Class #4126

Sculpting Mat

50 min - Class


You will work your entire body with this sculpting Mat workout by Amy Havens. She starts standing, adding in fun variations from her dance background as well as from movements you already know. She then moves to the Mat, encouraging you to remember your fundamentals as you move through these challenging exercises.
What You'll Need: Mat, Ankle Weights (2), Hand Weights (2)

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t- Hi, everyone. It is Amy Havens here, and I again wanna thank you for coming to our live Pilates Anytime class and joining me in my house, in my little den, that I've created for us to work out together. So, this is full-body. We're going to do about 30 minutes about standing, and working up here, a lot of arms, a lot of hips, a lot of abdominals and back. So guys, let's go ahead and get started.

I want you just to stand with yourself in a parallel alignment, and let's do just some check-in on the shoulder girdle real quick, okay? So again, thank you for being here. Lift your shoulders, lower your shoulders. I think it's really important to warm up the shoulder girdle before we do weighted work. Even if it's just one pound, even if you don't have any weights in your hands, you wanna warm up a little bit.

So elevate the shoulders, decompress the shoulders. One more time, we lift and lower the shoulders. Now, circle the shoulders, make 'em big. Up, back, forward, and down. Up, back, forward, and down.

Two more. Up, back, forward, and down. And up, back, forward, and down. Reverse the circles, going back. Up, forward, and down.

I'm trying to take big but slow, circular movements of those shoulder blades up and around the ribs. One more time, back, up, and forward, and down. Now, move the arms, the shoulder blades. Kind of squeeze them on your back, that retraction. Squeeze 'em together and pull 'em down.

And then just relax them. Bring your shoulder blades together on your back and down, and relax 'em, twice more. Shoulder blades together and down on your back, and release. Then one more time. Shoulder blades together, and down.

Okay, I think we're ready. We're starting to lift the weight. So again, lifting your weights with a good alignment through your whole body, but today, let's go ahead and have palms face down. Lift your arms up, shoulder level, and lower your arms down. So I'm gonna take some breathing right away.

Inhale, arms up, and exhale, arms down. Two more here. Inhale, arms up, exhale, arms down. Use some imagery that you're pulling some heavy springs up, and maybe pushing some heavy springs down. Turn the palm the other way.

The whole arm is rotated, so your inner arm is lifted to the ceiling, and lower down. Stomach is in and up. Of course you know your collarbone is wide, it's rolled back. Do all of your Pilates fundamentals and alignment check-ins. Everyone, keep your arms, if you can, shoulder level.

I'm hoping you're this high. If you're feeling any neck strain at all, you start to lower things down right away. It's not necessary that you're this high, okay? We're bicep curling. We're doing eight.

And two, (Amy inhales deeply) let's exhale three, (Amy exhales deeply) and four, four more. One, and two, keeping it moving, three and four, and then lower your arms all the way down. Okay, similar, palms facing down. This time, lateral arm lift up to the side. So open your arms, raise them shoulder level if you can.

Press your arms down. Again, remember, proximal muscle recruitment, meaning muscles close to your center. So I'm thinking lats, rotator cuff, back muscles. My hands and forearms are really not doing a lot, right? We don't have to do a lot there.

Now, flip the arm so that your inner arm is up four times. We lift, and we lower. So a one-pound weight is a lot to hold onto. Make your muscles work harder by resisting through the air, and lower through the air. And one more, lift and hold.

That was our four. We're going eight bicep curls. So I'm gonna go all the way in, fist toward shoulders, and pressing out, and exhale, pressing out. Remember to stand tall. Those of us who have to push or rib cages forward, let's tidy those up right now.

Four more, in, press out, curl in, press out. Really tone those muscles! Last one, in and out. Hold while you're out. Bring your arms back up to goalpost. Okay, this is like a book opener.

Close your arms right in front of you. Elbows are straight in front of your shoulders, everybody, and then open back out. Now from here, I want you to bring your scapula together and scapula apart. So we have arms in front of, arms to the side, scapula together, scapula apart. And front, and side, trying to keep those right angles of forearm to upper arm.

And again, if this is bothering anyone's neck or shoulders, you just do the whole thing down here. I'll show you it. In and open, shoulder blades, and out. Three, good, shoulder blades together, apart. And front, side, together, and apart, one more.

Front and side, together, and apart. And then from here, just simply lower your arms. Okay, moving on, shake your legs just a little bit. Now, I want us to stand in our Pilates stance position. My little ankle weights look like leg warmers, (Amy laughs) but they're weights.

Turn your legs out, right up from he top of your leg. You know we've been doing this and wrapping, right on the side musculature here on your thigh around to the back. And I want you to hold your legs together from the upper back inner thigh. Here we go, arms in front of again. Bicep curl, this time adding a bend of both knees, and push the ground down as you lower your arms down.

