Full Spinal Warm-Up: Putting it All Together
Video by Nick Hawkes

For the past month, Invictus Master Coach, Nick Hawkes, has taken you through a series of spinal mobility drills to help you learn to move each vertebrae individually (yes, they should be able to do that); identify your problem and stuck areas; and, address and improve upon those problem areas. If you haven’t watched those videos yet, it’s recommended you do that before moving onto this so that you have a solid knowledge base and practice with each of these before moving on to the more advanced versions.

Full Body CARs Routine
Spinal Segmentation Drill
Thoracic Isometric Holds
Thoracic PAILs & RAILs

Now that you know all the basics and where to focus your energy (everyone’s focus is slightly different depending on their needs), let’s put it all together with this full spinal warm-up.

Pelvic Circles
These get the lower spine moving and active and are a version of https://youtu.be/ocVvCm6NdfA. For these, focus solely on moving your pelvis only and in the biggest circle you are able. Hint, it won’t look that big but you are doing big things!

Banded Cat-Cow
Use the Spinal Segmentation Test to determine where you have restriction in your thoracic region and place the band at that point. Pick the three tightest spots on your spine and place the light resistance band over them for one minute of cat-cow in each position.

Thoracic Roll-Downs
This is another way to segment the spine, focusing solely on the thoracic region. Use the yoga blocks helps make sure the movement stays only in the thoracic. From there, you will progress to using the medicine ball and doing CARs for the thoracic region.

The “Steeple Hold” ELDOA focuses on T6-T7 and creating space between those two vertebrae. Finishing your spinal warm-up with this fascial stretch will help teach your central nervous system that this is your new range of motion and will help set it into place.

Remember, you are only as healthy as your spine is so a lot of effort should be put into making sure it is properly functioning. Using this warm-up before your workout, on a break from sitting at your desk, or before you start your day is a great way to prepare for movement and for a pain-free life!

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