Do the Crucifix Stretch
Our society has become increasingly sedentary, which isn't good for low back pain and function because prolonged sitting has been linked to low back pain.
Now pain is multifaceted, and biomechanics is just one aspect to the popular biopsychosocial model of pain, so the effects of sitting and back pain (and posture) are probably over-exaggerated. However, we should still try to preserve good posture throughout life, especially since it doesn't take much effort.
The typical desk-worker is slumped over with a rounded spine, rounded shoulders, and a forward head position. We want to "undo" this posture by stretching the shortened muscles and strengthening the lengthened muscles. The crucifix stretch achieves both.
What to Do
- Stand tall and place the arms out to the sides.
- Simultaneously extend the spine by picking the chest up and externally rotating the shoulders by pointing the thumbs behind you. Keep the head and neck in a neutral or packed position (which resembles a double-chin).
- Hold this position for 3 seconds and repeat 5-10 times.
How to Step It Up
Okay tough guy, you think you're too cool for the crucifix stretch? Give the band face pull/pull apart combo a try.