Class #5101

Functional Mat w/ Theraband

45 min - Class


You will use the Theraband to develop full-body strength in this functional Mat workout by Tom McCook. He combines the Franklin method with Pilates to help you use your body better in each movement. He encourages you to focus on form to create efficient and fluid movement and breath throughout the class.
What You'll Need: Mat, Theraband

About This Video


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Hi everybody, I'm Tom McCook, back here at Pilates Anytime, very excited to be back. This class today will be a TheraBand and Pilates workout, which will combine some of the Franklin method of function and helping you use your body better, a TheraBand is an amazing tool that you can take anywhere you go and develop full body strength. As we go through, my recommendation is to focus on efficient, fluid movement, and keep your breathing nice and smooth, focus on form over just working hard. So how we're gonna start is, as I want you to stand with your feet about six inches apart, and look down at your feet for a moment and lift all 10 toes off the ground. And as you do that, unlock your knee joints and center your head over your pelvis.

So think of what we're doing in the beginning is coming into our relationship with gravity. Now see if you can center the weight on those three foot points on each foot, the ball behind your big toe, the ball behind your little toe and your heel, like a triangle, then lay your toes down, and just do that a few times, just notice we're transitioning from whatever we've been doing in our life today, to coming into our body, lift and lower a few more times. And as you're doing that, just see, can I start to have the weight be a little more balanced on those three foot points? Now lower it down. Now lean a little forward on your feet.

Come back to center, lean back slightly. Back to center, lean to one side. Back to center, lean to your second side. And as you come back to the center, see if you can center the weight front to back, left to right, and just take a moment and close your eyes and take a few deeper than normal breaths through the nose, and on the exhale phase, settle into your foot points, but also lengthen and straighten through the crown of your head. So you're both settling and lengthening, coming more into letting your structure hold you up more than your muscles.

And as you're noticing, just set your own intention for your own practice, if there's areas of your body you like to let go of tension, become a little stronger, or just have a good movement experience, set that for yourself. And then just softly open your eyes. Now moving from your pelvis, I want you to rotate and let the arms swing (exhales), and add a little exhale to it, so you're just ringing out your lungs (exhales). Keep your head over your pelvis (exhales). Let your movement be fluid (exhales).

Couple more each side, just waking up the tissue with some dynamic movement. (Tom exhales) Now come back to the center, turn one palm forward, now reach it straight up and press into the ground on that side, then turn, look and reach to the back. Then on the second side, go down to go up, turn, look and reach. One more each side, go down to go up, look and reach. Down to go up, look and reach.

Now to help you get the most out of your practice 'cause we're standing, let's just determine where the hip joints are. Most important joint in the lower half for aligning your body with gravity. So bend your knees a little bit and put your hands at your pubic bone level. Take your hands straight out to the side and put your thumb on the bone that's at that level, that's the outer border of your thigh. Now let your fingers come across the crease and put your first finger in the crease about three inches in from where your thumbs were.

And then stand back up. Now picture your hip joint is directly behind your hands, meaning right where your legs meet your body, that's where the joint is. So let's just do the movements, as you lift your knee, picture the femur bone is rolling back in the socket, so we're just bringing our attention to what we're doing and where it's happening. And now hinge from your hips, tip your pelvis over your legs, and come up flat. I'll show you from the side view too.

So you're not changing the shape of your spine, you're hinging your pelvis over your legs, this is gonna relate to a lot of the exercises you're gonna do. You wanna learn to do it well. And the third movement is a squat, so as you bend your knees and hips, you're still riding down on the top of your legs, and straighten and feel as you're bending, you're keeping your three foot points on the floor as best you can and straighten. And just one more. Now bring your elbows in close, and with your knees bent, pull your elbows back, lift your heart and arch your upper back.

Now exhale, press your palms forward, curl your tail forward and pull your waistline back. Inhale, pull in and lift. Exhale to curl (exhales). So we're just mobilizing our spine and hips, before we add the tension of the TheraBand (exhales). One more.

