Class #4814

Short and Sweet Mat

25 min - Class


Join Adrianne Crawford in this beginner Pilates Mat class. In under 30 minutes, you will have more ease and length in how you move. Adrianne gives extra attention to releasing our spines and hamstrings to help execute the exercises to come. You move through playful core work to understand tempo, as well as, play with a variation of Rowing on the Mat.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Mar 01, 2022
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Okay, well, welcome. My name's Adrianne, and I'm gonna be teaching these beautiful ladies a beginner mat class today. So with that said, let's begin. I'm gonna have both of you step forward of your mats, and I'd like you to sit down gracefully. Ideally, if you're able to cross one leg over the other, cross your arms, and slowly lower yourselves down to the mat with control.

That's it. Very nice, ladies. And then you're gonna go ahead and just keeping your knees bent, I'm gonna have both of you lie down on your backs and rest. Good. All right, so have your feet about hip-width apart, and you're just gonna start to get yourselves here.

So I'll have you take both arms straight up to 90 degrees. Take a nice inhale and begin to let your arms fall behind you exhaling and let let your backs just kinda relax and release. And now, as you take that next inhale, lift both arm straight up to 90 degrees, exhale all the way down to the mat, open your chest and think of pulling your navels in and up against the mat underneath you. And then you're gonna continue that same stretch for about two or three more times. So arms will lift.

You're inhaling, your arms stretched back, your exhaling, letting everything kinda relax and loosen. Arms come up, deep breath in. Arms come down, you exhale. We're gonna get a little more into this getting your backs to imprint, what we call imprint into the mats. So holding that, take the arms back again.

Deep breath in. Arms come all the way down to the sides. Once they're down, you're gonna hold them at your hips. So arms come up and lower to your hips and hold. Let me see your tummies pulling in and pulling up and think of your back's getting really long, so your necks are stretching, your shoulders are pulling down, those arms are reaching forward.

Let's go ahead and bring one knee into your chest and give that one leg a stretch. So let's bring... Yeah, it doesn't matter which leg. You can bring your right leg in if you'd like. Hold your thigh to stretch and just take that one leg straight up to 90 degrees.

Hands can now rest at your side and just hold the leg there. Count to about three. And then let's challenge your back. So let's lower those legs about two or three inches trying to maintain a nice long and anchored spine and hold another three counts. We're gonna challenge that.

And once again, lower the leg about two or three inches. Feel where your backs are. Try to get that nice imprinted back, so your whole spine is down on that mat. You're using that powerhouse or core to get yourself centered and long. And one more time, a little bit lower.

Holding one, two, three, and now take that same leg back up to 90 degrees or even higher. Try to bring that leg towards your nose. Don't let your tailbones rise. Your tailbones stay down, even more, Christie, try to stretch out, very nice. Hold, hold, hold, bend your knee.

Give that leg a stretch. And then you're gonna switch legs. So left leg comes in. You first hold your thigh and give that leg a stretch. Good listening skills.

Take that left leg straight up. And now, you're thinking of that leg extending out long while keeping those hips anchored and holding. Two, three counts, and then you're gonna take that same leg down about two or three inches and hold. Two, three and then a little bit lower. Try not to let your back sway, keeping them anchored.

Two, three, and a little bit lower. Try not to tense your arms and shoulders or necks. And now, take that same leg as high as you can. Keep that tailbone flat. Don't let your bottoms lift.

Hold, two, three, four, five counts. Bend the knee and give the leg a stretch. Good, go ahead and place the leg down. Take one leg, stretch it out long on the mat. And then the other leg, stretch it out long on the mat.

Think of those legs reaching away from you and wrapping the outer thighs, inner thighs together, pulling up in the waist, getting the backs down. It's a lot harder when the legs are straight to get that imprinted spine, but that's the idea. Take your arms and stretch them behind you. Take a nice deep breath and let your backs relax. Inhale, arms come back up.

Exhale, arms come down, open the chest. Imprint the spine. So one more time. Just the arms go back. Legs, arms reaching out backs can kind of relax.

Deep breath in arms, come back up to 90 degrees. Exhale, arms, come down, wrap the outer thighs, inner thighs, squeezing your seats, zipping up those inner thighs. Now, slide one leg in toward your chest and then the other one in toward your chest, so now you've got both knees in, and we're gonna begin with your hundreds. So here we go. You're gonna take both legs straight up, lower the legs to about 45 degrees, lift your arms above your hips, lift your head up, and look at your waist.

And you're gonna begin pumping the arms up and down. Taking a nice deep breath in for five counts. Three, four, five, while the arms are moving and exhale, two, three, four. Now, if this becomes too challenging, you're more than welcome to bend your knees and get those backs down. Just depends.

Go ahead and bend your knees. So you get, yep, and the knees will be apart. You're reaching out long and exhale. Now, if you wanna challenge that, that's where you can straighten the legs. It's all up to how hard you wanna work and how capable your spines feel on those exercise.

Exhale, two, three, four. And you wanna get just the tips of the shoulders on the mat. Two more, two, three, four, five, out with the air, three, four, five, in with air. Two, three, four, five, out with air. Three, four, five, and go ahead and lower yourselves now.

At any point, if your necks feel this, it just means you need to drop your head and let your neck relax but continue with the arms and legs. All right, so now, let's go ahead and have one knee back into your chest. You're gonna take that one leg straight up. You're preparing for what's called leg circles. Two ways to do this.

You can have one leg up and the other knee is bent as these two are showing right now or you can straighten your bottom leg. That becomes a lot more challenging to keep the spines anchored, but that's the idea. If that's comfortable, you're gonna stay in that position and circle the leg inside your hips and shoulders. Five circles, keeping your hips still. So not quite so big.

As nice as that is, you wanna control the circle. Three, five times, four, five. Like painting a circle on the ceiling. You're gonna reverse it five times. Bring that leg up to the nose five times too.

So you finish on the in and up to the nose. Three, four, keep both legs reaching, and five. Bend your knee into your chest. Give it a nice little hug. Very good.

They're great hip flexor exercises, helps to loosen those up especially when we're really tight. You're gonna bring your little left leg in, give that leg a stretch. And then you're gonna take that leg up. Again, you can have one knee bent, one leg straight or both legs long. If you do end up having those both legs long, they're both actively stretching.

So the one that's down is reaching away, the one that's up is reaching up. So your hips are anchored, your back's anchored, and you're in a circle five times up to the nose. One, two, keeping the hips from rocking. Three, four. Try not to use your arms.

Very challenging, reverse, one. So the bigger you get, the harder it becomes too. They do get bigger as you progress through your Pilates challenges. Three, four, and one more time, and five. Bring that leg in, give it a nice stretch.

Very nice. Now, you're gonna sit up. Your legs are straight. You're gonna lift your bottoms to sit at your heels and hold the back of your thighs. Let's have the feet hip-width apart on the mat.

And now you're gonna, keeping the feet on the mat, you're gonna start to round backwards trying not to fall, so your hips kinda curl underneath you. When your arms are straight, you stop, take a nice deep breath in. Using that powerhouse, pull in your stomach, exhale, come forward forward, forward, forward, grab the top of your knee and just lift your backs to stretch that out. The closer they are to your heels, the harder it becomes. So yes, you can move further back, and then grab the back of the thighs and see that again.

So the idea is to get the lower back to articulate as you're going back, which both of you are doing very nicely. You curl the lower back under you. Try not to pull with the arms. You can, but try not to pull into the stomach and round yourselves back over to the knees, keeping those feet as still as possible. Grab the top of the knees and stretch your backs up.

Let's take that a step further and go all the way down now. So you're still holding the thighs, heads down and beginning going down. So really think of a string of pearls. You're placing one vertebra onto the mat at a time as you go down. So the hands will have to slide down.

And once you're down, you go ahead and relax. Now, coming up, you reach those arms forward, shoulders pull down, pull the waist in. You can grab the thighs or you can reach those arms out and you continue to pull in the waist as you come forward, forward, forward. Grab the top of the knees, lift your backs, get a nice stretch. And now we're gonna go a little bit quicker.

Now that you both know what you're doing, you reach those arms out long at any time you need to grab on. You may, but try not to if these are working out for you. Rest. Deep breath in, reach forward, grab the thighs if need to, otherwise, just keep reaching. Stretch forward, grab the knees, lift your backs.

So we're up tall. Very nice. Now, let's add a step. Let's go ahead and extend your legs out long. This becomes a lot more challenging because now, your legs are straight and becomes more controlled. Let's go ahead and start to lie down on the mat.

Stretch your legs out in front of you, use your seats by squeezing them and pulling in the waist and gracefully lie down. Now, take both arms up. Deep breath in, get a nice wrap on those sides, pulling the stomachs and then stretch over to the knees. Now, if that's too challenging, you can continue with the knees bent, but for you two, you're fine. Keep going.

Ideally, the legs should be straight, but it's okay to bend your knees. You wanna get strong and not just go through the motions of the exercises. Once you're up, you can straighten the legs if they were bent. If they were not, just keep them straight the whole time and just do two more. Nice deep breath in.

Arms come up with you, pull in the stomachs, and stretch forward. Legs can stretch out if they were bent. Nose between the knees. And one more time, you're gonna go back. Very nice.

Arms can stretch behind you, both arms come up. This is your last one, up and over to the knees. Good. Go ahead and slide your feet back, and let's prepare for what's called rolling like a ball. So you will hold the back of your thighs.

Your heels are together, your toes are apart and you're gonna take both feet off the mat, and you're kind of sitting back on those sits bones. So your hips are a cupped underneath you. That's the key to find that balance. We're gonna start with a few challenges by not actually falling, but just trying to round backwards to where your arms are straight without falling. Then you bring yourselves back up, keeping those feet off the mat and hold.

Try to stay limber and loose in those shoulders. Let's do that one more time. So through your center, I like the hair flip with that. Go back and pull in and come forward, forward, forward. And then go ahead and take a rest by dropping the feet.

Let's do one more stretch. Grab the top of your knees and just get a nice stretch. So now that you have kind of a concept of where you're rolling, it's right back in that lower spine, you wanna keep it rounded, let's put that into a full roll. You're gonna take your feet off of the mat. Drop your heads, initiate that initial roll back and now, follow that by literally rolling into your back.

I've got a mic on so I don't wanna demonstrate improperly. Forward, good. And then go back right through your center, come up. Three more, about five times, back. It's a great centering exercise.

Teaches you how to use both sides of your backs. Two and three. Last time back, up, and place your feet down. Now you can tell where your feet land if you were starting to go sideways or not 'cause your feet might be over here when they should be centered. All right, so go ahead and straighten your legs.

Stretch for those toes and let's lie down like we did earlier, gracefully and controlled into a roll down using our powerhouses. Rest. Bring one knee into your chest. We're preparing for what's called single leg stretch. It's a coordination exercise.

Hence mind, body. You're gonna put your right hand on your ankle, left hand on your knee. And you're gonna bend that left knee into your chest as well to protect your back. So bringing the left knee in, you're gonna take that left leg straight up to the ceiling and now you're gonna lower it to a comfortable level. The lower the leg goes, the harder it is to maintain a nice flat back underneath you.

So keep that in mind on that extended leg. You wanna be at a level that you have that strength and control in the spine. So you're ready to begin. You're gonna your head and look at your stomach. So once again, right hand is on the ankle, left hand is on the knee.

Now mechanically, you just switch hands and switch legs. So left hand, left ankle and switch. Continue moving. Switching the arms, outside hand goes to the ankle each time and switch. Try to keep those elbows up and switch.

As you're moving, you're always consciously pulling into that waist and stretching the opposite leg, stretch. Scooping and stretching. And now, double time. And switch one, switch one, switch two, two. One more set, three and three.

Rest your necks. You rest your legs if you love. And then we'll prepare for what's called your double leg stretch. Also a bit of a coordination exercise. Yeah, you might wanna move down.

You somehow are sliding. Okay, heels together, toes apart. This one, the arms and legs are gonna follow each other. So we're gonna just start with the coordination of it. So you're not gonna lift your heads just yet.

You can either hold the back of your thighs or you can grab your ankles, wherever it's easier to hold onto. And the knees are slightly open, so you're in like a frog position. And you're gonna take the arms and legs just 90 degrees. So go ahead and take both arms and legs straight up. Now, taking a nice deep breath in, circle just the arms, and begin exhaling.

Exhale, bend your knees and grab back onto either those ankles or your thighs. So you're here. Good. Now, you circle the arms, you're not gonna go way back behind your head. I wanna have your arms in your peripheral where you can see them. So let's try that again.

Arms and legs go up, deep breath in, keeping those arms in your peripheral circle, bend and grab back on. Good. One more. Arms and legs up. Deep breath in. Exhale, arms and legs in.

Very good. Now that you understand the movement, you're gonna add your head and chest, look at your waist. And let's have you not actually hold the top of the knees but either the ankles or your thigh, so you don't crunch the knees quite so much. Good. Ready? Keeping the heads up, arms and legs reach out.

Nice deep breath in, circle just the arms and exhale, grab back on. Beautiful. Inhale the stretch, exhale, circle. So you're thinking, keep going. And you're stretching and circling to come back in. So the legs are going one way on the stretch and the arms are going the opposite way.

So the waistline gets long and powerful, backs are down. The lower your legs begin to go, you can lower them like Christie is doing, and that gives you more challenge for that powerhouse. Exhale. If that's not comfortable though, you keep those legs up high still getting a good workout. And exhale.

Two more. Inhale the stretch, exhale, in. And if your necks get tired, you can always put your heads down, but continue with your arms, legs and rest. Very nice, you two. All right, rest your legs for just a moment because now, what I'd like you to do now that you know the coordination of those is to put both of those exercises together without stopping.

So you're gonna go into your single leg stretch for about six exercises and then double leg stretch without stopping. So I'll cue you. Go ahead and bring your knees into your chest, placing your right hand on your ankle, left hand on your knee. Extend your left leg out. Good, granted that you have your right leg in. Good.

And now, you're ready to begin. You're gonna lift your heads, look at your waist, elbows are up, nice strong powerhouse position and switch legs. One, switch two, pull in the waist. Two, scooping, three, three, keep going. Moving, four, four, five, five.

One more set, six, six. Double leg, both legs in, heels together, toes apart. Deep breath and stretch the arms and legs out, and bring it back together. One, and inhale, stretch. And right back together, two, getting the flow of the movement into the exercises.

Three, this creates a nice dynamic workout. Four, two more, stretch legs, stretch the arms. Five, one more, deep breath in, and six, rest your necks. Very nice job, both of you. Sit up.

Let's go into your spine, stretch forward, legs apart and feet flexed. Good. You're trying to sit on top of the hips as tall as you can. Fix your pants if you need to. Take your arms in front of you so they're shoulder height.

Your feet, there's lots of energy coming out of the heels, you're tall sitting on top of those hips. Take a nice deep breath and try to squeeze your bottom and then drop your heads and begin exhaling and try to stretch over the hip. Think of the crown of the head, going to the mat. So you're not going flat back but rounding and going forward. And then stack your spine one on top of the other to sit up tall.

Arms are up, grow tall, deep breath in. We're gonna go quickly now. Heads down and exhale. Think of your heads dropping between the arms and then come right back up and tall. And three more, tall backs.

Lower yourselves down, stretch those legs, and come back up. Now, not all of us are as flexible to be able to keep those legs straight, so you are allowed to bend your knees. Stretch. You'll still feel a stretch. The idea is to challenge yourself and eventually get the legs a little straighter.

Two more and forward, forward, forward, and right back up. Last one. Lower and all the way up. Rest your arms, bend your knees, let your hands fall between the legs, grab your ankles. And then what we did earlier where you were rolling like a ball, well. you're gonna kind of fall back onto those sit bones again and try to find your balance.

And we're gonna do a little stretch. So if you're not cupping those hips, you're gonna feel off. You wanna kind of fall back, right? And you're gonna take your right leg and stretch it up. And rest.

Then you're gonna take the opposite leg, left leg. And stretch. Now, you're gonna take both legs up, stretch. Tap the heels together, open the legs, bend the knees, rest. Good. Let's do that one more time.

Fall back, got the waist in. Take your right leg and stretch and bend and left leg and bend. Now both legs up together, open and rest. Stretch out to the toes. Sit up tall, flex your feet, take a nice deep breath in.

And once again, stretch forward, exhale. Now, this time, take the arms up with you. Rise up, open your chest and try to lift your backs taller, taller, taller. Let's do that again. Stretch to those toes, try to keep the feet flexed.

Sit up tall, take the arms with you. Deep breath in. Here's where you wanna sit back. I want you to try to lift your backs, not fall back, not do what I just did, and grow tall. One more time.

Stretch, deep breath in, arms come up and exhale. Cross your legs if that's comfortable, if not, you can keep your legs straight. And take your arms up into a diamond shape behind your head into what we call a shaving position. Your backs are tall, you're just leaning slightly forward to clear, if you have a ponytail to clear your pony hair. And then you're gonna stretch those arms out and bend back in.

Pretend you're holding some heavy weights. You wanna really stretch, stretch, stretch, and bend back in. As you stretch, tighten those abs and bend and try to lengthen your backs. Try to grow taller. Stretch, stretch, stretch, and bend.

Two more. Stretch, bend. And one more. Stretch, this time, hold, sit up tall, open the arms to the side. Bend your elbows slightly, deep breath in, close, tap the fingers, and exhale.

Stay tall in your back. Inhale and exhale. You're hugging a big, beautiful tree. Inhale and exhale, or a man. And then exhale.

Inhale or whatever. And exhale. And inhale. The last one, exhale and inhale, taking your legs, stretch them out and reach once again for those toes. Take your arms up, shake them out, shake your legs out, and you two are done.


1 person likes this.
great ! very  interesting for tecnique learning
Thank  you. Spot on for the end of a long day, feeling better after this session.
Thank you for helping me work the kinks out accumulated during the day!
1 person likes this.
Loved it!  Thank you.  It's always great to go back the basics behind some of the movements.  It never ceases to amaze me how powerful that is for lengthening the spine.  Short and sweet, and also empowering!
… enjoyed it here in Denmark … Nice pace 👍🇩🇰
1 person likes this.
Oh how I miss you Miss Adrianne!!!!!
Got inspired to teach a class  at my studio class right now in Johannesburg, South Africa!
We all speak the same language - the language of J. Pilates. 
Anna B
1 person likes this.
Thank you, that was great! Loved the Salute variation.
1 person likes this.
What a lovely class. So nice to get back to basics and focus on integrity. Such a lovely way to conclude the day. Thank you 
1 person likes this.
Very enjoyable class. Basics are challenging when we slow things down
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