Welcome to this eight-week video series brought to you exclusively by Whole Life Challenge in partnership with MobilityWOD. Each week, physical therapist Dr. Kelly Starrett will present you with a simple concept regarding anatomy and movement — as well as some techniques you can incorporate into your daily mobility practice. Note: These techniques are optional and are simply one of the many ways you can accomplish your ten daily minutes of mobility.
Your next mobility mission is improving how your body can handle basic spinal shapes. There are three basic shapes we need to be able to achieve when it comes to our human movement:
- A stiff, neutral spine
- A flexed position like when doing a somersault or swimming
- An extended position
Most of us have become stiff from the bottom of our neck through our upper back and rib cage. This makes it hard to move and breathe efficiently, and it also has a negative impact on our nervous system. In addition, it leaves our head in a bad position and forces our lower back to do work it shouldn’t. This can lead to chronic neck and low back pain.
To help you alleviate these issues, we’re going to use a pair of lacrosse balls or the Gemini and lay on the ground. We’re going to focus on our breathing to release our muscles and mobilize our spinal joints. Like we did in last week’s video, we’re going to work on our basic joint mechanics. Watch the video for detailed instruction and remember the goal is not to beat yourself up — you should not experience pain.