Class #5311

Day 1: Creative Variations

40 min - Class


Welcome to Day 1! Delia plays with creative variations on the Mat using a Pole. She uses this prop to provide assistance when needed and to allow you to feel movements you know in a new way. If you don't have a Pole, she encourages you to follow along as you can do every exercise without props.
What You'll Need: Mat
Optional: Pilates Pole

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Delia and welcome to my 5-Day Challenge. Today is day 1 where we'll be working with a maple pole on the mat. The maple pole is similar to one that you'd be using on the reformer for short box series, but if you don't have a bar, totally fine, you could improvise and follow along. I'm gonna start at the top of the mat. With a pole in my hands, palms facing backwards, find yourself a nice stance parallel with the feet, strong through the legs and tall through the spine.

Let's start by reaching the arms overhead on your inhale breath. As your arms reach overhead, press the hips slightly forward to a comfortable extension. As the arms come forward and down, find a nice neutral with your spine. Inhale breath as the arms come up, allow those shoulders to rise and the hips to come forward. And then exhale breath to bring them down.

Pretty much just warming up through the joints of the shoulder and also becoming present with your breath. So sink a nice breath, inhaling through the nose, exhaling through the mouth. This is your last one as you stretch back with your hips forward. And then bring the arms out in front of you about shoulder height. Let's go into a little retraction and protraction of the shoulder blade.

The shoulder blades are gonna come together with long arms like they're gliding across your ribs. And I'll turn back so you can see that. Just together, retract, and then release. And the retraction is going to be synonymous with any extension that we do today. So you wanna make sure that those shoulder blades are nice and warmed up.

And now go into some protraction as you reach the arms forward. And that movement is synonymous with the flexion. So round forward with those shoulder blades, and then return. Trying hard not to do this and tilting the head back at the same time, keeping the ears right on top of those shoulders. And one more time as you reach.

Then drop the arms down towards your thighs. And we're gonna lift the shoulders up into little elevation and depression. Again, I'll turn so you can see that. Shoulders up, and then shoulders back down. What you wanna imagine is that your shoulder blades just glide up and down on your back like they're just dropping into your pockets, and that hopefully will relieve some tension.

One more time. Inhale. (Delia inhales) And then exhale. Let's start moving through the legs. So drop down to your squat, bending the knees, ankles, and hips, reaching the arms forward for counterbalance, and then stand all the way back up.

The squat is a great way to warm up the legs and to wake up the glutes. We wanna use those glutes when we're on our feet so it absorbs most of the tension in our back. Arms reach forward, and then the bottom comes down. I'm gonna do five more here. And four.

Keeping the knees parallel and over the feet. Last one. And return. Let's turn the bar vertical. And you can hold which hand, whatever hand you want on top is totally up to you.

We're gonna reach the arms out in front and try some lunges. So let's take the right foot forward first and do a lunge. Your lunge is gonna look different than my lunge. So whatever's most comfortable for you to find balance and whatever's most comfortable for your back knee, really on a forward lunge. And then stand back at the back of your mat.

Let's do the same leg again. Right leg forward and back. So your lunge could be as big as you want it to be or it could be small. Here's a little baby lunge if you'd like, if you're trying to just warm up the joints. Or you could take it real big.

That was risky. Real big. And then back. Let's add a little rotation. So right leg forward, nice and tall.

What's nice about this vertical bar is I could actually see if I'm crooked. One shoulder is higher than the other or the spine isn't quite straight. Let's rotate towards the right leg following the bar with your eyes, and returning back to center then stepping back. We're gonna do the same leg. Right leg forward, rotation, whoop, back to center, and then return.

So you'll see that it can put you off balance. What you want is a feet to be about hip distance apart because if they're too close together, then it's like a slalom ski. There's not as much balance. So the wider the stance, the more balance. And return.

