Class #3608

Beginning Mixed Equipment

55 min - Class


You will work on maintaining proper hip alignment and engaging the powerhouse in this Mixed Equipment workout by Monica Wilson. She follows up the previous class she did with her friend, Tara, to show how you can build trust with a client who is new to the apparatus. She goes through the full sequence on the Reformer and then ends with a few exercises on the Cadillac to work on the specific areas she needs to strengthen.
What You'll Need: Cadillac, Reformer w/Box, Mixed Equipment, Pilates Pole, Magic Circle

About This Video


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Hi today I am excited to teach my friend Tara again in class number three zero six one I introduced her to my way of teaching because she already has been doing PyLadies on her own, but I wanted to show her maybe a taste of Romanos Palazzos and I taught her as if she had never done palazzos before. I introduced her to the PyLadies frame box, the power house, how to pull your belly in and all kinds of alignment things. So you might want to check out that class if you want to see other cues and how to work with someone with a weak back and she has right hip dysplasia and as super important to get to know your client. That was the big emphasis. It was really exciting to get everybody's comments back from the class and see everyone's questions and everyone was really getting into it and we wanted to step back and remember that we are amazing Polis instructors that do great good for our clients, but we are not a medical doctor or physical therapist or a chiropractor or any other type of medical professions. We want to stay as terror would say in our own lane in what we do.

And then we can really help our clients. And that's by communicating constantly with your client. So I get to do that now on the reformer today, this would be the next step if I was working with Taryn. It gives your body so much feedback. So I'm excited to teach you about the reformer.

Have you ever been on the reformer? Never. Okay, so the head is going to go on here. These shoulders get to go against their, you're gonna lie your back down to you. I'll sit kind of close to this side and I'm always going to guide her because when you have a back issue, you're nervous and you're going to brace for collision almost. You're like always on like, oh my gosh, this is going to be bad and I need to take care of myself. So you want to try to give your client a lot of reinforcement and talking to them side over just a tiny bit. Good. And we're going to put your toes and try to build that trust with your client because as you build trust, there are muscles start to get relaxed.

Pilates Stance

And just being on a reformer is weird for the first time. This one at least is wood. My, uh, at my home is in the original aluminum base and just everything looks kind of a little too hard. And, and Tufts, um, we're going to put your heels together so that alone makes your body kind of freeze up. So we try to do a lot of stuff to make you feel more comfortable and relax. So I'm going to start Tara on three springs. You can do your footwork on three or four springs and we want to revisit that.

You have a box so you have a straight line, one shoulder to the other, a straight line from one hip to the other. Okay. And what the most important thing was for you were two things, proper hip alignment that we'll keep working on as well as making sure your belly button pulls into l five and you feel really supported like you have a corset on or like you have a girdle and the performer gives you that feedback. So you're going to pull in and I want you to push out just like five inches, not too far. You're going to go out that way a little farther. Good cause there's three springs and I want you to put them in your head and pretend that your stomach can pull against those springs into your lower back to pull the carriage all the way out. Now, all the way to straight legs, all the way to straight legs until you're standing like you should nice and tall and bend the knees to come back home. Good. And we're gonna do it one more time. At that tempo, you're going to pull into your back.

Do you feel yourself pulling into your back? Good job, all the way to straight legs and bending in. Do you feel any pain or discomfort? Okay. And pulling in good. And now you're going to go out a little, maybe double time that tempo and but still feel like you are comfortable and pulling out with your stomach. Good and in good. We're going to do five more. One of the things that you did in the other class was the line between your right shoulder and right hip was a little shorter than this line and that threw off our box.

So we have to remember to keep your right hip a little longer working towards me. That was already a really nice change. One more belly pulls in and we keep working like that. Great. Stay here, knees together and we're going to put your feet up. Did your hip ever bother you when you would hold a child on your hip or anything? Cause I know you've always help out with that and everything now. No did back your just your back. Okay. I never had any hip problems with that.

That's good. So does your hip dysplasia ever surface? Oh yeah. What? With running or what? No, it doesn't hurt during any activity. It's when I'm sitting, like when I'm sitting in Kris grass with my legs. Okay, that's an, I tried to get up from that position. That's when it just freezes up. When you sit criss cross, I'm doing laundry. You sit on the ground and you sit down.

Then I have to stretch and then that hurts and yeah. Wow. I know. Isn't that weird? Okay. Yeah. Alright. You know some people might say, stop doing long for no risk. Try a different approach to doing your launch. Okay, you're going to stay there. We go right there on arches and we're going to wrap your toes around and then pull your heels under the bar.


You could also not do laundry and squeeze your legs together and we're going to do the same thing, but with our arches on the bar and you're going to pull out good and bending in nice and pulling out good and bending it nice and keep it going. We're going to do eight more. I also gave you a magic circle when we were doing the mat work and that allowed for you to really hug a midline and get a little more connected with your powerhouse and a little more connected with your hips. So I want you to feel kind of like your hips pressing against each other as you go out to like their one unit. That's good. One more. Great, great powerhouse. Now stay here.

We're going to go up to the heel of the foot. So does applies these to work with certain pressure points, which is pretty cool too. So now we're on the heel and pull those toes back and you're going to pull out against same legwork and in good pulling in and good. When we did, one of the last exercises actually was in the middle and spine stretch forward. That gave you a cue. That was, I remember you saying was really complicated and it is.

