Hello, I'm Helen Herdman and this afternoon we're going to do some exercises on one of my favorite pieces of equipment. In my studios it's called, it's the slope, we call it the slope or the incline and what it is, it's just a regular bed which has been raised at one end. So you allow people with a slightly tighter backs to be able to get a little more movement or who can't really get working into the abdominals too with the slope will help them to come forward a little more so you can work from both ends. You can work with your head up the slope and you can work with it down the slope. So, but we're going to first just do a few simple exercises with the head down the slope to allow the back to relax and be a little more stretched out before we start. Amy is going to help me with this and I wanted to to begin with is to live with her head down the bottom towards the bottom of the slope. Now the slope is not too high, so you not, you're not going to slip off. If anybody feels uncomfortable in this position that they may slide, just place a non-slip mat under their lower back.
So what we do on here, and also the same as where if you're lying on the flat, make sure the head is in the right position. And occasionally you may want to put a small pad under the head. So the muscles of the neck and throat onto t, right. So to start with, we're going to have the same semi supine position we use in other parts of the technique that the legs are at 90 degrees. The feet are firmly placed on the ground who think of the foot as a triangle.
So from the front of the heel is the apex and across the metatarsal is the base. So you feel that throughout the whole exercise, the pelvis is done. Again, I think of it as another triangle from the coccsyx up to the top ridge of the pelvis is the base. I'm sorry. Uh, the Cox is the apex and the top Ridge of the pelvis is the base and the ribs are very wide. So we're just going to do some very easy breathing exercises before we start. So Amy, I want you to take a deep breath in. Now as you breathe out, just Nario waste the oil. You're putting a tight belt around your waist as you do it, and you breathe in and it's from the hip bones to the lower ribs.
You just feel that it's closing in. It's appealing of that sort of wrapping around. If you imagine a pair of hands from the back coming around towards your waist, it gets the feeling of working the muscles. So take a breath in through your nose and then breathe out through the mouth. And I want you to take a good deep breath.
Allow the diaphragm to drop as you're breathing and don't think of restricting the breath up into the top of the, of the diaphragm, the top of the lungs. And one more. Okay. Now from there we're going to do lift the knees up just to get the lower back working. So on here. Amy, take hold of your knees from the outside. Just very gently. Take a breath in. Now as you breathe out, just very gently pull your left knee towards you without moving the lower back and relaxed breathing in. Pull your left knee towards you and relax. And now as you pull both knees towards, you're going to allow the lower back to curl off to get an already a nice stretch through the lumbar spine. Elbows a little wider so you can keep the back open and then relax back down.
Breathing in now, right leg pull down, keeping the tailbone down, breathing in and left. Allow the breath to go out very slowly. Breathe in and now this isn't even slow on you. Breathe out, bring the knees and slowly curl the tailbone off the ground and relax. Let's do that one more time. So right leg or left, it doesn't matter. Paul, breathing out and then relaxed. Breathing in all the time, making sure this is in a good, comfortable position and back and Narberth together. Just almost as if you're peeling the spine away from the bed and gravity's helping this because Amy's lying down the slope.
It's much easier to get the curve in the lower back and just keep your hand that your thighs, they're then going to place a baby arc on the slope. And Amy's going to put her feet on there. The same position as when she had her feet flat. And from this position we'll do a pelvic tilt. So we take a breath in. Now on the outward breath, you stabilize by getting this feeling of narrowing around the waist and slowly curl your tailbone off.
Thinking of what was happening when you were pulling both knees towards your chest, come up a little higher, up, a little higher to there. Hold that position, breathing in and then ignore your back. And as you breathe out, just draw the stomach muscles down. So you're using the front of the abdominals to take you down so you're not thinking of Vertebra by Vertebra. Breathe in here and we'll try a little higher this time.
Breathe out and then curl up. Breathe in. And I just sink down from the front of the torso right down to the right to the pubic bone and a nice one more time. Breathe in here. Breathe out and curl. Hold it. That breathing in. Just imagine, it's like a hammock that the something sitting in the hammock like a water or a stone which is pulling you down, pulling down, so it's a hollowing out of the abdominal wall.
