Class #5378

Energizing Arms

35 min - Class


Arms, arms, and more arms! Get ready to work your entire body, especially your arms! Mychele Sims teaches a sweaty and energizing Mat class that continually will "take it up a notch" by adding challenging exercises that will make you work. Even though you'll be challenged, she gives options throughout the class so you can choose what works best for you today.
What You'll Need: Mat, Hand Weights (2), Foam Roller

About This Video


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What is up familia, welcome back to working out with Mychele. I'm still Mychele Sims and we are going to get into a arm workout. Now this is arm focused, but it's Pilates, it's total body. It's a little bit of fitness in there. What will you need for this workout?

I have some small weights. I'm gonna recommend you don't go higher than two to three pounds, but you do you. And back there I have a foam roller. So have those things in tow. We're gonna be picking them up and using them as props.

Are you ready to work? Let's get to work. We're gonna start by just coming out a little bit wider than our hips and just ground our feet. Kind of pull up the mat with your toes and check in. It's like, "What does that have to do with arms, Mychele?" Eh, you know, we gotta warm the body up.

(Mychele laughs) It's okay. We're gonna start stretching the top of our back, interlacing the fingers and just push away. Let the head fall somewhere in between the shoulders and let the back stretch. This is the upper back stretching, getting ready for this arm work. Inhale and exhale here.

Try to keep your knees over your ankles and hips as we do this. And then bring it back behind you. And I know you can't see me so I'm gonna turn so you can see kind of like a interlacing here. There we go, and we're opening up the top again of the shoulders. Shirdle, shoulder-gur, that's a word.

Shoulder girdle is hitting stretch from all directions. Yes, I like it. And then we're gonna bring it all the way back. Let's do some shrugs, just bring your, what are these things called? Shoulders, bring 'em up and down.

We're shrugging, why are we working out? I don't know. (Mychele laughs) Okay, keep going. Now, almost there, having fun. We're gonna get into our sixth stretch, so what is that? It's a cat-cow but we're doing this standing.

I'm gonna place my hands on my thighs or you can go to your hips, and when you do this, I want you to take your head and tuck it in. Bring it towards your pelvis and then round your pelvis forward. So there's the motion. So if you want to see that from the side, and then we extend, proud chest, wide shoulders, and then curl under. So that's your standing cat-cow.

Now if you're like, "Hey Mychele, "I normally do this on my all fours." Totally okay, so if you choose to go on the floor with this, you can. And as we go through this workout, you can use your sitting box if you have one. You can use a large Swiss ball. You can do this in a chair if you need to. You always have options, or as I say, choose your adventure.

(Mychele chuckles) And we come back. One more each direction, and then come all the way back, extension, and then come back to center. Now we're gonna stretch the sides of our body. So this is my right arm, whatever arm it is, we're gonna stretch the side of the body. So coming through the side, let the head be heavy and feel that bend from the side of your body.

It's like a little arc or a rainbow. So that is the hip coming towards the rib. Let me relax this shoulder as well and then bring it back up to neutral. Let's do the other side. Slide that arm down, you see that?

Slide it down. This arm is gonna relax. Keep breathing. You might feel yourself getting a little bit heavier as you stretch and that's good. Good oblique stretch both directions and bring it back to neutral.

Last part of the six spine stretch, we're gonna twist our body. So I'm center here, twisting my body, looking all the way back, trying to keep my hip points facing the front. So if that works for you, good. If you need extra help, take those arms and twist, hands at the waist. Relax the shoulders, keeping the hips as steady as possible and unwind yourself.

Let's do the other side, twist. So when you're doing this, you're getting some stretch in your latissimus dorsi, your lats, as well as your serratus, all those wonderful anatomical terms, and come back to the center. Let's work these wrists. So wrist flexion and extension. So why are we doing this?

We're preparing the whole arm to work. I know you're like, "This isn't Pilates." It is, I'm getting you ready for all the things. Let's do some wrist circles, wrist circles, why? Because we need these. So go both directions, do a couple passes.

