Class #2734

Work Up to Control Balance

25 min - Class


Work your way up to the Control Balance in this Mat workout by Benjamin Degenhardt. Since Control Balance is the second to last exercise in the traditional order, every exercise leading up to it is a preparation. In this class, Benjamin strips away some of the traditional exercises and picks the ones that get you ready for this complex movement.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Nov 09, 2016
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Hi everybody. My name is Benjamin. I'm here with Nancy and with Amy for a controlled balance inspired mat workout control. Balance is a rather complex exercise that is second to last and the original um, return to life sequenced by Joe [inaudible], which implies that every single exercise leading up to it is a preparation for control balance. For this workout though, we will strip away at some of the movements and pick the ones that really prepares for controlled balance. More specifically, we're going to begin with the a hundred. So we'll start on our backs. If you guys can go ahead and roll yourself onto your backs, stretch your arms over your head. Just give yourself a moment of checking in with your own bodies, letting your ribs pop open and letting your legs stretch out of your body and just take a yawning like stretch here just to allow your body to open up, experience your breasts.

And then from there we gather our strength into the central lifting into your hundred position, arms up and forward, Chin over chest, lift the legs out of your body to your level of strength and begin to pump the arms. Breathing and breathing out. Continue to count five pumps to inhale, five pumps to exhale. Controlled balance has a lot of different components to it such as an inversion such as the leg splitting apart such as the overhead reach, what the hundred can prepare us for. He has to build that center of strength, that even length throughout the curve of the spine that we are looking for later on in control balance as well. But more than that, we're just warming the body up. Take two more breaths. Inhale, pump the arms high and long. Exhale all the air out. Press the legs together for your final breath here. Exhale until the lungs are completely empty and then release completely.

Let the legs come down that you head. Reach down and your arms overhead. Take a moment there to shake out your legs, maybe rock out the ribs a little bit. Let your hips go side to side. Bend your knees into your chest and rock yourself up to seated. I'm going to use our strap or ankle strap for the roll up. Our focus here will be on proper timing and the exercise will be maximizing the bend of our spine before sitting up. We'll start on our backs.

Go ahead and lie down here. Flex you feed back into the strap so we get a lot of tension on the strap. Bring your arms over your head to start this time. Keep the ribs contained, arms reaching overhead back behind you. Right. Later on you will have your legs overhead pulling down on one leg at a time and controlled balance. So see how your shoulders feel with being this far overhead without moving the strap at all. Begin to pick yourself up, lift you arms, peel your head, neck and shoulders up and see how far you can come up without moving your hip set all without lessening the pull on the strap and then round all the way over your legs with control. Come all the way back down.

We each your arms over your head. So the strap here really becomes your teaching tool to understand how well you can roll your spine up before even using the power of your hips to come all the way up, lift your arms up and forward. Chin over. Chest, hips stay unchanged. The spine bends up and forward. At the end of the round, over your legs. Pop out your back, released the breath. Inhale, come down or eat your arms over your head again. We'll take one more slow like that. Pick up the arms, head, neck, and shoulders.

Pull the strap with the feet. Take a big bend over the legs, moving the spine evenly into a lengthened curve with control. Come down. We'll take two more a little quicker. Take the arms overhead. Prepare, inhale, lift. Exhale. Take a big stretch over your legs. Each one takes you farther. Inhale, come down, arms reach overhead. This will be your last one. Trying to find a new place to stretch into in your own backs and then with control, come back down. Really use the strap to delay your descend. Stretch your arms over your head and let your feet come out of the strap.

Shake out your legs here for a second. We'll prepare for a roll over into link that to our control balance. I want you to use your arms overhead here, so see if you can grab onto the corners of your mat, which works really well with an elevated mat. If you have dowels at home, you can use those as well. When again, check in with whether your shoulders are okay with that or not. If not, it might be an indication of controlled bounces, not yet in the cards for you. All right from here, press your legs together. Think of how you lifted your legs up in the hundred.

Pick the legs up and then overhead. In order to prepare for control balance, we're looking to lift the legs a little higher than parallel to the ground. Definitely not toes touching the ground. The higher the legs go, the more you try to unweight your lower back and lengthen and decompress your spine or pull hard with your arms. Keep the legs together and roll yourself all the way back down. So we try to link the sensation more into control balance rather than going through the rollover choreography, going in, up and over.

Find that high diagonal through the legs. Pull with the arms, make sure that space in the front of your throat and roll yourself back down with control in the biggest radius possible. Stretch the legs away from you. We'll go one more time. Lift up and over. It's okay to use the arms here to help you up. Lift the leg straight up and then roll yourself back down with control pole with the arms. Stretch your legs all the way down in a way from you and pause. Lift the right leg out of your body and stretch it up to 90 degrees as far as you can.

Press your left leg into the mat and see if that helps you lift the right leg even higher and then stretch the right leg away from you and down. Do the same with the other side and lift the left leg out of your body. Pick it up, press your right leg down. Getting ready for one leg circles, lower the left leg down, or I'd like limits up. Now we begin the circles. Take the leg across the body. Allow the hip to follow the leg to get a little bit of a stretch into your back.

Yes, rotating the spine for three down around an up, four to down around it, up and one reverse the direction. Open the leg out, right. Take it down across an up. Focus on your standing leg, the one that you pressed into the ground earlier, the down and up. Use that here in your circles as well. Last one, open down across and lift. Lower the right leg all the way down. Stretch the left leg up and we'll go on this side four times each way. Again, allowing the hip to lift a little bit so you get a sense of rotation through the back and allowing your opposite arm to create stability and creating an opposition. After four, you reverse it.

Bottom legs strong, chest open. Check in with your breath as well. See if at any point it feels held and see if you can just liberate your breath after four stretch the leg forward and away from you. We'll get ready for a rolling like a ball. He's a little transition. We take into it. You stretch your arms over your head, you pick yourself up back through that hundred shape we were in arms and they've head, neck and shoulders. Lift legs, lift and bend your knees up. Sit yourself up. Hold the shape.

Type now actively press your shins into your hands and actively pull on your legs with your arms so you can really puff out your back without the sinking back. We're going to focus on suspending the body in the upside down position. Roll yourself onto your shoulders and if your sitz bones up to the sky and then roll yourself back into your balance. Try that again. Rolling back, lifting up and control balance later. We also stain being on our shoulders a little bit longer, right? It is a shoulder stand, so we're getting ready for that here. Build trust in the fact that you can't be on your shoulders for a second, that you can lift your hips up without the weight of your lower body sinking into your spine. Let's take one more. Roll yourself back.

Lift yourself up, hold it at the top. From here, stretch your arms and legs forward. Mount your spine back onto the mat and then reach your arms over your head to fully release from that. Very nice. Just building a little bit of strength in the center. Now we'll do our double leg stretch for today. We're going to take the arms overhead because that's where they will be in control balance as well, and your knees into your chest.

Give yourself a squeeze in a hug. Curl your head, neck and shoulders up. Prepare your body. It's like you're in a snapshot of rolling like a boss. Your spine is completely rounded here. You tail might be lifted. Get your knees really deeply into. Squeeze out all the air on your inhale. Reach the arms back and your legs out long and low. Circle the arms around.

Draw your knees back into your chest. You have a squeeze and a hug, do that again. Um, switch overhead, an opposition to your legs. Xcel you come deep. Inhale, reach arms or legs far apart. Exhale, lengthen the tail away from you. Let that be the reason your knees come in. Let's take three more. Inhale, reach, exit. Circle the arms around. Actively reached those arms back like you expecting your hold onto something back there and the knees come back in. This will be your last one. Inhale, reach. Exhale, knees come all the way in.

Hold them tight as you release your head back just for a moment of rest, maybe rolling your head side to side, allowing your chest to open again and then we'll follow that up with something that looks very much like our control balance. It also looks very much like our scissors, but we'll just use it as a stretch and to find you in the position that we look for later in the actual exercise. Begin with your left leg sliding out on the ground so it's resting. Lift your right leg straight up to the ceiling that you have before. Walk your hands up the back of your leg, lift your head, neck and shoulders up, and then stretch the left leg so far out of your body.

It starts to hover off the ground. And now pause. Instead of pulling the leg towards you with them. Stay here for a little bit. Push your leg into your hands and allow that to lift you up a little higher against that. Deepen your lower back down into the mat. Take a full breath in. Continue to reach through your left leg. Exhale all the air and try to pull yourself a little closer to your right knee.

One more deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. Splitting the legs away from each other. Bend your knee in. Release your head down. Give yourself a squeeze. Relax your left leg down as well. Do the same thing on the other side. So that's the exact, as something opened up there. Good. All right, we'll take it to the other side now.

So that pole and that splitting apart of your legs is exactly what we're looking for in control balance later. Right? So take your left leg up from here. Walk your hands up the back of your leg like it's a little tree. Stretch the right leg so much out of your body. It hovers up. And then again, you couldn't pull that leg just towards you with your arms. I want you to do the opposite and push the light into your hands. Who pulls you forward so that you have to use the other leg to weigh your hips down evenly.

Use the arms to lift yourself higher and then actively deepen your lower back into the ground. If you're shaking, don't be scared as a hug. That's exactly what you're looking for. Key working that opposition through the legs. For one more deep breath. Inhale, maybe crease up up a little bit higher because why not? And then release on now and bend your left knee into your chest. Release your head, release your legs good and then stretch out both legs.

Shake them out against the ground for just a second. We're going to come up for our spine stretch now. Just mobilizing our back a little bit better. Come on up to a seated position. Doesn't matter how. Bring your legs to the corners of your math. Flex your feet hands go down, right in between your legs. Just one here.

Take a deep breath in. Press your fingertips down on the XL Chin over. Chest round your head down between your knees. Let your fingers slide out right in between your heels. Press your fingers into the mat to puff your back up right around the low back here. Inhale, lift yourself back up to c to tall. Take a deep breath. We'll do one more here. Chin over, chest rolling up or rolling down.

Rather rolling your head into yourself, letting the arms stretch forward so your arms are probably next to your ears right now where they will be in control. Balance. Stay like that. As you lift your spine up, take the arms with you. Take a deep breath in. Almost feel like somebody's stepping right behind you, lifting you up by your risks. Keep that left in your spine. XL Arms. Stay with ears as you take your final spine stretch. Aim to bring your fingers down onto the mat.

Push into your match or lift your lower backs next and then lift yourself all the way back up. Arms go out to the side, hold them there for a second. Hug your shoulder blades together. Open your chest. Try to touch the side walls when I need this opening and our arms for next exercise, which was really just an extension of our whole body from our stomachs. Swing your legs over to the other end of your mat. Lay down on your stomach or a little favorite break, dance.

Spin your arms come out to the left and right. Your palms are down on the ground so you find same dynamic in your arms here. Begin by making your low back as long as possible and bringing your legs together as tight as that's available to you. All right, your hip bones are pressing down into the match of find activation in your seat and then you lift your chest, you lift your legs, you lift your arms, you lift everything. You stretch your body north, south, east, west, and all the directions. You keep digging your hipbones down and then you look for your breath. Because we're going to stay here for about 10 seconds. Taking. Inhale, get wider through your chest.

Can the idea of reaching the crown of your head forward and up, lift you up higher? Can your legs reaching back, lift you up higher? This is just to counter all the flection we've just done right in preparation for a control balance. Ease right back down. From here we'll just take one more deep breath in and wrinkled the lower back length and forward through the chest and then hover off the ground. You're on weight, the legs, the chest, the arms. It doesn't have to be a high lift, much more interested in length.

Then lifting up super high. Deep breath in and ease back down. Excellent, and you guys sit back over your heels. Give yourself a quick counter stretch out of that. Now getting ready for a neck pole.

I want you to look at your neck pull here as a way to get used to the fact that you will have weighed in your head later on. When we do our control balance, when we do our scissors and our bicycle and all of those exercises jackknife. This is our first time we can get to load some weight into the neck and cervical spine. Your legs will come out in front of you because I'm nice that way. We're going to use the strap because I actually believe that it helps us get into the part of the exercise that is really important. Open your legs about hip distance apart so you have an outward pull on your legs. Take your hands behind your head and then begin by actively pressing the head back into your hands.

Give yourself almost a double shin kind of sensation and allow that poll into your hands. Lift your head up towards the ceiling. So from the side you look like a perfect Elle at the hips, trying to lift out of your seat. Press the heels out, pull the toes back, and then from here, keeping the elbows wide round over your legs to start up and forward like your spine stretch earlier. Inhale, lift yourself back up. Do that one more time. As you round forward your hands. Do not pull the head down. Your head pulls up into your hands. Inhale, lift back up, and then take that same idea down and backwards. You curl the hips under your rollies have down.

