- Learn the breakdown for each exercise and sequence
- Learn teaching techniques that will help you in a group class setting
- Learn modifications that can be used in each sequence that will still maintain the flow of the class
Hi, I'm Courtney Miller and welcome to my radical reformer workshop. The workshop is a combination of some of my favorite exercises that you'll see when you take a live two day course. With me, I love having a props, have a reoccurring theme and who's this down or those movements together and come up. The workshop has an awesome manual that will take you through every movement step by step so you can take each failed notes should have unlimited options here. Good thing we did that lounge series right, and the upper body because now she knows how to stabilize his shoulder Vertel. Whether you're programming for yourself, a grip class for your client, you're going to find content within this workshop that will be a clickable to your needs and you'll notice that the content is fusion base. You might notice a little bit of fitness approach, a little bit of the Yoga influence.
This is really what my workshops are all about. It's, it's taking those [inaudible] principles of movement and utilizing them in a way that can be very memorable, meaningful to your client, but also inspire you as the instructor so you have new tools in your little tool box. Okay.
Hi everybody and hi everybody at home. I'm Courtney Miller and I'm here today on floods anytime to do something different. I've actually never done this, um, on the flood is anytime we're going to be doing a workshop today. So I'm, I travel and I teach workshops all over the world. Um, and I wanted to bring you guys a little sample of 'em all the cool flows and combinations that I'm teaching when I travel. Um, you guys all have a manual. So take a look at the manual. The workshop today is called a radical reformer. I think that's a Rad name. Um, so the radical reformers, reformer base flows. Each sequence has a number of exercises within it.
So what you'll notice in the manual is that you'll see a bunch of little pictures. Feel free to take notes on each image. Of course we'll cover some things that were not illustrated as well too. And then on the reverse of each page is a section for you to make notes. So there's three sections and I think these are all really important. So you're gonna want to have a full page by the time we're done, each flow, um, queues. So how do you get them into and out of the exercise? Um, how do you layer your cues in these types of flows?
We're really focusing on offering direction first, getting them moving, and then foundation. So we layer in the foundational cues so they're relevant to them so they can feel, okay, as I'm doing this, this is why she's telling me to connect here or breathe here. Um, the other thing you're going to want to note is modifications. So under the modification section also discuss advancements and progressions, um, or maybe how you would sub out one piece of equipment or a prop for another. So you can keep these fresh and new for your classes in your privates. And then the last section under your note taking is actually a notes section.
So this is for you to your general comments, but also for you to note, um, how we get into and how we get out of each exercise. So the transition is really part of the flow too. Okay. Um, we broken down this workshop into three parts. Part one is upper body, part two is the lower body, and part three is full body or, or whole body integration. You'll notice in each of the flows you might feel a little bit of upper body when you're doing lower body or you'll feel a little bit of core when you're doing lower body. So everything that we do should have this whole body presence to it. It's one of Joe's principles. Um, but you'll notice that each section definitely has a strong feel to it either.
It's a, it's an upper body. Okay. Um, we're going to start with upper body. And the way that I'm going to begin the workshop is all be demonstrating the exercises. After I demonstrate, we'll talk, we'll take notes. If you guys have questions, let me know. Um, and then after that I'll have to have you come up here on the reformer and then I'll talk you through the exercise. And that's great for you guys. You can feel it in your body, but that's really great for you guys at home so you can see it in a live application. So we'll be able to make adjustments, corrections, all that kind of stuff. Sound good. And even though we are filming a video, um, just listen to your body and that actually will help me to give more information to you guys and to give more information to you at home. So if you're saying, you know what, I'm not really feeling it here, or this is not a good exercise for my knee, you should tell me and then we can work through that problem together. Okay, cool. So the beginning of the, um, manual is just a little introduction and I think it's important that we read this because it talks a lot about, um, where this concept came from. So this is an advanced workshop for police professionals. Um, the movements that we do certainly can be utilized by enthusiasts at home too.
Um, this workshop is focusing on dynamic flow, creative combinations, intelligent group programming and full body integration on the reformer. Uh, so those things, I think I really embody my teaching style and nowhere does it say chaotic spazzy movements where we forget about form and alignment, right? So it's, it's not, we have not lost plays. It's not only some other form of fitness that we're doing on top of the reformer. We are incorporating all of our principles of alignment and form and breath and everything that we do. Um, it also says learn how to minimize the use of flection based exercises to target the core, well, maximizing functional movement patterns to restore whole body strength, agility, flexibility and coordination. Um, this actually came from something that I noticed, um, as a need and working with the general population, uh, they needed to challenge their, their core. And I just don't mean the front core, just this six pack abdominals, but the whole body trunk without doing flection. A lot of populations that we're seeing now, reflection is not ideal.
And it also came from my own just um, to selfish desire. I don't like doing a lot of crunches isn't that bad. Like, um, I love, um, I love my hand in strap work. Um, and there's a, there's a place for, you know, really getting into that deep strong flection and doing those abdominal crunches. I love a abdominal flection to mobilize my spine in that direction, but I equally love mobilizing it and extension, lateral section and rotation. So the concept here is that whole body integration but also ways to really challenge and strengthen the core three dimensionally, front, back, side to side without just doing a lot of crunches on the reformer. Um, it also goes on to read in addition to new variations. This workshop also covers strategies on how to adapt programming to accommodate a variety of levels in a group setting.
And we'll have a little bit of time to go over that. Um, but that's definitely something that I target when I teach workshops. A lot of the participants that come to my workshops are teaching either in small groups or large groups and they're really interested in adding these new techniques and variations and combinations and flows, but we need to know how to integrate them when it's appropriate and how to layer them in. One of the things you'll hear me talk about when we go through the exercises today is planting seeds. So when I teach a new sequence, I typically will start with one variation, and for me that's actually a little test. I'm looking around the group and I'm seeing, okay, everybody's able to do this, so that's great. So then that seed starts to grow a little bit and starts to grow a little stem, and then I look around the room.
I had one more progression and I know what it's okay, well I see Mary's going to have a little problem with this. Maybe I can give her something to a proper or a modification or maybe I can offer her hands on support and then I layer in one more time and has that seed begins to grow into the plant. I'm noticing as I lay her in those progressions, who's ready for it, who's capable? I'm trying to set them up for success so it's not a big surprise. And now we're doing this. Um, but as an instructor, it also allows me the opportunity to visually assess my group and see who's able to do what, who's, who's really understanding the cues that I'm giving. So we'll talk a little bit about that. Um, in our time together today. Um, the props that we're using, so you'll want to grab these at home too, for the workshop is we're using the reformer and I have a balanced body reformer.
So I'll do my best to give you spring tensions that are not just balanced body specific. Um, we're also using the city and box and then I'm incorporating some other props. I'm using a resistance band. I'm using a wooden dowel. Um, I'm also using a small ball and you'll, you'll hear me say that, you know, you can add in, you can delete or you can substitute these props. And so I want you guys to be creative with this idea. Okay.
So we are starting with our upper body section. So if you flip to your mini manual, you'll see the first upper body section is the Dow will series.
Now I've taken this series from opera body into whole body integration. You'll see how and why when I get up here and show you. Um, the first thing I want to note though is there's a couple of different ways to use the doubt. So if you have a wooden dowel, a, a typical dowel, it's going to look something like this. There's not going to be an eye hook on it, it's just a piece of wood. Um, you could also use the wooden devil that goes through your Combo Chair, the one that keeps the two pedals together as one. And then you could also use the roll down bar from the Cadillac. So these three things are going to make the exercise feel a little bit different. And I'll tell you how, first of all, if you're using just the wooden dowel versus the roll down bar with the I hook, the dowel is going to slide through the loop. Okay?
This creates two things that it's important to note. One is that it's unstable, so it's going to slide forward and back. It's not a problem. You can do all the exercises that way, but I also want you to notice that when the dowel is through the loop, your resistance is going to feel somewhat similar, if not a little bit lighter than if you had your hand or foot in this loop. If you are using the dowel with the I hook from the Cadillac, the roll down bar, the I hook would be hooking back here onto the rope so it would be hooked on like this. So the loop won't, won't, um, move. It's totally secure. But then you also have to look at how far back this is. Now do you see that?
So now the resistance is going to feel about 25% higher or heavier or even a little bit higher than that. So if you're using the I hook with the hooked onto the rope, you're going to want to reduce that tension. Okay, great. With that said, I have one loop hooked in and I'm going to begin with a light spring, so on the balance body equipment and using one blue spring. To begin, I'm going to put the foot bar down so it's out of the way. Get that out of the way too. Okay. Now there's a few ways to come into this position. Typically in my class, what I would do is I would already be down into a supine position and perhaps I was using the dowel for Supine abdominals. Okay? However, if that's not the case, my suggestion to you would be to hold the dowel into your hand and come into a kneeling position onto the carriage, sit your hips back onto your heels and choose which loop they're going to be using. In this case, I'm going to grab my left.
I would either slide the loop through or I would reach back and I would hook it through onto the rope. Okay. Once it's secured, I'm ready to proceed. Now you can choose your kneeling position. I have my knees together, my feet together. I'm literally sitting in my hips onto my heels. You could use a prop and set up onto a box, or you could separate your feet, press your feet against the shoulder blocks and come right up to kneeling position. We're going to progress up to there. So the first part of this series is finding your vertical neutral spine dry in your ribs and abdominals in pelvic floor, in and up. You'll notice my hands to the outside of the of the rope that so that it doesn't accidentally slip off. Bring the dowel up to chest height. Shoulders are down, elbows are wide. Exhale to press forward. So a forward press.
Now the resistance is light, but the challenge is not just the forward press. The challenge is actually stabilizing against the pole and the pole is pulling me over towards the resistance. Now if I wanted to increase the challenge, I could add another step here and that would be rotate towards the resistance, rotate to find center and press forward. So it's a bend, rotate, look, and press. Now, if I were teaching my group, that's where I would start forward presses first. That's planting the seed. That's the exercise. That's the concept. And I'm seeing, okay, everybody's able to stabilize the Dow in place.
Their form looks great. I haven't confused them too much by the addition of this prop or the unilateral load. So then to add on to increase the challenge, adding that second step of the rotation and press, and if everyone's able to stay with me and I'm looking like they're form, I'm able to see that their form is good. It's looking like they're able to piece together those exercises, um, successfully. Then I can add on two ways to add on here. One would be to do the whole series up in kneeling position. So rise up, find the shoulder blocks harder to stabilize from the torso. Now, so even though this is upper body focus, it definitely is whole body integration as well. Bring the dowel up. There's our forward press now the resistance feels heavier and the challenge has increased.
Here's our rotation towards the tension. Stabilize the dowel and the loop in place and press reach. So I'm allowing the spring to pull me. Then I'm using my obliques on the opposite side to come back and press to increase the challenge. Even more, I can increase the coordination component. And that's one thing that I want to talk a lot to you guys about today and you at home too. There's a lot of ways to increase the challenge in this series.
One of the ways would be to either add or delete tension. However, in my classes I love to add complexity. I like to add choreography. I like to challenge their brain with adding different steps or, or parts of each series. So remember when you're looking to increase the challenge, it's not always about changing the springs.
It's often about increasing the level of coordination too. It's especially important when you're programming for the athletic client or for that very fit type a client who comes into your studio or into your private session or maybe that's you at home. Um, you'll want to give them that challenge without overloading the springs, right? So to increase the challenge of difficulty in my mind, not just my body, I can start low. As I rotate, come through center and as I do press the arms, as I bend the elbows, I bend the knees and I rotate back. So you see how I've now integrated the lower body component in to the upper body exercise. Exhale, depress.
I could do the same as before. Stay up or I could add what I call a seated squat. Press up with the hips as you extend the elbows and exhale that. Now this series has a whole nub, another level to it. It flows from being onto the carriage to being onto the floor. There's no adjustments needed. So literally you step off to one side, whatever side your loop is on is the side you're going to step off to.
So now that I've done the exercise seated and I've done the exercise in a kneeling position, perhaps I've integrated sitting low, kneeling high, I can increase the co, the coordination and the physical challenge by standing tall. In this series, I stand beside the equipment, I step back. So I have a little bit of resistance to begin. Notice that I'm on about a 45 degree angle, so I'm not completely beside the equipment, so I have a slight diagonal chest is lifted. So before we were using upper body front body to push, now we're using upper body back body to pull I step one leg back as I draw my arms towards the chest, elbows are wide and come back up to my starting position, so simultaneously row and come into a lunge and resist to come back up. Now just like I said before, to increase the challenge here, we're going to increase the coordination.
