This routine was affectionately named “Happy Morning 5” by one of my clients who used to suffer from chronic back pain. After several months of weekly sessions together working on muscle tone, coordination, and stress management, I gave her this 5-minute routine to do daily for one week. In fact, to hold her accountable, I told her I’d do it too and we’d text each other once we completed our daily Happy Morning 5.
One month later we’re still doing this routine several days a week.
Now it’s your turn. Try this mobility routine and watch how it changes your body and your day! Click on the picture to watch the whole routine on YouTube.
Read on to learn why this routine works.
Do I even have to stretch?
You have to do SOMETHING. Everyone’s a little different, therefore your routine might look a little different from anyone else’s. But one thing is clear – your body is made to move, and in order to move well, you need to move with purpose.
Sometimes I think stretching is a lot like training a puppy. Just like telling a puppy that you want it to “do it’s business” in the yard and not on your carpet, stretching is basically just repeating to your muscles – this is where I expect you to go. Sometimes they’ll act up or start whining, but with firm yet gentle guidance and patience they will eventually get the idea.
Working on mobility tells your body that you expect it to be able to safely adapt to a wide variety of movements and positions.
Also, it’s always a good idea to take a few minutes to do a concentrated movement that puts your body and your mind in the right place for your day. You increase your chances of actually improving how you move, which will decrease the chance of your back hurting!
The problem is that trying to figure out what to do is often more challenging than actually doing it, especially when your back hurts! That’s why I created the Happy Morning 5.
Why Your Back is Whack
I could spend a year’s worth of posts discussing the causes of musculoskeletal back pain. Suffice it to say that there’s no one cause, but there are some very common contributing factors. One of those factors is poor posture. As modern humans we spend a lot of time sitting, driving, even standing in what I call “macaroni” posture (picture a macaroni on its
side making a “c” shape) – tail tucked or swayed back, head forward, tummy out, and shoulders rounded.
Macaroni posture is one of the causes and also one of the symptoms of back pain. Doing a smart stretch routine can help improve your posture and save you a lot of pain. A smart warm up is one that gets your body prepared to move in the way it’s supposed to move.
How is my body supposed to move?
These are the general movements that make your body happy:
1. Spinal movement
- Flexion (round back)
- Extension (arched back)
- Side bend
2. Stretching and moving your hips in a wide variety of directions.
3. Stretching your “big mover muscles”
4. Stretching and extending your upper back and shoulders (to counteract macaroni posture)
Your next step:
Click the box below to get your free Happy Morning 5 video and guide:
This 5-minute warm-up routine will help you gain the mobility and strength needed to defeat your back pain and conquer your day. You can make it as short or as long as you’d like. Just be consistent.
Once you’ve gone through the guide, you can follow along with the YouTube video simply by clicking the link in the guide, or watching the video here:
Bonus: it even works well as a warm-up routine before exercise, or as a stand-alone stretch routine.In order to stretch your body, you have to first stretch your mindClick To Tweet
As always, do only what you can do. Don’t be alarmed if some positions feel strange or inaccessible. In order to stretch your body, you have to first stretch your mind.
These postures require a combination of flexibility and coordination, and they are the building blocks you need to move well. Happy stretching!
The Healing Coaches
What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to stretching? Let us know in the comments below.