Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your Amarillo personal trainer. Today is once again not Tuesday, but regardless I’m going to be giving you Fit Tip Tuesday part 2. You can read the first part here: https://customfitness.biz/2018/01/18/fit-tip-tuesday-part-one-custom-fitness-amarillo-personal-trainers1/

If you have any questions about today’s blog, then please give us a call at (806) 322-3188

So now that you’ve read part one and know about how you should be breathing and engaging your core, let’s put it into action. I’ll lay it all out for you step by step, and you can also see everything in action if you click on the video above.

Lay down on your yoga mat and find your position. I would encourage you to place your hands under your hips, closer to your tailbone than to your shoulders. What that’s going to do is create a scooping sensation so that your back can press down into the mat. And you want that pressing down in pilates, it’s what’s called an imprint because you’re making an impression of your spine on the mat.

So I want you to be in that position with your feet on the floor to where your legs are at a 90 degree angle. So you want to lift the hips up by placing your hands under them, press the spine into the mat, then draw your knees into your chest. That’s always the best position to start in so that you have an even lever and you can get the spine ready.

Now remember that if you haven’t done a great warmup first, these are not the first exercises that you want to do. You want to get that warmup first so that the whole body is warm and ready to do this type of work. This is a pretty deep core exercise.

Now as you take the legs up from your chest and have them straight (almost like your body looks like an L) most people put emphasis on the “down”, so then again I’ll describe what most people do. They bring the legs all the way down and then they bring them all the way back up. And really what you get there is a lot of pressure in the back, and a lot of hip flexor work. Not a lot of ab work is going on.

If you want that ab work, here’s how to do it. You’re going to keep the hips elevated, press the low back down, engage the core by pulling your rips into your hips, and then what you do is lower the legs about 6 inches. Now, instead of thinking about lifting your toes, you think about squeezing your tummy tighter so that you engage that core to pull the legs back up. You’ll notice that the tailbone tries to come up with you, so you lower back down those 3-6 inches, you squeeze through the core right back up, and you’ll feel your abs working.

Now, you can make this a little bit different. You can take it into some oblique lifts by turning the knees to one side and lifting, and then bringing it back down to the other side and lifting. Or you can even bring it all the way up, and go into your windshield wipers. You keep the shoulders and the hips on the floor and moving your legs side to side.

You can also take it into those scissors, but as you go into the scissors you keep the same idea as before. As you go down and the work was on the way up, in your scissors you’re wanting to get that back knee back to your nose. So go as far back as you can go, bring it down, switch it out. The more that you try to get your legs to your nose, the more core work you’ll experience. So in that case you’re actually going to feel the stomach working in an entirely different way. You’re still going to get the entire spectrum of the core; from the sternum to the pubic bone, you’re going to get the whole body working together, but you’re not going to get the negatives. You’re not going to get the same back pain, and you’re not going to get the same issues with the strain through the core.

So the next time that you try that exercise, think about going less low. So try not to get as far to the floor, just go enough to disengage the core a little bit, and then use that core to bring the legs back up.

I know i said disengage, but don’t ever fully disengage. You want to go from tight to tighter, and from tighter to tight if that makes sense. So you’re going from an engaged core to a more engaged core, and then you release it back just to that engaged core. So you’ll never fully release, or let go, during a core exercise because that definitely could do some harm there. You want to make sure that the body is safe, so you do that by constantly being engaged tight. But again, you’re working on getting your knees back toward your nose, more than you are down to the ground.

Now the other tip here is that as you’re coming back, the more that your tailbone lifts on it’s own off the floor, the more that you’ll feel it in your lower core. So if that tailbone is coming up, not from momentum, but from that engagement, you’ll feel more engagement through that lower core.

So, I hope that gives you something great to work on. This is a great thing to have in your toolbox for your workouts.

So, if you’re wanting the accountability and help with creating an action plan to see results, or are wanting to someone to help create a workout plan to push you to your greatest potential, then that’s what we’re here for. We work those recovery times into our client’s routines to ensure that they see the best possible results. We have an entire team of dedicated professionals to help you with your health and fitness goals. To get your consultation set up, give us a call at 806-322-3188 or email us at info@customfitness.biz At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo, Texas. Have a great day.