Class #1760

Mat Workout

55 min - Class
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Join Meredith Rogers in this fundamental Mat workout that uses the Overball throughout the entire class. With the help of the Overball, you will work deeper into the abdominals, intensify the upper back exercises, and work through side-lying unilateral movements. Don't worry if you don't have an Overball, because the squishy inflatable balls typically found in children's toy stores are a great substitute.
What You'll Need: Mat, Overball

About This Video

Oct 23, 2014
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Today, we're gonna do our class with these small, blue, squishy balls. So, have one. If you don't have, these are easily found at a children's toy store or like a Walmart or something like that, or you can buy an Overball. So if you don't have one and you want one, that's how to get there. So what we're gonna do is hold the ball in our hands.

And then I just want you to stand with your feet parallel to one another in just a light hold. 'Kay, close your eyes for a moment and feel that you're pressing into the ball with the palms of your hands, not your fingers. And feel that as you press into the ball, it's not coming from rounding the collarbones forward, but instead, from sliding the shoulders down and back. So it's almost as though the ball is in your hands, is like an arrow and it's pointing towards the floor. And as it points towards the floor, you can feel an axial elongation in your spine in the opposite direction.

So we're gonna inhale and lift the arms up and hinge forward at the ankles. And then exhale and bring the ball back to the body, press it back against the body by pulling the shoulder blades down and back. A little bit more back, Jim. That's it. Inhale, hinge forward at the ankles, let the ball come forward.

And then exhale as we press back into the body with the ball from the back of the body rather than the front of the body. You'll feel your arms as well a little bit. Inhale as you reach forward. I'm doing mine with straight arms, but a lot of us are gonna be happier with a little bit of a soft elbow, which will give us a little more freedom in the shoulder joints. So you can decide what works best for you.

One more time. Just reaching forward and then coming back. We're gonna inhale here, just gently holding the ball like it's a weight. Exhale, take the head forward and start rounding the ball, towards the ball. Imagine that the ball is heavy and it's pulling your spine down towards the floor.

And as your spine is going down towards the floor, you're lifting and scooping up through your abdominals. Pause at the bottom of the ball. If you run into the floor with the ball and you wanna go further with your spine, simply bend your elbows. Inhale there. If your elbows are bent, start drawing up through the abdominals until they're straight.

If they're straight already, we're rolling up with straight arms or a slightly soft elbow. This time, I want you to lift the arms forward, reach the arms overhead, again bending the elbows or looking after your shoulder if you happen to have an injury like Miss Candy. We're gonna take the ball over towards this direction. So you choose the direction. And then with your bottom arm, push into the ball just gently and lift your body back up.

As you inhale, reach up and over in the opposite direction, opening that side of the body. And then exhale, feel the foot that you're leaning into and the arm that you're leaning into help you to guide yourself back to center. Let's do that again. Inhale as we reach over. And exhale, just a little bit of pressure, like you're pushing the ball up to lift your body.

Inhale as we reach over to the other side. And exhale as we come back to center. Bring the ball out in front of the body. Swivel the heels together so you're in a Pilates V position. Zip the heels up through the inner thighs, through the belly button, through the center of the body and all the way out the top of the head.

We're gonna bend the elbows. So working with a little bit of visualization. Don't press the ball. Instead, feel that you're trying to pull your elbows away from the ball, but your hands are still connected. So the hands are glued to the ball, the elbows are pulling away.

And then stretch, lightly stretch the arms forward so we feel the shoulders draw down and back. Mmhmm, as you bend your elbows, your arms, your hands are glued to the ball, but your elbows are trying to pull your hands off the ball. So it's a east and westerly directive. Draw the shoulder blades down. So I'm wanting us to feel some work in our upper back.

Everyone feel that little work in our upper back? Inhale to bend the elbows. Now as we straighten the arms, let's do a gentle press into the ball, exhale. Now you'll feel the front of your body, but keep feeling the back of your body. Inhale, bend the arms.

Let the hands go light. Exhale, press the arms forward, pressing into the ball a little. Let's inhale and bend the elbows just a couple more times, feeling that upper back lifting and supported. Exhale to stretch the arms forward. Yeah, nice, one more time.

Bend, inhale. Stretch, exhale. I'm gonna take the ball down. We're gonna swivel the feet back to parallel. Gonna roll the spine down one more time, exhaling as you round.

Control or decelerate that action by lifting up and supporting through the front of the body. As you come down, if the ball touches first and you wanna go further, just bend your arms. Inhale, and lifting up as we exhale. Roll the spine back up, lightly holding the ball on the arms, and stacking the spine all the way. Okay, we're gonna come to the mat.

So come in a kneeling position. The ball is gonna rest just below the knees, wherever it makes sense to you. So whatever your arm length is. We're gonna, excuse me, inhale here. As you exhale, press the ball down into your shins and curl away from the ball without rounding the shoulders forward.

