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On: July 10, 2013 07:54 AM
Help! Every one of my clients uses their shoulders in the ab series. What can I do to bring about a breakthrough?
On: July 17, 2013 10:27 AM
Hi there Dollie! I totally understand and sympathize with this predicament. There are so many wonderful exercises in the repertoire that we are eager to share with our clientele. It sounds to me like they have forgotten the essence of the ab series, and what portion of the exercise they need to focus on. A properly executed abdominal curl is the basis of all 5 exercises of the ab series. Without this, the various leg and arm movements have lost their foundation on which they are supposed to be articulating on. So go back to the basics and teach a really good ab curl first. From there you can build upon that stability point with various lever challenges of the legs and arms. Here are some ways to teach an ab curl that has worked for me very well. First, start with the hands placed behind the head. The elbows should not be wide , but more pointed to the ceiling as to give the scapulae space to move away from the spine. This aids in allowing more room to find the thoracic flexion needed to sustain a correct curl. Also, with the hands behind the head, ask your clients to place counter pressure from their occiput into their hands backwards. Then from there when you cue them into the flexed spinal movement, they need to keep their established pressure into their hands. This inhibits a head shear forward and forces them to move more from the ribcage. This helps to disengage the shoulders from being utilized as a false "spinal flexor". From there you challenge them to release their hands from their head, but keep the tension length they have created in their cervical spine. Easier said that done! Only when they can suspend their ab curl from the correct place is it appropriate to add on the challenges of arm and leg movement. Take a few moments to teach this to your clients and they will work harder and deeper than they every have before. Thanks so much for your question and let me know how this goes! In Happy Movement, Casey Marie Herdt
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