Vivian Grisogono


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Also called prone-kneeling back arch.
Benefits: Strengthens and tones the abdominal muscles and to a certain extent the deep back extensors in a concentric-eccentric pattern.
The abdominals shorten concentrically as you arch your back upwards, and pay out eccentrically as you reverse the movement with control. The trunk extensors join in as you hollow out your back at the end of the movement. The neck extensor muscles work eccentrically as you lower you head with control (while the back arches upwards), and then concentrically as you raise it The exercise also mobilizes the spinal joints within a small range of movement, and helps create balance around the trunk. The four-point starting position (kneeling on all fours) provides static muscle work for the arms, shoulders, hips and legs, as well as taking pressure off the back.
Position: Support your weight on your hands and knees, on all fours.
Movement: Lift your trunk up to curve your back upwards, tightening your stomach muscles and letting your head drop slightly, then let your trunk drop downwards with control as you lift your head to arch the back in the opposite direction.
Note: Avoid pain. Breathe normally. Don’t arch the back forcibly in either direction. If your knees hurt, use a soft cushion under them; if this doesn’t help, don’t do the exercise.
Repetitions and frequency: 10-20 times, two times a day.
After injury: A good early stage exercise for recovering mobility in the spine, it can be done as soon as pain permits after a back problem. It can also  be useful as a later-stage recovery exercise after certain types of shoulder injury.