You sit at a desk all day, every day, and now you’ve got tight bits, weak bits, and lazy bits. You want to build up your abs, but when you do sit ups and other ab exercises it doesn’t seem to do anything! You get a tired lower back, and your abs are still missing in action. What to do? Here is something you can try.
Start by lying flat on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the ground, like you’re going to do a sit up. You want to support your head, so put something under it like a folded towel or blanket. Not a pillow or cushion, that’s too squishy. You want something firm so your head is comfortable and your neck is relaxed.
Now your head is comfy, check your feet. They stay flat on the floor, but you might want to scoot them back closer to your butt, so you don’t have to use any effort to keep your legs from slipping down. You can adjust your feet position wider or narrower until your legs feel balanced and rested.
With your head and feet relaxed, what is your back doing? You’re lying on a firm surface, whether its carpet, towel, or yoga mat. Not a mattress or bed, that’s too squishy, and you won’t be able to feel what you are doing. Ideally your back should be resting flat on the ground at this point. See if it is. You can feel it, by taking your hands and trying to slide them behind your lower back. Try rotating your pelvis slowly forwards and backwards, and see how your lower back can arch away from the floor leaving a gap for your hands, or flatten down into the floor pressing down on your hands.
Once you feel your lower back is resting flat on the floor, you can chill out! Rest your hands on your stomach for a while, or open your arms up and feel your shoulders expand, and take a few minutes to breathe and get some awareness of how it feels to lie there. It might be relaxing, since your head, legs, and back are all supported by a firm but yielding surface, and you might find it pleasant to rest there for a while and let the ground take the load off your spine. This can be a good way to recover from too much desk work, a stressful day, or a stiff neck.
This is a constructive rest position, and here are some pictures of it grabbed at random from the internet:
You notice the key elements: firm surface, head supported, back flat, feet flat, head relaxed, body relaxed, everything relaxed!
Personally I like to move the feet back a little further, but everyone has different anatomy and you have to find what feels comfortable for you.
Next: we find where those abs have been hiding!
I never did get around to posting part IV.
I’d appreciate it if you did