Class #868

Systematic Tower

55 min - Class


Karen Sanzo uses all the pieces of the Tower in this moderately paced class. With her precise cueing, she takes you deeper into each exercise. How does that little finger affect your shoulders? Take the class to find out! You will discover or re-discover, key connections in some very traditional exercises brought alive by changing the position of the springs and the handles used. A wonderful systematic workout for the whole body. Be sure to check out the leg circles on the push-through bar.
What You'll Need: Tower

About This Video

Oct 17, 2012
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This tower workout today will utilize all the pieces of the tower. We're going to be making some key connections and some very traditional exercises. Start with your hands on that roll down bar and you'll notice that the roll down bar now is a little bit lower than usual. Kind of plug your shoulders back into their sockets. Gently pull your belly up and in and press your feet down into the mat.

Go ahead and tidy up your legs. Have your knees and your thighs and your feet and everything be touching. Take an inhale and as you exhale, just pull the bar towards your thighs. It may or may not go very far. It doesn't matter. And then release it. Inhale, push the bar towards your thighs. Exhale, scoop the belly, release the bar three more times. Inhale, push the bar slowly. Exhale, reluctantly released the bar last time. Inhale, push the bar. Slowly. Exhale, stay there. Stay there. This time, broaden the collarbones.

Let the elbows go straight, pull the belly in and then slowly release the bar in engine. Stop. Release it in inch and stop and one more inch and stop. And then all the way back. Push the bar halfway down. Is it true that you're connected through your upper chest in the back and the back of your arms? Press the bar that much so that you feel the connection through your arms.

It doesn't matter if it's all the way down or not. I just want you to feel the connection between your arms from here. Take your right leg out, long on the mat. Flex that foot up. Now tighten up your thighs. Lift your right leg up to the level of your left knee. Hold that right there.

Receive this exercise as arm work, shoulders, stability, trunk stability, and Legwork all at the same time. Inhale, lower right leg down. Touch the mat. Exhale, bring it back up. Inhale, lower the right leg down. Exhale, scoop belly. Bring it back up last time. Lower down last time. Lift the leg hold. Keep the arms. Notice your arms getting a little bit tired. Regroup the scoop in your tummy. Bend the knee in. Put the foot down. Relax the arms. Very good.

Press the arms again. Stretch the left leg out. Long. Broaden the collarbones scoop in the belly and lift that left leg up to the level of your right knee. That's it. Very good. Now regroup the center of your trunk and then inhale, lower the left leg down and then raise it up. Now keep doing that and pretend like there's a spring on this leg and push it away and then push it away. As you bring it back up. There's always just a little more work to be had and bring it back up.

Very nice. Last time down, and then last time, leg lifts up. Pause right there. Regroup the arm connection, regroup the belly connection. Nice, and then bend that knee in and then relax the arms. Interesting how the arms tie in to help make connection to the trunk. Last time, press the arms. Lift up into an articulatory bridge, so curl the bottom up all the way up. Press the arms towards the thighs. They don't have to touch the thighs, but just keep the collar bones open.

Release the arms as you. I in the spine down from the top to the bottom. Very good. Pause right there. Inhale again. Exhale, arms, press, tailbone curls. Roll the spine up the feet gently pressing down. Now stay right here. Nice knuckles, long. Really good connections. Long knuckles. Very good. Now pause right there.

Make sure your thigh crease lifts up so it's level right with those ribs. Very good. Big Inhale here. Exhale, soft. Next trunk rolls down. Spine rolls down slowly, slowly, slowly, all the way down. Very good. Last time I promise. Arms press trunk does a nice articulatory curl through the spine. Take a big inhale while you're there. Exhale, pause, and now pump the arms. Go like a hundred beats. He inhale, two, three, four, five. Blow out. Broaden color bones and in and out. Press the feet down to the mat.

Press the pelvis up in the air from the hip extensors. Good job. Two more sets, broad collar bones, no rounded shoulders. Feel your pinky finger. Press down more than your thumb. Feel how that kind of opens up the shoulders just a little bit and we'll call this the last one and then roll your trunk all the way down. All the way down, all the way down, and pause right there. Very nice. If you, how the arms again tie into the trunk. Turn yourself around, sit facing your roll down bar and let's put the roll down bar a bit higher for a very traditional roll down. So now we go to a little spinal mobility.

You agreed the previous exercise. Yeah, keep going. Yeah, I think that's good. Yeah. Right there. The previous set of exercises, we didn't have any curling up of the torso. So now we're going to start with the up phase in rollback. Let's have your legs out in front of you and to start with today, let's not have your feet on the bar. Let's just have your thighs together. So Mu move back here a little bit. So your feet are there. That's it.

And then just roll yourself down. Just take a ride with the spring and let your body help you move the spring as you roll it down. Very good. And just pause right there. See if you can pull the bar apart with your arms a little bit so that you feel that broadening through your collarbones. Just for a second here. Imagine that your finger, your pinky fingers are pressing down and your thumbs are pulling up. Can you feel how that kind of makes a little moment in your shoulder of external rotation? If you press the pinky finger down, good.

Now lift your head only and look at your toes. Just your head and then put your head back down. Keep the shoulders plastered down to the mat. Just lift the head independently. If how your trunk stays nice and flat, feel how the inner thighs stay connected and put the head back down. Sometime that head is a heavy thing. Sometimes lift the head again.

