Class #2019

Mindful Reformer Connection

65 min - Class


Work on your balance, strength, and flexibility all in one class! Tom McCook returns to Pilates Anytime with a Reformer workout that flows from beginning to end. He uses mindful cues to help you focus on your breathing, quality of movement, and the connection to yourself, especially during the more challenging exercises.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box, Pilates Pole

About This Video

Jan 06, 2015
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Hi, I'm Tom McCook. I'm here at Palladio's anytime with Jia and Jennifer and we are going to do a reformer workout that's going to flow from beginning to end in my intention for you is to focus on quality breathing and actually just staying connected to yourself throughout and anytime throughout the workout. If you feel like you're building tension to stop, maybe do a few less reps and come back to a centered place and I hope you enjoy our time together. We're going to start with a simple introduction to your hip joints, so we're going to take our feet and put them directly underneath your sit bones and then I want you to touch your pubic bone and then bend your knees slightly and slide your fingers straight out at the pubic bone level to feel the outer border of your thigh, which is your greater trocanter, our hard bone at the pubic bone level. Now with your thumb on there, take your fingers across the crease of the pelvis and halfway between the middle of the pubic bone and where your thumbs are touching. Put your fingers in the crease that's happening where the pelvis and legs meet, then stand back up. So directly behind your fingers, about an inch and a half is where your femur head meets the pelvis.

That's where the hip joint is. So understanding location and where movement happens helps to improve function. So we're going to do the first movement that happens in the hip joint, which is just to lift your knee and notice as you lift your knee, you want to think of the ball rolling back in the socket. But notice you don't have to change the shape of the spine. And you can imagine the standing foot has growing roots into the floor.

That's the first move in option at the same location with soft knees. I wanna make sure I don't hit anybody. You're going to hinge your pelvis over the top of your legs at the same place and come back up and notice that if you're hindering correctly without rounding the spine, there's no change in the shape of the spine. It's the same location. It's the pelvis rolling over the top of the leg bones. And then rolling back. You can image your hip joint is like an eye that's open.

When you're standing there, you're going to close the eye, then open the eye to come back up and we'll do that one more time. Simple easeful them. Third option is the squat. When you squat, now you're including your knees and your ankles, but the hinge is still at the femur heads meeting the pelvis and you're riding down on top of your femur heads. Then you're lengthening back up. And this is very relevant to what we're going to do with legwork. And just one more time, lift the knee. FEMUR head rolls back. It also drops down slightly and we're having a good time already.

And now we're going to hinge the pelvis over the top of the legs and come back up. And this time notice, can I keep the weight even on both feet? Can I keep the back of the neck long and the shoulders down and then we'll squat and just two more. So we're just tapping in to alignment. Good mechanics. One more. Now let's take that into a spinal roll down. So like you guys can bend your knees slightly, starting from the top of the spine. Peel down through the spine, one vertebrae at a time.

Now allow your pelvis to roll over the top of your leg bones as you get down to the lower end. Take a breath of the bottom on the XL, initiating from the bottom of your pelvis. From your sip phone. Start to fly the sit bones down to stack the spine, seeing your pelvis roll back over the top of your legs. Very nice. Now have a seat on your reformer. We're going to add a little foot twist before we come down. For leg works across your right foot over your left knee and take hold of your forefoot with the same side hand with the opposite hand.

You're going to hold the heel and I want you to twist your forefoot down and pull your heel towards you and go back and forth. Counter twisting the foot so you have a joint across the middle of your foot. Call your transverse tarsal joint and a joint underneath your heel called your subtaler joint. Now these two joints are primary for absorbing force and connecting your body to the ground for balance and force absorption and strength through the legs. And it feels kind of good too, Huh? Let's do that one or two more times.

When you do this in your practice, I recommend 10 to 15 times each foot and then we'll switch. So you'll hold the four foot with the same side hand. Now turn the forefoot down and pull the heel towards you and then counter it. And you really don't need to be gentle with your feet. The ground certainly isn't, you know, your feet can actually twist, so this helps you get better action through your legs.

It helps you release tension through the back of the legs and the lower back. And just a helpful way to start, especially if you haven't had time to do any other type of warmup for your legs and your feet. And it's one more. And now I'm going to have Jia and Jennifer Lyon to the back. We're going into footwork. You're going to want to have three springs on, two reds and a blue and they're going to come onto their back and put their head rest up a notch, whatever they prefer. And we're going to start on the heels and in the beginning we're just going to start with breathing. So first just take a few breaths.

Breathing in through the nose and on the exhale phase, allow the front of the body to fall into the back of the body, just to let you body. Make a little more contact with the mat and just notice what's happening on a feeling level. Those you can relax the fronts of the shoulders, the neck. And now the next exhale as you exit it, just follow the XL to the end. Drawing the belly in and up a little bit. As you keep the neck and shoulders soft, you just connecting a little more to your core.

Let's do that for one more breath. Now from there I'd like you to pull the legs long cause I'm going to start from a leg, a straight leg position. Now coming back to what you did with your hip joint awareness, keeping the pelvis in neutral on the X. I just want you to pull your right knee to your chest and then back to the bar without changing the position of the pelvis and the standing leg. Do that one side five times. Just focus on leg alignment and notice.

Can I keep the standing leg the same all the way through. So I'm working on stability. Good mechanics. One more and then you'll come in and we'll switch. So see the Femur head rolling back in the socket. The standing leg is reaching into the bar.

I like starting to having people do leg works with the legs straight cause you get a lot of more, a lot more feedback. You can see when they're doing their footwork. And one more. Now come back in and switching sides. Pull the first, the end of the chest. Now this time as you bend the standing leg, reach it under the bar to come in and then pull it back to the chest to go out.

There you go. A little less range than we're used to. That's all right. There you go. And really get a sense that you're keeping that neutral line of the pelvis. Knees tracking right over the middle of the hip joint over the center of your foot. Yeah, and now the next one, when you go out, I want you to fully develop the leg all the way up to the sky and it's okay if it doesn't fully straighten and then back in. We'll do that for four more.

