5 best exercises for a bad back
These training tips from fitness professional Lorraine Furmedge will strengthen your muscles, support your spine and relieve pain
Walk, swim or cycle. If you’re in the gym, opt for a bike which has back support, and if you’re swimming avoid any strokes that twist your body.
Pilates works the deeper muscles in the body helping to strengthen your back. For those who suffer from chronic back pain or who are recovering from surgery and have finished with physiotherapy, Pilates is an excellent way to keep improving your back strength focusing on just a few selected movements and working a little at a time. A short session performed often can make a huge difference.
Start by standing 10 to 12 inches from the wall, then lean back until your back is flat against it. Slowly slide down until your knees are slightly bent, pressing your lower back into the wall. Hold for a count of 10, then carefully slide back up the wall. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
Knee to chest
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee to your chest, keeping the other foot firmly ‘planted’. Keep your lower back pressed to the floor and hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then lower your knee and repeat with the other leg. Do this 2-4 times for each leg.
Full body roll up
Lie flat on your back with your arms extended overhead. Inhale with your arms to the sky, exhale and slowly roll up into a curve reaching for your toes. Inhale and start to slowly move back in a curve. Exhale as you uncurl your body, one vertebra at a time back into the mat. Be sure to keep your feet on the ground as you move slowly. Perform 6-8 roll-ups.
Lorraine is a PT at Fitness First. See www.fitnessfirst.co.uk for more