Class #5385

Mobility For Life

40 min - Class
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You will feel freer and more mobile with this restorative class by Tom McCook. He teaches a full-body, joint mobility sequence that works on lubricating your joints so you feel supple and resilient. A majority of the class is standing so you will also be able to work on your balance and stability.
What You'll Need: Mat, Small Tennis Ball (2), Towel

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Hi, I am Tom McCook, and it's a great pleasure to be back at Pilates Anytime. I'm happy to be back. It's been a year, and it's great to see everyone that works here again. This is a full body joint mobility class. Movement happens in our joint spaces, and through focusing on each joint in the body, we can improve our mobility, our resilience, and reduce discomfort in the body.

You'll need two tennis balls or similar balls of that size and a small towel. All right, everybody, so we're gonna start standing with our feet about six inches apart in parallel. Look down and bring your feet into parallel, and think of when you're doing these exercises, there's three components you can consider. Tall, aligned posture, easeful breathing, fluid movement, move slow and smooth, and no pain. So we're moving in a way to help our body restore function and improve how each area of the body works in combination with each other.

So when you look down at your feet, lift all 10 toes off the floor, and it'll help you feel your key weight-bearing points of your feet, the ball behind your big toe, the ball behind your little toe and your heel. And then just lay your toes down, and just do that a few times. Starting to feel that triangle on each foot and picture your goal as you're starting to feel it. It's just to notice that you want to feel more of equal weight on the front and the back of your feet and the inside, the outside of those two front foot points. But even noticing in the beginning that that might not be so.

Now shift a little side to side to feel your foot points. Rebound back. Now lean back and forward slightly. Do that a few times. Now find the middle where you're right on top of your foot points, and you get that sense of your starting alignment.

Head right over your spine. Now we're gonna work through the feet. So I want you to grab your tennis ball. Grab one tennis ball. And the first exercise is I want you to put the tennis ball under the ball of the foot with the heel on the floor and the knee bent.

And now just start by twisting the forefoot back and forth over the ball. Our foot is designed to twist and untwist every step you take. It's a mobile adapter. So now we're getting those joints in our feet to move, which improves your balance, your leg strength, your resilience. Even helps your posture and your gait, your walking.

We'll do, like, six to 10 of these. Now from the ball of the foot to the heel, you're gonna go slow. Reach into the ball and let the underside of the foot stretch. I'm gonna bring the ball a little closer to me. I'm just going to reach into it.

If you need to have your hand on a chair or a wall as you do this, that's totally fine to help your balance. Relax your shoulders, let your breathing be smooth. You might find some sore spots, so go slow. You're rolling from the ball of your foot to the front of your heel. Let's do, like, three or four more.

There we go. And one more. Now place the ball, the heel back on the floor, and with your forefoot, grab the ball, then lift and spread your toes. Grab, lift and spread. Now you're getting all those joints and muscles on the underside and the top of the foot activated and moving. Makes the foot more fluid and resilient.

Grab, lift and spread. Now the next one is for the ankle joints. So you're gonna straighten your knee joint. Now touch the floor to the front and the heel to the back, so you're pointing and flexing at the ankle. Get that glide, nice and smooth.

So we wanna get the ankles just to glide better so we can stand better. When we can walk better, we can squat better. There we go. Now last one with the ball, you're gonna roll it closer to you. Put it under your heel.

Now have the front two foot points on the floor. Have the ball close to you. Now as you squash the ball, stand on it. Feel like it's creating a straight line from your ankle to your head. Stand on it, relax the shoulders. Then add your breathing.

(Tom exhales) Let your arms just glide. If you feel comfortable, you can even let that back foot float off the ground. (Tom exhales) Just that moment of balance. Again, if you need to hold onto something, that's totally fine. You'll still get the benefit. (exhales) And two more. (exhales) And one. (exhales) Then just take a moment to stand and notice the difference between the two sides.

You might notice you're more grounded on that side. You can feel the foot into the ground more. Even if you shift out and bend and stretch your leg for a moment, you might notice, "Oh, I feel more stable and grounded on that side," and compare it with the side we haven't done yet, which probably feels a little more wobbly and less stable. So you've increased your stability and your strength. So let's take side two.

Put it under the ball of your foot, heel on the floor, knee a little bent. Now the heel stays on the ground, and twist the foot side to side. Your feet are saying thank you. We stuff 'em in shoes all the time. Getting 'em to move.

