Class #2797

Tower Workout

30 min - Class


Find the axis of rotation in your body in this challenging Tower workout with Cara Reeser. She focuses on using pelvis to initiate movements for spinal articulation. She includes creative combinations like Rollover to Rolling Like a Ball, Parakeet to Roll Up, and much more!
What You'll Need: Tower, Foam Roller

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Okay, so we're back, Laura and I we just did the tutorial on including your pelvis and spinal articulation. And now I'm gonna kick her butt in power class. So let's go, lets get on and Laura you're gonna take your knees over the roll down bar. Okay I've got, we've got a balance body system here. We've got the regular roll down springs.

You can be as far away as you get some support from the spring here. Okay, so we're gonna just start, Laura just find your center. Make sure you've got space under your neck. And we're gonna start with some shoulder bridging, okay. So she's gonna, right away now we're gonna go back to that point where she's gonna start curling up.

Remember the sitbones are going up, the ASIS are going down and she's getting a nice clear extension in the front of her hip. Good, I want you to bring your blades back just a little bit. Keep extending your hip. Breathe a couple of deep breathes everybody. So just hold that position and breathe.

Reach your knees out and breathe And then bring yourself down. Now by all means articulate your spine but when you come down don't forget to also change the pelvis slur, let your pelvis go into a little bit of six o' clock arch so you go fully through extension there, and come back up. Lets do this twice more. Inhaling up again, try to reach your knees over the bar, and try to extend your hips fully. Good, take a breathe.

And then either on the way down as you roll down you can think of reaching your knees this way. Good, and one more time again. Really thinking about articulating your pelvis. Extending your hips. Your spine will follow, come on up, take a breathe, you could think about pulling your heels back if you wanna get those hamstrings working a little more, and she's gonna roll down.

Good Laura, take your arms over your head and take your hands behind your head and come into an upper abdominal curl of your pleasure. Exactly, so here we go. We're gonna do some curls. Now, check it out, your pelvis is gonna curl as you come up so she's gonna pull that bar in and she's gonna curl her pelvis at that end and then actually why don't you go ahead and lay your whole business back. Good, lets take that up again.

Inhale, roll it up, pull, let that pelvis curl, lumbar spine is flexed and exhale back down. Good, we're gonna do two more of those. Rolling up. Good, and rolling down. So the first part of this you could think of flexing your hips, and the second follow through is that pelvis, right?

Good. And that would be like a really great place to do hundred. And back down. Good. So go ahead and take that bar into your hands Laura and roll up to rolling like a ball.

So keep your legs on. There you go. So get into a position now where you could roll like a ball. So just test that out Laura and make sure you can roll back and get back up. Nice, okay.

So we're gonna move to rolling like, we're gonna move to roll over first and then we're gonna come up through rolling like a ball. So you're gonna lie back down. You're gonna take your legs up to the ceiling and you're gonna roll over. Good. And you're gonna roll back down, bring your knees and roll up.

Gorgeous. Inhale, take it back. Good, reach. Now push that bar down, lift those hips up. Nice job, and roll down to roll like a ball.

Lets do two more of those. Good, easy with the shoulder girdle, it doesn't need to peel forward even though it's gonna want to help you. Try to keep that motion, the pelvis beautiful Laura, last one. And then you're just gonna dismount, just try to come out, sneak your legs through and come on up to seated. Woo, nice job.

Great. Okay so you're gonna come into a position to do cat. We're still using the roll down bar. So Laura's gonna kneel up. Okay so a lot of people aren't doing this cat.

The cat with the roll down bar. You want your arms straight. We're gonna go through flexion into extension. Here she goes. Bar pulls under the shoulders then into extension.

She's gonna slide out. Again, there's that pelvic rotation. On the way back you're gonna rotate your pelvis, open your hips and stack your spine all the way up. Great, and let's do that again Laura, down. So don't touch the mat, hover for a second and then really have that expression, the pelvis moving, again heres that axis of rotation.

And roll back up. Super. And breathe, and one more time. Take it down. Right, so she's gonna go into as much extension as she wants.

You know you can use your abs to support that but you're still gonna let your pelvis really move. And she rolls back up. Super. And I'm gonna grab this roller. And we're gonna put this right here.

Okay and I like this because we're gonna have Laura sit and it's gonna give her a place to go. So she's gonna start with her thigh stretch. She's gonna go back flat back. And then she's gonna come right back up. And we're gonna do that twice more.

