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exercise of the month

Single Leg Stretch with with Oblique Twist

April 2021

Aim

To work the oblique abdominals in order to maintain a neutral pelvis and to challenge co-ordination

Starting Position

Lie supine in the relaxation position with the knees bent.  Inhale to prepare.  Exhale, engage the core abdominals and lift one leg up at a time until the legs are bent at 90 degrees above the hips.  The arms are raised directly above the shoulders, holding the ring in the hands

Action

Inhale - to tuck the chin in and raise the head and shoulders off the floor.  The arms will move forwards and lower to where the hands are around shoulder height.  The elbows stay soft. 

Exhale - as the right leg straightens and simultaneously oblique twist the torso to the left, aiming to place the ring on the outside edge of the left knee. 

Inhale - to prepare

Exhale - to swap legs (i.e. right leg returns as the left leg straightens and oblique twist to the right, aiming to place the ring on the outside edge of the right knee).  Continue to alternate each leg. 

(To finish) -  Inhale - to return the head to the floor and exhale to return the bent legs to the floor one at a time, keeping the abdominals hollowed. Gently squeeze the ring each time the leg changes.

Target Muscles

Rectus abdominis, core abdominals, oblique abdominals, hip flexors

Watchpoints

Keep the chin tucked in with the eyes focused down towards the pelvis to minimise neck strain

Keep the abominals hollowed throughout to avoid any bulging or popping

Keep the scapula stabilising muscles working to avoid any shoulder hiking

Only move the straight leg as far away from the body as a neutral pelvis can be maintained

The lower the straight leg moves towards the floor, the more challenging the exercise

Try to maintain an even height in the torso throughout to avoid the body dropping back down towards the floor, particularly as you transition between sides

Ensure the lift comes from the “steering wheel” (i.e. the ribcage) and not from twisting the head or shoulders

Try not to over twist or one side of the pelvis will lift off the floor (i.e. will tilt from east to west or vice versa depending upon which way the body is twisting)

Contra Indictions

This exercise may be unsuitable for those suffering certain neck problems.

This may be unsuitable for those with osteoporosis

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March 2021

Emma Newham gives you the low down on the Long Stretch and Reverse Long Stretch Push Up exercise on the Gym Ball in this step by step video tutorial guide

View exercise >

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