Class #2792

Improving Extension in Dance

60 min - Class


If you are a dancer who wants to improve your extension, then this Reformer workout by Karen Clippinger is the perfect class for you! She teaches dance-specific elements mixed with traditional Pilates exercises. She works on finding pure extension without hyperextension as well as finding the correct muscles for turnout, developés, battements, and much more!

If you aren't a dancer, this is still a great class for you as it will bring a little bit of dance into your life!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video


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Welcome. We're gonna do a workout today that has a dance specific element and that's interspersed with classical exercises. My name is Karen Klipinger and I'm joined today by Jenna and Joey who are recent graduates from the dance department at Cal State Long Beach. I hope you enjoy the workout. So we are starting with plies in first position.

And go ahead and straighten, and bend, and straighten, and bend. And one more time, straighten and stay here for just a moment and let those knees hyper extend, and then try to feel that difference where you're pulling up with the back of the knee and the front of the knee at the same time. And bend, and see if you can pull up with front and back and go just to straight but not hyper extend it, and four more times, trying to feel that pure extension. And two, pure extension without hyper extension, and three, front and back evenly pulling up. Last one, good, and straighten.

Coming into the stopper and changing to second position turned out, so we're gonna do full dance turnout here, and from here straighten, and as you straighten focusing on using the turnout muscles as you bend and straighten, good. And this time stop about halfway, and you're gonna let your knees drop in just a little, and now bring them side using those rotators. Once more knees drop in, and bring them side, try to feel them working on both sides and straighten, keeping that turnout as you straighten. And bend, and trying to feel that spiral rotate, inner thigh is lifting, and bend, and again rotate, wrapping around as inner thighs pull together last time. And this time focusing on finding that straight position in the knee without hyperextension too.

Coming into the stopper and changing to first position turned out on the ball of the foot. And you're gonna straighten your legs as if you were standing on the floor. And from here, it's gonna be a demi-plie. And a grand, letting those heels lift. And demi, an straighten, and now rise.

And let the heels drop so you have just a little gentle stretch there. Coming back up to the floor, and demi-plie, and grand, and straighten, heels down first. And then rotate, pulling up with those inner thighs as you straighten, good. And come back down, two more. And demi, and grand, and straighten.

Feeling that rotation spiraling, inner thigh lifting and rising up, letting the heels drop while you still keep that long line. And up, last time, and demi, good. And grand, and straighten, rise, and lower, coming into the stopper. And this time, shifting to single leg, starting with the right foot on the heel. And the other in tabletop position.

Imagine you're on that floor as you straighten. And bend, and little faster, trying to feel that connection of going just to straight, good, without locking back. And now from here in the stopper, turned out, turning out both legs. Ball of the foot on the support leg. And straighten, keeping that rise, and bend.

And keeping that turnout as you straighten, good. And bend, and rotate inner thigh. And once more, and switching sides. Starting parallel on the heel for four. And straightening just to straight.

And bend, trying to feel front and back even pull. Keeping that foot as if you're on the floor. And one more time, and in the stopper, we're on a red red and blue here turning out and straighten. And bend, and straighten, keeping that height of the heel as you straighten. And focusing on turning out as you straighten, good.

And two more, rotate, keeping that heel left in, nice. And last one. Coming into the stopper and curling up, putting your feet on the bar, curling up oh so nicely. And taking off some springs so we just have a red and blue remaining, just a red and blue remaining. And curling back down, taking the straps in your arms and going into supine curl-ups.

So bringing the arms down, so it's arms first, and then torso curls up. Now here's the challenge, you're gonna keep that height of the torso as the arms go back. And all the way down, and it's arms. And right here torso, torso stayin' up those shoulder blades are coming off. And from here, reaching those arms back without dropping down, think of curling higher, nice.

And lower back down, and arms. And torso, bringing that rib cage towards the pelvis keeping that curve a little less neck. And bringing the arms back, feeling those abdominals work really hard. And lower, two more. It's arms, just a little bit afflection of that neck, good.

Pulling the rib cage down, keeping that height as you go back think of higher higher higher, that's it. And lower, last one, it's arms, and curling up really nice and tall really nice, yes good good good, that's it Joey. And come back down. And taking your feet and putting them in the straps pressing away. Right foot in and left foot in, for supine hip extensions.

Staying on that red and blue. And so here, as you come down, you're gonna be bending those knees as those heels lower, straightening at the bottom, and then coming back up to just about 90 degrees. And again, curling as you reach away. And straighten and come back up. And bend, feeling those hamstrings work as you come down.

And straighten and up, once more, coming down. And straighten and up, stay here for just a moment. And you're gonna press down, as if you're gonna move it, just meet the spring so there's no actual movement. Those hamstrings are working. Just medium contraction, and now relax the hamstrings.

And let the springs pull you so that you get a little more stretch on those hamstrings. Try to a relaxing of those hamstrings, let 'em lengthen in this position. And again, gently pressing down, pressing down gently gently gently, good good good. And now lengthen, feeling the distance from your sitz bone to the back of the knee, lengthen as you go to a place where you feel no pain but just a gentle stretch. So we're gonna do two more of those supine.

Hip extension, trying to go to this new range, so coming back down and straighten and now try to feel that pelvis staying on the mat with those legs coming higher, nice. And from here, pulling down and straighten and come back up going into down circles Legs are parallel coming down but together. Turn out and open really wide to the side and pull back to that top position, good. And parallel coming down, now feel the difference of turnout here firmly turnin' out from the hip, reaching side, keep that turnout at the back of the legs pull together pull together pull together, nice. And now a little faster and smooth going down reaching side, and around.

Heels together, parallel coming down, rotate reaching side, circling around. And parallel and down, reaching around, good. Together parallel, coming down stay here and now turn out and openings going side now really try to feel the back of the legs pulling together right at the top of those legs as you come together, nice. And going side, feeling that full turn out and reaching those legs back together. And side, rotating, good.

And pulling together feeling that rotation. Two more, going side, and rotate, and together, last one. Now right here as you come down, try to keep that turn out all the way, all the way here, all the way here so that you're keeping it flatter on the front of the thigh, nice. And now we're gonna go into side leg pulls. Alright so slipping the strap off and rolling onto your left side.

So the strap will be on your right leg. Staying with that red and blue. Some of you may need to use a lower spring setting for this exercise. And from here, we're gonna bring that pelvis forward so it's right in line with the shoulders. And this is a lot of range, and so if you need, in this beginning part, you can use your hand on that strap to give a little assist until the leg gets a little lower.

And then pulling down, trying to go towards the middle. And now rotate and come up, feeling that drop as that leg comes up. And rotate as you bring that leg back down, right to the middle, and now, if you're not a dancer, you can stop right here, that's fine. But if you are a dancer at this point, I want you to really feel this pivot of that greater trochanter dropping down. The sitz bone reaching for the bottom as you bring that leg all the way up, keeping that turn out as you come back down.

And two more, a little more quickly now that you have that feeling. Trying to feel that rotation, leg going right to the middle. And coming up and rotate, and reach, and coming down, good. And coming up, and switching to the other side. Turning around and making sure, when you get into this position, you want to make sure that this shoulder is against the shoulder rest, and your head is through, so that it keeps you from sliding forward.

Wanna be stable in this position. Make sure you're using your foot to get into it and again, just go as high as is comfortable. So many people will tend to have this pelvis back, you wanna bring it forward so that it's right in line with your shoulder for that starting position. Starting at whatever height is appropriate for you. And as that leg comes down again, try to feel that rotation as you come up and that pelvis staying in line, smooth rotation as you pull down.

Rotate and coming up, long line, reaching past your head, good. And here rotate and pull down, and come back up. And right here stop at 90, lift that hip, drop the hip, try to feel that difference of that drop and reach that leg even a little bit higher, good. And from here, use that assist if you need it as you start pulling down from that height, trying to feel that pivot, that rotation from the hip, nice. Using those rotator muscles as you bring that leg up.

And pulling down. Rotate, reach out as that leg comes up, good. And pulling back down again. Carefully getting out of the strap. And rolling onto your back to go into bridging.

So still with that red and blue spring. We're gonna start by lifting that pelvis up. So shoulders, hips, and knees are in line. Going back with the carriage, til your knees are almost straight. And now lower, upper, middle, lower, and come back in.

