A healthy spine is a healthy body, in my opinion! This post comes to you from Sheffield! I’m down South for a few days for a sports event and after travelling by train for a whole day, and then spending a full day in an ice rink, I’m definitely going to need these stretches!
Wearing Step N Pump top and Nike capris.
The spine is designed to move, to twist, to bend, and to extend; but often aches and pains stop us from moving it to it’s full capacity. Injury can create fear and there is a huge misconception that we should not move our spine too excessively. If your spine is healthy and injury free there is no reason not to move and stretch it within your limits (and many reasons as to why you should!)
A stiff spine reduces your overall body movements. Stiffness can lead to pain as your joints tighten up and muscles and tendons also become tight. Nerves and intervertebral discs cannot move as freely when the bone structure is less mobile and pressure can build up as space becomes limited. A reduced range of movement often only gets stiffer if it is not taken beyond the “normal” range i.e to your full capacity.
Try these exercises to loosen off your body.
Hold for as long or as little as you feel you need. Try moving between the poses for a more dynamic flow.
1) Cobra: Lie flat on your front. Bring your hands under your chest and slowly straighten your elbows so to arch your back. Only extend as far as your spine feels good for. Breathe out, hold, then release.
2) Child’s pose: Begin on your hands and knees, and then sit your hips over your heels. Curl your tailbone under for a deeper stretch. Reach your fingertips away from you and plug the armpits towards your mat.
3) Hip twist: Lie on your back with your knees together and bent, and arms stretched out to the sides. Gently roll the knees over to one side, and turn your head the other way. Hold for 3-5 breaths and then repeat to the other side.
4) Warrior twist: Begin in high kneeling. Place the left leg further back and lower to your knee. Place the right hand inside the right foot, twist to your left and raise the left arm upwards. Hold for 3-5 breaths then swap over to the other side.