4. Warm up your spine tutorial

Salam, hi everyone! What are your favorite morning routine after waking up? For me, I love stretching my spine and using this simple mesh up Stott Pilates and Yoga (simple) sequence in the morning after Fajr prayer. I also do it as my warm up before my any self-practice! I love mixing up my Yoga and Stott Pilates sequences together because both of them compliments my fitness-health regime. If you wanna read about the birth of my Yogilates, go here.

So, alhamdulillah you’ve been directed to my blog after watching my Instagram video, pat yourself on your shoulders for your curiosity to seek knowledge to take care of your spine!! Heeeheee.. Thank you for having self-care of your health and your spine dear one! I major love you for that, seriously! 🙂 

Let’s get to the tutorials!

Here’s how you can warm up and stretch and strengthen your spine! Please read the pictorial as well as the written guided instructions to have a holistic knowledge of the sequence okay!


OBLIQUES STRETCH (YOGA)

In this easy sequence, it helps you in opening up your heart to the sky

preparing you to absorb the good energy in, as you release every tense muscle from

your neck, spine and arms after a deep sleep

Targeting:

External Obliques

Latissimus dorsi

IMG_4467

Click picture to view clearly

As according to the cues above and the instructions below:

First, starting position

 sit upright and stretch your hands and spine up to sky

Assuming we start on right side,

Next, EXHALE and slide your right hand down to the mat, simultaneously stretch your top left hand to your ears

Its okay if your right elbows are not bent nor its 90 deg on the mat like me,

with practice you’ll get there 🙂

Inhale to return to the starting position 

Repeat on the other side

Complete 3-6 repetitions till you feel your obliques have a good stretch!

Remember not to lift those hips off the mat as you stretch to the opposite side!


CAT STRETCH (YOGA)

In this easy sequence, it helps you to increase your spine mobility and

sharpen your concentration and focus to kickstart the day right!

Targeting:

 Body awareness of your spine, abs, ribcage and scapulae.

IMG_4468

Click picture to view clearly

As according to the cues above and the instructions below:

INHALE to prepare

Maintain abdominal contact at this starting position (all fours) without sinking in on your lumbar spine

and ensure scapulae are stabilised! (No hunching of shoulders to ears)

IMG_4469

Click picture to view clearly

EXHALE, (if you have good body awareness) sequentially and slowly articulate spine into flexion like above from tailbone to head

(Tailbone going down first, lower spine flexed then upper spine and nodding head down at last step)

Next try to articulate spine starting from head to tailbone

(Reverse the flow of the spinal flexion)

Keep abs engaged, head and shoulders relaxed here

IMG_4464

Click picture to view clearly

on INHALE, return to starting position (all fours)

Complete 3-6 repetitions till you feel your spine feels good and you’re breaking a sweat!

Some people may not break a sweat while doing warming up, but fret not the idea is to increase your heart rate 🙂


HANDS BY SHOULDERS (STOTT PILATES)

In this sequence, it will strengthen your back muscles as well as strengthen your abs!

Targeting:

Transversus abdominis

Mid-back Erector spinae 

Obliques

Hip extensors

IMG_4470

Click picture to view clearly

As according to the cues above and the instructions below:

INHALE to prepare in starting position

Ensure that your scapulae are stabilised

IMG_4466

Click picture to view clearly

EXHALE, keep your abs engage at all times,

lengthen and extend thoracic and cervical spine.

Remember to gaze at the tip of your mat with your neck at relaxed neutral state to avoid neck tensions

Stay at this position for 2-5 breaths for body and breath awareness 🙂

EXHALE to lengthen down onto mat in starting position

Complete 3-5 repetitions 


HANDS BY FOREHEAD (STOTT PILATES)

In this sequence, it will emphasise strengthening through mid-back extensors of your spine

Targeting:

Transversus abdominis

Mid-back Erector spinae 

Obliques

Hip extensors

IMG_4471

Click picture to view clearly

As according to the cues above and the instructions below:

INHALE to prepare

Stabilise your scapulae here, you should be comfortable at this starting position

IMG_4472

Click picture to view clearly

EXHALE to extend upper torso very slightly off mat

You’ll realize that at this sequence you’re not lifting off the mat as high as the previous sequence (hands by shoulders)

Keep a long, low line and keep breathing and keep your abs engaged! Hhehehe

Stay at this position for 2-5 breaths

EXHALE to lengthen down onto mat in starting position

Complete 3-5 repetitions 


SHELL STRETCH (STOTT PILATES)

This is usually done and recommended after any prone exercises where you have to lie flat on your stomach

Targeting:

Relaxing muscles throughout back

Avoiding tension in shoulders and neck

IMG_4473

Click picture to view clearly

Its easy to come to this shell stretch from child’s pose

INHALE and slowly bring your hands as close to your knee

while you flex your spine as according to the picture

With every EXHALE, allow your spinal extensors to relax!

Stay in this position until you feel stretched


SPINAL TWIST (STOTT PILATES)

If this sequence seems familiar to you, you must have seen it on my Instagram!

View the 15 secs tutorial here

This sequence helps to strengthen your spine mobility and straighten your spine

as if there’s a string pulling you to sit and walk upright!

You will feel instant transformation when this sequence is done right 🙂

IMG_4479

Click picture to view clearly

As according to the cues above and the instructions below:

Keep your scapulae stabilised at all times

Head shall follow when you rotate your torso 

Feel as if you’re lengthening your spine and

rotating your torso from your lower spine, moving up like spiral

Avoid initiating the rotation from your shoulders movement, they are not supposed to move 🙂

Do view the video on my Instagram as many times if you’re unable to visualise the instructions above!

Complete 3-5 repetitions and

avoid bouncing and ballistic movement of your spine!


Remember to lie down on your mat to rest and work on your breath and

cleanse your thoughts and energy before starting the day after your Fajr Prayers 🙂

With Allah’s wills, I hope you find this post beneficial!!

Share this post to your Facebook/Twitter to your families/friends who might benefit from this healthy spine regime!

If you have any doubts or just anything to ask/share, you know where to comment 🙂

Stay healthy inwardly and outwardly!

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