Class #3162

Men of Pilates Anytime

45 min - Class


Focus on your posture with this Mat workout by Amy Havens. This is a special class because the students are Jeff and Perry, two people who are usually behind the camera. Because they spend a lot of time sitting, she works on opening the chest and shoulders, as well as improving mobility in the whole body while maintaining a connection to the abdominals.
What You'll Need: Mat, Moon Box, Theraband

About This Video


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Hi everybody, I'm very, very excited to have two amazing people taking class with me today. So for all of you who've watched these videos for all of these years, one of these two people has almost always been on that side of the camera. And the other one's usually doing editing, and mixing it up, so I have Jeff and Perry with me, thanks you guys. We're in here just to do some mat work, okay? So all you need is your TheraBand.

I want you guys to grab that, please, and you can face me if you want. Maybe in the middle of your mat, or on the back of your mat, on the floor. We're just gonna warm up our shoulders a little. They, Jeff sits a lot, he's at the computer a lot, Perry's at the computer a lot, so a little bit of the focus today, and hopefully for you too, is opening up your shoulders, feeling taller, (laughs) and doing some Pilates. So guys, we're gonna start in Pilates V, heels together, toes a little bit apart.

And then, have your hands on your TheraBand just like a normal width, but the band somewhat taut, to begin with. Just a little bit taut, exactly. Let's just roll our shoulders back. And just stand tall for yourself, take a couple deep breaths. (exhales deeply) So every exhale, do think about the abs and just feeling like you're bringing your front to your back and also your back to your front.

So we're getting a little bit of that sense of compression, positive force in the abdominals. And let's just take a nice, easy lift of the arms. We're just gonna do four, just to shoulder level, and then lower down. Okay, and you can keep your hand open this way, you can make a fist, it's oh, whatever you choose. Just start to feel the weight of your arms being lifted and lower, and one more time, we're just gonna hold this time.

Okay, pull on the band a little bit. So I want you to feel that where the work's coming from is the side of your shoulders and around the back of your shoulder blades. All right, let's do four more together, so, we can exhale, pull, and inhale, release. And exhale and pull. And release, so as we're doing these, feel like you're lifting up through your sternum, your chest, there we go, and the abs are still staying in.

Nice you guys, so that was our four, so let's lower the arms. All right, let's try to do arms close to overhead. All right, so we're gonna breathe in here to chest level, exhale, raise your arms a little bit, or you might be able to go all the way above the crown of your head. What I don't want anybody to do is pop their ribs forward or arch the back, good Jeff, and then bring it all the way down. All right.

So even though we're doing shoulder work, it's still abs, it's still spine. So the higher the arms go, the more likely it is that our back wants to arch, so feel like you can, keep your stomach pulled back. Okay, last two, inhale to chest level, exhale all the way up, and inhale as you lower your arms, growing taller, and lower down. Last time, we'll stay up over head. Now, let's do the four arm pulls here.

My band's probably gonna come right down in front of my chest and then right back up. Then three more, so feeling the back of the shoulders, again, abs in you guys, pull, there we go, and lift. And last time, good. And then arms all the way down in front. All right.

Press the band just against your legs. And I know you both know chest expansion because you've seen it thousands of times, so this one, just putting it against your legs, pull the band back behind your legs a little bit. So you may have to move your hands a little bit wider. Okay, so you feel the tension. So, where can we put a little bit more focus?

I want both of you to think about your collarbone growing wide, your breastbone going up, there you go, okay. And then inhale as you pull your arms back a little bit further, but really it's more about expanding your chest. (inhales deeply) And then exhale, release the tension of the band a little bit. So there's not a lot of pull going on with the band, but I want you to think of lifting and widening through your chest. And release. So we've been doing repetitions of four, but I'm gonna have us do eight of this one, because I think this is an area we need a little more attention.

Right, Perry good. Yeah, so it's expanding the chest. Due to sitting all day, that chest gets a little bit sloped forward, so we wanna oppose that. Lift and open, there's that, and we've got two more now. And inhale as we pull, they're doing a good job of keeping their abs in.

I'm sure you are too. Last one, now you guys, we're gonna hold it back there. Just hold it, and then give your head a turn, let's look out to the parking lot. And just feel your neck working, so really turn. See something with your eyes, really focus on something.

Okay, and then gently move your head through center and look out to the ocean. Yeah, really use your neck to turn. Keep your both shoulders back, there we go, we're gonna do each one again, but let's look center, release the arms for a second. We'll do it one more time, so pull and hold. How expanded can you get your chest?

