Class #5615

Empower & Align

50 min - Class


Join Courtney Miller for an empowering experience rooted in traditional Pilates exercises, with a twist of heart-pumping and functional exercises. This class will challenge you to strengthen, tone, and lengthen your body while playing with tempo and maintaining stability. Under Courtney's clear cueing and supportive guidance, you will cultivate power and balance, preparing you for real-life movements and finding as much length as you can.
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box)

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Hi. I'm Courtney Miller, and I am so excited to be back here on Pilates anytime with my friend and fellow Pilates Republic teacher Sydney. Today's workout is gonna be a combination of some athletic conditioning drills with traditional Pilates. So join me. We're gonna get started with all of our springs on except one. So here on this machine, I've got 3 reds and 1 blue lie down onto your carriage. You've got your footwork settings.

So adjust the foot bar for you and adjust the springs for what's right for your body. Drape your legs over the bar, lift your arms up to the sky. Before we do footwork, let's do some reformer roll ups. On an exhale, you're gonna roll all the way up over your legs, reach forward and stay here. There's a reason why I like to start with this exercise.

Reach arms forward. Pull your shoulders down. For me, this really helps me to get into my pilates So in through the nose, breathe into the back and sides, exhale all that air out. Remember your breath is kind of like your gas pedal. So it's important part of each move.

From here, keep the shape of your spine and start to roll back, lift your arms up to the sky, and then exhale all the way down. You go. Do it again. Big exhale to roll up. Nice. Shoulders are down.

Create a lot of space between the abdominals and the thighs. Keep the shape as you roll back. So roll, roll, roll, lift the arms up to the sky. There it is. And then roll yourself all the way down. Keep going, Sydney. So that lifting the arms up is obviously gonna increase the intensity.

You can take that out if that doesn't feel right The most important part in this move is that you feel like your lower back, your middle back, and then your upper spine is connecting to the mat. And then during the roll up, it's that reverse. Right? Upper, middle, and then lower. Cool. Let's do one more full range of motion. When I do this move, I always remember to keep my legs relaxed. I'm thinking heavy legs onto the foot bar and not lifting knees to chest. Come on up for the next one.

You'll use the foot bar to set up for a teaser. So roll halfway back and place your hands onto the foot bar before you lift your legs, set up the spine. So the hips feel like they're rolled under, but the upper back feels very lifted. So squeeze your shoulder blades. Nice. Flip your legs off the bar. Squeeze your knees together and extend your legs.

So in this move, you're thinking of a book and you wanna close the book cover to cover. So chest to thighs, use your arms to get there. Beautiful teaser. Let go. Reach to your toes. Hold and breathe, breathe, and hold just because there's no movement does not mean there's no work.

So just maintaining this position, lots going on. We got three shoulders down. 2, you can always do this in Pilates V if you're feeling too much hips and 1, roll yourself down, bend your knees in. Foot work is next. Beautifully done. Let's do toes on.

Feet together, legs together, heels lifted high. Zip up your legs. Keep that tailbone heavy. Push yourself back ten times. Yes. This is a heavy tension. Remember, we are doing strength training in this work.

So if you get to 10 repetitions and you think you can do 15, maybe the weight wasn't heavy enough for you. So you're gonna wanna adjust this. Each classes, you get stronger so you can find your edge. I am a terrible counter. Anyone who knows me knows that about me. So ten is the goal.

I think you're at 4, maybe at 5, finding the length all the way out. Sydney's really good at what's called disassociation. So Her legs are moving, but her spine is pretty stable. The carriage will help you, but you have to use your muscles to stabilize your pelvis and your spine during these presses. What do we say? 2 more?

Yeah. It did alright. The next time you come all the way in, we're gonna change the leg position. So just separate your toes, heels together toes apart, 10 pushes all the way out. Good. Remember that this external rotation that's happening in the legs is happening at the hips. So as you press out, you wanna think about the inseam of your pants spiraling upwards towards the ceiling to get those inner thighs to connect and the glutes to feel active.

Inhale as you come in, exhale as you press out. There are a few different breath patterns. So if you wanna change it up, if that feels more intuitive in your body, go for You could inhale to push back. You could exhale to push back. You could do one complete breath for each movement forward and back.

You do you. When you get to 10, we're gonna come in and do another change. So you counting? Oh, are we there? We're there at 10. Okay. Bringing the feet in. We're gonna go heels on feet separated hip distance. And parallel. 2 presses back with both legs on.

When you're ready, push all the way back. Use the glutes. 1, relax your toes a little bit and push more from the back of your hips. 2, bring the carriage in, float one leg up, and 2 presses back. 1, nice, and 2, As the carriage comes in, that foot goes back down in line with your hip, opposite leg comes up. 2 presses back. 1, Keep that, like, stay atty and tabletop to both feet go on. Repeat the flow. 2 presses out both feet on.

Both feet on. Yeah. So do 2 here. So I just want you guys to take note. Relax those toes and try not to push through here, through your shins. Instead push through the back of your body. Do one more. 2.

Bring it in. One leg comes up. 2 presses out. 1 Nice. And 2, as you come in, foot goes down, other leg comes up, 2 presses out. 1, Awesome. And 2. Both feet go down. Let's repeat the flow one more time.

Both feet on 2 presses out. 1. Good. See how she's going all the way to straight legs. 2. One leg comes to tabletop, 2 presses out. Pelvis is staying pretty stable. And 2, switch those legs.

