Hi everyone. I'm Delia Buckmaster and welcome to class five of this summer's Level Up series with me. Today we're going to boost up the class a little bit and it's not going to be about boosting up our heart rate. Mainly we're gonna be working on isometric control and balance today, but, of course, you'll recognize some of the traditional Pilates exercises. We're gonna get started standing, and I've got a high mat, and I'm actually gonna start this time on the opposite side.
So here we go. Raise those arms up to the sky. Take a huge deep inhale breath. (inhales) And then just give me one roll down, nod your chin, flex the spine reaching your hands towards the floor. Just pause here for one moment.
I do like to start standing on my feet, and I also like to end on my feet. It gives me a really good gauge of my flexibility, my spinal mobility, and also just the balance in my feet. So just rock yourself forward and back here, If you're someone who gets dizzy easily, just be careful. Keep your eyes open, make sure that you're aware of the space around you, and just bring the weight towards the feet and then towards the heels. My fingertips are on the mat, so that way I've got a little bit of support.
So just in case I fall forward, I can catch myself here. Now, go ahead and stand center with your knees centered over the second and third toe, and then just reach the arms forward and sit the bottom back some. So you're gonna press the bottom behind the heels almost and the fingertips, not the palms are pressing into the mat. And I want you to think about the fingertips representing your rib cage. If you can think about your fingertips pressing down and that also sending a little neurological message to your ribs so that you could breathe here.
So inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth, your normal Pilates breath trying to get as much air into your lungs as possible. And think about breathing in towards the ceiling (inhales) and then exhale, (exhales) little reminder to keep those knees soft. Most of us are tight in the hamstrings and you're not gonna feel those hamstrings stretch as much if you straighten your legs, you'll end up feeling too much lumbar spine. Just take a couple of breaths here, two more inhale, (inhales) exhale and then one more deep inhale breath (inhales) and then exhale breath. And I'm gonna transition into a lunge, but you could walk out with me to plank or you could just find your lunge.
I'm gonna walk out, hold my plank for just a moment, and then continue to do the breath work. And you could always place your knees down here if you'd like and hold with me, but I wanna quickly warm up my core, my quads, and really get a gauge of where my fitness levels are this morning. Your plank is a big gauge to your fitness levels. So continue to pull your abdominals in, and continue to breathe inhaling through the nose, and then exhaling the mouth. I'm gonna set my right foot forward now between my hands, so carefully find a bit of a crescent lunge here, and then I'm gonna reach my arms up.
So that way I am actually stretching in my left hip and I'm actually engaging my right glute. So make sure that you've got enough distance between the feet to hold the lunge. If they're two lined up, then it becomes like a slalom ski. So you wanna make sure you've got balance here. Then I bring my arms up towards the ceiling and drop my back heel down so that I really get a stretch to the back of the leg.
Be careful that you're not feeling this in your lumbar spine. I'm gonna lift my heel up and down a few times just to get a little bit more emphasis on the back of the leg, stretch the calf. And every time my heel drops then my hip opens up on my left side as well. Now hold and then interlace the fingers above your head, press the palms towards the ceiling continue to find balance, and then to the right I want you to laterally flex. So you could really open up the ribs and just pause here, breathe into your left side of your body.
So inhale through the nose (inhales) and exhale through the mouth. See if you can drive that heel maybe a little bit further into the mats really stretch. You're working on balance control and a little isometric work, a nice flexibility exercise. Now bring the arms back up and then forward in front of you. You can continue to press the palms away from you and then take your upper body and rotate it towards the right, and then maybe lean towards that right corner, and really get the glutes to activate into stretch.
If you're having a difficult time with any of the balance work, hold it as long as you can. A little pro tip though if you are on a very thick Pilates mat it is harder to balance than on the floor. Bring the arms back out in front of you, take your hands to the floor, and then just extend the forward leg so that you're in a standing split and feel the flexibility on the right side of your body. To transition to the other side, I'm just going to rotate. So I'm gonna rotate now.
So my left foot is forward and my right leg is back. Make sure that you have enough distance between the feet, so you're not in a slalom ski again, arms reach up to that lunge, and then you're gonna open up through that right side. So drive that heel down a few times, feel the stretch at your hip flexor, you can even feel the stretch out the side of the obliques. Make sure as you're reaching your arms up they stay in your peripheral vision. Now drop that heel down for that stretch hold, interlace your fingers, press the palms to the ceiling, and laterally flex to the left.
So really feel that stretch from the right armpit to the right hip. There's your lat stretching. Your lat spans the majority of your torso, so if it's tight, it's going to hinder mobility when we go to work on flexion and extension. Now bring your hands out in front of you, lean the body slightly forward and then rotate to the left side. And of course this is a balance issue for some people, but really think about what's working here on that left leg, the leg that's in front, that left inner thigh, that glute.
Continue to open up through the right hip, couple of breaths here, inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth and on the next exhale I'm just gonna return back to the mat, place my hands on the mat and extend my forward leg. So now my left hamstring is getting a stretch, relax those shoulders. This is the beginning of your class. We're just waking everything up, and now I'm gonna rotate towards you so that my toes are pointing forward, and I'm still in a straddle here. So toes pointing forward in parallel, fingertips are still on the mat and I'm gonna soften my knees so that way I can get a nice little stretch here in the inner thighs, hamstrings and glutes.
Continue to breathe by pressing the fingertips into the mat against soft knees, I can't emphasize that enough. You really don't wanna pull into your lower back. And now with the hands close together, I'm gonna take my right arm, trace up my left arm, and then right by my chest, and then I'm just gonna reach for a little rotation towards the ceiling. So I'm looking at my right shoulder. I'm gonna do a little stretch in that left inner thigh.
So strong hips require strong inner thighs, and also flexible in our thighs. And I'm gonna bring that arm down, I'll trace the right arm and stretch towards the ceiling opening up through that left shoulder. You really feel that right inner thigh. Be careful here, you can overdo it in the beginning when stretching, and I'm gonna bring my hand back towards the floor and I'm gonna hold here for just a couple of more breaths here, inhale through the nose, maybe reach my fingertips even further forward. (exhales) And I'm gonna rotate back to the left so that I could step my right foot forward, and now I have my feet underneath me, and then I'm gonna carefully have a seat on the mat, okay?
So that was some of your isometric standing work. We're gonna go into some of your seated abs. So taking your arms out in front, I'm gonna squeeze my inner thighs together. I'm going to go into my half roll back, and I'm gonna sit back up and I'll do this four times total moving my pelvis away from my thighs and then up. What you're trying to find is your end range.
So that way, and when I ask you to hold it, and we hold that position, you know where your need to be where it's comfortable on your pelvis. So I'm gonna roll back and I'm gonna pause again here hold. My abdominals are pulled in, my hips feel like they're moving away from the femur and my feet feel anchored. Arms out in front, we're gonna do little pulses here. So can you take it back just an inch and then back up an inch and an inch here and then back up.
And what I'm trying to do is I'm moving through the upper part of my body. So my upper middle back is what's causing the movement but my pelvis is stable in that posterior tilt. My inner thighs are squeezing together. So they get a nice connection from my feet to my sitz bone and to my pubic bone. (exhales) Shoulders are going to be wide because your upper body is in flexion then your shoulder blades need to be in a protraction, so that way it feels like you're stretching between the shoulder blades.
Go ahead and grab your hamstrings for an assist and sit yourself all the way back up. Let's take the arms out in front, rotate the upper body slightly to the right and lean your knees slightly to the left. Roll down a few times on this side and up and again, and moving legs to the left as you move your upper body to the right will just ensure that you're not just twisting into your lumbar spine which does not feel good on that lower back after a few repetitions. So let's go ahead and lower down and find that flexion. It should feel like your left shoulder blade is moving away from your right hip as you're reaching that left fingertips past your right.
From here I'm gonna take it down an inch up, an inch one. Again, my legs are slightly to the left. My shoulders are in protraction, my shoulder blades. I feel like I'm drawing my left rib towards my right hip, and I can really feel those internal beaks working, so it feels like I'm trying to tuck those abs into my right pocket. Two more times, and I'm gonna come back to the middle grab my legs, and assist myself up.
One way or the other side, so arms out front, upper body to the left, knees to the right, a few here roll down up and down one. And again, my right shoulder blade now is pulling away from the left hip. My right fingertip is trying to reach past the left but the arms are strong and shoulder with a part. My shoulder blades are protracted. They're pulled apart for emphasis in flexion and my head just falls where it's supposed to.
So make sure you're not trying to move your head in any direction. Just let us stay there. Your cervical spines responsibility is to hold that head up. So just let it hold your head up one more time, my inches, we've got a little bit bigger there. Bring your hands back to your hamstrings and then pull yourself all the way up to sitting.
Nice work. We're gonna extend the legs out now. So now legs are going to be about shoulder width apart. How do you know? Just bring your hands out in front and then you should see that the pinky fingers line up with your fingers.
