Class #4171

Weighted Workout

55 min - Class


Sculpt your whole body in this weighted Mat workout with Amy Havens. She begins class with a standing warm-up, grounding you and setting up your alignment. You will then transition into traditional Mat exercises with the addition of the weights, as well as Reformer exercises such as Coordination and Rowing Back that are adapted for the Mat.
What You'll Need: Mat, Hand Weights (2)

About This Video

Sep 08, 2020
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Hey, everyone. Welcome back to Live Pilates Anytime with Amy here in my house and my den. I want to thank you again as I will every time for joining me in class. And it's always wonderful to go back and look at the chats and see where everyone is from and how you are and your gratitude for being here with me. And I won't spend a whole lot of time on last week, but one apology for that.

Anyway, we're here. It's a new day. It's bright and sunny in Santa Barbara, and we're gonna incorporate a little bit of a hand weight work, lightweights with mat work. So it's nothing too fancy. You're gonna get a full body workout and I've got two sets of weights.

So I have a light set, one pound, and then I've got three pounds. So there'll be certain exercises that I use lighter and certain exercises that I use heavier for. And you get to play with that on your own too. If you don't have any hand weights, you can always use your water bottles. I think you're probably already set with your program and what you've got there.

So I want to actually have us start standing. And then everybody just go ahead and stand up. And I think I'll probably just stand on this end of my mat and let's just get a little bit of centering and grounding and alignment. So just feel, feet apart, legs apart. That's a really good sense of anchoring yourself down.

Relax the front of the rib cage. Sometimes that feeling of standing tall, we lift up through the front of the ribs here, so we'll just settle those down. And maybe you think about the back of the lower ribs here being what's lifted up. So we've also got a really nice sense of elongation through the back of our body. So we'll take a deep breath in and let's go ahead and start to just flex the neck forward and then go into that sternum spine and round down there.

Now let's just pause at this position. I want your arms really just to hang from your shoulder girdle and take a look at your feet, how you're aligned there, get as even on your feet, as you can, make sure you're drifting your shinbones forward of your ankles a little so that we're not locking the knees back and then bend the knees deeper, everybody, and focus on your lower back C curve and try to get more elongation from the back of your low ribs down underneath your sitting bones and that image of that. And then as we come up to standing, let's press our feet down, really slowly start to straighten the knees, but it's really more about extending the hips and then all the way tall, just one more kind of collected half rolled down like that. So deep breath in, make sure this front ribs aren't lifting. And then here we go.

We're rounding down, let your arms hang. Just feel those hanging arms, drifting your shinbones forward. Here's your chance to look at your leg alignment, kneecaps are forward. Begin bending your knees. And I want us to just stay there bending the knees, let the head hang and the arms hang.

You can maybe kind of even gaze up into your abdominal band here and really feel that inward upward wide. Keep going farther down to the ground. I'm just going to have us come down, place your fingertips on the mat, right in front of your legs. And then as you start to straighten your knees, lift your hips up. Same thing, try not to push back in the back of the knees.

You're actually right over. I've actually got weighted in my fingertips there so that I'm not locking the knees back. So we're gonna take an inhale, bend the knees, but think C curve through the lumbar and then exhale as we elongate the legs, lift the hips up. We'll do two more. Inhale rounding the back, try to warm up that lower lumbar, lower thoracic lumbar and extend the legs, lifting the hips.

And one more time, inhale, really feel how the feet press down into the mat and then exhaling, lifting up through the hips, straightening the knees. You're gonna come out onto all fours just real quick. Just a nice anchoring through your hands on the mat. Let's do some scap pushups knees apart. So scapula glide, warming up that shoulder girdle before we lift on and put any hand weights in there.

So you've got your shoulders neutral right now. That sense of length through the tip of the head and out your tailbone. And then without changing the elongated spine, let's go ahead and retract the scapula together toward that spine, knowing that the sternum comes closer to the mat. And then as we widen the scapula, get a sense almost like you're pulling your mat apart left to right. Remember, we're not pushing the spine up.

This is just scapula. Three more, inhale as we glide the scapula together and exhale as we glide the scapula apart, serratus connection, inhale, sternum gets closer to the mat. The scapula really pulling together, making sure not to arch that lumbar spine out of control, exhale and neutral shoulders. One more time, inhale and exhale, really getting them to move. Next one, come down just a little bit onto the tips of the elbows.

Sit back a little bit and then palms flat. So I'm gonna take the hand that's closest to you. Mat, hand, I'm gonna put those fingertips on my shoulder here and then rotating a little bit of chest and thoracic rotation towards you. Then I'm gonna take the tip of this elbow, rotate and try to touch the elbow of the other arm. Now you may need to lift up a little bit to allow that rotation.

So let's get that thoracic spine rotated. Oh, it feels good. Exhale, elbow to elbow. And three more, inhaling and exhale. So I've gotten the hand that's on the mat, I am doing a little bit of pressure on it and kind of sliding that hand forward energetically and exhale rotate.

