Class #5318

Lower Body EXO Chair

20 min - Class


If you're short on time, this quick and powerful lower body blast by Amy Havens is perfect for you. She teaches an uplevel class, using seamless transitions to keep you moving from one movement to the next. She reminds you to keep your internal lift throughout the class to help you as you challenge your lower body and balance.
What You'll Need: EXO Chair, Slastix

About This Video


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Hi everybody, it's Amy Havens here again at Pilates Anytime. So excited to be in this room with my crew and myself, and this crazy storm that's happening in Santa Barbara. I'm doing a little uplevel XO workout, lower body focus. What I need us to start with first is on the cactus, both on the lowest cactus arms, okay? So we're gonna start low.

And there's a few changes in class, and I'll cue those when it's time. And we're gonna start holding and using this red Slastix cord to begin with for a standing rolldown. And we're gonna be calling on and using this cord and this Slastix for some help for balance in this class. And we'll hook it when time comes on the top hook. I'll cue it all, all right?

But let's go ahead and get started with a beautiful standing rolldown. Warming yourself up. So just hold this Slastix in your hands. It can be loose. Standing nice and tall.

Organized torso, head over shoulders, over pelvis, over ankles. Take a deep breath. And here we go. We're tipping the head forward. Rounding down, just feel loose in the shoulders.

Feel free to bend your knees. Anybody if you need to. Feels kind of nice to start sometimes with the knee bend to stretch the back. And as you roll up, I'm gonna keep my knees bent and really wheel that pelvis under feeling length in the lumbar, and then just coming up to standing. Okay, couple more.

Inhaling there. I'm feeling this rounding down. So this workout is really lower body focus. Think quads, glutes, hamstrings, balance, inhale. And as we're coming up, we're pulling our body up.

We're pulling our stomach up. Get yourself pulled up from your ankles through your legs, all the way through the top of the head. And one more time. And rounding down. Can you lift a little more inside?

You're gonna really want your internal lift through this class here. So this is your chance to get that connected as you're upside down. We won't go upside down in this class, but future classes, we will. All right, so there we are. We've warmed up.

Take your hands, palms face up, and hold this Slastix cord. You can soften your elbows right against your sides. Wrap your hand a little bit. I'm gonna use my shoulders and just pull out on the Slastix a little bit. You don't have to.

You can just hold it. Pick up one leg and place the ball of the foot on the pedal. Stand nice and anchored through the standing leg. We're gonna pull the pedal down and control the pedal up. So again, this is not the heaviest tension.

It's okay. It's the quality of how we move, right? And exhale as you pull today. Spread your toes. Feel like you're pulling those springs toward your standing leg, and your standing leg up into your body.

Head toward the sky. Last two. Just a little tension on this red Slastix cord. And then hold the pedal at the top for a moment, okay? Bend your standing knee.

Everybody hold that. Bring the pedal down and hold it. I want your heel high. We're gonna pulse the pedal. 12 little baby pulses.

Really accentuate around your sitting bone, right? And then pulling this springs toward your standing leg. And five, and six, connect into your shoulders a little bit here, and eight, focus your eyes on something, straight ahead to balance, 10 for two more. Why 12? I don't know.

I always do eight, so I figured we'll just take it up a couple, okay? And then take that foot down and stand. Change sides. You lift that other foot, place the ball of the foot, get connected. Start to move the springs toward you and then move them back inside the chair.

Lot of standing balance in this class either on the floor or up on top. Yeah, and five. Wow, yeah, and six. Feel free to change your arms and do other choreography. I just wanted to be simple with my arms and the upper body connection as I do this standing balance piece.

And now everybody bend your standing leg. We're in parallel. Pedal foot, heel high. Pull it down, hold for just a minute, right? And then lift and lower, 12 little ones.

Contract around this sitting bone, but then pull those springs toward your standing leg. And six, energy up the head. I'm trying to kind of push the ceiling up with my head. Can you tell? Nine, and 10, that would be magic, and 11, and 12.

There we go. All right, really feeling into the lower body already here. And just hold. Okay, crossover pumping. I'll face you first.

I'm 5'3". You can stand with your standing foot either in line with this chair or anywhere sideways. You get to size that up. And some days, your balance is more secure than others and that might change where you stand. I'm gonna stand here today.

