I missed some weekly posts to go over each of the Mat exercises using the C-Shaper, so I'll catch it up in the next few posts. I want to share this work on the C-Shaper because it can be helpful at times, challenging at times, and just plain awkward at times!
To note - I'm grabbed some of my notes off Instagram, so the descriptions below will read like single posts (because they mostly were).
Here we go...
Day 6 - One Leg Stretch
The whole Stomach Series is a challenge when using the C-Shaper. The position of my body puts me up higher, which means I have to reach my legs up more to stay connected to the apparatus.
One Leg Stretch was especially challenging because my legs were doing two different things at the same time!
- Keep those legs as high as you can, so your back stays connected
- If you have trouble keeping your legs reaching high, do one leg at a time. Keep one leg on the mat and then pull one leg in and reach it out for a full set, then switch.
- Not shown, but you can really scoot down into the C-Shaper and place your head on the ledge of the C-Shaper to support your neck.
Day 7 - Double Leg Stretch
I loved the way I could reach my arms and legs away to see if my back was pulling away from the C-Shaper. I think the Double Leg Stretch was my favorite of the Stomach Series when I had my back in the "C" shape of the apparatus!
- Keep the legs high to stay connected
- Keep your arms reaching to your ears to keep yourself balanced. Try not to take the arms back behind the ears
- Shown: scoot down and let your head have a nice rest on the C-Shaper ledge
Stomach Series - Bonuses!!
Single Straight Leg Stretch
- I love having my head down and hips a bit higher for this one. It will help some people who wants to try and reach a little higher on the leg feel a bit more successful (pending body shape).
Double Straight Leg Stretch aka Double Leg Lower Lift
Variation that doesn't require straight legs!
Hot Tip: Keep the legs bent and just do a knee fold and aim to keep your back fully connected to the C-Shaper
Double Straight Leg Stretch with the legs "straight'ish"
- Get cozy in the C-Shaper and let your head rest on the ledge
- Use the strap to help you keep the connection to the C-Shaper. The legs will want to pull away as the reach out.
- Don't worry about range. Little is a lot in this variation!
This variation is meant to help you find your oblique muscles in repitition. It's pointed and challenging, but with one leg down to the mat - it gives you support to keep your "C" shape.
Day 8 - Spine Stretch
The C-Shaper gives a nice little lift to help me feel better in my hip flexors. I can sit taller and focus on my curl forward. Plus, the cushion of the C-Shaper gives me a bit of feedback on whether I am starting to hinge forward, rather than curl forward.
Day 9 - Rocker with Open Legs
aka Open Leg Rocker
From my Instagram: I was having trouble with Open Leg Rocker for months and I started playing more with the C-Shaper. I’m not gonna lie, it’s ‘good hard’ to do OLR in the C-Shaper.
It stretched my low back and helped me play with my breath…and it helped a ton!
Even balancing and doing some mini rocking was amazing!
Day 10 - The Cork-Screw
The C-Shaper gives a nice lift like some of the other exercises. It puts me up a little higher, so I have an easier time with the hips up variation. For this video, towards the end, I start working on an archival variation where I start to rotate higher in my thoracic region of the spine. It is much more difficult and I found that it doesn't feel the greatest in my body. I tried something new, and I learned something from it. It's still a 'win'.
- Don't obsess about the range of your legs circling. Find strength in your upper body, open your shoulders, and find your center. Keep that and play with your leg range. It may feel tougher and you may have lesser range, but you can feel good knowing you are finding more connections.
- Bending the legs is a great option!
Bent leg Cork-Screw is great because you can really focus on the lower rotation and the C-Shaper gives a little mini massage.
Day 11 - The Saw
The C-Shaper gives a nice little lift to help me feel better in my hip flexors. Just like in Spine Stretch, I can sit taller and focus on the movements.
The C-Shaper gives me a bit of feedback on keeping equal weight in both hips as I rotate and reach forward.
Day 12 - The Swan-Dive
From my Instagram Post: The C-Shaper gives a little lift for Swan-Dive.
Is it a teeny bit awkward because one side is a touch higher than the other?
Yes, for me because I have a wider body - but it provides a challenge. And then I can flip it the other way and do MORE! [evil laugh]
- If you want more of a challenge, check out the second video with hands to forehead. It is an amazing way to build the back bend for Swan without lift through your neck. The C-Shaper is working against you in this one, so reaching the legs away from you while going into Swan is a must! Loved it!
Below: Swan prep
Inhale Love. Exhale Gratitude.