Class #5350

Balance Challenge EXO Chair

20 min - Class


Amy Havens leads you through an advanced EXO Chair class with swift variations to challenge your balance. This class is designed for those who are comfortable with the EXO Chair and are ready to take their workout to the next level. Get ready to test your stability and core strength with this 20-minute flow!
What You'll Need: EXO Chair

About This Video

Jan 31, 2024
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Hi, everyone. It's Amy Havens back at Pilates anytime. Always so happy to be here. Teaching lots of variations on exo chair content and workout. So we have our chair set up with one hook on the bottom and one on the 3rd arm up from the bottom. So kind of media tension. And this is just like a nice swift full body workout.

I think you're gonna enjoy it. No extra props needed. So we're just gonna go ahead and get started sitting with some footwork, foot and legwork. So let's push the pedal down to get started. And I wanted to go pretty classical traditional position in our pilates v. So take a moment to feel your feet really land on your pedal. Sitting on those sharp points of the sitting bones and lengthen your body up from the sit bones all the way Havens through the top of your head.

Just take one more scan down at your feet that your ankles aren't rotated or twisted. You're really up on those the balls of the feet. And then I'm gonna go ahead and ask us to do folded arms here today. I've got my hands right in the fold of my elbows. So let's take a breath in where we are.

And as you let the pedal start coming up right away, let's start resisting that spring. So it's gonna look slow the first couple of pumps just to kinda get us tuned into it. Right? And so inhaled down. I want you to think as the petals coming up, you're still pushing your feet down on it. And it's pushing us up, but we're resisting that.

And you'll start to probably feel some work back in the back of the hips. So with a little tempo, 6 more reps, see if you can contain that feeling, continue that feeling. Inhale down and then exhale up. Inhale down. The back of you nice and lengthen strong, aligned. Last one down and lift.

Alright. Let's push the the pedal down. Change to the arches of your feet. Now, on the EXO chairs, of course, because the springs are in the middle, I'm I love to fully adduct my ankles, but my heels kinda get in the way of the spring. So for this, I'm just gonna separate them a little bit. And, actually, it's nice variation. For my feet to feel something different. Okay.

Same idea. Take a breath first. Exhale. Let the pedal start pushing you up, but you're still resisting. You're pushing back at it a little bit. That's our exhale. From the back of the legs, you're ready to push the springs down.

Pull the pedal up. Inhale, pedal down, exhale, pull it up. I also sometimes will visualize suction cups on the bottom of my feet that I'm pulling up into my body or trying to pull into the chair. As much of our sitting bone energy, stomach, energy, legs into the chair. Last two up and lower.

Pull up and lower. Set the heels on. I'm gonna go dorcey flexion this time. Open your arms to a tee position. This welcome in this space, externally rotate the upper arms, take a breath, and here we go. So, again, resist it.

It's trying to push you up. Your heels are still pushing down on it and inhale push down. See if that the attempt of the pedal to push you around, you can actually manage that nicely, right, and sit taller if there's a way to even get more length in your muscles from your tailbone to the top of your head. And 4 more, trying to stay very Havens on this at bones, not wiggling too much if at all, Last two and the last one I want you to stay in the lifted position Just lower your arms for a minute and really concentrate deeply on that lowest part of your abdominal area inward upward. One more inward upward and then relax because we need that for lots of the exercises on the chair. First, though, everybody turn around, you're still on the same spring.

Stand on the pedal with the balls of the feet. You can go parallel. Set your hands where they're comfortable for you. I like my shoulders right above my wrists and round into your spine. Pull into that nice beautiful curve, especially the lower part of your spine.

And we'll do eight times just both heels down and up. So it's not just our heels that are pulling up. It's those muscles of the abdominals again. I also kinda think right from the hip joint up, through my abdominals, under my rib cage, 4 more pull, and pull. Okay. We're next to gonna go into the pull up or the pike exercise And today, for the, the beginning of it, come down on your elbows, wrap your hands around the back of the chair, dive down, lift the heels, shift into the upper body strength from Amy here, the stability, and then here we go.

That's that lower tummy pull. Let's do 4 like that. 2. You don't have to go very high. Go to a place you can control this.

Right? The 4th. You can stay on the elbows if you'd like or join me for 4 more up here. Same thing. Pull yourself up.

Ugh. Only as high as you feel like you can control The arms are pushing down a lot. Pull. And now you're gonna love this. Pull up and hold Now bend your knees.

Push it down. 8 repetitions knee pumping. Try not to bounce up and down. Tried to stay in the same shape. 4, 3, Last one, everybody, and lower. Okay.

Step down just for a moment. I need to do this. My answer's slippery. Come back up. We're gonna do a single leg. Okay? So I'm gonna let you choose a hands here.

Take one foot and put the the ball of the foot near the knee. Dive into that curve. Let's do 4 on each side. Here we go. Push the arms down, pull the leg up into the body, Push and pull 2 more. Trying to dive that head and 4 on the other side.

