Class #536

Mat Workout

30 min - Class


Amy challenges you with this 30 minute ball class offering you a few new exercises to your ball repertoire. She sets the intention of moving slowly through this class following the Pilates principle of control. Starting with breathing and basic abdominal movements, she moves into hamstring and glut work that will grab your attention with a single leg passe developed pattern and diamond bridging/moving bridges. She progresses into more balance and pelvic stability patterns with 'walking out' giving you time to feel your hip extensors at work. Latissumus stretches are a nice break before the knees on the ball ab work including skier and arabesque. A delicious hip flexor stretch and ball balance conclude this fun ball workout. Enjoy!
What You'll Need: Mat, Fitness Ball

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Okay, so we're going to do a ball class today and I want to emphasize first that we're going to take movements rather slow and really focus on the control aspect of how we move on the ball for not only balance but safety within our spine. So we'll start first lying on our back with some breathing and we're going to set that ball right on our belly. Just let your feet be open apart about sits bones with or wider and just allow the weight of the ball to settle into your belly. We're going to just start with normal human breathing, meaning breathing to the belly, let it rise up on the inhale and just letting it fall does. These are normal breaths that we take on a day to day basis, but we are going to change the breath in just a minute to more of our Pilati style of breathing, which is that lateral and more posterior breathing. So we just do one more natural rising up of the belly, just letting it fall.

Okay. So just as a contrast, if you roll the ball just a little bit more up to your chest, are you going to where the ribs are? If we take the breathing and try not to let that puff and rise, but rather let the ribs widen to the side and almost let the ball hollow in towards your body and widen the back on the mat. So the inhale is at widening aspect laterally and posteriorly, you probably can't see a whole lot happening here, but [inaudible] just a couple more of the inhale is allowing the chest to soften the ball to kind of fall into that area and widened through the ribs. One more time. A nice full inhale. Okay.

And An exhale. All right, so we're going to move our feet more in lines a together, ankles together, knees together. Let's just move the feet a little farther away from the pelvis and we're going to reach the ball out in hands. Arms Long. Let's take a breath. So some basic chest lift and on the exhale, take that head and Chin to Chester roll. You're not needing to go too high off the shoulder blades. Inhale, as you roll back down, we'll take four of these. Exhale as we curl.

She's trying to get this kind of thinking of a stretch for the upper back as well as warming up your abdominals. And exhale as you curl, it's okay to let the shoulder blades widen on the back of the ribs and rolling down and exhale, ah, reach it just a little further and let's come all the way back. So I'm going to have us take our right hand on the ball, left hand behind the head for a little oblique rotation. So again, and exhale curling up and at the same time veer off to the left. So reaching up ball toward the outside of that left knee. And inhale, come down in the center. We'll do three more. Exhale, curling up, trying to keep that left elbow nice and open and inhale as we come right back down. And two more exhales. We curl. You're trying to go high and twist. Thank you through the waist, through the ribs. Inhale as we come back down and exhale one more time.

Curl. Try to keep the legs as steady as possible and inhale as we come back down and changing sides, we're using 55 centimeter balls. I meant to say that at the beginning to inhale, exhale and curl, veer off to the right and inhale is we're lowering back and again, exhale, curl. Getting that height of the abdominal curl and the adding that rotation and rolling back down the center. And two more exhale is recurl trying to open this elbow and inhale as we roll back. And one more time. Exhale, curl, rotate and coming back through the center and rest.

Okay. Taking the ball in both hands. We're just going to take it right above the chest. Pull your knees and just a little bit his feet still flat on the floor. Just a nice, easy rotation. The ball to the left and the knees to the right unless he inhale up to the ceiling and exhale over to the other side.

Nothing too fancy here. Just getting some motion through your back, twist through that waistline. Inhale up and exhale. Now. Let's take our arms overhead for a second and go ahead and twist your ball to your left. Drop your knees to your right and just pause right there for a second and focus on flattening your back, the side of your back to the mat so you're not really arching through there.

