Class #4442

Shoulder Girdle Carriage

50 min - Class


In class three of Mechanics and Metaphors, Rachel Taylor Segel will focus on your shoulder girdle as she guides you through a challenging Pilates workout. By detailing the placement and movement, she’ll bring precision to your practice and help you understand the effects your shoulders have on your spine, arms, and abdominals. Get ready to create a powerful upper back that fires up your powerhouse and meet us on the Mat!
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Welcome back, everyone. Me and my friend Sharena are going to be doing the intermediate advanced mat today with the focus on the upper back, back at the shoulders and what it gives you in easy exercises and more advanced exercises. So today we'll start lying down and we'll do a couple of those fundamental kind of movements that get to warm you up and bring your mind to places. So we're gonna start with just arm circles, palms face each other from your hips. They rise up to the ceiling and behind you and they circle palms to the ceiling.

And then they come back to your hips which is a really nice shoulder movement. So as you move, sometimes when we do these kinds of movements, we like to keep our arms separate. Today, picture how your humeral head touches the outside edge of your blade against the mat. And so you're moving your blades around. Of course the mat restricts you.

So you're not gonna, one more, let's say and then let's reverse four times. So you're not gonna move them much but they'll tone up the muscles that work them will tone up. So you start to feel your upper back against whatever surface you're lying on. You can start to feel the length in your upper abs. Beautiful, when you breathe your breath up into your stay along your back up into the top of your lungs even, one more.

And then this time, stop above your head and bend your elbows and bring your thumbs and fingers together. Just lay them on the mat. Now, for some of you this again be comfortable and for others that won't. And so if you practice this at home you're welcome to put little pillows under your elbows, something like that or practice it sitting up against a wall, all kinds of ways to get it. So this position is really common in Pilates and we're gonna take it as a little moment to stretch and tone different things.

So take a big breath like you're stretching your whole rib cage. And when you exhale gently inch your arms, away from you along the mat, until your elbows start to rise. When they start, you stop, stay there. Take another breath, shed tension, sigh, moan whatever feels good to get rid of, whatever's holding you back. And then after you take another inhale on the next exhale slide again away from yourself.

So you're inching away asking for stretch and tone, stretching the chest pecs, open shoulder in the front and tone in the upper back and then bend your elbows and bring your thumbs back down to your head. Take a nice deep breath while you're here. And as you exhale, let your arms slide away from you once again, keeping your elbows down until you cannot. And then stop there. Take a big breath while you're there, shed tension.

Feel yourself opening where you can, feel yourself connected against the mat. And on the next time you exhale, slide your hands a little further. Those of you for whom this is easy, you can keep going and going until perhaps like in rowing, your arms are straight. We'll do one more the second time, right? So you should feel nice and stretched along the whole underside of your arm and armpit and rib cage.

Bend your elbows and bring them back in. Okay, so we'll do it one more time. Big inhale where you are. So it stretches your whole rib cage and spine exhale, shed tension and slide. Ideally you're sliding farther, sooner.

Stop when your elbows lift unduly, breathe in again. And as you exhale, slide away farther, stop when your elbows start to lift. This is just training your pecs and your posterior shoulder cuff to do what they should be doing instead of what they're used to doing mostly. Okay, so this time when you bring your hands in we're gonna put them behind your head, snuggling them in there and pressing your head back in too and then on your next exhale, keeping your head back in your hands. So you feel at the back of your shoulder, you're gonna curl your upper back forward.

You're gonna curl your spine up but then lay it back down. And we'll do that a few times. You inhale, lay down, start your exhale, feel your tummy and then pick your shoulders up almost more than you pick your head up. One more time, big inhale, start your exhale. Feel your belly, shoulders almost rise first, gorgeous.

Bring your knees to your armpits, heels together. And Pilates V and we start footwork, inhale out and exhale, bend in, bring your knees all the way to your nose if you can and feel that your head is constantly nestling back and your palms are literally holding it. When your palms hold your head, you engage the back of your shoulder. So now you have from right to left across your upper back lots of strength and you constantly are inquiring whether you could tip your blades off the mat and forward just a hair. So you keep the chest wide, the collarbone wide and change to bird on a perch.

Heels lead out and in leading out they hopefully give you hamstrings to sits bones. So you're using the hamstrings equally with the low quads. Nice, your head is resting. Your elbows are starting to creep up towards the ceiling but your blades, conversely oppositionally come down towards your sacrum. So you reaffirm your upper back strength.

