Class #3171

Boys on Barrels

45 min - Class
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Use the Spine Corrector to deeper into your Mat work with this class by Benjamin Degenhardt. He uses the Spine Corrector to provide you with support when you need it and to make the Mat work more fun. He includes many challenging exercises and variations including Leg Pull, High Bridge, and much more!
What You'll Need: Spine Corrector, Mat, Towel

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Hi everybody, my name is Benjamin. I'm super excited to be here with my friends Benny, Frank and Gregory. We're gonna share a mat class that will use the spine corrector just as an add on to get a little bit deeper in some of the exercises. Hopefully provide you with some support. But mostly to really make your mat practice a little bit more fun.

We have tons of exercises coming up, so I would suggest we get started. Are you guys ready? Let's do this. We're gonna start actually with a squat, to just get our body a little bit warmed up, and just sort of stay outside the Pilates vocabulary for a second. Want you to stand in front of your spine corrector, facing in towards the middle of the room.

And position yourself so that you have about a foot length of space between you and the front of the barrel. We're gonna take the feet about hip distance apart, maybe a smidge turned out, so that we really open up our hips for a good squat. The idea is that we take our butt all the way down to the ground. Thankfully we have the step of the barrel there, to catch us before we have to go all the way down. So take your hands behind your head, so we keep a nice open spine on top.

Begin to push your head slightly back into your hands. Just take a nice deep breath in here, feel the length of your spine. The openness of your chest. Feel your feet against the ground and then just explore the first one kind of slow. Bend your knees, sit your hips back and down.

Try to find the crease of the step of your spine corrector, and lift yourself back up. Remeasure your distance to the spine corrector if that didn't go so well, if you didn't find your barrel. Let's do that again. Consider this your test drive. We just wanna figure out where do we need to be, In order to land on the corrector.

And then lift yourself all the way back up. Gonna go a little bit quicker now. Keep pressing your head back into your hands. Feel your feet underneath you. Sit, and stand back up.

Begin to notice how much your spine has to come forward and back as you keep going. Bend your knees, sit down. We'll do three more here. Lift yourself to the top. And two, take it down.

Lift back up. Continuously press your head back into your hands. Remember that for your neck pull later on. This is your last one. Bend your knees, sit down, press all the way up to standing, and then bring your legs all the way together in front of your spine corrector.

We're gonna stay in the same position. We'll take one more squat down and then position our body for our backward stretch. Go ahead and bend your knees, sit yourself down, and then drape your body back over your barrel. The way that we position our body for this first little stretch here, is with the hips really at the very edge of your step. So come forward a little bit more.

And then see if you can find a spot where your chest is completely supported by the apex of the barrel. Allow your legs to lengthen out. And we're gonna use a towel as a prop here, so you guys will stay where you are, I'm gonna grab it for you. You hold the towel tight with both hands, pulling it apart along the longest part. You can use a pole for this as well, but since this is the only exercise where we use a prop, we might as well use the towel, which you will surely need for this class.

Go ahead and press your legs into one another and reach them really far away from you, and indulge in this stretch here. Pull the towel apart with your hands. Reach your arms back behind you. And for right now allow your ribs to actually arch, and let them completely go. We're gonna spend a lot of time drawing them back together and organizing ourself in a good Pilates fashion.

For right now just see how open you can be in the front of your body. And then lift your arms up and forward, 'til the towel meets your thighs, see if you can maintain an open chest as you do that. And while your arms are down here, can you now begin to pull the back of your ribcage deeper into the barrel. Stretch your legs even farther away from you. Pull a little harder on the towel, then take that stretch again.

Reach the arms up and back over your head. Continue to pull the towel apart as hard as you can, notice at what point your ribs now begin to arch, and see if you can ever so slightly undo that, by lengthening the front of your ribcage down, puffing out your back into the barrel. Arms up and forward, we'll do two more rounds of that. Continue to press your legs into one another so they stay nice and alive here. We're gonna need that for our next exercise, our beloved hundred.

Arms go up and forward. This will be the last one, strong legs, strong pull. Take the arms up and back over your head. Lose your towel right there, just drop it on the mat. Take the arms up and forward and begin to curl your head, neck and shoulders up and forward.

Still making contact with the barrel, so we're not coming up quite as high just yet. The back of your ribcage is still anchored down. So where we would do our hundred on the mat, see if you can find that spot here on the barrel. And it feels a little odd because your hips are not fully supported, but see if you can push your ribs back into where you're touching the barrel. Release your head back down, stretch your arms over your head.

And set that up one more time. It may feel like your hips are in danger of falling down the front of the step. Let that be okay for now, you may reposition after we add our next step. Which is to press the legs into one another so strongly you can maybe even let them hover up a couple of inches off the ground. Stay with that for a second.