I love this one because it really teaches you just kind of intuitive patterning. She's doing a great job finding feet in line with hips. Awesome. Let's do tendon stretch. So slide down so your toes are on. And you can go ahead and keep those legs apart in parallel. Push all the way out to 2 straight legs. Good.

Drop the heels underneath the foot bar. Get a nice stretch. Keep the legs straight. Lift the heels high and drop them down. We'll do 10 in total.

So I always joke that the spring tension can be used for good and evil. Right? So the evil part is when it's heavy, you feel your muscles really working, strengthening, toning. But the good part is when that tension is really heavy, that spring tension creates length, right, so the springs are helping to lengthen through her calf muscles. Let's do four more here. Good. There's a reason why we're warming up the lower body, guys. We got something coming up. That's a little spicy. In 2, And then one more time, lower, lift, bend your knees come all the way in. Good.

Before we get off the machine, let's just really wake up our back body with a bridge, and then we'll move on from here. So slide your heels of the feet on. Good. Head rest is down. If yours is up, put it down, and I always move away from the shoulder blocks a little bit. I just don't like feeling them. Fingers wrapped around the front edge.

Let's do our articulating bridges. So roll up one bone at a time. Stay at the top, hug your knees in a little bit, Sydney. And if you at home are feeling your knees opening in a bridge, hug them in. You could even use a prop, like a ball between your legs, if that feels better.

Roll your spine down one bone at a time. When you get to the bottom, find that arch in the back and then repeat that whole flow. Ex heel up, Stay at the top. Okay. I'm gonna have you narrow your arms, bring them in a little bit, and flatten out those risks. Good. And then roll down. Yep. Do a couple more here.

So there's a couple of reasons why we bridge. One reason is to strengthen through the back of the body. But another reason we're bridging is to open through the front the body. So by narrowing the arms and keeping the wrists and elbows straight, Sydney's gonna feel more of a stretch in her chest by keeping her knees hugging in a little bit so her knees line with her big toes, she's gonna feel more length through the lateral line of her legs. And here's a really important one. By coming up into your fullest bridge, where your glutes are active and the front of the hips are open, you get a length or a stretch through your quadriceps.

Do one more roll down. Nice. And then the next time you roll up, you're gonna stay up for some fancy legs. So take one leg straight up to the sky, And we're gonna do our side flex, and you're just gonna keep that foot flex. So just leave that foot just like that and focus more on the hips. Give me a straight leg sweep down.

A straight leg sweep up three times. 1, 2, and you can play with flow and tempo and 3, and then hold that leg up point at the ankle. Now keep that ankle like that and give me 3 more. Swing it down. Swing it up. Narrow the arms and press down into the hands. Yeah. And now that, you know, the two moves, you're gonna put them together.

So when the leg goes down, flex the foot, and when the leg comes up point the toe, let's do 5. 1, and you can get some momentum here. 2, You're creating length through movement 3. Find a breath that works for you. 4. Keep that left knee hugging in and hold for 5. Then the knee plays the foot down. Just pause for a second and reset.

How does it feel? Left side might feel different than right. Find synergy before going into the other leg. Take the opposite leg up. Keep that foot flexed, strong, door side flexion. Here we go. 3. Kick it down. Kick it up. Right knee hugs in more. Good. Arms are in and strong. Nice.

And that's 3. Now point at the ankle and do it again. Big sweeps. Using momentum to create length. Momentum is your friend here. Right? Find that big kick up and then put them together. Little choreography, heal down, toe up, you can think of your paintbrush imagery.

So you're smudging paint down the wall with your heel, and then you have a brush stroke up the wall towards the ceiling. Doing your best to stay level in the hips and lifted nice and high. And when you get to 5, do a little pause at the top, bend the knee, place the foot down, and give yourself a slow roll down one bone at a time. Voila. Drape the legs over the bar, lift your arms up to the sky. Let's do 3 or 4 more roll ups. Again, big exhale to roll up.

Good. So arms parallel to the ground. Abs pull back, shoulders down, roll yourself about halfway back. Keep the shape. Lift the arms first, and roll yourself all the way down. That's one. You've got 2 more. I don't want you to feel restricted in this movement at all. I want it to feel very fluid.

So if adding those pauses kind of messes with your mojo, take them out, and just find that fluidity, knowing that the essence here is articulating through the spine. And relaxing through the legs and finding our lateral and posterior breath. So that's what we're trying to accomplish with these reformer rollout. The next time you're up, Sydney, we're gonna stay up. All the way up you go.

Well done. Swing your legs off to one side. Sydney over to the right. And now it's time to really challenge ourselves in the muscles we just activated in a vertical position. So rise up to standing Sydney, face towards your foot bar. Take the foot that's closer to the carriage on top.

We're gonna do our step up. So one foot comes up. Good. Before you go up, go down. So get as low as you can in squat position. This is a balance challenge, and you can do it from the floor if you don't wanna be on your machine.

Let's go sit low, rise to come up. Do it again. Inhale down. And exhale up. Don't worry about kicking this leg out. Just think of a vertical lift instead going straight up, keeping the hips square. So think back to the single leg footwork you just did, how we used our core muscles to stabilize the pelvis.

It's kinda happening again here. There's a reason why we warmed up the spine. We found the back body in our bridge. We're using all of those muscles right here, right now. Sydney's doing a good job landing toe ball heel. So landing light and articulating them and rising up. And then I also want you to take note that she's keeping her heel down onto that carriage bed as she sits low into the squat. One more like this.