They're a sense organ, just like your hands. They have so much feedback from our environment. Get 'em to move often. I would recommend doing this daily or especially before you're gonna walk or run or do something athletic. It'll help your back also.

Now from the ball your foot to your heel, bring the ball a little closer, reach into it and let the tissue glide on the underside of the foot. (Tom exhales) Take it as slow as you need to if you run into some really sore spots. But those sore spots need to be moved. So take your time. Get that tissue to be affected so it becomes more supple and resilient. Doesn't need to be super painful.

So make sure that the pressure you're applying is appropriate for you. Now with the heel back on the floor and knee bent again, under the ball of the foot with the forefoot, grab the ball, then lift and spread the toes. Grab, lift and spread. Feel that? Nice and smooth. Feel you're getting those joints and muscles on each side of the foot to move.

Now next action is for the ankle. Straighten the knee joint. Now touch the ground to the front and the heel to the back. Feel that flexion and extension of the ankle joints you're flexing. This helps your ankle get more mobile, lubricates the joints. Really useful.

Now you're gonna roll it closer. Put it under your heel. Front two foot points stay on the floor. Now as you squash the ball, stand and get right up on top of your leg and then shift off of it. (Tom exhales) Picture you're stepping into good alignment.

Add your breathing. You can relax up top. (Tom exhales) If you feel like you can take it a notch further, let that back heel lift, or back foot lift. (Tom exhales) There we go. Just a few more. (Tom exhales) And one more. There we go. So we'll take that away.

And then just take a moment. Just notice the two. A little better already. Now there's two more things for the feet. If you need something for balance, 'cause one foot's gonna be off the ground, please use your chair or the wall. Take one leg in front of you, and just stir the ankle.

And then reverse, three to five times each direction. And lower. I'm on a squishy mat. It's a little bit challenging. And stir. And reverse.

Now the next one is called toe flexion and extension waves. So as you lift your foot off the ground, grab a pencil with your toes, then flex the ankle and release the grab. Grab, forward release and flex back at the ankle. Grab, forward release. Now pull the foot back, or actually from the forward position, grab the pencil and pull back through the ankle.

And one more. This requires your focus. Put that down. Got a little cramp from that one. And again, press forward through the ball. Or actually from the flexed ankle position, grab the pencil, hinge forward and release. Three in each direction.

Now from the forward position, grab the pencil, pull back through the ankle. And one more. Shake out your feet. Last action for the foot is something called ball, ball, heel, heel. Our foot's a mobile adapter. So you're gonna walk in place. You're gonna go ball, ball, heel, heel.

Ball, ball, heel, heel. You're breathing. You're having your own little party right now for your feet. (Tom exhales) Relax up top. Ah, then just shake that out.

Now we're going right into the knees. So the knee joint's the biggest joint surface in the body. It's designed to be strong and mobile at the same time. It's a brilliant design. So bring your feet and your knees together.

This is called closed chain knee stirs. So take your knees slowly to either your right or your left. Go forward, second side into the back. Leave your foot points on the floor, but let your feet move. Nice and smooth. Knee stirs.

So we're teaching our body that all that tissue is designed to move around. Each joint can get activated. Now reverse. Nice and fluid. And just one more. Now from there we're gonna go right up into the hip joints.

So for the hips, this is a straight leg position. So first I'd like you to feel where your hip joints are. So bend your legs a little bit, and at your pubic bone level, put your hands and slide your hands straight out to the side. And you're gonna run into a bone out there called your greater trochanter. So you'll put your thumb there, and then let your fingers come across the joint.

Stick your butt out and let your fingers come in about three inches in the crease where the pelvis and the hip joints are, where the legs meet. Then stand back up. So now right behind my fingers is where the leg meets the body, about two inches back, or an inch and 1/2 back. So that's where we wanna put your attention. So lift one foot off the ground.

Now rotate it out and in from behind your fingers. Now take it to the side. Rotate out, rotate in. Now take it a little to the back. Rotate out, rotate in.

And then bring it in. Side two, take it in front. Rotate out, in. To the side, rotate out, in. Take it to the back.

Rotate out, in. Lubricating the joint, getting the muscles around it activated. Come back in. Now from there, we're just gonna do knee lifts. Still same joint.

As you lift your knee, you can bring your hands to your hips and just picture that movement happening right behind, right in that hip joint without changing the shape of your lower back, and you let your arms hang. Now bring your opposite hand to your inner knee, and give it a light press. That'll help you activate the muscles in the center line of your legs. Improve your leg alignment and your balance. (Tom exhales) There we go. One more each side.

Now we're gonna do knee lifts with an external and internal movement. So you're gonna lift the knee up, open the knee out to the side, then bring it a little across the midline. Open, across the midline. One more. Squishy mat is challenging. (laughs) And down.

Lift, open. In. Go slow enough. Again, you can use something if you need to hold on for balance. But go slow enough that you can stay vertical with your torso. And down. Very nice. Now from there we're gonna do a movement where you step in and around your standing leg.

So let's take your left leg just a little bit in front of you. Imagine that foot is fixed to the floor. Now you're gonna step and form a T with the right foot forward. Now have your three foot points are on the floor, and what you've done is you've rotated your pelvis around your standing leg. So you get movement in that hip joint.

Now step back and form a T the other way. Step forward and form a T. Step back and form a T. So this is stretching all the muscles in the back of the hip on that fixed left leg. Great for sciatic pain, discomfort in the lower back, and gets your hip to be better aligned and more mobile.

Now we're gonna add. So we're gonna step forward, hold it, small bend of the knees. Now from your hip joints to a small hinge forward. Stretches these muscles more. Hinge back up and step back.

Step forward again, small bend, hinge without rounding your back, hinge back up and step back. Just one more. Step forward. Small bend and hinge. Hinge up. Step back. Come back to center.

Now just take a moment after and just notice how it feels to lift your knee after that, and compare it with the first to the second side. Even though we've done movement on that second side, you might notice that it's more free and mobile, which helps you put less pressure on your lower back when you do leg movements. Let's take side two. Let's take the right foot a little bit in front. Now step and form a T to the right, and just pause there for a moment.

So your foot points are on the floor. And then step back and form a T the other way. And picture you're rotating your pelvis around the top of your fixed right leg. And just notice you don't want to feel any torquing in your knee. If you need to make it smaller, make it smaller.

Now next time we'll add. Go forward. Small bend of the knees. Now hinge. Hinge back up and step back. So this is bringing nutrition, lubrication to the joint. Also getting those deeper muscles in the back of the hips to glide better, so those muscles are not matted together from a lot of sitting that we tend to do.

That's it, and then we'll come back to center. Take a moment to notice. Now we're ready for a straight-on hinge. So have your hands on your hips, and actually put your hands around the back of your hips. It'll give you more feedback.

Bend your knees a little bit. Now we're gonna hinge the pelvis over the legs with a flat spine. So just hinge. Let your knees unlock. And hinge, then hinge back up. And what you'll start to notice when you hinge, when you tip your pelvis over the top of your legs, the bottom back of your pelvis is widening.

Then it narrows as it comes up. It has to do that for you to hinge without changing the shape of your spine. Press into your foot points. So think less of stretching, think more of hinging well, and the muscles that are needed to lengthen will lengthen appropriately with the least amount of effort. One more. Very nice.

Now we're gonna take it into leg bending. The difference between leg bending, knee bending and squatting, it's a little bit different where when you leg bend, you're gonna keep your torso vertical. Hips, knees and ankles bend at the same time. So with your hands on your hips, stay vertical and just bend hips, knees, and ankles. But feel that crease at your hips.

Press under your feet to lengthen. See if you can keep your heels down, the shape of the spine the same. Feel your three foot points. Press into them to straighten. Relax your neck and shoulders.

Now see if you can sense when you bend there's something that's happening to your feet. When you bend, your feet are flattening and energetically swiping out 'cause of the change of what's happening in the feet, and as you straighten, they swipe in and the arch lifts. They flatten and swipe out, they swipe in. So that's actually happening. But you want to keep your foot points on the floor.

So when the image matches what's happening, it helps you improve function. One more. Now go into a turnout position. Same thing, but this is called a plie. You could call the first one a plie too.

But this is a more traditional plie. So when you bend, your knees go out over your feet, and you're monitoring that you're keeping your head right over your pelvis. Hip, knee, and ankle flexion at the same time. Let the range work for you where you're not leaning forward, and you don't have any discomfort. One more.

Now we're gonna take it into squatting. So for squatting, have your feet about shoulder width apart, slight turnout, initial knee bend. Feel that hip bending. But as you sit back into an imaginary chair, reach the arms forward. Press evenly into your feet and press your arms to the back.

Now add your breath. Inhale on the down. Exhale out of the bottom. (exhales) So even keep your foot points on the ground throughout. Shape of the spine, relatively the same all the way through. Let's do five more. Squatting's an important movement.

We wanna be able to do it well our whole life. (Tom exhales) Two more. (exhales) And one. Squatting all the way down is actually recommended for us. But I know for a lot of us that doesn't feel like it's possible. So for the last three or four squats, what I want you to do is go as deep as you can without the heels coming up and without pain.

So we're gonna go really slow. Imagine you're landing a helicopter. If you're landing a helicopter, you wouldn't land hard, 'cause they're really expensive. You don't want to crash that helicopter. So you wanna go really slow.

So as you go down, go down slow, feel that hip crease. Go to where you can, pause and then lengthen back up. We're just gonna do three of those. Slow, deep as you can without discomfort or pain. Press into the ground and come back up.

If you feel your knees coming in as you bend, actively push them out a little bit. Slow as you can. Pause. Lengthen back up. Every day I recommend you do your squats. Now take your feet a little wider than your shoulders.

Side to side movement now. So imagine the pelvis is gonna glide to the right as I sit back and reach the arms forward. Press into the ground to come back. Glide, sit back. This helps you open up your inner thighs, strengthen your legs and deepen your hip crease so you're getting more mobility and balance in each side. (exhales) And again.

One more each way after this one. And three to five reps each exercise. Squats possibly a little bit more. One more. Very nice. Then we step it back in. Now we're gonna go right into the pelvis and lower back.

So with your feet about six inches apart, bend your knees slightly. Now picture you're gonna move from your pelvis. So nice and slow. Picture your tailbone is gonna draw a line on the floor front to back. So curl your tail to the front, then reach your tail to the back.

And notice you can do that without moving your head and shoulders. Small movement. Now you're mobilizing your pelvic joints, your lower back, your pelvic floor muscles and your belly wall. Now put your hands on the top of your hips. Now lift one hip up, and then the other side, go back to neutral.

It's your time for your little private samba. Just saying. Now we're gonna put the two together where you're gonna draw a circle around the perimeter of your feet with your tail. So you'll curl your tail forward. Then draw that circle of your pelvis around the perimeter of your feet.

Help your dancing too. Now reverse. Fluid motion. One more. Very nice. Now we're gonna go right into the lower back. So your lower back joints.

Bring your hands like this, or angled more like this front to back. So what they do really well is they do flexion and extension and they do lateral flexion. That's kind of what they mainly do. They don't really rotate in the lower back. Just maybe the top of the lumbar, really small.

So this is called side to front circles. Then we'll do side to back circles. Then we'll do the full circle. But again, when you're doing these movements, slow, knees bent. First action, side bend to your left.

Now let your top shoulder pour forward, and then curl to the middle. Shift to your second side. Draw that top shoulder back. Then come up to standing. Side bend to the second side. Feet are anchored. Top shoulder pours forward.

Pour to the middle, shoulders are relaxed. Second side, draw that top shoulder back. Come back up. One more each way. Side. Pour forward. Middle, side, draw back and lift.

One more. Side, forward. Side, center. Now the back circle. Side bend to your left. Now bring your hands to the middle of your chest. Lift your heart straight up and circle around to the back, and then lengthen up to straight.

Now side bend to the second side. Lift straight up. Don't just lean back. Lift up and keep the neck long. Go up through your heart. Circle, center. One more each way.

Side left, lift up, extend, circle, back to center. Legs stay soft and bent or legs stay bent, anyway. Side, go to the back, and lengthen up. Now we're gonna combine the two movements, the front circle and the back circle. We'll just do one each direction.

So side bend to your left. Pour the top shoulder forward. Pour to the middle. Come to the right side. Now bring your hands to the middle of your chest.

Lift up, circle to the back. Side, lengthen back up. Relax the arms. Now side bend to your right. Pour the top shoulder forward. Curl to the center.

Side bend to the left. Now bring the hands to the center of your chest. Lift your heart up. Circle around to the right. Lengthen back up to center.

So that's good movement quality for your back, and probably ranges you're not used to doing. So if there's a little bit of discomfort, that's fine. Just notice the difference between slight discomfort and pain. So now we're gonna go into the thoracic spine from the bottom of your rib cage to your neck. So with your knees bent, touch your breastbone for a moment.

