Class #3422

Upper Body Strengthening

35 min - Class


Work your upper body in this standing Mat workout with Amy Havens. She uses small props to help prepare your body for the weight-bearing exercises she does at the end of the class. She encourages you to focus on organic movements, so you don't force anything in your body.
What You'll Need: Mat, Small Tennis Ball, Hand Weights, Magic Circle

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Hi everyone here for a standing workout that's very arm, arm centric and um, kind of some exercises to prepare for a few weight bearing mat exercises. What you're going to need is a small ball like a tennis ball, so you guys can go ahead and get that and some small hand weights and a magic circle. So I wanted to have a start with a little bit of Peck Muscle, a little release before we start working on our upper body. So just put the ball in one hand and just start to press in. You can use both hands, it might feel better on your chest muscles and kind of go right below your collarbone to your sternum, your breastbone, and then over toward your shoulder.

And when we're just putting a little bit of pressure and slight massage might have some stinky spots. You may not. If you do, you might want to hang out there and press a little bit more to release. And I have found one already too right there. So I'm going to choose to elevate my shoulder and lower it a few times just to move through and around the tissue. Yeah, good. And Shelby is going front and back, so you just really get to investigate around. But sometimes when we do upper body work, like with the hand weights and stuff that we're going to do, uh, why go at it cold?

I mean get some circulation in the tissues we're about to use and load. You could go on and on. This could be a half an hours worth of work, but we'll move over to the other side. So just change over and each side of the course it's going to feel very different. Just start to put some awareness on your upper body shoulder position. I'm going to ask us that.

We just allow your shoulders to do their, you'll feel like the organic movement. I don't want us to pull the shoulder blades down today too much in gang down and bare down. Let's just see what they, what we need to do. Okay. We don't want to elevate the scapula too often, but we certainly will. I'm not yank down. Okay. So hopefully that feels you're aware of your chest muscles. Okay.

So go ahead and just put that little ball down and then come back to just join us in standing. And I want us now take your hands on the side of your ribs. A good [inaudible] practice always includes breathing to warm up. So we want to expand side to side, reaching those ribs out into the hands. And then just a little bit of use of your hands against your ribs so we can think about our inhale. Widing our oblique muscles. Great. And exhale, narrowing. Those are contracting those obliques.

One more with our hands on our sides here. Inhaling wide. Oh, obliques. Kind of pulling on that for you to see the direction and exhaling here. Okay, three more breaths. But now we'll sneak our hands to the back of our ribs where the obliques too. It's harder to reach there sometimes even get that breath and exhale. Right? We have a dolphin sighting. Do we? We have a dolphin signing. I can't help myself. Okay. [inaudible] good. Yeah. Yeah. So every breath is like, we're trying to almost pick our own ribs up off of our hip bone area or waistline. Now keep that height then space, lower the arms down.

And just real quick, toggle your head from one side to the other. Easy. This isn't really um, long holded stretches, held stretches. We're just moving. Okay. Cause upper body work and arm weights and holding the circle and things can start to aggravate the shoulders sometimes, but and the neck one more each side. Okay. So go ahead everybody. Grab your hand weights and we'll begin with the work with the exercises.

So I think we can just go ahead and do that somewhat. We tend sometimes called the Palazzo stands heels together, toes away. But I just want you to gather up into your inner thighs, your low seat active a little bit. Pull your stomach up, weights together, going in with the zip up. So for shoulder. So as you take those weights right up to your collarbone, elbow and shoulder in the same height and shoulder blades just settled on your back. That's it. So we'll do 10 of those. That was our warm up. Here we go for one and too, I think an exhale feels good. Three and four so we can start to shift our weight slightly forward. Five.

There we go. Stomach in six. Okay. Hmm. Seven lots of sets of 10 I won't have to count each time. Good. Last time. Here's our 10th one. Okay, so standing sub, similar to chest expansion. If you're on your reformer, we'll start this one. Palms facing back.

