Class #2769

Mat Workout

55 min - Class


Work on becoming flexible and strong in this Mat workout with John Garey. He calls this class "elastic Pilates" because he incorporates props with an elastic quality so that we can try to emulate that quality with our own movements. The goal for the class is to be balanced while still being able to move in all directions.
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball, Fitness Ball, Theraband, Magic Circle

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Welcome to Pilates Anytime. I am John Garry. I'm so excited to be here today to teach a class we're calling Elastic Pilates. I'm working with two of my favorite instructors today. They're gonna be taking class with me.

We have Jake and Kelly, and this class is going to use lots of different products that have an elastic quality to them. And what I love about that is that, for instance we're gonna use the Fitness Circle first, and the Fitness Circle has no beginning and no end. So when I think about, when I thought about this workout, I thought about we really all want the qualities that elastic has, especially these elastic products. So you have this kind of no beginning, no end. It's very fluid and we want our movement to be that way.

We're also gonna be using a flex band, or resistance band here. One of the things I love about resistance bands is that they're very flexible, but they're also really strong. And that's what we want our muscles to be, so we're gonna use this today to help us get that as well. And finally, we're gonna be using a mini-stability ball here by Merrithew, and we're also going to be using a larger Swiss ball. If you take a look at those, those are very balanced but they can also move in all directions.

Again, we want our bodies to be able to do that same thing. So as we go through the workout today, keep those concepts in mind and we're gonna start with larger muscle groups and then work our way to the core and then do upper body, lower body it's gonna be a full body workout, full of fun. So are you guys ready to go? Let's get started. I'm gonna grab the Fitness Circle to begin with.

We're gonna do a little standing work. So, this is a really lite Fitness Circle that you can push and pull on. We're gonna be doing a little bit of both of that throughout this standing work. So think of it like you think of footwork, either on the Reformer or on the chair, we're just gonna be doing it on the ground, standing up to begin with. So I want you to hold your Fitness Circle in your hands on the outsides, and you can let your elbows open out to the side without flaring them out.

Keep your feet about hip distance apart and stand at your full height, with your best posture to begin with. Then I want you to take a deep breath in, and then exhale. You're gonna come down and as you come down into a squat, you're gonna keep your weight centered on your feet and reach the circle forward. And then come back up. And again exhale, come down press against the sides of the circle.

And inhale, come back up. Let's do that again. Exhale down. And inhale up. Really give that circle a little bit of tension there as you go down, so that you're actually warming up the upper body as well.

You're gonna feel some work in the chest, you're gonna feel some work in the anterior delt. So down and press, and then come back up, and one more time like that and then come back up. Now we're gonna add on. So what we're gonna add on is rising up on the balls of your feet. So think lift and lower on the Reformer.

So rise up on the balls of your feet, and then lower down. Now what you really want to be careful of guys, is that you stay in the center of the ball of the foot. So you don't want to roll to the outside or inside, and then come back down. We're gonna add a pull on the circle. So grab the inside of the circle, you're gonna inhale up and exhale release the tension.

So think about your breath here. Inhale through the nose. As you pull on the circle you're also expanding the rib cage to all sides. Again inhale up, and exhale down. Now let's put those things together.

So let's inhale as we go down, exhale as you come up, inhale as you rise up, exhale as you lower down. (laughing) Really good you guys, you're so serious. Inhale as you come down, press. Exhale as you come up. Inhale, rise up. And exhale, lower.

Let's see if we can make that a little more fluid, find that balance point. Here we go. Inhale down. Exhale up. Inhale rise.

Exhale lower. Beautiful. Knees track right over the center of the feet. Lift up, and down. Let's do that again.

Down, and up, and lift right in the center of the feet. Beautiful guys. And down, and up, and lift. Let's do a couple more. Are you starting to get warm?

Down press, up. Lift pull and return. Down. And up. Lift and return.

One more time. Down, and up, and lift and return. Beautiful. Let's step. I'm gonna step forward a little bit, you guys can probably stay where you're at, and we're gonna go into a lunge.

So we're gonna do the same thing we just did with our arms. You're gonna come back into a lunge. Let's stay on the same leg so your left leg is gonna go backwards. So go back with the left leg, good. And then come up and as you come up lift your knee and find a balance point here.

Do that again. Reach the circle out as you go down into your lunge and come up. Think single leg on the Reformer. Inhale. Exhale.

Now inhale, press into the circle. Exhale, pull. Let's do one more just like that. We're gonna add on guys, you ready? We're gonna do that same thing, reach back.

As you come up, you're gonna rotate toward the front leg, and come back, lunge back. Come up and rotate. And back, reach back. Find that balance. Come up and rotate.

Do that again. And reach back, come up, rotate, pull on that circle it'll help you stabilize, and again, beautiful. Back. And come up, rotate. Good.

Now let's do it again. This time, when you come up, you're gonna extend the leg. Think Chorus Line. All right (laughing) and come back. Lunge.

Come up, and extend it out. There you go. Come back to the center. So a little bit more challenging. Come up, and reach.

Now press into the circle. Now pull into the circle. (laughing) One more time. Press, nicely done you guys. And pull, come on, you got it.

Find it. Find it, there we go! And back to the center. All right, other side. Whew! So the working leg, you're really feeling that right now, right? Let's balance it out.

So starting with just the lunge. Reach back, and come up. (exhaling loudly) Inhale, big breath in through the nose. Exhale, pull. And again, reach. And pull it up.

And again, reach back. And pull. One more like this. And we add on the next one, rotation. So you're gonna rotate towards the front leg.

Pull on that circle, and back. Rotate, pull. Beautiful. And back. And up and pull, let's do that again.

Reach back. And pull. You're ready to add the extended leg. (laughing) Come on back. Ready or not, reach.

And again, back. And up, pull. Keep breathing guys. Inhale. Exhale up.

We've got one more, make it look good. Back, pull up. Hold, and back to center. Beautiful. Now, we're gonna come over to this side of the room.

Let's just start with the legs. We're gonna do a little side lunge, so really moving around the different muscles in the hip joint. So you're gonna come to the side lunge. It's like a fencer lunge. You're leg will turn out, so come on out into this position for me.

Yeah, and just sink into it. Push back, and let's go to the other side. And turn that lead leg out, knee tracks over the toes, and come back in. Good. Let's do it again and reach to the ceiling.

Exhale, press. Inhale, center. Just turn the leg out, body stays forward, and come back to the center. Reach, and up. Now you press into the circle, and pull.

Press, and pull. You're breathing, right? Inhale. Exhale. Breathe in.

If you were doing the opposite, it's fine just keep the breath flowing. Reach, and come center. And reach, and come center. We're gonna do one more. Reach, and center.

We have to finish on the other side. Reach, and center. Really nice. So you should be nice and warm now. Upper body, lower body connected.

Let's go down onto the mat and you're gonna grab your flex band for this next part. And we're gonna come down onto the mat here, for a little bit of footwork. So we just did footwork standing, now, and we kind of had that really solid ground underneath it, now we're gonna do footwork in the band and our bodies are gonna be against the solid surface. So we're gonna start with toes apart, heels together, so adding a little rotation here. Roll down onto your back, and what I want you to focus on guys is where the band is placed on your feet.

Make sure it's over the ball and toes, and from here, let me just adjust down a little bit, heels are pressing together, elbows are flexed. That's it. And knees are about shoulder distance apart. You're gonna press away, zipper the legs together, inhale return. Exhale.

Press. Inhale to return. I just want you to hold your arms in that bicep curl. Good. Now, let's think about where we have the band.

How we have it running through our hand here. So just flip your hand over, that way, yeah. And you notice that now the band isn't crunching around her fingers. Kelly's got a nice solid grip here, and the wrist is also really nice and long. Inhale to come in.

Exhale, reach away. Now how low should the legs go? They should go as low as you can maintain your pelvic position. So if she goes too low, her pelvis is going to tilt a little bit. I want to keep it nice and level the whole time.

Gonna take a lot of abdominals to be able to do that. Press out, reach. And come back in. Kelly's doing a beautiful job, here she's keeping her elbows off the ground, which is super important because you're not gonna go into the upper traps then. Reach.

And I think you've done a hundred and fifty of those so we're probably good. You're gonna come up into flexion next. So reach the legs away, now when you bend your knees you're gonna go back down onto the mat. Good. Exhale, flex up.

And come back in. So Jake is kind of rocking everything forward. Here what I want to see is that the legs don't go quite as low, and then come back in. So when you press, press at an angle. Yes! And you notice now that the torso is staying stable, specifically the pelvis.

That's what we want, guys. We want to keep that stable, and then come back down. Use that breath. Exhale. Good.

And come back down, so even though we're not moving the arms at all, those biceps are getting a really nice connection there. You should be feeling them work. Yes? (chuckles) Stay up this time. Bend your knees in, breathe in. Great job you guys.

Exhale, press. And come back in. Let's do four more of those. Point your toes as you press out. Inhale to return.

Let's do three more. Press. Inhale to come in. Two more. Press.

Come back in. And you're gonna do one more here. Press it out. Beautiful. And come back in.

Now, you're just gonna adjust the band so that it's no longer over the balls of the feet. You guys can rest your upper bodies now. And you're gonna take the band and place it right across the heels here. And same thing, I'm just gonna scoot down here a bit. You wanna make sure that you're band is running through your hand, not wrapped around your hand, and you're pressing with your heels this time.

Upper bodies down. Shoulders are open. Exhale, press. Inhale to return. Exhale, press.

Think of the abdominals engaging as you press. Beautiful. And come back in, and press. Use your breath here. Exhale away.

Inhale return. And again push right through the heel, and come back in. Two more. Press, and come back in. One more time, press, and come back in.

Now guys, come up into flexion, as you extend the legs. And then come back down. So tilt your head before you come up, and then flex the upper body, and then come back down. Do that again. Exhale, press away.

Inhale to come back down. Let's do three more. How we doing, okay? Press. Looking good.

Come back down. Two more. Press up, strong core. Come back in. Now guys, on this one, stay up.

Hold that shoulder position, upper body flexed. Reach the legs up, pull them down as far as you can, stabilizing the pelvis. Inhale, the legs go up. Exhale to pull them back down. Inhale, reach them up.

Exhale, pull them down. Breathe in. Exhale, lower. Now keep that ab connection, don't let the abs pop. Come up.

Tighten the abdominals as the legs lower. Three more. Breathe in. Exhale, lower. Two more.

Breathe in. And lower, one more time guys. Breathe in. And lower. Bend your knees and relax down.

All right, let's take the band and place it off to the side. You're gonna grab the mini-ball here, and as long as you have a smaller size ball it doesn't have to be the exact same size as this one. It just has to be smaller, like I would say medium-size ball. You're gonna come on up. Sit up, let's go.

And you're gonna take that ball behind you (laughing) just laying it out on the mat down there. And I want you to put the ball under your mid-back. So not your lower back. I want you, when you're down onto the ball here to feel that it's just below the scapula. Can you feel that position there?

