Single-Leg Stretch and Criss Cross
This mat sequence works your abs while stretching the rest of your body.
To do the Single Leg Stretch (top photo):
- Lift head and shoulders off the mat; your chin should be over your chest and your neck muscles relaxed so that abdominals are supporting the weight of your skull.
- Stretch one leg in and the other leg out, keeping your torso and head still and your belly pulled in, with your lower back on the mat. Switch legs and pull the leg nearest to you inward as you move.
- Complete 20 total repetitions, reaching the legs out farther and drawing them in deeper for a stretch through the back of the leg every time.
To do the Criss Cross (bottom photo):
- With the hands supporting the weight of the head (not pulling forward on the neck), rotate the ribcage to the right with both shoulder blades off the mat; reach with your elbow to the opposite knee to try to get the back of the armpit over past the opposite knee.
- Lift your body higher as you move through the center and to the other side, making sure to keep your shoulder blades lifted.
- The movement should be fluid: legs should move in and out straight from the hips, and the movement should be slow and controlled, lifting higher and twisting more every time.
- Complete 20 total twists, holding the last two to twist the ribcage as far as possible, pulling the waist in as much as possible.