Class #2307

Reformer/Tower Workout

60 min - Class
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Enjoy the benefits of the Reformer and the Tower in this playful workout with Sarah Bertucelli! She focuses on flexibility so you can strengthen your body while you stretch it. She also has minimal spring changes so you can keep a nice flow throughout the entire class.
What You'll Need: Reformer/Tower

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I'm so excited to be back at Falaise any time. And today I'm going to play with the a reformer with the tower conversion. And the idea for this class for me is to use both pieces without having to make the adjustment so that you can enjoy the benefits of the tower and the reformer without too much a changing of the equipment. So I want to let you know where it's set right now. So we're ready to go because I'm going to make very few adjustments to the spring configuration here. We have one red spring, it's on the top islet and I've got the roll-up bar with the short yellow springs up at the top here.

And then all I have here are the long yellow springs with the handles and the placement is um, there's an islet just above the connection of the push through bar and it's just one up from that. Certainly if you were a little taller, you might need to go up another one. Uh, I can't imagine the need to go down lower, but you perhaps you would need to go up a little higher. Another thing. I'm going to come over here so that it's easier to show. I've got the risers set so that I can easily maneuver the f the push through bar if this feels uncomfortable to you. Uh, right now there are two dots showing you can make it. So there's only one dot showing that this works for me. And currently the reformer is set with just um, one blue spring for the first exercise.

And we are going to use the long box for the very last exercise A. Today I'm going to focus on flexibility and um, just playing a little bit. So start with your feet. So I actually looked down and I see that I can't see my toes and my, my foot bar is as locked into place here in hell. And with an exhale, roll forward one vertebra at a time. Allow the arms to reach over the bar, catch the edge of the reformer and then here, push out to a nice flat back position.

Enjoying that first stretch here. Exhale to round up through your back without moving your arms too much. Inhale to reach out, extending your back. A little exhale to round up and inhale to reach out this next time round in all the way, bringing the carriage all the way into the stopper here and feel that stretch in the upper back as well. Lean just a little bit forward. Enjoy a stretch in the wrists and then shift back and round and roll all the way up to a standing position. Arms high.

Take the right arm low and look down reaching higher with the other arm. Inhale, lift and exhale reaching the other direction. Inhale, lift. Notice I'm keeping my palm open for a little external rotation here. That feels so good. One more time. We open and we lift both arms.

Come down and roll down one vertebrae at a time. Catch again the edge of the reformer, sending the carriage out. Feel the upper back, the stretch in the hamstrings. Perhaps go to a little thoracic extension and then around through the low back, keeping your legs still in space. Inhale, extending your back, a little thoracic extension if it suits you, and exhale. Rounding in. Let's do one more here and Ian, how reaching forward chest is open and exhale, we're going to round all the way in. Once again, the carriage comes to rest and then with flat hands and flat fingers, we're going to lean into the stretch for the rest. Just a little bit. Come back to the legs, round up through the low back and one last time we reach and we open the right side.

Well we're opening the left side actually lifts and the left arm goes down. The right side is opening. So when I do this I think more about the reach up. Then the reach down here I am moaning and groaning for you the beginning of the session. Lucky you. Here we go. Open the arms, lifting the chest as you do last time we roll down one vertebra at a time, catch the edge of the reformer and again reach out, perhaps going a little further. Exhale, round and rollout. So I'm still keeping my shoulders plugged into my back here as I push out so my shoulders are stable, but I'm just trying to take that little extra, a heart opener. And one more time and we'll round all the way up, not forgetting that wrist stretch.

So you're gonna kind of let the arms come in and lean forward just a little bit and then shift back to the legs and round and roll all the way up to a standing position. And now we'll move into our footwork. So I'm going to use, um, three reds in a blue for my footwork. We're actually going to do a little more abdominal work lying on the back here, but three reds and a blue is the this spring I choose. So I'm gonna lie down. I've got my head rest flat. That is my preferred position these days. Um, it definitely necessary. Right now I have my heels on the bar just a little bit lower than normal. So the actually, the connection is just above the heel and that helps me engage my hamstrings.

Inhale, with an exhale, use your abdominals first to lift your pelvis and then feel those legs kick in as you press up. Nice and high. Inhale and exhale to lower down, articulating through your back one vertebrae at a time. Inhale, use the exhale abs first and then feel the legs. I almost draw my feet down a little bit to pull. Really. I pull my body up a little higher using those hamstrings and then exhale to peel down. Actually pulling a little too hard in. My feet are slipping, so I'm going to make that adjustment. Exhaling up heart is open, arms are energized and exhale to peel down. Really enjoying movement of the spine here and again, exhale up. Inner thighs are active and exhale to lower down.

We'll do one more pelvic curl happens to be one of my favorite exercises [inaudible] and then here, find your neutral spine. Once again, lift your arms up and then open them nice and wide. Lift up again and open wide. Option one, you can hold onto the pegs by your ears. Option two, you can hold onto the frame and get a little bit more stretched through the shoulders. Actually press into the frame if you're making that choice. Lift one leg to tabletop followed by the other and we'd find our spine twist in hell. Let's all go right first. Keeping the legs glued together. Exhale to pull back to center and inhale to twist the other way and exhale, pulling back to center. So start to work the range of motion within reason. And what I mean by that is you need to stay connected to your core, to your abdominals, to your upper back, but you also want to see if you can go a little further.

I feel like sometimes we hold on a little much. So I'm going to just stay a little bit longer to the right there. Beautiful. And then I'm going to go to the left and stay. Just go stay there for a moment. Longer, really work it. And one more to the right in hell. Keeping the legs glued together an exhale. And last one here. Inhale and exhale. Gently let your feet rest on the bar.

Bring your arms back up to the ceiling. Allow the blood to flow back to the shoulders. Inhale with an exhale. We lift the head and chest, warming up the abdominals. Inflection and inhale to lower down. Okay.

Exhale to lift. [inaudible]. Inhale to lower down. So see if you can use your hamstrings. Just a little drawing the heels toward the bottom, using the bar as resistance to create a lever and not really a lever, but an opportunity to wake up that forced couple the abdominals and the hamstrings to perhaps give you just a little bit more height. Stay here, dry your feet off the bar. Lift your feet away from the bar. Dry Your right leg in a little past 90 degree hands or just beyond the knees.

Single leg stretch here. Exhale to switch. Wow. Focus on keeping your body lifted, keeping your chest open, feeling the energy through the legs. And one more time. Each side. Bring both legs in. Pause for a moment.

I'm going to take my hands to the backs of my legs and lift up a little higher. Why don't you do the same? Maintain the height of that curl. Place your hands behind your head, keeping the head lifted or the chest lifted. Chris Cross. Let's go right first and switch so much.

Focused on lifting a little more as you switch. Switch the head stays heavy in the hands. The legs gray is by one another. Heating up the core here. One more, both legs in, hands to the backs of your legs. Lift a little bit more, and then draw your knees in and try to make a forehead to knee connection. Unrest, finding neutral spine. Your feet are on the bar.

We're moving into our footwork here. I want the belly of the heel on the bar and the tailbone down out. We go. Exhale and inhale to come in. So creating a nice pace here. I'm not going to pay too much attention to the actual number, but I'm going to stick with this to what feels good.

Feel those inner thighs nice and active. Dropping the tail as you come in. Also feel that you're really focusing on lengthening all the way out. Last one here. Place your toes where your heels are. Remember it's the balls of the feet, all five Meta tarsals that need a connection and exhaling to press out and inhale in. Feel the abdominals engaged. Let's open the chest just a little bit more here.

Feel the energy down with your arms to allow your sternum to lift. And what I mean by that is I want the arms really flat on the table and the sternum lifting both up toward the ceiling and all also behind you a little bit too. Let's do two more here. Feeling the inner thigh engagement and pause at the stopper. Bring your heels together for Your Small v position. Open the chest, squeeze the heels together and we press out. So here really focused on this idea of pulling the heels together the whole way through.

And that pole is coming from your inner thighs more so than from your glutes for me here. So even as you pull the carriage in, see if you can pull the heels together. Think about that and one last time please. All the way to the stop or let's put the heels so that they're wide on the bar. Turned out to a comfortable position, not necessarily a maximum, but really flex those ankles back. Exhaling out and inhaling to controlling. Feel again the lifting of the sternum, lengthening through the crown of your head and trying to keep those feet stable and space as you come back in. So you're flexing with a little bit more energy.

Dorsey flection. One more time. One more time now and then come in and please put your toes now where your heels are so you want again, try to get as much connection through all five metatarsal as possible. Although I find my pinky toe does not have a connection here. Pressing out, lengthening a little more and controlling it again each time you go to that up position, create more lanes. Okay.

Feel those inner thigh. Good. Try to keep the feet stable in space. So my heels, it feels suspiciously like I have to drop them down a little as I come in and then I want to maximize that plant or flection or that heel lift when I'm out each time. Of course within reason for the foot, meaning I don't want to lose my alignment last time. Come all the way in. We bring the feet closer together in parallel alignment so that we can work our calves again. I want the metatarsal lists connected, exhaling out using the legs, lower down enough legs are nice and straight here. The energy on the up. Think about using your abs to lift up.

Now there is no way your abdominals can make you lift your heels, but if you think about your abdominals each time that lengthening through the crown of the head, perhaps you'll use a little bit more than only your feet. We go into our prances here, going up to go down. Both legs are working equally up and down. So I like to use an inhale and an exhale. So I'm going inhale for two one, two each side and exhale. But honestly, the breathing should work for you.

So if a breathing pattern I suggest does not work for you, simply breathe please. One more time, we press up and then I like to adjust my foot a little so I can stretch. So what I've done is I've moved my right foot up on the bar a little and now I can really relax into this stretch and breathe. Heel is under the bar, chest is open. Bend your knee a little and see if you can just feel the stretch in a slightly different way. And then switch sides. Making sure, again, you've, you've made the adjustment that suits you on my left foot, I always like to have my foot just a little higher up. I get a better stretch and sometimes get a nice little adjustment through my first metatarsal. So for me, that is what I do.

Driving the heel under the bar in and breathing out, keeping the energy still through the crown of the head. Try Bending the knee just a little and just see if that feels different there. And then both feet her back on the bar and we control the carriage all the way in. So for single legs, many of you will choose to make a spring adjustment. I'm going to stay with my springs if I, you know, if you're newer to Palladia, you might want to go down to three springs or two and a half springs perhaps. But let's go ahead and move into the left foot is on the bar from the heels and I'm going to have you lift the right leg up and cross that leg over that left foot. So right here I'm in a nice stretch from my outer hip.

Now it's best to keep a flexed ankle to protect the knee. If that's something that's I'm feeling funny for you, just flex the foot back. That usually helps. So here's where I want to really focus on my neutral pelvis. And right now I'm getting a stretch. I'm gonna press my leg out to straight. That's going to be the inhale. Exhale to come in, dropping the tail, feeling the stretch, inhale to go out and exhale feeling the stretch in my outer right hip.

So we're working for that flexibility there. And if you're not feeling the stretch here, perhaps think a little bit more about putting your tailbone down where it belongs or maintaining neutral pelvis. Then we'll do two more here and one more time here, all the way in and we'll switch sides. So putting the right foot so that the heel is on the bar, lift the other leg up and then cross that ankle over the five. Flexing the foot back, feeling that stretch.

The other foot is still flexed as well and the foot stays still as you go out. And then we're going to inhale to go out, which is a little different than we often teach with Fasci. That is exhale in focusing on that stretch, so again, if you're quite flexible in your hips, you might not feel an intense stretch here. For me, I keep working on really neutralizing my pelvis and inevitably I start to feel a little something new each moment. I'm here [inaudible] then we're going to do two more and one more time [inaudible] okay, so now we're going to put both toes back on the bar. Again, the heels here are not maximum lift but a comfortable lift. I'm going to lift my right leg and I'm going to hug it into my chest here. Now if it's more comfortable for you, hold the back of the leg. I do like bending the knee and really pulling my s, my bent knee in so that works for me. Once again, we're going to try to keep that pelvis neutral and we're going to press out here, exhale, hell in keeping that leg hugging in.

Exhale in hell in notice. I changed the breath pattern. Exhale, and the reason for it is because this is where you're going to feel more stretched when you're out in hell in just one more time here. And now the progression here would be to hold the back of the leg and as you press out, straighten and gently come in. Now we're going to keep the thigh exactly where it is. So it's not about straightening the knee all the way, it's about keeping that thigh really hugging in.

And just two more here. [inaudible] no, I made my foot pointed cause it looks pretty, but certainly you could do this. Let's stay here and fill X. Really maximize that stretch and bend both knees and come in and we'll switch legs. So arranging the right foot so it's on the bar from the balls of the feet or the metatarsal. Hug that other leg deep into your chest here. And we hold their hex hail to press out and inhale in.

So check in with your pelvis here and do your very best to keep it nice and still. And we have one more here. Keeping that leg tight into your chest. Good. And then you can hold the back of the leg here, keeping the fight close to you. We press out straightening the leg as you do. And then the knee and straightening both legs.

I can feel myself not quite straightening my, my working like cause I'm getting a little tired. [inaudible] and we have two more here. Oops. Long to that stopper. And one more time. Let's try not to do that again. And big stretch, full x, the ankle, both legs very straight. And we gently come in. Beautiful. So here we're going to roll up to one side, roll to one side, come on up to a sitting position. And so now we move into some abdominal work.

Arrange your springs. So you're on only one red spring or one full spring on a different piece of equipment and you're gonna want to put your bar down just so that it's not in the way. And here we reached back and we find our yellow long springs with the handles. And then rather carefully, you're going to take a little seat on the carriage here and then swivel your feet around and notice your carriage will move with that one spring. I'm going to make a quick little adjustment here.

I have my feet off the headrest just a little bit my, my heels are on, but my toes are off and we sit tall here. Inhale with an exhale, we round the back first and then just very carefully roll back to the point where you're in a chest lift and make sure you have enough space to feel your whole low back down and exhale to round enroll up. So we start with just that and it's really a nice feeling. Actually exhale to round back. The springs are supporting you in your hands, but there's also this little movement in the reformer that you're trying to minimize. It is going to move, but you don't want it to be wobbling around so you have to move with control. And again, exhale to round back.

Now we're going to stay down here and work a mini roll up. So here I'm going to bring my feet in. Just a little further and exhale to lift up, keeping the pelvis nice and neutral and inhale to lower down. Now the carrot is gonna move a little, but I'm trying to limit that by really controlling my movement. And then pause right here. Float one leg to tabletop. Make sure you feel safe.

Float the other leg to table top and stay there. Now we're going to continue lifting. Now if you start to feel a little off balanced, simply practice the one with your foot feet down or stay here. But adding on, we're gonna work with our single leg stretch legs as we go up [inaudible] and down. So if you start throwing your legs around, you will lose control here, I assure you, and down and down.

So I extend my legs out and out and exhale. Exhale. Inhale. One more time. [inaudible] I really like this both legs. We're going to come in for a moment. Rotate around to your right, extend your other leg out. So here we're going to lift and draw that right knee in and lower as it goes out. A little exhale left. Again, I'm trying to minimize the amount of movement in my carriage.

It's going to move a little [inaudible], but if I lose control, it'll move a lot. And one more on this side. [inaudible] pause both legs in, rotate to your left, straighten your right leg and we go up as we draw the knee in and we reach out. And boy this side harder for me and up out. So I'm only going to about a 90 degree at the hip when I, when I lower down so I'm not taking my leg too far out and we have one more [inaudible] chest lift position, legs at tabletop, then stretch both of your legs to straight and you're going to very carefully roll up to a teaser position. Feel those upper back muscles.

If you don't use them, you will not be able to stabilize here and then articulate through the low back down [inaudible] perhaps opening just a little lift the head and chest and round and up. Feel the upper back, the control and we rolled down opening the chest a little and round and roll all the way up. Find that wonderful high teaser, lower one foot, lower the other foot, round your body forward and then remember to to take caution as you get off. You want to bring the feet down onto the floor, the carriage all the way in, and then come to a standing position. Here's where we'll put those springs down and we'll move into our hip work. So the bar's going to go back up for me. It's the middle position and I'm on a a red and a blue spring here.

Okay. A red and a blue spring is like one and a half springs. If you're on a different piece of equipment, my feet are in my straps, chest is open, very active, and let's do some basic frogs. So the rules here, remember you want to keep your pelvis nice and still. My abdominals are definitely speaking to me after that last series so I can easily connect to them here.

Okay. Work on flexing those ankles back just a little more and feeling those inner thighs. Point the feet. We're going to lift the legs up and then pressed down through center. Circle around that top position. Enjoying a nice circle. Exhale down through center and around to the top position.

Really keeping that pelvis in neutral so it often feels like you have to drop the tailbone down a little as you bring the legs to this high position. Just one more in that direction. And then go about halfway down. I'm going to have you bend your right leg and open your left legs straight out to the side. So if lead with your left leg as you pull the legs back together and do that same side again leading with your left leg.

So you're trying to pull the spring primarily with the straight leg and then we do the same thing, taking the leg up three times. So primarily the left leg. Yeah, and we'll switch. So now my right leg goes out to the side and my left leg bends in and I pull it in. So I'm focusing on my right leg, moving more of the spring, if at all possible. [inaudible] and the leg now goes up in space.

[inaudible] and one last time. Good. Bend your knees, flexing your ankles, make sure you're not too close to the shoulder rest here so that you can move into your short spine. We pressed the legs out to straight, pointing the toes, fold the hips all the way until you touch the stopper. Once you're at the stopper, Oro lap, keep those abdominals very active. Then the nice or all down articulating through your back. Once you're down, mostly flex the feet to pull those legs through to that beginning frog position.

Press out pointing the feet full. Ditch your hips, keeping your legs glued together. Okay. Using your abdominals to roll up. The arms are also quite active. Bend the knees roll down, so just before you start moving the carriage, that's when you want to flex the ankles and come to her first position. Press out and fold again. You use those abdominals to control all the way up and [inaudible] roll down with control.

Flex the feet and press good. Let's bend the knees, taking one foot out of the straps and then the other foot out, but the straps back on the pegs that they live on and then come on up. So here, um, I want the headdress to be down. That's important for just for spacing. We're going to use the push through bar with the red spring, so one red spring attached.

