In a recent YouTube video, physical therapist and MobilityWOD founder Kelly Starrett demonstrates a series of decompression exercises he recommends for clients to help manage back stiffness and pain after a heavy workout.
“When you feel stiff, you will often see that the solution is to add a little flexion to the system,” he says. A great way to do this is by hanging from a pull-up bar and bringing your feet forward. “Just restoring movement in this position can go a long way.”
Another step that’s especially popular with powerlifters is the reverse hyper, where the sacrum works together with the pelvis. “It allows me to rotate fully and achieve global spinal flexion,”
Alternatively, lying on your back with your feet up against a wall and your pelvis pinched can lengthen the erectors and the posterior fascia. “We may not actually compress or decompress, although it can happen, and if I am sensitive to extension it can certainly give me a little bit of relief through traction, but restoring or re-establishing that little flexion position can go a long way.” normalize and make the back less stiff after exercise. “
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Starrett also recommends “Donnie Thompson’s Walk,” which involves moving the body back into a sitting position and holding a weight. This creates many opportunities for rotation and flexion in the spine. “It’s really about making sure my movement language is robust enough that if I feel stiff after a workout, the same way if I can’t bend my elbow, hey, maybe my helping hand is to restore this and maintain freedom of movement. “
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