Class #3121

Mat for Hips and Low Back

25 min - Class


Your spine will feel brand new after this Mat workout with Trent McEntire. He teaches subtle movements which use lower back support during hip and leg activity. By the end of the class you will feel more space between your vertebrae.
What You'll Need: Mat, Theraband

About This Video

Jul 19, 2017
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I'm Trent McEntire, welcome to class. We're gonna start lying on your back. And you wanna get comfortable so that you have your arms about 45 degrees from your body. And your palms are gonna face up. If you'd rather have your palms facing in you can do that but I'm gonna say not facing down for now.

So either up or facing in, knees bent, and your legs are gonna be really close together, so your feet are touching if they can, your knees are touching if you can. So bent right up, so your feet are on the ground. Great. So these are just some really simple knee drops. Start very small, and your legs are gonna fall to one side and let the top leg be heavy into the bottom leg.

And then come back for your center. So real small to start, so it's not a large motion at all. So you just do a small tip, one side of your pelvis will come off the mat a little bit, and then you're gonna return back so your pelvis is level. Let the top leg be heavy, just kinda give into gravity with it. And then return back to flat.

And you're gonna try and keep your feet on the ground, so your legs will have to slide by each other. So as you go to one side, your knees will not stay in the same place. They will slide on each other. Good. Yeah, so they're not ziplocked together, there's some room to move in there.

And start to make that a little bit bigger. Let's all fall toward me and stay there for a second. Take a nice full breath in like that. And then from your abdominals you're gonna bring your pelvis and then that brings your legs back to your center. And then fall to the other direction, away from me.

Good. Nice full breath in there. Start with the abdominals of that exhale. Bring the pelvis, that brings the legs, and as the legs fall this way, let gravity help you. So you're not controlling and squeezing too much.

You're letting gravity start to open up that low back. So to get the hips to move a little bit. And then back for center abs leading. And then falling away. Good.

Nice breath in there. On the exhale now, come up through center and go right to the other side. Nice, full breath in there. Use the exhale, the abs pull the legs up and over. So the legs are arcing to the other side.

So we'll take out that stop in the middle. You go right from that one side all the way to the other side. Nice. And let's add on, do it again. Away from me, all the way over there.

Now let your arm that's closest to me reach on a bit of a diagonal away from that knee. So you have your knees reaching one diagonal, and your eyes are gonna turn a little bit to that other hand. You got it. And then back through center, and let the arms slide down a little bit. Let your knees fall toward me.

Other arm reaches out that diagonal. Good. Nice breath in there, and back through center. Good, try it again, let the knees fall. Turn and look toward the hand.

Back through center. A little faster, here we go. Drop the legs, turn the head, reach the arm. Back through center. Keep going.

(exhaling deeply) Nice. The arms stay on the ground, so you're not really lifting, you let it slide if you can, even if you have to work around your neighbor. Say hi, give 'em a high five. Drop to this next side and stay there. Three breath cycles here, nice wide breath.

Open the ribs, open the back, exhale, heavy legs. Find something opening in there. Nice, again. (exhaling deeply) One more expansive breath. Then use the next exhale to come through center to the other side.

Three breath cycles on this side. Find that diagonal. Knees are reaching one way, arm reaching the other. Eyes on the hand if you can. (exhaling deeply) Another breath in there.

Then use that exhale to bring you back to center. Arms by your side, you're gonna go palms facing down for this one but I want you to be at 45 here. So we're not narrow on the mat, actually we'd rather have you off the mat. Alright, 45, good. Take your feet about two inches away from your pelvis.

Away, away from your pelvis, there we go. I know instinct is to make it as easy as possible, I'm gonna have you make it a little harder, right. So further out for me here, away from your pelvis. Good. Take a nice inhale like this, on the exhale you're gonna elevate, or you'll life your pelvis up in the air, so no curling, just a lift up.

Good. Take a breath in like that. And you're gonna lower it down like an elevator lowering down, no curling, just lower down. So we're not rocking the pelvis or squeezing your gluts to initiate it. It's a leg and abdominal coordination, do it.

Bring that pelvis up. Nice breath in while you're there. And lower down. Just make sure your feet are at least hip distance apart. But not too close together, let them breathe a little bit.

And try it again, lift up there. Nice. Nice breath in like that. Lower down but don't touch the mat, hover. Good, take a breath in that hover zone.