I'll do one more each direction. Yes, one more. Looks like I'm voguing, right? Okay, (Mychele laughs) and that's it for that. Shake the wrist out.

I'm gonna bring my legs in a little bit closer, right under my hips, tuck my chin into my chest and I'm gonna go down and forward fold into like a ragdoll. So in my ragdoll, my knees are soft and I'm letting my head be heavy. The hands maybe are reaching the floor. If they're not reaching the floor, go ahead and put the hands on the shins or on the hips or your thighs. But let it be heavy because you're getting the circulation, the blood is going through all of the arms, head is heavy, and you're doing great.

And now I'm gonna come up just a little bit halfway so my arms have a little hang time and I'm just gonna sway back and forth. I call this the ragdoll. A lot of people probably call it the ragdoll, (Mychele laughs) and then I'm gonna add a little twist. So twisting at the hip, going both sides, warming up that low back. And we are good to go.

I'm gonna come up starting with pressing my heels into the floor, pressing, coming up like an elevator, pressing through, turning on the back body, rolling up all the way. Warm? Awesome. Let's grab our weights. Again, these are two-pounders, we love them. Now here I'm gonna be standing up.

If you're like, "Mychele, "I'd like to be kneeling, my knees are good," go ahead and do that. But we'll start here with the easy bicep crunch or bicep curl. So arms are in front here, right at the level of your shoulders. If you wanna stay low, also have a option here. But I'd like to give a little challenge 'cause this is intermediate, keep it there.

Curl the weights towards your forehead and then let them out. Ideally, you'll be doing like a two-count. So one-two, one-two. So we'll keep going. I'm not counting today, but if we were counting, I would say to feel a light burn, go anywhere from five to eight of these.

Good, one more for me, I wasn't counting. So if you count it, cool. Let's bring the arms down to the side. You're already feeling it. I know, I know, it's awesome.

All right, we're gonna take these same weights, come up to your hip level. So these are hammer curls, right? So we have our hands lightly gripping it. Hammer, tall positioning of the spine. We're gonna open here and close.

So the ribs are bringing in and you're not flaring the ribs out, you're just going in and out. It's like you're opening a coat and you're closing a coat. (Mychele laughs) Why do I do these things? I don't know, but opening and closing. This is exercise, y'all, stay with me.

Two more like this. Boom, last one, you got this. You're like, "My shoulders are awake." I know, right? That's why I'm here. All right, lower the arms.

Now we're gonna do some lifts, lateral lifts and front lifts. So right here, knuckles are towards the floor, palms are facing towards the floor as well. Bring the weights up to shoulder level and bring them down. I'm gonna widen my stance a little bit right here to take it up and bring it down. While you're doing this to make it like full compound, full body workout, you are bracing your core.

You are squeezing your glutes and you are relaxing your shoulders. Yes, you're doing all this at the same time. So again, five to eight of these, your world. Let's do two more together. Last one.

Good, it's getting shaky y'all. All right, lateral side raises. So same exercise, bring the arms to the side of the body. We're gonna lift and lower the arms up to shoulder level like the T, yes, lift and lower. So again, while you're doing this, tall spine, shoulders away from the ears, ribs are pulling in, belly button pulling towards the back and those glutes are squeezin'.

I'm gonna do two more of these, two more. And last one, hello, arms, we're up. Now, here's some pilatified things that you might love. So I love shaving, one of my favorite exercises, and hugging a tree. So when we hug our tree, I'm doing this standing, again 'cause I haven't sat down yet, (Mychele laughs) we're gonna bring our arms out just into like a little small C.

I always use this cube. If I have a drop of water, it's gonna drop and then go down my arm. So think about that beautiful posture. The knuckles will be facing each other, so that same tall spine, we're gonna open and then we close. So in that opening and closing, I want you to brace your arms.

So the bicep and triceps are squeezing. It's not just the weight, it's you working with the weight. So we're gonna open, hug that tree. Squeeze and you're gonna feel like a chest stretching and tightening. And again, this is arms, but it's a full body workout.

It's so sneaky, I love it. Now if we do it in the true fashion, now we have to change our breath. So let's breathe with it. So we're gonna inhale on the open, (Mychele inhales) and exhale on the close. (Mychele exhales) Let's go. (Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) (Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) Two more. (Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) Last one, y'all, we got this, and that tree is hugged.

We loved on the tree. Triceps, so shaving. Think about you on the reformer, or on the mat, bringing the arms behind you. So I want you to see this from the side. So I'm holding onto the weights and they're pitching down.

So they're behind my head and I want you to like see your elbows in your side vision or your peripheral, I said it. Okay, so we're gonna go ahead and lift up and bring it down. Lift it up and bring it down. And up, squeezing the tricep. Those are the muscles in the back of the arm.

But when you move that tricep, the bicep and everything around it works with it, so just know that we are working those arms. This is the easy part, y'all, two more. Shave that ponytail right off. I lied, this is three, and bring it down. (Mychele laughs) My arms! Your arms, okay, last exercise, just one more spiral to go through.

We're gonna bring our arms out side to side for a lateral hold. We're holding this laterally. Our arms at the level of our shoulders. We are so strong, we are so amazing. Now this might remind you of PE class.

We're gonna do like a little cherry picker. You remember that? Did y'all call it cherry pickers where you're from? So I'm gonna take this right arm and take it to my left leg. It's like a saw but standing, and come back, hello, and other side.

So the work here is that top arm is balancing the other weight as you twist the body. When you're taking that other arm up, look back at it. So you're getting a workout in the neck, the shoulders, the legs, the hips, the feet are working, total body workout. Last one. (Mychele exhales) And yay, let's put the weights down. Let's take it to the floor, y'all.

So if you have your beautiful foam roller, go ahead and grab it. That was very, very graceful the way that I got down. (Mychele laughs) So try to get down in a more graceful way than that. Okay, so I have my foam roller behind me and I'm going to just get my positioning together. My foam roller is gonna be right under my shoulder blades.

What does that mean to you at home? That means that you're gonna brace your neck, keep your neck long because you're using this as a balancing or a lever. So you're staying here, this is already working your core. I'm gonna have my feet a little bit wider than my hips. I'm feeling this y'all.

And I'm gonna grab those weights that we had earlier, yes. This may resemble something that you've done on your barrel. So if you've done this on the barrel, if you don't have a foam roller, you can use a pillow or you can use a small ball. All right, so here we are. Tall spine, squeeze the shoulder blades together.

Arms are at your side in a low V, and we're just gonna lift and lower, keeping that neck long. The arms come up right to shoulder level, it's like what we did when we were standing, and lower. We're gonna do five of these. Lifting and lowering. And when you're doing this, the abs are pulling back towards the mat.

The neck is staying long, we're not crunching in the neck. (Mychele exhales) And our arms are like, "What are you doing to me?" Good, that was our fifth one. Next exercise is gonna be our arm circles. Now this might get tricky. So go ahead and bring the arms up to right at your shoulder level and pick a direction.

I'm gonna go out first. So we're gonna do five circles out. So circle around like you're drawing two big circles with both arms, this is two. Keeping that neck long, squeezing those shoulder blades. (Mychele exhales) Two more.

(Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) And last one, and then come back centered. Let's not wait, let's keep going, opposite direction. Five, (Mychele exhales) four, (Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) three, (Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) two, (Mychele giggles) one. I'm laughing because I hurt my shoulder and I hear it clicking. So y'all know that this is real work.

I don't know if that comes out with the microphone, but my shoulder's clicking. That means we're doing a great job. All right, put that to the side. And because we're still on the foam roller and we've already got our neck nice and long, let's work on the side body. So I'm gonna go ahead onto my hip and I'm gonna place right here, this is my lat, on the foam roller.

Long arm reaches away. The top leg can go over if you need a little balance. But I want you just do a little gentle roll. If you need more work, you can lift that hip and really roll into that lat. (Mychele exhales) This is called a break, y'all.

Good, good, good, and rest it. Just a little massage, little trigger point work. Other side, same thing. So reaching long. Oh, pack. (Mychele giggles) Okay, the pack, you'll edit that out.

(Mychele laughs) All right, so we're sitting on the side, same thing. Top leg is gonna go over, reaching long with the bottom leg. Arm reaches long and we have the foam roller right under our lat. And we're just gonna lift up a little bit and roll ever so slightly, there we go, there I am, (Mychele exhales) to give a little bit of, ooh, this side is angry. (Mychele laughs) Oh yeah, I needed this on this side.

And two, and one, and then lower it down. Whoa, all right. Last but not least, my finisher for this part. Stay over there, foam roller. Grab those weights again.

I have both weights in one hand. You can hold them nicely and together, we're gonna get into a Russian twist. Foam roller to the back. All right, feet are flat on the floor. Tall posture, tall spine, beautiful neckline, hold these puppies in both hands, wide elbows.

Pitch back and keep the length in your spine. Now you have options here. You can lift the leg, keep both legs down, come to tabletop, or go into teaser. It's your world, not mine. So pick whichever one you want today, and we twist.

So I'm gonna pick this leg, twisting into the side and other side. One more with this leg. That leg is done. Other side, I'm gonna start with my left. Left twist, right.

(Mychele exhales) Ooh-wee, and come back to the center. Hello. (Mychele laughs) It's hot in here. All right, let's flip it over to our bellies. You're like, "Mychele, you're working all the body." That's what you signed up for, y'all. All right, we're gonna go onto our belly, going onto our belly.

Hip points are gonna be into the mat, legs are together. Think about the long box if you're used to doing reformer Pilates and think about these weights in your hands. Placing either weight, or placing the weights on either side of the mat, I'm gonna just lower my gaze as 45 degrees in front of me, long neck, and just push away and almost into a swan. Okay, you're there with me? Stay with me, let's grab these weights.

Holding the weights, we're gonna come out into a T. Here, you're gonna have a little bit of a back extension. And I want you to like press those front ribs into the mat, squeeze the back body and hold this T. It's real, I know, and I'm still talking to y'all. All right, so we're holding it there.

Go ahead, lower everything down. Pick a facial cheek and take a second. Now we're gonna do what we do on the long box. We're gonna start with our T pull, all those fun exercises. And my breath is getting breathy.

All right y'all, let's lift up, both arms lift up. Arms are lifted up, shoulders are back, neck is long. Pull the arms back towards the hips. Extend more and come back. So this is like pulling straps on the reformer.

And again, full body workout, arm focused. We've got two more like this. (Mychele softly breathing) Last one. (Mychele exhales) And lower back down to your T. Take a two-second break, two seconds. Whew, all right, going back into another set of exercises.

This time I want you to lift the arms up, lift up your chest, take the arms back towards the hips, and hold that there, what? Hold it. (Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) Shoulders back, boom. (Mychele exhales) Can we do some pulses here? I'm asking, flip your palms up towards the ceiling and pulse it. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, I like eight, and we're gonna take it back down.

(Mychele laughs) Whew, it's hot in here. We're not done yet, we got circles. You like that? You feel the same way that I do. All right, so we're gonna have a little fun here.

Go ahead and bring those arms up, bring the chest up. Let's see if we can draw three circles in both directions. Let's go, three, two, one. Reverse it, three, two, one. They're cooked, we're done.

Arms are done, go ahead and press back into child's pose. Whew, look at the sweat that you've left on your mat. (Mychele chuckles) Whew, it's real in the field, y'all. Now if you need extra stretchy stuff in your shoulders, go ahead and put your forearms down. Wide hands, lower your chest, open your hips and your legs up a little wider to make room for anything that's in the front, and you want to press those forearms into the mat.

And what's that's doing is giving you a stretch right under the arm (Mychele exhales) that you normally don't stretch. Let's go ahead and press in. (Mychele exhales) Good stuff, now coming out of this, because my name is Mychele and things aren't always easy, we're gonna take it up for the final notch, the final countdown, go back into that swan. Hello, we're back. Mats are here for our help to get across the floor, but we also have these lovely weights.