Lift them to maybe parallel to the ground, but see if still you can maintain that connection back into the barrel. Position your head, breathe. Looks like nothing, feels like a lot. Lower the legs down, stretch your head and arms back over the barrel one more time. This is where we do our hundred.

So if you need to reposition do it now. Lift your arms up and forward, chin over chest. Pick up your legs, here we go. Breathe in and pump the arms vigorously. Inhaling for five, exhaling for five.

And continue the thing that you're pushing your feet away from you into something, all the while finding that contact at the back of your ribcage, into the barrel. Breathing in (inhaling deeply), breathing out. Same variations apply as always. If your legs get too heavy for your back to carry, lift them a little higher or bend them even in towards you. But feel your shoulder blades wide and back behind you against the support of the barrel.

It's actually quite a nice place to explore what we would consider more advanced version of the hundred, where the legs lift up straight. Inhaling for five (inhaling deeply), Exhaling for five. Let's do two more here, breathing and really open up the shoulders, make sure that the pump doesn't get stuck in your fingers or wrists, but moves the entire shoulder from the back. Last breath (inhales deeply), and when you're done drop the legs, drop your head, stretch your arms back up and over your head for that backward stretch one more time. Now that really feels good.

While we're here sit yourself back a little bit farther, towards where the step meets the barrel, so let your hips slide back a little bit, reposition yourself while you're here. And then almost arch your back so that your hips can really sit down into that step. If you can, flex your feet here, really anchor your legs down strongly. We're gonna take a roll up from here, which again is gonna feel a little different because the spine has a different departure point. Take your arms up and forward, follow chin over chest.

And notice there's a place where your body doesn't wanna come forward all that much anymore. Stay right there. And instead of going forward more, can you lift your ribs up and back behind you a little bit. Puff yourself up, beautiful. And then drape yourself back over the barrel.

Take that backwards stretch, arms overhead. We go a little quicker three more times. Arms up and forward, chin over chest, round over the legs, feel the back of your ribcage lift up and away from your thighs. Come back down, stretch your arms up and back over your head. Two more, up and forward.

Chin over chest, less forward, more up. Find that lift through your lower back, gorgeous. And take it back, and down strongly, anchored feet and heels. Last one, up and over. Good, push your back up into my hands ever so slightly.

Feel your lower back open, come all the way back down. Reach your arms over your head. And we'll have to do one more just to come up to a seated position. We're actually gonna come up to standing for just a second. We're gonna have to do a little adjustment with our barrel now, and move it to the back of your mat.

So just go ahead and move it back quite far, so you have most of the mat available for a rollover, and our one leg circle. Traditionally the mats have handles that you can hold onto in exercise like the rollover and the one leg circle. We're just gonna use the barrel to make up for that. Because we don't have them right now. So you wanna lie down in front of your spine corrector, an arm length away from the step, so measure that.

And you wanna hold on right to the corners of your step, with your arms out straight. So you guys are going to overlap a little bit there. Excellent. Now because we have the step here, we can actually use it to monitor our rollover just a little bit, but first get used to that feeling of pulling your hands into the step, into those corners. And then lift your legs up to a right angle.

Lift your hips up and over your head, your spine is ready for it now. And then flex your feet, try to find the crease with your toes and begin to push your heels back towards the barrel to get a nice little uplift through the sides of the waist. Lift the backs of your thighs towards the ceiling, and then point your feet and roll yourself all the way back down. Lower the legs all the way back to the ground, and do that again. Lift your legs to a right angle.

Up and over you go. We're gonna leave any leg circling out of the rollover today, we'll add that in later. Flex your feet, press the backs of your thighs up, get longer through the sides of the waist. Point to roll down. We're gonna take two more a little quicker.

Once your legs are all the way down, add some rhythm. Up you go (snapping). Over you roll, flex your feet, push the heels back towards the barrel, lift your seat up, and roll down with control. This will be your last one. Lower all the way, lift back up, over you roll.

Flex your feet, push your heels back, lift the sides of your waist. Make sure that you're not hinging into the middle back, roll yourself all the way back down. And release the legs. Ah, and shake it loose for a second while you're there. Nice, reposition yourself in case your body was migrating.

It's okay if your body's not fully on the mat right now. There's only so much space here, right? And we're gonna go into a one leg circle, holding onto that same grip. If you start to notice that your shoulders get really tired with your hands on the corners, you can always bring them down by your sides from here. But we'll try to use the arms to monitor how we can move our leg in isolation so that our whole body doesn't have to rotate along with it.

Lift your right leg up, one leg circle. Take a tiny circle over the middle, circle it down around and back up. For one, we're gonna keep those circles small so that you don't get tangled up, but also to really stay true to that feeling of pushing your hands towards one another, like you're hugging the barrel overhead. One more time. Down, around, and up.

