Hi, I'm Leslie Logan, and today's intermediate fast class is going to help set you up for any mat and reformer exercises that you're feeling a little bit hip flexy or a little hip clicky in. So let's get started. By the way, just a side note, every exercise can be done on most towers. So what I wanna start with is your leg springs lie on your back. It's a single leg spring, but with the opposite leg.
So what you'll do is take the right spring and put it on your left foot. If you've got any knee stuff going on, then you can skip the cross and just put it on the same leg. So that's for any knee issues. Otherwise, the leg that's not in the spring is bent, pushing the foot down and then energetically pulling it back. So you should still, your hamstring and glute turn on there.
Arms reaching into the poles from your upper back and then press your leg towards straight and bend it in. And as we do this, you'll just go out and in. First make sure that you're breathing into your back, into your lungs and the back taking up space. And as the leg goes out and in, it's easy to just let the spring pull you in. That would be cheating. (laughs) And it's your fast. So if you wanna cheat that you can.
But I would prefer you to press into the spring even as you bend your knee. We'll do two more out and in and then stay out there and lower the leg and lift the leg. Now, I don't need you to go all the way up and close the spring. I only want you to go as low and as high as you're standing in the spring from your hamstring and glute from where your thigh meets your booty. And so as you do that, it's tempting to just kind of relax or press from the back of the knee.
But let's stand in the spring from the back of our leg and then hold it down on the next one. And you'll slide that heel in, lift the foot up and so you're in this nice little shape, kind of how we started. Then press that shape back down, slide the leg out, lift the leg up and again it goes down. Drag it in it's kind of like a single leg bicycle. I only come in as much as I can stand in the strap and then lift the leg up and then push it back down.
Slide it out and then lift it up. We'll do one more together. Press it down, drag it in, pick that up, place it down, and slide it out. All right, after you lift it up, bend the knee in for a moment. Take your free leg, the leg not in a spring, and straighten it on the mat.
Then stretch your spring out to a straight leg at the high diagonal we'll draw circles. So two options. You can keep your hip down and draw circles, sort of like a single leg circle on the map or a little bit more dramatic I guess you could say, is to lift the hip up, take the spring across and pull it out to the side. You get to choose based on what your body wants you to do today, but I really care less about the size of your circle and more where you're circling from. So after five in one direction, we'll go in the other direction and what I mean by that is just be mindful.
Do you feel like your foot is getting light on the strap? If so, then as the spring is closing, it's doing all the work and you're not, can you stand in that strap even as the leg comes all the way up? Let's do one more together and then bend that knee in. Woo. So we're just warming up our fast connection, our leg to our center, we're in a switch sides. What's fun about this is you could always do a weak, strong, weak.
So you can always pause this and do one side, then the other side and come back, place your hands on the vertical poles and then we'll start again. So again, pressing that foot into the mat, energetically dragging it back so it's not resting here, it's still working your fast connection. And we go out and we pull it. Something it's hard to see on yourself. So if you're wondering what you should be paying attention to, if you can get a mirror or get someone to watch you, as the leg goes out, it's tempting for the leg to go up or to fall down.
And we want it to just go in and out on the same trajectory, the same line as it does its work so that you're opening the spring from your back of your leg, from your muscles. And the spring isn't either opening you or your leg isn't just falling out. Stay out there and go down and up. As you stand in that spring, notice that this leg might be a little different for me. This is my stronger leg.
If I was at home doing this by myself, I would go back to my other leg and just give it a little extra love and attention. And then on the next one, stay down. Drag it in for that single leg bicycle. Again, even if you're flexible in your heel, can touch your seat. Drag it in only as much as you're standing in the spring and pick it back up.
And then push that shape down and then stretch it out lift and again down, drag it in, lift it up, place it down, slide it out and lift. Couple more together. What's cool about doing it with the spring is that it's allows you to feel muscles that you might not feel on the mat when you don't have a spring or even on the reformer. And so you can take what you're feeling here and use it on the mat class. Alright, hold that leg up, stretch your other leg up, whatever you did on the first side, you do on the second side.
So you circle the like a across your body out, around and up. If you lifted the hip, you'll lift the hip. So play with it and see which one really helps you stand in the muscles more. There's not one that's better or like you're gonna get a star. (laughs) So it's really important to just honor what your body is able to do today. Every day is gonna be a little different and giving yourself that grace to stand in the muscles versus making it look different than it needs to.
