Class #2886

Mat Workout

25 min - Class
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Prepare yourself for your day with this quick Mat workout by Brett Howard. He teaches his morning routine which he uses to make sure he does a little movement each day. He calls this class his "medicine" as it keeps his joints and muscles feeling good and ready to go!
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi, my name is Brett Howard, and today I'm gonna share with you my morning mat workout. I do this for two things, one is that if I know I do this workout in the morning, I know if I get too busy with work or other commitments come up, I know I have at least done this workout. So then I know that my body feels good. The other reason why I like to do this workout is because for me, I always say I need a little bit of exercise to keep my body feeling good. So it's not always about looking good, it's about feeling good and I like to do this because I call it my medicine, so if I've done this, my joints feel good, my muscles feel good, and I'm ready to go.

I feel prepared for the day. So I hope you enjoy working out with me. First exercise I like to start with is the hundred. So if it's a cold morning and I'm feeling a little tight, I actually normally would start by actually just bending my knees in a little bit, then I would roll my head, neck and shoulders up and go into position. If it's one of those mornings that I'm kind of feeling okay or good, I would start by just rolling up into position and now I pump.

And exhale, three, four five, inhale. And exhale, three, four five, three. And exhale, three, four five, and things I focus on is I focus on not hyperextending my knees. I focus on not getting two grippy in my hip flexors. I focus on length.

I focus on curling up, sinking my navel. I'm gonna do 30 more. Inhale, and exhale, three four five, in with the air. And exhale, three, four five, one more set. And exhale, three, four five, and then the roll up.

Head, neck and shoulders roll up, and then I find my C curve, hands forward, stomach back. Inhale, roll down one vertebra at a time. And exhale all the way down. And again, I normally do about five of these. Some mornings not so easy to roll up, roll down, so then I just soften my knees a little bit just to give myself a little bit more suppleness in my spine.

And C curve, today might be one of those mornings, actually. And exhale all the way down. I'm gonna do two more. And C curve, roll down. All the way down, one more.

C curve, roll down, all the way down. At home, I always have to scoot forward a little bit 'cause I'm tall, and then I'm gonna go into my single leg circle. Give myself a little pull of the knee. Extend the leg out and then cross the body, down, up, and stop. Cross, down, up, and stop.

Cross, down, up, and stop. Two more, cross, down, up, and stop. Inhale, exhale, up, and stop, reverse. Little out, a lot of cross. Depending on how I'm feeling in the morning, I might go a little bigger with the circle, but I always just go to where I can control, maintaining a nice, still torso and pelvis.

Okay, I'm gonna bend my knee and then I'm gonna extend the leg out. I'll pull the other knee in. And extend, rotate, cross, down, up, and stop. Cross, down, up, and stop. Cross, down, up, and stop.

Inhale, exhale, up, one more time, I cross and I reverse. Down, across, up, and stop. A little out, a lot of cross. Inhale, exhale, across. Two more and across, one more time, down, and across.

Then I like to give myself a little pull just to warm up my hip flexors. Arms up, roll up through the spine, and I'm gonna do my rolling like a ball. In the morning, I like to hold behind the back of my thighs. That allows me to get a little bit more curvature in my spine to start with. I roll back and I roll back up and balance.

And again, and of course I'm trying not to get fresh as I come up, and again, I roll down, and I roll up and balance. Then from there, I'll do three more grabbing onto my ankles. And again, I roll up and I put the brakes on. One more time, I roll down and I put the brakes on and then single leg stretch. Abdominal series of five, nice slow roll down.

Pull, pull, two, two, pull, pull, four, four, five more. Pull, two, two, pull, pull, pull, pull, and pull both knees in, double leg. Reach, in and pull, two, in and pull, three, in and pull, four, in and pull, five more times. Reach and pull, two and pull, inhale, exhale, one more time. Reach and pull, single straight leg stretch.