We're gonna start off with your legs fully extended, and I want you to try to drive the heels off the mat unless you hyperextend your knees then I need you to be really careful with that. If you are having a hard time here, bend your knees to sit up taller because the hamstring attaches to that sitz bone and it pulls that pelvis posterior, so see if you bought that neutral pelvis here. Nod your chin, we're going right into the spine stretch as you flex forward. My knees are the edge of a building in my mind, and so I don't wanna go over the edge of that building, so I'm gonna pull my lower body back behind me as I bring my middle and upper body forward and then I'm going to sit back up. We'll do that three more times, exhale to flex forward (exhales) inhale to sit up.
And again exhale to flex forward, and then inhale up. We're gonna add a little isometric work here in the spine stretch exercise 'cause we're gonna hold that next one. So hold the next spine stretch and pause, lead with your thumbs and then extend the upper body. So everyone's would look a little bit different. So if you've got that mobility in the middle of your back you'll be able to find pretty good extension.
Just flex back over your legs firing your abdominals to do so. Lead with those thumbs again, inhale breath, (inhales) exhale to flex. (exhales) Inhale, arms reach. Now be careful what your neck is doing. Your neck and shoulders should be consistent.
So if you're not getting enough extension with that upper part of your back then don't lift the chin so high. Now pause here in that extension hold, reach the shoulders up to your ears and then pull them back and to elevation and depression as you hold the spine stretch and extension asymmetrically. Just pause and move. So the muscles of the middle of your back should be screaming at you. Inhale, exhale.
Middle back muscles screaming okay. Lower back muscles not as much so be really careful. Continue to press that lower back behind you as you move the shoulders up and down and the upper middle back are forward. One more time, round over your legs to reset, and then sit up nice and tall and you should really feel that fire. I'm gonna take my arms out to a T position now and soften my knees, and I'm just gonna do an easy side stretch from side to side.
Now I'm on the high mat so I'm able to place my hand to the side of the table, but if you're on the mat, just place your hand down, bend that elbow, and make sure that you're not creating tension in your shoulders. Now that I released some of that lactic acid in my pack I'm gonna extend my legs and I'm gonna take my arms back out to that T and I'm gonna do a spine stretch side by bringing my right hand down, my left arm up, and I am gonna hold this position. I'm gonna stretch the left rib cage, that side. I'm gonna breathe into the lung, inhale (inhales) and exhale, and I'm gonna keep that left arm super long with the palm facing the floor, and what that's going to do it's going to stretch that lat. Inhale, I'm actually shaking here.
You probably can't tell from where you are but I am. One more breath, and then back to center. Take the right arm up and really press with that right arm and breathe into the right side. You could release the other arm and just see if you're breathing into the ribs by placing your hands on them, (inhales) and exhale breath. Otherwise place that supporting hand down, push into the Palm, and it almost gives you that little extra stretch.
Continue to breathe. I am still shaking because I am actually really trying to keep my legs straight, my quads are really quivering. Inhale, (inhales) exhale. Let's do that one more time. Deep inhale breath, really stretch.
(inhales) And then release. Let's go ahead and just stretch forward. Pause. And we're gonna keep the legs long. Legs long let's point the toes as though you're about to go into the roll up, but we're not going to, we're just gonna roll back and then take the hands and interlace them behind the head. So now I'm supine.
Elbows are in my peripheral vision. Legs are long, and imagine that you have ropes wrapped from your ankles to your hips. So you can't move. Now, my head and shoulders are going to come up, and I'm gonna look at my toes, and I'm gonna lower myself down. So an ab curl with extended legs.
(exhales) It's nice to do it this way sometimes because if you're really trying to maintain neutral and your lower back can tolerate this position, you could focus on your upper and middle back flexing (exhales) and then your pelvis stabilizing. Now in the very next one we're gonna hold it up and pause. Let's release the head, reach the arms forward, go up just a teeny bit higher and then hold your head again. Now breathe in through the nose and then out through the mouth, and with every inhale can you float up just a little bit higher. Can you pull your abs in a little bit deeper.
Eyes are forward, elbows are in your peripheral vision, shoulder blades are pulling apart and you're breathing. And if you're not shaking, then you're not doing this right. So continue inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. (exhales) Two more deep inhale breath, exhale breath, one more, and our reach the arms out in front, and then roll yourself all the way up reaching for your feet and pause. Now sit up tall, and we're gonna find the top of your roll up.
So arms are out in front of you, head and shoulders flex, so you're gonna find the top of your roll up and hold. You're gonna roll back to your sticking point. So once you find that sticking point and you can hold it without lifting your legs, you'll pause, then you'll flex back up and reach for your toes and you'll do it again. Just the top part of your roll up and then back up. And focus on that lower back touching the mat, (exhales) and then forward.
