Friday, April 27, 2012

Straighten Up For Spring; Exercise #3.

Here is a third exercise to help us get that posture strong, yet supple.
Click here for exercise #1 and here for exercise #2.

Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms resting along side your body. Just like in exercises 1 and 2.

Let's run through some alignment principles;
neck relaxed

back of the shoulders and ribcage are "melting" in to the floor

front of the ribs are "sewn" shut

belly button pulled to the spine (belly button to spine will be on the more intense muscle engagement for these exercises. "Standby" mode would be to simply brace the muscles of the torso as if bracing to be patted on the belly, or God forbid, punched in the stomach)

natural curve of the lumbar (small of the back) is present, but not exaggerated

knees lined up with both the hips and feet (knees are not touching)

weight is distributed evenly through the feet

Next we are going to challenge this position by incorporating arm movement.

Inhale as your arms extend towards the ceiling.

 Exhale as your arms reach overhead, careful to not let the ribs pop open, or the pelvis tilt away which would increase the lumbar curve and stress the lower back.

Inhale as you reach the arms back up to the ceiling.

Exhale as you bring them down along side your body.

You can further increase the challenge by doing this arm exercise in a seated position.

Starting with your right arm, reach it in front of you.
Be sure to keep your shoulders square and away from the ears. Ribs are securely fastened in front. Abs engage.

Maintaining the alignment in the torso, slowly reach the arm overhead. Keeping the focus on alignment. As soon as proper alignment is compromise, readjust the arm and secure proper alignment.

Be sure to do an equal amount on each arm.

Now you can try both arms together.

Don't let this happen...

Ribs are popped. Lumbar curve is exaggerated. Core is not engaged. Yikes!

Keep that alignment...

I hope you enjoy these exercises. Thanks for reading!

Enjoy the dance that is life!

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