Here we go. One side is generally a little more coordinated. Then the opposite side, and everybody rest. Okay. Good. Pivot turn. You're gonna keep the inside foot in the back.

Take the outside foot and just point your foot if you'd like to and cross it over the ankle here. So your hips will be square first, but then we're gonna let them move a little bit. Take this forward arm. And just start to open your body. Open and rotate.

I'm okay with your pe well, our pelvis is rotating. The ribs rotating. Your shoulders, your neck and eyes, It should feel pretty good. We just contracted the front, so this is to open us back up. Now let's contract again thread the needle.

This arm is gonna come underneath the other one, and we'll do it one more time. This time, a little less rotation of the pelvis maybe a little more from the chest part of the spine or not. Right? So if you'd let your pelvis stay more front facing, it may limit the rest of your rotation. Now we're gonna use that place both hands here. Keep this foot crossed Let's go for 4 oblique pull ups.

Here we go. Lean into the arms a little. Pull the leg up into your body and push it down. The arms still have the push down, lift that pedal. 2 more.

Keep your foot nicely in contact with that petal and reverse. 3 in a turn sides. Just take a nice little pivot on top. Inside foot is the back foot. This foot crosses over.

Remember the first one, I want you to exaggerate, luxuriate, do as much as you want, stretch it out. It contracted in. Little thread the needle ish. And then the second one, little less turn of the pelvis little more through thoracic spine if you can, and then that hand is gonna thread under. Ready for pikes.

The foot stays as it was. Lena the arms a little push down and pull that pedal up. Press it down. Pull it up. Press it down.

There's always that connection of the foot into the pedal. The hands strong, pushing down, the rest of us pulling up. Okay. Face your chair, and then just step back to the floor now. Okay? Guys, we're not gonna change the springs. We're gonna keep it as it is. Little standing balance and a little hip opening here.

So just take a body breath And exhale come forward. Set your hands on your pedal. For this little part here, there's an energetic that I want us to work with kind of pulling the arm that way, but we're not moving the pedal. We need this to be stable. So pick a leg to extend behind you a little.

You don't have to go to a full scale. You can if you want to, but now I want you to take the opposite hand to the middle of your pedal turn the pelvis on top of that thigh bone. The other arm is just gonna come to rest on the side of your thigh. Get that leg up, please. I want you to really feel right on the side of the tush.

Okay. The hand on the pedal, you're pulling into it. Hand is pulling to pedal. Lift the arm. Try to see that hand. I'm gonna make the arc of the window. That turned out pretty conveniently, didn't it? And then the hand is gonna land on the pedal.

You return your pelvis and you're down other side. So this first gesture is not too big. To do try to be square. The hand then in the middle, pelvis goes, whoop. Rotates on top of that femur.

You lift your outside thigh. The hand on the pedal is pulling into it. Turn Get your leg a little higher if you can. See this hand. Really watch it.

It's a lot of balance work here. A lot. My body knows where it is. It sure does. It's not gonna fall. Let's do it again.

East side. K? Leg back. Hand. Turn the pelvis. Lift that outside leg. Maybe you've got a little more lift in you.

Arms sweep. Let this feel good. Everybody stretch and hand leg. Stretch his leg up. Rotate that pelvis, make sure you're keeping your tummy pulled up, leg out to the side, looking at that leg, looking at that hand.

And up we go, use the hand on your pedal. Let it guide you around beautifully done. Okay. Everyone take a squat It should feel pretty good to squat down and open up your back and just squat here. Okay? It's also convenient because now we take off the low spring. Reach on in there and take that low spring off.

We're gonna stay on the floor for a few exercises. And I'd like you to line your back. Okay. So we're heading into a rollover, jackknife, control balance, ish. Okay? So I'd like to hold my hands on the side of the chair. Some of you like that too, some of you like to hand hand up here.

Make it make sense for you where you have the most contraction in your lats, control here. This really feels good to me. I'm gonna take my legs up. Gonna breathe, and I'm looking right at the ceiling. I know the top of the chair is up there.

Here we go. The feet will land on the top of the chair. Take a moment and lift the pelvis up into the air a little bit Open the legs feel for the corners, flex your ankles, lower your feet to the floor if you've got it. Open the legs so you roll down. And we'll do it again. Rolling over.

Shoo. Toes up top. Open the legs. Flex the feet. Feel for the corners. Lower your legs. If you want to, they don't have to go that low. Now as you start rolling down your spine, don't forget to lengthen through the top of your spine.

Okay? Guys, we're gonna roll over the opposite way. Legs over, legs up, and we roll down. That's okay. Proprio reception. Part of me didn't quite know where I was in space. That's okay.

Rolling over legs apart, Up. We go. I learned a lesson, and I enroll it down. Opposed to the top of your spine. Okay. Legs at 90 Havens inhale rolling over again.

Now three times, we're gonna take the legs up and then touch, up and touch, up and touch. So use the glutes, please, lift, and lift. And one more. Hold them up. Roll your body down. We'll do it one more time.

All the way to level. If you want to drop your legs lower, feel free. Inhale, exhale over the pedal, pedal, and feet up. Contract the glutes, lift the hips. Lower.

Lift the hips. And lower. 1 more. Lower your spine. It's an articulated role.

Next is a rollover and some control balance. Changing the legs. So take a breath here. Rolling your body. Toes go up. Now I'm gonna show you something on the exo chair or any chair.

Put your feet inside underneath the seat for a second, and that gives you a little bit of security, little bit of connection, to start to take the leg up and tip extension. I'm trying not to use the underneath foot too much, but it's helping. I wanna get the pelvis up there. Okay? And then lower the leg down. Let's just try that on the other.

Think of your spine getting higher in the air in this weird upside down shape. Okay? You can stay with that. Or toes up top. The top foot that's up on the seat, turn out to wiggle it, This is tough, and up and over. That's what I've got, and we're rolling down.

Now we need to do something different for the spine after all that flexion. So we're gonna come over on our tummy and do a swan with a little wave to it. Okay? So just come on over. We're gonna keep this one spring on that third notch. And to start, let's just have our hands up and feel stretch through the waistline, those abdominals that just got all that contraction. And you may wanna even just do a little bit of scapular glide. Okay? But now let's go first one.

So I wanna think of using my back to lift the pedal or pull the pedal down. And then release. Do the same thing. When I lift my back, eyes are looking through the chair, You can stay with that, or I wanna do this little wave like movement. I'm gonna drag my head and pick up my ribs.

Pull the pedal and then reach the ribs more forward. A little undulation here. Lift takes a little more connection 2 more like that. And reach. Last one.

Beautiful. Everybody. Okay. Come all the way down. Come up to your knees. Just do a real quick cat. We're gonna need 1 more spring back on the low setting.

So here that goes. And we're going into one of our favorites. Everybody knows this. They're going up front going up front with a little extra balance to it. So step forward, choose a foot to stand on, put that foot on the pedal.

Using the back of that hip, push the spring down, stay looking forward, bear away to that leg, second foot comes up. So for just a moment, let's focus on what's happening here. The foot that is up, I'm energetically pulling it backward. This leg is really pulled up, I'm gonna go back into that genie arm position from the beginning. Take a breath. We go up.

We go down and we go up, we go down my foot slippery down there, but it's fine. And down two more, we're gonna stay up at the top on the second one. Alright. Here we go. Trust yourself. Stepping all the way through toad and knee just like we did in that little pike position.

Earlier. Open your arms to a tee. We did that. Open the thigh. We did that.

We did the closing. We need to get down. So you step that foot. Feel back for the pedal. Right? Get to the ball on that foot really solid.

Slowly press it down, but energetically stay up here with your upper body hot the height of you No collapsing. Okay. Step back with control and the other side of weights. Here we go. Press down. Step up.

This foot energetically is pulling back. That's helping me connect into the back of this hip. Quad is ready. Other leg is strongest straight. We pull up.

We press down, but a lot of our energy still stays up here. That's that opposition we love to work with. And 3 more, staying up on the 3rd. How about the abdominals? Aren't they long? Are your back muscles feeling long? Last one, we stay.

Trust the strength of this leg and hip and go right up to toe by knee. Arms out. Leg opens. Leg closes. Refold your arms, take that foot back, feel for the edge of the seat, then bend the standing knee, spread the ball of that foot, descend slowly with control.

Some of you still up here, though, that energy Good, everybody. You're gonna step to the floor. You'll release that pedal. And one last standing roll down. Let's take our hands to the pedal.

It's nice and heavy, so we don't push it too low. Feel your upper back stretch. Take your tail under, roll everything up, and just set your arms draped back and you say, thank you, chair. You got Amy. All good.

Thanks, everybody. I'll see you next time.


1 person likes this.
Thank you Amy, I love the chair.  It's so versatile and challenging :)
1 person likes this.
This was great! Short and sweet to boost my energy and continue my day 🤍
Carla R
1 person likes this.
What an amazing class Amy!! Thank you!!!!
Michele M
1 person likes this.
Wow just enough to wake me up!  I loved the flow and challenge in this practice!  Thank you Amy!!:D 
1 person likes this.
Thanks Amy!  You always make the chair feel so much more accessible to me--great class!
1 person likes this.
Thank you Amy- I was standing over the sink washing dishes thinking how nice swan from the floor would feel right about now… and voilà! Found this class! 😊
1 person likes this.
this is challenging yet doable, Amy!  Your calm nature made it lovely!  
Heidi Coles Patti S Wendy B Michele M It really brightens my day when I receive such positive feedback, thank you everyone!  Glad you're here with me!
Carla R Nicole T Julie V thank you for taking class with me and for taking the time to leave a message for me!  I appreciate you!

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