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If you are looking a for a quick pilates reference, take a look at this pilates animation. This a quick & easy, clearly explained diagram of the pilates mat exercise: Classical Pilates for Beginners:
The Criss Cross. Pilates exercises focus on breathing, alignments of the spine & build strong torso muscles.
Setup for Criss Cross:
* Lie on your back.
* Stack your hands under your head, and keep your elbows wide.
* Bend one knee to your chest and the other leg long.
Action for Criss Cross.
* Inhale and bring your armpit up to the opposite knee, look back and hold.
* Exhale and stay up high to change.
* And hold...
Classic Pilates Cueing:
* Criss, and hold it, cross, and hold it!
* Stay up as you cross...
* Challenges the abdominal muscles, especially the obliques(!!!)
* Works the hip flexors.
* Works the stabilizer muscles around the shoulder blade.
* Anchor your hips and lower back to the mat.
* Keep your elbows wide and your shoulder blades down your back.
* Maintain length in both sides of your torso.
Don't let an injury or weakness stop you! There is always a modification. Take your time and find the right one for you. If in doubt, seek advice!
Weak neck, abs or sore back, place your feet on the floor, and move with caution!
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