Each movement of the body is directly related to the efficiency of it’s central core, the spinal column. The spine is particularly vulnerable to the force of compression, and this tendency is exaggerated even more when the spinal muscles shorten. The more we slouch and slump the weaker the back muscles become, and the more contracted the front body becomes. A well balanced spine is never rigid.
Many of us may lose full spinal rotation in the course of living a sedentary lifestyle. If we do not lengthen the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia to their full length at least a few times a week, then will gradually shorten and limit the nearby joint’s mobility.
To maintain or restore the normal spinal rotation, it is wise to practice a simple spinal twist once or twice a day, that is if you want to be able to turn round when reversing into a parking space when you are 85!
A twist primarily occurs in the spine, so whatever your base – feet, legs, pelvis – it needs to be firm.
Here is a simple twist to do while sitting at your desk at work, it is called ‘The Hitch-hiker’:
Sit upright so that you have a slight curve in your lower back (use a small roll if you need to tilt you forwards a little to gain this movement). Feet flat on the floor.
Place your left hand inside your left leg, palm out, arm straight.
Extend your right arm out straight, make a fist then lift the thumb up, as if you were hitch-hiking (keep the shoulder relaxed down).
Press your left hand into your leg, and circle your right arm out to the right, following your thumb with your eyes, as far as is comfortable, then bring the arm back. The left arm and shoulder blade will lengthen away from you as you circle the right out, and come back as you come back; this needs to happen as it enables the twist to occur.
Continue this movement 6-10 times, inhaling as you open the arm out, exhaling as you bring it back. Repeat other side.
By @littonsarah for BodyStudio