A strong core is essential to sustainable physical adjustments and better posture. Here are 5 simple and low risk exercises that complement the Align Brace and improve overall spinal health.
1. Bird-dog Position
Targets the often overlooked muscle groups.
- Begin on hands and knees on mat with spine straight, maintaining a slight arch at lower back.
- Extend one arm and the opposite leg outwards, keeping the back straight and being mindful that the lower back does not sag towards the floor. Hold this position for 5-10secs. Contract and repeat with opposing limbs. Repeat 3 times for 1 set and aim to complete 5 sets.
- If lifting two limbs together is difficult or causes the lower back to sag, begin with lifting only the leg followed by just the arm.
2. Side Planks with Rotations
Improve balance and strengthen the lower back by adding a twist to the regular side plank.
- Start by lying down on your right side then pushing yourself onto right elbow and foot. Check that your weight is evenly distributed throughout the whole side of the foot, not centred on the heel, which can be seen if the toes start to come off the floor.
- Extend left arm towards roof, twist forwards from your shoulder aiming to reach arm under and across the body. Repeat twice and again on the opposite side for 1 set. Aim to complete 3 sets.
Relaxes the chest, lengthens the back and rejuvenates the lower body.
- Start lying down, knees bent, feet pointed forward, heel below knee
- Press arms, shoulders and head into floor, keeping gaze towards ceiling. Pressing into feet, lift the lower body, lengthening the tailbone towards the knees.
- Breathe through 10-20sec hold. Repeat 3 times for 1 set and aim to complete 5 sets.
4. Child’s Pose
A staple yoga pose for gentle lengthening of the spine.
- Begin with hands and knees on mat. Spread knees apart while keeping toes touching. Sit backwards to rest butt on heels.
- Bow forward from the hips, draping upper body onto or between thighs. Allow forehead to rest on floor
- Stretch arms away from body, keeping palms on floor, breathe deeply and hold. Repeat 3 times for 1 set and aim to complete 3 sets.
5. Thread the Needle
A pilates stretch with a twist that relaxes the upper body.
- Begin with hands and knees on your mat.
- Reach out right arm towards ceiling, twist and reach arm under and across the body. Lower right ear and shoulder onto ground
- Keep weight spread across both feet, mindful to not let the lower back sag. Return to start position and repeat on the other side to complete one set. Aim to complete 6-8 sets.
Kindly practice at your own discretion. Anyone experiencing back pain that is severe or does not go away with gentle stretches and exercise should see a doctor. Should these exercises worsen pain, stop immediately and consult a medical professional.