Again, your head just falls where it needs to fall on those shoulders. When you come up, you're looking over the edge of the building which are your knees, (exhales) and then up. Now, I want you to hold where you feel like you've got that sticky spot, where you're working pretty hard and just pause more holding here, deep inhale breath, exhale breath, pull those abs in. And again, pull those abs in reaching those arms in that position, so the shoulder blades are pulling apart but the lower abdominals are pulling back for four, three, two, and you're gonna roll yourself all the way back down. Now, arms are gonna come up towards the ceiling and then you're gonna lift and find the lower half of your roll up and pause here just like you did in the beginning.
And then from here, you're gonna try to lift up just a little bit more hold, a little bit more hold then grab your legs and pull yourself all the way up, reaching past your toes. Let's try that again. So roll yourself all the way back down. Arms overhead, arms to the ceiling, head and shoulders up pause at your sticky spot. And then from here go a little higher one, a little higher two, a little higher three.
Grab those legs and round forward and stretch. Roll yourself back. Let's do that again. Inhale, arms up. Nod the chin, exhale hold.
Inhale, exhale up higher. Inhale, exhale up even higher. One more all the way up, and if you don't have to hold your legs anymore, awesome. But don't think that you can't grab those legs. Let's try that one more time.
Inhale up, nod the chin, up one, little higher two, little higher three on four reach forward and then sit all the way back up. I'm gonna scoot my bottom closer to my heels since somehow I slid backwards on that left last exercise. I'm gonna roll myself all the way to the mat, and now my knees are bent. Arms are long by my side, shoulders are set nicely in the middle of my back. I'm gonna take my legs up to a tabletop position, and they're gonna be about fist distance apart, and I'm gonna find lumbar-pelvic stability here.
From just your hip joint, we're gonna go into your toe taps. Down and up, down and up. Now, you could do it one at a time or reciprocal. Those two things are different. So reciprocal they pass one at a time.
The one leg goes up and then the other meets it. So wherever you think you could work this morning. If you're doing this correctly, you should feel that deep bend from hip to hip low on your pelvis. Now, if your head and shoulders are not working properly in other words you're gripping at your neck and shoulders then you are going too low with your feet. Your head and shoulders are not responsible for the lower half of your body.
Now continue to move the legs up and down and then lift the head and shoulders up. So now you have the upper body flection, arms are gonna reach. Now, hold your right leg up to tabletop, and then the left toe is down. Now, I'm gonna breathe into the 100 breaths. I'm gonna go inhale two, three, four, five, switch two, three, four, five, inhale two, three, four, five, exhale two, three, four, five, inhale two, three, four, five, exhale two, three, four, 20, inhale two, three, four, five, exhale two, three, four, 30.
Inhale (inhales) exhale two, three, four, 40, inhale two, three, four, five, exhale two, three, four, 50. Keep going. There, four, five. Exhale two, three, four, 60, inhale two, three, four, five. exhale, two, three, four, 70, inhale two, three, four, five, exhale two, three, four, 80.
We're almost there. Exhale two, three, four, 90, inhale two, three, four, five, exhale two, three, four, 100. Both legs up, knees to chest, head down. Now, place your feet down. And we're gonna do something that I normally don't have clients ever do, seems very traditional fitness like, but for the purpose of not having any props for this we're gonna use our hands.
So can you lift your bottom up slightly and place your hands underneath your bottom almost like you put a little cushion under there, and then tilt the pelvis back, so the lower back is slightly towards the mat and then take your legs up to a tabletop position. So your hands are going to simulate a little bit of a pat or sponge, and then take your legs up towards the ceiling, and this is just a very slight inversion as we do some scissor legs. So let's bring the right leg down only as far as you can maintain stability, and then bring the right leg up. Inhale and then exhale. (exhales) Now, if your hamstrings are really tight and your hip flexors are gripping you might wanna soften the knees, so it's not about your leg muscles as much, and then pull it up.
Inhale, exhale. You've got to work really hard to pull those abdominals in with your pretend hand pad here. One more to the other side and then tuck your knees in and then adjust your hands if we need to. Now, we're not gonna be here very long so that my thumbs don't go numb here underneath my bottom. Extend your legs up and hold.
We're gonna windmill, but it's gonna be conservative windmill. So I'm gonna take my right leg about halfway down and then I'm going to separate those legs. I'm gonna bring the left leg towards my left, the right leg towards my right. Now, I'm gonna exchange by circling the left leg down and the right leg up then the left leg will meet the right. Pause.
