Class #496

Pilates At Your Desk

30 min - Class


Layla continues her series of classes outside the studio with "Pilates At Your Desk." This is not your basic "roll your neck and loosens up your wrist" desk workout. Layla turns the office chair into a Reformer and in under 30 minutes will have you doing the Short Box series, Balance Control Front, the Snake, and Twist in your cubicle! Kristi joins the workout offering modifications using the Ball.
What You'll Need: Mat, Fitness Ball, Theraband

About This Video


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So welcome to philosophy is any time in the office and we thought, why have an excuse not to get a good pilates workout even if you work all day. So we've tried to work up a few exercises for you to do on a lunch break. You can even take a few of them and just throw them into a break. Um, Christy's going to try to modify this workout and she's making it up as she goes along, so God bless her. But this could also be a ball workout where thinking if you're at the office, um, you might want to find a couple of sheet protectors, the plastic sheet protectors you put paper in. I actually took a couple of those, the, the more from kind, the thicker kind and cut them into circles.

And now I've got a pair of gliding discs, but square variety will do as well. And we'll hand those to Christie and we'll use those at the very end. If you have access to a theraband, I would recommend it. Keep it at the office. Great tool to have in your desk. Makes a lot of these exercises harder. And sometimes easier.

So if you can get that together, but you can do or modify most of these exercises without the theraband as well. So I don't really appear to be dressed for a workout, but I could take off my glasses. You can take off my sweater, put my hair back, it's lunchtime. Take off my shoes, I'm in my cubby, my cubicle. People are staring, but that's okay. I don't mind. And we can really feel great by the end of lunchtime.

We feel like, wow, we haven't just stretched. We've done a really super great workout. So go ahead and sit tall in your chair or on your ball and [inaudible]. If you're in a chair, just get a nice contact at the back at your lumbar spine. You may be forward of the back of the chair if it's reclined a bit, but you want a decent contact with the lumbar spine and the arms are by the side, sitting tall.

Inhale and expand the ribs sideways and exhale. Okay, inhale, flex the hands, the wrists, roll the shoulders forward, sitting tall. Exhale, extend the wrist or flex here and down. Inhale, bend, exhale. Extend the Russ. We need that wrist work sitting at a computer all day. Inhale to bend at the wrist and Exhale, pushing down with the palm and extending. Hold it here other way up with the extension.

Flex and push down up with the extension of the wrist flex and push down. One more time up with the palm. Bend at the wrist, pushing the back of the hand down to the floor. Good. Take the arms, close the fist so we get a nice little finger work here. We lift up back pressure does not change on the back of the chair. And now open the fingers wide and circle. Do not extend but don't go into hyperextension. Just keep up straight.

Inhale, palms are up, fingers closed. Exhale, palms are open and we circle back behind. One more time. Inhale, externally rotated, palms are up. And exhale fingers open wide and circle around. We reverse it. Circle wide in the back.

Fingers are open externally rotate and inhale down. Open the fingers and lift in the back and palms to the ceiling and pull down. One more time. Fingers are open. Risks are loving this and pull it down. Palm is facing the ceiling. Great.

Move to the front of your chair or your ball. Hands on knees. Inhale sitting tall and exhale, scoop back. Pressing the inner thighs in the knees together. Come back into a big deep scoop. Inhale here and exhale. Keep it as you roll back up. And finally, lift.

Inhale, and exhale. Begin with a pelvic curl and curl back into the chair. Contacting it. Finally with the upper back. Inhale, pressing further down into the chair. Exhale, rolling forward. Keeping the scoop and extending. One more time. We make a change. Inhale tall, and exhale.

Curl the pelvis back. Roll back into that pelvic contraction. Inhale here. Little pulses back into the chair or the ball. One, two, three, four. Hold it. Inhale here. And exhale. Roll it up. We make a change. Inhale here and roll it back. Deep Scoop. Holded. Here we lift. Hold the arms out straight. We lift one leg and put it down.

Marching and down. Keep just the toes contacting the floor. Deep Scoop. Really trying to press this belly back into the chair. Right and left and right and left. Hold it here. Inhale, drop the heels down to the floor and exhale. Roll it up. We move on. Inhale here and exhale, rolling it back.

