Watch this short instructional video to see how these exercises are done and guide your practice:
- Start with a straight-arm plank, with hands on the floor directly under your shoulders and the balls of your feel on the floor. Keep your back straight so that your neck, buttocks, and heels are in a straight line. Squeeze your glutes to help maintain balance.
- Rotate on the sides of your feet and lift your left arm up to the ceiling until your chest is perpendicular to the floor. Your left arm should be in line with your right, forming a “T” with your chest.
- Hold for 3-5 seconds, then return your left hand to the floor as you rotate your feet back to balance on their balls into a straight-arm plank.
- Rotate to the other side, lifting your right arm to the ceiling and forming the “T” again with your arms and chest. Make sure to keep your hips from sagging so that your body is in a straight line from your head to your feet.
- Move slowly to engage all the targeted muscles and improve their tone.
- Return to the plank and repeat on the left. Do a total of 10 skyscrapers on each side.
After all the repetitions, turn over to lie on your back with your knees bent to ease directly into the next exercise.
The Windshield Wiper
- With your head and feet flat on the floor, place your arms straight at your sides.
- Bring your knees up to form a 90° angle to your body. Keep your knees together.
- Slowly bring them across your body toward the floor. Don’t allow your whole body to roll over but keep your upper back and arms flat on the floor; the object is to stretch your oblique muscles.
- Bring your knees as close to the floor as you can comfortably get without touching. Hold for 3 seconds, then slowly rotate back to center and keep moving to bring your knees toward the floor on the other side. The movement should be slow and fluid.
- To make this exercise a greater challenge, straighten your legs toward the ceiling so your body is in the shape of an “L”. Rotate your straight legs slowly to either side, pivoting at the hip. Allow your feet to drop to the floor. You’ll feel the difference.
- Repeat 10 times on each side.
At the end of your Windshield Wipers, turn over into an elbow plank, where your elbows rest on the floor directly below your shoulders and the balls of your feet are on the floor.
- Squeeze your glute muscles and abdominals. If you feel a strain on your lower back, you may drop your knees to the floor in a modified plank.
- Keeping hips straight in line with your head, take 6 small steps forward, moving your elbows and feet of the same side together. Your body should remain parallel to the floor.
- Take 6 small steps backward to the starting position.
- Repeat 5 times for a total of 6 sets of 6 steps forward and back.
That’s it for Day One.