Tutorial #1379

Cadillac Methods

30 min - Tutorial


Jillian Hessel demonstrates the exercises that Carola Trier taught on the Cadillac. She explains how Carola was very good with tactile cues and spotting because she was a licensed massage therapist. Jillian also shares a piece of history because she uses a Cadillac that was built for Carola by Joseph Pilates himself.
What You'll Need: Cadillac

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Hi, I'm Jillian has so and we're going to demonstrate some signature exercises from Corolla Tree Air's studio on a Cadillac built by Joseph Palase for Corolla now in Los Angeles, California in my studio. This is Juliet Cosco. We're going to start with Corollas. Sit Up Combo. I don't know if that's what she called it, but that's what I call it. For this exercise, we come arms length from the polls, more or less. What we want to be sure is that when she takes hold of the bar that the risks are completely vertical over the shoulders. So if you're a monkey person, don't slide down too far. When you use the magic circle here, we can use it to add or abduct.

We're going to put it inside the thighs for now. She's just going to use it as a retainer so you don't have to squeeze hard. All right, so the feet are level tripod of foot grounded and a neutral spine position. We're going to start, just scoot up a little bit. You're a little bit below where we want. Do you want one or two springs?

What I want would be one. One. Okay, great. So before we start the exercise, I just would like to do a few shoulder shrugs so that she stabilizes those scapula down onto her back. So she's going to inhale and let the spring polar up. Exhale, engage through the lads and come down. We want to be careful as she does this. Just keep going. Inhaling and exhaling as she posts down that she's spiraling those lats down and engaging through the armpit. So the upper traps aren't working here, so this is not part of the exercise.

It's just a stabilization exercise for the home position to train that scapula onto the back. From there, we're going to start in that nice. Stabilize that right side down. Yeah, she's got a high shoulder here. We're going to start the exercise here. As she inhales, the elbows are going to go out in the bar, comes to her as she exhales. She presses the bar overhead. Now here I'm going to go into a lunge and take hold of the bar and her hip and give her a big stretch. So that was the XL.

Now she's going to inhale and come back to the start position as she exhales. So that's part one of our setup combo. Let's just show that again. Inhale as you bend, elbows out, elbows out. Hold on. Inhale, elbows out. Exhale, stretch. And I'll do her other hip. Inhale, come back through. And here we watched the recoil of the spring. Exhale back to the home position. Now here for part two, we're going to move on.

She needs to stay stable in the upper body or her is going to slide. She's going to inhale, squeeze the ring and tilt the pubic bone. Exhale, roll all the way up and take a breath and rule all the way back down. So that's our spinal articulation from the bottom. So now I'm gonna put part two, part one and part two together. Okay, let's start again. Inhale Elvis out, Elvis out. Exhale, extend. Inhale elbows. Why? Exhale back to home position.

Inhale, squeeze the ring and roller and exhale. Pulling the hips away from the ribs to come down. So that was part two. Now part three can be done. One of two ways. The original with Corolla was to let the head hang back and lead with the breastbone to sit up. So she's gonna Inhale, head back and exhale, close the front of the ribs, wrap the lats and roll down. And once again, inhale, lead with the chest, had hanging back and up and over. Close the front of the ribs.

Wrap the shoulders away from the ears to come down. Now, if that's scary for a client to leave the head hanging back, we can modify that by rolling up in a regular sit-up position on the inhale. And as she exhales, it's almost as if she's pushing the bar up, but articulating down Vertebra by Vertebra. So we really lengthened. Let's put it all together. We're going to inhale Elvis out. Exhale and stretch. Good. Inhale, control the recoil. Place those shoulder blades on the back. Exhale. Inhale, squeeze in, wrap, roll up, and exhale, lengthening out as she comes down. Inhale, lead with the chest.

Come up and exhale. Roll through. Now the last time that she does that roll up, she's going to stay there. Let's just take it from there so you can undulate up on an inhale and she's going to stay there. I'm climbing in. This was a Corolla signature candy. She led round your back just a little and I work my feet in a massage, which feels really great. And then she takes a breath in and as she exhales down, she's going to imprint one vertebrae at a time wrapping those lats and stretching all the way down. So that's our sit of Combo, Allah Katona.

Okay, great. So we're gonna move on to an exercise that Corolla called bend and stretch. For this one we're going to have the head level with the top of the bed and now we had spring from the top for the suit of Combo. We're going to do spring from the bottom for this. This is a preparation exercise to place the pelvis, stretch the hamstrings and prepare for our tower exercise.

So come down just a little bit the other way, the other way down. That way. There we go. So we can use one or two springs and want to just use one today. Yeah. So ordinarily if we have a very flexible person and strong, we would use two springs for the double legs and then a single spring for the single leg and for the tower. So we're not pleased as far down yet as we would be for tower.

We're going to bring the knees up and press the bar up. Put the feet on. Now, Corolla was very particular about the placement of the feet. We want not just the pinky toe of the foot, but the fifth metatarsal bone. What Corolla always called the root of the toe placed on the bar. And this is a skinny bar, so she's going to take her hands down by her sides and extend the legs up leading with the heels. Now obviously this is a very flexible person. This is past 90 degrees.

Most people don't have that kind of hamstring flexibility. If it's too tight, we flip the person around and put their head this direction. Or if you have one of those extenders, you would uh, have the person farther up this way so that they're able to fully straight. And the trick here as she straightened is not to talk the pelvis. You want to go ahead and posterior tilt for me. Okay. Yeah.

This is cheating. Yes. So you want to really drop down the tailbone and release. Good. So she's extended with her heels. She's going to keep the knees extended and do an ankle exercise extra. Hold on, hold on. We've extended with flection but we're going to do extra ankle flection, which Juliet does. Beautifully point.

So we go into plantar flection and then flex again, dorsal flex and bend the knees. But now this is a very small knee bend here because go ahead and bend too much. If she bends too much, she goes into that posterior tilt. So we're really limited in our range of motion here, extending from the hip extensors and the knees, extra hae, ankle flection, point flex and a small knee bend. So this is your footwork and the advantage here over the reformer.

Go ahead and leave with the heels. Extra heels to those heels. And Ben, the advantage here is that she's got a bird's eye view of her hips, knees, ankles and toes. And working in alignment, which on the reformer we have to lift our head up and here if she is tending to want to tilt her pelvis, we would come down and really stabilized here so that she's forced to really work in good, good alignment. So we would work but double legs 10 then take one foot off and work single leg. We can flex this foot and turn it out slightly. Corolla worked quite often with one leg in lateral rotation and one leg in parallel here. The danger would be that she would want to hike this side so we can work that leg down and have her work the same exercise and she would do five on one leg.

Really Watch that. That knee goes out over the center of the foot as it bans and we're working to keep, I call it the hipster belt. Yes, completely level from left to right side as she works. So again, it might be a very small range of motion. So she would do both sides and then up into tower. This is good. Go ahead. You can do a few. You're somewhat even flex. Right? And this side is not so bad, right? Well this is just side that hikes on you.

This is alright. Don't watch your knee alignment's going way off. So push the heel out, right? So I kind of have a view also from this point of view of what she's doing. Juliet has a little scoliosis, so we have our special side. This is the side that likes to hike, right?

So then we have to narrow the range of motion down to keep everything working in good alignment. So Corolla also would give the dancers the sideline bend in stretch. We're not going to show that today and then go into the, let's relax. Then we'll go into the um, the tower. Okay. She taught that a little differently as well. So we're going to come down now, arms length from the pause, right? Press the bar up, put the feet on the bar. So now here, of course we're in a little bit of a posterior tilt, but work that left side down. Go ahead and hold the Pauls.

So first we're going to straighten the legs and she's going to articulate up from the bottom of the spine working those feet in a flexed position, not pointed. A lot of times we want to point our toes here. Now I could take my leg here, stabilize her pelvis, and she's going to do three knee stretches. The knees come towards the eyebrows. Inhale, push from the hamstrings, the glutes and the heels three times. Inhaling as she bends. And this is really an inverted knee stretch from your reformer. Work good.

And then she's going to keep the feet flex, really push against the frame with her hands and articulate down one vertebrae at a time. Come as far down as she can with the street legs. And I'm gonna pull her on this left side. Now stay there and repeat that flex point, flex and then open the knees and bend. Relax. Good. Very nice. Very nice. So that's our tower Corolla style. Now at the very end, if you don't mind, are you okay?

I'm going to show Corolla was very well known for hands on and this isn't a little extra stretch that looks a little scarier than it is. I'm using a lot of my weight on the frame of the Cadillac here, but I'm stretching her out and she's opening her knees just to the width of the armpit and breathing into the lower back into the Seagram. Okay. It feels great. It looks a little scary, but I don't have my full weight on her. Okay, very good. All right, so let's come out of that. So now we're going to do Flying Eagle Corolla style.

Juliet is prone and it's a relation is I'm pulling straps on the reformer. So Corolla again was a massage therapist. She knew how to touch people and sit on them. So I'm actually sitting back on Juliet to stabilize her lower lumbar down. Okay.

