Class #1084

Mobilizing Mat

55 min - Class


Tom McCook returns to Pilates Anytime with a Mat workout where you can feel what's happening in your body. He blends in corrective exercises with the regular Mat exercises to create more mobility in the body. Enjoy his warm up which uses a lot of circular movement to loosen up the spine, hips, and ankles. Then you will learn many new exercises like his variations on the Single Leg Kick.
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball

About This Video

Jun 18, 2013
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Hi everybody, I'm Tom McCook, I'm here with Kristy and Wendy, we're here to do a mat class, probably about a level two and we're gonna do a lot of corrective exercises blended into Pilates, even though Pilates in and of itself is corrective all by itself. I think you'll enjoy. So we're gonna start with a little bit of just concentration to stepping into your body, to see where you're at right now today. So we'll start with your feet directly under your sit bones, arms long by your side, and I'd just like you, as you bend your knees, slide the shoulders straight up towards the ceiling. As you exhale, let the legs lengthen, the shoulders melt, the spine elongate.

And again, shoulders up, hips down. Legs lengthen, shoulders slide down, spine lengthens, two more times. Feel the slippery slide of the shoulder blades. Sense posture and breathing, and lengthen down. Now from long legged position, just lean a little forward on your feet, back to the center, lean back slightly.

Back to the center, lean to one side. Back to the center, to your second side. Back to the center, now just sense where the middle is, where the weight's dropping down just a little in front of your ankle bones and close your eyes and bring your full attention to your felt experience, just sense posture, breathing, tension levels, state of mind. Just noticing where you're at today. Notice what's happening and as you're noticing, just start to formulate your own intention for your practice.

Those particular areas of your body that you'd like to improve. Qualities you want to develop more graceful, more fluid, a little stronger. You'd just like to have a good movement experience, whatever it is for you, set that intention before we begin. Go to the end of your next exhale and just softly open your eyes. Take your right foot forward and we're gonna go right into some ankle mobility.

I'd like you to stir your ankle. And reverse, sensing your posture. And then down, second side, nice and easy. Standing leg growing roots into the floor and reverse. First side again we're gonna go up into your hip joint.

As you reach through the heel, stir the leg in and then now notice you can move the leg without moving the lower back, maybe. And then open to the side, rotate out, rotate in, long spine. Take it to the back, rotate out, rotate in. Bringing your attention to the center line of the body. And then down, so in and around your joints is where you have a lot of proprioceptive feedback, neuro receptors, so by mobilizing your joint, you're telling your body where you are in space and the brain gets the message that it's safe to move.

And then open to the back, rotate out, rotate in. Back to the center, now bend the knees slightly, we're gonna do a standing arch curl. Take the tail to the front, tail to the back, imagine you're drawing a line on the floor with your tail and notice that the line seems straight, equal weight into both legs. And now imagine you're gonna draw a circle around the perimeter of your feet, including the side, front, side. Your momentary hula party.

And then reverse, nice and fluid. And back to the center, now put your hand on your lower back at the level of your belly button. Just feel, those are basically the middle of your lower back joints and that's where we're gonna mobilize. So just let your arms hang, take your feet about shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly, now laterally flex to your right.

Now let your top shoulder pour forward, let your head roll forward and roll over the fence at the place in your back that you just touched. Roll to your second side, bring the top shoulder back and come right up to straight. So that's the front half of the circle. Now go to your left, pour the top shoulder forward, head forward, curl over the fence, second side, lengthen up to straight. Now we're gonna do the back half of the circle, so go to your right, now as you soften the knees, go to the back, slowly circle around to your left and lengthen up to straight.

Feel any pain, make it smaller and slower. Go left and back, circle right, and lengthen up to straight. Now do the full circle, we'll go to the right, top shoulder forward, pour over the fence, pour to the left, to the back with control, circle, and lengthen up to straight. And now left, top shoulder forward, pour over the fence to the middle. To your right, soft knees go to the back.

Circle, and lengthen up to straight. Very nice, huh? Now the thoracic spine, so touch your breastbone, imagine the spine is about three inches back behind your hands. Unlike a swan exercise, you're gonna keep your shoulder blades relaxed. So as you inhale, take your spine forward into your hands.

Exhale, soften the breast bone to the back to flex slightly. Inhale front, exhale to the back. And one more, front and to the back. Now we're gonna take it in a circle. So you're gonna inhale front right, exhale back and circle, inhale, exhale.

See if you can keep getting out of the way with the shoulder curl, just be relaxed. One more that direction. You can let the arms hang and reverse. One more. Bring the legs close together.

Now with your palms up, take your left arm up and then turn and reach back. And the right, turn and reach back. That's it, two more each side. And turn and reach back, one more each side. Last one.

