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exercise of the month

Stomach Massage with Round Back

January 2019

Aim

This exercise works the core abdominals and "massages" the internal organs, whilst practicing thoracic breathing and coordination

Starting Position

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.

Action

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

 

Target Muscles

Quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, core abdominals, gastrocnemius, soleus, adductors, gluteals, lateral rotators

Watchpoints

  • Maintain length in the spine to prevent slumping
  • Keep equal length on both sides of the waist
  • Ensure the spine stays in the C-Curve without leaning back or forward
  • Ensure the shoulders stay above the hips
  • The speed is quicker on the outward journey on the inhalation and slower on the return jouirney on the exhalation
  • Ensure knees are in line with the second toe
  • Feel the fingertips pulliing upwards on the carriage
  • Keep abdominals hollowed and connected throughout

Contra Indictions

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.

Contra-indications

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).

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