Class #5343

Chair on the EXO Chair

35 min - Class


You will definitely get a fun challenge with this advanced EXO Chair workout by Maria Leone. She blends yoga and Pilates exercises throughout the class building up to the grand finale of Chair Pose on top of the EXO Chair. She also shares different ways to use the split pedal so that you can make sure your body is working in a balanced way.
What You'll Need: EXO Chair, Slastix

About This Video

Dec 20, 2023
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Hi. I'm Maria Leoni, and today we're doing an advanced workout on the EXO chair that I'm calling chair on the chair. Lots of different transitions. So be mindful and listen carefully as we go through this. We're starting with the machine, the chair, on 2 low springs. The paddle is split. I have my red slapstick on the back, but that is optional.

Meet me on the top of your chair in child's pose. Drop into that position and take some deep breaths here into the back side of your rib cage, inhale, and exhale. One more time, inhale. And exhale. If you have this red slapstick, pivot to the paddle and hook that right over your heels.

It really is kinda helpful if you have one. If not, no big deal. The hands come onto the split pedal. Round your back. Take a breath in. Excel.

Push the paddle down. This should feel really nice. Tuck the tailbone under roll yourself up. Exhale to push the paddle down from the center of the body. Feel the sit bones lift to the sky. Tuck the tail.

Roll yourself in. Again, pressing down, lifting the tail up, feeling the width between the shoulder blades, tuck and peel up. We're gonna change this now. Push the paddle down, take the sit bones up, and as an inhale, lift the chest up, and exhale take the paddle down. And, again, inhaling right into the front of the chest and taking it down.

And again, inhale, lifting the heart and taking it down, tuck and roll yourself up. Press yourself down. And from here, we're gonna begin a little rotation. So bend one elbow, push the other paddle away and then come center. Turning the opposite direction and come back center.

And, again, twisting and back center and twist and back center. Tuck and roll up. We're gonna put that all together now. So push the paddle down. We inhale. We lift to swan.

We take it down. Rotate one direction, one elbow bends, and take it down. Rotate the other direction and take the paddle down, tuck and roll up. One more like that. The paddle goes all the way down, sit bones to the sky, inhale lift the chest, and lower down.

Rotate one day. Push one way. Push through that opposite battle. Back center. And then push through the other paddle as you twist. Back center, tuck and peel yourself up, hands to the chair, release the slastic, step off the chair, and then come right back on top.

We're going to swimming. So you might need to judge your distance here. Start yourself up. In a perfectly straight line. The legs are glued.

Belly is tight. Paddle is still as you swim here. Now I want you truly parallel to the ground. Check-in with the neck. Check-in with the width of the shoulder blades.

And add some breath to this vigorously in and vigorously out, watch that paddle. Make sure it's not bouncing around so much. And now keep the legs together, and let's go back to that little rotation. So we twist the rib cage. 1 paddle goes up. 1 paddle goes down.

Come back center. Other side, one paddle goes up, one paddle goes down and back center. You're keeping that axis of your spine in one place. Last time here, option to add swimming now. So as you swim, you rotate.

And the breath is full and steady. Working from the hamstrings, not the feet. And the pubic bone is still firmly on the chair. One more each way. Last one Peddle to the ground, push yourself back, hands to the chair, and a little hamstring stretch, lift the tailbone up.

And just kinda move around here and do anything that feels right to you. Come back on top of the chair, And more or less the same setup, k, new movement from here, removing into a side plank, One paddle will lift as you roll up and over to one hip. Hold it there. You're in a perfect straight line. And then flip back to your plank position.

Let the paddle lift to help you roll over to the other side. Glue the legs. And come back to one straight piece. Let's do that again and lift everything in one piece, ideally. Everything back, front ribs stay closed, and then really pushing and pulling the arms will be very helpful here.

