Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Mat Transitions 10

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions on the Mat 10

Welcome to Episode 10 – the final installment – of Transitions on the Mat!

In this episode we'll look at some options for the Push Up series.

Know where you are and know where you're going.

In Pilates, the Push Up series is as much about the getting to the position for Push Ups as it is about the Push Ups themselves. Use your control and walk your hands out to a perfect position in 4 steps only.

Depending on who you are, you can vary the amount and style of Push Ups that you do. If getting into the series is challenging you can focus more on that part and just hold the plank position for imaginary Push Ups (shall we say).

Push Up options you may enjoy:

  • 1 set of 3 Push Ups – and done!
  • 3 sets of Push Ups – 1 Push Up per set.
  • 3 sets of Push Ups – 1, then 2, then 3 Push Ups (adding 1 more each time)
  • 5 sets of Push Ups – 1, then 2, then 3, etc… until in the last set you do 5
  • Clapping Hands Push Ups – 1 each set or if you can do more, by all means…
  • Clapping Feet Push Ups – these are not for the faint of heart…
  • Clapping Hands and Feet Push Ups – for those that have great hops (not me) and get enough air to get it all done.

Enjoy this short vlog!

Late to the party? No prob.

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions on the Mat 9

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions on the Mat 9

Welcome to Episode 9 of Transitions on the Mat!

In this episode we'll pick up with Rocking – the 3rd and final time you'll transition to your stomach in the workout.

Post Rolling Extravaganza and into Rocking

Perfecting the transition to Rocking is another obsession project of mine.

Often we reach for our feet – especially if the Rocking position is a big stretch – by shifting side to side, grabbing one foot and then the other.

It can be a challenge to keep the initial set up as symmetrical as possible.

To that end, I begin on my stomach with my legs long on the mat and my arms long by my side, palms up. Now I can use all the length and reach in my body to my best advantage.

Once I have reached my toes long behind me I will start to bend my legs. Next I'll lift my chest and reach both arms back with the intent of placing both feet into my hands AT THE SAME TIME.

Give it a try.

You'll get some good intel on your body whether you're successful or not. It took me a while to be able to take both feet together. For a while I stayed symmetrical as long as possible and then wiggled a bit to get hold of my feet.

These things take time.

  • Finish your Crab.
  • In one swift maneuver turn onto your stomach, arms and legs long on the mat.
  • Reach and lift into your Rocking position and begin!

Post Rocking and into Control Balance

A word about arriving into position for Control Balance

My preference is to keep the arms down by the sides and lift the lower body overhead as you do in the Jackknife.

Once you are balanced in this position reach your arms out to the sides and then overhead. At the same time you'll bring one leg down to hold your ankle.

Focus on the lifting leg in this exercise. Try not to park your lower foot on the floor.

Balance, yes?

Worst case scenario, you'll roll down onto the mat.

Boy, this exercise really earns its name!

  • Finish your Rocking.
  • Sit back into our beloved counter stretch. Really milk it after this one:)
  • Efficiently turn onto your back for the Control Balance.
  • Lift yourself into the Control Balance and go!
  • Finish and roll down onto the mat and up to a standing position.

Options for Standing Up

I enjoy playing with different options for getting up and down to the mat.

1. Traditionally you'll stand with one foot crossed over the other. You can cross over either way, and of course we like to encourage you to choose whichever is most challenging. Your heels can be lifted which will test your balance further. You can also keep the heels down increasing the lift you'll need in your back to descend to the mat.

2. You can stand with both feet together for a deep aboriginal squat to the mat (my favorite).

3. If you've got a stronger/weaker side and you're up for a challenge you can descend in a 1 leg pistol squat and rise up on your other leg (also my favorite). It becomes a good test of your memory to remember which leg you used way back at the beginning of your workout.

4. Also, if your knees bother you – you may leave it out. It's still a great workout if you begin lying down.

Take care of yourselves. Don't be a hero… 🙂

Enjoy this short vlog!

Missed an episode? No prob.

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions on the Mat 8

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions on the Mat 8

Welcome to Episode 8 of Transitions on the Mat!

In this episode we'll pick up with our 3 rolling exercises: Boomerang, Seal and Crab.

Yay! What fun 🙂

Post Side Bend and into the Boomerang

  • Finish your Side Bend.
  • Bring your feet to the front of the mat and get into position.
  • Use your scoop just like your start of the Open Leg Rocker to begin your Boomerang.


