Class #4217

Pilates on a Chair

55 min - Class
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Feel the burn in your entire body with this Pilates-fusion workout from Mariska Breland's Pilates-ish. You will experience familiar Mat and Reformer exercises in a new way by doing them with the chair. Mariska uses an ottoman, so just In case what you are using doesn't work well with some of the exercises, you can easily do them without it and still get a great workout.
What You'll Need: Mat, Table Chair

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Good morning, or afternoon, or evening, or whatever time it is when you're watching this video. Today, we are gonna do Pilates-ish workouts, on a chair. I actually have an Ottoman. It's questionable in several ways. First, it was light, so it was like tipping over when I was doing a couple of things, so just know there's 105 pounds of dumbbells, in the Ottoman, at this point, so that it does not tip over.

If you are doing any of these exercises, and they feel like they're starting to get a little tippy, if that's a word, make sure your chair is against a wall or something, so you're not gonna like push the chair over. Also, the top of this is extremely squishy. So some things I will do with my body in a different position, and I'll tell you I'm doing that because of how squishy the chair is. So also, if you have a back to your chair, or sides to your chair or something, and there's exercises that don't work, all of the exercises also work just as floor exercises, so you could always try it that way. So we're gonna start off with a little shoulder stretch.

So I want you to move back so that you can rest your arms on the chair. And you're gonna drop your chest through your arms. And then I want you to keep your chest dropped. So we're gonna try to make this more of a thoracic stretch, by tilting your pelvis under. And then when you do that, you should feel a stretch move higher up into your lats, and then you can extend your spine, kind of butt, back.

Tilting your pelvis under, and then extending your spine. And again, tilting under, and extending your spine. We're gonna tilt under a little bit. This is hard, so you might need to walk your knees forward a little bit. It's just one of those things that doesn't look like it's hard, but it is.

You're gonna press down with one arm and lift the other arm to hover and just hold it there. And then that arm lowers down and you lift your opposite arm to hover and lower down. We're gonna do this a couple more times. So I'm doing left arm, and down right arm, and down left arm, and down, and right arm, and down. From there, you should be able to drop your chest more, so you should really feel like a nice stretch, through your shoulders, and then you can take your shoulder blades and kind of squeeze them together, push them apart, squeeze them together, push them apart.

We'll do three more, two and three. And then go ahead and tilt your pelvis. You can go ahead and make your way up. We're gonna come to a supine position with your feet on the chair. A lot of this is actually gonna be like if I was teaching an actual Pilates chair class, because I really love Pilates chair, and this is the closest we can get without having one.

So 90-ish degrees bend in your knees, you're gonna start by pressing into your feet till your low back makes contact, peel your back away to come to a straight line. And then, from your throat to your tailbone, you lower back down, sort of have to extend your spine at the bottom, again, pressing into your feet, peel to lift up, and then slowly lower your spine back down, bone by bone. Let's do, we're gonna go four more. Lower back down. We have three after this, pressing into your feet, peeling to lift up, and slowly lay your spine down.

We've got two more. Press down, peel to lift, and slowly lengthen, all the way back to your starting point. Last one like this, pressing down, lifting up and then slowly roll down, bone by bone. Tailbone is heavy. Hands can come behind your head.

We're gonna float your head and chest up. At the same time, bring your right knee in towards your chest, lower back down. Left knee in towards your chest and lower down. Right knee in and down. Left knee in and down.

We're gonna add a rotation, so straight up, first, twist, second, back to center. Everything lowers back down. Head and chest lift, left knee in. Twist left, maybe lift up a little bit higher, back to center, lower back down. Lift up your right leg up, twist to the right, back to the center, lower back down.

Lift up, twist left, center. and lower down. We'll do two more, each side, twist, center, and down. Lift up, twist, center, and down. Lift up, twist, center and down.

Last one, lift up, twist, center, and lower down. Now we're gonna scoot back some so that you can rest your heels on the chair. Arms go up towards the ceiling. Float your head and chest up. Begin to pump your arms for the Hundred.

So right now, your feet are resting on the chair, just such a nice place for your feet to be during the Hundred. Let's take your right leg up. And then lower your right leg. Left leg lifts and lower your left leg. Both legs lift.

