Class #1912

Explore Mat on the Tower

65 min - Class


This mixed level Tower Workout by Karen Sanzo explores Mat concepts in non-traditional Tower exercises to help you build your strength and control in order to advance your practice. Designed for all body types and all levels, Karen's insightful cuing will help you find a deeper connection with the movement in your body.
What You'll Need: Tower, Hand Weights, Reformer Box

About This Video


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Hi, I'm Karen Sanzo. Today we're going to be doing a tower workout and it'll be a tower workout that utilizes some mat concepts to help us advance some of the exercises. I love the tower because it's like its own little circuit class. For today's class, we're going to start with the push through bar. In the down phase we have two arms springs, two yellow arms springs that are three up from the bottom.

Now your tower might be different than this one and I have handles on them, so you'll notice when we sit on the box closer that those handles will be about shoulder height and we have two purple legs springs that are just a little bit higher than that. We won't be changing these springs a whole lot, but we will be doing a tower sequence when the red spring will come from the bottom and I'll explain that when we get to that. We'll start this exercise by sitting on the long box. We're using the long box today in conjunction with the tower to provide us a little [inaudible] extra propping, if you will. We're going to take our hand weights sitting to the edge of the box a little bit. You're going to put the balls of your feet down and pull your feet back into the mat to get a hamstring connection.

Instead of always working from the front of the hip, the arms will start down by the side. Let's circle the shoulders up, back and down and up. Back and down and up. Back and down. Pause right there. Repress the balls of your feet down. Re pull your feet backwards to create a hamstring connection. Two straight arms come up in the air. Go. Inhale, arms up, knuckles. Face the ceiling. Exhale down five times. Inhale up straight. Elbows.

Exhale down. Be Mindful when you lift your arms that your head does not Bob forward two more times. Inhale and then down. Last time up. Inhale last time down. Exhale. Take your right arm up all by itself. Side bending to the left. Inhale side bending. Exhale, use your right oblique muscles to pull yourself up. And then again, inhale, right elbow stays straight. Head in line with the spine. Marine yourself up.

One more time. Inhale to side bend. Exhale to return. Take that right arm down. Regroup. Press the feet back. Pull the belly button in. Head in line with the spine. Left arm up. Inhale, side bend, right. Exhale, return as your side. Bend to the right. Press both of your feet down and back. And then return.

One more time. Side bend to the right. Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. Exhale. Bring your [inaudible] self all the way down. The arm comes down. Relax your feet down. Round your trunk. Oh words as you round four, take the weights right in front of your feet. Take an inhale, pull your shoulder blades a little bit back.

Press your feet down and forward. As you unwind your spine back to vertical, the arms will rise up in front of you til they're parallel to the floor. Take an inhale. As you exhale, the belly pulls back. The head follows the spine as you spine stretch forward. Take an inhale while you're down here. Exhale, press the feet down. Unwind your spine from your low back, rolling back, and then return yourself to vertical. The Palm. Stay parallel to the floor.

This time. Inhale on the way forward. Go. Inhale, open the back ribs. Make a long arc as you spine stretch forward. Exhale, stay there. Press the feet down. Pull your belly in. Take another inhale. Exhale, press down on wind your spine back to vertical. Take your arms all the way up in the air. Turn your palms out to the side and pressure arms down as you grow up, pulling the belly in. Rest the palms on your thigh or rest of the weights on your thigh.

Pause right here. Take an inhale now and then as you exhale, take the arms out in front of you. Again, turning the palms to the ceiling. Open up your fingers. Feel the weight of the weights. Challenge your trunk. Take an inhale here. As you exhale, lift your heels up again, the balls of your feet. Press down. Press your feet backwards into the barrel. Roll yourself backwards. Lots of connections to keep here. Pause right here. Take an inhale as you exhale without lifting your thighs, curl your trunk back up to a vertical and then stack up your spine.

Shoulders back. Inhale again. Exhale, roll back. I know your arms are getting a little bit tired. Hold right there. One rotation to the left. Turn and look at your left hand. Inhale. Exhale. Bring it back to center. Inhale, turn your body to the right. Exhale, come back to center. One more time. We can do it. Inhale to the left.

Exhale, back to center. One more time. Inhale to the right. Exhale back to center. Feel the quiver. Sit yourself all the way up. Relax the weight down. Beat flat. Scooching yourself to the edge of the box just a little bit. Now we're going to start our standing up series so the arms are down by your side. As you stand up, the weights will come in front of you, so you press your feet into the floor. Inhale, stand, exhale, sit.

Inhale, stand, press, heel, squeeze. Bottom. Exhale, sit. If you're a back archer, you need to know that you need to keep your ribs back. If you're a Tucker, you really need to link them through your thighs two more times up and then down last time up, and then last time down we add a lunge. Inhale up, left leg forward, right knee down. Stand up and back. Sit yourself down.

Inhale right leg forward, left knee down. Stand up. Come back. Sit down. Two more. Inhale, left leg. Come back. Sit down. Inhale. Right leg. Come back and down. Last one. Listen carefully. Inhale up. Exhale, Lung Jen, hold. Squeeze your butts.

Pull your rib packaging back. Head in line with your spine. Stand up tall and sit yourself all the way back. Last one. Stand whole right leg out. Hold whole belly button in, but it's engaged and then stand up. Sit yourself back and lower yourself down. Big Inhale. Exhale, pause. Stand yourself up. Turn yourself around.

Leave your weights on your box. We'll use them in just a little bit. Stand up tall. Take an inhale. Arms way up to the ceiling. Exhale, belly pulls in spine. Stretch forward. Think of Pike on the chair. Take your hands flat down onto the box. Your head is looking at your thighs. Lift your heels up. Exhale down. Inhale up. Exhale down. One more time. Go upstairs, pause right there.

