Class #5342

Clean and Precise EXO Chair

30 min - Class


You will feel the heat with this full-body EXO Chair workout by Maria Leone. Throughout the class, she guides you through clean and precise combinations, playing with the tempo to increase the intensity when needed. She includes the Slastix alternatively for support and challenge so that you can get what you need in each movement.
What You'll Need: EXO Chair, Slastix (2)

About This Video

Jun 21, 2023
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

Hi everybody, I'm Maria Leone, and today, we're working out on the EXO Chair. My setup is with a mat in the back and our Slastix attached to the back of the chair. I have the dowel in on my split paddle, and I have my springs, both of them on level 3. So your springs are gonna be set up for where you'd like them to be on leg pumps. Join me on the mat.

Come all the way down, scoot yourself in a little bit, and place your feet on that bottom ledge, and your hands are gonna go into the handles of the Slastix. Take a breath in, and on an exhale, bridge your hips up to the ceiling. Inhale here, and exhale, peel yourself down. Inhale here. Exhale, tuck.

Really pressing that lower back into the mat, floating the hips up, taking a breath in, and exhale, peeling yourself down. Inhale here. Exhale, tuck. And bridge yourself up, the knees reach out over the toes. Inhale.

And exhale, peel yourself down. Now bring your hands to your shoulders, my palms are facing up. Inhale here. And as you exhale, just press the bungees up over the head. And inhale, the hands come back to the shoulders.

And again, exhale, belly stays tight as the arms reach, shoulder blades wide, and inhale, down. Again, exhale, front ribs to back ribs. And lower it down. Last time. big exhale, feeling the awkward rotation of those shoulder blades.

And then stay here and just keep your hands right at your shoulders. I'm gonna change to a neutral bridge. Neutral Bridge, your hips straight up. Pause here. Now let's add the arms.

Exhale, up over the head. And inhale, down. Right back up for two, and down. We're starting to add a little bit of speed now. Exhale up, three, and down.

Back up, four, and down. Last time, five. and pause. Keep the hands right at your shoulders, just take a little set of pulses here, why not? It's always nice to just add a little heat with a little pulse.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Lower the hips, inhale here. Exhale, take the hips right back up and pause. Let's add a little marching here. So I'm floating the right leg up, and I'm lowering it down.

The other leg lifts, and of course those hips are so super still. And float one leg up, and lower down. The hands are just by the shoulders, neck and shoulders relaxed. One more each way here. And last time.

Lower the hips down. We're gonna put the hips and the arms together. Exhale, press the hips, reach the arms, and lower down. Big exhale here. Pressing through the hips, being explosive with your power, and lower down.

And exhale, up. Some of you might wanna increase your tempo. So you don't have to stay with me, go at your own pace. I'm gonna turn my heat up a little bit. Really reaching those knees out over the big toes.

Last time, wherever you're at. And take a moment. So one more little challenge here. Come back to the top. Stay here.

And as one leg lifts, the opposite arm reaches up. And down. Changing sides. Start slow for me here. And there's a lot of new parts here.

Most of us haven't been in this orientation before with tension. And then as you feel your brain adjusts to that, you can pick up your tempo. Keep changing, focus on that stability, and a lot of breath here, of course. If the arms get tired, you can just go back to a regular march last time here. And everybody lower.

Sit yourself up. We're gonna do a little change of our equipment. Unhook your Slastix, and they are going to the front of the chair. And we're gonna go to a modified roll up. The feet come back to that ledge, and you might have to play around a little bit with how close or far away you are.

So two feet to the ledge, palms are up, sort of in a bicep curl position. Inhale here. Exhale, roll yourself down, the arms will straighten. Inhale here. Exhale, bicep curl as you come up.

That's so nice. Inhale. Exhale, roll down. Those of you that have trouble with rollups, you're gonna really appreciate this. It puts such a wonderful stretch on that lumbar spine.

Inhale. Exhale, curling up, taking the nose right between the knees, and exhale to peel, and lower. Last time, peel. Come halfway down, stay here, and of course, we can always do a little bicep curl. I'm alternating right and left.

But you could also just stay with tiny little pulses here of the arm. It's gonna be a small tight range of motion. For five and four and three and two, and one, roll all the way down. Take a breath in here. Exhale, peel all the way up, cross your legs, and we're gonna transition.

Come up to your hands and knees. You're facing the chair. One hand goes back to that ledge. You choose what hand comes into the handle. The back is flat, let's go into a little tricep pull.

