Move of the Month – The Crossover
Another Month another Move! In June we’re examining an ab-busting exercise called The Crossover that works the abdominals as well as the internal and external obliques, exercising the entire core. If like many you long for washboard abs then the crossover is your starting block! But remember, strength in the core isn’t just about looking good, it’s about supporting your back and as always, perfecting your posture.
The Crossover is a variation on a traditional crunch and although it is considered a beginner’s move in Pilates, high repetitions and intense abdominal engagement make this move a challenge for even most experienced Pilate’s patrons.
To begin the move, lie down on your mat with your arms by your side and take a few deep breaths in and out.
Tense your abdominals and lift your head and shoulders off the mat, making sure to do this with your stomach muscles and not your arms or shoulders.
Place your fingertips by your ears, or if you prefer clasp your hand behind your head. However, be careful to ensure you’re not pulling on your neck at any point during the move.
Start by crossing your left leg over the right knee and crunching upwards and sideways so that your right elbow touches the left knee.
Slowly lower your upper body back down onto the mat whilst inhaling, then repeat the crossover on the same side for as many repetitions as possible.
Now switch to perform the exercise on the other side. Again, lift your head and shoulders up and cross your right leg over the left knee.
Tense your abs again and touch your right knee with your left elbow, for as many repetitions as possible.
If you feel as though you have mastered this move and would like to increase the intensity there are a few variations you can try. To continue challenging the core muscles you can try placing a BOSU ball underneath you, with the rounded side on the floor and the flat side against your lower back and glutes. Introducing this unstable surface to the exercise forces your core muscles to adjust to maintain balance. Alternatively you could place a small weight plate or dumbbell onto your chest or stomach to increase the weight your abs must pull upwards.
Why not hone in your crossover at one of our many weekly classes? Just call us on 0191 284 9111 to book!