But notice, can I straighten the leg without losing the position of the standing leg and the pelvis? That's it. Nice and fluid. And one more and then we'll come in and we'll switch sides. Start with the long legs. There you go. You can pull the left knee n now it's, it goes under the bar length in it and then pull it to the chest. So focus on clear mechanics. This is so relevant to a lot of things that we do. Walking, hiking, running. That's it.

Do One more before you fully developed the leg. All the way up to the sky. Focusing on a strong standing leg. Fluid breathing. There you go. That's it. Nice and smooth. So I'm just taking in good alignment and qualities of movement smooth all the way through, especially at that straightening moment. One more coming in, come onto the balls of the feet.

We're going to add a little more choreography to it. So pull the legs long. Now pull the right knee into the chest and hold it for a moment. Now you're gonna reach it under the bars. You come in, now go out and take it straight up to the ceiling. Now with a straight leg touched the bar and lift, flex and point both ankles and then Ben can come in. That's it. And then that got under the bar, that's it.

And then out touch lift flex point then and come in and under the bar. That's it. And really feel that nice glide of the ankle touch lift flex point then and come in. We're going to do one more five reps each side. Touch lift, flex point then and come in and we'll switch sides. Nice work. So you get the whole leg action. We'll pull long or reach the left leg under the bar.

Fully develop, touch, lift, flex point then and come in. Nice for more very fluid. Fill your postural awareness. Smooth ankle action. Strong standing leg. That's it. Touch lift, flex point then and come in and two more, I believe. Touched lift, flex points. Then they come in and last one.

That's a nice and smooth stay with your breathing all the way through. Now Ben and come in now come into turn out in first position on the bar and floats your right foot off the barbet. Stay in turnout. Now the movement in the beginning is exactly the same, but you're in turnout. So on the exhale, lengthen one foot to the sky and turnout. Now in turnout, touch the bar and lift. Now slowly open to the side, holding the side. Flex point both back to center. Then in, come in with both and again you'll go right back to the starting point.

A little different than the first time touched lift. There you go. It's all good. Flex point and then he came in. That's where they could, this is a coordination exercise. It's harder that way. I'll go out touch, lift. There you go. Open, slow flex point back and in regrouping each time. Go Out Straight and now touched lift, open, slow, come back to the breath. And then it come in here. We'll do two more. So in extend out touch, lift slowly open flex point center.

And then one more how touch lift, open flex point back to the center. And Vanda committed. We'll switch sides. So the key about any exercise where it gets the coordination gets more, just keep coming back to relaxation and it doesn't matter. It's all just the process that we're getting better every time we do it. So exhale out, touch, lift slowly open flex point both center then and come in.

Beautiful. And again out touch, lift, open flex point center. And in three more, feel your way through it. Stay with the breathing open flex point center and in into more uh, touch lift, open flex point center and, and beautiful you guys. One more out touch, lift, open flex point center Ben and come and beautiful. Now I'd like you to take your head rest down. Now we're going to go into bridging. Same spring tension. Come back up onto your heels with your feet.

Sit Bone with now take a breath and initiating from your tail. Start to hollow the belly and curl into a bridge like repealing a piece of tape off the Mat. Take a breath at the top and then sequence back down without moving the carriage. Nice smooth motion softening behind the breastbone. Low back, sacrum tail. One more time. Before we add to that, exhale, curl pelvis is moving towards the knees. Take a breath, soften the breast spine away from the Chin and sequence down. Very nice. On the next one. Once you're up in the bridge, you're going to extend one leg straight out in line with the other knee without moving the carriage. We'll do two on each side. Exhale, curl and bridge. Inhale, hold it now. Exhale, reach one like straight out without changing the position of the pelvis back to the bar. With the inhale, exhale to reach other side.

Inhale to the bar. One more each side. Xcel reach back to the bar. Last one, reach back to the bar. Take a breath and XL sequence down. The last set. After you've lifted the leg straight out, you're going to take it towards your head as you press the carriage away and it's fine if the standing leg doesn't straighten. So take a breath. Exhale, curl through the spine. This time on an inhale, reach one leg straight out in line with the knee on the exhale lifted as you press the carriage away. Inhale, then back straight out in line with the other knee. And two more times. Press out on the exhale. Inhale in line with the knee. One more out in back to the bar. Sequence down through the spine. Take a breath of the bottom is shitting from the tail curl.

Find that nice alignment from your knees to your shoulders. Second leg, reach out straight in line with the knee. On the exhale, press down and lift. Come in and in line with the second leg and again out and reach in over the knee. One more out and reach and over the knee. Take a breath back to the bar and sequence down through the spine. Uh, pull your knees into your chest, roll to your side, and come up for a moment just to change your spring tension. We're going to go down to two red springs and come on back down onto your back for a series of arm work. So the first we're going to do is the a hundred.

So I'd like you to take the straps in your hands. Take your knees up in the air into a tabletop position, and now with your arms to have them directly above your shoulders, the card a little bit in the air and imprint the back of the shoulders in the back of your ribs into the mat. Take your breath and on the exhale as you stand into the straps, curl up into the hundreds position, looking towards your abdomen now strong arms. Inhale, pump the arms. Exhale for five. Now see if you can breathe low and wide. And on the exhale face, see if you can melt right below the breastbone.

The legs could be either straight up or low like you have. Now these guys are very strong. Inhale for five. Exhale for five strong inner border. Of your arms. See if you can challenge yourself to get the breadth a little lower and a little wider. Two more sets of breaths. Inhale for five XL for five.

One more set in hell for five XL. Five transitioning into coordination as you bend the knees in, bend the arms to your right angle rifts or straight head comes down. Inhale to prepare. Exhale, curl up, extend arms and legs. Inhale, open, closed a little wider than the bar. Exhale, bend the knees. Inhale, bend the arms. And again, four more times as you bend the arms. Curl a little more. Reach open-close bend and then feel that reached through the elbows as the arms bend and one more.

