Class #236

Weight-Bearing Mat

30 min - Class


Today's class focuses on standing balance, and building strength in the quadriceps, hip extensors, and back extensors. Standing squat-like positions are repeated with emphasis on hip/knee alignment and posture through the entire spine. Think about the Matwork and its application to more functional movements like standing and squatting and use all the fundamentals from the floor....into gravity. This class is great for anyone needing more bone-on-bone/weight-bearing exercise and can be exceptional for a fit 50 & 60 yr old with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis. Because of the repetition of standing squat-like positions, be mindful of your knees and modify if needed by not bending too deeply during the class. Amy uses a stick, but a broom handle can do just the same.
What You'll Need: Mat, Pilates Pole

About This Video

Aug 21, 2010
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Today we're going to do you see there's no mats out here. Um, I wanted to do some standing work, uh, mainly to get us up off the mat and get us up and gravity be up on her legs a little differently. This can sometimes translate to be more functional. Um, not that the mat work isn't, but, and kind of tap into our balance on our feet and legs a little bit. Um, hip strength, lower back, strength, foot strength, all kinds of things. So it's, I think we'll go ahead and just start with the stick. You don't need to use this right at the beginning, but we're all kind of popped, ready for it to go. So let's have our legs, uh, hip with the part heels just down below our sits bones and just find a good sense of openness across the chest. Nothing to force. You don't want to stand militant like, yeah, and knowing good posture. So if we were on the flat mat, we'd have our ribs flat.

Our pelvis would be neutral. We're just going to start with some easy knee bins. Okay. So as we've been the knees, the knees point straight forward and then the legs will straighten high and coming back up to tall. And then go ahead and find your knee bend, knees point straight forward, and then coming back up to tall. So when we all have, um, different links of calf muscles and Achilles tendons, which may limit how far you bend or how deeply you bend. All right, so as we go through these, I'm keep going, I'm going to turn profile and I have fairly long Achilles tendons and kind of flexible calves so I can, I can bend pretty low in this parallel position without a deviation of my, my posture. So what I'm already starting to see because of shorter musculature down below is this deviation shows up or this one. So really we want plum lines, so head over shoulders, shoulders over hips, and j, you know, if this is all the farther you go down, then that's your limit.

That's fine right there. Okay? That's more important than all the other things. And so, all right, so let's go again. We're going to inhale as we bend and exhale as we straighten, I'm going to draw some attention to your [inaudible]. Have you draw attention to your sits bones, bring them together. So there is a feeling of work in your glute muscles and straighten. Okay, keep going. I'm going to show another cue. If this stick, we're right at the crease of your hip joints.

You'd want to be fooling and bending here. Again, I'm going to turn profile. So if we're lifting our leg to table top, you know that hip movement there. So when we take a knee bend, we've got to be a little careful that we're not doing, that's not moving up the hip joint. So we want to crease. That's better Barbara and stand two more per crease in the hips. Bend at the knees and come to stand and then crease and hold.

Hold Yourself, their sternum up, shoulder blades back on your back and they'll just read lift one heel. What I'm trying to focus here is that we don't have to do a lot or lateral shifting of our weight to simply lift to heal. So we're going to do the other side. Lift the heel and lower. Keep going and lift the heel. Props for you madame [inaudible].

See you get a tall stick cause she's a little taller. [inaudible] right. So as we're now working a little bit more into our feet and our ankles, still working. Some of the lot of awareness of tracking. So the when, when heel lifts, we've gotta be mindful not to move the hip. It's just a lifted the heel. If you maintain the feeling of your sits bones drawn together. Yup. Rolling through the feet so that you're right up onto the ball of the foot and your heel is still centered.

We don't want to roll to the pinkie toe nor the big toe. Right over all five toes evenly. And then the other foot and center. Let's do four more. A Barbara, release your tailbone back. No more [inaudible]. There it is and other foot and down. We are in a very nice, elongated spine. Very upright. We're going to be upright most of the time with the standing work. All right, so all right. Now. Let's go ahead and just keep both feet down for a second.

Now, if you could you, you can bend a little bit deeper, but not by sticking your rear back, not by tucking or we let go of that Tuck. It's still let go. Let go more. Right. If, if you might perceive that it's out, but it's actually where it needs to be. Okay. Go a little bit more crease in your hips. Their sternums up.

Okay. Stern him up. Ribs back. Boy. Lots of this. See, this is why standing work is so good. We don't get to some of these things when we're lying flat. I don't think we see them and feel as as much. We're going to pulse the play. Sh it's really, it's like we're bobbing and water.

It's not really a very bouncy movement. It's a train. No stretch and contract. A thigh muscles bend in the ankles. This is fairly gentle. Squeeze your rear end. Sure, sure. When your chest good.

Still tall through the top of the head like this. We're going all the way through us and tall and last breath we're going to hold and then come back up to standing. Anyone feel anything? So let's see. Look at that a little bit in the turnout or the sometimes our Palladio's Zvi technically Pilati Zvi is very small, but with what I want to do right now, and again, we're just a group of women today, so it might feel okay to do a little bit more turnout, but we think of the turn it happening from the top of the leg at the hip rep, not so much just at the foot. Okay? Same thing. The stick is here. So if we go into the PA or the bend of hips and knees, the heel stay flat on the floor.

Your knees are pointing sideways, tail is going straight down. Torso hasn't dropped forward. Ribs haven't pushed forward. No ones talking except for one person. Let the tail swing that way. There it is. And then we stand up. And when you stand, think about pull. Good idea.

Pull your inner thighs together and your sits bones even more good. So let's inhale as we bend. Think of your knees going this way, tail that way, pelvis that way. Exhale and up. Inhale as you been, and exhale as you straighten again and exhale and I'm just holding my hand. See a couple of years trying to work though. Where do I put my hands? I'm just holding lightly just for, and you could do this either way.

I'm going to keep it with some ease up in the shoulders though. We're really kind of focusing right now from hips down. Good. Couple more. Inhale as you please. You want to ease increasing the hips and Streeton. So one more time. Let's play hold here. They're gonna move our ankles again.

Roll through the ball of the foot when a high heel and then press the heel back down. Inhale as you peel the foot and exhale as you play it. This is great. What I'm noticing our rib cage is staying over our pelvis. We're not doing a little Bollywood move there with our torso to keep our ribs right over hips.

Stay in the [inaudible] unless your knees are getting kind of tender. You don't have to be so low. All right. Four more. Keep thinking that yes, I'm making more turnout in I hip connection. Anyone feeling their bottom muscles, their glutes kind of around that sit bone region I am. And thighs. Oh, absolutely. Okay, good. And last one with that.

We're going to pulse. Okay. The pulse is cutting of tiny. You think of stretching your knees and hips open. Open.

Sure. And four, three, two. I know. And one less come up to standing. Squeeze the inner thighs together. Now I'm going to have us just pay the back to parallel with the ankles. This time touching knees or the inside of the leg all the way up to the high inner thigh. Let's Mu Rise our heels up.

So let's take an inhale as we live and exhale as you lower, lower with control and still a sense of being taught. We don't really just bottom out and drop our weight. Inhale as you lift, maybe the abdominals pulled back more as the heels come down. Inhale as we live and exhale as you lower. Good you guys. So they add doctors, which are the inner thigh muscles. Have a get them early active.

You know that many magic circle way up here. Squeeze like the Dickens lift. So in some of the work I've taught, the cue of magnets has come up. We've got three imaginary pairs of magnets, one in our ankle bones, one above the knees and one in the high inner thigh. For most of us in here today that's working.

A couple of you have different leg alignment where that doesn't work and you know how to work around that where you might have to have a little space if your calves are built more or if you have a little knock knee angle so you can feel free to adjust that and stand your feet a little wider. Just take two more with both feet coming up, both heels and exhale coming down. This next one we're going to stay up. Inhale, hold. So something from the reformer, sometimes on the one to chair the walk in place. Bend your right knee. I'm going to mirror you and just have the opposite. He'll go down. So there we go again. Ribs are over, pelvis, pelvis doesn't wiggle. We're going to alternate lift. Other heel comes down, lift and down.

So as we're going through this ankle work and footwork, light hands on the stick. Again, you could do all this without a stick. This is kind of Nice. Keep feeling your bottom and your sits bones together. I haven't really talked too much about the abdominals, but maybe this could come in for support. All right, we're going to pick up the pace. Lift and lower lift and lower. That could be one breath cycle or one pattern.

We can go faster but I won't and four and three. How are your calves to, are they going to want to stretch? I think mine will. Let's go ahead here and then just step one foot back. Then your front knee forward and just you want to reach your back heel to the floor. Do you? Long Gate that calf that we just contracted. Not too too much of that other side, so still even here, the back leg, is it straight?

