Achy creaky back
We all have quite a sedentary life compared to our cave men ancestors, who were built to hunt and forage etc. Many of us who are in office based jobs will sit on our bottoms for a large part of the day which really is a large part of the problem of aching backs. We are designed to move not sit. As we grow older we also have to contend with making sure we warm up as well, before we participate in most sports. Many of us will turn up and just play wondering why we feel crippled for many days afterwards. Musicians normally warm up and tune their instruments before a concert, but for some strange reason most of us never seem to warm up. How many times have you got to the first tee without even a gentle stretch before teeing off ?
Here are 8 gentle exercises that you can really do anywhere, you really don’t need any equipment apart from your body and the floor. The key is to making sure that you can try incorporate these into your morning routine, we recommend that brushing your teeth is the signal to your brain to stretch before you start your day. We have included some videos from you tube so you can see how they are done.
Cobra – lay flat on the floor with your hands by the side of your shoulders, push up with your hands to push your shoulders up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDcdhTuycOI
Scorpion – lay flat on your stomach, looking down at the floor with your arms at right angles to your body. Next lift one ankle and place across the remaining leg left on the floor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSLDV4N5Gl4
Cat / cow– crouch on the floor, lift your head up and the lower raising your spine to the ceiling and keep alternating and breathing between the two. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqnua4rHVVA
Superman – lay on the floor head down and lift both your arms and legs up together and hold as if your superman. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc6UVRS7PW4
Bridges - lay on the floor, arms by your sides, knees bent now push up using your bottom - lifting your glutes in your bottom up whilst keeping your shoulders on the floor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnn1eplW36U
Knee to chest - lay on the floor, one side at a time bring your knee to your arm pit and hold then change. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IGhCEGjXFk
Rotational twist - stand up, cross your arms and gently twist from one side to the other. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WGmsWNc4Og
Standing side bends - stand up straight, one at a time reach over to the opposite side - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ByeYHeny34
In terms of duration and length, you know your body - start small and work up to where it benefits you and your own comfort level.
Stretching is extremely good for you, both body and soul, it helps you to find balance. When you hear the stories of older people ageing gracefully and they tell the secrets to their health, they normally include daily stretching as part of their routine. If anything hurts or feels uncomfortable would recommend that you consult your GP or health care provider as soon as possible.
For years I have tried to touch my toes with my legs being straight, and for years I have failed. This seemingly simple task, for a 3 year old, may now have to join my ever growing pile of unachievable tasks, for now. On the positive side, all these years of stretching has left me relatively injury free and maybe one day I will be able to remove that off my list.
Brushing my teeth in the morning is the signal for me to stretch, most mornings I hobble out of bed unable to walk and then after a number of stretches I am then mobile again. I incorporate a number of these stretches with some additional yoga and pilates moves so that I am ready for my day. I am convinced that my little morning routine has helped me tone up my core as well as warm up my back for the day ahead.