And what you're looking at here is you're looking at hip extension, right. She's keeping that nice effort to keep her hips open. Now we're gonna change the pelvis as we come back. We're gonna keep looking at it, she's gonna come back. We're gonna go into hip flexion.

Yeah. And then she's gonna push that pelvis back through, really finding her hips. Good, and then she's gonna come back up. Gorgeous, lets do that twice more. She's gonna go back.

She's gonna break at the hip. Yeah, beautiful, and she's really gonna push those hips through. That's a lot of eccentric quads you guys, it's super hard. And come back. You could also squeeze into that roll a little bit.

That might help you get a little more power for this difficult exercise. And up. Super. And right from here we're going to drop backs. So if you don't have a backbend practice you could take this a little smaller at home.

But you're gonna take the head back and she's gonna come right back. I'm gonna, I know she has a backbend practice, so she's gonna go full throttle. Gorgeous, float back up. Right, again, she's gonna take her head back. Go on back with the bar.

Yeah, beautiful, big breathing if you can. Its difficult. And one more time, all the way back. Good. Full hip extension, right.

So that's what we're looking at here in this extension protocol. And rest. Beautiful. Alright we're gonna take this out. Laura let's bring that push through bar up.

No spring to start, okay. And lets take that roll down bar down. And you guys, just set your roll down bar near your mat because you're gonna be using it again at the end of class. Okay, so the first exercise we're gonna do here is actually one of my faves. It's a Kathy Grant favorite.

It's called Monkey with no Spring. And again, we're gonna be bringing in that, the idea of those rocker rungs. So in that, in the tutorial we were on that little black roll. I want you to really be thinking about what it is to have that. She's gonna put her feet there, and she knows this exercise, so you have to make sure you're in a position that you can fully execute.

So you might have to wiggle back or forth on the first one to figure it out. So she's gonna start with her legs pressing out, that's just fine. Good, and then she's gonna come back and watch how she rolls through that pelvis and that gives her that beautiful spinal flexion as she stretches up. And again she's gonna bring the bar in. You guys are gonna have to really drop your heads to get forward.

Stretching your hamstrings, she's on that sitbone by the thigh side as she rolls back she's gonna go sitbone by the back side. There you go, and up. Beautiful, one more. So this is a really beautiful practice warm up for rolling like a ball or open leg rocker as well. Okay great Laura, so come on up and lets put the safety strap on.

And we're gonna be practicing sort of tower short spine types of exercises with no spring. So there's no load. So some of you know this with the spring below, we're doing no load. She's gonna lie on her back. And she's gonna put her feet on the bar.

So I have Laura's head all the way to the end. If you're gifted with like extremely loose hamstrings you could be further this way, it's up to you. So Laura go ahead and just hold onto the bars behind you, yeah. Just so you don't catapult off. So she's gonna straighten her legs to start.

And again, we're thinking about this pelvis guys. So we're going towards hip extension. So she's gonna be coming through. She's gonna be using that posterior leg. Yeah her hamstrings extend the front of her hip and then she's gonna there let her spine be articulated.

And the last thing that comes down is that pelvis. So remember we're using the pelvis, the image of the pelvis is a, is the final vertebra. So she picks up that first vertebra of the pelvis that brings her through that beautiful sense of spinal flexion and then she rolls back down. Right, and so we're gonna add onto this, so now we're gonna all go up, so you're gonna open that pelvis as you go up and this time bend your knees towards your eyes or ears, whatever you prefer and then just make that articulation with your knees bent. Beautiful.

Straighten your legs up, articulate the pelvis all the way again. We're repeating, bend the knees. Yeah and bring the spine through. Beautiful. Now let's take that into reverse.

So you're gonna bend the knees and then she picks that pelvis up, the hips are flexed and then she stretches the legs out and uses the pelvis to create even more extension before she comes back down. Good. And let's do that together again. Knees, pelvis to heels. Sitsbones to heels.

And then legs straighten, pelvis lengthens out and she's gonna roll all the way down. Okay so let's transition again Laura, we're now gonna put the spring on. So take that strap off. Okay so now we're heading towards some of the exercises in the push through series. So again you can use a heavy push through spring or a lighter one, depending on your preference.

You'll put your, yeah, we'll put that aside. And we're going to start with cat. So straight arms, arm distance away from the bar. Let's have the spring at rest before you start, yeah. So now kneeling alone is hard right?

