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SKIP this exercise if painful or uncomfortable

Follow the onscreen breathing instructions Inhale Exhale

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Yellow (Holistic) Journey

The 2 Stars Sequence

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Exercise 3 (1a Prep 2)

  • Learn and follow the exercise instructions below.

  • Practice this exercise daily as part of your sequence. 

  • Perform this exercise only in pain free and comfortable ranges.

  • If necessary, seek professional advise to use as part of a rehabilitation program.

Learn the Exercise

1a Prep 2 is an important functional exercise for natural pain-free walking. Even though this exercise might not look physically challenging, due to habitual reasons it requires articulate cognitive learning and practicing even by professional movers.

It is therefore recommended to place a rolled small towel between knees when learning 1a (as described below). Once mastered, 1a becomes an easy exercise and a quick and effective warm up for the next exercises of the 6 Stars sequence.

During gait, the forward movement of the body in space is generated by the powerful activation of the weight-bearing ankle joint (calf muscles) together with a slight (same side) knee flexion while stabilizing the pelvis and the spine.

1a is also a very important exercise for rehabilitation, as it represents the fundamental mechanism of correct walking. It is therefore recommended to learn and master this technical exercise while still healthy. This provides a great advantage for preventing movement-related injuries and makes future rehabilitations easier and faster for the therapist and client alike.

The 1a Prep 2 version is easier than 1a because the constant hands on the bar assist with transfering the body weight throughout the exercise.


  • Move - stretch - return - relax -... alternate

Breathing Pattern

  • Inhale - Starting position.

  • Exhale - Movement, stretch and return phases.

  • Inhale - Relax phase.

Starting Position

  • Stand about 1 step away from bar, facing the bar. place palms of hands comfortably on the bar.

  • Assume the tall upright position, looking towards the horizon.

  • Try to be as tall as possible, draw shoulders wide and down and relax the arms and hands on the bar.

  • Inhale.

Movement Phase

Exhale and slightly tilt the body forward from the ankles (like in 1a Warmup).

  • When both heels start to rise passively, push the pelvis and trunk forward in space by forcefully flexing the back ankle and knee (slightly) at the same time.

  • Push the bar downwards with the hands to help lifting the body mass.

  • Activate the pelvic stabilization muscles (with exhalation) and 'carry' the front leg forward in the air.

  • During the movement phase, flex the back ankle to its maximum and lift the heel high in the air.

  • When the front leg is in the air and the vertical body-line is moving forward, the back leg balances the body and bears its weight.

  • Land softly on the front heel, and then flatten the front foot on the floor while the back ankle reaches full flexion.

  • When the upright body approaches the front wall, place the hands softly on the bar to balance the body.

  • Try to stay as tall as possible at the end of the movement phase.

Stretch Phase

  • The body is upright close tot he bar.

  • Both knees are in the same line.

  • The back knee is slightly flexed and the ankle fully flexed.

  • Hands are placed softly on the bar.

  • Increase the exhalation at this point to assist the pelvis stabilizers that counter the stretch.

  • Continue the exhalation and pause for about 1 second.

Return Phase

  • Continue the exhalation.

  • Initiate the return to the starting position by pushing slightly with the arms on the bar.

  • On the way back, the bulk of the body weight is on the back leg.

  • Exert a lot of force in to the back leg for this movement.

  • Time both feet and both arms to finish their movement together.

  • Return harmoniously to the starting position without losing balance, 'already' as tall as possible.

Relax Phase

  • Assume the upright standing posture and inhale.

  • Gear the body for the next repetition with the other leg.

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