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Hello, I’m Lesley Logan and welcome to your advanced thass workout here on your Cadillac. You can totally do all these exercises on a Tower. If you’re not looking for advanced, check out the intermediate one. We will move with a little bit of zest on this. And if you want to replace any exercise I use with something else, you are totally welcome to do that.
But let’s work our thass starting with our arm springs. I know that sounds a little weird, but I promise you, if you can work your legs in your arm springs, you can work them when you need to work your legs. So start with your knees bent and together, feet pushing down. If you need to put a ball or a block between your knees, you can. Dig your feet into the mat and then energetically pull them back.
You should feel that kind of tug your pelvis. Not so much you tip, but enough to have it in a nice neutral position so you’re not tucked out. And then take your arms, press ’em down, hold them there for one, two, and lift them up. And yes, there is a nice little hold there on purpose. It’s just to make sure that you’re doing arm springs and not the 100, which we’ll do later. (laughing) So press those arms down.
Notice how much your legs are working here. You could almost press yourself up and do a shoulder bridge, but you’re not gonna do that. Let’s do one more and hold them down and then draw a little circles here, focusing less on the size of the circle and more on your inner heel, inner ball of your foot, outer ball of your foot and outer heel, pressing evenly into your mat as you do five circles in each direction and then bend. All right, if you need to scoot back, you can. Otherwise, let’s go for it.
Press those feet down, energetically pull them back, and then tricep press. Elbows stay into the mat. And so that may or may not allow you to straighten your arms and that’s fine. You’ll still be working your tricep press, even if your hands don’t go to the mat. Three more, press and hold and bend.
And that hold isn’t long, it’s just long enough so we know you’re not just flinging those arms around. One more time, hold it there. Turn the palms in, open the arms and close. So just warming ourselves up for this advanced thass workout. Last two, use those legs so the arms are just floating in and floating open and rest.
We’ll do the 100 now. You can spin around for an easier 100 or I’m gonna slide back until I’m about a hand’s distance from the edge of my mat. Legs long on the mat. Easier is to leave the legs down. Harder is to float them up.
Press into your handles and lift for the 100 and pump your arms. So if you felt your legs lift one at a time or you feel it all in your hip flexors, lower those legs down and work your thass connection. Otherwise, notice how, while this is one of the hardest 100s you’ll ever do, it feels a lot easier having your thass support those legs connecting to your center. Let’s do five more cycles of breathing together. I’m gonna get you as close to 100 as I can.
(Lesley inhaling) If your knees locked out, just do a little double check of that thass connection. So it’s less about softening the knees and more about engaging the muscles. Last cycle of breathing and lower it down. Whew, (laughing) that should feel nice and warm. All right, so now what I want us to do is the rollback.
Easier is with your rollback bar, harder is with your handles. So you get to choose your own adventure today. But what I want us to focus on is just how awesome we are at staying connected to our thass when we do things like rolling back, which is your roll up on the mat, right? If your feet come off the poles, we know we’ve lost our thass connection. Don’t get too mad, just try again.
So start with your knees slightly bent, arms reaching long in front of you, and then pull your waist back. So you don’t have to straighten your knees, you just have to reach your legs from your thass, they’ll straighten on their own. And then as you roll up, you will bend your knees as it’s time so the hips aren’t sliding around on the mat. And then again, pull the waist back. If you’re struggling to keep those feet on the poles, you start to notice that you’re pointing, trying to let your toes hang on to the poles.
It’s okay, I know, I’ve seen it. (laughing) What I want you to do for my hyper mobile bodies is think about reaching your arches forward. I know that’s weird, but I promise you, the arches of your feet into the poles allows you to roll up and down without hanging off your hip flexors. And if that isn’t making any sense, then you’re reaching your legs forward like you would in your leg springs, which we’ll do in a moment. Stay down, bend your elbows wide for a little row and then straighten, so it’s a little extra moment. Three more times to reach your legs into your poles from the back of your legs instead of your knees.
