Summer Arms: Pilates Workout with the Pilates Magic Circle to tone the Arms

Stephen Dunn: Hey, hey, hey guys, what’s up? It’s Stephen Dunn with CORE Therapy & Pilates, and today we have a class for our Mindful Movement Monday, where I want you to get your Pilates flex ring, your Pilates ring. And Celeste is going to be teaching a class for those summer arms, because I think the beach is that way.

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Celeste: Hi. So, grab your magic circle, and you’re going to stand with your feet parallel, about hip width apart. Make sure your toes point directly forward, weight is in your heels. And you’re going to lift to the belly, pulling it in and up, and we’re gonna exhale, squeeze the ring, and then inhale to release it. Now, as you do this, lengthen through the crown of the head, keep lifting the belly in and up, and I want you to also focus on your non-dominant arm, your weaker side. So if you’re right handed, for example, you’re going to queue more into your left side or add more effort into your left arm. And we’ll do about two sets of 10 of these. Exhaling as you squeeze, inhaling as you release. Okay, and then we’re gonna change the position of the arm. We won’t really do two sets today; we’ll just do one set of 10. But it’s good to kind of take a break and then do another set.

Celeste: We’re gonna change the position of the ring so that our elbows are around the outside of it, and then we hook our thumbs over the ring and do little prayer hands here. Make sure you have your nice length through your spine, pelvis is tucked ever so slightly; belly lifted, and we’re just gonna squeeze here. Exhaling and releasing, inhale, exhale. Pull the belly in as you squeeze, and inhale to release. Again, still focusing on your nondominant side. Breathing through it, and one more. Exhaling and releasing. Now take your hands and place your arms forward. Plug the shoulder blades in. Lift the belly, and we’re just going to lift up, and then I want you to squeeze as you draw the circle down. And as you’re working, you’re working from this bottom point of the shoulder blade, queuing into the pinky side of the palm, so that you feel this back line of the arm activate. And we’re getting the underside of the arms. Am I blocking anyone? Couple more. Exhaling as we squeeze down.

Celeste: And then let’s take our arms overhead. Now make sure your shoulders are dropped; you’re not shrugging your shoulders up to your ears. And we’re gonna squeeze, and put the ring over our head like we’re putting on a crown. And then slide the arms up. Squeeze and put on your crown. Inhale up. Exhale, pull the belly in as you draw the circle down. Inhale up. Press into the handles as you come down. Three more. Exhaling down, inhaling up. And then last one. Now let’s just take our hands to the inside of the circle, still with the shoulders dropped away from the ears; we’re just gonna stretch over, and over to the other side. And then come back to center.

Celeste: Now, we’re gonna take the ring, and we’re gonna place it on our hip. Now your elbow is soft here, so it’s kind of pointed back; shoulder blade is plugged in. And we’re gonna squeeze and release. And once again, we’re trying to get this underside of the arm, which is why we’re keeping the elbows soft. Hopefully your circle doesn’t slide down your hip, like mine does. Try to keep that shoulder down the whole time you’re doing this. Two more. Belly’s engaged the whole time, you’re lifting the belly up toward the sternum. Okay, and then we’re gonna do the same thing on the other side; taking the circle over, soft elbow. Nice and tall, and just squeeze and release. Exhale, squeeze, inhale, release. Now, you would want to do extras on your weaker side to try and strengthen that side to match your dominant side. Okay, let’s do one more. We’re not going to do extras on that side today.

Celeste: And then the last thing we do is elbows are soft, shoulders are down, we place the circle behind us. And we’re just going to try to squeeze. Now you might not actually get a squeeze on this. It might just be a little, tiny, kind of pressure into the handles.

Mauro: It feels like turtle in GYROTONIC®

Celeste: What, Mauro?

Cheryl: Turtle.

Mauro: Turtle

Celeste: Yes, exactly. And let’s do one more, and then we’re gonna stretch it out again, arms out overhead. This time you’re gonna pull out on the ring as you draw it down over your head, like you’re putting your crown on, pulling out, and then take your arms up overhead and we’ll do a quick, little stretch over. And then other way. And then come back to center. Okay, well thank you guys. It was fun working out with you. I hope you have a great summer.

Cheryl: We’ll see y’all next week…

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Celeste Knickerbocker

Celeste Knickerbocker is a Pilates & GYROTONIC® instructor with a basis in therapeutic massage and PT modalities. She discovered Pilates as a teenager majoring in dance, and nurtured a personal dedication to the practice for nearly two decades. After discovering the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® in 2013, she was impressed by this effective exercise art. She finds interacting with a variety of people, while helping folks improve their overall health and well-being, to be deeply fulfilling.
Celeste Knickerbocker

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