Is your back keeping you from getting out of bed and being able to stand up straight? Does your back feel like it is one huge knot? Does your lower back feel like it needs a good stretch? If you answered yes to any of these questions or just really feel like your back doesn’t feel too great lately. Then we have some good news for you. If you back is hurting that doesn’t mean you need to baby it completely. (We suggest checking your posture while you are working though because that could be your hugest problem that led you to where you are, but hey it could totally be from something else too…).
Spinal alignment is the core of our being. When our back is in its optimal state we have a greater ability to move, our posture is better, we can move freely, our chest is up and we probably exude a bit more confidence in our walk. we find our optimal structural alignment, we have a greater ability for freedom of movement and better muscular engagement. In order to be in this state we need to keep our core strong and our back naturally wanting to sit in its neutral spine position. So how do you make sure our back is like this… to start these two exercises will certainly help.
Many of us already do one of these exercises that we are going to mention, but I bet you didn’t know how great it was for your posture too!
Neutral Spine Practice
First of all, you will need to find out where your spine is at when it comes to if it is a neutral position or not.
This is done by sitting on the floor with your legs out in front of you. For many of you, this might be quite the challenge, but that is okay. That is why we are here and practicing these exercises to get your spine back to optimal health.
Sit with your legs in front of you, hip distance apart, slightly bent (you may need to bend them quite a bit and that is okay).
Feel free to grab your cheeks and spread them out from under your butt so that your seat bone can be more rooted into the ground.
From here, sit up as tall as you can by feeling like there is a string attached to the top of your head and someone is pulling it straight up into the sky. This will help lengthen your spine as much as possible.
During this practice you may feel like your stomach wants to press out, make sure your ribs are pulled in, your shoulders are above your hips and your hears above your shoulders.
Now just focus on your breathing. Inhale to create more length and exhale giving your insides a hug with your breath.
Repeat as many times as you think helpful.
Reverse Lunge with Pulses
The reverse lunge is a great exercise to work the neutral spine and to keep our glutes strong. The reason for wanting to have strong glutes is because that is where the base of our spine meets our body–at the glutes.
Hold on to a high surface, like a countertop or the back of a chair, and lunge one leg behind you while making sure your front knee lines up directly over your ankle, your back knee directly under your hips, and both knee joints are at right angles. Your forward knee should form a 90-degree angle.
Making sure that your arms are straight and torso upright, breathe while keeping proper neutral alignment and bracing your core in toward your spine.
Now begin to lower your back knee lower to the ground, just an inch or so. Keeping your spine and quad as lengthened as possible while pressing energy through the knee forward to light your butt on fire begin to pulse just a couple inches up and down.
Complete 40-60 pulses before switching to the other side.