Here are some exercises that are great to do on the hour as a way to break up the day, maintain joint health, and encourage movement. Exercises should be performed in this sequence.
1) Breath Work
In sitting with a tall spine, or laying down on one’s back. For 3-5 minutes inhale for 4 count, exhale 6 count. Breath deeply and allow the belly to expand and retract with ease. Can work up to a 6 count inhalation and an 8 count exhalation. Check out the video below for a walk through of breathing from our online mobility membership, IKC!
2) Cat Cow
Set up on hands and knees in tabletop position. Fully flex the spine, hug the navel in, push the floor away with the hands, and tip the tailbone under. Beginning with the tailbone first, reverse the curvature of the spine into extension one vertebrae at a time until you come to the crown of the head. Reverse again back into spinal flexion beginning with the tailbone first. Perform this exercise x5 at slow speed (10 seconds per repetition) with 50% tension. Then perform x5 at an increased speed with 30% tension.
3) Hip CARs
Standing in a door frame facing the frame, connect the chest and pelvis to the frame. Take a deep breath in and out and bring tension into the abdomen. Lift the outside leg into hip flexion, open to hip abduction/external rotation, internally rotate the hip and begin to bring back into extension all the way until the knees touch. Then reverse the movement. Do not move the spine and maintain connection of the front body to the doorframe. Perform x5 each leg at 50% tension at moderate speed.
4) Cervical CARs and Thoracic Rotations
Sit with a tall spine and interlace hands behind the low back. Bring chin down to chest, draw chin along right collarbone, side bend right ear to right shoulder, tilt head back to the right, then continue drawing the circle until the head is tilted back to the left, side bend left ear to left shoulder, draw chin along left collarbone and end at the starting position. Repeat this to the left and perform x5 each direction at 50% tension at slow speed. Then cross the arms over the chest and give yourself a hug. With the feet firmly planted on the ground and sitting with a tall spine, bring tension into the abdomen and rotate the trunk all the way to the right until end range. Take a deep breath in and on the exhale, breath out hard and rotate further. Inhale to come back to center and then repeat to the left. Perform 3-5x each direction.
5) Cervical Retraction With Shoulder Raise
Standing with the back against the wall, gently press the back of the head into the wall and give yourself a double chin. Be careful not to tuck the chin down. Keep the chin parallel with the floor, and maintain tension in the abdomen. Bring arms into a cactus or goal post position, slide the back of the arms up and down the wall maintaining chin retraction and reduce any flaring of ribs to the front. Perform x10 at moderate speed.
6) Side Lying Pectoral Windmills
Lay on the right side with the right arm extended out from the shoulder and the left arm on top. Cross the left knee over into a spinal twist position. Circle the left arm up and around the body in a “windmill” like fashion. Perform 5-8x each arm at moderate speed and repeat on the other side.
7) Couch Stretch
Come to a half kneeling position in front of a couch or wall. Place the back shin bone up the wall. Reduce the curvature of the lumbar spine by hugging the navel in and slightly engage the rear leg glute. Hold here for 2 minutes and breathe deeply. To increase the intensity of the stretch, elevate the arm on the same side of the leg that is down and side bend opposite the rear leg. Repeat on the other side.
8) Pigeon Stretch
Begin in a plank position and then place the right knee behind the right wrist on the floor. Use a prop underneath the right buttock if the buttock does not reach the floor. Allow the top of the left thigh to face the floor and sit up with a tall spine. Then walk the hands forward and come into the passive stretch. There should be sensation in the deep outer right buttock. Hold for 2 minutes with deep breathing and repeat on the second side.
BONUS: Check out this Daily CARs routine as a simple way to mobilize your joints every day from Coach Michael.
If you feel like you need a more personalized program, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a consultation with one of our Physical Therapists or Coaches. Just email us at email@example.com and we’ll set you up with Virtual Session.
For more videos and classes like this check out the Interactive Kinstretch Community