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Hi, I’m Mariska and if you joined me for my last Pilates-ish mat class, we used my least favorite prop, the magic circle, or as I prefer to call it, the evil ring. This is my most favorite of the general readily available Pilates props, so it’s the ball that is this size. So I dunno what size this is, but it is medium-ish. And mine is not super, super inflated but it’s also not kind of deflated, and I know sometimes we kind of deflate them. So it’s basically as it was inflated and then over time it got this much deflated and then I didn’t reinflate it, but this much deflation seems, is that a word?
Deflation seems to work for me. So as much as I dislike the magic circle is how much I like this ball. So this class will be dedicated to this wonderful little prop. So grab a ball, always ask for consent before you go grabbing things, that’s the world we live in now, and it’s the world we should live in if we’re gonna be honest. We are gonna actually start with one of the best exercises for using the ball, which is thoracic extension.
So I’m gonna take the ball and I’m going to place it kind of like between my shoulder blades-ish, I might have to adjust them. I’m gonna bring my hands behind my head and I’m just going to inhale back over the ball. And really we could just stay here and this could be the whole class, and it’d be like such a great class, five stars. But we probably should do some more things. So I’m gonna come from this inhale and I’m just gonna exhale and kind of roll the ball a little bit.
Coming into a chest lift, that’s not even hard because I just rolled on the ball some. Inhale back and spend a teensy bit of time there, you know, enjoying that sensation. And then exhale to lift back up. Inhale back, and exhale to lift. So I’m gonna scoot my legs in teensy bit.
Inhale back. Now as I exhale, I’m gonna lift and lift my left leg in and lower it back down. I’m gonna stay with my left leg, lift up and down, I’ll do two more. Lift up and down, last one like this. Lift and down.
Almost the same but a little different. Lift, hold. Twist to the left, back to center lower down and do four of these. Lift, pause, twist, center, and down. Lift, twist, center and down.
Lift, twist, center and down, one more. Lift, twist. Center and down. Over to the right. You couldn’t predict that one was coming.
Lift and down. Two more. Lift and down, last one. Lift and down, then with a twist, lift, pause, twist to the right, untwist, lower down. Lift, twist, untwist and lower down.
Lift, twist, untwist and down, one more time. Lift and twist and untwist and lower down. And then walk your feet in a little bit more. And then just lift your hips up and roll a little bit on the ball. Almost like it’s a foam roller, which is not as satisfying as a foam roller because it’s a little too squishy but it still gives you a similar-ish experience.
Go ahead and make your way up from there. And then we’ll take the ball, scoot yourself forward, bring the ball towards your legs. Reach your legs out. Begin to pull the ball in and reach the (indistinct) Two, if you wanna bend your knees, you can. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten.
Take the ball, place it in between your legs, kind of, not forward of your knees but not super close to your crotch, but some. And kind of like further up than down. Make sure your feet are facing forward. And then from there, we’re just gonna do a little squeeze on the ball and release. Exhale as you squeeze.
Inhale to release. Exhale, squeeze. Inhale, release, exhale, squeeze. Inhale, release, exhale, squeeze. Inhale, release.
Now left leg is going to stay exactly where it is. Just squeeze with your right and you can bring your hand onto your left leg. I’m just kind of touching the outside of my left leg to make sure that my left leg isn’t starting to push more into my hand just to give me some feedback as my right leg pushes it. So right leg only squeezes and release, right leg only squeezes and release. Now switch.
So I’m gonna take my right hand to my right leg. And then my left leg is the only leg that’s moving. Ideally, in a perfect world, if you hear any dogs barking, that means Apa, the sheepadoodle or whatever it is, is walking down the street which my dogs find totally unacceptable, to walk down their street and exist basically. Now hold it there, squeeze with the other side. So both sides are squeezing.
And then release both legs. Go ahead and press into your feet. Tilt your pelvis, lift up into a little shoulder bridge. Now what we’re gonna try to do is we’re gonna try to make the ball lift up closer to the ceiling through external rotation of our hips. And then release.
Lift up, kind of, it’s like if your feet are on the floor that’s like this, your feet aren’t moving but your hip joints are moving and then the ball should respond a little bit. It’s a little easier to see if you do like a yoga block, that’s really easy way to see it ’cause the yoga block would lift up and the ball kind of has too much squish to really be able to do that. But I really want you to feel those outer hip rotators. Lift up and lower down. Lift up and lower down.
Lift up and lower dow, now lift. Find a little bit of a squeeze. Now push your feet forward. So when you push your feet forward, they’re not actually going forward. You’re just thinking about extending your legs.
You should feel your quads. Now we’re gonna switch that and you’re gonna pull your heels towards your armpits and you should feel your hamstrings. We’re gonna alternate. Push and pull. Push and pull.
