Class #1148

Tower Workout

30 min - Class
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Rachel teaches the archival standing arm work that was lost for many years in this Tower workout. These exercises were designed for men to strengthen the upper body, but they can be done by anyone who wants to avoid kyphosis, breathe better, and stand taller. Rachel includes exercises that were in a film from the 1940's including Standing Long Back Stretch, Standing Chest Expansion, and others. These exercises are great to do together as a class or they can be added to your regular workouts to help build strength where it's needed.
What You'll Need: Tower

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Hi everyone and welcome to Paulette is anytime I am Rachel Taylor Siegel from the [inaudible] center in Boulder, Colorado. And I'm here to teach a small class of some of the archival standing arm work. Now, we were assured by Kathy grant that these exercises, the reason they weren't lost is because they were for men and there were for so long, no male teachers of Pele's at least that moved out into the world and became a bigger than their local areas. And so all the wit, all the people who did carry on in any way, the work that Joe, uh, developed were little tiny women. So, all right, maybe in those days women didn't want to do these exercises, but now we know that we need that upper body strength. Um, whether we're Polonius teachers, mothers, both or anything, we want to have that upper body strength that helps hold our neck and our head on so that we don't have headaches so that we don't get kyphotic so that we breathe better and so that we therefore pursue and hopefully eventually, um, accrue all the wonderful benefits that Joe [inaudible] meant for his work to give us whether we were a female or male. So I'm going to pick about 12 of these exercises.

They are from a film we have that's, uh, from the forties, um, that, uh, which is why I call them lost and we're going to do them. And you can use them as we will today as a little class or you can pick and choose them and enjoy them before or after whatever class you already are taking or as an optional exercise because you want to get more strong in a certain area of your body, for example. Okay. So, um, the reason, so you can see that the wall units are clear of everything. You don't necessarily have to do that, but we wanted to make it very simple for you to see and that the arms springs are hooked approximately shoulder height if you have to air air higher so that the spring comes from above your hand and that that way will help lift not only your arms and shoulder girdles but there and therefore give you more room to breathe, which is one of the major re um, products and goals of, of control [inaudible] but also doesn't get caught in your hair. Okay. We're using, um, a certain kind of of arms spring, which are the yellow ones from balanced body. They should be not as high. If you have, you, you make the judgment call based on your client.

If they are very tall and very strong, you might want to use a leg spring. For example, the purple leg springs from balanced body. If they are, um, small or if you're using them the exercises for rehabilitation, then you might want to use an even lighter spring than the yellow one. Okay. Um, we also have put handles on them because it makes it a more effective. The strap is not biting into the palm of the hand. You get a nice, uh, us, um, surface against which to address against which to relate. And in so doing, you get a richer experience coming all the way up the arm into the shoulder and therefore down into the belly. So you can do it with the foot straps on them, it's a little harder. Um, and you can take the reformer handles off the reformer and hook them onto the arm springs. So having said all that, now we're going to start our class. Okay. So ladies, take your handles in your hands and stand in a Polonius v that is a quarter to a third of the way down your mat.

So you'll, you'll, you'll find out within the first rapper to if you like this stance and you will either step back a little or forward a little bit to correct for your ability to kind of marry yourself to the spring as you make this simple arm scoop movement. Okay? So you need a strong Palabra to be with the heels squeezing together and the big toes are reaching for each other. So you got all that in her line coming right up your, your abs. As you inhale, you scoop elbows just a little bit bent. And as you exhale, you come back down. You have to go that high and inhale scoop, fill your belly and exhale down and in with the air. Fill it, lift and exhale down. Nicely done. Two more.

Yeah. Don't make more of it than it is. Just one step forward. One half inch. Yeah. And Lean on it. Lean on it too. You think you're going to fall forward. Nice. Yeah. We'll do one more. I'll pull out his teachers. Say One more. Nicely done. And exhale home. Exactly. Now if that, if you had reached your limit about here, step back just a little bit.

Cause now we're gonna bring the arms above the head too. Okay. So we're going to do arm circles. The palms start, um, facing forward and you inhale up, you feel that spring hold, you turn your palm to face forward and exhale down. And inhale and exhale down, right? So as the arms rise, the clavicle rises, the sternum rises, the cage rises. And as that happens, you breathe really big. Yeah. And if you do not feel spring support at the top, step forward and act nicely choreographed. Thank you.

Let's reverse it out to the side in with the air and palms face each other. Yes. And forward to come down in hell. Out they face forward and exhale down. Nice. And again, so when you stand on it, lean forward into it, out of that Palase v right. And it should turn your belly on. Just like Zip it right up your front. You don't have to fake it.