So we're creating a concavity through the spine, through the front of the body. And then press the ball into the legs, draw the shoulder blades down and use that downward pressure to build the spine back up straight again. Inhale there. I'm not actually backing up. So I'm keeping the ball right where it is.

I'm just rounding away from it. That's it, Jim, you can like almost push the ball downwards a little bit towards, yeah, towards your feet. Inhale, press the ball down and lift. One more time, just like that. Exhale to curl the spine.

So you're again, it's not a vigorous squeeze. It's a light pressure with the hand almost, and press down and lift up like you're holding something precious in your hands. Exhale to curl, we're moving on. So now I want you to let the ball just float up. You're gonna continue to curl your spine down until you feel that your lower spine touches the mat.

Once you get there, we're gonna lift the ball a little. Now imagine that the ball is heavy, so you're resisting the lift. Let the ball come back forward. Inhale. And exhale, curl the spine up.

This time, we're not straightening up. We're gonna round and we're gonna roll the ball down towards the feet. And then we're gonna start to roll back. The ball will come up the shins. As you get into that really rounded spine, lift the ball up, let it float.

And then round down, feeling the lower back coming into contact with the mat. Inhale, allow the ball just to float up, or it floats but it's heavy, right? That's our imagination at work. The arms reach forward, and then we push the ball forward. And we round over and let the ball roll down the shins.

Inhale, one more time. Rolling back, floating the ball, bringing the body down into the mat. Inhale, float the ball. Exhale, bring the ball forward. Inhale to pause and exhale to roll back up.

We're gonna add some rotation to this. So here we go. Lift the spine. Turn, keep the hand and the arm closest to me, though keep that ball in the hand closest to me and open the arms out to the side. So you're only holding the ball now with one arm.

As you exhale, keep your arms either wide or they can come forward as you start rolling down. So you're gonna roll down. You'll feel the side of your body that has the ball in it probably working a little harder than the side without the ball. Transfer the hands to center. The ball comes into the other hand, and now we roll up.

And just notice how just that tiny little bit of additional weight, nice, will change the movement, stay round. Go the opposite direction, so now the hand that's furthest away from me holds the ball. We roll down. If your feet like they're gonna come off the floor, pull backwards with your heels. Come across and roll up.

So now, rotate so both hands are touching the ball towards me. Roll the spine down, take the ball in the opposite hand, the hand furthest away from me, open to the center. Bring the body across, and now both hands are finding the ball again. Roll yourself up, nice job. Keep the ball in that hand, the one that's holding and come to center, opening the hand closest to me without the ball.

Lots of complex directives here. Come across the other direction. Hold the ball in both hands. Roll the spine down. So now the ball stays in the hand that's closest to me.

We unwind through the center. Take that free hand across, find the ball with that hand, push your feet down, pull your heels back, or use your legs if you need a little bit of help. Lift yourself up, bring yourself to center. Open your knees. The ball reaches overhead.

We're gonna dive forward. From there, roll yourself up. Bring the legs back together. Scoot a little bit closer to your feet. We're setting up for a pelvic curl.

So the feet wanna be right up next to the sitting bone. It's tough to get down from here, so we'll do our best. Separate your feet so that they're parallel to your sitting bone. And then let go and see if you can come down with control. It'll get sticky for all of us at some point, but we'll all make it.

Nice. Good, the ball's now right over the chest. Inhale for a pelvic curl. We're gonna exhale, start to roll the pelvis up. As the pelvis comes up, I want you to take the ball down towards your pelvis and press into the body by opening your shoulders.

And then inhale and exhale, allow the arms to just float up as the spine reaches down. Pause as the tailbone drops, inhale. Exhale, the pelvis rocks. We start rolling through the spine. The arms begin to change.

The ball and the pelvis meet one another, and we press open through the collarbones. Again, a little bit of a bend in the elbows, if you feel stuck or tight in your shoulders, is gonna help you round the spine down, lifting the ball over the center of the chest. Again, we're gonna do that two more times. Inhale at the bottom. Exhale to curl the spine up.

So we reach, we allow the ball to come across, we push into the pelvis, pause, inhale. And exhale as we now bring the body down. Slowly, and just, again, the ball, you can imagine that the ball is heavy, but again, holding it as though it's a precious commodity. Last time. Exhale into lift up, pressing down at the same time.

Inhale, feeling the collarbones widen. And exhale to lower down. I've changed my mind. We're gonna do that one more time, but I'm gonna change it at the top. So you're gonna roll up, but keep the ball where it is.

'Kay, so the hips are nice and high. Gonna take the ball and bring it underneath your body. So your pelvis is gonna be right about the, below the sacrum. Nope, put it underneath your tailbone. Then start to bring the chest down.

