Class #1322

Lengthening Pilates Arc

30 min - Class


Amy Havens teaches a Pilates Arc workout designed to help the body gain "an inch" of height by opening up the hips and the spine. Flexion, extension, side bends, and twists are used to explore traditional exercises such as the Hundred, Shoulder Bridge, Swimming, and the Leg Series. We hope you find the length that this class strives to give you.
What You'll Need: Spine Corrector, Pilates Arc

About This Video

Dec 04, 2013
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Hi everyone. I'm going to do a foam arc, a spine corrector class or foam art class, and I have no math underneath your amount of hardwood floor. So if you have a surface that is hardy, you want to put a mat underneath, you can, there'll be just one thing though that I use the surface of the floor, um, to our benefit to slide the arc. So you know, just keep that in mind. And I do have one small pad here for a kneeling exercise that we'll do that incorporates that slide. So other than that, we don't need any props. Um, here we go. So I want us to start in the, uh, indentation or in the crevice, if you want to call it that. And let's just organize ourselves with our feet flat and we'll have about one fist with between our knees and that same space down underneath at the heels. And I want you to just to put your hands right behind the crooks of the knees, not too much work with your arms, but enough that you feel the support of the arms, how they're relating into your back.

That sense of space between your rib cage and your pelvis all around. Let's just take two deep breaths. And again, so what I have planned for us today is, you know, just some good old movement, so some flection extension side bend and twist. We'll get into our hips, we'll get into our back. [inaudible] take us to our arms reaching for, but we'll do three articulations over the arc. I'm going to start by reaching my lumbar back. Excuse me, back for the arc. I'm gonna undulate the spine nugget, the tips of the shoulder blades on top.

Well I'm gonna let my head go and then reach for the wall behind. Allow your ribs to open. Right now we are warming up. I'm going to reach in my arms again, three circles total [inaudible] in a moment we'll work on, you know, controlling those ribs a little bit, but for sure right now I want us just to feel like we're warming ourselves up and deepening the awareness of the spine and its relationship to this arc surface reach. Circle the arms for three and two and then one all the way around to the hips. And Front by the knees. Pick up the head and [inaudible] and your trust and imprint, articulate as you come forward. And if one more time and rolling back. So hopefully by this one, this third one, you're feeling a little more mobility depending on what you've done already today. Feel free to do more repetitions of that if you'd like to, but I'm going to take us all the way back around. Yeah, and sitting tall.

Okay, so I am going to do some traditional abdominal exercises for this first one sitting up on the very edge there. If you want to call it the lip, you can bring your thighs in, extend your legs up, hands on your shins. If you're ready for this big stretch. I'm a little too far forward. Sorry. There we go. But I want to stretch out the hamstrings with the reason why I want to hold them up there for the 100 so if I can get a nice 90 degree at the hip, arms by the hips, I'm going to pump in five and sorry, four or five in, I'm going to start to lower the legs down. And as I begin to lower down my end position will be in line with this lip and I really want to hold myself in with my stomach as if I could touch my lumbar spine. Back to the arch energy up the top, out the top of the head.

I want to get a pretty vigorous public going here. Three, four, five, nine, 10, five. Exhale, three, four, five, knees. All right. I want to do three double leg stretch without going over the arch and then I'll try a three going over the arch [inaudible] so the legs will go out. The spine will articulate. Oh over and left. I'm going to take my legs just a little higher because I felt like I lost some of the control through my body on that last one and oh over here we go. Single leg. When knee stays in, elbows lift opposite leg long.

I'm thinking through my inner thigh out my big toe and change. Oh, Shane really want to stretch this leg into my body as if I can also reach my lumbar back for the arch [inaudible] I'm going to do eight more. I want to stretch my leg lower to the floor so that I can get my quad line more lengthened. Three, four, stomach, back, stomach, back, and seven and eight. Okay, so I'm going to go right into scissor. And again, I'm going to take my leg to the floor. I'm just going to do eight and I'm just going to do a little gentle pull, pull, pull, pull. So if you haven't warmed up yet, take these kind of mile.

I didn't really do a lot of hamstring stretching at the beginning here. So at all, can you use this as your stretch? We're going to do scissor again over the arc in just a second. Bam. And Bam. Okay, so sliding the heels in, hands behind the head, the neck really, and let's lay back. So what I want to do first is allow my Elvis had dropped down to the floor as a contrast so that when I, and bring them in a better position for my body up and then I sweep my shoulder blades down and forward. In an essence, the tips of the shoulder blades are kind of sweeping like wings up to the ceiling. I'm gonna show that again instead of out and back.

[inaudible] there for me. I have a lot more support now and a deep or deeper connection. New from my back to my front. Important. So using this for rotation, I'm going to breathe in first and as I exhale I'm in a chest lift, lift my right leg and twist toward that side. Inhale as I go back over eight slow criss crosses.