So everybody doing this right now is probably having to use their hip extensors a little bit just to keep the front of their hip extended. Now she's gonna move through spinal flexion. She's gonna come through and then she's gonna go into extension again. We're gonna see that same beautiful movement of the pelvis. On the way up Laura's gonna roll back then she can press her shins down.

That's gonna help you extend the front of your hip. And again, roll it through. Good, change the pelvis, change the spine. Right, and then it's the same coming back. Change the pelvis, and there comes the spine.

Beautiful. Let's take a little extension moment here Laura where the arms are straight and just go from extension from the top, leaving your pelvis rotating enough, there she goes, that your hips stay extended, right? And come back to center. And let's see if you can all do that twice more. You're giving a little push down but you're also doing, this is that thing we were talking about with swan, which we're gonna get to.

And one more time. Super, beautiful. Good. And rest, good. So let's do side bending.

Let's face out first, and you guys side bending I want you to have your arm fully straight, right? And I want the spring at rest. So you're gonna start with a fully straight arm slightly externally rotated arm bones on both sides. And here we go. She's gonna press down.

She's gonna take a side bend and in this moment she's gonna keep her pelvis relatively stable and come back up. Good, and again. Now we're gonna add after this one, we're gonna add a little twist to it. So she's gonna come back to center and then again. We go over, now this time she's gonna rotate her upper trunk and I want you guys all to flex your hips and sit your butt back as evenly as possible on your heels.

With your trunk rotated, yeah, you're really gonna get a deep stretch through that lateral part of your back and then she's gonna come back up. Now here comes that pelvis right? She's gonna come to full hip extension again as she comes up. And gorgeous. One more time, but you know you're working hard but hopefully you're also having a little fun.

So just let it go, let it plop back a little. Let it push back and through. Super. Good Laura, let's go to the other side. Turn around everybody, get your position.

Now we have our feet up if you practice that differently at home that's fine but we do like fists around your dowel rod for this. So you're gonna, or your metal bars, so you're gonna hold that tight, Here we go, side bends. Beautiful. And up. And again, side bend, good.

Now again we wanna keep that hip extension right? So there's some action in the back of the leg here. Good, and then she's gonna go over, she's gonna add that twist, upper trunk, and then you're gonna really bring that pelvis back. Try to get sitsbones to heels, and then get aha, beautiful. And then bring that pelvis through all the way.

Kind of like we did on the thigh stretch sitting back on the roller. And again. She's gonna take it over. Right, she's gonna rotate, and again she's gonna reach those sitbones for her heels. Right, now she has to use back of her pelvis to bring her up.

And all the way. Fantastic. Let's go to swan facing the push-through bar, straight arms. So bring your bar through you guys, lie on your bellies. Keep your elbows straight.

Okay so now we talked about this in the tutorial. So Lauras' gonna have to be ready to work hip extension as she's coming from spine extension from above, right. So everybody start thinking about when is it in your body that you're gonna have to rotate your pelvis, right, around this axis of support. So Laura go ahead and lift your eyes and come on up, right, and now everybody should be at the final moment extending their hips. And back down, good.

Full breathing. And up. Good, heres that rotation in the pelvis. And down. And one more time coming up.

And then I'm just gonna add a little bit of a knee bend here. I'm gonna support Laura in the front. Try not to fall back, and yeah, and now you're really working that hip extension. And back down. That wasn't fair, I didn't tel her we were gonna do that.

Okay, good. So come on up. Alright and lets go to roll that, push-through, sorry. Everybody let's go to push-through. So have a seat, put your feet against the bars.

Right. Now this is one of those moments right, we're working on spinal articulation but Laura's gonna have to change your pelvis fully, right. So again, I want everybody in the room to send their booty under. Feel themselves come to the back of their sitsbones. And then you're allowed to push through.

Right, that's beautiful. Then her pelvis follows right. So it's your pelvis, it's not just your spine. Here comes her pelvis. (air sucking) Right on under to bring her back up.

Yeah. Stretch as fully as you want, enjoy that and then take it down again. Feel your sitsbones on the mat. Really try to get a sense of what it feels like. The surface, the beveled surface of those sitsbones as you're practicing your push-through.

Beautiful Laura. Reach all the way up. Yeah and she gets come into hip flexion there, that's lovely. And one more time, moving that pelvis. You're rocking and rolling that pelvis to create that spinal articulation.

Beautiful. And back up. Good. Laura you're gonna spin around for some teaser. Okay.

Okay, great, so. Yeah, center yourself, yeah come this way. You guys take that bar through actually, everybody in the audience. And make sure that, yeah, you're either flush or a little bit past but not too far back or too far forward, okay. I like to use a narrow elbow as we bend in.

So she's gonna bend her elbows narrow. Let's start with just a sit up. Lift your head and just Laura, we're all gonna feel when does your pelvis change, right. So there's a moment as she comes up here, right. And then them get back down that pelvis has to go under.

Right, and then bend your elbows. I feel like for your size, you're gonna have to scoot back about four inches. So some of you might have felt that too. She didn't get to sit up very high. Yeah, there we go.

Yeah we don't mind that. Okay here we go, so she's gonna go up. Let's do that sit up version again. So her head comes up, here's her trunk, here's her pelvis. So now she's on a different place in her sitbones.

And then she's going back. That movement is gonna assist her teaser like crazy. Okay, so we're gonna go up into that teaser. She's gonna bend her elbows. Right, she's going to be...

Aha, working that pelvis in relation to her spine. And as she rolls back she's got to change her pelvis. Right, she doesn't change her pelvis she's gonna clunk right through, whoops, she's gonna clunk right through there yeah. And up again. Yeah, great.

And again coming down, here's that axis of rotation. She's changing her pelvis. Good, one more time. All the way up into your teaser everybody. Good.

And changing your pelvis, rolling down. Beautiful. And we're gonna mess around with a little version of Jack Knife and some more hip movements. We're gonna bring the bar through, and Laura knows this, she's gonna bring her legs through. Again, figure out how far you want your head from the edge.

That's gonna depend on your body. She's gonna scoot back, again, she's getting a little more room for her hamstrings so she can start with her hips a little lower, okay. So you're gonna just tug down on that push-through bar a little bit and you're gonna slide up into your jack knife. Here legs are gonna press against that bar and she's gonna get that beautiful sense of hip extension there, that beautiful hip extension. She's gonna roll back down.

Good, you can let the spring come to a little bit more ease on the way up, and again, up. Now you're really finding, remember changing your spine means changing your pelvis. Right, so it's not just catapulting your spine up, it's articulation of the pelvis. Yeah, one more time. Yeah, now you're gonna come on down.

When you come down, bend your knees over this. Right, and just bring your arms down by your side. We're just gonna do a little bit more pelvic movement here. So Laura's gonna drop here feet. She's gonna push her pelvis up and she's gonna extend the front of her hips.

Right, I love this as a warm up for shoulder bridge. And back down. So again she's feeling that true motion, right. Here's that axis of rotation. She's poking her pelvis through, she's extending the front of her hips.

Good, and coming back down. Right, and one more time. Yeah, beautiful Laura. And down, and that should warm up your hamstrings as well for sure. Yeah, exactly.

So come on out of that and we're gonna go to shoulder bridge on the roll down on the push-through bar now. So she's gonna come over, turn around, get your feet on your bar. Now some of you might need a sticky pad or something secure. If you have socks on that might now work for this because it's a slipper surface on the foot. But she's gonna have her arms down by her side.

She's gonna bend her knees, straighten her legs and here's the same action guys. That pelvis moving all the way up and through. Gorgeous. You can do a couple kicks, so let's go a single and switch sides. I like switching in between so you have to organize more.

And again. Super, and again. And roll down. Now we're gonna keep going through a sequence so stay tuned, she's gonna bend her knees, she's gonna straighten her legs and take her arms over her head. She's gonna do a roll up.

Now which way does your pelvis change here right. She's coming up and there's a moment in which that hip flexion occurs. And to come down hip extension occurs. So she's gonna go through her pelvis, spinning her pelvis on her femurs. Great, she's gonna put her arms down by her side.

You guys all put your arms down by your side and bend your knees and come into that bridge again. So we're gonna go through the sequence. You're gonna go back up and do single kick on each side this time. So just one and one. Perfect, and then you're gonna roll back down.

You're gonna bend your knees and push that bar through again and now your gonna actually straighten your left leg up to the ceiling. And, or your other left leg. (laughing) Straighten your left leg up and walk up her tree. Now your pelvis has to be part of this spinal articulation too right? So you come all the way up, right.

Now this is pretty difficult. And all the way down, that pelvis is again rolling through. Let's do two trees on each side. Go on back up Laura. Good, change your pelvis at the top.

Good, and back down. Good, and switch legs. Foot down, other leg up. Good. Now, go on up if you need help and you have a friend over, they might hold your foot for you, right.

Or just use momentum, do what you can. But again, what you're focusing on is encouraging the real real mobile pelvis on the femurs and with the spine. Exactly. So you know, at a certain level, there's really no moment where the pelvis is still. And lets go down, foot down, arms over head.

Let's do one more roll up. And then I always like to take a little stretch here. So she can bend her knees, grab the bar. Well she doesn't need to bend her knees but you will maybe at home. Bend your knees and then straighten.

And just do a couple pulses there. And while you're getting those hamstrings to kind of let out a little bit, you could imagine again that rocker rung down here right. So she's got, yeah, so I really want you to feel that last vertebra. Good, and then you're going to slowly come out Laura however you want, beautiful. Alright, let's put our push-through bars away and let's go to the roll down bar for our final set of exercises.

We're gonna do colitis. Laura's gonna take her knees over. I think I've had a lot of conversations with you guys on the forum of what this exercise is called and people gave me a lot of great names but colitis is how I was taught it. So it's what I remember but either way we're gonna move our pelvises. So here she goes.

So Laura we're gonna start with the hip flexion to spine flexion. Hip flexion to spine flexion to hip extension to spine extension. Beautiful, and she rolls that spine down good. So everybody at home, you're pulling that bar in, you're flexing your hips, and you're spine is gonna curl. It's gonna take you up and then you're gonna come into this bridge.

You've been in the bridge, you know what it's about, you're gonna roll down. Let's reverse it, now she's gonna com into the bridge first. Keeping that hip extension, really nice execution. Then you roll down with that hip flexion. Beautiful, good.

Untuck your chins everybody. There's always a tendency to look down at yourself when you're being awesome, right. So just leave your chin up and roll down and rest. Great. Pull your knees in and then lets grab the bar with both hands you guys and see if you can get through that way.

If not find another creative solution. I'll help you out here, great. Okay guy's we're gonna finish starting standing up. Okay so this is a sequence I do a lot. So you're gonna stand up inside your push-through bar and you're bringing that push-through bar right to your hip crease.

Just above that axis of rotation we've been talking about right. So you see Laura here, I gotta kinda help on this angle. And then what I want you to do is let this bar assist you in hip flexion first. So she's gonna pull back. The bars gonna pull on her femurs and you get to go into Ragdoll right.

And this is really satisfying after you've worked out so you can kinda let your spine go. And then she's gonna walk her hands forward. Yeah. And she's just gonna do a nice downward dog facing. Downward facing dog, that is.

Yeah, so I love downward facing dog right. So then she's gonna walk back into a ragdoll right. So we get a little yoga love in our Pilates and she's gonna put her hands up here on the roll down bar. And then she's gonna, now here's the fun part guys. You're gonna push your femurs into the roll down bar a lot.

And that's gonna bring you up on that diagonal. So again you've changed your pelvis to achieve that. Great, and then let that bar take you back into hip flexion. Let it really encourage that movement. Right, she's gonna hang over.

Yep, you see that bar pulling her over. If that's happening to you at home, back up a little bit. And then walk out. Good. Good, yeah.

And just let your head go. Just take a couple breathes here. Kind of winding down from a hard class. Good and walk back. Yeah and everybody, lets just hang here for three breathes.

Right, and I love this finish right because here, here is that axis of rotation, this was the theme. Like where's your pelvis and how can your pelvis be part of spinal movement. I think it's really gonna help. Go ahead and put your hands on the tips of that. We're gonna roll that pelvis through.

Yep and that's gonna help you come into a nice plank. Gorgeous and she's gonna come back to center. And step out. Great. Thank you Laura Thank you guys, thank you (applause)

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1 person likes this.
I loved this! Thank you! Actually did the class prior to watching the pelvis tutorial, I Will definitely watch and do this again!
I am so glad you enjoyed - the tutorial should help clarify. Thanks for your note.
1 person likes this.
Just the inspiration I needed. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
When I saw this come through last night I couldn't wait to try it this morning! Loved it! The standing piece at the end was terrific and I liked the feedback the bar gave at the hips. Thanks so much Cara and Laura!
1 person likes this.
Yummy, yummy, yummy.....I can't wait to do this!! Gracias,
1 person likes this.
I really loved every bit of this session. I just watched and listened and now I will do it. I loved the cues and direction Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Delicious...literally. So good for my pelvis and with such clear cues. Thank you
1 person likes this.
Wonderful, delightful, felt so good. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Amazing as usual Cara. You always add little tidbits to refining the execution of each movement
So beautiful !!!!!! Thank you so for sharing your knowledge
1 person likes this.
Wow..... Thank you!
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