Get A Backbone!

Hi Fitness Lover!

Many people suffer from back pain and injury. There are many exercises that promote strong backs and healthy posture. Weakness in the abdominals and the muscles that surround the spine can make your back vulnerable for injury. Most people know that tightness in the chest contributes to poor posture and possible back injury. 

But why?

The disks that sit in between the vertebrae become compressed in one direction depending on your muscular imbalance. Over time and repetitive postural misalignment, a disk can become compressed in one direction, leaving it vulnerable to injury. 

Here are some simple exercises that will make your back flexible and strong.  

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Photo Credit: Alexa Miller

  1. BACK ARCHES  Lie on your stomach with your arms slightly forward of your torso. Energetically send your tail bone away from the back of your head. As you inhale, push into your hands and arch your spine away from the floor. As you exhale lower back down, keeping your abdominals lightly engaged to support your back. Repeat 10x using your breath.                                                                                     
  2. THE SWIMMER  Lie on your stomach with your arms overhead and the palms of your hands facing toward one another. Send your tailbone away from the back of your head and engage your abdominals. Keep your shoulders down, away from your ears and lift your arms and legs in the air. Lift your opposite arm and leg in the air and keep switching at a moderate pace – similar to swimming. Repeat for a count of 20-30.                                                                                                                    
  3. TABLE ABDOMINAL HOLD Lie on your back with your knees bent in the air at a 90 degree angle so that your shins are parallel to the floor. Lift your arms straight up to the ceiling and retract your scapula down so that they touch the floor. Engage your abdominals toward your lower back and maintain the natural curve of your spine. Hold for a count of 20. If this feels strong and you can maintain your abdominal contraction, tap both feet down to the floor and lift them back up to table 10-15x. 

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2015 Make it Meaningful

The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.

Arnold Bennett

It is so exciting to have a fresh year, full of new possibility, hope and inspiration. It is a collective restart, so what are your priorities?  I am working on doing less and having more. This might sound counter-intuitive as we live within cultural mores that dictate we must strive and push in order to get to the top. For me, no matter what peak I climb, when I arrive to that destination I am already aware of more I want to be, do or have. This is the endless cycle of expansion and growth that is the human experience. I am choosing to release the need to prove my worth through my accomplishments. I am worthy of all good things because I am a here.

For 2015, I am naming my top priorities and sticking to them. This means being extremely choosy about what I take on and seeing if it will truly add to the fun, uplifting and joyous life that I am creating. The same is true of fitness. I believe practice makes priority and by prioritizing health and well-being it becomes second nature and a part of our daily routine just like eating, sleeping and brushing our teeth. Over time and consistent practice it feels harder to skip a workout than to complete it. Here’s to an amazing and healthy year!


Stand in a lunge position with your right leg forward and left leg back. Make sure that your right knee is pointing over your second toe and that it is bent at a 90 degree angle. Keep your back leg straight and engage your abdominals. Maintain an even position in your hips and reach your arms overhead touching the palms of your hands in a prayer position. Gaze past your fingers and breathe deeply. Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the other side.


Photo Credit: Alexa Miller