Pull your hands towards your thighs if you how that makes a connection underneath your ribs and then slowly, slowly lower yourself down. Take your hands off the box, connect through your bottom here, and then unroll your spine as you bring yourself all the way up. Take an inhale here. As you exhale, your right leg lifts off you hip. Hinge forward on your left hip. You go down and you grab that right. Wait with your right hand. You stand up and you punch that way to the ceiling. Five Times one down two, don't rush three, squeeze your left, but for last time five, hold that weight up.

Their hip hinge forward, making a connection through which leg? The left one right weight comes down, right leg comes down. Stand yourself all the way up to arms. Come up in the air. Inhale, exhale there. Lower down keeping your trunk. Long left leg lifts up this time, right? But it stays engaged to be a little wobbly. It's okay. I am hip. Hinge your body forward. Take your left hand to the left weight. Try to keep that right leg straight in. Firm. Stand your body back up.

Take that left leg left arm up five times, one down, two down. Belly pulls in three right buttock stays engaged for last time. Five hold the weight up there, hip hinge forward. He'd been forward. And then put the weight down. Lower that weight down. Put your leg down. Bring yourself all the way back up to standing. Arms come all the way up.

Inhale, exhale, come all the way down. You of course can make this exercise harder by moving the box away and having to hip hinge all the way to the floor. Take the weights now. Just bring them on the floor for a second. Take your box and move it forward. Oh, maybe a foot or two. And then bring yourself back up to standing. Remember that standing is a relationship between your buttocks and your front ribs. And then take your arms all the way up tall. Take an inhale, palms face that wall in front of us spine.

Stretch forward until your palms come to the edge of the box. We're going into plank. Take your right leg back to the edge of this carpet. Take your left leg back to match. Take your body weight forward to a plank position and hold. Inhale. Exhale. One more time. Inhale, one more time. Exhale. Three pushups.

You guys, come on, bend elbows down. One, take your elbows towards your ribs. Two, don't lower your head. Just lower your body. Three, bring yourself up. Left leg comes in, right leg comes in trunk rounds. Tighten up your bottom using your lumbopelvic rhythm to unroll yourself all the way back up. Let's do that one more time or adding a side plank. Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, spine. Stretch forward. Hands to the edge of the box. Take your left leg out first. This time.

Take your right leg out. Bring yourself forward to a plank position and hold three pushups here. Go down and up. Elbows in towards your ribs. Last time down last time. Ah, listen carefully. Left-Hand in the middle of the box. Pivot your body towards me. Two feet.

Come to the edge of the carpet, right. Arms stacks up to the ceiling. Be careful here that you keep your ribs level and reach all the way up to the ceiling. Hold for five. Hold for four. Close your fingers. Push down as you reach up. Three, two, one. Woo. And bring yourself all the way back to plank. Hold. Guess what? Three pushups. Go down and up. Don't drop your head down and up.

Last time down. Last time up. Pause. Right hand to the middle of the box. Pivot your torso. Open your left arm to the ceiling. Palm faces front. Stretch both your elbows out. Squeeze your bottom hip up. Big Inhale, big exhale. Turn yourself back to the box. Step in with your left leg. Step in with your right leg. Tighten up your thighs.

Tighten up your buttocks on wind your spine all the way back up. Arms come all the way up. Inhale all the way down. Exhale and pause right there for our next exercise sequence, we're going to use the hand weights again and we're going to talk to our arms for some of our shoulder connections. So we're going to come to the back of the box in this direction. Now I'm going to put one weight down on the left and I'll put one way down on the right.

I like the box here because it allows me to put the box right where my hip crease is. So I'm gonna go ahead and lie down on my tummy. My knees may go back or your knees, knees may go back further depending on how tall you are. And I'm just going to rest my shins down. I'm going to start with my right hand underneath my forehead. Looking down left-hand grabs that weight.

It comes out to the side like a t. Inhale and exhale, just hold that arm. Make sure your knuckles are facing straight ahead, almost like you're punching something beside you. And now we're just going to hold again and we're going to hold some more. And now we're going to pulse the arm, not up, but we're going to go down a little bit and then just come up to that spot one down a little bit too. We we're going to five, three, four last time, five and hold. Now while you hold the hold, I'm going to say there's a little cotton ball under your belly button. Kind of vacuum up that little cotton ball with your belly button. And then we're going to do five more pulses down. Lift up one.

Are you overworking your neck or can you talk to your shoulder blades? Stability behind the shoulder blades as we move the arms. Two more. Last one and put that weight down. [inaudible] that's enough of that. That's a tough one. Take your left hand down on the box. Look your forehead right down there on your hand. Take your right arm, get that weight on the right side, vacuum up that little cotton ball.

Take your right arm out to the side and knuckles face straight ahead. Hold. Inhale, exhale, hold. If you feel like you're overworking your neck into extension, then ever so gently press your forehead down like you're going to look towards your chest and that will give you a little flection force in your spine that minimize any extension activity that your neck might want. Ready to start the movement down a little bit, up a little bit, down and up, down and up. Three more and up. Two more and last one and hold as you hold here.

Pressure Shins down. Vacuum in your belly button. Inhale, big. Exhale, lower that arm all the way down. Put the weight down and then bring yourself up. Push yourself up on your box, set your buttocks back just a little bit and reach your arms way for forward to your forehead. Touches the box, kind of relax your shoulder blades and now pressure palms down. Lift your head up, but still look at the box so you're not looking in front of you. You're just making a nice long spine. Pull your belly in.

Start to curl your bottom underneath you. Your hands will drag back on the box and then you'll bring yourself all the way up to high Neely. Take an inhale here, arms up, palms face each other. Turn the palms away from you. As you push your palms down, the crown of your head reaches law. Very good. For our next sequence, we're going to take the long box, bring it closer to the tower end. This may take just a second to get set up because everybody's body size is a little bit different. So we're going to sit on the edge of the box grabbing your arm springs that have the handles on them.

So I can already tell that my box is a little too close. So I'm just going to take the time here, move my box and back about an inch or two. Okay. Now be very mindful here that when you pull these straps back, you don't want to Jut your ribs or your spine forward. So open up your collarbones. Let's do this with the shoulder.

Shrug your shoulders up a little bit back a little bit in down a little bit. Should have just a tiny little tension on the spring. Please look straight ahead and don't use your neck muscles to circle your shoulder blades. You feel the difference between that so you don't want to overwork your neck muscles at the expense of your shoulder blades. Now, traditional chest expansion, two arms pull back. Inhale, exhale, release. We'll just the arm portion anyway. Inhale arms, pull back. Feel how your ribs might want to move forward as you pull your arms back.

One more time, pulling hold. Now pull your right arm more than your left and twist your trunk to the right as you twist to the right. Notice how your ribs might want to share forward and don't let them and then release yourself back to center. Release arms. Pull two arms. Now pull the left arm more than the right and twist your trunk.

But the right shoulder blade still has to stay back. The right shoulder blade still has this day back hold. And then return yourself all the way back to center. Release your arms, take your feet, move your body back just a smidge so you're on the balls of your feet again. And again, this is in order to pull your feet backwards to get a hamstring connection. Pull your arms back a little bit. Inhale, exhale, start to roll backwards. Just a smidge notice here that the legs want to lift up, but we're not doing teaser. We're just rolling the spine.

So press the feet down and back. Much like we do on the low chair. And then bring yourself all the way up. Stack up your spine. We'll just do that one more time. Inhale, lengthen spine. Exhale, roll back a little bit. Stop right there. Now inhale, roll backwards. Open the back lungs. Exhale, stay. Inhale, roll backwards more. Open up the diaphragm, back ribs, and then exhale. Bring yourself all the way forward. Feet come down, arms pull back as the body rounds forward. Stretch both your elbows, law, big inhale. Release your arm slowly with connection. Unwind the spine, back up to vertical, and then stack your spine up. Good. Move yourself forward just a little bit. Now this next sequence here will kind of mimic our stomach massage on the reformer.

We know that that's kind of a tough exercise, so I'm going to start to build it here for some of my beginner clients. So going to take the balls of your feet on this push through bar that has no spring on it. Let's work the legs first, so just hold the handles in your strap. We'll use those in just a little bit so your heels are lifted and bend knees towards your chest. Now right here. You have to make a decision. Are you comfortable here or do you need to move back or forward? I think you both look good. So press away.

Squeeze your thighs together like that Ziploc bag, and then exhale. Bend. Inhale, press. Exhale, bend, pause. Now inhale here. Exhale, stretch. Inhale, bend. Very good. Lower the legs down. Now lift up the heels again. We're going to work the arm portion, arms pulled back your trunk rounds forward, so feel the rib cage pulled back. Feel the crown of the head.

Go to the wall in front of you with straight elbows as you stack up your spine. Still Push your arms back though on wind, and then release the arms. You're ready. Now we're going to put it all together. So two feet on the bar. Start with your knees polled in. Start with no tension on the spring so the legs press out as the arms pull back.

Go. Inhale, exhale. Keep the flection of the spine. Inhale, legs and arms go away. Exhale, they release. Come in, three more. Inhale, and then exhale. Two more arms. Pull back. Keeping that flection floors under your ribs. Exhale, come in last time. Inhale, press. Exhale, stay. Hold the arms, bend the knees in. Think chest on thighs. Hold hundred beats. Go. Inhale and exhale. Pull your shoulder blades back. He inhale.

Can you pull the knees in further as you round the trunk? Further forward? We're not going to do 102 more sets. Inhale, are you dropping your head or are you curling your spine? We want the answer most of the time to be be curling the spine last time in half. And then last time, exhale, release the legs out. Press the arms as you stack up your spine. Take your feet away and bring your legs down.

That was the flection part of the stomach massage. We're going to do the length and part next. Oftentimes when we use the tower, we don't want the tower bar to go past the two metal uprights, but in this situation it's okay because there's no spring attached to it, so it's not going to fly or snap or anything. Okay, so now let's work the up phase. Take the arms away. You may need to sit back just a little bit so you have a little bit of tension on the straps. So in this position, I'm going to turn and look at you to be sure your vertical. You can kind of eyeball each other there you good? Pull your belly back and then pull your right arm back a little bit from your shoulder blade, and then it releases. Take your left arm back.

Look at your wrist. Please make sure that your wrist are not an extension, so it's not that you're pulling your hand back, it's that your shoulder blades are pulling in. The springs just happened to stretch. Can you feel the difference between that and then take your arms down two feet on the tower bar. The arms come back up in the air again. The knees are bent. So here we go. In this position again. So lift those heels. Your chest is open. You're not Leigh. There you go. Now, arms pull back as the legs. Press out. Inhale. Exhale, release blades. Pull. Not the neck.

It's not a neck exercise. Two arms, bull, two legs. Push. Release three more times. Inhale, big. Exhale, release. Last to inhale and then release. Last time. Inhale. Exhale, hold, pause. Pull your right arm a little bit more than your left. Twist to the right. Oh, I just threw this in. Pull the leftover more than your right. We always like rotation. Come back in, feet come down and back springs come away. Nice job.

Let's put the springs down. Take your push through bar. Take it in front. Attach the spring from the top. Move yourself back just a little bit. Have your hands on the bar. Just press the bar down a little bit. You're not really going to push it all the way through. You May, but be sure you have enough clearance there. Do you have enough clearance there?

You can just move back a little bit. So have your collarbones be open. So we know, right? We know that we don't want to shear forward in those ribs, right guys? So that's it. So you're gonna press the feet down. And from here you're just going to challenge the spine by straightening and bending the elbows. Inhale. Exhale. One more time, and then come up again. Hold right here. So not a tough exercise, but a nice exercise. When you let go of your left arm, feel all the information on the right side of your body. Press your right arm three times. Go down and up, down and up.

Don't round the shoulder, down and up, left side, down and up and down and up. And last time come up and pause right there. Let the bar come up towards the ceiling. Take your fingers and put your thumb right here in the webspace or the webspace of your thumb here, and turn your hands towards your pinkies. This encourages your shoulder blades to kind of do upward rotation as your arms reach upward.

Notice in this position how there's a tendency to want to throw the head back and just fall forward. But we don't want that to happen. So we're going to have our head be nicely in line with the spine and we're going to hip hinge, solar. And then bring yourself back and then hip hinge fullard and bring yourself back. And now let the Margo let the spring catch it just for a second. Take your two feet, put them on the outside, right on the down below the mat.

Squeeze your heels into the box and make a mental note of where your vertical spine is. You'll notice in this position here that with my feet down on the floor, I've cut myself about four inches of slack to not aggravate the hips. Okay, so we're going to do this again. We're going to go all the way through. Bar presses down. Take an inhale, exhale, the bar goes forward. The crown of your head goes towards the wall in front of you. Pause right here. Pull your heels into the box. Take an inhale. As you exhale, your tailbone drops down as you unwind your spine to vertical.

Receive vertical with your spine and then bend your elbows without leaning back. Look straight ahead. Now take the bar up in the air, thumb that webspace right there, and now hinge yourself forward so that if I had a stick behind your spine, you wouldn't be just arching your back like this, right? But you'd be pulling your belly in, keeping that back ribs and the front ribs equally lifting off the pelvis. Let's stay here. Add rotation to the left. A left arm comes up in the air. Twist your trunk to the left. Now pull your belly back, lengthen your back ribs. Pull those ribs back more and more, more and more and more good, and then that arm comes down.

Twist your trunk to the right. As you twist, you really have to keep connection with the front of the body so you don't just dump forward, but you pull your ribs back and that's what allows you the rotation and then bring yourself back. Here's my favorite part of this workout right here. We're building into a backbend. Typically on the tower unit or the Cadillac, we do the back bend flat down on the Mat. This time you can watch me one time. I'm going to bring my buttocks to the end of the box and that will allow my head to go down as I lift my buttocks up into a bridge.

That's going to be the first part, and then I lower down. Then I'm going to lift my buttocks up. Let my chest lengthen. End. My head goes back. If I can, I lift up. If I can't, I just keep my head down and go from there and then I'll bring myself up to sit in. Thank you. Got that. Okay. Bring your buttocks to the edge of the box. We'll do it together.

Really have to be at the edge of the box so that when you roll down, you lengthen your lumbar spine and your head comes to the edge of the box. Open up the chest, just a little bridge. First, press your feet, lift your butt. Engage your buttocks. Don't throw your head back and then put the bottom down and then again, lift your hips. Engage the buttocks. Now start to puff the chest stuff. Start to roll your head back. Look behind you. Stay right there. Inhale, Xcel head looks to the ceiling. Spine comes back down, and then you guys go ahead and try that one more time. I'll talk you through it. Bend your knees are bent. Press your feet down, lift up your buttocks.

Squeeze that buttocks. Pull your shoulder blades back to the math. Puff your chest as you bring the crown of your head to the box. Good. Smiling. Hold. Maybe you lift up. Maybe you don't. Doesn't matter. Hold. Connect through your buttocks. Very nice. Drop the buttocks down. Flatten out the neck. Very good. Roll down. How about one more?

Press the feet. Engage the buttocks. Lift the buttocks in. Pause. Get that butt thigh connection. Good. And then the head looks back. The chest puffs up. That's it. Hold right there. Squeeze that buttocks and then buttocks comes down. Spine comes down. And then bring yourself all the way up to sitting. Woo.

Very good. Okay, let's get rid of these boxes and the weights. Taking this yellow spring with the handle. He'll take it out in front of you like this. Now let's do this with the shoulders. Shrug the shoulders up and then relax them down and shrug the shoulders up and just relax them down.

So take your right hand behind your back and open up your right shoulder blade by pulling your right elbow back. This left arm now pulls across your body, but your spine doesn't move on an inhale. Here we go. Inhale, exhale, release. You can adjust your body accordingly if the spring tension is too heavy or too light. Inhale and exhale. Two more times. Inhale, trying not to shrug your shoulders. One more time. Pull across and hold right there. Press your two legs away from each other. Feel the connection in the outer part of your thighs and then release right there. We're going on now to hug a tree.

I'm going to move to the right just a little bit so I have a little more attention in my spring. Elbows are lifted. Shoulder blade stay. Inhale, pull hands towards each other. Exhale, arms release only so the blades are staying and then the arms pull. You need a little more of a challenge. Go ahead and close your legs all the way. Inhale Pole. This can be your choice in your variation. As long as you stay with this exercise. One more time. Pull and hold.

You'll notice your left arm is tired, but you'll also notice the left side of your trunk is engaged. I call this next exercise, drive the school bus. I'm going to take this big circle, the school bus steering wheel and twist it to the right and then return it to center. Inhale, twist, exhale, return. I'm going to move to the left because this is a little bit too heavy for me. Big School bus, and then inhale, twist, exhale, return last time. Inhale, twist, and then exhale, return, and then release the strap down.

Little interlude here before we continue left hand on the push through bar. Lengthen up through your spine, right arm comes up in the air. Inhale, side bend, and Exhale, release. Keep doing this. I'm going to talk to your body. Okay. Inhale, side bend, exhale, release. Try not to lock anything up. Let's use this as mobility for the breath and mobility for the spa. And then let's do inhale over. Exhale, stay.

Inhale, rotate. Right hand reaches, all the way to left as if you're going to look underneath your left armpit. Stay twisted. Breathe again. Exhale, untwist, but stay side bent and then return yourself all the way up. Release this bar now take your left leg out. Take your right arm down. Sidekick kneeling, ish. Looking straight ahead.

Tighten up the undersurface of your right buttocks and lift your left leg up in the air. Take your right hip crease forward. Hold. Flex that left foot lifted up and down. Five Times one, two. Yes, it's difficult. Three four is Lynn making a phase five. Bend your left knee. Bring yourself all the way up. Narrow the knees, hand on the bar again, right Arma. Inhale over. Exhale, twist. Let this push through bar kind of push your shoulders back into the socket and then twist your body untwist. Face the front.

Resist yourself all the way back up. Left leg out. One more time. Take your body over to sidekick kneeling and we'll progress now to front and back. So lift this left Lega. You should be connected through your left buttocks. Flex that heel two times. Forward. Forward two point toe. Squeeze, buttocks back.

Inhale, flex heel. Exhale, point toe, keeping your right hip crease forward. And then last two point toe back. Last one forward. Last one back. Bend the knee. Push yourself up, and then bring yourself all the way to vertical. Take the handle again. Take your left hand behind your back, lift up your right elbow, and then push the spring out and then it resist to look at you. Lead with your elbow.

Go ahead and look at that arm as you punch it out there and then resist it in and then it comes across your body. You'll notice here that I'm not moving my spine, but though you need lateral movement of one arm gives my spine the impression that is it indeed moving, but here it's not. It's just giving it a challenge. Lift, press, return and back. I'm the world's worst counter. Two more times. Reach and press. Return and back. Last time, pull and press return and back.

Other side. Put that handle down. Turn yourself around. Grab the spring in your right hand. Take your left hand behind your back. Why do I have that hand back there so that you can tell that left elbow to pull behind you and it'll kind of open up that front of your left chest. Take your right arm out in front of you. Straight elbow, arm pushes across your body and then release as you push pressure two legs apart so that you feel this ab eduction force in your hips.

Can you feel that a little bit in your hips? Two more times, your reach and return last time, reach, hold big. Inhale, exhale, pause there. Drop both your shoulders, pull your tummy in, engage through your thighs, and then release and let that arm go down and pause. Hug a tree. That arm comes out. Again. I'm going to move to the left just a smidge. Bend your elbows a little bit out to the sides and then inhale, big. Exhale, hug. Inhale Open.

You'll lose a little tension on the spring and then you'll go back and get the tension again. Remember your buttocks. Remember if your ribs like to shear forward, you'd be sure and pull that whole rib packaging back so that your ribs are indeed over the back of your pelvis. And then one more time, pull closed, hold, lace your fingers, make your big school bus driving wheel, and then inhale to the left. Exhale, return as you rotate to the left. To be very mindful that you keep your spine vertical good. And then two more times rotate to the left, keeping your eyes looking right at that handle that ensures that you don't twist your head off, but that you twist your trunk.

And then let's do this one more time. As you twist to the left, push your right leg to the right and then return yourself all the way back. Let that arm go. That's a tough exercise. Take your right arm on the push through bar. Take your left arm up in the air side, bend to the right. Inhale big, and then exhale, return.

So when I say we don't think too much about this, I just don't want you to get locked down and then come up. We're using this just as a mobility break. Inhale side bend length and left ribs. Exhale, come back up one more time. Inhale, side bend. Exhale, pause. Now twist your body on an inhale. Touch your right hand with your left one. Let the weight of that bar kind of push your shoulders back and then twist your trunk any bit more.

Adding it a little bit of flection like you're going to look underneath your right armpit. Open up your chest, stay side bent face in front, and then return yourself up to vertical. Release that Bar, the left hand is going out to the mat, right leg coming out. Long right arm to the ceiling. Hold big. Inhale, lift that right leg up in the air. Take your left hip crease forward, tightening up your left buttocks, and then lift that right leg up and down. Now engage both your arms here, y'all both your arms with fingers closed. Arms tight belly in two more. Last Time Ben, that right knee. Push up with your left arm.

Bring yourself back up, hand on the bar. Press the bar down, left arm up. Inhale to side bend. Inhale, exhale to return three times. Don't let that right shoulder shrug up. When you return. [inaudible] you go, and then last time side bend over. Exhale, pause right there. Lengthen the crown of your head towards the wall. And now inhale, twist your body. Touch your right hand with your left one. Look underneath your armpit and then untwist, face that wall in front of you and then bring yourself all the way back.

Very good side bend, kneeling. Take the arm out, right leg comes out. You can take that right arm to the ceiling where you can keep the hand on your hip. It's your choice. Lift the right leg up in the air. Hold and pause. Left hip crease forward. Swing the leg forward for two and back for two. Inhale and exhale. Pull your belly and inhale. Press your left Shin down. That's the kneeling leg. Two more times connecting through your left buttocks.

And then last time forward, last time back. Bend that knee. Push yourself all the way up and pause right there. Turn and face your tower. Let's come to standing. Take that tower spring off from the top and trade it for the safety strap. So on these units, we will put the safety strap on and we'll count out five holes. One, two, three, four, five. And we'll hook this right there.

We're getting ready for tower spring load from the bottom. You'll find your red spring. You'll watch out that you don't hit your head, of course, and you'll put your spring loaded from the bottom. So we're going to lie on our back underneath the tower this way it'll take a second just to get set up. So as you set yourself up, the spring tension isn't huge, but your heels are on the bar and it's tension enough that it'll kind of seat your hip sockets down. Take both of your hands and put them on your thighs and feel how we can just be here and not engage, right.

Or we can start to tighten our muscles towards the bone and firm up the knees and from up the quadriceps, put your hands on your ribs. Take an inhale the ribs expand side to side, and then exhale the ribs come in, the belly comes in, the legs. Stay firm. Take your arms down by your side. I'm a fan of the karate chop arm. You may have seen that in another tutorial where I press the, the the Pinky side of the finger down to get that tricep lat connection. So we're just gonna do a little bend and a little press.

So what's gonna happen here is it doesn't feel like it's a lot of work for the legs, but it's a lot of education for the body. Remember, Palladio's is all about communication. It's all about the relationship that you're creating with your body. We'll do this two more times and then last time, straighten that leg, straighten those legs up and hold them. Take your right leg down in a way from you. Flex the heel. Tighten up both your legs. So from here now, if you how your right leg is challenging your trunk to how the left leg is challenging you to hold that pelvis stable. Take an inhale, turn your palms down. Exhale, curl your trunk.

Round your torso forward as if you're going to do a hundred beats. Hold right here. Inhale, exhale. Lower your trunk down. Take that right leg back up to the bar. Pause right there. Karate. Chop the hands. Re-Engage your triceps and your lats without shearing your ribs forward.

Take your left leg long in a way only to the distance that you feel you can keep it. Take an inhale, palms turned down. Exhale, pause this time. Inhale and curl up so you open the back body. Inhale, firm up the legs right here. Exhale, lower down and then take that leg back up. One more variation here. Inhale. Exhale. Right leg lowers again. Now this time keeping that right leg long bend and stretch the right leg by itself. Remember that cotton ball, but I asked you to pull into your belly button. Do that again. There's no magic number here. Creating relationship for strength.

Last two, last one. Take that right leg back. Sit down the seat of your buttocks as that bar presses your thigh bone down. Take the left leg away and then bend and straighten. You could do this exercise without being engaged, but we know right ladies that we're engaged. Two more times. Bend and press last time. Ben, last time, press and pause. Lift up the head. Curl the trunk.

One more time. Roll your body all the way back down. Take two feet on. Now move your feet to the balls of your feet and let your toes rest over that bar. Kind of like bird feet on the reformer. Let the bar come down a little bit so that you feel your heat. Ooh, there you go. Curl those toes over there. There you go. There's bird feet. Now look, bend, and then push the bar away.

Creating relationship. It's not a big leg press, but it's certainly the mechanics of a leg. Press one more time. Bend one more time. Press and pause. Now look, move your feet down even lower to the ball's of your toes and then flex your heels. And then as you point in your toes pointing, I think that's a new word pointing. So as you point your toes, reach the toe pads. Almost like you're sucking the arches up and then release the toes. Flex your ankle. Did you use your neck to do that exercise? I hope not. Point your feet. Then point your toes hold, tighten up your leg muscles. Big Inhale, exhale, release all the way back down.

Bend your knees slowly let the safety strap kind of catch that bar. And then lower your two feet down. Pause right here. Karate. Chop the Mat. Open up your collar bones. Let's go ahead and bend the elbows just for a second. Press your upper arm bones down. Open your forearms to the side.

This is just a classic way to kind of stretch your shoulders. So open and close those forearms. Good. And then karate. Chop the mat and then lift your bottom up into a lower bridge, not a high bridge, just a low bridge. Take your two hands and come and touch your bottom and make sure that that bottom is engaged before you lift your butt any higher. We do not want to arch the back of super amount here.

You just want to stay connected into your buttocks and then roll your shoulder blades down first and pause. Re-Engage the feet pressing down as you roll the trunk the rest of the way down. Last time, press the feet down. You can either karate chop the hands or the palms can press down. As long as you don't round your shoulders, you're looking right up at the ceiling. Take your finger, Pitt, your, your finger pads and Kinda touch your buttocks and make sure that the buttocks is engaged.

And then take the time to lengthen that spine all the way down without rounding the shoulders. Lengthen your spine all the way down. Well that's a good one. Let's do that one more time. Press the feet and lift up because in addition to working in the back of your buttocks, the bridge really helps you lengthen the front of your thighs. I hope you can feel that as well. And then slowly lower yourself down. So we just lengthen the back of the thighs.

You're going to turn to your right and face me, we lengthen the front of the thighs and now we're going to get ready to do a hip open, but we're going to do it from this end of the tower. So I'm going to eyeball the distance so that when I put my leg underneath this bar and I may need to change it and I am going to start with my leg in the up shape. [inaudible] so I'm hip over hip. The turnout of my knee is from my thigh musculature. It's not from my foot. So as I turned my knee out, I talked to my thigh, I bring my bottom leg back to kind of touch something.

I don't get it caught in the spring because I want to keep a long in the front of my trunk, keeping my, my abdominals long and strong here. So I'm going to bend this knee just to Chad and I'm going to hold that there as I bend this knee. This left thigh is saying I'm going to externally rotate from my external rotators in the back of my bottom in the back of my backside, and then I'm going to kind of push up and Ben, I'm not going to straighten my leg to start with all the way. I'm going to do this little pumping action so that I can feel the action behind my buttocks. You ladies have it back there? Yeah. Okay. A couple more. Now I'm going to straighten my leg all the way in.

I'm gonna ask myself this question. If I straighten my leg all the way and just lock my knee, everything gets lost. And it's just, it's just hyperextended and it's all jiggly. But if I stay firm and straighten my leg and really feel the action of both my quadriceps and my hamstrings and my extra rotators, then my glutes get a lot happier. And now from here we're going to bend to three and link then to three and you can hear my voice change as the exercise gets tougher.

And we'll do three more and press two, three and two more. And press two, three and last time and press two, three and pause. And then I'm going to bend my knees or my left knee. Come all the way in. The strap will catch it and lower that leg down. Bend your knees in like a chair. One of my favorite exercises here. So I'm in a chair shape 90 degrees at my hips, 90 degrees at my knee.

Take my left hand, put it right in my booty here so I can feel the connection here to my thought. I'm going to lift this left leg until it's in line with the position of my hip and as I do this here, now this leg is not going to lower down. It's going to stay at this height. And then from here I'm going to raise it up and then just lower it to the hip height, up and down, up and down. Now right here I'm going to say that there's no magic number and I say that because I want to fatigue this muscle here without changing my form.

So I'm getting tired, so I'm going to guess your getting a little tired and I'm gonna do five more and four and three and two and one. The leg is still parallel to the floor and it kick it out in front of me. Flexing the foot, working here five times one, two, they may be making faces behind me. Three and four and five. The toe comes down, the heel comes up to pull the belly in. Three cotton ball vacuums in four and five last one, toe up, heel down, two, three and four and five rest the leg.

Now we're going to take the body and move it forward just a little bit. Take this right arm out in front of me, and then I'm just gonna open up my chest as I opened the chest. I'm going to take my right hand and put it on top of my left thigh and I'm gonna take my left hand and put it right on top of my left ribs like I'm unwinding myself. Can you feel that nice stretch in the back of your hips for the muscles that we just worked? Inhale again, and I'm keeping my arms close in so I just don't use my overwork, my shoulders to stretch my spine and my hips. And then go ahead and lie onto your back and turn to the other direction.

Take your right heel under the bar and push it up. Now the closer your foot is, come on down, Lynn, just a little bit. Take your right foot a little bit closer to the spring there and then press the bar up the top leg a little bit closer towards. Yeah, there you go. And then press up and then put your head back down. And sometimes the closer your leg is to the front portion of the bar, you have more access to your hip if your hips a little bit tight. So take your bottom leg and stretch it long behind you.

It's not really behind you, it's really just in line till it Kinda touches that pole or something down there. And then now from your rate glutes, you're going to turn your side out a little bit, press a little bit, and then straighten. So you're doing what I call here, kind of milk the motion. Okay, so you're not really bending your leg all the way or straightening it all the way and you can do it little, actually a little bit quicker. You're just getting some information into the back of your hip. Can you kind of feel that there? Do that a couple more times. Check in with your trunk cat. Check in with your ribs.

We're hitting the home stretch now. Girls go up and stay up. Hold that up phase there. Tighten up that right leg muscle. And now slowly bend your knee. Three counts. So Ben, two three and press two, three. If it gets quivery it's okay. And then press two, three, three more times. Inhale and then press squeeze your muscles tight into the bone and then bend and press your left leg down to the floor as you press your right leg away.

Last time in. And then last time, press hold. Pulling your belly button in, relaxing the top of your body and your neck. And then slowly lowering that leg all the way down till the strap catches it. Bend your knees, bring them in like chair. It's really important in this exercise that you're in neutral.

You don't want to Tuck your bottom underneath you or over your back. Take your hand right to your buttocks on the top part there. Lift your right leg up till it's about level with your hip. And then here we go. Just 10 times up, down a little bit slower. So the leg is going towards the ceiling, not towards your face and not towards the wall, away from you to the ceiling.

Five more. Four. Relax your neck, three, two, and then one kicked the leg out in front of you. Straighten that leg and then go live for five, four. Don't rock. Don't rush. Three, two, and one. Toe Down. Heel up five and lift from the back of your buttocks for three, two, one, toe up, heel down, five for, don't rock back for four oh four good. Here's three. There you go to last time. One, bend the knee and rest.

We'll move yourself to the front of the mantle just a little bit. Take your left arm out in front of you and then open up your right arm. But don't let that shoulder just wig out. Just let it open up your ribs and then Ben, that right arm and put it right on your right ribs. Take your left arm, put it on your, the top of that right thigh and just unwind those two pieces here. Inhale again, and then exhale, and then one more time and then exhale.

Very good. Let's bring ourselves up to seeing sitting. Take your spring off from the bottom. Take your safety strap off. We're almost done here. Sit Yourself. Nice up tall. Take an inhale. Roll yourself slowly down to the mat. Shoulders back, Lillian.

Lie Yourself all the way down to the mat. Let's take your purple spring from the left. Put both of your feet in this purple spring. Squeeze your heels together. Open your feet out. Put your hands on your pole and move yourself down.

That gives you a little a spacing, but I don't like you to keep your hands up there when you do this exercise because I don't want to invite an extension force in the spine. So I like to have your arms be down by your side. So pressure, legs out long. Push your feet apart in the straps. You should feel the outside of your hips a little bit. Can you feel that? Okay, now look, the spring coming from the left, right, left, okay, from the left. Take your legs at that right diagonal now.

So now you're coming to this right down. You should feel a diagonal from the left side of your trunk through your pelvis to your right leg. You with me there and then bring it back up towards the center. So it's not a exercise with the spring because it's two springs only on, I mean two legs on one spring, but it gives a nice awareness to what's happening with your trunk as we prepare for corkscrew legs. So go down with two legs, bring the legs to the left, let him come back up with resistance as they come back to center. Pause, reverse. Press your feet apart in the straps. Use your legs to go down. S keep a nice long core as your legs switched to the other side and bring yourself back up. Reverse. Inhale, exhale. Come around and up last time.

Inhale, exhale down, around and up. Okay, Ben, both of your knees. Let both of your knees go to the opposite side of the spring, the soles of your feet face the left and let the weight of your knees go towards the Mat and let the spring kind of pull your feet up. But then sit your left pelvis down a little bit so it gets a nice little pole. I can kind of Nagle my feet this way. So I'm getting a little stretch in the front of my hips as I resist back with my left buttocks and then I take myself out of there.

Take my feet out. [inaudible] two springs, I mean two feet. Go into the handle on the right side. Have that strap be low enough so that when you push your feet apart, you really feel the outside of your hips. Okay? Again, when your legs are out here, be mindful that they're not just resting in the straps. Your, your feet are simply a vehicle for the straps. Okay? Your legs and your thighs and your cores. What's engaged? It's a relationship. You Ready? Spring coming from the right, it's going to left, diagonal down and then bring it right back up to where it started.

Going down to the left diagonal, keeping the pelvis heavy and then come back up. Now we add a circle. Inhale down, circle it around. Resistance did on the way. Baca reversed out, down. Resisted scooping in that belly and coming back up. One more time to the left and down circle and come back up. And then last time to the right and down circle and bring it back up to knees bend. They go to the left, the two feet go to their right.

Hm. So yearned back with your right pelvis. Those feet can go out. So the springs pulling it, reaching long through your head, thighs, and then bring yourself all the way back up. And then take the feet out, roll to your right side, bring yourself back up, turn and face your straps. So in this next exercise we're going to put the straps on our thighs and we're going to work the abdominal sequence here. So sometimes, um, I don't know if you have these kinds of straps here. Sometimes there's some straps when the thighs are a little bit heavier, it lets you pull all these all the way up on the thighs.