We go. Single leg stretch. Pull one leg as you extend the other and switch if you need. Touch the ground with the extended leg. If you're feeling strong and your belly can scoop way back into that chair or that ball, you may lift. I don't think that, I don't think that Christie's is going to be able to take both legs off at one time. She'd be very good if she could do that. Pull it in and pull it in and pull it in.

One more time. Each side. Really scooping back to that chair. Hold both in legs down. Inhale here and exhale. Roll it up. Double leg stretch. Inhale here. Exhale, roll it back. Lift one leg, then lift the other and both go out.

Circle around and hold both. Go Out, circle around and hold for me. Place the palms back behind you so that you're externally rotating at the shoulder out. Circle around and hold the knee out and hold the knee. Christie has a great modification here, out and in. One more time out and in. Inhale here.

Drop the legs to the floor and exhale. Roll it up. Hundred. Inhale here and exhale. Roll it back. Straighten one leg other straight. Lower the arms. Lift one leg for 10 and down for 10 tougher to pump on the ball.

Same leg up and left leg up and down. Same leg, up and down. The bigger the pump, the more blood we get going and down in heal. Up and down. Change legs, up and down. Up. How's it going there Christie? And down. One more on the right. Up and down and left. Up and down.

Hold it here. Inhale, bend the legs. Exhale, roll it up. Whew. The a hundred in the office chair. Huh? That's good. And on the ball, that's tough. Good. So let's get our discs a little bit closer and we will go to Chris Cross. Inhale here. Exhale, roll it back. Hands behind the head. Inhale one leg up and exhale, change again.

You can keep the foot on the floor and really feel that connection before you change. And if your chair starts moving, boy, you're really centered in the core. If the legs can stay in the air, do so. Inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale. One more time. Each side. Inhale and exhale.

Inhale and exhale both legs in. Hug the knees in and relax it. Yeah, yeah, picked up the theraband and make sure that if you are using a theraband that it's in good condition. And let's go to some foot and leg work. Get some ankle and some toe action going. So take this theraband, get it up nice and short so you've got good tension. Sit back in your chair, extend the legs out and IX point the toes.

Point the feet so it's a metal tarsal point, not a true toe point. The toes are long. And then pull it back for a flex. Press it out and pull it back. Inner thighs pulling together here.

Press it out and pull it back. Press it out, pull it back and press it out and pull it back. Ankle circles. So we come out into a wide V, we press out and together pull in out, press away and together, back. Press out together, out, press together, pull it back together, pull it back. We reverse it. So we press out together. Then we pull it apart, pull it towards us together.

Point out the elects together point. Really remember those inner thighs here together, point out blacks together and point out blacks together. Little sideline legwork. So if you're in an office chair that has arms like this one, you might want to sort of take an oblique angle and really rest with one hip hip bone on, on the front edge of the seat. Christie's doing her own beautiful adaptation.

So we're going to basically just a bend and stretch against the pressure of the theraband sideline as if we were sideline on the reformer and the foot bar would be underneath us here underneath her foot and try to feel like it's coming straight out of the hip. The tendency will be for it to come forward. So fight that tendency. You can even put that top hand on your hip. Two more and release and let's switch sides. Important to get the hips really working after sitting probably for hours.

So many of us do and hip strength I think is lacking in a lot of people today and I think it's an important thing that relates to our back health etcetera. So hand on hip extend and bend. Try to keep that knee facing in the same direction as the toe. Don't let it right up to the ceiling or really pressed with that heel and try to keep the chairs steady at the same time. And don't let the ball move and your boss is calling. The train is going by and one more hour.

Oh this one. Oh great sidekick. Wonderful. So we've done all that. We have short box abdominals that we need to do. So let's try to use the theraband or you can use a towel.

Any anything as a poll, we're going to come to the front part of the chair sitting right at the front of the chair. So we have plenty of room behind us. And if you can straighten the legs out as if they would be hooked under the foot. Strap on a reformer arms overhead. Inhale here. Exhale, hinge back. Inhale up, hinge back. Inhale up, hinge, back, and up. Hinge back.

