Class #2698

Active Prenatal Reformer

50 min - Class


Get out of your head and into your body with this prenatal Reformer workout with Courtney Miller. She focuses on movements that feel natural, intuitive, and complimentary to the changes that are happening in your body. She encourages you to trust that your body knows best so you should listen to what it is telling you and move from a place that feels right.

This class is great for all bodies, whether you are pregnant or not. Courtney encourages you to make the workout your own by adding modifications or challenges when they are needed.
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box), Baby Arc

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Courtney Miller, and I'm so excited to be back on Pilates Anytime to share another prenatal workout with you. I'm 34 weeks pregnant. The last time i was here, I was almost six months, so I'm 8 1/2 months, and I'm feeling really good, and I hope that you are, too. If you're also pregnant and you're following with me, congratulations, and let's keep moving together. If you're not pregnant, that's awesome.

You can totally do this workout, regardless. You'll hear me make some very specific notes for the prenatal client, especially the prenatal body that's in the third trimester. But listen to your body. You can advance or you can modify to really make this workout your own. This workout is all about moving with intuition.

So I believe that throughout your pregnancy, during labor, and birthing your child, you have to trust that your body knows best. You have to go inside, internally, and move from a place that just feels right. And that's what inspired this class for me. So I want to try to get out of my head, into my body, and doing the movements that feel very just intuitive, very natural, and very complementary to the changes of my body and what my body needs. So you'll be hearing me making mentions to that.

That might mean something to you, or maybe nothing at all. But if you do take something away from the theme of this class, just remember to move from a place of intention. I have two red springs on to start, my bar's in mid-bar position, and I have a prop. I'm using the baby arc. You could use something instead of the arc.

But because I'm not gonna be lying supine, I wanna be lifted up. Additionally, I want to be able to move my spine through ranges of motion greater than just flexion. So the arc allows me to go into extension, add in some supported rotation, et cetera. So if you don't have this, that's okay. You could use a BOSU, you could use a ball.

I showed you some variations using the ball last time I was here. Or you could make up your own prop by using a blanket, a towel, or a yoga bolster. So sitting with your bottom onto the carriage and your back against the prop that you're using, come into a supported flex position, taking your feet onto the bar. Now in my third trimester, I don't have a lot of choice other than working in a wide stance. My belly is in the way.

So if you are not in your third trimester and you wanna take a more narrow stance or parallel position, I encourage you to play with that, too. I'm toes on, and I'm nice and wide. Arms are forward. Now in this position, I am in a c-curve, so I definitely feel that my abdominals are working. The arc is supporting the c-curve.

But instead of just completely relaxing onto it, I am using my core to stay lifted and engaged. Let's just practice the leg position. Inhale to press out to straight legs. Exhale (exhales deeply) to pull my feet and my seat closer together. Inhale to press, exhale to pull. (exhales deeply) My arms are just reaching forward.

You could choose to have the hands down instead, or in an alternate position. I have the arms forward in preparation for what's coming next. Now making sure that you're pushing all the way out to straight legs, drawing up through the front of the thighs, notice what's happening at the heels. Are you able to keep them lifted? Are you able to keep them stable as you press?

Adding the arms, pressing out, arms will lift up. Now the challenge here is that the weight of the arms will force me to work my core more (exhales deeply) than when my arms just stay stationary. So if you feel that this is not ideal for you, simply keep your arms forward instead. (exhales deeply) I'll do four more here. Pushing all the way out, arms go up and down.

Eyes are forward. Three, (exhales deeply) two, (exhales deeply) and one. (exhales deeply) Let's continue to build. Instead of the arms reaching up, as I press out, one arm will open, and I'll rotate towards that arm. As I come through center, I bend the knees.

And I'm gonna stay on the same side. So press, and close. (exhales deeply) Press, and close. (exhales deeply) Press, and close. And this truly is whole body integration. So my arms are working. I'm getting great movement through my spine.

My legs are working. (exhales deeply) On the next one, I'm gonna press and hold. Now like I'm playing a game of tug of war between my hands, I'm gonna slowly lower myself down over the barrel, reaching with my hands away from each other in opposition, pull myself back to the c-curve, and close. Press, lean, lift, and close. Core work.