From here, pulling the arm straight back and in. Straight back and in. Remembering that your tension is always gonna be affected by how close you are to that chair. Shoulder blades are wide. The heart is moving forward just like we do anywhere else in our Pilates work.

Really feel the contraction coming from that tricep. Two more like this. And take a moment. So I'm gonna go to a kickback. So I'm gonna change my grip with my hand right on top of that handle, right on top of the webbing.

Pull the elbow in, tighten. Now this is a little harder, start pressing that arm out and in. So you see I don't even quite have full range of motion. And again, go back to the straight arm if you feel like you need, check in with your lower abdominals, draw them in, support the lower back. Last time here, put that handle down.

From here, we're going right to a plank. One hand down, the other hand down, step one foot back, the other foot back, and pause. Wrap the triceps, draw the belly in, connect to the sit bones, and enjoy that feeling, keeping your mind so super focused of where you are in space. Let's walk the hands into the feet, drop the heels, taking a deep breath in. And let's walk the hands back out, hold it here.

Reset. Go through your checklist, come down to your knees, and let's go the other side. So hand to that ledge, the other hand into the opposite handle. Shoulder blades wide. Let's start pulling that arm back and forward.

Tendency here for me is to drop the abdominals. So again, try to keep your focus on the whole shape, not just how much your hand is moving, how much action you're getting in the arm. Hold the whole body in your mind's eye. But at some point, you really start to feel that burn, right? So we get distracted by the burn.

Last one here. I'm gonna do that shift. You can join me if you'd like on top of the webbing, the elbow comes in. I'm gonna scoot in a little bit though. And then out and in.

Same focus. Clean action from the elbow for me please. I want you to be really mindful of what's happening in the shoulder. I do not want those shoulders to roll forward. It's just not a good look.

Last one. Put the handle down. Let go back to our plank, one foot and then the other. Feet together is always a little harder than feet apart. And let's begin to draw one knee in and out, and the other knee and out.

One of my favorite things to do within the past four or five years. And you can do this really slow and methodical. And if those of you at home want a little bit more heat, you know you can run this out. Go ahead and start running. I'm gonna run just for a moment.

Keep your mind's eye on where those shoulder blades are, and then lift yourself up and come into your downward dog this time. Really spreading the mat with the hands and the feet. Take a deep breath into the back of the lungs. Long, slow exhale. Walk your feet to your hands.

Tuck the tail, peel yourself slowly all the way up to standing, going right on top of your chair. Handles in your hands. We're setting up for swimming. So your belly button is gonna be about in the center of the chair. Hands on the chair to begin with.

Just find a really nice straight line in space from the crown of the head to the toes. Legs ideally together. You might be surprised at how much work you're already feeling here. Maintain all this. Lengthen the arms out east and west.

And you might need to adjust your body forward or back a little bit. Now keep the tension on the Slastix and begin your swimming. And you are breathing in, and then you're breathing out. Resist the temptation to lift the head. Feel the stability of the hips.

Bring up that tempo if you can with the thigh bones. One more here. Hands to the chair. Step back, take a little stretch. And again, the breath goes into the backside of the body.

Come back on top of your chair. Some of you are gonna repeat just that swimming. Come back to the same setup. And then some of you are gonna do these little pulls up. Now this is a little bit intense on the rhomboid and the posterior delt.

So if you have any discomfort in your shoulder at all, come back to the swimming. And of course some of you might be doing all of that together. I am not even gonna demonstrate that today. 3, 2, 1. Hands come down.

Let's take that little stretch again. And bring yourself up. We're doing a big change. I'm gonna turn my chair so you can see me. You're gonna put your Slastix onto your foot.

Make sure it doesn't get caught on the dowel. And then come onto your chair on your hands and knees, and I want your handle to be up towards the ceiling. That'll make sense in a minute. You're on your hands and knees. Knees are pretty far back.

Just basic cat cow. Exhale, rounding the back. Inhale, opening the chest. And exhale, rounding the back, shoulders out of the ears in. Inhale, opening the chest, and find your nice neutral position.

From here, with as little shift as possible, extend that loaded leg out and hold it there. Now notice it doesn't get real high. So just take that leg down and up. Do not try to get that leg all the way up to the height of your hip, guys. Just kinda feel that action into the glute and the hamstring.

If you want a little bit more challenge, the opposite hand, fingertips or all the way off. I'm staying with fingertips. Last time here. And now, tiny little circles with this leg. Notice the tendency for the body to wanna shift from right to left.