Open tall and wide, good. And then turn and look toward the parking lot, maybe you're gonna go a little bit further with your eyes, bring your right shoulder back a little Jeff, other one, there. It's okay, great. And then slowly through center with both, yeah, both eyes of course, and then to the other side. Good Perry, and both shoulders back.

Breathe into the chest. Excellent guys, and look forward, and then release the band. One more thing here. So take, I think we might want to widen our hands. We're gonna take the band all the way up over our head.

Here we go, inhaling forward, exhale overhead. Now pull on the band and put it behind you. Great, okay and then reverse that. You're gonna bring it back up and around. So if you're doing this with us and that isn't possible for you to do with your arms straight, I'm gonna show you a workaround with that.

You can absolutely bend and then straighten them when the they get down, that would be fine. If your tight in your shoulders or chest it's gonna be hard to do. But the pull, the elasticity of the band is allowing some expansion in width, use of your upper back there. Reach the band back up, good. Okay, four more times.

Inhale, so let's think about posture 'cause this is another place where the ribs might wanna travel forward. So how can you keep your abdominals active in this exercise? Who knows? (laughs) Who does know how to? Pull 'em in, yeah. Good you guys, reach back, open the chest, chest, chest, good.

Two more to go. Getting some mobility in the shoulders, stretching the chest. Reach back before coming up over head and let's all just do one more. Inhale, exhale, and back. Hopefully you're all feeling a little warmed up, and rest.

Okay, awesome. Go ahead and stand at the back of your mat guys and let's not use the band for this. Just do a nice easy standing roll down and then we'll walk out to a plank. Okay, so feet apart a little bit just underneath your pelvis. Take a deep inhale and slowly let your head come forward dropping down.

So we're going into the forward bend of the spine. If you're feeling tight in your legs go ahead and bend your knees. It's completely fine. Put your hands near your feet on the mat, okay? And just hang out there and drop your head and see how much relaxation you can have in your neck.

Okay, walk out onto your hands four to six steps or so and put yourself in what you think would be a pushup position or we know our front support. Yeah, and just hang out there. Just feel like you can breathe fully and the stomach being drawn up off the hands right there. Good you guys. Good, yeah.

They've seen so much Pilates they're experts at this, right? Okay, now lift your hips and just push your hips up and back. Like that, walk your hands backward toward your feet. Just push off the floor, push push, and then roll yourself back up to standing. So we'll do too more together.

Take a breath. All right, starting to feel a little more limber maybe. Okay to bend those knees and just walk yourself out right onto your hands, okay? And see now as you're in the position how steady you can make your body. Just focus on the breathing, full expansion through the sides of your ribs if you can and as you exhale, stomach to spine.

Good Jeff, one more breath in. Exhale, that's fine, lift your hips and start walking your hands backward and gently roll yourself up to standing. And let's go at that one more time you guys. So again, rolling down, head first, shoulders, really loose arms. Yep, and just walk yourself out.

And same thing, how about three breath cycles? So inhaling through your nose (inhales deeply) and exhale, maybe a little bit more force of pushing your arms to the floor. Two more, bring your shoulders right over your wrists. There, Perry, yeah. Okay, and one more time, and then on the exhale go ahead and lift your hips up walk your hands back.

Now stay upside down here. We'll have you bend your knees a lot more, loose arms, and then let's just roll up to standing super slow. So start at your tail and just rebuild, you know what it is, articulation, one bone at a time all the way up until you're back to standing, great. Okay, sitting on the mat. So we also have a moon box nearby.

We'll get to that in a few minutes if you guys need to use it for seated, okay? So let's see, hands behind your back of your legs. And as you're seated you can have your feet separated just in line with your pelvis, okay? So with the use of the hands behind your knees hopefully you're able to sit here a little bit easier than just like that, but we'll check it out. Take a deep inhale, let's exhale and contract your stomach, your abs.

And as you pull your waist in it's as if we're gonna start reclining or rolling back. Really focus it of your, good, your pelvis like a wheel going backward, a car wheel going backward or a bike wheel going back. Good Perry, hold. We want to go back far enough that maybe the arms get straight. So it's your pelvis and your spine moving.

Okay good, take a breath. Now, how little can you use your arms to come back up? I'm gonna have both of you dive your head down towards your knees and stay right there so you're stretching your back. Good, Jeff, and roll up to sitting tall. We're gonna do it two more times.

