Seated Pike Leg Lifts

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1.(Optional) Gather your apparatus: A yoga block is an ideal tool for the seated pike leg lift exercise, as it indicates where to put your feet and how far to raise them.

If you don’t have one to hand, and no suitable alternative, that’s fine. Just pay close attention to your form as you perform the exercise.

2.Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Your feet can rest on each side of the yoga block, which should be broad-side down i.e. one of the faces with the larger surface area should be on the floor.

3.Keeping your legs straight, lock your knees and point your toes out in front of you. Put your hands on the floor, approximately in line with your knees. This will depend on your body type of course — for people with longer legs it will be more suitable to put your hands on the floor next to your mid-thighs.

N.B. Your hands are used purely for balance here. They won’t be bearing any significant weight at all, so feel free to extend your fingers to the floor and keep your palms aloft if it’s more comfortable.

4. Engage your core and lift: Keeping your back straight and near vertical, legs straight, knees locked and toes extended forward, slowly lift your legs until your feet are just above the yoga block and tap your heels together.

N.B. Don’t rush this movement, rather allow it to put some strain on your core.

5. Lower: With your core still engaged, bring your heels apart and slowly lower your feet back down to the floor. Make sure to maintain that same form in the back, knees and toes.

6. Repeat the above as many times as you can with the correct form. 4-5 times is a great start for beginners, while as many as 15 or 20 is a good amount for those of you with more experience. Remember though, for a core workout like this, good quality trumps untidy quantity every time.

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