And come back to your plank. Push and pull the arms and pause here. And now that top leg goes up and down. And 2 and down, and 3 and down. And this hand can be on the chair, And if you feel secure, you can take that hand away. Why not? 2 more like this, Keep lifting that bottom waist, though, and then come back to your plank and then push and pull to roll The hand can come to the edge of the edge of the chair or take the hand off, start your leg lift.

So easy to drop into the ribs here. So really try to keep those bottom obliques engaged, shoulders down, Two more here and back to your plank. Let the paddle go down to the ground and then push off to transition out of here and take your little hamstring stretch. And from here, just roll yourself all the way up. We're going around to the front of the chair now.

And we're gonna build a little series here, the feet of parallel, tail point straight down, take a breath in, nodge your chin roll down and the hands come onto the paddle. Push the paddle all the way down to the ground. Feel your weight forward on the front of your foot. Pull the abdominals in so much that the heels draw up away from the ground. And lower. Let's do that again.

And lift. And lower. Really initiating initiating this from the abdominal for me, please? A feeling of pike here. Thank that. We're setting up for pike. And we're gonna peel up, take the arms all the way up over the head, open the chest, nodge your chin.

We're gonna keep building this. So we peel down. We get the paddle to the ground. And this time, we do just one renovate up and down into our next action, which is plank. So step one foot back And then the other foot back, hold your plank, wrap the biceps forward, draw the sit bones together.

The paddle does not move. You step one foot in, the other foot in and hold. Let's do that again. Change legs if you like. One foot back.

The other foot back, bring those hips into that beautiful straight one line. Squeeze in with the hands on the paddle and step in. 1, 2, drop the head. Last time here, step back 1, 2, nice long plumb line, and step in 1, 2, drop the tail. We're rolling all the way up this time. The arms come all the way up to the ceiling.

Big breath in. Open the chest. Nodge your chin, adding on, rolling down. The weight goes up and over the front of the foot, we take one relevay lifting from the abdominals and lower down. We come into plank one time, one 2, you're in a perfect plank. Now the knees begin to pull in and in. Just changing legs And now the tempo of this is however you see fit. Eventually, I'd like some of you to begin to take this to a run.

We're gonna do this run a little bit later in our pike series as well. Or just stay simple. From here, everybody step back to the paddle. 1, 2, drop the head. We're coming all the way up. Lift the chest, nod your chin.

Peal yourself down, hands to the paddle. Moving on, one releve up and down. 1 plank. 1, 2, a knee on each side. 1, 2. And now we add a little tricep push up, one arm up and down. One arm up and down.

Now If you're strokite moving, if you're struggling with this, you might wanna consider opening your feet a bit. It is gonna be easier with that wider stance. Of course, our goal is to shift as little as possible as we go side to side. Last time, and step in. 1, 2, peel yourself all the way up.

Open the chest, hands by your side, moving on, All the way down, we take one renovate up and down, anti plank. 1, 2, you're there. One knee, the other knee, one arm bent. The other arm bends New action opposite elbow and knee. You gotta kinda fight for this, guys.

Really keep your focus. Breath is gonna help. Last one. Step in. 1.

2. Peel yourself up. Just lifts. Nodge your chin, and we're moving on to a new series. Roll yourself down.

This is similar to what we did already on the top of the chair. Take yourself back into a perfect plank. From here, you're gonna pivot to me one pad of lifts and you come into that side plank. Hold it here. Really activate those bottom obliques for me. Let's come back to your plank and now use the paddle to help you shift release the hand, bottom waist, very engaged head in line, come back to your plank, come into your knees as take a little child's pose. Hands behind you forehead to the mat.

Scoop yourself in a bit, bring your forearms right onto the paddle. Round your back into a cat shape and now press the paddle down and up. Just looking for a little back stretch right now. Using this is a little kinda active recovery. Bring your hands back to the paddle, push the paddle down, come back into your plank, We're going back into that side plank.

So the paddle lifts and you pivot, hold it here. 2 feet together, and maybe that leg lifts up and down. Now that's ideal. Some of you will just hold the plank, last leg lift, and come back to your plank And then pivoting to the other side, some of you were just holding the plank, some of you, you, two legs come together, and you're adding a little leg lift here. Just straight up, straight down.

Feel where your head is. I am not perfectly steady, guys. And come back to your plank. Come back to your knees. Take a quick child's pose.

I know the wrists need a moment. To come back forward onto the forms, round your back, pressing down and up for 3, and 2 and 1. Hands come back to the plank. Push the paddle down, step back to plank a little different this time. We pivot The hand comes off the bottom knee goes down.

Bring that leg up at the height of your hip, and that's either do side lift again here or circles or side kicks forward and back for 2, inhaling for 2, excelling for 2. Keep thinking of that bottom waist, and I really want you to feel the pelvis nice and still. Taking that leg back from the engagement of the glute, not the movement of the lower back. Last one here, wherever you're at, catch your foot behind you, maybe you just stay here and hold this quad stretch. Maybe you lift and open.

Mine's not that pretty. I'm just gonna stay right here. You guys do that beautiful shape. And this come back to that plank. Boom. Boom. Bivoting to the other side, a knee comes down.

The hand comes up. The leg lifts, maybe you do leg lifts, maybe you take it to the sidekick. Leg is moving forward in its back. And I'm doing a little pulse to mostly out of habit, inhaling, and exhaling, really trying to keep that leg in one straight line. It's also kinda nice to bend the top arm point the elbow to the ceiling, but the hips have to stay still.

It does help me to push down through that bottom shin wherever you are, bend the knee, catch the foot, take a quad stretch, or open the chest and take the body into an arch. Come back to your plank. Boom. Boom. 3 quick push ups for 3. For 2, for 1, and come to your knees.

Let the paddle come up, and now watch this transition. You're stepping into Malasana. The feet are gonna be about the distance of the chair, and I want you to feel like you're hanging back. Just kinda tractioning the lower back. Let your body shift from side to side, find something that feels good.

And the machine is just giving you that little support so you can take that stretch, come center Hands to prayer, Molassana squat. Oh, you didn't see that coming straight up, straight down. 2. Now pay attention to those knees. They have to stay back. Don't roll them forward.

It's okay if you don't go all the way down. Certainly the deeper you get, the more challenge seal the hands together. I don't know why that helps me, but does 2 more. And that stay standing. Find your doll, and we are bringing this into the paddle. So two pieces now become 1, kind of an awkward transition.

So as you sit down, use your two hands, push the paddle down, hold it there, and now pivot and turn away. From the paddle. So we're setting up for tricep press. I'm gonna work traditional with my thumbs and fingers forward. Be where you wanna be. This is short and sweet. Little pump.

And, again, the tension isn't super heavy right now, so you might be experiencing more stretch than work in this moment. Keep the paddle down, bend the knees, and push your hips up into tabletop and lower down. Feel free to flip the hands whenever you need pressing up My gaze to the ceiling or even the wall in front of you and lower. And, again, stepping into the feet, the knees go forward, pull those shoulder blades together, and lower down. Last one here, Push into the feet and lower it down. From here, take your booty a little away from the chair, Paddle is still down. The legs go straight.

Don't let it bounce around that paddle. Use your triceps and your legs to lift into reverse plank. Hold it here. And lower down. And, again, pushing the paddle away taking the breath into the front of the chest and lower it down. Last one here, push.

And lower it down. Bend your knees. Bring your tail back just a bit. Now watch this transition. The legs go straight.

I'm gonna open my hands to the towel, and I'm gonna bend forward. Drop the shoulders. So a little bit like the rowing series from the reformer. Now from the abdominals, We're just gonna press the chest down and exhale press the chest down. Doesn't look like much, but you should have a pretty deep sensation in the front of your body flexing the spine to take you forward, and the head heads towards the toes.

Do not do this from your hip socket. Arms are doing nothing. Last one here, Stay right here. Release the hands. Circle the arms up and all the way over your sheet just like we do when rowing, and then roll yourself up.