You're gonna draw in and roll into the ball. So you're using the ball, you're pushing the ball away to maximize the round of the lower spine. And then just float back up. So further away from you might be better. You'll organize it for yourself.

Exhale, round down. So I've got mine just below my tailbone. I'm reaching down, trying to flatten into the mat, which I can't do because the ball is in my way, but it gives me a nice opportunity for a stretch. And then we're gonna lift back up again. Just one more like that.

Inhale, prepare. Exhale, round down. Allow the pelvis to rest on the ball, and then work against that ball into the deepening of the lower spine. Lift back up. Reach for the ball.

Bring it back over the chest, holding it in the hands. And now slowly roll down. At the bottom, we're gonna step the feet together. So for now, we're just gonna keep the ball right over the center of the chest and just use that like the imaginary heaviness helps us to flatten the shoulder blades into the mat. As we inhale now, take both knees towards me, keeping the feet, one foot will lift off the floor.

And exhale, think about bony structures. So opposite shoulder blade drops and comes into the rib cage. That action will help us bring the pelvis back into the mat. Think about the bones, what muscles need to work well. Inhale as we let the knees drop to the opposite direction away from me.

Think about the shoulder blade. It doesn't squeeze inwards. It squeezes outwards, comes into the ribs. The ribs pull towards the center of the spine, and that brings us to center. Inhale as we reach across.

Shoulder blade down and wide, rib cage in and down. And finally, the pelvis. Inhale as you reach across. And exhale to go back. So now let's make this a little bit different of a movement.

So now as the legs come towards me, let the ball drift in the opposite direction. Look at the ball. Follow the ball with your eyes and your knees will go further. Exhale as we come back. Just fluidly moving the body.

You don't have to over-recruit here. Inhale as we go across to the opposite side. And exhale, bring the ball back to center, bring the knees back to center. Just notice that as that happens, inhale, there's work being generated around your midsection. Gonna do that one more time.

Inhale, reach over. Exhale to come back. Pause in center, stretch one leg out and then the other. Inhale as you lift your head and chest. Take the ball just in front of your eyeline and then roll the spine up off the floor.

Mmhmm. Gonna reach forward. Pause and inhale. Start rolling away from the ball, so you're drawing back into that deep curvature of the spine, and then rounding down. Sometimes, some of us get a little stuck and it's hard to make it through the stuck part, the tight part, so what you could do is just rest the ball, use your hands against your legs and then when we're coming back up, we'll just find the ball again.

That's another good idea, Sumner, is to push the ball, lift up, exhale, roll up, is to use the downward pressure of the ball against the legs, either one. Inhale to hold. Exhale to round down. So feel that there's an always, there's a forwarding energy with the arms and the ball, and a backward energy with the abdominals. It's also helpful, if it's sticky, to soften the knees a little bit.

The ball's just gonna end up right over the chest. We're gonna inhale and lift the head and chest. So, generating as much upper back work as you want. So the upper back work is found, nice, is found with the feeling that we spoke of in the beginning. I'm gonna keep talking and we're gonna keep doing this movement.

The feeling in my brain, anyway, of letting the hands feel like they're glue a bit, trying to pull the arms away from the ball. Inhale as we lift up. We're gonna go one more time. Here we go, lifting up. We roll ourself all the way up.

Gonna stretch forward. Roll the ball across the feet, and apply pressure down on your feet. So you get a stretch in the backs of the legs, maybe a stretch in your back, and hopefully a little bit of stretch in the foot as well. And then we're gonna roll ourself back up, bringing the ball with us. Bend your elbows.

Bring the ball right up against those ribs. So a little lower than the sternum. And then press the ball against your body, so you're holding it towards you. Flex your feet, inhale. We're gonna twist.

So we just keep the ball right where it is. We're twisting the spine, lifting up, and then come back to center. Jim, lean a tiny bit forward. Exhale as you rotate your body. The ball doesn't change.

And inhale as you come back to center. Helen, maybe feet wide, like open 'em up, put 'em on the ground. Yeah, and that'll give you a little more room. Yeah, and then rotate, and center. Maybe a little lower with the ball, Jim, and less of a squeeze and more of a like you're hugging it towards you.

And then rotate, so I have my hands wrapped around the front. Yeah, and back. And now rotate. We're going one more time like that. Feel there's a axial elongation in an upward spiral.

And center, and rotate. Nice, beautiful. And center. Gonna add a little. So let's inhale to rotate the body.

Exhale, draw the abdominals backward against the spine as the arms reach forward. Inhale, bend the elbows, lift the ribs into the ball, bring the ball back where it was, and exhale to center. Inhale to rotate. Exhale to stretch forward. Inhale to pull the ball back, widening the shoulder blades.