Keep the shoulders having no trunk, grounding just the head, and then put the head down and now get connected through the front of your ribs. Lift your head, curl your trunk, roll up. Very good, and we'll do just three of those nicely. Inhale, exhale. Belly pulls back and roll down these nice horizontal stripes. Get longer in the back. Very good, and then put your head down two more times. Head lifts, curl the trunk. Now the horizontal stripes get shorter in the front and longer in the back.

Very good. And then last one, press down, rolling your pelvis down, rolling your spine all the way down, and pause yourself right there. Reconnect through the arms. So pull the arms apart, broaden the collarbones up in top. Feel the pinky fingers. Press down just a little bit. Now this time kind of puff your chest a little bit and kind of like you're going to look behind you and you're going to hit your body up. So pull the arms a little bit up in the air. Hinge your torso up.

Hinged your torso up. Very good. And then let the head gently nod and then roll yourself back down. It's a gentle nod. We don't just drop the chin. Yes, nice correction. It's a gentle nod. And then pull the arms over your head a little bit. Lift the chest, and then sit yourself up in your spine. Very good.

Last time had gently nods. Belly scoops in thighs, engage. Roll yourself down. Rolling. Rolling, rolling. Rolling. Rolling. And then last time, give the elbows. Excuse me. Give the shoulders a little opening as you kind of puff the chest up and then lift your body all the way back up, all the way back up. Very good. Let's change to a pair of handles now.

So take that roll down bar off. Put some handles on those same arm springs. Okay. And you're now going to lower those arms springs down about four levels. That's right. And then you'll sit on the mat and face your springs.

[inaudible] let's go ahead and bend the knees and put your feet flat. Face your palms towards each other. Pull the elbows back. So your upper arms kind of come level with your trunk notice right here. So the elbows are going to come to this way. [inaudible] the arms or the say, move yourself back just a little bit here. There you go. So you'll notice sitting here that you're kind of engaged into your bicep.

Can you feel how you're kind of engaged in your bicep? But I want to turn the bicep off just a little bit. And so I want you to press through your pinkie finger and press down a little bit. So I don't really want you to straighten your elbow. I just want you not to over bend it. Does that make sense? Keep pressing down with your pinky finger and roll your trunk partway back until you feel a quiver in your abdomen. Keep Rolling back until you feel a quiver.

Notice how very. Notice how you want a bicep. Curl your arms, but I don't want you to Bicep curl your arms. I want you to continue to press your fingers down towards your pelvis. Good. And then scoop and regroup yourself and come back up. Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, upper arms pulled back, pinky fingers, press and down. Roll your tailbone underneath you as you roll down to the level that you feel sufficiently challenged right there. Good job. Collarbones broad pinky fingers.

Press down, belly scoops in, and then roll yourself back up with your trunk. Not by pulling your arms into a bicep curl. Can you kind of feel that differentiation? Okay, one more time. Arms press down. Tailbone lengthens under you. The front stripes get shorter. The back stripes get longer. Good. Thanks for wearing that shirt.

Hold yourself right there. Broadened. Collarbones hold yourself right there. Now lift your right knee up in the air a tad and then put it down. Lift your left knee up a tad and put it down. Repress your fingers down to the floor, curl yourself all the way back up and give yourself a little pause right there. So a very traditional roll back kind of brought a live a little bit by lowering the springs changing to handles.

We're now going to add a twist so the arms are pressing down, the pinkies are pressing down. Twist your trunk towards the right. Leave your right elbow where it is and roll halfway down to the mat. Your left arm really isn't doing a lot. It's the right arm that's a little bit more. The head is in line with the spine. Stay twisted. Hold that twist, stay twisted.

Curl up and down a little bit, three times. So work it up a little bit and then down a little bit and then up a little bit and then down a little bit. One more time up. One more time down. Hold. Return yourself to center. Sit yourself all the way back up and pause right there. Inhale, exhale, regroup. Re lengthen.

Twist your trunk to the left. As you twist to the left, the pinky finger presses down to the floor so that you get that nice awareness behind the body. Roll back a little bit, keep the head in line with the sternum, and then twist your trunk more. Very good. Now stay twisted and curl yourself up a little bit three times and then down. So it's a curling up. It's not just a hinge in yes, it's a very good curling. And then last time and then roll yourself back to center and then bring yourself all the way back up and then release the arms right there. Nice job. Take your handles off now.

And what I'd like you to do is to take your straps and put them on your, uh, arm springs here. So we're going to get rid of the handles. You're going to take the arm springs now, excuse me, the handles off and the straps on. And now we're going to do what I call a little spinal journey in the mat work it's called neck pull. So you're going to sit facing these springs going to take, these straps are going to come a little bit closer, going to put your hands in here all the way up to your arm, just like that. And you'll see in a second when you get there and they take the hands behind your head and just press your elbows back a little bit and fear how there's a little bit of tension in those springs. Can you feel that a little bit? Good.

Now go ahead and open your legs and push them against the bar. Hey dough. So it's kind of like that. So take them inside there. Take them inside the bar if you can impress out with your legs. Oftentimes we squeeze the thighs in to make an inner thigh connection, but sometimes it's fun to press out and we feel the outer hip connection. You're good with that. So holding your skull up tall and long, hitting your body back by pressing your elbows back and leaning your spine.

That cold right there. Just hold that. Ask Yourself, am I over arching my back or can I reconnect through my core? Reconnect my front ribs to my back ribs. Let all my horizontal stripes be the same on both sides. Continue to press the arms back as you sit yourself back up and we'll do three times like that. One big hinge takes you back and then exhale brings you forward. Stay scooped in the tummy. Spine isn't really moving. You're hindering from your hip axis II. Inhale back.

Nice job, and then exhale forward last time you're going to inhale back. Hold the hinge. Exhale, curl, tailbone roll down to the met. Keep pressing the arms. Keep pressing the arms. Keep pressing the arms. Keep pressing the arms. Nice job. Now lift the head first, but pull the arms back. Nice. Now Curl your trunk up tightly like you're doing neck hole on the mat and then when you get all the way up, you'll lose a little bit of tension. You'll round forward. Look underneath your thighs.

There's the neck pull portion and then stack your spine up. Pull your belly in. Stay Long. Here we go again. Inhale, hinge, keep the elbows pressing. It keeps the blades engage. Switch, exhale, switch the hinge to occur or lengthen that low spine as you roll yourself all the way back to the mat. Very good. And then head lifts, look at your piggies, keep your elbows reaching back and then tight curl like your the top of a sardine can. Rolling up, rolling up, rolling up and then lengthen up the spine and last time all on your own. Inhale. Exhale, curl head lifts, arms, press back, trunk curls as you bring yourself all the way up. Very nice and bring yourself out of there. Great job. Go ahead and take those springs completely off and we'll add the leg springs on now.

So put the leg springs at the level that you like your legs springs to be at to be sufficiently challenged. If you're relatively new, then maybe put your legs springs closer to the bottom. If you need a little more challenge, they can be a little bit higher. We've chosen the purple leg springs here, but there's probably some lighter ones as well. And we'll start with your legs in the straps lying on your back. Okay.

The supine leg work, it's always interesting. Every once in a while always have people check their springs because you want to be sure that one is not higher than the other. And that hasn't happened today. But sometimes it's a good idea to have people eyeball their own springs and for safety, you know, eyeball their own clips and everything like that. I mean, as a teacher we're always looking at that, but it's just always nice to keep everything connected and just monitor any sort of a looseness or anything like that. So we'll start this exercise with your arms down by your side and your shins. Kind of parallel to the floor and your thighs roughly and vertical.

So as you bring yourself here, let's turn those toes out and give those heels a big old squeeze. Good. Just hold that and recognize that just holding this spring in this position is work for the back of your thighs in the back of your buttocks. Can you feel that there? So from here, you're going to just do a tiny little frog out. You're not even going to straighten your legs all the way. You just going to press out a ted and then bring it in a tad.

I call this kind of milking that muscle back there, getting red that that, that thigh connection right where it meets the buttocks. Your next are soft. You're looking right up at the ceiling. Good. The important thing about this series of exercises here is that when you do the full frog out, go ahead and press out, stay out. You want to keep the heels squeezing and then when you bend the knees and come in, you're still pressing away simultaneously. So as you come in, you're still pressing away and let's leave those thighs at vertical again, Perez away. Inhale big, and then exhale, reluctantly let him come back in. Very nice. Inhale, press away and then exhale, scoop belly reluctantly.

Let him come back in. One more time. Press away. Hold them right there. Yeah, make yourself longer as if if I pulled your legs any bit more. Very good. You feel that length in your trunk happen. Now, hold that right there and turn your legs from this turnout to parallel as you come to parallel points your toes softly and think of bird feet on the reformer. Very nice. Just like that. Now from here, squeeze your knees together, Bend and straighten your knees. But don't do a frog. So you're just going to bend a little bit and then press away a little bit.

Very nice. Bend a little bit and then press away a little bit. Good, good. Press me, that's it. And then bend the knees a little bit and then press away a little bit. Press, press, press, press, press good. And then last time bend. And then last time, press away. Pause right there. Take your heels apart and your toes together, right? Gently point the toes over. Turn the toes in. More your heels out more.

Feel your thighs. Appreciate internal rotation. Give your pelvis a little check. Make sure you're still in neutral. There's a tendency to want to curl up a little bit. Make yourself longer. If I gave you a big lottery prize ticket, could you make yourself any bit longer? Good. Now, from there, prostitute legs down to the floor and then resist them as they come up. You feel your inner hamstrings.

Can you feel the inner back part of your thigh as you press down and as you lift up, we'll do this three more times. Broad collar bones, front ribs, meet the back ribs. Pelvis stays nice and neutral so that as you lower and raise the legs that pelvis is not, does not have an invitation to move. One more time, go down, stay down, pause, turn your legs from internal rotation to parallel and then turn them back out to any external rotation. And then again, bring them to parallel, turn them in and then again bring them in and turn them out. And then bend your knees all the way back in. Reluctantly pausing at 90 degrees. Recognize 90 feel that quiver and then go ahead and let your knees come in and rest right there just for a second and we'll play with that positioning just a little bit more. Okay? From here.

Now come back to your 90 degree position kind of guy. I call this kind of a loaded position. Can you kind of feel that in your thighs there? Now give your heels a nice squeeze together. Leave your left leg quiet. Take your right leg out to that same frog, but it's going by itself.

So it's zipping out straight and then it's resisting in five times a little bit quicker. Perris and pull. That's two. Here's three, and pull. Relax that Chin and neck. Here's four. And then last time five and then come in Ragiv the heels, a little squeeze and then left leg off you go five and then resist and two and reluctantly come in. Here's three. Stay long in the torso. Here's four. And then last time, five, two heels. Come in, give them a little press, whole back piece right there, connected. And then let your knees come all the way in and pause right there. How we doing?

