Class #2888

Mat Workout

30 min - Class
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Description

Work on staying square in your torso in this challenging Mat workout with Brett Howard. He developed this program, along with Tetsuo Yoshida, which uses Pole to give you great tactile and visual feedback. He uses two different types of Poles so you can see how you can modify each exercise depending on the type of bar you have. Enjoy!
What You'll Need: Mat, Pilates Pole

Transcript

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Hi, my name is Brett Howard and today we are going to do a mat with the bar. And my bodies today are Morwan and Erin, Summer and Gia. And actually Summer and I have the same birthday. A little Pilates trivia for you (laughs) right there. So today I'm gonna use two different bars.

So I'm gonna use a wooden bar that's a little bit longer and I'm also gonna use a metal bar that's a little bit shorter. So that way you have some flexibility when you're working at home. Sometimes when I do this workout I might also use a weighted bar and I might switch out the weighted bar with the lighter bar depending on which exercise I'm gonna work with. All right, so this is something I do at my studio quite often. One of the teachers at my studio Tempsu and I we kind of helped develop this and I hope you guys enjoy and I hope you guys enjoy.

So you're gonna start by lying down on to the mat. The other nice thing about this bar is if you guys are not doing it right, (laughter) watch out! No, I'm just kidding, but I'm not kidding. (Laughs) All right, so you're gonna take your bar, you're gonna bring the knees, uh, your gonna keep the legs out, okay? Then from there you're gonna bring the bar straight up to the ceiling. Now this bar is going to be, like, a representation of your collarbone.

So you have almost like a picture frame here where the bar and the collarbone are one part of the frame. Your arms are the other part of the frame. So we're always gonna work on squareness. You're gonna roll the head, neck and shoulders up as you lift the feet up to your working level. And we're gonna go for the hundred, pumping.

Inhale, three, four, five. Exhale, three, four, five. In with the air and exhale three, four, five. Three. This one is where I might choose a weighted bar.

Inhale, and exhale, three, four, five. In with the air and exhale, three, four, 50, hold. Now keep your lift, bring the bar over your head. Try to curl the upper body a little more. So we work upper abdominals as you pump back, two, three, four, five.

Exhale, three, four, five. Inhale, just nasty isn't it? And inhale and exhale, three, four, five. Two more and exhale, three, four, five. One more, exhale, three, four, hold.

Lower the legs as you lower your upper body. We're gonna go for the roll up. First one, I'm gonna start you guys at 90 degrees with the arms. Now remember this bar needs to stay nice and even. So you never want it to twist or tilt.

You're gonna lift your head up and hold. That's your portrait. Now roll up one vertebrae at a time and find your c curve keeping that nice even bar. Now start with the tail, you're gonna roll down one vertebrae at a time and exhale all the way down. And again, chin and chest inhale, roll up.

Sometimes I can use this to give a little bit of a pull. Now as your reach here, pull back through your powerhouse. Now roll down and as she rolls down I'm gonna give her a little pull to open up that back and arms go slightly back. I can also give a push to help push me away. Good, and push me away as you reach.

Now roll down, I'm gonna push as you push me, good. And exhale all the way down. And two more, rolling up. So depending on the depending on the body I might choose to pull. Whoops, sorry (laughter).

And now, oh I don't know my own strength. Pull me down, good. And arms go back. And one more time, rolling up. And you're gonna push me away.

Good, C curve and push. And roll down and I'm gonna push you as you push me. Good, all the way down. All right, so what you're gonna do is you're gonna bring the bar straight up to the ceiling. Now our goal here is we're gonna try not to move the bar.

So the ladies with the longer bar, you're gonna stay there. I'm gonna have Erin and Morwan, you're gonna hold the bar on the outside and you're gonna squeeze in as if you're hugging a magic circle. Float the right leg straight up to the ceiling. The bar stays still. Turn the leg out.

Lead with the inner thigh as you go across the body, circle down, up, and stop. And across, down, up and stop. And across, down, up, stop, hold. Reverse, a little out, a lot across. Make sure those arms aren't moving.

Keep the bar very still. One more time, a little out, a lot across, hold. Scissor, all right, go across the body, down up and stop. Across, down, up and stop. Across, down, up, stop, reverse.

