Class #2862

Chest Opening Mat

30 min - Class


Learn new ways to balance out your posture in this Mat workout with Sally Anderson. She focuses on addressing "tech posture" which is a result of our dependence on modern technology. She adds the Foam Roller and Hand Weights to help you open up your chest and strengthen your shoulder girdle so you can stand taller.
What You'll Need: Mat, Hand Weights, Foam Roller

About This Video

Dec 17, 2016
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Hi, I'm Sally Anderson. I have the lovely Daria and Andrew with me to do a mat work class focusing on addressing our tech postures, or the postures that are created by our dependence on technology these days. So we love to use them, but we're gonna have to balance them out. So, we'll start today using the foam roller, if you would please. Now the foam roller, even the thinner foam rollers are good.

I want you to hold it with the base of your palm, one either end, so wherever you can get on the roller, squeeze with the base of your palms into the roller for me. And we'll start with a roll down, so exhale, let the arms hang, but keep the squeeze on the roller as you roll forward, just flexing the back. Stay there, in your roll down position, breathe in. (breathes in) And exhale, rolling back up. (exhales) As you start to stack the pelvis, bring the arms forward and up to overhead.

Good, in this position bend the elbows wide, squeezing on the roller. Stretch it back up, squeezing on the roller. Bring it down in front, and we're rolling down one more time. So, keep going and I'll just turn to the side. We're rolling through, scooping the abdominals, allowing the head to hang, allowing the arms to hang, breathing in.

Breathe out, scoop the pelvis upright, stack the spine. As you're getting upright, bring the arms forward and up to the ceiling. At the top, I want you to line the roller up with the back of your head, if you can. Bring the elbows wide, keep the ribs in. Send that roller back up, in line with the pony tail at the back of your head, and arms come down.

We have two more. Up and over to roll forward. Just let the weight of the roller take you forward, but keep the connection between the palms. Exhale, stack upright, all the way, bringing the arms to the ceiling, in line with the back of your head. Now, yes, really work this.

Try and slide the roller down to just the back of your head. Keep it in line with the back of your head as you go up and forward. One last one. Up and over. So, breathe out as you roll forward. Breathe in, opening up the lumbar spine.

Breathe out, rolling into your stacked position, finding your posture, bringing the arms upright, all the way to the back of the head, open the elbows wide, keep those ribs in and drop them down and in as you reach up, and bring it back down, good. Keeping the roller, I want you just to press the left hand to the right, allowing the shoulder to drop in, and that high end to rise, and back to center. Other side. The right hand presses the left arm up. It just relaxes into the movement.

And back to center. Now with a little more pace, and swing, two, and keep it moving. Just allow the shoulder joint to drop and relax. Swing, and last two, good. Back to the center.

Keep that connection with the roller. Bring the arms upright. We're going into a side bend, so rather than let the ribs stick out, pull them back together, bring the pelvis forward, keep the squeeze on the roller and inhale up and over to the side. Exhale, center. And up and over to the other side.

Open up the ribcage, and exhale back. And breathing in as you lift and lengthen. (exhales) Good, one more each side. Stay really tall, keep the roller right up above your head as you come back to center, keep that squeeze on the roller. And hold. Good.

Stay there, we're going into a rotation. Wrap the ribs around, so let's go back on the right. Wrap the ribs, then use the front hand to press the back hand back further. And come back to center. Pelvis stays square to the front, and the ribs wrap back, front hand presses the back hand further behind.

And center, two more each side. You should feel this behind the shoulder blade. Wrap the ribs, keep going through and staying nice and upright with the upper body. And exhale, then keep that front hand pressing a little further. (inhales) Inhale to center, exhale. Last one each side.

(exhales) You work in the range that you've got, and just keep progressing. (exhales) And center. Good. Bring the arms down, phew! We can put the rollers down, shake your arms out. Now I want the arms to come out to the sides. Palms are down, and we're gonna spiral in, wrapping the upper arms, aiming your elbow to the front of the ribs and then out.