Very good. Nice connections. Okay, one more variation on the legs. Two legs come high to the ceiling. And just to make a little note here, when the legs kick too high to the ceiling, sometimes it's more about the quadriceps. So we really have to be sure when we really do kick the legs up that we really kick them to the level that we almost feel an equal coal contraction between the back and the front. Can you kind of feel how you have to do that? If the legs get too high to the ceiling and we just kinda lock that knee out, kind of drive it with the quadriceps. So we really want to feel the back, the back of the thigh in the back of the buttocks as well. Okay. Parallel the legs.

Reach your legs out to some Magic Neri angle there where you feel sufficiently connected. Okay. May Be different for everybody. Take your right leg all the way down to the mat. Touch the mat with that right leg. Take the right leg out and leave it on the mat. Uh, bring it back in and lift it up and pause right there. Left leg all the way down. Touch the mat, take it out to the side.

Bring it back in and take it all the way up. One more time. Inhale down and out. Exhale in and up. Left leg. Inhale down and out. Exhale in and up. And then reluctantly bend the knees all the way back in. All the way back in. Very good. Good to take your legs right out of those springs.

We're going to turn to a side leg spring. Now you're going to lie on your right side. Okay. Face the window or yeah, sorry. Face this way. That's right. Sorry. And now you're going to take the spring from the back. Okay. So you're going to take the spring from the back, put it on the leg and reach that leg all the way out long. Okay, good. So you want your torso to kind of be in line with the back springs.

So you might want to take that arm and put it on that back pole if that Kinda helps you there. Just so that you're nice and long. So take that arm there and you can take it on that back pole there. There you go. Take your bottom leg a little bit forward. And and press that leg down and that lets you make that little connection. So we're going to take this spring. Incidentally, if you take your legs spring and you put it closer to the heel, it actually gets a little information kind of up through your hip.

It kind of gives that little bone a little press up to the hip. So if you take it close to your heel and then you press that leg away, can you feel how that lengthens out your waistline? Hold that leg right there so it stays in your coronal plane. So we're going to start this exercise with this leg in your coronal plane. Hold right there. Hold that right there.

Regroup that scoop of that belly. Big Inhale. Let's take the leg up and down to start with. It may not go very high. Don't let it go too high because you want to control the leg with the at the expense of arching the back or letting the ribs come out. So you want your horizontal stripes to lengthen out in the front and the back. You want those horizontal stripes to stay level.

Couple more times, up and down, and pause right there. Now you're going to take circles with the legs. Circles forward, up, back and down five times. That's it. Like you're stirring something like the leg is in mud, and I could even come by here and I could even say, push me forward and then push me up and then pull me back and push me down again. Forward. Paula, that's it. Can you feel me kind of driving that motion for you now, reverse it. Go back and push up and and down. Very good.

Two more times like that. Back End. Up and forward and down. Very good. Now your spine has come to leaning forward here. So you want to, you want your spring lower or can you bring your spine back so you're, you're in your inflection and I need your spine to go back just a little bit. There you go. That's it. Now bend the right knee into the chest, bend it, and then press it away. It's called Ben and stretch. So bend the knee in and then press it away.

Imagine you were doing one leg foot work on the reformer. Can you kind of picture that now? If you were on your back and you were doing one leg in, and then press it away two more times here, bend and then press. And then last time, Ben, last time, press flex the foot, reach through the heel, make sure it's in line, run underneath your buttocks. Hold right there. Big Inhale, big exhale.

And then bend that knee all the way in and take that spring off. Okay, lie on your back just for a second and feel how do your two legs feel? Oftentimes after we do a side leg series and make your legs go long, sometimes people lift up their head and they think that that leg is longer. Does it feel like that? Just a little bit that it always happens like that. Okay. Lie On your left side now and put the spring on your right leg.

That's it. And put that spring really close to that heel. Good. So again, from here you're reaching out long with that leg. Your front leg is forward right here and the leg is reaching long as you press back. Take, make your collarbones broaden, good, scooping in the belly, hold that leg right there. Big Inhale, big [inaudible] sail and the leg comes up and down, up and down, that right leg. And incidentally here you're doing a really good job and be mindful that when you lower that leg down, you're not letting it go past midline. We want to keep it in the coronal plane on the way up, up, up, and then pull it down. Go ahead and like, ah, you're resisting me. Pulled down.

That's it. And then push the leg up so you make it work very good. You make it work in both directions. So you're in control here. And then down, one more time up. And one more time. Down in pause, circle legs here, circle legs, five and four like I'm giving you resistance stints on all pieces of that leg. Work it, stir it two more times. Okay, and then last time, and now reverse it.

Be sure you get a little bit of flection, a little bit of extension, a little bit of circumduction in that ball and socket, hip joint, and bend and stretch. Now bend the knee in and then press it. Inhale, bend the knee. Exhale, press away. Press Away, press away. Inhale, bend the knee. I'm going to resist that for you and then exhale, press it away. Feel that connection two more times. Inhale, Ben head is looking straight ahead. NECA, soft collar bones are broad. Last time in last time away. Pause right there. Get Long. One more time, and then bend the knee in and take the leg spring off.

Okay, very nice. Roll to your back for a second. Put your feet down, your arms down by your side, and just pick yourself up into a bridge to press your feet. Your legs have been nice and strong. Now pressure yourself all the way up into the bridge. Broaden the collarbones. Just pause yourself right there. Take both your arms up in the air so that you're not going to use your arms to help you in this bridge. Palms face each other.

Just pause right there for a second. Big Inhale. As you exhale, lift the right leg up in the air. Hold for five, four, three, two, one. Take that leg down. Press right, lift, left, hamstring, cramp, pause. We'll be done with this in a second. You just hold that right there. We're almost done here. And then put that leg down and then roll your spine down and down and down.

In my mind, I'm thinking we're doing parakeets soon, so I always like to throw in a bridge every once in a while because in lift the leg up because as we do parakeet, that's oftentimes where people get a little cramps in the back of their thighs as well. So let's go ahead and set up for the push through parakeet being a part of the push through series with our feet. But we're not going to do that one first. We'll do the other ones first. So go ahead and put the push through bar on there. And what I'd like you to do is to lie underneath the bar to start with facing the seat at the head, facing the ceiling lie underneath there. And so the bar is about at chest level, shoulder level, roughly.

So go ahead and bend your knees, put your feet flat. Now do that same thing here. Pull the bar apart with your hands and then kind of press into your pinkies. You can't, when you press into your pinkies, can you kind of feel how that opens up that shoulder a little bit? It kind of gives you a little external rotation moment right there.

So just kinda pretend like you're going to pull the bar right out of those poles and feel how when you pull those bars out, it also makes a connection there underneath your trunk. Can you feel that? So protract your shoulder blades. Only let that spring kind of pull the bar up and let your shoulder blades move away from each other. And then exhale, pull the shoulder blades towards each other and then do that three more times. Inhale, exhale, pelvis neutral. Pelvic floor supports the core arms down.

Last time shoulder blades come apart pro traction, and then they return down. Hold right there. Lift your head, look at your knees, press the bar a little bit in, curl up just to tip your shoulder blades. Just curl up. Hold the quiver. Nice. Don't Tuck your bottom. Keep your pelvis long. Very good. Now how you feel that gets into your, tell me a little bit more. Continue to press up as you roll back down.

So you're reluctant, Lee, rolling down segment by segment. Very good. We'll do that two more times. Plug the shoulders in first. Lift the head, look at your knees. Pull the bar towards me. Push the bar. Excuse me, towards me as you curl up to the tips of your shoulder blades. Very good. Hold big. Inhale while you're up there. Exhale belly scoops. Roll yourself back down last time. Pull the bar apart. Push the bar towards me. Lift the head, curl the trunk.

Roll Up. Hold yourself lifted right there. Feel that quiver in the arms. Now on weight, your right arm and stay up there. Just unweighted. Just unweighted hold and then put it back down and then unweight the left arm and hold that right there and put it back down. Two arms on the bar pulling apart. Roll yourself all the way back down. Woo. Very good.

Now let's take the left arm and move it to the center of the bar. Take your right arm down by your side. Now make pretend, make, pretend, excuse me, sounded kind of weird, but what I would like you to do is make a force in this arm and pretend like the arm is pushing towards your right knee. Now lift your head and look at your knees. Curl your trunk and push the bar to the right, as if you really could, but it's a, it's not going to be pushed, but you feel the force there. And then keep pushing it and then reluctantly roll yourself back down.

You feel that rotation force, right? Okay. Again, engage the arm. Lift the head, look towards your knees. Push the bar to the right with yes, very good. And then roll down last time. Push the bar, lift the head. Press the bar towards your right knee. Big Inhale here. Exhale rolls you all the way down. Switch arms. Very good.

Right arm down by the side. Broaden the collarbones. Push that bar to the left and then lift your head. Look at your knees, curl the trunk field that you're pushing the bar more to the left and then slowly roll yourself down two more times. Inhale, lift, exhale, Curl Morin, hold pelvis days heavy belly pulls in, and then reluctantly peel yourself back down. Last time, pressed the bar to the left. Lift the head, curl the trunk. Roll yourself back up. Hold yourself right there and then unroll yourself all the way down. Very good.

Two hands back on the bar. Okay, push the bar towards me again. It's of course it's not going to move. Press your feet down. Lift up into a bridge. Hold yourself right there. Bend your elbows wide. The bar is going to come very close to your nose.

We're not going to put it over your head. You're just going to reach wide with your elbows. Now keep the bar held. Roll your spine down, iron that spine down from the top of your shoulder blades to the bottom of your shoulder blades to your rib cage, to your lower back, all the way down and release the bar up last time. Head lifts, Curl Trunk Roll Spine. Just come up partway. We're not coming all the way up. Feel that scoop right in there. Big Inhale. Exhale rolls you all the way back down.

Bend the elbows. Let the bar stay. Put elbows, broad belly in hold right there. You're still trying to pull that bar apart with your arms, but not squeeze the daylights out of it. And then let the bar come all the way back up. Very nice. Come to sitting, turn around face the other direction. Okay.

If you can sit comfortably with your legs out in front of you to start our push through series, then you do so if you've, if you feel any aggravation in your hips whatsoever, we sit on a box because the exercise right here, I don't want to make it be about your hips. I want to make it be about your spine. So if you feel like you need that box, I'm going to let you make that choice. Oftentimes with my clients, I make the choice for them. That little box right there [inaudible] because I don't want you to talk. I don't want you to say, oh, I can take it. I can take it. Yeah. That way I want you to be in a nice position so that your hips are happy, have happier hips now love, love, happy hips. Okie dokie.

So we're all vertical. Now you're going to pull the bar and you're not going to red not going around this binary thing. You're just going to recognize vertical in your spine and you're going to hold that bar about halfway down. You're going to hold that bar. That's it. You're going to hold that bar. You're going to feel how that bar ties into your core.

Can you kind of feel that? Can you feel that you either want to go up and go down and you wish I would stop talking so you could do one or the other. But what I want you to do is to feel this and appreciate this and not bypass it and then release the bar and we'll do this three more times. Pull the bar in without arching, without rounding. You're holding the spine, so I feel a little bit of, there you go.

