Class #5191

Day 2: Fiery Arms & Core

25 min - Class


Welcome to Day 2! This class targets all areas of your body with an emphasis on strengthening your core and arms! Gia Calhoun holds the space for you to get a lot of work in - in a short amount of time. Gia is clear and intentional with every cue and exercise to ensure you have an amazing Pilates experience! Get ready for some fiery arm work during the Short Box Series.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Hand Weights (2)

About This Video


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Hi, we're back for day two. I'm Gia. And today, we're going to do a reformer class using some hand weights. They're about two pounds, but you can do all these exercises with or without the weights if you prefer. It's a bit of a fusion of functional movement and traditional Pilates.

So we're going to start with footwork. I'm on three red springs and one blue or three full and one half spring. You can do whatever feels good for you on your footwork. So we're going to start in a prehensile position. So you have your toes on the foot bar wrapped around the bar, and then your heels are pushing under.

And we're going to try to keep that position with your feet the whole time. You're going to start with your elbows bent wide, holding onto your weights. And we're going to do a chest press as we push out. So as you straighten your legs, you're going to straighten your arms, and then bend everything back together. So you stretch out and then pull in.

So we're working on a little bit of coordination with this movement as well. 'Cause generally in real life, we don't just move one thing at a time. While it's good to isolate your muscles occasionally, it's also nice to work multiple body parts at the same time. We have four more. Keep pushing the heels under as you push out and as you come in.

We have two more. Good. Now we're going to push the arms up and hold. You're going to turn your palms to face each other, and then we're going to switch to your heels. So your toes are flexed back, your legs are still parallel, and then the hands are facing each other.

You're going to keep the arms out as you push your legs out, and then bend your arms as you come in. So we're doing a little bit of a tricep press. So again, the arms and legs are matching. They bend and straighten at the same time. And then try to incorporate your breath into this as well.

So we have four and three, two, last one. Now we're going to straighten the arms again. Come to a first position with your feet. So your heels are together, toes are apart, you're on your toes. Knees are about as wide as your shoulders and then you can bend your arms slightly.

As you stretch out with your legs, you're going to open your arms to a little bit of a T, and then bring the arms together as you bend your legs. So we push out and then back in. So it's like you're hug a tree if you were sitting up doing your rowing series. Stretch and bend. We have four, finding that length in the legs.

And two, last one. So we're going to repeat all of those arm movements as we move into our second position with our feet. So your heels are wide on the foot bar. Arms are bent with the elbows wide again, you stretch legs, stretch the arms. Good.

Now as you're working the legs, keep those heels drawing close together even though the legs are wide. So you'll get a little bit more engagement of the the inner thighs as you think of pulling your heels together. It's like you're sliding on something sticky. We have four and three, should start to feel the heat in your body as you're warming up. Last one.

Now keep the legs wide, switch to your toes, and then arms are going to come to this bent position. You're going to stretch the arms and legs and then bend everything together. Heels are nice and high. Just as you did with the heels on the bar, you want to think of the balls of the feet drawing in together even though they're wide again, just to get more action in the inner thighs. Keeping the spine and pelvis neutral.

Four more. And three, two. Last one. Now stretch the arms up again. We're going to bend them slightly and then you're going to stay on your toes, but bring your legs back together in parallel.

As you stretch the legs out, open the arms, and then pull everything back together. So the heels are staying nice and high, your legs are glued together. Think of pulling everything up to the midline. Good. We have four, three.

Keeping the control as you push out and then control it in, last one. Now you're going to put your hands by your side. Just keep the weights down, push all the way out and hold. Just make sure they're not in your way. Legs are nice and straight.

You're going to lower both heels under the bar and then lift back up. Lower, I don't know if you heard that, but my ankles are popping. It's good, getting the joints lubricated and lower and lift. We have four. Make sure it's not just your ankles moving.

Think of it coming all the way up from your glutes. Two more, last one. And we're going to go into running. We're going to bend one knee, push the other heel under, and then switch. Alternating the legs, passing right through the midline.

Making sure the ankles are nice and warm. We have four, three. Keeping everything parallel. Last set, both heels up, bend your legs, come all the way in. We're going to put the weights down for a bit.

We'll use 'em again later. And we're going to change to springs. So I'm going to go on to two full springs or two reds. And then we're going to do some ab work on your back. So you're going to scoot away from your shoulder rest just a little bit.