Really feel yourself. Your fingertips are lengthening up. As you go back. The top of the head is reaching up as you go back, getting taller with every repetition. Hold it here. Go to the twist so we twist to the side. On the inhale on the exhale, reach over. Inhale up and back to center. Inhale to twist and exhale to extend. Inhale up.

Exhale to center. Inhale sitting taller as we twist and exhale, reaching to the back corner of the room. Inhale up and exhale to center. Inhale, tall untwist and exhale, reach. Inhale up and back to center. Last time the ride in taller and twist and reach for. Inhale up. Exhale, back to center. Shoulders down.

Inhale and exhale over. Inhale up and exhale back. Oh, so can we sweat at work? Is that okay? Nobody will know. Nobody will know. So let's have some fun with if we've, we've thought about this and office chairs can actually turn into sort of a reformer. And so we've had some fun trying to get some good full body exercises on this. So stand on your theraband and reached down, grabbing the ends, and then grab the sides of your, the seat of your chair firmly making sure that the theraband is not gonna go anywhere. We're going to look for control front.

So on the reformer we'd be in a bit more of a pike. As you can see, Christie's doing it on her elbows, on the ball. Inhale here and exhale. Push the chair away from you out to the full extension. And now push it farther and bring it home farther.

And this is really squirrely so it makes it a lot harder out and in and out. And in. Inhale and exhale. Return home. Inhale to prepare and exhale. One more time. I like my feet in a small v here. You can play with it. Inhale out an exhale. Return.

Inhale out and nothing else moves. Shoulder girdle, serratus, doing all the work here. Inhale out. Exhale. Return one more time. Inhale out. [inaudible] an exhale. Return. Inhale and exhale. Return home. Ooh, yes indeed. Let's take a break for one second before I return to some more of that fun.

A little more hip work, because again, we've been sitting for hours, so without prop, again, coming to the front edge of your chair and maybe if it has arms, you're kind of sitting in an oblique angle so you can really get your head [inaudible] your hip extended out. Their arms are extended as well. Try to hold the chair steady as we lift the leg. Okay. Getting stabbed by the ribs here and lift and three and four and five and six. Here's seven. There's eight, nine and 10.

Hold it up and little circles forward and to hold that chair steady and four and five, hold it up and reverse it. Five and four, three and two and one bring it in and switch to the other side and it's almost lunchtime, I promise. Good workout, little lunch. You're going to feel so good, so get into the same position. Nice and steady. Arms here, lift the leg for 10 and nine and really pulling in from the core here, keeping the chair or the ball absolutely quiet. And Five, four, three, two, one. Hold it up in little circles forward and two, three and four and five.

Hold it in reverse for five and then for three, make that hip work. Two and one bring it in. Beautiful. So now we'll have some fun with an exercise called twist, which is done on the reformer. It's an advanced exercise, but on this chair it's a little bit more accessible. So because our, it would be similar to perhaps doing twist from the floor as opposed to putting your feet up on the reformer or of course more advanced up on the bar. But our feet are going to be below the chair.

So in the traditional exercise, one arm is in front of the other and one foot is on the floor of the bar and the other is crossed at the ankle over it. So we're going to inhale here and exhale, push the chair away and at the same time twist the body and look back behind us. Inhale here, exhale, return it and pull it back. You can do this without the theraband. It's harder in here. Earlier in. Exhale, push that. That was Christie's great idea. Do you need the theraband, Leila? I don't know. Do I? Yeah, maybe. Maybe today. I do.

And one more time. Inhale and exhale out and twist and it's really just a great stretch with this chair and pull it back for Christy. I'm sure it's probably a little bit more work than just a great twist. Great source. Yeah, so switch legs and really make sure that the theraband is flat and wide under your foot. You don't want it snapping off your foot at the point of tension in the middle of this exercise, especially at work, could cause a Ruckus.

Okay, so we'll push the [inaudible] standing leg arm in front. Good. As we inhale and exhale, press away and twist. Inhale and exhale. Pull it back. Inhale here, and exhale. Push it away. And one more time.

Twist and pull it back. Similar exercise. Go back to the original foot and we'll just go over snake because we can do the same thing. Christie loving this. She said, you'll figure it out. So again, one legged, but we're not obliquely reaching here.

So for snake will cross the foot, have the hands. I actually have the rubber band over my thumbs and under my palms. Inhale here, and exhale, extend. Keep pressure in that toe on the band and come into back extension. Inhale and exhale. Pull it up one more time. Inhale and exhale. Press it out.

Inhale and exhale, pull it up. We switched sides, making sure your foot is well seated into the band, cross at the ankle. Inhale here. Foot is grounded on top of that. Theravent in. Exhale, push it away. Inhale and exhale. Pull it in. Inhale and exhale. Push it away and inhale it. Exhale, pull it in. Oh, you can get off that. Now, pick up your plastic discs, or as Kristi pointed out, paper plates work really well as gliding discs.

And we'll do a couple of little hip releases, which again, we're going to need. If we're sitting all day, we're going to need some release work in these hips. So place your paper plates, your plastic discs, your plastic page protectors. Right in front of your chair or Christie's just using nothing standing tall. As we inhale, we [inaudible] roll down and internally rotate so we're sliding our feet so that they're pointing in towards one another and we rolled down. Inhale here. As we exhale, we lift the top of our head and come into a flat bag as the feet rotate to external rotation and come all the way up.

Really using our glutes to do so. Return the feet to neutral. We inhale tall. As we exhale, roll down feed internally, rotate and come down into the roll down. We inhale here as we exhale, we extend the head and spine out straight as the feet rotate out and come all the way up to a stand feed. Come back to neutral one more time. Inhale and exhale. Roll it down. Feed her internally rotated and you really don't need the discs.

It's easier if you have them in. He'll come out into the the flat back as the feet rotate. It's just smoother with the plates or the desks and actual all the way to the top using one desk now or paper plate and just using a chair or a wall or your desk for balance. We're going to come into some rear lunges and get some nice hip extension. So stand with the extended leg back behind you with that foot on the desk.

Inhale here. The point being that the standing leg that's underneath me, that knee cannot come forward of my toe, so I can't come here to come down. I have to stay here and I have to push this leg back to come down. Then my knee bends, knees staying behind, toe come all the way into a deep lunge. Inhale here. Now knee stays here, so that means I have to go straight up. I have to put pressure on my back, toe into the floor and draw up with my hamstrings like scissors coming towards one another. Inhale here. Exhale, knee stays back.

So this leg comes back. Now my knee bends staying behind my toe. Come down into that nice deep lunge. Open up that hip flexor we inhale here. Keep light on the toes, heavy on the forward heel, and press into the floor with the backhoe. Keep this knee here and come straight up to the roof and change legs. Well, inhale here, and exhale. Knee stays back.

Enjoy that stretch. Inhale here. Exhale. Think straight up to the ceiling. This knee, pulling back this leg, pulling forward, up to stand. Inhale, and exhale. Press back with this back leg. Now the knee bends all the way down into a deep, deep lunge. Inhale here, [inaudible], and exhale. Press up by pressing down in the floor with that back leg and lifting.

Inhale here. Then exhale. Inhale up. Exhale. Inhale up. Exhale. One more time. Inhale and exhale. Have a great lunch break. Okay.


This is very, very clever. Thx for the added ball version, Kristi!
My pleasure Elsabe ! Actually the exercise pictured nearly did me in!
Great job you guys!!! Loved it!!! Kristi great modifications on the ball - will use the ball version in my class this morning! Layla the chair exercises were awesome - will incorporate them for a Chair Pilates class that I will be subbing for!! Thks for the great material always!!!
Great class! Loved using the ball to do my pilate's exercises-
So glad Kristi was game to ad lib on the ball... like 2 classes in one. Hope you all get a chance to try the chair exercises and use what works for you. For those who work at a desk for hours. I just hope it changes the way they feel
You guys rock! Thanks
Excellent ideas to share with my clients. Thanks!!
Any chance that we'll have a nice printout of this to share? Similar to Pilates in the Car?
Great class Layla! I am excited to have some clients take a look at this class and utilize your exercises while they're at work. They're going to LOVE them! Many folks talk about the hips being tight and how they hate to sit for hours....your hip stretches and snake/twist will be so delicious for them!!! Thank you!! :)
more more please, Maybe one we can do while on the couch watching TV :)
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