Class #2755

Deep Core Relationship

40 min - Class


Some strong athletes see the Reformer as a piece of gym equipment. In a series of classes, Karen Sanzo teaches advanced sessions to concentrate on a deeper set of trunk exercises which challenge the athlete to understand that the core is and will always be a relationship to build. From the explanation of breathing vs. bracing vs. bulging, Karen is teaching, guiding, and lecturing all at the same time.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Weighted Balls, Pilates Pole

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Thanks for being here. This is my daughter. This is my middle child. This is Sienna. She's gonna work on the reformer for us today.

I'm gonna go ahead and have her lie down, put her feet up here on the bar. Today's session is a different kind of challenge. I think it's a different kind of challenge for her and it's a different kind of challenge for me as a teacher. One of the things I think we need to refresh ourselves on when people are new to Pilates but aren't new to fitness is how we can take some of the Pilates exercises and kind of bring them to life so that they can kinda see what the big deal is because the reformer is not a piece of gym equipment. It's a reformer and it uses its springs to challenge and it uses its springs to facilitate.

But we are gonna start with something very familiar and a familiar feeling to her footwork. So I have her on a heavy springage here. Just press yourself out and bring yourself in. So keep doing that. One of the things that has been so interesting with Sienna in our conversation as we were starting with Pilates is to really figure out what the core is.

Okay, and then go out one more time and stay out. Now, I'm gonna ask her to squeeze her buttocks. Go ahead and squeeze your buttocks and see how her pelvis kinda pushes up to the ceiling and release your buttocks down. And I'm gonna put this little ball right on her belly button and what I want her to think is how that weighted ball kinda sinks down into the abdomen without changing the shape of your spine and then bring your knees coming in. And now do that a couple more times because when we work with Pilates with an educated individual who loves fitness and loves different kinds of ideas, I need to find out some words and some cueing that gets to her body so that I'm not trying to prove anything, I'm not trying to saying this exercise is better than anything else, but what I'm trying to do is make a connection.

So now push out and stay out and pause right there. Can you push your legs, yes she can, any bit longer so that you feel the whole flattening of the front of your thigh. Good, now take this leg up in the air. Hold that right there keeping the ball stable lower and raise this leg several times. Great.

As you raise and lower that left leg, keep this opposite leg very firm. Very nice, one more. And then lower yourself down. Other leg comes up and down. Some dynamic flexibility so important, stability in the trunk, the ball sinking down.

I'll take that away in a little while. Sometimes that can get aggravating. And then last time, and then bend your knees and come all the way in and pause right there. One of the things that she did say to me was how helpful this ball was. This only weighs what, like 50 pounds, no.

This weighs a couple, like a two pound ball, and again when I put it here, she feels the hollowing of her belly because one of the questions that she asked and that many of my athletes ask is the difference between a core bracing and a core hollowing and when we have low load and high load exercises, different pieces kick in at different times. So what I'm going to do now is she's going to move her feet to our Pilates V position and she's going to use this same heavy spring on here. There's three red springs on here and a green one. So press yourself out and then come in just five times consistently. So press out, the heels always staying in the same position, of course.

Her chest is soft, her abdomen is scooping in, and we'll do this two more times. Good, and then last time. And come back in. Now switching to our bird feet or our prehensile. This has been really interesting to work with dancers of this so that it's not necessarily their feet that are grabbing but it's their forefeet that are lengthening or the forefoot that is lengthening.

Press your feet down as you go out and then pull your bottom towards your heels as if you're gonna drag the carriage in. Good, press and then pull. Just five times here and we'll move on. And then pull yourself in. Do that one more time.

Now go out and stay out and pause right there. As I have her come in, I'm gonna resist her shins. So bring yourself in, pressing your shins into my hand. Can you feel your whole leg become active right there? And now I'm gonna have you press down on my hands as you go out, good come back with your trunk muscles there.

Good, and then bring yourself back in. Now you do that a couple more times imagining that my hands are there. Yes, nice and slow. Heavy spring, she certainly has the leg strength to do this. And do that one more time and then bring yourself all the way in.

So now I'm gonna take this spring down. I'm gonna take this spring down and we're just gonna come on a light, there's just one green spring, this is a balanced body reformer. Press out a little bit just so you can feel how that's a lighter spring. Can you feel how that's a lighter spring there. So I'm gonna come back to the ball.

