Tutorial #3837

Advanced Reach

10 min - Tutorial


Look at the upper body reach in a different context with this quick tutorial by Andrea Maida. She looks at a few exercises in the Arm Series, demonstrating how you can still achieve a two-way stretch when you are upside down. When you are able to stay connected to your powerhouse while working on the reach, you will be able to do the more advanced exercises with greater ease.
What You'll Need: Mat, Baby Arc, Hand Weights (2), Pilates Pole

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Aug 23, 2019
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Hi there. Thank you so much for joining me today. I have a tutorial on one of my favorite apparatus, the small barrel. And earlier we talked about viewing the plot, these exercises through the lens of the two way stretch or oppositional movement. And I have another video where I talk about the upper body reach in a really straightforward way using a couple of reformer exercises. So I hope that you'll view that video, that's more of a fundamental learning video.

And now we're going to look at the same upper body reach, but now it's going to be literally a bit upside down and backwards. So this is a little bit more advanced, uh, in that often beginners don't come to the barrel because you need to have your center or your powerhouse, uh, intact so that as you lie with your back over the barrel, all of your powerhouse doesn't just get a free ride. So today we're going to look at a couple exercises in the arm series, and I'm have two one pound weights. You could use one pound or two pound, but just know yourself. If you're someone that has a lot of uh, that likes use your upper body or your shoulders are a bit stiff, you might find that having a weight makes your arms want to take over.

And so if you use weights, just check with check in with yourself and see you can also do this without weights, which might let your arms be a little more free but see what you think. And then I also have a pole which we may use as well. So let's get started. And I should say that although we're doing primarily looking at the upper body reach today is, is a full body workout. So the lower body is going to need to work as well because it's really the power in this exercise and it enables you to kind of have a like wild abandon, shall we say for your upper body work over the barrel.

So I am going to suggest a couple of different positions for your lower body that helps you connect yourself into the barrel to make the exercise more beneficial. And I like to say that it's always the part of the body that's lying there or sitting there doing nothing that shouldn't be really doing all of the work. So this is one of those cases I'm going to take my weights and I'm going to place myself right up against the barrel and I like to start lying over the barrel with a nice lift so that sometimes if you lie over the barrel, it can be kind of sinky over the barrel. And we want to really use these exercises to decompress and extend the spine. So I'm going to start really just in the middle of the roll up.

So I'm going to stand on my feet and lift myself up and over into this mid roll up position. And then I'm going to lie myself all the way over the barrel to begin. So that's where we're going. And I just want to mention that if you get back there, it's very uncomfortable or your head is hanging in space, you have a couple options. You can certainly place yourself a little bit further away from the barrel so that then your whole back won't touch the barrel.

But then you have a little bit of that going on and you might have more support for your head for now. And then as you get more comfortable with being upside down in that position, you can kind of inch yourself a little closer to the barrel over time. And I should also say that I love this apparatus. I love these exercises here, but it is not a walk in the park when I'm actually in them because I'm a bit stiff in my upper back and that's why I'm here in the first place. So when I sit up I feel fantastic, but I can't say that it's especially comfortable down there. And you know, usually the things that are good for us and are changing and correcting our bodies are a bit uncomfortable. So do take care of yourself.

And if we do a couple exercises in a row, of course, if you need to sit up between the exercises, you can take that time for yourself. So meanwhile back at the middle of the roll-up, I'm going to lie back and I'm already reaching up and forward. And then let me come up and do that again. Let's make the roll up a little more up and forward. So that's what you're going to keep on the inside so that as you're lying over this barrel, your insides are still reaching up and forward and your stomach is with you.

Okay. And then we're going to reach both of our arms to the ceiling and you're going to take one reach one arm a little further up and one arm is going to go down. So take the cue from the one that's going down cause you can reach certainly forward with that one. And then both can meet in the center forward. And I should also mention that if you're having trouble keeping your low back or any of your back against the barrel, I'm just going to come up for a moment.

You can certainly put your feet. Woo. You can certainly put your feet onto the mat so you can literally stand on your feet and you can have something to press into for support that will help your backstay against the barrel. So I'll just show a little bit, one arm up, one arm down in that position. So your roll up looks a little different. Keep reaching up and forward. Okay. And then reach up and forward. Stand on your feet, take a big breath in as your arms reach up.

And then exhale as you reach up and forward. That'll help use your center and your stomach. Inhale, reach up to the ceiling. And then exhale as you reach up and forward, I'm going to do two more sets and it's nice to get a really big full, it can kind of really plant you on the barrel nicely. And then place the weights down. Stand on your feet. So you're gonna use your lift, your butt and your stomach to help you pick up your head and sit up.

So now that was one arm up, one arm down. So the next one we're going to look at, which is probably a little bit more straight forward, is breathing, which is basically two arms up, two arms down, and you have this pole which gives you a little bit more help for your back and also for your stomach. And I'm going to take my legs long for this one. So see which lower body position helps you connect the best with your feet pressing into the mat or with your legs reaching long cause they're both really good positions for the lower body. So keep reaching up and forward and then keep that in mind as you go all the way back, you're going to take a big breath in, reach up and forward. Imagine exhale when you get back here.

Take a big breath in and exhale when the borrower returns to the lower body. Let's do two more. Take a big breath in. Keep reaching to every point on the arch that you're making across the ceiling. Take a big breath in [inaudible] last one, and you can kind of imagine your double leg pull exercise, your double leg stretch both ends the body reaching way out. Keep that idea of them lengthening even though you're kind of bringing them back together a little bit.

And then use your lower body standing position. Squeeze your butt, pull your stomach in, and pop yourself up off the barrel. Thank you so much for watching. I hope that you'll view the other video that's a little more fundamental. If this one seemed a little bit suddenly crazy. Thank you so much and I'll see you next time. Bye.

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1 person likes this.
Me gustó Andrea.
Thank you María! xox
Perfect exercises for my right Thoracic spine.
Ooh so glad to be of help :) Thank you so much  for watching! xox
I have just bought a spine corrector so this little tutorial was perfect x thank you
1 person likes this.
Hi Debra - congratulations on your Spine Corrector and thanks so much for watching! xox

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