Stretching on the Wall is one of my favorite exercises, especially when I am travelling. Sometimes, I even do it while waiting at the gate in an airport. All you need is a wall and a desire to feel better after sitting for too long.
Stretching on the Wall is very simple:
- Stand facing a wall with feet parallel, pointing straight ahead, and hip width apart.
- Keep your feet parallel during the whole exercise.
- Place your palms about shoulder width apart on the wall, fingers pointing straight up.
- Walk your feet back so your hips are directly above your knees and ankles, keeping them in alignment.
- Tilt your pelvis forward by bending from the hips and kicking your butt back to place an arch in your low back. This arch is very important.
- Keep your elbows straight and let your upper body drop between your arms.
- Tighten your quads.
- Keep your head in a comfortable for you position.
- Hold for a minute.
Stretching on the Wall feels really good while working on:
- Stretching the upper body.
- Moving hips out of rotation.
- Promoting trunk extension while keeping vertical load demand on hips, knees, and ankles.
There is a more advanced version of this exercise – a Counter Stretch. As its name implies, you do it using a counter to lean on instead of a wall. It is much harder to do it properly. When bending to a counter level, very few people can hold the arch in a low back while keeping the legs straight. Our hamstrings and hip flexors are too tight.
That’s why I recommend to start with Stretching on the Wall version and progress slowly to a counter level. If you so desire. If for any reason Stretching on the Wall does not feel good or generates pain, use your own judgment. You can either stop it altogether or start with shorter time and gradually increase it.
Your body is an ultimate judge of what works for you and what does not.
Please let me know if you have any questions, whether you liked the Counter Stretch or not, and what you experienced doing it.
Be Upright. Be Happy. Live Pain Free.
From your Posture Alignment Specialist trained at the Egoscue University