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Back Bend Stretching Exercise 4

This is a great back exercise because it relies on the own weight of seat and legs to tighten the bend. The cycling action will really tighten the bend as the front leg is pulling the back tighter and when the rear leg is brought forward the inertia of the moving leg will, again, tighten the bend. Because you are on your couch/chair, it is a good relaxing exercise where you will be in a comfort zone.

1. Stand with the legs close to the seat and facing away from where the chest is to be. Bend backwards to get the hands to the chair/couch/bed as in the picture above. You may need to bend the knees to do this.

2. Pivot at the arms and roll back onto the chest. This may be a little bit difficult in the beginning, but you will soon find out how to do it.

3. Then wriggle into position where the hands are at the front of the chair and the chin is also taking weight on the soft chair. Keep the legs reasonably straight and the back bent comfortably. You now have a solid base where you are on the chest, chin and arms in your soft chair/couch and this provides great stability. It is a position where you can relax because there is no balance requirement.

4. From this position allow the legs and back to bend and the feet will naturally fall to a position in front of the head and either above or below the head. Perhaps initially the position will be as above, but quickly more like this.

The last two positions are rest positions. The base is steady, you are relaxed (therefore confident) and the natural weight of the seat and legs is keeping the back bent.

The next part is the bendy bit! Straighten both legs to the front then with a cycling style action bring one leg back as shown above then return it to the front with the other leg. Take the other leg back this time and return it to the front. Do this cycling action to the 1-2-3-4-5 count until you have achieved 10 cycles with each leg. Now take a 5 count rest in position 4. If you're on a couch or any other kind of furniture the "straight" leg can be bent trying to touch the floor to increase the stretch as in the picture to the right. If you are finding it pleasant then increase the repeats. Rest in any of the positions if necessary. It would be better if you could rest with your feet on something. You can see that the furniture item needs to be reasonably low to get a good rest position. Use the feet to rest the back. Repeat as many times as you are comfortable but I would say 10 minimum. The more repeats the better and you will get that back really loose. After the exercise do front bend exercise 4.

Variation only to be done when successful with the above

1. Backbend onto your bed/couch/table.

2. Keeping in the chest stand position lift both legs at the same time up to near parallel with the floor. This will push your backbend tighter.

3. Now bring one leg up to and then return it to position 2. Do the same exercise with the other leg. Use the count as straight (1) bent (2) straight (3) other leg bent (4) etc. Do not do it quickly but make sure there is a good folding of the back as the legs are stopped out in the extended position. The weight of the leg being stopped and raised and at all times being totally relaxed in your back will do this. Do this 15 times for each leg.
After the exercise do front bend exercise 4.

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