Nanc's Oblique Series Against The Wall

This is an Abs pattern from (pattern 16288)

I teach this at the end of my kick or Pilates classes, and it's quite a killer. Make sure to demonstrate the modifications and remind them throughout.

Start standing next to a wall about three feet away from it. Let's start with the right hand. Place it against the wall at about navel level. Angle the right foot toward the wall and now lean so that the head is at the level of the right hand. At the same time, extend the left leg upward, so from the right hand to the left foot, a straight line is formed. Modification, lift the right shoulder up slightly, so the head is more at the level of the chest. Then, line up the extended leg with the hand, so you're forming an angled line and not twisting the back or waist in any way.

Here are the variety of exercises: 1) left foot moves down and up 2 counts each. Cross the right foot when you bring the left one down.

2) heel backs--the left leg is at about navel level, just bring the heel back to the gluts and stretch the leg back out. 3) leg circles--four counts forward 8 times or so, then reverse direction. 4) controlled side kicks--bring the left knee in toward the chin and just push the leg back out to navel level (unless modifying)

Sometimes, I have them just hold the extended leg and we re-check form. This is when members may decide to modify or to go a little lower with the upper body and therefore, a little higher with the extended leg. For Yoga participants, this position is similar to the half moon position. Make sure, though, not to let the head go too low, or they will twist at the waist instead of keeping the body in a straight line.

If the neck feels stressed, just turn the head and look down toward the floor. If the arm against the wall (or the shoulder) becomes exhausted, help with the other hand. Make sure, though, to keep the top shoulder back, so you're not closing the chest toward the floor.

Then, just reverse it on the other side. Usually, each side takes about 5 minutes, so the entire sequence is about 10 minutes long.

If they decide to modify and to bring the extended leg lower, and the hand against the wall higher, they will be working the abductors more as opposed to the obliques. They may feel it slightly in the lower back too, especially right near the internal obliques, and they can modify accordingly. I do, however, remind my class that it is OKAY to work the lower back and pay close attention to performing the exercises with correct form.

Remember again: straight line from hand against the wall to the extended foot, look down if the neck is stressed, lift the upper body upward and the extended leg downward if need be, keep the top shoulder back, so you don't close the chest downward, and keep the hips open--don't turn them toward the floor. Make sure, also, as they're doing the heel backs and the side kicks to keep everything slow and in control, and do NOT snap the knee.

Since I developed this series a few years ago, I have had many members approach me to inform me of how much it has helped them and how much they appreciate the series. It is very different than most of the exercises we're used to seeing.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Added by Nancy Lamb at 11:57 PM on Saturday, January 20, 2007 EST. Add to favorites (view favorites)
From: Bloomington, Illinois (USA)
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