All righty, today we're gonna play with the tower. If you have a Cadillac at home, you can certainly use that instead of the tower, but if you have a tower at home, you can use this. I wanna just explain to you what's going on to you back here so you know what to have available. We've got the yellow springs with the roll-up bar, and I'm set just one notch above the push-through bar setting. We will be using the push-through bar bottom-loaded, so it's a good idea to have your safety strap, not even a good idea, it's a necessity.
And I have two springs back here ready to go to bottom-load. I have two red, you're welcome to use blue, or whatever combination suits you. And then I've got my leg springs ready to go, as well. I'm going to pull them around when I need them, but I like to keep them a little bit out of the way. And then I'm also gonna be using my handles, which I suppose I should show you, just in case.
We have these little handles. So if you don't have these, you could always use your straps from your leg springs, which we'll use for arm work in a little bit. So I believe now we can get ready to move. What do you think about that? I'd like to start with knees bent, and the knees and feet together.
The feet are grounded, I'm gonna start right away with my roll-up bar, and I'm gonna scoot my bottom back, so if you have one of these conversion units, my bottom is right where the two pieces meet, so I'm kind of right in the middle of the table. I wanna really be able to use the spring a little later. Here, sit for just a couple of moments and ground both sides of your pelvis to the mat, and then lift up, draw your shoulders back a little bit. And then start this movement by rounding through your low back without actually leaning back yet, and then sit tall. So I'm rounding through my low back, creating the intention from my core, to eventually roll all the way back.
One more time, rounding, and there's sort of a reaching forward with my shoulders, although the spring is assisting me with that, and then sit tall. And now we're gonna go all the way back, so we round, and then we continue to peel back. Really sense your body articulating over both sides of the pelvis to the low back, to the shoulder blades, and finally the head. Lift the head and chest, look in the direction of your knees and create opposition to roll back up. At the very end, sit tall, rooting down through both hips equally, inhale.
Exhale, check in with your shoulders, round through your low back and articulate over both sides of your glutes, middle of the spine, both shoulder blades, and then your head. Inhale, lift the head and chest, and then exhale to roll up. Just make sure you breathe, most importantly. I often cue breathe out of habit. Exhale to round back, but truly the most important piece to breathing (chuckles) is that you actually breathe.
Lift the head and chest, use the abdominals, and roll up. This time let your knees open as you sit tall, creating just a little bit of an opening through the hips. As you round back, close your knees together, and we're gonna pick up the pace a little, not a lot. Breathing and moving, lift and round and roll up. This time, we open the legs wide.
Good, now that can be your option one. Exhale to round back, I'm gonna give you an option two here: slide your legs out to straight, lower your body down, lift your head and chest, roll up, as you do, open your straight legs out to the side, bend your knees, fold all the way forward, and stretch through your hips. Rounding up through your abdominals, bring your straight legs back together and roll back. That should feel kinda fun. Good, lift your head and chest, round and roll up, open your straight legs, reach all the way forward, stretching through the hips.
This is why I wanted to move back far enough so I wouldn't hit the tower too much as I reach into that stretch. And two more like that, rounding up, that feels so nice, open the legs, bend the knees, reach forward, stretching the hips. Now I'm sort of wishing I was back a little more, so I'm gonna do that so I can go all the way to a flat position here, which feels really nice on my body and my shoulders. And rounding back up, bring the legs together and we'll roll all the way back one last time just like that. Now, let's roll up to just a chest lift.
Bend both knees for me, here we're gonna do a little abdominal strengthening, so really creating opposition, we lift up only to the point where we can still really maintain flexion and a neutral-ish pelvis. (chuckles) And roll back, and exhale to lift up. So I'm staying in the chest lift position as I roll back. I say neutral-ish, because it's okay if you have to tuck just a tiny, tiny, tiny bit, or it's okay if you lift up just a little bit more to feel that nice stretch through your back. I'm gonna show you what's not okay.
(groans) That's not what I want. What I'm looking for is really creating that opposition and flexion, and what I'm going for is a stretch in the low back. Good, linger in your chest lift position here, we're gonna rotate around to the right just a little bit, and then we're gonna go up and down three times, one. (clicks) And two. (clicks) And three. Good, come back through to center. And we're gonna go the other way.
