Exercise #1459

Jack Knife

2 min - Exercise


Muscle Focus: Abdominals and hamstrings.

Objective: Hip extensor strength and spinal articulation.

Start Position: Lie on your back with arms by your sides, palms down, pressing the backs of the arms into the Mat, and legs together.

Movement: Extend both legs to the ceiling, draw the abdominals to spine, and roll over through the spine to take both legs almost parallel to the floor. While maintaining the lift of the pelvis and tailbone to the ceiling, reach both legs straight to the ceiling. Keeping the feet over hips as much as possible, articulate through the spine to roll down to the Mat, returning the legs to start position. Repeat.

Precautions: Avoid rolling onto the neck, keeping head and neck long and released on the Mat. You should be able to execute the Roll Over prior to attempting the Jack Knife. Avoid this exercise if you have neck and spine injuries.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Apr 28, 2014
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Read Full Transcript

Today. I'm teaching the Jackknife to Naija. Nice a long, she's lying flat. This is an advanced exercise, so I'd like you to keep that in mind when practicing, you want your chest to be open, your neck and spine to be nice and long. Your gaze to be down towards your enable. Extend those arms, keep them active. You're now going to begin by taking those legs, nature over to about 60 degrees behind you. As she goes back, she needs to continue to stretch those arms and now she was going to begin to take your legs behind you. Keep your gaze down the shoulders now and she's going to reach up, zipping up those legs and now she's gracefully going to bring herself down.

This is the control. She must continue to stretch the arms, keeping the neck long, bring herself all the way down to the mat and again, she's going to go over. Now the thing you want to look for in these exercises is to continually keep the neck long and not let the head pop up. You want no strain on the neck. Keep the chest broad, the arms long and articulate one vertebra down to the mat at a time and over there is an accent to this. It's over one. You kick it up onto and then you bring it down. Three, four, five down on five with control touch six. So let's try that again. Legs over one, kick up two all the way up there.

Now bring yourself down. Continue that stretch with the broad chest. Shoulders down, four, five, touch six again, over one, up two. These particular exercises are fantastic size, lemming exercises. They really do get the waist long and strong.

It's also a fantastic bottom strengthening exercise. So you're working quite a few muscles here. Getting the legs to lengthen. The arms are working. There's a lot of activity going on here and that is the Jack Knife.


Katia P
1 person likes this.
Hi I believe there is a step missing on this video, in accordance to the book, the legs comes back to pose 3 (book) before it rolls back to the mat. If I am wrong I apologize.
Katia ~ Thank you for your comment. We've forwarded this question along to Adrianne.
Hi Katia,

Thank you for your question! Once you are in the Jack Knife position (arms stretched out, neck long, hips pushing up while feet stretch upward toward the sky), then the emphasis on coming down should be on the articulation of the spine - NOT the legs falling back to the third pose. Yes, the legs fall back - but they should be working on stretching upward while following your spine down through the center of your body one vertabra at a time. The control of the roll down and openness of your chest is extremely important in protecting your neck while in this exercise. So, even though the legs may fall back some, no farther than sixty degrees, they should not be the focus coming down, but rather the articulation and control of your spine. This is the 'Art of Control'. I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
Karen P
Hi in the event that your participant needs a block when lying down, is a block OK to use in this exercise? Thank you Karen 

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