Class #5194

Day 3: Total Body Precision

30 min - Class


Welcome to Day 3! Get ready to flow and feel aligned from head to toe! In this class with Gia Calhoun, you will hit key elements such as stamina, control, and coordination. Taught with precision, Gia teaches a creative class hitting challenging traditional Pilates exercises that you know and love. Get ready - the ab series is a burner!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

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Hi, we're here for day three. I'm Gia. And today, we're just gonna do a pretty traditional reformer class. Nothing extra, no extra props. We're just using the reformer and the box.

So we're gonna start with footwork. I have three red and one blue spring on. It's three full and one half spring. My headrest is up, but you can have it down if you'd like. So we're gonna start in our Pilates V on the toes.

You want your heels together, toes apart. Knees about as wide as your shoulders. Arms just pressing down. Take a deep inhale as you stretch the legs long and exhale as you come back in. Inhale stretch, exhale in.

So, I'm trying to keep the heels glued together pulling everything up through the midline as I stretch the legs. Arms are reaching long, navel's pulling into the spine. Two more, keeping the pelvis neutral. Last one. Now we're gonna come onto your arches, legs parallel and together.

You want your toes wrapped around the bar, heels reaching under and then you're gonna push out and back in. If you want it more on the balls of your feet in a more pre-hand style position, feel free to do that as well. I sometimes prefer that way. Depends on the day. Today I feel like going on the arches.

We have four, lengthening out. Return in, two, last one. Now we're going onto the heels. Still in parallel length are still glued together. You wanna be right on the edge of the heels.

Toes are pulling back to your shins. Inhale, stretch long, exhale to come in. So I'm so high on the heels that it almost feels like I could slip off, but then I'm really pushing into or standing on my heels so that I feel connected to that foot bar. So I'm like right at that edge. We have four.

Trying to stay parallel with those legs. Two, last one. Good, now we're gonna come to your second position on your heels right at the edge. Again, I'm not as turned out as I can be, I'm a little bit more toward the shoulder rest. And then I'm stretching long and the back end.

Trying to keep the knees in line with the toes so I'm not just turning out my feet or just turning out my knees, everything's rotating from the hips. And three, two, last one. Back to parallel with legs together, heels are nice and high on the balls of your feet. You're gonna push all the way out, keep the legs straight lower both heels under the bar and lift. So as I'm lowering the heels, I'm lifting up outta my spine and out through my legs.

So I'm not trying to lock or hyperextend my knees, but I'm trying to keep the length so that they're not bent. Four, like this. Three, two, arms are still reaching long. I'm going to running. You're gonna bend one knee, push the other heel under and lift and switch.

Make sure you always get to that lifted point between each side where both heels are up for a split second. So you're not just going down, you're still lifting up. We have two more sets. Last set and both heels up. Bend your legs, come all the way in.

We're gonna take up some springs for single leg. Sorry, I'm taking off one red and one blue, so I'm left with two red springs. You can do what feels good to you. And we'll gonna start with one foot on my toes and then the other leg in tabletop. Both legs are parallel, this time I'm about hip distance apart.

You're gonna stretch all the way out on the one leg and then come all the way in, the leg that's in tabletop is still. So I'm using my abdominals to hold that leg in place. We have two more like this. On the next one, we're gonna stretch the leg out as the leg comes back into the position. So you're gonna bend into tabletop and then stretch the leg back out.

So the legs are opposite, one leg is bent one leg is straight and thread, and stretch. Four, three, two, now we're gonna add on to this. Now you're gonna bend and stretch the leg up to the ceiling. Keep both legs straight. You're gonna flex the top foot as you lower the other heel, point as you lift the heel, bend your leg, come all the way in as you stretch that leg out to the foot bar.

So you bend and stretch up, flex, lower the heel, point, lift, bend and stretch out. And up, flex lower, point lift, bend and stretch out. Two more like this. Flex, point and in, last one. A lot of coordination in this one.

Good, switching sides. So on your other foot, right on the ball of your foot just right under your sit bone, you want your other leg and tabletop. So we're gonna hold that leg in tabletop as we stretch out on that working leg and back in. Or I guess it's more the standing leg and three, four, so I'm trying to pull up into that glute so I'm not just straightening the leg, I'm really pulling up to lengthen the leg. Last two.

On the next one, you're gonna stretch that other leg out over the foot bar and then pull it back in as you stretch the working leg now. And two, again, the legs are opposite. It's like that thing where you're patting your head and rubbing your belly in a circle. Same kind of motion. Last two and then we're gonna add on to our develope.

So you're gonna bend and stretch leg up to the ceiling and hold, flex, lower the heel, point lift the heel, bend and stretch back out over the foot bar. Bend and stretch up, flex point or lower, point lift and stretch. Up, flex, point and reach out, two more. Up, flex, point, reach out, last one, and in. So we're gonna come onto abs now.

So you wanna scoot away from your shoulder rest, grab onto your straps. We can stay on the same springs or if you want it a little bit lighter, you can do that. Legs are gonna come into tabletop, glued together. Push your arms down slightly so they're right over your shoulders, pull your shoulders into your back. Take a deep inhale with the arms up.

Exhale as you push the arms down by your sides. And then back up to the ceiling and then push down. Just start to feel the movement of the reformer, movement of your arms. We're gonna do one more like this. Arms are nice and long.

The next one we're gonna add your head. So as you push the arms down, curl your head and chest up. Lower your head and chest down as the arms come up and then press. Inhale back. Exhale, curl up.

One more. Next one, we're gonna add your legs. So arms up, stretch legs out as you curl up. Bend back to tabletop and then curl up. Three more.

Trying to get the shoulders off the mat each time, two. Last one. We're gonna hold this one up, reach arms and legs long, bend one knee into your chest and then switch legs. So it's a single leg stretch. You're keeping that chest lift, pulling the leg into your chest from your low abdominals.

We have two more at each side. Last set. Both legs in, arms up. We're gonna go into double leg stretch. Curl the arms or curl your chest up as you push your arms down.

This time you're gonna bring the arms up as the legs reach out and then bring everything back in. Reach out and back in. So unlike the mat, your legs or your arms aren't going all the way back by your ears. They're going up to the ceiling, but the legs are going out as low as you can with control. One more.

And then lower down. Bring your feet onto the foot bar for a second, just rock your knee side to side. And then we're gonna go into scissors. So arms back up to the ceiling. Legs up to the ceiling, this time.

Push your arms down, curl your head up and hold. Lower one leg down toward the foot bar and then switch sides. So nice long legs, keeping the legs passing through the midline for that nice crisp scissor. We have two more to each side. Last set.

Both legs up, arms up to the ceiling. Head back, take a deep inhale. Exhale, push your arms down, curl your head up. This time we're gonna have your heels together, toes apart. Lower both legs down.

And then lift back up. Again, go as low as you can control it. Lower and lift. Three more and up. Two, keep that chest lifting up.

Lift, last one. Up and then bend everything in, arms up, rest your feet down for a second. Rock your knee side to side one more time and we're go into a crisscross. If you've scooted up by your shoulder rest, come back down. Legs in the tabletop, arms up to the ceiling.

Push down a little bit, so your arms are right over your shoulders. You're gonna keep one leg bench, touch the other leg out and you're gonna twist toward that bent leg. And then come back to center. Twist toward the other side. So we're alternating trying to keep the hips still, but you can let the rib twist toward that opposite leg.

Twist and center. Twist, center, one more each side. Last set. You're gonna hang up your straps, we're gonna come on up and grab your box. So we're gonna put the long box on Just in front of the shoulder rest, your foot bar can stay up.

I have a little non-slip thing just 'cause my clothes can get a little slippery. And then I'm gonna change to a red and a blue. You can stay on two reds if you like. My arms aren't the strongest, so I like it a little bit lighter. So you're gonna lie on your stomach, you want your chest just off the box and then your hands right in front of your shoulders.

You're gonna push all the way out and then bend all the way in. So as you're working your arms, your legs are still active, they're not just drooping there. You wanna keep little energy in your legs. Your abs are pulled up. Shoulders are staying away from the ears.

We have two more like this us. Hold this next one out. This time you're gonna keep the arm straight, lift your chest up into a little bit of a swan and then lower back down. Again, legs are active, you don't want 'em drooping, but you're not overly lifting them either. Lower.

Think of your upper back more than your low back. Your low back is gonna extend as well, but you wanna start from the upper back. So it's all of your spine extending, not just one part. And you don't wanna dump anything into that low back. This time you're gonna hold this next one up, shoulders away from the ears.

And we're gonna flutter the legs like you're swimming. So you're gonna inhale for five and exhale for five. Try to keep the legs parallel. Both legs are going up and down, it's not just one. Inhale and exhale.

One more, inhale and exhale. Push out. Come all the way in. And we're gonna take off one spring. You can choose.

I'm taking off my blue and keeping my red, we're gonna do a single arm. So you're gonna have one hand right in front of your shoulder, the other hand is gonna go behind your back. Try to keep your shoulders square and you're just gonna push out and then back in. So the elbow is going to a little bit of a diagonal when you bend, you're not going all the way down to the floor and not all the way up to this side. It's a little bit in between.

I'm mostly focusing on keeping my shoulder square. This is my harder side. One more. And then switch, the other hand's behind your back and then pushing out and in. So you'll see which side feels easier for you.

For me, it's obviously my dominant arm 'cause I'm right-handed, but you may feel opposite. Two more. Last one. And I'm gonna add a red spring or a full springing back on and we're gonna do a hamstring curl. So I'm gonna move my non-slip thing now.

And then the hardest part of this one is getting into it. So you're gonna cross your straps, pay attention to which one's on top and then bring your feet inside the straps. So try not to drop them. Whichever one is on top, you're gonna twist toward that strap and then flip over onto your stomach. The hardest part is getting into this exercise.

Once you're in, just adjust so that the straps are right on your arches. Pushing the hipbones into the box, abs are pulled up, you're gonna curl your heels towards your glutes and then push back out. So it's a small movement, but you'll really feel those hamstrings working. And the more you can push the hipbones down, the more you get that really high part of the hamstring that's right under the glute. If you need to lower your foot bar, you can.

I don't mind mine here. One more. Now we're gonna take off a spring. We're gonna do a single leg. So the leg that you're not working is just gonna stay straight, but keep the strap there so you don't have to grab it later.

And you're just gonna pull in and then back out with the leg that's working. So with this, I'm trying not to twist. I wanna keep both hip bones pressing evenly into the box. We have two more. And then because we're only gonna do one more on the other side, you can let that strap fall.

Pushing that both hipbones into the box, you're gonna pull in and then back out with this leg. In and out. And this side for me likes to cramp, so I have to really focus on pushing that hip down so I get higher up in my hamstring 'cause the part that likes to cramp is the middle part of my hamstring. Last two. And then slowly let the strap fall off.

Come into a child's pose on your box and just stretch out your back, and then come on up. We're gonna turn your box around. I'm gonna put my box over the shoulder rest, but you can put yours right in front if that feels better to you for a short box series. So add another spring, doesn't matter which one. Grab your strap and then you're gonna place your feet underneath the strap.

So you're gonna push out with your feet, push down into the carriage so that way you don't grip in your hip flexors. We're gonna bring your arms up to an IG boot genie position. Shoulders down, take a deep inhale, grow tall. As you exhale, start with your tailbone as you roll back, go as far as you can and then roll forward lengthen the spine at the top. Again, roll back and pull on as you come up.

Two more like this. Should feel nice to round after that extension that we had on the long box. Last one. Now sitting up tall hands can go behind your head. You're gonna lengthen your spine, think of even sitting up off your glutes to come back with a flat back and then up.

Flat back as you lean and so I'm focusing on keeping my ribs connected 'cause I tend to wanna splay my ribs so keep lengthening without letting everything open up too much. Still pushing my heels down toward the springs and then pushing out with my feet. Now we're gonna add a twist. Twist to one side, reach toward that elbow and then come up, and center. Twist to the other side.

Lean back, up, center, twist. Good, and center, twist, hinge. One more each side and twist. Try not to let the opposite hip come up and to those other side. Good, take one foot out.

We're gonna need to go into a side sit up. So I like to sit on this foot a little bit. If you wanna bring your leg out to a 90 degree angle that's always all right. Make sure the foot in the strap is parallel and then bring your hand on the headrest, other hand's gonna go behind your head. Once you find this long position, make sure the ribs are in line with the rest of your body.

