Class #5277

Strengthening EXO Chair

30 min - Class
109 likes

Description

You will work your entire body with this strengthening EXO Chair workout by Gia Calhoun. She flows through each movement, adding exercises that will challenge your balance and stability. She includes exercises like Going Up Side, Frog, and Swan Dive to help you take your practice to the next level.
What You'll Need: EXO Chair

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Transcript

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Hi, I'm Gia, and we're gonna do an intermediate Exo Chair class today. For our springs, the heavier it's gonna be, some exercises will be a little bit easier, some will be a little bit harder, so feel free to adjust to your body. For this chair, it has four levels. And I usually have one on the bottom, and then it goes all the way up to four, so that's how I count them. So for the first series, we're gonna start with one spring on two.

So you're gonna lie down on your back, fairly close to the chair. Sometimes it takes a little while to figure out where you need to be, so just kind of adjust as you go to what feels comfortable. And then I'm putting my heels on the pedal. You can do your arches if that feels better to you, but I prefer my heels, especially in the beginning so I don't get any cramping in my feet. Arms are reaching long by your sides.

Legs are hip distance apart, and a long neutral spine. Let's take a deep inhale for nothing. As you exhale, you're just gonna tilt your pelvis under, imprint your spine into the mat. Inhale, release your pelvis back to neutral. Exhale, tilt under, just warming up.

Trying to get a little movement in the pelvis, finding our neutral position. Just keep going. Exhale as you tilt. Inhale, release. Exhale to tilt.

Inhale to release. Two more. And release. So nothing is really moving except for the pelvis. And release.

Now keep the pelvis still. Arms are gonna come up to the ceiling. Plug your shoulders into the sockets. Take a deep inhale here. As you exhale, push your arms down, curl your head up.

And then lower back down. And press down, curl up. So you're keeping that neutral spine, trying to stay as still in the pelvis as you can. The only thing moving now is your upper body. Curling up.

And lower. Two more like this. And lower, last one, you're gonna hold this one up. Curl up a little higher if you can. And then keep your chest up, bring your hands behind your head.

You're gonna twist to the one side. Think of bringing your opposite ribcage to your knee, and then come back to center. Twist to the other side and center. Elbows are wide. Again, the pelvis isn't moving.

I'm not shifting my weight in my hips. Trying to keep that nice and heavy and grounded into the mat. And just working the upper body in my twists. And one more each side. And back to center, lower down, hands by your sides.

We're gonna go into a little bit of bridging. So still staying parallel with the feet. Take a deep inhale here. As you exhale, try not to push the pedal down. You're just gonna roll your spine up into the bridge one bone at a time.

Inhale at the top, exhale as you roll down. So if it moves a little bit, that's okay. Just try not to push it all the way down to the floor. Rolling up. And if you do feel like you're struggling, you can make the springs a little heavier.

Inhale at the top, exhale as you roll down. Make sure you're pushing into your arms as well. Inhale with the roll up. And then rolling back down. You can also adjust your feet if you need to.

Find where it works for you. I just made a little adjustment. Inhale, roll up. Exhale as you roll down. Now we're gonna roll up and hold.

Find that long position. Push down into your arms for support again. You're gonna now push the pedal down just a few inches and then bring it back up, a little hamstring curl. Push and down. Push and bring it back up.

Arms are reaching long, trying to keep your chin off your chest. Two more. Last one. And then you're gonna roll your spine all the way down, one bone at a time, come back to your neutral position. Take a breath.

Scoot back just a couple of inches just so you have a little more space. And then from here, you're gonna push the pedal all the way down to the floor. Good, find where it works for you. I'm gonna scoot back a little bit further. Keep pushing that pedal down.

Arms are gonna come back up to the ceiling. We're gonna do our ab series again. So you're gonna push your arms down, curl your head up as you exhale. Inhale as you lower back down. Again, we're trying to keep the pelvis heavy into the mat and then lower back down.

