90-90-90 Lunge

KEY POINTS

Set up in a squared lunge with your back hip over your back knee and your front knee over your front ankle.

Keep your spine perpendicular and your pelvic bowl in neutral.

Press equally into both feet to come up to stand. Push the floor away from you!

Keep your back knee bent while straightening your front knee to keep your pelvis in neutral.

Return completely to the floor and begin again from a dead stop.


Half-Kneeling Hip + Thigh Stretch

Align your kneeling knee under your hip.

Align your front knee over your ankle.

DO NOT backbend in this shape!

Tuck your tailbone and drop your rib cage. Pull your breastbone in. Press your pubic bone forward.

Breathe easily.

Hold for 1 - 2 minutes per side.

I am using a chair here, but you can also do this stretch using a bench, the back of a couch or the wall.


Straight Arm Pulldown

Firmly plant your feet. Feel your tripod foot.

Find a neutral spine. Align your rib cage over your pelvis. DO NOT backbend as you pull the bar toward you.

Keep your elbows straight.

Keep the ball of your shoulder in the socket. In other words, keep the front of your shoulders back.

Initiate the movement by drawing your shoulder blades down your back. Pull the bar to your body by using your armpits. DO NOT press the bar down with your arms and hands.

Can you feel your latissimus dorsi muscles? These are the big V-shaped muscles that run down your back.

Pause in the bottom position for a breath or two. Feel the muscles on the back of your arms engage. Draw your shoulders down and back. DO NOT back bend. Keep your ribs aligned over your pelvis. Stand tall. Engage your back muscles.


Rib Cage + Belly Breathing

This exercise helps you feel and understand how your rib cage should move when you exhale.

KEY POINTS

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet on the floor and your mid-back (the area just above and below your bra-line) anchored onto the floor. Relax your butt and belly button. You should NOT grip with your hips or abdomen. You should NOT flatten your lower back against the floor. You should feel your mid-back against the floor. If you need to place a pillow under your head for comfort, please do. Can you keep your bra-line area rooted to the floor throughout the entire exercise?

  2. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your lower ribs. As you inhale, feel how your belly and lower ribs expand into your hands.

  3. As you exhale, feel how your ribs retract away from your hand. Can you get all the air out of your lungs? Can you feel how your rib cage moves into your body and into the floor as you exhale? Can you emphasize and exaggerate this movement?

Breathe mostly in and out through your nose as you do this exercise.

You can do this exercise with large breaths or with more gentle breaths. Either way, the same pattern remains.

Repeat for 1 - 5 minutes.


Round Back Breathing

On hands and knees, tuck your tailbone and round your entire spine.

Keeping your spine as round as possible, sit your hips back to your heels.

Breathe into your back. Can you expand the space between your shoulder blades as you inhale? Can you feel the area just above and below your bra-line move back as you inhale?

Keep your shoulders, neck and jaw relaxed.

Hold for 5 - 10 full breaths.


Straight Leg Deadlift

KEY POINTS

Keep the weight close to your body. Pull your shoulder blades down your back to help with this. Imagine squeezing a clutch purse between your upper arm and armpit.

Keep your back straight.

Keep your knees stacked directly over your ankles.

Press your feet strongly into the ground.

Feel your hamstrings. Imagine you are going to kick your butt with your heels. This can help you find your hamstrings.