And then bring your other hand behind your head. Now from here, you dip down toward the headrest and then back up to that straight line. Down and then up. So I'm not trying to get 'em all the way up, I'm trying to come back to that straight line as much as I can. And two more, last one.

And we're gonna hold it here, twist toward the ceiling and then center. Twist and then center. Two more. And center, last one. And then you're gonna grab onto each side of the frame, come into a bit of a stretch.

You can pull on the strap with your foot and reach as far on the frame as you can, lengthen out that side and your back. And use your hands to help you up and then we'll switch sides. So the other foot's gonna come in this strap. Again, I like to sit more on this foot so that way I'm more on my hip. I'm gonna bring my hand on the headrest, find that long line from my foot all the way up to my head, hand behind my head and then the other hand up, and I lean over toward the headrest and up.

So this is my easier side. So I can go a little bit lower and up. Go two more. Coming back to that straight line every time, hold you're gonna twist to the ceiling and center. Twist, so I'm trying not to change the level, staying in that same line the whole time, last one.

And then stretch, grab onto the frame, pull back with your foot on the strap and stretch. Just breathe into it and then come on up. We're gonna take box off, put it away. And then we're gonna replace the straps back on the pegs. I'm gonna do one red spring or one full spring for my arm series.

So we're gonna start with chest expansion. So you can do it with your feet off the edge of the carriage, but I'm gonna come with my knees right against the shoulder rest and then grab onto the taped part of the ropes. So I'm in one straight line from my head all the way down. Push my hips forward so that I'm not sitting back toward my heels at all. Don't want any breaks in the legs.

Arms are straight. Take a deep inhale with the arms forward. Exhale, push the arms back. Inhale, arms forward. Exhale, press.

So as I'm moving the arms back trying to move from my back, not just my hands. So I'm opening my chest. That's why it's called chest expansion. Reaching the arms long, think of the fists reaching down toward the floor. And push back, two more and watch the ribs so they're not splaying forward as your arms go back.

Hang up your straps and then we're gonna turn around. So we're gonna do a bit of a scoop with the arms. So if you wanna make it a little bit lighter, you can. I'm gonna stay on the same spring so I'm tucking my toes under as much as I can and then trying to reach my heels to the shoulder rest the whole time. So again, just like before, pushing my hips forward to engage the backs of my legs and so that there's no break in my hips.

Arms are just slightly bent. This time I'm holding onto the loops. I'm gonna push the arms up to about shoulder height or a little bit higher if I can. And then all the way down. Push up and then lower down, and up and lower, two more.

Lifting up out of the spine. Last one, keep the bend in the arms. We're gonna make a circle now. So we're gonna go forward out and down. So you can go as high as you can.

If you can go all the way up by your ears, go for it. My shoulders don't like that. So I'm gonna stick with this 90 degree angle with my arms. Reverse or circle out forward. And I find the reverse a little bit more challenging, so I make the reverse circle kind of bit smaller just so I can keep the control without making anything go out of alignment.

Good. Now we're gonna bring the arms forward into your hug-a-tree position, arms are bent. We're gonna open out to the side and then hug your tree. So again, go as wide as you can. If you can go all the way out to the side without letting the ribs play forward, go for it.

If you need to lean forward a little bit, that's also okay. Open and close, two more. Last one. And then come on down. Hang up your straps, shake out your arms.

So we're gonna do a long stretch series. So I'm gonna bring my headrest back up, hands back on the foot bar. I'm gonna stay in the same spring, but if you wanna add a little bit more weight for a little bit more control of your abdominals, go for it. I'm gonna bring my feet on the headrest. So I have my balls of my feet right on the little crevices there.

And in a straight line, I'm pushing back and then coming forward. So I'm reaching my heels back toward the headrest and then forward, trying to stay in a straight line for my heels all the way up to the top of my head. Two more. Last one. And then come on down.

So I'm bringing my feet back against the shoulder rest just like they were before into a down stretch. So I'm pushing my hips forward shoulders are back, pushing back, and then coming forward opening the chest. Back with the heels, keep the heels touching as I come up. Two more. And lift, last one.

Good, come on up. We're gonna do our up stretch. So I'm gonna bring my heels against the shoulder rests again. I want them about halfway up so I'm not always as high as I can get, but just about halfway. I'm keeping my shoulders away from the ears.