So we bend the knees, bend the elbows, straighten the elbows, straighten the knees. Two more, and pull. I'm actually gonna have us do eight. (Amy exhales sharply) Okay, then I want you to start thinking of using the air more like it's a solid. Because the weights are light, let's make our arms have to do a little more work, okay?

That's eight. Hold here, little pulses of the legs eight times. What I'm really thinking, guys, is pulling the heels together. Five, (Amy exhales deeply) six, and seven, and eight. Lower the arms, straighten the knees.

Same thing with the arms, but they're coming more from an external rotation. So out, and press down. This is really nice collarbone opening, upper chest opening, yeah, keep the heels pulled together. That was four. We've got four more, one, press the air down, pull the air toward you, press the air down, in, and down, in, and down.

I want you to come in and hold. Pulse the legs, one. So I have my upper arms in external rotation, four, three, two, and one, and everyone straighten your legs, straighten your arms. Rise up to your little tippy-toe, and then change your legs to parallel. Chest expansion.

From the classical work, we all know this one. Arms are long and strong by our sides. We have a nice press back with both arms. Turn your head to one shoulder, turn and look over the other shoulder, return your head to me, and bring your arms to your legs. Again, the arms go long and down behind you.

Hold 'em back there. Turn your head, other shoulder. Keep that chest lifted, return, and arms. Twice more without the heels lifted. So I want you to think about the back of your arms being related, like wings from your upper back and side back.

So contract the side of your back, your lats. Those lats are wrapping around the back of your rib cage. Okay, let's do four more with a little heel lift. We've got this. Press your arms back.

Turn and look, turn and look, center. Heels can come down when the arms come forward. Press up, hold, turn and look over one shoulder. It's your back muscles wrapping around your rib cage. I want you to think about more than how far your arms are.

Think your back muscles wrapping around the back of your ribs, helping hold your arms behind you. One more, and press. Rotate that head. This is kind of tricky, adding a lot of elements together. Okay, now, we've done a lot of things.

I want you to turn your arms, face me, palms facing in. We're gonna lift the arms and do a bicep curl. Lower the arms, and do a tricep or chest expansion. Let's just practice that. So we come, bend, open, behind, and up.

Bend and up, and then press behind, okay? Keep that going. I'm gonna have us add a parallel knee bend and then a releve when our arms come behind us. It's gonna get a little complex with our coordination, but we can do it, easy breezy. Exhale, and exhale, keep those going.

Now, start to use your legs and push them more through the air as well. So push, push, lift, twice more, guys, with both arms doing the same thing at the same time. One more, in, and press. Now, do one arm bicep curl. The other arm is tricep press.

I do this a lot because it's good for our brain, coordination from the side. One arm is coming bicep curl. The other arm is pressing way behind, and I just swing and change, and swing and change. Find a little rhythm with it. (Amy exhales sharply) (Amy exhales sharply) Right?

Now, if you wanna start adding that little knee bend and releve, that's where I was headed, a knee bend, and little tippy-toe. Knee bend and tippy-toe, and four, (Amy laughs) three, two, and one, and just rest, okay, fantastic. Shake your legs out. Now, you can stand parallel if you'd like, or you can stand a little bit of a Pilates stance. I just really like that.

I like to keep feeling my legs snug. Take one arm palm forward, the other arm palm out. We're gonna do bicep curls with one forward, one turned out. This is fairly easy, so stand up and lift your heels off the floor. You can do it, and just really now, I want you to squeeze, contract your bicep muscles like you're squeezing a little orange juice, if you had a mini orange in your elbow joint, weird, and make some juice, right? (Amy laughs)

Other side, and you'll do eight either way, here we go. One, 'cause you have to really use the muscles differently. Actively contract them, even before you start lifting the weights. Actively contract before you lift the weights. Here's four, and three, and then we'll alternate it eight times.

I like little sets of eight sometimes. It's nice and musical. One, and two, and heels are lifted, if you can. Here's four, and four, and three, and two, and one. Now, powerful those elbows, bend them both in, and again, I'm going to lower my heels, and I'm going to start doing some little circles.

What I have here is my upper arms very well pulled in toward my body, and I'm kind of thinking of pivoting at the elbows, (Amy exhales sharply) and exhaling as the scoop of the arms comes up, okay? Yeah, open the chest. We'll take just four more times. It's great for upper bicep, and three, and two, and one, and then lower. Okay, let's change the way we're standing.

Shake everything out for a moment. Okay, I want you to stand in kind of second position, parallel, feet right underneath hips. Now, let's go into one arm reaching right up by your ear, pretty close, and the other arm down by your side, and hold this position. Now, if you just switch the hands, you're gonna come right through. This hand, palm faces back.

