Class #3296

Athletic Mat Flow

50 min - Class


If you are an athlete looking to incorporate more arm and leg work, then this Mat workout by John Garey is perfect for you. He starts with a posture check to make sure you are balanced and aligned before you begin to work. He then brings components of the Reformer as well as other standing exercises to give you a new challenge.
What You'll Need: Mat, Theraband, Magic Circle

About This Video


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Welcome everyone, thanks for joining me for this Pilates mat workout. We're gonna take an athletic slant today. This workout is gonna be perfect for your athletic clients, your clients that have a fitness background, and those that really want to incorporate more arm and leg work. Today we're gonna be using our fitness circle, or Pilates circle, or Magic Circle, whatever you call it. We're also gonna be using a flex band or resistance band.

I'm using a really long one. It's over six feet long and I like that one because with the stuff that we're gonna be doing it's really long lever so if you find that your band is a little bit shorter, all you have to do is really hold onto the very ends of it to get the most length out of it or just soften the knees a little bit so you're not having as much range of motion with some of the exercises. We're gonna begin though, with a posture check. So what I'd like you to do is just stand with your feet about hip distance apart and in a nice, comfortable position. What we're gonna do to start off is just get ourselves balanced and aligned before we start working.

What I want you to begin with is just a shift forward and back on your feet until you find that your weight is right in the middle of the front and back of the feet, so you're really centered on your feet. Next we're gonna move up to your knees. Now you can flex your knees for me and then come back and then you can kind of push the back of your knees backwards, so hyper-extend them, and come back. Let's do that just a couple times, just kind of finding that spot. You're gonna notice there's a place right in the middle, it's a little play zone, where you're not actually hyper-extended and you're not actually flexed.

That's your neutral zone. That's what I want you to feel, still on the center of your feet. Then we're gonna move up to your pelvis. We're gonna move your hips around a little bit today. We're gonna tip your pelvis back, we're gonna tip it forward.

We're gonna hike it up on one side and then the other, and then I want you to kind of circle it around and wake it up and go the other way all the way around and then just find that center position there. It should feel like it's floating right on top of your legs, right on top of your femurs. Let's come on up to your ribcage here. For your ribs, what I'd like you to do is just shift them over to one side. It's a little attitude move.

Shift them over to the other side. You're gonna bring them around to the front and take them to the back. Give me a big circle with the ribcage and you're gonna go the other way. And then you're gonna come right to the center and just again, like your pelvis, you want it to just simply float there. You don't want to feel like it's pushed to any direction.

Then we're gonna come on up to your shoulders and what I want you to do with your shoulders is just a big morning circle, just open up and around, like you do when you first get up. Well hopefully you're moving around when you first get up. And just to get the kinks out, just open them up and back. And then come around to the front, just back up and forward. We'll do that a couple times here, just like so.

Now bring them up into your ears and just really tighten them up and then soften them and just let them relax down. You want to feel like your collarbones are really wide across the front and your arms are just really nice and soft by your sides. Next, we're gonna move up to your head and neck. What I'd like you to do is imagine that you're standing against the wall. You're gonna try to slide the back of your head up that wall as high as it will go.

You'll notice your chin will drop. And then come back to center. And do that again, just slide it up. You're gonna feel the back of those neck muscles really lengthen, and then come back to center. One more time, just up ...

And back to center. Now what I'd like you to do is just tip it over to the side. When you drop it over to the side, take the opposite hand and extend that wrist and press the heal of that hand away so you're making the biggest distance you can between the tip of your shoulder and your earlobe and you're just stretching up and away, lengthening, and then come back to center. We're gonna do that to the other side. So drop your head, press the heal of the hand down and away.

Pull that shoulder down, lift that earlobe up, and get the biggest distance you can there. It should feel really good, and then come back to center. Now we're just gonna do a little bit of The Exorcist here. You're gonna turn your head all the way in one direction as far as you can, and see if you can spin it right around. Then you're gonna look as far as you can in that direction, come back to the front ... It's a good image, isn't it?

And then come all the way to the side, and again, look as far as you can to that other side and then come back to the center and I just want you to shake everything loose for a second and now come back and find all those positions you just found. So you have this beautiful, balanced posture and now we're ready to get some work done. So what we're gonna start with is a sumo squat. We're gonna turn your legs out. And this is great because I love when you bring components of Reformer work into mat work and that's really what I want you to think about here.

So think of second position on the Reformer. We're just gonna bend your knees and come down and you're gonna slide those knees right out over the center of the feet and you're gonna drop your seat right down and then come back up, and let's do that again. You're gonna come down ... And come up. Now we know the first principle of Pilates is breathing, so if I happen to forget to tell you when to inhale and exhale, your job is to keep breathing.

So for today, I want you to inhale as we lower down and exhale as you rise back up. Lets do that a few times. If you inhale through the nose, it's gonna clean that air, help oxygenate your blood. And if you exhale like you're blowing through a straw, it's automatically gonna get those deeper core muscles to fire and do the work they're supposed to do. So inhale ...

And exhale. Two more times. Inhale ... And exhale. And on this one, we're staying down there. So we're gonna wake up your quads a little bit, but we're also gonna wake up your calves. So you're in this nice position.

Your spine is pretty lengthened, so you don't want to be hunched over. Remember that good posture stuff we just talked about. And they probably are starting to wake up. What I want you to do is just lift your heels up and hold it there for a second. When you lift your heels, you should be on the center of the ball of the foot, really between the great toe and the second toe, not rolling to the outsides of the feet.

So bring that right in there, lower the heels back down. Lift them up ... Inhale down. Lift them up ... Lower them down. Now I put a little ceiling over my head, so I'm really not lifting up and down with my whole body.

I'm getting a little bit more flexion at the hip. That's probably enough. And we're gonna rise all the way back up. Just shake those legs out a little bit. Whew I can feel it. Okay.

From here, what we're gonna do is just some alternating lunges back. So this is super easy. You're just gonna come back into a lunge and come up. I don't want you to go super far back. I actually want you to keep your weight right on the front leg.

So you're sinking down into it and coming back up. So truly, this is like a one leg squat. You're coming down ... And coming up. And your back leg is like your kickstand on a bike.

It's just gonna help support your position. Let's do a couple more. Sink ... and come up. Sink ... and come up. You should be nice and awake now.

We're gonna go over to one side and you're gonna do a side to side lunge right over to the side and back. So we're doing some single leg work and now we're moving into a different plane of motion. This is great because it's gonna challenge the outside of the hip here. Sink ... And up. Notice I'm bending the leg in the direction that I'm traveling.

I'm keeping the other leg straight. So it's a little lunge ... And back. And again. Lunge ... Two more.

Down ... Last one. Stay there. So what we're gonna do here, start with your hands right here on your quads and just take it from side to side right up and over. And side.

Now you can stay here or if you wanna take this to the next level, we're gonna turn into Spider-Man. We're gonna come right down to the floor and instead of lifting your hips now we're gonna stay low and you're just gonna take it side to side right there. Right over ... And right back. Back is neutral, breath is flowing. And you're getting that really good groin stretch by going through the center.

Two more ... And back. Now we're gonna hold ourselves over to this side right here, sinking through and then lift up the hips and rotate. So we're in this lunge stretch position here. What I want you to do is sink and lift. Sink ... And lift.

This is a great way to increase your mobility in this kind of dynamic movement. Not static, but moving through all these positions. Now what I want you to do is hold this down and you're gonna kind of come forward over your toes and push back, so a little ankle mobility here. Come forward ... And back. And two more.

Forward ... And push that heel back. One more. And back. From there, just turn it all the way around to the other side, and same thing. We're gonna do our lunge stretched lifting ...

And lowering. This is a nice really fun stretch across the front of the hip, getting the hip flexors two more. And one more. Now hold this here, and then you're gonna come forward and push that heel back. So our ankle mobility again. Coming forward ... And back.

And let's do that again. Right over ... And back. Just two more times. Try to keep the back long. One more time.

Hold this one back there. Now turn yourself to the front and come back, hands on your quads again. Start with your spine lengthened and we're gonna go into a little cat. What I want you to do is start with the tailbone, curl it under, hollow out the abs. Use your exhale here.

Pull the abs in, spread your shoulder blades apart, and then lengthen. Send the tailbone away, draw the shoulders back. Open up through the front of the chest and lift your head slightly. Do that again. Exhale. Flex ... And lengthen.

Two more times. Flex from tail to head ... And lengthen from tail to head. Go right into your slight extension there. Last time, flex ...

Now this time come into this kind of centered position, so it's a nice, long position through the spine. Push into one leg and turn and look back over the shoulder. Come through the center, push on the other leg, look back over the shoulder, and do that two more times. Rotate and look. Back through the center.

Rotate and look. Back to the center and now flex the spine and you're gonna come all the way up to the top. You can bring your feet slightly closer together. Give me some shoulder roll there, up and back. Right up.

Big rolls. And the other way. Right around. Exaggerate it. Start to lift your elbows as well. Now we're gonna go into some arm work here.

So we're gonna open up through the arms and circle back, reaching up and back. And again. And two more times, big stretch back there. Get the pecs stretched. And now around to the front like the butterfly stroke, right over the top.

And around. And around. Let's do two more. And one more. And now I call this the Phelps hug. If you know the swimmer, Michael Phelps, before he jumps in the water he always stretches like this, opens it up, really dynamic.

