Class #3360

Lengthening Cadillac Flow

30 min - Class


You will feel long and open after this Cadillac workout with Amy Havens. She starts with articulation to mobilize your spine so you are ready to move. She then includes unilateral work and creative sequences that help you find a deep connection to your body.
What You'll Need: Cadillac

About This Video

Feb 28, 2018
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

Hi everyone, here for a Cadillac workout, or you could also use your tower or springboard, if you have the push through unit. Let's get started. You'll only need a rollback bar, leg springs, and one spring for push through. So let's go ahead and start with some articulation. I want us to loop our knees over the rollback bar.

Get kinda situated into your alignment, feel your feet, the tripod of your feet, work up into the sacrum and the pelvis, nice and level. A lot of space between our ribcage and hips, easy across the shoulders, let's take five nice deep breaths. So today's class, we're just moving. No special theme to focus on. Just feel yourself moving fluidly and staying in the moment.

There'll be some opportunity to check in on stability, of course, and mobility of your pelvis and spine. Let's just do some good movement today. Two more times. We're starting in a nice neutral pelvis. Think about right here, before we do some spinal articulation, that your knees fold around the bar, that you don't have one side folded more than the other.

You've got a good sense of evenness. So let's take a nice breath and start rolling up to a bridge position, feeling your feet even. Again, that sense of length between your ribcage and your pelvis. Hamstrings and glutes active, take a breath. And rolling down, sinking through the sternum, the lower thoracic, the top of that lumbar, and all the way into neutral.

Sit bones reaching to our heels. Nice deep breath, and exhale. Just easy does it. Nice breath at the top, and exhaling as we roll down. Maybe this time you can think of your, how could your pelvis get a little closer to your heels because you're lengthening in that direction.

Reaching down, inhaling again, and curling up the hips and the spine. Nice use of hamstrings, glutes, just enough, and rolling down. Okay, the last two we'll add a little shoulder flexion to it. Inhale at the bottom here, neutral pelvis, exhale rolling up, getting even more length in through that upper spine, so taking your arms back, palms of the hands seeing the ceiling, like you're reaching for the push through bar back there or the frame, and now really feeling the length all the way through your spine. Bone by bone until your level, take your arms around, down by your hips.

The same thing one more time. Curling up. Nice use of hamstrings and glutes, just a little bit there, of course. Nice reach, and rolling down. Gonna activate the back of the hands to press into the mat slightly, to engage those shoulder flexors.

Come all the way to neutral, and then we'll keep the knees over the bar just for a few chest lifts. So take your hands behind your head, elbows come up off the mat a little, and let the sternum and skull get kinda heavy. And then we're rolling the ears forward and just curling to a really basic little chest lift. Nothing fancy. And come back down.

And kinda give yourself a little programming in your head that you're trying to lift your feet, but you really can't. I like that thinking of, act as if you're going to lift your feet, but you won't right now. So you're kind of getting it set, and that, for me really does get my lower abdomen a lot more activated. Just one more, and exhale, curling up. And just rolling down.

So just add four rotations, right left, right left, just easy. Just lift with a little bit of rotation, and you can go all the way back. Do the left side, up and around to the left. It's a kind of interesting place to feel the knees even on your bar, and lower. And one more curl, and rotate, and release.

Okay. Picking the bar out from underneath, come all the way up, and let's do some rollback. I like the feet against the frame most of the time, and let's start with the knees bent today. Hands on the outside, sitting nice and tall, and I want you to feel how you're holding your bar and how you're placing weight against your bar there, so all contact points have the even sense, or even placement and weight. I think you know what I mean.

Start to rotate your pelvis and let those knees relax down. I just want to do two regular rollbacks, nothing fancy, just open up. Lifting the head, roll the ears forward. Resist those springs just a little bit. The very top when you get on the sits bones, lift your knees.

Same thing, starting with the lumbar spine, open that up and roll through. Knees just relax down, feeling how your arms are connected to your back, by way of your shoulders and your lats. Lift the head, roll that neck forward. Alright, so let's take one leg, cross it over the other, and take your hands crossed in the middle of the bar. Check your shoulders.