This one stays palm faced forward, okay? And let's do an inhale as they pass and exhale as we switch. So I'm breaking down for us an exercise in kind of the classical standing arms with hand weights, the punching, and you'll see what happens. (Amy laughs) So if you want to wrap your fist around your weights, I really like that. Now I'm gonna start giving a little more energy and thinking of punching.

So a little soft punch. (Amy breathes deeply) So one up, one down. Okay, now pause here. Bend your knees, everybody, straight forward. Now, can you, and I know you can, hinge at your hip joints?

You know how much I love the hinges. Keep your arms in the same framing. Do you see how that's going to be our punching in just a minute? But come out of your hinge, and then change your arms. So one up, one down, and from the other side, you're hinging at your hips.

The arms really don't change their spatial orientation. We change our trunk in relationship to the space. So now I'm gonna stay on this angle, and staying in your bend of your knees, hinge yourself forward, and punch one arm forward, one arm back. To your chest, other arm forward, other arm back. (Amy exhales sharply) Now let's just keep that rolling, up, and if you want to, let's get a little more out of this.

Lower your chest, lower your chest. It's gonna make your arms work a whole lot harder, and your back muscles a lot harder, okay? There we go, eight more. And reach, alternating. Remember, those of us who love to push the ribs out, this is the rib cage check moment.

Four more, really punch. I'm trying to keep my back arm high in the air. Your left out, hold, hold. Take that back arm that's back there, and lift it a little higher, and eight, seven, little pulses of the back arm, four, three, two, change arms, (Amy exhales sharply) Back arm punches, and one, two, three, and a four, back arm, lower your chest, seven, and eight, and then come out of it. Everyone roll up and circle your shoulders.

How're you doing? I'm starting to get that little glow. (Amy laughs) Moving onto the bug. I'm gonna stand sideways, because I think it's a better image here for all of us to see. So bending both of the knees, they're tracked, parallel, hinge at your hips.

Knuckles are together, just like this. Elbows are bent out to the side. I want you to slowly start to open your arms to the side, but think shoulder blades are coming together. Shoulder blades are coming together. Shoulder blades are coming together, and then you lower.

Stay with shoulder blades, ready? Shoulder blades. The arm will follow you, I promise they will. The arms will follow you. I just don't want you to yank your arms up.

Think shoulder blades, shoulder blades, arms are coming along. Shoulder blades, shoulder blades, arms are coming along. One more slow, and I'm moving around just so you can kind of see different vantage points. Okay, now five more in a row, exhale, and exhale, and exhale, and exhale, and everyone rest. Okay, roll your shoulders.

Time to change standing position. So I want you to open your feet wide now. Okay, I'd like my heels wider than my hips. I am gonna bring in some dancey things from back in my day. (Amy laughs) Take one arm overhead, the other arm under, and really reach in both directions with the arms.

Pull your legs toward the center line, and reach your arms. This is a good stretch for the obliques. Arms come out through the side, other side. Stretching the obliques, but you'll also be working those in just a moment here. Reach the bottom arm just as much as the top arm.

Anchor those heels into the floor, and then bring your arms to your center. Let's go to the other side. So you're reaching one, reaching the bottom, reach, reach, reach, and we return, other side. (Amy exhales deeply) Again, I'm gonna do four more for us, okay? Rib check, everybody, tailbone check, collarbone check.

Work proximally. Really think of connecting inner thighs together, even though the feet are apart. One more slow one. Yeah, you can go as far as you can. I'm gonna have you stay on this side, okay?

Adding a little extra movement, we're gonna bend both knees into our plie, come out of it, and arms change. Now, add the plie with the arm reach. So we go over and up, other side. (Amy exhales deeply) And, (Amy exhales deeply) and four more. (Amy exhales deeply) And reach, don't forget to reach that bottom arm.

The top one is easy. The bottom one gets a little left out. Now I want you to stay here, okay, stay here. Pulse the whole thing toward that side, eight reps. We have a pulse, and pulse, big arm, bottom arm, and four, and five, and six.

Your obliques will really get sore after these. (Amy laughs) Other side. I promise, they will feel really good. Reach, and two, and three, and four, and four, and three, and two. We're gonna go side to side, just four more times.

One, and two, and three, yep, and four, okay, and rest. Good, you guys. Bring your legs back together. Just close that up. Take your arms out to the side.

Take this one arm and reach it in from you all the way. I want you to think of touching the wrist of the other hand, and slide this hand across open, look at it. So it's an inhale, and an exhale, inhale, and an exhale. I think a lot of this, again, for me, I'm doing from my shoulder blades. So my back body doing a lot of work to help hold up the front, right?

Four more, reach, and open. Hand to forearm out. So we're getting a little bit of trunk rotation. I think now we have one more each side, and last one. Okay, lower your arms.