And wrap them in, now shoulders go wide, so shoulder joints go wide as the elbows come in and wrap the upper arms. And a little faster. And wrap. And extend. (exhales) (inhales, exhales) Good, should look like wrap. And palms down. (exhales)

So bring those elbows in to your sides, Daria, in. Good, and wrap them in. Two more. (exhales) Good, and let them hang. We can remove the rollers, so let's take the rollers off to the side and then come back, and standing at the end of your mats, facing into the mat, we're going to roll down into a pike position.

I'll try not to fall off the bed by doing it down here. So, roll on down and walk out 'till you find your pike position, heels down into the floor, shoulders pulling wide. And really aim to get broad across the upper back, long, and using the back extensors through the spine, tailbone to the ceiling, heels down, neck long. Take three more breaths there. Just inhale and exhale, lengthen out.

Send the tailbone to the ceiling, and broaden the shoulders, and allow the arm bones to draw back into the shoulder joints. One more breath. (inhales) and (exhales) Now on the next exhale, bend your knees down onto the mat and we'll hold in a quadruped potion. So, finding your position here, just take two breaths to go very long through the spine so the spine is lengthened from the crown of the head, out the sitting bones and the abdominals pulling up, underneath. Release your right knee into your chest, and flex that foot.

We're gonna push straight out the back, using the glute to stretch the leg. Release in. And two. And three. Good. So just keep reaching and releasing. And exhale.

Exhale for the press. (exhales) Two more. (exhales twice) And bring it in, change sides. So try to have as little adaptation as possible across the body. Just release the knee in, flex the foot, straight out behind.

One, and two. (exhales twice) Good, five, we'll do five more. Use the heel to connect the glute. Good, last one. And bring the knee back in, and swing the legs around.

You're going onto your back for the pelvic curl. So, lying back down, I want your arms out to the sides in a scarecrow-type position. So, elbows in line with your shoulders, hands in line with your elbows, and that might mean that you're just off the mat. Good. So from here, I want you just to take a couple of breaths and press the arms back into your floor, or into your mat, activating the back of the shoulders.

Keep the pelvis settled, keep the feet pressing into the floor so that you're active through the hip extensors. Good, you're tail bone's nice and flat. And arms press, good, then just keep that little pressure on as you go into the pelvic curl. So exhale. You pull the tummy in, scoop and roll up, knees go over toes.

The work is in the back of your shoulders in the shoulder stand. Breathe in at the top, breathe out rolling down. (exhales) Good, lengthen all the way down. Stay at the bottom for an inhale. Exhale, roll up, curling knees over toes as you come to the bridge position.

Stay there, breathe in. (inhales) And exhale, roll down. Sternum first, lengthening the spine, and all the way long, allow the pelvis to release along the mat. And go again. Exhale deep in the abdominals, scoop and roll through, press up, reestablish that connection of the back of the shoulders, and exhale.

Lay the spine back out onto the floor. I'll have two more, good. Legs are nice and parallel. Use the pressure of the feet into the floor to help push you up and use the hip extensors in the bridge. So you've got lots of hip extensors.

Feet active, shoulder girdle active. And exhale, roll back down along the mat. One more repetition. Breathe in at the bottom, nice long torso. Breathe out to roll through, coming up.

And, long exhale for the duration of the movement rolling down. Good. Excellent. Just stretch your arms out from the elbows, so they go wide. Bring your feet together. I want two variations of spinal twisting.

So, the knees will come across to the left. Just drop them, but keep the feet stacked so that they're one on top of the other. Now exhale. Use the abdominals to pull the pelvis back, knees come with you. Across to the opposite side.

Keep the feet stacked, inhale across, and exhale abdominals draw you back. Inhale across, and exhale scoop back. And, good, deepen and find the abdominals to bring the pelvis back. One more each side. And across, and back.

