The next step in my own essential movement sequence is another exercise you can do lying down and using a ball. The sequence starts with an inner thigh squeeze (see ME and Fitness Equipment), moves into a torso curl (presented in ME and My Abs), followed by a Hamstring & Core Lift.
This one engages your upper body.
Make sure that when you lie down, you keep your body perfectly aligned by reviewing and following the guidelines presented in The Importance of Good Posture.
- Bend your knees at a comfortable angle, placing your feet flat on the floor or mat, even and aligned.
- Be sure that your thighs and knees are parallel, but also check that the fronts of your thighs are not pushing against each other.
Start with a small ball, especially if you have shoulder or neck problems.
- Hold the ball straight up over the chest, with your shoulders pinched, your zipper zipped and your dime pinched.
- Make an imaginary connection between the ball and a spot between your hips.
- Keeping your arms extended, slowly move the ball, following the line of your spine, in a graceful arch over your head. Go only as far as you can while keeping abdominal control and postural alignment.
Remember, less is more, especially with a new exercise!
- Slowly lift the ball back above your chest, extending it only as far as you can while keeping shoulders, dime and zipper engaged.
- Stop immediately if your shoulders or neck are cranky.
If one side feels tight, do this without the ball, and try to move one arm at a time through the motions.
Pay close attention to notice if one arm pulls out to the side, and keep shoulders, dime and zipper engaged. After a few single-arm passes, you can move your arms in an alternating motion.
Make sure that your feet are soft on the floor at all time – don’t push down with them.
Stay within your limits, pain-free. You can increase the number of repetitions and the size of the ball as you grow more comfortable with this exercise.
Remember: Every Day is a Fitness Day when you are Motion Empowered!
Great stretch and opener for shoulders thanks Darla! I continue to pinch and zip and warm up with joint motion warmup and share it to others when I can. You’re awesome!