The June Five Exercises For Leg Strength, Balance, Core Strength and Flexibility

We are doing a bit of a leg focus this month. Below are photos of the moves, click here for a full description of the exercises.

Wide squats are one of my favorite exercises. I can remember my former ballet teacher Jojo telling us to do grand plies (the ballet version of this move) any chance we get. Brushing your teeth? Do some grand plies, waiting on the bus, plies. Why? This move strengthens your back, hips, legs, core, and works your balance. What a great exercise!

Anne wide legged squat riverside park 6.10


Reverse Warrior is harder than it looks. You start in a low lunge, then lift your front arm (without letting your knee roll in or sneak back – try to stay in your low lunge). Here Michelle demonstrates this move. Nice work lady!

Michelle Reverse Warrior 2 6.15 crop


Calf Raise is another sneaker. Looks easy, difficult to execute properly – that is lifting your ankles right over the middle part of your foot and coming down slowly without crashing down. Try ten of these standing on both feet, then try ten standing on one leg (start on your weaker or tighter leg). When that becomes easy you can graduate to the block, hold weights, or try closing your eyes.

Calf Raise 2 6.13


Roll Over. How many times have you heard me say “relax your neck”? Hopefully you hear me say that in your sleep. Why do I repeat this over and over? If we tighten our necks we are not working as efficiently as possible (if your neck and jaw are tight I’m betting your abs are doing nothing) and we are putting ourselves at a higher risk for injury. If you have not done this move with me please do not attempt it from a quick look at this photo, it’s another deceptively difficult move.

Anne roll over 2 5.13


Dessert Cactus is an excellent chest and arm stretch. This is a really good one to do if you have been spending a lot of time in front of the computer. Look how happy Kathleen is to be doing her cactus stretch!

Kathleen Desert cactus 6.15


Anne McCranie is a Portland (Sellwood) Oregon based Licensed Massage Therapist and Personal Trainer. She offers these photos to remind you of the moves we have done together. Please check with your medical professional before beginning a new exercise program.

To join one of Anne’s ongoing classes call her at (503) 705-4762.


June Five Exercises – Leg Strength And Balance, Chest Stretch And A Very Challenging Pilates Move

The June five are up! Here Anne and her lovely fitness models demonstrate the moves. For a full description please click here.

These photos are meant to jog your memory. If you are new to this type of movement or recovering from an injury please use caution (especially with the roll over). Questions? Contact Anne to schedule a one on one session or pop in to one of her weekly classes by clicking the “schedule an appointment”  or “view class schedule” buttons on the right ->

1) Goddess Pose (Wide Leg Squat):

Anne wide legged squat riverside park 6.10

2) Reverse Warrior:

Michelle Reverse Warrior 6.15


Michelle Reverse Warrior 2 6.15

3) Calf Raise:

Calf Raise 6.13


Calf Raise 2 6.13

4) Roll Over:

Anne roll over 5.13

Anne roll over 2 5.13

5) Desert Cactus:

Kathleen Desert cactus 6.15

May Five Exercises 2013 – Core Strength, Back Strength, and Balance

Here are your May Five 2013 Exercises. Try for one minute of each of these every day this month.

May Five Exercises

Anne Side Angle May 2012

1) Side Angle:

  • Start in Warrior II (side lunge) with right knee bent, left leg straight.
  • Rest your right arm on your right thigh, reach left arm to the ceiling.
  • Hold for five breaths.
  • Strengthens legs, stretches hips and shoulders.


Anne plank 5.13

2) Plank:

  • From hands and knees, step back into a plank.
  • Make a straight line through your ear, shoulder, hip and knee (drop to your knees if you need to).
  • Hold for one minute.
  • Strengthens core, shoulders, back and legs.


Flight 2012

3) Flight:

  • Start lying on your tummy with arms by your side. Lift your belly button and slide your shoulder blades down your back.
  • Reach back through your fingers and toes. Lift your chest up into a small back extension.
  • Hold for five breaths.
  • Strengthens back extensors, abdominals, stretches shoulders.


Anne roll over 5.13

Anne roll over 2 5.13

4) Roll Over:

  • On your back with legs in the air.
  • Exhale as you press your legs up towards the ceiling. Inhale and hold here. Exhale as you slowly roll down.
  • Relax your neck and reach through your fingers, keeping arms on the ground.
  • Strengthens lower abdominals, stretches hamstrings.


Anne Seal 2012

Seal 2 2012

5) Seal:

  • Sit up tall. Scoop your abdominals to round your low back. Lift your feet and hold on to your ankles.
  • Slowly roll back onto your upper back, then roll back up to sitting. Now keep rolling and see if you can pause at the top and tap your feet together three times (seal noise is optional).
  • Strengthens abdominals, increases spine flexibility, improves muscle control.