(Tom breathing deeply) Coming back to center, turn your feet out a little bit, have them shoulder width apart. Now do a small leg bend, in dance it's called a plié. Still centered on your feet. Now bring one arm up overhead and as you side bend, reach the free arm across the middle. Now reach into the ground to come back up and switch your arms.

Exhale side (exhales), inhale back up, so feel like the ground is pushing you up as much as you're pushing it down (exhales). Come back to center, straighten your legs for a moment and then bend them again. Bring your elbows in close. Now turn and press to one side and as you're doing that, keep the hips and knees relatively still. (Tom exhales) One more each way.

Just a little lubrication before we go into the next series of exercise. Now grab your TheraBand, and you can go on the lighter side, I recommend for a lot of these exercises and we're gonna start with the shoulders 'cause the shoulders tend to get imbalanced from modern life. So wrap the band around your waistline. It's a new fashion statement for you. And then cross it in the front.

Now have your feet about shoulder width and parallel. And just with all the standing exercises, stay aware of your foot points so you can keep your head centered over your pelvis. Now just practice with your elbows in close, shoulders a little bit back, just practice spinning your arms away from each other. Exhale as you spin. So we're waking up the rotator cuff in the back of the shoulders, giving your massage to your waistline with the band, and get that feeling you're waking up the muscles in the back of the shoulder (exhales).

And we're gonna do that five more times (exhales). I'm already feeling the warmth in the back of my shoulders. Three more (exhales), and two (exhales), and one. Now take it away from behind your waistline, and reach the band in front of you, hold it about shoulder width, feel the tension level that you want it to be where you could pull it apart but it's not too hard, but there's something there. Now keeping your shoulders level, we're gonna pull at three and nine o'clock, so on the exhale pull out, (exhales) exhale out, inhale to return, keeping your posture, breathing smooth (exhales).

Just two more (exhales). And now we're gonna go 10 and four (exhales), fluid (exhales), six reps of each. (Tom exhales) Now we're gonna go two and eight. (Tom exhales). And two more (exhales).

And one (exhales), very nice. Now from there, I want you to put the band actually under your feet. So I'm turning sideways so you can see me from this vantage point too. Now put it under your feet and these are for the muscles in the back of your hips and the whole back chain of your body, this is gonna be a whole series for that. So have your feet about a foot apart.

Now just practice holding the band at a level where there's a little bit of tension in it when you're at the bottom. And then set your shoulders back and come up flat. Now this is an exercise about hinging from your hip joints without rounding your back. So stand nice and tall, unlock your knee joints, now nice and slow, hinge your pelvis over your legs. Now press into your foot points to stand back up (exhales).

Feel how you're using your hamstrings, your glutes, your spinal muscles (exhales), and your connection to the feet. We're gonna do six of those (exhales). Nice and smooth. (Tom exhales) Flat back hinge. As you're hinging forward, the bottom of the pelvis widens, and then it narrows (exhales).

One more, (exhales). Now take the right leg out, and we're gonna do single legs, so you have an option with the single leg, you can keep the back foot on the floor, or you can lift it up. So when you lift it up, stand straight. Now start to reach the free leg to the back and then hinge, slow, keeping your foot points on the floor. And then hinge back up.

We're gonna do four of those, I'm gonna make it a little more tension for me. So again, reach to the back (exhales), hinge over the standing leg. (Tom exhales) And two more. Reach back, maintain that line from your head to your back leg (exhales). One more.

And up. Now take a moment to switch your legs. And just get that feel of your foot points on the floor. Stand straight, shoulders back. Reach the second leg back, now hinge over the standing leg, slow.

It's okay to bend the knee, you can access your muscles better (exhales). And again (exhales). Hinge back up. And two more nice and fluid, reach into it. (Tom exhales) And one.