Let's try the other side. So I'm gonna switch hands just for variation. Right hand is above my left, left leg forward and lunge, and return. Again, you could start with a baby lunge if you want, or go right into your big lunge with the knee under the hip. You're definitely gonna put more pressure in onto the knee if you keep that knee right on underneath your hip, 'cause it'll drop the weight down towards those thighs.

So be real careful. Let's add a rotation. Forward, step, rotate, back to center, return. Another thing is if you're on a nice cushy mat like I am right now, there's a little proprioceptive feedback, so it might throw you off balance. And if it does, just continue the lunges.

Maybe just on solid ground off the mat. Let's go two more. Back to the center, and last one. And then back to center. So turning sideways on the mat now, we're gonna go into something called fencer lunges.

If you're familiar with some of the Cadillac work, this is an exercise standing with the springs, but we're just gonna use the pole. Back to vertical. So we're still vertical. My left hand is above my right, I'm gonna lunge to the corner of the mat. So my right foot will find the corner of the mat, and I do have a nice little turnout of my leg, so it's a little bit of an external rotation.

And then find that comfortable lunge, keeping the arms out in front, and then back. We're gonna go one side only. Right side for me, and return. And back. And the more confident you get, the better your balance.

Then you can step a little bit bigger. And a little bit bigger. Focusing on the returning leg so that standing supporting leg is the one that's really working to pull you back to center. We can add that rotation now. So we lunge, rotate, and return.

Lunge, rotate, and return. Let's just do two more. Last one. And then back to center. Now my right over my left, toes pointing forward, reset, find the corner.

I always like to stop on my first repetition to make sure that I feel comfortable so I can give myself a little feedback as to where I need to stand. Oop, yep, no right over left. And I'm gonna step back. We're gonna do that again. Step to the side, and return.

My movement of my arm is just a natural movement. If you wanna keep the bar close to you, that's fine. My arms just wanna reach. And it's probably more of a counterbalance thing for me. So I'm gonna rotate now to the left, and then return, making those lunges a bit bigger.

Let's just do two more. Last one. And now we're gonna transition with a little roll down so I can get the bar behind my legs. So nod the chin. Let's do a little roll down with the bar towards the floor.

Pause here for a moment. Since we just worked a bunch of legs, we're gonna go ahead and soften the knees, stretch the back of the legs and stretch the mid-back. Roll yourself up slowly, and then we'll do that one more time. Take a deep inhaled breath, nod the chin, and exhale to flex. We're gonna bring the bar behind the legs now with the palms facing backwards, so as we roll up, it's just gonna trace the back of the legs, and nice and tall with the spine opening up through the chest.

Let's try a little chest expansion by pulling the shoulder blades together. And I'll give you a little side view here. So arms come back as the chest opens, and stretching the front body and then working into the back body. So a little standing extension. Let's add a little releve.

So as the arms come back, lift through the balls of the feet, and then go ahead and lower the feet back down. You can eliminate the releve, but it feels really good to me. I don't live where I wear a lot of high heels, so I try to work the ankles as much as possible. Two more here. Inhale breath, and exhale breath.

And last one as I lift a releve, and then lower. And just a little pulses here. So I'm just gonna press the arms back and back. And be careful if you don't have that extension or you're really tight, you don't want to drive the chin forward just to stretch the chest. It's counterproductive.

And then from here, let's pull those arms back and just move your head from side to side, and back to the middle, releasing that tension of the arms. And then one more to the right, one more to the left, and then back to center to prepare ourselves for some abdominal work. So let's go ahead and take the bar right out in front. Now I'm gonna drop to the front of the mat. So roll yourself down.

Let's drop the bar down, and then step down onto the mat into an all fours position. Take the bar vertical on your mat, and let's just have the hands underneath your shoulders, knees underneath your hips, and give me a little cat cow. Round the back, and then extend the back. Let's do that again. Exhale breath to flex.

And then inhale breath to extend. Now curl the toes under. Let's do a little knee lift to waking up the supporting muscles of the back and the abs. Inhale to lift the knees up, and then exhale to return. And what I love about this exercise, and I do it in almost every single mat class, is that it really wakes up my back muscles and my ab muscles to work more as a team.

