Straighten Up! Exercises to Support Spinal Health

Spinal health must be respected. The spine directly links human brain and body function to physical movement. Your spine and spinal cord endure massive impact from daily activities like working at a desk, driving a vehicle, running after your children or lifting heavy objects. Strengthening, lifting and stretching the muscle groups that support your spine is necessary for basic comfort, physical function and chronic injury prevention.
Try these non-impact exercises to improve your balance, strengthen your core and support spinal health. If you are up for a challenge, try our Inspire Health Bonus Move.

DO NOT attempt ANY movement if you have questions concerning pain. ALWAYS consult a physician before performing exercises.

 

1. WARRIOR II18418-IH22-lo_5-063
• Stand with feet grounded
wide outside of hips.
• Anchor left heel into
ground, straighten left
leg and engage quadriceps.
Push weight into left heel.
• Bend right knee directly
over right ankle. Sink low
into hips.
• Lift arms in a straigh18418-IH22-lo_5-064t line
from fingertip to fingertip.
• Brace core, straighten
spine and tuck chin in.
• Hold for 5 deep breaths
and release.
• Repeat right then left, sinking
deeper with each pose.
Advanced Option
• From Warrior II, lift back
heel and rotate body into
Warrior I and back to
Extended Warrior. Hold for
5 breaths. Repeat sequence
from Warrior II.18418-IH22-lo_5-061

 

 

2. UPWARD DOG
• Press hips into the floor or
mat. Press palms into floor.
• Lift body off mat, eyes
gazed to sky.18418-IH22-lo_5-062
• Lift ribs up, opening
chest and lengthening
through spine to stretch
deep muscles.

 

 

 

3. SEATED TWIST18418-IH22-lo_5-065
• Rest deeply onto sit bones.
• Cross right heel over left knee and rotate body to right side.
• Extend left arm over right knee and rotate from spine, eyes
gazed to back shoulder.
• Feel a powerful release of energy by taking 5 deep breaths.
Repeat left.

 

 

 

 

 

4. BOW POSE

• Relax onto stomach.18418-IH22-lo_5-066
• Reach hands back and take hold of
one ankle. If you can reach for both,
you have advanced.
• Lift ribs and legs up off floor
simultaneously.
• Hold for 5 deep breaths and
release. Repeat 5 reps.

18418-IH22-lo_5-067

 
18418-IH22-lo_5-0695. DANCER’S POSE
• Turn left arm outward
with palm facing away18418-IH22-lo_5-068
from torso.
• Hold onto left foot.
Press thumb against sole
of foot.
• Inhale, lift left leg up,
and bring thigh parallel
to floor.
*Focus on an object that is not
moving, and hold as long as you can.
Release and repeat on the second
side for the same length of time.

 

BONUS MOVE:

BIRD POSE
18418-IH22-lo_5-072CHALLENGE
• Stand up straight and
place heels outside of
hips. Standing strong,
bend knees and drop
into a deep Hindi squat.
• Be sure both heels
are firmly anchored to
the ground.
• Place palms to ground
beneath shoulders; lift
chest and brace back
and core.
• Bend elbows deeply,
18418-IH22-lo_5-073engage core muscles and
lift body into bird pose.
Hold for 20 seconds.
*This exercise is advanced
and takes practice. Your core
muscles must be strong to
support your spine.


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