Starting Position: Lie on your back on an exercise mat or the floor in a bent-knee position with your feet flat on the floor. Place your feet hip-width apart with the toes facing away from you. Gently contract your abdominal muscles to flatten your low back into the floor. Attempt to maintain this gentle muscle contraction throughout the exercise ?Lift the left leg up and clasp behind the left thigh. Draw the left knee toward your chest and slide the right foot slightly toward the midline of the body.
Upward Phase: Gently exhale. Keeping the abdominals contracted, lift your hips up off the floor. Your right heel is pressing into the floor for added stability. Avoid pushing your hips too high as this can cause over arching the low back.
Lowering Phase: Inhale. Slowly lower yourself back to the mat. Maintain control using your right hip. Repeat for a specific number of repetitions or a certain period of time; then change legs.
Exercise Variation: To increase the strength of the muscles along the front of the shin pick the toes of the standing foot off of the floor. This is a good option for runners because it can help reduce the risk of developing shin splints.
Exhale as your lift your hips, inhale on the lowering phase.