Class #5273

Full-Body EXO Chair

30 min - Class
105 likes
Loading...

Description

You will work your entire body with this quick EXO Chair workout by Gia Calhoun. She uses clear and informative cueing to take you through multiple planes of motion to get you moving. She includes exercises that will challenge your strength, balance, and mobility so that you feel accomplished at the end of the class.
What You'll Need: EXO Chair

About This Video

Transcript

Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Gia, and today we're gonna do an EXO Chair class. It's a beginner to intermediate level class and if anything doesn't feel good to you, you can always leave it out or we can make adjustments as we go along. We're gonna start on your mat. I have my spring at two from the bottom, so I count from bottom up so at the one spring at two, and we're gonna start on your back. So you're gonna be fairly close to the pedal.

I'm gonna have my feet on the pedal. I usually like my heels or my arches, and then you can adjust as you go to find the right position for you. Arms are reaching long, take a deep inhale, as you exhale you're just gonna push the pedal down toward the floor, and then bring the pedal back up. So I'm gonna move back a little bit, I'm a little close. And then exhale as you push it down, and then inhale as you lift it back up.

So I'm trying to keep my legs parallel, hip-distance apart. Think of using the backs of the legs to push. And then I'm trying to keep the pelvis neutral, so I'm not rocking back and forth, I'm pulling into my abdominals to try to keep everything nice and stable. We have four more here. Spine is reaching long, arms are reaching out toward the pedal.

Three more, and lift. Two, and lift it back up. We're gonna hold this next one down, keep the pedal down to the floor, arms are gonna come up to the ceiling now. So you're gonna take a deep inhale here, as you exhale push into the pedal, you're gonna lift your chest up into a little curl and then lower back down. Arms float up to the ceiling, and curl up, and then lower down.

Again, feel free to adjust as you need to if you're too close, and lower. So you wanna keep pushing down in the backs of the legs so the pedal doesn't float up, especially as you're lowering your chest down, curling up and lower. Hold this next one up, reach those arms long toward the pedal and pump the arms for the 100, so you'll inhale, two, three, four, five, exhale, two, three, four, five. Inhale, and exhale. Think of using the backs of the legs, inhale and exhale.

Nice and strong with the arms, inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale. Halfway done, inhale and exhale, can you curl up a little higher? Inhale and exhale, keeping the chin off the chest. Inhale, exhale, two more.

Inhale, exhale. Last one, inhale and exhale. Curl up a little higher, hold, and then lower down. Arms come down by your sides for a second, lift the pedal up, take a breath. Good, now we're gonna push the pedal back down.

Hands are gonna come behind your head, you're gonna curl up as high as you can. Keep that pedal down onto the floor. You're gonna twist to one side and then back to center, twist to the other side. So I'm trying to keep the weight even on both hips, so you might feel that the pedal is lifting up or one foot's coming off the pedal, try to stand on it with both feet, and twist. One more each side, twist.

And last one. Now come to the first side and hold, I wanna do a little pulses up towards your leg for eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, turn to the other side, elbows are nice and wide. Pulse for eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, back to center, curl up a little higher and then lower down. Arms come down by your side, float your pedal back up with control. And then push it back down one more time.

So feet are parallel again, we're gonna keep the pedal down onto the floor. This time you're gonna keep pushing into your feet so much that your pelvis will float up, so you're gonna roll up into a bridge, one bone at a time, arms are reaching long. Inhale at the top, exhale, roll down one bone at a time. Once your tailbone is down, you'll roll back up. Knees are reaching out toward the chair, and then rolling down.

So you're creating a nice long line from your knees all the way to your head. At two more, rolling up, get a little spinal mobility and then roll down. Keep pushing into your arms, push into your feet. One more roll up, and then roll down. And once you're neutral you're gonna bring your pedal back up, and then we're gonna come on up.

Hug your knees into your chest, and then we'll sit up. So we're gonna go into a seated arm press, so we're gonna sit with your legs a little wider than your chair, feet are flexed, you're about arms distance away from the pedal. Feel free to adjust as you need. Depends on your arm length, too. So you're gonna sit up nice and tall, you're right on top of your sits bones, pull up in your abdominals.

