Hey everyone, it's me, Erica Quest, back for another BOSU mat workout. If you don't have a BOSU balance trainer, many of these movements you can do with something that you might have at home or in your studio, so please feel free to do that. But if you have a balance trainer, then come along and join Nico and Meri and I in this workout. We're going to start standing, facing your balance trainer. I like to call this home.
So, think about your feet, about hip distance apart. Think about your big toes, think about your little toes, think about your heels, as your tripods of support. Think about your feet reaching down and grounding you down, and the opposition of the arms as they float up. (inhales) From here, bend your elbow, open your heart center, (exhales) and connect on the back of your body here a little bit. Let's do that again.
From here, inhale as the arms float, (inhales) and then exhale, bend those elbows, and open that chest. One more, please, as you inhale. Again, let the arms be a reaction to the opposition of the feet reaching down. And then bend the elbows, open that chest. Now, as the arms come down, this time, I want you to gaze downwards, take a look at that labile surface, your balance trainer.
Place your hands down onto the dome, and simply bend your knees, and place them onto the bull's eye, or the apex of your balance trainer. Now, here's the deal. We're all snowflakes. All of our bodies are different. Everyone's going to look and feel different, and have different positioning on your balance trainer, and that's fine.
Tuck your toes under, onto the floor for more stability. If you want a challenge, lift the toes off. From here, reach those arms forward, and just start a little backstroke with me. So, one arm up and rotate around. Give me some nice shoulder mobility happening here, some rotation through the spine, and just noticing what's happening in the kneeling position, with the knees down on that labile surface.
Inhale as you lift, rotate, come around, and forward. Good, and two more. We're going to add a hip hinge here in just a moment. So, let's take this in the amount that we're in a pool, and we're doing a bit more backstroke. So, hip hinge, and take that backstroke.
Uh-huh, and again. Hinge and reach, and again, now's the time, if you'd like to remove a contact point, that you can lift those toes up, and challenge your balance. Balance, as you may know, or if you don't know, starts to decline at the age of 30, and it needs to be trained in all six body positions. Two more, please, and now we're taking it down into quadruped. So, if you train it in multiple body positions, guess what?
Your balance is going to improve, and you're going to have better fall prevention and reaction time. Take your hands, bring them down to the floor. Let's set you up in quadruped. Before we start some movement here of the spine, let's do some sternum drops and set the shoulders. So, from here, inhale, let the shoulder retract and the sternum drop.
Exhale, push the floor away. (exhales) Again, inhale as you drop the sternum down, and exhale as you press that floor away. Good, just notice what's happening in your scapula today. Notice how you feel. We're going to be doing some planking and some shoulder stability, needed items in this workout, so you want to check in on your body. Last one, press the floor away, and keep yourself there.
Let's start to articulate the spine a little bit. Start with your tail. So drop the tail and let the rest of the spine react to that. Lifting the spine to the ceiling and rounding the body around that imaginary stability ball or your beach ball, come back in, find your neutral spine position, and then slightly go into back extension, focusing more on the upper middle back here. Do it again, exhale, drop that tail 'round, lift, and hollow, find the posterior abdominal wall, back into neutral, set those shoulders, and then slide into back extension.
Two more, exhale, drop the tail, round, lift and hollow, and through that neutral position, and then upper middle back extension. Last one, as you drop the tail and react. Good, and back through that neutral position. One more small back extension for me, here, please, and then come back to a neutral position. Now, we're going to do dome thoracic rolling.
What I want you to do is lift the spine into that rounded position, and then start to roll through in a circular pattern, and just notice what's happening here, as you do this. One side's going to feel a little bit more coordinated than the other, I can promise you that, and that's okay, don't judge yourself. Give me one more in this direction, and then see if you can figure out the other direction. I hope I can. (laughing) I don't know if I can, but I'll try. So, just getting some rolling and some movement from the spine, and in different angles, and in different trajectories, and just seeing how your mobility feels today.
