Hi guys, Courtney Miller here and I am filming one of the class formats that you can take live with me in my studio at Pilates Republic. This class is called Empower and we often reference that it's pilates accelerated. So we're gonna do movements that are combinations. We're really maximizing the movement that you'll experience in this 45 minute class. So let's do it.
We are gonna use the band. So make sure you have one handy. We're also gonna use our box. I have one red and one blue spring on to get started. My headrest is in the down position.
I'm gonna lie down. Drape your legs over the foot bar. Sometimes it hits behind the knee. Sometimes it hits the calf, don't overthink it. Lift your arms up to the sky and keep those legs relaxed.
We're gonna roll up on an exhale. One exhale takes you all the way over and we're gonna roll down on an inhale. Try not to skip the low back, exhale up and inhale down. No tension in the neck and shoulders guys. We're gonna have to conserve our energy so we can use it for those big powerful movements to come.
Let's add a little something here. If it feels right for you, as you roll down you're gonna draw your knees into your chest kind of like rolling like a ball and come into your rollover position. Take your time as you roll down, the legs will rest on the bar and you're up or ready to do it again. So exhale back and right over, nice straight legs here, guys. Take your time as you roll down resting the legs and coming up and over one more time.
Almost reminds you of like a boomerang exercise. One segment at a time, big exhale and let's stay down. Now like I said, I have one red and one blue. If you want some more support in your bridge series, add another spring on. Two reds is a great place to be.
Hip rolls, exhale, scoop to roll up, inhale at the top and exhale. Take your time to roll down. Do it again, I'm trying to contract my abdominals. Keep those upper abs close, work the booty, stretch the quads and then take it down slowly. So in this class we talk a lot about power, but we talk a lot about precision too.
So you can move a lot. You can move with intensity but you still wanna move well, exhale on the up. Let's stay here, into a match we go. Now this is teaching you anticipation. So I have to things myself.
Okay, one leg is gonna come off the bar. I have to stabilize with that other side. Also muscle memory patterns, we talked about this in the heat class, muscle memory. All right guys, the next time the right leg comes up, leave it up. I'm gonna go right into a combo, here it is.
You go down up and push, pull, get those hips up. Let's do eight of these pulling your chin away from your chest, no restriction here, no restriction of breath. Don't kink the hose, trying to keep those hips square and level using your arms will really help. Push and lift, down and up two to go. Back, up a little dip, one more and in.
Other side, right into it. So it starts off with the dip and then we go into the press. You want that right foot in line with your hip. You want your right knee traveling over your midfoot. So just be aware if that right knees rolling out.
You wanna use more inner thighs to find that knee over mid foot alignment. Halfway through we're doing eight of these, push, pull, dip and lift, push, pull, notice if you have any tension creeping up into the shoulders or neck, let it go. Last one, push, pull and we're there. Now take your time, pull your hips towards your heels, roll it down. This is abdominal work during those hip rolls.
Grab your straps guys. In my studio, I always give you the option to use the long or the short loops. The short loops will feel more intense. I'm gonna start with the long and see where I end up, Inhale get ready and then exhale, curl up. We're gonna go right into an open close five.
I'm gonna add some progressions here. Four ribs are closing three, two and adding those legs inhale open, exhale send them long thinking to yourself. You know the hundred is gonna be coming up somewhere in this class. So it's almost like this is the seeds, right? A preparation for that big exercise.
Leave the legs straight, they open with the arms. Five, four, three, can you curl up any higher? You should be at your max, two and one, take it down. Now here's an opportunity to recover, but also a chance to change those smaller loops. That's gonna make it harder so listen to your body.
Inhale, exhale you're up. Let's practice the arms again and we're gonna build with our progression. So first thing first, stabilize the humerus, hug those elbows into the sides. Find that 90 bend and push down, adding the legs. We're gonna go over the bar for one and we're going under the bar for one.