Yeah, so with our arms in motion like this, up and above our head and the heart line a lot, the heart's gonna be pumping, just a little bit. So get some different work out of your regular Pilates, right, and your standing. Okay, so here's the next one. You're standing. Let's just practice this first, just step, touch.

No, it's not a dance class, (Amy laughs) but step, touch. Now, you can do level changes, if you want. I'm going to be, because it's more work in our legs and our hips to push us back up to standing. Now, I'm gonna have my arms just out like this, yep, step and touch. So I'm bending and straightening.

Let's just do four, promise there's more. Three, and two, and then stay on this side. Okay, change your arms. I'm going into genie, shoulders anchored. Shift your weight onto your standing leg enough that you can stretch your other leg out to the side.

Hinge more at your hips. Hold this position, and now lower those arms back down, palms face out, and try to lift the outside leg up. I was going for eight of those, and three. Crease deeply on your staying leg, and four. I'm thinking of the outside line of my thigh, helping to lift my leg, last two, and last one, and then just a step-touch and change.

Let's anchor it into the genie arms. You're on your standing leg. You have a good hip hinge in your standing leg. Arms out now, open that chest, here we go. And lift, and exhale.

Think of the leg being long out through the big toe. Four, and five. You can get your leg a little higher if you'd like, or you can wait 'til the floor work, which is coming soon. There we go. Okay, stand and roll your shoulders.

One more standing piece. Stand in a side-facing. Put one foot forward, one leg back, the leg that's behind you. Touch the floor. Just start doing that touch thing that we did when we did side steps.

So I want you just to start going touch, step, touch, step. From the front, it goes back and touch, and back and touch. Now, if you want, add down and up on the standing leg. So go a little lower, and up. Little lower, and I'm going into those bicep-triceps again.

This time, my palms stay facing my body. One more time, hold it back, okay. Some of you want more. Lean forward onto your standing leg, and now if you can take your back leg up, and let's go pulses, two, three, eight times, four, four, three, time, and one. Both feet together, roll your shoulders around.

I'm turning to face the other diagonal. Bend both knees. This front leg just starts doing a tap, and tap. So the standing leg, you know this, that whole thigh and a hip is getting a workout because you're loading the weight on there. Now, let's start adding arms, arms, arms, and arms.

Yeah, biceps. Remember, use the air like it's a solid. Press, pull, press, pull, last two, and keep your leg behind you. Lift that leg. Let's go for pulses up, or you could just repeat the taps.

Here we go, everybody, one, and two, feeling strong, getting some of the ya-yas out from all of the stress. Seven, and eight, and then all the way in. Okay, we need to go down to the ground. We need to start working our abs a little bit, here we go. So guys, I want you to have a seat, get cozy, keep your knees bent, use your weights.

I'm just interlacing my fingers so loosely, and arms just in a loose hug of tree exercise position. What I wanna focus on is exhaling and rolling halfway back onto my sacrum, and rolling up. (Amy exhales deeply) Nice, easy half-rollback. Okay, remember, so proximal, distal. Right now, the ankle weights are gonna help me keep my ankles down, my feet down, so I can hopefully isolate more of my proximal abdominal connection, but the hand weights, again, you wanna keep it out of your neck, and almost imagine the weight is right here, in a way, that you're holding your weight down, right, your shoulder down and the weight of your arms down more toward your center. (Amy exhales sharply)

Three more here. (Amy exhales deeply) Last two. (Amy exhales deeply) I told you we'd be getting a little sweaty, didn't I, at the beginning of class? (Amy laughs) Now, hold, go ahead and go back. Go back to your spot, take it there.

Start to take the arms and rotate your torso, hands on this side of your knee, and up and over, hands on that side of your knee. And exhale. (Amy exhales sharply) (Amy exhales sharply) Four more oblique rotation. Six, seven, eight, come back to the center. Everyone inhale and exhale, coming up.

You're gonna repeat that with a single leg, here we go. Take your knees close to go, hands in the ready, exhale, and roll it back, okay? Same place, extend one knee, rotate, and reach the hand weights on the outside of that knee, and then over the other one, two, three, four. So we're thinking about the abdominals being pulled in away from the leg, seven, and eight, foot down, reach your hands forward, breathe in, exhale to come up. Other side, exhale. (Amy exhales sharply)

Leg extends. I always go to the outside of that first leg. One, then away from it, two, three, can you keep your chest a little more open, everybody? Five, six, how you feelin'? Seven, and eight, yes, you know the progression.

One leg becomes, one leg becomes two. Let's try, going back. You can do this. Extend your legs to your teaser position. Hands, one, two, we are almost done with this three-part, and four.

Four, sculpt your way through, six, and seven, good job, you guys, eight, feet down. Oh, don't go down, I mean, don't go up. Go down. Go down, go down. Extend your legs, extend your arms.

It should feel really lovely. We've been moving consistently. Now I want you to open your arms, do a little circle. Start to bring your chin towards your chest, rolling up. I do want you to feel the full expression, reaching your arms forward, stomach back.

And then if you can, reach your arms with you and sit tall to go back again. Roll back with a little extra arm circle here. Without thrusting the ribs, arms circle out to the side. Palms come in. Palms are facing one another.

You're rolling up. Continue to just stretch. Your stomach is pulled back away from the leg. Roll up to sitting, arms come up, twice more. And just nice, fluid movement, fluid movement.

Big arm circle out. Maybe that's the inhale so that you can (Amy exhales sharply) exhale to come up. And one more time, arms lifted and lower, and last one, just a good, clean rollback. For those of us that have normal leg kicks, if you're wearing ankle weights, doesn't it help kind of to keep those legs down, having weight down there? Kathy Grant did that with a lot of her folks, and it's been passed on by her teachers to me, and I pass to you, and so on, down the chain, right?

If we kick our feet in roll-ups and things, let us anchor with weights. It's a good way to do it. Okay, I don't always do it. Now, enclose your hands again. Let's go toward one another.

I'm gonna do what's called a "round-the-world" oblique rotation. I'm rolling down on one side of my spine, the one that's closest to you. Once I get down there, I'm gonna circle my arms above my head over to the other side, and do my best to come up on the opposite side of my spine, and I've made it around the world. Go the other way now, so your hands go out, out, to the outside. Your legs can straighten if you want to, guys.

You're gonna roll down one side of your spine. Take your arms above your head, exhale, pull into your stomach, roll up, bend your knees. Okay, you've got it. Let's do a little more flow. (Amy exhales deeply) Reach those arms, contract, try to go on one side of the spine a little more than the other. (Amy exhales deeply)

My goal is three each direction, and we are just about there, so last one on this side. Try to get through that articulated lumbar flexion. (Amy exhales deeply) And your other side, all the way around, oblique rotation. Okay, now, I used to not be able to do those worth caca, at all, because I was not very mobile in my spine. That was not long ago. (Amy laughs)

I have to practice mobility of my back, and a lot of you know that, 'cause I'm pretty straight, and I have some funky curves. So, that's good for me to do. It helps me when I'm warm. So hopefully that was good for you today. Let's keep practicing, and let me know if you have questions, okay?

Promise, I can help you. If I can do it, you can. Seriously. (Amy laughs) Come down on your elbow. Okay, more obliques, yeah?

Hand on hip. I'm in a clam position of my legs. This hand is here really right now just to keep reminding the hip to un-hike. Okay, now I want you to take your fingertips to the floor and start to lift both legs up from the clam. Exhale.

And it's okay if, in lifting your legs, your weight shifts back a little bit. That's fine. (Amy exhales sharply) What I want us to think about is, (Amy exhales deeply) remember, the weights are way out there, if you're using 'em. Work more proximal. I actually have my knees squeezed together, and I'm leaning my weight back on that hip a little bit trying to pull my knees higher off the floor.

Okay, I just lost count. I think that was eight. Let's go for maybe four more. Why not? (Amy exhales deeply) three, and two. (Amy strains)

This is harder with the weights on the feet for sure. And, there we go. Okay, everybody, extend your legs. I want you parallel for just a second. Lateral raise of your leg, and two, and three.

Let's just do eight basic movements of the legs. Lateral lift, as if the weight were here, on the top of your thigh. You're lifting from the top of your leg, down. And seven, (Amy exhales deeply) and eight. Now, I want you to come back to your clam position and clam eight times.

(Amy exhales deeply) Two. As if I'm trying to press the back of this knee to the wall that's behind me. And five, and press, and seven, keep it up there with this one, eight. Keep it there, keep it there. Lift your thigh higher, okay, so my knee is higher than my foot, but now I wanna internally rotate the thigh and knee and then externally rotate, and internally rotate.

Now, if anyone out there's doing this and has had a hip replacement, try to keep this thigh higher in the air doing that. I don't want this knee so low to the other one. Not a good idea. Three more here, guys, in and out, internal and external rotation at the hip. Turn in and out, and then lower the leg.

Keep it in clam for clam lifts, and two. Eight times, three, un-hiking that hip, four, chest is beautifully open, five. Maybe this top elbow is higher in the air, and seven, last one here, and eight. Okay, taking the leg straight again on the diagonal, I want us to do a little inner thigh work. I need to move my top hand like this.

I just feel I need more steadiness. Turn both legs out. Bend the top knee, and can you set the arch of this foot either on your calf, or somewhere higher, lightly. You're not pushing this foot down on your knee. You're just like a leaf that just fell to the ground.

It's the bottom inner thigh, one. (Amy exhales deeply) Two. I really think I could get my foot all the way up here, lifting from the high part of my leg. Five, (Amy exhales deeply) six, keeping that stomach back, seven, and let's hold it up there for eight little pulses. One and two, three and four, and five and six, you got it, and seven and eight, hot potatoes next.

Take the top leg, externally rotate. We're not gonna go high right now, heel down on the floor in front of that bottom leg. Lift, toe down behind you. Just singles now, up and down. If you wanna go bigger, please go for it.

This is your workout, but I do want you to think heel down in front, toes down in back. Heel down. The up-and-down kick is pretty nice. Loosen your hip. Think of "loose" to do that, loose.

And loose. (Amy laughs) Four more. Up, ankle weights are testing my control. That's nice. And the last one, and then rest.

Let's do a book opener. Lie on your side, just in a beautiful hand-on-hand. Open that chest. Knees are in that table toppy, clam position. Take about two breath cycles, guys.

(Amy exhales deeply) But hopefully, you're feeling the work in your lateral body, your obliques, and your hips, and of course, let's swing ourself up to do our other side. Come on down, and we begin, really, with that clam setup for obliques. So you're there, your hand on your hip to help you un-hike that hip. I don't want you to crunch your waistline too kinda short and squatty. We wanna get long.

Now let's see if hand can come to the floor, and we're doing knee lifts, clam knee-lifts. Ah, exhaling. (Amy breathes deeply) Remember, the weights are way at your ankles. That's distal, far away. You wanna connect in proximal first.

(Amy exhales deeply) Sometimes I've cued, "take the ball in." That would mean pull in here, right, pull in. Now, we're gonna start rocking back on the hip a little bit more. (Amy exhales sharply) Can you get your knees higher? And that was eight, and I know we did 12, because I remember. Four more, (Amy exhales sharply) three, (Amy strains) and two and one, excellent, last one.

Now, from there, extend your legs long, and just eight parallel leg lifts up and down, with beautiful, long legs from those hips. Four, (Amy exhales deeply) elbow nice and high, (Amy exhales deeply) six, get it high enough that you feel the contraction in your standing hip. There's your eight. Now come back to your clam position. Put the fingertips down.

Let's do our clams, which feel pretty easy, but always good to maintain mobility, if nothing else. (Amy exhales sharply) Four more, five, check our rib cages every now and again. quiet those down, dial down their effort, right, and then hold it here, lift your thigh higher. Internal and external rotation of your femur. Internal, external. (Amy exhales deeply)

Now check your chest. Reopen. (Amy exhales sharply) Good, ooh, yes, and five, really feeling that today, three, four, I can't count, two, last time. I promise that was eight. I'm pretty sure it was, and down.

Now, keep the leg in clam, lateral lift. And hand behind head again, and up. (Amy exhales sharply) Four more, here we go. Five, and six. Doesn't it feel good to move, you guys?

Seven, and eight. Okay, extending the legs long again, beautifully long from you, turn the top leg out. Bend the top leg, and then again, you're standing very lightly with this foot on somewhere on the leg. Can be down there, somewhere higher, and then it's the bottom inner thigh. Up, contracting to really hold up, move the legs.

Try not to take it so high that you feel too crunchy in your waistline, if you could really keep it in the bottom leg. (Amy exhales sharply) Yeah, and five, and six, good, seven, hold it up there, little pulses. We did eight of them. One, two, think of beautiful, strong muscles in your legs. Mmhmm, six, seven, and eight, and then lower down.

We have the hot potato. Lift your leg, turned out. Heel comes in front. Just practice 'em slow and small first. Lift your leg, turn in, and lower your leg behind you.

So we have external rotation when the leg is in front, internal as it's behind us. Now, if you want the bigger range, go for it. Up, and tap the floor quickly. (Amy exhales sharply) Remember, yeah, keep it in your leg, not so crunchy that your low back might feel crunchy, or if it does, I don't know, energy through your head, (Amy laughs) all the places that it could show up. Make it smaller if you need to to really feel it in the hips.

Four, three, how we doin'? Guys, it's kinda nice. I feel like we need a book opener stretch, and I can talk to you here. Bending your knees, hand on hand, and open your chest. Even though I don't know who is here today, I know you're here today, if that makes sense, and I take this moment to say thank you again for coming and moving with me, letting me guide you, taking time for yourself today, (Amy exhales sharply) to move, and get into your body, to give it strength, give it breath, give it motion and fluidity and all the delicious things that we know this work is.

Thank you, okay. And I'll say thanks again at the end, but I had to take the time there. Okay, we're coming up onto hands and knees, everybody. You don't need your weights for these. Well, I guess I could say it this way: if you want the weights, I won't use my weight there, because I have weight on my ankle.

