LifeApps® Digital Media

Spring Abs Flow

Feb 13th, 2012

UntitledPlank

  • Starting in Table position (hands and knees) be sure your hands are directly under your shoulders, with your fingers spread wide.
  • Extend one leg out at a time behind you on the balls of your feet, so you are in a high push-up position. Think about making one straight line from the crown of your head to your heels.
  • Abdominal muscles are pulled in toward the spine, and gaze is straight down between your hands. Hold for 5-10 breaths. *Option to modify by dropping the knees.

Side Plank

  • From Plank, bring your legs and ankles together to touch. Plant your right hand directly under your face, drop your heels to the right, stacking your left foot on top of your right, and extend your left arm straight up to the sky. Imagine a side-lying capital letter “T”.
  • Hips can either be in the straight line from your head to heels, or pressed up higher, creating a slight arc. Hips should not sink low.
  • Gaze can be down to your right hand, straight out in front of you, or up toward the left hand. Hold for 5-10 breaths on each side.

Side Plank Variation

  • From Side Plank, drop your right knee directly beneath your hips, and lift your leg parallel to the ground. Keep the left foot flexed.
  • Keep the left arms stretching straight up to the sky.
  • Engage your abdominal core for balance.

Side Plank Crunch

  • From the Side Plank Variation, bend the left elbow and left leg, and bring the elbow and knee to touch as you exhale. Think about bringing the left ribs toward the left hip bone.
  • Extend back out to Side Plank Variation as you inhale.
  • Repeat 5-10 times.

Elbow Plank

  • Start in Table position (hands and knees), and lower down to the elbows. To set up proper alignment, reach the hands for opposite elbows directly under your shoulders; this is how far apart your elbows should be from one another. Keep your elbows where they are and spiral your forearms forward to interlace your fingers; pinkies press down into the mat.
  • Engaging your abdominal muscles, step one leg back at a time onto the balls of your feet, just like in Full Plank. You should have a straight line of energy from the crown of your head out through your heels.
  • Hold for 5-10 breaths, or as long as you can.

Dolphin Pose

  • From Elbow Plank, lift the hips and stretch the heels down toward the mat; you are creating a shape similar to Downward Facing Dog, but from the elbows.
  • Press back and away from the elbows, opening the shoulders and chest. Head hangs heavy.
  • Hold for 3-5 breaths.

Cobra/ Upward Facing Dog

  • Begin on your belly, with hands on the floor directly under your shoulders; legs should be together, and extended out long behind you.
  • Pressing your hands into the ground, peel your chest off the floor, keeping the shoulders down away from the ears; press the pelvis down into the mat.
  • Broaden your collarbones and lift the chest, straightening the arms only to the extent that the back is lengthened without compression.
  • For a greater challenge and deeper stretch, straighten the arms and press onto the tops of the feet for Upward Facing Dog. Hips and thighs come up off the floor, and gaze is slightly upward.

Side Reclining Leg Lift

  • Lie on the floor on your right side. Press actively through your right heel, flex the foot, and use the outside of the foot to stabilize yourself.
  • Bend your right elbow and support your head in your palm. Slide the elbow away from your torso to stretch the armpit.
  • Externally rotate your left leg so the toes point toward the ceiling, then bend and draw the knee toward your torso. Reach across the inside of the leg and take hold of the left big toe with your index and middle fingers. (If you're not able to comfortably hold the toe, loop a strap around the sole and hold the strap.) On an inhalation, extend the leg up toward the ceiling.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles to hold the balance.

Prowling Tiger

  • From Table position (hands and knees), gaze down between the hands. Shift your weight into the left hand as you extend the right arm forward, parallel to the ground.
  • Then, shift your weight into the right knee, as you extend your left leg back behind you, parallel to the ground; keep the foot flexed, with the toes facing the ground.
  • Keep your spine long and strong by engaging the abdominal muscles to hold your balance. Think about being pulled in two opposite directions, and focus on your breath.