Set Your Base
- Lie flat on your back on the supporting surface.
- Place feet hip-width apart, with your heels about the length of your foot from your buttocks.
- Align Achilles tendons with pelvic bone (A.K.A. ishial tuberosity).
- Plant the first knuckle of the big toe and firmly brace legs.
- Create stability from the pubic area by clenching the thighs firmly, creating a strong, rigid foundation from which to begin.
- Arms should be relaxed, with hands placed gently on the thighs, so as not to contribute to the movement.
- Chin to throat: Without lifting your head, press your chin down to your throat firmly, flattening your neck toward the supporting surface, (if done correctly this creates a bit of a choking sensation) and then release 30%.
- Engage pelvic tilt.
Performing the Exercise
- Place hands on thighs or abdomen.
- Imagine someone has a string attached to your sternum and is pulling you straight up so that your spine stays in fixed alignment, your shoulders stay relaxed, and you move as one solid unit.
- Keeping in mind a slow, three count pace, gently lift your torso.
- Slow three count hold.
- Slow three count back down.
- Only lift as high as you can keeping everything aligned; you are NOT doing a full sit up to reach your knees.
The emphasis of this exercise is on base and perfect form. At first you will struggle to keep everything firmly in place and lift your torso at all. It is common for folks who can do 100+ traditional crunches to be completely unable to do even one perfect repetition of this version the first time they try.
Build a checklist in your mind and automate it.
For this exercise:
- Nine count breath cycle: three in, three hold, three out
- Tilt and grip
- Chin to throat
- Engage and lift
Counting Companion Video: