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Supple strength workout: squats, table-top and four-point kneeling

Welcome to lesson two in the Supple Strength series of videos. This lesson will introduce and guide you through squats, table-top and four-point kneeling.

These are all key positions as they form the basis of many of the movements in Pilates and other forms of exercise. These follow on from the warm up, and sun salutation sequence which were covered in the introduction and warm up video and also lesson one.

Supple strength workout general tips

Think about the following points while doing your supple strength workout:

  • Breathe out to move to give a greater range of movement.
  • Take a breath in before completing the next movement.
  • Keep the movement controlled.
  • Use your abdominal muscles to keep you stable, by pulling your tummy in towards your spine.
  • Remember it’s the quality of the movement, not the quantity that matters.

Once you are ready with a clear space and your yoga mat, click or tap play on the video below to watch Swim England Para-Swimming trainer Sam Cooper walk you through this supple strength workout.

Supple strength workout: squats

Think about the following points while performing squats as part of your supple strength workout.

  • Start with your feet hip width apart and facing forward
  • Push your bottom out behind you as if sitting in a chair
  • Keep your chest open and look ahead
  • Keep your weight into your heels –you should be able to wriggle your toes.

Supple strength workout: table-top

Think about the following points while performing table-top as part of your supple strength workout.

  • Lay on your back and pull your tummy in towards your spine.
  • Breathe out to lift the first leg up into table top. Now breathe in.
  • Breathe out to lift your opposite leg up into table top. Breathe in again.
  • Your knee is bent at 90 degrees, with the knee above hip.
  • Breathe out to lower your first leg to the mat. Breathe in.
  • Breathe out to lower opposite leg to mat. Breathe in.
  • Repeat this process, alternating your leading leg.

Table-top progression

A progression to table-top to challenge yourself would be to lift your arms to the ceiling, with your palms facing each other.

Make sure you soften your shoulder blades into the mat if you do this.

Supple strength workout: four-point kneeling

Think about the following points while performing four-point kneeling as part of your supple strength workout.

  • Kneel on the mat on all fours. Your knees should be hip-width apart, and under your hips.
  • Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, under your shoulders or slightly ahead if that is more comfortable.
  • Keep your head facing the mat with your tummy pulled in towards your spine.
  • Maintain a flat back

Four-point kneeling progression

If you’re looking for a progression to four-point kneeling, try the following:

  • Breathe out to extend one arm out in front. Breathe in to return it to the mat.
  • Repeat with your other arm.
  • Breathe out to slide one leg out behind you and lift it slightly off the mat.
  • Breathe in to lower the leg and return it to the start position. Repeat with the opposite leg.
  • Remember to check that your knees are hip-width apart as you return the leg to the start position.