You know, life is really the right amount of mobility and stability, so just check in on your mobility here. Now, quiet that for me, please. Come back onto your toes, lift your hands up, and just shake out your wrists for a moment. I want to keep you down on your knees just for a little bit more tail wag, and the I'll bring you back up out. So, hands come back down, again, find your shoulder stability.
Take your right heel, and bring it up towards your right tush. Now, you're going to use your kneecap as a pivot point. As you wag your tail out, you're going to look towards that foot, and then you're going to wag across the midline of the body, and try to find that toe on the other side. If you can, great, if you can't, don't worry, don't judge yourself. Each side feels different, but now we're focusing on lateral flexion, as well as some cervical rotation of the spine.
Good, give me one more. We'll take it to about four from side to side. Great, now from here, you want to switch over, and again, see what's happening on the other side. So, from here, wag the tail out, first, try and find that pinky toe with your eye gaze, then across the midline of the body, and look for that big toe. See if you can get there on this side as well.
Maybe you can, and maybe you can't. But that's the whole point of training yourself from side to side, and just seeing what your ability is and trying to make improvements from day to day in your movement sessions. Great, go ahead and quiet that. Come back, tuck the toes. Place the hands onto the dome, and I want you to step back into a plank position.
Now, as you're here, you're going to press yourself up into more of a piked position, and I want you to translate the load through the fingertips here. The wrists are in almost a neutral position. Now bend one knee, and then start a little bit of prancing or jogging with the feet, just starting to get some pedaling of the feet here, noticing what's happening in the dorsiflexion of the foot, how your hamstrings are feeling, getting some nice, dynamic flexibility going on back there. Give me four more, and three, good, two, and one. Now, here's the deal.
I want you to take one leg, and bring it up to the side of the BOSU. You're going to take that back leg, and you're going to put it down on the mat or the floor. Take your hand that's towards your forward knee, and slide it out onto the floor on the outside of the foot. And all I want you to do is lean outward, and get a little bit of hip mobility going on, and then come back, again. You don't want to hold in that static position.
I want you to really feel that dynamicness of the flexibility or the stretching here. And three more, good, and two, super. Last one, coming out and away. And again, bringing that hand back onto the dome, pressing yourself up, transitioning through in plank, and coming to the other side. So, again, you're going to place the back knee down.
Taking your forward hand, sliding it under the leg, and onto the floor, and just notice what this other side feels like. Out and in, again, it's just an opportunity to get some dynamic flexibility happening, some hip opening. Three more, good, and last, two, and give me one more, come back, place both hands, again, back down onto the dome, step or walk yourself back into plank, either step or hop back in, and round and roll yourself all the way back up. Now, we're going to start to stand up on the dome. So, come around behind your balance trainer, and take a step up onto your dome.
And I want you to think about having your feet about hip distance apart, parallel, about. So just think about where your feet are, and where your body is at in space. You're about, whoo!, 11 inches off of the floor, so if you have to take a step down at any time, feel free to do so. And I'm giving you some time to really feel where your body is at in space, and your center of gravity, because balance training is supposed to be fun, and not fearful, so no judgment, as you're starting to do some of these movement patterns. Simply, we're going to be starting to do a circle around the top of the dome, with our feet.
So, I want you to lead with one foot. You can start in whatever direction works for you, and you're going to try and stay on top of the dome, as you make that circle. Your arms can be down, your arms can be out, your arms cam be in a more athletic position, whatever feels good for you. Once you get facing forward, guess what happens? You have to reverse your direction?
So, that means you're switching your lead foot. Okay, so the lead foot switches, because we can't also lead with the same foot, because we have to be as comfortable from side to side as possible. So, great job, you survived that one. Now here's the deal, I want to take your feet into different positions, because we need to. So, slightly take your feet forward and point the toes down towards the rim of the BOSU.
Now, again, you have the gas pedal, so you can go as close to the rim as you want, or if you need to pull back a little bit, that's fine too. We've just changed your center of gravity. You're going to make those circles yet again. So, again, start with one foot. If you have to take a step down, it's totally fine.
I will be a broken record. Balance training is supposed to be fun and not fearful, and that's the great thing of only being (laughs) 11 inches off of the floor. Now, again, what goes in one direction has to reverse, so here we go, lather, rinse, repeat, other direction. And again, I don't care where your hands are. Do what feels comfortable for you, but also notice, if, because you're doing these movement patterns, you might be taking a little bit of stress in other areas.
Try and let go of that, okay? This is supposed to be joyful for you. It might be challenging at times, and that's okay, but it should feel joyful and challenging, coupled with one another. Third position, a foot position that is the most challenging, but the most needed for all of us, is dorsiflexion of the feet. So, take a slight step backwards.
The toes are going to be lifting towards the knees, activating the tibialis anterior. The tibialis anterior's super, super critical, fall prevention, whoo, reaction time. Here we go, you're going to start that circle yet again, and we might (laughs) have to take a step down on this one, I don't know. Remember, COG, center of gravity has changed, and that's okay, and notice your foot. Can you go, whoa, toe, ball, heel?
Can you not? These simple, well, not really simple, but effective movements really, really help. Other direction. You thought I forgot, but I didn't. I got your back, don't worry.
Wooo, nice and easy, take your time. Everyone's staying up on their dome so far, good job. Now here's the deal. Just in those three foot positions, you're going to take a step back atop the dome, where we started, and notice what's happening in your body. Have you quieted things in your system?
You probably have, right? So your body is really absorbing the sense of invisible learning in that very short period of time, so, congratulations. So, now bring your feet closer to the bull's eye, one in particular, because we're going to take you off to the side into a squat position. So that one foot is going to stay atop the dome, and the other foot's going to come down onto the floor. So, we're going to take a side squat, step down, and then step back up, 'kay?
Step down, and step back up. And it's okay, if you fall off (laughs), or if you have to put a kickstand down. That's the whole point of balance training. And step back up, good, two more. Come down and back up.
It makes a squat feel entirely different. Now, on this next one, I know you're going to come down, hold it, reach the arms to the ears, see if you can stay low, come back up, find that nice squat on top of the dome, stand it up, bend the elbows, and open the chest. Good, arms come down. Here we go, other side, take it down. Again, don't judge yourself, and back up.
Woo, clearly my smart side, not my strong side. And down, and up, good. And again, your squat is your squat, right? If it's just a knee bend today, that's fine. Don't judge yourself, just enjoy.
If you want to go a little lower, that's great. Give me one more, whoa, and stay low for me, you can reach those arms, stay low, come back up onto your dome, find it, good, stand it up, and bend the elbows, open the heart center, and the arms come down. Take a step off the back of your dome. Put your feet on a firmly grounded surface area, so you can really feel the effervescence through your body. Oftentimes, when we're transitioning out of a balance position, you're going to get a little bit of a bubbliness and effervescence, and it's a good thing.
So, we're going to move into a exercise or a sequence that I call Frog. So, we're going to turn and face our balance trainers. And to get there, we always have to be effective, right? So, widen out your stance to the wider parts of your mat or your balance trainer, and you're going to give me a squat, and you're going to lift your dome up, and press it above the head, and come down. As you come down, make the sure the dome side is down, but I just want you to tap the floor, and do it again, and press, and tap the floor, press it up.
You're working with a bit of weight here too, with this overhead press. Give me two more, tap down, and reach, keeping the shoulders out of the ears, press it up, and now this time, we're going to stay down. So, you're going to place the dome side down, and you're going to come into what I'm going to call the Frog. So the knees come onto the outsides of the elbows, and you're simply, well not simply, (laughs) but you're going to start to rock forward, and back on those toes, opening up the hips, noticing how you're feeling here, forward and back. Give me two more, and back.
And, last one, coming forward. Now, holding your forward position. If you'd like to, can you try and take your toes, I don't know, up off the floor? Maybe you can, maybe you can't, but you can try, it's fun. Now from here, you can either walk or hop back into your plank position.