The higher the leg, the harder it is, but for some of you, just not necessary. Two, and one. Let this Slastix drop. Turn around and onto your back. Something familiar.

Here we go. Legs in, you know where we're going. Exhale to your hundred. In for five and out for five. Make a lot of noise with that breath.

This is your hundred, not my hundred. So yours might look like this. I'll do that with you today. Lot of breath, especially on that exhale, really feeling the driving of the abdominals into the lower back. It's hard to count and talk.

We will say we're done. Come all the way up and we're going over to the other side. So you already know what the setup is. Handle on your foot, come onto your hands and knees, get yourself situated, and a quick cat cow. Again, exhale.

And inhale, heart forward. And exhale. And inhale, heart forward, and then find yourself neutral, extend that leg out, pause here, and then begin to take that little action of the hip. Shoulder blades wide. Take the hand off right away if you'd like.

Or two, hands down. Check in, make sure you're not leaning away from the load. You might discover you have one side that's easier or harder than the other. Let's go into those little circles now. Right in the hip socket.

So really feel the ball of that thigh bone moving in that hip socket. Little bit harder to stay still like that, of course. Three, and two, you can be moving quicker also, one, and let it drop. Onto your back again into a little variation of crisscross. Hands are behind your head.

Let's start real slow. Opposite elbow to knee. Stay here and just get a nice deep connection to the center of the body, lift as you come up and over to the other side. Really deepen the shape. Try not to rest during these holds.

Let's do that again. Come up and over. The body is still, but you are dialing up the intensity in your shape. Up and over. Increase the volume.

Now we're gonna take this into a little movement pattern. So we go 1, 2, 3. Again. 1, 2, 3. It just changes it a bit. 1, 2, 3.

A little harder to be stable. 1, 2, 3. 1, 2, 3. Keep your heart up. 1, 2, 3.

Last time. 1, 2, 3. Knees in. Rock yourself up. We're transitioning to the front of the chair.

Grab hold of your handles, and we're gonna go into a little traditional leg pump series. So heels are going on the chair, hands are like so. Pause here. Let's start just moving those arms, taking a little pulsing action here. So the arms for this series, you can work them as much as you want.

There'll be times where the arm will fatigue and you will just stay still. Let's start pumping the legs. The legs go down, up, down, up. And remembering the higher those springs are on your chair, the more tension you're gonna have. Press.

And press. This tempo's a little slower than a traditional leg pump. And now, let's put those two things together, of course. So we go up. And up.

And up. Also requires a little bit of coronation here. Belly tight, the back doesn't rock. For five, you're sitting so tall. Four, and three, and two, and one.

Take a second. Next, arm variation. So we just pull in and we press out. Real simple. In and out.

Notice I'm keeping the tension on the Slastix. And you might be surprised at how much you're feeling this already in your shoulder and rotator cuff. And now we're gonna put that with your legs if I can coordinate it. So the pump comes in the arms continue. Keep sitting tall.

Lower back pushes into the spine. And two, and one. And let's just drop the arms for a minute and do a little shoulder roll. Move the head. Just do whatever feels good right now.

Okay, last set. The arms are like so. Let's practice the arms. They just go forward and back, right? And I'm not at all trying to take my arm straight, just doing like this little, almost like you're running, right?

Little runners swing. Now slow that down and add a little twist and a twist. Twist. So that's a little bit more interesting, right? Now I don't feel that sensation so much in my arm, it's more in the trunk.

And now let's slow it down and add the legs. Twist. Twist. And twist. Keep your attention also on where those knees are headed.

Straight ahead over the big toes. Last time here. And just relax those arms. You're gonna join me at the back of the chair. Go ahead and grab your handles.

And we're going to be working in and out of a 90/90 lunge. So let's just set that up. Start nice and vertical, and then slide one leg straight back behind you to the ball of the foot, and bend both knees. Okay, so just take a moment here. Make sure your tail's not back.

Tail under and weight equally distributed on both feet. Step all the way back up. Take the other foot back and hold it. And the handles, believe it or not, do really add some assistance with balance. So you can be in perfect form right now because you have this little bit of assistance.

Come all the way up. Let's take the right foot back again or left foot. Doesn't matter, just keep changing your legs. And all the way up. And the other leg goes back.

You're probably gonna need to feel like you're tucking the tail a little bit. And all the way up. Go back to your first side and hold it here. Now let's add a little road to this. Pulling the elbow straight back, straight forward.

