The seated backward bend exercise is great for increasing back flexibility. It also helps to stretch the abdominal muscles. Many people also find the exercise quite helpful in relieving pain at various parts of the back.

To perform the exercise you, first, sit comfortably in a chair. Next, you move to the very edge of the seat and grab the chair’s two back legs. Inhaling, you arch your chest and throw your head backward. You continue arching the chest and lowering the head until it (the head) touches the back of the chair. Hold the position and breathe for as long as comfortably possible then exhale as you return to the start position. The exercise may be repeated up to six times.

PERFORMANCE POINTS

• The performance and the effect of the exercise will be influenced by the height of the chair back and the length of the seat. In general, the shorter the chair back, the greater the arching of the chest and back. Also, the longer the seat, the greater the area (length) of the back that is affected by the exercise.

• When performing the exercise, your feet should be positioned on the outside of the front legs of the chair.

• As you perform the exercise, the hands grabbing the back legs of the chair should be allowed to slide down as you arch your back and slide up as you recover from the arched position.

• Persons attempting the exercise for the first time should avoid holding the breath. They should, instead, breathe normally throughout the performance of the exercise. This exercise may not be suitable for persons with certain heart conditions and should be performed cautiously by those with spinal and lower back problems.

For additional information on Fusion One, call the Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s Fitness Center at 941-625-4175, ext. 263. For Fusion One classes, use ext.223.

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