On Wednesday the 11th of April, the MUDRSoc held its first in a series of wellbeing events this term, the posture and stretching workshop, which was lead by Rachel Morris. As dental students, we spend a lot of time working on clinics. This means we spend a lot of our time with bent backs and hunched shoulders, despite what our tutors advise us! We all find it difficult to constantly have the perfect posture during dental work, but even with this, you might find yourself with a bit of a tight back, so this workshop was key to give students exercises for now and the future. If you weren’t able to make the event, we have attached details of the three key exercises below.
The hundred is a dynamic warm-up for the abdominals and lungs.
It requires that you coordinate your breath with the movement and be strong and graceful at the same time.
Lie on your back with your legs bent in table-top position. Bring your head up with your chin down and, using your abdominal muscles, curl your upper spine up off the floor to the base of your shoulder blades. Stay here and inhale. Exhale: At the same time, deepen the pull of the abs and extend your arms and legs. Your legs reach toward where the wall and ceiling meet in front of you. You can adjust them higher if need be, or lower for more advanced work. Your legs should only be as low as you can go without shaking and without the lower spine pulling up off the mat. Your arms extend straight and low, just a few inches off the floor, with the fingertips reaching for the far wall. Hold your position. Take five short breaths in and five short breaths out (like sniffing in and puffing out). While doing so, move your arms in a controlled up and down manner—a small but dynamic pumping of the arms. Be sure to keep your shoulders and neck relaxed. It is the abdominal muscles that should be doing all the work
Lie on your stomach.
Stretch your arms straight overhead.
Pull your abs in so that you lift your belly button up away from the floor.
Reaching out from the center, extend your arms and legs so far in opposite directions that they naturally come up off the floor. At the same time, get so much length in your spine that your head moves up off the mat as an extension of the reach of your spine. Keep your face down toward the mat; don’t crease your neck.
Continue to reach your arms and legs out very long from your center as you alternate right arm/left leg, then left arm/right leg, pumping them up and down in small pulses.
Coordinate your breath with the movement so that you are breathing in for a count of 5 kicks and reaches, and out for a count of 5.
Do 2 or 3 cycles of 5 counts of moving and breathing in, and 5 counts moving and breathing out.
The Basic Cat is one of the gentlest and simplest ways to stretch out the back
Begin on your hands and knees on your exercise mat, putting your knees directly under your hips.
Engage your abdominal muscles to support your spine so that you have a straight line from your ear to your hip.
Inhale then, on your exhale, pull your abdominal muscles in and up as you arch your back way up like a stretching cat. At the same time, let your head and tailbone drop down toward the floor.
We hope these help you and feel free to explore further with yoga and pilates moves to help your back! Another big thank you to our instructor and everyone who attended!