The October Five For Spine Mobility, Core Strength, And Shoulder Stabilization

This month’s Five include Pilates and yoga exercises to strengthen your core, shoulders, and back, improve your balance, and stretch your quads and hip flexors. Especially useful if you sit at a desk most of the day. Want to see these in person? Join an ongoing class or call Anne to schedule a one on one.

King Arthur

  • Start in a low lunge with right knee on the ground (pad your knee with a towel or yoga pad if needed).
  • Stack left knee over your ankle, and make sure hips are level and facing forward.
  • Lift left arm up and over into a slight back bend/ side bend
  • Psoas stretch, balance.


Lion Drinking

  • From hands and knees.
  • Bend your elbows straight back towards your ribs as you move the top of your head forward.
  • Straighten arms to come back to cener.
  • Core strength, shoudler stabilization, tricep strength.


Thread Needle

  • Hands and knees.
  • Reach right arm out to the side, then slide right arm under your torso, stretching your mid-back.
  • Spine twist, chest stretch, core strength, shoulder stabilization.

Roll up

  • From seated, round your back and reach your head towards your knees. Relax your shoudlers.
  • Start to roll back onto the ground. Stop before you feel pain or tightness in your back, and roll back up to seated (imagine you have passed out and are lazily dropping back to the floor).
  • Eventually you will roll all the way back onto the floor, and back up to seated without tensing your neck or back.
  • Core strength, shoudler stabilization, spine flexibility.


Dancer (shown above)

  • Stand on your left leg.
  • Grab your right foot with your right hand. gently pull your heel towards your bum.
  • If you can keep your hips level, and both hips facing forward try drawing your foot back behind your hip.
  • Standing balance, quad stretch, shoulder stretch.


These five exercises are meant to remind you of the work we have done together. Please see your medical professional prior to beginning a new exercise program.

September Five Exercises For Leg And Back Strength And Standing Balance

Last month we worked single sided movements. This moth we cover a lot! Standing balance, back strength and stabilization and a really difficult Pilates move that requires core strength, hamstring flexibility and control. Can you do these with me right now? If you have gear at home gather a mat, a yoga block, a towel or small pillow to pad your knees, and weights (5, 8 or 10 lb.).

The September Five


  • Squat/ side kick



It’s hard to see what my leg is doing so here’s another view…

  • Swimming

  • Camel

I’ve been setting up against the wall for this back extension. The wall keeps me from pressing my hips too far forward. Hard to tell what I;m doing, so check out the next photo below…



  • Corkscrew

Oh boy, this one is a difficult, complicated move that requires strength, flexibility and control. Please do not attempt this if you have not already done it with me in a class or a training session. I’m showing bent knees, but you can also do it with straight legs.


  • Plank Rows


Anne McCranie is a Portland, Oregon based Personal Trainer and Licensed Massage Therapist. She offers these exercises as a reminder of what you have done with her in a private training session or a class. Please see your medical professional prior to starting a new exercise program.

April Five Exercises For Core Strength, Back Extension, and Standing Balance

The April Five

Here are photos of this month’s moves. Click here to see full descriptions of these exercises. Could you do one minute of each of these today?

1) Warrior II:

Anne Warrior II April 2016

2) Leg Pull Back:

Anne Leg pull 2 April 2016

3) Swan Dive:

Anne Swan Dive 1 April 2016

Anne Swan Dive 3 April 2016

4) Double Leg Kick:

Anne double leg kick 1 blue April 2016

Anne double leg kick 2 blue April 2016


5) Rolling Like A Ball:

Anne Rolling 1 April 2016

Anne Rolling 2 April 2016

Anne McCranie is a Portland (Sellwood), Oregon based Personal Trainer and Licensed Massage Therapist. She offers these photos to remind you of the work you have done with her in a private training session or class. Please see your medical professional prior to beginning a new exercise program. 

December Five Exercises For Core Strength, Improved Balance, And Spine Flexibility

It’s December 5th. Have you been doing your December Five?

This month we tackle challenging moves that require core strength, and hamstring and hip flexibility. Please use your best discretion and modify as needed to keep your body happy and pain free.

The photos below are meant to jog your memory of the work we have done together. For a full description of these exercises click here. Want to see these moves in person? Join one of Anne’s ongoing classes, or schedule a one on one session.


The December Five


Cat/ Cow:

Marnie Cat 12.15


Open Leg Rocker:

Maddie open leg rocker 3 Nov 2012


Anne crow 12.14

Warrior III:

Anne Warrior III 11.14


Sharon Bow 12.15


Anne McCranie is a Portland (Sellwood), Oregon based personal trainer and licensed massage therapist. She offers weekly classes, one on one sessions, and seasonal hikes and outdoor adventures. Contact her to schedule your complimentary consultation today! (503) 705-4762

Strenghten Your Core and Stretch Your Back With Pilates Open Leg Rocker

Here Maddie demonstrates one of our November Five, the Open Leg Rocker.

As with all of the rolling exercises (and spine stretch and half roll back for that matter) the challenge is flexing your spine, or rounding your back, while keeping your shoulders down away from your ears.

If you find yourself “clunking” your back on the way down pull your belly button in and look at it. Imagine wrapping your front ribs internally.