YOGA FOR BANISH BACK PAIN

Don’t sit around feelin sorry for yourself – here’s how to ease those aches

Ever had back pain? Most of ushave, or will, at some point. Don’tthink rest is the best optionthough, because keeping yourback moving gently is often the best thingyou can do. If you get recurrent back pain,you need to find out, then fix, the cause.Poor posture and poor movementpatterns are often to blame forthose twinges many of us feel.Try to stand as much as you can,rather than sit down – the pressurebetween each disc is greater whenyou sit. In fact, sitting still for longperiods can cause a lot of backproblems, as can being overweight.Losing weight is also key for reducingback pain. If you’re carrying weight aroundyour waist, it can cause your pelvis to rollforward (anterior tilt). This is commonly seenin pregnant women as well. If you tilt yourpelvis forward, there’s more tension in yourlower back compared to the abdominal area(which becomes lengthened). This placesextra strain on your back.The following exercises will help strengthenyour back and prevent problems. Check witha medical professional before doing anyexercise if you have a back problem.

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SKYDIVER (PICTURED)

Reps: 3 x 8

Benefits: This move helps strengthen your lower back as you activate the muscles around your lower spine to lift your bodyweight from the floor.How to do it: Lie face-down on the floor witharms and legs out straight (see inset picture).Keeping your head in line with your armsthroughout the movement, lift your armsand legs simultaneously off the ground untilthey’re both higher than your pelvis (see mainpicture). Hold for a count of three to fiveseconds, then return to the start position.

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SIDE PLANK

Time: 3 x 30 seconds each side

Benefits: Boosts your core stability, particularly at the sides, and strengthens your torso. This move is more back-friendly than doing the standard plank. How to do it: Lie on your side with youelbow under your shoulder. Lift your hips,raising yourself onto your feet and lower armso your body’s in a straight line from head tofeet. Don’t let your hips drop. Repeat onthe other side.

GLUTE BRIDGE

Reps: 3 x 15

Benefits: Teaches your glutes to fire,strengthening them and helping protectyour back.How to do it: Lie on your back with arms outto the sides, knees bent and heels on theground. Lift your hips until your knees, hipsand shoulders are in a straight line. Hold for2-3 seconds, return to the start position; repeat

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