A little out, a lot across. Inhale, exhale, up. And inhale, exhale, up, let the leg float down. Now you're gonna lift the right leg up and hold. Bring the bar across your waist.

Good, now our goal here is to keep this bar very even. I'm gonna bring yours a little lower Summer. There we go. Arms are gonna go down by the sides. So I imagine that this is a tight rope bar and I'm walking the tight rope.

So I need to keep it very balanced. I never want a lift or twist. All right, go across the body, down and up. And across, keep that bar very still. And across, down, up and hold.

Reverse and across, down, keep that rated G pelvis guys. And down and across, hold there. This is gonna be challenging. You're gonna switch without that bar moving. If the bar is lifting a little bit that means one hip is lifting a little.

Good (laughs) now it's tricky, right? And across. So it's a really good use of feedback. And across, down, and up. It's a good tactile feedback but it's also a good visual feedback.

Reverse, a little out, a lot across. A little out, a lot across, a little out, a lot across. Zipper up as you float down and try to keep that bar even. Grab the bar, bring the arms straight up to the ceiling. And then I'm gonna have you guys hold it this way for now.

Sorry, now roll up through your spine, one vertebrae at a time. Scoot your bottom forward to the heels. And you're gonna bring the feet onto the bar right in front of the heel. Good, now from here you're gonna bend the elbows nice and broad. Good, you're goal is to have an even pressure against that bar at all times.

So don't push more with the right or the left. You're gonna also try to keep that angle the same. So the even pressure with the hands as well. So initiate from the belly button and the tailbone. Rock back to the mid-back, come right back up.

Find that balance. Good guys and again roll down, as you come up equal weight on both feet. Yes, roll down. This is good for those people who start to slowly revolving around the mat and again roll down. And come up and balance.

Twice more, roll down and come up and balance. One more, roll down, this is good guys and come up and balance and hold there. All right, take the bar, reach it forward and hold there. Bring your right knee into the chest. Left leg out 45 degrees.

This means you guys have to do this well (laughter). And now your sexy Pilates transition. Roll down nice and slow and sexy. Now reach the arms and then change. One, change, two, change, two, change three, three, change, four, four, change, five, more and one.

One and two, two and three. Three and four, four and five, and five. Knees in, maybe scoot a little bit back. (laughs) All right and then you're gonna bring the bar right above your shin bones. Now simultaneously arms back as the bar goes, arms go, legs go forward, sorry. Now bend in and again reach out as you zipper.

And come in. Reach out, three. And in, reach out, four. And in, reach out, five. And five more, reach and in.

Reach, two and in. Reach, three, and two more. Four, and one more. Five and hold guys, right leg straight up to the ceiling. 90 degrees, left leg out 45 or lower.

Bring the bar onto the shin bone, then try and roll the bar up your leg towards your ankle but maintain that 90 degree angle. Now hold there, push that bar into the leg. Now change. Hold and press, press, press. Change, hold and press.

Don't let the leg go beyond 90 though guys. 'Cause that means your upper back has to go to the leg. Don't bring the leg to the body. Bring the bar to the leg. And change, four.

Change, push. Change, push. And push, push and push. And floor, and four, and three. Three and two, two and one.

One, bend the knees, bring the bar over the legs, reach the legs. You can also do it that way. Reach the legs straight up to the ceiling, Pilates stance. Now roll that upper body forward more. Forward more, so that way the bar is further away from the legs.

So lower legs for three, two, one. Lower to 90, your goal is to actually not touch the bar on this one. Lower, two, three, 90. If you're touching the bar, that means you're not rolling up high enough. Lower, two, three, up.

Lower, two, three, up, 90. Lower, two, three, up. Lower, two, three, up. Lower, two, three, up. Two more, two, three, up.

One more, lower, two, three, up. Knees in, rest for a second. So this side with the longer bar, you're gonna grab just how you're holding. Now this side, you guys wanna grab like we did before. Like, you're hugging a magic circle.

We're gonna do the criss cross. As you twist your goal is to keep the bar level. So you don't want it to tip to one side. If it's tipping to one side that means one shoulder is not lifting up off the mat as high as the other one. Okay, so you're gonna roll the head, neck and shoulders up.