As you go down and relax, if someone has quite a tight lower back, this really helps them to get the feeling of the movement that we need with the pelvic curl. Could you turn around and the other direction? Now we're going to do the same thing with this. We're going to again, place the feet onto the barrel, arms by the sides. Now we're going to go a little higher on this. We take a breath in. Then as we breathe out, [inaudible] the pelvis up almost onto the shoulder blades, keeping the curl as we breathe in, bringing your arms up to the ceiling with the palm, spacing each other. Now as you breathe out, you start rolling the torso down, but stretching your fingertips to the ceiling so the shoulder blades come away from the bed. So you get a stretch through the upper torso all the way down.
Now you draw the scapular back into place and then bring your arms down and breathe out. As you curl up, slowly bring your arms up, breathing in. Now reach the fingertips to the ceiling. As you start curling down through the sternum, through the upper abdominals, middle and low, right down to the end. Pull down, pull down, pull down a little more. That's it. And then bring your arms back to the side.
We'll just add one more element to that. Curl up, breathing out as you go up. Um, is that breathing in? Reach the fingertips. Breathe out and curl down. Pulling stretch, stretch, stretch. I showed the blades down this time. As you breathe in, take your arms back around and into a wide circle back and then start. What I want you to try and do is there's no pauses for the, for the breath you breathe out as you curl up. Breathe in as your arms. Go Up to the ceiling, Rodin, breathing out and then breathe in and around. Ready to start again. Okay, let's have one with the freedom of the movement. So breathe out as you curl up.
That's nice. Arms up, breathing in readout and called on so the breath has to be a little slower on this cause it has a little more work to do. And then as you breathe in, arms around back and up you go again. Breathing out. So we get a rhythm of the movement rather than stopping each time. Last one and stretch, pull up the arms as you pull down the abdominals and arms back and around.
Nice. So you're getting the feeling of the arms going this way, but they've stomach muscles going that way so you get much more work through your center. Don't worry. I quite like, I want the shoulders to come away to get the feeling of stretching into this part of your back. Because once you've done the stretch, you place the shoulders back into position. And also with your feet on this. I mean you can use a box or anything or a yoga block, but it just helps you to raise that gap and little more stretch into your lower back. From here, let's do some very gentle chestnuts. So place your hands behind your head that I want the elbows to be within the peripheral vision. Don't have them too far back because they need to be in this position.
And I want the head to be heavy. Press down onto the, onto the hands, so as if your skull is really heavy. So we take a breath in. Now as you breathe out, you draw in and lift Justin and forward leading the head onto your hands. Just drawing the scapular down as you come up and lift and lift and lift, and then relax. Back Down, breathing in and breathe out. Stabilize. And Dad, just remember this brings together first before you grow up and breathe out as you come up and breathe in to go down and, and then she's good Emmy's doing that. So well I'm gonna make it more difficult.
So breathe out as you come up. Lovely. Now as you breathe in, just slide your hands away from your head and reach towards your knees. Come up a little higher. Hold it there. Place your hands back behind your head and down you go. So Carl up pulling in through here. As you come up, think of this shorter based sliding down the back as you come, which will help you to get the curve.
So the sliding down through here as you come up, breathe in and stretch, reach up a little higher. Place your hands back behind the head and then down as you take your arms back on the [inaudible] rather rather than just bring them quite close to you rather than taking up and back. Can you try one more like that. So this, the arms stay quite close to the body as you do it. And when you come up with stay there, cause there's something else going to happen. Now reach your arms away. That's nice. Now stay there. Now keep reaching.
Draw the scapula down. Now from there as you breathe that, let's do a toe dip. Lift your right knee towards the chest and come to meet it. And then take it back down. Breathe again. Breathe out and left the and place your hands back behind your head. Good. And then dad, so we've added a toe dip. One more time. Breathe out and curl forward. Breathe in and stretch your arms. Long, long arms, shoulder blades down and right knee lift.
Keep the heel quite low and then back and lift. And then down. Hands back behind your head. And then dad, very nice, very nice. Okay. That feeling, drawing the shoulder blades down as you curve forward, it really helps you to get the curve right. We're going to do a slight, um, oblique curl, which is that same position, hands behind your head. Now I want Amy to go in that direction. She has excuse going towards her right side.
