9. Rocker with Open Legs
The bendy people have less trouble with this one initially. The less bendy people struggle with attaining the position due to tight hamstring challenges. As the less bendy folks learn to utilize the bendiness they are given, this actually becomes a really fun exercise. If there are any faulty movement strategies with rolling like a ball, they will be magnified with Rocker with open legs or open leg rocker. So be sure to get a good handle on rolling like a ball for an easy transition to open leg rocker. This exercise is not appropriate for those with osteoporosis/osteopenia and those with neck, shoulder, low back, SIJ, hip issues (that’s pretty much every joint) should be cautious.
Classical start: legs spread hovering 1-2 inches off the ground, pelvis tipped back, c-curve through entire spine, palms just inside the knee.
Recommended start: balancing on sitz bones, knees bent, hands grasp shins/ankles, ankles pointed (see rolling like a ball)
1. Inhale to straighten one leg then the other into a V. Legs are shoulder width apart or wider.
2. Exhale tip pubic bone towards nose to initiate rock backwards (head may touch, but do not push off with head)
3. Take a small inhale, exhale to rock back to start position. Repeat the rocking action six times.
Tips for success: use closing of sitz bones to initiate movement, use opening of sitz bones when rolling back to V-sit or start position asa the brakes to avoid over rotating. Press legs into hands to activate armpits (serratus anterior) and decrease head, neck, shoulder tension. Reach legs long over head when rocking back and press legs into hands to help return to start position. See also tips for rolling like a ball and seal.
Modifications: Keep knees bent for tight hammies (extra points if you make that terrible face as pictured), just perform the rocking back portion, grab closer to knees or behind thighs for tight hammies. Revisit rolling like a ball or seal to fine tune spine mobility issues, then try open leg rocker again.
Challenges: spread legs as wide as possible at start and throughout motion, touch toes to floor when rocking back (as flexibility allows)