And then go the other way. Down, across, and lift. Start to focus on that other leg, the one that's on the ground, the one that's easy to forget about. Anchor that down, keep pressing into the barrel, and then lower that leg all the way down. Nice work you guys.

Lift the other leg up. Left side, across you go, circle it down, around and up. With your arms overhead, start to notice is there any movement side to side on your shoulder blades? It's very easy to feel with that grip overhead. And as you let your hands pull a little bit, go ahead and reverse.

You can really feel your back become a part of the exercise, using the shoulders and the arm. Two, and one, lower the leg all the way down. And you're done with that, shake out your legs for a second. Nice work. Lift your arms straight up to the ceiling, we're going to hover up into our rolling like a ball position from here.

So pick up your head, neck and shoulders, lift your legs, bend your knees, grab ahold, reposition yourself on your mat. Now you know there's a barrel behind you, so we're not actually going to roll back and forth, like we usually do. We're gonna make this small and intense in other ways. Begin to create the sensation that you kick your feet into your hands. And very strongly pull back against your shins so that your arms and your legs do all the work for you right now.

Use that to lift your back a little bit, see if you can find more space between your vertebrae. And puff yourself out more in the back. Hollow out in the front more. Now take that shape, just an inch back without collapsing backwards because that barrel is behind you. And come back up.

Do that again, can you keep your heel with your seat as you go back a little, and then come forward. And as we go slow here, right, just check in. Does that make you create tension in your shoulders, that maybe doesn't serve you? Maybe let that go. See if you can put that into your grip, into your pull and into the kick of your legs.

One more time, rolling back. Lift yourself all the way back up, and then go ahead release your feet all the way down. Stretch out your legs and measure yourself out on your mat in a way that you don't hit it, the barrel that is. We're just going into our single leg stretch, and our double leg stretch. We're gonna ignore the fact that the barrel is there for now.

We're just gonna leave it where it is. Go ahead and pull the right knee into your chest to start. Lift your head, neck and shoulders. Left leg is long, stay here. Create distance between right knee, left toes, pull them apart and then switch to the other side.

Think of your squat from earlier and that deep fold in the hip. Now we go fast. Switch, and switch, and switch, and switch. Breathing in (inhaling deeply), and breathing out (exhaling deeply). Think of pulling your elbows wide to keep the chest open as you pull the leg in deeper with each repetition, like you're trying to get that knee behind your ear perhaps.

One day, or maybe now. Four, three, two, one. Bring both knees into your chest and hold. We're gonna take the arms up and back as the legs extend out in front of you for a double leg stretch today. Stay for a second.

Can you curl up just a little bit more, maybe lower the legs a little bit. Circle the arms around, hug your knees up and into your chest. Squeeze your lungs empty, go again. Inhale, reach. Arms up and back, legs out in front of you.

Circle to come back in. Expand on your breath. Inhale, reach. Exhale arms come in. Give yourself a squeeze.

We got three more, inhale, reach. Exhale, knees come in. Squeeze it tighter, for two, inhale reach, exhale come back in. This is your last one. Inhale, reach and hold.

Can you stay there a little bit longer? Can you lengthen your tail towards the heels to avoid arching the back, exhale arms come around. Knees come in. Ah, release your head all the way down. Shake out your head.

Roll it side to side if that feels good. Maybe a little rock through the knees. We're gonna take a quick little break, which includes moving our barrels again. So whenever you are done stretching, come up to standing. We're gonna move our barrels to the middle of the mat.

So make sure you have an even amount of space in front and behind the barrel. And now we're gonna use the elevation that the step provides us for our spine stretch and our saw. Alright, so go ahead and set yourself up, sitting towards the front of your step. This is a great variation if your hamstrings feel tight for this exercise, and you wanna maximize the spinal movement in this move. We're gonna take the arms out in front of us, make sure your shoulders are relaxed, feel your sits bones against the barrel.

It's nice and easy to feel. Send energy out the heels and up through the toes as you flex your feet, lift your ribs off your hips and when your next exhale comes around, begin to bend the ends of your spine towards one another. Like one day the crown of your head is going to touch the ground underneath your knees. Then lift yourself all the way back up, stamp your heels into the ground, and go again. Go up, to go forward, think both ends of your spine bend towards one another.

Arms reach forward, ribs draw back. Lift yourself all the way back up. We'll take three more of these. Lift the ribcage up, as you round forward, pull both ends of your spine, bend at the same time. Flex those feet, inhale lift, let's take two more.

With the arms reaching forward it's sometimes easier to get stuck in there, right? You want to feel that reach and it's okay if the shoulder blades reach forward there for a second. Let them relax as you come back up. This is your last one. Big stretch forward, lift yourself up.

Let's see if we have space to bring the arms out to the side from here, without getting into each other's way. Lift yourself into your saw. Alright. Let's start to hug the shoulder blades together behind us. So we almost lock into the scapula here, so that the head can lift and the twist really has to come from your ribs and your thoracic spine.

So keep that hug of your shoulder blades as you twist right, around over your right leg. Reach right on back behind you, pause for a second, even out the distance of both your shoulders to the ground, so spiral the right shoulder down just a smidge. Nice, and then come all the way back up to center. Let's do one more slow to the other side. To the left, twist, and round over.

So even weight on your sits bones on that step of your spine corrector. Come back through center. We'll now add our breath. Twist and exhale around over the right leg. Inhale to lift and twist to the other side.

Exhale around down. Four more like that. Inhale lift, exhale around over. Nice job not getting into each other's way guys. (laughing) Over to the left, rounded down.

This is your last round. Think about your feet again. Are they both touching the ground? Are they both anchoring down? Are both feet flexing?

Last one. Rounding down, lift yourself all the way back up. Pause, hug your shoulder blades back together again. And try to bring your arms back as far as possible. Just a moment to open the chest, next up is our swan dive so we'll benefit from having a little bit of openness here.

Relax 'em down. (exhaling deeply) And be done here, nice work. We're going to position ourselves for our swan dive. Facing away from the step. The apex of your barrel is essentially where the area between your hip bones and your bottom rib lands.

So just take a moment to figure that out, where that is for you. Right, you might have to slide a little bit further forward to find your balance. Your hands will be right underneath your shoulders. Your elbows can be bent here, feel like you're pulling your elbows back behind you so that your neck is long. And then stretch your legs back so that they are lifted parallel to the ground as well.

And once you have your balance point, add a little back bend to this, before we even drop towards the mat. Pick up your legs and pick up your head to the height of your heels. Maximize your back bend this is the shape that you're going to carry forward and back now. Draw the elbows back, bend them deeper to lower yourself down. Lift the legs up, and then just push through the arms.

Maintain the backbend as you lift yourself all the way back up. Keep going guys. Bend the elbows more to take your body down. And stretch back and up in your backbend. Right, so that we can use the elevation of the barrel here to really help us stay in that backbend start to finish.

So we don't arrive back in that straight line, but we carry that shape with us. Bend, and stretch. Let's take one more here because there's much more back bending coming up. Find your straight line now so the crown of your head goes forward again. Your legs reach back, we will do a one leg kick right here.

Kick your right heel to your seat for a double pulse. Stretch it back, other side, kick, kick. Stretch it back. Let this be a challenge, you guys keep going. To keep your lower back nice long wrinkle free, your tail lengthening back towards the heels, and your arms continuously pulling back in space so that you open your chest wider.

Kick, kick and stretch. Right side, and stretch, last one. Left, left and stretch. Double leg kick is very similar. Bend the elbows going to your swan dive.

Come down, kick your heels to your seat twice. One, two, now stretch your feet back, come back to that flat line. Straighten the arms a little bit more. And bend the elbows again. Lift your legs, kick twice, one, two.

Try to keep the sides lifted as you push the feet back. Open the chest in front of you. Two more times. Take it down, kick, kick. Legs back, lengthen out, one more time.

Lift those thighs up, kick, kick. Stretch the legs, stretch the arms. Pause. Can you now find a balance from here. The end of our double leg kick has the arms reaching back behind us.

We are gonna try to get that done here. Which may mean that you have to reposition yourself, right. So it's okay if this goes horribly wrong first time around. Take a few seconds here to find your position. Chances are you may not find it just yet.

We're gonna get back to this in a little bit. Nice, you guys. As you have the position, pull those hands back, stretch the legs behind you. And then beautifully collapse for a second. Drape yourself over your barrel.

Push yourself back, I know that's so hard. (sighing) Well, here's the good news, we're gonna do the neck pull, fully using the barrel for support. It's a nice little antidote to that lower back work we just did. So just turn yourself around, after you're done stretching. Sit all the way into the fold of your spine corrector and just place your feet flat down in front of you.

Alright, take your hands behind you. Think about the squat you did in the beginning of class today. Your head presses back into your hands. And maybe with that feeling, go ahead and lift yourself up a little taller. How tall can you get?

How free can the fronts of your hips feel? Begin to curl yourself back, into the barrel leaving your feet where they are. Leaving that pressure of your head back into your hands, until you're back into your backwards stretch from the beginning. Keep pushing your head down into your hands now as you lift yourself back up. Chin over chest, deepen the ribs into the barrel, and lift yourself all the way up tall.

We're gonna do four more of those. The head gets up and back into the hands. Draw the tail under, bend both ends of your spine thinking of your spine stretch from earlier. Drape back and lift yourself all the way back up. Sit up tall, and again.

All this time, think that you're dragging your heels towards the barrel without actually moving them, to fire up the backs of your legs. To maybe unlock a little bit more freedom in the front of your hips. Sit up tall, totally lost count. Let's just do two more, it's always two more, right? (laughing) Roll yourself back, open the chest here.