Now stay low. Take both hands onto the bar. Hands our light. These are our carriage fast feet. Let's go. This is an agility training. Right? This is an agility challenge. I often don't count the amount of repetitions.

I think more of timing here. So 30 seconds is a great place to be in this exercise to really push yourself lighter in the hands, faster in the feet. Let's do five. 4, we're gonna lay on the opposite side opposite side of the machine in 3, 2, and 1, very good. Hey. Both feet on the floor before you do series again, turn around and face forward.

Reach up. Get really big. Forward fold and place the hands on to the carriage. Spread your fingers nice and wide for push ups. Step your feet back and find a plank position. Lean more weight forward over your fingertips and squeeze your legs and heels together.

Narrow elbow push ups, 10 is our goal, inhale down, exhale up. That's one. Good. If you're able to get nice and low like Sydney, go for it. Push yourself. You know you're only doing 10. So find your edge. If you wanna reduce the push up, just don't go down so low or reduce the amount of repetitions today and work up to 10 the more times you come back to this class, the stronger you're gonna get.

Inhale low and exhale up. Let's do 2 more. That should take us to 10. Nice job. All the way up you go. Step your feet forward and turn around to face the foot bar. We've got those step ups.

So the foot that's closer to the carriage comes up. Low and deep squat and hold. We're doing our best to have our knees point forward over our toes all the way up you go into a vertical lift. And then back down again. Inhale down and exhale up. So you might feel a little more wobbly on one side than the other.

Totally normal. The training we do here in the studio on the machine is preparing us for a real life. In real life, we're gonna have moments where we're unstable, and we have to learn recovery. If you're doing this on the floor, you're looking like this. Low squat. Both feet down. Rise up.

Find that balance challenge. 5. 4 hips are pretty level. Looking so strong. 3. I know when I do these, I really have to think about keeping my spine long.

Not rounding, but rather long. And one more. Get low. Stay low. Both hands on the bar, up and over. Let's go 30 seconds.

Now you could do this letting go of the foot bar if that felt more intuitive for you. You can let go. You can do look. No hands up to you. You could also do this from the floor if being on the machine just felt a little too intense today. Last five. We're gonna land on the other side of the machine in 4. If you can pick up your tempo 3.

She's crushing it too. And one land on the other side of the machine, push up second set, wide elbows to reach your arms up, get real big, forward fold. You're gonna wanna have your hands towards the middle of the mat your, elbow might go actually through the shoulder blocks a little bit. Walk your feet back. Find your plank alignment.

Turn your fingers in a little bit. We're doing wide elbow push So just turn in a bit more and spread your fingers nice and wide. Yeah. As you go down with the elbows open wide and then exhale push all the way up, that's perfect. 10 is your goal. Inhale down, exhale up. Now a push up is a whole body exercise.

So squeeze your legs and your heels together. Yes. Feel the back of the body working. It's a plank. It's just a moving plank. And the movement happens here at the elbow. Inhale down, hinge at the elbow, exhale up. Whenever I do push ups, I try to push up past my straight arms.

2 more, Sydney, you can do it wide into the back, head in line with spine, and come all the way in and kind of shake it off. Well done. Okay. We're coming back down to our machine. I'm reducing the springs to a red and a blue. So lie on down You'll wanna choose the spring tension that you like to do the 100 on.

That's what's coming up next. I spoiled the surprise. Reach back behind and grab your straps. Here we have our reformer loops, and so Sydney can use the short loops or the long loops. The short loops are gonna feel a little bit heavier.

So she's just going for it. I always move down away from the shoulder block, so they're just not in my way. Flip the legs up. Good squeeze the knees together. So notice how she's starting from a place attention.

This is purposeful so that you can feel your back working. And in the 100, you are working your back. Speaking of the 100, let's do it, exhale curl up, arms down, legs extend, find the pilates v, and start to pump the arms, inhaling through the nose, for 5, exhaling through the mouth for 5, in through the nose, and out through the mouth. You're doing 10 sets into 3, 4, 5, x hail, see if you can drop those legs a bit. There are a few strategies for breath.

1 is a big long breath for 5 pumps. And a big breath out for 5 pumps. Another is staccato breathing. So inhaling and exhaling. Both are great options.

Just make sure you're fully emptying the lungs on the exhale. And you're filling yourself up on the inhale because the hundred is not just a breath for your outside. It's a breath for those deep abdominal muscles. We want diaphragm and the lungs moving as well. We at 10 yet. Let's do one more set. Big breath in. She's like 270.

And then hold. Everything stays steady. Bend your knees in. Cur a little higher. Legs are gonna stay.

Head's gonna drop down. Arms circles. Arms up. Arms open. Arms in. Keep going. You've got 5 in each direction. I always think it's so interesting when I teach this movement. It's arm circle that's not an arm exercise.

So this is really focusing on your back and the stability of your shoulder blades on your back. So thinking wide collar bones, long neck is so important as you do this move. She's already reversed, so that's perfect. How did you know that was coming? I like to do five circles in each direction. This is a little calm before the storm. Right? You don't wanna be up in an abdominal curl for too long, so you get to rest your head, but you're not actually taking a break.

The next time your arms are down, leave them down, exhale to lift your head, neck, and shoulders back up. We're gonna do a little triceps over and under with the leg. So bend your elbows so they kind of mimic the ninety degree bend at your knees. You're gonna straighten your arms and legs, and the legs are gonna go over the barf on the first one. And then bend everything back in. Now the next time you straighten, see if you can go toes under the bar. That's it. Bend them in over for 1 and under for 1.