Your elbows are allowed to come forward a little bit. As long as that helps you traction the neck, open your elbows at the bottom to catch your breath and then lift yourself back up. Elbows and heels reach forward. Spine curls forward, pushes into hands. Lift yourself back up. Open the elbows wide. Come right back down now. So we're playing around with our head being actively involved. Chin over. Chest. Lift yourself back up that it almost feels like your head is against the ground, except that it's your own hands. Lift yourself back up. Deep breath in. Exhale.

Let your elbows come forward. Widen that space between your shoulder blades. Nice. Open the elbows wide. Just one more time. We'll go through it a little slower here so it can serve us in the next exercise. Lift yourself up. Super Tall here to open elbows and then with control, come all the way down. We're going into our high scissors and bicycle next, which was really a perfect representation of what's going to happen in control balance where we keep the hips up a little higher.

Take your feet out of the strap, but your arms just come down by your sides here and then we'll just roll the legs over. All right, so just like in a rollover, straighten the legs out overhead and then take pause here. Turn your palms to face up. Press the backs of your upper arms down. Take your fingertips towards your back pocket so your elbows bend the palms hold your lower back, but your fingers slide up towards your seat. There should really be no weight in your hands. Remember how enroll over we pick the legs up to lift some weight out of our back. I want you to do the same thing here.

Your hands are just taglines holding you in place. They're not a pedestal to rest your seat on right now. From here, stretch one leg straight up to the ceiling and then maybe far away from you. Let the other leg be a counter to that and then switch to the other side. The second it puts weight into your wrist, you've gone too far. Work on keeping that lift in your body, especially as we're preparing for control, balance, reach and reach and reach.

The only thing that will be different layers that you have your arms over your head and you actually pull the leg down. You've got three, you've got two, you've got one. You change that moving into a bicycle, right? Or reaching out far, trying to bring the leg far away from you and by bending it, it becomes a little heavy on that end, right? That's what we're going forward. Still no weight in your hands for three, for two, for one, reverse the action. Go the way that feels weird. Yes, sticking the leg out, almost trying to skim them at even if that never ever happens for three, for two, for one. If both legs up, lift them high enough so that you can easily take your hands off, press them onto the mat, open your chest, and then roll the spine down against your legs. Reaching the opposite way and that was your scissors and bicycle or United's lower the legs all the way down. We adjust your position on the mat in case you were sliding.

It happens always happens and that one right? And then we go into our shoulder bridge, which follows that place your feet as close to your seat as you can comfortably get them. Press your arms into the mat. Lift your hips up nice and high. Lift your hips up so high that perhaps you can get your hands around the sides of your waist, like you're holding your hips around the beltline of your pants. That's it. Then you use your hands to pull your hips away from your shoulders so the hands are not under the back as much as around the sides, right?

It's like you're building a little spine corrector, arch barrel for yourself. You're using your own body. All right. Again, there's no weight in the wrist. See if you can extend your leg straight out on the ground. We'll start with the right stretched out in front of you. Feel that opening through the front of the body.

Now we're going for an explosive kick. You kick the leg up, you take the leg forward and down, kick it up, take it forward and down three more times. Or we're trying to teach the body he has. Again, the hips can stay in a suspended position. We can move the legs independently and we can breathe while we do that. One more time. [inaudible] reach a changing sides. Draw the right leg in, left leg out, long and low. Kick it up from there up. Take it down. Try to make sure that as the leg lifts in towards you, it doesn't push any weight into your neck, right?

All happens below the waist too. Or I'm on top. Kick it up, bring it down, bend your knee, release the arms by your sides. Stay here for another second. Take so much weight into your right first that your hips start to twist them a little bit almost as a passive result and then shift to the other side. Just becoming aware for a second how out of balance or out of symmetry we might be in this exercise, right? Shift from side to side. One more time. Now that you have an understanding of how much you put weight into one more than the other. Push both feet down evenly and see if that feels any different.

Take a deep breath in here. Take your time. Rolling yourself all the way down. Stretch your hips towards the heels. As you roll your body down. We'll do one more lift like that, even weight in your feet. Now that you woke them up, lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Stretch your arms over your head because again, in our control balance, we need to have that mobility in your shoulders. All right.

Imagine some crazy dude right behind you pulling your arms back as you roll your spine down so your arms still reaching back as your hips slowly come down immense opening across the chest and then let your arms come down by your sides. Bend your knees into your chest for a quick little screen. You want to do it again? Alright, well you can do it later and then we have a couple more exercises getting us ready. Jackknife again, another representation of what control bounds is going to be. Let we counter that with some extension that we were ready and ready to go into our control bounds. Stretch your legs out long on the route. Arms down by your sides. Jackknife has no new components or new, no new movements built in. The only thing that's different is the pacing, the rhythm, the dynamics.

We try to move a little quicker through all those positions. Unweight your legs. Lift your legs up, roll over, Jacqueline. I feel like uphold it there and then roll down with control. So the first portion happens quite quickly. Legs go down, they lift up, they roll over. You lift the legs up towards the ceiling and you roll yourself all the way back down. Do that three more times. Depth up, over lift and with control. Come down.

Push the mat away with your arms to to go live. Roll over Jack. Knife up. Push them out away. Roll your hips towards that spot between your thumbnails. One more time. Lift up over rich. Nice. And then roll yourself all the way down with control.

Lower your legs as far away from you as you possibly can. Flip over to your stomach. Stay right where you are. So no break dancing necessary. Oh, if you can help it, then do it. That's fine. Just flip on over here. I'm going to do this. I'm an extension again, just to count all of that and just to make sure that we move our spine in both directions. All right, this time your arms are not out to the side but straight over your head to reach your arms forward and away from you as if you were to do swimming.

Except we won't press your hip bones down. Switch you. I'm so far forward. They lift up, pick up your head, pick up your chest, stretch the legs back and up. Lift the thighs towards the ceiling of you knees towards the ceiling. Lift your heels towards the ceiling and understand. Take a nice deep breath in and a deep breath. Ouch.

Check in with how your shoulders feel here. Reaching overhead, right? Is there maybe a more efficient place to hold them? Maybe a place in your back that can get a little stronger here. And what about your seat? Can you make it strong enough? So that your thighs can be held up without your lower back being also wrinkly.

Take one more breath. Take one more lift, and then take it all the way down from here. Sit back over your heels. Give yourself a counter stretch. All right, and now we're ready for a control balance, or at least I am. How do you guys feel? So we tried. All right, good. So a lot of things that we've already done are now going to come together. We'll essentially do that single straight leg stretch hold. We practice earlier, except that you're on your shoulders and your head. All right, so from here, take your hands down by your sides. Roll yourself unto your back.

Lift your legs up and roll yourself over. Take a moment here. Remember how we lifted the legs up a little bit to decompress the back? Now one arm at a time, or circling both out overhead. Go ahead and reach your arms through the back corners of your mat. Perhaps just reaching for the back wall here and then letting your right leg drop down towards the heads.

Perhaps you get a hold of your right foot with both your hands, and if you do, then you pull that foot actively down and then you'll split your other leg straight up to the ceiling. Make sure that that does not compressor fine, right? You try to have that same length throughout your back and if that doesn't happen, don't listen to me. Keep your hands on the corners of the Mat. Keep working on that lift. Now switch sides. This is the balance pod. Whew. This is where things get super exciting. We switched from side to side. More important to me than you getting your foot into your hands.

Is that lift to your back. Keep going at your own pace. This is play time, right? This is not about doing any number of repetitions as much as making sure you breathe, you key decompressing, and you keep linking all the different sensations that we've been working on that we've experienced already into this very complicated movement. Three, two, very good one. Bring both legs up. Keep both arms overhead. Circle them out in front of you until they're on the mat by your sides again. And then take your time rolling yourself all the way down.

Stretch your legs up and away from you, lower them onto your mat, lift yourself up into a seated position. And you guys all set great work. You guys, um, if you still feel like you don't quite understand what control balance is about after doing all of that, there will be a tutorial that is exclusively focusing on that exercise. Uh, thank you guys so much. See you for the next one.

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1 person likes this.
Loved this thank you!!
Lorie H
1 person likes this.
Double thumbs up!
1 person likes this.
That was fantastic!!
1 person likes this.
Love it!!!! Merci!
Becky C
1 person likes this.
Nice! I just amazed myself and did control balance fairly well!
Benjamin Degenhardt
Self-amazement is the best kind of amazement!
1 person likes this.
Thanks for this amazing instructions and great sequence 🙏🏻👍🏻
1 person likes this.
enjoyed class got to work on my control balance
1 person likes this.
3 people like this.
LOVE! Somehow you got me into high scissors and bicycle without pain in my aha moment! THANK YOU!
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