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The Perfect Morning Workout, with Karen Lord

I have a little workout for you It's a gentle little workout

It's pilates, so you're gonna feel it, but this is something that I want you to be able to kind of roll out of bed, do in the morning, and feel good It'll massage your spine, it'll get everything kind of amped up, it'll get your blood pumping, your heart going, give you a really nice life-force to wake up to Don't stress on perfection, I just want you to breathe and move with me Okay, so I want you to stand on your mat, heels together toes apart Just kind of spread the toes, wiggle them

Feel where you're planted Lift the heels up, and activate the body Pull your abdominals in and up, close the ribcage just a little bit, and feel your butt working Inhale lift the arms up, just adjust yourself, feel nice, exhale Inhale again, exhale and round yourself up and over slowly with a slight bend in the knees

You want to keep your abdominals up here And then walk yourself out into a plank position You want your fingers spread really wide, and then drop your butt so that it's in line with your body, and bend your elbows just slightly Inhale here, on the exhale you're gonna do five tiny pilates pushups You're inhaling down, exhaling up

Three more Two more Last one, hold it here So hold the plank for just another few seconds, you'll feel a little bit wobbly That's normal

Lift yourself up, hold You're gonna walk yourself back You'll start to feel a little stretch in the hamstrings Hold it here, plant your feet down Really really root your feet

Put your hands down next to your feet Give your wrists a little stretch If you can't do this—not everybody can touch the mat this way—you just bend your knees, that's fine And then hold it here Inhale

On exhale lift yourself back up, and inhale round yourself up and over This is called front support, and it's just a plank with a few little pushups Now I want you to remember, these pushups, I want your butt down, abs in and up, and your elbows straight back, not out to the sides Inhale down, just a little, and exhale up Inhale, exhale up with the breath

Three more Two more Last one, you're holding your core super super tight here Bend your knees, extend yourself long into a child's pose You're gonna take three deep breaths

You can walk one hand over to this side to get a nice stretch, come back to the center, walk the other hand over to get a nice stretch on the side of the body, come back to center Stack it up—you want your spine to be really tall, you want your shoulders wide, shoulder blades gliding down your back Put your hands behind and just lift yourself slightly You don't arch your neck way back, you just want to lift your lower back, and then come back Hands here, sit down on your butt, and we'll start a little bit of ab work

Sitting on your butt, you want to grab behind your thighs Elbows wide, and you want to like not hunch your shoulders up, right You want to glide the shoulder blades down your back, make nice strong arms So tuck right here, so you're kind of scooping out and you're tucking your pelvis and tipping your pubic bone forward, and lowering yourself down If you feel safe, you can let go here

Lowering yourself down slow, slow, slow, slow, slow Good, arms up to the sky, arms behind, take a nice inhale On the exhale, pull your abs in, bring your arms back up to the sky, hold it here Bring one leg up, bring the other leg up Inhale

On the exhale, you want to pull your ribs in, and extend your arms long, so you're going to work the abdominals a little bit here You're gonna tap to the floor, flex, and lift up Inhale to tap, exhale flex and lift, pulling the abs in deeply Tap, flex, and lift For 10, 9, big exhales, 8, 7, long arms, 6, 5, good, 4, 3, 2, last one, hold it here

Pull everything in, pull up—it's natural for your neck to hurt a little bit in the beginning If it does, just put it down—you can go all the way down But you'll hold it here, and then I'm gonna gently pull my knees in, giving them a little hug So you're already activating your ribcage—you want to keep your ribs nice and closed, and your abs in You want to not arch your back when you're doing these exercises, because that's what's gonna keep you safe

So, coming back up onto the mat, we're gonna do a little ab series Put your hands over hands—you don't want to interlace, just put them, and elbows nice and wide You're gonna take your armpit to your knee You're gonna take your armpit to your knee You're gonna bring your right armpit to your left knee—not the elbow—and pull it back in

Inhale to switch, exhale to pull it back in Inhale to switch, exhale pull it in Inhale to switch, and exhale, let's do 5 more 4 more, good, 3 more, 2 more, last one, bring it in Lower your neck and shoulders, lower your feet down, bring your arms behind you

Now you can arch your back to take a nice break Inhale, exhale bring everything up and in, give it a hug You want to really open up your shoulders Lowering it back down Extend your legs nice and long, head, neck, and shoulders come up

You want to make like an L-shape with your body—and again, if this hurts too much you can keep your head down, but I want you to think about lifting the neck up, and pulling from right here So you're not just like, hoisting it You're gonna lower one leg, give the other leg a little pull-pull And when you keep your butt anchored to the mat, so give it a gentle pull-pull in, elbows are wide, pull-pull, shoulders are down For 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1

Hold everything, give it another little inch up, lower it down, hold You want to grab behind your thighs and rock yourself back up to seated This one is called rolling like a ball So we're gonna work the abdominals, massage the spine a little bit, rock out all of that ab work that we just did You should be feeling it right now

So, heels together, toes apart, plant your butt on the mat So you're gonna make yourself a ball shape You want to think about a circle here, and your elbows being really, really wide You're gonna kind of sit back on your sit bones a little bit, and you're gonna go back just to the tips of your shoulder blades So, inhale back, and exhale up

