The exercise that will change your life!

MOVE RIGHT | by TIM ROBARDS | 20 May '17

If your 9-5 is forcing you into a seated position for most of your day, this simple yet extremely effective TRM exercise will do your entire mind and body wonders! Combat the negative effects of hours seated slumped over a screen with, The Wall Angel.

The effects of sitting are not only contributing to problems such as excess weight gain and posture but also factors such as headaches, gut issues, lack of energy and overall mood.

What happens the longer we sit?

  • Two of our strongest lower body muscles weaken; legs and glutes.
  • There is a decrease in ‘lipoprotein lipase’; the molecule that helps break down sugar and fat, which in turn causes weight gain.
  • Sitting shortens our hip flexors, leading to strain on our back and incorrect posture. As a result, we end up with tight hips, chest and upper and lower back.
  • We develop a very stiff neck and shoulders.

For our bodies to manage this, we need to make sure we’re frequently stretching, strengthening and encouraging all strained bones and muscles. ‘The Wall Angel’, is a mobility exercise that will help correct your posture, fire up both your core, legs and glutes, help extend your thoracic, stretch out your chest and activate your lower traps.

Where will I feel it? Predominantly between your shoulder blades and your core.

How to do ‘The Wall Angel’ (Level 1): Neutral spine with a small gap between your lower back and wall. Use two arms.

  1. Stand with your feet a few inches from the wall. Place your bum, shoulders and head against the wall. Leave the natural curve in you lower back.
  2. Take your arms up at 90 degrees against the wall. It’s imperative that you keep your fingers and elbows touching the wall the entire time. Breath in, and as you exhale over 5-10 secs, push your arms directly up in a vertical motion until they’re fully extended. Take your time, I’d rather you don’t extend as much than allow your elbows and fingers come off the wall.
  3. Complete 3 sets of 6-8 reps (Start with 6 for the first week and progress). Those with good thoracic and shoulder mobility will have no troubles with this.

How to do ‘The Wall Angel’ (Level 2): Lower back is pulled into the wall using your core (pull belly button to spine and tuck your pelvis in and up). There should be no gap between your lower back and the wall. Begin with doing one arm at a time and as you get better, begin using two arms.

  1. Stand with your feet a few inches from the wall. Place your bum, shoulders and head against the wall. Flatten your lower back against the wall, using your core. (You shouldn’t be able to get any fingers between your lower back and the wall.)
  2. Take your arms up at 90 degrees against the wall. It’s imperative that you keep your fingers and elbows touching the wall the entire time. Breath in, and as you exhale over 5-10 secs, push your arms directly up in a vertical motion until they’re fully extended. Take your time, I’d rather you don’t extend as much than allow your elbows and fingers come off the wall.
  3. Complete 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Important things to remember:

  • Keep your neck long.
  • Don’t allow your elbows or fingers to come off the wall throughout the exercise.
  • Breathe! Holding your breath will make it harder and hinder your progression
  • For more exercises on helping increase your mobility click here.

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