One. Need to hold more firmly with my all five fingers for security here, and three, come back through to center, stretch your legs to straight, roll up, open your legs, bend your knees, and come forward into a nice stretch. Here, round through your low back. Straight legs, we come together, we'll play a little more, sit tall. Exhale, round and roll back, good.
Find the place where your low back is down, and bend both knees. Now we're gonna stretch our right leg up to straight, and I want you to let the roll-up bar kind of guide up toward your foot, but keep a connection there, and roll down. So I'm not pushing, I'm just rolling up, keeping a connection, creating opposition, ah, and rolling down, and we'll do just one more. Reach, reach, reach, so using my soaz a bit here, and lower down, bend the knee, stretch your legs to straight and roll up, open the legs wide, fold forward. (sighs) Round and roll back up, and last time for the second side, we roll back again, bend both knees. Good, stretch the other leg now, up to straight, and I'm using the resistance from the spring and just pulling a little bit with my leg trying to keep a connection, three times.
And up, up, up, up, up. (sighs) And whatever breath makes sense, just please make sure you're choosing to breathe. Foot down, lower your body all the way down one last time, and then roll up to a sitting position. I don't know about you, but I'm nice and warm. Here I'm gonna move into the, um. Going to, rather than gonna.
Move into our foot work settings. So you'll take your roll-up bar off, and I'm gonna hang it up top, 'cause that's where we're going to use it next, and then I'd like you to take your safety strap and hook it on. You put it where it makes sense to you. I'm gonna put it kinda low, so I get a little bit of extra pull, and I'm gonna bring my springs up. I like two springs, I like two red springs, it feels fantastic to me.
That doesn't work for you, then, can do it in whatever way makes sense. Two blue, a red and a blue. The only tricky part here is to make sure you get in without hitting your head, and then I do like to have my head off just the slightest bit, so it's like the base of my skull kind of resting, and that also makes it so that I can be sure that my pelvis is closer to neutral. If you need an extender back there, feel free to put your extender up, or add a box or a wunda chair, or something along those lines. But try to avoid letting your pelvis be super elevated, it should be flat.
Place your heels on the bar here, settle in for a couple moments, feel your breath, feel your body. We inhale to bend the knees with resistance, and we exhale to press back out. Now I said "bend the knees," because that is, in fact, happening, and that makes sense for most of us, but will you put the focus on bending your hips, pressing your thigh bones away from you, bending your hips, bending here, and then pressing the thigh bones away. So as you do that, take a little look at your knees and make sure that they are not bowing outward, so only bend as far as you can keep the arrangement. And press out.
And I don't know about you, but I always get a little quiver when I do this, so I have a shaky Cadillac and wobbly springs, and I consider that to be a good thing. (laughs) I'm doing something I don't normally, my body's not accustomed to doing every single day, unless I do the Cadillac. Put your toes now where your heels are. When I say toes, I do want the toes available to you, but I really want you to feel as though you're pressing through your metatarsals, or the balls of your feet. Look at your knees and feet, make sure they're aligned, and we bend and we stretch. We're thinking about keeping the chest open, we're thinking about keeping the pelvis still, so as you bend the knees, the pelvis stays still, and as you press to straight, you wanna really feel those hamstrings.
As you bend, you wanna feel the hip flexors actually helping you bend. What does that mean? My thigh bones are coming closer to my body, and so I'm actually flexing my hips, and so eccentrically, I really want to control with the hamstrings, but I also wanna feel my gut, my hip flexors involved in this. Small V, so we slide the heels together. Again, I find a place where my foot feels secure.
Somewhere around the second toe is where I'm centered, so my pinky toe may not be touching. Inhale to bend, and exhale to press out. Most of us have a little bit more range when it comes to the V position. That is the case for me, so I encourage you to push that, if you have it, and what I mean by that, is keep your pelvis solidly down as you try to bend deeper from your hips, and of course your knees and your ankles are bending. I'm also keeping my feet stable in space so there's ankle mobility here, because I'm not lifting my feet up and down, or dropping my heels up and down in space.
Let's do one more here, breathing and moving. Open V here, so I like to put my heels so they're on the round part of the bar and my toes are on the other part there. Now if that arrangement doesn't work, just move your feet in so your toes have a place to be. A big reason why that wouldn't work is if you have pretty tight calves. Another reason is if you're much taller than I.
So here, as you bend your knees, your knees are gonna go outside of the spring, and really see if you can go just a little deeper in this position still with your pelvis intact, and press up. Now again, I like to inhale as I bend and exhale as I press, but you choose. Really see if you can drive energy here through your heels, rather than through the balls of your feet. Feel the flow, the ease of the movement. I find the Cadillac footwork sorta sneaks up on me, and right about now, I start to realize that my legs are actually fatiguing a little.
Love it. One more time here, noticing that the general range of motion is less. Put your toes where your heels are. 'Kay, so I'm at my toes on the round part of the bar, I'm still in plantar flexion, meaning I'm pushing up with my feet, and then I keep that arrangement for my feet as I bend, and this will be the deepest range of motion for most people. While the range of motion is less than maybe it is on the reformer, what's nice about this is you're really taxing flexibility.
Hip flexibility, hamstring flexibility, and also it's nice to be able to see what your feet and knees are doing, and work for symmetry. Let's do two more there, please. And this is our last one, oof. Bring your feet closer together. I generally like to have my feet pretty narrow for the calves here, just so I can get a little bit of the outside stretch as well, so what I mean by that is as I flex my feet down, my feet are closer together, I can feel the stretch like on the outer part of my leg all the way up to my glute pretty much.
Work on straightening your knees here, and then point. Let's just do three or four there, just focusing on stretch here, and point. And then hold here, bend one knee and stretch on one side. Now here I'd like you to move your foot, so I'm stretching my right leg right now, I've moved my foot so I can really let the bar rest on my foot, I don't have to grip with my toes, so for me that means I'm at the high part of my arch or I've made a slightly prehensile-type foot. Now, I'm gonna keep my foot there, and I'm gonna slide my other leg down to straight, and I'm gonna receive that stretch, and for me that feels delightful.
If it's too much, simply bend your other knee, or if you feel vulnerable, keep your foot up. Let's take one more moment there, and then switch legs, so we'll switch, and again, change your foot so that you can really just let the bar securely rest. The spring is helping you with the stretch. And then remove your other leg, and just kinda feel the difference there between the two sides. (sighs) Remember, if you wanna bend your knee, you can, or keep your foot up if you don't feel secure. This is both a calf, and a hamstring, and even a glute stretch for me.
And then we'll put both feet back on. Bend your knees nice and deep, reach up and take the bar with your hands and put your feet down, and just take a little sway side to side with your knees. Now, you can get up to change your springs, meaning we're just gonna remove one, or I can do it pretty comfortably with this apparatus right here, so I'm just gonna put my spring gently down on the floor there, and now I only have one spring. Now here, I'm going to, actually I'm gonna keep this arrangement, so we'll do one more single-leg version here. Push the bar up and put both feet back on the bar, and we're gonna go into a turned-out position here, so I'm turned out, and I have the middle of my foot on the bar, I wanna really think about what my pelvis is doing here.
I'm gonna take my left leg and reach down and feel that I'm still in a rotation, or a turned-out position. Now, I really wanna feel the anchor from the left side of my pelvis, as I bend my right knee in as far as I can. Go in for this feeling of opening and stretch here, so I'm actually pulling in a little more, my arm, that felt really good, and then press up. The main purpose here is to get a good stretch. Pulling in, my knee out to the side a little bit Nice stretch.
Now a person could do this with the two springs, although I think the first time you're doing it, it's maybe a good idea to use just one. If you wanted to spring up another day, you could do that. And just one more time like that. And press up, good, we'll switch legs. I'm a little open.
