Our back is an amazing but complex structure. It relies on the strength of muscles around the spine but also in our abdomen to keep it strong. Doing simple exercises regularly can protect your spine and keep it free from pain. A full set of these exercises should only take around 10-15 minutes.
Do not start these exercises for the first time during an acute flare up of back pain without seeing your GP or physiotherapist first.
If you have back pain be gentle with these exercises and gradually build up as you get stronger
Combine flexion and extension with gentle twist for the best spine protection
Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor
Tighten your stomach and try to push your back flat to the floor.
This will curve your pelvis up and squash your ribs down.
Hold for a few seconds then release. Repeat 5 times.
If you are strong enough you can add on hip bridges to this exercise but always do the basic tilts first.
From your raised hip tilt position continue to lift by squeezing your buttocks until you are in a diagonal line. Hold for a count of 5
Then gently lower by rolling your spine back to the ground starting from shoulders and leaving your bottom off the ground until the last moment.
Relax then repeat. Start with 5 repeats but build up to 10 as your muscles strengthen
From this same starting position lying flat on your back and knees bent.
Gently roll your knees to one side and hold. It doesn’t matter how far your knees move as long as your legs stay together as a pair with your feet on the ground and your shoulders don’t lift. If this causes you any pain don’t roll your knees so far. Take a deep breath and hold to enjoy the gentle stretch. Slowly bring legs back to centre and repeat on the other side.
You can repeat these a few times until you feel your back has loosened.
Cat curls (hollow and flex)
Kneel on all fours with hands supporting shoulders but don’t lock your elbows. Your back should be in a relaxed straight line looking at floor with head held level. Slowly hollow your back holding your head still then reverse and flex the back into a curve and tip your head down to look at your legs. Repeat 5 times to start increasing to 10 as you progress.
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