Heels Parallel

And that was you had to pull your belly into your back, but then you had to create space. So you want to feel right now, like you'd grow taller in your back and one more you're pulling in and grow tall or good job and come in nuts. Now we're going to go on our toes and heels together. So creating space is really important for you because then that anytime we're compressing in our back, that's only gonna lead to pain. So we want to support it and then stretch it apart. So there isn't any impingement on any nerves, right? So this time, instead of going out and coming in, we're gonna stay out. Okay?

Tendon Stretch

So you're going to pull your belly in to support and now we're going to pull out and feel like you're growing so tall. You can even pull your neck out of your shoulders and your head out of your neck. Stay there. Do you remember barbershop poles? Here's from this hip. We're pretending our red and white stripes are going all the way down and that engages the outer thighs and your glutes. Okay? And you're going to stretch your heels under the bar. You get to press them down and you're going to lift them back up.

Great and stretch down. We're going to do this eight more times. Good stretch. Good. Now let's do one more and then we're going to stop. Good heels together. Good. And what I want you to do is not let these roll in.

Keep the stripes going out as you lower your heels. Aha. And then pull them up. Good. Keep the stripes going out. That's amazing. Good and down and pulling in before you were rolling in your knees. And now we're really getting our outer size and hopefully our bottom a bit stretch. One more time, making sure our stomachs boiling in, in, in hold, and then the knees and come back home. Perfect.

So in on the mat we only have the a hundred to warm up here we have footwork and the hundred. So I'm going to have you slide a little bit away from the shoulder pads. Get out rat, and I'm going to give you, let's actually start here. See how your feet are supported. So it makes it really easy to pull your belly into your back.

So that's why Joseph was created. This was to help support you. While you say that you can get stronger that way. So I want you to reach your arms long and good, and we're going to pump them up and down and I want you to take a big breath. And as you exhale, you're gonna pull the belly in. Awesome. And I want you to take a big breath. And as you exhale, I want you to pull the belly and support your lower back. Right?

Hundred Preparation

Good and big breaths. And as you exhale, pull the belly in and lift your head up from here. Yeah, keep bulling in though. You don't get to push out at all and take a big breath. And I'm going to have you bring this foot up a little bit. Yep. So it's just like that light leg. And on the next exhale, big breath. We're going to pull in and we're going to feel this like good.

And I'm just going to have you do one more and we're going to take a break. But remember this exercise and exhale, pull in, in, in, in, in, and rest your feet down and rest your neck and head. He okay? Yeah. All right. Neck didn't bother you. Good. So we're going to add something crazy to it and that's straps handles in our hands. And that uh, opposition that on complicated stretch I was talking about earlier. You're going to pull your belly in and as you straighten your arms, you want your belly to feel like it's going that way and stretching that part of your back. Okay? So I'm going to hand you handles.

We're still on three springs and bring your elbows down by your side. Great. All right there. Good. And you're gonna pull your belly in and we're going to lift up your head. [inaudible] look in there. Good Scoop. You're not using your legs cause we're going to pull your belly in.


It's all right. We're going to lift one up. Easy peasy. I need to see more contraction here. Thank you. Okay. And I'm going to assist you here. You're going to pull your belly in straight and your arms forward. There you go. Straighten your fingers and pump your arms straight up and down. Good.

Now pulling it good. And I'm really holding you here because you're going to use this to stay there. And that's going to be a safe area for you and exhaling. Good. Do you feel your belly polling into your lower back? Do you feel your belly trying to pull in an up those straps? Good. Yeah.

Two more acts. Last one. Pull it in and in. And that is enough. Bend everything. Rest your neck and head. Anything too uncomfortable? Not at all. Okay, good. Nice. All right, so I'm dropping one spring and you get to rest your feet there. I'm going to add some extensions and we are going to do frog and like circles. So any questions so far Tara? No, this is great. Okay. All right.

So I'm gonna want you, we're going to watch that. Uh, right hip quite a bit. Okay. Quite a bit. And you know I'm even got that. I want to revisit that magic circle. So I'm going to go grab a magic circle real fast staying there. This will make sure you definitely feel super awkward.

So my favorite, I'm sure. Okay, so we are going to drop bow, one knee and then the other knees. Great. Good. All right. Everything good? So your feet are going to come here and we're just going to slip them in to the strap. See, you're more flexible than you thought. All right? And now I want you to bend the knees a little bit apart and pull your belly in as your feet come down to your bottom. So you're going to bend the knees right there and your feet just pull down. Coming down this way. Yup. Don't move the knees though. Bend them.

Stay there with the knee joint and just stay there and lower the v. There you go. That's it. Good. Alright, so this is called frog. So frog, it means you know when you use, this is a position of a frog ram. Okay. So that's where you're at. And all you're going to do is straighten your legs to my hand. Good. And Bend in. Good. That's enough.


So when you straighten your legs forward, it should be this delicious feeling of your belly pulling into your back as your legs go out. Okay. So press your arms down by your side. Good. And Bend in and do that one more time. Good. And bending. And that's enough. I'm going to let it, let them come in a little more. Good. Now we're going to add that magic circle to give you a little more awareness because it's important for you. So I'm going to put it between your ankles. Good. So normally don't do this, but it's going to give you just a little more.

Frog w/Magic Circle

Aiden, we, we've talked about not squeezing with your feet, but squeezing with your seat. So we're gonna squeeze the circle and then you're going to pull your belly. And as those legs go out and it should feel like, oh, my backs being so supportive and bend in, go ahead and you're going to pull your belly in. And it should be like, oh, my back is so good and Bendon good. Now I'm going to let go. And you're going to go out good. And bending in. It's a teeny bit lower when you go forward.

Better and in one more time. Work evenly from your hips. Think about working. Oh, that was your best one. And bending in. Okay, we're done with our magic circle, but we're going to do the same thing. We're gonna go out and put that right there and you're gonna pull your belly in, heels her together. Cut. And you're going to go out to my hand. That's great. And we're going to now do circles. Okay. Staying here it, you felt that delicious.


I went out and my belly pulled really in. Huh? Okay. So I want to strengthen your hips, so I want you to keep your belly in, but push the arch of the foot into that strap and try to make your legs a little longer, longer. Good. Really good. That's it. And then from this bone, I want you to picture there's barbershop polls and that means your knee is slightly turned out in, your foot is slightly turned out. I'm going to come up here to give you a little visual and we're going to just open the legs of with the carriage, come down a little bit, squeeze the legs together and come up. So when we were on the mat, we did single leg circles and the only thing you had to do was keep your belly in and keep your knees turned out. Okay. Okay. And here and squeeze. Good. And so you're gonna pull your belly in and good.

So keeping the knees turned out [inaudible] and go down. Right? You're going to pull down. Push down. There you go. Squeeze. And two more. Try not to come up all the way to the ceiling. So stop shy. Right. There's good. Now stop there. I'm going to let step down.

What do you think about your niece or you think about your feet? Alright, you good? Let's do three more. We're going to open. Go down, squeeze together. Excellent. Open. Go down. Good and coming up. Love it one more and you're still trying to get that delicious supported feeling come up. Guess what? We're going to go the other way. Good correction. But we always want to correct, not from the foot, but all the way from up here.

That's what turns out your feet and we're going to go the other way. So you're going to go down and then open up and together. Good down. Good. Open up and just shy of straight to the ceiling and scoop. Very nice. How are those legs? Are they go and down? Love it. Two more.

And here? Yes, last one. Good. And here. So again, a lot of things helping to hold up your body so you don't strain your back and it's feeling really supported. Gravity's really helping you for you. You know there's some people that feel better if they're doing a back bend when they have a herniation for you. It's flection, it's like this. So it feels really good for you to be on the reformer. Go ahead and grab those handles and enjoy a little stretch as you pull the legs towards you. Yeah, good. Really good.

All right, I'm going to slip these off on the reformer. What's a little awkward as you're going to lie down on it like you are, you're going to sit down on it, you're going to sit on a box on it, you're going to kneel down, all kinds of stuff. So now we're gonna step off and we're going to get ready for stomach massage, which never sounds quite like you think it is. So feeling good so far? So far. Okay. Love it. Good. So we are going to add one spring and it is just like the beginning that you did where you pushed out the carriage and brought it back in.

But now we're going to sit down and see if we can still feel that. Okay. So I'm going to put three springs on and go ahead and turn your back to the reformer. Good. Say it again. [inaudible] and now you're going to see that black path. So we're gonna, we're actually gonna stay sitting. Okay. Okay. So you're going to turn towards here. Put your hands behind you. Good and carefully. Put your toes up there. Employee stance.

Excellent toes apart in heels together. That was great. Could you lift your bottom up for a second? There we go. All right. Now you want to make sure you're right in the middle, which you pretty much are, or you a little bit to the left. You're a little to the left. Go a little to the right thing. Cue. Okay. Now here's the map, right? I want you to put your hand here. Go ahead. Very good.

So on the Mat we do the exercise called the roll back, which I made you roll down your lower back. So I want you to round your back right now as if your head could go between your knees. Go ahead. Yes, bend the elbows out to the side. Oh, that allowed you to round a lot more. So we've got this nice round up or back. But now I want you to create as much space between your lower belly and your thighs, but just pulling in your lower belly to your lower back. So this is still a teeny bit arched or pushing forward and we want it to your waist to pull back. How do we do that? We're going to go out a few inches.

Round Back

So push out a little bit, straightening your legs a little. There you go. And then look at those springs, right? Okay. Put all of those in your belly and make it pull into my hand to go all the way out. That is fantastic. Curved straightening and bend the knees in. Is that too much on your back? Does it feel good? Okay, good. So pull your belly and pull into here.

Stretching and bending it. Good. Keep your elbows bent. Pull your belly in. We're going to add a stretch. Stay here. Keep stay like that. Every bend your elbows even. There you go. And don't let your knees roll and we're going to push your heels under like we did earlier down. They go and lift them up and bend in. Bend the knees back home. That's a lot of, lot of bend the knees. Yeah.

So we're going to do four things now. It's like a dance routine. You want it to dance, right? That's what I thought. Yeah. So Ben, the Elvis, and it's all about getting back to dancing. So we're going to have to pull your belly in and straighten your legs for one. Lower your heels down for two. Nope. Pushing down. Lift them back up for three and bend journey's for four. Good.

We pool out for one for us down for two. Lift up for three. Bend in, good. Pull out. You're doing great with pulling out, but those knees aren't allowed to talk to each other. So as you push down on your heels, don't roll the knees in. Okay. Oh, oh, there you go. See how that one ruled though.

We'll watch it. Here we go. Better than the knees. And I want you to do three more like that. Eyes on your belly and your knees. Yes. And in we're strengthening this hip. Okay, that's it. Down with the heels lift in it. It's got, it's got responsibilities. Now it's, you were telling it, you can't just do whatever you want. You can't just roll in, stay here. Good job. Usually we put our hands back next. But this is your first time on the reformer and I want to leave it out.

So I'm gonna give, take your hands and now feet stay up there and you're going to say, look mom, no hands are going to hold your arms here. Okay. Heels together and no more extra, um, choreography here. We're just going to straighten our legs and come back in. Good. But now when you straighten your legs, you want to pull your belly in as if you were a bad act on a show and someone's pulling you back by your waist. Okay, so you're going to go out. That's it. An exhale forward that said, the dancing did not work out for you. Inhale out, Xcel forward. It's trach. There you go. And hailing out.


Good and exhaling. Wonderful. And that's enough of that one. Good work. We're going to step off completely again and now I'm going to grab a box and we're going to work primarily a box Anaple on your stomach. Muscles on your powerhouse. Okay, so how did that stomach massage feel? Felt great. Good. I wanted to, I wanted you was empty.

My Bot tendency was to want to sit up. Yeah. So you possibly would be great on with the next one, which is putting your hands back and lifting your chest up. But a good rule of thumb is to do everything that's safe for your body and then add one thing that you might be like, hmm. So next time we add something that we're like, oh, maybe, maybe, yes, maybe no, because everybody's body is different. And then if it's your body hurts after it, we know. Don't do that one.

But if it felt great, we're like, great, we can keep doing it. But you don't want to add like a ton of stuff and not know which one was the one that actually bothered you. So we stay really safe. And again, we're pretending we love and trust the reformer. So you're gonna sit down on this pad here. Now facing that way. Good. And we're going to put your feet under here. Good and separate. Good. All right, so we did the roll back a lot in that mat class and then we're going to do it now.

We're going to put your hands right here and I want you to keep your shoulders right over your hip bones, but rounds all your back. Excellent head. Looks down at your belly. Good. Really good. All right, so here's your box, right? And we draw a line from one hip bone to the other and there's nothing pushing out in front of that line. And we're gonna pull our belly in and we're gonna roll back our hip bones. And we're going to try to roll back this part. Take a breath, and then we're gonna go forward. Exhale. But do it by pulling away from me.

Round Back

Your lower stomach. Yes. So this strap is your safety strap and I want you to push out on it. Okay. And it will always hold you. Okay. And then your hands just stay here and you're going to pull away. There we go. I like that a lot better. Keep pulling this away. Aha.

And take a breath and then exhale forward it by coming forward with your stomach. I love it. And three more. And so that strap top, make sure it is, he feels secure. And then pull this against the strap. Almost not your upper back. This has to move. This has to move that. That's it. And now use your more, your upper belly to come forward. Good. Let's do two more. And so when you're here scooping in, you want to feel like you're really working hard when you've left here and coming for, I don't want you to be sore or anything like that. And last one, so we're not doing many exercises. Keep pulling back, but I want you to like really feel like you. Well that was not easy and exhale forward, pulling this in. Pull away from me.

That's it. Really good. Good. Did you work hard? Yes. Okay, good. Now we're going to grab this bar and you're just going to it with straight fingers. Beautiful. Okay. And we're gonna work a little on your posture. So here are your hipbones and here are your shoulders and they're supposed to be right on top, but you also need to be right on top of your sit bones. Do you feel your sit bones there? There you go. Good. All right.

Now your tendency is to want to arch right here. And I want you, I want you to lift your chest up like you are so beautifully, but I need it to be that you pull your belly in first and then lift your weight up rather than just lifting up your chest. Okay? So we're pull it in and now I want you to lift your arms up to the ceiling right there. Good eyes. Look forward to. Good. All right, now I want you to think this is a bed of nails. Ouch. Squeeze your body and try to lift yourself off so you don't poke yourself. Keep your belly in. And we're going to stay tall like that and go back, tall your whole body and come forward really good. Give yourself a little break with the seat just to seat.

Flat Back

And you're going to pull in, lift off that pokey box and go back and come forward. Good. And rest the bottom. Just the bottom. Pull it in. So you should feel that core set right? And we're going to use that course at to go back. That's fantastic. And come forward. And one more time.

Lifting off the seat that supports the lower back to and back. That one was a little less. Go ahead and put your hands down and I'm going to demonstrate what was the difference. So you had a really nice posture and you pulled your belly in and you moved your whole box tall and straight. It's a little hard to do without uh, anything holding you. But trying to increase the range of motion a little more. How's that?

But when you did the last time you left your hips and only moved your upper body, can you tell the difference? I see that. Okay. And so that is going to impinge in your back. And so we want to be really careful. We support with our stomach, we lift off of our bottom and we move it as a solid unit rather than leaving it and then only moving the upper back. Got It. All right. So let's try a couple more cause those are really important for you. So we're going to pull them, we're going to lift off your seat and we're going to take our lower back with us. Good and forward lifting up.

And one more time. Pull this away. This always moves. Yes, good and rest nice. I might stand corrected on that one. You did really, really good. You weren't leaving your lower back. Actually what the one that you did incorrectly was you sunk into it, which is another common thing to do. So you want to keep lifting because we always want to keep stretching the nice job. Now we're going to do sideways.

We're going to pull our belly in and lift those arms up again. But this time lean a little forward in front of your hipbones. Great. And we're going to keep your belly. I want you to pretend you're lying against the reformer right here. And then just side bend to the right as if your shoulder blades could go in front of this corner and then come back center. Good.

Side to Side

Pull it in. Go in front of this corner in front. Aww. That was nice. Pull it in like you have a corset and now in front of the right corner. That's great. Pull it in. Any side, bending bother you. No, go ahead.

Pull it in and go in front of this corner and center and one more pooling in and going in front of that corner and rest your arms down. Great. Normally we would do twisting next, but that's going to be for next time. Okay. We're going to put your bar underneath your legs. Okay. And we're going to challenge you. We're going to keep your box nice and square. I'm gonna make this look easy. Okay.

And we're going to pull our belly in and we're not going to fall over to the left as we just slide your right foot onto the mat out of that strap. Stay Square. Good. And keeping your belly in. We're going to bring that leg up to us and hands right here. Good. Try not to have it out to the side and now you're going to straighten it up to the ceiling. Good. I was afraid I was going to kick you and bend it two more times. Perfect.

Modified Tree

Almost so good. Then I see the cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater foot here. Pressing one more time stomach. And I was like, man, she held her breath. So straighten your leg up and hold. Now it's your stomach that's making it hold in your balance and you're going to walk your hands up your ankle. Good. And I want you to flex your foot and pointed good and flex and should be a big stretch and point and flex and point.

Now with your belly pulling into your back, relax your foot and pretend you can put your stomach onto your thigh, your chest, onto your knee, and your head all the way to your foot. We're just going to yeah, and stretching. Good. Good, good, good. That's wonderful. And bend the knee and we're going to slip that foot under the strap and we're going to do the same on the left. That's up. We're not going to push with that right foot this time, right?

So we're going to sit up tall, scooping in, and we're gonna draw. I'm going to step back a lot. Drop the left foot onto the Matt's fine actually, and make sure you still feel square. Yeah. Then put your hands underneath and now staying beautiful posture. You're going to extend it up and bend it. Awesome. Really Great. So as your leg goes up, you almost want to pull your belly in more. Yeah.

And last one, hold it there. Walk the hands up, grab the ankle, maybe lower the thigh a little bit so it's not your hips off. And now, oh, sorry. We're going to flex some point a few times first. Yeah. Good. The next time we also add a sit up to this, which is very interesting. Very Fun and great for your back. And now we're going to relax the foot and we're going to pretend we can lie our stomach onto your thigh, your chest onto that knee and head all the way here. There Ya go. Great job. Okay, Ben, the knee.

And now we are done with our box. So you're going to go ahead and step off. Good. I'm gonna Bring the pad down. Good. And I'm going to bring the box down. We're going to do elephant next. So now we're going to end up standing and then kneeling on our reformer. Okay. Doing well? Yes. Okay. So we're gonna, um, we are going to revisit, um, I'm going to actually demonstrate something for a moment. We're gonna Revisit, uh, our c curve and pulling our belly into our back.

But it's we're flipping you over. You remember how when you lie down, it was so easy. The feet were being supported, right? And your belly was being pulled in to the mat and you could feel that when we flip you over, it's really hard to do that. So I'm actually gonna show you, so when you were lying down my pack on the side a little here, again, your legs are up and it's easy to pull your belly into your back. If I had you do a sit up like so like so, or even with your legs up, which is what the elephant is going to be. And I said lower your legs, you could still pull your belly into your back and you could feel that I'm not doing, it's not like my legs are super strong, right?

I'm not doing heavy legwork right now. Would you say it's more legwork or powerhouse work? Powerhouse. Good. So the odd thing is trying to translate that to this next exercise. Okay. So I'm going to show it to you because again, when you have a weak back, your back's gonna want a brace and it's gonna want to say, uh, this is foreign territory. I don't like where we're going yet. So try to take that image and we're going to flip it over. Okay?

And your hands are going to go here and your feet are going to go hit. And if you're five, nine and above, sales would be here, but mine are going to be a little ahead. And instead of being flat, I'm going to see curve up. Okay? And I'm gonna keep my belly in. And again, it's not really legwork, it's a little bit of back a thigh and seat, but it's more power housework cause you don't want to go out with the whole body. Your body stays and just legs go a little bit and then you pull it back in with your belly a little bit. And then you pull in after you do this one, we're going to kneel down like this for the next exercise. Okay.

So you're going to put a hand here, a foot standing up. Go ahead. All Right, nice. And you're going to bring your head through your arms all the way. Chin to your chest. Uh Huh. Good. But I want your shoulders and your hips to be at the same height.


So we're going to bring our shoulders forward for five, four, three, two, one right there. Good. And now I need you to round up. You were starting to do that. That was awesome. Good, good, good, good. So we're going to try to keep our belly in and it's not an arm exercise as you're going to maybe push out a little bit with this [inaudible] it doesn't even have to be big. And then you're going to pull your belly in to support that area right out a little. And then you're gonna scoop it out a little bit and scooping out.

That's fine. And Scoop. And I love how your stomach's working out and pulling in two more out and pulling in one more and pulling in and now bring your knees down onto the mat and you're going to do almost the same thing but fee. This one's beautiful. Can you put it like that against the shoulder pads so your toes will be pointing towards your knees. Awesome. Re Round your back [inaudible] and sit towards your heels a little more. Beautiful. Good. All right.

