Class #3673

Glute-Focused Mat

25 min - Class


You will work your glutes in this fitness-inspired Mat workout by Amy Havens. She teaches the final class with her peach pants, using Pilates intelligence to guide each movement. She starts by opening your hip flexors so you can find a release before awakening your lower body.
What You'll Need: Mat, Towel, Reformer Box

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi everyone. It's Amy again. And I have, I do have the third installment of the peach pants work out. I couldn't help myself last time I thought that was it, but I have one more in me. Then they are going to someone very special and she is the original Georgia peach. Um, she knows who she is and if she's watching, they're coming your way. And then I'm sure everyone else will find out who it is once they're passed over. But I had one more workout I needed to do. And this one is very, very, very specific for glutes. It's a little bit of fitness based training and some exercises, not really a lot of Palazzo, these exercises in this workout, but let's use our employees intelligence with all of the exercises that we have today. Okay. So we're going to start you guys. What?

You're going to need a towel or if you have a little slider, those fitness lighters that are kind of popular. Now, one of those, I've got a towel. Um, I also have the box from the reformer, but if you have a bench or coffee table at home, if you have your long box like this, this is great too. You just need something raised up and you'll see what's going on with that in a minute, okay? But let's build our, but we're going to work on this. We're releasing the hip flexors first today in a principal to release before we awaken and strengthen. Okay, so split stance squat here. I'm going to bend deeply into my front knee and I want you to just take this hip as open as you want right away. We're going to go back and forth a few times. So by opening up the hip flexors is going to give us a little better environment to get the glutes awake, ability to contract them sooner, um, wake them up and work them. Okay, so here I am lunging, you could take your arms out to the side.

Hip Flexor Stretch

I'm going to go ahead and take my arms up cause it really feels good to get as much length first as possible. I have my shoulders up. It's okay. Just let this feel good. Open things up. Okay, two more times on this leg. Just open up that hip flexor line and then let's change legs. So we're stretching, releasing before we, uh, contract and engage. So lengthen into that hip, moving forward and back.

So what I meant by Paulie's intelligence, um, yes, we're gonna work navel to spine or the concept of stabilizing the back with you abdominals. Of course you'll need that for a few exercises, but let's just really think we're building the glutes. We're working in glutes. So right now, even my front foot, I'm pushing, pretty firmed down on the ground and I'm starting to feel some awareness right here in the back of that hip. Couple more. And I'm also feeling beautiful release on the other hip in the front. Okay. Coming down onto your elbows for an elbow plank. We're going to be marching our legs.

Forearm Plank w/Leg Lift

And what I want us to feel with this is really taught legs and very pulled together peach cheats. So come on down, establish your plank, get your Palladio's intelligence on, and then start a really slow marching. So I'm stiff legged, these stiff legged, and I want you as you lift your leg up, it's the glute, not the hamstring so much, but lift your leg from your glute. Okay? So if you like timing yourself, you could maybe do like a minutes worth of this [inaudible] I'm feeling about done about four more [inaudible] two and one and then lower yourself down. Really the idea with the marching plank is just to start sending the message brain to body part and really working with hip extensors. Okay. Moving on. You're down on your stomach. Stack your hands, put your forehead on your hands or your hands can be kind of cupping your pelvis, the ssis and then a slight pelvic tilt.

Prone Double Leg Lift

Okay, I think I'll show it first here and then I might progress with the hands underneath the forehead, but I do need to turn my head so I'm even okay. So open the legs a tiny bit. Press your pubic bone to the mat. Palladia shoulders down, lift up, lift your legs up, stretch your legs. Beautifully Long. Contract those glutes. Lower down. We're doing 10 of these and they're slow on purpose. Here we go. So think length and height.

I have my hands here. It helps me actually stay a little longer in my lumbar region. I'm pretty Lordotic so I need to keep working on lengthening back there while I strengthen my hip extensors. One more with my hands here. I'll show you the next. If you're not already doing that, it would be here.

It's is harder for me to keep it in my glutes, but I'm up for the challenge. 10 of these together, so lift, go a little higher if you're ready for it. I don't want you to feel like it's only your low back though, that you feel I'm getting contracted. You will, but see if you can focus more like lower the back of the thigh, right by this at bone and then the round part of your button. [inaudible] two more times. Okay.

It's like a three count hold and down and one more time in left. Hold it for one. Hold it for two. Hold it for three and come all the way down. Okay. Rest back into a little cap shape or kind of like a child's pose. If you like that, just re stretch your back and then roll up onto your knees.

Child's Pose

Okay. Hope you're feeling right here. Here. We're going to need your box now or your bench or go near your coffee table, okay? At this point, so we're going to move the and bring your towel or your slider out. So here's the deal. Okay, we're going to work the booty this way. We're going into what's known as a hip thrust hip lift.

Hip Lift with Short Box

I want you to lay back on your table and coffee table, your bench. Get your shoulder blades right near the edge. That is kind of like teaser, isn't it on the short box. So get there are the long box hands behind your head and I want you to lift your elbows up in the periphery of your eyes and then just pause here. Everybody get your feet in a position where you feel like you can actually hold your hips up for quite a while. You do not have to be feet in line with sitz bones. Okay? For me today, I feel like a little wider is I'm really working in feeling that I could stay there for a bit. Okay, so what the thrust is is a bit extra like push at the top.

So what's happening, we're lowering our pelvis down toward the floor. It's okay to pick up the head and chest and then press up and down. Hold, hold, hold lower two, three but like a three count and then press up. Hold, hold, hold. For those of us that have the really curvy low back like I do and some of you do, how about an extra little pelvic?

Just a little post to your tilt so that you, again, you're trying to keep this law. Okay. I don't want you to be up in this thrust with your hips down here. It's not healthy and it's not going to get your glutes working out. So we need to angle that pelvis like that. Okay, let's continue. So we're going down to three and up.

Hold, hold oh down. And so kind of a quick thrusted movement up and down. Yeah. Down the nice time to kind of visualize what shape do you want your butt to look like. I know that sounds weird aesthetic, but it's hard to work the glutes. They need a lot of attention. There's three big layers. They're the biggest muscles in the body.

The glute Max takes a lot of strengthening by building the glutes will have a healthier back, healthier knees, hips, ankles, toes, [inaudible] oh right. Couple more times. Can I didn't count reps 10 would probably be great. Okay. And that end position, you want to make sure your hips are up in line with your thighs. Hold, hold, hold. Okay. And then all the way down.

So the next exercise, but before we do that, you could start doing those single legged, by the way. Um, I hope that you'll want to progress. The do single leg is very, very powerful and you're going to get a lot of independent side work, but I won't do that today. I want to keep us moving and bring us back up on our feet. Okay. So as you're standing turn and put your foot, one of your feet up on your, either your box or coffee table, you have two choices. You could have your foot here on the ball of the foot or you could have your foot here. I might show a few of each so that you can see, hop the front foot forward. I've done these on the physio ball. Some of you guys are probably going to recognize this and I think today I'm going to certainly hands on my pelvis, squeeze this glute.

Lunge with Short Box

But also it's the one that your uh, is the forward leg. So go down is the front foot, the front foot heel, push it into the ground and stand on that. So I'm trying to drive my front heel down into the ground. Use that hip and stand tall and let's go down. Yeah, and press. So I'm making a decision right away. Change that foot and down.

You want to think of this as a vertical movement rather than going forward or back this way. So if you can just go vertically down that plum line and up. Let's try arms out for five more on this side. [inaudible] try adding a magic circle, maybe some other day or hand weights. [inaudible] that front leg. Do More to go on this side.

Push that foot down on the ground and stand. Okay. And push that foot down and stand. Okay. Whoo. Change it over. I should be even, we did a few this way. Hands on hip.

Okay. And down. Some of you are probably gonna comment on this class. Amy, what happens if I don't, if my knees hurt. And I understand that issue. Part of one reason why knees hurt is you might be weak here and so the load is going too much into your knees range.

Way Out of that is to go smaller movement, right? Just keep in mind, whoa mind to muscle, smaller movement. [inaudible] more intelligent contraction of your front leg, hip [inaudible] down, do more releasing before you do these exercises. So maybe a foam roll would be kind of cool. [inaudible] going straight down. I've got to drive this heel into the floor there. Feeling that peach [inaudible] in town.

[inaudible] do more on this side down. Okay. And last one and who? My goodness. Okay, now comes the towel or the slider, so put that down in the ground. One foot on it, the other foot pretty close to your prop table counter at this point or Bach, slide the slider back. You're basically coming through a lunge that almost the same body position.

Lunge with Slider

Okay. Same idea guys. It's the front foot heel from on the floor, but this one also has to contract and I want to pull both legs up so we can go down front. Heel, pull your body up down. Okay. Now this is also a relatively vertical movement of the torso position. I mean, but I am traveling back and forth as you can see. Yeah, good balance. Challenges for me. Five more. Yeah.

Inhaling, exhaling, play with what arm position might help you feel more stable. Last two. Okay. Try and get pretty low. Last one. Pan. Drag those legs together. Okay. Other leg, so ideas with this too, you guys, you could do this whole circuit and then repeat it or repeat each section two to three times as you get a little bit stronger with these exercises.

