Class #1002

Upper Body Magic Circle

35 min - Class


Meredith follows up on a request she got in one of the forums. This short Magic Circle workout is focused on shoulders and upper back but will work your whole body in no time. Meredith takes you through all ranges of motion while guiding us through shoulder strength and stabilization.
What You'll Need: Mat, Magic Circle

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Recently, I got a request for a class focusing on shoulders and upper back. And one of my favorite ways to work with those two areas of my body is with the magic circle. In addition, I know how most of you are loving the short classes, the 30 minute classes. So I am going to do both. So before we get started with the, ah, the actual body of the class, what I wanted to do is just take a minute with the magic circle and hold it in the heels of your hands and then just stretch the arms out. Don't lock the elbows strongly, but do straight in the arms and do straight in the arms. Now what I want you to think about in terms of the ring is how can we feel every time we put any pressure into the ring that that pressure isn't coming from our extremities, it's not coming from the hands. And in my focus, I'm going to try actually also to steer us by us, US away from our pectoral muscles as well. So as we hold that ring and our hands want you to feel that it's almost heavy in your hands and you're having just to use your shoulders, your deltoids to hold the ring up.

Now feel as you're holding the ring at that very heavy ring, feel the shoulders gently draw down and then feel the scapula broaden, broaden, pull apart. So it's as though you're trying to pull your arms off the ring whilst at the same time applying light pressure to the ring. Two things at once that are opposite of one another. And then feel also here that there's a slight down and forward pool of the scapula bones and the rib bones are pulling back against them. And then now just give it a gentle squeeze with all of those things in mind.

So we in here, and we actually don't feel the upper arm bones press into the ring, but feel that every time we press into the ring that, that it's a depression of the shoulder blades and a control and a focus into the bat. So we're going to be doing a little pressing one. If we bend our arms. And I that we're certainly going to have to work on packs a little bit more and I realize that, but anytime we've got those straight arms, that's the positioning I want you to think about in your shoulders. Oh, we also are going to do some polling of the ring. So as you start doing that, now hold it a light hold with the hands and feel that the pull isn't coming from a grippy arm or a grippy hand. But it's like you're pulling me a ring apart by trying to pull your elbows away from one another so it happens in the back. And then just reach back out.

Create that downward forward. Push and pull in. Okay, so those are my here. In addition to that, every time we squeeze, let's send the little focus into the entire trunk of the body. And in 30 minutes, 35 that's a little talk. I think that we should be able to sufficiently work our whole body with a focus on our shoulders. So sitting tall on your mat, put the ring just below your knees and hold it with straight arms. Now use the ring, press down just below the Patella and use the ring to pull the shoulders down and why, but also to lift the body up and inhale here and just feel here.

The heaviness of the shoulder blends. No squeezing the shoulders together. They stay wide and separate and the ribs pull back. Creating the space between the shoulders and we're going to inhale and we're going to Exxon or curve the spine away. But reach the ring forward. And by reaching the ring forward, I don't mean reaching your shoulders forward. I just mean create energy. Lifting the back. Inhale. Exhale, curl the spine. Better get going, Meredith.

We're going to make this short one curl and reach and then press down and slightly inwards on the ring by dropping the shoulders down and curve the spy. Deepen the curvature of the spine and lift. And we inhale here and now we [inaudible] the exhale. Curl the spine. Get as deeply as you can without actually shifting the shoulders yet pick up the ring, give it a little squeeze, roll back onto your back. Keep the shoulder blades off as you lift the ring.

Here we work on the flexibility of the shoulders. We take the ring back forward, we roll through the spine, set the ring on the knees and build the spine to straight. Inhale, exhale, curl, let the ring go, but keep it heavy. So we keep that, that feeling if you will, of the hands pressing in lightly because they have to hold the ring, but also like they're trying to be pulled apart. So there's that oppositional feeling that I spoke of earlier and we lift the back and inhale, curl the back. Exhale, lift the ring, continue excelling as you curl back. As you inhale, feel the straightness of the arms, the broadness of the shoulder blades. Take the ring back as far as you can. Folk find the shoulder flexibility that is available to your body and exhale to lift back up. Set the ring down, build the spine straight. Inhale, one more time. Xcel, we curl, we reach, we list the ring, straight arms, straight arms. Going back, going back, going back, using our downloads to hold our body in space. We roll ourselves up, we sit the ring down, we reach up. And in here. Exhale, create the rounded spine. Feel a heaviness in the shoulder bones, a heaviness in the arm bones we roll down, slide your feet in just a little bit and now roll the roll ring over.

So hand is on top of the other and roll back to center and one hand turns to the bottom and one hand turns to the top and there's a constant pressure in words on the ring. We pull and then we come center and we twist. Kick, come center and twist to come center and twist to come center and in here and rule back up with the feet a little closer and then school your body all the way up towards your feet, reaching their ring, rolling down, controlling that backward roll, keeping the shoulders broad, coming all the way down onto our back for a pelvic curl, I'm going to use it. He sent, it's a shoulder focus class. We're going to keep the ring mostly on our hands. So here push the ring up, allow the shoulders to come away from the Mat.

Then gently glide the shoulders back down onto the mat without bringing the shoulder blades together or lifting the ribs off the mat. Inhale, we now gently squeeze into the circle as we press into our center. Peeling the backup off the mat in here that you just feel has you move your spine, those shoulder bones, the scapular bones don't need to do any adjusting. They just stay still. Exhale as we curl the spine up, applying a little pressure through the upper arms as the upper arms press in the shoulder blades, press out the pelvises high. We inhale and we exhale to roll down. This is a constant pressure on that, on that hearing. I'm a change it.

So as we exhale and lift up, now we're gonna pull the ring, pressing out, pressing the arms out and inhale and now press the ring. As you roll down and we pull the ring apart and lift up and we press into the ring and roll down and we pull the ring apart. This is our last one and we reached the ring over ahead. Feel the straightness of the yards and we rolled in reaching the spine down, reaching the shoulder blades down, but also reaching the arms overhead. Take the arms over the chest. Feel again or recommit to that feeling of heavy shoulder blades.

One leg off the floor at a time. Spine twist. We're going to inhale. Keep the ring Sta Xcel to come home in your reach across. Press the arm that you're rotating to slightly and in and exhale to come back. Reach across, but don't let the ring change and exhale to come back and we take it over and we reach back and we take it over and we reach back. We're going to do one more reaching over, coming back.

Place your feet down, one than the other. Slide both legs out along the math in yell. Bring the arms overhead. Xcel. Settle the ribcage down and feel the straightness of your elbows. Then lift. Bring the ring just to the thighs. Curl through this spar, enrolling yourself up, applying pressure inwards into the ring. Then bend the arms and bring the ring into your chest.

Building the spine back straight. We press the ring away, curve the spine and roll down the arms start to lift. The head goes down, that head comes back up in here. XOP. Curl through the spine, squeezing into the ring in. You know we've stretched the ring apart as we lift the bat, bringing it right into the chest. Press the ring, round the spine, roll down and take the arms overhead and lift up and curl the spine forward. Staying long and bring the ring into the chest, bringing the back tall. Take the arms forward, XL to roll down just to the lower back in the here and now exhale. Feel that your back flattens even more.

So as we take that left leg just up off the floor and now we're going to bring the knee in under the rink, squeeze the ring and reach back and curling and we pull the knee in under the ring. The ring is reaching forward energetically, but the shoulders are being held down on the back. We pull in and reach out, pressing into the ring and pull in working the ads at the same time as we're working our upper body. And pull in and reach Ya and pull in and reach up. Hold here. Lower your body down. Lift the ring up, make an inside circle with that leg. Hold the arm still by pressing slightly into the ring. Let's inhale for a full circle. Exhale for a full circle.

We're going to go the other way. We reach out around an end. Hold the ring. Still hold the shoulder blades slapped. Last one. Lower the leg away from you. Curl the ring up, cruel that chest up. Oral yourself up and set the ring down. Oh, the leg, that's a leg. And now we lift the spine. Bring the ring into the chest, press the ring back forward. Curl the spine, roll backwards. Find your lower back. Look down at your hip joints. They should stay stable.

Pick up the right leg by flattening the spine even deeper into the mat. And now we've been underneath the ring and we reach back out and we pull in and reach back and pull and dig deep. The leg is easy. Last one, press into the ring as the knee comes underneath the body. Oh yes, I'm going to came all the way down and as you press into the ring, we'll do the inside circle for us. We feel that the it both sides of the waist are pressing inwards as well. Here's two and one, and now we go the other way. We reach out, oh around him, trying to reach back for, they're pulling from deep within the waist last time.

Allow the leg to begin to lower. Lift the head and chest as you roll through the spine and leg just hovers until your older way up over your hips and then the leg comes down and then we lift the back and bring the ring into the chest. Pulling the ring apart. Feel that stretch to the body. Feel the shoulder blades pulling away from one another. Reach the arm forward. Arms. Slide the feet in.