Knee Stretch Round Back

I need you to round this part of your back too. That's it. We wanted a lot more support here and I want you to drop these also. That looks much nicer. Really great support for your ribcage and your belly. And I want you now do you see my leg back here? Okay.

I want you to pull your belly in, always pulling away from me and try to bring your knees back to my leg all the way back and then let them come back in. Pull in your belly. You could always pull your stomach in and go out and then you're gonna bring those knees back in. Nice. Pulling out and bringing it in. Basically, you're learning how every single movement that you do should start with your belly and should always support your back and pulling out even when you do leg work. One more and that's enough. I love it. Go ahead and step off carefully. How was elephant? Any stretches. Oh good. All right. So we shortly we'll be adding an arched to that. Okay.

And then even a knees off, which is kind of crazy. But we're on three springs again and we're going to cool down here. And then I want to take you onto the Cadillac and do a few exercises. So we're going to lie down like you did in the beginning and we did our warmup blind down and we're going to do our cooldown find him so toes on the bar. Good. So heels together. Good.

So now you get to lie down, right? You're keep your box square and the most important thing is supporting your weak back. So we're going to straighten our legs by supporting our weak back. Awesome. You're going to stay here and then I needed to strengthen your hips. So I want you to keep your hips working hard and the knees not talking to each other and you're going to press your heels under the bar. Awesome.

And lift them up. Good. Do that one more time. Cause we're actually not going to do this exercise. Stay here now. I want you to bend one knee [inaudible] and that. Good. So one foot goes down. Straighten both. They both squeeze both knees. [inaudible] Ben, the other good. Straighten both. I always support your back.


Thank you Ben. The other good [inaudible] pulling up. Excellent. And bend the other good. And bend the other. Good. Now I want you to watch my hips. I want you to stay there and practice pulling your belly in. If I don't use my hips strongly, I'm gonna go side to side like this. But we want to strengthen your hips.

So we're going to keep them square as we run. We're going to go like that step. So now try to think about, oh, that's much nicer and keep pulling your belly in. Good. And keep lengthening your hips. Pull in the belly in good. Maybe enjoy the pace a little bit. Move a little more freely.

Just go ahead and ah Ha. There you go. Scoop your belly and supporting your back. Supporting your back. Pull it in. I know you used to love to run last time and hold the leg straight and bring the carriage back home. And we'll do one more exercise. It's called pelvic lift as super important to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes.

Pelvic Lift

So you're going to pull your belly in and you're going to use your bottom to rotate your pelvis and lifted. Yup. A little higher, a little higher, both of them not just Aha right there and try to reuse your hamstrings and glutes to straighten your legs out. Should go out, down dep and bring it back in. Getting your waistband back down and read. Tilting, yes and out using these muscles and coming back in. Fantastic. The hamstrings, but mainly the glutes are huge support muscle group for your lower back. So if we don't have strong bottoms, our lower back really hurts. So you could do this all day long using your quads, but you don't want to do that. You want to get your bottom stronger, so use it there. Can you feel it? Good and form more?

Try to lift your tailbone off just a bit more. Good. Three more [inaudible] and good. Really good engagement. I'm going to do one more. Curling that tail on a little more towards you. Good hold. You can go one more. That's fine. Hold on. Hold here. Hold, hold all the way home. But the bottom was lifted right?

And now we're going to melt down your tailbone. Great. Bring your knees together. I'll end fee. You're, you're now taking me super literal. I love it. And knees are together and we're gonna finish. We're going to do an ending on the Cadillac. Super important for you. Okay, here we go. All right, so to end your lesson today we're going to do leg springs. Have those hooked up right here on a little bit lower level. I'm on a good introductory level because I work with grot springs and they are no small thing. They are really strong.

So we're gonna work on the introductory level and then I'm going to switch them out to the arm springs and then we're gonna enjoy doing the rollback. So I want you to be able to have your hands about 10 inches up off them. Pull off the Mat, but your elbows bent. So slide back a little bit until your hands about here and you have like a right angle with here. Good. And your nice and centered beautiful and feet here. Awesome. So it's just like the reformer, your have your box and it makes you want to pull your belly in.

And your supported the hands here. I'm just gonna raise this one a little bit. Are there so that you can actually have opposition with your ribs so that you feel really grounded through here. Do you feel that? So that, yeah, like that. Good. Good. I'm gonna teach you one leg and then the other, and I'm going to try to move it at a little faster pace than I might in a tutorial, but, so we're going to straighten that leg and it's going to have to act like a barbershop pole. So from this l a hip bone, we're going to turn and I'm going to try not to use a knee joint, but actually the back of the find, see and we're going to pull down the strap a few inches and we're going to stay right there. And again, I'm going to ask you to soften the knee, a little [inaudible] there, right there. Good. So that we try to get into here. So on a scale of one to 10 I want you to feel the muscles in the outer thigh and the hamstring and the glue at a five. Okay. And then I want you to send a message and intensified as we lower the leg a little lower. It stays like it is, but lowers, lowers, lowers about there. Soften that knee again. Good, good.

Single Leg Lift

See if you can feel it here. Good. Now we're going to lower almost to the mat, but we want to make sure our back stays nice and anchored again. It gets to spe supported and hopefully we're at a 10 what do you think? Yeah, good. And we're going to bring that leg just like it is all the way up. Just shy the ceiling actually. And then down again feeling [inaudible] and then up and of course we always initiate and one more using the uh huh.

