Class #56

Mat Progression Series 3/10

45 min - Class


This is the 3rd class in a series that takes the new student from Basic to intermediate Mat work. Learn how to stabilize the pelvis, specifically in Spine Stretch Forward. Emphasis on stretching in equal and opposite directions in order to challenge the Powerhouse and lengthen the muscles. Mat work consists of Basic/Intermediate Exercises with an introduction of Corkscrew and Saw.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Um, I think the best thing today too is to start standing up. Let's see, Bethany and Jennifer, why don't you guys starts standing at the front of your mat and you can choose either side, Chelsea and Great Miriam, and let's look at a Pilati stance. Again, just a quick review. So heels together, toes two to three inches apart. Great. And we have those barbershop pole muscles that are turning out as we, they come actually as they go down from the line of your hip bones, they're turning out those thighs, turning out your knees a little bit, and that's what's going to make your feet turn out. We've got our powerhouse, that five inch band of muscles pulling into our back.

So it feels like you actually are stretching your lower back, okay? As it puts pressure in there. So enjoy that and try, I see that you guys have your way to little back on your heels and that's pretty normal. But what we want to do always is actually have our weight more forward on the balls of our feet so that you can lift up your heels pretty easily. Okay.

So now another thing that happens when we shift our weight forward is unfortunately we leave our, um, our shoulders back. So we might put our hips forward, but our shoulders say back in, that's not very good posture either. So, um, we want to make sure that if our hips have leaned a little bit forward on that Pilati stance, that our shoulders have also come with us. Okay, so our stomach supporting lower back, good shoulders are maybe even, you might want to think a little bit in front of your hip bones. Okay. So the box is just a tiny bit tilted forward and then you want to think that the crown of your head, I'll talk about the crown of your head probably a lot today, is shooting up to the ceiling. Like someone's picking you up and stretching you to the ceiling. So you've got energy.

So the biggest topic I want to talk about today is equal and opposite reaction. I'm a big bio nerd and I love like all that kind of stuff. But physics is a very important part of Palase and it's the way we create long, lean, beautiful muscles. It's stabilizing something and stretching away from whatever we're stabilizing. So a lot of it will be stretching into different directions.

And so if you're pulling your whole body one way, you aren't really stretching it. You want to learn how to, how do you send energy? One way energy the other. Okay. So in [inaudible] we don't actually just pull our stomach into our back, but we learn later on at a much more intermediate level how to also pull in an up. So we're going to talk a lot about energy in two different directions and how to stabilize our pelvis today. Okay. Especially about these two bones pointing forward. So I want you to go ahead and sit down on your mat and just stay seated and we're gonna start off with an exercise that we do almost at the end of what we've been doing so far. The spine stretch forward.

So I want your leg straight in front of you. Good. And then open them so that the heels are just off the mat. So that they're, it's a little bit wider and always, if your lower back feels like you can't sit up tall like this or you feel like the back of your legs are too tight, you can always bend your knees a little bit so that you can sit up tall. So no matter how well endowed we are in our bottom, we can always find two sit bones in there. So I want you to kind of wobble back and forth and see if you can find your two sit bones because those are really important. That's showing you we're going to work with that for our alignment of our pelvis. So once you find those two sip phones, I want you to think about these two hipbones in the front.

And whenever we're doing a forward stretch like we're about to do, you want to keep these two hipbones over your sit bones. So if you are tipping it forward, those hip bones and we've lost control of our powerhouse, or if we've tipped it back, then we've also lost control. So I want those two hipbones right over your sip phones. Can you guys visualize that? Okay. Cause we're gonna add a few more exercises today and they're gonna.

We're gonna have to really remember, okay, am I moving that or am I moving like this? Or again, tipping forward or backwards. Okay. So now you have your hipbones over your sit bones and I want you to pull your stomach into your back. He saw that leaving it totally disappeared, didn't it? So you're gonna pull your stomach into your back and have those hipbones over those sip bones. And I want you to imagine that your tailbone is continuing like energy through the floor. So instead of just sitting there, you're actually pushing energy through the floor with that tailbone and in the opposite direction your stomach was pulling in. I want your stomach to kind of pull up under your chest bone.

I don't really either displace your ribs and stick out your chest to do that, but just subtly see if instead of slouching your energy, if we can pull in and lift our energy in our body. So you have your tailbone going through the mat and your powerhouse pulling in and up. Okay. Crown of the head to the ceiling. So you should have felt like you might've been able to create a little bit of space in between each vertebra when you did that, and that's a huge goal in place is allowing space instead of squishing all those vertebra together, swishing away or cartilage, catching some nerves, you know, all that fabulous lower back pain stuff. So actually supporting our back with our powerhouse and lengthening each vertebra from Casos hipbones over sip bones powerhouse in and trying to pull up away from your tail tailbone arms. Reach straight up, let your toes pull back so that their flax, whether your knees are bent or straight, and keeping space between each vertebra. I want you to bring your head to your chest and now lift the next vertebra away from the next one and keep going down trying to get the crown of your head to the floor. Again, we're keeping in mind that those hipbones are staying over your sit bones.

Hold it here. Take a big breath. Some of you have tipped those hipbones forward. Try to realign them. And now exhale, try to pull your belly in more and get even lower your crown of your head to the floor, keeping those hipbones over your sit bones. So I'm going to pull those hipbones just back a little bit right there and now go down. There you go. That's it. So you really feel that powerhouse. Very nice. Maybe just a tad back also.

Jennifer. Yes, there. That's where I want your hip bones and then the rest is stretching away going forward and sorry to keep you down so long. Take a big breath as you roll up. It's not with your head first, but starting with the middle back, the upper back and finally the head that still reaching for the ceiling and then take a little bit of a break, almost like slouching. Add your bottom lift, send your tailbone through the floor, crown of the head to the ceiling and roll off an imaginary vertebra off an imaginary wall, one vertebra at a time going forward. So we're trying to stretch in two directions.

Your tailbone through the floor while you are lifting each vertebra away from each other as you stretch forward. And then inhale, roll up one vertebra at a time. That looks really good. Nice job. Okay. Relax your arms down. Let's go ahead and get started with the hundred then. So we're going to take the full length of your mat lying down on your back. I do have some pillows that I forgot. Well, towels to pillows, same thing. Let's see, you can, I'll put one down and if anybody needs to, always a good idea.

If your neck is sore, if it doesn't bother you to have your neck flat, Edmonds means that you have pretty good alignment going on. Have your knees bet feet flat on the mat. I'm going to scoot over just a hair this way. Great. All right, good. And so we're going to start off with the hundred, but we're still gonna be thinking about equal and opposite stretches. Okay. So we're going to pull our belly into the mat, hopefully below the line of your hips. And I want you to squeeze your bottom and try to almost use the muscles in your bottom to pull your pelvis away from your lower back.

So it's kind of stretching your tailbone. It's trying to pull, instead of being all stuck together, try to stretch it and let's go ahead and use your upper stomach to take a big breath. And we're going to exhale. Pull the upper stomach and bring your head up. Ribs are in long arms. And remember he's strong arms pumping and look at your belly. It's going to not rise like a loaf of bread in the oven, but it's gonna sink like an ice cream scooper as we bring one knee in your right knee and in scoop, scooping your belly even more to bring your left knee in.

And now give me a polite stance with your feet and squeeze them almost up to the ceiling, a little bit lower to the ceiling. So your nice long legs. Good. And now start pumping. Go ahead and exhale. [inaudible] stance heels together, toes apart. And stretch away with those feet. Beautiful, big inhale and exhale. So your arms are trying to reach, stretch long away from your shoulders to pull the shoulders away from the ears in with the air. More turning out in here. Less energy in those toes. Exhale, put your energy right here. Big Breath.

Exhale, your stomach is sinking into the mat while your legs are reaching in the opposite direction. Inhale, two, three, four, five. Exhale, your stomach is sinking. It's as bad as your legs retreat. Reach away. Big Breath, and exhale. Let's do one more just cause I can't count to the end with the air. Could be a hundred already. Exhaling and hug your knees into your chest. Rest your head down. Good job. All right, we're going to go ahead and sit up for the roll back.

Just like Jennifer with your knees bent. Hands Underneath your knees. All right, so on here, I don't want your sip. Hipbones right over your sip phones. I'm going to want your powerhouse to pull back so that your lower back is really rounded in the starting position. But I do want your shoulders right over your hip bone, so I don't want you leaning back with those.

I want you to pull it into a really good letter c. Okay, very nice. He really created a letter c with your back. Make those stomachs disappear and take a big breath. And as you exhale, pull your powerhouse away from your thighs and roll your lower back down onto the mat. One bone at a time. Not Rocking, but just keeping the feet there. Roll down your lower back. There you go.

And the next Vertebra until your arms are long. Once your arms are long, take a big breath. Exhale and roll up. Good. Very good. One of the hardest things in this exercise is stabilizing our lower body while our upper body is working.

So we're doing an exercise right now called the rollback, but it really is supposed to be called the roll up. And it's very hard to do if you're not able to stabilize. You're actually, you're really working hard to squeeze and work your lower body while you're moving the upper body. So what I want you to really work on today is even though your knees are bent, feel those muscles pulling around like those barbershop poles and squeezing the back of your inner thighs together and then use your bottom to squeeze. And I want you to imagine that you almost instead of your spine stopping at your tailbone, that your spine stops continues onto a tail, like a little dog or donkey or something. And I don't mind you to imagine that I have your tail pulling this way.