So pelvis is still, just the upper body moving. Curling up. And lower. So your hamstrings should be nice and warm now. So think of using those to push that pedal down, like standing on your feet.

Hold this next one up. Curl up a little higher if you can, hands behind your head, back into our twists. One side twist, and center, other side. Good, and just keep pushing into the feet. Try not to let that pedal lift up.

And we twist, and center, both shoulders off the mat. One more each side. Last one. Good. Arms are gonna come, you're gonna lower your head down, bring your arms down by your side, keep pushing into your feet.

You're gonna roll up into your bridge here. And then roll back down. And roll up. Just notice the difference between when the pedal was up and when the pedal is down. Are you still feeling your hamstrings?

Finding that length in the body. One more, roll up. And then roll down. With control, you're gonna bring the pedal up. And then just reach your feet onto the chair.

If you can, you're gonna roll up, reaching toward your feet. So you're just gonna roll up. Once you get to a certain point, if you can't do it, you can grab onto your legs to help you or you can try to reach for the top of the chair. And then we're gonna come on to standing. So we're gonna go into our pumping, so I'm gonna change the springs.

So I have one spring that I'm gonna lower down to the one position. And then the second spring, I'm gonna have in three. Feel free to make this heavier or lighter, whatever works for you. I'm gonna sit down kind of in the middle of the chair. And then I'm gonna start with my heels together, toes apart, on the balls of my feet.

If you need support, you can hold on to the sides of the chair. Otherwise, bring your arms up to your "I Dream of Jeannie" position. You're in one straight line from your head all the way down to your sits bones. You're not thrusting your ribs forward or rounding back. Inhale as you push the pedal down.

Exhale as you pull it back up. Inhale, press. Exhale, lift. Trying not to rock back and forth. Staying nice and vertical.

And lower and lift. Four, three, two, last one. Legs come together. Come onto your arches. Wrap your toes around the pedal and we'll push down.

And up. And up. You can even increase the tempo if you'd like as you start to get used to moving. Four, three, two, last one. Bring it all the way up.

Slide up to your heels. Flex the feet, same thing. Push and pull. Think of pulling in from your abdominals, still growing at the top of the spine. Three more.

Two and one. We're gonna come back to your toes, this time in parallel. Legs are still glued together. Heels are lifted high. You're gonna push it down and up.

And lift. Pulling into your abdominals. Four. Keep those heels high. Squeeze the legs.

Push it down and hold halfway. Keep the pedal still, you're gonna lift the pedal up by flexing your feet. Push the pedal down by pointing. Flex and point. Keep the thighs still.

And flex and point. Flex, point. Two more. Last one. And then pull the pedal all the way up.

And then we're gonna make one spring adjustment. So I'm gonna bring the spring that's on one up to two just to have a little bit more support. So we're gonna come back to the front of the chair. We're gonna push the chair or the pedal down. Stand on it with both feet parallel, on the balls of your feet.

Hands come to the back of the chair or to the side, whatever feels better for you. You're gonna bring your weight forward over your arms just slightly. Round your spine, pull your abs in and up. Keep your weight forward over your arms as you lower your heels down. And then lift 'em back up.

So get a nice stretch on the backs of the legs and lift. And lower. Abs pull you up. So this is our prep for the next exercise. You wanna think of pulling up in your abs so much that you're gonna lift the pedal up, which is what we're gonna do next.

We have four, and three, two, last one. Now keep your heels up. I'm gonna turn my legs out so I'm in the Pilates V. Heels together, toes apart, you can stay parallel. Keep your weight over your arms, pull up in your abdominals, float that pedal up.

Head stays between your hands, between your arms. And then push the pedal back down. And lift it up. Try to keep your tailbone under you. So you're not going into a V with like a pike.

You wanna keep that rounded back as much as you can, pulling up. And then controlling it back down. And lift. Staying strong in the arms. We have two more.

Lower. Last one. And lower. Good. Come on down, one foot on the floor.

Control that pedal up. Shake out your wrist. Take breath. So we're gonna go into a little more legwork. So we're gonna do going up the front.

