One of our new clients was recently on a car trip with her family, headed to a theme park for a long weekend getaway. She had been planning it for months. She even put in extra time at work to get ahead, logging extra hours in front of the computer.
Finally, they were on their way! They stopped at a restaurant for a quick lunch, and when she went to get out of the car … her entire body locked up. Her hips, low back, and legs did NOT want to move. She told me she ended up doing a slow shuffle across the parking lot. Her kids thought it was funny, but she just thought, ‘Oh no!’
That pain continued for the entire trip. She was afraid to go on the rides at the park, and she passed on all of the fun water activities with her family. She’d already been having some tightness & soreness before the trip from all of her sitting at work, but those extra hours pushed her body over the edge.
Whether it’s sitting all day for work, hunching over your phone, or just plain slouching in line at the grocery store – if it becomes a habit, it can begin to have a long-term effect on your body. Experts estimate 80% of people will have back pain at some point during their life, much of it preventable … and I don’t want you to be one of them!
Your mobility has EVERYTHING to do with not only how you move and feel … but with the quality of life you have.
That’s why this month I’m going to be talking a lot about your muscles and why it’s SO IMPORTANT to keep them strong and supple (beyond just how they make you look!). I have a couple of exercises that are designed to help you rebuild and restore mobility through your shoulders and trunk.
They take just a few minutes, and if you make time for them 3-4 times a week you’ll notice results FAST. For even more benefit, do them when your body is warm – after some light cardio or a brisk walk.
- World’s Greatest Stretch (video demo: https://youtu.be/L5VzL9ki6ZA)
- Stand tall with your feet together. Step forward with your left leg and lower your body into a lunge.
- As you go down, place your right hand on the floor so it’s even with your left foot. Your right knee (the one extending behind you) should remain above the floor – not touching it.
- Next, drop your left elbow so that it’s inside your left foot, and rest it on the floor (or as close as you can get).
- Square your hips so you feel a stretch on both sides, and try to keep your back as flat as possible.
- Now, raise your left arm up from the floor and twist toward the left, and extend your left arm up toward the ceiling, trying to straighten your arm.
- Be sure to breathe! Hold for a few breaths and repeat on the other side.
- Shoulder Pass-Through (video demo: https://youtu.be/gTdAO2eCPGE)
You’ll need a stick (like a broomstick or dowel) or a resistance band to do this exercise.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms in front of your body.
- Hold the stick or resistance band with straight arms, with an overhand grip.
- The stick/band should be below your waist, your hands wider than your shoulders. If you’re using the band, gently press outward to create a light amount of resistance.
- Engage your core and keep the rest of your body in position as, with straight arms, slowly raise the stick or band above your head, keeping your arms straight. Only go as far as comfortable.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds.
- Return to the starting position.
- Repeat 5 times.
Try these a few times over the next week and see for yourself!