Class #2309

Energy in your Feet

25 min - Class


Wake up the energy in your feet in this detailed Wunda Chair workout with Niedra Gabriel. She addresses the feet, especially the little toe, so you can fire up the muscles in your legs correctly. When the muscles are working properly, it has a big impact on how you work on all pieces of equipment.
What You'll Need: High Chair, Wunda Chair

About This Video

Sep 24, 2015
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Good afternoon everybody. Today we're going to do a short study of wounded cheer and Highchair as a way of really addressing the feet, the legs, the trunk and strengthening them and also making them work, right? So when we do things like reformer and other work, everything's firing properly. So, uh, usually high chairs where we start because there is a back and it gives you a lot more stability, um, progress to one the chair because it's more unstable. You already have to know more about your body. So because of that we put the two teachers, I have Christie here and Heidi on the winter chairs and I have Debbie on the high chair so she's in the throne.

So footwork to begin with where I would like you all to start with your feet hip width apart and get the toes on. Now there's a few things to look out for. People are hyper mobile feet fly into the joint and they lift the arch very high. Here we go. We have Heidi as such an example cause used to be a dancer. We don't want that. The foot is not working at all. This is called footwork. We want the foot back.

And I am a big junkie for the little toe. Being on the little toe is going to activate all the way up to your hip. And so for some of you, this is gonna feel like you're sickling because to get the little toe on you may even need to have to turn the feet in. Um, so Christie, I really want those. Yes, you want to feel the little toll active and pressing down. Now very slightly, lift your heels up. This is just a set the tone and we will test run this.

Let's see what happens if you push into that little toe and start to bring the heels towards each other without losing the outer foot. So you see how your little toe is going off. We don't want that. Maybe bring your feet closer together and get more of that little toe on. You need the weight into the outer foot a bit at the beginning to activate it. Drop your heels down. She's such a good example of, um, what a lot of us do, especially professionals.

We've learned to flop our feet all over the place and look good, but it's not great for the strength of the lower leg. Now how much without losing this work, can you bring your heels towards each other and you may ask, she is shaking. That's what we want. And her legs are nicely in the socket. So eventually she will start to be able to bring the legs into an activated turnout versus a floppy turnout. So Deb too, I want the feet, the big toe slightly closer. Get the pressure into the outer foot out of foot for you to Christie.

Lift the heels are enough to get pressure down. Don't, don't rush toes down and now slowly bring the heat. Yes. Now I can see this firing and watches. The knees don't flop. Sometimes people's knees flop out and then this whole outer part of the leg is disengaged. So you need to bring that point where the leg is going into the socket and is nice and stable. Now Debbie's got these beautiful handles.

I want her arms around like this, slightly hug you girls. We'll have your hands down and lift up. You find the sit bones, the pubic bone is going down. So you have this platform of a triangle and then you want to think of your trunk lifting off of this triangle. So front and back is even, and this is so good and then collarbones are still wide. And if you look sideways at a person, you want the back. Yes, the back of the neck is long. So Debbie, I want you to lift the back of the neck and move it back towards the ocean. Yes, because most of us have our head poking forward. We wanted straight up.

Now keep this lift, think of that little toe and press the left. Step down with control and bring it back up now and keep going with that. As you go down, you do not want to lose the back of the chair or talk the pelvis. You have to release the legs in the socket. I want to see those little toes pressing down. Keep the heel stable here, Christie, and press and press. Very good. Keep this head moving up.

Press and press and press. So when you find it, the leg is working very hard. Very nice ladies. Now Bird on a perch. We're going to have a little study. Let's have you move put. Bring your feet to the floor just for a minute. I'm not sure if you can get to the floor. Let's have all of us stand for a second. So burdened approach.

You want to really work to get the arch lifting and there's a lot of dropped arches. So first of all have you feet, let's just fermented, have them hit with the part. Lift all five toes up and feel that pressure into the little toe joint down little toe joint has to activate and then see if you can feel the lift all the way to the outer foot. So weigh in, lift the toes, lift them, lift them. That throws the weight back and forces this out aside side of the foot to work. And usually this arch starts to lift. Now plant the big toe and little toe down and then relax the toes and see.

You can keep that same feeling you dropped your arches. Keep them lifting, lift the toes up, press out of toe, inner toe down. And then as the toes float down, you have to figure out how that arch lifts without the big toe joint coming off the floor cause people do too much. This arch, you want to happen from here, not from here. So now see if you can lift the toes again. Start to feel how as you draw the way to back the arch just in front of the heel lifts, the little toe side of the foot is bearing weight, more weight that's a little bit better. And then lengthen the toes down and then see if you can rock forward and you'll feel the foot lengthen but not collapse.

Go back with your weight and big toe, little toe pressing down. Come forward with the weight, go back with the weight, come forward and you feel the foot get longer and a little flatter. And then as you go back, draw it up. Now this lifting you want to search for and Burton a person of sit back on your chairs. Let's go with the feet hip with the part.

The feet together is an ideal situation, but very often, so much as disconnected. You're not getting the full range all the way up the leg. As you start. I want you to focus on the little toe. I do not want this burden. A perch with a drop dot. So you want the foot that the bar in the middle bar in the middle? Yes. Yes.

So move your foot further forward. Them more, more, more, more, more so the bar, it's there. They're there. Now press your heels down and pressed into the outer foot. Actually your heel has to go a little bit more back. It's kind of in the center of the foot, more or less. Now, can you feel this cupping motion in the outer foot that is looking good? Yes. Make sure the knees aligned up with the feet.

Very often a lot of us have dropped knees that we don't show because we've done a lot of distortion here and this outer line is not stabilizing the the femur bone and the knee joint and the ankle is dropping you. So you may even have no pressure in the big toe side. That's fine. This is excellent. What's happening. And now I would take your feet a little wider. Work into this outer side of the foot and now again, pubic bones. Sit bones fill up the back body. Debbie, hug a little bit.

I want this down and this up. Yes, and as you press down, get taller, pushing down and up, press down and up, press down. Very nice here. She's not moving at all you want. If anything, get taller and up. Make sure that little toe side is working. She's a dancer so she's worked the rotation well but she's got part of her bodies that are not kind of as activated as a result and press. I know cause I am too am press and up, but very nice. Very good work. Good. Debbie, one more time and press and up. Lovely ladies. Put your heels on.

See if you can find the center of your heel. The pressure right into the middle of the bone. Hard. Now can you get your knees? Let's have the feet a little wider. Debbie, I want the feet. Imagine where your sit bones are and the heels lined up. Now can you get the knees lined up and still get the center of the foot pressing down and the little toe lifting up? Press down. And as you come up, don't let the knees rock in and get that little toe side to pull up a lot.

Because this, we want to get this outer leg stabilizing press and lift the middle toe up and press and lift up, up, up. Don't turn. You know, foot has to stay straight. Now this side has to work and press don't rock don't change. This has to push down better. Lift the toe up. She's got that still. I starting to see the connection here so we don't want to deformed the foot to get the result.

We want to strengthen and stabilize the structure of the foot so it's even three more times and up. Keep working that little toe side. It's usually atrophied and dead and disconnected. And where is it? And it takes three, four lessons to wake it up and okay ladies, now tendons stretch. Let's have you all step off. You two ladies.

We'll turn and face the chair and let's have your hands in the back. So you're going to be like this and then you step and push down with one foot in one foot. Debbie, you know this can stay. Just hold on here. Make sure you're off. No, off the platform. Put One foot up on the step. Push it down. Stand on it with both feet now. Yeah, and press down for you as well, Heidi. Push it down. Push, push, push, push, push and stand on it. Stand on it right now. Everybody get your feet hip width apart today.

See if the girls on the wound chair, I want your hands at the back over the edge and scoop your navel and pull the back ribs up. That'd be hold a second. I want this fall for you. So spread the shoulder blade like someone is taking these front ribs and lifting them so that you start to widen these back ribs. Very, very important in airy. That's hollow. And then we want to start to elongate this lumbar spine. Now I would like the little toll down weight into the little toe. So you can see with Christie right now, I would like first a little, so she's throwing the way down.

That's obviously not where we want to end up, but this gives a tactile contact with this little toe and we want to wake up the energy here. Now can you bring the heel bones back towards each other a little bit? Not by the external rotation, but by pushing the rectally in this way and keep that working. Go slow enough not to lose the muscle connection. Now she's beginning. This will get longer in your toe. We'll get more stable.

Her foot will get more balanced as the outer foot starts to develop. So just the gentle pressure here and linked out and up here, Debbie, the same thing. I want that little toll right now for you. You're going to stand up straight and lift out of the lower body. Press that little toe down and it starts to activate the buttock.

Buttocks now stay nice and long and length in the heels down. Debbie gets taller and you girls get the ribs to lift higher and then press into all five toes to lift up and get the ribs higher and press down and get taller. Debbie, push, push, push heels down, down, down, down, down, and lift up and press the heel straight down, not in towards each other. Little toe presses in to that and lift up and press the little toe down, down, down, down, down, and press into it. To get all five toes to work, you need to distribute the weight here and lower and lift. And one more time.

So you want the heel in an ideal world going straight back and are going in and the balance of the works things straight. Okay, so you girls, girls and the one that you're one foot to the floor and with control, lift the step up. Debbie que with control. Lift this. Step up and stand. So a lot of detailed work into the feet. Um, also ankle work. Let's use you to demo and then we'll, all three of us will do what? You will put one foot here on the ball of the foot.

This soft part of the kneecap fits right into here and you will have your hands in a diamond shape around the kneecap to stabilize it. Now the feet should be in line with the hip, so we didn't start you out. I'm going to push this down. I want you to move the foot out just a little bit. So we are tracking all the position today is being done completely parallel. So the hips are even now. Here we go.

I'm just going to do a demo with her little toe down. Yeah, don't hyper extend into your dancer toe. I want that little toe down. Now from here, press into this little toll and then lift the left lip, the step up. Flex your foot and track both sides evenly. So I'm looking at the heel tracking through the center of the calf and the heel tracking through the center of the foot. Very nice. And then I check the hips and the ribs. Youtube, keep on working.

Do about seven more and then we'll do other side. We'll both join you, Debbie. Get no stand off the platform. Check that you're in this powerless position before you start. Bend over, get the softer, the knee on the ledge. Good hands right around it. Okay. And then you push down and lift.

And so I'd like you to do about between six and 10. This can be very fatiguing because it's, I want those ribs. There we go. So again, this hip has to drop and the little toe, little toe, little toe is a secret to so much change in the legs. Good. And let's have you change sides if you haven't yet.

Good work. Very good work here. Little Toe and other side. Make sure the hips, the feet up, you're not there. We want this leg tracking straight so it's not like on the midline, but it's in line with the hip that you need the knee in line with the foot. Okay? And here we go. Want that little toe working? Obviously that's my obsession of the day.

Little Toe because we all have unstable hips and the feet are not really as active as they could be. And there's a lot of discomfort that people experience as they get older. Um, that can end up his hip replacements or Bunyan's. This hip has to go back the ribs to the left. Better now you're centered and there's because the hips are not strong.

Um, they flop a bit. Okay ladies down you come. Very nice and we'll just go through stepping up Front v, this is where it really comes into effect because usually people start to wobble a lot and the high chair is the best place to learn it. So we will start with Debbie and then we're going to have the advanced girls do the Coupe de Gra. Debbie, let's have you stand. Hold a step. Step one foot comes up, push the step down. Now I would like you with your feet just in a Pilati stance.

Heels together in the middle of this step. Bring your right foot up to the top so the toes touch and the knee is over the center of the foot. Lift all five toes for a minute so you fee the activate the foot. Very, very, very keys to activate the first, the foot first and then see, lift the toes up again, connected all the way up to the hip and now lift this heel up with all five toes. Yes, see if you can find the engagement. Put your hands here, bring the chest a little bit forward because your weight will have to be born by this lake's affirmer firmer heel to her head. She's in a straight line and now activate this little Cho and that little toe in. Step up using your powerhouse all the way up and down.

If this hip starts riding up, it's not been stabilized enough and activate that outer foot and then lift the center of the body and down. One more time, like this outer part of the foot. People swing into it and on other. Put that foot down at the foot up on the toes. Other leg comes up right now, square the hip, but let's have this heel high so that dropped the hip down. Don't sag to that side and bring your sheet tendencies to lean back.

We need to get you over the hip cause eventually you do this without hand. So you have to be over the leg that's doing the work. There's no way it's going to happen here. I want you to lift the little toes up. All five toes lift. That little toe lifted, lifted, lifted. She's a little bit learning about her little toe.

The knee has to be over the center. So and then as you put the toes down, see if you can activate this hip going backwards better now. Live through the crown of the head up. You come to the top of the spring and then imagine someone holding your ears, pulling you up and lift. Do not let this needle leave the board and down. One more time like this ad, lift and down. Step down with this foot.

Step one foot to the floor with control. Lift the step up. Thank you Debbie. Very nice. You get to watch the other girls. We're going to do the same thing. So put both hands on either side of the of the chair. Push the ledge down with one foot and stand on the step with both feet. And now bring one foot up in front of you. And here is where it, because it's more unstable, you can either have the foot straight.

If it's a really strong, already educated foot, you can have the foot slightly turned out. If you feel it will give you more anchorage. I want these hips even. I want that little toe down and I want the heel on the step lifted, lifted up and lift up. Now narrow these hips and keep the knee facing the same direction as the foot before you go up. See if you can bring your hands behind your head and lift your trunk up.

Now you have to work this foot well and from here, give me your hands. A few. Let's have you narrow the hips and step to the top of the spring all the way to the top without that front foot wobbling if you can, and slowly lower down. You have to work the foot to the hip. Good girl and the lift and down. Keep the right hip down. Enough. Tip Up. Good girl and lift. Nice work here.

She's working super hard and bring your hands down. Change the legs and other foot comes up. Check the alignment. The knee should be opposite the center of your foot. Your hips need to be square. The back heel has to be high so that you have a chance of a square foot and the little toe, that foot.

And it should be actively down the arch lifting and the knee facing the foot. So no zigzag. See if you can narrow the hips and use the power of the leg to bring you up. So you do. There we go. Did you say you shifted forward? You want to be there already? You have to find that place.

So your weight is over the front leg. Excellent work ladies and down and again and lift and down. This is such a lovely example. Put your hands down, step down, step to the floor and let the step come up. So first of all, thank you all very much. Um, this is a short video of how hard simple exercises can be when done well. I highly recommend spending time with yourself, with your on this so much detail because it will really change their legs. We are all about building a good, strong, healthy body so we can have a good, strong, happy, healthy life. A lot of it happens by fixing the detail, the little toe. Don't forget it and get that r-chop. Thank you.

Thank you. Good work.


Niedra your attention to detail, and explanation of the importance of activation of the little toe is amazing'
4 people like this.
Great information ..however I would describe this class as a tutorial .
1 person likes this.
Very good tutorial, but not necessarily a workout. I will use this information going forward and my feet are suprisingly tired after this, but I had limited time this morning for a workout and I don't feel like I got one.
love the breakdown.....the devil is definitely in the details or in my pinkie toe!!!! Thank you thank you - a great tutorial!
Niedra Gabriel
Jennifer - you stole my words! the devil is in the details - or should we say the light and mastery is in the details. we think the same - so glad you got value from this tutorial.
Wow - my legs have never felt so strong or straight! What an amazing difference in such a small adjustment. Thank you!
Francesca M
1 person likes this.
While I appreciate the detail -This is not a workout. It's a pinky toe tutorial.
Fantastic Niedra these fundamentals get very over looked. My hips are very flexible and I so need the activation through my hips! Thank you so very much for this beautiful detailed explanation.
Niedra Gabriel
I am so happy to read your comment Jocelyn, The details are so important in my mind, but this sort of work is not for everyone just because it is so detailed.
The little toe...really had to go back and pay attention to this connection!!! Excellent!!
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