upper body Pilates conditioning

Upper body and core conditioning

Class to challenge upper body and core strength

  • Difficulty: Tough
  • Length: 38 minutes

This is a mat-based class which includes exercises using some hand weights (0.5-1kg) to challenge the strength and control of our upper body as well as movements to strengthen our core and abdominal muscles. The class includes some tough movements and exercises so please only work to a level that you feel comfortable and safe to do.

This class includes:

  • Standing ‘Y’ stretch with heel raises
  • Squats with bicep curls
  • Arm lifts with shoulder row
  • Lunge back with arm raises
  • Roll downs
  • Cat stretch
  • Leg pull in prone with shoulder taps
  • Tricep curls
  • Side bend with rotations
  • Modified leg lift sideways
  • Arm openings
  • Clam
  • Hip twist with arm opening
  • Bridging with arm raises
  • Double leg extension with abdo prep
  • criss-cross
  • lumbar rotation
  • glute and hamstring stretch
  • sitting chest openings

The class starts in standing combining some upper body and leg movements together. We then roll down into four-point kneeling starting with a cat stretch to mobilise the spine we then work on the strength and control of our core and upper body with a leg pull in prone, adding some optional shoulder taps for an extra challenge. In this position we work the backs of our arms with some triceps curls. We then come up onto our elbows on our sides to do some side bends and leg lift sideways. Lowering onto the mat on our sides we then stretch out with an arm opening movement and work on our glutes with a clam exercise.

On our backs we wok on some upper body and leg control with a modified hip twist movement. We then continue to strength through our core and abdominal muscles with a bridge, double leg extension and criss-cross exercises. Finishing the class with some gentle stretches back, leg and upper body stretches.

Pay what you feel

Support Pilates Live

All classes are provided for free so they’re accessible for everyone.
However, if you are enjoying the classes and would like to make a contribution, donations are much appreciated.
Thank you.

  • Teresa

    Really enjoyed this class and especially like incorporating the handweights into it. Thank you Vicki 😊

    1. Vicky

      Glad you enjoyed it Teresa 🙂

  • Amanda

    Great class and good to use some weights.

  • Mary

    Great workout, thank you Vicky.

  • Sue

    Another great class! Thank you 😊

  • Andrea

    Another fantastic class! Thank you Vicky 🙂


    Hi Vicky, first of all let me say I love your classes. I have just had a bone density scan and have dropped into the range for osteoporosis. I wondered if there are any specific exercises that would be good for me as there are certain ones I can’t do any more. Thanks very much, Bev.

    1. Vicky

      Hi Beverley, lovely to hear you are enjoying the classes. Pilates is a great way to continue to help improve muscle strength and balance which is important in managing osteoporosis. Generally weight bearing exercises are good for osteoporosis but that is not to say there aren’t lots of benefits to strengthening and stretching movements on the mat. For people with osteoporosis we tend to avoid movements that over flex the spine. There is a great fact sheet from the Royal Osteoporosis Society about modifications of Pilates exercises that you may find helpful which can be found here https://strwebstgmedia.blob.core.windows.net/media/k1xhr2ws/pilates-exercises-modifications-with-osteoporosis-fact-sheet-february-2019.pdf
      I hope that’s of some help. Best wishes, Vicky

  • Beverley

    Thanks very much Vicky, that is very useful information. 😀 x

  • Karen Lanyon

    I love your classes, Vicky, thank you so much. Being able to choose the difficulty and length of class when it suits me is perfect. This is a great upper body workout. Thank you again.

    1. Vicky

      Ah thank you Karen. I am so pleased you’re enjoying the classes 🙂

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