Class #4924

Release/Mobilize for Energy

30 min - Class


This is an explorative Pilates class with Amy Havens to cultivate energy! Starting from the feet, you use a Small Tennis Ball to roll out tension with a variety of motions such as pressing, rolling, and flushing. With ease, you will move up to your calves to create even more mobility in the lower body. Class ends with taking time to release your upper body. Although this class is restorative, you will walk away from class feeling refreshed and energized.
What You'll Need: Mat, Small Tennis Ball

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Let's go ahead and get started. All we need for class today is a tennis ball and you're mat. All right, so releasing and mobilizing for energy, we are really gonna energize ourselves here, we're gonna start from the feet and work our way up. And before we start, I want everyone just to stand still and just kind of feel how you're standing. All right, well, I like to do a lot of compare and contrast, and if you haven't done a lot of this kind of release and mobilization work with a tennis ball, I think you're in for a real interesting sensational experience and how it really does promote more mobility in your tissues of your body, which helps to feel more immobilized.

All right, so that's the goal, releasing and mobilization. All right, so as you're standing, just kind of feeling how you're on your feet, maybe you're a little back on your heels, a little more forward on the toes, side to side, nothing is right or wrong, you're just noticing that. But after we do our compare contrast, you'll probably feel something different. All right, let's do one foot. I don't have a preference which foot you begin with.

You have a slight split stance. So I have the tennis ball and let's put it underneath the foot, kind of the center underneath the ball of the foot. All right. And what I want us to do, there's lots of what you'll be sensing here is shifting your weight into the tennis ball and shifting away. So you can start that with me, just gentle weight shift forward.

And as we're doing this, we'll just do slight movement across the ball of the foot. So I'm now kind of moving more into the big toe joint part of the foot, kind of going through the center, over to the pinky toe side. Yep, and then my toes are also kind of doing this little wrap around the ball, just kind of sinking and shifting. So we are playing with opening up the joint space in the muscles around in the bottom of the foot, in the foot itself. It's a great stretch.

It's important to keep the mobilization of the feet. Makes us walk healthy, keeps us walking healthy. Okay. Yep, make sure to get as many parts of that ball of your foot on that ball as you can. Now let's keep moving the ball into more of the center of the foot, the center of the arch.

So I've lifted my whole foot up. I'm just doing again, that little weight shift, press release. And if you can even watch your foot and see how the bones of your foot kind of expand over the ball, really getting some space in those little nooks and crannies of your foot and all those joints in there. Try to get into the arch of your foot here. See, I've got my heel down and I'm in the arch now.

And don't be surprised, some of you have some could have some tender area in here. Don't be afraid of it. See if you can mobilize through that, okay. Anyway, we're just shifting, sinking. Trying to get the stretch in the muscles of the feet, okay.

Now what I wanna do next, everybody is have you put the ball of your foot flat down, and now I'm more on the heel part of the foot. And then just kind of notice, there's not maybe as much sensation here. This skin is thicker on the heel than it is in the arch of your foot and on the ball of the foot. But still, try to get as much of that heel on, press and release, and press and release. Okay.

So let's make one more pass through just kind of sensing. And now this is more of a faster rinsing or kind of shuffling your foot across the top of the ball. A little balance challenge here too. Just kind of getting a little wake up for all those little places like I said on the bottom of the foot. All right, now, go ahead and step off and just stand side by side, and most of us are gonna feel quite a bit of difference of energy in the foot.

I know when I do this one feels open, receptive, this feels a little kind of closed. So of course, here we go to the second side. So your heel is on the floor, you're wrapping the top of your foot, the ball of the foot on the ball, over the ball. And then we start that little press and release. I'm gonna lean in and a little release.

And so I'm just kind of making my way from the pinky toe side of the foot all the way across to the big toe side. Just wrapping. This is actually gonna, not only stretching, releasing, mobilizing, but some coordination for your foot. All right. I don't know if you can sense that we wanna feel the dexterity that you can have in your feet and keep the mobilization and the active foot.

Okay, ooh, yeah, got a good spot there. Just the leaning, wrapping, pressing. If you feel a real tender spot, just take note, we wanna get more ease through those spaces. Okay. Now let's make our way into the arch of the foot, and you're just leaning, releasing, leaning, releasing.

You might start to notice too that where you change the place on your foot, some stretch that's kind of coming up and around the heel or the Achilles tendon. Some of the plantar fascitis people that might be doing this, this is a good thing to do. Yeah, be mindful if it's super ouchie that you back off, but we do wanna have that ease and mobility in the tissues of the feet, just like we would anywhere else in the body. Okay. Now let's go into here, we're taking the ball of the foot on the floor and then pressing more of the heel and then into the arch of the foot.

Right actually there, the arch before that heel. So you can get in there, that medial arch. Okay, and now the heel, you're just gonna do that little step, press, release, press and release. And then let's go ahead and do that flushing, rinsing. Whew, waking it up.

Good. And then go ahead and step off and just stand side by side. Interesting, isn't it? Yeah, sometimes it helps you feel like you're more grounded on both feet. So, okay, not a bad thing to do, maybe if you're going for a walk or a big hike to do this before that.

But everybody now, we're getting come on down to the ground and do some more work for the lower extremities. All right, we're working now on the outside line of the lower leg, the shin, and this is kind of a fun spot to put it. So I want you to put your tennis ball right near your ankle, you can see right at kind of the bottom of my leggings there and we'll be leaning and pressing right on the side actually, okay. So you might have to just kind of scoot around and make yourself comfortable how you're doing this. Here is where I'm going, I'm kind of right angle of my knee.

And then again, I'm gonna use my other hand too, to help press and release along this line. So I'm trying to follow also the frontline of my mat, just for visual for you to see. And my ball is moving right up the calf. Ooh, yes, an interesting sensation always here. And you can do up and down, you can go at your own pace.

This is pretty explorative type of work everybody. Like I said at the beginning, there's really no right or wrong. You're just trying to find some sensation and feel some things, and feel when you press in, there is a release, there's kind of an opening in the muscle and the tissue. Yep. And the higher you come up near the knee, you may feel some more apparent sensation.

Oh, there's a little bit more. Okay, so this outside line of our shin lower leg. Ooh yes. And then like we did before, you're gonna just kind of roll, little flushing, little rinsing a few times as all. Okay, I could spend a long time here, but we're gonna just pass through.

Now we're on the back of the calf. Same thing, you're starting down near the Achilles. You can just work your way up. Now I'm using my hands to help lean in and my body weight to help lean in. You can explore and play with the angle of your foot, the movement of your foot.

Oh. Yeah, we don't go right behind the knee, we get close, but we don't go behind the knee directly. Okay. Now start at the bottom. You may need to lift your hips a little bit and see if you can roll just a couple times back and forth through the back line of the calf.

All right. Now we'll do the other side. Oh, yes. So same thing right at the base of the ankle. Okay.

And then leaning, releasing and then move a little bit, lean, release, move. Lean, release, move. It's not out of the ordinary at all to have one side of your body with more sensation than the other. And I actually kinda welcome that because it makes sure I know that I'm, I have a strong side, we all have a strong side or a leg that we favor and use more. So maybe that's the one that has more sensation.

I don't know. Lots of theories on that. Ooh, nice. Okay. (chuckles) So yeah, back into it, press more.

You get to use your discretion, what you feel you need on this and all of these movements. So we're doing that little rinsing, flushing. Okay. Yeah. Ah, feels so good.

And then on the back, right in the base of the ankle, Achilles tendon, same idea, lean, release, move it up a little, lean, release. Trying to press in, let that tissue expand and open, play with moving the foot a little bit. And if this is new to you, (chuckles) stay with it. It can be a little intense sometimes. Yeah.

It can be intense, but boy, is it healthy? Move that ankle a little bit. Okay. Same thing, hands behind. You have to lift your hips just a little bit and see if you can just go back and forth.

Some interesting abdominal work right there too. Okay. And then relax that. Now we're gonna move up into more the side of the thigh and up around the back of the leg here. So same idea, I'm gonna gonna start on the outside edge and I'm gonna just lean to the side, kind of use my hands again, and press in.

Ooh, yes, lots of sensation, this is the iliotibial band side of the leg. Some of you may want a little more work than I am, you can lean up on your arm, that gives your body weight more into that tissue. Yep, not a bad thing to feel. Okay. Yeah, some of this is kind of releasy experience is a really good before you go out, maybe a big hike, big walk, big bicycle ride, or after to keep things moving.

Okay. Now we're gonna move that up, so everybody kind of find where your sit bone is, okay. (chuckles) And I want you to put the ball, you're right on top of your sit bone on the ball. Okay, so our sit bone's a pretty pointy bone. You should be able to feel that pretty easily.

Now this can be very tender. So just be cautious or mindful. Now I'm gonna lean my body forward. And I'm now off the sit bone and I'm into more of the top back of my thigh. Ooh, yep, and I'm just gonna go side to side on that.

Side to side, up, forward and back. You're just kind of exploring a little bit. I'm coming down more and now into the belly or the bigger part of the thicker part of the back of the leg. Oh boy, there's a lot there. Yeah, good, ooh. (chuckles)

Lots of stuff. Okay. Now you'll see, I'm trying to also keep my foot and my knee moving while I do this. That helps to really stretch and keep the mobility happening through all of these tissues. Okay.

All right. We're moving on to the larger part of the leg and then we'll get onto the other side. We're gonna go into our glutes now. Okay, so let's start on that sit bone again. That's a good place to start.

Then I wanna roll it, the ball up kind of to the side of my rear or the side of my hip. And now let's go into a side to side movement. This is kind of known as the cross fibering into the tissue. Again, you're gonna notice some interesting places and then now we'll go up and down. Okay.

These are some guidelines, but again, if you feel like maybe a circle would feel good, couple circles. Providing some hydration, some fluid rushing into the tissue, some blood flow, some limp flow. I'm gonna move that just a wee bit guys. Yeah. One more little edge higher up on the side of the bum.

A couple passes, getting a little arm working here too. All right. And then let's go ahead and just come off of that and then just sit for a moment, kind of feel leg to leg. Can you feel that? There's some energy, I feel a little buzzy-buzz through the legs.

Of course I wanna go over here. So we're coming onto the side of the lateral leg, that Ilio tibial band. Lean, release, lean, release. Yeah. I know this about my own self.

This side for me has a little bit more, I'm gonna say congestion right through here. I had an injury to this leg when I was in my teenage years and I have some scar tissue that still exists in here. So this is kind of still breaking up some of that old pattern. Yep, lot of sensation right there. (chuckles) Good, lean, release, going up the side of that thigh.

(exhales sharply) Yeah, okay. Good, kind of tolerable a little bit. Now we're gonna go back into the back of the leg. Let's get on that sit bone. Okay, get on that sit bone.

Find that pointy bone. There we go. And then I'm gonna move my torso forward just a little bit. I'm now off the sit bone and then I'm just gonna start to very slowly move through here as well. Ooh.

(chuckles) Sensation. Yep. Can play with that knee, move that ankle. Kind of try to get it into the center back of the thigh. Lean your torso.

Yeah, lean, release. Lean, release. Remember, you're just kind of exploring what does it feel like to have this little object pressing up into your skin and into your tissue? It's a type of stretching. Yep.

Okay, good. Now let's go up into the glute. So again, we're gonna start on the sit bone. Lean your hands behind you. And then let's go side to side.

We went into that cross fibering, little wag in the tail. Yeah. And then forward, back, toward your feet and away from your feet. Interesting, isn't it? Yeah, and then you can work some circles.

Yeah, I'm just thinking about all the people I know who have like maybe go play golf or Rack-A-Ball or anything. They have a ball in their bag and they kind of just do this as warmups. You'll start to maybe the feet every time. And then up a little higher on the edge of the glutes you guys. Yeah, it can become kind of a thing, a ritual that you do, or a little extra that you'll always do before some kind of bigger physical activity.

Yeah, why not keep those tissues as hydrated and mobile as you can? All right, everybody, go ahead and have a seat just quick and then just feel what you feel, notice what you feel. Hopefully it's great for you too. There's one more place here on the lower extremities before we do an interesting kind of lunge stretch that I think is neat, is on the front of our pelvis and hip, we have our hip flexor muscle. So if you find your bumpy bone right there, and then just down from that is some interesting tissue, let's put the ball there first.

Now it's kinda interesting to get down on your stomach with this kind of setup, but do what you can, or you can put this on the ground and then get yourself to it. Okay. I know that this is can be a pretty intense little spot, hang with it. Okay. So you're on your elbows or you could be all the way down and I just want you to, I'm gonna be on my elbows is, oh, yeah, lean in and away.

Like we've been doing, lean in and away. Notice my back foot there, I'm on the ball of that foot, and I use it, kind of a little push release lever back there. Woo-hoo. Right into this pretty intense spot. Now, if you're interested and wanna try one more little move, you can bend and straighten the knee.

Yeah. If some of you wanna drag this ball all the way down the front of your thigh, be my guest, I won't right now. I wanted to focus right on this hip flexor. Okay, real quick for all of you who sit all day, if there's one thing you get from this release thing today, try this. Okay.

Get out of that tension outta your hip. All right, let's just do the other side. I'll go right here, quick. Boom. Yep.