Now, the left leg goes down and makes kind of like that V position. The legs open up, they circle around. There in opposite positions now and then the right leg comes up. Inhale the right leg down, exhale they circle around, and then the left leg comes up. Inhale the left leg goes down.
Circle around, you could actually even imagine that circle at the ceiling. So make the same circle each time the right leg goes and then you circle around and you have one more here. Inhale, left leg, circle it around with control and balance. Right leg comes up and both knees tuck into the chest or on the mat or wherever. I'm gonna release my hands off my bottom there, and then we're gonna go into a little bridging series to open up the hips.
So feet are going to be about again fist distance apart. That's about the width of your sitz bones, legs are in parallel, arms are down and then just lift to your bridge. Your first bridge position may not be perfect. So you're not in concrete, put your bottom back down, fix it, and then from here, just make sure that the hips they feel open, okay? Now just a quick lower and lift of the hips to activate the glutes before we make it a little bit more challenging.
So I'm just dropping my bottom and lifting my bottom acting as though my hips are like a door hinge and your hips are a hinge joint, so they do close and open actually, so close the door, open the door, and I want you to think about your bottom doing all of this work. Now, pause at the top and hold, continue to press the back of your head into the mat and that you should feel comfortable relatively speaking here, okay? Now imagine that you've got something between the knees there that you could squeeze together. So pull the knees together only as much as your knees and your hips can tolerate it and then separate them back to where you started and then close again. This is a very, very easy yet challenging isometric work on your inner thighs with no props.
So you're literally pulling air between the legs, it's actually kind of phenomenal how hard this is. So knees towards each other, knees towards each other. Now pull the knees towards each other and really feel that inner thigh connection. Now try the hip drops again, so drop and lift and then see if doesn't feel any different. And to go a little bit backwards here, I got a little reminder of your pelvic floor.
Your pelvic floor needs to be fired in order for you to really feel your glutes working properly otherwise you're gonna get a hamstring cramp 'cause muscles fire in a pattern and the further down the list of that pattern, the less fire, so you want the glutes to feel the most. They're your largest muscle, your glute max. Hold it at the top, pause, and then do another set of the knees towards each other. Those inner thighs at this point should be burning for four, three, two. Hold that connection again. Arms are still down.
Now we're gonna alternate hips. So let's drop the right hip towards the mat, lift it up, and then alternate drop the left. By this time most of the emphasis should be on the glutes, so whatever lactic acid you feel or emphasis should be on that glute muscle and not in your lower back. Please stop the exercise if it's just aching the back and it could be a few things, it could be poor pelvic floor engagement, or it could be that you're just tight in the hips and it's just the hips mechanically aren't working well, but you can have the legs a little bit wider. That could be helpful as well.
Still feel that inner thigh connection. Now, everyone hold at the top again, pull those knees, and closer again and breathe for eight, seven, six, this really burns four, three, two, and now let's slowly roll the spine down, and then just open up the knees. So you just wanna stretch at the hips a little bit and then just a little breath work here. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Just relax, there and then go ahead and close the legs up.
And then I'm going to sit up. So I'm going to face you all for the side line work. Today, I'm gonna have you guys be on your elbow. If your elbow is not comfortable for you then you can lie all the way down, but I'm gonna put my elbow out and just kinda hold, see if my mic's in the way here. Just put my hand on my head, and then from there with my knees stacked and my left hand is my supporting hand, I'm just gonna pull up a little bit as though there's something imaginary underneath my ribs that I'm trying not to touch, okay?
Let's start with the lower half of the body modified. So my right shin is in line with the front of my mat and my left leg is up. So I'm just gonna scoot 'cause I hit my uprights of my reformer here. Okay, so now my left leg is gonna go forward into a kick and I'm gonna point and bring it back. Now, the difference between lying down or kneeling is that this requires a lot of balance to be on that elbow.
And again, it doesn't work for everybody. Not every Pilates exercise works for every body. So make sure that you are modifying for you this morning, but let's just think about the objective here. So my objective is to gain mobility in the hip as I bring that leg forward and mobility in the hip as I bring it back which means I have to use my abs to pull that leg forward and I have to use my glutes to pull it back. The lumbar spine is gonna maintain a lot of stability here Continue, and now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna bring that leg forward.