Watch the hyperextension of the elbows here. Take one leg, bring it up onto the platform side, in your pigeon stretch, place your fingertips down onto the platform, press down to lift the chest, feeling that stretch through the gluteal, the lift of the chest, the openness of the hip, that's reaching back with the toes on the floor. Now, from here, you're like, I'm all good, Erika. Yes, you are, but we're going to challenge you, so from here, take an inhale. On an exhale (exhales loudly), can you lift that pigeon up?
And then lower back down. Inhale, exhale, lift your pigeon up, (exhales loudly) and then back down. (inhales loudly) Inhale, bring it up, hold it, being it back out to plank. Transition the other leg in. Good, find that pigeon stretch, that openness of the back leg, fingertips go down, lift that chest, hold here and breathe (inhales loudly), oxygenate the blood (exhales loudly), let go of any stress that you might be taking in particular areas.
Are you clenching toes? (laughs) Are you feeling it in your neck at all? Let it go, breathe into it and let it go. Now, here, you know where we're going, so here we go. We've got three of these, here we go, pull up that pigeon, hup! And (exhales loudly), lower down, inhale, exhale, (exhales) pull it up. Good, and lower, and last one here, (exhales loudly) pull it up, and then back out to your plank position.
Great job, walk it in or hop it in. From here, press all the way up with your balance trainer, flip it on over, and your dome comes back down. We're going to move into the lateral line. So, from here, I'd like you to bring your hip down onto the dome. This is, again, all relative to what works best for your body.
So, the set-up here is hip on the dome, on or near the apex of the dome, forearm down on the floor. Legs are going to be long underneath you. You may use this bottom arm, and cradle your neck in your hand, if you so choose. You may also put the forearm down on the floor, whatever feels best for you, and your top arm can be here, can be here, can be here, up to you. We're just going to start to lower the legs, and (exhales loudly) exhale, lift 'em up. (exhales loudly) So, really starting to get this lateral line engaged, and trying not to let this interior lateral line sag towards the floor, rather keeping it keep engaged and strong.
Last three, (exhales loudly) and lift, reaching long through those legs, (exhales loudly) and two, and one. Now, from here, can you just lift your top leg up and down? And keeping that bottom leg nice and steady, where it's at. Great, lift and lower, and three more. Three, good, two, and one.
Now, from here, the top hand is going to come to the floor. The bottom foot goes forward, the top leg goes back. You're going to rotate slightly, look down at your forearm, begin to lower those legs down, and lift 'em back up. Just a lower and a lift, but just notice where you feel this differently. Again, just changing the position of the legs, the arms, the position of the body.
It's going to change where you feel this work. Two more, and lift, and last one, and lift. Inner thighs come back together, squeeze, and lower back down. Now, let's go into some unilateral shoulder stability, with side bend, so from here, you want to move your balance trainer, or move your body, if you need to, away from your balance trainer, a little bit. The hand is going to go near the top of the dome.
Try not to have to have it so far towards you, maybe a little bit further away. It's going to feel better on your wrist. From here, we're going to come up into your side T position, staggering the feet. First, give me a nice lift up and over of the arm, good, back to the T. Add a twist if you want it.
So, come under, and back, and I'll lower you down in between. Good, two more like that. Lift it up, good, up and over. Nice, back to the T (exhales), and down. Last one, lift, and reach up and over.
Good, back to that T position, and lower back down. Great job. We will do the other side right now. So, let's go ahead and transition, and move to the other side of our dome, and set the hip. So, try and get yourself to as close as you can to the set-up of where you were on the other side.
And you'll know it. Remember micro-adjustments, sweet spot, it all means something here. Forearm comes down, legs are long, front arm is either on the surface, or up in the air, for the challenge. Remember, removing a contact point aways ups the ante, and keeping a contact point down keeps you a little bit more stable. Last four, and then we're going to lift and lower that top leg.
Three, good, two, and one. The top leg goes up, and down. Push that floor away with your elbow, make sure the shoulder is out of the ear, and three more, three, good, two, and one. Now we're making that subtle shift. You're going to come down to the floor with that top arm, look towards your forearm.
Bottom leg goes forward, top leg goes back, and you're going the lower the legs, and then lift 'em back up, and down, and up. Great, we did about six or so on the other side, so give me three more here, three, good, two, and one. You know what's coming next, because we did it on the other side, so let's set yourself down onto the floor, about where you did on the other side. The hand goes about the top of the BOSU balance trainer, or maybe a slight bit forward, so that your wrist is comfortable. From here, you're going to come up, uh-huh, give me that side bend over, and then back.
Add the twist if you want it, under, hit your T and then lower back down. Two more, here we go, lift. Oof!, boy this side feels different, and that's okay. Add that twist, rotate, back to the T, and lower. Last one, come on up, boom!, reach up and over, add your twist, rotate, back to that T, and lower down.
Congratulations, let's move on, Have a seat, not at the apex of the balance trainer, not on the rim, about halfway in between. But here's the deal, everyone has a different sweet spot, and you're going to need to find yours. It's a little bit tricky, so we're going to cross the legs over one another. Give me a nice prayer position of your hands, 'cause you're like, dear God, let me be able to do this. If you don't, on the first try, it's fine.
What I'd like for you to do to see if you've nailed it, by lengthening back, reaching behind you, finding your balance, uncrossing and recrossing, and coming back forward. Did you pray hard enough? Did you pray hard enough? (laughs) Well, keep praying, if it didn't work for you. Here we go, try it again. Reach, crissy-cross, come back, good, reach, find your opposition, crissy-cross, come back.
362 more, last one, reach, crissy-cross, and come back. Now, you're like, all right, I finally got it. But now we're adding on. Are you ready? Here we go, you're going to place the feet, come down, we're there.
If you want it and you're willing, you are going to hop back to your dome. Yes, then you're going to hop to one hand, and you're going to hop back to your dome, and you're going to hop to your other hand, and you're going to hop back to your dome. You're going to hop forward. Uh! Yes, crissy-cross your legs, and have a seat. Dear God, I think we have one more in us, don't we?
Are you ready? Here we go, (grunts with effort) and reach, find it, hit, uncross, re-cross, come through, transition, plant forward, hop, hop to one hand, hop to the dome, hop to the other hand, hop to the dome, hop in, crissy-cross, and have a seat, wooo. All right, scoot yourself down. It's time for a little bit of mobility of the spine, and some mobility of the shoulders. So let your body drape over the balance trainer.
For those of us, myself included, that struggle with back bending, this is a really nice way to start to experience it a little bit, with the support of the labile surface underneath you. Big circle of the arms, wide and around, and back forward. Inhale as you take it back, open the heart center, mobilize the shoulders, exhale as you come forward. Give me one more, and take it back, and reach, and open, and come forward, reverse, and here we go, opening that heart center, and reaching behind, exhale forward. Three more, (inhales loudly) and exhale (exhales loudly).
Nice, last two, and exhaling forward, and last one ... And if you slide down a little bit, that's normal. Just re-adjust yourself. Well done, you're moving to the floor. You're going to place the shoulder girdle on or near the apex of the dome.
Slide your BOSU back if you need to a little bit. Now, here's the deal. The head should be rested, but the neck should not be strained. Reach your fingertips up to the ceiling, lift yourself up into a reverse plank position, hold this position, and start some protraction and retraction or some dome compressions with your shoulders. You're just rolling across the back of the scapula, pulling one shoulder back into the dome, and then the other shoulder back into the dome, and just see what you're working with here.
Give me two more, and last one. If you can stay in that reverse plank, great. If you need to lower down, please do so. Start some scissors as you reach back and reach forward. Come back to the ceiling, and reach in opposition through those fingertips in the other direction, and back forward.
Good, and reach, four more, and come up, and three, and up, and two, and up, and one, and up. Great job, now lower down. Let's do a figure four unilateral bridge. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Uh-huh, hands go down onto the floor.
Fire up the backs of those arms. Remember, you want to connect with the back of your body. Now drive up through that foot, lift yourself up into a unilateral reverse plank or bridge, and lower the tush back down, and lift yourself back up. Good, if you want to start to challenge yourself, this is when you try and start to lift your arms, or lighten up on the pressure of your hands a bit. Three more, lower body strength, and power happening right now, two, also a little glute stretch, and one, unilateral way to strengthen the hamstrings and the glutes.
Switch sides, good, here we go. Inhale, exhale as you drive down through that heel, and push up. And again, think about the motion that's happening on the upper body, and think about those righting response muscles that really have to react to accommodate this balance training product that's underneath our shoulders right now. Last, three, good, and two, and give me one more here, up, (grunts with effort), and lower back down. Super job, place that foot down.
Now, I want to play a bit with some prone work. We're going to start out with some Swan. So, what I'd like for you to do is place your hip bones up onto the apex, or near then the apex of the balance trainer. Again, everyone's snowflakes, everyone's body and spine shape is different, lever lengths are different, so we're going to find what works best for you, and how we're going to do that is, can you keep your toes down onto the floor, bring your fingers behind the head, and lift the upper body? If you can, you may be set for what's to come.
Now here's the deal. To protect the lower back here, and support the abdominal connection, I want you to slightly press the pubic bone towards the dome. You are not tucking, you're not gripping glutes at all. You're just engaging the lower abdominals. Let's take some swans.
So here we go, grow tall through the top of the crown of the head, and lift, and then lower down. Make sure you're breathing, taking an inhale as you lift if you want to, or if that feels better on an exhale, nobody's going to judge you. Lifting up, and then lowering down. Keeping the lats drawing down the back, remember it's so important that we connect with the back of our bodies. We're perpetually moving forward, as bipedal people, and we forget that we have a back side of us as well.
Now, hold, reach your arms forward, and lift your feet into full balance. Here's where we're going to play. Let's take it into some swan dives. So, really start to use the balance trainer as a fulcrum here. I need to make a small adjustment, and that's fine.
This is a nice way to be your own teeter-totter, and play with a complex movement pattern that feels good to have something underneath you. Give me two more, and one. Quiet yourself down, drape your body over the balance trainer. Let your pelvis rock back and forth a little bit, just in case you've taken any undue stress in your lower back, and then, when you're ready, place your hands on the dome, press yourself up and over into a rest position or child's pose, whatever that looks like for you, feeling the hands wide on the dome, and just breathe, nice deep breaths, laterally into the lungs, inhaling (inhales), and exhale, blow it all out (exhales). Two more breaths, inhale (inhales) and exhale (exhales).
All of that air comes out of the lungs. And last one, (inhales), and exhale (exhales). Good, now bring yourself back up to a quadruped position, and whatever your strategy is, bring yourself back up to standing. Coming back around your balance trainer, make sure that your feet are on a surface area that can help you ground yourself. Remember, whenever we're doing balance training and training balance in multiple body positions, it's always good to set the tonality of the body after your session.
So, again, I start with where we began earlier. I want you to think about your big toes, I want you to think about your little toes, and I want you to think about your heels, as your tripod of support. Really think about that rooting down into the ground, and pay some homage and some love to your feet. We use 'em every day, thank God for 'em. Let your arms react in opposition.
Feel that lengthening up, that core activated and integrated. Open the heart center, bend the elbows, and come back down to the hips. Good, take that again as you inhale, celebrate, gather up that energy. Good, and then bend the elbows, open the heart center, and draw the arms down. Great, give me one more, inhale, (inhales) and stay up here with me.
As you feel your feet into the floor, reach up as much as you can in opposition, with your hands, flex your wrists. You know I love you, so open your heart center, and you are all done! (clapping)
You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.
Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.