And again, articulating up. Trying to feel, you're lifting with the base, the bottom of the pelvis, not letting that back arch a little bit more abdominals here, that's it. And from here, going up, try to not arch, a little more abdominals, that's it. Lower, upper, middle, lower, and come back in. And lift, and out, and lower, and in, once more.

And lift, and out, and lower, and in. This time staying up, lifting up. And going back, and as you come forward, thinking about bringing the bottom of your pelvis higher. And going back and lifting up, using those hip extensions right at the base of the buttocks. And lifting up once more, going back, lifting up, bringing that right leg out, just in line with the knee, going back.

And forward, feeling that lift on the support leg keeping it lifting, good, two, and going forward, three, and going forward, four. Stay with that, or if you're strong enough, add botmas going up, touching the bar, going up, touching that bar. Going up, touching, good, once more. Up, touching, bring that foot in, and lower down to give those hamstrings a little reprieve. Good, and now curling up, trying to find that flat place, that's it.

Little bit, mhm, and bringing the left leg out. And from here, going back and coming forward, lifting form here, back and forward, nice. Back and forward and back and forward, if you're strong enough, adding the botmas. Up, touching that bar, up, and as you touch that bar think of staying lifted on the support leg. Up, and touch, last one, going up and touch.

Bending the knees, coming back down, and going into your hamstring stretch. So bringing your pelvis back as you sit up. And feet on the edge of that foot bar as you reach forward and grab that bar. And we're gonna start with a round back, allowing yourself to just relax forward. For those of you that are less flexible, you can have your hands on your knees, your calves, or above just so there's not pressure on the knees either below or above the knees.

But if you're flexible enough, grab onto that bar and think about pulling forward with those arms, good. And now bend those knees just a little. And as you straighten, bring the sitz bones back and go into a flat back position, reaching the back out, keeping that head in line, finding that nice flat back stretch. Switching to facing this way for our curl back plus devo pay, curl back plus devo pay. Straps, one about each knee.

Now in this exercise, we're starting from sitting to try to allow you to get that full articulation of the spine. So as you curl back, rather than thinking of upper back, I want you to really focus on this lower back, sliding under, you're gonna lower til the back of the waistband is touching, and from there bring that right knee in, and extend and bend, touch, and curl back up. All the way, find that vertical position in between. And now starting it from nice and low, curling back down, and knee comes in. And extend and bend and touch, coming back up.

Next two more quickly, so it's curling down and in and extend and in, curling up nice. And coming down, right knee in, and extend and bend, coming up other side. Curling down nice and low, nice and low, keeping that height, so our goal here is to keep the flexion as that left knee comes in. And extend, good, bend, touch, and up. A little faster, and curling down, knee, and keep that knee there as you extend, good.

Bend and touch and curling up, and curling down, keeping that height of your torso as that knee comes in and extend and bend and touch. Once more, curling down, scooping, scooping those abdominals in as you extend, bend and touch bringing your elbows down onto the mat and going into front devo pay. And here we're focusing on that knee coming in right where it is, this is a pretty heavy spring so don't worry about fully straightening the leg, but just keeping that knee there as you extend, bend and touch and up and extend and bend and touch and up, really trying to feel that so as, keeping that height, that yes, bend and touch, and lifting up really high. Knee stays there good, and now sitting up. Sitting up, leaning back slightly, but finding that thoracis extension, your lumbar spine will be in flexion.

And on the same side, up and extend that knee, staying vertical, the thigh's vertical. And you're just going a little bit, and coming up and extend, good. And up and extend. Last one, up and extend, good. And taking that right strap off.

Keeping the left one on as you go back on your elbows for this side. And lifting that leg up, trying to feel that crease in the front and that hip staying down as you extend. And come back down, so this is really for working height of your extensions, your devo pay. Increasing the strength in the muscle that will help hold that leg up in the air. And coming up, good, and extend, staying there, good.

And back down, one more, lifting up, keeping that hip down as you extend. And bend, and now sitting up, leaning back, and from here coming up, trying to keep that thoracis extension, that's it. Heavy spring, and you can do this on a lighter spring for more range, but we're really trying to work on developing that strength in the high arc, coming up, so the thigh is vertical only, straighten a bit, and lower, and coming up good. And extend, and touch, moving that strap down to your foot. And in this position, you're gonna scoot your bottom back a little, and support your left leg, left thigh, so that you're hip flexors don't have to work.

You're leaning back and you're bringing the toes up. And away, and two and away and three, leading with those toes, and four. And next two leading with the big toe pulling up, and away, big toe pulling up, nice. And away, little toe pulling up and away, and little toe pulling up and away, switching sides. Really make sure on this exercise that you're thinking about that articulation starting with the toes and then bringing the top of the foot up towards your shin, good.

And two, and three, and four, and now leading with the inside for two, and inside, inner arch lifting. And now outer arch lifting, good. Outer arch lifting for that position. Going to our side devo pay, side devo pay. Going onto your left side and putting the strap above your knee on the right side.

So, similar to what you were doing before, as you bring that leg up, I'm gonna just lift that hip to do it incorrectly, and then drop that hip, try to feel this greater trochanter going down, the knee's coming behind the shoulder. And then from there, just extending as far as you can. Then come down just a pase. And bring the leg up, trying to feel that drop in that rotation and that knee coming nice and high. And extend, and bend, and lower, just doing four.

And coming up, rotate, rotate, rotate, rotate, nice. And hold that knee there as you extend. And come back down, last one. And rotate, try to lengthen that low back, bring this down as that knee comes up, holding it right there as you develop, that's it. And come back down and switch to the other side.

So our goal here, is to really work on the height of our side devo pays. So we're working on the muscle that will help hold that thigh in place so that over time, we can get that foot higher and extensions, botmas, or any of those movements to the side. So again, to start with, lift the hip and then drop the hip and try to feel that pure drop and how it lets that knee go higher and behind your shoulder. And from there, extend, just as far as you can. And bend and come back to pase.

And lifting that leg up, good. And rotate and drop, and bend and coming back down. And coming up, right here let's take a little extra time to try to let this go and feel this drop and let that knee go higher behind your shoulder, that's it. And from there extend, nice. And bend, and pase, so sitz bones are reaching towards the floor, that's nice.

And extend, and bend, coming back in, good nice job. And so now we are going to continue on with rows. So same springs, and taking the straps in your hands. And bringing those arms back so that they're at shoulder height. And coming forward and going back to shoulder height.

And coming forward, trying to feel that vertical position of your torso, that you're not leaning back as the arms come back. Lifting behind the ears up towards the ceiling, good. And last one, good, and here, dropping the red spring off, so that we can go to blue spring only, for scarecrow. And here, that same beginning, so your arms are at shoulder height right, from here you're pivoting and then try and feel that upper back arch as you extend back. Elbows come in, de-rotate, and go forward.

And back and rotate, now stop just for a minute and try to feel low abs lift. You're gonna arch up and over, think of that sternum sliding up and back as you arch, good. And coming back up, de-rotate and for two more, trying to feel that on your own. You rotate, think of the elbows coming forward, the hands lifting up to the ceiling as you arch, good. And in, de-rotate and come forward, staying back on this last one here, rotating, arching in that upper back, upper back upper back, nice, good good good.

And lean on those straps just a little, and you're gonna dive back and then come back up, and arch up and back, diving back, nice. And come back up, and diving back. And coming back up, and one more time. Nice, and coming up, bringing the arms down to your sides, curl back, arms going to side. So curling back, scooting forward just a little bit.

And arms are rotating, so thumbs are facing up stopping at shoulder height, and coming forward. And two, reaching side, rotate. And coming back, and again, continuous motion, rotate and up and returning back. And rotate, and return, and rotate and return. Last one, and rotate and return, coming back up to sitting for just little rest.

And we're gonna just do two and then go into overhead press. So curling down, and here, reaching side. Trying to feel that core pulling in more as you go side, and coming back, and rotate, good good good. And coming back, and bringing those arms in, bending the elbows, and reaching up, lifting overhead and bend those elbows. And come forward with arms, just arms.

And elbows bend, good, and lifting up, four times, elbows come in, and forward, and bend, nice, reaching up, keep those abdominals, try to not arch as you go up, so you're gonna just keep this in and elbows bend, nice, and reaching up, that's it. And bend, nice, and coming forward. And now going to our kneeling arms. Coming to a kneeling position, facing this way. Triceps kick back, triceps kick back.

Grabbing through on the straps. And so this is a lighter spring, so you wanna grab pretty far up on the straps, and bring those elbows back, so they're behind your body. Keeping those elbows right where they are as you extend and bend and arms go forward. And back and extend and bend and go forward. And stop just for a minute, try to feel the bottom of the pelvis forward, upper back over the pelvis, that's one of the challenges of this whole kneeling series and now coming back, being careful not to hyperextend so palms stay facing front, just going to there, and bend, all the way to parallel to the floor and coming forward and pulling back, keeping that there, just gently going to straight, nice.

And bend and forward, two more. Elbows back, and extend, not so far, that's it. And bend, and forward, and elbows back low abs in, bottom forward and now just, just to straight, that's it right there. And bend, and forward, facing side, arm across, arm across. And this exercise is actually for this radius anterior, the muscle underneath the armpit that brings the shoulder blade forward.

So as you reach that arm across, you're trying to feel that shoulder blade come with you and then come back down, so it starts at the thigh, and it ends at that opposite shoulder. And coming back down, and a little more abdominals as you're reaching side, good. And come back down, and reaching side. And now bend that elbow, and you're gonna push like you're pushing someone away, feeling under the armpit. And come back, and push, under the armpit, nice Joey.

And come back, and pushing under and coming back, and pushing under, keep that straight position and now just the shoulder blade comes back, keeping it in front of you. And it goes forward, and it go- that's it. And forward, one last time, and going forward, and switch to facing down, facing down and we're gonna do biceps plus lift. Biceps plus lift, and here, this is a light spring for this exercise so later you can go up to red spring but right now, I want you to focus on that alignment of trying to feel that bottom of the pelvic forward. And your ribs in just a little bit more.

So that torso is there, and now reaching the arms forward it's gonna feel like you're gonna fall, and elbows come back and straighten. And pulling, elbows in, reaching forward, up and forward, that's it. Elbows back and straighten, and bend, reaching tall tall tall, good. And coming back and forward, feeling that thoracic extension at the same time as you have the rest of those low abs lifting and coming in and back, last one. Parallel to the floor, reaching up, nice.

Coming in, and back and now arm across on the other side, rotating around. Trying to feel that position, your pelvis under, ribs back. A little bit more so that that torso is right over and now from here, reaching that arm across, trying to feel it go across like you're pushing someone away. And two, little faster, and three, and four, staying in that out position, and from here, bending that elbow, and pressing across, good. And bending the elbow, now try to feel it more under, rather than the top of the shoulder working.

And coming back, and right under here, that's a good one. And coming back, and under, that seratus working and coming back and staying out there this time, staying out, now we're working on just the scapular moving so shoulder blade goes back just a little, and then it reaches forward. And it goes back just a little, and reaches forward, and back. Trying to feel under that armpit, reaches forward, beautiful and back, nice Jenna, and reaching forward and bringing that arm down and going into our overhead press, red spring on red spring on. For repetition, so red and blue on this.

With the arms reaching side, so we're starting in this position where the sternum is above the footbar. So it's a little further forward, and you're lifted up with those abdominals in and from here, pressing back one, and two, and three, and four. And now on this next one, going back, lifting those knees off, staying nice and low. Bringing the knees back down and coming forward. Reaching back, long position, reaching, good.

Knees down and coming forward, and scapula, good. And knees down and forward staying out in plank this time. Out, staying in that plank position and now going into up stretch position, up stretch. You're holding that up stretch position and taking your right leg parallel pase. Turned out pase, back attitude and now extend in to that arabesque position.

And again, if you're not a dancer, you can have your leg down here. If you're a dancer, I want you to feel that rotation, that stretch across the hip and press your chest through just a little lower. And from here, going out, and pulling in, keeping that leg lifted, and going out. And pulling in, and going out. And pulling in, and out, and in last one, going out and coming in, and switching sides.

Parallel coming turned out, really feel that attitude before you go, 'cause I wasn't you to feel that stretch across the hip if you're a dancer, that's it. Keeping that turnout as you extend. Pressing through this side a little bit more, that's it. And now coming forward, now feel this in position for just a minute. Feel that in position and press through.

Rotate and reach across the hip, that's it. Now from there, going out and coming back. Keeping that lift, going out, and coming back. And out, and coming back, and out and back that's it, good. And coming back in and down, taking the red spring off.

