Class #3919

Day 1: Breath is Fuel

20 min - Class


Welcome to Day 1! Courtney starts this challenge by helping you find your breath so that you can fuel your workout. She alternates between HIIT (high-intensity interval training) circuits and Pilates exercises so that you can build strength and endurance in a short amount of time! Enjoy!

You can add Courtney's HIIT Recovery class if you need a quick cool down after this workout.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Hi guys, welcome to day one of the challenge. So let's get you warmed up. We're going to stand at the back of your mat or just on the floor. Reach your arms up, take a deep breath in through the nose. Exhale, forward fold. Let all of that air empty. Take a deep breath in. When you're here, soften those knees and then rebuild your spine. So our breath is going to be the fuel for this whole workout.

So don't hold back tight. Matt, tell me as you reached down, just kind of let your body ragdoll here. Soften into those knees and rebuild. Lift your arms up. This time I want you to bend your elbows. We're going to call this cactus arms. Open your chest, a little tail tuck. Feel length through the front body. Arms come up and we forward fold again.

Let the head drop and the neck feel relaxed. Soft knees. As we rebuild, we do a lot of standing work in the challenge, so I want you to feel those feet root down into the ground. Four corners of your feet. Exhale, forward fold, soften your knees and rebuild your spine. Coming all the way up. All right, let's get started. So we're going to start today's challenge with a hit circuit. High interval intensity exercise.

We're gonna stay nice and low in this position. Hands onto the hips. Your first option is going to be a lateral tap, so just one foot out and back in. If you want to amplify this, you're going to stay low and do a hop out and hop back in. We're going to do this for 45 seconds. Let's go get down in Lao. Here we go. In and out, landing light, toe ball, heel. Stay low to the ground, knees over toes. Think of your feet like little sponges. Toe ball, heel, press out, keep breathing.

The body's just pitched forward a little bit. Tummies tight, knees over toes. Keep that neck relaxed. Guys, we're going to take it down to the mat once we're done. So just keep going in through the nose, out through the mouth, in and out. Stay low and see if you can hop a little bit wider and an AOD 10 seconds. Stay with me. Very then shoulders down for five, four, three, two and that's one nice work.

Take it down to the mat for the hundred. Lie down onto your back. To modify this exercise. Keep your feet on the mat. Otherwise take those legs to tabletop arms overhead. Take a deep breath in. On an exhale. Curl the upper body up. Extend the legs long. Only send those legs as low as your tummy can stay flat. Pumping the arms.

Inhale sh in through the nose and out through the mouth. This work comes from your back, so squeeze those back muscles as you pumped down with the arms. Gaze at the FYS curl just a little higher and stay with it. Inhale, challenge yourself in those legs a little lower. Halfway there. Straight wrists, straight legs in through the nose. Five pumps and out through the mouth.

Two more sets [inaudible] last time in through the nose and exhale, curl a little bit higher before you go down and hug those knees in. Nice job. Curl back up into your abdominal crunch. Take both hands behind your head. Send one leg long as you turn towards the bent knee switch. Keeping your hips heavy and anchored and switch.

Elbows are open. Tommy's flat, five four, that's three and two and one head goes down. Great job. Send the legs long to modify this exercise. Keep your knees bent, feet flex legs together. Take the arms overhead for a roll lap. Inhale, get ready. Arms reach to the ceiling.

Exhale as you roll up and all the way over the thighs. Stay here for a second. Drop those shoulders. Pull the belly in and back. Inhale, roll halfway back, lifting the arms. Exhale, place the spine back onto the mat. Nice and easy. Here we go again. Inhale, [inaudible] do your best to appeal through the spine. Real halfway back. Shoulders relax and exhale.

Can track those abdominals to lower down. Inhale, exhale. As you go up and over as you reach forward, think about reaching beyond the toes, pulling the stomach back in. Opposition roll halfway back, arms come up and all the way down. One more time. Exhale. [inaudible] over those thighs halfway back and all the way down.

