This exercise works the core abdominals and "massages" the internal organs, whilst practicing thoracic breathing and coordination
Sit on a sticky mat in the middle of the carriage, slightly back of the sit bones. Place the balls of the feet and toes on the footbar. The toes are apart and the heels are together in first position. Raise the heels up to a demi-point position. The legs are laterally rotated and knees should aim to be around shoulder width apart. Flex the spine into a C-curve with the shoulders above the hips. The arms are rounded with the palms facing inwards and the fingertips lightly pressing against the sides of the carriage (fingertips are slightly forwards of the shoulders). Keep the elbows open and soft.
Inhale – To engage the core abdominals and inner thighs, straighten the legs, pushing the carriage away. Still inhaling, lower and lift the heels under the footbar, maintaining the external rotation of the legs with the heels together
Exhale – Using the powerhouse connection to keep the C-curve, bend the knees and return the carriage back to the starting position, without touching the stopper
Quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, core abdominals, gastrocnemius, soleus, adductors, gluteals, lateral rotators
Variation One (Adaptation)
This may be done without the heels lifting and lowering
Variation Two (Adaptation)
The breathing may be changed as follows: Inhale to extend the legs. Exhale to lower the heels under the bar. Inhale to raise the heels. Exhale to bend the knees and return the carriage.
A turned out position may not be suitable for those with sciatica. Spinal flexion is unsuitable for osteoporosis and certain back problems (but may be performed with a flat back, neutral spine instead).
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 guideView exercise >
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