You pick your blades up and change to your heels. Reaching your heels out, softening your ankles, flexing not only your toes but your ankles gives you even more hamstrings, some inner thighs you squeeze together and your tummy muscles coming up from your so as inner thigh connection mean, meanwhile you're tipping your blades off the map but resting your head back which should give you a nice lengthy neck. One more time out, stay out and flex and point and flex so as you point and flex, keep picking your blades up. Keep reaching your heels forward as you fold, increase your ankles to get more tummy from the bottom to meet the top of your shoulder blade, upper abs and you get more length and release in your low back spine. Okay, finish with a point.

Blades first today, circle your arms around to your hips for hundred and we pump two, three, four, five, exhale four, five. And as you continue pumping, feel the swiveling of your top of your humerus, your humerus head behind the front of your chromium process towards your blade. So your arm bones are coming backwards to your blades while you're constantly monitoring to pull your blades off the mat, still down and together on your body but tip them forward almost like a level or blind. And as you pump with that strong, upper back growing you should be able to feel more support in your pelvis. So the upper back, the shoulder girdle gives you strong pelvic girdle and vice versa.

If you need more, if you're getting tired you wanna keep going though, knee bend a little or lift your legs a little so that you feel more abs more tush. Last big breath, hard exhale and then tummy in, bend your knees. Okay, nice, nice Sharena, sorry. Bend your knees to your chest. Now take a moment here.

Put each palm on each shin. And while you're here gently push your shins up and pull your palms down. So you're not gonna go any place but you're gonna tone some stuff. So when you push shins into palms and vice versa, pull your arm bone into your blades. So you're actually palming your shins all the way to your blades and then rest and then do it again.

So you palm down against your shins you feel it in your blades. And then you also feel that your tush tones maybe some inner thigh, upper hamstring tones. So here you are. These are the muscles you need for everything but definitely for the rolling up. So if you have a black strap, come curling up put your feet under the strap all the way to the ankles, increase your ankles like you feel like you could fold your black strap in two, take your bar by your side, bring it up in the air and play with pushing it up and pulling it down.

So maybe an inch only. So here your arms leave the mat, leave your blade edge. And now they come back to it. There's a sweet moment. You may feel it today which would be wonderful.

You may not feel it today but it will come where your upper abs tone. That means your arm bone in your shoulder is at the right place to tone your belly. That's perfect. That's what you want. If you can find it, keep it.

So it's like not as far back to the mat as possible but some were compromised and then inhale, take your arms behind you. Exhale just bring your arms up. Do that a few times. Feel how as your arms go back, your blade muscles tone, you stretch the front of the arm, armpit you exhale. You bring them together, how your arms are attached to your back and therefore to your upper abs.

Make use of that. On the next time, when we do the roll-up itself. So as you pick your arms up you pick your blades and head up, you keep it attached into your body and you curl under the low ceiling and reach. Your pelvis rolls back, sacrum out, five, four, three. And you try and keep your arms attached to your blades.

Inhale, expel your air, push it gently from you. Straighten your elbows and pull the bar into your blades a little bit. So as you pull the bar into your blades if you wanna little bit more you could keep your hands exactly where they are but kind of pull apart the bar. That's gonna give you more outer shoulder, come around your armpit and into your upper abs. This time, if you can keep your pelvis by your ears as you curl up, nice, keep them back there and higher as you roll under them to reach forward.

And as you roll back, keep your arms above your ears or behind your ears. One more only. So good Sharena, beautiful. So notice that it may be a little harder to roll up smoothly. That will change as your shoulders get stronger.

Beautiful, so now you might even be able to lay your arms down if you hadn't before. Bend your elbows, tummy in, place the bar by your side and we're gonna do the roll over. So now these strong upper back shoulder muscles are critical for the roll over so that you don't go onto your neck. And so that you balance the strength needed to get your pelvis up, tummy in, brings your knees to your chest and straightens your legs to the ceiling. And then keeping from fingertip palm elbow all the way to the shoulder.

You just curl over. Don't worry if you can't go too far, the first time. Open, roll your spine away from your flexed soles. Keep your shoulders back and on. Come together with your legs and bringing them up and over, beautiful.

Flex your feet on the mat if you can so that you get that whole long leg line and we'll do one more and then we'll reverse it. So, what if from fingertips to palms your arms came backwards to your shoulder instead of pushing away from yourself, pull them in to you. So if you pull them into you, nicely done the posterior shoulder works better. The upper abs work better. You may feel a little weaker and that's okay.

