Class #1086

Feel-Good Reformer

50 min - Class


Tom McCook teaches a wonderful Reformer workout that feels great on your entire body. He starts with a spinal warmup and then goes into Footwork and a Kneeling Abdominal Series. In addition to the many great exercises he teaches, he includes preps for Short Spine Stretch and Rowing to make sure your spine is ready to move. Enjoy!
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

Jun 29, 2013
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Welcome, everybody, I'm Tom McCook, I'm here with Christy and Sarah, my pleasure to be here with Pilates Anytime, and we're gonna do a fantastic reformer workout, I hope you join us. It's gonna be a full body session and we're gonna start with a spinal warmup, so these guys are gonna come down, put their hands on the foot bar, and come into a flat back tabletop position. First thing they wanna feel is just the line of their spine, nice line head to tail, have a little bit of activation by pushing the hands down on the bar so they feel their lats, and also press the sit bones toward your pubic bone so you activate your glutes and your hamstrings. Now do a knee bend and deepen your hip crease, curl the tail towards the bellybutton, roll up on the balls of the feet, and rise to straight legs, and wave back the straight spine, lower the heels. Let's do that five times, bend, curl, rise, and lower back to straight spine.

Just feel that head-tail relationship as you move. She's curling the spine, she's keeping the neck long, and she's waving back, feeling the sit bones widen. And again, bend and curl, opening up the lower spine, getting each part of the spine to move, waving back, and lowering, and we'll do one more. Bend and curl, and rise, and lower, and then just walk the feet forward and help yourself to standing. And gonna come down onto your back to prepare for our leg work.

So we're gonna go into footwork now, so we're gonna go down onto the reformer on their back with two red springs and a blue, and we're actually gonna leave the headrest down for the beginning because we're gonna do some bridging exercises. So I'd like you to line up your heels with your sit bones up on the bar, bring your arms long, and just take a few breaths, and experience your body and its relationship to gravity. Soften the breastbone, soften your throat, and just notice any unnecessary tension you might be experiencing right now. And now see if you can get the breath a little lower in the body and we're just gonna start with an arched curl. So as you exhale, curl the tail towards the knees and imprint the lower back into the mat.

Then inhale into a little bit of an arch. Just go back and forth, rolling your pelvis back and forth over your leg bones. Notice can I do that keeping the fronts of the shoulders relaxed and my throat relaxed. And just a hint of a smile. Nothing major, just a little one.

That's it, now, the next one, as you exhale, sequentially peel up through the spine into a full bridge, creating a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. On the inhale, start to sequence down, exhale all the way down to neutral, feel the tail come down to the mat. Inhale at the bottom, exhale activate, and curl. Just take it nice and slow and smooth. You're aligning your body, you're just noticing if you have equal pressure in both legs.

And then peel back down through the spine. So you're using this opportunity to create space and alignment and connection to yourself. And again, on the exhale, curl, inhale, begin to come down, feel the upper back first, breast bone moving away from your chin, mid back, low back, sacrum, tail. And the next one, we're gonna curl up and hold in, we're gonna do a couple marches. So on the exhale, curl, now inhale to prepare, stand into one leg, and see the other leg get light as you knee fold it.

Inhale down, exhale to alternate, and do three on each side. And notice how you can stand into the standing leg and the moving leg gets light. That's it, very fluid, connected, clear sense of stability with movement. One more, each side. That's it, last one.

Inhale to the bar, exhale sequence down through the spine. When you get to the bottom, reach back and put your headrest up to a notch that you like preparing for footwork. We're gonna start on the heels again. Now we're gonna inhale to lengthen the legs, and hold them long just for a moment, and just sense your pelvis in long leg position, sense neutral. Now I want you to imagine, as you're about to bend your legs that you can start to bend your legs without the carriage moving.

So start to bend and stall the carriage. Now pull the carriage in from the back of your legs. And then inhale out, exhale pull yourself in. So each time feel that momentary stall so you feel that opposition through the middle of your body. And you feel that you're using all sides of the leg, especially the back of the legs and the inner thighs.

That's it. And again, you're in that process of noticing how am I using my body, am I staying pretty even? Am I keeping the energy low. Two more, everybody, nice and fluid. That's it, and one more.

As you come in, slide down onto the balls of the feet, still in parallel, same movement, inhale to lengthen out, feel that momentary stall and pull yourself in. That's it, nice and fluid. And notice that you're working more from the tops of the legs than from the feet. You're working right from where the legs meet the pelvis. That's it.

