Archive for July, 2010
Here is a relaxing back stretch that you can do at the kitchen counter. Place your hands on the counter, shoulders width apart. Come about four feet away from the counter so that you’re your fingers are just hanging on to the surface. Spread your legs about four feet apart and let your torso dip forward as your hanging on to the counter. Now hold this stretch for about 30 seconds and repeat if needed.
One of my favorite core stabilization exercises is the Lateral Plank. Lie on your left side, with your left forearm on the floor and your elbow directly under your shoulder. Your legs should be straight and your feet stacked one on top of the other. If this is too difficult, place the top foot on the floor directly in front of the other. Lift your hips off the floor, supporting your weight on your forearm and feet. Do not let your torso drop. Keep your hips stacked and your chest open. Place your right hand on your hip. Hold for 10-20 seconds and work up to 1 minute. Repeat on the other side.
Need a challenge for working your abdominals? Try performing a Forearm Plank on a stability ball, but with an added element. Lie on top of a stability ball and roll forward till your forearms are on the floor and the tops of your feet (or your toes for the very advanced) are on balancing on top of the ball. The dynamics of this exercise creates a very unstable environment that requires a great deal of strength. Be very careful to stabilize your core. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds and work up to 1 minute. This very challenging exercise will help flatten your belly as well as strengthen your back, arms and legs.
Begin in a seated position on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Bend the knees and pull the feet towards the groin. Let the knees fall to the sides and soles of the feet touch. Hold onto your big toes and sit tall, if you can’t hold the toes, hold at the ankles instead. Breathe and let the legs relax and pull towards the floor. Hold this pose for 1-5 minutes.