Pilates Arms and Abs Strengthening Surprise

Nov 26, 2020

Since 2020 seems to be full of surprises (and not necessarily good ones) I thought I'd bring some fun to the week with this workout that uses a SURPRISE prop that you probably already have in your house - CANS!!!

Just in time for the United States' celebration of Thanksgiving - so if you're spending some time in the kitchen you can also get in a workout that will help you feel stronger, calmer, and more energized for everything the week may bring. 

Gratitude and Blessings

I love focusing on gratitude and that we have holidays that ask us to think about our blessings. Gratitude is one of the most potent stress-relieving and mood lifting tools we have, especially during challenging times.

I've practiced gratitude consistently for years, and I always return to it when I'm struggling or feeling my worst. Studies suggest that the act of searching for something to be grateful for will help your brain shift out of stress and into calmer, more peaceful states.

This workout was filmed earlier this Fall when I was relying on my gratitude practice to help me stay balanced and calm when we were evacuated from our home during the wildfires. It was a scary, challenging time that I'm still processing and healing from.

I used my gratitude practice to help me focus on the many blessings we had and it helped me release stress and keep going during the uncertain times of not knowing what would happen to our house. We were fortunate and lucky that our house didn't have any long-term damage, although many in our community lost their houses entirely. If you experienced that loss I'm thinking of you and sending you love today and everyday.

Best Practices for Gratitude

Note that searching for blessings isn't the same thing as pretending that challenging situations aren't happening to you and ignoring reality. That form of toxic positivity is actually much more challenging than helpful to your overall mental health. If practicing gratitude during challenging times, make sure to acknowledge your situation and then choose to focus on being thankful for the blessings you have in your life. 

Perhaps they're things that help you cope with your challenge, or resources, or people who are helping you too. You might need some support to get you to a place where you're ready to focus on what you can be thankful for. Pilates, meditation, taking a walk, chatting with a friend can help. 

Hopefully this workout can help you find surprise blessings today and everyday. 

I remember while filming this video thinking about how grateful I was to have a safe place to be and to have food to eat (and exercise with).

A surprise perk of this experience is that I got to test out just how effective cans are as a workout tool (they really do work). I've always said that you can use cans instead of weights - and this workout not only works with cans - but it works BEST with cans!

So if you CAN ;), grab 2 cans of equal size and weight to use as resistance for your arms, abs, and back in this workout.

Weights will also work (or nothing at all) but I use the rolling motion of the cans to mobilize your shoulders and get in some yummy back stretches in this workout, so if you have cans I recommend trying it with cans.

I hope you enjoy this workout and find the blessings in every day!

Much love,



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