A deep breath in, (inhales deeply) okay? So it's really focused here. I'm, in my mind I see like a wheel going backward, a wheel rolling back, but in the front we've got this pulled in and trying to go up underneath our rib cage. Good, Perry. Can Jeff go a little bit more?

He can, if you feel like you're gonna fall backward you're almost on the right spot. Just stop, hold on, breathe in. Okay, here we go. Less arms, more bending of your body forward, bend, bend, bend, bend, bend. Okay, way down there, let's do it one more time you guys, all the way up.

Deep inhale, and let's go exhale and roll. Let me watch ya. Yeah, rolling, that's it, yeah. So this image is kinda working for them. Good you guys, that's right.

Hang out, so they're in a good place. Their feet are almost lifting. They're not gonna go any further they're gonna hold on. Let's test it, let's test our abdominal endurance and just reach one hand forward or arm, okay? And then bring it on to the leg, and then the other side.

And we'll do one more single arm movement. Stay in that position, navel in, good, and down. Second arm, and two arms, we're gonna hold it. We're just gonna hold, we're holding. We're holding.

We're gonna come all the way up, reach for it. Good you guys, awesome. Now stay right there and open your arms this way. We don't need to use the band but see if you can turn your palms face up, hitchhike your thumb, good, and then move your arms back almost if you could put your thumbs together behind your back. Not even possible but really open up your chest.

Good, and then bring your arms forward. We're gonna roll all the way down now. Rolling down, so how slow, good idea Perry. How slow can you roll? Okay, so that's abdominal strength but it's also mobility of the spine itself, excellent.

Okay, arms by your side. Walk your heels pretty close into your sit bones. Back that way, and I'm sure you're familiar with pelvic curl and bridging. We're gonna do it now. Take a deep inhale through your nose.

So again it starts at the base of our spine. You're gonna take that tail and curl it up and just roll your hips up. Good Jeff, and roll your spine up. So you're really elevating yourself up off of the floor but I want you to both to use your, keep your head down, and use the back of your shoulders to push down against the mat, maybe to elevate your hips a little bit more. Okay good, Jeff.

So the arms are pulling to the mat, the hips are pulling up. We've got some good pulling energy right now. Take a breath. Start to roll yourself down from your upper back. So really sequential, right?

So it's your upper back, nice Perry, moving through your middle back where all the ribs are and your lower back and finally the base of your spine. Let's do it two more times and just roll. So tail, lumbar spine, thoracic spine where your ribs are, and as you're up pretty high you've got this nice take off ramp, this sloped position. Feel like you can pull your arms to the mat like we did with the TheraBand at the beginning, that chest expansion, and pull your hips higher. Wow, inhale, they're doing great.

Now this time guys as you roll down think more length between each vertebra. So like you're gonna try to reach your knees out over your feet a little bit more. That's right, Perry. More space between each vertebra and we'll take one more bridge. Inhale, rolling up, so start at the tail, and a lot of stomach work.

Your arms right now are already pulling down against the floor to press your hips up. Okay, now I'm not gonna let you get out of here too easily. I'm gonna have you do a one, don't move your feet. Try not to move your feet, anybody, don't move your feet. Take one foot and leg up into a 90 90, a tabletop position.

If you wiggle wobble it's okay. We're off balance on purpose, right? You're just gonna hold that position, exactly. I mean, we're gonna get a little fussy on the tabletop. We don't have to get too fussy, or we can.

There we go, okay? Now good you guys, step that foot down and do the other side. We'll stretch out your hamstrings in just a minute that's what the band is for. Yeah, good, so when you lift that leg up chances are the pelvis is dropped. We want to keep it high.

Yeah, use your back muscles, use your butt muscles. Lift, okay, and then set the foot down. I'll be nice, let you unroll your spine and have one more go at that. I think they want to. Something tells me that they're like, can I do it again?

Right, (laughs) okay. Here we go, take a breath. Still work on the sequential movement of your spine as you roll up. So it's the tail, the low back. Good Jeff, the middle back.

When you're up somewhere between your shoulder blades on your upper back. Don't forget to use your arms. They can pull down against the floor. What else can pull? The stomach can pull in.

Okay, let's breathe in through the nose and then use an exhale to bring a leg up to table top. See and it's already better you guys. So then the other foot that's on the mat push down to also help you kind of suspend yourself up. See how much better you're doing? You feel it?

Yeah, they're much better, more stable. Step the foot down, other side. Or at table top, yeah. (chuckles) Hips higher, Perry, let's get the hips up higher. Hips hips hips, there they go. Press your arms down, pull your arms down.

Beautiful, step your leg down and now guys as you unroll your spine take your arms over your head and just, yeah, just like that, just stretch out okay? Take a few breaths everybody, also at home. I'm just, yeah, no no, you're like me. It's a little bit a, it's okay. We're just a little, yeah, and then we've got a really bendy shoulder over here, flexible.

Okay guys, time for some more ab work. I want you to bring your knees together, have your hands come right behind your head, okay? And just start with head all the way down. Take a good deep breath through your nose. You know it's comin', it's the exhale chest lift time.

So lift your head, your shoulders and look right out over the tops of your knees, okay? And then just hang out there for a moment. I'm gonna just ask you both to just open your elbows a little bit wider for a sec, good, and then that chest bone, good Perry. Bend it, pull it into your body more. There, that's how you're gonna get up a little higher, and then go ahead and take it all the way down.

A lot of talkin', take a breath. Let's go, curl up. Yeah, and I want you to get right to the base tips of your scapula, there you go Jeff, and then bring it down. And again, all the way up or to the base tips of your shoulder blades. You can have your elbows a little wider, and lower.

Two more, okay? Curl up, so use this as twofold. It's bending, you want to get some more flexibility in your spine and some additional tone in your abs. Okay good, and then take it down. And one more you guys, curling up.

Okay, and we'll stop staring you. I was so into, I thought I was not gonna do all that. So let's take our body, rotate toward the camera back there. Turn your chest, turn your chest and see if you can have your feet nice and even on the mat. Turn toward the center and then my way on an exhale.

Feel like you're getting deeper into those abs. Inhale through center. We're gonna each side a couple more times. Twist, and center, and rotate, and center. Once again each direction.

Rotate, in, and to my side, and in and then just lower everything down. Okay, take a quick breath in. Not quite done, exhale curl your chest up. Now it's gonna get maybe a little bit harder. Take your hands underneath the legs.

Use your hands and walk your hands up to a little bit higher behind your legs and your feet are still gonna be on your mat. Now use your arm muscles, bend your elbows and pull yourself even higher. Good, and just hold, hold. Yeah, so can you tuck your chin down. Visualize your, stay there, visualize yourself as a wheel again, a nice wheel that's now rolling forward.

It's rolling forward, and it's rolling forward. One more effort and then it gets to roll backward all the way, relax. Grab your TheraBand that's nearby. If they can move, okay good. We're gonna work our feet and stretch our legs a little bit guys.

So take your right foot up into the band. Let's step in the center of it, perfect. The other leg, it's your choice but I think it might feel good for your both to put your leg down long on the floor, yeah. Okay, now, it's all right if your leg is up in the air and your knee is not straight. Do what you can, eventually that could be a goal but want I want us all to do is emphasize the angle and the position of the ankle, okay the angle.

And so we're gonna, I'm not going to push on your hard but I want to see, yeah that you're emphasizing your heel going up and your toes pulling toward your shin bone, right? Yeah, you're doing great. I'm gonna adjust the band, so okay we're gonna just put it right up a little bit higher to the ball of the foot. And Perry's got a great demonstration going on here, nice. I'm just gonna move that a little higher up here.

All right? So over time you guys, your ankle will get a little bit more mobile, these muscles will lengthen. Now push into the band and extend your ankle. So right now you're in flexion. So if you push into it, you know, I'm gonna kind of say point your toes but put the toes the opposite way, right?

It changes quite a bit, and then just work bank and forth between flex and point. Good, flex, and point, or extend. Flex and extend. I'll help ya, there. And one more time and keep it flexed, okay?

Because I think for both of you and a lot of men and a lot of people the flexed ankle is what we need for the length back in the back of the leg. Okay good, elbows down on your mat if they're not already. We're gonna do a real slow leg circle. Keep your foot like it is. Cross your leg over your middle line.

It's gonna feel like a big stretch and do a small circle, okay? Keep going in the same direction. Cross, circle, around and up. So if our clock, we'd be going counterclockwise right now with our leg, counterclockwise. Okay, do a few more.

What you're hoping to do is get mobilized into the hip joint and feel some stretch behind your thigh and I think that we're right, they're feeling that. Now do the same movement but the opposite way. Exactly, so now it's gonna be a counter, I mean a clockwise circle and as you're doing this circle hold your stomach down against your back. See how stable you can maintain the middle of your body. Enjoy the flexibility of your leg and that you're gaining.

