Class #1136

Upper Body Strengthening

50 min - Class


Ed Botha teaches a Mat workout designed to strengthen your upper body and open your chest. He includes great variations to Double Leg Stretch, Semicircle on the Mat, and more. He also adds the Theraband to exercises like Push Ups to increase the intensity.
What You'll Need: Mat, Theraband

About This Video

Jul 23, 2013
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So tonight we're gonna do an intermediate accelerated pace class I guess. We're gonna play around with the band a little bit. Just try to stick with me. We're not gonna be too much jumping around but we're gonna work hard and we're gonna have some fun. For those of you that don't know me my name is Alberto.

I'm from Cape Town, South Africa and I'm a (inaudible) trained instructor and I think we're gonna have a good time together. So let's go for it. Yeah. (clapping) So just standing up tall wherever you are is perfect. Feet parallel, arms down at your sides.

Just gently rocking your body forward slightly feeling the front of your feet. Bringing your weight back a little bit. And then find your center. So somewhere between the two spots. We're going to take a deep breathe in on the exhale allow your head to be heavy.

And we're going to just gently roll the spine down one vertebrae at a time. Drawing the navel in and up and relax at the bottom but still staying connected with the center. Inhale and exhale bringing it back up. Gently bringing the tail in underneath us and allowing the lower back to stretch out slightly. I've softened my knees a little bit.

Some of you might want to keep your knees straight. And up tall. We'll do that again. We'll take a deep breath in. Exhaling allowing the head to be heavy.

Softening the knees. And rolling down one vertebrata at a time. Inhale at the bottom and take a deep breath in. Exhale. All the way back up.

And last roll down. So we're just gonna repeat that. Take a deep breath at the top here. Exhale staying broad across the shoulder blades. Collar bones.

Fingers are reaching down. So our hands are in slight external rotation. So those thumbs are pointing forward. Take a deep breath in for me one last time. Exhale.

Rolling back up. So we're gonna start on the all fours position. Quadrupe position. Hands are both under the shoulders. Knees are under the hips.

And finding a long line from the crown of your head to the tailbone. We wanna keep the ribs up but we do want to keep a little bit of a (inaudible) in the lower back. So I don't want you to start off in a tilted position. So just create that long line from the crown of your head all the way out through the tailbone or the sitting bones. We'll start with a calf stretch on an exhale.

We're gonna gently bring the tail in underneath us and gauging the abdominals. But I'm keeping my upper back quite still. So there's always the tendency to go up into the upper back. So let's just start by flexing into the lumber spines. So I'm starting out with the lower back and then release bringing it back into neutral.

So again it was really just a movement from my pelvis and my lumbar. We're gonna go into a little extension of the spine. We're gonna lift up and you just try and look at the person in front of you. Bringing it back into the neutral position. So we'll repeat that.

We're gonna go back into lumbar flexion. Drawing the tailbone underneath us creating a little bit of a stretch in the lower back. Good. And bringing it back into your neutral position. So first find that neutral and then we're going into the upper back for a little bit of extension.

So we're just awakening the spine bringing it back into your neutral position. Lumbar flexion. It's our last one. Drawing the navel in and up. Back into neutral.

Excellent. And one more time into extension. So I'm lifting up. I'm trying to bring the chest up to the person out in front of me or in front of you. And bringing it back into your neutral position.

So from there gently we're gonna gently draw down into the shoulder blades. So I've allowed by shoulder blades to come together. And then I'm gonna gently spread the shoulder blades. So I'm just awakening the serratus muscles. Bringing it back in.

So I'm adducting my scapular shoulder blades. And gently pushing out for that shoulder stability. And drawing back in adducting the scapular. Gently pushing up and out. And I'm trying to maintain the stability in the lumbar.

So the movement is just really happening at this scapular. And my elbows are staying straight. And my triceps are strong in this position. So we'll do that one more time. We're gonna go into the adduction of the scapula.

Pushing up out of the shoulder blades. Now we're gonna lift the right arm up to the sky. So you're gonna be turning to the back some to the front. And we're reaching into a little rotation. And we're gonna reach the arm though.

Bending the left arm and bringing my right ear onto the mat. We're gonna go up again. So I'm pushing up with that left arm using the tricep. And I'm reaching up trying to create a little bit of rotation in my spine. And bringing it back.

Just preparing us for all the movements ahead. And bringing the ear down to the ground. One more time. Pushing up. All the way up.

Finding some rotation. Reaching opening the chest along from the tailbone. And last stretch through threading the arm all the way through. So it's a mini version of the twist. Now we bring it back up into the quadrupe position.

So we're gonna reverse to the other side. So we're gonna reach up. All the way up to the sky. Excellent. Think of reaching those finger tips up to the sky.

And thread through. Bending the elbow. Ear to the ground. Good reach, reach, reach. And push up out of the tricep.

