Planning on standing at the kitchen counter for hours preparing the Thanksgiving meal? Or perhaps you will be sitting in front of the television for hours while someone else prepares the Thanksgiving meal. Either way, your back is going to take a beating. The following gentle yoga inspired poses and stretches will help smooth out the kinks and restore your spine for a second helping of holiday fun.
Kitchen Counter Stretch
Place both hands on the edge of your kitchen counter. Take one big step back and fold forward from your hips, keeping both arms straight. Reach your hips back as you lower your chest in between your arms. Take five deep breaths and then stand up. Repeat as often as needed between mashing up the potatoes and stirring the turkey gravy.
Easy as Pie Cat Cow Pose
Come onto all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. With an inhale, arch your back gently by reaching your tail bone and the crown of your head toward the ceiling. With an exhale, round your back, broaden your shoulder blades and tuck your chin to your chest. Repeat five times to loosen up your spine. When you return to the kitchen and bend over to peek in on the pumpkin pie your back will move with ease.
For those of you enjoying a sporty afternoon from the vantage point of your couch, try these simple back saving exercises.
Lie down on your belly. Place both hands under your shoulders with your elbows bent. Without using your arms, lift your upper body just high enough to activate the muscles up and down your spine. Hold for five deep breaths, or for as long as one commercial break.
Touchdown Toe Touch and High Stretch
Hooting and hollering from the couch is great when your favorite team scores, but in order to keep your back from taking a back seat while you’re watching football, stand up and stretch.
With both knees slightly bent, bend over from the hips and reach your fingertips toward your toes. Let your head hang and relax. Next, with a great big inhale, come all the way back up to standing, raise your arms overhead and stretch them up as high as you can. You can even yell “Touchdown!” I promise no one will make fun of you. (Well, at least your back won’t hurt!)
November 7th, 2011