And then bring it up. Excellent. Bend the knees and we're going to switch. Nothing is better for the hip then I'm don't want to cross you. Then legs spring, super good for your hip, strengthens it, and then you get support for your lower back. Twisted that. Let me, there we go. Same thing. Push with that anchor. Good. And the leg is going down the middle nose, belly button and heel. And we're going to bring it down just a little bit. Hold.

So the first one, your thighs are about the same level. Great job with your knee this time. Really good. Do you feel, is that a five? Yeah. Okay, good. Let's intensify. Go down a little lower about mid calf. What do you think? Is it about a seven are we using our knee joint? Yeah, maybe a little bit. [inaudible] and now let's get it all the way to a 10 don't lose that lower back.

You kinda popped up there. Hmm. That's it. How does that feel? Yeah. Good. Bring the leg all the way up. Pull your belly in and go down with it. Bringing it up. Try to get a little more grounded in your powerhouse. Nothing. Oh, that's nice. And up. One more. A little less knee.

Good. And bringing it up and then keep it there. We're going to stay right there because we're just going to add this one. Good. And now both heels are together. [inaudible] and we're going to anchor and we're going to pull both down. Increasing to a 10 just to there and come up and anchor this.

Yeah, good job. And now we're going to add circles. So same thing. Start like it is getting this to a 10 as you go down, keep those muscles working open. Circle up, squeeze and down. Oh, open together and squeeze them down. Open always from your stomach. One more, and go the other way around. So this is a great ending for your back, for your hips. Two more good. I'm gonna let you do the last one on your own here. Oh, there you go. And now bend your knees and take a break with your arms.


They go down by your side because you weren't gripping or anything. You're holding too much tension. And then you're gonna put your hands back. Good. And we're going to do something called walking. So you're going to pull your belly in and you're going to go out again, but instead of lowering both legs at the same time, you're going to walk them down. So you're going to walk. Two, three, four, five, six up to three, four, five, six and four more. Walking from the hips, not from the knee. Down and up. See, sometimes like to bend your left knee and right here. Two, three, four, five, six s beautiful. Up Two, three, four, five, six and down. Two, three, four, five. Great.


Powers up to three. Yes. And one more time. Don't let those knees talk to each other. They turn away. They are in an argument. They look away. Good. And up. Two, three, four, five, six and bend the knees and rest your arms down. Really Nice feeling the ways. Yeah. Okay, good. Good. All right, we're gonna do one more leg exercise. Hands their knees a little bit apart. Good. And pulling your belly in to support your back. You extend. Good. And then let's keep the tailbone down a little bit.


There we go. And we're going to squeeze down until we hit a 10 pulling the belly in hold. How's that? Are we at a 10 yeah. Good staying there. You're going to see at this level an open and close 10 times when? One, two, three, four look at how nice your springs are. When they move like that. You're moving from the right place. Hold tight.

If you use your knee or foot, they're going to go all sonic wave on you. So I'm gonna let go and you're going to do 10 more. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Oh, let's see if we soften the knees a little bit and try one more set of 10. Here we go. And one, two, inner thighs. Five, six looking good. Seven, eight, nine. Hold. Very nice. Bend the knees. Now part of the, the vibration was more that you banged your heels together.

Not that you weren't doing it correctly. We're going to get the stretch again. So grab these straps and you can keep your head down and just stretch your legs. Yeah, God. And you can even do a little inner thigh stretch. So hold the legs up, highlight the arbit open amount to the sides guide. Very nice. You're very flexible. Russians, my goodness.

Hamstring Stretch

And bring your legs together. Weren't you just telling me the other day that you're not very flexible with me? I don't. I'm, I must. That must have been in my head. I think it was probably talking about my daughter. No. Oh maybe. Maybe. Yeah. Okay.

We are going to put your feet down and do arm springs. So you're going to be about this much further that way. So slide down. Good. Anyway, ahead. What's important to note about you, Tara, is you do not have a bad band. You just have a weak back. It's not in an acute stage or anything.

So like you were able to sit up just then and slide yourself down and you're really like on the major road to recovery, which is huge. So, okay, we are going to grow. Put your hand here and your hand here. Good. All right. So again, these are not easy, but I you have beautiful arms. So you must do some arm muscle training or of some sort. Right? We're going to keep this hip. It's a little, we'll see how you do with the grot springs here.

Arms Reaching Forward

I'm going to actually hold onto them. Normally they're hooked a little lower, so I'm going to bring it down a little lower. Okay, good. And you want to instill support your back. That's what it's all about. Whether you do legs, whether do you arms, you always support, even pretend you have magic circle between your inner thoughts. And we're going to pull in and I'm going to help you. Your head stays down. You just reach your shoulders away from your ears and bring them all the way down to your side and control it up and pull into the mat, into the mat. Where's the mat? Pull your belly into the mat. De Que. [inaudible] I'm going to let go now.

And you're gonna pull into them. Yeah, yeah. And, and two more scooping. You know, so we are really making sure we understand last time that anything that we do, one more pull and it starts with your powerhouse and coming up and bend the elbows for a little break. Good. And now you're going to straighten your arms and we're going to do five circles each way. So we're gonna start the same way. Pulling in. Nope, you pushed out there scooping and that's it. And now bring it down. Open the arms towards the side, circle, Ummah and back down again by pulling in. Excellent. Good for you. Sure. Uh Huh. I'm going to just keep pushing it. Yes. This is the shoulder placement. I want one more. Get the belly in.


Ah, thank you. Can you go into the reverse? Yeah. More stomach, like a corset. Oh, I like it. And three more. That's it. Trying to pull it in always gives you more strength. Last one. And that's enough. Bend the elbows for a little break. Good. You guys were hard. Those are hard. You're going to do one more tricep port, but right now our shoulders look like this and we want it to look like a beautiful hangar. [inaudible] so we're going to draw this in straight arms.

Tricep Press

Good and all the way down to the mat. And we're going to keep your tricep on the mat, but bend the elbow and straighten the arm. Try to have your wrist straight, your finger straight and keep going. And press ant. Pull the belly in, right. I'm just wanting to more pull the belly in and bend last one, keep the belly in and straight arms and the arms lift all the way up. And you're done with that. Good job. Next.

And the last thing we're going to do is the roll back. It's delicious but stay there cause I'm going to remind you of an exercise we did to finish last time, which was the teaser with assistance. So you had your feet on my thighs and give me your hands. Good. And I want you to pull your belly in and lift your head up to look at your belly. Good. All right, take a breath and kind of breathe into your back more. Feel it really connected to the mat right now you're like kind of popping up off the mat. Instead I want you to pull me down into the mat down.

Teaser Prep

Not with your arms. Oh, I want your powerhouse to pull back into the mat. Aha. Aha. Like that. That was excellent. Do that again. Big Breath and exhale, pulling back into the mat. Good. Keep your waistband where it is and I'm going to pull you up. Awesome. Take a breath and pull me down with your powerhouse more than your arms. Yes, we had just worked out your arms. You've got to give him a break. It's all about your powerhouse. Good. As you roll down, just like last time, you will your shoulders to the left, so make sure you continue staying straight. I'm going to bring your head up, pull your belly in and we're going to come up.

Go ahead and pull the belly in and I love it. And stay right. Stay a little, right. Good, good, good, good. Your hips and everything. One more time. Head with me and scoop in. Good. So see how your arms are straight and pull your belly in and tell your legs are straight. Keep going, but you're moving from your belly, right? Yeah.

Good. That was really good. Hug your knees into your chest. So the same thing goes with the last exercise, which is a delicious stretch, but it's about your [inaudible] how stretching yourself. So sit up any way you can, and you're going to put your feet against these pools and you're going to stay seated straight legs. Perfect. If you were less flexible, I'd have you bend your knees, but you're not hands on the bar. Shoulder width apart. Good. And you're going to round your back and pretend your feet are on my thighs.

Okay? And pretend I'm holding your hands and you're gonna. You just came up and now I'm going to say pull me down. So you're going to use your belly and it's just like the roll back. And when we were on the short box, you have to get this down first. Oh, that's it. It's okay if your feet, I don't care about that. This is what I care about. Pulling it. Yes, yes.

Roll Back

All the way down. And then you get to inhale and lift your head to look at your belly and exhale roll up. And it's a ending and a relaxation as stretched because you're pulling each bone away from the other and, and really getting a stretch and take the bar all the way forward each time. Good head down. And just two more. You pull back as if you're pulling me back from the teaser, pulling me back from the Deezer. Good. Really good.

Rolling through the neck, through the head and then the head up an exhale. Expanding the ribs on the mat, keeping your naval pulling back to the mat. Hold back more with the waist. Yeah, just like that bad act on the stage. But you are a really good act today. So one more head to your chest. Big Breath to start.

But then exhale to just roll out your spine and enjoy that pulling in. Support that lower back, right? Yep. That's it. Can you feel how connected you are? And then in how lift the head and exhale really, really good. Scooping in. Good. And we're going to let go of that bar on.

That is enough for today. How do you feel? It feels great. Good. So we're initiating everything from here. Good. And your hips worked a lot with our legs, springs and those straps and everything to keep your hips going. Can't wait to teach next time. Thank you.

Related Content


Monica, I loved how you flipped the images!! (connecting the sit up with raised legs lowering - into the elephant and then the assisted teaser into rollback. So great that you asked client what she is using, heightening the level of consciousness. well done and thank you.
1 person likes this.
Thoroughly enjoyed this. It was a master class in teaching. You made all of the connections between exercises and why things were being done. Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Thanks you very much for such a lovely class Monica 💕
3 people like this.
I love this video! It's so wonderful to go back to basics here and see you train a new person to Pilates. I wish however, that the camera could face different directions. Especially looking at the unevenness of the client's body and how to help them. Or the before and after if any difference in correction has been made.
Muy útil, muy interesante, inspirador. Simplemente genial!
Susan Nash
Hi Monica wonderful clear teaching cues, thank you ! How many springs were you using for elephant and knee stretch ? Are the feet more than hip width apart when under the strap for box work abs ?
Monica Wilson
Hi Susan, I had Tara on 2 springs for the Elephant and Knee Stretch Series. And Yes! feet ideally are pushing out wider then the hips to activate your outer thighs during the short box series. Hope that helps! Thank you for your feedback:) Monica
Susan Nash
Thank you Monica
1 person likes this.
AWESOME! Thank You
Directions were very clear and demo of rounding spine very helpful. Nice how you focused on pulling belly into powerhouse.
Thank you Monica 💜
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