Class #4244

Spine Mobility

60 min - Class
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Just as important as a strong backbone is a flexible one that can adapt to different situations. In this episode of Plot Twist Pilates with Kira, you will layer the strength you've found in your powerhouse with spinal mobility by safely moving through flexion, extension, and articulation. Kira's continuous flow and detailed cueing will leave you with a deep sense of connection to your spine.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hello everyone. Welcome back or welcome for the first time to "Plot Twist Pilates". This is week two of a six week series. In the first class we focused in on harnessing the energy of our powerhouse in every single exercise. Today, we're gonna layer that with a new point of view, spine mobility.

So you're gonna use your powerhouse in order to mobilize your spine. Let's start off with centering them. So I'm gonna start facing you. You can also start at the base of your mat, so the back of your mat is behind you, but just as a review, start with your feet parallel and together, you can place your hands on your hips and then pivot into a Pilates stance so your toes are about four fingers distance apart. Root down through the ball of your big toe, the small toe and the center of your heels.

Once you do that, your hands have landed on these hip points right here. Feel like you're pulling your hip points up into your navel. So scoop your abdominals in to pull your hip points into your navel. It'll feel like you're pulling your lower abdominals into your lower back. And then from here, feel like you're pulling your navel up the length of your spine until it lands right here at the base of your skull.

So it's creating length from your tailbone all the way to the base of your skull. Your spine is longer, you created a natural traction with your powerhouse. So we're gonna use that powerhouse strength to descend onto the mat. But if you have a history of knee or hip issues, just take a seat and meet us there. So I'm gonna go to the base of my mat now.

You'll start with your feet back in Pilates stance, ground down to the ball of your big toe, the small toe and the center of your heel. And now shift your weight forward a little bit so your hips are over your arches. And then root down through your inner heels, pull your hip points up into your navel which will scoop your lower abdominals into your lower back. Keep lifting your navel up to the base of your skull and feel that length in your spine and the support from your powerhouse. From here, reach your arms forward, like you're trying to touch the wall in front of you and I'm pulling my waist back.

Stack your arms one on top of the other, pull your abs back, your chest is out, your head is up, cross one leg behind the other, last week I did the left so I'm gonna challenge myself and do my more challenging side, my right leg will go back. I think about pressing my head up towards the ceiling and lowering with control. You can use the side of your leg and you'll take a seat on the mat. I'm gonna start off with some fundamentals. So we're gonna start off with the half roll back to start mobilizing your spine.

Bend your knees and place your feet flat. You want your feet and your knees the same distance as these hip points that we already palpated. Take your hands and place them firmly at the backs of your thighs. You'll use your arms' strength to help you lift up onto your sitz bone. So you feel that length in your lower back, the weight of your sitz bones and the tops of your ears reaching up towards the ceiling.

And then curl your tailbone under and start to roll back. I'm trying to pull those hip points all the way to the back end to the mat, tailbone goes to the front edge of the mat. Once you're here, see if you can deepen that scoop in your abdominals, now pretend like your hips just wanna stay where they are but your forehead wants to go over your knees and this will give you a nice stretch in your spine. From here, roll up, lift your spine, curl your tailbone under, I'm pulling my hip bones away from my thighs to initiate the movement. My head is still pressing up towards the ceiling, my tailbone is reaching for the front edge of the mat.

Now pull your navel to the back edge of the mat. See if you can even pull these front ribs back into your back ribs, so they're not popped forward. Now keep pressing your front ribs into your back ribs and round forward, and then roll up nice and tall. One more, lift your spine, curl your tailbone under. Think of trying to get the backs of your hips on the mat first, feel as if your lower back wants to touch the floor.

Your navel tries to touch the back edge of the mat, leave your navel there, round forward, bending at your waist. Notice at the top, I'm not leaning on my legs, I'm creating space. And then from here, roll all the way up. To make it a little more challenging, slide your feet back, try to lift up, curl your tailbone under. Keep using your arms for support like they're springs creating resistance.

Try to get the backs of your hips down, try to get your lower back down. Pull your hip points into your navel, pull your navel back, and then see if you can try to keep your lowest rib on the floor as long as you can, round forward, bring your forehead over your knee, lift your spine and roll up. Two more. Curl your tailbone under and round back. Keep pulling your navel back, tailbone forward. Remember the backs of your hips wanna stay where they are but your upper body wants to round forward.

Sit all the way up. Last one. Lift your spine, curl your tailbone under without slouching. Keep pulling your hip points back and then pull your navel back. Even in keep pulling your waist away from your thighs and then round forward, forehead over your knees, reach your arms in front of you, and then curl your tailbone under, feel like your fingertips wanna reach for the wall in front of you but your waist is trying to touch the wall behind you. Keep reaching forward with your arms, back with your waist, all the way down rest your head, arms go up.

So like I said, we're gonna do a couple of fundamentals. So some of these exercises might feel like review, but just play with me for a second. Take your fingertips and place them in the middle of your chest bone. You'll walk your fingertips down to the bottom of your chest bone and you get to a gap between your ribs. Whenever you do a chest curl or a chest lift, this is where you initiate the bend.

So you lift your head and shoulder blades up from your abs. You don't lift them from your head, okay? So from here, let your hands just rest on your ribs, lengthen out the back of your neck. So it's like a little cervical nod. I'm gonna take a big inhale, as I exhale, I try to bend where my fingertips are and I'll feel my ribs slide down towards my hips, so much that like a pulley system it lifts my head and shoulder blade up.

And then I lower all the way back down. So put some powerhouse into it. Pull your hip points into your navel, pull your navel up to your fingers, take an inhale. As you exhale, start to feel your ribs pull down towards your hips and float your head and shoulder blades up. You know you've crawled up sufficiently when you feel the bottom tips of your shoulder blades on the mat and then lower all the way back down. One more.

Start with your arms down, reach your fingertips to the bottom edge of the mat, pull your navel to the top. Look down the bridge of your nose, now think of pressing your back ribs into the mat to curl your head and shoulder blades up, stay here. Inhale, reach your arms up towards the ceiling without letting your shoulders drop. Exhale, reach your arms forward. Two more. Inhale, pull your hip points into your navel.