Pull, pull, pull, pull, two, two, two, two, pull, pull, pull, pull, four, four, four, four, five, five, and five more. Pull, pull, some days I could hold higher up on my ankle, some days I have to hold on behind my thighs depending on how tight I am in my hamstrings that given morning. Alright, some days, hands behind the head, other days, I'm tight in my lower back, have to bring my hands behind my pelvis and I lower and I lift to 90. Two, and lift, three, and lift, four, and lift, five, and lift, I do five more here. Lower, and lift, two, and lift, three, and lift, four, and lift, one more time, five.

Depending how I feel is depending on how much range I go. Sometimes I could go very low, sometimes not. Criss cross, twist and hold, two three, hold, two three, two, two three, two, two three, three, two three, three, two three, four, two three, four, two three, one more, and five quicktime. One, two, three, four, five, five I bend my knees in and I like to give myself a little hug there, alright. Both legs extend out.

Arms go up and I roll up through my spine one vertebra at a time and I do my spine stretch forward. So, nice, flexed at the feet, lift through my spine, round over and I exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale, inhale, roll up through the spine one vertebra at a time. And again, round over and exhale. Inhale, I roll up, one more time. Round over and exhale, exhale, exhale, and inhale, I roll up through my spine.

I'm gonna pull my legs in. In the morning I like to hold behind my thighs first, and then I rock back and I rock up and balance for three. And again, I rock back, I put the brakes on and I try not to get fresh. One more time, I rock back, sometimes I get a little more fresh than I should, though. Alright, I'm gonna walk up, and then I rock back and I come up and balance, and again.

Two more, and up and balance, one more time. I rock back and I come up, then from there I'm gonna bring the legs together. I'm gonna do my first teaser of the day. Roll down, bend my knees into my chest, and relax. Okay, now I'm gonna go for my corkscrew, but before I do my corkscrew, I like to do a little bit of spinal rotation.

So I'm just gonna twist to one side and center. Twist to the other side, ah, I just got a nice little pop in my back. Then twist, some mornings I really look forward to that. And again, twist. And center, one more time.

Twist and center, and twist, and center. I bring my knees in and I'm gonna go for my corkscrew and as you see, I'm a little bit of fidgeter, but in the morning, I don't care. And across, down, up and stop. Cross, down, up, and stop. Cross, and I use this as my time.

It's not just good for my body, it's good for my mind as well. Alright, then from there, I bring one leg down, I bring my arms out to the side, and I do a deconstruction of the single leg circle. I go across the body so I get a little bit more of a deeper twist and then center. Then from there, I anchor my opposite side of my pelvis bone to open, center, lower the leg. Lift the leg up, go across the body, twist in, and then find center.

Then open to where I can that morning, center, and lower. And again, lift your leg up, go across the body, twist. So I'm allowing my hip to come up when I go across. Here I do not allow my hip to come up, and lower. I bring the leg up, I allow the hip to come off so I can get a nice spinal rotation, and center, then when I'm here I have to anchor, center, I do three of these, so I'll do one more.

Leg goes up, and I go across the body and center, and then I open, center, and lower, and last time, lifting up, I go across the body, and center. Then from there, I anchor as I open the leg, center, leg goes down. Then from there I bring the knees in and then I like to do my first overhead motion. So I go up and over, then from there, I roll halfway down, I circle around, then I left my pelvis. I roll halfway down, circle around, and come up and over.

I roll halfway down, circle it around, and come up and over from the pelvis. So I try not to swing my legs, I'm really using my powerhouse, one more, halfway down, circle around, and up and over, and last time, halfway down, circle it around, and up and over. Then I roll down. Sometimes I'll roll up into a teaser. Other mornings, I'll just roll up, open for the saw.

So I twist to the right, drop the arm saw and exhale. This one feels excellent in the morning. And I twist, for me anyways, and across, and exhale, exhale, exhale, and center, twist, and exhale. I'm always trying to keep that opposite hip down. That gives me that wonderful stretch of my QL, and exhale, exhale, exhale, one more time.

Twist, and exhale. Exhale, inhale, center, last time, I twist, and exhale. And in the morning, I don't really care so much about my ribs. If I'm working out later on, I might focus on that a little bit more. Now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna do a little bit of a side stretch and I'm here, again, focusing on keeping my opposite hip down and then I bend to the other side.

