Exercise of the Month – December 2009
This exercise is an excellent “full body” strengthener. It targets the muscle groups of your back and abdominals (a.k.a , your “CORE”), while working your arms, shoulders, chest, butt and hamstrings (back of legs), without exercise equipment.
Starting Position: Lie prone (on your stomach) on an exercise mat/floor with your elbows close to your sides and directly under your shoulders, palms down and hands facing forward. Extend your legs and flex your ankles (pull toes towards your shins). Contract your core and abdominal muscles to stiffen your torso.
Upward Phase: Slowly lift your entire torso off the mat/floor, maintaining a stiff torso and legs. Avoid arching/sagging in your low back, pushing your hips/butt upwards or bending in the knees. Relax your shoulders. Keep your shoulders positioned directly over your elbows with your palms facing down. You want a long, straight back from head to toes. Continue to breathe while holding this position for 10+ seconds. Hold this position long enough to feel your body shake with exhaustion.
Downward Phase: While maintaining a stiff torso and extended knees, gently lower your body towards the mat/floor.
Repeat this exercise 1 to 2 more times.
If you experience any pain in the low back with this exercise, stop immediately and consult with your doctor.
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