So I'm squeezing in and pressing down to keep her from going into Lordosis here. And she's gonna SGO, reaching those shorter blades down the back through the pulling straps. Let's go down along the frame and then up and around. So the first part, you notice she's got a pillow so her nose isn't crushed and she just does two or three in each direction just without hyperextension. Go ahead and reverse. So you're going to come out to the side and skull back and you can work these shoulders so that they're really working without hiking the upper traps, right? So we advanced from there into a hover.

So first you're just going to come out like a table, right? And Hover and work around. And she's working not just to lift the upper body through the head and shoulders, but pulling those ribs up into her body. Good. And then reverse it. So turn the palms back, turn the pumps back, that's it. And scroll down. Right? Good. Much better.

And then for the dancers and ballerinas that we're going for those big back pens, Corolla would take the arms and help bring the body way, way up. Drop those shoulders down and lift up and back. Good. And let's reverse it back up. Can you bring those shoulders high and the arms higher? That's it. Without losing altitude lift here, back up and around.

So for a dancer, just to pull back for a moment, she would really give them a moment. They're holding, drop the shoulders down, close the ribs, but lift higher from the apps. There you go. And lengthen as you come down. Now length. And don't be in a hurry. Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. Go ahead and let go. And you're gonna pull back to rest position. So always we want to reverse those curves at the end and have her breathe this way. Exhale. Very good. Very nice. All right, so we're going to flip you over now.

And you may notice this Cadillac has a little bit of a different setup here. We have a fixed bar here on the newer Cadillacs. This bar can move up and down, but this is fixed and not all the manufacturers have this, but there's a center pole islet here. We have a lot of different choices of springs to use from the center pool. And Corolla worked a lot with dancers, so we worked both in parallel and in lateral rotation.

The advantage of having this center pools, uh, islet, is that we can really use the grid of the Cadillac to place her body. So this is another unusual feature here. You may have to scoot down a little bit. We're going to do single leg circle and Corolla had these straps. These are her original straps. They're canvas and they're quite small.

The loop is quite small. So Juliet is going to be rotated out here. If she were aligned with both legs, she'd be more or less than what we call the rest corpse pose of yoga. And the advantage in this position is that she's in a neutral spine. If she were to lie down with her legs together. For most people, they go into lower doses here.

So there's a purpose to have the leg out to the side. And it also engages the, uh, deep lateral hip rotators, a little bit more to have this leg grounded here. It feels quite different in the strap from just looping it into this, a big strap, um, very secure and very, um, stable. So now we're going to take the other leg up into the spring and we're going to do a leg circle here and then go into Corolla specialty, which was for the dancers but other people did as well, which was the passe devil pate. So we're going to rotate the leg and keeping the pelvis level reach across to the grounded leg. Now this foot is your standing foot, so you really want to step into that strap and pull the toes back to you.

The heel is reaching and all of these muscles, this is your standing leg are working. So we come across on an inhale and bring the leg up and around on an x and across. And one of the things that we look for is to make sure that she's not pointing that foot so hard this working foot that the ankle and arch are doing the work. We want her to work from the top of the thigh. That's right. We'll just do three. Usually we do five, but we're going to reverse. Now, one of the things to show here is not to bring the leg too wide and lose the standing leg. So it's not so important how far we come towards the wall.

But the rotation in the leg itself, and again, she's not pulling from the strap. She's closing from the top of the inner thigh here. That's right. Very nice. Good. And we'll just do three, rotate that hip and drop it down. Good. And one more good. So now we're going to go into the past day.

So we would ordinarily have done five each way of the leg circle, but we're going to go into the past. So this was very specific. Again, we had a lot of people from the New York City ballet, so this is kind of a dancer thing, but it's not as turned out. You'll notice as a dancer would do, so she's going to draw the toe up to Rhett t-ray here, the toe to the knee and that's an inhale. She's going to pelvic tilt, posterior tilt and bring this thigh higher. Once the thighs established, it's hey we unfold or devil pay the leg holding it there. Flex this foot as well. And squeeze from the base of both buttocks to close in Hell.

Pasta. One, two, pause, three tilt the cubicle unfold, and exhale long sustained. Exhale as the leg closes. Let's reverse that. So we're going to reach out now here. Corolla, widow always give a little stretch, which feels nice. Now the thigh is going to stay here, Juliet, and we're just going to bend the knees so the thigh stays there and the knee bends and we come back to pose a red t-ray, tilt that pubic bone and step down the leg. And we're working the hip extensor on this working leg. That's okay. And flex it open. Reach high, dropping the hip down, but reaching high.

