Class #5133

Hip Flexor Release Wunda

25 min - Class


Put your hip flexors in their place with this releasing Wunda Chair workout by Ilaria Cavagna. She focuses on initiating the movements of the legs from the glutes and hamstrings so that you can work the posterior chain. She finds opportunities to open the front of the hips while incorporating movements that pump, balance, and stretch.
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair

About This Video


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Today we'll try to dominate the hip flexor, so with the help of the Wunda. It will be actually really, really interesting to work similar situations and similar exercise that we already saw in the mat with the resistance of the spring that sometimes will challenge us and sometimes will actually help us achieve a better movement and a better position. So, let's start supine, lying down, pretty much 90 degrees from the pedal, even a little farther back if you want. And from this position, I want you to put the heels like a little bit in front of the top of the pedal. From this position we can start with a little cactus arms so that we open up the chest at the same time.

And I want you to press the pedal down and hold very gentle, very simple, and then release it up. And again, press down and resist. Let's do two more. I have one spring in the middle. You can play maybe with also one spring on the top.

It really changes the work, right? With one on top, it's harder to press it down but it'll be easier what we do next. So, from here we go, press down, keep the pedal there, curl the pelvis up and lift the hips exactly like we did on the mat. And then you roll down. Let's keep the pedal where it is.

And then you resist. And again you press, you curl and lift. Open up the hips, lengthen your spine. Use your hamstring, choose your glutes to keep the pedal where it is, and then resist. And again, press down, lift up, roll down, and resist.

And press down, lift up, roll down, and resist. Now, let's go also to the feet together, knees together position. From here I want you to do the same. You press, you lift the hips, you roll back down, and you lengthen. Let's do one more.

Press, lift, lift, lift. Glutes, stomach, inner thighs, roll down, and release. Now, let's press the pedal down, and we go lengthening one leg knee to knee again, like we did on the mat, like we did up against the wall. Pulling the inner thighs together. Keeping the glutes and the hamstrings active on the inside.

Stomach, low abs and hip and adductors. Change, other side, nothing is moving. So many growth muscles are working. Press, press, press, press, press. Now, bend it back and let's relax for a minute.

And then you go press down. We do the same thing going lower down. So our leg, our foot goes inside the chair, underneath the top of the chair. Press in, pull. And then we switch other side.

The long leg is kind of like above the ankle. Halve shin, we engage, we pull. This is gonna help our 100, right? Maintain, maintain, maintain, bring the glute back, and raises the pedal up. Now, let's bring the arms down by the side.

And let's try to keep the chest open exactly like we were doing over here, right? We try to maintain the nice feeling of the open chest, feet hip width apart. From this position I want you to press down and resist. And now we lift the hips up and we roll down. We are still breaking down the movement.

So you press, you lift, you lower and up. You lift, roll down. One more time. Pedal goes down, hips come up, hips go down, pedal up. Now, keep the pedal there, lift the hips, roll down and release.

Now we put all together. You press down, we do a nice semicircle, you lift the hips. Now here, reach, lift the pedal, that's the challenge, roll down. And again, press down, lift the hips up, keep it light. Reach along with the arms, keep your hips up as you lengthen up and roll down.

One more time. Press the pedal down, lift your hips up high, float the pedal up and melt your spine down. Now we reverse. You curl and you lift up. Now, keep the hips up, press the pedal down without slamming it down.

Control, control, control, control, land quietly. And then you articulate down and you lengthen out the legs. And again, you curl and lift, you press it down, articulate your spine, and release. Last one, press, lift up, press it down, roll down and melt and lengthen, beautiful. Now just lengthen the legs and shake them out a little bit.

I want you to give a little break to the glutes and hamstrings. You can even stretch one knee in. And then the other one just to make sure, and together just to make sure the lumbar spine and everything is happy. Now, we're gonna go back and repress the pedal down. And I want to see where your straight leg will hand.

Mine now, hands up right behind the knee, which is not a good thing. So, I'm going to scooch back a little bit, because I don't want pressure behind the joint. There are too many important tissues over there, so I want you to press down and try again. Perfect, I'm on the top part of the calf. So, here I maintain, I join with my other leg.

I press them both down and now I reach up for my 100. And I go inhale deep, and exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale, exhale. I'm trying to keep that that pedal still, it moves a little bit, so I have something to work towards. You reach, reach, reach and you pump. And again, inhale, and exhale, exhale, exhale.

And in, in, in, and pump it out. So, inner thighs are pulling together. Glutes are of course are active, hamstrings even more active. And then everything else for the 100, like reaching forward with the arms top of the head, up to the ceiling. Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, and release.

Now, let's keep one leg down, and we stretch one leg up very strong. Keep this hip open and circle, and up, and circle two, and up. One more time. I love this position, I love this leg circles reverse, because this really gets the idea of how much we should reach the leg out and press it down onto the floor as we do our leg circle. Now, bend the knee in, we switch, we go with the other side.

Now, prepare the second leg pressing down, leg up on top, reaching. And now you go circle one, circle two, circle around, three, reverse, out and around. Reach with the ground leg with the leg on the pedal and press it down, beautiful. Bend it in. We're gonna bring the pedal up with control.

We'll come back to this position later towards the end of the session. For now we just roll up and we're ready to stand up. Now, we need to add more resistance, because we're gonna use the legs with a little bit of the pumping, so we need more spring. So, I'm gonna add the second one. I personally have one middle, one bottom.

You can also do two in the middle if you like more resistance. We start standing. I want you to pay attention to this standing leg but most important to pump the pedal with the part of the foot closer to the heel. So, here kind of arch heel position, okay, back of the foot. So, here you press down and lift.

I want you to get to use that posterior chain muscle, those posterior chain muscle that we did train and we woke up when we were lying down. Okay, two more, press it down. Now, keep the pedal down, turn facing sideways. Same thing, you press, you use the muscles underneath and you go two, you press three, four, and five. Keep the pedal down, turn facing the chair, keep it and you go again.

Feel the muscles in the back. Two, stay tall, three, four, and five. Control the pedal up and switch. Other side, we go, press down, one, two, three, four, keep it there. Sideways you go one, two, three, four, five, turn to the front.

And you go, pump five, four, three, two, and one. Resist the pedal up and now we go lying down for some abs. Why? We have did already a Lot of abs down with the 100. But here I want you to do this single reaching down with this leg.

So, as we work the core, I want you to start getting into lengthening the hip flexors, and reaching, and reaching, and reaching. When we are used to really overwork them, we need to find any possible opportunity we have to remind them that they need to lengthen out in the proper way, right? One more. Perfect. Now, up same thing with the straight.

You go reach, you go reach, lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. Lengthen, lengthen, lengthen. Of course, we need to keep this safe, right? So with the lower back safe, we break the floor and we go down. We couldn't do this on the mat, right?

The chair offers this opportunity, which is really, really nice and we should grab it. Now, from here you can hold your head tabletop. We go tap down with one leg, and up, tap down with the other one and up. And now with both, maybe less range of motion, back up. And again, tap, and lift, and tap, and up.

And both reaching away and lift. And again, down, up, down, lift, reach, reach, reach and up. Let's do one more. Tap down and up. Reach and lift, and lengthen, lengthen, lengthen, and up.

And now we come up, sitting on the chair for some footwork. So, let's go parallel and we start at the heels. Same thing, I really like to work less with the toes when I'm trying to lengthen and work on the hip properly, because the ankle sometimes confuses the leg position and where the movement comes from. So, we take it out of the equation for some exercises, and here we go. We press, we can press down, we can hug the chair.

Any position that you like better. We can challenge ourself and stay up here for the first one. And you go pump 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Now let's go to the arches. And one thing we can do is also to put the hands over here.