Grab onto your straps and make sure they're even. And we're going to bring the legs to tabletop. You're going to bring the arms down just so they're right over your shoulders to start. So you have a little bit of tension on the spring. So take a deep inhale with the arms up.

As you exhale, you're going to push your arms down by your sides. Inhale, arms come back up to the ceiling. Exhale as you push. So as you're moving the arms, keep going. You want to keep the legs glued together.

The abs are nice and tight and your spine is long. We have two more like this. Last one. Now you're going to turn your palms in. You're going to open your arms out to a T and then push them back to your hips.

So you open and then push back to your hips. As you open the arms, try not to let your ribs go forward. You want to keep the back of the ribcage on the mat, so you keep that control and alignment in your body. One more. Now turn your palms to face down again.

Elbows are going to hover just an inch off the mat. You're going to bend both arms and then push 'em back down for a tricep press. Bend and stretch. So if you haven't noticed by now, because we've added the weights too, we're going to have quite a bit of upper body in this class. We'll have two more.

Last one. Now we're going to repeat the whole series with your head up off the mat the whole time. So arms up to the ceiling. You're going to push down, curl your head up, hold your head up as your arms come back up to the ceiling and then push back down with the arms. So you're trying not to let your chest lower as the arms come back.

You want to keep that curl the same height the whole time. Make sure you're breathing. Inhale the arms up, exhale as you lower down. Two more. Last one.

Turn your palms in to face each other. Open out to your T and then push back to your hips. Open, again, go as wide as you can control it. Make sure you're not letting the springs take you. You're pulling your arms out to where you want 'em to go.

Last two. Keep lifting the chest. Last one. Palms face down. Bend the arms through your tricep press and stretch.

Good, as you get tired, keep curling that chest up. We only have four more. And three, we're almost there. Two, last one. Arms come up, let your head rest down.

Feet on the foot bar. Just rock your knees side to side. Take a breath. I don't know about you, but I feel my abs a lot. We're going to bring your legs back up to tabletop.

This time we're going to bring your arms to a T. So one arm's going to go up to the ceiling and then the other arm's going to go out to your side. So you're going to bring both hands down to your hips, and then you're going to alternate. So the other arm goes up to the ceiling and the arm that was up goes out to the side. So you're just going to keep alternating into a little bit of an L shape with your arms.

And then as you're moving the arms, try not to let your shoulders or your hips shift too much. You want to try to keep the stability in your torso as your arms are doing different things. We're going to do one more to each side, regular like this. And then we're going to add a leg. So on the next one, the arm that goes up, you're going to stretch that leg out to this diagonal and then bring it back to tabletop.

Stretch the other leg out. So the same arm that's up to the ceiling is the leg that goes out. So it's almost like you're mimicking walking or marching. Good, as you're moving that leg out, try not to go too low where your back arches. You want to keep that control.

Pull into the low abdominals. One more to each side. And then bring everything up. Hang up your straps. And we're going to go into some side lying.

So go ahead and sit up. I'm going to change to one red spring or one full spring. And then grab one of your weights. We're going to lie on your side. You want your hips toward the back of your mat.

And then your headrest can be up or down. I like mine up. And then I use my bottom hand to just hold onto the peg that holds the strap. You're going to take the front strap. You can use the foot bar to push out with that bottom leg.

And then the strap's going to go on your top foot. So you're going to have your weight in your top hand. And then the strap on the top foot. We're going to start with the lift and lower. So the arms and legs are going to match.

So you're going to lift both your arm and your leg and then lower everything down. So your arm can go all the way up to shoulder height or up to the ceiling if you want. Or it can go just a little bit. Whatever feels good to you. Just make sure your leg doesn't go too high that your hip starts to sink into the, or your waist starts to sink into the mat.

You want to keep the waist long and the leg parallel. We have four more of these. Reach out through that heel, get a little energy in that leg. Last two and last one, we're going to match the arm and leg again. You're going to bend both your arm and your leg and then push everything out.

And we bend and stretch. Again, the waist is staying long, the hips are stacked. One on top of the other. We have four more. And three, doesn't seem like much, but it's actually quite challenging once you're controlling the movement.

Last one. Now we're going to go forward and back with the leg. So your leg is going to go forward as far forward as you can, but your arm is going to go behind you this time. And then bring everything back to your center. So you bring the leg forward as the arm reaches back, and then bring everything back to center.

So again, it's like you're mimicking walking, 'cause when you're walking, you don't tend to have the arm and leg going in the same direction. They're usually swinging in opposite directions. We have four, a lot of nice tricep work in this class. And three. And then you should feel the back of your leg as you're pushing the leg back to center, two.

And that top hip or the side of the hip, you'll also feel. Last one. Good, bend your leg, take your foot out of that strap, and then we'll switch sides. So again, your hips are toward the back of the mat. You want your waist lifted so there's a little bit of a space underneath you.

And then grab onto that front strap. You're going to put it on your top foot right on the arch. Bottom leg can just go out of the way as you grab onto the peg that holds the shoulder rest or holds the strap. So top arm is straight holding onto the weight right over your hip, arm and leg go up, and then bring everything back down, up. So there's not much movement on the reformer on this one, 'cause if you go too high with that leg, it starts to change your waist, change the rotation of your leg, and you want to keep everything pretty parallel and lengthened.

Four more. And three. Two. Last one. Now we're going to bend and stretch.

You'll get a little more movement here. So you bend the leg and stretch. So you'll feel that the strap should just go like right in front of your leg. Or if it's a little bit below your leg, that's okay too. Just go where it's not in your way.

Four more and three, two, last one. Then we have opposite. So your leg goes forward as your arm goes back. And then bring everything back to center. Forward with the leg, back to center.

Three and four, we have four more. Keep the hips stacked, especially as you get tired. This side might be a little more fatigued than the first, 'cause it was already working to stabilize you when you were doing the first leg. Last one. Good, bend your leg, take your foot out of that strap.

You can just put your weight down for a second and then lie on your back. We're going to stretch out your hip really fast. So the leg that you did first, you're going to cross that foot over your opposite knee and then pull your leg into your chest. Oh, take a breath, and then switch sides. And then come on up.

We're going to grab your box. We're going to put the short box on. So I'm going to add on just another spring. Doesn't matter which one you have. Just so the carriage stays stable.

And then your box can go over or in front of the shoulder rest. I like mine over just to have a little bit more space to roll back. And then you want to make sure you have your strap in front ready. And then we're going to use your weights for this exercise too. So you're going to put your foot, or both feet in the straps.

You want to push out with your feet and then push down as well, so that way you don't grip in your hip flexors. And then I'm going to hold onto the weights. Again, you can do this without weights if you prefer. Arms are going to be up in your bicep curl position. We're going to hold them here.

Sitting up nice and tall, take a deep inhale. As you exhale, you're going to round starting at your tailbone, rolling back to where you can control it. And then roll back up. Sit up tall once you get up. So starting with the tailbone, you roll back.

Bring the arms with you, roll up, lengthen, tailbone under, roll back, shoulders stay down the back. We have two more. And up. Last one. You're going to hold this one back.

Keep your back round. You're going to stretch your arms and bend for a bicep curl, stretch and bend. So inhale to stretch, exhale to bend (breathes). Every time you go a little deeper into your abs, try to keep pulling the navel deeper into the spine, two more. Last one, roll back up.

Sit tall. You're going to roll back again and hold. This time, pulling into your abdominals, you're going to do little pulses up and down with the arms, up and down. Keep rounding that low back. If you start to feel it in your back at all, you can always come up and just do the arms sitting up tall.

Two more. Roll back up and then roll back again and hold. Now this time you're going to open your arms out to a goalpost position and then bring 'em back together. And then you open and close, almost like that machine at the gym where you're opening and then closing. Trying to keep that 90 degree angle with your arms the whole time.

I don't know about you but my abdominals are shaking. One more and then roll up. We have one more. You can turn your hands to face you again, roll back. This time you're going to pull your hands in toward your shoulders a little bit more.

You're going to punch to a diagonal and then back to center. Punch to a diagonal and center. So as you're twisting, try not to let the hips move. So you're just twisting from the waist. Punch and center, punch, good.

Four and three, two, last one, roll up. And then you're just going to round forward, stretch your back, and then roll up. We're going to put the weights down. We don't need them for the rest of the class, but we're going to keep the box here. We're going to do some planks.