Chin over chest, lift yourself back up. Sit up tall, final one, promise. Rolling back. Press your head back into the hands as you lift yourself up you really wanna feel traction come down the back of your neck here. Sorry you guys, lift yourself up tall.

We're going into our scissors and bicycle next. So our transition is to sit on the highest point of the barrel. I like to pull one foot into the front face of the step here so I have something to keep myself from crashing back down. Hold onto the sides of your spine corrector. And first make sure that you have enough space for the tripod of your shoulder blades and your head, so that your neck doesn't feel compressed.

And then go ahead and bend your knees into your chest. Use the strength of your arms to draw the barrel into your back and vise versa. You guys stay here for a second, I'll take myself out, so I can take you through the next portion. Lift your legs up from here. Straight up to the ceiling.

Feel even weight on both your hips. And immense length through the back of your neck. Drop the right leg away from you and down. Let it fall towards the step, pause there for a second. Keep the knee nice and straight.

Reach that leg away from you, keep the opposite hip evenly heavy. Let's switch to the other side. Reach the legs apart, energy through both, like little laser beams shooting out of your toes. Let's go to the other side. Heavy hips, switch, and switch.

Picking up the pace, and switch. Especially here as we do it with the barrel, see how your arms can help you support evenness throughout your shoulders so that you have a great departure point to unlock your hips, and get some good movement in there. Four more. Four, and three, and two, and one. Stay where you are, bend the bottom leg in to begin your bicycle.

And reach, try to skim the front of the step as you go through and as this movement becomes fairly repetitive, just refocus on your breathing. See what that is like right now, the quality of your breath, the sound of your breath. Evenness of your hips again, and reverse it. Awesome. Remember that the grip of your hands is not just to get you back engaged, but also to make more contact with the barrel.

It's there to support you and to elevate you and to give you maybe a chance to restore some of that back rib to barrel alignment. So that we can call on that in a little bit. Stretch both legs up. I believe we're done here. Bend both knees, place your feet into the crease of your step.

Make sure that your feet are flat, they're standing on the step fully. And again create this illusion that you're dragging your heels back into the step. Back towards the barrel. So you'll find the backs of your legs firing up. We wanna take our shoulder bridge now, as a preparation for our high bridge later.

Take one leg up to the ceiling and then stretch it forward and down as far as you can. Allow the front of that thigh to open, both hips heavy and kick the leg up explosively. We'll do that five more times. Reach the leg forward and down. Kick it up, and forward, reach it down.

Kick it up, three, keep the chest open throughout. Make sure that the front of your throat doesn't start shortening. For two, and up, last one, lower, and lift. Draw that leg back in, bend your knee, place your foot down. We'll go to the other side.

Leg lift, or left leg lifts. Take it up to the ceiling, reach it forward and down. Really wind it up here, feel how that stretch sits in your body, and then kick it up, four, five. And down, and forward, and down. Check in with your right heel, the one that's on the barrel, make sure it doesn't start lifting up secretly.

See if you can make contact with it throughout. Pull it back into the round of the barrel. And bend your knee, take your foot down, we're done here. Now, we're gonna stay in the same position for our jack knife, which is where we also go into a little corkscrew to start. Reposition yourself in case your body was sliding back or forward.

Go ahead and bring your legs straight up to the ceiling from here. We'll start with a little cork screw action. So your sacrum, the back of your pelvis is now sitting against the front face of the barrel. We're gonna draw circles around that by tipping the legs together to the right, circling them down, around and up. Remember those small circles you made with one leg at a time earlier.

The circles here are not much bigger. Take it to the left, down, around and up. Even pull through both arms all throughout. No matter what direction you go into. Take it left, down, over right, and up.

One more time each side. Right, down, around and up. Start to explore how low you can go with your legs away from you. Lift yourself up, back to a rollover now. You take your legs over your head, you allow your lower back and your hips to lift away from the barrel.

Stay there for a second, feel the distance between your back and the barrel. Extend your legs straight up to the ceiling from here, keeping your back away from the barrel. Yeah, so we come into a shoulder stand, jack knife here, and then very slowly reposition your spine, roll yourself back in towards the barrel. Lower your legs down as far as they will go. And we'll do that again, roll over.

Next go up and over to lift the seat and the lower back away from the barrel. Keep the distance as you stretch your legs straight up. Keep pulling on the barrel, just slowly melt your back back into it. Drop your hips on top, lower the legs. We'll take one more like that.

Legs up, and over, stretch your legs straight up. Now grow taller through the sides of the waist. Remember how you had your feet on the step for your first rollover today, and how the sides of the waist lengthened there? Find that here, roll yourself back down. Lower the legs.

(exhaling deeply) And now we have a really fun transition. Well it's fun for me anyway. Let's see if you guys feel it's fun too. Bend your knees for a second. Let me talk you through this.

The idea is that we come out of that rollover again, you drop your legs down far away from you, and you use that to lift your whole body up, hopefully coming to a seated position on top. Yeah, is the assignment clear? Shall we give it a try? Lift your legs straight up to the ceiling. Give yourself some momentum by taking the legs overhead, rolling over.

As you roll yourself back into the barrel, drop the legs down, use that to lift yourself up. Up, up and there we are, beautiful job you guys. Nice, it is fun, right? I think it's super fun. Oh well.

We're gonna sit in the front of the step yet again for our teaser. Alright, so we have some space between your seat and the round part of the barrel. So you can just kind of measure where you need to sit in order to come into what feels like your teaser seat curve. We can set it up fully supported. For some of us that might mean we have to sit a little closer to the step.

Feel free to change that as you go through the exercise. Your hips are already folded in, so it's easy enough to lift your feet up. You teaser your legs out, you teaser your arms out. And here you are. Of course that's not the exercise.

This is just a departure point. See if now actively through the reach of your arms you can lift yourself ever so slightly away from the barrel. The legs stay. Roll yourself back, over the round of the barrel. Drape your ribs over the apex, reach your arms up and back, here's our backwards stretch again.

Take the arms up and forward and lift yourself all the back way back up. Reach, smile, brief. Roll yourself back down. The rules of Pilates. Arms up and over the head, the legs keep reaching as you pull yourself back up towards them.

We'll just do one more like that. Roll yourself back. Feel the support for your back as you go up and down, lift yourself to the top and stay. Now, just one inch lower the legs. Lift them back up.

Do that again, just and inch, lift them up two inches. One more time, down, lift them up and hold. Bend your knees in, let your feet come down to the ground. Turn yourself around, after teaser comes swimming. We're gonna take that same balance we found for our swan dive, to start.

And then things get super exciting for a second. Alright so what try to support with the apex of the barrel is again that area between hip bones and ribs. But depending on your body's dimensions, you might have to scoot forward and back a little bit. So see if you can find a place where you can lift both arms and both feet off the ground. And just the pursuit itself is an exercise (laughing).

Keep even weight on both hips. And once you found your position, lift one arm and leg up and switch in cross coordination. And switch, and switch, and switch, and switch. And switch, if you need to touch the ground every now and then that's totally okay. Then switch, switch, switch, for four, three, two, one.

And done, release all the way down. Push yourself back, maybe off the barrel for just a second, into a child's pose of sorts, so you have a moment to rest your back, now you can drop your head on the spine corrector if you like. Ah, nice work you guys. Roll yourself all the way up, and let's come to standing. We're gonna push the barrel towards the back of our mat.

So that we have most of the mat now available to us. Make sure it's still supported on the mats so it doesn't slide around. We're gonna do a leg pulse, using the step of the spine corrector. What I like about doing it here, is that the step provides usually a little bit of a downward slope, which means for those of us that have very poor wrist mobility, it actually picks up some of the slack by not forcing us to be at a 90 degree angle. So I quite like that.

Alright, so set yourself up in a plank, taking your palms flat down onto the step. Of course making sure that you don't slide down into the downward slope of this. Keep in mind that this is probably not as wide as your shoulders, so there's a little narrowing underneath you. See if you can reconcile that by pulling your chest forward and kicking your heels back and that way puffing our your chest somewhat. Here's our leg pull du jour.

Point your right foot behind you, kick it up towards the ceiling, double pulse, flex it and pull it down towards the ground. Try to become a little bit longer through the rest of your body. Point the left foot, kick it up, up. Flex and pull it back down. Pull your chest through your arms at the same time.

Right foot up, kick, kick, flex and pull it down. Left side, try to put no dents into your lower back here. Keep that strong connection through your center. Flex it down. Left side, kick it up, up and a down pause, step your feet forward towards the barrel so you can lift your hips up and roll yourself all the way up to standing.

We're gonna turn around and do our leg pulled back exactly the same way. Using the step. Now on this direction, right, having your fingers point forward, just means you put a really immense bend into your wrist, which may be really hard to do. So feel free to play around with where else the barrel can support you here. I personally like out to the sides.

But you find what works for you. Use the elevation of the barrel to just get your hips up nice and high, maybe even press the soles of your feet flat and down. If your feet point enough, open your chest and let your chin come down, looking at your toes. And take a moment there. See if you can press your arms back, as if you're trying to push the barrel back behind you, to even find more openness across your chest and collarbones.

And then if you have it in you, kick the right leg up double pulse. Kick kick, bring it down. And again, kick, kick, pull it down towards the ground. Again, kick, kick, pull it down. As you kick the leg up, make sure the hips don't drop down all that much.

And as the leg comes down, can you push the hips even a little higher. One more time, kick, kick, pull it down. Step your feet in towards the barrel, and have a seat on top. Ah, let's undo that with the hands behind the head, just one more neck pull here. Drape yourself all the way back, let your chest open again.

Ah, that feels good, never ceases to feel good. Lift yourself all the way back up. Come to standing, we're going to reposition the barrels one more time, moving them to the middle of your mat. Our next cluster of exercises includes a little bit of a backward head stand, alright. So be ready for that.

We set it up the same way that we set up our scissors and bicycle so we're gonna be seated facing the step, on the highest point of the barrel, draping ourselves all the way back. And bending your knees into your chest. Take a moment here to find that grip again. Can you pull most of your back, now into the barrel without shortening the space in your throat, your neck, sides of your neck, shoulders, elbows. And then extend your legs straight up to the ceiling.

Let's monitor how far we can bring the legs down without losing that connection of our back into the barrel. And then lift back up from there. So while your center is working really strongly, make this an arm exercise too, continuously pull with the arms. Once you found your lowest point, let's add a circle, you lower down, you open the legs, lift the legs back up, circle them back together. You guys keep going.

Lower, open, lift, press together. This time you can go big on your circles, we have the space, so really luxuriate, open your hips here, down, around and up. Let's go the other way. Open, lower, press the legs together from you, lift them up, for three, down, press and lift. For two, down, press and lift.

One more time, hold the legs down and together stay. Feel the weight of your legs here bearing down towards the ground. And see if you can let that travel through your hips, through your chest, into a backbend, in this position. So drop your feet, lift your chest and see if you can bring yourself onto the crown of your head, with your eyes looking back. Alright, it's hard to do slow.

Your hands are still the same position if available to you, and then you bring your chin into your chest. You land the back of your head down, the shoulders land, your legs lift back up. Super hard to do slow, but it's good to see it slow once, right? You outline it, we'll do that a little quicker now. Open the legs, circle them down and together.

As they meet, lift your chest up, lift yourself onto the crown of your head, let the weight of your legs help you. And then lift the legs back up to weigh your head and neck down. Legs go up and over, circle the legs open. Press them together, far away from you. Let that ripple through your entire spine.

We're gonna take two more here. Legs up and over. If you feel like you can take it a step farther, the second you're on your head let your arms go up and back, straight behind you, reaching in opposition to your toes. It's like your backwards stretch in the beginning. Circle the arms around to grab the barrel again.

Let's do one more here. Up you go, over you go, open the legs. Circle the legs together, far away from you, arms reach up and back. Find that stretch in two directions out through the fingers, out through the legs. And take the arms around.

Ah, bend your needs back into your chest. Good. Allow your tail for a moment to just round up and away from the barrel to give yourself a nice little lower back stretch. Ah, right. And let's see, I think we have to reposition our barrels a little bit, so come up to standing guys for a second.

We're going into our high bridge next, which makes it super important that your barrel's on a non-sticky surface. Alright, and that your hands are on that same surface. Right, so bring the mat a little bit closer to the front, because the bottommost part will be the step for this one. And let's set this up together. We try to get the hands down, back behind our ears, in a way that allow our elbows to be right on top of our wrist.

Gives us better moment to push from, right? So let's take our time with the setup here. Set yourself up onto the highest point of the barrel. You guys look a little scared, are you okay about the high bridge? I think it'll be just fun (laughing).

Drape yourself backwards, over. Remember it's not about the finished product. Let's see how far we go. Park your heels fairly close to one another, into the step and draw them back and in. Let your hips be nice and heavy for the time being.

Let's start here. You fold your fingers and wrists back, to place your hands next to your ears on the mat. Check in with your elbows for just a second. Notice if they drop out to the sides, or if you can let the thumb side of your hand, press down evenly to get your elbows towards one another. Check that they're right above the wrists.

First step, can you lift your hips a millimeter off your barrel? Can you push into your hands to lift the crown of the head up to where it just was in your rolling onto the head? And then push your feet down, straighten the arms, and lift yourself into a high bridge. Push a little harder through your feet, to get more of the stretch into the front of your chest and shoulders if that's available to you. Take a full breath, and then bring your chin over your chest.

Carefully bend the elbows, land the back of your head down, right in between your hands, and release your pelvis. You guys get one more of these. And I get to watch. Bring your feet closer together. Pull your feet back and try that again.

Push into the feet, push into the hands, roll through the crown of the head. You can outsource some weight into your head first, before going into the full push, before fully straightening the arms. If that goes well, and only then, you can play around with maybe taking one leg up to the ceiling, keeping the foot that's on the barrel nice and strong and to the ground. Keeping the hips even, bend your knee. Let's try the other side.

