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Audrey's Pilates & Dance

ABOUT AUDREY WILSON


Audrey Wilson was certified through the Pilates Guild in April, 1993. By studying directly under Romana Kryzanowska, Audrey is a second generation Pilates instructor.  She also studied with Bob Liekens who is responsible for helping Romana create the Pilates Teaching Manual. Romana, Joseph Pilates' own protege, kept the classic Pilates method alive since her first exposure to "Uncle Joe" at the age of thirteen in 1935. Bob and Romana have both traveled the world training Pilates teachers. 


Audrey was the first Guild Certified Pilates instructor in Orange County. She has assisted other Pilates teachers in the certification training process and has helped spread Pilates throughout the Orange and San Diego Counties.


PILATES  SERVICES:


Interested in Pilates?  


Your first step is to schedule a FREE 1/2 Hour Consultation.  Simple click on the "SCHEDULE NOW" button in the upper left and it will walk you through the process.  


Private Sessions:  This session is closed to all other students.  It is just you and your instructor working on your specific fitness goals.


Semi-Private Sessions:  1-2 students working with the same instructor at the same time depending on who has scheduled for that day and hour.


Boot Camp Special:   Expiration - One Week - Unlimited number of semi-private sessions within one calendar week. 


FaceTime Pilates:   Pilates Session via FaceTime - 1/2 or 1 hour sessions



24-HOUR CANCELLATION POLICY:

Understand that if you cannot attend a scheduled appointment, you must give notice at least 24 hours in advance. With 24 hours notice, you may reschedule the appointment within the same month (subject to availability). Understand that without the notice there will be a charge for the session.


THE SIX BASIC PRINCIPLES OF PILATES


Center

The wide band of mid section from the naval around to the lower back, extending from the lower ribs to just below the gluteal fold. Also known as the powerhouse or core. Muscles include the collective group of abdominals, gluteals, and lower back musculature. Movement initiates from this stable source and we stabilize through the opposition of movement.

Control

This is the physical aspect of the mental/physical connection. It is the control of the body by the mind when paying full attention to the physical details of the movement such as positioning and sequencing. It is the physical response to the mental direction.

Concentration

This is the mental aspect of the mental/physical connection. It is the mindful intent and focus of the mind directing the body through the movement. It is better to do one repetition correctly and completely than many haphazardly.

Breath

Correct breathing oxygenates the blood, increases circulation, and removes noxious gases from the blood. Full exhalation stimulates breathing (you will automatically inhale after a full exhale), facilitates core support, and intensifies the movement. The rhythm of an exercise is often determined by the rhythm of breath.

Flow/Rhythm

The transitional aspects between each repetition within an exercise as well as the threading of exercises together in the total system. Continual flow and efficiency of movement from the beginning to the end of the whole workout.

Precision

Practicing a keen awareness to detail while performing a given movement will elevate the benefits of each exercise from superficial to intense. It is not the structure of the exercise, but rather the work you put into it that determines your results. Perform each exercise as perfectly as possible.

Pilates Photos

PILATES BASIC MAT


ROLL DOWN (modification)


INSTUCTIONS:

0. Start from a sitting position with the feet under the straps, the hands placed on the back of the thighs.


1. Inhale, sink the “navel to the spine” and roll the small of the back into the Mat. If possible, roll down until the elbows are straight.

2. Exhaling, round the spine back up and, if needed, the arms can help “pull” you up. Repeat 6 times


THE HUNDRED

INSTUCTIONS:

0. Lie on your back with arms stretched long, alongside your body, palms facing down. Easier = bent knees with feet flat on the mat. Harder = stretching  the legs straight forward while hovering 2 inches over the mat.  Arches are long.


1. Lift both legs about 2 inches above the Mat. Bring the chin to the chest, “draw” the weight of the head into the center of the body. Do not lift the upper body above “the base of the shoulder blades” off the mat. Raise the arms about 6-8 inches above the thighs (I prefer that measurement off the Mat).

2. Inhaling slowly through the nose, pump the arms vigorously up and down for 5 counts. Keep the arms straight and pump only from the shoulders.

3. Exhaling slowly through the nose, continue to pump the arms vigorously for 5 more counts.

4. Repeat until a maximum of 100 movements is accomplished (10 sets).

5. Relax completely.


REMEMBER:

Begin with only 20 pumps. Gradually increase until the maximum of 100 pumps is accomplished.

The arms are beating rapidly to get the heart and blood pumping and the breath circulating.

Make sure the back remains completely flat. Otherwise raise the legs to a controllable level where the back can remain flat.


THE ROLL UP

INSTUCTIONS:

0. Lie flat on your back. Extend the arms, shoulder width, over your head with palms facing up. The legs are straight and together. Sink the “navel to the spine.”

1. Inhaling slowly, raise the arms up to the ceiling. The head goes through your arms as you pull the navel deeper to the spine.

2. Exhaling slowly, start rolling up one vertebrae at a time bringing the arms forward.

3. While finishing the exhalation, continue forward until the upper body is over the legs.

4. Inhale slowly as you roll down to the Mat one vertebrae at a time. Maintain the arms at shoulder height.

5. Exhale as you lift the arms to the ceiling and then back overhead, stretching more and more.

6. Repeat 3-5 times.


REMEMBER:

Put the feet under the strap if it is too difficult to roll up smoothly one vertebrae at a time.

If necessary, bend the knees slightly to insure the entire spine remains flat to the Mat.

With significant weakness, replace the ROLL UP with the ROLL DOWN variation.


SINGLE LEG CIRCLES

INSTUCTIONS:

0. Lie on your back with arms stretched long, alongside your body, palms facing down. Sink the “navel to the spine.”

1. Bring the right leg to the upright, right angle position. Reach for the center of the body. (“to the nose”)

2. Keeping both hips anchored to the Mat, cross the leg over the body first as making a small circle.

3. Repeat 5 circles in each direction. Inhale on the first half of each circle and exhale on the second half.

4. End by bending the leg and “hugging” it towards you, stretching.

5. Repeat on the other leg.


REMEMBER:

The crossing over the body and the reaching up for the center are the most important part of the exercise. The accent of the circles is on the “up".

Keep the circles small and controlled; small means ”within the joint.” Do not move the sacrum.

Make sure that throughout the exercise the whole body stays anchored to the Mat.


ROLLING LIKE A BALL

INSTUCTIONS:

0. Sitting up, bend your knees and move your hips forward to your heels. Hold onto your ankles bringing them into the buttocks.

Bend the head forward with the chin to the chest and the nose between the knees.

The arches of the feet are long with the toes off the Mat.

1. Inhaling slowly, press the “navel to the spine” to initiate the rolling back action.

2. Exhaling slowly, return forward maintaining the ball position.

3. Repeat 6 times.


REMEMBER:

Warning: People with a bad neck should not attempt this exercise.

For those who have trouble rounding the spine, modify the hand position. Instead of holding the ankles, place the hands under the thighs to help deepen the "C curve" of the spine.

When new to Pilates, or especially stiff and weak, leave the rolling out and work on control as described in the modification, THE ROLL DOWN.


SINGLE LEG STRETCH

INSTUCTIONS:

0. After finishing ROLLING LIKE A BALL, sit back to the center of the Mat and lie flat on your back.

1. Pull the right leg, bent, as far as possible towards the chest, inhaling slowly. *The crown is lifted high with the chin on the chest. *Place the left hand on the right knee and the right hand on the right ankle. (This hand position is used to keep the ankle, knee, and hip aligned.) *The left leg is extended out at an angle to the floor, while still maintaining a flat back.

2. Exhaling slowly, change legs and pull the left leg, bent, into the chest. Extend the right leg out.

3. Repeat 5 and 10 sets.


REMEMBER:

Make sure the chin touches the chest. Keep the elbows lifted to the sides. Continually attempt to lift the upper back while

maintaining the rest of the back flat. Keep the navel sinking into the spine.


DOUBLE LEG STRETCH

INSTUCTIONS:

0. Lie flat with both legs bent into the chest, pulling your ankles in with your hands.

1. Inhaling slowly and keeping the chin to the chest, reach simultaneously the arms overhead and the legs long/ forwards. The heels are about 2 inches off the Mat. Keep the “navel to the spine.”

2. While exhaling slowly, circle the arms around and “draw” both legs upward into into the chest again. The hands grab the ankles, hugging the legs firmly into the chest, deepening the exhalation.

3. Repeat 5-10 times.


REMEMBER:

The navel is pulled into the spine to insure a flat back while attempting to lift the upper back. Extend the legs only as low to the floor as the back can remain flat.

This is a breathing exercise!


SPINE STRETCH FORWARD


INSTUCTIONS:

0. Sit with the legs straight, open slightly wider than shoulder width apart. (Or place the heels in the middle of the traditional Mat boxes). Draw the toes upward and backward. Extend the arms, straight forward, at shoulder height.

1. Inhaling, pull up tall, start from the top of the head, chin touching the chest, roll down and forward one vertebrae at a time. Press the “navel to the spine,” carving the letter “C” in the lower back.

2. Reach the arms forward with a sliding motion, as the body stretches forward and down, as far as possible. Keep the “hip bones” over the “sit bones.” Exhale

3. On the inhalation, initiate from the navel and roll back up.

4. Sitting up tall, exhale.

5. Repeat 3 times, trying to reach further down and deeper into the spine each repetition.


REMEMBER:

Keep the abdominal wall drawn in and the chin dropped to the chest. Concentrate on the opening of the lower spine.

This is a stretch “into” your spine.

Pilates Full Mat Material

BEGINNING                                             INTERMEDIATE                                                       ADVANCED.

1. The Hundred

2. Roll Down/Roll Back

3. Roll Up

                                                                                                                                                  4. Roll Over

5. Single Leg Circles

6. Rolling Like A Ball

7. Single Leg Stretch

8. Double Leg Stretch

                                                                9. Single Straight Leg Stretch

                                                              10. Double Straight Leg Stretch

                                                              11. Criss Cross

12. Spine Stretch Forward

                                                              13. Open Leg Rocker

                                                              14. Corkscrew

                                                              15. Saw

                                                              16. Neck Roll

                                                                                                                                               17. Swan Dive

                                                              18. Single Leg Kicks

                                                              19. Double Leg Kicks

                                                              20. Neck Pull

                                                                                                                                               21. Scissors

                                                                                                                                               22. Bicycle

                                                                                                                                               23. Shoulder Bridge

                                                                                                                                               24. Spine Twist

                                                                                                                                               25. Jack Knife

                                                              Side Kick Series:

                                                              26. *Preparation

                                                              27. *Front/Back

                                                              28. *Up/Down

                                                              29. *Circles

                                                                                                                                               30. *Bicycle

                                                                                                                                               31. *Hot Potato

                                                                                                                                               32. *Develope/Envelope

                                                                                                                                               33. *Grand Ronde de Jambe

                                                                                                                                               34. *Bottom Leg Lifts & Circles

                                                                                                                                               35. *Double Leg Lifts

                                                                                                                                               36. *Single Leg Lifts

                                                                                                                                               37. *Beats

                                                                                                                                               38. *Scissor Kicks

                                                                                                                                               39. *Transition

                                                              Teaser Series:

                                                              40. -Preparation 1 & 2

                                                                                                                                               41. -Teaser 1

                                                                                                                                               42. -Teaser 2

                                                                                                                                               43. -Teaser 3


                                                              44. Can Can

                                                                                                                                               45. Hip Circles

                                                                                                                                               46. Swimming

                                                                                                                                               47. Leg Pull Down (“Front”)

                                                                                                                                               48. Leg Pull Up

                                                                                                                                               49. Kneeling Side Kicks

                                                                                                                                               50. Mermaid, Side Bend, Twist

                                                                                                                                               51. Boomerang

                                                              52. Seal

                                                                                                                                               53. Crab

                                                                                                                                               54. Rocker (Rocking on Stomach)

                                                                                                                                               55. Balance Control

                                                                                                                                               56. Push Ups


Add-Ons to the Mat:

*Tapping: Ankle work on wall or floor

*RING

Between / Around Knees

          hips down

          hips up

Arms- in front/back

Arms/Side

Behind Neck

Between Ankles - Degaje

*ROLL

          Stretch Hips

          Balance

          Arm Series

BASIC/ BEGINNER PILATES REFORMER

FOOTWORK SERIES:

SPRING SETTING: 4 (use 3 springs for clients under 110 lb)

REPETITIONS: 10 of each

GOALS:

  • Centering the CONCENTRATION.
  • Alignment of the body.
  • Pilates Stance

FOOTWORK SERIES: TOES

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Lie on your back, sink the navel into the spine, correctly centering yourself. Place the toes (metatarsals) on the bar, toes apart, heels together and lifted. Knees shoulder width apart.

