Mindful isolation guide - Save your back in five minutes

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

During this emergency situation many are working from home and sitting long hours on a standard chair could tire your back and make you feel pain, let me help you fix that in the time of your coffee break



After one month of being at home and working the full schedule while sitting on my kitchen chair, I found out I had to start having a morning routine to prepare my body and most importantly my spine for the day ahead.


You'll see it's divided in two parts: stretching and strengthening. Why? Because stretching is not enough by itself. We want to stretch the muscles that are tight and painful but we also want to make the same muscles tired the next day, for that reason we must make other muscles stronger to support the ones that get tired easily.


Because this is meant to be a morning routine, remember to start slowly, give your body time to stretch, breath deeply and try to move a little while doing the stretch, try not to stay static.

Let's dig into it.


Stretching

0. Low squat stretch

I gave this a number zero because it's so basic you can do it virtually everywhere and anytime. Just squat deeply and hold it there. In case you need help to maintain your balance, grab an immovable object like a table or a door frame




1. Pigeon stretch


This is a very nice deep stretch, here's a video that instruct you how to perform it



2. Hip flexor stretch


Another very good stretch for your hip flexors. If you want to make it deeper bend forward, drop both hands on the side of the front foot and breath deeply. When I do that I can feel even further stretch in my glutes




3. Thoracic Extension stretch

After having stretched the lower part of the spine, let's move upwards with the thoracic stretch


Strengthening

4. Neck curls

One thing that get strained very easily is our neck and I want to make sure that all sides of my neck are strong and can support my head, which is pretty much the biggest responsible for the strain in the neck and upper back. Therefore I lay on my bed with my head hanging and I perform body weight neck curls in all four direction: looking up, looking down and then on the left and right side of my body. Here's how it looks




5. Face pulls


Face pulls are the one-stop-shop for upper back and shoulder fix. I really love this exercise, I perform it with a resistance band tied to a coat hanger in my flat and it has strengthened my upper back greatly.


You don't have resistance bands? No problems, I got you covered! You can do Flying shoulder presses instead



6. Reverse legs hyper-extensions

Last but not least my favorite exercise! This one really fixed my long standing lower back pain and I am so grateful for that. My advice is to start with just one leg and slowly progress into the two legged version




Conclusions

To conclude, a word of caution: go slowly and allow your body to adapt to the stretches and exercises.


These exercises might not be indicated for all bodies and some people might have conditions that would not allow them to move in determined ways. If you feel pain or any discomfort, avoid the exercise altogether and consult your physician.

The Mindful Developer

The Mindful Developer by Stefano Vergani

Mail: stefano.vergani.it@gmail.com

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