Two more circles, okay? And one more. Now, not quite done. I just want one more stretch. Take your leg back across that midline and hold, that's the stretch.

You're gonna sustain that stretch that's occurring on the back of your thigh and maybe up around your hip and you're breathing. Their affirming the breathing that's taking place. That's right, and they're gonna bend their knee and change sides, really good, ah good. I mean, when was the last time you, I don't know, when did you stretch last, right, like this. I think it's been awhile.

It's good for you. Yeah, so let's just right away you're gonna take the band a little bit higher up to the, a little bit more on the toes, okay, and let's get that flexed ankle. And the other leg can be long on the, is that okay? Or you can do what you need to do with that, yeah. Good, heel higher, good Perry, heel higher than toes if possible, and you're breathing.

Yes, okay so that's our flexion of the ankle joint. So if we go to extension we want to change the line in the front of the ankle and make it longer. That's right, okay. It's gonna engage your calf muscles and then go back to flex. Can I help you?

Mm-hmm. Okay. There, flexion lengthens the back of the calf and then extension lengthens the front. Just work back and forth between flex and extend and flex, they're doing a really good job of keeping their knee pretty straight. Good, one more and then you're gonna come back and hold it in flexion, okay.

You've got a renegade band here, man. That thing is really, okay. So keeping it in flexion let's take the leg circle across your midline. Make a circle now, down around. Yeah, so when we do the second leg now it's a clockwise circle.

Right, so why do we do this? Well, you're getting lots of different places of angles of stretch on the muscles around those hips. Yep, got a nice mobile hip joint person here. I had no idea, Perry, all that time. One more time.

Who knew? Okay, other way. I'm not counting, you can tell I'm not giving repetitions. I just want you guys to get in your body and feel. Holding your stomach in against your back, relative stability in your pelvis.

Good, maybe two or three more. Keep your foot flexed and feel how that's different. Yeah, that's it. Two more, open, down over and up. And last time.

And then the last stretch you get to go back to lucky dogs, is the crossover, the leg across the chest or the midline. Three or four breaths. See what it feels like if your hip's on the mat. There, versus, okay. Good, how you doing guys?

You done with that? Let's be done with that. You can let it, yeah Jeff's like out, I'm done. Okay, band away, yippee do. Now let's just put your knees into your chest.

Hold on behind your legs, okay? And let's do just a couple more in the ab series. I want you bring your head up and your shoulders up off the mat and it's okay if your hips come up. So just kind of feel how much, how small of like a ball shape you can get into here. Okay, reach one leg away.

It doesn't have to be super low to the floor. It doesn't have to be all the way to sky, somewhere in between, and then hold on to the shin of the other, okay? And then maybe the outside hand is the low hand if we want to get really precise, which we do, 'cause it's our fundamental right. Change sides and just hold it on the other side. Good, so what I want us to think about is as the legs are changing you can exhale and just exhale.

Keep your back in one weight distribution on the mat, meaning trying not to let anything shift here. Okay, keep going, yeah. So if you were on a scale being measured or something for whatever reason, it's the same. Ready, a little bit faster. Change, and change, there you go guys.

Change and change, good. Four, can you curl higher? Three, two, excellent last one. Put both knees in, let your head go down. Give your neck a little rest.

Okay, double leg stretch. Let's do two versions. So double leg stretch two ways. Curl up. The first way the arms are going to reach forward with the legs.

So we reach forward. I didn't even have you do the hundred, aren't I nice, and in. And reach, so same focus of how your back feels on the mat. Keep it the same amount of weight, there, okay? Now, the arms are gonna change.

They'll go backward as the arms go forward. Arms will go wide and then catch your shins. Two more, legs forward arms backward. That's right, arms go wide and catch your shins. Last time, let's really stretch it guys, stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch and in and head down.

Okay, hands behind your thighs, rock yourself up. Awesome, let's do rolling like a ball. I'm going a little out or order. I don't think it's a problem. Move your hips up towards your heels and let's try being nice to each other first.

Hands behind your legs, balance on your sits bones or the back of your sit bones. Okay, so we're gonna agree that your head stays looking down, right, no looking up. Let's roll back to our shoulders and come right back up to this place, go. Roll and come right back up and balance. Yes, awesome, and roll back, have fun.

Pretend you're a kid. Just roll like a kid. We're kids. Excellent, so that little bit of wiggle woggle that's happening at the top is really normal. The better and more deeper we get in our practice that minimizes, okay.

Let's make it harder and do this. I think you're gonna like this one better. Let's try a few like that, roll back. Nice, you guys keep going, three or four more. Exactly.

Rolling like a ball. They're doing so great. Rolling, and one more time. Awesome you guys. Plenty, hold on, yeah, they did it.

You did it, okay. Take yourself now into, I'm thinking you might want to sit up on the box. So grab your little box behind and just put it near the back of your mat. I don't have one, I don't need one. I think you're gonna like that you have one.

Okay and sit on there. And then Jeff take your legs straight out like this about the width of the mat. Perry same thing, are you okay on your heels here? Yeah. Okay.

Now can you guys flex those ankles again? There's that, what we just did with the leg circles. Toes up, yep. Okay, arms forward and just kinda make a straight hand for a moment and then how tall, good job, can you sit all the way up your back. So usually if you're tight in this position it's completely fine to bend your knees to be able to sit up a little bit taller, right.

There, take a deep breath through your nose and then as you exhale it's this pulls in and you round your spine forward. Your arms are gonna stay above your toes like this. Yep, and our toes, our ankles are still in flexion. They are, good. Now Mr. Perry because you've got some flexibility I'm gonna back you up a little bit.

Right there, arms higher, stomach back as you reach. So make it some ab work you. Yeah, exactly, okay, and now roll up to sitting tall all the way. So that's your place, take a breath. (inhales deeply) Let's go again, exhale and stretch but still contract your abs. Flex those ankles, pull those toes up and then roll back up to sitting tall.

Just two more you guys. Inhale, taller. Let it start here, exhale, pull your stomach back, arms a little higher, there. So it's opposition. Abs are back, spine's forward.

Exactly, and then they roll all the way up and they get to do it one last time. Inhale and exhale and round. Enjoy the stretching. Enjoy the stomach movement pulling back, pulling back. Okay awesome, and roll yourself all the way up you guys.

Now lower your arms and lift them out this way to the side. We're gonna go to a twist, all right. So let's enjoy looking out the window first. So just give your ribcage, focus on your ribs, turning toward my table up here. Turn and turn, and stay right there.

So your body is still upright. You've just taken yourself around your center column and then go back to facing each other center. Inhale there and then go the other way. So what I want you both to feel, inhale come back to center, is where your feet are on the mat, that weight stays the same, okay? Come my way again.

Flex your feet. A little more Perry, flex flex flex, uh-huh, and then back to center, and then away. So the distribution of the weight here and the positioning stays exactly the same. Let's go through center again. So sometimes if I look at feet and see them moving it could be that the pelvis is moving which of course we are gonna try not to move the pelvis.

Center, that's better Jeff, and to the side. Right, and I'll do the two times with Perry. Okay, can you flex? Yeah, and then one more to the table, I know. Yeah, keep your hips even on the box.

You're doing great, and then center. Last one toward the outside of the room here. Twist, twist, twist, and center and then you guys reach out and hold your toes. Let's see if you can touch your toes. I'll help you.

I'll help you. I can't help you at home but maybe someone can. So also if you pull your toes towards your fingers. Yeah, good. Breathe, breathe, breathe.

I won't have you do open leg rocker. That would be really mean. Good you guys. Okay, undo your stretch you can come off your box. And then lay face down please, lie face down hands toward one another.

Yep. Yeah, okay. You're doing well. Have your hands right here by your shoulders. Okay, legs can be apart.

And before we do some upper back focus and back bending, broaden your chest, broaden your collarbone and almost give a sense that you're trying to pick up your collarbone off the floor. Right Perry, awesome. Okay, now underneath your body I can kinda tell if your stomach is active or not. So you, good, pull your abs in and then I want both of you to start lifting your head up off of the floor. You can look past each other 'cause you're probably gonna laugh, and then keep pressing yourself with your arms and lift your back up, so lift lift lift, thinking of swan, right.

Can you go into a swan? Hands stay where they are or move forward? You can move your hands forward. So Perry asked if he can move his hands forward. Absolutely, so that's his way to get through that, right.

So I want you to pick up your back but also make sure that this part is in all the way. And then as you come down you get to bend your elbows and put your chest down bone by bone by bone. So certain things might happen with your hands but right now that's okay if they move. Let's try it again. So eyes look forward, nose looks forward, chin and then the chest, right.

Okay, and then, I'm gonna help you Jeff but push with your arms a little bit. There you go, push push. Is that okay? Yeah? Kinda sorta?