Exhale to center. Inhale, we rotate. Exhale, we stretch out. Inhale, we pull back and elongate the body. Exhale to center.

Again, I'm not doing a lot of gripping. I'm just using the ball, exhale, as a marker in space. So what you could think about is after you twist and you're continuing to breathe is follow the ball forward a little bit with your body. And then bend, and then use that pulling back of the ball to help you lift your back. Find your center.

Other side, inhale, twist. Exhale, take the ball forward, elongate. Bring it back to the body. And bring it back to center. Take the ball and put it behind you.

So the same, I'll say this differently. The sticky place for most of us is right in the lower back, so we're gonna work with that. Want you put, not right behind you, but give yourself a little, a little room to move between your pelvis and the ball. So feel here, reaching your arms forward, just rest on the ball. Right, so that's something that we're not gonna do.

Bend your knees. Yep. Instead of resting on the ball, what I want you to do is let the pelvis come under. You'll drop into the abdominals. Let the upper spine reach forward.

And then release that, inhale. Exhale, just that tiny little motion of the pelvis. Pelvis drawing under. Rib cage presses against the ball as you're trying to pop it, and then release. And again, exhale, pelvis tucks under, abdominals draw back into the ball.

There's a teeny-tiny movement with lots and lots of sensation. Inhale to release. Two more times just like that. Exhale, we let the pelvis shift. And inhale, we release.

Some of us might feel a stretch. Some of us might not. Hope all of us feel our stomach. That's the point. And release.

Gonna do one more. We're gonna tuck and hold. Take the arms, make a pointer with your hands. Keep that energy, that back and down energy into the ball and allow your arms to rotate towards me. You won't go very far without shifting the ball.

So just notice where you can go without allowing the ball to move and come center. Inhale as we rotate the opposite direction. And exhale, finding center. Inhale, rotate. Exhale, center.

Inhale, rotate. Exhale, center. Inhale, rotate, pause. We're gonna go lighter on the ball, lift, and come back. Lighter on the ball, curl, and come back, three more.

Curl and come back. Curl and come back. Last time. Curl, come back, find your center. Rotate the opposite direction.

Keep the pelvis, the side of the pelvis that you're rotating away from down on the floor as you lift up and back. Just getting a little lighter on the ball, pulling back against it. It doesn't have to be big. It's teeny-tiny. And lift, just like you're almost floating up the ball, but you get to use it.

Last time here, we're gonna come to center. Some of us can do this without holding on, but I'm gonna hold my leg. Curl up. Lift up, holding onto the fronts of the knees, allow the knees to open, put your hands on the fronts of your knees, push backward and down on your shinbones and raise your chest. So now, we're going in the opposite direction.

And then return just to a neutral pelvis. So, the ball's still behind us, so we could visualize, as the hands press and the eyes begin to look up and the chest follows the eyes, is that we're trying to push the ball further away from us with our pelvis. Uh huh, and then just bringing your body back to straight. Let's do that two more times. So we press back.

I'm gonna be doing like a this press. Mmhmm, pulling back, letting the sternum lift and come forward. And then return to neutral. And one more time. So a lift, press back.

Return to neutral. Reach back for the ball behind you and bring your knees together. Taking the ball just in front of the ankles, we're about to head into rolling like a ball. If this is too much of a tight position for you, let the ball go and make a larger position, or you can put the ball on the inside of your body instead. We'll play with both.

So hugging the ball in towards the body, hugging the heels in towards the body, we're gonna rock back, we're gonna roll up and balance. Inhale, rock back. Roll up and balance. Inhale, rock back. Roll up and balance.

One more time. Rock back, roll up and balance. Let's take the ball into the inside of the body. So now we have a little bit larger position to work with. I'm gonna work from the tops of my knees.

So, the idea is to pull away from the ball, so it feels like the ball is sinking into the body, and then come back. And then lift up, that same trying to pull the ball in. As I'm trying to pull my ball in towards my body, I'm keeping the ball in place by pressing my thigh bones against it. Inhale as you rock back. Exhale as you roll up.

Let's do that one more time. Inhale as you rock back. Exhale as you roll up. Place your feet down on the mat. Straighten your legs or keep your knees slightly soft.

We're gonna separate the feet. So the ball's gonna come out in front of us. Let's work with bent arms here and then find that energy we've been speaking of. Light on the ball, elbows pulling outwards, inhale here. As you exhale, take the head forward like the ball is a pointer or you're magnetically connected to the ball with the top of your head and you just roll your spine forward.

Inhale there. Feel the weight balanced over your sitting bones and then rebound up. So it's a light lift of the spine. Let's do that in one breath instead of two. So we'll exhale forward, following the ball.

And then we'll use our inhale breath just to feel the spine float. Nice. Exhale forward. Pause. Inhale breath.

Float. Exhale forward. In my mind, the floating is equally as effective as like a really grippy, trying to contract everything that we can find. Your body is a very intelligent piece of machinery? I don't know.

Roll back down. We're gonna let the ball rest down on the floor now. Take the hands to the top of the ball. You're gonna have to be really light on the ball with your hands. So now you're gonna bend your elbows wide to your sides and start to pull the ball towards you as you lift your spine towards the ball.

We're coming up into a back extension, mmhmm. So you can bend your elbows to do that, and then you can push the ball back away from you. So let's inhale, hands light on the ball. It's gonna change position underneath your hand. We're gonna bend the arms, lift the spine, coming up on a forward diagonal, good, hugging the shoulder blades backwards, and then press the ball forward.

And let's do that two more times. Lifting the body, inhale, bringing the spine out and up. And exhale, stretching forward. Last time. Inhale, lengthening out and up.

Feel that upper back working to bring the chest forward over the ball. Exhale, press out. Take the ball in your hands. Bring it with you as you roll yourself up. Gonna do a variation on the saw here.

So what I want you to do is you're gonna turn your body, twist your body towards me. Now the hands, so the hand that you've just twisted towards, it's gonna go on the underneath. You're gonna reach the ball on the outside of the foot. Gonna roll up from there, derotate or come to center in rotation, lift up in rotation and find center. I'll find a better way to say that.

Inhale, twist. Hand that you've twisted to goes on the underneath. Yep, you turn and you take that ball out and you reach past your foot. And then let's roll up. We're gonna stay in rotation as we lift the spine up.

Take the ball back so it's straight and derotate. Yep, inhale, rotate. Exhale, dive forward. Inhale, elongate the spine as you lift up, finding your rotation, and center. And inhale, turn the ball.

Exhale, reach out. Lift the spine back up. So it just makes sense there, in my opinion, to turn the ball back upright. Let's do one more, rotate and dive. And lift, and center, and inhale, and exhale.

And inhale, lift, and exhale back to center. Bring the legs back together. Take the ball and press it against your shins. Curl back with your abdominals. Float your feet up.

And then try to slowly lower yourself down in this shape. I don't know, just seeing. Think it's gonna work, Candy? Candy's giving me an incredulous look. 'Kay, so pausing when you get just to your shoulder blades.

We're gonna rest the head on the ball. Rest the head on the ball. Bring it behind you and rest your head on it. Stretch your legs out as you inhale. And bend your knees in.

Stretch your legs out as you inhale. And bend your knees in. And however you wanna hold the ball, what you can do as your knees are bending in is trying to curl the chest up. Inhale as the legs stretch out. Exhale as the knees pull in.

We're doing three more. Feel that the bending of the knees comes from deep within the trunk, right underneath the rib cage. Last two. The abdominals get heavy. You can always put your head down as well, although then the legs are probably gonna need to go up.

What's important, last one, is that the lower spine stays flat. So we're gonna bring the knees in. Here's where I think it's gonna get hard. Gonna put the ball back. Gonna push the ball in and see if we can let's do a couple rocks.

Rock, and lift. Nice, let's do it again. So the down with control, knees pushing forward, abdominals pulling back. Nice, Jim, nice. Ball comes up, goes behind the head.

Head rests on the ball. Left knee and right leg forward. And change. So pressing the ball into the head, not to throw the head forward, but instead, just to feel that it's helping you, it's assisting you as you lift. Your elbows can come a little forward.

They don't have to be real wide. And pull-push, pull-push. We're gonna go two, two, one, one, both knees in. Reach over, push the ball into the thighs, the thighs into the ball. Do a little rock, trying to maintain a fairly consistent shape, and find your balance.

One more thing. Knees into the ball, belly back, roll back, ball comes behind us, elbows wide. Leg closest to me stays bent. Gonna reach across and then bend to center. And reach across and bend to center.

Sumner, take your straight leg a little higher. And bend to center. And reach across. And bend to center. So you want that straight leg to be on level with the knee, with the foot of the bent knee.

We're gonna do two more. Across, center, across, center, last one. Across, ringing out the spine, center, across, center. And then lower the body down and take the ball out from behind you. Place your feet down on the mat.

Arms come up over this chest again. Inhale. Just holding, floating the ball there, feeling again, the heaviness of the ball, the imaginary heaviness, allowing the arm, shoulder blades to flatten. Roll your spine up. Pause at the top.

We're just gonna keep the weight of the body, transfer the weight of the body into the right leg. Then float the left knee up. It's gonna come under the ball and it's the left toes are gonna reach back and touch. We float the left knee under the ball. We reach back and touch, keeping the pelvis high.