So the top hand will be the hand that we release for that oblique stretch. So same thing here, it's a little odd, of course, because we have our legs not symmetrical. So, give some intention to your top leg's hip, and try to pull that back just a little, little bit. You probably won't be completely symmetrical. So release your top hand, look into the palm of that hand, and now take yourself into more of a side bend.

Right, open up those ribs, let a lot of stretch occur between the side of your body here. How about two more full breaths? I'm also thinking of opening my back to the mat, rather than lifting the back up off of the mat. Okay, sweep that arm around, it can go underneath the bottom if you'd like, and then roll up. Eyes, neck, and spine forward.

Changing sides, just one of those on the other. Top hand is at the ready, you're already ready to go. Deep breath, and roll. Pay attention to that top hip. Can you pull it back with us just a little bit?

Center your shoulders here and then release that top arm, go for opening yourself up. Keeping your back against the mat, take a lot of air into that side rib cage and lung. Your top leg is stretched, let's really open up those muscle fibers here, guys. And then that hand will come around. I like to put it underneath.

If I were to repeat it, the top hand is already at the ready, but we won't. I'm gonna do something a little bit different, with some single arm. So both legs again on the frame, one hand in the middle of the bar, just slightly to the middle, and then the other arm right around the ribcage. Single arm rollback, just twice. So this is where things start to get a little interesting in how it feels on your one side, one side.

And recognizing you might have one side that works over time, and one under time. So we want to see if that occurs. It's pretty natural. One more here, pelvis, it's a really interesting opportunity to try to keep your shoulders square. It probably won't be perfect, and lift.

Stomach in, away from those arms. Two on the other side. Breathing in tall. The heels are pressing evenly against the frame, you're over your sacrum, your pelvis, lumbar, shoulders, and head. Coming forward, all the way up, and just one more there and rolling back.

So do you feel anything out of the ordinary as far as overuse, underuse? Just take note if you do. One side will feel like it's getting more work on purpose, though, in that series. Okay, climb up on your knees just quick. We'll do a few tricep lat kind of connections.

You can think of it as your chest expansion, but let's do upper arm control first. Knees are together, your elbows are right against your sides, and let's just take an inhale as we stretch the springs down and control the springs back up, five or six times. So you can keep your palm open, or explore taking your palm wrapped around the bar. That's gonna feel better for me right now, there it goes. I just like to close my hand, kind of close the circuit.

Last two. Pressing, release, nice posture through the spine, both ends, top and bottom. Okay, kneeling back a little further until your arms are nice and straight, we'll add the chest expansion with the head turn. I'm gonna change the feet here for a variation for myself today, bending those toes, heels together, and just pressing that pelvis forward slightly. Okay, I'm just going for four repetitions, pulling the bar to a controlled position.

I'm not all the way to my legs. Holding all of that, turn your eyes to one shoulder, to the other, looks right at the springs, and release. We'll take the eyes the other way first. The inhale, hold. Turn, keep that chest up and open, and expanded.

Again, and pull. Turn. Turn. Center and lift. One more, pull.

Turn. Turn. Center, and lift. It's not just our arms, of course, everything. So now we're going to the other end of the table.

Let's put up our red spring, for some shoulder openers at this end, and some more sit up work and abs. So I want us to lie down, bring that bar with us. If you can gauge it so you're in a straight line, bar to shoulder, legs in the middle of the table for now. Okay, today everyone, start to pull the bar down, or the spring down, by letting your elbows point out a little bit to the sides of the room. I often do this with my elbows pointing more to my legs, just a variation today, but they're not all the way back toward the bars either.

So they're kinda halfway between the two places where it's relatively easy to pull that down, okay? And now take your bar all the way overhead. I will suggest that you let your shoulders slide up, maybe even walk your upper spine toward your head a little bit, get as much length in there as you can, and your lungs are long. Return your bar with control. We'll just do that two or three more times.

Pretty easy, keep the scapula on the mat. Inhale, exhale. Inhale and exhale, really easy. One more and then we'll start some sit ups. So what I want us to do with this first initial few sit ups is very small, like a half one.

Lift your head, roll your ears forward, and I want us only to come up where you feel like you're about to lose weight contact on the top of your sacrum, so that would be too far for me today. I want to be on the top of my sacrum, the middle of the sacrum, and the end of the sacrum. Just really right there. I could pick my legs up at any time, that's the idea. You know what that means.

There's gonna be a teaser in just a second. But now we'll take it back all the way down, until we're flat on our back. Two more times. So just easy. Locate where your sacrum is, stay on it.

Stay on it, right there. You can feel how intense those abdominal muscles are. I'm kinda thinking of bringing my ribs narrower across the front of me, and the back of my ribs wider, just an image. Maybe a little work in that. Okay, one more time.

So now let's test our theory. I thought so, right? You're already ready to go. And just bring 'em down, two more like that. The challenge would be not to thwart the ribs out or pop the stomach, bring it down.

Last one, the legs of course are reaching long, out from underneath there, and we lower. Okay. Change things up a little bit. Put one hand in the middle of the bar, regular grip, the other hand slightly ready to help pull the bar. You might need it.

I'm also gonna bend the other leg. So I've got an opposition in one hand, opposite knee, bringing the bar down. So I want to do most of that with that single arm, again, without letting the ribcage jiggle. Now if I need to, this hand will help me move it through. But I want my single arm to have a little chance to do this by itself.

How do you know if you have a stronger side if you don't ever let it do its own thing? Two more times. There we go. One more. Yeah, alright.

Now that arm, this available arm, goes right around our ribcage. Here we go, single leg, single arm. And down. Just thinking of three. So I'm not quite getting as high as I wanted to on that one.

Let's go up to that sacrum. I wanted to get a little bit higher there, yeah. That's more where I should've gone the first two times, okay? So we'll get back to that on the second side. So let's change it over.

So you've got a single arm pull. If you need that hand to help you, feel free, and as you work in the single arm, you want those ribs to stay right in the center, right above your pelvis, between the shoulders, okay? Try to avoid any rib translation, or pelvis movement. Yeah, third one. Okay, that arm is ready.

You're hugging those ribs, so three times, we'll get up onto the top of that sacrum. Rolling through, right on up, and down. And lift, and lower. So I'd imagine you're kind of feeling some imbalances, it's alright. Okay, so let's come back with both hands on your bar.

Bring your knees to your table top position, and do some side to side, four times. Just easy easy, over to one side without your shoulders leaving the mat, and come back to center. This is a nice little prep for a bigger teaser, getting your legs ready to be up off the table. And over to your one hip, and center. And last time to the second hip.

Okay, picking up your head. It's easy now, isn't it? You've already done it. You're really ready to go. Just bring yourself to your teaser.

Okay, and we'll take our legs down lower, and all the way back up. Three of these, inhaling down. Lift, lift, lift. Last one. Just ask yourself if you could lengthen somewhere, can you taught and tone something somewhere?

And let's take ourselves all the way down, down, and down. Voila. Okay, one hand holds the bar, bring yourself on up, and I want us to scoot back underneath. Cross your legs. Two hands start, hold onto the frame, now just pinky finger and ring finger please, if you can.

Try to avoid using your middle and index and thumb, because I want to have that work occurring right through the lateral side, more than the front side, okay? Just three times, let's just bring the bar down. Resist the urge to put the other fingers there, or to push the ribs forward. So this is the rear shoulders, lats, middle back. And bring it down, pretty easy.

Focus on posture, focus on ease for a second. Okay, pick one arm, three on that side. The elbow doesn't have to go any further than just right to the side of your body. You want to keep that collar bone as wide as it starts, by the time you're down at the lower end of that pole. Three times on the other side, this is good for grip strength, everybody.

Time to tap into some of those weaker muscles. Okay, I'm gonna turn and face you. I'm staying within underneath the frame here, and then just a single arm, let's pull that bar down, and then take your head into a lateral tilt, a cervical tilt, and then keep it there, keep those ribs back, slowly bring the bar up. It's kind of a nice stretch on your neck, and then upright, your head. Three times.

And open to the side, and taking the arm all the way up, and center your head, and then one more time. A lat pull, head tilt, and take the bar all the way up. Okay, other side three times. Good things come in threes today, I think. So pulling the bar down, and then a lateral head tilt.

So keeping that shoulder level and stable, as you slowly raise your arm, and then center your head. Pull, head tilt, you might even think of dropping your shoulder even more as the arm comes up, and your last one. So after this third one here, our neck and shoulders nice and open, let's take our knees over the bar. Kind of a short spine. So we'll come out this way, and then take your knees over your bar.

We need to get our hips pretty close to this end of the mat, so use your hands, wiggle yourself in. Alright? So just like I said at the beginning of class, think about and feel that your knees are holding the bar evenly, that you don't want to have one leg not doing the same amount. So take a moment to feel that, and increase it if you need. Okay, so it's the sits bones that lift.

You're rolling up. Oh, this is gonna feel so good on my body. I love this one. So, we don't need to go any higher up on our neck to keep moving that spring. But we can lift some more of our thoracic vertebra up, off the mat.

More thoracic. I'm right about the tip of my scapula now. And rolling down, right over those thoracics. My arms are long, let's just do one more like that, everybody, and then we'll add a little leg work to that. So when you come down, you can just stop at your neutral, or if you want to go beyond your neutral and kinda almost anterior tilt, that feels pretty good.

Okay, find your neutral, and curl. Notice the shins aren't kicking. You're not using your legs to lift you. Let the spring help, just picking up those vertebra. That quintessential strand of pearls.

Nice deep breath. And rolling it down. So we'll go back up one more time with that. Really getting some massaging of your back, the short spine massage. Alright, last one.

We're picking up our thoracics, they're coming right up, I'm thinking about bringing them up almost to the bar, okay? And now take one of your legs and straighten the knee. The legs are still even, your pelvis is still really as best even as you can be, and then re-bend your knee. We'll do that again. Extend one side, the opposite side.

Check your level, and then we'll do each side again. Maybe you can pick up a little more weight off of that upper thoracic that's near the mat. Higher with your thighs as you re-bend. Last time, and re-bend. You can see the theme for me lately: opening up those shoulders.

Keep those shins down. Feel free to hold the table, this might be a little more security for you. A little different rhythm coming down your body as you take the spring down. Take one final breath cycle for yourself, and then we'll move to the other end for some leg spring work, everybody. So unloop your knees, kinda get on out of there, undo your spring, and I've got the purple springs mounted, and we'll start with some side lying, but I'll show you how I want us to get in.

So lying on your back in the middle of the table first, I want to pick this spring. I want to pick the one that's above my left shoulder, put it on the right foot, and then roll onto my left side. That's what I wanted to do. Alright, just did this in a mat class, and so join me if you want to here. Come as close to the front end as you can, the front of the table, okay?

Pick up your legs so you start this series with your thigh already hip level, and take that side body check. Okay, bring your thigh in front of you, get a good hamstring stretch now, try to use the side of your hip to pick up that leg, and pull it straight down. It's in turn out here, but let's take it back into parallel. And so we'll just do four, and pick it up. It's okay to go beyond the spring tension there, and lower.

Come back to parallel. Two more, and down. And last time, take it front, pick it up, make an arc nice and high, and lower. Now we reverse it, and all the way up. This is a turn out, so it comes down beautifully, just rhythmically in your parallel, and bring it back.

Turn it out first, raise that thigh. Turn it out, parallel and down. Last two. Being this close to the edge is challenging me, and it will for you, your trunk stabilizers more, I'm pretty sure, okay? You could carry on with turn out, up down, circles, whatnot.

I'm going to have us roll to our back, hold the frame, center yourself, pick that leg up, and we'll just do two leg circles each way. Just two, regular from the mat, just feels a little different with the spring cross. You could do more reps if you want, but we kind of already did a lot of this movement for the hip, on our side. So we don't need to do a lot. Just there, and two just scissor movements of your thigh, down and up. Okay?

So all that series on your other side. So the spring that's by your right shoulder, up on your left foot. You might want to move yourself down, roll onto that right side, starting with your body long and your thigh already hip level, bring your thigh right in front of your hips square. Raise your thigh, you're in a turn out, and pulling it down. Not all the way to the other leg.

Come into parallel. So we have front, your back is nicely engaged, helping you stay long in your body, and lower. Last one in this direction. Okay, reverse. It's in turn out as your raise your thigh.

As you lower, it just rhythmically falls right into place in parallel, and bring it back. Turning out to lift. Lower in parallel, and press. Last two, last one, and now that transition. Just be mindful, if you're probably already feeling it, with the diagonal spring, or that line coming on a diagonal, it's a little different line of pull going on.

So it might feel like you're getting pulled around a little more than usual. That was my idea. Two each way. You can certainly do more reps, and then all we did was just two of those regular scissor movements, getting ready for just two legs in scissors. Okay, just that.

But of course we'll do it the regular way. So we'll take that foot out, bring that one around. Let's do a couple patterns, everybody, with both feet in the straps to feel some uniformity with both legs at the same time. So starting in your turn out, let's go for 10 scissors. Just easy, one, and two, and three, and four.

I think about reaching to the other end of the table rather than such a high hamstring stretch. You just did that on the side, so we don't really need to do that here. Nine, and 10. Let's do some chonsh-mah, 'cause I love them, three, four, five, six, and seven, eight, and up. Three, four, and five, six, and we'll do four sets, each time will be a change of foot position, and up.

Back to point, one, two, three, four, six, seven, eight, and up. Five, six, seven, eight, back to the flexed feet. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and up. Three, four, five, six, and seven, and eight. Diamond, bring it all the way down so the pinky toes are on the edge of the mat.

Push with your arms a little bit more, and then it's a peel. This is a little awkward, try to get a little bit of a pelvic curl, without thrusting the ribs. Just holding that, it's a lot of nice glute work there, and if you're lordotic like me, that's a lot of work to come down and up, with diamond. But we've gotta work our bodies, right? So pull that pelvis under, try to get those abdominals to get your back down, and then here we go.

I'm trying to keep my pinkies on the table. Oh, I really would love to lift my legs right now, but I won't. And one more time. You're probably feeling your adductors, and your glutes. Those nice external rotators.

Okay everyone, we're winding up! We're ready for a swan. So I want us to take the feet out of the straps, come up and roll onto the other end of the table, bring that red spring back up, okay. Bring your bar down safely, start with your bar right at the frame, take in a little inventory right now with how your lumbar spine, pelvis, sacrum, all that area feels. You could certainly change your legs and open them up a little bit for more support. I'm gonna try to keep them together.

Okay, un-weight your face, wide elbows for me today. Why? For yourself. Just hold the integrity here. I like knowing the bar's right behind my head. I can pull my head up to it just a little bit, and then here we go.

Trust that spring, make the adjustment with your hands, lift. And coming down chest first, hold onto that bar with your back muscles. Come on down. Last two. Look forward, trust your back, trust your glutes, trust your hamstrings, and come down.

Last one of the swans. See if you can get your chest a little more forward and up this last time. Okay. I think I need a little help on that. I'll resource some teachers to help me.

I feel like I got into my lumbar just a little bit. Oh well, next time. Now, last exercise, let's do a little inversion, nothing too elaborate. But I do have the fuzzies down there, so the way I like to measure, pull 'em out, middle finger to elbow, about. It won't be perfect, but close.

Okay. Feet go in, put your hands behind your shoulders, wipe your hands off if you're sweaty. Let's just do a nice little basket hang right here, and we'll do a swan up from this way. So use your hamstrings to press down into the fuzzies, lift, and then there goes the sternum and upper back. Just take three giant breaths here, use that grib strength.

Remember the pinky finger and the ring finger? This is where it came in handy, for this. And then pick up your head, roll your ears forward, and hang, and we'll finish class today with that. If you didn't have an opportunity to hang, if you're on a tower, try to do that sometime with a teacher if you can. Thanks everybody, I'll see you next time.


2 people like this.
Muy buen ejercicio con la push through bar para ayudar a elevar la pelvis. Me ha gustado mucho esta clase. Gracias.
OMG!!! I seriously LOVE this photo of you. So beautiful. xx
2 people like this.
Thank you Amy- I feel even and stretched! Lovely measured class
1 person likes this.
Thank you Meredith Rogers :)
So glad you liked this class too Caroline B !
Your teaching style is so upbeat and motivating!
3 people like this.
Loved this! The diamond shape pelvic lift with the straps was so amazing. The whole class was. Thank you Amy!
Thank you Vicky !
1 person likes this.
Hi Connie, I like that diamond pelvic tilt also, thank you for reaching out!
3 people like this.
thanks Amy, the shorts spine version on the push through bar feels fantastic🌷
1-10 of 38

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin