June 11 Pilates Workout

– Hello there, this is Neela Forzisi with Principled Pilates, and thank you for joining me in our little 30 minute Pilates workout So, let's go ahead and get started

I'm just gonna turn to the side of my mat, because I would like us to start with a roll-down So my feet are about hips-width apart I'm gonna soften my knees, try not to just push your kneecaps back like that Pull your abs in, let your arms dangle Bring the arms up, nod your chin, bend your knees and your ribcage, and just rag down so you're stretching the spine all the way to the floor

And while I'm down here, I'm just gonna hold opposite elbows here and I'm just gonna do a little sway with the shoulders, which is also gonna move my hips, and just kinda get everything all loose and ready to go And then I'll go ahead and let my arms dangle I'm gonna push into the heels of my feet, tighten my belly, and use my glutes and hamstrings to roll myself back up, stacking the shoulders over the hips And then again, I'm gonna bring my arms up, and as I exhale, I'm gonna soften my knees, nod my chin, round down, and really you can see how I'm rounding through my mid-back and I'm rounding through my low back And then I'm gonna come all the way down, keep bending the knees, and come into an all-fours position

So I would like you to try to focus on keeping your low back from either rounding or tucking or tilting or, worse, arching So just have a nice straight back, roll your shoulders back Look out through the tops of the eyeballs and relax the shoulders from the ears and pull the abs in On your inhale breath, go ahead and tilt your pelvis and open up your collarbones Feel that spinal extension occur, and then as you exhale, from your tailbone, curl under, pull your belly in, round up your back and let your head dangle

Now from here, I'm just gonna shift my weight onto the hands I'm gonna curl my toes, and I'm gonna lift my knees off and it's firing my abdominals, and that's kinda what we wanna do, right? Wake everything all up? And then I'm gonna go ahead and set the knees down, sit back into our rest pose, shake out my hands a little bit, and then I'm gonna lie down on my back with my knees bent They are again hips-width apart Arms are by my side Now usually when we start laying down on our back, we tilt our pelvis, right? So I want you to think of lengthening your pelvis away from you

That might cause your ribcage to arch, so in order to accommodate that, imagine folding these ribs in so that your mid-back on your mat or your floor connect And, if you level your pelvis and close your ribs, your whole abdominal wall is fired up and ready to go And if you were to flip me over on my hands and knees again, that would be the plank position that we're gonna be doing a little bit later on So, from here, let's start with some knee lifts to where we're just waking up the hip flexors Now I am not tilting my pelvis, so I'm only able to move within a certain range of motion, and most of us are the same way, so our pelvis is level, it's not tilting as I pick up my knees, and I just call this warming up the hip flexors, because they tend to get grabby, especially as we do things like bent knee roll-ups or even teasers

One more each leg And then I'm gonna keep my legs in tabletop position, so I'm gonna take my right leg up, followed by my left leg Bring the legs in together, and tabletop is ideally knee over hip, and if you can look at my anklebones, they're an extension of my knees Now, I'm working really hard not to tilt my pelvis backwards You notice how I just did that and my bottom just kinda went backwards? So lengthen your tailbone down, pulling your abs in

Open up your collarbones and then I'm going to just reach my right big toe down towards the mat and then pick it back up Same thing with the left and so here my low belly is working really hard not to tilt and not to arch My front abs are helping me stabilize that ribcage and I'm just gonna do one more each side, and that's a nice low belly workout, and then I'm going to place my feet down Bring the legs in together Notice where my feet are, they're away from my bottom

This is roughly called a hook-line position, and it keeps the pelvis level So from here, I'm gonna do a chin tuck with a shoulder lift using only my abdominals right from here Belly stays tight on the pelvis So I'm gonna tuck my chin, I'm gonna use my front abs to lift my shoulders Let my fingertips slide

Now typically when we do this, sometimes we tend to tilt the pelvis towards your face, so draw your pubic bone away from your nose and then roll it back down and look up towards the ceiling Open your collarbones, push your knees in together if you like Nod your chin, let your shoulders lift My fingertips just slide a little bit I'm really pressing my sacrum down and then I'm coming back down