I'm gonna hold it there. So I'm gonna challenge myself here and I'm gonna let my toe feel like it's dropping towards the mat. It's like it's broken off the bone there, the ankle, and she's hanging, and I'm gonna hold it here, and feel the femur go into that medial rotation. So it's a lot of work for me to be here and I'm smiling, but I'm gonna now do little toe drops to make it even harder to really feel that muscle working because if muscle pigeon toed, you don't really work this muscle very often, or if you don't have a spot that specifically works the leg in this direction. Most clients that come into my studio were turned in the opposite direction.
They turn duck footed or lateral rotation. I have no clue how many we've done, and if your leg is collapsed and fallen off of your hip I'm really sorry. (laughs) So now I'm gonna go ahead and bring that leg back and they're gonna rest. I'm gonna continue to stay on my elbow and I'm gonna lift my feet off of the mass. So you see that my knees are stacked.
I'm gonna lift my feet off and then I'm gonna open the top leg. It's a little clamshell here, open-close. So, again, upper body is working for stability, Lats are working. Breathe into the rib cage, open up the ribs. Now you're going into that external rotation.
The inside of the feet are touching the whole time, lift. Now I'm gonna hold my leg open, so now you see that diamond shape and then I'm just gonna lift my feet up together. So my top foot is dead weight for my bottom foot. And again just really deep isometric work here, deep into that glute for four, three, two. Now pause. I'm gonna make it even worse.
I'm gonna have you extend your legs slightly out in front of you and I wanted to maintain a hover. So if I looked down, I could see my toes, and now the top leg is dead weight as I lift and lower my bottom leg. If you're feeling this at your lumbar spine just lean those hips slightly up and down, up and down. Now here's a little out of challenge for you. Release the supporting hand off the mat and reach for your foot.
And then from here just drop your right hand down, stand that elbow and then lift up a little bit higher into little twist. As you come down, you're gonna carefully lower the elbow, lower the upper body, hold your head and place your hand on the mat just like you started. Let's try it again. Hand comes off the matter reaches for your feet, right hand drops to the mat and you slide the Palm, drop the left and reach for your leg in a twist. It's a little side teaser, roll it down, hand comes down, hand comes to the head.
We're gonna try it one more time. Hands towards the hips. Right hand down, slight that hand feel that lat reach. Now Pause. Lower your legs up and down four times one, smile like I am, two, three, four pause with control slowly lower and then rest.
That was fun. We're gonna bend the knees, come up, and we're gonna just do a little side stretch to each side. Left side. Right side. Yay. And then we're just gonna switch sides. So I need to face the camera.
So I need to flip over and not turn over. So my left elbow is down. My hand is on my head, and I'm gonna try the whole thing on this side my legs are stacked, okay? From here, my right leg is out, and I'm just gonna kick it forward and back. Now just a little side, little chatter here, but I've been dealing with a tight heel since March, since I ran on really bad tennis shoes on a treadmill on my vacation in Mexico.
So I was really worried that it was my Achilles, but where it really is coming from is my hamstring which is really interesting. So it's just kind of interesting to think about where you think the pain might be coming from, and where you really need to work on things, and my hamstrings are tight. So anyway, side note to distract you (laughs) one more time, lets you reach that leg forward hold, let the toe drop and just let it hang. Feel the outside of your right foot stretch. Feel that internal rotation right at the femur like someone took that leg almost like a doll leg and turned it in, and you should be feeling a little bit of work here and let's just lower lift, lower lift, lower lift.
Again, make any adjustments to the upper body if you're feeling uncomfortable here, and I don't know how many we did it on the other side, I probably should come up with another story here to distract you, but I can't think of one right now. Four, three, two, all right. Let's stack those knees. I am not one that focuses a lot on repetitions just so you know. So now bring your feet up and then we're gonna go into that clamshell.
I don't feel like we do enough exercises in Pilates to worry if one side did 10 or the other side did 15. I think if you're lifting heavy weights it might make more of a difference but usually it all kind of evens out at the end, and once you're a body aware, open and close those legs, your body kind of tells you. It's kind of like when you've taught fitness for years you know when one minute is up, weirdly or how to count backwards from 10 to one without really counting. All right, distracted you enough. Let's open up that knees and we're gonna lift the feet up and down one, two, three, four, five.
This burns. That's why I'm counting. Two, one and then extend the legs long to a hover. Now the legs should be slightly in front of you. Top leg is dead weight, little dead weight.
Really feel that bottom inner thigh. Yeah. All right. You guys ready to try that fun one. Let's extend that right arm. Reach it toward your foot.
Drop your left Palm, slide that left Palm as you lift and reach towards your feet in that twist slowly come down, hand comes down and then your head rests on your hand. The legs are still at a hover, right hand reaches, left palm comes down, you slide and twist dropping your right hip reaching for your feet. And then slowly back to your sideline legs hover. One more time. Reach first, hand down, slide, hold, and lower and lift one.