Press, lean, lift. One more time. Press, lean, lift, and close. Now before we go to the other side, there's one more part to this series. Press out, lean.

Now follow the arm, take a stretch all the way around, and come back up. Feels amazing. Press out, little lean. Follow the arm. Try to create more length and space.

Come through your c-curve as you come back. Two more times. Press and lean. (exhales deeply) Port de bras with the arm, one more time, press, lean, lengthen, and come all the way up. Ooh, that was hard work. Lots of work in the arms.

So the idea here is that we're creating spiraling and length through the thoracic spine. So important for pregnancy. Let's do the other side. So arms are forward, toes are on. Let's go right to the reach up, (exhales deeply) and down.

Lift, and lower. (exhales deeply) Inhale to press, and exhale to pull. Or exhale to press, and inhale to pull. Remember, you are moving in a very intuitive nature. So what feels right for you is the right breath pattern. Last one like this.

(exhales deeply) Adding our rotation without the lean. Press. (exhales deeply) Neck is long and free of tension. Press. (exhales deeply) One of the key elements of moving from a place of intention is that nothing should feel forced.

So if it feels forced, then we probably need to make a little change. Let's stay out on the next one. Tilt, reach with the arm, scoop, and close. Press, tilt, scoop, and close. Reach. (exhales deeply) One more time, press, tilt, reach.

Let's take it around the world. Press, tilt, stretch, c-curve to come back in. Press it out, tilt and lean, let the spine move, and bring it in. Hips stay heavy. Press, tilt, take it around, and come in.

One more time, press, and around big length, and opening through that whole side. Nicely done. Taking the hands down, taking the feet on now, so that the heels are on. Now with the heels on, I feel a little bit more through my seat. Arms can go forward again, or hands can stay down.

You can choose. Press all the way out through straight legs. Heels are heavy, deepen the c-curve, resist to come home. (exhales deeply) And resist. Now I want you to take a look at your feet. If your heels are wider than your sit bones, then narrow them just a smidge.

We're about to go into single leg. So we want that load distribution, joint in line with joint. So heel in line with sit bones. One more time. (exhales deeply) And come in, good. Press all the way out.

So you'll have to transfer your weight to one leg. Prepare for it. I'm gonna be pressing into my right, so my left leg can go under. Now because I was prepared for that, my pelvis didn't rotate. The leg stays straight as the carriage comes home.

You see how it's going under the footbar? As I press out, I bend the knee. And maybe I can get my toe to touch my knee. In, and out. (exhales deeply) In, and out. (exhales deeply) In, and out. (exhales deeply) In, and out, adding the arms. They go up. (exhales deeply) In, and up. (exhales deeply) Two more, (exhales deeply) one more. (exhales deeply) Both feet down, come all the way in.

See how we do on the other side. Heels in line with sit bones, press out. Pushing into the leg that's gonna be supporting you. The opposite leg goes under. Carriage comes home.

As we press out, the knee bends. It's not important that the toe touch the knee. Just work on keeping those hips level, and extending the leg long. Push through your heel. And push, (exhales deeply) and push, (exhales deeply) and push. (exhales deeply) Adding your arm, lift.

Remember, this intensifies the series, makes it more core-centric. Two more, (exhales deeply) one more, (exhales deeply) and come all the way in taking both feet on. Nicely done. Take your time, help yourself come up to a seated position. Remove one of your springs.

So now I have only one red spring on. It's important for the next series that you have the right tension for you, though, so experiment. You may prefer green. Sometimes heavier is more supportive. I'm gonna be leaving the arc on, and opening up through the front of my hips.

So coming to a standing position carefully, making sure your footbar is secure, lifting the heels high. I'm pushing them against the arc. Now the nice thing about this position is I have a lot of support with my ankle. So I'm pushing against the arc. I can feel the distribution of the weight where it should be even between my big toe and baby toe, outer and inner part of my heel.