All right, bring that knee in. So now that your legs are nice and warmed up, you get to do your leg springs. Yes, I know you're like, wait, (laughs) maybe they're a little too warmed up. Good, I hope you feel me tomorrow. Hands on the vertical poles.
One strap on each foot. This time they're not crossed. So sames leg and spring right are on there together reaching your arms from your upper back. I have my arms towards straight, but if that's too much for you, you can totally slide in. Just make sure your hands are higher than your elbows. Alright, reaching your arms from our back.
Stretch your legs out for a few frogs. So we just did this with one leg at a time. Now, you get to do two legs and now you get to add in a little bit more of that inner thigh connection that can be harder to find. On the next one we'll hold it out there with your hip staying down dress circles. So lift the legs up, open down around together.
Whether or not you close your spring is less important. It's the same thing as those single leg circles. How high can you lift your legs while standing in the spring? And then let's reverse. Push your legs down, open out together.
And again, reach around and together. Ideally, you're looking at your ceiling. I know it's tempting to look down at your feet, I just did it. (laughs) But it does change the shape of your spine, AKA your neck, bend your knees in when you're even, and it can take it out of being a whole body workout and just kind of ending it up in your leg. So looking at your ceiling, trusting that your legs are there. Stretch your legs back out to the high diagonal for a little walking.
So we'll take our right leg and we'll lower it about one foot distance, then the left leg, then the right. So only one leg is moving at a time and then walk back up. It feels a little weird. If you feel the back of your legs on fire, good job. Go again. Down, down, down for up to six steps.
And then up, up, up, up. One more time, down, down, down. And up, up, up. Squeeze those legs together, bend it in. Take a deep breath 'cause you get to go back out.
We're gonna do some bicycle. So we already warm this up. So as you do your bicycle and you scrape the mat, you know you only have to pull your heel in as much as you can stand in the spring. So essentially you get no break on your fast and then reverse and reach. So the goal is to drag this foot along the mat. Your knee is going out to the side of your spring.
And then when you're even bend your knees in and press those legs back out for a little beats. Eight beats up here. Open close, open, close. And then hold the legs together for count of eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Don't bend your knees in just yet lower 'em a little bit eight beats here.
So really standing in our thigh glute connection hold it there for eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Lower the legs one more time if you can. If you can't keep 'em where they were. Eight more beats. Your inner thighs, outer hips, hamstrings should really know your name by now. (laughs) And then hold it there for the last eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two and bend it in. Okay, not, we're not resting yet.
You have one more leg spring. You do. You've got this. So taking your feet, press their heels together, toes apart, pressing your feet to the mat in this shape, just like we did with the single leg spring. Drag it out, open the legs up, lift, squeeze the legs together and bend it in. And again, push the feet to the mat from the back of your legs.
Stretch it out, open. Stand in the spring as you lift, then close. It's tempting to kinda ride those springs up, especially after we've really heated up the back of our legs. But let's challenge ourselves reverse push the legs out to stand in the springs all the way down, even as you close. And then you pull your heels toward your seat, reach it out, open down, squeeze together drag it in.
One more time and I promise you can take these springs off, lower down, squeeze together, bend it in. All right, so now that you're really aware of where your legs are, they're going to help us in our 100. So what I love for us to do is face our arm springs. And so if you need to spin around 'cause your armings on the same side as your leg springs, that's fine. The further you are away from your springs attachment, the hard this is gonna be.
But what I really want is this to be a more of assisted 100. I want you to feel your legs, your fast, being able to do all the work here that it needs to do. So lying on your back hands, holding your handles, palms facing out, squeeze your legs together. Easier is to keep the legs down harder is to float them up. We'll lift our head and chest up.
I'm gonna keep my legs down for the first five cycles of breathing. Pump your arms here. So while this is the 100 and it's easy to get a little bit excited about the pumps, can we take a little bit of our attention to the back of our legs? So what I don't want is your knees locking in your feet, just kind of hanging out there. I also don't want you just bending your knees, feel the back of your legs that we just woke up in your leg springs and maybe they're so awake.
You can lift your legs up here for the last five cycles of breathing. (breathing deeply) And we'll get as close to a 100 as I've ever counted, (laughs) which might mean 80 or we could be at 120. Who knows? Alright, to float all the way up. And let's spin around for a little arm springing action. So what's tempting to do is think about what the name of an exercise is and forget that we even have a fast.
So as we do our arm springs, your job is to actually think about what your legs are doing the whole time. So start with your knees bent, feet and knees together if possible. If not, put a block between your knees to squeeze and then push your feet down and energetically pull them back. That's gonna keep you from tucking. It's just gonna put your pelvis in a little bit more of a neutral spot for your body.
Then standing in your feet, press your arms down and hold one, two and lift them up. And again, press and hold three more like this. Just take your mind's eye to where your thigh meets your booty, where your thighs is. And ask yourself if those muscles are on and can they stay on as you draw these circles. So it's one thing for them to turn on when they have springs to help us reverse.
It's another thing to have them on when the focus is somewhere else. And then rest. All right, bend elbows for your tricep press, press into those feet, and then gently pull them back and then straighten your arms if you can and bend. My hands don't always get to the mat 'cause it's a little less important if your arms are straight, it's a bit more important that your upper arms are pressing into the mat and your elbows stay in one spot. One more time, just a little reminder.
This is a fast class. How's it doing? Turn your palms in, open your arms up and then hug them close. Standing in your feet. Inner thighs squeezing outer hips hugging, allowing it to actually be easier to do these arm springs 'cause you're focusing on how your legs can help. Last one.
Alright, so let's set up our push through bar with one spring from above. You can always do the push through without a spring by the way. So just know that's an option for you. What I want you to notice is if you can keep your legs reaching so again, we get a little excited about what the bar is doing, but can you stand in your legs so much from the backside that A, you don't get a little hip click and B, it's a little easier to move this bar. So here we go.
Reach the bar from your upper back, stand in your feet and then round your spine. As you round take a little quick look with your peripheral vision. Did your feet come off your poles and then round back and lift up. If so, you're not in trouble. It's just a sign that you actually are doing a little bit more from your knees and your hip flexors than from your center.
So I'll bend my knees a little bit and then imagine you're stretching your legs into a spring to get them straight. And then we round up and over and then pull the waist back and lift it up. And again, round up and over, pull the waist back and lift. Two more and lift. Last one reaching the arms from your back and your legs from your thighs, allowing your center to flow, good.
Okay, kneeling side bend. So if you are on the shorter side, you may want to click pause, add an extra spray a little clip here so your arm is a little bit more aligned with your shoulder. I don't want it to be way up there. So you can do this a couple ways with your legs, because it's a fast class, I want your heels together. Knees a fist distance apart and then you'll squeeze your knees towards each other.
So you have this little tripod, what you could feel with your heels squeezing. Similar to our leg springs, it should wake up that fast and allow your hips to go from sitting back here to pulling themselves over your knees. Lifting tall in your center, press your arms down and lift it up. So both arms are pressing, like you've got an imaginary push through bar on the other side too. And a reach and lift. Two more.
This is more of a distraction to see if you can keep your thighs connected while your arms are doing fun things. And now take your arm up, outside arm up and then big side bend up and over and then lift it up. So tempting to do it from your arm, but imagine that you're center is the one doing it 'cause it is. It's not really an imagination, it's kind of real. (laughs) Up and over and lift two more, reach down through your knees, double check your heels are squeezing nice and tight. Last one.
What is so fun about that whole thing? Is while your whole face is connected, you didn't do any hip lunging, which is so nice. let's spin around, do the other side. First thing we do a little arm press with both arms. Nice little warmup to just double check that our legs are working, they're doing what we want them to do.
Our arms are then able to connect to our back. And then lifter outside, arm up and big sidemen. Ooh and lift. And we all have one side that's a little bit more revealing than another side. So if you're finding your hips are wanting to shift around, then reach down through the knees more, squeeze those heels and lift up to go over.
Last one. (breathing deeply) Okay, little swan prep and swan. If you wanna do the prep without a spring, you're more than welcome to. Please be mindful that your face is really close to this bar, got it? So we're gonna pull the bar down, slide ourselves into position. I line myself up so that my bar is not gonna go past my vertical poles.
It's a nice little safety. So if your feet are off like mine, it's 'cause we're tall. So there you go. Have your arms connected to your back. So one way you can do that is just allow the bar to push your shoulders onto your back and then let your shoulders shrug into your ears and then push them on and then maybe on too much and then push 'em into your ears and then find that little goldilocks position.
And then before we get again, spin your inner thighs up. So it's really tempting to turn out or even separate your legs here. Do me a favor and spin those inner thighs up it'll feel a little pigeon toed in your femurs. And this is gonna allow your lower back to be wide and long so that you're not doing it from your lower back. You actually get to make the extension, climb up your upper back.
Then for our prep, lift your head and chest, reach your arms from your back, come all the way up and then lengthen yourself down. Again, lift. If as your heart pulls across the room, your legs wanna lift, (laughs) it is a sign that your lower back is doing some awesome work. How can you reach your tailbone a little longer? Your heart a little bit more away from that and maybe you come up less.
If that's going well, then let's add on together. If you're still trying to keep your legs in one spot, stick with the prep there's no shame in that. Shaving your head three times for a second. Bend your elbows wide, let the bar pull past your head and reach forward. And again, we're doing this to double check our arms are working from our back so we're not pulling our shoulders into our ears.
On your third one, reaching your legs away and those inner thighs up, you come up into your swan and then you reach back down. I often see people's swans look like two parts. So you've been wanting to do a dive on your mat. We need those legs to be able to lift themselves, which means the fast connection needs to be there. And if you're doing this in your lower back, it's pretty impossible for that to work.
One more time, lift and lower. All right, let's take one hand back. Sit back into a nice little celebration, pose, whatever your child's pose looks like. I liked put my head towards my knees and reach my hands back to my feet and lift my waist. And then roll all the way up. Cool.
Okay, now let's do a little kneeling chest expansion, thigh stretch. So get your push to bar out of the way and come to your rollback bar kneeling. So one arms distance From here we're just gonna do about three of these and then go into a thigh stretch. If it's hard to be on your knees this much and you want to do more arm springs and some shoulder bridge, you totally can. So knees are a fist distance apart. And just for the chest expansion, pull those heels together.
Then keeping your hips over your knees, pull the bar towards your thighs, hold it there, look both directions and then look forward as your arms come forward. So the goal here is to actually use your legs more than you think in your chest expansion. So we're gonna get that fast on by squeezing those heels together. Look both ways and reach the arms forward. Two more.
It's tempting for us to push our lower backs forward to feel like our hips are forward. Last one. But the more you have your thighs on, the easier it is to get your pelvis over your knees. Separate your feet now walk 'em back about two to four inches and then thigh stretch. So pressing the feet down, squeeze in the knees towards each other.
You go back with a tall back. So no extension yet. Spread your toes, push down into your feet and lift yourself up. You should feel all this turning on. It should feel a lot like when we did our leg springs. Reach your spine back, reach those knees down away from the crown of the head and up.
One more like this. On our next one if you wanna add that extension, if you felt good in your swan, you can. If you're like no less, this swan didn't go so well then keep doing a thigh stretch. Otherwise we go as far as we can keep our knees reaching down and towards each other. Our hips are gonna stay right here and then we're gonna back bend so we get that swan chest, but that nice bath connection in the legs come up into a straight line and all the way up.
Alright, so feeling good? I am. Now grab your safety chain for tower. If you prefer not to do tower going up overhead stuff right now you can do, we'll do monkey in a second. You can also just do some footwork on here. So safety chain on first.
Then a heavy spring. If you're using weighted springs like so if you have like two light springs, that would work as well. But if you have one heavy spring, like a red spring, that would be great. So for your tower, your one hands distance from the edge, press the bar up and then we go feet parallel. So we did a lot of stuff with the springs where your legs were turned out to connect to your thighs.
And now I really want you to find it in parallel in different ways. So balls of the feet on hands are on the vertical poles standing in your shoulder girdle. And again, not looking down at your legs, I promise they're there. Find something to focus on your ceiling. Then point the toes with watch how you can over point and then over flex, right?
So find a point that's actually muscular for you. And then reach the hips up. I only go as high as I can stand on my shoulder so I'm not even close to the vertical poles. And then as I bend my knees, this is key. We're not letting the spring close us.
We are standing in the bar from the back of our legs. You should feel this action work more as you bend the knees than even when you straighten the legs. Two more reach and bend. Last one and then roll down. We'll do two more sets together.
I used to feel something kind of funky in my knees when I did tower and the more I connected to the muscles of my legs, the less I was doing it from the joint. So do a nice little flex, a point. And then remember you can roll up partway or to your shoulder girdle like you can stop anywhere it feels good into your center. And as you bend, even though my thighs are coming towards me, I'm still pressing the back muscles back of my leg muscles into the bar, into the spring. So I tell the spring how closed it can get and then roll all the way down flex.
Point last time, lift and then pull. Keeping the hips exactly where they are. This is really gonna help your short spine on and high frogs on the reformer if you're ever wanting to go there. And then roll down and then binge your knees. Grab the bar. I like to take a moment here before I slide out for monkey.
Just let the knees come together. Let everything kind of settle the blood flow back to your feet and then slide yourself off your Cadillac or tower. How about a shoulders distance off of the mat is spine? Anywhere in between is good. Then place the hands on the bar, push it up and now the feet are on the center.
So heels the other toes apart. Pull in the bar with your arms connected to your back. Think swan, think the kneeling side bin. Press from the backs of your legs towards straight and then flex the ankles and bend the elbows that little shave we did earlier, point and bend. It's very tempting for this to be all about the ankles.
So I want you to really pay attention to the backside of your legs from that fast connection. Three more together, press up. We come up without pushing our knees forward. Think can I get my thighs further away from me? And then bend, whether or not they actually move anywhere is fine.
It's more important that the muscles stay on so the energy is there. And then flex. Reach those thighs away. Point and bend it in. Okay, let's take your spring off and your safety chain off. And we're doing some shoulder roll down.
I know you feel like maybe you're not ready for that. You always feel that in the back of your knees, but I promise you you've got some fast connections to help you out here. And if you're still doubting me, don't worry we've got two more things to prepare you for next time. So again, if you're alone, careful this barking slip, right? So arches of your feet on the bar parallel, lie on your back, do a quick check to make sure the bar is lined up with the poles.
And then arms down by your side. So looking at a beautiful spot on your ceiling, letting your shoulders be nice and wide. Let's do a couple preps here. So I'm a person who likes to lock my ankles out, let my knees fall. And softening the knees doesn't mean connection to my fast.
So I want you to reach into the bar like you're doing your leg springs. So you should feel that connection. And then bend your knees and reach your legs towards straight for my hyper hypermobile bodies straight may feel very bent to you. Your straight is as far as your legs can go away with your fast on. So if I go any further, I lose it all.
Two more. And after this next one, you can keep doing that, especially if you're new to this please that's like plenty of work. Otherwise, standing on your arms, looking at your beautiful spot on the ceiling, bend your knees, reach your legs towards straight, lift your hips up. So you might just do that. You might just roll up and down and do this or reach so much into your left leg that your right leg can stretch away, up comes back down and then you reach so much from your fasts into the right leg your left leg floats up and it comes down.
One more time. Reach. Bring it down, roll your spine down. I know right even (laughs) I promised you there's a method to the madness. Roll up and then lift your hips. So now we start with the opposite leg.
We're gonna reach our left leg first and then our right and then back to the left and roll it down. We'll do one more set. So that's two more times coming up and down just to make sure that it wasn't fall flu that you stood in your thigh. So stand so much in the left, the right leg lifts. And it's okay if your leg doesn't come that close to you.
It's more how much can that leg come to you and still stay on in the muscles so you're not bringing the leg to you with your hip flexor, turning your fast off. Reach up last time, you're bringing that leg to you as much as the fast stays on. And that's gonna help those high scissors, high bicycle on the mat and all the other fun asymmetrical work that we do. Hold it here once you're even stay up and then bend your journeys a little bit and straighten a little, goes a long way here. There's a moment where you pull too much and you'll just roll back down.
And then after three, roll your spine, bend your knees, reach it out, and then you can, there's a couple ways to dismount, but let's just lift the bar up. Make sure the spring is nice and closed. And then let your knees come together if you want for just a moment. Alright, to finish, we are going to set up our standing leg springs. So I'm going to move to the outside of my Cadillac for that.
If you're on a tower and you have a hook here, you can do it on top of your mat. Just be mindful height. Okay, so now let's take our leg springs and place them on our hooks that are low to the ground. If you know that your leg springing is a lot heavy, then grab an arm springing. Just put your foot loop on it and place it on your hook. And then if you have a gondola pole, that's fun.
I don't, so I have to just keep myself honest. All right, so first what we'll do is place the outside foot in the the foot loop. I have it so it's around the arch of my foot, not my ankle. That's gonna keep my foot working with my fast. Not like letting my foot just be something different.
This leg, this is gonna feel like it's working way more than the one with the spring. So you might have to bend it, especially if you have hyper mobile knees like I do. Until you can get 'em strong enough to be reaching from your thighs into your heel. Straighten the leg and reach it out to the side hold and squeeze it in. As you can see, my movement was very big and reach and in.
So just keeping the foot on the ground, slide in it out and in. So you'll feel the fast of the standing leg. We're not leaning out on the hip or locking the knee out and really it's doing all the work while this other leg tries to distract it. Two more. Last one.
Okay, fun transition. It's pretty fancy. Turn towards your spring, do a little swivel with the foot, and your strap will stay on. Then once you're ready, you take the foot across your body. And you try not to fall.
If you have a gondola pole, that's really helpful. So again, not a big movement. And you'll feel it more in the standing leg. And you're sliding the ball of the foot of the spring leg along the floor so you're not hiking a hip. Last time.
If you chose a leg springing and you wanna switch to an arm springing, you can. That's what pause is for. All right, so now we are gonna ruin some pedicures. You put the top of your foot on the floor and then you reach the leg back. So you can hold the pole of your tower Cadillac, slide the foot, it might even have a little takeoff and bend it in.
And back and bend it in. One more and bend. If your standing leg is speaking to you, good job. Last thing on this leg. And then you get to do it again on the other side.
So here it is, little flamingo leg, and you just reach the leg back. So think knee stretches on the reformer down stretch on the reformer, just reaching from the back of the leg. My inner arch tends to take a break here. So double check that your whole foot is pushing into the spring for three and two and one, shake it out, we can do the other side. So start with your foot set up.
So you're going to the out first and know that your standing leg is now gonna have to work a lot harder holding your gondola pole or hands on your hips. Slide that foot out and in and out and in. This is also as miserable with a magic circle. So if you're not loving with your leg spring or arm springing, standing inside a magic circle, doing this will be pretty miserable too. And then fancy turnaround, makes it easier you don't have to bend over and then reach and then and reach.
If you've been wanting to do an awesome boomerang, not only is your fast ready, but so is this cross that you've got going on. One more. All right, so now turn your foot over and slide that toe across the floor. And if you can even lift it up, it's not a goal. Like don't worry, no gold medal.
But if you can reach it back so much, you could lift it from your fast do it. Last one. And then bend the knee and give yourself a little flamingo. So heart up by the way, I know you're wanting to look down. I promise you, your leg is there.
Lift your heart up, reach the back of the leg into that spring. Resist it closed. Two more. Last one. All right, we will finish. I'm gonna get my spring outta the way with some spread eagle.
So you can do spread eagle on top of your Cadillac. I'm gonna do it all at the back for my tower lovers. So you want your arms to be straight balls of your feet up onto your frame of your Cadillac or tower. And then the reason we're doing this, to finish off as A, I would love for you just to be more symmetrical in your end. But B, this is a fast exercise, not arm exercise.
So lift your heart, stand in those legs, reach your feet into the floor and your frame like you did your push through. And then head in, pull the waist back and stand in your legs. So without hanging off of your arms, you'll know 'cause you'll feel like that should feel like your legs are working like crazy. And lift and reach. If you've ever wanted to do the leg poles and not film in the back of your knees, this is for you.
And lift. Two more. (breathing deeply) And stand all the way up. Last one, reach those legs, arms on your back, big heart away from your fasts, reaching one way. And then give yourself a high five. If you need to shake your fasts out, you can.
Here's the deal. Your Cadillac is meant to support you in everything else that you're doing. So having fun using these exercises to explore some maybe mat and reformer ones that might be evading you might be feeling like they're in your knees all the time. I hope this really helps. And if you loved it and you're wanting more, make sure you check out our advanced one.
Thank you so much for working out with me. I'll see you next time.
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