Here Val demonstrates one of the February Five – The Squat. This move strengthens your legs, back and core.
She is using a Swiss ball. There are many squat variations, wall squat, the yoga Chair pose, wide leg squat or Goddess pose. Often I will start my clients seated on the edge of a chair and have them stand up and sit back down. This is more difficult than it sounds if you are really using your core, keeping neck and shoulders relaxed, tracking knees over your feet, not past your toes, and keeping hips, knees and ankles lined up.
For this version start with your low back snug on the ball, feet parallel. Stack your shoulders over your hips – maintaining your lumbar curve – and relax your neck muscles.
Press your heels into the floor and your back against the ball as you bend your knees to sit into a squat. Now press into your heels to stand back up. If you have a mirror at your disposal check out your side view to see that you are keeping your alignment throughout the exercise.
Anne McCranie is a Portland based personal trainer, massage therapist, and Pilates and yoga instructor. She sees clients in her Sellwood studio for one on one sessions as well as small group classes. Call her today to find out how her signature combination of movement and massage can help you live pain free (503) 705-4762.