Class #769

Versatile Ladder Barrel

35 min - Class


Michael King brings us our first Ladder Barrel class. This versatile piece of equipment is the perfect place to work on your flexibility and mobility and Michael makes sure your abdominals and hips get their fair share of work too. Michael offers us sequences that increase in intensity and complexity. You can do each variation, or stick with the one that works best for you. You are sure to feel longer and taller after this class.
What You'll Need: Ladder Barrel

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Michael King and I'm here today. We're going to do some exercises with a lot about the, a lot about is a great piece of equipment. It's not the most expensive of the applauded equipment series but it's very versatile. What are we focusing on today is working some exercises out, which is the focus is mainly mobility, flexibility. If you're tight, if you spend a lot of time working on strength and maybe a lot of times sitting, cause that's a lot of my clients that come to me have a lot of tension in the upper body. Some of the exercises today are going to be great for that. We were really working on that. Um, mobility in lengthening out. We're going to start first with your hands on the bar and put one leg behind you on the lighter bell. Now of course the letter ball does adjust.

So if you have somebody that if you are shorter or if you are an instructor with somebody a little bit shorter that you can always adjust the light about closer or further away. Also sometimes you can buy a platform which goes on the lot. About which again raises up the client a little bit. It gives you extra height, but we gonna be using the floor today. And what I want to do first of all is just holding that, but begin to start pushing your foot back against a lot of hours and get some tension. We're focusing here on the hip flexors and quadriceps. So in here I want you to just do a little bit of a tilt with that pelvis and just just five times using your breath. Take a breath in. As you breathe out, close a ribcage, fire up your glutes, really squeeze those glutes and have that feeling that you'll tilting the pelvis forward. But also lengthen the spine.

Take a breath in and breathing out. So this is what we're going to start just focusing on. Just opening out maybe a little bit more of a gentle breath. Just breathing out, gentle breath, tilting forward, and let go. Now we're going to add to this. So with your arm, lift the hand up, so the same arm as leg back on the [inaudible]. And now with this arm, you're going to Lenten the arm straight and lift the chest to the ceiling. As you breathe out, lift up. Now keep the neck on the spine. Take a breath in, lift up, and again, breathing out. Try and have the feeding, the reaching away longer each time.

As you're getting that length of the front of the body, take a breath in and breathing out. Reach and length and stretch out. Hang onto the center. Make sure that powerhouse, the center is fired up given that lumber spine as much support as you can now begin to intensify. There's a little bit by bending the knee as you go back, so a little plea as you go back, bend the knee, reach and stretch just to get an extra little stretch. Take a breath in. Again, breathing out, watch the back of the neck, the neck supported, lengthen and coming out two more times. Breathing in and breathing out.

Feel the ribcage closed so you're really getting the stretch in that upper body and the thoracic. And of course that very important hip flexor and quadricep is. You're reaching out. Now moving on for this. So I'm building the movement. We're going to do a variation which I call around the world. From here, go down to the floor, circle back ritual right around. Take your breath in and reverse and come back a lens and a half each time you do it. Try and feel your stretching further each way. So add the further stretch further behind. Reach around, take a breath in and breathing out [inaudible] and come around five times. Good.

You can take a little bit more intensity into the movement by adding the knee bend, other than please [inaudible] as you reach around [inaudible] one last time with the in our stretch. Lengthen, take a breath in with the hour length and stretch and come back up and let's change and do that on the other side. It's always important for me to use both legs. Stretch both sides. No, just do focus on one. Keep that balance with the body. Although you might notice there's one size, always tighter. We always have a dominant side, so one side is going to fit a little bit easier and one size a little bit more challenging. So the staff is over the prep. Take a breath in as you breathe out, length in the spine, tilt the pelvis under. That's it. Nice posterior tilt. So you're using those glutes tilting under length and out.

Take a breath in and breathing out. Closed the rib cage and that of course you can do more than five but as we're building the movement today into a big movement, we're doing a building, just is the sequencing five of each, but 10 if you have the time. One last time. Breathing in and breathing out. Fire that glute. Now this time we're going to add the arm, same arm as leg back. Lengthen the arms straight, lift up and reach right back as you're going out through the window, take a breath in and breathe out. Close and stretch.

