Class #4732

Ankle and Arm Weights Mat

40 min - Class


Get ready to add some resistance with Ankle and Arm Weights in this Mat workout with Ilaria Cavagna! She mixes up the traditional Reformer and Mat by adding Weights to target the arms the glutes and the back body as well. She keeps the weight low as precision and form are always a priority so that you can feel the weight moving from and being connected to the powerhouse!
What You'll Need: Mat, Ankle Weights (2), Hand Weights (2)

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Hi, this is Ilaria and today we'll do a loaded mat. We'll put extra weight to focus on the arm work and on the back of the body. So we'll start with the arm weights. If you have wrist weights, that's perfect, we can keep them on until the end. If you have dumbbells, that's good too.

I start very light, I have one pound for the arms, one pound for the legs, they are ready there for later. If you want to push it a little farther, go ahead but I wouldn't recommend to go too, too high. So let's start standing, in our Pilates stance. We're gonna activate the inner thighs and the stomach a little bit and we just start breathing. You inhale and you lift the arms up and exhale out.

I want you to start slow because I want us to really appreciate how extra weight at the extremities means deeper work in the powerhouse. Yes, we strengthen the arms, the shoulders, the glutes and the back of the legs, but we also want to really make sure that that's supported by the center. Now let's reverse, you inhale out and exhale down. Inhale, reach long and away and exhale and I always like to think, of moving way more than one pound, right? The intention that you put in every movement in every exercise is very important.

And sometimes slowing down, it's beneficial for that. Now from here, you bend at 90 degrees, you lift up the elbows, you anchor your shoulders down and then you go reach and pull. And lengthen and pull, pull, pull. Reach out, pull and now open out to the side and you go open and bend. And again, reach and pull.

Lengthen, bend and open all the way, release. Now let's do one more circle into a little backbend. So from here, you reach long to the front, lift and slowly, slightly to the back, circle around. Again, inhale lift (inhales) and open, lift the sternum to the ceiling and circle the arms around. Now reverse. Open, back, heart to the ceiling and pull it down, very small, open to the back, lift and lower.

Now, arms up at shoulder height. And here I want you to pull the shoulder blades back and push them forward. So, I'm really, elbows are straight, wrists are straight, I'm really moving from the shoulder blades, I'm gliding them. I'm hiding the shoulder blades behind my rib cage and then the shoulder blades are peeking out to the side of the rib cage. And then you go pull and push.

Pull, very small movement, very lightweight, but very powerful. I'm sure you're feeling it. And release. Now from here, we go with the feet parallel, bend your knees, let's try, it's very hard to keep the back straight. Very, very challenging. So we keep axial extension and from here we hinge the pelvis at the hips and we go with the back as parallel as possible to the floor, long neck, top of the head reaching forward.

Now here, before we go, let's do a few more movements with the shoulder blades. So you pull them back and down to the floor. So it's very different, the feeling, because now we're using gravity, right? It's gravity plus weights and then more work pulling back. It's nice to experience them both.

And now we can keep them down, long spine and we work on scissors with the arms. So we go right arm up, left arm back. And then you switch and then you switch and hold and here helicopter around, so that the left arm, hands up to the front. And now with scissor again. You scissor, you scissor, stay, helicopter around the right arm ends up front.

And then you go swing scissor, scissor, helicopter around the left one is in front, let's do one more. Scissor, scissor and circle around. Now lower the arms down, right in front of you, relax them, relax your back, pull the heels together and now slowly roll your body up, articulate, roll up to standing. And here we do a few zip-up to get into that midline that we already worked on a lot with the magic circle. So from here, if you're holding the dumbbells, you can hold them here, otherwise long and you go up, up, up and down, just to get nice and deep into the powerhouse, before we get crazy on the mat.

Lift, lift, lift and lower. One more time, up and down. Pretend you have something under the heels and you're pushing, you're pushing, you're working. You're almost working against gravity going down, which is a little crazy, but I know, I hope you understand what I mean. Now, we stand here in front of the mat and the way you like better, you can cross back, you can stay parallel with your feet, you lower yourself down.

You move to the center of the mat and we do some more breathing. So let's start down, long, legs bent, you lift the arms, open the arms back, pull them to the side and exhale, roll up, lift the arms to the ceiling. Now, pull into your stomach, the arms lower down as you unroll your body onto the floor, roll your back down, the arms go back. Maintain the back flat as you do so. Feel the weight on your shoulders, feel the weight on your powerhouse.

The head comes up and the weight helps you forward and helps you up. Lift, scoop, roll down, to the floor, reach back. This time, let's keep the arms a little higher and you go roll up, lift. And again, deepen, roll down, control, control, control, reach to the back. Last one, open, arms above the thighs parallel, head comes up, shoulders roll up, one bone at a time, you lift and down we unroll, scoop, scoop, scoop and release.

Now, let's bring knees into your chest and we start with a little bit of reformer mat. So only five repetitions each. Little Pilates stance, we have the toes on the bar, reach arms forward and you go reach out and pull it in. I suggest the arms to the front, because if we put the hands back supporting the neck, we put a lot of challenge and weight behind us, which is a little more advanced, so it's your call. But this, it's a little easier to start.

Now all the way in, arches and you go push and pull it in, push it out and pull it in. And reach and in, two more. Lengthen and pull, lengthen and in. Now, big flex and you go out and in, reach, reach, reach. Remember that feeling of being on the reformer and pushing the bar away, pushing the carriage away.

And now on the toes and we go flex, flex, flex and point, flex and point, three, push it away, four, push, push, push, five and in. Now circle the knees around like three times in one direction, opening the knees apart and then reverse, circle reverse. Two and three. And we have to come up again for the Hundred. Reach and you go pump.

Now, slow down this pump and feel the movement coming from the back, deep into your abs and why not triceps as well, muscles of the upper arm, but really focus on where you're feeling and make sure it doesn't get in an uncomfortable way at the neck or anywhere else. Let's do two more breaths, inhale and exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. And again, in and pump it out, exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale and in. Now, let's place the arms long onto the mat, if you have the dumbbells, just hold them there and feel that the arms being really grounded thanks to the weight. Now, reach out, scoop back for sure spine, lift, stay on the shoulders, bend your knees, the knees stay there, you roll the hips away and then you pull the heels to your seat.

And again, out lift up and over, bend the knees to the shoulder blocks, roll away, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen and pull it in. Reach out, one more, exactly like we did it right now, lengthen away, roll, lengthen melt the sternum, melt the rib cage, in, pull. Now this time, you go out, you lift, support your hips and we do some high Frogs here. Just easy, way easier than on the reformer. You go push, one more time and push.

Now back with the feet a little bit, bend the knees and now you roll the hips again, down and then you pull the feet. Now, coordination. You go out, open close, pull and bend. And reach, out in, knees to the ears and bend. Reach out, open close, pull, pull, pull and beats. Reach and in, in, in, in, in, in, in, together pull and bend.

And again, reach and in, in, in, in, in, in, in, together pull and, pull back the arms. Now, two Rowings each. Let's keep the legs long and from here, we pull into the sternum, roll back, lengthen the tailbone forward, open the arms, press, go over. Reach back with the arms, as high as you can, lengthen the waist and then circle the arms, reaching them out and go over. And now again, you go pull back, open, press, go over.

Now lengthen those arms. Think about reaching the arms away from the shoulder joints. Reach away, reach away, reach away, reach away and fingertips to the toes. Now, 90 degrees, we lift. Okay? These Rowings are more challenging with the weights, right?

We need to control a lot from the powerhouse, keep it small. No need to go too big. From here, reach up, over, bend the elbows to go through and now reach back, lift, lift, lift, reach out also here and you go over. And now this time, if you have the wrist weights you can lace the fingers and stretch. Reach to the back, lengthen, up and over, go back.

Now, lace your fingers, reach and lift and lift and lift, reach away to release and over, you can flex your feet, give yourself a nice stretch and up. Now, from the chest, lengthen, down, reach up and pull, pull, pull, release. And again, long, down, up, open, open, open and release. Now, flex, push into the floor as you curl and you go over, roll back, reach and now open, feel this set of muscles. Reach long, reach long, resist and home.

One more time. You go over, pull back, forward and up and you levitate, lift, sternum goes up, grow tall and release. Now, let's just lift one leg up in attitude and we go shaving, reaching and lifting from the waist and hugs, pull, pull, nice and easy. Pretend you have springs and straps to pull and resist. And home. Now, we're going to Rolling Like a Ball. We jump back onto the mat.

So scoop and lift the feet. Tiny little shape, from here we go back and up, and again, pull, pull, pull. And up, feel how the presence of the extra pounds, really changes the work, right? Yes, it's a little extra work for the muscles, but mostly, the exercises feel different because they're challenged or helped in different ways. Let's do one more.

You go pull back, and up. Let's move back to the center and we going to Single Leg Bend, just five sets. Here you go pull, it's nice and easy. We did a lot of stomach work already with the reformer mat that we did at the start. One more set. You go pull and pull.

Now we focus a little more, we spend more time on the Double Leg Stretch. From here, you curl up. I want you to bring your arms back slowly, slowly around, see what changes, how it changes on the powerhouse and then you bend it in. And again, you reach back, float, open, circle, reach towards your knees and then you pull it in. And again, reach out, open, pull, think about the Rowings, pull forward and in.

Two more. Reach. Reach long with the arms like we did in the very beginning, reach all the way to your knees. And in, last one. Stretch, circle, to the knees and beautiful, head down for a second, we breathe and up again for Single Straight. So we go pull and pull.

In a little bit, very soon, we'll load the legs as well. We'll put some weights on the ankles, so enjoy the freedom you have now, get into a nice range of motion and we'll need that, very, very shortly. And home release. Now, Double Leg Straight. Two options, arms long, or arms behind the head.

Reach, reach, reach, reach and scoop it up. Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, and up. And again, reach and up. If you choose to stay here, make sure your abdominals, your back is straight, your abdominals are ready to kick in. And now for the Criss-cross, if you have dumbbells, you do elbow to knee, elbow to knee, don't pull the knee in too much.

Let's try to reach up with the elbow. Reach up with the elbow. Reach, reach, reach, reach, reach, reach and reach, pull, one more, up and release. All the way up for Spine Stretch Forward. We're gonna face you, because I want you to see what I do with the arms at some point.

So from here, flex your feet, long arms. Zip up inhale, head down exhale. Reach, reach forward, head going down and then you pull, roll everything up. Now, reach forward and up with your arms, open to the side. Now, let's bring the palms back.

So we internally rotate the arms and for 10 times we lift a little, two, three, four, five and five more to go. And now pumps down, arms in front of you. Lift, head down, reach. Real nice and deep, nice and curled and then the stomach pulls us back, he wins the battle. And now you go reach up, open, palms back and again, lift, lift, lift, reach away, lengthen the arms away like we did in the Rowings.

We decollapse, we create space in the joint. Now forward again, lift, head down, relax the shoulders, pull back and last one, up and open, in, the very last set. And again, one pound is really enough and release. Move the shoulders around, move the neck a little bit, just to make sure that things didn't get too tense. And then we reach out with the arms again and we do just go into a Twist.

So here you exhale, exhale and back. Go slowly and move voluntarily with no momentum, because we have weights to control and weight to connect to the center. So reach, feel your hands pulled into your center with cables, with springs maybe. We like them, right? And now into the Saw, you lift, twist and reach, as you reach forward, try to lift the back arm.

Reach, reach, reach, reach, come up and center. Lift, twist to the other side and then you go reach, reach, reach, come up, open the chest and center. Let's one more. Lift, turn. And you go over, over, over, over, lift, easy, shoulders down, they're coming up and last one, you go over and stretch. And now you come up, open the chest, and release. Beautiful, now time to put the ankle weights on.

So, again, only one pound for me. And I think it's a good, we'll keep them on for a long time and we'll do different type of exercise. So as a first time at least, I will go with the one pound instead of two. Okay? Now let's go on the stomach. And from here, I want you to reach, press the forearms down, you can keep the legs slightly apart and you open the collarbones.

Now, you can stay here, you can come up higher, if you want. And now we go Neck Roll. You turn, drop down, try to look behind the shoulder and center. Now look, peek behind your shoulder, chin down to the collar bones, to the other shoulder and center. And now from here, you lengthen up one leg, we have a weight now, enjoy the extra resistance and you go up, kick, kick, reach.

Lift, kick, kick, reach. Every time you lift the leg, think about pressing the elbows down more. And kick, kick, lengthen out. And again, up, kick, kick, reach. And last one, kick, kick and lengthen.

Now let's jump back to the reformer mat. From here, you do pulling straps, so long arms in front, lengthen up the arms and the shoulders, bend your arms, pull your straps back, open the chest, bend your arms, reach forward, lower yourself down and again, lift, bend, pull back, open, reach forward and down. Last one, up, back, back, back, back, open the chest, reach and release. Now keep the forehead down, open the arms like in a Y position with a palms on the floor. Keep the forehead down, keep the sternum down, lift the arms up off the floor where they are.

From there, pull back, open the chest, come up with the upper body and you're going to pulling straps number two. Lengthen, reach out and lower yourself down. And again, you lift, pull back, reach, lengthen out to the V and down. And now up, reach, reach, reach. Let's go back to that V, lower down, relax the forehead on the mat and here you lift the arms up and up and up, just 10 times, just to get into those muscles in between the shoulder blades and make sure they're ready to hold us up.

