PilatesDay 2: Creative Combinations with Courtney Miller - Class 5202

Day 2: Creative Combinations with Courtney Miller – Class 5202



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Welcome back to Day 2. In today’s class, we are going to be working combinations. This is a bit of choreography, it’s a bit of mind-body connection challenge. You’re gonna feel so great after. So let’s get warmed up.


We’ll begin with the same warmup we did in day one. You know it, you love it. It’s your box squat. So stand on the floor, take a wide squat, parallel legs, step those legs together around 10 reps. You know me, I’m not a huge counter.


So if you are, go ahead and count down. If you didn’t put your music on, please do. Listen to something that’s gonna motivate you and keep you going because this class is going to challenge you. And I find having some good music on really helps. Okay, so stepping to the front now, around 10.


As you step that foot forward, land light, toe, ball, heel, and then power through that glute to push yourself back. Anything intuitive with the arms is the right choice. Maybe you have your weights in hands to add a little bit more intensity. These are ways you can change it up. Make it your own.


Keep it exciting. Okay, so now we’re stepping backwards, keeping the shoulders right over the hips. Down and up. Inhale, down. Exhale, up. We aren’t doing more than one set of these.


These are just to get us a warm, get us into the zone. Inhale, down and exhale, up. Three, two, and one more. Into the other leg we go. Squat.


So these are called box squats. I pretend like I’m standing in the middle of a box, the middle of a square, and I’m stepping out to that side corner, dropping my hips down and back. And then when I’ve done around 10 of these to the side, I step my foot to the very front of that imaginary box and take it back. Down and up. Down and up.


If you find that stepping to the front and to the back doesn’t work for you, just do something that gets your heart right up. Maybe it’s just back to the other side right? Three, two. And speaking of back, here we go. To the back and up.


Try to engage through your standing glute. If you mostly feel quads when you’re doing this, the muscles in the front of your thigh, lean forward a little bit. Might get you out of the thigh, front and into that booty back. Down and up. Four, three, two, and one.


I love those. Gets the brain body connected, warms up the foot and ankle. Now we’re going into our wider squat position. So separate the feet so the feet are wider than your hips. Find that turnout.


Reach up. This is extension of the spine. Look up, open. You’re gonna sit low, reach forward. Keep those hands and arms reaching and engaged.


Arms framing the face. Rise. Lift. Inhale to go down, exhale to come up. Or change the breath if that suits you.


When I go down, I’m trying to widen through my hips so I’m just letting them drop down and low. Inhale, down, and exhale, up. I will say my mobility in my hips and pelvis has greatly increased after having a toddler. You are down like this a lot in this position. So if you find any tightness or restriction, work on it.


I promise you it will improve, not just your hip mobility but your ankle mobility as well. One more time. Flat back and up. Taking it down to the knees. So here we go.


Some serious ankle mobility. Sit down first. When the hips come up, the arms come back. You roll back onto the feet, rise to stand. Take it down, hips up, arms back, rise to stand.


If you wanna take extra cushion underneath the knees, now it’s time to do it. Roll back, down to the knees, hips come forward. Up to the legs, straight legs, pulling those kneecaps up. Four, three, you’re kind of decelerating on that down so it’s like nice and soft and slow. Two.


And we’ll stay down on this one. And we’re gonna add some rotation into our warmup, getting the spine ready to go. Step back to a plank, one foot steps forward, keep the opposite hand down, lift and reach, and step it back. Other foot forward. Lift and reach.


Step it back. You get to pick the pace. Go slow if you want. Go fast. Change it up day to day.


Have some fun with it. Whenever I’m in a plank, I always think about opposition, reaching my head in one direction and my heel in the other. One more time. And step it back. Take yourself down to the mat.


We’re gonna go into 20 seconds of swimming. This is an exercise to strengthen your back body core and create that awareness opposite arm and leg. Up, up. Stay lifted in your chest, legs, arms 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And push back.


I think that out of all of our core exercises, that swimming is so important. It’s like a gold star exercise. Speaking of core, we’ve got five exercises to do. No break. Lie down, hug the knees towards the chest.


Curl up real high using your arm strength, single leg stretches first. Straighten one leg, hug the opposite knee end. I like inside hand to knee, outside hand to ankle. Switch. Switch. Chest is lifted, abdominals are flat, compressed.


Big exhale. Five, four, three. Avoid looking up at the ceiling. Two. Double leg stretch.


Hug. Become a little ball, and open. Become a big shape. Circle around and hug. Around 10.


8 to 10 to me is always a good strategy for quantity. Keeping the quality of movement high, finding your edge, and listening to your body. One more time. Hands come behind the head. Straighten one leg twist towards the bent knee.


Switch. Keeping the pelvis anchored, chest lifted. Finding opposition in those legs like you’re moving through water. We’ve got four, three, two, and hold. Grab an ankle, pull that leg towards you.


Don’t be afraid to really pull with your arms. Pull twice and switch. Reach for the ankle. Find that hamstring stretch. (Courtney exhales) Shoulders away from the ears.


Three, two, one. Last exercise. I prefer hands under tailbone. Send it down, lift it up. And up.


I’m trying to keep a heaviness with my spine towards the mat. A lift in my chest and shoulders. Three, two, one. And that’s our warmup. How do you feel?


Okay, so diving into the exercises. The way flow is gonna go is we will be doing one exercise we’ll call that A. Another exercise, we’ll call that B. We’ll put them together. We’ll call that the combo, and we’ll move on to the next.


So here is your first exercise. Legs together, roll yourself down. It is a roll up. Let’s do eight of them. Exhale, roll up.


Reach past your toes, pull your shoulders down, abdominals in. Try to get the lower back to to touch the mat during the roll up and during the roll down. Bend your knees if you’re feeling a lot of restriction. But remember, the more you do, the better you’re gonna get. (Courtney exhales) I like to exhale up.


I think of my exhale like the gas pedal. (Courtney exhales) When I need to hit that pedal to the metal and start to move, (Courtney exhales) that’s when I breathe out. We’ll do one more. (Courtney exhales) And sit up nice and tall. Here’s our B.


The next part of the exercise, open the legs just a bit wider than the mat. Lift your chest, bend your knees if you need to, rotate to one leg, reach down, touch your opposite hand to foot. I aim for that baby toe. Rise, go all the way to the other side. Rise, go all the way to the other side.


Twist, and exhale, reach. Keeping the hips down, the chest lifted. Four, (Courtney inhales) (Courtney exhales) three, two, and one. Now we’re ready to put these together. So here’s your combo.


It’s a roll up with a twist. (Courtney exhales) Reach. Roll back down. Reach. Opposite hand to foot, and trying to keep that low back into the mat] (Courtney exhales) during the roll down.


(Courtney exhales) Breath is key. Almost there. Three, two, (Courtney exhales) and even yourself out, one. Roll down and stay down. So that’s our first A, B, and combo flow.


Let’s go into number two. So your A, the first movement, is gonna be a bridge. Let’s practice lifting (Courtney exhales) and lowering the hips. Tapping the sacrum down, that’s your tailbone, down and up. Feet are about hip distance.


Knees are running in parallel. Thighs are running in parallel, feeling strong and closed and connected through those abs. I’ve got my elbows bent, pressing down into the mat, helping with some stability. Two more. (Courtney exhales) And one.


Now hold. Next, B. The next part of the exercise is a march. Land in the same place you were. Inhale, up.


Exhale, down. Toe, ball, heel. (Courtney exhales) Trying to keep the pelvis lifted and level, ribs closed. So now we know the first part, which is the lower lift, the hinge. We know the second part, which is the march, one leg up, one leg down.


Time to put them together. Leg comes up, tap and lift. Switch the legs. Tap and and lift. Switch the legs.


Flat back hinge, toe, ball, heel. Flat back hinge, toe, ball, heel. Down and up. (Courtney exhales) You can’t lift too high in this bridge. Use the glutes and find that lift.


(Courtney exhales) Down and up. One more each leg. Down and up. (Courtney exhales) Last time. Down and up.


(Courtney exhales) And roll it down. Cool. Okay, so we’re gonna go into a side plank next. Roll to one side. Here’s your first move.


Elbow underneath the shoulder, feet stacked, hips come up. Top hand could be to the head or to the hip, your choice. We’re tapping the hips and finding that lift from underneath. Let’s do eight, seven, six, five. Head in line with spine.


Four. Squeeze those inner thighs, it’ll help. Three, two, and one. Take the hips down, roll onto your bottom. The next part of the exercise, part B, is a V-up.


So you create a V-shape with your body, chest close to the thighs. You go down, kind of like your double leg stretch we practiced earlier, you come up to the letter V. Let’s do it. Down and up. Chest to thighs.


Five, four, three, two, and one. Now that you know them both, we combo. So start in your side plank position. You’re going down and up with the hips. Roll, pull the knees to the chest, down and up with the hips.


Roll. Pull the knees to the chest. Down and up. Roll back. Down and up.


Definitely feeling my back and shoulders helping in that side plank. Last time like this. Tap and lift. Take it back. (Courtney exhales) Swing it around.


We’re gonna do the other side. So let’s, even though I know you know it, let’s start with the side plank. Shoulder down and back. Find the lift. Stack the feet.


Use the inner thighs. Eight lifts. Rarely do we feel the same left to right, no big deal. We got this. Three, two, one.


Easy. Next, we go into the V-ups. So draw the knees towards the chest, balancing just off those sit bones. Get the low back to touch. Find that hollow body lever position.


Pull the knees to the chest. Inhale down. Exhale up. Remember, breath, big exhale. That’s your gas pedal.


Three, (Courtney exhales) two, (Courtney exhales) one. (Courtney exhales) Into the side plank. Combo time. Down and up. Roll back.


Knees to chest. Tap and lift. Roll back. (Courtney exhales) Knees to chest. Down and up.


Roll back. (Courtney exhales) Driving the knees in. Lower lift. Roll back. (Courtney exhales) Almost there, two to go.


Down and up. Roll back. Last time. Dip and lift. Roll back.


Pull it in. How are you feeling? Our next combo. Let’s learn the first part. Coming into a four point kneeling position with your shoulders underneath.


Or rather your shoulders over your wrist, your knees underneath your hips. Find that neutral alignment. Try to keep the back absolutely steady as you practice reaching and bringing it right back. Other side. Reach and bring it back.


I visualize an egg on my low back, right here, and I’m trying not to let it roll off and crack on the floor. Four, three. Your back muscles are kind of like a braid or a rope, and they’re working to keep your spine really steady against rotation. One more time. Good.


Next thing we’re gonna practice is the knee hover. So curl your toes, keep the shape of the spine. Knees come up. Light tap, lift. Light tap, lift.


I like my elbows nice and soft so I can feel my back working. Four, three, two, and one. So you know A, you know B, are you ready to put them together? Let me show you what it looks like. You’re actually gonna hover first.


Keep that hover. See if you can tap out, in. Other side, out, in. Bring it down. Up.


Opposite arm to leg. Working to keep my back as still as I can. Out, in. Out, in. Let’s do two more.


Hover, hold. Tap, bring it home. Tap, bring it home. One more time. Hover, hold.


Back. Back. And bring it all the way in. That’s a lot of shoulders and upper body. Speaking of shoulders and upper body, we’re diving right into the next one.


Pushups. Now I like my pushups modified with my knees down. By all means, go ahead and lift your knees up. Come to a full pushup position. You can also modify your pushups using a wall or something to prop up your upper body.


Let’s do eight. Shoulders over the wrist, elbows are gonna be tucked in. One shape down, one shape up. That’s one. That’s two.


A pushup is a moving plank. Three. So keep everything steady. Four, five. Resist dropping your head lower than your heart.


Six, seven, eight. Take it down. The second part of the movement is our prone T. So I lift my legs. Legs could be a part or together.


It’s kind of a preference. Open your arms out to the side. Arms tap down and lift up. Eight. Seven.


Six. Working The backs of my shoulders. Five. I’m still not plank alignment. Four, three, two, and one. Bring it in. Now putting it together in our combo.


You’re gonna do one pushup. Down and up. Come down, find your T. Tap and lift. One pushup.


Down and up. Take it down. Find that lift, backs to the shoulders. Down and up. (Courtney exhales) Take it down, tap the arms, bring it in, down and up.


(Courtney exhales) It’s kind of a push up and a half. And one more time. (Courtney exhales) Down and up. (Courtney exhales) Find that T. Tap, lift.


Take it home and take a stretch. Okay, coming into our next flow. So let’s learn A first. Find that same four-point kneeling position we were in earlier. Knees are under hips, shoulders are right over the wrist and elbows are a bit soft.


Let me just show you. When I lock out my elbows, it tends to lift my shoulders. So I made a note earlier where I said, “I like those elbows soft so I can pull my shoulders down.” See if you can feel that. Okay, we’re gonna do one leg extends back opposite arms, sort of like we’ve learned earlier, but changing up. This time we’re gonna go knee to elbow.


We are changing the shape of the spine, finding a big scoop, and then long line. Be careful you don’t over release or drop in the middle. You are scooping up and then finding neutral. Scooping up, finding neutral. (Courtney exhales) Think of this as an abdominal exercise to pull the knee in.


Kind of like our double leg stretch that we did in the beginning. Two more. One more. (Courtney exhales) Hold the leg and take the forearm down. So now, we’re in this rotated glute position.


Lower the leg towards the mat and lift. You could be toes pointed, foot flexed. Do what feels right for you. Down and up. Keeping the spine long.


I’m trying to keep a lot of space between my shoulder and my hip on that right side. Last two. Hold the leg up. Press yourself up. We’re gonna put the movements together.


So we go in, out, top, lift. In, out, top, lift. Lot of stability and core strength here. Top, lift. (Courtney exhales) Out, top, lift.


One more time. Find the balance. Find the scoop. Get big. Down, up.


Let’s do the other side. So leg goes back. Arm goes back. Find the lift. Stay engaged.


Change the shape of the spine. Find the long line. I have to resist against wanting to sit back in this hip. I’m actively trying to keep my shoulder right over my wrist. Four, three, two, one.


Now let’s practice part B. See how my elbow goes right underneath my shoulder, the hips are rolling open. I’m trying to get height here and range of motion. Lower and kick. Lots of space in my side body.


Lower and kick. (Courtney exhales) Your glutes are part of your core unit. So think of this whole flow as a core flow. Two, and one. Find the balance.


Ooh, a little bit different on this side. Scoop, and tap and lift. Turn towards the ground. Stay square towards the ground. Then go into your rotation.


Down and up. (Courtney exhales) The more I remind myself to draw my navel in and up, the more stable I feel. Tap and lift. Three more. (Courtney exhales) Tap and lift.


Two more. Down and up. One more. I always try to make my last repetition my best. And bring it in.


Do you do the same? The idea is evolution, right? Keep getting better. Keep getting stronger. Okay, let’s come into a sideline position, and scooch towards the back of your mat cause you’re gonna roll onto your stomach in a second.


Slide yourself down. I’ll use my top hand right in front of my belly button. Squeeze your legs together. You are lifting from the bottom leg, down and up. Relax head, neck, and shoulders.


Down and up. You know how I said that your glutes are part of your core? Well, so are your inner thighs, right? So as you do this inner thigh exercise, you can think deep, low abdominal contraction. Three, two, one.


That’s the first part. Roll onto your stomach, lift your arms and legs. We’re gonna do a slow swim, touching the floor, lifting up. Try to keep your chest lifted the whole time. Five, legs straight.


Four, neck long. Three, two, one. Now I’m just gonna turn so my back’s towards you so I can do the same thing on the other side. Let’s just stay here as we get our groove going in this side line lift. I’m not sure if you can see, but I’m really trying to stay lifted through here, and I’m trying to use my obliques on that top side.


Four, three, two, one. Let’s practice that swim again. Onto the stomach we go. Opposite arm to leg. I know when I see myself in videos doing swimming, I think my legs are straight, and then sometimes they’re not.


So I have to really stretch my knees, my legs as straight as I can. Four, three, two, and one. Let’s put them together as a combo. We’re gonna go up for three. One, two, three.


We’re gonna go up. One, two, three. Other side. One, two, three. Find that balance.


One, two, three. Other side. One, two, three. Even though I’m lying on my stomach, I’m still trying to lift it. Two, three.


Last time. One, two, three. And one, two, three. Press up. Great. Okay, the next one’s a tough one.


Find your plank position, spread your fingers. I like my legs wide. We’re pressing back, touching opposite hand to ankle, and coming back to our plank. We did this in day one as part of our cardio flow. We’re gonna call this a V tap because your body’s going up in the shape of a V or a downward facing dog.


Depends who you ask. Four, three, two, one. Next move. Bring knee to same elbow. Looks like that.


Step it back. Kind of like a mountain climber. (Courtney exhales) Four, three, two, one. Putting the moves together, find your V shape, tap, bring the knee up. Tap.


Bring the knee up. So I’m going opposite hand, same knee to elbow. Opposite hand. Same. Five, (Courtney exhales) four, (Courtney exhales) three, (Courtney exhales) two, (Courtney exhales) one.


I gotta do one more so I feel even. (Courtney exhales) Awesome. Bring it on in. How are you feeling? Okay, more booty.


Booty is core. More is good. We’re gonna come into a side kneeling kick position. Let’s learn that A part, the beginning first. Send the leg out.


Hand goes down. Find that lift. I like top hand behind my head. We’re going up, up, up. (Courtney exhales) Up, up.


Four, three, two, one. Bring the foot forward. You’re set up to do some lunging. Come up, step down. Knee to mat.


Down and up. Keeping the chest lifted. Down and up. Five, four, three, two, and one. Ready?


Putting them together. Hand goes down. Leg comes up. 3, 2, 1. One lunge.


(Courtney exhales) Step it down. 3, 2, 1. Using the core, one lunge. Step it down. 3, 2, 1.


(Courtney exhales) One more time. 3, 2, 1. You’re up. (Courtney exhales) You’re down. Let’s try the other side.


Start finding this move. Lift. Feel all the way up. Neck is long. (Courtney exhales) Five, four, three, two, one.


Bring the foot in front. Be okay with the fact that this side’s probably gonna feel a bit different. Practice the lift and lower. Stay here for a few. Find your footing.


Literally. Find your foundation. Four, three, two, and one. Time to put them together. The leg goes out.


3, 2, 1. You rise up. (Courtney exhales) You are back down. 3, 2, 1. You rise up.


(Courtney exhales) You’re back down. So changing levels like this, getting a low, getting high. Ooh, that heart rate is elevated. Two more. 1, 2, 3.


You’re up. You’re down. Last time. 1, 2, 3. You’re up.


(Courtney exhales) You’re down. All right. Ready to cool down? Let’s do it. We’re gonna start with our tick-tock.


So we did this in Day 1. Arms out to the side. What a great way to lengthen the spine, to strengthen your body in rotation. Ooh, that was a great workout. I love the combos.


Being challenged with choreography is fun. Especially if you can identify what the first part is, get good at it. Figure out the second part, get good at it, and then put the two together. Come into your figure 4. Remember, this could be a stretch, this could be a curl.


If you feel like you need just a little bit more abdominals, here’s your chance. Three, two, and one. (Courtney exhales) Switch legs. Just a stretch for the glute, the curls. (Courtney exhales) Three more.


(Courtney exhales) Two. (Courtney exhales) one. (Courtney exhales) Meet me up in standing. Kind of putting it all together when you’re vertical. Get big.


Reach down, walk it out, walk it back. One, (Courtney inhales) (Courtney exhales) two. How do you feel? I feel good. Three.


(Courtney exhales) four. (Courtney exhales) And one more time. Walk it out. Walk it up. Five.


Speaking of five, we did it. Day 2 of our five class formula. I’m gonna see you tomorrow. Bye.







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