3 Low-Impact Moves to Strengthen Your Back & Core
1. Kneeling Extension: Start this move by kneeling on all fours with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Tighten your core muscles and slowly lift your right arm and extend it straight forward. Slowly lift your left leg and extend it straight back, with your toes pointed down. Hold for 10 seconds and slowly lower to starting position. Repeat three times on each side. If this movement is too advanced, try the easy modifications of this movement, lifting just an arm (lower left photo) or just a leg (lower right photo). Hold for 10 seconds and slowly return to starting position. Repeat three times on each side.
2. Hip Lifts: Lie on your back with your knees bent and with your arms flat on the floor on either side of you. Rotating your pelvis and tailbone down, tighten your core muscles and push your lower back into the floor. Holding this position, slowly lift your midsection off the ground, using your legs, arms and shoulders to balance. Hold in an elevated position for 10 seconds, and slowly lower to starting position, relaxing the core muscles. Repeat five times.
3. Plank Hold : Lying face down on the floor, tuck your toes into the ground and place your elbows on either side of your body. Keep your stomach muscles tight and slowly raise your body up off the ground and hold in an elevated position. You must keep your core muscles tight and your bottom lifted as high as your shoulders to avoid strain on the lower back. Hold for 10 seconds and slowly lower to starting position. Repeat five times. As you become stronger, hold the position for longer periods of time.
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