STRAIGHTEN UP! Exercises to Support Spinal Health

Spinal health must be respected. The spine directly links human brain and body function to physical movement. Your spine and spinal cord endure massive impact from daily activities like working at a desk, driving a vehicle, running after your children or lifting heavy objects. Strengthening, lifting and stretching the muscle groups that support your spine is necessary for basic comfort, physical function and chronic injury prevention.
Try these non-impact exercises to improve your balance, strengthen your core and support spinal health. If you are up for a challenge, try our Inspire Health Bonus Move.

DO NOT attempt ANY movement if you have questions concerning pain. ALWAYS consult a physician before performing exercises.

  • Stand with feet grounded wide outside of hips.
  • Anchor left heel into ground, straighten left leg and engage quadriceps. Push weight into left heel.
  • Bend right knee directly over right ankle. Sink low into hips.
  • Lift arms in a straight line from fingertip to fingertip.
  • Brace core, straighten spine and tuck chin in.
  • Hold for 5 deep breaths and release.
  • Repeat right then left, sinking deeper with each pose.

Advanced Option
From Warrior II, lift back heel and rotate body into Warrior I and back to Extended Warrior. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat sequence from Warrior II.

2. UPWARD DOG
Upward-Dog-1 Upward-Dog-2

  • Press hips into the floor or mat. Press palms into floor.
  • Lift body off mat, eyes gazed to sky.
  • Lift ribs up, opening chest and lengthening through spine to stretch deep muscles.

3. SEATED TWIST
seat1 seat2

  • Rest deeply onto sit bones.
  • Cross right heel over left knee and rotate body to right side.
  • Extend left arm over right knee and rotate from spine, eyes gazed to back shoulder.
  • Feel a powerful release of energy by taking 5 deep breaths. Repeat left.

4. BOW POSE
bow1 bow2

  • Relax onto stomach.
  • Reach hands back and take hold of one ankle. If you can reach for both, you have advanced.
  • Lift ribs and legs up off floor simultaneously.
  • Hold for 5 deep breaths and release. Repeat 5 reps.

Dancer’s Pose
dance1 dance2

  • Turn left arm outward with palm facing away from torso.
  • Hold onto left foot. Press thumb against sole of foot.
  • Inhale, lift left leg up, and bring thigh parallel to floor.

 *Focus on an object that is not moving, and hold as long as you can. Release and repeat on the second side for the same length of time.

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