My heels are not touching, that's what I mean by a little open, and I'm letting the bar and my foot on the diagonal, and then I'm gonna take my other leg down. Both legs are in external rotation. Now, for me on this left leg, this is a much more profound position, I really truly feel this so much more, and in a different way. We bend, and you might be able to sense that by the shaking from this hip. I'm never shy to show off my imbalances, we all have 'em.
Woo, there it goes. Nice big bend, so feel yourself pulling into the stretch, letting the spring pull you into the stretch, and then you're gonna push away, very good. And, huh, that feels wonderful, and we have just one more here. And then you can reach up with your hand and take the foot down. We'll move into our tower here, so scooch down until your elbows are straight.
Now, if you have neck issues, you may wanna omit this exercise, but the most important part is that you really have a powerful grasp with your arms here, so my elbows are firmly straight, and I want you to work with that. I'm gonna put the bar up, I'm gonna put one foot on, and then the other foot on. And so here I first wanna regain my powerful grip, feel my belly working. I flex my feet, straight legs if possible, I point my feet, using the abdominals, we're gonna roll up onto those shoulder blades here in a nice, high position. Bend then straighten the knees.
And roll down, hello train. Feel the hamstrings, feel the abdominals, feel the articulation. Flex your feet, point your feet. Use your abs and your hamstrings to roll up, bend and straighten. Think of bending and straightening at your hips here, rather than your knees.
Think about that, we'll do one more, please. We flex the feet at the bottom, we point the feet, and we roll up. We bend, and we straighten, my hamstrings are quivering, yum, and we're gonna roll down, good. Bend your legs in, I like to sit here for a moment and just hold the bar and give myself a little hug, a little stretch for my sacrum. It's much like the deep squat right here.
And I'm gonna take control of the bar with my hands, remove my feet, and bring myself up to a sitting position. At this point, we're going to remove the spring and no longer need the safety strap, so certainly if you wanna get yours out of the way, you can. So we're gonna take the safety strap. I have this creative way of doing it where I always hold the bar here, or push the bar with my elbow so that I can dismantle this without making noise. I don't like making noise when I'm on these pieces of equipment, as best as possible.
So there we go, there's that. We're gonna do just a little bit more abdominal work here, so you'll take your bar, your roll up bar, which is now up at the top, and we're gonna sit with the legs out in front of us, and now we're gonna work on this flowing rotation, and so if you don't want the spring up this high, just take it down, I just sort of like having a little extra spring to play with here. We're gonna just kinda roll back, let the spring really support you, and then roll up, so we do a couple like that. For me, for my shoulders, you have to be careful to kinda keep the shoulders in check here, and I purposefully have my arms up a little bit higher, just for that pull forward. And exhale to round back, it's a variation here.
And then round and roll up. So now this is where we have a little bit of fun. You're gonna go ahead and rotate to the left, or whichever side you choose, you're gonna round down the left side of your spine, around the other, and roll yourself up, and come back through center, reverse. Go, and just kinda let your eyes go. Feel the freedom of the movement.
If you don't feel that you can make a connection with your low back, try bending your knees so that you have the space to really articulate down. And I kinda prefer not to put the head down that last time, I put my head down a little more, but wasn't totally sure where I was. I sort of prefer this shape, and then back up. And then here we go, we round, and we feel that nice freedom of movement. (imitates cranking) Now we can add on a little bit.
We're just gonna keep going for a few moments. Adding on is coming up in just a moment, here, so we're even. The add-on is gonna be that the same leg I'm twisting to, so I'm twisting to the left, so my left leg is lifted, and then it rests on top of my other leg, but it doesn't completely rest. So I'm gonna keep that squeezing, and I'm gonna circle around, keeping that, my thigh bones squeezing together. I'm gonna go the same direction three times.
Pu-ba, pu-ba, pu-ba, pu-ba. Keeping that leg lifting, and now the next add-on would be to keep the leg lifting quite high, if you wanna try one like that. Good, and then we switch, so here I am, my right leg is on top, and then I'm gonna rotate (exhales) just kind of feeling that ease of movement, three times. Duh-dah, I think so often our movements are very controlled and organized, and while I want this to be controlled, I want there to be this flowing, oceanic feel here, much like my pants and the scenery behind us, good, we can rest that for now. We're gonna move into some hip work here, I've got my leg springs stashed back behind me, and I'm gonna go, I think, two up from the push-through bar for this.
