Class #346

Flexion and Extension Play

30 min - Class


A fun and thorough class when you don't have a lot of time. Meredith creates a nice balance between flexion and extension with exercises like the Full Pike, Side Pike, Frog Front, Side stretch Basic Swan, and some wonderful hip and hamstring stretches.
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair

About This Video

Dec 21, 2010
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Alright. So we're just going to start this class with a just a couple of roll downs. Just find a place that you feel like you have enough space to move feet or parallel to one another. Arms are reaching down the side of the body. The top of the head is reaching forward and we breathe in on the exhale, allowing the head to drop forward, letting tension come away from the body, letting anything else besides the work go for now from your mind, India, what can you give yourself x or rolling? Drawing up to the center, feeling the ribcage. Connect, stretching the back long and tall and allowing the head to be the last thing.

Albania again, exhale, head first. Lots of strength through the middle of ourselves to support our spine as we take our bodies towards the ground in healing to pass and exhale and to lift up gentle contraction through the inner thighs. It's not a bad idea. Feeling a sense of lifting the thighs up away from the knees is also not a bad idea. So we're not working. Go again with hyperextension. You wanna stay at the bottom here. We're going to bend the right knee, but the right hand on the floor, stretch the left arm up and out. Feel the spine reaching forward in space, not just around change legs. The right leg straightens, the left knee, Benz, left hand comes down or fingertips. We just guide the spine around.

Also reaching forward through it. Well maybe we take ourselves back forward and we inhale here and then we exhale to roll back up all the way. Shoulders reaching down top of the head, reaching up. What are we gonna move on to the standing pikes. So you just stand just in front of your truck. Do you have enough space just in front of your chair? Same idea or similar idea in here. As you exhale, fold the spine forward. Allow your hands to just find the paddle. Naturally as you inhale, you're going to press your paddle towards the floor.

[inaudible] stay there for one moment. Drawing the shoulders away from the ears, potentially looking for a challenge in your trunk flection. And then as you exhale, press the pelvis towards the chest. Come about halfway up. So the shoulders and about level with the pelvis. Inhale, pull the abdominals in and up as you take your body towards the floor. Exhale to curve, focusing the curvature in the lumbar spine, the lower back end heel down. So here's where we start to warm up our abdominals a lot and heel down.

Here's where we are able to give herself a lower back stretch. Maybe I'm going to do that three more times. Lifting, scooping through the waist, shoulders reaching down. So in order to keep my shoulders down, I'm just pushing into the chair a little bit, or I'm thinking about pulling the paddle towards me as I crow last one. That's selling to lift, coming all the way up this time. So once the spring is like, Oh, you just continue rolling until you're on your feet. Yeah.

Has it come forward? We're going to head into some of them dominant work to continue our warm up. So just sitting on the chair, rolling back into the double leg stretch position. So the hands are on the knees. We're going to reach the legs out, stretch the arms overhead, and exhale, circle the arms, bend the knees, feel energy in both directions with the legs and the arms. Challenge the curl of the upper body through out.

Inhale, stretch. Exhale, pull. Last five. The further the arms go behind you in the more narrow they go. In fact, the harder it is to keep the curl challenge. So play with those two things. One more. Hold onto the left knee. Stretch the right leg forward for the single leg stretch.

We change one and reach the legs. Press pass one another. They pull inwards as they do. Wow. Breathing out. Inhale. Switch. Yeah.

Continue that focus of the spine curling forward. Last three on both sides. Keeping the shoulders pulled down. Last one. Hands behind your head. Heading straight into the criss cross. Shoulderblades are curling up off the edge of the box. Yeah.

Rotating very strongly through the waste. Yeah. Last four, three, two and one. And I bring it back to the center. Reach behind the knees. Curl yourself up with [inaudible]. Hmm.

And setting up for footwork. Okay. Sitting on the front edge of the chair. The heels are on the chair. I think what we'll do is just alternate arm positions. We've got a nice strong connection with our abdominals sitting up straight, reaching the hem down the sides of the body and we exhale to crass.

Most important thing to think about here as we're doing our foot work on the chair is that the spine stays still and strong, meaning you're having to co contract the muscles in the front of the body and the back of the body to keep that happening. Go on about four more times. As the legs press down. I'm energetically lifting upwards last to reaching the arms towards the ground. One hold at the bottom. Just suggest your feet so that you're on your toes. Lifting the heels. I'm going hands behind my head now.

Just changing it up a little. Inhale, lift the knees. Exhale, press a lot. A lot of work through the abdominals here. Well, maybe even more so than the length that's possible. Squeeze the backside of the legs as well as the front and we'll get better work. Last four three too. I'm like in my hands here. I'm going to keep him here as I go into first position and we press or small V, squeeze the heels together to access the inside of the legs. Continue pulling the abdominals back to the spine, guiding the top of the head forward. Staying very long and support it.

Last four. Here's three. Here's two and last one. I'm going to just shift the heels to the outside of the paddle here in external rotation of our hips. Let's bring our arms to the sides and here we go. Inner thighs are working with control. The body doesn't shift back and forth as we move.

The lay seen strong and all parts of ourselves. I don't know. I lost that sentence. I'm aware space last four, three, two and one staying at the bottom. Let's just shift to our toes. I'm going to do this last set with our arms overhead here. Long, tall body guide, the elbows or the thumbs back, press pull, abdominals in length in the spine. Find Energy through the backs of the legs, the insides of the thighs. Here's six. Here's seven. Last two. One more time that the legs come up, lower the arms down, step off the front of the chair.

When I turn around for our calf work, do you need a pad or a sticky for your knee? Good. Okay, so you just turn around, you put the little dividend and needs your Patella on the chair. The opposite leg is stretched back and the spine is long and extended. Skip the fingertips on the chair for the first eight. We're just going to press down and pull back. Press down. So I think all of us can feel that there's a definitely work on the way down, but it can you find work on the way up.

I did say eight I believe that was a, didn't I? All right, let's bring the hands behind the head gets a little more challenging here for six more. Two, three. Challenging the balance press from the backside of the leg. I think this one six pull the leg back, set the hands down, release the knee from the chair. Step that leg back. Bring the opposite leg forward. And here we are setting up fingertips on the chair.

For the first eight working through the foot. Seven, six, five, pulling back. Feel the front side of that Shin working last three, two and one hands behind the head for six more. Heres one and two and three and four and five and six. There it is. Pick up the knee, let the springs come, or take the foot down. We're going to walk around to the opposite side. While you're there, you want to lighten your spring tension. I'm using just one string. We're going to do the reverse a pike, excuse me. So the feet are just behind the chair. We're standing tall.

We inhale once again, exhale, starting in a rolled him. We reach for the bar. We're very much in trunk flection here. And then as you inhale, shoulders reach towards your waist as you stretch your spine out into a flat back and then you'd draw upwards and curve. So allowing or challenging spinal mobility here, exhale occur just like we talked about in the standing pike. It's nice or worth it to think about starting from the pelvis as you round up. So let the hips press forward guiding the abdominals inwards.

That will help us open out through all lower backs. Last three. Exhaling up in hills. Stretched in, yeah, it's Elena. Keeping the shoulders down, especially as you press that paddle flow where they're kind of locked into the shoulder joint. We're moving our spine. I don't know where I am. We're going to do one more and we come up once the springs let go. Then we're on our way up the rest of the way. Standing Tall. Looking ahead. We're going to take this opportunity to make our springs heavy enough for the full pipe.

Come around to the front. Please does that. Being down onto the chair, I like to use my, I like to stay. I'm on my arches sometimes for this exercise to change it just a little bit. Hands on the front side of the chair, head down, focusing on the setup. Once again, we press the pelvis flow where that's going to help us stay flex through our lumbar spine. We inhale shoulders directly over hands as we exhale and lifted our body and try to come to where the springs let you go. Inhale to work your way down.

Exhale to guide yourself back up in eal to work your way down. Feel that the arms don't shift back and forth, that as the pelvis lifts up, the head drops down between the arms. The gaze is always down no matter what. I'm going to do about four more. Inhale and exhale to exhale last two times focusing on the flection of the trunk. Last one and then although I doubt turn it around when I work on the chair, I like to take advantage of just using the heavy springs when I can and then using the light springs when I can so I'm not constantly changing springs.

Just for the sake of flow, we're going to do the frog back. The hands is just situated at the size of the hips. We're going to start at the bottom here, so before we start to lift, we're going to really drop the shoulders. We're going to get ready and then we're going to lift the heels up off the floor. I didn't do that very well, but that's all right. Let's go. So as you're pressing up, you want to think about going straight up, pulling the abdominals and guiding the chest forward, excelling to the left. Last one.

Sit back on the chair. Okay, please. Your hands behind you, or sorry, not behind you, but more towards the back edge of the chair. We'll say. Let me just going to lean back into the arms, finding a straight back and go into a little bit of hip extension here and these just a bit about as wide as the shoulders. Here we go. Lift the hips up from that long vertical line. I'm just going to do a little press downwards with the legs and, and every time the legs go towards the floor, we're heating the hips up, lifting the chest through the arm. We're going to go four more times feeling the glutes working kind of hard.

The last two one for, I'm just bringing my legs here that I don't know why for fun sitting down your wrist. Okay, Christie, can we do the side Pike? Okay, we come up, I might go this way first. You can look at the top of my head and back of my head and said my bet. And then you can look at my bed. All right, so inside leg in front, hands on side, inside of chair, shoulders over hands. So what that means to me is I've got, I'll put a little bit more weight into my outside arm. Head down, adamant around spine. Here we go. It's an exhale to pull the paddle up to lift up into that side pipe position. And inhale, we go down, exhale to pull, keeping the shoulders square in, heel down.

Okay. For the legs. Close to the chair as you're lifting up and down. Just two more. For today I wanted lost my foot and Dan and last one. Well and here we go. We're just going to let the paddle come to the floor. Sit Down, shift your feet around so that the opposite foot faces forward.

Hands on the side of the chair. Shoulders squared, leaning into my outside arm. I'm turning my shoulders forward. Ready? Here we go. It's exhale to lift and inhale to come down and exhale to lift. Inhale to comb down. Working hard to keep the body stable and strong.

The shoulder school we had, father, I think this is our last one. Two more. Christie says, okay Roy, last one between the two of us. Christie and I, I don't know if, yeah, I don't know if we'll ever get a a good quality count, but you know we do what we can. We're going to stand up. [inaudible] Silica. I got one more for us. The frog friend, little hip work coming up. So you turn around hands, go to the front edge of the chair, put your feet down on the chair and then you're in a bend. Journeys to the sides of the chair leaning forward, pulling up through the abdominals. The back is flat. Pick up the legs. Knees are quite close to the chair.

I'm going to try and push them back as I press. So it's a small pumping movement. Okay. Working the knees away from the chair but also perhaps squeezing them slightly inwards. So that's not a conundrum. I don't know what his last five, four, three two and on. Put the paddle down. Stand up. Step off, being careful with the springs as you allow the paddle to come up.

Good job. Coming back around to the front. I think we'll do the cat stretch next. So if you'll just go, um, I'm going again, going to go back towards my one lifespring and we're going to come up onto our knees. So from here, and these are relatively close to the front edge of the chair, arms are down. As we exhale, we're getting lots of spinal extension inflection possibilities on the chair. It's fantastic. Reaching near arms towards the paddle. Once you hit the paddle, then you're going to lengthen the spine out.

Looking for the hips to stay just over the knees. Inhale, exhale, press the abdominals. Feel pressure backwards on the chair with the hands and shoulders. Any when we go into a long back, stretching the spine forward. Exhale. We curve the spot. So again, just allowing the breath move with you. Lengthen on the inhale. Exhale, curved length. And on the inhale exhale occurs just two more please. Stretching. Yeah. Curving back.

Stretching. Yeah. Coming up on this one, Christy, here we go. Rolling up. Got To defy gravity. As you lift your arms off the chair, pressing the pelvis back over the knees as much as you can. Finishing by lifting the arms. I don't allow any items to fall or stretch to the side as we finish. I'd like to do the side stretch. I think that that would feel fantastic.

So let's sit down sideways on the chair rather than sitting upright. You want to balance the weight of your body just on the outside of that hit. Reaching my straight leg down along the floor. My opposite hand is going to come to the chair and my free hands coming behind the head and here we go. I'm going to inhale into lateral flection. Exhale, working the obliques. As you lift up and out.

Inhale into lateral flection. Reach the foot away from you. Here it helps to find a bigger stretch. So we go over, okay, here's an idea. Rather than thinking about moving the paddle with the arm, think about moving the paddle with the underneath obliques. Arms Pretty Light. Shoulders heavy down the back and then use the upper lobe. Likes to bring Yola so I last one. Inhale over to Accella. Once you get to the top, we're just going to lift that hand up. Take the hand from behind the head, put it down on the thigh, raise the arm that was on the paddle to the, into the air and stretched to the opposite side.

One of my very favorite exercises in the whole world. That one, just love it coming all the way back up. Let's change sites sitting sideways on the head, placing the hand on the paddle, looking for a long straight line hand behind the head. Shoulders down. Here we go. Inhaling into lateral reflection of the spine. Exhaling as you reach the spinal arm. Feel this again, that contraction of the lower body of the lower oblique. Specifically any way to make the movement happen while your job with your arm and shoulders to just gently pull down. You had three more, I believe.

Letting the head reach with the spine and laugh. Working with control, precision, exhaling to the left. Last one. Try not to use your hand to push your head forward. It's common. Come all the way out. What the hand come off the jack with the tall slide that I'm down.

We just say I'm the was on the paddle. Just near your ear. Inside stretch side. Bending in the opposite direction. Um, all right, go ahead and lift up. I'd like to do a little bit of back extension. So let's just come lying face down on the chair. I think we both have enough space, don't you?

Yeah. Alright, so just energizing your legs or not hanging towards the back end of the chair. They're just about as lifted as the chair. And now we pull the shoulder blades down. We start to reach the top of the head forward as we eye the chest upwards and then lift up from the center of your body as you press down.

Okay. Inhale as you extend. But think about supporting through the body, through the waist. You might even get a little stretch and then as you come back, think about like a sit up or a chest lift. The ribs come up, the abdominals draw very much. In inhale, we lengthen, we reached forward through the spine and exhale we return. Please don't lift so high that you have to lower your legs down. In order to do that, it's kind of a trading one thing for the other.

You want to keep the hips extending. If you're going to be lifting that high, I don't want to be able to do so without compromising the hips. Oh, and as you warm up the spine, maybe it will go a little bit further and further into extension. We're just gonna do two more today. So here we are. There was one and are each back. Lengthen. Lengthen. Focusing energy into the upper back is so important.

So our low back doesn't just do all the work. Let the paddle come to the floor. Careful as you slide back. Put your feet down on the ground and then bring the paddle with you as you come up. I'm gonna do just a couple of stretches and we're going to start with when that's also involving a little bit of back sentence. So take the left foot, bring it up the left leg really and up on bring it. We're gonna get, we're gonna bring it on the chair. Maybe the opposite leg is just reaching down. If you can get your heel to touch, that's fantastic. I can't, but I'm trying. Um, once there, we're going to reach down and put our hands on the paddle.

All right, so we're gonna flex first, flex the spine forward over the lane, and then lead through the top of the head as you press your hands into the chair and extend through the back. And then flex aside, there's our exhale and then extend the spine. Oh, it feels good. And it's a big hip stretch for me. Let's do two more. Allow the head to do what the spine does. So as you're rounding, you may drop the head slightly forward and as you're extending, we want that Ted to lead the way. Once you come up, this time, we're just going to send our hands back to the chair. So in order to stretch the hip in the quad, what we're going to do is just put that leg, that same like right up on top of the chair. I have two inch, my back, like back a little bit further, and then we're gonna think about a little bit of a talk or a posterior tilt as we just bend that back knee.

And different people will bend to different degrees. I think, um, you can use your hands to help you from there. Just to intensify the stretch, we're going to just try to press the heel back, straightening the leg, or going towards straight anyway, and he'll bend for just gonna do three and stretch and bend and stretch. All right. Just ease your way out of that stretch. I'm gonna use my hands a little bit in my front leg to push out and I'm going to take that leg and stretch it over the top of the chair. And then I'm lengthening my spine as long as I can, as I reach for it to stretch my hamstrings. Breathing in and breathing out. All right, let's change sides. Opposite leg up on the chair, starting with the hip stretch a little bit more back extension, back legs, strong hands on the chair.

All ready. Reaching forward. So pretty sunset time. Yeah, and as you press your hands in letting the head slide forward, we're really looking for strong, backward, excelling down. That exhale there is like a pike. You pull your dominoes way up into your spine as you take the paddle down and then you inhale to create length as you can. Come on. Just gonna do that two more times. Exhale and down.

Relaxing into the stretch in healing out. Did we just do that three times? I did. We do four. I think so too. I think we can do another one. It's again, Christine, I'd beat both of our heads to count and we still aren't sure in the moment. Yeah, let me, I'm just going to push out and help ourselves back.

I'm gonna take that foot and put it on the front. Slide my back leg back just a little bit further. I'm going to bend my back knee, so I'm actually stretching my slit here as well. And I just reached down and touched the side of the front side of the chair [inaudible] and then from there I'm just going to try to press back through my heel and having a personal earthquake at the moment. And you know Ben, oh, that's a big stretch for me. And press back and Amy bands. Yeah. Next I'll try to keep the pelvis reaching forward, stretch back and that's it.

And just ease your way out of that. I need to step in a little bit for the hamstring stretch. Got The foot flat, the spine reaching out flat. I'm just taking a couple of moments to lengthen out through the back side of the leg and then just bring that light back. Let's finish with a roll down in kneeling. Standing Tall. I think just here is going to be fine. Exhaling as we bring our body down in healing to hang a little further. Maybe exhale into roll, Huh?

And he'll to raise the homes. His Dad comes up, guy this spine a little taller, maybe had just the tiniest bit of upper back extension and Xcel stretch the arms open to the side. That's awesome. Well done. Thank you.


Awesome just awesome workout..saw a couple of things that were new to me.. I so love this site!! Question? Do you guys find that the Wunda Chair builds more in strength than say the Refomer? Just curious as to your opinions.
Thanks Jamie. I think the Wunda Chair and the Reformer build strength differently. Both are equally valuable in my mind. True strength, I believe, comes with the precision of movement.
1 person likes this.
I like the two views...front and side
1 person likes this.
loved the triple stretch at the end. I am going to do this at the end of all my workouts!
1 person likes this.
I love this class! I've come back to it several times and am always amazed what a workout you can get in just 28 minutes. Particularly love the curled abdominal series lying atop the chair. Thanks so much.
Thank you for you wonderful feedback ladies!
1 person likes this.
Love this class Meri :)
great hip stretch with back extension at the end!
...And I love YOU Lisa!!
1 person likes this.
Can you let me know what springs you were using? Thanks!
1 person likes this.
Oh, that was great! I especially loved the stretches at the end. Thank you, Meredith and Kristi...
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