Reaching out. Earlier we saw the dull things jumping out aside the job. Dolphins. Today we're having the best time playing. So feel like you want to reach out the window and go join them. Good. It can lengthen out. It helped that. Always use visualization.

It's the best thing when you're coming to do an exercise, keep this arm along and really as I'm holding the light about it, it's not going to slip or slide reach and use that tension. Push and lengthen out and come back out. One last time. We think it breathing out. Come back out and now around the world. So reach down to the floor, circle a round, lengthen and come back up. Reach way, opposite direction a Anthon and come back again. Circle gets a little bigger each time. Keep checking your body, check the shoulders, check the center and lengthen out the next time.

Let's add that knee bend. I really feel like you're using the floor. Push down on the floor. Use the stability of the floor to give you extra push almost so that using oppositional forces lengthen out the lantern. Out. Reach come around last two within a really out one last time. The biggest shit and the best reach back. Well, Anthony Circle, I come up excellent. So let's move on now and come around to this side of the line about that.

This is a great exercise, especially if you've got tight hamstrings. If your hamstrings are tight, start with the leg bent on top of the light bell. Again, you might need an extra platform. You can use a small block, maybe even a yoga walk if they're stable or even a small box. Now using this as a dynamic stretch, lift the arms up, take a breath in and breathing out. Reach forward and lengthen over the leg. Curl back up, stack the spine up, lengthen up and again we the reaching forward and reaching out.

Take a breath in and breathing out. Lengthen out. So this is really good. As I say, especially if you've got a tight, lower back and tight hamstrings. Having the knee bent is going to really fight. Target the back of the hamstrings and also that lumber. That's great. Now we can progress this to take the legs straight a little bit further back.

So once you get a little bit by flow flexibility or even if you have that flexibility and you want to focus a little bit more here, have the leg straight and reach forward, curl back up and we think in [inaudible] yes, it's a little bit of a balance challenge on this one may show every time you're using that core, that center to stabilize. As you come back up, I really think about articulating the spine. One more time. Breathing in, breathing out. I lift up. Now from here we're going to take a little bit of a sore variation diagonally. Cross the arm, put the hand on top of the ladder bell. Use the top of the hand, push on the latter bell and then rotate towards the back as you breathe out and stretch forward and then come back up with the end up to the ceiling and do the same side again. Reaching out, Leech and lifting up now. Good. Same as we did with the hamstrings. You can bring the hand forward and then curl back up and lift up and again over the leg, keeping that pelvis stable, using the center, breathing in and breathing out, reaching out. One more time. Lift up and stretch out.

Come up to this time and let's change legs. So start again with the knee bent. Come close to the loader bow. Put the leg over, lifting up and again about five times long stretch. Really have that feeling that you're stretching further each time. Reaching out towards the boss. We the in Eh breathing out so that whole back kinetic chain through the lumber, through the hamstrings, curling and rolling up a length and a half of course, choose your level rather than an extended leg.

If you really feel this is targeting where you're tight, do 10 in the same position. Don't go to the next level automatically until you really feel that you're ready. When you are ready that have that top leg Paolo. Check the pelvis is stable. Lift up and again, stretching forward and carving up the sensation of the visual I want to use for here. Is that almost like there's a ball on top of the thigh, you're lifting up and stretching over that ball as you're reaching out and lifting up. Shoulders stable. Rolling. [inaudible] one more time and let, that was the rib cage key. That ribcage closed.

Lifting up now diagonally over reach the hand and stretch and I really get the stability first with the hand. Get a little rotation, so open that shoulder back and use the hand on the latter ballots to help you get that rotation a little bit more, but trying to keep that pelvis stable so all the work is happening in the torso and our roll up. Lift the arm up and stretch forward. Trying to reach that place each time. Coe back out, breathing in and breathing out. Length and out. Stretch long. Letting always like to remind you about those blood has principles flowing, movement control, length and out precision. Just think about where the shoulders are each time. Close that ribcage lengthen out.

