Class #3238

Bone Safe Mat

20 min - Class


Focus on bone health and balance in this quick Mat workout by Amy Havens. She works on the ABCs (abdominal engagement, breathing, and centering) so you can connect your mind to your body for the entire class. This a great class for anyone as you can tag it on to another class, or make this your workout for the day.
What You'll Need: Pilates Pole, Theraband


Read Full Transcript

Hi, everyone. Here for a really short little mini class. This is very good for bone health and balance. I've got two props here that you're going to need. Well, three, if you wanna use a gondola pole for balance.

But one TheraBand, for sure. We'll do some arm work and we'll be using this for some breathing, referencing. And then if you have one of these types of bands that's shorter, smaller, this will be around our knees for some feedback for knee tracking, okay? But this class, it's good for anybody. It doesn't have to just be for those working on bone health.

You can tag this on to a regular end of a mat class, all right? So let's just kinda regroup into our ABCs. What I mean, keep your abdominals engaged. Focus on your breathing, and feel like the whole class you really are wanting to be in your center, so not drifting the ribs to the side, out of center, but also center in your thinking, in your fundamentals, okay? So let's start with our band right behind back of our lower rib cage.

So you can kinda think at the thoracolumbar fascia junction back there. You're gonna wrap it around your waist. And have it snug enough that it provides a little bit of tightening around you. And we wanna focus on breathing wide into the side of the ribs and into the back of the ribs. Here we go.

(inhales deeply) And exhale. Let's do five of these. So that nice, full breath. (inhales deeply) And exhale. So that lateral and posterior expansion of your rib cage.

(inhales deeply) And making sure on your exhale, your abdominals zip in and up. Your shoulders stay down, you're staying centered. Two more times. And exhale. Getting a little narrower in through your ribs.

And your last one. (inhales deeply) And exhale. I'm gonna have us keep the band around the body this way. If you don't like this wrap, you can also just go to here. I'm gonna keep it wrapped. Let's practice our hip hinge.

We'll do some of hip hinge. So we want those knees to track straight ahead. Okay, you could also put your band around your knees right here, that would be another place. I'll wait for later. And I want us to hinge forward.

It doesn't have to be a big hinge. So you're taking your body, your torso, forward over your hip joints, your pelvis over your hip joints. You're not sticking out your ribs. That's why this is here for us for a little bit of feedback. And then come out of the hinge and just press your legs to stand, okay?

Let's do about seven more. So we're bending the knees and we're hinging. You want your weight centered. Unhinge and press to stand. If your arms get tired, just let go of the band.

But it is useful for some good shoulder placement. Your elbows are just right in by your sides. Hinging torso and pelvis right over the top of the femur heads. Press your legs to stand. So we got four more.

Keeping your back rib cage in contact with that TheraBand. So sometimes with hinges we could overarch right there and that's definitely not what it is. Keep your back in contact with that band. Press your legs. Okay, last two.

Bend and hinge. Nice open collarbone, shoulders down. And last time, bend and hinge. I want us to stay right there. I'll turn a little bit on the side and take three more deep breaths into the side and back of the ribs.

And exhale. So I want you to lead with those sits bones. Keep those sits bones, reach it back. Keep breathing into the back of your ribs, into the band. And one more time, inhaling, and (exhales) exhale, all right?

Come out of your hinge and then just hold your band. We'll get back to that. Focus on your feet. So take one of feet and flex at your toe joints. Not into supination, not into pronation, just right over those metatarsals, and place the foot down.

Alternate feet. It's fine to look down. We're gonna do a little hinge jump in a second or two. A few more minutes. So I want you to warm up your feet.

But also, whenever we work on balancing, it is nice to get a little concept of foot warmup or movement, mobility. Okay, and just kinda un-stiffen those joints. So let's do four more. Trying the track the hip, the knee, right out over that second toe. And there we go, we're gonna add that in with this again, around the waist.

I'll show a different variation of holding it. Like I said, you're just gonna hold it one, you don't have to cross it. So let's go back into our hinge. Take one of the feet up and put the heel down. And we'll do eight, so alternating four times.

I'm just gonna stand a little here, so we, yeah, huh. Okay? Go a little bit lower in your hinge if you want more thigh work, more leg work. Easy shoulders, keep your back into that band. And that was our eighth one.

So I want you to go over to the first foot, whichever one you did, and just pulse that, the hinge position. So I am pulsing down, I'm bending my knees down, but I'm also trying to reach my hips back a little bit more. You can probably see better. I'll go eight more. And one, and two, hips back, hips back.

