December 12, 2014
This workout was designed to be done with intentional breath. In all these exercises we want to slow down and breathe purposefully. Breathe into your rib cage in all directions. On exhale, feel your abs and pelvic floor lift and close. Make sure not to move too fast or hold your breath through this. Some moves you may need to make easier and some you may be able to perform with the Advanced Option. Always listen to your body and insist on strong form. All you need is a mat for this workout and I suggest a five minute walk or warmup before beginning. Have fun and let me know if you did it!
Bring hands under shoulders with fingers pointing forward and toes tucked underneath. With body strong and back neutral, extend front leg out. Hold and breath in and then exhale.
On inhale, lift hips an strongly shift shoulders into an upside down V position. On exhale, come back forward to plank.
Repeat 8 times slowly and with power. Repeat other side.
Make it Easier: Skip the leg lift and only move through the plank to V with feet down.
Make it Harder: By holding the extended leg plank for one breath in and out. On inhale stay strong then on exhale, pull front knee to front shoulder then press leg back out.
With elbows supporting the upper body and forearms down and hips on top of inner hands and thumbs, lift legs and bend back leg onto front leg. Inhale and lower shape of legs down a few inches. Breathe out and left legs back up.
Repeat 8 slow breaths on each side.
Make it Easier: By keeping head and upper torso all the way down on the mat and bring the legs (with slight bend in extended leg) above the hips.
Make it Harder: By lowering the legs all the way down toward mat.
On mat, pull knees toward chest and lift upper torso 9shoulder carriage and head) up with bottom of shoulder blades just off the mat. With arms pull back knee toward chest and extend front leg out. Inhale. Exhale. Slowly switch the legs keeping the extended leg at about a 45 degree angle to the hips.
Do this 8 times. Then rest and repeat with the back leg extended for the inhale. Each leg should get equal inhales and exhales for a total of 16 deep breaths.
Make it Easier: Keep upper body and head completely down and raise legs above hips. Move through these breaths without the flexion of the spine. You may still use your arms in this with head/shoulders down.
Make it Harder: Do not use the arms to pull knee. Powerfully pull knee toward chest using abs and hip flexors. Arms will be lifted and strong below the shoulders.
Lying face up on your mat with legs below hips in a hips distance and parallel position, bring back leg up and place it on the front thigh. Inhale.
Exhale and lift hips up making sure the hips stay level and the position stays strong. Inhale lower back down with purpose and control.
Repeat 16 times. Rest and repeat on the other side.
Make it Easier: Keep both legs down and move through the bridge with support of both feet on mat.
Make it Harder: Extend back leg straight up above hip.
From bridge, reach arms up above the head with palms up. Lift lower back up and reach through the fingertips. Inhale.
On exhale, pull knees in toward chest and try to lift hips just off the mat to release the lower back. Inhale.
On exhale, curl upper torso off mat to stretch upper back. Repeat sequence up to 8 times.
Make it Easier: Leave off the last part of the stretch if you feel any tension in your neck.
Download and Print this workout here so you can take it with you during your Holiday travels! Printable Mat Workout