  1. In this position, initiating from the powerhouse, push the carriage fully out, lengthening the legs.
  2. Using the powerhouse, return the carriage to the starting position.

With control, push and pull with a smooth continuous motion, “working the springs.”


FOOTWORK SERIES: ARCHES

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the middle of your arches on the bar (like a bird on a perch). Keep the feet and knees together while working.


FOOTWORK SERIES: HEELS

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place your heels on the bar. Knees and feet remain firmly together when pushing out and pulling in. As you come in, pull the toes to the knees.


FOOTWORK SERIES: TENDON STRETCH

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Finally, place your toes back on the bar, toes slightly apart and heels together.
  2. Push the carriage out and stay there as you lower your heels for three counts and lifts for three counts. Work the upper part of the legs to avoid working with hyper-extended knees.

TEACHING:

This is the most important exercise to set up the workout.

Make sure the “powerhouse” is always initiating the movement of the carriage. Abdominal and gluteal muscles work to stabilize the placement while in action.

If knock-kneed, work with the feet hip width apart. If bowlegged, work with the toes apart and the heels together.

The back stays flat and the shoulders and neck are relaxed. Shoulder pads may be used if you feel too much pressure.

Although the headpiece is up, a pillow for the head may be added if one cannot keep the neck long.


THE HUNDRED

SPRING SETTING: 4 (use 3 springs for clients under 110 lbs)

REPETITIONS: 10 sets

GOALS:

  • Expand the BREATH
  • Circulation of the Blood.
  • Endurance

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Place the foot bar down and grab hold of the strap handles behind you.

  1. Lift the head, bringing the chin to the chest. The weight of the head is leaning into the center of the body.
  2. Straighten the arms, pulling the straps down to your sides (6-8 inches above the thighs but I prefer that measurement off the carriage).
  3. Straighten your legs out at an angle, working with long soft legs.
  4. Pump your arms up and down for ten deep breaths. Inhale through the nose for five pumps and exhale through the nose for five pumps.
  5. The arms are energized, pumping vigorously to get the blood circulating throughout the body.

TEACHING:

Begin with only 20 pumps. Gradually increase until the maximum of 100 pumps is accomplished.

In this exercise the legs are at eye level. If you’re not able to do this without arching the back, raise your legs it an angle where you can keep your back flat.


LEG CIRCLES

SPRING SETTING: 2

REPETITIONS: 5 each way

GOALS:

  • Symmetrical Alignment
  • Simultaneous Movement
  • Anchoring the Spine through the Abdominals.

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Release two springs. Put on the extra (long) straps, making sure the hardware is on the outside! Place the feet into the straps and then bend the knees to the chest.

  1. Extend the legs to a 45 degree angle forward and up.
  2. Open the legs shoulder width apart.
  3. Pull the legs downward keeping the back into the mat.
  4. From the inner thighs, close the legs.
  5. Ease both legs back to the initial angle. Repeat 5 times before reversing for 5 more.

TEACHING:

Caution: Never start this exercise by pulling with straight legs down to the angle! Always bend the knees to the chest first!

Keep the circles small and contained within the “box.”

Work up to a brisk dynamic rhythm while circling, eventually increasing the size of the circles.

Do not attempt this exercise with overweight or very stiff people. It is tough to get into the straps. Instead, do the leg springs on the Cadillac table.


FROG

SPRING SETTING: 2

REPETITIONS: 6

GOALS:

  • Symmetrical Alignment
  • Slendering the Buttocks and Thighs

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Place the feet into the straps and then bend the knees to the chest keeping the heels together and the toes apart. The knees are shoulder width apart.

  1. Initiating from the inner thighs and “powerhouse,” extend the legs to a 45 degree angle forward, simultaneously sinking the navel deeper into the spine.
  2. With control, bend the knees back into the chest

TEACHING:

Make sure to start this exercise with the knees into the chest.

It is important that the navel sinks down against the reaching out of the legs.

For really tall people attach the long straps.


STOMACH MASSAGE SERIES: ROUND

SPRING SETTING: 4

REPETITIONS: 10

GOALS:

  • “C-Curve”
  • Open out the Lower Back
  • Works the Internal Organs

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Sit on the apparatus, facing forward, with your “sit bones” curved under. Place your toes (metatarsals) on the bar, toes apart, heels together. Hands are placed on the front edge of the carriage with the elbows out. Bring the shoulders over the hips and relax the head forward.

  1. Maintaining this position, use the “powerhouse” to straighten the legs. Work the “navel to the spine” to initiate these repetitions. Keep your heels together.
  2. Lower, then lift your heels.
  3. With control, return to the starting position.

TEACHING:

Make sure the stomach gets its massage! It is not the legs that push out.

At all times the sit bones remain under and the lower back remains in a “C-Curve.” Have the shoulders, neck and head relaxed.

The elbows are out so you get a stretch across the upper back and firm the underarm muscles.

The knees never open more than shoulder width apart.


STOMACH MASSAGE SERIES: HANDS BACK

SPRING SETTING: 3

REPETITIONS: 10

GOALS:

  • Lengthening the Lower Back
  • Opening the Upper Back

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Bring your arms behind you and place your hands on top of the shoulder blocks. Hand position can vary depending upon the individual. While the tailbone remains under, lift your upper back and open the chest.

  1. From your center, push the carriage out.
  2. Lower, then lift your heels. Maintain a correct alignment in the legs to prevent the knees from rolling in.
  3. Return to the starting position.

TEACHING:

Note: Hold onto the “C-Curve.” Open only the upper back to expand the lungs. Make sure the back is still lifting up as tall as possible.

Do not allow the elbows to hyperextend.

Inhale as the carriage moves out and the heels lower. Exhale while returning.


STOMACH MASSAGE SERIES: REACH UP

SPRING SETTING: 2

REPETITIONS: 4

GOALS:

  • Opening the Lower Back
  • Lift the “POWERHOUSE”

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Place your toes (metatarsals) apart on the bar, lifting the back tall. The arms reach forward and up in a high diagonal.

  1. Push the carriage out, maintaining a tall spine. Inhale.
  2. Bring the carriage back in reaching even taller. Exhale.

TEACHING:

Make sure the lifting of the back occurs in the base of the spine and not from the shoulders arms. Engage the “powerhouse.”

For individuals with very stiff backs, the instructor may assist with this stretch by gently pulling the back forward and upwards from the hands or by pushing upward in the lower back.