Reach open close then and then we're going to go into Jack Knife. So for Jack Knife, take the arms straight up to the ceiling. Knees are together, up in, up in table top. Now on the exhale, just straighten your legs straight up to the ceiling with a light point on the inhale, bring the arms to the mat on the XL at the tail. Chase the feet into the rollover. Inhale from the hip joint, reached the legs straight up. Exhale, lower slightly and sequenced down through the spine. Reaching up through the feet, standing into the arms.

Inhale the arms back to the start. Exhale to hold and again. Inhale legs to 90 arms down. Exhale to curl. Inhale, reach up. Exhale, lower slightly. Stand into the arms. Reach through the legs. Feel that opposition. Control the dissent that the legs lower a little bit past 90 arms. Come up, arms and legs down our legs, up and curl and reach. Reach up through the legs. Engine at the hip joint. Lower slightly, not standing in the arms if possibly even. Take the hands a little off the mat.

Huh? There we go. That's a practice. One more time. Inhale legs at 90 arms. Low. Exhale, curl. Reach up this time to try to touch the ceiling on the way down. Melt behind your breastbone. Smooth fluid motion.

Very nice. Bend your knees. Place your hands on straps on the Poles. We're going to come up for rowing front, so have a seat with your hips right up against. Actually before you're actually going to face the foot bar and go down to one red spring. You'll have your hips right up against the shoulder blocks facing the bar with your legs long. Now if you needed to, you could bend your legs so you could sit on something. But we're going to go with long legs.

The hands will be at shoulder level in the straps with them underneath and we'll have the palms facing each other. Nugget right up on the sit bones. Inhale to prepare on the exhale. Reach the arms forward. Turn the thumbs down. Inhale, touch now XL. Lift from the underside of the shoulder blades. Reach out to the side. Inhale to the start and again, XL reached thumbs turned down. Touchdown. Lift from under the blades. Get Taller, open and reach active legs and again, XL reach, touch, lift, long neck as you grow tall. Open and press one more time. On the exhale.

Reach turned down in touch. Lift. Grow Taller through the waistline and open. Now we have rowing round, uh, two rowing forward to so palms up. Have the back of your hands close to the mat and take a breath on the XL. Flex the feet in spine, stretch forward and reach the arms to shoulder level from the base of the spine stack arriving with your hands at shoulder level. Reach the arms forward and up and reach out to the side. And again, inhale to prepare. Exhale, curl energy out your legs.

Hands come to shoulder levels. Stack the spine from the base and reach up open and press away. And again on the next exhale, curl and reach in health. Stack the spine. Let the shoulders slide down as you come up. Reached forward and up and press out to the side. Very nice. We're going to turn around and go the other way for rowing back one and two. So let your legs slide through the shoulder blocks so you can either cross your ankles or not depending on how it fits for you.

And you want to leave about six inches behind you of the of the Mat. Now grow tall. Have your hands in front of you with the arms straight to begin at shoulder level. As you inhale, draw your hands into your chest with the elbows wide from your pelvis. Exhale, curl back. Halfway. Inhale, open the arms to the side. Exhale, start to press back forth first and forward. Then reach the head towards the feet. Reach straight back. Now lift the arm straight up behind you.

Circle under the side all the way to the feet. Feel the hamstring stretch and then roll up through the spine. Inhale, draw in from your pelvis. Curl back control. Inhale, open cell. Press back forward. Then long neck all the way through. Lift the arms up. The plates come together a little bit. As the arms come forward, the blades come apart and down. Roll up through the spine and again. Inhale, draw in XL to curl. Inhale, open.

Press back, forward bend. Let the blades come together. Now reach up as the arms open. They slide down and out. One more time. Inhale up tall, XL in and curl. Inhale Open. Press back. Forward bend. Lift the arms up, circle them forward.

Roll up through the spine. We're going to go right into rolling back to, so this time your palms will be up, retract your scapula slightly and have your hands at shoulder level with straight arms on the inhale. Bend the elbow to 90 now on the exhale, squeeze your inner thighs. Press your legs down and hinge back. Now inhale, lift the spine and reach forward and up. Exhale, forward bend. Swing your arms around to the back. This time with the arms to the back. Inhale, bend at the elbows. Bring the back of your hands to your sacred Xcel. Reach back, shoulders back, arm back. Lift them up.

Circle them wide and forward. Roll up through the spine. Arms at shoulder height, and held to bend. XL Hinge. Lift the spine. Reach forward and up. Forward bend. Swing the arms around to the back. Then at the elbow, pull the blades, the belly, the arms back to reach back. Open Circle. That's it. Roll up through the spine. We're going to do two more.

Inhale to bend, sell, hinge, strong legs. Inhale, lift and reach. Exhale forward. Sweep the arms around to the back. Heavy arms bend at the elbows. Reach back blades, back, arms, back, belly, back, circle them high and wide. Roll up through the spine. We have one more. Inhale to bend. Exhale to hinge. Inhale, lift and reach. Exhale forward long, heavy arms pulled back. Then that the elbows pull back. Reach back, circle the arms and roll up through the spine.

Beautiful Work Ladies. From there we're going to step off and put the long box on for pulling straps and t press. So I'm going to take their bars down cause you're going to want your foot bar down out of the way. And we're going to go down to one red spring, which we currently have. So we are good. So they're gonna lie on their belly, facing the straps, top of the chest, slightly off and take hold of the straps and have them outside of the rails and reached up a little higher so you can hold onto the ropes who get a little bigger range. First of all, I want you to just, instead of pressing the hips down slightly, lift the legs up.

That's an I'll bring the legs close together and just create a straight line from the head to the tail. Set the shoulder blades down slightly. The first few that won't be any extension on the exhale. As you engage your inner thighs and belly, pull the arms all the way back to your back pockets and he'll control the return. Keep the top of the chest open on the return. Exhale back. Inhale, control the return. We're going to do one more before we add extension XL drawback.

Maintain that nice line through the body. Inhale to return now, and the next three we're going to add extensions to Xcel back on the inhale. Slide the heart forward that the blades come a little closer together. Exhale all the way to the start. Inhale to prepare. Exhale, draw back. Inhale, slide the heart forward. Exhale all the way down to the start. One more time on the exhale.

Pull. Inhale, slide the heart forward. Exhale all the way to the start. Now take your hands to a lighter part on the strap. Walk your hands back, use the strap itself or the very end of the rope. For t press now. Open the arms slightly out to the side, and I'd like you to take your biceps and wrap them up towards the ceiling. Go into a little external rotation and connect to the bottom of the blades.

Now activate your inner thighs and imagine pool is going to come from the bottom of your shoulder blades. And on the exhale, pull your arms straight back to back pockets. As you inhale, open back to the t without losing that connection to the bottom of the blades. Exhale to pull. Imagine the pull makes you longer go right out the top of your head. Inhale to the side. Exhale to pull. Do three more at your own pace. Feel your way through it.

Nice and smooth. Beautiful. That's it. One more. And Paul [inaudible] and lengthen all the way down. Take the straps back on your poles and rest for a breath. And then when you're ready, gently help yourself off.

We're going to do a teaser variation that requires no straps, but what we're gonna do is add a spring. We'll add two more springs to the cart, doesn't bounce around. So we'll have three springs on. So for this version, they're going to have a seat with their hips facing the headrest. And then come on down onto your back. Now in the beginning, just take hold of your knees for a moment. Find neutral in your pelvis and take a breath. And on the exhale, curl up in the upper body into an abdominal curl and imprint the back of the rib cage. Now reach the arms and the legs on a 45 degree angle in front of you.

Take a breath and on the exhale with the upper body roll up entities or that's it. There you got. Get a watch. Make sure you're not too far back. Now on the inhale, roll down, just touch the lower back XL backup. We're gonna do that for five. Inhale down, just a touch. Exhale, backup. Beautiful. Two more times, Xcel back up. And one more. Exhale back up. Sequence down.

Draw the knees in for a moment. Now rock up to a seated position. Puts your head feet on the head. Head rest for a moment. We're going to do a single leg stretch and a single straight leg stretch variation, but I want you to focus on the down version of the exercise. So once you sacred like you're almost off the edge of the box, that's an outcome onto your back and take hold of your right knee with the outside hand. A little lower. That's a now curl up by widening the shoulder blades. And now with the down leg, exhale, reach it down towards the floor. Inhale now exhale, switch and go.

Slow on the reaching down. Focus more on the down in the leg that's coming in. Exhale, switch. They give you back. Ribs are sliding up your back. Going to do three more each side reached down. Find Your glutes, your hamstring, your inner thigh. Exhale, reach to more reach side. That's it. And one more. Each side. Back to the center. Let the head come down for one moment.

Now we're going to do single straight leg stretch in this version. Again, don't worry about the leg coming close to the head. Focus on the down leg, so curl up again with the exhale. Reach your right leg up. Take hold below the knee, reach the left leg down. Pulse down. Inhale. Exhale, switch and pulse down. Inhale, exhale down. Inhale, exhale down. Inhale, exhale down for the back. Ribs is anchored to more each side. Feel the strength of the back of the down leg. Two more reach side.

And one more. Last one, back to the center. Bend the knees in and we'll rock up. We'll come off the box and we're going to take the box off for the long stretch series of beautiful work you guys. So for the long street series, we're going to put the bar in middle bar and we will put on a red and a blue with the head rest up a notch. So for this the first part, they're going to come to standing on the reformer itself with your hands on the foot bar. Same width as if you were going to do a plank. So come to standing. Now step the f the balls of the feet in the crease of the head. Rest right in the middle. As you come into your plank, find the back of the legs that you turned on that previous exercise.

Zip Up the inner thighs, widen and lower the scapula on the exhale. Reach the bar away, keeping the line inhale and exhale away. Feel that nice connection to the bottom of the Scapula, the inner thighs. Exhale away, and two more times. Breathe smoothly all the way through. Inhale en and one more. Exhale away.

And Helen, we're going to take that right into the up stretch. So for the up stretch, put the heels halfway up on the shoulder blocks and pike back, keeping the carriage all the way in. Now as you piked back round the spine and look at your belly, and as you round your spine, notice can I widen and lower the scapula? That's it. Now the inhale phase, slide the legs back. Open the chest and arrive in a plank. On the exhale, come all the way in, strongly reaching through the heels, still excelling.

Drop the head and round back. Then swing the hips back to that starting place. Inhale legs. Exhale all the way in in the plank. Let your breath guide the movement and then come all the way in and then round back. Beautiful. Inhale legs. Exhale all the way in. In a strong plank. We're going to do two more round back. Use the abdomen. Find that line through the body. Inhale the legs, exhale all the way in, and one more round.

Slide the legs. Keep reaching through the heels. As you come all the way in. Beautiful work. Now step forward onto the reformer and take off the Red Sea. You just have on one balloon. Now this is very light. This is an elephant variation, so once you feed in the middle of the cart, round your spine with a card all the way in and focus on the waistline.

Really lift the waistline up and wrap the shoulders low. That's a now floats your heels into relevant, keeping irrelevant in the lifting of your waist. You're going to have to make it slow. Inhale, slide the legs back without losing lift of the waist. Exhale, pull the waistline up to bring the legs in. Imagine the back of the waist is suspended from the ceiling and you're hauling the belly at the same time, relaxing the back of the neck two more times. Beautiful.

You guys feel like you're getting longer through the whole body limbs, spine. One more has you come in, float your heels down just for a moment. Take a breath and we're gonna go into single leg. So once again on the exhale, round the spine, feel that lifting of the waist. Float the heels. Now pull the right knee into the chest. Hold that shape. Inhale, slide the standing leg out. Extra. Lift the abdomen to bring it in. We're going to do three more. Inhale out XL lifted to come in. Beautiful.

Two more and lift and one and in. Very nice. Float that foot down and then Relevate again. Pull the waistline up. Pull the second Ian, slide the leg on the inhale. Lift the waist on the exhale. Keep rapping and widening the blades.

Beautiful. Two more and one more and in. Very nice. Now we're warmed up in the middle. That gently step off. We're going to go into stomach massage for stomach massage. We're going to put the bar on low bar. So for low bar we'll go down one notch and we're going to start with three springs, two reds and a blue and have a seat facing the foot bar with your hips at least six inches back. And we'll start in turnout on the balls of the feet on the bar and have your hands in the front edge of the carriage.

Now the feeling of the hard part is to not be too far back. What I'd like you to do is as you pull up on your elbows, widen, lower your scapula and feel like your back of your waist is pulling up your back. Inhale to prepare. Xcel slide the legs long like your lower bellies, pulling away from the bar lower and lift the heels. Draw yourself back into the start and again, Xcel are way lower. Lift then and come in as it feel like you're zipping up your upper inner thighs.

If fluid action in the ankles, the shoulders are wide and low. Beautiful. Four more notice. Can I straighten both my legs at the same time? Keep my toes long and move in a fluid way to more lower lift and one more lower lift. And Ben came in, lengthening up through the chest, sweep the arms around to the back. You can either bring your hands to the blocks if that's too far away. Have your fingertips on the mat and keep the top of the chest open.

Inhale to prepare. Xcel. Slide the legs long, lower and lift. Grow tall to come in and again, lengthen out lower lift. Then you come in thinking the lowering and lifting. You're keeping the tone of the upper inner thighs and draw in also the middle back. Beautiful and a little bit of a smile and it's even way better. There we go.

Oh my God. Two more. That's it. And one more. Very smooth. Excellent work. As you come all the way and reach down and take off the blue springs you just have on two springs. Now we're going to take it into a twist. So as you reach your arms up about to eye level, grow a little taller, like lifting up out of the pelvis in health repair XL, lengthen legs. And as you lengthen and rotate to your right. Inhale, grow tall. The come in, XL out in turn. Inhale the come in and again, exhale out. Inhale to come in.

Feel that activation of your legs sets your alignment. Inhale the come in, exhale out. Beautiful. Inhale in one more each side. Exhale out. Inhale to come in and one more. Exhale out. Inhale to come in. Very nice everybody.

Help yourself down onto your back for short spine. As you come on to your back, find the straps in place, the straps on your feet we have on to red springs. We didn't change the springs after the short spine. Reached back and take your head rest down if it happens to be up and press your legs out to a low 45 now come into parallel and just do a few motions. Where are you going to do a few hip hinges? Keeping the pelvis in neutral. Let the legs come up to 90 or a little lower than reach the legs away.

Just do that a few times. You can get a clear sense of where the legs and the pelvis meet. Now also notice the middle of your upper back by pressing the top back of the arms into the mat with a nice long neck. Now the next one, inhale. Let the legs come to 90 on the exhale at the tail, chase your feet into the rollover. That's it. Inhale into a plea ale at the pelvis. Rotate more over the rib cage.

Hold the heels together. Knees, shoulder width apart. Sequence down. That's part of the spine behind your breastbone. Mid Back, low back when you've got as far as you can. Pull your heels down to get your tail down. Then reach your legs long and again. Inhale to hinge XL to curl. Peel through the spine. Inhale to bend. Xcel sequence down. Fill your breastbone.

Move Away from your chin. Pull the heels down to get the tail down. Slide the legs long. Beautiful. Let's do three more. Move with your breath. Keep. We're always in the mode of self-correcting. Equal pressure into the upper arms. Moving through the spine in a fluid way.

Draw the heels down and reach long and two more smooth motion. Ben [inaudible] articulate even a little more in that mid back area so you can get that area to get a little more articulation. Pull the heels down, deep hip crease and slide the legs long. One more exhale to curl. Inhale to bend. Xcel articulate down through the box, through the body, nice and smooth. As you get to the bottom, pulling the heels to the, towards your glutes. Bring the soles of your feet together and take hold of the straps with your hands. And just for a moment, pull your feet towards your chest that let your tail in your knees move away and breathe down into your hips and lower back. Soften your belly, soften your neck and your jaw.

Just take two more breaths to go into that hip stretch and sense yourself. One more breath. Now skillfully. Slip your straps off of your feet. Put the straps back on the Poles and we're going to do semi-circle. So for semi-circle, the setup is exactly the way we'd like it, but I'd like you to do is put your feet on the bar in parallel on your heels.

There's many options for this. Actually. Before you do that, I'd like you to drape your knees over the bar. Put your hands on the show, the blocks in. Lift your hips and slide the carriage out to straight arms. That's a now put your feet back on the bar in parallel. Bridge it up to a high bridge and bring the cart all the way in. That's not think of when you were in the Highbridge. Your shoulders just set down.

Your ribs are melted and your sit bones and are the highest point on the inhale. Face. Slide the legs long on the Xcel. Starting from your upper back. Articulate down into the well at the tail. Go all the way down to the springs. Inhale, bend at the knees. Deep Dip, deep hip crease to come in. Curl from the tail to articulate up into the Highbridge.

Inhale the legs XL. Articulate down through the spine. Each section in Helda, Ben, Nice d piff creased. One more time. Curl and bridge in held this slide, the legs Xcel articulate down, especially that upper back area. This time as you come all the way and stay at the low point. Slide the legs long at the low point, initiating from your tail curl and bridge, staying high. Pull yourself in XL.

Articulate down all the way into the well and held a slide the legs long. Exhale, curl in bridge. Feel the sit bones narrow as you come up. Pull yourself in one more time. Articulate down the sit bones widen. Pull yourself long. Articulate up now this time, pull yourself in. Now stay at that high point and I'd like you to take one hand either to the foot bar or your lower leg, whatever you can reach comfortably. Then the other arm.

Now press the back of the shoulders to the mat and just lift the sit bones a little higher and relax your throat. Take a few breaths. You can get the sense that your traction the knees out over the feet and you're getting a nice stretch in the front of the guys. Take one more breath and then slowly take one hand back to the shoulder pad, the second hand, and then slide yourself onto the carriage. And once your body comes down, just take a few breaths before you come up. Soften for a moment. Very nice. Now when you're ready, roll to your side and come up. But we're going to do a, uh, a new exercise correction for the hips and the spine.

So you'll have half of the box on each side of the shoulder block and we're going to go down to one blue spring, very light. And for this one I recommend using a, a dowel. If you didn't have a Dal, you could use a towel. That would be fine. So the, what you're going to do is step up onto the box facing the foot bar, have this standing outside foot right up close to the carriage and have the, the ankle in line with the shoulder block on the foot that's on the shoulder block. Put the heel halfway up. Now take the bar. And for the first rep, I just like you to take the bar and put it again on the box and hold it with your outside hand. More like a, like a support. So you'll put it on this side just so you get a feeling of, okay, I'm going to feel my balance before I do anything more creative. So the first part is just hip extension. So the foot that's on the carriage, just push the carriage back to open up both hips and notice can you do that without flexing in either one? So when you push back, you're opening up both hips so the eyes are open and stay right up on top of the standing leg. So it's glued him, which you probably have already noticed. That's it. Very nice. Now the next one pushed back right when the knee is, lineup up with the other knee. Keep it back there, and now bend the standing leg and have that bent leg go straight down under the shoulder and then back up. And then [inaudible].

So it's hip extension, pelvic stability. Go straight down and up. Now we're going to add a little fun to it. So now take the bar behind your head. The moving carriage side will be the upper arm at the neck, the other side, the standing leg will be at the lumbar.

Now you're going to use the stick for postural awareness. You want the stick to touch the back of your head, the mid thoracic and the back of the sacrum. That's it. Now keeping that awareness on the exhale, press the knee back suits in line with the other one. Now slowly descend, keeping the bar straight up and down, and then come up and back in. Beautiful. Two, two more before we add, really find your glute hamstring. Those tend to be the sleepy areas for all of us. Six stand. Keep it on the, there you go. That's it. One more. Press back and then descend for the last three.

As you're going down, you're going to add thoracic rotation towards the standing leg. It's very small, so push back again. Now as you descend, slowly turn towards the standing leg and then slowly come up and then very nice. Two more. I feel like you're keeping the pelvis square and you're turning from the bottom of the breastbone up and one more extend and turn. Beautiful. And we'll come all the way up. Beautiful Work and we'll take the second side. That feels good, Huh? Now we'll take the box to the other side. Nice work you guys.

So that's great for lunging strength, pelvic stability, great for the spine, a lot of relevant movements to life. That's the, so now we're going to start this time you'll have the standing foot again, the middle of the ankle will be in line with the shoulder block and the first movement is with the heel up against the head rest. Just push back enough that you can feel that both hips are extended. So the work is glued ham on the moving leg, also on the standing leg along with all the way down into your foot. And then just keep challenging yourself to feel that you're using both legs in an organized way and you're maintaining your postural awareness.

Do One more now let's add the lunge on this side. So you'll push it back so it's just open. So we'll just do one lunch before we have the stickers that keep you honest. Then we'll go straight down back can be right under your shoulder [inaudible] and then squeeze it back up. There you go. Now take the bar behind the head with the moving side is the up arm. The other hands on the lumbar. Now feel the stick against your head, your thoracic spine, and the back of the sacrum to the hip extension first.

Then straight down, keeping the stick straight up and down. Beautiful. There you go. Feel it all the way through hip extend, and then descend. Beautiful. Two more before we add rotation and down. Squeeze it back up. One more. Really feel that clear. Hip Extension and descend. Beautiful. The next three, after you've done the hip extension on the descend, turn from the rib cage up, keeping the hips square to the bar, and then up and two more. There we go.

[inaudible] and one more. And lengthen all the way up. Beautiful work. And then gently step off. We're going to take the box, we'll put it back to the back end, and we're going to do chest expansion, but we're going to do a lunging version. I'll put these over here for now. So for lunging version, I'd like you to do one red spring. You could go as light as one blue. You're gonna stand, you're going to come into a lunging position with one foot on the head, rest the other knee in a lunge position like you were just in. And then take hold of the straps, have the lunging the in line with the hip joints, so your feet are shoulder or hip joint with the part and both legs are in parallel and I would hold them like that.

I'd have the hands in the strap so you keep the arms long. Now the first piece is to really feel what you did in the previous exercise that you keep in the hip open and the glute ham is on on the back leg side and the hips are level now on the exhale phase just standing in the arms and drag them down in health to return. So you really feel the work is really about stability in the lower body even though you're using your upper body, which I think you guys have both, just recognized quite a bit. There you go. Now we're going to add to that. So the next exhale, pullback, holding them back. Inhale, rotate your head to one side center, second side, center and release. And again, exhale, back turn, center, turn, center release. Just one more time. Exhale, back turn, center, turn, center release and we'll switch legs. Nice work. Step the foot right into the shoulder block or the headrest back. Knees in line.

Now turn on that back collude and you're fully opening the back hip. Press the back Shin down. On the exhale. Drag the arms down. Inhale, control the return. Think of keeping the wrist straight. The shoulders. Open the neck long. Do two more before we add head rotations. Keep your energy nice and low on the next exhale. Pull back. Hold. Inhale, turn center.

Turn Center to release. Challenge yourself to have that stability in work but at the same time keep the next soft turn center turn center release two more times. Exhale to pull. Turn Center, turn center release. One more time. Exhale to pull. Rotate Center, rotate, center and release. Nice.

I like you to lean back and put on one blue cause we're going to take it into thigh stretch so you have a blue and a red and we'll come into a position where it leads right up against the shoulder blocks. But I want your toes to be tucked under. This might be a little different than you're used to. Now if you can your hips back on your heels, no, if that's uncomfortable, stay high. But otherwise I like you to sit back and have the arms a little bit forward. So there's just a little bit of tension on the straps and your arms are about halfway between your shoulders and your waist. The spine is nice and straight.

