This second exercise in the extension series strengthens the back extensors which helps with posture. The glutes and hamstrings are worked while the front of the leg experiences a great stretch. The Powerhouse is greatly challenged by the extension of the spine to keep length in the lower spine.
Repetitions: 5-8 sets
From Swan, lift chest a prop up on the forearms.
Lie on front, lift up onto elbows, directly under the under arm
Make soft fists with the hands (parallel to each other) and press fists into the mat
Lift abdominals off the mat and firmly hug the legs into the midline
Bend one leg bringing heel to seat - pulse twice
Switch legs quickly and repeat
Lower chest to mat turn head to look to one side.
The lift of the upper body initiates from the Powerhouse. Think more of a "lengthen out" from the Powerhouse instead of just a lift of the chest. Stabilizing the hips is key throughout this exercise, because when the hips are stable the work in the legs is more effective.
Extension exercises are great for those with osteoporosis. However if you have spine conditions such as stenosis or degenerative disc disease, refrain from any extension of the spine. Work the opposition of the spine while lying all the way on the mat as the legs move. If you are pregnant refrain from lying on your stomach.