Introduction to Pilates – Workout 7 | NHS

Hi, welcome to InstructorLive My name is Sam, and this is Introduction to Pilates

Big breath in to prepare I'm going to give you the side version We're gonna go straight into the roll down and we're going to nod the head to the chest Start to roll down one vertebrae at a time Assessing what's happening in the body

Using your abs At the bottom, take a big breath in Roll the shoulders, circle the arms Just loosen up a little bit and then rolling back up Remember squeeze those sitting bones together

Start to push the pelvis forward as you lengthen up tall, and two more We're going to roll through the spine, guiding and releasing the discs of the spine, and the hamstrings Just bend one leg and then bend the other leg Just releasing through and we're going to roll back up, re-stack the spine one vertebra at a time, and lengthening up tall Now just for the last one, so we get a little bit more of the glutes working because it's a really important muscle group for this movement, you're going to turn your feet out it's kind of like little ballerina legs

Big breath in to prepare Then we're going to try keep our inner thighs together as we nod the head, start to roll down one vertebra at a time Squeezing those inner thighs together, and then slowly rolling down to the mat At the bottom, take a big breath in and then keeping those inner thighs together, you're going to start to re-stack the spine Pushing the pelvis forward, getting that lovely glutes connection and lengthening up tall

So if you're finding that you're struggling to keep the inner thighs together, it just means that there's probably a bit of tightness happening around your hips So this helps to train that external rotation of the hip So opening up of the hips, as well as working those glutes a little bit Right Now, just shake out those legs

We're going to go down into some further stretches Big breath in to prepare and we're going to nod the head, rolling down one vertebra at a time At the bottom we're going to walk the hands forward, just so far that the heels lift off the floor Try not to collapse your head down, look up to your hands We're going to bend one leg, stretching through the back of the calf, and then change

Stretching through, and change Last change Straighten both of those legs Then you're going to lift up onto your toes, roll forward and come into a plank position So your hands should be underneath your shoulder joints, your pelvis shouldn't be collapsing

Keep that lift and then we're going to lift one leg off the mat Holding it there Head lifted Breathing for another three seconds Two

One Lower that leg down Other side Abs drawing in, lift the leg Holding five

Four Keep the flow of oxygen going, and two One Lower the leg, drop the knees down Come off those wrists and get a good stretch there

Breathing into the back of the ribcage Really good exercise to do for those of you who want to strengthen up their core and then coming up into a four-point kneeling position Let's release a little bit more through the body, and we're gonna go into some threading the needle which we've done in previous sessions So we're going to start again from the base of the spine We're going to squeeze those glutes

Tilt the pelvis, scoop up into a lovely cat stretch Then bending one elbow Take the other arm, thread through Rest the shoulder onto the floor Getting a lovely stretch in rotation

Then the hand that's on the mat you're going to push up and then open hand to the ceiling on the other side, and release back down Other side Scooping up and threading through as far as you can Warming up those oblique muscles Big breath in and then coming up to the ceiling on the other side, and release back down

Now let's get a little bit more into those legs So, we're going to open one leg out to the side Placing the heel on the floor, toes to the ceiling Same hand reaches up Get that lovely opening of the chest

Keeping that leg and foot in that position, you're going to thread the arm through Now you won't get the shoulder all the way down but you'll get a lovely inner thigh stretch, and then coming up Whoops, I've got a hair over my face, and then coming up to the ceiling, and release back down Right, over to the other side Foot on to the heel, toes to the ceiling

Same hand reaches up, stretching through Keep the foot in that position as you thread the arm through So those of you who get really tight in those inner thighs – really good stretch to practice Hand comes back up to the ceiling and releasing back down Now we're going to do opposite arm and leg glides

we've done this before too Now we're going to take a deep breath in to prepare Check you've set your shoulders up, so you're not scrunched up to the ears You're lifting up through the chest and drawing the abs into the spine Now, opposite arm and opposite leg hover off the mat and you want to make sure that you're still keeping a level pelvis

Remember that alignment is really important in Pilates Then open the arm and leg out to the side Close back to centre and release back down Other side, and opposite arm and leg extend out Abs drawing in

Careful you're not collapsing on the other shoulder as you open the arm and leg out to the side, and then bringing it back and release back down Let's do a couple more each side Breathing out to lengthen and stretch Open out to challenge that stability a little bit Closing back and release to the mat

