- Learn about motor learning and how to talk to the brain and nervous system to get the desired results form the muscular and skeletal systems
- Learn visualizations that will help your clients achieve the movements that will work best for their bodies
- Go in-depth with the muscles and bones of the shoulder girdle so you can see how it was designed to move during basic movements and Pilates exercises
Hi, I'm Cara Reeser-- And I'm Jeremy Labrador. And we are here at Pilates Anytime to teach from our movement education platform that's called Movement Science Made Simple. And we're teaching a workshop that's part of one of the workshops that we teach in Movement Science Made Simple. We're gonna be focusing on how to teach, how to coach, how to use manual cueing, how to use verbal cueing, how do you use imagery to help our clients find good use of the shoulder girdle. Of course, that's gonna involve movement, Pilates application and some anatomy, so we hope you enjoy it.
Hi, I'm Cara-- And I'm Jeremy. And Jeremy and I have a program that we created together, an educational program for Pilates teachers called Movement Science Made Simple, and we're super excited to be here today at Pilates Anytime to offer you just a small part of one of the courses in our curriculum. Movement Science Made Simple has a variety of courses. And today we're gonna offer a small portion of one of our courses. The focus of this course today is gonna be looking at the shoulder girdle, the shoulders and ways in which we can help you cue your clients, coach your clients, to work more efficiently with their shoulders when their arms are free in space and when they're weightbearing.
So the goal again is to sort of, you know, get a little more clear on what's going and going on anatomically and help you come up with cues that are really appropriate when you're coaching your clients and the movement of their shoulders. Now in Movement Science Made Simple, we have a pretty particular point of view. And so we wanna sort of lay the groundwork of that point of view so that we're all kind of on the same page as we go through the workshop today, at the beginning of our courses, we often offer a little quotes or sort of slogans from some of our teachers. And one of the quotes that we often use is from one of Cara's teachers, Andre Bernard, Andre was an anatomist and a teacher of ideokinesis. And he says that "Movement is a neuro-musculo-skeletal event." Neuro musculoskeletal.
So that means right, the nervous system is involved the muscles are involved, obviously and the skeletal system is involved. And for us, what that means in terms of the way we like to teach things, is that we're always starting with the nervous system. So today we'll be looking at cues, cueing, both verbal cueing, tactile cueing, imagery, and all of those things really speak directly to the brain. So what we're looking at is how do we talk to the brain and the nervous system to get the results we want out of the muscles in the skeletal system. Exactly, so another quote use in this course a lot is something that Kathy Grant, my teacher used to say, and which he used to tell us is she would get us in the room and she'd say, I want you to move, but don't move.
Right so what does that mean move but don't move. Well, what she was doing is the same kind of thing. And she was very clear that she wanted us to be able to visualize in our minds the action that we were trying to achieve, whatever our movement goal was, so that we were actually mentally preparing so that we could acquire a new skill, enhance a skill, you know, maybe get a skill we've never had or change a skill. So this was a really important moment where you were mentally preparing and research actually really supports the fact that this mental preparation into the nervous system to the body is really, really key in being successful in your movement goals. Yeah, so what Cara is really talking about is motor learning, right?
We're Pilates teachers, so we really deal in teaching people how to learn, how to do movement. So how do we define motor learning? There's a definition that we really like to use. It's from Magill & Anderson from a textbook on motor learning and there's a complete citation in the downloadable handout that comes with this course and Magill & Anderson say that motor learning is the acquisition of motor skills, the performance enhancement of learned or highly experienced motor skills or the reacquisition of skills that are difficult to perform or cannot be performed because of injury disease or the like. So the reason that we like this quote so much is it sort of covers like every kind of person that we see in our Pilates practice, right?
There's people who when we were trying to teach to do something for the first time, they've never been able to do it before and they're learning how to do it for the first time. But there's very highly skilled movers who may be, we're trying to help them enhance the performance of these skilled movements that they always do. And then there's people that for whatever reason, because they've been injured or ill, or maybe they just haven't exercised in a while are trying to relearn how to do a movement. So this covers all of that territory for us. Okay so here's what to expect from today's workshop.
So we're going to be bouncing back and forth between looking at anatomy with Jeremy joint configuration muscle landmarks on the bones, that'll be useful. And then coming and looking at both preparatory movements that are gonna help us hopefully cue and coach our clients better. And then we'll look at, from those preparatory movements, how do we bring that, apply that in our Pilates protocols. So that ultimately what we're hoping is that we're now going to be queuing our clients and coaching our clients based on their bodies and not based on the exercise that they're teaching, right? So we're gonna be really looking at that as we go.
So I don't know, let's get started, great.
I'm here with my colleague and friend Laura, and I'm gonna take you now through sort of, you know, re kind of a visualization of the shoulder girdle okay. So first thing I wanna say, so let's just face the camera Laura, is that I wanna remind you what the shoulder girdle is. First of all, right. So the shoulder girdle includes the clavicle, the scapula.
Right, which joined together right here, the arm bone, right and the joints of the clavicle and the sternum, the AC joint, the joint between the clavicle and the scapula and the joint that is your shoulder joint, where the humerus comes into the glenoid fossa, right. So the thing that's really important to remember is that the only bony attachment of your entire shoulder girdle to your trunk is right here at the sternoclavicular joint, right? So one of the things that we like to do, I'm gonna turn Laura to the side so you can see this is, I like to remind my clients of how mobile the shoulder girdle is. And I also like to feel it myself as the teacher. So I have a sense of what's really going on.
So we do this little puppet exercise where you're gonna take your thumbs and you're gonna snuggle them right under the inferior angle of the scapula, I have my hands in her armpits, nice and warm in there. And then I'm just gonna basically pick up Laura's shoulder girdle, right? So this is a really fun exercise, it usually causes some giggling. And I'm really, again, I'm gonna be picking up her shoulder girdle and shaking it on her rib cage, right? So that Laura can feel the freedom, how much that scapula actually moves up and down the rib cage, right?
And then the image that we're gonna be carrying on throughout this workshop and I hope you'll use at home is in your studios is an image of wearing a cap okay? So I'll have Laura stay facing this way. And usually the way I coach this is I'm just gonna say to my client, I want you to visualize you're putting on a cap, right? So she's gonna visualize, and I'm gonna describe this and you can do this at home with us, all right? So she's putting on a cap and the cap is attached right here at her sternoclavicular joint, right?
'Cause again, that's where, that's the attachment point, right? So now your fabric, you get to pick your fabric, right? You might want a fabric that helps your shoulder girdle feel heavy, you might want a fabric that lightens you up. You get to decide, now this is not, this is a real practice of visualization. So you're gonna really put this cap on and then what we're gonna think about is rather than moving through the world, by pulling our cap to get places right, which we often do, we're gonna let that cap follow the spine and the rib cage, right?
So as Laura drops her head, she's gonna start to roll down. She's gonna be visualizing how that cap, just as it would, right. Falls forward with her in that movement, right? And she can feel that weight of the cap, right. Her scapula have slid up her rib cage.
That's quite appropriate here. And then she's gonna roll up and as she rolls up, she doesn't have to change her shoulders or pull them back or down. They're just gonna settle, right? They're both suspended and resting on the rib cage. It's quite natural.
Now this is the same, this image for extension, right? So as Laura comes back into extension, her cap again is just going to fall all right. It's gonna fall backwards like that. And then as she comes up, her cap will get righted or be centered on her body again, right? So again, she doesn't have to find that backbend by like pulling her cap backwards and getting up, right?
Oh, that was like, cute, like a dance. But rather we want her to allow her cap to follow her trunk, okay? So now this is also true inside bending, right? So we'll just turn you this way, Laura. So when you're side bending again, she's gonna bring her body over, right?
And that cap is just gonna follow, right? She doesn't have to pull on her scapula to create that movement and then she's twisting, we're just gonna twist like this. She's gonna just twist back and forth, right? We're just gonna go back and forth and we're just gonna feel the visualization right. Is feeling how your cap, like, if you were twirling, your cap would just be spinning around you, right?
So again, she doesn't have to tug on her scapula in either direction to rotate. So I just want you to keep this in mind, because this is gonna be truly important. Like when you're looking at something like a stomach massage, right. On the reformer where you see that conflict so often between rotation of the spine and the scapular movement, okay? So, I wanna take this into application with you to Laura.
Let's go to the Cadillac or the little machine here and let's have you let's have you lie down for a roll down, roll up, okay? So I just wanna look at some ways in Pilates where this comes up, okay? So it's often the case that I see my clients struggle because they're actually pulling their cap forward on the way up. So she's gonna take her arms over her head. And we're just gonna look at what happens here.
So if Laura's strategy to get up and roll up was one where she proceeds and really pulls her cap. It really throws her spine. You can imagine if I picked any of my friends up with their cap, like what would happen to them? They'd be like, ah, right? So that we don't want that for her.
So what I want is Laura, to be able to really wear her cap. Like, this is no joke, Kathy Grant used to say, you know, you gotta be the image, right? So she's gonna lift her head. Her arms are gonna come with, and you can just watch how she executes that, right? She wants to pull from her cap 'cause it would help her get up but instead, we're gonna let that cap follow through a little bit as she goes and the same as she rolls down, right?
The other thing just pause right there Laura, let's demonstrate the other caveat that happens. Oftentimes people have the sense that they should be pulling their blades down, right? Now what happens here is she's not gonna be able to articulate her spine 'cause she shoved her spine forward. Right it's gonna be really tricky. So again, we really want her just to wear that cap as she's rolling down and rolling up.
Right and so you can imagine, come on up, Laura, take that roll down bar in your hands. How in Pilates, right, you start adding weight. Now she's actually having as a force, that's gonna be pulling on her arms. So the demand of control is gonna be higher in her scapular muscles. And Jeremy's gonna really describe what's going on here in a few minutes, right?
So as Laura rolls back in order to keep this position, she's gonna have to actually ask her scapular muscles to participate in that control, right? So again, if Laura made a decision here to pull her shoulder blades down her back, right. And she tried to come up, that's really gonna create a conflict. You can see that from the camera, right? So again, she's gonna use the image, she's gonna lift her head.
She's gonna pick up her trunk and she's gonna let that cap follow, okay, great. So let's go ahead and let go of that bar Laura, come into the position for Swan, for me, with your head facing that way. Okay so now you, you all, you have to work with me here to like take this image further, but I'm showing just a few examples. This is also gonna be true for you and things side bending things twisting, but in something like Swan, oftentimes we're cueing people's arm position or their scapular position prior to going. And what happens for instance, if I told Laura to bring her hands under her armpits, and I told her to pull, right, she's now gonna pull up with her cap to get up in Swan, which is gonna thrust her trunk forward and it's gonna disrupt her ability to move her trunk well in Swan.
So I'm gonna suggest that we wear that cap at the beginning of these exercises again. So Laura's scapula can just be and she's now going to let her scap follow the Swan. I want you to try this at home, right? Just right now, even with us lift your head and here she comes, she's gonna move that trunk. Now watch that scapula is just simply following, right?
She doesn't have to pull it down, pull it together, anything it's just with the body, you know, and she's actually practicing this cue. I can see that she's doing that so let's do that again Laura, let's let them see that one more time. She comes up again, right? And lo and behold, she's getting to use her arm muscles more, which is also fantastic and back down. Beautiful, right?
So she's got these beautiful wings, tattoos, right. So we can see, we can really tell if they're, all right. So we'll be looking at that more. So come on up to seated and okay so here's where we're headed. We're gonna look at some anatomy with Jeremy, so we can start visualizing a little more clearly where we're headed with this.
So we're gonna look at some anatomy of the shoulder girdle, both the bony anatomy and a little bit later, the muscular anatomy to sort of clarify, I think or illuminate the imagery that Cara was using and to eliminate this stuff that we're gonna be doing later on in the workshop. So as Cara said, right, there's one sort of bony connection between your shoulder girdle and your axial skeleton, meaning your spine and your ribcage. And that's your sternoclavicular joint, right? Which is where your clavicle or your collarbone meets your sternum also known as your breastbone. Now the joint that most sort of lay people or non Pilates teachers think of is your shoulders, your glenohumeral joint, right?