Squeeze that rear-end in that that glute area so that you're not just sinking that hip outward. Be able to support in the base of your pelvis. Okay. And then come back into standing. So I would like us to step a little wider. Again, feed and mindless, its bones. Still have the stick in front and bend your knee, your knees, maybe inch or two just so you're not locking them there. Okay. And then I'm going to be your mirror again. Let's take you guys, take your right leg forward.

I'm going to take my left leg forward and it's going to be just a real low reach of the leg. I'm just hold here. So suddenly, oh, she's talking again. Why is that? No, no. Tuck. Swing your tail back. Rotate your pelvis back Barbara, and lift your sternum there. There it is. [inaudible] okay. All right, so the leg you're standing on this rear end, pull it in. That sits bone. Squeeze your rear.

You know I'm going to move my stick just a little bit out of the way and I want us to lower the toes, barely touched the floor, and then bring that leg back up and lower the foot. Just a little tap and back up and lower. So just imagine, ah, maybe not doing this with the stick. Someday we might. One more time and up. Now bend the knee. I'm just gonna have you pause with your foot near your other ankle. Now this, how's your standing leg? Tired. If you need to rest, go ahead.

I'm going to continue. So now with our pelvis sting level, shoulders over hips, we're going to move our right leg to the side and low. This is a little bit different. A little weird. Okay. Now just a little touch to the floor and lift. So when you lift your leg, it's coming from, do you feel the muscle and the hip should be the side of the hip, lower the foot and doesn't have to be very big movement at all. Lower and lift and lower. Last one, lift. Okay. Aren't you glad you came to class then the knee again.

We're going to take toes to the ankle now. One more. This one's going to go behind us. So it was, it goes behind. Keep holding onto the bar. The stick. Lift the sternum. Okay. Belly backing in. Lower the foot to the floor. It's, mine's almost already there. And then a little lift. So the back of the thighs, the hamstrings and glutes are going to be acted to pull the foot up and then leg down and leg up, leg down. Keep this awareness of sternum and posture. One more time guys down.

Well I shouldn't look around and lift and I want you to run that knee back in. Put that foot down, but it's the other leg. Shake it out. Okay, so here we go. Starting off with a little bend in the knees and that's pretty much where that standing leg is going to stay for this series. So it's the opposite leg. Now your left my ride, it just reaches forward.

All right, good. And then foot down. How about the exhale? Lift the leg. So we want to think about the the standing leg a lot and I know you, we are in. It's that the, the strength in standing on it and not just the fine muscles but the hip and your lower back. This is good for us to do. We need strengthen those muscles in the pelvis and the bones.

Anyone's been checked for osteoporosis? I have already have you? No, not yet. Yeah. And depending on what your reading was, sometimes if there's even osteopenia standing, weight bearing work has been prescribed and it's a good thing to do to load the musculature, load the joints, load the bones. Okay. And let's come in. I think I got off track and the leg out to the side. So everything else in the posture stays steady, committed, dedicated to being upright. And then we do this thing in the leg. So we tapped of, touched the floor, slightly little lift from this lifting and contracting in the hip and we lower exhale as glute medius among others lower. So when we are doing normal mat work and more sideline, do you guys feel your hips quite like this? I don't. Sometimes I'm days I do.

Most days I don't anymore. I really feel it when I'm upstanding. Okay. No, come on in like to the back. So when you reach your leg behind, there is a slight weight shift forward on your front foot. Keep lifting your sternum, straighten the knee if you can. Here we go. Does four times foot down and exhale left from the back of the thigh. Lower and lift ribs should be flat right here in the front down and lift, lower, good and lift. And then we bend the knee in.

Take the foot and just step on it, but then shake the other inside out. I know. Okay. I wouldn't just hold onto your stick. Well, yes, we're going to come back to it. I guess we can just hold it like this. All right, let's, we're gonna step, we're gonna move to the side. You can just follow along if you'd like to move a little bit.

Get out of just stationary work. So when we're going laterally, what I want us to still think of is the tracking of the knee so that it stays pointed forward. Right now in a minute we're going to change it and you bend into the knee and hip and ankle and come to straight and bend pelvis is still right between right in between the leg, ribs over pelvis and, okay, hold on for a sec. So if we go here and instead of shifting the hip, we're shifting it this way. Just go ahead and show me guys. Come onto your say right there. Yeah, there you go. So it's the side. You're on that bun squeeze. There you go. Push off that side. Come to center. Other side, pause. Good. So to death it, squeeze your Bun za and push for more. Let's add a little, just some more and more. Yeah. Both buttons should be contracting, but more on this side to push off of, you're gonna need that in a minute and foolish here and hold. Okay.