Good, that was good. Now you're going to extend the left leg out, twist to the right and hold. Mm-hmm, now hold there. You're goal is to make sure that this bar is nice and even. Good, now, now you twist this way.

Ah, ah am I, yes and change (laughs). And now twist to the other side and look that way. Look past, yes, change. Twist, two, keep that bar even guys. Twist, twist.

Twist and hold, hold, hold on sisters. There's one boss in here and that's me. So lie down (laughs), I'm a control freak. So don't move before I tell you to (laughs). All right lifting up (laughs).

I really am a control freak. Now twist (laughing) to the right and hold. Hold, hold, change, twist to the left. Two, three, twist right. Two, three, twist left.

Now quick time, twist, one, twist, one, twist, two, twist, two, twist, three, three, twist, four, twist, four, twist five, twist five, knees in and relax. Okay guys, so legs out on the mat. Arms straight up to the ceiling. Squeeze the inner thighs together. And then once again we're gonna keep a nice even bar as you roll up through your spine one vertebrae at a time.

Okay, let's open the feet either the width of the mat or a little bit beyond the width of the mat. We're gonna go for the spine stretch forward. So we're going to reach the bar straight out in front of you. Here again I might choose to use a heavy bar. You're gonna squeeze the bottom, lift the spine, round up and over.

Bring the head through. As you roll forward reach those arms forward. Now hold there. Imagine someone has their hand on your bar and they're pushing it. You push them away to push your lower back back.

Now roll up to your spine one vertebrae at a time to a nice tall back and again you're gonna round over and exhale. Exhale, push me, push me away. Excellent guys, inhale roll up to your spine to a nice tall back. Now bring the arms over your head. Now, make sure it's not an arm movement but it's a spine movement as you round forward.

The spine moves, the arms just go along for the ride. And then roll up to your spine one vertebrae at a time. Nice guys, let's do one more. Round over and exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. Inhale, rolling up to your spine to a tall back.

All right guys. So, this side, you're gonna take the bar, place it in between the soft part of the heel there. Mm-hmm, then you're gonna lift the legs up and you're gonna do open leg rocker like so. Like you're squeezing a magic circle. This bar should always be even.

You guys are gonna put the bar on your shin bone. And your gonna keep the pressure with the shins and the bar the same. The bar doesn't win, the legs don't win, okay? Initiate from the powerhouse. Rock back to the mid-back, come up and stick it.

That's okay (laughs) and again, luckily we have five more. Roll back, come up and stick it. That was good and again, rock back, come up and stick it. (laughs) And again, roll down, I love the gymnastics, up and stick it. Two more, rock back and come up.

Last time, rock back and come up. All right, grab your bar and then reach the legs 45. Now just roll down one vertebrae at a time. Good, knees in and rest for a second. So this side you're gonna squeeze the bar once again in between the hands.

You guys, arms straight up to the ceiling. Good, once again the bar's gonna stay even as you bring the legs straight up to the ceiling. So I don't want this bar to look like a steering wheel. As your circle the legs, right, down, left, center. And left, down, right, center, hold there guys.

I don't wanna see guys getting jiggy with it, okay? So keep that body nice and still as you circle right, down, left, center. We can do that later though. And left, down, right, center. Good, one more time, right, down, left, center.

And left, down, right, center, good guys. Bend the knees into the chest and then extend the legs out into the mat. Arms to the ceiling, roll up to your spine, for five, four, three, two, one. Okay, let's go to the same position we had for the spine stretch forward. Nice straddled position, flexed active feet.

Now what you're going to do is you're going to, you guys are going to hold here, you guys are gonna squeeze in. Now, you're going to twist to the right, hold. Now you're gonna round forward on your diagonal and the bar stays nice and even. Good and roll up to your spine. And then twist to the other side.

Good, round forward and reach, reach, reach. And up center. Now bring the bar straight up to the ceiling. Good, twist and round forward and reach, reach, reach. And up to center.

Lift and twist. Round forward, and reach, good, reach. Reach and up to center. Now bring the bar behind you in the crook of the elbow. Now this one's great because it helps you to find your twist.

