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The 8-Minute Better-Back Workout
Get your doctor's okay before starting these strengthening and conditioning exercises.
Reduces stiffness in back and hips; relieves tension in spine
- a. Cow Pose: On hands and knees, inhale and lift head while making back concave.
- b. Cat Pose: On exhale, tuck tailbone, contract abs, and round back, head down.
- c. Child's Pose: Draw hips back to heels, drop chest, rounding spine, and rest forehead on floor, arms in front of you. Do 6 reps of whole cycle. Rest in Child's Pose for several breaths.
Stretches abs, hips, quads, lower back; strengthens abs
- Lie faceup with feet on floor about 6 inches from butt, arms by sides, palms down.
- Inhaling, press into feet and lift lower body until knees form a diagonal with head.
- As you exhale, contract your abs and slowly lower spine.
- Do 6 reps.
Extended Leg Pose
Stretches hamstrings; strengthens abs
- Lie faceup with knees bent, feet on floor; take 3 deep breaths.
- a. Exhale and hug left knee to chest.
- b. Inhaling, extend left leg over hip. Exhaling, hug it in. Do 3 reps.
- On fourth rep, keep leg up and circle ankle four times in each direction.
- Hug knee in; lower foot. Switch sides; repeat.
- Exhale and hug both knees to chest for 3 breaths.
Cobra Leg Lift
Strengthens back and pelvic muscles
- Lie facedown with elbows by sides, hands by shoulders.
- Rest forehead on floor, chin tucked slightly.
- Inhale and lift chest using back muscles.
- At the same time, lift right leg as high as you can while keeping pelvis level.
- Hold, then exhale to lower.
- Switch sides; repeat.
- Do 6 reps, alternating sides, lifting leg a little higher each time.