So we have some extra straps here. Put these on. So I'm going to make sure y'all are set up and then I'll get set up. So when you lie down, go ahead and lie down and make sure that you can pull at least one of your legs to a 90 degree angle. Your arms are down by your side. [inaudible] so again, the reason why I don't like the arms always up over the head because a lot of people like their arms up over the head. It gives them a false sense of strength and they might go into extension, especially if you love extension. Okay? So be sure when the straps are on and you lift your leg. Okay.

That the hip socket is actually seated down. Do you feel as a challenge in your trunk? Okay. And then go ahead and rest your legs down. I'll join you now. Oh goodness. Bring yourself back up please. Because this happens often, these springs moved down to the low level. Oh my goodness. That would've been tough. Okay. It's good.

We see that so that everybody forgets to change their sprees and all of a sudden they wonder why they can't do it. Industry, interestingly enough, sometimes we can't do an exercise because our body's not ready for it. Okay. Then we have to build it arms down by the side. Take an inhale. As you exhale, take your right leg up to a tabletop. Make sure that that strap is there so that when you come up to that tabletop, your hip flexor is pulling you, but your trunk muscles are stabilizing you. Can you guys feel that right there? Hold that leg there. Release it just a little bit away. Lift in your belly. Do a key goal.

The low pelvic floor lift as you pull in. Again, inhale, release a little bit. Exhale, Paul. Now can you guys take your hands to the ceiling so that you feel whether or not you want to use your arms to help you? Can you feel how this is a little bit tougher just with the arms to the ceiling? Let's do that two more times and then last time and then go ahead and put that right leg down, left leg lifts, stabilize, and then pull and release.

Keep doing this while I just chat with your body a little bit. Make sure when you pull and release, you are not changing the shape of your pelvis. I'm not doing this pull, release, pull, release, but I'm staying broad in my torso. My back ribs are heavy, but they're not smashed down and then put that leg down. Woo. These are tough. You ready to move on? Take the right leg up. Here's the tricky part here. If you can hold the right leg, do a deep Kigo.

Pull your belly in and lift the second leg up without lurching. Then you can do it. If you can't do it, you keep that left leg down and you hold right there. Take your hands behind your head, lift your head right, curl your trunk. Hold the trunk curl. Pull one leg or both legs towards you. Go one to five times three and four and five.

Now hold the legs, Curl your checkup five times one and two, three pelvic floor and then five and then lower your body all the way down. Start with the left leg first. This time, lift up the left leg. If you can lift the second leg, you do so or you keep the left leg up with the right leg downs, you always give yourself a little check. Hands behind the head, lift your head, curl the trunk, two knees or one knee. Pull in, go five and four, three and two and one trunk lifts up. One belly pulls into your using your trunk, not your neck, three and four and five and everything lowers all the way down. Very good. Ooh. Let's take those straps off and bring yourself up to sitting.

Turn around now and lie on your tummy. After we work the hip flexors and the trunk flexors, I like to lengthen the mount. Final exercise, arms underneath your armpits, forehead down. Lengthen out your legs. You make the connection from your buttocks and your thighs, your toes rest down on the mat. Push your hands down, pull your elbows back, lift up into swan like you're trying to stretch this mat long and then exhale. Pull your hands towards your pelvis and lie yourself down. Engage your legs. Please. Inhale, lift up. Exhale, hold Ben, both of your knees.

Push yourself up to a kneeling plank. Sit your buttocks back towards your heels. Take your body forward. Lift your feet up in the air. Let the hip creases come forward. Look right in front of you. Bend your elbows. Lower your thigh crease down. Take your elbows into your sides. Lower your belly down. Lower your trunk down.

Straighten your legs. Move your hands further back. Get a bigger lengthening in the front of your body. Press your hands away from you, your elbows reach back. Inhale, lift the chest. Exhale. Bend the knees. Stretch the front of the body. Push yourself up to a kneeling plank. Bring your body back.

Bring your body forward. Pull your tummy and lift the feet up. Squeeze your feet together. Hold. Think of down. Stretch in the reformer. Lie Your thighs down. Open the chest. Please open the chest. Bend your elbow slowly. Squeeze your buttocks as you slowly, slowly, slowly lower yourself down, and then bring yourself up one last time. Take your feet the way under you. Excuse me, your knees under you.

Open your knees as wide as the mat. Sit yourself down just a little bit. Bow Your head, inhale big, and then exhale on wind yourself back up. Put your hands on your thighs, open up the chest, and there we go.


3 people like this.
I love your classes, Karen, and this one is no exception: innovative exercises and -as always- impeccable cueing!
Thank you
Karen Sanzo
Sabine!!!! I'm delighted you like this tower workout. Thanks for commenting.
Lynn S
1 person likes this.
Love it love it. Great ideas for working with heavier clients. Thank you.
Nimisha C
1 person likes this.
This is such a great & creative workout Karen, as always! Great concepts and connections... & for me it was thinking "out of the box" & still making all the key connections of Pilates! I look forward to trying some of these out with my classes... Thank you for continuing to inspire me.
Love the tower, thank you Karen for wonderful moves to add here, so precise, love your cues~
Karen Sanzo
Lynn, Nimisha, and Sharon--- It's so fun to read comments. I have recently done this same workout and it was great to re-connect with the "connections".
Love this tower class! Thank you Karen
1 person likes this.
Really enjoyed this class. Love it when the instructors tell you how to set up the tower in advance and you flow through the exercises without interruption. Feel very stretched out. Thank you for a very satisfying workout.
1 person likes this.
This was a great workout. I feel the work, feel so connected. Thank you for an amazing session with wonderful cueing.
1 person likes this.
I love your clear & precise cueing! They well remind me how a simple exercise can go really deep
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