And just make sure that your yellow straps are hanging on there. Your yellow springs are hanging on the outside of the eyelids so that they don't get caught. The spacing here is that if you're too close to the head rest, you won't have enough space to move. So you actually, when you pull down on the bar, want to be maybe just a couple of inches, um, from the bar. So feet are about hip width, distance apart. We exhale, pressing the arms down and then rolling forward one vertebra at a time. Makes sure that your thumbs are hooked for safety here. Good. Press through a little further.

Really enjoying the stretch in the hamstrings and engagement in the ABS and the upper back work. And then round and roll all the way back at your arms. Stay Straight until you're as upright as you can be and then the arms bend to come up. So an option one would be to just stick with this exercise. I am going to add some variety in the way that I like to extend the back here. Chest open arms nice and straight. I'm sort of tipping my tailbone up but trying to stay quite engaged in my abs and round and roll all the way up.

And again, here's where we add on. So once you're in this forward fold position, we want to, we want to entertain the idea of lifting the right leg away from the floor and if that feels like too much, keep it down. Option one, you could just gently rest the foot on the headrest so that the rest of us are going to add on here. Drying the knee in toward the nose as you round and then you're going to extend that leg straight behind you an exhale drawing the knee to the nose as you round the low back an extent. Good. One more time like that. Need to the nose as you round the low back and extend.

And then this is where we stay for a little while here. Watch this. You're not holding yourself up too much with your arms, but instead lower that foot slightly and we lift up engaging the back of the leg here. Try not to move the pelvis. We're doing our very best to keep the pelvis from lifting and lowering to more here. Stay there now flex the ankle externally, rotate and come out as far as you can. Again, we're trying to avoid lifting the pelvis too much. The leg is going to lift and lower.

Okay, and one more time. We take the leg around pointing the foot and this is the best part. We open the pelvis, keep the shoulders square and lift that leg up as high as you possibly can. We're really enjoying both the glute work, the stretch in your hamstring and the open hip feeling and then parallel yourself. Lower your leg down and you really do get to stretch here even more round and roll all the way up. Keep that back leg straight.

Open your heart and go into a little back bend here. Hmm. Neutralize your body first. Good. Roll down one last time. Keeping the leg resting round and roll all the way up last time through. Really enjoy that back bend chest.

Open elbow stays straight here and I'm lifting up up. Maybe going a little further back this time. [inaudible] so we're going to bring the spring up to rest. Bring your back leg next to your other leg. We're going to turn around. So I'm holding with my left hand at this moment. Okay. Same leg I was working.

I'm now holding with that hand. My feet are together and I'm going to push that arm down. So here a little side bend. We take the arm up and we reach over finding control here. You don't want to lean into it or you'll fall over and come back up.

Let's just stop here with the arm and reach up and over. Nice big stretch. Focusing on the up and also the work here and come back to where we came from. And again, we reach, yeah, and up. Who I like this a lot and reach. And just one more time please.

And then we get to repeat that whole sequence on the second leg. Okay. So let's go ahead and bend the elbow if you use the other hand, if needed to bring this all the way back up. So we faced forward again. Ooh, my left leg is speaking to me. Let's make the right one. Say the same things. Okay. Exhale to press down. We go right into the legs. Sequence forward fold here. So you're in a flat back. Now your right leg is your standing leg, which means you have to really work your leftover obliques. Lift the foot up.

Option one you can touch, uh, keep the foot down or put it on the head rest like we did on the other side. The rest of us are going to Aurora around in bringing that knee toward your nose and extend back. And we round in and we extend back. And again, rounding in feels so nice and extend back. And last one we round in and we extend back in. Stay here.

So now this leg lowers down and lifts up feeling the hamstring and the glutes trying to keep the pelvis pretty square. Okay. My hands are not working that hard. My arms are not working that hard. Flex the ankle externally. Rotate and take the leg around to the side, trying to keep your pelvis square. Very difficult to do. Lower the leg, perhaps to touch the reformer and lift up. Last one, send the leg around back where it came from. Point the foot, and this is the best part for me. We as externally rotate the leg, lift the hips and I'm stacking the hips really, but trying to keep my shoulders square and lifting that leg up to a big split stretch position. Wonderful. Work there and then unwind.

Lower your foot down, round and roll up. Extending the back. Finding that nice little backbend upper back. Round forward. Yeah, and round and roll all the way back up. Last time standing. That upper back chest is open. We're really lifting the sternum.

Good. You're going to lift that leg. Ooh. Pull it in and place it down. Bring this springs up to rest. Turn around to face the other way. So then I have both of my feet together. Ideally we're going to push that bar down. You keep this arm straight and the fingers hooked.

The arm is going to go up as you go over, not too far. You've got to find that edge and then here up and over really working on the up even more than the [inaudible] and up and over. Oh, I forgot something I wanted to do. I'm going to go back and do it on the other side, but I'm going to do it right here. It's just too good not to give to you. It's too good. My friends. Are you ready? This part right here, we're gonna rotate around trying to keep the pelvis pretty square.

Open the arms, so their shoulder width here, and then your arms bend as you come up. This is like my favorite part of this little exercise we push down and that just feels so wonderful. We'll do five of them. That was one. So I'm letting the arms bend. I'm pushing my arms to straight to round down a little bit. Oh, that is just too good. We will do it right now on the other side.

Here we go. This is what you get to do every now and again when you're in charge. So here's the position we were in that stretch, right? So then you rotate around, you put your hand on the bar, your other hand can move over a little bit. And then here it just feels so lovely.

That stretch and the work here, we're going to lift up and then allow the arms to bend when you come up. So the arms go down to reach forward a little bit and the arms, the body comes up to allow the arms to bend again. The arms come down to reach and the body up and the arms. We have two more here, arms down to to reach into it and up. One more time. [inaudible] bringing all the way to rest. We're going to unhook. Okay.

And we move into some arm work. Okay, so there's a sweet spot here where you can sit right on the edge of the headrest and you kind of need to find that. And we're going to start with our hands with an underhand grip here and I'm working with the legs together here. Okay. If possible. Kind of like a um, a chair pose if you are, if you're a Yogi and then you're going to bend your elbows. Okay. If you're taller, you might have to do a little adjusting here. This works perfectly for my body and I'm going to try not to lean back or forward and see if I can squeeze my legs together and just find that head rest. Hopefully I'm in the right spot and press up so I didn't actually sit, but I entertained the idea of sitting. Ah, there it is. And you may have to make adjustments forward or back for your body.

And there it is and we'll do one more like that and will stay so you can choose to, well, you actually do kind of need to sit. I was going to suggest you could choose to not sit, but I suggest sitting lean back a little bit here. Feel your chest open. Allow your arms to then straighten. Really engage your abs, keep your legs working. And we do some bicep curls, so pay attention to making sure that both arms are working equally when using the pole, a person can easily overwork one arm or the other, so simply pay attention to your own body all the way to straight with the arms here and we'll do one more good. You're going to lean forward here so you have very little spring tension to change the grips. And now we're on an overhand grip. Okay? Make sure your thumbs are hooked in. Your hands are working.

We're going to lean back here. When I say hands working, I don't want an a white knuckle grip. I just want you to be secure here. Okay? Chest is open as we run and in, Oh, I think my belly was hanging out there and [inaudible] so feel that opening through your sternum. See if you can make a connection to your sternum and open a little more. So I'm actually almost pulling the bar like he man or he woman. Okay. This is where it's really fun.

I think we're going to lean forward as little as possible. Okay. Might even want to bring your feet a little more underneath you if they slipped out. And without leaning forward and without any major surprises, see if you can, oh, find your way up. So I said without leaning forward, I meant minimizing the leaning forward. We're going to gently rest that. Okay, and now we're going to use these yellow straps again. Now this is where if you happen to be taller, you might want to make an adjustment and put them up one notch.

But I know for me it works perfectly right where it is. And then that where you stand here depends simply on how much spring tension you want. I happen to know that this is gonna work for me right here. I'm spreading my collar bones on my shoulder blades and here we go. We're going to inhale open, feel that spreading of the collarbones and the shoulder blades each time you open here. Oftentimes we collapse in the shoulders as we do this and we want to really avoid that [inaudible] feel that energy out through the crown of the head and hopefully my body is not moving very much. That's the idea that the body stays completely still.

Although I'm slightly forward leaning forward, I'm not moving and in doing that, there's constant adjustments that need to be made. Circles, so we come forward, rotate the palms down, keeping the arms from going any wider than they are up to that wonderful stretch position and we circle around pulling together, palms down, reaching up and open. Just one more in that direction and then we'll reverse this [inaudible]. Oh yes, I had a feeling that would be a little bit of a challenge there. You want to really use those abdominals with your arm strength, so hopefully keep everything nice and still as you pull down there. We'll take one more here and we'll move into the punching.

Now when I do punching, I really think about relaxing. My arms should be parallel to the rise in here. I relaxed my arms out in in, but my focus is on my stabilizers, my abdominals, my shoulder stabilizers good. And I just get my arms moving, trying to extend the elbow all the way to straight. Again, if you're much taller than me, you might need to take these springs up one notch and we'll take one more there. [inaudible] beautiful. Okay. This is my favorite part. I say that about everything so you'll just have to bear with me. But I love this shoulder stretch and I'm playing with this as a way to really work the flexibility and strength needed to master the hand position for the mat exercises like the bicycle in the scissors.

So I want you to hold this a bar securely and bring it up against your pelvis. Okay. As if it were your hands cradling your pelvis. So start with a straight back and think about spreading the pole, like stretching your collarbones and your shoulder blades and try to feel that. Um, I don't know. I, I feel like I have three points of connection I do because I'm holding with my hands and the pole is also touching my pelvis. So we're going to go straight with the arms one time bend.

Now here, use that press to extend and I want your elbows to go just barely inside of the springs. [inaudible] stretch to extend a w bend to extend. I think I want your arms to go just barely outside of the springs. I was rethinking that cue and straighten then. Okay, so new queue your, your elbows go just outside of the springs. You can feel that and then you see where you can take the back extension.

Okay. And carefully come out of there. My shoulders are a little over stretch, but in a good way. All right, moving on. So we want to be on one good spring for this next piece and I'm, I'm on a red. A green would be okay too. So we're going to work into the tendon stretch. All right, so I'm going to have you start sitting with all five fingers facing. Okay. Now if you're not sure about this exercise, you really could just stay here, okay. And round through your back and still play along. Okay.

My heels are hanging off a bit and just the, the fronts of my feet are connected here. I have to push into the bar to bring myself up to a standing position. All abdominals. At this moment, my heels need to be able to drop underneath the bar to be successful here. So we're going to do that. Inhale, dropping the heels under the bar as we slide out, staying very connected to the abdominals and exhale to pull up. Oh, next time with control. Inhale.

[inaudible]. Exhale to pull up and inhale. So lots of stuff going on here. And one more time for me. Stay here. We're gonna walk hands to the shoulder rest.

Step forward with just your left leg for me and bend that knee a little bit and feel both legs bending to help you get ready for this. We're going to go first into balance control front. Okay, so you push that foot, press that foot on the bar and press all the way out, allowing your front leg to bend and really enjoy that front leg bend. Chest is open, everything is secure and ready to go without changing anything. Hopefully when we bring that leg up, now we push out and so my toes are in, plants are flection, my feet are implants, reflection, and I want to really hold on to that. Just one more year. Okay. That same left leg is going to come forward. Good.

Bring the carriage all the way into the stop or both legs are straight and then you're going to place your right foot down, I don't know, maybe six or eight inches behind the other. And we bend both knees, placing the knee down and folding over your thigh. And we press that to straighten and stretch that front leg a little bit. And we bend. We're just working on mobility through the knee and the foot and the ankle. And, and just one last time here.

Nice little stretch forward fold. Lower that back heel down, walk forward with the right foot and then we're going to place the other foot on the foot bar. Bend the front knee and we do it again. Chest is open, very active through the abs and without changing a thing, exhale to press out and inhale Ian so you can keep that body completely still power through the arms. One more time. Yes. So now the right leg is gonna step forward. Find its spot, bring the carriage all the way in. Both legs are straight. Bring the back leg to connect to the mat behind the other and both knees, making a connection, hopefully with your back leg and rounding your head forward. Both legs go to straight and we bend down. Okay.

Rounding forward, allowing the knee, the forehead, something to touch and up. And, and just one last time there. So from this position we'll move on. One red spring is where you want to be and we're going to play with the mermaid here. I, I'm really enjoying this. We're going to use the spring here and the bar is that perfect. So to start with, I'm going to hold with my outside hand.

This is a little bit tricky to get into, but I think once you get into it, it's well worth it. So I'm going to, I'm going to Tuck my foot under. Now here's where the carriage is going to start to move. The moment I missed my lift my leg up and you just want to manage that. Okay. So I'm starting my mermaid much like I would classically start my mermaid. My arm is straight out, my hand is straight out from my shoulder and I actually want you to actively bring your arm down, which engages the lat and feels you.

It helps you feel that sensation actually lifting up a little bit. Okay, so we're going to go through the mermaid inhale. The spring is just gonna help you reach your arm out here and keep going as far as you feel comfortable here. Looking for a straight line. Now as you rotate around the arms, not going to be able to come with you, so you have to work the core a little bit more. Keep that external rotation and that open chest unwind. And then as you come in first, enjoy the stretch here and then pull the arm down in hell up. [inaudible] reaching away. Exhale, we're going to use the core to rotate around, keep the chest open, feel the core moving you, not the arm open and all right, nice. Just one more time.

I'm getting a really nice stretch across the front of my left shoulder and honestly this next piece is why I like this so much. So we're going to change hands. Okay? The carriage will move around a little. So be careful. The other hand is gonna make a connection at the back shoulder rest. Okay. And I want you to kind of let this stretch happen to begin with here.

So I'm pushing into the shoulder rest to allow the spring to rotate me around and boy does that feel wonderful. And then we're going to unwind bending the arm, opening the chest here. I'm just looking the other direction, opening and allowing the arm to straighten and Whoa, there's the stopper and reached more. So what's nice is the spring gives you opening, opening, opening. It gives you just a little bit of a poll here across this um, straight arm.

Oh and mix the stretch wrap around your whole back. For me at least it does. I'm trying to get to that stop or with control. There it is. Ah, that was the one I was waiting for. And just pay attention when you step off. Not letting the carriage bang around too much. Once your foot is down. That should be pretty manageable to do. We'll do the same thing on the other side.

So I like to hold with my outside hand. I pay attention to where the bar is and I just kind of tucked my foot in my leg in if you will. And then as I make my transfer, I keep my hand connected to the foot bar so that I feel secure here. Okay, so here are the, the bar the spring is going to pull your arm out, which is really quite a nice feeling. Okay. I want you to pull down and feel this idea of lifting up. So we inhale, the spring will sort of reach out, exhale, rotate around, keep this palm, this external rotation. So I'm opening through my chest still and sitting tall. The arm will then come in, reach away, the arm reaches out and go a little further and rotate around.

So feel that other arm. I'm really pulling back on my other arm, my right arm at this moment so I can feel the stretch across the front of my body here. And the arm will pull in. And just one more here and shifting hands now. So I'm going to bring the carriage all the way in and hold on to the strap with my other hand. I've got my hand on the shoulder rest behind me. I'm first going to enjoy that stretch. This is just what makes this all worth it for me right here.

Wonderful Lat stretch is so gorgeous. So I'm going to bend my arm neutralizing or facing forward if you will. And then I can continue to rotate around and that feels kind of Nice to me. And then unwind. Allow the arm to straighten and feel that stretch. And again, I unwind Ben, the arm can just stay here if you want, but she can also rotate around lifting the sternum and allow the arm to lengthen.

And one more time lifting the sternum and allow the arm to lengthen and feel that stretch and take caution when you get off. So make sure you bring the carriage all the way into rest. Plant your feet on the floor and then come on up. Can we have one final exercise today using the long box for back extension? Okay, so put the long box on.

Take the springs down or take the bar down first. And the springs too. I like to use just a blue spring. I should have the bar down before I put the box on. Hopefully you thought to do that. Um, I'm on a blue spring. A lighter spring is definitely gonna feel better here. And once again, this is where we kind of play with the two pieces of equipment. So I'm, I have my chest off a little and I want to feel secure on the box and I'm going to walk out using my hands and then I want you to find that pushed through bar.

Okay? Make sure you have a good grip. Let go with your other hand. You're going to hold the push through bar with both hands and just this without really working too much feel so wonderful. It gives me an opportunity to stretch my shoulders and boy does it feel good. Engage your legs, engage your abs and make sure your shoulders are not hiking up by your ears here. So we're not pulling with the arms at this point. I want you to think about slightly pressing down, drawing the shoulder blades back to lift to your back extension and gently come back to your start position.

Now you certainly don't have to lift very high, but you can. So I'm really dry, dry my shoulders back and lifting to thoracic extension. You could stop there, but you can also continue on. Let's do one more here and then we'll add a little flare to this. So lifting to your back extension, stay there. Now the bar stays still in space. Bend your elbows as you pull your body forward so that pushed through bar stays still and you pull chest open.

And again, Paul and just one more of those please. Lowering all the way down. Now you have to save enough gas to get out of this. Put a hand on, pull forward, let the push through bar, go to rest and walk yourself back all the way to the stop or allow your head to hang your legs. Hang for a moment and then ease yourself off of the box. And let's just finish with a couple of roll downs from standing your feet underneath your hips. Inhale, standing dog. Exhale to peel forward one vertebra at a time.

Enjoying the ease through your back body. Allow your head to dangle your arms to dangle. Yeah, and then around and rollback. Ah, oh, rolling down again. Again, since that your palms are facing one another here. That's your head dangled.

Bend your knees and allow your low back to really soften here. Perhaps nod your head, keeping the knees bent slightly horrible all the way up to a standing position. [inaudible] and standing tall. Fill your heart. Open your head, stacked on your body. [inaudible] thank you for playing.

Comments

1 person likes this.
That was great! Thank you Sarah. Really enjoyed it.
1 person likes this.
I love the spinal extension with the box, and the mermaid variations at the end of class. I appreciate the thoughtful cuing. Thanks for the great class.
Thanks ladies! I am pleased to hear you enjoyed the class. Rachel, that back extension is my new favorite! Feels so good.
1 person likes this.
Loved that flowing and creative combo class ! That back extension in the end felt soooooo good ! Thanks Sarah :)))
1 person likes this.
Loved it!
1 person likes this.
Loved this class! I too loved the back extension and mermaid! Thank you:)
1 person likes this.
Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Lovely class! Nicely done.
1 person likes this.
Way to go Sarah! Awesome class, cool variations! Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Great workout Sarah!!! thank you for sharing.
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