And this is a front to back glide. So take that part of your spine forward, and then let it go back. Let the breastbone soften. (exhales) Forward, back. Now add your breath. Inhale on the forward. Exhale on the back. (exhales) One more. Inhale on the forward.

Exhale on the back. Now touch your side ribs. Now you're gonna go side to side translation. Now you're gonna glide your ribs to one side, center, second side. Now let's do it with your arms out to the side so you can glide your ribs towards your hands, but it's not a hip hike. It's really coming from your rib cage in your spine.

So glide your ribs to one side, center, glide, center, glide, center, glide, center. Now we're gonna put the two together. So we'll just touch the breastbone with soft hands. Inhale, forward side, exhale, backside. Feel that fluid movement of the ribcage.

(Tom exhales) One more in that direction. (exhales) And reverse. (exhales) Keep your shoulders relaxed (exhales) so you're moving from your spine and ribcage. This might be really new, and it's okay if it feels really small or even feels a little stiff. Don't force it, just feel it. One more. (exhales) Shake that out. Now we're gonna go right into the shoulder girdle.

So let's put, your shoulder girdle is your clavicle, your shoulder blade, and your upper arm. When anybody says shoulder girdle, that's actually your shoulder girdle, those three bones. So take your left hand, put it on your right clavicle. So let's just feel the movement of the shoulder girdle with one side before we put it together. So just lift the shoulder up, elevation, depression, just feel that.

Up, down, up, down. Now take it forward. Protraction, retraction. Protraction, retraction. And notice in protraction, you don't go up. The shoulder stays low.

So now you know those movements. Now we're gonna do it with straight arms, soft fists with the arms out in front of you, little below your shoulders. Maybe, like, top of your waistline. So with soft, soft fists, as you breathe in, lift the shoulders up, back, down and forward. Up, back, down and forward.

Now reverse. Back, up, forward, down. Back, up, forward, down. One more. Back, up, forward, down.

Very nice. Shake that out. Now let's go right into shoulder blade movements that'll actually affect the shoulder girdle as a whole and the muscles around the shoulder girdle, even tying into your thoracic spine. So take your arms out to the side a little bit in front of you, a little below the shoulders. Now turn one palm down, one palm up. And feel in the beginning, you might feel like you're doing it mainly from your hands.

But start to feel you're doing it right from where the arms meet your body at your shoulder joint. Now start to let the shoulder blade slide down on the palm that's turning up. Slide up a little bit on the palm that's turning back. Start to feel that, and feel how you're letting your thoracic spine, your ribcage, side bend a little bit on the side of the palm that's turning up. Your little Balinese dancing party here.

There we go. Now let that go. Now we're gonna go right into the muscles in the back of the shoulder called the rotator cuff. Really important in the middle of your back for our posture and our health. A lot of us are on our computers and our devices all the time, so those muscles become weak and imbalanced.

So first thing, just feel what it feels like to pull your shoulder blades together in the back, and then let 'em go. Feel how you can pull your shoulder blades towards the spine and away from the spine. And feel it. Those muscles are not arm muscles. So it's not an arm exercise. Feel that. Now we're gonna do it here.

Take your arms out to the side at about shoulder level. If you have pain, that could be lower. Make a soft fist. Now retract your shoulders. Pull them towards the spine, and straighten your legs and center your head over your pelvis.

Now keep your shoulder blades retracted, and if possible, keep your elbows straight. Circle your arms to the back. Straight arms, shoulders retracted. We're gonna do 40 of these. I'm not kidding. That's 10.

That's 20. That's 30. Slowly lower. You might notice right away, you already feel more open. Now this next movement is for your combination of your chest muscles and your middle back that all connect to your shoulder girdle.

So soft fist, like, even half a fist with your knuckles by your temples. Stand tall. Now touch the elbows in front. And then open. Protract the shoulder blades. Exhale to close. Inhale to open. (exhales) 15 of these.

(Tom exhales) (exhales) Fluid. (exhales) Notice you're doing a shoulder blade movement, but you're not really changing the shape of your spine. (exhales) Five more. (Tom exhales) You can do these... Also, these could be done sitting.

