We can’t rave enough about how much we love love LOVE our spine warm-ups or just how important they are to perform before moving your body around.
A lot of the ideas with our starting position and proper engagement of muscles will be the same as we discussed on Day 4, but a few additional thoughts to keep in mind when extending back or flexing forward are as follows:
1) As you extend spine, our arms may be reaching behind you, but they aren’t doing work to support your weight. Keep the abdominals working by maintaining a neutral pelvis and kiss in the tush. Keep the shoulders drawn down away from the ears and the head in-line with the spine (no need to look behind you).
2) Have you ever seen a movie with a food fight in it? Where the kid takes a plastic spoon full of something from his tray, holds on to the long end with one hand, and pulls the scoop end back with the other right before he releases the food and chaos to the cafeteria? THIS MAY SEEM SILLY…but imagine your spine as the spoon. Your neutral pelvis is where the kid is holding on to the base of the spoon… that area (the neutral pelvis) doesn’t get to move as he pulls the top half back. Your head is the scoop full of food… the scoop doesn’t snap off when he pulls back before launching does it? NO! We want the most powerful launch of potatoes we can accomplish! Now things get more technical, as the spoon whips back forward to release the food, the base of the spoon stays long and strong as it pulls back to the top- In relation to your spine, be sure you don’t tuck the pelvis out of neutral.
FOR FORWARD FLEXION
1) We only come forward from the waistline up! Remember March Matness day one? Go visit that post for a conversation on what this means and other forward flexion tips.
2) As you reach your arms forward, our shoulders like to come up toward the ears, be sure to keep them actively drawn down the back while maintaining the smiles of the body.
3) When you’re forward, it’s easy to let the tummy stop working, be sure to keep a “scoop” in the abdominals as you come forward to truly support the vertebra.