Inhale, exhale two, feel those old breaks three, one more hold, pause, smile, and then roll yourself all the way back down with attitude. All right, I'm gonna come up and do a little counter stretch, and then over to the other side. Now the next series is gonna require forearm plank, side and front. So make any modifications. You need to either drop your knees if you feel better actually having your hands down for these instead of forearms totally fine.
So I'm gonna swing my legs around to my left, and then I'm going to drop my right forearm down, cross my left over my right leg that is, and then lift to a side plank. Now from here, I'm just gonna reach my arm up just for added challenge, you could always keep your hand down if you need to on your hip, whichever. I'm gonna turn and find forearm plank. My arms are underneath me I'm gonna hold. Just breathe a couple of breaths and you can choose how long you hold each of these because I'm gonna turn to the other side now.
So I'm gonna shift my left arm and then come to side plank on this side. Now my right leg is crossed over my left and my inner thighs are squeezed together. And then I'm gonna go back to my forearm plank. And I'm gonna do this slowly, twisting and thinking about every body part that is required to do this exercise properly. So forearm, shoulder, stability here hold, quads and hips, abs and back, and then rotation takes a little control, squeeze those inner thighs together, arm reaches.
The inner thigh squeezing together really help. And let's do one more on each side. Forearm both down, shift and lift, take it down, I'm gonna do one more. Take it to the other side. Twist, hold that forearm plank.
Back to the center. And then I'm gonna drop my knees and I'm gonna find a child's pose, so the arms are gonna reach out and front, and I'm gonna stretch those shoulders. Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth, and then let's go to all fours. So hands are underneath the shoulders. Knees are underneath the hips, and then what I'm gonna have everyone do is just round and then straighten.
So just move with me. When I get into a quadruped position I like to go into a few cat cows. I just wanna make sure that my shoulders feel okay. My knees feel okay. Now, take your left leg and reach it behind you.
And this is a series that I do at almost every class. I just feel like it's a great exercise to work the front body, back body, side body. Take your right arm out in front of you and hold, and then you're just gonna hold that's all you're doing. Chest is wide. And I want you to imagine in your head from your right fingertip to your left toe, I'm pulling a bend apart.
So my focus is more on the front of my body and not the back of my body. And I'm gonna bring everything down and then I'm gonna go to the other side and just hold. Now when practicing at home alone if you're gonna watch this video again and do this workout again, you could hold as long as you'd like. Take a deep inhale breath, pull that band apart, left fingertips to right toe and then bring everything down. Now, right arm left leg goes back and I'm gonna really slow and control lift my left leg and right arm towards the ceiling in this modified swimming position.
Inhale, exhale. Now I want you to think about that slow almost pulsing movement. Now that back body is firing. So I'm thinking about that glute all the way to the toe. The heel, my left hip is opening the front.
I'm opening up through my shoulder at this and when I'm reaching overhead, but I don't wanna put tension into my neck, so I've gotta be really careful here. Now bring the hand down and the knee, let's try the other side and do the same thing. Now these all four position exercises are going to transition into some extension and they kind of go together a bit. So just reach, reach, and then place it down. Now, right arm left leg reaches away again.
Now this time I'm gonna have you bring the right elbow to the left knee and I want you to hold and just hold this position. If you can press the inside of your forum into the inside of your left knee, the left elbow might soften a bit, and just isometrically hold this position breathe. Now, my left arm is starting to shake, I'm really starting to feel my obliques fire. And then before I go too far with this I'm gonna go ahead and come out of it, and then place my hand and knee down. I don't wanna over fatigue that shoulder, I'm gonna take that left arm out, right leg back, and then I'm gonna bring the left elbow to the right knee, and this side's easier for me.
I'm just gonna push in between the inside of the knee and my forearm and it feels like I'm stretching my left shoulder blade, no tension into the neck. Just breath and then release everything out and then lower, okay? So next we're gonna lie down on our belly. So you're a pro now, and we're gonna do a few extension exercises here. Let's start with just a little press ups, hands by your shoulders, sit her back and relax.
Just push up and see how that feels on your back. So just the nice extension and then slowly lower down. Okay, so you got that and you can continue with that if you like. It's a really great exercise for you to do actually every day, but I want you to anchor now your feet into the mat pushing the tops of the feet down, pressing the pubic bone down, and then giving me double you arms, okay? So my hands are by my side like they were for the press up, but I'm pulling my shoulder blades together and squeezing them and I'm holding.
