Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2013

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5 Flexibility Stretching with an exercise ball offers many unique advantages: • Provides a full range of motion. • Enables easy position transitions. • Supports body weight through the stretch. • Stabilizes the core while isolating a particular body part for the stretch. Iliopsoas/Thigh Flexor Stretch The iliopsoas is a prime-time player in low-back and core health. Because we spend too much time with our thighs in flexion, they and the secondary thigh flexors tend to be locked short. Good flexibility in these muscles is crucial for a healthy low back and core. 6 1. Place the ball in front of your right hip, with your left foot on the floor in front of the ball and the right knee on the floor behind the ball. 2. Lift the back knee off the floor as you lean your weight into the ball. Maintain neutral spine (Image 5). 3. Hold for 15–30 seconds, then release. Repeat with the opposite leg. Quadratus Lumborum Stretch The quadratus lumborum is another prime-time player in low-back and core health. Keeping it supple is vital to moving through life with fluidity and ease. 1. K neel on the floor next to the ball. Lean the side being stretched on the ball. 2. Cross the top leg over the bottom leg. 3. Press into the top foot and lift the hips off the floor (Image 6). Hold for 15–30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Spinal Twist Stretch This nurturing spinal twist stretch is simple to do. It's excellent for the paraspinals and rotatores. 1. Start with the body in neutral position with the knees bent, feet on the floor, and hands holding an exercise ball. 2. et the knees comfortably fall to the right as you L let the ball fall to the left (Image 7). 3. old for 15–30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. H 7 Peggy Lamb is the author of Releasing the Rotator Cuff, Stretch Your Clients!, and The Core of the Matter: Releasing the Iliopsoas and Quadratus Lumborum. An educator and bodyworker for more than 25 years, she brings her eclectic and extensive background into her teaching for an interesting and enlightening learning experience. Visit her website at or email her at See what benefits await you. 39

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