Class #2547

Seated Mat Workout

40 min - Class


Work on making your legs hold you again in this Mat workout on a Chair with Niedra Gabriel. She put together a program designed to give you relief from too much sitting. This is a great workout to do anywhere you have access to a chair as it helps to counteract the problems that come from sitting.
What You'll Need: Table Chair

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Good afternoon everybody. I have my good friend and peer Candice here with me and we decided discussing the travails of modern life in the computer world, dominating our very physical desires. So we ended up sitting a long time to actually put together a mat class or a workout that you can do in a chair because many people have jobs where they're sitting all day and it's actually a real, real problem because the hips start to break down and become very painful. The lower back suffers. We're not designed to sit as much as we sit. So this is to do when your boss is not watching you or when you have five or 10 minutes or maybe longer to give yourself a bit of a break and get some relief from the position that you're in.

So we are sitting right at the front of our chairs and the feet are together and if you want you can have your knees together or maybe not. The knees can be slightly apart depending on what's more comfortable for you. So first started by sitting up nice and tall with his shoulders wide. And now let's bring our hands up towards the knees and just round, just like we're doing roll back. So you roll back, you roll back away from the tail and the sit bones and then you calm back up and sit up nice and tall and roll back. So same principles and come back up.

And if you have a beginner it's fine because you have this chair. Now let's pause here. Let's go all the way to the back of the chair and see if we can take the ribs and put them even a little bit further back and roll back up and rolling back and rolling up. And last one like this rolling back and I'm already feeling better. So I think moving the back is like the secret.

And now lifting up and bringing the arms down and rolling back and lifting up and down and rolling back and lifting up and down. One more time like this, rolling back and lifting up and bringing the arms down. Now let's bring our knees together. Unless this is really painful. If it's painful, keep your feet apart so that the bones of the thighs are together. Let's make a prayer pose with the hand and send the hands to the outside of the right knee and just slide down, keeping both hips on the chair. That infamous set chair.

Come back up, flip to the other side, slide down. So one side may be very different from the other and come back up first side again, sliding down. Now keep the hand there so maybe you've gone to the elbow. Take the top hand, take it out to the side and see if you can bring it up to the ceiling and bring it down again. Roll Up. And of course as you're rolling down school, the naval and check the boat hips are down. This is my stiffer side and left hand and I'll roll and open the shoulders and back and roll back up. One more time for side.

Rolling down. Keep the naval scope so you're lifting your stomach away from your thighs and up and other side, rolling down and opening up and bringing the hands down again and rolling back up. And now sitting again, hands on the side, nice and tall. So you're lifting the ribs up. Can you lift your right knee, keeping the hips nice and steady. Bring the leg down, lift the left leg, bring the leg down, lift the right like so you keeping this vertical plane and then the other leg and one more time. First leg and then the other leg. And now we go for our little [inaudible] scoops.

So we're like inflection and the right leg in it. Palm can probably go higher and stay in the scoop and the other leg. So we're doing basically a warmup that we many of us have done on the floor pre getting into more intense work just in the chair. And again, hopefully your coworkers or your boss is not watching you wondering what you're doing. Sitting up nice and tall. And now can we scoop a little bit? Can you lift the both knees? So you may find you rock back a little bit.

Sit Up Tall, lift both knees, you lifting the legs, sit up tall and lift both knees and sit up tall. And one more time. Lift both knees and sit up tall. Now let's extend our legs out and depending upon where you are, see if you can come to point where you're sitting nice and tall. Flex the feet, see if you can stretch your toes down. Lift and point and flex a feel of wet feet away.

So every time slide your heels away. Now lift the feet up. Let's see if we can get the little toes all the way to the floor. Roll them down. Lift them up. Now as you open the feet out, work from the hips and up. One more time. Open, open, open, open and reverse it. Dachau, row and again down or open those hips. So you're rolling your size up. Very good.

Now Roll yourself back. Can you lift one leg and down? So as you lift, see if you can feel it coming from the stomach. Yeah, I'm with my long legs. I'm going to crash into you and lift and one more time and lift and sit back up. Now big breath in here in with the air and out was here. Let's have one hand on the sternum. One hand between the, the kind of v, the solar plexus into the navel. So as you breathe in, feel the distance of the ribs elongating and as you breathe out, just curl down a little bit. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, and as you breathe out, lift the waist up and stretch those arms down.