I'm gonna keep the ball on her abdomen, move back to the heels. And now it's a lighter spring. I want her to have a quicker pace, not rushed but just a little bit quicker, so you can feel how your core is gonna catch you now a little bit. Is that subtley different, just a little bit there. Yes, so you gotta keep connected through the feet.

The ankles pull back, very good, three more like that. The ball, of course, giving really really good feedback. Good, and then last time. Go out, stay out. Now pause here, slide your feet down to the balls of your feet and then add a tendon stretch.

Low or raise your heels several times, mm-hmm, and what I want you to notice here is how nice and long her thighs are here. Go ahead and bulge your thighs for me, kind of squeeze your buttocks and, you see how too much of a squeezed buttocks and a lot of people that are really strong will kind of use their glutes and thighs like this, and you're gonna reach down and long. We'll talk about that again in our common grippers tutorial. Okay, one more time, come up, stay up. Pause yourself right there.

Take this leg straight to the ceiling. Now, flex this heel and drop this heel simultaneously and then do those over and over again. So flex and point over and over again, very good. Two more times like that. And then last one.

Good, and then lower that leg down and take the other leg up. So keeping this key connection here, down and up, mm-hmm, and then down and up, reminding her all the time what the connection is that we're trying to accomplish. Good, and then one more time, and then lower that leg and bring yourself all the way down and bring your carriage all the way in. I'm taking the ball away now, we don't need it anymore. Now I can just say hey remember that ball that was on your belly and you can kind of come back to that cue.

If you give a client a really good cue, they can kind of put that in their memory there. So now with your hands on the straps, take your hands here in these loops here. Oopsie, let me untangle this here. Okay, just hold your arms right there and I'm gonna put her on two red springs now. And one of my favorite things to do in terms of a core connection is to just gather some strength in the arms, mm-hmm, and then fold your two legs in off of the bar, mm-hmm, very good.

And then take your thighs away from you a little more to vertical and just hold that there. Straighten your elbows, straighten your elbows and hold. Okay, breathe in big and breathe out. Why is this so important? Well if I talk a little bit longer she'll tell you that she feels this in her trunk.

This is no neck flexion. She's not curled up but she's feeling some heat and some buildup in the core. Is that true? Mm-hmm, good, good answer. And then lower one leg, lower the other leg, good.

And then release your arms just a second. And then we'll do that again. Take your arms up to the ceiling, mm-hmm. Now simultaneously, can you lift both your legs to just my hand. Very good, hold right there.

Now we add a leg sway to the left. Inhale (breathes in) and then bring yourself back to center and then a leg sway to the right and then bring back to center and then one more time leg sway to the left, lengthen your lever arms till your legs go straight over there, hold, bend them back in, bring yourself all the way back, leg sway to the right, hold, straighten them out, bend them back in, bring yourself back to center. The feet come down, they pause right there. Good. This time taking your feet back into 90 degrees, take your arms to the ceiling.

Raise and lower your arms towards the side of mat by your pelvis, all the way down and then all the way up. Good. Okay. Very simple exercise getting ready for the hundred beats. You know the hundred beats.

Today I'm gonna her do the hundred beats with her head down, okay, and her legs long. So go down, stay down with the arms. Reach your legs out and then start to pump your arms. Inhale (breathes in) and exhale, good. Good breathing, good. Inhale.

I always think that's so silly to tell somebody good breathing, but hey it beats the alternative. Good, keep going. Can you straighten your knees and lower your legs down to touch that bar and then raise 'em back up again. Three, yes, and then exhale, lower them down again. Really remember that ball that was there in your abdomen.

Good, and then down. And then last time up. Good job. And then last time down, knees bend into 90 degrees, elbows come to bending, and then tricep press for me ten times, go. Press and release and then press and release, three, good.

Something familiar for her, something familiar. Okay, good, three more. And two more. I count in twos. And then last one, very good.

And then put your feet down on the bar and take your straps away, good job. Changing her from handles to straps for leg work. So knowing that we were working on a lighter spring to challenge stability, I'm gonna have you hold this. You're gonna put your feet in there in just a second but hang on I'm gonna change your springs. I'm going to go from a very traditional two red to just one green, okay.

Put your feet in the straps. So it's a little bit lighter than usual. And press your legs out to my hand. Okay, you'll agree that it's a little bit lighter than you're used to. So I've just thrown some other things in here for today's work a little bit different.

Let your legs come up. Her hamstrings are a little tight but they're not that tight. Juice up this leg for me, there you go. So with two straight legs, squeezing your heels together, take your legs to my hand, inhale, and press them down, exhale, good. Take the legs up towards vertical, inhale.

Good, and then bring 'em down, exhale. You'll notice the length of her torso is staying. As her legs come up they crease at the hips. Tighten the thighs, pull them down. Make leg circles please.

Inhale, legs up, open. Exhale, down, close. Good, inhale, up, open (inhales deeply) and then exhale, down, close. One more time in this direction and then you're gonna reverse 'em. But before you reverse them, give me some more juice in here.

Yes, good job. Now open the legs up, bring them to vertical, close them and down. Even though the straps are there on your feet the work is coming much more proximal from your hips and your thighs. One more time. Very good.

And then bend your knees into your chest like a little frog shape and then let your bottom curl up a little bit kinda get a little stretch in that low back right there. Good, take your hands on the straps. You're coming out of here now because I'm gonna change the springs now. You have the straps? Mm-hmm.

I'm gonna change the springs now for our next little sequence here on spinal mobility. So I'm gonna go back to our springs for short spine, okay. And what we're gonna create here in our next series of exercises are the exercise short spine, long spine and overhead. They're all trunk flexion challenges and I feel like she will do them really really well. A couple she's done, one will be a new one today but it's always nice to throw a new exercise in for our athletes.

Okay, so two feet come in to your straps. You have to be careful when you say two feet into the straps because one time I said that and they put both feet into one strap and I think that that's gonna make for another workshop some day but for now we have one foot in each of the straps. So just press your legs away, mm-hmm, and then bend them back in. Just kind of feel this connection right here. Good.

And then go out and stay out. Now because we're getting ready to go on a short spine, we're gonna lower the headrest down of course. So we're gonna raise this up and make it go down flat. Good, now just bring your legs to 90 degrees for me. Good, pause right there.

And now as you roll over your legs will reach towards my hand, the carriage will come all the way in with control, beautiful. Now bend your knees, your buttocks stays facing the ceiling, that's lovely. Keeping the heels squeezing, roll your trunk down. And continue to press your feet as you roll your trunk down. Exactly, exactly, exactly, very nice.

Inhale, press, (inhales deeply), exhale to 90, pause, good, pause right here. And now peel your buttocks like your feet are gonna paint my hands. Let the carriage come in, good. Bend your knees a little bit further this time. Drop your knees down, good.

Unwind, pressing your feet just like the shape of rolling like a ball. One more time, we'll do it a little bit different way. Your legs stay straight, they go all the way up and over, touch your heels, mm-hmm. The carriage will come in, very nice. Now bend your knees, look right at your feet.

Let your feet stay put now. Roll your chest down and roll your ribs down, right. So the angle behind your knee will grow, very good. Now when it can't roll anymore, do a hamstring curl, pull your heels, beautiful. Then your buttocks, then your heels and we'll do that one one more time.

Press, see if you can get all the way up and over on one exhale, good, knees bend in. Keep your feet and roll your bottom down, dripping, beautiful job. Pull your heels into my hand, pause. Roll your bottom, pull your heels. Very good, rest right there, okay.

Now, press your legs out one more time and then open your legs kind of as wide as you can here. Good, and just pause right there. Juice up the legs. Now flex and point your heels. Flex and point, mm-hmm, good.

Roll your pelvis flatter, yes, very good, just like that. Flex and point, good. One more time. Point and hold the point. Pull your legs all the way together from your inner thighs.

Knees come in, hang onto your straps. Take your feet out, mm-hmm. And put your feet down. Rest right there. Okay, so now we're going to do our exercise we call long spine and the difference is we have the same spring tension but the straps have grown longer.

So I'm gonna put the handles back on and I'm gonna add these extender straps. Because the long spine exercise has the legs straight the whole time and I like to compare long spine and short spine after I get this untangled to like open leg rocker and rolling like a ball, right, so that one is a longer version of flexion and the other one is a tighter version of flexion. Can you just hold that for me right there. So I'm gonna put the hardware on the outside. And if you're doing this at home this'll take a little time for you to get set up as well so it's good we have real time right here.

