Class #3368

Abdominal Flow

35 min - Class


You will feel your waistline after taking this Mat workout with Amy Havens! She focuses on the abdominals using simple movements to pull your strength in and up. She includes creative variations of exercises like the Hundred, the Series of Five, and much more.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Hi everyone. I'm here for a short Matt class today focusing on abs and the center of the body. We talk a lot about working from the center and moving out. So I thought I would just spend a short amount of time working on our center. So come along, no props needed. Let's just start seated on your mat and take a quick check through your posture and just get right up on your sitting bones.


Hands right underneath the knees. Gently pull up and let's see if we can just start ourselves with as tall of a back and a spine as we can. Let's just take three or four deep breaths together, getting centered, ms, focusing on the strength that we're about to build and focus and isolate on, on our middle, in the middle of our body. Take a nice breath in through the nose and exhaling. So even on these introductory breaths and the exhale as you can start to deeply comes to concentrate on pulling your strength in and out. Just an easy press of your shoulders.

One more time. So as we start moving on the next exhale, let's just take a tiny movement from the sitting bones and work that lumbar flection. Moving yourself back and I'm going to go back until my arms are fairly straight. Keeping your feet down on the Mat, easy with your shoulders. Deep breath here. And then here we go. Curling forward. You can use your arms a little bit.

Modified Roll Back

Go into the roundness of your spine and pull yourself back up. Let's take four of these. Inhaling, okay. And contract. Moving yourself off your sit bones. We are trying to lengthen and open up the lumbar spine, hips underneath, breathing and pulling yourself in a little bit more with your stomach. Rounding forward, lift from the inside to build that spine. Nice and tall.

Two more here and exhale. So we're closing kind of narrowing the front of the waste. If you want to think that by widening the back of the waist. Inhale and exhale forward. Again, lift from the inside, curling back up to sitting tall.

We'll take the same one more time and okay, let's see. Oh, back. Inhaling there and forward taking it to the oblique. Say same thing four times. I'm going to rotate my Torsa to my right leg and take my left hand on the outside of that right leg. So both hands are holding. Press that knee, just a little bit out into the hands and then we're rolling. So you might feel a little biased on one side of your, your hips. Try to go into the center.

Roll Back w/ Rotation

So I'm going to go just a little less far back on this one. Holding and exhaling, four would without coming all the way over the legs. So I'm focusing mainly right here, pulling back. But the other side kind of wrapping around the front of me toward this side. Inhale and exhaling forward to more and contract.

So the left side, wrapping around to the right. Inhale and exhaling up one more time. All right. And then the same thing on the other side, four times sitting tall as you transitioned over, hands on the outside of that left leg. Press the left leg out, shoulder blades down. Here we go. And Rolling back. You don't have to go as far as we did in the first two. Let's check in.

And as you exhale, you're curling forward. Remember pulling in from the inside, sitting tall. So now we're taking our right ribs, wrapping around toward the left, pulling both sides of the abdominal wall in keeping that pull in if we can, as we pull ourselves right up on our sit bones to tall ass too, and curl back. Inhale and keeping it strong, but easy meaning dial down any negative tension you have in your shoulders. Put the work in your core, put the work in your abs and your center. Okay. And then return facing front. Let's take just two of each with the arms in the front like this. Okay.

Roll Back Variations

And going back, you might be able to go a little bit further now to the back of your pelvis, your sacrum holding. Inhale. Now instead of rounding forward over the leg, just reach strong to the front, lifting tall. And again, just one more there. Exhale, trying to get that sacrum down your lumbar nice and long. Two Times reaching to the right diagonal. I probably won't go quite as far back. Well, let's see though, we'll see. Inhale, it's a little harder for me to get back up with ease. I don't want to strain. Take it where your control point in and then just a little bit further and reach to to the other side and exhale, lower those shoulders. Inhale and exhale.

So coming back to the front, rolling back again about halfway back this time. So I want us to hold their, take both arms out toward tee and exhale and close four times. This is definitely an abdominal deeply concentrated exercise. If you can curl back on your pelvis further than I am, please try it. It's worth it to the diagonal four times. [inaudible] okay.

Roll Back w/Arm Extension

[inaudible] oh and left. Matt's going to feel really nice. Let me get all the way down. Open and close those arms open. Exhale a little further. One more. We're not quite done. Come to the front and then just take arms to the right, up and over to the left, left up and over to the right and up and over and up and over. Four more to go.

Roll Back w/Arms Overhead

Lift and exhale. Exhale. Only one more. Exhale and then find the center and then slowly roll down. Don't give out. Try not to accelerate. Take yourself down slowly. Okay, so I'm going to adjust myself on the mat just a little bit and let's come in for some pelvic curl. Good to stretch out those quads.

Shoulder Bridge

You probably felt a little bit of engagement in those hip flexors. So guys, just go ahead and take yourself up into a nice articulated bridge and just spend a few breaths here. Strong foot connection on your mat, like you're trying to stretch the mat forward. Let's take a deep breath and then from that upper spine begin to articulate down. We'll only do one more of these bridges is mobilizing through all that work, breathing in and curling up all the way, feeling that nice sense of power from the back of your hips. Breathing, stretching out the front line and rolling down. So this time when we get down, we'll take our ankles and knees together all the way for a little bit.

Chest lift, work in some patterns here. Okay. Remember we're focusing on this kind of center part of our body. Can't leave out the shoulder blade positioning. No. So just get those down your back slightly. Take a breath. All right. Easy chest lift. Let's just take four.

Abdominal Curl

Cool. And remember those hands are just that hammock like setting to hold the weight of your skull so you can focus on using your flexor muscles to move your spine and curl the last time. It's all what? That neutral pelvis. So now I want us to do four more with a nicely strong post here. Your tilted pelvis. Okay, so sits bones are together low abs are a little bit more on now and curl and curl.

Abdominal Curl w/Posterior Tilt

You may notice you get a little bit higher than you did a neutral. That's pretty common, okay. And either and both are good. So this time we'll stay in the chest lifts. Stay in your posterior tilt for just a moment. Okay. So here we go. We'll move from this posterior tilt to a neutral pelvis, but without losing the upper body.

Abdominal Curl-Posterior Tilt To Neutral

And then back to that post cheerier and then back into neutral. So this is deep, deep, deep work. Exhale curl. Okay. And we lease and flex the lumbar spine and length and only one more. And flex the lumbar spine and length into neutral.

And then bring your upper body down. Okay. Take your right knee into a tabletop position, curling into that chest lift. Let's work some rotation now. So like we did from sitting, I'm going to have you turn your upper body hand on the outside of that knee. And then just little pulses is go for eight, two and three. So I have my knee pressing out into my hand, slightly five and six and seven and eight. And then take everything down and we'll switch it over. Knee comes to tabletop.

Abdominal Curl w/ Rotation

Exhale yourself to a chest lift. Feel that nice oppositional weight on that right side. So as you rotate to the left, that right hip stays anchored knee is pressing to the hand. Here we go, and eight and seven and six, five and four and three and two and one. And then bring your chest down, but keep the leg up and then bring the other leg to join. And then curling back up. So from this position, we'll take our hands.

Abdominal Curl-Posterior Tilt To Neutral

Finally and put them right around the back of the thighs. Use your arms to help pick you. Just a little bit of higher up off of your shoulder blades. Stay right there and I want us to think of now we're going to flex our feet and do a pelvic tilt with your pelvis right now, so your whole lumbar is very, very, very flat on your mat and as we go to neutral pelvis, it's extended toes, but we're again trying to keep the upper body in the same position, so we'll flex the ankles, flex the lumbar spine, extend the lumbar spine, extending ankles twice more. Let's exhale and inhale and last one, exhale and inhale leg stay here. Upper body will come down. Okay, I'm going to move out into his own knee side decides to just taking it four times, going over to off that one. Hip.

Spinal Twist w/Double Leg Extension

Knees are level thinking about what's not moving, which are the shoulders, and then bring yourself center. All right, pulling your string into your midline, into that spine, into that waist, and then come back to center. This time we'll add our legs on the diagonal as whole knees and ankles together. Reach a little bit beyond your comfort zone there with your legs all the way through center. Rebound the knees and to your other side. Exhale, twist and extend. Go a little bit beyond and then come all the way up. Bringing your knees back into tabletop as take our head and our chest up when it starts. Some of the hundreds, but I'm going to have a do a little bit different with the arm position.

Hundred Variation

Instead of flat hands, flex through the wrists, flex through the feet again and we're pushing that way. Here we go. And a push, push, push and push. I'm going to do two breath cycle [inaudible] when the knees slightly [inaudible] [inaudible] so I'm going to go into the diagonal legs with my feet pointed and basically like the regular hundred position. Okay. Okay. Open the legs just slightly about the width of your shoulders.

[inaudible] and four and three and two and one and bring everything in. Circle your knees both directions a few times. There we go. Let's roll herself up to a seated position. Just from here rolling up. Okay, so open the feet again. Move your hips slightly back and all I want us to do is one very slow roll back from the sitting position. Okay, so just reach those arms long first, taking a nice stretch forward. You certainly can do this with your legs long.

Modified Roll Back

I'm just choosing to do knees bent. There's something a little more challenging for me with the knees bent to control my timing. Some of you are probably going to agree with me there, so feel free to straighten the legs, but take yourself very slowly down very slowly. Again, sometimes the slow stuff is the harder material to cover. Feel free to stop at any point where you know your challenge point is and kind of linger like that and all the way. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Let's go into some of this series of five. Yes, here we go. So knee is up to tabletop, but before we go, let's kind of set some of that intention for the slight variable sense in this.

Single Leg Stretch

Is your knees together. Instead of doing the pull in so deeply today I will have a stop more than 90 90 just a different focus probably in the lower stomach. And then as your chest lifting up, let's take the hands to the one knee. Here we go. And this knee is going to be pushing into the hands. Okay, so these are acting as little brake pedals and we'll just exhale. And for 10 times change one and knee, pressing your hands.

Two and three and four and five. Okay. Seven and eight and nine and 10 both knees in, hands on each knee. Set your chest down, a little variation on the double leg. Curl back up with a chest lift, pressing the knees. Do the hands. So first reaching the legs forward, arms to the legs, then arms behind out to a t and in knees to handle a little very Asian stretch. Reach, circle, and then press knees to hands. Three more.

Double Leg Stretch Variation

Stretch, reach, open and in to lengthen. Open N. N one more thing. God lengthen out and rest. All right, up for a scissors. Chest lift up. Pick a lay, take a hold of a calf. Now Work Square. Let's not do too crazy of the uh, tempo yet, so really feel the squaring that you're doing now you can improve that or increase that flexibility. Okay, one check in on the other side.


I love to do that for us. This is really important to set the tone of that aligned pelvis and now we go and we can do our double pole. Feels good. Double pull. Oh four three we're going to keep the legs going today. No sleep. Those hands behind her head. Suddenly it's more ab work, a little softer. Ab Work. When you're holding the leg this way you have to hold yourself up.

Seven and eight hold this eighth one. Now rotate toward that top leg. Little Pulses, eight times. Here we go. On and to the other leg is really reaching long in front. This top leg is nice and high. Six, seven and eight other side and eight and seven and six. Really scissor. Those legs apart for three.

Scissor w/Oblique Twist

Going back to the first side, arm goes up to the ankle. One and two, three and four. Reach a little higher and six and seven and eight other side. You're almost done with this series and two and three and four. Five, six, seven. So that was our Chris Cross and scissor Combo.

Criss Cross Variation

Now for the straight leg lower left, I'd like us to take the legs up instead of just down and up. Let's add a little corkscrew, a rotation to it, but do bring your chest up. Okay, so take your legs just a little off to one hip. Down we go. Go for new low. If you can, up and around and hold other side. Your neck is bothering you. If your abs are too tired, please put yourself down.

Double Leg Lower Lift Variation

Lower your chest and head. I'm going to take four more. Pull it up and three and two last one everybody. And then Tuck your knees into your chest. Put your head down, rock and roll yourself up to a seated position. Okay. Move your hips back again. Open up your feet. And then what I'd like is to do here is a hinge from a seated tall position and begin with your arms as straight in front of your shoulders, low shoulders, and then again without disturbing that rib, hip line and integrity here.

Seated Rotation w/Arm Extension

Lean yourself back so you really have to keep those upper abs nice and engaged and not release your rib cage. Okay. And then just come right back up. So fairly simple. These first four, well maybe not, it depends and asked too. And then we'll be adding rotation to that hinge. They'll stay on this one now and four. Okay, so I'm going to take my arm that's closest to you and rotate with a low shoulder. So hinge with rotation, trying to get that arm behind you and then reach back into the front. That about doing eight. So each side gets four. Okay.

Take your break if you need to. Your hip flexors are going to be contracted at this point. So just know I'm about to give us thigh stretch. Hang out with it. You can do it. We need strong hips. So turn, use your lat and center and use that lat. And the old bleak is a really synergistic muscles.

They help our rotation and center. This is it. That's eight. And up we go. And then we can pull herself up. Release your legs and let's just do a little forward stretch. Okay. We're almost a thigh stretch, but not quite a little bit more for the rotation.

I'm going to face you everybody for this one so you can just stay with me. Turn and just sit in an Indian style position across legs for a second and then put your hands Jeannie Style and turn your spine and your rib toward your right or left. And as you've done so make sure that both sitz bones are still even there. And then I want to have you put your just hands on top together and put your hands on your forehead. Did you notice what your abs had to feel there? There's something really different. This is low demand.

Seated Rotation w/Pulses

This is a little higher demand. So stay here with me. We're going to pulse. Eight little pulses. Focus on that left or this side of the abdominal wall. Pull that in. Pull that in and in hand. Exhale, and for three to help you feel that and one whole that position.

Open your arms open. Go a little further now with your arms, your spine, and your ribs. That same exhale, eight times. Same thing. And what it'll be tempting to use your arms to do this. They're just spokes. They're just rays coming out of your body. This, this focus is in the center.

Remember from the inside out and seven and eight an unwind at center. Put your hands in her lap. Switch legs, you know, feel different. You know that. Fold your arms, low, shoulders. Exhale for you to your second side. Okay, so there you are. Now take your hands just hand over hand and then just experiment and get as notice the task change. You don't have to take your hands to your forehead.

I'd like you to, I'm gonna lower your down. And then one more time coming up. Easy neck and shoulders and the focus on that abdominal wall. And you're pulling in and in, whoops. Without the pelvis. Moving. You see I was starting to cheat with my pelvis and stomach muscles.

I'm a little mobile on that side, so I likes to get squirrely and eight opening the arms. Okay, so your arm, you're gesturing, you're widening your spoken out. Now go from the center again, rotate a little more, eight more, and we take it one, two, three and four and five and seven and eight and then returned to center. Hands on your lap. Okay, I'm going to just take my legs out to a small straddle. You don't have to do a straddle, you can also just do a diamond, but this feels kind of nice to open up and then eight more, believe it or not, side to side. Arms out to the sides now. Okay, flex your feet are points, your feet, whatever feels best. And let us make a change with our arm position.

Spine Twist w/Legs Straddled

So sit really tall. Lengthen here, lift, pull it in and up. And let's just take exhale to the first side and you have one and exhale too. So feel free to go a little further now because I did say at beginning class, it's working on the center of the body so you'll feel your low back. That's part of you. That's okay. And three, two, it feels really good and one and then center. And let's just take a forward stretch just a little moment down, stretching out.

All right, now we're going to go into our thigh strips. So come on up. We'll face this way. Go up on high kneeling, grab some heads if you need them, but I don't think you do. And we did a lot of stuff that probably got you lit up in your hip flexors and in quad. So let's just take about four reps. Nothing fancy. Get up on your knees. Align yourself. Again, just like we were sitting and I want us to add duct though your inner. Get your inner thighs working. Press the top of the feet down in the shins, down. Whatever you want to do with your arms, everybody.

Thigh Stretch

I'm just going to put my hands like this. Like I would in a slant board, pelvic tilt and just start to lean back and just take your time again. There's that rib hip integrity. We don't want to thrust the ribs. We know that this is a stretch, but also was strengthen her in the quads. Okay. And Oh really? So healthy to open up this part of our, our structure and our muscles that we just used. So pressing, but also the next little set of exercises. I'm going to have a state up, kneeling for side bending and I want to make sure you're really open and flexible here so that when we do a side lateral flection, you keep your integrity of your alignment. Okay, sounds good. Right? So one more time checking out in the view and back up.

Okay, so I'll face, you know, turn to face me. You can do your right or left side, whichever. I'm going to go this way. So arms will come up now just like we did a moment ago, your energy is out, but your strength and movement is sourcing from here. So take yourself to a lateral flection. So I'm doing two things. I'm thinking of contracting but not [inaudible] this side.

Kneeling Arms w/Reach & Lateral Flexion

Of course you want to contract but stay lifted. And meanwhile this side is really nicely opening. If you can get your hand down to the mat, wonderful. I'll probably get there in a minute and lift. So thinking eight alternating sides.

Nothing too complicated but nice deep work and left. Remember that pelvis, right? So it's, we're still right up over this thigh bones. You're not pushing your hips back. Okay. Energy out. But the strength from within and side bend almost four more. See, can she get the arm down? It's a matter of arm length, I think two or three more.

If I could curse plunked my waist and shrunk on myself, I'd get my hand down. But I don't want to do that. I want to keep the integrity. The last one right now, we're going to stay to this side. Okay. Now I do have to have us put our hand down. So if you do need to modify and or change how you get there, I'm going to take your leg out to the side. Put your hand down. Okay.

Side Arm Support w/Pulses

You can, you have a choice, right? You know, you could in a second with me. Lift this leg up and put the foot with the foot. Or you can just say here, let's all stay focused on this site is lat, which is part of our back. Our abdominals are low back and really pull those muscles toward the center of our body. Okay, so then by the time we go to move the leg, hopefully we're organized. We don't have to fight too much to get there. They just like that. Now I'm going to do eight little extra contractions like I've been doing in this class. Just a little extra and extra, not pushing from the shoulder, lifting from those obliques and four and five, six and seven and eight. And then from here, everyone turned face down to a front support.

So you do have to adjust your hands and just stand there on your front support. Okay. Focusing on your abdominals, your lasts in your back muscles. Pick one knee up. Just hold [inaudible]. Feel that one right and put it back. And then the other foot, nothing fancy. And then put it back.

Front Support Knee Raises

Bend the knees and just sit off those risks for a moment. We'll come back up for those lateral side bins eight more times of course, cause we have to end up that way. So you get another opportunity ready. You're really gonna feel your waistline tomorrow. Here we go. And exhale to the side. Inhaling up and exhaling side.

Kneeling Arms w/Reach & Lateral Flexion

Wow. And inhaling up and your hips are forward. Okay. And length. Okay.

Sometimes the simple stuff feels the best on my body. Kind of made a little mantra this year. Simple is good. Simple is just fine. Seven and last time for eight. Here we go. So we have to make that change. That hand will come down in the mat, do it with integrity and put the other leg out. Okay. So just as we do it, you can keep your knee down or you can join in.

Side Arm Support w/Pulses

But take a moment, collect those muscles, put yourself in, pull yourself in and ready you step back gracefully. Feeder side by side. Little extra contractions here and it's eight and seven. I'm not lying. I'm using my hips a little bit too. They're part of our center and five and six and seven and eight.

Front support. Again, just turn face down this time instead of pulling your knee to a chest, just lift the leg up behind you and just hold. I don't want you to collapse that lumbar spine, so I've kind of got a sense. I've got a little lift on my interior wall of my butt, my abs lifting me up like so foot down. Come off with the hands sitting back. [inaudible] okay, one thing, phase down, so ready to go.

Front Support Hip Extension

You can just hit [inaudible] out here and then everybody just put your arms right by your sides. Palms touching your thighs. Forehead just barely hovered. Collect the abdominals right up into your body. Narrow your waist, narrow your arms, narrow your body. Hey, and now lift the legs and the head and chest just a little higher. All I'm having us do is hold this position again. Simplicity, but you'll feel, yeah.

Prone Spine Extension

Press your arms a little more. Activating those adductor muscles of your shoulders, your lats. Okay. Focus on your breath. How strong you are right now. Two more breaths.

[inaudible] okay. And everyone down. We have one more exercise and that's going to be one of the rolling pieces and I'm going to let you choose what you do. You know, I know I can't see you, so I don't know what you're going to choose, but I think I might just do good old fashioned ball for today. That's fine. And I think I'll do this way. Hands on my shins, lifting the feet and pressing the shins forward into the hands. Just gazing down, hoping to keep the same shape here through my ball. Let's go with four shall we? And we'd go inhaling, pressing the shins into the hand.

Rolling Like A Ball

Oopsie let's try that again. I'm going to start with try to do four and we go back. Hannah, three more. Keeping the same shape if we can help it. Okay, last two and last one.

Okay. Place your feet down. We're finished with class today, but I want you to finish by putting your hands right by your behind your thighs and pull yourself up. Thank yourself for doing an intense kind of quickie with mainly abs and lower back muscle work. Add that onto any other classes. Kind of fun just to augment some times and just do little short pieces. So thanks everybody. We'll see you next time.


2 people like this.
Great Ab class! Thank you!
Loved the variations. Evenly distributing lumbar spinal flexion is difficult for me, so I loved the challenge
2 people like this.
That was a great focus on the core with still some good, full body movement. Thank you, Amy! There is so much great variety on PA for the 30 minute workout.
4 people like this.

I liked your descriptions, fast but not too fast. No nonsense just how and what should be done to perform the exercises, liked your voice and tone. I've noted the side twists for my own practice very helpful.
1 person likes this.
Great class as always Amy! I felt my waist during :) and I’m sure I’ll feel it tomorrow, too. I’m bookmarking to come back to again!
3 people like this.
What I found very interesting, was that as I watched you in your beginning warm ups with the roll back, how your feet would arch as you rolled back, then flattened when you returned to sit bones. How fascinating the connection is with the hips to feet. Thank you Amy for always teaching me something new.
1 person likes this.
I miss my gorgeous teacher! Come to Kauai and play with me! Very awesome core work with new variations for me to try. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Just superb Amy! My new go to 30min ab workout..Thank you!!
1 person likes this.
Yum!!! Much much needed worKin!
1 person likes this.
Great class! Loved it! I have wrist issues and it was easy to modify the side and front supports to utilize the forearm.
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