Starting Position: Lie flat on your back on the floor / mat in a bent-knee position with feet placed firmly on the floor and your hands behind your head. Engage your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Pull the shoulder blades back and down. Slowly lift both feet off the floor until your thighs are vertically to the floor (90-degree angle at the hips) and your knees are at a 90-degree bend. Your feet may be relaxed with toes pointing away from your body.
Gently exhale and begin your movement by simultaneously:
- Contracting the abdominals to curl your head and shoulders off the mat.
- Bringing your right knee in toward your right armpit and allowing the knee to bend to a deeper angle.
- Straightening your left leg toward the wall in front of you while keeping it elevated off the floor, higher than your hip.
- Rotating your torso slowly to bring your left elbow toward your right knee. This movement will press your low back into the floor / mat.
Continue moving until your elbow touches or comes close to touching the opposite knee. Hold this up-position briefly for 1 - 2 seconds then slowly return to your starting position and repeat the movement to the opposite side. Complete a set of quality reps until your movement quality (technique) declines.
Important points to consider while performing this movement:
- Perform this exercise in a slow, controlled manner.
- Do not pull forward on your head during the trunk curl. Support your head in your hands while maintainingalignment of your head with your upper spine.
- During the upward and downward movement of your trunk, it is important to keep your low back pressed into the floor / mat.
- The rotation should come from your trunk and not your hips. While your legs drive forward and backwards in a straight line, your trunk should (curl) and rotate.
To maximize the benefits of this exercise and reduce the potential for injury, it is important to control movement speed and monitor changes in your low back carefully.