Push and pull and push and pull. Now we’re gonna get a little weird, push right, pull left, push left, pull right. So alternating sides, almost like you’re walking. But we’re obviously not walking because we’re in a bridge. And that would be a very strange way to walk.
Push and pull. Push and pull. Push and pull. Push and pull. Creating our own resistance because our feet are close chained in the floor or in the mat.
Couple more and then slowly lower it down bone by bone. Go ahead and float your head and chest up. Keep the little bit of a squeeze on the ball. Pull your legs in, lower them down. Pull in, and down, pull in, and down, pull in, bring your feet together.
You can actually even cross your legs at the knees. Squeeze the ball and release, squeeze the ball and release. Squeeze and release. Lower your legs down a little bit. Squeeze, twist right, down a little bit.
Squeeze, twist left, down, squeeze, down, squeeze, down, squeeze, down, and squeeze. Take the ball, place your feet down, lift your hips up. And then you want to be seated on the ball, sort of like right underneath your sacrum, that little triangle shaped bone at the base of your spine. Bring your right leg up, bring your left leg up. So kind of, obviously we’re a little wobbly here, so we’re gonna first find our balance in this position.
See if you can reach your right arm up to the ceiling. See if you can reach your left arm up to the ceiling. Find your stability here. If you need to you can bring your arms back down to the floor. I’m not sure if I’ll need to move my arms back down to the floor or not.
We will see. Reach your arms and legs a little bit away from each other and then pull to come back in. Reach away and pull to come back in. So obviously I’m moving. I’m a little, ah, rocking here.
Almost tipped off. That’s why the ball is exciting. It doesn’t seem like it’s very exciting thing but there’s an element of danger which is kind of different. Well I guess Pilate’s equipment all has an element of danger. And then you know, I’m sure you have seen, I mean anything you ever see tells you there’s an element of danger to it because people are profoundly stupid and managed to Darwin award themselves all sorts of ways.
But I don’t think could really hurt ourselves here because we can’t fall very far. Reach away. So reaching away, reaching away, reaching away, I’m going to my furthest reach away and then lift to come back in. Gonna bring my hands down to the floor. I’m gonna take my left leg down, right leg in more and switch.
So basically going for a little march, little march, little march. And now I’m gonna start to externally rotate my legs. So my march is getting more turned out, so you feel a little bit more outer hips, a little bit more inner thighs. And then start to bring your march back to a more parallel position, we’ll do one more round like that. So you start to turn your leg out at the hip As you go on your march.
And then we start to pull back to parallel. Now zip your legs together. We’re gonna roll back some to where we’re gonna try to come almost off the ball. So rollback so you don’t almost don’t feel the ball. And then lower yourself back down.
So you should feel your arms working here. Pull in and down. Pull in and down. Pull in and down. Reach your legs up towards the ceiling.
We’re gonna lower your legs down a little bit. Bend your knees in, extend, lower, bend, and extend. Lower, bend, and extend. Couple more. Last one and then we reverse it.
So we bend first, reach, lift, bend, reach, lift, bend, reach, lift, bend, reach, lift, take your arms out to like a V. We’re gonna roll slightly towards the right and back to center. Roll slightly towards the left and back to center. Slightly right and center, slightly left, and center. Bend your knees, lower your right foot down, lower your left foot down.
Press into your feet, grab the ball, extend your legs, reach your arms up towards the ceiling. Chin towards your throat. Roll your spine up one vertebrae at a time and then you can go ahead and reach forward. Bend your knees, bring your feet flat to the floor. And then we’re gonna take the ball first and place it kind of like right behind your back so we can lean into it a little bit but you want it to be like super low like touching your sacrum.
And then, feet can be, let’s do like hip distance, it’s hip distance, arms forward, into a round back a little bit and lift, round back to that nice support that the ball is providing. Round back a little bit and lift, round back a little bit and lift, round back, and hold it there. Tap your hands to the floor, lift them up, tap your hands to the floor and up, tap down. So you should feel your abs talking to you a little bit if you don’t lean back more. You might also feel your hip flexors.
If you’re feeling your hip flexors and you’re hating that feeling, try letting your knees go out to the side some. Let’s go ahead and round up. We’re gonna take the ball out. I’m gonna place my left hand on the ball, reach my right arm forward. I’m gonna round back moving the ball with me and lift back up.
Round back and lift back up. So I’m only, you know, my hand is basically like the heel of my hand and then more the palm of my hand. Now I’m gonna take myself and turn with the ball and back to center, turn, ball turns as well. And back to center, six of these total, here’s three. Four, five, six.