So you're working on balance and strength, connection to that back chain. Now put your foot back inside so you have both feet and this is gonna be a rowing series for your back muscles. Feet are about, probably about shoulder width apart now. Now take hold of the band in a way where when you bend over and do a row, it's not too much but there's some work you have to do, this is a strong movement. So take a moment, now as you bend your knees, go into that flat back hinge, bend your knees a little more than the last exercise, and this is a low row.

So on the exhale, start to pull your shoulder blades towards your spine, pull your elbows to your hips. Six reps, (exhales). Energy out the crown of your head, back through your sit bones. (Tom exhales) Feel the back work before the arms work, two more. (Tom exhales) Straighten up for a moment.

Now a wide row, the elbows will come wide, but you're still gonna have your elbows below your shoulders. Go back into the hinge. Palms will face to the back. Now pull like you're pulling a bar to the bottom of your breastbone (exhales). Shoulder blades first (exhales), feel it across your mid back and your hips, (exhales).

Two more, (exhales). And one (exhales), lengthen back up, now we have an interesting exercise called the stir. And this is for your waistline muscles. So step your feet a little wider and turn your feet out a little bit. Now take hold of the band with both hands, like you're holding a wheel that you're gonna turn with your hands, like a crank, or a big gate that turns.

So bend your knees like you're sitting back into a chair, go about a quarter of the way. Set your shoulders low and wide, now imagine you're holding that crank and you're gonna keep your hips still and your knees still, and you're gonna start to turn the crank. Shoulders stay low, hips stay relatively still. Three more in that direction. Feel the waistline muscles, your legs working to stabilize (exhales) your shoulders.

One more, (exhales). And now reverse, (exhales). Keep the neck long throughout (exhales). Press into your foot points. (Tom exhaling) Two more (exhales).

And one (exhales). Very nice, now as we come up from there, step off. And now we're gonna go into some upper body work where we move the spine with the arm work, so put the band around the middle of your upper back, like at the level of your heart. Then hold it between your first finger and thumb. Now come back to how we began with your feet in parallel and when you bend your legs, center your head over your pelvis and feel your three foot points.

So this is your starting position, your legs are a little bit bent, shoulders back and down. Now on the exhale, as you straighten your legs, press your arms to the front, (exhales). Inhale bend legs and arms. Exhale away, (exhales). As you're straightening, imagine the spine gets longer.

(Tom exhales) Breathing with movement, two more (exhales). Right now we're pressing to 90 degrees of the body. Now press about to eye level, (exhales). Just a little higher (exhales), hits your back and chest differently (exhales). Three more.

(Tom exhales) And one, (exhales). Now we're gonna take it into the movements of the spine, so in this position, when I flex my spine, I'm gonna sit my spine back into the TheraBand like it's a hammock. So as you press forward slowly, waistline back (exhales). And as you inhale to lengthen up, lift the top of your chest, then look up. Exhale to curl (exhales).

Inhale, lift and open. As you curl, feel the waistline go back but keep your shoulders low. Inhale up, look up. Exhale to curl (exhales). Inhale up, exhale curl (exhales).

One more, last one now exhale curl (exhales). Inhale up. Now we're gonna use it to open up your hips a little bit more. So put it across the back of your waistline, like a little below your belly button, and step one foot forward in a small lunge. Now in this small lunge, the back leg will be a little bent, my head stays over my pelvis, and I'm gonna pull my lower back, back into the band, and take my tail forward and it's gonna stretch my hip on that back leg side, so on the exhale it's really small, curl the tail forward (exhales), reach the band a little forward, so it's a small movement, not a big movement in my upper body (exhales), but I'm feeling the stretch across the back of my hip (exhales).

Oh the front of my hip, now we're gonna add a rotation to it, so now as I flex, I'm gonna turn away from the back leg. Inhale back to center, so it's (exhales). One more, (exhales). And then we'll switch legs. So take the second leg forward, small lunge, so not a big stretch, 'cause I'm working on the deeper hip flexors across the front of my hip and into the spine.

So take a breath, now exhale waistline back, pelvis tips back (exhales), reach into the band. Nice and fluid (exhales). Keep the shoulders nice and low as you do this (exhales). Now add the rotation towards the front knee after you round (exhales). Imagine the rotation doesn't take the pelvis and lower back with you (exhales).

Just two more, (exhales). And one more, (exhales). Now bring the band back up to that mid back area. And we're gonna take it into a step and punch and the same feeling you wanna have in your hips, so you don't let the lower back arch. Now start where you were for the first pressing exercise.

Now as you step one leg forward, press the opposite arm across, but keep feeling like you're pulling the waistline back like you did in that last stretch. And inhale back to the start, alternating (exhales). Press to the midline, (exhales). As you reach into the front arm, reach into the back leg (exhales). Pour the weight into the front leg (exhales).

Nice and fluid (exhales). Imagine your pelvis is turning slightly towards the back leg, your spine's turning towards the front leg, just like when we walk (exhales). Smooth (exhales). Feel the spring in your body (exhales). One more each side (exhales).

Now we're gonna take that into a 90 90 lunge that the hips are really prepared for that. So 90 90 means both legs are gonna bend 90 degrees. So be in a bigger step now, about six inches left to right with your feet in parallel. Bend your back knee and bring your body vertical. Now start to take your waistline back into the band as you lower the back knee towards the mat (exhales).

Inhale to come back up. So turn on that back hip (exhales). Stay vertical, we're gonna do six (exhales). Exhale on the down (exhales). Two more.

You're pressing forward, you're pulling the waistline back. One more (exhales). And then we'll switch legs. So front knee, our both legs in parallel about six inches apart left to right. Get that feeling of turning on your back glute, and as you press into the band, pull the waistline back, let the back knee go straight down (exhales).

Nice and smooth (exhales). Fluid motion (exhales). Three more (exhales). And two (exhales). And one (exhales).

And now we're gonna take it into a squat. So for a squat, wrap the band around the bottom of your butt, cross it in the front and hold the band with your opposite hand or across. And have your hands a little wider than your shoulders, take your feet at least shoulder width apart and turn your feet out at 10 and two o'clock. Now just set your shoulders back and down. And as you bend your knees slightly, center the weight on your three foot points.

And notice you don't wanna initiate with your shoulders, you wanna feel your shoulders staying low. And as you start to sit back into the squat, slide the shoulders down and reach the arms out on a 45. Press into the ground, come back up. Inhale on the down. Exhale out at the bottom (exhales).

Go for evenness on both legs and feet, fluid breathing (exhales). Just two more (exhales). And one (exhales). Very nice, now from there, we're gonna come to a seated position. Okay everybody, now that we're sitting, we're gonna take the TheraBand and we're gonna use it for the roll down series, so what I want you to do, is wrap it, make sure it's even on both ends, or fairly even, now wrap it around the bottom of your feet, with your feet pretty close together, maybe a few inches apart, and then wrap it around the front of your feet, and then around the underside again so it's around, it's coming back to you from the outside of your feet.

That way it won't come off and you're good to go. So when we do the roll down series, let your arms be like hooks. So this is similar if you do Pilates at a studio if using the roll down bar. So first thing, just sit up nice and tall, leave the arms straight, now on the exhale from your pelvis, curl back slow. And you're gonna determine how far you go by your ability to go slow and controlled and keep the lower back long.

I'm just gonna touch my lower back, take a short breath now keeping the shoulders low, curl back up. Inhale up tall. And again, curl (exhales). Short breath at the bottom. Exhale back up.

So I'm keeping my legs a little bit bent at the bottom so I can keep the back of my legs toned. Now this time I'm gonna let my head come down, take a breath, nod and curl. Inhale up tall again, and again curl. Head comes down, short breath, curl back up. This next three we're gonna add, so we'll curl, at the bottom inhale, shrug the shoulders north, slide the shoulders down, let the head follow, curl, curl, curl.

Two more (exhales). And shrug, shoulders down head follows (exhales). That little moment of setting your shoulders down helps you connect to the muscles under your armpits, into your abdomen a little bit better. Shrug and curl. I'm traveling.

Now we're gonna do an oblique pull. So now when you do the oblique pull, we're gonna do it both sitting straight and then we're gonna do it with the back round. So first thing, sitting up straight, pull one shoulder blade back and pull the elbow in close and even look back as you do that. But imagine the hips aren't moving. It's just from your rib cage up (exhales).

And now curl slightly, about a quarter of the way, and now pull (exhales). So you'll feel a little more waistline (exhales), back of your legs, inseams (exhales). Now lengthen up, now we're gonna combine that with leg movement. So as you curl back, pull and start to walk with your legs. So you're bending the leg you're turning towards as you straighten the one you're turning away from.

(Tom exhales) Makes it a little more dynamic, more like life. (Tom exhales) One more time. (Tom exhales) Now we're gonna add that into an upper back movement. So make it lighter so that 'cause your arms are gonna reach overhead when you're on the floor, so you don't want it to be super heavy now. So bring your arms in front of you, there's not gonna be any tension and just bend your elbows, make sure it doesn't slide off your foot.

Bend your elbows halfway, and now curl down through your pelvis, once your back's on the ground, lower your head and reach the arms overhead. Bend the elbows, let your head follow, curl back up, lengthen up tall. And again, lift the elbows, curl through. We're just gonna do three (exhales). As the head comes down, reach overhead, bend, curl, let the arms lengthen.

One more time. Bend, curl back (exhales), reach overhead, bend, let the head follow, curl back up, very nice. Now from there, leave the setup you have and help yourself onto your back, so we're gonna go right into some legwork. So as you come onto your back, bring your legs up into parallel plié, our parallel table top, and just take a moment to center the weight on the back of your pelvis, and on the exhale, keeping your elbows bent, hands over your elbows, on the exhale, press your legs out to a parallel leg press. Inhale to bend, and again (exhales).

Six times (exhales). Fluid (exhales). Two more (exhales). And one (exhales), now let the bend come inside of the thighs and go into turnout so your feet are in a V position. I'm gonna put that a little lower on the outside of my foot.

Now in that V position, straps inside, elbows on the floor, feel the length of your spine, now press out in the V (exhales). Feel a little more at the back of your hips and inseams. (Tom exhales) Two more, three more. (Tom exhales) And one (exhales). Now go back outside the legs, elbows on the floor, do an abdominal curl (exhales).

Now press one leg long and pull one knee in for single leg stretch. (Tom exhales) Sink in your belly, keep your knees tracking right over your hips. (Tom exhales) Two more each side. (Tom exhales) Lower the torso, now let the TheraBand tension be a little lighter. And we're gonna do what's called double leg stretch, so the arms are gonna reach straight up, as the legs both legs reach straight out while you're in your ab curl.

So take a breath, exhale, do your ab curl. Now inhale to prepare and exhale, reach the arms and legs away from each other (exhales). Inhale back in. And again. (Tom exhales) Three more, four more.

(Tom exhales) Two more. (Tom exhales) And one (exhales). Come back to the bent position, for crisscross. Now take a breath, on the exhale do your ab curl, now reach as you turn towards your right knee, reach the left arm up as you press that left leg long. Inhale center, switch (exhales).

Start to make it little more fluid. (Tom exhales) Two more each side. (Tom exhales) Back to the center, now we're gonna make a little transition, where you keep the band around your left foot, take it off of your right foot. Now turn onto your right side, and put both of the bands that are remaining length of the band, underneath your right knee with your right knee on the floor. Little bit of interesting extravaganza here.

Now when you're here, the left leg is long and you're gonna hold the band with the top hand and put your elbow on the floor. Actually lower your torso down so you can get to your line a little better, so you're cradling your head. Now with that long leg, press the leg away, and bring your attention back to your hip joints. Now with the leg in parallel, press into the band and lift it up, and down without changing the shape of your lower back (exhales). Press into it (exhales).

Four more (exhales). Feel how you're using those lateral hip muscles and you're hinging in the hip joint (exhales). One more, now we're gonna work the back of the hip, so press the leg back and do small circles to the back. I'm holding the band down with the down knee, to add tension and support (exhales). One more in that direction.

And now reverse. (Tom exhales) And two more (exhales). And one. Now we're gonna do a parallel single leg press, so bend, and press. You might make it a little, if you don't feel enough tension, bring your hands a little higher, the hand that's on the floor.

Exhale to press (exhales). Inhale to bend (exhales). One more. Now go into turnout, bend the knee towards the armpit and press (exhales). Fluid (exhales).

Three more (exhales). And two, breath is smooth (exhales). And one (exhales). Now we're gonna make a transition onto our back on the same side. Come onto your back and take that leg straight up to the ceiling.

Relax your arms on the band for a moment. And then wherever your straight arms can reach up and take hold of the band, take hold of it, and then put your elbows on the floor. Now lengthen out your down leg to where you can get your pelvis feeling like it's level, it's okay if the leg is not fully straight, I like to bend it a little bit and flex the foot. There you go, now nice and slow, or not slow but fluid, inhale, reach the leg to the ground, exhale to lift. And just use the arms a little bit, do most of the work from your leg (exhales).

Fluid, dynamic stretching. Now take that foot towards the opposite shoulder as you lift so you get more into those lateral hamstring and hip muscles (exhales). Last two (exhales). Last one, now bring it to 90 or close to and just go side to side, keeping the back of the pelvis stabilized on the ground. (Tom exhales) Come back to center, take a breath.

Now as you exhale do an abdominal curl, elbows on the floor and reach into both legs for two to three breaths. (Tom breathes deeply) One more breath. (Tom breathes deeply) Nice and slow, lower. Help it off that foot. And we gotta go to the other side.

So for the other side, wrap it around the under side of your foot first, wrap it around both sides of the foot so you're coming from the inside and the outside. Now it's very stable, now as you come onto your side on the side of the leg that doesn't have the strap on, put it underneath your knee on the bottom side, and hold the band with the top hand. Now put your upper body down, and cradle your head. Now reach into that long leg and bring that long leg into parallel straight off your body. Press into the band, now lift it up, nice and fluid.

(Tom breathes deeply) People on the train are doing leg work with me now (exhales). That's it. So reach into it. (Tom breathes deeply) Just three more (exhales). And two, just feel how the band gives you that feedback.

One more (exhales). Now hold it and do circles to the back, press the leg to the back so you feel those lateral hip muscles and the back of the hamstring and hip working a little bit more, that hip extension we all need. One more in that direction (exhales). And now reverse (exhales). Reach into it the whole time (exhales).

Three more (exhales). And two (exhales). And one, now parallel press. I'm gonna bring my hand a little higher on the floor so I have a little more tension when I press. Inhale to bend (exhales).

Fluid motion in your hip joint, smooth breathing. Two more. (Tom breathes deeply) And one. Now go into turnout, bend the knees towards the armpit. (Tom breathes deeply) Six reps again.

(Tom breathes deeply) And two more. (Tom breathes deeply) And one (exhales). From there, help yourself onto your back. Take the leg straight up to the ceiling, now just let go of the band for a moment so you can let go of the tension in your hands. And then wherever your straight arms find the band, take hold, and put your elbows on the floor.

Now lengthen out the down leg, it's okay if it's not fully straight 'cause you wanna pay attention to what you're doing with your pelvis. Center the weight on the back of your hips. Now as you inhale, touch the ground or lower the leg towards the ground, exhale to lift (exhales). Four to six reps in parallel, or just straight up and down. (Tom breathes deeply) Now do four where you go towards the opposite shoulder.