Did you feel that little karate? Very nice correction. Beautiful job. And then release the bar. We'll do that one more time. Pull the bar down. Recognize the challenge to maintain vertical. Recognize that challenge. This is core controlled through the arms. Hold yourself right there.

Now go ahead and straighten your arms out in front of you, but still don't round your spine. Hold that. Pull the bar apart with your arms. Bend the elbows back into that spot and then press out again. Recognize that that is deep, deep, deep control. Nice you guys. As you bend and as you straighten, this is lovely. Everything is connected. Last time. Bend last time. Press hold the press.

Now take an inhale as you exhale. Spine, stretch forward from the spine, so we're not going to lean in the hips. We're going to take time to lengthen. The spine through the push through. So you're going to take this lower part of your back and bring it back. Ed's very good. Now pull the bar apart with your arms. As you return to vertical, press the bar down.

As you drive back with your spines, you're going to drive back here. And then here, and then here, recognize vertical. Bend the elbows again. Press the bar down. Round forward. [inaudible] good. Take the time. Broaden those collarbones. Very nice.

Take that time to lengthen all the way through. Very good. So you see now in here, you've really done a good job to turn the hips off and you've got this nice connection. Stay where you are. Imagine that I'm pressing on the crown of your head and resist me as you pull your belly in and then roll yourself all the way back up to vertical. All the way back up to vertical. Very good right there. Now hang onto the bar and lean yourself backwards.

Just hang onto the bar. Good. Now from here, Kinda let your buttocks Kinda come underneath you a little bit. So you're kind of in a posterior tilt. Yeah, I'm just like that. So from here I'd like you still to kind of retract your shoulder blades. There you go. That's it. And then press the bar down an inch and you're going to feel a nother connection into the front of your torso. Can you kind of feel that there a little bit?

Press down and up just 99 times. Okay. And then we should be about done with this Marquette. Just kidding. Keep pressing shoulder blade stay very nice. The head stays, everything stays put. Press down. Hold the down phase. Hold that right there. Recognize that now as a flection force in your trunk, let's take the right arm and just unweighted just on weight. It just hold it with your left arm. It's right there if you need it, you don't have to do it. It's just a thought. Good. And then switch on weight, the other arm, less neck, less shoulders, more connection through. That's beautiful.

And then two hands down and go ahead and press it all the way down and take your spine on that journey forward. Woo. When the heck was she going to let me round? Huh? So now let's have the head be in line with the spine. Very good. Pull the bar apart with the arms. Very good. And stay scooped in the belly here now for just a little bit and then take one more inhale. And then as you exhale, regroup the scoop. Unroll yourself back up.

Controlled spinal segmental mobility is really, really important there. All the way back, all the way back. Go ahead and go all the way back. That's good. Nice job. Now take the arms up in the air and you're going to start your journey. That spine forward into a hip hinge. And now you're in a lengthen spine.

So in this lengthen spine, you're neither arch nor tuck. So all this is lengthened. Your shoulder blades are in upward rotation. Arms are engaged in strong, pulling apart and give that little moment of inward with the pinkies. Can you feel how that nicely opens? Good. Now stay there for a little bit.

Big Inhale. Exhale. Think of lifting your right leg up, feel how it connects through your core without rounding anything good. And then switch. Think of lifting the left leg up. It may or may not lift, doesn't matter. It's trying to make a connection through the core while your arms are over your head. Good. Pause right there. Returned a vertical and again, go the up phase again. Take the up phase of the push through. You're in a hip hinge, so can you see here that being on a box may actually help you hip hinge a little bit polled right there.

Bring yourself back to vertical and then one more time. Go to the hip, hinge, regroup the arms. Pull up. That's very good. Did you feel your whole regroup? Nice. Nice job. And then bring yourself all the way back. Roll your spine backwards. Take the bar downwards, pressure yourself all the way through and pause right there. Leave your right arm on the push through bar.

Take your left arm out to the side with your left arm out to this side. Twist your trunk. Continue to look at your left knee so that you don't over twist your head and then twist your trunk. Keep twisting the trunk. That's it. Equal weight on both of your bottoms. Belly pulls in and twist the trunk any bit more. Hold the trunk twisting.

Long, strong arms here, fingers closed, lot palms tight, arms long. Hold yourself right there, good hold. And then put that arm down on the outside of that bar. Twist your trunk to the other side as you twist your trunk. If the shoulder bothers you, you can keep the arm low, that's fine. You can work with that arm low and you can just work with the rotation of the trunk. This is lovely. Neck position. Very good. Hold yourself right there.

So now you're twisting your spine. Stay right there. Take a big inhale. As you exhale, monitor that you're equal weights and we're not leaning, but we're twisting. Very good. And then bring yourself all the way back up. Nice job. Nice controlling movements of this fine. We'll switch now to our feet on the bar for the feet with push through.

Also called parakeets are going to come off of that, you know, push the bar all the way down in through Karokee. Oh, you know what? If we wait long enough, we'll, we'll have some various names for different exercises. Like a little bird on a purge, like a little parakeet kinda hanging on there. So you'll want to be back far enough on the mat so that your bard does not get through that danger zone. We don't want it to get through there. That's a nice safety thing to remember too.

We don't want that bar to go all the way through there. Okay? You got cramps in your calf. Okay, so think for a moment. Bird feet, you're on the reformer. If you don't know reformer exercises, then you're just going to curl your four feet right over the bar. Monitor your pelvic position that it's neutral. You can double check with yourself here. Bend the knees into about 90 degrees.

The knees will bend. Keep bending the knees, hold yourself right about there. Do you need to come down and get rid of that cramp for a little bit? You all right? Okay. Hold yourself right there and recognize here that your legs are kind of loaded. Kind of like they were on the leg springs.

Can you feel if you pause here for a second, you can kind of feel that underneath your thighs there. So we're gonna work this just a little bit. Inhale the legs, press down, and then exhale. The legs pull back in. Good. So if I gave you resistance behind your thighs, as you press down, you'd be able to feel that behind your thighs a little bit as you go out with the legs, right? And then bring the legs back in. Good. Couple more times there. Press down and then bring your legs back in. One more time. Pressing down long with the legs and leave the legs long.

So with the legs long now, can you make yourself longer? Can, yeah. Can you feel how your spine can just link then there. Now let's take your right leg up in the air. Good. If your thigh can't get to vertical, then you bend your knee. Okay. What I want you to recognize here, do you feel how much your left leg is working?

The one that's on the push through bar? Can you feel that one working? That's how hard that leg should be working during single leg circle in the mat exercise. Let's go ahead and do that exercise. You Cross your right leg over and up, three times. Collarbone, stay open, left leg and gauge maximally on that bar last time. Very nice. And then reverse it and then lower that leg all the way down. Regroup both your feet pressing and then take the other leg up, regroup, recheck in with your trunk. Lift the pelvic floor, give it a little support from the bottom, and then three times in each direction here being very mindful that your right light continues to press down as you circle the left leg.

It's interesting, isn't it? How you can just kind of feel that relationship there. Take both those legs down. Now bend the knees back in and recognize 90 90 that little table top feeling. And then from here, go ahead and let the knees come back a little bit.

You're going into that push through up so the knees are going to come back. The bar will start to push up to the ceiling and don't lift your bottom until the legs get straight and they're active. So press into your feet, curl the pelvis up, press the legs long. That's it. Keep pressing long. Your head is looking straight to the ceiling. Put the tongue on the roof of your mouth. That kind of helps a little bit there. Big Inhale there. Exhale, lie your spine back down.

As you continue to reach the feet long like your back is resting down like a Hammock, come all the way down, all the way down, all the way down. Recognize down and then bend the knees and then press your feet all the way through. Everybody gets a couple of calf cramps, foot cramps by cramps every once in a while here. And then one more time. Bend the knees in. We'll take it a little bit quicker, not rushed, just a little bit quicker. We may not have to linger there too, too long per essa. Sometimes you get those crimps. You don't have to over point the toes.

The point of your toe really comes from the front of your thigh. So that you can feel that length and out there. Hold right there. Take your right leg up in the air with the right leg to the ceiling, to the ceiling, not over your head. Just reach up to the ceiling. There you go. Now you feel awakening in the back of the left thigh, right leg down, left leg comes up. Hold the lift. Take that left leg to the ceiling. Feel how it lives your bottom all the way up, and then that light comes down.

And then take that time now to lie your spine all the way down, all the way down, all the way down. Very good. Bend the knees in. Press the bar long when it gets all the way down. Roll yourself up. Bend your knees, grab that bars safely, and you're going to roll to your tummy. Now doing swan lying on your belly. If you have any sort of shoulder problem, not worth doing the exercises.

There's lots of other places where you can get spinal extension without aggravating the shoulder. So if your shoulder is bothering you, let's just just sit this exercise out or no better yet. Don't sit it out. Put your hands underneath your armpits. I'll take the bar and you just do a regular Mat Swan. Okay, so you guys over here, press the bar apart, get the downward presser, the pinkie fee held that externally rotates these humorous bones, and then bend your elbows backwards. Press the arms forwards, press the arms down and lift your trunk up. Press the arms down, lift the trunk up. Make this connection between your thighs. Very nice. Hold. Go ahead and lift up here in the swan if you haven't already, let the shoulder blades come back. Very good. And then slowly take time to lengthen that spine all the way back down.

And then we'll do that two more times. Bend the elbows wide inner thighs attracting good. Press the arms long. Press the arms down, arch the chest, press the arms down. The bar will move towards you as you lift a little higher and you can work hard in these shoulder blades here and then lower yourself down and we'll do that one more time. Then the elbows. Good. Press the elbows straight. Arms, press down, arch the chest up the bar. Will move towards you.

You're pressing down with the arms down with the pinkies, your thinking as external rotation in the shoulders. Beautiful job. And then lie yourself all the way down. Very good. And then she's already let go of her bar. So I'll take this for you. I've got your bar, I've got it. It's always a good thing to check to make sure you've got a good, bring yourself up now. And we're going to switch to the tower.

So this is the spring loaded from the bottom, so you'll put your safety each device on first from the top. So what I'd like you to do at first here is you're in a lie on your back underneath here, but your head is going to be on the moon box. I'm going to have you take your head back just a little bit further here. [inaudible] and let's take your right leg underneath the bar and push it up. This is especially a good position to be in if somebody has really tight, tight legs right here. So let's just recognize this.

Let's take the left leg out long and let's just stay in this posture. Yes. Here we catch by surprise. We have, we have some stretching going on in the front of the left hip and we have some stretching going on in the back of the right thigh. Is that correct that everybody, some people get it in a different place. Let's flex that bottom leg and let's imagine that there's a little wall here and you're pressing this left leg into the wall so that way that gets nice and long. Very good. So hold that leg right there and let's bend and stretch it.

Now Bend it and then stretch it. Good Bend, and then press this file away. As you push the bar up, you feel that work right there. Press, press, press, press good. Three more times. Inhale, bend, exhale, press two more times. Inhale, bend and exhale. Press last time. Inhale, bend, and Exhale, press hold right there. Now regroup the left leg long and now point and flex that right leg point and flex. As you point, hold the point. Imagine you're pressing that point anymore and you feel the arch of that foot get pulled in an up that, that shinbone good. And then reach and then one more time, point. Hold that point.

Keep holding the point. Press the bar away as if you're pressing your whole leg away. Feel the wake up all the way behind that right thigh and then bend that knee in. And then switch legs. Yeah.

So again, right leg out long like you're pressing. Woo. Very. That grew and in did you feel that it's really good. Okay Ben, then stretch that thigh bend and then press away and then bend and then press away. Good. Nice alignment in the shoulders. Very good. Nice connections through your torso. And straighten one more time bend. And then one more time straightened. Pause right there. Good. Now pointing, flex your toe point and flex the toe. [inaudible] so you'll feel that's very good.

You'll feel when you point and flex the toe that it's more than just the calf. It should come all the way to the thigh when you point that. Okay, good. Couple more times. And then last time, point the toe, press the toe point, press it now, press that bar away from you, like you're trying to pull the bar of the wall. You should feel that all the way down through your calf, all the way through the back of the thigh, all the way through there. And then bend the knee all the way in and then take your leg out of there.

Now once we get those legs stretched and lengthen for the Ben and stretch, we can then move on to the full tower. But now we have to move your body out so your hands can press into the tower. Put your hands on the outside of that spring. Okay, take a second to get your feet on the tower. Okay, so hold that there. Recognize now that you are in a posterior tilt, there is no doubt about it. Let's have the legs be. Let's have the heel squeeze together for this first one and then we'll do one in parallel. So first I want you to bend the knees in.

I want you to recognize that bend your knees in as far as you can. Your buttocks will curl up. I want you to recognize this as rolling like a ball. Can you kinda hang with me that that's kind of like rolling like a ball and then press your buttocks down as the thighs. Press away and Kinda get connected through the legs like that. And then do that two more times. Inhale, bend, and then exhale, press away.

And then one more time. Inhale, bend. And then exhale. Press away. Pause. Now flexing point the three, the feet three times. So flex and 0.1 and then flex and 0.2 last time, flex and 0.3, hold the point. Take a big end. Inhale. Exhale. Tailbone curls. As you push the bar all the way up, pause yourself right there. Press your arms in to the bar. Big Inhale, keep the legs straight, roll your spine back down.

Think long spine on the reformer. If you've done that exercise, keep pressing up with the legs as you roll the spine down. When your spine gets down, bend and straighten the knees three times again. Bend and Press Bend and press. And then bend and press. Hold point and flex three times. Okay. As you point in, flex the feet, make sure that every time you point those piggies right, you get those thighs nice and engaged. One more time.

Point up. And then lengthen the legs as you engage with the back of the lot size. And then keep pressing yourself all the way up. Stay lengthen. Shouldn't feel any jamming in the neck, should all be lengthened back body. And then keep pressing your legs up. Keep pressing your arms away, the crown of your head away like a starfish in all directions. And then slowly, slowly, slowly take time to lower that spine all the way down.

And we'll do one in parallel. Close the feet just because I said we would want in parallel bend and straighten the knees. Now the knees will come a little bit closer to your chest. So bend the knees, let the buttocks curl up a little bit. Let it get a little bit of stretch in that low back. Good. And then roll your buttocks down, press your legs away, and then do that two more times. Bend the knees, let the buttock stretch just a little bit. Good.

And then roll your buttocks down. Press it way. One more time, Ben. The men, press them away. Point and flex the fee. Three times. We're hitting the home stretch. Hold the point. Engage belly curl, tailbone. Roll yourself all the way up, all the way up, all the way up. Big Inhale there. Exhale. Take the time to lengthen that spine all the way down. Lengthening through the crown of the head, through your arms, through the feet, all the way down, all the way down, all the way down.

Very good. Bend the knees. Spot your bar. The safety chain is there, and then rest yourself right there. Let's take both of your knees. Just sway them to the right a little bit. Chest days long, and then sway them to the other side and come back to center. Very good.

Alrighty. Nice job.


1 person likes this.
I really enjoyed this class! Particularly Karens creative and accurate cueing. Wish I could take one of her classes for now am happy
1 person likes this.
Loved this! Easy to understand. All clients would enjoy.
Great class! Karen, you are fantastic.
2 people like this.
What a lovely exploration of the towe--thank you so much! Beautifully inspiring:)
1 person likes this.
Nice one Karen! You bring such pizazz to the workouts! thank you!
Oh PA! After taking Kristi's awesome combo class yesterday, I was just going to watch this class and take it tomorrow. After watching it, I immediately restarted it to take it!! It just looked too yummy! So glad I took it. You never disappoint. Thank you Karen. I look forward to taking this again (and your new mat class):)
1 person likes this.
Anne-Marie ~ Keep your eye out for something very special from Karen that will be going up tomorrow ;)
1 person likes this.
Yay! I can't wait!! She's fantastic:)
3 people like this.
What a lovely teacher!
A fantastic pilates workout!
Tzipi dudovich
2 people like this.
I would,love to take a class from her. She uses so many of the same cues I do and some great new ones. Great validation and fun workout.
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