It is surprising how little is required to reduce your chance of sustaining common injuries. As we battle in front of computers all day with terrible posture, our spines stiffen, our muscles shorten and we become weaker.
Taking 5 minutes each morning to get your body moving, will reduce common injuries like low back, neck and shoulder pain and it will leave you feeling mobile and ready for whatever the day can throw at you.
But what should you do exactly? To some extent that depends upon your problem areas, so the ideal approach is to have a Physiotherapist assess your mobility, strength and motor control, then compare your results to the demands of your everyday life. But, in the absence of this information I have put together a good alternative. This short program is designed to give you the greatest return on a 5 minute a day investment, and it targets areas where people commonly have mobility or strength problems.
There are only three movements involved.
Take the time to do them very well. You will not get the same results if you rush through them.
1. Downward-Dog to Cobra (x 5)
- When in downward dog press your hands into the floor with active shoulders and push your rear end toward the sky so you feel a good stretch in the back of your thighs. If your hamstrings are too short for this position, bend your knees slightly, but not so much that the stretch feeling is eliminated.
- When you are in upward dog, breathe out and let your abdomen and hips sag toward the ground allowing your spine to extend fully.
BENEFITS – hamstrings, hips, low back, shoulders.
2. Eagle Stretch (x 10)
- Breathe out as you rotate your spine and reach as far as you can in the other direction. As you repeat this movement you will notice it gets easier each time.
BENEFITS – Thoracic spine, gluts, shoulders.
3. Wall Facing Squat (x 10)
- Stand facing the wall, about 1 ft away with your hands stretched overhead. Proceed to do a full depth squat until your upper legs are parallel with the floor without leaning in to touch the wall with your hands.
BENEFITS – ankle, knee and hip and thoracic mobility and strength.
This simple program can keep you out of the Physiotherapy clinic and enjoying the activities you love.
Set your alarm and get after it!