And putting your foot bar down. Going to kneeling arabesque. So this one is for building the strength to do an arabesque, so it's a very demanding exercise for the hamstrings, working behind the body so that it will help you lift that leg higher to the back. So we're starting with that leg out, almost straight. And from here, pulling the leg up towards the ceiling and as it lifts higher, bending.

And then coming back down. So think of that your arms bend at the point that you can't go any higher. So reaching up, we're just doing four of these. And bend and reaching up, good, and coming back. And feeling that rotation, so starts parallel.

And lifting and here, rotates, pulls pulls pulls, nice. And coming back, and last one. Coming, yes, rotate rotate reach, reach, bend as you need to, that's it. And coming in, switching sides. So we wanna feel in this exercise, that as you're doing it, that your foot is making an arc, that it's reaching up to the ceiling a full continuous movement, and that you only bend your elbows as you have to to allow you to get more range.

So it's coming up, and here he's bending and that foot still drawing that arc, ans still pulling pulling pulling pulling, nice. And then come back down, and those elbows straighten each time in between. And reaching out, drawing that arc as you bend, good. And coming back down. And reaching out, allowing that hip to open as you go to that high spot.

And coming back down, last one, and reaching out. Good good good. And coming back down. And being glad that that was number four. (laughter) Good, nice job, so next we're going to get the boxes and put the boxes on.

For a prone pase, prone pase. We're gonna put one red spring on. We're gonna take that blue spring off. And we're starting with prone pase, with is for external rotation, so this is for training the turn out of the hip muscles. So bringing that foot in, and from here, just six reps, we're turning out, one, and back, and two, and going back, and three, trying to feel this rotation coming right from the hip, and then the knee follows, and then the foot follows that, going for as much range as you can, good.

And last one, rotating, keeping those abdominals lifted. And now switching feet. Putting the foot in there and switching so we can do internal rotation. Again, thinking about the rotation occurring from the top of the hip. And two, and three, wrapping, so the knee faces in because the femur, the thigh bone is internally rotating.

Good and rotate, and last one. Pivoting your body so that you're facing towards the straps and going into puling straps, pulling straps. And we're gonna do two regular and then go in to our Ts. So starting with the arms forward and reaching the arms down, trying to feel that sequential arch, upper, middle low, and then going forward, and again, upper, middle, low, trying to feel symmetric on both sides, and coming back down. And now pulling down, and while you keep that lift of your back, you're gonna reach your arms to the side out to T, keep lifted keep lifted, keep lifted and bring them back to your sides.

And coming forward, repeat, coming down, little faster. And arms going side while you stay lifted, and going back to your sides and then coming forward adding rotation. Arms are pulling down, rotating to the right, coming out to the T, keeping that right side lifted, pulling down, keeping that right side lifted and going forward. Same side, pulling down. Now as you lift, think of ribs shifting to the right so you stay in the middle, arms going side.

Arms pulling down on that diagonal, going forward, two on the other side. Arms are pulling down, good. Rotating, ribs shifting left at those arms go to T. Pull down and going forward, last one. Arms pulling down, as you rotate ribs shift left left left, good nice.

Arms to T, arms down come center and lower. Prone pase on the other side, prone pase. Going across and as you get into this position, it's really important to keep, you're gonna think of a slight posterior tilt, rather than being neutral, so that you can try to focus on using those deep rotators underneath the gluteus maximus and at the base of the buttocks. So you're rotating, trying to feel right at the crease of the base of the buttocks, that these muscles are working, and two. A little faster, and three, and four, two more.

Five, keeping those ASI lifted, and six, switching feet. And here, starting from the hip. The knee follows as it goes in. And coming back, so the foot is an afterthought, it's hip, knee, foot. And coming back, and hip, knee, foot, good.

And return, and rotating then along that long axis of the femur, and back and rotate, good. And coming back, and last one rotate. And coming back, stepping off and going into our side-overs, side-overs, switching the box. Adding all the springs on after you switch. And starting with your left hip now with the right leg in the strap.

So we're working on pure lateral flexion here and this is one that a lot of people have different strength levels in it, so Jenna's gonna demonstrate keeping the arms in the whole time, whereas Joey's gonna show some variation. So we're starting down for two, going down, one, and coming back up. Trying to feel as if your back is against a wall as you go down and coming up. Stay there, for Joey, you're gonna go to the second position. And here, going down, staying back, all the way down and coming up, and all the way down, good, and coming up.

If you're strong enough we're gonna add the next variation, going down, reaching the arms overhead and coming back up, bringing those hands behind. And going down, reaching those arms overhead, and coming back up and switching sides. And so we're really looking for pure lateral flexion with this exercise, so trying to make sure those ribs don't flare forward. And keeping the ribs back, the shoulder in line as we're going over and coming back up. And going over again, good, and coming back up.

And switching the hands behind if you're strong enough. And going over, here, and coming back up. And over, and coming back up, and now if you're strong enough, over, reaching those arms out, pulling up, abdominals in, and back and hands in, reaching over, long arms, reaching reaching reaching, good. Coming up, hands back in, good. Taking off the boxes and going to standing plie slides, standing plie slides.

So you're welcome to use a foot platform if you have it. My dancers are gonna do it just standing on the edge of the platform today. And red and blue spring, starting with your right foot, on the frame, and putting your left foot about a third of the way down. The arms are to the side and here, we're focusing on the legs going out straight, and then bending and now reaching those knees away, straighten without the carriage moving. And then come back in.

And it's out, and bend, and further, and straighten, keeping those legs side. And back in, and again, out, and bend trying to feel those abdominals staying in. And straighten and back in one more time. Reaching out, trying to feel those hip adductors, so knees are going away, good, keeping those knees separate as you straighten with those low abs, and coming in. Reaching down, carefully bending your knees and taking the red spring off, moving your foot down on the carriage.

Arms are side and go into side splits and this is a perfect one, if you have a mirror, to check yourself right? So thinking about those low abs lifting this rib being connected where that upper back reaching behind the ears, and going side. And back, is this four? One more. One more, good, and going back, good.

And switching sides, starting with side splits keeping the spring the same. Trying to have your foot the same distance as on the other side, and reaching out, trying to feel those inner thighs work and pulling back together. And reaching side, pelvis going straight down. Nice, and coming back up. Sliding down a wall as those legs go side.

Pulling the back of the legs together as you come up and one more time, going out, and coming up, and bringing that foot in. Adding a red spring on for our standing plie slides. And from here, going out, and bend, now really trying to feel that separation as you go further. And straighten and back in. And going side and bend, and going further, upper back stays lifted but rib in just a little more, straighten, that's it, nice, and coming back.

And going side, sliding down that wall. Separating as you go further out. And straighten, and back in. Last one, going side, pelvis straight, sitz bone's towards the floor. And straighten, sitz bone's pulling down as abdominals lift up, good, and coming back in.

Stepping off and we're gonna go to do our feet. So putting your left foot on the carriage, and making sure that your heel is right against the shoulder rest, and now foot rest. So that you can use that to pivot. So your heel's gonna stay in place and this strap, as you pull the foot across, you're lifting those big toes up and in, so you're really getting that arch lifting. And up and in, and while you're doing this you're in a round back, hamstring stretch, right?

So just relaxing hand on foot. And going in, good, and now switching feet. So as you step down, you're gonna step down about six or eight inches so that when you put this foot up, it's in line with your hip joint. And now we're doing the opposite, little toe going out and in, and now we're emphasizing that flat back hamstring stretch. And little toe going out, and coming back in.

And out and coming back in, and out and a little pause in that out position, and in, and going out, feeling that lift. And back in, last one, going out, and in. Taking the strap off, coming to the front. And doing our standing single leg press. Starting with the right leg on, arms in high fifth.

Trying to feel that alignment so your back is up against a wall and from here, staying there as just the leg presses, this is a red and blue spring, so don't worry about fully straightening your knee, if it's gonna distort your alignment. And going out, three, a little faster, and coming back, and four, and coming back. And now we're gonna add bending the knee, and pressing out, letting the knee come back, and rising to releve. And coming down and bending as you press out. Coming back, and rising to releve.

Two more, bending as you press out. Coming back, and rise, and coming out, and coming back and rise and lower, switching sides. Starting with just pressing out for four, trying to feel again, that vertical position of your torso and that that's staying there as just the leg is moving. And two, and three, pulling up with those quads just going to straight, not to hyperextension, four good, and now adding the support leg bending. As you press out, and back and rise and bend, as you press out, and back and rise, and bend, as you press out, and back and rise, and bend.