So we have the same spring on. Press your feet on the foot bar, mm-hmm, and put your left leg in there and press that leg away and then the other one and press away. And you can feel right away that the straps are longer, can't you? Can you feel that right there? So tighten up your legs, mm-hmm.

So now go ahead and bend your knees in and just kind of pause right there. Put your buttocks heavy, yes, just squeeze your heels. Yes, very nice, and feel that connection there, okay. So press your legs out, mm-hmm, squeeze your legs together, take your legs to 90 and start to curl yourself up from here. The carriage will come in.

Now open your legs that you're up there, good. Now start to press your legs away from you Sienna as your pelvis comes to my hand. Oh fabulous, and now just drip your spine down. That's it, keep pressing the legs, keep pressing the legs, keep pressing the legs, keep pressing the legs. Very good, close the legs.

Wow, awesome. I think I needed to say keep pressing the legs one more time. We'll see how many times I can get it in this time. Okay, take your legs up and over. Peel, mm-hmm, let that carriage come in just a tad.

There you go, good. Open the legs, press your legs away as your pelvis comes this way, yes good. And now grow long and drip yourself down. If you feel like your head is gonna pop up then kinda look backwards a little bit, good. Close the legs, go up and over one more time.

This'll be the third one in this direction. (inhales deeply) Arms long, palms down, open legs. Very good, press away your legs from your pointed toe, from your pointed ankle drip, drip, drip, yes and then close and open the legs. Now go over with your legs open and then close your legs from here and then push the legs away from you. Yes, ooh this is a little bit tougher.

That's good, just like you're long like a rocket ship. Come on down, very good. Open the legs and then let the legs come up and over. Fabulous job. Close the legs, push the legs away.

Roll the spine down. You got it. Last one, open, up, over, squeeze thighs, press them away, armpits pressed down. Close that wrist right there, good, and then drip down. Nice job.

Now do three leg circles in each direction, kinda big, kinda sloppy, that's it. And what I mean by sloppy, just let it go here for the hips 'cause you've just done all that work in there. Remember that ball in your belly button? Yes, good job with that core connection. And then last time, very good.

Now bend the knees in, take your hands in the handles. And then I'm gonna unhook these. It's gonna be like a little magic. Your hands stay in the handle. We didn't practice this beforehand.

Anyway, and then bring your elbows into your side, mm-hmm. And then reach your legs long over the bar getting ready for overhead. Okay, so arms up to the ceiling now. As your arms, I need to get a little bit lighter spring here, as the arms press down, the legs lift up. They go over your head, mm-hmm, arms pressed down, legs come over, mm-hmm good.

Now kick the legs to the ceiling, hold right there and then slowly lower down, arms come up, legs go down to the bar. Did you want me to put that other spring back on? That might help you go over or do you feel you have control here? (replies quietly) Okay, drop your shoulders, good. As your arms press down, the legs come up.

Arms pressed down, good. Now take the legs to the ceiling, good. And then slowly lower down and then the arms come up and the legs come down. On this last one I want you to try to lift your legs over your head once your arms get all the way down to the mat. Now keep the arms, beautiful.

Legs come to the ceiling, keep going, keep going, good. And now slowly drip down, drip down, you've got it. And bend your knees into your chest, put your feet on the bar, rest right there. Fabulous job. I'll take these.

Roll to your side, come on up. We'll grab our long box now. So now to build spinal extension we'll do pulling straps into breast stroke. So you're gonna lie on your belly here facing your straps please. So your head is this way, lie on your tummy.

And just, I like for the sake of sound, lace your hand through here, just put it all the way through that handle and grab up here kinda high. There you go. There you go, just like that. And now reach your legs long and make that nice connection between your thighs and your bottom. Arms are down on the side of the carriage, mm-hmm.

So pause with your arms long by your side right here, feed your shoulders, good. So everything stays in line, like the crown of your head is reaching this way, good. And just pull your arms back to your pelvis. Don't lift your spine, mm-hmm, and then release. How much further can you pull your arms all the way up to here?

Pull, fabulous, and then return. Now pull your arms and lift the chest. Pull the arms, lift the chest like the, there you go, beautiful, and then release and do that two more times. Inhale pull, exhale release, good leg connection, good buttocks connection. Last time pull, exhale pause right there, nod your head a smidge, good.