And yeah, come out of it if you had enough. Absolutely fine. Once your leg is up, rather than making it about being straight up, can you even out the hips a little bit when you're ready, chin over chest, slowly recover. Woo, how 'bout something more restorative and relaxing after that? That was gorgeous.

We're gonna take a little rolling massage here, holding onto the grips on your barrel. Bend your knees into your chest quite a bit. Think of rolling like a ball and how we did it today, how you had your heels really close to your seat and your knees really close to your chest. Try to find that here. We're gonna massage around the sacrum, similar to our cork screw.

Just take your knees over to your right shoulder. Circle them up and away from you, over to the left. And finish the circle on the right side before you go the other way. Take it over to the left, up and around. You can go at your own pace here.

Let this feel really good. What makes this feel even better is if you use your arms start to finish, keep your chest nice and open. And if you allow the movement to help you navigate your breath. Really squeeze the knees into you in each one. And up and around.

And while I'm sure you could do this all day, we're just gonna do two more here. Up and over, knees go in, final one. Knees come into the chest, alright. Let's see if this works with the mat that you're on right now. See if you can push the barrel away from you.

If it doesn't slide you might have to push yourself away from it. Think it's gonna work. Let your feet just drape over for just a second, because that feels really nice too, to just let your circulation come back to normal. I wish I could say that this is it, but we have one more thing to do. (laughing) Bend your knees into your chest.

Come on everyone, finish nice and strong. Lift yourself up to standing. Let's see, let's position our barrel again at the very end of our mat. We're gonna use the barrel for a push up, so our final exercise for today. We're gonna use the step to place our feet into.

Of course you can go back to where we had our hands for the leg pull. And place your hands on the step. But we just wanna show a different option here. So, let's step up into this high mat here. You wanna position yourself pretty far in the front of your mat and place your hands flat down, in front of your big toes.

Look back, measure the distance you need to step your feet back into your plank, so that your toes are right in the crease of your step. Walk your hands out if needed. With that elevation, should be really easy to find a line that is almost parallel to the ground. Which is otherwise hard to find in a plank. Now from here, strongly kick your heels back, pull your chest forward, puff up the space behind your heart, between your shoulder blades.

And let's take three push ups here. Bend the elbows, pull yourself forward. Push yourself up and back. Do it again, bend the elbows down. Press back up, one more time here.

Bend and press. Lift your hip creases up step one foot forward, then the other. Roll yourself all the way up to standing. Lift the arms up for just a moment. Feel your heels nice and heavy.

We're gonna do two more sets. Roll yourself back down. Once your hands meet the ground walk yourself out and into a plank. And just for kicks let's make this one a little different. Take your right foot off, and hook your big and second tow, right behind your left achilles heel.

And use that foot to glide your heel back towards the barrel to get extra length. Three push ups. Bend and stretch. Two, bend and stretch, one more time. Bend and stretch, separate your feet, lift your hips, walk yourself out of it.

Step off your barrel, roll yourself all the way up. Lift the arms up just for a moment of stretching, think of your backwards stretch in the beginning. Maybe even take a little backbend. Your arms up and back. Ah, hips extend.

Take it down one more time, do the other side here. Rolling down, walk it out, find your plank. Left food glides the right heel back. Really use that to lengthen and traction yourself out. And take it down three times.

Any amount will do here. Holding a plank is just as good. Two, and lift it up, one more time. Keep that back nice and strong. Lift your hips, separate your feet.

Step away from it. Ah, take a moment here with your head down, soften your knees, shake out your knees perhaps. Maybe your head, your neck, shoulders, shimmy around. Exactly, now roll yourself all the way up to standing. Ah.

Gents, you guys are all set. Very nice work you guys. Thank you so much. (men clapping)

Comments

3 people like this.
Dear Benjamin Degenhardt
I really love your class. : )
2 people like this.
Always love your classes, Benjamin, and this one was no exception. You and your students move so beautifully! The barrel variations were helpful, especially for High Bridge and Leg Pull. Tho still very challenging for me. But I will keep trying. Maybe one day! ;) Can't wait to see you at PMA!
Best way to learn that my latest class is up is by way of reading such lovely comments! So glad you enjoyed it, we had a blast filming it... but that goes without saying, right?
2 people like this.
Thanks Benjamin great work loved this class, high bridge I need to work on as my shoulders have always hated this but will be doing this class soon 😊😊
3 people like this.
So. Much. Fun.
2 people like this.
Was so excited to see another class given by Benjamin. I've been waiting and it didn't disappoint! Well done and thank you.
1 person likes this.
Excellent work!
1 person likes this.
Very clear cues, and really fun class!
1 person likes this.
You are an amazing instructor! I have a very advanced private client who loves variety and challenge. This is perfect! Promise I will try it out first..Thank you!
Thanks Marlene and... is that me behind you in your profile picture? Ah, memories of Pisa!
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