Beautiful. One more pulling straps, reach back and now you turn the head, cup the hands on your back and Double Leg Kick. You go kick, two, three and reach up, up, up. And you go kick, two, three and reach, reach, reach. And you go kick, two, three and lengthen. And one more time, kick, two, three, reach more, more, more. Beautiful.

Sit back on your heels, stretch your back, pull, relax the shoulders. And now we turn around for Neck Pull. If you have the wrist weight, you can keep them on until the end. Otherwise we take them off and we can keep going with the ankle weights because now we'll prioritize the posterior chain of the lower body. So from here, nice natural position, really flex your feet, really reach forward, arms by your sides.

Now, curl, reach up and you can add your arms here. You stretch forward, you lift. Feel free to close the elbows to control the way down. And then you'll come up and you go over, two, three, lift tall and then you go deep, you can close the elbows, control, control, control and open. Last one, up and you go over, two, three.

You lift, let's hinge a little bit. We go, we go, we go and we scoop. Now, scissors. We go back to the center. From here, bend your knees into your chest, slowly scoop and lift, support with your hands.

So we'll repeat the same work that we did with the arms. You go into a scissor, switch and switch, stay. Helicopter your legs around, the left leg goes in front of you. And now you go switch, one and two. Circle, helicopter around.

Now the right leg is in front of you. And you go switch, switch, circle and switch, switch, last one, circle around and all the way up. Roll down, I don't want to do the other transition with the weights, it's too much. We dome with the feet, we connect, we curl and lift. Now we really focus on the glutes, with the right leg you start bending, extending and releasing.

And again, bend, stretch and lengthen. Bend, stretch and lengthen. Now reverse, you go up and stretch. Lift and scrape away. Last one and down. Now, opposite leg.

You go bend the knee, stretch, bicycle and reach, one more time. Lengthen, now reverse. Come up, bend and scrape the floor away. Lift and stretch, up and down. Now, if you can stay up, reset your feet, the right knee comes up again, you lengthen up to the ceiling and we going to circle one, circle two, circle around three, reverse.

Open around and up, open around and up. Last one. The standing leg is really working, reach and bend. Now we switch. Left knee, stretch it up and circle, circle two, circle three, reverse, open, so hard to keep the pelvis even and stable. Last one and reach long and away. And now both feet are doming and supporting, open up the hips one last time and now big exhale, melt.

Release, release, release, tailbone is still up, sacrum is still up, so let's put the sacrum down, the tailbone and beautiful, stretch it out, shake your legs out for a second. And we transitioning to Side Kicks. So, with the weight, we'll put the legs a little bit forward, 45 degrees, stabilize, long. And you go kick and reach and kick and stretch. So let that leg move as much as you can, but always make sure you are controlling that extra weight from up here.

Abdominals, glutes, inner thighs and reach and again, kick and reach and kick and stretch. Now back home, you go up and flex. Up and flex, kick it up and reach. Lift and reach, one more up and down. Now parallel again and we go circle, I always like the circles to be kind of medium to big.

I want to get this to move and work. You need to control this back, then two more. Reach and reach. Now reverse. Push the hip bone forward as the leg and the weight goes back. Two, beautiful.

Three, four, last one, five. Now let's add some work here. Slide, scrape, lift it up and down. Pull, open, open, open, work, think about the Wanda Chair, the going up side. Going up side on the Wanda and now reverse.

Up, bend, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. And go up and work it, work it, work it, work it, work it. Last one. And stretch. Now we do the biggest circle possible. So it doesn't really look like a circle.

You go forward, you go up to the ear and here we need to break the circle. You reach, reach, reach, reach, reach, and reverse, just one. Go back, lengthen, high to the front. Now keep going, go back, at your biggest range of motion, now go, one, two, three, four, five five more counts, five more beats. Three, two, one.

And now we cross the top leg and we get to work on the bottom one. Just easy lifts first, at the internal range. So we keep it as high as possible. We don't wanna touch the floor. Okay? It's hot.

We keep it up. And now from here, you can bend the leg, you place it down and now we do foot knee, knee foot, foot knee, knee foot. And three, down, two, down, last one and release. Let's roll on the stomach, for some transitional work. So forehead on your hands, scoop your legs and stomach up.

And now you go beat two, three, and you just open, relax the shoulders, breathe, rest up a little bit. Now, bend, flex your feet. And now your pulse up, up, little pulses. Every time I send my heels up, I scoop my stomach up. Otherwise I go in a huge arch that is not controlling, could be very, very dangerous.

Now lengthen out the legs, lengthen the arms and rest everything down for a second. From here, right arm, left leg, reach. Stomach is lifted too. And now down everything. Left arm, right leg and down.

And again, reach and down and reach and down. Now we do a super slow Swimming. You go up and up and up and up, two, more, last, one. And then you go scoop and release, all the way back. You can spin around to the other side, or you completely change direction, I like to face you.

So I'm gonna flip over and here I'm ready for the sidekicks on the other side. So long and we swing it front and reach. And kick and back and let it go. Reach, nice and easy, you breathe. Few more. Remember everything we did when we're using the Magic Circle, even on the very first class we did, right?

When we were talking about the base and more support, you can bring, get stuff from those variations as well. Let's go up now and you go kick. And you go kick and up and up. Now those medium to big circles. You go circle, one, circle, two.

And around, three and four, one more. Pretend you're moving through the heel, reverse, back and two and three, beautiful. Big circle around and around. Now here, we go for the going up side, reach, up and down and again, scrape it up, knee behind, stretch it up and lower. Last one, open, open, open and release.

Reverse, up and stretch it away. Lift and down. And again up and reach, reach, reach, reach, reach. Now, all the way to the front, up to the ear, reach, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, feel the opening at the hip and home. Now reverse, back, lengthen the leg away, bring it up as high as you can, all the way to the front and now reach continue back, long. And now you go one, two, three, four, five, five more, reach and release.

Cross it over and we go up, at the highest, wherever you can be. You just want to be as far away from the floor as possible. And now you bend that leg and we go foot knee, knee foot, foot knee and down. And again, lift and down, two more. Up and down, last one, lift and release.

Very good job. Now let's go lying down. And we come up for a quick Teaser. Here. Stretch your back, reassess everything, reach out. Now scoop, it's gonna feel a lot different with the weights, ha? We need to calibrate the height of the legs and how we go up and down.

And again, scoop lift. And pull, your stomach needs to fight the weight that want you to go forward and drop the legs down. Let's do one more, scoop back, control, control, open up the front of the hips. Let's try to keep that front of the hips open, as much as we can. Now here for Teaser Two we do one leg at a time, down and up, down and up and lift and lift, last set and good.

Now from here, we're gonna scoop down to backstroke and then reach up to Teaser. And go slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly, that point is so hard to control the rolling back of the sacrum and the high part of the pelvis. And again, scoop back and now scoop reach, feel free to hold your legs and help. And then we go into a Seal. So we're gonna beat the feet, rock back, beat and come up.

Pull, pull, pull and back. We just do a few more, a couple more and then we stand up. Stand up the way you like, the way it's more comfortable for you, then we'll work on that in the future and we'll find more options. So ready to go and lift. Now, let's finish with a nice, again, work for the back of the legs and transitioning to that shoulder challenge that will come up soon.

So from here, arms to the front, one leg back. We're going to lift the leg up, up, feel the weight, stay up with the leg. Go down, roll down with your body or find the floor. And you walk out and you walk out to a Plank. Now, you can stay here on the Plank for the pushups, or you can go on the knees, I'll do both.

So you can go for four, or you can stay on the foot. We do four pushups, and then you walk back with your hands. I want you to stop in a place where your pelvis is nice and square, head is down relaxed. And now with the pelvis square, you lift the leg. Don't open the pelvis, just keep it squared.

And now let's turn the leg out, open the hip, let that leg go up as much as you can And you repeat the same lifts, lifts, three, four, five. Now slowly come up and reach forward. Lift, lift, lift, ooh. Up and release. Now other side. Lengthen, up with the leg.

Slowly down, find the floor. Now, walk out, find the Plank. So you can choose the option of the knee and you go, one, two, you can continue, or you can come up for the full push-ups on the foot, walk back and now your balance here, square off and you go up two, three, four, five. Now turn out the hip, send it up high and you go five, four, three, two, one. Lower the leg back down, reach, lengthen, slowly, slowly, slowly, come up and release.

Now from here, inhale up and open, open, open, little arch and release and reverse, open to the back, lift and down. And thank you for joining me, in this loaded mat. Hopefully you really connected to the center.

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1 person likes this.
non solo brava ma anche super elegante :) bella lezione
1 person likes this.
wonderful instructor, really enjoyed all the moves!!
1 person likes this.
You're a wonderful teacher!  Thank you!
Valli 🙏🏼 Grazie mille 😘
Ozlem D Thank you! Happy you enjoy the class 👍🏻
Cynthia E 🙏🏼 Thank you Cynthia
Amy S
1 person likes this.
Another great class from Ilaria Challenging variations on postures
More please!
Amy S Thank you Amy! Happy you like the program 🙏🏼
1 person likes this.
Thank you for this creativ class! You are an amazing mover!
Helga L 🙏🏼 Thank you Helga to taking the time to do this class 😘 happy you like it!
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