The Mermaid mat exercise is a simple stretch for the sides of the back. This is a great stretch after you have been sitting for a long time, hunched over, at  your desk,  for hours.

This video has not been modified for injury or chronic pain issues. Please talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.

We’re going to do mermaid which is to stretch out the sides of our back. If you have any acute pain in your back or spine, you may want to pass on this.

You could either start in cheerleader pose or you can you start in the fourth position. Sometimes the fourth position is a little intense on the hips or on the knees. If that’s the case, go back to the other one.

You’re going to start with your arms in the T-position. Hips are square towards the front. You’re going to start with an inhale and on the inhale, you’re going to lean over to the right. Bring that left arm up up and over, coming onto that right forearm and then exhale, reach. Think about the hip dropping towards the floor and reaching that arm long. Sitting up, coming back to center.

Then exhale over to your left and hold onto that left shin right below the knee. Inhale back to the T.

Repeat the same side until you feel you have improved your range of motion and the switch to the other side. It may be that one side is higher than the other, so make sure you pay attention to the quality of the movement, no the quantity.

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