Imagine your spine's at its absolute longest when your legs are long. That's it, nice and smooth, two more. And one. As you come in, come into first position, heels together, small turnout, knees about armpit width. Inhale, pull long, feel like you're zipping up your upper inner thighs before your knees, then exhale, pull yourself in.

And again, inhale out, exhale in. You can imagine your head as drawing away from your feet as you lengthen out. That's it, very fluid. Notice how you can feel a little more of the back of the hips in turnout than in parallel. There you go, three more.

And two, still warming up, just getting connected, and then go at the rest of the day. As you come in, we're gonna come into prehensile feet, so come back to parallel and go right up so it's pretty high, it's actually at the top of your arch. That's it, so you can even come up a little higher, there you go, now keeping that, the heels staying low, inhale to pull the legs long. As you come in, keep the heels low and pull in, feel a deep crease in your hips. And inhale out.

And exhale, really feel that you're keeping that bird perch, that you're using your feet. You stay nice and light in your shoulders and neck. That's it, very fluid. Good, you guys, just three more. That's it, and draw yourself in.

And one more. Inhale out, exhale draw yourself in. Now come wide in second position on your heels, about onto the edge of the bar. Now we're gonna do external and internal rotation. So starting external, right from where the legs meet your body, pull the legs long.

From that long leg position, roll the thighs in, and bend and come in. At the end, roll them back out, and feel like you're initiating the movement from your hip joints opposed to from your knees or your feet. Feel like it's happening from the tops of your thighs. Feels good. That's it, nice and smooth.

And do three more like that. Nice and fluid. And feel how that warming up your pelvis and your legs, get a little more sense of your body three dimensionally. Two more. And one more in that direction.

When you come all the way at an internal, stay internal and press out in internal. And roll out to come in, there you go. Like if your knees, hips, and ankles are staying good alignment, and the feet, even though they're slightly flexed, they're staying relatively relaxed. That's it, and just two more. Excellent, that's you guys, one more.

As you come in, come on to the balls of the feel in parallel and we're just gonna do heel lowers. So I'd like you to pull the legs long and keep them long. And we're just gonna do 10 heel lowers. So reach under the bar, and rise up. And watch the tendency to take the pelvis forward when you rise up.

No Peewee Herman action. (laughs) That's to really get that feeling of when you lift it's coming through the back of the legs, and you're keeping the spine nice and long. That's it, sense your posture, feel like you're also working on. Just keep aligning the body through the legs. Just three more, very smooth.

And one, and then just lower one heel as you bend the other leg and hold for a stretch. That's it, and what you can do is take hold of the rails and just pull with the rails to give you a deeper stretch. And as you do that, again, soft around your jaw, your shoulders, you're still just letting go of unnecessary tension, connecting, and then rise up again and switch. Reach through the heel. A few breaths, and then that back chain open up a little more.

Very nice, when you're ready, help yourself all the way in. Gonna gently roll to your side, and you're gonna come on up and we're gonna turn around and go the other way, but before you turn the other way, take off so you just have one blue spring on. Now, this is a chest stretch and a spinal movement. So you're gonna have a seat with the headrest down, put their feet on the headrest, and their hands on the wooden platform behind you with the palms facing forward. Just like that, that's it.

That's it now. You can bring your hips even a little further back so you have about six inches behind you. And go as wide as you need to with your hands so you don't feel any shoulder discomfort. Now imagine you're gonna initiate the movement of pushing the cart out by curling the tail forward and allowing the shoulders to stretch and keep lengthening your lower back towards the mat. And as you inhale to come in, draw your tail and your hands towards one another, open the chest, and lift and open into extension.

And then exhale to curl. Feel the spine lengthen towards the mat. As you inhale, draw the sit bones and hands towards one another and open into extension, drawing the shoulder blades back. And again, curl, feel that nice stretch through your biceps, your pecs, and inhale, lengthen up and in, feel that nice opening. Collar bones are broad, just two more.

Exhale to curl. Nice thing to do before we do the roll downs we're about to do. Inhale lengthen up, and extend. And last time, feel that head tail length. And as you inhale, lengthen all the way up, and then hold that extended position for a moment just to feel the stretch through the upper chest.

And then gently release. Now take hold of the straps in your hands, and just right from where you're at we're gonna go into the roll downs. So you can hold the straps with long arms and bent legs, you can even go like this, I like to do it the Ben Hur way, kinda like that. Thank you. There you go.

And now, just with long arms, think of the same way you just moved your sacrum and spine, take a breath, and on the exhale, curl down, and just when you touch the lumbar, take a short inhale, and then curl back up, keeping the arms long and the neck long. Grow tall with the inhale, initiate from your pelvis and spine to curl back. That's it, feel your way through it. Take a breath, and then curl back up, draw back to come forward. Grow tall, and then sequence down, do two more.