Open and close. You're gonna switch the arm that's on top and we're gonna take it into a little hip hop. You're gonna take your arms from one side to the other. I'm not very good at hip hop. But it's a really good little mobility stretch for the whole upper body. Last time. Even it out ... And come back to center.

And shake it loose. Beautiful, okay now we're gonna move on and we're gonna grab our flex band and we're gonna do a little upper body work here. A little more upper body work. So warmup is over people, here we go. Take that band behind your back and what I want you to do here is find a spot where you can hold onto it.

Notice I have the band running through my hands this way. Not wrapped around my hand or tied up in any way. I'm just gonna reach forward and come back in, so a little chest press. Reach forward ... And in. And if you see, I have the band kind of around the lower part of the ribcage here and it's not kind of balled up.

God, it's beautiful back there. It's not kind of balled up, it's nice and flat across the back. So reach forward ... And in. And a couple more times. Reach ... And I'm gonna hold this one right here and I'm just gonna mobilize the scapula, your shoulder blades.

So this is a beautiful working position for a muscle called the serratus anterior. What this muscle does is it protracts the scapula, pulls it forward toward the front of your body, but it also helps to hold that scapula flat against your ribcage. So if you, when you're in a plank position, have the problem of your scapula kind of popping out, or winging, we call it, this is the exercise for you. Strengthen that muscle. Two more times. Reaching ... And one more time.

And we're just gonna go right into our shoulder rolls from here with a little bit of resistance. Up and back. Now those deep muscles in your shoulder, anterior delts, and maybe even your pecs, are starting to talk to you right now. Keep your elbows long and then reverse and go the other way, up and around. And two ... And three. One more time. Four ... And bend. All right.

From here, you're gonna reach forward and stretch open. I want you to let that band pull your arms back there to get that stretch, but you're controlling it. Then forward ... And in. You're in control of the band, it's not in control of you. Reach back. Reach forward and come back in.

Soft knees, little athletic stance here. Reach ... Open ... Let's breathe. We're gonna exhale here. Inhale. Exhale back.

Come back in. Now what I want you to do this time is just open one arm out to the side. So you're gonna reach forward, you're gonna take one arm, and you're gonna follow it with your eyes and let your ribcage turn. Try to keep your hips forward. Come back to the center and come back in.

The other side now. Reach. Open to that side. Come back. Little rotation stretch here. Reach ... And open. Back ... And in. One more time.

Reach ... And open. Back ... And in. Now what we're gonna do is increase that. So you're gonna reach forward. As you open back you're actually gonna bend into a squat and let your hips turn.

Come back to the front and come back in. So here we go. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. And back in. And again.

Reach ... Rotate ... Sink into it. Come on back. And come back in. And again. Reach ... Open out. Come back in ... One more set.

And exhale. Breathe. And keep that breath flowing. Back ... And one last time. Reach ... And open. And back ... And in. That should have felt great.

Take that band from around your back, hold it in your hands wider than your shoulders. And from here, you're gonna reach it up and stretch it back. Come back up ... And forward. So a couple things to think about. As you're reaching back, keep the wrists long.

Don't let it do any kind of funky movement like that. Press into that band so you're in control of it. Come up ... And forward. What I love about doing this with the band is that if you don't have the range of motion to keep your arms this wide as you go up and over, you can push that band apart and you can get a better stretch reaching back. Up ... And forward.

Can't do that with a pull. Up ... And reach back. Lift up ... And forward. We're gonna do that one more time. And up ... Reach back, get that stretch there.

Come up ... And you can hold it right there. We're gonna come over to one side. Now I have the band slightly in front of me here. I'm gonna come over to one side and I'm gonna pull the band down. If it's hitting your head, just move your arms a little more forward.

Come back up to the top. So a little side bend, but also I'm engaging the lats on that bottom arm because I'm pulling down. A little adduction here. And pull ... And come back up. And pull.

I'm flexing over at the waist, so we're getting some spine side flexion in. And over. Now on this one guys, you're gonna hold it over there. Right here. Then you're gonna take that top arm and bend it and press up, so you're getting a little tricep work here as well as the side bend work, called the (mumbles) for three ... We do it on the Reformer. Two ... And one. Come back up and other side.

Bring it right down over and bend and press. And press. Abs solid and three. And two ... And one. Bring it up ... And lower it down. Whew, warming up here.

Okay, we're gonna put that aside and I'm gonna bring out the circle. The first thing we're gonna do is set our feet here. So we're gonna add some legs into our upper body work. Now the circle is also elastic resistance and we're gonna be pressing into it, so we're gonna be getting some work with our pecs, with our delts, and a little bit of work with our arms as well. For your legs, we're gonna do a parallel squat this time.

So think heels on the foot bar if you were working on Reformer or balls of the feet on the push through bar if you were working on the Cadillac. You're gonna sit down into it. Try to keep the knees centered over the feet. Keep the spine lengthened and as you do this you're gonna reach the circle out and you're gonna press into it. When you come back up, just release the tension on the circle.

