Class #2758

Spine Lengthening Practice

45 min - Class


Focus on lengthening the spine in this Wunda Chair workout with Karen Sanzo. In the second class for her daughter, Nora, she attempts to make her feel less compressed in her back in addition to stabilizing the ankle that was previously injured. This is a great demonstration of how Pilates can be translated to all forms of fitness!
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair, Wunda Chair Handles, Hand Weights, Reformer Box

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The chair workout. I said Nora and Nora is a weight lifting athlete and one of the things that I love about holidays is how it translates into all facets of fitness. So I built this chair workout today for Nora to focus on lengthening the spine, making her feel, or attempting to help her feel less compressed and ankle stability. So we're going to start, you're standing behind the chair and take your right leg up on top of the chair. One of my favorite ways to start lots of workouts, just keep alternating your legs and then take your hands behind your head.

Just tying in a leg lift and lower. Good. And then like lift and lower. Good. And then one more time. Each leg stop with your left leg up. Grow tall through your spine. One of the things we have to watch here, and we'll talk about this in a hip tutorial, is this hip crease actually has to come back a little bit. Yes. So that it can lift up through the spine. Then you feel where the glute is, the ribs get lengthened, hold now twist to your same side leg. That's up.

Good. Hold that twist. Pull in your belly. Good. Oh, I love to smile. Hold right there. And then give a couple little breasts. Inhale, twist, twist, twist, exhale, center. Good. And then again, inhale, twist, twist, twist, exhale, center anchoring down this big toe. Go. Last time, twist, twist, twist, exhale. Center. Quietly. Take this leg down. I say quietly, because a lot of times people get kind of sloppy. So take your right leg up here and then as you lengthen up in your left leg, be sure yes. And so lengthen up these ribs and she does a really good job.

Sometimes we just need a little reminder of where the lift comes from. These toes down, that big toe down the big toe down really makes the connection to the inner thigh. Okay, twist into the right now. Twist, twist, twist, exhale, center. Let's leave this knee pressing into me here as you twist, twist, twist, exhale, center. And then last reminder of this knee presses in as you twist. Oh, that's tougher. Good. And then exhale, center, and take your leg down. Just a little warmup. Okay. Standing behind the chair. The spring edge on the chair is different for everybody.

I have these two black springs on number two, that's for Nora size and Nora's weight. So I just encourage you to kind of play with the spring a little bit in the chair as it meets your client arms up to the ceiling. Big Inhale, curl your torso forward. As you roll down and touch this handle [inaudible] your body weight will lean forward a little bit. You'll start to straighten and bend your knees a couple times. There's a straighten and then a bent and a straighten. And then a Ben.

She's keeping a nice flection of her spine while she kind of dynamically stretches the hamstrings and activates the legs. Good. Two more times like that. Good. And then last time, straighten the legs, hold straightened leg juice up these muscles. Good job. And then take the pedal and write it down so the head will go forward and then you'll come back. Good. Inhale forward, big lungs, big ribs. Exhale, come back. I'm going to ask you to keep your thighs tight as you go forward. And then exhale, come back two more times. Nice job.

Not over lifting the neck this last time, Nora, go forward. Stay forward. Hold there. Now start to arch your chest and come up with your chest. Beautiful job. Big Inhale. Open these ribs. Exhale, head nods, curling the trunk. Unwind yourself all the way back up. Straighten those legs, tidy them up. There you go.

And then unwind the spine and take your arms all the way up to the ceiling. Big Inhale, grow up tall, and then release. And then come to the front of the chair. Same exercise. Now standing in front of the chair. This washer woman is a tighter flection. Okay, so with your two arms up in the air, big inhale and exhale round down.

When your hands meet the pedal, I want you to resist pushing with your arms and get connected way up here into your trunk, tidy up the legs, and then push the pedal down. Get the load, hold yourself right there. So here's where she starts to think her hamstrings are really tight. But I'm going to ask her to tighten up her flats it. And then inhale, press the pedal down. Exhale, come up. Inhale. Yes. Beautiful. Kind of like elephant on the reformer.

Inhale going down and then coming up last time. Go down, stay down. Hold right there, Nora. Good. Now let the pedal feed your shoulders as you lengthen the chest like your chest is going to look forward in front of the chair. Beautiful job. Arch. This right here. Now hold this shape of your spine. Lift your head a tad and then straighten and bend your knees while you hold this shape of your spine. Then knees and then straightened knees. Then knees and straight. Knees. Let this pedal feed your shoulders. Yes.

Beautiful. That's it. And then last time and then come up, press the pedal down one more time. Flexing your spine, tightening up these leg muscles. Inhale, big. Exhale, unwind, unwind, scoop in the belly, tightening the bottom. Unwind yourself all the way back up. Very nice job. Moving to rotation with one arm now. So I'm taking one spring off. Take your arms out to the side like a t. Good and nice. Strong legs, strong arms. Lifting the chest.

Twist your torso. To the left and then take this hand and put it on the outside of this pedal. Now careful, you got to go back and that's it. You knew what to do there. And now look at your left. Think of the exercise saw in the Mac and then use your trunk to flex your body down. Hold right there, tidy up those legs.

So one of the challenges is do I hyper extend my knees? Do I straighten my knees? I want active legs. Good. Now come out of the rotation a little bit and then go into the rotation. Good. Two knees straight. Inhale, exhale, rotate. Stay there. Inhale, exhale on rotate. And now use your inhale to rotate. Good. And exhale back. And then last time rotate and hold the rotation.

Look at your left knee so your head is in line with your spine. Tighten up both legs. Pull your tummy in so many rules and now challenge the rotation by bending and straightening this right elbow. Good. Inhaling and exhaling. Reach this arm high. There you go. Two arms reaching away from each other. Last time. Hold that right there.

Look at your knee. There you go. And then unwind out of the rotation. Bring yourself back up. Tighten the back of your thighs. Unwind your spine. Arms come out to the side. Who? We only have two sides. That's one side. Ready? Okay. Twist to the other side and then go down and get that pedal. Now you know to tidy up the pelvis, you know to keep connection. There you go.

Where are you looking? Right here at the knee. There you go. And then press that down. Good holding this arm comes up, wrapping around these left ribs. Oh, beautiful job. Hold that right there. And then come up a little bit. Inhale and then go down. Good. Inhale, come up a little bit and then down. Now stay there. Inhale, exhale, come up. And we changed the breathing. Inhale down, expand ribs. Exhale up, check in with the pelvis, tightening up the legs. Good.

And then one more time. Go down, stay down to arms, reaching away from each other. Two legs, staying long and strong. Challenge the rotation now by bending and straightening that elbow. Good. Less gripping of your toes. More tightening of your leg. Yes, toes down. There you go. Two more times like that and then last time, go down, stay down. That's it. Good job. Looking at that right knee and then unwind yourself up. That's it. And then take two arms to the ceiling. Take a big inhale, arms face away from each other, pushing down with your arms as you grow up through your spine. Very, very good. Now getting ready for standing. Leg pumping.

I'm going to add to this. Spring on again. Okay, so let's start with your left leg on the pedal here. Standing leg pumping. Now we keep the spine a little quiet. So again, lengthening through your, the back of your thigh and lifting up through your trunk. Push this pedal down and let's see what that tension feels like. Good. And then bring your leg up and then take that peddle off. I'm going to change the tension just a little bit here.

I may change the position of the chair as well periodically throughout the workout, just so you can get a better angle of what it is that I'm trying to create here. Left leg on the pedal and press the pedal down. So I want it to be light. Can you feel how bad it's a little light? Now move your foot back just a little bit and lift up your heel. Now this is the ankle that uh, Nora had a dislocation on and he's been working in therapy and working in PyLadies here. We're working on this point business right here.

She's going to hold that leg, their hands behind the head. [inaudible] hold that left ankle and raise that thigh to my hand. [inaudible] beautiful. Just like that. And then, and then work more on the up phase of this exercise for control without changing the shape of that ankle. [inaudible] there you go. You're gonna take your front ribs to your back ribs. Very nice. Lengthening up through your skull, like you're balancing something on your head.

Very good. Ooh, Nice. So we've feeling the ankle stability. Stay in that planted position. Stability on the right. Good. Now lift the pedal all the way up as slow as you can. Very good. And then take that leg to the floor. Relax your arms for a second. Whooo. And now the other one is sometimes it's the simplest exercise that are the hardest, right? That kind of brings us a nice little words.

