Pilates Springboard Class

Pilates springboard class

“The body is a series of moving parts, and when you get one area working better, the effect goes through the system.”

This quote by Margot McKinnon defines the following Pilates Springboard class. It is the reason that some of the simplest elements have such a profound impact on the body.

My focus is to mobilize the thoracic spine to help free other locked areas of the body. I have structured the class to work along two diagonal lines from fingertip to opposite toe. These diagonals intersect like an X through the body.

I use a squishy coach ball as a prop to enhance the movements I’m focusing on today.

Warm up

  • Place the ball under one armpit – squeeze from serratus/lats/ back of arm x6
  • Roll shoulder up & back
  • Repeat all above on the other side


  • Stand, place ball between shoulder blades & lean against the Springboard. Hold arms in front of chest like holding a barrel – open and close arms focusing on shoulder blades moving and the front of chest stretching (but not the front of your shoulder) x6
  • Arc arms up to ceiling x3
  • +lift breastbone as arms arc up and sink breastbone as arms lower x3
  • Bring palms together – roll the ball side to side behind your back to move the thoracic spine (and it’s ok if your hips move too)
  • Squats – bend & straighten your knees – feel ball rolling up and down spine


  • Face board with ball in front of breast bone, arms wide, L- shape and resting on wall/board
  • Use your breast bone to roll the ball upwards – allow your t-spine to extend slightly x6


  • Sit, holding squishy ball between soles of feet and turn knees out. Point toes to face your nose, then point them back up to the ceiling x12


  • Lay on back with knees bend and feet flat. Place ball behind/between shoulder blades. Roll back over the ball and then up in a mini ab curl x4
  • + straighten one leg keeping the other bent x4 – repeat other side


  • Lay facing the Springboard. Place knees over & behind the roll down bar
  • Hold ball in hands above chest. Bridge – neutral x6 and articulating spine x6
  • + take ball in 1 hand and open to T as you lift into bridge. Repeat other side x6
  • Hold hips high in bridge and pass the ball around your body, right under your hips. x3. Reverse x3
  • Hold ball in hands – thoracic rotation – rock across shoulders and let the eyes follow the ball
  • Hands behind head curl forward, figure 8 with upper spine
  • + Uncurl then curl again – one arm reaches across for oblique work, change other side
  • Hold outer part of roll bar with hands, curl your body and roll like a ball.
  • + Hold at the top and press the bar down, extend legs as you continue to press – don’t forget to breathe!


  • Roll all the way and transition to a tall kneeling position facing the roll bar and holding it

Tall kneeling

  • Press into the bar and let the hips sit back a bit. Do a cat/cow with the bar suspended.
  • Chest expansion (press arms behind you) and turn head
  • Draw figure 8’s with the bar
  • Thigh stretch
  • + Upper thoracic extension (make sure not to compress lumbar spine)


  • Hold the bar, transition to lunge from kneeling
  • + Add upper spine flexion
  • + Repeat other leg forward
  • Stand tall, hold the roll bar, do a chest expansion
  • + lift heels x6
  • Wide plie stance with under hand grip
  • + mid blades pull together
  • + hold add alternate heel lifts
  • Over hand grip + pull blades together
  • + both heels lift & lower
  • + legs bend and straighten


  • Step inside roll down bar & hold bar so springs are under arms. Feet are parallel —
  • lean from ankles – press bar keeping shoulders wide
  • Bring blades together & apart
  • + lift alternate knees as you press forward
  • Still inside roll down bar, lunge forward & hold – press bar in a diagonal line opposite to forward leg – repeat other side


  • Come out from behind the bar, hold with one hand and turn sideways to the Springboard
  • + side bending free arm reaching up & over towards the board
  • + hold bar now with free hand and arm that was holding the bar now comes directly over that arm and parallel to floor – foot closest to bar move slightly forward other foot behind (split stance) lean away from board and free arm arcs up and back so the spine rotates & ** before repeating other side hold bar with both hands round down and up few times


  • Purple springs on 3, 4 or 5 – head to board, both feet in straps
  • Sagittal legs arcs
  • Bicycle
  • Single leg reaches
  • Turn legs out and press away so they are in the shape of a diamond. Keep this shape and move legs up and down making sure to use the hip rotators
  • Hold lower stable bar and add lower ab reverse curls
  • Finish with slow deliberate leg circles

Cool down

  • Feet out of straps come to quadruped and do slow moving cat cow
  • Go to child pose with knees quite wide arms forward
  • Lie on your back, interlace your fingers and reach arms overhead comfortably.
  • Reach both legs long
  • Keep one leg straight and cross the other over. Roll from hip to hip add turn head in opposite direction. Repeat other side
  • Lie with legs straight & arms at your side. Just breathe


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