Stretch Your Way to a Healthier Spine
Stretching is a great way to increase flexibility, improve blood flow and improve your overall health. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a yoga expert to get a good stretch; stretching your spine regularly is a simple process that almost anyone of any fitness level can perform. Here are a few simple stretches that you can perform in your own home to feel better and more flexible right now.
The Cat Cow Stretch
The Cat Cow is a yoga pose that can be easily accomplished by beginners. It’s great for lower back pain, loosening the spine and engaging the abs.
- Get on your hands and knees, keeping your shoulders directly over your wrists and your hips over your knees.
- Curl your toes under to stretch the arches of the foot and then slowly arch your back while lifting your chest away from your stomach. This is the “cow” part of the stretch.
- Release your feet and then round your lower back into an arch like that of a cat. Repeat five times and try to increase your range of motion with each repetition.
The High Lunge
The high lunge is a great stretch that’s extremely versatile. Beginners can easily attain this position, but it’s easily modified to any fitness level.
- Come to a standing position and then step your right foot forward about five feet, taking care to align the knee over your heel. Keep your left leg strong as you lunge forward.
- Take a deep breath and raise your torso upright while sweeping your arms overhead, ensuring that the palms are facing each other.
- Push back through your left heel to bring the shoulder blades into the back. Look up toward your hands and hold for about 30 seconds. Repeat five times.
Another simple pose that’s easily customizable and suitable for any level of expertise. Spinal twists should be performed gently for maximum benefits.
- On a yoga mat, get on your knees and hold your spine in a relaxed and neutral position with your legs out behind you.
- Reach your arms out as far as you can, while keeping your spine long and straight. Keep your chin up and look straight ahead.
- Twist the upper body to rotate the upper spine, pausing during each stretch before repeating two more times.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of stretching your spine, your chiropractic team would love to talk to you. They know how important yoga, stretching and exercise are to a flexible and healthy spine, and can offer you advice on wellness for your entire being—mind, body and soul.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.