Turn the legs out. Same thing. Let's just hold the stick forward. Same lunging. No movement yet here. So then as you lunge to the side, pause for a second. This is where things could start going. A little foggy. Same thing. Need pointing out on your diagonal, toward the side rather than forward. Hip. Open and got that same turnout. Now it's that glute and thigh contracting together. Push off.

Bring you to center. Let's just check in on this side. Hold. All right, so feel your glute, your side, your foot. Push off, come in and sure the stick is there. I'm thinking right today for a distraction for me in a way. Also to give you some our movement. We'll do four more. I could really get into breaking down the arm work right now, but I'm not going to open the hips. Good.

Feel your legs push last time. Oh good. You guys. Okay. And Center. Okay, now I have a ponytail in on [inaudible]. How would that on, I know you're the line wearing your ponytail. I'll keep it that way, but if I turned profile what I want, I want us to play with yours. A plumb line. Okay. In standing it's a little easier than when we do a forward hinge, which is what we're going to do next. However, we don't want to be standing like that. Then I've lost my lumbar link.

I've got a little potbelly belly feel like a two year old. Sometimes the head will go this way too. So could you just stand there for a moment and feel your body moved to the stick. So I'm going to give you landmarks, the back of your head. Bra Line and sacred. Okay. And breathe.

I'm going to walk around with the stick on my own back and check, right? Yep. A little more ribs, Samantha. Yup. Good. Yeah. A little more ribs. Good. Let this kind of good. Sarah, consider this your abdominal work because it really is about that trying to fill up this space of your lower back to the bar, right? Yeah. Fill up that space. So look, if ideally we would love not to have too much ease in [inaudible] getting my hand in there, but depending on your skeleton. No.

Okay. Moving on. So feet are going to be separated still. I want us to hinge forward. The goal is not losing the a stick on the back. So, Ooh boy. Oh La la. My head is fine. I know my body, my ribs low. Would love to move. Bend your knees on the hinge and my synchro may want to not stay on the stick.

So I've got actually reached my sacred back to this dick. I can't go very far forward correctly. All right. And then come back up. Let's switch hands on top. Give the other arm a chance. Ready? So start off with your knees bent and [inaudible]. This is like someone leaned on your back. The stick is leaning on desperate or Barbara. So those spinal muscles, the extensors, you rector's either name are active, the tummy is active, your glutes are active, your thighs are active. All right, stay right there and come right back up two more times.

You can change your hands if you'd like to. So a bend your knees for Sara. There we go. And is your hinge ing forward? Keep pulling your back to the stick. Try to keep awareness and discipline of, okay, my head is there. The back of my ribs are there for the most part. If you know them to be a little bit challenging to keep back on the mat, they're definitely going to show up as being challenged here. And you're sacred, which would be neutral pelvis. And then come back up to standing.

We've got one more I promise and hindering forward. Now I'm going to suggest for a couple of you, uh, maybe Barbara. Sarah, not too low in your hinge, vendor's knees. They're more NIBIN. Less chest down there. Okay. And then upright become so [inaudible]. Keeping that in mind. Bring the stick back in front of you. I'm going to show it from the side as we set up.

I do want us to stand with our feet all the way together. Magnets again, so you're starting off upright and gathered, hopefully feeling good. Now I'm going to have this start off with the knees bent and you'll see me lean my stick forward to help me hinge my spine because the sticks no longer behind me, but I'm [inaudible] as if it is. Does that, is that? Hopefully that's pretty clear. Okay, so go ahead and sh take that. Take that shape guys. Okay, Lucy, good. Really Nice. Now drive the navel in. Everybody.

Pull your shoulders more to your back. Alright, now light hams, although use your stick. We're going to go back into moving one foot forward. Now we did a minute ago we did this, but upright as we lean forward, you're probably going to feel more in your, in your glutes, your back. The last thing I'm going to do before or have us think about before we lifted leg. Shift your weight back to your heels. All right. Lift your right leg forward and just hold it there.

Just hold. I can't look around. I need to face this way so I can see you. Are you breathing consciously? I know you're breathing consciously. Breathe. Okay. Okay. No, you're going to straighten the knee and bend the knee, but you're going to stay in your forward hand four times.

Let's inhale as we straighten the knee and exhale as you bend the knee, track your knee forward. Keep pulling your opposites that bone in so you really working your bottom, your glute, and down to more on your shoulders, on your back or abdominals to your spine. One more. Keeping that forward hinge. Okay, now just bring that, oh, we're not done. Bring that foot in and now this what's gonna go behind us?