So the left hand is coming away from the head and she's going to bend her elbow and make a fist. The fist is going to turn away from her. She keeps the fist inline with the breastbone all the way through. And I'm going to make it a little more difficult by just relaxing me. I'm going to take this away and we're going to have this time, we're going to have the feet together and the knees. So we've got this position. Now instead of lifting and turning, she's going to come straight into the diagonal lift.
So we take a deep breath in and now as we breathe out, we pull together here and diagonally, lift and up and up and up and then center. And then go down and breathe out diagonally, lift and center, and then dad and to the other side. Let's change [inaudible]. So remember it's important that this is here and the arm stays. What it does is that it stabilizes the shoulder blade so you're not sliding forward to get a false reading of the turn.
It keeps the blade on the in the right position for the back. Breathe in all the ties stabilized first and then lift, turn a little more and center and, and rich and uh, and good. Very nice. We're going to do a progression now, but don't think you have to do this straight away. I'm just showing you how you can progress through the exercise. This one is the same exercise, but we're adding one more element to it.
Let's do the first side. What we're going to do, we're going to curl forward. Once we get into the position, the knees are going to go into the in the opposite direction. So take a deep breath and stabilize first. Now lift into the curl as, go straight into the curl. First at the diagonal, straight into the diagonal and into the diagonal. Now from there, she's going to slowly take the knees and lift a little more into the diagnosis that needs go away. Now the head and knees come back into the center and then down and breathe out. Stabilize and lift and knees and lift your sternum.
A little more center and then dad change over. I always say to stabilize whatever your movement you're gonna make, you start by rethinking what's happening in the torso and the lower torso. So deep breath in. Breathe out and lift diagonally and then take it over. Lift a little more center and then dad and lift and knees over and center and dad. Very nice, good, very good.
And relax the diag. When you go into the oblique, hurl, remember, it's not just a roll over some, you know, you try and get your shoulder blade off so you're going out into the diagonal rather than just rolling over on your side. Okay? Okay. We're going to play with, this is called a smart bell and we're going to use it to just help to work into the shoulder blades. Now the action for this is we start and you hold it in this position. So they, the curved bit is facing you and the action is you rotate smart bell, but at the same time, drawing the scapular down, you're feeling the back opening out, but keeping your elbows slightly bent, you don't go into a straight position. It's into this, except on this first exercise, we will straighten it.
So what we're going to do, we're going to repeat the pelvic tilt we did earlier, but using this as a prop. So we start in this position with the arms straight, then you turn the uh, the, and as you breathe out, you take the belt back over your head and let the pelvis at the same time. So you stretch. Then you breathe in and rich away as much as possible. And then slowly keeping the reach start rolling down, keeping the reach with the bell as you go away. So it's a two way stretch, putting in and putting in more, putting in more, putting in more, all the way that elongating through the whole torso. Now Bend your elbows, rotate the bell and stretch it forward.
So breathe out, rotate and lift the pelvis and take the bell back and reach a just feel as being stretched away and as slowly rolled back down, stretched on Bushwick. Curl through here. Co. Pull in more. Pull in more, pull in more, pull in more. That's good. And rotate back and done all the time. When Amy does this, as she rose down, she's thinking of what's happening in the front of the torso, not the back that's up. Two more like that. And rotate. Breathe out and curl. Breathe in and lift and stretch and stretch and stretch and breathe out.
Keep the stretch going, pulling tool in, bringing him over here and bend your Elbers and bring Dan and rich. If you'll notice when she stretches back, her shoulders are going almost above her ears and this what I want. I want to show this to be able to go as high as possible for the stretch and then the come down as you pull a bell through. So you go getting the rotation in the shoulder joints. Let's have one more line. Go ahead and rotate and lift and stretch.
Breathe in and stretch away. Breathing hard and then slowly pull out, pull down, pull down, pull down, pulling it in, pulling it in, putting it a little more and bend and then come back. Very nice. Okay, that's good. I'm going to give, I feel a little guilty so I'm going to give emulates bit of arrest. Could you stand up [inaudible]? Sure. Just going to demonstrate one that we're going to do another pelvic tilt. So you had your same position with your feet as we've always done in this position, you have the bell with the curb resting, almost resting on your, your upper torso. You take a breath in. Then as you breathe out, you rotate and come forward into a chest lift.
To the keeping your elbows bent and the back wide and then you breathe out and rotate back. And we do the same thing to the obliques. You rotate and rich to the side and then come back at that to the other side. Okay. Well it does, it makes, keeps the, the upper back open and keeps the chest open and gives you a much more power to do the lift. So take your breath in. Yeah. As you breathe out and reach forward, keeping your elbows bent and drawing the shoulder blades down and then relax back down. Breathing in and breathe out. Keep your elbows bent, Amy, all the time. So you're in that position.
So you get this feeling of width across the [inaudible] back and then back and I to the, to the right and breathe out. That's it. Sent it with the bell and rotate and go back down and to the left. And remember to stabilize through here before you start at 50 of wrapping around 10 a little more and back center and then dad and to the right center. And um, and last one to the left. [inaudible] both arms bent at the same time center. And then when, when you send her Ra, if you're in this position, you go here, think of not, rather than just bringing your shoulders around, it's from the waistline as much as possible.
We're going to add another element on to this. As Amy curls forward, she's going to simultaneously slide her leg away and go into Dorsal flection. So same breathing pattern breathing first, breathe out, car forward, and slide the leg away. Now hold the lift and slowly slide your leg back and then relax back down and the left leg and [inaudible] pull back the stomach muscles. Now lift your, slide your knee up and now go to the diagonal to your right and slide the left leg down to slide the opposite leg as you go to the right and stretch. Keep that lift and bring your knee back.
Bring the Deepak first, then you sent it from the waist. Yeah, that's it. And then dad and to the right and stabilize and stretch.
You can also add different elements to this. We'll do one where we're going to go to the right first and the left leg is at, so you go to the right and slide the left leg. Now she's going to bring her left leg up, bend the knee up. Now reach for towards the knee and go to the other side and take the right leg down. Uh, bend the knee up, come through center, and then dad, so you can play with that. You can do four or five to get the feeling of working into the waist.
That bringing the leg up first, then center to the other side and leg up center, and then down. Just going to do a little more on the obliques here. Come forward, we're going to try coming a little higher up. That's it. And I'll keep that height and just go from side to side as far as you can and side and side. Keep the lift as you come through center.
Just reestablish your lift as you come through. Center
Can you turn your arm that way? So you're reaching through what I want. I'm trying to get in this position. There's a tendency just to lie on that. Um, I want the feeling of working through the shoulder joint and stretching your arm away as you do it. Okay. And quite often if you do that, it gets you working into this part of your back a little more. So by just flexing the wrist and pushing away, you feel more stable on, on the upper right side.
And with this in front of your sternum. Just easy fingertips. I like the fingertips like this positions cause if you put the heel of the hand down, there's a tendency to curl forward. So just on the fingertips, imagine you're squeezing something gently between the legs. Take a breath, take a breath in and breathe out and relax. Now as you breathe in, leave the top leg left, leaving it on the bottom leg. It's the top leg, doesn't do any work.
It's the bottom leg that does the lift. And at the same time bring your head up a little and lift the legs and Elongate to the top of the head and through your feet and then relax back down, breathing out and breathe in and reach.
So breathe in and then breathe out and relax. Just too, I like to just the breadth first to get the body in the right place and I breathe in and lift and elongate and then breathe out. As you go down
Okay. And put your arms by your sides and bring her and just allow the chest to just your nose hovering from there. So we're lying in prone position. The legs can be slightly turned out on this, whichever is comfortable. And we're going to again, think of the lift from this part of the back. So you take a breath in. And as you breathe out, you float your arms up on the inward breath and you draw the scapula down and lift the breastbone to keep the head bay long and then rich away and rotate the arms and stretch your fingertips towards your heels.
And then relax back down. Breathing in, which is a preparation to start straight away out with your arms in with lifting the breast bone and drawing the scapula down, out and stretch.