You're gonna take a deep inhale here, ss you exhale you're gonna grow a little taller as you push the arms down, push that pedal down toward the floor. Inhale, so the pedal comes back up. Exhales as you press down. So I'm trying to keep my arms as straight as I can, they're a little micro bent just so I don't hyperextend; but I'm not trying to just pull from my elbows, I'm pulling from my laps. Keep flexing the feet and then press down, grow taller every time you press.

Inhale, exhale, press. (exhales) Two more. Exhale, press, lift you spine, last one. Try not to lean back, right over the sit bones. Now we're gonna add a little flexion so you're gonna do a spine stretch, so as you push down you're gonna round your back. Think of pulling into yourself.

Lengthen your spine as the pedal comes up, and then you are gonna round forward, good. So it's different than a spine stretch on the mat where we usually reach your body forward a little bit more, I'm just focusing on getting a little flexion while I'm thinking of pulling the pedal in toward my center. Two more, and then pull down, round. Last one, and then press down, and then back up. So we're gonna turn around, we're gonna do a supine twist.

So I'm lying right in front of the chair, and then I'm gonna hold on to the sides of the chair. My elbows are wide and legs are in tabletop. Find that long neutral spine, pull into your abdominals to hold your legs up, we'll inhale as you've reach both legs over to the right, left shoulder stays on the mat. Exhale as you come back up to center. Inhale over to the left, right shoulder stays down, and then back up to the center.

Keep alternating one way, you can let the hip come up but keep the shoulders nice and quiet, and other side. And then back to center. Make sure your ribs aren't thrusting forward, keep checking to make sure you're in alignment, and center. Last one. So you can keep going with the legs in tabletop, otherwise you can straighten your legs, will make it a little bit more challenging.

Same thing, both legs over to the right. That left hip can come up but keep the left shoulder down, and then back up to the center. So you might not go as far with the straight legs, and that's okay. And then back up to center. Two more each side, to the right.

And really use that chair for support, it helps kinda give you a little bit more feedback to where you might be lifting up, or where you might be going too far so really use that to help make you aware of what you're doing. Last one. Okay, keep holding onto the chair. I'm gonna go into a rollover so you're gonna pull into your abdominals, lift your spine up, reach your feet toward the chair. We're gonna open the feet to hip-distance apart, flex as you roll down one bone at a time, and then reach legs out to 45, bring 'em together.

So legs together as you roll up and over, reach toward the top of the chair. We're gonna open hip-distance apart, flex as you roll down one bone at a time. Legs come together when you get to 45. One more time, rolling up and over, open, flex, roll down, and then we'll reverse. So we'll point, keep the legs apart, and we'll roll up and over with legs distance apart.

Bring the legs together, we'll flex the roll down again with the legs together. Point as you open the hip-distance apart. Roll up and over, feet come to the top of the chair, bring 'em together, roll down as you flex. Elbows are still nice and wide, open the legs when you get to 45, roll over. Legs come together, roll down, flex.

And then we'll bring the legs up to the ceiling, point your toes again, we're gonna go into a cork screw. So you're gonna bring your legs over to the right, down to 45, to the left, and back up to center. To the left, down, around, back up. Two more, each direction. Around, and center, left.

One more each way. To the right, and center, last one. And then hug your knees into your chest, rock side to side, and we're gonna go into a swan. So you're gonna rock up, we're gonna turn around to face the chair, and then we're gonna bring your hands right in front on the pedal. So we'll get a little bit of a shoulder stretch here with your hands over your head.

I have my legs hip-distance apart but you can bring your legs together if that feels okay for your spine. This should feel nice on your shoulders while we stretch here and open it out. Now from here, you're gonna lift your chest up as you push the arms down, you might not go to the floor and that's okay, just go where you can, and then lower down as you bring the pedal back up, get your shoulder stretched. So think of engaging your back to push the pedal down as you lift your chest up, and then lower back down as the pedal comes up. So I'm still reaching my legs long, trying not to crunch in my low back, I'm thinking more of my upper back but your low back will be an extension as well.

Just go where you can. One more, pushing down, lifting your spine up and then lower back down. Then pedal comes up, you're gonna push back into child's pose, just stretch your back for a second. And then we're gonna roll up one bone at a time and come up to standing. So I'm gonna change my spring, I'm gonna come up to one at three.

