What Do You Get For 3 Minutes?
These stretching exercises increase mobility of your spine by moving all the joints gently. You get increased muscle tone as you’re using them and a reset of your current posture, vital if you are working at a computer. Your brain wakes up from the activity and your posture changes as you move all 3 areas. Plus it’s achievable!
Doorframe stretches loosen your chest out – which can be tight from being at a computer, driving, gardening or playing with the kids. Loosening these muscles helps to balance our your posture and allows the upper back to pull your shoulder blades back and down. In this position your breathing can become easier and you can walk more upright, improving your balance and the appearance of your posture.
The cat stretch moves all parts of your spine to loosen your joints safely, reducing stiffness as well as increasing joint awareness which could improve your balance.
Your joints have little sensors in them and when you stretch or move your joints without loading them, the brain gets information about where they are and how they move. This can lead to better balance and co-ordination. By stretching the joints in this way you are also activating your core muscles, so gain stability for the spine which helps with posture.
The superman increases your lower back core strength, your shoulder blade and neck strength and builds your gluteus (bottom) muscles to support your hips. By doing this on the bed you engage more core muscles and also work your balance so your joint positioning system works better which could lead to less falls and injuries.
So… Are you up for the posture challenge?
The first step is I’m going to make this ‘challenge’ even easier on you than three minutes all in one go. I’ll split it up through the day so it’s simple to fit into your life.
The idea is too follow a set of 4 exercises that take seconds to do and will help you to change your posture without spending hours training.
1. The Work / Busy Life Stretch (less than 20 seconds)
There are three parts to this so you can get your whole spine moving in a few seconds and then get on with your day. Repeats each one 3 times and aim for 3 times a day:
- Look as far as you can comfortably over your shoulder, slightly roll down and move your neck to look over the other shoulder.
- Roll your shoulders in big circles backwards and then forwards.
- Bend your knee and bring it to your chest, then let go. Do this on both legs.
2. Chest Stretch (40 seconds)
Lie on your bed and reach your arms out, making sure your palms are facing up. Gently bring your arms up towards your head so you form a Y shape and you feel a comfortable stretch through the chest. Hold for 20 seconds. Do morning and night to reset your posture and help your shoulders go back. As a bonus this stretch is also very relaxing!
3. Cat Stretch (20 seconds)
On your bed go onto your hands and knees. Arch your spine up towards the ceiling as far as is comfortable. Then let your back drop down towards the bed as far as you can. Make sure this is a comfortable stretch. Do this morning and night.
4. Superman (Bird Dog) (60 seconds)
Still on your bed, on your hands and knees, tighten your tummy and lift one leg behind you so it is straight. Hold for 10 seconds and then do the same on the other leg. Repeat 3 times on each leg and perform morning and night.
Total 3 minutes!