How to use a tree (or a car, or a wall) to relax your back
Have you had a nagging soreness, tightness, or pain in your low back?
Here is an old favorite called “The Airbench” to help relieve it.
Some of you out there who have participated in dry land training for ski or other teams will recognize it, but I tweak it slightly. Traditional “Wall Sits” generally put the knees at a ninety degree angle, and I prefer an obtuse angle where the feet are further from the wall than the knees. This is to avoid knee pain in an effort to get your low back to release!
Here’s what is happening: you have the pressure of the wall pushing out, and the pressure of the ground pushing up, and if these meet in your knees then your knees can feel the two forces. This is why you don’t keep your knees at ninety degrees…make that angle bigger than ninety or an obtuse angle and let your feet be further from the wall than your knees. You don’t need a traditional wall, by the way…try a tree like I do in the video, or an airplane bathroom door, or the side of a car…anything resembling a semi-flat surface.
Now push your low back flat into the wall.
Maintain that pressure for approximately two minutes.
You will feel some slight warming, perhaps increasing to a light “burn” in both quads or fronts of thighs. This is normal and expected, but don’t let it creep into your knees. If you do feel it in your knees, you may have sunk too low into your chair or down the wall, so come up a little higher.
Finally, keep you weight on your heels, which will additionally help you push that low back flat. There is no need to push your shoulders back or keep your upper back against the wall.
Wanna pump up the volume? Lift your toes up for the last 10-15 seconds!
Come on up…and let me know how you feel afterwards in the comments below. You can take this exercise with you everywhere!