Circle your arms around hold. Bind your knees and curl back up again. Send both legs to the ceiling and hold onto one ankle. You're going to use the strength of your arms to pull the higher leg towards you twice and then sweat Popo. This exercise is scissors. Pull, pull. Keep those hips anchored, reaching towards the ankle.

Five [inaudible] four, three and two. Last said one, we're going to go into an inversion. If there's a reason why you don't want to roll up and over, cross your ankles. Press down into your arms and exhale. Do a reverse crunch. [inaudible] controlling the descent.

[inaudible]. If you're wanting to take this into the full exercise, send your legs long. Keep that tummy flat. Exhale as you go up and over, try to get your legs parallel to the floor here. Separate your legs, flex your feet and as you roll down, you'll feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings and in your backs and your legs as low as tummy can stay flat. Come on up again. Separate flex and roll down. [inaudible] try to keep those arms pressing down into the mat. Shoulders open [inaudible] and we're going to reverse by rolling up with the legs apart.

Draw the legs together. Heels together, toes apart. Exhale as you roll down in your [inaudible] V legs apart. [inaudible] legs together. Find your polities via zip up those inner thighs. Roll down the center of your spine and two more. Up on an exhale. Zip them up and down, pressing into the arms, finding that foundation last time [inaudible] never rolling onto your head or neck.

Keep the weight onto your shoulder blades. Roll all the way down. Bend your knees in. Give yourself [inaudible] hug. That's our core series. We're coming back up for that hit again, high intensity interval training, 45 seconds. I want to remind you, you're going to stay low for these hands. Can be on the hips or app modification is a lateral tap. The full version is hopping out and hopping in. Let's go in and out.

Find that breath in through the nose, out through the mouth. Stay low. Send those hips back, chest forward in and out. Feeling that heart pump it, feeling that lower body working, bending with the knees together and apart out and put on some music at home. It'll help push you through and almost there guys, stay with me. 10 seconds. Shoulders relaxed. Five, four, three, two and one. We're to work the back body, so lying down onto your stomach.

Take your legs apart. Separate your feet a little wider than your hips. Anchor your pubic bone down. Hands under the shoulders for Swan. Inhale. Exhale. Stretch that front body. Reach your head away from your toes as you lower your going for length here. Roll those shoulders down and back. Handling thin up.

Think about pushing your chest through your arms like you're threading a needle and lengthen. Two more times. Press down to rise. Reach the toes long on the floor. Pull the belly up with you and lower focus on length here. Head from tail as you come up and as you come down. Good. This time the legs will stay anchored. Hands will hover. Lower the forehead to the ground.

Take a deep breath in and exhale. Just lift the upper back as high as you can. Keep that alignment in the spine so we're not pushing down on the hands for this. We're just using the back to lift and lower five more and down. Four less is more. You're going for length three. That's two and that's one. Go down to a halfway point. So you're hovering, you're not resting.

I want you to think about reaching your toes along the floor and stretching your arms forward. Elbows in and reach. We're doing 10 of these arms are just hovering off the floor. Gazes down, the back of the neck is long, so are the abdominals. Feeling a length through the back body. Reach on an inhale and pull for more. Three, two and one. Put the hands underneath the shoulders. Press back.

Quick little stretch. We are going to another expression of this exercise, the full breast stroke, so it's going to include the coordination that we learned in the arms and some back body work. Coming back up to your haver position. This is going to be our home base. Always coming back to here. Stretch your arms forward like we practice, but this time keep your arms straight. Circle your arms behind you, lift the chest. It doesn't have to be high reach. You're hovering. Lift, reach, lift. This is not about the neck and head. It's about this middle back.

Squeeze five, four, three, two and one, and rest the fingertips down and your forehead on top. This time the upper body will stay down and the lower body will lift again. Find that sense of length, legs together and apart. Together and apart. Legs are straight. Thigh bones are lifted off the mat. Upper body is relaxed. Five more, four, three, two and one.

Keep those legs apart. Lift them up and down. Keep that upper body relaxed. Guys, this work is coming from the seat and not from behind the knee, so feel that nice. Straight leg. Five, four, three, two and one. Slow swim. Opposite leg lifts, hip stay anchored. 10 more seconds, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two and one. Push back and give yourself a well-deserved stretch. Find that breath again. Find that recovery. C'mon back up onto your mat.

You know your options. We're just going to go right into it in and out in an outstay low and send those hips back. Keep breathing. Guys, if you're keeping tension in your neck and shoulders, let it go. It's only going to zap energy. Keep this work in the lower body. Push up from the floor and how wide jump. Lay on with those feet together. We're almost there. Remember if you get tired, you have those taps, but try to keep moving all the way through. Final countdown.

Five seconds guys. Five, four, three, two, and one. Awesome. Okay, let's do some bridging. Lie down on your back. Bring your feet in so your heels are under your knees. Feet about hip distance. Hands down. Open that chest. Take a deep breath in on an exhale. Contract your abdominals. Peel that spine up off the mat. Inhale at the top.

Now, this is not like your Swan. It's not like you're pushing your chest through your arms anymore. Instead, you're trying to push your hips up higher than your knees if possible, lifting up and then X Hills. You roll down. You should feel a big stretch in your quadriceps. After all that jumping, we just did rural lab work, those glutes, pushing the hips up, hugging those knees in and rolling down to more articulating bridges. Exhale up. Inhale at the top and exhale down.

And on the next one we're going to stay at the top, so roll up your onto your shoulder blades. Hips are high, glutes are squeezed. We're going to go halfway down to the mat and exhale, squeeze to lift. Inhale down and exhale out. Keep those abdominals tight so it's a sensation of bracing your core, stabilizing the spine and doing this. Lift and lower from the glutes. Two more and one stay up trying to keep those hips square and level.

We'll do a March, one leg lifts and then the other placing the foot down, toe ball, heel in. Align with that hip, so right foot goes down in line with the right hip, left in line with the left. Two more. Sort of have to anticipate there might be a wobble and then stabilize. Good right leg comes up this time. Straighten it. Dip and lift. Try to touch the ceiling with your toe. Push up through the hip. Five, four, three, two, one. Toe, ball, heel, left leg up, dip and left hip.

Stay in level five, four, three, two, one toe ball. He'll take a deep breath in. Exhale. As you massage the spine all the way down. This time we're going to come up to our toes. The heels are off the ground. Take a deep breath in. Exhale. As you roll out, staying in your bridge for heel taps down and up. Down it up, articulating through those feet. Hip stain lifted.

Press down through the big toes. Try not to let the weight and push out towards the baby toes. You've got five feet on those hamstrings and glutes. Four, three, two and one. Lower the heels down. Turn the toes out. Walk out, turn the toes out. So now you're in what we're going to call a butterfly. Bridge.

Weight into your heels. Toes are up. Knees open, little release, so feel not lateral booty as we press those legs open, keeping your hips lifted. Tail feathers, tact. Think about the sensation of pulling your hips towards your heels. You've got five more, four, three, two, and one. Roll yourself all the way down and roll yourself all the way up. We're rolling all the way up and you guys made it day one.

Done. Nice job. It was not an easy workout. You did amazing. I'll see you next time for class number two.

Ready, Set, Glow!: with Courtney Miller


Boxing Day workout done! Thanks so much Courtney - you look fabulous by the way!!!
Lina S
1 person likes this.
I love it! Thanks Courtney. I'm glad you mentioned how to modify as I have a foot injury and can't jump!

Sooooo much fun! Can’t wait for the next class. Thx for this offering Courtney
1 person likes this.
Thank you Courtney!
Lena W
2 people like this.
Love this new challenge to mix things up, and t's the first time I've been able to convince my 16 y.o. daughter to join me for pilates :). Love your fusion classes!!!
Lena W
2 people like this.
For those of us who live in Montana and will NEVER have the opportunity to visit your studio, it would be LOVELY if you did a series with a class following each of your heat, empower, align, renew and tone classes!  
Yay! A great start to the challenge!
Nice, I love it.
That was fun! Thank you Courtney!
BAM! Off to a great start. Just what I needed. Back again tomorrow .
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