So you want to use that tricep to push up. Stretching the pecs. Wonderful. And bringing it back in. Good.

Ear to the ground. Excellent. Thread the needle through. And up again lifting up to the sky. Big stretch up and reaching all the way through.

Okay let's just do it one more time. So we're gonna take it all the way up. And reach all the way through. Bringing it back onto all fours. Into the up stretch.

So we tuck the toes underneath. Lifting the hips up to the sky. Sitting bones are just gently spiking up to the sky. Keeping the ribs connected. Again now we just want to create length in the spine and stability in the shoulders.

Bending the knees bringing it to a hover. So an inch off the mat with the knees. But still finding out length through our spine. So bringing the back up into a straight quadrupe position but my knees are hovering. So I'm gonna go up again.

I'm lifting hips up to the sky. All the way. Sitting bones are going up and out. So we want to take the pelvis into a little bit of a tilt there. Bring it back to a hover so I'm still weighted on my palms.

Knees are just up off the mat. One last time so we take it all the way up. Reaching up. Spiking the tail up to the sky. Lengthening up.

Hovering the knees one last one. So we're just in our hovering quadrupe position there. And relax take it back into your rest position. Sweeping your arms over to the front of the room. So I'm stretching out the right side body for myself there.

And change to the other side. Walking it all around. I've got the privilege of using the end of the bed here. I'm sorry guys. I'm getting that little bit extra stretch.

Bringing it back into the center. Rolling it all the way back up. And we're gonna take a seated position. So I'm gonna bring my legs through. Hands under the thighs.

Lifting up tall through the spine. We're not gonna spend much time there. We're gonna take a deep breath in. On our exhale just gently allowing the lower back to melt down to the floor. And just before I get to the bottom I'm gonna take my right arm out to the right.

So we're just engaging the obliques in this position here. Waking them up. Bring it back into the center. My left arm goes out towards the left. Reaching.

Trying not to laterally flex the spine. So at the moment it's just my obliques holding me stable. Bringing it back in. So let's just go up one more time. So we're gonna sit up all the way and then come up into a bit of extension again or just elevation I should say lengthening the spine up tall one more time.

And we're gonna round. So we're going to a little bit of lumbar flexion. Don't think too much about it just let your spine go. Pause just in a comfortable position. You shouldn't have to hold.

We're holding strong in the middle. The hip flexes are working a little bit. Then take one arm out. It doesn't matter which one and reach it out to the side. Just awaken the oblique.

Bring it back in and to the other side. All the way out. And bring it back in. Roll it all the way down onto your back. I'm gonna just draw my feet back in a little bit closer to my back side or to my sitter bones.

I'm gonna take my feet. I'm gonna flex on (inaudible) flexing my feet. Right so my soles of my feet are lifted up off the mat. Keeping a neutral position I'm gonna push the hips up to the sky. Up into a bridge.

And bringing it back down. Just maintaining our neutral position. So we go up again. So it's a neutral bridge. Using your arm extensus I'm pressing down with my palms and my triceps into the mat.

So activating the lats. Scooping the middle. Bring it back down. Keep the feet (inaudible) flexed. We're gonna repeat that.

We're gonna do it one more time. We push up with the hips. All the way up to the sky there. Lifting up and hold the top. Bring the soles of the feet back down into the mat.

And just feel the change in the emphasis in the back of the legs. So again we flex the feet and the glutitis. So engage the buttocks. Press the feet back towards the mat. We're gonna get a little bit more of those calves.

Take the calves off. Flex the feet. Work a little bit deeper into those glutitis. Keep the abdominals engaged. Pressing the feet back down into the floor.

We go two more. So we're gonna flex the feet. So (inaudible) flexing the feet. Pushing up through the hips. Bringing it back and down one more time.

(inaudible) flexing the feet all the way up. So we're drawing the tops of the feet towards the shins. Bringing it back down. This time we're gonna bring the spine down with the rolls. So we articulate the spine down.

Arms come up above the head. Interlace the fingers. And just flip the palms up behind you. So with long arms. So if you've got a little bit of restriction in your lats or in your shoulders or possibly your thoracis spine.

And that's where we're going is in the thoracis spine. Just lift the hands off slightly off the mat but if you can try push them down. We go into a pelvic roll. So we're gonna draw the pelvis up. So we draw in through the center.

Scooping navel in and up. Just rolling the tailbone up off the mat. And hold it up at the top. So from this top position putting a little bit more emphasis on the thoracis spine. So this is my semi circle on the mat.

So from here I'm gonna roll through my thoracis spine. Keep pushing the arms up behind you. For those of you who are familiar with the reformer you think of pushing your hands up into those shoulder rests. And release through the thoracis stretching the lats as well. Let's repeat that.

