This post is dedicated to all on the East Coast. After getting hammered this Winter, I want to give you kudos for all the shoveling you're likely doing. You're burning tons of calories digging out your car and cleaning up the sidewalks. This practical workout will tone your core and buff up your upper body, but all that bending and lifting heavy loads of the white stuff can really do a number on your back. Take a break to relieve your sore low back and tight hamstrings by giving these two stretches a try to relieve your sore lower back and hamstrings. If you don't live in a Winter wonderland, these stretches provide sweet relief when sweeping and mopping.
Here's how to do the first forward bend stretch.
- Stand with the shovel in front of you, holding the handle with both hands.
- Begin to walk your feet back, lowering your chest, and stopping once your feet are underneath your hips.
- Relax your head and draw your shoulders away from your ears. Stay here for at least 30 seconds, breathing deeply and allowing your lower back to release.
For another stretch you can do right after this one to deepen the stretch in your lower back and target your hamstrings, keep reading.
- From the forward bend position, stand up and walk a few inches closer toward the shovel.
- Place your right heel on the top of the shovel, and fold forward over your right leg, keeping your left leg straight. Hold the top of the handle with your right hand, and rest your left hand below it as far as you can.
- Stay here for at least 30 seconds, and then switch sides.