SHORT BOX SERIES: ROUND

SPRING SETTING: 2-3

REPETITIONS: 5

GOALS:

  • Strengthen the “POWERHOUSE”
  • Supple Spine
  • Articulate the Vertebrae

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Place the box sideways on the apparatus over the shoulder blocks in front of the hooks. Use 2 or 3 springs to secure the carriage.

  1. Sit on top and in the center of the box, one hand-width away from the back edge. Flexed feet are placed under the strap and the legs are parallel apart.
  2. Folding the arms over the abdominals, strongly “hug” them in. Work the buttocks as you roll backwards off of the box, inhaling.
  3. Bring your chin onto the chest and roll back up maintaining the “hug.” Work the buttocks to assist in the final lift. Exhale.

TEACHING:

It is important to sit a hand-width off the back edge so that when rolling off the box you maintain four lumbar vertebrae on the box to support the back.

If the abdominals or back is weak, do not roll all the way back; only go as far as you can control.

You may want to support the beginner by placing one hand on their back and the other on their abdominals, emphasizing the navel pulling to the spine, to protect their back.

Variation in the breathing pattern: In a full roll back, inhale rolling down, exhaling at the deepest point. Lift the chin to the chest and inhale; exhale while returning to the starting position.


SHORT BOX SERIES: FLAT

SPRING SETTING: 2-3

REPETITIONS: 5

GOALS:

  • Strengthen the “POWERHOUSE”
  • Lengthen the Torso

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Sit tall on the Box, a hand-width from the back edge.

  1. Hold a pole, reaching up to the ceiling with the pole parallel to the floor. Keep the arms forward in front of the ears. A variation would be arms folded with the hands on the back of the neck.
  2. Inhaling, lift the body in one straight line and hinge backwards in the high diagonal. The important part is to remain tall and straight in the “abdominal wall” and lower back. Keep the ribcage lined up with the pelvis.
  3. On the exhalation, lift taller as you return to the upright position.


SHORT BOX SERIES: SIDE TO SIDE

NOTE: To introduce the intermediate level, Twist/ Reach, we first work with a side to side stretch.

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Sit tall on the Box, a hand-width from the back edge.

  1. Hold a pole, reaching up to the ceiling with the pole parallel to the floor. Keep the arms forward in front of the ears.
  2. “Tilt” the upright position so the collarbones stay aligned in front of the hip bones.
  3. Inhaling, reach the body in one straight line to the right, keeping the shoulders in front of the hips.
  4. Exhale. Return to center lifting up tall.
  5. Inhale. Reach the body to the left side.
  6. Exhale. Return to the center lifting up tall.
  7. Repeat.

TEACHING: The most important part of these exercises is how tall and even they pull up both sides of the body, not how far they go.


SHORT BOX SERIES: TREE

SPRING SETTING: 2-3

REPETITIONS: Limbering 3 time, 2 sets of Backbends

GOALS:

  • Stretch the Spine
  • Stretch the Back of the Leg

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Take one leg out of the strap and bend your knee to your chest placing your arm under your thigh. Holding the thigh firmly against the ribcage, sit tall with your back at a right angle to the box, as much as possible.

  1. Maintaining a tall back, stretch and bend the leg three times.
  2. Walk your hands up to your ankle. Relaxation is the key to getting a good stretch. Do not force this stretch!
  3. Initiating from your “POWERHOUSE,” bring your leg back to the edge of the Box intensifying the stretch.
  4. Bring your back up to the leg, not the other way around.
  5. Lower your chin to your chest and roll back to the edge of the Box taking your leg with you. Leaving the leg still, walk down it. If possible, roll off the Box into a backbend.
  6. Bring your chin back to your chest, use your “POWERHOUSE” and return to the upright position walking your hands up to your ankle. Grow tall against the leg and gently drop your head.

TEACHING:

Make sure the hips and shoulders remain square as the body goes to the edge of the Box, or later, into the backbend. Work with the same control upon returning up.

If you have weak abdominals, back, neck, or you cannot maintain an even body, only roll half way back.

It is the “POWERHOUSE” that returns the body upright and not the arms pulling on the leg.


ELEPHANT

SPRING SETTING: 2

REPETITIONS: 5 (sometimes I like 10)

GOALS:

  • Isolate the Abdomen
  • Strengthen the Hips
  • Stretch the Calves and Hamstrings

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Place your heels down on the mat in front of the shoulder blocks, lift the toes. Pulling the navel to the spine, drop the head and shoulders. Brace the upper body against the bar.

  1. Gently push the carriage out. This is done from the hip sockets and the lower “POWERHOUSE.”
  2. With control, pull the carriage back in, counting for 3.

TEACHING:

Make sure to push the legs out using the lower abdominal muscles. Watch that the ribcage and diaphragm remain lifted and into the back without movement.

It is important that you slow down the rhythm on the returning in of the carriage. Really “dig the heels” into the mat to work the calves.


KNEE STRETCH SERIES: ROUND

SPRING SETTING: 2

REPETITIONS: 6-8

GOALS:

  • Control through the “POWERHOUSE”
  • Isolate in the hips

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Kneel on the carriage placing the hands on the foot bar. The feet are placed in front of the shoulder blocks, the toes curled forward and under, the heels firmly against the blocks. Sit as far back towards your heels as possible, curving the lower back into a strong “C-Curve” while anchoring the navel to the spine and keeping the tailbone curled under.

  1. From this position, push the carriage out the length of your shin bones. This is done without moving the arms or shoulders.
  2. With an accent from the “POWERHOUSE,” bring the carriage back under you. Again, you work the springs.

TEACHING:

The upper body does not move at all in this exercise. Isolate the movement in the hips.

Warning: If you have bad knees, you may have to eliminate this exercise


KNEE STRETCH SERIES: ARCHED

SPRING SETTING: 2

REPETITIONS: 6-8

GOALS:

  • Arching the Upper Back
  • Opening the Chest
  • Counter Massage

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Starting from the round position, you now arch the upper back, lifting the chest and the pelvis into extension. Sit bones remain hovering towards the heels.

  1. From this position, push the carriage out the length of your shin bones. This is done without moving the arms or shoulders.
  2. With an accent,” pull the carriage back under you.

TEACHING:

The same principles apply here.

Warning: Those individuals with a weak lower back should proceed cautiously with this variation. Gradually work into this arched position.


KNEE STRETCH SERIES: KNEES OFF

SPRING SETTING: 2

REPETITIONS: 8-10

GOALS: 

  •  Strengthening the Legs and “POWERHOUSE”

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Return to the round position. Lift your knees off the mat with your tailbone curled under and your head relaxed down, chin to the chest. The knees are lifted to the level of the ankles.

  1. Bring the body weight further forward.
  2. Straighten the knees all the way, maintaining a strong “POWERHOUSE.”
  3. Bend the knees to pull the carriage in. The accent is on the “in.”

TEACHING:

NOTE: For beginners, the knees may not straighten all the way. Introduce this gradually.

If you have trouble finding this position with your body, start by standing up on the carriage. The heels are lifted against the shoulder blocks, as if you’re going to perform the “Up Stretch.” From this position, “scoop the tailbone under,” bending and lowering the knees until they hover at the height of the ankles.

If you have tender knees, only do this “Knees Off” variation.


RUNNING

SPRING SETTING: 4

REPETITIONS: 20 times (10 sets)

GOALS:

  • Cool Down
  • Returning to your Center

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Lie on your back with the toes (metatarsals) on the foot bar The legs are parallel. Centering your spine, sink your navel to the spine.

  1. Push the carriage out. Lower one heel and bend the opposite knee while lifting that ankle to work the arch. Keep the knees straight up to the ceiling.
  2. Rise back to the starting position with both heels high and touching.
  3. Repeat to the other side and continue

TEACHING:

Do not “run” more than 20 repetitions (10 sets): We do not want to rest too long.

Make sure that the knees stay properly aligned, always straight up to the ceiling. This may mean that certain people have to open their toes while keeping the heels together.

The gluteal and abdominal muscles are working in order to prevent the hips from swaying.

The rhythm of this exercise is “springy,” working the ankle and the arch evenly.


PELVIC LIFT

SPRING SETTING: 4

REPETITIONS: Maximum 10

GOALS:

  • Firming the Buttocks
  • Inner / Upper Thighs

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Place the arches old your feet on the corner edges of the foot bar and raise your pelvis one hand’s width off the mat.

  1. Staying in this position, use the “POWERHOUSE” and push out while maintaining the hand’s width height.
  2. Working the inner / upper thighs, bring the carriage back in while maintaining the level of the pelvis.
  3. To finish, “roll” the back down to the tailbone.

TEACHING:

Make sure the “POWERHOUSE” is working to keep the pelvis in the proper position as the carriage moves out and in.

Make the hips are even and working symmetrically. Also check that both legs are being worked evenly.


SMALL BARREL & SPINE CORRECTOR


STRETCH WITH BAR

Good Ending Exercise

REPETITIONS: 3 times

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Sit with the coccyx on the edge of the Spine Corrector Barrel. The legs are straight and the body is lying back over the barrel. Both hands hold onto a weighted bar which, in the beginning, rests on your thighs.

  1. Inhale and lift the bar to the ceiling.
  2. Exhaling, reach the arms back with 3 gentle pulses, increasing the stretch. Keep your back into the barrel.
  3. Inhaling, reach the arms up to the ceiling again.
  4. Exhale, return the bar to your thighs.

TEACHING:

  • Make sure that your “powerhouse” supports your back.
  • Pay attention to straight legs, evenly maintained hips, and arms working evenly and squared.


ARM CIRCLES

REPETITIONS: 3 circles in each direction

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Lie with your upper back against the barrel. Place the head back with a long, relaxed neck. Extend the legs down into “Pilates Stance” or bend your knees upward with your feet flat on the floor. Your arms are by your sides. You may hold light weights.

  1. Inhaling lift your arms straight to the ceiling.
  2. Open your arms as you exhale. Keep your back into the barrel.
  3. Continue to exhale as you circle your arms to your sides.

NEXT STEP:

  • Begin with small circles. When you can control the small circles, you may increase the range of the circles.

TEACHING:

  • This exercise can be done with 2-3 lb. weights in your hands, or without any weights at all.
  • Start your arm circles with a slight arch in your upper back. Then later, sit closer to the barrel for a more intense stretch.
  • Introduce this exercise with the Up/Down movement.
  • Then progress to the Arm Circles on the Small Barrel.
  • Finally execute the circles on the Spine Corrector.


LEG SERIES:

CIRCLES

REPETITIONS: 5 circles in each direction

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. SMALL BARREL: Lie over the Barrel with your lower back against it. Hands are holding onto the side handles to keep the Barrel firmly pressed into your back. Keep the neck long and relaxed making sure there is no pressure no it. Straighten both legs to the ceiling.

0. SPINE CORRECTOR: Control getting into this exercise; keep the chin to your chest as you slide to your shoulders. At the end of this exercise, bring your head up first. Sit against the Barrel, then slide on top and over, until your shoulders lie on the floor. Keep the neck long and relaxed making sure there is no pressure on it. Bend your knees into your chest.

  1. Hold the handles on the sides of the Barrel and pull them towards you keeping your lower back supported.
  2. Straighten your legs to the ceiling, slightly below a 90% angle.
  3. Open your legs no wider than the frame of your body.
  4. Reach your legs long out of your hips, downwards while keeping your navel, ribs and back into the Barrel.
  5. Work your inner thighs to close your legs.
  6. Continue to work your inner thighs as you lift the legs.

TEACHING:

SMALL BARREL

  • Begin with small controlled circles.
  • Progress to working the circles with a brisk dynamic.

SPINE CORRECTOR

  • Warning: Control getting into this exercise; keep the chin to your chest as you slide to your shoulders. At the end of this exercise, bring your head up first.
  • This is a great exercise to replace the Leg Springs if you have weaker legs and/or bad knees.
  • Initially, work within the frame of your body keeping the circles small.
  • Flexible dancers?!? Do not work too wide.
  • Strong and stiff?!? Stretch wider.

SCISSORS

REPETITIONS: 5 sets R/L

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. SMALL BARREL: Lie over the Barrel with your lower back against it. Hands are holding onto the side handles to keep the Barrel firmly pressed into your back. Keep the neck long and relaxed making sure there is no pressure no it. Straighten both legs to the ceiling. This exercise can follow the Leg Circles.

0. SPINE CORRECTOR: This exercise can follow the Leg Circles.

  1. Hold the handles on the sides of the Barrel and pull them towards you keeping your lower back supported.
  2. Keep one leg up to the ceiling as you lengthen the other leg as far as possible down to the floor, or edge of the seat, while hugging your body’s midline.
  3. Switch in there air, making sure the focus is on the lengthening of the downward moving leg.

TEACHING:

  • It is important that you keep the lower back firmly pressed into the Barrel while the legs are reaching long. Continue sinking your navel to your spine.
  • The “up” leg should never fall backwards over the head.
  • Keep legs in line with the midline of your body.
  • Focus on the leg that reaches down, opening your hip.

WALKING

REPETITIONS: 3-5 sets

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. SMALL BARREL & SPINE CORRECTOR: Lie over the Barrel with your lower back against it. Hands are holding onto the side handles to keep the Barrel firmly pressed into your back. Keep the neck long and relaxed making sure there is no pressure no it. Start with both legs to the ceiling. This exercise can follow the Scissors.

  1. Walk the legs down to the mat with short controlled steps. Maintain even steps progressing only as far down as you can continue the control of your back against the barrel.
  2. Continue this control as you walk back up with the same number of steps to the starting position.

TEACHING:

  • Keep holding the handles on the sides of the Barrel pulling them towards you to keep your lower back supported.
  • Work with control.
  • Begin with fewer steps (6), then progress to 8.
  • Work slowly at the beginning.

BICYCLE

REPETITIONS: 3-5 circles, then reverse.

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. SMALL BARREL & SPINE CORRECTOR: Lie over the Barrel with your lower back against it. Hands are holding onto the side handles to keep the Barrel firmly pressed into your back. Keep the neck long and relaxed making sure there is no pressure no it. Start with both legs to the ceiling. This exercise can follow the Walking.

  1. As one leg continues to reach to the ceiling, the other leg reaches out and down to the mat, or edge of the Barrel.
  2. Bend the knee dropping the foot to the mat, or touching the edge of the Barrel. This will stretch the front of the hip and the leg.
  3. The leg circles back into the chest and up to the ceiling as the other leg passes, repeating the movement.

TEACHING:

  • Focus on the downward leg, trying each time to touch the mat or edge of the Barrel to increase the stretch.
  • Do NOT allow the “up” leg to fall back over the head.
  • Bending the knee at the last possible moment while keeping the back firmly pressed into the Barrel, will increase the opening of the hip.

BEATS

REPETITIONS: 20 beats

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. SMALL BARREL & SPINE CORRECTOR: Lie over the Barrel with your lower back against it. Hands are holding onto the side handles to keep the Barrel firmly pressed into your back. Keep the neck long and relaxed making sure there is no pressure no it. Start with both legs reaching to the ceiling.

  1. Bring both legs down far as you can maintain control. Turn the legs out (lateral rotation).
  2. Vigorously beat the inner thighs together 20 times.

TEACHING:

  • Be sure the lower back is firmly supported by the Barrel.
  • Use the “powerhouse” to stabilize the body while beating.

ROLLING IN AND OUT

REPETITIONS: 3 sets

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. SMALL BARREL & SPINE CORRECTOR: This exercise is the last of the Leg Series. Lying over the Barrel, bend the knees into your chest.

  1. With both knees together, roll the lower half of the body so the knees reach toward the right ear, then to the left. Alternate the movement for 3 sets trying to bring knees a little higher each time.

NEXT STEP:

2. Instead of the side-to-side motion, now circle the legs, gradually increasing the range and lift of the circles.

TEACHING:

  • Keep the legs together.
  • Work the abdominals.
  • When you spot a client, have your elbows at her ankles, and your hands on her knees to help the movement.

REST POSITION

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. To finish the Leg Series, carefully push the Barrel away until you are lying flat on your back with your knees over the Barrel. Rest. Breath Naturally.

LARGE BARREL (Ladder Barrel)

Beginning Pilates System

This piece of equipment is great to introduce certain exercises that will later be done on the Reformer.

BALLET STRETCHES - FRONT

REPETITIONS: 3 times. Increasing the stretch with each repetition

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Stand inside the Barrel pressing the sacrum against the back rung. Bring one leg up on top of the Barrel making sure you cross the leg in front of your body when lifting. Then pace this leg aligned with the center of your body.

  1. Ideally, your leg should be 90% in front of you.
  2. Your hands are holding the outermost top rungs, with the palms are facing front.
  3. Reach the body upward and then curl from the top of your head down and forward over your leg trying to bring your opposite cheek to the shinbone. Draw your “sitbones” to the floor.
  4. Roll back up to the upright position.
  5. Then arch up and backwards, sustaining the arching back but not hanging the head backwards.
  6. Return center.

VARIATIONWhile keeping both legs straight and hips squared, slide out over the Barrel, then draw back to center. 

TEACHING

Note: This front stretch can replace the TREE in the Short Box Series old this Barrel. (Not beginning)

  • Make sure the buttocks stay squared against the bar and you are standing with your hips directly over your heels.
  • The backbend is optional when doing the Front Stretch.

BALLET STRETCHES - FRONT WITH A BENT LEG

This exercise is good for opening tight hips.

REPETITIONS: 3 times. Increasing the stretch with each repetition

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. This stretch can follow the previous exercise. This time bend the leg on top of the Barrel, with the knee dropped out to the side and the ankle flat. Position this leg across the body.

  1. Pull the body up first, then curl forward over the leg hanging the crown of your head into the space by your knee.
  2. Return to the upright position.
  3. Then arch up and backwards, sustaining the arching back but not hanging the head backwards.
  4. Return center.

TEACHING

  • The pelvis stays squared against the back bar.
  • As your body stretches forward, try to relax your hip as much as possible. You will feel an increased stretch across the buttock.
  • Breathe naturally, exhaling into the stretch position to increase your stretch.

SWEDISH BAR STRETCH

This exercise is for the very stiff

REPETITIONS: 3 times. Increasing the stretch with each repetition

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Face the ladder from the outside. Place your foot in the center of a rung at an appropriate height for your body. Hold on to the outermost rungs.

  1. Bend your knee drawing your hip to your heel.
  2. Keeping your hips squared, straighten your leg and draw your forehead to you knee.

THIGH STRETCH

REPETITIONS: 1 time on each leg

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Stand inside the Barrel facing the ladder with your legs together and your knees touching.

  1. Bend one knee drawing the foot to your seat between the Barrel and your buttocks.
  2. Breathe naturally, exhaling into this position to increase the stretch of your quadriceps. Keep your knees together and use the abdominals to deepen the stretch.

PILATES BASIC/ BEGINNING CADILLAC

Roll Back Bar:

ROLLING BACK

GOALS:

  • Opening up the spine
  • Articulating the full spine

REPETITIONS: 3 times

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Sit on the table with the soles of the feet against the poles, holding onto the bar.

  1. Let the head drop to the chest. Push the heels into the poles. Then, using the “powerhouse,” slowly roll down one vertebrae at a time.
  2. Focus on the first five vertebrae, then take your time working through the vertebrae of the ribcage, then opening the shoulders and collarbones, and finally resting the head and lengthening the neck
  3. Bring the chin back onto the chest an d slowly roll your way up again, one vertebrae at a time.

TEACHING:

  • If there is trouble articulating the spine, you may slightly bend the knees.
  • With very stiff backs, hold the movement in the stiffest region to work those vertebrae.

ROLLING BACK WITH ONE ARM

GOALS:

  • Stretching one side at a time.

REPETITIONS: 2 times

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Sit on the table with the soles of the feet against the poles. Hold onto the bar with one arm placed in the center of the bar. The other arm hugs the abdominals.

  1. Keeping the shoulders even, drop the chin to the chest and roll all the way down to the table.
  2. Return the chin to the chest and roll, one vertebrae at a time, back up.

NEXT STEP:

 

  1. When down on the mat, circle one arm out and diagonally up, reaching to the opposite pole. Look to the hand reaching up. Then send the diagonal foot down to the pole (or cross it over the other ankle for a deeper stretch) and draw the ribs to the mat, resulting in a long side stretch.

 

TEACHING:

  • Caution: This exercise is only given if there is a scoliosis in the back or if one side of the body is weaker than the other.

LEG SPRING SERIES

TEACHING FOR ALL THE EXERCISES OF THIS SERIES:

  • Warning: The Leg Spring Series is never given to people with bad knees.
  • Leg Spring Series are dynamic exercises: you work the springs!
  • In between the exercises of this series, relax your arms down alongside your body.

FROG - Basic version is not in the manual

GOALS:

  • Symmetrical Alignment
  • Slendering the Buttocks and Thighs

REPETITIONS: 5-6 times

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Place the feet in the springs (Spring setting according to strength). Place the hands on the poles behind you, holding higher than your shoulders. This allows you to keep your ribs down. Push away from the poles until your arms are straight. Bend the knees to the chest keeping the heels together and the knees apart (aligned with, or slightly outside of the springs).

  1. Initiating from the inner thighs and “powerhouse”, extend the legs to a 45 degree angle forward, simultaneously sinking the navel deeper into the spine.
  2. With control, bend the knees back into the chest

TEACHING:

  • Make sure to start this exercise with the knees into the chest keeping the heels together and the knees apart aligned with, or slightly outside of the springs.
  • It is important that the navel sinks down against the reaching out of the legs.

LEG CIRCLES

GOALS:

  • Controlling the lower back
  • Strengthening the legs
  • Slimming the thighs
  • Placement awareness

REPETITIONS: 5-10 times max, then reverse the circles.

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Place the feet in the springs (Spring setting according to strength). Place the hands on the poles behind you, holding higher than your shoulders. This allows you to keep your ribs down. Push away from the poles until your arms are straight. Bend the knees to the chest keeping the heels together and the knees apart (aligned with, or slightly outside of the springs).

  1. Extend the legs out in front of your hips (never to a 90% up). Then open the legs as wide as you can control in the hips.
  2. Pull the legs down. Focus on working symmetrically. Use your“powerhouse” to maintain your back into the mat.
  3. Close the legs from the inside of the thighs.
  4. With control, bring the legs back up. Make sure you maintain the tension evenly on the springs.

TEACHING:

  • Initially the instructor may assist by standing on top of the Cadillac while guiding the first few circles.
  • Work slower and precisely in the beginning. Always start small, later you can go as wide as you can control.

SCISSORS - Not in manual

GOALS:

  • Controlling the lower back
  • Strengthening the legs
  • Slimming the thighs
  • Placement awareness 

REPETITIONS: 5 sets

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Place the feet in the springs (Spring setting according to strength). Place the hands on the poles behind you, holding higher than your shoulders. This allows you to keep your ribs down. Push away from the poles until your arms are straight. Bend the knees to the chest keeping the heels together and the knees apart (aligned with, or slightly outside of the springs).

  1. Extend the legs out in front of your hips (never to a 90% up).
  2. Pull one leg down along your midline. Focus on keeping your hips symmetrical and stabile. Use your“powerhouse” to maintain your back into the mat.
  3. With control, bring the leg back up. Make sure you maintain the tension on both springs.

NEXT STEP:

  1. Begin with one leg at a time. Once that is mastered, then move both legs simultaneously in a scissoring action while maintaining your placement.

TEACHING:

  • Go only as far down as you can maintain your back into the mat.
  • Make sure you work the springs with control and symmetry. Maintain tension on the springs all times.

WALKING

GOALS:

  • Controlling the lower back
  • Strengthening the legs
  • Slimming the thighs
  • Placement awareness

REPETITIONS: 3 Sets

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Place the feet in the springs (Spring setting according to strength). Place the hands on the poles behind you, holding higher than your shoulders. This allows you to keep your ribs down. Push away from the poles until your arms are straight. Bend the knees to the chest keeping the heels together and the knees apart (aligned with, or slightly outside of the springs).

  1. Extend the legs out in front of your hips (never to a 90% up). Walk your legs down with even steps pulling the springs. Walk 6 steps at the beginning, then a maximum of 8 steps when you’re ready.
  2. Walk back up with the same number of steps, using the “powerhouse” to control the placement of your back.

TEACHING:

  • Go only as far down as you can maintain your back into the mat.
  • Make sure you work the springs with control and symmetry. Maintain tension on the springs all times.
  • Again, as a teacher, you may assist the student by standing on the table guiding the first few times.
  • Start slowly: be sure to move one leg at a time and equally.

BICYCLE

GOALS:

  • Controlling the lower back
  • Strengthening the legs
  • Slimming the thighs
  • Placement awareness

REPETITIONS: 5 sets of circles and then reverse the direction of the circles.

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Place the feet in the springs (Spring setting according to strength). Place the hands on the poles behind you, holding higher than your shoulders. This allows you to keep your ribs down. Push away from the poles until your arms are straight. Bend the knees to the chest keeping the heels together and the knees apart (aligned with, or slightly outside of the springs).

  1. Extend the legs out in front of your hips (never to a 90% up). Push one leg out and down to the table. Bend the knee, bringing the spring to the inside of the knee, then return to the starting position.
  2. Repeat this movement with the other leg, passing the first leg as it is returning in.