Other side Breathing out Breathing in Breathing out, and breathing in Once more each side

Lengthening through Opening out Hopefully the more of these we do, the more stable you feel in that position Open Close and release back down

Sit back off those wrists, just give them a bit of a breather You can give them a bit of a circle if you'd like In one direction and then circling in the other direction, and then coming back into four-point kneeling Now we're going to go and do a little bit of a progression of what we've been doing in the introduction classes So, just have a look at me first as we do this exercise

So I'm going to extend the opposite arm and leg out Now, we're going to open out to the side again as before but this time, and I want you to focus on trying to keep the alignment of the bent leg, as you sit back and circle your leg to the side and then bring the leg back Release back down I'll demonstrate it again It's opposite arm and leg out open to the side

Now you're going to sit back onto that foot that's on the floor, as you circle the leg around and then come back and release back down Now you might not actually have the flexibility to get that straight leg all the way around, so just do what you can and try sit down, even if it's just a few centimetres, and then bring yourself back up So we want to just challenge the stability and the control a little bit more while working that alignment as well So coming into this position, don't worry if you can't get it first time Does take a bit of practice

So, lift up through the chest Big breath in to prepare We're going to extend opposite arm and leg out Then open to the side Now, leaning backwards, bringing the straight leg as far forward as you can

Keeping that alignment of the other leg Bring it back and release back down Other side So it's good to progress and challenge the body when you're exercising Especially after all these sessions, you should hopefully be getting a little bit more used to movements that we've been practicing

So I just wanted to add a little extra on to that So let's do once more each side Opposite arm and leg extend, and then lengthening back Bring it forward and release down Breathing out

Breathing in Breathing out Breathing in and release back down Well done! Let's circle those wrists around Just loosening up any tension there

In both directions Little reverse stretch, pull it in Give it a bit of a release and give it a good shake Right, let's go down onto our backs Hugging the legs into the chest and getting a really good stretch out there

Breathing in Draw the knees into the chest and then breathing out to release Last one Big breath in and then big breath out Place your feet down onto the floor, arms by your side

Now we're going to go into shoulder bridge and I want you to focus on keeping the alignment of the pelvis nice and level, not twisting in the back, and then the knees stay over those toes So, we're going to tilt the pelvis, lifting up onto our shoulders Then we're going to pick the arms up to the ceiling and then keeping that level pelvis, you're going to pick one leg up into tabletop and we're going to hold it there for 10 seconds Focusing really on the alignment and maintaining that posture, and breathing For another seven

Six Five Four Three Two

One Slowly lower that leg down Check the pelvis is level Other side and, hovering up into tabletop Holding there for ten

Squeezing and working that glute of the leg that's on the floor, and another five Four Three Two One

Lower that leg down Ripple back down to the mat and hug the legs into the chest Circle them around, just loosening up the hips a little bit Okay, now let's go into those abs So now remember, we've got down lovely neutral pelvis, that rested position of the pelvis with the natural gap under the lower back, but it's not a forced arch, it's just a released and relaxed pelvis

Ribcage is still anchored to the mat, hands come underneath the head Shoulders away from the ears, elbows up into your side line view Then, we're going to slide the ribcage along the abdominal platform, keeping the ribs locked to the mat Lifting the shoulders Sorry I'm just adjusting my wire there

Don't do the little wobbly lift I just did, and we're going to hold it in that position Check that those hip flexors, those little muscles that come over the front of the hip bones, aren't gripping They should be nicely relaxed in this position Then breathing in, we're going to lower the head and shoulders back down Breathing out, curling back up

Inhale to go back, exhale to slide back up Now remember, each time you come, up you want to keep that lovely flat full length of the abs You don't want to be shortening by an imprint of that back Try keep it as naturally in neutral as possible, and last one Breathing in and breathing out

Now holding in that position, we're going to extend the arms in line with those hips Pick one leg up to tabletop, pick the other leg up to meet it Now we're going to keep in that abdominal curl and extend one leg as you open the arms to the side, and then close it back Breathing out and breathing in If you find it's too much on the neck at this stage and need the hand support, just do the legs

That's fine but for my purposes, I'm just going to do this for another three each side Breathing out Breathing in Breathing out Breathing in

Remember when you extend that leg, don't go too low if you know you can't hold the weight of the leg Hands come back behind the head Lower one leg down, then the other and release back down So those abs should feel nice and warm now You can roll your head from one side then to the other side, just to release that neck

Okay let's go a little bit more now into the oblique muscles, which are the muscles that wrap around the rib cage Okay, this time we're going to keep our feet on the floor Take a big breath in to prepare Find your neutral pelvis, do a bit of a tilt and a wiggle just to get there, and then you're going to keep that position of the pelvis as you lift and twist to one side Hold it there

Check that opposite hip hasn't lifted off the floor, then lower back down We're going to do another five to the same side So we're going to breathe out to twist, breathe in to lower Each time you come up, make sure that you're maintaining a neutral pelvis You're not bringing your pelvis towards your chest

Remember you're going up onto your abs, not your abs coming down to you if that makes sense, and last one Breathe out to lift Breathe in to lower back down Right, let's see how the other side is doing Big breath in to prepare

Then breathing out, lift and twist, and back Remember not to pull on the head as you do the twist Always keep a gap underneath the chin and elbows wide, and another three Breathing out Breathing in

Keep the pelvis still Two, and last one! Lift and twist, and release back down to that mat Right, let's lengthen the arms and legs out Big breath in, stretching across those abdominal muscles and the front of the body, and then bring the arms down Now we're going to roll onto our tummy

I want to cover all ranges today So remember how we set our pelvis up Now we've been trying to maintain that natural curve of the lower back when we've been lying on the back Now we're going to lie on the tummy and we want to flatten out that lower back So we need to change the position of the pelvis a little bit to do that

So, we're going to tilt the pelvis, dropping our imaginary tail between our legs to the mat, so the abs lift off the floor Hands come underneath the head, shoulders are relaxed away from the ears Then we're going to push up onto our ribcage Now in this position, do you feel that you've lost your abs? Have you just collapsed and reverted back to that sunken-in lower back? If not, that's great but if so, readjust your pelvis so you've got that support for the lower back Now we're going to do some salutes into double arm lifts okay? So we're going to salute one hand up to the eyebrow, lifting a whole arm and elbow off the floor, and then lower back down

Other side Breathing out to salute, breathing in to lower Make sure that when you're doing the salute, what is happening in the bottom half of the body? Don't let the pelvis rock off the mat as you do the exercise Keep it anchored in the centre, and down Breathing out and breathing in, and lift, and lower

Once more each side When we lift the arm, we're working the upper and mid back Whole time keeping the head and shoulders off that floor, and then release back down to that mat Now we're going to lift both arms off the floor while they're glued onto the head So, abs drawing in, set the pelvis up first

It's all about set up in Pilates so that you can get the most out of your movements in a very safe way So a big breath in to prepare You're going to glue the hands onto the head and lift the whole shape up So we're loading the back muscles with the weight of the upper body, and we going to hold it there for five seconds Building up the strength, building up the endurance of the muscles

Keep breathing, remember we talked about breathing into the sides of the ribcage, and then release back down Big breath in, and we're going to do one more set Breathing out, lift the whole shape up and holding it there Assess what's happening in the body Don't come up too high that you can't keep the abs into the spine, and keep the shoulders relaxed

Breathing into it and release back down Well done! Coming up Sitting back over those legs Bring your arms down to your side and just get a lovely stretch Take a really big breath in to stretch out all those back muscles, and as you breathe out you should feel the whole body just gets really nice and comfortable and really relaxed in that position

Okay, let's go into the side of the body We're going to bring our bottom hand underneath our head I am going to just adjust my microphone so I don't crush it Okay So legs are bent

Hips are beautifully stacked Ribs are tucked in Abs are engaged into the spine Now we're going to straighten the top leg Flex the foot and we're going to lift and circle around for ten

Nine Eight Keeping that stability and posture of the rest of the body while the leg moves and does what it needs to do, and I've lost count as usual So we're going to change direction Going ten

Nine Get the leg behind you – when it goes back, that's when it connects into the glute so you want to make sure that you're getting that connection, not just flipping your leg around like that, and another three Two One, and release back down Give it a bit of a rub and a smack if you need to

Okay, right Keeping your legs bent, we're now going to do a lifted clam So you're going to lift both of your feet up and then flex your feet, open up the top knee and then lower the top knee back down We're going to do ten of those Nine

Eight Working into the sides of the glutes, opening up those hips and another five Four Three Two, and one

Keep your knees apart So imagine you've got a stick between your knees, your bottom knee stays on the floor and you straighten the legs Bring the feet back together Breathing out Breathing in, and let's do another five

Four Three Two, and last one Release back down You should have felt those legs and glutes working really well there

Let's straighten the legs along the mat and we're going to go into the inner thigh So we'll do this version where you place your foot on the floor, knee pointing to the ceiling of the top leg If you find it's a bit too awkward for you, you're more than welcome to rest your knee down on to the floor or even onto a cushion, but the bottom leg is the one we're working, so we're going to lock the knees, flex the foot and we're going to lift the leg up Release back down, and ten Nine

Eight Seven Six Five Four

Three Two, and one, and release back down Okay Right, let's go over to the other side Make sure that we're nice and balanced

Bottom hand underneath the head, legs are bent Sorry I've got so many pigtail hair issues today ha Right So Bottom hand underneath you, hips are nicely set, ribs are engaged

We're going to now straighten the top leg, flex the foot and we're gonna go into leg circles for ten Nine Opening up the hip, testing the range of the hip and really working into the legs and glutes, all the while maintaining the stability with those abdominals, and last one in that direction, and change direction Going ten Nine Eight

Seven Six Five Four Three

Two One, and release back down Okay Right, lifted clams We're going to lift both feet up, open up the top knee and release back down

For ten Nine Eight Seven Six

Five Four Three Two, and one Keep those knees apart so you're not dropping them as you straighten the legs and open

Bottom leg touches the floor, other leg diagonally to the ceiling and bring it back Breathing out and breathing in for another seven Six Five Four

Three Two, and one and release back down Well done! Give it a good rub there just to get the blood flowing and then straighten those legs Top leg is bent, with the knee to the ceiling if possible Bottom leg is straight

Lock the knee, flex the foot and lift and lower, working the inner thigh Another eight Seven Six Five

Four Three Two, and one, and release back down Well done! Coming onto your back, let's stretch out those legs and glutes Opposite ankle over opposite knee

Making sure you're nice and comfortable in the shoulders Then grabbing your other leg, drawing it into the chest and getting a nice deep stretch Breathing into it and each time you breathe out, try to draw the legs a little bit closer to the body Just deepening the stretch and then slowly release back down Over to the other side, and drawing the leg in

Big breath in Getting a nice deep release Noticing if one side's a little bit tighter than the other Always hold your tighter side for longer to get that nice deep release that it needs, and then slowly making your way up into a sitting position Right, so you have your legs in front of you

Wiggle your bum cheeks a little bit so that you're on the front of those sitting bones Then you're going to, if you can, reach your toes That's great Don't worry if you can't, you can always hold onto the tops of the legs, but we're going to lift up through the chest and then fold over those legs Getting a lovely stretch through the back of the legs, maybe into the back as well

You can use the floor for support Breathing into it If you find your very unflexible, then you're more than welcome to get a little bit of height underneath the bottom with a few cushions, or a block, or a footstool, or something like that, just because that will help you get a little bit more flexibility, and then slowly coming up into standing Right, so shake out the legs Get them back into parallel

So hopefully over the series you've noticed you're starting to pick up a few little things Breathing might not be as confusing as it was in the first session and you'll see how the body actually moves and works with the breath, as well as trying to find those little details in your alignment, in the structure and how you place things, and that's where you really start to understand the beauty of Pilates because you start to understand the more flow and movement that you get when you set things up correctly, and are aware of what's happening in the body as you do exercise Okay, so let's finish up with the roll down Big breath in to prepare As we breathe out we're going to nod the head, roll the shoulders, abs drawing in

Slowly lowering down to the mat At the bottom, you can walk the knees Do whatever release work feels good and then straighten the legs, start rolling up as you push the pelvis forward, and then lengthening up nice and tall Big breath in, arms reach up and circle round Shrug the shoulders up to the ears and then drop them back down

Big breath in and big breath out Thanks very much for joining me I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and I'll see you next time

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