Welcome to Part 4 of the Lean Lines series! Part 1 of the series included a Ready workout consisting of basic Pilates exercises that focused on getting your mind and body ready for more challenging movements. Part 2 of the series Set you up with additional intermediate exercises. Part 3 had you Glow by introducing more advanced and higher intense exercises. Part 4 combines the exercises from Parts 1 through 3 to give you the Ultimate Pilates Challenge!

If you would like a refresher on the Joseph Pilates principals and fundamentals and how this 4-Part Lean Lines Series was developed, feel free to refer back to Part 1 of the series.


When learning the Pilates workouts, practice performing each exercise using the Pilates Principals of alignment, breath, and core control.  Become familiar with the routines sequence and practice until it’s fluid.

Keep in mind these progression tips when perfecting your Pilates routine:

  • Take time learning each exercise to develop confidence through repetitive motion.
  • Listen to your body and make the exercises to work for you.
  • Modify by executing shorter ranges of motion or by adjusting the incline to accommodate your strength level.
  • Increase the intensity by elongating through the muscles, changing the tempo or range of motion. You can also adjust the incline or body position for an added challenge.


Pilates exercises take time to learn and understand the mechanics to perform them properly. The exercises in this workout will be performed slowly with control for 8-10 reps depending on the intensity of the move and for only one set.  Practice each exercise and execute them with precise muscular control.

You are now ready to combine everything you have learned in the Lean Lines Series for the Ultimate Pilates Challenge.


The Ultimate Challenge will involve a reformer style practice and will be based upon the growth in development you have achieve through learning the exercises within the Ready, Set, Glow prerequisite workouts.

Key: You may have noticed already, but the Ultimate Challenge Exercises have been sorted by color based on the 3-part program from which they were introduced as follows:

  • Part 1 – Ready
  • Part 2 – Set
  • Part 3 – Glow


Toe bar & cables


  • Set incline to a medium level with toe bar attached
  • Perform all exercises slowly with control in a flowing sequence
  • Do 5-10 reps each exercise, then continue to the next move

Set Up: Medium level / Foot bar


  • 1st position plies; heels together, toes turned out
  • Running
  • Point, flex, bend, stretch (Heels drop, toes rise)
  • Leg circles (small & big)
  • Single leg kicks
  • Bridge (+press back)

Spinal & Core Prep

  • Roll up
  • Twist & Saw
  • Roll over

Long Stretch Series:

  • Down stretch (simultaneously both knees go down to the carriage, extend through the spine with arms straight, move out/ in while in spinal extension and leading with the heart)
  • Long Stretch (remain in a plank while hinging from the shoulders to press out/in)
  • Long Back Stretch- (face tower, hands on toe bar and legs on GB, dip down as you circle hips up and around)


Abs Series:

  • Single leg stretch
  • Double leg stretch
  • Hundred
  • Opposition Arm/Leg
  • Swimming (prone)
  • Single arm Press +side bend
  • Teaser

Leg Series:

(Right side, then left side)

  • Side Lying Leg Lifts (variations)
  • Leg Arcs
  • Side kneeling leg lifts (hand to toe bar, open GB for core & balance challenge)


  • Mermaid
  • Eve’s Lunge
  • Roll to Stand

Check out the video to see how the Ultimate Challenge Pilates exercises are performed on your Total Gym.

Good luck with your Ultimate Challenge and be sure to utilize the fundamentals developed by Joseph Pilates throughout all your movements. Much like how we understand Yoga as a continued practice, Pilates can also be performed as a practice and the Total Gym is a great tool to help us improve our practice, our health, and our well-being!

Best Always,


Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

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