29 June 2010

Unlock Your Aching Back

Recently I've spoken to a few people suffering with back pain which can happen when you're a regular exerciser or when you're inactive for a while.  It's frustrating but it needn't mean you're confined to bed.  There are a few exercises that are great for stretching around the lower back, pelvis and legs that can unlock your back quickly and get you back on the road.  Here's one fantastic move that I always recommend.  It's borrowed from my Yoga friends and really works.

Warrior Pose
  • Stand upright with your feet flat and together
  • Take a wide step sideways and stretch your arms out to the sides, palms downwards
  • Your feet should be beneath your wrists a little further apart than hip width, with your toes both pointing forwards.  Imagine a straight line running vertically down the centre of your body and, keeping your shoulders relaxed, push your arms and legs away from the centre line and push your feet firmly into the floor
  • Turn your left foot out to 90 degrees and your right foot out to 70 degrees, take a deep breathe in, and then as you exhale, bend your left leg to form a right angle at the knee
  • Take another deep breathe and as you exhale turn your head to look along your left arm.  Hold this position for three breaths and then twist your shoulders and arms 90 degrees to your left
  • Raise your arms directly above your head.  Hold this position for three breaths, squeezing the feet into the floor and adjusting the hips gradually to fully stretch and release the hip flexors and inner thighs
  • Reverse the sequence to return to your starting point before repeating on the other side

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