And then inhale as you're coming up through center. And exhale, take your knees over to the other side, feeling that nice rotation. Let's do one more each side and exhale, twist, really trying to reach that side down onto the mat there. Inhale and exhale. And one more time. So you're getting that nice diagonal rotation. And then inhale, just come to the center and pause. So all right, and just taking those arms and stretching. Nicely overhead. So we'll take a little bit of a bigger roll up. We'll still keep our knees bent. This is what we call the waterfall.

So arms coming up following the ball with the crown of the head. You are using those abdominals. But I wanted to keep the body close to the ball. Roll that ball, the shins even pass onto the tops of the feats. Are really reaching, feeling the stomach pulled back away from the thighs. So now we'll roll it back up and over the shins, over the knees, down over the thighs and you can reach the ball up and take it back overhead.

We'll take that two more times. I'm just going to have it up on the thighs roll. Try to be bringing up body close to the ball, feeling that spine flex, reach that spine towards the thighs, but the belly pulling back and how we go back does allow that ball to roll across the legs and over. One more time. Inhale, exhale. It's kind of a ball helping us form that spine into a nice c shape or that roundness and taking it all the way back.

We'll go into two full roll-ups so we can straighten our legs on the roll down. Continued the arms up and overhead full roll up. Arms, head and chest and allow us to go for a little stretch. So crowd or the head toward the ball. Feeling Neil's abdominals. Pull back away from the ball though and then rolling our body back. Feeling that spine imprint bone by bone ball.

Reach into the ceiling and back. And one more time. [inaudible] crown of the head following the ball, reach, reach, reach. And we'll transition into a little section for low abdominal. So just separating the feet. Let's put that ball right at the ankles and lift your shins just a little bit.

We'll put ourselves back on our elbows. So this incorporates a little, of course, our back extension. So we want to push up out of the shoulders, feel the back engage, but without F uh, opening up and flaring the ribs. So lets down, lift the ball and bring the thighs a little bit closer into the body. Feet can be relaxed. So we're going to take a breath in as we extend our legs. You can think maybe the line for teaser. And then on the exhale, focus on your hip flection and pull those thighs pretty close into the chest. So we take an inhale, stretch out and an exhale and flex.

And again, inhale, stretch out and exhale and flex at the hips. And two more. Inhale, feeling a very strong upper body. Strong shoulders. We're gonna add a little variation. So lengthen now, lower the ball, two or three engines. Pull it back up and flex at the hips. Couple more. Inhale and exhale. Lower couple inches.

Keep that body upper body integrated and flex at the hips. Let's take one more stretch and lower and lift and flex and placeable down on the floor. Let's rural ourselves up. Ah, alright. Just take a nice easy stretch. So we're about to work our hamstrings, quite a bit of work on our hamstrings. So think we should place our ball cabs on top. Roll back down.

I'm going to adjust my Panta lawns there. Okay, so the first section for the articulation or bridging, we're going to do it from calves on the ball, arms just down on the mat. But I'm going to have us do palms face up so we're not tempted to push too much with our hands. So just feeling a rolling of the hips. Let's take a nice breath in and the exhale. Peeling the pelvis, lumbar spine. If your legs start to straighten, that's fine, miss thinking about moving the spine. Inhale and exhale as we begin to roll the spine back down, pulling deeply into the abdominal muscles, feeling the floor beneath you. Inhale, same thing starting at the pelvis.

Roll that tail up, rolling the lower back. Kind of getting up to about my shoulder blades. Not really forward forcing my legs to straighten quite yet. We read an exhale and rolling down. Alright, make it a little bit more work. We're going to move the ball so the legs are straight to start.

Now before we roll up to squeeze very firmly in the inner thighs and the almost thinking of the legs being slightly internally rotated for. Now we're going to do something in a minute with the turnout. So let's take a breath. Exhale, same thing to peel. Feel that mat. Push your back into it. Peeling up. So loading those hamstrings. We're trying to feel even effort with both legs. 100% from the right side, 100% from the left side.

