Class #810

Mat Workout

20 min - Class
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Description

Come on board for a shoulder experience with Sarah. Explore how simply moving your bones can change how you support yourself on your arms. Enjoy!
What You'll Need: Mat, Theraband

About This Video

Aug 14, 2012
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Transcript

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All right. Today I'd like to, um, give you an experience. We're going to focus on shoulders, a little bit of arm work, um, do kind of a short yet effective workout. Um, but I would like you to sort of see how your body feels before we work the shoulders in the way that I want you to experience them and then see how it feels after. So in order to do that, I'd like you to take, I have like a medium strength diamond band here or theraband, so it's not super heavy, but it's also not super light. So I'm just going to kind of put it out of the way for now. And then I'm going to stand on the back edge of my mat. I'm going to start today with my feet together and I want to sort of press my inner thighs together, connecting with my abdominals, my core, my Holby, and take a few breaths opening through the chest and shoulders.

Feel the length through the crown of your head. Feel energy through your body. See if you can press those inner thighs together a little bit, almost as if you're trying to pull the floor together, the mat together. Lift your big toes for a moment and then let them relax down. Feel that you have enough weight in the balls of your feet. Inhale here with an exhale. Peel forward, articulating through your back one vertebra at a time, keeping your legs powerful and strong. Allow your hands to come to the floor.

Hopefully you're able to do that. Bend your knees for me one time and then straighten your knees, keeping weight through the balls of the feet. Take a breath here and then articulate up through your back. Now if you find it too challenging to keep the legs together as you do this, roll up, feel free to part the legs. That would be fine. Otherwise, we're just working a little bit more on balance in a different way in hell here, and with an exhale, peel forward one vertebrae at a time. Hello, your arms to Dango, your abdominals to stay active, and then again, hopefully your hands can touch the floor. If that doesn't suit you, you could put your hands on your thighs to modify this.

Bend your knees to straighten. Again, connecting with the inner thighs as well as the inner and outer core. Articulate up through your back. I find the challenge of bringing the legs close together. This kind of fun, a little bit different balance. And one last time before we add on. So we're going to peel down one vertebra at a time, enjoying a nice slow pace to start.

Place your hands on the floor or the mat and then walk your hands out a bit and come to your hands and knees for me. So with your knees underneath your hips and your hands underneath your shoulders, I'd like you to round through the lower part of your spine, enjoying a little bit of a cat stretch and then return to a neutral position and then arc or arch the upper part of your spine and enjoying that openness through your chest. And then return to neutral. And again roundings for the low back. Be sensitive to the shins, being heavy on the Mat and return to neutral and marking the upper back chest does it. So I'm arching to come to neutral, just one last time, rounding through the low back. Use An exhale. That's nice. And then return to a neutral position and find extension.

Loosening up the spine there and returned to neutral. So I'm going to walk forward on my mat just a little to make sure I have enough room to extend my legs behind me. I'd like you to extend one leg back. I extend the other leg back and just be in plank for a moment. Just feel it now if you're not comfortable moving into a small pushup this early on, you don't need to, but the experience I want to have needs you to feel what it feels like to be in plank here. And if you want to try bending the elbows maybe two times, just kind of see what your body feels like. Maybe three just sense. And then here we're going to lower our knees. Keep the toes tucked, shift your hips up to the ceiling, take a nice stretch through those hamstrings, walk your hands back to your feet and then roll up through the back.

So the first part of the experience is, is not using the band quite yet. So I'm going to face face forward so you can see. And I want you to feel that your under arms are relaxed, your chest is open. So I'm keeping my shoulder blade stable on the back of my body and I'm just turning my palms to face down, organizing my forearms and hands and palms face that. So what I'm looking for is straight wrist, straight hands, kind of an open, relaxed symmetry and palms that I'm also looking for the upper arms to not go in and out.

So since yours and be mindful that you're keeping them still as you oil the forearms, for lack of a better way of putting it. And then we'll do just one more like that. And notice if you have a place where it's a little bit sticky, you can work it. Sometimes it's a little bit harder to to uh, I'm uh, supinate and sometimes a little harder to pronate. So palms facing up is the harder for some people and sometimes it's harder to straighten out here and both arms might be different. So palms are facing up.