Don't worry about that part. But if you pull your arms like closer to your ears, even if they don't move, you're gonna feel yeah, gorgeous. We have one more, last time. Feel how the soles away and the palms into the shoulders, give you your tummy. And then if you have a black strap, you can curl up and we'll put your foot under strap for single leg circle.

Alrighty, so you pull your arms in though. Here's another moment just like the other one. So if you press your shin up a little bit but pull your palms, not just down onto your shin which tones your hamstring and tush but you pull your shin into the shoulder blades, it tones your upper abs and your upper back. Then you gently straighten your legs, trying to keep your arms in your back. You reach up, which makes you work your tummy like crazy.

You pull gently and release three times. What if you pulled your leg from your shoulder blades and not your elbows, nice, last time. And then you place your arms on the mat that strong over rollover exercise. You thrust your body five times. Inhale, down around, exhale center.

Good and as you continue, feel like your arms are on a moving walkway at the airport going past your head. So they're constantly coming up. They may not move at all but they're toning up into your shoulder, closer to your ear, lengthening your spine and toning your abs more. Try not to turn out too much so that you feel it in your tush and inner thigh. Beautiful, beautiful.

Hard exhale each time. Last one all the way over. Now, when you bend your knee and you pull it from your blades, it should come closer to you. Very gratifyingly and then you slide your foot under the strap and you hook it around your ankle. You pull your left knee or your other knee to your shoulder and you press your shin up just a little bit in order to pull against it, arms back on the mat at your blade edge and that tones hamstring, tush and low tummy too.

So you get a whole lot for your effort. You put your hands behind your thigh or your calf. You gently straighten and pull. And if you pull not with your hands, although of course you will or your elbow but you pull from your blades. So less, more, nice.

You also more upper abs, which you need here. Then you take your arms down by your side and you circle across your body. Inhaling, down around and exhale. Good, keep your leg the same amount of turnout no matter where the circle goes so that you fuse your tummy, inner thigh and tush, beautiful Sharena. Keep your arms on the moving walkway.

Envision them, trying to take your arms up past your ears, reverse it. Big inhale, hard exhale. You breathe up, you're moving walkway two even, gorgeous. Exactly right, nicely done. So you're building a strong, strong upper back which is gonna help you in or in like a ball.

So you bend your knee to your shoulder. You pull it to you from your blade. So here's one leg and rolling like a ball. And by the way your single leg stretch coming up afterwards. So then when you curl up palm to shin, keep it in your blades, you'll find more tummy, gorgeous.

When you put your hands on the mat by your hips, keep your shoulders as you bring your sits to your heels. And then when you either take each shin or cross the wrist, whatever position you want, feel that you're palm and your shin to the upper back which tones you in your upper abs. Then gravity takes over, curls you back, inhale, exhale. Good and we're gonna try and do the balance from crab at the end of the mat work. And here you are in crab.

Your soles are up by your tush. Your elbows are wide. Your arms are up in your back and your spine therefore is nice and long. And it's capital C and you need very little effort. You're pulling together.

And then everything is a beautiful orchestra. Last time, back and forth. Exhale, when you put your hands down, find your shoulder blade, use them to pick your tush up. And then as you pull your right knee to your shoulder, pull it with your blade muscles and switch once and twice and exhale twice, inhale for two and exhale for two. So as you pull, pull less from the front of you and more today from the back of you, nicely done exactly.

Then you gently tip your blades off the mat, gorgeous and finish on the left exhaling double leg. Here you are in like a ball and then elbows to ear. Here you are doing your arm circles. So fill your arms, move in your back today. Move your blades with your arms, beautiful.

One more after this, less wrist and hands more blades. Yes, gorgeous, all righty and then we're scissors. Now in scissors, you want this arm to come back here, so pull this together. Exactly, then tip that up, nicely done. Pull once, twice, change once go farther.

Excellent, so here you are in control balance both on the reformer and on the mat. You have your blades down your back. You're pulling your shin over your head and it gives you powerful pelvis to get lots for your efforts. Good, gorgeous, last time. Bring both legs together, hands behind your head.

Here you are in the same position of footwork arms and double leg lower, inhale, exhale. And as you continue, lift your elbows up-ish, pull your blades down towards your sacrum and tip them gently off the mat which gives you more abs. Beautiful, last time up and stop a moment. Bend your knees and rest a second. Good job everybody.

