Fiittness Tiips: Exercises to Prevent and Treat Low Back Pain

Students often complain about low back pain due to the high impact some exercise activities have on the body and the hard surfaces they exercise on. These exercises below help provide for a flexible lumbar spine and strong abdominal muscles which are both important for preventing and alleviating low back pain. I suggest you perform these exercises daily and hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds at a time.

1. Pelvic tilt: Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms at your sides. Tighten your stomach muscles and flatten the small of your back against the floor, without pushing down with the legs. Hold for five seconds, and then slowly relax.

2. Knee to shoulder: Starting in the same position as for the pelvic tilt, grasp your right knee and gently pull it toward your right shoulder. Return to the starting position and repeat with the left leg.

3. Double knee to chest: Starting in the same position as for the pelvic tilt, grasp your right leg and pull it close to your chest, and then pull the left leg even with the right. Pull both knees toward your shoulders. Let your knees return to arm's length and repeat.

4. Hamstring stretch: From the same starting position as in the pelvic tilt, bring one knee to your chest and then straighten the leg, stretching the heel toward the ceiling. You should feel the stretch behind your knee. Bend the knee and return the leg to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

5. Trunk flexion, prone: Starting on your hand and knees, tuck in your chin and arch your back, and then slowly sit back on your heels while lowering your shoulders to the floor. Relax. Return to the starting position, keeping stomach tight and back arched.

6. Trunk flexion, seated: Sitting near the edge of a chair, spread legs apart and cross arms over your chest. Be sure the chair will not slip backward or tip. Tuck your chin and slowly

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