Lengthen the chest bone, fabulous. And then lower yourself all the way down. Good, lower your chest, make your arm straps get longer by just grabbing maybe the silver part there. Take your arms out to the side like a T. Yes, hold that load with straight elbows, crown of the head long, legs long, and then pull your arms all the way to your side, good.

And they're staying parallel to the floor now, yes. And then let them come out to a T. Good, inhale pull (inhales deeply), exhale release (exhales), good, inhale pull, nice. Exhale release. Last time pull and be very careful here.

Yes you're doing well not overly extending the neck. Hold for five, reach your legs long four, three, two, one and then release and bring yourself all the way down and pause right there. Let go of these, get off the box. And we're gonna turn around and face the other direction. So this next exercise is called breast stroke.

This will tie in your arms lengthening in front of you to a long lengthened front of the body. So you'll stand inside here and inside here. I'll cue her through it. So we have one red spring on, okay. So pull your straps to the front corners.

Lie yourself down. And then let the straps kind of go long by your side, very good. So starting here I like to have the palms this way to start with. That way they can understand how to then supinate the hands and do a bicep curl, hands to shoulders. So just pull your, yeah just do that a couple of times.

Good, and then just keeping this, I'm just gonna move her hair out of the way, keeping this relationship, here's her occipital to C7. She's not shortening her neck. She's thinking long, good. Do that one more time and then pull in, stay like this. Now do an overhead punch of your hands a couple of times like that, good, exactly.

Be sure you straighten your elbows all the way, good. Last time, go up there, stay up there, pause. Now I'm gonna come down here by her feet. She's gonna lift her chest, arms raised. Open the arms out to the side and then bring your whole body back down, okay.

So, bend the elbows, overhead press your arms, good. Now when you lift up Sienna don't overextend that neck. Lift your heart, lift your chest, oh my goodness. And bring yourself all the way back down. Bicep curl your arms, good.

Push, inhale here big, now lift your head as you lift your chest and then bring yourself down. Last one, that was a good one. Press, reach up, lift chest, lower traps, scooping around your body, and then lower yourself down, very good. I'll take these, mm-hmm. Bring yourself right off the box.

It's interesting about how the neck in extension oftentimes wants to lift a little bit more because it thinks it can and sometimes what we have to do is coax it out of that, okay. We just have to kinda keep the chest lifted and you can feel when you didn't, well I don't know if you can feel but you can let me know, that if you lead with the head too fast, it actually doesn't let you lift as high because then you're not accessing the whole front line. Does that make sense? Yeah. Okay, so now our long stretch series, our plank series, so we're gonna change the springage here.

I'm gonna have her on a red and a blue, a little bit more challenging. So your feet will be on the shoulder rest. This is our series that goes dynamically. It's kind of brisk. Again, she's a really good listener so lift your face package, nod your chin, stay long, tighten your thighs.

Go, five times. Inhale and then exhale, mm-hmm. Inhale, drop your pelvis a little bit more. Open your chest a little bit more in front. There you go. Two more like this.

Good, and then last time. This is your long stretch. Good, come back in, drop down onto your knees. Keep your toes exactly pressed back against the shoulder rest, good. Now for our down stretch you're actually gonna sit back a little bit, mm-hmm.

Drop your chest for me a little bit, the other direction please. There you go. Now, press your legs back without moving your arms. Good, a little bit more, good. Now let your pelvis ride forward as your chest lifts.

So you're gonna come into extension. Your pelvis goes forward as your chest lifts. And then you press down with your arms to lift that whole package up. And then do that three times. I'm not hurting her, I'm just lengthening her skull.

There you go. Thighs connect front body long, just kinda how you felt just on that last exercise called breaststroke. Can you bring these hip creases a little bit more forward? Yes, and on this last one come forward, stay forward, stay there. Press down here to lift up here, good.

Now you're gonna nod your head, curl your tummy and bring your whole knees, both your knees up off the carriage to the exercise upstretch. Keep coming up, keep nodding this head. Hold yourself right there, good. Legs go out for one (inhales deeply). Press your legs out, come to a plank, that's it.