One more time. I just want to get a little bit of blood flow in this thoracic spine near our shoulder blades and preparing that, I'm gonna turnaround. So I can see you in this. Well, you know what I mean? You can see me better.

Preparing the shoulder girdle. So I'm not really all the way up on quadrupedal. I'm kinda halfway in there, hand on shoulder, rotate think through your chest spine, the thoracic spine, inhale and then exhale tip of elbow toward the elbow of the other arm, making sure not to go into flection of your thoracic spine. Three more sorts of big inhale and an exhale. So you're going around a central access through your spine.

I don't want you to flex, stay extended. Inhale and exhale to the elbow of the other hand, if you can. And then one more time, inhale and exhale, rotate around. So find one more quadruped. let's just get to cat cows, take a breath, neutral spine to start.

Exhale, press shins, press feet. Round the spine. You're pulling up pubic bone in the direction of the head, the head in the direction of the pubic bone. Start at the tailbone. Start to extend through the lumbar, extend through the thoracic, reaching the chest through the arms.

There's a little sense here too, that you're pulling your arms back toward your legs to get that tricep lap connection. Let's do one more inhale. I'm gonna start at my tailbone. Lumbar, thoracic and cervical flection as if I could bring my head through to my tailbone, my tailbone, through to my head and then reversing it, starting at the tail, moving through thoracic and cervical, pulling the arm bones back in the direction of the legs. Good.

Now let's go ahead and have a change of position. I'm gonna use my lightweights first. Let's go supine, have the other ones nearby if you'd like. Yeah. Arms by our sides.

Now as your arms by our sides, I'm going to have us with our palms face down. Shoulders are back. Heels are pretty close to our sit bones. Let's do some good pelvic curls. So breathing in here, and then the exhale really feeling how that lumbar meets the mat easily.

And as you're peeling up, get those hips beautifully extended. The thoracic spine is long. Your chin is not resting on your chest. Breathe in and then slowly roll down sternum away from chin. Keep your pelvis up as long as you can and get a long articulated spine as you come down to the mat.

One more plain one. Inhale, exhale, and rolling through, those feet really strong on the floor. Your hips nice and lifted into the air. Get that good hip extension. Pressing the back of the arms back, feel a little more effort.

Now we're going to start building up guys. So rolling down the spine. This next time, I'm gonna change where the arms are, you all know where I like the slant board pelvic tilt. So your hands on your thighs really pressed, make some resistance occur in the arms. So here we go.

Another pelvic curl. So pelvis now is pressing up against those wrists, but the hands with the weights are pressing down against the hips. And then from here, I want you to take both arms back over head. You all know I do this pretty much every time, to get that nice shoulder stretch and lateral line stretch. We're not done with the arms though.

So let's bring it to the thighs and back over head. Two more times. Press and really use impressing energy and effort. And when my arms are over head, I'm taking the back of my hands and pressing into the floor as well to get those shoulder extensors. Last time, keeping the arms over head, speaking of which, press the back of the hands on the floor and start to roll down slowly, sternum away from chest.

Can you keep pressing the hands down on the floor? If no is your answer, don't do it if it hurts, but try to get those shoulder flexors a little more involved. And neutral pelvis. Keep your arms over your head if you can. Even if you have to open them a little bit out to a T position, that is fine.

See if you can keep the back of the hands pressing the mat. Take a breath. Ankles, knees together. I'm gonna bring in leg to tabletop, another leg to tabletop. So pause in this position, take a few breaths.

And notice that it might challenge some of us with the rib cage spine. So I don't want us to have be lifting the ribs up off of the floor, I'd rather have us bringing the ribs to the floor. Start some toe taps. Just little easy toe taps. How about an exhale and or inhale, inhale, exhale, exhale, and four, three, two, and one.

Bring both knees together. As they're together, press them together. It's different. Isn't it? You can have them together or actively press them, inner thigh, knees and ankles.

Now let's bend the elbows really close to the sides. Palms face the feet, fingertips are facing the ceiling. And then let's just reach the arms up for a minute. So palms are facing the feet. Shoulder blades are flat on the mat and take a deep breath.

I'm gonna have us curl the head neck and chest up all the way to that beautiful chest lift position. Arms are by the hips and I'm reaching toward the other end of my mat. Let's curl back down on an inhale and curling up on an exhale, pressing the legs together. Two more. Inhale rolling down.

So I've got my lightweights. If this is too easy for anyone, by all means you can grab a heavier set of weights, but we're about to do the 100. We don't really need a lot of weight to add extra resistance. So just a little extra resistance at the hand. And I want you to think about the weight being out here.

Put the weight kind of more in your body, in your lats, your serratus, there's oblique connection here. If that makes sense, extend to your legs and then start your pumping, heels are together, wrap the legs. So we want straight arms, but not locked elbows. Sometimes having a little extra weight in the hand, challenges that connection, makes it easier or harder for some of us. I want you to keep your back down, Wrapping those legs, press your heels together.