And across, and back. Good. Staying in that position, I'll just adjust my hands for the bed, but float both legs into table top. So, holding your table top position, a very small movement going across in your spinal twist. Inhale, just take it about two inches across.

Exhale, scoop, pull back. Inhale take it just a few inches. And back. Good, now work the shoulders deeply into their sockets and back onto the mat for me. And exhale to center.

One more each side. Keeping the connection of the back of the shoulders on the mat. (exhales) And last one. Good, drop the heels in and toes to the floor, and extend out with the legs. Arms come up overhead.

Press your arms down beside you and bend the right leg up to the ceiling. Flex that foot. I really want the heel to the ceiling. And we're going into leg circles. Crossing across the body one.

And two. Now work on the shoulder position on the mat. And four. And a long leg that's resting on the mat. And hold that position.

So the leg that's down really reach it away and reverse the circle. Come across the opposite leg. And two getting deeper in the tummy. Three. Four.

Last two. And hold it. Fold that leg in, let's go to the other side. So reach the toes in and up then flex the foot, so the heel is reaching to the ceiling. The shoulders are pressing back, going across the body.

One. And two. Three. Four. And last two.

Good, hold that leg to the ceiling, really stabilize through that low leg. Reverse. And across the body. Two. Three.

Four. Last two. And fold that leg in. Good we're going to sit up, and sit to the front of your mat for a little spine roll, or rolling like a bowl, but with a slight variation. I want an extension of the knees as you go back.

And hold. And slight extension. And hold. So it's just a little open up and bring it back. Last three.

It's a little looser than normal, and just find the abdominals to roll. You lift the pelvis back. Last one. And sitting up cross-legged. You two are making friends, good.

So sitting cross-legged, make sure the rib cage is sitting back over the pelvis and you're tall through the spine. I want a side reach. So arms out. Inhale to the side. Tip your fingers to the floor.

Exhale come up and over. I'll just adjust my head. Open up the ribs. Back to the side and lift tall. Inhale to the side.

And exhale over. Inhale to the T position and up. And lift. Keep the ribs in, open the armpit to the ceiling. And up.

And one more. (exhales) And good, into the rotation. You two go forward. Oh no stay there, so inhale to your fingertips forward. And exhale rotate around.

Open up to the side and sit tall. And over. Exhale rotate around. Your hands try to come together. Open them up and sit tall.

Two more. (inhales) (exhales) And open and last one. And inhale. And (exhales). Open up and sit tall.

Good. Hands in, are you losing it? I lose it! (laughs) Turn the palms out. So what I want is you're gonna bring your feet forward. Fingertips turned out.

Hands in tucked away behind your bottom. And we're gonna press up into a little back support one. Hold and lift the hips up and then as you're coming down, open the shoulders and lift up out of the arms. Just tip the pelvis. And exhale press up.

And coming back down opening the shoulders Two more and exhale to press. (inhales) (exhales) And hold, good. You want to sit back into the middle of your mat. Come back down. Knees into your chest.

We're going to do abdominals. Good. Single leg stretch. Reach the legs away. And one, two.

(exhales) Take an inhale, and exhale. Last set, in two and out two. Knees back in. Pull them in deep to the chest. Sending the tailbone long.

I want inhale open the arms. Exhale pull them back around. And in (exhales). Two more. (exhales) Go very long and around.

Now hamstring pull. (exhales) And two, now I want you to think about the down leg reaching away, and the down leg having the most focus. (exhales) And last two. And (exhales). Good.

Ah, into crisscross. We'll have a workout, and two. And now I want you to bring the inside elbow to the knee. (exhales) And last two, one, two. Good.

Come back to the center and sitting up tall into your spine stretch position. We're moving into a spine stretch, but I want the hands on the legs supporting you. Exhale up and forward as you would a regular spine stretch, just the hands move down the shins. Now lengthen using your arms, lengthen the sacrum back and the upper body forward. And then scoop back, stack the spine.

Two more. So curl through, opening up the low back. Then send the pelvis forward. Keep the feet softly flexed if you can, lengthen the upper back, use the arms. And exhale, and stack.