So we scoop up through the center. Rolling up one vertebrae at a time. Pushing the arms all the way up behind you long arms. Hip extension. Well you just go as far as comfortable but now I want you to emphasize on rolling down through your upper back, mid back, and then possibly the lumbar.

Some of us might not even get to the lumbar. And release one more time. So let me see that one more time. So we're gonna roll it up. Articulating the spine up.

Good this is one of my favorite exercises to warm up. Take a deep breathe in exhaling scooping it down one vertebrae at a time. So really visualize that upper spine. Sometimes you get a little minor adjustment there. Beautiful work.

Keeping the fingers interlaced. Hands behind your head. Up into a chest lift. Take a deep breath in. Exhale lifting head chest.

Scooping into the middle. Inhale at the top. Exhale bringing it all the way back down for me. Take a deep breath in. Exhale lifting up head, chest.

Scoop in through the center all the way up. Come up a little bit deeper. Inhale. Exhale coming back. We're gonna do three more chest lifts.

Exhaling lifting up. Head and chest deep middle. Take a deep breath in. Exhale come back down. Deep breath in.

Exhaling drawing the bottom ribs toward the hip bones. So I'm thinking of the hinge happening and of the bottom of the rib cage there. Coming up high enough that you can look through the midway through your thighs. Take a deep breath in. Exhale come back down.

And one more time. Inhale. Exhale lifting up. Lift and lift and lift. Left leg comes up into the table top position.

Alright and we're gonna rotate towards that left leg. On an exhale. So we turn. Back to the center. And again back to that left leg.

And back. And repeat. And two. So a little rotation there. Exhaling.

Three. So I'm just rotating. I'm not laterally flexing. Alright now four. And one more time.

And five. And then this time I'm gonna add a little bit of lateral flexion and I'm gonna bring that left knee and my right elbow together and I'm just gonna squeeze the two. Hold to get a little squeeze deepening into the (inaudible). And release and come back down into the bottom. So I'm gonna bring the right leg up.

Come into the chest lift once again. Exhaling. So scooping up through the center. And I'm gonna rotate to my right. Exhale.

Back to the center and I stay at the center. And again to the right side two. So again we're just emphasizing rotation. Exhaling. Inhaling.

Keeping the pelvis stable. Four. And try to keep that table top leg position. One more time and five. Rotate in.

And then we want to bring the elbow and the knee towards each other. So I've got to really draw with my knee. I've got to find that elbow give it a little squeeze. Bringing it back in and release. Good we're gonna take our band that's close by.

I hope. Arms are shoulder width apart and I'm holding the band with a moderate tension. And I'm thumb and palm. So I'm not gripping with the band. One leg at a time reaching my arms up overhead.

On an exhale I'm gonna lift up head and chest. And I'm just gonna do the hundred prep once. I'm gonna hold that position and again I want to just get a little bit of downward pressure there just to engage my shoulder extensus and reaching up and all the way back. One more time inhale. Exhale lifting up head and chest.

Scooping in through the center. Pressing down with the band. And take it back. And the next time we're gonna take into the four hundreds on an exhale I'm gonna lift up head and chest. Keep the legs table top.

Take a deep breath in there. On an exhale without losing tension we're gonna pump the arms for five. One, two, three, four, five. And inhale, two, three, four, five. And two, two, three, four, five.

And in two, three, four, five. And three, four, five. And in two, three, four, five. And good. And inhale two, three, four, five.

And out two, three, four, five. In two, three, four, five. Out two, three, four, five. Keeping the (inaudible) try to come up a little bit deeper all the time. Tension out of the neck by opening the clavicle so the shoulder blades are wide.

The collar bones, the clavicles, are even wider apart. One last cycle there for me. Take a deep breath in and out two, three, four, five. And open up and all the way back. Good.

One leg down. The other leg down. We're gonna roll up and lengthen the legs at the same time. So we're gonna lift up head chest. Exhale rolling up just keeping the palms facing the mat for now.

Take a deep breath and exhale take it all the way back down. One vertebrae at a time. Reaching arms up above. We're gonna repeat lifting up head chest. Exhaling scooping through the center all the way up.

Maintaining our C curve. Inhaling. Exhale taking it back down. So I'm deepening the middle work there and all the way over. Inhale lift up head chest.

Exhale scoop up and over. That's it good. And this is where the band is useful. So if you're struggling with those roll ups just hook the band and roll it all the way back and down. But you're gonna keep the arms long then.

We're gonna go again. Inhale lift up head chest and all the way back up. Inhaling. Exhale take it back and down allowing that spine just to melt down into the mat. Reaching the arms up above us.

One more time inhaling lifting up the head. The chest peeling up off the mat. Excellent. We're gonna take the left foot. We're gonna hook it into the band there.

And try to get a nice broad position. Rolling all the way back down and elbows into your sides. Left foot is flexed so dorsi flexed foot. We're just going for five little stretches there. So I'm bending my left knee not too close into my heel is staying in line with my sitting bone and I push up for one.

