Class #996

Quick Body Re-Balance

15 min - Class


Courtney Miller offers a quick workout that is designed to help you re-balance your body from left to right and front to back, with the intent of assisting you in all the activities you love to do outside of Pilates. Her exercises strengthen your ankles and core muscles while creating the dynamic stability so important to most recreational activities. Courtney challenges you to do ten consecutive days of this workout to maximize improvement in your balance.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Hi. I'm Courtney Miller. Today I'm going to be teaching you a few exercises that will take less than 10 minutes of your time. These exercises are designed to help you re-balance your body, left to right, front to back, and will also assist you in creating better balance for everything that you like to do in your everyday life. Whether it's surfing in sunny Southern California or hitting the slopes in Aspen, these exercises will help to strengthen your ankles, your core muscles, and create that dynamic stability that you need for these types of sports.

Let's get started. So I'm going to be standing on the mat. When you do this at home, just note that, if you have a soft mat or a squishier surface, it's going to make it a little more challenging for you to balance. Standing at the back of the mat, feet are together and parallel, inner thighs connected. My arm position is in genie arms.

Abs are in vertical neutral. On an inhale, I releve up, keeping my ankles connected, exhale to lower the heels with resistance. So inhale up, and exhale down. Inhale to lift, and resist as I lower. My body lifts straight up and not forward.

And with each lift, I try to deepen just a little bit more through my center. I'll do two more, and then I'll hold the position. On this one, my heels will stay lifted, my ankles and knees together. I visualize a wall behind me. As I bend my knees, I lower my torso down and then press all the way up.

What I'm thinking about as I do these is my leg and foot work on the reformer. So I go down with resistance and then up through my vastes, or the muscles in the front of my thighs. Down with control, and lift. Ten in total, if you can. Inhale to lower the body, and exhale, press the earth away.

Inhale down and all the way up. Two more. Really find that length as you lift, drawing up through the knee caps. And inhale down, and exhale all the way up. Holding the last one, lowering the heels, drawing the abdominals in, try lifting and lowering the heels 10 times.

Find a focal point. This will really help. Thighs start to tremor just a little bit here. Keeping those ankles together, hug the midline. Draw the deep abdominals in.

I'll do three more. And two. And one. Lower the heels, and lift all the way up. Taking a side position and a very wide stance, my feet are wider than my hips, and I'm in my natural turnout.

Hands on the hips. Bend into a deep plie. In this position, I'll lift my heels up and find my stability. Lowering up one inch and down one inch in this position. About 10 times.

So I feel a stretch through my inner thighs. I feel a lot of work in my feet and ankles. My feet are actually just wiggling a little bit, and these small, little, micro corrections are creating more strength and dynamic stability in my ankle joint. Five more. And four.

Three. Shoulders right over hips. Two. And one. Holding the position, reaching the arms long for balance, lowering the heels.

Get just a little deeper if you can. Draw those abs in, and try lifting the heels up and down 10 times. Lift and lower. Lift and lower. My center is what's stabilizing me.

Shoulders down the back. Up and resist. Lift and lower. Try four more. Three.

Knees tracking right over the midfeet. And one. Lower the heels, and press up. From here, side standing again, bend the knees just a little, and send one leg back behind you. Lift your arms overhead.

Standing leg is soft. On an inhale, I'll hinge my torso forward, lifting my back leg up, making a letter T with my body. And then on an exhale, I tap the floor. So I hinge forward, stabilizing myself, and lift up. Good.

I go forward and up. I really think about my back leg leading the movement. And lift. I feel my glutes stabilizing me on my standing leg. One shape down, one shape up.

Arms stay in line with the ears. Hips square. And on the next one, I'm going to hold. From here, standing leg will bend down and up. Lower and lift.

Down and up. Lower and lift. Of course, you can do that with the back leg rested onto the ground until you feel strong enough to hold the balance. Let's do the other side. Standing tall, bend the knees.

Neutral alignment, leg shoots back. Already I feel my seat start to work. The arms lift up. Like a seesaw, I hinge my torso forward as the back leg lifts up. And then I take my time as I come back down.

Tap. Hinge forward, and lift up, tap. One shape down, and one shape up. Keeping deep abdominals engaged, shoulders down the back, and lift. Two more.

Taking it down with grace. And up. Last time. Inhale and exhale to lift. Holding the last one, finding that capital letter T with your body, bending and extending.

Work your way up. Maybe you can start with five and then increase to 10 repetitions. I'll do two more. And rise all the way up. From here, nod your chin toward your chest.

Slowly begin to roll forward. Enjoy a nice hamstring stretch, drawing the belly up and in, walking the hands out. Taking my hands under my shoulder, spreading the fingers so the middle finger points straight ahead, and taking the feet about the width of the mat. The narrower your stance, the more challenging this will be. Keeping neutral spine and hips level, inhale.

One arm lifts up. Exhale as you place it down. Inhale the other arm. Lift, and exhale, place it down. You'll feel a slight shift.

However, you want to minimize that as much as possible. Inhale, lift. And exhale. So I anticipate the movement, activate my abdominal stabilizers, and then lift the arm. To make this more challenging, I can narrow the stance.

Take a break, and sit back for a quick rest. About 10 repetitions each arm there. Lying on my side, coming towards the front edge of my mat, I'm onto my elbow. My legs are together, shoulder down the back. Top hand is reaching.