And let's do a little check that the shoulders are, the armpits are moving towards the waste, the waste is long. And let's start and we can even take those hands right back actually for the hundreds. Breathing in three, four, five, exhale, three, four, five in two, three, four, five. Exhale if you wanted more interesting, full five, exhale, three, four, five into four, five. Exhale, three, four, five in three, four, five. Exhale, three, four, five and into three, four, five and exhale, three, four, five minutes. I'm sure it's not a hundred but whatever. It's enough. Exactly. Let's have the knees apart.

Hands on like in prayer and just scoop and reach towards the floor and slide your hands out and roll up and lift your arms and school and slide your hands forward and roll back. And let's go all the way up. I like that and scoop the navel and slide out. He just go as far as you can literally to get the rust. Cause we all have rust in this modern world.

Too much mental activity and not enough physical and ro and come back up. Stretch the arms out and all the way down. And now low holding on feet, either polite, plotty stanfields nice. How does this feel on your hip? So this it just loose. Can you lift your right knee and stretch your leg out? And three circles starting inwards. Circle one, two, three.

Reverse it. Circle one, two, three and bend the foot and come back. So if you find yourself collapsing, lean back a little bit just so that you supported every from your stomach. So lift the other leg up and circle one, two, three. Reverse it. One, two, three and bend the foot and come down and lift the first leg up again. Can you lift it higher, lower down, lift it up. So all we're doing now is we're actually challenging the quads. Put the foot down and lift cause what happens. And now roll back a little bit.

Lift the other leg lifted up, lower down. When you sit a lot, the hip flexors actually get very tight, but the rest of the muscles atrophy. So what we're trying to do is get the other parts of the legs to start to work again. Open your feet, hip width apart, hands behind your knees, squeeze your size together and press and lift the chest and squeeze and round yourself back and press and lift up and squeeze and close those knees and press and lift the knees out and squeeze and work the inner thighs and press and press out. One more time. Squeeze. Bring the knees together and press and open out. That feels nice.

Now let's see what we can do with rolling like a ball. That's going to be interesting. Can we find a place to balance here? So this is very similar to spine corrector when you do it. So it's minuscule. You roll back to the edge and come back. Okay.

And roll back and come up. So I would prefer you hold behind each knee instead of clasping. That's it. And off and row. And up and row and up. One more time.

Woo Roll. It looks like nothing and it's hard work. Now can you get your feet? Wow. This is quite a lumbar stretch and back. And I had back and up and back and up and back and up on [inaudible]. Feet down. Lift your back up.

So let's open the chest. Round the chest. Open the chest. Rock forward in front of your sit bones. Yes. And curves. So let's bring the knees together as we roll back. Let's open the knees as we arch forward and curve. Knees come together one more time. And lift and curve. All right.

Now single leg stretches slightly scooping back. Bring one knee in. Can you extend the other leg? The foot can stand the floor. Can you switch? So you may have do exactly that. Bring your hips away, forward and switch. This may be advanced workout for all we know. And switch and switch and switch and switch and switch.

Bring both legs in and can you bubba like whoa. And, and stretch and, and stretch. And in two more times and stretch. And in one more time and stretch and in and sit up. Lift and open the chest and bring you rocking the chest forward. Roll the chest back, roll the chest forward. Roll with all I'm thinking of is how can I get the whole trunk mobilized and the hips moving through relation of the legs to the pelvis is not so rigid and stuck.

And one more time and lift and curve. Good. Now coming close up to the front. Let's both of us lean back into this chair. So we've got a nice scoop. Lift your right leg up, grab anywhere you can and double pulse into the scissor. And the other leg lifts up tall pole.

So if someone's really stiff, they can actually bend the knee. Candace's doing it straight, which is a little bit more asking more to the body, but you just work with what feels right. And then this last one, we're going to flax and flax. Okay, come back up again. Feet apart. It did. Yeah, I would say so. Yeah. Open my hamstrings up a lot more. So here we go again. Let's hold onto the knees now. Push the knees apart, open the chest, bring the knees together, round the chest and open the chest and around the chest and open the chest and curve. And last one, open and curve. And now double straight leg stretches or lower lifts.

