Class #397

Advanced Mat Breakdown

30 min - Class


Niedra offers a technical breakdown of her Advanced Flow class offered in class ID # 395. Enjoy Niedra's expertise in breaking down the important points of each exercise that has been added to what was already learned in the intermediate level flow class. This is a great review for anyone wanting more detail in their work.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Mar 06, 2011
(Log In to track)


Read Full Transcript

So let's, um, let's have you on your backs. We'll be reviewing the advanced exercises that we added into the Mac work, starting with the shoulder bridge. So what's important here is that the heels are either hip with the part or even together. Most challenging version is with the feet and knees together, but not everybody is ready for that. So Debra, let's take you with your hip feet hip width apart. Now when you roll up, you need to articulate the spine. So the tail tox, that is so good Aaron, and you roll up. Now what you want to watch is that there's a line from the armpit to the knees and the energy is from the knees out. So someone's taking these knees and lengthening them.

So you do not want to balloon the chest up all the way rolling down as a reversal. The chest drops first and then the base of the floating ribs comes in and then you roll all the way down towards the hips and the final T when the tail goes down, the spine goes wrong. So just one more time rolling through the, what is important is to make sure the beginning part feels like a dog with their tail between their legs and that string from the base of the spine is lifting you up. You check that the sides are actually lengthening away and from your armpits you're lengthening towards the knees and then the reversal when you roll down you have to soften the sternum so it drops instead of staying lifted to the spine goes long. So this is actually to be very relaxing on the spine. Now adding in the leg lift, you roll up the same way and you make sure that the hands are pressing down the hands, ground you to a certain extent and that there is this length through the feet. You want to dig the heels into the map, keep the hips anchored and steady and then bend the right knee into the chest and lift the, strike it up leg straight up to the ceiling.

You need these hips steady, flex the foot and like a string, lengthen it out so it's parallel to the side of thigh and then lifted up again. And flex it down and lifted up and as you do this one more time, you want to be sure that the hips are not bouncing around. Bring it up and bend the foot and put it on the mat. Very often if the hips are heavy or weak, the pelvis will drop some. This is just Christy demonstrating, so you need to really lift those hips up because the purpose of the leg kick is to keep the hips steady because if they're there, that area is weak.

They will drop down. So bend the other knee in with the hip steady. Lift the leg up, flex your foot and lengthen it out from your armpits. Good. Lift it up again and lengthen it out from your sternum to the heel. There is like one more time and out and then bend the foot back, place it on the mat, lift your hips up, they dropped and then again articulate through the spine one bone at a time until the leg is going. All the body is all the way down. Very good. Now for Jack knife, which is another one that we added.

You can start with the legs straight up to the ceiling. You can also start with the legs straight out on the floor. It depends upon the strength of the body, but the, for this a few movements, the first movement will take Deborah, the hips come over to the legs, come over and then they lift up and you want to get as high as you possibly can to the ceiling. And the one of the ways you work on that is you have to move the hips forward and literally press the legs back to create that upper plane. Then to come down the feet will come over the forehead a little bit and the hips roll down.

But you want to roll this quite fast and then the legs go to a 45 degree angle. So bend the knees a minute. So there is, when you have a Jack knife, you know how the blade comes in and goes out. It will literally, is that kind of a feeling? The blade opens, the blade comes down, no parallel to the floor, up to the ceiling. So let's just have a go once and get the dynamics of this. So the legs are up. Take the legs out. Two 45 okay. Over and clifftop good. And then leg, that's a two.

You make a corner with your bottom all the way down a little bit faster. They Aron over and lift way up. Now get those hips downs. That's it. That's it. One more time over and lift. And then the hips go long and lower the legs to the floor. So there's a lot of energy in this one as well, which again, it by the advanced work we've already strong.

So we starting to learn to use our body in different ways. One other thing I just wanted to review when you roll up, cause a lot of times kids, Christie, let's take your legs over and lift them up to the ceiling. Many people have trouble getting a pie. So let's imagine you're not as good as you think as you are. So you're the bottom is heavy. Now to get up as far as possible, you need to think of moving the pelvis towards your nose and the only way you're going to do that is if you count about of Christie presses against my hands.