Let's get into those obliques. I lift the legs up, starting to feel. Then I roll back onto my pelvis. The legs and the arm rise up. To balance, I lift the arm.

Hold the position. Take the hand back down, and roll back onto my hip. So I roll back. Scoop from the low belly. Arm comes up.

Work the balance. Take the arm down, and go back to the reach. Roll back. Scoop lift. Chest is open.

Take the arm down, and we roll back to reach. One more this side. Lift. Activate those core muscles. Come up.

Hug the midline. Take the arm down, and come back and reach. Sweep the legs around, and try the same thing on the other side. So just be sure, in this position, your shoulder's right over top of your elbow, shoulder back and open. Hand is reaching, leg's connected.

The more I activate through my inner thighs, the better I am able to connect through my pelvic floor. As I roll back, my legs lift up, my arm comes up. Now, you could say right here if you needed to. But to increase the balance challenge, the arm comes up, as well. The arm comes down.

I roll on my hip. My legs stay up, and I find that balance. Roll back, scoop lift, arm rises. Take it down and back and through. Three more.

Roll sweep, come up, take it down. Lift the legs a little higher. And come back through. Roll onto both hips. You're up.

Chest is open, shoulders down, abs are in. Take the arm down. Find the balance. Last time this side. Lift those legs just a little higher.

Roll back, arm up, find the balance. Take it down and all the way back and through. Taking a seat towards the middle of your mat, taking the hands behind the knees, scooping from the abdominals, drawing the legs one at a time into tabletop. From here, I really want to hollow out. Pull my ribs in towards my spine and eye line straight ahead.

On an inhale, I roll back to my shoulder blades. On an exhale, I reach up, rise back, and come back to that teaser position. Inhale back, exhale out to balance. The great thing about this series is that it's really creating that anticipatory connection with my abdominal stabilizers. So I'm moving, holding, and then going back to the movement.

Roll up, find it, and then take it down. Connecting through your abdominals before your arms and legs initiate will help you create that stability you need to not only find but hold that stable position. Last two. And lift. And last one.

And lift. Bending the knees and rolling down. Separate the feet hip distance apart. This is your last exercise. Start in neutral pelvis.

Keep the collarbones open. Hands down, palms down. Roll through the spine as you come into your bridge. So in that same anticipatory nature, you're going to connect through your seat and glutes on your right side. Left leg's going to come up and lengthen.

Flexing the foot, only lower the leg as low as that hip can stay lifted and level. Be mindful of this. Point the toe, and lift the leg. We go down and up. Down and up.

Down and up. Keeping the stability in the pelvis. Down and lift. Lower back muscles working. Down and lift.

Hold the lift. Lift your heel. Pulse the body 10 times if you can, reaching the leg up to the sky. Again, ankle stability, so important. Lifting for four, three, two, hold one.

Place the foot down. Roll the heels down. Roll through the spine. Other side. Scoop and roll up.

Find that bridge. feel the muscle connection on the left side. Draw the right leg up. Flex the foot. The leg goes down but only as low as the hips stay level.

Point and lift. We take it down and up. Down and up. Low and up. Really working that stability in the low back.

Lumbopelvic stability here. No wiggles through the center. Down and up. Final two. One.

Hold it up. Lift. The whole shape pushes up and up and up. Strong hamstrings, strong glutes, strong back. All important for balance.

Four, three, two, hold one. Place the foot down. Lower the heels. Roll through the spine. Hug the knees in towards your heart.

Curl up. Rock to the toes, rise up to standing, enjoy a nice stretch. Feel your weight evenly to the front and back of the feet. Feel your weight evenly to the right and left side of the body. Scoop the abdominals in.

Soften the knees. And as you begin to rebuild, be aware and conscious of the re-balancing work you just did. Head is the last thing to come up. And you should not only feel more balanced front to back, left to right, but all those core muscles, the small muscles around the feet and ankle, are all energized and ready to work. Thank you for watching this.

It will take about 10 minutes out of your day. I challenge you to do these exercises for 10 consecutive days, and watch your balance improve. Thanks for watching.


3 people like this.
Simply perfect...right after ride to beach and right before 60 mins of STEP...(yes, I still love STEP). These are all great as balance checkins. Plan to use as a warmup & cool down so my students can see how their balance an improve in just one hour of Pilates. Thank you!
4 people like this.
What an awesome way to start my day. Once again, Courtney Miller does it again! Many thanks to you.
4 people like this.
Such a Joy to watch Courtney Millers Classes , as always.
Love your delivery Courtney and your cueing is spot on .
Balance work is so Important, particularly as we get older and This short sequence Certainly packs a punch ! 10 day challenge here we go....
Love the teaser variation and will be doing this daily!
2 people like this.
Thanks for the best 10 minutes of my day! I have been sitting at my computer the last two hours and this was the perfect pick me up. I look forward to the 10 day challenge.
Courtney Miller
Hi everyone! So happy to hear your feedback! Please keep me posted on your progress! 10 minutes + 10 days = better balance! Enjoy!
1 person likes this.
Always a treat to watch - thank you Courtney for more insight and inspiration!
2 people like this.
Lovely moves enjoyed the session , but found the hair distracting tying it back would have been more professional
Loved the class, Courtney, brief and very effective as well as creative, thank you.
1 person likes this.
Courtney, I really enjoy your work!!!
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