If you don't wanna be in a chest lift for this exercise, now's the time to lower your head, but here's what I'm gonna recommend. If you do decide to drop your head down, try to pick it back up again after a few reps. Take a break, but then come into the full expression of the exercise. Because the higher you can lift up in the shoulders The easier it is to stabilize the back as those legs go low. 1 more each.

One over. Bend in. Nice 90 degrees. And under. Good. Take a break. Rest your head down. Rest your feet for a second.

The next exercise is overhead. This is an inversion So if there's a reason why you don't wanna flip upside down, we can choose a different exercise. Arms go up to the ceiling. Legs come back up. Extend the leg straight. Good.

This is your start position. Arms pull all the way down to the mat, and here's the secret. You have to push into them. So so often when I teach exercise, I see those floating arms. It's really hard to come up without the power in your arms. From here, legs go up to the ceiling and you roll up onto your shoulder blades.

Your legs are overhead. I think that's why it's called overhead. Then separate the legs about the width of your machine. Flex your feet a lot. That's why we practice this in our bridge and roll down with those flex feet.

Think of laser beam shooting out of your heels, leave the legs low, draw the legs together, and then lift your arms up, stopping over the shoulder two more like this, Sid, pull your arms down once they're down, swing the legs overhead. Good. Looking for parallel legs to the ground, eyeballs open, look at your knees. What do you see? Straight legs. Good. Separate your feet. Flex your feet, and then roll down.

There's opposition. So as her sit bones are pulling towards the foot bar, Her heels are reaching away. This exercise is creating length and strength. That's the beauty of Pilates. Arms up. Arms down. I want you to pause for a second.

Push more through your pinky fingers, everybody. Pushing into the pinky fingers is gonna widen through the chest. Big roll up, exhale all the way up. Separate the legs, flex the feet, good, find that opposition, roll down, sit bones towards the foot bar, heels in the other direction. Now here's the reverse.

So leave the legs as they are. Lift your arms up to the sky. Good. First, pull your arms down. Then roll up with the legs apart feet flex. It's a lot harder to get up. From here, heels together toes apart, find your Pilates V, point. Yeah. And then really find that external rotation from the upper hips.

Roll yourself down just like that. Now it's a little easier to roll down through the spine. Let's do it again. So arms go up to the sky, separate the legs, parallel, and flex your feet. Good. First, the arms pull down. Then the legs go up and overhead.

That's the challenge when we reverse. It's just that getting up, squeeze the legs together, heels together toes apart, find that big turnout, rolling down. Again, same sensation of opposition, toes reaching away from the sit bones. Arms to the sky, feet apart, feet flex, First, the arms come down, then big exhale. Good. Legs together. Heels together.

Rolling down. And not only feeling length in those legs, but length in the spine too. Awesome. Bend your knees in towards you. Place your feet into the long loops. After all of that hard work comes your reward, and the reward is short spine. So you get to keep your head down for this.

The overhead really created a lot of length and abdominal connection. Let's challenge that. Hands down by your sides. Send your legs long. Good. From here, lift your legs up to the ceiling pause.

We're gonna break this one down. We're looking for kind of around a ninety degree bend. It's the place where you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings. But you're able to keep your hips down on the mat. Now often I see people just spring up into their inversion, but before you get there, deep in stretch as much as you can.

And that's gonna look different for everyone, but you are trying to close the carriage ish, and you wanna feel like your chest and thighs are getting closer together. So now stretch maybe is more into your back. And now from here, roll up onto your shoulder blades, carriage is closed. Good. Stay here. Find your pilates fee, bend your knees, find that diamond, feet are flexed.

Yeah. And then just come up a little bit higher. So when you're in the diamond, try to keep your thighs about parallel to the ground. So not too close to the chest and knees in a little bit no wider than those shoulder black There you go. Now roll the whole shape of the body down, pulling the legs down with you, upper spine, middle, lower, pause here, And then I want you to feel like you're pushing from your core as the legs then extend down. Rotate back to parallel and repeat. Come up to the 90 first. Deepen the stretch.

Roll yourself all the way up. Good. Bend into that diamond. Not too low. Right? Cause this position should feel really active. And then roll the whole shape of the body down. Cool. And then push the legs all the way out.

Rotate back to parallel 2 more. Up, you go, deep in the stretch first, and then roll up. Now in this position, wide shoulder blades strong arms, no weight onto the head. Bend your knees, and then roll down upper spine. Find that length again.

Middle spine. Lower spine, weight until that low spine is down, and the pelvis is down before pushing the legs out last time, rotate to parallel. Legs go up. Deep and deep and deep in the stretch first. Push down to roll yourself up.

Good. Find that diamond shape. And then roll yourself down slowly. Good. So that was our reward for all the hard work, and we have to get back into some hard work. So slide your feet out of those straps I can take them for you, hook up your straps behind you, drape your legs over the bar.

Let's do a couple of reformer roll ups again just to kinda shake things out. Big exhale as you roll all the way up. And down. Good. Relax those shoulders.

Nice. 2 more. Exhills you roll up. I like adding these reformer roll ups into my class choreography too, because if people are finishing an exercise at a different time, it gives everybody an opportunity to kind of come back to the same place. One more. Big roll up all the way up. Good. Okay. Stay on ups.

Bring your legs off to one side to the right, and you're gonna pop off a spring. I'm taking off Sydney red spring, so we're now on one blue spring. You don't want the tension to be too heavy. Come on up. We got some hard work to do. Facing towards the foot far.

Your inside leg, so that's gonna be the leg that's closest to the footbar will rise up. And then the opposite leg to arm comes up, and we're doing what's called our lunge up. Right? So step that leg back, get low and lean forward, and then pause here. So you're leaning forward into your front leg, really waiting that glute. And then on an exhale, knee comes up, elbow comes up, option to add a jump at the top.

Let's go. Inhale. Inhale, exhale up. Good. Same as before. We're not gonna count quantity. We're gonna try to be in this position for about 30 seconds.

The higher you knee you drive your knee up, the easier it is to come up off the ground. Right? So find that big lift. There it is. Inhale down, exhale up. There's another secret here. The lower you go, the easier it is to come up. So make your lunches big.

Change those levels. Change those heights. 5, 4. You're almost there. 3. Next one's gonna be easy. Oh, well. 2.

And you're out for 1. Okay. Cool. Stand on your feet, but turn around. Grab the shoulder block that's, the shoulder, excuse me, the loop that's closest to you. And I'm gonna use the short loop for this series. So there you go. We're doing a combination movement, find a nice wide squat.

2 movements happen at once, you're doing a squat with a row. I like a wide elbow coming all the way up. Now as you're up Sydney, switch arms, do a squat with a row. Rise up. Good. So two things happening. Deep low squat and that row.

Now these are not new movements or new biomechanics for her body. She knows these from those carriage hops and those step ups. If the tension feels too heavy, step forward, but if it's not hard enough, step backwards or increase your spring tension. We're working right around repetitions of 10 to 12. So if you think you can do 20 of an exercise, It's time to increase the intensity. Let's do 4 more here.

3. You got it. Chest is lifted. 2. And make sure you feel evened out for 1. Excellent. Now I want you to take the long loop if you have the option between long and short and place you on the arch of your outside foot. So that's gonna be the one further away from the shoulder blocks feet on the floor.

Now we're just standing on that loop. It's just a placeholder So if this is weird for you, just don't do it. Just let the loop fall onto the ground. Okay. From here, hinge forward. Bend your knees. I want you to know that the closer you are to the back of the machine, the heavier this is gonna feel.

So adjust your body if you need to. Take your inside hand onto the shoulder block, Stay low in your chest. The only thing that's gonna move is the upper body. Push the carriage forward to a straight arm and then bend. Good. So if it feels too heavy, you gotta step backwards. Okay? Not forwards. Now that you know this upper body part, I want you to extend your inside leg behind you.

That's the one that doesn't have the loop. And every time you push your arm forward, lift that back leg up. Let's go. There it is, and then tap it down. Good. 10 of those. Big push.

So finding that plank alignment in the body, ribs are closed, spine is long. She's doing such a great job keeping the shoulder down the back. Inhail bent, exhale push. I know you're working so hard. Final 4.

3. Good. There's always gonna be a break during those transitions. Here comes the transition in 2. And one. Good. Take both hands onto the shoulder blocks. Inside footsteps onto the carriage. Now I want this foot centered and back.

Don't rise up just yet. I want you to find a tripod between your two hands and you're stabilizing foot. Make a triangle that support that base is really gonna help to support you. Okay. The loop leg is gonna swing up and you're coming into your 3 point standing hold. From here, body stays stable.

Loop leg is gonna swing down that working leg. And then x, he'll swing up. 10 is our goal. A couple of options. Keep your standing leg bent if that feels better for you. One thing that I like to do is when I sweep my leg up, I'll straighten my standing leg.

I just find I get a little more power in that lift. Yeah. Do you see the difference? It's like you're hitting it with an exclamation point. Shoulders are square, and the hips are in line with the spine. Good. Now I know some people like this move keeping their standing leg straight the whole time, so you do you. Last three.

Coming into a little bit of cardio push here in 2. It's our curtsy lunge challenge and 1. The loop foot goes down onto the ground. The carriage leg steps back behind it, bend into a curtsy and hold. Yeah. Just stay here for a second.

So in a curtsy, your legs are in a diamond. Unlike where we were in our short spine. Puls it down for 3, 2, one. Hands go to the shoulder blocks. Inside leg steps to carriage, sweeping leg comes up. Good. Sweeping leg comes back down.

Come back into the curtsy. Let's find those pulses again. For 3. 2, one hands go down, foot comes up, sweeping leg lifts. You wanna pause. You wanna hold for that photo.

And leg comes down. Let's take the pulses out 5 without the pulses. So we go down up onto the machine, you go, sweep up. This is a weight transfer challenge. Little bit of coordination as well.

Find it. There's the curtsy. Hands go on first. Leg comes up. Big sweeping kick. Nice. You're almost there.

Take it low and come up. Find it. Good. Last one like this. Lake comes back. Good. You rise up. Mhmm. Find that big kick up.

Find it. Find it. Find it. Find it. And then rest and you can take your knees down to the mat. Hook up that loop before we do the other side. That's fine center again. It seems like that's gonna be a very zen move, but it's not. Come down onto your elbows, palms together, elbows wide.

Good elbows underneath the shoulders, curl your toes onto your your front platform, your wood platform, and push all the way out into a low plank position. Pause here and see if you can get those hips just a little bit lower, Sydney. So heels are squeezing together. Legs are fired up. Right? We've done a lot of this kind of plank work, whether it's been in a push up, even in the hundred, we are talking about finding those strong legs. From here, elbows push forward and back.

5. Good. Drop the hips just a little bit. There you go. 4 Nice. Abdominals wrapping from the sides to the front. 3, 2. Now I want you to bring the elbows right underneath shoulders, leave them there. The knees are gonna bend and open like a diamond, kind of like how you do a short spine, and then push all the way out. 5 Good. Stabilize the ankles. 4.

Zip up the inner thighs when you push out kind of like how you did footwork. 3. Less movement in the feet. 2. Now keep the carriage pressed out. Here's your grand finale. 5 pikes up. Hips go high to the sky.

Close that carriage. Push out. Look at the hands. 1. Now this is a whole body move. I know you're feeling your shoulders too. Tuck your chin round your back.

3. Good. You're almost there for and last one like this, finishing that high pike, hold it, head points down, abs are in, and lengthen and then lower the knees. That was amazing. You get to do it all again. Come on off this side. So come off your machine to the other side and face the front of your machine.

Your inside leg is the one that's gonna come up. Yes. And then your opposite hand to knee comes up. And so that's the position you wanna find during the lift. It's kind of just like cross diagonal. Connection. As you step back, pause for sex ed, you're sort of leaning your chest forward.

It's as if you could take off and run forward This is gonna give you the power to go up. When you're ready, up, inhale back, and exhale up. Good. One of the reasons why I like to face forward in this exercise is if you need to hold on to this foot bar, you need any balance, aid, or stability, support. It's right there for you. Inhale down and exhale up. Landing toe ball heal.

It's always harder on one side than the other. This is her easy side. That I tell myself, even if it's not, this is gonna be my easy side. 30 seconds is your goal. Last five.

4. Good. 3. She's making it core by finding that exhale. 2. And one, rise up, turn around, and then grab that loop that's closest to you. Reminder, we use the shorter loop.

It's gonna feel a little bit heavier. You do what works for you. Nice wide stance. 2 movements combined together. It's a squat and row. So sit low One elbow pose back, rise, and then switch.

Let's really deconstruct that squat here. Spine is long and straight. And as I go down, my hips feel like they're moving back and wide and opening versus rolling under and tucking. So sitting back wide hips, rising to come up. Good. If you don't like a wide elbow when you row, keep it narrow or split the difference, I'd say choose what feels best in your upper body, in your neck.

Good. Almost there. Fort We've got that upper body challenge that push in 3. Nice. 2. And make sure you feel evened out.

1 now you'll use the longer loop. It's gonna go around the arch of the foot that's furthest away. That's your outside leg. This is a placeholder for our next move. If your setup doesn't work like this, just drop the loop for this next one and grab it before you go into those leg sweeps.

Lean forward, bend your knees. The closer you stand, Sydney, to those risers, the heavier it's gonna feel. So step back if you'd like. Inside hand goes on to the block. Before you add the leg extension, just practice the upper body, kind of dial in where you wanna be.

And you'll notice by slightly changing the angle of your body, you'll feel a lot more stable. So if you're too twisted or too straight, you might just wanna find that perfect alignment. Okay. So now to extend this inside leg, Good. And every time you push forward with your arm, the leg's gonna come up. Push and lift lower and tap. 10 times is your goal. I love these unilateral movements where you get to do one side because it really is gonna help you feel those muscle asymmetries, Not that there's anything really wrong with that, but it does help you to create more balance. Right?

It's rare in life that we get to really feel our differences in strength between left and right. So here's an opportunity to really dial that in. Lots of core working and kind of, this anticipatory environment. She has to anticipate that her balance is gonna be challenged and stabilized before she loses her balance. I think that's 10. Feeling good.

Take both hands onto the shoulder blocks. Good. The inside leg comes up and then pause. Find that triangle. It's such a stable shape. Right? Hands are wide. Foot is towards the back of the carriage.

Sweep that strap leg up as high as you can. Hold it here. We're going for some serious hip extension. Doing our best to stay levels for the pelvis, swing the leg down, and swing the leg up, 10 is your goal. When I get this move, I kinda check-in with my body And notice if I'm feeling a lot of my weight shifting forward over my wrists. If I am, I remind myself to shift back.

So you should feel your weight evenly distributed between the arms and the supporting leg. It's you shouldn't finish this feeling like, oh, it was a really challenging wrist exercise. As the leg sweeps down towards the ground, just pause for a second, try to pull that hip bone up to the ceiling. Yes. Do it again. So this is sort of feeling like how when, we have our sideline foot and straps.

Wanna pull the sit bone away from the heel. Last two like this? Good. And now the foot can go down to the ground, carriage leg steps behind, and we're finding that courtsy position hold. So a courtesy is a diamond hips or square. We'll pulse it down for 5, 4, 3, two, one. Hands go onto the shoulder blocks, footsteps to the carriage, leg sweeps back.

Nice. And you wanna find that alignment before going back down the curtsy. And teaching it nice and slow like this and adding those pulses gives you an opportunity to find that position. Right? Really dial it in, fill it in your body. There's 5. Hands go down. Foot comes up. Leg sweeps up. So now that we know what we're doing, We take out those pulses.

The foot goes down. The leg crosses behind. You're in your curtsy. The hands go on. The leg stays comes up, and you're in your sleep. Good. 5 in total.

So it may seem like it's physically less challenging because you're not holding in those pulses. But where the challenge comes in is the coordination and finding those positions quicker as you move through the floor exercise onto the movement onto the carriage. Doing a great job. Big lift. And curtsy, wide knees.

Good. Last 2. Awesome. Notice how she's finding her foot on the carriage right in that perfect spot each time for stability. Find the lift. Hold it. Hold it. Find the length.

And take it down for a break. Let's do another set of plank. So hook up that loop. Meet me down onto your elbows. Palms together, elbows wide, and exercise so nice.

We're gonna do it twice. Push all the way up. Find your straight legs and hold. Alrighty. So here we are in that plank alignment. The hips are tucked under.

The glutes are on one long line, elbow slides. Push it for 5. Back of the head up just a little bit. Good. 4. It's better to feel like you're more scooped in a plank than arched. Last two. And then keep the elbows directly underneath the shoulders. We're gonna diamond those legs when we bend them in and push all the way out.

And when you push out, there is That's the point. Right? There's the essence. When you push out, there's a pause. Yeah. There's the move, and then you come all the way in. Yeah. Heels together. Squeeze them. Back to the legs connected.

Squeeze them. Back to the hips connected. Next time, hold. Round your spine. Tuck your chin. Drive those hips hold the inversion, look towards your belly button, lengthen out with intention, look towards your hands, 4 more.

You can do it. Next one's gonna be easy for real. Next one's the easy one. 3. Good. Stabilize those ankles. 2.

One more time. Big lift up. Press all the way out and take the knees down and enjoy a rest. Awesome. Okay. You can stay on the carriage. You're gonna turn your body for side kneeling arm series. I'm gonna drop this foot bar now in preparation for our side splits, which are coming up.

So if you're able to take your footbar down, either now or later, I'll remind you before we go into the next exercise. I'm just talking words so she can take a break because that was a really hard flow. Okay. Grab the strap that's in front of you. And, again, options between the long and the short loop, short will feel harder and heavier. Rise right up to your knees and knees underneath the hip. Good. She's choosing the long, but did not go unnoticed.

Okay. So in this position, elbows are up and shoulders are down. You have to anticipate that when you pull on this loop, that character kneeling on is gonna move, so stabilize your body. Let's do our hug a tree, exhale hug, inhale open. Good. Do it again. It's common to bend at the elbows and to kinda close the shape, but in this position, you're really keeping those arms wide. Yeah. And away from the chest. Perfect.

Collar bones are wide too. As the arms hug in, there's this sensation of wrapping in the core. So ribs, closing, big exhale, bottom of the abdominals drawing up, feeling connect connectivity from the back through the sides through the front. Let's do one more like this, working somewhere around 10, finding your reps, opening the arms wide, and turning the palms up. Let's do hug a moon.

So overhead reach and then open. And it's not important that the fingertips touch, so they may not touch overhead. But try to keep your spine as straight as you can. If the tension is feeling too much, sit down, get lower, or change your springs to attention that works better for you. Nice. Big lift up. What a nice time to kind of find your breath again. And he'll open, exhale.

Good. The next time your arms lift up, I want you to keep them connected. So here's your hug a moon. Now bring your hands down in front of your chest. Here's your hug a tree. Keep those arms.

Lift them back up and open back to your sides. Just do this 2 more times. So first, you go overhead. Yep. And then take them down, stabilize everything, lift them back up, and open one more time like this. This takes a lot of endurance and control lower down, lift up, and open. Now we're gonna reverse this.

I want you to go into your hug a tree first, hug a tree, connect the fingers, lift up, find that hug a moon. Oh, that's hard. Bring it back down to the tree and open it two more times like this. Good. This is one of those sneaky ones. You start off the exercise thinking, this is not too hard. And then you get about here and you're like, yeah. Definitely working.

Last time, we're gonna give the arms a break after this. So lift, ribs stay closed, lower, and open. Well done. You can hook up that loop. And step backwards to come off your machine in preparation for your side splits. You're so happy this is programmed in here.

Step your foot onto the wooden platform first, The carriage is gonna move easily because it's on that blue spring. I like to take a wide stance so I go at least halfway to the shoulder blocks If you're more flexible, step even wider to start. Before you begin, arms to a tee, toes forward, legs straight. Stay here. So kind of going back to that plank position, the legs are active back of the thighs engaged. Bottom of the floor, the pelvic floor pulling up, the abdominal bottom pulling Okay? See if you can keep that. Push the carriage out. Reach the arms overhead.

Big big big push. Pause. Weight is into the outer edges of the feet. Now bring the carriage in. Arms go back to a t. Pause. Do it again.

So I want this move to not feel like an exercise for your inner thighs, but for the bottom of your abdominals, I want you to feel that upwards pulling sensation, and you're gonna feel that most as the carriage closes. Good. Sometimes I think about my rib cage lifting up. Like, I'm actually getting taller and longer in my spine as the carriage closes. Big open and exhale. Last three like this.

Toes are forward. Spine is long. This is programmed in here because we wanna have this combination in in our workouts of strength and power and balance, but we also wanna feel length. Right? So here's a great opportunity to reconnect with breath and find length. Last time like this and bring the carriage all the way in. Good. You can stay on your feet, pivot so you're facing towards your shoulder blocks.

And take your knees down. We're gonna go into a little upper body flow, knees all the way against the shoulder blocks, and you can sit your hips down onto your heels grab ahold of your loops and then walk your hands up to your ropes. The higher you hold, the heavier it's gonna be, and stay in a low, Neil, lean forward, pull the abdominals in, and draw your elbows up by your sides. Good. This position is gonna stay as you go into your tricep extensions ten times. When I do this move, I think about my prone series on the long box. Shoulder blades squeeze together.

Chest is feeling wide. But I also like this position in comparison to the box because I feel more connection to the lower sensation of my abdominals. Like, we were talking about the pelvic floor drawing up. So as you're here, Sydney, if you can think about widening your sit bones, and lifting your tail feathers and drawing your navel towards your spine, you start to feel that activity into the core maybe more so than in some other positions. Alright. I'd say that's 10. Keep your arms straight for circles.

Lower your arms down under your shoulders. Open your arms to a tee and then pull them straight into your body. See if you can do 5 in each direction again. So here we are back into this idea of armed circles being very much a back exercise. Good. And if it starts to get too heavy, you can hold the loops instead of holding the ropes themselves.

Once you've done 5 in one direction, you're gonna go right into that other direction. Down, sweep them back, open to a tee, down under the shoulders. She's keeping tension into the ropes at all times. Not letting the arms swing forward and the carriage closed, and that is definitely increasing the intensity of the exercise. Finish strong.

Nice. Hook up your loops, and you can stay onto your knees and turn around and face of the direction. You can keep that one, actually, since we're doing our arms series. Yeah. So facing the other way, hugging, the tree was first long or short loop. Walk your knees back a little bit.

I like my feet hanging off the edge when I do this. Ribs closed, exhale as you hug in. Good and inhale open. So it's a cool opportunity to see this from the back because you can see that even though the arms are moving, there's not a whole lot of movement here. The shoulder blades are staying fixed.

The spine is staying vertical. Neck is staying long, big inhale open, and exhale close. When I do this move, I do try to remind myself in the of the importance of finding, symmetry between working the front and working the back. So if I'm only focused on working the front, I tend to roll my shoulder forward. Right? So the idea is I'm working the chest, but also staying very connected into my back body to keep those collar bones wide.

Let's do our hugging of the moon up and over. We go. Good. And then from this vantage point, you can really see how strong she is and how stable she's able to remain in that vertical alignment. Open wide and exhale big lift. Nice.

Trying to feel heavy in the knees and even pressure into both legs. It's all about anticipating that that care just gonna move as soon as you start to lift your arms. The next time your arms are up, let's do that one where we connect them. Keep them connected, drop them down to your hug a tree, lift them back up to your hug a moon, and then open nice and wide. That's one. You have 2 more to go like this.

Big lift. Lower. Big lift. And open. Good. You got this one more? Fingertips connect.

Arms go down. Arms go up. Open. And here's your reverse. So come into your Huggah tree first. Connect, lift the arms high, drop them back down, and open wide. Just two more.

That's what she's telling herself just two more. I can do it. Good. Finding that edge. Lift.

Lower and open. Beautifully done. We're gonna give the arms a break. You can hook up that long loop. Step backwards so you're on the floor. Remember, when you come on to your carriage, step on to what's not gonna move first before you step on what is gonna move.

Wide stance, toes, forward, arms to a tee. Before you begin, can you close the carriage even more? So there is this intentional, drawing the legs underneath you, which is helping to feel that sensation of pulling up inhale arms overhead, carriage presses out, and then exhale bring the carriage in, arms come back to a tee. One nice little reminder to help you feel your inner thighs all the way up into your low abdominals. Is to stay lifted through the arches of the feet. So you'll feel that if you can pull out through your arches, you feel that pulling up sensation all the way into your core.

It's really common to flatten the arches when you press out. Nice vertical alignment, looking good, and he'll big press out. And exhale, bring it all the way in. Let's see if we can get a little bit more ribs closing as the carriage closes. So left and right sides of the rib cage pulling towards each other and down.

Last three. Good. And open. Last two. Gorgeous. And last one. Big finish all the way up and all the way down.

Step backwards off your machine. Let's face towards the foot bar standing feet on the floor for a former roll down, reach your arms up, get really big, exhale, dive, forward, touch your toes, Stay here. Shake your head. Yes or no. Release any tension from your neck. Soft knees as you slowly rebuild. Coming all the way up.

Let's do that one more time. So big lift up all the way up, all the way up, exhale dive down, touch your toes. Good. Keeping the hips right over the heels during the rebuild, soft knees. Coming all the way up. Well, that was a fun class.

How do you feel? Tough. Shit. It was tough. It was a little tough. I hope you enjoyed it. That was a nice combination of athletic flow and traditional Pilates.

If you felt challenged in any of the moves, good. That was the whole point. Keep coming back to the class. You will get stronger, and I will see you again soon. Thanks.


Katerina G
Loved did, the challenge and the queing , thank you Courtney
Melissa D
Loved it! 
Dima S
beautiful and challenging total body work, thank you!
Wonderful as always💕💕💕
Great class as always Courtney. I think I’m your “super fan”! Proper challenge. Didn’t quite manage to align myself for the shoulder rest arm press with foot on the floor in the long strap. Is it just not possible with some reformers or is it a challenge that I should I keep trying ? Otherwise superb class.
Love it Courtney as always! Love the super white tennies too. 🫶.
Duangduan C
I love this Empower reformer class. Always great and inspiring and creative and challenging 👍👍👍. I am super fan 😍your queing is amazing l love it Courtney💗💗💗. 
Claudia C
Love your classes Courtney and watching how you teach. Such a good workout, that side kneeling arm work and foot in strap phew, so tough but such a great challenge. Thank you!! 
Love the quick explanations, variations and energy! :)
Michele M
That was super fun and challenging! I loved the unilateral balance challenges too!  Thank you Courtney and Sidney!:D. 
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