Class #1040

Cadillac Stretches

25 min - Class


Niedra's Cadillac workout focuses on loosening the hips. She uses exercises like Tower and Monkey to warm up the hips and spine, and then goes deep into a hip stretch with an amazing exercise using the Trapeze Bar. She concludes her workout with Hanging to give your hips gentle traction and to decompress your spine. These exercises will "get rid of the rust in your hips" and make them feel great!
What You'll Need: Cadillac

About This Video

May 16, 2013
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So good evening, everybody. This evening I'm going to do a short Cadillac routine with emphasis and loosening up my hips. My hips have been feeling a bit stiff and tight recently, so there's so much. It can be time to work the joint and make the kind of integrity be restored. Um, my major focus will be on that this evening. So to start, just as a warm up, I will do regular roll down. Um, just to make sure I'm connected up with my spine. So starting with my legs straight with a strong flax, sitting up nice and tall, then articulating down, just reaching with my heels strongly into the, towards the bar, pulling in three times, looking to keep my spine long and flat, and then pressing slightly down to integrate the shoulder girdle, rolling up, sitting up nice and tall, getting my heels better anchored. And again, pressing down, articulating through the spine, deepening through the powerhouse.

This time I could feel my back getting a little bit longer. Okay. And then rolling up again, deepening through the powerhouse. One more time. Every time. Making sure my shoulders are staying down. I'm working the collarbones, working the shoulder girdle as much as I'm working my waist and my hips and three times keeping very long reaching through the heels as I roll back up. So as I'm warming up my back body, I'll go right into breathing next, the full breathing so the feet are in the arms or on the outside and I'll go right away into the full breathing where the hips are lifting up in the arms, a Downton, reaching the arms away and then slowly rolling through the spine, articulating it, getting the powerhouse warmed up, making sure, seeing if I can lift literally one bone at a time as I lift up into this long plank holding it and then reversing the roll down, making sure I drop the sternum and the chest area and try to get the ribs down before the waist, before the sacred room, before the tail bone.

One more time pressing up and then rolling right down through every segment of this spy. Oh yes. That waste area needs a little bit of extra stretch. Very good coming up and going right into spread eagle. So I've got my toes hooked on my big toe and second toe I hooked on and I'm holding nice and low. So from here, lifting up through the stomach, I'm keeping my elbows and my knees straight and really opening up in the waist, opening up that middle and lower spine and pulling backwards. Also lengthening the hips down, rolling up, bringing the hips as far forward as I can with a nice lift.

First up I'm anchoring the hip so I lock the pelvis and then lift the sternum, lift the stomach and arch up and back, lengthening the whole upper body and again lengthening out, filling up the lumbar spine and making sure the shoulders are staying down. So really stretching through the whole spine, rolling up and then lifting big lift, the whole side body lift. I feel like I'm, my whole skeleton is getting more narrow and then using as much elongation in the stomach as I can to arc back. And last one, lengthening out. Nice. Long back, rolling up, lifting up, opening the collarbones first lifting up through the sternum, lifting up through the stomach and exiting back out and then coming back up. And now I'm going to work a little bit with the tower and monkey, which are fabulous to open up the back, open up to the hips.

So I'm just getting this out of the way for now and attaching a lower spring and because I'm going to be working with the lower spring, adding on the safety chain so that if I accidentally slipped out or something happened to the spring, this would never be falling down on my face. Never had it happen. I hope I never will, but I suppose it's like a spare tire. It's always good to know that everything's set up just fine. So coming underneath, making sure that my shoulders are flush with the bar and to start out I'm just going to work with one legs. I'm placing the foot, making sure my hip is nice and long and have my hands down, can have my hands here. So I'm making sure the trunk is long and then taking the other leg and really lengthening it out.

This is a fabulous place to get a lovely stretch in the hip flexor and then just working up and down. So I'm taking a few of these movements and I'm taking them with this knee that's bending completely parallels. I'm making sure that my hips or even my sacrum is really stable on the on the mat and I'm starting to work as much in the straight leg as the bent leg. Now I'm going to slightly externally rotate and do a few more lifting up just to get a slight variation of angle into the hip because the hip is a ball and socket joint and it can really deal with quite a few different angles. Then elongating both sides of the hips and working the flex and point a few times just to get the back of the light working well changing with the other leg.

So I start with the knee bent because that's the easiest way to check with the spinal column as long the sacred Zap and then I start lengthening this leg out. Not everybody will be able to have full range of movement at the beginning because usually there's a lot of tightness around the hips. This is my more tricky here and I can use this work so well because I'm actually feeling where the stiffnesses and I can feel how my hip wants to move and swivel to avoid the area that it's tight. So this is so fabulous right now just to get some movement in the joint and this very exact angle and then also working flex and 0.1 more time working the straight parallel angle and now I'm going to slightly turn the light out and of course I have much more range movement in this angle and that's why it's so good to work with more than one angle in the body, especially in ball and socket joints because they can be locked up in one specific angle and very loose in another. And the freedom and health of the joint is really increased tremendously when you work more than one type of alignment.

