3 reasons you should be having tummy time
Do you do tummy time?
Firstly you may ask what is tummy time? If you have kids or have had kids then one of the important things to do as a baby is to be given time on your tummy. Tummy time gives the baby some time to develop their back, neck and core muscles as well as encouraging them to crawl.
If you look into the primal movement patterns having a strong back, neck and core will allow the baby to then roll over which is actually a very complicated movement when you haven't got the strength in your legs or arms to just push you over, like an adult would. The next phase of movement is then getting up into crawling, which then leads to getting up into standing and finally walking. People often say that human babies take ages to develop compared to other animals, but when you look at how complicated these movements are it really does take at least a year to master all of these movement to finally allow you to walk. As a side note there are many other reasons that human babies take ages to develop which has a lot to do with us being a social animal and developing a strong bond with our parents. This helplessness means that human babies will have a very strong bond as compared to say a horse that comes out running.
3 reasons you should do tummy time
So why would an adult need to do tummy time, I hear you ask??? Think about your day. You probably spend a large chunk of time hunched over something. Whether it is a computer, a phone, a desk, a car, a machine of some description, a baby, another person, whatever. We spend most of our time in a forward posture. A lot of people will also struggle to even get down on the floor. This just highlights how important it is to keep mobile enough to be able to get down on the floor and get back up, especially as we age. 1) Lying on your tummy reverses the forward curve and pressure on the spine and internal organs such as the lungs and intestines.
2) Tummy time also helps to strengthen your back and neck muscles that hold you up (erector spinae) and the deep spinal stabilisers (multifidus). This also helps release some tension in the spinal joints. So if you lie on your belly and then press up into a backward bend you may get a few cracks. This is the spinal joints releasing tension.
3) Lying face down or prone also gives a gentle stretch to the hip flexors which can tighten up from years of sitting. This can also help correct a lordotic posture (ducks bum) where you bottom is poked out.
So what can you do?
Well, the easiest thing to do is to become acquainted with the ground. Lying face down on the ground when watching TV or using a computer or phone. This can be done when at home in the evening or in the morning when waking up. You can also make this more involved by adding some Yoga postures to this such as the following:
Crocodile Pose (Makarasana) - best for watching TV
Sphinx (Salamba Bhujangasana)
This may seem like a crazy idea but it can be surprisingly effective at strengthening the back muscles and releasing the spine. If done regularly it may even help you rounded posture.
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