One last time we the in and out and reaching over the leg. Curl back up and come back. Lifting the leg off. Come back round. Hit now and then let's come back. Absolutely, absolutely. Look Tall. I'm getting shorter. Now here's a great piriformis stretch. We're going to put one leg on top. Of course, this is not that great if you have any niche, she's pleased.

Be careful in any joint issues. Here is quite extreme. Now, if possible, have the foot on the top of the ladder about, and now we're going to start just as we just did with the hamstring. He lift up and stretch over five times. Reaching out and lengthening out. Now the leg that's on the floor, push down into that heel. As you're stretching out, stretch out, roll up through the spine. Take a breath in. As you're breathing out a hands it out.

Feel the shoulders melt down. So once you get into the movement sequence, bringing in a few more details. Connect the center to roll back up. Shoulder. Stabilize long spine, long neck and reaching out. Come back up and now a little rotation. Turn towards the leg, legs on top of the load bell, and then with this hand, reach back and try and feel it. As you're holding that position, you're lifting the chest up to the ceiling and lengthen back. Reach 10 around again where the end, and again, rotate and lift up so the hand on the leg on the chair, on the latter barrel can help turn a little bit more. See little bit out with that. Yeah, we're the end. And again, breathing out.

Open the chest, reach the hand through line from the spy. One more time. Breathing in and breathing out. Lengthen and stretch and come back up. And let's change other sides. It should feel good. All of this releasing and stretching and mobility work opens up that tension.

Now lift up and stretching forward, stretching out. Now shoulders roll down and come back out. Now whether you do this as the end of your program as a release or whether you want to do it as almost like a preparation really is up to you. The main thing is make sure that your body's not too cold, that you have done something before you do this. Quite deep stretching. Well lengthen and reach out long spine. And of course the old depends where you are. If you're in a places warm, then your body is always gonna be warm up before we even start.

But sometimes if you're in more winter based places, your body needs a little bit more of a Walmart. Before we start some of this deep stretching now coming up and now add a rotation. So turn, use the hand lift up, push down into the floor. And now from here, lift the chest up to the ceiling and lift up using the hand on the ladder with the air and breathing out. Stretch everything out. If anything, also feel like you're pushing down on the top of the ladder, but also push down here as you're turning. Use that tension and add a little bit more. Lift into the rib cage, open up and then come back really in and really had to one last time. Long neck, shoulder stable. Lift up the chest a little bit. Push down on here. Yes. And come back and release down. Yeah, it is hard. It's hard work. I'm stretching.

Now from here we're to focus a little bit more thoracic, upper body. I want you to come on top of the ladder bell on the sideways. Put the topic in front and the underneath leg behind. So again, it depends on your height. Sometimes the floor, it's fine. You want your hip quite stable on the side of the ladder barrel. Now again, it's a little bit of a circular movement. You can start with one arm, so this arm can be free. This is the arms going to circle, circled, round behind and come back up and reverse out. So I've found this is really good for that big size muscle.

That muscle just wants to do so much work in blaze, hang on onto the center and they have to up breathing in and breathing out. Reach back, pushing the feet down to the floor and lengthen out. Adding a little more weight to the movement. Now using both. So as you circle, reach around, lengthen and come back up. Breathing in and breathing out. I love that. Lengthen further each time. Almost like a drawing, a circle around the room. Lift up again, breathing in and breathing out. Circle around, push forward and down and down to the floor. Push down to the floor, Leech, come back, touch the window behind. [inaudible] one last time.

Breathing in and breathing out. Well, I have them circle and come back, but let's do the other side. So again, really if you're tight in this upper back here in the thoracic area, what we're calling these days is if you've got a tablet, a posture going on, if your head is forward a lot, a lot of tension. Our thoracic right here, really where the lumber thoracic junction meet with the lumber and the thoracic, the upper back meet is where, that's where a lot of the tension is held. So this exercise is really good just to get them mobility. Open up that joint, reaching around, pushing down length and breathing in. Breathing out. Now, even though that pelvis is going to move, try and keep it as stable as possible so you have a feeling, almost like someone's like me. He's holding your waist as you're doing it. So push down around and come up again. Breathe in, breathe out the lengthen. Use the breath, use the center.