Sometimes tactile feedback is also good and you go pump, 2, 3, 4, 5. So you can monitor, right? Of course the quads are working, so you do feel some tension but it shouldn't be too much. And up. Now we go to the toes and here we do just four or five to get the idea of the movement.

And then I want you to place the hands back here, press the pedal down, lift the hips up to open everything nicely. And now here you go, pump, 2, 3, 4, 5. A nice table top. We sit down again and we release. Now, let's alternate and get a little bit into the stomach with a nice pull up.

From here you go, lift and down, up and down. Keeping the space, keeping and maintaining the nice work on the hips that we just did, and release. And now back to our parallel position, hands back. This time we keep the pedal up. You curl and lift the hips without moving the pedal.

And now you go pump, 2, 3, 4, 5, pedal up and sit down. And now we're going to repeat this little sequence from the footwork to the tabletop so that we really get into feeling the difference as we continue on with the work. So here you go, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6. Keep rowing, up, up, up, up, and change to the arches. You go down, 2, 3.

Also the sit bones position is really important, right? If you fall back, boom right away you get into the hip flexors. Try to avoid that. Now, on the toes, you do same thing, free over here, pull up the stomach. Good, now hands back, paddle down, curl and lift.

And you go pump, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Sit on the chair. Chair up the paddle up for a second, press down for pull up, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Now, come all the way out with the pedal parallel with your feet, curl, lift up the hips. Nice straight line from the shoulders to the knees, you go, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Pedal up and release down. Perfect, now we're ready to go up on top. We are ready to go. So, we push down first to the left, and this time we try to maintain the good quality of the work working with the toes. So hands on the hips and you go pump, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Step up on top and maintain space on both hips. You go pump, 3, 2, 1. Now, here we float up, engage and lift, and down, control, scoop up and control. Feel this nice stretch, maintain that opening. And again, up.

Now, keep that hip open, go down, down, down. When this is horizontal, you start pumping, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Flow down, lower the heel down, and then you lift up the arm and we're going to a little bit of a side stretch to release and open up the hip even more. And now we switch, we change and you go up and you do the same thing with the other leg. You pump 5, 4, 3, 2, keep it there.

On top of the chair and you go, 8. Keep the space in front of the hips, pelvis doesn't move. And now here, up with the hands, you go float, and pull up, up, up and down. Grow tall, try to keep the hip square nice and even. Front of the right hip in this case open, now here stop halfway, and you pump 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, down all the way, lower the heel.

And now you lift up and you stretch. Hold onto the chair as you stretch, breathe and then back up. And you step off and you release. Cool, now time to go back down onto the floor, we did enough up on top. And here we go to open even more, even bigger.

So, we go prone and we reach. I want, yes, soft elbows to reach over here. Now, from this position, very small, and keep the legs apart in the beginning, okay? I want you to activate, come up just gentle a little bit, and then release. Test it out and make sure it's not too much for your lower back, okay?

That's why I want the legs a little bit wider, not together, so that the lower back is less in tension. Every single time you come up a little bit more if you can this time around you come up so that you press the pedal down all the way. It's a beautiful stretch, but don't force it, and release. Now, you go to the point where you feel comfortable. Could be here, could be here, could be all the way down.

And you freeze the pedal there and you go for your neck crawl and that reverse. Now, keep the stomach lifted and easy, release, down. Now again, you scoop and lift, go wherever it's comfortable. Kick, kick, reach, kick, kick, reach, kick, kick, reach kick kick, pull up the stomach even more, up with the pedal and down, release. Now, no need to turn the head over here.

With the legs long we're gonna lift them up a little bit. You kick 3, 2, 1, lengthen the leg, legs and pedal down. And now down again. You go kick 2, 3, reach out of the legs, pedal comes down, and release. And again, 3, 2, 1, reach, reach, reach.

Last one you go lift. Kick 2,3, reach with the legs. Pedal comes down, open, open, open. Now we dive, pedal up, legs up, pedal down, legs down. And you go, dive and up, dive and up, dive and release.

Sit back, stretch, sit on your heels, breathe for a second. Make sure the lower back is fine. And now we can go through and we lay supine for more activation. So, we are gonna go in a similar position that we had in the very beginning, okay? Little more than 90 degrees.

And now we do that semicircle action with one leg at a time. So, let's start lifting one up, arms down. First we prepare, we're gonna press down, hold. If the distance is not perfect you can adjust, release up the leg. And now you go lift up your hips and roll them down.

Let's do it again. Press down, lift up, lift the hips, and release. Let's change leg to do the prep. So you'll go, press down, lift up, hips up, release down. One more time.

Press and lift. Up, up, up, up, up, and release. Let's go back to our first leg. Start with the leg one leg already up, we go for the whole thing. So you press down, lift your hips up, keep your hips light as you lift the pedal, and then slowly roll it down again.

Press, you lift, you lengthen, and down. One more time, press, lift up, reach, reach, reach, and down. Let's go switch the leg so we gave this leg time to rest and we go back to the reverse later. You press, you lift, reach up with the pedal, melt down. Don't you feel already stronger doing this movement?

I mean, it's very, very challenging with the single leg. So, if it's too much in the very beginning, you can just go back and repeat the two legs together, okay? You can always break down the work. Now, let's change leg, we go reverse. You're gonna lift up your hips.

Here is where we don't want to slam the pedal down. So control it down, roll down and up, and again you lift. Press the pedal, articulate your spine, and lengthen. Last one, up, pedal down, hips stay up, they're frozen there, roll down your hips, the pedal is still, and release. Switch, last time here.

You're gonna go up, press down, roll down, and lengthen. Lift up, press down, roll down, and lengthen. And again, up, up, up, down you press, articulate, down, down, down, down, down, and release. Now, hug the knees in, just rock side to side a little bit. And now I want us to come up and turn around for the re-adaptation of the kneeling belly stretch on the (indistinct.) So there are not too many stretching exercise that we can do with the chair.

So here, this is what we can do. You reach back with the toes tucked under. You find the distance, and then you bring the knee forward a little bit so that when you sit on your heel you have the right amount of stretch in the front of the hip. Now we don't want to arch and collapse, we want to pull the stomach in a little bit as we go into opening the hip. Now, come up a little bit, engage your abs, and press the pedal down with control.

And then you release it up. We're gonna repeat. You sit back for the stretch, and then you scoop and you press it down for control. And then one more time, sit back, enjoy the stretch. You can also wiggle side to side a little bit to really find the right position.

The leg is parallel, so best way to get stretch of the hip flexors, press down, control part. Now, bring the pedal up, try to keep the pedal there. You hold it, your left up, switch. We should have the answer, the right measurement. But make sure you're always ready to readapt.

And then you go, stretch it here, press it down. And again, up, big stretch, pull into your stomach, think about all the part that we did down on the stomach, prone and release. And again, big stretch, open up the hip, and then you go press it down, down, down, and release. Perfect. So, this is really like bringing the work that we did on the mat and on the preparation on the chair.

Moving in a more global way, right? It's not just specific We're working and we're stretching the hip flexors. It is like let's incorporate that new awareness and that new positioning of the body to anything we do.


1 person likes this.
I am loving this series!  Thanks so much!  
Lori Thank you Lori for the feedback! Happy you are enjoying the workouts!
1 person likes this.
Excellent! Thank you Ilaria🙏
1 person likes this.
Difficult though 😉
1 person likes this.
Awesome class, thanks! 
Olga R So happy you like it! Thank you Olga 🙏🏼
Rachel You are very welcome! 🙏🏼
Alicia M
1 person likes this.
I liked this! Doable but also challenging, especially when trying to have good form. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
She’s unclear what springs to use and when. It was a good class though.
1 person likes this.
Vicki D ~ We're glad to hear that you enjoyed this class! We always try to share the springs used and we'll make sure that we're clear on future classes!
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