That's it. She gets up higher and then if you push down with the arms, you get up even higher and then you reverse it. So those are just little tricks to keep improving the pH, the momentum as you do this, and then lower your legs down. [inaudible] okay. In the sidekicks we added in, we would do, we doing bicycles, bicycles we do at intermediate level as well. But by the time you're getting into advanced work, you want a big movement. So let's have all of you facing this way. Lying on your side right now.

I'm going to use Aaron first of all to demonstrate what is supposed to happen or what you're striving for. With the bicycle exercise, the leg is long, you have your hip and you have your shoulders. Shoulders should be away from yours. Let's keep your hand down for a minute. Just when the leg comes forward. At beginner and intermediate level, you've been learning to get a nice corner and to really stabilize the hip. Now by the time you're getting into advanced, what keep your knee straight. You want to bring the leg as high up as you possibly can.

The idea is that you get close to your face and as you bend the knee in, it comes in very tight. You bring the leg through. Now pull the stomach up here and again. Now you want to bend all the way from the floating ribs. So the legs should start from way far after you're looking to get this leg almost parallel to the hip. So it's a 90 degree angle. So let's have you have a goal without the shoulders rolling forward.

Meaning you, you work, but you don't rock forward. You still stay side. So have a go on your own, swing it way forward once, way forward. Bend it in deeply precedents, far back as you can and extend the like way out. Bring the legs together. That was very nice. Now let's have Kristy demonstrate the opposite version where you go back coming to the front. So you take the leg way back, way back, way back.

Chrissy has lots of range of movements that she should take advantage of that. Then bend the foot, keeping the knees lifted, keeping the sigh up so you have a deep stretch. Now bring it deeply in an extended way out. One more time in your way back. Bend it way in. Bring it up to your chest, extend it out and bring the legs together, right?

So much bigger movement. The pelvis is moving now, but it's already nice and strong so you get a chance to lengthen in the stomach. Actually know you still wanted hip height, but you want to eventually, when I met up, I met up and back behind you to eventually want 90 at least 90 degrees. You're striving for 90 degree angle behind you and then as close up to your face as you possibly can. So you're really challenging your own range of movement as much as possible. So for bicycle, big range of movement.

Hot potato is a lot of fun. Purpose of hot potatoes to develop a lot of speed and likeness and fast firing muscle fibers. So you need to take it at a fast speed. So you take a big swing as high up as you can and when it's called hot potato, because if there was cold here, you would bounce right out of it. And that's a feeling. So every time you increase the number, so you have two bounces and kick it to bounces and kick it. And that is the feeling of the movement. You keep increasing, but it's a fast movement and you're attempting to kick that leg as high as you can, but keep the shoulders down so it's all lower.

Body power develops a lot of power in the legs at the idea. Very, very good. So hot potatoes about energy and power. Now after we've done teaser teaser three let's review teaser three. We've now done teaser one teaser two teaser three.

You come from align position on the floor so the arms are extended out. You gather into the powerhouse. You already have a lot of strength and flexibility. Roll up and touch your toes or reach us close to the toes as you can. So you have your teaser position. Now to make it more challenging, you take your arms back, you reach through the fingertips to the back wall, and then you use your powerhouse to roll down and you attempt to have your head and your feet touch at the same time. So see if you can come up fast, reach up, reach towards the toes, anchor your powerhouse, and then reach back with the arms. And now keep the arms back as you roll. Roll, roll. And now fast. You touch it. Come up one more time. That's it.

It's my reach way back. And then float down. Deborah. Good, good, good and relax. So teaser, lots of dynamics. Lots of power, lots of laughs. Usually traditionally the teaser will transition into hip circles. But let's review before we work. The transition that you work, the mechanics of hip circles to come up to a sitting position and place your hands behind you. Now some people have pretty tight shoulders, so the shoulders will roll way forward. If you're one of those people, you can turn the hands out, you can even turn the hands back so that you can hold the chest lifted. So it just depends upon the range of movement and then see if you can lean back. You have to find the place where the hands work for you and you lift the legs up. Now once the legs are lifting, you will rock onto your tailbone and what Christie is doing is a very acceptable variation. A lot of people find it easier to work like this.

They just don't have the flexibility to be up here. You're looking to get the legs as high up towards the ceiling as you can, right? Once you have your position, the children stay Y as you draw a circle with the legs around and you lift them up and you try to get them. That's it. So you're using those lower abs to get those likes as high as possible. Reversed. Use the lower labs to get the legs up. That's it reversed.

My teacher used to grab the feet and pull them up to stretch people, circle the legs and pull them up and then float the legs out. That just to give you the feeling of this, right, right, right. So it's a, it's intended to really open the lower back, really open up those hamstrings a lot and challenge you at another level. [inaudible] balance control front. So actually let's just do one thing because your transition from teaser goes into hip circles. So if you come up into teaser, so you are, you're in this final teaser, reach the arms up and then reach them behind you and float the legs up higher if you need to. You adjust so that that is your transition. Yes.

And then float the legs down. That just to review the transition from teaser into hip circles and now roll onto your stomach for balance control front. So this is where you will be pressing up into a plank pose. It doesn't really matter. So your toes are curled under you. Your feet can either be hip width apart or together, and the hands are right under the shoulders and you want those shoulders wide.

Now deepen into the powerhouse and see if you can push right up into a plank pose, which you all do so well. Very important to have the stomach supporting the back and slight stabilization in the hips. Otherwise the hips are heavy. So I would like a little bit more tightness in here. Ah ha. That's it. If the bottom is totally narrow, it doesn't emoji, it gets heavy. Now push the heel forward forward and you can rock forward on the toes and then proceed your heels back so your hips have to be very steady. Roll forward.

Again, you could rock way forward the way Christie is doing and back in. Bend the knees down and rest for a minute. So I just want to talk about this a little bit. Just sit back a few things that different people have different levels. When you going into into your plank position, if you're not holding the hips, they will start to sag and it's very, very common for this to happen.

And you need to make sure that the powerhouses lifted. And there is this narrowing of the muscle structure up into the pelvis here. Otherwise, this part of our body's the heaviest part. And if it's not stabilized in the more advanced work, it drags. So it's a very, the, this is a really valuable so that you can feel like in this position.

Otherwise you're going to sag into your lower back. So keep the stomach up, the hips high and then you can rock forward and back in the legs will take half the weight, not just the upper body. So come back into your plank position. Have your feet nicely flex and now keep the hips nice and stable. We'll do the the leg lift, so the right leg lifts and then rock forward with the left foot and back. One more time like this. So the hips have to be even more steady and change fee. Lift the other leg, hips us steady power houses long forward and back.

Very good. All of you and back and put the foot down and bend your knees. Sit into your heels just to stretch your back out. So very, very important. As you start to do these more challenging movements to keep the stomach up, keep the hips narrow, then come to a sitting position with the legs extended in front of you for balance control back to the hands will be behind you. Same principle applies. You can have your hands turned out of the shoulders are tight.

The more basic version. Debra, let's have you worked with a more basic version with the knees bent because you can do table top. So as you lift your hips up, you want your hips almost in line with the shoulders and the shoulders wide and sit back down again. So very, very good. So you want to be sure you stay open. What you want to avoid is this where the shoulders are rolling forward. More important, the first priorities is shoulders up and then the hips up. So one more time lifting up. This is a completely valid way to work.

Important to have the gaze in a long diagonal towards the corner of the room in front of you so they're not too much strain. One more time, lower the hips down. That was very good. All three of you now with the leg kick lifts to the front, lift the hips up. One more time, lift your right leg up and flex it down. And now change the right leg up again and down. Change your legs, left leg up. Keep the hips nice and steady. So as you kick, nothing happens. And then sit back down. Very, very good. And stretch your legs out. Now kneeling, sidekicks. So come onto units. Let's have all of you facing the facing front. So you're with your, okay. Yeah, let's have you facing, actually Christie, let's have you facing in and you can face front and you can phrase back.

That's actually going to be, so you're going to face me here, so we get all angles, right? Right, right, right. So I can kind of talk about now when you're kneeling at, focus on lifting the hips up. So there's a slight bringing of the tail down. So you opening up in the hip flexors and you're getting a length in the waist. Now lean with your right hand to the floor. Take your left leg out on the floor. Sings that you want to look for is that the thigh that's bent is going straight up and down and that the hip is being opened because the body will want to sync back. Take the left hand and place it by your ear or behind your head.

So the elbow of this, Andrew goes straight to the ceiling. So you're in a complete profile for some people, just being in this position with the hip opening is enough to keep them busy for a while. Now without modifying the pelvis, lift the lay extended like up and lower down and lifted up. Excellent. All of you. Keep those hips forward and open. One more time. Keep it up there. Now add the little circles so you circle, but keep this right hip going forward. Yes, that's it. Reverse your circles. Very good.

And then bring the knee down and come to an upright position. So the thing to watch for and all of you are doing so well is not to let the hips go back. So let's have one go on the other side. So arms come to the side, you put your hand down and you put the other hand behind your head, your head open, the hips up. So the tail lengthens under the hips should be stacked up and the the left side should make a straight line down to the floor. And all of you have this so well now with like a string lifting this leg up, lower down, it stays long. The pelvis is steady. Lift the leg lower down. One more time lifted. Keep this hip forward and little circles. One, two, three, four, five, reverse it. One, two, three, four, five. Very good.

Put the foot down and come up to a kneeling position and sit back down. Very good work. Lovely work. Boomerang. Sitting with one leg crossed in front of the other. The hardest part of boomerang is the beginning. You want a little like tiger spider fingers.

You need to deepen into your powerhouse. See if you can lift the legs up and put them down. That's really the point that you've gathering into your center. So there's a slight scooping that will occur in the lower spine. That's a natural reaction to the lift of the legs.

Now you take that momentum over your head, so there's a slight pushing with the hands to help you rock back onto your shoulders. The legs either parallel or slightly higher than the floor, and then you open and close the legs the other way. Roll back and come up quickly and reach towards your toes. So it's like a teaser position. Now from here, you bend the elbows, you bring the hands behind your new classmate, hind your back, pull the shoulders way back and stretch. And now keep that gather into your energy in your stomach as you float the legs down and the chest forward. Big circle. Grab your ankles.

Very good. Now again, you're going to tap the floor and rock back. Rock back and open and close the legs. Come up to teaser, reach up towards the toes, bring the arms behind you, clasp and stretch those shoulders and then float the legs down. Float the Knicks down. Take an opportunity to stretch your shoulders and big circle here and stretch down. Very, very good. Yes. Okay, so fun. Dynamic one to do. Next one is crap.

So sitting cross legged, you want to be able to hold your feet. And as I mentioned in the class, the reason it's called crab is because crabs go sideways and they have this snapping noise movement of their fins. So the first part when you rock up, you want to make sure the crown of the head, that flat part at the top of the skull is on the ground. And as you do that and you rock forward, you're stretching the cervical spine a little yes. And you're broadening the shoulder. So there's an opportunity to open them, the area of the neck here slightly, and give it a stretch. Excellent.

Then roll back onto your back, bring the feet up and open the closer leg sideways. Hold your big toe again and roll back forward and come up. Shoulders are wide. Come way up the air and say right on top of the head. See your button. That's the movement. So you really open up into this area. Good. Roll back again. Open and close a feet.

Grab your toes and come up. Lift your bottom up and open up the back of the neck. Yes. And come back down. So if you have neck problems, this is not for you. This is a, yeah, it's an interesting one because we actually gather a lot of tension here in this area. Gets tight so it can open the area per actually prepares you for balance control. But if you have neck problems, you need to have to have a teacher caring for you, being sure that you're ready for this exercise or you just skip it until the time that you are ready for it. And balance control is a real fun one. So lie down on your backs with the hand flat to begin with. So now when you lift your legs up again, by the time you are advanced, chances are you can lift your leg straight up as these people are doing.

But if you have back problem, you can always bend the knees in. So let's have Aaron demonstrate that you bend the knees in and lift the legs up or if your back is getting tired, you would do the same thing. Now float the bottom up and take your feet to the floor over your head. So you want to be able to touch the flow of your hamstrings are too tight. You're not ready for the exercise in this variation.

Now sweep the hand sideways and first of all, reach for your feet and then hold your right foot to your right ankle with both hands. And take the left leg up to the ceiling. You need to keep your powerhouse and hips over your shoulders and then lift the stomach up so the pelvis is up off the lower body. Now without the pelvis changing, flip your legs so you change them, right? And then flip the leg. So what are you watching for? Just do this a few more time. Tried to take one leg up, one leg down at the same time, Aaron. So one that's, so there's a lot of control you need to have. It's called balance control because you're stabilizing your pelvis.

And if you don't keep the hips high enough, you will fall down with your bottom. And all three of you are doing this so well. Bring both legs down over your head and slowly roll down to the mat rule in a sense. Yes, actually yes, all the way down. All the way down. Very nice. And then come and now let's just review the final push up.

One leg push up. So standing up, let's have you stand up and walk to the backs of your mat. And just one little aspect. We're going to do the walkthrough first time without the leg in the air because this is a very common error. When people come down and they're walking out the hips, I'm exaggerating, but they they, and especially coming back, you see the hips swinging from side to side and everything we're doing in PyLadies is to be able to hold from the powerhouse. So as you walk out, you need to keep the body moving out in a straight line. Part of that is where you place your hands.

If you walk forward almost one hand on top of the other, you'll be able to do that easily. As you get more able to stabilize the hips, you'll be able to keep the hands a bit wider. So one time we'll walk out with both feet on the floor, round down and roll towards the mat. Put your hands on the mat and walk out with the hands without the hips going side to side. So just straight right now. Walk back. Same way. Walk in, make sure the hips are going straight back. Lift the arms up. And just one more time, Aaron, I'm going to hold your hips so they don't flop.

Go straight forward, straight forward betters. So the feeling is now as you walk back, feel as if someone's pulling your hips straight back. Don't let them flop. That was so much better. Now adding into this the single leg. So start to take the left leg back and lift up in the stomach.

So big lift. And as you go down the leg lifts. So your hinges, you're like a Teeter totter, right? Get the hands down and walk out. Keep the Lake high. Same thing. Try not to let the back flop of the hips flop. Good. Now walk back the same way the leg presses up. So much more challenging.

See if you can find your point of stability. The leg reaches way back and then bring the hands forward. So you have to counterbalance the arm and the legs to lift up and bring the leg down. So little trick, because at first it's, it's, it's hard, hard to find this counterbalance. The back leg is very much about, so you, what happens is that you kind of want to pull in, you need to extend out that back leg has to pull way out so that you have this opposition stretch, but that it's less of a role. It's more of a Seesaw feeling. So let's have a goal with the other leg. Lift the leg up, lift the arm up and see if you can hinge. It's like a tee hinges. The Lego's up much better, Aaron, as you come down now, gather into the powerhouse anyway and walk out keeping the leg lifted.

Very good. Now press the leg up as you walk back. Keep the leg up. Much better. That's it. See if you can find a balance between the leg and the arm and then slowly come on up and down. Right? Well, we take some, it takes some work, you know, to get done. Don't master advanced work in one moment, but that gives you some nice, um, counterbalances to work for which, which are fun because you've already got flexibility. You've got Stripe, you've got coordination. Now let's take all of it and do crazy wild things. And then if when you go to a party, everybody will love you because [inaudible] there you go. Okay. Thank you very much.


Sarah N
This is a hard workout! Loved it!
Too much instruction and not enough workout
Niedra Gabriel
Hi Rosemary, I totally understand.
The technical breakdown classes are not intended as a workout per se, they are really to reveiw the technical details for specific moves covered in a class ( where I hope it WAS a workout).
My intention is to provide an place someone can go to look over details of how to do something if they are having toruble in the "flow' part of a class.
I loved it and did multiple repetitions practicing while Niedra -- my favorite teacher -- gave the little tips that make the work work. Thanks for teaching.
Aw c'mon Anonymous... Let us know who you are!
I really like how you breakdown every one of the exercises and describe the precision points. Very special piece of Teaching. Thank you very much.
Niedra Gabriel
Thank you Mat, I always consider mastery is in the details.
1 person likes this.
Super!!!!!! I love it!!!! :):)
1 person likes this.
I appreciate the fact that you explain with details I love that.....I learned too....:):)
Niedra Gabriel
Thank you!
Being a technical Geek in my soul, I have always found details essential for my own undetsanding. So happy you enjoy the break down and find it helpful.
1-10 of 11

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