Take a moment and broaden across the collarbone line rib cage, back and in. And here we go. Reaching the arms. So I'm going to step forward a little bit. So with the arm movements, think about to the arm bones. Keep going, going down and then back. Right? So there's kind of a line of down to go back. As the front opens up, I think this is six down to go back. Seven teaching long ate good. Yep. And weight shifted forward slightly. Nine and last one 10. So we worked the back at the arm.

Let's work the front of the arm, take your arms in front of you. So we'll work by subs. And if you can, and we're trying to hold the arms and keep them at shoulder level. If at any one time you get tired, just lower that down. But here we go. Bending in. Now hold this one. What I want us to think you guys are fine is to not just contract your bicep.

Yes. That's going to happen. Think about how you're lengthening the under side of the arm out the tip of the elbow. Almost like it's coming up this way. Yeah. And then the front, of course he's getting a little bit of the contraction and then the reverse. You're taking the tip of the elbow and kind of thinking of lengthening it that way. Okay. So it's just a rhythm of it. Here we go. And one. Okay. And to keep thinking how much space you can keep and create in your torso from rib cage hips, good underneath arm stretches and it pulls back five more. It stretches.

So yeah, the biceps are working, but focus your triceps, right. And and very nice. Yep. One more. And then hold them in. Now that's by step one. As I learned it a long time ago. Ice Up to let's go out to kind of that goal post position. So same thing as underneath side long out the tip of those elbows.

And then before we could just do anything, just make more tension in your muscles. [inaudible] cause these are lightweights but we can add more tension. Yeah. And then stretch. Same thing for 10. We come in one and two. I'm really thinking of the elbow getting the underneath side of the arm law.

Yeah, perfect. For prepper, preparing for summer, all of our sleeveless tops, et cetera. You wouldn't know it today. Uh, and eight you feel in your arms. You guys in your back. Yeah, side of our back. Now hold it in here. Bring it forward a lower, we'll do a little combination of one and two. So two chest level as fold in. There's one open reach. Ooh, my elbow just adjusted in and down and we won and open and like, yes, I think I know what's happening back. There are three more biceps. Open threat fold. There we go. Last two. Let's make our waistline a little narrower. Just because, and in, in and our spine. A little taller. Last one of this pattern.

[inaudible] actually, you know what? I'm going to have this. Go back out and hold and turn your palms. You had to face me. How much if we were like a big bird. Choose one. Wingspan is wide, right? Stay right there. Stay right there. So now the, I'm going to have you guys bring your scapula together on your back.

This really feel the energy right between this, this shoulder blades. Really Nice. And then from your wingspan, start releasing the Scapula to wide Im. There we go. Let's take that four more times. So really energize that center. Mid back and reach three more together. We're happy. These are lightweights now and reach last two together and reach and last one together and reach and lower all the way down. Oh, okay.

Small circles. But shake your shoulders. Huh? Felt good. Yeah, it's nice. There's simple movements but very beneficial and good for us. So women need strong arms and strong shoulders, so to men, but we women need a little bit more of that. Okay. Small circles and think that the story goes. These used to be called sparklers that Ramana would call them sparklers. I don't, so there's meant to be small in somewhat quick.

Okay. And then reverse the direction and come down. Now as we do that again, let's shift our weight forward. Collect those abdominal muscles. Here we go. We'll go 0987654321 down to four five, six and seven eight, nine and 10 and up to their little, reach out into space. Nine 10 down. Do Four, five. I'm trying to touch those of you at home.

You guys are trying to touch the window. One more round. Long arms, shoulders plugged back. Nine 10 down. Three, four, five and six and seven. Eight and nine and 10. Okay. Reaching. So make a fist and yeah, here we go. And let's take a, an inventory of what the ribs again. There we are. And try to go straight up with your arms. Now if you're going straight up and accidentally bring your shoulders with you, oh well that might happen, but just settle them down. That's a place where I'd say kind of try to find them and drop them down and then rebound. Okay. Or punched the sky. So we're just going to evenly move.

