Almost everybody, athlete or not, has the unpleasant feeling of stiff or achy lower back sometimes. Often, the more you sit, the worse it gets. To feel better, we tend to stand up and bend over to stretch that tight back a little bit. It may relieve the tension for a short time, however, bending over is not the right thing to do. Rather opposite—bending backwards is the right movement. The hip-flexors are so tight, and the glutes are too weak and non-active, that your goal is to connect with the glutes and stretch the hip-flexors. Standing and bending backward is a great movement at work, in school, or after driving a lot because don’t need much space, and it is quick to do. However, a much better movement to heal your stiff back is the Scorpion exercise—one of the best moves out there to loosen up your tight core.
Scorpion Exercise Directions
Scorpion exercise is very simple, but to get full benefits, you need to focus on a few very important points (that sometimes are not stressed enough).
1 ) Lie down on your stomach with the arms outstretched to the sides at a 90-degree angle. Relax your neck and both legs.
2 ) The goal is to lift one leg and bring it across the body to the opposite side, toward your arm. You will look like a cute human scorpion.
3 ) Here comes that important point! When lifting the leg, bend it first at your knee. Then lift the knee off the ground by contracting your glute. This is very important! A tightly contracted glute, through muscle inhibition principle (you don’t need to do anything, your body will do this), will force your hip-flexor on the front of your leg to relax—and that is the goal.
4 ) Now slowly bring the bent leg over to the opposite side of your body (right leg toward the left arm) and make sure that you never relax that (right) butt cheek. This move will stretch the relaxing hip-flexor even more.
5 ) Keep your chest and arms on the ground. Do not lift them in an attempt to reach further with your leg.
6 ) Don’t worry if you touch or don’t touch the ground or your arm. The goal is to keep the glute contracted, chest down, and enjoy the lovely stretch.
7 ) Slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
8 ) Alternate your legs for 20 repetitions.
The Scorpion exercise is great to warm up before your activity. Scorpion is great to finish your workout. Scorpion is a pain reliever when your back is too stiff. Scorpion is a core strengthener if you are too tired to do a more intense workout. Make the Scorpion one of your most favorite exercise and enjoy it often. Sort of like your new, not so furry, pet with tight butt cheeks. 8)
1-Handed Backhand like Stan Wawrinka or Roger Federer
Yes, you can have it too, if you want to put some work in it. If you are currently struggling with your 1-handed backhand and would like to improve it, look at this video of the 5 deadly mistakes players do on the 1-handed backhand. Luckily, I have a strong two-hander, so I don’t need to worry :-) Jeff Salzenstein is bringing to you another great solution of your tennis problems. If you have seen his previous advice, you already know that his advice is simple and effective. I personally used many of his previous programs and advice. And loved it. That’s why I am sharing his new thing for all the 1-handers out there.
It is still not too late to commit to a superior fitness regimen, so you will be super fit in the spring and summer. Start now!