So I'm constantly pulling your tail and you're squeezing your bottom and sending your pelvis this way. As I pull on, you're using your stomach to pull me opposite direction. So start rolling back, thinking about sending your tailbone to your heels, pulling your stomach in the opposite direction, hold it there and take a breath. And to come up. Exhale, you're still keeping that energy coming this way while you're curling up. That looks a lot more stable. Very nice everyone. Let's try that. We're going to go lower now instead of stopping at our waist, man, I want you to continue to the bra strap or the bottom of your shoulder blades. So try not to lead with the shoulder blades round through.

Stretch that tailbone away from you as if I'm pulling on your tail. As you roll down. Once you touch your bra strap, take a breath and exhale. Peel up one bone at a time. Really trying to separate them. Keep sending your tailbone under you. Very good. Yes. And one more like that. And rolling down, squeezing.

You all look very strong. Rolling down. Get your waistband before your bra strap and squeeze. And rule two is when I'm sitting, squeezed, press that pelvis together. So for some of you, I want you to just stay going to that level because that's, you know, hard and challenging enough. Otherwise, if you want, we can go all the way down for the next two to our head. So we're going to press our hips together.

Those muscles are wrapping around and send your tail away from you as your belly pulls in and up in the opposite direction. Going down to your head. If you can. Inhale, lift your head and exhale round, round a lot more through here. There we go. And one more time in health. Rolling back to start the exercise and exhale until your head or just the bottom of your shoulder blades is on the mat. Inhale, head comes up and exhale, scoop Busey, upper belly, the middle belly. Keep trying to stabilize the bottom and good, very nice. Hard work. All right, we're going to do now single leg circles.

Transition is basically a roll back, so you're going to squeeze your bottom and send your tailbone under you as you pull your powerhouse back to roll down all the way. Yep. Good. Round that back as much as you can marry up. There you go. Very nice. Yes. All right. Hug in your right knee and give it a good stretch. Keep in mind your box that we've talked about. Make sure that knee is not stretching out to the side too much. Okay? Make sure your hips haven't moved too much here and extend the right like up to the ceiling. Good. Very good.

Now turn out that side. Still those barbershop pole is turning out now. Now and put your hands behind your thought or your cath and give yourself a stretch. Try to avoid the knee because it's our weakest joint. There you go. Turn it up just a tiny bit more. Nice. Now if you're a flexible, very flexible and your leg is coming significantly close to you, then you can straighten the bent knee, the leg that's on the floor. You can go ahead and straighten it, but we're looking good here. This is where we want to be and some days you might notice that you have to keep your knee bent and some days you can keep it straight.

Just depends on how flexible or tight you are that day. Okay? Now put your hands on your hipbones today because we don't want to be really aware and they are not allowed to do the Mambo or the Cha Cha Cha. They have to stay perfectly still and you're keeping them still by pulling and squeezing your bottom together. Basically we're going to extend that right leg as high up to the ceiling as you can use your belly to pull it up to your nose. Cross it over to your left shoulder.

Let it go down a little bit and circle it back up to your notes for more to tempo. Cross around, up, cross around, up. Ooh, I see some right hips do in the Mambo over here. Two more. We've got to keep those quiet with our stomach. Last one, crossroad and hold. Reverse it. Let it go down. Cross around, up. Good. Down. Cross around enough. That's right. Use the stomach to really hold those hips quiet. Two more cross around, up and one more. Just a little smaller here. Perfect.

Hug in that knee. Place the right foot right next to the left, whether your leg was straight or bent, and hug in the left knee to your chest. Of course, every time you bring in that leg it's because your stomach has sunk into the mat, right? Pulled it there. Extend the left leg up to the ceiling and your hips need to be straight across. So make sure that leg is turned down and give a good stretch on like we've done that yet. Holding behind the calf or the thigh. Good. And now put their hands back on your hips and make your stomach and your bottom really hold the whole hip stable as you circle the like up to your nose.

Slowly crossed the body to your right shoulder. Stretch away from your back, that staying anchored and then pull it back up to your nose. Perfect to tempo. Cross around, up, cross round up. Good. Two more around that. Turning up that thigh a little bit more last time. Cross around and hold. Reverse it. Reach away around in, up. So you're stretching away from that solid stomach and three more sinking into the mat. Two more.

Make sure you crossed the body last time and relax that foot. It's a relaxed but that's hugging that knee to your chest. Very good. All right, bring that leg down and lets everyone have bent knees with feet flat on the Mat. And again, you're imagining those barbershop muscles pulling around and they're going to squeeze together. Okay. And your bottom squeezing tight. You're sending your tailbone away from your neck.

You're going to put your hands underneath your thighs and it's odd, but because we've lied down now it makes it very hard to sit up using our powerhouse muscles. So scoot your hips over just a hair. Perfect. So it's going to be hard to sit up with control, but let's give it a shot. We're going to inhale, lift up your head to your chest, and then exhale, roll up, squeezing those legs together, using the stomach. Coming on up. I know it's a little harder. It's like you guys take a break and this disorder reactivate those muscles, but always working between exercises. All right, so now I want you to place your hands underneath your knees. Good.

I'm actually, I want you to take that back. Put your hands right by your bottom on the mat and lift your bottom all the way to your heels. Good. That's right. Good cause I want you a little bit more for, I'm going let you'd come forward even more. There you go. Good. All right. Now keeping your weight kind of on your hands. I want you to do that so that you allow your hipbones to tip back and so that your lower back is really, really round.

Try to relax your shoulders when you're doing that good. And your stomach should look again like I've taken an ice cream scooper and scooped it out. You're trying to get a little less dependent on your hands, not putting too much weight, holding yourself more with your stomach and see if you can take one hand and just slip it under a knee. You can bring your feet forward a little bit more. Yeah. And then use your belly to bring the other hand forward. Good feet are still on the mat. And again, your hipbones too, right on this one are tipped back. They're not directly over your sit bones.

They're pulled back. Okay. And now looking at your belly, keeping it scooped in and up. Can we lift one foot up off the mat? So really pulling into a nice round, lower back. Not Too hot. Just an injury too. Yeah. Good. Keep it up and see if you can keep your belly in and lift the left leg up to well, whichever one you lift.

Stop. Very nice holding it there. For a lot of us, this is hard enough. Just feeling the stomach really. You control this motion right here and balance, but if you want to, let's go ahead and we're going to move ahead with this exercise and turn it into rolling like a ball. There we go. No energy in those feet. That's it. So rolling like a ball, not a flat tire. Okay, so we're going to keep really, really round spine and we're going to try to roll back our waistband first and our bra strap last. So inhale, roll back and exhale, roll up and then balance again. You want to, when you come up to balance, you're looking at your scooped in belly and inhale, roll back and exhale, Rola. Good job. When you come up, see if you can get your shoulders to come all the way over your hip bones so that they're not so far behind.

You don't want to do that though by popping your back forward. You've got to keep those hipbones pulled back. So let's do two more like that. Inhale, roll back. Exhale, roll up. Trying to keep pulling your shoulders forward over your hip bones. A little bit more, Chelsea. Yeah. One more like that. Inhale, roll back and exhale. Keep pulling your hipbones back.

Make sure that they have around lower back and don't support yourself. Yes, you got it. That's it. Nice one more like that. Inhale, roll back and exhale, roll. Great. I think on Thursday, go ahead and rest your feet. We're going to be able to put our hands on our ankles and get even to a tighter ball, so it almost looks like a tennis ball that's going to be interwoven into each other. Okay. Good job. Let's put your hands behind you and use your strong back of your arms, your triceps to lift your bottoms back. Okay, let's try that again. Bring your bottoms forward.

A lot of times I hear glottis isn't really, I need to do some arm weights or some extra stuff. It to keep my arms tone. But you'll notice that a lot of the transitions and then intermediate exercises that you actually are working on your arms the whole time. So if you take your arms back and you're going to lift your bottom back and you lift your shoulders like this, not really working good muscles, or if I hear a big swoosh on the mat with your bottom, you're not really using those good muscles. So you want to squeeze your bottom, lift it, and use your triceps or the back of your arms to lift your bottom back. And so that in between each exercise, again, you're really working. So watch this. Oh, much more quiet.

That's a nice Romana would love that. Okay, so we're going to keep our powerhouse in and we're going to lie on our backend self-consciousness switching. I love it. Okay. And we're going to bend our knees, feet flat on the mat because we are going to do the Tufts series of five now. So we're going to do a review and then we'll do it again because it's really one that even if it's the only thing that you wake up in the morning and you do it every day in the morning, she'd take you like three minutes to do and it makes just a world of difference. Okay, so I'm going to try to help you memorize it. Can't really work on flow until you've memorized the exercises.

So the first one is single leg stretch. You're not scooping your belly, bring your right knee into your chest. Good. And then your right hand is on your ankle, left hand on your knee. Perfect. This is the one that the hands aren't crucial and healthy bodies, but it's good to keep that alignment. Now your notice where your left thigh is, okay, it's kind of at a 45 degree angle with the floor. I want you to keep the thigh at that level and just lift the foot so that you're a straight line so that it's a 45 degree angle with the floor.