And so we do want some abs with this key going. Nice. You guys keep going. So from a side view, yeah, we would keep going. We would have a nice relationship of rib cage pelvis here, not rib cage in front of Pelvis. They're doing a beautiful job. I lost count too. Maybe less than whole and love there. Okay. Fingertips together. Put that right behind your head.

Hold that rib check again. Try to press your elbows further back to the back of the room. Yep. And now I'm going straight up as if we could shave our ponytails right off. And now I'm going to let my head come down just a little bit. That's okay. Because I'm still really working. My arms is okay if my head comes down, press for us. Yep.

Five more times and just a little tail and rib check and a little tail and rib check. What that means. We're just kind of sometimes getting out there. Three yes to last one and bring it all the way down. And once again, just shake the shoulders. Okay. Face each other. Let's do the, uh, bend your knees. We're still parallel, hinge at your hips and you can do a small hinge like I've got for now or as we get better and better and better. In fact, I think we'll have us try this. Go all the way flat. So I'm trying to kind of mimic being parallel to the floor or the table. This is perfect. This is so perfect.

But your weights right by your arms or your arms by your sides. You guys, palms face up. Okay, so again, we're doing triceps, but this is a place I want you to just think about more where your shoulders are. Again, we're not yanking them down our back, but we certainly aren't having a monk by your ears. Okay. As if you guys, this is out too. Yeah, right in the center. Okay. Here we go. The back of the arms. Press him up. One little high, two and three. We're going to do 10 of this and then change the arm angle 10 times, 10 more times. I should say seven, eight. I can't see myself and nine. Good. And last one 10 lower your arms for a second. Now turn your palms to face in. And the same thing.

Almost like you're doing a karate chop with your pinky finger side to the ceiling. We're going to go faster. 10 Times one, two, three and four. Five, six, good. Seven eight. Keep them up on number 10. Last one on this variation is pulled the arms toward one another behind your back. One, two, three, four by six, seven, eight, nine holding number 10 lower the arms. Roll your shoulders. Come up to standing for just a moment, but you'll go right back down from boxing. Okay, so again, bend the knees, hinge forward, and boxing. Start with your weights right by your shoulders.

And I don't have a preference which one comes forward and which one goes back first. But pull one arm behind you. That palm will face up. The opposite arm is in front of you. Palm face, down, hold and then change. So we're gonna slow these down so we can get the accuracy and the line. Exhale, reach in, he'll return. And I'd say if there's an arm to focus on, it'd be the back one going up to the shoulders and back when going up. Right? And as you take your back one, make a fist here. Whoo girl. Good. Okay. And Change.

How are we doing? Can you hinge a little lower? I've lost count anyone I feel to more the infamous to more promise last time. And then bring it down. Once again, roll yourself up. Just roll your shoulders a couple of times. We have one more down in that life down they go, bend, hinge. Okay, this is the dead bug or you had dead bug or one of the rowing's their knuckles are facing together.

What I want you both to start with first is doing is pull your shoulder blades together again. Okay? Then from that place, raise your arms. You don't have to go very high. Release the shoulder blades and bring the arms down. So we're going to do that sequencing against low shoulder blades. First arm lift second, let go. The shoulder blades and then bring the arms back down. Okay, so again, shoulder blades, arms we release and come down.

Shoulder blades, arms, release it down. One more slow, one shoulder lights, arms and release us. Try five little faster but still fluid and continuous to the neck is long. Reaching out of those shoulders. Nice job four. And of course stay up on number five. Why? Of course you can pulse a little higher and you can think one. Shoulder blades together. Three, four, a little lower with the Chin and six fuel has strength. Seven good.

Eight yes, nine and 10 and bring everything down. Wowing, all the way up. Roll your shoulders a little bit. Feel all right, we're done with the hand weights, but let's get the magic circle. So take those away. Magic circle time. So maybe you can face me again. Yeah. And I'll go this way. So put your ring right on the side of your hip and the palm of your hand on the outside. Okay. We can stand parallel now. Collect everything in the posh that we have.

And then I want you to lift your elbow up and out just a tiny bit. Okay. And then that shoulder back, press your ring, hold it, hold it in, hold it just a little weird there. And then release it. So you'll be feeling chest contract, you'll feel your under arm, your inner arm, tricep, your back, etc. Couple more slow ones. Press and hold, hold, hold and release. One more slow, one hold, hold and hold. Okay, let's go a little faster. So we have a press release, press and exhale and exhale.

So all of these arm exercises kind of are simple little extras, but they really are great ways to prepare for the harder, more advanced mat exercises. I think that demand a lot of upper body strength, all the weight bearing things. Okay. A little faster for ten nine, eight then seven six. It's the arm if the arm an eight and nine and 10 other side. Okay. And risks of course. So first we did slow for four. So press and hold, your elbows slightly lifted out. Exactly. And our shoulders back and release.

We're very serious about our arm. Yeah, good. And release and Exhale, hold whole and release. Last one. Super slow. Hold, hold and hold. I went a little faster. And so that XL pressing from the outside in, right the arm to the ring was also happening in here. Tummy four more.

Growing Taller, always taller. Last one. And then 10 extra quicker. Endo one, two and is the upper arm, upper arm five six, seven, eight, nine. Let's hold it. 10 and release. Okay. In both hands. Long fingers here just to continue the line of energy from shoulder to hand. Wait a little bit forward and just see how far up you can raise your arms first.

That'll be the height that you take it to your ceiling and we all have different shoulders. Beautiful. Okay, so amaze. We'll start here. Pulse is going down there. Quick. One, two, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 up six, seven, eight, nine, 10 down just like we did with sparklers. Reach out to me. I'm reaching out to use. Seven, eight, nine, ten two more sets. Nine 10 and up on set nap eight, nine, 10 and down. Two, three, four, five, six, eight, nine, 10. One more to take us up. Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and 10 hold it there. Drop your shoulders, take a deep breath.

Now bend the elbows, hold that [inaudible] and see if you can try thinking of Kenneth's elbow. Come closer to this elbow. Feel what? Good, Nicole. Man. Wow. Nice. Shelby. And then we do that with wide obliques. We do that with wide upper back between, we don't have to pinch the Scapula. Then from there we extend the elbows and we're all have different ranges in our shoulders. So that's what you probably are seeing. Three different things here. Of course we have a slight press in with our hands.

Sorry, sticking out my tongue. Good. Here we go. Yeah, super slow. Yeah. Okay. Let's take five more. Just a titch quicker. One, two. Nice. You guys.

Three wait, is forward on the feet for, hold it back on. Five hold and little pulses. Ten nine, eight. Yeah. Elbow to elbow. Elbow to elbow. Yes. Seven, eight. We're in a hole and hold, hold, hold. Raise the arm.

Lower the arms and re lease one more with the ring here. So put it right behind your back. I'm going to just turn it this way. Try not to hook the thumb. As tempting as it is, but your whole, yeah, your whole hand in long fingers back there. Okay. So same thing before we move the arms. Good. Broad. And across your collarbone. Your breath is making that happen. You're inhalation.

I'll do this way. And then as we inhale, raise your arms again like we did earlier. Back and up. I can't lift my arms very high without my shoulders. Elevating maths. What we're trying to avoid. And then release. Inhale. They go long and back and return. Here we go. Long and back. Then return. Okay.

And long and back. So this is a place I'm going to have you all keep going. Start thinking about a few exercises on the mat. Okay. Which ones? Amy? Long stretch. Like a plank. What do you know? You have to feel in plank. That's what we all know. Okay. Uh, some pushups, side sideburns and maybe more pushups. Alright, one more time. So I think all of our brains are hooked in, but before we do that to open a your legs just a little bit, take your ring in front of you and let's think about the exercise on the map.

This side, bend the side bearing white weight bearing side bend. What I want us to do is just kind of put the shape in the body, but from here this ring will go up over our head. Let's step toward the ocean over there. You guys will take that foot behind. You just slightly put the foot on the mat, take your body into your side vent. Yeah, they're up your shoulders.

Welcome. We'll do several. And then right in the middle. Other side. So just think about mat, exercise the side then good. Yeah, we'll do several of these and we bend and then over. Yeah, so we're really an on the side band exercise. We have one arm on the ground, one arm over our head.

We have weighed on one foot. We don't have as much weight on that other foot. The dewy. So try right now to take a little weight off that back foot. Okay. Yeah. Okay. And then center, they snuck it in. So put weight on it first. Each side of our body's different.

So just recognize that. Ready? Take a little weight off. Let's go for more and bend. Yeah. Stretch and check. Those shoulders are about to bear weight on the risks. What do we want with those shoulders?

Once again, you side stretch. Good. And last time. Last one. Here's accounts. Accounts, accounts. Yes. Good. Oh, okay. Put that down. Come on to your mat. You guys. Great. Let's come into all fours. Yeah, Nicole's got the right idea. Cool.

A little bit of that. All right, so plenty of blood flow up in the upper body. Yeah, go ahead and hit your all fours position. Things we know about when we're down in the ground. No, I didn't get to talk about yet because we hadn't had our hands on something in the surface, but I want you to pull the mat apart so you activate. Yeah. Great. The more inclusiveness around your shoulder girl right there. Good. And your hips are right over their legs just perfectly.

You've got a good long spine. So just like we did earlier with the shoulder blades, bring them together on your back. So as you bring your shoulder blades together, your sternum is going to drop down toward the mat a little bit. That's fine. Now as we open the upper back, I don't want us to go to flection. I just want you to go right back into your long spine. Okay. So let's inhale as we shall slide the shoulder blades together, slide them and exhale, widen them.

Inhale scapula together. Scapula apart. Keep going. Start noticing if one scapula slides before the other one. Chances are we've got a little, an untimed scapular rhythm. Yeah, and ideally we're trying to have them glide at the same timing and widen the same timing. Two more times. Scapula together and apart and together part. Okay, so a little bit of a push up, but what I want us to do to keep the knees down, keep your hands just exactly where they are. Bend your elbows, lower your forearms down.

Yeah, your face is going to get quite close to the mat. Remember the elbow point to elbow point we did with the magic circle. Pretend if there now and bring your own self back up. Wow. Right? So we don't need to do a full plank for the pushup [inaudible] to target those triceps. Inhale here. Oh, exhale stretch.

Okay. And as we're lowering our body weight, less pretender or spine might be a really nice long theraband that we can elongate from end to end and extend two more. Just like this gals and bend extend killing your arms, bending down and you're back. It should be a lot about your back body too. Okay. From there, just take some weight off your wrist and just settle back for a moment or two. But yeah, if you'd like a child's post thought you can do that. Just breathe into it. Doing Great. Good. One more.

Nice deep breath in there. Okay, so next exercise or thing is the long stretch. So come on out. If you like the word plane, that's what it is. I like to think of it as our reformer exercise. The long stretch. So open up those hands just like you were. You've got your heads reaching toward one another like you have been your legs nice and close. Together we have our glutes contracted. Okay, and just hold your position. Now think about as we travel forward and back, I want you to think pulling your arm bones back towards your hips, which makes it come over your whole wrist a little bit.

And then as you move yourself back, you're going back towards your hips. So rather than moving it from the feet, think about this from your shoulders. We've done all this really good work to work from pulling your arm bones toward the hips and back to more cool and back and one more pool and back and lower your knees. Sit Up for just for a sec. Shake the risks. The next one is back to the plank position. Then feet are going to go out, out in, in, out, out, in, in ready. Here we go. Either foot to start does not matter. Out and out and in and in.

One foot, one foot, and our legs are nice and straight. Yeah, keep broadening the chest. Imagine pulling them out wide. Start with your other foot. Now out, out in, in, out, out. He breathing. One more.

Bring your knees down again. Take weight off your hands. Aha. My Heart's beating your sisters going a little faster. Okay, now turn to face me. You guys can be on the opposite hand is fine, but your hand out there. Okay. So as we pulled, used the magic circle a little while ago and we are pulling it in against our hip this way. Imagine that now as you go to bear weight on that single arm that you're pulling the arm toward the hip, the other arm can come out to the side. Your feet can be layered, right? And we'll take this arm up over the head just like we did with the magic circle.

So we'd go up and over. Now hold that position. Remember we got that really big curve. What do we are in standing? I like to look down at my hand. I just feel like it makes a complete um, line. Just hold it there and come down. Okay. Two more times. So all that work we did at the beginning.

Pool into the torso. Make your chest work, make your back work. Here we go. Up and over and stretch. Three should feel good and down. Good. One more time. You were ready to happen. Over lifted. Stretch. Good. You guys. Three on the other side. Good. Beautiful, strong. Three times like you're pulling in that magic circle. Here we go to start up and over.

So again as, yeah, stretch those legs. Contract your bottom. Push the floor away. We have your hips up and smile feels good. And me go, God, just collect all your thoughts. All that strength work we did for the upper body. Pull it into you now. There it goes. And then up with it. Good. There we go.

Yeah. And so if you're good, you guys like you feel like you're ready for it. Not too burned home with your rest of your exercises. Good. Because we have one more thing. A pushups. All right, come down. So you can choose what kind of pushups, meaning you can put your knees down if you'd like.

We'll come into full plank position. We'll only do three. That's all we need to do. Okay, so regroup. Find Yourself. You can do wide ones, you can do narrow ones. All the things we thought about. I want you to let your shoulder plates move. I do bring them together. Lower Yourself, moving away and push yourself away.

Do more. Bring them together. Lower Yourself. Push away. One more. Let's go down. I'm, oh, I missed it. I better do one more myself down and push. Come down off of your hands. Just rest yourself back into your rest pose. The last and final thing we'll do. Have a seat on your mat.

Let's face each other. Cross legs feels good. I think Anders take one hour amount those fingers up on your shoulder. Other hand on your elbow point and just left. It's kind of a soft lift. Okay, a few deep breaths, sometimes nice to to change up what we do. So one of the arms, upper body work good. You've got rosy cheeks, you can't see these two.

They've got nice rosy cheek and then the other side, few breaths. Good. Lastly, both hands out, fingertips face down, fingertips face up towards your wrists, down toward your wrist. Two or three more. That's a good one, Huh? All that flexing on it. On the rest are weight bearing that we need that stretch. [inaudible] last one. I promise you you're done.

Here we go like this and then like this all the way. Thanks everybody. Enjoy the rest of your day. Bye.


1 person likes this.
My arms and shoulders thank you Amy!!! great standing workout.
1 person likes this.
Super, loved this x
Susan B
3 people like this.
Amy - what size hand weights were you using?
1 person likes this.
Thanks Amy. Good to get clear instruction on some of these exercises used quite regularly.
Sara Ellis-Owen
Loved the sparklers!
2 people like this.
I really loved those slow push-ups from all fours! What a sweet little workout, Amy!
2 people like this.
Wow wow wow, Amy! Guess I need to work on my upper body strength more! I didn't really know before this class! :)
3 people like this.
Thanks gals! I'm using 2 lb weights here. You can certainly can use 3 lbs but probably nothing heavier is needed. Susan B ! Glad you enjoyed this fun little class!
1 person likes this.
Loved it! Thank you!
2 people like this.
Great arm work Amy! The cueing during the scapulae slides was a great way to work toward finding even engagement between both left and right shoulder blades. I'll be adding this video to my weekly workouts for sure!
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