Exhale, pull your navel back. You have one more. Inhale, pull your hip points into your navel, arms forward, navel back, rest your head and shoulder blades all the way down. That was mobilizing the top of the spine, let's mobilize the bottom with some pelvic tilts. So you're gonna use your hands for some more kinesthetic awareness. Place your fingertips on those hip points and then use your thumbs to find your lowest rib.

Take an inhale. As you exhale, rock your pelvis back, you'll feel your lower back flat on the floor. Notice how you're shortening the distance between your hip points and your ribs, and you don't need to push your feet into the floor to do that. And then go back into neutral. Let's do a couple more, take an inhale.

As you exhale, feel your ribs slide towards your hip points, your hip points towards your ribs. So you feel equal pressure on both sides of your lower back and then release, go back into neutral. One more. Exhale, curl your head and shoulder blades, not curl your head and shoulder blades, rock your pelvis back so your lower back is flat on the mat and then release, go back into neutral. So we're always gonna refer back to that chest curl and the pelvic curl throughout the class. Let's go into the hand ridge.

Bend your knees into your chest, your heels are together, toes are apart in your Pilates stance. Take a big inhale, here is the chest curl, bend to the bottom of your chest on the curl up. You should only feel the bottom tips of your shoulder blades on the mat. Pull your hip points into your navel to reach your legs forward, arms forward and we pump. Inhale, two, three, four, five, big exhale, two, three, four, five, inhale! Pulling your hip points into your navel and then exhale pulling your navel back.

And again inhale, two, three, four, five, and exhale, two, three, four five. I hope you're counting! Three, four, five and exhale. Two, three, four five. Keep reaching your arms across the room and exhale, two, three, four five. Make sure you're not drifting down, we're done looking up, keep that bend to the bottom of your chest bone.

If you wanna lower your legs, reach them forward and pull your waist back, two, three, four, five. Inhale, two, three, four, five and exhale, two, three, four, five. I think we have two more sets. Two, three, four, five, and exhale. Two, three, four five.

Final one, two, three, four, five, and exhale, two, three, four, five. Please make your legs longer, try to curl up higher, hug your knees into chest, rest your head. All right, we're gonna do some roll-ups. If you have a canvas strap, stick your feet underneath the strap. If not, flex your feet so it looks like you're standing on the wall in front of you and then lie down on your back.

We're gonna start with the arms straight up towards the ceiling. Keep your wrists right over your armpits, slide your armpits down the sides of your body. So I'm activating the muscles here, in the side of my body. My arms will not move. Step one is to do the chest curl.

So in one count, you bend at the bottom of your chest bone. Now you hold here, try to press your lower ribs into the floor, and see if you can lift a couple more vertebra up and then lower all the way back down. And again, bend to the bottom of your chest bone, that's what floats your head and shoulder blades up. Now try to press your ribs down to curl up a little bit higher. You're trying to get your waist on the mat and then lower all the way back down. One more.

Lift your head and shoulder blades up. Now exhale, try to press your waist down and your head up and then lower all the way down. You're gonna take that into the full roll up. So once you're here, flex your feet, reconnect, pull your hip points into your navel and pull your navel to the back and to the mat. Step one, chest curl.

Now dive your head through your arms, to roll up, round forward and find your C-curve, which we practiced at the beginning. As the crown of your head reaches forward, try to pull your lower back away from your head, so your spine is round. Curl your tailbone under and start to roll back one bone at a time. My shoulders stay over my hips, I try to get the backs of my hips on the mat. Try to get your lowest rib on the mat and hold here.

Keep sliding your shoulder blades down your back and then finish rolling all the way down, arms go up. Inhale lift your head and shoulder blades up, press down with your lowest rib round forward and exhale. Inhale, roll to the backs of your hips only. So this roll to the backs of your hips and then exhale, roll down through your spine, arms stay up. Inhale, lift up, press down into the floor.

Use it as leverage to roll up, exhale all the air out. Curl your tailbone under, try to get the backs of your hips on the mat, your shoulders are still trying to go forward and then roll all the way down, arms go up. Gonna roll up one more time. Lift up, press your lowest rib down, round forward. So I'm gonna sit up for a second and tell you something.

I want you to think of the top of your shoulders, the rollback bar on the Cadillac. You are gonna use your abdominals to pull the bar back, okay? So your shoulders wanna stay forward as long as they possibly can. So find your C-curve, try to pull your lower back to the wall behind you, head towards the wall in front of you. Now keep your shoulders where they are as long as you can, let your abdominals pull your shoulders back.

Pull your navel to the back edge of the mat, tailbone to the front edge of the mat, arms go up. We're gonna do three for flow. Inhale, roll up through your spine, exhale, round forward. Inhale, curl, try to find the backs of your hips on the mat, exhale. Inhale, lift up, exhale, round over your hips.

Inhale, roll to the backs of your hips, exhale through your spine. One more. Inhale, roll up, inhaling through your spine, exhale over to the hips. Inhale, roll to the backs of your hip and exhale all the way down. Arms go up, lower your arms by your side, you can bend your knees and place your feet flat. Interlace your fingers behind your left side, pull your knee to the top of your shoulder and then press your thighs forward into a tabletop.

Notice that straighten my arms and that also creates length in the side of my body so I don't hike my hip up. And then if you can, straighten the top leg and the bottom leg. So this exercise is more about stability versus mobility. So press this leg down into the floor, reach this leg up and turn it out. Press your arms firmly into the mat and we go.

Inhale cross, exhale around and lift. Cross to the right, down around to the left and center. Cross, pull your hip points into your navel to help you with stability. Cross, exhale around and lift. One more. Reverse the circle, pull your hip points into your navel, swing your leg around and again, open.