Couple more rounds of breath, feeling that extra work, bend your knees, everybody. Let your head in your chest, come back down and then let's take the coordination from the reformer work. So I'm gonna have you peel your head up again, get into pretty good cervical and thoracic flection, elbows bend. I want you to bring your hands way up by your shoulders. Now, before we reach the legs up, let's do a little reverse abdominal curl.

Get the lower abdomen. See how I'm pulling my hips up. Keep that feeling, knees are pretty close to my nose. Inhale. Now stretch the legs and arms, open, close the legs, knees in, pick up the pelvis.

Pick up that pelvis and then re-bend your elbows. Three more. Inhale, open, closed legs. Take your time on this. This is low stomach.

So as hip flexors, yes, inner thighs, bend the elbows. Last two. Stretch. Take your time. See if you can actually get more of a lift of the sacrum.

Your lower abdomen really turned on. Elbows bend. Last one. Open, close, bend in, deep stomach, elbows bend. Hold that position.

It's like a little rocking like a ball or rolling like a ball. So flex your upper body more. Pull your knees more in and everyone come on down. I am gonna switch to my heavier weights now. Three pounds for roll up.

This will help my roll up. If you don't need help with your roll up, you can keep your lightweights. What I'm gonna have us do though, put your weights on your thighs, lift your head, your neck and your shoulders up and start to roll up to the roll-up position. Keep your hands on your thighs. Feel that beautiful curve of your back, breath in.

And it's from that lower lumbar C curve, focusing on that lower back curving. If you want to raise your arms up, you can. But those of us who are using heavy weights, I don't want it to be so much about your wrecking your shoulders, but this extra weight may help your legs stay down. So those of us who tend to kind of kick our legs because our back feels limited in mobility. So if you're not that person and you want to do the regular roll up, feel free to do that.

I'm doing this version today. So I'm feeling the weight of the weights. Keep my legs down so that I can work on my spine flection, inhaling and exhaling to roll down. Think about the teaser exercise. Think about boomerang.

Think about open leg rocker, all those rolling bits that we need that lower back to be cooperative. Let's try two more. And so the weights might help those of us who need that support. Inhale, exhale, roll back. Think lower back, lower back, lower back, lower, back, lower back.

And we'll do one more time. Inhaling here, exhaling and arms stay low. Feel that connection all the way. Good. And then we'll roll up to sitting tall.

Now I want to use my lightweights because we're gonna move into some rowing exercises. So I like the lighter weights. I don't need the big heavy ones for this. So sit up tall guys, arms long in front of your shoulders. Bring those rib cages in and then let's do hands to sternum, just like we would on the reformer rowing.

So your elbows are up. Shoulders are down your back. You pinch your butt together a little bit. Sit tall, inhale. And we round again.

It's that little flection of the lower back. That's where I'm going to stay right now. Might not look like a lot, but I'm working that low back flection. Take your arms out to a T position. Start to move them behind you.

And what I'd like us all to do today is put the fingertips on the floor behind you. Palms are gonna face up so you can really work on the scoop of the stomach. The legs are together. Now without coming off your sit bones, raise your arms, lower your arms. No shifting the chest forward.

Raise your arms, lower your arms. One more time. See if you can raise them higher. Keep the scoop in the stomach. Now the arms start to go from the back to the front.

I don't want your chest to go any further forward, it's not about stretching your hamstrings. It's about flexing that spine and really pulling the abs back. Roll up now with a little more flow. Breath in and exhale, arms up to a T. Breathe in.

So feel your arms do it, your lats do it. Pull yourself back. Fingertips touch the floor. Just one time, lift those arms. Keep your stomach back.

Rotate those arms from back to front, roll up to sitting hands to sternum, one more, and lower lumbar, lower thoracic flection, inhale arms out to a T. So the hand is, we only have one pound in our arms, but pull your arms back as if you're holding heavier weight, inhale, lift, circle, reach around and roll up to sitting tall. Hold for a moment. See if you can get a little more lift and then bring the arms to that the 90 degree bend or this 90 degree angle here. I want to change the legs and flex the ankles.

Press your heels into the floor if you can. Sit up a little taller. And then all I want us to do, everybody is hinge back. Look between your elbows. Your elbows are narrow.

They're about the width of your shoulder blades and then bring your chest forward. Lift a little more. So if we were on the reformer, I would be saying, lift your leather up, lift your handles up. Two more lifts. So there's a constant lift of those arms that keeps that shape, the angles really working your abdominals and your back, your hips, everything lean and come forward.

Just take your hands down to the mat now, and then just relax for a sec. Shake your shoulders. I'm gonna turn around because if I were in the reformer, I would turn around. If we were on the reformer, we'd do the rowing facing front, which we're going to do. So the same thing.

Start as tall as you can, without lifting the front of the ribs up. Keep those down. And I want you to take your hands to your chest. Elbows are down, fingertips are facing forward. Palms are forward.

Reach into the space in front of you with those arms. Now I do want to everybody to lean forward just a little bit from the waistline, pull the stomach in, lower the fingertips. Raise the arms any amount. This might be you. More of us can probably go a little bit higher.

Arms should be framing the ears. Sit up really tall. And as you press your arms out to the T, grow taller, squeeze the booty, bend your elbows hands to chest. Three more with the flow. We inhale.

exhale, hands touch the mat. I want you to lean into the space in front of a little bit. Keep the lean, keep grip, contracting your glutes a little bit. Now as you go to sit tall, press the arms down like you're pulling heavy arm springs from the Cadillac and then hands to chest. Two more times.

So again, you got lightweights in your hands. Some of you might have heavy, but we don't need heavy. Create the extra resistance within yourself through the air, that imaginary pushing springs, pull and, and pull the springs up. Pull them open. Now you would push them down and pull them into your body.

Hands to the mat. Sit tall, legs are together. Breathe in through your nose. Let's go flection of the spine. So I'm gonna round forward.

I'm not collapsing. It's not a hamstring stretch at all. It would be nice to have one, but it's not a hamstring stretch. Take a moment. Can you lift your low back ribs up your back a little bit.

Lift your low back ribs up your back. That might allow you to flex forward more. Now, here it is. You're sliding your fingers toward your heels, but you're not stretching your hamstrings guys. You're not collapsing.

Reach a little further. That stretch should be really alive in your low back. I'm going to have everyone elongate out into a diagonal line. Bring that diagonal line up. And then once again, we'll press the arms down as we grow taller with a little flow for three more repetitions.

Breathe in, rounding forward. But think you're lifting your back spine, lifting the back of the ribs up. Slide the fingertips toward the heels. Start to lengthen out into a flat back. And you can also just take your arms and shoulder with like this, your shoulder height.

If you don't want to go all the way high, that's fine, press down. Two more times. Let's flex the feet for these too. Flex that same press of the heels into the mat. Scoop, scoop, scoop the stomach.

If you are lengthening up into that diagonal, you can pause there for a minute. Try to get those arms up. Sternum lifted, rib cage down, upper body up. Now, press it down. We have one more.

Everyone, breathe in tall. Here we go, exhale. It's not a hamstring stretch. Stay back on your sit bones, stay back on your sit bones, lift all the way tall. And then I want you to press down and rest.

So for just a second, look my way, can you just for a sec? If we're on the reformer and your shoulder rests right here, 'cause we know we're right up against the shoulder rest, when we flex forward, we want to keep our sacrum back against the shoulder locks. It's so easy to lean this way and lean off of them. So just pretend as you flex forward, do this with me, put your hand weights behind your hips. And as you flex forward, keep your hips back against your weights.

That's your shape, It's not just collapsing chest toward thighs, which is easy to do. And it feels kind of nice, but it's not where your work is. So you keep that back there. Everybody roll up, please. I'm about to face you.

You can say where you'd like, I'm gonna turn and face you and cross my legs. Now as we cross the legs, but right now let's just put the hands on the... No, let's put them out here. Palms face down, energy, lot of energy. Bring your breastbone out through your knuckles.

Can you keep that and press your knees down? What? Press your knees down. You all know how fun that is. Don't rush this, you know hug-a-tree is coming, but press your knees down.

Let's get all of the full body in this. Now, as you're attempting to press your knees down, what do you feel in your abs and your butt? Probably a good connection. Now bend the elbows, fingertips come a little lower than the wrists. Elbows a little higher and hold that position.

Bring your fingertips together. Let's use this as the inhale and then exhale. I want you to think that you're pressing the back of your arm flesh back. That's weird. Inhale forward.

Press your knees down, exhale and press your arms back. Everything is working. Your ankles are pressing down. Your knees are pressing down. Of course, your stomach is in.

The spine is elongated, my God, the lats, everything you know. Two more, and inhale. Only one pound is in my hands, but it's really making my arms work harder 'cause I'm creating an extra resistance. What if I had 15 pounds? Why would I do that?

Rest. Now change your legs. Go back. Change them. Go back to your favorite way.

Keep doing this. Just rock back. Change your legs. Now press your knees down. We're going to do that several times to get some of the sit work involved to your butt work and your hip opening.

Now, as I'm doing that, I am rocking forward a little bit. I'm gonna start to minimize the rocking of my body and just press the knees, and press the knees, a couple more. Press and press and go back to the one that you were about to go to and hold. Let's take the salute. I'm gonna change my mind.

I'm not doing salute. I want to take the hands behind the head. And my fingertips are touching behind my head. So shaving the back of the head, press the knees down. They should be here, Yup.

Should be there, almost cheated and then extend the arms up and then re-bend. So I'm thinking everything again. Knees press down as the hands reach up. I'm a little more challenged in these movements because my structure is such that it's hard for me to move my arms like this without my rib cage wanting to lift it up in front of me. That's okay.

Lift. And one more time and lift and then lower your arms. I want everyone to keep their fingertips down on the mat for a moment here. Change the legs again. And then we'll change one more time into diamond.

So diamond is nice because now feet are pressed. Legs should be more even here in your turnout. Same thing, they'll press your feet together and press your knees open and down. Take your arms in front of you. And then let's do some arm circles.

And I think we can actually start down on the legs. So we're going to take them all the way up, inhale and exhale to the shoulders. And then in front of us, just like the reformer, but we're sitting. So this involves a little bit more of our postural muscles. I want you to keep thinking of the shoulder blades and where you can keep putting those things, down your back.

Two more. Can you press your feet more? One more time and lift and open and then in front of you. Now let's go the other way. And I'm gonna reverse the arms.

Palms face up. Let's get some beautiful external rotation in your strong arms here. Open, arms, come up. Can you almost touch your fingertips together? Not quite.

They don't need to and lower. So the arms really only need to come up in line with your shoulders. Everyone's different. So this is where mine are. As you lower your arms, palms up, like you're kind of getting ready to catch some raindrops in your hands.

And open. And you're strong as you lift. Two more to go, I think. I can get a little carried away and forget counting. And raise your arms strong, everybody, lower.

Oh yeah. Hold out here. Yeah. Hold out here. Maybe a little in front of your shoulders.

Here we go. Little circles and lift. So what I'm thinking with these circles, I'm accenting the up and the swift up, then up. Press your legs together, feet together. knees open.

Breath. I've lost count. Here we go. Eight, seven, shoulders are low. neck is long and four, stomach in, and two and one.

Bend your elbows, rest around forward. Just feel the energy in your arms. Hopefully, your neck is okay. That's a lot of work. So let's just take a neck stretch.

I shouldn't say it that way. Just take the next stretch. Take a next stretch. Good for your neck. Lifting the hand weights, you can start to accumulate tension other side.

In your shoulders, you know that if you're lifting. So we're always working on how we can regulate that shoulder position and keep it kinda down tempo here rather than lifted. Guys, we're going to go prone. And once again, no, not yet. Let's do a little rolling.

Yeah. Let's do a little rolling now. For rolling today, I'm using my heavier weights. I know I'm gonna want that. Especially after sitting up for that long, this might be really, real, strong and active.

So we want to work on how to get round again without collapsing in the upper back. So what I'm gonna do, grab my rolling like a ball position, hand weights, and a wrap around my legs, balance on my sit bones. And I'm gonna enjoy, not rolling yet. I might even close my eyes. Join me if you want to and just visualize how it would be to roll so beautifully, smoothly, effortlessly through your back.

And you're gonna do that now. Let's go for six rolls. Can you keep your arms wrapped? Let's focus on the lumbar. Here we go.

Inhale back. Come right up. Exhale. Don't stay down there too long. Inhale.

Think of lifting the hips up and exhaling in. Can you keep your heels closer to your sit bones? Lift and exhale. Three more. You notice some challenges, so you don't have to have your hands touching your legs.

You can always have your arms out here. I'm gonna try a couple like that. That actually worked better for me. I'm gonna do two more 'cause it feels so good. (laughing) Rarely do I say that about rolling like a ball through my back and right there and rest.

So we're not doing leg circles. We're really not doing a series of five. Oh, well. Let's come on to our tummy now. And with this one, I'm gonna use the lightweights again.

So come on down and let's think of what we can think of for prone. Pulling straps, breaststroke. Don't you worry, there'll be a teaser coming up, but why don't we start this way, everyone, with our forehead on our mat, really elongate through your waistline. Even if you have to kinda wiggle into that more length. What I'm starting with actually right now, my forehead on the mat, my collarbone is not rolled forward.

It's actually lifted off of the mat. My arms are alongside my body. Palms are facing up. You can have your legs together or apart. Take a breath here.

As we lift her head and her neck, we're gonna do that very small cervical extension. So only cervical. This is tricky, and maybe the upper thoracic, but I don't want your chest, your nipple line coming off of the mat right now. So keep your nipples down. Yup.

Men too. And lift through the thoracic spine. From there, raise your arms up. Now my arms are higher than my back. I want that, but I don't want my chest up any higher.

I'm gonna keep that position in my body and move my arms down and arms up. Inhale down, exhale up. It takes discipline not to raise your chest higher. If you raise your chest higher, it might start working your lower back more. I want this to be about your triceps, your lats, your upper back work.

So we don't have to come up. It's definitely not even a baby swan. It's just that. A couple more times, press then down and press the arms, lower the arms all the way down and then return to the mat with your forehead. Keep your collarbone lifted though.

Keep that back engaged. Take another breath. Now, before we lift the chest again, I'm gonna separate my legs. It just feels like my back needs that. And then I'm gonna press my pubic bone and hips more firmly on the floor.

There we go. So now I can feel my stomach working to support that lumbar. And I'm coming back up again. That little position. Now change of the position of the arms.

Nipples are still down. I've rotated my arms and my palms are faced down now, everyone. Now take your arms out to a T and hold your T. Return your arms to your legs. And palms are faced down the whole time.

So we know that it puts the upper arm in that beautiful, external rotation position. A couple more times and open to a T and close the T and open to a T. Hold your T, hold your T. See arms can come any higher and then put your arms back towards you and then lower your head, neck and chest down. Collarbone still stays up and then turn your hands again.

Palms face up. One more time. Here we go. Press her pelvis. That little cervical extension, upper back extension.

Now bend the elbows. Bring your hands right by your chest. You're gonna think breaststroke. So reach your hands forward to swimming. Arms open out to a T all the way back to the legs.

Return the hands right by the shoulders. I'm really close to my wall over here. So I'm not doing a full gesture with my left arm. I'd rather stay where I am than to move on my mat. But as I'm doing breaststroke, I'm thinking of not going any higher in my chest right now.

Arms come to swimming, arms open out to a T. They come all the way back by the legs. Re-bend, hands to the shoulders. We have got one more. Try not to come up any higher.

We will in just a second. But all of that was you can rest. All of that was to not go any higher. So that move your hand weights. Let's come to swan.

Swan, I want you to put your hands by your chest. Looking forward, eyes, nose, chin, chest. This is going to feel great to push those arms, lift the front of the stomach. Lift your chin, lift your eyes to the ceiling. Coming down, bend the elbows nice and close to the body and roll all the way down to the forehead.

Collarbone stay suspended. Let's go again. Now, if you feel like you want to start working your legs a little more narrow, you can. I'm gonna do a little swan dive preparation here in one more repetition. Meaning I'll do the little dive, but catch the hands.

Feel free to do the full dive if anyone out there is really wanting to go for that, but I will not. Ready? I'm gonna catch, and dive and catch. Go. One and catch your hands, and two, and catch your hands.

Keep looking up. three, two more, catch, up and dive and catch and come all the way down. Shake your hips out, should feel pretty good. Come back to a little rest pose. All the way rest.

Take your head down, your hands by your knees. Now with your hands on the mat, push your hands into the mat as you try to reach your hips further to your heels, that should feel like a very good stretch in the lower back. Breathe in deeply. Two more breaths. One more breath.

Roll up onto your knees. Let's grab the weights, your choice. I'm not gonna tell you what weights to choose with. We're going to do chariot and chest expansion. So I want heavy.

I think I will turn this way for this one. So if I'm facing the back of the reformer, earlier, it was the back. But I didn't even tell you the directions of the reformer. (laughs) So it doesn't really have that much to say. So here we are.

Arms are in front of us. Make sure the front of the ribs don't lift. What I want you to do, everybody, long arms. Pull them back behind you. Look forward right now.

The chariot, I want you to think about, I'm gonna tuck my toes for this one for a second. Untuck the toes. I have to tuck them. I'm about to cramp in my calf, is to lean back, sit bones almost to the heels and lift back up on to the knees. I want you to press your pelvis really far forward and then return your arms.

So again, the arms come down. Press them back. As I'm pressing my arms back, I'm still pressing my pelvis forward. There. Then as I go back, my whole body's coming with me.

I'm barely gonna sit down, sit bones to heels, and then come back up, return arms forward. Now try it with my feet down. Hopefully, I won't cramp. Pressing back, sitting down. It's a lot farther to sit also.

As you come up on those knees, it's a tremendous amount of quad work, arms, your chest is really lifted. You sit down to those heels. How about those quads? Lift and arms. Two more times, we press back.

The whole torso in one unit comes back. You flex in the hips. The arms are still behind, lift up onto those knees and arms forward. Last time, everybody and press and back. Use your feet into the floor.

Lift up. Now we'll just do regular chest expansion. But what I want to do is turn the hands the other way. So palms are facing forward. Back of arms are pressing back, and then I'm actually gonna just pause, pause, pause, pause, five, six, seven, eight, stay back there on number 10, which is this one, stay, stay, stay Turn your head one side of your room.

Keep your front of your ribs down. No lifting those ribs. Turn your head the other way. Get that beautiful neck stretch. Let's do it one more.

Feels pretty good. Can your arms go further back without lifting your ribs? Keep your pelvis pressed forward. Should be a lot of hamstring, a lot of glute, lot of full body and then center and relax. I am gonna put these heavy ones down, go over the lightweights again.

And we're coming to kneeling. So what I want you to do with your kneeling position first right now with your hand weights is gather your legs completely together, abduct. And I mean, again, we can be there with the legs or you can really be there. I want that. So really engage and then take one arm up by your ear.

You have to pretend for a minute that there's a little ball between your temple and your bicep. Press that ball, press it a little more. And as we press, we're going to think of lifting the trunk up and take ourself into a teeny bit of a lateral flection. I'm not really thinking going down. I'm thinking of pressing this imaginary ball and going up, keeping the legs pressed together.

Now this is gonna be what brings us all the way up as well. Now in between those, let's do a little lowering of the arm. Four more. So we go up, press to that a little imaginary ball against your head and you continue to press it. And you're lifting, you're elongating.