Okay, they're doing this and then bend their elbows and they're coming down. Nice you guys, deep breath. (inhales deeply) Exhale, so we need to get that back body of yours, both of you, nice and flexible as well as strong, so go ahead and do it again. Good Jeff. Just a little less on your neck, there, okay. Go go go go go go go go go.

They're working so hard and come all the way down and I'll just have you do one more guys. Nice, inhale and exhale. I don't want to just get down on my, I wanna watch you do this, all right. That's better! Look, they did it! (applauding) Their swan, now stay there. More stomach, okay, so you've got directions.

You've got up with your spine. You've got back with the back of your head. You've got your chest going forward like crazy. Forward, and then come all the way down. Great, okay, let's do a plank on the elbows, okay?

So bring your legs closer, tuck your toes down, put your elbows right underneath your shoulders here. You can make a fist and have your fists straight in front of your forearm okay, so that we're not angled in. Yeah, so angle your arms out a little bit Perry. Should be on the mat. He's so tall he's not sure if he's gonna be on the mat.

You're good, you're on barely, okay. So what's gonna happen first we've got to lift our stomach up and put your stomach up almost lift up onto your knees. Okay, and then up onto your toes. Good, okay, now this is, I don't know, I think this is harder than doing it from the hands. What could you, could you straighten?

Yeah, you can. You're just gonna be as still as possible. Holding your stomach up off of the floor. Okay, now to get out of that put your knees down first and then your pelvis, and I want you to do it one more time you guys. Ready, deep breath in. (inhales deeply) I'll do it with you.

Exhale, and up, and just hold. If you knew that this was the only thing you had to do today, this dang plank on the elbows, you'd rock it. This is it. You won't have to do another one for a long time probably, depending if they take class with anybody. Two more breaths, hold hold hold.

You can do it. It's the only thing you're gonna do here. That's it, and then knees down, head down, great. Okay, come on up to your knees, hands and knees. We're gonna watch you do a cat, okay.

So the cat with the, you can widen your hands, shoulders are right above your wrists and then drop your head, drop your tail, and look up into your stomach, okay, yeah. And really as you're in this position this is a chance to open up your back muscles, your back body, open your shoulder blades wide on your back. That was excellent. Okay, and then let's pick up the spine and make it more, pronounce the bones up. Put these up to the ceiling, there we go.

And then come out to more of a flat spine. Just a neutral plank with your spine, okay? So I want to have you adjust your hands Perry, just pull 'em back a little bit. There, cat again, head down tail down. Close, yeah, that's it, yeah.

And I think for both of you stay right there, can you accentuate more of the tail of you, curling under. Right, so it could be, other way Perry. That's right, yeah, that's right, down. (laughs) And then find your level and I want you to do only one more cat, I promise. Take a breath (inhales deeply) and round. So push the floor away, wide shoulder blades, nice.

A stomach that's way up in your body. It's not hanging down, good Jeff, and a tail that's really under, all right. And then you can rest. Okay fabulous, let's just do two things on our side. So why don't you both have your heads facing that way and your legs would be out straight like this.

Doing okay? Mm-hmm. I had a uh-huh and a not so much. (laughs) He's not sure. Okay, so options here when you're lying on your side. You can have the bottom arm long like I have it or you can bend it like this just to support your neck a slight bit.

Either one is okay. One's gonna feel probably preferred to you. I just don't want you to fall asleep, okay. How are you doing? You're good?

All right, so take this hand and put it right in front of your chest, palm face down and then pull that shoulder back. Okay, I've got a recliner here. Put your legs together. Perry is so funny. Stack your legs, yeah.

Let's go flexed feet again. Yeah, other way, yep. Okay so take a breath. I'm gonna have us all do this together. We're gonna take both legs slightly up off the mat.

Lean into the hand that's in front here. Lean forward and lift your legs a little bit. Great, and lower the legs a little bit. Breathe in, so blow the air out, start exhaling and tighten up your abs and then lift your legs. Nice Jeff.

And lower, so I had five of those in mind, ready? Here we go, three more, and up, and lower. Make it more precise by holding the ankle bones together and flex those ankles. Task master, flex your ankles, there hold, and then lower the legs just like that, good. One more time, hold.

Okay, let's make it harder. Top leg is gonna go up top leg's gonna pull down five times. Top leg up, and down. They're doing it, three. This is good form.