The ball and socket joint here, where your upper arm bone meets your glenoid fossa. Now your glenoid fossa is just the name of the socket of your bone and socket joint. And it's important to realize that it's actually in your scapula, your shoulder blade, right? So we're talking about the articulation between your humerus or your upper arm bone and your scapula or your shoulder blade at the glenoid fossa. So I have some other models of that that I can show you.
So here's a scapula, this would be my right shoulder blade. And here's the glenoid fossa. I've colored it green for easy visualization. And it's kind of a flat surface. So it's called a ball and socket joint.
But sometimes the glenohumeral joint is referred to as like being a golf ball on a golf tier and it's kind of shallow here and this is pretty round. So it's not exactly matching. And it has some cartilaginous structures that help to make it match a little bit better. But one of the reasons it's so free is because that joint is kind of shallow. So it's important that we have good muscular control of the shoulder joint to maintain stability in the shoulder point, which is why we're doing this workshop really.
So you've got your glenoid fossa, which is the, the socket of your ball and socket joint. And you have the head of the humerus, which is the ball of your ball and socket joint. Now, as I lift my arm, right, this humerus is representing me, lifting my arm. And maybe you can see there's a kind of rolling motion of the ball of the head of the humerus and the socket of the glenoid fossa. Now, if I just were to roll at a certain point, I would roll right off of that surface.
So I need to both roll and kind of glide as I move my arm up and down, right? So there's a rolling in this case upward, and there's a kind of a gliding downward and then vice versa. So that glide slash roll that combined movement of gliding and rolling is controlled largely by your rotator cuff muscles, which we'll talk about a little bit later. Another thing I wanna point out about this, this movement of lifting your arm in particular, if you look at my other blue surface here on the outside, on the lateral side of my humerus, that's the greater tubercle, right? It's just a sticky outer part of your humerus, which is where your rotator cuff muscles attach.
Now, and this other green bit is my acromion. So it's a process here that we'll talk about a little bit more in a second. So if I'm lifting my arm, particularly to the side, but really anywhere front or side or anywhere in between. At a certain point that a greater tubercle is actually gonna hit the underside of my acromion process, right? So in order to lift my arm without that happening, I need to do some amount of external rotation.
I don't know if you can see that external rotation of the humerus as I'm elevating the arm, right? So that external rotation is also provided by your rotator cuff muscles. And if I were to not do that, I'm gonna get some amount of pinching or impingement of the soft tissues between that greater tubercle and the acromion process. So as I said, you need to do external rotation for effective elevation of the arm. Elevation just mean lifting the arm, sort of in any plane.
So try this, if you maximally internally rotate your, your humerus, your upper arm, and you lift your arm, right. You get a pretty quick sort of riding up over your shoulder blade, right. Whereas if you externally rotate and you lift, you get kind of different shoulder mechanics, right? So in this instance, your shoulder blade is elevating kind of automatically to avoid that impingement, right? Whereas with this rotation, you can afford to sort of lift the arm higher before the shoulder blade elevates quite that much, right?
So there's four joints of the shoulder girdle. We talked about the sternoclavicular joint. We talked about the glenohumeral joint. Cara alluded to the acromioclavicular joint earlier. So the acromion process, which I showed you on the free scapula, right, actually is where the spine of the scapula, this structure terminates.
It sort of wraps around to the front and meets the clavicle here. It's a little hard to palpate, but if I do a movement like this or movement like this, I'm getting some movement in my acromioclavicular joint. And certainly in big movements of lifting the arm, there is movement at the acromioclavicular joint and there's movement at the sternoclavicular joint. Now the joint we're most gonna be looking at is the joint where the scapula meets the thorax or meets the ribcage and thoracic spine. So it's called the scapula thoracic joint for that reason.
And we're gonna look at it because it's easy to see, right? And I think it's a reference point that we already all use as Pilates teachers were looking at the movement of the shoulder blades as a way of gauging how our clients are using their shoulders and arms. Now the scapulothoracic joint is not a true joint because that would imply that it's a place where bone meets bone and there's an articulation between two bones. As we already said, there's only a bony connection between the shoulder girdle and the exoskeleton at the sternoclavicular joint. Here it's muscles that are really controlling this articulation, but we can visualize it as a joint.
It's called a physiologic joint when it's, when it's not a real joint. So in order to visualize the movements at the scapulothoracic joint, we're gonna need to sort of find some bony landmarks. So first we have the, this border where of the scapula closest to the spine, it's the called the medial border. 'Cause it's close to the midline. We have the lateral border sort of on the outside and where those two borders meet there's an angle called the inferior angle, and this will be an important landmark for us when we're queuing later on, when Cara is showing you some movements with Laura.
Now this top pointy part, the superior angle is hard to impossible to see and hard to palpate because it's under a lot of muscles. So we're gonna use the spine of the scapula as our reference point for the top of the scapula. So if we take the spine of the scapula and the medial border, the lateral border and the inferior angle, we have sort of a triangle that we can visualize as the scapula. So now Laura and Cara are gonna help me show you how to visualize those movements.
So Cara and Laura are gonna assist me in demonstrating the movements at the scapulothoracic joint or the movements of the scapula relative to the rib cage and the spine.
So Cara is going to be our model and then Laura is gonna play the part of her shoulder blades with these green triangles, which are first of all not to scale, right? Cara's shoulder blades are smaller that. Laura is holding them lower than Cara shoulder blades. So don't get confused and they're also flat. So in real life, a scapula or shoulder blade is somewhat curved, right?
And there's a con cavity, right. An inwardly curved surface on the front that's articulating with Cara's rib cage. So, you know, keep in mind that this is a model and it's not an exact representation of your body or Cara's body or anybody's body. So if Cara does a movement where she just brings her shoulders up towards her ears, right, and back down, that's called scapular elevation and scapular depression, right? Pretty straight forward elevation is up and depression is down.
And if she does a movement where she brings her shoulder blades in towards her spine, in the back, right towards the spine and away from the spine, that's called scapular adduction and scapular abduction, Cara sometimes refers to this as closing the elevator doors for adduction and opening the elevator doors for abduction. In the way that I remember it is that the D and A deduction is for drawing in towards center. And abduction is like the princess is being abducted. So she being taken away from the castle, it's corny, but it works. And I need to think about it practically every time I say those words.
So again, it's adduction drawing in towards center and abduction moving away from the midline and Cara can perform both that elevation depression and that AD abduction without moving your arms around too much. So you can sort of isolate those movements of the shoulder blades. Now there's some scapular movements that are very difficult, possibly impossible to perform in isolation. So Cara is not gonna try to do them, but Laura is gonna demonstrate them so that we can put them in the context of arm and shoulder movement. So one is called anterior and posterior tipping.
So we use the reference point of the top of the scapula, if it tips forward, right, that's called anterior tipping of the scapula and if it tips backwards, that's called posterior tipping, right? And if there's an anterior tipping at the top, there's the bottom part, the inferior angle moves back and vice versa in posterior tipping the inferior angle moves forward. Now the scapula, it can also move around a vertical axis and that's called internal and external rotation. So that's this way like swinging doors sort of, and then external rotation, right? And this is a little hard to visualize as well as hard to perform an isolation, but we'll look at it in the context of other movements in a minute.
So I think it'll start to make a little more sense. Now if Cara takes her arms out to the sides and all the way over her head, there's a movement called upward rotation of the scapula that needs to happen. And then when she brings them back down, it's called downward rotation of the scapula. So the reference point is the glenoid fossa, which would be out here on the scapula. And as we do upward rotation, that points more up.
And as we do downward rotation, that points more down and it's a rotational movement so it makes sense that that's why it's called that, right? In real life we're three-dimensional, our movement is three dimensional and the movement of our shoulder department is three-dimensional. So when we do our movements, most of the time it's the scapular movement is a combination of some of these movements that we've described. So for example, if Cara takes her arms forward and all the way over her head, right, she's getting that upward rotation and she's also getting a little bit of posterior tipping. So the upper part of her scapula is gonna tip backwards and space a little bit.
As she brings her arms down, she's gonna get that downward rotation and particularly as the arms go to the back, she's gonna get anterior tipping, but the front or the top part of her scapula is gonna move forward. And there's often times in Pilates where we coach someone to do some other kind of a thing with their shoulder, but this is a perfectly natural movement and this is actually probably the normal way that your shoulder moves when you bring your arm way behind you is you get this anterior tipping. So now as Cara does sort of gross movement of her shoulders way forward and way back, maybe you can see she's getting that adduction is or abduction as the shoulders move away from the spine. And she's also getting that internal rotation as the shoulder blades move kind of around to the sides of the rib cage. And as she draws the shoulder blades back and together, she's getting that adduction of drawing in towards center and also sort of a flattening of the shoulder blades towards us or towards you.
So let's try that again. And she goes forward and a movement that we're gonna call protraction, she gets that abduction of the shoulder blades and an internal rotation and as she goes back, she's getting adduction and that sort of flattening. So going forward, we're gonna forget about internal rotation, external rotation, abduction, adduction and we're just gonna call that movement protraction retraction for like all of our purposes from here on out, which is gonna be a lot simpler. Thank you, ladies. Thank you.
So to review a little bit for good elevation of the arm. Again, meaning lifting of the arm to the front, lifting of them to the side, lifting to the arm anywhere in between front and side, we need that rolling/gliding of the glenohumeral joint. We need some amount of external rotation, right? To avoid that impingement of the greater tubercle against the acromion, we need upward rotation as we just saw, right? And the coordination of that upward rotation of the shoulder blade of the scapula and the movement of the glenohumeral joint is typically called scapulohumeral rhythm or glenohumeral rhythm is also correct, but I like scapula humeral rhythm.
So it's the combined her coordinated movement of the scapulothoracic joint and the glenohumeral joint and the exact sort of proportion of which is doing what changes throughout the range. But so a couple of things we want you to know one is that at the very beginning of the range, probably this like first 30 degrees or so of movement is pretty much just glenohumeral movement and that's gonna be relevant in some of the exercises that Cara shows you, and then at the other end of the range is you're really getting to the top of your range for most folks you're gonna need probably a little bit of thoracic movement to get 180 degrees of shoulder movement to get my arm all the way up and all the way alongside my ear, I'm gonna need to move my thoracic spine a little bit. Believe it or not, most folks, most normal people do not have 180 degrees of shoulder flection or shoulder abduction so it's normal to do a little bit of thoracic extension to try to get your arm all the way overhead. So if we're cueing our clients that they need to hold their thorax perfectly still or worse yet that they need to kind of pull down on their thorax. First of all, they might not be able to get their arm all the way overhead.
And second, if they do, they're probably doing it in a way that is not exactly ideal from the point of view of biomechanics. So we need to keep some kind of freedom in the thoracic spine to be able to have good movement of our shoulders. We also, because we know we need this upward rotation of the shoulder blades, can't be cueing our clients to hold their shoulder blades down, right? 'Cause a component of that upward rotation is actually elevation of that lateral part of the shoulder blades. So if I'm holding that down, I'm again not able to do upper rotation.
So we want you to think about that. Now, a thought one more thought before we let you go back to Cara and Laura is an image that I like very much, which is that the glenoid fossa, right? This socket that is part of your scapula it's job is to actually follow around the head of the humerus so as I'm lifting my arm, right, if this were my actual arm here, all the way overhead in order to remain in contact, the glenoid fossa has to really move, which means the scapula has to really move. It's been likened to being like a seal with a ball on its nose, right at SeaWorld or wherever, right as the head of the humerus rolls and the arm is moving through space, the scapula also has to move through space. So by the time your arm is all the way overhead, your scapula is doing something like this, probably.
Right so just sort of keep that in mind, particularly as you get into weightbearing where it's gonna be really relevant.
