Daily Pilates Pose 15: Swan Dive
1. Lie on your stomach with your palms pressing into the mat directly beneath your shoulders. Squeeze your legs together tightly and press the tops of your feet into the mat.
2. Inhale and straighten your arms, lifting your upper body off the mat. Keep your head and neck long.
3. Exhale and bend your arms, lowering your upper body back down to the mat.
4. Do this 2-3 more times to warm up your back muscles.
5. On the last stretch upward, with your chest reaching for the ceiling, release your hands and inhale, rocking forward onto your breastbone, with your arms extended in front of you, palms up, and your straight legs lifted behind you.
6. With the same momentum, exhale and rock back, lifting your chest off the mat, arms extended toward the ceiling.
7. Continue to rock back and forth.
8. Complete a maximum of 5 repetitions. When you are done, sit onto your heels, with your forehead pressed into the mat (child’s pose) to release the lower back.
This is a very advanced move. If you have back problems you may want to skip the Swan Dive and move on to Single Leg Kicks. I would recommend watching a video of the Swan Dive before attempting.