And if you know the feeling, it is probably little comfort that four out of five adults will at some time talk about it.
However, only a small percentage of back problems are truly serious. Eighty per cent of lower-back pain is simple muscle strain. Even more significant: Such pain nearly always develops gradually – meaning the moment your back”goes out” is the end result, not the cause. And the cause, more frequently than not, is years and years of bad back customs.
So, what can you do to buck the odds? That’s what’s coming up in the next few pages – a ten-minute, ten-move formula to avoid a back problem from ever developing. Somewhat daily back attention at home, at work, in workouts can keep your back young for a long, long time.
A wholesome back remains that way from a supporting cast of strong and flexible muscles. That is why this simple routine zeroes in key back-stabilizing muscles in the torso and legs. It especially stretches the flexors, the muscles in the front of the body that tend to get tight and short, and strengthens the extensors, the muscles at the trunk that tend to be underused and feeble, in addition to the spine-supporting abdominals.
Results: a trimmer middle and straighter posture as well as backache prevention and relief.
You’ll need enough space to lie down in, an exercise mat or soft surface, a small towel, along cord or belt – and ten minutes per day.
Hold for ten seconds. Repeat on other side. Hold left knee with both hands and pull up and round body toward right shoulder. Feel stretch on out of left hip. Repeat on other side.
FRONT-OF-BODY LENGTHENER: Lie down on stomach with hands under shoulders, and elbows bent. Push up to slowly raise shoulders/chest straightening arms as much as possible whilst keeping hips in contact with mat/floor. Hold for ten minutes, and remember to breathe.
FRONT-OF-HIP STRETCH: Kneel down on towel with left knee and put both palms on right thigh and bent in front of you. Don’t let right knee bend past right foot. Hold for ten seconds. Repeat with other leg.
BACK-OF-THIGH UNTIGHTENER: Lie down on your back. Put a rolled-up towel under your lower back. Keep legs straight. Place cord or belt round heel of right leg and lift leg until you feel stretch in back of thigh. Hold for ten seconds. Repeat with other leg.
LOWER-BACK STRENGTHENING: Lie down back with heels near buttock. And gently lift buttocks and lower back off floor until thighs and back are in a direct line. Hold for ten seconds, and remember to breathe.
ABDOMINAL FIRMER: Lie down on back with knees bent and heels close to buttocks. Reach hands between thighs. Exhaling, gently curl your head and shoulders up until shoulder blades leave ground. Hold for ten seconds.
WAIST SHAPER: Lie down on left side with legs bent at hips and knees. Lift head shoulder up until left shoulder leaves floor. Hold for ten seconds. Repeat on other side.
WHOLE-BACK STRENGTHENER: Lie arms along sides. Exhale and gently lift chest and shoulders off mat/floor. Hold for ten seconds, and remember to breathe.
LOWER-BACK RELEASER: Lie down on back with knees bent, heels close to buttocks, shoulders arms and flat stretched out to sides. Gradually lower your knees to left, and gently twist hips and lower back. Hold for ten seconds. Repeat on other side.
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