Class #3720

Creative Ball Variations

50 min - Class


Learn creative ways to use the Overball in this fun Mat workout with Delia Buckmaster. She uses the ball for awareness in addition to testing your coordination. She includes variations of exercises like Single Leg Stretch, Teaser, and so much more!
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball

About This Video

Apr 01, 2019
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Hi, I'm Delia Buckmaster and today I'm gonna be leading you through a Pilates mat workout using a small fitness ball. And with me today is Gia. So, we're gonna go ahead and get started in standing. So Gia, you go ahead and stand. We're gonna be facing this way.

You're gonna place the ball between the ankles or right above the ankle, I should say. Toes pointing forward. And you wanna hold onto the ball firmly but you don't wanna squeeze to tight that you feel like your knees are calling in medial. So, otherwise you're gonna step for a little bit further away from you so you can reach those arms up and we don't hit arms. So, go out and reach those arms up towards the ceiling and then exhale.

You got it, there you go. We're gonna reach those arms up, inhale breath. (inhales) And then exhale the arms back down. And just a couple more just so you can sync your breath and warm up your shoulders. And last one, we're gonna add a squat.


So as the arms come down, bend the knees, triple flex, ankles, knees and hips, cross the arms and then reach it up and then lower back down. Inhale and exhale, eyes are forward. You don't wanna drop your head below your heart. You wanna focus more on the legs warming up and the glutes firing, now we're gonna hold that squat, so hold it down here, hold and just give me some squat pulses. And you can have your hands in prayer, you can have your hands on your hips, you can reach your arms out in front. So, whatever feels best for you.

Yeah, you can play around with all of that, good. And then go ahead and extend all the way up towards the ceiling. And then we're gonna do some rotations here. And what's great about doing rotations with the ball at the feet, she can actually feel the ball move and you want it to move. You want your feet to adjust to the rotation of your body, moving your ankles from side to side and hold to the center.

Roll Down

So, a little roll down here. Arms reach up and on your exhale, go ahead and roll down. And when you roll down to one nice active abs, soften your knees, hang at the bottom and hold, and then roll yourself all the way up, reaching your arms up to the sky. And we'll do that again. So, I want you to imagine that you're on a mat.

So as you're rolling down your appealing your spine off, like you're going into your roll up. So you're really working through your abdominals and try not to hang too much into those hamstrings for a stretch and then really activate those back muscles as you stack your spine all the way back up. One more time and flex. Exhale, breath and breathe here at the bottom. Big inhale, feel the ribs expand and exhale as you will yourself all the way up.

And we're gonna do one more roll down, but I'm gonna have you turn so that way you're on the mat. So go ahead and give me another roll down Gia towards the floor and hold and then walk yourself all the way out to an all fours position like a cat. So the ball is gonna be between the ankle is to one of have them firmly there, right above and just make sure that those ankles aren't rolling out. Hips over the knees, hands underneath the shoulders, and just me a nice cat stretch. So, just around through your spine and then straighten out your back and then go into a nice extension and focus on the flexion being about the lumbar spine.

Cat Stretch

So, you really feel those lower abdominals working. And then as you extend, you wanna really feel that the sternum is lifting, just do that twice, more exhale as you round the spine in cat. And then extend and then find a nice flat back from there and hold, good. And then a little retraction and protraction of the shoulder blade. So, just pull the shoulder blades together and then pull them apart.

Shoulder Press

And elbows pointing backwards, softer elbows here, good. And then lift and you wanna have active abdominals. We don't wanna let the abs just go. And this is really great because for retraction, and that's how we're gonna get into that extension of the spine with protraction. That's how we'll get into a lot of that flexion.

Just one more time and then find a nice flat back and the shift your bottom back towards your heels and then shift your body forward towards your hands. So you're just gonna shift back and forth. She's gonna try to maintain as much neutral as she can with her spine just to kind of stretch the ankles out, back and forth and bottom back and forward ad now find a nice neutral position Gia. So the hands are gonna be underneath the shoulders, knees under the hips. So, we're gonna do a little knee lift here to really activate the abs.

Hip Hinge

So, nod your chin, gave me a nice round spine, and then float the knees about an inch off of the mat. Hold it here. You should feel your abs really working. Lower the knees down and then straighten out the back and you can give me a little extension. And let's do that again. exhale as you flex through your spine, lift the knees to a hover, and then go ahead and reached out. Let's switch your breath, Gia.

Knees Off

Let's do an inhale as you round. So, inhale is year round. (inhales) and you'll feel your back stretching as your knees come up. And then exhale as you extend that a little bit different. Let's do that again, inhale.

And then you can really get that stretch, activate the spine, lower the knees, and then straighten out the back, nice job. So, grab that ball from between your legs and let's have a seat at the front of your mat. Okay, you're ready? So, we're gonna start by holding the ball or putting the ball between your legs. So, not holding it, but right above your knees this time.

And just make sure that your feet are not much wider than your knees and that you know, not much closer, so nice and comfortable, and just squeeze the ball gently. Just a little squeeze so you can actually feel how that activates the inner thighs a little bit more. And you don't wanna pop the ball. It's a very gentle squeeze is just to bring awareness to the inner thighs. Reach the arms out in front.

Roll Back

Let's try a half roll back here. Go ahead and roll half way back, and then just sit back up. So, right now you're just mobilizing the spine and you're loading the abdominals and think about opening up through the hips as you roll back. And maybe you go a little bit further each time. Exhale to roll back.

(exhales) Inhale to come up. And if your feet are not quite in the same, the right spot, you more than welcome to move them. They're not stuck in cement. So, move into wherever feels comfortable and there were gonna hold it on the next one. So, exhale as you hold flexion, eyes are forward.

You're making that nice seeker curve with your spine and maybe squeeze a ball just a little bit, hold it there, and maybe tilt that pelvis a little bit more. Bringing the tail between your legs. This is really gonna activate the deepest flexors of your spine and then just shift your upper body to the right. And then back to the middle. And then shifts your upper body to the left and your eyes will lead your spine.

Roll Back w/Rotation

So, just look to where you want the upper back to go and it will follow. And then really try hard not to go deep into the lumbar spine for flexion. You wanna make sure that you're increasing that rotation from the middle of your back and then back to the middle. And then as you come up, you're gonna reach those arms up Gia has stretch and open up the chest. So, from here we're gonna take the ball out of the legs and place it behind the back.

And the placement of the ball here is important. So, you wanna make sure that it's not too high or too low on the back, otherwise you're gonna... it's gonna be really, really challenging and put a little bit pressure on the lumbar spine. But if it's too high, then you're not gonna be able to extend the back in the proper spot. And this should actually feel good. It's like a little mini massage.

Thoracic Spine Extension

Go ahead and interlace the fingers behind your head, placing your hands firmly up against your head and putting a little bit of weight from your head up against the hands. Elbows in your peripheral vision. Find a neutral position with your spine here. So, from your tailbone to your head, you should feel fairly straight. And if you can't keep your spine in neutral, then go into a slight posterior tilt to protect the back.

From here, extend over the ball and you'll know right away if the ball's not in the right spot. So, when you come up into flexion, you can make that adjustment by either sliding forward or back. So inhale as you come back towards extension. And then exhale as you come past neutral to flexion. And again, lower back elbows in your peripheral vision, head from up against the hands.

You're trying to mobilize the middle of your back, your thoracic spine as you disassociated from the lower half of your body. So, the lower half of your body is nice and stable. One more time, inhale. (inhales) And then exhale as you flex up. And if you're struggling here, you can let go of your head and just hold your hands for just a moment.

Thoracic Spine Rotation

How you doing? Good. Good, okay, so hands behind your head, we're gonna add a little rotation. So, first lean back for me, open up through the chest, come up to neutral, and then rode teacher upper body towards your right. Feel your obliques fire.

Come back through center and then extend over the ball, head and shoulders back up, find neutral, rotate to the left side. Come back to neutral and then extend over the ball and you're gonna actually exhale to come up. And then inhale to rotate and hold it there for a second and feel how that ball has shifted towards your left side of your body. Come back towards the middle and then over the ball again. And then exhale to come up to neutral.

And then inhale to rotate, pulling that ball behind you and then exhale to the middle and then inhale. We're gonna do one more set? Upper body comes up to neutral. Rotate to the right side and really feel that stretching your back on your inhale breath. Come back towards the center.

Lower yourself over the ball. One more time, lift yourself up, (inhales) Inhale, get as much rotation as possible. Come back through the center and then lower yourself all the way back. And you can hold it here for a minute. If you've got really tight shoulders or a client with really tight shoulders and this is comfortable for them, you can let go of your head and just come into that nice external rotation of the shoulder.

And then when you're ready, now that chin first to roll yourself up so there's no pressure to the neck and you're going play step all back between your knees, right above your knees. Lying supine, so on your back. You with me? Yeah. Yeah, okay, so eyes up towards the ceiling, ball between the legs feed in a comfortable position, just gimme some pelvic curls.

Pelvic Tilt

So just some clocks like you're pulling back to six o'clock and then to noon and to six. And when you go into a posterior tilt or into an imprint, think about squeezing that ball a little bit and see if pressing into the inner thighs doesn't help to fire those pelvic floor muscles and then do that just one more time. And then I'm gonna have you find an imprinted position because the legs are gonna come to table tops of protecting your back foot. Float your knees up to tabletop. The knees are gonna be right above the hips and the feet are perpendicular to the knees.

Arms Reaching Forward w/Forward Flexion

Take your arms overhead Gia. Arms need to stay in your peripheral vision. Your lower ribs are resting on the mat, arms lead, so arms up pointing shoulders up, flex up. So you've got the top of your hundred here. Squeeze up all gently, lower your upper body back down to the mat and do that again.

And now give me an exhale up. (exhales) And then an inhale to lower. (inhales) And exhale. (exhales) And inhale to lower. Twice more, lifted up into that hundred prop.

Squeeze up ball gently so that you can feel as inner thighs activate and then lift yourself up into the hundred, hold it here and you can pump your arms. It's an inhale, two, three, four, five and an exhale and really reached with those arms Gia. Good, I'm gonna get out of here so that I can actually count. So, inhale to four, five and exhale two, three, four, 30. Inhale two, four, five and exhale, two, three, four, 40.


She's really gonna reach those arms forward, so it feels like she's stretching her upper body forward and with every exhale breath she can give her inner thighs a little bit of squeeze. Are you counting? Oh good, inhale, two, three, four, five. Where are we? Two, three, four, five oh two, three, five and exhale, two three, four, 70, inhale two, four, five.

Squeeze up all two, three, four, 82 more sets, continue to reach with those shoulders. One more set and don't collapse right away. Yes, now hold, can you reach a little bit further, can you pull your knees a little bit closer, can you squeeze that ball just a little bit tighter and then go ahead and lower yourself down. We're gonna go into the roll up. So, on your back still the ball is gonna go underneath your feet.

So the soles of the feet, I'll make sure I have enough room here, legs together. So, now the ball is gonna give you a little appropriate subject feedback. It's mobile here, so you're really gonna see whether or not you favor one side as you roll up. So it's taking your arms over your head, arms still stay in your peripheral vision, arm's reach to the sky. Come to your roll up.

Roll Up

Just push your feet forward and then roll yourself all the way up. And I actually have lost the ball, but I'm gonna readjust myself and then roll yourself down, bending your knees, and then your feet will go back onto the ball, arm's reach back. Again, adjust yourself if you're not quite right, arms up, push into the ball, activating the back of your legs as you roll up, flex and then roll yourself all the way back down, bending your knees and let's add our breath. Inhale, arms up, a little pressure onto the ball. Exhale as you roll up.

Finally to the top of your roll up. Stay here. Inhale, reach a little further. (inhales) And exhale, roll yourself all the way down, bend your knees, feet flat, arms overhead. Let's do that again. Arms up, inhale breath.

(inhales) Exhale as you flex activating those inner thighs. You're reaching those hands forward. Hold it, inhale. (inhales) and exhale as you roll yourself all the way back down. That's just gonna give you that little extra stretch between the shoulders.

Three more times. Arms up, legs extend, reach forward. How are you doing? Good. And lower yourself back so lowly, pushing that weight into the ball.

And again, one more time, arms up, inhale and exhale flex it now, breach and hold, deep inhale to reach further forward and exhale to roll yourself all the way down. And go ahead and place those hands by your side. We're gonna go into the one like circle here. So ,you're gonna place the ball underneath your right foot. So, we're gonna start there.

Single Leg Circles

Left leg is gonna come into a table top position. So, just being here is hard to balance. Extend your leg long towards the ceiling. And then extend your right leg long and when you extend your right leg long, flex your ankle and you should actually have it in a really good spot. If you started with your knee bent.

Now I have the high table here and she's got the high mat. So it's easy for us to hold the size of the table for a little bit of support. So we're gonna go on and do that, and take your like over your mid line and then take it back to the opposite side. As your leg goes over the midline, allow that left hip to lift just a little bit off the mat so that you can teach your body that little bit of rotation with stability there. And the exercise will prepare you for future mat exercises or later on for some intermediate and advanced exercises.

Reach your legs out to the side and then bring it back. Now hold it here. We're gonna go into the full circle so you can take your leg to the right circle of down and around and up. And what's an interesting about the ball is it does kind of give you that feedback and let you know if you're really stabilizing through that right leg or not. One more time.

And you can press channeling into that ball to help with that. So, reverse it, inhale to the left. Exhale, circle it around and hold at the top. Got three more times inhale, exhale, add up two more. (exhales) Last one, hold it at the top, and then pull your left knee in towards your chest.

And then just go ahead and stretch that hip flexor out. If you struggle at all, keeping your leg extended. So if you're really tight in the hip flexors and it's biting your quad, soften that knee and keep that knee soft so that way it doesn't turn into a leg workout. I'm going to an abdominal workout. So you're gonna place the left foot on the ball, right foot down, and you able to see the angle of the other leg now on camera.

So, extend your right leg up and then extend the left leg out, flexing your ankle on that left side, holding it here, hands to the side for support than just ticking clock where windshield wiper, whatever terminology works best for you. And then allow that hip to come off just a little bit so you can feel the rotation from the rib cage and over eyes towards the ceiling and the opposite shoulder stays down. Go to your leg circles, circle it around, hold at the top, pause, inhale, exhale. Placing that foot firmly into the ball is going to give you a little bit more support and also give you that feed back. One more time I think.

Single Leg Circles

And then reverse, inhale acts, exhale circle up and hold, and again, inhale, exhale and up twice more. (exhales) Last one, hold. And then pull that knee into the chest and give yourself a nice stretch. So we're gonna go into a little rollover prep. So you can grab the ball with your legs and place it on your ankle.

So however it's easiest, if you need to reach up and you can place it right above your ankle actually so it doesn't roll around your ankles. And then just pull your knees into your chest, give yourself a little hug, and your hands are like your little hip flexors those they'll help you out just a little bit and then extend the legs up towards the ceiling. I do want you to keep a soft knee, so your legs will be at a slight 60 degree angle here, arms are long, so shoulders are nice and wide. Lower the leg down slightly, both legs, and then bring it back up perpendicular to the hip. So inhale and then exhale.

Lower Lift

And again, inhale lower and exhale. And now let's try to maybe curl that tailbone under just a little bit. So as the legs come back towards you, maybe just a little curl and then lower. And if you can't pause up there for just a moment, then you're probably using a little bit too much momentum to lift those legs in the air. This is a really great place to teach the roll over.

So if they can't hold it here, then they most likely can't do the full rollover. Just gonna do that one more time. Hold and pause, and see if you can hold it there, and reach those arms up towards the ceiling. Drawing the shoulder blades into the mat, like your arms or legs and hold for two more breaths. Inhale and exhale.

(exhales) one more and then go ahead and Tuck your knees into your chest. And I'm gonna have you roll up to a seated position all the way. So we're gonna go from here into rolling like a ball and then that'll lead into something else. You Ready? Yeah.

So, the ball is gonna be right above the ankles. And if the ball at any time, it's just too much for your inner thighs or your hip flexors. Just move the ball out of the way. You could totally do it without it, but we're gonna place in between the ankles and that's actually gonna help to give you a little bit of support low. So let's bring the toes of apart.

So we wanna actually keep the legs at about hip distance apart. Hands are gonna be on your shins. You're gonna scoop those abdominals in. You're gonna roll yourself back to your shoulder blades and then roll yourself up and balance here at the top of your rolling like a ball, leading with your lower back, inhale breath and then exhale and hold two more times, Gia inhale (inhales) and exhale. (exhales) One more time is you roll back and up, and pause, and you can rest your feet for just a moment.

Rolling Like A Ball

This is gonna go right into a rollover, you Ready? I haven't done it in the high table before. So hands are gonna be on the shins to start, scoop your abdominals in. Lift your toes up, look at your knees. When you go to your roll, you're rolling like a ball.

Roll Over Variation

I want you to place your hands on the mat. Start to roll back, hands on the mat, and take the legs overhead until your role over, the legs are now parallel. We're not gonna touch the toes behind us on the mat. As we roll up, start to lift the head and shoulders up. Grab onto the shins and roll yourself up to the top of your role and how that work.

You're rolling like a ball. Let's do that again. Hands to the mat, rollover and the knees toward your chest and then roll yourself up. It's kind of fun. Inhale to roll back.

(inhales) Exhale to roll up. (exhales) Two more times, inhale back, exhale and up. (exhales) Whoop, one more time roll it back as scoop those abs enrolled all way up and release the legs. (exhales loudly) (laughs) Okay, so go ahead and lie on your back here and then just open up your knees for just a second toes pointing forward, heels lifted, and just go ahead and open up the hip flexors and give you some little stretch. We've been in that position for a little while and then extend your legs nice and long.

Reach the arms over your head, holding the ball. We're gonna roll all the way up to seated position, so arms up, head and shoulders up, and then we're gonna go ahead into a spine stretch. So, feet are gonna be about the distance of your mat apart. Hands are gonna be on the ball, ball is out in front of you here, got It? So, if you can't sit up nice and tall, if this is not comfortable for you, you can place a little mat underneath your bottom.

Spine Stretch Forward

You can bend your knees, but then I feel like that you lose the connection a little bit from the feet to the crown of the head. But obviously if you don't have props, soften your knees, sit up really tall. Push them all away from you, just flex through your spine to see if you can push it away in one big swoop and they sit up nice and tall and let's do that again. Round forward, you could try your exhale breath here and then inhale to sit up. One more time with that breath pattern.

Exhale as you round forward and then inhale to sit up. We're gonna try that with an inhale, you ready? Inhale to sweep your arms forward and flex. Exhale to sit back up nice and tall and allow your shoulders some freedom round forward. Lift the shoulders up to the ears.

That should feel really good. And then sit back up. One more time, inhale breath. (inhales) And exhale, (exhales) all the way up. From here we're gonna go down to the mat for some abdominal work.

So, roll yourself all the way down. Legs are gonna come up to a table top position, softening the lower back into the maths. That way you don't put pressure on the back to lift the legs. The ball is gonna be in your hands. Head and shoulders come up to flexion and the ball is above your shins or the he knees over the hips.

Single Leg Stretch

Start by extending your left leg out in a single leg stretch. Hold the ball with your right hand. Bring it underneath your right leg, grab it with your left hand and switch and switch. And don't think about anything more than just getting the ball around the leg. Legs, stay nice and straight, find a nice breath.

That's gonna let you move fluidly through this exercise. Exhale reach. (exhales) Little hand eye coordination. One more on each side and then go ahead and pull the knees into the chest, holding the ball into the hands, got it? So, for chrism-cross or obliques, we're actually gonna keep our legs and tabletop and reach the ball overhead.

Criss Cross

We're gonna go into a wood chop exercise, so head and shoulders come up. You're gonna take the ball to the outside of your right leg hold and then lower yourself completely to the mat. Step one, do that again. Exhale to lift up into flexion rotation and inhale to lower. One more time just like that.

So, if you've got a client that's not really great with coordination, you could just have them do this. Now as you come up on the right side, extend your left leg, exhale, reach. Inhale, bend the knees and lower. Other side exhale to rotate and then inhale, and back, and reach, and lower, and see if you can keep your feet lined up with each other, which is a little bit harder when you're not holding on your legs. One more time to each side.

And to your left exhale. (exhales) And then lower yourself right back down. Gonna go into double leg stretch. So place the ball right above the ankles. Knees are bent, head and shoulders up, grabbing onto the shins.

Double Leg Stretch

And this is all we're gonna do for the abs series right now. So, give it all you got on this one. so exhale, extend your legs long, reach your arms overhead, circle the arms around and pull your legs in. And what you're gonna find is that your legs might be a little bit wobbly and unstable, so it adds that dynamic to the exercise. Inhale, reach it away, exhale to return.

One more, reach it away, return the knees, hold, and then lower yourself all the way back down. You already try some bridging and while we're here, so grab that ball and place it underneath the right sole of the foot. And then just hang here for a second. This will be really nice after all that flexion to add a little bit of hip extension. Again, if you are not in the right spot, you could always adjust.


So just start with some hip lifts, Gia. So, just lift the hips up and make sure you're in good position with that right foot, and then just lower the hips back down. And I actually like to do this in neutral, pressing my palms into the sea and to the mat and then back down, so it opens up my chest. It activates my glute muscle and I really like to focus on the stretch. And then by default I'll end up working that glute that everybody wants to work.

So, lift up on the next one and hold. From here extend the right leg out, roll that ball underneath you, roll it back towards you. Lower the hips down. Let's add your breath, inhale to extend. (inhales) Exhale to reach the leg.

Bridging w/Foot Variation

(exhales) Inhale to bend. And then exhale to lower. One more time, inhale to lift. Exhale to extend the leg, inhale to bend. And then lower the hips.

Let's do it simultaneous. Lift the hips up, roll the leg away, roll the ball back in. Lower the hips down. Inhale to open up that front body, exhale to lower to the mat. One more time, roll it up, now hold it here.

So, right now you're limited to how much extension you can get cause that leg is resting on the ball, but you're just gonna drop the hips towards the mat and then lifted up, working left glute. So, what you really should feel is that gluteal fold from the glute to the hamstring. It's like you're picking up a pencil right there as you lift your hips up. One more time, hold it. You should really feel your glutes here.

Your open through your right hip. Roll the ball back towards you and then lower yourself all the way back down. Did you feel your bottom? Yes. Good, switch legs.

So, the left foot's gonna go onto the ball, right foot's gonna go down to the floor. Same thing, find your hip lift, lower back down. And if you're not in a good spot with the legs, fix them knees, preferably in parallel. So, if you're starting to feel any pressure into your lumbar spine, it might have a lot to do with how tight you are in your hips. So, we tried to force ourselves up to that hip extension when we don't have it.


So, lift up and hold here. Extend your left leg away from you. Roll them all back in and then lower your hips back down. And we'll do that again. Inhale to lift up, exhale to extend.

Bridging w/Foot Variation

Inhale to bend, and then lower. One more, bottom up, leg reaches like in and then lower down. Now we'll do it simultaneous. You lift, you roll out, you bend, you lower the hips. Inhale, reach away, exhale to lower.

So, just one breath pattern. One more time. Inhale, reach away, hold and then lower the hips and lift the hips. Focusing on the left hip flexor stretching and the right hip extensor working. One more time, lifted up and hold. Bring the ball back in and then lower yourself all the way back down.

You can grab onto the ball with your hands so it doesn't roll away from you. And then just tuck the knees into your chest, rocking yourself from side to side. And we'll go ahead and start on some extension. So rolling yourself all the way up to a seated position. You're gonna place the ball out in front of you because we're gonna lie on our belly.

So, we're gonna be prone now, and this doesn't work for everybody depending on the ball size and how much flex the ball has. But we're gonna place the ball underneath the sternum. So, just kind of decide where it's gonna the most comfortable here. So, I feel okay. So, we'll start with some preps here.

So, legs are extended long and I have to fix it. Hold on the, there we go, all right, that's better. So, the arms are gonna be down by your side and just flex your body over the ball. So it was just opposite of what we did earlier with the chest expansion coming into flexion. Legs reach nice and long.


Place your hips into the mat and your pubic bone into the mat and actually even press the tops of your feet into your mat so you can activate your quad muscle a bit. Now keeping your arms down, just lift your chest up. It's almost as though you're trying to roll the ball away from you, finding a nice extension and then lower yourself back down. And we'll do that again. Leading with your head, you are lifted up.

Eyes forward and then exhale over the ball. We're gonna try that one more time. Inhale to look up, eyes forward, and then exhale and round over the ball. Step one, step two, you're gonna go ahead and lift your upper body up into extension, and float your arms off of the mat. Hold here, take your arms out in front of you, like you're diving into the pool, and then bring the elbows back towards you towards your ribs, and then lower yourself back down.

Step two, let's do that again. Inhale to extend, exhale, dive into the pool, inhale, bend the elbows, lift your head out of the pool, and then lower. Obviously that would be the proper breath if you were actually swimming, so inhale, lift up. Now, dive in the arms forward, and then take the arms out to a t, bring them behind you and lift into a bigger extension. Bend your elbows, keep them close to your ribs, dive forward, exhale, inhale, circle the arms around breaststroke.


Exhale, dive forward. Inhale to lift, pressing the feet into the mat, pressing the pubic bone down, pulling the abdominals, and to protect your back and letting those shoulders round forward and then open up. One more time, Gia. Bend the elbows, dive forward, circle the arms around and hold and then release. You can go into a child's pose, a resting position now, releasing the low back. And what's nice about having the ball here is that it gives you a little bit of heights.

You can place both your hands on the ball, your head falls between your arms, and then you can stretch your shoulder a bit and then roll yourself up. So, we're gonna be facing to our right and you're gonna have to listen to my queue because you won't be, you won't see me. So, we're facing that way. We're gonna place the ball, we're gonna do some side legs, but we're gonna place the ball underneath the left rib cage. So, at first you should feel comfortable here.

I'm just gonna make sure I'm not the edge of the mat too much. And your left forearm is resting down. You can test both knees in for a second Gia and just make sure that you feel comfortable having the ball where it is. That I want you to take your right leg extended all the way out, so it's lined up with your hips, and we're just gonna do some side kicking here. So flex your ankle, bring that leg forward, flexing at the hip, and then bring that leg right back, pointing your toe, opening up your hip.

Side Kicks w/Arm & Leg Extension

So inhale forward and exhale back or exhale forward and then inhale back. So it's whatever feels most comfortable for you. Allow a little bit of mobility into the hip, getting that nice stretch in the glute, and then open up the hip. We're gonna reach our arms in front of us or right arm, and as the right leg goes back, hold it here. Reach the right arm to a diagonal, like you're in a swan dive.

And as that right leg comes forward, bring the arm behind you and let's do that again. Inhale reach and then exhale back. Inhale to reach the arm forward and an exhale to reach that leg forward. One more time to reach and hold and then return that leg. Nice job, okay, So we're gonna lie all the way down now on that ball.

Side Leg Lifts

Got it, okay. There we go. So the left knee is still gonna be bent because that's gonna be your stable leg. Your right leg is extended long and it's on the match. Reach that right arm over your head and feel that nice side stretch, that feel all right?

So the head's gonna stay down the first one, Gia. Your right leg will come up in your right hand will go to your leg and just lift and then lower back down, and exhale to lift and lower, let's add the head. Exhale, lift the upper body up. Inhale to lower over the ball. Exhale, lateral flexion, inhale to stretch.

Two more times, lift and lower. Last time, lift, lower all the way down. Hold and pull both knees into the chest and rest I look, feel okay? So go ahead and come all the way up and you'll sit in a mermaid position, so that left shin is forward and the right shin is lined up with your mat. The left hand will be on the ball, so the ball is gonna be on your left side.


Just reach that right arm up towards the ceiling nice and straight and then roll that ball away from you. Keeping that right hip down, feeling that nice stretch on the side, and then come all the way back up. And we'll do that one more time, inhale and an exhale. Stay here, rotate upper body so that you can get that nice QL stretch. Turn back towards the front and come all the way back up.

We're gonna sit on the other side and lie down. So on your right hip, place the ball underneath your right rib cage, forearm down, knees come forward. And really make sure that you're out of that shoulder. So actually collapsed that shoulders, Gia and then just pull yourself out of it. There you go, nice.

Side Kicks w/Arm & Leg Extension

Now extend that left leg out and we're gonna go into your kicks. So go ahead and flex the ankle, bring that leg forward, and then bring it back and either exhale or inhale whatever feels best for you and allow some abilities. So pull that leg forward and then extend that hip back and exhale, and then inhale. Now hold it here, reach that arm out, Gia. Hold here like a swan, and then bring that left leg forward.

Bring that left arm back. Let's do that again. Inhale to reach forward and then exhale. (exhales) And inhale to reach. (inhales) And then exhale, two more times. Open up through that front body, reach in that leg forward last one and hold, and then bring your legs in, nice job.

We're in lie all the way to the side. So, makes sure that that feels comfortable for you. It's in the right spot, giving yourself that nice stretch here on the left side of your ribs. You're gonna extend that left leg long and then you're going bring that left arm over your head. So just pause here for just a moment and then as your left leg comes up, keep your left hand where it is.

Side Leg Lifts

So just the left leg comes up and then lower. So just a little ab adduction, left leg up and then left leg down, now add the arm, lift and lower. One more and lift, now add the head and shoulders and up, and lower down, and exhale. (exhales) Good, two more times. Lot of flexion up, you can feel that ball kind of slide from underneath you.

One more time and lift, and then lower all the way back down. Pushing yourself up to a z set position. Your right shin is gonna be in front of your hip or in front of your mat. Your left Shin in line up with the side of your mat, hand on the ball with your right hand on there, you're gonna roll it away, give yourself a nice side bend and then come all the way back up and again, and reached it away. Stay here Gia and rotate.


Give me a nice QL stretch. Rotate back to center and then come all the way up, nice. So we're gonna turn back to the front. And we're gonna lie on our back, so lying on her back, and we're gonna find a high bridge position here, so you can lift your hips up into a high bridge, and place the ball underneath your sacrum. So, it's really important that the ball is underneath the flat part of your sacrum and not into your lumbar spine to cause that extra extension of your back.


So really think about the connection between your ribs here in your hips because your legs are about to come off the mat, good. So rightly leg comes up to tabletop. Left leg comes up to tabletop, and I want you to balance here. So instead of going into that extended position, you might wanna air towards a little bit of flexion. Legs extend up towards the ceiling.

Hold it here, eyes up towards the ceiling. Right leg goes towards the floor and should open scissor, Left leg comes back towards you. And then both things come back up towards the ceiling, then the left leg comes down, inhale and exhale (exhales) and inhale, and if you're using your neck and shoulders to lower the leg, then you probably gonna far for what your abdominals can handle. So make sure the shoulder blades are nice and wide. One more time, lower, and then back up.

You ready to add on? So, bring that right leg towards you, left leg down towards the mat. Open your legs apart as you circle your right leg down and your left leg up towards the ceiling. So now your left leg is towards you and the open scissor. Bring the right leg up towards the ceiling, right leg first, right leg comes down, legs open, they circle around you, pause at the scissor, left foot comes up and again, inhale, circle it around an exhale and pull it up two more times.


Right leg down, legs open, right leg towards you, left leg, back up towards the ceiling. One more. Inhale, circle those legs around and an exhale, and back up, nice work. Knees in towards the chest, and they go out and place your feet down to the mat. And we're gonna add a second shoulder bridge. So you're gonna grab the ball from underneath you and place it between your knees right above your knees.

Feet are flat on the mat to lift your hips up into a bridge position. This is gonna be a little bit harder, but it's gonna work a little bit more on the stability of the hips here instead of the stretching part that we did earlier. So take that right leg up and extend it long and just hold it here, and just give up all the squeeze between the legs. Exhale, press and press, and this is gonna lead us into a little teaser prep after this press. So little pulses, hips stay square, opening up through that left hip, nice and long through the right leg, preparing for that teaser and then place that right foot to the mat.

Bridge w/Single Leg Extension

You can lower your hips down to rest, so if you don't feel like you can move on, you can hold for a second and pause and then lift the hips back up. Left leg extends long hold and then little squeeze one. Exhale, two eyes are up towards the ceiling, pressing the back of the head into the mat, arms or even into the mat. One more time, drop that foot to the mat quietly and gently, and then roll yourself all the way back down. Take the ball into your hands and rest the ball on your chest.

Little teaser prep, right leg is gonna extend long. You're gonna in your shoulders up. You're gonna look toward your thigh and you might need to adjust that supporting leg, gonna roll that ball up your leg, reach it up towards your toe tall through your spine, and then you can enroll yourself all the way back. And you can rest the knee and bend it if you'd like. Let's do that again, now the chin, lift yourself up, roll that ball all the way up to your toe.

Teaser Prep

Inhale and exhale as you lower. One more time. I actually liked to bend my knee and then move into that extension in health, the top and an exhale as you lower, let's switch legs. Extend the leg long. I'll start this one like I did the other side, so head and shoulders up. I'll keep that leg long as I roll it up and then as I come back down, I'm gonna actually bend the knee and let's do that again.

Inhale to roll it up, extend through the upper back and reach and an exhale. One more time. Now the chin, exhale. roll yourself all the way up into that teaser hold and then lower yourself back. Ready to try the full teaser. Can we do it? Yeah.

Knees he's up to tabletop and you're ready? Head and shoulders up. Exhale, start to roll yourself up, rolled up all the way up towards your toes. Inhale and an exhale, start to bend your knees as you roll the ball down your leg. And again, head and shoulders up.


Roll it up the balls like a little distraction and then roll yourself all the way back down. One more time. Now the chin and then roll connecting through those inner thighs and hold. You're gonna fall forward and stretch. Nice work, little spine twist.

Open up your legs about the width of your mat. And then again, just like with the spine stretch, if you can't sit up nice and tall because of your hip flexors. And a lot of times if you're have a class, well in Montana, everyone has a sweatshirt. So we just roll this sweatshirt up and we stick it underneath our bottoms. So okay, arms reach up towards the ceiling.

A little variation of spine twist, arms should be in your peripheral vision. Palms should be pressing up against the ball. Bring the ball in front of your chest, drawing your shoulders down so you can feel that connection in your shoulder blades. And then reach those arms up and do that again. Bend the elbows, bring the ball down, reach the arms up.

Spinal Twist

We're gonna add a rotation to your right side. Exhale to rotate. Bring the ball in front of your chest, squeeze up, all gently, come back to the center, reach the arms up and to the other side, exhale to rotate. So as your arms come down, you twist a little further, get a little taller and back up a little bit faster. Now add an inhale here, inhale, exhale, back to center.

Inhale, exhale to the middle. And again, inhale, breath and exhale and up. One more time, inhale, breath, exhale and up and hold. And you're gonna go ahead and I have the beauty of straddling, but you're gonna bring your legs behind you. We're gonna do another extension exercise before we go into some front support.

So placing the ball to the front of your mat, hands are gonna go on top of your mat, legs are long. Again, preferably the legs are in line with your hips, but if your hips are tight like mine, sometimes it's helpful to open up a little bit. And if that's the case, point those toes out laterally. Hands are on top of the ball. Shoulders are out of your ears.

Imagine that your arms run long to the middle of your back. So feel that connection before we get started. And then lift your head up and coming into like a little baby swan. So eyes up, just stretch the front of your body here and then lower yourself back down, and do that again. Inhale to lift up a little babies swan, and then exhale.


We're not gonna go into the full swan today. This is just a nice antagonists exercise to the teaser and then reach the arms forward. One more time, inhale and an exhale. Now lift your upper body up into even half of that swan, so just a teeny bit activating the upper back muscles and then float your legs off the mat by becoming strong and in the quads. So lower the legs back down Gia again.


And when you go to lift the legs, think about pressing the hips into the mat instead of squeezing the glutes and the normal lifted this a little bit more organically. Do you feel that pulling your abs in? I'll start to swim your legs, just very slowly. This motion should be coming from the gluteal fold. It's hip extension, not back extension your back's working to support your spine, your low back is.

Now as you're swimming, take your right hand off the ball and bring that arm behind you and follow your hand with your eyes, and see if you can lift up a little bit higher and extension. So you're just swimming, arm reaches behind you and then bring that arm forward, and then rest that hand on the ball. Let's do that again, lift arm up, reach behind you. Roll extension and then lower yourself back down. Let's go a little bit faster.

So right hand up, inhale, two, three, four, five. Reach the arm forward, two, three, four, five. Left arm back, two, three, four, five. Left arm forward two, can we do one more side, left, right arm up, reach two, three, four, five and forward two, three, last one, arm up, reach for that leg. Gimme that nice rotation, bring the arm forward and rest.

Nice, so go ahead and bring yourself back to all fours and place the ball between your knees. And we're gonna go back into those cats stretches that we did earlier. Taking the hands underneath the shoulders, knees underneath the hips, curl those toes under and then go ahead, and round your spine, and whole that flexion. Just hold it, squeeze up ball between your legs, pull the lower abdominals, and then lift the knees up to a hover. Hold the knees at a hover and extend your spine and look up, inhale breath.

Knees Off

Around your spine exhale breath and then lower the knees back down. And we'll do that again, straight back, round back, knees up, hold, straighten out the back and look up, and then come to a flat back and bring those knees back down. We're gonna do that one more time. So around through your spine, exhale, pull those knees off, straighten out your back and look up and that hover, come to a flat back. Lower those knees back down, we're gonna add on to that.

So, this would be very similar to doing some knee stretches on the reformer. So we're gonna lift the knees up to a hover round through the spine, exhale breath and coming up flexion. And then what we're gonna do here is we're to take the right foot off of the mat and you're gonna squeeze that ball between your legs five times. It's one exhale, two, three, four, five. Lower the right foot down, straight out your back, lower the knees back down, that was challenging.

Single Leg Knees Off

Let's do that again, exhale as you flex. Float your knees up, hold, for that left foot off the mat, squeeze a ball between your legs five times. One exhale, two, three, four, five. Lower the foot down with control, straighten not your back, and then lower your knees down, nice work. We're gonna go into some front support or some people would call a mountain climbers, but you're gonna place that ball on your shin, but in order for you to get in the right position, you're gonna have to find plank first.

Plank w/Ab Series

So find your plank and then see if that ball's in a good spot, we are gonna roll that ball and so you don't want the ball to leave your foot. You're ready and it gets spot. Okay, here we go. So find your plank, right leg is extended. Now this would be more advanced than that last exercise we did.

So draw the right knee in towards the chest and then bring that right leg back and do that again. Pull it in and back, two more. Last one, keep going. Gia, add around spine round your spine exhale, inhale, now look up and extend the spine and then exhale to around the spine, pull it in, inhale and find that extension, two more times. Exhale, (exhales), inhale and lift. Last time, exhale, inhale, lift, find that extension and then go ahead and place that knee down, nice.

So from here, the left one is gonna go forward between the hands. So, you're in a lunge position. So, think about this exercise as being a similar to the lunges on the reformer with the moving carriage behind you. So, left foot forward, upper body up, find balance. Left hand's gonna go onto your shin, right arm is gonna come up towards the ceiling and you're gonna stretch holding here for two breaths.

Lunge Stretch

Inhale, (inhales), exhale, (exhales) One more deep inhale. And then exhale to bring that arm down. Let's switch legs. So, the ball now goes underneath the left foot and find plank first. Make sure it's in a good spot.

Plank w/Ab Series

And then once you find plank, go ahead and place those knees down. Are you're ready? Mm-hm. Okay, just the knee in first. So find your plank position and then roll that ball in towards your chest and extent.

Four times exhale, inhale. Two last one and then you're gonna round your spine, need chest round your spine, hold, as up all moves away from you, extend the back and look up. Let's do that again, exhale, round. Inhale, extend, and again, twice more, (exhales) and lift the chest. One more exhale and really extend up through that upper back.

And then lower the knee down. Now you're gonna place that right foot between your hands, balance. You're ready? All right, you're up, your right hand is on your shin and your left arm is up and you're gonna breathe here. Inhale through the nose.

Lunge Stretch

(inhales) Exhale. (exhales) One more time Gia Inhale, exhale breath. (exhales) And then you're gonna place both hands down. How do you feel? Really Good.

Good, and that concludes your mat class with the ball. And I hope you guys enjoy it. Thank you so much.


Thank you Delia! Lovely class
Laurie C
1 person likes this.
Loved the variations using the ball and cueing was very clear! Thank you, Delia
1 person likes this.
Inna, thank you for your feedback! and thank you for starting this comment thread Very happy you liked it :)
1 person likes this.
Laurie, You are welcome and thank you so much for saying the cueing was clear! Instructors as you know need to know that we are communicating the exercises well. :)
Really, fun and creative class!
1 person likes this.
Janine, thank you so much! ♥️
4 people like this.
I can’t wait to practice this and teach it.! Your cues and explanations are wonderful and I feel like I could take this class from you by listening and not looking up to watch what you’re doing. And I love how you give options which allows some freedom to those who think they can’t do Pilates bc they are tight. The ball is a great tool that I’m excited to try. Thank you Delia! Keep them coming!
Sarah R
Can’t wait to try some of these variations!
Thank you for the creative flow! I use the Pilates mini ball a lot on my mat Pilates classes and finally find a clue to refresh the flavors of my Mat!
Thanks for sharing these variations Delia and a warm welcome to PilatesAnytime. I absolutely agree with the other comments having tried your reformer class too, the cueing is spot on!
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