If going under doesn't work for you, don't do it. Push and bend. Push. Now, pick your poison, leaving the legs over or under for five, four, three, two and one and I'm gonna leave my legs under for a little recovery because I have the 100 next and I'm going to do it with my legs super duper low. Reset, shoulders down the back.
Remember this is a back exercise on exhale, extend those legs. Find your pilates V and start pumping. Now here's a little trick that I always offer in class. If you choose to be above the bar, you can always rest your feet. Nobody will know but stay curled up and continue to pump.
You can rest one leg, you can rest the other. You do you. It's an exercise of endurance so keep moving. Into the nose and out. Final three.
Collarbones open, two, are those wrists straight and one, hold it, scoop it. Finish the 100 like a boss and take it down with control. Great job guys. Drape those legs over the bar. You've been here before.
Nothing new, arms go up and exhale. Over. Swing your legs off to one side. We're gonna reduce our tension down to a single red spring and stand up. Now that the belly is warm and those glutes are active.
Let's challenge them in a vertical position. Inside foot against the shoulder block. Let's take hands onto the hips. First set of five. Now stay here for a second.
Right knee is over the heel. Try to get your thigh parallel to the ground. Low belly in, rise. Exhale push. Now bring your attention to your back leg.
You want that leg to be super straight. Pull up through the kneecap and rise. Again, push and adding those arms, it's an overhead stretch biceps by the ears, lift. Overhead stretch and lift. I'm trying to draw my left hip forward.
Keep those hips level. On the next one I'm gonna hold it isometric for that lower body taking the arms for a swing. No, I'm not going down, I'm only going up 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, hands to the bar. Wrap your fingers and your thumbs over. Bring your chest over the bar and pause.
I want you to focus on the low belly working as the leg lifts. Extend at the hip, keep those hips square, chest bone pressing up, landed. We're gonna do it again slow like that guys 'cause let's take the momentum away for this one. Chest comes up. So I feel this lightness in my standing foot.
That's my lower belly starting to pull my hips up. Once I find that position, it's my hip extensors that take that leg up and take it down. Now that you know the biomechanics, we can pick up the tempo but don't lose quality, inhale down, exhale up. Now in my studio, the clients love pushups. I don't know why they do.
So we'll usually leave this leg up maybe and a pushup while we're there. Five, elbows tucking in, four, down and up, three. Two and last one, big movements. Take it down, great job guys. Slide that carriage home and slide your left foot forward.
Sit those hips low, we're gonna get that heart pumping even more. Light fingers on the bar up and over you go land on the other side, stay low and side to side you go. Now here's option one. If you're looking for a little bit more, float those hands off, swing them down to give yourself that momentum to get up and over the carriage, breathe, shoulders down, we're gonna go for five. Belly in, four, knees over toes, three, two and one.
(indistinct) So we've got our right foot back against the shoulder block. Now hands on the hips squared off, press out. This is opening those quads guys and lengthen. When I push out the body tips forward, that reminds me to pull my little belly in and up and also helps to keep my back nice and long, should feel good. Five presses back and then we'll add the arms.
And those arms guys, it's a big circle up, inhale and exhale. And this is a great recovery breath after those carriage hops, inhaling and exhaling just filling it up. Left knee over midfoot. Let's hold the next one. We're gonna take those arms for a swim.
Don't go down, just go up. Keep those ribs close. Can you straighten that back knee more, pull out through the kneecap. Five, four, three, two, one, hands down, thumbs over the bar. Bring the chest forward.
Don't jump into it, pull the belly up, find it, use the hip extensors to pull that back leg up and toe ball heel when you go down. One more slow. Chest comes forward. Start to float the foot off the ground, you can feel it right away then hip extensors take the leg up. That's your single leg plank and take it down.
Are you ready to rock? Exhale up. Try to stop when your hands are right below your shoulders right here. So notice the carriage is not closing all the way. Are you gonna add the pushup?
Maybe, down and up you go. Leg up and down, three more, we got this. Three, head in line with spine when you go down, two and last one. One and bring it on home. You bet your booty we're hopping again.
So get low, knees forward, hips back landing right. In my studio, we'll do this for 45 seconds. So push your edge. You're gonna add those arms, replacing one foot with the other. Let those legs burn out guys.
Five, four, three, two and one. Feeling at work. Keep that single red spring on for chest expansion. Kneeling, grab ahold of those ropes. The higher you hold the heavier it's gonna be.
Come right up. Find that precision. We're looking for a synergy between the front and back body. Chest is wide. Inhale forward exhale back.
If you wanna feel more intensity, don't let those arms come too far forward. Stop right by those thighs and go right back into it. Inhale forward, exhale back, roll the shoulders open and just keep on going. Inhale forward exhale back, five. And we've got some triceps coming up, four, three.
This is core work, it's all core work. Two and one. Arms come forward. Keep the tops of the feet anchored as you sit the hips halfway back. Pull your elbows up, tuck them in.
Find those shoulders in a strong position on the back. This diagonal forward, this tip forward is a great time to feel the deep, low abdominals in and up. I think of wides that bums, navel to spine, closing the ribs so the diameter of my torso gets narrower on my exhales. Three to go. And two and one.
Sit down and hook up those straps. All right, let's do some elbow slides. Walk the knees back. You're gonna use your low platform here hands on the shoulder blocks, thumbs towards you, press out with one leg, elbows directly underneath the shoulders. Set it up, heels together, toes apart, tummy in and up, push.
10 is your goal, chest bone pushes up back of the head lifted, rib cage draws up. Halfway through, push and push. We've got five, four, three, two and one, take it down. Now you are gonna see those back again. So don't say goodbye to that plank position.
You're gonna reach forward, grab your straps, hold the long loops or the short loops. You know the difference, those short loops, they're gonna be heavier. Find your straddle, walk it back, guys. We're working our back body. Sit those hips low, big pull, fully lengthen out, exhale.
Make this abdominal work too. What I'm looking for is alignment. Head right over those shoulders, ribs closed, booty low and fives parallel to the ground. Five to go. And four, three, two and one.
Make sure that mat's under you, don't sit down until you know it's right underneath you. Grab a hold of the long loops and swing your legs up. It's not a break, not even close to a break. You're gonna need some room behind you. Rock your hips back, find your C scoop, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Let's take those arms on a diagonal lift, exhale. If you're looking for more, more intensity, more challenge, you can float your legs up, squeeze those needs together. What I love about this balance challenge is it forces you to connect those abs first, then your arms finding that sequence of stability, five, four, three chest bone pressing forward and up, two and one. Nicely done guys hook up one strap, come on off to one side, hold the short loop or the long loop you get to pick. Step back, so you feel there's some tension in the rope diagonal line standing towards the riser.
That's opposed from you and hand to your hip. Two things are gonna happen at once. Pull that leg up. We're gonna step back into a low lunge and at the same time row, shoulders over hips. Take it right back up to your balance.
Use your belly to pull that leg up, exhale down, Using the standing leg to help you rise marry those two movements together, lunge and row, lift and balance. Four to go. Three, you just get better. The more you do the stronger you get. Two and on the next one, you're up.
Stay here, guys, find it. You'll pitch forward using the strap to help you. Just push into it a little bit. Both hands can go in, Score off those hips, pulse is up and up. Belly is in, ribs are closed.
The more I push into the strap, the stronger I feel. You know what? I can also hold the machine. It's here to support you. So keep on moving guys.
Three, two, one standing knee bends. Inhale down, exhale up, inhale down, these exercises keep you so honest. Inhale down, can't go fast. You can't cheat at it, four to go. I'm visualizing a letter T with my body.
Three, two and one. Yew feeling it back to a plank. A little bit different than before. Palms and prayer this time, elbows wide push out and here we are. Hikes, we've been here before in the heat class, hold the belly in and up, it's how you get there, okay?
And the answer is rounding your spine, looking at the toes. A complete breath to get those hips up and then ease centric abdominals to lengthen out. Look back at those hands. Exhale. If you're looking to amplify this series, take it up toes to the bar, exhale, hips over shoulders.