So now hopefully you're starting to feel super warm back there. Come kneeling on your mat. And Sharena is gonna kneel facing away from you. Put your hands behind your head in that position we've had. So nestle your occiput backwards into your palms.

Pick your elbows up, even if they don't go anywhere but pull your blades down in opposition. And you can see on Sharena's body how much that tones your muscles. She has this gorgeous orchestra of an upper back right now. So now we're gonna be heading toward elbow to knee. Picture that today you're gonna twist your body because your blade initiates coming back, so your right blade is gonna start moving to the right.

How far can it move? Breathe as often as you need to and keep that blade coming and keep it coming and coming until you can't go any farther and stop. Take a nice deep breath, shed tension and then see if you have any more. Excellent, yes and now start the other direction from your opposite blade. Don't come home first.

Use your left blade, let it start moving. This is elbow to knee. So when your left blade takes you as far around as it can stop, take a big sigh and see if you can get farther, right. Notice this gorgeous feeling of obliques almost up to your armpit. Right blade brings you around from the right to the left.

We'll do it one more time. So it bends, it twists you, it rotates your spine which might be a better word. Shed tension on your exhale. See if you can go any farther. Now, staying here, exhale your breath.

Keep your head in your hands, elbows high and blades down and flex your spine on the diagonal towards your right thigh. So here's your elbow to knee. So notice that how different your tummy feels. Roll up, start your left blade to take you around to the left, inhaling and exhaling. Stop there, take a sigh, shed tension.

See if there's more to be had because we don't have time in the exercise and then add head back in hands but belly brings you forward, gorgeous, exactly right. Tummy in, rolls you up and relax everybody. Shake your arms out and your shoulders a little bit. Just that if you touch your own upper back shoulders they would be hot. You warmed them up, you toned them.

You made them stronger. So now come back to laying on the mat. Let's do elbow to knee. So your hands are behind your head, your elbows wide and high but your blades are rooting down your back to your sacrum. You bring one elbow to the opposite knee because the blade twists you over and you change.

The blade twists you and the other blade twists you, right. And your goal would be to show your bottom blade completely exposed to somebody behind you. Yes, nice notice how much more value you're getting. Finish it off, right to left or whatever you were doing. And then tummy in rolls us up to sitting for spine stretch elbows up by ears.

Even behind your ears today to accentuate it, big breath in and curl, exhaling. So with your arms above your ears, you can't help but use your upper abs first. Sits bones down, low tummy, mid tummy, upper tummy, beautiful. Straighten this arm a little bit more and then keep your arms back there. Make your tummy pull you, gorgeous.

So it's a little different than start with your chin to chest. Even though you may move through that position but with your upper arm bones opposing your curl, you work your tummy like crazy to push your air out of you. That's your open leg rocker. Last time up, inhaling and down exhaling. Put each palm on each shin and rock back gently to your sacrum, sits in the middle there.

Pull your arms back into your blades as you gently straighten where you can and let gravity pull you back. Inhale, exhale, forward, beautiful. Inhale, exhale, now add that. You're gonna take your palms and pick your shins up today. Yes and now you get more upper back, more tummy, inhale.

Pick your shins up to arrive. Gorgeous, inhale, exhale. Pick your shins up with your blades going down. Those of you who wanna bring your legs together even flex your feet. You're welcome to do so but keep it picking up with your palms, which we'll talk about more next Tuesday and pulling down with your blades because of it.

Inhale, exhale, come up and stay. Put your hands down. We're gonna skip crisscrosses and we're gonna lay down to corkscrew. So now you have an upper back and arms that are powerful enough to hold your corkscrew so that you can go even farther perhaps or more rotation. So tummy in, jackknifes you over and up you feel you're moving walkway, taking your arms past your ears and you take your toes around to one side away from those shoulders and around and exhale home.

Beautiful and go. Stay down even though you're trying to be as fabulous as possible, keep your arms back and down. Yes, use your tush. Yes, again to the left. Go hold it back there.

One more set around gorgeous, Sharena. Exactly, hard exhale, that a girl, feel that part. Yes, stay up briefly and then roll down and bring your arms out to the side for saw. So now in saw, take your humerus bone a little further back today than you might usually do it. So you can't see your arm.

You could see your hand but not your upper arm twist your blade around, hand goes down and up and exhale, bend over and tummy, sits bones down. Tummy lifts you, twist the blade from the left to the right, show it off and belly in, good. Let your right blade lead you as far as you can. And then twist so that it shows yeah, tummy in lifts you. Let your left blade lead you, keep it coming.

