your arms for eight.

Two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight, beautiful. Go ahead and stand up, we're gonna do 180 to face the other direction. And we're gonna start with just one or two hug-a-trees, we're gonna call them like, you know, slightly leaned-forward hug-a-tree. So find a position that makes you happy but not too happy, like you feel like your abs have to work to hold you upright. Go ahead and pull your arms towards you and then open back out.

Good, so you're keeping your body where it is in space, making sure that your ribs are in, your low back is lengthened, and hold your arms where they are, we're gonna do arms open. So now just your right arm. So hugging the tree only with your right arm, you've not fully committed to the green movement. You're probably still using a little bit of styrofoam. Go ahead and hug and release, three more times.

Hug in. And release, hug in, and release, last one. Hug in, and release, moving to the left. So left arm hugs. And release.

And hug. And release. And hug, and release, three more times. One. Try to find more length through your low back, good, two.

And three, both arms together. Pull in. Good, and release. And pull in. And release.

And pull in. And release, let's go ahead and lower your arms down. I wanna take just the spring that's in your left hand. So you're gonna turn to face the camera. We're gonna take that spring above your head, so you're going to hold onto it above your head, maybe you have a little bit of tension in the spring.

And we're just gonna side bend over towards the right. And then come back to center. And side bend right. And center, so you can imagine that you're holding onto, it's actually magic circle shape above your head, making sure that your ribs are staying pulled back. Go over.

And back, two more. Over. And back. And over. And back, narrow your legs up a little bit.

Keep the spring above your head. You're gonna have your left leg step forward a little bit and your right leg step back a little bit. So you're sort of coming into a lunge. So more of a lunge, so left leg forward and bent. Right leg back.

Good, so we're going to take your right leg, so your left leg starts bent. You're gonna lift up and bring your right knee in towards your chest and touch your spring to your knee. So pull up, and then step back into the lunge, nice. And pull up, and step back into the lunge. And pull up, nice.

And step back into the lunge, three more times. Pull up, and step back. And pull up, and step back, one more time. Pull up, and step back. Good, come all the way in.

We'll just do a 180, we're gonna keep this spring. I like this spring, it's done good for us so far. So go ahead and lift your arms overhead. Ribs are in. Length through your low back, lift up to go over.

Really ground through your down leg, good, and then come back to center. And you want to watch that your hips aren't kind of leaning to the side, so you're going up to go over, and then back to center. Good, and then up to go over, ribs back a smidge, good, and back to center. Couple more, up to go over. And back to center.

And last one, up to go over. And back to center, so go ahead and come into the lunge. So you're stepping your inside leg back and your outside leg forward. And then you'll go ahead and, or backwards, so your inside leg forward, your outside leg back, so that when you come up, it's just an easier position. The other one feels less stable.

Go ahead and pull in, touch your knee towards your arms. And then step back. And lift up. And step back. Good, and lift up.

And step back, we'll do twice more. Lift up. And step back. And last one, lift up. And step back.

Can go ahead and let these springs go. Magically have a purple spring here, so we're gonna go ahead and place the purple spring on, you only need one. So this is probably getting a little ambitiously high, so we're gonna lower it down a little bit. So we're gonna go to where it's not quite on the floor, but not too far off the floor. So you're gonna step facing towards the camera again.

You can hold on and step your outside leg into the strap. So we're do a little standing skater, so if you don't have a reformer and skater being one of the best exercises in the world for working your outer hips, this is a way to do it. So you're gonna start with your leg up and across your body. And then exhale to extend it out at an angle. Good, lift up and across.

And extend out, and try actually not to let the spring close, so press out. So you're always maintaining tension, and then bend to come in. And press out. And bend to come in, and depending on how mean you're feeling, you can make people do like millions of these. You can also do variations where you extend out and do little leg lifts up to the side.

And you always wanna make sure that the standing leg isn't locking out, which you'll wanna do. And the standing leg is doing a tremendous amount of stabilizing work here, so it's actually I think harder for the standing leg than the working leg. You can do little circles. Trying to keep the hips from moving, and then circle the other way. And then that seems like enough.

We'll come back in. And then we'll turn around to do the other side so you don't walk out of here crooked. So it's always the outside leg and you let this spring come across your body, let your knee come across your body, and then you press your leg out. So just pretend it's me. So just bend in and kick something out there.

Bend in, and kick. Bend in, and kick. Bend in, and kick. So do like four more. And two.

And three. And four, hold your leg out, we're gonna do little tiny lifts out to the side. So about eight of them, two, three, four, and you're going for straight out. Six, seven, eight, circle it four each direction. Two, three, and four, switch, four, two, three, and four.

Come all the way back in, we're gonna do 180 again, we're gonna do one last thing with the spring. So this time you're gonna take your inside leg and put it in, we're gonna do a little Tendu, which if you're not a ballet person, we're gonna do a little inner thigh work. So go ahead and step your right leg out to the side a little bit, so you have a little bit more tension in the spring. So right leg out more. And you're going to let your left leg extend out further and point your toes.

You're gonna drag your toes along the floor as you pull your heel down sort of in front of you, and then go out to the side, now I want you to bring heel to heel. So pull straight and heel lowers, good. And then you go again forward. So you go forward slightly, and then out to the side, and then drag heel to heel. And out.

And you can do all sorts of variations here, you can go fron to back, back to front, you can lift your leg up, do little circles, do tiny little squeezes. You can step out to the side, kind of any variations that you want to do. And this is just to kind of give you some ideas, and then we'll just do the other side. So stepping out to the other side. It's nice to have something to hold onto here.

It's more advanced to not have something to hold onto. So if you wanted to challenge your balance more, hands on your hips, hands behind your head, arms out to a T. Let your right leg kind of slide along the floor. Then it goes forward of you. And then back, and then heel to heel, and out.

And then forward. And out. And so Meredith was my star pupil in my balance workshop because I know her balance is really good. So I try to bring in ringers to do certain exercises that I know are hard. And then come forward, and out, and then slide heel to heel.

Good, and then we can do some little circles. Whatever you're doing on the other side. Good, and then you can come all the way out of there. So last thing we're going to do is a little bit out there, but it's fun, so we're gonna use the bar that we attach the trapeze to in a little bit different way, so I have the blue springs, which we stole also from the Cadillac, and we have the leg straps attached to them. We're going to start by hooking these up.

So if you have somebody who is heavier, you're gonna wanna go with the heavier spring. So you go with a red spring, if you have somebody who's heavier. If you want like crazy amount of stability for the second exercise we're gonna do, you can actually have two springs hooked, so you can do a red and a blue and hook them both to the strap, that's almost, it's not quite the level of a black spring, but it's almost there. We have the lighter springs, 'cause Meredith is really light, so again, you can do blue, you can do red, if you're crazy, you can do yellow, I would not recommend yellow. So you're gonna come to a quadraped position, so I'm gonna help her into these.

These are not easy to get into by yourself, might be impossible, so we're gonna take one foot and we're just gonna hook that foot in, lower that knee down. We're gonna take the other foot and we're hooking it in. Good, so this will be my version of if TRX and Pilates had a lovechild, they would do exercises like these. So you're gonna go ahead and first you're gonna pull your abs and engage everything, you're pushing the floor away. We're gonna go ahead and extend your right leg out straight.

Everything in, left leg goes out to meet it, good. So it's gonna pop you up, and it is heavy enough to hold you. Good, we're gonna start by doing some mountain climbers. So right knee in towards your chest, and switch. And switch.

And switch. And switch, so she's shaking from excitement, not because of anything else, just excitement, good, pull. And pull, send both legs out straight. Take a little break, drop down to your knees. So that's always your break position is dropping down to your knees, these are not easy, especially when we have, light spring is less supportive for her back, but easier for her to move the springs.

So we want light for the movement of the springs ability. I'm gonna come back in 'til we try to shoot both legs out at the same time. Good, now we're gonna squeeze your legs together as if you only have one, and bring your knees towards your right elbow, and then send them back. Gonna have to hike those hips up a little bit higher, good. And back, pull in.

And back, pull in. And back, good, pull in. And back, one more time. You got it. And then drop down to your knees.

Do you have two more fun variations in you? Sure. Okay. Just a yes, boss, okay, go ahead and press your legs back. Good, we're going to do a legs opening out and push up at the same time.

We're only gonna do three. Just for demonstration purposes. Lower two. Good, try not to sink to your back, lower three. Good, we're going right into planks.

So gonna spot you. Good, now lift up, pull in. Good, and then come back to that plank. Good, lift up, try to pull your weight back a little bit. There we go.

And back, two more. This is where she really wants the red springs, but we decided blue springs earlier. And you can't always change your mind. Good, and lower back down, drop to your knees. I've got the springs.

I would take a child's pose. Or a walk, or a break of some sort. And then we're gonna finish off with something that's actually kind of very supportive and something I do with private clients a lot when they have a lot of flexer strain, when they're trying to keep their legs lifted. So we're gonna do some ab work with very supported legs, and we're kind of gonna end there 'cause it feels a little bit like hanging. We're not gonna do hanging with her actually, because she has a little tendonitis in her ankle.

So the fuzzies don't feel good for her. So we're gonna try to mimic that with another variation. So go ahead and slide that all the way up to right underneath your knees. Same thing on the other side. And what's great is the pull is coming from straight overhead.

So you're gonna line yourself up so you're underneath it. Lay down on your back. Good, so your legs are supported. You could scoot this way a little bit. And then hug your knees into your chest a little bit and bring your hands behind your head.

Head and chest lift. So let's just go ahead and extend your right leg out straight, we'll just do criss-cross as an example. So legs twist to one side, and twist. And so if you have somebody who always feels like their legs are too heavy to hold up, this is a great way to do it and to get them to get the motion right for doing these exercises that we think are fairly easy because we've been doing Pilates forever, but if they haven't been doing Pilates forever, your legs tend to get really heavy. We're gonna do a double leg stretch.

So pull both legs in, hands on your ankles. You're gonna go ahead and reach your arms back, getting a good nice stretch back. Circle your arms, bend your knees. Good, we'll do two more like that. Reach it out.

Circle and bend, and one more, reach it out. And circle and bend, and then go ahead and just lie down on your back. So again, instead of doing like regular hanging, we're just gonna do sort of supported knees into your chest. And we're just gonna stir your legs. So you can have your hands on your knees, your legs are supported, just sort of move your hips a little from side to side, you can have your legs kind of adduct and abduct.

Kind of whatever feels good for you. And again, a heavier spring would hold up a heavier leg. Does that feel good? Sure, yeah. At least the end feels good.

And those are just some different ways to use the Cadillac, hopefully you learned some new things in there. Thank you, Meredith, I know some of those were less fun than other ones. And I would just lay down, hug your knees into your chest, and take a moment.


5 people like this.
Awesome class, Mariska! Love the creativity along the precise instruction.
What a perfect way to celebrate my birthday today...Thank you for the "present' are such a genius!!!!! LOVE It!!!!!
Time to pay another visit to your beautiful studio soon )))))
3 people like this.
Loved it, great sequences and variations!
1 person likes this.
Looking forward to try this class:))
Thanks!! It's always great to be back at Pilates Anytime! (I kind of want to move in!!)
Fun stuff. Definitely not a feel- good class except for the corkscrew and modified suspension at the end. I think those weren't tendus but ronde-de-jambes (going front to back and vice versa).
1 person likes this.
Always love your classes on PA! As always amazing! Thanks ????
We would LOVE it if you move here Mariska! Thank you for all you do for us!
Happy Birthday Paola!
1 person likes this.
Mariska, thank you so much for this creative class! I love the variations and I had a lot of ideas how to expand on your work!
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