I'm thinking from the knee to the fingertips. Yeah. Not collapsing down on this side. Stay lifted and arm comes down. Three more.

Let's breathe and over, inhale up and exhale down. And two more. The other arm does have energy. It's just not pulling and dragging me down. No way.

I won't let anything drag me down, mantra. No matter how tough it gets, it's the lift. It's the levity you guys. I know I talk about that. Gotta fight it everywhere.

Other side. So elbow bends, hand comes up. Arm also comes up. Pretend that ball is there. Now press the ball and lift that side.

As you start coming up, lift more. Try to keep the ball between your head, that imaginary ball, and then come all the way left. Now I'm noticing my body moving a little bit. I want to press my legs together and I want to think no swaying from hips down. So for me, I have to minimize how much I'm thinking of going to my side bend and more about the lift up.

So I have some scoliosis. You guys kind of know that. I think some of you have seen that. And so for me, it makes it a little challenging on these side bends to do them precisely. I'm working on it.

We all work on our stuff. And something to concentrate on is how your knees feel on the mat, even weight on your knees. That usually helps. Two more, arm up. Pretend that ball is there.

Press it, press it, press it, press it. Yep. And elongate and lift. Last time. Left and up and over, big breath into those ribs and those lungs, more breath, more breath, more breath, and exhaling lift and then lower all the way down.

I have the lightweight. So I'm gonna put both of them into one hand. They're small enough that I can just grip them there. You can even decide kind of find a creative way to hold both of them if you'd like to. So I'm gonna have us take one, it's coming, one leg out to the side.

Now, as you come down on your bottom hand, you can do a flat hand if you'd like. What I'm noticing for my own self lately, two things are happening. My wrists aren't happy with this right now. I'm working through something. And then also it puts me too low on the side where I feel some compression on my hip.

That's part of what I'm also trying to navigate. So you'll see me up on my fist, so much better. So I can actually push that floor down more strongly for my shoulder. And I'm not so collapsed in my lower back on that side. So I've got to teach myself as I teach you because some of you might have exactly what's going on here.

Leg is parallel. The weights are in this hand and they're on my arm, on my leg. Now I want us to lift the leg up. And if you can get your leg the height of your hip, you can look down, flex that foot and just hold. There's energy out the tip of the head.

The bottom leg ankle is down. You're not trying to lift those toes up. And then let's just go ahead and lower the leg. How about an exhale up and an inhale down, and an exhale up. Now to not just up as out and up.

it's long and up. Three more today. I'm thinking of reaching that wall with my heel, like almost like I'm sliding a towel up the wall, which some of you know is an exercise. You can put a towel between your heel and the wall and go up and down. And it's a really nice connection.

Last time. Stay in there. Point your toes. Let's do a little lift of the arm so you can circle the leg. Five, four, three, two, and one.

The other way, five, you're still lifted, right? Two, leg going higher each time, four and five, and then put the foot down. Just come all the way up. Switch hands. Bring that knee in other side.

Fist down. That's for me. When I get my position, that solid connection of pushing the hand into the floor, my upper arm is in external rotation. This hand is long, right on my thigh. Now before you lift your leg, press your pelvis forward.

And then here we go, everybody. You're lifting your leg up. Try to get hip height, this arm is straight, flex your foot. And let's lower down, inhale and exhale out and up and lower. So the extra weights now in my arm is, I'm having to press my leg up against those weights, making my leg work just a teeny bit more.

How about you? Not weird. It's just a little extra resistance there. Two more to go. It's kinda nice though, to have a little extra weight holding it down.

Now you're going to extend your foot, arm up in little circles for five, four, when you think of going higher, three, two, one. Reverse, please for five, one. We've got it. We're almost done with class, got five or six more minutes. What else might we do?

Oh, my goodness. Come all the way up. Good. Let's do a little more rolling. Choose some weights if you'd like to or not.

I think I'm going to do my heavy ones again. No, I'm not. No, I'm doing light. I'm gonna do boomerang. Before boomerang, I forgot one, teaser.

Here we go. Let's do teaser before boomerang. Teaser is in boomerang. We know that. We've already done some of the other skills for boomerang, which is the arm work from rowing, but let's enjoy teaser first.

Notice the word choice? Let's enjoy teaser. Alright. It's fine if we let it be. Arms are lifted here.

Let's go ahead and flex back into and onto our sacrum. Find your place where you could just literally float your legs up. And that is our teaser. Now arms should be parallel to the legs of that parallelogram, stomach back and stay there. Smile a little bit.

Just hold your position. Now, lower yourself back toward your higher part of your sacrum and lumbar spine and come back up. Two more times, almost going back, all the way to the lower back and then all up, up, up. I'm still at the very bottom of my tailbone and my sacrum. And then roll, roll, roll to your lower back and come back up, up, up.

We might have to do one more. Roll it back. Keep those heels pressed together. The arms are energetically reaching forward, even though we go backward and roll up. Pause here.

See if you can take your arms higher without falling and then legs. How did it go? I think pretty good. I felt like it went really well. Let's do a couple boomerangs.