One more time and we're gonna hold it up So nod your chin, lift your shoulders from your abs, and hold And I'm pressing my tailbone down, I'm gonna float my arms up and I'm in my hundreds position So inhale, two, three, four, five, and exhale, two, three, four, five Anytime you need a break during this exercise, just put your head and shoulders down

Pull your stomach in as much as you can and try to find the lift right here from the ribcage to pick up the shoulders Now if you can progress, progress along with me Taking one leg up at a time, I'm gonna find that tabletop position that I was in earlier I'm still squeezing my knees together to make my connections Lifting up my shoulders from my abs

And then maybe you can lengthen those legs out I like to do a little turnout, connect my heels, reaching my toes long Let's just do two more reps Last 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one Bend your knees, then put your head and feet down, and then I'm gonna turn to look over my left shoulder, roll through the back of my head and then turn to look over my right shoulder, and then look back up to center

So now, I'm gonna slide those feet away from me I'm gonna get my tailbone down and we're actually going to roll all the way up So extend your arms to the ceiling, and notice how my hands are a little bit in front of my shoulders? I can actually see them with my eyes and that just kind of helps me connect my arms back down into the floor From here, I'm just gonna extend overhead, holding my ribs closed, and then I'm gonna draw the arms forward, nod the chin, push down into my sacrum as I lift my shoulders and roll all the way up If you need to grab the back of your thighs to come up, come up

Now try not to sit up all the way up like this Sit behind your sitz bones This is your teaser position Extend your arms in front of you, then tilt your pelvis and roll back Squeeze your knees together for support to come all the way down

Head goes down, arms go overhead Now I'm not popping my chest up, right? Bring the arms forward, nod the chin, lift the shoulders, push down into your sacrum to roll up And then tilt to roll back down Let's just do one more Inhale, exhale, nod the chin, lift the shoulders, and come all the way up

Good, and then this time, as we go back down bone by bone by bone, just rest your arms and hands down by your side Okay, front of the leg circle I'm gonna stretch out my left leg and flex my foot, pull my toes backwards Hold the right knee to your chest, and if you want, you can hold the shin and just kinda give it a little hug And then lengthen that right leg up towards the ceiling

Now, try to move your leg a little bit away from you so you feel the pelvis down onto the mat And then a little turnout is always helpful to sort of activate this adductor over here Open up the collarbones and I'm gonna go across, down, around, and up with a pause Over, around, and reach Now, you can make your circle as big or a small as you like, but remember, you're mot moving, okay? So try not to roll around with your pelvis

The only thing that's moving is the leg One more in this direction Hold it here and reverse Open, reach across, and lift And we wanna try to keep that a circle, a true circle, not going out too wide

Here's two more in this direction, and then I'm gonna hold it at the top Bend the knee, slide that right leg out as I bend my left knee Flex your right foot Hug your left knee into you Just hold the shin, try not to hold the kneecap

And then extend the leg nice and long I'm gonna again try to keep my leg, notice how I'm not pulling it up like this, it's away from me so that my pelvis stays level A little external rotation to activate the adductor, and I'm gonna go across, down, around, and up Over, around, and reach Now I am putting a little bit of energy into my toes, so I've got that plantar flexion going

I call it the ballerina toe Trying to keep nice and still I'm a little bit more stable with my right leg down Let's do one more in this direction Pause at the top and then reverse

Open, reach across, and lift, with that little pause before you change Open up your collarbones, pull your abs in tight Two more in this direction And then on this last one, we'll hold it there, bend the knee and put the foot down Good, slide both feet in and we're coming into that hook-line position again

I'm not gonna do any rolling of the spine just in case you aren't able to do that I don't want you to feel like you're left out of an exercise So normally we would roll the spine a little bit before the ab series, but we're gonna go right into the ab series This variation, it's one of my favorite variations, 'cause it involves no props I'm just gonna lightly place my fingertips behind my head

I'm not stacking, and I'm not interlacing Yes, you can progress to stack your hands and really lengthen the neck, but for now, just try to keep your elbows wide open, okay? So from here, I'm gonna nod my chin and feel my shoulders lift Then, I'm gonna drop my tailbone back down Notice how that little movement, so this is a pelvic tilt, and then lengthen that down, right? Pick up the right knee, pick up the left leg All right, from here, single leg stretch