This is our Chris Cross for today. So there's two, eight, three and for sale before you start to lift that trunk up. So is this, if you exhale, you leave your ribs on the barrel, your chest on the barrel a little bit and you curl or the thigh. Last one each side and back. And then over. So what I'd like to do next is bring the chest right up into chest.

Left both thighs, up and straight leg. Lower lift, just three times. I'm going to go down to three and up and lower. Hooking those shoulder blades to three and left. Last one and one, two, three. Hold. Let's do some shows ma.

Yeah, for sure. [inaudible] three. Yeah. And demands a lot of strength in your center to do that. Be careful. Okay. But take a challenge. Okay.

I'm going to slide this over the arch. Now. Safe Way to get in. Sit up on top. Put your, this is really nice because you've got these kind of hold on places. I'm going to put a heel up. I'm going to guide myself over again. Remember I'm on a hardwood surface, so be careful when you get back on your, on your floor that you don't knock your head but enjoy this slope for just a moment. Okay? And I'm going to hold on to the place where I can feel a gentle hook with my fingers. I don't want a death grip, but what I do want to do is use this and pull my body back into the corrector.

And the intention there is to get those vertebrae, you know, up on top of the arch, you're imprinting and you can allow your shoulders to feel support from the floor. Chest is heavy, chest is relaxed. And there's this nice diagonal line, really nice bread. So then what I want to do is see if I can slide my heels back into the crevice a little. I want to see if I can get more pelvic lift off the barrel, but not destabilize the rib cage. So it's going to demand some glute hamstring work.

And I'm going to just breathe and lift, lift, lift and recover and contracted glutes. Lift off to three and relax five time. Be aware if a on doing this glute squeeze and attempt to lift off the barrel that you push your head too much on the floor. Be Real careful not to do that. Don't sacrifice your head in your neck to get your butt off. Okay? I'm not getting my butt off much as you can tell, but I'm feeling my work.

That's the nest, the main thing. I'm also pushing my heels really firm into the barrel and down last one and I'm going to need that. All right. I'm gonna choose to leave my left leg there. I'm pushing in. My glutes are still active. I'm going to take my right leg up, flex the heel. We're doing sweeps down and up for five down and up and down and up. I'm still trying to get my butt off the barrel a little bit and down and lift and down. That's all I've got.

And lift and return and I'm going to let both sides relax for a moment. Okay, now say engage the glutes, get into the bridge, imprint the right heel. A little more left leg comes up. Let's flex the stretch the hamstrings. Five time down and up. [inaudible] one more down and lift and recover and let the glutes relax. Okay, back up again, not really needing to do too much glute work with this.

I'm going to try a little bicycle just with what? One leg, so I'm going to reach down this time. Sweep and feel the barrel side, a chest foot to the sky, maybe a little bit back behind. Five Times. Feel the barrel you're going to drag your fit over it. Feel those pulling muscles, those hamstrings, and now your quadriceps. Reach. Drag B one into this barrel.

Try to imprint a little more with your spine and in in last one here over reach. Now I'm going to reverse this leg. Bend the knee, so I'm going to feel for the barrel slide. Try to reach to the floor beyond that step. Really feel the length, quad and engagement of the hamstring and then lift. So I'm using the barrels surface to engage my body. Three last to stretch by the time this workout is complete, I want us all to feel like we've gained an inch of height in our body and up maybe half an inch. Okay, so bicycle on the left and out.

Drag thigh in and lift. Oh over drag thigh in lift. Remember you're still trying to keep the ribs, the spine, imprinting the barrel, drag. Reach a little further. That's our fifth one. And then as we reverse five times again you're trying to go then foot beyond this step to the floor. Then out to the window and up reach and in those attempts of lengthening, making sure not to destabilize our spine and ribs.

That part of us has very accurately placed on top. Last one out and up. Okay. So what are we going to do next? Bring both thighs into the chest. I'm going to move my hands in just for a second and I was starting to, I'm sweating so I'm sliding on my floor. I possibly should have had a mat here. All right, so we're gonna go into some both legs up.

Turned out some frogs. Now when I wanted eyes, I do frog this morning. Allow your knees to kind of stretch away from each other. What if you had a theraband on outside of your knees? Hand [inaudible] you could probably create that and open the thighs away from each other, but try to find the resistance within your own muscles without another prop. Okay? And let's stretch and pull eight times.

Reach and pull in. So I'm trying to challenge myself and take my legs down fairly low, but I'm monitoring that my ribs don't off the barrel. Four more. Ah, long hamstrings. Three last one. I'm going to stay out there for soften the feats of Marshawn from all. Keep this going and crossing those legs. I'm going to do inhale, inhale, exhale.

Exhale. Up to the ceiling. Here we go. Four, three, two, one and down. Two more sets. Yeah. Last set. Three four, five, six, seven and eight. Size two. Chest arrest, leg circles.

Five each direction just like we would on Cadillac. Over reformer legs. Parallel down the midline. Open. Now this'll be different. Actually I want us to thin instead of just coming straight into mid line, move the pelvis back. Ahh, stretching. Roll the lumbar. So it's like you're doing a little mini rollover. Place your pelvis down open, so get as wide as you can.

Then keep expanding that with if you can and take your pelvis into a curl. Oh, over and place your pelvis. I'm sliding again. My apologies. Three more times. Stretch Open. Explore that stretch. Now those deep abdominals are going to pull that pelvis and lumbar spine off.

Looking right up to the ceiling place your pelvis has. Take two more, ah, up and over. Place the pelvis last time and then we reversed it for five [inaudible]. All right, so we're doing a rollover and baby one open. Expand the stretch, expand, take in this space, reach your legs long and close and up and over. Expand and stretch without destabilizing your ribs and your spine.

And three Oh energy off the top of the body as you're expanding out through the bottom of the body. Last too. Okay, over last one. Ah, and then I'm going to do a little transition to get up to sitting on top. You're going to, this is like a little lab. You have to use a little bit of speed. So as the legs go up, I'm going to take my body overhead and get myself up there.

I go up on top of the sitting up on the lip position or the crevice. Okay, so let's go into a straddle for a moment. My knees are bent. I've got my feet down and I just want you to sit on top of your sit bones. Just nice and easy. And let's do a little spine twist. So we'll breathe in here, hold, dig two pulses to the side. app, pulse, pulse center, and pulse pulse. So I want to try to take my torso around.

I'm going to take my torso towards you and around the back four more times. I'm not pulsing my arms, trying to take my torso around last time to eat side. Then I want to do a little windmill here. I'm gonna lean back on my back hand, look up toward these fingernails and then lift and sweep just to get a little more diagonal movement. So what I'm doing there is the back hand places the on the floor.

I bend my elbow a little bit and I push off of it and lean lift, push for more. And don't worry about the front hand. I'm just putting it down here on the ground. I am trying no to lift myself up in my inside, up and over, and last one and center other side. So I'm going to lean back, push off that hand. And windmill, windmill. I'm looking up to my fingertips toward my front knee and back and over and back. [inaudible] and stomach deeply scooping off of that.

Bye. Back and back and over and last one, and over and sitting tall. Okay. So now if I close the legs, this is where I'm going to step up here and grab my little pad and I'll put that right in front by the, uh, step. We're gonna do a little cat into swan from kneeling. So if I'm up on my knees, I'm going to go a little space between establishing that vertical breathing in there, and then exhale, just letting the head weight come forward and reach out and hold onto the barrel. Now is I slide the barrel on the floor. I'm not really pushing my weight down into it. I'm just allowing this to, you know, ease me head between the arms.

Then I'm going to start to extend the tail away from the head and the head away from the tail and enjoy my chest reaching forward toward the step. And then as they bring it back in, I want to drag the barrel, but more importantly is pulling my body, my center up toward the sky, tail away from head, nice stretch of the abdominals, that groin, reaching back my chest, reaching for the barrel, opening the shoulders and armpits. Then as they come back, you've got a lift up, lift up, lift and drag the barrel in. But again, it's a lot about the core of the body being scooped up. Let's do two more and scoop over in undulate into that wonderful sense of extension. Inhale and exhale and drag it back. Pull up, anchor those shins one more time and over.

You know I'm going to stay out here in more of a flat back once. I enjoy that stretch. So I'm gonna pull it up a little bit and do a thread the needle. So I want to take my right hand off underneath, slide on the floor and turn. I'm going to move my barrel guys a little bit and I would allow my head to just rest on the floor and lift and change.

Feel free to put your arms in different places to make this make more sense for you. But turn up the rassic spine. Let's get a little bit of mobility there. Okay, one more each side. So thoracic spine there, that was a little more clear. And once again, and thoracic spine, right between the shoulder blades. Trying not to shift off center and left.

Okay. So let's just come off the pad for a minute. And for some of the pro work I want to do what I have in a, I've done these before and other spine corrector classes where I've put the knees on this side and then went over the barrel there. I'm going to just play around today and have you experienced something different? So if we come from this side, when I moved my, well yeah, it doesn't matter. The pad can move. Okay. So find your sweet spot where you can balance and a dart and just hold your dart. Move the arms to a t and hopefully, okay, keep the chest lifting. Let your hands rest lightly on the step.

And let's flutter the legs [inaudible] so I don't need to come any higher up off the barrel. I'm stretching my stomach though toward my toes. I do want to lift my chest a little higher, not my neck so much as my chest. [inaudible] and arrest. No legs down, chest down. And you can actually just let your forehead rest a slight bit on the front of the loop there. Okay.

So I do want to do some additional swan and back extension. So let's take our legs and separate them. If your knees are bent right now, that's okay. But let's do you see what happens if we can stretch them breathing in as we exhale, drag your hands along the floor. Lift your chest again. Yeah. And bring yourself up into Ma, maybe somewhat of a friend support position.

We're going to take our right arm and reach up circle, look towards your back, leg and down, left arm reach. And as doing these, um, arm sweeping motions, I want you to try to keep even weight down on your feet. So we'll try that again. I'm gonna slide my hands along, lift the chest and just place strong legs. So right arm is going to reach forward. Here's the moment, trying not to rock off the pelvis or lose the sense of stability on the legs. Other side. The other hand is still anchored in the floor and it's as if I'm dragging that arm that toward my feet as well and down.

We're going to do two more times the arms. We'll go the opposite way now in drag the hands, but reach out through the chest and find your back extension. Take a moment and support the low back with scoping that stomach up. Now the hand is going to go back. Lift and place and sweet and lift and place and lower.

One more time. Inhale and exhale. We're dragging in and reach and lift and center. Left arm back. The other arm is pushing the floor away, down and center. And then just rest your body for a moment. Let's try one more. The bigger swimming, the false swimming. Now I probably am gonna have to slide forward. I have a sense I'm a little too far back.

Perhaps I was wrong. All right, here we go. And four, three, two, one and rest. Okay. I'm going to come off that barrel. I'm going to slide myself up and take just a lateral position. Something kind of familiar and I want to sit as close to the front of this arc as I can towards you and as I lie over this side arm over, holding on, stretching out the leg.

So we're going to do three big body circles and I'm going to open my chest, allow the barrel to support my pelvis, let my head Drake back and adjust. Just enjoy open things up. Circle all the way around. Taking this space here. It's like how much of a space hog can you be with your body and over blast when this direction, big stretch and three the other way. I'm actually trying to be kind of rag VM like about this and trying to avoid picking up my head. I want to just leave it there. Open and circle and last one big one, big circle and [inaudible]. Okay. The other side, three times each way and over.

So for stretching the arms and then here we go. So close to the front and I'm going to open toward you. Open that chest, let that barrel support my head and shoulders and sweep and reach. I'm trying to take an all that space, letting your upper back meet the barrel and one circle, and then we'll do three the other way. And the last little stretch I want to do folks like a teaser, but it's not really a teaser.

Last two, oh, let your bones be supported. Three all the way around. So what it's going to be is we face the back of the barrel or in essence we sit inside the crevasse. You could probably see where you could go. I'm not going to, maybe on the next class, we could do all our series of teaser here, one, two, three for five. But right now I just want to take the legs up and scoot my hips back and stretch, stretch, stretch. So flexing your feet.

So nice short little mini foam arc workout. Can tag that into maybe a jump board class or you know, some arm work from the reformer or standing arm series from the Mat. It's kind of played up. I've hoped you've gotten some ideas and a good workout. Thanks again.


Had to do a stationary cat as i was using a Clara stepbarrel, but its all good. Much more flexible,maybe not taller,but for sure straighter.:) Thanks Amy!
So yummy! Since I don't have an Arc (I'm asking for one for Christmas) I improvised w/ a foam roller and a couple of different-sized pillows. The whole experience was delicious! Longer and connected, I am! Thank you, Amy!
Nice variations, Amy. Yummy class!
1 person likes this.
Thank you ladies!! You know how much I love the Arcs and Barrels!!
I'm getting a Pilates Arc for Christmas. Can't wait to try this workout!!!
1 person likes this.
Hi Amy! I think I told you I purchased a Pilates Arc last fall and I absolutely love this class. I've started getting up every morning at 5:30 a.m. and doing a class before work, and this is a class I come back to again and again. You mentioned the possibility of doing a second installment; may I encourage you to do so soon??!! I'd love to explore Teaser and some of the other positions that would be delicious on the Arc. THANK YOU!
1 person likes this.
Yay.....Summer you have to be one of the most dedicated students I know, seriously. I love hearing how much this work is changing your body, mind and how much you love it! Yes, I need to film another Arc or Spine Corrector class soon, thank you. I've been working on some things with the SC on the Reformer as well as using it with the Tower! Fun, fun!! :)
Hi Amy.. Yes.. It's time for another spine corrector class!! PLEASE!!!
HI there....I just filmed one, a 'mixed equipment' class that incorporated Spine Corrector and some Wall-Unit. I'll do another one though that is just Spine Corrector too. :)
Fabulous class! I have finally dusted off my Arc and realize how much it can help with my posture. Only big problem was that the video stopped for buffering at just the wrong times and I had to awkwardly get off the arc to back it up to get it moving again.
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