7 Simple Core Exercises That Prevent Lower Back Pain
Back Pain Exercises
Even though lower-back pain may be a catch-all complaint, it's often the result of instability around the sacrum, the large, triangular bone made of five fused vertebrae at the base of the spine. The sacrum is wedged between the two hipbones and held together by two joints. Problems there are typically caused by stress, too much sitting, and over-arching of the lower back, says Gary Kraftsow, founder of the American Viniyoga Institute. The following exercises help stabilize the sacrum. As you practice the poses, engage your abdomen on the exhale in order to continuously tone your abs—and ultimately support your back.
Cat-cow sequence, variation
Begin on your hands and knees; shoulders should be directly over your wrists and hips directly over your knees. Inhale and slowly arch your back intocat pose (marjaryasana), lifting the chest up and away from the belly and extending your tailbone toward the ceiling. On the exhale round the back intocow pose (bitilasana), gently contracting the belly, then bring the chest down to rest on the thighs inchild's pose (balasana).
Repeat six times, increasing your range of motion.
Locust pose (salabhasana), variation
Lie on your belly with head turned to either side, resting comfortably. Place your palms on the mat alongside your chest with elbows bent, legs together. On the inhale simultaneously lift your head, chest, and legs up off the mat.
Turn your head to center. Keeping your legs straight, open them several inches apart.
Exhale, keeping your chest and legs up, and squeeze your legs back together engaging the inner-thigh muscles. Pause and hold for a moment, then return to the starting position. Repeat six times, widening the legs a little more each time.
Video: 3 Exercises to Help Relieve Back Pain
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