During this period of self-isolation, we will likely find ourselves seated for longer periods of time than our body is used to. Unfortunately, poor posture and sedentary behaviour are two contributing factors to experiencing back pain and discomfort.
As a former professional athlete with a list of injuries – specifically, a back injury – Steph understands how debilitating back pain can be and the importance of good back health. For her, Pilates was the saving grace when it came to back pain and it is something that should be incorporated into your everyday routine.
If you are experiencing back pain or would just like to try one of our RISE by Studio PP virtual Pilates classes in your own time, try incorporating these three exercises into your daily practice or as an addition to compliment your current exercise routine.
You’ll need: A Yoga mat or carpeted area.
Tip: Try this routine before you go to bed to help get a better night’s sleep.
Bridges: x 10 reps
Spinal articulation is a great way to reassure your body that you can be mobile and build strength whilst in pain, without aggravating your spine. This bridge move improves blood flow, articulation of the spine and encourages a relaxed breath pattern.
Start by lying flat on your back in neutral spine (where there is a small gap between your lower back and the mat) with your legs bent and feet hip-distance apart. Come into a bridge with your glutes engaged and your belly button pulled into your spine. Take a big deep breath in through your nose, then follow with a big exhale out of your mouth. Slowly roll back down from your upper-middle back until you’re lying flat on the mat again in neutral spine. When returning to this position, focus on rolling back down one vertebra at a time.
Hip flexor/psoas release: x 1 each side for 8-10 breaths
Short and tight hip flexors can stiffen and cause inflammation in your lower back. Come down to the mat into a kneeling lunge position, then squeeze the glute of the rear leg and imagine driving the knee back and into the ground, while having the hip sink down and forward. Keeping your spine straight, engage your core without arching your back or letting the pelvis tilt forward. To add to this stretch, raise the same arm as the back leg to the ceiling.
Hamstring release: x 2 each side for 5 breaths each
Tight hamstrings can put increased stress on the lower back, aggravating and potentially causing further conditions leading to lower back pain and sciatica. To build on the hip flexor stretch, set up in the same kneeling lunge position as above. Extend one leg and sit back on your back foot, slowly leaning forward to touch your toe or ankle. Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
If you are experiencing back pain and would like to speak to one of our RISE by Studio PP trainers, contact our Wellness Manager, Carmen at email@example.com
RISE by Studio PP continue to offer virtual fitness classes to 101 Collins’ customers. Click here to view online class passes and membership options.
This article originally appeared on body+soul.
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