Class #3350

Day 6: Shoulders

25 min - Class


Welcome to Day 6! Today, Sarah invites you to explore the range of motion in your shoulders so you can feel how they are intimately related to the thoracic spine. She adds different movements to give you more sensation in your upper body and then starts to prepare your body for what's to come in the rest of the challenge!
What You'll Need: Reformer (No Box)

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Moving into the second half of the challenge. Today we're going to focus on shoulders. I invite you though to remember that everything is connected so your shoulders are connected to your thoracic spine, your thoracic spine, to your low spine, your low spine, to your hips, your hips to your legs and your legs to your feet. So remember to pay attention to your entire body but enjoy also this shoulder focus. I've got my reformer set for footwork, so I've got three reds and a blue and I want you to start sitting facing the other direction in a position where you can lean back on your bar and yes, you actually get to relax a little bit. I'm going to wedge my feet right up against the shoulder rests and just kind of find a spot where it's like right about the middle of my, the middle of my thoracic spine. The bar is hitting.

Take my hands behind my head and just relax over the bar a little bit. Much like you would with a foam roll and check in. Yeah. How does that feel? Lift back up if you feel like it. There's not enough padding or your bar doesn't have any padding. Throw a pad over or a towel or something so that it feels comfortable, but just use this as an opportunity to bend that, that middle of your back and then pay attention to what you feel in your shoulders. Yes, reaching over again.

This time I'd like you to close your elbows toward your face. Feel how that's stretching the back of your body and then open your elbows wide. Kind of flapping your wings a little bit. Now if you feel like you're to extended in your back, just lift up a little bit. It feels really nice for me to go to these extreme ranges, so I want to explore that today.

Close your elbows in and then we will lift up. So let's add a circular movement here. You're going to look over maybe to your left roll over and around and just kind of feel how your shoulders open and then close and come center and then just go the other way. Arms are going to open around and then kind of close forward. Just one more time, each direction. Just waking up the thoracic spine, but feeling how intimately related the thoracic spine and the shoulders really are.

And one more time here and now let's play with a longer arm. Yeah, come straight forward. Send your arms forward in front of you and then just kind of lean to where it feels like. Your head's not back yet, but you're, you're, you're aligned. Yes, I'm not forward. And take your arms up. Let gravity take your shoulders into a bigger stretch. If you feel comfortable, go over, circle your arms around and forward. Let's do that three times up. Let gravity take your arms further back and perhaps your two arms move differently. That's okay. Feel your shoulders.

Feel this idea of opening the heart. Just one more time and I'd like you to explore just a couple moments of a single arm. So we're going to open with one arm and see this like rotation and reaching and then come forward and we'll open with the other arm and feel rotation and reaching and come forward in this, this movement. We'll return a little later in class. Just kind of explore this, reaching through the straight arm and I'm not really shaping this too much. I want you to open up, release, explore and enjoy the movement. Yeah. Okay.

So let's move into some work here. Hopefully your, your upper back feels a little lighter, a little more open and when you lie down you may feel like it's as if the bar is still there. It's kind of how I feel here. So I'm a little bit away from the shoulder rest because I intend to do a little bit of Ab work here and I want room to lift, sway your legs side to side a couple of times. Feel free to hold the pegs if that suits you or hold the frame if that suits you for a deeper shoulder stretch, I invite you to explore your shoulder stretch here. And I like to take my hands all the way down on the frame holding the bottom here. Return to center lifters who legs up and spine twist super in, in how to twist here and exhale back. So put some extra focus today on keeping your shoulder blades down in this position.

So you want to make sure that you're not popping that shoulder blade off in order to get more range. And then check in here and try to remember that the rotation really truly happens mostly from your thoracic spine, your upper spine, your rib cage. Enjoy last one here. Breathing and moving. Keep your legs at tabletop. Float your hands up to the ceiling. Let the blood flow again. Exhale to a lifted position.

Find a nice high curl, single leg stretch and change. Change, change. Find the breath that suits you. Feel stability through your low back and core openness through your collarbones. [inaudible]. One more time. Both legs in.