Now take them to the tee position and rotate. When you get to the t position, take them above your head and lift the whole upper torso forward and lifted. Lift and lift. Keep the neck very long. Bring your arms back to the tee position. Rotate in the joint and then relax back down. Okay, so breathe in. Arms Up, shoulder blades down, breastbone, lifted. Stretch your arms and rotate to get the feeling of working down into the sides a little more. Take your arms out to the side, rotate, reach up, lift the sternum a little higher. Lift the sternum lift, lift, lift, lift.
Bring your arms back to the tee position. Rotate and then go. Dad, place your hands by your sides. Sit Up and stretch your back out and sit down towards your heels and stretch and roll over on your back. Again,
Elbows up, shoulders down. And let's have the single leg stretch. Breathe, breathe into change and stretch and change and reach. Keep the upper torso lifted and stretch and stretch and stretch and stretch and rest for a minute. And he's doing that very nicely. She's getting that nice pull into the back of the thighs, but I want to change it to the abdominals so the knees are not going to come any closer to her sternum than there. Okay, so you're getting started that position. Take the legs away, which will bring you up. That's nice. Slide your hands to your ankles. Now have your head try and get your legs there.
Now keep this lifted. So here and change.
And you get much more work into the center. So now we're going to do this double leg stretch. We're going to do it on two counts first. So come forward into the position. Slide your hands down to your ankles. Now I want you to go and one so they're on the count. Okay, so you're going to breathe in or out.
I don't really mind on this to start whichever you prefer. [inaudible] and stretch and then back and rich and back. Rich back. Lovely, rich, back, rich and back. Excellent. That is on two counts that we were going to do it on four counts. Okay, so come forward. Slide your hands down, let your knees up just a little bit. Keep your upper torso there.
As you breathe in, you're going to stretch your arms and legs. Flex and turnout. Turn their arms, breathe out and take your arms way back. Breathe in and come up and reach up rich, rich, rich. Bend your knees and take hold of your ankles. Keep the flex and turnout until you come back.
So breathe in and stretch up. Flex and turnout. Breathe out. Breathe in our rich and point, bend your knees and then down and one. Whoops. Flex and turnout, two three point and four try and keep the upper torso still breathe in. Flex and turnout, breathe out, breathe in. And then out. Nice.
One more time and in back to around 3.4 and then down. Okay. And rest, if you'll notice I asked Amy to turn out on this one. Outward rotation. If you go into that position, there's a tendency for the legs to be too heavy that you take. The tendency is to overuse the quads to kept, keep the legs in place and get too much work into the hip flexors. So if you rotate outwards, you get the inside your thighs, hamstrings, and the glutes helping you to support the position, which gives you a much, much stronger position and just rest.
How are you feeling? Okay, so sitting up no, and sitting a little higher up onto this. Stretch your back enough and the, that's to the spine twist. I'll take your arms a little farther back so you can nurse it. And I really feel it from the waist and turn
Inhale. Okay, good set. You're going to inhale going abroad. Then as you out hand, you're going to come up into this position and inhale and turn a little more. Exhale and come to the center and then start again. Okay, so turn and now lift your arms up, drawing the shoulder blades down and turn a little more center. Arms out to the side and inhale as your arms go up. Lift your torso up, lift, lift, lift, lift, lift, turn a little more. Turn, turn, turn, turn, center.
And then down to the right. Gain and turn. God, I'm so up field, shoulder blade, slide down as your obstacle up and turn a little more [inaudible]. Nice Comm Center and then down and draw up through the stomach muscles as you stretch up, turn a little more, more, more, more, more, more center and I'm very nice and reach forward. Just relax. That is not the traditional spine twist that I liked. The little, the extra it gives you just that, that feeling when you lift your arms, you pull the body up out of the hips, which is good.
Feel, feel it at the lower back. Going into my hand as you go back. So that's it. That's nice and up and just really pulled back into my hand as you stretch. Rich.
Lift up and center and reach. Nice. So it's a means to an end. It's, it's to help to get a little more stretch. And then as the, as you get, as you are comfortable with stretching over you, then you stopped doing it. Okay. So let's turn to the other side.