Inhale there at the top and let's roll ourself back down. Trying to get the bone by bone, trying to get that pelvic tilt right at the bottom and the lumbar zone is a little tough for me. Inhale and exhale again. We go up. Yeah. Now I want us to stay here and lift your hands off of the floor so I've got my forms raised, my palms are facing into each other. Inhale, exhale, roll back down. So we've taken a little bit of support away from our body, challenging our balance. This breathe. One more time. Peeling up.

Keep thinking of that internal rotation of the femurs just a little bit. Okay, let's further challenge our balance. Reach your right arm up to the ceiling. Exhale and burning it down. Focusing on are those even weighted legs. Inhale, reaching the left, an exhale, bringing it down. Let's do one more each side. Inhale, reaching the right, bringing it down in the last time in heel, reaching the left an exhale, bringing it down and lets lower arms back down.

Roll the spine back down. We've got one more, but I want us to do a little transition. Bend your knees, roll the ball towards you. Just a little transition. Yeah, and restretch the legs. So we're about to do a one layer more. Inhale. Exhale, same beginning peeling up. Okay, so lots of focus here. Internal rotation, bring those ribs in, even if you have to interlace your hands and press on your ribs a little bit so that you don't over. Lift through the back and rotate your hips. What I'm going to have us do, you can have palms face down. It's fine. Step your right foot to the ball is lightly step little posse to the ceiling. With that leg. You can flex that foot, lower it all the way to the ball anchor. Wait there. Let's go to the other side.

Step the left little posse to the ceiling. Flex the heel and reach toward the ball as we lower down palms face up. Second set. Inhale all the way up to the ceiling. Flex through the heel and lower all the way down and last time and inhale all the way to the ceiling and exhale and down. Okay. Lower the pelvis, bone by bone, first through the spine, and let's come into a diamond position with the legs.

Okay diamond position. I'm gonna have this open arm slightly away from our body. Just a little V, same thing. Let's take a breath in. Exhale, pelvic curl to peel. Getting a little more now in the external rotators. Just stay there for a sec. We're going to flex and point our feet. So let's just flex the feet and re-point the feet and flex the feet and point.

Let's do one more. Flex the feet and point. We're going to roll back down the spine, working that pelvic tilt, trying to feel the length of each segment down your back. One more time to peel up. Inhale. Exhale, end curl. Okay, so let's go ahead now and flex the feet. I'm going to have us push the ball forward, trying to keep this plank line established, reaching out all the way to straight legs and then as they're straight, keep them softly flex. Roll the parallel, roll back out to external rotation and then bend the knees. We want to fire those lateral hamstrings, lateral hips, and pull the ball in.

So two more times. Let's push away [inaudible]. Think more internal rotation. Even if we just get to parallel. There we go. And turning out flex and pull it back in one more time and push and to parallel and where the back of the legs are really working on this one and pull in. Whoa and rolling all the way back down. Once you get down, let's just go ahead and close and ease in parallel and just reach the ball forward. Just an easy hamstring stretch on the right. Pull that body up and you can even just do a little head and chest lift you want to and the lower hand other side. So slow controlled movements, a little bit easier to perform on the ball.

Obviously deeper work though sometimes the slower work is much harder physically. Okay. And so let's go ahead and just bring yourself up off of our back. We're going to do a nice lat stretch, so I'm going to go to my right elbow on the ball. So just resting the elbow and putting the heel of the hand behind your head or the side of the head. It's a little like the Cleopatra starting position on the reformer.

So you can have your fingertips on the mat and let's go ahead and turn profile. So by leaning the ball away, reaching the ball away kind of thing from your elbow, stretching the lat from this underarm area right down through the ribs. You might even feel it through the abdominals a little bit. So let's just take a moment to breathe into that. You could even put your hand on your ribs if feel that nice big expansion.

