Exercise #1433


3 min - Exercise


Muscle Focus: Abdominals, obliques, back extensors.

Objective: Strengthen abdominals, obliques, and back extensors. Increase spinal rotation.

Start Position: Sit tall with legs extended straight and slightly wider than hip distance apart, with feet flexed. Arms reach straight to the side and shoulder height.

Movement: Inhale rotate your torso to the right, exhale dive forward reaching the outside of your left hand to the outside of your right foot. Inhale stack your spine staying in rotation, exhale unwind to center. Repeat on the other side.

Precautions: As you twist to one side, ensure that the pelvis does not shift and the torso does not lean. Lower body stays anchored into the Mat.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

So it's time to take a look at the Saw. I have a real affection for this exercise-- finally. There's a lot that this exercise is good for. But for the most part, you are really working all your postural muscles. You are definitely working your abdominals-- your obliques in particular.

There's going to be some really significant rotation. But in addition to that-- and because of that-- you're also going to be working your back extensors. If I took it further, which I want to-- is to help you put in the back of your mind that this is a great exercise for so-called ringing out the lungs. That's something you're going to hear people say. A lot of teachers will say this is a place to really create a shape that allows you to fully exhale.

And it's not always easy, but that's part of the point of it. So this is called the Saw. The set-up-- you're going to be sitting up nice and tall. And that, for some people, is already the challenge. It's really important that you do start with a straight back.

So if it is a challenge for you, I would either suggest bending your knees a little bit-- that's the easy route, and then you'll find this nice long back. If that doesn't work for you, if you still feel-- can you just fake it Amy-- if you still feel kind of held back, you may want to sit up on a box or-- I want to say phone book, but who has a phone book. Sit up on something that was like an old phone book or two. Anyway, Amy can sit up straight, so she's going to straighten her legs. Her feet are flexed.

It's as if she's sitting against a wall. And her energy is going to continue out here, because she'll feel better if energy is coming out of her feet, out of her spine, and then out of her arms, which is the next piece of the set-up. So her arms are nice and-- thank you, she saw that coming. So you've got your abdominals lightly engaged. From here-- I'll go slow at first-- she's going to inhale and rotate to the right.

And she's going to go as far as she can. Now here's what's important here. That she didn't shift her pelvis. She didn't back away. She didn't lean over.

If you could, yeah exactly, or even into it. There you go. She stayed right up on her sits bones as she inhaled and rotated. Now she's going to take that forward hand and dive down and saw off her little toe, so to speak. The other hand is nice and high.

She's really pulling back here. And this is that place where you're getting rotation, obliques are doing most of it. She's not dragging her arms onto her legs. She's just getting a good rotation. She'll inhale to come up and all the way through.

Coming towards me rotating, her legs don't shift. She goes forward. She blows out all of her air, her energy. One arm going one way, one the other. Her hips are nice and level.

And then she rolls back up. And we'll let her go on her own pace. She's going to inhale and exhale. It's very possible you'll see in class instructors pulse three times. That's the way Joseph used to do it.

So just follow your instructor. And the idea is that you're really making the shape that lets all of the air go out. So when you're doing this-- I'm just going to let her keep going, because I'm assuming she likes it like I do. When you're doing this, it's almost as if your lower body is anchored into the mat. Your upper body-- you're spinning from above the waist.

That's where you get those postural muscles. That's where you get the chance to really expel the air. That's where you get the oblique work. That's the good stuff. And that's plenty.

Just take an inhale, exhale, relax. That's the Saw.


Can u give me some tips for tactile instruction when u teache open leg rocker
Valerie dulour
Cindy A
1 person likes this.
Kristi Cooper, thank you for making this fundamental saw exercise available. I replayed it several times to build brain and muscle memory. It is very much appreciated !!
My pleasure Cindy A

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