Let's try both hands on the next time we do around circle and come back again down to the floor. Pelvis stable. Reach around [inaudible] again, but in and breathing out. Push the feet into the latter. Power. Yeah, that stretch. Breathing in out. Good. Lift up. One more time. Circle around a lengthen and come back out.

Good. Excellent background. This side. Next exercise. You're going to hop on top. We're going to lay on the side in a sideline position with your hands. One Hand on top, one hand under the bar underneath. Now first of all, we're going to just hang out. Yes. Now your arms are straight. Now let the head be in the best possible position. Resting on the arms.

First of all organs is just five breaths. Letting the weight of the legs just stretch you down towards the ground. Now what I want you to focus on the here with this exercise is the rib cage is closed, the centers connected, and each time you breathe out, almost like you're melting over the line about you're stretching further towards the ground. Five breaths. Just holding that position. Of course you're gripping the bar, but not too much without a raise. That blood pressure. We want to just keep the grip just for security and again, close in that rib cage. Now let's add movement to this.

You're gonna take the legs into a scissors movement, so one leg forward, one leg back, and then change over. Now with this movement to the legs, focus on pushing down to the floor so that we don't want to lift the legs up to do it. We want the legs as low as they can. Almost. You're trying to touch the floor with your feet as you're moving from side to side with the out. Take a breath in and breathing out. So use that breath as a tool. Use the movement and the breath working together. Hold that ribcage, shoulder stable, pushing out longer each time, pushing and reaching.

And now bring the legs back together and now just lift the legs up and then push the legs back down again. Push down again, lift the legs up, touch my hand, and then push the legs down. Pushed at center, lift up, push down towards the ground. Two more times. Lifting, push down, one less time, but up and lowering down and release and just slide off the lot about. Definitely we're going to have to do another slide. One is completely tilted, so again the same about a repetition of the other side. Good, so set up. So pelvis stacked shorter Stang so we're in a nice alignment the back as much as possible. Keep that alignment of the spine, close that ribcage and breathe out. So at the feeding is the sensation is the almost too close in the ribcage, like a little waistcoat that the waist code is closing.

Breathing in and as you're breathing out you're lengthening further towards the ground. Breathing in and breathing out. The neck is relaxed as possible. If you do feel is holding too much stress in your neck, you can always put a towel underneath the arm between the arm and the head just to give it a little bit more comfort as you're holding that stretch. And then we're going to take it into the scissors movement pushing out, but there's a downward scissors split pushing out. Good, pushing out, lengthen, taking breath in with the app, with the in weeding out, push back, hold that center length and add reach and push.

In this studio series of exit exercises, again, you don't have to do all of these movements. You can choose the movements that you can alternate on different days, but really you've got such richness with this technique and so many different movements. You have to find the movements which really fit your body, that really you need a new logo is a body's changing, get tight as and dies because of running or other activities so it doesn't, we need a little bit more stretching at some periods of the lens and had and now bring the legs together and we're going to finish with the legs lifting up and then lowering the legs down, ribcage closed, pushing out the answer. I think again, lengthen out. Reach again as you go down and make it the emphasis on low. So lifting up, think of almost the easy part. Lifting up, easy, pushing down hard as you go down. So that focus is down, up. I'm pushing down low and lengthening out. Two more times.

Lift and push, letting up, push down and release and let the hands come off. Then come back out. The next exercise we're going to do is the rollover. Now this might feel very scary at the beginning because, but with the hands here, there's no way that you can drop down between the ladder bell and the and the ladder. So start sitting up again, depending on arm length, you might have to adjust your lot about. Now start with hands wide and the head should be touching a lot about so it come as far back as you can. Now I'm going to give it a little bit of help. First holding the legs. Now from here, you use the center and slowly roll over and just flex the feet and put the feet back down onto the top ladder. Now starting first in, now this is where it feels slightly scary as they say, but as long as you've got the arms pushing away long, and as long as the legs are straight, there's no way that you would drop.