[inaudible] adding some side bend on your left waist here too. [inaudible] we're going to move from this into little recruitment of the lab, working that relationship toward the right side. So on an inhale, get ready. Exhale is you can track and lift yourself up. I'm going to have us turn to our head is now facing forward. Let's take our arm out to the side.

So the inhale is going to be leaning toward the ball. We don't have a whole lot of weight on our elbow. Exhale, listener, move the left arm up a little bit toward the ceiling, trying to pull most of the work from the lat into the abdominals. Inhale as we reach looking toward the hand and exhale lift. We'll take two more. So feeling both sides of the body working left obliques are fired up here nicely and now the right side and one more time. Inhaling over and exhaling up.

Ah, and just a nice easy transition. We can swivel, readjust, and put our left elbow [inaudible] and light hand on the head, looking toward the knees or toward the feet. You can have your fingertips down first and then once again, just reaching the ball away with the elbow, trying to feel that length coming from the shoulder down through the side of the ribs and maybe even into the abdominals. It's a few breaths. Ah, all right. So we can add reaching that right our mounts and now working in contraction of those muscles on the exhale. Lighten up the elbow on the ball, contract those left lats and pull toward the abdominals. That right arm is just going to float up.

Inhale as we go back over and exhale, contract it. Pull yourself up. Is that feeling of unweighting your elbow on the ball? Inhale as we reach over. And three more times. Exhale, pull up. [inaudible].

Yeah, an inhale, trying to get that relationship of obliques on the side, obliques and on this side. And one more time. Inhale as we open and exhale is we pull ourself up, squeeze into those muscles and let's just reach our ball toward us and we're going to come on up to sit on the ball and face each other. So something called our walking out, balancing a hip hiking, hip hiking being this stuff. We try not to wiggle the hips on this one. Uh, they'll want to. So we're going to try to track ourselves straight ahead and walk out nice and slowly. So the first start we'll have our arms forward.

We'll take a nice deep breath. Our lots are engaged, we can track the abdominal. So it feels a little like short box. Maybe on the reformer. I'm going to choose my non dominant leg to step forward with just because I think I do my other one all the time. We're walking slowly on purpose because again, it's harder when want to feel very steady. So right about now, I'm really feeling as like this quadrant of musculature through my core and I want to start recruiting my hamstrings and my glutes. Our end goal is to walk out and get on to our shoulder girdle, find her hip extensors. My shoulders are back on the ball.

My head's on the ball now on purpose. Put your elbows in, wrap your yeah, forums across your ribs, and just take a second to feel like you're almost pulling your ribs away from these elbows and firing up the, your glutes, your hamstrings, and lifting that section as much as you can. We don't want to be here and over arch the back. So we've got this nice plank line, established. Lot of strength going on deep in the hips here. All right, so we've got that. Let's take our arms now. Reach to the ceiling, trying not to lose any of that work. We'll take four chest open-close. We inhale, it's an anterior chest stretch. Exhale, feeling like we're reaching to the walls of this room. Exhale as we close.

Keep firing those glutes. Inhale and exhale and close. And last one. Inhale, open. Lovely exercise for the back of the body as well. Exhale. Now truth is here. We're going to rule up chest lift, squeeze into those abdominals. Now I'm going to do the same thing. My non dominant leg is going to come back first. That's not easy.

[inaudible] pushing through the hamstrings, pushing through the glutes, pushing through the feet and while we've made it back to the top, so we'll take another roll out and up. Inhale and exhale. It's nice and precise, very deliberate. We can go right into the arms to the ceiling. Let's just hold for about three breaths. [inaudible] of course you could use arm weights and magic circles and therabands and all kinds of props too.

In here we're just kind of keeping it a little bit more simple. Okay, curling up. Maybe that will be our next class with this routine curling up, up, up, up, up and center. Okay. I'm going to move a little more toward the center of my mat and you can come in a little. So we're going to do some bigger movement. Now, a little saw. We have our feet open across the mat. Let's take our arms out to the side, a little turnout with the legs. We're going to take a breath and rotate toward the left and saw toward the foot.

