Get a healthy back in four easy moves.
This post comes from our friend and fitness instructor, Tanya Poppett.
Back pain is a common issue for most people. Much of this stems from what’s become our current lifestyle; hunching over portable devices, driving and lifting heavy objects. There are a number of different anatomical factors that can cause back pain and both these routines will target the most common ailments. The first part of this Core + Back Strength series aims to build strength in the core to improve posture and correct muscular imbalances which lead to back pain.
Pull Backs (x 10) This exercise is great for building strength in the upper back to counteract the slouch and lift the chest.
Lay face down on your mat with your arms straight out in front of you, shoulder-width apart. Engage your core by pulling up through your hips and squeezing your legs together. Mindfully switch on your upper back as you lift your arms up and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull your hands back in line with your shoulders. Exhale as you bring your arms back to straight and relax back down. Try not to keep too much tension in the neck when performing this exercise — the lift must come from deep in the upper back.
Egg Rolls (x 10) These rolls help develop core strength, starting deep in the lower abdominals.
Start in a seated position, squeezing your knees into your chest. Aim to keep your knees as close to your chest as you roll back. Then use the strength of your core to roll you back to start.
Bridge Roll Ups (x 10) Bridges are one of my favourite exercises for overall core strength. These are also great because they improve spine mobility and control.
Begin laying on your back with your knees up and feet hip-width apart. Tuck the belly button up and in and gently press your lower back into the mat. Slowly begin to roll your hips up, one vertebrate at a time. Inhale and pause when you get to the top and exhale as you gently roll back down.
Candlestick (hold for 10 breaths) This one is also great for the core and posture, as you work against gravity to pull your body straight.
Begin laying on your back. Curl your torso and bring your knees in towards your face. Bend at the elbows and place the palms of your hands flat against the lower back. Keep your elbows on the ground about shoulder-width apart. Lift your hips and aim to keep one straight line with your torso and your legs. Squeeze your legs and glutes together as you tuck in and up through the belly button. Try to keep controlled even breaths as you hold here. Do not turn your head to the side during this pose as it can aggravate the neck. Maintain your gaze towards your toes.
+Thank you Tanya, we’ll see you next week for part 2!
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