Now getting used to the stretch. We're gonna add a little bit of movement. Flexing these. Bend the knees slightly. We'll begin. And as you breathe out, stretch the legs out. Law. So sir, through the heel and also to that tailbone, feel that sacred, pushing away and those knees. Breathing in and breathing out. Lengthen and stretch. Push out again. Bend the knees please. [inaudible] and stretching anthem, reaching out again. Check the shoulders, a stable sliding down your back. One more time. Breathe in and breathing out. Push out. Now holding this, we're going to do a little variation of walking.

So one knee is going to bend and our push away and change to the other side. Now the pelvis will move, but think about that leg and the heel reaching out. Ah, we do another great stretch. If you're tight in the lumber, tight in the hamstrings, reaching out. Good. Now bring the legs back straight. Now from here, one leg is going to lift up to the ceiling and push that leg away from you. And then bring the leg back down. Touch the ball first, and then lift the other leg out. So this is a safe way of changing legs.

So brewing the leg down, breathing in and breathing out, push away and and a half. Again, reaching up. I know now when you have the confidence and you want to progress this, then we can start changing in the middle, pushing out, flex and push out. Now this leg is lengthening up but also away from you keep legs as Paolo as you can. Lift up and change and push out. Reaching away. Long, long, long stretch. Breathing in, breathing out. Lengthen out with the n [inaudible] right away. That way, yeah, as much as you can, but make this heel that you're pushing that heel out a long split. God, you are great flexibility. So for you, you can take that leg a little bit further, but it's more of a length into the heel. And now let's take it into a little bit of a bicycle variation.

So the lake comes in, bend, push out and stretch and push out. Bend the knee, come back in, bicycle in, push and stretch. We will notice about all of the plotters. Equipment is often, many of the same movements are done as a mat, as on each piece of equipment. But of course each piece of equipment, the focus changes slightly and the benefits change slightly. Here you've got the nice support for the thoracic. Of course, with the bicycle, you're getting that nice little lengthening through that hip flexor, through the front of the body and with the foot on the bar, you're getting also the nice stretch with the hamstring.

So it feels very different to how when we do the bicycle on the mat, the benefits are lengthening out. Push. And now here, bring both legs back down. Let's bring the body back up. Bend the knees down and slowly come back up and roll off. Okay. The next exercise we're going to do is the clam. This is a bit of fun. I want you to come and sit on the side so your hips on the top and your hand is on the top of the ladder. Now heels, pelvis, shoulders in a straight line.

Now you can take this hand up and lift the arm away from you. Five of those obliques are your shoulders, a stable and close that with a cage. Now point the feet and have your big toes together. Now the first part of this movement is the clam. So you're going to open the top leg out at the same time.

Push this underneath like downwards and then close the legs together. So the pelvis is stable. Shoulders breathing out and breathing in, pushing away. Again, watch the neck placement, watch the spine, lengthen out, keep the shoulder stable as you're reaching out. Now this time we're going to lift up and as I'm here, out of split scissors.

So reach out, open and then come back in, bend the knees and then close back down. So first of all, just a splits. Push out, reaching out a little bit, like what we did earlier without exercise. Think downwards. So as you do the lengthening, push the legs down towards the floor, lifting up. You can always check. You're not overusing your hands. So as you push away, try and take this hand off almost. So you're in a balance. Good. And then come back in and then close back.

Cause it's very easy to overuse that shoulder tension. Well, length and out. Come back and back down again. It breathing out. Lengthen, fire up. And the last final little icing on the cake with this one is going to lift up open and split as I'm here. Scissors is the legs crossed and then back out, come back in and bend the knees and close back down again. Lift open out. So Anson up, push away and come back in and down.

This is also an exercise we do on the reformer, just a two more but on the reformer the focus is a little bit more upper body using the ropes on the ladder. Bauer, what's great is this a real good balance. So you've got the nice work going on right through those, a lateral flexors, those obliques. One last time, lift up, reach away, cross lift out. Now hold it there. Just balance, lift up, hold the balance, hold the balance, good balance and the legs in and closed down and let's do the other side. Reaching out. So here again, exactly. You did say you wanted warm up. We are warming up, but definitely to fire up those obliques. Now remember shoulder, pelvis and heels in a straight line. Watch the head alignment. Feel like water's running out the ears so you're not holding that water in. No. Call the center and just open it close first.