Exhale, press ... And come back up. So keep that movement, press ... And come back up. How low can you go? And still keep your spine in that neutral position without flexing the lumbar.

And come back up. Two more. Press ... And up. One more. And up. Okay, now lets add upper body to this. So I'm gonna press.

As I come up, I'm actually gonna pull and I'm gonna extend. Come back through neutral, press. Come up, extend the spine as I pull into the sides of that circle. And press. Inhale here. And exhale, press.

Inhale here. Full body exercise right here. Exhale, press. Inhale pull. We're getting the anterior muscles of the upper body and then the posterior muscles of the upper body. Two more. Press ... And pull. One more. Press ... And pull.

Now just hold the circle out in front of you. And we're gonna go into a lunge. I want you to lunge backward, pull the circle toward you, and as you do that, just pull out on the circle. Come forward, and we'll switch sides. So lunge back and pull, and come back up.

Lunge back and pull, and come back up. So I'm pulling on the inside of that circle so that I'm engaging different muscles, the opposing muscles of when I press. Now you're gonna rotate. And come back up. So lunge back, get some rotation in there.

And I'm pulling on that circle. Pull, rotate, knee still over the center of your foot. Rotate, pull ... And back up. Four more. And sink ... And come up. Pull and sink into it ... And come up. Two more.

You feeling it yet? Sink ... And come back up. And one more time. Back ... And forward. Now take that leg back, alternate again. Place the circle right above your knee and you're gonna do a little lat press as you do a stationary lunge down and up.

Press down two ... And up. Press down three. Drop that back knee down. Four. We're going for eight. And five ... And pick it back up. And exhale, six ... And up.

Seven ... One more time. Bring it down ... Now come up. Switch the foot that's forward and back and here we go again. Exhale, press down ... And rise up. Knee right over the center of the foot ... And up.

And exhale three ... Try to keep the back leg parallel. Four ... And again. Don't let it turn out. Five ... Three more. Exhale, six. And seven ... One more time.

Eight ... And up. One more before we change our position here. We're gonna go into a little fencer lunge. What I'm gonna do is step to the side. We'll do the legs first.

Step to the side and turn out. And come back up. Then to the other side. Turn ... And come back up. Reach up with the circle as you do it. Reach up, lunge ... And come back.

Turn and lunge ... And come back. And sink ... And back. So now we're adding rotation into our lunge and a little overhead work with our arms. Four more. Four ... And up. Three ... And up.

Two ... It's getting hot in here. And one ... And come back up. All right. Whew! That's enough of the lunges and squats. Let's take this off to the side. We're actually going to come onto our knees here.

So this is a perfect place to have your mat, so you can kneel on your mat, and then take your band and just stretch it across the mat like so. You're gonna be kneeling on one side of it and what I want you to do is make sure that you have a lot of that band coming out the side of your leg. Then you're gonna hold onto the end of the band here and what I'm gonna do is just take my hand, my free hand, and we'll move this to the back. You're gonna place it right here. Take your foot and put it right against the band.

The first thing we're gonna start with, make sure that band is stretched down on your foot because you do not want that to roll off your foot and snap you someplace we don't want it to snap us. And from there you're gonna drop that leg and lift it up. So a little lower and lift. Notice that I'm holding onto the band but everything is kind of tucked into the side of my body. So it's no longer arm work.

We wanna work on that side of your glute here, down and up. And press, a lot of outer thigh work right here. Try to get the hip over the knee. And breathe ... Exhale as you lift. Now bend and stretch. Bring it in and press.

Knee comes in, press the leg back out. Three ... And two ... And one. Now hold it there, foot is flexed and circle for five, four, three, two, one. And pulse it for five, four, three, two, one. And done. All right.

So you're gonna come down. We're gonna kneel on that other end so make sure you got a lot of that band coming out of the side your foot's gonna go in. Hold onto the end of the band here and then come on down to your side. Adjust your foot so the band is nice and flat across the bottom of it and press. And then lower and lift for five ... And four.

And exhale three ... And two. And one, and now bend and press. And five ... And in and press. Four. Whew! And three ... We got two more. Two ... And one. Now circles.

Five ... Your glutes should be on fire. Four ... Mine are. Three ... Two ... One. And pulse it. Five ... Four ... Three ... Two ... One. And in. Oh my goodness, just sit back on your heels.

Yeah, that much. Okay, so we're gonna have a seat here and we're gonna take that band and put it around our feet. We're gonna give those legs a tiny bit of a break and move back to some upper body work So the first thing I wanna do is cross the band, choke up on it a little bit, and we're just gonna do a rowing position here. So I have the band crossed. My palms are down. I'm gonna exhale, pull the elbows back, but not pull my hands into my shoulders.

I'm gonna keep the hands wide enough so that they're right about elbow angle, and come back in. Again, keep that band stretched across your feet and slightly point your toes away and pull. Two more times. Pull ... One more time here. Now when you reach forward, flex, but when you pull back, extend. When you reach forward, flex the spine.

When you pull back, lift your sternum toward the sky. Exhale here ... Inhale as you extend. Two more. Exhale ... Inhale ... One more. Exhale ... Inhale. This is such a great posture exercise because it works all those muscles down the back and the back of your shoulders as well. Now what I want you to do is hold onto the band.

The one that's on top here, that's the arm that you're gonna use first. And you're gonna bend your elbow and turn. So you're gonna do a little pull back and look back over your shoulder. Right there ... Get your rotators working. And I want you to think of spiraling up as you rotate, not shrinking.

So coming right up and around. And you can use an exhale here. And two more times. Exhale ... And one more time. Pull back ... And come forward.

All right. Now, you gotta get that other band on top, so flip it over and do that same thing. Pull back ... And come back around. Pull back ... And you're looking right over your shoulders. Pull ... And back. And exhale. Two more.

Spiraling up ... One more time. Spiral up ... And forward. All right. So from here, I'm gonna scoot down a little bit and I'm gonna uncross the band and bring my legs a little bit closer together. Double check, make sure that it's on the bottoms of the feet, over the balls of the feet is good, and slightly point the toes. And then grab underneath the band for this one and you're gonna do a half rollback.

So you're gonna breathe in and you're just gonna roll down. So initiate with your glutes to help tuck your pelvis under, and then your abs will kick in, and your hip flexors, and pull the band toward you. Now in this position, reach forward and pull in. A little bicep curl. And pull, two.

And exhale, three. And four ... And five. Now come forward and stack the spine back up. Let's do that again. You're gonna exhale, roll down, scoop in.

Reach the arms forward, and pull in for five ... And forward, and four ... And we've got three ... We've got two more. Two ... One more time.

Pull it in, hold it there. Now come over ... And then stack the spine all the way up. Okay, from here, were gonna change out and we're gonna put the band to the side here for a second. We're gonna grab your circle and we're gonna come down onto your back. So roll right down and hold the circle in your hands and what I want you to do is keep your knees flexed and your feet not too far away from your seat here, and your legs about hip distance apart.

Spine should start neutral. That means you got a little space between your lumbar spine and the mat here. It's not flattened down. From here, you're gonna breathe in and we're just gonna flex, head forward. So you'll flex your cervical spine and your upper back, your thoracic spine, but try to keep the lumbar in that neutral position. I'm gonna reach the circle out over my legs and put a little pressure into it and then come back down.

Let's do that two more times. Exhale ... Reach. Inhale, come down. And again. Exhale ... Reach. Inhale, come down. Now this time your gonna hold it there.

So you're gonna reach up and then from here you're gonna move your arms but not your torso. You're gonna reach back ... And exhale over. Reach back ... And exhale over. Drop your chin, look down the horizon so you're not taking this work in the neck. Two more.

And one more time. And then lower back down. Lets do one ore set of those. Exhale, up ... Inhale. Exhale down, five ...

And exhale four. Pressing into that circle each time. Three. And two. And one. And lower down. Now from here, you're gonna bring ...

You can tip your pelvis back a little bit, especially if you're not used to holding neutral when your legs are tabletop. So bring your legs to tabletop. If you feel it in your lower back at all, just tip your pelvis back a little more. And we're gonna come up into that flex position, reaching the circle out over the legs here. We're gonna take it into obliques a little bit.

So you're gonna keep one leg bent and you're gonna take the circle off to that side. Inhale through the center and exhale to the other side. What I want you to do is push down on that top handle as you rotate. Press ... And press. We're gonna do four more on each side.

And switch ... And three. And switch ... Exhale two. And switch ... Last one. Finish to the other side. Come to the center ... And lower down. All right. So just take the circle for a second and place it right up above your knees and take your hands and place them behind your head and we're gonna do our flexion that we just did with our upper body, supporting our head with our hands now and simultaneously a little squeeze with that circle.

So exhale, come up ... And lower down. Exhale, come up ... Squeeze the circle, and lower down. Let's just do four more to finish this one. Four ... And down. Support your head in your hands, but don't pull on your head with your hands.

Just set your head resting into it. Two more ... And down. And one more time, guys. Exhale ... Hold it there and pulse. Five ... Four ... Three ... Two ... One. And lower down. All right.

We can take that circle off to the side and what I want you to do is take the band and place it around your feet again. Remember how we did that before? Make sure it's even on either side and then just take your heels down to the ground. From here you can take your legs a little bit further away from you. Find that neutral position in the lumbar spine.

