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Low Back Pain Exercises

Upper Back Pain Rehabilitation Excercises

Post Baby Core Strength Rehab Excercises

Level 1: Basic Breath

Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, knees bent, feet resting on the floor. Inhale and exhale a few times. Don't flatten your back or tilt your pelvis—just let the natural curve in your spine remain. Breathe in slowly and deeply. Now, breathe out and tighten your tummy muscles, pulling your navel towards your spine (without flattening or changing the position of your lower back) and hold the contraction for five seconds. Keep breathing as you hold and try and work up to 5-10 of these contractions several times a day.

Concentrate on contracting the muscles below your belly button during each exhale. When you are able to contract and relax your abdominal muscles without moving your back or spine position, you have learned to properly isolate the correct muscles. You can then move on to the next level.

Level 2: Single-Leg Heel Slides

Lie on the floor with knees bent and arms at your sides. Hold your tummy in by doing your basic breath contraction (Level 1 exercise). Keeping one leg stationary, slowly slide the opposite leg out until it is straight with the floor, and then slide it back in to the starting position. Alternate sides, extending the other leg out and then back in to complete one rep.

Remember not to flatten your back and to keep the curve of your spine relaxed. When your abdominal muscles are contracted it helps to stabilize your pelvis while your legs and lower tummy muscles work. This prevents strain in your back muscles, and trains your abdominal muscles to protect and support your spine. When you can comfortably do 20 heel slides on each side you are ready to move on to the next level.

Level 3: Basic Single Leg Extensions

Lie on floor with knees bent and arms at your sides. Hold your tummy in by doing your basic breath contraction (Level 1 exercise), then raise one leg to table top position (knees bent and in line with hip, shin parallel to the floor). Slowly extend the lifted leg out as close to the floor as you can without your back arching. Return leg to table top position, then bring foot back down to the starting position. Switch sides.

Progress with this until you can extend the leg out and hover it about 2-3 inches above the floor (without touching it). Work up to five repetitions on each side without stopping, building to 20 "hovering" repetitions or more on each side—without allowing your back or spine to move at all—before moving to the next level.

Level 4: Single-Leg Toe Taps

Lie on the floor with knees bent and arms at your sides. Hold your tummy in by doing your basic breath contraction (Level 1 exercise) as you bring your legs up one at a time to table top position (knees bent and over hips, shins parallel to the floor). Keep one leg stationary as you slowly lower the other foot down to the floor (keeping knee bent) and back up to table top. Your lower back and spine should not move at all throughout this movement. Repeat on the opposite side, working up to 10 controlled repetitions on each leg before moving on to the next level.

Level 5: Advanced Single-Leg Extensions

Lie on the floor with knees bent and arms at your sides. Hold your tummy in by doing your basic breath contraction (Level 1 exercise) as you bring your legs up one at a time to table top position (knees bent and over hips, shins parallel to the floor). Keeping one leg stationary, slowly extend the opposite leg out, parallel with the floor but not touching it. Return the leg to the starting position and switch to the opposite leg.

With each repetition remember to breathe, contract your tummy as you move, and keep your back neutral (not moving, flattening or arching up). If the arch in your back keeps popping up during the exercise, then you're not strong enough to progress to this level, and need to go back to the previous exercise until you build greater strength. Work up to 10 repetitions each leg to start. When you can repeat this exercise 20 times on each leg without discomfort or arching your back, move on to the final level.

Level 6: Double Leg Lowers

Lie on the floor with knees bent and arms at your sides. Hold your tummy in by doing your basic breath contraction (Level 1 exercise) as you bring your legs up one at a time to table top position (knees bent and over hips, shins parallel to the floor). Squeezing your legs together, extend your legs up in line with your hips. Slowly lower both down toward the floor as far as you comfortably can without your back arching, flattening or moving at all, then contract your abs to return your legs to the line of the hips to complete one repetition.

If you feel your back beginning to arch, bring your legs back up and lower legs again only as far as you can without arching the back. Work up to 20 repetitions. If you notice back pain with this exercise, return to the previous level.

6 Stretches To Relieve A Tight, Sore Neck

1. Seated Neck Release

This gentle stretch targets the sides of your neck.

Sit on the floor in a cross-legged position or in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Extend your right arm next to your right knee or along the right side of the chair. Place your left hand on the top of your head and slowly tilt your head to the left. Apply gentle pressure with your hand to increase the stretch. To feel a deeper stretch, you can hold onto your right knee or the seat of the chair. This stabilizes the torso and allows you to isolate the stretch on the side of your neck. Hold on this side for 30 seconds, then slowly lift your head up and repeat this stretch on the other side.

2. Seated Clasping Neck Stretch

Use your hands to offer a deep stretch for the back of your neck and your upper back.

Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor. Clasp your hands and bring both palms to the back of your head. Sitting with a tall spine, ground your hips firmly into your seat. From here, begin to gently press your hands down toward your thighs, tucking your chin into your chest. As you press down, use the heels of your palms to pull your head away from your shoulders. This will intensify the stretch even more. Hold here for at least 30 seconds, and then slowly lift your head up and release your hands.

3. Behind the Back Neck Stretch

This standing stretch can be done anywhere, and will offer a deep stretch in the sides of your neck.

Stand with your feet hip distance apart, arms by your sides. Reach both hands behind your backside, and hold onto your left wrist with your right hand. Use your right hand to gently straighten your left arm and pull it away from you slightly. To increase the stretch in your neck, slowly lower your right ear toward your shoulder. Stay here for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

4. Grounded Tipover Tuck

Here's a relaxing stretch for your neck and shoulders that can also help relieve headaches and drowsiness.

Come into Child's Pose with your shins and forehead on the floor. Stay here for a few breaths, working on lengthening your spine as you relax your chest to your thighs. When you're ready, interlace your hands behind you in a double fist. If you can, press the heels of your palms together to increase the stretch in your shoulders. Then lift your hands as high as you can. Inhale to shift your weight forward and lift your hips off your heels. Come to rest on the top of your head and extend your hands as close to the floor as you can. Stay here for 10 seconds and then lower your hips back to your heels. Stay here for 10 seconds, and then lift your hips up again. Continue this cycle five or more times, then release into Child's Pose with your arms on either side of your legs.

5. Seated Heart Opener

Stretch through the front of your neck, chest, and shoulders with this relaxing heart opener.

Begin sitting on the heels as if coming into Reclining Hero pose. Lean back and place your palms flat on the floor about eight to 10 inches behind you so your fingertips are pointing away. Press your hands firmly into the ground to lift the chest high, arching your back and pushing your hips into your heels. To increase the stretch, lower your head behind you, stretching through your throat and the front of your chest even more. Stay for 30 seconds, then lift your head and torso up.

6. Bridge

Here's a classic yoga pose that allows you to control how much you stretch the back of your neck by how high the hips are lifted.

Begin lying flat on your back with your arms along the sides of your body, with your palms facing down. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Walk your heels as close as you can to your bum, keeping them hip-width apart. Make sure both feet are parallel. With your palms and feet pressing firmly into the ground, lift your hips off the floor. Stay here, or clasp your hands together below your pelvis, extending through your arms. Rock your weight from side to side to bring the shoulder blades closer together. Stay here for 30 seconds, continuing to lift the hips high. To release this stretch, gently lower your booty back to the ground. Then stretch through your lower back by hugging your knees into your chest.

Stretching Excercises