Your Back Pain Prescription

Men's Health (Malaysia) - - Fitness -

If you don’t have back pain now, just wait – chances are you will. Un­less, of course, you learn to love these four moves. Stuart McGill, Ph.D., the au­thor of Back Me­chanic, says they can boost core strength and en­durance, re­duce pain, and pre­vent in­jury.

Per­form the four moves daily. For the bird dog, curl-up, and side plank: DI­REC­TIONS do 6 reps (per side, if ap­pli­ca­ble), rest 30 sec­onds, then 4 reps, rest 30 sec­onds, then 2 reps. Then move on to the next ex­er­cise. End by do­ing 1 squat with good form.

Side Plank Lie on the floor on your left side. Prop your­self up on your left el­bow and feet. Your top foot should be on the floor di­rectly for­ward of your bot­tom foot. Place your right hand on your left shoul­der, and make sure your hips are pushed for­ward through­out. Hold the po­si­tion for 10 sec­onds; then lower your hips. That’s 1 rep. Do all your reps and re­peat on your other side.

Squat Stand tall with your arms out­stretched. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your torso. Keep your back straight through­out the de­scent. Now re­lax and sink into the bot­tom of the squat for a few sec­onds. Be­gin build­ing ten­sion in your back to straighten it, and then push back up.

Bird Dog Get on your hands and knees, with your hips and knees bent 90 de­grees. Lift your right leg and left hand; keep your raised foot and heel point­ing back and away di­rectly be­hind you, and your raised hand di­rectly in front of you. Both limbs should be per­fectly par­al­lel and aligned with your torso. Hold the po­si­tion for 10 sec­onds; then re­turn to the start­ing po­si­tion. Do all your reps, and re­peat with your left leg and right hand.

Curl-up Lie on your back. Bend one knee so your foot is flat on the floor, and place your hands (palms down) be­neath your lower back. Raise your el­bows slightly, and brace your core. Lift your head, neck, and shoul­ders si­mul­ta­ne­ously an inch or two off the floor. Hold the po­si­tion for 10 sec­onds; then lower. That’s 1 rep. Do half your reps, switch legs, and do the rest.

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