So you twist to the right, hold. Now wherever you're twisted to, round straight forward. Two, three, roll up to your spine and untwist. And then twist to the other side, round forward and reach. Two, three and untwist, center.

Now the next one you're going to twist, then you're going to reach through, look. Mm-kay, so grab ahold and twist to the right. Good, reach through and try to stack that so it's completely vertical. Now hold there. I want you to push with the bottom hand more as you open through your top shoulder.

Nice guys, feel that? Now stay there, pull your left hip down and back more. Yes and come back to center. And now, twist to the other side. It's a good stretch, right?

Now reach so the bottom hand reaches forward, the top shoulder opens, the right hip pulls back in opposition, reach forward through the bar as well, and come back up to center. Okay guys, you're going to lie down onto your stomach facing that way. All right, so I'm going to bring the bar onto the floor in front of you. And then you're going to let the hands just go right on top of the bar. Good and then the bar's gonna roll, you're gonna slowly open your feet, see if one foot touches the side of the mat before the other foot does.

If that happens then you're not totally even on your mat and you're gonna have to adjust a little bit to find your squareness. All right, once you found square you're going to squeeze those legs together and then you're gonna roll the ball, roll the ball, roll the bar back as you lift your upper back up. Good and now, roll the bar forward. And again, roll the bar backwards. And roll the bar front.

Roll the bar back and you're going to hold there. Now the bar should stay still as you look to the right. Look down, look left, look front, look left, look down, look right, look front. Once again right, look down, look left, look front, left, look down, look right, look front, roll down. Now this time you're gonna roll back up again.

Roll as high as you can and then you're going to allow, not yet, but you're going to allow the bar to rock back and forth as your body rocks back and forth for swan. Rock, one, one, two, two, three, three, four, four, five, five, six, six and hold. Good and roll down. You can keep the bar there for now. Counter stretch, child's pose, stretching out the back.

So this is a wonderful way to work on swan, maintaining that one stable body, good. Okay guys, we're gonna go for the single leg kicks. You're gonna go onto the stomach, make a sphinx position. Two fists together, you're gonna press down with the fist. Press down with the elbows.

Zipper up through the abdominals. Wrap through the ribs. Lift up through the crown of the head. Your goal is to keep the pelvis still. Imagine a bar is actually on your pelvis.

You're not going to allow that bar to rock as you kick right, right, left, left. Two, two, two, two. Three, three, lift that upper body higher, kick, kick. And kick, kick, kick, kick. Four, four, four, four, three, three, three, three.

Tight seat, loose feet, kick kick and kick kick. Okay guys and now what you're gonna do is you're going to lie on your stomach. And you're gonna bring your right face cheek onto the mat. Hands are going to go behind your back. Broad elbows, you're gonna simultaneously kick both legs three times with a double leg.

Kick one, kick two, kick three. Slide the arms down the back, lift and lengthen. Lengthen, lengthen, lower down. Left kicking one, kicking two, kicking three, lift and lengthen. Lengthen, lengthen, lower down.

Right kicking one, kicking two, kicking three, lift and lengthen. Lengthen, lengthen, lower down. Left kicking one, kicking two, kicking three, lift and reach, reach, reach, last set. Kick one, kick two, kick three, and lengthen. Lengthen, lengthen, lower down.

Left kicking one, kicking two, kicking three, lift and lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. Okay guys, lower down, counter stretch child's pose. If your knees are healthy, keep your seat connected to the heels, roll up to your spine one vertebrae at a time into a nice tall, straight back. Okay guys, you're gonna turn around. You're gonna grab ahold of your bar.

Okay, now what you guys are gonna do is you two are gonna take your smaller bar, place it in between the heels again. You guys are gonna reach the bar forward and then you're gonna lift it overhead and you're gonna keep the bar overhead the whole time which is going to challenge those upper abdominals a little bit more. So you guys hand behind the base of the head. Lift and hinge, hold. Start with the tailbone, roll down to your spine one vertebrae at a time and roll up, inhale.

You guys can squeeze into the bar to make it a little easier. For you, roll up to your spine, and now lift up hinge to make it harder for you guys, you guys can push that bar back more. Never allow the bar to go forward and then you feel how that works there. And again, rolling up inhale. Exhale, nose towards the floor.

Inhale, roll up to your spine, lift, hinge. Curl under one vertebrae at a time all the way down and one more rolling up inhale. Exhale, nose towards knees. Inhale rolling up to your spine, lift, hinge, hold. Make sure I don't have to get that barbecue sauce out ladies.

Get those ribs in and then roll down one vertebrae at a time. Okay, so you guys have probably scooted back a little bit. So scoot a little forward and you guys can take the bar in your hands. You're gonna bring the soles of the feet flat on the mat. This, today lets have parallel hip width, feet in line with knees, knees in line with hips.

You're going to bring the bar on your thighs. Okay, then from there you're going to give a little bit of push in the thighs with the bar. Now the bar might roll up a little bit but the pressure of the bar against your legs won't change. If anything it will only increase. You're gonna start with the tailbone.

Roll up to your spine. As your roll up, try to flatten the pelvis and push the thighs into the bar. Good, now we get a nice opening of your hip flexors. Now roll the spine down keeping the bar on, the bar will probably slide up the legs a little bit as you roll down through your spine. And again, rolling up to your spine one vertebrae at a time.

And push your thighs into that bar to help open up the front of your hips. And then, roll the spine down one vertebrae at a time. All right, now this is gonna be a little tricky. You guys are gonna roll the hips up. Push into the bar and hold there.

Now you should feel equal pressure with both thighs against the bar. Your goal is to maintain the equal pressure. You're going to heel toe the feet in so that your legs are together. Good, now stay there. Don't change the pressure.

Extend your right leg forward and hold there. For five, four, I think your left hip needs to push into that bar more guys. One, now bend the knee. Now hold there. Do you have equal pressure?

Can you guys lift those hips up a little bit more? That was excellent guys but you guys should not have been able to lift those hips up. They should have already been up. Now let's lift the other leg up. Equal pressure in.

You know if you're pushing one leg more than the other. Lift those hips up guys. We have two more seconds. One, bend the knee and then roll down to your spine. Good, so it's gonna make sure you have that co-contraction on both sides of the glutes.

All right guys, so let's all lie down. You guys are gonna face that direction. And you're going to take the bar and you're gonna bring it onto the floor. Mmm-hmmm, good. Now you're gonna make sure you have one line from fist or wrist, rather, to your shoulder.

Then from there gonna bring your legs forward at a 45 degree angle. So this bar has to stay very still. So what you don't want is you don't want the bar to rock. The bar should stay completely still and that means your torso is going to stay still. Lift the right leg up hip height.

Bars stay still as you kick front, front, back, back. Two, two, back, back. Three, three and back, back. And back, back. And five, five, five more.

Kick, kick, back, back. Two, two, back, back. Kick, kick, ribs are in, one more. Kick, kick, back, back, leg on top of leg. Turn out the leg.

Kick the leg up, resisting down. And again, kick up, resisting down. Kick up three, is that bar still guys? Just asking, up, resisting down, one more time. Up, resisting down, small little circles for one, two, three, four, five, reverse.

One, two, three, four and five. All right, you're going to flip over onto your stomach. Take the bar, place it onto the floor. Take one hand on top of the other hand, forehead will go right on top of that. Reach the legs long, float the legs up and beats.

Beat, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, repeat. Beat, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, squeeze, longer, lengthen. One more time, beat. Make sure those shoulders are nice and relaxed and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, lower the legs. So there's no butt shots, let's have you guys flip so you're facing that direction again.

You guys have those nice, firm popos but at the same time, (laughs) I think you're gonna thank me. So, you're gonna grab ahold of the bar. Now remember this bar stays still. You're allowed to let your head rest. Then from there feet are going to go forward at a 45 degree angle.

You're going to make sure you're wrapped in your ribs, wrapped in the seat. Push down with the bar into the floor. Lift the top leg up and kick front, front, back, back. Bar stays nice and still while we're kicking. Front, front, back, back.