Pull the ball in and out six times. Two, three, four, five, and six. Back to center. Lift up, take the ball to the right heel of your right hand on, left hand reaches forward. Rounding back and up.
Two, three, four, five, and six. And we roll the ball and move the rest of ourself the same time. Two, three, four, five, and six. Pull the ball in six times. Two, three, four, five, and six.
Go ahead and just let your legs drop out to the side for a second. Place the ball down on your feet, rest your head on the ball conveniently located. It’s just to give our legs a teensy brake. Hold the ball in your hands with a little bit of a squeeze, round back some. Twist to the left.
Twist to the right, left and right. If you were like really feeling like you want to get a very intense workout, you could be doing this from a teaser. I am not doing it from a teaser because I do not want that. Twist left and right, left and right, couple more times. Left and right.
Go ahead and cross your legs. We’re gonna take the ball, make sure we have some room with it and then we’re gonna have a seat. So we’re gonna sit on the ball and our legs are gonna go feet to the outside of the ball. So we’re gonna start here with just some pelvic tilts. So right now I’m in neutral pelvis, which means my ASIS and my pubic bone are on the same plane.
And I’m gonna come into a posterior pelvic tilt by rolling the ball forward. And then I’m gonna come back to center. And then I’m gonna come into an anterior pelvic tilt by rolling the ball backwards. So forward and back. Forward, you should feel a little stretch in your lumbar spine here.
And you might feel a little stretch in your hip flexors. You might feel your quads kind of just depending on if sitting on your heels gives you a little bit of a quad stretch. Do a couple more and then come to sort of a neutral position. Now we’re gonna drop your right side and lift your left side. But it’s basically we’re rolling over the ball and then we’re gonna roll over the ball to the other side.
So you should feel the ball rolling in the opposite direction that your hips are dropping. Rolling to one side, rolling to the other side, rolling to one side, rolling to the other side. Couple more like this. And then back to center. I’m not like right in the middle of the mat and it’s making my OCD, like sparks are flying in my brain.
So we can get to the middle of the mat And then, we’re gonna think about this as like the short box series on the short box with not a box, it’s a ball and we’re not on our former, we’re on a mat. So it’s really nothing like it except the exercises are gonna be similar. So go ahead and cross your arms in front of you like genie arms, which doesn’t even make sense anymore because like how long ago was that show on? And even Aladdin, like did he cross his arms? I don’t think so.
But anyway, cross your arms like this, which was genie arms. Like if you were alive a zillion years ago. Hold here and then you’re gonna round back, lift your arms up to touch your forehead, and down three times, two, and three. And then we’re gonna round forward and come up. Change the cross of your arms, round it back, lift up.
One, two, three, stay round, come forward round. Extend your spine, bring your hands behind your head. We’re gonna lean back with basically a flat back and lift to come up. So how far I’m leaning is based on how much I can keep my shins really attached to the floor. And I don’t wanna feel my shins start to lift away ’cause then I know I’ve gone too far.
And you might feel your quads here ’cause this is a little bit of a quad stretch in this position. Lean back, and in, lean back, and in. And we’re gonna lift up towards the right with your right elbow and back to center and side bend to the right lifting your left elbow. Side bend and side bend and side bend. And one last round.
And then we’ll twist, lean back in a twist. Lift up and center. Twist, lean back, lift up, and center. Twist, lean back, lift up, and center. Twist, lean back, lift up, and center.
Twist, lean back, come through center, twist right, lift up, and center. Go right, back, center, left, up, center, left, back, center, right, up, center, right, lean, center, left, up, and center. Go ahead and take the ball and we’re gonna place the ball, let’s start with underneath your knees. So basically we’re gonna try to balance our knees on the ball. This is where it would be great if this ball was larger than it is.
So your toes can be tucked under or you can be on the tops of your feet. So I’m thinking the tops of my feet is going to be more stable for me. I’m just gonna try to lift myself up from there. So you should feel probably your quads working a lot here. And then tap your hands back to the floor.
Again, lifting up, and why are we doing this? I don’t know, ’cause it’s weird. It’s bouncy. Makes your legs turn on a little bit. Lift up and and back down.
Bring your hands to the floor. We’re gonna keep your legs balancing on the ball, round your spine to pull them in a little bit and back, pull in a little bit and back, pull in a little bit and back. Extend your butt back, pull in a little bit and back. Pull in and back. Pull in and back.
See if you can roll to where your legs are extended. And then pull to come back in towards this sort of tight ball. So it’s basically like you’re coming into almost like a kneeling kind of plank position and then pull back in and one more reaching it back and pull to come back in. I’m gonna let my knees find the floor, let my shin separate just to take the ball, so I can move it away. So this next one is gonna be, it’s weird but it’s cool but it’s weird.
So what we’re gonna do is we’re going to have the ball underneath one knee in a quadruped which is going to set our one hip that’s got the ball under it really off. It’s gonna be really hiked up and then we’re gonna level it by rolling back. So let’s start with the ball underneath your left knee. So my left hip super hiked up and what I wanna do is I want to go out to where I feel like my hips are level and then I’m gonna pull back in. So now my hips are not level.
Reach out, pull back in, reach out, pull back in, reach out, pull back in, reach out, so I’m trying to level my hips and then they’re definitely not going to be level here. So I’m gonna pop up to my left fingertips and bring my left hand back some. And then I’m gonna see if I can roll the ball out and in a little bit. So if I go too straight, I’m gonna lose the ball. So I’m not going to go, I mean I could go all the way.
I’m not going to go all the way straight ’cause I think I’m gonna lose the ball. We’re reaching out and in. Now you can keep your knee on the ball and just lift your arm up towards the ceiling and then reach your arm, reach your knee and back. So it’s not gonna be a big movement ’cause I don’t wanna fall over ’cause that’s embarrassing. We’ll do a couple more.
And last one. Back to center, level off your pelvis and just hold it there and then tuck your toes under. And so we’re gonna come into this sort of weird plank position. Let your foot find the floor, internally rotate to bring your foot off the floor, lower it down, lift it up, lower it down, lift it up, down, and up. Couple more like this, last one like this.
Lower your knee. Go ahead and take the ball and place it underneath your opposite leg. So now my right hip is going to be hiked up compared to my left hip. And then I’ll level it by rolling it out to the side some. Pull it in, right hip is hiked.
And reach it out. Pull it in and reach it out. Pull it in and out. Pull it in. and out, couple more.
Pull it in, level it off, pull it in, level it off. Now pull it in. Pop up to your right fingertips (indistinct) bring back some. We’re gonna pull. Push your leg out a little bit and pull it in.
Push out a little bit. Pull it in. Push out, and in, out, and in, out, in, and hold. Lift your arm up towards the ceiling. And then we’re gonna do the little reach.
Four times, three, and four. Come back to center. And then go ahead and level off your hips. We’re gonna take your left foot and reach it back, so you’re basically in a plank and we’re gonna internally rotate your leg eight times. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight.
Go ahead and lower it down from there, we’re gonna take the ball out, shake out your arms a little bit and then we’re gonna come lying down and we’re gonna place this like right like on our ribcage to prop our chest up some. So if this doesn’t feel good to you, first of all, sometimes it just doesn’t feel good to have something pushing into your ribs and abdomen, then you can just do it without the ball. But I want the ball there for me to try to not smoosh the ball down. So the ball is here, I’m like, I mean I could crouch down like that, but I don’t wanna do that. I’m gonna lift up and try to move the ball forward.
So as I lift up, the ball is being pushed forward and bring my legs to parallel-ish. Right leg kicks twice and reach. Left leg, kick, kick and reach. Right leg, left leg, right and left, right and left. Couple more like this, right and left and right and left.
Lift both legs up if that feels okay for your lower back. And we’re just gonna circle your legs out, around and up, out, around, and up, out, around, and up. And then the reverse, down, out, and up, down, out, and up, down, out, and up. Move to the side some. Scoot forward a little bit just to give yourself space.
And we’re gonna bring your heel of your hand actually maybe even further than the heel of your hand, like your wrists onto the ball. Legs back, lift yourself up and reach forward. Lift up and reach. Lift up and reach. Lift up and reach.
Lift up and just hold it there. Bend your elbows to touch the mat, press your arms straight, bend, touch, and press, elbows touch, arms reach, elbows touch, arms reach, a couple more. Elbow touch, arms reach, elbows touch, arms reach. And then go ahead and just reach yourself all the way forward. Roll a little bit to the right, roll a little bit to the left, towards right and towards the left.
Bring the ball towards you. Come up to a quadruped position. Take the ball, place it behind your left, basically behind your left wrist a little bit. And then we’re just gonna take the ball and push it through, coming into sort of a thread the needle so you can drop towards your right shoulder and just let the ball just kind of do what it wants. And I’m not in like a perfect quadruped and I have to bend my left elbow.
But basically I just want the stretch here. And then take it to the other side so it’s behind your right. So then we twist around and back to center two more times, twist around and back to center. And last one, twist around and back to center. Reach the ball forward, rest your hands on the ball.
Sit back, let’s do a wide knee child’s pose, reaching your head towards the floor. And then slowly roll yourself all the way up. If there’s any last stretches or any last things with the ball that you wanna do, go ahead and do that. And hopefully I’ll see you soon.