Three Tips for Bending

Most people have to reach for the floor at least a few times every day. From groceries or children to golf balls, bending might be so uncomfortable that you would rather avoid it. But bending low enough to touch the floor is something you should be able to easily do your whole life.

Improving the way you bend can have many benefits, including:

  • Greater ease and comfort every time you bend.
  • Bending properly can make you stronger.  Every time you bend or pick something up from the floor, you are doing a little exercise that can add up over time. Proper bending strengthens you appropriately.  Improper bending is uncomfortable and can cause injury.
  • Proper bending gives you a functionally stronger movement so that you feel more stable and can pick up heavier things.
  • Bending low enough to touch the floor is a fundamental type of movement. If you improve the way you bend you will automatically improve many other similar movements.

Here are three tips that can help you improve the way you bend.  They may be difficult to use at first, but you can improve with practice.  Watch the video to see a demonstration.

Three Tips for Bending

  1. Keep your feet fully on the floor throughout the whole movement. Do not lift your heels.
  2. Send your knees directly over your feet.
  3. Bend forward at the hips and see the floor.

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9 Responses to “Three Tips for Bending”

  1. William Molesworth April 28, 2013 #

    many thanks.

  2. William Molesworth April 27, 2013 #

    How far apart should one’s feet be? Is it wrong/difficult if they are closed together?

    • admin April 27, 2013 #

      That’s a good question but not so easy to explain and I don’t have a Tip on it. The Alexander Technique is not about position and there is no “correct” position for your feet as far as the Alexander Technique is concerned. It is much more important that your legs are independent of each other and that you are not (unconsciously) pulling them together, no matter their position. That said, it is easier to bend when your feet are farther apart, and even more so when they are turned out. But sometimes there is no space for a wider stance and that doesn’t mean that the Alexander Technique can’t help you. The Alexander Technique can be applied in any task, movement, or position.

  3. Judy April 22, 2013 #

    My back and right thigh have been in so much pain for the past two months that I thought I’d go insane. I’m 60, and apparently never learned the proper way to bend. Thank you so much, this is life changing for me. (Sorry for the melodrama, but it’s true)

    • admin April 22, 2013 #

      I’m glad it was helpful!

  4. Aaron April 12, 2013 #

    looks like a conventional deadlift to me :)

    • admin April 12, 2013 #

      Yes, like a deadlift or a squat. But that is my point – proper bending is basically the same in all cases. To take it further, the movement and posture skills learned through the Alexander Technique are applicable in any activity.

  5. lorna clare June 5, 2012 #

    Thankyou found that useful been having back problems the past year. Had M R I scan that came back ok few little things but nothing significant. Started having physio been told lower back solid. Been given exercises to do every 2hrs. have not been told how to lift or even bend correctly and as i dont see my physio thought it would be useful to find out
    thankyou

  6. rajesh August 30, 2011 #

    sir,
    i liked this tip.
    i noticed here:::::::
    1) the whole feet should be on the floor
    2)the knees should go directly over on the big toe, side toe when bending
    by keeping the legs apart.
    3) the direction of the eyes should be on the target object
    4)the spine skull forward andup, the spine in the lengthened state.

    thank you.

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