PilatesDay 1: Cardio Flow with Courtney Miller - Class 5203

Day 1: Cardio Flow with Courtney Miller – Class 5203



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Hi, I’m Courtney Miller, and welcome to my five day challenge. It’s day one and we will be starting our challenge with a class filled with cardio flows that are going to get you sweating and working head to toe. Let’s warm up first though. We’re going to start with what I call box squats. So take a wide stance, send the hips back, and then rise to step the feet together.


We’ll repeat this 10 times and then we’ll do the other side. So to the side and down and chest is lifted, find a breath. I hope you have some music on that you love. Stay motivated. This class is going to challenge you.


Once we’ve done 10 steps to the side, we’re going to change and step to the front. So think about standing in the center of a box. Now we’re going to step to the front of the box and back and front and back. Anything that feels intuitive with your arms is the right thing to do. You might see me put hands on hips for some and back, four, and three.


I am trying to land toe ball heel. I’m trying to warm up my ankles. Two and one. Now we take it back, back, and together. So about 10 steps back, and then we’re ready to do the same thing on the other side.


Easy, drop that knee and rise. Inhale back, exhale up. Neck is long, feeling good. Three, two. Last time here and one, right into the other side.


Start to the side and bring it in. To the side. You’ll notice that you’ll shift your weight evenly between both legs as you go into that squat. I’m trying to stay in parallel and keep my knees pointing forward. How are we doing?


The warmup will work. It will warm us up. You’ll start to feel it right about now. Let’s take that step to the front. Here we go.


Big step. When it comes to lunging, I think bigger’s better, right? So take a big wide step and power back. We want to feel all the muscles in our lower body, especially our seat. Step forward.


Step back. Three, two, and one, but we’re not done. Take it to the back and rise. To the back. Knees traveling right over the mid feet.


Thinking more of intuitive movement. Don’t have to be over-structured, just getting warm. Halfway there, down and up. Three more. Two, and last time.


Those are our box squats. Now we’re going to go into a wide squat. Take the toes, turn them out. This allows for a bit more movement. Arms up.


Lift the chest, lift the heart. You’ll bend your knees. Sit deep and low, like as low as you can go. Letting those hips open. Rise to come up.


When I’m here, I think about my arms sort of framing my face. When I’m here, I’m trying to shine my chest to the ceiling. Inhale low and exhale. The more you do this, the more hip mobility you’ll create. That means the more you do, the easier it gets.


Inhale, sit and exhale, squeeze. Four, three, every exercise is a core exercise when you find that breath body connection. Two and one more here. One. Let’s go down onto our knees.


This is a great exercise to promote some ankle mobility. Same goes. The more you do, the better you get. So just kind of dive right into it. Hips come up, arms come back. You’re going to rock back onto your feet.


Rise to standing. Knees come down, hips come up. Roll back onto the feet, rise. If you need to use anything to assist, go for it. Have something close by like a chair, something to hold onto.


And rock, definitely takes some mobility to get here. Yeah, and down, hips forward. Four. Almost there. Three.


It helps if you visualize like staring at one thing. Have that focal point that helps with stability and balance. Two. On the next one, let’s stay down. One.


We’re not done our warmup yet. Hands go onto the mat. Step back into a plank. One foot steps forward through the hand. So I stepped my left foot forward.


It’s going to be the same hand to foot that comes up. Now I’m adding rotation into my warmup. Hand comes down, back to a plank we go. Forward right foot, right hand. So I’m twisting towards that bent knee.


Step it back, step, twist, and back. Step, twist, and back. If you’re having problems getting that foot forward, take as many steps as you need to, but try to go big so the foot’s in line with your hand, and really focus on lifting the heart, lifting the chest. It’s a great time to find a good breath pattern. Inhale to open (breathes).


Inhale to get big, take up space. Last time here and step it back. The last movement in our warmup is going to be swimming. I think it’s so important to connect to our back body core. So balance on your stomach.


Lift your legs, lift your arms. Opposite arm to leg is up. 20 seconds. Up, up. Head looking down, neck long.


Lift, lift, lift, lift. Focus on the lift. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And done. Gotta love a warmup that warms you up.


Now we’re going to go into a core series. Five exercises, no breaks. Let’s do it. Lying down, hugging the knees to the chest. Find that little ball, squeeze at your shins.


That’s going to help you to come up higher. The higher you curl, the less you’re going to use your neck. The first exercise is single leg stretch. So one leg extends long and low. I take my inside hand to the knee, outside hand to the ankle.


Keeping my hips as stable as I can, switch, switch. Notice the shape of my spine is not changing, my back, my shoulders, I’m just holding the scoop. Legs are moving. Five, four, three, two, one. Make sure you feel even.


Hug those shins. Can you use your arm strength to curl a bit higher in the shoulders? Keep that booty down. Double leg stretch. This is also known as hollow body lever.


Circle around and hug. Inhale, stretch. Exhale, hug (exhales). I’m keeping a sense of heaviness with my spine and my pelvis down on the mat. I’m trying to use my arm strength to curl nice and high.


Four, three, two, one. Hands behind the head. You get that neck support, bring the legs to table. Extend one leg like you did for double leg stretch or single leg stretch, and turn towards that bent knee and switch. Don’t worry about the elbow actually touching the knee.


Focus on the scoop. Lift, lift. Focus on the stability in the pelvis. Lift, lift. We’ve got four.


Three. We’ve got two, and one, but there’s more. Grab an ankle, give it a good pulse and the other leg low. You pull that leg towards you twice, and you try to lift at the same time. Switch (exhales).


Two exhales to pull (exhales). Four, three, two, one. I like hands under the tailbone for the next one, stay scooped. Send those legs low, low, low. Point and lift, down and up.


It’s called lower lift. And up, push through the big toes. Draw the navel in. Four, three, two. How low can you go?


One, bring it in. Take a break and come on up. Our warmup’s done. Let’s dive into those cardio flows. Okay, so meet me on your hands and knees.


Spread your fingers wide. Curl your toes. Each of these flows, we’ll be doing for 30 seconds, so if you feel tired, just stay with it. It’s only 30 seconds. Hover your knees.


Take a wide stance with the feet, here we go. Opposite hand touches ankle, back to the hover. Touch, hover. Make sure you keep the abdominals pulled in the whole time. And press.


If you’re feeling a bit wobbly, take a wider stance. Spread your fingers wide. It’ll really help with weight distribution in your wrist. Almost there. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.


Awesome. Next one I would call a frog jump. So take that wide stance that we were in in our warmup. Reach down with a flat back. Hop up, down and up.


If you don’t want to jump, take it out. Just rise. You can even rise to your toes instead. Almost there. It’s only 30 seconds.


Stay with me. 10 seconds to go. 10, nine. Flat back hinge. Last five, four, three, two, one.


Awesome, guys. All right, back to that Downward Facing Dog we go. Nice wide stance. Heels to the ground, chest to the thighs. Lean into the plank.


Knee taps elbow, step it back, knee taps elbow. I want that plank nice and solid. So keep your chest bone lifted and hips about the same height as your shoulders. Step it back. Rock forward so your shoulders are right over your wrists and drive that knee to touch your elbow.


Almost there. Five, four, three, two, one. Good. We’ve got our curtsy kicks next. This is going to get the heart rate up.


Make sure you have some room to kick. A curtsy when we bend our knees in a diamond shape. Kick off to the side slightly in front of you. Big, let’s go. Down and up.


Down and up. Get low. Swing that leg. We’re going to be switching legs. Five, four, three, two, and one.


Cross the opposite leg in front. Keep the hips square. Find that diamond. Swing it up. Try to keep your chest right over your pelvis.


Get down, power up, down, up. Five to go. Five, four, three, two, one. Good, 30 seconds. We can do it.


The next one is a V-up to a seated squat, to a standing squad, pardon me. Start seated, three V-ups. One, two, three. Use some momentum to power up. Three V-ups.


One, two, three, on the third one, woo, rise up. Here we go. The more we do, the better we get. One, two, three, and back down. One, two, three.


Try to get those feet under you. Rise up. I’m going to do one more. I got this, one, two, three. All the way up.


Yes, that is hard. You can use hand weights in that exercise actually. Makes it a bit easier to rise up. Alrighty, we have a lunge to a knee twist. So step back, chest over hips.


As you rise and your knee comes up, rotate opposite elbow and touch the knee. Inhale down, exhale up. This reminds me of the Down Dog. Knee to elbow, definitely feeling some core. Down and up.


Three, we’re going to switch legs in two, and one, send the other leg back. Find the lunge first. As you rise, turn, pull the knee up to the elbow. Inhale down and up. You can work your core while standing.


You don’t have to lie on your back doing crunches to get strong abdominals. Three, two, one. That was a little longer than 30 seconds, but we had to do both legs. The next one is super fun. They’re called butt kickers.


You want to keep your knees underneath your hips, bend and try to kick your own butt. We’ll go for five, five, four, three, two, one. Drop down. Hop out to a plank. Hop back up.


Do it again. Five, four, three, two, one. Pop it out. Pop it in. Again, five, four, three, two, one.


Hop it out. Hop it in, two more times. Five, four, three, two, one (exhales). Last time, five, four, three, two, one. Take a break, but not really.


We have another one to do. We’re going to do elbow taps. Add a little twist. Let’s go, 30 seconds. Start on your plank, feet together.


Down, down, up, up. Now take an elbow down, rotate, reach. Do the same thing on other side. Rotate, reach, repeat from the elbow taps. Down, down.


Up, up. Take it down. Rotate, reach. Take it down. Rotate, reach.


Again, elbow taps. Down, down. Up, up. Take it down. Almost there.


Take it down. One more time. Down, down. Up, up. Twist and twist.


Alrighty, we’ve got what I call box kicks. This is kind of like the warmup exercise. Instead of stepping, we’re kicking. Keep feet under hips. Find that lunge or squat position in parallel, kicking off to your side, landing, stay on the same leg.


Kick to the front, land, lean forward. Kick to the back. Let’s go. Down and up. To the front, to the back.


Kick it. Heart rate’s up. Told you. Cardio, flowing, back. To the side, to the front, to the back.


One more time this leg to the side, to the front, to the back. Other side, might feel different. Let’s find out, to the side, to the front, to the back. Side, definitely feeling it in the core so get that leg up. Standing leg working hard to help balance.


Side, front, and back. One more time. Side, to the front, and to the back. All right guys, one more flow. That makes 10 lying down, lifting arms and legs.


Sort of like how we did with swim, bring your hands right under your shoulders, legs together. Try to push up in one shape. So don’t leave those hips down. Lower everything. Star.


Down, star. Everything up. Down, star. Pull the stomach up with the chest. Four more.


Four, three, two. One more time. One. All right, push back, take a break, but not too long of a break, because we’re doing it all again. Did I tell you that at the beginning?


We’re repeating this flow twice. 30 seconds. Now you know it, now you can really push. Let’s start in that four point kneeling hover, spread the fingers, wide legs, knees hover. Press back, tap opposite ankle down and up.


Use the abdominals to get that hand up and across. Inhale, hover. Exhale, twist. No tension in the neck. Move as fast or as slow as you’d like. Inhale down and exhale, twist.


Get a bit of a hamstring stretch on that lift. Remember to spread your fingers. Four, three, two. Even it out. Alrighty, you ready?


Frog jumps. So I’m going to show you from the side this time. It is a flat back hinge to get the hands down and then you power up, reach up, down, up, down, up. If you don’t want to, don’t jump. It’s up to you.


It also doesn’t have to be all or none. Do a couple jumps, couple presses. Almost there. Five, four, three, two, one. Good.


We have that Down Dog elbow tap. It’s about the core. Spread the fingers, step back. Make that upside down V shape. Bend the knees if you’re feeling tight, lean forward.


The knee comes to the elbow, touches, step. Press, step. Scoop, press. You feel a little cinch in that side body. Loving the upper body work that’s in these flows.


Two more each side. One more each side. Awesome. Next, we have our curtsy kicks. These are kind of fun, right?


Get some energy out. Find the curtsy, square off. Get low. The leg sweeps up, not beside you, kind of in front. Down and up.


You don’t have to reach your hand out. I do, like a little target to aim to. Down, up. Three more, we’ll switch legs. Three, shoulders right over hips, two.


One. Find the curtsy, opposite leg behind, lift. Use that standing glute to keep you strong. Inhale down. Exhale lift.


Five, four, three, two, and one. Awesome, V-ups to the seated squad. I feel obligated to nail it this time. Three V-ups. One, two, three.


I crossed my ankles. Oh, I made it easier. That is a little trick. One, two, three. Definitely harder when you don’t cross the ankles.


One, two, three. You know how I said you could use those weights? If you do have hand weights, keep them out in front of you. One, two, three. Ah, I’m going to stop there, because I might not make the next one.


Okay, so next we have our lunge to knee twist. This is a core series, so step back, the leg that comes up is the direction that you’re going to twist in. Down and up, down and up. Rotate shoulders over hips towards that knee that’s coming up. Two more this leg.


One more. Switch. Find that lunge first. Rotate. Drive the knee up.


Aim to touch the knee up to the elbow. Get that extra lift. Down and up. Five, four. How you doing?


Three, two, one. Butt kickers. Let’s be clear. It’s not this. Use your hamstrings.


Kick your butt for five, five, four, three, two, one. Hop it out. Hop it in. Five, four, three, two, one. Hop it out.


Hop it in. Again, five, four, three, two, one. Hop it out, in, one more time. Five, four, three, two, one. Hop it out and take a break.


Elbow walks with the twist. Let’s do it. Find your plank, feet together, down to the elbows first. Back up. Rotate, find the balance.


Rotate, use your back to keep you strong. Down, down, up, up. Rotate, reach. Rotate, reach. I am trying to keep my hips in line with my shoulders and all the way up.


Alrighty, box kicks, all about balance. All about the booty, all things we love. Find the squat. Kick to the side. Find the squat.


Kick to the front. Find the squat, kick to the back. Repeat, side, front, back. Down and up, side, front, back. Down and up.


Repeat, and up. One more time. Then we’ll switch sides. Side, get that leg up nice and high. Kick back.


Other side. Squat first, off to the side. Out to the front. Back behind. When you kick the leg back behind, make sure that leg goes straight.


Boom. Out to the side, to the front, back behind. Two more like this, side, front, and back. Almost. Woo! And kick it back.


Time to press up. Find that plank position. I like to lean forward, so that when I’m down, my hands are right under my shoulders. I lift like a five pointed star. Come back to that position.


Pull the stomach up with the whole shape. Down, up, down, up. One shape down. Just like a moving plank. Three to go.


Up, two to go, up. Last time and press back. Woo-wee! Do you want to do it again? I’m good. I’m good at two.


You could definitely do three sets of these. Let’s cool down. Let’s call these ones tick tock. Lie on your back, hands come out to the sides like a T. Draw the legs up to table.


Rotation. Inhale when you twist. Exhale back to center. How do you feel? Heart rate up for sure.


Little bit of a glow. Got it. Inhale down. Exhale up. One more each side.


Inhale down. Exhale up. Feels so good to twist. Here’s a little glute stretch. Hold it if you’d like.


If you’re looking for a bit more, didn’t get enough into the core, let’s do some lifts. Five, tap the leg. Four, three, two. One more time. One, switch.


That’s called a figure four position. Flex your foot. You can hold the glute stretch or little reverse abdominal lift. Take it down slow and up. Three more.


Two more. One more. Rock up to standing. Step towards the back of your mat. We’re going to finish with five standing roll downs.


Dive down, touch your toes. Walk it out. Walk it back. Rebuild, one. Woo, we did so great.


I want to remind you, this is a series of five classes. Each class is a bit different. This one’s definitely that cardio push. The idea is this is a formula, so come on back for all the other ones, and then do it again and again and again. Last time here.


Feeling long, feeling strong. All the way up. Awesome job. 30 minutes, we did it. Thanks for joining me.


I’m going to see you tomorrow. Bye.







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