  • Finish your Boomerang.
  • Assume the position of the Seal and go!

A word about our Seal to Crab transition

The positions of Seal and Crab are relatively similar. You'll simply change the hold on your legs and keep rolling along.

To begin your Crab you have 2 options:

  1. Change while upright (in the front), or
  2. Change to while upside down (in the back)

To change from Seal to Crab in the back, begin an additional Seal. Change when you are upside down. It's my preference to perfect my lift while upside-down and rearrange the leg position to Crab in the air.

It's a challenge to get the Crab action of the leg switch yet still not lose your lift.

You've had time to perfect your lift while upside down in the two preceding exercises. By the time you get to the Crab you'll be a pro.

To change from Seal to Crab in the front, keep your balance post Seal and change your position to the Crab. Begin your Crab by rolling up and forward over your feet first.


  • Finish your Seal either in the front or in the back.
  • Change your shape to the position for Crab and go!

Part of the beauty and challenge of this rolling series is that our rolling shape continues to get ever smaller.

Pay attention as your shape changes from Boomerang to Seal and finally to Crab. Investigate fully how to make your body roll as smoothly as possible.

Cultivate as much length and opening in the back as you can…

Rocking is coming…

Enjoy this short vlog!

Missed an episode? No prob.

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions on the Mat 7

Thanks Order of the Pilates Exercises: Transitions on the Mat 7

Welcome to Episode 7 of Transitions on the Mat!

In this episode we'll pick up with our second flip onto the stomach for Swimming.

Post Hip Circles and into Swimming.

Isn't it grand that we get to bend the other way now?

  • Roll over onto your stomach.
  • Begin your Swimming.

Yay! Another counter stretch moment. Make it glorious!

  • Sit back into your counter stretch position.
  • Bring yourself forward and into position for the Leg Pull.

Leg Pull and Leg Pull Front

Now we've got a series of exercises done on one side and then the other.

From Leg Pull and Leg Pull Front, we're on a one-side-then-the-other-side-journey.

Let's continue alternating sides all the way through to Side Bend.

Bottoms up!

Another of the infamous – and fancy – transitions gets you from Leg Pull (the one facing down like a plank) to the Leg Pull Front (the one facing up).

As you move from one exercise to the next try to be as efficient as possible.

No futzing around…

Please know that there may be a bit of wiggling in even the most proficient of practitioners. We're trying…


(pun intended)


We do have one golden rule for this transition:

Your bottom must NOT hit the mat.

I repeat:

Wiggle if you must, but keep that butt in the air all the way to Leg Pull Front.

  • Finish your Leg Pull.

I'll use the right side as an example but you can do it with the left side as well.

  • Bring your right hand over to the left.
  • Cross your right foot over your left (if you look at your feet).
  • Lift your left arm up and out and turn your body to face the sky.
  • Keep your bottom in the air as you place your left hand on the mat and situate your feet.
  • Begin your Leg Pull Front.

Side Kicks Kneeling

This transition I happen to enjoy, although it is quite the butt-spazzer…

Know where you'll need to have your knees on the mat for the Side Kicks Kneeling. As you are working this transition try to bring yourself into this position as directly as possible.

Again I'll use the right side as an example but you can do either side.

  • Finish your Leg Pull Front.
  • Bend your right leg and place your knee close to the edge and center of the right side of the mat.
  • Get your right hand into position in line with your knee.
  • Reach your left leg out to the side and into your starting position.
  • Begin your Side Kicks Keeling on the first side.
  • To change to the other side, lift yourself up to kneel on both knees, hands behind the head.
  • Use control and place the left hand on the mat.
  • Reach your right leg out to the right into the starting position.
  • Begin the second side of Side Kicks Kneeling.
  • Bend the right leg and lift yourself back to kneeling on 2 legs, hands behind the head, to finish.

The Side Bend

In our right side example we end up with the right side as our standing leg for the Side Kicks Kneeling.

Keep that going for the Side Bend as well.

  • Finish your Side Kicks Kneeling: return to the kneeling on both knees position.
  • Sit on your right hip and bring yourself into position.
  • Begin your Side Bend on the first side.
  • Stay facing the same direction and swing your legs in front of you.
  • You are now on your left hip.
  • Begin your Side Bend on the second side.

Enjoy this short vlog!

Missed an episode? No prob.

Subscribe to receive a Special Bonus Blogpost
How to Fall in Love with the Exercises you Hate
We respect your privacy and never share your information.