Little Moves with Big Effects

Our bodies work very hard for us, how do we return the favor? You may not realize that incorporating some very simple movements can have a significant effect on your overall well-being. We will be sharing little movements that help to improve alignment and overall physical well-being.

Little Moves: Chin Tuck

How you do it:

Sit upright and look straight ahead with your ears directly over your shoulders. Place a finger on your chin. Without moving your finger, pull your chin and head straight back (feeling a lift from above the crown of your head) until a good stretch is felt at the base of the head and top of the neck. Hold for 5 seconds.

What it helps:

“Tech neck!” It helps to combat neck pain, strengthening the muscles that pull the head back into alignment over the shoulders

 

Little Moves: Pelvic Tilt

How you do it:

Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, with a micro bend in your knees. Tilt your pelvis forward without bending forward. Your abdominal and buttock muscles will tighten. Hold for 5 seconds.

How it helps:

Pelvic tilts help to alleviate back pain, reducing stiffness in the lower back and stretching the muscles. They also strengthen the abs and glutes!

 

Little Moves: Rib Knitting

How you do it:

Stand upright, feet hip width apart with a micro bend in the knee. Lengthen the tailbone by drawing down into the heels, without leaning forward. Draw front ribs in by engaging core. Lift and open your chest to lengthen the spine.

What it helps:

Your core and back! Knitting your ribs creates a healthier spine, better posture and allows you to activate all parts of your core – especially that deepest layer know as the transverse abdominis.

Little Moves: Scapular Opening

How you do it:

Sit tall on a chair with your feet and sit bones rooted down, hip distance apart, ankles directly under knees, and crown of head lengthened up toward the ceiling. Extend your arms straight in front of you with palms facing each other. Engage the abs, pulling the navel inwards towards the spine. Inhale, opening your arms out to the sides by pulling the shoulder blades together. Try not to arch your back or thrust your ribs forward. Exhale and return arms to starting position.

What it helps:

Scapular opening helps to engage the larger, muscles closer to the body, to help mitigate our tendency to overuse the smaller extremity muscles. This helps to prevent injury and supports spine alignment, alleviating back and neck pain.

 

Little Moves: Foot Doming

How you do it:

Sit straight in a chair, placing your foot flat on the floor. Keeping the toe pads pressed down and the toes pointing straight, tighten the muscles through the sole of your foot. Doing this will raise your arch. You should be able to see your toenails the whole time (ensure you do not curl your toes under). Hold this position.

What it helps:

This not only feels good, but it helps to engage the small intrinsic muscles located within the foot (there are 11 of them). They help to keep us stable, support the arch of the foot, and are important in the movements of walking/running.

Little Moves: Wrist Rolls

How you do it:

Sitting up tall, begin with palms together in front of the chest with elbows out (prayer hands). Roll the hands outward so the palms open up to the front; extend the arms while rolling the wrists so the back of the hands meet. Once the arms are fully extended and the backs of the hands are touching, roll the wrists so the thumbs come toward the face as the elbows bend inward. Continue to roll the wrists and bend the elbows until you’re back at the starting position. Repeat in the opposite direction.

What it helps:

Your wrists from typing/smartphones! Elbow and wrist mobility helps ward off the numbness and tingling that are precursors to more severe disorders.

 

Little Moves: Resting Tongue

How you do it:

Focus on resting your tongue gently on the roof of your mouth and about half an inch away from your teeth (there is a little triangle behind the front teeth on the roof of the mouth). Keep lips closed and your teeth separated ever so slightly.

What it helps:

Surprisingly, your tongue and where it rests can affect the entire body. Poor tongue posture can have a negative effect on your eyes, nose, head, neck, shoulders, and of course, teeth. It can contribute or lead to sleep apnea, TMJ, vision issues, posture issues, and tooth damage.

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