So go ahead and press the pedal down. It's a very light spring here. So now her left leg is going to be challenged in the stability here. So as we look at this leg and she tightened this leg, I really don't. That's it. She's getting that connection of the verticality of her leg without lunging forward. So much good. Yes. Nice job. And then just kind of float that right thigh up and then press it down.

So I like to think of your leg as like receiving the pedal. Can you kind of feel that a little bit? Good. So nice long hip socket here. Oh fabulous job. Very good. And just do that two more times. Good. And then last time, very good. And then let the pedal rise all the way up. Very good. And then take your leg down. Good. Come on, turn around, have a seat on the chair. Hang on just a second.

I'm going to add another spring. So we come back to our kind of medium strength spring here and then have a seat. So one of the things in this workout for this particular athlete is not necessarily about increasing springs for strength, but to give her some things that challenge the exercise. So starting with your heels a little bit further apart, just feel what that feels like to press down and up and feel how your body might want to like push it down. Right? But what I want you to work on, hold your thighs there. Remember the lesson on this, the sacred staying in the chest, lifting up your occiput, reaching law. Okay. So we're going to monitor this position and as your legs go down and up, I'm going to limit the down and maximize the up. Does that make sense?

So one of the things for Nora is filling, uh, figuring out how to fit her hips into the hip socket. Nice and deeply good. Okay. So feel that challenge there. [inaudible] so the challenge on the up is for like a speed control. Can you kind of feel that? Okay, so a couple more times. The answer is always yes. Right. Okay. Keep going down and up.

Now switch to the balls of your feet. As soon as you go to the balls of the feet and you point the Cho, your hamstrings kick on a little bit more because the toe pointing is action of the calf. So go down and hold that right there. [inaudible] keep that. That left ankle lifted much like you would be in the plots. V On the reformer. So you have to hold that shape of the ankle as the legs raise. Yes. So as the leg raise, you feel the depth of the hip socket right there.

She's doing so well here to not quote, sit up tall because a lot of times if you sit up too tall, you kind of go into the shearing of that lumbar spine, the Thoracolumbar junction, kind of getting a little bit too extended. Really working hard here. Good. How's that spring tension feel? You're good. Okay. So come back to the heels now and I'm gonna raise, I'm gonna raise you one. So take your feet off just for a second please. There you go. And now put them back on.

I'm gonna raise you one and now she's going to press down and hold the down phase till her thighs are what she believes their level. [inaudible] take this weight in her hand. And what are the things for Norris lengthening? Take these arms up in the air. Bend your elbows behind you. Much like you're going to kind of do it. Try, set, move. This is just a seven pound weight. You can, you can use any weight poundage here and you're gonna take the thorax backwards. There you go. Open up your arm pits.

Why stretch the last length in there? Now she's going to take a journey around her thoracic spine with this weight. And if you've never done this, this feels just so amazing to tie your arms into the opening of your thorax. You're going to add a big inhale when your elbows get over your head right now. Inhale, inhale, inhale, exhale around. Good. One more time like that.

Good. And then go in the other direction. [inaudible] [inaudible] yes, you're doing a good job with her head. I'm going to keep my hand right here. So she knows to kind of keep her her back. Kind of back a little bit into my hand. I'm not asking her to flex, I'm not asking her to talk. I'm just asking her to maintain the relationship.

One more time. Very good. Then take that weight down. Okay. Let the pedal rise and then bring yourself all the way off of there. So now that we've got the thorax, open the feet in this nice position that you understand we're going to start to work on our pike relationship. So I'm actually going to raise this spring up a little bit because what I want her to feel is the success of the exercise.

We're going to do two types of pikes today. Stand on here with your heels first. Press it all the way down. Feel that tension. Does that tension feel strong enough to lift your body weight up? Cause you kind of know we've done this a couple of times. Yeah. And now go into the balls of your feet.

So I just use the heels to press down and that raise your heels up and down just a little bit. Move your feet back just a little bit more. Good. There you go. And now squeeze your heels together and raise them up and pause right there. So we get this inner thigh connection. Tidy up these knees. There you go. Take your hands to the back of the chair.