Don't like this much now. Lower your legs. Both legs lift. And lower your legs. Couple more times, lift up and down, and lift up and down.

Go ahead and lower head and chest down. Now if you have any kind of knee issue, you might want to keep a slight bend in your knees. We're gonna use a straight leg bridge up, so we're gonna bridge up, look at your bare feet, and lower yourself back down. You might not be able to really articulate here, because your legs are kind of being pulled a little too far away but still try to get as much articulation as possible. Lift up.

And lower back down. Next time you lift up, you're gonna hold it up. Take your right leg, lift it up and down, stay on the right, three more times, two, and last one, press into your right, left leg lifts and down, lift and down. We're gonna do four total, three and four. Lift your hips up a little bit higher.

Lay your spine down, bone by bone, press into your feet, lift your hips up. You're take your right leg up. It's gonna touch to the outside of the chair, lift it back up, lower down, switch the left, left leg up, touches left, lifts back up, lower down. Right leg, down, up, and if this bothers your hamstrings, you can do this with your hips down, same exercise. Right leg up, down, up, and lower, left leg up, down, up, lower, one more right side, right leg.

And I am trying to keep my pelvis level here, didn't mention that till the very end, but I was trying to do that, and lower back down. We're just gonna do two more lifts up. Lift up and lower back down, and lift up and lower back down. You're gonna take your feet, one to each side of the chair, reach your arms up towards the ceiling. You can have a little squeeze on the chair, as you roll yourself up to a seated position.

Hands can kind of reach to where they're touching the chair, a little bit of roundness to your spine and then you're gonna round back, bone by bone, reach your arms up towards the ceiling. Head and chest lift, roll yourself up, touch the top of the chair, slowly roll down, keep the squeeze, reach your arms up three more times. Chin towards your chest, we're gonna roll up, tap the chair, and roll back down. Hands stop right at the ceiling. Arms lead, head follows.

Lift yourself up and lower back down. I can never count when I'm actually doing the exercises, which is weird, 'cause you would think I would want to be on it, so I don't do any extras. So we might be doing one extra. I'm not quite sure. And the last one, lift, and then roll yourself all the way up.

Let's go ahead and we're gonna take your, actually, let's take your hands down to the floor. Let's do this one last thing before we come up. You're gonna have your legs, you want to be a little bit further away. Now you can drop to your forearms, which would be a little bit easier. I'm gonna try to have my arms back, but by back, I mean roll my shoulders back.

I'm gonna take my right leg over, cross it over my left foot, and lift it back up. Left leg over, and lift it back up, right leg over and up. left leg over. This is really where I feel muscle imbalances for me, So right is pretty easy, and left is pretty hard. Left over and back, right leg over and back, left leg over and back, one more each side, and left, and back.

Now let's go ahead and come to a seated position. So we're gonna be on the chair, and we're gonna do some squats, and this is like a really high chair to be doing squats to, so it's more just to kind of get form and to get our legs warmed up. So when you come into a squat, should be a butt back hinge, so we're gonna lean back. I just use my arms as counterbalance, touch your butt, lift back up, lean back, arms go forward, and lift back up. And you're not relaxing into the seat.

You're kind of just touching it. So you know you've gone the same distance, the entire time, going down, lift back up. If you want us to turn this into Pistol Squats, God bless you, go for it. We're gonna do a couple where we're gonna focus on more single leg, but we're not gonna do a true Pistol Squat, which would be like your leg hanging out in front of you, like in the air, which we're not. Lower down and lift back up.

So my right leg, vastly stronger than my left leg, left leg is my MS-affected leg, so it's gonna need a little bit more help, but I'm gonna bring my left leg forward. Again, this is gonna be harder for the right leg. I'm gonna lower down and lift back up, and my goal is I'm just pushing through my right leg, and we'll do, I don't know, three. Lift up, lower down, and lift up. We'll switch legs, so now bad leg back.

And part of the reason my left leg is my bad leg is it's really hard for me to keep my heel down, in certain positions, so I might need to pull my right leg in, to help me up. So I'll think negative down, right leg assists a little bit on the up. And last one, negative down, right leg assists on the way up. Go ahead and bring your hands behind you. So my chair Ottoman is very narrow, so I'm gonna bring my hands maybe to the outside, and I'm gonna set my legs forward, take my shoulders, bring them back, lift my hips.