One knee pulls in, the other leg reaches out long Now keep pulling, pulling, pulling that other knee in, and then switch with that same pause And switch, and switch So I'm really reaching through my toes and I'm using my belly as much as I can to pull this opposite knee in Eyes are on my belly, just to remind myself to keep my sacrum down

Let's just do one more to each leg First one, then the other Bend the knees, come in, the feet rest, and release the head And if you need to shake out those arms, that's fine, especially if you have any tightness in the shoulder joints or AC joints here, okay? So hands come behind the head again Nod the chin, lift the shoulders, press that sacrum down, pulling your stomach in

This time, we're gonna pick up both legs into tabletop, and I'm gonna do a little double leg stretch variation So I'm gonna connect my heels and open my knees in what I like to call the frog position You notice how my knees are over my hips My tailbone is down, my abs are tight, squeeze the insides of the heels together, lengthen out and bring it back in, double leg stretch Reach and pull, focus on the level pelvis

Notice how my feet drop as I go out and then lengthen back up And I'm using my upper abs to lift my shoulders Two more, reach it and return Here's that last one, lengthen and bring it in Let your knees come together with the feet down, the head rest and shake out those arms

Okay, let's do the classical version of the straight leg stretch, also known as scissors This time I wanna start with my knees up, tailbone down I'm going to nod my chin, lift my shoulders, extend my right leg Now, you can hold the back of the thigh and sometimes it'll help you lift up a little bit more Maybe you can reach the calf

Maybe you can put your fingertips on your ankle area, but you gotta keep that tailbone down So my opposite leg extends and I'm really pressing my tailbone down Looking at my stomach, I'm gonna do a little tug tug As I switch, I'm gonna catch my leg Tug tug, switch and catch

Now, the most important leg is not the one that you're doing your single leg stretch with It is the one that is extending I see a lot of this sometimes in my class, and basically your hip flexor has to pick up that leg, but if I just hover it in the 45, my stomach works to do that One more to each leg Get a nice little hamstring stretch while you're here, and then bend the knees and let everything rest

Now since that was unsupported with the hands, if that's too much for you, you could do the exact same thing with your hands behind your head, curling up and scissoring those legs, okay? Same difference All right, double leg lower lift We're gonna do a variation called, in the industry, the dolphin So again, I'm gonna place my hands behind the head, nod the chin, let my shoulders lift, press my sacrum down, pick up the knees, and I'm gonna start in that tabletop position Now, notice where my thighs are, right over my hips

All I'm going to do is extend my knees, and I like my little Pilates V feet Then I'm gonna lower just a little without arching, and then I'm gonna return to tabletop So it's up, lengthen, and tabletop One more, up, lengthen, and tabletop Reverse that, reach it out, lift, no flinging, and then bend

And then reach out, and lift, and bend One more time Out, lift, and bend the knees, put the feet down, rest the head We're gonna do a modification with the criss-cross, which is the last of the five abdominal exercises So I'm gonna start with my right leg in tabletop, my left hand is behind my head

My right arm is down by my side Notice my left knee is just kinda bent, I'm scooching it out of the way a little bit, so that I can level my pelvis and really pull my abs in And I'm simply gonna nod my chin, lift my shoulders, and instead of pulling my elbow to the knee, I'm gonna think about this left ribcage right here lifting to go over my thigh and return Lift and return If you need to rest your head after each rep, that's fine

So, which oblique are we working? Technically, it's the opposite So you would think left, but today I'm really feeling it in my right oblique One more to each side And then, or each direction, and then release Good, now let's just switch it, okay? So here's my left leg in tabletop

I'm leaving my right leg down, but I'm moving it away so my pelvis is nice and level Left arm down by my side, right arm just a little fingertips behind the head I find that if I put my palm behind my head, I push my head forward, so I don't want you to do that, all right? I want you to resist your head into your fingertips Nod your chin, feel the shoulders lift, and then same thing, I'm gonna take this right ribcage and I'm just gonna lift it towards the left Lift, oblique work is small and precise

Tailbone is down, remember? Just a little turn And now I'm starting to feel this more on this left side For three, and two, and one And then release Now if you master that, over time you can take the feet up and do your, you know, the bicycle that we do in the gym or in other fitness classes, but 90% of the time, everyone rolls their pelvis up and flexes their spine and pulls with their elbow, so master that, then your obliques get strong, and then you can show them how it's really done in your next fitness class

Okay, so from here, we're gonna rock all the way up and sit up nice and tall and tilt my spine, stretch forward My feet are gonna be about hips-width apart So, I've got a nice, big mat If you have a thick mat like I do, a little trick is to roll the mat up and do a little hip elevation so my sitz bones are right there on the edge And notice how it kinda made me tilt? That's fine

If you have tightness in the low back or the hamstrings, you can lift those knees up a little bit, but I'm able to kind of press a little bit, not through extension, but I'm reaching through my heels to pull my legs long Stack your shoulders over your hips, extend your arms, nod your chin I'm gonna do a ribcage bend right here Bend your ribcage, you're gonna reach the arms out of their sockets, but notice how I'm not doing a yoga forward fold And I feel the stretch from the bottom of my ribs to the top of my pelvis, and then I'm just gonna bring it back up, just like that

Nod your chin, bend your ribs, and lengthen I know there's 300 variations of this, but I find this most effective if you just keep the movement small and then we'll do that one more time Nod the chin, reach, pull my shoulders down, pull my ribcage back, lengthen through I felt my shoulders go up Reach, reach, reach

And then come all the way up Good, I'm gonna let my hands down so I can undo my rolled up mat We're gonna do an open leg rocker prep So, as I said before, we're not gonna rock on the spine, but we are gonna do a little bit of a balance movement here So, right hand into my right ankle, I'm going to pick that foot up and I'm just gonna get a little stretch, okay? Notice I'm not pulling it all the way up to my face, but I'm trying to lengthen out and I'm nice and supported on my bottom

Then I'm gonna put that one down and I'm gonna do the same thing for the left And then I'm gonna put that down and then I'm gonna pull my tip-toes in (vocal clicks), grab both ankles, I'm gonna tilt my pelvis a little bit, pull my abs in, find my balance, and then carefully extend Now, I have been practicing this for a long time, so I can hold my ankles Maybe you're here with your calves or maybe you're here with your thighs and your knees are bent I'm okay with that, and you should be too

So pull your abs in, feel your tummy scoop, and hold your balance You should be right there between glute and glute, right? And then go ahead and release your legs and put your feet down Let's turn over onto our stomachs for a little bit of spinal extension So, I like spinal extending this way Normally, in the repertoire, we focus on more of that little baby cobra that we do also in yoga, but I'm gonna stretch my arms out

I'm resting my chin, my feet are about hips-width apart, 'cause that's just comfortable for me You might be able to bring your legs together and connect your heels That's a little pinchy for my SI joints So, I'm just gonna separate the feet but I'm still lengthening through my big toes I'm gonna lift my face up, then I'm gonna lift my arms at the same distance

Press your fingers and thumbs together, take the breath in, sweep the hands Notice how I'm not looking up I'm looking down out of my eyeballs and I'm lifting my chest with my abdominals and then I'm gonna come back down It's not a big lift, right? Draw the arms, lift the chest, but I'm rolling my shoulders back I feel my shoulder blades come together as my arms squeeze in towards my ribcage, and then I'm coming back down

One more time, lift your chest with your abs, sweep your hands toward your hips, lengthen through, and then as I come back down I'm gonna rest the chin Place your hands by your chest, press yourself up into all fours, and give yourself a little flexion, a little child's pose, a little shell pose Always try to do flexion after you do any kind of extension Okay, now I'm gonna come back down onto the mat for bridging So my feet are in hips-width apart

I pulled my feet in as best as I can underneath my knees Before we move, I like to shake my shoulders out a little bit, press my hands down, and then I'm using the back of my arms and the back of my shoulder blades as support, so open up your collarbones, pull your front ribs closed, pull your low belly closed Now, tighten up your glutes without doing anything Feel a little press into the heel of the foot and the big toes, right? Without grabbing Activate your seat and then just simply lift your hips

And I'm staying on my shoulder blade, okay? So, you probably can't see it Here you go, I'm picking up my shirt a little bit so you can see My bottom's up but look, my shoulder blade's down And I'm feeling it in my glutes and in my hamstrings, and then I'm gonna lengthen all the way back down The number one thing I see is everybody wants to just arch their spine up, right? And then your knees go flailing out to the side, so try not to do that

Try to keep pressing down into your feet, down into your shoulder blades Squeeze your glutes and lift, and that really gets into your booty and into your hamstrings and what I like to call that buthigh area, where your bottom meets your thigh I'm on my shoulder blades, notice how my chin's away from my chest, and from here, I have so much stability, that I can just pick up my right leg and then maybe reach it up, and then maybe lower it in line with my left and lift Pressing nice and even into the shoulder blades and even into my left foot One more time, lower, lift it, hold, bend your knee, put that foot down and then come back down, okay? I always like to pause before we go to the other side, because nine times out of 10, the tendency is to bring that leg back into center and cheat on your balance

Okay, so here we go Open the collarbones, press into the arms, tighten your stomach, tighten your glutes, push into your feet, squeeze it up I'm not arching my spine, I'm really trying to keep my shoulder blades down for stability, pressing into my arms for stability, and now I can bring that left leg up without even rocking Reach it long, ooh, I'm gonna boost through my hip a little bit more, half-way lower without dropping that hip, and lift Half-way lower, and lift

One more time Half-way lower, lift and hold Bend that knee, put that foot down, and let your spine come down Good job, hug your knees into your chest And I'm just gonna roll over to my side to face you

Lots of side kick variations I've been practicing this one lately and it's kind of my favorite because it helps you get a little bit more into your side transversus, which is a portion of your abdominal system, more than any other exercise without equipment (laughs) At least in my opinion So, my legs are gonna go long, I hope I don't kick my box there Stack your feet, and then I'm gonna just stretch that arm that I'm lying down on and use it as a pillow

Now I'm scooching around so my hips are stacked, okay? Shoulders are stacked as well My opposite arm's in front of my chest, and it's gonna prevent me from doing this, right? Okay, so roll the shoulders back You have lots of variations here I'm flexing through my feet, I'm just gonna float my top leg up and bring it back down Now, it may look like I'm just going up and down, but what I'm really trying to do is before I lift, I'm microscopically pulling it backwards, so I can stay back here

That's where I'm trying to target Three, and two, and hold Notice how it's not too high I'm really lengthening now in my bottom leg Flex, flex, flex, flex, flex, and I'm gonna pull my bottom leg up to meet it and lower

Look, I barely touched, okay? I'm getting more of my inner thighs together Inner thighs together, uh huh Three, and two, and one And then take a pause Now I'm gonna start to put it together, so I'm gonna lift the top, lift the bottom, lower the bottom, lower the top

Same thing, pull it microscopically back and up, microscopically back and up, down and down Up, up, down, down Now as I'm doing this, I'm really starting to feel my side waist work Relax through the shoulders Let's do one more

Up, up, down, and pause Now as we lift both legs, focus on this area here So you can either point your feet or flex I'm gonna keep my feet flexed, and I'm gonna lift from my side waist and return So I feel it right here

Lift and return Obviously I'm pressing into the ground for support, but I'm lengthening my legs out, my knees aren't bending, and they're only lifting to my side waist capability, right here Three, and two, and one, and rest And hopefully you felt that through your side waist Okay, so let's come to the other side

Again, I'm gonna stack my legs, I'm gonna flex through my feet I'm sitting literally on top of my hip, so everything is nice and stacked, and I'm gonna slide my arm out and use my bicep as a little pillow Again, opposite arm in front, everything stacked, lengthen and stretch it through Abs are tight, booty is a little bit out, so that I'm not tucking under That's another big thing to avoid is the top of your pelvis under

Okay, float the top leg up and down Again, I'm microscopically pulling it back, just starting to wake up this portion of my glutes It's the glute need How about three, and two, and hold Not too high

Bottom leg, reach it away from you before you lift it and down Now I've got my strong right leg that's lifting towards my left one, so yeah I am kinda touching the heels, whereas I really kinda struggled with that on the other side, but it's okay, one side's always more stronger than the other, right? Here's two and one and pause Now we're gonna combine the two Abs tight, tailbone lengthened out, no tuck under Top leg floats, bottom leg meets it, bottom leg lowers, top leg lowers

Try not to roll backwards, I just totally rolled backwards Up, up, down, down Lift, and down, that's it Nice easy shoulders, especially the one that's acting as my little brace Two more sets, last set

