Class #2338

Creative Tower Exploration

60 min - Class
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Have fun with a little Girl Time in this Tower workout with Kristi and Meredith! They use their knowledge to explore new ideas so they can go deeper into the movements and the work. In addition to seeing modifications for their different bodies, you will be able to use your breath to move you while practicing these challenging exercises!
What You'll Need: Tower

About This Video

Oct 11, 2015
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Guess what time it is? Girl time! Girl time. Mary and me are going to take you through a Tower Class and just the inception of this kind of a workout is truly for us to be together. And also to share our workouts that we did for many years which is to get together and though we know the block and the structure that we'll in all of our workouts, we hand it off back and forth, so that's what you'll see here. And we just sort of let each other teach each other and hope that you'll join us in some fun and occasionally we use this time to explore other ideas from what we've learned.

So that's what today's about. This Tower, the way we have the Tower set up, is we use the shorter arm springs with the roll-up bar, yellow springs, balance body with the bar attached and we're at the top. We will use a bottom loaded situation so make sure that your safety strap is nearby. And attached properly. And then we have the legs springs, purple or yellow and basically that means light or medium.

For whatever you have will work fine with what we have or what we're most likely to do. I was gonna say planned but generally that's what we use comfortably with whatever we do. And is there anything else, I have handles nearby 'cause we know we're gonna do some kneeling arm work later. Is there anything else? Yep, I think that's it.

Okay, so let's go ahead and you're already there, so let's have a seat. And do our sort of preparatory warm up, get in touch with ourselves piece of this workout. I'm gonna come a little so that the knees are bent and I'm just straddling that little thing, heels are up, grab onto the bar. Comfortable distance, shoulder distance, so you can either be inside or outside of your springs there, but make sure it's not real wide or real narrow, we're really tall here, apply a little pressure down on the bar, but do it from a place that allows your spine to get longer. Exhale and just release.

I'm not going anywhere for about two more breaths. I'm inhaling. Applying a little pressure, I feel first underneath my shoulders, I feel the neck expanding, or decompressing as I press the bar and grow taller, let it go. When you exhale try not to sink. Let's just do one more despite if I said three.

Inhale. Keep a little resistance on the spring, as you start to exhale, tilt the pelvis and I'm gonna roll back to about the top of the pelvis. I'm just gonna get right into it. Make sure the shoulders are going with you and that you are feeling that rotation around the hip joint. Inhale.

Start to exhale and is if you don't want to come up, pull the belly back as you round the body forward, the shoulders end up over the hips. Straighten yourself up. Inhale. Keep that pressure, so don't let the bar go loose. Exhale.

The hips pull away. So that's the spine can only respond, the shoulders, they don't do much, they just go with you. Inhale, I'm at the top of the hip, or the pelvis, exhale, come forward, you can look down. When you get shoulders over hips lengthen the spine, feel that, how the compression down with the hands and arms lets your spine be free. Exhale, roll back.

(loudly exhaling) Blow out the air, let the air kind of move you a little here. So inhale, if it moves you, fine. Start exhaling but use it to facilitate a deeper shape of that curve. And then sit up tall. We'll go a little further, shoulder blades, exhale, roll back.

So far so good? Right now. Here we go, shoulder blades, shoulder blades, stay here for a moment, let the shoulders release forward so you feel that. It's like the thing we always say don't do, let it go forward. Go a little lower Mary.

Way down, way down, shoulder blades. Yep, then retract the shoulders not so far that it does anything elsewhere but they're back on your body again. Take an inhale when it feels right and we just roll up like that. Just wanted to make that difference. And sit up tall.

One more of those, inhale, including the shoulder piece. We roll back, we try to keep the shoulders with us, meaning a straight line across the collar bones. We're there, we release it, let the shoulders be pulled forward, let the spring be heavy, that was my inhale, I exhale, retract the shoulders to put 'em back on their spot. Inhale, hold, exhale, we roll up. And sit tall.

This time we go all the way, probably will mean your legs will go straight. Not necessarily. Roll back, exhale, go all the way down, finding any spots that need a little loosening up. Let the back of the shoulders go to the mat. Instead of releasing the shoulders forward, pull the arms or the bar to your chest, there's you inhale, exhale, let it go back to straight, head comes up inhale, exhale, round up if the knees bend, or when they bend that's fine, make it all about the trunk or the body.

Sit up tall. Inhale, keep the pressure down on the bar a little bit. Exhale, we go all the way. We'll see some pieces of this later, I think, inhale, pull the bar nice and wide, exhale, head comes up, inhale, keep the shoulders on your back and exhale, roll up. Small change here, inhale, exhale, we roll all the way down.

All the way down, let the back of the shoulders go to the mat as well as your head. Pull the bar, stretch the bar, do it again, so pull again. Stretch it one more time. Pull. And straighten arms, head comes up, inhale, exhale, all the way up.

From here, put a little pressure again down on the bar, so you've got some grip around it. So grip strength is good, just watch Benjamin Degenhardt's class. Where I couldn't hang on the whole time, and I've been practicing it ever since. Knees together and bent. So feet will be flat, exactly.

Same idea, we're gonna go about half way down or mid back. Let's say, exhale, rollback. We're just gonna kind of change things ever so slightly. Now it's not that I want to force the tuck, so let the glutes go, but keep the intention in the spine as if you were gonna tuck. From here the arms will just stay straight, inhale, prepare, exhale, come forward a little bit.

So rise up, but hold the abdominals back, and down. Inhale down. Exhale up. This is that place where as long as everything else stays the same, meaning the shape. You can really focus on the breath as a mover almost.

Inhale, down. Am I just making that up or is that feel right? No I feel like, I feel like you can. I kind of feel it. I mean I want to feel it, does that count?

I do I feel like that's what's making me deeper in my curve. And then let's keep the same motion but on the exhale when you come up let the right leg extend, don't just straighten it but let it float like the breath was filling that leg. So the knees stay together, you just float the lower leg. Inhale down, it's more for a visual for effect, then really adding anything. Other leg, although I do feel it more honestly.

And down, okay. I don't know how half of it works sometimes. And down, we'll just do one more. I won't be doing both legs so don't start psyching up for that. I'm not ready, are you?

Nope. Good, keep 'em down. Go ahead and roll all the way up, stretch your legs out to straight, flex them, press the bar down further than we were before, and lift into a little bit of extension. So that doesn't mean throw the ribs forwards of course, it's just a growing up. Oo I could use that too.

(both laughing) Couldn't we all? Well I've been told that today actually. Okay, now, we bend the knees again, back to where we just were. We're gonna roll down to the same spot. This time you're gonna rotate to your right.

And that means the whole bar, like you would be turning it as if it were attached to your spine. So the left arm's higher than the right but everything is in relationship, exhale rise up. It's the same distance we traveled before, inhale down. Keep your weight as equal on that hip as possible. Or sacrum.

Up good and down. Lovely. And exhaling up. And although I do want you to hold the bar with that grip, let's do what two more? Sure.

Is that four or five, oh I should have told you before hand. Four? I thought so too, good, one more. Keep the grip but let the arms themselves be somewhat relaxed. We're not hanging on for dear life.

Go to the other side. It'll be different, so take your time, don't let the hips move, inhale if you haven't. Exhale we rise up a bit and inhale down. As you blow out that air that was that spot that allowed us to curve more, right. And down, two more.

Inhale, or exhale sorry, and inhaling down, one more. I will go back down after this, make all the air go out so when you inhale and come down, you can rotate center, straighten out the legs, come all the way up again. Flex your feet, press the bar down and find that extension. In order for that to feel good, I believe you have to have your inner thighs strongly pulling together. To lift into extension.

We're gonna make more of that but for now, point your toes, roll all the way down for a roll up. Backing up just a little 'cause I'm gonna hit that bar. Just leave the arms straight and as if they're pulling you up, well they are pulling you but resist that, inhale and exhale to roll up. Just keep the C curve, keep the curve at the top, let's go down one more time and then I'll change it. Exhale roll back.

And let your head lay flat. Now just to get ready for the next thing. Whether you are seated or standing, we're gonna go into an extension here and I want to, I think it's easier to feel when you're up against a wall or in this case a mat. Start to lift your chest, the arms don't really change, you're lifting through extension of the spine toward the top of your head. You don't have to go all the way, but it's that idea.

You didn't thrust the hips forward. You've maintained that inner thigh connection and then lay it back down. Let's do that again. Inhale, lift the chest. So you feel the upper back muscles working, so your top of your head, or near the top of your head gets lighter.

And lay it back down. If you're struggling to get your head back down, you might have to much weight on your head. One more like that. Lifting up, try and keep the hip bones where they are. They'll move a little, but you know what I'm saying.

And down. Now we'll roll up by picking our head up, and exhale to get up there. Adjust if you need too, which is just what I need. Now we do that same arch and we're gonna go back with it. Yeah. Okay.

Reverse arch roll I think we call it. Shoulders press down, you lift into a straight spine, now, as if you were lying on a mat, lift your chest, go ahead and lean back, you've got the springs, let the top of your head, you see how I can still talk, you should be able to too. Oh me, I can talk. Yep. Of course you, everyone, yes.

And roll up. And in other words, we're doing it again. When you lift up you don't want to sink your head so much that you can't hear anything, I can't even finish it's to painful. It should feel kind of good, get longer as you go back. Roll your head and up we come.

Let's go a little faster. Press the bar down, get tall first then extend yourself back and roll, the springs are your friend. I'm gonna do one more and then I'm gonna reverse it. Inhale, lift, roll back, I just caught my feet splaying, what are yours doing. Mine are together.

Oh you're so good. And we're at the top, we reverse it. Inhale, prepare, exhale, roll down. If you don't have enough resistance on your springs you should back up. Lift your chest, be careful of your low back and rise up, let the springs up help you roll it back down, exhale.

We're doing three more. Inhale rise up, let yourself be pulled follow the energy of what you created in that spring, you tightened it up follow it, go with the recoil. One more, down we go. And up. And viola.

And for now, I think that's all that we need to do, 'cause I know what's coming with that later ab series. Okay. Fair enough. Yeah, so I'll take over for footwork how 'bout that. Let's take the bar off.

I think that we'll just keep the yellow springs on 'cause the spring, in my opinion isn't so much of an issue. So we're gonna do some standing footwork here in what we'll be using the bar for balance mostly. So, I'm gonna put both springs on. It's not a great deal of tension. You'll find.

You did put springs on? I did, yeah. So I'm using both of the springs. And you want to back away from the bar until your arms are straight out in front of you. Without applying to much pressure on the springs at that moment.

Okay, so holding on to the bar, we're gonna bend both knees and we're gonna, you want to lean back a little so it feels like you're going up and just down a wall. Then press into the heels, feel the backsides of the legs engage and lift. And inhale, bend. Press into your heels, feeling the back sides of the legs, like you're sitting upright in a chair. And then press up.

And inhale, Ben why are you sore? (speaking faintly) Oh and press. And inhale to bend, so the bar moves with you. And reach up. We'll do four more here.

Feel that as you're bending and straightening you have equal pressure on your feet. And three. And lift. And two. And lift.

Keeping the trunk right over the pelvis. Last time. And lift. So I'm gonna play with our parallel toe position, just a little bit, so what we'll do first is we'll lift the heels. Now you're not up in your maximum lift, you're just lifted a little bit, maybe two inches off the amt.

We're gonna bend the knees there, keep that feeling of leaning back, place the heels down and stand up. At the top rise up onto the toes. Bend the knees, holding the ankles stable, roll through the foot to place the heels down, and stand up. Well do three more like that Kristi and then we're gonna reverse it. So bend.

Almost feels a little bit to me like water skiing. I don't know if you've ever been water skiing, you gotta lean, Oh, I'm way better at this I can tell you that. Way better at this. You know what I like about this, this is two so you have one more, is the flat surface, unlike the bar, I like that I can feel that. And then when you're having us go flat, I can feel what it takes to get there.

It's really cool. Yeah. I mean, it's not straight. So we're gonna reverse that, so the feet stay flat now as we bend. And then articulate out so you're on your toes, press up on the toes, and then roll through the feet to come down.

Bend the knees. Roll through the feet up on to the toes, keep the heels still as you press up. And heels down at the top and three more, bend. And reach, lift. And down and just keep that nice tempo, lifting.

And down one more. Bend. Heels lift. Reach. And down.

So we're gonna do the same thing in a small V shape or in a Pilates V shape. So, first we're gonna rise up on to the toes. Feel the spine stay tall, stay tall as the knees bend, drop the heels down, flatten the feet and push. You still have that sense of somewhat leaning back? Yeah.

Yeah, the reason I'm leaning back is because I want to try to keep my body over my pelvis. As an idea. Right if I didn't lean back it would be more like a traditional squat where my spine would go in front of my pelvis. So I mean, I suppose either would be fine, but today I want to play with it this way. So we've got two more to go like that.

I really like this, this is the same foot movement you need on the jump board. Right, where you get that articulation and then the squeeze through the whole leg, last one. Dropping the heels and lifting. So now we're gonna take that in reverse. So we're gonna bend, feet stay down.

This is more the jump board, this is more of the jump board's, it's more real to the jump board. Here heels lift, we press, imagine that you're jumping up off the mat and heels come down. And bend, keep the heels connected. Roll through the toes, on to the toes, press up. And heels come down and bend.

Lift, press down on the springs a little bit, so you've got full body energy happening. And heels down, one more. Lift, press and down. Okay, so we're going back to parallel. We're gonna lift the left knee up.

Inhale, bend the right knee, you won't be able to go quite as low, keep the pelvis steady. And straighten. So just keeping the foot still for now. Bend. Notice I said for now.

And two. Definitely noticed that. Bend. And three. Now let's hold it here, let's lift the heel on the right foot, then your left knee's still floating.

And bend holding the foot still. And press. And bend. This is where it's good to be able to press down on the bar I find. And bend.

And press. So now we would roll through the foot, drop the heel down. Bend the knee, Same leg? Yep same leg. Roll through til you're on your toes and press up.

Heel comes down. I mentioned I was sore right. What? I said I mentioned I was sore right? Oh yeah, yeah, I don't care.

I know. Lift your heel. I mean do care but. That's good, I'm glad, of course, just saying. I do, I'm hearing you and I do care that you're sore and I'm proud of you.

One more. So here we are last one. Lift up. Heel. Straighten up and bend, last set.

Lift onto the toes. Bend the knee. Roll through the foot, place the heel down and press up. Lift the heel, bend the knee, roll the foot down. You got to manage your, I don't know, I just caught myself trying to hold onto the bar with my neck.

Last time, heel comes down. Press up and stand on both feet. Surprisingly challenging. Okay, so here we have other side. Right leg lifts.

Spine is tall. Lean back as you bend. And straighten. So as you're sliding up and down the imaginary wall. Feel that you're trying to pull your abdominals back into said imaginary wall.

So here we are, we go to the top. We're gonna lift the heel, we're gonna bend the knee. And straighten, just three. Holding the heel still. Bend the knee.

Hold the heel still, straighten, last time. Bend. And straighten and then lower the heel, bend the knee, roll up on to the toes and press up. Heel comes down, spine gets longer, bend, lift the heel. Straighten the leg and lower the heel down one more.

Bend. Lift the heel. Reach so hard. And down. Reverse, we go up on to the toes, bend the knee.

Lower the heel and straighten. Two more, just watching that right leg, we're managing it, it stays totally still. Heel drops, and straighten, last time. Lift, bend, heel goes down. Lift up, foot goes down and then that's it for me.

I'm gonna turn it back over to you for ab work. Okay, then let's change it to bottom loaded. Okay, so we'll need, while we're up here, might as well put the safety strap on. My apologies I forgot to tell you about the red spring or bottom loaded spring you could do it with two blue or one red. It's that medium tension that we're going for, for I think pretty much everything else that we sort of talked about.

So, that's what we're doing. I'm hooking it up. And, we're gonna do some ab work, so lie on your back underneath the bar. And, as a starter, maybe think in terms of you shoulders just under your wrist. And I honestly, I'm back to that long arm thing again.

I so desperately want to back up, but I'm gonna try it like this and then I'm gonna take care of my shoulder if I need to. So you're in the middle of your bed, your arms are absolutely straight, try to be right under your wrists, pick your head up, look at your feet and then we're not going up yet Mary, just let the weight of the bar drop your shoulders into the mat a little bit more. So you're not pushing the bar away from you but rather you're working in conjunction with it. Then, from here, however you need to breath, come up a little more, but almost pressing down on the middle of your back. Go back down.

Beautiful, that's way better that what I just tried to do, but that's what I'm doing, what Mary's doing. We go up and down. And one more and then I'll take us back to the start of this but just trying to make the point that it isn't an arm exercise, of course they're involved, go all the way down. And viola. So you want to avoid this idea of I've got to muscle the bar upward of it will never work.

Or it won't be fun anyway. Here we go, so your arms are in place. You're using your middle body, your whole body, other than your arms. Inhale look forward. Exhale, we're gonna roll all the way up, sit tall.

Right up on top. Then just go back down. If you felt like you couldn't get to a place of relative solidity at the top, back up or forward, whatever you need, I had to back up a tiny bit. Again, I've all sorts of reason, I don't know if any of them are valid. Up we come, 'cause now I'm there, now I'm flexible, so are you so we want to moderate that for everyone.

Bend the elbows, get tall, don't sink, don't sink, it's all easy elbows. 'Cause they were never working in the first place, now roll down. All the way, let your head come down, inhale, head up. Exhale, following through, with that line. You're up, watch the rib cage.

You're back on those sitz bones or at least right on top. Bend and straighten. And down we go. This is actually feeling really good on my little trampoline accident. Up we go.

