Spinal rock is a terrific exercise to improve the mobilisation of the spine. You can include as part of your warm-up or cool-down. This is how you should perform it.
The spinal rock is a great warm-up and cool-down exercise to increase spinal mobility.
While primarily a mobility exercise, it can also be used to promote core stability and control.
Lie on your back (on a padded exercise mat) and pull the knees towards the chest, holding them in this position. Do not pull too far – you should still be able to breathe comfortably.
Tuck your chin towards the chest and raise the head a few inches off the floor. Feel the spine, making a C-shape.
From here gently roll backwards and forwards along the length of your spine. Be sure to maintain your breathing.
Repeat for time or reps.
Sedentary lifestyles – including prolonged sitting and standing postures – can cause the spine to stiffen and lose mobility. This can result in movement restrictions which can impair simple everyday movements as well as exercise and sports performance. Restricted spinal movement – especially in the thoracic spine – can result in other body segments becoming more mobile, to compensate for this restriction (and vice versa).
A typical example is where there is a lack of stability in the shoulder girdle. To compensate the body will often restrict thoracic spine motion in an attempt to create balance in this area. In these situations, it is essential to not only develop stability through the scapular muscles but also improve mobility in the thoracic spine. The use of the spinal rock (and other spine mobility exercises) will play an essential part in restoring function to this area.
You can advance the spinal rock can by adding an element of core control. As you roll towards the lower end of your spine, engage the abdominal muscles and roll onto your tail bone. You can balance in this position for a moment – which will require you to keep the core muscles engaged – before slowly rolling back under control.