That's it, feel how you can put each part of the spine down before what's above it. Short breath, curl back up. And one more time. Just move in a nice fluid way. Take a breath, and then peel back up, nice and fluid.

Now as you get to the top, just look at me just for a second. Take your hands in the strap themselves, and just turn them out like this for a moment. That's it, you can even hold them like, say I was gonna be like that. That way you'll feel like you've got a little bit of tension on it. Now bend your elbows just a little bit.

And feel like your shoulder blades are pulling out towards your elbows. Notice how you're connecting your shoulder blades to your arms to your core. Now you're gonna be like that when you're in the roll back but you're not gonna go quite as far, and you're gonna turn and press out. So take a breath and exhale, roll down about halfway. Now connect your shoulder blades out to your elbows and as you exhale and press out, turn from your waistline.

Beautiful. Inhale to center, exhale turn and press. That's it, and keep the elbows a little bent the whole time, and imagine the arms wrap around your back here and connect to each other. That's it, beautiful. And again, exhale, turn, inhale center.

Just one more each way. Press and turn, feel that scapula to abdomen to inner thigh connection. One more. Inhale to the center, exhale curl all the way back up to the start. Beautiful, nice work. That's good.

Now we're warm, huh? Yeah! That's good, you guys. Now we're gonna put the straps on the poles. We're gonna turn around and put the foot bar down to do a kneeling abdominal progression. We're gonna stay with one blue, and we'll have the steel bar out of your way so it's not, and you're gonna see if we can move this gear out one.

We'll go like so. There we go, perfecto. Put on one blue, and you're gonna come to a kneeling position. I don't know if I can... Here you go, get that out of your way.

Is that how it works? Yeah, they're kinda tricky at times. Now put your hands on the platform and kinda do like an all fours position. And your feet don't have to be against the shoulder blocks, they can just be underneath your hips. So the first movement is just a knee slide where you're gonna go to a kneeling plank, but think about keeping your shoulders over your wrists, and when you exhale and extend the legs out, you have to let the chest rise a little bit so you create a diagonal line from your knees to your shoulders.

So take a breath, exhale slide the knees and come to a kneeling plank. Hips will lower, chest will open, blades come in slightly. Inhale, draw the knees in. Just do that four times, nice and simple, but you're connecting to your inner thighs, and the bottom of your shoulder blades, lower belly. Inhale in.

And again, exhale out. Inhale back in, one more. Exhale out, that's it. Nice connection, lower back stays long, inhale in. Now we're gonna add the arms, the same movement, exhale out, inhale small reach with the arms.

Exhale in from the arms, inhale hip crease. And again, exhale out, inhale reach, feel that low scapula connection, draw in, and crease, and just feel how you can still breathe nice and smoothly, just two more. Move with your breath. That's it, slow and controlled, fluid. And one more.

And slide. And reach. Draw in, and hinge. Now we're gonna make it a little more interesting, you're gonna tuck your toes under. Now, with your toes tucked under, just get a sense of turning on your inner thighs, and you're gonna float your knees off the mat.

Now on the exhale, slowly slide out to a plank. Inhale, small movement of the arms, exhale in from the arms. Knees come in, and then place them down, and again, float. Slide, reach. Draw in, crease, and place them down, just two more.

That makes it a whole lot more interesting, kinda float to-- A lot! If that's what you call interesting! (laughing) And then reach, and reach small from the arms so you get your arch. It's getting smaller. It's all good, it's all good. (laughing) And just one more, that's it. That's it, it's definitely an equalizer float.

And reach, and reach from the arms, beautiful you guys, draw in. Float the knees in, and down. Now you get the fun one, so now we're gonna, not that that wasn't fun, but you're gonna push out, just the first exercise, you're gonna push out to hip extension, and then you're gonna turn and go into swimming. Would you like me to show it to you one time? Sure. Okay.

So you'll be the way you started. You'll exhale out, but as you go out, you'll turn and swim. So you'll extend the hips, then push out and turn. The key thing is don't let your shoulder slide up. And keep your lower back long.

I'll talk you through that. That's it, so just first get your sense of hands under your shoulders, now feel the shoulder blades are down before you start and on the exhale start to slide the knees out. Rotate to your left and, there you go, and then bring it all the way up and over, just like the freestyle, and then come all the way back to the start. Now find the breath, exhale out, inhale to open. Bring it up and in.

Good, just two more each side. Stay connected, this long axis rotation. There you go. And again. And reach, and spiral.

