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The 8-Minute Better-Back Workout

Back exercises that help prevent back pain, eliminate back fat and strengthen and condition your back.

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Andrew Parsons
Bridge pose
Andrew Parsons
Andrew Parsons
Andrew Parsons
Andrew Parsons
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Cat-Cow Variation

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.

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Bridge Pose

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.

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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.

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Butterfly Pose

Tones abs, pelvic floor, inner thighs

  • a. Lie faceup with soles of feet together, knees open to sides. Inhale.
  • b. Exhale and slowly squeeze thighs together. Do 6 reps.
  • Do 6 more times, taking twice as long to bring thighs together.

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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.

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