Not going to go to the side again. As you go behind, you might need to lean your stick even more forward. Trust it. Okay. Shoulders back now. Same thing straight in the standing knee. And then you're standing me, are you still on a more of a forward hinge and straight in the standing knee. And then two more straighten and Ben tracking that. Nice. Straight ahead. This is tough stuff guys.

And straighten and Ben. And then finally we're going to bring that foot in, put it on the floor, come upright. And once again, shake out your other leg. Okay, good. Here we go. [inaudible] wait, I know how to get your attention. Just do you standing exercises on Fridays. Okay, so let's find a net. Uh, yeah. Feet in line with hips. Your bent, your stick is forward. Your hinged.

So what exercise on the regular mat work? Would this be like the only one? It's not a quiz. I mean kind of as a quiz. I'm thinking spine stretch forward would with a flat back. So if we've just did spine stretch forward but, and we rounded, it's this phase where we come up into the flat back. So we need that back extension work. Okay, so Barbara, let your tail swing back your chest. Swing up and bend your knees more, more sternum. I'm after you today. Tail and sternum. You have it some more pleased there and look out. Ready?

Other like so stepping the right. Yeah, you're on my right. Oops, I'm on my right. Your left or either way, you know when you're doing ready, just hold that leg there. Hedging forward. All right, now straightening the standing knee all the way up and bending the knee. Pointing of forward. Stay in your hand. Trust your stick. It's fine to use it, but I don't really want more flat back from about half of you guys. There we go. I see a couple more backs light up. I need abdominals. Draw them back. Two more. The more you hinge forward, yes you are going to feel your back muscles more.

You're going to feel your standing leg more. Not a bad thing. Last one, Ben. We're working on strength here and balance. Okay. Toe in, leg to the back. Parallel hips are square. Ellias up. Yup. Sternum. Ready and bend the knee and straighten the knee.

Use this glue to help you stand and bend the knee. Helps to think of the long leg reaching back behind. You only have two more. I know guys, this is very strenuous, Ben. And straighten last time and bend and straighten. Bring that leg in, lose the hinge and come up and just shake out the standing leg out. I know. Crazy. Huh? Okay.

One last piece with the stick. Here it is in the center. We're turned out, we're back that a open position sometimes and dances. The second position. All right, just checking. So Yep. What I always look for, most of you know what I'm looking at is we don't want our feet to turn too much. If the feet are turned more than the hip, we've got problems. Your knee is going to take the brunt of the, the bent. Okay.

So should I try on the side of less moving in the feed and then more opening in the pelvis. All right, so I'm gonna have you guys bend your knees. It's a squat. Good. That's better. Let's hang out with it. Henry. Everyone took a nice B. Big breath. That was nice. So though with the open up, the hips and inner thighs or your shoulders where they should be, are your ribs where they should be?

Where's your navel? Okay, we're gonna do a little more heel lifting. Hangout with it. You guys. This is, this is fun. Inhale, lift the heel. Exhale. Lower that heel. Yes, this is thigh work. Inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale. Inhale. Yeah. Good. Get a little shit going. If anyone has a desire to go a little lower, maybe the lower you go, the more you're, you're loading your legs, you're loading your hips. But also the lower we go. We need more discipline on the spine, this part and the shoulders not dropping forward and coming into round, back up and down. Last one on this single heel.

Then four times we're going to go for it. Both heels at the same time. Lift and low. If your knees are hurting, don't do this one. Lift. Good down knees this way. Yes, Barbara. And down. I have to throw one more at you. Hold. It wouldn't be a section without some pulses. And this is, um, a little flashback for me from my dancing days.

We did these things all the time. I know we're not dancers here and three, two, and one heels down. Now come up with thought. Come up with control. Use your inner thighs. You use your glutes. Okay, we're going to walk our defeat in together. Toes, heels, toes, heels, toes and heels. Nice work. You guys.


Love it ! I'll be giving some of theses exercises to my clients as home work. Thank you Amy!
Marie-Josée Packwood
Sherbrooke, Qc, Cananda.
Hi Marie-Josee! Thank you so much....let me know how people respond to these exercises. I give them as homework too!
2 people like this.
I can't believe how intense this is! Dealing with plantar fasciitis and hoping to get some foot stretching in, but wow intense leg work! Thank you Amy!
2 people like this.
Loved how it combines balance and strength ans safety. Shared it with my mum.  Really focused the mind, very effective.  Thank you x
Thank you for sharing this with your mom too Heba !!!  Hope she enjoyed it as well!

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