Heel is not too high. We're not supinating that foot. Seven and eight, just change to the other side. Okay, I did about 16, I think. So we can go, and one, and two, and three, and four, and five.

Check your shoulders, check your zip up, check your hip hinge. Eight more, and two, and three. I'm reaching my arms forward, keeping those shoulders active. Six, seven, and eight. Now, just come up.

Stand for a minute. That's it, bend your knees again. Find that hip hinge. Let's try two heels up at the same time. Don't go very high.

This is just a little lift off, okay? Keep your arms stretching the band forward. Hinge forward, lead with those sits bones back. Maybe look at something on the floor and stare it down so it's you kind of focusing your visual system on a spot. All right, let's take eight more little heel lifts.

Hinge a bit more, two. If your arms are tired, put 'em down. Three, and four. So the heels don't have to go very high. Your ribs aren't thrusted forward, but you are in your hinge.

Stay up on the eighth one. Here it is, we're gonna pulse here. They're little. Aim your sits bones back. Aim your hip joints back.

Seven and eight more. Easy shoulders, and two, and three, and four, and four. Good balance work, everybody. Set your heels down, unhinge and press to stand. Okay, really good.

Just take one foot. And I want you to just roll through the foot and kind of do a little spring-off, okay? I just call them spring-offs. In dance it's something else, but we can just call it a spring-off. That will be us jumping in just a couple of minutes, okay?

So you wanna be able to roll through that foot, stretch those toes, and then put the foot back on the floor, toe, ball, arch, heel. All right? Let's go to the other foot. Each foot has a different personality, so just acknowledge that. Our goal is to get them to feel more and more the same, the more practice we do.

So if your balance is challenged even just with doing this, it's understandable you'd grab a wall, you could grab that pole. Okay, alternating feet. So just one foot to the other. One foot to the other. And when you do these spring-offs, we're also trying to keep the toes pointed straight down, not toes in or toes out.

Ideally, straight down, okay? Eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. Okay, let's put this band down. Grab the gondola pole, or you could stay with the band. Either way, I'm just choosing a different prop right here.

Okay, so you could do it with either one, but have your hands on your prop. Pull outwards so you activate the shoulders and they're not going up, they're going down. I want you to step out to one side, parallel, roll through that foot, bend the knee, and you're in a hip hinge again, okay? And then take that leg and you're gonna push that foot to the floor and stand next to the other one. So you just push and stand.

A little like that, same side. So as you land the foot, come down into your hip hinge, push off and stand. Here we go. Land, roll through the foot, hip hinge, come off and stand. Let's go one more to this side.

That was four. We'll take a look at four the other way, okay? Roll through the foot, you're in parallel. Lead with your hip joints back, your sits bones back. Push off and stand.

Toes to the heel, hip hinge. Push off, so you want to be activating those glutes just as much as your thigh. So really what starts your push off are the glutes. Was kind of a lazy foot on that one. Here we go.

All right, I'd like to alternate eight times, but let's do this with the arms. So as we step out, the arms will come forward. As we step in, the arms are here. Here we go, first side. Out to your hinge, pull in.

Out to the hinge, pull in. We're doing eight of them. Out to the hinge. So I have a little light pull outward on my bar too, trying to keep those shoulders active. Rolling through the feet.

Rolling through the feet. Last one to this side. And last one to this side. And center, okay? Just put your bar down.

Now, adding on to that, instead of just stepping in here, let's try to take that foot up into maybe toe by the ankle. Or if you really wanna go for it, you can take your toe by your knee. Just four each side, okay? It's the same piece with the arms. They are starting here, stepping out, hinge.

On the count of three, one, two, and three. And we'll do four. One, two, and three. So find your concepts, your abdominals, your zip up, your breathing, and trying to be centered. Last time.

Pushing off with those hips. I was forgetting my arm work, wasn't I? Okay, oh well. (laughs) Stepping out and lunge to the side. One, two, three, the bar will come in. And stepping out.

Find something on the floor to stare, find it. One, two, three, and find it. Two more, and lunging out. Pull out on the band. And center.

And last time, and all the way in. Okay, we did it. We can put this away or stay with your band if you're a longer band. Let's get into just a few exercises for our arms. A few additional arms.

So have your band right in front of your thighs. Standing tall, feeling that abdominal work again. You're breathing, take a breath. We're taking eight of these. Press your arms back and bring your arms forward.

And depending on your band, you may not get very much movement. I'm not getting a lot of movement with the arms, it's okay. Good shoulder work, no lifted shoulders. You can add a little heel lift if you'd like. For three more, heels.