So right there. So not quite up high to the ceiling, but a little bit lower. Now of course, if that makes your back arch them, bring your leg up a little bit. Now I want you to lift your head up using your powerhouse and look at your belly. Here's that equal and opposite reaction I want going on. I want your stomach sinking down into the mat and pulling, kind of like on a rolling walkway under your chest bone into your sternum. Bring your right knee as deep into your chest as you can. Nice.

But that left leg is squeezing your bottom and stretching those muscles as far away from your past as you can. Okay, let's switch left. So again, stomach is pulling in and up and it's pulling your left knee deep into your chest while your right bottom is lengthening that leg far away from you. Can you guys try to feel that opposite feeling? Let's do one more slow set. So we've got a right knee in the stomach is scooping it and pulling that knee into your chest while your left leg is stretching long away. And one more switch left, pulling in and up.

We're going to switch hands. Very good. And this is this bottom squeezing while your belly is pulling in and up. Hug both knees into your chest and relax ahead. Relax everything. So we just did a very quick set, but I wanted you to really feel that in and up. Now the next exercise is double leg stretch and it is kind of believed that that is the most encompassing exercise in Pele's.

It really defines everything about what is plots. So double leg stretch. Let's just start something easy. I want you to lift both arms up to the ceiling. Okay? And with both arms up to ceiling, let's pull, put our powerhouse into play here. Your stomach is still stinks, stinking sinking into the mat and pulling in and up those shoulders.

Didn't ha you didn't hunch him, you didn't roll him off the Mat, that you can feel the shoulder bones on the mat and away from your ears. And I want you to feel the muscles really lengthened in your arms, trying to touch the fingertips to the ceiling. It looks really, really good. Okay, keep your stomach anchored into the mat, your fingertips reaching to the ceiling. And now I want you to go ahead and use your upper stomach to lift your head up, to look at your belly up, up, up. So you're going to pull in that upper stomach. Good. Now keep your head right where it is. Your stomach's anchored and your arms are long and reach your arms just by your ears. Good. Hold it there. So again, anchored stomach and in the opposite direction, your fingertips are reaching, reaching, reaching. And now to bring them back by your side.

I want you to circle them back by your side. They always have energy in them. One more time. They're going to lift up to the ceiling or by your ears, I said, and then exhales as if you're in a big body of water and you're swimming. Let's do it one more time. With that image, I want you to reach those long, strong muscles away from your strong powerhouse and you're in a pool water. I want you to scoop that water back to your hips and rest your head down. Okay? So when you move, your arms are not like me, but they have energy and they have force so that you can start sculpting them.

Okay? Now the legs is the same thing. Your stomach is going to stay anchored almost like a big tree is in your center and it's just rooted into the floor while your bottom and thighs are gonna reach away from that strong stomach. So bring both knees into your chest and give them a hug by putting your hands on your ankles. Great. And imagine, feel how flat your lower back is right now is your upper stomach to lift up your head to your chest a little bit further. Good, good, good. And now you're not going to do your arms. They can just rest on the mat. They can press down.

But I want you to really anchor your stomach and try to lengthen both legs away from you so that they're at almost a 45 degree angle. Turn out the thighs, so you're going to squeeze the bottom and use those muscles to reach and then pull them in with your powerhouse. So they go back together. When they come in, they turn out into a plotting stance, reaching away from that solid stomach and they scoop it. And one more time reaching away. So you're really using that equal and opposite your stretching, stretching, stretching. Pull your belly away from me. Yeah. And then bending it. All right. Hands on your ankles. Rest your head down for a second. And I want you to combine.

So this is why it's the all encompassing exercise because your powerhouse is pulling in and up out your fingertips. And your bottom is really lengthening with your thighs going in the opposite direction, all while maintaining a strong powerhouse. How are we doing? Okay. Hands on your ankles. Use your upper stomach to lift up your head. One day are so flexible that your ears will be able to be right between your knees. And I want you to anchor that stomach and at the same time reach your arms up by your ears and your legs out. Good.

And hold that as you look at your belly and scoop it in more, more, more, and in a body of water. Scoop around and come in. Nice. Two more like that. Inhale, reach in opposite directions. Don't let your shoulders go down. Keep your head and shoulders up. Beautiful and exhale. Use those strong arms. One more time. Inhale, reach, pull those hipbones more towards you as you stabilize and exhale, pulling around. Rest your head down. It's gonna take a long time before you remember all these aspects when you're going quickly. But right now we're going to just, we're going to learn them and then one day, layer by layer, they'll all come.

Okay. Single, straight leg. Yes. Not at all. Not at all. It's a great question. So when you're taking your legs out, this might be just a teeny bit too low, no matter how hard you try. And it's not because your stomach is weak because you have weak stomach muscles, but usually because your back is so tight that it won't stretch. Okay? So go ahead and bet. Well actually keep them straight.