We've warmed up on our feet, we've warmed up all the joints, and we've warmed up in our shoulders. So now it's time to get those abs nice and ready. One more time as the knees come down, and then release here. Relax the feet. So we could just do some leg reaches.

I'm gonna take my right leg back, hold, and then bring that knee in. I'm gonna stay on the same leg. Inhale as the leg comes up. And then exhale to return. As my leg reaches back to open up that hip flexor and to fire the glute muscle, I'm trying not to rotate and open up my hip to the side.

So I'm working my obliques here, the multifidus muscle of my back, to make sure that I stay nice and stable. Now I'll keep that leg out there and just do a few lifts. Toe comes down, leg comes up. Glute is working. Three, two, and one.

Now I'm going to add the bar. So I'm gonna hold on to the little pole here. And you don't wanna rest your knuckles on there, so you wanna have a nice gentle grip. And as my right leg goes back this time, I'm gonna bring my left arm to the side, and then return and then pause with a nice gentle rest. Inhale to lift, and then exhale to return.

Two more. As a leg reaches back, I'm throwing myself off balance here. As I bring my left arm to the side, think about that shoulder blade gliding towards the center of your spine, and then releasing back down. Adding on from here, right leg goes back, left arm goes out. I'm just gonna hold that arm out there as I abduct the right leg.

So I'm slightly taking the right leg to the side. If this is hard for you to balance, please put that left hand down and eliminate that part. We've got two more. Last one. And then return and hold.

I'm gonna bring the bar over to the other side, but I'm gonna take that arm I was resting on and just reach it underneath and through to give my shoulder a nice stretch, and then return back. Back to here. With the hands on the mat and the bar to the other side. We'll go into those leg reaches. A left leg goes back and up, and then returns back onto the mat.

So you'll get a better visual here of the hip, and keeping that hip square to the mat. What helps my shoulders as well is a little elbow pulling backwards here, pointing back, gets my shoulders outta my ears and fires that lat. And then return. Now the left leg goes back. Toe to the mat, just a little leg lift, and then up.

If I only have a few minutes to do some exercises, I gravitate towards this one. This is one of my favorites. Two more. Last one. And let's rest the knee down.

Grabbing onto the bar, we're gonna add that side arm reach at the same time. So as the leg goes back, the bar goes out. And then you return. And again. What's interesting about the bar is it doesn't wave very much, this little maple pole, but it does throw you off balance just a little bit, especially if you're not gripping right at the center.

Two more. Last one. Hold it up here, and let's do a little abduction, leg to the side, and out. The position of your foot doesn't matter. You can try a dorsiflexion.

It will change a little bit of the muscle focus, but you can try point or flex. And then return, bringing the bar back. And then you're gonna take your arm down, reach the other one under, give the shoulders a little stretch here. And then return. Taking the bar out in front.

Gonna have a seat on the mat. Taking that bar now, bringing it underneath the legs, we're gonna go into a little half rollback. Toes pointing forward, arms are out, you're gonna roll yourself back, tilting your pelvis posterior until you find a little scoop in your belly, and then sit up nice and tall. As a forewarning, this exercise is going to lead into the hundred here in a moment. Sitting up nice and tall.

So we are gonna keep the bar underneath the legs. Sometimes when I'm doing the half rollback, I like to take the knees maybe and hug them together. It gives me a little bit of hip support. And up and exhale and flex the spine. And then sit all the way back up.

Now on to the mat. So I'm gonna scoot my bottom forward, roll myself down, and then take my legs up to tabletop. You can rest your head here for just a moment. Nod the chin, chin to chest, exhale breath, and start to pump those arms. So it's an inhale.

2, 3, 4, 5, and exhale. Now while I'm doing this exercise, well, I'm counting at the same time, but you guys can count at home. What I'm trying to focus on is reaching the bar as far away from my legs as I can. What that'll do is spread the shoulder blades apart into protraction that we did earlier. It also keeps me focused on maybe the stretch of my back and not so much the work on my abs.