And this one feels excellent for me in the morning. Nice lateral flexion. Some mornings, my back is a little more tight than other mornings. This one always makes me feel better. And I side bend, center, then from there I bring my legs together and I do three more with my legs together.

Gives me a slightly different stretch. And center, sometimes as I go over, I like to add a bend of the stretch of the elbow. I'm gonna do one more. And that helps me get a little deeper stretch in my upper ribcage. Okay, I roll down, I'm gonna turn around, I'm gonna go for my neck roll.

So in the morning, my back is a little tight, so I like to open my legs, then I bring my hands fairly wide to give me better extension, and I rise up. And then I roll down through the spine. And again, I rise up. And roll down. One more time, rise up, then from there I'm gonna look, circle down, I try not to do this too quick so I can get a nice stretch of my sternocleidomastoid muscle, and center.

I twist, circle, twist, center, twist, circle, twist, and center, and then I lower down. Then I don't go full child's pose. I like to push forward with the heel of my hand as I pull in and up through my middle back 'cause that's where I get tight in the morning. Okay, single leg kick. Alright, I'm gonna pull in and up though my powerhouse.

I'm gonna kick, kick, kick, kick. Kick, kick, kick, kick, three, three, three, three. Four, four, kick, kick, kick, kick, five more. Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, and kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, and I just allow my feet to flop here. Okay, double leg kick.

I like to open up that upper back, kick one, two, three, then I lift and I try not to go crazy with this lift, and then other side. And kick, kick, kick, so even though I have the extension, I like to stop at the bottom rib. I could go higher, but in the morning, I stop just at the bottom rib. And I exhale, and again, kick, kick, kick, and exhale. I'm gonna do one more.

And kick, kick, kick, kick, exhale, rise, and one more. And kick, kick, kick, exhale, rise, Okay, I'm gonna lower down, I'm gonna go back into my mini child's pose. Stretching out my tight part of my back, which is my lower back, then from there I might do a couple of cat cows, or camel. Okay, I'm gonna turn around for my neck pull, which is probably my hardest exercise to do in the morning. And I'm gonna hinge, round under.

And I always have to be careful not to hyperextend my knees here. And I roll up and over. I roll up through my spine, I hinge, and I curl down through my spine one vertebra at a time. Two more, and over. This one's one of my least favorite so I don't do too many of them.

I hinge, and I round down. Everyone has one they don't like as much. And exhale, I still do it though. Rolling up, hinge back, and I roll down one vertebra at a time, okay. I'm going to do a couple of bridges.

Rolling up, trying to get length in my hips, and then I'm gonna ripple down through my spine one vertebra at a time. And again, I roll up, then from there, I melt down one vertebra at a time, and then I put a little more weight on my tailbone at the very end. And again, I curl up, and then I bring one knee in, one leg up, I lower knee to knee, lift to 90, knee to knee, lift to 90, knee to knee, lift to 90. If I'm feeling flexible, I'll try to go a little lower to get a little bit of a hip flexor stretch, up to 90, bend the knee in, and foot comes down. Other knee in, other leg up, knee to knee, up to 90, knee to knee, up to 90, knee to knee, up to 90, and maybe knee all the way down to the ankle, up to 90, bend the knee in, foot down, and at the end, I like to bring my arms overhead and I reach through my fingertips as I melt through my spine and it gives me a nice opening in my ribcage and then I bring weight on my tailbone.

Alright, next thing I like to do, side kicks. I'm gonna bring one hand, prop up my head, other hand here. I start with the front and the back, so front, front, back, back, two two, back, back, three three, back, back, four four, and back, five, five more times. Front front, and back, two two, and I'm really focusing on stability, I'm also focusing on really bringing that leg back to give me a nice hip flexor stretch. Two more, back back, one more, kick, kick, and back, back.