Might be a little high. If it's too high for you, you'll take 'em down one, I think it'll work for me. And then how 'bout I take a nice little roll back for choreography's sake here. I would like you to work with your, some space, so we don't wanna be so close that our head is up underneath there, so if this spring is too much for you, you'll simply go down a notch or two. Think this'll work just fine for me.
In fact, let's work with our arms really pressing to straight here, I kinda like that idea here. So let's press those arms to straight, if it's too much, you'll bend your arms, and let's work in rotation external, taking the legs up in space, that's beautiful, so I've got a 90 degree at my hips, and then we're gonna pull all the way down and we're going to endeavor, ooh, I can't quite do it, to pull all the way down. There we go, we're gonna endeavor to pull all the way down, just check out that range, and let's do two more there. (breathes heavily) Really squeezing the heels together, I am in outward rotation right now. (breathes heavily) Now, pause in the middle range of motion, flex your feet, and we move into the frogs. Exhale to press out.
Now I find if I've done that first, that sort of down and up, bend and fold, or rainbow, whatever you wanna call it, it's a little easier for me to land in this lower position for my frog. Lower meaning that my feet go straight out, rather than the common mistake of kinda going up in space without knowing, so here's the shape that I would like to see. Keep the legs straight here, continue with three circles around and up to the top. Exhale down, around, and up to the top, and one more time, down, around, and we'll reverse our circles, just three. (exhales heavily) Feeling that little bit of freedom in the hips, but I find with the Cadillac, it's really, challenges me more, the strengthening component to pull down.
Bring the legs back up, find parallel alignment. One leg goes down, really anchor all the way through the pelvis, the other leg lifts beyond the spring tension, if possible. Meet in the middle, and change. One leg goes down, really anchor it, and then bring that leg up beyond the spring tension. Meet in the middle, and alternate, so big, long walking, but really focus on the anchoring all the way up to the pelvis, good, and then change.
And anchoring all the way up to the pelvis, so the leg that's down, my right leg, anchors the pelvis and the back of the leg. My other leg is endeavoring to reach up to the ceiling. Last time. (breathes heavily) And we can rest, bend the knees. (sighs) Remove the straps.
Sway your legs side to side a couple times. I like to hang on to the frame back here with bent elbows so my shoulders are open and also relaxed. Beautiful. And let's just roll off to one side here, and we'll make a shift into a little bit more oblique work. You're gonna use the spring arrangement as is, so the roll-up bar is attached at the top.
You could certainly change that if you'd like, moving it down if needed, but you're gonna hold with just one hand here. If you notice, I've started in this kneeling position right here, I'm gonna kinda lean myself over to the side, reach out. I like to measure that my hand can almost touch the edge of the Cadillac here, or the tower, rather, I know it's a tower, and then the spring is really almost holding me up, so I have very little weight on my arm, it's quite a cool feeling. And then we can stretch the legs out to straight, have the top leg just slightly in front, use this arm as much as you need, keep your shoulder plugged in, and we're just gonna take a little play with this top leg, forward in space, pa-pa, pa-pa, and back. And forward. (sighs) So I flex the foot forward (clicks), and back (clicks), and forward (clicks), and back (clicks), one more time.
Hold the leg back for a moment. Let's actually just work the leg up and down. Up, try to really tap into the glute there. Up. And up.
Now, up, lift your body up a little more, let the spring pull you up, and see if you can find the balance to actually kind of un-weight the hand there. Ooh, I like that, I like that a lot. Here we go, we're gonna do little circles with the leg, try not to put the hand down. Three (clicks) two, ooh, little ones behind you, one, reverse, ooh that's fun, ha. One, hee hee, (giggles) two, and three, stay.
Make a big split with your legs, a really big split, and then you're gonna ride the spring up, ooh. You're gonna nice and carefully put your bar away, and we're gonna stretch for a moment. Now, same leg that was forward is gonna kinda rest, I've got my back leg bent behind me, take my two hands down, and I'm gonna just relax over my leg. There was a time in my life where I felt like the knees always had to be straight. My clients would probably disagree with me, because I'm a little less concerned about that now, all the time.
So right now, I've got my leg soft, so that I can really give into the stretch and relax over. In a moment, I'm going to ask you to work it straight, and just see what the difference is. Keep this idea of somewhat being folded. I'm not relaxing all my energy, I'm using my arms a little bit here so I can be soft, now I'm gonna try to straighten my knee, the stretch just got bigger, and now I'm gonna flex my foot, the stretch just got huge, and now I'm gonna extend my back leg, which is currently bent to straight, and I'm in a pseudo-split. And I'm gonna take three more breaths here.
(breathes heavily) You can fold forward, you can lengthen up, explore here. This is a stretch. I can guide you, but it's really important that you pay attention to what your body needs. And then we're gonna soften that leg that's out in front, and come into a little bent knee stretch. Again, I'm taking this back leg bent, and I've got my knee bent at about a 90 degree angle, and when I'm in this position, I really like to kinda massage my hamstring a little bit on the edge of the table.
It feels really good, it's look aah, bliss. So let that happen, and I'm really hanging on that hamstring on the edge of the table. Then, I'm gonna try to push my thigh down a little bit, and I'm less concerned with what's happening everywhere else, I'm more concerned about just enjoying that right there. Little exploration, a little circular, a little forward and back. Spend just a couple more moments there.
And one final fold for me, all the way over. And then let's do the same thing on the other side. (chuckles) Let's reverse it here. You wanna kinda pull yourself out so you've got a good spring pull, if you will, and then you're going to kinda bring yourself down, straighten your two legs, reach this arm out, so I'm measuring that my fingers are just right at the edge of the table here, and that gives me this nice long line that I'm striving for. My bottom leg is a little forward, but not completely forward, and then I'm gonna see if I can just really hold this position lifting the other leg, the top leg, up.
And we're gonna do a little forward kicking. Forward flex (breathes heavily) and back. (breathes rhythmically) I'm using my classic breath here, the classic BASI breath. Forward with the flexed foot, and pointing back, we'll do just two more here. Working on stability and this feeling of kind of floating in space is quite interesting.
Now, stay back here. Now we're gonna just lift that leg up and down, trying to really tax, or tap into, rather, the glute. Really feel that glute. So for me, a little external rotation helps me find that, good. And now, lift one more time and hold here, and see if you can find your way to this feeling of floating, hovering, supporting with the abs, whoa, good, here we go, we're gonna do little circles.
Three, in whichever direction, it doesn't matter, just little circles. And then reverse, woo. (giggles) Little harder for me on this side. And then take a deep split with your legs, back with the back leg, forward, we're still floating, and then we just kinda fall into a nice stretch, so you can release this bar pretty easily, and now you can see the back view here, and you can see that my back leg is pretty soft back here, and my foot is quite active, so I'm in a good foot stretch, as well. And I'm purposefully keeping my front leg a little soft, so I can use the edge of the table to kinda knead into my hamstring a little bit, and just kinda relax into it, and feel. So I'm using also the table here to measure that my pelvis is pretty square, which is not always easy to do.
This is a nice way to work with it. So now that I'm in a stretch where I'm sort of relaxing forward, I'm stretching my back and my hamstring, I'm gonna straighten my knee, and feel that stretch change, and then I'm gonna flex my foot, and then I want you to do what you need to do here. You can relax down more, you can actually relax a little over, and that's gonna bring you into your IT band a little bit, or you can just hold it. (breathes heavily) Breathing in, and breathing out. Oh, I forgot to straighten the back leg.
How dare I. Here we go. Straighten the back leg, you're in a split. Hmm. And then come on outta that, and you can bend the front knee, so it's in that figure four stretch or glute stretch, piriformis stretch, and the back leg will come back for me to a bent position quite soft, and take a few moments relaxing into that hamstring, and then try to push the knee down just a little bit, and then relax over if it suits you.
