The main objective of this next mat exercise is torso stabilization especially when one leg is lifted. The seat, hamstrings are strengthened especially on the lift of the pelvis. At the top of this movement gives a nice stretch for the front of the legs.
Lie back on mat
Open feet on the mat hip bones width
Arms are long and active by the sides of the body
Reach fingertips to the heels
Inhale lift spine up one bone at a time to the tips of the shoulder blades hold for one count
Exhale lower vertebra by vertebra
Lift pelvis, stabilize at the top.
Lengthen one leg up
Lower leg to knee height
Point toes to lift leg, flex foot to lower (2-4 reps)
Lower foot to mat to switch sides
After second side lower foot to mat and lower spine vertebra by vertebra. Lengthen legs on the mat
This exercise is more than hip and shoulder stability it's about movement of the spine. Each bone along the spine is a joint. Movement through those joints can keep the spine strong and flexible. If you think of the spine like coils of a slinky. When you pull at opposite end of the slinky the coils open. This is a great visualization when working thru the lift and lower of the spine. Set one coil on the mat at a time...reachout...lower a bone...reachout...lower a bone. Enjoy the stretch it's amazing on the back. However, if you have osteoporosis or neck issues please omit this exercise from your workout.