If you don't have ankle weights and wanna use your extra weight, you could put it behind your knee. Some of you have seen those kind of drills before, and that's fine. But the first thing we're going to do is just mobilize this hip a little bit more. And I just call it like, a donkey kick mobility. So from the side view, on a quadruped, you can have your hands open.

You could do this on fists, which is what I'm gonna show here. And I want you to get in a neutral spine to begin with, good shoulder position. I'm gonna back up like that. And then bring one knee towards your chest. Now, it's a thigh circle.

So I want you to move your thigh behind you, bring it out to the side, and make a big circle. It's harder to do slow, so I'm just gonna have you go kinda fast with it. (Amy exhales sharply) Now, mobilizing the hip, but try to keep even weight on your hands. They're not meant to look pretty. They're meant to work your hip, okay?

Other way for eight times. Don't worry about the contractions. Work on the motion of the hip joint, okay? Big, big movement, four more times, big. Up, and up, and up, because I want us all to come onto our elbows.

Bring that knee up into the air, flex your foot, and contract your glutes, eight, seven, six, five, think glute before hamstring, six, seven, and eight. Extend your leg behind you. Take your toes down to the floor. I'm coming back up on my fists. It feels better.

Straight leg lift, just little. One, from the glute, guys, two, right where the leg meets the butt. You wanna try to get your leg as high as your back. (Amy exhales sharply) But if your low back is screaming or feeling icky, you keep it low. I'm showing the low one, seven, and eight.

Hold your leg up. Now, take the leg and reach it behind the other leg. Touch your toe on the floor. Think a little mini rainbow, pot of gold. Go up, and those toe comes out to the side.

Just that, up and arc behind, and up and arc to you, out to the front. Exhale, and, (Amy exhales sharply) and up, can't forget your upper body stuff. Chest open, arms are strong, and seven, and eight. That's plenty. Bring it in, just shift back.

Hopefully you felt that. I heard a few moans and groans from the audience. (Amy laughs) I'm turning around just so you see my leg, the one that's closest to you in case you're wondering what it should be doing. Okay, so it's the hip mobility first. Get a good quadruped setup, neutral, knee to chest.

Knee goes behind, and then start to do circle, and circle, as big as you can. Try to keep that spine in extension, please. (Amy exhales deeply) And as relatively equal weight on your hands as you can, relative. Seven and eight, other way. (Amy exhales deeply) Remember, I just want you to drill the circle.

Don't worry about the pretty form of it right now. A thigh circle. It's the joint motion. Six, seven, and eight. Okay, donkey kicks, or thigh lift.

I'm coming down on elbows. I wanna bend the knee, and I'm bending my heel, no I'm not, pulling my heel toward my butt, and then contracting my rear-end. Two, it's easy for me to want to kick my foot, so I'm trying to keep my foot relaxed and just lift thigh, and thigh, and seven and eight, okay. Now, come up back up on your hands. Shake your leg behind you, hip extension, and just lift, lower, straight leg lift.

I want you to keep your knees straight. Think of raising your leg from right at your underwear line. Five or butt cheek, six, I just said that out loud. (Amy laughs) And seven. Keep it up there.

We have the rainbow circles. Cross it behind the other leg, tap it on the floor. Visualize a rainbow and draw that with your leg. (Amy exhales sharply) Here's five, and six, and seven, and eight. Wonderfully done, you guys.

Hopefully you're feeling that really nice in your tushy. We're almost there. Hope you guys are sweating like I am. If you're not, come out to Santa Barbara and visit. (Amy laughs) It's warm.

Okay, time for the hand weights again, okay? We're coming face-down, and I want to start everybody with your forehead just very light on the floor, arms long by your sides, palms facing the ceiling. Take a moment to just collect everything, meaning stomach, and anchor the pubic bone and hipbones. Collarbone, you know where to go. And then let's take our arms up, chest expansion, arms.

I just want you to go arms up, arms to the floor. Let's take it eight times. (Amy exhales sharply) You don't have to lift high with your chest off the floor. This is really meant to be the forehead barely, barely hovered, if anything. I want your chest nice and long here, seven.

Keep your arms up there. Now turn your palms face-down. Open your arms out to a T. Think a big owl, soaring through the air, right? There's that, or bald eagle, or a big bird, and then arms back in towards you, palms face up.

Here we go, inhale, exhale to T. (Amy inhales sharply) (Amy exhales sharply) Inhale, exhale to the flight, start position. Again, rotate the palms face-down. Arms expand out to a T. Close the arms into the body and down, four more times.

(Amy exhales sharply) We can't do any kind of Pilates or sculpting session without a lot of focus on our back. You know how much I love back work, really important. (Amy exhales sharply) You're gonna hate me and love me. One more, hold it out. Can you lift your arms an inch from your shoulder blades, from your shoulder blades, and three, and four.

Just four more, we got it, guys. Five, (Amy exhales sharply) six, and seven and eight, oh, get it in there, eight, and then come in, lower your forehead, lift your forehead, raise your arms, and I want you to do just a really interesting, reach one hand down toward the knee, the other hand to the knee. It's little lumbar flexion, side-bending. (Amy exhales sharply) Four, and three, and two, and one. Okay, whoa, uncle.

Come on up. Come back into a little rest position. Maybe it's your cat. Wipe off your sweat maybe, yep. Take that cat position.

Okay, guys, what I want to do now is have us come into a squatting position. Yeah, kind of like, excuse me, that. If you can't do this, don't worry. You get as low as you can. Even if you're here, this is perfect.

Those of us that have the range in our hips, in our knees and our ankles, it's a lot about the ankles to be able to get ourself down this low. I'd like you to get down there. If you are not here yet, notice I said "yet," you can do this. Get as low as you can. I want to make sure your heels stay on the floor, heels on the floor, okay?

So if this is you, keep your hands here, please. If you wanna go wider, you can. If you're down with me, go down there. What I had planned is eight, it's kinda powerful with the legs, standing up, coming back down. Here we go, one, and down.

(Amy exhales sharply) Use the big muscles in your body. Push your feet down. Use your quads, your hips, and your butt muscles, four. And four more. (Amy exhales sharply) Three.

(Amy exhales sharply) Two. We're gonna stay up, one. Okay, step your feet apart. Well done, team, and class, and people around the world. Again, I'm just gonna have you stay right here, whoops, sorry, (Amy laughs) and squat into this position.

I want your shoulder blades no longer to be pulled down. Let those scapulae just glide up. Shift your weight a little bit. What I'd love to do, now that we're really nice and warm, is just very slowly take one shoulder forward. Rotate your thoracic spine.

Try to keep your chest open and proud. If it works for you to take your eyes and look behind you to challenge your balance a little bit, you can do that. Try to keep equal weight on the feet, (Amy exhales sharply) and then come through center, nice and slowly. We'll do each side twice. So you're rotating.

I want you to keep that sternum upright, though, no flection in your chest or spine. (Amy exhales deeply) And one more, just slowing it down, slowing it down. Oh, turn that spine. Come through center, (Amy inhales deeply) and one more to the other side. Everybody (Amy exhales deeply) look around your space.

Say thank you to yourself. Say thank you to your, if it was family members that gave you the time, whatever it is. Thank you to yourself, thank you to me. You're welcome, and I thank you. I want you to bring your feet together.

Let's do one nice, big arm reach. Everybody lift tall. (Amy inhales deeply) Lower your arms. We're gonna do that two more times. Take in what you want in.

Maybe it's positivity. Maybe it's less stress. We'll all get through this. We're all getting through it, day by day, motion by motion, class by class. And boom, you did it.

You guys, thank you so much. I'll see you next week, and remember, it's a time change next week. So we're moving it to 8:30 a.m., Pacific Daylight Time. 8:30 a.m., that gives us more daylight time for you all to enjoy your own lives in a different way. It gets me up earlier, and gets me moving earlier, and we also have more things in store for our lives.

So, stay tuned, and thank you, and I will sign off, and I will see you next week. Bye-bye!

Pilates with Amy Havens: Move with Amy


2 people like this.
Fabulous class Amy!!! Thank you
1 person likes this.
This was a great class at 3AM too. I used 3 lb weights because I don't own 1 pounders or ankle weights.  Hopefully, I can get ankle weights soon as Amy made a great case for using them. This was a good solid class.  I feel real good. Thanks Amy!
An awesome class just like usual!  Love your creative routines and the movement you add to your classes!  A big hug from Switzerland!  Maybe someday you can come and teach at our studio :)
1 person likes this.
Thank you Amy xx
1 person likes this.
I had to miss it yesterday, so glad I can take the class today!
Carol W
1 person likes this.
This was a great class, Amy. Thank you. I used 3lb. weights and that was fine. No ankle weights and that was fine too.
1 person likes this.
Loved this! Xxoo
1 person likes this.
i'm so glad this was recorded so i could do it at lunchtime! fantastic class - i appreciate the different ways my body was challenged to balance
Christine T
1 person likes this.
Hi Amy, loved this class. I had 30 year old ankle weights that I've hardly ever used. Also my hand weights are 1kg which is about 2lbs, so I didn't lift my arms as high. Also I could do the squat at the end right down with feet flat, but I just stayed there with a smile on my face as I couldn't go up and down. I feel fantastic after this class. Many thanks!
Dianna V
1 person likes this.
love this needed this combo of resistance type of exercises
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