I might elongate that one more. Then I do my up and down. And two, and three, and four, and one more time, I do my fifth one. Now circles, circle one, circle two, circle three, circle four, circle five, reverse, two, three, four, five. Then I like to do some leg lifts.

First I'm gonna bring it all the way back because it's a little easier for me, and I lift and I lower, and I put these ones in 'cause as I get older I gotta work on those love handles a little bit, so this is for my vanity, and I lift and I lower then I do five more. Lift and lower, two and lower, three and lower, two more and lower, one more, lower, then I do some transitional leg beats. And I beat, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, again. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, and one more set, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10. Then I turn to the other side, but today, I'm gonna flip over.

And then I'll do my side kicks here. So I lift my leg up hip height and I kick, front front, back back, two two, back back, three three, back back, four four, back back, five, five more times. Kick kick, back back, two two, back back, three three, back back, four four, back back, one more, and I like to elongate the last one, alright. So my up and down, up and down, two and down, three and down, four and down, five and now circles. Circle one, circle two, circle three, circle four, circle five, reverse, two, three, four, five, then I work on those love handles.

If you're a guy, you know what I'm talking about. So lift, as you get older, and lower, and lift two, and lower, lift three, and lower, lift four, and lower, lift five and lower, and then lift, and lower just to make it a little more difficult, challenge a little bit more, lift and lower, two more, and lower, one more and lower. I'm gonna flip to the first side and I'm gonna do some teaser. So I'm gonna start with teaser one. I'm gonna bring my arms overhead, extend out, and I roll up.

I lift the arms to ears, and I melt down, and again, roll up, I lift the arms, and roll down. One more, I roll up, lift the arms, and I roll down and at the end I take a nice little pull just to release my back, and I like to stick with teaser one in the mornings, so I don't actually do teaser two or three, and roll down. And again, roll up, I lift the arms, roll down, one more. Roll up, and then you can see, I get a little quiver in my voice, and roll down, knees in, and relax. Maybe I need to breathe better.

And one more time, I roll up, I lift the arms, and I roll down. And again, roll up, lift the arms, and roll down, one more. Roll up, lift the arms, and I roll down through my spine and hug my legs. Alright, swimming. So, once again, for my vanity, to fight that back fat, I'm going to do some swimming.

Swim, two, three, four, five, exhale, three, four, five, inhale, exhale, three, four, five, in with the air. Exhale, three, four, five. If I'm really feeling fat that morning, I do 100 and then I roll down, so 10 sets. And then the seal. So I'm gonna dive through, balance, and then I'm gonna clap three times.

Clap one, two, three, back, clap, two three. Up, clap, two, three, back, clap two three. Three, and I use this one to open up my hips, so all the weight I'm taking in my arms and the opening and closing is happening from my arms. Clap, two, three, and I balance, then I might do a little stretch. And that's my morning mat.

Hope you enjoyed working with me.

Comments

1 person likes this.
Hi ,really enjoyed this very comprehensive and flowing class. I feel it is certainly more accelerated than a moderate pace
Thank you for sharing your workout and your inner workings Brett! This was a perfect pace and your energy and humour is delicious x
Techical help please. Have rebooted, changed my video format option 3 times and STILL can't get this video to open. I have no problem accessing any other classes. Is there something specific to this one causing the difficulty? I probably got my heart rate as high as the class would have gotten it. LOL Maybe spent as long trying to resolve it too....
3 people like this.
No sooner did I write the message...and return to try "once more"... it opened. Thanks for listening. :)
Wonderful class! Look forward to doing it again! Great class to complement my ballet and jazz classes.
3 people like this.
I love this class! Thanks for sharing your morning workout! I will definitely use it as my guide too.
1 person likes this.
It's good to hear the variations you do according to how you feel on the day you do the workout. It's a good teaching advice not only for students, but for teachers as well.

Thank you for sharing your morning "medicine"!
1 person likes this.
I love all your classes Brett, hope you continue to add more!!
2 people like this.
Class is motivating, dynamic and precise. Thanks Brett; it will be one of my favorites !
Brett , this is great ! I love mat work ❤❤ thank you :)
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