Heels. Last one, but stay there. See if we can add a little bit of pulsing with the arms. Eight little ones, one, two. If you're too high on your ankles or your toes and you're rolling out, lower the heels, okay?

That was eight. Keep 'em all the way down. Now, take your band behind you. Roll your hands once through it, so it's a shorter band and a little tauter, and I want you to make a fist on that. Okay, so that's how I've got that organized.

Because I want you in two things, to reach your arms down, think knuckles down, but also pulling out this way, all right? So here we go. We're reaching down, pulling out, you can release. Reach down, pull out, and release. Reach down, pull out.

So again, abdominals zipped up. You're breathing, how about an exhale. You're centered. Your wrists are straight. One more, and yes, we're gonna pulse out for eight.

And a one, and two. Really think of a high chest, high sternum, very good posture. Six, seven, and eight. Release the band, bring it around the front of you. Okay, we're doing one more with the band.

Right in the palms of your hands. Elbows right against your sides and make a soft wrap with it. So external rotation. Fairly standard with a TheraBand session. Eight times.

But start to think about how you could add a bit of an upper back swan. That's the next piece I wanna do, with this. So I'm leading with my thumbs, right? I was just sticking my tongue out there. (laughs) And open, and close, four more. And rotate.

And rotate. Through the upper arm and shoulder. Last two, rotate. Last one, let's see if you can hold it. And straighten the arms.

See, I'm coming at a front diagonal, back in, and close. Now, when we do that front reach to the diagonal, I'm going to try to elevate my sternum just a little bit. I'm not trying to do a back bend in my low back, just a little bit of upper back, lift and in. Okay, six more. External rotation.

Lead with the fists to the corners of the room and lift that chest. And release. And the release down can be all in one movement. As you saw, I kinda pulled it down and then in. Four more, externally rotate.

Reach, upper back, center, and in. I'm getting sweaty, so my hands are slipping on the band. And up. And in, last two. Externally rotate, reach, and elevate.

And last time. And then I promise, we're gonna do some little jumps, okay? Optional, but I'd love for everybody to try them. But I also want good tracking and good alignment with our knee joints, of course. From hips to knees to feet.

So step through this. If you don't have this, tie your other band up pretty taut, and put it around your knees, okay? So because sometimes that's the shape or that's the angle that happens at the alignment, you all can see that's not really safe and healthy. We want much more parallel. Knees over second toes, okay?

So get into your hip hinge. Get in that hip hinge again and just start to swing your arms. So I'm gonna swing and stand. It kinda looks like this. I'll show from the side a bit.

Okay, but what's gonna happen is there'll be a little spring off the floor, okay? Remember those little spring-offs that I had us do with our feet? Any time now, a couple more, (laughs) right? There's gonna be a timing thing. That'll be where our jump is, let's try.

Okay? Now I'm gonna face you. Hopefully my knees are tracking parallel. I'm pulling out on the band. This is not a high jump.

I want you to use your glutes to power your jump. You're in that hinge, you jump. Hinge, swing arms, jump. And I have no idea how many we've done. I'm gonna count down.

Eight, seven, use your feet. Use your seat, four more. (exhaling sharply) And finish. Step out of your band. That's it.

That's your mini class. Do that standalone or tag it onto another end. Thank you.


1 person likes this.
Thank you Amy. A lovely short class with great ideas to share with my bone health and balance class.
1 person likes this.
Thank you Amy for 15 productive observation minutes! Really good exercises I can incorporate into my class write ups. I also love your down-to-earth presentation and willingness to get out in front of a camera.
1 person likes this.
I really appreciate your mini classes, Amy ! Very functionnal and energizing.
1 person likes this.
Thanks Amy, will integrate into my active aging class!
Hi Amy! Thanks for this. Really timely in preparing a band class for my older clients tomorrow. Lots of ideas to use here, perhaps with the exception of the jumping at the end (but then they quite often surprise me)!! Best wishes, Sarah
1 person likes this.
thank you Amy , it was very great class!!!!!
1 person likes this.
Great bone health mat work. Do you have one for reformer and or tower?
Hi Maryann -- I do have a Tower class out now, it's for Active Aging. You can search for it -- just went up a couple months ago. Reformer, not yet, but I'll put something together soon! Stay tuned!
1 person likes this.
Thanks Amy, I have been ill for weeks , and wanted something not too strenuous to get my motivation back. The last section of jumping made me realise I definitely need to get my fitness back!
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