Two more. (exhales) And one. (exhales) Let that go. Shake that out for a moment. Now let's just finish standing with the neck and the lower arms. So for your neck, I'd like you to take hold of your ears, give 'em a little pull. And right below your ear you'll find a bone, a really robust bone. And right at the tip of that bone, put your fingers in and picture straight between your fingers is where your head rests on your spine.

So we want to be right on top right there where our head is, right in between our fingers. Our head is balanced. Weight is even on our feet. Our foot pressures relates to our head position. Now really slowly, just nod your head forward and back without changing the shape of your spine.

So that happens right at the top where the head rests on the spine. And then as you're doing it, relax your jaw and your eye muscles. (exhales) Now go about a 1/2 inch lower and picture rotation happens in what's called C2, your second cervical vertebra. And just turn your head, and picture you're turning it from that level, but you're keeping your chin level, and just do it with your arms by your side. Shoulders are level, equal pressure into both your feet. Three to five each way.

Now imagine you're gonna lift one cheekbone. This is a side bend. You're gonna lift one cheekbone up to the ceiling without changing your shoulder height. And then come back. Again, don't be forceful with your neck.

A little bit goes a long way. Keep your jaw relaxed. A hint of a smile. It's all good. One more each side. Now we're gonna go forward and back. This is more familiar based on how people tend to be on their computers.

So reach forward. As you draw your head back, think back and up. Forward, back. You talking to me? And back. Two more. And one more. Now touch your cheekbones.

Have your fingers about an inch off. Now glide your head side to side towards your cheekbones. It's really small, and you might feel, "God, I don't know how to do that very well." Just go be easy. And it's good to do these in the mirror too, so you can see yourself. Now we're gonna take it into a circle.

So you're gonna go forward, side, back, side. Jaw relaxed. And now reverse. Forward, side, back, side. This one's hard for me too, but it's really useful. One more.

Now imagine you have a figure eight in front of your nose, and you're gonna trace the figure eight with your nose. So the first thing is you're gonna turn your head down to the left diagonal. Now go up, come across the midline, up on the right, and down and across. You're tracing that figure eight with your nose. And now reverse, go up, down, and across on that high diagonal.

So one more with the figure eight. Now as you come back to the center, we're gonna go right into the wrist and the hands. So with soft fists, just think of moving from your wrist itself, and take your wrists up and your wrists down. Keep your hands soft. You have eight bones in your wrist, and you want them to glide.

Now take your wrists side to side. Now see if you can keep the top of your hand facing the ceiling, and do a wrist circle. Three each direction. Now from there, turn one palm up. Put your finger, grab hold of the fingers.

Imagine you're gonna go over a waterfall. Press through the heel of your hand three times. (exhales) Now turn that hand, turn the thumb down, bring the other hand right up against the back of the hand, and draw the back of the wrist towards the center of your chest and forwards. It's gonna stretch the forearm and the back of the wrist. Side two. Fingers forward.

Three times. Shoulder stays dropped. Now turn the thumb down. Come to the back of the hand. Now draw the hand towards the center of the chest. The elbow can drop. And forward. One more.

Now bring your hands in front of you. So picture you're gonna wrap your fingers around an ice cream cone. So from the pinky, ice cream cone. Now from your thumb and first finger, the okay sign. Ice cream cone, okay.

Ice cream cone, okay. Very nice. Now from there, shake out your hands, and we're gonna come right down onto the floor. So I want you to come onto all fours. Put your hands directly under your shoulders, knees under your hips. And put the weight more on the roots of your fingers than in the heel of your hand.

So less fingers, much more where the fingers meet the palm. Press into the floor and press into the heel of your hands and create a straight line from your head to your tail. Now, nice and slow, let's move your shoulder blades. As you breathe in, let the torso slowly drop between the upper arms. Now float your body up as you widen and lower your shoulder blades a little further away from your ears.

(exhales) One more. Now let's bring it into a cat stretch. So as you float up, add curling the tail forward and rounding your back. Send the tail back and open your chest to the front. Curl, (exhale) and extend and arch.

Two more times. (exhales) And one more. (exhales) Now let's take it into what's called poodle tail. So you're gonna lift your right foot off the floor. The knee stays on the floor. As you take it out to the right, look over your shoulder at your foot, then look over your shoulder at the foot the other way. Now you have movement in the hip joint and in the spine.

Side to side. Nice and smooth. One more. Back to center. Now lift the second foot up. Take it out to the side. Look over your shoulder. Take it to the second side. (exhales) And one more.