Keep your left blade coming. Gorgeous, sits down and up the belly. Twist the blade, that a girl, sits down, belly up, femurs down, blade twist, stay here and breathe. See if you can get more twist on each exhale. So similarly to when we were sliding our arms on the mat, see if you shed tension, you get more access.

And then tummy in, rolls you up. Do one more the first side, I should have caught it a little sooner. That's it and then take extra breaths and see, can I? Exactly, exactly, beautiful tummy in, rolls you up. Bring your legs together.

Sweep them around behind you for swan. Beautiful and then put your hands down. Today a little wider than you might if you can so that you have more access. Oh, I'm sorry. I wanna do another little thing.

So that was a beautiful transition everyone and Sharena. Tummy in, come kneeling again. And this time Sharena, kneel facing the computer if you would. So take your arms out to your side. Slightly in front of you, make a hitchhiker's thumb with a gentle fist.

So picture this whole stick of an arm coming behind your ribs to your spine and in front of just slightly in front of your blade, touching it. So now take your hitchhiker thumb backwards. Let the whole stick of your arm rotate backwards. Eventually it picks up your collarbone, picks your collarbone up, puts your blades down and you start to feel like you wanna back bend up here. And then return take your thumb forward.

Let the stick rotate you forward. It drops your collar bone onto rib three, picks up your blades a little, repeat it. Thumb goes down. The rotation of the arm, picks up the collarbone, puts the blades down and then return. So this is you in pull strap and T, swan, all the back bends, it's hard to get here, especially this year because we're sitting, right.

All right and then bring your arms down. That's a great hallway exercise by the way and feel how your collarbone's in a different place now. And you might even feel like it could move better. We didn't play with that 'cause I didn't wanna take the time but you wanna be able to move your collar bone so that nothing gets stuck and hindered. So now come back to swan, palms down and picture how your arm even though it's bend, the humerus head comes up next to your blade.

Then as you take your eyes forward, hitchhiker your collarbone up first and your blade start to come down and you can push your arms forward, backwards, sideways whatever helps and then keep your, beautiful and then keep your collarbone up longer. Bring something else down, exhaling and finally allow your collarbone to roll forward slightly. And then as your palms push, your eyes go forward. Feel how your collarbone rolls up onto rib one. Blades go down, nicely done.

Remember from last week we didn't squeeze our tush too much but you did press your shins down and legs together-ish so that you could feel other strengths. One more time up here, collarbone lifts, circles, swivels over, stay up here and breathe two breaths. Build strength in your torso, your arms, your breathing mechanism. And from here, we'll do swan dive. And when you swan dive, feel yourself, keep your collarbone, exhale, inhale whatever arms you choose, that a girl.

Yes, like the collarbone is up even when you go down, higher up, yes, yes so fabulous. Exactly like that, tummy in and rests you. Those of you who wanna sit back in a child's pose briefly may do so otherwise come forward for single leg kick. So see if you can find whatever arm you choose that your collarbone is supported up higher than it would have been now that you are thinking about it. Not to press your low back into the mat but instead to bend T one, two, three, four before you even get to your low back bend.

The right knee and kick once and two and left, inhale for two legs and exhale for two legs. Draw your knees together a little bit. Try not to be budged both because of your fist elbow shoulder and because your pelvis is sturdy against the legs. Very nice, excellent. Beautiful, one more set, inhaling for two, exhaling for two and then place your right cheek on the mat for double leg kick.

Place one hand on top of the other similarly to with your head was in it. Reach your elbows down but keep your shoulders up-ish today. Exhale kick three times two, three and then pick your collarbones up like the hitchhiker. Keep them up longer. Kick, kick, kick, pick them up with your humerus bones and then down beautiful Sharena.

So if your palms pushing one against the other lift higher it will pick your collarbone up. Even if you can't quite straighten your elbows, nicely done. Yes, again, try little less tush. Try for some other support. Beautiful, last one.

Yes, even on the way down, gorgeous, tummy in, sits you back briefly and even here, it's not like our shoulders aren't meant to shrug up or our blades, our arm isn't meant to come way forward and our blade slide, we already do that too much. I'm suggesting and so, especially after this year, so we're pulling back a little bit more. So notice too and we can't go into it today but notice that when you get your collarbone rolled up and your blades down, you actually raise your shoulder up on top of your ribs and you get more access to your breath. Okay, so you can play with that. Neck pull, feet under your strap if you have it, hip width apart.

