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Hi guys, Courtney Miller here, and I’m bringing you the last class in the “Pilates With HEART” series tone. In this class, we’re gonna be using our booty band right towards the end, so you can get rid of it for now. And we’ll be incorporating some ballet Barre movements. Let’s start standing. Go ahead and take your feet, hip distance apart.
Find your hands in a plie position. I want a nice strong connection here, pushing hand to hand. As one knee comes up, rotate towards the knee that lifts. About 45 seconds, let’s get our heart rate up. Exhale.
(exhales deeply) So try not to drop the arms, but instead pull the knee up towards the elbow. Remember rotation comes from that mid spine and the more you press your hands together, the more you’re gonna feel your abdominals participating. See if you can land in the same spot each time. Yeah. Toe ball, heel, toe ball, heel.
Try not to lean backwards, in fact, lean a little bit forward, feeling your back nice and long. 10 seconds. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two. Last set. Nice job guys. Take a wide second position.
That means your feet are wider than your hips and you’re naturally turned out. Keeping those arms in a strong prayer position as you go down into your plie. Just pause here. You wanna think about the inner thigh rotating up and your knees traveling right over your mid feet. Reach your arms up, get really long and tall and then bring it all back to center.
Let’s flow. So sitting deep and low, trying to warm up those hips and ankles as my arms reach up, they come apart like a letter V and then together squeezing palms together and navel in. Sit deep and low and keep the spine long and strong. Five (exhales deeply) four (exhales deeply) three, two more and one more. We’re gonna do the same thing with our legs, but something different with the body.
So laterally flexing towards one side as you go down into the plie. Love this one because you get a big breath in, rise and hold. Alternate to the other side. Rise and hold. Go as slow or as quick as you want to.
Hopefully you’re listening to some really good music. So good with the tempo. If you’ve got something plain, inhale, exhale. Try to keep the chest open and maximize the movement in the spine. Five (exhales deeply) four, three, big reaching, two and one.
Meet me in your second position plie. Give me one pause here and then change so your toes are pointing forward. One pulse here. Turn so the heels come in. One pulse here toes forward.
Now we’re gonna walk it out. So we walk, walk, walk, walk. In, in, in, in. The lower you are the harder you work. Out, out, in, in, in, getting those inner thighs warmed up, out, out, out, out again, heels, toes, heels, toes, two more, out, knees in line with toes, low plie, in, in, in, one more time.
Pivot, nice and light on those feet, in, in, in, in. Well done. Meet me in a first position plie. So zip up those heels. Take your hands to your hips.
Pull your hip bones up towards your ribs. Lift up nice and high into your Relevate. Squeeze your heels together before they touch the ground. Let’s continue up and down, up and down. So we’re really trying to find that length and our position.
When the heels go down, the spine goes up in opposition to the heels. Five, four, three, two, one. Parallel. Let’s do it again. Up, down, up down. Try to find those abdominals.
Find that stability at the top. There it is, up and down. Notice when your inner thighs are connected, how much more stable you are in the standing position? Let’s take it for five, four, just getting warmed up. Three, two, legs nice and straight, one.
All right, guys, let’s take it down to the mat. We’re gonna start with the Hundred. So lie down onto your mat, stretch your legs long, close your ribs and think of the left and right sides of the abdominals coming towards the center, reach the arms along and back and on your exhale, curl, head, neck and shoulders up. Float those legs and pump the arms. Any version of the Hundred that works for you guys, perhaps knees are bent in, maybe legs are down, you do you.
I also like to do the Hundred in my first position Pilates V. Big breath in and big breath out. Focusing on that complete breath. Inhaling and exhaling. Option for staccato breath, shh, shh, shh, or one big breath, shh.
Make sure you are indeed breathing ’cause you have three more sets here. Three, two, activate those inner thighs and one, hug the knees in and drop the head down. Curl up into a little ball. Relax those shoulders down away from your ears. Send one leg long point.
Hug the opposite knee in and switch. Use the upper body to squeeze the leg in towards you. Staying curled up nice and high. (exhales deeply) Switching for five, four, three, two, one. Hug the knees in, see if he can use those arms to scoop up a little bit higher.