Kick, kick, back, back. Wrapping through the ribs, five more. Kick, kick, back, back. Imagine your body's like a grandfather clock. And kick, kick, your leg is the pendulum the leg, your body's the base.

Only move the pendulum, kick, kick and back, back. Okay leg on top of leg. Turn out the leg, bar stays still as you kick up. Resisting down. Kick up, two.

Resisting down. Up, three, resisting down. Two more up, wrap those ribs. One more, up, resist down, small little circles. Circle one, circle two, circle three, circle four, circle five.

Reverse two, three, four and five. Okay so you're gonna sit so you're facing in to one another again. And T is for teaser. So lying down. Knees are gonna go in to the chest.

Grab the bar, bring the arms over the head. Now, legs are going to go out to your working level and that's were they're gonna stay. Now rolling up and don't touch me. Bzz, bzzz, lift the arms, bzzz, up to the ears. Roll down.

And again, roll up and don't touch me. We're playing operation, bzz, bzz. And lift the arms, rolling down. One more time, she's like don't come over here. Roll up, bzzzz, and lift the arms up, bzzz and roll down, knees into the chest and hug the legs.

Two, three, now what you're gonna do is you're going to bring the arms overhead again. Legs out and you're going to roll up again. Now what you're going to to do is you're gonna not move the torso, lower the legs and lift them and try to touch the bar if you can. Lower, but don't touch me. Lift, lower, bzz, and lift, now hold there.

Arms over your head. Everything floats down and make sure your shoulder blades and your heels touch at the same time. Good, now everything comes up together. Reach that bar towards your ankles if you can. Keep your shape.

No Mary Lou Retton as you lift those arms up and roll down. If you don't know who Mary Lou Retton was, she was a famous gymnast in the eighties. Now roll back up and now lift the arms to the ears. This time as you roll down, hover the head and the feet and the feet. Don't allow anything to touch and hold there.

Hover, get that head up. Hover, curl that upper body up high. Get those legs lower and now lifting up. What? (laughing) And lift the arms up and everything goes down for you two, but you two will have to do one more (laughs). So arms over head and now everything comes up.

I love the dinosaur noises and now arms up to ears. Everything floats down and you're going to hover. That's your punishment, hover. Hover, now you can roll down. Okay (laughs).

You guys are like they're on their own. I'm gonna let them do it by themselves. (laughter) Take the bar, place it to the side. And then last one, arms up to the ceiling. Imagine that you're holding the bar. And so you're gonna focus on that squareness as you roll up to your spine for five, four, three, two, one.

Good, make a diamond with the feet. Dive through, thread underneath for the seal. So curved and now remember when you guys come up I wanna see that. (laughs) All right? So you're gonna maintain that c curve.

Imagine your ribs are your brakes. So you're gonna pull back through the ribs. Okay so clap, one, two, three, back. Clap, two, three, the brakes go on. Clap, two, three, back.

Clap, two, three, up. One, clap, two, three. Back, clap, two, three. And up, clap, two, three. And back, clap, two, three.

And up, clap, two, three. And back, clap, two, three. One more, up, clap, two, three. And back, clap, two, three. Up and stick it.

Sometimes I do do that standoff (laughs). And you guys are done for today. Thank you guys, you're wonderful. And thank you. Hope you enjoyed the workout (laughs).

(applause)

Comments

2 people like this.
Great workout Brett
1 person likes this.
I am so excited to have a Brett video. I've been frustrated with the intensity and speed of other some other instructors classes; love Brett. Favorite always. Never disappoints.
This was a lot of fun, Brett Howard was cracking me up. The class was moderately intense, not as brutal as some of his other mat classes on PA, perfect for a return to exercise after being sick :)
2 people like this.
I love the way he teaches and express.
1 person likes this.
Hi Brett I really enjoyed your class. Thank you!!
Great class Brett. I love your humor and explanations about the techniques. It was challenging but inspiring.
I love Brett's workout It was fun!
1 person likes this.
Awesome class and a lot of fun! Thanks Brett
1 person likes this.
I especially loved the pole for the side lying and oblique work. Thank you.
1 person likes this.
I'm always so happy to see a new mat class with Brett. They're always fun and challenging. The bar/pole added so much. Great class!
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