Using your right leg and your arms to help your powerhouse with stability. Three more. Exhale. Final one. And then from here, hug that knee into your chest. You can place that foot down, interlace your fingers behind your other side, pull your knee in, press your leg forward into a tabletop, extend your leg up. I didn't tell you, for the last repetition, if you need to keep this foot flat on the mat, do that if it's hard to keep both legs straight.

So if you can flag this leg straight and press your leg down, as this leg reaches up and turns out in its socket. And then as you press your left leg down, press your arms down and we go. Inhale cross, exhale around and lift. Inhale cross, exhale around and lift. So if you need to, you bend the knee.

Exhale around and lift. Two more. And then you reverse. Just keep scooping your powerhouse, pulling your hip points into your navel and pulling your navel to the back edge of the mat. Last two. Final one, and then hug that knee into your chest.

We're gonna transition into rolling like a ball with a roll up. Start with your legs extended and your feet pointed this time, reach your arms up towards the ceiling. As your arms go up, feel your ribs get heavy, feel your chest bone heavy. Without letting your ribs float off the mat, test to see how far back your arms can go. So my lowest ribs stays down and I'm gonna reach my arms up.

Lift your head and shoulder blades up, keep pulling your hip point into your navel to roll up and round forward, finding your C-curve. Remember the C-curve and then roll all the way up to a tall seating position, rolling like a ball. So we're gonna do a modified version first and we're gonna pay attention to massaging or rolling on your lower back first. So place your feet in Pilates stance, heels together toes apart, lift your hips, find that pelvic tilt, tuck your tailbone and then your tailbone goes right behind your heels. Remember when you did a pelvic tilt, you shorten the distance between your hip points and your ribs.

Round your spine and then grab the backs of your thighs and lift your feet up. Take a second to just push your feet down and pull your hip points away from your thighs. Push your thighs down and pull your hip points back. Notice how my spine is not straight. My shoulders stay forward, it's my waist and lower abdominals that go back.

Now you're just gonna roll to your lowest rib and come back up. Do a pelvic tilt, lift your tailbone up and then roll back up. And again, roll back, push your thighs into your hands. Notice my elbows don't stretch and bend, I maintain the tension. Let's do three more, massage the lowest part of your back, massage the lowest part of your back, tailbone goes up and then come back. One more.

Roll back, roll up and find your balance. Place your feet down. Circle your arms and grab your ankles. Now use your arm strength to pull your heels closest to you. So Dale talked about moving your spine like a wheel.

So when I think about it, I think about a tire, if you have like a deflated tire it would look like this, but if you were to inflate it you would use your powerhouse, lift up and curve. So there's a lot of dynamic energy in this ball shape. To initiate the rollback, do a pelvic tilt, shorten the distance between your hip points and your ribs. To come up, press your front ribs into the mat and roll. And again, roll back, lift your tailbone up and then dive your head forward.

And again, roll back, dive your shoulders towards your knees to come up. Three more. Inhale, roll back, press your front ribs down to come up. Last two. Tailbone goes up, notice your heels stay close to your butt. Final one, roll back, keep your heels at your tailbone to come up.

Good. Find your balance. Place your feet down, hands go behind you, slide back until your legs are straight, round your spine. Find that C-curve where your lower back is trying to touch the wall behind you, head the wall in front of you. And then starting or imagining that roll back bar, pull the roll back bar with your abdominals. Roll all the way down, trying to keep my shoulders over my hips as long as possible and then you rest.

Next is the series of five, which is all about that chest curl. So let's start by hugging your right knee into your chest, holding onto your right ankle with your right hand, left hand below your knee, pull your knee in and slide your shoulders away from your ears. And then find your chest curl, pressing your back ribs into the mat to lift up, lift your bottom leg up to your desired height but the most important thing is your ability to maintain the scooping your powerhouse. And then you scoop, hip point into your navel and pull the opposite knee in. Scoop and pull, scoop and pull, scoop and reach, good! Make sure you're still bending at the bottom of your chest bone, that you feel the bottom tips of your shoulder blade on the mat.

The more you reach that straight leg forward, the easier it is to pull your waist back and curl up a little higher. And I lost count, of course. One more step. And then hug your knees in, rest your head and shoulder blades. Double leg stretch is tricky because when you start moving your arms it's easy to lose the chest curl. So let's play with that.

Hold onto your ankles, pull your knees into your chest, now as you exhale, press your back ribs into the floor, curl up, find the bottom tips of your shoulder blades. Inhale, reach your arms and legs up. Now when you reach up, can you crawl up higher between your arms like we did earlier. Open your arms out to the side, bend your knees and hug them in. And again inhale, reach your arms and legs away from one another, crawl up between your arms, circle, exhale.

Inhale to reach, circle, exhale, inhale and reach, circle, exhale. Inhale, pull your hip points into your navel, exhale, two more. Inhale, reach, circle, exhale. Final one. Reach and exhale, rest your head and shoulder blade all the way down. Alright, single straight leg.

Extend your right leg up towards the ceiling, hold up as high as you can, extend your other leg to 45 degrees. Feel this leg reach across the room so much it drops your tailbone and allows you to lift up and then you pull that leg closer to you. Lift, pull your leg towards you with your powerhouse and then you pull twice, pull, pull, scoop. Pull, pull, scoop, pull, pull, (groans) pull, pull, good! Are you losing the chest curl? To increase the chest curl, reach your legs across the room, drop your tailbone and try the curl up higher.

And pull, pull, and pull, pull, navel in, pull, pull, one more set, pull, pull, and pull, pull. Hug your knees in, rest your head. Double straight leg. This series kicks my butt. All right, so now you're gonna stack your hands one on top of the other behind your head. In order to connect to your back, I like to lift my elbows off the mat a little bit, I feel like I'm sliding my arm pits down the sides of my body, so I feel connected here.

And then pull your hip points into your navel, crawl your head and shoulder blades up and then try to curl up a little bit higher. Legs go up towards the ceiling. Reach your legs forward and down and then exhale. Press these front ribs down to help you maintain the chest curl. Inhale, reach your legs forward and down.

Big exhale, press these ribs down. Inhale, reach forward and down. Feel like you're rolling up into a teaser, three more, we can do it! Inhale, reach, and then exhale press your front rib down. Make sure your shoulder blades don't drop down to the mat, I feel mine wanting to. Exhale, lift. Final one, inhale, reach and then exhale, bend your knees. (groans) Okay, last one is crisscross.

So we're rotating our spine for the first time. So keep your knees in, stack your hands behind your head. Once again, lift your elbows up, activate your back. So connect your arms to your back and then connect to your abs by pulling your hip points into your navel. Press here or bend here, crawl up.

Try to crawl up a little bit higher, straighten your right leg. Now, crawl up and rotate your right ribs to your left inner thigh and then lift to center and rotate. Try to get these ribs on that inner thigh and then lift and switch, lift and switch, rotating the ribs, and switch, one more set. Good! Hug your knees in, rest your head. That one's my least fave.

All right, so for me here, straighten your legs again, reach your arms up, when your arms go up, feel the weight of your ribs sink, feel your lower abdominal sink and then reach your arms back, keeping the weight of your ribs in your lower abs. We're gonna roll up. So your arms go up, make those goalposts with your arms. As soon as you lift up, pull your hip points into your navel. Keep pulling your hip points back, dive your head forward through your arms, round forward and then roll all the way up.

Ready for spine stretch. Separate your legs, so they're a little bit wider than your mat. We're gonna do it the way Joe did it in "Return To Life". So your fingertips will go on the mat between your inner thighs. Lift your powerhouse by pulling your hip points into your navel.

Take that lift and lean forward a little bit, so now you're really in your powerhouse. And then lower your chin to your chest, round forward, press the heels of your hands onto the floor. Feel like you're bending where you did for that chest curl. Lift that point up to the top of the wall behind you and then slide your hands further forward. Pull your navel to the top of the wall behind you, slide your hands even further forward, pull your hip points into your navel, press the backs of your thighs down, roll all the way up, exhale.

Lift your spine, chin to your chest, round forward. Notice this is not a hinge with a head drop. I'm really trying to pull my front ribs into my back ribs. So I have my hands further forward, armpits down the sides of my body. I slide my hands down a little bit further.

Press your thighs down, lift your powerhouse to roll up. Two more with some flow. Inhale, lift, exhale round forward, round forward a little bit more, round forward and lift that waist up and then pull your lowest rib back over your hips to roll all the way up. One more lift, tend to your chest round forward and then round forward a little bit more. Stay on your butt bones, hold here.

Drop your sitz bones, pull your hip points into your navel and then press your front ribs into your back ribs. Press your thighs down, roll all the way up and exhale. Now we're going to another rolling exercise, we're gonna do open led rocker. We're gonna do a modification first. So bend your knees, place your feet flat.

This will look familiar because your hands will go to the backs of your thighs instead of slouching like that deflated tower, I'm gonna fire up my arms by pressing my hands into my thighs, scoop my powerhouse and prop myself up. My head is trying to press up towards the ceiling and then do that same pelvic curl. But notice how my shoulders didn't go anywhere. I'm trying to scoop all this back, trying to round, become a concave in my front ribs and concave in my lower abdominals. Keep scooping, walk your feet closer to you and notice how I roll backwards to the back of my tailbone.

I did not lean back or arch. Keep pushing your thighs down into your hands and try to pull your front ribs into your back ribs and tuck your tailbone under more. Find that pelvic tilt. Deepen your pelvic tilt, float your feet up, this is home base. I'm pushing my thighs forward and pulling my ribs back instead of going here, so round.

So now when you roll back, think of doing a pelvic tilt lift your tailbone up, push your thighs up into your hands and then push your thighs forward to come up, I went a little too far. And again, roll back, push your thighs up, look forward to the front edge of the mat and then come back up. And again, round back, push your hands up into your thighs and come back up. Two more. Pelvic curl, and then come back up. One more. Start with the pelvic curl instead of throwing your shoulders back, come all the way up and find your balance.

From here, scoop deeper, extend your legs if that's available to you, you can also do the exercise the way we just did it. Transition your hands to your ankles. Keep pulling your hip points away from your thighs. Pull your lowest rib to the back edge of the mat, relax your shoulder. Lower your gaze, I'm gonna look at the front edge of the mat the whole time, that's the goal, pelvic curl.

Roll back, I'm looking for the front edge of the mat and then I pull my ribs down to come back up. (groans) And again, roll back and then exhale, press your front ribs down to come back up. And again, tuck your tailbone, and roll back and then press your front ribs into the floor to come up. And again, roll back. Find your rib cage down on the floor, then your lower back. Last one, roll back, press your front ribs down to come up.

From here, you go into your teaser. Same shape, bring your legs together. Haul your front ribs into your back ribs, pull your lower abdominals into your lower back. Once you find that, you can let go and reach for your teaser and then you can place your hands at the backs of your thighs again, walk your hands down your legs, slide all the way down, bend your knees, place your feet flat, press your arms by your side, opening up your chest like chest expansion. My knees and feet are together.

We're gonna set up for a corkscrew by doing a little spine rotation here. Ground your ribs, but let your knees drift off to the right. So it's not like a big old twist. I'm trying to stabilize my ribs and mobilize from the waist down. And then exhale, pull these lower abdominals into the mat to bring my legs back.

Other side with control, I lower my knees, take a second to feel the weight of your knees and the chest expansion of your arms, exhale, pull your right lower abdominals into the mat to return your legs. Other direction, ground the back of your left ribs. Let your knees be heavy. Exhale, press your arms down, pull your left, lower abdominal into the floor to return. Inhale, roll your knees and then exhale and return your legs.

Good, from here, bring your knees into your chest a little bit, press them together, find that chest expansion. We're gonna do pelvic curls here but trying not to use momentum of our legs to lift our hips. Instead, round your lower back into the mat shortening the distance between your hip points and your ribs, and then drop your tailbone down. And again, press your arms down, curl your tailbone up, like your tailbone is trying to point up to your knee creases and then lower all the way down. Last one. Notice how you're rotating your pelvis around your thighs and your lower abdominal should be on fire and then go back into neutral.