Last one and then with straight arms, roll partway up, roll to your tight spot. That spot does not wanna round, you know that spot, and then do little pulses with your waist pulling back, your head and chest coming up, and standing in your feet from your thass. Three more and then come all the way up. All right, so let’s go and do our leg springs. I’m gonna do leg springs in the air.
If it’s too early in your workout to do that or you’re not ready for that yet, you can do the exact same workout we’re doing with your hips down so it’s the same. Take your springs, place one foot in each loop, heels together, toes apart, hands on the poles. If you’re doing hips up, you’ll want to have the straightest arms you can have reaching from your back without locking your elbows so you know what I mean. There’s a difference between like superstar and also super connected, right? So reaching those arms from your back.
As you send your legs up towards straight, you’ll hover your hips and then we’ll draw five circles in each direction here. Don’t worry about how big the circles are. Focus more on standing in the spring from where your thigh meets your booty. Reverse, even as the legs come up. So you’re not letting the springs close themselves, you’re dictating where that happens.
And then when you’re even, bend your knees in and roll your hips down. It’s tempting to look at those legs, I promise you especially for leg springs in the air, your neck will love you more if you look at your ceiling. So send those legs out, looking at your ceiling and go for a little walk. Walk one leg down, then the other and do six steps. You can lower your pelvis with your legs and then lift your pelvis with your legs so the whole body walks down.
Or if you wanna keep your body where it is and just walk a leg down and try to keep it there, you’ll get about 15 degrees of extension so it’ll feel a little bit more limiting. Bend your knees and roll down. So basically, there’s no wrong or right there. You can do whichever one works best for you. Full permission to work your thass whichever way works.
All right, now we’ll do our high bicycle. So here it is, get into your leg springs in the air and then you’re gonna stretch one leg out and the other. So you really do want one spring to be straight so you’re standing in something and you’re trying to drag your foot towards the mat and then reverse. So no matter how closed your spring gets, your thass, your leg muscles are dictating that, once you even bend your knees in. So if you’re hearing the springs go clink, clink, clink on their own (laughing), just a sign that you’re not doing the closing yourself.
All right, beat. Reach those legs out to the high diagonal and beat the legs open and close. Eight times, hold it still for eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Lower the legs and do eight more beats. I know, the hold of eight counts is actually quite mean.
I didn’t make that up. You can get mad at Joseph Pilates for that. Lower the legs down, last eight, standing in that thass connection and then hold for eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. If your thass is on fire, good job. If your knees are on fire, don’t get mad at yourself.
It’s just a sign that we still have some strengthening to do. Okay, so grab your rollback bar if you took it off earlier. We are going to do a little rolling stomach massage. So something to get us ready for airplane, you know, all the other big thass connection exercises. If you’re not into this and you wanna do breathing or shoulder bridge, you totally can.
So again, similarly to your leg springs in the air, you want straight arms and you’ll want to lift your hips up and place the back of your knees over the bar. I know a lot of people like to cross their ankles. For me today, just try it, I know it feels a little scary, but try to keep the legs together parallel and then heel squeezing. It could be a little turned out, but just try not to do crossed and you’ll see why in just a second. So promise, promise, promise, your heels are always gonna be chasing your booty, no matter where you are in space, yes?
We’re never gonna lift them up, always trying to glue themselves there. Then without looking down, look at your ceiling, lift your hips up and then knees go to the ceiling over the hips, standing on the shoulders. As you stretch your thighs away, you get the nice thigh stretch happening and your heels are reaching towards your booty. The feet land, you got lots of thass connection there, and then you articulate your spine down. Knees to chest, hips over shoulders, knees over hips and then thighs stretch away letting those heels pull tight towards you and then roll the spine down.
And again, knees in and reach. If you are feeling that bar roll all the way around, it could just be your pants so don’t worry. But the more you can get your hamstring connected and more thass connection, the less that bar will move ’cause it’ll get stuck on those muscles. All right, we reverse it. Feet down, lift the hips, boom.