Take a look at your feet guys. When those hips are up, squeeze those heels together. Three, two and one. Take one knee down. Awesome, we're gonna do it again.
So come on off to the other side. You just need one strap. I used a small loop, so I wanna recreate exactly what I did. Step back a little. You want there to be tension to start diagonal towards that riser, the opposite riser inside leg lifts, exhale, inhale up.
Ooh, the sides do not feel the same. Left and right side. Well different exhale pull, but the more we do, the better we get at it, pull and rise and up. I'm trying to drop my back knee straight down. Final four, three, two, using my belly to draw my leg up into that flamingo and one.
Take it forward. The strap is here to help, you also have the machine down and up you go. Drop the hip, soften the standing knee, pull the belly in. So there's a lot of ways to strengthen your core. You don't have to do crunches and planks.
We're doing it right now. Three, two, one standing knee, down and up you go. Little bend, full extend, pull up through the kneecap. Think of your foot work cues, right? The sensation of pushing yourself away from the foot bar three, two and one.
Yeah. Pilates accelerated, feeling empowered. Let's change the Springs guys down to a yellow, just a yellow, that's all you need. Grab your booty band. If I didn't tell you that in the beginning of the class, you can use one of these.
This is a medium tension. Step your legs through it a little higher than the knees. Stand towards one end of your machine. Send those hips low hands in prayer or on the hips, step to the back of your machine. Maybe it takes you four steps, maybe five, maybe three and step stay low.
When you open the stance, knees stay over the mid feet. So you feel like the opening is coming from the upper hips, not the feet. One more each direction over, over, last time, big steps and rise to come up. That was great. We're gonna keep using that band guys.
Wrap the band over your shoulder blocks. You've done it before. I'm gonna do it again. This is to create a little area that your foot can connect on so you can pull the carriage. If your box is not on the end of your machine, go ahead and move it now I'll wait.
Just joking, I just wanted to take a break. Okay, so here we are hands on the rails downward facing dog. Get those heels down. You might notice that you're able to go a little bit deeper into your dog now because those muscles are warm, three, two and one. Send a leg up, up to the sky.
Big three legged dog. Now you gotta get that foot over the band through the shoulder blocks. So you're almost in a bit of a pike right here. And then you're gonna step that foot down. Make your way.
Now that back foot can hook behind the band or in-between the band. The second option in between where I am right now is a little easier, not a lot, but a little bit. You're gonna step that right foot up and make sure it's stable on your box. From here guys, you're welcome to keep your hands down, rise up to vertical. Use a wall, use a pole, whatever you got hands on your hips.
Inhale low lunge belly in. Now your body knows it. You've done a lot of lunging today. Inhale, glide it back. I drive my front heel down in order to rise up.
If adding the arms feels intuitive to you, go for it. Inhale low lunge, exhale three, slow yet powerful movements. Two, one. We did it. I like to use the risers to get back.
Speaking of back, down to your dog. So to get there hands onto the rails, you need to kind of shift forward so that your right heel can go up and over that band. It definitely takes a few reps to feel that sensation. So if you kick the headrest or you kick the band, it's okay. Okay, ready guys other leg.
Big hiccup. Three legged dog. Take it through like a pike place the foot down. Slide forward, adjust the foot and you're ready to go. Take a second.
I always like taking time in my foundation, like in my setup. So I know that I'm solid ish when I'm doing the exercise. Okay, here we go. Inhale down, exhale up. It helps to have a focal point.
Something to look at, something that's not moving. Chest will lower. Driving that left heel down. Inhale down. Maybe not in the arms.
I have to think about my right hip coming forward. Two more. One I have to use risers to get back, okay. Our dog, let's do it. Three legged.
Pull kick and rest. Take it down. Oh ready. Let's go back to some booty. Grab the band.
Come on off to one side, step your legs through, how are you guys doing? Feeling the heat, feeling the energy, feeling the burn? Me too, get low. So we're gonna do four movements, one leg goes out and in, the other leg goes out and in, that leg goes back kind of on a diagonal and in the other leg goes back. And if you got some good tunes going on, just move to them, tap to the sides and tap to the back.
Side, side, back, back. It's the back that kills you. Five to go. Tap, tap four, three, almost there guys, two. Just kind of stuff that makes your mascara run, one, we did it.
Okay. Put it back on. But wait, there's more. Come on into your well area. We have some knee tacks, we have some pikes in that order.
Hands are on. You can also do your elbows. One foot hooks. So I got my right foot hooks back. I'm gonna take my left leg up, pull my belly in and up and I'm gonna pull both my knees to my left elbow.
How many? Let's go for 10. So I'm twisted here. I'm pulling to that left riser. Did I say 10, I'm at eight.
Three more. Two, one, take it down. Take a break. Before we do the other side pikes, do you wanna do them on your elbows? Let's give them a try on the elbows.
Form's down, this time both feet behind the strap. Elbows right under shoulders, hips go up, pulling your toes towards your nose. Hips up, head down. Five, four, three, two, one. I feel like I never really finished that last one.
That was like 7 1/2. No one's counting them. Back to the hands left foot. Literally no one's counting. Cause pilates teachers can't count.
We can, okay. Both knees to the right, eight is what we agreed on. Four, I'm really trying to pull them in. (exhaling deeply) And down. Stretch it out.
That was awesome guys. All right. More fun stuff. Let's do a quick little equipment change here. Actually, not yet.
Let's leave that yellow on one more thing to do. Come around here. So we're gonna be standing on our box. You can just leave that strap on there. Stand up.
I'm on the leg all two on my machines in my studio. I've custom designed the straps. So I have a handle that I can grab here. You don't need it, just grab the ropes. Okay?
We're going into a deadlift variation. So feed little wider than the hips, hinge chest forward, exhale, use the glutes and hamstrings to rise. You wanna add more tension? Go for it, I'm on a yellow. I'm happy here.
Three. We're gonna add in a second two and one. I'm sure to pushing up with my hands, but I'm not pulling in with my elbows, not yet. Take one foot to the center. The other light comes up.
This will remind you of those lunges that we did earlier. Take a second and square off. Exhale, belly up and exhale, knee up, chest down and rise. Let's go for three more. I think eight, 10, 12 ish is a good number for raps.
We're trying to keep quality high. All right guys, now we'll hold belly up, elbows up to work really hard to drop that hit today. He wants to come up and thinking about internally rotating my back leg four three, two, one, we did it. I love it when you do a single side exercise and you can just right away feel the difference. You can feel the work, right?
Inhale and exhale. Tree is like that, climb a tree. When I'm doing it, I don't actually love the exercise I do now, I didn't. But what I love is that you would do the right side and then as soon as you went to do the left, you could feel how tight the left fell, right? Which meant the work you just did really opened up the right hip.
Inhale, exhale. Roll those shoulders down and let's hold in. Try to square off those hips. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is core work guys. Ribs close, belly in and up.
Back leg lifted, your glutes are part of your core system work them. Three, two, one, done, yay. But are we done? No way. Take the band off.
Let's add all the springs. Oh, oh, nothing good happens when all the springs are on, back to a straddle. You might love this exercise, you might hate it, but we're still gonna do it. Hands-on, I'm in my straddle. Let me give you option one.
step, step, step, step. So I start right left, right left. Left right left right. That's option one. Option two, push down.
Try to pull the carriage underneath you. Up you go, down. For those of you who do inversions handstands, headstands. There's that push down low belly in and up, five, four, three, two, one. Take your straps, make an X.
This is important. You want the ropes to be tight. So if the way you set up your ropes, they're still really loose time in a nod or do something. So they're tight. Come back over to the box, pull it away a few inches.
You might have to readjust it. We're doing side bends. Could I do side bends here on top of the machine? I could, but on my machines in my studio, we have this back platform. So what I wanted to do was create the sensation of the back platform.
Here's what I do, you see that X, I'm gonna take my foot under. So I'm under it, there it is and then I hook my foot around the back. And so you can see this strap is around the calf. Don't worry if you're not sure, you'll feel right away if you're in the right spot 'cause if you're in the wrong spot, you won't feel supported when in your side lean. I also have this foot against the machine to give me even more support.
Here I am again, just taking a fake break. You guys don't need all this explanation let's do it. Hand behind the head exhale up, square off those hips, inhale down, exhale up. Inhale down, exhale up. I'm using the strap as much as I need to support my shape.
Four, three, two, one. It's hard work. Slide the box forward. This will be a personal preference based on your leg length. You want your Achilles tendon to be under the frame of the machine.
It's not supposed to hurt. If it does, you're just not in the right spot. Belly in and up, fingertips to the forehead. Exhale, lift, hold. This is booty working.
Hamstrings and glutes. Inhale down. Go for length guys. Head reaches forward, play with the positioning of your body. It's okay to stop and readjust, might take you five different times to find the sweet spot.
Three, two, one, done. I gotta move the box in a bit so I can do the other side. Okay, I feel like maybe I should have worn a darker gray color pants but it is what it is. We ready? Focus under, I'm under then I hook my foot.
So it really does feel like when it's in the strap, I'm internally rotating my hip. I'm using kind of my foot hooking down a bit, toes pointing to the back wall, go low and exhale lift. And you kind of test the waters. There might be a little variation if you choose to do with the other foot. The more you do the better you feel about getting lower.
Inhale down. There is some movement in this leg. It's okay. Inhale down. Five, four, three, two and one.
Oh, it's hard work. Push the box forward again. Here we go. I like my legs apart. Some people like their legs together.
So for here, we're gonna take those goal post arms. Forever I used to say goalie post 'cause I'm Canadian and then somebody finally after 15 years told me that their goal posts not goalie posts. There's your lift. Stretch, lift, stretch, lift, pulling your elbows back. Neck is long.
Five, four, three, two, one, and rest. Okay guys. Follow me back over to your reformer. We're doing great. Let's reduce some tension down to two reds.
Uncross the X. Your straps are, look normal again and roll down. Oh, ready. First, hands and straps then feet and straps. That's you reds.
Long loops, you're up. Arms don't move, legs do. Opening your collarbones wide, back muscles strong finding resistance with the legs. Five, four, three, two, one, little break, little one. Turn up the volume.
You're up. Single leg drop. (exhaling deeply) I can't say a whole lot when I'm doing these. Four, three, two, one. Take it down.
We're so close to feet in straps, one more. Then like circles, exhale, you're up. Both legs down and up. You can lower your head and add that little hip lift. You can bend your knees.
It's been a long day. Listen to your body, five, four, three, two and one nice. Feet in the straps guys. I was telling the truth, feet go in the long loops. If you like your headrest in the up position, go ahead and bump that bad boy up.
It's like your own personal pillow. We earned it, take it around. Use this as kind of like your pilates savasana, absorb all the hard work you did remembering that you can have power and precision. You can move a lot. You can move big.
You can still move well, reverse and down. Shoulders relax, arms relax, find that V heels together, toes apart. We're working disassociation here. Keep that low back stable. Ribs close.
Get the backs of the knees to connect. Five, four, three, two. Parallel, one leg bends, one leg goes up so you can get that strap right over your knee. Activate those glutes to push. Think of this as almost a marching exercise.
Hips are square. Five. Try to use that mat, to give you some feedback of where your body is. Four, three, two, one. Slide the feet up.
Legs over. We've come full circle guys, this is how we started, arms up. Take a deep breath in, four roll-ups. Up you go, one, easy, does it? Two, hopefully even though maybe you're tired and sweaty, you're moving better.
Three and four. Yeah, there you go. Empower. Thanks for joining me guys. We've got a lot of big movements in today, but we also got a lot of fine tuned precision work.
I look forward to seeing you for the next class in the series align.