Rectus Abdominis, front part of the abdominal wall, with more emphasis on the lower portion of the muscle.
Lie on the mat, facing the ceiling with your legs up in the air.
Legs can be bent at 90 degrees (easier) or straight with the knees only slightly bent (more challenging) ... whichever position you choose, keep the legs directly over the hips so that you keep the lower back safe.
Hands can be on the floor beside you (easier), or holding the mat above your head (more challenging).
Contracting the abdominal muscles, slowly lift the tailbone off the floor.
Repetitions for levels of difficulty:
- This is a very small movement. The legs are used only to add weight to make the exercise harder.
- Start the movement by using the abdominal muscles to curl the pelvis, instead of jerking the legs or trying to swing the legs back and forth.
- If curling upper body simultaneously, keep your elbows diagonally to your sides.
Keep them away from your face. Keep your chin about a fist distance from your chest.
- Rest when you feel a burning sensation in the muscles or when you feel yourself getting tired.
It is better to rest and start over again rather than continuing in poor form which will lessen the effectivity of the exercise or place you at risk for injury.
Level 1 - single counts up and down
Level 2 - two counts up, two counts down
Level 3 - two counts up, four counts hold, two counts down
Level 4 - four counts up, four counts down
- Thrusting or swinging the legs instead of starting the movement with a contraction in the abs.
- If you have the hands on the floor pushing with the hands to help push your body up.
If you have a history of a slipped disc or a chronic back problem which is bothering you, it would be better not to do this exercise.
Go to Common Exercises...