Roll yourself back and lift your legs up in here. Take the ring over your head. Reach the legs out. Exhale, push into the ring as the legs come in. Inhale, lighten up on the ring and exhale. Push from your back so you feel how the ring, when you're moving your arms forward, you get that back, that lat relationship reaching and pulling the arms forward and pulling the arms forward. I'm going to do about three more reaching out and pulling in and reaching and pulling and reaching you and pulling in. We hold here if you want to put the ring behind your head to support your neck, do it now. If not, we just take the right leg straight. The left like straight, right like straight, less like straight buddy is. Every time you move one leg or the other, we press like the shoulder blades are reaching down and under and the ribs come down to meet that pressure. And we do three more.

Keeping the curl high too. [inaudible] and when Ben both knees, lower your body down. Place one foot down at a time. Place the red at the red. No, the ring. The ring at the base of your skull right at the Occipital Ridge. Put your hands opposite your forehead on the underside of the ring. So from here, I want you to feel the elbows pull away from one another.

Feel the shoulder blade. Stay broad. Curl the head and chest up. Now here are widen the shoulders more broad in the shoulders more and allow the head to just rest. Just rest in your hands. No. In the rain. Yes. And then the lift, the legs come up and then we [inaudible] rotate towards me. Elbows stay in the same position. We feel those back muscles holding the stability.

Maybe we'll lift a little higher today because can and reaching long through the straight leg. Reaching across. We'll do four more and three across and two [inaudible] and one. And now we're gonna Bicycle. The like the weary, each and the bottom knee and straighten it as we bring the body across. Keeping the elbows. Wow. Keeping me elbow reaching just outside of the knee. We were rotating and rot and rotate and rot. And four [inaudible] [inaudible]. Two more. Last one, last one. Then both knees. Place the head down.

Place the feet down. Take the arms above the shoulders. Feel that heaviness. I'm gonna just squeeze the shoulders together. See what happens. Not a good scenario. Feel the drawing down the flatness. Exhale, peel the body you're reaching, reaching great chin. Lift the left leg straight into the left leg.

So reach forward with the ring so that you can push with your back on the ring. And then we're gonna make small movements here. We're going to take the ring up a little. Take the leg down, press the ring against the leg and the leg against the re reach ah and back. Feel the connection to the arms connecting into the leg two and reach last one. And we're going to bend that knee.

We're going to roll the spine back to the mat. Stay in the center of the back. Keep the ring just in the center of the body. Release the spine, place the foot down with both feet on the floor. Rola. Hate the shoulder stable. I pick up the right leg, reach and touch it with the ring, but pull the leg back. And now we take the ring in the Lego.

I feel the stability in the shoulders and back and reaching. And we press into the ring as we press down on the leg with the ring and hurry cha and back and reach out and back and a reaching press. And then that knee, it'll roll the spine down. Don't let the shoulders move right? They're still flat, still heavy. Stretch the leg along the ground. Stretch the other leg along the ground.

Lift your head and chest and curl yourself all the way back up. Hook the ring around your feet, hold the front of the ring and pour your body forward. Okay. And then bringing your body up. We bend the elbows into the chest. So here is where you can get a lot of peck work, but we're gonna try to keep focus on our back.

The field of shoulders draw down and forward. Press gently into the ring and it's a spinal twist, twist, twist, center, and twist with reaching up. So here, feel that the ring doesn't move. It does move because the spine is moving, but it stays right where you put it initially. Reaching up as you pull across and up as you pull across, rotate this way, stretch the ring forward.

But guide the shoulders back, pulling the ring apart, press into the ring as you lift your back, bringing the ring to your chest and find center. Rotate the opposite direction. Press the ring forward, pulling it apart, not from the hands, from the back of the body. Bend and lift into the ring and come back to center and rotate and reach out and pull in and find center and in here and reach out. Exhale and inhale. We pull in and exhale to center and one way and reach out and pull in and center and then list is it.

Reach out and pull in and center. Separate the legs and take the arms up. Again. Inhale for the spine stretch, so on is to round over first round over so that you find the ring on the ground. Then you can continue going down by turning the ring on. It's kind of flat from there. I want us to take the ring back away from flat, but bring the backout lung so it's in my brain.

I am almost pulling myself forward into extension by lifting my ring back up. Right. Then we're going to lift the arms, reaching the head through the center of the ring. We're going to give a gentle inward press on the ring and we're going to press back through the arm. Three, two, one. We're going to dive back forward at roll app, sitting up tall. Inhale, exhale. We rolled down for so round into your own body. Then allow the ring to go down onto them. Flatten it out.

