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Lying Twist

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet on the floor and your arms spread.

Make sure that you have positioned your rib cage so that your front ribs are aligned into your body and your mid-back (just above and below your bra-line) is resting on the floor.

2. Shift your hips to your right.

3. Straighten your left leg.

4. Lift your right leg off the floor. Keep your knee bent.

5. Take your right knee in your left hand.

6. Move your leg across your body.

KEEP your right shoulder blade on the floor!

DO NOT back bend as you twist.

Relax and breathe easily in this shape. Can you surrender to the pull of gravity? Can you feel your body heavy on the floor?

7. Optional: Gently lift your head from the floor and turn your head to the right. Place your right ear on the floor. If this is a strain for your neck or inhibits your breathing, return your head to neutral.


Rib Cage + Belly Breathing

This exercise helps you feel and understand how your rib cage should move when you exhale.

KEY POINTS

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet on the floor and your mid-back (the area just above and below your bra-line) anchored onto the floor. Relax your butt and belly button. You should NOT grip with your hips or abdomen. You should NOT flatten your lower back against the floor. You should feel your mid-back against the floor. If you need to place a pillow under your head for comfort, please do. Can you keep your bra-line area rooted to the floor throughout the entire exercise?

  2. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your lower ribs. As you inhale, feel how your belly and lower ribs expand into your hands.

  3. As you exhale, feel how your ribs retract away from your hand. Can you get all the air out of your lungs? Can you feel how your rib cage moves into your body and into the floor as you exhale? Can you emphasize and exaggerate this movement?

Breathe mostly in and out through your nose as you do this exercise.

You can do this exercise with large breaths or with more gentle breaths. Either way, the same pattern remains.

Repeat for 1 - 5 minutes.


Hip Bridge

*SOUND ON FOR VERBAL INSTRUCTION*

KEY POINTS

Place your feet hip width apart with your toes pointing directly forward.

If you have one, place a yoga block between your knees and give it a gentle squeeze with your inner thigh muscles.

Set up with the neutral curves of your spine in tack. This means your mid-back (bra-line area) will be in contact with the ground, your lower back will be slightly arched away from the floor, and your chin and forehead will be level.

Without moving your spine at all, simply engage your butt muscles. DO NOT tuck your tailbone. Do not make a movement yet, just feel your butt engage.

Maintain the neutral curves of your spine as you press your feet into the floor and use your butt to lift your hips to the sky.

Consciously engage your butt muscles and keep pressing your feet into the floor.

As always, keep your face relaxed and breathe easily through your nose.

HOW TO PROGRESS THE HIP BRIDGE

Once you have mastered the Hip Bridge, hold the top position for up to 30 seconds while isometrically contracting your hamstring and butt muscles. Work up to 3 sets of 30 second holds.

Once you have mastered 3 sets of 30 second holds, progress to the Hip Bridge March, Single Foot Hip Bridge, Shoulder Elevated Hip Bridge, Shoulder Elevated Hip Bridge March, Single Leg Shoulder Elevated Hip Bridge.

Can you feel how this exercise informs your Deadlift, Squat and Lunging exercises?


Lying Limb Reach 1

KEY POINTS

Set your rib cage with an exhale. Feel the weight of your mid-back against the floor

If you are holding a yoga block, press strongly into the yoga block with your palms, particularly with the pinky finger edge of your palm. If you do not have a yoga block you can simply mimic this action with an imaginary yoga block.

Keep your ribs down and your back against the floor as you reach your arms overhead.

Pause in the extended position for several breaths.


Bent Over Bench Row

KEY POINTS

Soften your knees slightly.

Find your neutral spine position. Engage your hamstrings, butt and core to support you as needed.

Grip the weight strongly with the pinky-finger edge of your hand.

Originate the movement from your shoulder blade, NOT from your hand.

Pull your shoulder back. Keep pulling it back throughout the entire row.

Allow a small gap between your upper arm and your body, about a 45 degree angle.

Pull the weight toward your hip as opposed to your chest.

Stop your elbow movement when your elbow just passes your body. Pause in this position and continue to pull your shoulder back.

Feel the muscles of your upper back working.

As with all shoulder exercises: Keep your shoulder blade on your rib cage (scapular posterior tilt) and keep the ball with the socket.


Goblet Squat

KEY POINTS

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips with your feet slightly turned out.

  • Externally rotate your thighbones and feel your weight shift to the lateral edge of your foot.Feel for the weight of your body in your heels.

  • Keep your shoulders relaxed away from your ears and your elbows tight. Do not let your elbows flare out.

  • Hold the weight close to your body.

  • Sit back and down attempting to get your hip crease just below the top of your knee cap. Keep feeling for the weight in your heels as you sit back. Keep your thighs externally rotated and your knees wide.

  • Press the floor away from you as you come back up to stand.

  • Choose a weight that allows you to perform 5 - 10 receptions with good technique

 

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

It is important to hold the weight close to your body with integrity in your arms. See how my elbows are hugging close to my body in the photo below? This is correct.

Do not allow your elbows to flare out to the sides like in the picture below.

Keep the weight close to your body. Do you see how I am holding the weight far away from my body in the photo below? This is not good. It causes added strain in your shoulders, neck, upper and lower back.

Remember: Keep the weight close to your body with shoulders relaxed and your elbows hugging tightly in toward each other. You can see this optimal positioning in the photo below.