Float under, feel shoulder blades heavy, and down. Float under, and down, one more. Float under, and then as you place that foot down, pay attention to the pelvis. Did it drop? Can you keep it still?

As you change, placing the weight of the body on the left leg, and then floating the right knee in. And tip the mat. And pull. And tip the mat. And pull.

And tip the mat. Hips stay high. And tip the mat, last time. Pull, and tip the mat, pause there. Place the foot down.

Reach your arms overhead, bending your elbows for space if necessary. And roll the spine all the way down. All the way down. And then bringing the arms over the chest, we're gonna turn to face me. What I'd like for you to do is take the arm on the underneath of you, straight.

Line your feet up with your straight arm. Put your head on your straight arm. And take the ball, I like it pretty close into my body, so I'm gonna do a little pull into my body with the ball. Mmkay, heading into some side work. So feel that you can draw the ball towards you, but also, without actually moving the ball, try to roll it down towards your feet so we feel the shoulder blade connect.

And then from there, floating the legs up. So what I'd like for us to, as we inhale and lower the legs, part way, not all the way, think about is the relationship between the shoulder blade, the stabilization of the shoulder blade and the whole side of the body. So it's a down pull, and a leg lift, and down. And a down pull, and a leg lift, and down, nice. So the place that we're generating work I hope is obvious, in the side of the body that's on top in terms of the majority of the weight.

But can we also generate sensation on the lower waist? These fundamental exercises are some of my favorites. Yeah, exactly. Last time. And then we're gonna lower down.

So we're gonna bend the bottom knee. Take the ball a little bit further away so it's not right up against your body anymore. And then again, create that downward heaviness, not from the hand or from the neck, but from the shoulder blade and from the side of the body. Flex the foot and swing forward. Point and reach back.

Flex and swing forward. Notice in your body if your ball wants to roll around. So we're using the arm as we hold the ball to notice stability. We're looking for stability of the trunk. Reaching forward, keep the shoulder blade down a little bit on the top, Sumner, good.

And we'll do five, little faster. And back. Four, we'll catch ya, Jim, and back. Three, and back. Two, and back.

One, and back. We're gonna take the leg to the front again. We're gonna let it turn down. We're gonna do little hot potatoes for 10, nine, just straight there, eight, seven, six, check in with your shoulders, four, three, two, one. Take the leg backwards.

Reach the ball in the opposite direction. So put it on the floor in front of you. Roll your body towards the ball so you feel a little bit of rotation through your spine, perhaps a stretch. That back leg's gonna lift up now. Up and back.

Up and back. Bottom leg stays on the mat. So I'm kicking up to the ceiling with my back leg and I'm also trying to push it away from me. Different parts, different muscles in the hip are working in different positions. Gonna go four, three, two, and one.

And then we're gonna bend that knee in. Help yourself up. Swing your legs around to the other side of your mat. Come all the way down onto the side of your body. And once again, wanna line your body up in a straight line in relationship to the arm that you're lying on.

If it's not comfortable for you to be there, you can bend that arm. We started with the ball pretty close and to the center of the body. Head is relaxed on the arm. And then remember, it's a not a curl forward of the shoulder, but a downward pull. And then we start to float the legs up, and down.

So we're never going all the way to the ground. So you could imagine that you're trying to pull your legs in the direction that your legs are reaching. Excuse me, pull your ball in the direction that your legs are reaching, reaching out to the side and down. And reaching out to the side and down. So generating work, generating energy in the trunk.

Feel how that energy in the trunk corresponds. So if the trunk is not just the stomach, right, but the back, the shoulder girdle. Feel how those relationships in your body work together. We're gonna do three more. Candy's counting for me, how wonderful.

Think I can't count to three? You're probably right, but that's... We all know that about me. 'Kay, so we're gonna lower the legs. We're gonna bend the bottom knee and take the ball a little further forward.

'Kay, so little different feeling there. Less of a drag, more of a down push, but same musculature. Kick forward, keep the body still, push back. Kick forward, keep the body still, push back. And swing, and back.

And swing, and back. Nice shoulders, you guys, great. And kick to reach. Five more. Try to keep the trunk still.

So you don't wanna lean forward and back, so you use your stomach as your leg goes behind you to keep the stillness. That's where that comes from. Three, press down on the ball as your leg goes to the back, two, and one. Here we go, we're gonna go to the front. We're gonna let the leg be heavy and we're gonna go down, up.

So I just discovered you get a little arm work there too. How fun. Can push the ball down if you're into it. Four, three, two, one. We're gonna lift and bring the leg behind.

Take the ball in the opposite direction. Mine's gonna hang off my mat, but you can rest yours on the floor. Rotate and lean into the ball. Feel like you're trying to roll it away from you. Your leg in relationship is reaching in the opposite direction and up.

And then once you get to like your limit there, that's where the work happens. It's up and back. Up and back. Pushing the arm and the leg away from one another. And five, four, three, two, one.

Bend the knee and bring the leg down. Gonna help ourselves up and we're gonna come up onto our hands and knees. So here's where it gets fun. Fun. Push the floor away from you.

Feel that your abdominals are pulling up so that your spine rounds and your pelvis comes towards your face. Then get light on the ball with your shins and try to roll your knees across the ball towards your ankles. And then push back again. Oh, lots of arm work. So we sat up, we draw in on the abs, we exhale, we try to float on the ball.

The ball rolls underneath us. The knees come towards the hands. And then they push away. Uh huh, rounding, pulling the ball in, and reaching away. Ooh, that's a lot of arm work.

One more time. Rounding, and back. And then step to the side with one leg. So we'll go ball at the ankle. So I've got my left knee on the mat.

I've got the ball at my right ankle. So I want us to push out on the ball. Your leg is gonna be light on the ball and I want us to extend the spine there. So I'm actually, when I get out there, pushing my foot into the floor a little bit and lifting my knee off the ball. Now bring the knee underneath you.

The ball's gonna roll to your ankle. We're gonna round. So we'll roll to the toes. I'm all the way on my toes now. And then we're gonna reach out, let the back change as the leg reaches out.

So the whole body, from the spine to the hip, is in extension. And then round and deepen into it. Two more times like that. Reach out. Let's lift the leg off the ball.

Let's lower the leg back to the ball and bring the ball underneath. One more time. Reach out, feel the back extend. Focus specifically on your upper back muscles. Float the leg off of the ball.

Mine's sticking to me too, Candy. And then curl back in. Place that knee down and we'll switch sides. Okay, so we've got the knee or the ankle, yeah. 'Kay, so, hands underneath shoulders, nice straight back to begin.

Gonna reach out, elongate the back, and then curl, bringing the ball in, deepening, pulling the pelvis and the chest towards one another, and reach out. The chest lifts as the ball goes behind us. And we curl in. Here's where we lift. We push out first.

Yep, hold your abdominals in. Lift the leg, float. And down. Nice and easy. And round in. (chuckles) Candy found a special magical way to bring her ball with her as she lifts her leg off the ground.

What's the secret, Candy? And down, and round, and release. Alright. Bring your ball, come onto your stomach. This is perhaps, in my brain, the sole reason for working with this ball, my favorite thing to do.

So, what I want us to do is put the ball on your chest. We're pretty high up, almost up towards the neck. So like not underneath your breasts, but actually on your, close to your throat. Not so you feel like it's gonna suffocate you, but somewhere comfortable. 'Kay, and then rest your hands just on the outsides of your mat.

So I have my hands coming straight up from my elbows and just my chest resting on the ball. What we're gonna do here is create some energy. So starting by energize the legs, energize the abdominals. Then feel, without 'em moving, and without a moving shift, just an energetic backward pull of the shoulder blades. I guess there is a little movement there.

And then start sliding the forearms backwards in space without actually changing where they are and start to float up like you're trying to roll the ball out in front of you. Mmhmm. So you'll get lighter on the ball and then allow the body to come back down again. So I'm looking for upper back muscles. Everyone with me? Yeah.

Yeah, Caroline loves this. This is just for you, my friend, Caroline. Slide the elbows backwards. Lighten up on the ball. You don't have to lift off it.

I don't want you to lift off it. I want you to rest on it and use it to help you bend through your upper spine. Nice. You guys, it looks beautiful. And then just settle back into it.

So when you settle back into it, you notice that there's not a great deal of movement. Let's do it again. Slide the elbows backwards. We're still using our stomach. We're still a little bit strong through the legs.

And then when it just feels like there's so much, it feels like you can actually pop the ball out from underneath you, and then when you come back down, it's just there to support you. Let's do three more. You reach out, extending through the spine, reaching out through the very top of the head. So the eyes are slightly forward and just looking towards the edge of your mat. And then release.

You can actually release all the way down. Then reenergize legs, reenergize abdominals, reenergize backward gliding action, and flow. Noticing differences in sides of the body, and releasing down. Do you feel one side working harder? If so, put a little more effort into the opposite side.

If you feel super even, wow, that's a big deal. So here's our last one, milk it. And then come back down. So again, just leaving the ball right where it is on the chest, we're gonna take the arms and reach them straight out. So, you don't have to lift off the ball.

You just let it support your upper body. Start to lift your left arm, and at the same time, reach your right leg, just hover it two inches off the floor, but try to get the arm really high. The leg stays low, the arm lifts high. And then lower down. And so again, it's arm.

Arm lifts high, leg stays low, but the leg stretches away. The fingers, the opposite fingers and the opposite toes reach away from one another. And then we go down. And again, left arm. Arm is high.

So, the height of the arm, the ability of the arm to lift past the shoulder is the secret to swimming. Notice, as you continue to shift from side to side, if your body's rocking back and forth, if your whole pelvis is moving back and forth, try to keep the pelvis steady, mmhmm. And so that might minimize your movement, and that's okay. And reach out and come back. We're gonna do just a couple more.

So, small, fluid or conscious movements. Not necessarily small. Think conscious is a better word. Mmkay, so let's lower everything down. Let's take the body off the ball.

And then just for a moment, just leave it where it is and just place your hands, one on top of the other, and let your head rest on your hands. And just feel what happens to the back in the place that the ball was, right? Or just bring your attention there, to the musculature as it softens and spreads, to the chest as it drops into the mat. And we're gonna bring the forearms, once again, just outside the body like we had when we have the ball. Wanna use your forearms, push into your forearms and lift up onto your knees.

Push into your forearms and lift up onto your knees. Yeah, just like that. Bring your knees in and sit back into your rest position. And we're gonna roll ourselves up. 'Kay, so, imaginary, energetic, outward pull, like you're trying to take your hands away from the ball.

Jim, lean towards me more. Yeah, now keep that imaginary outward pull as you start to bring the ball into the center of your chest. As the ball comes into the center of your chest, can you feel a light rising through the spine, the chest meeting the ball in space? I don't care how far it comes to you. Drop your shoulders down a little, Jim.

Yeah. Maybe take the ball lower. Yeah, that's gonna be better for you. And then easy, easy as you go out. So, light.

The ball is light. It's just the hands holding the ball in a light manner as the elbows try to bend and reach away. Feel the expansion. You could inhale here. Expand through the rib cage.

Feel the elongation, the lift of the spine. And then just allow the arms, again, to reach out in front of you. And just feel the relationship between arm bones and shoulder bones. You don't need to move your shoulders to move your arm. And there's no squeezing together here.

It's a broadening action. And now as we push the ball forward, we're gonna round the spine. So you bow forward, drop the hips back, stretch out through the arms, and then inhale, lift up. Bring the ball to you. Exhale, press the ball away. (breathes deeply) Deepening and curling back towards the heels.

And inhale, bring the ball to you. Nice and easy, nice and light, one more time. Exhale, abdominals pull back. We push the ball away. While you're there, put it down on the mat.

Bring your arms up in front of you, just as they were with the ball in them. Lift yourself up, flex through the heels of your hands. Open the arms like you're pushing something heavy. So we open, there's heavy draperies in our arms. From there, let the arms go real easy.

Float the arms overhead. Take the arms forward. And if you were leaning back to move your arms, which is totally acceptable, bring your body upright. Flex through the heels of your hands. Pull.

Pushing energetically out through the heels of the hands, out through the arm, you feel that action all the way out into the fingertips, press behind you, let the chest lift a little bit. Now take the energy out of the push. Lift the arms up, just float. Let the spine lift with the arms and take the arms down. You can just check in with sensation, right?

Check in with the sensation in your muscles. That tingling that some of us feel, most of us feel, that's a neurological feeling, right? And then as soon as we stop pushing, that can go away. And then we can just float. And then we're gonna do that one more time.

And bringing your awareness to your skin, right? Or not. Just noticing, taking time to notice your experience in your own body. It's a life lesson for me. Reach up.

And then just allow the arms from here, closing your eyes, just let your arms trickle down. There's no rule for the word trickle. It just is what it feels like to you. And notice, notice I'm still moving my arms. We're going really slow.

And then as your arms rest at your sides, again, take a moment with your eyes still closed or open and soft, just notice energetic flow, sensation. And then when you're ready, you can open your eyes. And we're done. (woman clapping)

Comments

5 people like this.
A second new Meredith's class on PA in two days! It must be 'Meredith's season on PA' and I like it! It can be a whole year like that.. ;) Another great workout, more basic; but here and there I like to go through fundamentals again. I always (re)learn something new. Thanks, Meredith! :)
1 person likes this.
Love Meredith! Glad to see more of your classes. Thanks...
Thank you, Meredith! I always appreciate a more deliberate pace with outstanding cueing. Your utilization of the squishy ball is terrific...be well...
1 person likes this.
Thankyou another great classof Fundamentals, with some tWISTS.
1 person likes this.
Great workout !!!
1 person likes this.
Wonderful! Thank you Meri! I have so many clients that will benefit doing prone extension work using the ball.
1 person likes this.
A great class, love the prone work with the ball :)
Thanks so much everyone!! I love hearing from you.
1 person likes this.
Thank you...I really loved this class, it was great. Also lots of wonderful new ideas to add in my classes. Very much appreciated.
1 person likes this.
Beautiful class, thank you!
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