Now we're gonna look at some of the muscles that produce the movements we were just talking about. Before we go any further though, I wanna say something about how we use anatomy and our movement science made simple courses. It's not the case that we want you to memorize the names of everything, or know the origins and insertions of all the muscles or anything like that. We want you to get a good picture in your mind of where things are and how they work so that you can have the picture when you're looking at your clients.
And so that you can choose the cues you're gonna use based on how things really work anatomically. And because of that, we're using sort of a simplified version of the anatomy. So not every muscle that might produce those motions is gonna be in there, we're gonna be looking at some, the major muscles that we want you to be thinking about in reference to the movements that we've already discussed and the movements that we're gonna use when we go forward into Cara and Laura's exercises and those muscles can be broken down sort of broadly into two groups, we'll call them intrinsic and extrinsic muscles, intrinsic muscles in this case would refer to the muscles that attach from the shoulder blade to the humerus, right from the scapula to the humerus and extrinsic muscles would be the muscles that attach from the axial skeleton, meaning from the spine or the rib cage to the scapula or to the upper arm. So there's smaller kind of shorter muscles that attach from the shoulder blade to the upper arm, to the humerus that we're calling intrinsic muscles. And there's other muscles that attach from the skeleton to the shoulder blade or to the arm that we're calling extrinsic.
And don't get hung up on those words. I think sometimes we get excited about the word intrinsic and think those muscles are more important somehow or more profound, but they basically do two different kinds of jobs. So we need to use both our intrinsic and extrinsic shoulder muscles when we're doing anything with our arms or our shoulders. So we're gonna start first with the muscles of scapular upward rotation, right? We just looked at that movement that happens whenever we're elevating our arm.
And the first muscle we're gonna look at is the upper trapezius, right? Which you can see attaches, I'm gonna be pretty general in terms of naming the bony landmarks for the attachments. But, we know, we can say that it attaches from the base of the skull, from the occiput and the spines of the first seven cervical vertebrae. And it runs down and sort of outward to the most lateral third of the collarbone and to the acromion, it doesn't show the acromion very well here, but it attaches to the most lateral third of your collarbone into your acromion. So if you had the upper trapezius contracting and it was lifting the shoulder towards the neck or to the head, right, it would be pulling inward and upward and as you can see it would produce that movement of the glenoid fossa pointing more upward, that component of upper rotation of the scapula.
And here's a nice animation so you can see your upper trapezius in three dimensions. Now it's a little counterintuitive, but your lower trapezius also helps to perform upper rotation of the shoulder blade. So the lower trapezius attaches, if you can't, I don't know how well you can see it, but your lower trapezius attaches to the spines of T5 to T12, those vertebrae. And it's fibers go diagonally upward and outward to the root of the spine of the scapula, the most medial part of the spine of the scapula. So it's action would be to pull downward and inward on the spine of the scapula.
If you have that motion downward and inward happening on this sort of a medial part of the scapula, and you have that upward and inward rotation happening the most lateral part of the scapula, it produces sort of a seesaw effect, right? And you get that upward rotation of the shoulder blade. And there is your three dimensional view of the lower trapezious. Now the third muscle we wanna look at in terms of upper rotations, it's a very famous muscle, it's called serratus anterior, and here we're looking from the backside. So you're looking through translucent shoulder blades to see that the serratus anterior attaches to the most medial part of the anterior surface, the front surface of the scapula, right?
And if you see from the side, you can see that it has these sort of fingers of muscle that go outward and then upward, upward and forward, and then outward and downward from ribs one to eight, right? And depending on which of these slips of muscle is doing the biggest contribution, you'll get a forward movement of the scapula, but you also could get sort of an upward and forward movement or upward and downward movement. When you add the contribution from the upper trap and the lower trap, and you get sort of that action forward of the inferior angle of the scapula. It also contributes to that upward rotation of the scapula. And in fact, the serratus anterior is probably the most important contributor to that movement of upward rotation.
And there's your serratus. All right, so look at, let's look at the muscles of scapular downward rotation. Now, if I'm standing here and I lift my arm overhead, right, I'm using those movements, those muscles of scapular upward, right. And if I bring my arm back down, I'm not using my downward rotator. So gravity is doing that movement and my the muscles that do downward rotation might be sort of fine tuning that movement, but what's happening mostly is that my upward rotators right, are controlling that movement through an ecentric contraction.
So I want that to be clear, right, that we're not using our downward rotators to do this motion, but if we were doing something like a lat pull at the gym or we're we doing something on the pedal pull, where we were pressing our arms down and we're doing T straps, something like that, then we're gonna be using actively the muscles of downward rotation. So first, when I look at the rhomboid major, which attaches to the, again, the spines of probably T2 to T5 here and to the medial border, the sort of the inferior part of the inferior, maybe two thirds of the medial border of the scapula and it pulls in and up, right? And so maybe you can imagine, as it's pulling in and up again, there's sort of a seesaw effect where the glenoid fossa is gonna point more downward in that downward rotation, there's your 3D view of the rhomboid major. Rhomboid minor similarly, it's just above, right? It's just superior attaching superiorly on the medial border of the scapula and probably to the next vertebra up probably around T1 on the thoracic spine.
And it's also is gonna pull in and up, which is gonna prove that downward motion of the glenoid fossa and downward rotation. Levator scapulae attaches to the very top part of the medial border of the scapula around the superior angle. And it's a little more medial on the spine it's on the transverse processes of the first four cervical vertebrae, but it's a similar situation where it's pulling in and up, which is producing that downward movement of the glenoid fossa. Pectoralis minor here, we're looking from the front and it attaches to the coracoid process, which is on the anterior surface of the scapula and it courses inward and downward and forward to the ribs three, four, and five. And it, maybe you can see that it's gonna produce a downward movement of the glenoid fossa and some other movements that we'll look at a little bit later, but for downward rotation, it's contributing to that downward movement.
So now let's look at protraction and retraction. Cara did that gross movement of protraction and retraction of her shoulder blades, right. And when you're doing that protraction movement, we have our friends serratus anterior again, right? So it could be pulling forward, it could be pulling forward and up, it could be pulling forward and down. And without that contribution that we saw before from the upper and lower traps it's gonna do just that, that protraction movement, similarly, pectoralis minor, right, if you see from the side, you can see more that forward contribution.
If it was just the pectoralis minor itself, it's attached sort of superiorly on the anterior surface of the scapula, right? So it would produce that anterior tipping, but with the contribution of serratus anterior contributes to that protraction of the scapula altogether. In terms of retraction we're gonna look at middle trapezius. So the mid traps attach from T2 to T4 and then sort of all along the spine of the scapula and the fibers of the mid traps run basically horizontally. So they would pull the shoulder blades right in towards center.
Rhomboid major again pulls the diagonally in and up, right, without that other contributors to downward rotation, it's gonna do in and up and then the mid traps are gonna make it more of a directly midline movement, same with rhomboid minor. So those three muscles together will do that retraction. All right, so we wanna look at some of the muscles that produce internal and external rotation of the humerus. And most of these muscles will be a rotator cuff muscles. First let's look at muscles of external glenohumeral rotation.
Here we have infraspinatus, so we're looking from the back and just below or inferior to the spine of the scapula. You have the infraspinus fossa, which is this indentation where the infraspinatus lives and it runs from that outward and upward to the glenoid, greater tubercle, right? So I think you can see from this picture that if contract it would produce external rotation of the humerus. And there you get to see it in 3D. Similarly, but a little more laterally with a similar kind of an angle you have teres minor.
So it runs from sort of the lateral border of the scapula outward and upward again to the greater tubercle. And you could see that it would produce external rotation of the humerus. It also would contribute to an adduction of the upper arm. If the upper arm was out, it would help to pull it in towards the center. Let's look at some muscles of glenohumeral internal rotation.
So we're looking from the front again through our translucent rib cage. And we can see, so the, again the anterior surface of the scapulae, right? So we said that serratus anterior attaches to the most, the medial border of the anterior surface. And then the rest of it is sort of taken up by the subscapularis and the subscapular fossa. And of course is outward and upward and attaches more to the front of the humerus to the lesser tubercle.
And because it's attaching to the front, it's gonna do inward rotation or internal rotation. And in the back, you're seeing it still because the scapulae are also translucent in this image, right, teres major attaches from the inferior angle, right way down, low on the scapula in the back. And it also attaches to the front a little bit lower, sort of around the, like below the lesser tubercle. Now the first three muscles we looked at, right, which was infraspinatus teres minor, and subscapularis are three of your four rotator cuff muscles. Teres major, doesn't make the grade.
And I'm not totally sure why, my guess is it's because the other muscles share a common tendon and teres major is too far away to be included in the rotator cuff, but it's in that family, right? 'Cause it's doing this internal rotation and it's from the scapula attaching to the humerus. So it's an intrinsic shoulder muscle. Now this is your fourth rotator cuff muscle supraspinatus. So I wanted to include it because it is your fourth rotator cuff muscle.
So you get a complete set. It goes above the spine of the scapula the superspinus fossa and it courses outward underneath the acromial arch and sort of across the head of the humerus and down onto the greater tubercle. So the tendinous portion crosses underneath the acromion and over the head of the humerus. So it's one of those muscles that if you're doing those funny shoulder mechanics it's gonna get impinged by that not getting the external rotation of the humerus as you're doing arm elevation. So that's the other reason that I wanted to point that out to you.
So now we're gonna go back with Cara and Laura, and they're gonna show you bunches of images and exercises and ways of queuing to do these movements that we've been talking about correctly for your clients.
Okay, so we're back Laura and I were gonna look at some movements, including breathing. And I want you to keep in mind after looking at all of the things that Jeremy offered, how to just keep this very soft visualization of the anatomy you just looked at, right? So again, it's not about, you know, having to know where everything is and like, oh, am I gonna, you know, rehab that rotator cuff, but it's really a global perspective of looking and seeing, you know, what do we wanna coach and encourage our clients to do? So we're gonna start with some preparatory exercises.
All of this is with the arm free open chain. We'll go to loading later. And we're gonna also look at a couple of Pilates applications as well. So we're gonna start with really one of the things that's really important to Jeremy and I in this course, which is how we cue people to breathe, right? 'Cause we're always talking about breathing in Pilates and sometimes our breathing technique can get in the way of our shoulder mobility.
So I'm gonna have Laura turn this way and she's just gonna help me illustrate my point here, but I want you to, let's see I'll face you this way. And I want you to realize, you know, as you inhale, this is the way your ribs are sort of hanging, right. And when you inhale your ribs lift up and the circumference of your whole trunk increases, and then during the exhale phase of the breath, those ribs will come back down, right? So that's natural, but just happens without you deciding, right so you inhale, you have an increased circumference. And then as you exhale, you have a little, the ribs come back down, right?
But sometimes in Pilates, we have this idea, like we really wanna get all the air out. We really wanna do something with our abs. And the result of that is often that the person will inhale quite wide and nicely, right? But then what happens when they exhale and they go for that is they actually pull their ribs down towards their pubic bone and their spine gets flexed. And Laura showed that real beautifully, right?
So again, when we inhale a lot of times, we're trying to use our abdominal muscles on that exhale. And we end up flexing the spine. Now, if my wine is slightly flexed, then that means as I lift my arms, I'm not gonna be able to complete that shoulder flexion I'm not gonna get the full upward rotation. 'Cause as Jeremy described that upper thoracic spine has to go into a bit of extension for that last degree. And not to mention if you're flexed your scapula are going down this hill, right?
They're going down that hill. So if you're asking them to upperly rotate, they're getting stuck on the hill. So you wanna be really, really cautious. See how much more range I get out of Laura. I mean, I do this in workshops at home all the time and people are like whoa I had no idea, right?
Right, so we really wanna make sure we're not adding that contraction component to our exhale super duper important. So the first cueing that breath, you gotta inhale let it be come up wide and during that exhale, let it stay lifted and full and not pull it down, okay? Great thanks Laura. So we're gonna start gonna preparatory exercises now. I'm gonna take Laura onto the mat.
We're gonna start now with some preparatory exercises. I'll explain to you as we go where I think these are gonna be useful in coaching for motor learning for good use of your shoulders. First exercise up is called rib cage arms. So this is an exercise that I learned from Kathy Grant. She taught it regularly.