One more, up and over. Now inhale as you send the pelvis forward, stretch the knees, flex the feet if you can, and exhale back and up. Good, bring your feet slightly wider, not too wide, and I would like to do a variation of the saw with your hands behind the head. Now just see the relevance to crisscross here. It's the same upper body movement.

We're going to rotate and take the elbow to the inside of that knee. Stack the spine back up, and center. Keep the head pressing back into your hands as you rotate, then take over, stack the spine back up, and center. Now on this rotation, I want you to feel like the upper abdominals, external obliques open out. They keep opening out, look to that back arm, and stack back up, come center.

And rotate, open out those upper abdominals. Look to the back arm, stacking back up, and one more each side, keep the head into the hands. Inhale, and look back and up. Stacking, and center, last one. Rotate, open that arm up at the back as much as you can, stack the spine, back to center.

Good, keep your hands here. We're doing a reverse spine stretch. So it's initiated through the head into the hands, lifting up, take that stretch back into upper back extension, and center. I'll have you breathe in as you press the head into your hands to go up and back, and center. Two more.

Lift, really find the length of the spine up to the ceiling, open the sternum to the ceiling, and center, one last one. And up, and good. Release your hands down, legs together, roll onto your back. Feet in for shoulder bridge, please. Arms beside you and find that shoulder stand position again.

And exhale roll up into your bridge position. Hold that bridge position there, and I'll have your right leg slide out along the mat. Good, now lift the pelvis with the legs parallel and out along the mat, and you're going to lift that leg up to a flex-foot top, and reach it down, keeping the pelvis up. And two, and down. I'll have five.

Three, and down. And up, down. Last one and hold, keep the pelvis up as you slide that leg back in along the mat. Change sides. Find the parallel position of your legs.

And the left leg goes out along the mat, lift the pelvis, and then the leg flexes up. And, two, good. And three, lift the pelvis. Four, last one, and slide that back in. Come back down, roll back down through your pelvis and bring your knees to your chest for the short spine.

We're doing a little bit of a steal from the reformer work. Now I want you to stay engaged in the shoulder stand position, legs come out like a little frog. Lift your hips up and overhead. Knees come in, roll the back away, and then heels come in. Ready to go again.

Little frog, lift up into your shoulder stand. Knees come in, lifting the pelvis, uncurl the spine, leaving the feet where they are as long as possible, pulling the shoulders back. Pull the heels in. Two more. And, a little frog, up and over, lift the pelvis as the knees come in, shoulders wide as you take the body down between scapula.

And one last one. Little frog, up and over, so it's a nice high position, pelvis up, sternum goes between the scapula, drawing the humerus wide on either side, and in. Good. We're gonna stretch your legs out and roll over onto your tummy for pull straps. Little bit of long box.

So, arms are extended overhead, forehead is down, and I want you to bend the elbows in as you lift the chest and come back into your pull straps one. So the arms will end up back behind you. And then they come forward and back down. So head stays forward to the mat, I'm trying not to talk into the table. So pull the elbows back, and extend.

And bring them all the way back to the start. And inhale to come back, exhale to come forward. One more. Inhale to come back, hold that position there. Open the arms out to a T-position, go long through the back.

Now palms facing down, bring you in and up for pull straps two, and open. And hands come into the buttocks. And open. And into the buttocks, sternum forward, last one. In, hold that position, and then bring it all the way back forward to pull straps one.

Just sitting back into a little rest position. Stretch out your back. And then onto your hands and knees, and tuck your toes in behind you, come back to our pike position we started with. So heels down, pike up with the pelvis, open the shoulders. Now I want single leg reaches up behind you.

So take one leg up to the ceiling, and lengthen through the back as you stand on one leg and stretch the other one up behind you. Now, either hold that position, or bend the knee and take it across the opposite leg to open up the hip, if you're able to. Good, so just give me a strong upper body position. Hip open, come back to your upright leg stretching to the ceiling, and change sides. So other leg up, single leg reach.

Hold that position, find your standing on one leg, extending the back, shoulders are open. Now, flip that leg out into an open hip position across the body. Then extend the leg back up to the ceiling, and bring it back in. Good, walk your hands back to your feet, and I want you to just bend the knees, and then stack the spine, rolling all the way up. Good, and I'm going to come down and we're going to take our hand weights.

So arms coming up to the ceiling, and circle around. And up, (exhales). One more this direction, then we'll reverse it. And, good. Just three in the other direction, just loosening through the shoulders, finding your upright stance.

And around, (exhales). (exhales) Good, now bring the arms out to the side again. So the spirals that we did in the beginning, spiral them in with the arm weights. And palms go down, so elbows tuck and bend in to the sides. And palms go down.

Add a little pace, in, always breadth across the shoulders, nice open chest position. (exhales) (inhales) Good, so wrapping those upper arms. Exhale, pull them in. And (exhales). Little faster for six more, and one. And reach, two, good.

(exhales) Good, last two. And hold. Good, release the hands down. Roll down, place one weight onto the floor. Good, now starting with our forearms lengthening over, the opposite hand will take the weight and readjust it back into an extended wrist.

Let that wrap over, take the weight, change. So I just want the over work of the arm, so the other hand is just helping, being an assist. Good, I want the elbow as straight as possible and the shoulder pulled back, body upright. How we going? Over, good, from an extended wrist, over.

Good. And make that one arm do all the work, over. So we're getting eccentric contraction of these muscles across the top of the forearm. And three more. Burning?

And other side, good. So, start with the hand in extension, the wrist in extension, and go over, change, and over. (exhales) Good, and just try to avoid leaning back. Stay up and over with your posture. And trust that arm just to lengthen.

Good, four more. And good, now comes the fun part, the coordination going the other way, into a flexed wrist, lengthen it down. Change, two, and you will feel this driving up into the shoulder, but in a good way, it has to hold as you lengthen. So this is something you could just do every day, stand-alone exercise to lengthen out the muscles that are getting so contracted from texting and typing. And whoo, yeah! Last two, and other side.

Flexed wrist, straight elbow, over we go, and two, good. Try and keep, do as I say, maybe not as I do, try and keep that shoulder back, elbow lengthening. Last two, good, try and keep that elbow straight, and lengthen. Good, arms down, were you happy with that one? Roll on down and put your weight down.

Hang there, let the head hang, let your arms hang, and exhale, stack back up to a standing posture, all the way. We have done an awesome job today. That's it.


3 people like this.
After taking this lovely little class (always great to have a 30 min one in my rotation for those days when that's all the time I have) I went back and discovered a class you taught in July 2015. These are both 1/2....any chance of a 2/3 mat being filmed?
2 people like this.
Class 2242 was delightful too. Thank you.
Sally Anderson
Thanks for your comments Joni Nichols :) I have a L2 class already on here #1958 that you might like to try and then yes, I think a good strong 2/3 class can be on the agenda for next time! Happy holidays!
Noted! Thank you Joni and as always, thank you Sally!
I commented on class 1958 when I took it nearly 2 years ago. Thank you for the reply to my question about foot position in the side lying position. ;)
Sally Anderson
Oh apologies Joni! Thank you for taking my classes and the taking the time to comment. Kristi's got it noted and I'm keen, so will work on a 2/3 to come :)
1 person likes this.
Great class really enjoyed it and needed to open my chest and shoulders this afternoon 😊 to much texting on the go 🤔😳
1 person likes this.
Thanks Sal, exactly what I needed after weeks of carrying the kids around (holidays!!). Loved all the forearm focus, saw variation and reverse spine stretch seated. I'd be keen for a level 2/3 class for next time too!
Julia K
1 person likes this.
Awesome class Sally! Thank you
Thank you Sally Anderson great work out.
Great to access to you. Denitta
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