Introduction to Pilates – Workout 4 | NHS

Hi, welcome to InstructorLive! My name is Sam and this is Introduction to Pilates We're going to need something comfortable to lie on so you can see your screen

If you need a drink of water during the session, and also if you have any questions, just type them in and I'll answer them as they come in, okay? So let's start off with a little bit of a warm-up We'll start with one leg forward, one leg back Keeping our hips facing forward and then we're going to just lift the back heel up so that we're balancing on our toes Then we're going to just, abs drawing in, you're going to just lean forward Getting a little bit of a stretch through that front leg

Breathing into it and then coming up Bend both knees Again, keeping a nice straight back So we're gonna do a few like that We're going to straighten the legs, abs drawing in, leaning forward

Just stretching through, and then coming back and then bending the legs Focusing on your alignment We've been talking about alignment for the past couple of weeks, and then coming back Bend the knees lifting up Once more, leaning forward

Coming up, straight back as you go down, and then changing legs So again, keeping that alignment of the pelvis You don't want to be twisting it to the side, you want to keep it forward Lift the back heel up and then you're going to lean forward Stretching the back of the front leg, and then coming back and you're going to bend both knees, and then coming up

So this is gonna work a little bit on your balance, a little bit on your control Trying to keep that alignment We've been talking about posture, alignment and core stability Today, we're really going to be working on our stability and our balance So we're just warming up a little bit there, and last one

Leaning forward, coming back up, bending both knees, and then coming up and standing forward Give the legs a bit of a shake if you need to Let's warm up a bit We're going to take one hand, reach it up to the ceiling and we're going to side bend over Opening up the side of the body

Breathing into it and then coming up and lengthening tall Other side Big breath in and big breath out and then coming back up Let's roll the shoulders We're gonna do some nice balance work, working into the upper body today

So we're gonna make sure we're nicely warmed up We're gonna take it into an arm circle Big breath in, arms lift up and circle back Breathing in and breathing out Two more, and just really opening up that range through the shoulders and link the hands behind the back

I'll give you the side version We're going to lift the arms up and then sighing forward Breathing into the stretch and then slowly coming back up, and just give those legs, your legs, your arms a little bit of a shake Okay Right, so we're gonna work on our balance today

It's really important to get a sense of stability, especially when working in Pilates So we're going to go through a series of different positions and then we're going to try focus on that concept today So, let's get into a nice standing posture, and I want you to, because obviously with balance it's about learning how to distribute your weight in the correct way So, we're going to just have a feel in our feet now as you're standing there Do you feel your weight sitting more on the outside of the feet or on the inside of the feet? A little bit more into the toes or a bit too much into the heels? Try find a point where you can get the whole foot even across both feet and that's kind of where we want to work towards

Now, we're going to draw the abs in Abs are really important for the stability of the whole body So we're going to now lift one foot up into tabletop We're going to open the leg out to the side, close back to centre and then release back down Other side

So draw the abs in to your centre Lifting up Open to the side, closing back and release back down, and two more each side Just getting used to balancing on one leg and then we're gonna take it up into a little bit more Lifting the leg, open out and back to centre

Right Now we're going to add a little bit of rotation So we're going to reach the arms up, relax the shoulders from the ears Abs drawing in, picking one leg up into tabletop Now we're going to rotate towards that lifted leg

Keeping the shoulders again Still relaxed Trying not to lean backwards Coming back to centre Release back down

Other side and hovering the leg up, rotating around Keeping that bent knee pointing forward and release down Once more each side, and abs drawing, in rotating around So balance has a lot to do with how well you can connect into your centre Okay? So you want to think about drawing the abs in and then moving from your centre to try keep your stability as much as possible

Coming back to centre, release back down Now I'm going to give you the side version If your mat's quite squidgy and you'd prefer to go a little bit onto a soft harder surface then please do and again whenever you need to use your hand for support, you're more than welcome to, on a chair or a wall, but this is actually there to design to challenge your balance So We're going to start with our hands on the hips, or out to the side, whatever feels most comfortable for you

Reach the back leg behind you and we'll slowly ease into it So we're going to just like we did in the warmup We're going to lean forward, then slowly you're going to lift the back leg and lower back down Let's try that again If you're really feeling a bit wobbly, you can try bend that leg that's going to be on the floor to give you a bit more control

So it's lift the leg, working into that glute, and release back down, and breathing out, breathing in Let's do another four like that and one Back Abs draw in to lift that leg up and two Last one

You're going to lean a little bit more forward Lift that back leg and you're going to balance there on one leg Ideally for 10 seconds Focusing on a still point in front of you, let the little ankle wriggle around just to find its alignment It might be quite wobbly and then release back down

So that can be quite exhausting for the leg that's still on the floor, but what it's doing is, is it's trying to find the alignment, the best alignment to distribute the weight to get the most out of your balance So it's really good for those of you who've had knee or ankle issues too Right, so let's do the other side Again, one leg goes forward Leaning forward, arms out to the side, then you're going to lift the leg and bring it back down

We're going to do six like that So, my top's hanging quite heavy but my abs are drawing into my spine, and breathing out to lift, breathing into lower Try keep your pelvis nice and level so you're not twisting like that with, ooh, you see! The minute you twist, you lose your balance as I've just proved So you want to keep both hip bones facing forward, and lifting the leg and back Remember, for a bit more control you can bend that leg

Breathing out and breathing in Two more Breathe out breathing in Last one So get yourself quite horizontal to the mat and we're going to lift that leg up

Balancing there for ten! Nine! Eight! Seven! Six! Five! Four! Three! Two! One, and release back down Give the legs a good little shake up Right let's go a little bit more now, where I want you to really focus on the stability but using your abs okay? So give your legs a bit of a shake, let's stretch them up now quickly Knees together, sorry, knees together, abs drawing in Pushing the pelvis forward a little bit

Use hand support if you need it, and then changing over to the other side Stretching through and then give it a good shake Right, so we're going to do a roll down Just to warm up the spine and then we're gonna do some stability using our abs and our upper body So

Standing at the back of your mat We're going to nod the head to the chest, roll through the shoulders one vertebra at a time Shifting your weight into your toes Think about how you're, obviously as you're going down to the mat, your weight is coming forward and above the toe, so what has to catch it? Your toes Your heels should still be touching, but your weight should be balanced in the front of those toes

Then you're going to just roll the shoulders, you can walk the knees Alternating, just releasing the pelvis a little bit, and then squeeze the gluts Start to restack the spine Again, thinking about the alignment of the spine and lengthening up tall Last one

Rolling through the spine, through your centre line, down towards that mat Now, walking your hands forward of the body I'm just, so I don't, I'm going to tuck it in so I look a little bit neater, okay, and coming into a lovely plank position Now again, we've spoken about alignment in previous sessions Your hands should be underneath your shoulders

Now we're going to lift one leg off the mat and we're going to do leg circles If you find it's too much holding the full plank, especially if this is your first time doing Pilates, you're more than welcome to rest your knee down and work like that I'll leave it up to you how much you want to challenge yourself Otherwise lift one leg up and we're going to circle for five Four! Thinking about keeping a level pelvis so you're not wobbling all over the place, and then lower that leg down

Check your pelvis is level Lift the other leg up and circles for five! Four! Three! Two! One! Lower the leg down to the mat Sit off those wrists and get a good stretch there Breathing into it Okay coming into four-point kneeling

This is a really good position to start practicing your core stability Okay, so we're going to do a series of movements We'll start off by breaking the movement down so we'll start by setting ourselves up, lifting up through the chest, abs drawing in Then we're going to lift one arm off the mat

Make sure that you haven't collapsed down onto the other shoulder Then open the arm, circle it behind you Back above the head and release back down, and other side Lengthening up above the head, open circle round Keeping a nice flat pelvis and a flat back and then bringing it back down

So fairly easy hopefully? Otherwise we're going to now go into the legs So we're lifting one leg up Check that you're not twisting in your pelvis, both hip bones are facing that mat Open the leg to the side, close it back to centre and then you're going to bring the knee into the chest So as you go into a bit of a curve with your spine and then lengthen the leg back out and release back down

So when you're doing that curve, you're working into those abs Other leg So extend the leg out, pelvis is nice and level, abs are drawing in We're going to open the leg to the side without losing the alignment of the pelvis Back to centre, then rounding the spine, bringing the knee into the chest as high as you can and then lengthen the leg back out and release back down

Right, now we're going to combine those exercises Challenge the balance a little bit more So lift up, set yourself up first Draw your abs into the spine, into your centre Then we're going to extend opposite arm and opposite leg out

Now holding in this position, check you're not twisting in your pelvis You're lifting your chest up so you're not collapsing on the other shoulder Open the arm and leg out to the side and then back to centre Release back down Other side, and opposite arm and leg extend

Open, close and release back down Now we're going to add that little curve of the spine too So, opposite arm and leg extend Open out to the side, back to centre Then rounding the spine, bring the knee into the chest, elbow to hip and then extend back out and release back down

Other side, and opposite arm and leg extend Keep the chest lifted, open to the side Closing back, rounding the spine; knee to chest,elbow to hip and then lengthening through and release back down Walk your hands over to one side Give those wrists a bit of a break

Getting a nice side stretch there Coming up over to the other side and sitting back Right, coming into four-point kneeling again Now we're going to go a little bit more so see how you go with this We want to just break it down again

We'll start with a cat stretch into a threading the needle stretch which looks like this You're going to round the spine up so this is a cat stretch Bend one elbow, take your other arm, thread through and rest the shoulder on to the floor just to get that feedback from the floor Breathing into the stretch then with the other hand, you're going to push into the mat Lift up hand to the ceiling on the other side and release back down

So, other side Rounding the spine, abs drawing in and threading through as far as you can Shoulder onto the floor Big breath in, and then coming up hands to the ceiling, and release back down Now, we're going to add on to that

So We're going to now take a deep breath in We're going to extend opposite arm and opposite leg out If you find that this is too much, you might fall over, don't worry though You hopefully won't break anything

It's not very far to fall but it's a really good test of how balanced and how stable you are So you're going to open the arm and leg out to the side In fact I'll change sides so that I can look at you for the first one You're going to open up to the side, then you're going to bend the elbow of the arm that's on the floor Take your hand like threading the needle but without resting your shoulder and your hand on the floor, so you're hovering off the mat and then coming up

Hand to the other side Keep that leg lifted and release back down So it's a real challenge to do this exercise but a really good exercise to practice to start improving that core stability So let's do the other side Opposite arm and leg extend out

Pelvis is level Open out to the side, bend the other elbow, abs drawing in Only go through as far as you can keep the shoulder and arm off the floor and then come up, hand to the ceiling and release back down Let's do once more each side, and breathing out to extend Breathing in to open, breathing out to thread through

Hovering off that mat and then coming up on the in-breath and release back down Last one on the other side Extending out Open to the side and threading through and back up and release back down Well done

Let's circle those wrists Just releasing any tension there It can be a bit much on the wrists if you're not used to it but it does help to strengthen them up If you've got wrist issues, you can always try to do them on the forearms instead Okay, right let's lie down onto our back

Hug the legs into the chest, making sure we're getting a lovely little releasing stretch there Breathing in as you draw the legs into the chest and then breathing out just to release them away Let's do two more like that Just warming up those backs Breathing in and breathing out

Last one Bring them in to the chest and then release back down onto that mat So we're going to now work a little bit into the stability of the pelvis area now So we've done a bit of upper body work, now we're going to go a bit lower down the body Arms will start down by our sides

It's really important, whenever doing balance and stability work, that you start really focusing on your alignment That's why we've done it in the previous sessions So I want you to really focus on keeping your feet in line with your knees and your arms by your side We'll start with a pelvic tilt So it's tilt the pelvis and then coming up, so you're resting onto your shoulders

Let's warm up Take a big breath in, arms come above the head and then sighing back down, one vertebra at a time, releasing the tailbone and bring the arms back down Let's do two more like that We're going to tilt the pelvis Peel up onto the shoulder – so this is called 'shoulder bridge' or 'ab prep one' because you're actually warming up the abs, they're controlling the movements of the spine back down to the mat, and then bring the arms back down

Now we're going to start with our arms on the floor and then we're gonna add a little bit more of a challenge in a sec with the bringing the arms up to the ceiling So we'll start by tilting the pelvis, lifting up onto our shoulders Pop your hands on your hips and just check that they're level so you're not dropping or twisting in the lower back, you're keeping a nice level pelvis Then slowly picking one leg up into tabletop You're going to straighten the leg, bend the leg, release back down

Just so you're getting used to this movement, we're going to pick the leg up and then extend the leg, bend it back, release back down The whole time keeping your pelvis level If you found that was easy enough, you can try giving yourself a bit of a challenge with the hands to the ceiling So picking one leg up to tabletop, straightening the leg, bending it back and release back down Other side

Abs drawing and squeeze those glutes, and extend Bring it back and release back down Now keep the pelvis lifted, unless of course you do need a break, but we're going to now work a little bit more into our coordination which also very important in your balance and stability work So we're now going to lift one leg up to tabletop Now as you extend the leg, you're going to open the arms out to the side

Lift the pelvis so you're keeping it level Then close and release the leg down Other side, and breathing in to lift the leg Breathing out to straighten the leg and open the arms and then closing it back Release back down

We're going to do two more each side, and lift and open Squeeze the pelvis up with those gluts to the ceiling Breathing in, breathing out, breathing in and breathing out Last one each side Lift! Keep the alignment of the other leg, don't let it wobble around

You want to really maintain that control and that stability Squeeze the gluts before you lift the leg; so you've got the support for the weight of the pelvis and then release back down to the mat Hug the legs into the chest Get a nice little stretch there So, as you've noticed in most of the exercises, I'm talking a lot about maintaining ab connection into the spine, and you'll notice it, as we move on to the side, how important it is to keep that connection into your centre

If your abs aren't engaged and your centre's not stable, you're gonna find all other movements with the rest of the body are going to be quite a challenge So that's why we have so much emphasis on our centre in Pilates So Let's come into side lying, resting the head onto the bottom arm You want to draw your abs into the spine, so it's a feeling of kind of flattening against the spine and drawing your belly button towards your centre

Now you're going to bend your bottom leg and now this is gonna help with your stability a little bit If you want a bit of a challenge, you can do it with a straight leg, otherwise bent leg for now Now we're going to hover the top leg up, flex the foot So we're going to be doing leg circles Just a simple movement, just to kind of warm up those stability muscles in the body and then change direction of the circle

Just five in each direction I want you to get used to the movement of moving weight, essentially so your leg Now, keeping that leg up, we're going to really challenge the stability of the pelvis So it's going to come in the form of drawing a big figure eight and then a horizontal eight So a vertical eight and a horizontal eight

So what this does is, if you lift and circle, lower and circle, forward, circle, back, circle There's lots of ranges of movement going through the pelvis with the weight of that leg so you need to be able to stabilize and keep that nice foundation for the movement to move from your abs I'm not sure if that made sense, made sense in my mind but let's do another two more like that Big movements! So get the leg up Circle down, circle forward, circle back, circle

Keeping the whole time, the pelvis nice and stable So you're not moving the whole body as that leg moves, and then holding the leg there, you're going to now straighten the bottom leg and then squeeze the bottom leg to meet the top leg If you're finding you're really wobbly, pop your hand back down, otherwise hand to the ceiling Lower the bottom leg, squeeze the bottom leg to meet it We're doing a little bit of stability exercises as well as working the inner thighs and glutes, and we're going to do another five! Four! Again, balance has a lot to do with alignment so you should be feeling this in your waistline, your gluts, and your inner thighs

Squeeze up and release back down Make sure you're getting your whole bottom thigh off the mat Trying to maintain that side alignment, and two more cos I've lost count as usual One more! Hold it there Now, we're going to bring one leg forward of the body, one leg back and change! Change! We're gonna do ten slowly and then ten quickly to really work into that stability, that core control

So now we're managing to focus, we're managing to move If you still need the hand support that's fine but I want you to really think about drawing your abs into your centre and last slow one! Then we're gonna take it a little bit faster so we've really got to work a bit harder to maintain that control So it goes, Ten! Nine! Eight! Seven! Six! Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Hold it there! Did we manage to hold that balance? Hopefully yes, and then release back down Bend the top leg and just give it a little bit of a rub there Okay, let's come up

Stay facing me, swing yourself around to the other side So we're going to start with the leg circles, bottom hand underneath the head Bottom leg you can keep it bent Top leg, we're going to just do some circles, getting used to this side You may find one side feels a little bit more balanced than the other

Change direction That's perfectly normal, sometimes people do have a stronger side so it's easier for them to connect into their centre from one half of the body compared to the other Now we're going to go into that lovely pelvic stability exercise where we're going to do a normal figure eight, then into a horizontal figure eight So essentially an infinity sign if you know what that symbol looks like, and we're going to do another five So lift, circle, lower, circle, big movements so that you're really testing the stability as well as the range of that hip, and another three

Lift, lower, forward and back The whole time drawing the abs into the spine, working into those bum muscles, also very important for pelvic stability, and then keeping that leg hovering up Now you're going to straighten the bottom leg, squeeze it up to the top leg If you need the hand support, pop it down Otherwise hand to the ceiling, lower the leg

Lift it back up Breathing in and breathing out, and we're going to do another eight! Seven! Six! Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Hold it there! Then the forward and back movements; one leg forward, one leg back Slowly to start, and three! Four! Five! Breathing out, breathing in, breathing out So you're always breathing out as you change the legs, and another three! Two! One! We're gonna speed that up last ten, and one! Two! Three! Four! Draw the abs in! Six! Seven! Eight! Nine! Ten! Hold it there, and then release back down Okay, slowly making your way up into standing

So we covered a few positions in today's session and we just started off really basic because it's really important to understand the concept of balance, because when you understand the concept of balance, you understand how things need to be in alignment, how they need to be placed in your body so that you get the most control and support through your movements So I'll see you all next week you

Chris Lindstrom Jersey