Now as you come back to the center, just practice hinging from your hips. Hinge back and hinge forward, like you're doing a kneeling squat, without changing the shape of your spine as best you can. Now as you're back there, slightly shift side to side. Feel how you get that nice opening in your lateral hips? Then picture your body is like a table.

You're not changing the shape of the table, you're just gliding in your shoulders and your hip joints. And one more. Now hinge up. Step one foot forward for a hip flexor stretch. Now in this position, your front knee is right over your ankle.

Your pelvis is nice and upright, and your back leg is right under your shoulder. And I recommend if you can, tuck your toes of that back foot. But if that's uncomfortable for your foot, you don't need to. So first action is with that back leg, push the ground to the back to turn on your butt muscle on that side. Then bring your hands to the front knee, and lift the heart straight up.

Just feel how that action is opening the front of your back hip, creating a stretch. And just take two breaths. (exhales) Now from there, reach the arms forward, palms forward, fingers down. This is gonna be a bigger stretch for your quad. So press the heel of your hands forward, your tailbone forward, and right at your waistline level, pull back. (exhales) Take two breaths there. (exhales) As you lower your arms on your front knee side, take the arm inside the knee and press them into one another. Take the free arm overhead.

Now slowly side bend towards your front knee side, and hold for two more breaths. (Tom exhales) Lengthen up, and let's switch your legs. Step back, step forward. Front knee right over your ankle, back knee right under your shoulder. Toes tucked or un-tucked.

Push the ground to the back to turn on your butt muscle on that side. That helps to open up your hip more. Now hands on your knees, shoulders back. Lift the heart straight up, smooth breathing. Feel how you're getting that nice opening through the front of your hip and thigh.

(exhales) One more breath. Now arms forward. Press the heel of your hands forward, tailbone forward, and pull your waistline back. Two more breaths. (exhales) From there, lower the front side arm inside the knee. Press them into each other. Take your free arm overhead.

Now slowly side bend. Two more breaths. (exhales) Lengthen back up. From there, come back onto all fours. Now we're gonna transfer to a downward dog, and then come to standing to finish. So tuck your toes under.

Hands under your shoulders. Now press your hips up and back, and let your knees be fairly bent. So in the starting position, you just wanna create a traction of your spine pulling away and your hips pulling away from your hands. Now if you can straighten your legs a little bit more, that's fine. But see if you can do it without rounding your back too much so you can get that nice traction.

Now, nice and slow, start to walk pressing one heel towards the ground as you shift your weight towards that side. (exhales) Take it slow. (exhales) Relax the back of your neck. One more each side. (exhales) Now nice and slow, walk your hands to your feet. Soft knees. Let yourself roll up to standing.

Come back to our starting position. Take a moment to feel your alignment, your foot points, center your body, and acknowledge yourself for taking this time to restore function with mobility. Thank you, and I hope you enjoyed.

Comments

1 person likes this.
Thank you Tom ! Always such an inspiration. Used to do a lot of these moves/ isolations in modern dance warm ups. Thank you once again for sharing your knowledge 👏👏👏
Lori
Great video.  How often do you recommend doing this considering I am doing other workouts (weight lifting, cardio, pilates)?
2 people like this.
Adrian DLori,  Thank you both for your great feedback! Lori, I recommend doing this 3 x a week and you can pick piece of the class and do it daily based on your time. It can serve as a great warm up for your strength work or as a stand alone for health and wellness! Warm regards,
Tom
Tom, this was a wonderful class.  I play a lot of pickleball along with Pilates 5-7 days per week.  This class really helped me feel so much more mobile in my body.  It will become my warm up before hitting the courts.  THANKS
Janice M , thank you for your message, I appreciate your feedback!! That’s great to hear you feel the benefits and will integrate the movements into your weekly routine! All the best🙏
I always enjoy your classes so much! I definitely want to aim to do some of these movements on a daily basis . The footwork, squats and lower back movements to name my top three! Thank you!
Lavina M , thank you for your inspiring feedback! I think that’s a great plan!👊🙏
1 person likes this.
Always love your classes! As a Pilates Instructor its inspiring  to hear your use of imagery and cues with knowledge. Really appreciate it. Thank you! 
Esther E, thank you for your kind, thoughtful message! All the best to you!!🙏
Thanks for this relaxing class, felt great after babysitting my energetic granddaughter  
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