Core and upper body with resistance band

Upper body and core Pilates workout

Pilates class focused on strengthening our upper body and core muscles with the help of the resistance band.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Length: 40 minutes

The class uses the resistance band for some movement sequences to add some challenge and variation to exercises. Please always remember to work to a level that you feel safe and comfortable to do.

This class includes:

  • Standing balance series
  • Arm opening to cleopatra
  • Spine twist
  • Squats with arm reaches
  • Heel raises and bicep curls
  • Standing hundreds
  • Standing mermaid
  • Roll downs
  • Four-point kneeling cat stretch
  • Swimming
  • Triceps curl
  • Child pose
  • Leg pull in prone
  • Swan dive
  • Cobra
  • Double leg stretch
  • Scissors
  • Hip twist with opposite arm opening
  • Rotation stretch
  • One leg stretch and hamstring stretch
  • Sitting – upper body reaches and spine twist

The class in begins in standing using the band between our hands with a balance series. Using the band around our upper back we then open our chests into a cleopatra movement and then to a spine twist. Moving the band down around our buttocks we then sit back into the band with some squats and add some upper body work with some arm reaches. We continue to use the band and challenge our control and upper body endurance with a standing hundred movement. Then stretch our spines with a standing mermaid and roll downs.

We then continue into four-point kneeling using the band to resistance our upper body into a swimming movement. We continue to use the band to strengthen into our triceps muscles. Placing the band once again around our backs we then use it to add a little upper body resistance to a leg pull in prone movement. From here we move down onto our fronts on the mat and work our upper body further with the band behind our backs with a swan dive movement, then mobilise our spines into extension with a cobra stretch.  

Moving onto our backs on the mat we engage and strengthen our core with a double leg stretch, scissors and hip twist movement. We then cool down with a rotation stretch and lengthen our hamstrings with a combined one leg stretch and hamstring stretch using the resistance band. We then finish in sitting with some upper body reaches and spine twist stretches.

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  • Sarah

    I loved doing this class and many others however I find I get knee pain after pilates. Do you think this could be from kneeling or squats or should I avoid both? I am 67 and do get knee pain from time to time. Thanks for all your lovely classes!

    1. Vicky

      Hi Sarah, thanks for your comment. It is difficult to say why you might be getting knee pain. Initially you could see if modifying either of those movements improves your symptoms. For example, for squats make the movement a little bit smaller so you don’t go as low or try putting a soft ball between your knees for the movement. In kneeling you could try placing a 1 inch foam pad under your knee or a small towel to see if the extra cushioning helps. If this is still difficult then there are variations you could do for some of the four-point kneeling exercises which I have some examples of in my blog found here https://pilateslive.co.uk/pilates-blog/making-four-point-kneeling-exercises-more-comfortable/ I hope that’s of some help and you continue to enjoy the classes. Best wishes, Vicky

  • Alison

    Thank you Vicky, I really enjoyed this class. My upper back and shoulders had been feeling tight so this class designed for core and upper body was perfect for me this morning. Using the band gave that added resistance. As a result I feel my back and shoulders are moving without tension again.

    1. Vicky

      That is great to hear. Thank you Alison. Hope you’re well 🙂

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