Spine Stretch: Roll Down & Back Extension
At work, home or play, take a minute to pamper your spine. Whether standing or sitting, the spine gets compressed during the day and the space between vertebrae shrinks. Taking a minute every few hours to stand up, stretch, strengthen and mobilize your spine can not only improve posture, but also increase blood flow, reduce back pain, tension and stress.
Click on the link for a guided Got A Minute For Your Health spine stretch video or follow the instructions below:
Roll Down (spine articulation):
Stand up, feet hip or shoulder width, abs pulled in, shoulders relaxed, slowly tuck your chin to your chest and roll down through your spine bending above the waist, take a deep inhale while bent over, then exhale, tightening the abs and slowly rolling back up to standing, one vertebra at a time. This helps lengthen he spine and expand the space between he vertebrae which have been compressed by gravity.
Then, while standing tall take a deep inhale through the nose, then exhale through the mouth as you reach your arms back behind you. lift the chest and arch the upper spine (what we call a back extension in Pilates). Back extensions improve posture by reversing the curve of the thoracic spine, which is often rounded over our desk and computer , while also stretching and opening the chest and rib cage.
Alternate roll downs and back extensions 3-4 times.
The deep breathing enhances oxygen intake for increased energy and tension relief.
You should feel taller, less stressed and energized. Your spine thanks you. Now back to what you were doing.
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