290220 The curl up exercise

290220 The curl up

Curl up exercise description

  • Lay on the floor looking up at the ceiling.
  • Place your hands under the small of your back – do not flatten your back to the floor because this places an unnecessary stress on the lower back.
  • Bend one leg to about ninety degrees and leave the second leg in a relaxed position straight out on the floor – this helps to keep the lumbar spine from actually flattening against the floor.
  • Keep your head and neck rigid. DO NOT bend them up as you move upward.
  • Focus on the ceiling as you raise your upper body upward.
  • Lift the head and shoulders a short distance off the floor.
  • Rotate only at the thoracic region[1] and NOT at the neck and head.
  • The chin should NOT be jutting up or down during any part of this movement.
  • Hold the up position for a count of five to ten and then lower back down for one repetition.

Exercise progression # 1

  • Remove the weight of the head and shoulders, this does not mean you lift them off the floor.

Exercise progression # 2

  • Raise the head and shoulders a short distance off the floor, hold for a moment and lower back down. Focus on the thoracic spine without cervical or lumbar flexion occurring during the movement.

Special exercise notes:

  • There is very little movement involved in this exercise; the shoulders need to clear the floor very slightly for this to be an effective movement.
  • Rotate only at the thoracic region and NOT at the neck and head.
  • The chin should NOT be jutting up or down during any phase of this movement.

NOTE: If your neck is sore as you do these then perform the following isometric exercises several times a day for the next week. Develop endurance to the resistance as you groove the stabilizing motor patterns by increasing the reps of the hold relax cycles.

Do not chew gum as you do this. It makes it difficult to properly groove the motor patterns.

  • Place your tongue on the roof of the mouth behind the front teeth.
  • Place your hands on your forehead to resist flexion
  • Place your hands at the back of your head to resist cervical extension
  • Place your hands on one side of your head to resist cervical side-to-side motion.

[1] thoracic /tho·rac·ic/ (thah-ras´ik) pectoral; pertaining to the thorax (chest). tho·rac·ic (th-r s k) adj. Of, relating to, or situated in or near the thorax. http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/thoracic

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