And that's what you're doing here is you're holding. You're inhaling through the nose, exhaling through the mouth (exhales) and breathing. You're not looking forward to the front of your mat. You're looking down 'cause you're trying to maintain consistency of the cervical spine, the thoracic spine and your shoulder blades. Now pause here.
And if you don't need to rest, take your arms out to a T, and hold that T position. My arms are in my peripheral vision, my shoulders are wide, my palms are facing down. And again, I don't have tension into my neck 'cause I'm setting my chin where my neck feels a little bit better. Hold, now, take your arms overhead like you're gonna swim. They go to the wide position.
Now see how that shifts the weight forward, changes everything. You really need to anchor the feet in the hips and hold. Now this is hard. Swimming will be hard too. Now take those arms back towards your hips.
Shoulders wide. You should be able to get up a little bit higher, squeeze the shoulder blades together because you're bringing your hands back. Just squeeze and then release back to the mat. We are gonna go W. T, Y, I. You're ready.
Press the feet into the mat, squeeze the shoulder blades together. You're at W, go to your T, go to your Y, lift the chest go to your I. Hold, go back to W, hover, go out to a T, pause, go to your Y, stabilize, take your palms back. I squeeze our shoulder blades together. Let's do one more. W, T, Y.
Now take those hands back to an eye and place the hands up against the thighs elbows pointing towards the ceiling, squeezing your shoulder blades together. If this is too much, please rest. Continue to push your hips down. Just a couple of more breaths for four, three, two and one. Hands to the mat, and then child's pose.
That was nice. Forehead to the mat. Arms reaching. These exercises today hopefully awesome, exercises that will help boost the other more traditional Pilates exercises that we do. The emphasis on the inner thighs, isometric holds with your back and so forth. So we're gonna go into a plank to pike now or what I like to call upside down teaser, and I'll explain why.
Hands are underneath the shoulders, knees are underneath the hips. You are in a quadruped physician again, you're going to anchor one foot back then the other. That's how you find your perfect plank, and then you're going to pike or whatever language you're used to. Pike, down dog. But let's think of this as your upside down teaser for a moment.
Go ahead and hold it here, drop the heels for one. And then I want you to lift the heels and point the toes and imagine yourself sitting in a teaser position, the back of your sitz bones. So I want your quad super strong, your abs pulled in and your arm reaching strong. So the middle of your back muscles are working, the lower abdominals are flex or the pelvises, and now drop the heels and the shift forward into your plank and drop your knees. And we're gonna try that again, okay?
I know Some might be hard concept to grasp, but if you really think about it, it's actually a really wonderful way to think of this exercise. So back to your plank and then up to your pike, or your upside down teaser, look at those toes, lift those heels, pull those abs in, imagine your arms are attached like a V, letter V, at the middle of Your back. Your lats are working, your shoulders are working, you're holding that teaser, and then you're gonna shift forward and drop your knees. I'm gonna advance it just one more time. This is your grand finale exercise.
So hands under the shoulders, curl those toes under back into that position and hold, okay? Now lift into that teaser. Hold it here. Now take your right knee in towards your chest, hold that position, breathe, and little knee tucks in for eight, seven, six, and four, three, two. Place that foot down, left knee comes in continue to hold eight, seven. Use those abs in this position four, three, two, one, hold.
This time walk your feet forward to meet your hands, and then you are over the legs like you were in the beginning of class, so on your feet and pause. Maybe take those fingertips forward like you did in the beginning, and maybe shift those hips back a little bit and see if your body doesn't feel any different. See if you can get any more flexibility out of those hamstrings, more mobility in your lats. Maybe there's some parts of your body that are shaking right now. That's a good thing.
That means that that part of your body might need some change, and I bring your fingertips towards your toes, and slowly roll up one vertebra at a time, and then I'm gonna face you all as I take a couple of standing, cool-down moves reaching the arms up to the sky. I'm gonna grab my right wrist or my left, excuse me, and I'm gonna stretch over to my right, and then I'm gonna the other wrist, and take it over to the other side. And I'm gonna bring one arm forward and hook it with the other, a lot of shoulder work today even more than you might think. And then the other side and stretch, and then take those hands behind you, interlace the fingers, move the neck from side to side, and then one last thing, please take those arms up to the sky, shift those hips forward, bring those hands to prayer, hands to heart center, and you guys are all done today. And thank you so much for joining me.
I hope that you really enjoy it. Please give me your feedback and let me know if any of those isometric exercises or any of the balancing control exercises really helped your practice. That would be awesome to know. You guys have a wonderful day.