Class #2180

Short & Sweet Ladder Barrel

30 min - Class


Get ready for a short and sweet Ladder Barrel workout with Jillian Hessel! She starts at the Ladder with Barre work and moves on to more advanced exercises like the Swan she learned from Kathy Grant. Jillian's detailed cueing makes it so easy to follow along so you will be able to feel stretched and ready for your day!
What You'll Need: Ladder Barrel

About This Video


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Hi, I'm Gillian Hessel and this is a very short but favored ladder barrel workout that I've devised. So we're going to start as if this is the ballet bar. If you don't happen to have a ladder, Barrett barrel at home, you can use ballet bar. The uprights on the Cadillac, you're going to begin standing in sixth position. Feet are parallel. And really wrapping is if we're doing parallel on the reformer, lifting the abdominals in and drawing the inner thighs together. I'm using the hands here, pressing down on the upright posts of the ladder barrel and really lifting the chest.

So I'm activating from the lats and I'm going to do my foot work here as if I'm on the reformer just for plea. A's. Inhale as you bend, exhale, drawing up just as if you're on the reformer riding with the spring. Inhale and exhale and three and pressing up and four and pressing up now into the [inaudible]. And we're going to do a heel lift up to forced arch. Inhale, lift the heels and lower and two. Inhale, exhale, three. Okay. And Four. And then I'm going to lift. And from here, from the forest arch position, straight up to the high balance, up and into a squat. Be sure here that you're not leaning back.

Keep yourself as if you're on the reformer. That was too. Okay. Inhale, exhale three and four and then straight heel lowers down and rise and two or three and rise and fall and rise. And now we're going to lower and do everything in sequence. So inhale, bend the knees and Exhale, lift the heels.

Rise up. Inhale, exhale down four times. Inhale, lift and lower and three and rise and lower. One more, four and really school. Using those legs together, reverse it. Rise up, Ben, keep the back and shoulders in alignment. Press the heels down and stretch. Inhale, [inaudible] and x and three. Press down and stretch. Still keeping a little pressure down through the arms and straight. Now open to first and back and to really using the deep hip rotators here.

Three and four. Be sure when you rotate open that you're not going into a duck tail here. Really lifting spiral, wrapping the base of the buttocks together. Repeat the whole sequence. Demi plea. A inhale and exhale too.

Okay. And three. Okay. Um, four and then flee a, lift the heels up, roll down and to keeping shoulders over hips. Three yeah, and four. And then rising up. Press down and, and uh, and bend and three.

And for, from the very high place stage tall but lower down and, and, and, and three and rise and four and rise. Lower down and all the way through. Demi. Play a role through the feet. Draw up and lower Dami plea through, lift up and lower. Four times three. Okay.

And lift and lower. And for rise up to lower reverse. Rise up Jeremy Raw Theroux and too [inaudible] her ass and down three prs and down. One more for Demi. Play a role through and stretch, rotating to parallel hip width apart. Open, close and open. Close. Feel the deep hip rotators and close and open.

Stay there. And let's just do a little running in place. So we're going to lift one heel up on the walk. Be sure not to roll the foot and stay on all five toes. Lift up and switch war and two and three. Be sure you're not sitting into your hips and shifting sideways.

Keep that upright. Pull through the crown of the head and reach, reach and reach and reach. Now you're going to step back from your bar to arms length. And if you have a mirror, it's helpful. We want to align the hips right over the ankles, stretching out and make a tabletop flat back. And we're going to round into a cat shape, curling under from the base of the pressing the buttocks through rounding into the Kat and reaching out into the old horse and arching down.

So a spine ripple roll up, exhaling and rule down two more times. Rounding under and release. And once again, round under and release. Last time we're going to round up, but just to a plank position. So really stand, um, the um, uprights. I've got the uh, I forgot to mention, but we begin with the barrel pressed strongly against the wall so it won't slide. And here we're going to do little pushups. Inhale, lower in a plank, exhale, press away. And yes, and three and four, I usually do up to 10 of these, five. And guys, you can go much lower than I'm able. Okay.

And seven and a eight. Inhale, exhale and tear and stretch out to flat back. Be sure here you're not pushing your hips behind, but really lifting the abdominal so that you're hovering and stretching out flat and then roll up and take the feet together to six position and do a second set. You can either go wider or you can go pigeon figured your choice. So you work the triceps a little differently. Do a little bit more lowering.

Inhale actually, and yes, three x four. Nice plank, no booty sticking out. Hi. And six inhale, exhale, seven and a eight and nine. Control the lowering. Don't collapse into your elbows and 10 and press out flat to finish. Now we're going to go into a lunge. I'm going to use the lowest rung of the ladder here and I want you to think as if this bar is your foot bar on the reformers.

So we aligned the hips and the feet. Make sure that the knee is tracking right over the center of the toes, and we're going to press forward as deeply as we can. Really engage the back leg, lift up the abdominals on the front of the hip, press forward on an inhale. Okay, and if you've placed correctly, you're going to press back to an exhale, and this leg should be in a vertical alignment. I think I was a little too far here.

I'm doing my best to push this heel under the bar, but not collapsed my hips this way, so I want to stay as square as possible. I'm going to press forward on an inhale, lift the chest, exhale, push back, drop that heel forward under the bar. And once again, press forward. Inhale, lift the chest, and exhale, press back. We're going to repeat, but lift up on the ball of the back foot and I'm moving my foot higher on the on the rung so that I have placed to lift that heel. Really engage the glute on that back leg. Inhale, lift. Exhale, press. Drop that heel down and lift up.

Press forward and pull back. If you're more advanced, you can even let go of one arm and stretch and pull back and then lift and change place carefully. Since you have two legs, we start low with the heel down and we're going to press forward. Inhale, okay, and exhale, press back and press forward. Inhale, really engage the back glute right here and pull back. I'm doing three and press forward. Inhale, lift the chest and exhale, changing to the higher rung. I'm lifting up on the back toes and pressing forward. Inhale. Exhale, press back, lift up and press forward and Europe the head down.

Be sure to relax the neck and one more time. I'm going to lift the arm to add an extra stretch and exhale and press replacing the foot. Again, I'm turning sideways. You can pick how high you want to be on the rung. I'm very long legs so I'm choosing rung number two and I'm going to do a sideways lunge. This foot is parallel or slightly turned in. The heel here is aligned with the middle arch of the standing leg and I press out on an inhale and I can grab the bar here and draw up back and really let the net go here as well. It feels really good. Press forward on an inhale, track that knee over the center of the toes. Lift up through the abdominals.

Really strong here. This is the driving force pressing forward. Big stretch through the inner thigh there. And exhale and one more time. Press forward. Inhale, looking out over the center of that middle finger there and press back. So that's three stretches the last I like to press forward here and then reach up, grab the back leg and do an arch stretch in the other direction. And then we change sides. I have my back to the camera now. Hopefully my form is okay.

So I'm driving forward with this outside leg, focusing over the middle finger here, pressing down through the lats. Inhale, exhale, reach, nice side bend, stretch. Really take it through the neck. I feel we need to release the neck whenever we can these days. Inhale and exhale. And once again, inhale, lifting up through the inner thigh of that standing leg. Exhale, really let the head go. And last time we reach forward and then reached down that standing leg and stretch re and release. So that's the end of our ladder part. I'm going to switch the, the barrel around. Now to face outwards, we're still pressed against the wall here to stabilize.

So make sure that that's really solid there. And I'm going to add a magic circle for this part. So now I'm ready to begin. It looks like a little bit, the short box series. It's going to be a challenge to keep the body in full alignment, but I'm going to have my feedback about my rib cage lying back against the, um, the barrel hump. Um, for those of you who have shorter legs, you may need to use a box here. I don't have a problem. I'm able to squat.

