Class #5437

Extend Mat

30 min - Class


You will work through different ranges of extension with this creative Mat workout by Andrew Aroustian. He teaches a flexion-free class that still challenges your body in many ways. He works on finding stability, mobility, and strength in your whole body giving a sense of improved posture and length.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hello, everybody. My name is Angela Rustian, and welcome to my extend MATwork class. So I've designed this class around working in the extension bias. So trying to work through different ranges and different parts of the body whilst not really going into too much flection of the spine. So this class is really safe for those people who may not be able to go into too much flexion or inflection is contra for any any type of condition. So we will still be working through load and, especially into those abdominals as well. So I'm looking forward to you joining me for that.

So today, we have Sally here helping me out. So I'm very happy to get started. Alright. So let's begin. So what I'd like you to do is come to sort of the central part of your mat, and we're going to go into a 4 point kneeling position. So We've got hands underneath the shoulders and knees underneath the hips.

So we're doing a little bit of a modified cat strap So what I'd like you to do first is just take a couple of breaths here just to find your neutral position. So I'd like to think back of the head lifted, kind of in line with the center of your thoracic spine, and, you know, your tailbone and sacrum kind of in that same line as well. So it just gives you a little bit of some focus there to think about. And also just try to use the abdominals here to support the lumbar spine against gravity, just so we're not kinda sinking into that that position there. So we're here taking a couple of breaths feeling good about life.

It's excellent. What I'd like you to do is take a deep breath in here. And as you exhale, think of your triceps coming in towards your rib cage. Just giving yourself a little bit of a set here. So now as you breathe in for the next part, you'll push the floor away from you and lift up into that extension.

So just send your sternum nice and long. And as you breathe out, think about lifting the ribs back to your neutral. As you inhale push the floor away lifting the sternum away from you. That's it. And then as you wigs, how the bottom ribs tend to lift slightly as you come in activating the abdominals in the front. Okay. A couple more in her length than to lift.

Should feel amazing. Hey. I'll come right back in 2 more. Here we go. And push that floor away. Think again, triceps towards the rib cage. Will help activate the shoulder girdle eggs, held back to neutral, last one, inhale lengthen to lift, and then exhale coming back in. If you want a little break for the wrists for a moment, just come down to your elbows.

Just hold that just for Just a second. Give your hands a bit of a shake, a bit of a, stretch coming straight back up. So we'll do that a couple of times when we sort of give you a little bit of a break through the wrist if needed. Okay. So a little bit of rotation now. So what I'll get you to do is place your hand behind your head.

I've got my right hand here behind my head. So what you'll do is as you breathe in, you're going to lift up through that elbow. And as you exhale, come back just to your neutral. In her left, the elbow again rotating. Now push that left hand into the ground eggs, how come back to neutral.

2 more. In her lift. Ex, how back to center, last one, and now we're gonna add on here. Back to center. Now when you come back to center, hold that, and then just give me a little bend through that elbow. You'll hinge back towards the hips. Come back up. Let's join those 2 together.

So inhale lift the rib, exhale back to center, inhale bend the elbow Ex are come back. Just one more be enough. In her left. Ex her back to center, bend, the elbow come back up swapping hands. So just place the other hand on.

Just find your position here. Alright. Once we've scented, other hand comes behind the head. As you inhale, push the right hand into the floor, lift the left elbow up. Exhale back to center. The range doesn't matter here.

Some people have a lot of range. Sally normally has a good range in this position, Andrew, not so much. Something I'm working on, you know, in how lifting that top elbow, Exel back to center. All are work in progress. Last one in her lip.

Ex out back to the neutral. Now just bending that elbow on the right side, even takes the weight off the wrist. Come back up, put them together for 2 in her lift that elbow, exhale back to center, bend, and return last one in her left. Back to center, bend the elbow. Don't come too far towards the heels.

Just so that you can avoid any unnecessary lumbar flexion. Yeah? The other hand goes down. Okay. Time to start loading up through the abdominals and loading up through the spine isometrically. So just turn your toes the other way, going into a couple of knee hovers. So a couple of things to remember before you get into that. I want you to push the floor away, protracting the shoulder blade. So we're abducting the shoulder blade.

Lift the ribs in towards the center. As you breathe out, you're going to lift the knees up and hover. So exhale lift hopper and then come back down. We've got 4 more eggs, how to lift. And lower. Again, thinking triceps towards the ribs and down. Good job. Eggs had 2 more.