If you want to go a little further, let it let it come back up right as you pull your spine on the diagonal. Float the arms so the ring is just heavy again in the hands and the shoulders are broad and the spine is long and when we press the arms back, lifting the spine through the ring and one more, and then we reach back out and role ourselves up. And we're going to do that only one more time. So here we go. Feel the heaviness, this heaviness of the bones of the body, the shoulder bones, heaviness of the rib bones as they traveled down the front of the body, the lightness of the spinal bones. As they travel up the body, the ring can go flat, the body reaches forward. We reach out e long gating through the back, reaching all the way out into that flat back position, lifting the arms.

That heavy led that the ring. Just sit in your hands as you are each hurry pulling the spine forward two more times last time and then just sit up. Yeah, that's where I was going there. Okay. Now let's come up onto our knees. Take the ring in your hands. Stretch it out in front of you again. Don't grip. Just feel heavy.

Feel as though the pressure on the arms is coming from the shoulder bones, scapular bones connecting together, not connecting together, reaching in in words into the body. That's a lot of talk and Meredith, let's go lift your arms up. So now we reach out, reaching the ring over to one side, getting our lateral flection work, and now we pull up through that side of the waist. Keep the ring run, let the ring in your hand, remind you to keep your shoulder blades heavy. And now we lift, pulling up higher every time and reach over and we'll push the bottom arm into the top arm to lift up and reach. Ah, push the top arm into the bottom arm to go over.

Push the bottom arm into the top arm to lift up, reach out, push the top arm into the bottom arm with the shoulder blades. Lift back up with the bottom arm. And of course with your obliques. We all know what's going on here and reaching up. Take the ring in the left hand and bring it across. So you're just holding it.

We're going to lower it to the mat kind of far away. Take the right leg out. No, this is a fairly big challenge. So if it doesn't work for you, this ring thing has put the ring away. We lift up, lifting that leg, bringing the hand behind the hat. So here if we just use our hand, we're going to get a lot of shoulder instability.

So feel that there's pressure down on the ring from just below the armpit, down and under with the shoulder blade. Bring the leg forward, bring the leg back, bring the leg forward, pressing the head into the hands, bring the leg forward, bring the leg back last to keep the leg lifting high and back. Try to hold that ring still with your back muscles and back. And now we take it to the side and we just don't go down and up, down and up. Higher every time with the like reaching the body out on the diaconal, reaching up with delay. Two more. Last one, take the leg behind you. Reach forward with your opposite arm and now just lift that leg up behind you though. Stabilizing the bottom arm, reaching out through the top arm.

The body is in rotation. Two more. Last one. We reach everything around to the side. We placed the leg down, lift up, bring the ring with you, switch hands, drop the knee. Opposite arm reaches out opposite leg reaches out to take the ring over towards the men, lengthening out through the body. Find your balance. Think pinky finger, pinky finger, side of the hand, shoulder bone down and forward ribs pulling against. And here we go. We lift the lay and we put the hand behind the head. It goes forward and it reaches back.

And how still can you stay on that ring and how much support can you feel as provided by that bottom shoulder and reaching forward and pulling back. Last to holding the rib cage back against the Scapula. Last one and now just to this side and I'll take the leg down and down and down and up. Last to feeling the head, just reaching into the hands and now staying here. We reached the arm away from the leg. We create a little rotation using the bottom arm for balance.

Take the leg down in, out down in Allen, us changing the direction of the work. Last two, last one. Open the body back out to the side. Take the leg down, lift the ring back up, bend the knee in and hand everything in the hands. They're going to take the ring forward. I'm going to give you a profile for this one. Taking the ring forward. So what I want you to do, I want you to do the thigh stretch.

Check that your feet are right behind your knees. Bring the ring into the body. Bullet, bullet apart. Feel the elbows reaching wide. Tuck the pelvis, flattening out the curvature of the lower spine, and then hinge from the knees. Press the ring forward and follow the ring forward with your body. Lift Tall. Pull the ring. Why don't you bring the ring into the chest? Reach back, pressing the pelvis forward so you're in a adamant posterior tilt.

Reach the arms forward, pressing into the rink and lift the back Baca and pull the ring into the chest. And exhale. Tuck the pelvis and hinge back from the knees. Press into your shins. Push the arms forward, lift up and pull the ring into your chest. And one way we've tucked the pelvis, we bring the body back, we reach forward. This time we're going to lift the arms. We're going to reach out through the upper back and we're going to lift up from there. Take the arms all the way down. Come onto your hands and knees.

The rings going to go. Just underneath you. I'm going to do some pushup practice. So the ring, excuse me, the ring is a really great tool to perfect your pushups. So what I've done is just rested it kind of right when I run my ribs. Connect. Feel the hands on the mat. So we'll do just a few with the knees bent.