And then can you keep the thass on as you pull your knees towards your chest? Ugh, that’s asking a lot, but we try. Feet down, lift the hips, you should feel that thass levitate your pelvis. Bring those knees towards you and then roll it down. One more, hips and pull it in and roll it down.
All right, little combo if you’re up for it. If not, pick the direction you wanna work on the most. So knees in, across the room and we tap the feet, lift it up, bring the knees in towards your chest and roll it down. And again, roll the knees in, hips lift, stretch the thighs away, little thass connection. Take off for the reverse and roll it down.
Woo, should be a little shaking shake happening there. Okay, so let’s test it. Let’s see how well we’re doing with our thass connection. Shoulder roll down. So hook your spring from the top, have a seat.
And this should feel easier because you have been really working that thass connection the whole time. It shouldn’t feel very hard. In fact, it should allow you to get into airplane with like great flying success. So arches of our feet on the bar parallel. We’re not hanging our knees out, looking at the ceiling so we have a long neck.
Bend your knees in, reach ’em away. After three, we will straighten our legs up and roll the hips up, hold it up here. Stand in one thass so much, the other one lifts up and bring it down. So we get to revisit some of those exercises that were a struggle before and go, “Wow, look how far I’ve come”. (laughing) And then take those into some more difficult exercises. Bring it back in and lift and then we do the other sides.
Remember, it’s left, right, left, right, left, right so that you’re not just like going through the motions, right? Two more sets. It’s easy just to stand there and kind of control every moment of your shoulder roll down because we try to overthink things. I know, (laughing) recovering perfectionist and overachiever here. But the more we can move and allow our body to teach us what’s working and not working, the better.
So once you’ve done two sets, roll it all the way down. You can get out of this exercise either by closing the spring with the bar up or if you trust yourself to stand in your legs, do a full roll up, grab the bar before you take your feet off please and then lift it up. Okay, tower and single leg tower. So safety strap on. You don’t have to do the single leg if you’re still working on the double leg, but it’s fun to see how far we’ve come.
So once you have your safety strap on, one heavy spring. If you’re working with weighted springs and then you only have the two blue or something like that, use ’em both if you can. You do want some resistance and support. Otherwise, one red is good. Then one hand’s distance from the mat.
Place your hands on the bar, push it up. Feet are parallel on the bar. So giving you some more time in that parallel position to connect to your thass ’cause that’s where it’s really hard. It’s easy turned out, it’s much harder parallel. Then hands on the vertical poles and with your heart taking up space between your shoulder blades, breathing into your ribs, we’ll do one set with two legs together and then we’ll go into the single leg if you’re joining me.
So standing in the back of your legs, we’re not knees forward, right? And we’re not locking our ankles out. Holding the outer hips in. Roll those hips up, get to a spot you can stand on. And as you bend your knees, you’re standing in the back of your legs, right?
You should feel your thass, where your thigh meets your booty, staying on as the knees bend. This is gonna make your single leg kick, double-legged kick rocking feel like a luxury. (laughing) Roll down, it’ll feel so strong. Flex the ankles, soften the knees. And then if you wanna keep doing that, you can.
Otherwise, point through the feet and you’ll take one foot off. It just comes to the front side of your push through bar. So your hips are at level, you roll up, leave that leg there and then bend your knee of the bar leg and straighten. You’re gonna find out real quick which leg is connecting to its thass and which one is riding along. And then we roll down.
Switch, so reaching up. And then if you didn’t know which leg is lazier in its thass, now you know. This is my lazy side. (grunting) I don’t wanna say weaker because it’s not necessarily weaker, it just likes to take a break. (laughing) One more time each side, roll it up and reach. So can you stand in your thass as you bend your knee? The leg that’s reaching up isn’t just resting.
Its thass is also on. Last one, here it is, whew. And down. If you notice you do have a leg that’s like, holy moly, it’s been on vacation for a long time, feel free to just go that side, your strong side, and that side again, it’s better. All right, so go ahead, take your spring off, take your safety chain and hook it.