I'm going to have this aim on the inside of the foot in her little windmill with the arms coming up and over. Exhale to the other side up. Just getting a little more free movement. After all these isolated smaller contractions, XCL and curve and you can get a little hamstring stretch in it. Contract the round back, trying to keep the hips steady on the ball. Let's do one more each side. [inaudible] there you go. And exhale and we can finish with arms down. Okay. Feet together. And just step off. We're going to step to the back of the map. Coming prone.

Okay. Diving out over the ball. So let's get out there on her tummy and onto the thighs. Okay, so we're gonna hold a plank first and just establish you've got our shoulders above our wrists. Got Our hamstrings slightly engaged or stomach is definitely pulled up and we're going to go into a nice shell pose and park it there for a couple of breaths. On the exhale, the abdominals contract, the head starts to curl.

We're pulling that ball toward our arms. Just go ahead and make a pause. It's off Div. However, I'm really trying to pull my stomach, my abs up way from my thighs, even in this position, letting my head, my nose is almost touching my ball here. Feeling a great lumbar stretch now coming back out to a nice plank line, lift the hips, release a little bit of that weight and reach back into your plank line. Okay, two more with a little flow, so on the XL curling up, just pull nice and close to those arms and inhale and roll back out.

Chances are we're going to have to adjust the ball. I think Exxon curl and inhaler roll back out. Okay. I'm going to step back a little bit. I feel like I'm close to you. Yeah, you get a little class. We'll go into some obliques now. So let's roll back out. Ball onto the thighs. Yeah, this is better spacing. Crash. Okay, so same beginning, curling forward. We're going to take the ball toward our left. So little skier, you can go into Lumbar flection. With this, you can curl a little or you can curl a lot and really sit down onto that side.

What's your preference? And again, challenge your balance with these and going back, let's alternate sides. So we'll go to our right. Pull those abdominals in, round that back. Get yourself to get to those right sides and over. Back to the center. Once again, each direction, exhale and pull again. We're going slow on purpose, squeezing the muscles, really working the principle of control. And last time to the right and back out to the plank line. Put a nice Polish on there and let's come off our wrists for a little break.

We're going to move into the arabesque. So getting ready. Here we are. Rolling back out. So Arabesque a lot. You know this is definitely for a stronger body. A or spotter. If I was to spot, I would stand behind and um, help her hips lift. We're going to try it together. So we're coming back into almost the shell position.

We're going to be more on our knees and more of an extended back. All right, so lot of trust in your shoulders. Let's take our right leg and reach it into an air. Bask. The ball is probably going to move a little, but if we get that arabesque line, reach up, feel those glutes, pull that leg up. Let's breathe. Inhale. Let's pull it back into the mat or onto the ball. Yes, and other side. So balancing on that right side, reaching the left layout, trying to stay shoulders over, arms, reaching that leg up. My hip is open.

Maybe someday I'll get it and let's come back onto the ball. All right. And then roll it back to the thighs and push away back. Roll your wrist around a little. Okay. Some Swan. So this one we're going to do as a little bit of take off from the ladder barrel and we'll go back out onto our hands for establishing the plank.

Is getting that position set. So moving back, we're going to push her off our risks a little bit. Please the feet on the mat, relatively parallel and relatively close together and walking her hands to the side of the ball, focusing the reach through the sternum, up through the crown of the head, pushing with the arms a little bit. So I'm going to have us focus quite a lot on the hamstrings as well as the glutes and the lower back. Now if we keep lifting up, I'm going to have this bend our knees and dip very lightly toward the floor with the knees. Your knees are probably going to touch. Keep lifting through that upper back.

Now we're going to push you to have a little fun here. We're going to push off and dive and catch into a salon dive and lift those thighs. Now if we come back into the other swan, we have got to push off of our arms and come in yet. There we go and lift up into the swan. Let's bend our knees in, dip down slightly, keeping that upper back, focus on those hamstrings and glutes. And here we go. Push and hamstrings. Back extensors. Lift, lift, lift, lift, lift. Let's take it one more time.

Push off the arms and catch and lift. Bend my knees and try to get my upper back a little bit more extended. And here we go. Pushing off and hamstrings while we're up there, let's just do a little heel beat. Okay, four, three, two, one and parallel.

And let's come all the way down. Alright, so a little shoulder stretch. It's easy. Does it kind of scotch off by surprise, didn't I? All right, we're going to do a lens stretch and a little bit of quad work. So I'm going to take the ball to my right, to the front of my right quad and my hip. The back, knees down. I have my foot relax. You can tuck your toes if you need a little support. The other leg is parallel, but it's going to have to open a little due to the size of the ball and we're going to just round herself over and I really do want your head to relax and just feel your body making the curve shape of this ball so this can really help allow the shoulders to open across the upper back and taking those nice deep breaths into the back. Okay. Okay. Cause I think we could stay there a while. Let's bring ourself up now.

I'm going to have a slightly put her hands on the ball, chuck the tone now for sure. And extend long through the knee. In fact, I have one hand on my other side, one hand on my, on the ball and just feel that nice long hip extension. Uh, now let's do, um, as we straighten the front knee, just push through the glutes on that back leg push. There we go. And come back down to a bent knee. So the back knee is not going to touch. Let's do, let's do three more. So I'm focusing on my left leg, my glutes there and coming down. And two more in progress and coming down.

Meanwhile, this hamstring is to really lit up and last time press and now coming all the way down. There we go. And then bring that knee down. Fantastic. Let's change sides over to the left, right in front of that left hip and thigh coming down and rounding over. When you get that nice relationship of curve in the spine with the ball [inaudible] [inaudible] and then tucking the toe, bringing that body upright and again the hand on the thigh as you extend that back leg, staying fairly low in this first stretch too long, getting those hip flexors and rib cage back. Okay, so here we go. We're pushing through this glute and hamstring and quad. So feeling some leg power and then coming back down, reaching long through that back hip and pushing through the front leg.

A lot of power in the leg and coming down in three more and press and coming down nice and square through the shoulders and pelvis to more and press and lower. Keeping that chest open and last time let's press and coming all the way down and resting the knee. Okay. Last moment, we're going to take us through a little balance to challenge our balance. We're going to set the ball right on top of our feet and as I said at the beginning, this is a 55 centimeter ball.

We're both about five, three or five, four. It seems very appropriate. Size of ball for our body types and our heights, so this mind body kind of thing. Okay. It's kind of working of soften and balance.

Almost a less is more [inaudible], a little chance to steady the ball, steady the sacrum. They feel there's a great sense of accomplishment when I can balance the ball on my feet after all of that other work. [inaudible] take one more nice deep breath in together and then we can just pop the ball off the feet. Fish. Thank you. Thank you very much.


1 person likes this.
Thank You Amy for a wonderful class ! Reconnecting on the mat with the ball was a fun way to challenge myself, especially in the balance progressions. I get so caught up in my apparatus work I forget...
Thanks Amy- you knew I was going to like this class using the ball to do your pilates exercises. Fun class!
Great ball,work. Thx Amy!
thought I had seen it all with the ball....looove the "cleopatra" - new to me. Also enjoyed the arabesque. The slow & deliberate pace of the bridge sequence was awesome. The push off with the swan will definitely be featured in my next Pilates with the SB! Thank you so much
Elaine, thank you!!! So glad you enjoyed this class. I'm always thankful for your feedback!!
Thank you Elsabe!
Jennifer, I love getting posts from you! So glad you liked this class and got some new ideas to give your clients/classes! Let me know how things go!

Fun and very challenging! When can we do it again Amy? :)
2 people like this.
Hi Aliza! I'm game at doing another one soon! I might even do some ballwork tonight at 6:00!
Hi Yugonda! Thank you for your feedback, I really appreciate hearing from you. Reconnection feels so good doesn't it? Glad you found that with this class!
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