And pause, ooh, I'm really feeling it in that outer hip Now I'm gonna try to use my side waist to lift both legs up Pull your legs away from your head, use your side waist to lift, and return Lift and return, reach out and up Think side waist

Last four, and three, not trying to pull my toes forward, I'm just trying to lift it Last one, and rest All right, let's come to a seated position and we're going to work on a little bit of teaser preps, so knees are bent, pressed together, notice where my feet are, they're away from my bottom I got long legs, so the more I push 'em out, the more I can stay centered just behind my sitz bones, I got my belly scooped in, and we did this before, right? Remember, we were rolling up? So we're gonna do the reverse Take your arms out in front of you, tilt your pelvis to roll back, let your head come down, let your arms gently extend overhead

Bring the arms forward, nod the chin, and roll up Now, from here, I'm just gonna float my right leg up Glue your knees together Roll back and roll up One more, roll back, tilt, press that sacrum down so that your pelvis doesn't rock

Come on up, now let's stay here, do a little rotation So rotate over your right leg, rotate away from the right leg Let's go over, turn your ribcage, your shoulders, and your head Come back to center, let go of that right leg, extend that left leg out, squeeze 'em together and tilt it, roll back, lengthen that tailbone down, reach overhead, draw the arms forward, nod the chin, lift the shoulders, push down into your sacrum to come up Do that one more time

Remember, you've got knees bent, so if you need to grab the back of your thigh to help you up, that's okay We're just practicing here right? And then I'm gonna turn over the left leg and away I'm rotating through my waist as best as I can One more, getting those shoulders away from my head, and then I'm gonna hold Ooh, here's the hard part

Both legs up, ooh, teaser! Hold, don't roll backwards! Oh, I'm gonna roll backwards Bend your knees and come all the way down Hug your knees into your chest Awesome, okay, so let's come into an all-fours position, just like we did in the beginning Make sure your shoulders are over your wrists, your knees are right underneath the hips

Go ahead and do another cat-cow sequence, so arch the back, open up the collarbones, try not to fling your head up Pull your shoulders away from your head and look straight out of your eyeballs And then from your pelvis, curl under, round through the spine, let your head dangle And then find a nice, flat low back, right here Close your front ribcage, pull your low belly in, extend your legs back

Here's your plank So remember, we don't wanna be up here, nor do you wanna be here, okay? So, find that happy medium I'm closing my front ribs, I'm holding my stomach in Tons of plank variations If you need to be down onto your forearms, like such

This is technically a little harder Curl your tailbone underneath you so that slight little pelvic tilt will help any pinching in the low back Otherwise, I'm gonna go back into my hands, I'm gonna hold that plank for one more breath Separate your feet, lift your hips, hike it up, and walk to your hands Not at all the way, I'm gonna step my hips right over my anklebones, right over here

I'm not trying to push and shove my bottom backwards Stack it, walk over to your right knee and maybe bring your nose to your knee And then walk over to your opposite side, try to bring your nose to your knee, and then come back to center Bend your knees deep Remember that roll-up that we did? So I'm gonna just bring my feet a little bit together, start getting rag-dolly in the arms and in the head

Knees are soft, I'm pushing through my heels And I'm rounding my spine up, trying to stack the joints, knees over ankles, hips over knees, shoulders over hips, my chin lifted last Pull the shoulders up, reach it back and down We're gonna turn to take the arms up Do a little side bend here over to the right side and think about the outer foot on that same side that you're reaching

Can you push the outer edge of the heel down and find more length and more stretch, maybe in that opposite arm reaching to the floor Now use your core and pull along with your abs Reach both arms high and then just let go and find that length on the other side And again, I'm thinking about extending through my fingertips, pressing through that outside edge of my right foot Finding more length, reaching my left arm down and out position

Ooh, I just opened up a whole bunch more I'm using my core to come back to center and then as I open up the arms a little bit, lift the heart towards the sky I'm not trying to arch, I'm just trying to create space as I pull my ribs off my hips And breathe space into your low back and all your discs and joints, and let's see if we can take that space with us for the rest of our day Exhale

Thank you so much for joining me in our little Pilates practice, and I look forward to seeing you next time

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