We’re gonna go into a scissor series that’s gonna get those abs working hard. Extend your legs to the ceiling. Float your hands off the mat. One scissor kick, one kick. Send those arms up a little higher.
Kick, kick, arms up a little higher kick, kick. Start to take the arms down. Down, up, up, kick, kick. Yes. Low arms, medium arms, back arms.
Do it again. Medium arms, low arms, medium. Send it back. Last set, low arms and hug the knees in. Whew, that got the abdominals fired up.
Let’s do one more here, guys. Send those legs long. This is a combination of double leg stretch. So find that position, legs and arms come up, go back down circle and hug, up, down, hug. It’s almost like a little break when you’re here.
Stretch, scoop, stretch, hug. Four more. Up hug, three. (exhales deeply) Two, pull it all up. Take it around one more time.
There’s the double leg stretch and hug it all the way in and take a break. We’re gonna go right into a sideline series. So roll into one side. We’re not really relaxing those abdominals. We’re giving them a little bit of a break though.
So come on to your side, make a V position. I’m gonna actually come towards the front of my mat. You’ll see why. So scooch forward so you have room behind you. From here, stack the hips, stack the shoulders, top hand comes behind the head, top leg lifts up and back.
Now if you’re finding there’s a lot of mobility in the spine right here, a lot of movement, you can bend your bottom knee. See if that feels better, if you feel more stable. You can also lower your upper body down and onto the mat. (exhales deeply) Okay, so we’re not really giving those abdominals a break. You feel the obliques, yeah.
Five. (exhales deeply) Four. (exhales deeply) Three, two, and one. Now here we come into a combo series. So cross the ankles, squeeze those inner thighs.
This is why we moved forward on the mat. Scooch back or roll back until both hips are down on to the mat, then press up into your bottom hand, lift your arms, lift your legs, roll it back through and let’s do it again. Legs, one, two, three. Find the connection. Curl, hold, legs, one, two, three and our thighs, shh.
And take it back down two more. One, two, three, zip. And take it down, one more time. One, two, three, zip. And there’s that teaser guys.
See if you can hold it, stay here. Breathe, take the hands down. Center yourself for a series of V ups. So you come down to the elbow, shoot those legs on, bend your knees in. Option one, option two, float those hands and focus on that in, down in, down in.
Five, four, three, two, one. Feeling it, let’s do the other side. So come up onto your forearm. You have enough room to roll back when you’re ready to do it. I’m flexed in my feet, lifted through my side body, stacked.
Here we go guys, up and over. So finding that stability before we add in the combination. (exhales deeply) Up and over. (exhales deeply) Making that rainbow, feeling the obliques. Four more.
Three, two, one. Bring the legs together. So what makes me feel so much stronger in this exercise is that inner thigh connection. See if you can find it, roll back on your hips, both hips on the mat. Use the hand.
It’s not cheating to use the hand. Find your lift, come back onto the hip. Take that leg. One, two, three, zip. (exhales deeply) And up you go.
And one, two, three and roll and lift, and do it again, one, two, three press down, scoop and find that balance, two more times. Up, and then last time here, guys, save the best for last, three taps, find the inner thighs, lift up, chest to thighs. Hold it, center yourself up, V ups down on the elbows or if you’re looking for even more, add a twist as you come up. Opposite elbow to knee, down and up. Five (exhales deeply) four (exhales deeply) three (exhales deeply) two (exhales deeply) one.
(exhales deeply) Did I say we were giving the abdominals a break? Sorry, that was not accurate. All right, guys, let’s stand up. Come back into another Barre series. So meet me in a wide second position.
Let’s learn the positions we’re gonna use before we blend them together. So the first option we’re gonna use is actually second position. So that deep squat, you want the inner thighs to be rolling up, knees over baby toes, nice and low feet wide, rise to come up. Then we’re gonna go into first position. So slide, one foot in to meet the other, the heels connect on this and the feet are flat on the ground.
This is probably a smaller movement. You might not go so low. Rise to come up. Now that you know them, put them together. Step in, step in, step slide bend, up, in, again, pick the tempo that works for you.
