This is a favorite 'go to' exercise for a great number of the patients in my clinic. Patients with the following conditions have a tendency to have decreased spinal stability:
- Herniated cervical spine discs
- Low Back Pain
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Herniated lumbar spine discs
- Meniscus Tears
- Hip impingement
- and more
When there is decreased spinal stability, there will be excessive and destructive movement in the neck, shoulders and lower back. This adds a great deal of stress to the areas and opens the door to injuries like low back pain or sciatica. To deal with this I like starting off my patients with this pilates and physiotherapy exercise:
- Start with your hands directly under your shoulder and your knees directly under your hips
- Raise up one arm and the opposite leg up (like superman does)
- Reach your arm forwards and your leg backward as far as possible
- Don't let yourself hold your breathe and hold the pose for 4-5 second
- *NOTE* - if you notice when I filmed this video, I had a lot of lumbar flexion and pelvic tilting. I'd recommending limiting that as much as possible so for a lot of people that means you don't need to touch your knee all the way to your elbow during the flexion part.
Perform 5-10 repetitions, 2-3 times per day to increase your upper torso flexibility and reduce stress on the neck, shoulder and lower back. To find out if this exercise is right for you, you need to be evaluated for an 'Exercise Prescription'.