So not on the shoulder blades, maybe the bottom tip of the scapula touching it, the shoulder blade. From here, where it's still kind of a warm-up here, so I want you to not sink your lower back down. So it's not the TV watching position we want here, right? We want that little curve in the lumbar spine. From there, we're gonna make it harder right away by taking your hands behind your head.

This increases the weight at the end of a lever, and you should feel it's a little bit harder. Now I want you to lengthen out, not all the way back over the ball, but on an angle. So neutral as you can get with a slight head nod. Breathe in there, guys. How we doing, okay?

Feel it? Now exhale, just flex forward so that your ribs slide towards your hips, but avoid moving your pelvis all around. Keep it really stable. Inhale, lengthen back to that neutral position. And exhale, flex.

Inhale. Let the elbows open guys, so that you can lengthen the thoracic spine, and then as you come forward, slightly bring the elbows forward, and that will help you round through the thoracic spine. Inhale, back. So we're talking upper and mid-back here. Flex, and inhale, lengthen.

And exhale, flex. Good. Reach back, lengthen, and come forward. Now we're going into extension here, so as you go back, you're gonna extend back over the ball. First one feels really good.

And then flex up. We're gonna do that again. Lengthen back, breathe in. Abdominals are still engaged. Exhale, flex forward.

Inhale, open back. Lengthen. Exhale, flex forward. Now let's add some rotation. Inhale, back.

Lengthen, and turn to me. Flex up. Good. Inhale, open back. Beautiful.

Exhale, turn to the back of the room. And inhale. Come over the ball. Exhale, flex up and over. And again, inhale, open back.

Exhale, flex up and over. Beautiful guys. Let's do one more set. Open back, flex up and over. Really nice job keeping the pelvis stable.

One more time. Reach back, and then flex up and over. Really good. All right, so, grab, I hope your flex band isn't too far away. You're gonna just grab it.

Keep the ball right where it is for now. Whoops, don't let it get away from you. And you're gonna take the band and put it on the leg closest to me. And you wanna put it kind of on the ball of your foot here. So make sure, guys, that the band is stretched out.

You don't want it to bunch up under your foot 'cause it could slip off. Then I want you to take both ends of the band, and put it in your opposite hand. Yeah, that's it. And you're in a comfortable position, but remember, don't sink through the lower back. You wanna kind of keep the lower back lengthened here.

You can take your free hand now and take it behind your head. And we're just gonna support your head with it, so let the weight of your head sink into your hand, and take that tabletop leg and press it away. Inhale, bend. Exhale, press it away. I want you to take a look at your foot.

Make sure that your foot is going straight out from your hip. If you notice, your hand, you using your opposite hand makes your leg kind of want to cross over the mid-line. We want to keep the leg going straight out. Inhale to bend. Exhale, press it away.

So not only are we getting work in the glutes and hamstrings, we're getting a little work through the side of the hip as well. Exhale, press out. Come back in. Let's do that again. Press away, and come back in.

And now press it out. Hold it there. Lift and lower. Lift, good, and lower. How we doing there, Jake?

You good? Yes, Kelly looks great. Inhale, up. Exhale, lower. Now strong core, breathe in.

Exhale, pull it down. Let's just do two more. Up and draw it down. One more time here. Breathe in, and lower down.

Bend that knee in and we're just gonna switch sides here, so put your other foot in. Grab onto the band with the opposite hand, and take the free hand and place it behind your head. Yeah, we good? And from there, press out. Make sure you're not crossing the mid-line.

Breathe in. Exhale, press away. Inhale to bend. Exhale, press away. Now if you notice, we are getting upper body work here, even though we're working the core, even though we're working the lower chain, the leg, we're also getting bicep work here by keeping it in that constant position and adding more and less tension of the band.

Press out, and come back and let's do two more there. Use your breath, exhale. Inhale to return. Nice you guys, one more. This one's gonna stay out there.

Lift it up, pull it down. You're always pressing your foot in the band, whether you're going up or down, you're pushing your foot against that band. That's gonna help you feel the length of the muscles you're working and reach it down. Two more. Inhale, up.

Exhale. Pull it down. Looking good, one more time. Reach it up, and pull it down. AlL right bend it in.

We're gonna lose the band again, but we're gonna keep the mini-ball. So, this is one of my favorite variations of the breaststroke. I want you to grab the ball and you're gonna come prone. So you're gonna come onto your front here, and I'm just gonna move these off the top. Now, for this exercise, you're gonna pass the ball from one hand to the other, when it's behind you.

So start with the ball in one hand. And you can have your legs slightly separated for this, or all the way together if that's more comfortable. Usually, slightly separated is more comfortable. Have your head hovering above the mat, and what you're gonna do is dive your arms forward here, so that your arms are even with your head. From there, you're gonna open the arms out to the side, lift the chest, oh don't overdo it with the neck, pass the ball behind your back to the other hand, bend your elbows and dive forward.

Now, don't pass the ball in front, only pass the ball behind. So circle your arms out to the side again, pass the ball to the other hand, and exhale, forward. Inhale, open back. Pass it. Exhale, dive forward.

Inhale, open back. Pass it. Exhale, dive forward. Let's see how they're doing. Open back.

Pass it, and reach for it. Now if it's too uncomfortable for you to pass that ball to the other hand, you're gonna pass it in front instead of behind. But as you come up, beautiful job you guys, you notice that the head and neck need to stay in line with the spine. You don't want to crank your head back here. You want to keep it floating right in line with the spine.

Good. Again, pull back. Pass it. Reach it out. Exhale as you dive forward.

One more set. Inhale, pull back. Grab it. Exhale, dive forward. AlL right.

