Nothing can make you feel vulnerable older faster than a bad back that appears to be out of the blue. And if you know the feeling, it’s probably not much comfort that at some point four out of five adults will share it.
However, only a small percentage of problems with the back are really serious. Simple muscle strain is 80% of all lower-back pain. More importantly, such pain almost always develops gradually, meaning the moment your back “goes out” is the ultimate outcome, not the cause. And the cause is years and years of bad back habits, more often than not.
So, what are you going to do to buck the chances? That’s what’s coming up in the next few pages-a ten-minute, ten-move formula to avoid ever developing a back problem. At home, at work, a little daily back attention can keep your back young for a long, long time in workouts.
That’s how a healthy back stays from a strong and flexible cast of muscles. That’s why in key back-stabilizing muscles in the torso and legs this simple routine zeroes. It specifically stretches the flexors, the muscles in the front of the body that tend to become tight and short, and strengthens the extensors, the back muscles that tend to be underused and weak, as well as the abdominals that support the spine.
LOW-BACK LOOSENER: Lie straight on your back with your right leg. Hold your left knee with your hands on the back of your thigh to the chest. Hold on for 10 seconds. On the other side, repeat.
SIDE-OF-HIP STRETCH: Lie straight on the floor on your back with your right leg. Bend the left leg to the chest. Use both hands to grasp the left knee and pull the leg up and across the body to the right shoulder. Feel stretching out of the left hip. Hold on for 10 seconds. On the other side, repeat.
FRONT-OF-BODY LENGTHENER: Lie down with your hands under your shoulders on the stomach and your elbows bent. Push up to raise as much as possible shoulders / chest straightening arms while keeping mat / floor hips in contact.
BACK-OF-THIGH UNTIGHTENER: Lie on the back. Place under your lower back a rolled-up towel. Hold your legs straight. Place your cord or belt around your right leg heel and lift your right leg slowly until you feel stretched in the back of your thigh. Hold on for 10 seconds. Repeat with a different leg.
LOWER-BACK STRENGTHENING: Lie close to the buttock on the back with heels. And lift the buttocks gently and lower the floor back down until thighs and back are in a straight line. Remember to breathe for ten seconds.
ABDOMINAL FIRMER: Lie on the back with bent knees and heels near the buttocks. Reach hands from thigh to thigh. Curl your head and shoulders gently until the blades of your shoulder leave the floor.
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