Return to Life: Double Leg Kick
– It’s a posture fix of the first degree for the shoulders, upper back and hips!
This exercise will stretch your shoulders, upper back and hips whilst strengthening your back and butt – perfect for cyclists and people that spend long time at desks.
What’s it good for?
- Strengthen your back extensors, hamstrings and glutes fixing “cyclists’ spine”.
- Stretches the hip flexors & quads and decrease recovery time as well as offsetting problems associated with small ROM at the hip and overuse.
- Stretches the front of the shoulder offsetting the negative effects of working in spinal flexion for long periods.
- It’s the third spinal extension exercise in the series and prepares us for the Shoulder Bridge – the most challenging exercise in spinal extension!
The “how to”
Lie face down with your hands clasped behind your back and your head turned to one side.
Inhale (sniffing) bend both knees and kick your heels towards your butt three times whilst keeping your hips on the mat without moving.
Exhale engage your abdominals and reach out your legs and hands out and up and reaching your ribcage out and up. Turn your head to centre and your head aligned with your spine.
Lower down your torso and turn your head to the other side and return your clasped hands up your back, pushing your elbows down.
Hints and Tips
💡 Press your hips into the mat as your bend up.
💡 Think of reaching your upper leg bones up and out as you kick.
💡 Keep your head inline with your spine. Focus your eyes just a few centimeters in front. Imagine watching a marble roll a short way across the floor.
💡 Keep your abdominals engaged throughout – no sagging stomachs.
💡 Think long back as your rise up.
💡 Try to keep your knees together.
☀️ … Low back injuries: engage your abdominals and keep your hips down to maximise your hip flexor stretch. Try a pillow under your hips, or avoid the exercise.
☀️ … Knee problems: limit the range of motion. Stretch your hip flexors and quadriceps beforehand.