Now I want you to keep your shoulder blade back on the back of your body and extend your right arm out. Go ahead and take your other hand around and hold on. So I want you to hold the arms still keeping the external rotators a little bit active and just turn your palm down, turn your palm back up and turn your palm down. So again, you're using your hand to assist, not moving the upper arm, just spiraling at the forearm. Let's just do it one more time and just notice where you're a little sticky and allow the arm to float back in. So we'll do the other side. So you're floating the arm up, hopefully keeping the upper trapezius of out of the equation, holding your, your upper arm with your other hand. You're going to turn your palm down and turn your palm up, oiling up the forearms is the way I'll cue this often.

So hopefully the upper arm is staying stable more with the muscles in the arm. Then with the, with the hand supporting, but it's okay to use the hand, especially if you find it difficult to do and then relax back down. So if you're successful there, you're going to want to take your arms up again. Well even if you're not successful, you're going to give it a shot for me, right? Turn your palms down, keeping your um, upper arms stable and lengthen through the elbows. Turn the palms up, keeping the upper arm stable. So be mindful that you've not shifted backward flaring your ribs or putting a kink in your low spine. You want to keep that center of gravity consistent, if you will. The center of gravity gravity has changed a little bit, but you want to keep your core consistent with the change is probably a better way to say it. So just one more time.

I want you to go ahead and rotate your palms to face one another. Now here, you're simply opening your arms out to the side and stretching outward on either end and gently come back in. Once again, you need to be mindful that you're holding your arms up with your arms, not with your mech neck muscles up here and slide back in one last time. We're gonna open the arms out to the side and stay here and I want you to reach outward. If you're quite flexible, it's okay to go further back, but make sure your shoulders are not reacting to that. Instead, you've still got that open feeling through the front and through the back of the body. Now here I want you to do the same thing with the forearms. Place the palms down, organizing your pieces and place the palms up. Keep your upper arms basically where they are. Placed the palms down and place the palms up.

Good one last time. We're going to place the arms down there. We're turning the palms down. Now, stay there. Now without going into the upper trapezius muscles, we're going to go into a little internal rotation of your upper arm. That means you're spiraling your arm bone in a little. I think somebody feels that right? Reach that open, open, open feelings through the hands and uninspiring.

So I'm back to a more neutral position. Now I want to spiral my palms up and go into external rotation and feel sensation is reaching outward more than anything else. And then I'm going to unwind my shoulders and rotate my palms down. I'm going to internally rotate just slightly my upper arm bones, just kind of greasing things up or oiling things up there with the energy out, trying to avoid upper trapezius here. And then we're going to unspeakable that one. Last time the palms rotate up, we maximize the external rotation.

And then we're going to go ahead and release that. So now I'd like you to step back on the back edge of your mat again. And I just want you to sense what your plank position feels like, how your body feels. So we take an exhale, we peel down one vertebra at a time, walk out to a play and see if you can simply feel lighter, more efficient, more effective. So since that support that you might've, um, gained from waking up the muscles of the forearm and the shoulder, try maybe a mini pushup or two, that may not be the perfect way for you to begin your day, but it should be okay if your arms are warm from here, I want you to go ahead and lift your hips, walk your hands back to your feet, and then we're going to round and roll up to a standing position again. So we're gonna play a little bit more with some shoulder work.

And this is where I'd like you to take your band. So I've got a medium strength theraband or Dinah band and he's sort of elastic band will do. And once again, I'd like you to stand if you want to challenge yourself today, you can go ahead and bring your legs all the way together, which is nice, but you certainly could do this sitting as well. Um, you could also have your feet slightly parted. So here I want to feel that same sensation of my scapular reaching down on the back of my body. My abdominal is nice and supported. Um, and then here I'm going to just, uh, I've got the hat, the band just resting over my arms. I'll give it a little grip and I'm just going into a slight bit of external rotation and a release. I'm going to take my hands a little wider, a slight bit of external rotation, waking up the back of the body and release. Now what I'm looking for is to not feel a lot of tension growing in the underarms here, but to actually wake up the muscles that rotate the shoulders and also the um, lower mid trapezius muscles.

So try not to squeeze your shoulder blades together instead as you go into that externally rotated position, can you spread your scapula a little bit without elevating them? And then we come back in and we'll do that a few more times. Just opening up. Feel the upper back there and release and again, opening up here and release. When I say opening up, I'm opening up through the front of the body and then gently coming back in. And one last time opening a little bit wider and a little deeper. I'm going to stretch my arms towards straight, draw my elbows in and unwind.

