Is there an order to exercises on the Cadillac?

On the Cadillac or Tower, there technically isn’t an order. Which usually leads to the next question…how do you create a workout on the Cadillac if there isn’t an order?

  • Author: lesley.logan
  • September 7, 2022
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In Classical Pilates, there is an order to the exercises on the Mat and Reformer. While you can omit exercises that are not in your Mat practice yet, you start with the Hundred on the Mat and end with Push Ups. Or, on the Reformer with Footwork and end with something like Pelvic Lift or maybe even all the way to Russian Squats! But, on the Cadillac or Tower, there technically isn’t an order. Which usually leads to the next question…how do you create a workout on the Cadillac if there isn’t an order?

Great question! And something I struggled with as well when I first started teaching and learning the exercises on the Cadillac or Tower. Inside of the flashcards I made for the Cadillac/Tower I included a few workouts. And I too had to consider how would I order them to assist the person doing the work.

Here’s what I consider when creating a workout on the Cadillac or Tower

1) What do I/they need?

2) What would challenge them?

3) How can I flow exercises together to save on set-ups? Transitions are key!

4) Am I using it to warm up or to fine-tune my/their practice?

5) Body position-laying down, kneeling, on your stomach, etc.

1) What do I/They need?

The Cadillac was created to truly support and teach our bodies some key concepts and connections. While there are some very challenging exercises on the Cadillac there are a lot of exercises that help teach our bodies connections. If you’re struggling with the Arm/Back connection then choose Arm SpringsChest Expansion or Kneeling Side Bend. If you’re wanting to build up to Teaser on the Mat you’ll do Teaser with the Push Thru Bar.

2) What would challenge them?

After working out on the Mat or Reformer you’ll see where you/they can be challenged. Maybe Short Spine Massage is stronger and you’re wanting to add in Long Spine Massage soon. Then going to the Cadillac/Tower to do Leg Springs in the Air and Airplane is a great way to challenge the practice and set up for future sessions adding in Long Spine Massage.

3) How can I flow exercises together to save on set-ups? Transitions are key!

Because the Cadillac and Tower have so many options it’s easy to give people what they need. However, when planning a workout it saves time and makes it easier to connect to each exercise when you’re not going from doing one exercise on the Arm Springs. Then one with the Leg Springs. Then one with Push Thru Bar and then back to Leg Springs. When possible try to do all you want to do with the Arm Springs then the Push Thru Bar, etc.

4) Am I using it to warm up or to fine-tune my/their practice?

If starting out on the Cadillac or Tower, before going to your Mat or Reformer, what exercises would warm you up? Prepare yourself for what you are needing when you do the rest of your practice. For example, I would struggle with my Thass® connection. So, I would start with Roll Down with the Roll Back Bar. Then Single Leg Springs, Leg Springs and then maybe consider one more thing before going to the Reformer.

You wouldn’t want to warm up with exercises that are more challenging than your practice. You want to choose exercises that set you up for success.

If using the Cadillac to challenge, put it at the end of the workout and then you’ll know based on the exercises that were more possible that day choose exercises to challenge them.

5) Body position-laying down, kneeling, on your stomach etc.

Another way to make your Cadillac or Tower workout smooth, supportive and when necessary challenging is choosing exercises in an order that sets the body up. Think laying down on your back, to sitting, to kneeling to being on your stomach then to standing. Build the connections then challenge them.

The Cadillac and Tower are where you get to be creative! And as long as you’re basing it on the practice in front of you then whatever order you choose is good enough for that day. Our bodies and practice are different each day. So you may need to change up your plans as you go.

xx~LL

PS. If you’re looking for some workout suggestions you can find some in our Cadillac/Tower Flashcard deck. And, every month we release a new Cadillac/Tower workout in our Full Studio Membership based on a specific theme.

By lesley.logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with OPC Teachers.
Enjoying Lesley's teaching style? Willing to travel? Explore the world while maintaining your practice by joining Lesley on a Pilates retreat.

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pop up summer tour | online pilates classes

SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

I WANNA ROCK

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

When I first started teaching another teacher in the studio I was at who had 20+ years of teaching was struggling with her client. They kept wanting to lift their head to extend. In every exercise no matter what she said their head would lift before their chest. She said "the worst thing we ever did was call the neck the neck." Now, I don't think its the WORST thing. I have some thoughts on chairs and shoes. But, its up there! If you've been struggling with Swan, Swimming, Rocking and some of our other fun extension exercises this week is for you!

Grab a magic circle for a fun warm up on the Mat and Reformer. Don't have one? No problem I've got options for ya!

See ya in class,
xx-LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


UPTOWN FUNK

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Roll Up. Love it or leave it?

However you feel about it might change over the next week as we explore how to use our side waist and leg muscles to improve your Roll Up!!

It might seem like a funky way to improve your spinal movements, but by using different variations we’ll help you connect your legs to your center. And once you do that you can listen to your body and explore where you need to create more space or find more muscles!

By the way, if you took last fall’s BOOmerang class, you’ll absolutely LOVE the mat workout this week!!

Props Needed:
Mat: Grab a Barrel or Blanket
Reformer: Reformer box & Pole

See you in class,
Rachel

I DIP, YOU DIP, WE DIP

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I happened to hear an oldy but a goody the other day. One that when it came out my parents for sure would not have wanted me to listen to. But, I was curious about the lyrics and found an old music video. And it made me think about how we often tell you about what to do with your hip points, tailbone and even the crest of your hip. So, for a long time, we've been asking you to dip as we dipped. Ok, maybe not as dramatic or even something you'd do on a dance floor. But for this week, we'll be focusing on our pelvis, where it is in space. So you can dip wherever you are whenever you want!

No props needed.

See ya in class,
xx-LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UPTOWN FUNK

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Roll Up. Love it or leave it?

However you feel about it might change over the next week as we explore how to use our side waist and leg muscles to improve your Roll Up!!

It might seem like a funky way to improve your spinal movements, but by using different variations we’ll help you connect your legs to your center. And once you do that you can listen to your body and explore where you need to create more space or find more muscles!

By the way, if you took last fall’s BOOmerang class, you’ll absolutely LOVE the mat workout this week!!

Mat: Grab a Barrel or Blanket
Reformer: Reformer box & Pole

See you in class,
Rachel

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, barrel or blanket and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, reformer box, pole and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


I DIP, YOU DIP, WE DIP

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I happened to hear an oldy but a goody the other day. One that when it came out my parents for sure would not have wanted me to listen to. But, I was curious about the lyrics and found an old music video. And it made me think about how we often tell you about what to do with your hip points, tailbone and even the crest of your hip. So, for a long time, we've been asking you to to dip as we dipped. Ok, maybe not as dramatic or even something you'd do on a dance floor. But for this week, we'll be focusing on our pelvis, where it is in space. So you can dip wherever you are whenever you want!

No props needed.

See you in class,
xx-LL 💋

FRENEMIES

Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

Hello, it's OPC Teacher Christine here! I used to get commended for my form and flexibility in any type of movement class I went to, even if it was my very first class. But what I struggled with was always hitting a plateau where I couldn't make progress or improvement. For me, that changed when I discovered the strength and control I found in practicing Pilates.

Getting on the apparatuses puts your body in a position where you find strength, stretch, and control through your center. I was unable to fold my body like origami anymore. One of the mat exercises - double leg stretch - is great for finding a strong center regardless of what the arms and legs are doing.

For this month, we'll explore using the concept of finding an inner lift of the belly away from the thighs to find a strength in our center, the two-way stretch of the limbs, while controlling the movement of the arms and legs whether they move away from center, or come back to center.

Mat class: Magic Circle and squishy ball

See you in class,

Christine

HIGH FIVE FOR ALL

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

In Pilates we often talk about the 5 spinal shapes… do you know them? No worries if you don’t yet as this month we’re going to explore them all! How tall, round, extended, rotated or bent from our sides that we can be gives us more power & control during exercise. Let’s see what we can feel when we put the focus on working toward these particular shapes… And, lookout for combo shapes!"

On the Reformer, please have a ball, Magic Circle and your pole. A couple of pillows and a Swiffer handle all make great substitutes!
Mat, Tower/Cadillac and Wunda Chair: No props needed.

See ya in class,
xx-LL 💋

CAN WE KICK IT?

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Side Kick Series and Kneeling Side Kicks are great full-body exercises that require a lot of connections from front to back and head to toe. In your classes this week we will work on the connection of our upper back, glute/Thass®, and abdominal strength to help with these exercises and see how your practice links together. Single leg work on the reformer as well as side body work will give you more information to help you in your Side Kicks. No props needed for this class.

See you in class,
Mindi

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


I WANNA ROCK

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

When I first started teaching another teacher in the studio I was at who had 20+ years of teaching was struggling with her client. They kept wanting to lift their head to extend. In every exercise no matter what she said their head would lift before their chest. She said "the worst thing we ever did was call the neck the neck." Now, I don't think it's the WORST thing. I have some thoughts on chairs and shoes. But, its up there! If you've been struggling with Swan, Swimming, Rocking and some of our other fun extension exercises this week is for you!

Grab a magic circle for a fun warm up on the Mat and Reformer. Don't have one? No problem I've got options for ya!

See ya in class,
xx~LL 💋