This is going to be interesting. Let's lean back so we have some support. Bring the knees in. I would keep hold of the for now we can transition to here but let's start here. Can you lift the legs up and scoop? So the reading and soften the quad, soften the quads. Can you get lower the legs a bit? Pull them up from the stomach and pulled him up.

And just one more time cause this is really hard. Pulling them up, bend the in and now hold it and let your lower back kind of be stretched out. This is such a nice place to actually get that traction in the lumbar spine and come back. Okay. Hands behind the head. Elbows wide. So nice and lifted in the spine. Left elbow to right me and twist and lift and twist and lift and twist and lift and tourist and lift and twist. And lift. And last one like this, twist and lift.

And just because our hips get so tight, let's have the feet hip width apart. So the legs are going straight, right foot on top of the left knee without the hips shifting. So check that the foot that's on the floor didn't start to go Donald docking if you can you hold on. Let's have the both feet. This foot flex two. Yes. So the more you can pull the toes up in a flection, it actually will help protect the knee. And what we want is to get into the hip. So you can have your hands here or you can have your hands behind. Yes.

And stretch as much as you can or can do the, this is exactly where the hips get really tight. This is the computer devo. Yeah. And come back up. Let's do the other side. So the moral of the story is if this is really tight, you need it. And I think all of us sitting in chairs with need it because, and that's part of what happens. A hip stop having Candice, can you flex your foot? Yeah.

And back. And let's do the first side again and anywhere that feels you get the best leverage to get into the hip. Nice and back and other side. Lift and press and press and press. Yes. And come back up.

So let's take the legs wide ish four where you're doing the equivalent of spine stretch forward. So maybe for now we want to sit more back and you can have your feet out or you can have your feet in. You want to see that the line of the size is about even. And start by holding your front of your chair and lift up. And then can you reach down to the floor, keep pushing your knees out and walk your hands forward.

Let your head drop down and then roll back again and sit up tall. And again, drop your head, slide your hands down, start widening your hips. So literally feel familiar that the outside of your hip to your knee. Can you push into that outside area and then come back up? So actually Candace, let's, let's bring the feet a little bit more in which is going to feel even more if you can cause there's a propensity for the arches to start collapsing.

Now in this position from the knee to the hip, I want you to actually put your hands here and push so you activate the it band right now. Keep pushing out. So we're widening the whole pelvis and the glutes and slide down and keep widening. And now walk your hands forward. But keep the legs very, very active and pull the stomach in and up and come back [inaudible] and up and then wiggle your feet a little further out. Again, activate. So you actually back. Yes, yes. You're making those legs. Do some work and then you'll go down and walk, walk, walk, walk, walk and roll back and come back up. And Apropos of that, now that we've woken up the outside, let's have you come forward. You want your feet hip width apart.

This is kind of like squats that we do against the wall. Again, because this area gets really in spasm, the hip flexes do and this area gets frozen with the sitting shape that we in. What happens is the quads, the glutes, the hamstrings, inner and outer size, they start atrophying. So what happens sometimes as you've been in an eight hour day and then you go and play basketball or you go for a run, but you didn't reactivate these muscles, and what happens is that then the hip flexors are doing the majority of the work. So you're actually running or doing whatever sport you're doing or even PyLadies workout with the wrong muscle groups firing to want to see if we can get all the muscles of the legs waking up again. So arms in front, pull the stomach in. Can you shift your weight onto your feet, hold it and then lower your bottom down to the chair. She's been in a chair all day. Yeah, the, yeah, those muscles can get really lead.

So shift the weight forward to feel the weight. Hold it. Let's stand up just to kind of help and then sit down and see if you can hover just above that chair and then sit back. Yeah, your chair is there. It is. Yes. Yeah. No, you were cool. You were like a half an inch from the chair. Yeah, so we want to really get these legs to start to hold us again and then up and then squat down and send your hips back. Send them back, send them and sit. So a few things to watch out for. It's real common for the knees to come way forward. When that happens, the upper legs are not working. I am very guilty of that crime.

So you want to, as much as you can, imagine you have a wall where your toes and your knees are against that wall and everything else has to come from the legs. The other thing is is the body start can collapse upper chest. So let's try and do it with our arms up. This will secure that your upper back will work, so you will ship forward. Can you lift your bottom and then see if your knees are not going beyond your toes and then come to an upright position and lift from the legs.

Make the legs do the work rather than to straightening. So it's almost like you have a heavy weight and the legs are lowering. You go back to sitting. Yes it is. Good. Good, good. Adjust yourself back cause we're right at the edge. This is living on the edge. So we're gonna do this again. The arms come up, shift onto your, onto your feet. Once you're there, just hold it for a minute and see if you can feel your, what your legs are doing. Now this is really working the legs, the legs press down to bring you to vertical. Yup. And now lay, lengthen the spine and the legs are bending.

So it's like you have a weight and they are the leavers, they are the leavers, they are the leavers. And then sit back and can you good. You did it. It's interesting isn't it? So I'm just as a, I mean obviously this is a little bit of a new exercise, but the truth is our leg muscles really do atrophy from the sitting. And we start to feel that we can't control because our legs. And that's part of the problem with the hips and the lower back. Um, and we just need to be aware and do what we need to in our lives. So here we go. Spa Saw, I think.

Oh cute little rabbit. I'm sorry, I'm all distracted. I just saw cute little rabbit out of the corner of my eye. How cute. So you can either have your knees bent or you can have the legs straight. So I'm going to have my knees bent because I know my, I'm going to be falling off the chair otherwise. So let's both of us twist to the right, keep both hips square and reach down towards the little toe and it off.

Three times one, two, three, come up and twist a little bit more. Back to the middle, twist to the other side, reached towards that little toe. Stretch to three. Come up, twist a little more. And Center twist to the first side. Reach one, two, three, come up, twist a little further and center, twist to the other side. And stretch one, two, three, twist a bit more. And Center, bring the hands down. Now single and double leg tricks, um, kicks are tricky in a chair, but there's a way to get around it.

So let's take the right knee and see if you can slide your foot. And can you slide your knee to the floor? Yes. So if possible, you're looking to keep your hips square and your spine long. Now can you lift your foot up towards your bottom and put it down? Isn't that amazing? Boy, does that make your hamstring start to work? Lift the foot up and down. So it's kind of stabilizing the trunk.

Now we're working those muscles that we should be working. Let's do it two more times before we change sides. And again, good. Let's bring the foot back and slide the other foot down. The other thing here that's so interesting is we'll really lengthening the quad.

So each of you will have a different sensation of your pelvis, but the hands can keep you feeling long and lift and down and lift and down and lift and down and lift and down. One more time like this, live and down. Let's bring the foot back. Where were you feeling it really nice. Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. I felt calf in one leg and hamstring in the other. Yeah. So we're going to do this again. Now this is a thing to pay attention to.

Now you have your two hip bones, even depending about how tight or loose you are, both in the hip flexor in the quad, the angle is going to be what it is. Let's see if you can send the foot a little bit further back. Yes. Down and back and then bring it forward. So slide it down and back and bring it forward and slide it down and back and stay there and see if you can lift again. I'm stronger now. So you're trying to get your kid get goes to the knees on the floor.

So get the knee to the floor because so even if you have to come off the chair, depends on the height of the chair to get there, get that knee to the floor. And that's it. Now can you send your knee more back? Yes. Make sure the knee cap is down. And can we lift again Rah interesting.

Or the leg. Okay. Come on back. Nice work. So sly the other foot all the way down and see if you can slide it back and bring it in and sly that needs. So you're stretching your quad out and opening up the hip flexor and slide it back and in. And now I'm sliding it back and just sitting here, make sure your knee is actually on the floor. If you need to put a towel. Put protection. Do so now lift.

But chances are the angle into your kneecap is acceptable to three, four and five. Okay. Sit back and Raj yourself over. Lot of work into the legs. Yeah. Now can we both come on our knees or is it your knees or your knees? So we're just on a, we're just on our knees.

Nice lift. See if you can narrow the hips and just get a nice natural lift. So you want, you don't want to Tuck your tail, you just want to feel that it's not flying backwards or so take the side of the hips and narrow them gently and pull the stomach and kind of the pubic bone and the tail towards each other without tucking the nice lift. Yes. Now can we lift both feet up? No, no, no. Me Feet, feet. Think if you can lift your feet up. Yes and down.

And literally your pelvis may change a bit and down. So what this is doing is really making the backs of the legs work, the anecdote and it's allowing the hip flexors to open naturally because each of us has a different amount degree of tightness. But as the back muscles contract more, the front muscles will start to release two more times and lift. Okay, cool. So coming back to a sitting position. Well, okay, let's take both hands. So your whole, this is like double like stretch hands. Let's bring the elbows forward. So the shoulders are going to come forward and the elbows to get a strap.

And just for a minute, drop your head and curl down. So opening up the upper back, then come up to an upright position. See if you can pull the shoulders back a bit and I'll slide the hands down and pull them back. So you press them back, bring them back behind you and curl elbows go forward. And as you unraveled the spine up, the hands go down and you open that chest and again, curl and all pun that chest and last one and curl and oh pun that chest. And then shake the arms out.

Now let's have the legs out in front of us. So I will back a bit. Pilati stance or parallel depending on what feels good and very slightly lean back. So there's an integrity in the trunk and length in the waist. So to take the right leg and just slide it out and bring it back, take the left leg, slide it out. I'm much less range of movement here, right? Like, okay.

And out and left leg and out and right leg and out and left like and now Ben the knee and just like short box, lift your leg, bring it down, lift your leg, bring it down, lift your leg and walk your hands up. Flex point, flex point, flex point. Take your left hand to the side of the chair. Can you take the leg out? Can you bring it back and cross it over? Yes. And which hands?

And so no, you were fine. You crossed over. So you're pulling the leg away from me. Now change hands again. So you'll cross the leg in front and you take it out and you change hands and you cross. And one more time. Change hands and cross. Yes. And here we don't go again. Same. So your bend, the, the, the base leg flexes foot if you can.

And let's bend over once in this angle and come back. And now let's bring the foot closer. Let's see if it does. It's so tight for you. Okay, let's have you cross some sitting. Cross legged and just at the legs, drape can bend over this way. So just a little bit of a different flat stretch and come back. So now we lean back again. So with like short box against the leg comes in, lifted up and down and up and down and up and down and walk your hands up and flex and point and two and three and now grab the insights.

You're going to stabilize something in the chair and just float the leg out wherever it'll go and cross your hands over and opposition stretch and first side again. So you cross again and open to, I'm just leaning back into the chair so that my back is actually quite support. It's, I can get a little leverage and stretch. Good. And one more time and stretch and other side and stretch and then bend the knee and bring the foot here and slowly just ease into those computer hips. Yes. Good. Is this an easier side for you or you're just warming up? This is your easier side. Ah, okay.

I'm wondering, let's get the feet here and see if you can bring this foot under you. Can you grab it and pull it towards your belly and then flip the foot on top, how to and just bounce this knee a few times. So we're just setting both hips actually externally rotated into place. It can hopefully relax and then bring the foot back, slide this foot under and you see how much I'm, I'm actually draped. I'm actually trying to, yes, let the bones get heavy and then see if you can grab yes. And again, so you've got a right hip. I've got a left hip, we got two good legs between the two of us and bring the legs down. Okay, so let's just shake the legs out so everything gets floppy. Yeah, we want everything relaxed. So the fluids is actually really, really good for our lymphatic system. Oh, I like this.

We're really going to get into this and feels wonderful on my legs to just let go of everything and teaser. We're going to be back a bit. One leg up, roll towards the foot, roll back, roll towards a foot roll back, roll towards the foot and down and other leg up. Roll towards the foot and down. Roll towards the foot and down. Roll towards the foot and down.

Can you grab and lift the feet up close? So you're just kinda hanging out next to the chair. Clap, clap, clap. You definitely won't. Don't want your boss to see you like this too. And Clap, clap, clap and three and come to standing. So we're still going to work with the chairs here. So first of all, let's just do a quick mermaid. So the right hand will open up.

So you're standing Pilati stance and just stretch to the left and come back up and other arm and stretch to the right and back in one more time like this and stretched to the left and back and stretched to the right and back. So [inaudible] you in the office, I'm assuming everybody's in the office doing this. We'll just turn around to face a chair. But let's bring our chairs in front of us. So we are on a diagonal. All we're going to do is having, it's nice if you have your hands on your hips in a Pilati stance.