Feel that, there you go. You can even make it even less of a rotation so you can feel it's a little tighter in the middle, that's it. And spiral. There you go, that's it. One more.

Reach, open. If that's your last side, great, if not, do one more. Very nice. Now from there we're gonna go to feet in the straps, so put on two outside reds. If you like it lighter you can go with a red and a blue.

And we'll put the bar on middle bar. Perfecto. And when you're ready just help yourself down onto your back. And we'll take the straps and put the straps on your feet. And then with the straps on your feet, just press out to a 45 for a moment in parallel.

Bring your arms long, and just reconnect it to your spine. Neutral pelvis, long legs, long arms, head of the arm bones back. Now as you inhale, let the legs come up and feel the femur heads roll deep into the back of the socket. And on the exhale as you reach away, draw the belly away from the inner thighs. Just do that simple up down for four.

Notice can I get the weight on the back of my pelvis nice and even throughout. That's it. And on the next one, as you pull down, we'll take it into circles, just a little wider than the width of your carriage. Exhale down, open, up and together. That's it, really get that sense that the pelvis is staying relatively still, and the movement is mainly in the hip joints.

That's it, nice and fluid. And let's do one more in the direction you're going. And then reverse, open, down and together. That's it, feel the core cylinder, you feel that lift through your midline as your legs draw together. And two more.

And one. Now arrive back down at a low 45, now go into turn out, and imagine you're gonna stand strongly into your right leg because when you open the left leg, so the strap's gonna go slack. So slowly open the left leg, and draw it back to center. Just do four on that side, and only go as far as you can without the pelvis going with you, because it's gonna want to. That's it, really feel that underside of your hip rotators.

That's it, one more. Now stand strongly into the left leg. Feel your hip rotators, and slowly open the right. There we go. That's it, small is better on these because these are tough.

Really feel the connection of the underside of your legs. That's it. One more. As you bring it together, feel both the upper inner thighs, we're gonna go right into frog. Inhale to bend, exhale to straighten.

That's it, nice and smooth. Still feel that connection to the back of your hips and inner thighs. Now we're gonna take that into Peter Pan after this next one. So with Peter Pan you're gonna keep your right leg straight and bend your left. Still, that's it, and as you zip it together, see if you can keep the pelvis nice and stable in the middle.

Equal work into both legs. That's it. Notice if you start to feel neck and shoulder tension, you wanna lower your center of gravity a little more. And again. One more each side.

Fluid. Last one. As you come back to the center, take your legs straight up to 90, and if your headrest isn't already down go ahead and put it down. Now take hold of your steel bars. Now bend your legs about an eighth of the way.

Really small, like just like that much, and be in a little bit of turnout. Now, without the cart moving, as you exhale, send your tail straight up towards your feet and curl the lower back off the mat. Then inhale to roll back down, this is a prep for short spine. So on the exhale, curl, and really feel how the sit bones narrow, and the spine articulates up. And as best you can, keep the neck and shoulders nice and soft, you guys are doing a great job.

Just two more, and peel. That's it, and one more. As you get to the bottom of the one you're on, press your legs back out to a low 45 and parallel, and bring the arms long for short spine. Now think of when you go into the short spine, you're gonna curl the spine the same way but the legs are gonna go back more. So as you inhale, let the legs come towards 90.

Exhale, let the tail chase your feet. As you inhale to bend the legs, let the pelvis rotate more over the ribcage. Bend and keep the knees a little open, heels together. Now sequence down through the spine with heavy long arms. As you get towards the bottom, draw your heels down to get your tail down, and reach your legs long.

And again, inhale the legs to 90 or more, exhale to curl, inhale to plie. Sequence through the spine, upper chest moving away from the chin. Mid back, low back, tail, and press long. Just three more, nice and fluid, just let it move at your own breath rate. There you go.

And then as you bend, and then sequence through, feel each part of the spine as you sequence down. Beautiful, that's it. Nice and fluid. And one more. And peel.

Last one, think of the arms staying really long and heavy, the neck is long, space in your spine. Beautiful, and as you get to the bottom, slip your hands into your straps for coordination so for coordination your elbows will be in tight to your body, shoulders are down, so you even get a sense of feeling your middle back and have the elbows in tight, the legs in tabletop. Inhale to prepare. Exhale, curl up at the upper body, slide the arms and legs long. Inhale, up and close the legs.

Exhale, bend the knees, inhale bend the arms. And four more at your own pace. Feel your way through that. Notice how you can keep the lower back long when the legs are out. Nice and smooth.

That's it, two more. And one more. Open close, sequence down, put your straps back on the poles. I'm gonna take one spring off so you just have one spring on. And we're gonna do jumping with one spring, who knew?

So from there you're gonna bring your hands behind your head because you definitely wanna see the bar. (laughing) Now lengthen out your legs, and do into little V position. Now when you curl up, feel like your back ribs are gonna slide up your back into the mat. And just do it very, now the key thing about jumping is don't accelerate. Just think of your feet are hands.

So when you bend, do a small leg bend, then just throw it away, that's it. And land as lightly as you took off. And focus on keeping the lower back long, back ribs sliding up your back. There you go, beautiful. That's it, just 200 more, that's one.

(laughing) That's it. Now the next one, just six more now. The next one, jump from first to second, and then from second back to first. (laughing) There you go, nice and smooth. Nice and fluid, there you go.

Feel how you keep the length through the lower back and spine. It's easier. That's it, just two more, last two. (laughs) And one, and done, and bring yourself all the way in, nice work. Good job, now we're warm.

Now you're gonna roll to your side to come on up. And we're gonna do kneeling arm work facing the foot bar. And why don't we do it with one blue? We'll go with one blue, light spring. And you guy's gonna put your feet against the shoulder blocks and take hold of the straps facing the foot bar.

There you go, and when you're ready you can just grab the straps sitting back on your heels. There you go. Sorry. No worries, it's all good. Now from under your sit bones, help yourself up onto your knees.

And feel like you've got that connection, your sit bones are drawing towards the back of your knees but you're not tucking the tail. It's more just down. That's kinda nice, huh? Yeah. (laughs) Otherwise it can be-- Yeah.

Kinda slumpy. Let's now just feel on the exhale you're gonna draw the shoulder blades down as you reach the arms to shoulder level. And inhale to lower, so feel the down to go up. That's it. Also feel how the sit bones pulling down give you a sense of being anchored and stable.

That's it, two more. There you go, and one more. Beautiful. From there, bring the elbows in close, you're gonna do offering. It's the same feeling in the shoulder blades.

As you exhale, reach out, inhale to open, exhale to close, inhale to bend. And four more, nice and fluid. That's it, and open, close, and bend, still feeling a sense of your posture, you're feeling that back to front relationship. Imagine the arms wrap around the back. Two more.

That's it, smooth and fluid. Last one. Beautiful. And now as you lower lower, just take a breath. And we're gonna take it into hug a tree, but we'll start from here.

Now reach straight out to a little below shoulder level, and then as you bend the elbows, feel the collar bones broaden, draw the elbows away from each other, and feel like the arms are wrapping from the back to the front. The arm bend will stay the same. Inhale, pull the taffy apart in your fingers to open, and exhale, wrap around a tree, but feel the collar bones stay wide. Inhale to open, exhale to wrap. Beautiful, that's it.

Still feel it all the way down to your legs. That's it, nice and smooth. Easy neck and jaw, two more. That's it. And one.

Beautiful, nice work. Let that go, where you're gonna go into rowing back. So we're gonna have a seat facing back, we'll keep the same spring tension. You put your long legs between the shoulder blocks, and we have a little different prep than you're used to. So we're gonna take the straps and put them above your upper arm.

You can have your legs crossed if you like or not, whatever you like. So this is a nice way to get into your middle back and open up the front of your body a little bit more. So you're gonna start with your arms just a little bit out to the side, with straight arms and the palms up. There you go. Now on the exhale, as you engage your lower belly and your upper inner thighs, reach out to go back.

Actually the spine will stay the same, so it'd just be the arms. So you're gonna stay nice and upright. And inhale let the arms come forward, exhale reach out to go back. That's it, really feel it's happening in the middle of your back, but you're keeping the front ribs integrated. That's it, just two more.

And one. Now we're gonna make it a little more interesting. So from there you're gonna reach out, bend at the elbows. Now as you reach the arms overhead, pull the shoulder blades down your back into a high V and extend the thoracic spine. Bend the elbows, back to straight arms and slightly forward, there you go.

There you go, and again press back with straight arms, bend, hold position, now blades down, arms up extend and open the chest. That's it, and lower. Straighten the arms, then come forward, just one more. Press back, bend, hold position. Extend and reach, long neck, align body.

Bend, back to the front, beautiful you guys. Now we're gonna put the straps in your hands to do rowing back round backs. So you'll put the straps in your hands them self. So from there, you'll start with your arms long out in front of you at shoulder height, and on the inhale you're gonna draw both your hands towards your chest like so. On the exhale, pelvic bowl to the back, roll to the back.

Now hold position, inhale open the arms to the side, turn the palms to the back. Forward bend and press way back. Stay forward, inhale, circle the arms out to the side and forward, exhale stack the spine, arriving where you began. Inhale to bend, exhale curl, active legs. Inhale open, exhale press back forward bend.

Inhale circle to the front, high and wide, and roll up through the spine as the shoulders slide down, two more at your own breath rate. Feel your way through it. Open, press and reach through the top of the head. Circle the arms to the side and forward. Stack the spine.

One more, nice and smooth, let it move. Exhale in, open, press back, reach forward. Open, and circle. Awesome. Now feel it easy to get into your back after that earlier exercise?

Definitely. Awesome. So now we're gonna do flat back. So flat back, when you're here, see if you can keep your shoulders slightly retracted so the chest stays open and your upper arms will stay parallel with the mat. So inhale to bend, so press the legs down and do a flat back hinge.

Now inhale, reach up with the spine, reach up with the arms, forward bend, arms along the sides of the rails, press them back by your sides. Now from here, staying back, bend at the elbow, bring the back of your hand to your sacrum. Now press back as you pull the belly back, press straight back with your arms, straighten them all the way back to straight. There you go, now open and stack the spine at the same time. That's it.

And we're gonna do that again. So when you're here, you'll press back, open and stack at the same time, that's the only real difference in the choreography at the back end. So I'll talk you through again. Inhale to bend, exhale flat back hinge. Inhale, lift and reach straight up.

Exhale, forward bend. Press back. Gotta move just a little faster, there you go. Inhale to bend at the elbow, press back, pull the shoulders back. As you open, stack the spine at the same time.

Two more times. Inhale to bend, exhale hinge, long spine. Lift and reach. Forward bend, press back, our long heavy arms. Bend at the elbows, reach back, open, and stack, beautiful.

One more. And bend, hinge with a long spine, lift and reach, forward, press back. Bend at your elbows, reach back as you open and stack. Beautiful, nice work. Now we're gonna take the long boxes and put the long box on the reformer.

So we're gonna put the bar down, we're gonna go into rowing one and two. Or I mean, pulling straps one and two. Same springs? Same springs, let's stay light with one blue for pulling straps one and two. So you're gonna come onto your belly facing the risers.

And you can have your chest just slightly off the edge, and take hold of the straps, and walk your hands up on the straps so you have a lot of range for the shoulders, so the hands are pretty high up above the head. Now first thing, anchor the pubic bone and the hip bones because there's a tendency to tuck the pelvis in this position, so see if you can avoid that. And then take the head of the arm bones back, and just create a nice long line through the spine. On the exhale pull your arms all the way back to your sides. Inhale back to the start.

And even without any extension yet, just feel like you're coming into a straight line, like a plank. That's it, there you go. Pesky little straps, there you go. (laughs) And exhale back. Nice, now we're gonna add to that.

So on the next one, exhale back and hold them back. Now as you inhale, breathe the upper chest forward and up with a long neck. Exhale all the way down to the start. Inhale to prepare, exhale back. Inhale, breathe and open, exhale all the way down, just one more time.

Inhale to prepare, exhale draw back, feel the side body. Inhale to extend, and open. Exhale all the way down to the start. Slide your hands from the very lightest part of the strap, hold the strap itself. And we'll open the arms into a T position with the palms facing the floor.

So you can go right out to the side of the arms and just feel like you can get a little extra on the rotation of your arms, and imagine the pull in front, instead of coming from your hands, is coming from the bottom of your shoulder blades. So on the exhale, pull your hands all the way to your back pockets. Inhale, open back to the T, keeping the neck nice and long. As you pull, find your inner thighs, and feel like the arms are kinda going for the ride, it's coming more from your back. And do three more.

Nice and fluid. See yourself getting taller as you pull back. One more. And pull. As you come in, put your straps on the poles but stay in that position, we're gonna do breast stroke with no straps.

So take your hands like so, with your palms facing each other, and then just glide your shoulder blades down your back and tone your inner thighs. On the exhale, reach the arms overhead. On the inhale, open to the side and come up into extension. Bend the elbows and exhale, reach to the center. Do that four more times, exhale to reach, inhale open and extend.

Nice and smooth. And reach, that's it. Feel the connection. Do it with your own breath rate, do two more. That's it.

There you go, feel that nice connection to your mid back and your legs, one more. As you complete the one you're on, gently help yourself up into a cat stretch position on the top of the box, just do a gentle release of your back. Relax your neck and just take a couple breaths and just tone your abdomen to find any tension in the back that you need to let go of. Very nice. And when you're ready, gently help yourself off.

We'll take the boxes off and we're gonna prepare for the up stretch. And we'll go with middle bar. We'll go with middle bar with a red and a blue. There we go. Now, if that feels too far away, we can bring the gear closer if you like.

