Vivian Grisogono


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Similar to the “Cobra” exercise in Yoga, a stretch for the abdominal muscles with extension of the spine.
Benefits: This is a stretching exercise which helps to counteract the harmful effects of gravity on the upper body and spine. It can help to prevent or correct a tendency to stoop, and may help to prevent back stiffness and pain. It allows expansion of the abdominal and chest areas, so it can help improve breathing patterns. It also strengthens the hands and arms as they lift the weight of your upper body against gravity, working concentrically as you perform the initial movement, eccentrically as you return to the starting position with control.
Position: Lie on your stomach on a firm surface.
 Action: Place your hands comfortably on the surface, just under your shoulders, fingers forwards. Gently straighten your elbows as far as you can to lift your upper body, keeping your hips and pelvis down, as close to the supporting surface as possible. Breathing normally and steadily, hold the position for a count of 5, then slowly return to the starting position.
Repetitions and frequency: 3-5 times, 1-2 times a day.
Progression: As you become more flexible, bring your hands back so that they lie slightly behind your shoulders in the starting position.
Note: Avoid pain. Don’t force the movement at any stage. If you can’t straighten your elbows fully without lifting your hips off the support surface, hold the position where it is comfortable keeping your hips down, either resting on your elbows, or with your elbows slightly bent.
After injury: This exercise is used in the recovering stages from a back problem, and can be done as soon as it is painless. It is also helpful following problems around the hip, abdominal and pelvic regions, and after abdominal surgery, when (or if) the surgeon allows it.