I have a question for you….how many times throughout the day do you bend forward? I imagine a lot…. just think about it.
Clean your teeth, take something out of the refrigerator, pat your dog, put on your shoes, pick up a bucket, clean your horses feet, muck out a stable – the list is endless.
If you add to that a bit of slouching into a soft sofa or at your desk with a mouse in your hand, you are spending an enormously large amount of time in a forward bent position
Or muscles have memory and before long that forward tendency embeds itself into our muscle memory and our posture begins to change on a permanent basis.
Not great news if you want a naturally lengthened upright posture in the saddle.
There are a multitude of exercises and loads of wisdom I could impart on postural improvement, but one of the simplest things to do regularly is to safely take your spine in the opposite direction to offset the constant forward bending of our every day lives.
Try this – Basic back extension.
- Lie face down on a mat or comfortable firm surface, place a towel underneath your forehead if required.
- Bend your arms and place them either side of your head, slightly wider than your shoulders, your thumbs in line with your ears.
- Gently activate your core by lifting your lower abdominals off the floor and lengthening both sides of your waist evenly as you lengthen your sits bones toward your heels.
- Inhale as you lengthen your collar bones and nestle your shoulder blades into your back .
- Exhale as you lengthen out through the crown of your head and begin to lift your head, neck and upper chest off the mat. Keep your ribs on the mat and do not push with your arms. We want the upper back muscles to be doing the work.
- Maintain a sense of length in your collarbones and broadness in your upper back as you inhale here.
- Exhale and lower back to the start position.
- Repeat 10 times.