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Return to Life: #7c Crisscross



Return to Life: Crisscross

– The final exercise of the “five of fire”!

This is practising walking & running on your back!  Any abdominal strengthening programme that omits rotation is omitting 50% of your abdominals.

What’s it good for?

  • Developing cross coordination patterns like we find in cycling, running and walking.
  • It’s an abdominal exercise so it’s going to strengthen your abdominals.
  • There’s rotation so it’s going to give your oblique abdominals a good workout too.
  • In order to rotate, your ribcage needs to be able to open up on one side and contract on the other so developing mobility.
  • To keep yourself from wobbling all over the place you’ll need pelvic & shoulder stability so that you get the rotation in your trunk!

Difficulty: intermediate – it depends on your body type 🙂
Reps: five each way
This exercise isn’t a part of the original series in “Return to Life” – but so many traditional teachers include it because it’s so good.  It’ll help you to improve your Saw and Twist and Corkscrew.



The “how to”


Lie on your back with your hands being your head. Press your hands into your head and your head into your hands – this will get your shoulders working.  Your upper body is still lifted off your mat from the Double Straight Leg Stretch but now you will bend one knee in towards your chest and you’ll reach out your other leg.

Exhale: rotate your torso by rolling up the one side of your spine toward your opposite knee while keeping your elbow wide and abdominals pulled in.

Inhale to switch sides.

Transition:  as you finish your final repetition, hug both knees in toward your chest with your hands on shins and roll up for your Spine Stretch Forward.

Hints and Tips

💡  Shoulders out of your ears and elbows wide.
💡  Don’t allow your abdominals to balloon out – pull them in more each time you rotate.
💡  Think of rotating your armpit towards your knee rather than your elbow.
💡  Keep your pelvis stock still to provide a stable foundation for your trunk in rotation.
💡  Correct imbalances by rotating the same each side.


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