(breathes heavily) See how grounded you can make your leg here. And breathing in, and breathing out. And then we'll gently come up from there. Beautiful, that feels nice. Now, I would like to exchange my, ooh not yet.
We have something we need to do. We need to do some thigh stretch here. So we're gonna move ourselves back so that I like to be just a little ahead of the center line, you can always move back or forward depending on your body. Hold onto the roll-up bar securely, draw your belly active, press your pelvis forward a little bit to make sure you're not here. You wanna really feel hamstrings and abs, so I'm actually gonna flex my spine a little bit in my mind, I'm really trying to go into a posterior tilt, and then I'm gonna hinge back, bending really only at my knees.
My hamstrings and my abdominals are working like crazy, and then I come back up. Good, so notice I've straightened out. I'm going to really try to flex my spine. Now for me, I have a pretty tight low back, so this is me in a posterior tilt, and this is me in flexion. Now I'm bending at my knees, so I'm getting a really great thigh stretch, also a lot of thigh work.
And then we're gonna come back up, I'm still in flexion, that's why my gaze is down, and then I straighten it out. We'll do two more before we add on, so really flexing the spine, lots of hamstrings and abdominals, hinging back, and come up, now we add on. Sitting tall. (breathes heavily) Here, we're gonna stay in this position, so make sure you're in a position you can manage, and we bend using the upper back. Feel the abdominals holding you still through the low spine. Feel the upper back really propelling the arm movement, more so than the biceps, so the shoulder blades kinda pull together, opening the heart.
We're gonna do it just one more time. (sighs) Both arms straight, and we come back up. Beautiful, and just kinda walk yourself forward a little bit here. Gonna do one more thing in this position. In a lunge position, so you'll take your front foot, I have left foot forward currently, doesn't matter which one you do first, and I'm in a position where I feel equal weight on the front and the back of my leg, and I'm holding the outside of the roll-up bar here.
Bend both knees, so I'm in a nice, deep lunge. This could be your deep lunge. This could be your deep lunge, where is it deep for you? And let's do some bicep curls here, keeping your body nice and still. You all caught me at home using the window back there as a mirror to make sure I'm nice and straight. (laughs) We have to be able to check ourselves out at times.
Here we go, hold the elbows bent, step into your front leg. Switch sides. Step back, equal weight on both legs, straighten your elbows, bend, find the lunge that suits you, and here we go. (breathes heavily with movement) And one more time here, keep your elbows bent. Step into your front leg, both feet down.
Good, keep your elbows bent, knees and feet together. We're gonna keep the elbows bent, and we're gonna bend as low as we can stay upright. So this might be your end, you might go a little further, what I don't want is for you to lean back or fold forward. And press, let's do that three more times. Bend only as low as you can stay upright.
And press up, and bend as low as you can stay upright. And press up. Release that. We'll quickly change out for our handles for one final arm exercise targeting the back a little bit more, and utilizing that same squat position. Certainly, it's important for you at home to make sure that you're working at the level that your body says is okay, not the level that my body says is okay.
So I'm gonna go back to where the springs are pretty stretched, and I like to put my feet together, my big toes touching. So those of you that take yoga, this is kinda like a chair pose position. We're gonna squeeze the knees a bit together, and bend into a deep squat, a squat that suits you. I'm not leaning into the spring, I'm on my legs, but the spring is helping me go a little deeper and stay upright. Two arms at a time, we pull back with our upper back, and forward, and we pull back, and forward.
Feel the control forward, this is the option one right here, here's option two with rotation. We pull just one arm, rotating around, keeping your knees square, and we switch. Rotating around, keeping your legs glued together, so feel the movement coming from the upper back using the obliques, and I'm getting a little tired in my legs, so we're gonna do two more each side. Yes, stay with me. Nice, big powerful rotation, and nice, big powerful rotation, one more please.
(breathes heavily) And last one. (breathes heavily) Two arms straight. Stand tall. Just to keep it neat and clean over here I'm going to remove these springs so we can do our final back extension. I'm gonna use one of the springs from the bottom here, gonna use one of these red springs.
You could use a blue, or you could use two blues, or you could use a red. To keep things quiet, I'm gonna take these away for now, too. We'll do some prone exercises here, focusing on back extension. You wanna get a hold of the bar here, bring yourself down on your belly, and stretch your arms out, so the settings should be so that your arms are, when they're straight, they're about in alignment with the poles, that's usually a good place. If possible, work on the idea of keeping the knees pretty close together, but if your low back says they need to separate, that's okay, more importantly than close together, I'm looking for neutral alignment.
So for most of us it feels like we have to turn our knees in. I actually have an idea, let's tuck the toes under and straighten the legs, so push down through the tops of the feet a little bit, not the tops of the feet, but the pads of the feet, and then now press down through your pelvis so my legs are lifted but my pelvis is down. That really anchors me nicely and allows me to find neutral alignment here better. And now I want you to just keep that arrangement, with your legs together or parted, whatever works, and we lift to a little back extension, floating the body up rather than pushing the body up. What does that mean?
A lot of people push down through the bar to lift. Instead, draw your shoulders to your back body. Feel the reverse articulation, and make your fingers as light as you can on the bar, but still keep a good hold here. And then lower down. We'll do one more just like that.
Now, you can stick with the same exercise, or you can take a break if needed, but I really enjoy the shoulder stretch here of prone two, so I'm gonna release my feet. Here we're gonna bend the arms back. Play with this for a moment, and really feel this idea of opening through the shoulder blades and the collar bones, versus pinning the elbows back, we're opening here. And then reach back forward again. So I'm reaching through again, I'm just doing the shoulder stretch first, and then here I'm kind of opening here, spreading my collar bones and my shoulder blades, and reaching forward.
Now this time we're gonna go all the way up. I'm opening, I'm gonna extend my arms as much as I possibly can, hopefully going almost all the way to straight before I lift my body to that full back extension position. And then I lower my body down, keeping the arms there, pulling them through as needed, but really going into that nice shoulder stretch, and all the way out to straight. Again, feel that stretch, I'm gonna turn the corner, opening through my collar bones and my shoulder blades, and then coming down. We'll do one more.
Certainly, if that's enough for your shoulders or your back, you can abort a little sooner, work up to it, but one more feels right on my body. (breathes heavily) Oh, yes, that's so wonderful. So here as we come through this last time, we wanna make sure we, with ease, bring that bar up to rest, move your body back in space so there's no danger of hitting the bar, and let's sit in child's pose for three breaths here. Your arms can be stretched out in front of you, or you can take your arms behind you if you prefer, toward your feet. I like to shift side to side a little bit and just ease up my back.
Good. And then let's just close this up today with a couple moments in that deep squat that I like so much, so you could be off the back edge of your Cadillac. We might not be able to see that on film, so I'm just gonna do it right here, and I'm gonna use the pole here as needed. I'm just gonna go into my squat that feels good, I'm gonna find a spot, and I'm just going to linger here for a moment and enjoy that. Let my head dangle, you could hold with two arms, with one arm, maybe you don't really need to hold very much anymore, maybe you can just be in that position and find this feeling of rest, of release.
(breathes heavily) For those of you that have taken classes with me over the last couple years, I've become really addicted to (giggles) really addicted to this feeling. It feels wonderful, it's helped my body tremendously, my back discomfort and tightness, my hip discomfort, and then I'm just gonna kinda use my arm to bring myself forward enough so that I can look forward with ease. That's the part that's hard for me. Still a little tight in my ankles, but you just kinda feel the ease here. Look forward, and then I'm gonna use my legs, and I'm gonna bring myself up to standing.
And then with two feet on the ground, I'll finish with a roll down. Head, upper back is releasing, arms are releasing. I don't like to pull my shoulders away from my ears here, I like to let everything hang heavy, especially at the end of the session, certainly you can shape that how you please. Engage your abdominals and then roll up through the back. So you'll come up to standing.
Take just a moment and set your body. Feel ready for the rest of your day, evening, whatever it may be, feel long and tall, grounded through two feet, take your arms up for a big lift, look up. And as the arms travel down, keep your heart open, your head high, (giggles) and thanks so much for playing.