Back strenthening exercises

Exercise1:

Step1 - Lie flat on your back with your legs slightly apart, bend your knees and place your feet firmly on the carpet. Stretch your arms above your head and inhale deeply. Arch your back away from the carpet and hold for five counts.

Step 2 - Now, as you exhale, relax your arms, your neck and shoulders and roll your spine into the carpet – one vertebra at a time, concentrating on lowering your back and pulling in your stomach. Your pelvis should tilt up slightly and your bottom should feel inclined to lift off the carpet.

As long as you are positive that you do not have muscle separation in your stomach you can progress to the next step. Alternatively, simply repeat steps one and two ten times.

Step 3 – Remain lying down and clasp your hands behind your head and neck for support. Keeping your elbows back and your neck relaxed, arch your back away from the carpet. Look up at the ceiling and breathe in deeply. As you exhale, lift your head and shoulders up and push the small of your back down.

Step 4 – With your head still lifted, tilt your pelvis up and hold for three counts. Gently lower your head and prepare to start again: (1) Arch your back, (2) Roll your lower spine into the carpet, (3) Lift your head, (4) Tilt your pelvis upwards and (5) Relax - in a smooth flowing and rhythmic pattern.

Exercise 2:

Kneel down on all fours in a balanced position. Breathe in deeply. Whilst exhaling, lift your head to look up to the ceiling and arch your back, and relax your stomach muscles. Then slowly drop your head and shoulders such that your chin almost touches you chest as you breathe in deeply, pull in your stomach muscles tightly and give your back a big curl upwards as you do a cat stretch. Repeat several times.

(Mandy Borrain, Health24, December 2003)

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