Boomerang, cross one leg over the other. Just think you're doing teaser again with a little extra stuff. So you can have your arms like we did for roll up, hands on your legs or arms reaching forward. They don't need to be up. We're just going to have them about here.

Breathe in. Now we didn't do a roll over, did we? We didn't. That's okay. Here it is.

You're gonna roll back hands to the floor, everybody. Take yourself back over head, exchange those legs, not your ankles. It's your inner thighs that are connected like two little braided braids. Roll through your teaser. Reach your hands forward.

You can do some fancy arms or you can simply lower your legs and bring your torso up. I'll do that again. Breathe in. I'm gonna do it this way so I don't kick my plant. And so you're rolling back, your legs come with you, look right up to your legs.

Uncrossed, cross the other way. Don't worry about your ankle so much as your inner thighs and roll through. Come up to your teaser. Now, if you wanted to do some arms, you could bend. You could take them behind you.

There's that rowing exercise. They could come around or you could just do simple like we did. I'll do two more simple. Simple, sometimes with hand weights is all right too. Cross, cross, breathe.

Unroll. Hold that teaser. You're strong. You've got this. Oh, yeah.

Lower the legs. Bring that torso up. There's that rowing position. We've got one more. Hands come down.

Roll yourself back. Get through that lower back. Cross, cross. Inhale. Exhale.

Oh, boy. Good. Lift. And everyone come down. What I'd like us all to do to finish class right now is come please see me Put your weights down.

I've been doing so much of this mobility stretching for hip flexors lately. It's good for everyone. So please just put, unless it's really awful on your knees to cross this way, you can do this here. It's still folded though. So it's just a little different, but I think most of you who are here can do this.

So as you lean back on your hands, just press this hip forward, and just press, press, press. Yeah, we'll just do a real quick version of this. Now I'm gonna have my chest come forward over that front leg and my hands down on the floor. So I'm over this leg. And then just one time, walk your hands as far on that diagonal as you can and let your body come down as low as you can.

Just really enjoy the weight of your body now, just like the weight work in our hands there, it gives you more feedback, more response really, in the stretch of your glute on the leg that's in front of you. Hopefully, you're feeling. Done. Gotta walk up. Let's do just one nice big upper back extension.

We'll do that stretch just real quick on the other side. Yeah. Good. So here it is. Your hands are behind.

You press that hip forward to get some of that quad and hip flexor stretch. And then here's front knee. You're gonna take your hands on the floor in front of that leg, lift your sternum, go up and forward, your hands walk out as far as you can. Let your body go down low on that thigh. Get real heavy.

My voice drop-down is nice. Get really low on the leg. Excellent, you guys. Roll yourself up. We're gonna do one little extra little swan through our upper back, and I think let's put some absolute closure on class today with the feet together.

Once again, in that diamond position. Hands on your legs. I'm pulling with my hands a little on my shins and I'm lifting my hands, lifting my center, my sternum up, round forward over your legs to do the opposite shapes surrounding the spine, but we will do one more, always feeling like we end with an uplifted ness. So once again, all the way tall, take a deep breath and thank you for joining me for another live work out. These are really, really fun.

I really appreciate everybody showing up week after week and see you next week. Next week, I'm breaking down an exercise. So I'm not gonna tell you which exercise I'm choosing, but I'm gonna pick up something from the advanced list and my idea of how I would break that down, whether you were in my class at my studio or in my home or what I would do for myself. So I'm looking at all the elements or many of the elements of how to go from neutral or fundamental up to advanced. It's just my interpretation, but it's kind of fun to do that.

So hope you'll join me for that. As you know, we've got Brett Howard, we've got Girl Time tomorrow with Christine and Mary. We have Sherri Betz, the amazing Sherry on Friday with older population and senior fitness. So we thank you and we'll see you later. Bye everybody.


2 people like this.
 I added 5 lb leg weights and substituted 3&5 lbs weights for arm work, otherwise I stuck with the program. I found her many reformer comments interesting, but I have never been on one. So I just took Amy's word for their relevance to the mat exercises she was teaching. Great class. It went fast. I had fun and feel much better. Thanks again Amy:) 
2 people like this.
Loved this workout! Just what I needed for my arms and back. Thanks Amy! 

Jen U
2 people like this.
Thank you Amy!  I like your clear and concise cueing!
1 person likes this.
Really liked this one Amy, thank you for keeping the workouts coming!
1 person likes this.
On spine stretch forward, really liked the "shoulder blocks behind hips" reference to maintain pelvic stability. it changed that exercise for me - can't wait to use this with clients.
1 person likes this.
Great class. Thank you Amy!
Judith H
1 person likes this.
this was lovely thank you
Gary Carla  Jennifer Joanne BB Etaine judith thank you all!!!  
BB YES.. that can be a real game changer, glad you felt that too!!
Abigail K
1 person likes this.
I did this whole class with 2 lb weights and WHOA BOY. I needed that. Thank you!
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