You're gonna inhale and then as you exhale Just come up into this bicep curl ... And come back down. And again. And again. Exhale, up, bicep curl. So you're giving yourself a little assist as you come up with that band, but you're giving your biceps a little work. Now hold it here, and let's do five.

Five ... And four ... Exhale three. And two ... And one ... And down. And again. Come up and five ... Curl it in for four. Strong abs. Three ... And two. Last one. One ... And down.

Now you're gonna take the band off of one foot and keep it on the other foot. That free leg now can either stay bent or you can stretch it out on the floor. The other leg is gonna bend and you can just kind of prop your elbows on the ground for a second with your elbows bent. Give me a little bend and stretch here. So exhale ... Press it away ... Inhale, bend.

Press it away ... And bend. Let's do five more. Five ... And four ... And exhale three. And two ... And one. Now we're gonna lift it. So lift it up ... And lower it. So this is a great mobility exercise, particularly for your more athletic clients that tend to be tight in the hip.

What's so great about this is you're tightening the muscle as you pull down against the band, and then you're allowing it to stretch, giving it a little of an assisted stretch as you come back up. Exhale down ... And come up. Two more. Press down ... And come up. One more time. Press ... And come up. Beautiful. Now you're gonna cross the band and what I want you to do is take your arms out to the side.

So if you're on the floor, you actually want to anchor your arms right down on the floor. Then you're gonna take your leg over to one side, you're gonna bring it up through the center and take it out to the same side. As you take it over across your body, let your hips rotate. Really nice stretch for the side of the glute, maybe a little bit on the IT band for some people. And then as you take it out to the same side, you wanna square your hips up.

Don't let your pelvis rotate to that side. So up ... And cross it over. Push your foot into that band for a little bit of traction here. Press it out ... One more time. And reach it across, use your exhale.

Inhale up ... And exhale out to the side. And then come back up. All right. We're just gonna switch feet here. We're gonna start with our bend and stretch. So press it out ... And come back in.

Exhale, press it ... Inhale to bend. I like to keep the foot slightly pointed on this, so I'm pushing through the ball of the foot ... And come back in. Two more times. Press ... And one more time. Now we're gonna lift and lower.

So you're gonna lift it up and then pull it back down. And lift it ... And back down. And let's do that again. Up ... And down. Last two ... And down. Last one ... And down.

Bring it up, cross the band, stretch the arms out, and lets go across the body, come up through, and take it out to the same side. We're gonna do that again. Take it up and across ... And out to the same side. And again. Reach it across ... And out. One more time. Bring it over. Let the hips turn, come through the center.

Keep the hips square as you take it out to the same side. Bring it up and bend your knee. All right, now come on up for a second. We're gonna do one more. Now that you're kind of all mobilized through the hips, and we've worked your body from front to back, let's try a little bit of balance work using the band.

So what I'm gonna do is take this band and I'm gonna place it kind of across the floor. I flattened it out and I'm putting one foot on the band here, all right? You're gonna love this one. So what we're gonna do is lunge back and as we lunge back, we're gonna do a little front raise, like this. Maybe not quite like that. Let me do it again without the wobble. There we go. And up.

So come down ... And lift up. One more time. Down ... And lift up. Whew! Are all the muscles tingling? Mine are. Now you're gonna take your arms out to the side as you come down, so a little lateral right there ... And come back up. And two more. Reach ... And come back up. And one more.

Reach ... Now pick up your foot. Hold it here. Press it out. Five ... And four. Find that balance. And three ... And two ... And one. Now place it down and we're gonna take it side, so you're gonna lift it, press it, side.

And down. Press it, side. Notice I'm leaning over to that side too, like a karate kick. One more time. Reach ... And down. Okay guess what? We're gonna put those all together. So you're gonna lunge back ... Arms forward.

Lunge back ... Arms side. Come up ... Press forward. Come up ... Press side. Whoo hoo, again. Lunge back ... Arms forward.

Lunge back ... Arms side. Lift it up ... Kick forward. Bring it in ... Kick side. And down. Third time's a charm. Back ... Here we go.

Or it's your last chance, as we call it. And then forward ... And then side. And down. All right. So good. You can feel everything's kind of connected now. Let's do that to the other side.

So we're gonna start with just each one separately and try to perfect it. So you're gonna lunge back and bring the arms forward. Lunge back ... And bring the arms forward. Two more. Right there. And one more. Right there.

Now we're going out to the side. Reach ... Whew! The lower you go in the lunge, the easier it is on your arms. So you gotta work harder through the legs if you wanna make it a little easier on the arms. One more. Right there. And up. And then press. Five ... Four ...

Three ... Bring your knee in and out, not just swinging your bottom leg. And out. And then ... Reach ... And down. And two ... And down. And three ... And four ... one more.

Five ... And down. Okay now let's try to put these together. So lunge back ... Arms forward. Lunge back ... Arms side. Lift up ... Kick forward.

Bring it in ... Kick side ... And down. All right. One side's always a little harder than the other. Bring it back ... And up. Now arms side ... Bring it up. And then we kick it forward.

And then we take it side. And we're gonna do that one more time. Back ... And take it side. And then come up ... Press. And now side ... And down. Whoo hoo all right.

Back down to the mat here. Lets put that band out of the way. You'll be happy to know we're done with the band. So we're gonna grab the circle now. We're gonna place it on the side and what I'm gonna do is hold it in place with my bottom foot, right on the inside circle.

Top leg, right there. And from here, what I wanna do is just little presses. So I'm gonna pulse down, or press down with that top leg, and release it. You can keep the foot flexed and kind of work through that heel to get right deep into those adductors. Press ... And release.

Think about the bottom side here. You wanna have a little bit of space between your obliques and the mat. And press ... And come back up. And press ... And one more time. You're gonna press ... And up.

Now you're gonna take your bottom leg and bring it up to meet the top one and hold them together. Press both legs down and come up. And exhale, press ... And come up. And again. Push it down there ... And release. And two more. Press ... And come back up. One more time.

Press it down ... Come on up, and now lower that bottom leg so it's on the circle again. Lift your top leg and we're gonna do what we call half moon. So you're gonna come forward, you tip your toe down and you let your leg rotate. Not just your foot, your whole leg rotates. Then you bring it back.

You're gonna bend your knee and you're gonna reach the toe to the floor behind you. So come forward ... Straight leg, turn down. Come back ... Bent leg, turned up. And rotate ... And back. Two more. Rotate ... And back. One more.

Rotate ... And back. Now what I want you to do is take your leg on the inside. We're going to roll your hip forward. So the top of the hip is gonna come forward here and from there you're gonna press up against that circle. That's gonna help you get more into the glute and take it a little bit out of the front of the hip.

Four ... Three ... Two ... And one. Now come back to center and lift the circle. Four ... Three ... Two ... And one. All right. Now what I want you to do here, this is super challenging. We're gonna progress this a little bit.

So what you're gonna do is scoot forward toward the front of your mat. You want to have a lot of room behind you. Then you're gonna take your bottom arm down and you're gonna hold onto that circle on the inside with your ankles. We're gonna do a little side bend here. So come up ... And then come back down.

And come up ... And come back down. Two more. Lift up sideways ... And come back down. One more. Lifting up. Now we're gonna go into an exercise we do on the chair and on the Cadillac called side body twist. So you're gonna come up ... This is super fun, but super challenging.

Lift up that circle, then you're gonna rotate, slide up, reach your toes up and lift that circle up. Then you're gonna turn to the side and you're gonna come all the way back down with control. You're gonna inhale to do your side bend first. Side bend first, then exhale to rotate and reach up. Then reach back to the side, and lower down.

You got one more chance. Lift up side bend, inhale. Now use your exhale. Rotate, reach up ... And then reach all the way back to the side. You're not supposed to grunt in Pilates.

And then come down to the bottom. All right, from there, we're gonna do a little trick. You're gonna pick that circle up and come right down to the other side. Perfect, like nothing ever happened. All right, so from here, you're gonna take the top leg and put it right there on the top.

And you're gonna press down ... And release. Let your head rest in your arm, abs pulled in underneath. And press ... And again. Press ... Two more. Use that exhale. Get those inner thighs working here.

One more, all right now bring the legs together and here we go. Press with both legs ... And come up. And exhale, press ... Keep the legs locked together as you press down on that top circle. Two more ... And one more. Now drop that bottom leg down. Lift the top leg up.

You're gonna bring it forward. Remember, you turn the whole knee toward the mat. When you come back, bend the knee and turn it up towards the ceiling. Rotate down ... Come back and touch the toe behind the circle. Half moon forward ... And back. One more.

Forward ... And back. That's really good rotation in that hip joint. Now you're gonna take the leg on the inside of the circle. For this one we're gonna roll that top hip forward so we can really focus on the glute med and you're gonna press up against that circle for five ... Exhale, four ... Three ... Two ... And one.

Now come on back and we're gonna try our side bend again. Make sure you've got room behind you and you're gonna go into your side bend. Just come up ... And lower back down. And come up to the side bend, balance ... And back down. And again.

Come up ... Lift those legs if you can ... And down. All right now we're gonna turn this in to our full side body twist. Inhale, up ... Rotate, lift up ... Higher. And then come out to the side ... And all the way down. Here we go, side bend first, that's your inhale.

Now use your exhale. Slide that bottom hand toward you. Lift up, Reach, reach, reach ... Come over ... And down. One more chance. Side bend ... Then rotate. Lift up, reach ... Come all the way through ... And down. We did it.

All right, take that circle out and you're gonna come on up here. You can just put the circle off to the side. And we're gonna do a series now with just your body weight. So just to kind of get things kind of coordinated. So let's see here. I'm gonna start right back here.