The upper back comes forward and you pause there focusing on just below the navel. And then as you breathe out, you lift from the paws up, up, up, up, up, and then stretch over, shoulders down, and as you stretch, so they show to stay down. So you stretch the top of the spine over. You. Breathe in and rotate the bell and then breathe out and slide back down and take it back. So bring your arms up. Oh, keep it. I'm sorry. That way just bring it up straight up, upper back and head forward. Breathing in, pause. And now bend your elbows outwards, a little and a lift into the curve.
Just keeping it here. Lift, that's it. And now stretch it forward and stretch one, two, three. Breathe in and slowly go back down. Rotating the barrel as it goes back behind. Said bring your arms up, upper back and head forward with the end. Now you pause here to really feel where you're going to lift from and a bend your elbows and lift, pulling in, pulling in, pulling in and rotate and stretch over.
Breathe in and slowly done. I think it's important to get that pause so you can focus on the area that you could lift from, so you're lifting from the abdominals rather than using the back muscles. Let's have one more like that. Elbows bent and a lift. Lift, lift, lift, putting in, putting it in, putting it in, putting in, putting in, putting in more and turn and stretch. Very nice and rich. Stay there for a second. What you can do in this, we were coming up flexed, which is good, but as you stretch over, stretch your feet and reach. There's more over the feet.
Flex as you rotate the bell and then go back. Let's do one more like that. Okay. And arms up and rotate. Uh, so you've rotated. Bend your elbows and come up and then stretch over. Point your feet and reach one, two, three. Breathe in and slowly go back down and back.
Nice. Okay. Hold on to the, um, the handles. Yeah. And do they feel all right on your shoulders though? Yeah. So it's a two. If it's too tight in the shoulders, you can hold onto the corners. Okay. In the corner person. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So bend your knees, lift your knees, Cross your ankles, and the knees are going to be inline with the, the shoulders here. You take a breath in. Then as you breathe out, you draw the start muscles and then just place your knee, keep the heels down, and place your knees onto your arms there.
Hold that breathing in. And then slowly breathe out
Okay. Really. Okay. So here we go. To go over, take a breath and now breathe out. As you go over and come back. Now let's just do a simple one first. Okay. I'm changing this slightly. We're gonna go over, turned out. Okay.
And you can go over as far as you can. Now from here, you're going to turn the legs parallel and you're going to face slightly bend your knees. But keep your feet soft. Now the legs go very heavy. Now roll the spine down, feeling the heaviness of the legs as you go down, and it'll just work. Articulate the spine a little more and then you stretch out. You can go lower, turned out and then slowly curl over.
Turn the legs parallel, bend the knees and let the legs go very heavy and just slowly roll down by bending the knees like this and letting the legs go heavy, you get much more work through the back.
Excellent. Okay. Just wrestling. No. What about a controlled balance? What about it? What about, okay, I'm going to stand in this position as you do it just as a safety thing. Okay.
And one more time and over and one leg up. Hips. Keep the hips square and like don and lift [inaudible] and roll down.
Bring your legs over and I'll take them. And you're going to stretch up. Turn the legs parallel. I'm going to yoga to go down, but I'm going to gently give pressure to keep them. Watch you see how your hips are going, a little to your left. Make it go into the right. Now I've just allow me to resist a little. So I push you down and we just feel each part of the spine going down and then take the turn out the legs and go a little. Uh, and then we'd have to bring them over.
Breathe in and reach up. And now from here, what I'm doing here is asking Amy to resist a little and I'm giving the pressure down so we can articulate the spine much more. And take the legs down and we're going to try something on this. So we're going to come over stretch now what I'm going to ask you to do as we wrote on, and she gets onto her shoulder blades, she's going to start lifting her upper torso, stretching the arms away, and rolling the upper torso up as I push her down. So called on. Now start lifting your upper torso. Stretch your arms away. Resist a little more. Curl forward. Cold for cold, for cold, for cold forward.
Cold forward. That's nice. Wow. Head down, arms down and legs. Wow. Do you want to try? And one more time like that, right? So Carla over and rich up and a little resistance. Steadily calm down. That's taught. Cutting your head forward. Now reach your arms away, pull in the stomach muscles more. Head forward, upper Tossa, forward curl, curl cause stomach muscles in a little more. That's nice and relaxed and bend your knees.
Okay. And relax. Amy. Thank you very much. That's been fantastic.