Now we're gonna go into active stretching, so bring the big toes together, heels about an inch apart. Now with your feet, feel like you're swiping out with your forefoot, in with your heels. Feel how that turns on the back of the legs. And grab the ground a little bit with your feet. Now with your sit bones or your tail, draw it slightly down and forward and take your front ribs back.

Interlace the fingers, press the heel of your hands forward. Now as you go up, keep the front ribs to the back ribs, neck long, and just breathe through the nose. On the exhale, gently tense the pelvic floor, upper inner thighs, lower belly. Now as you look down to your right, shift your hips a little bit to the left, lift your left ribs and side bend do the right. Press through the heel of the hands, take a breath.

Press the hips to the right to come up. Hips slightly right, ribs lift, look down to your left. Smooth out your breathing. Hips to the left to come up, bring your arms forward mid chest level. Now as you bend the knees, take the tail forward, take your waistline back and around the spine, breathe into your back body.

Release the arms, interlace them to the back, now tip your pelvis over your legs slightly, straighten the spine, now pull the blades all the way together if possible and straighten the arms. Now lift and open the top of your chest, take a breath. Release, interlace, lengthen up. Now feel like you're pressing your right hip forward as you turn into it. Then as you turn into it, take your shoulders a little more to the right as you inhale.

Exhale, lift back to the right to take your belly button to the left. Spiral front, press your left hip forward, turn left. And as you turn left, take your shoulders more left, exhale belly button right. Back to the center, release, now we're a little warmer, huh? Now take your feet a little bit apart, we're gonna do a couple spinal rolls downs, then we're gonna come down onto the mat.

So bend the knees just a little bit, starting from the top sequence down one vertebra at a time. All the way down, you're gonna roll down it, let the pelvis roll over the top of the legs, bend the knees if you need to, no strain. Nod your head yes a few times, rotate no. Now feel the sit bones get heavy and draw down as you stack the spine. And let the head be the last thing up into aligned posture.

Let's just do that one more time. Inhale to bend, sequence down in a fluid fashion. Take a breath at the bottom. As you feel the sit bones get heavy, feel the front ribs lift and stack the spine, letting the head be the last thing to arrive up in aligned posture. Very nice, now we're ready.

So now we're gonna come on to your back, you guys can face this direction too. And what you're gonna do is take your bottom leg and have it straight and you're gonna put the ball under your knee with your leg at a right angle. Now this is a mobility exercise for your core and your thoracic spine. So the ball under your knee, you're gonna take the bottom shoulder and pull it out from under you so you're not lying on it and have the hand at about eye level. I'd just let your head come to the mat.

Now you're using the ball because you wanna keep pressure into it, so you don't let the lower back move. Take your top hand right above the other one, maybe about a foot. As you slowly turn open, don't lose the pressure into the ball but let the head and torso turn and the arm will open to about eye height and just go to where you feel like you can go without losing the pressure into the ball. Then slowly come back. We'll do that like five times.

And watch the tendency for the hips will want to move but the goal can be to think that my goal is to touch the floor. Think of the goal as to feel what's happening in your body. Don't worry if you touch the floor. Okay, it really matters if you touch the floor, I'm only kidding. Just feel what's happening in your body, let it be fluid.

Notice you keep the hips stacked and let the head just roll on the floor, let it be heavy. Notice how that's stretching your core when you keep the inner thigh active on the ball. Now the next one open and stay open. Now from that open position, take your left hand and put it on the ceiling and press up but draw that left shoulder down away from the ear, so you feel how that turns on your top oblique a little more. And you can like press up into me so you feel that, there you go.

And then slowly come back and we'll do that three times, so you're just adding that piece to it. And then open, keep the ball, and then press up with the left hand. That's it, and just one more, doesn't that feel good? One more, there you go, and press. Awesome, now stay in the position you're in but bring the left hand back to the mat.

Now you're gonna do a mobility exercise for the right arm. So the right arm, start to lower the hand towards your hip and let it internally rotate. Now slide the back of your hand up your spine, slide it down your spine. Now as you open back to the side, externally rotate. Now when it comes to about eye level, leaving the elbow low, bend the elbow, bringing the hand towards the back of your head, so you feel that nice pec stretch.

And then open back, we're gonna do that same movement three times. Lower, internally rotate, slide it up your spine. Reach back, as you open, feel the blades slide in towards the spine so the joint position is good and then bend. And just one more. If you had one exercise to do, this would be the one.

Especially if we spent a lot of time sitting. That's it and open, there you go, and bend. As you complete the one you're on, gently come back the way you started and you can help yourself out and turn to your second side. (laughing) There you go. Top knee is on the ball with your legs bent at 90.

