March Mat-ness Challenge Day 1

Today is the first day of the March Mat-ness Challenge!  Each day in March we will perform a different Mat Pilates exercise.  I have videos of each exercise with directions on how to perform the exercise with or without modifications.  You perform the exercise they way it works best for your body.

The first exercise we will do is the Ab Prep.  This is performed lying on a mat on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat.  You can start with your hands by your sides.

Those new to the exercise should begin with a 4 breath pattern.  Start with an inhale and nod your chin slightly.  On your exhale, reach with your arms and curl your head and shoulders off the mat.  You’ll want to feel your ribs sliding towards your hips.  On your inhale, hold this position.  On your exhale, lengthen your head and shoulders back down to the mat.

Those who are new to the exercise will want to perform this in an imprint where the curve in the lower spine is flat against the mat.  As you get stronger you can progress to performing the exercise in a neutral spine.

You may also progress to having your hands behind your head.  Keep your elbows out to the sides and gently rest your head into your finger tips.  Do not pull on your head with your hands.

Finally, you may also progress to a 2 breath pattern where you would exhale to curl your head and shoulders off the mat, and inhale to lower back down.  Perform 5-10 repetitions.

 

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