I'm gonna bend my elbows and push, bend and push, bend and push, maybe three more like this, one and two, and three. Now take your right leg back, bend, push, right leg extends. Left leg back, left leg extends. Right leg back, right leg extends. Left leg back, left extends.

One more each side, last one, this side, and then we go ahead, have a seat for a second. Shake out your arms. And then from there, you're just gonna slide down. Now where you want to end up, it's sort of at the base of your shoulder blades, on the edge of the chair. I don't know how high your chair is, and if you need to get some padding, that's totally fine.

Like I said, this is extremely squishy. So for me, this kinda feels good, bring my hands behind my head, lower my hips, lift my hips, and my torso kind of comes to almost flat, and my head tips back, because it's just moving with the rest of my torso. Go down and up. We'll do 10 like this, three, four, five, six, seven, and goal here is glutes and hamstrings, eight, nine, and 10. So I'm gonna start with my good leg, with right leg.

I'm gonna pull my other leg and just kind of hold on to it, and go down and up, five times, two, three, four, and five. Left leg lowers down, got the Koi pants on, for good luck. Lift up one, two, three four, and five. Both legs down, hands back behind your head. Go ahead and lift up, just drop your hips.

So you're gonna have little bit of a stretch, through your kind of mid back, and then we're gonna have a seat where your back is all the way flat, up against your chair. Now I understand lots of chairs don't have a flat part here. So you just want the base of your shoulder blades to be up against there. And I start with bent knees, bring my arms out to sort of goalpost arms, and I want to sit back enough that I can actually press my low back towards the chair, but again if you don't have that kind of chair, you just kind of are in a tiny little bit of a flattened low back. Arms are up.

We're gonna start by lifting both arms up, like you're pushing something overhead, and then bend lower, cross up, bend lower, push lift, bend lower, push lift, bend lower. We'll do five more, one, two, three, four, and five. Arms stay in sort of your goalpost position. You're gonna squeeze back and release, squeeze back and release. So we did this in one of my other recent classes.

It feels better with a chair behind you, 'cause you get some feedback kind of as to where you are in space. Push back and release. So I could feel more of my shoulder blade area touching the chair, when I reach back and release. We'll do four more, one, two, three and four. Let's go ahead and extend your legs straight from where you are and then have your feet flexed.

So we have your back up against something. Your arms reach forward. Inhale here. Exhale, you're gonna begin to reach away from the chair, but make sure your low back stays in contact and that your shoulders don't really reach too far forward and then stack your spine all the way back up. Again, exhale.

(breath hissing) Inhale stacks you back up. Again, exhale. (breath hisses) Inhale stacks you back up. We'll do four more, one. (breath hisses) And up, two.

(breath hisses) And up, three. (breath hisses) And up, and four. (breath hisses) Come all the way up, you're sitting up tall. We're just gonna open one arm, rotate. You might feel your shoulder touch that side of the chair more, totally what you want.

Back to center, rotate, a fly just landed on me. (breath hisses) And back (laughs) to the center. Rotate, there's way too much in nature happening in this house, these days. We have a deer that likes to hang out in our front yard, which is weird, 'cause we live in like the city, back to center, rotate, and back to center, rotate and back to center. We'll do a couple more.

Rotate and center, and rotate and center. You can take a forward fold, from there, just kind of as a break. We're gonna come around to a quadruped position. So your quadrupedding close to the chair. You can walk your feet back.

I can't walk my feet back so far, because I have run out of mat. So I'm gonna walk my feet back to the point where I still have mat, so I can tuck my toes under and hover my knees. So from this position, we're gonna walk one hand up to the chair, other hand up to the chair. So I started with left, left hand down, right hand down, so right hand up, left hand up, right hand down, left hand down, left hand up, right hand up, left hand down, right hand down, right up, left up, right down, left down, left up, right up, left down, right down, one more, right, and left, and right, and left. Drop down to your knees, scoot yourself back some, bring your hands on the chair.

So you want your body to be able to push back away from the chair. Bend your elbows, I can go all the way until I touch because I have something to aim for, and push back, bend in, and push back. We'll do eight, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. Go ahead and step your right foot forward. You're coming with your one foot down on the floor and your other foot is back.

So because of just arm length and whatever, my hands are kind of to the back of my Ottoman, again, extremely squishy. So my left leg is back. My right leg starts in a lunge. I'm gonna extend my right leg and lift my left leg, at the same time. So you lift up, one, lower back down, lift up, two, and down, three, four, five, six, seven.

We're gonna hold it up on the eight. From there, make sure your hips are square. You're gonna lift your leg up, eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, circle it, eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, switch for eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. We're gonna come back into the lunge. So on this next one, when we come up, same thing where you lift your back leg, except you're gonna then bend it behind your front leg.

So it's up, bend, cross your legs, up, bend, cross your legs, up. We're doing eight. Here's three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. Go ahead and you can step back and have your left leg back and your right leg, so your left leg's in a lunge. your right leg is the leg that's back.

You're gonna stand up and lower back down, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. We're gonna stay there, lift your leg up. Eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, circle it, eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, switch for eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. Now you're gonna lower back into a lunge. When you stand up, you'll take your back leg.

You're gonna cross it over and lift, cross it over and lift, cross and lift. So my left leg is doing a thing that's very common with people with neurological stuff, where it's not smoothly extended. It kind of wants to lock straight, so I have to kind of concentrate more. So if you're noticing that, I also notice that. And then you can go ahead, kind of step yourself back.

From here, we're gonna stand up. So you want to be maybe a foot-ish away from the Ottoman or chair. You're gonna reach your arms out to the side, and then forward, drop your chin toward your throat, and you're gonna let your hands slide down the outside of the chair, try to keep your butt where it is in space, and then you can lift up, again, letting your hands just slide. Chin towards your throat, try not to let your butt stick back as you fold forward, round and lift back up. Again, chin towards your throat, fold forward, slowly roll your spine up.

Arms reach forward. Do a couple more like this, chin towards your throat, Round forward, lift yourself back up. Let your arms reach forward. Last one, chin towards your throat, you round forward. Let's go ahead and stay there, just kind of seeing if you can find more length through, from your tailbone up towards your cervical spine, and then really think about pushing your hips forward, as you slowly roll yourself all the way back up to standing.

From here, let's go ahead, and you're gonna take your legs back so that we're in sort of an incline pushup position. So again, very, very squishy top of the chair for me. So my hands are to the outside. I'm gonna bend my elbows and push. We're going for eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and last one, eight.

From there, you can go ahead, shift your weight back so that your hands are flat, and you're almost in sort of your Down Dog Position. So you want your hips to be over your heels, kinda shift forward, come on to your toes, drop your hips towards the chair, roll your shoulders back. Again, pushing down, let your hips lift, drop your chest between your arms. Pull your abs in as you're coming forward, lift your head up, shoulders back, coming in sort of your Up Dog. Again, press back.

You're in your Down Dog. Abs, really pull in, tuck your pelvis, come forward into your Upward-Facing Dog and then press back. We'll do two more, round forward lifting your chest, extend back, and last one, round forward, try to take your shoulders back. My chair's a little too narrow for me. And then go ahead and just press yourself back into your Down Dog position.

So from here, let's go ahead and we're gonna do some abs, on the chair. Are abs on the chair a good idea when it's really squishy? No, but I wanted to do abs on the chair, so we will do abs on the chair. So you kind of have to find a position where you're not gonna fall off the chair, key, and we're gonna do single leg stretch, double leg stretch, again, try not fall off the chair, and maybe some others. So we're gonna come into a position where you feel like you're not gonna fall off the chair.

So single leg stretch, left hand, right knee, right hand, right ankle, pull and then switch. I'm going a little slow, because I don't want to fall off the chair. Pull and switch, pull and switch, pull and switch, let's do two more. Pull and switch, and two really means four. Pull and switch, both hands on your legs.

I'm not gonna hold on to my ankles, 'cause I think I'm gonna fall off. Inhale, away. Exhale, pull, to come in. Inhale, away. Exhale pull, to come in.

Inhale. Exhale, pull, two more. Inhale. Exhale, pull. Inhale.

Exhale, pull. I'm gonna take a little break, again, because I don't want to fall off the chair, and you might have to adjust between some of these different exercises. We're gonna come back, and I want to do sort of a single straight leg stretch. So finding a position where, again, you don't feel like you're gonna fall, pull you're right leg in. Switch your legs, pull your left leg in.

Switch your legs, pull your right leg in. Switch, left leg is in. Switch, right leg is in. Switch, left leg is in, and no, my left leg does not want to go straight, and we're just gonna accept that's where it is today, and left leg comes. Go ahead and make your way back up.

Now a squishy seat for this exercise, totally bonus, because we're gonna do horseback. If your chair is not squishy, I would not recommend you do this, because everyone knows it's an inner thigh exercise but also can be sort of an inner thigh bruiser, which we don't necessarily always want to have. So let your legs extend. So the goal for me is that my legs are going to be inner thigh in line with the edge, on both sides. I'm gonna start with my legs, feet flexed.

Left foot doesn't really flex, but feet flexed-ish. And then think about rounding forward. You might not actually get airborne, especially if your chair's really squishy, and then flex as you sit back. Again, push, lift, and you're really thinking about your abs drawing back and your arms reaching away from where your abs are going, and lower back down. Push, lift.

And again, not really lifting, very, very squishy here and lower back down. Push, lift, and hold. Take your arms, we're gonna do big circles. We'll do four, three, and four, lower it back down. Push, lift, we'll do four the other direction.

One, two, three, and four. And then you can go ahead and lower it all the way back. We're gonna do one more variation. Again, my chair is too squishy. I will not get up from here, but if your chair is less squishy, it might work.

So you're gonna reach forward, same thing. You're gonna push down with your arms. When you're pushing down with your arms, you're still thinking about really pulling your abs in, almost like you're trying to get airborne here, and then lower back down. Round forward, press with your arms, see if you can get your shoulders back, abs pull in, and lower back down. One more time, reach forward, hands down, abs in, shoulders back, pull, pull, and then lower all the way back down from there.

So we're gonna some quadruped on the chair. Because I have a chair that doesn't have a back. I can move around on it. So if you need or want to move your chair, you can do that. Again, you wanna make sure it's not gonna tip over.

So I'm gonna come, obviously, I won't be in like a perfect quadruped, because very small surface to be on. So I'm gonna start in my, again, tiny little quadruped. Try to make sure my shoulders stay on my back. And I'm gonna start by taking my right leg straight back behind me. I'm gonna lower it down to the floor and lift.

Then I'm gonna lower it down to the right, and lift, straight down and up, down and out, and up, straight down and up, down and out, and up. Let's do four more like this, out to this side, two, out to the side, three, and four. Then we're gonna come up so your leg is, ideally, straight, similar to what we did before. We're gonna do little lifts. We'll do eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, circle your leg, eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, switch it, eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight.

Let your leg lower down. I'm gonna turn just so you can see me. And if you know anything about me as a human, you know I hate everything in the world of kneeling sidekick variations, but here's one. So you're gonna have your hands down. You might need to move your leg a little bit more to the center, just to kind of counterbalance the fact that this is really uneven.

You're gonna lift your right leg up and down, up, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. I'm gonna take my right leg out to the side, and I'm gonna come up, so I'm standing on my left knee. My right foot is turned out. I can bring my hands on my hips, or I can bring my arms out to the side. You're gonna bend your right knee.

It's a stretch in your left adductor, and come back up. We're doing eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and in the eighth one, you can just kind of hang in there, and then come up. You can bring your right arm by your right side, left arm reaches up and over, just kinda find a stretch there, through your left side body. and then we're going to repeat all of that on the second side. So we're gonna start by turning to face towards the chair.

Right knee is on. You're gonna start by lifting your left leg up, out to the left, up and down, up, to the left up, and down, up, out to the side, up and down. And part of what I'm doing here is I'm just trying to balance in this very precariously small position, going down, lift it up, out to the side, and let's do about three more, two, and three, now your leg is straight back behind you. Readjust your shoulders if you need to. You're gonna lift it up for eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, circle it, eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, switch for eight, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight.

We're gonna turn so just so I stay on camera, I'm gonna turn, and you're gonna have to look at my backside, but hands are on the front of the chair. We've got our eight kind of in the world of sidekicks. We're gonna lift up one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. And I'm gonna take my left leg kind of out to the left, kind of standing up, bend and extend eight times, two, three, four, five, six, seven, hang out on the eight, then lift up. We can side reach over and then make your way back up.

So we're gonna turn to face the chair. If you have a chair with a back, I'm not exactly sure what position to tell you to come into. What I want is for you to be able to kind of hug over the chair, with your pelvis kind of at the base of the chair. We're gonna start with your legs in a diamond position. We'll lift both legs up and down, up two, and down, up three, four, five, six, seven, and eight.

Leave your left leg down and hovering, right leg only, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. You switch with left one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. You can let your legs come down to the floor. Again, this totally a depends-on-your-chair kind of situation. We're gonna lift your right arm forward, left leg back, and come back in, left and right, and back in, right and left, and in, left and right, and in, right and left, and in, left and right, and in, one more each side, right and left, and left and right.

We're gonna come back to the position where you feel like you can kind of balance, figure out where that position is for me, and we're gonna start by reaching your arms forward, legs back, go for a swim, inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale. Three more breaths, in and out, in and out, and in and out. Lower your hands down, you'll probably need to scoot more forward. You're gonna have your hands on the floor. So you kind of want your pelvis to be on the edge of the chair.

You're gonna bend your elbows, lift your legs, press your arms straight. Bend, lift, and push, let's do eight. Eight is the theme of the day, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. Go ahead and just slide yourself back. And then you can take kind of a Child Pose, here.

So you can just rest down, drop your head. (breath hisses) Take some breaths. And we're gonna come to turning around, and we're gonna end up with your feet on top of the chair. Because this is so squishy, and because I can't hold my left foot in dorsiflexion, these days, I'm gonna have the tops of my feet down, but probably you will want to have your feet flexed and your toes kind of helping you by pushing down. So one foot up, other foot up first, I'm finding my position.

I'm gonna take my right leg. I'm gonna go to the side and to the other side, eight total. two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. Drop to your knee, drop to your back knee, and we're kind of lift up, find a little bit of a quad stretch. This is not really the quad stretch that is the quad stretch ultimately we're gonna do.

This is just the quad stretch, for the moment. Also, it's a break. So a couple of deep breaths here, and then we're gonna come from where you are to your forearms, press into your one leg, lift up. We're gonna push back, bend your knees, push forward, push back, and forward, back and forward, two more times. The last time, you can drop down to your one knee.

This is not as graceful as I had anticipated, but also losing my earbuds. It is what it is. Okay, so you're on your right forearm. Your left foot presses. Your right foot reaches up to the chair.

Your arm lifts up, hold, and then you're gonna dip your hips a little bit, and lift eight times, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. And then you can go ahead and come back, and I want you to come on to your stomach and hug the chair with your feet. Bring your arms by your side. We're gonna lift up and lower back down, lift up and down, lift and down, two more, lift up and down, last one, lift up and down. Hands down, take a quick Child's Pose, just because we have to repeat all that on the second side.

And when I said eight, I don't think I meant eight. I think I meant four, but if you did it on one side, you have to do it on the other side. Them's the rules. So right foot on, push down, come into your plank, left foot on. We're gonna go across and out, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight.

Drop to your knee, drop to your other knee. Enjoy the not being in a plank with your feet on a chair. A couple of inhales and also exhale, 'cause that's how it works. Inhale and exhale, and inhale and exhale. We're gonna come back to your plank, so your right foot's on the chair, left foot comes on the chair.

You're gonna push back, bend your knees, push forward, back and forward, back and forward. We'll do four more, one, two, three, and four. You can drop down to your knees, just so we can get ourselves adjusted, for a side plank on the other side, or side forearm plank. So you're gonna be forearm, top foot, and then push to get your bottom foot also on the chair, lift your arm. We're gonna do eight hip dips, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight.

Turn yourself around, bring your feet to the outside of the chair, hug the chair with your feet, inhale as you lift, (breath hissing) exhale as you lower, inhale as you lift, (breath hissing) exhale as you lower. Let's do three more. Lift to one, (breath hissing) lift two, (breath hissing) and lift three, and then go ahead and press yourself back. Really wondering, once we get the audio of this, how much huffing and puffing on my end you're gonna hear from this, because this, I have to say, is, of the workouts I've taught so far, in Pilates-ish, is the one that's making me most exhausted. We're gonna come on to the chair again.