Bottom leg is straight, hips are stacked and take the bottom arm and pull the shoulder out from under you and have the hand at about eye level. Let the head just be heavy on the floor. If you need to use a pillow, that would be fine too. Now as you slowly open, as you open, keep the pressure into the ball and let the head roll with it. You'll notice one side is probably much easier than the other and that's really good information for our bodies.

We tend to have inequities left to right, it's a great way to create balance. And then slowly come back. Just feel your way through. That's it. Notice how the core activation of the inner thigh prevents you from straining in the shoulder.

Or over mobilizing or doing more from your lower back, which is a tendency when we rotate. One more and then on the next one, as you open, put the right hand on the ceiling, drawing that right shoulder down as you press up. So you feel that waistline connection. There you go, that's it. And slowly come back and do that two more times.

Feel the pressure into the ball. There you go, one more. Feel the connection, beautiful you guys, that's it. And now the next one, from the open position, staying open, let the left hand lower towards the hip and internally rotate it. Slide the back of the hand up the spine, feel that joint mobility in your arm, where the arm meets the scapula.

Reach down, external as you open, and now bring the hand towards the back of the head for that nice stretch through your pec and do that two more times through that whole range. That's it, nice and fluid. That's it, notice the blade comes in a little bit more towards the spine when you're in that open position. Awesome, one more. Beautiful you guys, that's it.

Nice work. Very nice, now from there, you're gonna come onto your back, you can put the ball to your side, you won't need it for this next one. And on your back you're gonna line up your heels with your sit bones and open your arms like a V, with your hands are at eye level. Now in this position, instead of your shoulder blades being away from the spine, slide them in towards the spine. Now as you slide them in towards the spine, see if you can also sink your front ribs a little bit.

Now take a breath and on the exhale, from the pelvis, curl the tail towards the knees and peel up into a bridge. Now in the bridge, visualize a straight line from your knees to your shoulders and as you exhale, reach one leg straight out to the height of the opposite knee. Now keeping it here, now slowly take the leg straight up to the ceiling. Reach it back out to straight and then place it down. And take it that slow, we're gonna do four on each side.

Exhale to reach. Oh, stay on the same side. There you go and then you can alternate sides, that's it. Yeah, alternate sides and feel like you're trying to keep the pelvis nice and stable and you're getting that mobility through your hip joint that's stable on the standing leg. And you're still feeling a little bit of work in the middle upper back, that's it.

Nice and fluid. So this works on hip mobility and hip stability at the same time. So a lot of times when somebody is seeming to be un-flexible in their hamstrings, it can be a pelvic instability issue that's preventing the muscles from letting go. Good, one more each side, nice and smooth. And lift, that's it.

Beautiful, last one. There you go, and then when you're all good, then sequence down through the spine. Nice, now the next version is the same arm movement, just do this one time to come out of it. If you were somebody that had nerve tension when you're doing this, you could also do it with bent arms. This is the same position but this time bring your knees over your belly button and let your lower legs relax.

Now just take a breath and hollow the belly without tucking the tail. Now imagine when you rotate your pelvis to the left, your ribcage is gonna rotate to the right. So the part of your shoulder blades or your spine, just around your shoulder blade level, you wanna keep it on the floor as the pelvis turns. So as you inhale, take your pelvis one way but keep the other side of the ribcage on the floor. Now as you exhale, come back to center.

And inhale this way but focus on this staying down, that's it. So you're really working on your middle back. So this is for posture, that's it. So as you go to your left, focus on this staying down and then come back to center as you hollow. That's it, there you go.

So make it as small as you need to, so the upper back doesn't rotate off the floor. Feel like you're getting those muscles close to the spine to be part of the equation. That's better. Just two more each side. Kind of like way back there somewhere, place where we don't hang out a lot.

That's it, one more each side. That's it, very nice. As you come back to center, place the feet down again in line with your sit bones and bring your palms together in front of your chest. Now draw the shoulder blades down and reach a little more towards the ceiling, so your shoulder blades are drawing slightly down and forward, then pull your front ribs away from your hands. Now take a breath and curl up into a bridge.

Now imagine your hip pockets are filled with sand. As you inhale, pour the sand down on the right by rotating the pelvis down on the right but keep the knees straight up and down. Now exhale, squeeze back to the center. Inhale down on the left, exhale, squeeze up to center. And just alternate sides, shoulder blades wide and low.

You feel it in your waistline, your inner thighs, and your hip extensors, your glutes, hamstrings. That's it, just two more each side. There you go. One more each side. As you come back to center, sequence down through the spine.

