Exercise of the Month: Spine Curls

Spine Curls! (Level: Beginners)

This is a great exercise for mobilising your spine and hips. It teaches sequential spinal movement, and gives you lovely feedback when you lift and lower your spine down onto the mat, vertebra by vertebra.

fashion bridge
Slightly less fashionable version:

Spine Curl
Instructional video:

Step 1:
(INHALE) Start in your Relaxation Position (on your back, knees bent, feet on the ground, hip distance apart). Pelvis in neutral.

Step 2:
(EXHALE) Tilt your pelvis, imprinting your lower spine into the ground, then continue wheeling your spine up sequentially off the mat, pausing at the tips of your shoulder blades.

Step 3:
(INHALE) Maintain the position.

Step 4:
(EXHALE) Sequentially lower your spine back down onto the mat, bringing your pelvis back into neutral.

Make sure that you are moving your spine sequentially (ie: one vertebra at a time).


Once you’ve got the hang of Spine Curls, you can try a few progressions.

Progression 1:
Make a sequence adding the arms:
Spine Curl with Ribcage Closure
Step 1:
(EXHALE) Spine curl up (arms stay down by your side).

Step 2:
(INHALE) Keep your spine still as you lengthen your arms up and back, bringing them in line with your ears (see image above).

Step 3:
(EXHALE) Keep your arms by your ears, while you bring your spine and pelvis back down to the mat.

Step 4:
(INHALE) Bring your arms back down alongside the body.

Progression 2:
Try bringing your arms over your shoulders as you curl your spine up, and keeping them up there as you curl back down (see below):

Spine Curl with Arms over Shoulders
Spine curls are an essential preparatory exercise for the Intermediate level Shoulder Bridge (see below):

Shoulder Bridge

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