Now from the bottom of your glutes on your, on the inhale, come up to tall kneeling and pull the arms to your sides. On the exhale. Straight line needs to shoulders lean back. Inhale back up. Exhale, sit back as you release the arms to the side for the start and again, inhale to lift, exhale to lean, keep the eyes open in the hips. Inhale up, exhale, release and sit back. Do One more. Then we're going to change it. So inhale up. Exhale to lean.

Keep that nice line. Inhale up. Exhale, release. Now the next three, we're going to add thoracic extension so you won't lean as much. So on the inhale, come up now on the XL. Slide the heart up out the top of your head. Then lean back just a little bit. Inhale back up. Exhale, sit back on the heels and two more times.

Inhale up. Exhale, slide forward and up through the heart. Exhale, back to tall. Inhale to hinge our one more time. On the inhale up. Exhale, lift and open. Lean. Lengthen back up and release. Beautiful work. From there, we're going to come to standing and put on the short box.

Beautiful. I'm going to get you your polls. Now for the short box, I recommend three springs. Uh, I would do it. Let's see how it works. Not on the shoulders. You'll see how it works for you. If we need to, we'll go over the shoulders. We'll put on two reds in a blue and I'll give you a stick and have a seat facing the foot bar for around back variations to take the strap and sit far enough back that you can straighten your legs. That's it. And now from there, we're going to flex the feet to hold the strap and push out a little bit with the strap with the feet, and take the arms to shoulder level.

Now grow tall and on the XL from your pelvis. Curl back through the spine. Take a short inhale, curl back up. Inhale, grow tall. And again, exhale, curl, shoulders stay low. Short inhale, exhale, curl back up. And just two more times on the exhale you're bridging down.

Short breath. Exhale, curl back up. And one more. Inhale, grow tall. Exhale to curl. Short breath. Exhale, curl back up. And now we're going to do flat backs. If a flat back get right up on your sit bones. And on the inhale, take the arms up to the ceiling on the activate your abdomen hinge.

Inhale, grow tall to come up, exhale to hinge. Inhale, lengthen up. And two more times. Exhale back. Inhale to lengthen and one more and lengthen and lower the arms rest for a moment. We're going to go into around the world in 80 days. We'll actually in two minutes, so you're going to have your hands at this level.

On the exhale. Curl back like the first exercise. Now keep your breastbone in the middle of the bar and he'll rotate to your right. Now exhale, take the arms up, rotate to your left, bring them down to show the level center. Curl back to the start. Lengthen up tall. Exhale the curl. Rotate to your right or left circle up and around. Center. Curl back up.

I would even roll back a little less sex l curl back even just to like there. Rotate right now up overhead. Circle to the left center. Curl back up. Really control it through the middle. And again, curl. Rotate. Left up overhead circle center.

Curl back up. I'll take your sticks. We're going to go right into side dive in for Pearl or another name for Mermaid. So we'll keep your, um, we'll have you guys face towards the mid line. You'll leave one foot under the strap, have the other leg and 90. Now the movement is you want to think of your initiating from your pelvis to use the strap and create a straight diagonal line. So first, take the arm straight out off your chest.

Now inhale out into that line and let yourself keep coming to your straight. Then Xcel backup from the pelvis. There you go. And again, inhale from the hips. Create that nice line XL back up. Now we're going to add to that. So you inhale out. Exhale, rotate to the floor. Inhale to the side.

Now take your hand in the well across your rib cage and side bend into the wells to take that arm overhead. Inhale back to straight line, arms to the side. Now side, then towards the bar. Reach across your body with the inside arm. Inhale back up. Exhale out. Rotate down back to side. Now side, then into the well, there you go. Inhale the straight line side, then towards the bar. Now right here, hold that for a second. So let that foot close to this under the strap. Let that leg rotate out.

So the hip can drop and then you can get in more into your side bend. There you go. Now lengthen up. One more time. Go out to straight line from the rib cage. Rotate down, back to side into the side bend. Feel the stretch back to straight line now over the top towards the foot bar. Roll that leg out to get a little drop in that hip and lengthen up and we'll switch sides. Nice work. Beautiful, nice work.

So first just do a couple where you just feel like you're going to go out, test the strap and go out into a straight line, straight line through the arms, like a t. That's it. And then come back up from the hips and again, go out and you can be like here. So like without even going further, just like that's it. And then come back up and this time go out and hold. Now wrap down, back to side. Now side bend into the well. Reach the inside arm across the body. Back to straight line. Now Sad. Then towards the bar.

Let that leg turn out to drop the hip. That's close to the bar. Lengthen up and again, reach out to straight line, spiraled down back to side, now side, then into the well back to side, straight side, then towards the bar, dropping that hip roll in the leg out. And one more time. Lengthen up, go out to straight, spiral down, back to side side, then into the well, feel that stretch. Feel the reach back to straight line side, then towards the bar. Drop that hip and take a breath and hold and lengthen all the way up. Beautiful work you guys. Now we're gonna take the box off for side support. So now we've done all that work to activate our side body, which is going to come in handy now.

So we're going to put the bar in the middle bar. We'll put on one red spring. This is side support or side star. I'm going to have you guys come around to this side, but I'll just show you really quickly. You have your hand in the middle of the bar.

Your foot that's closest to the bar is going to go against the block. We make sure you're stable in your shoulder. Step into it and put the other leg forward and zip up your legs. At first. Find your posture. The movement's going to be small. That's the starting position. So I'll talk you through that.

So hand in the middle of the bar, fingers and thumbs on the same side. You can do the same side right here. There you go. Now have your foot. There you go. So you're gonna have, that's it. Now as you stand under the arm, cross the top foot over. Now first, feel your plank. Side plank. Zip Up your legs. The long arm is by your side. As you press out, lift that long our butt up to shoulder height. Pull yourself in both sides, bodies and inner thighs. Inhale to reach. Exhale, squeeze in three more times. Exhale in two more. Inhale, reach, exhale in. And one more exhale.

And take that front leg and reach it back to step off. And we'll come around to the other side. Beautiful. That's it. So the first set up, just get that. Reach into the bar, reach into the extended leg, take that leg forward. And Zip up the legs. Find the line on the X. Reach out as you float that outside that inside arm. Now squeeze yourself back in. That's it.

So try to keep that inside hip lifted. That's it. This is the harder side. There we go. This is good. Three more reach. Draw in, two more reach, draw in, and one more reach. Draw and take that front foot to the back. The step off. Awesome. Now let's put on an extra blue.

We're going to do front splits now and come to a standing position facing the foot bar and put your hands on the foot bar and you're going to put your right foot up on the bar. Your left heel will be back against the shoulder block in parallel, about halfway up. That's it. So getting into it as the, the interesting piece says, so the first thing, just open the chest to the front and level the hips. Drop the hips for now feeling you've got a nice reach into your back leg and I want you to maintain that. Keep the back of the neck long so you can drop your Chin a little bit.

Now on the exhale, just start to extend the front leg. It doesn't matter if it fully straightens. Keep the hips low and then draw yourself back in. Keep a strong reaching that back leg. We're going to do that for four before we add something to it. That's it.

No strain. Feel like you're using both legs to control the movement with good alignment and smooth breathing and one more and press out. Now this next time as you come in, stabilize the carriage in the front knee, right over the ankle and come up with the upper body to standing. And if you need me, I'm here for a little stability. That's the now keeping the upper body upright. Slowly straighten the front leg and then come back in. We're going to do that for three and then in and one more and then and bring the hands back to the bar and gently step off and we'll switch sides. Nice work, little balance work, little strength, a little flexibility all in one.

So front leg in alignment. Reach into your back leg. Your hips are low and just open the top of your chest. And this notice on the front leg side, the tendency for will be for that hip to hike that slowly start to straighten that front leg doesn't matter for fully straightens that. Draw yourself back in opening the top of the chest. That's it. Nice and smooth energy out your back heel the whole time, long through your neck. That's it. Two more.

That's it. Feels good. After all that work you did one more. And now as you in stabilize, feel like you're squeezing the legs together. Knee right over the ankle and c'mon up with the upper body, arms to the side. Now slowly extend through the front leg. Keep the strong, reach into the back leg, draw yourself back in two more times and and there you go. And one more and in hands back to the foot bar. Gently step off. Step to the inside of the machines, preparing for 'em mermaid. So for this proceeded version, we're going to go down to one red spring and this version you're going to have both feet on the floor because we're going to do a little spinal rotation too.

So I'd like you to sit close to the foot bar and then put your hand closest to the foot bar on the foot bar, a little bit in front of your body. That's it. So it's not all the way in line so you have a little easier range and have your feet about shoulder width apart. And I reached out that free arm straight out to shoulder height and as you press the card out, take that arm straight up overhead without even side bending. So just take it straight up. Now keep, you can walk your feet a little bit like Mc Hammer if you'd like to. There you go, that's it. Now as you side, then towards the bar.

Keep the outside hip weighted on the inhale. Bring yourself back up by drawing down into that outer hip and again, go over and let the inhale bring you back up as you draw down into that hip. Now this next one, you're going to go over and hold it. Go over and hold it and I'll bring the hand behind your head. Now on the exhale, flex and rotate down towards the springs. Inhale open and extend. Let the heart slide forward and up and look up XL.

Flex and rotate down. Inhale to open extend and two more times. Flex in, rotate down. Inhale, open, extend and one more XL. Flex and rotate down. Inhale, extend. Coming back to the pure side bend and reach the arm long and let along. Inhale, bring you all the way up and release and we'll go to the other side. Nice to work. Beautiful you guys. That's a nice way to finish to open up.

You could even do that just as a shoulder therapy for your upper body and torso. Having the hands on the bar, you can, as you push out, let the feet walk with you. Take the arm up overhead to a tall position. Now Xcel side bend to keep the outside hip weighted. That's it. Let the inhale bring you up, let it float you up, and again, XLO over you opening up your ribs like a fan. Inhale to lift on the next one. We'll go over and hold it. So Xcel over.

Bring the hand behind your head. On the next exhale, flex and rotate down. Inhale, open. Slide the heart forward and up. Looking up. Exhale, flex and rotate down. The blades. Move away from each other as you open the blade. Slide a little closer together. Flex and rotate down. Inhale Open. And one more time. Flex and rotate down.

Inhale to open. Come back to your pure side. Bend reached that arm long. Go a little deeper if possible. Long inhale brings you all the way up. Just rest your hands in your lap for a moment. Close your eyes for a second. Come down into your breathing. Sense your body. Feel the sensations, and acknowledge yourself for your hard work that you guys create to be with you both. Thank you everybody. I hope you enjoy and hope to see you again and please anytime.


Paola Maruca
Beautifully always. Right in my favorite ones
4 people like this.
Thank you Tom, what we all needed. Innovative and effective. More please;)))
Perfect timing for the perfect workout just what I needed.
So much awareness, thank you Tom!
1 person likes this.
1 person likes this.
Looks very interesting. I watched but didn't do yet. But I will and looking forward to it. I love the way you give such good info to complete each tasks.
Taghrid K
3 people like this.
Definitely Tom McCook is one of my favorites, I loved the hip stability n lunges with box n pole, also the mermaids on box n w rotation. I love your energy n great cues! Thank you so much.
Taghrid K
1 person likes this.
Really awesome
1 person likes this.
Did this class after morning lessons. Very groovy. When the hour disappears I know I had fun. Your experience as a teacher shines through Thanks again for coming to PA
Tom, your calm and precise cueing provides beautiful coaching and choreography. I especially liked the elephant variation and standing lunge work. As a yoga and Pilates teacher, I know we cannot emphasize enough the correct knee and hip alignment and muscle recruitment necessary to move fluidly through these functional exercises. Thanks for a great workout and a very nice professional development session.
1 person likes this.
Another Awesome Tom McCook experience. Thank you for making yourself available to so many of us.
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