So here we are in this hip flexor, this TFL, this big muscle, right at the top of that thigh. You can do that cross fiber, you can go, you're up, down, woo-hoo, I'm telling you, and you can do your little circles. It's your journey to explore through this area, but let's go ahead and come off of that and let's try a little stretch. All right, so sometimes it's really nice to do a kind of a typical type of stretch you might do before a warmup of your exercise choice, after doing some of the mobilization. So I'm gonna choose a lunge, a very low lunge and I'll take a foot forward.

And then I wanna just keep the knee down, resting the back foot, and then just notice if you have any more ease in here through your lower leg and maybe the hamstrings on the front leg, then you might normally have. I didn't do a lot of assessment prior to this, but if you know yourself well enough, you might be going, hey, there's a whole lot of change here. Let's try that other side. I certainly feel different. I feel like this has more stretch for me, more openness, certainly the hip on the other side.

Yeah, okay. Now we are going to move on to upper body. And I want you to sit comfortably. If that means get a cushion quick, or you can do this part even sitting in a chair, but we're down here, so let's grab that ball. And I just want you to put it in your hand and you're gonna start working around your pectoral muscles, specifically kind of over by the shoulder and under arm.

So I've got that on, my palm on my ball and pressing in on my chest muscle. Yep, and again, be aware, there's probably some tender parts here. That's all right. Press and release, press and release. Now I also like to do some arm movement while I'm doing the chest pressing, because for me it feels like I get more stretch in the tissue.

So, you know, if I was gonna go play tennis or swing my golf club, swimming, even just a good walk. So as you're pressing and releasing with that tennis ball, give your arm some gesture. Change the direction of how you're pressing. Remember we're doing some across-way, we can do some circles. (exhales sharply) Yeah, that does feel great.

Every time I do it. I feel a little bit of a, uh, more noticeable spot, but that's okay. Couple more times. All right. And then as usual, just kind of compare, contrast, other side, through your chest, so in your hand, onto your chest wall, right up here by the collarbone and your under arm.

This is the place that I pretty much feel accurate information here. This is the more congested area on people here, not so much this part of the chest, close to the sternum. It's more here where activities take place in this joint. You could even wanna go underneath your arm if you wanted to. Okay.

Yeah. So do some arm movement with the press of the tennis ball, volleyball, swimming. Yeah, good. Cross fiber, up, down, circles. Yeah.

Sometimes your body starts to get warmer as you're getting the circulation in these little nooks and crannies. Is anyone feeling their body temperature go up? I'm feeling mine, it's good. Get some tissue, hydration, mobilization, maybe some up, down. Okay.

Yep, now, we're in a world we're on technology and computers and phones and stuff a lot, right, and things. So this might be a place in you that gets tight, that you may not even know that's tight. So why not? Here we are. I'm gonna take my wrist, and very slowly press release just right on my under forearm there toward my elbow.

Boom, boom, boom, boom. And roll it a couple times. Maybe open, close your hand as you do it. All right. Then turn your hand over and we're doing, aha, more, more sensation on the bigger top part of the forearm.

Ooh my, open, close hand a few times. You can do under and over, and under and over. It's your journey, explore, explore. How about into the palm of the hand? Press release, press release.

Great for keeping your palm good and grip strength healthy. Yep. Okay. Let's go ahead and do the other side real quick. Put that ball down.

Let's go underneath the base of the wrist and we're going leaning in, press release right along that inside line, underneath of that forearm. Okay, we'll rinse a couple times. Yep, and then turn and the top of the forearm. You can open and close your hand while you're doing this and see what you feel there, and do a couple of those rolling back and forth. Okay.

You can alternate that. It's your journey, just play, play, play. All right, and now let's get into the hand. Yeah, grip strength is really important, no matter how you know what our days are like, if we're doing sports, if we're home doing lots of cooking and lots of projects at home, having hand strength is really important, grip strength. Okay, so you can go under all your fingers.

You see what I mean? There's just like potential like crazy, you can do all kinds of things. Lean in. I'm sure you're feeling all of that. Just take a quick, quick, quick stretch everybody.

Just quick stretch, fingers are facing your knees, you're just gonna open that hand and just lean back and forth a couple times, you know, on the hands, keeping 'em open. Yeah, great to do before a yoga class, all this hand opening work. Okay. Now one of our favorite places is the upper back between shoulder blades. So I'm going to lie down with the opposite hand.

So I'm gonna put it behind my right shoulder. I'm using my left hand to get that ball in there. And wow, it's right on the inside border of the shoulder blade, I'm not right on the shoulder blade, I'm more inside it, closer to my spine. There's quite a bit of tissue, muscle, stuff in there, yep. And like I was doing on the other arm, pectoral movement is I wanna move my arm while I'm moving on the ball.

Okay, that's the kind of press and release you can do. I'm rolling a little bit, but also do some arm movement to loosen up the tissue. It's a type of stretching, it feels so darn good. Oh. Yep, right in there.

And you know, you'll probably notice some tender spots. Just part of the human body that gets fairly congested up around the top of the shoulder. Also, I've got my hips up in a little bridge. Oh, I could spend a whole 30 minutes just on this right here, but alas, we have another shoulder to do. So go ahead and just set your hips down.

Oh my gosh, take that away. Just check that out, it's amazing. Your own little massage tool, okay. Other shoulder, opposite hand right behind inside the edge of that shoulder blade. Hmm.

Oh yes. (chuckles) Cross fiber, up, down. Now sometimes I hear when I teach this to clients too, they'll say, oh, that hurts. So you're most likely going to feel quite a bit of sensation. And for some of you, that does feel like pain.

This should not be painful in the way of like you're gonna hurt yourself, but it could be such a strong sensation that's new for you, I would encourage you to all just to hang with it. Yeah, this will loosen up the more we practice it, the more you do that. Okay. And a little pass through there. Get those arm gestures into it.

Okay. And then let's go ahead and just come off (chuckles) and release that. Now I've got one more area I wanna, I have you stretch, not with a ball, okay. This is going to be for your rib cage and some rib movement. All right, I love this.

I give this to some of my golf clients and they like it, this whole protocol. So I'll have one hand here. The other hand's gonna come on top of it, palm face up. And I want my elbow to come down. I'm in a little child's pose-ish type of shape, but really what we wanna do, if you get your elbow down, I want you to, I'm trying to kind of reach and lean, I'll say the word lean, away from my arms.

And I'm somewhat kinda looking up toward the ceiling here. Oh my back. Right, it feels really nice across the ribcage back. And just sway. Just sway.

Yep, couple times. Yeah. Oh, one more. (exhales sharply) And then of course the other side, so we'll have our hand, palm, elbow. I'm kind of dragging the mat this, or my arm that way across the mat in a way, but really it's my ribs that are trying to rotate and I'm leaning away looking up toward the ceiling.

(exhales sharply) Broadening that stretch across my back and across that shoulder. One more time. Okay. Yep, yeah. And then just kind of check that out.

Now let's go ahead and come up to a standing position and kind of recheck into how we feel and finalize this little session. All the way up. All right, so how do you feel? Hopefully you're energized, reach your arms up everybody. Let's just take one arm in the other arm.

So all those bits that we did, like you could even move your feet, you could move your hips. Just kind of feel hopefully more mobile, right. And then play with this, just swinging your arms, bend your knees and just swing. We'll do about five of those. And this is just again, a flush type of thing through the whole body, let it go, energy through your body.

And one last time. (exhales sharply) Whoo, all the way. And then go ahead and just wrap your arms, come all the way down, easy through your shoulders. Good. So a really nice quick 30 minute mobilization releasing kind of session for energy for your whole body.

Hope you're feeling really, really good.

Active Aging: Pilates for Healthy Aging


Jennifer E
2 people like this.
Thank you so much, Amy! A much needed class for me! Felt lots of release!
2 people like this.
I appreciate having a short class that covers the major parts of the body.  Sometimes it’s hard to find time for a longer class plus a weight or hiit workout.  Just did this one after cycling and a weightlifting hiit, so it’s just the right amount of time to finish off for me.  Thanks Amy!
2 people like this.
Another Gem of a class . Loved it Amy
2 people like this.
Thank you Amy! It was really great to start my day with this release class - I feel more energized and ready for the day!
2 people like this.
Thank you Amy! Felt so much release! Love how release work makes you feel energized!
3 people like this.
No better remedy for how my body wanted this workout. So much release. reminded me its not all work. Thank you!
2 people like this.
Oh Amy. This was wonderful. As someone who works on a computer all day, I especially appreciated the arm and shoulder work. I will return  to this definitely. Thank you.
2 people like this.
Emer D Marcia W Michelle N Birgit N Sharon C Lori Jennifer E Thank you all for leaving these comments!!  Keep releasing, keep moving!!  Thank you for being here!
Rajashree Srirangarajan
Amazing session! What would you recommend for pain around the knuckles?

1 person likes this.
Thank you Amy, this was lovely! This was the perfect class to do after being down with Covid for the last 9 days 😉.  I also found some fun gems to use with a few of my clients
1-10 of 13

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