I've analyzed it along with Jeremy in this way of thinking that it's actually an amazing way to train scapula humeral rhythm. Okay, so you remember that's that point that Jeremy was making, when he was saying, you know, when you lift your arm, these first few beats or moments don't have to include much in the way of your scapula, right? And then the scapula as we really looked at, and even the spine participate in the rest of that action. However, sometimes we notice that people actually elevate their scapula, right? To start moving their arm through space, say like on short box, right?
And a lot of times I think what happens is we think, oh, well they should pull their scapula down to solve that problem. Well, now you can see why that's not gonna be a good idea, right? 'Cause if they went any further than this. They're gonna have all signs of impingement. Remember you saw that, that muscle coming through there, right?
That supraspinatus, you don't wanna be bearing down on that. So what we're looking for is actually giving them not the cue of stop doing that and pull your blades down, but giving them a way to learn this rhythm. And I think that Kathy Grant really, really nailed it on the head when she had us work on this exercise. So we're starting with our, Laura's all ready to go with our fingers interlaced, right? And there's a slight tractioning of the fingers against each other, which will allow your shoulder heads to fall back quite nicely.
Now, when I'm teaching this exercise, one of the things I'm doing is I'm gonna be using one of my hands to track the motion of her shoulder forward or her scapula. So I'm using these fingers on her scapula, my thumb on her shoulder head, right? And Laura is gonna start this movement. She's gonna use a visualization of a very low exertion activity like steam rising. Yeah, or something blowing in the wind.
And for these first few beats, I'm gonna be helping her visualize that movement and back down and that movement of her humerus gliding and sliding in the glenoid fossa, right? So she's right away, now, if Laura was taking the approach of changing her scapula to start this exercise, right? I'd say, no, no, no, come back. Right, I'd bring her down, we'd figure out how to know this movement, right? So again, a lot of times people will start to lift their hands here and right away, you're gonna see a lot of protraction.
You might see elevation, all sorts of actions of the scapula that actually aren't necessary. Now, as we move on, we're gonna go further in the range. Right, so I'm gonna, again, I'm guiding Laura. So if I was on this side, what you'd see I'm doing here is I'm just coaching her humerus, not her scapula actually not to peel forward, right? So I'm just using my hand as a gentle reminder.
And maybe I'm even using my hand to encourage, remember how you saw Jeremy gliding and rolling, right? And then as Laura's arms get up here. Now we're on a new focus. I'm reminding her and I'm gonna touch her here so you can see, reminding her that her scapula is going to go up, right? And that's sometimes shocking to us, but the scapula elevates during shoulder flection.
And then I'm also gonna let her thoracic spine be free to extend a little bit there at the end, right? Watching that she's not pulling her rib cage down on the exhale phases of breath. Oftentimes I'll use my fingers here as a space hold to make sure, 'cause I can't always tell if she's dragging her ribs down, go ahead and drag those down for a second, right? Can't always tell that, right? So especially if she had a little bit more weight on her, you might not see that's a release that I'm using my fingers.
I can feel the tension, right? I want space there as she's moving. Right, so she's really, I'm really, we're motor learning. Right, we're motor learning. So when I get to short box or arm circles or something, I can say to Laura, okay, now let's remember your rib cage arms remember that feeling.
So she has a context when we're doing something that has a lot higher demand on the body that she has a context for this movement, right. Again, through imagery, through coaching, through touch. All right, great, so that's our rib cage arms, you know, and lastly, I'll just say that sometimes somebody's strategy may be to arch their lift their, arch their back right away, right? So sometimes that's the strategy. And of course that was too soon, wasn't it?
So what we talked about is the scapula humeral rhythm, which is the humerus, moving in the glenoid fossa which you now know is part of that scapula, right? And then the scapula sliding up the rib cage. And then at this very last point, then you're gonna see maybe a little bit of action in the spine, but really not necessary before that. All right, good, all right. So Laura, let's come on up and we're gonna now go to an exercise, also a Kathy Grant exercise that we use I called keyhole arms.
Okay, so we're gonna go that way. I'm just gonna climb over here with ya and boy, I feel like this is probably one of the most profound things that comes up in our course load together, this awareness. So I really encourage you right now to take the time to actually practice this with Laura and I, as we go through it, if you're in his face watching this, just sitting right there at your desk, it's easy to do. So we're gonna take your right arm out Laura. And now you remember how Jeremy was showing us the importance of that external rotation of the humerus in the glenoid fossa, so that you could have freedom when your arms start going above your head, right?
So we like to help people learn this. So we're going to, the image here was that we were putting a key in a door knob. That's what Kathy used to conjure up for us. So it was called keyhole because we were kind of practicing, like having this long key, right? Because the axis of rotation is right up her arm there.
Right, so the first thing we're gonna help Laura do is I'm gonna encourage her to primarily work the external and internal rotation of her upper arm. Now you have a lot of swivel on this lower arm. We're gonna get to that, but right now, good external, right and internally you see I'm using my hand to help her find that movement, right? I also have my back hand on her scapula guys and rest your arm for a second. I have my backhand on that inferior angle of her scapula, that triangle angle because if Laura gets into the habit of pulling that down, it is going to really limit her natural, internal and external rotation of her arm, okay?
So now I'm gonna come around this way just because it's gonna be a little easier for me here. And Laura actually just turned to the side for a second. Right, so if, it's often the case that when that an external rotation is trying to be, when the person is trying to execute that external rotation, they'll actually add scapular depression, and they'll add a little trunk side bending, right? Yikes, that's not gonna work when we're trying to put a lot of weight on our arms or we're pushing or pulling, right. So I'm gonna, I do this little thing here while I'll get her under I'll get her (mumbles) and I go, (wailing) right.
That's the international signal for don't bear down. (wailing) Yeah, it's very helpful. So in a class I can just go, (wailing) and then my students go (wailing). Right, it's very helpful. So we wanna, I wanna encourage that and then she's gonna go ahead and do that an external and internal rotation.
Right, now once I feel like she's been successful at that, we're now gonna keep that external rotation. Laura, go ahead and hold your own external rotation. And now she's going to be practicing internal or pronation and supination of her lower arm, okay? This is super important because we're often coaching people of which direction their palm should be facing, right? And they don't know they have this swivel here, right?
So they go like this, and then you say, lift your arms up for Swan. And they're like, ouch, right? So yeah, so that's what we're helping with. Good, so let's just look at that again. She's got this in the external, and then she's gonna supinate.
That's called supination of the fore arm guys. And then this is called pronation. So right there, if I wanted Laura to do a plank, she could open her fingers, she could flex her wrist and that would be a really nice arm for weight bearing. Okay, so again that's your key hole study, right? This control of the external rotation of the upper arm.
(wailing) no scapula hood bearing down pronation of the lower arm and then you could add you know, and you're good to go. You're good for a handstand right there, boom. Right, as long as you let your thoracic spine extend scapula go up. Okay, good, we got that thing. All right, so let's bring this to fruition.
Okay, so what are we doing? Or how do we do this in Pilates? Well, let's say you're kneeling on the reformer and you're gonna do arm circles with those big, the straps you're pulling that carriage, right? Let's watch, we don't have a reformer out here, but we're gonna do some standing arm circles and just watch how we wanna coach this. So Laura, come on up and face the face the ocean (mumbles).
Now again, before Laura goes, I'm gonna check in with that inferior angle of her scapula. (wailing) yeah, yeah, yeah, I wanna sure, remember that puppet thing? I wanna make sure that this little guy is moving, moving up and around, right? So let's do arm circles, let's see how does that start in the reformer? Usually forward first, right?
So here it goes, watch that scapula. Wow, it goes way forward and then it comes, I'm gonna track that inferior angle. Right, so when I'm on the reformer, working with my client, I wanna make sure they're really getting that full range. Let's go the other way and I'll show that here, right, wow. Right there and then she's got a little extension coming in at the end, which we know now is just fine, right?
We don't want her to be still and pulling her arms around 'cause she's gonna be like, wow, I love Pilates my abs are so tough but boy, my shoulder hurts after my class, right? So we're gonna avoid that. Great, so we're gonna go to Swan on the Barrel and look at another application of that.
Another application we're gonna look at Swan on the Barrel. And the reason I pick this one is that you, I think you're all understanding now the importance of upward rotation when the arms are up like this, right?
But when I start to back bend, right, when I start to go back, gravity is gonna wanna pull my scapula down my back, right? And I'm what we wanna be coaching is actually encouraging that continued upward rotation and not letting that slip. So you're actually, there's more of a demand on those muscles Jeremy was showing you that control upward rotation once you start moving into a backbend. So Laura, let's just show it. I'm gonna again, show you how I would coach this if I were you.
Well, I'm me, but I'd like you to try being me for a second now, anyway, just try coaching this way. So here she comes, right. She's gonna come up and I can see, let's say, she's starting to draw that down, right? That's gonna affect her ability to back backbend, right? So what I'm gonna do is encourage that upward rotation and she's going to be able to come into a really super backbend.
Now she's gonna go out into the next moment the super girl moment here and again, I wanna encourage that same. See her arms are still over her head. So I really wanna encourage that as she comes back, right. Again, I'm gonna spread those wings, right? So I'm moving her scapula towards her armpit.
Yeah and then she can really, she can really backbend. She's really fabulous also, but she can also really be free in her arms, right? So that's another way that you can think about this. Come on up, sweetie. That's another way you could think about this.
And now I want you at home to think about, okay, what other exercises apply? Certainly Swan in the box and the reformer. Where else are you having this moment? Are you having this moment on backbend on the reformer? When you have to go back like that?
You know, so you alone can start tracking. Where does this skill apply in teaching Pilates? There are times where your arms are over your head and you're doing a back backbend. So this is how you coach that.
Now let's look at some applications on with the push-through bar.
I think this is a really profound place to look at this. So Laura, come on down, yeah go ahead and put your spring on. You could try this now with us or just keep note of it, but basically I wanna start with a teaser and a teaser preparation. Okay, so we're using a heavy push through spring here, which I think is actually the best choice, a lighter one I think you're not gonna be able to feel this movement. So now Jeremy did such a beautiful job of explaining to us the movements of protraction retraction, right?
So we're gonna let that occur right here. Now again, I'm gonna just come right in and check Laura's little inferior angles and (mumbles) to go (wailing). I see she was pulling 'em down sneaky devil. Okay, great. So now what I want Laura to do, I actually, Laura, come down one inch I'm gonna be super picky.
I want your wrists right over your shoulders, okay? So again, I check in, yeah, and I make sure she's okay here. And then she's just gonna practice a little bit of protraction letting her scapula slide and then retraction. Okay, this is where I talk about the elevator doors. Now she needs that an external rotation.
So I'm encouraging that by touching. And then I want her just to keep close the elevator doors, right, so that's when the medial borders are coming closer to the spine. And then open that let's do that together. Laura would be like a nice dance piece to gather right and open, but there's no time in which she's pulling that down, right? So now I want her to find sort of the middle way for that scapula, where her scapula would be if she was standing and then we're gonna practice keeping that key whole arm, she's gonna bend her elbows.
Now, a lot of us were taught to teach this with our elbows wide, that's internal rotation in most cases of the humerus. So I'm actually gonna train right now, her body to feel this, that external rotation, she'll pull that down and then I wanna help her feel upward rotation again. So I'm gonna slide her scapula up her rib cage, right? And she's gonna bend her elbows. And a lot of times here, people will wanna pull their blades back down to get that stabilization.
But we know we don't need to do that. Right, all she's doing is bringing her arms to here as if she were in a plank, right? So there's no point. So again, I'm gonna trap the scapula, she's gonna go. Good, externally rotate your key whole arms Laura.
Beautiful and as you come in now watch those elbows. Right so here she comes, she's gonna try really hard. Gorgeous, right, now, as Laura lifts her head, she's gonna move into a teaser. I'm gonna bring that cap image back, right? So I want Laura's arms to follow her cap.
They upwardly rotate, right? And then she's gonna come down and again I'll show you sort of the thing that can be troublesome here. So let's come back up Laura, into your teaser and let your cap sort of drag you up. No, let's have you other way, yeah. Sorry, let's do that again.
Let's go up and let's have your cap drag you up, right? So that could be sort of problematic for one reason and also oftentimes it's go ahead and restore your body. Now, a lot of times when people go down, what they do is they fall through their cap, right? So right, and then their scapula gets protracted and they aren't able to recover that again. So we're gonna use both images here, right?
We're gonna feel the full pro, hold on Laura sorry, my bad honey. We're gonna feel the protraction retraction. We're gonna find a sort of natural position of wearing your cap if you were standing, then she's gonna bend those elbows, work, the key holes, and then really work that upward rotation. You see that humorous, it's just beautiful, right? There's no restriction when you're free.
Okay here we go and then she's gonna come around. Yeah, super and then remember, you're gonna lift that head and you're gonna let that cap follow the trunk. Yeah, it's gorgeous, right? It's very free and then she's gonna come back and she's gonna keep that cap with her. Gorgeous and I'll take your bar Laura, and you can rest your arms.
Great, so you can see right away. Now I have a language, right? I call this a lexicon when I'm teaching some of my other programs, but I have a language that is really, of something she's felt. She felt the cap, she felt the keyhole. She felt these actions so I can just ask her to feel them again and that's the cue she needs, right?
I don't actually need to attack her ribcage or her abs or anything like that. So that makes me feel really good about myself and her and our relationship which is what we're having. Okay, so let's move on to looking at this inside bend. This is sort of interesting, so Laura let's have your back. Let's have you facing back here and Laura let's have you put your feet on the table in that little V this is just the way I tend to go.
You can teach it however you want, but what we're gonna look at, actually, I'll come around this way and here I am. Hi, okay, so what are you gonna look at is this medial border of her scapula, right? She, most of the time as people are going to pull this bar down, they're gonna wanna scrunch that scapula, right? And that's again, gonna disrupt her ability to side bend in this direction. Right, 'cause if she does that, it's actually already side bending her, right?
All sorts of things are happening. So I love again, I'm gonna check her. (wailing) yeah, there she goes. Right, she's got her keyhole up top, thank you much better. Yeah, and then when she starts to pull this bar down, I actually don't want her to pull her scapula down into my hand.
So, oh, look at those beautiful muscles of the armpit that Jeremy was showing us those, right? And then as she side bends, I want her scapula pause one second Laura 'cause you're doing such a great job. Take your scapula in the direction of that hand. Yes, keep going. That's in the direction of the side bed, right?
So yeah and then as she comes up, she's gonna have to keep that working so that, that scapula doesn't get crashed back into her spine. Vis-a-vis that spring and she really executed that well, great, so let's look at that one more time, right? So I'm gonna come over here, I'm gonna help you see the medial border here, right? As she, and her scalpel, as she pulls down, I don't want a lot of scapula shoving. And then as she sides then I'm in her way and she would not say so.
And then we are gonna let that scapula go. Let's even go more Laura. Yeah, in the direction, right? So it's super wide, she's super free. And then she can come back up.
How's freedom? Nice, right? All right, good. So now of course you would do that on the other side as well. Okay, so I wanna finish up this segment by looking at Swan with a push through bar but we'll do the one with the arms straight.
Again, let's track that scapula the cap, the key hole, all the things that we've brought to this workshop with you today. So here she is perfectly ready for a Swan. And I wanna know how she's doing so again, I'm gonna just touch her scapula, right? And my touch is designed to support, not criticize. I just wanna point that out, so I wanna be touching in a way where she's free to move her scapular upward.
Right now she's gonna lift her head and she's gonna start coming into her Swan, right? And again, that spring is gonna wanna push, go ahead and let your scapula slip back for a second Laura, it's gonna wanna push her scapula, widen those wings again. Wow, that's what you wants to keep and then she can come up even higher in the Swan. So again, she's in upward rotation here and then as she goes down, even increased upward rotation. So you wanna see that scapula sliding up.
You don't wanna be pulling that scapula down is not gonna help your Swan. So we're just gonna watch that again. And I'm gonna show you with my hands. So she's gonna come up and her scapula is going around towards the front of her rib cage. She's able to extend and then on the way down, it's gonna go even further up and around, right?
If she were pulling her scapula down here, it would be affecting her neck, her collarbones, exactly where that cap is attached. I'm so sorry I made her do that (speaker speaks in a low voice). Okay, so come on out sweetheart, I have this. Yeah, okay, so this is again designed to have you do some research now, what else, when else are these things occurring in your teaching? When else are these things occurring?
What are you doing on the reformer that's similar to this? What are you doing on the mat? We're gonna actually do a mat class later, practicing these protocols, but you have to now look at your lists and figure out where are the supplies. And I think the cues are gonna come, come to you pretty naturally.
We're back with our scapular models of Cara's shoulder blades, but I'm actually gonna replace Cara's ribcage with this ball, so Cara is gonna step to her left and now this physio ball is gonna be playing the part of Cara's rib cage.
So we said that the scapulothoracic joint can be visualized as a joint and it can actually be visualized as a ball and socket joint. So a ball and socket, in this instance, the ball is actually the entirety of her thorax, really her chest wall. And the socket is the anterior surface, the front surface of her scapula, which we said at the beginning is concave, right? So the, again the concavity of the shoulder blade is going around the convexity of her ribcage, which is played by this ball in this instance. So now if Cara takes her arms to the front, right, we're gonna get that upward rotation we talked about at the beginning, and we're also gonna get a little bit of protraction, right?
So the shoulder blades again are gonna move kind of around to the sides of her rib cage. Now, if Cara's arms were forward and she had her hands against a wall, we'll have an imaginary wall, or if she was doing a plank and you were looking at it from her from above, right, as gravity took over and it pulled her chest and her spine forward, her shoulder blades would go into retraction, right they would be pulled together in the back. So she's gonna have to make a muscular effort to maintain that protraction of her shoulder blades, right? So particularly she gets fatigued or whatever. She's gonna be pulled by gravity into retraction and she's gonna have to double up on her muscular effort to do protraction with this particularly that serratus anterior that we looked at before.
So that's one thing you're gonna wanna keep in mind as we go into the next section of weightbearing exercises on the arm. Now, if Cara were to stand on onto her left arm and start to rotate her trunk towards me, the ball of her rib cage is actually gonna start to move in the socket of particularly the left shoulder blade, like her right shoulder blade is gonna move a little bit in space but the thing I want you to focus on is this notion that now we're actually moving the ball of the rib cage in the socket, which is the anterior surface of in this case, her left shoulder blade, right? Can you sort of see that? So if she was in a plank for example, and she was in to transition into a side plank, one thing to think about is that movement of the ball of the rib cage on the anterior surface of the scapula. One more thing I wanna show you is if Cara has her hands against imaginary wall, right?
She's in that protracted moment with the upper rotation of the scapula. If she were to do a movement where she had to bend her elbows, she's gonna more or less she's miming, which she's gonna mime bending her elbows on a wall pushup kind of scenario. She's gonna have to more or less maintain that protracted and upwardly rotated movement of her, her shoulder blades, right? So again, she's gonna have to double up on that effort and the muscles that produce protraction and upward rotation.
Laura and I are back.
We're gonna look at close chain, right? Weightbearing activity on the arm, keeping in mind everything Jeremy just showed us, or the three of us actually showed you with the ball, right? So again, that we're gonna be visualizing that anterior surface of the scapula as relating ball and socket, right? And as we start to wait there, the demand of muscles like the serratus anterior and trap are gonna be higher as we move along in this protocol. So the beginning exercise is here in my opinion are good, again, preparatory exercises, right?
To take somebody and have them go into long stretch on the reformer, on a moving platform with all this demand of the springs is actually not really fair to the motor learner if they haven't learned this action prior, okay? So that's, again, these I hope are building blocks for you. So this series is exercises that I've sort of come up with, or some of them are things that I learned from Irene Dowd over the years or various (indistinct) teachers of mine. So I just wanna say, you know, borrowing from all the great teachers I've learned from, I'm gonna put Laura in a quadruped and we're going to be looking, the first training I always do for this is an exercise that we call lazy cat active cat, okay? So now right away, I'm gonna check in she's weight bearing.
So she might be pulling her scapula down. I'm gonna go to that inferior angle and give her a little (wailing), yep and make sure she's not bearing down that scapula. And now monitoring that, she's, I'm gonna ask her to make sure she keeps the alignment head, rib cage and hips pretty organized. There's a lot of cheating that goes on by trying to change your thorax, you'll see that. So we're gonna ask her to do lazy cat first, which is when her scapula are gonna squeeze together.
And then she's gonna push the mat away to create what we call active cat. Again, I'm gonna monitor the inferior borders of her scapula angle and say, hey Laura, just don't pull that down especially on the right honey there, and then here we go. Lazy cat, yeah. Sometimes I use my hands to really push their scapula. A lot of people actually don't know how to do this and then active and there's nice spreading there, right?
So again, no coming down, let's just watch that one more. You're watching the containers of her pelvis and her ribs and her head and her neck are all staying on what I call the level, the plane that she started on. Okay now, one of the things that you'll often see, let's drop into lazy cat Laura, when people don't have control of their scapula this way, they'll often fake this by flexing. Watch how she's flexing right, now her scapula did spread apart and she got, we got that result, but not with the right action, not the right muscle. That's why we looked at those muscles with Jeremy, right?
So what we wanna do is, as she goes from lazy cat, she pushes into active. I can keep my fingers on her thoracic spine. And one more time, sweetheart, all the way down and make sure that she's not pushing her spine up to achieve that goal and rest good. Pull back into child's pose Laura, and just give your, yeah. Your serratus will fatigue, you know?
So you might just wanna do a couple reps, right? I'm trying to make a couple points, so I'm doing several. Okay, we're gonna up the demand. So we're getting ready for planks. We're getting ready for side planks.
We're getting ready for long stretch. We're getting ready for down stretch. We're getting ready for handstands. We're getting ready for the Olympics, right? But we gotta motor learn to get there.
So up, she goes higher demand, she's gonna tuck her toes under and we're gonna float the cat. So she's gonna lift her knees. She's gonna again, keep her trunk organized. And then with her knees lifted, she's gonna give me that lazy inactive cat again. Okay and you can see it's harder, right?
It's harder, she's now truly weight bearing. Good knees down for a second. Good, you know, sometimes you're gonna see the internal rotation of that upper arm bone here, right? So I oftentimes go and sit back on your heels, sweetheart, I oftentimes will take people into keyhole here. So let's take your arm out and let's just say, you know, she gets her keyhole, she gets her pronation, she gets her flection of her wrist and I'm gonna remind her, she needs to keep that when she's in her quadruped, right?
So that's gonna be boom. That's gonna be her quadruped arm as opposed to what will often happen is they'll, yeah, they'll rotate there, right? So I wanted to point that out as well. So you're again, we're accumulating right now. Everything we've learned in this workshop, we're bringing it to the party now.
Okay, great. So this next exercise is, I call camel drinking. I just added it to our repertoire recently, and she's gonna have her arms now a little further forward. Okay now when the fore arm is further forward, we, again, we've got that nice whoop sorry (wailing). Yap, great, we've got that upward rotation.
Yeah, I'm gonna bring her into extension or she's gonna bring herself into extension. I'm gonna coach good extension. And she's gonna start to now bend her elbows, right? The demand gets high, she's gonna keep them narrow. And now I'm looking, I'm coaching her to keep that wide scapula and she's gonna push back up.
You know, I think this is such a helpful exercise. Again, a lot of times here show them a lazy cat action. We don't want that, right? We want her to be able to maintain. She's actually working super hard in her serratus interior.
Right, super hard and again, right 'cause that extension of her spine is stopping that common cheat of flection. Yeah and rest, pull back in child's pose and rest again. Yeah so again, I want her to kind of feel that freedom. Now that's gonna be your down stretch. So that's gonna be a lot of those of you do yoga that's your Chaturanga, right?