And two. And forward. Continue to flow like this. And of course, the closer you are to the chair, the less tension. The further away you are, the more tension.

But just be mindful that that chair isn't starting to slide around 'cause we wouldn't want that. Two more like this. Two feet together. Back to your second side or over to your second side, and begin moving. Make sure that the feet are truly hip distance.

I find that teachers and clients oftentimes will set up almost as if they're on a balance beam. You do want that space between your feet. And yeah, I'm trying to distract you from this 'cause my legs are on fire. Yours should be too. Pull those shoulder blades together.

Three. And two. And one, two feet together. Now you can just repeat that exactly as it was. I'm gonna add just a little bit more here.

Back to your 90/90. And alternate. Alternate rowing. Inhaling and exhaling. Your tempo is up to you.

That's for some of you who start to move quick. 1, 2. 1, 2. 1, 2. 1, 2.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1. For a little bit more heat, curtsy and back. Yikes. Two, and back. Cross and back.

With that sense of you balancing something on your head. 3, 2, 1. Two feet together, second side. Find your position, begin your row. Maybe it's two arms again, maybe you're alternating.

Check in with your pelvis. Inhaling, exhaling. 2, 1, and curtsy. Yikes. And two, and three, and four.

Okay, get yourself composed. Focus on the breath. Go inward. Calm your nervous system. Whoo, two feet together.

Okay, we're almost done. Let's go back to the front of the chair. I'm just gonna drop those. We are gonna slip that dowel out, and the hands are coming into the handles. Ball of the foot comes on top of the paddle.

Just ever so slight a little bit of tension here. It's gonna assist you with the balance. So we're gonna push straight down and slowly up. So what you are gonna notice right now is like this is pretty light. And yeah, it is, 'cause we're challenging your balance.

I have my heel up high and I'm really pushing through all five toes. Now if you want a little challenge, there's always ways to challenge. Ooh, we can try taking a releve. Then you see I'm really using the Slastix now to help me. And let's change sides.

The other foot comes right on top, right in line with the hip. A little tension on the Slastix and straight down, straight up. We already know one side is gonna be different than the other. So it's just kind of having a little bit more attention on that side that just doesn't do exactly what we want. Always an option to take the releve.

I always try to do the same variation on each side. I'm gonna say that this side is much easier for me. Two more here. Wherever you're at, notice how much focus and concentration this takes on your half. Heel down if it was up, release everything.

Bring one leg right on top of that chair. The leg is straight, the hips are square. Inhale, lengthen the arms up. Exhale, lengthen forward over that leg. Keeping the back in a long position.

Enjoying the stretch in the hamstring. I like the foot flexed. It doesn't have to be though. I do want that ankle in nice alignment though. Bend the knee, take your hips forward.

Just taking a little stretch through the front of that hip flexor. You might feel the need to open that foot to the edge of the chair. And this change sides. So these positions right now are just really up to your comfort level. Inhale, up, get tall.

Exhale, over. I was being a little creative there for a moment. Long back. Just enjoy that. Notice where you feel that stretch.

If it's just behind the knee, crack the knee, okay? Just crack it. We wanna feel into the muscle tissue. Bend the knee, take the hips forward, open up if that feels more comfortable. The back heel can be up or down.

Again, this is really about your comfort. Try to get into a shape that you can just let go. Come on out, two feet together. Quarter turn and face me. Stand beautifully tall, take a breath in.

Exhale, nod your chin really slowly, melt down through the spine. Allow the weight to come forward onto the ball of the foot, the head drops, it's just heavy. Take a little scan of your body, feel the energy on the body. Soften your knees. Drop the sit bones like there's an anchor on your tailbone just pulling the tail to the ground.

Gently unfurl your body, stand beautifully tall. Inhale, lift the arms up. Take the gaze to the ceiling. And exhale, the arms come down by the side. That's it for today.

Thank you for joining me.


Heather B
Maria I love your classes! Such a treat to do a creative chair class with you 🙏🏻
Gayle S
Loved it!
Maria this is a wonderful class. Made me want to get out my Exo chair and fall in love again ! 
Amy Z
Amazing class Maria!!!  Fantastic and creative.  I love how you give us options (I couldn't do the single leg pumps in Releve but now I have a goal!). 
Lynzi D
Another Amazing class. Thank you
LOVE this workout:) I needed some creativity this morning!!

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin