5-Minute Workout: Heel Beats
Nov 25, 2012 11:14AM
By Bailey Hemphill
To perform this move, you will need a large towel—like a beach or bath towel. That’s it!
Setup & Starting Position:
- Fold a large towel in half and then in half again.
- Lay on your belly with the towel under your pelvis, so that the towel is approximately between your belly button and the top of your thighs (Those with longer torsos or longer legs will need to adjust more to find the correct center of gravity needed for this movement).
- Place your hands palms down under your forehead.
- Engage your lower abdomen/core.
- Lift both legs a few inches off the floor without sagging the lower back (Remember: Your abs must be engaged, so the lower back doesn’t strain with excess pressure).
- “Beat” your heels together while lifted in the air.
- Inhale for 5 beats and exhales for 5 beats (Remember: Going for “the burn” means a lack of oxygen, which will make your technique suffer; and when your technique suffers, your lower back and/or neck will strain forehead.)
Tip: If your lower back is hurting, that means the lower abdomen isn’t doing its job. To ease back strain, try only lifting one leg at a time and move slower to get control over the movement—then increase to faster beats and/or with both legs.
Cindy Cook is ACSM Certified and owner of Legacy Pilates, Yoga & More. For more information, visit mindbodyprograms.com.