You're trying to keep your hamstrings on the moving walkway that somehow pull something but not you, all right. And if you can take your hands behind your head, here's your elbows wide and your blades down to your sacrum. Once more, try to pick your blades up first, inhaling, bend exhale and round over, sits bones down, tummy in, press your head back into your hands. And as you tip back, keep pressing it back. Even as you undulate from bottom to top, inhale, curl and bend, nice that's it.

Let your blades lift you up today, what if? Sits bones down, press your head back and feel your mid tummy seek the mat, gorgeous. And again, inhale, exhale and bend. Beautiful, press your head back. Your elbows high, your blades down to your sacrum.

Tip back, head back but feel your hamstrings down, giving you abs in the middle. That was gorgeous, we do scissors and bicycle. So jackknife your legs up and over and put your hands as high to your blades on your back as you can get them, draw your elbows towards each other even if they do not move on the mat and then split your legs one forward one back and bring them together and split them together and split them together. Beautiful, pull this part, yep. See if the moving walkway could take your arm bones up to your shoulders a little bit extra.

And if they did, if you got more upper abs, nice or more weight on your shoulders. Moving into the bicycle, see if you can hip bend before you knee bend. One of the things we worked on last week so against this strong tripod of an upper back, you have these strong pelvis muscles that permit you to stretch your legs really nice and then bring one foot to the mat and the other. And today you're welcome to have your hands turning out against your waist if you can do it but try a couple anyway. Bringing your straight arms down on the mat, underneath your tail and then hold onto your hands.

You could clasp them this way or this way and push them down. So I'm doing this so you feel how it can give you more upper back which lets you lift your hips higher, slide the right leg down, inhale, kick up and exhale down. Nice, hesitate briefly to pick your leg up so that you do more tummy than quad. One more and bend and plant your foot. Slide the left leg and kick up an exhale.

Good, feel the fist down, the upper arms down, the upper back. Here's your collarbone up to your throat. Last time, bend your knee, plant your foot. Let your arms come apart gently, roll from throat down through spine. All the way to tail curl up into sitting for spine twist, legs together and flex arms a little behind you today.

Inhale, front blades twist you, exhale once, going farther twice. Good, let your blade, picture it. Demand that it moved first. Nice Sharena. Beautiful on the left.

See if you can not bounce but that you stop because that makes all your muscles stronger. Beautiful, last one, excellent. And then put your hands by your hips. Feel the back of your shoulder upper back. Even as you roll down to jackknife up and over, you planted on these strong arms and shoulders like corkscrew roll down, we'll do two more.

Keep your shoulder back and on the mat as best you can. That forces you to use more upper abs but you have more strength 'cause your upper back is going. And then roll down your last time. Exhale and be done. Good, now we'll do sidekicks.

So we're gonna do sidekicks today with your hands behind your head, elbows high and wide, blades down. So we've been in that position for a while now or several times I should say. That means that today your bottom hand wrist is not bend. You're gonna take that wrist, straighten it up and push your head back into it. Which means it can't hold your head.

So what is gonna hold your head is abs. So you lift your top leg and you kick front once. Go further twice, exhale back and twice inhale. Yes, scooch forward, sorry. Front and exhale back, keep going.

I'll quit saying that. So if your timing is different than ours, that's okay. Feel how from elbow across blades to other elbow doesn't move, just like pelvis doesn't move but your spine can reverberate with your tummy and your kick so that you feel lots more belly and hamstring tush because of it last time, front back. Now the tricky thing is bring your legs together. When you put this top hand down on the mat, how can you find a position that gives you the same kind of support in your upper back?

So left-hand to the mat. Don't close off down here in your armpit. Feel how you're somehow pushing up and back to be as strong on the top is on the bottom. Turn out your bottom leg, point up and kick and flex and down, good. That's it, again as you kick nothing should budge.

So the right elbow is reaching out. The left elbow might be reaching out a way too such that each humorous bone comes into your shoulder. Reverse your foot if you haven't, nice. Your neck should therefore feel very long up out of your torso, beautiful. Yes, nicely done.

All right, last time down, turn over on your tummy for your grasshopper, wherever you like to put your hands and try to find the back of your shoulder. So then you lift your femur bones up and you clap two, three, four, five, exhale, six, seven, eight. As you continue, you're bringing your humorous bones back to your blades and your blades gently down to your sacrum. So that should tone your upper abs. The more you lift your hamstring up under your tush you tone your low abs and enough, gorgeous other side.

