Back and Side

Day 8

Before you begin, repeat the stretches you’ve already learned. When you’re finished, practice these two new exercises. Stay in your comfort zone, both for the range of stretching and the number of times you repeat the stretch.

Back Muscles

As gentle as these next exercises are, I don’t do them because of my spondylolisthesis. Bending and twisting at the same time aggravate my low back.  The message here is to know the source of your back pain and to avoid activities that aggravate it. Never do an exercise that consistently causes you pain. If in doubt about your specific condition and a particular exercise, consult your healthcare provider.

1.Sit either in a chair with your feet touching the ground or on the floor with your knees bent and your feet resting on your heels.

2.Lock your hands behind your head with your elbows out.

3.Loosen up by twisting your body as far as you can go in one direction 3-5 times.

4.Hold at the furthest rotation and exhale forward with your elbow leading.

5.Inhale back up.

6.Repeat step 4.

7.Repeat steps 4-6 five to ten times.

  1. 8.Repeat steps 2-7 on the other side.


Conclusion of Stretches

Congratulations, you’ve just learned how to stretch all your important core muscles. This is the first step in protecting your back from injury and pain.

Stretch as often as you can—at least 3-5 times a week—for a healthy back no matter how old you are. Because the cause of my back pain is bone-related (my spondylolisthesis) and won’t go away (I can’t grow a new, healthy vertebra to stop the pain), I’m motivated to stretch everyday to compensate for that defect. Even when you’re pain free, stretch to stay pain free. If you need motivation, review the list of reasons you put together outlining why you want a healthy back.

Side Muscles

1.Stand with your legs slightly spread and your arms hanging down at your sides.

2.Lift one arm and place that hand behind your head, elbow facing out.

3.Exhale your other arm toward your knee and calf by bending sideways at the waist.

4.Inhale back up, keeping your hand behind your head.

5.Repeat step 3.

  1. 6.Repeat steps 3-5 five to ten times.

  2. 7.Repeat steps 2-6 for your other side.