Keep the toes tucked under cause we're gonna end up coming out into a plank. So I suppose set your feet now where you'll need them for your plank and then bend them to them at. But don't change anything in your body. So first I want you to feel that you're pushing almost off the ring by lifting the ring ribs. Then as the elbows bend, we allow the ring to absorb a little bit of gravity and then we pull off the ring with the arms. Inhale, feel the rib cage drawing away from the ring. That's going to help us keep our scapulas stable and broad and Benny arms. Elbows right into the waist and her us up.

We'll do that one more time. Ben, feel that energetic work and press up. So we make our pushups, not just about our arms but about the connection to our upper back. Let's do five with straight legs Fi. Really? Okay. That's just me talking to myself. Here we go. Bent elbows into the body. Feel your back more than you feel your arms and then lift from your back and allow the elbows to respond by straightening. Ben, feel pressure into the hand.

Feel the back pulling away from the hand and just very lightly. Pull the shoulders back to straighten the arms. We'll do two more. Pull the shoulders back to straighten the arms. One more time, reaching up, bending one knee and the other [inaudible] and then let's reach the Holmes for it and just open up the chest, open up the chest, you know, stretch. They're lowering the arms down and then come down on tier abdominal. So this is what I like to play with, but you need us lighting surface.

So if you're on like a hard word floor, just basically if you're on a like a sticky mat it won't fly and you want the ring to [inaudible]. Okay, so why don't you to hold the ring, just kind of in the in the hand. Let the Hands Cup. The ring helps to have the thumb just inside the ring a little bit. Okay, so from here, elbows are wide. We're gonna lift by drawing the arm bones into the shoulder joints and then hovering the chest. Now from there the body is going to stay where it is and we're just going to gently pull the ring apart as you straighten your arms and continue to gently pull the ring apart. Focusing on pulling the elbows apart more than pulling the hands apart.

Lifting the back gently pull elbows. Why? Letting the arms extend fo? It's supporting the lower back with the front of the body in the back sides of the legs and pull the ring underneath. Yet another way to play with this is to hover the ring off the floor, reach the ringer, and then you have to create the pole, the energetic pole with the hands just touching the outside of the ring and reaching and pulling in. Let's do one like I'll have a crass.

If you're choosing that option and pulling in, place the ring down, lower your body down. Take the Ring Upright into an upright position. Okay, lower the body. So here we have the head just hovering off. The men still have that strong sense of support through the front of the body. Make a little tunnel with your stomach and then start allowing the head to float above the arms.

Then without putting downward pressure on the ring, start to guide or glide the arm bones back into the shoulder joints and reach out through the spine. [inaudible] if you'd catch yourself downward pressing on the ring, lighten up and see how much freedom it gives you. And then we undulate the spine back down and then allowing the head to lift. Feel the shoulder blades guide themselves down the back. The head floats just above the arms.

The spine reaches out and forward the arms, stay stray and then release back down. [inaudible] so just like we can articulate the spine from the front, we can articulate the spine from behind, head, cervical spine, lightly moving the thoracic spine. And then if you want to continue lifting, you can take it all the way up into your lumbar spine. I prefer personally to keep it pretty small. I'm going to do one way head, cervical spine, thoracic spine arms, reaching back, spine, reaching forward.

Easy, easy. I don't reach the body all the way down. Turn the ring back down on its so that's flat. Place the arms just on the mat. Press your salsa and sit back into your rest position.

Taking just a moment here to allow the spine to release, to allow the shoulders to broaden and the back to get a little stretch, to allow the mind to clear as you prepare yourself for whatever comes next in your day, sliding your arms back towards the knees. Help yourself. Thanks for taking class with me.


Lynn G
1 person likes this.
Love it! Simple but so well explained. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Meredith- I loved the class. Thank you.
I found that side leg kicks were a know go for me , either I am as week as a kitten or in the wrong position but the arabesque leg pulses were fine.
Karen M
1 person likes this.
Perfect, with having a busy schedule this class covered alot in a short time.
1 person likes this.
Another great class! Short but challenging! As always your cueing is excellent! Thank you!
Thanks everyone!
Michaela, try moving the circle further away....really far.
1 person likes this.
Loved usual! Thank you for giving me more tools (variations) for my toolbox!
1 person likes this.
Wonderful breakdown and set up for the work with the magic circle! Really enjoyed this sesh! :) Thx Meredith ~
1 person likes this.
Well done! Excellent workout.
1 person likes this.
Loved this workout. short and sweet. thank you.
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