I think. And bend. I really like on the down, this kind of push up on the bar to create a down pike, so and up and down energy at the same time that's what I like to think about. Got it. I love it, but you're not doing it from the shoulders right?

No, no, no I'm not lifting my shoulders, I'm just putting I'm just keeping almost like an up push in my arms without elevating my shoulders, just so I can deepen into my rounding. Okay, will you cue that one more time just for us all the way through? Yeah, so lifting the head and chest, it's nothing different than what you were cuing, it's just a different idea, roll all the way up, sit tall, elbows bend and straighten. So now as you start, start here to just let the springs drop the shoulders down like Kristi said before, and then start tucking the pelvis, let the springs push down the shoulders but keep reaching up with your arms so you can feel a reverse or an oppositional contraction with your abdominal. I love it, I love it.

One more with that in mind, we go up. Up, up. And it's, I think what's kind of cool to think about, bend and straighten is when you're going down, the way you're describing it sort of makes it so that you feel those spots that are a little trickier, like for me right here, Mm hm, it slows you down a little I feel like. Yeah, yeah, love it. All right adding to that a little bit.

This could be done without a spring if you do feel it in your neck or shoulders so go ahead and curl up, not all the way, just to the, sorry my fault, just to the shoulders blades, from here, let's draw the knees in. Right close, nothing's changing with your upper body, pick the hips up, the knees up, bring them to your nose, but don't lean your head back to do it. Set your butt down, but also touch the toes to the mat, barely. Pick the knees up, try to do it from the middle body instead of the hip flexors only. Roll up, lift your butt.

It's okay, we're getting ready for a Tower in a minute. And touch down. And again. Lift up. At any point you could bar down, right, if it's not working for you, but keep your flexion of your upper body otherwise.

And down. Last one like that. Check that you're not starting to muscle it with your shoulders. Keep your body up from the spine. Lift, this is another place I'm pushing on the bar, kind of to Mary's point.

Pushing it away. And down, let your head go down. Let your feet go down. Just flat and then rotate your knees way off to one side. But keep them together just like a neat side stretch.

Roll through go to the other side. Getting, just giving you a break mostly, but also just get that little release. And back, then, either you could keep your head down, I'm gonna try it with the head up again for a frog like action, so we get the abdominal section into it, or the flexion. Let the weight of the bar be in your hands, draw the legs up. Turn them out into a frog, flex, push away.

Nice high diagonal, and bring it in. And out. So in this one, I'm not lifting the pelvis. You could, but I'm rather focusing on keeping it down so I don't have to much to worry about. One more time, check your shoulders, you could always just support your head.

Stay out there, lower the legs for circles, down around up, they're small. Two. Three. Lift, here's four. I'm doing five each way.

And five, and reverse. Go up, pick it up, push it out, bring it together. Strong, two. And around, three, if you need to put your head down, make your circles higher. Two more, I think, last one.

And bring it in and rest. Knees toward your chest, head down, release the arms. Let's do one more little series here. Are you sure? Mm no, actually.

(both laughing) But I said it, so what I'm thinking is single leg stretch. I don't think I'll do double but I may try and figure out a criss-cross so let's go head up. Extend your right leg out. And just stay here but switch. Go one, one, and two, breath out but pull that knee way in today.

In, in and think I kind of got off on a weird breath since I started with the right leg, but anyway, go, give yourself two more sets, that's one, here's another one. Both legs in set everything down. Hm. How will I do this> I don't know. Do you know of a way?

Criss-cross? With the bottom loaded? That's gonna be weird right, to switch or no? I think you'd be okay, it'd be hard. Let's try.

So one arm holds the bar and the other one lets go and crosses? I tell you what, bring both arms more to the middle to each other. Yep right around that safety strap. Straighten your arms, curl up and then take your left arm off, bring your right knee in. Rotate just as you were, either if you're other side of right over it.

And just pulse it. But rotate into it. Press. Press. Press, I know what I'm gonna do to this.

One more time. Stay up, change hands. So you, and change legs right. So you're just reaching either over the shin, depending on how close it is to you. Two, for six presses, it's from the trunk, not the arm.

(breathing heavily) And then come back down. This time you're gonna take your right hand more toward the left side. Yep, exactly. And, then you might need the other one to help you get up 'cause it's heavy, just for the moment, but you'll take that left one off in a second. Okay. See how this goes,

we curl up. Extend the left leg, sorry, sorry my fault, left knee is toward you, right leg is straight again. Left hand behind your head, or reaching straight alongside the body, whichever you want. And just press from there, again it's spine, not a lot of movement. Two, three, so now we have a little more rotation, not much but some.

And come down, switch arms. Switch knees. Hand either behind your head or you could reach it right alongside your body. And let's go six, one, pull the knee in too. Two, three, four, here's five, and six.

And bring it down. That's enough Kristi. That's plenty, fine good. Oh my. We're going into a Tower prep.

And whether we move on or not will be up to you. Well up to whoever's doing it. Take your arms straight on the pulls. And push yourself low enough or down far enough til your arms are really straight but that you still have a hold. At least that you could still have a hold, we'll go back to it in a minute.

Then put your feet on the bar. Parallel on the toes. And we've warmed up a little bit, or a lot for this actually. A moment ago with the abs series too, so now it's almost the exact reverse of that long sit up. But first we will flex our feet.

Our tailbones are a down as they can possibly be. Do your best there. Legs straight, from there. You're gonna point the toes, I'm doing the prep, so we're gonna bend the knees. But as you do feel or find the hamstrings, so again we're kind of pushing on the bar, it's not gonna more much it will move some.

Until you have that big C curve. Knees over shoulders, from here I'm going right back down for those first two. And again you're holding or even pushing on the poles to massage your spine back to its straight leg position. Once the knees are straight, flex the feet. Inhale, exhale, point, bend the knees, the bar will move maybe a little, but once you can stabilize it, do.

Try not to get to closed on yourself, in other words I'm not aiming for shoulders, I'm sorry knees to shoulders and then from the throat. Try and set your spine down further than where you started. Tailbone down, knees straight, flex the feet. I'll add on a little bit. Point the toes, exhale, bend, hamstrings should be working, if they're not it's not gonna feel good.

It's not even gonna be safe, so you want to know that you've got that from here. Straighten your legs up, you still have the hamstrings, right. You're almost pushing that bar away from you. Keep the legs straight and roll down, just like you did before. There's a step in the middle there if you wanted to you could go back to bent knees, flex the feet, point the toes.

Bend the knees to go up for the prep. That version of it that we just did. Find the hamstrings, keep the hamstrings connected as you then simply extend the knees from that place, roll down with straight legs. One more like that. Flex the feet at the bottom, finish it.

Then point, bend the knees, find the hamstrings, we go up, up, up, the arms are involved not a lot, but there is a sense of pushing away. And pulling toward if you will. It's that sort of simultaneous, isometric whatever contraction. Let's leave the legs straight as the third option. Point the toes.

Go up with straight legs, you still need the same hamstring feeling, up, up, up get long in the waist. Don't go so far that the bar gets beyond you, bend the knees now, we're going back to straight in a moment. But nothing in the middle has changed in the meantime. And down we go with straight legs. So that's where it's as close to that sit up we did earlier.

Flex, point the toes, you know the prep, choose your position. Bend, it's almost like you're pulling the knees in. Do use still some of the hamstring and glute. A little would be appropriate, and down. I think.

I mean sometimes we get so afraid of using the glutes at all, and sometimes we over use them. And this one is one of those, last one. Balances, I flexed, I pointed, we're going up, inner thighs. Should feel pretty good, yeah there's a stretch, but it feels good too. Shouldn't be that sort of weighted stretch feeling, I don't think.

I've done that before and that doesn't usually end well. Oh. Flex the feet, can we just hang out for a second. Mm. Stretch.

I'm gonna pull my bar down. Huh? Grab your bar and pull down. You gonna grab the bar, go for it. You take it.

Oh from here, from now, okay, I'm just pulling down on my bar to help myself stretch. Okay. And then when you're ready take your feet out. Wait, wait, I'm not ready, I have an idea. Bend on knee, but keep the other leg straight.

And then the straight leg, draw that hip into the mat. Even if it's slightly exaggerating it. So you're almost lifting the bent knee hip, just to get that outer hip, or at least for me. Don't let the leg roll out though. And then, switch, sorry I just needed that, I forgot.

So I've bent, in my case, the left knee, now the right leg is straight and the right hip is dropping into the mat. And not just down, but also reaching long, on the side of the waist. Oh my God I'm gonna throw up. (Mary snorting) (both laughing) Okay, that's good. Enough.

Okay, so let's get rid of that bar. So take the spring down. And take the safety strap off. That red spring can just rest there for now. And we've set our leg springs, our hip work springs up where, just above the push to bar on the notch, that first notch just above where the push to bar is stuck in.

So we use those springs now. So come down onto your backs. And the further you go away from where the springs are hooked up, the more challenging this will be. So, you can chose where you want to be. I sometimes like to have my hands pressed up against the poles which is where I think I'll teach from today.

But you can also just reach your arms straight down to your sides. The arms over head for me helps me manage to keep my body still. Okay so we'll start in a frog position. With the knees just in line with the shoulders. Press into the bars by pulling the shoulders down in the back, and then stretch the legs straight out.

And bend, feel as the legs are going out, they're going straight out, not out enough so they're sliding that in a straight line. And bend. Continue as you work through the legs to feel that the shoulders are in control, stable. Feel as the legs press up, there's a wrapping action in the hips. So we're working our external rotators, we're pressing the heels together to feel the insides of the legs working.

And then also see about feeling that both legs are pressing evenly. I talk about that all the time, 'cause my legs don't like to work evenly. So I say it out loud to remind myself as well. We're gonna go one more time. So from there, with both legs straight take the legs down, out, around and out, Kristi we're gonna do five circles and then reverse for five.

So down, feel the backs of the legs, around and up, feel that you're not pressing from your feet but you're pressing from right where the legs connect into the pelvis. So the feet almost get delayed while the backs of the legs find their focus. That was five. No this is five. Okay this is five now.

I was shocked and surprised 'cause I was counting too, so I'm with you, we're at the same number. Separate the legs, press the legs down, and together, here's five. Lift them up together but keep the tailbone down, separate, reach down and together. And lift. And open, down, and together.

And lift, last two and then there's a surprise in store. So get ready and get excited. I'm so excited. Yeah you sound it. (both laughing) Okay, so we're gonna go down, straight down from here.

Straight down with both legs. Now hold the left leg still, it hovers up off the mat, lift the right leg up, around, and down. Circle it down to meet the left. Lift up, open, around and down. Up, the left leg's reaching away, I know aren't they.

It's so exciting. It's so fun. (both laughing) Did you say they're exciting? Uh huh. I think so too.

Oh, four. Watch it as the right leg circles, is this five? This I five. As the right leg circles don't let the left leg change. So reach it out to the side, up, and press.

Open, I'm gonna inhale as I come up and exhale as I press against the springs. Three, and press. Two and press. One, and press. Now let's take both legs open, around, and to the top.

That's just a way to give ourself a little break. I'm stalling now. Here we go, press down. Both legs down. Lift the left leg up.

Out, down, to touch the right. Up, out. This is way harder than I wanted it to be. It's harder than you wanted to be or it's just harder on the side. It's just hard, period.

Yeah I know. So sometimes when, It's good. It's hard. I'm not actually complaining. I think this is fine but I like to remind myself that sometimes exercise is meant to be.

It's five, it's five, I'm sure of it. So let's go out to the side, around and up. And then press straight down. Out, around and up, press straight down. Inhale, around and up.

This one's four. And oh, five and now let's take both legs around to the side, up, bend your knees, take your hands, your fingers, just hold on to those little, hold on to the hooks, either on the straps or on the springs and press up and stretch. Dropping the tail through and you can bend your elbows and pull your legs through, that's it. That's enough I think. So, do you want, I want to stretch these babies out.

So 'em off, when you're ready. I'm ready. And then I'm just gonna go to a kneeling, so come up, I'll just tell you as we go. With the bar, the push through bar unleashed, so to speak. I'm gonna stay kneeling, placing the right ball of the foot on and then we'll go into a hip flexor slash hamstring stretch.

So put your foot on, adjust yourself and you might once you know exactly what I'm gonna do, you may have to adjust, but for now, you've a grip on the bar as well outside your feet. Come upright with it. I might have to lean back. But instead of moving I'm just gonna shift my foot to the middle of the foot, so I don't have to move myself. I'm at that place.

Shoulders are down and I'm posteriorly tucking, we're drawing the pubic bone up toward the chest, trying not so much to use the glute, to get an arc from the knee through my shoulders hopefully, maybe I can even go into an extension, but I'm not really feeling that so much. But do you feel it in he hip flexor, slash quad? Uh uh. I think I'm so tight, that I can't, but with holding onto the bar I'm to tight to actually bring my pelvis enough over my knee, like, I'm still behind myself. Okay, will you show it the way you need to do it.

Can I just do it like this? Of course. So what I'm just gonna do is I'm just gonna leave my foot where Kristi wants it and I'm gonna take my hands here. I'm just gonna lean in like that. With the ultimate goal being the stretch to the quad and hip flexors.

The stretches, right. Yeah, Yeah. Thank you. So from there shift your hips back, I'll just press my bar forward. I may have to back up a little just in my initial position.

And then keeping the, or aiming for a bit of a flatter back now, we try to get the leg straight. And I'm gonna get close but not gonna probably make it. Adjusting the foot as needed. But the idea is that you have the back extensors, not really working, but, you 're not completely collapsing into a round back rather than a tailbone reaching back. And you can hold the bars, just the same in this one.

I sort of like the unpredictability of a moving bar. Let's do it one more time, bring the bar in. And then before you just sort of crank the hip forward in either position, think of going maybe upwards and relax the glutes slightly and then, its from the front of the body, really, I think, to draw the pelvis toward, the pubic bone towards the chest, then sure, the glutes will kick in probably to some extent. And stretch it forward. Into the hamstring stretch.

Aiming for back flat if your front knee needs to bent, that's not a big deal. If it's to easy that way, you may have to either stretch everything more forward or flex the foot a lot more. But kind of creating your own lines of opposition as a bit of the key I think. And then let's bring it in and switch. I try to stay, I know how asymmetrical I am in this particular scenario, but I still try to stay, line up the knees where they were, so I can see the difference, right when I don't have you watching me.

So we're coming up to that stretch. This one feels easier in its own way. But I'm still gonna try to keep my knees where they were. And when it feels a little easier, like this one's an easier side, I almost have to think of reaching my knee down through the table and this half of my thigh, or hip, or bones, upwards. So there's a conscious like pushing down, or reaching down, I'm not really sure actually what I'm doing, but it's what I say to myself.

Stretch it forward for hamstring. And before the leg just whips out to straight, start to pull the hips slightly backward or tilt the tailbone up, however you see that. If you know you have a general pattern of reaching the hip way forward, kind of pay attention, are your hips square. Can you go for a little more, what is your foot doing, those are just things that run through my mind. Always busy up there.

(both laughing) I was wanting if you wanted me to answer you? I don't, I don't, Okay, good. I'm just talkin'. But I'm bringing it back too, sorry. Yeah, but see now I'm even looser, so I almost have to back up, so I'm going to.

But, so that's just information for me, that's how much tighter the other side was. I'm more worried about what to do with it later. This feels good though. And take it forward. Finding the level hips, nice long leg, keep the back flat, even if that means keeping the knee slightly bent.

And then challenge what your normally do, if you do any version of this. So that you know you're moving to the next spot hopefully. Okay, help yourself out of that. I'd like to do one more stretch before I hand it back, let's do the shoulder stretch. Okay.

So this could be done, I'm just gonna leave the yellow springs here and use both of them, I think. A light spring it's just gonna be a shoulder stretch, and quite honestly I'm gonna be easing into this, so we may only do a little bit of it. But how are we gonna do this. I forget what Rael calls it, that's where I learned it. What does he call this?

Shoulder stretch. Oh, how perfect. Taking the right arm and here's the key, this really matters. And Mary may be a better example of it. I'm gonna take the palm from the inside of the bar.

And grab, and the more toward the center you go, the more of a stretch you're gonna get, but let's not overdue it, there's no point just get to where there's a, you can hold on relatively comfortably. From there, you come down, and your arm is gonna stay straight this whole time. So if you've never seen this you'll probably have to watch it. Forehead on your hands, if you're really tight, it may not be the right stretch for you, or sometimes all you have to do is move over a little away from it. Okay, forehead is down, arm stays straight, roll that shoulder, that right shoulder, inward toward the mat.

You can adjust your neck accordingly if you need to like look away, that's okay. Keeping that same arm straight, let the springs pull you back up so you'll feel a spiraling action into, hopefully to the chest a bit. I'm lifting my head so I'm hopefully not garbling the mic but you're gonna keep your head down. Rotate again it's like the whole bicep rolls inward or the shoulder rolls inward like you're gonna touch the middle portion of the front of your shoulder onto the mat. Maybe.

And then unwind it. Arm itself goes along for the ride. Let the bar pull you up just a little bit, giving that stretch in the neck and again, oh that's like heaven. Mm, Do you like it? Mm hm. I love this one.

And spiral it, let it open, if it feels really, really awkward, chances are you're holding the bar on the wrong side. So I would check that out. Let's do one more for four. Rotate in. And if you just run out of room, you may have to just turn your head the opposite way to the arm that's working.

It could also mean that you're just done with that. Okay, come up. Let it go to the top, then release it carefully, other side. And again if you're in the middle, hopefully you don't have to move, but if you do, that's information, like my hamstring was. Forehead down.

Arm straight, here we go. Roll that shoulder inward. It's all right, you're gonna feel the sense of shrugging, it's no big deal. Unwind, and lift the bar, as if it were a heavier spring, let it be that whole complex be lifted to the ceiling. Roll again for two.

Unwind. If you hyper extend in the elbow I would watch for that too. 'Cause that can end up making this not feel like anything. And be compromising to that joint. I'm unwinding my third rep, we'll do one more.

Hm, that's all I got. Let it up and release it. I love that. Me too. I'd like to do a stretch.

You gonna do a stretch. Yeah. I want you to sit up. It's kind of a full body type of a stretch. So we're gonna sit up and put the feet up against the poles, and because there's those little hooks at the bottom, I'm just gonna keep my legs externally rotated.

Just to avoid that. So sitting all the way up tall, just the two yellow springs is fine here in my opinion. We're gonna roll the spine backwards, so get into a deep posterior rotation, or a deep tuck of the pelvis and then press the bar forward with straight elbows. From there, inhale and extend the spine out on the diagonal so you come up into a flat back reaching forward with your spine. As you exhale, press your feet into the bars and round your spine, so you're legs are pushing forward and your abdominals are pulling back, not unlike what we were talking about in bottom loaded roll up, right, that pressure with the legs as the abdominals pull back against it.

Let the right arm leave the bar. Turn the ribs to the right and reach the arm back, just first towards the center of the mat, then reach that right arm up towards your right ear and start to bend over your left hip pressing through the right leg. Reach back towards the center of the mat with the right arm, exhale to bring the right hand underneath the bar, the left hand will push the bar up and we'll reach across and find our saw, Lengthening out through the spine. And then sit all the way up and we'll go through that one more time. Exhale to round the spine, press the bar down and forward.

Inhale to elongate the spine, sitting tall or sitting in spine stretch forward. I love this, you never do this. You know this round? I don't know that part. You don't. Not the back extension.

Oh, good. I love it. Let the left arm reach, so you the left ribs turn, you're essentially just hanging from the right arm but keep that right shoulder really contained, let the left arm reach up towards the ear. Bend over the right hip with the left side of your spine, and then the right arm's gonna reach up, the left hand comes through, we reach across, find the bar, and find your saw. And then come back up to sitting.

This is just, I have to bring my feet to parallel, I've got to figure out a way. I want that hamstring stretch that I'm just not getting in turnout. So I've just brought my feet right inside of the bar, I can still push on it. So if that's not important to you, that's fine, but it's important to me, so I'm gonna do it. So we're gonna round, same thing, push forward, reaching, the bar will go, you might have to get your toes out of the way.

And then elongate the spine, spine stretch forward. Round back exhale, right arm leaves the bar, you're still in a rounded lower spine, it reaches to the middle of the mat it comes up to ear, we bend over the left hip, come back to the center of the mat with that arm. Come around and through towards the bar, could even reach down towards the ankle if you wanted to, the ankle of the left leg. And then sit all the way up. And then again exhale as we curl, continue exhaling to press forward.

Inhale to elongate. Exhale to round. Let go, inhale to reach back, continue to inhale as you reach around, just breath ideas. Right we should just breathe, these ideas don't work from you. Exhale back through, and across and to the side, I'm reaching for my ankle this time just 'cause.

Pressing up on the bar with my right arm. And then coming back through center. Okay, so let's do some arms. The yellow springs are ready for us, so they're just gonna stay right where they are, no that's not true. I'm gonna move 'em.

So, the way I like to do this, or the way' I've been taught to do this is to line the springs up level with the shoulders. So, I'm gonna choose, I have two choices, one's a little higher than my shoulders and one's lower, gonna go on the one that's just higher than my own shoulders. Okay, for kneeling? Yeah for kneeling. All right.

And then we're gonna get our handles which should be nearby. And the handles go on the yellow springs. Okay, so we'll start facing the push through bar, for chest expansion, handles in the hands, you don't really need to back up that much here. Looking straight ahead, finding alignment, pelvis over the knees, we're gonna reach the arms down to press back. And down to reach forward.

So there's a down idea or a down energy all the time. And that's how we're maintaining spring tension and also how we're creating resistance. So as the arms go forward, the springs don't get to just pull, we just keep reaching down trying to press the springs down into the floor. We're thinking here primarily about using the lats. As the lats are pulling the shoulders down, we're lifting up through the spine in opposition, let's do three more, down and back.

Try not to press the whole body back as the arms press back. Two. And one. Awesome, I love that. Take the handles, switch hands.

And turn yourself around. Again you don't really have to go very far forward, take the arms out to the sides into a hug a tree position and then lean forward so you're leaning forward at the knee. The arms are gonna from there come straight across, exhale, and inhale. Create a reverse contraction here as well. So as you're pushing the springs forward, feel that you're drawing back into your spine with your abdominals.

And inhale. There's always some pressure as the arms open, so that the shoulder blades don't slide in and out. We're trying to keep the shoulder blades totally still. We'll do two more here, exhale, pressing, lifting the spine. And open, and press, hold there.

Turn the palms to face down, bring the arms up to the ears. Open the arms around, feeling the rotation of the scapula, and press the arms back through space. Rotate the palms down, inhale as you reach up. Open and exhale to come across, rotate the palms down, reach up. Open and come across, we'll do two more.

I think that's five. And back, I don't know for sure. But since both arms are working together that seems to be an okay place to be. Open. Now feel again the rotation of the scapula, but then this time they rotate in a different direction.

Then we press. Inhale as we open. Reach up and around and exhale, press pulling the abdominals back. Reach out, reach up, shoulders drop and press down. We'll do two more.

This is one of my favorite places to do arm work. I really love it. I really like the stability that it provides, or the stability challenge that it provides as well as the flexibility challenge it provides. Bend the arms. So the hands are gonna be just out from the shoulders and we're gonna press the right arm forward, and then the left arm forward.

Now arms pass each other by and we're doing this we're trying to keep the trunk really steady. But I'm about to add some rotation to it. So we can do one more like this. And then this time as the arm goes I want you to lean and twist and center. Lean and twist.

Center, lean and twist. So I'm centered as both arms are bending and twisting as the other arm reaches. Does the elbow pass your body? In other words, does the whole body turn or does the elbow get further back? Does that make sense?

The elbow goes behind me. Okay, thank you. Yeah, like that. We're just adding a little lateral work to this, we'll just do one more. And then bend both arms in like that.

So, one more lateral rotational movement challenge. We're gonna do the butterfly and I think about the butterfly arms almost as like a windmill. So one arm is moving up over the head, the other arm's coming around to the back. So what we're gonna do here is so let's start to the right, we're gonna laterally flex the spine to the right. And then take the top arm and press over the head and down as the back arm reaches up and back.

Inhale as you come back into your lateral flexion and exhale to center. Inhale so you reach over, that top arm has got to go up and then down pretty quickly or the head will get in the way. Back arm lifts up and both arms pull, what do I have to say, I have more to say about that. Inhale, as you windmill the arms, the back arms pulls towards your body and the front arm pulls away from the body. And center it and inhale and then the rotation in the trunk feels to me a little bit, I think Kristi you helped my find that, feels a little bit like chest lift with rotation.

So there's a little bit of flexion. Inhale last, we're on both sides. Little bit of flexion in the spine, almost trying to hold the pelvis fairly still. Although we all change slightly, last one, inhale and then we milk the breath, we breathe all the air out and then reach back. And center.

Feels so good. It does. So yeah, let's just change the springs back to the top where they were, where they started. Okay, are you gonna use one or both? For yellow I'm gonna use both.

I'm gonna do like a prone push through. Okay. With a couple of options, so some people may want more than that. Again if you have the blue spring already there, we just didn't load it up that way, or the red. You could use that as well.

Just get rid of your handles and load up the bar in a top loaded fashion with both if you're using really light springs and one if you've got a heavy one up there. Yeah, so we're gonna take the bar, carefully face down to make sure you've got a grip on it. And just lie down until your arms are straight. And I don't really have a rule for this, maybe you do. But I just think in terms of the bar near the poles.

But you may have to adjust from there. Your body is straight as can be on the bed and feet together. Keeping the arms straight, and they already find a downward pressure on the bar. I do wrap thumbs, but sometimes I'll extend the fingers so you can see it. A little downward pressure, we'll shrug the shoulders up to your ears first.

So you can feel that, even though, well just because it's a different position. Bring the shoulders back down, but not so far that it creates a funny shape to your spine, start to lift your head. Don't worry about bringing the bar to you yet. It is a downward pressure on the bar, a little, but you're not pulling it until you need too. And then that's only if you want to go higher.

So go ahead and come to a little higher sort of swan like position. And then, it's, I'm gonna say reach the bar forward, but I'm saying it as if you'll do it from your spine, not your arms. They just stay the same length the whole time. Do it again. It's a downward pressure, which for me allows me a sense of reaching the crown of my head over toward that bar, I look over the bar, I start to try, it's almost like I leave the ribs down as long as I can.

And then I take the whole thing back down in reverse order. Let's do one more like that. How high are you lifting? I feel quite comfortable, I'm probably around my low back, I'm pretty high. I'm pretty high.

But you know, it's just for today. Sometimes I like to stay low, like right here, just bring it, Yeah I was staying low, That's cool. I wasn't sure what you were doing. But that's fine. That's cool.

So either way, if you are low make sure that there's a sense of you pressing the sternum into the mat and then if you have that you feel the mid upper back and want to take the piece higher, do. But I wouldn't go higher if you can't feel that and it's just going into your low back. That makes sense? Mm. Let's come down.

Another option is the prone two, you can stick with that one and I think it's worth it, I really like that. But I do want to do this one for the shoulder too. From here. We're gonna bend the elbows wide. Bring the bar toward your head.

It's actually gonna start to pass your head. Get the ponytail out of the way. Then encourage the arms toward straight. To rise up with straight arms. I mean, you'll push the arms to straight right.

Now you let the body come down. Bend the elbows when you need too, but wide. Bar behind your head and press it down in front of you. Again, bend the elbows wide, not much is happening, your head is down as you let it pass. Start to let the arms straighten and bring you up, where your head will lift.

Let the body go first. Elbows wide when they need too. Head down. And press, just one more. I'm not doing the third version, so enjoy.

Find the little nuggets. Elbows wide, bar behind you, start to let the bar take you up, but not without some support with those back muscles. Viola. Body down. Get that stretch and then straighten the arms.

From there just one hand to the mat. Let the bar go overhead. Place it back home and then take a child like pose. And if your arms are tired just put them by your feet. After all that.

And then from here, or when you're ready I should say, maybe put your hands by your knees, but not at the sake of only using your hands, roll yourself up to either sitting on your heels or kneeling. Whichever feels more comfortable. So that you could take a couple of deeps breaths here with the arms just weighted heavy, but the spine and hopefully spirit light. Take an inhale. And exhale.

And inhale, trying to let anything go that maybe was collected or that you came in with. And then one more together and then whatever you need after that. Ah, I do appreciate my time with you Mary, thank you very much. Mm me too. Thank you.

Comments

2 people like this.
What a fun class!!! I loved the energy and the flow! Some exercises were so challenging that I would rate them level 3 :) The one arm shoulder stretch with internal rotation was amazing and new to me in that version. Thank you so much for another great class wtih the two of you!
Love the chemistry of you two! Great class!
3 people like this.
Teaching duet!
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much for the tower class. Very much appreciated!
1 person likes this.
Perfect synergy between instructors
2 people like this.
The work is very good and the different camera angles were FANTASTIC!! Great format,more please!
1 person likes this.
I really did not want to stay in the studio this afternoon when I was finished up with my last client, but am I glad I did! This was a great class! thank you girls! keep them coming!
1 person likes this.
I looooove the two of you together (and I love you on your own as well:)! You're such a great team! Fantastic workout! The close-up is great too!
2 people like this.
Fantástico! !! Dos máquinas! !!
Great Fun :)
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