It just happens, right? And he should feel your heels going down as the diaphragm goes down. But the waist rises. Good unrest. Those are arm circles. Nicely done. Um, let go of your right hand and turn and face this direction. You're standing dead center, front, back to your mat so that the spring is slightly in front of you.

And we're going to do it with both hands. You could have had a hand weight or something in this right hand, the wrist is going to bend the Elbow Benz next and you come to here, that's a manly pose and you exhale and extend both arms at the same time. So it's not a circle, it just bends and comes towards the hip. This elbow reaches straight leftish and exhale. And I find that as you move, if you take more advantage of the straightening of the arm, then you might have, you are going to get more benefit.

You send tickly from some of those muscles, then you would have exhale. Good. But don't overdo it. Just chase the exercise, follow it. Where does good, good. Try It if you would with your hands ending up a little lower to your true canners. Try it down there. Nice. I like that better. And exhale. And we'll do just one more down there. Good.

Beautifully done. Yep. And let's turn around and let's, for the sake of the springs, let's change springs so it's slightly in front of you. Good. And we'll stay. We'll do a couple where you come up higher so people can see how the back works. And then a couple of where you come down to the greater trocanter area. Okay. So you inhale your wrist bend, your elbows bend, you end up at your hips and then you right, yeah, in with the air. Good.

And exhale. Nice. So as the elbow reaches out to the right, not behind you, but directly side, you try and keep that right. Shoulder Square on top of the body should make you feel your tummy more. Whenever you fill your tummy more impolite. As you know, you're on the right track. Even if you don't know how you got there, you know you're doing it. Beautiful. We have one more to be even nice and exhale out. Good job and rest. Okay. Now face the pull system if you would.

And we're going to do just the chest expansion. We'll do this standing. Now you can modify the, the, some of these, you can modify them all the way down to seated on the um, reformer or on the carriage or on a Cadillac. And you can therefore you have to bring those spring down to just above shoulder heights, uh, there too. So we're going to keep our arms really straight and if you would make a gentle fist. So this fist is like an embrace as opposed to a grip.

The wrist and elbows are very straight and as you inhale, heels, big toes, inner thighs and hips, you bring that straight arm back behind you and you lean on the springs backwards, right? Glance to the right and left, stay leaning, let the arms start forward, and then you chase it with your posture. Exhaling. And again, inhale arms first, then lean back, right and fill that whole inner line. Glanced left and right again. Feel that your spine is moving, is moveable. It may not move, but when you glance it could all the way down to your tail, press those arms back, squeeze the wall. And that like Ramani is to say, lean on it more, right? And return the face and return the arms. Nice everyone.

We'll do one more set now really lean back. So if you screw up and you fall over a little bit, you'll just put your foot backwards. Yeah, lean back there. Nice. And exhale. When you lean back, you're doing it from your heels to your head, not arching last time. Inhale straight arms, hands stand on them. If the, if the mat just appeared under your feet, wouldn't even care. Glance and glance and a hot exhale and then return up.

Right. We're nicely done. Very good. Turn around and facing me. Changing your handles to your other hands and we'll do the military press. Okay. So as you do this exercise, you start, it's one of the few that has the thumb stuck out. So you've got all four fingers wrapped around your handle and you want that whole palm to engage on the handle. Um, the richer that engagement is, the richer the shoulder, the richer the belly. So you want as much of that as possible.

And then the thumb is stuck out. So you're going to start here. Now, this is one where, especially in the first rapper two, you might have to play around with where I'm standing. Different parts of it. As you get more balanced, more uniformly developed, it will all come together and you will end up standing in the same place throughout. But today, since it's new, we'll see. All right, it's the choreography goes like so you inhale forward and up. You should still have spring support. You Bend your elbows wide and you come right down like rowing's by the ear. You inhale up and forward, exhale home and the elbows aren't high, but they're not dropped down either.

They're comfy. Okay, so the Pong you're holding that would handle your heels and big toes come all the way up and you're going to lean into it. Inhale and up. Even lean into it now, right? Even lean into it now. And if you have to step back, you might, but you haven't. So you're all doing fabulously exhale. And again, how, how fun. Inhale and exhale coming down. Strfat sharp the ribs, reach forth and exhale every Adam man in hell and lift the cage, expel it down forward. And one more time and go hand back and forward and bend. Rest. Nicely done. Good.

Doesn't it felt good to be kind of manly. All right, we're going to do one that's out here called the side bend. You start with your arms out to the side and they're going to, because your springs are hooked above you and behind you, they're going to, as all as throughout every exercise today, they're gonna kind of pick you up. So their job is to hold your arms up a little bit so you don't have to hold your arms up and you can relax here and instead strengthen a little bit more the back of the arm across the upper back. To do this, like you want an in the upholstery absentee. So you're going to side bend, you're going to lean on one up, out of an over, pick your cage up, inhaling and exhaling return, and then the other side and you lean forward just a little for those springs truly are your partners. And exhale center. Good. So as the right cage rises up off the waist, you breathe huge and then put weight on the left arm to exhale.

Good. And if you can bring it lower to your thigh and kind of stand on it, let it push up into you. Nicely done. Yes, an exhale. So both springs are valuable, they just do different jobs for you. So the left one is now picking you up as the right one is turning on your right side. Exhale good. And we'll do it again in with the air. You look fabulous. They're all doing a great job. This right hand stays directly side of the thigh.

Doesn't go behind and exhale center or we even are. Do we need one more? One more to the left. Inhale. Good. Stand on that left hand. Like if your feet all of a sudden were in the air, they see those springs would be sufficient. Nice organization. And exhale we turn to the center and bring your arms down. Very good. All right.

So let's turn us around and face this with so to Palabra series, whenever I take a bunch of exercises like this and I try to make a class out of it, I try and use the theory that makes, that um, uh, infiltrates or creates the structure for the series of Matt and the series of reformer, which is let's turn the body around different positions every time and let's have each exercise build to the next exercise so that by the end of the whole thing, you have enriched the body, mind, and spirit. You've enriched the, um, uh, capabilities of the body coordination and Balance Wise. And you have opened things up earlier that now can take full advantage of the full body experience of the harder exercises. So now we're going to do the long back stret standing long backstretch so you have your arms out, springs generally start quote unquote at home so that they are at a slight tension that you can already pull into your body and have it, uh, like turning the key in the ignition. You're toned and ready, but you aren't doing anything yet. Those straight arms come back, like in chest expansion and you try and get him as far back as you can. Then you bend your elbows backwards, the blades will squeeze right in, the chest will rise.

And then lift the cage even higher as you push your arms down your sides and allow the springs to invite your arms. Exhaling forward. And again, inhale them back. Exhale, bend your elbows as narrow and back as possible. But don't bend your wrists so much and then push down and exhale forward. Yes, yes, yes. Very nice again and with the air. So as the elbow and shoulder Benz, the wrist doesn't, right? So you get lots of upper back work. That is beautiful.

And we'll do one more time in with the air. Good. Bend high. Good. That is so good. And then let the body rise up on the inhale and exhale forward. Excellent ladies. Well done. So now we're going to turn around step a little closer to your pulse system because the next couple exercises are done in a lunge. All right. So the, the polities lunge from the forties was a little different than what we usually do now.

So the front leg was parallel as was the back and the heel was up. So when you push the ball of the foot deep into the floor, as, as you are pushing this entire foot deep into the floor, the calf and the hamstring come up and tone into the Tush. So then the, so ass comes up and you feel very strong here. So this should not be a weak position, but a very powerful pressing into the earth that lifts you. Now it's not however, as strong as like a front split turned out back leg. So if you feel like, you know, either you get tired after a couple reps or you want to start here and then try a few at the end, once you've got the choreography, that would be either way it would be fine with me. Okay.

So you can play around with that. Either turned out, like go on front splits on the reformer or this kind of um, classical statue, um, of a mercury or somebody like that is where you see it in ancient Greek statuary with that heel up and the calf all toned and the hamstring altone in the butt. Nice and toned. They have high tushies. So we're going to do the punching and in this punching exercise it goes slower but more aggressive. So as you inhale, you push one arm right out the other elbows behind you and you hold it and then as you change, you push out and hold and it goes dead center in front of the breastbone and again, one pole and one hole. And as you continue, you hope springs are still and controlled. [inaudible] bring it right up here and as you continue to do so, see if you can let your spine twist your whole ribcage twists and your spine twists. Yes, right. Hold strong and go what?

Twist the spine and one twist the spine and on one yes. And make that right. Spring. Make the second spring. Do something for you. Nice. Yes. Bend Kelly. Just a little more your front leg, if you can, that girl feel the belly in it, right? So one hip is going down the front leg, one hip is going down the back leg. Both bellies are turned on last time and not step back and rest a moment.

Very good. Now we're going to take the opposite leg lunged forward, and we're going to do what's called the freestyle. Now all these exercises, we have no idea what their real names were, what Joe called them. Um, we may find out in the future somehow. I don't know. So when we, we offered this, um, archival workshop at the [inaudible] Center, we let the attendees in the first time named them. So you won't necessarily find these names elsewhere. You might find other ones instead. Don't let that confuse you. All right, so you're in the other position, really bent on that front knee, pushing into a good strong butt, and you're gonna do a freestyle swimming. And as you swim, you're going to take the cage with the shoulder girl up out of the waist and the spine with the rib cage up out of the waist. You inhale for a couple of you. Exhale for a couple. Nice. Let that back foot.

Push the earth for way from you. Exactly. Good. Bring your chest forward just a little bit, Amy. Yes. Like lean your spine on the handles. Nicely done. Don't be too perfect. Just enjoy then. [inaudible] Smith. Nice. Yes. Good Kelly.

Exactly. If you feel your belly turn on and then off and then on, you know that there's a certain movement in your spine that you're not fully connected to. And then there's some other movements that you are very connected to. Last breath. Inhaling and bring both arms back and step back. Exhaling. Well done. Well done. Good.

We have one more leg. So we're going to do the um, the helicopter arms. Okay. So you can do all of these exercises in this lunch position with either modification of the back foot. Plus you could do it in his v. Okay, well we'll do it one more lunch. You can choose your favorite side and the helicopter arms are gonna start to the front and one goes up and one goes down just as you might expect and you return center and you open, the palms are facing front as you go through. And then they face one another. Inhale to start. Exhale to finish.

Inhale to start x out of it. Doug, apologize. There's not enough room. It's okay. Just work on inviting those springs into your body. Like, like lean into them and then invite them through your tissue into here. Right? Like what does that mean Rachel? Anyway, you know, I don't know.

Think about, think about what does it mean to, to have those springs like every coil of the spring relates to a zillion muscle tissues and so yes. Yes. Gorgeous. Last One's beautiful. Finish it off. So you're even, and return home. Lovely. We have one more exercise. So you're going to turn around and face the pull system or the wall tower system.

I'm trying to learn and um, we're going to stand further back than we have further back than we think we should. Maybe because we're going to do the Russian squats now, just like in the rowing's, the arms, the elbows have to be high and they stay a little bit higher than the shoulder the whole time. If they drop it just harder for you, you'll sink [inaudible] be harder to get up, especially if you are a hard time getting up. Then lift your elbows a little higher and that will help you. Don't hesitate to go down. What could happen? Your Butt would hit the floor, you would be sitting and you'd have to get up again. So it's no big deal. All right, so you're going to try and keep your shins as perpendicular to the floor as possible throughout, which means your sits bones are going to go way back behind your scheels.

All right? So you inhale right and you let those arms lift. Exhale, inhale arms first. Nice. Exhale in good. And if you hear me clicking, then you know you're not trusting it because you're tenting around your knees to hold. Your knee should be free. Massage in this exercise. Quads, hamstrings, calves work a lot in her thighs.

Go way back there and lift up. Lift up to start up. Yeah. You feel the difference? Nicely done. We'll do one more and we'll prove that you come up. Turn your hands over and then press back. Lean back, glance right and left, and bring your arms forward. And that could turn into a whole new exercise, which we will not do today. I promise. So good. Huh? Very aerobics. Very strengthening there. Yeah.

Don't you feel like you could like rule the world now? You don't have to do pushups now. Right? Thank you very much. Thank you ladies.

Comments

1 person likes this.
Really fun! Love the standing work!
1 person likes this.
I watched this morning and went and shared some of these with clients in the studio...very fun and very effective....just wish I could pull that imagery that only Amy and Rachel are able to do! Thanks!
1 person likes this.
Great series! Loved the military press sequence.
Love it! "invite the springs into your core". Thanks for the inspiration, Rachel!
Loved the class. I don't have a tower but bands and a door anchor at shoulder height work just fine.
Tried this exact set with some clients this week. They seemed to really like it and felt the benefit of it! Could see them thinking and learning as they were moving which is fun.
Love it - I tend to do a few of those at end of a class- Love turning it into 30 mins of focused attention! Lovely, precise cues without being in client's face - thanks so much:)
This class was SO crazy hard....loved it, I felt floaty after I walked away from the springs ;))
1 person likes this.
Ahhhhh, yes, Rachel...it is nice to be manly indeed!!
1 person likes this.
Great core workout but way too much talking.
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