So from elbow to sits bone you're against the edge of your mat. Feet are forward on your moon box. And your left wrist is not bend as little bend as you can get away with so that you press your head back and you feel that strength, pick up your right leg and kick once farther, back farther. Good, good, come around me a little bit. That's it, so you stay in your strengths, not just your range.

Nice again, you reach your elbows apart from one another and a way in high, you pull your blades down your back with the striations of your trapezius muscles, gorgeous. And then you feel a shoulder girdle and a hip girdle that's very sturdy against which your tummy, hamstrings and spine can operate. Gorgeous, last time. Bring your legs together. Take your top hand down and find your shoulder anyway.

Turn out your top leg and kick up once. Flex down on two, good. Reach away a little even if you can't go quite as high, pull this up and in and cross it. Try and put less wrist, good fight. Nice, when you go up, stop and then turn out a little more and come down.

Good, have you reversed your foot? Let's flex up, that's all right. Go up, stop, turn out a little more and come down. Flex up, stop, point and come down. Flex up, stop, turn out a little extra.

Turn out your shoulder a little extra. Yeah, good job. Okay, so you're preparing for teaser. Can you feel how your shoulder girdle, your arms, your legs, your pelvis. Good and that's enough, rest, thank you Sharena are all stronger now.

So when we come to teaser, remember the feeling of swimming, how you got your humerus bone up by your ears. So you're going to tip back gently onto your sacrum sits in between, you reach your arms but you pull them back into your shoulders as well. You exhale to your blade tips and then you reach your spine through to your toes because your arms are in your upper back which may make you feel a little weaker but also gives you more abs. Then you pick your arms up and you try and get them behind you as you double leg, lower inhale, exhale keep your arms where they are and move just your legs. Good fight, last time, lay everything down and keep your arms a little lagging behind as you curl up so that you pick up with more abs.

Yeah, let's head more abs last time. Now bring your arms around and place them forearms on the mat. Lift your knees to your nose and straighten your legs in the air. Now this position often allows us to slump but if from fingertips palms to elbow you push down, you're picking your collarbone and rolling it up. Circles, smaller, big, whatever you like those of you who can squeeze your blades do well, don't squeeze them.

And those of you for whom it gives you more strength to squeeze them, do so. Feel that you're circling demands a shoulder girdle that is sturdy, that's great. There you go, hard exhale. Good, last set. Beautiful and lower your legs down.

Gorgeous, okay. So tummy in, come kneeling with your back to the camera, Sharena just one more time. So swimming comes next. Take your both arms up by your ears. So here's another one of those hallway exercises and you're gonna paddle your arms just by themselves.

And as you paddle think that you're gonna move your blades perhaps more than ever. In fact, maybe more than your arms, straighten your elbows if you can and feel how strong your upper back can be. Right and some of you that may be sufficient, gently open your arms and relax and others of you let's take it into three breaths of swimming. So come lay and your tummy and then lift your eyes, your arms and your head, your legs and paddle. Straighten your elbows, curl your collarbone up and back.

Hit me, come on, toss me up here, that a girl, last breath and exhale down, nicely done. Okay, tummy in, sits you gently back. Good and then we're gonna pick today side bends. So this is a one-armed pushup or a one-arm hand stand that is hard for us because maybe we don't have the strength, maybe we don't have the range 'cause best you're on our right mousing arm or a spring changing arm or writing arm, that shoulders a little tighter, the pecs are a little tighter. So we wanna make sure that your humerus bone is up underneath your shoulder just like sidekicks, except with a straight arm.

So you're down on your hip, top leg is in front of your other leg. Both legs are straight as possible and your hand is slightly twisted Pilates-ish forward. And then take a moment to feel the straight arm, how like a pull system it is for you or a doorframe. It comes back farther than you would like, slightly. And it's gonna stay up here as she rises hands to thigh and it's gonna stay up here as she lowers down looking left and then as she inhales up, beautiful and then she's gonna pose going down by keeping her armpit up, that a girl.

And then she's gonna rise one more, two more times. Beautiful, so feel that arm poke its way to your blade edge. Keep it back here on your blade edge and exhale down. Lovely other side. So these details not only build uniform development, build strengths where you're weak or flexibility where you're tight but they also promote circulation.

So when we can make balanced, better balanced, a joint in area, we'll get more blood there. And then these gorgeous breaths because our collarbones have been able now to get off of our ribs and quit hindering them, puts more oxygen into our blood. And so Mr.Pilates I think would be very happy with us, I'm hoping. All right, so the long straight legs, top leg in front and then this arm comes into the back. Like you have a wall behind you you're trying to touch as you exhale up into position with your arm on your thigh, inhale down first and then you exhale rainbow up and probably it's in the rainbowing up that you wanna roll your shoulder forward.

So keep nice, keeping it back will give you more abs notice, even just the thought of it. Nicely done, gorgeous and gently lower, beautiful Sharena and then come around to front, we'll do seal. Now we're gonna do seal and then we're gonna come into the crab balance, okay. So those of you who don't wanna come onto your head, you don't have to and you can just watch. You can play with your shoulders and pelvis even kneeling.

So we'll play with this. Okay, so first we do seal. So we clap two, three, roll to your strong shoulder blade. Now you have a platform to balance on back here. So you put it down, you stand on it back there to clap and your blades are strongly held on your ribs such that your upper abs can hold your body, that's gorgeous.

The next time she goes back, she's gonna transition by taking her arms out of there and crossing her ankles. She comes forward over her shins and places her head. All right, so now we're gonna stay here for a minute because I want you to pick up your soles with your upper back, your upper back of your shoulder and your blades. And then when your shoulder blades, even more, yep, lift, feel how your abs lift. Take another deep breath, enjoy it.

This is you lifted and toned because you have strong shoulders and rest and sit back. Nice, okay so if those of you who are doing that exercise or hopefully thinking about it, the strength of every single exercise we just did is going to help prepare you better and better for it. Now we're gonna do pushups. So we come to the end. Let's do push-up two.

So heels are together and Pilates V, the blades. Let's say the blades circle before the hands even move. Nice, fill your tummy because of it. Keep your arms back behind your ears as your belly curls you forward on (indistinct), that a girl. Nice, carefully walk out, keeping your shoulder up.

Maybe you lost your blades off your ribs. Like when you bend and straighten, what if you left your blades up here a little longer, gorgeous. You should feel more belly. Throw it up a little. That's it and then when you curl yourself in, keep your arm on your blade edge.

So as you walk in that part stays, you'll have more abs and more control. Your heels are already up. As you roll up, get your arms above you, behind you, more behind you and then lower down. Let's do it one more time, nicely done. Good, blades move first I know, it's all right, blades move first.

Keep your head back and I met another pair of magical hands and make your tummy curl you. That's nice and then walk out, strengthening your shoulder blade muscles and let's bend twice. Keep your blades up in the air a little longer and maybe don't squeeze them together if you can. Nice, that was three, thank you. And then curl in and keep your blades farther away from you as you walk in, like you're leaving them behind you and then swiftly roll up.

Get your arms behind your ears and roll down. Yeah, so good, that's okay. That was excellent, thanks Sharena. All right, my friends, hopefully you don't mind the little moments where we stop and talk or go slower so that we can feel because you can always take that into your own personal workouts. Thank you so much for joining us today.


4 people like this.
I am about half as flexible as Sherena, but I got a lot out of the class. Rachel gives one so much info, I think I will need to take this class multiple times to profit from it all.  Since I do not have a foot strap, i used 5 lb leg weights and 5 lb arm weights (in spots) to achieve similar results. I got a good workout, had fun, & feel much better. Thanks Again Rachel & Sherena:) 
Cynthia G
2 people like this.
So much to hear, so much to listen to , so much to learn and apply but still fun.  Thanks teacher and model. (and PA)
Michele B
2 people like this.
Such an amazing class! I woke up a little happy-sore in all the right places.  This series is truly a gem.
Oh good! This year especially right? We’re all so tired of sitting more. What I find so cool is how increasing the strength of the upper back and posterior shoulder enables a stronger pelvis and a freer spine. Never ending fascination! Rachel
2 people like this.
So appreciate the detail and focus on shoulder girdle and tying it in to each exercise. Wonderful teacher and excellent student, well done! Now I need to practice this!
So appreciate the detail and focus on shoulder girdle and tying it in to each exercise. Wonderful teacher and excellent student, well done! Now I need to practice this!
So appreciate the detail and focus on shoulder girdle and tying it in to each exercise. Wonderful teacher and excellent student, well done! Now I need to practice this!
So appreciate the detail and focus on shoulder girdle and tying it in to each exercise. Wonderful teacher and excellent student, well done! Now I need to practice this!
1 person likes this.
Ooops, how embarrassing. Pressed the button 3 times(sorry)
Well thank you that many times and more, back to you!   Watch ourHands  and Feet class tomorrow (-:
1-10 of 27

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin