1 FOR BEGINNERS: SUPERMAN (prone back stretches)
YOU WILL NEED: A flat surface.
HOW TO DO IT: Lay face down on the floor. Stretch out your arms in front of you, and your legs behind. Raise your left arm and your right leg as far as you can from the floor. Hold this position for a second, then rest. Repeat the exercise, raising the other arm and leg.
STRENGTHENS: The spinal erectors (musculus erector spinae).
GOAL: Any number of reps you can manage.
2 FOR THE ADVANCED: ARCHER PULL-UPS
YOU WILL NEED: A pull-up bar, and to be able to do 10-15 normal pull-ups.
HOW TO DO IT: Grab the bar with a wide overhand grip. As you pull yourself up, stretch one arm out to your side and bend the other arm at the elbow. Whenyou’re at your highest, your pose will imitate that of an archer stretching his bow. Return to the hanging position. Change sides and repeat.
STRENGTHENS: The latissimus dorsi (this is the muscle that gives the back
its distinctive V-shape).
GOAL: Four reps.
3 FOR ATHLETES: HUMAN FLAG
YOU WILL NEED: A vertical pole, and to be able to do 20 normal pull-ups.
HOW TO DO IT: Grab the pole with both hands. The lower hand will support you while the upper hand pulls up your body. Swing your legs up off the ground, then slowly lower them into a horizontal position. Tip: use a rubber band or a training partner to help raise your legs.
STRENGTHENS: The latissimus dorsi, obliques and shoulder muscles.
GOAL: Anyone who can.