Chest is open, big step out. Five, four, three, two, and hold it here. So we’re back in first position. I want the heels to come up and then you’re gonna step the heels together. If you wanna use something like a wall or a chair as a balance aid, now’s your time.
Bend into a plie, it doesn’t have to be low because we’re back into the abdominals, except now we’re standing up to work them. So scoop front hips to chest and release back to neutral. Scoop, release. The more you can connect your heels, the more stable you’re gonna feel. So really squeeze in, in and under, release, release.
So I’m thinking about doing that core work, but standing up instead of seated. Release. We’ve got four, three, two, one and rise. Come back to your wide second. That was awesome. Let’s practice that again.
So wide. We can really get down when those legs are apart. Rise, slide the other leg in, step the heels until the inner thighs connect. Small bend, rise and step back out. You’re ready to flow with me?
Down and in, out and in, big step out, lots of downs and ups, outside in and bend out and in. How you doing guys? Heart rate getting up? Definitely. Five, four, three, two and back into that first position.
Here we are in first, lift the heels, connect them. Come back into that plie. Remember squeeze the heels together. Hands on your hips. This time we’re gonna circle the hips.
So to circle the hips you have to contract your abdominals segmentally so you can tract one side, the front, the other side and your back body. See if you can feel that. Try to minimize the movement in your shoulders and head, maximize the movement in the hips. Reverse. (exhales deeply) Good work guys.
Three, two, and one. Rise all the way up, awesome. All right, here we are in our first position, flat feet, come down into a plie and meet me here. Reach your arms out to the side and reach one leg forward. I want you to lift your leg, using those abdominals, find your sea scoop.
(exhales deeply) Open it out to the side. Bring that leg back, lean into it. See if you can find a balance. Come back out to the side, into the sea scoop you go. (exhales deeply) Side, I’m in a flat back here.
Really reaching my leg behind me. You can always tap down in between. You can always keep the leg on the floor as well. Here we go. Reaching the leg back, finding the balance, scooping forward.
Three more. Reaching the leg back. Finding the balance, scooping the whole time my standing leg is bent and it is working, that’s for sure. Scoop, hold it here. Take your hands on your hips, bend your back knee.
You’re in an externally rotate position, both legs pulsing the back leg up, using the glute to lift. How’s it going? Squeezing, focusing on the up, not the down right glutes working. Five, four, three, two, one. Rise to come up, that was fun.
Let’s do the same thing on the other side. Well, it’s fresh in our memory. So find the plie first, leg and arm go out. So I just wanna remind you, when the leg comes forward, do your best to find that sea scoop. I think of double leg stretch, right?
So I’m holding that hollow body lever position. There’s my balance. As the leg comes back, I’m pitching forward. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Rise, balance, scoop, no tension in the neck.
(exhales deeply) Awesome. Long spine. Keep that spine long, tilt it forward out to the side. Bring it in front. Scoop it up. Good, out to the side, bring it back, tilt, out to the side, two more. And then we got some attitude.
That’s the name of the other exercise. Okay, guys. Send it back. Hold it here. Hands to the hips. Bend the knee. So just take a look at this leg.
Avoid internal rotation. Maximize external rotation. Lift the shape, like a diamond up, up, up up. Five, four, three, two, one. Yeah, let’s change focus.
Keep the abdominals alive. Bend into a plie. Send your arms out. Turn your thumbs up. We’re doing upper body.
You don’t need any weights. You’re gonna feel it. You pulse up with a thumbs up. You pulse up with the pinky finger up. Up, up, up, up you’re thinking shoulders down and back, up, up, ribs closed, we’re gonna be here a while.
So settle in, up and up. And if you really wanna use weights, go for it. Lightweights, do a lot here. So if you have toning balls or one pound weights, you can grab them. Four, three, two and one, hold pinky up position, press back.
And as you press back, avoid the chest leaning forward, avoid the ribs popping forward. Find that connection into your abdominals, maintain it and use your back muscles and back of your shoulders to press back. Almost there, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, burning yet? Two, one. Flip one palm up. Keep the other one back.
Soften that elbow a little bit, flip. The palm that’s facing back pushes back. Push, push, push. How are those ribs, closed? Yeah. Push, push, told you we are gonna be here for awhile.
Push back and back. I love this series because I do use weights resistance to work my arms and I’m always surprised how much I feel it when I use just gravity. Push, push back, back, we’ve got four, three, two, one. Open close. We are not done yet. Bring those elbows in and lift them up.
Bring those elbows up and up. In up, down open. So pulse once when the arms are forward, pulse once when the arms are open. Lift and open. I like to think of the arms as like a connection to or mirror of my abdominals.
So I’m really pulling my abdominals in, when my arms come in up, up, up, up, two more, up, up, one more, up hold. Now see if you can connect all terms, but don’t lose you. See if you can connect the forearms. Pulsing, pulsing, pulsing. Take it for 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
(exhales deeply) I have Noodlearms, let’s just call them Barre arms. All right, meet me back on the mat guys. Let’s go into some plank variations. So starting kneeling, spread those fingers nice and wide, rise up into a plank. From here, we’re gonna walk ourselves down, nice and slow.
Walking elbow, elbow. Now, since I started on my right, I’m gonna walk up on my right. Now, take it down on my left. Down, down. Since I started on my left, I’m gonna come up on my left.
You could do this with your knees down or up, down, down, up, up, down, down, up, up, down, down, up, up, down, down, up, up. We’re almost there. So walking it down, walking it up, two more, one more, hold. Knees could be down or knees could be up. Find a solid plank position rocking forward on the feet and back.
This should remind you of the Relevate we started with in the beginning of class. Squeeze your inner thighs. Keep your chest bone lifted, ribs closed, elbows soft. Five, four, three, two and one taking those knees down. Meet me in a side plank.
So take your forearm down to the mat, pivot on your feet and reach one arm up to the sky. The most important thing in this position, shoulder down, shoulder back, come through, stack those forearms and pause in a low plank. When you feel secure and ready in your shoulders, pivot and come over to the other side, you own the tempo, so go quick or go slow or play with it. Test your edge, thread, twist, lift, thread, twist, lift. It’s your back that’s holding you up.
So find that connection. One more. Hold it. Hand to the head. Give me 10 hip depths.
Lift up from underneath, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine other side, flip it around. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, back to plank, hold it. Squeeze your forearms together. Pull the abdominals in 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and rest. We did it.
All right, guys, let’s get back into those glutes. Take your forearms down, stack your forearms. Open your legs about the width of your mat wider than your hips. Bring your heels together. Feet or flexed, forehead can rest down to the mat for heel squeeze prone.
We’re going up, up, up. So it’s this externally rotated position of the femur and the bent knees and the heels squeezing that really helps to get us into our glute maximus, right? Find that hip extension, getting those side bones off the mat. Up, up, up, up. We’ve got five, four, three, two, one.
And lengthen it out. Amp strings working too. Now from here, stretch your legs really long on the mat. Lift the legs up nice and high. We’re gonna do two movements.
One is a beat, that’s when the heels connect, the other is a lift. So in, then up, in then up, in up legs are straight, abs engaged. In up, in up. Squeeze lift, four more here, stay with it, four, three, two, one. Press yourself up.
Nice. Meet me in four point kneeling. Knees underneath the hips. We’re gonna take one forearm down and this will remind you of that forearm plank position we were just in. So on the opposite leg to forearm back, lift it up and roll your shoulders open. Flex your spine as your knee comes in.
So I want to maximize the movement of the spine here. Find the long line, lift the leg up, look for it and then do it all over again. So this kind of is like our four point kneeling cat stretch here, and then it’s like a side plank meets quadrat head kneeling seat work here. Cap, seat work, scoop lift, scoop lift, five (exhales deeply) four (exhales deeply) three, two (exhales deeply) one (exhales deeply) Take the foot down. Meet me another plank.
We’re coming back here again, guys. So find that plank position. Scoop the belly in and up, this time it’s a knee coming in like a mountain climber in, in, in, in. Now there’s lots of different speeds. Go slow or go fast, come down onto the forearms if that feels better.
Five, four, three, two and one. Meet me with knees down. Good, we’re gonna do our other side. I’ll flip around so I can see you. So forearm is down.
I sort of placed my hand on my opposite hand so I feel connected to the ground, elbow under shoulder, knees under hips, send the opposite leg back, lift it, roll open. So this is like the side plank meets glute work. And then as the knee comes in, scoop, head down, navel up and then right back into that position, let’s go. In up, in up, in (exhales deeply) Nice guys. Not only is this an awesome time to work your glutes, but it feels good to open the front of the hips.
In kick, in kick. Five (exhales deeply) four (exhales deeply) three (exhales deeply) two (exhales deeply) one (exhales deeply) Place it down, rise up. Meet me back here. This time instead of doing knees to the chest, we’re gonna draw one knee across the body to opposite elbow. In, in, in, in.
(exhales deeply) Pushing the chest up, staying in the zone. Five (exhales deeply) four (exhales deeply) three (exhales deeply) two (exhales deeply) one. Done, probably could have had a more graceful way to get off the mat, meet me here. Okay, now we’re using the booty band. You’ve been wondering what we’re gonna use the booty band for.
Step through so the band is above your knees. Booty band, booty work. Finding a position with your legs, it’s a little bit wider than your hips. Come down into a low plie and then parallel. I’m gonna press out with the band two times, pulse down with my body too.
Are you ready? Out, out, down, down. Press, press, squat, squat. Good. Out, out, down, down.
Now by all means, if the pressing out is not challenging enough, take a wider stance. (exhales deeply) Press, press, pulse, pulse. Back is flat, chest is lifted. Three (exhales deeply) two (exhales deeply) one (exhales deeply) Up and back down we go. Sit, rise down, up.
You guys keep going from the side. I want you to see my hips are shifting back. Weighed into my heels, band stays top the whole time. Down, up, down up. Five (exhales deeply) four, three, get ready for hold it’s coming up in two, one.
Shift your weight onto one side. One leg is gonna tap out, out, out to the side. Lots of work in that stabilizing leg. Lots of work in that pressing leg. Five, four, three, two, right over to the other side, shift your weight, top it out.
Stay low. (exhales deeply) Hips are squared, tapping it out to the side. Five more, five high reps in this class, lots of reps. Two more. Step it out.
This time if you were standing in the middle of a box, you’re gonna tap to the back right corner, back, back. So it’s not directly behind me. Diagonal. (exhales deeply) Yep. Burning. Five, four, three, two, one.
Bring it in. Visualize the four corners of a box. Reach the back left corner. Back, back, back. Good, so that’s a diagonal back. Find that straight leg.
It feels like it lasts forever this series but it doesn’t, we’re almost there. And tap it back. Final five, four, three, two, one, rise. Yeah, let’s do some bridging. Don’t lose the band.
Lie down. Place your feet down underneath your knees. I want your feet wide enough, the band feels taut. Reach your arms up to the sky, lift. So do you remember that combo we did, two presses out, two lowers down?
Kind of like that, except we’re gonna go out for two, down and up for one, out for two, down and up. Press, press, dip, lift again, press, press, dip, lift, keep going. My hands are up to make it more challenging for me to stabilize my spine. So this exercise could be done with the hands down as well. Dip, lift, press, press dip, lift.
Two more, press, press dip, lift. One more, press, press dip, hold, squeeze, and roll your spine all the way down to the mat. Nice work guys. Bend your knees in. Take that band out for now.
You will see it again and come back into another bridge. Hips up nice and high. Find the hips up. Find the tail tuck, take one leg into table. As the hips drop down, the knees bent, when the hips lift up, the leg will kick up in opposition.
So think of this as a CanCan dancer, you’re ready? Kick, kick, kick, and kick. Lift, when you kick. Four, three, two, one. Cross the ankle, flex the foot.
Find a figure four. Nice little stretch for those glutes. Take that foot down. Keep your figure four hands behind the head. Lift and scoop.
When the hands are behind your head, give yourself that extra encouragement to lift up a little bit higher. Five, four, three, two and one. You’re gonna rock up, maintaining the figure four, popping right up into some tricep dips, down and out. You wanna shift your weight back over your arms. So this is an exercise that uses your own body weight.
So the more body weight you can have over your arms, the more you’re gonna work and tone those triceps. Four, three, two, one, take it down and roll it back. Alrighty, guys, send those hips up. I always like to pause when I’m in my bridge. It takes a second for me to really connect into my glutes.
Make sure my ribs are closed. Feel rooted into the ground. I wanna have that foundation before I increase the complexity by adding something with the single leg. Dip, as I lift, I kick like a CanCan dancer. Up (exhales deeply) Dip and kick, four, three, two, one flex, give yourself that little stretch, after all that booty band work, you deserve it.
Good, keep the shape. Hands behind the head, curl up. Instead of thinking of the abdominals shortening from the chest to the pelvis, think of the abdominals shortening from side to side. See if you can feel that in your body. So left to right coming in.
(exhales deeply) Four more, four, three, two, one maintain the shape, rock up little momentums, okay. Spread the fingers. Point them towards the hips and then down and up we go. So this is a lot of work, but it also is a nice opening for the muscles and the chest, little chest opening. Five, four, three, two, one and recover.
Good work guys. We’re gonna finish today’s class standing doing some plies. So meet me in that second position. You know it, you love it, you’ve been here before. Take those hands in prayer, bending down.
There’s that second position plie. As you rise, you’re gonna turn to one side, pivot the feet with you, drop it down. Come back through center. We’re gonna stay on that side, let’s go. Turn, center.
I didn’t mean to clap so loud. My mom told me I’m a very loud clapper and turn. Today’s my mom’s birthday. Happy birthday, mom from your loud clapping daughter and turn and turn. Four more, four, three, two, hold, lean into it.
Use the abdominals. Pull the back knee in, in, in. Keep that standing leg bent, in, in, in, five, four, three, two, one. Roll it open. Whew, other side.
Start slow, find your rhythm. Down first. Rise, pivot, drop the back knee. Keep your chest over your pelvis. Come back through center, let’s go.
Nice. And turn, turn. Drop it. Five more. Five, four, three, two, and one.
Lean into it. Bend the front knee. Pull the back knee. Quick movements. (exhales deeply) Eight seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
Whew, rise, that deserves a stretch. We’re gonna use our band to stretch. So from here guys, grab your band. You’re gonna take one foot through. You might not even need the band.
You might be able to just hold your foot, send the leg forward. Use the band, bend the knee a little and kick up. So a little hamstring stretch. Standing leg is straight, trying to be tall in my body, shoulders down and back. Maybe even leaning my chest forward or the sensation of leaning forward versus leaning back.
Three, two, one See if you can balance here, start to take the leg across your body for the IT stretch. Drop that hip. (exhales deeply) Nice. Take the leg open for the Inner Thigh stretch. Yeah, let’s do the same thing on the other side.
Remember we rarely feel the same left to right. Send the leg out. I like the band. I like pushing it into it. It reminds me of feet and straps, right?
Really pushing in or standing into the straps. Bend a little, kick. (exhales deeply) Push through your heel. Standing leg straight. Three, two, one.
Cross it, drop the hip. Nice. Bring it around. Trying to drop that hip, inner thigh stretch. Good.
Again, you may not need the band for the next one. Take the band behind you. Grab it. Give yourself a little tricep stretch and then bend away from the tricep. That’s being stretched, chest open.
Nice guys. Same thing on the other side. So I’m just grabbing it and I’m pulling down just enough, not too much. And then stretching and opening. Elbow open, chest open.
All right, we’re gonna finish with a standing roll down. So take your hands through the band. It’s pretty tight. It’s not meant to really push out, just enough to find some connection into your lats, reaching your arms up, pulling your shoulders down the back. Big breath in (inhales deeply) Exhale (exhales deeply) Sending that upper body down.
Keep some pressure in the band. Soft knees. Do it again. Big breath in, drop the chest, navel up, weight into your heels, rebuild. And then last one here, stretch up, pulling the shoulders back and down.
Getting long, diving down, soft knees, rebuild the spine, from all the way up. Guys, we made it. This is the last class in my “Pilates With Heart” series. Hopefully you’ve done them all and you’re gonna come back and do them again. Thanks for joining me.
See you soon.