That's going to be one of my goals too. [inaudible] now as you go again, it's this front heel. Push it down, firm. Pull yourself up from right behind that hip. The other leg drags forward. You want to think tall. Wow.

Now some of these exercises and movements you've seen on the reformer from various teachers on Polonius. Anytime you get absolutely do this on that reformer, this foot would be on the front platform. That leg would be back against the shoulder rest. Yeah, all our hard, all our good for us. Last two on this leg. [inaudible] and straighten. Okay. Put that towel away for now.

You can just toss that around. Okay. Balance Challenge on the standing single leg. Also, um, challenging your balance of going forward into the space and back up to vertical angle stability, needs stability, all necessary to have better hip strength to balance better. Okay, so step one foot forward, take the leg behind you so often your front knee or bend it just a little bit and do this. Lean forward and touch your prop. I'm going to just touch the box. How would you up his from here again and your upper back at the same time. Then bring this knee forward and pull it towards your chest. Here we go again.

Single Leg Balance Challenge

As we progress. Of course you wouldn't really need that prop there. You could touch the ground. I'm going to try to reach over the box. Yeah, but eight to 10 times. Inhaling as we go over again, think how you're going to come up is by pushing this heel down. Pull the hip up, pull the stomach up. Lay comes in front. Five more down. [inaudible].

It was really good from my ankle and knee stability for me. You can see my back foot is, it's for me helpful to flex my foot. You can straighten that leg completely. It's okay if it's behind you a little bit, Ben. It's really a lot about this hip anyway. Class too. You don't have to be pretty with these movements.

Kind of about more about function and strength. Okay. Yeah. Other side. There's pick out right up. Take your leg back slowly. You're flexing over your front hip. Tapping that mat. Exhale. Bring yourself up, can breathe in sailing up so you can see my balances. I'm a little cheeky today. If that's you at home or in your studio, go, go, go next to the Cadillac or something. Go next to your wall.

You can do this with a Gondola pole or just know that a little bit of that shaken is good. And again, five more. Okay, four, three too. Glad I can be myself last time. And stand on two feet everybody.

Let's do just a little transitional standing roll down. Just roll. Bend those knees a little bit. Let your back round. Sometimes the back needs a little bit of a break in between and roll all the way back up. Okay, let's put our box away or move away from your coffee table bench away. We no longer need it when I cleaned my towel up here and then we're coming down on the mat now everybody. So come on down and get yourself set up in a bridge set up and can just lie still for a moment or two here.

Standing Roll Down

Okay guys, we're ready for a bridge. So go ahead and just lift your hips. You don't have to articulate a bridge, get steady on one leg, and then take the other leg just skyward and hold there. So I don't want us to do articulated bridge. I just want you to set your hips down and then press right back up. Okay, we're going for 10 of these. So back to what I said earlier about a little bit of posterior tilt for those of us that have my body shape and that really Kirby low back so that you don't just hinge yourself up on your back muscles, I want you to feel like you're powering yourself up from that foot that's on the ground, that hip, those glutes press.

Single Leg Bridge

So got to do a little bit of tail curl. This hip should be reaching toward the office at wall. Okay, I've got two more and the very fun thing at the end, hold it here. Just hold, hold, hold. [inaudible] 10 counts or so. 10 seconds seems like forever. And then step that foot down. Don't come down. Take the other leg up. We're going for 10 up and downs and hold it the last one so you can breathe in and press. So again, a little bit of tail curl underneath.

Power yourself up with this side of your butt, that hip and press [inaudible]. Five more one. Your shoulders can press back as long as your ribs don't thrust three, four last time staying up there. Let's count ten nine, eight, seven, six, five, three, two and one. And then foot down. Now you can roll down because it really does feel good through those lumbar muscles, those big back extensor muscles and a rolling down. Okay, we're nearing the end. We've got two more exercises. Fold your legs in and I'm going to have us come up to quarter of head.

Single Leg Lift

Okay. Single leg extension. So I'm going to take my left leg behind me, toes on the ground, and then I want you to walk your hands to the right side of your mat. Okay. So the upper body's in a slight side bend. Now move one hand the lower one back a little bit. So I've got one hand right on the outside of that knee.

The other hand in the top corner of the Mat. Take a look if you need, but then take the back leg. Point your toes. We're going 10 lifts. You don't have to lift it high. Well, anything lifting law. Remember the marching plank at the beginning of the workout, getting that neuromuscular connection. Think of that straight leg lift here again from those glutes that was five. Just five more. Pull that stomach up.

Do your goods. Pilati shoulder position and four guys are going to stay up on the fifth. Hold one there. Now take the leg back, touch your toe to the ground, make sure you can see that toe lifted back up in line with your hip. So it's going arking behind and arking up, working behind. Arking up, hopefully feeling that nice, powerful, uh, lift from your glute.

Single Leg Lift w/Arc

Five more down and up, down and up. Three, four. The leg kind of goes off out to the side there, which I know is happening and as supposed to, okay. And that on the other side. So quadro pad one, they behind. Walk your hands to the side of the Mat. Your body goes into a slight side bend.

Single Leg Lift

This hand comes off the side of by that knee and your law. Here we go straight leg up too. And right now the leg is behind the hip. I can't see that foot yet. Four make sure your stomach up is in your back as long and six, seven, eight, nine hold it on 10 now angle is flipped back. Aha. There it is. You know, lift it from there and move it out to where it was before.

Single Leg Lift w/Arc

So it's arking two and we'll lift three, four, five getting this stuff done and seven doesn't have to go high. And one thing long. Nine mean balance is challenged on this one, two and 10 Neesen okay guys, we have one more. It's not easy either. So come on to a elbow. Think clam, right? You're going to get your legs in a clam. Set up heels on language. Sit Bones, get some good stabilization on your scapula. Lift your hips. Okay, so I've lifted my hips because his bottom, bottom glute helped pick my hips up. Do three clams to three. Take the straight leg out, three Ab duction movements and two and three bring it in.

Child's Pose

Start all over. So it's the bottom hip that lifts you up top hip helps clam the leg to three straight leg out top hip, one, two, and three. One more round is all we need. Ready? Press up. Clam two don't sag the shoulder if you can help at three. If this is too hard, you don't have to be up with your hips off the mat, but that's where we're getting that glutamine work and okay, other side. And then we have a nice stretch to finish. Here we go. Keep things moving. So bottom hip, glute mead, press yourself up.

Clams and Straight Leg Lifts

Rotators. Move this top leg into clam three times straight. Leg Out, ab duction without dropping the body down to the floor. Who did that around three times. Hey, get down. Ready and press up. One, two. When I need a massage after that, lifting goodness and up. Keep that bottom hip, pressing your hips up. And three, we only have one more. Everyone ready and press glam and two and three. Last movement. Three. Two and one.

Okay, I'm not a Yogi, but I kind of know what pigeon looks like. That pigeon stretch will feel very good after all of that targeted specific glue work. So pick one of your legs, move that knee forward, take the leg back, get this Shannon Square to the front of your mat as you can and I want you just to come down, bring your pelvis toward that front heel, bring your body low, take a few deep breaths. So you're stretching again back that releasing that hip flexor, but definitely stretching all the glutes on the right hip. Okay. Other leg and I hope you've liked peach pants [inaudible] three it's the last time you'll see these pants from me on this platform. I'm sure you'll see them elsewhere out in internet land.


Get a good release on this hip everybody. And I guess the message is just keep working. Your glutes are one of the most important muscle groups of your body. They help us stand tall and they keep our back stable and strong. Help our knees stay strong and our ankles stay strong and they look good in jeans. Okay. Thanks for joining me.

I'll see you all next time. Bye. Bye.

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Pilates with Amy Havens: Intermediate Mat Workouts


3 people like this.
Excellent! This is a good glute, hips, and balance challenge but felt like a full body workout. Thanks, Amy!
1 person likes this.
Super fun, loved this, Amy. So nice to be taught instead of teaching. Thank you!!
4 people like this.
I love this workout and I really like Amy's personality, her teaching style, her sense of humor! I especially love your words about "Pilates Intelligence. Often as a teacher, we repeat all those little cues about control, flow, navel to the spine, scapula alignment etc. etc and it feels like an endless repetition. Therefore I will from now on also summarize it (especially with my intermediate clients). I really liked your variations - will also implement it in my workouts and in the work with my clients. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Being a fitness girl first (prior to my love of Pilates) I just love this style of workout! I was just reading an article about “dominate butt” syndrome. Yes, it’s a true syndrome in today’s world! Thank you Amy.. love this! And did I hear you say massage......ahhhh
1 person likes this.
This class was hot, still panting
2 people like this.
Just what I needed after a 3 hour car trip!!!
Lina S
2 people like this.
Thank you Amy for this workout. We never work enough the glutes!
I have a question on one of your exercises (it starts around 20:03). Why are we taking this position apart from challenging our balance? Is the side bend supposed to increase the work in the glutes? Thank you in advance for your answer.
2 people like this.
WOW! i know i have to work on my glutes (physio) - and this is the Best class! I shall be doing this OFTEN! The exercises are so much more effective than others...thanks so much for the challenge!
1 person likes this.
Love all Amy’s work 😀
Thanks Amy - such creative teaching and much needed glute work:)!! Sarah
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