Exercise When you Wake up
Coach Chris: I end up finding after a normal night’s rest, 6 to 8 hours. I feel extremely stiff. It could be a result of the previous day’s activities. I have a good mattress, so I am pretty confident in sleeping on my mattress. But I feel like I am not sure which way I should stretch.
I feel like there’s one Exercise that will be more effective at giving me some relief. Should I reach down and touch my toes? Or should I arch backward?
Rick Kaselj: Okay, so we are talking first thing in the morning. The things that you want to avoid is like repeated forward bending. Doing a stretch here and there when you are bending forward is fine.
But you are doing it repeatedly, like crunches or going to the gym. And doing a rowing exercise right after you get up is probably not the best idea because the spine expands as you sleep. It’s at greater risk of injury, especially with any flexion movement.
Recommended Exercise When you Wake up
What I recommend for people to do when they get up is to arch their back backward, arching a couple of times.
Some people can’t handle that. So when it comes to their backs, they don’t like an extension. But the vast majority of people like an extension. If you do an extension and you feel relief, not pain being eliminated away, I look at it more like building on better. If I do something and it feels better, I am going to build on better as opposed to doing one thing, and it goes from painful to nothing; that’s very rarely the case.
Arch Back Position
I want to build on feeling better. If I arch my back and it feels better, I will build on better, but I am not going to go crazy; I am only doing five repetitions – don’t do 50.
Coach Chris: How about being in a 4-point position with your hands and knees on the floor and doing the arch like the opposite of doing the cat back wherein you push your butt out, and you get that open mid back?
Rick Kaselj: Yeah, that’s another thing that gets you that extension, that arching of the back, and that’s fine.
Coach Chris: It’s all about how you move your pelvis.
Rick Kaselj: Yes, your mid back and pelvis are going into that extension. Usually, our knees are bent, and we are kind of like in a fetal position which puts our back in a flexed position, so many times where we get relief is if we go the exact opposite way. When it comes to lying down, many people end up sleeping on their side; we don’t sleep with our legs straight like a pencil on our side.
We are lying on our side, and we’ve been flexed all night, and we get relief by opening up and arching our back.
Coach Chris: That’s a very good point, too, because you have to think you’ve been in that position for 6 to 8 hours. The best thing to do is give your body that opposite movement and go the other way.
Rick Kaselj: Yes, exactly.
Coach Chris: Thank you very much.
Rick Kaselj: No worries.
Watch for Fix My Back Pain, which will come out later this week. If you have back pain, it is a program to help you get back to pain-free workouts.
Here is a sneak peek:
Rick Kaselj, M.S
Have you ever had back pain? Do you have it right now?
Ever wondered why you have it and what to do about it?
Rick Kaselj shows you six quick and easy self-assessments that you can do right now that will show why you have back pain. In this short video, Rick will tell you what you need to do to fix your back pain.
WAIT! Before you go, Injury Expert Rick Kaselj is Tired of People Having Back Pain. Rick GIVES AWAY the 6 Quick and Easy Assessments for Back Pain (& What to do About it).