My shoulders naturally just come right over my wrist, which is the alignment that I want. I'm gonna step one foot forward onto the gray platform, bend into the knee, and push the carriage back. Now it's one thing to note, when you're using the arc, you can see how far forward my foot is. Normally when I do this series, I have my foot all the way back against the shoulder block. Well, this actually makes this series a lot more supportive, and it helps to prevent overstretching or overworking the ligaments of the hips, which is important, especially in that third trimester.

Okay? So here I am in my lunge. From my lunge, I'm gonna test the waters, lifting my arms up to come to a balance. Taking it back down, and bringing the carriage in. And that's all we're gonna do.

So we press out, prepare, lifting the arms up, hands come down, and coming back in. Now let's do two more, thinking about keeping those hips nice and square. Bend to the front knee, find that stability, taking the arms down, and bring it in. One more time, pressing out, lift, taking the arms down, and coming in. Let's add an element to it.

So intuitive movement, to me, includes some cardiovascular conditioning. That's what we're gonna do. So hands are heavy. As I bring the carriage home, the foot that's onto the footbar, or onto the gray platform, comes into what I call flamingo. Again, it's not important that the foot touch the knee.

Think more about the foot coming towards the bum. The spine rounds, the abs draw in, and the head drops down. We plant the foot onto the gray platform, press out. Okay, we're gonna do that four more times without adding the balance, and then we'll put it together. Here we go, exhale up, (exhales deeply) inhale.

Remember, the arc is making it a little bit easier to get that lift, and it's ensuring that I don't go too far back into my stretch. (exhales deeply) One more here, (exhales deeply) foot to bum, and back. Okay, let's build. Inhale, exhale up, (exhales deeply) inhale down. Exhale up, (exhales deeply) inhale down. (exhales deeply) And up.

(exhales deeply) Two more, lift. So I love the balance of flexion here, (exhales deeply) hip opening, and then I try to get a little bit of extension. (exhales deeply) And stretch, very good. Bring the carriage in, take the feet back, take the feet wide, and sit low for a moment. Ah.

So before we do the other side, let's do a little squat series. So squatting's very good for a number of populations. Definitely good for the prenatal client, opens up the hips, allows more freedom of movement and width in the pelvis, allows decompression to happen in the lower back. So get those hips low. I'm actually sitting onto the arc.

If you'd like to intensify this, you could shift your weight forward so your bum is off. Little bit more work in the thighs, okay? So all we're gonna do is keep the carriage home, lifting the hips up, dropping the head down. (exhales deeply) Sit the hips all the way onto the arc, or hover, take those arms back up. This arm up position, the reason you see me keep doing it is that it's recreating a lot of work that's difficult to do when you're pregnant, getting that upper body lift as if you're pulling straps on the long box.

Head goes down, hips go up. (exhales deeply) Hips go down, chest comes up. (exhales deeply) Again, hips up, and chest up. One more time, hips up, (exhales deeply) and chest up. And sit back down, good. Let's repeat the lunging on the other side. So hands are safely onto the foot bar, rise up, come closer to a parallel position, heels are nice and high, supported by the arc.

Opposite foot comes forward now, bend into the front knee. Now you may feel one side is much more coordinated, or stronger, or one side is less stable than the other. So just take your time. Here we are in the lunge, supported by the spring, supported by the arc, we rise up. The hands go down, and we just bring the carriage back in.

So we're not in any rush here. We're just taking our baby steps as we learn the series before putting the whole series together. (exhales deeply) Press and bend, lift the heart, hands go down, and trying to square up those hips. Press and bend, lift the chest, and come all the way up. Let's add on.

So here we are in our lunge. Exhale, bring the carriage in, lift the heel towards your bum. Notice how the shoulders align right over the wrist. See if you can keep those wrist creases high on the footbar, squeezing the finger, squeezing the seat, and dropping the head down. So there's no tension in the neck at all.

The foot lands, and you're just in your lunge. Exhale, (exhales deeply) and inhale. Perhaps you can get the foot to touch the knee, or maybe just focusing on the heel up towards the booty. That's my preference. And down.

Take a moment to bring your attention to what's happening in the upper body in the shoulders. If you're feeling tension there, just let it go. And exhale, (exhales deeply) and inhale, okay. If you choose to go with me, we're gonna add the balance element to it. You don't have to.

Exhale to your flamingo, (exhales deeply) inhale to your lunge. Exhale, lift the chest. Inhale, take it down. So we're going flexion around back like cat through neutral into a little bit of a lift like your cow. (exhales deeply) And up, and pull, (exhales deeply) and up, arms definitely getting a good workout.

Last two. (exhales deeply) Take your time. And one. (exhales deeply) Bring it in, and sit it down again, okay. I widen my stance. So option to get the hips all the way down and sit, and just take a break if you need it. Option to stay more towards the toes.

Either way, feeling like we're opening up through the hips, we're opening through the inner thighs. Now during these squats, think about creating a heavy tailbone, a really light crown of the head. So those two points pull away from each other. You get some lift happening. Exhale up, (exhales deeply) inhale down, lift.

Exhale up, (exhales deeply) inhale down, lift. Two more. Exhale up, (exhales deeply) and inhale, full supported squat. One more, and you're gonna see this squat come up a lot today. Intuitively, it's what I wanna do, what I think I need to do.

And sit back down. It's nice to be so close to your support. Okay, so we're about to build. We're gonna move our bodies in a new direction into some thoracic extension. So take your time as you come off.

Now you'll have to make sure that your reformer is able to lock into its footbar position. If it can, I want you to modify the next series by not coming so high up into your extension. You'll see what I mean when I get there. I'm gonna leave the spring tension that I have, and come to a kneeling position facing towards my prop. Now you can play with this position by moving the prop a little closer towards you.

You can even remove the shoulder blocks on your reformer if that's an option. I'm not gonna do either. I'm just gonna go right into it. One of the things that I really miss is being able to lie down onto my stomach, just like flop onto the bed, and get on my phone, and just lay there on my stomach. So this is kind of like reminding me of that a little bit.

I'm gonna align my thigh bones onto the barrel, not my belly. So I have to find my position so that my thigh bones are onto the barrel. Now I'm able to allow my belly to lower down between the shoulder blocks. That works for me. So that's why I'm saying you might wanna do a few little tweaks so that it feels comfortable for you.

My thigh bones are onto the prop. My legs can lift up into the bar, okay? So there I am. The hands go underneath the shoulders, and I can pretend like I'm just lounging on my bed right now, (laughs) doing some text messaging, and scrolling through Instagram. From here, roll the shoulders open, push into the hands, inhale, lengthen to come up.

Now I want you to think about engaging the seat. So even if your footbar doesn't lock here, you could get it out of the way, you're still engaging through your legs. Legs are long, seat is active. Find the length as you go down, just to a long line is perfect. So inhale, length to come up. (inhales deeply) Exhale, (exhales deeply) length to come down.

Two more times. Inhale, reach the head away from the toes. Exhale. (exhales deeply) One more time. Inhale, (inhales deeply) and exhale. We're gonna add onto this.

You do not have to add on if you're feeling like this is enough for you. Inhale, one arm will lift. Exhale, it'll go down. Opposite arm. Inhale, and exhale. (exhales deeply) Inhale, lift.

Exhale, lower. Inhale, lift, exhale. One more each side, active legs, inhale. So I'm definitely pushing into my hand to help facilitate this lift, (exhales deeply) and come down. Now there's one more element.

Remember, you don't have to build. You can stop wherever you're comfortable. Inhale, length and lift to come up. I'm gonna hold my lift, keep my legs engaged as I practice reciprocal arm movement. (exhales deeply) I'm trying not to shift side to side. (exhales deeply) Two more each arm. (exhales deeply) (exhales deeply) One more. (exhaling deeply) Take it down, push up, slide back, and enjoy whatever supported position feels good for you.

Maybe just a couple of cats and cows. (exhales deeply) That's a tough one. It's not often that we get to get into that position throughout our pregnancy. And because of the muscular changes that are happening, the back body becomes weakened, for sure. I'm gonna take the arc off, but keep it close because you're gonna see it come in again. I'm also gonna reduce my tension.

So remember, I had that red on from before. I'm gonna take it down to a blue. Come to a seated position on the carriage facing back, and sit in whichever position feels most comfortable for you. I'm gonna start with criss-cross applesauce. I'll see if we can evolve to straight legs.

Who knows? I'll just feel what my body is telling me to do. Either way, though, do make sure there's a little bit of space behind you in case you roll back a little bit. Finding your straps for your hands. Make this a posture exercise, not just upper body.

Arms are forward. Open the arms out to a T, and resist as they come forward. Exhale open, (exhales deeply) and inhale. Okay, guys, making sure those ribs don't pop forward here. So exhale, push, inhale, resist.

Two more like this. Exhale, open, inhale, close. One more time. Exhale, open and hold. One arm goes up as the other arm goes down.

Find your center. Opposite arm comes up as the other arm comes down. Find your center, and close your arms. Let's do that again. Open, (exhales deeply) helicopter, so it's a great isometric work for the back body, and close.

One more time. Open. (exhales deeply) Pay attention to the position of your wrist. Keep them long, keep them strong. (exhales deeply) And close, good. Now you'll have to come into a straddle position. So if you did have your legs in a different position, carefully come to straddle.

My feet can meet the floor. If you're on a lower reformer, this works perfectly as well. If you're on higher reformer, and your feet don't meet the floor and they're just dangling, you're gonna need to put something underneath your feet, okay? Sit right in the middle. Grab a hold of your straps, lift up to a low squat position.

I told you we'd be here again. Now my preference is to choke up on the ropes, so I'm increasing the tension by doing this. Grab a hold of the ropes, stay flat in the feet, open through the collarbones, and exhale, narrow row. Inhale, resist, stay low. (exhales deeply) And resist. Collarbones are wide.

And forward. Knees right over toes. (exhales deeply) When I'm doing this, I think about the arches of my feet staying lifted. I think about an even amount of work through the front of my upper body and the back. So I'm not trying to oversqueeze or overuse my back, just like I'm not trying to overwork my chest or my front. (exhales deeply) On the next one, pulling the arms back, holding them here.

Lifting the heels up, lowering the heels down. Release the arms forward. So I pull, I lift, I lower, I release. Pull. As I lift my heels, I also engage through my pelvic floor.

Pull, elevator up, elevator down, and release. One more time, pull, lift, lower, and release. Now here's the important part, make sure the carriage is underneath you before you sit back down, yeah. Okay, coming back to your favorite seated position. I think I'm going back here guys.

If you're in straight legs, that's totally awesome, too. Grabbing your straps, let's do a second series. This time, instead of reaching out to a T, I'm gonna reach straight up to the sky. Just up, (exhales deeply) and back down. If you're starting to feel some tension in your neck, go a little bit wider more like a letter Y or a V.

Close the ribs. Exhale up. (exhales deeply) Wrists are nice and straight. One more time, exhale up. (exhales deeply) Adding on, kinda like the windmill. Exhale up, hold. Without moving the carriage, arms go down.

Without moving the carriage, arms come up. And we move the carriage, of course, when we come in for a break. Lift, isometric work as the arms circle to the sides. Circle up, and down. Two more.

Lift, open, (exhales deeply) lift. One more. Lift, open, try not to lean back. I'm really trying to keep my shoulders over my hips. And down.

Whew, that's a lot of work. Back to your straddle position. So nice wide legs. If you were using props under your feet, grab them again. Don't come up.

Just go to a hover. Grabbing the straps in your hands, I'm just gonna wiggle back a little bit, for a bicep curl. Now the heavier you want this, the higher your elbows should be. If you're just taking it down a notch, bring the elbows narrow into the sides, okay? So this would feel lighter than this. (exhales deeply) So you choose what's right for you. (exhales deeply) Co-contract the abdominals each time you bend the elbows.

Get low. Aches of the feet are lifted for four, (exhales deeply) three, (exhales deeply) two, (exhales deeply) one. Let's add our heel lifts. Pull, hold. Lift, lower, release.

Three more. Pull, hold. Lift, lower, release. Two more. Pull, hold.

Lift, lower, release. Stay with me. Pull, hold. Lift, lower, release. Make sure that carriage is underneath you so you have something to sit back down onto.

Good, it's a lot of work. Roll those shoulders out, release any tension from your neck, and hook up your straps. Okay, so come off to one side. And I'm actually gonna reduce the tension even further. Remember, I was on a blue, which is definitely the lighter side.

And that might work for you. You might keep that blue. I'm gonna move down to a yellow spring, which is 1/4 spring on my equipment. If you don't have a Balanced Body piece of equipment, make sure you find that light spring for this next series. I'll be using the strap that is closer to me, not the one that's behind me.

Coming up to a standing position. So I'm actually gonna take this strap around my ankle like so, okay? And I'm just gonna start with a nice, easy squat and lift. I told you, you're gonna see those squats a lot. Now again, make sure that the carriage is in a place where you can sit onto it.

So you don't wanna sit onto the shoulder blocks. You don't wanna sit onto a prop. Put even weight into both feet, even though what's happening is I'm getting pulled a little bit more towards the strap leg, so I'm just starting to feel some abductor, some inner thighs, and how my hips and my abdominals have to work to keep me centered. Arms are down when your body's up. Arms go forward as you sit all the way down onto the carriage.

And this is sort of step one, just sit, and then come all the way back up. And this might be a great place for you to continue. So you just go all the way down, and all the way up. So think of these as tushie touches, right? The tush touches, you go all the way down.

Three more, inhale down, press through the heel to come up. Two more, inhale down, exhale (exhales deeply) to come up. And exhale to come up. Now I'm gonna build on this, but you can continue doing whatever variation is best for your body today. Instead of touching my tush, I'm going to a hover.

The arms are gonna stay, and I'm gonna shift more weight to the leg that doesn't have a strap. The strap leg touches in, the strap leg touches out, and I'm trying to stay stable. (exhales deeply) And out. Step in, step out. Step in, step out.

Pull in, pull out, four more. Four, three, (exhales deeply) and two, and one. And come all the way up, and relax. So much work through the stabilizing leg. The nice thing about this series, guys, is you're not up on the equipment.

So if your balance is not feeling its best at this point in your pregnancy, it's cool, you can just sit back down. I'm gonna continue to build. Remember to stay where you'd like to stay. So the carriage is pulled out a little bit. I've got a little bit of tension.

Toes are pointing forward. I'm gonna go back into my hovering squat. As I come up, my strap leg is gonna come in. It's harder to do slow. Then I'm gonna tap the foot down, find my balance, and go back to the squat.

So exhale up, (exhales deeply) tap and come down. Exhale up, (exhales deeply) tap and come down. Exhale up, (exhales deeply) woops, tap and come down. Exhale up, (exhales deeply) tap and come down. Let's do three more.

Up, (exhales deeply) and down. Two more, up, (exhales deeply) and down. One more, up, (exhales deeply) and down. Let's do one more since I was wobbly. Yeah, there it is.

Concentration, intention. It's a good series. Pivot, and turn. Now that same leg, so notice I'm not switching the strap, that same leg, I'm switching the position. So now the strap is around the arch of my foot.

It's not around my ankle anymore. I'm standing beside the equipment. Note that the further away from the pulleys I stand, the heavier this is gonna feel. So I think I'm good right about here. Come into a bend position in the knees, hinge forward in the spine.

It's this stabilizing leg that's holding you up. Hands onto your hips to start. Two taps with the strap leg. Tap back, tap in, tap back, tap in, abs engaged. Tap, and tap.

Extend, and bend. (exhales deeply) One more time. (exhales deeply) In, lift up. Remember, that's a great place for you to stay. I'm gonna start to incorporate some arms. This is gonna make the series more challenging, more going on.

So bend the knees, hinge forward. As my leg taps back, my arms reach forward in opposition, and back. Think of this as your double-leg stretch on the mat, except the spine is staying stable. Tap, and hug. (exhales deeply) And hug.

We've got four, three, two, and one. Rise all the way up. And the good news is, is you can take that foot out of the strap, hook it up, shake it out, and come around to the other side. Nicely done. So I'm gonna leave that tension on.

Remember, it was my 1/4 spring, my reduced spring. Now you'll be able to see what's happening in my hips a little bit more from this vantage point. I'm gonna place the strap around the arch of my, or excuse me, the ankle of my foot, not the arch yet. And as I turn and I face my back towards the equipment, it is the leg that is to the inside that has the loop. Okay?

So the leg closer to the shoulder block, that's the one that has the loop. You're gonna want a little bit of tension to start. Feet are wide, parallel position. Look back behind you, make sure you have something to sit on, 'cause you're gonna all the way down, 'cause you're gonna have to trust that it's gonna be there. And press to come up. (exhales deeply) Inhale, exhale. (exhales deeply) Sit as you reach the arms forward, squeeze the seat to come back up.

Try to keep your weight centered, even though the strap is pulling you slightly to one side. (exhales deeply) Last four, (exhales deeply) three, collarbones are open, two, (exhales deeply) and one. And continue in that version, unless you're moving forward with me. If you are, just go into a squat position. Now more of your weight will shift to one side, but once it's there, see if you can keep your body stable.

Think of this as your skating series on the reformer, except different muscles, okay? So I'm tapping my inside leg in and out. In and out. In and out. (exhales deeply) So inner thigh on that stabilizing leg, seat on that stabilizing leg.

Four, three, two, one. And rise up, very good. The next one is where we add a weight transfer, shifting our weight from bilateral legs, both legs, to one, back to bilateral. So this is definitely a little bit more challenging. Bend the knees.

As you come up, pull. Tap, articulate the foot, and squat. It's a little bit easier if you go quicker, (exhales deeply) but not too quick. (exhales deeply) And out, that's my tempo. Up, and out.

(exhales deeply) And out. Four. I'm getting a beautiful view here. Three, (laughs) two, (exhales deeply) one. I feel like I need to do one more. (groans) And come all the way up.

Pivot, and turn. Same strap, same foot. Now it's just the arch that's on. That's the only thing that I changed. Adjust your body so you have more or less tension depending on what's feeling right for you.

Slight angle towards the equipment. Bend the knees, pitch the chest forward. Leave the hands on the hips, and let's practice the double-tap. Tap when the leg is back. By tap, I mean touch the floor.

Tap when the leg is in, touch the floor. So press out, control. (exhales deeply) Control, and with your hands on your hips, you can feel if you're truly able to stabilize. (exhales deeply) And in. Four, three, two, and one.

And come all the way up. Lot of work on the glutes. Adding the arms if you choose to, the arms will make things more complicated. So if you're happy, you can stay where you are. When the leg taps back, the arms reach forward in opposition.

The arms hug back. Forward reach. (exhales deeply) Let's press for five, (exhales deeply) four, (exhales deeply) three, two, one. And come all the way up to standing, very good. Make sure the carriage is in its home base position before you take that foot out of the strap, and hook it up.

Okay, I promised you were gonna use the arc again. Let's do it. This time, we'll be placing the arc onto the floor beside the equipment. So coming into a great lunge series, again, to open up those hips. I'm adjusting my spring, so I have a little bit more support.

I have one red spring on. Foot is gonna be onto the arc. So you're gonna wanna make sure that's aligned properly. For me, I like to have my toes pretty much in line with where the platform of the reformer starts. That's a good position.

Hands come onto the footbar. Curl your toes underneath you. Push your feet against the shoulder block, and come into an Eve's Lunge position. Now from here, exhale, just round the back, (exhales deeply) bringing the carriage in a little, mostly focusing on this straight leg and square hips, and press out, open stretch. So exhale, (exhales deeply) just a lift.

Inhale, easy press. Two more, exhale. I'm actually thinking about pulling my thigh bone up in towards my hip socket. And press out. One more.

Pull, and press out. Now if you feel comfortable, hands can come onto the thigh. So I don't have any support here other than my core. Bringing the arms to goalie post position, or just holding hands onto the thighs, I'm gonna go into my breast stroke, reaching the arms forward, lifting my chest, and circling around. Forward in total, lift, (exhales deeply) reach, (exhales deeply) lift, reach, (exhales deeply) lift.

Hands go down, knee goes down. Adjust your supporting knee, the one that's on the carriage so that it's back. Press back, and I'm gonna go through a different stretch now. So for me, that last one was a lot of glutes to hold me there. Now I'm gonna focus on opening through the front of the hip on my back leg.

So as I pull my foot towards my bum, I start to feel that stretch. Now you may be able to reach back and grab that foot, and just give you a little bit of a deeper stretch. And that's all we're doing, just breathing, letting the hips release forward and down, pulling the foot towards your bum, enjoying it. This is the end. When you're ready, carriage comes in, legs come down, and you're gonna wanna walk that arc, or that prop, over to the other side.

Let's see how we do. Remember to listen to your body. Foot comes on, hands come on, toes curl under. Just come into a nice, low lunge to begin. All I'm focusing here is exhale, (exhales deeply) lifting up through the belly, straightening the leg, pulling the hip up, pulling the femur up, and pulling the hip back.

Inhale, let it open. Exhale, (exhales deeply) and inhale. And the nice thing about the arc, too, if you're using it, is because of it's rounded surface, it's quite supportive on the natural arch of the foot. And sometimes throughout pregnancy, we start to lose that arch in the foot. We start to create more of a flat foot position.

This is a good time to think about the shape of the foot. One more time. (exhales deeply) Press out. Hands to the thigh is a good place to start. This might be where you wanna stay.

If we're moving together, we reach forward on an inhale, circle around. Exhale. (exhales deeply) On an inhale, circle around. Exhale. (exhales deeply) On an inhale, circle around. One more time, exhale. Circle around.

Hands go down, knee goes down. Walk the knee back towards the shoulder blocks. Come into a lunge position. Breathe and hold, hold and breathe. Everything's good.

If you're ready to add on, bring the foot towards the seat. Maybe you can reach back and grab a hold, give it a nice, little pull. Easy breezy does it, though. I think about my hips sinking forward and down as my chest lifts up. (breathes deeply) So these types of stretches here on the reformer can sometimes be more accessible than on the mat. On the mat, sometimes we even go into a little bit of external rotation on that standing leg.

Bringing the carriage all the way in, and the foot down. And you are ready to move on to the rest of your day. What I hope that you got out of this series is that our body will tell us what it needs to do if we listen. So move, breathe, listen, move with intention, and move from a place of intelligence from within. And remember that during your birthing process, that's gonna be stronger than ever, so it's even more important you start to channel into that now.

Trust that your body and your baby know best, and that your head doesn't need to intervene into that process. If you start practicing it through your workouts, it's gonna be a lot easier on that day that's coming. I'm so excited about it. Excitement, not fear, right? All right, guys.

Thank you so much for joining me, and I will see you soon. Probably without a belly, and a baby instead. Bye.

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4 people like this.
I am always thrilled to see your videos! Your creativity is so uniquely expressed in all of your pilates classes. Your material is a great source for many of my clients and students alike. Much happiness to you and your new bundle of joy! that will definitely bring many blessings into your life!!
Thanks Courtney. You are amazing!
1 person likes this.
This was great! Very helpful for my personal workout as well as my work with expectant mommies! Congrats on your little baby!
1 person likes this.
I agree with everybody: Courtney, you are amazing. Congratulations to your baby! I hope all is well.
1 person likes this.
Courtney Miller, congratulations! You are looking beautiful. amazing class.
1 person likes this.
I felt amazing during and after this class Courtney thank you!
Theresa L
1 person likes this.
Great class as always! Thanks Courtney. You look amazing! Enjoy the little baby and keep us posted.
Especially enjoyed the straddle squat arm work - with heel lifts...! Awesome.
4 people like this.
Courtney, since joining I have faithfully followed your postings! I get so excited when I see a new class from you! I can't believe this message might even be read by you!! Ahhh you are such an inspiration. Thank you so much for being an amazing role model to so many!! Pilates is transformative. Your practice shines with positive energy!! All of your classes are done with so much intention, humble confidence and just a bright positive light!! Thank you kindly for all you do for the world of Pilates!
1 person likes this.
Any chance you could do another prenatal mat?
1 person likes this.
As always creative and challenging
Im not pregnant and i was sweating haha balance has always been a challenge for me with bad hips
Thankyou and congrats on thebaby
Cya soon :)
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