So I just want it a tiny bit heavier than what I just had. So I'm standing about a foot's distance away from the front of the chair, I'm gonna bring one foot onto the pedal, my hands are gonna go in a little triangle, like this. They're gonna go in a little triangle in the front of the chair, and then my knee is gonna be right in between them. So I'm trying to keep my foot parallel, both feet, and then the thigh is gonna stay still. We're gonna move just the ankle, so you're gonna push your pedal down by pointing your foot, and then flex your foot to bring the pedal up.

So just the pedal is moving from the ankle. Push and flex. You're pulling into your abdominals that we've already warmed up, so they're still supporting you. So you're not just hanging out here, your whole body is active. And three, two, last one.

Now you're gonna push the pedal down and hold, you're gonna come up to a standing position, find your balance. I'm gonna bring my hands on my hips but you can bring your hands where it feels good to you, keep that heel up and you're gonna push the pedal down, and then pull into your abs to lift it up. So you're trying to keep your hips square. Push down in that standing leg while you're lifting up in your spine so you get a little opposition. and pushing down, abs pull you up.

We have four, and three, two, last one. Good. With control, bring your leg up off the floor, off the pedal onto the floor. We're gonna step back. So we're gonna still work the same leg, so the leg that was the standing leg is now gonna be closest to the chair. You wanna bring the other leg in front, the one that was on the pedal before.

You're gonna have it on the pedal, crossed over, And then we're gonna push it down. Find the position where you can hold it, you're not gonna hit this standing leg with the pedal. Hands on your hips again, and then you're gonna bring that pedal up with control to where you can, and then push it down to the floor. Push it down, and good. Lift up, press down.

So I'm still lengthening my spine all the way up, try not to twist in the hips or the shoulders. Everything is facing front. Two more, last one, good. With control, you're gonna lift that pedal up, shake out your legs, and we'll do all that to the other side. So, again, I'm about foot-distance away from the front of the chair.

I'm gonna bring my hands into my triangle, push the pedal down with my working leg, and have my knees right inbetween my hands. The pedal's gonna be the only thing moving, you're gonna point your foot to lower the pedal down, flex your foot to lift the pedal up. Point and flex. Again, pulling into abdominals, keeping the spine long. You're not just hanging out here, you're staying active while you're working this ankle.

Point, flex. trying to make sure you're staying even on your foot, you're not rolling to the baby toe, you're not too far over the big toe, you're fairly centered. Let's do two more, last one. Now push the pedal down and hold. We're gonna come up to standing, if you need a wall or something to hold to keep your balance, or a stick, you can go ahead and do that.

Keep that heel nice and high, you're gonna push the pedal down, abs pull you up. So one side's gonna be a little bit more challenging to balance, and that's normal. And lift, just keep finding that opposition in that standing leg to help you find your balance. Give you a little bit more stability. And three more, two, last one.

Pull it all the way up, with control, pull into your abs to lift that leg off the pedal, and we're gonna turn to face the other side. So that standing leg is closest to the chair again, you're gonna cross that working leg over so your foot's on the pedal. Push it all the way down so you can find how far away you need to be so you're not hitting your standing leg with the pedal. Find your balance, and then you're gonna control that pedal up to where you can, and then push it all the way down. And then float it up, push it down, good.

Squaring off the hips as much as you can, trying not to twist, and lift. Whoop, lost my balance. Four more. And three, two, last one. Good, control it up, take your foot off, shake out your legs.

I'm gonna go into washer woman. So you're gonna, again, stand about foot-distance away from the front of the chair. I like my feet a little bit apart, about hip-distance apart, if you wanna go a little wider or narrower, that's up to you. Arms are gonna come up to the ceiling, you're gonna lift up and over, round your spine till your hands reach the pedal. I like my fingers facing in.

Keep your weight over the balls of your feet and think of your head reaching down toward the pedal to push it down, and then abs pull you up. So you're keeping that nice round spine the whole time, your head is between your arms, and push down, and then pull up, and push down, lift up. Two more, last one. Now you're gonna push down and hold. Keep your head between your arms.

You're gonna keep your body where it is and just bend your arms, and straighten. And bend, so every time I straighten my arms I pull into my abs a little deeper. Bend, stretch, bend, stretch. Two more, and stretch, last one. Now keep the arms straight, we're gonna roll up one bone at a time once your pedal comes all the way to the top, arms come with you.

And then we're gonna repeat that one more time, so you're gonna roll down, pull into your abdominals, once your hands hit the pedal you're gonna turn the fingers in to face each other, arms stay straight as you reach the head down toward the floor, and then back up. And push down, keep your weight over the balls of your feet, try not to go back towards your heels. And three more, and lift, and two, lift. Last one, hold it down. Your body stays still, bend the arms, elbows out to the side, stretch.

And again, bend, stretch. Three more, bend, stretch. And two, last one. And then you're gonna roll up, pull the abs in, control that pedal up, and then roll your arms up with you, and then push 'em down to the side. And we're gonna change the springs to make 'em a little bit heavier.

So I have one at three already, I'm gonna add one spring at two 'cause we're gonna be standing up on the pedal and we want a little bit of support. If you want it heavier, feel free to do that if you need more support to lift you up. So we're gonna bring the pedal down one foot at a time on the pedal. I'm gonna have my feet parallel, on the balls my feet, and then I'm just gonna hold on to the back of the platform here. If you wanna hold onto the side, that's also an option, if you have tighter or broader shoulders.

I prefer in the back though. So you're gonna round your back, pull up in your abdominals, keep weight into your arms. You're not just sitting back into your feet, you wanna keep weight onto your arms, you're gonna pull and resist as you lower your heels down for a little tendon stretch, a little calf stretch, and then lift up into a high heel position. So you lower the heels down, and then lift up. So I'm not letting my weight completely go back as I lower my heels, I'm still keeping weight in my arms 'cause that'll be useful for the next exercise.

And then four more, squeezing the legs together. Three, pulling into your abdominals. Two, last one. And we're gonna go into a pull-up, if you don't wanna lift the pedal up you can continue doing the tendon stretch that we're doing. I'm gonna turn my heels together, toes apart.

If you wanna keep your legs parallel, that's always an option. You're gonna keep those heels glued together, keep your tailbone under you, keep the weight in your arms, you're gonna pull up into your abdominal so much that the pedal pedal floats up as high as you can get it, and then control it back down toward the floor. And then lift it up, and then back down. So just like when we were doing the standing press down, you want your head between your arms so you're not looking down at the floor. Think of looking at your abdominals or at your legs, and lower.

We have two more, lift and lower, almost like you were gonna lift into a handstand. Lift up, and lower with control all the way down. Come on up for a second, shake out your hands as you bring pedal up. Shake out your hands. We're gonna do the same thing but facing the side, so it gets a little bit more into your obliques.

So same preparation, so you're gonna push the pedal all the way down to the floor, stand on it with both feet. This time we're gonna turn to face one side, so the outside leg is gonna be in the front, the inside leg is gonna be behind, and then you're gonna hold on to the front and the back of the chair. So same thing, we wanna keep your eyes on your abdominal so you keep your back rounded, you're not gonna flatten your back and look at the floor. So keep coming under yourself. You're gonna lean into the chair just a little bit, you're gonna float the pedal up, adjust your feet as you need to and then lower back down.

So, again, your weight's still on your arms, arms are straight, legs are straight. Really feel the inner thighs coming together with the legs in that one in front of the other position. And then pull up, and then lower down. Two more, lift and lower. Last one, good.

Now we're gonna turn around carefully to the other side. So, again, inside leg is behind, outside leg is in front, holding onto the front and the back of the chair. Abs are pulled in, your spine is rounded, and then gonna lean into the chair just a little bit to get your weight over your arms, and then float the pedal up, and then back down. Again, try not to round the back staying- or, sorry, not to flatten the back, we're staying nice and rounded. Lift and lower.

Two more, lift, lower. Last one, and then when you're ready, come on up. Come back to the center, lower one foot down to the floor, bring the pedal up with control. And we're gonna get ready for going up front. So we have a similar preparation that we did for the last exercise, so you're gonna push the pedal down all the way to the floor with one foot.

This time you're gonna keep that foot onto the pedal and the other foot's gonna come onto the full chair. So you want it toward the back, and then, again, this is one if you have any balance issues you might wanna be against the wall just so you have something to hold onto. So I'm gonna bring my hands behind my head, you can reach your arms out or on your hips, wherever it feels good to you. You're gonna keep your weight on this front leg, lift up onto that back heel, try to find a nice long line, and then we're gonna float the pedal up, think of pushing down in that front heel, and then you're gonna lower back down. So you lift all the way up as high as you can, and then back down.

So I'm not trying to let my knee go too far over my foot, trying to stay almost over my toes with the knee, and then thinking of going up more than forward. And then lift, lower down. Two more, lift, squaring off the hips as much as you can. Last one, lift, lower all the way down. Bring your hands back down to the chair so we can switch sides.

So, again, the back heel is lifted up tall, the front leg is flat, both legs are parallel, and then I'm gonna keep the long line in my spine. Push down in that front heel, lift up in that back heel, lift up in that back quad and then lower back down. And then lift the pedal, and then control it down. Keep pushing into that heel, think of using the front glute, hamstring, so it's not just your quad doing all of the work. And lower, two more, lift and lower.

Last one, gonna come all the way down. Hands down onto the chair, one foot onto the floor, pull the pedal up with control. So we're gonna do one last spring change, we're gonna go into a mermaid so I'm gonna go into just one spring on two, I'm gonna take off the other one, and then you're gonna sit down on the side of the chair. So I have one foot on the floor, parallel, the other leg is rested in front of the chair. And then you wanna make sure your hips are as square as you can to the front.

So you're gonna reach this hand closer to the pedal toward it, other arm is gonna come up by your ear, you're just gonna reach over into a nice side bend, and then come all the way up to the top, and then reach over again into that side bend, and lift. Should feel nice. Two more, and lift. Hold this next one down. You're gonna go into a little rotation, so you're gonna bring one hand on each side of the pedal, or as close as you can get to it.

Just hold there, take a breath, and then bring the hand that was closer to the pedal back to the center. Come back to that side bend position, and then come all the way up to the top. We're gonna turn around to the other side. So, again, you have one foot on the floor, that leg is parallel, the other leg is rested in front, hips are square. Your hand's gonna come onto the pedal, other arm by your ear, you're gonna lift up and over into that side bend, and then lift back up with a pedal.

Again, reach up and over, and lift. Two more. The foot that's on the floor, keep reaching that down to the floor so you get a nice bit of opposition as you're reaching away from it. Hold this next one down. You're gonna twist to face your pedal, try to get one hand on each side.

Just hold, breathe into your back, and then come back to the center with that hand back to your side bend position, and then all the way up. We're gonna finish with us standing pressed down, so you're gonna stand at the back of the chair. You wanna be as close to the chair as you can without actually leaning on it. Arms are gonna come up to the ceiling, lift up and over, just like we did with the press down from the other direction. Hands are gonna come onto the pedal, you can have your fingers facing front.

You're gonna push down with your head as you lower the pedal down, and then round to come up. And do two more like that, pushing down, keeping that round spine as much as you can. Lift, trying not to lean onto the chair. One more like this, and we'll add on, and lower. This time, as you push down, you're gonna go into a bit of extension so you're gonna push down, reach your tailbone out, lengthen your spine, and then round your back to come all the way in.

Again, tailbone out, lengthen your spine, and then round as you pull the pedal back up. One more, you're keeping your weight over the balls of your feet still, so you're not reaching back towards your heels, and then round to come up. Keep your back rounded as you roll up, hands off the pedal, arms come with you as you roll all the way up to standing. Push all the way down by your sides, grow a little taller, and you're all finished. Thank you for taking this beginner chair class with me, and I'll see you next time.

Comments

1 person likes this.
Loved the class! Thank you so much 
Karin H
1 person likes this.
 Hi Gia, I love this class. It has all the strengthening and stretching moves I need to feel great for the rest of the day. Thanks!
I'm so glad you both enjoyed this class!
Karen
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Gia. I loved this class.
Gianna  A
1 person likes this.
I really appreciated the heel rises before the stomach pull and the use of the chair as an anchor in the abdominal /oblique exercises! Such a great class !
Gianna A - I find it helpful too, just to get me a bit more connected to my center! So glad you enjoyed it!
Ramona P
liked the addition of the rollover, will help me get back into it

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