The Lean Back (with tilt) applies maximum pressure to the mid-upper back, or thoracic spine. It requires a certain amount of strength and flexibility from your abdominal muscles; for this reason, we recommend that you feel comfortable with the Stomach Crunch before you attempt this manoeuvre.
If you are in any doubt as to whether this exercise is appropriate for you, please consult your doctor.
The exercise is best done en-route to the starting position, when getting on to the backrack™ (please refer to the manoeuvre entitled Rolling Down in the Getting On section).
When you begin to roll down the rack stop half-way down (as shown). Continue to breathe and do not strain your neck.
Next, put your hands behind your head and lean back into the upper curve of the rack. This will increase the pressure on your thoracic spine.
After holding this position for a short period of time (perhaps 30 seconds), roll down the rack a short distance. This will allow you to target the next vertebra along your back. Again, hold for 30 seconds and repeat until the pressure on your spine begins to fade (or until you feel your abdominal muscles tiring).
You can increase the pressure still further by tilting over to one side. This will shift your weight onto one side of your upper spine. Please continue to breathe throughout the excercise. Do not tense your neck or over-arch your lower back. These are common mistakes.