Hold your abs in, four. And down, and one more. Nice you guys, okay. Let's test our balance, keep your legs up if you can. It's okay if you need to put your legs down but I want you to just take this hand off the mat.

Chances are you'd roll backward but you're not going to, your abdominals are in, legs are together, ankles are together. Could we challenge it even more, we're taking the arm higher. We won't roll out of this position if we can help it. Aw, you guys, so good. Breathe, breathe, one more place where this arm's gonna go over our ear.

Toes are flexed, ankles are flexed, ankles are flexed, ankles are flexed, that's right. Look at their balance is amazing. Okay guys, and that's it. That's all, let's do the other side. Just flip on up.

Great, it's important to work all of our planes. Side body, front body, back body. Okay so legs are long, ankles are flexed. Choose your position with your arm, okay. Make sure it was the same on both sides.

So Perry did you have your arm down? Yeah yeah, I think it was straight. Were you sleeping? Okay. (chuckles) Legs long okay, this hand is right in front of our chest. Lean into that hand a little bit and pull that shoulder back.

Okay, and just like we started class we want our front body pulled into our back body and our back body coming into our front body. They're really, really connected. So breathing in, both legs come up at the same time, not very high, and we lower. And exhale as we come up. Good, and we lower.

So think about the work occurring in the stomach first, then the legs come up, just a tad, and down, ankles in flexion. There we go, yep. Okay one more time you guys. Exhale the legs up, you're gonna hold 'em. Now we did five of the top leg just a little bit lift and lower.

Five times, high enough you feel the hip work. I'm sure you do. Holding your balance, nice. Lean into the front arm if you feel like you need some support. There's four, and your last one five, and then hold the legs together.

Okay we were there for a bit so take your hand off if you want. Just a little bit of floating the hand. Abdominals in, arm a little higher. (train horn blares) Got the train. Good, so we're not falling out of our position.

Hold the integrity of your line, your position, and we want one more place. We took the arm a little bit overhead, legs are still lifted, ankles are still flexed, breath is still flowing. We're not holding our breath. Let's breathe one more time together (inhales deeply) and then exhale bring everything down. Okay, one more exercise.

I promise, it's the seal. Okay, so let's come up. You can face each other again. And the seal, start with yourself probably a little more forward, Perry. Yep, and put the hands together and they go right slice underneath your heels and then outside and around.

Correct, okay. So we're just doing the ball again. That's all it is, the rolling like a ball. We just have this different configuration with our legs, right. So I want you just kinda again look down into your stomach well.

You can pull your elbows out toward your knees and your knees in toward your elbows and it's just the same easy rolling you did on the ball. Take it back to your shoulders, and up. And if your feet, great. I was gonna say if your feet hit the floor like mine did, that's okay. Our goal is to keep the feet suspended.

Massage the spine. Inhale roll back, exhaling. In, I'm so impressed you guys. Roll back, roll up. Two or three more.

Let's say two more. And last time. (exhales deeply) You made it. You made it, that's it. So that's our mat class, that's our men's mat. (applauding)


Laurie C
1 person likes this.
Awesome work men! Love to see men taking in some Pilates! As always great cueing from you, Amy! Just might have my husband try this class! Thank you, Amy😎
1 person likes this.
My husband needs this. Thanks Amy!
Amy , so wonderful to see real life men doing mat work ! They did great and it was very beneficial as teacher to see your cuing ..
I'll bet they felt fabulous afterward :))
Thanks Laurie , Lori and Deborah Wasko ! These two men did fabulously and yes, the felt better after! So much fun working with men and seeing the method work in their bodies!
2 people like this.
Loved your cueing, sometimes it's difficult to fully explain some of the flexion excercises. The leg and ankle stretches were particularly good. Your humour gets the best out of everyone, the two guys were great
Thank you Sharon ! This was so fun to teach!! The guys did great!
Amy, the expression on your face in the still for this class is ADORABLE. It makes me happy. I'm gonna sneak into this class...(shhh. don't tell!)
1 person likes this.
Love this! Great class, Amy, as always. And, wow, Jeff & Perry! Way to go! But who's behind the camera ... Kristi? ;)
1 person likes this.
Martha "Mars" Hart -- thank you! Oh the still shots.... you never know what they're going to capture! Jill -- our amazing production assistant Nicole was behind the camera that day! :)
1 person likes this.
Amy, I really like your casual style with the guys. Just what I needed! Cueing was clean and simple. Guys don't need picky details. PS - met you in MPLS with Buff Bones training 2012. Thank you for all your help.
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