T-Tapp Twist – to Trim Torso

Starting Position: Body needs to be in correct alignment. Place feet approximately 6 inches apart with toes forward, knees bent, and push knees outward towards little toe (KLT). It is very important to keep this position throughout the entire sequence!

Counts 1-2: One and a half twist to left (count 1 is full twist and count 2 is half twist -i.e.: don’t return all the way forward).

Form check: As you twist to left, concentrate to tighten right knee and thigh so right knee doesn’t move forward. You might not be able to twist as far back, but the object is to keep both knees bent and facing forward. Goal is to isolate upper body from lower body. Don’t shift weight – keep hips equal and facing forward. Just twist upper spine.

Count 3: Full twist all the way to the right until shoulders are “square” to side wall.

Form Check: Keep arms at shoulder height – right elbow should be same height as left shoulder. Keep left knee pushing out and aiming towards little toe. This is very important for alignment/isolation and sciatica neuro-kinetic transmission. Be sure to keep knees bent equally and facing forward.

Count 3: Form Check: Even though both knees are bent/facing forward, notice how Wendy’s stripe is different from previous photo. This is because her left knee has moved inward to big toe and her left hip has relaxed. For successful inch loss, keep hips and knee isolated to front wall and shoulders “square” to side wall. (This is not easy!)

Count 4: Keeping knees bent, reach down side of right leg behind right knee. Head should be down with neck relaxed. Use right hand to hold left hand to “pull” it behind the right knee. This is to help pull left shoulder into correct position (“square” to side wall) and get optimal torque of the spine. Tighten and push left knee “KLT” as you reach down.

Count 4: Form Check: Even though Wendy is correctly aiming hands behind the knee, she isn’t pulling her left arm back. Note how her shoulders are not level – compare to previous photo. Note: this is very difficult to do but not impossible – spinal flexibility and strength will come with practice.

Counts 5-6-7-8: Keeping head down “roll” up one vertebrae at a time in spinal twist position (shoulders “square” to side wall). As you “roll” up, upper body should face side wall by end of count 8. Most beginners do not have the strength to hold full twist to side wall and end up rotating to the front by count 8. Concentrate to keep spinal torque throughout “roll” up. Keep hands in line from ankles to hip.

Form Check: As you “roll” up, be sure to push out the left knee (KLT) to keep hips isolated. Do not lean or shift weight into left hip. Repeat for a total of 10, but on the 10th rep., stop at ankles (don’t roll up). Instead move hands to front of feet.

Repeat for a total of 10, but on the 10th repetition, stop at ankles (don’t roll up). Instead move hands to front of feet.

Transition on 10th repetition after Count 8: Once in this position inhale deep (stretch rib muscles) and exhale complete (contract rib muscles – “condense” rib cage) Keep knees in “KLT”

Set-up for Next Sequence: Assume flat back position with shoulders and hips equal. Put hands on hips (not waist) pull shoulders back and push chest out. Keep head level with neck so entire spine is flat. Toes forward with “KLT”. Now you are ready for “Pull the Weeds.”

Pull the Weeds – for Long, Lean Arms

Beginning Position: Maintain flat back and “KLT” as you reach arms down.

Form Check: Keep shoulders back and level – don’t let shoulders roll forward!

Count 1: Pull elbows up higher than the shoulder. Aim elbows forward to front wall as you pull up and keep fist in alignment with elbow.

Count 1 – Advanced Level: As you gain strength, aim elbows further to front wall (feel the triceps!) with fist pushing back. This helps elbow move forward and activates comprehensive use of triceps and deltoid muscles.

Count 1 – Incorrect Form: Most common error is elbows pulled back instead of forward with wrist in front of elbow. Also shoulder/upper body higher than hip is incorrect.

Count 2 – Punch: ‘Punch’ arms back to the Beginning Position. Remember to keep your shoulders back and level; don’t let them roll forward as you punch your arms down. Repeat Counts 1 and 2 for a total of 10 repetitions. On the 10th punch, reach down to your calves to begin doing Head Rocks.

Head Rocks: Beginning Position: Grab calf with hands; keep elbows out. Relax neck.

Count 1-2-3-4: Keep elbows/arms “tight” as you gently lift head and relax it back down for a total of 4. Concentrate to keep “KLT” for safety of the neck! Then drop hands and proceed to “roll” up.

Advanced Level Head Rocks: Once you gain strength/flexibility, it is ok to fully rock head as shown. As long as you maintain correct “KLT” and keep elbows pushing forward/outward with arm muscles tightening, you will not hurt your neck.

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A

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B

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C

Counts 5-6-7-8: As you “roll” up, keep head down with chin tucking in. “Reach” arms down and tuck butt as you concentrate to “roll” up one vertebrae at a time.

Count 7: Shoulders should be back, but the head should be down as shown in photo A.

Count 8: Head comes up as shown in photo B. Proceed to roll shoulders twice. Really reach up as shown in photo C.

Form check: Keep butt tucked and push “KLT” through entire “roll” up and during shoulder rolls!

Now do entire sequence to the right (T-Tapp Twist and Pull the Weeds).

Ready for more abdominal work? Proceed to advanced version of “Hoe Downs”, a bonus to trim the torso and flatten the tummy.

Advanced Hoe Downs – Trim Tummy and Torso

hoe1Beginning Position: Start with weight on left leg (“KLT”) and arms extended as shown in photo with palms rotated forward.

hoe2Count 1: Lift right knee chest high with pointed toe.
Form Check: Keep butt tucked as you lift knee and maintain “KLT” with left knee. Keep shoulders back and upper body straight. Weak abdominal muscles can cause upper body to tilt forward as right knee lifts.

hoe3Count 2: Extend right foot diagonally across body, reaching past left hip and shoulder. Upper body tilts to maintain correct alignment for right shoulder, hip, and knee.

Form Check: Keep “KLT” with left knee!

hoe4Count 3: Pull right knee up and across body to right shoulder diagonally in diagonal as upper body returns to upright position (this is not easy!). Tighten tummy as you pull knee across body.

Form Check: Don’t tilt upper body forward, keep butt tucked and keep “KLT” with left knee.

hoe5Count 4 Drop right knee until toe touches floor.

Form Check: Maintain “KLT” position with left leg!

Repeat sequence for total of 10 repetitions with right knee. Then repeat same sequence, but with left knee lifting and extending across body 10 times. Finish with one more set of 10 repetitions using right leg and then 10 repetitions using left leg for a total of 2 sets.

Form Check: Keep upper body in upright position (shoulders back) at all times. Keep supportive knee bent with “KLT”.