Don't let that go yes and bent and tilt the pubic bone. So there's an actual posterior tilt here to anchor and work from the abdominals and engage the glutes. But as she reaches down away from her center, she'll be back to that neutral position. And then the last thing Karola would do, especially for the dancers. Is this extra you okay if I push a little right, keep this working right. This extra, she called it limbering.

We all called it candy cause it felt so good both out to the side. Straight over head. Of course this isn't for everybody. Not this extreme. You're doing really well. Are you breathing and then across the party or good. Okay. Well unfortunately we don't have time to show the other side. Thank you. We're going to do short and long.

Spinals next assisted more candy from Corolla. Okay, so Juliet's gonna go on her back and she's going to take the leg springs and put them on from the outside. This time we're not using the single center pool. Right. And again, these are smaller loops so that the feet are not slipping out of here. Some people complain they're uncomfortable, but to me they feel more secure. Yeah. So you're going to take arms length from the top. Now notice also we have this low cross bar here.

This is a great option because people with shoulder issues, they can hold high, they can cold low, they can go hold the cross bar wide narrow. It just depends what's most comfortable. The important thing on this exercise because I'm going to be partnering Juliet, is that she keep her elbows straight. So this is the one time I say to my clients, it's okay to lock your elbows. Okay? Because we're using this frame as traction.

I call it traction action. Okay. So she's going to start with the knees and a v just like uh, we would on the reformers. So neutral spine, right, but not so wide. Right? Arm pits and she's going to stretch those legs down, away and out to me. Right? And really push with those hands. Now you're going to drop that left hip for me. Yes.

So now do a little pelvic tilt and you're going to roll up. Now I'm pressing down on her feet as she rises and she's doing beautifully. I walk in and place my Shin against her sacrum. Go ahead and bend into the frog praying feet. Right? And you can really round the back here. Now Watch what I do with my foot.

I'm going to help guide her as she rolls down. And she has a little scoliosis soon. This is to help guide her where his center as she drops, take another breath, drop that belly down, and she rolls all the way through in the short spinal. Let's do one more. Inhale, stretch. Exhale to lift. And I'm pulling out in a way to give her that traction in length through her spine. Inhale, bend and round the back. And exhale, drop through one vertebrae at a time. Beautiful. Hollow the belly out.

Iron it out. Good. So the nice thing here, go ahead and stretch your legs again, not too turned out is that unlike the reformer, drop your left hip down. We can reverse it. So she's gonna bend into the frog again. Inhale, not too wide. Armpits now posterior tilt, curl all the way up your over first relaxed and enjoy that. Good. Now reach to my chin all the way up and she makes a high, high reach here and now I'm going to bow her up and out and she's pushing with those hands to traction, her spine lengthening and I pull her out as she imprints and rolls down. Drop your left hip, your left hip. He as one more then not to turned out, curl the tailbone up and I have to keep changing my grip on the feet but it kind of becomes natural after a while, how to pull and where to handle it. But you notice it's really a part of de with the breathing dictating when she moves. Good and relax.

So that's our short spinals partnered on the Cadillac. They're in. Nice, good. So now we're going to go on to the, we're going to go onto the sideline leg spring and this is very specific here. We are going to be using the foot stopper board and this is the original upholstery by the way, that a Corolla had this bed used to be much wider. I had it cut down to fit into one of my smaller studios.

But this is the width that our Cadillac used to be. So it sticks out a little bit. So this creates the floor just like the Ballerina is going to stand on the floor, but Juliet is going to place her bottom foot right in the center and I think we might need a little bit bigger pillow here. Huh? Does this work? Does that feel okay? Do you want a thicker one? Okay. So the important thing to note here is that Juliette is lining her plum line of her body up with the center pole spring and the arch of the foot on the board is lined. So if I want to check her alignment, you're actually a little bit too far behind. Move your hips forward on the bed.

My Bird's eye view is best from the base here and I can really see just like on an Antarctica chart if she's on her center. Okay. So from there she's going to actually use this hand, not holding on so much as pushing it, just like she's pushing the flex foot to create that plum line and it doesn't work so well on a taller bed. Do you need a box? Are you okay? Okay. Okay. All right, so we're going to take this center spring and put it on. She's going to work first in parallel and we can just do some simple ab ad duction. But what we're looking for here is the leg is a little high. We want to bring it down and there should be a little bit of a waste here, right? So she's see how short that leg is? Reach it out. There we go.

So we're lifting just about to here, making the leg an inch longer. As we close and I'm stabilizing her pelvis here and she's working right from the inner thigh to close that leg down. And it's a lot of work to stabilize. Sometimes people have to take the top hand this hand and push with both hands against that pol in order to really stabilize. Does that help you more? Yeah, it helps a little bit. Now with smaller folks, sometimes I'll take another box from the mat and put it either at the top or the bottom so that we can create this closed chain on the supporting side. So we would do 10 but we're not gonna do 10 today. Stay parallel. Now we can go into the leg kicks or in this case arcs cause we don't want really want to accent it.

We sweeping forward and then sweeping back just like we do in the leg kicks. We don't want to go too far behind. And overarch the lumbar spine inhale as the leg comes forward and exhale as the leg comes back. That's right. Everyone's pretty familiar with that. That looks really good by the way. Good. So then from there we can go into the ground Rhonda Zhang Layer, which is the leg circle.

So we come forward and then we opened the door and come up and we reach around, not high to the back, but kind of low. And the way that I think of it is if she was a dancer, point your foot foot for a minute. This would be the floor behind her. So she's in time to our tear time due to the back on the floor. Our terror means on the floor, on our hair in the back. So she's gonna flex the foot forward. Inhale and lift it up.

You can point as you circle around to Tonto a tear and I, yeah, right out. Overarching that low back. That was beautiful. Good. Flex it for it. Yeah, you have to cheat it forward. Now flex it for it. Now we're going to reverse it. So we're going to flex it back. Point at the end, right? There's your our tear on area and then we rotate it around right from here and sweep it down. So all the work Karola used to call this part of the thigh and the back of the buttocks. The drum stick, the part of the chicken that you want to take a bite out of.

So this is the drumstick. We're working the drum stick here. Beautiful, beautiful. And this went on into what all of us know as bicycle, but she had a specialty. Let's stay there and I'm going to come around to the front. We're going to do a bicycle now, but she turned it into a passe. So straightened leg first and we, I'm dropping her hip down, but having her reach and then I'm going to cut the knee to support it.

Bring to parallel passe. Now for the dancers, once they were in parallel, she'd press the knee open. Go ahead and use the drum stick and press your hip open. Right there is your time. Do out. I'm sorry. Your passe right. And then we come back to parallel and supporting the knee, making sure everything's in alignment. She extends the knee. Go ahead out. That's right. Good. And Flex it through. Whoops.

We have to cheat it past that bar. There we go. The thighs stays where it is. She bins don't lift the knee closer to you. So in other words, when you bend, this has to stay there. Wherever it is. That's right. And then we can turn out Perez that knee open.

Deep Hip rotators are working on both legs because she's down here. Now if you have to go to Relevate, that's okay. You still want to stay on that board. That's it. Turn parallel and extend. Good. And then from the back, the thighs stays where it is. She's lifted here, she's going to bend. Don't move the thigh yet. Right.

And then come to turn out passe right, right up on that leg. Come back to parallel and extend the leg out. Right. Notice that I keep the knee, support it and reach back. And then that's it, right? Don't drop that heel. So it has to stay right in line with the knee. Good.

And then rotate open from the base of the buttocks. That's it. Come back to parallel. Ring that thigh up and extend. Good. Good. And then of course we have the specialty stretches right here. Are you smiling? Just checking. Just checking.

Breathe. And here. Good girl. Very nice. Very nice. All right, Juliette. Excellent. Insightful. Thank you. Yeah, the right side feels good. I don't know about the left. We're not going to do the left. Sorry folks. But um, when there's no time. All right, very good. Thank you.

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2 people like this.
Love this Jillian. I had been some of this teaching with hands on already, but the details here are very helpful so I can be even more proficient. Also like the details about the table, the Center ring and the side footstrap. Makes learning so much easier. Looking forward to seeing much more from you. Thank you!
I loved it!! Very clear!
Patricia N
1 person likes this.
A great session! You commented that you were using the leg springs for the side leg exercises, but they did not appear to be the heavy leg springs. What type of springs would they compare best to?
Thanks for your interest, and insightful question, Patricia! The leg springs are from New York, from the company that Carola originally ordered her springs, Newcombe Springs. They are quite different from Gratz, (lighter), and also slightly lighter than the Balanced Body Red springs. Most similar are the Stott leg springs, but the BIG difference too is the size of the foot loops, as I mention in the video. There is much more control with the smaller loops, both for the teacher, and the student!
3 people like this.
WOW! love watching Jillian work on the cadillac- such beautiful articulation, variation and hands on! more please!
Thank you Jillian! So clear and detailed explanations! very helpful
With your magic hands on everything looks possible :)
Thank you Jillian, love this class, cool.
1 person likes this.
Such a pleasure to see you work so hands on and being an X dancer myself, I enjoyed all the references. I met you years ago in1985 when Quentin Josephy use to have weekend workshops with the first generation teachers. Thank you. Would love to come out one day and work with you.
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