I'm externally rotating. First I'm stir etching my arms towards straight. I'm drawing my elbows in and I'm controlling. Open to external rotation. Stay active through the core, reach out, draw the elbows in and one last time please. X Him. Inhale would be fine and an exhale to draw in and we'll go ahead and release that.

So hold your band with a little wider than shoulder width and I want the band to stay kind of taught but not stretched. So here we'll inhale, take the arms up overhead, stretch the band the slightest bit externally, rotate slightly as you bend your elbows and try to go behind your head. Reach back up and we come back down. And again we're going to to reach back up, keeping a little bit of tension. Stretch the band so slightly as you go behind you reached back up and come down. Just one more like that. Please. Taking the arms up, stretch the band, finding a little more external rotation and reach up and gently come down.

Widen your grip slightly. We inhale to come overhead, keeping the abdominals active. Exhale, taking a nice stretch through the shoulders as you go behind you. And again, inhale to come up. Exhale to pass through the stretch and come all the way down to touch your thighs and we go again. Enjoy that glorious stretch. Be Mindful of staying connected to the core. Try not to break it, the ribs and again, up and around. I just love this shoulder stretch.

Last one before we add on or move on, I should say up and over, a nice big stretch. And again, up and over. So making a slight adjustment here. You would, I'd like you to, I'm probably about the same hold you had is gonna work maybe a little wider. I want you to take your arms up, stretch your arms straight and let that band stay stretched behind your shoulders here. So we're reaching straight out with the arms. Now at this point I tend to hold with my thumb just because then I don't grip my fingers, but you're welcome to wrap your hands around if this doesn't suit you. So the arms are stretching out.

We're going to keep the pelvis facing forward and rotation and back to center and rotate. So I want you to keep thinking about openings through the chest, but try to avoid the band rolling around too much on the back of your body. It should stay energized here and again, try to feel the upper back. Well act very active, I should say as well as the abdominals alive too. And one more here. Here, pause. We're going to inhale, reach up and over going just off the midline there and gently come back to center and inhale up and over. Oops. Lost my band position up and over. Keep the arms stretch wide and back. And just two more like that.

Up and over and pull back to center and up and over. And just one more time each side here and we'll go ahead and gently release that. So working with the shoulders and the upper back, just a slight bit more here. I'm actually gonna double my band over for the moment. It wouldn't, it's not necessary that you do that. And I'm going to take, um, just about shoulder with a teeny bit wider here just so I have a little bit more tension and I'm exhale to press the arms down. Open the chest as you do slightly externally.

Rotate your shoulders and lift the sternum. Finding upper back extension, shoulders drawing down. Release that the arms are going to foot. Come forward and up. Be Mindful that the arms are lifting with the arms, not with the upper trapezius. Exhale the arms. Press into your legs and externally rotate in how? Lift the sternum open through the chest and shoulders. Come back to neutral position. Allow the arms to lift up.

Let's just do two more there. Exhale to press down into the legs, pulling back on that band a little bit. Externally, rotate the arms, lift the sternum, sporadic, the collarbone return and the arms lift up and exhale to press down. Chest is open. Rolling those shoulders a little bit together. Think more of the rear underarms in the shoulders. Come back to center and I need one more. I know I said that was the last one, but your teacher says, mm hmm. Opening through the chest, feeling the upper back working and gently come up and the arms are going to come up. So we're going to go ahead and, um, put the band down for a moment. I'm just gonna put it by my side and step back one last time and we're just a little bit in the support position.

So exhale to peel forward again, rolling forward one vertebra at a time. Walk out to a plank. You can go ahead and lower your knees down for a moment. Keep the toes tuck cause we're gonna come back to that plank. And just to say in just a moment here, and I want you to play a little bit with your pelvis position. So supporting with your core, your back muscles are very involved, especially in your upper back.

I'd like you to just round your low back a little bit, enjoying enjoying the flection of the spine, returned to neutral, and then make sure that you've got that, that openness right where you're, um, where your leg meets your glute there. So you're not still holding too much of a tuck right there. So just feel that real, I don't want you to go to a hyperextension of the spine, but I just want you to feel like an openness through the the joint. I'm not sure if that's the best cue round through your low back. Allow your head to react.

Return to neutral and I guess what I'm thinking here is I'm actually thinking of my tail being pulled straight back as opposed to up so straight back there to get just a little bit more openness through my hip joint, the back of my hip joint and then round through the low back. Allow the head to react. I'm actually thinking about that little extra openness through my hip joint and now I'm going to solidify that. Keep the first finger and thumb well connected to the mat as you slide one leg back, slide the other leg back and hold there for a moment in a nice plank position. Shift forward onto your tip toes.

Bend your elbows just a little bit and press back up. Staying connected to your abs. Bend your elbows more and press back up and we'll do two more push ups. Just like that. Feeling those arms nice and strong. We hope and last time all the way back up.

And then we're going to lower all the way down to the floor and finish with some fantastic chest opening back extension. UNCURL your toes. Allow your legs to be heavy. Okay. Place your hands so that they're outside of your shoulders. Now I'm on a pretty narrow mat, so most of us are gonna feel more comfortable with your hands. A little wider, however I want them connected. So if your mat is raised in narrow, then have them connected to something. Allow your head to rest down for a few moments.

I want you to first lengthen through your legs for me if possible, bring them together so they're glued together. Okay? The legs are light and Airy, but the pelvis is heavy, so feel the pubic bone and the hip bones heavy on the mat. Now I want you to continue thinking heavy here. So you want to feel the bottoms of the ribs heavy, the sternum heavy, even the upper part of the sternum below the collarbones gets heavy for me. Staying connected to the ABS. Allow the head to float off.

Allow your legs to float off if that suits you, and then feel how you're going to lift the head back a little bit. But keep the chest heavy on the mat. Draw your shoulders back into your back pockets and pull forward a little bit. Now keep the uh, lower part of the sternum down, but try to lift the upper parts. We're trying to really find that reverse articulation for the upper spine heaviness.

Use your arms to pull you forward just a little bit and then feel the lowest rib connected. But trying to create as much extension through that thoracic spine as possible. And we'll hold there for a moment. Gently release your hands if you can. Place your hands back down. Intensify by sinking heavier that light through the head.

Release your hands. Turn your palms to face up. Turn your palms to face down. Turn your palms to face up. Turn your palms to face down, pull forward and up. Chest is open and gently lower down. Tuck your toes under. Push yourselves to your hands and knees. Sit back on your feet and be in the child's pose for a moment. Can uncheck your toes or keeps them tucked.

Knowing that if you keep them tucked you're going to get a nice stretch through those um, Achilles tendons, calf muscles, untacking them will allow you to relax a little deeper there into the back. It depends on what you want to focus on. So one last time we'll check those toes under. Bring the hands underneath your shoulders, push yourselves to your feet, relax your head, neck and shoulders and lets roll up through your back. Take a nice big breath. Inhaling up and as you exhale open your chest, arms heavy by yourself. I don't have heavy is the word I want to use in how to reach up.

Feel length through the crown of the head. But as your arms come down feel your shoulder blades kind of sinking down a little bit but length through the crown of the head. So your hands are heavy. But nothing else. And one last time, please inhale up and exhale the arms float. I'm thank you for playing. [inaudible].

Comments

2 people like this.
We experience so much shoulder problems around us... this class is really appropriate for a precise shoulder placement and a safe mobility.
Thank you !
2 people like this.
Love this Sarah! The theraband & Shoulders, one of my favorite props for warm up prior to reformer class! Thank you Sarah! This is going on my "Favorites" on my playlist! J.
Well done Sarah!
So pleased you are enjoying the shoulder experience! Judy, as you know, I love working with the shoulders! So important and often misunderstood.
1 person likes this.
Super, super, super! Thank you and thank you for your lovely cuing too.
1 person likes this.
Please let this be the beginning of many videos that focus on issues in the shoulder and neck!! I've been wanting to see something like this on PA for a couple of years now. Thanks Sarah!
1 person likes this.
Thanks Sarah, i really like the 'before and after' to gain a real tangible sense of improvement in the shoulders. enjoyed this class and think these shorter sessions that focus on one area are great!
1 person likes this.
Love it, just what I need. Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Great way to wake up my arms, wow! loved it!!!
1 person likes this.
Great shoulder opener. Thanks
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