The whole body comes forward over the bar, good. Take the carriage all the way home, all the way home the carriage goes, butt stays down. There you go, nod your head, pull your ribcage up and then bring yourself back to starting. Legs go out for one, come down to a plank. Move your body forward, all the way forward, all the way forward, all the way forward, yeah.

And then nod the head, scooping in that belly. You got it, one more time. Press out, that's the challenge is to bring that carriage all the way forward and then scoop that belly like you're sucking that ball all the way up in there, very good. And then drop down to your heels. Oops, stay up there please, just drop down to your heels.

You're gonna do the exercise they call elephant. So drop down to your heels (inhales deeply) ah. Good job, nod your face, pull your ribs up. This is a flexion exercise so your legs will move back and forth, mm-hmm. Good, lift your toes up for me.

Push out and pull in. Pick these right up off of the mat. That's it. So you really get and lengthen those back calves, that's it. Good, now come in and stay in.

Now let's be really mindful here. These front ribs come to your back ribs. You nod your head, you round this part of your spine. Now keep that relationship, okay, as you push and pull your legs, yeah. Push and pull the legs.

Right where you feel my hand push up, that's where you pull in from. Two more, yeah that's it. Last time, come in and stay in. Take this right hand, reach it over to this shin. Nod your head a little bit, mm-hmm.

Look towards your left knee. Take the front ribs to your back ribs, good. And now push your two legs out and in. Five, mm-hmm, four, tighten this leg, three, there you go, and then two and then one and then switch hands. So stay here for a second.

So the reason why I have you look at this knee is that you can now feel, turn this knee bone out a smidge, yes, because that's your tight leg that you do that there and then twist your whole torso. Very good, now move your legs out and in. Push pull the legs, push pull the legs. That's it, three more. Turn that knee bone out a little bit.

Two more, very good. And then last time. And then bring yourself all the way back in. Nice job, hands come on the bar, very good. And then bring yourself down to kneeling.

Okay, put your feet back against the shoulder rests. Very good, and now curl your bottom underneath you. Sit back towards your heels. The exercise is called knee stretches. Now we hold the shape of your spine here.

I'm gonna have you press the crown of your head into my hand and see how that fires up your belly here. That's a great, great, great shape. Now push your legs behind you and then pull your legs underneath you. Good, lay arm stay. It's a very dynamic go ten times very quickly.

Good, push pull, don't let your body come back, just legs and legs, legs and legs, and four pull, that's getting better, three you got it, pull your ribcage back, two and then one and then from here come in and stay in and now let your bottom go back, let your chest get longer, mm-hmm. And now come off of your butt just a little bit or come up from your heels, good. Now hold that shape of your spine and go out and in several times, push and pull, mm-hmm. Keep pushing your legs back till they touch my hand and then pull them in till they touch. Push back and then come in, keeping the sandwich here.

There you go, that's it, mm-hmm. Come back in, stay in, good. So this is a common thing here. You gotta be sure to let your, there you go. Now go out and in from there again.

This is more of a flat back. That's it, two more and then last one, very good. Come to lie on your back. I'm gonna add a red spring. Come to lie on your back.

Your feet will come up on the bar. A little bottom lift in running followed by gondola. Okay, so in this position here let's start with your feet apart on the bar, mm-hmm. Sink your hip sockets down, good, arms long by your side. Lift your pelvis up, till it kinda comes to my hand, good.

Your headrest is down, look straight up at the ceiling. Holding your connection here, press your legs out and in, push and then bring yourself in. So this position of your spine stays. Remember that ball sinking down into your belly. Yes, very good, two more times like that and then come in and then last time, and then bring yourself in and then drip your chest down, drip your ribs down, everything long all the way down, all the way down.

I'm gonna take one of the springs off. That means the exercise is gonna be a lot harder to control. Okay, press your feet, bring yourself on up, mm-hmm. Go out less and then pull yourself in, good. With control, there you go, nice job.

Two more like that, good. And then last time, come in and stay in, reaching your knees long to my hands. Drip your ribs down, dripping, dripping, you've got it. Nice job, very good. Roll off the side, but not to the floor right.

And then bring yourself up to standing and we're gonna do our gondola. We'll finish up with our gondola. I have her on one red spring for this exercise called gondola and this is a great tie-in exercise at the very end. It's kind of a light spring tying in pelvic stability throughout your leg movement, okay. So come stand back here please.

Your right leg will come up on there. Your left leg will come here. I'll stop the carriage here first and then just move this foot out to about here and then turn your feet a little bit outward, mm-hmm, and then make sure your knees are turned out and make sure your bottom is turned on and for the first or second time, and she's not done this exercise a whole lot, so but I love this exercise and I'm gonna have her hold this gondola pole. That's what we call it, the gondola pole. So one thing in this exercise we have to be so careful of is that as soon as the legs open, oftentimes the low back thinks it gets to extend.

And sometimes people always correct their low back arching from a tuck of their bottom. And I don't really want her to do that. I want her to bring her front ribs to her back ribs and keep her chest open, yes. And so right now that position is almost a little harder just to maintain the position, right. Okay, so just hold that right there.

Push two legs apart, mm-hmm, and pull two legs together, good. So it's now how far you go. It's how controlled you stay. So as we watch this belly button here we don't want it to dip forward, good. Now you're going to bend both of your knees and drop down, good.

And then with both knees bent, go out and come in, good, and then out equally and you come in. Let this knee open up, let that belly button, yes, good. And then come in and then stand up tall. Now two straight legs will press out. Legs will bend, the carriage will pull together and you'll grow up tall, good.

Two legs press out. Two legs bend. Pull your legs together. Grow up tall. Last time, two legs press. Pull your dummy and bend.

And then grow up tall. Now we'll reverse it. Bend your knees, pause. Two legs straighten, pause. Two legs pull together, very good.

Two more times. They bend, they straighten. They come together, good. Last time, bend, and out, and straighten and grow tall. Last variation, bend both your knees and pause right there.

Belly button in, yes, yes, yes. Now shuffle this leg out and in. Three, two and one, pause. And then this leg pushes away one, good, and two, good, and three, and bring yourself all the way in, very good. Step down with this leg backwards, mm-hmm, and then walk around to the side of the carriage.

Put your leg on the stable platform first. Bring yourself up, mm-hmm, hands on here. That foot goes out just partway, yeah. It's almost like you're curling your toes here. We have our straight line of action all the way up here.

Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, there you go. Two straight legs firming up, juicing up, out and then in, good. And then out, push, and then pull in, good. And then bend the knees and go out and in. The next time we do this exercise I'll probably even have a lighter spring on it, have her challenged a little bit more or take away the gondola pole, good.

Keep this knee open. That goes all the way up to this hip. Very good and stand up. Now two straight legs out, two straight legs bend. Bring yourself together and then grow up.

Two straight legs out. When they bend, bring this area of your ribs back, oh nice job, and then stack up. Last time, two straight legs, two bent legs. Pull in, grow tall, reverse, bend, push, lift, return. Bend, push and lift and return.

Last time bend and push and lift and return. Pause right there. Last variation, come back, check in. Bend both of your knees, right leg kicks out and in, three mm-hmm, and two and then one. Hold that one and then push off with the left one.

And two and three and then bring yourself in. Good job. Step with your back leg to the floor off of there, mm-hmm. Bring yourself down. Yay, very good job. Nice job.

Thanks. Yes, you're welcome.


I love this! Very well done Karen!!
1 person likes this.
Karen, your cueing, as always, is superb! Just the little corrections and explanations help me to really get the exercises right. Thanks for expanding my horizons! And thanks to your lovely daughter as well.
2 people like this.
Love this Karen. Need to visit your studio soon.
3 people like this.
Karen, your classes are excellent. Any chance you might do an advanced mat class?
3 people like this.
Karen, I'm always so happy to see you at PA! Your classes are wonderful, I agree that your cueing is superb. I enjoyed this class very much, I found some interesting challanges - thanks to you, your daughter and PA!
2 people like this.
great class Karen, thanks, I like your style of teaching!
2 people like this.
Gained a lot from your correctional cueing and adjustment techniques nice to have a "real" client. Great instructor /client teamwork shown. Thank you!
2 people like this.
top notch explanations of where the movement originates, what it targets, less springs being more advanced sometimes. i will repeat this class often.
2 people like this.
Hi Karen! This is Connie Murtaugh from Omaha. Always love seeing you here! Your daughter is lovely. Her breaststroke couldn't have been better. Such beautiful extension. I always learn so much from you. Thank you Karen!
2 people like this.
Thanks, Karen. Always love your classes.
1-10 of 24

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin