Back problems such as back pain can be managed or reduced by strengthening the core muscles of back. Core back exercises work on the muscle groups of the abdominal (stomach), back and pelvic areas.
The exercises that offer support to the spine and protect it are listed below.
Back hyperextensions: Lie down on your stomach with your fingers entwined under your face. Keep your feet firmly on the floor and contract your lower back muscles and raise your upper body. When your chest comes off the floor, lower yourself back. Exhale when you lift yourself and inhale as you lower yourself.
Leg raises: Lie face -down with your head turned over to one side. Hands should be by side of your hips and stomach should be contracted. Raise your left leg and lower it back slowly, focusing on squeezing the muscle above your hip. Repeat the exercise 10 times for left leg and then switch to the right.
Long bridge: Sit with your back upright and legs straight. Place your hands by the side of your hips and lift your body in a way that the head, shoulders, hips, knees and feet form a straight diagonal line. Don’t let your hips drop down by contracting your back and hip muscles to hold yourself up. The position should be held for 10 seconds. Do not hold your breath while exercising or resting.
Back stretch: Lie on your back. Hold your left knee with left hand and right with right hand. Pull both the knees in towards your chest and hug them tightly. The position should be held for 10 seconds. Do repetitions.
Plank: Lie down on your stomach. Place your palms under your shoulder. Lift yourself up in a way that your head, shoulders, hips, knees and feet form a straight diagonal line. Make sure that your back shouldn't sag down. Hold the position for 10 seconds, keeping your abdomen tightly contracted. Rest for two seconds and repeat.
Upper ab curls: It is just like a half sit-up. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Place your hands behind your head with elbows out to the side. Raise your upper body with your abdominal muscles contracting. Lift yourself up slowly until the shoulders blades come off the floor. Lower down until your head touches the floor, but don’t let your head or arms rest on the floor. Exhale as you lift and inhale as you lower.
Our everyday activities, such as driving, working on a computer or standing for long duration, can take a toll on spine. You may feel that exercise will add to the discomfort if you are having back trouble, but the fear of increased pain should not stop you from doing back specific exercises. If you experience more discomfort with each passing day despite engaging in exercises, consult a doctor immediately.
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