Slip your hands behind your head, Chris Cross, Eh, uh, so focus on keeping the lift as you passed your center. Pay attention to this idea of wide collarbones relaxed head. One more time. Both legs in all the way. Put your head down. Settle now with your heels on the bar and open your heart for me here.

So roll your shoulders open. We're going to feel our, our shoulders differently while we do our footwork. Okay, so I'm rolling. My palms open and kind of wedging my shoulders up against the shoulder rest before I push out. And then press out in linger for a couple of moments. Organize your neutral spine, drop your ribs down, feel this real open-heart position as you continue on. So think about where your shoulders are. What I mean by that is I really want this chest opening sensation here.

So by rolling your arms, your rear under arms together, he'll hopefully feel just a little bit of openness through your collarbones. Yeah, do this. Just one more time here and then press out and stay. Now explore the idea of bringing your arms up for me and your arms open if that's too extreme. Bend your elbows and continue on just a couple of times. So just kind of feel that for me.

I feel a really nice sensation through my neck and through my shoulders. Last time. Come all the way in. Rest your arms by your side. Reorganize that position of the shoulders as you shift to the toes. Feel the backs of the legs. Open your heart, press out. And then here's where I actually can soften my rib cage down and I've sort of forced my shoulders back a little bit and I receive a little bit of a stretch and then gently come on in.

So moving through the foot work like we know how to do. I'm not focusing too much on the legs right now, but you're still working them. Three reds and a blue are on. So that's a nice zesty spring. Try Bending your elbows here. Find external rotation now in your arms and feel this opening through your heart. I mean, I could feel a very powerful opening through my collarbones when I found this position. It's really nice. Last one, come all the way in.

Rest your arms, heels together. Open your heart, press out, sit with your shoulders again. Feel this show the shoulder rests are pushing your shoulders down for you. Yeah, and gently come in and out. So I handful without the a major shoulder emphasis, but just with the position of the shoulder rest kind of pushing you down. And now bend the elbows again, open into external rotation and see if you can create just a little more sensation in your upper body because of this shift. Last two and last one. Gently. Come on in.

Find Your Open v from the heels position. Settle in. How about palms up? Exhale to press out. Now let's work again on this idea of floating the arms up first and then take the arms wide and keeps stir retching through the collarbones and the shoulder blades. Turn the palms for me so you're really finding a little bit of external rotation and perhaps more sensation. If this is too intense, just bend your elbows a little bit if it works for you, keep them reaching outward. Two more. Please come all the way in. Pause the arms change to the toes. Arms are relaxed, feet are organized. Out we go.

So organizing the feet remember means that you've got this weight kind of spreading throughout the balls of your feet and you'll notice sometimes I make adjustments my second or third repetition in order to feel more symmetrical. I invite you to do that when necessary. Bend your elbows. Find external rotation. And let's do a handful more here. Feel reading and moving. One more time. Let the arms rest.

Bringing the flags close with a little bit of separation calf raises, but focusing a little bit more on the shoulders here. So keep your legs straight for me and get the calf raising going down and up. Yeah. And then bend your elbows. Find your external rotation and explore looking one direction. What do you feel? Next? Shoulder stretch maybe.

And then perhaps looking the other direction. Feel free to nod your Chin a little bit. Just change where your head is. If you look up, maybe look down. Yeah, good. Rest your arms and hold your stretch for a moment. Find a nice foot and ankle stretch. Breathing in and breathing out.

Change sides. Find the position that suits you so your foot is really resting on the bar. The spring is really assisting the stretch for you and breathing in and breathing out. Good, fresh [inaudible]. Bend your knees, draw your legs in and come on up to a sitting position. And let's work those abs a little bit more. So one red spring for the next series here.

And I'm going to have you spin around and rest your feet on the headrest. Have a little bit of space to roll back. Um, and that hold the straps for me and either hand in hell here, just wiggling into the right spot. There we go. I'm right now. Exhale to round and roll yourself back. Good. Actually, I'd like the legs to be straight here. Let's do that. Straighten your legs and then roll back up. So if you need to keep your knees bent, you may. That's where I'd like to be.

