Here is a quick mat workout to target this area. Make sure you are warmed up with a five to ten minute walk or jog, or add this targeted workout on to another cardio or strength workout. You will use your breath to focus the movements, so don’t rush anything. Listen to your body and don’t move beyond your fitness level.
Flying Leg Extensions
Lie facedown on your mat. Bring legs out wider than hips and turn them out with heels closer. Rest forehead on hands. Inhale into the ribcage and keep shoulders in their place, trying not to let them rise.
On an exhale, raise legs up keeping the legs turned out and straight. Inhale lower the legs down; exhale, raise legs up after inhale. Repeat four times.
Troubleshoot this move by not thinking about how high the legs go but how long and lifted the legs can stretch. While you will be feeling your lower back and hips here, you also want to think of stretching the legs so the spine is somewhat lengthening while it is extending.
Beginners, rest and repeat up to four more times. More advanced exercisers, move on to the next move.
On an exhale, as you lift legs, extend arms out with pinky fingers turned down, thumbs facing up, then inhale, lower arms and legs; exhale, raise arms and legs back up. Repeat four times and hold last up to move into next move.
Troubleshoot: You will need mobility in the front body in order to extend the arms from shoulders. Having your palms facing in will help with shoulder mobility. Just as in the Flying Leg Extensions, think length here while you extend. Don’t be afraid to try one or two and then rest and reassess, especially if you are attempting to move on to the other moves. Also, keep your head in line with spine and don’t be tempted to look up and ahead. Keep gaze toward the top edge of your mat.
Flying Lat Pulls
From the Flying Superman, pull elbows back toward rib cage as you turn palms down. Inhale move back to Flying Superman, exhale, pull arms back keeping chest lifted. Try to stretch legs a little longer as you lift them. Repeat four times using breath. Hold last one to move into next move.
Troubleshoot: if your chest is tight; lower back, weak; or you’re simply feeling fatigued, then stop, rest, reassess the position and repeat the exercises above once or twice through when you feel ready.
Advanced Flying Chest Opener
If you feel you can move on, bring arms back behind and clasp hands to open chest. Hold position and breathe a couple breaths to open the chest while working back body.
On inhale, bend knees in half so that big toes come close and thighs stay turned out. Exhale and raise chest and legs slightly, avoiding hyperextending the back. Repeat four times and then hold last lift.
Chest Opener Criss Cross
At the top of the last move, cross the shape of the legs quickly making sure the thighs stay lifted and the move is coming from the “shape of the legs” crossing and not just the feet. Do between four and eight sets of crosses.
Troubleshoot: Make sure you stay powerful through the legs and that the criss cross moves come from the shape of the leg. Moving in and out inside the hip joints rather than the thigh bones turning up and down. Also, continue to think “lengthen while you lift” rather then just “lift” to avoid putting too much pressure in lower back. This means that you will want to feel a top of the head to bottoms of knees stretching in opposite direction.
Wide Knee Child Pose Stretch
With knees wide, sit back toward heels with palms facing down to release the lower back. hold for about four deep breaths.
Walk hands to the front of your mat to increase the stretch in the lower and outer back. hold for about four deep breaths. Repeat other side.
Remember – don’t skip the stretch! Let me know what you think! Try and get your guy to do this workout with you! :) #valentines #gotyourback
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