We’ll put the push through bar away. We are gonna do a quick little airplane just to show ourselves how strong we are. And then we’re gonna do some exercises that may seem like they have nothing to do with your thass but actually have everything to do with it. So lie on your back. If you wanna just practice leg springs in the air again instead of airplane, that’s fine.
And if you have an airplane board, you’re welcome to use it. Place the feet into the straps, arms reaching from your back. So channel your amazing shoulder roll down. Channel your rolling stomach massage and stand in your springs already here. So heels are together, toes are apart and I already feel my thass is activated.
Keep that shape as you roll your hips over your shoulders. It’s tempting to bend your elbows, but I promise you don’t wanna do that. Reach the legs up from your thass and then stretch. You will catch the springs out there and then your heels and your thass lower simultaneously and ideally they hit at the same time. My heels were a little slow on that one, so we’ll try again.
Bring this shape in. Lift those hips over your shoulders, stand in your thass, so hello jackknife, and then stretch those legs across the room. You’re gonna love this for a long spine massage that doesn’t feel like you have to race through it (laughing) on your reformer someday. And again, knees in, still in those muscles even though the springs are slack. Reach and stretch.
Reach your arms away from your legs and let’s see if we can do it. Ah, still a little slow. Here we go, now we reverse. Slide the legs along the mat. Before you lift, just take a moment to notice your thass is on, you’ve got it, and we’re gonna levitate everything together, boom.
Get your thass over your shoulders, bend the knees without relaxing and roll it down. That’s key, if when you bend your knees, you kind of collapse on your shoulders, you’ll feel that in your neck. So look up, lift everything all at once. You have to close your springs that last couple of inches. And then when you bend your knees, you’re still standing in the strap so your thass stays on and pull all the way down.
Are you ready for a combo? I thought so, here we go. So we roll it to the first direction first, stretch it out. Reach, reach, reach, reach, reach across the room, tap the mat, lift it up. Ooh, pull it in and roll it down.
Okay, so now what we’ll do is set ourselves up on the end of our equipment for zipper and bicep curls. All right, so I’m on the end of my Cadillac. If you are on a Tower and it’s a wall unit, we’ll look the same. If you are on top of a Convertible, please be careful, all right? (laughing) These next two, you’re gonna want pretty low hooks and I’m gonna take my rollback bar first. If you’d like to set everything all up at once, you will want arm springs for in a little bit.
All right, so arm springs on your same arm hooks and a rollback bar that will hook to your low hooks. I think it’s really easy when we are doing exercises that appear to be upper body to forget how much our lower body works. These next two exercises, my upper body is incapable of doing (laughing) without my thass connection. So because you are so warmed up, you just wowed yourself with an airplane, I want you to stand for your zipper, heels together, toes apart. Hands are gonna be close together in the center of your rollback bar.
And I, you might feel a little claustrophobic, but I promise, you can’t get too close. So you wanna get close to those bars without locking those knees. So stand in those muscles, lift your elbows to lift the bar and then reach it back down. So the springs will wanna close themselves. You are gonna imagine you’re like pushing an air pump so you’re not just letting the springs pull your arms just straight.
So again, standing in all four corners of your feet, thass on, lift and lower. So the elbows go up and the shoulders go onto your back. Three more. (inhaling) Two. (grunting) And after this last one, you can say goodbye to the zipper. (laughing) I just want you to know, we are so thass connected because that is a really hard exercise. I’m really proud of myself.
You should pat yourself on the back, too. Bicep curls, so the name is bicep curl, it’s a lie. It’s more like your 90 degree rowing. So you will bend your elbows and pull, but then you’ll just lift, lift, lift the arms up. And if you feel stuck, don’t worry.
That was about the last six years of my life so here we go. Palms up, wide on your bar, bend your elbows, and then scrape the knuckles up your vertical poles. Lift the elbows higher and then reach it down. So again, not fist to shoulders. So parallel those feet, stand in them.
If you need to like bend a little bit like it’s a reverse tower and then stand in your thass, bend the elbows and lift them up, up, up, up, up, up and reach it down. (laughing) And it’s a technical term, that up, up, up, that’s what my whole body is saying. (laughing) And down, two more. (grunting) And last one. (grunting) Woo, so if you could do those, you can do what’s coming up next. So get that out of your way just so you don’t trip on it. And then you are welcome to use your rollback bar for our squats, but I’m gonna use handles. So it’s a little harder with the handles, easier with the rollback bar. So we take what we just learned, we put it all together.
Elbows are up, feet are parallel. And then as you bend your knees and squat down, you’re not pulling on these springs, and then you push the floor away with your thass. This should be fairly easy. It’s kinda like doing your leg springs in the air. You’re just pushing the legs away with the backside of your legs.
Notice I’m not pulling on my springs so the elbows stay up the whole time. Your springs will open just a little bit. You don’t want them to open a ton ’cause then you need the springs for everything. And ready, we’re gonna add on. Round forward, push the handles towards the floor, pull ’em towards your ankles.
Then reach ’em back underneath your shoulders, roll up. You just lost spring tension. Can you keep it all together as you lift your elbows? Squat down, stand up, arms reach forward and then reach towards the floor, pull it in. Are you locking your knees and sticking your booty out?
I hope not, we did so much to welcome your thass to this party. (laughing) Roll it up and stand lower. Reach it up, lift, place the hands towards the floor. Reach into your ankles, come back and roll it up. Okay, stick with that. Or I’m gonna narrow my feet off, slight turnout, single leg.
So here we go, reach one leg forward. Squat down, how low can you go? And then reach the arms, the leg will sweep back. I am going to use my wall. If you don’t have a wall, good for you, reach your leg behind you all the way.
And then reach to the floor, reach to your ankle, back under and then up and squat. (grunting) The lower you can go, the harder it is. (laughing) And reach to the floor, ugh, to your ankle. If you’re laying your weight into your springs, I promise it doesn’t help you. It didn’t just help me. (laughing) One more and down and up. We always have more thass work we could be doing and these are just revealing that to us.
So now switch legs. All right so don’t be so hard on yourself if you just fell all over the place. It’s a barometer for where we need to work. Other leg up and squat down. Told you I have a smart side, and reach.
I should have done it first so I could have wowed you and impressed you. (laughing) And here we go. And again, squat down. If you just hung off your springs like I did, it actually helps you less. Reach for the ankle and last one, bend.
Push the floor away, reach your hands for the floor. The leg is reaching back like single leg elephant, like your shoulder roll down leg and boom. Okay, this next one has no name. I named it standing rolling in and out. My teacher Jay calls it Proud Mary, like the Tina Turner thing.
So we’re just gonna have some fun. If you wanna sing that in your head as we go, that’s fine, you’re allowed, here we go. Last thing, really important that your knees do not walk in this, otherwise you could feel it in your back. So feet parallel, hinge over at the hips. Go ahead and bend your knees a little more than you think and then just straighten a little bit so you feel that thass connection.
And then we just bend our elbows and roll like you’re drawing circles or bicycle with your arms and you go a little faster than you probably think. So don’t overthink it and go slow, slow, slow. I promise that doesn’t make it easier and then reverse. And if you’re feeling the back of your legs working like the longest deadlift of your life, you’re in the right spot. And then one more circle, roll it up.
Wasn’t that fun? Kind of feels like a Proud Mary. One more set together, here we are. So bend those knees, hinge over at the hips and eight circles in one direction, really reaching those arms down, back, and up and then reverse. It’s kind of like a forward long back arms as well.
So again, you can name it whatever you want. And then roll it all the way up. A ton of Joseph Pilates’ clients name things so. (laughing) Catch your breath, thanks for working your thass with me in this advanced workout. I chose these exercises to revisit some that you’re like, “Yes, got it”, and others where you might be like, “What, my thass is involved there?” Yes it is. So all of these should help you advance your mat and reformer practice without hanging out in your joints or hanging out in your lower back.
So have fun, walk with that thass up high. Let me know how you felt this exercise in your body and I’ll see you next time.