Heck failed to feel back. Good and exhale to peel back up. Okay. Now here's where it gets fun. Hold both straps with your left hand, but hook your right hand around. Exhale to peel yourself back in the same way. So your left hand is going to keep a hold of those two straps and then remove the other arm. Keeping your arms still, you know, open around. Woo and come back in. So I'm keeping my left arm still. Now I'm going to change.

Keep my right arm still. I've got a little bend in my elbow just because if I were to straighten all the way, I would actually be right on top of the bar. And I'm using that just as a gauge here. So here we go. Oh, it feels nice. And one more time, rich. Good. Both arms. Let's try that again. Okay. Adding a little bit of flair. Exhale to peel back again.

Engage those abdominals. Nice legs. Let's move. Move the right arm, reach around, circle three times. Reach around, circle forward. And one more time. So exploring shoulder movement changed sides. So we're reaching open up, let your eyes follow your hand and feel the shoulder movement. Guess what?

You're probably feeling your abs right round and roll all the way up. And let's go ahead and rest that moving into some nice, yummy arm work. Blue Spring. Okay. And if you're not comfortable sitting on your knees where you're actually sitting on your feet like this, then feel free to get a ball or to adjust as needed. But I would like you to spend just a couple of moments grounding down through the tops of the feet, perhaps rolling side to side like I'm doing right now. And then reach forward and find your straps.

So we're going to hold first the ropes above the buckles and just revisit our chest expansion here. Feel elbow straight, grounding down through the pelvis to keep the low back, long opening your heart straight, elbows to go back. So try to feel how your upper back and lower back stay quite still as you move your arms. So this is chest expansion, but in order to expand the chest you have to work the muscles on the opposing side, on the back of the body. So really feel nice straight elbows and nice open heart. And just one more there please. And now moving on, we're going to slide the loops so that they're just on your wrists here.

And then this is where you'll appreciate this blue spring. Take your arms straight out to the side. My hands are kind of soft and I want to take a moment here and spread my collarbones and my shoulder blades. Really feel that arm's may be a little more forward than you think in order to get that spreading sensation. Then look at your arms one at a time and make sure that the elbow bend is straight forward or the point of the elbow is straight back.

And I noticed I had to make an adjustment on my left arm here and spread a little wider and now let your arms come just the slightest bit forward and as you go back again spread rather than trying to take your arms too far behind you. Again, just like that a little forward and spreading the collarbones in the shoulder blades. This is so much more intense than it looks like. So if you're not actually doing this, make sure you do. I hope you are. Here we go. Hold this open position and reach a little more with your right arm. Actually look at it and stretch wider from the collarbones and the shoulder blades and then look at your left arm and reach a little water hole back of my arm is burning. Now rotate your palms to face up and open a little wider and look up and let that go. Nice warm shoulders.

So for our rotation here, external, I would like to stay kneeling. But again, if you need to modify, please do. It's just a little bit quicker like this, right? So I'm going to just put my hand in the strap here. Sit Up nice and tall and find a nice external rotation. Once again, I like to think about where my pelvis is on my feet. So I'm really grounding my two sides of my pelvis on my two feet, right? I think six to eight here is enough. [inaudible] so we have two more to go and that'll be six today.

And one more time and we'll change sides now. So, uh, changing sides again, if your legs are tired and you need to take a quick break from being on your knees, feel free to do so. You'd be able to see in the camera. Now though, how I like to kneel here, where the my, my pelvis is really resting on my heels while they're splayed. Good. Let the arm come all the way across the body. And then this idea of really opening the heart as you go into external rotation. Keeping the flow here with the breath.

[inaudible] we have two more to go. [inaudible] I'm feeling the difference between your two sides. We addressed that. Put your strap down and we'll change the spring now to a red spring for some stretches. So coming into your traditional standing lunch here, got the foot right up against the shoulder rest. Bend your knees and find a spot where you feel like you should be. Don't go too, too deep. Instead, hold this with your legs. Take your arms behind you, clasp your fingers, open your heart.

Keep your abs engaged and look up. Breathing in and breathing out. Perhaps going a little deeper. If it suits you, gently release your arms. Take them up, bring the carriage in. Feel this reach of the arms, class the fingers together. Keep reaching the arms close to your ears and how low can you go?

Whoa. Breathing in and breathing out. One more breath. Gently come in and change sites. So your foot is near the foot of the reformer.

Take a little bit of time getting your other foot where it needs to be. Find a stretch that's not too, too severe yet because we do want to add that shoulder piece, but I do feel the release. Organize and then take your hands. Maybe pay attention to which finger was on top and change if you didn't pay attention this time. Do it next time. Open your heart, look up. Okay. Maybe go a little deeper, but put a little more emphasis here on what's happening in your, in your chest and shoulders. Okay.

Release that. Come all the way in. Reach your arms up, clasp your fingers together, elbows by your ears. And how low can you go? Hello. Breathing in and breathing out. Yeah.

One more breath and we gently come in. So I'm currently on a red spring, which is kind of a heavy springs from homes for this, um, high kneeling facing forward. But if you could change to a blue, I'm going to keep mine on a red cause it feels like a good idea today. But feel free to go to a blue if you need to focus a little bit on creating more range here, more flexibility. So we're going to come up to the kneeling position, really have your feet grounded into the shoulder rest, pelvis pressing forward and let's just see where our arms can go. So with a heavier spring you might be able to use that spring to feel just a little more stretch and around. Yeah.

So I'm bringing my arms straight up through center and I turned my palms to face forward. Feel the stretch, support the stretch as I come around. Yeah. So be aware of your elbows, they they're hyperextended. Maybe you soften a little bit or maybe it feels good to you to really work with that straight arm. So check it out just one more. Yeah, this red spring for me is a really wonderful challenge. I like it. That's exactly where I want to be. Reverse here up in slightly forward.

Feel how your arms are right up by your ears. Turn your palms up as you come down through center. So palms are facing forward slightly in front of the body. The whole time and then turn your palms up as you come down. We've got two more here.

Ah, and down. And one more place. Yeah. Nice challenge for the abdominals too with that extra spring. So have a quick kneel on your feet. Put Your straps away and I'm going to put a green street spring on just to give me a little bit more support because we're moving into long back stretch. So if you'd like to stick with a red, that's fine.

A Green as just feels nice for me. I'm going to give you a preparation. I'm sitting here on the, on the bar. My two hands are right next to my hips sitting up nice and tall. So preparation is going to be just slipping your bottom off and be here for a moment. Try to avoid taking your weight forward to your legs, but really just being here very close to the bar, long, low back. Try Bending your elbows, let your knees bend to keep the carriage still.

That's where the green spring is useful. It gives you a little more stability and just two more times like that we would call, I would call this a preparation for long back stretch. You want to make sure you can keep your body open as you bend, your elbow is your heart. Open your shoulders open up and have a seat. So just in case you need to take a shake for your wrists. Those of us ready for the long back stretch. That's where we're headed.

Bear in mind, your feet, your hips, your spine, everything is involved, but really your shoulders need to be open and strong. So my heels are all the way up against the shoulder rest. My heart is open. As I bend the elbows. We want to try to keep the carriage where it is. Use your core to push forward and up and then round yourself back, flection of the spine, and then straighten out. Open heart, bend the elbows. Use your core to push yourself forward and up and full action here and then straighten out again.

Bend and use your core and back. One more time please. All right for flow, let's just keep the spring exactly where it is, but if you find you need to change your spring, once you get started, you're welcome to that. So bring your knees pretty far forward here, sitting on your feet and place your hands on the bar. Press your elbows out to straight, feel nice and open through the heart and kind of rest your chest on your legs if possible. And let's bend and straighten the elbows a few times. This is one of my all time favorite exercises because you get quite a lot of arm work here and you can work your arms overhead, but you're also working your back muscles, which is really nice. Good.

Now stay here, elbow straight, extend your back, lift your heart a little bit and find just a little bit of thoracic extension here so I'm not lifting a lot. And then continue bending and straightening using those upper back muscles one more time and then press your arms all the way to straight walk. One Hand in and the other hand in. So your two arms are very close together. How about in so far that your head just kind of rest between your two arms and be here. Now just press your heart down a little bit, stretching through your chest and shoulders a little more. See how that feels and just rotate ever so slightly in one direction.

Very small movement and then ever so slightly in the other direction. So my arms stay strong. I'm getting a stretch, but I'm actively having to work for it, which I really like. Come back to center. Open your hands up just a little bit and then come all the way in. So let's finish up in a standing position and just kind of survey how our shoulders feel after all that work. Yeah, your feet are right underneath your hips. Just look down for a moment.

Fill yourself upright and just float your arms forward. Mind feel light. Float your arms open, spread through your collarbones and your shoulder blades here. Bend your elbows. Good. Find a little bit more external rotation and spread through the collarbone. So external rotation means that my elbows go forward and my thumbs go back and now reach your arms out to straight. Stay there, flex your wrist.

What do you feel? I feel a stretch. Reach your hands to straight again. Bend your elbows a little more external rotation and then stretch to straight. Flex your wrists. Come forward. Take one hand and stretch a little bit. That wrist. So our next class is going to be hands, arms, and risks. And that's kind of where we're headed here.

Starting to pay attention how your risks are attached to your shoulders. How does that feel? Good. Go ahead and rest that for a moment. Shake your hands. I'm gonna ask you to do one more thing before we close it up.

And that is bend your hand the other way. Okay. And Bend your fingers down and around too, and see how that feels. Well, stretch there through the front of the risks that we need as kind of a funny little pose right in front of my face. Here you go. And then try the other side. Just kind of see. Bend your wrist and bend your finger around and just see how that feels on your five four fingers. Really the thumb is not so involved in that.

And then let your arms relax. Inhale up. Feel the ease of your shoulders. Don't hold them down. Take your arms by your side. Roll down again. Let your head relax. Let your arms relaxed, perhaps juggle your fingers a little bit. Let your knees soften. Dangle here. Feel your low back. Feel your feet. Take a breath and then roll up through your back. Just one more time like that.

That just feels really nice. Right now in closing, big lift up here in this lifted position. Just stretch through one side. Feel your side body and then stretch through the other side. Feel your side body and then take your arms open and we'll roll down one last time. Again, feel your neck, feel your shoulders, feel your arms until your upper back, your ribs. Fill your low back. Fill your pelvis, feel your hips, feel your legs. Feel your feet as you roll yourself back up, feet, legs, hips, low back, upper back, shoulders, open, head stacked. Thanks for playing.


1 person likes this.
That was great! I love the roll back with one arm oblique twist. Will be using those! And your favorite exercise is my favorite exercise too. Love that for arm work and stretching. Thank you Sarah another great one ! Almost didn’t get this one in today so glad I squeezed it in !
1 person likes this.
Loved it!
I have a lot of favorite exercises Connie !! So funny, I wonder how many times I said that in this challenge.
1 person likes this.
Thank you for the tip of sitting on a ball rather than feet - bad knees prevent me from that particular position. Now I'll be able to repeat the feet and legs with a bit more comfort. Enjoying the challenge.
2 people like this.
I have to say how impressed I have been with this whole series. Thank you Sarah. What a wealth of movement!
1 person likes this.
Those shoulder stretches really helped stretch out my super tight pectoral muscles! Yum!
1 person likes this.
Perfect class for me today!!Thank you :)
Thanks, Sarah. Another great class with lots of ideas for those tight shoulders.
1 person likes this.
Thanks, great shoulder stretch!
1 person likes this.
great class for me as my shoulders always need stretch. Thanks 🙏🏻
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