Just bring that ball with you. Come back into a little shell stretch here. Give you lower back a little love. You're gonna pull your abdominals in, arms are relaxed right on the ball, and give me a few nice deep breaths there, breathing in through the nose, and exhaling like you're blowing through a straw. Do that again.

Breathe in through the nose, and exhale out. One more, little break. And then come on up. All right. We're gonna take the same series of exercises that we did at the beginning with the ball and we're gonna make it more challenging.

So you're gonna have a seat on your mat, and you're gonna take that ball and you're gonna push it right against the back of your bum. There you go. (laughing) Now, hold it right there. Yes, you know this is going to be a lot harder, right? And sink back into it.

It should be supporting your lumbar spine now. You should be getting a little push up affect, from that ball into the lumber. So, guys, start with your hands supporting underneath your legs. What I want you to do it sink more into the ball and kind of lengthen your spine out into one long line. And then drop your chin and just flex forward but not coming totally off the ball, just taking some of the pressure off of it.

Now sink back, and lengthen, and forward, and take some of the pressure off. Good. Sink into it, and lengthen, and forward, and up. So this is your go to if part two is not easy for you. Come back into that lengthen position, hands behind your head.

Shake, shake, shake, right? Breathe in. Exhale, come forward. Flexing. Inhale, lengthen to that long diagonal line.

Exhale, forward. Inhale, lengthen to that long diagonal line. Beautiful. Exhale, forward. Now, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen.

Go into as much extension as you can handle, and then exhale, come to that lengthen line and forward. Beautiful job. Inhale, lengthen back. Open back. Elbows open perfectly.

And then exhale, come forward sliding the ribs to curve, (laughing) got a little shake going on here. Inhale, lengthen back. Good, push your feet into the floor for me. Good, and exhale, come forward. Pushing the feet down will help take it out of the hip flexors a little bit.

One more time. Lengthen back, like that. And then come forward. Now we're gonna add some rotation to it, guys. So inhale, lengthen back.

As you come up you're gonna turn toward me. Rotate. Good. And then go back over. Now you're not coming up all the way off the ball.

That was perfect, Jake. You're gonna come up and rotate to the back side. You just want to rotate on that ball just a little bit. Inhale, lengthen back. Really good.

Exhale, come up and rotate. Perfect. And let's do that again. Inhale, lengthen back. Pushing down into the feet.

Exhale, come up and over to the other side. Good. So even when you lengthen back, I want to see those abs connected. So lengthen back, they're still gonna stay connected. Don't let 'em go completely.

Perfect. And come up and over. One more to the other side, and we're finished with those. Inhale, back. And exhale, up and over.

So we're gonna grab the ball. That was tough, right? That's why I only did two of them. (laughing) So we're gonna come down onto the prone position. 'Cause I had to talk.

And you're gonna take the ball between your hands here, and you're just gonna hold it out in front of you. I want your legs to be about hip distance apart, and just slightly laterally rotated. And then hold the ball on the floor with your hands on the side of it. So kind of pushing into the sides of the ball, and let your head just hover between your arms. Now breathe in for me.

From there, exhale and just float the legs up. Right here. So try to keep the abdominals engaged. Try to keep both the hip bones and the pubic bone on the floor, head hovering between your arms, and then alternate one leg up, one leg down. So a little flutter kick.

Breathe in. Two, three, four, five, and exhale. Try to make the movement happen from the hip joint, and not from the knee joint. So keep the leg really long. Now, breathe in for four.

As you exhale, you're gonna push against the sides of that ball. Squeeze it. Inhale, release the tension. And exhale, squeeze. Inhale, release the tension, and exhale, squeeze.

All right next time. Inhale, release the tension. Now as you exhale and squeeze, try to lift the ball off the ground. Inhale, lower back down. Exhale, squeeze into the ball and lift.

Inhale, lower it back down. Two more sets. Exhale, squeeze in the ball and lift. Whew! Inhale, back down. One more time.

Exhale, squeeze into the ball and lift. Hold it there. Stop pulsing, just reach. And release down. Sit right back onto your heels.

Seat goes on your feet. Abs connect. Crunch under. Beautiful work. We're going into a sideline position.

So come right down onto your side. The ball is gonna go between your ankles here. And just rest your head on your arm. And from here, what I want you to think about is just keeping the toes long. Not hooking them in.

And you're just gonna gently press down on that top leg, and then release the tension. Let's just do that part. Press, (exhaling loudly) and release. As you're doing this, let's do a little form check. If your head is really far forward guys, you can fold your bottom arm and place your head back in your hand.

You want to keep your head in alignment with your spine. Keep pressing guys. Exhale as you press. You also want to keep your hips stacked, one right on top of the other. Not rolled forward, or definitely not rolled back.

From there, what I'd like you to do, is just lift the ball up. Just (laughing) lift it up and lower it back down. And again. Exhale, lift. Inhale, down.

Let's do that again. Exhale, lift. Inhale, down. Two more. Lift.

Good, try to keep the tension out of the upper body. One more time. Lift, and lower. Okay, from here we combine those. Press down.

Release. Lift, and lower. Exhale, press. Inhale, release. Exhale, lift.

And lower. Let's get a little more oblique here. So if your arm is folded, stretch it out. So press, release. As you lift, try to side-bend up and down.

If that's not working for you, stay down. Press. Release. Lengthen, and come back down. Let's see if we can get the legs a little higher for the next two.

Press. Release. Really go for it here. Lift up. Woo hoo! And down one more time. Press.

Release. Lift. Reach, reach, reach, reach. Take some of the pressure off the hands, ah, yes! And then slowly lower down. Just hug the legs in so you can grab the ball.

