Class #5420

Knees Over Toes Mat

30 min - Class
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Build strength while increasing your range of motion in this innovative Mat workout by Viktor Uygan. He focuses on moving the ankle, knee, and hip joints so you can maximize your range in each movement. He starts with a quick self-assessment so you can see how much active and passive range you already have and then he moves on to exercises that wake up the muscles in your feet, legs, and glutes.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hi, my name is Viktor Uygan, inventor of Konnector and founder of Konnect Method. Today, I invite you to move with me for intention of knees over toes. Today's exercises, we're gonna bring our focus to move the ankle joint, knee joint and hip joint together to maximize the range of motion in our exercises. Let's start just standing and trying to get couple exercises to see how much range of motion we have passively and active. So we are gonna bring the knees up and down, see how far your knee goes up and then now getting a help with your hands.

You're gonna hold your knees and you're gonna lift them up. Clearly, you see I have more range of motion when I help with my hands and my knee goes higher compared to when I try to do by myself. Now let's do the same thing with the hamstrings. Squeeze your heels to your glutes. Remember, keep the knee next to the other one and same thing again, reach back, hold your ankles or your toe and see how far you can pull your heels to your glutes.

Once again, I have greater range of motion when I'm actually holding and helping my joints to get together. Beautiful. Now let's do the same thing with our ankle and knee. Just go forward and back, forward and back. In here, when you're doing this, I want you to make sure that there's a equal pressure with the ball of your foot and in your heels.

Don't transfer too much forward or back. It's equal weight on the tripod of your feet. Good. Now let's try to do the same thing up in the air for both. All right, now we had a sense of where we at, we are gonna start with the exercises.

First exercise, we're gonna stand on the right leg. Left foot is not touching at all and you're gonna reach forward with your heel. See how far you can reach and just barely touch. Then come back in, do the same thing. Reach back by bending the stick.

Do you guys see it? I'm lowering myself while I'm reaching with the opposite and see where can I touch. And repeat. And forward and up and back. I'm gonna show you all this exercises on the mat.

If this is feeling really challenged for the balance, you could do it off the mat on a harder surface. Beautiful. Let's do one more set and forward and back. And come up. Same thing, other side.

And as you guys notice, I'm swaying my arms right to left to create a balance and create more functional movement patterns. And forward and up and down. Good. Don't look down too much with your neck. Trying to maintain spinal position nice and long.

And this is your elevator. Your standing leg is lowering you down and up, lowers you down, up. One more time. Up and relax. So, to able to move healthy with hips, knees, and ankles, we have to strengthen all the muscle groups.

We work on mostly quads right now. Now I'm gonna position my left foot in front and right foot back. Open your legs as much as you can, keeping the heels down. From here, I'm gonna work my calf with straight knees. Push up and lower, up and lower.

Keep the weight in the back leg. So your calf's working. Five and six. Let's do eight. Seven, eight, and down.

Now I'm gonna do dorsiflexors of the ankle. You're gonna flex your foot and down, up and down. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight and relax. Make sure you know where your feet are and repeat the exactly same distance. And let's do other side.

We're gonna start with the back leg, and straight leg, calf raises. And push up and down and three, four, five, six, seven, eight. And keep the weight forward and pull your toes up. And three. Keep your hips square as much as you can.

Five, six, seven, eight. And relax. Good. We're gonna go back to this first exercise when we did reach forward and reach back. But look at the difference.

Now we're gonna activate our hamstring muscles. So from reaching forward, squeeze the heel to the glutes. Really squeeze to work the hamstrings. Keep that distance. Reach back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, and touch.

Reverse, squeeze and forward. Squeeze and back. Squeeze up. Get those hamstrings awake and working and helping you. Back.

And two more. Forward. (inhales then exhales) Back. One more set, up and forward. Up and back. Good.

As much as I mentioned, we're gonna work the hamstrings. You probably feel your standing leg is really active and working during this exercise as well. Let's to other side. This is one. And reach forward, squeeze the hill, reach back.