Now draw your knees into your chest and rock forward and back and come on up to all fours. On all fours, you're gonna take your knees a little wider than your hips and then let your hips go behind your knees, you're a little bit back. You're gonna start with your left elbow under your left shoulder and put your right hand on the back of your sacrum. Now the issue on this one, you might want to switch your arm so you'll both mirror that way, there you go. Better for the camera.

Now in this position, the challenge is to keep your up arm, your hand on your back completely passive, you're not gonna use the shoulder blade at all. So as you exhale, press into the bottom forearm and turn to look up to the ceiling without using your up arm and inhale down. Do that six or seven times. So if you're turning to the right, go a little bit to the right, so you really feel that. That's it, this is strong thoracic mobility, you feel it upside, there you go.

And you're doing your best to keep that up arm relaxed. That's it. Let's do that three more times. Feel that reach in the bottom elbow. Nice and smooth.

There you go. So whatever side you're turning towards, you feel like you're actually going that way a little bit. That's it, one more, last one. And slowly down, nice, then set up for your second side. And just make a note for your own body when you do the second side, to notice which side's harder so you can just have that, register that.

This would be a good corrective exercise for your shoulder girdle and your thoracic spine. Press into the bottom elbow, turn towards the up arm. And as you turn, think of going a little bit in the direction you're turning, but you're keeping that up arm as passive as you can. See if you can let that go, so you really feel it, there you go. So you're turning from the muscles under the shoulder blade, opposed to from the shoulder blade, the muscles close to the spine.

That's it. There you go, nice, just three more. That's it, beautiful you guys. Nice and smooth. And one more.

That's working, huh? Isn't that exhausting? What the hell is that all about? Now go come onto your back, we're gonna hold the ball between the knees but have the feet, there you go, have your feet a little further away from you then for the bridge because we're gonna take it into a roll up. So first thing, just as you feel the ball, bring your pelvis into neutral and take your arms up to the ceiling.

Now just allow the back of your waist to sink more into the mat and the back of your shoulders. Inhale the arms back behind you. On the exhale, let the arms follow forward, let the head follow and curl up, reaching past the ball. Hold the curl, inhale, reach back, exhale, sequence down. And again, arms and head come forward with the inhale, exhale the curl and reach.

Inhale, reach back, exhale down. One more, inhale, exhale, curl. Inhale, reach back, breathe wide into your back. Exhale down, very nice. Now let's rock it up to a seated position.

And we'll start from here and grow tall, now on the exhale, curl down just til the arms straighten. Take a short inhale, curl back up, inhale up top, just keep the work low, not anticipating the harder version, just feeling what you're doing, and exhale curl. Now reach the arms up, we'll take it into the full movement. Exhale sequence down. As you reach back, keep the lower back long, the top of the chest open.

Exhale, arms forward, curl. Inhale to stack it up tall. And do three more at your own pace. Keep the work close to the midline. Nice and smooth, flow through.

Beautiful, you guys. Go tall, feel the length of the spine. Sit bones start to narrow as the tail reaches forward. Arms reach, lower back is long, exhale forward. Beautiful, one more.

And peel through the spine. Reach with the breath, exhale, peel back up. Grow tall and as you get tall, take the ball and put it right behind your lower back. And we're gonna bring the legs together and straight. It's okay if you need to bend them a little bit in the beginning.

Now reach up, on the exhale flex the lumbar into the ball. Now right when you feel that, squeeze the inner thighs and take your outside arm and reach overhead and turn as you go back. Now bring the lumbar into the ball to come forward. There you go, exhale curl and reach. And bring the lumbar into the ball to come forward.

Two more each side, feel the inner thighs keep the position and then bring it forward, beautiful, that's it. The ball feels kind of good, doesn't it? That's it. One more, each side. That's it.

And last one, nice and fluid. Awesome, as you get from there, take the ball into your hands now. Now go into a little bit of a V shape with your feet. As you squeeze the ball, squeeze the upper inner thighs and start to curl down. Now as you inhale, reach the ball to the ceiling and overhead.

Exhale the arms forward, bend the elbows, curl as you compress the ball. Curl and reach. Inhale up tall, draw it towards you. Exhale squeeze the legs, squeeze the ball, and peel back. That's it, inhale reach, feel the length of the body toned in the midline.

Exhale forward, draw it in, curl, and reach. One more time, grow tall, exhale, squeeze, keep it all close to the midline, reach. Arms come forward, compress, and reach, beautiful. Now as you stack it, take the ball out of your way to the side for the roll over but we're gonna start with wide legs. So what I'd like you to do is just come onto your back for a second.

Now take the head of your arm bones towards the floor, then your fingertips towards your feet. Now have the arms long, heavy, and toned. As you inhale, bring the knees in towards the chest, straight up to the ceiling, and then shoulder width apart. Now as you inhale, let the legs start to come towards you, then exhale, curl the tail off the floor. Inhale, just flex your feet, stay wide, next you'll sequence back down.

Gonna keep em wide for three, inhale to point, exhale back. Inhale the flex, exhale sequence down, breastbone moving away from the chin, arms are heavy. Inhale the point, exhale back. Inhale the flex, exhale traction down. Now we're gonna go back three more, we'll go back with open but we'll come down with closed.

So inhale the point, exhale take it back. Inhale close the legs, now flex the feet and sequence down as long as you can as sequentially through the spine. Inhale open and point, exhale back. Inhale together and flex, exhale traction down, long heavy arms, beautiful, one more. Inhale open point, exhale back.

Inhale together flex, exhale traction down through the spine. Very nice, draw the knees into the chest, rock up to find your ball one more time and put the ball underneath your right ankle. Or your outside ankle, shall we say. Now come onto your back. Now find neutral in your pelvis and as you press down into the ball, feel the back of the leg and the inner thigh and bring the other leg into a tabletop.

Now on the exhale just straighten the leg, inhale to bend, do that five times but focus on the pressing into the down leg and your posture as much as the moving leg. That's it, and two more. And one more, now this last one, hold it, light point, now just let the leg go side to side across the midline. And now just kind of keep the back of the pelvis still because the hip joint is in the front of the pelvis. That's it.

Now we're gonna take that into the circle, so inhale into the midline, exhale down towards the opposite foot and circle. Focus on the strength of the standing leg, the moving leg is a gesture, just energetically strong and fluid. That's it, beautiful, inhale in, exhale to circle. Two more in the direction you're going. And one.

And reverse, inhale away, exhale down, circle, center. Beautiful. That's it. Feel the nice organizing quality through the body, the support of the mat. Two more.

And one. Back to center as you bend the knee, just draw it into your chest for a little stretch. Roll the ball towards you and you can switch your feet and find your alignment with the other leg at tabletop. And just find your alignment with your arms long and active. And on the exhale, straighten the up leg and inhale to bend five times.

Focus on the down leg as the ground, if the down leg is the support for the stretch. That's it, two more. And on the next one, lengthen and hold and now side to side between three and nine, back of the pelvis is nice and stable, the movement's mainly in the hip joint. On the next one as you come to the midline, exhale down and into the circle, strong standing leg. That's it.

Fully extended hip on the down leg, long spine. One more in that direction. And reverse, fluid, that's it. And three more. Beautiful, one more.

Bend the knee, draw it into your chest. Roll the ball towards you. And take it out of the way to your side, draw both knees in and we're gonna rock right up to a seated position for rolling like a ball. Let's hold the back of the thighs to start. Now as you curl a little behind the sit bones, draw the knees in, feet close, knees open, shoulders wide and low.

Initiating from the belly, inhale to roll, exhale up and find your balance point. And again, inhale to roll, exhale to curl. One more before we make it a little tighter. If you've got room to move, take your hands to your shins, draw it into a tighter ball. Now feel that tension connection between your heels and your sit bones.

Inhale to roll, exhale and find the balance point. And three more. Ever so small hint of a smile. That's it, just two more. Awesome, one more.

From that place as the feet come down, holding the back of the thighs, roll down, preparing for single stretch. So we'll take the left knee in, hold with the right hand, outside hand lower. As the shoulder blades draw down and wide, let the head come back but retract the throat and the waistline. With an exhale, switch. And switch, fluid.

Feel the strength of the down leg, pressing down into the midline. Two more each side. One more each side. As you come back to the center, hold the shape for double leg stretch. Inhale to reach arms and legs away, exhale, circle and draw in.

Inhale to reach, exhale in, three more, fluid. And in, and two. And in, and one. And in, let the head come down, roll your head from side to side a few times. Now we're gonna go into single straight leg.

So take a breath and curl up with the upper body, reach up with one leg, hold the lower leg. Looking towards your abdomen, lengthen the other leg. Now reach down with the down leg as we draw in with the up leg. With an exhale, switch, and switch, strong and fluid. Lower back is long, shoulders are wide and low.

That's it, two more each side. One more each side. As you come to center, bring the hands behind the head, bent legs for crisscross. I'm eliminating one of the five. So on the exhale, turn as you lengthen the other leg.

Inhale center, exhale the turn. Now like the movement you did on all fours, feel the rotation in the thoracic spine. Keeping the neck nice and long. Two more each side. That's it, one more each side.

Back to center, rock yourself right up to a seated position for spine stretch. Now from here we'll bring your legs out shoulder width. Now as you float the arms up, get up on your sit bones. Now as you nod the chin, feel like you're gonna pull the throat and the waistline back and curl like you're gonna draw the top of the head towards the mat. Inhale, stack the spine as the shoulders glide down, the head floats up.

And again, exhale to curl, active legs, active core, reaching arms, inhale to stack it up tall. And three more, fluid, lift and lengthening. Inhale to stack, on the exhale glide forward, feel the shoulders glide down and wide. Inhale to stack from the base of the spine, one more. Exhale to curl.

Inhale up tall, help yourself forward onto all fours and come onto your forearms. Now on your forearms, have your elbows right under your shoulders, your hips over your knees, and come back and create a nice long line from your head to your tail. So your shoulder blades are wide. Now take your outside leg and come onto the top of your foot for the straight leg. Now the movement is just gonna be mainly in your hip joint of that long leg.

On the exhale, lift that leg straight up to the ceiling as high as you can. Still exhaling, bend at the knee and bring the heel towards the butt. Inhale, reach the leg long and touch to the mat. So it's like single leg kick but in this position. Exhale, lift and bend, reach long and touch.

Keep the upper back active, the top of the chest open. The lower back long. Feel how you're getting that work in the back of the leg, your core, and the mid upper back, three more. That's it, smooth and fluid, two more. There you go.

That's it, feel how you can stay long on both sides of the waistline. As you lower, you can slide it in. Take a stretch back into child's pose just for one breath. Let go of any tension. And when you're ready, slowly help yourself back up into position.

Feel your alignment, reach the second leg out. Feel the line and on the exhale, lift to straight line through the body. Still exhaling, heel to the butt. Inhale, reach long and touch down. So it's hip extension, leg bending, hip extension, and touch down, nice and smooth.

Feel that connection across the bottom of the shoulder blades. Long through the lower back, three more times. And two more. And one. Stretch back one more time to child's pose for another breath.

And then gently help yourself up onto all fours, on the hands and knees. Now we're going to go into a plank and we're gonna do a knee pull to the chest and then a leg pull to the butt. So I'll just show you one. You'll step into plank, from the plank you're gonna pull the knee to your chest, reach out to straight, and then heel to your butt. We're gonna do that three times on each side.

I'll talk you through. Same side? Yeah, you'll do the same, both movements on one side, then you'll switch. So I'll talk you through. So first take one leg back into a plank.

Now feel the bottom of your butt on that side, so you feel that connection to the back of your leg like that previous exercise. Then take your second leg back. Nice open chest, long lower back. Now exhale, pull the knee to your chest. Reach it back long, keep the knees right next to each other, heel to your butt, place it back down.

Second side, exhale in, knee to your chest, reach long, heel to your butt. And place it down, two more each side, just move at your own breath rate, feel it. Long, beautiful you guys, and again. Reach out and in. One more each side.

And out, draw in, place it down, last side. And float the knees down and lower yourself onto your belly, nice work. Now from there, take your arms out overhead in a high V position. And as you press the front of your hips into the mat, press your palms down and just draw the upper chest slightly forward and up. Now imagine you're gonna push a marble forward with your nose.

As you inhale, start to push the marble forward, let the chest follow it and come up into a small swan like movement. And then lead with the spine to lengthen back down. It'll feel like the work is in that mid upper back with long legs. So the blades will slide down as you slide the chest forward and up. That's it and then lead with the spine to lengthen back down.

Just two more, nice and fluid. Feel that long lower back and the work is mainly in the mid upper back with the active legs. And one more. Come up in a nice fluid way. And then lengthen all the way down.

Help yourself up onto your forearms for single leg kicks. So on the forearms, the elbows can be wide. Now as you press into the forearms, wide and lower the shoulder blades and then tone the upper inner thighs. Get that sense that it's a very active position. Inhale to prepare, on a sniffing breath through the nose, kick one heel towards your butt twice.

Inhale down, exhale. That's it, nice and smooth. If you wanna get fancy, you can add flex point of the foot. Don't have to though, that's it. Notice how you keep that length through the front of the hips, tone in the back of the hips.

Two more each side. As you're lengthening down, feel like you're trying to keep the knee light, like it's lifting off the floor. One more each side. Last side. As you lengthen down, come onto your, turn your head towards me for double leg kicks and slide your hands onto your lower back and let the shoulders draw down and towards the mat.

Get a little longer through the lower back, activate your inner thighs. As you inhale, do three pulsing kick towards your butt, one, two, three, exhale, reach and lengthen, use the strength of the mid back. As you come down, turn your head to the second side, kick, kick, kick, lengthen and open. And three more times, moving with your breath. Kick, kick, kick, reach and open.

And down and kick, kick, kick, reach and open. Last two, and kick, kick, kick, reach and open. Last time, and kick, kick, kick, reach and open. Hands under the shoulders, press back to child's pose and stretch out the back, round the back, stretch it out. And when you're ready, slowly roll up through the spine.

Come into a seated position for the saw. Now in the saw, push your knees up into your hands to get up on top of the sit bones and now if you can still straighten the legs, let the legs lengthen and open the arms to the side. Now we're gonna take the first one very slow. So as we inhale, turn that way. Now as you exhale, absorb that leg that you've turned away from into your hip joint and now reach towards the outside of the foot and feel the arms, you're helping to spiral the spine.

Inhale, lengthen up to center. Exhale, spiral, absorb the leg and reach as the waistline pulls back. Inhale center, exhale spiral and reach, back to go forward. Inhale center, exhale spiral and reach. Inhale center, exhale spiral and reach.

Two more each side at your own pace, nice and fluid. Feel your way through it. Feel the length of the spine, the action of the legs and abdomen. One more each side. Last one.

Back to center, bring the legs right together. Roll then onto the spine. Bend the legs, we're gonna do bridge with leg kicks. So arms are long, exhale, curl up through the spine. Now feel a line from your knees to your shoulders, then get a little bit of a backbend by pressing the shoulder blades back more.

Reach one leg straight up to the height of the other knee, with a pointed foot, inhale lift and kick. Exhale flex and reach through the heel, three more times. Strong on the way down, active through the back of the leg. One more. As you finish, place the foot down, preparing for your second side.

Reach out straight, inhale point and lift, exhale flex and reach, strong and fluid. And again, two more. And one. Place the foot down, sequence down through the spine. Turn onto your side facing this way for side leg kicks.

Facing that way? Yeah. There you go, now from there you're gonna actually, you're gonna lengthen the arm all the way down with the palm up, so you can come into a straight line. Instead of having the feet in front of you, you're gonna be on a very tight straight line. Now put your bottom hand on your bottom ribs and lift the bottom ribs a little bit away from the floor.

Now place that hand in front of your chest close to your body, right at the bottom of the breastbone with the palm flat. Now the first exercise is just a double leg lift, it's a small movement. So on the exhale, squeeze the legs and lift both legs. Inhale flex the feet, exhale point the feet. Inhale to lower, and again, exhale lift.

Flex, point, and lower, two more times. On the exhale, lift, flex, point, and lower, and one more. Lift, flex, point, and lower. As you lower, now lift the top leg up just about a foot, small lift. On the exhale, bring the bottom leg up to meet it.

And lower and lift just the bottom leg with a little brisker pace now, lift and lower, feel the work is from your upper inner thigh, all the way down to the inner knee. Last three. Two, and one, as you lower both legs, bring them about a foot forward now, both legs will go forward of the body for side leg kicks. Lift the top leg up a few inches for the flex foot, tone the inner thigh of the bottom leg also. Inhale kick to the front with a pulse, exhale point and reach to the back.

Forward kick, point and reach. Center your posture, hips stay stacked, shoulders stay stacked. Smooth and fluid, two more. And one. Hold the leg to the back this time, hold it back, feel that reach, we're gonna go into a slow bicycle.

Heel to your butt, knee to your chest, leg long to the front, and again, smooth motion. We've done this motion several different positions today in class, really feel it, feel that connection through each stage of the movement. One more in the direction you're going. From that back position with a long leg, swing it to the front. Bend at the knee, reach to the back with control.

And three more. Feel the hips stay nice and stacked, shoulders stacked. Breath is fluid, two more. And one. Very nice, as you complete, we're gonna gently roll onto your second side.

Very nice. We'll start with a leg stack in a straight line Bottom arm is palm up, long arm. Now feel like you can get a sense of lifting your bottom ribs away from the floor a little bit. Tone the inner thighs and on the exhale, lift with pointed feet, inhale flex the feet, exhale to point, inhale to lower with control. And again, lift, flex, point, and lower.

Long waist, lift, flex, point, and lower. One more time, lift, flex, point, and lower. Now just lift the top leg about a foot, on the exhale bring the bottom leg to meet it and a little brisk movement up and down with the bottom leg. Maintaining your postural length. Easy, long neck.

Last three. One more, as you lower both, take them a little forward of the body. We're preparing for side kicks. Lift the top leg up a few inches with a flexed foot, active down leg, kick forward with a pulse, point and reach to the back. Hips stay nice and stacked, spine stays long.

That's it, as you're going forward, you get a sense of that sit bone moving away, so you don't get the tendency to hike the top hip. That's it, two more. There you go, one more. As you go to the back, hold at the back, feel the back of your leg, feel your hip extensors. Exhale, heel to your butt, knee to your chest, leg long to the front, smooth motion.

Feel your way through that entire range. Two more in that direction. One more. From the long leg position from the back, switch and swing to the front. Bend and reach to the back.

That's it, smooth and fluid. And two more, last two. And one. Back to the center, very nice. Now help yourself up onto all fours for a moment.

From all fours, we're gonna go from a plank to a side plank. So from first position, just first do a couple of scapula glides. So I'd like you to let the shoulder blades slide in toward the spine. Now wide and lower them and also feel like you're lifting the lower belly away from the floor without rounding the upper back. See if you can keep the top of the chest open.

Now step your right leg back into a plank and then your left. Now activate your upper inner thighs and feel like the lower back is peeling a little more away from the floor. On the exhale, you're gonna open away from me and turn onto the sides of your feet and reach to the sky. Now take a breath and as you inhale, lower the hips towards the floor, reach the hands towards your feet. Exhale, lift the hips and reach the arm over the top and look towards the floor, there you go.

Hard to see me from there, huh? Alright, inhale, there you go, you're looking good. Now inhale back to straight line, exhale lower the hips, look towards your feet. Inhale lift the hips, look towards the floor and side bend. Back to straight line, back to plank.

From your plank, turn towards me. On the exhale, look toward the feet and lower. Lift, side bend, look towards the floor. Inhale, exhale, lower. Inhale, exhale, side.

Inhale back to side, back to plank. Float the knees down, now turn your fingers in on about a 45 degree angle. Tuck your toes under and activate your upper inner thighs and your shoulder blades wide and low. This is gonna be a floating knee push up. So feel like your shoulder blades are pulling out towards your elbows and as you active your inner thighs, float your knees.

Now without the shoulder blades moving on the back, inhale, bend the elbows, exhale to straighten. Do that for five. Beautiful. Two more. And one.

As you float the knees down, turn the hand back to parallel and lift back to a downward dog. Now from your downward dog, just take a few breaths. And as you bend one leg, straighten the other leg and press the heel down just to open up and stretch before we finish. Just alternate your legs nice and slow like you're doing a slow running in place. Do that two more times.

And now slowly bend both legs deep in your hip crease and then slowly straighten both, taking the thigh bones back. Do that one more time. Now from that straight leg position, take a breath, on the exhale, from your tailbone, curl forward and arrive in a plank. From the plank, take a breath. Exhale, drop the chin and round back to downward dog.

Take a breath in the downward dog. Exhale, curl forward one more time to plank. Take a breath, exhale, round back to downward dog. From the downward dog, squaring the hips, shoulders are low, reach one leg straight up to the ceiling. Hold for a breath, slowly lower.

Second leg, reach it up and back, slowly lower. Walk the hands towards the feet. Soften your knees, slowly roll up through the spine. Bring your heels together in a small V. And now feel that activation in the back of the legs, sense your posture, and from that activation, lift the heels a few inches, float the arms up.

As you open, grow a little taller, and lower. And one more time, lift, reach, open, and lower. Turn back to parallel, close your eyes just for a moment, sense your alignment, your breathing. Acknowledge yourself your hard work today, guys. Nice job, thank you, thank you everybody.


3 people like this.
After my AWESOME workshop with Dawn Marie-Ickes... I have been searching for classes on Tom McCook! This is a wonderful class on Mobility and Stability and I admire Tom's teaching style! I hope to someday someday have worked with all of the educated and talented Pilates Anytime Instructors in person...Much love and appreciation to Pilates Anytime!
I also LOVE Tom's teaching style! Please come join us in the studio Jill! Thank you for your feedback!
1 person likes this.
I hope to come and visit from Minnesota very, very soon! You all are amazing!
1 person likes this.
this workout was fantastic body work. Tom, you really seem to know what you're doing to fire up many areas of the body. i love switching up the basics, and i love actually sweating!
We look forward to having you for a visit Jill! Let us know when you're on your way and we'll let you know who will be in the Studio!
Nice variations, will use. Thanks!
3 people like this.
Thank you, Tom, Kristi, Pilates Anytime. Man, did I need this gift today! Delicious fluidity, the opportunity to go inside, discover, correct. evolve. Thank you for your wonderful imagery, Tom! It sure worked! A glorious moving meditation, all in all!
3 people like this.
Tom, loved your thoracic mobility movements and how beautifully each movement in ths class is a building block for the next sequence. Your calm, crystal clear cueing helped me move deeper into each movement. Lovely class! Thank you. More please!
2 people like this.
Lots of gems in this one...awesome. Plan to be quoting you all over town during my next mat session! Thank you Master McCook & PA...never disappoint. ??
4 people like this.
Thank you everyone for you thoughtful and inspiring feedback! I'm really happy you appreciate and enjoyed the class. Thank you Kristi for making this great venue possible!
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