This is another great one as well we do in a math class in the math class is a little bit more oblique based here. You've got all that nice balance going on, reaching out, lift at this time and let's add the split. So push away, reaching down to the ground. Come back in and close back up, reaching out. Come back in and back. Rib Cage close. Push away long. Come back and back down. Reaching out. Lengthen long spine.

So each time I think about stretching to the top of the spine, shoulders and then down. Lift up and now here we go. With the splits. Reach out. Now use the center, bring the legs in, push back, come back in and closed. Quite a dynamic movement. Lift, stretch, cross out, lift in and back. Three more. Three the best ever. The best ones reach. Come back in and down. Root Cage, good lift, stretch, cross up and and back. One less time. Push out, reach, cross. And just we did on the other side.

Hold that there. Now take it into a balance. Shoulder stable. Take a breath in and really like it and close back. Excellent. And this is the reward. This is a great stretch for the end of the session. So what I want to do is are you gonna lay over face down so you're laying in the center of the ladder bell and just let your legs hang.

So literally you're going to do nothing. You're going to hag. Now this is if you've, if you are tight in the thoracic and you feel that this is very difficult almost to breathe in this position, it's just because your ribcage is resting on the lad about. If you need to sit up, go ahead and sit up, take a couple of breasts and come back down. Literally you're relaxing. Everything is giving into the breath. Now if you have an instructor of you aren't instructed, you want to take it a little bit further. Then with your hands, I'm going to just gently push down on the glute and diagonally over to the scapular breathing in and breathing out to the other side.

Be careful for any kind of spinal issue. If you're going to get a prolapsed disc, don't stay too long cause this going to overstretch you. Sometimes I would say probably by two minutes to build up over time, maybe five minutes maximum. Breathing in and breathing out length and out. This is a really good as a deep stretch, just letting the body release out and the bowel shape of the bowel is the best for this. I've tried to repeat it, reproduce this when I don't have a lot of our, you can do something very similar on a stability ball but then you have to worry about the balance. Whereas on here on a stable surface you can just let the body stretch pushing out. Now if you're, if you or your client is tight, then sometimes they say pushing down on that glute is where the tension is often held. Now be gentle with that area cause again, sometimes they can be quite a little bit of a shock to the area, but just gently breathing out, pushing down.

Many of us hold tension in very different areas and I say normally if we've got tension through the back tension to the hamstrings and gluten. If your glutes are strong and you're using them a lot, which is very easy to do in [inaudible], then sometimes again, a little bit of release here, just pushing on that and lengthening out. Now coming up, be careful. What I want you to do is just come back, slide, put the feet on the floor, rest for a second with the feet on the floor, so give your spine a little bit of chance just to come back to normal. After that stretching, let's say there's no such thing as too much, but there's what you need to be aware of is what is enough at that moment. As I say, if you stay there for a long time and you're tight in this area, then suddenly if you come up it can contract and tighten up.

Now using your hands on the top of the barrel. Slowly roll back, come up to standing, lifting up, bring your spine, long, shoulders down, ribcage. And we've done some few exercises today on mobility and flexibility. Thank you. You are absolutely taller. It's great. Thank you. Lizzie.


2 people like this.
Wonderful! I feel taller just watching this! More Michael and more Ladder Barrel please!
Nice work enjoyed watching!
Love the ladder barrel. Thanks for including!! Can't wait to try this format out.
Fabulous! I've been waiting for a good ladder barrel class. I haven't felt this good in weeks. Please do more, Michael!
1 person likes this.
What a wonderful stretch workout. Now I will use the ladder barrel much more. Thank you for the creative ideas.
Excellent, thank you! Gave me the courage to try being upside down on my own.
Looove to have a ladder barrel class!
Careful Tracy. There's no harm in practicing with a friend/husband/fellow Pilates instructor to spot you ... but if that isn't available, keep your arms straight!!!
Ohhh, my stiff body. This ladder barrel sequence was heavenly,... learned some new stuff. Thank you, thank you!!!!
Karen Sanzo
Fun, engaging and creative. Thank you.
1-10 of 20

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin