Class #3892

Fundamental Mat Connections

30 min - Class


You will build a strong foundation with connected, clear, and concise information on the fundamental elements in this Mat workout by Karen Sanzo. You think it'll be simple, but it's not. She teaches movement basics with key connections that will be reinforced as you progress in your practice.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

This is going to be a fundamental session and fundamental doesn't mean easy. Fundamental to me means connected. We made clear, concise connections to take you through this workout. Join me starting first and standing hands come way up over the head. You're reaching really long at first to pull your belly in and let your arms reach way high. Take a big inhale. Exhale arms all the way down by your side. Inhale up.

I know this is going to seem really easy, but it's gonna speed up and just a little bit. Inhale up and exhale down two more times. Inhale up and then exhale down. Last time up and last time down. Pause right there, right on up by itself. Now take a side bend to your left. Stay right there. Look straight ahead.

Open up your ribs and then bring yourself back to center five times in a row. Here's the second one. Inhale, open right ribs. Exhale, come back ground both your feet as you side bend to the left. Exhale, return. Last one. Inhale, stay over there. Press your right foot down and away from you. Engaging this lateral side of your thigh. And then take one last big inhale, opening up these right ribs and then bring yourself all the way up.

Left arm comes up, use the length of your left arm to lift the left ribs side bend, right. Inhale, exhale, return. Inhale side bend, getting the breath connection and then return to more side bend to the left. Exhale, return. We always forget these, but they're so good to do. And then bring yourself all the way back. Arms down by your side. Take your arms out like a t. And then I had a little trunk rotation here.

So inhale, twist your torso, lengthening both arms away from you. Bring yourself back to center. Same side three times in a row. Inhale, twist that thorax has to twist. And then exhale, come back to center one more time. Inhale, exhale. Stay there. Grow Tall. Reach your arms further away from each other. Bring yourself back to center, twist towards me. Now take an inhale, give a smile because you're having fun. Exhale, come back to center. Separate your two arms as you twist. Push that left leg strong and straight, and then come back to center.

And then one more time, twist and then come back to center. Arms come down by your side. Balancing activities. So important. You're gonna bend your right knee firmly. Stand on your left bottom. Slowly bend your right knee up. Hold it right there. How long can you hold it? It's different for everybody. Take your left arm, be wobbly. Take it all the way up over your head.

Feel your standing leg doing a lot of work. Pull your belly in, lower down. Let's do that three times gum on right, like comes in and up. It's managing that load. Lift that arm up, that's it. And then bring yourself back down and then do that one more time. Lift up the leg, scooping your belly, lift the chest, and then everything comes down. Switch sides, other arms.

So now it's right arm, left leg up, and then down up. If you can hold longer, then you stay up during this whole period and then lower down. If you can still stay up, stay up, reach, and then down. And let's do this one more time. Lift up that left leg. Reach that right arm really up and then lower yourself all the way down, not in your head. Now Roll yourself down to the ground.

When we roll down, the head stays down. The whole spine is making a flection connection. Take an inhale here. As you exhale, the belly pulls in, the tailbone drops. Unwinding your spine, bringing yourself all the way down. Just three of these. Inhale up and over. Exhale down, relaxing the toes, tightening up the legs, so important. Tightening up the back of the buttocks sets the stage for the unrolling of the spine. Back Up. Good. Last one. Arms to the sky.

Big Inhale, exhale over you. Go pulling that belly in. Rounding your spine. Hold yourself right there. One big inhale. Exhale. Bellies comes in. Tighten your bottom. Bring yourself all the way back up. A good warmup like that is important. It doesn't seem like much, but it gets the blood flowing and gets the breath connected.

Coming now to your hands and knees in the hands and knees position. This is one of my favorite positions to get folks connected. So head is in line with the spine. We'll talk about the head position in a tutorial about where your eye sockets pull in. Shoulders stay nice and strong. Pelvis stays nice and strong in this position. Pull your belly deep, round your buttocks underneath you hold, and then release it. Good.

Inhale again. Exhale, tidy up the arms, straighten the elbows, round that lowest spine and then release. And let's do that one more time. Good. Hold yourself right there. Nice strong arms to shins. Pressing down. That gets the buttocks going. You're going to hold this shape. Lean your body backwards. Inhale, exhale, pull yourself forward. Push your head in bay yet. Go. Inhale, curl the bottom. Go back. Exhale. Pull your head in to my hand and then go back.

You can imagine something is at the crown of your head pushing forward. One more time. Go back, stay back. Pause right there. Inhale, exhale, curl the tailbone. One final time. Bring yourself back up and pause. Reset the shoulder blades. Good. Curl the toes underneath you. Now making a nice connection through toe extension. So important.

Now, sit yourself back. Can you feel your toes stretching there and then bring yourself forward? Let's lengthen that head five times. Now. Inhale, starting to speed this up and then keep your arms engaged and then come up last two and then come forward. Last one, bring yourself forward. Pause right here. Get set up. Don't be too humpy here. Good. Get connected through these arms. You're getting ready to take an inhale.

As you exhale, the chew knees hover up off the ground and you hold for five hold for four. Pull your belly in. Three and two and one lower down. We got five of these to go. Inhale big and exhale. Lift the knees and hold one. If you can't do it up to five, you come down and then you get yourself up again and there's five.

Take a breath. Inhale, exhale, lifting up. Again, building a reserve here. Arms are strong. Belly strong. Legs are strong and lower down. Two more. Here's the tricky part, and then load management here. Maybe I can lift up this left leg. Maybe she can't. Maybe you can, and then you switch and then you go back up again and come on up. Stay with us here. Press those arms, and then the opposite legs lifts up.

If you can do opposite arm and leg in this knee, hover, you do it. If not, you just hold the hover. So important. Manage the load. Bring yourself all the way down. Did I say last one? I don't think I said last one. Let's get one more in there. Come on. Get One more advancement. This is how you know you've advanced. You come back, you do this fundamental, you tighten the thighs, you tidy up the arms, you pull your belly, lower yourself down. Fabulous. Bring yourself all the way up to kneeling. Whooo. Fix your shirt.

Take the lint off, do all that stuff. Now kneeling is halfway to standing. It's so important right here. So with the hands behind your head, what we're going to look for here, we'll find this again in a tutorial soon about where the bridge of your noses, but for right now I'm going to ask her to push her head back a little bit. Pull your belly in a little bit. Take one leg out in front of you. There you go. One, and then we switched down. Now you as you're doing this, you can do it quicker than this.

You can do it slower than this or you can keep both knees down. The goal here is to keep moving, differentiating hip movement from the pelvis movement. Believe it or not, she will get better as the repetitions improve. Excuse me. As the repetitions increase, she will certainly improve, so she's going to do five more. Here's one and down and one end down. No sounds under the foot.

Good. No sound under the other foot. Yes, two more times. I am not the best counter, but that's okay. All good movement, stop and hold. Now how do we advance this? I can take the hands all the way to the ceiling.

She's going to take her hands all the way to the ceiling bellies gonna pull back. Now what's interesting here is that sometimes it's not just the belly pulling back, it's the positions of the ribs. We'll visit that in the tutorial soon. Now curl the toes under of that back leg. Now in this position, she's not going to be able to stand up, but she could give it a try. So just give it a try. See what happens. Just give it a try and then that's challenging. Good.

So now we're gonna regress it. Put her hands on her thighs so you can do it with your hands above your head. Rib Cage pulls back. Hands press down. Lean on those hands a little bit to give you a little help to hover that knee up off the ground. There you go. And then down. Do that five times for me. I know it's hard to, yes, tighten your buttocks. Three at home.

Your arms can still be up in the air. You're doing this. You can do it with your eyes closed. You can put your foot on a wobbly surface. One more time. Lift up and then lower yourself down. Great. Sounds fabulous. Job. Switch your legs. Okay, so you want to be sure that move this foot a little bit further out in front of you just a little bit. Okay, so you take your rib cage back, the belly pulls in.

Remember at home you can have the hands above the head. You can have the hands behind the head, you could have them in front of you. Load Management, angle management, all those things make for a progression. Here we have the regression. Okay, off you go five times one. That's okay. That's okay to tighten your buttocks.

Feel where the challenge is and work to find that challenge. Three, and then here's four. You got it? And then five and very good. Lower yourself down. Bring your two knees down. Nice job. Okay, fundamental movements hit from pelvis. Okay, so we did the roll down in standing for fluxion as going to lie on your belly for trunk extension. Trying to keep this session connected here. We're going to start here with your hands by your side. It looks like this.

Bring your hands a little bit lower. Now in this position here, elbows pulled back. Shoulder blades gently squeeze together. The head is in line with the spine. That's all I'm going to queue for here. Now she's continuing on with the session. Use Your hands to lift an arc here. Chest. That's an inhale. Exhale, lower down. Very good.

Keep those blades exactly like that. Inhale up and down so her glenohumeral joint isn't really moving. So lift up and lower down. Let's do that three more times. Using your arms to teach your spine. A little bit of extension. Last two head position is good here. Good.

And then last time she's going to come up and hover and hold right there. Elbows will reach long legs. We'll reach long. Good. Take a big inhale. Take a big exhale. Lower yourself down. Now without using the hands, you're going to hover. Your hands are rats. It. Hover those hands. Look, there's airspace here. Hover those hands.

Shoulder blades are right here. Upper back, active extension. Go. Yes, good eight times. Here's two good active extension from your upper back means I have stability in the hips at the glutes. Good. Not over squeezing the glutes, but they are very active. I lost count. We'll do two more right here in the upper back. Last time. Can you lift up? Can you stay up? Can you take one more big inhale. Exhale, lower yourself all the way down. Rest your forehead on your hands. Make a little pillow. Good. In this position here, can you pull your belly into support your pelvis? Very nice. Now, left leg reaches very long and lifts up and down. Lots of times, just lots and lots of times you can go fast, you can go slow.

It's lots of times and it's with a straight knee to start with because the straight knee will be a little more hamstring involvement. And now as she bends her knee completely flattens the foot. Isolating glute involvement. So as you lift this thigh up and down, keep your belly pulled. Ooh, nice job here. Five more and four and three and two and one.

This isolating gluten Baldman here. Go ahead and lower that leg down will come in handy in your bridge when you route roll over onto your back. Opposite leg long first up and down. Good. Try not to use things up here when you're working things down there. Good.

How about three more of these with a straight leg? Good. Last one. And now bend the Neef sole flat. I call this a little gluteal [inaudible] pump. Pair up, up, down, up, up and up. Look at you could even go. Five quick, one, two, three, four, five and five. Slow. She's laughing under here. You can make it be your own by staying connected through your low belly to help protect the spine. It's not overworking at all. Two feet, lower down restaurant there. Reach both of your legs, long, hands by your side.

One more time, teaching your upper back, how to go to extension. So use your elbows reaching long. Lift your chest. Be sure and check out the extension connection, a tutorial as well. And it will build extension, um, all the way through as well. So now lower yourself all the way down. Now the hands come by your side, straight arms by your side. Lift your palms to the ceiling, pull your shoulder blades towards your spine and then reach your arms long, like a rocket beside you and lift your chest as high as you can.

And then lower down five times in a row. Head stays exactly where it is. It's at the end of your spine. You got it. Just three more like that and then bring yourself up and then lower yourself down. Two more. Inhale and then exhale. Very good. Last time. Lift up. Stay up. Here's the tricky part. Now arms out to the side like a tea. Palms face down. Good.

Arms up over your head by your ears. Yes, it's hard out to the side like a t by your side. Lower yourself down restaurant there. So we have a built in progression and regression right there. Let's do it again. Arms lift, chest lifts. Hold the upper back extension. Hold the glutes and the [inaudible] thighs, arms out to the side like a t. Arms way up.

By the years you gotta you gotta you got to come back out to the side and then lower yourself down. Palms face down or up rather. Excuse me, lift the palms, lift the arms, lift the chest, arms out to the side, like a t. Good. Now she's going to hold that there because their arms are getting tired. That's fine. Hold, hold, hold. They come back by your side. Lower yourself down. This is the last one, I promise. Reach back, lift up, bring yourself out, take your arms over your head one more time, and then hold right there for five for four. Work in the upper shoulders, upper back, three, two, one, and arrests yourself all the way down. Fabulous job. Okay, roll over onto your backside. Now, sometimes in these fundamental sessions, I like to start with a little bit of unfamiliarity.

Much like being on your belly or being on hands and knees. A lot of times when people come into plays, they just start lying on their back. We're finishing lying on our back. Got Several more fundamental exercises to do here. Take an inhale as you exhale, relax the shoulders.

Let's take this leg out long. That's your right leg out long and crass it way out and feel very good. You feel that connection of your abdominals coming in now ever so slightly. Lift this leg up off the ground. A hair good. The lifting of the leg, the hair sets the tone for the core right there. Can you feel that right there? Good. Now just briskly lift that leg up and down.

Lots of times as you lift your leg up. Lots of times we know that this will turn into single leg circles, single leg stretch, double leg stretch, but it's your ability to maintain all these connections here, all these connections here. Very good. Hug of the knee into your chest. Give it a big hug. Very good. Can you feel when you pull your knee into your chest, how your buttocks curls underneath you? A little bit. Very good. It's kind of starting a rolling like a ball shape. Lift up your head.

Look at your knee. Good. Come on, curl it up there. Just hold yourself right there. Big Inhale. Big exhale. Hold. Pull the knee. Curl your trunk. That's it. And then lower yourself all the way down. So the curling in the abdomen supported by the hands.

That makes a stretch in the back simultaneously. Now this knee stays bent. The other leg go straight as you stretch that leg long. I talk about taking wrinkles out of the front of your thigh. Drop your shoulders. A God knelt a second. Good. It's a little workout. Getting a little bit heated up.

Left leg lifts up a Smidge, just a Smidge, just a smidge at first. That creates an anticipatory response. And then up and down. So in a fundamental session, yes, there are some pre Palladio's exercises. Yes, there's some ideas that we need to understand, but at some point we've got to keep these folks moving. We're trying to do, create an experience in their body so you can feel different parts moving. Is that true? Your leg is moving now, getting tired. Good. Bend the knee into your chest. Give it a hug. Nod Your Chin, curl your trunk. I call this curling kind of like a pill bug, right?

So as you see, there you go. So deepen your abdomen. Good job. Fold yourself up a little higher, trying to drop your shoulders down. Lots of, and just hold yourself right there for a sec. Take a big inhale. As you exhale, kick your right leg straight out away from you and hold that right there. Take a big inhale. Now let go of this legs. Two arms. Reach along the hold yourself right there. Switch your leg one time. Good. Now how both of your knees in and then lower yourself all the way down and we've already programmed a little bit of a mat exercise.

Okay? Now without your hands hugging your knees, you're going to reach your arms very long. Curl your trunk, good. And as you curl your trunk, these ribs curl right here. If she pulls any higher, it's going to be from her neck. If you can curl more, you curl more. If you can't, you just keep those arms strong. And now move your arms up and down. 10 Times two arms, up and down, up and down. Keep the curl. Keep the smile.

It helps your hyoid muscles behave a little differently. To elbow straight, please. You're almost done. You've got three more. Charge up those arms. Two more last time. Reach long and then slowly lower yourself all the way down. Very good shoulders, broad feet pressing. It's bridging time. Tip your pelvis, scoop your belly, lift your buttocks up. Good. Push the buttocks up.

Important here that you push the buttocks up from the feet pressing down. This is a glute activity. It's not a belly archer for right. And how good. And then slowly lower yourself down. We're doing five in a row and then press up. Here's two and then lower down. And then here's three.

Make this exercise harder. Lower down, harm, arms come to the ceiling, palms touching. Make your palms touch. Makes a core connection here. Now the last to come up and down. No hands helping. Can you feel how that's a little bit more challenging? Good. And this'll be the last one. I promise. Lift up and stay up. Hold yourself there. If you have this challenge at home, you squeeze your hands, your hands can go a little bit further over your head. We manage the angle.

Now load management says, can I lift one of my legs up off the ground? Maybe I can. Maybe I can't. And then switch. If you can't lift it up, you just lift a heel. If you can lift it way up to the ceiling, then do so making sure that when you're up in a bridge, it's your back body that is being uh, entertained, if you will. And being very active and then lower yourself all the way back to hound arms.

Come down by your side. Press your feet, lift up. We're going to do another set of leg lifts. Now as that regression with the arms down by the sod, I want you to use your arms to help you scoop in your belly. Take this leg up off of the mat. It doesn't matter. That's it. You're just going to hold it. Come on Jessica and hold it. You can do it.

You can do it. Good. And then switch other side. Again, this is your barometer to kind of see switch again. Sometimes it's just hard. If it hurts. We stopped the exercise. She's smiling. Keep going. Come on. It's just hard, right? Yes, right, right, right. Good. One more time. Very good. And then lower yourself down in restaurant there. So we have to play with the arm positions either up over our head.

Did you know you could even play with the leg position? It looks like this. Press the feet. Lift your bridge. This bridge is still under construction here. You're going to challenge this bridge by crawling both of your feet to the right side. Good. Now this time I want you to lift up your feet and march them to the other side. So there, yeah, go. That's it. March them to the other side. Good job.

And then march them back the other side. That's a little bit different than like that, but that's a load management. Good. And now shuffle them over to the other side. This way is easier, right? And then shuffle them to the other side. Okay, so that's always an option. Now March them to the other side just because it's harder. You got it.

And then back to the center. Very good. And then lower your trunk. Come all the way down. Very good. Right leg comes to tabletop, right hand touches the right thigh. It presses them together. Feel your hand. Press into your thigh, your thigh. Press into your hand, right. Drop the shoulder down, connecting through the center. Now your other leg lift straight to the ceiling.

Left arm straight to the ceiling. Good. Now these two stay pressing and these two go away. Inhale, reach, exhale. Return. Inhale, reach. How far away do you go? Only to the distance that you keep that connection. This is what I'm interested in. Feel how that drives the connection.

Can you feel that? Good? You just got one more and then bring everything down. Rest there. Inhale. Exhale. Left leg comes up, left leg matches. I left our matches it so they press into each other. This arm, this leg lifts to the ceiling. This arm lifts to the ceiling you hold. Then those two go away and then they return. Keep this leg straight. If you need to bend it, you can. Okay. You can bend it.

It's okay. It's a load management. It can be a straight leg. It can be a bent leg. You got it. Two more reach and then, oh, see you quivering last one and then everything comes down. Feet come down. Oftentimes after the legs are in this table. Top Position. Really Nice to do a bridge. So go ahead and lift up now in this bridge right here.

Take your arms to the ceiling. Good. Can you take your arms over your head? Reach right there. Big Inhale. Exhale. Lower your ribs down as you keep your arms reaching long. Very good scoop. Just like that. Arms come back by your side. Two legs to tabletop, one at a time.

Beautiful job. Open the chest so you don't be rounded in the shoulders. Good. Now pull your knees a little bit closer to your chest. You got it right like that. Your heels will squeeze together. Your toes will come apart. You're just going to hold that right there. Reach your arms long. Lift up your head. Look right here at my hand. Good.

Curl up any bit more. Hold yourself right there. Big Inhale. Hold yourself right there. Big exhale. One more. Inhale, one more exhale. Everything lowers down. Feet come down. That will become a hundred beats, breathing, everything like that. Let's do that one again. Let's lift your head first this time so we curl. We hold one leg in other leg match.

Let's start some pumping of the arms. He inhale to blow out. Nod Your Chin, please look at my hand. That's it. You can't get dragged in the neck. You got to keep that neck inflection. Come on. Look right here. That's a good, you got one more set. Keep the head curled right here. Good. And then lower yourself down.

Press the feet. Lift up into a bridge. Good. Now in your bridge this time, imagine that your heels are pressing away from each other and your thighs are pulling towards each other. Can you feel how bad in forms? Just the left side. Excuse me, the lateral side. Good. And then slowly lower yourself all the way down. Very good. Two knees into the chest. Give him a hug.

Here we are in this role in like a ball position. Lift the head up. Elbows are broad. Pole your trunk any bit closer. Just hold this shape right here. Okay, so now the front of your belly is short, meaning the abdominals are contracted back of the spine is elongated. Take your hands, support your head. There you go. There you go. Just like that. Stay curled to that quiver. Two legs, reach away. Exhale, come in. Good. Two legs reach. Excellent. Two legs.

Go over there to diagonal. Good. And then they come in. Two legs over here, two diagonal. And one more time to legs. Out a diagonal and then over here in a diagonal and then come in the feet, come down, your arms, come down, lift up into a bridge. Good inhale, exhale, drop your ribs. Everything comes all the way down. Very roll to your side. A couple exercises in sideline. We'll be wrapping this up.

So in sideline, let's bend both of your knees really well in for a little bit of support. Top leg, we'll reach out long. Okay. In this exercise, you want the link to come from the pelvis. You want the shoulders to stay back. Looking straight ahead. You may not even be watching the video right now. You might just be listening, which is really good. Lengthen out through your left leg and then lift that leg five times slow.

So it's up, down. Follow me up, down. I'm going to count this one, three, and then four, and then here's the fifth one, and now we do five very quickly, briskly up, down, so up, down, up, down three, four, five. Guess what? Five slow. And then down you got to get this. This side of your leg is both a stabilizer and a mobilizer. We got to move them slow and then fast. Here we go. Five quickly, one and two and three and four and five, and then rested on top of your other knee. Pause right there. Very good, big inhale. Exhale, roll to your backside. The leg you just worked, which was the left one that will cross really well all the way over to the right. And then you'll pull both of your knees into your chest, hugging something that gives you a little pole. Can you feel that right there?

Even lift up your head and pull those legs a little bit more. And now lie your chest and your head down. Hold yourself there. Use your belly to pull your thighs in more. Start to circle your legs around, getting some information. Can you feel the information in the back of your thigh? Very good. And then lower that down. Very good. And now roll to your other side.

Face me this way. So in this position right here, gonna reach your leg very long. Stretch it all the way out. Keep that pelvis lengthen. Shoulders in the back right here. Slow lift first one and two. Flex that heel for me. Reach that leg long. Four, five lift hole. Hold yourself right there and then five times quickly go. One, two, three, four and five and then one more. Set, slow, good and slow. Now you feeling quiver inside of your bottom. Here's three.

Keep that leg going to the ceiling for last time. Slow and then quickly for five, four, three, two, one. Bring that knee into your chest and then roll to your back. What's important in the side leg series is that you want to feel the leg go to the ceiling abduction. Otherwise when the leg keeps forward inflection, it kind of tends to tense that tensor Fascia Lata the right leg, which is what we just work, crosses well over. Bring two knees into your chest. Hug something to get a feeling. You can lift up your head.

Try not to round the shoulders so much, but round spa line. Oh there you go. Scoop in the belly. Big Inhale, big exhale and then bring yourself all the way down. UNCROSS your legs, arms down by your side, press your feet, lift yourself up and do one final bridge. The knees reach long, the belly pulls in. Good, big inhale there and then exhale, lower yourself all the way down. Very good. Roll to your side. Come up to standing. I always like to end the fundamental session in standing. Just how we started, so come around to the frontier. Very good.

And then standing here. Let's step out here. Take your arms out in front. Separate your feet about hip distance apart and just sit back as if you're sitting in a chair. Oh, very good. That actually is better. You have very nice and then stand yourself up and do that five times. Inhale, sit back, sit down, press the heels, stand up and then inhale, sit back, sit down and then stand up. And then just two more back and down. And then up you come. This is the last one. Go down and stay down. Now you'll hold the down face.

Big Inhale. You keep holding it. It's going to go off screen. I want to thank you for joining me. One fundamental workout, key pole. Then keep holding and then come on up and you're done.

Related Content


1 person likes this.
Absolutely loveeeee Karen Sanzo  
1 person likes this.
You are the best Karen!! Adoro suas aulas!! :)
1 person likes this.
Wonderful instructions! I love how simple the exercises seem to be and how hard we need to work to do them correctly. Thank you Karen!
1 person likes this.
Great class, thank you !! 🙏
1 person likes this.
I love Karen too!  Your way of instructing resonates with me.  I love your shirt!!!
This was great! Thank you!
1 person likes this.
This is a great fundamental class ; thank you Karen
2 people like this.
Thanks for this fast passed, fun fundamental work out. So glad you are back at Pilates Anytime. . . Love your classes!
1 person likes this.
Really enjoyed that Karen, fundamental, essential movement that was also challenging, loved the regressions as well, will be using some of these in my classes this week!
1 person likes this.
Hi Karen!  Great to see you! I’ll definitely be using some of these tips and cues!  
1-10 of 28

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