Neck strain is never fun.

So be mindful of your movements and only do what feels good. If something hurts (besides your aching abs), get it checked out.

Consult a physician before performing any exercises.

 

1. Cat cow

Starting position:

  • Get on your hands and knees with your knees in line with your hips and your wrists in line with your shoulders.
  • Keep knees and shins hip distance apart.
  • Point your fingers towards the top of the mat with your head in a neutral position.

 

Now move into Cow:

 summerperezcowpose

  • Inhale and lift your chin and chest, gazing up towards the ceiling and dropping your belly towards the floor. (However, if your neck won’t allow it, keep your gaze forward.)
  • Keep your back and shoulders strong by pulling your shoulders away from your ears.

 

Then into Cat:

 summerperezcatpose1

  • Exhale and pull your belly in towards your spine, rounding your back with the crown of your head pointed towards the floor.  (Think crunches.) Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Inhale into Cow pose, then exhale into Cat pose.

Do 3 sets of 10-20 repetitions.

 

2. Forearm Plank

summerperezforearmplank

 

  • Starting on all fours, lower down to your forearms with your elbows under your shoulders.
  • Move your feet straight out behind you, hips distance apart.
  • Engage your core and push down to the ground with your forearms to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Hold forearm plank for 5-10 full, steady breaths, then rest in child’s pose.

Repeat 3 more times.

 

3. Leg Raises

 

summerperezlegraisereversecrunch

  • Lay on your back and place your hands alongside your body.
  • Lift your legs into the air vertically.
  • Contract your abdominals, creating a micro lift of your pelvis.
  • Hold the contracted position for two seconds, then slowly release.
  • If your neck allows, you can also lift your pelvis higher as in a reverse crunch.

Do 4 sets of 20 lifts.

 

4. Scissor Kicks

summerperezscissorkicks

  • Lay on your back with your hands under your hips.
  • Raise your legs off the floor with one raised higher than the other.
  • Alternate leg positions (by bringing the top leg to the bottom and bottom leg to the top) without lowering your legs to the floor. (Though if you are a beginner, you can tap your foot on the floor with every movement.
  • Do 4 sets of 20 (with one repetition being that the top leg has alternated with the bottom and returned to the top once again.)


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