There are times when we need to turn the top of our body, independent of our stationary hips – think of turning to look over your shoulder when you back up a car.

Being prepared and mindful, you can keep the action within your range of motion and lessen the chance of muscle strain.

Here are two good exercises to help you practice the motion in a safe manner. (Sitting on a large ball works well for this exercise. If the height is equal to or higher than your knees a chair will work, too).

With both exercises, use a really small range of motion. Small movements, properly performed, will help you move safely towards improved fitness

Exercise #1:

  • Start by Sitting Well (that’s my earlier blog with tips on proper sitting posture).
  • Keep shoulders back and down, chest up, knees soft.
  • Keeping your zipper zipped and your dime pinched, be sure that you aren’t arching your back. (If you’re new to my blog and want to find out about dimes and zippers, read The Importance of Good Posture.)
  • Hold a small, lightweight ball, or touch your fingertips together in front of your chest. In order to keep your shoulders back, you will need to keep your hands close to your body.
  • Starting with a teeny range of motion, gently rotate to each side. Initiate the movement from the core, letting the shoulders, hands and head follow.
  • This is the same motion you would use if you were seated in front of your desk and then turned to get a paper out of your printer. Notice how the simple motions of everyday activities contribute to overall fitness.

Remember, in aging gracefully, less is more, but please check with your physician if you have any questions or concerns about doing these exercises.

Now go back to the start position, shoulders down and back, spine and chest up, zipped and pinched, with the ball (or hands with fingers touching) in front of you, close to your body.

Exercise #2:

  • Move your hands only a few inches up and down.
  • Pretend the ball is attached to a rubber band connected to a center point between your hipbones.
  • Slowly stretch the imaginary rubber band up a few inches.
  • Keep your focus and maintain control as you return your hands to center and then slowly move them down a few inches below your starting point.
  • Repeat.

Every day is a fitness day when you are Motion Empowered!  Comment below if you have any thoughts or questions.  Tell me how this works for you!