I don't know how your chair is. If you just want to do regular sideline you could do regular sideline. So I'm gonna bringing a hand to the floor, and then I wanna have my legs extended out and my other hand can be on a chair to start. Start by lifting my top leg up and down, lift and down. We do eight, three, four, five, six, seven, leave it up on the eight, flex your foot.

We're gonna kick forward, and back to six, two, three, four, five and six. Both legs stacked, see if you can lift your top arm up towards the ceiling, really push into your bottom arm. You can turn and look up, if that feels like it works for you. you can also look down at your hand, and then we're gonna go ahead and bring your hand down, lift yourself up. Before we do the other side, we're gonna turn to face this way, whatever this way is on your chair.

Hold on to the back of your chair. You're gonna have bent elbows. You're gonna lean back, let your legs lower. Lift them up, down, lift them up, down, and up. Here's four, five, six, seven, and eight.

Go ahead and let your feet lower. We're gonna come on to the opposite side. So you're laying down, arm underneath your shoulder, nice straight line, top leg up, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Leave it up, flex your foot, we're gonna kick forward and point back, forward and back, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight. Both legs together, top arm lifts.

You can look up at your top arm and then you can lower down. Turn yourself around. We're gonna come on to your back. You're gonna sort of lower down slowly. You're gonna scoot away from the chair enough that you can hold on to the chair.

So I'm not gonna go straight arms holding on to the chair. I'm gonna do bent arms holding the outside of the chair. And again, there's 105 pounds of weight in this chair. So if I push it, it's not gonna move. So if you're worried, you're gonna push your chair, again, make sure it's up against a wall.

I'm gonna start with my legs in tabletop. I'm gonna go towards the right, just a little bit, and back to center, go to the left, and back to center, or maybe I wanna be a teensy bit further away, like there's good. Go to the right, and to the left, and to the right, and to the left. We're gonna take your legs up. We're gonna go over to the top of the chair.

So once you're on the top of the chair, we're gonna kind of stay there, lengthen your legs. We're gonna reach one leg up towards the ceiling, and lower it back down. Other leg reaches up, and lower it back down, right leg goes up, and down, left leg reaches up, and down, right leg goes up, and down, left leg up, and just hold it there. You're gonna let your right leg just hover off, just hover and hold. Let your right leg touch down, left leg touches down, right leg reaches up, hover your left leg off, and hold.

Left leg touches down. Right leg touches down. Both legs lift up. And lower them back down, two more times, lift up and down, and last one, lift up, and then you can slowly, from there, lower down, bone by bone. You can bend your knees at the bottom.

Go ahead and let your feet find the floor and then hug your knees to your chest. You're gonna rock a little bit, from side to side. And then all that's left is stretching. So go ahead from there, make your way up to seated, and you wanna scoot back towards your chair so that we can have your arms be able to kind of hold on to the chair. So let's see, I'm going to come up a little bit, to start, so I can reach my hands to the back edge of the chair.

And I'm stuck on the chair, which is why hear all the noise. I'm trying to move down the chair. So from here, I'm gonna just drop my chest or go drop my hips, lift my chest up, and my arms are bent, just 'cause if they weren't, I couldn't hold on to the chair, and then lift back up, and drop down, and lift back up, drop down, and lift back up. We'll do a couple more. And up, and lower.

And my hand slipped. And so I'll just let the other hand slip, as well, and lower back down. We're gonna do a favorite quad stretch. So what you want to do is you want to bring your foot to the chair and your knee, basically, as far back as you can comfortably get it. The hardest part of this is to then get your other foot forward.

So from here, it's a pretty intense stretch, sometimes just being leaned forward, but it gets more intense as you come up to standing on your foot. If you want it to be more intense, you can lift up even higher, reach your arms back. Don't forget to breathe. (breath hisses) We're gonna hold maybe 10 more seconds. And then you can go ahead and come out of it.

So I would just scoot forward a little bit. Go ahead and move that foot down. You're gonna take the other leg back, so your knee is up against, probably won't be against the chair if you have like a regular chair, but if you have a non-regular chair, and my left leg is just not working today, so have to kind of lift it around. You're gonna lean forward into it a little bit, and first, kind of make sure you feel the stretch there, to a point where it doesn't feel too intense. And then you can go ahead and work on lifting up higher into that stretch and breathing and trying not to fall over.

So because I feel like I'm gonna fall over, I'm gonna just stay down, on this side. I always promise imperfection, in all of my workouts. I find people who are perfect-moving very annoying, so I try to give you imperfection so that we can all feel like this Pilates-ish stuff is not so easy, can definitely be a little bit on the difficult side. Go ahead and you're gonna spin yourself around. similar to how we started class is how we're gonna end class.

So you're gonna have your hands on the chair, drop your chest down, but here, I want to take it into a Thread the Needle. So it really is coming to your forearm or trying to stretch your arm a little bit straighter. (breath hisses) And breathing, so your top arm is really more where you're trying to get the stretch. I actually feel it a little bit in my armpit, 'cause those muscles just tend to be tight. And then you can go ahead and make your way up.

We'll go to the other side. And try not to let your hips really drift to the direction that you're stretching. So if I'm stretching towards the left, I don't want my hips to stretch to the left. I actually want my hips to almost push towards the right a little bit, which is probably just gonna keep them more in the middle. Last one, we're gonna do a little bit of a prone on the chair now, prone Swan.

Now if your back is not happy coming into like big Swan, stay lower on your chair, 'cause you can kind of start in a position where you walk your hands up, see how that feels, turn your head to the right, and turn your head to the left, and you can lower down. Maybe see if your hands want to be in a higher position, lift up, turn your head to the right, turn your head to the left, and lower back down. Maybe you can even come to a higher position. We'll lift up, turn your head to the right, and center, turn your head to the left, and center, and then you can go ahead, lower it all the way back down. You can rest your head on your hands.

You can take a nap. You can press yourself up to a quadruped position, try not to slide on the floor, 'cause you don't have a mat under you. And any last stretches that you want to do, go ahead and take them. I am really tired today. (laughs) So I think I'm gonna do nothing for the rest of the day. If you can join me in doing nothing, I'm a big proponent of taking time, sometimes, to enjoy just being.

I will be here next week, same time, same place, and I hope you'll join me then. We're gonna do isometrics and legs, which may or may not be easier than this. Really, I can't tell you. I hope you have a great rest of your week.

Comments

1 person likes this.
This was a fantastic class. Yes, I was sweating but in a very good way. I loved the chair exercises. I really felt the movement deeply. I guess I've come to expect an innovative approach from you Mariska and I wasn't disappointed   I also used an ottoman though it was one with a non-squishy top. I found it useful to grab the nearest squishy item on occasion which happened to be my bathrobe.  Worked great. 
Yeeesh that was some stuggle Pilatesish movement from me in some of those (side forearm planks, for example). Oh well, my pants were cute. 😬 I’m going to blame the squish. Good luck kids. May your chair and your family give you just the right amount of support.
1 person likes this.
I used my Wunda Chair for this class, great stretching!
Emer Thanks Emer! Glad you liked it. I hope it was easier for you than it was for me. 🤪
1 person likes this.
You are brilliant Mariska! Cant get enough of your creative and challenging pilates! particularly liked the Bridge with leg lower to side of chair, swimming with tummy on chair and SLS with pelvis on chair- hard work and what fun! Hope to see lots more of you on PA 
iOS
1 person likes this.
Great class. Really like the rollover
1 person likes this.
loved your class
1 person likes this.
I used a sturdy metal folding chair (with a back). When that didn't work I went to the floor. Additionally there were several exercises where we needed our back or shoulders on the chair... i substituted my foam roller which worked well. I liked the workout. I sweated like crazy too. I got a kick out of the clever way the class was presented. I also had fun figuring out how to make the exercises work for the paraphernalia I have.  Thanks again Mariska:)  P.S. I do not like perfection either. I always roll my eyes when I watch a class with an instructor and students who seem to have practiced the routine about 1000 times. 
Gary lol. I just make sure I can do an exercise one time. And then I realize how hard it is when I do multiple reps followed by more exercises with a camera running. Honestly, mat is my worst - I’m so much better at the apparatus. (Guess that means I should do more mat!)
1 person likes this.
I think this is a really balanced class, and you Mariska are a great teacher. Thank you.
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