So I'm going to move my strap out of the way. I'm going to use just one blue spring. That's a half spring. You can use one red or you can do a red and a blue. Whatever feels good to you.

I'm going to have my hands on the foot bar. I like my hands a little bit more forward so I don't bend in my wrist too much. And then my feet are going to be just against the, or my heels against the box. So you're going to push out into a plank. You're just going to hold, pull the shoulders away from the ears, lengthen your spine.

And from here, you're just going to push back a couple inches from your arms and then come forward over the foot bar. So it feels a little bit different than when you have it against the, your feet against the shoulder rest or on the headrest. Your spring's pushed out a little bit more, and then you have to control it forward a little bit more so you don't go flying over the foot bar. If you want to do this without the box, you can. One more.

Now bend your knees. You can sit down for a second and shake out your wrists. We're going to do a few more planks. So hands back on the foot bar, come back up to your plank position. Hold.

You're in one straight line from your head all the way down to your heels, keep the box where it is and just bring one knee into your chest. And then bring your foot back against the box, other leg. Pull into your chest and then back in. Pull in and reach back. Pull in, reach back.

One more to each side. Last one. Pull your legs in. Take the weight off your wrist for a second. Take a breath and then push back out into your plank.

We're going to add a twist now. So you're going to bring one leg into your opposite shoulder and then bring it back to the box. Other leg to the opposite shoulder and then to the box. Twist and center. Twist, center.

Again, you're twisting from the waist. This time, your hip can go with you, but you're trying to keep the shoulders still. One more. Bend your knees. Go ahead and sit on your box again.

Shake out your wrists. We have one more plank series. So hands back on the foot bar, push back out. Find that plank position. This time everything stays nice and straight and aligned.

You're going to bring your one knee to the same shoulder this time and then back to the box, to the same shoulder and back to the box. Keep alternating legs. Trying to keep the carriage as still as you can. One more each side. And then bring everything in.

Come on down. And we're going to take the box off, and finish with a little down stretch and elephant. So for down stretch, I like a little bit more weight. So I'm going to add a red or a full spring on. I want my hands on the foot bar, same position.

This time I'm trying to get my feet all the way against the shoulder rest. So tuck your toes under and then try to get the heels to touch. So you're going to push your hips forward, open your chest, get a little extension. You can even let your head go back a little bit if that feels good to you. And then keeping this shape, you're going to push back from your arms, and then come forward, open the chest.

Push back from the arms. Bring the carriage home. Try to keep the backs of the legs nice and active, so you're really pushing into the shoulder rest with the heels. And then the abs obviously are engaged to support the back. Two more.

And I'm thinking more about opening my chest and less about the extension in my low back. One more. And then hands can stay here. You're going to come up onto your feet. Your feet can be right against the shoulder rest.

I like mine a little bit in front. And then you want to lift your toes up as much as you can. Try to keep your legs as straight as you can. And then round your low back. You're going to push the legs behind you and then pull in for your elephant.

Inhale to push. Exhale to coming in. Weight's even in both hands. Really push into those heels. Get a nice stretch in the backs of the legs.

We have two more. Try to keep the shoulders away from the ears. Last one. And then come on off your reformer. Just take a deep breath.

Stand up nice and tall and you're all finished. I'll see you tomorrow for day three.


1 person likes this.
Great class. Love these arm variations thanks! 
Michele M
1 person likes this.
This is a great full body practice and loved incorporating the hand weights for added core strength and stability!  Thank you Gia:D 
1 person likes this.
I love the intégration of weights in my routine and I am so glad to get it here with you. Merci Gia!
2 people like this.
Great workout!  Loved the addition of arms in short box abs.
The added weights were a good challenge for me and I'm glad you're all feeling it too! Let me know how Day 3 goes for you!
Eileen M
2 people like this.
Loving this.  Having the full body awareness with the arms and legs while doing footwork--just rocks!  Thanks Gia.
Jishel W
1 person likes this.
Very creative class. Enjoyed the side leg series movements on the reformer with weights! 
1 person likes this.
Loved the addition of the hand weights! Thank you Gia!
Sue S
1 person likes this.
Enjoying your classes!  Will be teaching my favorite segments soon.
Taryn D
1 person likes this.
Awesome! Quick and efficient - excellent cues!
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