And down. Good last one. Eggs had left the knees. Lower those knees. Excellent work. Now bring your knees slightly forward, sitting down onto the backs of the heels. Alright. Good. For add a little bit of abdominal work, and this is where we're going to find that extension bias.

So what I mean by that, so we'll come up to the knees. What I mean by that is doing flexion, but starting in an extended position, which is gonna bring us theoretically back to neutral. Okay. So here we go. Hands go behind the head. So we're gonna do like a little modified chest lift.

So as you inhale, lengthen back into that extended position. Now think of doing a chest. It ribs towards the hips as you come back up 6 in her lengthen. Exhale, lift, and 4 to go. Now just be careful that you keep your hamstrings activated so you're not in this position here. Yeah.

You wanna keep that nice and lifted. Ex held back. 2 more. Inhale. Exhale back to center adding the abdominals last one.

Inhale back. And center. Good. Gonna do a little tilt here. So it's a little bit of lateral flexion in her leaning over to one side. Exhale back to center.

We still need to make sure that we're working other side into ranges that we would see in, you know, everyday life. So even though reflection and lateral reflection may be technically contraindicated for some people, you still wanna be able to move in safe ranges. Inhale over, exhale back to center last one, inhale to the left or the last side that you're on, back to center. Alright. To put those arms down just for a sec. Give the shoulders a bit of a a rest. Let's come back up one more position going to a little rotation.

So very important with rotation that you avoid rotating down. Yeah? Want you to rotate up. So this way, I'm gonna use an inhale when you rotate just to encourage that lift. So here we go inhale lift Rotate, exhale brings you back to center. Inhale rotates you up, up, up, up, up, Exhale back to center.

Inhale across using the obliques across the body to contract to bring the ribs back to center. Inhale across. Exhale back to center. One more time each side inhale. Exhale back to center.

Last one, inhale across with that beautiful ocean. Exhale. Back. 2 center. Good. Okay. Nicely done. So from here, take a seat onto your mat, facing the front. I'm going into a little back support prep. Okay? So the main focus of this back support prep is to activate into the back of the legs and into the abdominals, just the kind of the way that, pelvic curl would as well. Alright.

So feet are hip distance apart. Knees bent. Gonna have the fingers splayed out, okay, if you'd like, if if that position is good for you, another position you might wanna choose is fingers for up to you. I like this way. So what we're going to do is as you breathe that, you're gonna lift your hips up off the floor, finding that supported position, inhale, come back down. We'll do 6 of those. As you exhale your lift.

In how to lower it. Now when your arm is in extension in the shoulder socket, exhale lift, You wanna think of internal rotation of the humerus in heart attack. And as well, ek, you want pro retraction rather, of the shoulder blades. So couple internal rotation with shoulder blade retraction, and that will give you a nice lifted position. Good.

Last one after this eggs, how to lift. Finding the back of the legs and those abdominals that sit, and then coming all the way back down. Nice. Okay. Starting to work through all ranges here, all joint. So lay down onto your back. Feet are hip distance apart. So feet together to start, give me a little pigeon toe, and then toes in line with the heels, and then you'll find that position. Alright.

Lane supine. So what we're going to do so just gonna do is a gentle lift of the pelvis up off the mat. So not a full lift. I only want small hover, eggs, how to lift. So hover the pelvis off the mat. And then just place it back down. That's it.

So egg, hard sleep. So just to avoid any excessive or unnecessary flexion in the thoracic spine. We're just gonna think of lifting the hips up just to hover exhale. In how to have 3 more, eggs, how to lift, finding a dominos wrapping around, with the eggs, how in, how down, 2 more eggs, how to lift the hips, pelvis off the mat, and down. Last one.

Eggs, how find that wrap around that cocontraction of front and back lower the pelvis down. I'm gonna add on here a little s I j lift with the leg in the hover position, Feel free to keep this down, but also lifting up. Here we go, eggs, hard lift the hips up off the mat hold. Little hopper tailbone is long, So avoid that flexion of the lumbar spine keep it neutral. As you breathe that pressure, left foot into the ground, lift the right knee up in slide the foot back in like this little puppy poor position and then lower it down. As your eggs, how Push the right foot into the ground first, then glide the leg up, try to avoid dipping through that side, lowering it down.

2 more each side, eggs, hail, lift. Good. And down. Eggs, how press right foot, it'll lift the left. So immobilizing one side of the pelvis while stabilizing the other down the leg goes.

Exha lift the right. That's it. Long tailbone and down arms are supporting last what, exha lift. And lower. And then let the pelvis come down, onto the mat there. Alright. Going into a little side to side with the knees, but what we're going to do is I'm gonna get you to come up onto the tips of your toes.

And stay wide for this one. So onto the tips of the toes, the reason why so that you don't put too much weight into the feet. So you've got still active through the center of the body. So we're up here on the toes. Just going to the left side first, here we go across inhaled take both knees across, exhale back to center.

In how the other side right side across, eggs, how back to center. So even though we're only moving side to side, I still want you to think about activating the obliques on both sides as you come in internal oblique on one side, external oblique on the other, make friends in the center, inhale across to the left. Ex held back to center. Last one, inhale across to the right. Ex held back to center.

Now keep the toe the tips of the toes on the mat and do like a little butterfly kind of movement here. So the left knee will go out first inhale. Eggs help bring it back to center. Other side, right side in, hell out. Exhale back to center.

So again, mobilizing unilaterally, left side, exhale back to center. Dominoals are holding onto this position here of the the legs, exhale center heavy femurs into the mat, one last time in Hall across. Eggs house center bright side inhale. And eggs house center lower those heels does give the feet a little rest. Good. Bring the feet together.

So again, onto the tips of the toes, gonna add a little bit of load now with by extending the one leg across. So you'll see what I mean. So let's go to the left side first. Inhale across. Bring the feet with you. Exhale extend that top leg just adding a little bit of load.

Bend that top knee in, and exhale bring it back to center in her other side, exhale to stretch in her, bring it in. And center. Now just be aware that when you send the leg out, you know, across, when you send the leg out, try not to just take the thighs away from each other. Think about the bottom limb working through that knee joint, the femur staying aligned, the right side inhale, exhale femurs together and stretch. One more time each side, EX House Center in Hallacross, EXHALES 2 stretch. Back and center last one in how across to the right.

It's how to stretch the leg. Inhale bend, and then coming back to center. Nicely done. Well done. Alright. So coming up from there, to a seated position. Now what we're going to do is lay on our side.

So we're gonna turn around this way. Just take this little guy out. So we'll turn around facing this direction, and we'll come onto one side. Doesn't matter which side you wanna start with, going into a little side series here on on our side. So we've worked into the front.

Part we've worked into the back of the back. We're starting to activate there. Now we start working balance and almost like our side neutral here. So side printing. So laying yourself down, bottom arm can really be it's up to you. If you wanna bent, if you wanna rest your head on your on your arm, arm long, whatever.

If your arm is long, though, let's put the palm to the ceiling, kind of encourages a little bit more of an open joint. Alright. So legs are just on your side slightly forward. Yeah. Not too much. What you're gonna do is lift both legs up off the mat just a little bit.

That'd have to be too high, just a little bit activating into the sides here just to port. Now we're going to get into a little scissors. So what you'll do is bottom leg forward, first top leg forward back on the inhale, exhale bring it back to center. Good inhale other side. What we're doing here is we're challenging the stability of the body. So at the moment on our side, you're working in the coronal plane, usually in abduct adduction, but we're try we're just going to challenge the stability of the side by working in this sagittal plane. Inhale, exhale back to center, last one here, and last repetition back to center holder.

They turn the legs out. So you got a little v position. We're gonna do beats. We'll do 20 beats nice and quick. 2019. 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 87, 65, 43, 21.

Get those in the thighs firing. Lowering down the legs into a devolo pace. So what we'll do is bend that top knee up in how legs, how straighten the leg up to the ceiling and lower it down. In how to bend the knee, exhale to straighten and lower, all on that exhale, inhale lift, straighten and lower two more, add a bit of pace and dynamic to this up and down, last one, and up and reverse, we're going up, bend, and slide. Up slide. In her left, slide 2 more. Left, slide last one. Left and slide. There you go.

It's nicely done. Let's flip ourselves around to the other side. It's gonna take my little friend with me. And we'll come over to this side here. Alright. So laying yourself down once again.

Nice and long feet just slightly in front, taking the legs just off the mat here and starting with the bottom leg forward in her. Exhale center, inhale back. So really finding that hip extension on the bottom leg is sometimes a little bit more challenging than it is on the top. So just really working into that, hip extension, inhale, exhale center. 2 more each side, inhale. Exhale center in high. Last set here, inhale, and center.

Last one and center nicely done, turning those legs out, and we're going to beat 20 times. We've got 2019, 18, 17, 60. Turning, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8. Keep everything nice and still for 3, 2, 1. Lower it down. So we're gonna into our devolo pay position now. So inhale to lift, exhale up and down, inhale exhale down to 3 more lift and down and 2.

So really using that extra dynamic just gives the leg just that little bit more work to do. Reverse. Left and then slide it out and slide. Good. 3 more. Slide 2 to go. Last one, and slide, and rest. Good. Let's lay on to our stomachs here.

Go into a little bit of framework here. So working into our goalpost arms. So what I'd like you to do is lay yourself down. Onto the map. Let's go gold post stars. We'll start with these ones.

All you're going to do is just lift up into the hands up off the floor. So we're in external rotation ex hard lift in how to lower. My range is not fantastic in this positions, which is fine. Sally usually has much nicer range in this position. Egg's hard to lift.

So it'll just really be whatever your range is. So it's really encouraging that external rotation, but at the same time, try not to pinch the shoulders up or squeeze the rope the rhomboids in. So two more, eggs her lift and lower. Last one, eggs her lift lower it down. Alright. We have a little break from here.

So what you'll do is lay your head down onto the mat. We're going to need to, set of reverse 100. So into a prone hundred position. So with those arms, now you lay them down by your side. Palms up towards the ceiling. What you'll do is come up into a little bit of an extension. So lift the head and and chest just off the mat.

Now round the shoulders back so they're in line with your spine, then gently lift the arms off the floor just from behind the shoulder joint here. We start to post those arms straight up to the ceiling up to for 5 and eggs up to That's one in. Anna. Good. That's 2. So maintaining this extended position, 3, working into the back extensors. That's forts. This is a fantastic sequence for those as especially osteoporotic clients that are really rounded in the upper spine, eggs, how good?

5, I think. 2, 3. 5 and out. 2, 3. Good. Try to avoid going out and in like this. You wanna keep the ex lifting in that sagittal plane. Last set, thank you so beautiful.

Out to 3, 4, 5. Hold it there just for a moment, and then let it come down. Very nice. Bring the arms forward. Again, bend the elbows back into that goalpost position. We're going to a little half swan.

So now that we've stabilized and worked isometrically into those, muscles or even little concentrically as well, Now we get to mobilize, so we're gonna press up. Heaven. And then as you breathe out, pull the floor towards you, as you come down. We're gonna do 6 in half. That's it. And then exhale.

Reach. Good. There. Left. You can press away with those hands.

Try to avoid disposition as well if you can. 3 to go. In hard left. Add eggs. Ah, coming down. Good. And 2 to go.

Really mobilized through that spine. Things stir them up. Last time and in her left, Good. And then bring it all the way. Back down. Fantastic work. From here, what I'd like you to do is just tuck your toes underneath, keep your hands a little lower here, and just push leave your knees on the mat and just push yourself up into that position.

Go into your 4 point kneeling and just take a little rest. Good. From here, what we'll do is go into our back support again that we did at the start of the class. I'm just gonna add a couple of little bits and pieces here and there just to spice things up for you. Okay? So lay yourself down so no one ever said that flexion free or extend mat work was gonna be easy. So we're still gonna get a good workout here.

Alright. So back support 1. So again, hands, wide or in whatever you prefer for your shoulders. So, yeah, let's just do 2 back support ones just to remind the body of what's actually happening so we come up and exhale. And then inhale come down good one more time. Eggs hard to lift.

Hold this position. Gonna do a little couple matches. So just a tabletop leg. And down. We've got 3 side alternating. Heggs higher.

Good. Opposite leg pushes down as the leg comes up. One more time each side, and last one, and then lower the hips down Have a little rest. Good. So that's sort of stage 2, if that's where you are with your body, then stay there. If you'd like more, let's progress that one step further to a little shoulder bridge kind of prep. So think of your shoulder bridge legs, you know, in a way.

Alright. Coming on up. Yep. Come back to that marching position and stretch the leg low, come back up, place it down, other side, up. Stretch. I'm gonna rest in between sets for this one. Come down. We've got 3.

Reset. Eggs, hard lift. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale down, inhale lift, stretch, lift, down lower. One last time. Here we go. Add hips up.

In her lift, exhale stretch. Her lift lower last one. Push the floor away from you and down and, oh, lower it down. Stretch it out. Nicely done. It'll stretch through the arms. Okay.

Almost there. Let's go into a kneeling position once again. Going into a little push up set. So we've done a lot of this kind of lifting from back stretching from the front. So I want to flip it around and give us a little bit more work in the front. So kneeling position Feel free to do this with straight legs on a plank if you wish.

I'm not going to. I'm gonna do it on my knees. Okay? So here we go. So on the knees, 3 different positions. So I'm going to do maybe let's do 4 repetitions in all three positions. Alright. So first position is a tricep push up. So nice long line between your knees and shoulders.

What we'll do is just in Huddl lower. Eggs, range does not matter in Huddl. I like to leave the feet on the floor. For this, just for knees. It's a little bit of stability.

Last one, and then walk yourself back. Rest. That's first set done. Now second set, going really super wide with those arms, shoulder blades wide, working into some chest. So walking yourself forward, take the hands out first, so outside your mats in front of you, then bring your bodies forward here. That's it. And then elbows wide over the fingers, exhale press 4.

And 3. Good job. Two more. Last one walked the hands back, and we rest. Good. The 3rd position is a little diamond position, which will go under the sternum. Now these, the third one, The range is not going to be very big.

It's quite small. Okay. So just remember that. Keep it small. Here we go. Coming forward, Set up your hands under the sternum. So we inhale to bend, exhale to press for 4.

Just gives you a little bit of a different pack engagement here too. Last one, and then walk the hands back. Easy. Right? Done. Beautiful. Okay. Let's have a little stretch. So coming on up, you're going to let's start with the left leg forward.

Now, again, to a kneeling lunge, the way I like to do this is I like to start with the front foot much further past the knee than you think you should. So I don't want it under the knee. I want forward of the knee. So this gets you up into a nice set position. Think about length through the front of this leg that's down.

Hands can be wherever you need them for balanced support wherever. I like to put it on the knee. Here we go. Alright. So you're gonna bring that front knee just over the front ankle. That's it. So you're gonna slide that front knee forward. There we go, and then just press it back.

So while the whole time thinking about the front hit, so coming forward, that's it, and back. 2 more. Bring it forward. Find that stretch through the hip flexes. Sometimes if you press your foot into the ground, the back foot, just a little bit, gives you that little bit more juice.

Alright. Last one. Pressing forward. Hold, hold. Hold. Now to finish off, you're gonna use this front foot to propel you back. Bring the foot off the toe off the ground, and we stretch into the hamstring.

Now try to keep your back as straight as you can, try to avoid over flexing that helps put one hand on the knee or under the knee, one hand on the floor, tiptoes, whatever you need. Good. Swapping sides. Alright. Last one. Her stretch.

So foot is just in front of the knee or not just is in front of the knee. Hand on the knee. Here we go. So you're gonna send it forward. Thinking about the length through the quadricep and hip flexes on the left or the right, whatever side you're doing, and over. Good.

And back 2 more. And pressing forward. Good. Last one. Forward, hold, hold, hold.

That's it. Use this link to propel you back. Have your stretch. Like I said, wherever you need these hands, even a box or a little chair or something here that you might want to hold on to, just to give you a little bit of help from, underneath the legs. Stretch to stretch, and then coming all the way back home.

Well, that's it. Thank you so much for joining me. I really liked having you here. I look forward to seeing you again very soon.


1 person likes this.
Really enjoyed this. Extension is so needed for most of us. These were gentle, but complete. Especially liked the 3 hand positions for the kneeling push ups. Thank you.
Rondi L thank you! So glad you enjoyed the class. 
Super! Such a nice tutoring! Enjoyed it very much!
Great class! Thanks for this amazing tutorial. I got a lot of ideas for teaching my next class. Thank you so much. 
Monika H you are more than welcome! I'm so happy you enjoyed the class. 
Julie Lloyd
Great class, thank you Andrew!! I have overdone the flexion a bit lately, so this was very helpful. And, such a nice mix of moves, presented with just the right amount of technical information. I will look out for more of your classes.
Julie L thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so happy you enjoyed the class. 
Anna B
Thank you so much, Andrew. This class felt great and I didn't want the hip flexor and hamstring stretches to end. Any tips on modifying the shoulder press/hip lift for someone recovering from shoulder impingement? Thank you again.
Thank you Andrew-terrific cues and so very clear and encouraging
Hi Anna B, so glad you enjoyed the class. If you have clients with shoulder impingement issues, then I would recommend either reducing the height of the back support press, or being specific with the cueing. When the shoulder is in extension, as it is with this position, encourage your clients to draw the shoulder blades together and couple that with internal rotation of the humerus within the shoulder joint. This should encourage optimal placement and support for the shoulder. Let me know how you get on!
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