I'm gonna push back into a plank position, but keeping my upper back rounded. Now keeping that plank, I'm gonna bring the carriage all the way in. And then once I'm in, I'm gonna lift my hips back up. So legs push out to the plank keep the upper back rounded, come forward over the foot bar and then hips lift up. Two more like this, pushing out.

Upper body stays rounded. And then abs pull you back up. Last one. Keeping the legs active, pulling up in my quads and then coming down onto my flat feet, lifting the toes up for elephant. So I'm gonna push legs back keeping them as straight as I can, coming forward with the legs, pushing back and forward again.

My weight's even on my hands, shoulders are away from the ears. Musing the backs of the legs suppressed, really pushing into those heels, getting a nice stretch. Two more. Last one. And then come on down.

And we're gonna finish with a little bit of a mermaid. So I'm gonna sit with the legs stacked one on top of the other, both legs toward the shoulder rest and then one hand on the foot bar. If you prefer to do a Z sit, you can. I'm doing it this way for today though. So I'm trying to get the hips stacked as much as I can.

Not where I'm on my side, but just so that they're in the same line and one's not behind the other. Bring the free arm out to the side, you're just gonna reach out and over into your side bend and then come on up and you're gonna grab that top foot or the shoulder rest and lift up and over. Stretch the other side. Should feel good. One more, pushing out and over.

And then coming up. Grab onto that shoulder rest or your foot, up and over to the other side. Good, stay here if you wanna add a little bit of a twist, you can, grab the other shoulder rest with that free hand and then you can even pull back away from your hand. Come back up to the side bend all the way up and then we're gonna turn to the other side. So the legs and hips are stacked as much as you can.

The free hand or one hand is against the shoulder, sorry, the foot bar, the other hand is out to the side. You're gonna lift up and over, trying to keep the shoulders away from the ears, lengthening both sides of the waist, come all the way up, grab onto that shoulder rest, lift up and over. Just like what the side bends you might feel like one feels a little looser, a little bit easier to stretch. Again for me, that's this side, pushing out. And then up, grab onto that foot bar, or sorry, the shoulder rest and then reach over.

And then if you wanna grab the other shoulder rest with that free hand, go for it. Let's pull away. Should feel a nice stretch in your low back. Come back to that side bend, come all the way up and then you're all finished. Hopefully you feel a little bit lengthened and your abs feel engaged, and you're ready for day four tomorrow.

I'll see you then.


2 people like this.
Thank you Gia - you've packed so much work in under 30 mins! Love your clear, straight-forward cues, too. Thanks again
1 person likes this.
So nice , thank you x
1 person likes this.
Very nice 30 mi full body intense and softly guided ! that you :)
Libby K
2 people like this.
I'm loving this series Gia.  I've been doing pilates for 15 years and don't think I've ever done 3 days in a row before!  I think you've hit a kind of 'sweet spot' for me - 25-3030 mins of well-paced flow with nice combo's, and your calm, quiet, clear cueing and presence.  Nothing extraneous... no fluff, or long intro/outro... just straight down to it.
I feel so good after each session.  Thank you for making this series... I'll be back tomorrow for Day 4!
I'm so glad you're having as much fun as I did creating this challenge! I hope you enjoy the last 2 classes!
Jane H
1 person likes this.
That was great.  I loved all of it, apart from the hamstring pull which I found a bit fiddly.
Denise J
1 person likes this.
Wow I echo a previous comment I’m on day 2, I’ve been working out for a few years but never back to back. I can’t wait for day 3
1 person likes this.
Gia, love that you're doing this series again. Really enjoying all of them so far -- I'm on day 4.  Love these 25-35 minute classes so much and always enjoy learning a new combo or new way of thinking about something from other teachers. Also reminded me to go back and do your other series that is similar. Thanks for these!
Jane H ~ For the hamstring pull, you can try adjusting the length of your straps (if that's possible with the type of Reformer you are using) as that can make it feel a little better and more secure. You can also have someone put the straps on your feet instead of doing the spin with the straps on your feet if that's an option too. I hope this helps and I'm glad you still enjoyed the class!
1 person likes this.
I'm loving the compact classes. A lot in a little gives me no excuse not to do MY work between my clients! 
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