So we need to really learn that skill. The more narrow the elbow the more you're gonna keep your keyhole, right? So keep that in mind. All right, great.
We did some loading in quadruped, meaning weight bearing and quadruped.
I think the next best step is to take that to the wall before we take it to the floor where the demand is a lot higher. So we're gonna do this little wall series over here. In your own home, you might not wanna use your beautiful windows, but we are going to use the windows. Laura is gonna pear out at the sea and you're gonna take a wall plank. So the first thing primary thing is to make sure that Laura's big bony landmarks are aligned, right?
So her hips are on top of her legs and this diagonal rib cage, head, right? Cause if she falls off of that line, she's not gonna be able control the scapula, right? So we've got her in exactly, thank you for that. We've got her in a plank and the first thing I wanna do again is I might train her in that lazy or not train her, but help her learn the lazy inactive cat movements here. And again, I'm looking to see that she's not flexing or extending her spine to complete that, right?
And then I love this exercise and we're gonna do our first pushup. And this is a wall pushup. This is a great place to start teaching. She's gonna bend her elbows and she's gonna basically bring her, yeah now look at that beautiful wide, wow super impressive. Yeah and back out again, good.
So I'm gonna make sure that she's not bearing down. Yeah and she's not bearing down the scap and we're gonna do those pushups and Laura's really keeping that keyhole nicely. Don't forget that, one more time sweetheart. And that's it super good. You see, she's controlling that scapula.
Most people are gonna collapse their scapula there and rest your arms for a second. Good, so you know, all the struggle people have on the floor, you could avoid that by getting them really going on the wall like this so that they're ready for the demand of gravity later. Now let's go ahead and do that rotation. Okay, so remember the ball and the green scapula. This is one of the places we're gonna sort of learn this.
I'm gonna actually, I'll stay here, but I want you to watch this side. It's this side of her scapula that's going to be rolling. So she's gonna put her hand on her sternum as she does this. So she's sure that she's rotating her scapula on her rib cage underneath her scapula. I said that wrong guys.
Let me just make sure I'm clear about that again. So right here, she's got her hand on her sternum and now she's rotating her ribs inside the interior surface of her scapula, right? So this is what we want her to do when she's going to side plank from plank on the floor, which we're gonna look at in a bit, right? And once she gets there, let's bring you around one more time, right? That's all we want from that this whole series of exercises on the mat, right that she's got that scapula following her arm, side bend plank one and twist.
You can see that right here. Okay, great.
Now that we've looked at weight bearing on the wall and we see, you know, we know how to organize this. We're gonna up the demand, we're gonna put her in a regular old fashioned plank. Now this, in my opinion is how long it takes to get to a good plank, right?
So here we are, again again. Oh boy, (wailing) we gotta get that freedom of that angle there. Now let's train Laura scapula here by giving her a little bit of lazy inactive, right? I want her to keep her head and her rib cage and her pelvis in line. Exactly and that is what we want from our plank.
Now she could do leg pull or whatever you want and whatever other fancy actions go ahead and rest down for a second. Okay, now let's take this plank and sort of mock that we're doing long stretch, right back and forth. So we'll just do a little propelling, little water spider Laura. All right so we have her starting with her heels way up so we can encourage, as she comes back, her scapula has to awkwardly rotate, right? So let that scapula go up, right?
And as she comes forward, right, it'll come down a little. So go ahead and let that move a little bit more Laura, up and around. Yes, gorgeous and rest, okay? So again, keeping that in mind. Now we've looked with the demonstration we did with the green scapula and the transitioning to side plank.
I wanna now apply that to the mat, so remember the image or the reality is that the rib cage is gonna be rolling inside the scapula. And I think the first time I ever experienced that was in a class with Irene Dowd and I was like, wow, I wish somebody had told me this like 39 years ago, that would have been helpful. So I hope it's that helpful to you, so here she goes. And so I'm gonna have you turn Laura so you're gonna face me in this transition and I'm gonna try to show you, as she takes this arms up, right? How she's rolling her rib cage right.
In that interior surface of her scapula, good. So we don't wanna see that scapula crashing. Yeah, and then she tries to turn and then she's got that crazy, you know, winging there. And I know all of you hate that winging, but we're gonna keep these wings wide. And so she's gonna change herself.
Keep going towards the camera. So she's gonna change herself and she's gonna bring those ribs around, right? And I'm just helping her with her trunk. Yeah, good and rest. Now we did that already on the wall and that's gonna be an easier place to feel that, right.
So if you're not successful on the floor, just keep repeating it on the wall until you're strong enough to organize it. Of course the demand is higher here because gravity is really taking you downtown y'all so you gotta kinda pick it up, right? We're gonna now look at the same actions our similar actions. We're gonna use the low chair. Again so just trying to keep you alert to how relevant this is to what you do all day, which is teach Pilates, right?
Okay, so let's take out the low chair.
So now we're gonna use, look at the way we can bring this to action in the low chair. These are exercises I'm just picking again you could pick some more, but I wanna start with standing roll down. This is actually a great exercise to help train for pushups later, right? Because in this exercise Laura is gonna be rolling down, but she's also gonna be having to bend her elbows without doing lazy cat, right?
So that's gonna be really a great way for her to find that. So Laura, let, take you up again her scapular upwardly, rotating, beautiful. She's gonna roll down, right? And she's gonna let her cap follow her, right? So she's not gonna overly push to the scapula right now.
She's getting down, she did this cap for you earlier. So it's right there, she's basically got her cap perfect (mumbles) I'm gonna ask Laura to bend her elbows. Let me just show you what I'm gonna do to support this for her. I'm gonna hold her scapula apart a little bit. Not I'm pulling it, but just gently guiding it apart and she's gonna, good.
And she's working to keep her elbows narrow again, that narrowness at the elbow there, right? That's promoting that external rotation. So that's why I like that here. That's why I make the choice for that cue. And then she's gonna roll up, right?
And of course we know she's not gonna overly push that cap and the arms will just kind of go up and settle back down, okay? So let's just take that one more time so you could see it. I'll try to be a viewer with you so as she goes down again, you can see that she's not shoving. She's also not pulling her cap back, right? She's spinning and allowing that freedom, right?
And then as she bends, imagine if your Chaturanga or your pushup in Pilates could look that open in the back, that wide in the scapula, that'd be awesome. That's what we're hoping for. That's actually a more friendly, good and down. So maintaining that scapular protraction during arm loading is actually much healthier for your shoulder joint, much healthier for your clavicle, the front of your ribs and all of that. So we wanna really help build that training towards that.
Let's get you on prone, Laura, and let's look at how that also another way we could train that is looking at prone arm press again, right away I'm gonna check that interior border. (wailing) make sure it's not dragging down there, right? And then let's do a little lazy active here that you could teach this. Actually let's do it by bringing the paddle up, pedal up Laura, I'm sorry about that. So yeah, that would be very, very nice to train here.
We did the same thing with the push through bar, but it's a different position she'll have a different relationship of learning. So now she's gonna separate that scapula and here it's the same moment, right? She's gonna start her (indistinct) her bending of the elbow. Oh, so nice, look at that. Yeah, I think you can see that from up here and she's just keeping this beautiful broad yeah.
And she's again, remember how Jeremy talked about that downward rotation. She's slowing that action of retraction down. Ecentric control serratus interior, it's very exciting. I find that very exciting, I really do. Okay, yeah.
All right, come on up sweetheart. And let's finish this sequence. Looking at upside down pushup, right? So you're gonna add a spring, so that she's at a high, you know, something that supports her in version now, for those of you who have a handstand practice, this is gonna be the same thing. When you're inverting, right?
Remember Jeremy showed us how the scapula, which holds the glenoid fossa has to follow the head of humerus. So if Laura's arms are way up there, her glenoid fossa has to really be following like that seal with a ball on it's nose. We saw some seals, actually, we saw awesome. Okay, so here we go, her head is down and again, I think I'll come here. Let's just look at what would happen if she collapsed here, right.
That's not gonna support her. So we're really gonna encourage Laura to continue pushing, continue doing her keyhole, and she can come towards me quite a bit, there she goes. And then she's gonna go on up and I want her to push, watch how that scapula, watch those wings. Oh yeah, baby, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And she's got that nice wide action there.
And she probably feels like she could just take her feet off the pedal as my guest 'cause she's so strong in her arm standing and back down, honey, that's it. And just do two more of those. Sorry for my long-windedness, while you're exerting very powerfully, beautiful. Again, right, so she doesn't need to compensate by pushing her spine up, she needs to push her arms and spiral that scapular around like that and it's just gorgeous. Yeah, super, you can come off.
So that completes the movement portion of the workshop today. Thank you so much for helping me with this.
Thank you so much for joining us we hope you found that helpful. Now it's your job as the viewer of this workshop to take this material and figure out where else it applies, you know, get out your list, get out your notebook, get out your anatomy books. Really look at it and make this applicable to you, to what you're teaching.
Maybe you have a whole bunch of other exercises you teach, but it shouldn't matter because what we taught today is how the body moves efficiently. When your arms are overhead, when your arms are coming behind you, stuff like that. So that's our suggestion is that you now take this into your own practice. You figure out how to apply this material, the best you can in what teaching on a daily basis. And in addition to figuring out where it applies figure out to whom it applies so that you're not just like carpet bombing people with a ton of new cues, right that you've learned on Pilates Anytime.
That you're actually looking at the people that you're working with and seeing like, what are they missing? What do they not know how to do? And how can you cue them to learn, to assist them in learning something that they don't yet know how to do? Cara has a great quote that I like where she says, "You're not teaching an exercise, you're teaching a person." Right, exactly. So the point being that you can't just have a standard boilerplate way that you cue a specific exercise you need to be speaking to the specific person that's in front of you.
So we hope that we gave you some tools to add to your palette, to be able to do that. Yeah, fantastic, so if you guys have questions you wanna contact us, you can do that through the forum or movementsciencemadesimple.com. Thank you, Jeremy. Thank you Cara. Thank you Pilates Anytime. Thank you Pilates Anytime.
And we hope to come back again soon.
Hello, hello everybody, hello everybody. We are about to do a mat class. This mat class is actually the end or attached to a workshop that I just taught with Jeremy and Laura as our great assistant. That workshop is on a shoulder girdle, you'll see it.
If you're taking this mat class and you haven't taken the workshop, you, I hope you feel convinced that you wanna take the workshop. It's a very, very nice combination and might help the practice. But the focus of the workshop is going to be what we're talking about, which is how to both control the idea of the cap, which we'll take you through and how to get a little bit more efficient in arm standing. So I'm gonna ask you guys all to start standing and you can just face each other. And I'm just gonna, we're gonna start with a couple images that are important and practices of visualization that are important for this practice.
So the first thing I want you to do is the practice that I can call the container practice, okay? So you can close your eyes if you want. But what we're doing now is creating an alignment. So I want you to visualize your two legs as if they create one tall cylinder. And I want the bottom of your feet to be the base of that cylinder and the top of your leg bones, right?
If you could cross section, that would be the top of that long cylinder. And just go ahead and take a moment you guys, to route that cylinder, right? Now your next cylinder or container that you're gonna put on top of your legs is the container of your pelvis. So I want you to visualize, you know, that cross section of that pelvis, it's a different shape. It's sort of an oval shape and I need you without a lot of pushing or pulling in your frame to just gently make the adjustments so that your pelvic container is righted on top of your leg container.
Right, so you're really, no, you're not like correcting your posture, but you're just making these subtle shifts. And then it's the same with the rib cage. Yeah, that rib cage container, it's got this nice oval shape also. And you wanna just get that rib cage container relatively balanced on top of your pelvis container, right? So we're just, we're going up the building blocks, right?
The same thing with the neck there. So that neck is a smaller cylinder just, you know, without freezing up or corrective in your body, just place that net container relatively balanced on that rip container, that's right. And then you've got your head container. Now you're breathing, yeah. You're breathing and you're not holding because holding is not helpful.