So a little acted isolated stretch there. Exhale up there two. Inhaling for three. Inhale and four. One more time.

And for five holding it at the top. We're gonna cross the midline for our leg circles. So for one inhale. Exhale. That's one cycle.

So it's inhale and exhale. We're just gonna keep it smooth. Inhaling we've got the band there to help us. Exhale my elbows are staying rooted on the mat. Inhaling and exhaling.

One more cycle. Inhaling. Exhale hold it up. We're gonna reverse it. So we're gonna take it inhale.

Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Opposite leg anchored on the mat. Exhale.

Let's just to one more. Inhaling. Exhale. Good reaching it up as high as you can. The heel lifting up to the sky.

Then I'm gonna let go of the band. I'm gonna take it a little bit higher. So I've lifted my head and my chest. And I'm gonna drop my body down. And we're gonna do a little chest expansion for five.

We're gonna go elbows to the ground for one. Opening up those collar bones and out. And two so I'm getting a little opening of the chest. Inhale. Exhaling for three.

Inhale for four. Inhale one more time for five. And we're gonna hold five opening the chest. Reach the arms up. So my opposite hand, so this is my right arm, is gonna take the band.

I'm gonna turn my foot into a knife edge position. I'm gonna bring my left arm out and I'm gonna stretch my leg out across my midline there. So I'm not just rotating but I'm lifting at the same time. So I'm really trying to take my big toe towards my opposite shoulder there. Opening stretching up.

We get a little bit of ITB that proves performance is getting stretched out. Obviously the hamstrings. Bringing it back to the midline and we're gonna change the legs up in the air. So a little moderate resistance. Elbows down into the sides.

We're gonna bend the right leg. Inhale little bends so just try to stay with me. Exhale as we flex the foot and extend the knee. So inhaling. Exhaling for two.

Inhale. And exhale for three. Really stretching that heel up high. Inhale. And four.

Good one more time. Last one. Reaching up and hold it up at the top. Dorsi flex the foot. Strong flex of the foot.

For our first little circles crossing the midline. Inhaling and exhaling. For two. So I'm just flowing gently. Three.

And cross. And exhale and hold it up at the top. So we'll do the reversal again. Inhaling. And exhaling.

So one circle is on an inhale just nice flow. That's why we've got the band. Opposite leg is pressing down into the mat. So we're stretching the legs hip flexor. Using the extensus and then holding it up at the top.

Take a little bit of healthy scooper band there. Elbows are gonna come down into our sides for a little chest expansion. And we're going up. Inhale and exhale for one. Inhaling and exhaling for two.

In breath and for three good. Inhale and four opening the chest one more time. Exhale for five. Really opening the chest. This feels really good for me.

And if you surf or you do any forward movements this is absolutely a necessity. And bring the arms up towards the top. And with my left hand holding the band I turn my right foot into a bit of a knife edge and reach my right arm out to the side. And my right leg is lifting out towards my right shoulder. Trying to straighten the leg at the same time.

And my pelvis is lifted off. So I don't mind if there's a little bit of an opening of the hip joint there. Great and bringing it back into the mid line. And we're gonna take the band off. Band down on the ground for a second.

We're gonna move into our abdominal series. Bending both legs. Lifting the legs up to a table top for me. Hands up on top of the knees. Exhale up into a chest lift position.

And we're gonna start with a double leg stretch just the arms of the double leg stretch. As we reach inhale and exhale. And we go for two. Reach just those arms. And exhale.

And three reach. And exhale. And four reach. And exhale one more time. And five reach.

And exhale. Then we're gonna hold it up now just the right arm and the right leg. So we go reach inhale. Exhale with a coordination there we're gonna go reach. Inhale.

Exhale so just the arm is circling not the leg. We're gonna reach inhale. Exhale bringing it back and change to the other side. So left arm and leg circle the left arm. Bend the left knee.

And again so it's a half a leg stretch. And exhale. One more time and we reach. And we're gonna circle and we bring it all together. And we're gonna reach arms and legs and exhale deep in the abdominal lift.

So come up a little bit higher every time. Reach and... And we're gonna reach inhale. And exhale. And we reach inhale and exhale.

And reach inhale and exhale. Three more. We reach in and out. For two reach and out. One more time and we're gonna reach up and all the way out.

Come up a little bit higher there for me every time. And just rocking yourself all the way up into sitting. Legs come up table top. Fingertips are reaching down by the sides of your calves. Reaching up through your upper back and then rounding down for a little tease up prep.

So we're rolling down just before the lower back. And then we want to come back up. Slowly lift up through the back. Up tall. And again we're gonna roll back down.

Scooping through the middle. So I'm lowering lowering lowering lowering. And just before I feel I won't be able to get back up I start curling back up again. And then I try work on my back. Up on the top position.

