Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Killer abs session - final instalment

4. Double Straight Leg Stretch

* Exhale, lowering legs toward the mat no lower than a 45* angle. Stop when your lower back begins to arch.
* Inhale, raising legs back up to the ceiling at a 90* angle, keeping buttocks on the mat.
* Repeat 15 times; 1-5 sets. Finish with hands behind the head and knees bent to chest.

* If your back is arching, lower head and place hands under buttocks as you raise and lower legs.

5. Criss-Cross
* Inhale and extend left leg out at a 45* angle as you twist your upper body until left elbow touches right knee.
* Exhale and look back beyond right elbow and stretch from elbow to opposite foot.
* Inhale, switching sides. Hold a moment. Exhale and stretch a little longer.
* Repeat 15 times; 1-5 sets.

* Engage abdominals so pelvis is steady and hips don't rock from side to side.
* Make sure elbows are extended out and not folding in or touching the floor while you are twisting.
* Twist from your waist. Your neck, shoulders and elbows do not initiate the movement - they only follow the direction of the twist coming from the work of your abdominals.

* Lower head down, bring feet to the floor, hip-width apart. Place hands on belly, relax abdominals and exhale deeply into your stomach, letting your belly rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale.

The 5 exercises in the stomach series are meant to flow seamlessly from one into the next, according to the rhythm of your breathing. The challenge is to get through the entire series without changing the initial body position.

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