So in this case I'm going to add a balance challenge. When I come up to the top, I balance either no flamingo or past a position or in a tabletop position, lunge back, lift, high lunge back, lift high. Now I can add on even more. I can play with tempo. I can go down and up three times and come up to a balance or I can go down and stay down and just do the upper body.
Now targeting the biceps and come into the same.
So I go back to a lunge and as I come back I press it down on the dowel. It's that pushing down that helps me find my balance. So you see I'm pressing into it, the carriage is pulled out and come back to a lunge, push down to come up and come back to a lunge. Push down to come up and come back to a lunge. This time, push down, stay up, either bend and straighten your standing leg, tap and kick your back leg or release.
Now there's even a third part to this series, so we've gone from kneeling to standing. Now we're going to be a standing side adding rotation. It's all in the same spring tension. So in the next part of this flow, I stand beside the reformer facing the carriage, my legs in a wide stance and a natural turnout. I have the Dallas so that it's in my hands vertically. The dowel is kind of like my spine in this series and the loop is just resting on my hand, grabbing the Dow with the other hand, about six inches apart between the two of them.
So if you start to feel like this is too much tension, you'll come closer to the equipment. If it's not enough, you'll come further. What I find is if I start with just a little bit of tension, that's a good amount for me. I'm going to do two movements at once. The first movement is a plea, a. The second movement is oblique twist, come back through my pa and come up and that's how I could break it down. Again, setting them up for success. Everybody goes down. You look around the room, they're all there. Okay, good. Everybody rotates towards the foot bar. You come back through center and you come up. Once you have that flow, you can put them together.
So you bend as you twist
So you've sort of come full circle. You're coming back to front body work and in fact we're coming back to triceps now. For me, I always like to take a little step back, which is kind of what I do. It's my Mojo. I turn and I said, okay, I take the devil overhead this time, lifting my back heel high. Coming into a deep lunge position, taking the dowel overhead hinging forward, closing the ribs, narrow the elbows. Exhale, press straighten in. Hillary's is to bend back. Leg is strong and you're in a long neutral, diagonal forward come all the way at.
The reason I love this series is it has a strong upper body and phasis, but it works the body proportionately front back. You're also working very strong muscles like biceps and lats, but then you're also working smaller muscles in the rotator cuff in delts. It gets your heart rate up a little bit because it does have a strong flow to it. Of course, it integrates the lower body and you can choose how much of that you want to incorporate, but it's a challenging exercise sequence that you're going to feel right away and it's an appropriate sequence for even your intermediate client. Even though it's physically hard for the standing work, they're on the floor, they're not standing on the reformer, they're not going to fall for the kneeling work. You can omit rising all the way up to the knees and you can stay seated low, but even when they do rise up onto their knees, the dowel gives a sense of safety and support in this position.
The likelihood of them falling this way is a lot less with the dowel. They're getting pushed back the other way actually they feel very strong in the position. So I just showed you guys some of the variations. Let's take a couple of notes about these and then I'm going to have two of you volunteers to come up and try it for yourself. So in picture number one, I'm showing you this kneeling low position.
Okay. Now in this image I actually have both straps, so I just wanted to include that in there to show you that I'll either transition into this devil series from something like Supine abdominals using the dowel, not the loops. It's easy. I just come right up and I have the Dallum or if I'm doing bilateral work, all I have to do is sit my hips towards my heels unhook or slide off one of the ropes and I'm ready to go into the next series, which is the one I demonstrated you have forward arm presses, tricep extensions and rotation. I'm also showing you in the image as a second row image to the side circles when you're speaking the dabble down and up and that's in a previous video that I filmed for plays anytime, so sweeping the devil down and okay, there's so much fun stuff you can do. Now what you can see in row number three as they come off the reformer, there's no change of the equipment. The dowel doesn't come off, the springs don't change. You come off to the side where the loop is and you come right into your lunge work. The options I gave you for lunch work, we're either just stepping the lunch leg back and going through upper body sequence so it could just be rose and bicep curls.
No integration of the lower body. You're just holding the lunge. You could be stepping back and stepping forward each time. You could be stepping back and stepping forward to a balance. You could just do upper body while you're back there. And then I've shown you an illustration row three, pitcher three, the t position with the lower body. Okay.
I want you to channel your inner bar class. With that. There really is unlimited possibilities. Um, and since I do teach bar two, I love throwing this in with clients that cross train pilates, reformer work in bar. If they tend to overuse the ballet bar, this series will showcase that and there'll be wiggly and wobbly and moe learned to stabilize from their hips and their back and their core, well they move their arms or well they move their legs and that's going to enhance what they're doing and everything in everyday life. But it will enhance their bar work to the last a row of images is the standing side. So just make a note that there are no equipment changes. Either you're pivoting your body, remember that you are in control of the tension because of where you're standing. When I teach this class to, let's say I have eight people in the room, the majority of them are on the same spring tension for this series because I'm allowing them to step forward or step back to make the tension their own. Now I will sometimes give verbal cues to adjust the springs or I'll go over and adjust them for them. If I had a strong man in the class, he might do this series on a red spring where the women do it on a blue, but then again he could step back a couple of inches and the resistance would feel exponentially heavier for him as well. The question was, what if you're on in the leg row or a reformer that's a little bit lower to the ground? Is it going to affect the exercise a lot? And the answer is no, it's not.
I've been fortunate enough to teach in studios that have all kinds of equipment and so some I've never even heard of. I'm like, that's really cool. And so some are really tall and some were not so much and, and it does work for all of them. Yeah. That's the beautiful thing about the reformer because you have the pulley and the rope system, it doesn't affect it that much. Great question. Are we ready to try it? So this reform was already set up for a blue spring with the dowel.
Let's give out other ones. Set up to one blue spring. Your Dallas set up. Good. Perfect. There you are. So I'm just going to put the foot bar down so they can see you. But the foot bar is not really affecting this flow at all. Um, something to note, when you're programming and you really want to make the best use of your time and have a strong flow, you'll want to set up the foot bar or the head rest or maybe your box for the next exercise. So if I knew that I was doing an exercise after this one that required a high bar position, I'd probably set it up while they were finishing this flow so they could put the devil down. Change the spring and they're ready to rock.
You guys look like you're ready to rock. So come to a kneeling position so you're facing front. Let's start sitting low onto the knees, so feet and seat connected and you can either curl the toes under you or you can sit onto the tops of your feet, whatever it feels comfortable. Let's grab that left strap just the same way I had it. Slide it through the dowel.
So the important thing to note when you're using the dowel without the eye hooks is you'll have to make a cues regarding safety, making sure that the loop doesn't slide off. Now if you have your hands to the outside of the loop, it's not going anywhere, so you're totally fine. If there was some sort of series that you are doing where your hands were to the inside and the loop was to the outside, you'd have to be very careful that it didn't slide off. Okay. You guys look great though. Another thing to note is that typically you'll have the loop about shoulder width apart. If the loop comes too narrow, then those strap is going to be rubbing against them. Okay?
Now you noticed when I did the tricep extensions and I only had the one rope that I moved it more towards center so that it felt even on both sides of the dowel. Okay? Let's begin and bring the dowel up to your chest. Stay seated in a low position. Thumbs under, fingers over elbows wide and shoulders down. Inhale in preparation, grow long and tall through your spine. Exhale, press forward with the arms and just pause for a moment. So fully extend the arms in this position. You can actually feel the arm drop back into the shoulder.
Draw up through the low belly, draw up through the low spine and see if you can close the ribs a little bit more. Inhale as you bend the elbows. Let's just do two more times pushing forward. Exhale, depress. So there's a co contraction here. As we press forward with the arms, we should be able to visually see. Guys can keep going. Yeah, you're on your own pace. We should visually see this shirt get a little looser. We should see the abdominals connecting front to back, side to side. On the next one, bend your elbows in, rotate towards the tension with the elbows bent in. So rotate, check out the beautiful view. Come back through center and exhale.
Press forward with the arms. Just do that two more times. Bend and twist. That's your inhale, center and press. That's your exhale. Good and think about, I keep going guys. Think about exercises that requires strong shoulder girdle like playing Sir pushups. This would be a really good time to start to teach the clients feeling how that serratus has to stay flat onto the back and strong through that forward press.
Now Bend your elbows in towards you. Keep the elbows bent in and carefully rise up to your knees. We're going to do the same series on the knees. You can choose to curl the toes under and push them against the shoulder blocks if that's what's best for you. Or you can have the feet narrow. Elbows are up, shoulders are down, abdominals are in. Just the forward press. Three times. Exhale, depress and in him.
So I saw that they could do it beautifully. Well they were low. Now I've added more complexity into the flow. Things like whether or not they're able to stabilize their hips, it's heavier. So they might be seeing more tension through the neck and shoulders, or are they able to stabilize and balance in this lifted position? Let's add the rotation guys towards the left. Inhale, come through center and Exhale, push forward. Good. So bend, rotate, center and push.
And they look great to me. I'm looking at things like, are they able to disassociate this rotation in the thoracic spine or is it coming down towards the hips? And these are things that I would help correct them with. Good. Rotate to their left. Stay here and sit low. Let's add more of a flow to it. So as you rotate through centers, start your exhale. Push forward as you lift the hips off the feet. Good.
Bend the elbows as you start to sit low again and rotate towards the left. So at center pushes you come up, start to lower as you bend and rotate back to the left. Good Center and press to come up. Elbows come in, hips go low, and you rotate. Last time center and press to come up. Good.
Take your time. Sit slowly and rotate back through this time. Come through center and stay low for a moment. Slide the loop so it's more towards the center of the dowel. Good. You'll take your hands overhead for tricep extensions.
The rope comes from behind. Nice. Inhale and preparation. Narrow the elbows. Draw the shoulders down the back and close the ribs before you even lift up. Of course you could stay seated here. Why don't we do that so you can see it. Exhale, press and inhale, bend. Good.
Shoulders are down, abs are in, and then the arms extend. So we know there's a little bit of a sequence here and we need that sequence of abdominals and breath and shoulder connection before we push through the resistance. Otherwise our balance is going be a little off on the next extension of the elbows. Rise up to your kneeling position. Hold it for a moment. Push the dowel a little further forward in front of you. Right to about here. Yes, right there. Good. As you bend the elbows, bend the knees, sit low again.
So Yep. Co Contracting. Exhale, press, arms and legs. Good. Inhale as you bend. Nicely done. They're very focused and press, but there is a lot going on. There's a lot to cue and that's why we sort of start with those layers. Plant the seed. Are they able to even stabilize against that?
Pull from one side on the next one. Let's stay up. Now this is less about the balanced and more about the strength. Bend your elbows. Exhale, straighten your arms. Three times. Good. Shoulders are down, abs are in, and we might be feeling like we're working a little bit more through the left side, but we're going to do the series on both sides of course, and on the next one straight. And the elbows. Keep the arms straight. Bend the knees as you sit low and bring the dowel in front of you.
So the dowel and the loop are over to the left. That's the side we're going to come off too. So without losing the dowel and the loop come off to a standing position. To the left of your reformer and turn to face it. Good. So step backs, you have a little bit of tension to begin. When I look down here, I should see about an inch between the stopper in the carriage. Yep.
And if you want more after that, you can step back further. Excellent. Now so we know what not to do. Step beside the reformer and face right behind it. [inaudible] so that's not quite what we're doing. So step of couple inches away and slightly diagonal yourself towards the reformer, I would say even just a little bit closer, Amy, towards your reformer.
Yeah, right about there. Perfect. Arms are long and we feel that tension. To begin, we'll step our right foot back as we do a wide row with the arms. Exhale. Step in row. Inhale feet together. Straighten the elbows wide in your hands a little bit, Amy. Yeah. Exhale. Step in Rome and inhale. Very good. You guys. Keep going.
So the exercise sequence that we did up until this point gave me some information to see how successful they were going to be in this version. When I saw that they were able to lift up as they press their arms forward, it gave me a good indication that they're probably gonna be pretty good at working their upper body and lower body together and they are on the next one. Stay back. Don't change your legs. Just stretch your arms straight. Now strong back muscles. As you pull that Stu, just three here, drop the sacrum heavy co contracting those abdominals as you pull. Awesome and pull. Now this time as you come up, let's come up to a table. Top leg balance. Arms are straight.