And again I'm gonna round it down. I'm gonna scoop through my lumbar. And I'm gonna roll it all the way back up again. Lifting up through my upper back. Holding the top position.

From there hands go onto the left chin and just rolling our spin down into the single leg stretch. The shoulder blades are just up off the mat there. So let's just do that one more time. Okay just to fix it up. Alright it was a roll not a fall.

Go slowly. And we come back down scooping. We got to stay connected, connected, connected to the shoulder blades. And one. And two.

Good. Three. We're gonna speed it up. Four and five and six and seven and eight and nine and ten. Last ten.

And one reach three, keep going. Four, scooping, four five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten. And just change one more time so I've got my right leg in front again. And this time scoop yourself all the way back up with that right side. Bend the knees.

Hands onto those shins and lifting the back up again. We're gonna do that prep again for three. So we roll back down. Roll, roll, roll. And lift back up.

Scoop, connect, lift back up. So we're working those deep stabilizes of the spine, of the hips. And come back down. Little roll. Little roll.

And bring it all the way back up and up and up. Good. Can we do one more? I think we can. And let's bring it back down.

Just before we want to fall. And bring it back up and scoop. That's great. Okay so let's try that control again. So we take the one leg up.

Doesn't matter what side you're doing. We're going to do both anyway eventually. Hands on the shin and slowly. This is where I want you to melt your spine down. One little bit at a time.

Slowly, slowly, slowly. And let's stop there. Change. And let's go down lower, lower, lower. And come back up, up, up.

Keep connected. Up, up, change. And we're gonna go down. And this time we're really gonna go down. Slowly, slowly, slowly.

Hands behind the head, fingers interlaced. Into our crisscross footing. Exhale and two. Good, three. And four.

Exhale five and six and seven. Good. Eight. Beautiful. Nine and ten.

Hold it at ten. And close it, hold it. And hug the knees into the chest there. Feet come down onto the mat. Hands down at our sides.

A pelvic call for a little stretch. Take a deep breath in. Exhale scooping in with the abdominals. Rolling up. One little bit at a time again.

So we get a lovely little hip flex and stretch in our pelvic but that means we've got to be in a little bit of a posterior top there slightly. And keeping the legs adducted reaching the left leg all the way up to the sky. And long leg. On exhale we reach down for the shoulder bridge. Down and flex for two.

Flex and three. And try to keep the leg as straight, four, as possible. And for five and up and six and up reach seven, keep those arms active. Eight and up and nine and up one more time and ten. And bring it up flex the foot.

Bend the knee. Let's do a change. But before we change just press those arms a little bit deeper there so we support out neck. Keep the abdominals in. Bring the other leg up.

So this is my right side. I'm reaching up into the sky. And I reach down. Exhale support and flex for two. Flex for three and flex and four.

Four flex for five. Flex and six. Seven. And try exhale on the way down. So exhale on the way down.

So pull in all the abs there. One more time so we go down and up. Hold it up at the top. Keep it up with the leg just roll the spine down. Reach the other leg long.

Climb your tree. Hands behind your calf. Hamstring pull. It's a double pulse of the leg. And two and reach them out.

So you can anchor that bottom leg. Four, five and six. Exhale seven and exhale eight and exhale nine and one more. Ten. Hold it up at the top there for me.

And just push with that leg. Bring it all the way back up, up, up. Take hold of your foot and see if you can give yourself a little bit of an extension. So a monkey. Think monkey on the reformer for those of you driving the Cadillac.

For those of you work on the equipment. So we're trying to get that lengthening of the back. And we're gonna walk it back down. So half of climb a tree. Hands interlaced behind the head.

And it's a double pulse. And two exhale three exhale four. Good. Five. Excellent anchoring.

Six seven and eight, nine, one more and ten. Let's take a little walk all the way up. Push and climb. So a little dorsi flexion there. And let's go into a little bit of extension.

So we wanna bring that length back into the spine for a safe stretch. Can we do it one more time? Let's go back down. Cause there is a number three I believe. Hamstring pull three we call it.

Hands behind and we gotta rotate towards the leg with the upper body. Double pulse the top leg. One, two, and change. One.. So the body is pulsing.

We're just doing a single rotation with the body. Little pulse of the leg. And little pulse. Good and little pulse. And pulse.

One more, pulse. Both legs up to the sky. Lower your upper body down. Hands down at our sides. We'll do a roll over.

So we take the legs over. We're gonna lower but we got to protect. You've got to know your limits here. So I'm thinking about 45 degrees. Inhaling up to 90 degrees.

Exhale up and over. Flex the feet. Separate the feet. And let's bring the legs down. And roll the spine down.

Keeping your legs as straight as possible and as close to your face as you can. Obviously if you've got any disc injuries you've got to be really careful with this exercise or possibly not do it at all. Inhaling lifting up and exhaling over. So I'm keeping my hip flexion. I flex the feet.