So go ahead, put those weights in the front of your mat, what? All right, swan. Options you have here. Go ahead and bring both fingers right underneath your shoulders. Elbows are close to the body.

Squeeze the back, squeeze your tuchus. Now what are we doing with these arms? Press the arms away from the back. You might find extension there. You're like, "This is as far as I go, Mychele." That's cool, take what you need.

So think of like a pushup almost. And then lower it down. (Mychele exhales) Good, do it one more time. So this is bicep, tricep, lats. Everything that you just warmed up is fired now.

What does that mean in English? That means it gets harder now. All right, go ahead, tuck the toes in. Press back into child's pose. (Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) And when you come out, come out to a plank.

Pick your plank, I like a low plank. Feet are down and flat. Arms and shoulders in the same line. Otherwise, gimme a high plank, hello. Hold that there. (Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) Holding it.

This is arm workout. (Mychele exhales) Now to make it even spicier, let's lower our body down, yeah? Three counts, three, two, what? Yeah, that was cute, right? Do it again. (Mychele laughs) Ah, the sweat is real, y'all.

All right. (Mychele laughs) Back into my plank. It's a modified pushup. Three, two, what? Try not to plop down, and that's one. It's real, y'all, crawling back out.

(Mychele laughs) Hold it there, (Mychele softly exhaling) you ready? I'm not, three, two, one. Ah, oh my god, oh my gawd, all right, cool. Ah, let's burn, burn, burn these puppies out. Those weights are in front of you, ya need 'em.

Arms out, you're a superhero. Are you Marvel or, what's the other one? DC, which one are you? All right, squeeze the legs together. Squeeze the buttocks, tall spine.

Shoulders away from the ears. You're lifting the left arm, whichever one you like. Hold that puppy, hold it there. Ribs are pressing in. Find a little more back extension if you need a little more love, and lower.

Other side, lift, hold, squeeze. Everything's working. (Mychele exhales) Whew, and lower that puppy down. All right, it's time for us to do both of those. I'm not sure, no one get on my back about it, but is it a DC thing or is a Marvel thing? But it's a superhero thing.

So whichever one you like, we're gonna fly, are you ready? Squeeze the bottom, press the legs into the mat. Lift from the ribs, both arms come up, hold. (Mychele exhales) My feet lifted, hold it anyway. Three, two, one, lower everything.

Hello, goalposts, so think football. All right, lifting up from the top of the chest, bring the right arm into like a cactus or a goalpost, other side into a goalpost, elbows are up. Maybe bring the elbows a little bit higher to the ceiling, and now we're gonna pulse up. Long neck, four, three, two, one, lower everything down. (weights clatter) As you can hear, that was hard.

Okay, last part. Last part, best part: swimming. We're going to swim. So what are we doing? Right leg is gonna come up, left arm will come up, what?

Hold that. (Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) Lower it down. Left leg comes up, right arm comes up. Hold it, and lower it down. All right, bring that gaze to look at your mat, and we're gonna lift up that right leg, left arm, and we swim, let's go. Four, three, two, Done, oh! (Mychele laughs) It's realism, y'all.

Whew, last one, go ahead, press back, put those weights to the side, into your child's pose really quickly. Take the extra stretch if you need it. (Mychele exhales) Head is heavy, hips are nice and loose. Final burnout, family, final, final burnout. They're gonna come into our plank, whichever one you choose.

I'm going high plank, using my arms to balance, and we're gonna do a little leg pull. So let's do a little shifting the weight forward and back. You're getting a stretch in the heels, tendons, and your arms are holding you up. All right, now we're gonna hold and we're gonna lift up that left leg. (Mychele exhales) Lift and press the floor away.

Three, two, one, switch, other side. (Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) Three, two, one. Go ahead and walk yourself all the way back. Take a stretch here, (Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) and then come back down to your knees. We're gonna get into a shoulder bridge, that's sweat, y'all, and think about the meaning of life.

