Welcome to the Alignment Snack Guide!

Alignment Snacks are fun, downloadable Restorative Exercise classes taught by biomechanist & Nutritious Movement™ founder Katy Bowman. They're a great way to stay motivated to move between in-person sessions. And at 20-30 minutes each, they're a convenient way to get some movement into your day.

This guide is arranged by body part, MOVING FROM the feet to the head. classes are sorted INTO THE FOLLOW difficulty levelS:

* Beneficial & accessible for everybody
** Suitable for everyone, with some fun challenges thrown in
*** You'll be working hard! Some Restorative Exercise experience is recommended in order to get the most out of these classes

(These are approximations - please use your own judgement and always listen to your body!)


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Feet & Lower Legs

* Toes & Calves

Half an hour of rolling the feet on a ball in a very systematic way, plus some lower leg movement. It is awesome - your feet will feel brand new afterward!

  • Work on externally rotating the femurs to avoid ankle "schmear"
  • Mobilize and activate the small intrinsic muscles of the feet
  • Top of the foot stretch
  • Calf elevators

* Un-Duck Your Feet

Many of us have feet that turn out, which can create damaging loads on the joints of the feet, ankles, knees, and even the hips. Learn how to undo tension and compensation patterns that create this turn out, and stop walking like a duck.

  • Foot alignment
  • Sitting cross-legged with feet and ankles in neutral
  • Shank (lower leg) rotation

 

Legs & Hips

Hips Don’t Lie - They Sit!

Sitting [in chairs and cars, on sofas, etc...all the damn time] may be the new smoking, but not all sitting is created equal! This class will prepare your body to sit on the floor in a variety of ways. Cycle through these sitting postures frequently to get the most movement nutrient bang for your sitting buck.

  • Cross-legged sit
  • Cobbler sit
  • Straddle sit
  • Seated forward bend/catsuit stretch
  • Seated twist
  • Supine cross-legged stretch (psoas stretch)

* Walk This Way! Stand This Way!

What you do when you stand on one leg reveals a lot about how well you're walking. This class is a real eye-opener.

  • Pelvic list (on the floor and on props)
  • Calf stretch (you can never get enough calf stretches!)
  • Standing squat prep
  • Top of the foot stretch
  • Standing #4/piriformis stretch

*/** All Fo’ the Pelvic Flo’

These exercises will improve the function of the pelvic floor.

  • Seated straddle
  • Leg lifts (hip extension)
  • One-legged bridges
  • Cobbler stretch

*/** Balance Using Lateral Hips

Work on the muscles & skills needed for strong, balanced walking.

  • Pelvic lists! (on the ground, on props, eyes open & closed)
  • Top of foot stretch
  • Forward bend

*/** Frankie Says Relax the Psoas

The psoai (plural of psoas) are huge muscles that affect your spine, pelvis, and legs. It’s not surprising that healthy psoai are necessary for a healthy body.

  • Iliacus release
  • Lunges
  • Downward dog, RE-style (it’s SO much different - and more challenging! - when you throw in some alignment points)

** Adductor Madness

Balance out the quads & adductors.

  • “Human Pez dispenser” (femur rotation)
  • Cobbler stretch
  • Quadriceps lifts
  • “Twisty knot” (a really cool piriformis stretch that you’ve probably never done before)
  • Lunges
  • Rhomboid push-ups, triceps push-ups, thoracic stretch

** All Around the Thighs We Go

A standing class that will mobilize & strengthen all of the major muscle groups in the legs.

  • Standing straddle (upright & forward bend)
  • Standing #4/piriformis stretch
  • Calf stretch & double calf stretch
  • Standing quad stretch (upright & forward bend)
  • Lots of lunges

** Stretching the Standing Muscles

Tight, short muscles are weak muscles. Mobilize the muscles needed for standing and walking, and they'll get stronger too!

  • Calf stretch (gastrocnemius & soleus)
  • Double calf stretch
  • Pelvic list on a block
  • Forward bend with wide stance
  • One-legged forward bend (on ground and props)

**/*** A Balanced Approach to Hip Strength

Your glutes & hamstrings will undoubtedly be stronger after this class!

  • Single leg squat
  • Standing #4/piriformis stretch
  • Single leg forward bend
  • Forward bend with shoulder mobilization
  • Hand-on-back stretch

**/*** Ball Blast

Use an exercise ball to strengthen muscles and build motor skills needed for strong walking. The core and shoulders will get some love, too.

  • Bridge
  • Hip and knee flexion
  • Piriformis stretch
  • Thoracic stretch
  • Core/shoulder stabilization
  • One-legged bridge

 

Back & Spine

* The Back Bone’s Connected to the Other Back Bones

Mobilize the spine from head to sacrum.

  • Neck stretches
  • Thoracic extension mobilization
  • Rib drop on half foam roller
  • #4 roll (torso & lateral hip stretch)
  • Upper spine traction
  • Hand/finger stretch

* Twistin’ the Night Away

Mobility in the torso is necessary for cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive health, but how often do we actually move this area in our everyday lives? (Answer: very little!) You might be surprised by how great you feel after a little twisting. Similar to Let's Do the Twist, but with a little shoulder work thrown in as well.

  • Dynamic twist (supine)
  • Supine rolls & twists
  • Rhomboid pushup
  • Triceps pushup
  • Seated twists

*/** Let’s Do the Twist

Mobility in the torso is necessary for cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive health, but how often do we actually move this area in our everyday lives? (Answer: very little!) You might be surprised by how great you feel after a little twisting. Similar to Twistin' the Night Away, but includes some great hip mobilzation too.

  • Spinal roll
  • Supine crescent stretch
  • Supine spinal twists
  • Prone adductor stretch
  • Prone quad stretch

 

Shoulders & Neck

* A Real Pain in the Neck

A relaxing class that will really help with chronic neck tension.

  • Side-of-neck stretch
  • Hand-on-back stretch
  • Head hang
  • Rhomboid strengthening

* Everybody Needs a Little Shoulder Bolster

If you drive a car or use a computer, you need this snack! It will help increase your shoulder mobility.

  • Floor angels
  • Hand stretch
  • Supine & quadruped thoracic stretches
  • Pectoralis activation
  • Hamstring and psoas stretches

* Gotta Get Down to (Arm) Swingtown

Reciprocal arm swing (the backward movement of the arms) is absolutely necessary for a balanced, nutritious gait pattern. This snack teaches you how to keep your spine safe during bipedal locomotion.

  • Top of the foot stretch
  • Arm swing with elbow pits forward (harder than it sounds if you’re used to walking with your shoulders in internal rotation!)
  • Forward bend with arms behind back
  • Arm swing during pelvic list
  • Hand/finger stretches
  • Calf stretch

TAKE A LOAD OFF YOUR CHEST & HIPS TOO

  • Floor angels
  • Hand stretch
  • Thumb massage
  • Shoulder flexion exercise
  • Supine cobbler stretch
  • Femur internal rotation

*/** Can't Get Enough Shoulders

Start introducing more mobility to the glenohumeral joints with a grab bag of shoulder movements.

  • Rhomboid pushup
  • Thoracic stretch + variations
  • Scapula widening
  • Shoulder flexion stretch
  • Shoulder traction & mobility exercises
  • Hand on back stretch
  • Adductor stretches

** Rhomboid Madness

Hyperkyphosis or "head forward" posture (aka “computer head”), anyone? Then this snack is just what you need! Learn how to lengthen & strengthen the muscles that stabilize the shoulder girdle and upper & mid-spine.

  • Rhomboid pushups
  • Forearm press ups
  • Hand stretches
  • Triceps pushups
  • Shoulder mobilization + spinal roll

**/*** Within Reach

Similar to Can’t Get Enough Shoulders, but be prepared to move faster and work harder!

  • Rhomboid pushup
  • Quadruped squat prep
  • Quadruped thoracic stretch
  • Triceps pushup
  • Hand/finger stretch
  • Spinal roll with shoulder stretch


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