Part Two Exercises 4 through 7
#4 Shoulder squeezes
This is an easy one you can do at your desk or at a table or standing anywhere. Bring your shoulder blades together and squeeze them. This is one you can do frequently, even every half hour. Squeeze and even hold it one, two, three, four, five seconds and then relax. It is good if you are having knots in your shoulders or postural issues. Ideally if you want to have a visual in your mind on how this is done. What you’re trying to do is to take your shoulder blades and put them in the opposite back pants pocket as opposed to up and back.
#5 Back Extension
This one is for a good back maintenance. About 80% of the population tend to do forward body activities all day long. So if you do you will really want to make sure you do some back extensions. This helps to equalize and maintain your range of motion and have a pain free life. Start by laying down on the floor and put your hands underneath your shoulders. Now press up but keep your pelvis on the ground. Eventually see if you can work all the way up with your arms fully extended. This is not for somebody with spondylolisthesis or spinal stenosis It’s going to actually probably make it worse so don’t do this one.
#6 Hip Flexor Extension
Our hip flexors tend to get really tight with all the sitting most of us do. It’s a good stretch to help keep them loose. To do this get into a standing or kneeling position and place one foot up in front of you. Next, lean forward and stretch the front of your opposite leg. Be sure to keep a good posture and alignment forward.
#7 Hamstring Stretch
The last stretch is a hamstring stretch. There are three muscles you want to stretch for your back pain and one of them is the hamstring, the other are the erector muscles and the quadratus lumborum.** Learn to incorporate this in your day. You can do this on the stairs, on a chair or table (depending on your height). Place your foot on an item knee to hip high and then keeping your back straight bend forward into the stretch. Don’t overdo it or bounce. If you round your back, you are stretching that instead. Keep it straight. Now if you have back pain you can do this lying down because it eliminates stress on your back. Use a strap or a scarf and place over your foot. Extend your leg and gently pull up and towards your body.
*Note: I am not an expert nor a health professional, but I do enjoy researching health-related topics from health experts on the internet. Do not attempt these exercises without your doctor’s approval.