Breathing in movement is what we're going for here, right? So you're working on that sense of your containers and now I'm gonna include your shoulder girdle by adding this image of wearing a cap, okay? And this is an image where just go ahead and put your hands so they're tracing your clavicle. And I want you just to lift and lower as if you were wearing a cap there. So you can let your elbows flare out and you'll feel your scapula sliding up in the back, right?
And I want you to let that cap fall, let your arm settle and let your arms come down and just know, feel the fabric, the front and back of that cake. And we're gonna now do some rolling down where we let that cap fall with us as we go. So this is a setup for this workout. We're gonna work out, but we gotta know what we're thinking about letting that cap fall. And then as you roll up, try not to pull your shoulders into place, but rather imagine that cap and as your spine comes up, that cap will just settle naturally, there's nothing to do.
Y'all, let's roll down again and feel that. So just roll down and really those of you at home take the time for this warmup yeah, it's really gonna help you when we get to some very advanced moves here in a few minutes and then roll yourself up, letting that cap, right. So if you bring your containers together, you're cap will just, you can imagine that just flow, right? So that's the same thing. Let's take a little standing back then and let's just feel that you're gonna go back and let your cap just fall all right.
You don't wanna hold your shoulder blades and then you're going to come back, right? And let's do that again. So let that cap fall all right. So you don't have to pull, you don't want somebody pulling on your cap. You just wanna let it follow you coming back up and let's just have that little moment where you side bend, keeping that same image, let's all go this way and center.
Yeah and the other way side bending again, not pulling. So you're just freeing up your shoulder girdle, right? And then let's just do a little twisting guys. Everybody just twist, you can take a little, a fast clip there if you want. But again, you wanna notice that you're letting your cap follow your trunk, yeah?
Come to the front of your mat just before your yoga block. And I will back up a little and we're gonna go ahead and roll down with that cap. Yes you're gonna roll on down. And you're just gonna be hanging down there and just let everything go. Yap, just let it go and then go ahead the best you can you're gonna bend your knees, yeah.
And you're going to put your knees down. Yeah, sorry about that. And we're gonna swivel around to seated, okay? So a couple other practices I wanna add here. We're gonna do a little practice called a keyhole arm so we can find external rotation.
So take your right arm out and let's just turn that upper arm bone out and then use your hand to assist you. Yeah, turn it out and in and then turn it out and keep it turned out. Make a fist and now I want you to just spiral primarily your lower arm. Just figure that out for a minute. That can be kind of tricky, right.
But this is what we're gonna be working on. When we're arm loading, when we're arm we're weight bearing on our arms today is that we have good let's protonate that palm down. Open your hand, flex your wrist and I just want you to feel that for a moment. That's gonna be the arm we're standing on later on in side plank, let's do that on the other side. So you take this arm out, right?
We're gonna practice that external internal external internal. External, keep that. Now remember in the workshop we talked about not bearing down in the scapula, if you weren't there. So everybody just kind of pick your scapula and just (wailing) make sure you're not bearing down there right. Now protonate the forearm exactly.
Straighten the hand and there's your standing arm, right? That's your plank arm and that's your side plank arm, okay? And we're gonna be playing with that as we go through. All right, so let's bring that down. I'm gonna turn, but you stay where you are.
You're gonna take your knees up and we're gonna take our yoga block right here. Okay, so everybody just pull that scapula back for a second and feel how horrible that feels, right? And then just let that come forward, right? So you're gonna be pushing pinky side into this yoga block. You need a yoga block for this class by the way.
And you're gonna bend, keep your elbows, really reaching for it and touch that yoga block to your forehead and let's straighten the arms again, right? So all ready this is tiring, isn't it? Squeezing, bending to the forehead and away. Good, now we're gonna go to the forehead and now we're gonna stretch those arms up. Let that scapular rise up, up, up, squeezing that block.
Good, we're gonna bend the elbows back to the forehead with the block and then take the arms straight out. Let's do that again. So you guys keep that scapula wide, yes, indeed. And I want you to notice, right? You're here, it's your upper arm bones really have to glide and slide, I know it's exhausting and then bend, put it on your forehead again.
Whoop, narrow elbows you got that thing Christie. Straighten your arms good. And everybody just keep the arms like that. Get your legs together for a, you know, just 'cause it looks nice and then roll on back and keep squeezing that block. Now stay with me I know your serratus is getting tired, but get on back now let's take the arms to the ceiling and then I want you to bend your elbows again narrow and tap that block to the floor behind you and then slowly stretch your arms out.
I know, am I out? And there you go and then come back in down bring it back here and bring it back up to the ceiling. We're gonna repeat that. Please keep pushing your pinky side in one more time. Ben to the floor this time aim, yeah now slide it back guys.
This is your upward rotation, let it be, let it go. Exactly, then slide it again. Yeah now you're gonna lift the yes. Straighten your legs. Take the, let that block float over your head again.
Yeah and let's do roll up, bring that block up. Lift your head neck control, squeezing that block through roll all the way up and through, beautiful exactly nice. Reach your blocks for each other and roll back. Good inhaling and exhaling. We talked a little bit about the importance of not pulling that rib cage down during the exhale.
So let's inhale together. Exhale, keep everything really, really free as you come forward, beautiful nice you guys inhale back exhale all the way down. Good one more time I know your arms are exhausted. It's good, the last one, right? We're training that super and roll back down.
Good, put that block down behind your head for a moment and bring your arms down by your side. Good let's take your right leg up to the ceiling and let's stretch your hamstrings. So just go ahead and make a nice spine. Circle your ankle, good. Now, here you are, you're lying down and again, you're wearing that cap right?
So if by reaching up your leg, you notice that you're pulling your scapula forward this is a great time, a resting moment, right? To let that settle back again, right? So now just let your leg be there and you're gonna now go ahead and open your fingers and let your leg lower about, I don't know, to about 45 degrees. We're gonna come into tree, so let your leg lower. Yeah and then I want you to climb up that tree without pulling your cap forward, right?
So you're gonna lift your head, neck and shoulders, right? We're gonna go on up and you're gonna wear that cap, right? So when we're up here, right? I could have my head down, but my cap is still on. So that's up to you and then let's walk down so you're not gonna pull through your shoulder girdle.
Exactly, let's do that again up we go all the way. Great, and down keeping that that's beautiful. Everybody's shoulder looks really free, Christie a little (wailing) make sure you're not pulling down there. One more time, we'll get all the way up. Great, gorgeous and walk it down.
We are gonna switch legs straight up. Just go ahead and switch it up. Stretch the other set of hamstrings. Yeah, now again, notice is that pulling you forward? Is that sinking you back into your cap?
Keep that and circle your ankle. However, so there's some ferocious circling on this-- (laughing) Some slow circling. It's okay, wherever you're at, it's okay. Bring your light down a little, take your hands off for a minute. Reset your cap and then Laura.
Go ahead and take your hands off for a second. Everybody let your arms hang down, reset your cap. Oh, she's like, you mean to hold my leg up and then lift your head and walk up there you go. All the way, excellent. And walk down, super yeah.
Amy, it's great. So could you feel the back of your cap while you're doing this, walk up. Could you feel maybe the back of your cap is velvet, right? It's heavy and then (mumbling) and down. Good and one more time.
Walk it up, good. And walk it down, super really, really good. Good take that knee into your chest. Super hard move here. You're gonna roll up and you're not gonna drag that cap forward.
So pick yourself up into your cap, gorgeous you guys. Take your yoga block please, bring it, hold it again. And I want you to just push your shins gently up against it, right? So I'm gonna straighten my elbows, I'm gonna keep that that external rotation, that pinky side and let's go for this. You're gonna inhale roll back, exhale home, keep it whoa, nelly inhale back.
Exhale, home, gorgeous, three more. That's right, organized straight elbows guys. Try to straighten 'em. You know, if you have a lot of girth like Jeremy this might be a little harder, it's idea of straight is fine, one more time. Roll back whoops.
Everybody stopped at the top, okay. Hold it we're going down to the abs here. Let's check this out, left leg out right in. Let's keep that reach and let's bring that spine down. Come on, if I can do it, you can do it.
Here we go, inhale one, two, exhale three, four, breathing, heads looking through the arms. Pinky side, squeezing, keep going with the legs. Good, let's bring both knees in. Okay, here's that upward rotation stretch it. Let the scapula be free, exhale in and stretch it.
Gorgeous, exhale in, beautiful you guys stretch it. Squeeze, exhale, good, scissors, you've got that same look. Keep it reaching, one, two, one, two. Keep that scapula lifted up. Yes, Christie better, that's right straighten those elbows sister.
Use those triceps. Good and knees in roll down and rest for a minute. Super, super good. Good, let's put the block down and roll up to seated please. Okay, so let's do spine stretch forward.
I think we can pick the block back up. Let's go for it. Okay now we're gonna add some twisting to this spine stretch forward as we go. So just stay tuned with me, okay everybody. Here we go, take the arms up again pick that scapula up.
Inhale, exhale, reach it forward and really keep that external rotation in this humerus. Bring your spine back up inhale. Exhale forward again, right? Reach that block, keep your head and relationship to the block and that'll help you know where that line is too for your containers and up and exhale forward. Super, yeah good.
And coming up now let's put the block down and I'm gonna show you this from behind you can take a wider stance if you want. I certainly want to and I want you to practice twisting without puling your shoulder blades, right? So here we go, we're all gonna twist to the right twist and center and twist to the left and center. Now take the yoga block, right? You're gonna keep the yoga block between your hands.
You're gonna do that same twist and then you're gonna lift up. Let that scapula upwardly rotate and come back down. We're gonna come to center, recalibrate. Make sure you're not pulling your scapula down twist and take it up, reach it, reach it. Squeeze those pinkies, I know and come back and center, let's do one more on each side.
I know it's tiring, but this is really, really great training. Good let that scapula slide and glide up (mumbling) Good you guys keep breathing. Good, a little smile over here from the serious side has been teaching with me all day there we go. Gorgeous and put the ball bar thing down. Block, ball, bar, blah, blah.
Great, great, so go ahead and get rid of that block for a second and let me see, we're gonna come on to open leg rocker. So come forward, super, yeah. So we don't, we're not gonna use the block, but imagine the block is your legs, right? So it's that same feeling here, right? I don't want you like going through here, I want you to keep that nice connection.
And here we go, let's take the position. I will not roll back onto my block and nor should you, here we go, roll back and home. Great, beautiful Jeremy, inhale, roll back exhale. So if you don't let yourself fall through your cap, you might have to use your tongue muscles or something. Your booty, I don't know what's going on.
Yeah, nice, don't go a little (wailing) Christie, no pulling down the scapula. One more guys, good. I'll do it with you so you don't feel alone and let's put our legs here, put your hands here. Great, let's take it down nice and easy. Nice and easy, we got this thing.
Bend your knees in, Good interlace your fingers. Let's take a little rib cage arm, so we did this in the workshop, you're just gonna float those arms up or just take a little moment of releasing tension and then you're gonna let your arms float overhead. And you're gonna just be relating to that rhythm that we talked about in the workshop for those of you who haven't taken it yet, that idea of just feeling the simplicity of the arms moving. So keep letting your arms come back all the way to the pubic bone. Good, recalibrating let the arms come up.
These first few moments, feeling that arm bone spinning in the socket and then as you come overhead, feeling that scapula sliding and gliding up and maybe even feeling a little extension in your thorax at the end, and we're gonna come back, with your hands come all the way down and then let your arms come down by your side. Settling that cap again. We're gonna go to shoulder bridge. So as we come into a shoulder bridge, right, our cap, go ahead and bridge up guys. Our cap is gonna go behind us.
So go ahead and allow your scapula to kind of gather towards each other slightly like your cap would, right? And that's gonna support your chest wall and down you go. Good let's do that twice more and shoulder bridge. You're coming on up, all right. So you're not letting that come forward rather gathers in the back and you come back down.
