March Mat-ness Challenge Day 25

Swan Dive

This can be a really fun exercise if you get the hang of it.  You’ll have to practice the preps first, then when you’re ready, you’ll enjoy Swan Dive!

Start by lying on your stomach with your legs straight behind you.  Feet should be apart with toes pointed and turn your legs so that your big toe is on the mat and the little toe isn’t.  Arms will be bent by your sides with your palms down by your shoulders.

For the first prep, begin by inhaling and lifting the upper body off the mat.  You can press into your arms a little to lift up but try to use your back and your abs more than your arms.  You’ll need to squeeze your buns and press your hips into the mat.  Keep your head in line with your spine so you won’t want to lift with your chin and bend your neck.  Look straight ahead.  Make sure you slide your shoulders down your back as you lift.  Then, on your exhale, lower your body back to the mat.

The second prep starts the same way by lifting the upper body off the mat on the inhale, but when you exhale and lower back to the mat, keep squeezing your buns and lift your legs as your upper body lowers.  So, you are trying to keep that arc shape in your back as your upper body lowers to the mat.  On your next inhale, you’ll lift your upper body up again and lower the legs.  It creates this slow rocking motion.  When you want to finish, just exhale and lower your upper body to the mat without lifting your legs.

The third prep has a “rock & catch” that takes practice and coordination to master.  It starts the same as the preps, and it is the same as the second prep in that as you lower your upper body you will keep the shape in your back and lift your legs.  However, as you lower, your arms will reach out in front of you briefly and then you will bring them back to “catch” you as you lift your upper body back up.  It gets better with practice so don’t give up!

Choose the prep that is best for you and perform 5-8 repetitions.

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