We may not see it in the mirror but we can feel it through our bras. A sculpted back is not just about vanity, a strong back keeps posture straight & the spine healthy.
If you're like me & you enjoy working abs on a frequent basis, you’re allowing yourself more vulnerability to back pain. When the muscles in the abdominal region become tight, they pull on the lower back, so I thought I'd mention a few of my favourite back stretches.
Give them a try this morning (before getting your day started) or tonight before bed to relax tense muscles & feel fresh throughout the day. It has become a morning & evening ritual for me.
Standing straight with your feet shoulders-width apart. Bend forward from your waist, bringing your outstretched fingers as close to your toes as comfortably possible. If you don't reach your toes initially, don't worry -- you can increase the length of this stretch gradually as you build additional flexibility in your back. Hold your downward position for up to a minute and then rise up with a flat back. You can also try this stretch from a seated position; utilizing the same toe-touching motion.
Lie on your back holding your hands at your sides with your knees bent. Keep your feet planted near your buttocks, resting on the floor about six inches apart. With a slow, controlled motion, lift your tail bone first and then one vertebra at a time. In the end pose, your entire back, up to your shoulders, should be off the ground. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and then lower down one vertebra at a time. This stretch aids in increasing back flexibility and strengthening the lower back and abdominal areas.
Lower Trunk Rotation
Lying on your back with your knees together and bent, lift your feet off the floor and drop your knees to one side. Hold this position for three to five seconds. Tighten your abdominal muscles and bring your legs over to the opposite side -- hold for an additional count. Do five to 10 repetitions of this stretch. Lower trunk rotations help to improve flexibility in the lower back region and hips as they increase mobility and rotation of the spine.
*stretch instructions via livestrong.com