I open. Now my hip flexion does get a little bit deeper because I don't want to round deeper for my spine. I wanna hinge at the hips and then I roll my spine back down. One vertebrata at a time. Pressing back.

And we circle the legs together. One more time, inhale. Lift up. Exhale up and over. Flex the feet.

Separate taking the legs down if you can. And rolling it all the way down. Now tighten through those legs. So we think they're tight but they never are. So we've got to flex deeper.

And straighten. Use those quadriceps. Draw those shoulders back. Bring the legs back down. Bend the knees.

Take one leg down. Hands behind one knee. Just gently bring yourself back up into a sitting position. Feet are flexed. Back up tall and we move into the spine stretch.

I'm gonna scoot back a tiny bit there. So from that position there we're gonna take a deep breath in let the head be heavy and just gently allow your spine to roll forward slowly. Articulating down comfortable position. Inhale, exhale coming back and up. So this shouldn't be stressful on the spine at all.

It might be a little stressful in the hips for those of you who are tight. But you can always bend the knees. But my back is just lifting up. I'm up on those sitting bones. Exhale and really my back is starting to relax now.

As I engage my abdominal just a curl forward slowly. I'm not hinging at the hips yet. Inhale, exhale, come back up. Restack the spine. And we'll bring a little hinge into it in a second there.

So we'll take a deep breath in on the next one. We're gonna go over. We're gonna find our maximum so let your head be heavy. Roll forward just to where you feel comfortable. Now we want to deepen the crease in our hip joints.

So we go on a little bit deeper. So I'm reaching for foot. I'm taking hold of the outsides of my feet. Let's bring our spine into a little bit of length. So this is good stuff.

So for anyone who's ever been tight in the back of the legs the value of this, to stretch those hammies with a flattened back, it's tough but it's good work. Now hold that. Now let's not change anything. Let's just see if we can bring our arms up. To find our line there.

Alright so we've got those strong backs. And we got those flexible legs and strong hips. We'll bring it down all the way again. So we just roll and we're gonna come out in the spine stretch. So a lot of asymmetric there as we come up.

So we holding in contractive positions there. So one more time. So the head goes heavy. We roll it all the way through and forward. Lovely work.

So let's hinge a little bit deeper. So we're going for it. I'm at my limits and then I take hold of my feet and then I'm gonna lift up through my spine. Trying not to pop my ribs. I'm still drawing down slightly with my ribs but I'm lengthening with my tail bone.

So again it resembles a monkey with a flat back there on the Cadillac. And then we're gonna lift those arms up. Find our diagonal there. Reaching sitting bones going up and away. And we just bring it all the way down again.

Restack coming up one vertebrae at a time. And release. So we're gonna take hold of our band. Thumb in palms. Shoulder width apart.

Feet are flexed. Bend legs maybe. I prefer the legs out straight. I'm pushing the back of my legs into the mat but I'm not hyper extending. Then my sitting bones I'm bringing them up and back slightly.

We're gonna go into a little chest opener there. So again trying to keep your scapula stable. So we're not looking to pinch and we'll just stretch the band open across the chest. Inhale bring it back with control. So we're gonna do that for eight.

And that's two. Good. And we're not saying we're opening the chest. We don't wanna pop the ribs out there. It's really just about those ribs Altoids working.

And possibly the rhomboids are acting slightly to open the chest there. We're not losing the scapula stability there. So I'm opening up and I'm taking it back. And again I'm opening up and back to the front. We'll do two more.

We go one. And back. And two. And bringing it back into the front. Keeping just wider than shoulder width we're going to bring the band up, a little bit higher grade, under, and up.

So the band... So I've got enough band that I can keep the band broad across my back. So let me do it one more time. I'm gonna do it from the front. So I've got the band in front of me.

So I bring the arms up and over. So it's like it's like I'm doing a shoulder stretch with a pole but I've got a little bit of give. The band goes over so I'm right down. And now I bend my elbows and I slide the band in under my armpits. Palms facing your head.

So have a look right there I'm turning them in a little bit. So the whole idea here it's kind of like doing the rhomboids exercise but in reserve. So I'm bringing my elbows forward and keeping my scapula stable. Now if you look in front you should see a little V but the V is not this way, the V is that way. So it's a bottom end of a diamond there.

And I'm pushing out of my shoulder blades. Now I'm gonna bring the arms out. And all the time I'm lengthening from my triceps. I'm reaching up with my elbows. But I'm in slight external rotation of the shoulder (inaudible) and we bring it out.

There we go. And we're gonna open up. So it's just the scapula stability exercise again. Little bit of work in those hip flexes obviously sitting there. But we can live with that.

We do Pilates. And we come back. We bring it forward and we take it out. And again we bring it forward. Now reach, reach a little bit further with those elbows.

