Health Blog

10. Abdominal Crunches (Flexibility/Strength)
*This will stretch the upper torso while increasing abdominal strength.
Position: Lie on a hard surface, feet flat on the floor with knees bent.
Movement:  With hands at your side, perform the pelvic tilt and exhale (See #8) as you lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Move hands toward your ankles as you lift. Hold for 1 -2 seconds, then release. Build up to 2 sets of 25. Relax and inhale.
Hint: Head should be in a rigid position—pretend to have and apple in between your head and chest while lifting.
Note: This is a small movement. Your shoulders should not lift more than 4-7 inches off the floor.

11. Passive Trunk Extension (Flexibility)
* This will also stretch the abdominal region, while opening up the vertebral space.
Position: Lie on your abdomen with arms bent at your side.
Movement:  Slowly lift your torso up (using your arms) and support torso with elbows. Hold for 20-40 seconds.

12. 90° Wall Slides (Strength)
This is a fundamentally important exercise in order to control the pelvis and trunk. It will take a few attempts before you are able to perform this correctly.
Position: Stand against a wall, with feet 1-2 feet from the wall. Adjust upper body alignment (head and shoulders pressed firmly against the wall). Check leg alignment—so that when you slide down the wall, your knees and ankles are aligned.
Movement: Slide down the wall, to tolerance, then perform a strong pelvic tilt (See # 8). It is important to keep your tailbone on the wall as you flatten your back. Hold for 15 seconds. Slide back up the wall. Repeat 10 times (if your legs begin to shake, only slide half way down the wall).
Repeat flexibility exercises # 1 & 2

Goals:
     - To maintain pelvic tilt and posture and feel this in your lower abdominal region.
     - Have buttocks and knees on the same plane.
     - Keep head, shoulders, spine and buttocks pressed firmly against the wall.

13. Side Bend (Strength)
Position: Stand tall with knees bent. Place (L) hand on the top of your head. Shoulders back and lower body remains stationary. Look straight ahead.
Movement: Bend to the (R) side until you feel a stretch on the left. Pull your abdominals in and forcefully exhale as you lift back to center (See #4) Repeat 10 times.
Repeat flexibility exercises #4 & 5


14. Wide Knee Squats (Strength)
Position: Move knees wider than your shoulders, with toes pointed at 45° angle and arms extended in front of you for balance.
Movement: Move weight onto your heels as you sit back and down (axis of rotation is at the hip AND knee joints). Keep back straight and pull abs in and exhale as you lift (See #4).
Repeat flexibility exercises #1 & 2
Modification: If you are unable to perform this exercise due to pain or instability, a counter or door handle may be used for balance. Try the free standing squat again in three weeks.
Note: If this squat creates pain or discomfort, begin with strength exercises (S) #16 & 17 for 3-6 weeks before trying squats again. These exercises will strengthen your legs and help you to perform the more advanced squat.

15. Hip Wide Squats (Strength)
Position: Feet are hip wide, toes pointing forward with arms extended in front of you for balance.
Movement: Move weight onto your heels as you sit back and down (axis of rotation is at the hip AND knee joints). Keep back straight, pull abdominals in and exhale as you lift (See #4).
Repeat flexibility exercises #1 & 2
Modification: If you are unable to perform this exercise because of pain or instability, a counter or door handle may be used for balance. Try the free standing squat again in three weeks.

Note: If this squat creates pain or discomfort, begin with strength exercises (S) #16 & 17 for 3-6 weeks before trying squats again. These exercises will strengthen your legs in order to perform the more advanced squat.

16. Knee Extensions (Strength)
Position: Sit tall with back against the chair.
Movement:
1st stage: Lift foot off the floor approximately 1 inch, straighten raised leg until knee is straight. Hold for 3-5 seconds and relax. As you straighten leg, pull abdominals in and exhale. Do not allow foot to rest on the floor on between repetitions. Repeat 10-25 times.
Position: Lie on your back with knees together and bent. Make certain your knees stay together.
2nd stage: Straighten one leg and release. As you straighten leg, pull abdominals in and exhale. Do not allow foot to rest on the floor in between repetitions. Repeat 10-25 times. Repeat flexibility exercise #2


17. Knee Curls (Strength)
You will feel this in both the hip and leg.
Position: Lean elbows on a counter or the back of a chair for support, and tighten abdominals. Keep knees together with one knee slightly behind the other. Supporting knee is bent.
Movement: Lift back foot up toward the buttocks and hold for 1 – 2 seconds. Release and do not rest leg on the floor in between repetitions. Repeat 10-25 times. Repeat on the other side. Repeat flexibility exercise #3