Make sure that your lower back and pelvis is in neutral, that you're not tucked under, and you're not exaggerating in the other way either, arching. On that exhale, lift back up (exhaling deeply) to the top of your lift. Nice breath in there. And then lower down to a hover, just a little bit off the mat. Almost feel your gluts touch, and then back up again.

Lift. Nice breath in there. Down to the hover, stay there. Now in the next exhale I want you to drop your hip, so one hip touches the mat, the other hip is off the mat. Come back through center, so you're in the hover.

Don't lift it too high. And then other hip touches. It's a small rotation of the pelvis. And then back to your center. So if it was a ship, one side of the ship tips over, and then you come back through center.

And then other ship, side of the ship tips over. Back through center. Make sure you find center each time, that you're not rushing to go side to side. No rough seas, just real smooth tip. Find center.

Smooth tip. Find center and stay there. And lower down, all the way. Bring your arms up in the air, palms facing in toward each other, repeat the lift of the pelvis, come an inch off the ground. Small lift.

Good. And repeat the tip. Let's take an inhale to tip your hip down, exhale, come back through center. I want you to bring this a little more neutral for me, so your tail doesn't curl, that's it, good. Other side.

Breathe in as you tip, exhale as you right the ship back to center. Inhale to tip (inhaling deeply), exhale back to center. Very low, and get as low as you can. One side of your hip touches, back to center. Yeah, last time.

Back to the middle, and then lower down. Nice. Rest right there, good. Let your legs stretch out long here. Arms can rest wherever you'd like them to go.

You're gonna flex the feet. Bring your legs so they're underneath your pelvis, but they're not touching. Right. And you're gonna reach your one leg longer that the other one, so one leg is gonna literally slide on the mat away from you, so the pelvis will shift, and then you're gonna change the other side which is longer. Just a little bit of a side, shortening to reach the leg long.

And think of yawning through one leg, and then yawning through the other. Or like a cat, kinda how they massage the pillow. Reach that long, and then change sides. And let's take that with an exhale. So we exhale to reach (exhaling deeply) and just reach, good.

It's a small motion so it shouldn't look like a lot, but it should feel like you have that yawning through your hips and low back. Nothing extreme, nothing that's pinching. Nice, just to work out those kinks and get yourself ready for the next thing. Good, find the middle and rest right there, good. Let's flip on to your stomach, let's stay heads facing where they're at.

So you just flip onto your stomach from there. And you're gonna stack your hands, on top of each other. And rest your forehead down on your hands. And just take a check that you have your ribs flat on the mat, that you're not arching to stay there. Your shoulders are nice and wide, so you're not jamming them up towards the ears.

Open the legs about hip distance apart. And just lift one leg in the air, and stay there. Doesn't matter which leg, we're gonna do both. Stay there and reach the leg a little bit longer. Full length, then set that leg down.

That's where the leg is gonna live. That's that leg's start position. Other side, lift up in the air, let's get this leg's start position. Find a little more length in that leg, nice. Lower it down, good.

So take your breath in for me here. On your exhale, narrow and connect through your abdominals, so you have a pre-connection there. Now lift one leg in the air (exhaling deeply). And then lower that leg down. And then exhale, abs first, then the other leg lifts up.

Good. And lower down. Good, try it again. Abdominals first, lift the leg for length, not so high that you get in your lower back, or it becomes a different kind of exercise. We're just looking for the start of hip and leg activity here.

With some lower back support, so you don't feel like you really have a lot of lower back shortening for this. It's very much in the hips, very much in the hamstrings. Nice. Double check your shoulders, you're not straining there. They're integrated, and on your back, good.

Now we go to both legs at the same time. So it starts in the abs so follow with me this time. On the exhale gather the abdominals together. Then lift the legs off the mat. Breathe in while they're there.

Deepen the abs (exhaling deeply), lower them down. Good. Inhale there, exhale gather the abdominals first, then lift the legs up. Breath in while you're there. Gather the abdominals on the exhale.

Lower them down. So each exhale there's more ab work. Inhale, prepare, exhale, deepen that connection first, then the legs lift, breathe in while you're there. And lower them down. Lift your head and upper back one inch higher than where it's at.

So it's gonna hover. Head and upper back one inch high. Hands stay down, here we go. Make sure the head's off the hands (exhaling deeply). Gather the abs and lift.

Breathe in and hold it Start the exhale, gather deeper into the abs, and lower (exhaling deeply). Inhale there, exhale gather the abs. Lift, keep your legs at least hip distance apart. Reach longer there. And lower back down.

Last time. Exhale, gather the abs first, then lift. Good, stay right there. Three breath cycles, holding the length but deepening the abdominals, deepening the upper back. Lift a little higher for me now.

Yep, just challenge that a little bit. No strain, last breath cycle takes you all the way back down. Nice job. Good, gonna change to your sides, so you can face me, so you can see. So in your sideline position, I like to hold my head here.

If you feel better about kind of using your arm as a pillow, that's good. For this one we're not gonna prop though, we're not gonna push up this way. We're gonna get right on that shoulder, and a little space underneath the rib cage. So your spine is neutral that you're not dropping ribs down. You have actually a little lift.

So you can kind of slide a pencil underneath there. Feet underneath your hips. So you're in a really long line. And you're gonna have your top hand as a little bit of support here. Right.

And I want your head to on your spine, so don't sit here like your head's hanging down, flopping off or it's too high. So work on that neutral. Your top leg is gonna lift here, and you're gonna go higher than your hip. And let's talk about where that top placement is, that you're not gonna allow a shortening here. You're gonna keep that long, so as the leg is lifting, you're going from the hip, not from your spine moving.

That's important. Okay, here we go. We're gonna breath in while you're here, and on that exhale you're gonna lift up only as high as you can go without the pelvis tipping up in the lower back, and then lower back down. Good. And exhale (exhaling deeply).

Then if you can, we're gonna point the feet, so we're gonna be changing the feet as we do this. But for just start here, just to get the bottom of the foot, get that nice long reach, that exhale lifts you up. (exhaling deeply) Nice. Good, and lift up and stay there. Remember it's higher than your hip, you're gonna bend the knee and flex the foot.

And that heel's gonna trace on the line underneath your hip. So don't bring it in front of you yet, just keep it underneath your pelvis. Straighten the leg higher than your hip and point the foot. So it's a nice bend and stretch here. So bend in, flex the foot.

Exhale, reach out and point the foot (exhaling deeply). Good, try it again. Bend and flex it in. Keep it higher than your hip the whole time. So even as it comes in, that foot is a little higher than your hip.

But not just shorten the waist, so keep that little bit of lift so you can fit a pencil underneath the ribs and the waist there. I don't ask for much, just about 12 things at once. (laughing) Good, out you go. Good. One more time like that.

Bring it in, keep it up high. Take it out long. Reach nice and long there. Good, and then just lower it down right there. Good.

Alright now, you're gonna bring your bottom leg so that it's forward, so you can see it easily if you look down at it. And if you can come up onto the ball of the foot and support that leg, you can do that. If that's too much then you can just leg the leg hang flat there, so that's an option for you. Start with the top leg underneath your hip here. Good.

And you're gonna bend in like this. And now you're gonna kick the leg forward, not 90 though, stay down of 90. I don't want you going so high. More like 45-ish, and gonna bend the knee in. And you're gonna push the leg behind you.

And point the foot. And without rolling your pelvis around. So bend in here (inhaling deeply). You're gonna flex the foot as you go forward (exhaling deeply) Bend in, point the foot as you go back. Little coordination.

Good, not too high for this one, you're gonna stay more toward hip level for now (exhaling deeply). Push the heel, good, bring it in. Point the foot and reach behind you. Nice, and bring it in. And it goes forward, sorry flex the foot there.

Good. And reach it back (exhaling deeply). Good. Let's upgrade this, bend your knees in. So you have three main points of contact.

You have your hand, your shoulder and your bottom hip. You're gonna really leverage those three points. So push on the top hand here. Lift your knees and feet off the mat. There's your start position.

Not too short though, stay nice and connected in the abdominals. So the top leg goes forward, the bottom leg goes back, to that 45, maybe a little lower than 45. Bend in, keep the knees off the ground. And then switch (exhaling deeply) (inhaling deeply) (exhaling deeply) Good, don't be afraid to use that arm, I want you to really leverage so you get those abdominals to connect. Yeah, good, and stretch through.

Good. A little pencil lift underneath. Yeah, nice. Good. Hold there, hold it, switch legs.