And then let's sit up and go over to the other side. Nice work, you guys. So here we go. A little side-line work on this side. So adjust yourself.

Head in line with your spine. Hips stacked, and you want the ball between your ankles. Don't hook your feet, keep them long. And just start with the top leg pressing. Exhale, press.

So what I want you to think about, it's really easy to think about just squeezing the ball. So i want you to take your focus off of that, and take it onto drawing the inner thighs together. Instead of coming from the end of the leg, come from the beginning of the leg. Make the movement happen from the hip joint. And again, press, hold down with that top leg.

One more time. Pull, and release. Now let's try to lift. Lift, and down. So just hug the ball gently.

Don't squeeze it to death here. And down. And again, lift. Keep the hips stacked. Don't let that top hip roll back.

And lift. Two more times. Lift up. And one more time. Lift and from here, press down.

Release. Lift. Again. Exhale, press. Inhale, release.

Lift. Relax your shoulders, and press. Release. Good. Lift.

Now we're gonna add coming up into flexion with your upper body. So press. Release. Lift, if you want to use your arm on the floor, you can. If you want to keep your hand on your leg and hovering above your leg, you can do that as well.

And come back down. And press. Release. Lift. We're gonna do two more.

Try to get the leg a little bit higher here. Press. Release. Really lift up, lift up, go for it. And down.

One more time. Press. Release. Go for it, let's see it. Come on, don't roll that top hip back, Jake.

Bring it forward. There you go. Hold it and lower down. Hug the legs in. Take a little breather there.

And then grab your Swiss ball and we'll be right back with that Swiss ball. All right, we're back and we're gonna work a little bit with the Swiss ball. So you're gonna see some of the exercises that we did before, but it's a totally different dynamic when we do it with a different apparatus. So we're gonna start with a little bit of the crunch or ab prep work that we were doing before this. Actually a really good introduction for people to the hundreds position.

So for this first exercise, we're gonna be in what we call supine-incline position. So yeah, we're at the end or our mat. You're gonna walk out until you are kind of in, think of sitting in a recliner here, but without a seat. So your feet are on the floor, and your hips are down, do drop your pelvis down just a little bit Kelly. Yeah, so the back of your sacrum is against the ball.

That's really good. From here, guys, we're gonna again, take your hands and place 'em up here. So now we're kind of not just using our upper body, we're using our lower body to help us stabilize. And let's just do the first part. So staying in this position, breathe in.

And then what I want you to do is flex forward, without dropping your seat any lower, and then lengthen back out, and do that again. So you're kind of pressing the lumbar spine slightly against the ball. And then open back. Let's do that two more times. You should be feeling this in the legs a little bit.

They should be awake for you. And make sure the feet are about hip to shoulder distance apart, so you can balance. A wider base of support there. Really good. And let's do that one more time.

So just flex forward, and now hold that flexion and I want you to walk up, so that you're coming up on the ball a little bit more. Yeah. So your pelvis is kind of at the top corner. Now, I want you to lengthen, so you're almost horizontal to the floor. Can you feel that?

So don't go all the way back over, guys. Don't go into extension. Try to find the neutral here. Breathe in. And then exhale, just flex your upper body forward.

Don't drop your hips. Inhale, back. So try to keep the pelvis really stable. Push with your feet as well as flex with your upper body. Inhale, back.

Exhale, the elbows float forward. Inhale, back. Now we're gonna go deeper, so come forward and then open back. Extend. Ahh.

And exhale, come forward. Don't let your hips drop. Inhale, back. So it's a lot more legwork than before. Exhale, flex up.

Inhale, open back. Let's do our rotation. So rotate toward me first. Exhale, come up and rotate. Inhale, to lengthen back.

Let's do that to the other side. Up and rotate, and come back. So a lot of times, I love fitness and Pilates, and a lot of times in fitness, keep going guys, we do sets of exercises. So this is like our third set of our crunches or our ab-prep or our hundreds preparation. But each time we've made it gradually a little bit more challenging, right?

We added, took a little more of your body away from the floor and made you have to stabilize and work a little bit harder to do the exercise. So one more time. Come up and flex toward me. Inhale, lengthen back. Try to keep that ball from moving.

And exhale. Go up to the other side, and then back. Now, carefully walk back. Pushing yourself until you're seated on top. Walk back, walk back, perfect.

All right, come on off there and we're gonna go into our breaststroke next. So, one of my favorite places to do it is right here on the Swiss ball. So what you're gonna do is hold onto the sides of the ball, and then just push yourself onto the ball. Everybody's a little bit different. It depends on how long your torso is, to how long your legs are, but you're gonna be somewhere, probably, in your, on your abdomen.

Now tuck the toes under and you can decide whether you want to go backward a little bit or forward a little bit after we do this first rep. So think of full breaststroke. You're gonna actually come forward and on the ball you can dive over the front of the ball, so you can flex. Then you sweep the arms out to the side, lift the sternum up, keep your head in line with your spine, reach your arms back almost to your hips or as far as you con comfortably do it, and then exhale, dive forward. Inhale, use your glutes, pull back.

And again, exhale forward. Flex over the ball, all the way over toward the floor. That's it. And then pull back, reach back for your heels. Watch your head position.

Perfect, guys. Exhale, flex dive over. Inhale, open out, pull around, reach back. Good. Open up through the front wall of the spine, and again, exhale, over.

Dive. Inhale, pull back. Abdominals engaged, glutes engaged. And again exhale, dive forward. Really nice.

Inhale, pull back and open up. Last time here, guys. Exhale, flex forward. Really good. Come back, reaching back.

Hold that position. And now come into a long line with your hands underneath your forehead here. Yeah. Now, from here, keeping that long line, turn toward me. Just drop one elbow, lift the other one.

