The Seated V exercise looks deceptively simple.
But if done correctly, this tight, controlled movement will help strengthen deep core muscles (the diaphragm; internal obliques; transverse abdominus and pelvic floor) and improve flexibility, mobility and support of your torso and spine (the external obliques, thoracic lumbar fascia, rectus abdominis; hip flexors and lumbar erectors).
1. While seated on a pad or the floor, bend your knees and place your heels on the floor with toes pointed toward the ceiling. Extend both arms in front at shoulder level and alongside your legs.
2. Sit tall and contract your abdominal muscles. Lower your trunk backward about 6 inches toward the floor while lifting your bent feet about 6 inches off the floor.
Your legs and torso will form a “V”.
3. Inhale, then exhale and lift your legs about 12 - 24 inches off the floor. Pull your knees toward your chest to try to close the “V”. The distance you reach will vary based on the strength of your core, the flexibility of your hips and overall strength in your back and muscles along your spine.
4. Avoid using momentum or rounding your back to push your arms toward your legs. Use your abdominal and core muscles to lift your trunk and arms forward. Then return to the start position.
5. Repeat 6 - 12 times in slow, controlled movements; one rep should take six seconds to complete. Keep your head aligned with your spine and don’t let it pull forward.
Disclaimer: Do not begin any physical activity described in this column without prior approval from your health care professional.