Spread your scapula. We're stretching those rhomboids but I'm not elevating my scapula. So they're down and forward and bring them out. Again, the elbows hold it there. Hold it there, excellent.

And well done guys. So we're gonna take the handover my back and I'm gonna lie down prone. Alright so the bands gonna be over my shoulder blades. Similar position. So you guys can go ahead and you can follow me.

Bring your hands back to the middle of the cloth. Thumbs under shoulders. Toes tucked under. Elbows into the sides. Now we're gonna push ourselves up into a plank position from there.

So some of you might do this on your knees and he's rocking over there. And we're gonna push all the way up. And we're gonna hold it. So we're gonna work in a couple of different ranges. So please if you need to be on your knees don't be shy.

But I don't want to have the pelvis hanging. Alright so we're just gonna stay up here for a second. We're gonna bring the elbows in towards our hips. And we're gonna take it into the halfway position. So halfway.

We're gonna push it all the way back up there. So let's do another halfway one. So we go in. We go elbows are going into our sides. We're gonna hold our halfway position.

We pull our navels in now and we're gonna push it all the way up. So let's try it one inch off the mat. So we go in. So remember you've got your knees any time you need to go there. And we hold it there scoot the middle in.

And up and push all the way up. Is it funny? I find it difficult. So here we go, inhale, inhale elbows into the sides. Find that one inch position.

Push it back up all the way. Well done. Bring the knees in. We did three of those. Better than doing 20 pushups right?

And we're gonna bring the band down and around. So we're gonna go into a back support position. We're gonna use the band for just a little bit of resistance. So the legs are going out long. And of course if you've struggled with the back support in the past, this isn't going to make it easier.

It's gonna make it a little bit more difficult. You might want to take the band away. But you're gonna have the fingertips facing forward. I'm lifting up out of my shoulders. And we're gonna get a little bit of resistance.

But what's important for me is that we still keep the back support honest right. So it's easier to scoop. To get a little bit of cheat using those abs to try and get us up. We really want to use the shoulder extensus here. The thoracis spine and the back extensus, hip extensus, to get up.

From there I keep a neutral pelvis and if anything I don't mind if you go into a little bit of an arch. And we're gonna push the hips all the way up. And push up through the shoulders. Find that stretch. Abs in.

Head is back. And we go back down. But we're not sitting. We're hovering. We hover.

And we go back up. And we lift all the way up out of those shoulders. Pushing up out of the hips. Now we're gonna bring it back. Now we're gonna hover.

Excellent. So we go up again and we're gonna lift up. Push up out of those shoulders. Lift. Stretch your pecs.

And come back in. Can we do one more? Now we go all the way up and we push. And opening the chest. And come back and release.

So we take the band away. That was great. But unfortunately being stuck with me you've got to do everything that I like doing. That feels good on my body. Someone who's surfing and doing a little bit more weights realize you've gotten tighter over the years.

So this is just great to open up. So we're gonna go into our side kick kneeling. So can we go kneeling? Facing the front of the room. Extending one leg out so why don't we get everyone to work with their left leg out to the side there.

I'll do right so we mirror image. Hand behind your head so outside on. Inside on down. And remember I don't want to see your shin here. We don't want to be on external rotation.

We try to keep internal rotation. Hand behind. Lifting leg up laterally. And try to hold on for a sec. So it's above the hip.

So just bring it down for a sec. Give it a break. Shake out that leg. And now give me a little bit more effort. So we want to get that leg up so you're gonna look like a dancer or a martial artist.

And you wanna really think of that high kick happening. Then we're gonna work in those abductors. So we've got the leg down or the hand down. Leg is coming up and out. Keep connected there.

That's great Amy. And we're gonna bring the leg forward. Double pause one, two. And to the back and there. And to the back.

Good and three. And to the back. Double pause. Four. And to the back.

And for five, good. And to the back one more time. Six. And to the back hold it out there lift it up a little bit higher. Just bring the leg down.

Bring the body up all the way but the leg is still down. Hands behind, the legs coming down, hands behind your head. Into our lateral flexion so a side bend. So we go over inhale. Exhale come back up.

So you obviously don't want to go too far. Cause we're gonna fall over. But we finish in a vertical position. So I've got a little bit of an inside shortening. A little bit of outside length.

And inhale and exhale. And we repeat. And inhale and exhale. Good. Inhale, reach, reach, reach, reach, and exhale.

Good two more times. We go inhale, lovely, nice flat spine. Exhale on that (inaudible) and one more time. Inhale, reach it out. Exhale bring it up and just calm to stretch it for a sec.

So hands just on the shin there and reach and stretch over the side. And bring it back in. Good. Change to the other side. So first our abduction and flexion and extension for the side kick.

So we're gonna go over to the side lifting the leg up. You're trying to get up over that hip height. And we kick twice. Inhale to the back. Exhale to the front.