So a little rotation prone. Back to center. Now turn to the other side. I want you to minimize how much the ball is moving. So when you rotate, don't let the ball roll.

Try to hold it steady. Inhale as you turn. Exhale as you come back. Keep your hands super glued to your forehead. That's gonna keep you in the right proper head and neck position, and come back to the center.

Finish up, even yourself out. And from there we're gonna add a little extension to this. So you start, you're gonna turn toward me. And as you turn toward me, you're actually gonna lift your chest and you're gonna reach your arm backward. Look at your fingertips.

That's it. And then come all the way back down to that neutral position. Inhale. Lift up, rotate. Look back toward your fingertips on the other side.

Exhale. Back to that long line. Inhale, up. Rotate and reach. Get a little extension in there.

And come back down. Good. Inhale, up. Rotate, reach back. That's it, work for it.

And come back into that long line. Let's do one more set. Inhale, up. Extend, reach. Try to keep that ball still.

Come back (laughing). Last time. Come up, rotate and reach. And come all the way back. All right, just lay over the ball for a second.

Drop down until your knees are on the floor. And just wrap your arms around the ball. Give it a hug. Let your lower back kind of stretch there for a second. Breathe, in and out.

Big breaths. A little recovery for the back. And now we're ready to move on. So, we're gonna flip right over onto your back, and we're gonna do a little double leg stretch here. So, you're gonna take the ball first and you're gonna place it between your ankles.

Right there. And you're gonna take your hands and place them behind your head, and come up into flexion. Now bend your legs into tabletop, abdominals stay connected. Breathe in. Exhale, reach away with the ball.

Squeeze it. And come back in. Upper body stays up. Exhale, reach. Inhale, come back in.

So we're getting a little adductor work here, by squeezing that ball. And then come back in. Good. Don't let the back arch, you want to keep it neutral, so just the natural curve. Just a little space between your back and the lower mat.

If that's too hard, I'd rather you tilt back a little bit and have the lower back touching the mat the whole time. Just keep it stable. (laughing) One more time. And then pull in, and you're gonna switch the ball from your feet to your hands. So come on in.

Legs tabletop, and we're gonna do five more here, reaching the ball out over our head, and come back up. Now we're adding more resistance to the upper body. Push against the sides of the ball, and come back in. Reach and press, and come back in. Get with us, Jake.

Here we go. Press, reach, squeeze. And come back in, one more time. And now we get to pass it. So come on in, put it between the ankles.

Reach out. (exhales loudly) come back in. Put it between the hands. Reach back out. Upper body stays completely still. Switch it to the feet, reach out.

Come back in, switch it to the hands. Reach out. Come back in, switch it to the feet. Reach out. Come back in.

We're almost there, hang in there. Reach. Come back in. Last time. Legs, reach.

Come back in. Grab the ball, place your feet down. Whew, that was good! So what I want you to do is take the ball and place it on the floor. And put your feet on it. All right?

From there, what I'd like to see is a bridge. So we're gonna do a bridge. Your arms are gonna start on the ground. So breathe in, now exhale, lift your hips up. Good.

So what I'm looking for, is for a straight up lift, not a roll through the spine. So let's lower back down again, hinge at the hips. Beautiful. Now do that same thing, press up. This should feel good after the last thing we did, because we're working the opposing muscle, so it's in active recovery.

Lower back down. All right, now we gotta make it a little harder. So press up, exhale. Stay there, roll the ball away, breathe in. Pull the ball back, exhale.

And then lower your hips down. Beautiful. So a little shoulder bridge. Lift, on Reformer we call it hip lift. Roll away.

Pull it back in. Lower the hips. So press up. It's an exhale here. Now push your heels down into that ball.

Pull it back, drag the ball back in. And lower the hips back down. One more time. And lift. Roll it away.

Pull it back in. And lower down. Beautiful. So we just finished all that hip flexor work, so now we just did some hamstring work to balance it out. Come on up here guys, and join me on your knees with the ball right next to you.

And you're gonna put your hip right against the ball here. And then you're gonna kind of take the shape of the ball with the upper body and hug the ball with your arm. Take your top leg and reach it out here, and take your hand right in front of your forehead, in the salute position. Are we good, guys? Bring that leg forward, flexing two times, and then point it back.

Now, forward for two, and back. Let's talk about the breathing. We're gonna inhale forward, and we're gonna exhale back. Inhale, forward. And exhale back.

The goal is, keep going, the goal is not to move that ball. We want to keep it as stable as possible. So you want your leg to move, but you don't want your body to move. And again, forward, and reach. Let's do that one more time.

Beautiful job, you guys. Forward, and reach back. Okay, so from here, I want you to take your top foot and place it on the floor, and take your bottom foot and lift your knee off. Yeah, right there. So you're kind of in this kind of crouch position, with your bottom foot behind you and the top foot in front of you.

From here, we good? You got it? From there, you're just gonna do a side bend. So you're gonna push over the ball, put your hand to the floor, and put your arm over your head. And then come all the way back.

And do that again. Take the shape of the ball, reach right over, drop your head. And come back. Let's do that again. Over to the side, you guys can high five each other, and come back.

Let's do it again. Reach right over. And back, one more time guys. Reach over, right over. And come back.

Now, just take the ball and roll it around to the other side. From here, yeah, find kind of the center of the mat, that works about the best. Put your hip against the ball, and then lay over the ball with your hand right on the side of it. Yeah? From there, take your hand and give me the salute here, and lift your top leg up.

From there, bring the leg forward, flex the foot, pulse twice. And then sweep it back. And you're gonna inhale, forward. And exhale, back. Keep the abdominals engaged.

Try to keep the ball as still as possible. Keep that leg as high as possible. Forward and back. Let's do it again. And forward, and back.

We got it. And again, forward, breathe in. And back. Now you notice it's not a huge range of motion here. It's only as much movement as you can get in that hip joint without everything else going all over the place.

So the hip stays steady, the ball stays relatively still, and your upper body stays steady. All right, one more. Forward, and sweep it back. Now, take that top foot and place it in the front of the mat, and just lift up the bottom knee and put the bottom foot behind you. Yeah, got it.

From here, hand is gonna reach for that floor. Press right over, drop your head, and just get a really nice side stretch there. It should feel really good. And come back down, breathe in. Exhale, reach right over, and come back down.

Let's do that three more times. Reach over, there we go, and come back. Two more times. (laughing) Reach right over, I knew he'd catch up, and back one more time. Right over to the side.

Reach. And come all the way back. All right, we're just gonna get rid of the balls now, and we're gonna grab our Fitness Circles. Okay, so lets grab the circle and we're gonna come down onto our back here, and we're gonna revisit a little bit more ab work. We're gonna do what's called the single leg stretch, guys.

You're gonna have the circle in your hands to begin with, this is super challenging. You're gonna flex your upper body up and you're gonna bring your legs into tabletop. Now again, hold neutral if you can, in the lumbar spine, or just slightly tilt the pelvis back for imprint. So, arms are reaching out over the legs and you're gonna switch one leg away and then the other. Now, you're gonna do that same thing, but you reach the arms back by your ears.

So switch, and switch. Then over the legs for two, and one. Behind your head for two, and one. And lets inhale for two, and exhale for two. Breathe in for two, and exhale for two.

Beautiful. Breathe in for two, and exhale for two. Again. Breathe in for two, and exhale for two. Last one.

In for two, and exhale for two. From there, we're gonna do the same exact thing with your legs, except now when you reach the leg away, we're gonna do obliques with the steering wheel. So you're gonna turn that circle and push it down toward the floor, and then come up to the center and do the other side. Exhale. (exhaling loudly) Inhale through the center, exhale, press the circle toward the floor. So you see the circle is rotating.

Press, and press, and press. Good. The legs are staying nice and parallel. They're not going from side to side, they're just going out and in. And press, how we doing?

Good? Press. (laughing) Let's do one more on each side. Press, this is super hard! Press, and press. And then come to center, and come down. Put the circle between your knees.

From here, push up. This is your little break. Squeeze the circle as you press up. Inhale, lower down. Exhale, press.

Last time we did shoulder bridge with the big ball, we were working hamstrings. Now we're working the inner thighs. Press up, squeeze the circle. Release back down. Press up, squeeze the circle.

Release back down. Two more. Press, and release. One more. Press, and release.

All right, grab the circle. Now you're gonna take your head, and place it right in the circle. And from here guys, take your legs up to the ceiling, and just support your head with the circle, you don't want to be pulling on it. Since our, we've been up in flexion a lot, we want to give our neck a little break here, but not our abs. So from here.

Pulse the legs. Scissor, and switch. Pulse for two, and pulse for two, and reach. Reach, reach, reach, good. Exhale on each one.

One, two, inhale as your cross. And pulse, and pulse. One more set. Pulse, and pulse. Now both legs up, and relax down.

Whew! Okay let's put the circle to the side, and you're gonna grab your band. So last section here, a little bit more band work. So what I want to do is a little combination move here. So put the band over one foot, and come down onto your back. We're gonna revisit the shoulder bridge, but we're gonna add a one leg circle to it.

So hold an end of the band in each hand. Stretch that leg up. Put your foot close to your seat, and then from here guys, just push your hip up. That's it, and stretch your foot into the band. Now on this one, I would like your arms to be resting on the ground.

And then from there, you're gonna circle that leg around for five, try not to move the pelvis, four, and three, strong core, two, and one. Let's go the other way. Inhale, exhale around one, and two, and circle it around three, and four, one more time, five. Beautiful. Set your hips down.

Switch the foot that's in the band. Put your other foot on the ground. Press your hip up and let's circle. Five, and four, push against the band, three, inhale and exhale, two, and one. Let's reverse that circle.

Out and around. One, and breathe, two, and three, and four. Can you feel your glute? And five. Set the hips down.

Beautiful. And bend your knee. From there guys, we're gonna come on up and we're gonna have a seat, and you're gonna take the band and you're gonna place it across your feet here, like so. Now, for this next exercise, we're gonna do a little bit of back, or a little bit of posture work. So cross the band.

If you want to bend your knees here, you can. If you want to sit up on top of something, if you're having a hard time getting neutral when you sit, do that. Sitting tall, arms out in front. Breathe in, and then just exhale and pull, inhale and return. Exhale, pull.

So you're sliding the shoulder blades together as you pull out. Pull, and return. Beautiful. Now guys, look at your feet. When you're pulling across, your feet are gonna wanna pull inward.

So you gotta work the lateral rotators on your leg, keeping the hip open and not letting it fold in toward the center. Exhale, pull, and come back. Do that two more times. Pull, and come back. One more time guys.

Pull and back. Now we're gonna add some extension to this. So as you pull, you're gonna lift up on the sternum, and then just flex the spine forward. Pull and extend the spine, and back. So we're working the back extensors now.

These are your posture muscles, the ones that help you stand tall and keep you from rolling the shoulder forward. And one more time. Pull. All right now, you're gonna turn and face me. We're gonna do one arm at a time, so you're gonna pull your elbow back and rotate so a little back row with rotation, and back to the center and switch.