(Tom breathes deeply) One more (exhales). Now stay up at 90 and go side to side across the midline, keeping the back of the pelvis stabilized, so now you're just lengthening, the muscles in your legs and hips are lengthening just like the band is, on the same side that's lengthening the band. Now hold the middle, take a breath, do an abdominal curl, reach into both legs, take two big breaths. (Tom breathes deeply) Nice and slow, lower back down. Help yourself out of the band.

Okay now from here, we're gonna transition up to all fours and wrap the band around the middle of your upper back. So come on up, come on to all fours, and take the TheraBand around your back the way we did when we were doing that standing press, where you had it around the middle of your upper back. This is gonna be to improve the function of your shoulder girdle, and your strength so you can do pushups better, and just keep your shoulders healthy. So with the band around your back, you want a little bit of tension, when your hands are on the floor. And I'm holding it between my first finger and thumb, you could also wrap it around your hands if that feels better, so you don't have to hold it very tightly with your hands.

Now hands directly under your shoulders. And just take a moment to create a straight line from your head to your tail. So when you're looking down, the tendency for all of us is to drop our head out of the line of the spine, so draw your nose and your chin straight up, so you feel like your head's in a better alignment with the rest of your spine. Now nice and slow, let the shoulder blade tension pull your shoulder blades more together in the back. Now as you reach into your hands, do two things, wide and lower the shoulder blades so you feel how you're doing what's called the push up plus, and at that moment of the plus really widen and lower your shoulder blades, like push the ground away more than you're used to.

So you're connecting to those muscles under the shoulder blades that wrap into the sides of your ribs. That's it, do that one more time. Now hold that, hold that now from those muscles from the bottom of your shoulder blades, reach one arm forward and then lower and then do side two (exhales). Four each side. Keep the shape of the neck the same.

You're not trying to get the arm way overhead 'cause you're trying to stay connected to those muscles under the shoulder (exhales). Mid back (exhales). Now add the opposite leg, reach it to the back (exhales). Fluid (exhales). Strong body line (exhales).

Four each side (exhales). Two more each side everybody. (Tom breathes deeply) One more each side. (Tom breathes deeply) Now as you come back, just let your shoulder blades come in again, let them come slightly in. Now wide and lower them again, now keep that wide low feeling, and as you shift your torso forward a little bit, bend your elbows back towards your hips.

And then press away and widen again. So shift forward so you're staying connected to the underside of your shoulders, and get the feeling like as you're bending you're gonna let the shoulder blades come in a little bit, but very small, you're controlling it. And then from the bottom of your shoulder blades widen as you press the ground away, one more. (Tom exhales) Now take the band away, and we're gonna demonstrate that with a pushup. Who knew?

So, if you need to do the push up on your knees, that's fine. But think of doing it in a way that when we do it, that you let your body go a little forward and then a little bit back when you come back up, using those muscles that we just activated. So for the full one, step one leg back into a plank. I like it with my heels together, you can have them a little bit apart. Now feel that plus, wide and lower your shoulder blades, and as you transfer a little forward, control the lowering, then push it away and feel the plus at the top, just three.

(Tom exhales) One more. (Tom exhales) Stretch back to child's pose just for a moment. Take a breath or two here. (Tom breathes deeply) One more, nice fluid breath. (Tom breathes deeply) Now we're gonna come up, we're gonna go into downward dog with a leg lift to the back, into what's called, single leg elephant.

So first thing, tuck your toes under, lift back towards your downward dog, and hold for a moment, now just get the feeling, unlock your knees so that your hips are tractioning away from your hands (exhales), and you're looking towards your feet. Smooth breathing (exhales). Now from your pelvis, start to curl your tail forward and as you start to curl forward towards your plank, pull one knee to your chest (exhales). Inhale, lift it up and back. Exhale, curl, pull it in (exhales).

Inhale up and back, just one more (exhales). Inhale up and back. Lower your leg. Take a moment here (exhales). Side two, start to curl in.

Pull the knee into your chest (exhales). Inhale up and back. Exhale, curl it in (exhales). One more. (Tom exhales) Slowly lower, float the knees down, come up to tall kneeling, and grab your TheraBand, for chest expansion, great way to finish your session, to improve your posture.

So step one leg forward, put the band across the front of your shins, and come into vertical with your body so your your torso is vertical, your back knee's right under your shoulder. I like it with my back toes tucked under but you don't need to, but it's a little more stable. Now hold the band, just pull it back a few times to feel like there's a little bit of tension, but it's not too much that it's gonna make you roll your shoulders forward. So stand tall or kneel tall. Imagine the first bone to move, is your clavicles.

Start to draw your clavicles back, and drag your arms back. Control to return, add your breath to that, exhale (exhales). Notice you wanna be able to pull and relax your neck and jaw (exhales). On the next one, pull and hold. Turn your head to one side, center, second side, release, just two more.

Pull (exhales), turn, center, turn, release. Last time (exhales). Turn, center, turn, release. Now we gotta do the other side. Step your second leg forward, band across the front of your thigh.

Now really get that feeling of tall through your standing leg, right up on top of that leg, chest open. Now in the exhale, clavicles back (exhales). Control the return (exhales). Feel the back of your arms, back of your shoulders, mid back (exhales). On the next one, pull and hold (exhales).

Turn your head, center, turn, center, release. Feel the tone of your body with a relaxed neck. Two more. (Tom breathes deeply) And one, pull (exhales), turn, center, turn, center release. Take the band out of your way.

Come onto all fours, just do a simple cat stretch hands right under your shoulders, but use that push up plus feeling that you identified with the TheraBand so as you round your back, widen and lower your shoulder blades (exhales). Inhale tail to the back, open your chest to the front. Three times. (Tom breathes deeply) One more. (Tom breathes deeply) And then we'll conclude right there everybody, I hope you enjoyed this workout.

Let me know how it goes for you, take your time, feel your way through each movement, and thank you, Pilates Anytime. (Tom claps hands together)


Julie Lloyd
Thank you for a brilliant theraband class Tom. This is just what the Dr ordered. I have a bit of a tight right side of the neck/clavicle this week, and your mix of exercises has made me feel a lot more balanced. The strength aspect of this was amazing as well, as you have managed to work every part of the body beautifully. Thank you again.
Julie L,  Thank you so much! It's great to hear you were able to release tension and improve function through this class, that's the best!! 
Tom, loved this. Felt amazing. I've got arthritis in C5,6&7 so I get referred pain in back of shoulder all the time. This really released that tension we tend to hold there. Also, PSA to all: this class actually has quite a bit of heat. There's no riding the springs; it's all you the whole time. 
Lisa R
Loved the intention and how what might look easy caused me to sweat!
Fantastic class, as are the others i have tried over the past week. Thank you so much and your use of language is inspiring. 
1 person likes this.
Lori M & Lisa R, Thank you for your great feedback! Lori that inspiring to hear you feel the benefits in your shoulders and neck. Enjoy and all the best!👊🙏
Zoe rebecca burke, Thank you for comments, it’s great to hear your enjoying the classes and verbal guidance!!🙏
Wonderful warmup for stiff bodies and then moves to  reformer & mat-type exercises  but with therabands, which balances but also greatly strengthens. You can control the tension and strengthening with length of the bands.
 I just happen to prefer to breath in opposite pattern to teacher. Does that affect things differently?
2 people like this.
T Dikhanov, Thank you for your positive feedback! My suggestion with the breathing is to explore doing the exercises both ways to notice the differences without being too attached to one way. The main point is to breath with awareness to support better movement quality, proper tone and efficiency. Wishing you all the best from the classes!
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