Inhale double pulse. Exhale good. Inhale. Exhale. Stability in this bottom shoulder.

Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Two more. Inhale.

Exhale. One more. Inhale. And exhale. And reaching out lift it up a little bit higher there.

Good and bringing it down all the way back up. Both hands behind the head. Lateral flexion so start vertical. Little bit of a short topside. You can flatten your foot if you want to.

And we're going inhale over. Exhale up. And we repeat. Inhale over. Exhale up.

Inhale over. Laterally flexing. Exhale coming back up. Let's do twice more of that so we go reaching over. Try to keep flat on that corneal plane.

One more time. Inhale over. Exhale up. Good. And we go counter stretch.

Reach. I was so excited to go into front support again. We're gonna turn, rotate, front support. Exactly so take a stretch, rest position. That half of the room is gonna face back into the front.

We're gonna go into some back extension work. So we're gonna lie prone. Start with the hands under the shoulders legs parallel. Coming up into a half back extension. So just gently, I'm not pressing with my palms.

I'm being supported by my palms. They're just stopping me from doing any negative movements like dropping my ribs or overarching in my lumbar. So I've just got that little bit of support in my triceps. Just helping me to extend and then I'm gonna do back down. So we'll repeat that we're gonna go up again.

Gently lifting up my shoulder blades and drawing down my back. Scooping in with the center. Bring it back. This time we lift the arms and the body. So we lift up gently up off the mat.

Arms and body. We reach the arms all the way out to the front. We're keeping them up. We circle the arms all the way back. Keeping the arms in external rotation.

So my palms are facing the mat. Now without even getting close to the mat with my elbows I sweep the floor. My palms are staying way up off the mat. Thumbs under the shoulders. Without dropping our arms I'm gonna lower down slightly.

So it's a breast stroke. So we go up again. We lift up through the body there. Reach the arms up. Circle the arms round and then inhale and lower slightly.

So we go in and we reach and we circle and we bring it in and back down. And again we go up and we reach and we're gonna circle back and watch the sweep. So keep your external rotation and bring it down. Two more. We go up.

We're gonna reach the arms. We're gonna circle the arms and we're gonna sweep and down. Last time. We're gonna go up. We're gonna reach.

We're gonna circle but this time we circle all the way around. Interlace the fingers turning your head to the front of the room head down. Lifting the legs just off the mat. Elbows are down to the ground. Now we're stretching the external rotators of the shoulder.

Double leg kick. So it's one two three and then inhale as we stretch those pecs out. And turn to the other side, one two three. Inhale stretch out. And change one two three lift.

And one two three reach and hold. Let the arms go slowly. Bring them all the way to the front. This time the legs are still lifted and into one set of swimming. Long breath in for five pulses on the arm.

One two three four five. And now two three four five. Two three four five and three two three four five. Four five and four two three and five. Last set five two three four five.

Arms out to the sides. Hands under the shoulders. Scooping in through the center drawing it all the way back into your rest position. Head is heavy. Sink in your sacrum down towards your heels.

Find a little bit of stretch of those lats by inching the fingers forward slowly. So I'm taking a little bit of a walk with those fingers. My tailbone is drawing down in the opposite direction. We're gonna tuck the toes in gently. We're gonna lift the hips up to the sky.

Sitting bones going out. This time we're gonna walk with the feet. So the legs stay straight and we're going for one and two and you're gonna walk those legs all the way to the front. Through the hands if you can as far as you can. Just so you're in a deep forward bend position there.

Bend the knees and slowly allowing the spine to curl up and up and up and back to the start. Take one deep breath in. And on the exhale really just sway to yourselves there. We're gonna sway forward slightly. Taking the weight onto the front of the feet.

Sway back a little bit. More into the heels. And then we finish off centered and relaxed. Thank you guys. (clapping) Good work.


6 people like this.
Excellent-excellent and not for the weak of heart! Man, that was proof I still need work on my push-ups!

Thank you, Ed!
1 person likes this.
Loved the variations on the double leg stretch. Can't wait to try them out on my class tonight!
Thank you for a great class.
2 people like this.
Great class. And yes, the pushups were killer- but loved the variety.
2 people like this.
What a delight! I feared that an Ed Botha 2/3 might be "out of my league" and negotiated with myself that I would just continue as long as I felt I was doing careful and conscious work. Happy surprise to find that I felt "cajoled" and guided right through to a satisfying end. Thank you.
1 person likes this.
3 people like this.
Wow. Rockstar. The whole class was like a single piece of music that flowed and talked. You are a Pilates-composer.
Great class and so good to have you!!
1 person likes this.
Thanks Meredith. Hope you are well. Hope to see you all soon again..
Fantastic! Easy to find where I need more work, but it all feels great!!
Amazing class, Ed. Fun variations and your cueing seemed to flow effortlessly and was very easy to follow. One of my favorites!
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