You can do your normal going up the front. You can grab onto a wall if you need a little bit of balance. We are gonna lift the back foot off the pedal though, so do what you need to do to adjust so that you can make sure you're balanced. So we're gonna push the pedal down with one leg. You're standing on the ball of your foot.

Heel is lifted high. The other leg is gonna come forward onto the back of the chair. Find that nice parallel position with both legs. You're thinking of pulling the legs toward each other even though they aren't together. Arms are gonna come up to this "I Dream of Jeannie" position.

You're gonna push down in that front heel, lift the pedal up. And then keep going, straighten that front leg. The back foot's gonna come off the pedal. Now you're gonna bend that front leg, find the pedal. Nice and controlled, make sure you have it.

And then float the pedal all the way down. Same thing, floating up, push down on that front heel. Now keep going. Back foot comes off the pedal. Straighten that front leg.

Bend that front leg, find the pedal. And then once you found it, float it back down. Do two more like that. Lifting up. Straighten that front leg, find the balance.

Bend the front leg and then put the pedal back down. Last one. Trying to maintain square hips. Straighten that front leg. And then bend it, find the pedal.

And then lower it all the way down. Good. Bring your hands down. And then we're gonna switch sides. So back heels lifted up.

You're on the ball of your foot. The front leg is right at the edge of the chair. Nice and parallel with both legs, really pull up in your quads and your hamstrings on that back legs. Arms in your "I Dream of Jeannie" position, push down in that front heel, lift the pedal up. You're gonna keep going, straighten that front leg.

And then bend it. Find your balance, find the pedal, and then lower down. So one side's always gonna be a little bit more challenging. This is my tougher leg. Good, lift up, straighten that leg.

Bend it, find your pedal. And then lower it down. Just two more. Pulling up. Straighten that front leg.

And bend. Find your pedal and then lower down. Last one. And lift up. And bend.

Find your pedal. Make sure you really find your pedal before you start to bend that front leg. And then lower it all the way down. Come on off. Shake out your legs.

So we're gonna go into going upside now. So similar exercise, just a different position. A little more challenging in my opinion. So we'll start the same way actually, bringing the pedal all the way down with one foot. This time, you're gonna turn to the side.

So one foot, I usually like to bring it toward the back. And that way, the leg that's on the chair can go toward the front. If you have a lot of external rotation in your hips, you can always bring it a little closer. But I find this is a safer position so that I can keep my hips square to the front. So it's a little bit of adjustment that goes on with the standing leg, so find where it works for you.

I like mine a little bit further out, so that way, when I'm up, I don't feel like I'm rolling into the chair. So you're gonna bring your weight over the leg that's on the chair, the bent leg. You're gonna push down in that heel again. Float the pedal up. And then lower back down.

So the hard thing about this is you have one leg that's turned out, one leg that's parallel. And you wanna keep your hips square and also try not to let your hips roll back. You wanna go straight up. And then lower down. We have two more.

And lower. Last one. And lower. You're gonna bring the foot on the chair down, and we're gonna turn around and switch sides. So again, the foot that's on the pedal is toward the back.

The other leg is gonna come toward the front. The leg on the chair is turned out. The leg on the pedal is parallel. Square off your hips. Lean toward this leg that you're standing on, so that way, you can push down in that heel, float the pedal up.

And then lower it back down. Make any adjustments at the bottom that you need to. And then lower down. If you are on the shorter side too, if it's hard to get it up initially, you can put something under the chair so that way you start a little higher. Sometimes that helps.

We have two more. And then lower down. Last one. Lower it all the way down. And then we're gonna come on up.

So turn to face the chair. One foot on the floor, bring that pedal up, nice and controlled. Shake out your legs. We have one more leg exercise. It looks like it's gonna be more upper body, but it actually does work your legs.

So you're gonna sit on the chair, toward the back. Hands are gonna go on the back of the chair. You wanna hold onto it nice and tight so your fingers will be toward the back. We're gonna bring our feet onto the balls of the feet. Heels together, toes apart.

You're gonna lift your hips up. Try not to move that pedal as much as you can. So you're like a table position. From here, you're gonna move just your legs down to push the pedal. So you push the pedal down and lift.

Try not to lower the hips. And push. Lift. Good, think of using the backs of the legs to push. Lower, lift.

We have four more, arms are nice and strong to support you. And two, one. Lower your hips down, shake out your hands, and then we're gonna change the springs. So we're gonna go into one spring now. So we'll keep one spring on at three, just for a little bit of support.

So we're gonna go into our teaser. So you wanna sit toward the front of the chair, or just at the edge, I should say. I'm gonna keep my legs in tabletop. If you want your legs straight at a diagonal or straight out in front of you, you can do what works for you. For me, tabletop is working best right now.

So you're gonna have your hands on the the pedal, fingers facing in, arms are nice and straight. You're gonna move the pedal from your spine and your abdominals, not from your arms. It's gonna roll down one bone at a time, trying to move that pedal, and then lift back up. So it doesn't have to go very far. So you roll your spine down to move the pedal.

Try not to just push the arms. Roll back up to bring the pedal up. Navel is pulling into your spine. And then roll up. Hold this next one down.

You're gonna hold it here, keep a round spine, you're gonna bend your arms. And straighten and bend. Elbows are pointing back as much as you can bend. Stretch, two more. Last one.

And then you're gonna roll up. Find your teaser position with the arms up and then you're gonna bring your feet down. Good. Come on up. We're gonna go into our piano frog.

So we're gonna do piano frog back. So you're gonna bring your feet into the same position we did in the tabletop exercise. So you're on the balls of your feet, heels together, toes apart. Hands are gonna come to the front of the chair this time. So again, try not to move the pedal down.

You're gonna lift your hips up, hold yourself up. You're gonna keep the heels toward your sit bones as you bend down into a dip and then push up. So we're moving just the arms. The legs aren't moving the pedal down. The pedal is staying with you.

Your arms are what's moving. We have two more, try to keep the shoulders away from the ears as you dip. Up. Last one. Now keep the arms straight.

You're gonna push the pedal down with the feet. And lift. Down, up. Keep pushing up with the arms. The feet are moving down and up.

The legs are still externally rotated. One more. Good, come on down. Shake out your hands. We're gonna go into our swan dive.

So I'm gonna keep this same spring. If you want it a little bit lighter, that's also an option. So we're gonna lie down on your stomach. I like to test where the position should be 'cause it's different for everybody, but I like my hands right under my shoulders when the pedal is down. You might need to adjust depending on the length of your torso.

My legs are straight and hip distance apart. But if you can keep your legs together and it doesn't bother your back, you can do that. So from here, keep your spine long and neutral. Your spine doesn't move, you're just gonna bend your arms. So pull the pedal up, push it down.

And bend, stretch. Two more. Last one. Keep the arms straight. This time you're gonna lift your chest up to move the pedal, and then lower back down.

Chest lifts up. And then lower down. Two more. And lower. Last one.

Good, now we're gonna come up into a swan and hold. Find that extension, nice, long spine. We're gonna go into a dive. So from here, you're gonna, might need to scoot forward a little bit. You're gonna lift your legs, scoot forward a little more.

Lift your legs to keep that spine extension as you lower the pedal. Your elbows can bend. And then you're gonna lift the pedal up by bringing your spine back up. So the legs push you forward. Bend your arms if you need to, to lift.

And then lift your spine to bring the pedal up. Legs come up, pedal goes down. And lift the spine to come up. One more. And then lower your legs.

Now bring one hand onto the top of the chair to bring you back up. And then just round your spine. Roll back up. And we're gonna do a little push down with the arms. So standing at the back of the chair, you wanna stand fairly close to it.

You're not touching it with your thighs, but you're as close as you can get. Arms are gonna come up. You're gonna lift up and over. Bring your hands down to the pedal. Once you find it, you're gonna keep going, pushing your head between your arms.

Top of the head is reaching down toward the pedal. You're gonna round your back to pull the pedal up. And again, pushing down, trying to keep the shoulders away from the ears. And then pull your navel to your spine to lift you up. Two more.

Just a nice counter stretch after all the extension we just did. Roll up. Last one. And then roll up. Once your pedal is all the way up, keep rolling your spine up, you can bring your arms up with you.

And then you're gonna push down with the arms down to the side. And we're gonna change the springs one more time. So I'm gonna lower my spring one, so I'm at one spring at two, and we're gonna go into a plank. So we're gonna come onto your knees in front of the chair. I usually like to bring the pedal down first, so that way I can find the position of my other hand and make sure they're even.

So I'm gonna keep my hands right under my shoulders. You can do a quadruped if you prefer. Otherwise, come to a full plank position. So find that long line. We're trying to keep the spine stable and not rotate when we lift the pedal.

So you're gonna keep that control as you lift the pedal up, and then push it back down. So I'm trying not to lean to the opposite side. I'm trying not to twist in my spine. I'm trying to keep that stability. We just have two more.

Last one. And then bring your knees in. And then bring the pedal up with control. And then we'll do the same thing to the other side. So find that long position.

Push the pedal down. Hands are even right under your shoulders. One leg will go out, then the other. Again, you can do this on your knees if that feels better to you. Keep the squareness of your spine as you lift the pedal up, and then lower down.

So it doesn't have to go all the way up. Just go where you can control it. Lift, lower. Two more. Really push down into the feet.

Push down in that opposite arm. Last one. Bring one knee in, other knee in, and then control the pedal up. Good. We just have a couple more things to finish.

So staying on your knees. This time, you're right in the middle of the pedal. One hand's gonna be on the pedal, the other arm out to the side. You're gonna push the pedal down as you lift up and over into a side bend. It should feel nice after all the work we just did.

And then coming back up. Three more. Pushing up and over to lower the pedal, and then back up. Try not to twist at all. So you wanna keep the spine square, shoulders are square as you go into the side bend.

Last one. And then back. Good, other side. So you're gonna have your body again in the middle of the pedal. One hand on it, the other arm out to the side.

You're gonna push that pedal down as you lift up and over to side bend. And then back up. Three more. Up and over, and lift. So try not to just use your arms to pull.

They are helping, but I'm still thinking of the bend that's bringing my pedal down. Good, stand up. I'm gonna finish with one little roll down in the front. So you can measure one foot distance away from the pedal. Arms up to the ceiling.

And you're just gonna roll down. I like to bring my fingers to face in, you don't have to. You're gonna push the pedal down, both arms, and then roll up. And then push it down. And roll up.

Two more. Push. And up. Last one. Roll up.

Now you're gonna bring the pedal all the way up. Keep rolling up. Arms come up with you. Push the arms down to the side. Grow your spine even taller.

And then you're ready for the rest of your day. I hope you enjoyed this class, and I'll see you next time.

Comments

Nicola B
2 people like this.
Thanks Gia. A great class again. I'm really enjoying all your EXO classes as I have recently purchased a EXO chair for my home studio! Thanks again.
Isabella H
1 person likes this.
Loved this one !!!
Michele M
1 person likes this.
Wow loved this class!  The sequence was awesome as well as your cueing! Thanks Gia:D
1 person likes this.
Love the flow of this class. Thank GIA x
Melissa D
1 person likes this.
Great flow! Love your cues and calm voice. 
1 person likes this.
What a great little 30min workout.  Touched on everything, easy cues to follow, and feeling ready to tackle the rest of my busy day.  Thanks Gia! 
Great short little workout! TY
Gianna  A
1 person likes this.
This was a great class! Loved seeing the hamstring pulses added onto the bridging! So nice to see these classic exercises all together!
Thank you all for the wonderful feedback! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this class! 
Kristina S
Such a wonderful class! It is amazing how much is put in this „short“ class and it’s still so well balanced.

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