How to: Do a Waiters Bow

Waiters Bow – Good. Note how the hips tilt and the spine stays dead straight.

Name: Waiters Bow
Also known as: (If you know this by any other name, please leave a comment below)
Main muscles used: Bum.
Other muscles used: Back.

Top tips:

  • Starting position is standing bolt upright, chest up and out, shoulders back and down, with the back of your hands pressing gently against your lower spine.
  • With your hands, notice and feel the natural gentle curve of your lower spine.  Now keep your hands still throughout the move.
  • Keep your chest up and out all the time, and tilt forwards from the hips.
  • Keep tilting until your feel your hamstrings tighten.  Stop at this point for a few seconds, then straighten your hips and stand upright again.
  • The only thing that should move throughout the exercise is the tilting of your hips.
  • Use your hands to feel if your lower spine bends/flexes at all.  If you feel it move, start again but keep the spine locked straight.
  • How far forwards you tilt depends on your hamstring flexibility.
  • Don’t tilt so far that your spine starts to flex.
  • Don’t tilt so little that you can’t feel a tightness in your hamstrings.

Waiters Bow – Bad. Note how the hips hardly tilt, and the spine slouches forwards.

Common mistakes:

  • Not tilting from the hips, but just letting the spine slump forwards.
  • Nodding the head back and forth, instead of tilting the hips.
  • Letting your chest cave instead of pushing it out.

Comments: This is a simple, learning exercise.  It is meant to help people learn just what the hips can do. So many of us get our upper body closer to the floor by simply letting our spine collapse under gravity, and we slouch forwards.  Instead, we should use our big, strong hip joints to move us.  This exercise is not done with any extra weights, but to a beginner, simply doing the move properly will cause you to feel muscles you had forgotten existed. Getting this move right is also vital for many other exercises to come…