When you're app and step back to the lunge three times a lunge. Up Balance. You use that standing leg seat, lunge up balance. Nice job. Last time like this. Lunge up balance. Good lunge back there from your lunch. Straighten your arms. You're about to go into your tea balance. That means your back legs gonna lift.
That means you're going to have to push it down onto the dowel. A little bit to help find your stability. Inhale to prepare. Chest is wide. Exhale, press down as you kick your back leg off. Good. You should still have some tension to that Dow back leg higher. Use that seat and plant the back foot.
That was great. Press down as your back leg comes up. Square the hips. Abs are in, and step back to your lunge position. Good. One more time, Steph, down as the back leg comes up. Now this time, let's hold a capital letter t with the body. Bend the standing leg twice. Bend and straighten it one more time. Bend and hold it.
Now tap your back foot to the ground and lift your back foot up twice. One using the hip extensors. Hold it up for two. Now stabilize from your center and pull the dowel towards your Shin. Twice one and two. Rise up, feet together. Flip your grip for a bicep curl.
You guys make it look easy. It's tough. Now the bicep curl is less pulling the dowel to your eyebrows and more pulling the devil to your chin. And if you were on a lower piece of equipment, then you'd have your elbows even a little bit lower because the pull would be coming from down here. Okay, so same leg is stepping back. Let's play with tempo a little bit on this one. So the same leg you were just doing steps back as you do a bicep curl. Good. Now keep your leg back there as you straighten your arms and your leg.
Pull down three times one, two, and three. Now as you come up, balance, go back there again. Stepping, curl, come up. So both legs are back. We're going to do it again. Three times. One, two, shoulders over, hips. Three on the next one. Come back to a balance. One more time. Step back, lengthen up. Go down three times, one, drive down through your front heel two and now stay here. Just the arms. Stretch them long.
Pull them in three times too. You want to be really mean. Hold the Bicep, curl, pumped the legs down. Five four, three, two, and one rise up. Awesome. Let's rotate. So we're facing side. So long series, how are your arms feeling? Good. We've only done one side. Okay. So when you make that switch, you'll notice that your outside hand is now low and there's no need to switch it. So it's just such an easy flow. So now you have a dowel, like this outside hand is low. Inside hand is high, the Dowel is your spine.
Take a wide stance so your feet are wider than your hips. Come close to the reformers. So you're only like an inch or two away. So I would come even closer. Yeah, even closer. There you go. And I would come away from the police a little bit and remember you can always step back to reduce the tension. So let's break this down like I showed you first.
So arms are right in line with the spine. Okay, so start here. Bend your knees first deeply AA hold. Bring your arms a little further away from your chest. Elbows are lifted, but shoulders are down. Now from here, exhale, rotate towards your foot bar. Come through center. Pause and straighten your legs to come up. So you go down first. Awesome.
Disassociate the low body. As you rotate from the thoracic spine, come to center from the power of your abs, not because of the springs and rise up. Now that you know it, put it together. As you go down, you rotate five times, five. As you come up, you bring the arms to center for, put those movements together and come up. Three exhale. As you go down and rotate. Two and one stay low. Come to center, hold the position. Abs are in, heels come up.
So heels come up. Pulse the body down. Five and four and three, two and one heels down. Rise up. You're not done. The last step to this sequence is pivot and turn. So you're facing towards the front. So the foot that's forward stays forward.
Pivot, turn. You can do your little Shimmy back and now the devil comes overhead preparing for tricep extensions. Awesome. So bend into your front knee. A lot. Deep lunge position. What we don't want to feel is that we're letting the springs pull us back into extension. So pitch forward. Close the ribs. Good. Slide the shoulders down. Exhale, straighten the arms.
Inhale, bend the elbows, move back if it feels too heavy, move forward. If you want to increase the challenge. So really stretch through your back leg here as is a nice east centric opportunity to open up through your calf. Continue to pitch and lean forward. Now as an instructor, and another thing that I love about this standing org is it's very easy for me to offer tactile corrections. It's they're very accessible. I can bother them a lot now they like it.
Okay, one more. If you can guys. Inhale to bend the elbows, axial, depress the arms, rise up, rotate towards the equipment, and then to switch to the other side, you would hook up the loop and walk around. Unless of course you had another sequence you wanted to do before you went into your other side or not going to do the other side. So you're free. But I hope that you're not forever lopsided and Christmas cards. You have to turn towards your left. Okay, I'll take these. Thank you.
You're welcome. Great job guys. Be careful with the dowels. In a large group class, I'm always slightly terrified that if I upset the class too much, they have weapons to use against me so they could revolt. Okay. Um, let's just quickly talk about that series again. So each one of those flows could be breaking down as their own exercise. So we could just do the seat Adele upper body work, just the presses, the triceps, add the rotation.
The next layer would be seen if we could integrate a lift and the lower with the tore with the lower body. Okay. Call that a seated squat. If you're seeing success there and you want to continue to progress, you could do the series in an upright position. It's going to seem heavier on the upper body. They have to stabilize the core. They come off to the side that the resistance is coming from and that's where they go into the upper body or the lower body upper body integration. Now you could just do a couple of variations.
We did a lot a just so you could see them all, but you could simply do the London row and then move onto your next series. Play with it though and play with tempo. You should have unlimited options here. Lots of fun. Do you guys have any questions about that series? Good question. So the question was when would I use two loops or bilateral presses? And so that is illustrated in the first row of images is a series in of itself.
So by sliding the Dallow through both of the loops, I could go through all my front work presses under hand presses, triceps, straight arm lift and lower. And so I'd love to add that series in just to sprinkle things a little bit of variety in. Um, and then from there to go into this flow, it's done with one loop. So I would just reach back, take one of the loops off or unhook one of the hooks from the dowel and then I'm ready to go into the single stuff. Yeah, good question. Awesome. So yeah, you could go from your bilateral presses into your standing. Dow will work. You would just have to take one loop off. [inaudible] good.
So the next Combo that we're looking at is the seated Mermaid Combo.
This is another fun one with a lot of steps to in the images. You'll see that I'm simply just starting with our mermaid stretches. I've added rotated mermaid with some tricep, oh, excuse me, some pushups with some extensions, et cetera. And then from there I went into an upper body series. Now at the end of this series I go into another exercise flow that just as before in the last one does integrate some lower body work, but it's a really nice flow together. So I have the same resistance on.
I have one blue spring on, on the balanced body equipment. Um, if you don't have balance body, I just want you to think it's a light spring. Okay. It's quite late. Now in the images, I have the foot bar in the up position because I'm doing my seated mermaid. But you'll see it when I put it down. And why? So coming into your mermaid that you know and love now often save this towards the end of this series for a reward. But if I want to be really sneaky, I can throw in a stretch here and then give them something really challenging directly after it. So our mermaid would be lift to go over scoop to rotate, stretch, open the arms, bend and extend three times.
Lift and extend three times. Press out through where you started and come all the way up. Okay, so that's the mermaid that I'm, I've illustrated there that I'm referring to. From that position, the legs stay the same. Hips are still heavy and you just grab ahold of the loop. Now it's a light tension, so it's only a blue on this reformer. Now the options that I've given you in the images are hug a tree.
The next flow foot bar could stay up or a foot bar could come down. I'll take it down is then moving into our mermaid seat work. So I've already lifted through my spine. I've already felt heavy and weighted through my hips. So keeping that sensation lift and rotate, placing the hands either down onto the platform or onto the foot bar.
Chest is lifted back, leg lifts, up, press or lift or any combination to increase the challenge, the leg can go through the shoulder blocks you're lifted, abs are in. Tap Down, lift up.
So here's an idea of something that you could flow into after that, or perhaps you knew you wanted to finish your series with a mermaid stretch. So a few things you could do before seated in your mermaid position, your Shin that's bent back is against the shoulder blocks, hands and straps. Hug a tree, oh, oblique twist, hug a moon, interlace the fingers, let the springs Paul you. And it's an awesome stretch because it's pulling you up in a way from that hip that's really grounded and then use your obliques to pull yourself all the way back up. Then the overhead reach. So I'm going like this, but I'm adding lateral flections. So my overhead reach goes on an angle and I get that great stretch in the side as well. This is an excellent series to spice things up for that client who is doing a lot of this work, seeded. You've subbed in, sitting on the box, but they're not ready to kneel. Perhaps it's a balance issue.
So this is a great way for you to change things up where they're sitting in a different way. They feel the stabilization challenged in a different way. The great thing about this series two is then you have the option to flow into your mermaid a seat series. So in picture one and two, I've left the foot bar app. And so what happens when you leave the foot bar up, even be in this position, I'm not quite able to lower my chest as much. Okay. I could bend my elbows a little bit now. Just like any seesaw, it's easier get my leg to come up if my chest goes down. And the challenge in this series is to keep the chest lifted. Well you lift the leg really contracting through the seat through the obliques on that side. But the reality, the situation is most clients or you at home will have to lower your upper body a little bit to feel that lift in the leg. And that's okay with me. Okay.
So having the foot bar in the app position or not being on the platform increases the level of difficulty to get that back leg up. When you're in your seated mermaid seat series, the legs stay the same. You lengthen, lift and rotate towards the foot bar, placing the hands down onto the platform or onto the foot bar. The back leg is the one that's going to be lifting off. So if it's all jammed into the shoulder blocks, we'll have to move away a little bit.
The back leg needs to do two things. It needs to come up and it needs to go back. Okay? So if you're going to work that till she, you have to have that sense of the leg moving back behind you. The shape of the back leg stays the same as you push it back or lift it up. You could even take a small ball and place it between your calf in your femur.
So that knee bent position stays the same through the up and back presses to advance. The series of the leg can go straight. And the Nice thing about this is if they need to do is lower the leg down for a second. The headrest is right there, but eventually it has to come up off the headrest. The length length of the lever has increased when you straighten the leg. Thus the level of difficulty goes up way up. It's a great series. He wants to try it. Have you, you need to look ahead and be like, oh, I definitely don't want to do that one.
So I'll volunteer now. That's funny. So we have one blue spring on and why don't we put our foot bars in the mid position, that position, lock them in so we can start with our mermaid stretch. Perfect. You guys are seated in a perfect position and you know, I've heard a lot of different, um, suggestions about where the hip should be in this position and we are trying to get the hips as level as we possibly can. Um, but it's very likely that one hip is going to come up higher than the other and that's totally normal. If it's a drastic difference, if it's a big difference or it's causing pain, we could place a prop underneath that hip or we could change the seated position to criss cross apple sauce. And this series could also be done seated onto the long box as well. So starting just with our mermaid, take the arms out to a letter t for a moment.
Good. Find your length. Find your breath. So inhale, push up through the crown of the head. Exhale heavy through the sacrum. Good inhale, breathe into the back and sides finding that with acts. He'll draw the abdominals in and out, feeling that course and course it tighten all the way around you. Good. Let's add some movement. Keep your spine where it is. Inhale left hand onto the foot bar slightly in front of your shoulder, right arm comes up, palm turns forward.
Start to bend your left elbow a little bit. The banding of the Elbow helps the shoulder to slide down the back. Now exhale, push the carriage away as you stretch over the spring. Stay here for a moment. Lift your heart, lift your chest, even look up a little bit, then go back to your side stretch position. Now here's the hard part. You have to keep your hips heavy as you rotate towards the springs and reach your right hand onto the foot bar. Excuse me.
Really reach good. Once the right hand is on the foot bar, open the left hand wide. Level out your shoulders. Drop your head, flex your spine. Try to pull your abdominals away from your femur on the low leg. Nice. And now you can even feel lateral on post material. Breath more than ever. Inhale, bend your elbows. Head comes towards the foot bar. Wrap your fingers.
Exhale, press out. Draw the abdominals away from the thigh. Good. Do three of these. Focus less on getting low and focus more on hollowing out the abdominals and flexing through the tightest part of your spine.
Look up extension as the carriage comes in and the elbows can soften. Nod Your Chin towards your chest. Exhale, flex your spine. Press out. Two more. Inhale, lift your heart, lift your chest, lengthen,
One more time. Inhale, lift up. Carriage comes home. So just wait for me here. We're going to do it together sequentially. Flex the spine head first, head abdominals, ribs, draw in and up. Then really draw in through the naval length. Noted lumbar spine. Press out. Beautifully done. Coming back through the way we started.
Slide your left hand slightly forward of center [inaudible]. Lift your right arm off and come back to your side. Stretch even lifting the chest and looking up a little bit. Nice. Now don't come up because the springs are pulling the carriage and you use your obliques on that right side to pull you all the way back up to your seated position. Arms to a t and release the arms down. Okay, of we could do more of those, but let's get to the hard stuff.
So grab the loop that's in front of you. Not the one that's behind you. Good. Start with the arms slightly in front of you. Elbows are soft, elbows are lifted. Shoulders are down. Now maintaining that length and lift through the body. Exhale. Draw the arms to touch in front of your inhale. Resist to open. Good. Continue here.
The range of motion can be small, but the work is matey. So work from your powerhouse.
They'll come to me. There you go to me. Yes. Come to me and then exhale. Sail. Use your muscles to rotate and lift away from me. Yeah, good. Do it again. Can you grow a little taller as you rotate, lengthen up and twist. And then as an instructor or as an enthusiast, I'm looking at myself or feeling of my own body or watching my clients to see.
Does the association, are they able to keep that lower body moving without integrating or the lower body stable without integrating the opera body? Good. Open the arms. Slip the palms up, come to your hug. A moon position. Lift all the way up with the arms. Good and pause for a moment. The hands don't have to touch, but they are coming right up over the crown of the head. Elbows are slightly bent, good chest is lifted, but ribs are closed.
Inhale, resist to open. Nice. Exhale app and inhale down. So same thing. Keep those legs cemented. Good. The spine is only moving in one direction and that's up. It's a sense of lifting. Interlace the fingers as the arms go up on this next one and just as we did before, let the strap pull you over to the side.
Now that hip that you're sitting on is not going to go anywhere, so this stretch might feel a little intense. Exhale without using the power of the arm. Slide your shoulder blade down towards your hip latterly flexing towards the foot bar. Inhale as you lengthen up and then back over to your shoulder block. See if you can do two more. That's awesome guys. So go up and over like a fountain at the Bellagio, finding that link before you go over and come up and back to the shoulder blocks. Nicely done.
One more time like this. Perfect. Lengthen up. Now open the arms back to the side and flip your palm on your foot bar side and flip your palm towards you on your right arm. Bending your elbow to a 90 degree in him preparation. Exhale, reach the arm up overhead as you laterally flex. So both hands come to the foot bar. Good. Yep.
Headend line with spine or sometimes I look down if I feel tension in my neck and then bend the elbow and come all the way back up. Nice. You guys are pros. Lift up to go over.
Good. Try to get the fingertips as far away from that hip bone as possible and length and to come all the way back up. Well done. Hook up that loop, but keep the legs as they are. If you're jammed into the shoulder blocks, move away from them an inch or two. You only need a little bit of space to do this. Yep. Lift up, pivot and turn towards your foot bar. Good. So let's try with the foot bar in the current position that it's in. I want you guys to be able to empathize with how it feels with this foot bar high and then we'll take it down and then we'll even take it down one more time.
So it is okay to bend your elbows until forward a little bit. Good. Maintaining the shape of the upper body. Lift your back leg up even if it comes up a quarter inch and draw your back leg back towards me. Nice. Immediately. We should feel that Zinger that work in the glute and the obliques. Now lift the leg up three times. Pulse it up.
One shoulders down to abs in three and lower the leg down. Okay, so quite intense. Now reach down, adjust that foot bar, put it in the low setting, not all the way down flat. Move it down one notch, lock it in. And let's test this theory of this lever and see if it does help or not. So square the shoulders to the foot bar. Draw the abdominals in. Lift your back leg up. Awesome.
Draw the back leg further behind you. So open up through that hip. Good. Tows plant our flags. Toes pointed. Yes. Lift the leg up and pulse it up three times. One reached for my hand to there it is three and take it down. Nice. Put the foot bar all the way down to the low setting. Flat.
Place the hands on to the platform.
They're, what I would not do is grab their leg and pull. It's a very vulnerable position. I might push towards the front of the hip to see if I can get them to open a little bit more. Great job guys. Now lower the leg down for a mini. Let's try the straight leg version. Send the leg through the shoulder blocks. Good. Square the shoulders. So the shoulders ideally are square to the foot bar.
The hips are rotated. Send your back leg very long. Lift your back leg up nice and high. Hold here. Good. Lift the leg up. Tap the head rest three times straight. Leg Up and tap two up and tap three up. Lift the chest up one more time.
Hold it and bend it in to take it down. Very good. Put out the fire cause I know there's one burn in there and then of course we would do the other side. Okay, so let's talk about it. Love at Wharton. You guys did great. So for your Christmas cards, you're right, your right side. Okay, so each element here could be used as its own flow. So I could do just the first line of pictures, which is the seated mermaid stretches but progressing their into the upper body work. The first row pitchers, I'm showing you the hug of moon, the lateral flections. I decided it feels good, doesn't it?
That lateral flection good in a hard way. But yeah. Um, and then the overhead reach. Now I liked that series. The Hug, the moon lateral stretches, the overhead reach, especially for my athletic client because that typically that type of client is typically quite tight in the front body. So this is a chance for me to offer them the opportunity to move their arms through space without dominating through their pecs. Okay. So I like that up. I like that stretch and I like that overhead reach because I'm there helping them open that all up. The second row of images, a illustrated is the hug a tree, adding the rotation and it feels quite different when you're in mermaid legs versus seated or kneeling or standing. So that's something I recommend trying.
Um, and for all of those series, what I'm talking about and what I'm looking for is the lower body to stay heavy, strong and stable. Well, the opera body moves whether it's overhead or in front of the body. And I'm looking to see the abdominals connect and contract before the arms and legs start their movement. Okay. That's the sequence that I need to see in order to bring them into more advanced choreography, which is coming up in our workshop a little bit later. The last part to this series is firing into those seat muscles, opening up through the front of the hips, working deep into the oblique.
So for our next series we'll be using the ball. And um, this is actually one of my favorite.
It feels awesome and I love using the ball in this capacity because it allows me to move my spine beyond a c curve, beyond a neutral and into extension. Additionally, it allows me to challenge the stability of the torso more than just sitting onto the carriage. So the way that I get on, and just by the way, this whole flow of three series, they're all the same spring tension. So if you wanted to teach all three of them together, you'd have to have a lot of props available, but you absolutely could. So I have one blue spring on the stem. I take a seat onto the carriage facing towards the ocean view. If you don't have an ocean view, just sit towards your police and then the ball now becomes your sacrum.
So if I was sitting preparing to do upper body work, I would reach back and I would make sure that I have about one hands with of space. Well, if the ball becomes my sacrum, I have to sit further forward because when the balls back there, I'm gonna need about a hands with this space. Okay? So it's not right towards the very edge. So in this position, it's not like I'm just lounging into the ball. I'm actually trying to use the ball as a prop to deepen my c curve. I'm dry my belly button back and into the ball, drawing my ribs down towards my hips and I can push as much of weight into it as I want. And then when I'm ready to do the exercise, I actually come almost 80% off the ball. So you could probably come round, just take it right out. So it's there as a little prop. And as a reminder from here, keeping the feet down, I can go into any of my favorite series arms to a t, arms overhead, bicep curls, or any combination of those movements to increase the level of difficulty.
I draw one leg up, so I'm making my base of support smaller. And then from there I can go through the same series, arms out perhaps a combination, maybe an overhead reach.
This is a little bit squishier so I won't judge you if it looks like you're squishing the ball, but you have to be not squishing the ball. Okay. So the important thing is that you find the position so that the ball can't roll off the carriage. Yeah. You even got a little bit more room to go back if you want it to. You shouldn't feel too smushed in there. Nice. Nice. Yeah, you look really good. Okay. So that you guys can see it in here and so you can see it at home.
Reach your arms forward and show everybody what it would look like if you just smushed into the ball and you weren't using your core at all. Yeah, good. You guys are really good at that. Okay. So then stay back there where you're just smashing the ball and you're like, poet is this so easy? And then from here, keep your lower back into the ball and see if you can deepen your c curve. Good. And then, yeah, that's nice and careful. This bit. Chin doesn't drop too much yet. And then from here, keep that sea curve, but lift away from the ball a little bit.
So only 20% or so of your weights on the ball. Good. That's where you want to be. Reach forward and grab your straps.
Now one hand goes to a t and one hand goes to an eye. You pick. Oh, that was nicely coordinated. And then the other good. Keep your wrist straight. One more each side. So I'd like them to anticipate that challenge of wiggling on the ball and feel their abdominals can before the arms go into their big movements. Now let's move the spine through extension.
You go to a level that's comfortable for you. We inhale arms at Bicep by the ears, extend back over the ball. The biceps stay by the ears. Nice. So the arms only go as far back as the chest. Beautiful ladies. Circle the arms around as you nod your chin deep in the curve and come only back up to your seeker position. Arms up on the inhale. Chest goes back.
Let the front body open. Go, go, go, go, go, go. Good. Circle the arms wide. Nod the Chin and flex and I get worried about little ligaments and the thumb when you just hang it on your thumb. I know it's late, but just do that to make me happy. Okay, one more time. Go back or Zap. So lengthen, keeping the pubic bone heavy, letting the ribs open, not the chin. First, draw the ribs down and then flex to come up. Very good from here. Let's put a little bit more pressure on the ball.
Try right leg tabletop position. Keep the right leg and tabletop. Both arms go up. Draw them back to shoulder height. Now straighten the right leg towards a teaser shape both arms go up and arms down. Pause for a moment. Bend the right knee, but don't put it down on the carriage. See if you can balance with the left leg up as well. There you go. Now put the right leg down. Keep the left leg as it is, lift the arms up and resist them down.
One more time, lifting the arms up, try it with a straight leg, send it out, arms up, and resists down. Now lower the feet so both of them are down. Keep the hands low so this is less work and more just yumminess exhale. And then inhale as you roll back over the ball extending the spine, you might be able to go a little bit further here because you don't have the resistance of the upper body. Nod Your Chin towards your chest first. And as if you had no straps at all to help you exhale, flex all the way over your thighs, forehead towards the knees. Take both straps into one hand with your free hand, reach back, remove the ball and you're ready for your next series. Good. That Nice, Huh? Yeah. Okay, cool. Come on off. Well done.
I will take these. We'll just talk a little bit about that. And that includes our upper body flows. So all of these flows were done on the same spring tension, which is a blue or a light spring.
And I think everyone saw what it looks like to just smoosh into it. Um, the both legs down variation is a great place to start progressing to the single leg challenge. You may just go into a double leg challenge with both legs up and do nothing with the arms. Just try to hold. And then we integrated the spinal mobility and that was going from flection through a long neutral line into extension in the ball. Offers that beautiful arc to allow the thoracic spine to move in a very comfortable way. The last image illustrated is just the stretch.
Now one thing to notice is the length of your ropes or the types of loops that you're using may affect how far you can stretch. So the image that I'm using, I have the double loops. So I'm actually looks like I'm holding more up here. Okay. So if when you go to extend back, you feel your head rest onto the platform, it actually feels really comfortable. But if you want to go further and into extension, just walk your hands up the ropes a little bit.
Awesome. Well I hope that you guys will find these three flows useful and at home. I hope you do too. If you can feel them in your body, incorporate them into your favorite PyLadies anytime classes, um, or if you just want really good upper body workout, do all three of these three times.
The next section of our workshop is lower body focused. And remember what I said in the beginning of our intro is that you will find elements of both upper and lower body within each flow. However, the emphasis is really on lower body.
This is one of my favorite ones. Um, and just like I did before, I'm going to take you through several different movements that all come from the same beginning. So it's a combination essentially. Um, I call it side lounge series and I'm doing it on a light spring. I have a blue spring on here, so you'll just want to find something comparable I half spring or light spring. The headrest is in the down position and I come to a side line position on the reformer. Now I can either have my hand between the silver pegs and the shoulder blocks, or depending on the length of your torso, you could have the hand to the inside with your shoulder against the shoulder block, helping to find that stability top foot goes into the loop. Leg straightens away. Now I just take this time, this moment to find some length. So when my feet are in the straps, whether I'm sideline or lime prone or Supine, excuse me, I'm trying to push the strap away from me.