See if you can lift your foot up and put it on the chair without the hip lifting and then put the foot down again and then lift the other foot up. So this is kind of basics, but a lot of us lose this again because of the fitting it to a sitting problem and a, we have a few problems in life now we have cell phones. Everybody's like all slumped over. They don't even look at each other anymore. And then the other side, Whoa, shame on me. I forgot my balance and down.

Now stepping a little bit further away. Let's see if we can lift. This is a thing before you start. There is muscles just above the greater trow cantor on men. They're very, very strong on women. They tend to be loose because we designed to have babies so we can actually let go, but we want to see if we can anchor this part.

It stabilizes the pelvis and then lift the first leg up and keep lifting up your inner thigh. Can you place the foot on the cause? This is what you don't want. You don't want to sit into this hip. You want it anchored into the socket and our three times. Let's see if we can leg. Whoa and lift the leg. It's a lot of work. Lift the leg and then lift.

Bend it, hold that hip and bring the leg down and then again, fine. See if you can lift the other leg up. So sometimes one leg is working and the other leg is not extended. Bring the leg down. Keep that hip stabilized. Lift the leg. If you can't lift the leg, just think of lifting it. It'll do all the work anyway. Lift and lift.

Bend it and down. One more time. Lift the first day out and down and lift and lift and lift and down and other side it over and lift and lift and lift and come on down. Now. Good. Just to get those legs nice and steady. See if you can hold on. You cannot really hold onto the wall or anywhere, but you want to place that. All we're going to do is be lifting our heels up so you're coming, you're rising up.

But the truth is you need the same hip stability and just a sense of balance. So first of all, just check that your weight is not on your toes, not quite a wide Candace. More like just there. There we go. Before we go up, let's lift all five toes up and roll a little bit into the outer foot. Many of us have dropped arches, so you want to feel how the big toe joint and the heel are closer together. Then as the toes go down, don't drop that. Don't let your foot collapse.

Now press your heels towards each other and see if you can rise up. A string is pulling you up through the crown of your head and then lowering down. You're getting longer through the spine so their hands are here. Really. Again, this is like an assisted class. Eventually you want to be able to do it without, but the real purpose is to get back into your feet, get back into your legs, make all the leg work. Can you feel your quad? So let's just do a few more. Can you feel your quads? Can you feel your hamstrings?

Can you feel your inner thighs? Can you feel your it band? Can you feel your calves? Can you feel all five toes pushing down? So even though you're lifting, you want to feel yourself pushing into the ground, making those legs get back into action and roll down. Roll down. Just touch the chair. Sculpt the naval. What a great friend and teacher you were who roll back up.

Take a deep breath in and breathing out. Let it go. So I hope you find this useful. Thank you.


Lina S
1 person likes this.
Excellent class. Very inspirational.
1 person likes this.
I asked for a standing class on PA and this might be even better! Thinking especially of those times I am traveling and don't want to get "up close" with the hotel carpeting. Some of the variations using the chair are going to become part of my daily life even when not following the entire routine Niedra. I thank you and so do my hips and legs.
Niedra Gabriel
Thank you for your comment Joni, You sound like you travel a lot ( I do too ) so I agree, we need tricks to keep moving under all sorts of circumstances. So glad you found this useful.
1 person likes this.
Wow I really enjoyed this, I sit and study at my computer all the time so this has come in handy. Thank you
Niedra Gabriel
Yay, so pleased to know you found this helpful Astrid.
1 person likes this.
Excellent class , can you do a senior chair based class sometime niedra ? I really enjoyed the hip opener stretches and your variations , thank you very much for sharing this .
Niedra Gabriel
Thank you for your posting Jacqueline - I will keep your suggestion in mind.
Thankyou Neidra. Needed some inspiration for a Senior class and I'm sure I can use a lot of this. Great for my own very tight hips also:)
1 person likes this.
I love this concept but most office chairs are on rollers and have many movable parts. Any suggestions for adapting these exercises with adjustable furniture?
Niedra Gabriel
what an interesting detail I never considered. I would need to play around before I had suggestions. No way to block the rollers? I would suggest ( without testing though) to invent a way to make the chair fixed and unmoving to do the work. If you are young and strong you could try doing all this with the moving structure... just to super challenge yourself. Sending you success.
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