The Souped

Up Toe Touch

Slowly bend forward as far as it is comfortable for you. No need to get ambitious yet.

Keep your knees locked or close to it and your weight balanced between your toes and your heels. Keep your head down and do not look up at all for the duration of the stretch.

Inhale—into your stomach if you know how—without popping up like a hydraulic jack. Squeeze your butt as hard as you can—imagine pinching a coin with your cheeks if you have trouble with that—and make white knuckle fists. Stay there for a second.

I For some Comrades being upside down is hazardous. Ask your doctor if you are one of them.

Release! —both the tension and the air at the same time. Remember the popped tire effect. If you listened like a good scout your body will drop down a little and stretch your backside: your hamstrings, your glutes, but mostly your lower back.

To fight hyperventilation and dizziness, wait a few moments before you inhale again.

Repeat the drill until you cannot go any deeper or some sort of discomfort—dizziness, a heavy head, strange sensations in your back, or whatever—hints at curtain time. For some folks being upside down is a plain bad idea; check with your doctor.

Once you have gone as deep as you can for the time being, bend your knees and go into a semi squat before standing up straight. It is essential for your back safety!

Do not stay relaxed for more than a couple of seconds between the contractions or you could overstretch your back ligaments.

Once you have reached your current limit or you have simply had enough, bend your knees and go into a semi squat before standing up straight. It is essential for your back safety!

Scientists found that when your spine is hyperflexed or very rounded, the lower back muscles just check out and leave all the work of supporting the spine to the ligaments. It means two things for you, Comrade. First, if you try to get up from the extremely bent over position using your back while keeping your legs straight, you are likely to get hurt. Second, because you are too smart to stretch your ligaments, you will not spend much time hanging relaxed between the contractions.

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