TEACHING:

  • Keep the circles small in the beginning. Work slower but with full control.
  • If you have trouble coordinating, start with one leg at a time.
  • Make sure that as the legs circle, the hips stay square and do not shift.

BEATS

GOALS:

  • Controlling the lower back
  • Strengthening the legs
  • Slimming the thighs
  • Placement awareness
  • Working the inner and outer thighs

REPETITIONS: Repeat 3 sets

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Place the feet in the springs (Spring setting according to strength). Place the hands on the poles behind you, holding higher than your shoulders. This allows you to keep your ribs down. Push away from the poles until your arms are straight. Bend the knees to the chest keeping the heels together and the knees apart (aligned with, or slightly outside of the springs).

  1. Extend the legs out in front of your hips (never to a 90% up). Turn out the legs (lateral rotation).
  2. With rapid movements, beat the inner thighs evenly in and out for 8-10 repetitions. Make the beats vigorous.

TEACHING:

  • We do not work from the knees to the foot, we work from the knee to the “powerhouse,” the inner and outer thighs.

NEXT STEP:

  1. You may vary the angle at which you extend the legs.
  2. Slight tension on the springs
  3. 45% angle
  4. Low to the mat, but in the hip joint.
  5. Wrap the inner thighs with the legs crossing ( aka: Changement)
  6. The lower you reach the legs, the more challenging the exercise becomes.
  7. Make sure the “powerhouse” keeps the back flat into the mat and the hips square.

ARM SPRING SERIES

DOWN and UP (pre arm circles)

GOALS:

  • Strengthening the arms
  • Control of the shoulder girdle
  • Placement of the ribcage

REPETITIONS: 2 times

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Lie flat on your back. Feet are placed at the opposite edge of the table with the knees bent up. If you’re not strong enough, lie only halfway down the table. Place the hands in the spring straps keeping the wrists long. Extend the arms to the ceiling.

  1. Inhale as you pull the arms down to your hips. Make sure the shoulders remain down.
  2. Bring the arms back up, exhale on this release. Keep tension on the springs throughout.

TEACHING:

  • Caution: Make sure the springs are attached to the lowest setting!
  • Strong individuals can use the heavier leg springs for the arm series; otherwise use the lighter ones.
  • Strong individuals can place the pelvis at the edge of the table and have the legs hang over the edge with the feet on the floor or on a box.

CIRCLES

GOALS:

  • Strengthening the arms
  • Control of the shoulder girdle
  • Placement of the ribcage

REPETITIONS: 5 circles in each direction

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Lie flat on your back. Feet are placed at the opposite edge of the table with the knees bent up. If you’re not strong enough, lie only halfway down the table. Place the hands in the spring straps keeping the wrists long. Extend the arms to the ceiling.

  1. Inhale as you pull the arms down to your hips. Make sure the shoulders remain down.
  2. Circle 5 times in one direction, then reverse. Keep breathing.
  3. Bring the arms back up, exhale on this release. Keep tension on the springs throughout.

TEACHING:

  • Caution: Make sure the springs are attached to the lowest setting!
  • Strong individuals can use the heavier leg springs for the arm series; otherwise use the lighter ones.
  • Strong individuals can place the pelvis at the edge of the table and have the legs hang over the edge with the feet on the floor or on a box.

TRICEPS

GOALS:

  • Strengthening the back of the arms

REPETITIONS: 5 times max.

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Out of the previous arm circles, we pull the arms down once more. Place the elbows firmly into the mat against the body. Keep them glued to the table.

  1. Bend your elbows to a right angle with the table.
  2. Keeping the upper arms anchored into the mat, pull the lower arms down.

TEACHING:

  • Make sure that the elbows stay glued into the sides and on the mat.
  • The wrists remain straight and the fingers long and relaxed.

PUSH THROUGH SERIES:

PUSH THROUGH

GOALS:

  • Torso control
  • Strengthening the abdominals

REPETITIONS: 4 times max.

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Sit facing the bar with the feet against the poles and place the hands on the bar.

  1. From the “powerhouse” pull the spine back into a C-curve lowering the bar.
  2. Keeping the arms straight, hug the navel into the spine, press the bar down and through, pushing the bar only as far as the big toes. Make sure the hip bones stay over the sit bones in a strong C-curve.
  3. Anchoring the navel deeper into the spine, pull the bar back with long arms.
  4. From the lower back, reach the body up and the bar to the ceiling. Keep the ribcage in and the head in line with the spine.

TEACHING: Note:

  • Short Form is a reach “To the Big Toes.” The short form is for individuals with limber torsos.
  • Long Form is when you reach past the feet and poles for a deeper stretch. This is only for individuals with a stiff back.
  • If your elbows bend at any point, your are NOT working your abdominals. Keep them straight.
  • Be careful to keep your ribs in on the way down as well as on the way up. Keep the arms straight and the shoulders down and wide making the “powerhouse” work instead of the arms.
  • Instructors, do not overly massage.

STANDING ARM SPRING SERIES: WITH ROLL BACK BAR

Note: Hook the roll back bar to the outside of the Cadillac.

CHEST EXPANSION - STANDING

GOALS:

  • Work into the back

REPETITIONS: 2-3 sets

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Stand facing the Cadillac and place the hands on the bar.

  1. On the inhalation press the bar to the thighs.
  2. Holding your breath, expand your chest as you look right, center, left, center.
  3. On the exhalation, return the bar to the starting position.

TRADITIONAL ENDING SERIES

BREATHING

GOALS:

  • Creates Lung endurance
  • Strengthens the Arms and Shoulders
  • Works the Buttocks and Thighs

REPETITIONS: 3-5 times

INSTRUCTIONS:

0. Lie on the table and place your feet in the strap of the trapeze, feet rotated out and secured behind the strap. Reach behind you and place your hands on the roll back bar, extending your wrists and fingers.

  1. As you inhale, firm the buttocks, lift the hips off the mat as you simultaneously pull the bar straight out and down to your thighs. Make this lift dynamic.
  2. Exhaling, slowly roll the spine down to the mat and release the bar straight up. The roll down progression is chest first, ribs, then waist, and finally the bottom.

NEXT STEP:

  1. To strengthen the breathing: after lifting the hips and pulling the bar, hold the breath and position for 3-8 counts. Then roll down on the exhalation.

TEACHING: When introducing this exercise, break it down into three steps:

  • Lift only the pelvis.
  • Work only the arms and shoulders.
  • Combine steps 1 and 2.