Lift the outside foot, standing tall, connect into the shoulders again. Same choreography. We're pulling the spring down and bring it back in. But not only is the pedal coming down, when the springs are going that way, right? Yeah, so we're exhaling and inhaling.

And so just light grip with my hands. Slight tug on this Slastix cord. Should not too much, it might toss your balance off. Last two. Oh, a lot of standing ankle stability.

So good for us. Standing leg is gonna bend. Bring the pedal down. Hold for a moment. Little lift and lower and pulse down for 12, two, three.

I'm little because I wanna keep the work in the glute. And around the back of that thigh. Not so much on the quad now. Seven, and eight, and nine, and 10, and 11, and 12, good. And then you can lift the pedal all the way up just in time, and then other side.

Okay, so I'm gonna turn to face the window. Standing foot in line with the frame of the chair, outside foot around my parallel leg. Bring that pedal down. Size it up. Make some changes if you need to.

So we did eight full pulls. Ready, and a one, good. And if you can't bring the pedal all the way up, if your balance is shaky, go where it feels confident, where you feel the most confident, right? We're trying to stay organized. Stay with flow.

Seven, and eight. Bring it all the way up if you can. Bend the standing knee parallel. Ready, pull it all the way down. Keep it there for a moment.

And then little up and downs, one, and two, three. I'm really focusing the contraction around that tush. And six, seven, ooh, nine. How you doing everybody? And 11, and 12.

Oh, my balance is really being challenged, which I love because we all need that. Good, we're gonna hook the Slastixs now on the top eyeball. We get to use this for a little helping hand, okay? Lay that there first. But we need to make a spring change.

So come around the back of the chair. We're about to do like mountain climber ish, going up front, some things climbing. What do you need for your springs? I would like to put one low and one up on the highest hook. Why not get some help, right?

Going up. First, take a foot to the pedal, pull it all the way down. It's heavier, so be in control. Grab your Slastix, hold onto it. Step the other foot up to the chair pad.

High relevance of this foot. And for a moment, pull up on this Slastix. Feel your upper body engaged. Round through your spine. Let's pull the body up and then just park it for a second, and feel your C-curved spine.

Feel the lift of the abs. We're gonna pulse that pedal for ten, three. I'm pulling up on the Slastix to give myself some help. And seven, get low in the leg if you can. And nine, and 10.

And then all the way down. Now as a transition, just come to standing. Step back, lift the pedal, step the foot down. Let's try not to drop the Slastix. Press it down, step up with the other foot.

Pulling up on this Slastix. Get integrated, shift your weight forward, and then rise that pedal. Crouch down, get your C-curve on, ready? And extend, and two, and three. Can you get a little more hollow in the abdominals a little rounder in the back?

Pulling up on this Slastix helps. Seven, eight, I think. Nine, and 10. Stepping down everybody, standing tall. Step down, lift the pedal with control.

Let it go, and hold on for just a sec. Roll yourself up. Pretty interesting, right? To use that extra resistance while you're in motion. Okay, plie fret or piano player.

We're not pounding the pedal, we're holding the cords, valcort. No spring change needed because we're just standing using this. Breathe in, plie or frog. I'm pulling up on the cord just like I was in the mountain climber. And then standing nice and tall.

Arms can elongate, and bend. My heels are coming up off the floor slightly. Don't have to go too deep. Can you keep your head over shoulder, shoulders over pelvis? Couple more.

Setting the hips for the next couple of exercises, okay? Set the cord down. We can keep the springs exactly as they are. Now we're going up front or the front lunge. Same entry as we did, one foot here.

Step your foot to the top. Don't hold on to that Slastix. Reach your arms forward or a little bit up on an angle. Let's go for it guys. Take a breath.

When us to push the front foot down, lift the back leg up into the body, and press down. How about five or six? Focus forward. Look at something out in the distance. Stay focused.

Three, back leg is integrated, hamstrings right up into the tush. Two, last one. All right, you're gonna step backward with the top foot. No hands if you can help it. Pedal up, other leg, ready?

And step, pull it down. Second foot climbs up. Inhale, and press the top foot down. Press the back leg down. Pull your body weight up.

Stretch your body weight down. Lengthen through the top of the head. You have three more. Then we're gonna play with a little frog facing in, and press down. Okay, stepping down, woo! Quiet, good.

Okay, face your chair turned out. Hands on the corners. Pull the pedal down by stepping on it in your Pilates V. Bend your knees, open your hips, lean to the chair. We're trying not to just slunk into the chair.

We're against it, but not slunk, ready? Press your shoulders back. Let's pull that pedal up. Press it down. I'm gonna do 10 here.

Try to keep the knees wider than the frame of the chair if you can. Five more. And three, and four, and five. Parallel dismount. Okay guys, going up, side.

mini, step to the side again. Outside foot pulls down. Inside foot steps up. No need to hold this Slastixs. One hand here, one hand here.

I want you to lean your weight over that shin. This leg is parallel. Maybe you pull up an inch or two or more if you'd like those adductors right are gathering together to suspend you. Sometimes pushing this hand down will help the rise. Last two, and down.

And last one, and down, dismount. Quiet, other side. Outside footsteps on the pedal. Inside footsteps up externally rotated. Hand on hip, hand on thigh.

Lunge over that knee and ankle. Pull those inner thighs toward the midline, and you rise, and two. A lot about that inner thigh connection. Of course, your quads. We know it's the glutes.

Lot of leg here, right? Last two, up and down. Saving one of the best for last everybody. And that is high frog. So I want you to turn and sit on your chair.

Hands in the back. No Slastix, balls of feet on your pedal in Pilates V. I like to sit pretty close to the front. Pedal up. Let's get organized in the upper body for a minute.

Spread your chest. Wrap your scapula back. Lean back a little. So can you lift your tush up curl? Lift that pelvis nice and high, right?

Hold that shape for a second. Push the arms, push the hips up, and then come right back down. You can stay without or add a little pedal pump. I'm gonna do five. Come with me, here we go.

Lean back, press up. Whoa, and press, lift. As I push the pedal down, I'm thinking hips up in opposition. Doesn't matter how low you go. I mean, it could.

And one more, five. And curl, curl, parallel. Okay, let's cool down a little. Slow it down. Arches of your feet on your pedal.

Cross an ankle above the knee. Hold onto the front of the chair. You could also hold this and fold the pedal up. Round your body forward. You get a beautiful stretch in your hip.

Press down and open the chest. And let the pedal come up. I'm resisting a little bit pressing this top knee down. And up, about five each hip. Sometimes kind of nice to just do a quick, powerful lower body blast kind of thing with those toughies.

Check it out, right? And pedal up, flex. You can use the strap pedal, pull up into the stretch and then pedal down, spine up. And pedal up. Open your back, open your hip, and down.

Again. If you didn't wanna hold this Slastix, you just have the chair framed to hold onto. It's pretty much the same. Last two. Nice way to get that piriformis and the external rotators stretched out. And then we're gonna stand up after this and walk around the back of the chair to do another stretch for our hamstrings, okay?

Move your Slastix out of the way. Why the hamstrings? Well, they were working to help hold us up standing tall. Reach your arms forward, take a breath and round forward. Can you get your head low to the knee?

Take a few breaths. Roll yourself up. You can slide the foot D in. And once again lunge, hip flexors. We'll do each stretch again.

Slide the foot forward, reach and round. Trying to square the pelvis as much as your body will give you. Rolling yourself up. Slide that foot in and lunge toward the chair. Ah, a nice stretch in those hip flexors and quads, adductors too.

Other side. Reach and flex forward and square as your hip will let you go. Head down and slide the foot in, and lunge. It's amazing how different each side feels, isn't it? Yeah, last one everybody, stretching.

Can you get your head to your knee? That's kind of fun to try. And then slide that foot in. Reach your hands forward, and just lunge in. Good, so when you're short on time, it's okay.

Don't skip your workout. Do something quick and dirty like this. Let me know how that felt for you. See you next time.


Short and sweet!  I liked the use of the red slastix.  I have used the short yellows for step ups , but the red worked really nice for the mountain climbers!  Thank you Amy
Great class! Thank you Amy- loved the red slastix for the piano lesson
I love your exercise choices and how clear your instruction is for this short, but mighty workout. Thanks so much!
That was great! I don't have the cord you used but theraband worked for some of the exercises. I really like the combination of strength, balance and stretching all in 20 minutes. Thank you.
Jacquie W
These short workouts are helpful when I need the flexibility in my schedule. Thanks, Amy!

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