Rotate pull, and inhale to the center. Exhale, pull. And back to the center. Beautiful. And again, rotate, and come back.

And rotate, pull. Good. Sitting up even taller. Lift up, and back. Slide your shoulder blade across.

Pull back, and back to the center. Do that again. Pull, and back to the center. One more time. Pull, go to the other side to finish.

Pull, and back. From there, uncross the band (laughing) and you can stretch your legs out here or keep them slightly bent. I want you to shimmy forward so you've got room to roll back there. Then hold the band in your hand, like you're about to do a bicep curl, 'cause you are. You're gonna start rolling down onto the mat, doing a bicep curl, and then once you're down on the mat, you straighten your arm.

So a little roll up here, breathe in. Exhale, flex up. Bicep curl right over your legs, and then extend, tricep work there, press back. Bring the band back in front of you, roll back down. Inhale, lengthen the arms.

Exhale, flex up. (exhaling loudly) Whew! Roll over the legs and press back, triceps and rear delts. Now, bend the elbows, roll down through, articulate down through, reach all the way out. Now start to come up, breathe in. Exhale, flex right over the legs, and then press the arms back behind your shoulders out of the ears. One more time.

Bicep curl and begin to roll down. Lengthen down on the floor. Good. And then start coming up. Breathe in, exhale.

Now over the legs, you're gonna do that little tricep extension, press back, and then come all the way up. Perfect! Take the band from your feet and you're gonna place it behind your back. This is such a great stretch for the front of your shoulders. So you're gonna come down prone, here, and your legs are gonna be about hip distance apart for this one, guys. And just hover your nose right above the mat.

Your choking up on the band here, and it's running across your scapula. From here, you're gonna stretch your arms out to the side, like a T, and float your chest away from the mat. Then, very carefully guys, don't go to far here. I want you to let the bands pull your arms toward each other, lifting your chest a little further. Don't overdo it with your head.

Then come back to the T position, arms go out to the side, and then lower down, tucking the arms back in. So it's a really good stretch for the front of your shoulders. Inhale, reach out. Exhale, use that stretch. Let the band help you pull back.

Inhale, go back out to the side. Breathe in. And then exhale, release down. Beautiful. Again, inhale, reach.

Exhale, pull those arms back toward your legs. Inhale, come back to the sides, and exhale, lower down. Last time here. Inhale, reach. Exhale, reach back.

Inhale, back out to the sides. Stretch into those bands. Push your hands against those bands, and then release all the way down. All right, push back into a quick shell stretch. So seat goes back on your feet, upper body is flexed forward and you're hollowed out through the abs.

And just take a breath there for me. Perfect. And then, just sit facing me and fold your legs in front of you, and let's finish our cool down here. Wonderful job everyone. Sitting up tall, breathe in.

And then as you exhale, just articulate your spine forward and stretch over your legs. Then lengthen from tail, back up through the top of your head. Let's do that again. Breathe in, and exhale, flex forward. Breathe in, and exhale, stack the spine up.

I always feel so amazing after a class, don't you? It just feels great from head to toe. And again, flex forward, and come all the way back up. Let's do a little side bend stretch, so what I want you to do is take your right arm up, and then just stretch over toward your left side. Come on back up and down.

Let's do that to the other side. Breathe in, exhale just stretch over. Nice, you guys. Breathe in, and down. Let's do that one more time.

Reach up first, lengthen, then go over to the side. Come back up, and down. So let's get the length first, reach up, lengthen, beautiful. And then over to the side. Come back up, and down.

Just take your arms out in front of you. Palms are facing each other, and we're gonna turn toward the right. Reach, rotate, and come back to the center. Why don't you take a big breath in as you rotate to the side, and exhale, come back to the center. One more time.

Breathe in, open. Exhale, back and to the other side. Last time. And come back to the center. Just rest your arms on your legs.

Sit up tall and take a deep breath in through your nose for me. And exhale out. (exhaling loudly) One more deep breath in, and exhale out. And continue to breathe and relax and enjoy your day. Thank you for joining me.


15 people like this.
Can't wait to try this class; more STOTT please! ;)
7 people like this.
I absolutely LOVE all of your classes. Your workouts are creative and challenging, and you always make it fun! I always work up a sweat! Thank you!
4 people like this.
Love this class. Beautiful modifications! I feel inspired. And I absolutely love you explained the purpose of every exercise. Besides, great smile you give me. Thank you!
6 people like this.
I am a stott pilates matwork instructor here in italy, and what i love about stott pilates is that everything has got a purpose, a reason why, and the incredible amount of knowledge they give us doing courses and workshops....together with the fact that everything has got to go along with smiles, if u want it to this class , indeed.
2 people like this.
yes! it stops at about 18:00
Loved the class though. Thanks for your energy and fun, John!
3 people like this.
Love that John Garey is on Pilastes Anytime. Great workout!
2 people like this.
Love this class, strong, funny and creative indeed!!!! My muscles thank you ;)
2 people like this.
Fresh and inspiring. Lovely pace and brilliant comprehensive teaching as always. Thank you again John!
2 people like this.
I certainly feel everything. Strong, flexible, balanced and more. Love all your classes.
5 people like this.
John Gary you ROCK ! Always loved your workouts when I started out first as as a STOTT. Instructor and still do !! I Love your style, delivery and the purpose and functionality of all your workouts . You are one of the great teachers who continue to inspire . Flavours of your "athletic conditioning with the fitness circle workouts" here which I love and use a lot . . It's a privilege to see you on Pilates Anytime again and I'll be bringing some of this great workout to my classes today . More please . ??????
1-10 of 46

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

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