I prefer to use the Waiter's Bow as a assessment tool, and as a warm up or cool down exercise. My goal is to create hip extensor mobility in the context of the neutral spine. The Waiter's Bow is a weight-bearing, AROM test of flexibility that allows you to discriminate hip flexion from lumbar spine flexion. The Waiter's Bow is, in my book, a basic movement comprehension skill everyone should learn. It lays a foundation for advanced training skills and the neutral-spine body awareness that is critical for back health over time. Who needs to stoop when you can either squat, bow or some combination thereof ? It ain't rocket science; just movement basics.
The Waiter's Bow
- Start with feet shoulder width apart, hands on hips
- Keep knees stable but slightly unlocked
- “Hinge” forward at the hips, lowering a neutral spine torso
- Lower only as far a hip flexibility will allow
- Return to standing, leading with the hips, not the spine
- Keep chin tucked, torso tall and scapulae slightly retracted