Stretch Your Back

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 19,285
    Fitness expert Margie Weiss demonstrates the best way to stretch your back.

    Margie Weiss

    Margie Weiss has been in the fitness industry all of her life, having been a national gymnast as a child, and mother/trainer to three international athletes. Owner-coach of MG Gymnastics, her team produced international stars for 15 years. Former owner of 2 Gold's Gym franchises, Margie is also a certified personal trainer, specializing in youth sports conditioning. She has trained international athletes, including her children. Her son, Michael, is a 2-time US Olympic figure skater and 3-time US National Champion. Currently, she is GGX (Group exercise director & instructor) for 3 Gold's Gyms, where one of her programs boasts 500 classes per month; she supervises 175 instructors. Having published many articles in the fitness field, she enjoys seeing progress in each of her participants. But the things that makes her most proud of the lives she has affected are her 5 grandchildren, all of whom live very close. Seeing their smiles makes every day worth smiling about!

    Margie Weiss: My name is Margie Weiss and this is basic stretching. With these two exercises, were going to an arching of the back and a rounding of the back, two opposing exercises for stretching the main muscles of the core.

    The first exercise is the arching one. Were going to sit on our knees with the knees just a little bit wider than the hips. Hips are going to forward as hard as you can for, so that you feel the stretching, the hip flexors, which are right here. Now, you got choices for where you want to put your hands. You can put your hands at your ankles, if thats too hard, you can put them just dangling down to the side. Let your head go back to neutral, once the hips have gone forwards, and try to take your breath out to let it go.

    If you want to make this a little more demanding on your body, just take one arm reach it to the ceilings, the weight of that arm going backwards, this is going to put a little bit more pressure on the back. Now, if you feel any pinching, anything unnatural in the back, you dont want to do this particular exercise. If you want to go beyond little bit more, you add at the other arm over the head, the weight of both arms obviously twice as much as weight of one.

    Notice, Jeremy has a lot of arch in her back, she is an ice skater and this is a lay back position, whereas Lesley is more what you are going to see in a normal gym facility, pretty good arch, but not quite as good as an athlete arch too. Once we come up, we can put the hands slide them up on the hips, bring the head in, get your balance because sometimes you feel a little bit oozy on the way up. Once you do that, youre going to breathe out and slide your hands right on the back of your legs, and were going to do the opposite.

    This position, were going to round our back, as round as you can get it. Youre taking the middle of your back where your lungs are, you are breathing in, filling up the lungs; it feels like youre filling up the big round balloon, pressing the top of the ribs in the back to the ceiling, the middle back to the back wall. This really stretches out. This is a great exercise to do the combination of them, the arch and the rounding is really good and it feels great. Its not a demanding exercise in any sense of the word, but it really does allow the muscles to release and give in both the front part of the body and the back. Now, were going to rise on back up, do a little bit of shoulder roll wiggle the hips around just a little bit and take a deep breath.