So I'm feeling this openness through the front of my hip and I'm not letting the strap make me shorter in my torso. So finding that length and that space first and lifting up through the ribs on the lower side, the foot is going to be about hip height. As you inhale, it sweeps forward and exhale back. Now the great thing about being in this lounge position is again, is preparing you for more advanced exercise series to come. So in a group environment, when I'm teaching this, even though I know they're thinking about their leg, they're thinking about their tush and the cues that I'm giving them for the movement. I am looking at shoulder girdle stability. I'm looking at alignment of the spine and how well they're able to maintain that.
If I happen to notice that lot of people in the class are in this position and it's very difficult for them to get up and out of that position, then I may not choose to do certain exercises that require the stabilization strong position in that shoulder. Whether you're sweeping forward doing a circle bend or extend,
The next flow I sweep the other foot in so no hands needed. Slide further away. Sit Nice and tall. Use the shoulder blocks for support if needed and I go into add action. The challenge here is this postural position, so I'm using my leg, I'm using my core, I'm using my back muscles to try to maintain this position. From the side position I sit up.
The next layer progression here is a four point kneeling, so again, without using the hands, I slide my foot in pivot turn, and now I'm in a four point kneeling position going back into my leg sweeps. Perhaps you have the hand on to the headrest band and extend or even going into a rotated hip position, allowing the hip to open as you circle around and circle. Then when you're ready to come off, simply step the foot out of the loop and you're ready for your next flow. Now I happen to love to go into particular upper body series after in this button you have to wait to see that one. So the flow is in the side lounge position and in the side lounge position where I'm propped up onto my shoulder, my elbows under my shoulder, chest is open, ribs are lifted. I have any variation available to me in the lower body that you know in love legs sweeps like circle circles, bend an extent, any combination.
The real challenge though is staying lifted in the upper body and waking up these muscles that are going to be so important preparing you for things like star to come down the line. The flow is without removing the foot from the loop coming into your seated position. So from here,
Okay? It is. If you're switching to go into the four point kneeling work, original foot comes in your app and you're ready to go. Or hands here. Okay, I'll show you because you guys are making me. Then the next flow, the foot could come out. And I know you've seen this exercise series here. Who wants to give it a try? Man, I don't have to feel bad about you being lopsided for months and months summons. So lie on your side, place your top foot into the loop and the loop should be closer to your heel than to your toes.
Keeping your knees bent in so you can sort of adjust your position. You may have to move your hips down away from the shoulder blocks a little bit. You've got a big carriage, so don't be afraid to use it. So the two positions I gave you for upper body was having the elbow to the outside of the shoulder blocks. So the elbow is right underneath the shoulder. The other position, what Amy showing you is the elbow to the inside of the shoulder blocks.
You can choose what feels best for you. However, the length of the torso and proportions of the body may limit you to have your hands to the outside. Okay. You guys look great. Lift your top leg up and extend your top leg long and just stay here for a moment. Now stand on your foot as if you're standing on the floor. So really stretch, reach. Find a parallel position with your leg. Awesome. Stack your hips, one over the other. Lift up through the obliques on the under side. Keep that foot hip height.
Keep reaching through it. Finding your strong shoulder girdle connection and reaching energy through the top of the head. Inhale, sweep your leg forward. Straight leg pause. The foot should still be hip height in this position. Have a sense of the femur pulling back into the hip socket.
Sacred almost drawing back behind you toes drawing forward. Exhale, sweep the leg back again. Now that you know it, you can flow. Inhale leg forward. Exhale back. Now the leg is a heavy lever more so than the opera body. So here I'm looking for this ability to stabilize the torso in a sideline position while the leg sweeps in space. Shoulders look good. Heads look good. Nice.
On the next, draw the leg back towards the foot bar. Bend your knee in towards you. Need a chest, flex the foot, and exhale, press the foot away from you. Continue here the strap. We'll go underneath the knee because you're up in a lounge position. Now this is less about power and more about precision. So see if you can feel that opera body stays strong, CV and feel the core muscles co contract as you press through the heel.
Good. Let's keep the legs straight. Nice. Find that hip stack position. Good correction. And let's just go into three leg circles. Three in each direction. So the leg circle come forward towards me. Nice. Up and around, you got it.
Three in each direction. The leg circle is a really good indicator of how stable they're able to keep their hips and pelvis. It's a heavy lever and circles have a little bit of momentum in it. So it's a real challenge for stability. Reverse the direction. Not only am I looking for them to be able to find that shoulder girdle and cervical alignment, but I'm looking for the endurance to be able to maintain it, especially when I'm going into more advanced exercises to come.
We're ready to transition IC, so to come up the leg comes forward in a sweeping motion. You come up to a seated position, slide towards the shoulder blocks, and bend your inside foot in towards you. Good. Take a moment and find your alignment. Shoulders over hips. Hug your needle, lift your chest, lift your outside leg up, flex your foot, and exhale. Push the foot away from your midline. Inhale, resist to come in. Nice. Now, if this seated posture is the limiting factor in this series, I'd simply walk over and give them a yoga block or a moon box or something to sit a little higher up. It's okay to break a flow if you're trying to maintain form and alignment or right. Okay, so don't sacrifice your form just to keep the flow going. Now without using your hands switch feet, so the opposite foot is in and move away from the shoulder blocks. Quite a lot.
Good. Sit up tall again using the shoulder blocks or the carriage as a little support to maintain your alignment foot as flexed. Exhale as you draw the leg towards the mid line. Inhale. Good. So keep sitting taller. Nice. Stabilize. So from the back it should look as if nothing's happening.
I shouldn't see any rotation in the pelvis. Shoulders should be level. Crown of the head reaches up last time here. Awesome job. Now switch. So the other foot is in the original foot and prepare to go into your four point facing back. Nice. You're stabilizing knees right underneath your pelvis.
Let's take the hands onto the headdress so we get that long line with the body. Good. The hips are behind the shoulders, the outside leg sweeps up, and then we can just stop there for a moment just as we did before. Stand on the strap, push into it, find the length between the hip and the shoulder on that side. Draw abdominals in and up. Awesome. Cervical alignment. Inhale, sweep the leg down. It goes slightly out to the side.
Exhale. Good. So in this position I'm seeing if that shoulder girdle strength that they were just sitting in the lounge has transferred over to this four point kneeling and it looks like it has. They look great. One more time as the leg sweeps up, find more length through the crown of the head. More length from the hip to rib. Let's try or a bend and extend here. The bend and extend is more about precision. It's less about power.
The resistance is not overly heavy. Good job on the next one. Push the legs straight. Good. Activate the seat. Sweep the leg down. Let's take the foot out of the strap. Take the strap into the hand at the taped part of the rope. Stay in your four point kneeling position. Both knees are onto the carriage.
Draw your elbow up to its side and exhale as you extend. Okay, we won't spend any time here, but here's an idea of something you could flow into. Awesome. And now you've worked your sides evenly. Good evenly in different ways. Nicely done. Good work. Any questions about that series? So what's great about this series is the flow. It's a light resistance, but because you're changing the position of your body, the resistance feels very different in each exercise in the side sweeps, you're thinking to yourself, well, I can do heavier than this, but the challenge comes in really stabilizing the upper body, the beautiful transition to seating. So you can do leg abduction and Ab duction work.
You start to feel how that spring is appropriately weighted and then as you go back into the four point kneeling work, you're working again, those powerful muscles, but because all those deeper muscles around the hip are little fatigued and your upper body has been working so much to stabilize you there, it's really just the nice icing on the cake for the series and then you could flow to the next um, exercise sequence. Another reason that I love this particular series, again, as an instructor, I can give all kinds of hands on adjustments, k in the lounge position, I can get to where I need to versus sideline position for point. Kneeling offers tons of opportunities to make corrections. By the time you're done this upper body series, you should have thought about your alignment everywhere in your body, your head, your shoulders, your abdominals, your pelvis, your knees, your toes, everything. So the next series you do is going to be done with that much more precision.
So our front lunges, there's a number of different ways that I do the front lunch series. This is one of my favorites though, and it does have a little bit of upper body integration into it. The first thing that's important to note is you have to be on a reformer where the bar locks in. So if you're not able to lock your bar into position, then the upper body section of this series would not be appropriate for you. Okay? But we're able to lock ours in. I use a light spring tension.
I even go as light as a yellow, which is very, very light. In this case though, I'm going to keep the blue on because it matches my resistance band. So I'll begin by placing the band over the bar and I have my bar locked in. It's very important that when you pull on the bar that the ban, the bar's not gonna move. So just make sure that it's totally secure. I have a blue spring on and I'm going to move the band off to one side.
Carefully step onto the reformer, taking one foot forward, rising all the way up. Now you can see why I have the band off to the side so that it doesn't get in the way of this leg. Now the more resistance you have in the band, the more stable you actually feel. So make sure you play with that and find what's right for your body. Lift your back heel high. Draw your inner thighs in towards the midline. Bend into your front knee as you press through the back leg, coming into a low lunge position. As you rise up, press back with the arms, tricep work and chest expansion.
So take your time as you go down. Bend into your front knee bicep curl and rise up by sub curl. The Shin meets the bar. Abs in, open through the front of the hips and chest expansion to come up. Now on the next one, press down, stay down, bend the back knee and draw up with the arms. Hold the arms and legs. Maybe you can deepen and rise all the way up. Now in addition to bicep work, you can also do tricep work.
You can take both straps into one hand or you can keep single strap. It really depends on the resistance of your band. I'm going to draw a single, so opposite hand on my thigh. As I bend into my front knee. I pitch forward coming into my low lunge position, dry my abdominals in an app, bending and extending the elbow.
You can go all the way into your summit for bend and raises to come in, out, press reach or John Travolta's. It depends how you call them out. Press reach and come all the way am now. The last part of this series is a skater series. So narrow your feet, send the band a little bit further, even still and come down into your squat position. Weight into your heels, seat activated. Let's do the same thing we had to before. Hold one side. Although if you wanted more resistance, you could hold both from here. As the carriage presses out, I go into x terminal rotation and resist to come in, keeping my balance centered over my hips.
Inhale as the carriage comes in. Exhale, depress, wait into the heels.
It actually is going to help you. It's going to act as your spotter throughout the exercise, so your band is ready to go. Yup, threaded up and over. Nice. Now we're going to have the band slightly off to the right side cause it's our left foot that's going to be on to the gray platform. Take your hands onto the foot bar. Stand onto the carriage and scissor the legs, so left foot's forward. Awesome. Now, what you don't want is your legs to be too narrow. So unless you're practicing to walk on a tight rope later, then let's take them a little wider and find our base of support.
I doctors' working here. So think about the inner thighs squeezing towards each other. Great job. Your foot is forward. Excellent. Take one band in each hand, thumbs up, elbows narrow. Now don't be afraid to choke up on the resistance a little bit because the resistance will help to support you in the flow.
Good and thumbs up as so switch your grip. So let go. There you go. Perfect. What we don't want is the band polling on your wrist. Lift your back heel high and stand tall. Two things happen at once. Your back leg stays straight, your front knee Benz as you bend your elbows, Bicep Curl, slide back into your lunge. Stay there for a moment.
Good thumbs to shoulders. Yeah, you can wrap them unless you're trying to get outta here and hitchhike. Okay. And then carefully come all the way up and push it back into a chest expansion. Nice. Do it again. Bend into your front knee. Bicep curl. Good. Try to square the hips, abdominals drawing in and up and press back with the arms as you rise up. Little chest expansion. Just two more.
If you can control the down ease and trick through the front of the hips and pull yourself back up from the power of your standing seat that stayed down on this next one and maybe you can get a little bit lower. Bend your back knee and a little as you release the bicep curl. Then curl as you extend the knee. Five, four. Try to keep your humerus still in space. Good. Three, two, and one. Rise up. Chest expansion. Good. Put the left hand on the left thigh, preparing for your tricep.
Press back with your back leg as you go into your low lunge. Draw your right elbow up. Pitch forward, abdominals in and up and press through the right arm. Three times. One, two. Awesome. Lift your head just a little good. Three, add the lower body as you bend the elbow. Bend the knee in a little so everything bins and then press everything out. Yes. Three to keep opening your chest as you pitch forward. Hold it. Pulse, the band up. Three, two, one. Rise all the way up. Awesome.
Pivot turns to your standing side. How'd that feel guys? Good. Awesome. It looks really good. So now as we go into our side split series, we need a little less resistance on the left side, the foot bar side cause we want that band to be stretched out on the carriage side. Now your foot bar side, you have hand on hip, you're securely holding the band. Good. Your opposite hand, elbow up. Good. That's going to happen as the carriage presses out. Okay, let's go out into our splits elbow. Nice. And then add duct humorous in towards the body as you come in. Nice. So more in like this. Keep your, there you go. Elbow up.
Good and control. We're preparing for black Friday. Get out of my way and come in. Okay. It looks like you guys have that. Did you want to widen your stance and try that or are you good? Let's try drawing the sore drawn Travolta, some of four. It has lots of names, but it's an awesome exercise. As you press out to the splits, you go elbow up first, then extend internally, rotate, then humorous in towards the body.
Good elbow up first extent. Good. Bend the elbow first and then lower the elbow one more time. Let's look at the arm as it extends. Oh, and then internally rotate. Bring it all the way in. From here you can pivot, turn facing front, put the hands onto the foot bar and switch legs. We're not going to do the other leg though. You can do that later.
That was great. The resistance of the band will, this blue I would say is a medium to light resistance. Um, I've done it on lighter, um, and I just have to choke up a lot more. Okay. You want to feel that feedback as you go down. And I've also tried it on a heavy band and I'm able to do the bicep portion with the lunges, but I'm not able to go into this. I just, it's too heavy. So if you're limited with what you have, just know that if you're going to go into the side splits, you need a lot of stretch to go there. Is there a better position for the foot on the platform? Was your question?
Yeah, I love using a platform extender when I do this front work front lynch work. So if you have a platform or he might want to try that. Reformers are different though. The one that I have at home, the platform's actually a little bit wider. So the front to work feels differently. Um, if the issue is just the bar pushing against the Shin, I'm glad that you felt that connection cause that's what you want. But you may have been leaning into it a little too much.
It's enough to make you feel stable but not enough to leave a bruise. So if there is a sensitivity there, we can always put a cushion or something. But you may find that using a platform extender gives you the, the base of support your foot wants. So you don't feel like you have to push so much with the Shin. All right,
so we're moving on to our last lower body sequence. You'll also notice a lot of these exercise sequences in this mini workshop, your vertical, you're standing up at least at some point in the series.
And um, and I think that's a real great way to train the body if you're able to stabilize in that vertical position. If you earn it, if you're able to keep those polities principles of form and alignment, getting them up onto their feet and moving as if they would through everyday life I think is a really great way to help train them. Um, so the next one years, our standing box work around the world. So I'll just put the foot bar down to get it out of the way and said she can see me better, but the foot bar is not a part of this series. I have a light spring tension on, again, we haven't really changed springs very much. I still have the blue and this actually could be done with an even the lighter spring. It can be done with a yellow spring as well. Now you'll notice I've placed the box beside the reformer. In putting it there, I took a look and I basically aligned the front edge of the box with the gear bar or where the springs connect so you don't want to too far forward or too far back.
I come to a standing position almost in a scissor lunge so that my toes are in line with the front edge of the carriage. I don't want to be right up against the box, but I am close to the reformer. From here, my back leg steps back and I placed my foot onto the foot bar. In this position, my feet are about hip distance apart. My hips are square. When the leg travels back behind you like we saw on the last series, we have to feel a sense of heavy sacrum, deep abdominals engaged to keep the lumbar spine decompressed and when we're working balance, we have to really fire into our standing leg and our adductors.
One thing to note in this series is what you're really training and in the last series two is your lateral balance. So this is the direction that they feel wobbly. So when you're working to help improve this muscle patterning in this athletic conditioning, we want to challenge them this way just as we do forward and back to like any exercise sequence. If you want to lower the complexity and just start to plant the seed, eliminate the upper body. Okay, so just to keep those hands there, bend into your front knee. So coming back into that same lunge that we saw before and then using the front seat length and to come back up. So if I was teaching this in a group, I would assess and say, okay, everyone looks really good.
Back leg is strong, is heavy. So if I wanted to increase the challenge here, I would increase the complexity or the coordination. Maybe I would integrate a forward reach to make sure they're able to maintain rib cage position and reach. I could even hold the lunch position and add my little back bend and extends. It's all about the extension here. I could even keep the knee bend.
Here I am in a lunge and work the down and up. See if I can keep the carriage steady and come all the way up. Now they around the world to me means that we're moving front backside. So once you're done front than we do back. I flip around, switch my feet. So now I have the leg that was lunging and the opposite foot forward.
You could flex the foot against the shoulder blocks or be flat in your feet. Hips are square, same as before. I can work the straight leg lunge and the challenge here for me is not so much the strength and required and the stretch that I'm getting in the hips. It's more the flexibility of my feet and ankles. I'm working hard to keep this back heel down. From here.
I can bend into the front knee and I can probably get a little deeper into the position. Tailbone down and heavy forward presses.
Hips are on a diagonal forward, shoulders over hips, both legs, externally rotated. And I typically do add the lower the upper body in this one right away. What I want to do is send the lower body back. So it's not like our skater, I'm not trying to keep my shoulders over my hips, I'm trying to fold in my hip, shift my weight back and to counter that my opera body has to come forward a little bit. So very deep squat position, knees traveling right over the mid feet. And again here you could add your abandoned extend
Now the reason I love this series beside that it's really fun and effective and works [inaudible] um, is that in a group environment, sometimes adding front splits and usually back splits is pretty scary. So this is the way to start to train that vertical balance and that concept of being on this moving surface as your legs split without the fear of falling. Of course somebody could fall off the box, but if you cue them well they're going to be great. Who wants to give it a try? So your boxes are already set up and so are your springs. To recap, we have a light spring. We're using one blue. Go ahead and stand on your boxes. So you're facing front.
Shoulders down the back so the back leg stays straight. The front knee bends. Inhale, bend your front knee into a lunge and just stay here for one moment. Take your right hand onto your low belly. Yep. Then take your left hand, spread your fingers and put on your sacrum. So your tailbone, your fingers are pointing down on your tailbone.
Now see if you can use the power of your abdominals to draw your back hand under you. Not just your glutes, but also your abdominals. And feel the tightening sensation around your front hand. Good. No. Draw your arms out in front of you. And as you rise up, take the arms down, but maintain that strength in the belly all the way up straight legs. This time. Go down, reach the arm, straight up overhead. Inhale as you go down, back, legs straight. Activate around the knee on that back leg. Exhale as you come up, arms go down.
When you go down, that's your inhale. Bend into your back knee. It's such a small bend and work. The exhale to extend. So the carriage comes in when you bend and out. When you press good, see if you can straighten the leg more. When you press, there it is. And oh now bend the knee. Keep it bent. Now the carriage doesn't move and you go down an inch with your body up an inch.
Five, four. Awesome. Upper body three drive through your front heel too and rise up for one arms. Come down. That was really good. Turn yourself around so you're facing the other direction. So feed on the box. You got it. Yeah.
And so now your back heel is in line with the edge of the carriage and your front foot and comes forward. You can either press your toes against the shoulder block or you can flex your foot. It's up to you. You can play and see how they feel. Let's place the hands on the hips again so we can feel what's happening. Keep both legs straight. Scissor splits. Push the carriage forward and I think you'll be able to feel what I felt.
Just stay here for a moment ladies. So keeping the hips square top priority, you might feel like you can go more into a stretch with your hips if you're flexible. But the challenge here is keeping this back heel weighted. Now exhale, use inner thighs, deep abdominals to rise up. Finding more length for the whole body. Perfect. Two more times like this.
Now push your front foot forward. Driving your heel down for [inaudible] flexible. Your toes are three.
Carriage comes home. Now the feet stay, you pivot on your box foot and now you're facing side. But I use the term side loosely cause you're on a diagonal towards where the wall, the two walls meet. Okay. The corner of the room. Let's extend the arms out in front of us because we need that counterbalance. Bend your knees, a lot of your standing leg a lot and slide the carriage leg out. Sending your hips back. Now just stay here for a moment.
So there's this distribution that needs to happen. Now as much as you can, shift your shoulders back over your hips, but do allow the hips to move backwards. Now x here. Use your inner thighs evenly on both legs to rise up. That was great. Inhale as you press out.
[inaudible] I want you to try to think about dropping this hip a little bit more when you go down. Okay? Yeah. Good. Sit into that hip. Press it back. Nice to hear for a second. Lean back just a little good. Close those ribs. Good. And then in our thighs, come up. Next one. We stay down. We go for our small bend and extend with the carriage leg. Send it down. Knees going right over the midfoot.
Bend your carriage. Knee could be a little, could be a lot. Press it out. Five. This is your time to get deeper into your standing leg for energy through the crown of the head. Three, two good. Co-Constructing those abdominals. As you push the leg out, leg stays straight. You come up, hands go down both feet on the box. I know you want to do the other side. It's Yummy, right? It's hard, but it's good for what? We won't do the other side. We'll do it later. We're going to have a right side party later. Okay, awesome. So the box gives you that larger base of support.
So you can introduce these challenging balance exercises to clients that are physically capable, but you may be here in a group environment. You're not able to spot the mom. Um, it also gives you an opportunity to really feel opening through the front of your hip so you're getting that east centric work or through your inner thigh. Um, we've all worked with those clients or maybe you're one yourself. I know. I am where I, you know, I love a static stretch from time to time, but I also love feeling east centric work where I can really still be challenging my body while I'm opening up muscles that are tight for me it's the front of my hips. Hands can stay on the hips the whole time or you can add upper body challenges too and don't be afraid to add props like the resistance band.
Maybe you did those two flows together and now you are doing open open-close with the resistance band or something else. I also like using weighted balls here,
maybe not into the third part of our workshop. So we've focused on upper body exercises that target the muscles in the upper body but they still focused on some lower body work and more importantly stabilizing through your center to maintain your balance form and alignment. Then we, when we went into the lower body section, again, we are fatiguing the muscles in our lower body, strengthening our seed opening through the front of the hips, but we still had some opera body emphasis and this is a great way to really train and teach the techniques, the form and the mind body awareness that's required when you go into whole body integration work, which is what we're going into next. So full body, the first series that we're going into, um, is a really fun one and there's a class that I filmed on Pele's any time where we incorporate this and it's been great to see everybody using it. It's actually really fun to see it on social media and in people's classes and stuff.
So I wanted to give you a few more progressions within this cardio plank series before we actually go into the flow. Take a look at the images. The first image is your home base and that's your lunge position. Your lunge is where you come back to each and every time. Straight leg, front, knee in a bent position, hips square, tailbone, heavy hands on. And this position is a great position, especially for the athletic client. Every time they come back here, they are getting a really beneficial stretch through the front of the hip. Okay, so sometimes when I see this exercise performed, I see that this is left out and I think this is a really important component. When you're programming and looking at combining movements together to make a combination or a flow, your goal is not to fatigue the muscles to the point where they're form goes out the window. Instead it's the opposite.
It's to super set in a way where you can challenge one muscle group and then while that muscle group rest, you work a different muscle groups. So you have continuous movement. But that movement is really focused on precision. So our home base is our lunge. I have one red spring on and I have the bar in mid position.
You'll sometimes see me do this with the bar in high position and I'll even sometimes do it standing on a box, like how we had the box set up for the last series. So we'll sort of roll through all of those. And you can pick what's best for you. It really depends on your body proportions. With that set, I also have a lot of clients that are petite and by that I mean under five, three. And so this position is really challenging for them to get that stretch.
So they could either walk their foot forward, especially if they were wearing a grip sock or you could put a ball or yoga block between their foot in the shoulder block. So this is more achievable to them. So the first position that I've given to you here is your round back pike. So from your lunge position, it's as if you're jumping on the jump board with your standing leg and you shift not so much forward, you're not going this way. You're trying to shift up and what's going up is your center.
Okay. So you may want to hold each position for a couple of breaths and exhale to come up, inhale to come down. And when I teach this series, that's as slow as I teach it and I expect them to be able to hold that if they can. They're using momentum. So that's not a good idea in this series. So they might need an adjustment, a little bit more weight change the foot bar, et cetera. Okay, so I'll show you that again. From here. Fingers wrapped.
I use my foot like I'm on the jump board and I literally jumped up. But at the same time scoop my belly around my back. Land, toe ball heel. The prep for the pike jumps is a small range of motion. So up
Their abdominals dry. Okay, so that's your round back pike that's actually around back. Pike with a straight leg will see a bent leg coming up in a second. The next part to this series is going into your sweeping plank. So from your lunch chest is lifted. Instead of my weight shooting straight up, I shoot my weight forward so my shoulders come over, my rifts simultaneously sweeping the leg up.
My foot has to land Tobo heel where started to come back.
By that I mean get low, come up high, go down low, come up high. That's when your cardiovascular conditioning kicks in. The other thing that I commonly see is the landing foot migrates backwards. So that starts off here and then it ends up, there's no more over here. Okay? So as if you have a painted footprint on the floor, you want your foot to land in that spot each time.
Now from the plank, I can progress into bent knee variations. So I had a straight leg pike and I had a straight leg plank. The bent knee variations could be knee to nose
Um, and I also have a yoga flow that I've taught here where we use that out you to nose, knee to elbow, knee to opposite elbow. So if you have your Yogis, they're going to love that. And of course all the those movements could be put together in a combination. You guys will do it when you're up here. The next thing I want to you in the cardio plank series is how to switch from side to side.
So you've got this beautiful movement up and down, up and down, up and down. And then when, um, come on off, walk around, go to the other side. You could do that, okay? But you could also progress. So let's say we finished in a plank, simply step the feet to the center, open the hands wide. Now whenever I'm doing unilateral work, I like to do something to bring them back to center. So to get their brain working back right and left sides. So I like to do plank.
Calf raises here from plank half raises, I'm set up to go into scissors. Splits with bent knee round back pike, you already learned it. Scissor split.
I'll tell you what I see a lot in a group environment. They're using momentum. So they slingshot the direction the spring is going and then they try it around their back and pike and you hear that crashing in and it's because they're doing that. So in your pike, if you get the carriage to stop while you're leaning back, that's great. You're using your core. If you're leaning forward and it just crashes in, not so great, you're using the springs so the weight stays back in the pike. The weight comes forward in the plank, shoulders over wrists.
If they have those two series, they're good. Then you could go ahead and start to add in the Neven series. Need a nose, need a side, need a side. Here's a little side note because I do classes to music, which I think are Super Fun. So if you're teaching to music and you're teaching a flow, your flow will typically have to have two components to it or four components to it because that goes with the music. So if you're a teaching and say the knee to nose series, it would go down knee to nose, down, knee to elbow, down, opposite elbow down. Nita note. It would have to repeat that once.
Then the whole series of repeat again. So hopefully that's helpful. If you're into teaching to music when you're doing the plank calf raises, that's your reset button. Now you're in center reset. Split the legs for your scissor lunge to bent knee pike. Repeat the reset and go over to the other side.
But we're not losing integrity here. So the things that could go wrong are plenty. The hip should be level in square during the round back pike. So in the round back pike, think of it as if you're doing round, back elephant. Okay, so hips are square. Spout spine is round, abs are in.
You just have one leg dangling in your plank position. As the legs sweeps up, the most common thing to happen is drop. So what I would suggest is not using words like kick or Aribel desk. It's not, it's a sweep or a little lift. And if too much movement is happening in the torso here, then make it even smaller. Just come an inch off the ground and then as you earn it, you can go more.
It's your hip extensors that are getting the leg back, not the lower back. Um, I've also illustrated that if wrist issues are the biggest problem in this series, the whole series can be done on the elbows and forearms with the box over the foot bar. And that's in a lot of the videos too on plays anytime. Okay, let's give it a try. Who wants to come on up? So here's how we start. Start facing towards the front. Come into your lunge position, right fit. We'll then be forward. So your foot is about in line with the spring bar, the gear bar where the springs attach. And then take your left foot back, curl your toes under and put them onto the shoulder block.
Good hands or onto the foot bar. Press out to a lunch. Your back leg is lifted off. Stay here for a moment so your hands are shoulder width apart, but they're not centered because you're not centered, so their shoulder with, but they're off and over to the side that you're on. Thumbs on the same side of the fingers. Knee traveling right over the mid foot. Let's see, you come a little bit more into a parallel position.
Good hips are square back, knee lifted. Yeah. So I think for you, let's try high bar position. Move the bar up one notch. Are you feeling good in this one? Lower backs. Okay, good. So bend into your front, your front knee. The Lockton good. Okay, so she's not going to go quite so low in her lunch here. Good.
And we can try another way too, but I think this is a little bit better. So let's try from our lunge coming into our round back pike. But I want you to try to hold it in your head. One, two, three, go down. Okay. Inhale in preparation, chest is lifted, Chin is lifted, shoulders are down. Nod your chin to your chest. Exhale, shift up. Carriage comes in. Good.
All the way in. Hips come up. Good. Lean back over your standing leg. More. Good. This they can dangled this way says less hip flexors. Hips are level and now land where you started. Good. They held it for way longer than three to one. That was good. Let's see it over here. Exhale up. Shh.
Nice light can come back a little more. Yeah. And down. Awesome. Landing Toe ball heel. Let's pick up the tempo. Inhale to prepare. Exhale, apple one. Inhale down late. Exhale up to scoop from the belly. One more time here. Exhale at three H. Yeah.
Inhale down. Now for the plank, walk your foot forward so that it's a little, yeah, right about there. Okay, let's do it slow again. Soften those elbows a little bit, you mean? Yup, so the weight. Now we'll shift forward. Inhale in preparation. Exhale, brush the leg as you shift forward into your plank. Hold it. The Weakest Link is the center, so pull it up straight in the leg. Lift the sternum and step it down. Good. One more time. Exhale up. Good. Square the hips. Lift the head, lift the sternum and step it down.
You guys pick this one? You always pick the hard ones. Now that I know you can do it from a place of integrity, you can flow. Inhale to prepare. Exhale up three times. Will one. Protect that low back guys. You know it's going to arch, so scoop the belly before too. Good. Careful. The head doesn't droop.
Exhale three and take it down. Bent Knee Pike. Need a nose. You got to hug it in. Inhale as you prepare. Exhale as you rise up, knee to nose. Pull it in, pull it in, pull it in. Pull it in. Hips. Higher hips, higher. Inhale, step it down. Good. Need a opposite elbow. The shoulder. Stay.
Square the pelvis. Roll, rotate. Exhale, knee to opposite elbow. Good. Try to get it past your elbow. Awesome. And step it down to whole ball. He'll need to same elbow to the outside of the elbow. Axial knee up a opposite. Same Elbow. There you go. Outside of the elbow. Nice. Step it down. Perfect. This time.
Exhale. Come to your plank position. Shh. Step it up. Place this sweeping foot onto the carriage towards the center. And now step both feet together. Good. Adjust your hands. So their shoulder with apart. Find your very best plank. Flex and points, your ankles. Five and I'd probably do 10 here in reality.
Three ribs up, two and one now the same leg that was doing the sweeping, that's the foot that comes forward onto the platform. Press out to scissor lunge and just stay here both legs straight. So when you add this component into the series, you're, you're kind of forcing that athletic client that only wants to move to stretch. You're sneaking it in there and now exhale, pike, hips up, knee to nose, knee to nose, and go back to your scissor lunge. You got it girl. Okay. Ready? Hips up, knee to nose. Round your back.
Good. One more time. Need a nose. Stay here. Place the foot onto the carriage toes on. Shift back over your back leg. Bend both knees low. So heels high. This one to shifted back more back more. Yup. It's like you can almost go look mom, no hands, but you're not going to.
And then push with your back leg. Push and pull and push and pull. Hips are square. Good. Exhale as you pull the knee in. This is three, two, chest, not too low. One and push it back. Connect the feet together and you're ready to repeat the whole series, which we will not rise up. That was great. Good work. Now I'm going to need two more people. It was awesome. Cardio. Thanks.
Yeah. Okay. Two more people come on up.
And let me just demo real quick so you can see. So now my foot is going to land here on the box. It's a different sensation when I'm in the lunge. I'm more pitched forward. Now to come up to the plank to the pike, it's a little bit easier because I'm already partially there. But once I get to that top lift, it's like doing the pike on the chair where that pedal needs to come up.
One more inch. Whew. You got to use the ABS to get there. Okay, so go ahead and come into your lunge with your outside foot on the box. Your inside foot onto the foot bar or the shoulder block of good hands on the foot bar, shoulder with the part fingers wraps. So the intrinsic muscles in the hands are engaged. So their lunges look good. We're going for a round back, straight leg. Pike.
Inhale to prepare. Drop the chin. Exhale, lift up, hips up, carriage in, good, and the foot dangles right about there. Around the back. Level the hips. Land the foot, press it back out. Do it again. Exhale, hips up. Good point. The toe, leg lands, abet there. Nice. And then plant. Awesome. Let's flow. So chest is open here. Exhale, drop the head around the back. Scoop and stepped down.
And exhale. Drop the head around the back. Scoop and down. One more time. Wrap your fingers for safety and scoop and back. Let's try one planks. You can say that you did X. He'll sweep and hold the plank and place it back down onto the box. Very good. Rise up. And now it'd be a perfect time to go into your lower body around the world box series. You guys got? You got it easy. Yeah. Okay, good.
So Sandy on the box is one option. And then the last option that we talked about, I'm not going to show you the whole series, I'm just going to show you the setup. It's with the box here. So if your wrist is the lowest common denominator, then you can take out the rest by being on the elbows and forums here. Okay. If this is what you're doing, I would recommend reducing the tension to a blue. So you've got to do the lunges and you've got to do the scissor splits.
That's important. It's like you don't get your dessert unless you finish your dinner. So, um, shift back when you're doing the Pike's shift for when you're doing the planks to get over to the other side, you have your bilateral calf raises and planks, you have your scissor to bent knee, you have your single leg knee stretch, and you're off to the other side. You could do just one of these lunged around back pike and that's it. Or You could put them together in a combo. Remember that the Combo is not only work on the body, it's work on the brain.
So make sure it's appropriate for your clients. Great.
Moving on to our reverse knee stretch hover series. So again, I hope you're seeing the pieces of the puzzle come together. If I taught the upper body sequences and the lower body sequences, I already, we already went over, I've already planted the seeds of, so when they do this kind of momentum me staff quicker tempo, hopefully their form is better and it's easier for me to correct them because they've already heard me say it. So here we are facing back. My suggestion to you is to use a light spring.
So right now we have a yellow spring on which is as light as we go. Um, so just play with this, um, and make sure that it's your springs are appropriate. Uh, if it's too heavy, the characters won't move, so it'll be easy to realize if it's too heavy. Um, from this, I'm facing this way now so I can began in a kneeling position. And then from this position, I'm coming into a plank, except my hands are onto the wooden rails. The further they are forward, the harder this series is so great about here's a good place to start. Lift up into a plank. Okay. Fingers can wrap as well.
Now, this might be where you go. Plank two, downward facing dog rollout plank to downward facing dog rollout. If you're doing more, if you're adding on the knee stretch, hover is bend in, stretch out
Definitely full body work. Um, let's have just one person come up for the next one cause I really want to show alignment in forms. So who wants to come on up here and thank you all for being so eager to volunteer. Okay, so come to a kneeling position to begin facing towards the back. Great. So curl your toes. Underneath you is if you're going to do a push up, walk your hands forward onto the wooden rails. Thumbs onto the top. Yup. Or if you need to squeeze a little, that's okay too. Now without moving the carriage, let me see you come up to your plank.
So this is the best way for me to judge kind of where she needs to be. If I see her shoulders shooting way forward over her ris, then I can either have her walker hands forward or her feet back. I'm going to have you walk your feet back two inches. Did you guys see the difference? Okay, so scoop up and in through the lower abdominals. Cervical alignment looks great. Lift your hips up, press your chest down, downward facing dog. Good.
And then roll back to your plank and do that two times. Heels heavy.
Good. And stretch out. Perfect. Now if I'm teaching a private, I help them in the beginning and when I see that they're capable, I might help them forward. But then I release back, help forward, release back. And when I see they're capable, I can let them do the whole thing last time cause it looks awesome. Lower the knees, keep the hands where they are and sit your hips back onto your heels to an assistance child's post stretch. Awesome. So one of the things that I saw that was really nice about her form was as she bent her knees in, she didn't interiorly tilt her hips. That's what you see a lot. This sort of [inaudible]. So that was really good. But that's something that I would be on them correcting. Okay, let's try the rotated version. Come on up again to your plank.
Good. Rotate your feet to one side and your hips as well, like slalom, but keep the shoulders square. Exhale. Bring your knees forward. Inhale back to more this direction. Good, good thing we did that lounge series right, and the upper body, because now she knows how to stabilize her shoulder girdle. Other direction. Exhale, pull. She's getting tired and her back wants to help her drop the tailbone. One more.
Exhale, pull and lower the knees. This time, knees down. Walk forward to the police and sit back into child's pose. Letting the head drop down if you can. This is nice because the carriage is pulling her this way, right? But the pulleys are not moving, so she's getting resistance. She's getting traction. Now inhale, lengthen the spine.
Two along neutral. Sit your hips heavy onto your heels. Chest up a little bit higher. If this was my yoga person and I was connecting yoga to [inaudible], I would say come to an upward facing dog in your chest. And now exhale, bend your elbow slightly wide to the sides and inhale, straighten. Good. Exhale poor. And one more time. Awesome. Stretch the arms long. Take the hands onto the rails, slide on back. Keep going.
It's always further than you think. And she made it. And come all the way of perfect. How'd that feel? Great. Good, awesome, good. So stickies for the hands might be necessary there a, just depending on how they're feeling and also depends on where in your class are you going to put this. If it's towards the end like we're doing today, their muscles in their hands are tired. They're a little bit sweaty, especially if they did the cardio plank series right before. Awesome. Each one of these on its own can be a flow plank to down dog. That's it. Stop it or the hovering. Reverse knee stretches. Okay. That's it.
Or go into your rotated position or do it all as a flow. I love adding the lower body, the upper body component at the end because it decompresses the risks and the shoulder girdle. It opens everything up.
The last exercise we're doing in this workshop is spinal extension on the short box and it is full body. For those of you who are going to do it, you will feel everything. I've given you many options here to do. We're doing the full spinal extension work which fires into your whole back body chain. We're doing upper body only as if you're on a ladder or a barrel or an arc barrel.
We're doing lower body only and then we add opera body integration coming into your swan pushups. Okay. Now I think most of you have seen me do this series at one time or the next. So I'm actually going to have you guys come on up here as I teach you. So two people who want to come up, come on up. Now we want to have the carriage stabilized so you have to put enough springs onto the carriage isn't wiggling around for me, that's all of them or all of them. But one, I was always trained to put all the springs on when you're doing short box work.
And then when I feel like rebellious I put all but one and I feel like I didn't do it. Okay. Now perfect. And when your short box comes on, it depends on your body length and also depends on your ability. So there's two options, short box in front of the shoulder blocks or short box over the shoulder blocks. And funny enough, they don't always have to do with height because someone's leg length or torso proportion can be different or lower back injuries. So generally I just say this rule, if you're over five, seven, put the box over the shoulder blocks, but chances are you're going to have to give them some individual feedback. With that said, too, high bar position is an option as is mid bar.
And again, it sort of changes the relationship of how this feels. Let's keep an high bar where it is. The last thing I want to note is you have to have a bar that locks into space, can't have a bar that comes out of position when you push into it.
So the safety strap that I'm thinking of like on the allegro two is down here and your angle would be so great that when you extend you'd kind of come into like Scorpion, right? So if you could, if you could get one with an extender and when their feet were under, if they pushed up into the strap and it was taught about this height, I think they'd be fine. Yup. To get in. I'll show you. Cause it's Kinda tricky. You just kneel. It's not tricky actually, but everyone makes it really tricky. And then once you're kneeling then you can just slide in like that. And that's the same way you get out too. Good. So using your hands, slide your femurs and your pelvis onto the box straightened and separate your legs so that your Achilles tendons hook onto the foot bar. I like my feet wide.
I like my feet wide because I'm going into a big range of motion and extension. If you're going into a smaller range of motion and you're training the legs abducted as you extend for another reason, then that's fine. But my suggestion is if you're going high in your extension, then at least have the legs apart, at least hip distance to give that SSI room. Okay. Beginning with the fingertips on the forehead. Allow your whole upper body to drop down. Good.
Now remember back to when we were lying on the ball and I said, you know, just lean into it. It went smush. It's kind of the same thing here, but the opposite. So just because you're aligned down doesn't mean the abdominals aren't engaged. So hollow out the belly. Pull the ribs up as if I could slide my hand between the box and your abdomen. I'm not going to, but that's the that you're trying to do that. Pull up.
Now press the hips and pubic bone down into the box. Plant our flex the feet so we have this line. Point your toes. So we have this align of energy coming all the way out through that front. Body quads. Engaged seat, engaged. Good. The first series we're going to do as a four part breath. Inhale, set your shoulders to a strong position and lift up to neutral.
There it is. Exhale, lift up into your extension. Looking towards the direction the chest is pointing. Perfect. Inhale, lower back to your neutral position. Nice. Keep the back of the neck long. Exhale, flex with intention as you go forward. Don't collapse all the way down. Yeah. Inhale, shoulders, strong position. Lift to neutral. Exhale, engage the back. Lift up, pull the belly up with you. Inhale, hold. Yes, you should feel your glutes and then go all the way back down. Very good.
So I often hear I'm feeling my seat. Is that right? Yes, it's right. The whole back body's working. All of it. Yep. Let's take it to a two breath. Now I'm going to teach you both and you can tell me what you like better. We'll inhale to extend. Exhale, to prepare. Drawing the abdominals in an app. Inhale, lengthen through the crown of the head.
Lift past neutral into your extension. Inhaling, inflating the body with air. Exhale, begin to contract the ABS first. Flex up and over as you go. All the way back down. That's breath pattern number one. Breath pattern. Number two. Exhale. Connect the abdominals. Inhale to prepare on an exhale, strong shoulders lift up.
Come to your highest extension position where you can extend evenly throat each vertebra. Good. Inhale, begin to length in through the top of the head and lower all the way down. There's benefits to both breath patterns. And so I suggest that you play with it. You find what's right in your body or you decide what is going to benefit your client the most. We're going to add onto this guys, you feeling okay? Okay. Let's inhale to prepare. Exhale, lengthen. Lift to our neutral position.
Good. Like a shish Kebab. We're going to rotate. We're not gonna, we're not going to laterally flex. We're just gonna rotate right elbow to the ground. Okay? And this is actually where you want to be. Okay, good. And then back to center. And now we're going to rotate opposite elbow to the ground. Good.
So shoulders are still in line with hips and back to center and lower down. Good. Adding on. If you choose to, you can continue being a shish Kebab or you can evolve into, I don't know, this would be maybe a butterfly reaching out of the cocoon. Okay, here we go. Inhale. Lengthen up as you shish Kebab, right elbow down. Now you can lift laterally, flex and reach your left arm up. Good. And you're over here and take your fingertips back to your forehead is your rotate center and go down. That's good. Inhale, lengthen. Lift. Shish Kebab. Axial lift. Higher reach. Look very good. Lean towards your right.
Yes and fingertips down and lower down. Can you do one more each side. Lengthen up. Inhale, axial, rotate, twist, lift. Good. Try to keep the shoulders still in line with the hips. Awesome. And come back to center and lower down and here we go. Lengthen. Yes. Rotate. Twist, lift. Yes.
And fingertips to the forehead. Back to center and lower back down. Very good. If you're not feeling whole body, you're crazy cause it's whole body work. Okay. From here we're going to leave the legs hooked. Now if you're starting to feel you're back at home or here, you can move yourself down. So more of you as on the box or if you have your box in front of the shoulder blocks, you can move your box. Excuse me.
If you have your box in front of the shoebox yet you can move your box over the shoulder block. So more view is supported. So legs are hooked on. Take the fingertips to the forehead when you're ready. Guys. In inhale, lift back up to your neutral, and that's all I want you to do is your neutral. Your spine is not going to move anymore. Just your arms are open. Your elbows to goalpost. Position from goalie posts. Inhale, reach forward. Exhale, circle around to your thighs. Yes, bend back to your goalie post.
Reach forward. Exhale, circle around your thighs. Now if you want to add more extension in your circle, you can reach forward. Exhale, lift as you circle one more time. Reach forward. You're in a long dark position. Lift as you circle good. Reach forward and hold. Turn your thumbs up, swim your arms up, up, up, up, up, up, up for hips. Stable. Three good.
Two abs engaged. One and done. Take it down. Mini break. Good. Now there's a little bit of a trick to do this. So to get your feet out of there, you have to bend one knee and get your foot to come on top. Yes. And then then the other knee and foot comes on top. Yes. Okay. Obviously harder with a high bar.
Now push your hands onto the wooden rail so your hands are just slightly in front of your shoulders. Bend your elbows a little, so your spines back into your neutral alignment, but draw up through your belly. Lengthen through the back of the neck. Press your hips and pubic bone points your toes. Find that long line. Lift your legs off of the foot bar. Yes, so hip extensors, swim your legs up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up for three. Now chest, a little lower legs a little higher to try to get the femurs off the box and one and take it down. I also like to do hip extension Combo here.
Let's just do a quick one. Chess a little bit low. Legs high via the glutes, legs together, legs apart, legs up, legs down together, apart, up and down together. Apart, up and down together, apart, up and down. Now together, together, together, together, and you can continue to play along and sing. Okay, good. The very last part here is slide very far forward. So far forward. In fact, that your belly button is off the box. Good. Don't say this one to the very end of your class. Cause if you have to go to the bathroom doesn't show good. So from here, bring your shoulders, your hands. So they're under your shoulders. Yeah.
And you do want your thumbs wraps. You've got a good grip. Now this is like grasshopper. You've probably done it before. Just a slightly different twist. I want you to lower your chest down so your chest is neutral. That means you're gonna have to bend your elbows a little bit. Yeah.
Now from here, extend at your hips, pointing your toes, lifting your legs high off that foot bar. Let's see them lift higher. Good. And don't be afraid to separate them and externally rotate to get that length through the back body. Nice. Now keep your legs lifted as high as you can and straighten your elbows. Your legs will go down a little bit and that's totally fine. Now as you bend your elbows, lift your legs up higher.
You're doing a pushup with your upper body, legs up, legs up, legs, up, legs, up. And now push up with your arms. I think you guys need to inch off the box a little bit, but if you think you're going to do a nose dive, then don't you know better than me cause you're pushing your hips into the box when you go back. Right? Try it and see so legs up as you go down. Good. And now the legs stay engaged. Push up with the arms. Awesome. Two more. If you can legs up as you go down. Good. And now you keep the shape like a little boomerang.
You're doing pushups with your upper body, hip extension. Work with your back body. Good. Hold this position legs together apart, together, apart, and push all the way up with your arms. Now from here, slide your feet under the foot bar. That magic way you learned. Good. Slide back onto your knees so your knees come onto the carriage.
Awesome. And this would be a great time to maybe come onto the elbows and forearms, flex the spine, extend the spine, good, mobilized. So it feels good. And then when you're ready to come off the box, you can well done. Good work guys. Good. Okay. Not Celebrating yet cause we have just a little bit of discussion and then we're totally done. We're done all the exercises. So you got a great upper body workout, a great lower body, and then putting it all together. I'm just, the one thing I really want you guys to take note of is that each exercise in its variation prepares you for the next step within that flow.
But each flow can also prepare you for the next exercise sequence that you're going to pull at, that you're going to incorporate down the road. So programming intelligently means planting those seeds so that they can grow with them throughout class. And at the end they have that Aha moment and you can get so much out of them when they know what it is you're talking about. A perfect example is the lounge legwork. I've seen it happen so many times. They're focused on their Tushie, but you're touching their shoulders. You're talking about shoulder girdle, you're talking about head, neck, you're talking about ribs.
And when they go to do something like what we just did, those swan pushups, it's there cause we've already covered it. It's a beautiful thing. Um, you guys at home, thank you for joining me. If you are in a Polonius enthusiast, you can do each of these exercises and you can have an awesome full body workout. Don't forget to give yourself a treat and do some feat and strap work too. And if you're an instructor here with me today or at home, I hope that you're going to incorporate some of these exercises into your teaching.
Just remember to do them in your own body first so that you have it solid with how you're going to cue it, how you're going to progress. The transition into and out of each exercise is just as important as the exercise itself. And the last thing to note is when you're putting together your creative combinations, just be intelligent and set them up for success. Choose a muscle group. Then choose a complimentary exercise with a different muscle groups so that you can keep that movement happening without losing their form.
I hope you guys had fun today. Um, stay tuned for some more classes coming up on politesse. Anytime that we'll include these flows into.