I'm just gonna extend my legs. At this point, I don't know where we are, but why don't we go to 60? Inhale, 2, 3, 4, 5. Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 70. Inhale.

Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 80. Almost there. Exhale 2, 3, 4, 90. Last one. And then knees come down, bar comes to the back of the legs, you rest, and then you're going to use the bar to roll yourself up into a seated position.

I'm gonna turn my palms up to go into rolling like a ball. So scooping my abs in, toes to the mat, heels up. I'm gonna start off by actually resting my thighs on the bar or the maple pole, and then lifting my legs up. Slight rock here to the shoulder blades, and then back up and pause at the top. Take a deep inhale breath, and then exhale breath.

What you wanna do is feel like you're sort of hugging the calves to the thighs. And that's the great part of using this bar. Two more times. Inhale breath. And exhale breath.

Last one. Inhale. And exhale. Now I'm gonna take my hands, turn them the other way. And we're gonna go into roll over.

We'll start with a prep. I'm gonna roll onto my back, bring my hands to the floor, reach my legs to the ceiling, and just a little prep here. Scooping the abdominals in, and I'm taking my hip slightly off of the mat. Your head is not responsible for your rear end, so if you're using your head and neck to lift your bottom, then you might have just too tight of a back to go all the way into rollover for now. I'm gonna go ahead and roll over on the next one.

Starting with my legs right over my hips, roll over, keeping my legs parallel here, open the legs up, flex the ankles. Roll myself down until my legs are again perpendicular to the hips. Feet together, toes pointed. Inhale here, exhale over. Open, flex, and then roll it back down.

I'm gonna reverse that now. So legs stay open, dorsiflexed feet, and then up. The gesture of the feet and legs are optional. So if you wanna keep the legs together the whole time 'cause it's more supportive, then you guys can go ahead and do that. Flex the ankles, open and over, and then legs together, and then back up.

Let's combine for fun the roll up or the rollover with the rolling like a ball. So I'm gonna roll over, pause. This time, I'm going to keep my legs together, and as I rolled up, start to lift my head, lift up to my bottom, and grab one of the bar and that'll support me here. I'm gonna roll myself back. Hands to the floor, legs overhead.

We'll do that again. Inhale breath. Start to lift through the head, grab the legs with the bar, and then go ahead and roll back and bring the hands back to the mat and the legs overhead. Two more times. Inhale.

Exhale, up. Inhale. Exhale and back. One more. Inhale. Exhale, up, and inhale.

Exhale and back. I'm gonna roll myself up to a seated position. I'm gonna leave the bar where it is, and then swing my legs around for some extension. So once I'm prone on my belly, what I wanna do with the pole is either keep it completely on the mat or off the mat because if it rolls up and down the mat, it's gonna be kind of annoying. It is for me anyway.

So I'm gonna leave the pole right on the mat and scoot myself back. My palms are gonna be on the pole, and I'm gonna be rolling with a pole, just as an FYI. Similar to some exercises that you might have done on a foam roller, except you've got a smaller surface here. My arms are wide, so they make like a little V down my back. So I'll start here with a little elevation and depression.

Shoulders rise, shoulders come down. I'm pressing into my feet. And as I'm moving through my arms, I'm already thinking about setting up the lower half of my body for success. So my pubic bone is pressing into the mat, and my legs are strong. I'm pressing my feet into the mat and the ground so that I could actually even feel my quads fire.

You don't wanna have too much of a squeeze in your bottom when you're doing extension. All right, here we go. Shoulders come down, start to lift the eyes, roll the maple pole towards you, and then roll yourself back down, dropping your nose to the mat. And again, eyes lift, head towards the ceiling into a nice extension, and then roll yourself back down. Your extension is gonna look different than my extension.

Today's extension might even look different than my extension last week. So be really careful and make sure that you're not just trying to bend in half if it doesn't feel comfortable to you. And then play around with maybe releasing that tension at the lower half of your body, and see if you can come up higher. And that just gives you a little bit more of a stretch. So if you're just looking for the stretch, you can get the stretch.

Let's do two more. Eyes up, and then lower. Last one. I love these. Shoulders down, eyes lift, head towards the ceiling, and then lower yourself back down. Now I'm gonna place my palms of my hands on top of the pole, and my elbows are going to be soft actually, so they're not fully extended, I'm just pushing my palm down.

From here, I'm gonna lift my legs up and just swim. Nice and gentle swim. You're not moving really quickly. And one of the things you need to remember is to move from your glute muscle because what you're really trying to do is gain more mobility in your hips. And you don't wanna go into this flipper action because that's not gonna do anything to open up that front body.

And then from here, just rest back down, then lift yourself back up and start your swim again, and let's play around with just a single hand off of the pole. So I'm gonna reach my right arm up and swim. Now I'm gonna turn my palm away from me and bring it towards my hip, and lift a little higher, and then maybe pulling the pole a little bit closer to find a little bit more extension as I swim. And then reaching the pole forward as I rest my hand down. Let's try the other side.

Continuing to swim. So I'm gonna bring my arm back, find that extension, and then forward and then rest. One side might cooperate more than the other. The left side for me is a little bit more mobile today. So if you notice that, it's totally okay, just make sure that you stay within your parameters of what your body wants today.

Arm forward, and rest back down. I'm gonna leave the pole where it is and find a child's pose, which always feels really good after some extension. So the knees will come forward. You can actually utilize the pole here. If you wanna bring your hands on top, you can reach it forward and stretch the back and then maybe roll it towards you, and then extending and reaching away.

And you can even keep the bottom off the heels if you like, if that works best for you. And extend one more time and exhale. And what's nice is the pole allows a little bit of that mobility in the back. Feels really great. We're gonna move on to the sideline series, which I love.

So I'm gonna turn towards you onto my right hip, and I'll fold my arm under. You can extend your arm out, which we will have in just a bit. But you wanna keep your arm under if you need some support for your neck. And then you wanna find yourself actually towards the front of this mat. Not all the way, but when we transition to another exercise, you don't wanna fall off the back of the mat.

So I'm gonna take the pole and just place a vertical. It's basically gonna be used for support for the next few exercises, but it's not stable. So you'll be working a little bit harder to stabilize versus having your hand on the mat. Let's go ahead and extend both legs long, bringing the legs slightly forward. So if you look down, you can actually see your toes, and pull the waist off of the mat so that way, you're in a sideline neutral.

Let's start simple by just lifting the top leg up and down. Lift and lower. Couple of variations for your feet. You can curl the bottom toe under if you need a little bit more support. It's like a little kickstand almost.

You could actually even lift the bottom leg off of the mat if you wanted to challenge yourself even further. And that could be something that you could work towards when you repeat this series. So now we'll take that top leg up about the height of the hip, and then just bring the bottom one to it, working the inner thigh. Make sure not to bring the toes towards each other or the heels. It's a nice flat foot.

So if you can't get your leg up there, then you need to bring the top one down and set your bottom one up for success so it doesn't have very far to reach. And exhaling or inhaling your breath. Doesn't matter where you inhale or exhale, it's just really important that you're doing it, and then you're doing it. And an inhale through your nose, and you're exhaling real big out of your mouth. Let's glue the legs together, lower them.

And now double leg lift here, up and down. I'm actually using this pole and push it into the ground and it's given me more leverage. So if you wanna do that, do it. And lift. And I can really feel those inner thighs now.

Two. Last one. And then legs come to a hover, and then just a little swimming here, side to side. Same like when we were prone. You wanna make sure you're moving from your hips, extension to flexion.

And this'll challenge your balance here on your hip. Now onto the next one. We're gonna bring that pole, bring it to our thighs. And now I'm gonna extend that arm long, and it's important that it's at a diagonal in front of you. If it's way back here, you're not gonna have any leverage.

So I'm gonna place my hand on the floor, and then lift my upper body up, lift my legs up, just a little lift and then lower back down. And let's do that again. We'll just do four. And move the bar away. You can actually lift it off the thighs a bit, and then roll yourself down.

Some of you might know what's coming because I had you sit or get close to the front of the mat, and here it comes. We're gonna do this one more time. Inhale to lift, and then exhale. You know this is risky for an instructor too, so we'll see if I can get this. We're gonna reach the arm up, keep a supporting hand down, start to lift, drop the back hip, reach the bar up towards your toes, and slide right back down to the mat.

That was me putting on the brakes with my hand. Here we go, let's do that again. Arm lifts, push into the hand, start to drop the left hip, reaching the arm up towards the feet, and then back down. Two more. Inhale.

Whatever breath works for you. Exhale. Whoa. And lower. And one more time.

Inhale breath as you lift up, and then exhale to lower back down. Now we are gonna lift up into a little teaser, so I just scooted myself forward. Inhale, drop the hip. Exhale, bar comes up, release hold. Let's lower those legs, lift the arms four times.

One. Inhale, exhale. Two. Two more. Last one. And then slowly lower down and give yourself a nice stretch.

And now on to the other side. So I'm gonna turn on to my left hip. So you could actually see my back body, which is really nice. I'll fold my arm under, just a little support. Just gonna scoot up here a bit.

A little support for my head. Feet slightly forward. And remember, you're towards the edge of the mat. I'm gonna go ahead and take the bar vertical here or the pole. And then we're gonna start on this side.

I'll do a little repeat of telling you your options, what your options would be for your leg. So we're just gonna lift the top leg up and down. And then you have the option of hooking the toes down. That'll help you balance. It's called a kickstand foot.

Or you can keep that bottom leg elevated. One of the biggest things here though is try to maintain as much parallel as you can because as soon as you start to turn the foot towards the ceiling and you don't have that rotation, you're gonna start to drop your hip back and then lose balance. Let's go into your staggered legs. Insides of the feet come together, inner thighs. I think about connecting the upper part of my thigh by my tailbone all the way to my feet, and pull.

And remember to drop that top leg if it's too high and your bottom leg can't get to it. Now let's let the top leg be dead weight as we lift up and down, feeling the inner thighs working. And like I said to you earlier, I'm actually using the pole, I'm pushing down onto the pole for balance onto the mat. And now last, you've got your little swim. And one foot goes forward as the other one goes back.

Make sure to find that extension along with a flexion of the hip. Tighten those abdominals. Two. And one. Resting down, bringing the hand down to the floor, bringing the pole now to the thighs.

Pushing into the supporting hand that's in front of you, you wanna make sure it's in front of you. So as you push up with that bottom arm, you're also lifting your legs and supporting yourself with your lat and your oblique. So let's do that again. Inhale to lift, reach the pole. Exhale to lower.

Two more times. Try to keep your feet together 'cause if your feet come apart, that means that you are actually gliding with your hips too much. We wanna see a nice lift, and then lower back down. All right, here we go. So we're gonna go ahead and press into the hand, lift the legs, drop the back hip, arm reaches with the pole towards the feet, and then slowly slide yourself back down.

And again. And inhale. And exhale as you lower. Two more. Toes up, bar reaches, glide your hand, and lower yourself back down.

Last one. And we'll just stay up there. You're gonna lift it up. And this time, I'm gonna have you reach for that teaser. But you could just hold for a count of 4, 3, 2, and 1.

Folding forward. And I did come off the mat a little bit, but it's not dangerous. So we'll just hang out here in the center. Alright, we're gonna go right into the ab series, everyone's favorite. So go ahead and roll all the way down to the mat, drop your head.

Let's move through this pretty quickly as we take our legs up to tabletop. Now please modify if you have not run through the ab series before. Just keep up quality over quantity. So just do less repetitions. We're gonna nod our chin, lift our upper bodies up into flexion.

Let's have the bar right above the shins as you extend the left leg out. And switch. We'll go inhale, exhale. Two more sets. Single leg stretch, one more set.

Knees come in, head and shoulders drop. Right into the double leg stretch. Chin to chest, you flex. As the legs move away from you, the arms come up, the upper body doesn't change position, you're still in flexion. Arms in your peripheral, bring it in.

Five more. Inhale, exhale. And reach. Watch that lower back. If you cannot keep the lower back on the mat, just make sure to take those legs up a little higher.

Last one. Bring the knees in. Let's go ahead and rest it back down. Nod the chin to chest and flex back up. Extend your left leg out.

We'll go into those obliques rotation to the right, and switch. Like you're spearing A fish. Two. One more set. And back to center.

Rest the head and shoulders down. And then let's just do one more outta the five. So just four total. Nod your chin, flex your spine, extend your right leg to the ceiling, left leg to the floor, and switch. You can rest the leg all the way down if you'd like.

With my lack of flexibility in my hips, I'm gonna keep them at a hover. One more. And now both legs up towards the ceiling. And a pause. Knees into the chest, feet come down, and arms go overhead.

Now into the bridging. So let's start actually with the pole right on the hips so we can set you up. So feet are parallel, about fist distance apart. I don't know if you guys know this, but your sits bones are about the width of your fist apart. So that's a nice little gauge.

And then the heels are close to your bottom, but not too close because we don't want to come into those toes too far or the knees too far over the toes. So let's just find your bridge. Don't overthink the first one, just lift yourself up, find some support between the shoulders and the back of your head. And more than squeezing the glute, I want you to feel the tightening or the opening of the thigh, and then just little tightening of the back of the legs, and then drop your hips back down to the mat. You could choose a hip roll, or you could choose a hip lift.

You could just lift. Bottom up, bottom down. Your hips are like a door jam. So you wanna open up the hinge. Close the hinge.

And this pull actually is quite helpful. It's a nice little gauge. I'm gonna add a little arm extension, or flexion I should say. So as my hips come up, my arms are gonna go back. And as my hips come down, my arms are going to rest towards my hips.

Inhale up, and then exhale. Another nice variation would be if you reach up is to bring the bar just down towards the thighs, keeping the arms long. Hips lift for a stretch. The mobility of the shoulders has a nice movement with the hips, it opens up that front body. And then lower yourself back down.

On the next one, we're going to go into single leg. So let's lift back up to your hips. If unilateral isn't for you today, just continue bilateral. If you'd like to try one leg, arms reach towards the ceiling, shoulder blades are like a little anchor into the mat, and the right leg will come to a tabletop position. Extend that leg to the ceiling, and lower that leg down long, and then lift that leg back up.

We'll go five times. One. Balancing here. Two. Two more. Last one.

Foot comes to the mat, and then the hip comes down for a rest. Make any adjustments you need to. Let's lift the hips back up. The closer your legs are, the easier it is to lift a leg and balance. Just an FYI.

Bring the left leg up, extend to the ceiling, lower that leg down five times. One. Inhale. Exhale. Two. A little harder for me on this side. Three.

Two more. Last one. And then the hip comes down, the spine rolls, the legs extend, and I'm gonna cross the right leg over my left and come into a roll up. I'm cross at the legs because we're about to do the boomerang. So here's a little variation with the pole and the boomerang.

Right leg crosses over left, arms reach out, flex the spine, your abdominals are active. As I roll myself down, I'm gonna start to float my legs up. Balance, then roll over, bring my arms overhead, cross and uncross or uncross, cross, start to roll yourself up. Look like a little teaser at the top. And then go ahead and roll yourself back down.

We'll do that again. Roll yourself back, legs lift, arms overhead, and uncross, cross. Roll yourself up. Reach for the top of your legs. Ooh, harder on that side for me.

And then reach the arms forward. And we'll do that again. I'll add a little arm variation. Roll yourself back. Arms reach.

The boomerang is a combination of the hundred, the rollover, and the teaser. Roll yourself back up. Now you're gonna balance here at the top. Arms reach up, arms come down, fold forward. And then last one.

Roll yourself back. Here's like a little hundred. Here's your rollover. Uncross, cross. Roll yourself up, balance, that's the hard leg for me, arms reach, and then fold forward and sit up nice and tall.

I'm just gonna place my pole to the side and come into a little leg pull prep or leg pull front prep, right? So heels together, arms reach up, arms come back. I'd just like to open up that hip, and stretch the front of the body. And then lower the body back down. Just three more for a total of four.

Inhale. Exhale. Two more. Little stretch of those thighs after that last exercise. Last few exercises.

One more. And then lower down. Now this is a nice feel good one. We're gonna go into a spine stretch using the pole. So legs out in front, toes curl towards me.

Arms out in front. So you're about shoulder with a part here with your arms, but you could also be mat width apart. Whatever feels comfortable to you. Nod the chin, a little flexion forward. The abdominals pull in, the shoulders rise.

This is step one. And then find your posture, sitting up onto your sits bones. Nod your chin, chin to chest, flex forward, arms reach. Inhale breath, and then exhale nice and tall. Let's add a little extra stretch.

So nod the chin, flex forward, place the bar if you can at your feet. Point your toes. Oh. Flex. And then roll yourself back up.

If you do not have that ability, that's fine. You can move the toes though. So you can nod the chin, and then keep the bar over your toes and not behind or under the feet. And then dorsiflexion and then come back up. Let's add a little extension to that.

So you're gonna nod the chin, flex forward. I'm gonna place the bar at my feet, and then lift my upper body up into extension. Then I'm gonna point my toes and then find flexion. Then I'm gonna repeat. Inhale, lengthen.

Exhale to flex. Two more. Inhale to lift up. Find that beautiful extension. Exhale, scoop the abs in, find that flexion. Last one.

Drop those shoulders back, eyes forward. Point those toes and flex. And you can hold it here as long as you'd like. And then go ahead. Sitting up nice and tall.

Let's place the pole right at the front, come on to all fours, and then find plank. Once you find plank, pause here, make sure that you feel strong. By the end of this 30 minute or so class, you should have found almost every muscle in your body. And maybe you figured out where you need to work on some flexibility. It's not always about strength as much as it is flexibility.

Let's go ahead and stretch to the back of the legs, drop the head between the arms, and then roll through your spine, and then find your plank. You can even drop your knees and find a bit of extension. And then one more. As you curl the toes under knees, fire to lift you up, drop your heels, stretch. Let's just walk the feet over to your hands.

Grab the pole with your hands, roll yourself all the way up to standing. I'll face you guys right in the center where we started. Reach your arms up to the sky, take a little side stretch, sending your hips in opposition, back to the middle. And a stretch over to the other side, and back to the middle. And maybe bringing that bar behind your back, lifting your chin and your chest, sending your hips forward, and then coming back to your feet.

I hope you guys enjoyed day 1 of our challenge, and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow for day 2. Thanks so much.


Thank. you Delia - lots of nice content and interesting variations to wake up the body and mind ( plus a sneaky teaser section!).

Patricia C
Thank you ! Great class to start the week 🌻
Lina S
Nice class. I don't have a pole. I've used a flex band for most of the exercises. I've enjoyed the sideline work as well as the boomerang.
I definitely enjoyed this class - especially your combination and your creativity with the original Pilates exercises. Thank you so much Delia!
Excellent class
Excellent class. Love your variations with the pole. See you tomorrow !
Loved the Spine Stretch Forward with the bar under the toes.
Beatriz L
Always a great workout, Delia. Thank you!
Paige L
Loved this class! I used a yoga strap and kept it taut for the majority of the exercise. For the side lying series, the overball came in handy. 
Michelle F
Thank you so much Delia, what an amazing class to open a tight body. I feel completely refreshed after this class!
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