By Dr. Ben
to fifteen years now, I've been recommending two basic stretches to
the vast majority of my clients. Stretches to help keep the soft tissues
in the lower and mid back regions flexible and well supplied with
healthy blood flow. In my experience, no other stretches more effectively
keep the trunk and pelvis healthfully limber.
stretches are more easily demonstrated than described in words. So
included below are pictures along with descriptions. If you're at
all confused about how to do these two stretches, please feel free
to use our contact form to ask for clarification.
Back and Pelvis Rotation Stretch
lying on your back with your knees raised up and feet flat on the
cross your left leg over your right thigh and rest the outside of
your left ankle against the bottom portion of your right thigh.
both of your legs fall gently to your right until your left foot is
flat on the ground to your right.
keep your upper body flat on the ground. If it naturally lifts a bit
to rotate to your right, this is fine.
your right hand to gently bring pull your left leg down towards the
ground. You don't have to have much movement of your left leg towards
the ground; you just want to create a stretch in your lower back and
left pelvic regions.
facilitate a rotary stretch of your lower back and pelvis, place the
palm of your left hand behind your left pelvic region and provide
a gentle, steady push, working in concert with your right hand to
create some torque between your lower back region and the rest of
this stretch involves "locking" out your lower back joints, very little
pull and push are required by your hands. Just the tiniest bit of
pressure can produce an effective rotary stretch of the joints that
line your pelvis and lumbar spine. Specifically, this stretch aims
to target the soft tissues that surround your upper and lower sacroiliac
joints and the intervertebral joints that line your lumber spine.
all stretches, best results are achieved with steady breathing and
a comfortable hold time. Generally, about 30 seconds per side and
3 sets per side are good daily targets for most people.
Trunk Rotation Stretch
the soft tissues and joints that line your mid-back region, including
your ribcage, begin lying on your side with your arms together and
pointing straight ahead, and your knees bent and also pointing straight
ahead so that your arms and the tops of your thighs are parallel.
your right arm and legs on the ground, and move your left arm up towards
the ceiling and then let it slowly fall back behind you (staying at
the same level as your right arm). Allow your left arm to fall back
as far as is comfortable - it will come to a rest on its own when
your trunk won't allow it to fall any further.
people who are super flexible, the left arm will fall all the way
to the ground. But for most people, the left arm will be suspended
in the air. Either way, by keeping your right arm and legs on the
ground to your right, you'll create an effective rotary and shearing
stretch throughout your thoracic spine and ribcage.
stretch really helps to "open up" the thoracic spinal region, and
is sorely needed by most people who sit at work for hours at a time
with their shoulders and heads slouched forward.
be sure to maintain steady breathing, aim for 30 seconds a set and
3 sets per side.
two stretches for your pelvis and spine shouldn't take you more than
about five minutes a day. I encourage you to give them a go for a
month and observe for yourself how helpful they can be to your physical
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