Then bringing both legs on. I'm going to take a very slight Pilati stance and start with a few small bending and straightening of the knees Pilati stance. So just like footwork on the bar. I'm checking that this, the sacrum is nicely anchored and then I'm adding the work into the toes, reaching the toes, flexing the feet, bending, reaching the toes, flexing the fried one more time this way and flexing. Now I'm working parallel so I could have my legs totally together. Today I'm taking them just maybe an inch and a half apart.

The same thing, bending, releasing the sit bones down away from the pelvis and flexing and pointing the toes. Oh yes, this is the angle my body really needs to receive. And then one more time, and now we'll go into full tower. So bend the knees, straighten the knees, point the feet, flex the feet, point and [inaudible] start rolling up onto the shoulders, keeping the hips high, bending the knees, lifting the leg back up. And now I'm very slightly pushing with the arms and rolling down through the spine to Ilan, the gate and traction. It's a fantastic therapeutic feeling on the back again, bending, straightening, flexing, pointing against, scoping the tail. Yeah. Seeing the whole powerhouse, the lift up, bending the knees once, stretching the legs up once, lifting the stomach and using the arms to help elongate the spine.

Fantastic. Wonderful feeling on the whole back body and last one, slight [inaudible] stance. Bending the knees, straightening the knees, flexing, pointing, same way, rolling up, bending the knees. Now I'm adding a variation in here where I keep the feet where they are and I roll down through the spine. Roll hips back up, stretch the legs back up, and then row long length out through the whole body. Such a lovely feeling.

Now adding a stretch by left foot goes over Ben's. I've got this cross over stretch and I'm going to bend and straighten this knee a few times. A great stretch into the it band. Great stretch into the hip can also be done with the leg straight. Totally exposes any kind of crazy limitations that happen in people's pelvis. Back to straight, right foot over the left.

First of all with the knee bent because that's a little bit easier. This is my looser hip today. And stretching the leg out, making sure my right hip is long and the left thigh is really reaching out. Such a lovely feeling, bringing the like up the other leg ups. I have both feet in the middle of the bar, bending the knees, reaching up with the hands and letting the bar I'm down.

So lovely, lovely work on the back and on the hips. And now I'm going into monkey. Now the challenge with monkey is you really want this bar if it was to come right down to not chopped someone's bottom off. And most of the time people air by not getting the hips for not getting far enough over the side of the bars. So one foot will have to come up and then the other app. So here I am, I'm like rolling like a ball. Literally same feeling my sacred Amazon.

I'm pulling my shoulders down my back. And then with care I'm starting to stretch up and lift. So lots of stretch into the hamstrings factually in Nice, stable way to give people an intensive stretch and have them have their arms, help them get on lift and if they can't straighten the knees, it just here and then bend and straighten the feet three times every time. Lifting my back a little bit more and then slowly bending the knees to come back down and lifting up again. Looking to work the arms to get a little bit more lift through the back body and again, lifting a bit more, bending and lowering back down.

Now I'm going to come up with one foot down, lifting up just once and coming back down. So it's a more focused, stretched into, into one leg and down. And one more time lifting and I'm changing legs and come back down. If person isn't as flexible, they don't have to change the leg at the top, they can change the leg at the bottom and as much work with the arms to lift the back up as to get the leg straight. So there's a lot of leverage into the upper body, lower body and into the hamstring. And one more time.

It's such a nice way to stretch the body out and coming back down. So I'm getting my legs out, I'm bringing my body back. This is the hardest part coming out from underneath and coming up to a sitting position. And now I want to do this and do some hip stretches with the trap piece bar. So again that we just don't do this.

Here we are. So the hips are a ball and socket joint and the light can roll in, it can roll out. It has this whole range of movement. It can move forward sideways, backwards. So the hips have a huge range and they get very, very tightened. A lot of problems lower back are because of the ball and socket joint has become really stiff and restricted.

It only is limited to very few aspects of movement. This specific stretch is fabulous to start to loosen up the hips. Let me see if I think I'm fine. So I'm going to start with my left leg. So kneeling, I'm looking to hear have my hips more or less square. And the leg that's really being worked is the one that I'm kneeling on because that's the joint that's going to be challenged and asked to move in in ways that it should move naturally but often does not. So holding onto the fuzzies, I'm going to go forward and really let that hip open back and then sit back and down so you can add the arms. If you have stability, you can lunge forward, opening up, pull the waist way back as you sit back.

So there's this tractioning of the front leg moving forward, opening up the hip flexor and sitting back down. Now this is the gold, the one to the side as much as you can, you work your knee out. But this joint here is the one that is where we so seldom get challenged. You can hold the fuzzy, you can hold the bar, but you go this way. So you're moving out and you go in.

So you're just going side to side on that. Join and use really. People find a whole block of rust, me included. This is really good for me right now. And this is where it's wonderful, where you start to circle around this joint, really allowing the full range of movement to be explored. And this can be fantastic. People with very tight hips, if they do this regularly, it can be profound as to what can happen because you're just getting that joint to move again and the body remembers than turning around. Let me just bring this fuzzy forward and forward.

So the leg is back, stretching back and lifting, stretching back. So some people, they can't get the knees straight, they can have the knee more bent and then lifting and stretching forward. So huge opening in the front of the lower abdomen into the hip flexor especially. And you can add arms opening and lifting up and then going to the other side. So this joint is being literally stirred around in all different directions. Such a good thing. So getting, Oh, let me get my little fuzzies forward. Oh, okay. Other side, right leg is in front checking that I'm more or less square, more or less looking to get the hips square.

Although I'm in this specific work, I'm definitely willing to have people slightly out of alignment, opening and stretching and pulling back, opening and stretching and sitting back and going to the side. This is where the work is. I say this is the angle. The side work is the one that really explores full range of movement in both hip sockets and there is a band of muscle just above the joint that often gets very, very tight for people and they never get a chance to even get in touch with it. They just think they have tight hips until they do this work and it is illuminating going to the back this sequence way, way, way under utilized in PyLadies to bring huge amount of change into the hips coming down. All that felt just unbelievable. So Nice, so good.

So I highly recommend it. It's often done standing. People put their leg here and do a lot of stretches. Also very, very useful, but the kneeling version is the one that's going to make a difference. And then because I work this hard, I'm going to hang again, a lovely thing that says Ho seldom do we tying or have our clients hang. Let me just get this out of the way. The law, here we go. Okay, so I am just measuring one elbows with from the edge. Very good.

This is a bit of a wide Cadillac but it will do so I am slipping my feet in one side and then the other side and just making sure that I have a good anchor, um, and I'm not going to slip out of the fuzzies. Then lowering back, and this is ecstasy because my whole spine is decompressing, my hips are getting a very gentle traction and if I wanted to really work hard or do something fancy, I push out and stretch, relax, and then climb up my legs on some Cadillacs. If I had hoped strung it over, I would be higher up and then I am not sure if I can, yes, I can do it here and wring out my body and come back and then climb up. Just have to make sure this foot is still hooked properly swinging to the other side should really be hanging a little bit further. And let me see. Twisting rat holes.

Hello. That's which is not supposed to happen. So that can happen. So let me show you what I should have done, which is first of all, double hook. So I am hanging higher and not off. So each Cadillac has slightly different dimensions and I'm a firm believer that mistakes are the best teachers and the best way to learn is to make mistakes. So with that in mind, I think I've gotten now, okay, well this will do for now.

I'm not going to go over because the width of the fuzzy on this Cadillac is a big one and it's not locking my feet properly. But what is, this is better height for me because it means my pelvis is much higher up and it's allowing a much bigger hanging sensation in my lower spine and in my hips. When I was almost on the here, I was not enjoying the glories of gravity. Now to do the hanging to the floor with safety. Really, there should be some kind of a way that this would have been made smaller either by tying with a strapped very securely. So this hoop would be smallest to the foot would be better anchored right now this, this is a very big hoop, so the foot, I was not able to control my foot in it. If I was working with a client and I had these kinds of fuzzies and I couldn't strap them, I would literally be standing there holding it to make sure that their foot was locked in. So those are just little tricks of the trade.

Every studio is different. Every piece of equipment is different. When you understand the principles, it's always possible to work with it or to use judgment and decide, I'm not doing that because it's not going to work like I did tonight. But hanging is fantastic. I wouldn't miss it and my hips feel a whole lot better. I helped you find this useful and thank you very much. Have a good night.


Thank you for going over the kneeling knee stretches. Especially to the side! I have done forward/ back and side to side, but had never seen the circling of the hips. Brilliant!

Also, thank you so much for talking bait about slipping out of the fizzles. A few years ago I slipped out of the fizzles while doing the twist off the side and haven't gotten up the nerve to do it since. Your explanation made a lot of sense. I now have access to a Gratz cadillac and am inspired to try it again because I know the dimensions are much tighter. Thank you!
Love love love the stretching
Loved it!
lovely feel-good class, Neidra! but I also struggle with the fuzzy hanging. It's nearly impossible to get the feet in by yourself.
Raymond Harris
Thank you Niedra yet again... I love watching your teachings as you are a very personable and down to earth instructor and thank you to Pilates Anytime!
Love your work
Niedra Gabriel
Holly, I know the fuzzy's can be challenging - some cadillacs aremore narrow and easier to get youru feet hooked on your own.
If you can hike up your hips easily you should be able to slip your feet in, if you cannot lift your hips up on your own - you will need help.
Sarah Honer
Thank you for the hip love and for taking the time to share with us. I'm enjoying this class and after watching you was able to get my own feet in the fuzzies and hang, without assistance, for the first time in 13 years!!
Niedra Gabriel
I love reading your post Sarah, how great to do something you have not done for 13 years! This actually supports my philosophy that age has nothing to do with anything, it is all about focusing on what is not working and solving the challenge.
You go hang out in those fuzzy's and enjoy being up side down.
I love your Cadillac workouts. I always feel invigorated afterward. I hope you will add more. :)
Niedra Gabriel
Thanks Gail, I will take you up on more cadillac.

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