Here at Three Pillars of Fitness, Brighton we love to build our clients a bespoke exercise programme. We do this by completing an extensive consultation that will consider your exercise preferences, lifestyle goals and movements which you struggle with or want to develop.
If you’d like to discuss ways in which we can help you to become healthier and happier, give us a call on 07713 328010. To learn more about our Personal Training services click here or contact us using the button below.
how to….. child pose/ stretch
1. From table pose, exhale and lower the hips to the heels and forehead to the floor. Have the knees together or if more comfortable, spread the knees slightly apart.
2. The arms can be overhead with the palms on the floor, the palms or fists can be stacked under the forehead, or the arms can be along side the body with the palms up.
3. Breathe slowly and deeply, actively pressing the belly against the thighs on the inhale.
4. Breathe and hold for 4-12 breaths.
5. To release: place the palms under the shoulders and slowly inhale up to a seated position.
Benefits: Child pose calms the body, mind and spirit. The Child pose gently stretches the back, massages and tones the abdominal organs, and stimulates digestion.
how to…..Supine hip stretch
1. Lie supine (on your back), extending your legs so there are lying flat along the floor with the toes pointing up towards the ceiling. Slide your right foot back towards your hip so that your foot is flat along the floor and the knee is pointing up towards the ceiling, keep the left leg flat along the ground.
2. Retract your scapulae (pull your shoulder down and back) without increasing the arch in your low back or lifting your hips off the floor. Hold this position throughout the exercise. Reach down with both hands and gently pull your knee back towards your chest, at the same time keep your left leg lying flat along the ground and push the back of the heel into the ground while contracting your right glute (butt) muscle.
3. To increase the stretch, maintain the abdominal contraction, exhale and slowly pull the knee further back towards the chest while straightening the leg and pushing your heel away from your body. Hold position for 30-45 seconds, straighten the leg and repeat for 2-5 repetitions alternate legs and repeat.
Continue breathing through the exercise, use the exhale phase to slowly pull the knee towards the chest to increase the stretch.
how to…..dorsal raise
The Dorsal Raise is a great strength training exercise for beginners to develop lower back strength, in order to help prevent back pain.
1. Keep your feet on the floor when doing this exercise to avoid excessive pressure on the lower back.
2. Smoothly lift your head and shoulders only 4 to 6 inches off the floor, holding in the upper phase for 2 – 3 seconds prior to slowly returning back down to repeat again for desired reps.
NB: You can assist your back muscles if they are weak by pushing up with your arms, otherwise place your hands under your forehead, and lift your head and elbows off the ground.
Always look straight down at the floor and with all exercises stop if you feel any pain.
The exercise can be made harder by extending your arms out in front of you, or by holding a suitable weight.
Aim for 10 / 12 repetitions repeated twice.
how to….. hip extend
Hip extension is the backward movement of your thigh and you do it multiple times every day. Muscles that perform hip extension are active when you stand up from a chair, walk, run, jump, roll over and climb stairs. The main muscles used in hip extension are your gluteus maximus and hamstrings.
1. Lay face down with your hands under your forehead. Make sure you adopt a neutral spine posture lightly activate your abdominals.
2. Squeeze your glutes while continuing to breath normally, then slowly extend 1 leg off the floor without arching or rotating the spine. Either do some reps on the same leg and the switch legs, or do 1 rep per leg at a time.
Make sure you focus on the glute squeeze and do not let it go while doing the movements. Also make sure you don’t rotate your pelvis or hyperextend your lower back.
how to….. cat/cow
How to do the Cat /Cow stretch exercise for back pain:
1. Begin by moving into Cow pose: On all 4's. Inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat. Lift your chin.
2. Next, move into Cat pose: As you exhale, draw your belly to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. The pose should look like a cat stretching its back.
3.Release the crown of your head toward the floor, but don't force your chin to your chest. Inhale, coming back into Cow Pose, and then exhale as you return to Cat pose.
Repeat 5-10 times, and then rest by sitting back on your heels with your torso upright.
Another great exercise for mobilising the lower back is the bridge, as shown in the image below.
1. Carry out this exercise lie on your back with knees bent and your feet placed hip distance apart on the floor.
2. Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out lift your hips off the floor until shoulders hips and knees are in a straight line.
3. As you breathe in lower your hips to the floor. Repeat eight to twelve times.
how to…..clam shell
Not only is it incredible hip strength, glutes, and pelvis, but the clamshell can also help to prevent injury and ease lower back pain and tension.
A study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy found that the clamshell exercise is one of the best for hip strengthening and helping with injury treatment and injury prevention. The clamshell exercise is often used in physical therapy to help with back pain and sciatica. It helps to reduce pain by strengthening the core and lower back muscles.
1. Lie on your side, with legs stacked and knees bent at a 45-degree angle.
2. Rest your head on your lower arm, and use your top arm to steady your frame. Be sure that your hipbones are stacked on top of one another, as there is a tendency for the top hip to rock backward.
3. Engage your abdominals by pulling your belly button in, as this will help to stabilise your spine and pelvis.
4. Keeping your feet touching, raise your upper knee as high as you can without shifting your hips or pelvis. Don’t move your lower leg off the floor.
5. Pause, and then return your upper leg to the starting position on the ground.
how to…..supine hip rotation (knee pendulum)
1. Lie on your back. Knees bent (Place a small flat cushion or book under your head for comfort if you wish).
2. Keep your knees bent and together. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in.
3. Roll your knees to one side, keeping both shoulders on the floor. (Hips, ankles and knees stacked- one on top of the other).
4. Hold the stretch for one deep breath and return to the starting position.
Repeat 8 to 10 times, alternating sides.
Tips, only move as far as feels comfortable place a pillow between your knees for comfort if preferred.
The is a great exercise to rehab / prehab the lower back mobility.
how to….. thread the needle
This exercise / stretch helps open your shoulders chest, neck, and back and is thought to stimulate digestion.
1. Begin on all fours.
2. Reach your left arm underneath your body, to the right.
3. Release your left shoulder and left temple to the ground. Your hips will sink back a bit toward your heels.
4. Allow your right hand to stay where it is, now gently reach the left arm into the air and follow with your head and eyes hold for 3 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Work towards 3 sets of 10 on each side.
how to…. scapular retraction
Our arms and shoulders assist us with almost all of our daily activities, so it’s easy to see why strong shoulder muscles are so important! Weak shoulders can increase your risk of injury at the gym or going about your day lifting kids, household items, grocery bags and more. Poor posture can also lead to neck and back pain.
Never heard of “scapular retraction?” Essentially, it’s pulling your shoulder blades (scapulae) back to improve posture and strengthen your shoulders. Modern life, and all of our sitting and/or hunching over computers and smartphones, has made us all much more likely to slump our shoulders.
1. Start on all fours with your wrists stacked directly under your shoulders, and your knees stacked directly under your hips. This creates a “neutral” spine.
2. Push into the ground, round your back slightly, and actively pull your shoulder blades together. Try to keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears.Repeat 10-12 times for 1-2 sets.
To book your consultation and to find out which specific exercises will help to exceed your health and fitness goals, get in touch on 07713 328010 or use the button below:
If you are new to exercise or are unsure of whether these exercises are appropriate for your needs, please consult a fitness or medical professional or use the button below to get in touch.