The Pilates criss cross is an exercise that is very common. What’s more common is that people perform this exercise incorrectly. So, check yourself before you wreck yourself people!
|Basic Pilates Criss Cross|
1. To perform the Pilates criss cross, begin in a supine position (lying on your back). Raise your legs into tabletop position, meaning your knees are bent right over your hips and your shins are parallel to the ceiling.
2. With the hands interlaced behind the head, and the elbows wide, exhale to begin curling the head and neck off the mat stopping when you reach the tips of the shoulder blades. Inhale to hold at the top of your curl. As you exhale, rotate your right shoulder toward your left knee while simultaneously extending your right leg at a 45-degree angle. Inhale at center and then twist to the opposite side on your next exhale. Repeat for at least 10 repetitions on each side. Make sure you’re lifting with the abdominals and the head and neck follow so that you’re not pulling on the neck.
Expert Tips: Your hips should not wiggle around in this exercise, keep them as still as possible. Instead of thinking about reaching the elbow for the opposite knee, think about reaching the armpit for the knee. Above all DO NOT RUSH!!! Strive to lift both shoulder blades off the mat to achieve the greatest activation in the obliques, you should feel the waist synching with each twist as if you were wringing out a washcloth.
Modification: If the low back is hurting in this exercise take the leg that’s extending out on a higher diagonal.