Legs go up towards the ceiling. If you need to slightly bend them, slightly bend them, but you want your tailbone heavy in your neutral pelvis. Press your arms down now, now pelvic curl, try to drive your lower back down into the floor, lift your tailbone up, notice I'm not using momentum and then drop your tailbone down. Two more. I'm gonna do it with slightly bent knees. Round your lower back down, press your arms down and then go back into neutral. One more.

At tail press your arms down, find your pelvic tilt, you have equal pressure on both sides of your lower back. I tend to favor my left side and then go back into neutral, hug your knees into your chest for a second. So we're gonna do corkscrew and we're gonna layer it. Okay? So first we're going to start off basic. Reach your legs up towards the ceiling, pull your hip points into your navel, navel to the back edge of the mat.

I like to do it in Pilates stance. Let's just start with our legs going to the right. They go to the right side of the mat and then I pull my hit points into the navel, swing my legs around and return center. One more. Go to the left, now pull your navel to the back edge of the mat, as your legs go to the bottom edge of the mat, center. Now press your arms down, curl your tailbone up, lower down, and then circle your legs around.

And again, try to curl your tailbone up, lower your tailbone down and then circle. One more set. Curl your tailbone up, now try to keep your heels glued together, I was not doing that, press your heels together and center. Final one. Curl your tailbone up and then circle your legs around and up to center. Hug your knees into your chest, rock yourself up to seated, for spine rotation from the waist up. Then now separate your legs as wide as the mat, pull your hip points up into your navel, feel that length in your lower back and you're not sinking.

Feel like you're pressing the ceiling away with the crown of your head and then your arms go out to the side. Even here, pull your lower abdominals back and try to pull these front ribs into your back ribs, so your spine is stuck. Let's just do some rotation first. Lift your spine, rotate your ribs to the left, but feel like your hips are going to the right. And then see if you can twist a little bit more and then return center.

Let's go the other direction, pull your hip points into your navel and then rotate. Try to get your hips to go to the left as your ribs go to the right, like you're wringing out a towel, and then center. So now you're gonna twist to the left, your ribs go to the right. Twist to your maximum amount. And then round forward, pinky finger goes to your pinky toe.

Try to rotate your right ribs to your left inner thigh, press your left arm to the back right corner of your mat and lift it up. Drop your right hip into the mat to come all the way up and center. As your ribs rotate to the right, your hips go to the left. Round forward, hold here. Keep rotating your ribs and lifting that back arm to the back left corner of the mat and then roll all the way up and center.

Lift to twist, round forward, you reach your right arm forward and pull your right hip to the back edge of the mat. Roll all the way up and center. Lift to twist, round forward, pull your left hip to the back edge of the mat, your left arm goes forward, roll up and center. Lift to twist, your right arm goes to the front left corner, your left arm goes to the back right corner, roll all the way up and center. Final one, lifted twist, left arm goes to the right front corner, right arm goes to the back left corner, roll all the way up and center.

All right, let's get some extension in our life. When we're doing extension we're thinking about avoiding cranking into our lower back and instead finding our extension in the exact opposite point where we did our chest curl. So think about bending from the same space. So let's start off on our stomachs. If you have the dowels like me, you can place your hands on the dowels.

And no matter which mat you're on, you want your arms at 90 degree angles, so they're like goalposts. So look to the side, your elbows should be in line with your shoulders and your wrist should be in line with your elbows. The tip of your nose hovers above the floor. First let's connect the powerhouse. Pull your hip points into your navel, pull your navel to the front edge of the mat and think about what sensation that created.

For me, it lengthened my lower back and took me out of compression. Now at the same time, either press your hands down into your mat and pull your armpits and your triceps back, or push the dowels forward and do the same. Now, think of sliding your chest bone forward and up, but I want you to think more of forward. If you have the dowels you're gonna push the dowels beside your armpits back. If you have just a mat, you're gonna press down and pull your chest forward while dragging your triceps back.

And then reach your chest forward and lower. So locate that spot at the bottom of your chest bone and try to bend from there. Scoop your powerhouse, feel the length in your lower back. Keep pulling your hip points to the front edge of the mat and peel your chest forward and up, notice I keep saying the word forward, and then lower all the way back down. This time, you can go up a little higher.

So pull your hip points into your navel, pull your navel up, now you can push down into your hand and come all the way up to straight arms if that's comfortable for you. You just wanna make sure you don't do this, cause that's just me dumping into my lower back. So I'm reaching my tailbone towards my heels, lifting my hip points to the top of the wall and then lower all the way down. Last one we'll add the neck roll. Slide your armpits down the sides of your body, pull your chest forward enough, like your chest is sliding up the wall in front of you, keep lifting your hip points up, tailbone down.

Look over your right shoulder, find your heels. Chin goes into your throat, look over your left shoulder and then center. Look over your left shoulder, find your heels. Chin into your throat, look over your right shoulder, center, now lift your powerhouse more, lower all the way back down. Alright, so now we're gonna do another exercise before we go into single leg kick and double leg kick.

So with your hand stack one on top of the other, and this is just to practice accessing butt and hamstrings, instead of lower back in order to lift your legs up. So you start with your leg long and straight. I'll pull my hip points into my navel, and my navel up to my thumbs. Touch your toes under like you're doing a push up and straighten your leg. Send your sitz bones and your tailbone towards your heels and pull your hip points up into your navel.

Hopefully you feel your butt and your hamstrings, I already do. Make sure your legs are straight. Feel like your tailbone is reaching back. Now all you have to do is release your toes and hopefully you feel your butt and your hamstrings but you're not cranked into your lower back and then lower. And again, tuck your toes under.

I'm gonna straighten my knees while trying not to dampen my back. I reach my tailbone towards my heels, I pull my hip points into my navel and then I keep all this fired up just to extend my leg and then lower all the way down. All right, from here we're gonna go into single leg kick and double leg kick. Make fists exactly where your hands were, all you have to do is lift your head up and do one to twin powers activate. Push your fists down, lift yourself up, I slid my elbows in a little bit so there's a width of the mat.

The bend is at the bottom of my chest bone and I'm dragging my chest forward and up and pulling my triceps back. Keep pulling your hip points forward, you have the option to lift both legs up or you can do it with one leg down, I'm gonna do this version first. You'll pull your right heel to your seat and then you try to pull it in closer. As you reach it back, pull your chest forward and up. Other side, pull your heel to your seat and then you pull it in closer and you lengthen it back, so it's not a whack whack, you wanna activate your hamstrings.

So now if you want to lift both thighs up, make sure you're in your glutes and your hamstrings, you pull it in, pull it in closer, lengthen it away. Pull it in, pull it in closer, hip points forward and up. Pull it in, pull it in closer and lengthen. Last one, reach, lower everything down. Next is double leg kick.

So you're gonna add rotation to your neck, try to get your whole left ear on the mat, stack your hands on your lower back for today. Instead of letting your elbows drift down, pull your shoulder blades together so your arms are parallel to the floor and slide your shoulders away from your ears. You're gonna reach your tailbone back, pull your heels to your butt and then pull them in even closer without dumping into your lower back and then pull them in closer. Lower your feet, now you're gonna find that extension that we just did, squeeze your shoulder blade, reach back, trying to keep your arms close to your body. So notice I'm bending at the bottom of my chest bone, pressing my triceps up.

Other ear goes on the mat. I pull my heel to my seat three times, three, two, one, that's all butt and hamstrings. I lower down scoop my powerhouse, and then slide you're armpits down the side of your body, bend to the bottom of your chest bone and reach your tailbone back. Now we flow, kick for three, two, one. If you want, you can press your thighs up and your chest forward.

Other side, three, two, one. Thighs up, chest forward. Final set. Three, two, one, thighs press up, reach your legs back, chest forward. Final one, three, two, one, and then reach, find the opposition. Reach your tailbone back, chest forward and up, press your arms up.

Lower all the way down, child's pose, those are punishing, around your back, instead of collapsing your ribs onto your side, like I just did, so you can push your hands down and round your spine. Drop your sitz bones towards your heels, lift your front ribs into your back ribs and then roll all the way up. Everyone's fave is next, neck pull. My personal fave, not really. So I'm gonna use the strap again.

You wanna separate your legs, so they're hip width apart and flex your feet. If you do not have a strap, you really wanna think of reaching through your feet. Just take a second to feel like you're reaching your inner heels forward and pulling your pinky toes back. You're pulling the soles of your feet back instead of just curling your toes back. So you're literally standing on the wall, this is me stalling but here we go.

So you'll lie all the way down on your back, I'm gonna have you stack your hands one on top of the, sorry, interlace your fingers for this, and then place your hands at the back of your head and then squeeze the bones behind your ears and try to traction your own neck. So I'm gonna sit up, just so you get a better visual, I interlace my fingers, I grab the bones behind my ears and squeeze them. And then I lengthen my neck up inside my armpits down, okay? So feet back in strap. So from here you squeeze traction and as you pull your head back, reach your tailbone through your heels, hip points into your navel.

We're gonna do with your elbows up. Start to curl up, just like we did the roll up. Press your lowest rib into the floor, round forward. Come all the way up to a seated position, lift your spine. Open your elbows by squeezing your shoulder blades.

Point your elbows forward. Squeeze those bones and lift your head up. Now this should be like the first exercise we did. Shoulders try not to move, I'll lift and curl my tailbone under and I pull each vertebrae to the back edge of the mat while I lift or traction my neck up to the top of the wall or the ceiling, and then open your elbows out to the side. Traction your neck, elbows point up.

Feel like you're pulling your head back, pulling your waist back, reaching your tailbone forward and then round forward, top of your head goes to your knees. Drop your sitz bones, pull your lowest mid back to roll up to a seated position. Squeeze your shoulder blades to open up your chest. Elbows go forward. Use your hands to lift your head up and create traction.

Within that space in your spine, curl your tailbone under. Now I'm pressing my front ribs to the back edge of the mat, as my elbows are trying to touch the wall in front of me. So you feel all that work here, and then open. Two more with a little bit more flow. Elbows go up and then roll up and exhale round forward.

Roll all the way up, squeeze your shoulder blades open, elbows forward, lift your spine, curl your tailbone under. Keep sending your elbows forward, ribs back and then open. One more, elbows and then roll up, top of your head forward. Think of your spine stretched forward, drop your sitz bones, roll all the way up, squeeze your shoulder blades, elbows back, now create that length, and with that length, curl your tailbone under, press these front ribs all the way to the back edge of your mat, as your tailbone reaches for the front edge of your mat. And you did it! Now we go on the side kicks.

So you're gonna turn onto your left side, line the left side of your body up with the back edge of your mat. Create a standing position. So my heels are pointing to the bottom corner, my head, the top corner, this top hand goes right in front of my waist and it's reminder to scoop in and up. Lean into that hand a little bit, pull your shoulder blades together. You're this hand cups the back of your head and like neck pull, it creates a traction.

So I'm lengthening my head away from my feet, lift my legs up, my legs go forward and they go down. Keep your tailbone in line with the mat so you're not tucking. Then today we're gonna externally rotate and find Pilates stance. Keep reaching the top hip away from the armpit the whole time. Then once you lift your leg up, you'll swing it twice to the front.

So you take it forward, take it forward a little bit more, and then reach past the bottom edge of your mat and immediately pull your abs into your lower back and press it back, hold, should feel those same muscles that we practiced lying down on your stomach. It's your butt and your hamstrings that are extending that leg back. Now we play, ready? Two to the front. One, two, now big scoop, find your butt and your hamstrings to press your leg back.

And again, one, two, exhale, scoop and use your butt and your hamstring. And again, lift your spine, feel this traction, I'm pulling my head back and reaching my leg long. And again kick, two, and then lengthen, pull your hip points into your navel. Final one, kick, two, and then reach it back and hold it back. Can you scoop so much that you feel the effort in your butt and your hamstring and in your lower abdominals?

And then traction your neck even more, stack your legs one on top of the other. Keep leaning into this hand to open the chest, make this hop kick reach away from your armpits to lift your leg up. Does not matter how high, but you don't wanna roll back or rotate your spine. And then from this hip, reach your hip away from your armpit to lower. And again, you lengthen it, so you lift it from your powerhouse and then lower it all the way down.

And again, lengthen to lift, lengthen to lower, lengthen to lift, lengthen to lower. Two more. Final one. Once your leg is down, make sure you keep this hip long. We're gonna do five small circles in each direction.

Circle it front, up and back. Two, the size of a softball, four and five, stack your legs. Make that top leg longer and then circle it again. As you circle, you keep reaching past that bottom leg, four and five, stack your legs. Reach that leg long, lift it from your powerhouse, bend your knee and place your foot in front of you.

I grabbed the back of my ankle and put it down. Instead of letting this knee collapse, I tried to turn my foot onto a Pilates stance and press my knee up. That helps lengthen my top hip away from my armpit and use your hand to traction your neck. And then lift your bottom leg up, feel like you're squeezing both inner thighs together and then lower. And again, lengthen to lift, pull your hip points into your navel and then lower, you have three more.

Press down with the front foot, up with the bottom leg, so heavy it feels, and then lower. Last two. Lengthen the lift, keep tractioning your head and then lower all the way down. One more. Lengthen to lift and then lower all the way down, stack your legs one on top of the other, good. You can flex your feet, make sure you reach your top hip away from your armpit, pull your hip points into your navel. Press the backs of your upper inner thighs together and try to lift both legs up and then lower.

It's almost like my bottom leg is lifting my top leg up. So use that bottom inner thigh and then lower. This time we're gonna transition into heel beats. So lift your legs up, hold them up. Now remember you're gonna recruit your butt and your hamstrings, stack your hands one on top of the other, pause here.

Pull your hip points into your navel, navel to your thumbs, tailbone reaches past the bottom edge of your mat. Beat your inner thighs 10 times, 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Lower. Sit back on your heels, round your spine, I'm gonna continue facing you but I'm gonna go on my right side. Once again, line your spine up with the back edge of the mat, find that standing position from your heels to the crown of your head, instead of having your hands here and dumping into your neck, you cup the back of your head and traction it like we did for neck pull. This arm goes right in front of you, you press it into the floor, lift your legs up.

Your tailbone stays on the back edge of the mat as your legs go to the front edge. Find your Pilates stance, point your top foot and reach this hip away from your armpit the whole time. Kick twice to the front, kick, kick. Now as you swing it, reach it past the bottom edge of the mat find that butt and hamstring and press your leg back, pull your hip points into your navels so you feel your lower abs. And again, kick, kick, lengthen it back.

And again, kick, kick and press it back. Swing it twice to the front and then lengthen it back. Three more. Last two. Find the length in your leg and the length in your hip. This time you're gonna hold your leg back.

Make sure it's still parallel to the floor, reach this hip away from your armpit. Use your butt and your hamstring to press your leg back, pull your lower abdominals back, make this leg longer and then stack your legs one on top of the other. From your waist, lengthen your leg and lift it up. Now feel like your toes wanna stay on the ceiling but your hip pushes it all the way back down. And again, lengthen to lift, toes wanna stay there, move your hip away from your armpit. Three more.

Lengthen the lift, feel like you're lifting your bottom leg up to meet your top leg as you lower. Last two. Lengthen and lower. Final one. Reach and then tracks in your neck create length going into five small circles, front, up and back, two and three and four and five, pause, find the length here again and reverse, back around. And two, stable hips, three and four and five. Lift your leg up, bend your knee, press your foot into the floor, press your knee up towards the ceiling.

Lift your bottom leg up, you can let your foot relax. Just focus on working from your inner thigh and then lower. As your leg goes up try to squeeze both inner thighs together and then lower. You have three more. Lengthen, now reach that leg long, and traction your neck away from the reach of your hip and then lower. Two more. Lengthen to lift, lengthen it to lower.

Final one. Lengthen to lift. You're squeezing both inner thighs together and then lower, stack your legs one on top of the other. Flex your feet. Hand goes right in front of your waist, that's your reminder to scoop. Find the length in the back of your neck, hug your midline, or squeeze the backs of your upper inner thighs, lift your legs up, lengthen them away from you and lower.

You have two more. Lengthen to lift, pressing the backs of your upper inner thighs together and lower. Final one. Lengthen to lift. Keep your legs up, reach your tailbone towards your heels, as you flip over you don't have to do more heel beats, lower your legs, sit back on your heels, round your spine. All right, so now we get to play with teaser.

We're gonna do them a few ways. And then you're going to start lying down on your back with your knees bent, feet flat. We did it this way last week, so this is a great review before we progress. So remember, you don't want your feet too close to your butt cause that's impossible. So it's a long bend in my knees, I press the backs of my upper inner thighs together.

I reach my arms forward, so they are parallel to my side the entire time. Start with your chest curl. You bend to the bottom of your chest bone, pause here. Pull your hip points up into your navel and then just float up on a diagonal. So you find that same round position of your spine, Kind of like you're rolling like a ball, right?

And then from here, I'm gonna keep reaching forward and up with my arms down and back with my ribs. My arms stay parallel to my thighs. And again, press the backs of your upper inner thighs together, chest curl, bend at the bottom of your chest bone, scoop your powerhouse, pulling your hip points into your navel, pull your hip points to the back edge of the mat, float your arms up, gaze and looking above your fingertips. Keep reaching for the top of that wall and pull your rings to the bottom of the wall behind you. Lower all the way back down.

One more just like this. Find your chest curl, now remember how we did the roll up, feel your lowest rib press into the floor and then lift up, good! Now from here, pull your hips pointing to your navel, lift your waist, lift your arms up, keep your arms up, pull your hip points to the back edge of the mat. Roll all the way down and rest. Alright so let's advance this a little bit. Hug your knees into your chest.

Rock up to a seating position. So we did a whole bunch of stuff where we started rounding back without leaning back in our shoulders but focusing on mobilizing the lowest part of our spine. So start with your legs together. You can place your hands next to your thighs or your hips, lift your spine and start to just curl your tailbone under. That's all I want you to do.

And as my tailbone curls under, I'm sending my legs forward and I'm gonna sit all the way back over my sitz bones. Notice, I do not initiate with my shoulders. Lift your spine, pull your hip bones to the back end to the mat, you can push down with your hands. Pull your hip bones back and then float your legs up from your lower abdominals, hold here. Reach your arms forward.

Now try to reach past your toes and come all the way back to a seating position. And then place your hands next to your hips again, you can gently press down, now lift your spine and curl your tailbone under like we started neck pull, push your hands down and forward, as you pull your lower abdominals down and back to float your legs up. Then lead your arms forward. Keep pulling your abs back, reach so far forward you come all the way back to a seating position. One more. Hand gone next to you.

Make sure you're not here, see how my shoulders are at my ears. Bend your elbows, they point slightly behind you, as I press down, I press my armpits down the sides of my body. I feel like I'm pushing the mat down and forward and pulling my abs down and back. So final one. Lift up, curl your tailbone under, find your teaser.

Now keep reaching past your toes and pulling your lower abdominals back. And then from here, roll all the way down and we'll do one teaser from the floor. So once you're here, reach your arms up towards the ceiling, feel the weight of your ribs sink into the floor. Pull your hip points up into your navel. As your arms go back, your navel follows it.

Make sure your ribs are still there. Now reach your arms up towards the ceiling like we did the roll up. This time when you curl up, reach your arms forward on the diagonal like we just practiced with teaser. Now pull your abs down and back, float your legs forward and up. Find your teaser.

Hold, hold, hold, transition into your seal. Bend your knees, arms go on the insides of your legs, hold onto the outer edges of your feet. You press your legs into your arms and your arms back into your legs. Once again, how round can you make your spine? So you have something to roll on.

Make sure you're not thrusting your ribs forward through your legs. Now you think of initiating with a pelvic tilt and you come back up with a chest curl. No clapping, just roll back. Now press your front ribs into the floor and come back up. One more like that.

Roll back and then press your front ribs down to come up. Now, once you're here, keep the roundness of your spine and then you gotta clap three times, three, two, one. Pelvic curl initiates the roll. Roll back, clap, three, two, one. Roll up, clap, three, two one.

Tuck your tailbone under to roll back. Tuck your tailbone when you come up, three, two, one. Last one, you can come up to standing if you want, crossing your ankles come all the way up and bring your feet into Pilates stance. So now I turn around, facing other edge into my mat, find your Pilates stance again. Root down to the ball of your big toe, the small toe and your inner heels, as you pull your hip points up into your navel, navel lifts the back of your head up towards the ceiling, so there's natural traction from your tailbone to the crown of your head.

Lean your weight forward so your hips are over your ankles. And then as your arms reach forward, pull your front ribs back, like when we were lying down our backs, we felt the weight of our ribs when our arms went up. Channel your spine, stretch forward, lift your spine, chin goes to your chest. As you try to get your nose in your lowest rib, reach your arms forward and pull those lower abdominals back. Keep pulling those lower abdominals back and then pull your lower abdominals back to roll all the way up and then reach your arms up.

And again, meet your arms forward, pull your hip points into your navel, lower your chin to your chest. lift your hip points up into your navel, round your upper back, think of like a candy cane shape. Keep lifting your waist and then roll all the way up. Arms go up. This time we're gonna roll down to a front support. So reach your arms forward, now dive your head through your arms and continue rolling down.

My feet (indistinct) my arm. I plant my hands firmly into the mat, even if that means you need to bend your knees. Regard the skill, the three corners of your feet, press your inner heels into one another, Lift your inner thighs into your powerhouse. I push the floor down to find that C-curve, it should look like the roll up or the push down on the Wunda chair, right? You have four counts to walk out, so walk your hands forward.

Once you arrive, pull your hip points into your navel, navel to the front edge of the mat. Slide your armpits down the sides of your body. Keep pushing the floor away and lift your front ribs into your back ribs. And then dive your nose into your ribs and then walk your hands back. If you need to bend your knees, bend your knees, and find the three corners of your feet.

Zip your inner thighs together and lift your lower abdominals. And then drop your tailbone down and roll up. Try to keep your ears between your arms, pull your waist back, press your hips forward. Waist back, hips forward, arms go up towards the ceiling. One more. Lower your arms, chin to your chest, lift your waist as you round forward.

Try to plant your hands on the mat even if you have to bend your knees, push down with your hands, lift your front ribs into your back. Walk your hands forward, find your powerhouse, hip points into your navel, navel forward. Slide your armpits down the side of your body and then dive your nose into your weight, lift your ribs up, walk your hands back and then push the floor away with your arms and your feet and then drop your tailbone. Keep your ears between your arms, I'm pressing my hips forward and pulling my ribs back. I come all the way up to standing, reconnect to my feet, my powerhouse, I grow six inches longer as my arms open to the side and lower all the way down.

Thank you guys for joining me. I hope I will see you next week, next Wednesday. Enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you.

Plot Twist Pilates with Kira: with Kira Lamb

Comments

2 people like this.
Kira, you're awesome! I'm new to Pilates and was able to follow along because of your great instruction.
1 person likes this.
I really enjoyed this Kira! Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Love the cueing, Kira you're a terrific teacher. Thank you!


1 person likes this.
Your instruction is perfection 👌🏻 Great class!
1 person likes this.
That was amazing!!!! Thank you, Kira!!!
2 people like this.
Kira, you’re my new favorite teacher! So many of your cues show me new ways to be stronger and more precise, truly amazing. Thanks so much—stay safe and please keep teaching us! 🌟
Cathy Well that just put a smile on my face! I'm so happy you were able to follow along.
Jessica Thank YOU!
mandy  Thank you!
Rebecca Thank you :)
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