Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 152- One Hundred Prep with Straight Legs

This exercise continues our journey toward the Pilates class The Hundred.  The straight legs add work to the deep the abdominal exercises.
To do this exercise you will need a mat.  Start by lying on your back with your legs long beneath you.  Inhale into the back of the ribs and exhale as you bring your legs to a tabletop position.  Inhale as you float your arms toward the ceiling and then exhale as you press your arms toward the ground, straighten your legs to a forty-five degree angle, narrow the ribcage, and press your ribcage into the ground to lift your head, neck, and shoulders.  Inhale into the back of your ribs again, and exhale as you lift your head, neck, and shoulders one inch higher.  Inhale one more time and then exhale as you lower your body back to the ground and bend your knees to a tabletop position. Repeat 6-8 times.
Things to think about
If you have osteoporosis practice this exercise with your head, neck, and shoulders lowered to the ground.  Practicing the breath work will be insightful to the deep abdominal connection.
Squeezing the inner thighs together when you straighten the legs can help you find the midline as you are lengthening the lever arm that is training your abdominals. 
Remembering back to all of the work breath work in the ribcage that helps to prevent muscle strain in the neck will be even more important in this exercise.

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