Good, and one more time you take it up. Yeah, and when you go down, you don't push, but you lay yourself out on your cap. Super nice, fantastic. Extend your left leg, hold your right knee in and try that roll up without falling through the shoulder girdle again. And you're gonna come on to all fours next.
Okay so we're gonna go into loading the arms. So here's our preparatory exercise. We call it lazy cat and active cat. I'm sure some of you have done enough of this today, but what's gonna happen is you're gonna let your scapula collapse toward your spine. And then you're gonna push your arms and let your scapula spread.
Yap, you're gonna let your scapula. Good, you're gonna keep those elbows straight Christie. Yeah and then you're gonna let that scapula spread. Now you wanna check that you're not pulling your blades down two more times, lazy cat, right? And you're also not losing your containers, right?
So you're really just moving the scapula, super. Now I want you to keep that, hold that and let your tuck your toes under and float your cat. And let's do three floating cats with lazy active. So here we go lazy scapula, good and press. This is really good work for your serratus, right?
So you go lazy, you push active, gorgeous. One more time, it's super hard and active. Good now put your knees down and everybody bring your arms forward about a foot. Good, so I really like this exercise. I'm calling it camel taking a drink and you're gonna bring your spine into extension.
You're gonna look out, look in each other's eyes. Beautiful, gorgeous, as they say, okay, so you're gonna bend your elbows nice and slowly narrow Christie, right? No pulling down and you're gonna tap those elbows down and you're gonna press back up. And what I check in here is that we're not pulling our scapula down because that's really interfering with this freedom. So go on down, that's it.
Miss Amy, keep your eyes up, keep your spine extended. Oh, a little cheating happening there, right? Cheating would be flexing. So don't flex, one more time. I know, and push it up.
Good, let's take one leg out the other leg out into a plank and just practice your skills the best you can lower yourself down onto your tummy for a Swan. So whatever that looks like, super, all right. Get your hands in a position where your cap is smooth on the back. So now wherever you've been told today we're gonna practice I think you can actually be here, but let that be, yeah. Now bring your containers organized, right?
So everybody float your head up so it's in line first, right? This is where I like to start my Swan now lift up head trunk and your cap is gonna follow, right? So there's no need to squeeze your blades in any direction. Now bend your elbows narrow to put yourself back down. Don't pull your blades down.
Not anybody here or anybody across the way everybody keep that organized. Bring your head to the level up for your Swan. Beautiful, yeah it's great. You know, I mean, look at that. That's perfect, you know, so it doesn't matter if you're a boy or a girl, you can do this thing.
Yeah, really nice Jeremy. Great, I know one more time please. Just breathe guys, push on up again, feel that. Good and come back down. Now we're gonna move into some serratus pushup.
So we're gonna bring our arms forward like this, right? And you want your upper arm bone, slightly forward of your shoulder. And that means you're gonna lift up. Now we're gonna do that same kind of gesture. Straighten the elbows, bend the elbows straighten the elbows, bend the elbows.
You're keeping that wide back. Now keep that wide back and let's flex the upper thoracic spine and extend it. Yes I am borrowing this from Irene Dowd. Steven Fetherhuff, I love this practice, right? Not your lower back, upper back.
Yeah Christie you keep squeezing those elbows in. You feel how hard that is-- Yes. Guys the more you squeeze the elbows in your externally rotated, she said, yes I do and thank you very much and come back out. So now lift that chest we're ready for single leg kick. Let's go right leg, (snapping) one, two switch.
(claps) And one, two switch, one, two, switch one, two, one, two, one, two. Can you keep all that up there? Yeah, it's hard and rest good lie down. Turn your head to the left, interlace your thumbs or something in the back. Okay, now this is a time where we're actually gonna get to pull that cap to stretch the front attachment.
So we're gonna triple kick everybody exhale. One, two, three, and up stretch. Good, turn your head and triples one, two, three, and up (laughing) oh little help from your friends and one, two, three, and up and again, (clapping) one, two, three, stretch it up. Roll that, lift your eyes and to square it off (clapping) one, two, three, I don't know if that was really (mumbles) off, but whatever you gotta do to square it off one more they say (snapping) two, three, and reach it up. Good and down.
Good put your hands under. Yes we're gonna stay with this loading moment. So I'd like you now to push yourself up into a plank. Good, stay with me. I want you to take your right leg up and let's do leg pull front.
So just go back front, foot down other leg, back front down, good keep your containers. Let your scapula be free, that's better Christie yes. Good square it off, that means you stop after you've done an even amount and bend your knees and sit back in a child's pose rest your spines rest your arms. Now in child's pose, are you pulling those shoulder blades down your back? No, no, no need, let them go, let them be.
Feel that strength of your body that way. Okay now team, we're gonna go from plank to side plank. And the image we're using is that image from the workshop where you're gonna be rotating your rib cage in the anterior surface of your scapula. So let's come on out into a plank again. Okay, you're gonna first be transferring your side plank towards the windows.
So go out into your plank. Good take your hand off and transfer to side plank facing me. Now we're gonna face me, come back, everybody. There we go, there we go. Good, good, now push that mat away.
You can see that scapula separate and then back down to center. Good I'm gonna recommend we stack our feet guys. So let's really get our containers a hundred percent right there, right? Push that mat away, push it away so that scapula separates and come back in gorgeous, let's do one more on each side. Push, yeah, you can really push the mat away.
Let your scapula go in the direction of your pinky. Come back to center, I know. And again good, yeah. That's better this time, so it's actually even more, yes. There you go, come back to center and knees down, pull back into child's pose.
Take a rest for a moment. Good, all right, so guys, you're gonna bring yourself through for neck pole. So one of the reasons I chose neck pole for this theme is I feel like it's one of those exercises where people really like (growling) to get up, right? And so we're gonna, we're gonna opt out of that particular strategy. So let's start with our hand, let's start here.
Right, do not pay attention to the feet that will be floating up all around the block. (laughing) Here we go, okay, tip back. So organize that cap, right? And really just spin, you can have your legs open. I think that's the traditional protocol if I recall.
All the way down, really control that. I'm checking in on my cap the whole time. Right, reach your arms overhead for a second. Feel that really beautiful connection to that upward rotation of the scapula. And then let's bring your hands back to that position.
Now, lift your head, neck and shoulders and do your best coming up, don't pull on that cap. I wanna see you do a little cap jiggle right here. Whoop, yap and all the way forward. Right, so how much are you helping yourself by yanking on your cap, yeah. You wanna be doing this from your trunk and tall spine and she's talking a lot tip back and roll back articulate, yeah, see what's there guys.
If you fall over that's information, right? If your feet come flying up it's okay. Reach your arms over, Laura's right. Good, bring them back. Good don't pull that scapula down your back.
Not for one second here, that's it. Now everybody pause right here. Can you shake it a little? (grunting) yeah easy and come on up, yeah, I know it, threw you back, right? Oh, you got it.
Good, okay good good-- Change my life. Good, I'm changing her life. One shoulder blade at a time. Good, take it back. Yeah, 'cause it gives you a headache to pull that shit down all the time, it's not necessary.
It's not necessary for your information it is non-necessary. Good take your arms over, let's come up one more time team. You're just doing such a great job. Yeah, that's it, that's it like exactly like I love that strategy like can you (mumbling) yeah, exactly. 'Cause bearing down is not helping, right?
So let's take a tall one more time. Take it back one more time. Let's see if I'm gonna fall off the back of the (speaker speaks in a low voice). I won't cause I'm super girl and let's lay all the way back. Good, I want you to take your block back in your arms for a teaser.
Okay, so here's the thing, we're gonna find this same strategy of keeping that cap on, let's all just lift our heads first. Now let's float our legs a little. Now bring yourself up into that arm girdle. Exactly, okay, let's take the arms up. I'm sorry about this, but let's just see if we can tap the back of her head.
Keep that upward rotation, reach it and then let's roll it down. You can do whatever you want, she says with your arms as you go back let's try that again. That was so fun, all right up you go lift your head, neck and shoulders. Get, I know straighten your elbows Christie. It's gonna change your life.
Be two things in one day. It's good, now can you, can you take that? That is gorgeous, I'm saying perfect when you fall, I'm saying perfect when you fall and go all the way down, that means you are trying something new, trying something difficult. Let's try it one more time, you guys are rocking the house. Great, (screams) Laura, let the scapula follow those pinkies, you got it.
She's worked out the most today, by the way. And this weekend and all the way, roll it back. Good let go of your block. Good, oh my God, bend your knees. Good, let's get that opposite, opposite energy.
And let's go into a big shoulder bridge again. So get your position and again, I'm just gonna note, as they're going up into a shoulder bridge, they get to bring their scapula slightly together. They can kind of hug the midline and back down. Good and inhale up, exhale down. So we're starting to calm down.
Yeah, we have one more fun thing to do though all the way up and all the way down. Take your right knee into your chest. Be a little more successful than you were the first time if you can and straighten the opposite leg, roll up to sitting without yanking forward. All right, I love it. All right guys, so here's how we're gonna end this class.
We're gonna go into a crab, which if you've watched me at any time, you knows this is one of my favs. I feel like it's a, you know, left out family member and what I want you to do, you're gonna do your thing. I didn't know if that was there, so I got a little scared and then you're gonna come up and you're gonna do that thing, right? No, you're gonna organize, yap your shoulder girdle. Now after we've done it three on those on the next one, I want you to come in to this position where you would be for that fore arm plank, tuck your head in, come up on your toes.
And I want you to just to practice pushing up and down a couple times, it comes from my scapula. So I'm going like this, well I'm helping with my leg, right? But I'm going like this because when you're in that kind of inversion, we're trying to encourage the reality that that scapula has to be lifted up there, okay? It's also a great strength in our weightbearing strength (mumbles) for this radius. So I'll take you through it.
Let's try crisscross applesauce, don't fall off your mat. Okay, here we go. Roll back, crisscross applesauce, come up. Now find the crown of your head. Good and roll back again, crisscross applesauce, come up.
Find the crown of your head, don't fall on it. And again, you're gonna do one full one again. So just a regular crab right now. Great, now you're gonna go back and when you come up this time, you're gonna bring your forearms, okay? And I'll show this, so you're gonna bring your forearms and get your feet under, they can be uncrossed even if you want.
So you could put them in the little V and then I want you just to practice pressing head down, up, down, up, three more, down, up, I know it's so hard, Christie-- I don't get it. I don't get it 'cause that's cause that that struggle with the blade pulling down and sit down. Good come on, yeah as that gets stronger guys, I'll show this from a precarious point, no, I can't do that. I should from this view though. So as you get stronger, watch how much of my head will end up clearing, right?
That's the pure movement on my scapula there. So if we've been holding them down, we're not gonna get anywhere. So you're gonna find that range. There you go, heck yeah! Super hard, well, it's different use of a muscle, right? Good, excellent, so you guys just come on up to the front of your mats again and let's close with these same images.
I know it's such close quarters. Hello, welcome to my cave. So let's just kinda just pick this girdle up and shake it, right? Good and let's just put that cap on and feel the beauty of rolling down and allowing the shoulder girdle not to be controlled. Yeah, it's really good to let go of control, all right?
Let it go, yeah, right? So being free is really nice and roll up. And then your shoulder girdle would really like that because it's actually designed to get things like food and love in the world. So go ahead and drop your head let it go one more time. Yeah, just let it go.
Right, just hang there. So I had a teacher who described the arms as basically, your shoulder girdle was there in the world to receive and give right to take in and to give out. And so if we're holding it and we're pulling on it, we're not gonna be able to do that. So roll up and so if I wanted to go for a hug, I would go for it. Yes Free your shoulder blades everybody, thank you bye (clapping).
If you complete this workshop, you will earn:
2.0 credits from Pilates Alliance Australasia (PAA)
The Pilates Alliance Australasia (PAA) is an independent and not-for-profit organization established by the Pilates industry as a regulatory body for control of quality instruction, member support, and integrity within all legitimate approaches to the Pilates Method.
3.0 credits from National Pilates Certification Program (NPCP)
The National Pilates Certification Program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)