(exhaling deeply) Straight legs. (inhaling deeply) (exhaling deeply) (inhaling deeply) Deepen that ab connection. It's hard, but it's doable. Nice job. (inhaling deeply) (exhaling deeply) Last one, and switch (exhaling deeply), bend in and lower down.

Nice. Stay facing me and change sides. Check out your alignment so that you have straight legs. You can use that hand for your head or support it with your whole arm. So make sure the legs are back so that underneath your pelvis you have a straight line.

Yep, it might feel like they're behind you. Sometimes when they're really under you, it feels like they're behind you. Okay, we're gonna point both feet. Start with the top leg. Lift that leg up, let's just find the top on this side too.

A little lift so you could fit a pencil underneath the ribs there. And it's higher than your hip. And here we go, lower down. Good, so we're gonna inhale like this, exhale to lift the leg higher than your hip, but don't shorten the waist at all, lower it down. (inhaling deeply) Good, and exhale.

Gather the abdominals so you have that support. And then lower it down. Good. Well, it's important to go higher than your hip. Don't feel like higher is better.

All we need is just a little higher than the hip, to get the connection we're looking for. Good. I'd rather have a more solid connection through your abdominals and your torso, and if that means the leg is lower, it's gonna be more productive for you, you're gonna get more out of it. Good. So let that head come down a little bit so it's not higher than the rest of you.

Cool, good. And this next one you're gonna lift and stay there. Good, okay go. Alright so now you're gonna bend and stretch, so when you bend in, keep the foot higher than your hip. And then send it out long, point the foot.

Good, bend it in. And yeah, second side's always more fun than the first side. (laughing) It's good that you're facing me and the folks at home can't see your facial expressions. Nice, reach long, then keep it up high, don't let it get sad. Good, reach.

Last one. And reach, good, now you're gonna bend it in here, and you're gonna kick it forward (exhaling deeply). Not 90, bend in and point it behind you. Good. Bend in, flex the foot about 45, and exhale.

Bend it and breathe in. Exhale, point the foot and reach behind you. Not more than 45, especially. If you go more than 45, especially your lower back is gonna start to kick in. So even a little bit lower than 45 is really quite workable.

(inhaling deeply) (exhaling deeply) Good. (inhaling deeply) (exhaling deeply) Good, bend in, rest right here, good. And just a reminder on that one, make sure that your bottom leg is forward. I didn't remind you on this one, so some of you had it underneath you, but make sure it does come forward. So that when you're doing that you have the leverage and support for that.

Bend both knees in for the next exercise. Hand, shoulder and hip. Lift the knee up, you have this tripod to help you. Top leg goes forward, bottom leg goes back. Bend until they match.

And switch (exhaling deeply) Bend in, and switch (exhaling deeply). Good, so your head, your ribs and your pelvis are all on one line. Don't let your head lift, bring your head down, yeah, yeah, yeah. You can bring your head up, yeah, yeah (laughing). Good.

One more each way, reach. Good, you're in the home stretch, straight legs, stay straight, and they're gonna switch. (exhaling deeply) (inhaling deeply) (exhaling deeply) (inhaling deeply) (exhaling deeply) (inhaling deeply) (exhaling deeply) Good, two more. (inhaling deeply) (exhaling deeply) Last one. Nice, bend both knees in, change to your back, keep your heads in the same place you have them.

Just lie on your back. Let's do hip rolls here. You're welcome (laughing). Feet are gonna be hip distance apart. Good, and a little bit away from your pelvis, so you have some room to leverage there.

So the hip rolls start with the abdominals. On the exhale, rock your pelvis, curl it under a little bit. Add your legs and bring your hips up in the air, so articulate right up in the air. Tip up the middle of your shoulders. Try not to get to the top of the shoulders and your neck.

Just the middle of the shoulders. Take a full breath in here. And before you lower the hips, lower the ribs. Then the lower back, now the pelvis can come down. So we can get a little more articulation going on in there.

When you land, let those hips fully release. No glut activity. Start with the abdominals on the exhale, rock the pelvis, that brings you all the way up to mid shoulders. Good. Let's find those arms back to 45, like we had 'em earlier.

That'll open up and give you some room, nice. On the way down, now exhale, ribs first, then the mid back, lower back, then the pelvis. Nice job. Good. One more like that, just to work out those kinks and to get both sides working together again.

Nice. Take your breath at the top. And lower down, good. Good, grab your band for me. And the band is gonna go around your legs, just above your knees.

If the band gives you too much challenge, if it's too difficult, you can make it lighter by just removing the band during this same exercise. And then face me on your side. Hardest part of the day is tying your band in a bow, (laughing) so it's not a knot. You're never going to escape, that's good. (laughing) We'll just keep going all day.

Alright so the top knee lifts up, the feet stay connected. You're gonna open that leg up. Good, and lower down. Now make sure that you're not letting the pelvis roll at all. Good.

Good, alright, now from here the knee lifts, and it's like a wave, and your leg is a surfboard. It's gonna go up and over the wave, the knee's gonna lead down, and touch. Five of those, up, turn it in, lower it down. Lift the knee, lift the foot. Lower the knee, lower the foot.

And we're gonna breathe in, up. Exhale down (exhaling deeply). Good, up. And down. This one's gonna stay up, find it level, and then on your own you're just gonna spell your name in cursive with your knee as the pen.

Here we go. If you have a short name, do it twice. (laughing) If you have a long name, I'm so sorry. Good, dot your I's, cross your T's. Nice, nooks and crannies, right?

Good. When you finish you can lower the leg. Nice job, change sides. I'm taking mine off but you have to keep it on for the other side. (laughing) Nice try.

Ready, ready? Feet under hips, you're in the home stretch, you're almost done. Doing great. Keep the knees bent, top leg, the knee's gonna lift but the feet stay connected. And then lower it back down.

Good. And then lift the knee. And then lower it back down. Keep those feet touching so it's like a clam shell kind of opening up. Keep those feet together, and just rotate from the hips while the knee lifts.

Cool. Now it's like a wave, and your leg's a surfboard. The knee comes up, the foot comes up, the knee goes down, the foot goes down. Good, five more like that. Inhale on the way up, exhale on the way down.

Good, if you're like me, you like one way but the other way is not so fun. Rotation one way is good, rotation the other way maybe a little more challenging. Good. Last one, take it up, find it level. Your knee is the pen, write your name in cursive.

Good, keep that abdominal connection. Little lift under the ribs so you're not collapsing the waist. Dot your I's, cross your T's. Don't turn blue on me, keep breathing. Nice, good, when you're done you can set your leg down.

Last thing, on your back. Go back to your hip rolls, just to get both legs working together again. Let's keep your band, open your legs so the band has a slight resistance. Arms by your side 45, palms facing up. Inhale like this, exhale start with the abdominals.

Roll the pelvis up (exhaling deeply). Get to the top here, good. Open the feet a little bit wider for me there. Great. Start with the exhale, let the ribs start it.

Then the mid back, the low back. You might notice you've gained maybe three or four extra vertebrae you didn't have at the beginning of class. I see it, I see you in the front. You got like a whole new spine up there. Roll it up again.

Good. Not to the top of the shoulders, remember. Just mid shoulder so you're not putting pressure on the neck. And then melt it down, kinda get lazy as you land. Give into gravity, just let, enjoy spreading out there.

One more time. Rock the pelvis (exhaling deeply). Up you go. Equal weight in the feet. Exhale ribs start, (exhaling deeply) melt it down, right there.

All the way down. Gluts just completely zero work. One more breath in there, fill the back up, fill the ribs up. (inhaling deeply) Exhale (exhaling deeply), and you're all done. Good.

Nice work you guys. (class clapping) Good.

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3 people like this.
Fantastic class!
2 people like this.
Back feels great after class. Hips not so much. ))
Great Dorit ! :)
1 person likes this.
I love this series so far! Thank you :)
3 people like this.
Thanks, Trent! I needed this. Oh, and so do most of my clients! ;)
1 person likes this.
Loved it!!
2 people like this.
What a fantastic class, what a lovely voice to listen to and very clear instruction . Thank you Trent .
2 people like this.
nice session....absolutely loved the subtle progressions.
so by .strengthening & lengthening hips we are able to stabilize in the low back better thus avoiding low back tightness & pain?
3 people like this.
Im a veteran of about 100,000 hip twists. It felt completely new and much improved with Trent's instruction. I think it is literally the first time my abdominals were recruited to do the work. I'm not a pilates teacher but have taught this exercise to thousands of pregnant women. My guidance is going to be soooo vastly improved. My own daily practice too. Thank you.
Yes! Jennifer !
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