And I'm gonna sit back in a shell stretch, right like so. So what I want you to do here is make this an active shell, so part of this will be our end mobility and part of it will be a little bit of work. So abs in ... And just breathe. And you're gonna come forward into, in yoga it's referred to as a Cobra, but in Pilates, we talk about it as kind of a swan dive position. So I want your legs to be open and turned out and that's gonna help you tilt your pelvis back a little more, give your glutes a little more activation.

Shoulders are out of the ears and pulled back and abdominals are pulled in. Yeah? And then from there, you're gonna tuck those toes under and you're gonna push back into a pike with your bum going up, your heels pressing down, your head ending up between your arms. Then come forward. We're gonna go through that swan or cobra position, and then you're gonna sit back into your shell. Come forward ... Shoulders open, abs in. Tuck under.

And pike. Yeah, and then come forward ... And back into your shell. Okay now for this one, you're gonna come forward and once we get into our pike, we're gonna stay there. And I think I have enough room here, we're gonna see. What I want you to do is walk your feet a little bit closer together and then bring your hands back so they're under your shoulders and lower your knees down until they're just above the mat.

And we're gonna do a little jaguar walk, all right? So what you're gonna do is take one hand and the opposite knee forward, like so, for two steps. Like so. And then back ... And back. Forward ... And forward. You gotta make it look sexy. And back ... And back.

I know I'm not doing a very good job. One more time. Forward ... And forward. And back ... And back. And then we're gonna come back into our pike. Down into our cobra, and then back into our shell.

Push back. From here, walk your hands over to one side of the mat, send your hips off to the other side. We call this side-to-side shell. Come through the center ... Other side. Whew! And back to the center.

Now we're gonna take your hips and pike them back up. And you're gonna come into this kind of chest out, head between your arms, bum lifted, heels sinking. And you're gonna give me a little running, or prancing from Reformer bring your feet hip distance apart. You're gonna press one heel down as you bend the other knee Four ... Switch ... Three ... Really good for ankle and foot mobility.

Two ... And one. Now you're gonna walk those hands and feet toward each other until you can kind of hang forward here and just rest over. Shake your head no and then I want you to nod your head yes. You're gonna roll your shoulders up and back.

Your knees are soft. Roll them up and forward. Shake everything loose. Hold it there, bend your knees. Take your hands onto your quads and roll up from tail to head.

Drip, drip, drip. And come to the front. From here you're gonna take your feet nice and wide for me and we're just gonna take it over to one side, so a little side stretch here. Come on up ... And let's go to the other side. Reach over ... And come on up. Let's do that again.

Reaching up and over ... And up and over. Now you're gonna come our with your arms out to the side. You're gonna rotate to one side and you're gonna flex over that leg, a standing saw. Drop your head and just release over. Come back up ... And come back to the front.

Inhale as you turn ... Exhale. Stretch right over that leg. Inhale, pull up through your back fingertips and exhale back to the front. Let's do that again. Breathe in and rotate.

Exhale, flex over drop your head, reach that back arm up. Come all the way back up and back to the center and rotate ... And exhale. And back up ... And back to center. Just bring your legs back to hip distance apart. Relax your shoulders for me.

Take a deep breath in and then from the crown of your head you're gonna flex forward into a roll down. Soften the knees ... Let your back flex forward. And just come down to a comfortable position. Breathe in ... And then pull up from the center, so use your abdominals, use your glutes. And when you come up to the top, open those shoulders back.

Again. Drop your head, use your exhale here. Flex forward ... Try to keep your weight centered on your feet. Don't lock your knees up. Roll up ... All the way up. Open the shoulders. We've got one more.

Breathe in ... Exhale forward. Flex over ... Take a deep breath in and roll back up. Now remember from the very beginning, your posture, centered on your feet. Knees in that neutral zone. Hips, ribs floating.

Shoulders open. Head lifted up and just sitting nice and pretty on top of your spine. And take a deep breath in for me ... And exhale out. And I thank you so much for joining me for this athletic mat workout. I'll see you again soon! Bye everybody.


3 people like this.
Lovely, clear and fun. The time just flew by. I am feeling stretched and strong.
3 people like this.
I missed your workouts. Thank you for this one. Perfect!
1 person likes this.
Not a Pilates class
2 people like this.
Great cues. I've loved the balance exercises with the flex band as well as the kneeling exercise. Great to see you back!
2 people like this.
Glad you're back! Outstanding workout. I loved using both the band and the ring! Merry Christmas!
Always awesome, athletic Pilates 🤸‍♀️
Challenging and fun! Loved it!
Great to blow off some energy! Just finished wrapping too many presents sitting on the floor and needed to get moving! Thanks very much and merry Christmas
John, I loved that class! I feel so energized now!
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