Pulling in, so your abs are at the breaks Inhale back, and exhale up And you really want to balance, you don't want to put your feet down Inhale back, exhale up, and you can focus on your heels if that helps Inhale back, exhale back just to a hover

Let's do 3 more Inhale back, exhale up, 2 more Inhale back, exhale up, last one Inhale back, exhale up, extend your legs out, hold it here Bring your arms to the front, you're just gonna inhale, and exhale pull everything back in

For 10, keep your abs nice and tight, your back slightly tucked 7, knees squeeze together, 6, 5 more, 4, 3, 2, 1, hold it out Bring it back in, plant your feet down Scoot yourself back, we're gonna do some side lying leg work We're gonna do a little bit of work on the legs, so I want you to remember that the legs, butt, and abs are all attached

So this is a full-body exercise So, I want your arm planted, you're gonna keep that arm activated You're gonna keep lifted a little bit here You're gonna point to lift, and flex to lower You'll start to feel it right here

Point to lift, and flex to lower Point to lift, and flex to lower For 8, 7, you can exhale on the downs, 6, 5, keep your abs activated, just keep on thinking, 4, 3, 2, 1 Hold it here for a little bit longer, and do 10 little circles towards the front 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

And little circles the other way For 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 Hold it here You're gonna bring this to the front You're gonna make as much of an L-shape as you can, but keep the body and the butt like, nice and long

You don't want to tuck forward So extend it nice and long You're just gonna do little taps for 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Hold it here You're just gonna bend in, and extend, for 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, remember not to tuck your butt, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Holding at 1, we're gonna do like 5 little bicycles 4 more 3 more, keep breathing 2 more, last one, let's reverse the direction For 5, nice and long, 4, keep the core really stable here, 3, 2, and 1

Hold, bring it back in You can smack it out, you'll feel that in your butt muscles It'll feel really good, but you should be using your abs and your arms as well Let's do the other side Again, abdominals are lifted, you want a nice long line here

Hands down, fingertips spread wide Why? Because we just want a good foundation, it keeps us from wobbling You're gonna point to lift, and flex to lower Point to lift, and flex to lower Point to lift, and flex to lower

Lower the leg nice and long for 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Lower it down, keep that hip nice and long Again, hands activated, don't forget about that 10 little circles to the front, for 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Reverse the circles for 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Hold it here You're gonna point the toe, bring it to the front You're gonna just do little toe taps 10, 9, 8, 7, remember not to tuck your butt in, 6, 5, keep it nice and long, 4, 3, 2, 1 Hold

Now just bend the leg in, but again keep your butt nice and long and almost arched instead of tucked You're gonna pull in, and extend long 9, 8, just keep breathing, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, last one, hold it here You can feel yourself get a little wobbly, and bicycle back The idea here is to keep stable while you're moving the leg in really an unstable way

Let's do 6, 5, keep the abs tight, using your arm 3 more, 2 more, last one, hold Let's reverse for 10, 9, 8, smiling makes it a little easier, 7, 6, you will be feeling it, 5, more, 4, 3, 2, and 1 Bring it in, lower it down So, I'm grabbing weights—I'm using 3 pounds

If you don't have weights at home, you can grab 2 bottles and fill them with water Just make sure they're the same size Or like anything, just two balls, anything You can still do the moves, just be really mindful of activating your muscles, and you can still follow along with me, and have pretty much the same experience It's good for you

So you're gonna take your weights, and we're gonna keep our fingertips long instead of grabbing them Glide your shoulder blades down from the back and really lift up from here Hug your elbows in by your sides You're gonna inhale, just about shoulder height, open up, same, and exhale back to center, pull back in So you have 10 like this, 9 like this, 8 more, 7, just keep breathing, 6, because they start to get heavy, 5, 4, more, and breathe, 3 more, 2 more, last one, hold it in here, bring your elbows up, let your fingers touch

I'm just gonna go swimming You're gonna extend, open You're not moving your spine, you're keeping your spine in, and you're using your core a lot here Using your core to keep yourself stable Let's do 6 more like this, just like you're skimming the surface of the water

5, 4 more, core support the whole time, 3 more, 2, last one, hold it here And be sure you're keeping your shoulders down If you start to feel it in your neck, just give yourself a second, drop the weights, and gently bring the neck down, roll it to the side, and back to center Remember, we're doing this pretty much right when we wake up, this is to invigorate and energize the body, not to punish it We're gonna extend the arms to the side

You're gonna drop your shoulders—and this is really important, I want you to keep your shoulders down Extend the arms out You're gonna inhale, one arm up, and exhale it down You're gonna focus on the opposite ribs, so really keep your ribs working to stay stable For 7, 6 more, 5, and 4, 3, 2, last one

This side, hold it here, wiggle your fingers it helps a little bit Inhale, drop the shoulder, for 9, 8, exhale on the down, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, last one Hold, you can just extend your arms here and hold for 10 This is the hardest part 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, drop

Let your neck hang heavy And as you let your neck hang heavy, you don't want to just collapse Keep the spine long, so you're actually stretching it back here Grab your weights again, and gently roll your neck back up Extend the arms long, 10 little circles to the front

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and reverse the circles, for 10, don't let it go into your neck, it's not worth it, 7, 6, just keep the shoulders down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Hold for 10, 9, 8, you'll be a little shaky, that's good, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Drop it down Now make sure the neck is released The reason we go so slow with those, is I don't want you to hike up

Start with 2 pounds, because these get really really intense, and it's very normal to want to hike hem up here That's why I keep talking to you about dropping the shoulders Take it slow, and if it's too many, start with like 5 reps, or 3, or 4 Don't go with me full on like 10 if you feel like it's compromising your body in any way The goal is to wake up, invigorate yourself, feel good

Again, no punishments, right? Okay, so let's change the position slightly All fours So, you're gonna grab your weights, and you want to be—you want to keep your knees inner-hip distance apart Like, 5 inches apart or so You're gonna bring yourself—you're pitching your body forward, you're gonna bring your butt back, and you'll extend your arms long like this

So now you want—you want to make sure your ponytail's in the right place [Laughs] Now you want to look forward You don't want to hike your neck up, and you don't want to have it down too much You just kind of want to gaze to the edge of your mat And do 10 little lifts up, for 10, work your triceps, 8, 7, 6, abs in and up, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, hold it here

You're gonna turn the weights out slightly and open out to the side, like a V For 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Bring them back in, drop yourself down more and bring your butt back slightly We're gonna go a little bit higher for 10 more For 10, 9, 8, abs working, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Drop the weights, you can roll them forward Bring your whole body forward into resting position Stretching your fingertips long, you feel a nice stretch in the shoulders You feel your glutes, your butt Just rock it from side to side, whatever feels good

If this feels nice to you, you can bring your arms up behind, and get a nice big stretch here too, Just be gentle of the shoulders always When you're ready, stack yourself back up Okay, a little work Everybody's favorite, we'll do a little butt work So you want to bring your knees hip-distance apart

Flat feet You don't want them in too much like this, you don't want them out too much like this You kind of want to make a box with your body, and you can just like take a second and stretch around, like do what feels good This always feels really good in the morning Kind of like drop your shoulders back, bring yourself up, it's like cat-cow stuff, but I don't want you to focus on this too much

I just want you to sort of feel the way that your spine moves Okay, fingertips are spread wide again, and a word about elbows We don't want them extending like that, that puts a lot of pressure on the joints and then on the muscles So, we want to turn them so they rotate in You want these little creases—I always these say these little creases to kind of like, smile at each other

Like, hey! And that's how you do it Then you're gonna give a slight bend And take your right leg, start with your right leg First we pull our abdominals in and up—see how I lifted? You're gonna, with a pointed toe, just lift for 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, hold it here We're gonna go a little bit higher, but you're still gonna just pull your abs in and up

And another set of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Bring it in You will feel that, if you're doing that correctly It's all about pulling the abs in Okay, let's do the other side

You're gonna bring that left leg up Make sure you're even and you're not kind of like wobbling side to side And 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, you're working your arms too, 3, 2, 1, hold it here, square yourself, pull your abs in deeper, and a little bit higher For 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Bring everything back in

Bring yourself back, make little fists, and just lift yourself up Gently look at the sky, and pull yourself back down Pull yourself into a child's pose long, long arms I really want you to stretch forward, so you can feel a nice pull in your armpit Remember stretching is also working out

Like, you're stretching your muscles, you're elongating your muscles And that's something that people forget Okay, stack yourself up We're gonna end with another little standing plank So, coming back to the end of your mat, heels together, toes apart

It'll feel different now because you'll feel all those things I talked about in the beginning Everything's working You're gonna bend your legs slightly, and just kind of pull your abdominals in and up Glide your shoulder blades down your back Inhale lift the arms up, exhale, remember, round yourself down, walk yourself out into plank position

This time we're just gonna hold Drop the butt so you're really long We're just gonna hold for 10, 9, abs in and up, body's long, neck's long, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 You're gonna hike it up Let's walk to the front of the mat, you're stretching your hamstrings a little bit here

And this part feels really nice You can bend your knees, because you might start to feel like you're losing your balance Bend your knees a little bit here, and just bring your arms out behind you You're gonna stretch everything, you can pull up like this, you can bring them up like this, it takes a tiny bit of balance This is a really nice stretch

And if none of those sound fun, you can just hold it right here Let your head be heavy, and give it a little nod yes, no, yes, that felt good and I'm ready to rock my day Bend your knees, lift yourself up And we got it! I want you to try to come to your workout as a) a part of your daily routine, and b) an understanding that it's full-body, and it's a movement of like the breath, your circulation There's tremendous benefits to working out everything at the same time, versus just kind of like picking and choosing

I think you'll start to feel it once you start to understand it a little bit better, and then it's something that you can do every morning, and give yourself like, in, I don't know, in 30 days You'll completely be like, toned, you'll feel your butt moving, you'll walk better, you'll feel more lifted You will absolutely see the results You don't have to punish the body—again, it's about comforting yourself into the movement, instead of like punishing yourself through something It's just, it's like small and mighty

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