Let's see how it goes. (laughs) So actually, let's go to high bar for you-- I was gonna say, can we bring it in? (laughing) Let's bring it in. You never know 'til you know, right? It's all good.

There we go. So now we're gonna do up stretch. so for up stretch they're gonna come put your hands on the bar first, then come to standing on the carriage, and place the heels halfway up on the shoulder blocks. Now in that up stretch position, take your hips just slightly forward, and I want you to round your spine and look back towards your abdomen. Now feel your shoulder blades widen and lower so you're holding on from the bottom of your shoulder blades so the shoulder blades are connected to the abdomen.

Now as you inhale, slide the legs back and arrive in a plank. From the plank position, reach strong through your heels and come all the way in, still exhaling, drop the head and round back up. Inhale to slide the legs, exhale in, long exhale, still exhaling, abdomen takes you back. Do three more. Inhale, exhale in, feel that long, strong position.

And two more. Feel the nice glide through the body, beautiful. One more. And glide in. As you glide in, float your knees down for the down stretch.

Now the down stretch, you'll start in a flat back knee stretch position so your knees, your hips are back about six inches above your heels. Now just feel a nice straight line head to tail. And the shoulders are back. On the exhale, from your back of your hips, slide the knees back to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Now inhale, open the upper chest and come all the way in.

Holding the shape, reach back out. Hold the extension, keep your gaze up, let's do four more. Nice and smooth. That's it. Feel that mid back, low glute, inner thigh connection.

Long, fluid spine. And one more. As you come in, help yourself to standing for arabesque. Now with arabesque, the version we'll do today is we'll put the heels up on the shoulder block, but we'll do a flat back version. So open the top of your chest forward through the arms a little bit so you're more open in the front like so.

There you go. So you'll come a little bit forward towards me like that. Now take your right leg up and back. That's it, now imagine when you go out, you're gonna lower that leg to touch the other leg so you'll be in a single leg plank. So as you exhale, press out and lower.

Inhale to lift and open, and do four on that side, and see if you can connect to the middle of your back all the way through the exercise. So you feel that across the middle so the shoulders feel connected. One more. Awesome, as you come in we'll switch your legs. First feel your position first, and then reach up and back.

And again, reach and lower. Inhale to lift and split. Smooth movement. Beautiful, you guys, two more times. And lift.

And one more. And lift. Nice work, and when you're ready, slowly help yourself down and off of there, and we're gonna prepare for semi circle. So I recommend two outside red springs. We'll put it on low bar.

Then when you're ready come on down to your back and now just drape your knees over the bar. Say what? (laughing) And I'll go get the iced tea, and we're good to go. Yeah, we're done! So now you're just gonna lift your hips and slide the cart out from under you to long arms. There you go.

Now from there, place your left heel on the bar, and your right heel, and have your feet about six inches apart in parallel. That's it, now keeping the cart as far in as you can, curl up into a high bridge. And as you inhale, keeping the hips high, slide the legs long. On the exhale, articulate the spine down into the springs. Inhale, bend and come in, exhale curl and lift.

So you're inhaling, the legs are moving, you're exhaling, the spine is articulating. That's it, nice and smooth. Inhale in, exhale curl and bridge. One more in that direction, nice and fluid. Inhale out, that's it, exhale articulate down.

Inhale to bend. Now come up to the high point again, take a breath to prepare, exhale reverse directions. Go down into the springs, inhale slide long, exhale curl and bridge. Inhale in, exhale articulate down. We'll just do one more time.

Inhale out, that's it, exhale curl and bridge, inhale come in. Now this time as you come in, come in and stay, and if possible you can either take your hand to the bar, to the foot bar, or to your ankle. Either one is fine. And you'll take your other hand. There you go, what I'd like you to do is from the bottom of your sit bones, lift the sit bones a little higher as you draw the front ribs in a little bit more.

And then soften your throat. That's it just two more breaths. And then one hand at a time, take it back to the shoulder block. And the second one, and just slide yourself back onto the cart little by little. And take a few breaths before you come up, let the blood come back.

Aah, very nice. And when you're ready, slowly roll to your side, help yourself to standing, we're gonna finish with standing and mermaid. For standing, let's put on one red. We'll put the foot bar down, we're gonna actually have to move the gear one more time just so that foot bar is exposed. And then we'll put on one red.

Perfecto. So think of this as the dock, this is the boat, step onto the dock first. (laughs) Won't be good to step on the boat. Now have your other foot right on the edge, and just feel neutral in your pelvis, and feel like your feet are actually swiping in towards one another so you feel the arches lift. That's it now, as you press out with both legs go into ribcage arms with both arms, the arms will go straight up overhead.

And as you come in you can lower the arms. Just feel your alignment, again the pubic bone stays lifted as you go out. Collarbones roll back, nice and smooth. One more. Nice and fluid.

Now the next movement we're gonna alternate, so bring your arms to what's called middle fifth, a little below the shoulders. Now as you press out the same way, turn the torso towards the legs that are going out. Inhale to come back in. Now see if as you turn you can avoid taking the pelvis with you, which is a little harder. That's it, one more in that direction.

You're gonna feel your glute more on the side you're turning away from. Now as you push out, turn towards the bar. That's it, feel that back to front connection. There you go. (laughing) That's it.

There you go, and one more. Very nice. As you come in, bring your elbows in close to your body, as you bend your knees feel the weight shift more to the balls of the feet and lean forward on about a 45. Now put all the weight on your right leg. Now straighten your left leg without putting weight on it.

That's it, feel like you're pushing out from your outer glute. It's easy to do it from the quads, to see if you can feel you're coming from the top outer part of the hip. There you go. And just three more. That's it, one more.

As you come up and in, lengthen the legs, we're gonna finish with picking up the flowers. So we're start with thoracic extension, so just lift into extension. Now, from an extended place, start to press the legs out and reach out to shoulder height. Now do a flat back hinge from your hip joints. Release the torso and arms down.

As you roll up, draw the cart in and zip up the center line. And come right back into thoracic extension. And we'll do that just two more times. Press out, open, flat back hinge. Release down, long neck, zip up the legs as you roll up through the center line.

And two more. Fluid motion. That's it, beautiful. And release and roll up, feel the lift through the midline of the body. Long neck, one more.

That's it. And release, and roll up in a fluid fashion. And extend. (woman exclaims) Exactly. (laughs) And we'll take the second side.

There we go. The dock first. That's it, and again, just feel your alignment just swiping the feet in, you feel that lift through the front of the spine, inhale with ribcage arms straight up as you press out. Exhale in. Watch the tendency for the lower back to arch.

So feel that, there you go. And you can keep this nice and sliding down, that's it. Excellent, one more. Now from there, we'll take it into that middle fifth position and as you press out, you're gonna turn and the hip you're turning away from is trying to avoid taking it with you. And just do three on each side, you can feel that connection, you're turning from the back to the front.

One more. And then three towards the bar. That's it. As you turn, see if you can keep that opposite hip back. (machine squeaks) Well that's different.

(laughing) That's it. As you come in, bring your elbows in close. And as you bend the knees, shift the weight more to the balls of the feet, and put all the weight on your left leg now. Now extend the right. You feel that outer hip connection?

Fluid breathing. Last three. Feel the lift of the abdomen away from the floor as the leg reaches. One more. And bring it up and in and then we'll take it into our finishing movement of picking up the flowers starting from extended position.

Reach arms and legs out with the breath, flat back hinge, release the torse, and roll up as you draw the cart in. Shoulders glide down the back. And three more. Move at your own breath rate. That's it, nice and smooth.

And two more, last two. That's it. And release, and roll up through the spine. And one more. Beautiful, that's it.

And as you roll up, feel the spine stack, you're arriving in aligned posture, and then you take it into extension to finish. Very nice. And we're gonna call it right there you guys, thank you so much, it's been great to be with you. Thank you, wonderful. I hope you enjoy.

Thank you. That was wonderful.


Thank you Tom for this wonderful class! I felt great afterward. Also I love the sound of your voice. It is very "kind."
4 people like this.
Another truly amazing workout. Love his voice. Calming with no nervous chatter. Love the pace, variations and flow.
3 people like this.
love his voice, cues, and demeanor. such a nice class.
3 people like this.
What a great teacher, very nice voice. & so nice to find a teacher that dose not talk to much. Just perfect thank you
3 people like this.
Tom, your cueing is pure grace. And ladies, you were grace in motion. Such a beautiful class to watch and listen. I can't wait to take this class with you.
3 people like this.
Love the fluid connection from one segment to another!! Thank you Tom! I like your style of teaching!!
2 people like this.
Tom! You are cool as a cucumber! Thanks for sharing your talent.
1 person likes this.
Tom u are amazing ! Thank u for your wonderful class
1 person likes this.
Great class, Tom! I really enjoyed the kneeling plank series and the "surprise" jump series! Wonderful job.
Kate V
2 people like this.
This is the first of your classes I have tried. I really loved the flow. My body followed your sequence & cues just wonderfully. I feel awesome....thanks Tom!
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