So what you do is you need to bring them up a little bit higher and then you can feel your stomach working hard and your back is able to stay flat. So when your to keep your back flat, two things have to happen. You have to have good flexibility in your back as well as um, strong stomach muscles. So, um, and just we, what happens over time as we get a little bit more stuck in our natural curve in that arch position and we have to also be able to round that part of our back if we want to. But it takes a lot of stretching to do that. So you'll, you'll notice over time you're going to be able to lower those legs lower and lower because you have stretched out your back. Okay? Any other questions? That was a good one. Can k single straight leg. I want you to bring both knees into your chest and extend both legs up to the ceiling. Now when, again, when both legs are reaching up, your stomach is sinking deep, deep, deep into the mat, and you're reaching through a Pilati stance up to the ceiling as much as you can. Then I want you to use your hands to crawl up your right thighs.

You lift your head and shoulders. So lift up your head and shoulders. Everyone's up. Crawl up your hands, up your right thigh. See how close you can bring that straight leg to you. So the right leg has to stay straight and you can bring it as close to you as you can. Can you crawl up a little higher? There you go. Good. And now lower the left leg only as low as you can. Keep your back flat.

Okay? Might not be too low. Hold it there. And while you're holding it there, I want energy out that left toe out real through those barbershop pull muscles are reaching and that right flits really, really reach into the ceiling too. Okay, so I see two, I'm going to help pull this up. Two gigantic arrows, one shooting out this way and one shooting up this way. Tons of energy. Keep that energy and switch legs. Good. Less energy and your toes and your shoulders and just keep it in your beautiful.

One more time. Switching right energy out. Those toes and s belly sinking in last time left really long energy, big arrows and bend the knees and rest. That was really nice. It's very tempting to bend those knees a lot when you're switching and you really want to keep them as long looking like giant scissors. Any questions on that one? That single straight leg.

Now we're going to do double straight, like bend your knees into your chest, the double version. Extend both legs up good. Turn them out into a Pilati stance and put your hands one over the other, behind your head to lift up your head and shoulders. Good. Now look at those hipbones. They need to almost be tipping towards you right now. Okay? Keep them tipping towards you and only lower those legs that are reaching long, long, long away from you. Only lower them as low as you can.

Keep those bones tipping towards you and then pull them right back up right back up. Everyone's up. The up is really quick and keep the belly sinking, controlling those hip bones and exhale up. Good. And see if you can keep your head and shoulders up the whole time and exhaling up. Good. Uh, Lottie stance one more time and pull it up. Very, very good. Hug your knees into your chest. All right. So once you've lost control of those hip bones and that exercise, once they've are tipping away from you, yeah, pretty much means your back is arched and you've gone too far and you're straining your back. So you want to keep it real small. But one day you're going to be able to drop down to the floor. Touch the floor, come right back up. I swear while on good days.

All right, so the last sensor size is the crisscross. And we usually leave it out for a long time because it's a twisting exercise. And whenever we twist, we like to use a dominant muscle like our lower back and hurt ourselves rather than using our powerhouse. So the line of your hips has to stay flat in, down on the mat. So when you are twisting, if you're also twisting that bottom, that opposite cheek up off the mat and you see this line twisting, then you know that you're using more your back muscles to push it up and forward. Then to use your stomach muscles to bring your shoulder to that knee. So we're going to really focus on how is this line staying while we do this exercise.

So your hands again for the last two in series of five our hands behind our head and use your upper stomach to pull in and lift up your head to look at that scooped in belly and almost white for me. There you go. And use your belly to bring your right knee into your chest as deep into your chest as you can. That left leg is going to extend to the ceiling or maybe a little bit lower if you can keep your back flat again, your belly is really pulling one knee in and that energy is reaching out the other leg. But keep an eye on your hipbones as you take your left shoulder to your right knee. Don't twist your hips, just your upper body.

Try to come up as high as you can. And let's switch legs, bringing in that left knee. Keep that lower back flat and twist that right shoulder up to that left knee. Don't move that right hip. That's tough. Keep it down and switch. One more set, twisting that left shoulder over. Good. And one more to the other side.

So you're trying to pull in and keep this hip quiet while you go up to that knee and hugging those knees to your chest. Good job. So those are important things to focus on. Okay. But now we're going to just work on really giving our stomach a good workout. So we're going to do the whole series, trying to just make it through. Okay, guys, up for it. So we're gonna use our stomach. We're good. I didn't hear so much excitement in my life. Um, so we're gonna use our ever belly to lift your head and shoulders.

Bring your right knee into your chest. Right knee is in good, right hand on ankle, left hand on me. There we go. And left leg is reaching away from a stomach that's scooped in. All right, here we go. And switch and right and left and right and left, keeping our box square and right at left. Two more sets, right. Using your belly. One legs, reaching away. One leg is reaching in. Less set, left and grabbed both ankles. Double leg stretch. Keep your heads up and reach in opposite directions, but that stomach is scooped in. If you're arching, bring your legs up higher and pull it in. And inhale, reach.

Inhale. Inhale, inhale, and blow out all your airs you scoop in and inhale, reach. Don't arch that back. Use your upper belly. Good. And exhale and inhale. Two more. Feel that body get longer and leaner arms are by your ears. Exhale. One more time. Inhale, reaching, reaching. Pull your shoulders up a little bit with the upper belly. Yes, and exhale add.

Take a moment to rest your head just for a second. Both legs go right on up. And we're going to go the next three right in a row here. We're gonna lift our head and shoulders crawl up behind that right leg. And one Arrow is shooting to the ceiling as the other one reaches a little bit away and stomach scooping. Let's switch. Left, right, left straight, straight arrows, straight, long arrows reaching energy over H. Amuse the upper belly to hold your head and shoulders and right left one more set right and left. Both like up, hands behind your head. Look at your hipbones as the legs go down just a little and pull them up just a little bit down an exhale. Pull them up and with the air and exhale, scoop in that belly. Two more. Inhale, squeezing those legs the whole time as if they're one last time in with here.

And now keep your head and shoulders up and Ben, just the right knee as you twist that left shoulder up to the right knee and switch over to the left knee. Keeping the alignment of your hips good and switch. Keeping the alignment and which that should be towards your left knee. But we're going to hug our knees into our chest and rest. Good job you guys. I know I started off. I can't keep them straight either.

We're all gonna sit on up, tried teaching someone in the opposite direction. You're like, sit on up. Legs are straight and a little bit open. What matters is if you do that, you finished even. You did want two sets, one to each side, open your legs. This is when we already did, but we're gonna do it to stretch out our back that we were talking about that that our backs are tight, so the toes are pulled back. Tailbones through the floor, powerhouses in trying to pull away from that tailbone that's reaching and crown of the head is up to the ceiling. Arms reach straight ahead again. They're not just like, hi there. They've got energy. Kay. Don't hyper.

Extend the elbows though. Lift off your seat even more and roll one vertebra at a time off of that imaginary wall, keeping your pelvis in one spot and then inhale, roll up, up, up, and exhale. Roll down, lift up, creating space between each vertebra. Very nice. Really pulling your stomach into your lower back. I love it. And then inhaling up and let's do three more. Inhale, lift up that seat. Exhale forward.

I'm going to help you stretch a little bit more here. Oh, that's nice. Yeah. And inhale, roll it up. Starting from here, here more. That's it. And two more. Inhale, lift and exhale forward. That's nice. And starting from your powerhouse. Roll back up. That's it. Good one last time. Inhale, lift off your seat. Exhale forward.

You really do want to feel like you're on a pin cushion so your bottom doesn't relax into the floor. And Inhale, rolling back up. Shoulders roll down before the head comes up. And rest. Great. We're gonna do three more exercises real fast here. We're gonna lift your bottom, um, forward a little bit so that you're more in the middle of the mat. S looks like everyone's cut of far back and lie down on your back with your head on the pillow.

So today we're just going to really quickly introduce these exercises. And on the next class we're going to go into more detail. Okay. The next one is called corkscrew. So it's like a court screw because of corkscrew. Looks like it never gains any ground.

So you're going to circle one way your legs and you'll circle the other way. So first I want you to hug your knees into your chest. Your back should feel really nice and flat. Extend both legs up to the ceiling and apply Lottie stance. Good. And again, you're turning out those barbershop pole muzzles. You're rapping, you're squeezing and keep your knees a little bit bent if you need to so that they're up more to the ceiling. Press your arms into the mat.

And I want you to let the legs lower just a couple inches away from you and use your belly to pull them back up. Try to keep them together and let them fall a little bit away and use your belly to pull them right back up. Now use your stomach to hold them up. Okay? And I want you to let them fall an inch or two to the right, and then use your obliques to pull them. Center the sides of your abdominals to the left a little bit without falling down. They're just going to the left a little bit and use the sides of your powerhouse. And one more. Set like that to the right a little bit. And then use your waist to pull them centered. Good.

And to your left a little bit and use your ways to pull them center. Now we're going to combine all of that. Go a little right, go a little down, a little to your left little, and then pull them center reverse to your left down a little bit, right and center. One more set to your right around. Remember always going in the opposite direction and center and to your left, a little down a little bit, right? And pull them center. Hug your knees and, and go ahead and sit up. That exercise gets incredibly big in range of motion.

It'll eventually be almost to the floors. You go to the side, sweeping the floor as you go around, back up to the center, and then you'll even start lifting up your back into a big, um, bay lifting your hips right over your shoulders and you'll come down through your spine and big circle now. But a lot of momentum plays part of it too. Um, as we get stronger and more advanced, you get to add all those things. What I was trying to get you to feel the most in that exercise was it's so easy to just feel these when you're doing it. And so I was just trying to get you to subtly feel that when you're pulling your legs back up, that it's your lower belly or from side to side, that it's your obliques and that'll help you get stronger for that exercise. Okay. Um, saw.

So it's just like spine stretch forward where your legs are straight and a little bit off the mat. Good. And pull your toes up to the ceiling. Nice. And now arms are reaching to the side and again, we don't just hold them up lifeless, but you want to reach for the walls? Yeah. And maybe bend your knees just a little bit, Chelsea so you can sit up taller. Yes. Perfect work.

This is a very important hipbones over sip bones. We're going to use our waist and we're going to twist to the right. Good. And exhale, reach your pinky toe. Pinky to your baby toe. There you go. Add, inhale, sit up tall and twist your waist and you're gonna reach your pinky to your opposite, maybe toe. Again, reach and inhaler. We're going to do two more sets.

Try to think about your hip bones twist and exhale as you reached for your baby toe. Don't let the opposite hip bone tilt forward and inhaling up and twisting. You reach for your opposite toe and you try to keep that hip on right over your sit bone as you stretch away from it. One more set. Inhaling up and twist and exhale. Head goes down. Yes. Inhale up, and so we should even out for this time.

We're going to twist the other side and really use your powerhouse to hold that hip bone right over that sip phone and inhaling up and relax your arms down. Great. That is going to be enough for today. Kajabi job, you guys hope you learned a lot. Good work.


Hi Monica,
I feel my neck working a lot (specifically the two large muscles running down the sides of the neck) when I raise my head/neck off the floor using my upper stomach muscles. Am I just feeling muscles I have not used before? I'm going through your beginner series and am enjoying the clear instructions I'm receving from you. Thank you.
Debra I'll forward this comment on to Monica for you...
Hi Debra,
There are many possibilities and how I wish I could be teaching you directly to truly be able to answer your question. If you have or had any previous neck injuries, you should keep your head down and supported by a pillow until you feel stronger in your Powerhouse. You can strengthen it safely with exercises such as the Roll Back. Even if you haven't had any previous neck injuries, your neck can get quickly tired and strained if your getting back into the swing of things with exercise. If this is the case, try starting with your head up, chin to chest, for a few repetitions and then lower the head while simultaneously making sure your legs are not going to low as to pull your back into an arch off the floor. You will be able to hold your chin to chest in no time at all! To be continued...
Sorry, my explanation apparently is too long and had to be cut in two messages. Finally, the way you hold your head up can greatly effect how your neck feels. If you're trying to follow the cues regarding shoulder placement, ribs in and upper stomach engaged yet are still feeling sore, try pretending you have a small lime under your chin so you don't press to hard towards your chest or strain your neck. I hope that helps! Again, I love teaching the body in front of me and wish I could be more help! Love, Monica
I used to have the same problem as Debra, I think my stomach muscles were not strong enough. I used to start the excercise with my head up and lowered it as my neck started to hurt (I also got an instant headacke if i keep my head up for too long). But now, I feel much better. My neck still hurts sometimes, but it's much much better than before. Here's a tip that I've heard that also helped me a lot: the rise of a head should come out of the shoulders trying to reach your ankles (hope you know what I mean).
Hi Monica, I am new to Pilates and was hoping to strengthen my back since I've had lower back pain over the past few months-I've started this series and I'm trying really hard to not use my lower back muscles but it's difficult not to put strain on it. Will I eventually get stronger as I keep doing the exercises?

Hi Maria, You will absolutely get stronger as you keep doing the exercises! This series moves fast though and progresses at a much faster pace then I would progress someone with a history of back pain. It is a series of 10 classes and I would definitely recommend focussing on the first class and repeating until you feel yourself getting stronger...with a little patience, believe me it will happen before you know it! Class #391 is also a good alternative for you once you feel you have mastered the first and second class of this series:)
I love the beginnerseries but this class seems to be uploaded wrong, it starts over two times so that you don't get much further then the single leg strech.
Is it a good idea to master each class before moving on to the next one in this series?
Monica, I have done Pilates on and off for several years with many instructors and I just want to say that I love your style. I feel like I have learned so much from you in the way that you explain how to sit or move so that I can feel the muscles that you have told me I should be feeling. I especially like the soup bowl concept. Thank you for helping me get stronger again!
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