All right, so wide arms, the letter V at the side of your mat. Bring your feet together about the size of your fists. So check yourself out there. (Mychele exhales) And the reason why we're doing a shoulder bridge is because it's a part of our arms. So go ahead, take your hips, hinge 'em straight up to the ceiling.

Press the floor away. Both shoulders are on the mat. Can you get a little higher to give me that forward plank? Yes, squeeze your bottom. Feel even pressure weight over each side of your shoulders.

Feel your neck getting long here. (Mychele exhales) Arms are resting. The blood is pulsing through your arms 'cause they just got worked out. And then roll your spine down to go all the way back to the mat. One more time, a little change we're gonna do here.

Go ahead and come up and straight up to the ceiling. Extra credit, take those hands and interlace them under your hips. Maybe squeeze your shoulders together. Maybe use a foam roller here if you need a little bit extra help. But this is to open the top of the shoulders, your deltoids, your SMC muscles.

I like to talk anatomy. And squeeze the bottom, squeeze your button, press the floor away, let the lace of the fingers go. Press the arms firmly into the floor as you keep squeezing your tuchus, keep squeezing it, and now we're gonna roll ourselves all the way down because our bottoms have made us forget about the arms. Go ahead and let the arms go. Your legs go long in front of you, good stuff.

Reach your fingertips up to the ceiling, plugging those shoulders right back in where they belong. Reach your hands back, keeping the shoulders connected to the shoulder girdles. Flex at the ankles, heels are into the floor. Let's see if we can roll up 'cause we worked everything out. Let's roll up, just get cute about it.

(Mychele groans) That's real y'all. (Mychele laughs) All right, and let's lower it down, just to give ourselves a little bit of love. Reach back, and last but not least, my favorite, book openers. So I'm gonna bring both of my legs to the center. Feet are flat on the floor.

Right leg is gonna fall to the side. Left leg is gonna chase it. Now my left hand will come to meet my right hand. So now I'm stacked almost into a fetal position. And I'm gonna take that top arm and trace my body.

Keep the legs down, open up, and twist. Both shoulders are on the floor. And now do a little rainbow, close the book. We'll do one more like that for this side. Trace the arm.

Open the chest, twisting at the waist, look at that arm, (Mychele exhales) and then come back and close the book. Yay, let's roll to the other side. So neutral, left leg goes to the floor. Right leg follows and stacks on top of it. All right, this top right arm will find the left.

And then we will trace the arm, keeping that shoulder down, finding stretch in the hip, twisting the waist, stretching the shoulders, close your book. Last one, trace that beautiful arm of yours. It's worked so hard for you. And open that book. (Mychele exhales) And then close the book.

Yes, and as you close the book, go ahead and come back to your bridge position. Resting the body. Let both legs go long in front of you. (Mychele exhales) (Mychele inhales) (Mychele exhales) Take a quick breath, bring the right knee into your chest, squeeze it. The left knee comes into the chest.

Roll yourself up, little back massage, and come up to a seated position. and you are done. I am too. (Mychele laughs) See you guys for the next workout.


1 person likes this.
Love the pace and laughter of this whole body and mind workout thank you :)
Oonagh McDevitt
Thanks Michelle - enjoyed this workout- loved your energy and cueing🧡 
Loved this class as well as your energy!  My arms are feeling it today.  Thank you!
Hilde H
Always looking for more arm work - loved this class. Every time you burst out laughing, I giggled along - thanks for the realness!
The Hug a Tree and the Prone Series were the hardest of all for me. Luckily, I didn’t use the 3 lb. weights! Thanks again.
Lina S
Fun class! I've enjoyed the prone exercises. I like your cheerful mood!
Loved it Mychele Sims . It was my first time moving with you and I had so much fun with you and your class.  Thank you for the great session.
Thank you Mychele! Your bright bubbly energetic personality is inspiring.. That was a great arm workout!!
Could you be any cuter! Had to put my weights down for some of that prone stuff. Thank you! 
You are a ray of sunshine ! I love all of your work outs. Thank you!
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