Exercise #1756

Criss Cross

3 min - Exercise


Muscle Focus: Abdominals and obliques.

Objective: Strengthen obliques and facilitate rotation.

Start Position: Lay flat on back with hands placed palm over palm at the base of the neck. Bring both knees into the chest and curl the head and shoulders off the Mat.

Movement: Extend your right leg to a 45 degree angle. Rotate to bring the right shoulder to the left knee. Switch to rotate in the opposite direction to bring the left shoulder to the right knee. Repeat.

Precautions: Ensure that the hands are not pulling on the head and that the shoulder blades remain lifted off of the Mat.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Jul 18, 2014
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Read Full Transcript

So the next exercise we're looking at is called the crisscross. I'm here with Meredith again and we're looking at one of the most common Valadez exercises you'll see in class, um, that is for strengthening of course the abdominals, also your back extensors, but primarily the ones, all the muscles that help you in rotation. So if we had to be specific, you might say this is most focused on the obliques or the side abdominals and really facilitates rotation. Um, the setup for this exercise, typically it would come before and after another exercise. So you wouldn't often start from here. But since that's where we're at, I'm going to ask Mary to interlace your fingers or go hand over hand if that's a not comfortable, but you want to kind of commit to one or the other. So her hands are behind her head and she's arresting them.

Allow your elbows to come off the mat just a little bit. And if before you even lift, if you have a gentle sense of putting pressure into your hands, um, it's, it's a good thing cause you don't want to lift with your neck, just your neck. Right? Um, and that's often a common challenge for people. So if when you start, you just gently think of a lamp, elongating your neck, it can, it can help a lot from that place. We're just going to bring your legs up to her chest, right? Yeah, exactly. And this is about where you would be coming from. Another exercise, curl the head, neck and shoulders up. And again, from here, if I were to pull on her, her hands apart or, or even up, she, she's committed, she's connected here so she's real strong and she's gently pressing your head back. Uh, maybe you could just briefly show what it would look like if you weren't. Yeah, she's not yanking down on it, but she's lengthening back into it. Beautiful.

From that place, she's going to extend one leg. It looks just like the single leg stretch. Right. Nice and long. And you can pull this knee way in. Ultimately, sometimes you have to start a little shy of that to get used to it. She's going to rotate her right shoulder to her left knee. There's sort of the end position, right?

And you'll end up switching to side to side. So go ahead and the action is just side to side and things that matter. If you notice that Meredith is keeping sort of the shape of her upper body, she's not letting one elbow come across and reach for the knee. She's keeping the knees brushing near each other so they're not rotating out. And that if she does that and she keeps her hips still going to get this nice rotation along the column of the spine, which is critical to getting this action.

So let's do a few more and then I kind of want to show you what, what can go wrong with it, where you lose a lot of the benefit, by the way? Well, if she can do a few more, you're going to exhale. Exhale. That's how I'm teaching it. But every instructor does this differently. So just listen to the instructor and make sure not to hold your breath. Take a break for a moment now then how are you doing?

Come back into it. And if you are, if Meredith, Meredith wasn't holding the hips relatively still, when she would go to one side, it would actually roll with her. Right? So I don't know that you could even do this, that wrong, but sometimes it happens. She's practiced at not doing it, but it has to be take out the rotation. Okay, rest. So that's something you want to watch for. And we already talked about the elbow portion of it. Did I miss anything? No. A crisscross.


Hi there!
I would love to know if for exercises such as Criss-cross or abdominal exercises - such as the 100 (when your upper back and legs are off the floor) should your back be in neutral or imprinted flat into the floor?
Many thanks!
1 person likes this.
I Love your instructions and how real you are Amy!
HI Elyse,
When you curl your head up, the rest of your spine will naturally follow. Typically that means your spine will meet the floor. Your back is never in neutral when your head neck and shoulders are off the floor.
Maktub, I love the compliment, mostly because you mistook me for my dear friend Amy who is as real and natural as it gets!
Fantastic reference to necl alignment and hip placement. Important ans excellent cues. Tyvm!
Tanya B
Hi!  Still watching these to see how the experts do it so please don't take them off!  Great clear instructions.  Thanks

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