It looks like we have some snow in the forecast which means many of us will be doing some shoveling in the near future. Shoveling can be rough on a cold and inflexible spine. A quick warm-up before heading out is important. Shoveling is primarily a combination of a bend and a twist if we look at it from a Primal Patterns standpoint. (Paul Chek) Here are six good warm-ups for the legs, spine and core. Start from the top and work down. You do not need to do all of them to get a benefit.
Straighten one leg in the door frame till you feel a stretch. Position the other leg flat on the floor. Raise the down leg up to the position of the up leg. Do twice as many raises on the tighter hamstring.
Wedge your foot at the base of a wall. Try to touch your knee to the wall. Feel a stretch in the ankle joint. Straighten the knee and touch the front of the hip to the wall. Feel the stretch in the calf.
Toe Touch Progression
Place the balls of the feet on a book. Make sure the feet are touching each other. Place a rolled up towel between the knees. Bending from the hips and keeping your back flat , squeeze the towel and touch your toes. Knee bending is ok
Kneel as below. Make sure all three points of contact with the floor are in one line (imagine you are kneeling on a tight rope) Get tall in the spine. Feel the abs, hip, and back engage. If you are able to stay balanced rotate the shoulders, staying tall.
Attach one end of an elastic band to a high point on the door. Get into a narrow kneeling stance. Pull band in close to your chest and then push it down and away. Maintain a tall spine throughout.
Attach the band to a low point on the door. Again get in the narrow kneeling stance. Pull the band in close to the chest and then push it up and away. Maintain a tall spine throughout.