Lesson 3 Exercise 3

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Henry Marczak
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Lesson 3 Exercise 3

Post by Henry Marczak » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:26 am

The advice given is to do just a few vigorously, but my method is to set a timer for 10 minutes and do them slow. General advice with stretching is to breath into it and feel various parts. After warming up a bit and after touching the floor I grasp behind my calf to give a little pull to stretch more. Never force a stretch.
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Marine0861
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Re: Lesson 3 Exercise 3

Post by Marine0861 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:31 am

Due to the American lifestyle of sitting in chairs and even age deteriorates the flexibility of your hamstrings and lower back, the exercise you mention is invaluable to gain it back. While I don't do as many as you, at least 1-2 sets daily is a stable in my routine. As is Exercise 2 of the same Lesson. Exercise 2, Lesson 3 is highly recommended to this day as part of pain management for people with chronic low-back pain!

Jim
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Re: Lesson 3 Exercise 3

Post by Jim » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:15 pm

I had a serious lower back strain about 15 years ago from improperly lifting a heavy weight. It took physical therapy to get me through it. I still practice Lesson 3, Ex 2 but slightly differently. I was taught to keep the leg that is not being grasped bent with the knee up thus removing any strain on the lower back. Now I think Atlas was using Ex 2 as a strengthening exercise, not a stretching exercise. When I've done the exercise per Atlas I've found it just as effective with my other knee bent.

Exercise 3 needs caution, too. In high school we did this exercise quickly, in a rigid military fashion, with knees kept locked. This can be a dangerous practice resulting in strained lower back muscles. Better, I think, to do this a more slowly performed as a stretching movement, with the knees bent slightly. Stretching should be slow and easy.

And I'd also add that Lesson 6, Ex 3 is a great lower back strengthening movement. I do it flat on the floor, sometimes doing 6-8 repetitions, other times doing 1 repetition as an isometric movement held for 5-10 seconds. This mainly is for variety.

How do others care for your lower backs?
Jim

Marine0861
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Re: Lesson 3 Exercise 3

Post by Marine0861 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:15 pm

100% correct, Jim, in what you said about Exercise 2 Lesson 3 as Atlas taught it was for strengthening and what normal folks know as it being a stretching movement. I guess I should have differentiated. I perform the movement both ways - as a stretch first and then the DT way. As far as Ex. 3, I perform it slowly - surely don't do it fast and jerky - slow and smooth is the name of the game for that one.

Henry Marczak
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Re: Lesson 3 Exercise 3

Post by Henry Marczak » Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:10 am

True when doing a forward bend the knees should never be locked and just very slightly bent. Because of my studies in exercise, movement is always done slow, this reduces any kind of momentum and over stretch.

At 62 and work on construction sites I have zero lower back problem. My job calls me to lift things but you have to lift properly and no sudden movement. I've always done the full Atlas version of sit-ups, head touching knees and leg raises till feet touch floor overhead. Exercise 2 of lesson 3 the lower back should be flat on the floor, if there's an arch then staying in that position till the back relaxes and lays flat is good, you can rest the straight leg on a stool or some prop. Bending backwards such as exercise 3 lesson 6 is highly recommend for the back, also can be done on the ground and resting on the elbows.
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