Backstroke on the Long Box

This intermediate level exercise requires strength and coordination. It is great for strengthening the abdominals. The long levers and resistance on the upper body make it very challenging to stabilize the spine during the exercise.Equipment Set Up:Place the Long Box in front of and against the Shoulder Rests. On the Merrithew Reformer, IÌÎÌ_Ì´å«m using 2 full tension springs (color coded red).Start Position:Lie supine on the box with the straps in your hands and arms in the salute position; elbows flexed and in your peripheral vision, hands in front of your forehead with fingers touching. Your legs should be table top and your pelvis and lumbar spine is in the neutral position (or slightly flexed lumbar). Your upper back is flexed and your gaze is down the horizon. In this position the straps should be taut. Foot Bar should be down and out of the way.To Perform the Exercise:This exercise is performed on 6 equal counts. On 1, exhale and extend your elbows and knees to reach the arms and legs toward the ceiling (keep the straps taut). On 2, inhale and open the arms and legs to the side (abduct). One 3, exhale and pull the arms and legs around, circling them until the legs are together and the arms are parallel to the legs with your hands over your legs reaching toward your feet. Hold this position for counts 4 and 5. On 6 return to the start position. Complete 5-8 repetitions.

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