Seal on the Mat

Seal is so much more than meets the eye! Take your Rolling like a Ball, add some balance and coordination and really challenge your strength and stamina.

  • Author: Lesley Logan
  • June 10, 2018
Home  »  Pilates Mat Exercises | Free Tutorials   »   Seal on the Mat
Seal on the Mat - Online Pilates Classes
Table of Contents
Seal on the Mat - Online Pilates Classes
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: Mat (The mat shown in this video is the Contrology Folding Mat.)
  • Reps: 3-5
  • Warning: Do not roll back on your neck and head
  • Questions: Contact us here

Seal on the Mat

I used to really hate the Seal on the Pilates Mat. It hurt my elbows and felt like I was just hanging off my shoulders and hips. I really didn’t get it! Classes I was in would talk about beating my feet like a “seal” and I have to be honest I never even knew what that meant. Then finally after a few years of teaching, I discovered some deep connections and layers to this exercise. I even know an instructor who uses the Seal as a “check-in” for what she still needs to open or connect to in her body. So, the Seal! A rolling exercise that challenges what you know but doesn’t make you be an actual Seal.

Hug your inner thighs to your elbows and your elbows into your thighs.

Sitting up pull yourself into your “ball” shape and then dive your hands in between your legs. Reach your hands around and grab the bottoms of your feet. Hug your knees towards your arms and press your elbows into your thighs. Lift up and over yourself so your arms are still connected to your back and your spine can bend over your legs. Balance with your feet up off the mat.

Open your thighs and close them 1-3x without rolling back. Then As you find some “air time” repeat this while you balance on your shoulders (not your head). Come back up and repeat 3-5x.

It’s really easy to make this exercise “look right.” But, the key is to use your thigh bones and arms like there is a magic circle. Press your legs apart with your arms and your legs will press back against your arms to close them. If you do the “beats” from your center your whole body will feel it. If you do the beats from your feet you’ll be wondering why on earth you are in that position in the first place!

Seal will help you get prepared for Crab. And even if you think you will never do Crab you still want to work your way towards it. The coordination and challenge of Seal will do wonders for the rest of your Pilates practice.


Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Mat exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Mat training!

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 Lesley Logan.
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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

STRONGER THAN YESTERDAY

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

It's tempting to focus so much on what we weren't able to do in our workout that day. But, how often are we considering what new connections we had compared to yesterday or the last time we moved? In this week's workout, we are vibing with Britany and focusing on the strength we have today compared to yesterday. And not letting things get in our way!

This week, remember, if you can't do something yet let's replace it with something that you can do!

Props: No specific props. But, please bring anything that you usually use to find your connections!

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.

FROGS & CIRCLES & LONG SPINE, OH MY!

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

What do these three things have in common?

They are great examples of how we can change leg position or the action of our legs to either connect us more to our center or challenge our connection!

In this week’s class, we’ll focus on what happens when our legs are in frog position vs long legs vs making circles with our legs. If something isn’t feeling quite right, we can explore how might we change it slightly to be more connected to our bodies.

Props:
Mat - small ball
Reformer - small ball, wedge, pole

See you in class,
Rachel

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball and a mat!

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

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball, wedge, pole and a reformer!

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

    ANCHORS AWEIGH!

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    Anchors Aweigh is often misspelled as Anchors Away! Did you know this? And did you know this - The expression anchors aweigh means all the anchors are clear of the sea bottom, and the ship begins its voyage. So, I actually thought I was being clever when I changed it to Anchors Aweigh because I want to use the 1 lb weights as a prop. Also, I want to use this theme to bring focus and clarity during each exercise about what's not moving vs. what is moving. And really keeping what’s not supposed to move as still and stable as can be. May be harder than you think to do, so let’s have fun with it! Think of it as a game.

    Mat prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)
    Reformer prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)

    See you in class,

    Christine

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a mat!

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

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a reformer!

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

    LOOK MA, NO HANDS!

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

    We’re going to focus on the muscles that help us get up/down to a chair, toilet, in/out of a car, and to the ground without the use of our hands to help.

    As we age, we can lose strength, flexibility, mobility in these leg and core muscles which results in us using our arms and hands to get up and down.

    Let’s keep these bodies as young as we can by practicing getting up and down with only our legs, our center, and our strong back.

    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac/Tower: Reformer box
    Mat: Theraband
    Chair: No props needed

    See ya in class,

    xx-LL 💋

    HANG 10

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

    Grip strength as well as upper body strength plays an important role in so many different exercises throughout the mat and all apparatus. Our grip can influence the connection from our wrists - to our arms - to our back. And building strength in our chest and upper back can help us connect more to our center in every exercise.

    All month long we’ll explore the feeling, the strength, and the position of our hands and upper body to see how our exercises change with a little extra focus. We’ll also play with ways to gain more strength and awareness in our chest and upper back to create even more connections to the exercises.

    Props:
    Chair - short pole* and a foam roller for balance
    *A thicker pole or roll down bar size might feel nice, but no worries you’ll find your connections no matter what you have on hand!
    Mat: a pole
    Reformer: No props needed
    Cadillac: No props needed

    See ya in class,
    xx-LL 💋

    I LOVE ROCK & ROLL UP

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    Finding some love for Roll Up and Open Leg Rocker isn't easy! But, these two exercises unlock the potential for so many other exercises. And what we don't like we often need. So, let's dive into what we need to rock our Roll Ups and Open leg Rockers and see how that changes the rest of our practice in the meantime.

    Mat: Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband
    Reformer: have your shortbox pole near by

    xx~LL

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

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

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

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