Last one, pressing out, make it your best, coming in and rising, go for that balance going for that balance and holding it, holding it, holding it, holding it, oh so nice. And come back down, bringing the bar up for scooter stretch, scooter stretch. Oh first we're gonna do the other side. And from here, bringing the strap across. And again, make sure that heel is on as that leg is coming across.

And really emphasize that lifting up of the arch and coming back and lifting up of that arch, and coming back and if you can, you can even have it out a little further so that it gives you more resistance. And come back and lifting up, and back, two more, lifting up, nice, and back. Last one, lifting up, and coming back and now switching and remember with this, you're gonna step down with the right foot about six inches towards the ropes. So that this foot is in line with your hip and bring it way out to the edge of your foot again here. And now bringing that little toe away and up and range is small so you can do a little pause there.

And out, lifting that, beveling that foot and coming back in, and lifting, so these are the muscles that prevent ankle sprains we need them really strong right? And going out, lifting, and coming back and out, really trying to feel that little toe lift too. And back, last one, coming out, and coming back. And taking that strap off. And now we're going to scooter (laughs) and from here, this is a stretch but it's a similar feeling to the scooter in that you're pressing back with your leg but you're gonna start with your front leg straight.

And try to not hyperextend, and your back knee is bent and now from here, you're straightening that leg. So both are straight, and from here, you're gonna go back in the splits. Try and keep that, lifting with the back of the knee as well as the front good. And now from here, back knee comes on and you come forward and give a little break here at that spot, you can feel that nice hip flexor stretch. Fingertips down, thinking of pulling those ASIS up and back, so you feel that stretch across this hip.

And now, allow yourself to come back in, all the way to straight with that support leg. Back leg bent, and now reaching back, going for length here. Reaching back into the splits, good. Back knee comes down, front knee bends, come forward to where that knee is above your ankle. And hold that position, and now bringing the outside arm up and trying to feel that arch in the upper back, reaching back, keeping your fingertips on the bar first.

And then for more range, if you can, allowing them to go up as you reach back back back back back, good. And coming back to your starting position. And switching sides, switching sides. And here, same thing, starting with the front leg straight back, leg is bent, and reaching back. Step back, leg is straight, trying to keep this knee from hyperextending as both legs go back into that split position, back knee bends, front knee bends, and find that hip flexor stretch position for you.

Keeping the low abs lifted, lifting behind the ears. And enjoy that nice sensation. Coming forward to your starting position, straightening the support leg, and right from here, reaching back. Going back, really go for length this time, way back way back that's it, bringing that back knee down. Front knee bends, and come forward, keeping your fingertips on for this first part.

So I want you to feel that difference of ASI, imagine fingers are attached to a string, to your ASIS and it's lifting you and then from there you can reach back. And coming forward, bring the arm back down. And coming up and out of that stretch. And, come around here Jenna. So thank you all for joining us today.

And we hope that we can add a little bit of dance into your life. (laughs) Thank you.


1 person likes this.
Very smart.
Thank you Karen very much for sharing your expertise.
2 people like this.
Interesting work but quite challanging for non dancers. Thank you for a change of approach.
Karen Clippinger
Thank you for your kind comments and I am so glad you liked it.
Thank you for being open to trying something new and challenging. If you decide to do the class regularly, I think you will find some really lovely changes in flexibility and strength in your body. It is always amazing to see bodies change when I teach this in a semester format.
2 people like this.
I will take the class regularly and keep you informed;)) thank you for sharing it on PA🙏
1 person likes this.
Brilliant flow of unique exercises and amazing cueing. I will enjoy this one many times again!
1 person likes this.
It was a wonderful class!
Loved it
I'm not a dancer but i really LOVED this class. We have been renovating and my time has been so limited. Woke up with sciatic symptoms this morning. After doing this class they are completely gone. Of course this class is challenging, how are we to grow if we are not challenged? Hope to see you again, I love PA!
Karen Clippinger
Thank you Pilates Barre :) ,Jennifer, and Rachel for all for your support and enthusiasm.
And Denee, so glad that you went for the challenge and loved it!
Nice work!thanks
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