Alignment Snacks: Let's Do the Twist

Katy Bowman
Year Released: 2013

Categories: Athletic Stretch , Instructional / How To Videos , Special Health Conditions


Katy Bowman's "Alignment Snacks" are downloads from her web site, restorativeexercise.com. These are 25-35 movement-focused classes offered for $5 each. Katy is teaching live in front of a live class (who you sometimes hear but never see). "Let's Do the Twist" is I think the fifth class that I have purchased after starting with several of her upper-body focused classes (which I loved--and you can try her "Can't Get Enough of Shoulders" free on her web site) and then moving on to a few of the lower body ones as well.

Let's Do the Twist is performed entirely on the floor. Katy has you begin lying on the back with a support under the head. (She uses her half-dome; a block or even a pillow will work fine as well.) The first move is to pull one knee in to the chest without lifting the opposite hamstring off the ground or rotating the pelvis forward. Katy says that this is a foundational move for twisting, but I also found it to be a good psoas stretch. She then repeats the knee in with a ROLL to the side--she emphasizes that you are ROLLING, not twisting, at this this point. Next, you lie flat on your back, arms overhead, and move your arms and legs to the same side for a "C" or crescent stretch performed to both sides. Following this stretch, Katy performs the first actual spinal twist, again bringing the knee in, but she does this a bit differently in that the ribs are kept on the floor.

At this point (about the 14 minute mark), she flips onto the stomach, extending one leg out at a right (90-degree) angle for a hip stretch and then repeating on the second side. Next, she bends one leg behind her, grasping the foot with the hand for a thigh and shoulder stretch (this is also known as half-frog in yoga). At 20 minutes, she returns to lying on the back, repeating the twist, keeping the ribs on the floor and twisting only from the pelvis and the waist. She then repeats the "C" crescent stretch to either side, and finally, she performs the twist a final time, still keeping the ribs down, but trying to see if a greater amount of twisting can be obtained in the pelvis. The routine concludes at about 29 minutes, although Katy comes back on screen briefly to say that it's okay to be sore, and then she comes back on screen once more with her baby.

I enjoyed that in addition to the twists, this snack worked a bit of psoas and hips as well. The stretches are a bit repetitive, but they felt very good; I think this one would be particularly nice to do after sitting all day or anytime my back is feeling stiff/sore. I would definitely recommend this!

Instructor Comments:
If you haven't tried Katy yet, she can be quite goofy! She is a bit less so in this one, but at one point, when she is encouraging you to self-massage your ribs, she says something like "If you want to send me a dollar for the self-massage, that's fine." I can see why she might not click with everyone, but I like her.

Beth C (aka toaster)

08/16/2015