You can also add, um, some kind of resistance here to make sure the knees are hip with apart the feet tracking straight ahead. So the first thing we're going to do is hold onto the circle here and squat down enough so that I'm in neutral spine and I feel the back of my hips squarely against the barrel, and I'm going to have my shoulders directly over my hips sitting right up out of the hips. I'm going to inhale with the eyes. Focus straight ahead. I'm the xls drawing back right above the pubic bone and I'm going to roll down partially on an exhale. Inhale, exhale, roll back up. Leave the barrel and reorganize myself into an erect posture. Again, exhale down. Inhale, exhale, roll up and reorganize. So incrementally.

I'm going to go a little farther. I'll do two of each, so we're going to go a little farther. Inhale, press the shoulders down, exhale, and I'm unfurling a little bit farther through the spine. Notice that the circle moved and then inhale, exhale, back up. Okay, sure. Now I didn't move the circle, but the circle moved because I moved. I'm getting a good isometric quad workout like I'm squatting against the wall here. I'm going to come just a little lower.

Walk my feet a little farther out and go into a more of a hyper extension, but it's supported. Okay and lift off [inaudible]. [inaudible]. Now I'm coming at even lower so that I can extend my neck to the barrel and my head. This may not work for every client, but we want to gradually open up the extension of the back with support so that we can get all the way back to the head position here. Now in this position, I'm going to lift the circle overhead three times. Inhale, exhale, squeeze down through the lats, so I'm opening up the upper back and the pectorals [inaudible] [inaudible].

Now three head lifts. I really want to engage my ribs here so that I'm not straining to lift the head up and roll it back. [inaudible] close the rib, yes, lift and come back and close the ribs and bring the circle down and lift all the way off. One more time. Back Down. Lift overhead the head.

Whoa, and lived all the way up. Now from here, I'm going to come back into it. Less deep squat again where I began with just the pelvis pressed against the back of the barrel and I'm going to begin a rotation. So I'm going to inhale, rotate the ribs to the left. The circle goes with me. Exhale, come center. Okay.

Exhale, come center. Okay. XCL Com center and one more. Adding on. Inhale left. Roll back on that diagonal and little liftoffs in the obliques.

[inaudible] I'll just do five. I could do more for five and com. Center other side for me here. This is very key because my ribs are uneven. Yeah. And it's harder for me to rotate this way. Um, now I can do a full circle or a half circle adding all those moves together.

So I take a breath in, rotate, roll back and lift the circle. I'm in full extension. Bring it around. Oh, back up to the right and center. Reverse. Okay. And rotate. And Center.

The thing to remember here is that the circle isn't moving. It's the body that's moving. I can reverse that and start in the back position. Rolling back to the full extension. Rotating around to one side. Okay.

Lifting off. Coming through center. Okay, full circle around. Here's my home position in the reverse and here's the reverse. Whoops. I slipped all the way through and back and around and then coming up.

[inaudible] to finish. Now my quads are very happy that I'm straightening up. I'm going to walk in just a little bit. Turn my circle. This is a very weak circle. If you have a heavier one, this is great. The washer woman from the wounded share workout. We're going to lift up here and press down. One, two, three. Exhale, press down.

Or two, three. Exhale, press down to three. You can stay in the depressed position and do elbow extensions, tricep work, really let the hedges hang and then place your circle aside. And if you have a crossbar here, you know, walk your feet in and reach through and grab the crossbar and stretch the ladder. The barrel behind me keeps me from pushing my hips behind myself. I can take a little knee band and send those pelvic bones up and then just rule back up all the way up to standing. So now we're going to change the barrel position.

So now I'm going to go prone on the barrel and show you an exercise that I call the flower, which is like a flower budding in slow motion. You've all seen that on camera and it goes from a little bit of upper body flection into extension, but not to hyper extension. We have a lot of clients who have lower doses but also kyphosis. So if we go into a full back extension and they don't open up well in the thoracic, they go right into their lordotic curve and we haven't helped them. So I'm going to climb up onto the first rung of the barrel here and place my hips.

Remember that you need to adjust your barrels so that your hips are about at the crest of the barrel. That's going to be very, very important. So I'm going to extend my legs. I like to tell my students that the ladder rungs are like the reformer foot bars. So we really want to wrap the toes around the bar. And for this I want the legs completely straight. I'm going to take my hands, interlace the fingers, and place them around my head. Around my skull and this is the flower bud here, so I'm really wrapping my thighs and squeezing the legs together.

That's very important to stabilize the body because the upper body is going to be hanging out in space on this exercise. So on an inhale, I want to think of zippering up from my lower abdominals from right above the pubic bone and I'm going to lift my bud up on an inhale. So the ribs and lower belly lift off the barrel. That's my inhale on the exhale. The blood, the the bud opiod. Yes, and I'm in a full back extension, but not a hyper extension. Just shooting straight out.

Inhale round back into the bud. Exhale down. It looks and sounds like this. Okay. [inaudible] adding on. I come up in the bud [inaudible] and open out. I'm going to extend my arms is if I'm on the long box doing pulling straps.

Here's my tee position. Now the box of the body should not change here. The shoulders and hips remain aligned. I swim one arm around overhead the other arm to my back thigh and hit the tee and change a lot of clients. When you watch them doing this, the ribs will shift a shoulder roll hike, but we're working with a longer lever here with the hands going overhead to the bud, round up, lift the lower abdominals and hang to rest. Now in this position here, I can get my thumbs into my ACIP Iddles really pull and give myself a little neck stretch. It feels pretty fabulous on the break I'm going add on.

Now I come up in the bud in here, open out to a flat back, recreate the tee position and this time both arms swim, shooting out right through the crown of the head and back and right through the crown of the head and back. And once again, right out alongside the ears, not here. A lot of clients do this, really keep it long out to the side behind the head and form the bud and come down unrest. So that's a great exercise for clients to work on to get the extension and opening up the thoracic without going into hyper extension. Now I'd like to show Cathy grants a full swan because it's not done very often. Hers starts with those straight legs that you saw in the flower, so in essence I was doing a prep for that. What I want to mention also is again, adjusting the height or the proximity of the barrel to the ladder.

It's really, really important because if it's too close or too far away, the exercise becomes really, really difficult. So again, we're going to position the same as we did for flour. And the first prep here, I placed the back of the hands to the small of my back. This is going to be easier because it's a shorter lever. I'm reaching through the crown of my head and the arms are not extended yet, so I'm going to come to that flower position flat back, extended out, and from here I'm going to play a or bend my knees, but I'm not moving my pelvis on the barrel. I don't slide down and I lift up and then I shoot out to the flat back and I come down. The breadth would be full inhalation, shootout and down. So that's our prep for the full swan. Now Kathy's full swan. The arms are extended, one thumb holding the other, and once I extend the head and the arms remain in alignment. So I'm going to shoot out on a full inhale.

Continue inhaling by bending the knees and lift higher shootout as I open the arms to the t to the flat back. Lift once again, and reach way, way out, and all the way down. So it's two cycles of breath. Listen carefully. All right, here's the breath pattern. I'm going to inhale up, flat back and continue up higher. Exhale to the T. Inhale to lift high. Okay, an exhale way. Once again, inhale up.

Sure. And hanging there at the end feels really delicious too. This should be a great workout for the hamstrings and glutes and not so much lumbar spine. All of this area is really, really working to lift the body up. So that's the ladder workout. Thank you.


Jillian !!! This is amazing :) Thank you so much for sharing..I just fell in love with the ladder barrel all over again !!
Love this! It felt yummy to my body. So glad to have another ladder barrel routine.
Beautiful swan! The whole class builds nicely.
2 people like this.

Thanks Jillian, I love this Swan variation!
Thank you Jillian! Beautiful class!
Loving the barrel, too often neglected! :)
Love the flow, control
and great cueing....thank you!
Wow, I love It. Great!. Thank you Jillian.
Jennifer W
Great to see ladder barrel work. Thank you Jillian!
Eimear G
This makes me want a ladder barrel! Great control, and such a beautiful piece of equipment!
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