Bring your hands to your hips. We're going into rowing. So we're gonna dive forward. This would be rowing front from the reformer, flatten out the back, come all the way upright, press the arms down. Exhale, dive forward, biceps up, flat in the back, all the way up, press down from the lat. Again, press forward. Waste line pulls back, shoulder blades are wide.

Flat into lift, push down from the lot, last one, waistline back, lengthen out and up, press the arms down little transition. Cross your legs. Lift yourself up. Come to your hands. Step back, far away. You might need to scoot in.

One foot to the top of the chair, The other foot to the top of the chair, I'm not doing it. Go ahead and do 3 push ups if you'd like, down and up for 3. Down and up for 2, down and up for 1 from here. Walk your hands back to your handstand. K. This actually looks more difficult than it is.

Lift those hips up. Feel that plumb line from the sit bones to the hands, if you feel super secure, close-up the front ribs, lift to one leg to the sky. Push through your hands, guys. That's really the secret. Again, this is not that big of a challenge. I'm certain most of you can do this.

Maybe not the first time. Front ribs close. If you feel a stretch in your hip flexor, you're taking your leg too far back. That step all the way down to the ground, beautifully gracefully, and then peel yourself slowly all the way up. Removing to the other side of the machine, Slide your doll out, and we're gonna do a spring change here. So I recommend either 2 threes or two fours.

I'm going to two fours. And we're going to Mermaid Nick. Start facing me. Sit yourself on the chair. So half of your booty is off.

Arms to a tee, From here, side bend up and over, hand comes down whatever paddles closest to you. And then from here, pushing the paddle down and taking it up. And pushing it down for 2 and, last time, 3 and up and side bending the other way as well. Gonna show you something a little different this time. We side bend. And as we push the paddle down, the two legs come out into that side plank again.

Keep lifting that bottom waist. Come all the way up and then side bend away. So sort of mermaid side lift combo up and over, and then sweep the bottom leg out. Lift that bottom waistline, ideally, the paddle was floating all the way up and side bend away last one here, up and over, squeeze those legs together, close the ribs, try not to break at the hips all the way up and side bend away and then pivot and face the back of your machine. Roll yourself back.

Hands come onto the paddle bring the knees into your chest. And you might need to scoot yourself a little bit forward. I want you to feel like you're back on your sacrum The legs go straight up, hold it here, and let's lower the legs down and up any amount will do as long as the back doesn't move. Also, one leg is a great way to modify this. Light on your arms, last one like that, knees in and that's turn and go to the other side. So the arms are open.

You're not too close to the edge. Simple Mermaid first. Hand onto the panel, And from those bottom obliques pushing that paddle down and up, again, I don't have a very big range here. Make sure the head isn't moving too far forward. Open the arms side bend the opposite direction Really breathe into that top lung here and then open the arms moving on.

So up and over, the two legs sweep out. They glue together, lift the bottom waist, come all the way up. Side bend away. Open the arms. And in one action, everything goes. And come on up, and everything moves away from the paddle.

Try to commit to one action. Here we go. And everything. Together. Oh, I almost face planted. And all the way up, but that's kinda fun. Right? That's part of it.

And all the way up, turn and face the back one more time, hands to the paddle, roll yourself back, two legs to the ceiling, and let's take a little hip circle. So Come on to one hip. The legs are glued. We're gonna circle the legs around over to the opposite hip and back center. Other way, really feeling the action now from the spine, not the hip, not often we say that, right, Let the spine rotate.

That moves the legs. Very different action from a leg circle. One more each way. Try to keep equal weight on both hands. That paddles gonna give you feedback If you're leaning too much on one side, the knees come in, rock yourself up.

Around we go to the front of the machine. So we've set up for this quite a bit. We're going to pike Hands can be on the side. Hands can also be on the front of the chair. Step that panel down.

1, 2, Heels are real high, commit to that cat shape. Now you're not gonna jump. The abdominals lift, just like we did earlier, so much that the machine floats up and then lower down. And you might need to reposition your feet a little bit. Round the back.

Let's go again. Get the shoulder blades out of your ears. Drop the head. And control as we go down, try not to touch, come right back up, Come halfway down and let's begin our run, breathing in and out. Super tempting to lean on the hands. Don't do that. Find that sweet spot between the hands and the feet fire up the core.

We're almost done 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2 feet down. Let's take a little stretch, put the forearms down, heels go down. And then let one paddle come up and put one foot on the chair. We're heading towards mountain climber. Start with the fingertips down round your back, lift the paddle up, bend that knee in.

Now the paddles light begin pumping that leg Make sure you're not resting on that thigh bone. Many of you will take your two hands to your knee. You have a really good view of your knee and your toe. Make sure it's working for you. And from here, chair on the chair.

Find your chair position. Ribs are closed. Heart is forward. Belly is up. Weight is on the heels.

Take the fingertips back to the chair. The other foot goes to the paddle. Bend both knees. Begin the pump. Considerably easier to keep the fingertips down.

Always an option. Maybe not today, maybe the next time you bring your hands onto the knee. And there's other places I know you creative types can go with the hands too. Hips are nice and squared off. You should be experiencing the leg on the chair a lot. 2 feet together.

You're into your beautiful chair position. Heart is going forward now. Drop your head, grab hold of the chair, take a little hamstring strap, That might mean your knees are bent and pivot to camera. Now come to the front of your chair. The foot closest to the paddle goes to the back half of the paddle.

Bend both knees. I want you to think about this being side Russian. Make sure you aren't leaning in your hip, start to pump that leg. And again, always nice to start just with a hands down Oh, if you got it, go ahead and take the hands to the knee. It's gonna be a short range, 3, 2, 1, and into chair. Oh.

And then take the hands down. Take that little stretch pivot to your other side. Bring your foot forward. Foot closest to the paddle goes back. Then your knees.

Hold it here. Get your bearings. Begin to pump the leg. Notice it's a short pump particularly if you're small like me. Maybe the hands come to me. And then step your 2 feet together back to your chair pose.

Drop the hands down. Stretch the legs. Drop the head. Pivot to the front. Okay. We are moving to our grand finale, which is Russian facing front.

Finger tips on the chair. Let the heels lift and bring one ball of your foot onto the paddle. Start seated all the way down. And that's just pump here. Just kinda gets used to this.

If you got a bad knee, I would not recommend this, though. You know that. From here, step into chair. Fingertips to the chair, the heels lift, the other foot gracefully. You gotta will it.

You do have to will it and then pump that, that thing also known as a paddle. And step into chair. Come all the way forward, straighten the legs, drop the head. You can use your arms to pull your head down to your feet. Right. We're gonna do one more set, or at least I'm gonna try.

It may not come out today. Bend your knees. Bring yourself with the heels up. I'm not gonna take my hips all the way down this time. I'm gonna keep my hips up, and I'm gonna pump that chair, and maybe the hands come off.

And then fingertips to the chair back to 2 feet. Chair. And then let's go the other side. Fingertips to the chair. The heels will begin to lift. It's a tricky transition, foot to the pedal, the hips stay up, and then we move that haddle.

The shoulders are out of the ears. Oh, I don't know if it's gonna happen. Hands off, maybe. And then back to your chair, we did it, drop down, drop the head, shake out of their head. Oh, that builds a lot of tension and anxiety.

So just kinda let everything go for me. Come back down to your knees, quarter turn to face me back to the beginning. And we are done for today. Thank you for joining me. You could always start that again.


Shannon H
Wow that was great thank you!
Sarah T
That was so much fun! Thank you, Maria!
Knockout Piates
Great fun flow, thank you!

Brilliant class! Awesome flow, thank you Maria!
Lovely class, great flow, lots of good plank variations

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