Now the first pike that we're going to do is more of a flat back pipe. So she's going to, yes. So this queuing here, her shoulders are going to stay put, her legs will stay straight and it's like your buttocks is going to reach out behind you to go up. You may not come as high as you think you should come, but you will just cut. That's fabulous. Hold right there. So right here, I'm not asking her to round her spine. I'm asking her to feed her thighs, her hip joints up like a straw. Good. And just go down a little bit and then up a little bit. Very good. Meaning if your thigh bones, the heads of the femurs, they're pulling way into the groin. She's not extending, she's not flexing. Good job. Now hold that up phase. Move your right hand over to your left. Whew. Move it more.

There you go. Now go down and up from there. Maintaining this position here, changing this position. There no questions asked during this exercise. Good. And then to hold the up, crawl your hands all the way to the other side. There you go. And then down and up from that, straighten out those knees. Oh, very good correction back in that spine. Good. Can you do that one more time and then come up. Stay up. Move your hands back to level. She's quivering.

Now bring yourself all the way down. Take one leg off. Let the pedal rise with control. Two legs. Come down. Rest right there. Flat Back Pike. It feels different in your hips. Okay, so now come back on the pedal again and do a more traditional rounded back pikes. Presses it down, gets the safety. Now move to the balls of the feet. [inaudible] raise and lower the heels just a couple of times here. And as you raise the heels that you good, you reached through your big toes. That's it.

So you lower your as you first raise. It's the calf, then you get the hamstrings, then you get the buttocks, hands to the back of the chair. Now we pull in the abdomen. We go to a rounded shape. So in this rounded shape, we really want to, uh, accentuate this final flection at the cervical area. And now keep that shape and then lean forward and pull. Ah, good. Ooh, that's a good one. And then down, if you get a close up of her cheeks, they're actually jiggling. Good down. And then come up just three times here. Good. Nice job with last time down. And then last time, uh, hold that up. Shape. Travel this time, left to right three times down and up.

[inaudible] see if you can go down less but up more. Sweet. Now crawl to the other side. Her head wants to extend so bad, but she's not extending it. So many people think that that is thrusting of the neck will help them get up. But this is a flection based exercise. Hold yourself right there. Two hands, come back to center. Whew. Ride that battled down.

Step off, right leg to the floor, and then bring yourself all the way back up. Nice. Don't come around to the back of the chair. So we're going to do a little swan prepping here. So I'm going to turn this chair here. I'm just going to leave one high spring on and then we may need to change that spring edge, but I think that'll be good.

So lie on your Tummy and I call it swan prep ish, if you will, because I want you to feel the support of your abdomen. So you're going to actually scoot forward nor just a little bit, and then press the pedal down [inaudible] and so that your arms are underneath your shoulders. Good. You know what? I think that's a little too far. There you go. Okay. Yeah, there you go. Uh, the benefits of the chair is just a challenge. Now, how's that spring tension? Can you hover that pedal up off the ground? Oh yeah. Can you feed those shoulders? Good? Now, right here, you see this bend in the knee. We're actually going to lower the legs.

That's enough. And then straighten the knees. Whoa, Nice. And that becomes this connection here. Now I'm going to touch her abdomen right here. And I want you Nora, to pull up your abdomen without changing your spine. There you go. Now that's corely connected. Can you hold that and take your right arm out to the side like a t and just hold that force big. Inhale, big exhale, pause, and then put that arm down and then the left arm comes out. Good.

Straighten the knees, lengthen through your toes. Late. Beautiful job. And then that arm comes down and now we start the swanning. So the pedal feed your shoulders right here. Your Thoracic Spine starts to extend upward. The chest looks forward. Then the head can lift only from the thoracic spine. Lengthening.

Fabulous job. And then bring yourself to level as you come level. That's it. The belly pulls up away from my hand and your t-shirt. Straight knees, good job. And then again, thoracic spine lengthens pedal feeds the shoulders. Good. Almost feel like you're pulling the pedal underneath the chair as your chest gets any bit longer. Now. Can you hold that and bend and straighten your elbows? Here you go.

We've never done this before. I threw it in. There you go. And then one more time and then hold that. Return to level and pause. Big Inhale and exhale. Hold that level. Good job. So the lengthening of the legs, when you reach these thighs, the back thinks it's going to get to extend more. She's working really, really hard right now. Good. Ring yourself back.

Let the pedal rise and bring yourself all the way up. Oh, nice job. Swan to swan, feeding of your arms, thoracic extension. Um, I'd like to demonstrate a new exercise for you. I'm going to go ahead and demonstrate it. Okay. I understand we're different sizes, but I want you to keep the shape of your spine because extension is a good thing, but you want to find where the force will come from the force be with you. Right. Good luck to me here.

So I'm going to demonstrate this exercise because it's a pretty particular exercise called grasshopper. So as I go down, I'm going to keep my thoracic spine lifted, nor can you see where my pelvis is. So as I bend my elbows and bend my knees, when I use my triceps to come back up, I kick my legs, I bring myself back up. I'm actually gonna lift the pedal and then I'm going to take that shape down. Notice now I'm not losing my shape. Notice here the straight line, I bend, I straighten, I kick, and then I ra. Whew, the pedal up. Alrighty. You ready to give that a try? It's always nice to have a new exercise.

So the key here is to understand the shape of the spine and be like a reverse of rolling like a ball, if you will. Right? Cause enrolling like a ball. You keep the same shape. So first bend your elbows towards your ribs. Let gently lengthen your toes. There you go. And then bend your elbows. Go down a little bit further. Lift your legs to the ceiling. Fabulous. Hold. Bend your knees towards your bottom. I mean bend your heels towards your bottom.

Kick your legs out. Straight. Open. And close. The legs as you ride the pedal back up, and then you let the peddle rise and you lift the chest. I'll hold your legs a little bit. Lift the chest now. There you go. Good. Now hold that shape. Come down, let the elbows bend. Don't drop your head. Keep the chest lifted. Yes, there you go. Nice Long, straight line. Good Job Ben. The knees. Kick the legs out.

Open and close the legs. Hold the shape of the spine. Hold the shape of the spine, lift the chest, bring yourself up, and then come off of the chair. Come on back and then bring yourself off of the chair. Whew. First time for that exercise. I just threw that in there. It's kind of fun, right? So that exercise can be done and other pieces of equipment as well. So now after the Swan, we'll do the reverse swan.

So you're going to sit on her backside here. The spring is still just on one. Now there are some thoughts about where to prop for the reverse swan. I'm going to go ahead and let her rest her legs for a second. Please come to the edge of the chair. Uh, show me here that your arms can go to the ceiling. I know they can, but a lot of times I teach rhetorically to the clients because I want them to make the discovery that they actually can do things. So show me that you can actually do extension here as if you were just going to go back into a back bend. Okay, come on back.

Now I'd like you to keep your lumbar curve here and just extend your thoracic spine, your thorax, your chest, your rep. Yes. They go, oh, that's different. That's almost more core, isn't it? Because you're not done. That's fabulous. Okay. Because that's kind of what this exercise is. It's called reverse swan because it's in the opposite direction. But first your hands are going to go behind you.

Your fingers will go under the chair. Now you have to press the pedal, let your head come back. So your occiput is still lengthen. Guess what gets to extend the chest. Good. So you go back staying long and then you come. Ah, good. Inhale.

Lengthen the chest like it's coming up over your nose. Good job. The feet gently press down and come up. One more time. Go back, hold chest lifting please. Yes. And then bring yourself all the way up. Hip. Hinge yourself back up. Try to keep your head back as you come up. That's it. Very good. Oh, so that's a big front body lengthening. Can you feel that?

Can we try it with the legs out? Okay, so I'm going to just leave the box there cause we'll use it again. I'm gonna lift her legs for her. It was a very traditional exercise here. Now the arms go back. I won't let you go, I promise. Okay. Now arms press, chest lifts and yeah. Okay. Don't, don't put your head so far back, but just pull the skull back. Nice. Hold that right there. Oh my goodness. Hold.

And then sit yourself up from your hips just three times. Notice how you really want to round your shoulders, but keep pressing back as you come up. [inaudible] oh, beautiful job. And then one more time and then come all the way up. That's it. Back lifts. That's the hardest part. Bend your knees. Rest. Ah, Nice. Now we get to do it on a diagonal. Okay, so you can leave your feet on the box just to show. Um, she's been practicing it with her feet on the box.

I've been doing a little to lift both her legs up because of some of the challenges in her back, but that's actually getting a lot better, isn't it? So, okay, so take your two arms to the ceiling. Twist your torso to the left. [inaudible] so now she's in a long twist. This arm will come down and you do that same lifting of the chest to go over into this side. Yes, very good. Hold that shape there. I'm going to look at you from the front. I'm going to have you bring your face in line with your sternum right here.

Very good. You see how you lengthen your occiput. She understands that. Not letting the head just hang back. Oh God, she's already quivering here. Goodness. Now keep pressing down and then Perez your pedal down thinking that reverse one, thinking that chest. Good job. And then bring yourself up. That's one. And then going down and then coming up.

Think right ribs reached to left pelvis and then sit yourself all the way up, lift up two arms up and then twist to the other side. Very good. That arm comes down. [inaudible] member of the chest in La. Beautiful in line with the sternum. Yes. And then lengthen up through. Here you go. And then take the pedal down. Are Your hands sweaty at all? You're good. Okay.

Go down and over lifting that chest. Good job. And then come up one more time as she's twisting to the right, it's left up here to right lower internal oblique. Good. And then bring yourself all the way up and take yourself all the way down. Oh, go ahead and step off of there. So moving back to some non spinal movement and adding some more ankle challenges with going up front and going upside.

So come on to the front of the pedal here and I'm actually, can you take this and put that in there? The holes will face out. Again, the more I teach my clients to kind of help with the setup a little bit, then sometimes we can get more things accomplished. Making sure that the handles are even, I think that's an important point. Okay, so before we use the handles, I'm going to put this on kind of a very lightish spring and we're going to work on um, uh, one of my favorite exercises, which is this little foot ankle articulation. I'm going to turn this sideways this time so you can really get a good picture of it. So your hands will come here. Take your left foot and start with it on the pedal please.

It's not very heavy. Your knee will go right to the edge of that. So lift up the chest. So, so right here now is, she's just in this flat line, but she just had an angle from her hips though. Okay, now tighten up this thigh right here. There you go. Good. And then I'm going to have her make sure this foot is parallel. There you go. So already, that's just a little challenge. Can you feel that? Now?

Take your both of your hands, Nora, and act like you're going to pull them towards you and see how that kind of connects in through your core. Can you kind of feel that there? Now just point your foot down and move the pedal down and then raise it up. Yes. Good. And push it down and then raise it up. Now I'm going to ask you to move your foot backwards so that your toes are more on there because your toe flexors, we'll join out. Flex your toes a little bit to push the pedal downward more with your toe muscles. Ooh, can you feel that's a little bit more behind the calf. Good.

And then let it come back up because those long toe flexors also come from behind the calf. Good. And now we're going to do it quick down. Concentric, slow up, e centric. Two, three, four. Quick down, up slow. Two, three, four. Quick down. Slow up. Look at this. Nothing moving here. Quick down. Slow up. Two, three, four, last time. Quick down. Slow up to three, four. Stay right there. Can you bring yourself a little vertical? Leaving your knee there. Yeah, still lifting up, minimizing the lumbar elbow. Nice.

Feel the front ribs come to the backwards hands. Come behind the head. There you go. Hands behind the head. Make more access to the core. Okay, so down, quick up slow. Two, three, four down. Quick, slow. Yeah. And try to not just press your foot but your toes down. Beautiful. Good. Two, three, four. Last time. Quick and slow. Two, three, four. Take your hands on the handles. Let the pedal rise cause kind of March in place a little bit. Okay. Other leg, right foot on [inaudible]. So now one of the things, even though we're gonna do it with the right leg here, one of the things that we're working on here with Nora, if you can see this here, is this lateral Malleolus. Okay. Right here needs to be over this lateral part of the foot.

So sometimes I have a little ruler or a tongue depressor or you know, just a flat edge here to kind of show that. Nor can you let your ankle go in like you yet. I don't know if you can really see that, but I don't want her to do that a whole lot cause she's worked really hard right there. So she's gonna hold that there. Nice long toes. She's working really hard to not grip her toes, but to kind of, I'm going to press this down to her heel and then I'm going to think up. Yes, you it. Now we've got space in that. Yeah. Now we can do the exercise, right? But the setup, the setup is really everything. Okay.

Go quick down and slow up. So even though we're repeating the same foot ankle articulation on the right side, I'm actually more interested in what's happening on the left side because that's her side of injury. Okay, two more times like that. Good. And then last time, good. And now bring yourself up to a vertical, keeping that knee in place. [inaudible] good. Get tie-dyed up in your trunk, get strong in that standing leg. And again, as you're strong, weightbearing down is just like we're putting on a tight leotard all the way. Ooh, Nice. All the way up. And now we do the same exercise. Just three times. Good quick down patients, part of the practice. Always good. One thing about Nora, I'll just brag about her for a second.

Her mental focus in all her plotty sessions through her rehab has been just amazing. And for somebody that's a accomplished athlete to kind of slow down for a little bit and kind of tie some other things together I think really speaks to kind of her insides and how she values precise work and how it fits into her system. Okay. One more time. Good. And then go ahead and bring that leg down. Okay. So taking the foot ankle articulation one step further. Okay. We're going to add this going up front and side.

So, uh, she's not done this exercise a whole lot, so I'm going to go ahead and give her two high springs. I want her to feel successful and I want her to feel the challenge and the stability of the ankle. Okay. Press one pedal down maybe too heavy. I don't know. This is a different chair for us. Sit down. Good. And now step your right foot up here. So I'm gonna let her use the handles that she may not need the handles, but it's a safety thing. Okay. Can you Shimmy this foot back?

I'm gonna help you hold the pedal and just move that foot back to the ball of your foot. Good. And then raise that hill up. Oh, there's where it's hard on the ankle, right? So now it's hard to, now she's going to really use these handles, but she's going to work to help hold that plantar flection. Lift that heel up. Good. Hold that right there. Feel the outside of this ankle. Stay level. Good. And now use your hands as much as you need to. Okay. And then raise yourself up. Good. Exactly. And then down. So keeping, let's have you move that foot back just a little bit further. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So you get that same position, right, of your foot that we did in plots. V The same connection we made.

All those things. Okay. And then lift up. Very good. And then down. Yeah, that's fine. It's fine to use the handles. Okay. I know that you're certainly strong enough to do a lunge on this leg. Watch that angle position please. There you go. And then up. Oh, that's so hard. Good. And then down.

And then last time come up and stay up and hold yourself there. Like, like something is being drawn up through your arch, through your leg. Nice and quivery. Good. Bring yourself all the way back down and then switch your legs. Ooh, we're hitting the home stretch. Still got the planks to go yet. Okay, so raise that right heel up and down a little bit. There you go. And then hold the up shape. There you go. And lift the trunk. There you go.

Tighten up this leg. Oh, do you feel that lift come into play there? Very good. Okay. And then use your hands if you need to. Good. So now on this front, left leg [inaudible] my hand is here. Yes, I really want to work. Ah Ha. Feel that parallel in this right here. There you go. I'm going to hold, I'm not really holding it.

I'm just giving her that feedback of that stability into the foot. Good. And then one more time. Nice job. And then bring yourself all the way back down. Good. Going up front. Step yourself down. Okay, now come and stand on this side of the chair and never do going upside. Okay, so this exercise says that I put my left foot right here and press down new exercise for her. Starting with your hip and a different position.

Your foot turned out so the left foot will go here. [inaudible] and you're going to step all the way down. Okay. Now your right foot will come here and your hands will switch to this handle. Okay? Just hold that shape right there. So in this shape here, you know how you do the mat work, pa say and you bring your knee in, up and down.

This is kind of the pos say ish leg from one non ballerina to another non ballerina. We do use the word posse and it makes us feel dancer. He could, yeah, that's it. So everything stays in line. Good. So now in this heel, okay, the heel too. But connection. So important in a squat. So important. Isn't this look kind of like a one legged squat? A little bit, right? So feel how this heel connects to your buttocks there. This knee presses out into my hand. Use your hand here as much as you need to and come on up.

There you go. And then go on down. Take this arm out to the side. It'll give you a little bit of balance. Good. And then bring yourself on up. That's it. And then down again. Let's really work on this foot here nor there you go. So pull up, wrap that toe around there. Oh, I know. That's tough. Good. Oh, good job. Yes, there's all that firing last time. Come up. Stay up. Hold that up. Shave. I know I threw this in at or at the last minute.

Hold yourself right there. Good. Five, four, five, four, five, four, five, four, three, two, one. Bring yourself all the way down. Now to get off of this exercise, okay, you're going to turn and pivot and face me and you come down like you're coming down stairs. This leg will go to the floor, the pedal will rise. Nice job. Other sides. Otherwise you would've catapulted. You did that really well. Okay, so press down. There you go. Left leg, left arm. Good. So get the setup. Okay, so here's her left leg. Now I'm coming in line right here with this flat nice and parallel.

Can you feel the relationship kind of between the lateral side of this foot and the inside of your big toe that kind of creates that little platform there. Okay. Yes, she knows that's it. Very good. Okay. And then arm out to the side and then come up. Take the whole packaging back. Yes, there you go. So the packaging business, this is the relationship.

So we're building this relationship, the hip, the glute, the thigh. This ankle is the weak link. Challenging link here, but she's doing a really good job. Her knee is not coming way forward here. Doing really well. Come up one more time and add a little hold. Okay. There you go. Okay. There in that ankle, it doesn't hurt, right? Okay. Hold yourself there. Red Packaging back. Good, big inhale. Exhale.

Lower yourself all the way back down. Pivot and turn. Step down like you're going downstairs, let the pedal rise cause right there. Let's take this handle off. I'll take this one off. Okay. So one other thing about the position of the ankle and the leg and hurting is a lot of times I ask is it, does it hurt or is it hard? And if it hurts, pretty much stop. Does it need to hurt?

If it's just hard and challenging and we figure out a way to do it and accomplish it. Okay. Next series here a is kind of our plank series with our pushup. Okay, so I'm going to put this on two springs, one on a two and one on a one. There you go. So let's start, let's do it this way. I think this will show kind of what we're about here. So come and put your right hand here and your left hand there. Bring your body back into a plank position. [inaudible] long and strong through your torso. [inaudible] so with the pedal down, you know that it's going to give you a rotation challenge to start with. Okay, so three down in, three up go down.

And then a good and then down. Good. Tighten the thighs and then up. Notice red packaging. Staying last time down and then up. And this is really the last time down. Go down, stay down. Can you crawl to the floor?

Putting your right hand as you move your legs. [inaudible] now the left hand goes and then hold your plank while that right arm challenges up and down. One up and thighs too. Last time up, down three. Hold. Spin your body open up into a side. Plank.

Left arm to the ceiling. Good. Hold for five. Hold for four. Add a smile. Three, two, one, front ribs to back ribs and then pivot to the floor. [inaudible] and then crawl your legs back to me. Left arm in right arm up. Bring your whole torso up. Crawl your legs in other side.

Nice job. Who is right. Okay. Other side. Nice. Stable plank. And then down and then up. Yup. Legs, trunk. Good. And then up, we have to do an extra one cause we did an extra one on this side. Good. And now this is last one. Go down, stay down. Hold that down. Legs, crawl, moving plank, hands switches. Hold the plank.

[inaudible] yeah, and then Ben and straighten the arm on the pedal. One end. Push good too. And push last time and legs come back to me. Open your side plank. Hold right there. Big Inhale. Not Too much arm. Yes, that's it. This is hard on her left ankle.

And then bring yourself down. Crawl yourself, moving plank. Left arm up, push down to lift up. Crawl your legs in. Woo. Nice job by threw some new ones in there for you. You feel good? Yeah. Okay.

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Karen, I always enjoy your masterful teaching, cueing, and creative choreographing. Thanks for another great class.
Becky C
1 person likes this.
LOVED the plank series at the end! Another great session as always! Thanks Karen.
Cool plank - and also I liked your cueing for the reverse swan - I always thought it was about getting the lower back down - but now I see it differently
2 people like this.
Loved it, as always. Thanks Karen and Nora.
1 person likes this.
Such a good class for us slouchers! I feel so much taller now!
Karen Sanzo
1 person likes this.
Reverse Swan....a great exercise.
Swan is an extension force exercise. Working all the spinal extensors; REVERSE swan, then, asks that the body hold the extension (while facing up...a total challenge) and then moving.
An "articulated" reverse swan could be performed here, and that might invite the low back into flexion.
1 person likes this.
I second Holly's comment. Thanks Karen
1 person likes this.
Loved it that the client was a normal person , not a flexible dancer . Great cueing and we could see the response to it . Excellent
Love the moving plank!
Sabine G
Thank you Karen for this wonderful class with unexpected and fun exercises!!
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