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The 3 Best Exercises for Low Back Pain

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Exercises can help prevent Low Back Pain and also help in rehabilitating backs when things have gone wrong. The goal of the following three simple exercises is not to build stronger back muscles but rather to increase the endurance of the muscles of the back and help keep the joints of the back mobile and healthy.

Cat and Camel
This is a great exercise for stability especially the bottom of the back. It starts with kneeling on the floor with straight arms, knees bet to ninety degrees, hips bent to ninety degrees and a horizontal back. The exercise is to firstly arch your back as if someone is pulling a string attached to your stomach upwards. From a full arch (the cat) push your stomach towards the floor as if someone is pulling a string attached to your stomach downwards (the camel). It is a motion exercise and not a stretch so the important thing is to keep movement through the different positions. I recommend doing these cycles five times.

Birddog/Superman
This starts in the same position as the cat and camel. From the kneeling position, reach one arm out in front and take the leg on the other side off the floor and stretch it back behind you. You end up looking a bit like Superman flying except you have one hand and one knee on the floor. You should not hold this position for more than seven seconds as these muscles quickly loose their oxygen.

Curl Up
Strong abdominal muscles contribute so much to the stability and function of the spine. Lying flat on your back put your hands under the small of your back to keep your back in a natural position. One leg should be bent and the other straight - this helps to stabilize the pelvis and maintain a good curve in the lower back. From this position curl up lifting your head and shoulders off the floor. You should not try and get your whole back off the floor. However many curl ups you do, its best to do half of them with one leg straight and the other half with the other leg straight.

There are of course other exercises you could do but sometimes less is more. In my experience it is hard for people to do exercises regularly. For this reason its best to start with these and see how you go.
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