Two. Beautiful. Find a flow, create resistance between the both legs. Coordinate your timing. Two more sets. And last, woo! Last one.

And come back in. Shake your legs. Now, we're going back once again. Dorsiflexors and the calf muscle. First set, we did it with straight leg.

This set, we're gonna bend your back leg and sit back on that leg. Really feel nice and load the back leg. Once you load it, stay there and up and down. Your height does not change. And three, this is working different calf muscles, soleus with the straight leg.

We work gastrocnem, the calf muscle. And two more. One more. Beautiful. Let's do again.

Flex and forward. Flex forward. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Beautiful. Dorsiflexors are so important especially when we get older.

If we don't have sufficient dorsiflexion on our foot, that's when we trip in small creases on the floor. So we need to lift our toes off the floor to step forward. Four and five and six and seven and eight. And pick the foot up. Two, three.

Keep sitting in the back leg. Four, five, six, seven, eight. And relax. Beautiful. Woo. I hope you have more range of motion and you are warm with your legs.

Now to test in a different position, we're gonna do open second, right? Find your external rotation. From here, transfer all your way to the right. Once you do that, once again, I want you to be able to transfer and bend your knee over your toes as comfortable as you are without any pain or discomfort. And bring it the other side and shift.

Couple shifts, right to left. Keep your hips even. Beautiful. Now pause. What have we been working on from here?

We work in calf. Let's do eight of this. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Be working dorsiflexors. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

And transfer to other side. And let's do the same thing in here. One, two, three, find the deep bent. Five, six, seven, eight, and pull. Two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

Come back in. Now we're gonna do combo. So we are gonna kinda mix and match with what we did. We are gonna transfer to high heels and the dorsiflexion to come back in and other side. And rock, and rock, and rock.

Good. Find the coordination and the strength between the two exercise. Feel nice and low. Beautiful. (indistinct) And come back in. Straight your legs and shake your legs.

Awesome. Now we worked our ankle relationship with our knees and in our hips. I would like to integrate those movement patterns to sitting down and coming up from the floor. Both feet together, what we are gonna do is we're gonna go down with the right leg and don't think big lunge away from it. Actually, I want you to see how much you can do closer to your standing leg.

And your standing leg is gonna bring you down like an elevator. So this is one, do you see my heels, my standing leg? Heel stay down. Then I'm gonna go back and sit down and relax my toes and reverse it. Come back on my toes.

Now I'm gonna do opposite leg, right? So the right leg goes up and I'm still sitting then standing up. Now let's do the same thing with the left. I'm going back with the left and sitting on my heels. Then I'm bringing my front leg next to it, relaxing both toes.

And toes under once again, step forward, sit down in here. And from here, push yourself up. Let's do one more set. And down to sit. Take your time, and bring both leg in.

Take your time and control and relax the toes. Bring back the toes in. And left one forward and come up. And last set. And back with the left set and right one back.

Both toes relax. Both toes under and right one forward. Stand up and relax. Beautiful. Now from here, since we learned this exercise, we might go down the way we learned it.

Let's do one more time to go down and you're gonna stay in front of your mat. This is gonna be kinda like a pigeon stretch that we know. But instead of opening your shins parallel to your hands, you're gonna actually keep it underneath your quads, underneath your femur. So you are on your shins halfway and finding your squareness with your hips. So see how you feel here.

It should not be any torsion on your tibia. You should not feel any strain on your knees. Once you find this position, see if you can hold yourself there without using your hands. Right? So you're using the muscle groups in your hips and in your legs to support your body weight.

Once you do that, come back in. You can hold it with your hands but don't put too much pressure. From here, keep the back leg parallel and squeeze your heel to your glute. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze and release. Once you release, tuck your toes and straight your knees to stretch the hamstring by activating your quads and stretching your hip flexors.

And once again, bend. Point, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. And toes down, knees up. And knees down. Point your feet and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze squeeze and down, straight leg.

Next one, you're gonna put your knee down, bend in and reach back with the same arm. Left leg, left arm. Hold onto your toes, ankles, shins, whatever is available for you. And trying to find that quad stretch by bending your elbows, bringing the heel to your glutes and extending, and opening up, finding the shape. And bend your elbows, come back in and extend.

When I extend, like I'm trying to straight my left leg but I'm holding my leg with my arm. So it creates this oppositioning between the legs and with the shoulders. And then come back in and stretch and control. Slowly relax. Beautiful.

Let's do other side. Come out of here. Bring the left leg forward between your hands. Once again, you are sitting on your shins on the front leg. Find your squareness.

Let go and hold. And bring your hands forward. Find the length with the back leg. Bend your heel to your glutes, to your back. Extend.

Tuck your toes under and engage your quad, lift your knees up and stretch your hamstrings. Lengthening your hamstrings and stretch your hip flexors and knee down. And squeeze in, in, in, in, in, in. And release. This's a great exercise again, strengthening the hamstrings while you are working range of motion.

And extend. And one last time, bend. Let's reach with the same arm, beautiful. And bend by pulling your leg in and extend the leg, extend your arm and find that oppositioning forces. Then use your arm to bring the leg in and stretch your quads and extend.

One more time. This feels so good. Beautiful. When you let go, control so it doesn't actually just hit the floor when you let go. Beautiful.

Now we did this. We're gonna walk back towards the end of the mat. From here, I call this rocking hamstrings exercise. From here, you're sitting. We're gonna do the same way.

We're gonna come up and step forward and sit down. Once you've found this position, you're gonna tuck your toes and you're gonna rock forward. So the toes and both knees on the floor. Once you do this, you're gonna push yourself up, extend your legs and stretch your hamstrings. After you find this position, we're gonna reverse everything we did.

Bend your knees and rock forward and step back and sit and tuck under other side. And one, two, three and four, five. And come back.. And other side. Two, three, four, five, and release.

Nice, continue flow from one to other. And relax. One more set each side. and one, rock forward. Come up, feel the stretch.

And reverse and sit back. And this is the left side. And sit back, rock forward, straight your hamstrings and reverse. Sit back and relax. Woo.

You should feel that you're working your hips your knees, your ankles, the whole body together. Now we do that. I'm gonna do some exercises sitting and we're gonna stretch our hip flexors in an internal and external rotation. Both feet, flex position wider than your shoulders and flex your foot. I'm gonna turn to my left with my torso, with my upper body.

I'm gonna let my left leg externally rotate and right like internal rotate from the hip. Come back, they are both parallel. Now I'm doing other side. You guys see it? My right leg now externally rotated.

My left leg is internally rotated. And inhale and exhale. Inhale. Exhale. One more set.

Inhale and exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Come back center. It's the same idea. One leg bend in front of you, the other one bend behind you on the side.

Find this. Trying to find a comfortable spot that you can sit. If you need to hold with your hands, do it. And then we are gonna change to other side. The idea is to coordinate your legs, find your balance and shift your weight so you're not touching.

If you need to touch, please feel free to touch and help yourself to change between these positions. Right? Now let's pause with the left leg in front of you and the right leg behind you, we're gonna do the twist again. And at the end of the twist, you're gonna push your hips forward to stretch and come back in. Like go of the hands and repeat two more times.

And two. And come back in, one more, three. And other side and find your center. And let's go to the right and push your hips up, feel the stretch, come back in, find your center. Two more and two and three.

Come up in the center and bend your knees. You could do just one butterfly stretch to even up your hips. You can run your spine or trying to keep it nice and tall. Extend your spine and pull your feet towards you to stretch. You can even rock right to left a little bit.

And relax. Now, next exercise we're gonna do is crawl. It's going same theme, toes tuck underneath once again. And this is the combination of walking like crawling with cat and cow. So we're gonna do our first step in cat, exhale, flexion of the spine.

Next is first one's flexion of the spine. This is extension of the spine. And then come back in neutral. And we're gonna reverse. Always start with cat.

Now we're gonna do cat and cow and neutral. And exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale to prepare and exhale. Inhale and exhale, come back in center.

Let's add some spice to it. We're gonna lift your knees off the mat. Half an inch, it's very small. Don't lift too much. It is low.

Exactly the same thing. And exhale. Inhale, come back and breathe. And exhale, inhale. And both leg together and breathe.

One more set. (exhales) (Viktor breathing deeply) And relax. Beautiful. Let's stand up. Last, balance and strength exercise. This is very challenging.

If you find that it's hard to balance for you on the mat, do it on the floor in a harder surface. So from here, we are standing on the right leg and you're gonna pretend you are airplane, flying. These are your wings, one straight line. And from here, you're gonna bend your knees and then extend. The only reason I'm getting close to the floor with my chest is I'm bending my right leg.

I am not leaning down. Three. We're gonna do only four. Now this is the fourth one. Bring the arms down and forward.

Stay there. Bring the back leg in, one and out. two, three, fur. And last one, bring both arms down. From here, we're gonna open the arm and hip.

So it's like opening a book and then you're gonna close it. It is very challenging. And two, and come back in. And three and come back in. One last one, and four.

And come back in. I did it. And slowly come up and stretch. Shake. Woo. I know you guys feeling in the stir.

Now let's do other side. Ready? Stay with me. And we are standing on the left leg. Bring yourself in the airplane position, arms to the side. And bend your knees.

Close and extend and bend, bend, bend. Find that relationship knee over toes too. And three and four. Stay low. Bring both arms forward.

Just back knee comes in and out. Don't change the spinal position or the height of the bent knee. Four. Now come back in, last set. We're gonna open like a book and close one.

That went well. Three more. Woo, I jinx myself. Two and three. Last one.

And hold, four. And come back in and step up. Ooh, feels so good when it's over. Almost done with our class. We are gonna do one more transfer, balance transfer exercise.

This is same way you stepping to the side and you're bending your knees. From here, after you bend, we're gonna twist to the sideways step. And then we're gonna come up and then again, down and up. Now we're gonna add one more thing. From down, you're gonna come up, grab the back leg and extend and hold, hold, hold, hold.

And down, twist and up and extend. Beautiful. Feel the slings of your body in front and back and control step down and twist. One more time. And up, lengthening.

And step down. Let's do other side. And twist to the left and up. We're gonna do couple without the middle balance. That's it.

Let's go to the middle balance. You come up, reach back with the opposite hand, grab your toes. Once you hold it, extend the leg to expand. Woo. Let's try again. And down, two more.

And lengthening. And last one. And feel nice and long. And control, come back down. Beautiful.

Feel the energies flowing through your body. Feel your heart rate is raised up. Don't try to stop it, but control it. And trying to enjoy the movement patterns with it which is incorporating the ankle movement with knee, knee movement with the hip. I hope you enjoyed knees over toes class that I teach you today.

If you're looking some more, I will be here again. I'll see you next class.

Comments

Leslie M
This was frustrating in the very best way. : )
Thank you for the challenge! 
Great workout challenging balance and strength! My lower half is most definitely ready for a walk in the woods. Thank you!
Katie M
wow impressive!! And if I remember correctly from a Polestar hour—are you post- knee replacement. I just watched for the first round—will try tomorrow!! enjoyed your honesty  with the challenge you gave yourself ! I felt your energy and effort. Hope it goes as well for me.
Analia S
Great class! Hope to get more of this
Thanks Victor, great class for balance and stability, enjoyed these movements. :)
With flat feet and ankle mobility issues, this was exactly what I needed to activate my lower body. Very challenging and great class. Hope to see similar content like this in the future!
With flat feet and ankle mobility issues, this was exactly what I needed to activate my lower body. Very challenging and great class. Hope to see similar content like this in the future!
With flat feet and ankle mobility issues, this was exactly what I needed to activate my lower body. Very challenging and great class. Hope to see similar content like this in the future!
1 person likes this.
This went from zero to very challenging in a way I wasn't expecting. The mind-body connection here had me fully present the whole time. Thank you!
Lina S
I was looking for inspiration for new ankle strengthening exercices! Great class with many creative exercises. Fun too! 
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