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Exercises for the Lumbar (Lower Back) Region

Exercise 1: The Pelvic Tilt

Exercise 2: Body Flattener

Exercise 3: Buttock Tightener

Exercise 4: Back Leg Lift

Exercise 5: Trunk Lift

Exercise 6: The Back Arch - Standing Extension

Exercise 7: The Horizontal Raise

Exercise 8: The Chair Exercise

Exercise 9: Half Sit Up

Exercise 10: Knee to Chest Raise

Exercise 11: Full Sit Up

Exercise 12: Full Sit Ups with the Feet Locked

Exercise 13: Straight Leg Raise

Exercise 14: Straight Leg Swing

Exercise 15: Pelvic Roll

Exercise 16: The Cat Back

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Exercise 1: Pelvic Tilt

Lie on the floor with your feet flat on the floor, arms at your sides and your knees bent. Draw in your stomach (abdomen) firmly and press your lumbar region (back of waist) against the floor by tightening and slightly raising your buttocks. This will tilt your pelvis upwards. Hold - count to seven - relax. Repeat 5 to 10 times






Exercise 2: Body Flattener

Lie on the floor with your feet flat on the floor, arms at your sides and your knees bent. Stretch (extend) your legs by sliding your heels forwards while keeping your lumbar spine flat on the floor. You should feel your abdominal and back muscles tighten. Hold - count to 7 - relax. Repeat 5 to 10 times.






Exercise 3: Buttock Tightener

Lie on your stomach. Let your head rest comfortably on your folded hands. Tighten your buttock muscles. Hold that position for 3 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times.






Exercise 4: Back Leg Lift

Keeping your legs straight, lift one as far as possible. Hold for 3 seconds, drop and repeat with the other leg. Repeat 5 to 10 times.






Exercise 5: Trunk Lift

Lie on your back on a firm surface such as a floor or bed. Tighten the muscles at the front of your neck and touch your chest with your chin. Hold for five seconds. Relax and return to the starting position. Repeat five times.






Exercise 6: The Back Arch - Standing Extension

Stand up straight, feet pointing directly forwards and kept apart as wide as your shoulders, hands placed on the small of your back, fingers pointing backwards. Breathe in and out slowly. As you breathe out bend backwards as far as you can while supporting your back with your hands and keeping your knees straight. Hold your lower back arched for 3 seconds then return to the neutral position. Repeat 10 times.






Exercise 7: The Horizontal Raise

Lie face down with your lower abdomen and pelvis supported across a firm chair or table with suitable padding. Ensure that you are well balanced. Now raise your head, shoulders and legs until your body is horizontal (do not raise your shoulders or legs above the horizontal level). Hold for 3 seconds, relax. Repeat 5 to 10 times.






Exercise 8: The Chair Exercise

Sit on a chair, feet apart on the floor. Let your neck slowly drop, then drop your shoulders and arms. Bend down between your knees, as far as you can go. Retur to an upright position, straighten up and relax. DO NOT FORCE YOUR DOWNWARD BEND. Repeat 5 to 10 times.






Exercise 9: Half Sit Up

Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your arms relaxed at your sides. Raise your head and shoulders off the floor slowly. Hold for 3 seconds, bring your head and shoulders down again slowly and relax. Repeat 5 to 10 times.






Exercise 10: Knee to Chest Raise

Lie on your back on a firm surface such as a floor or bed. Tighten the muscles at the front of your neck and touch your chest with your chin. Hold for five seconds. Relax and return to the starting position. Repeat five times.






Exercise 11: Full Sit Up

Keeping your arms out straight or folded across the chest, bend your knees slightly, then lift your head and shoulders. You will feel your stomach muscles tighten. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times. DO NOT DO SIT UPS WITH YOUR LEGS STRAIGHT.






Exercise 12: Full Sit Ups with the Feet Locked

This exercise is a variation of Exercise 11. Lie on your back with your hands clasped behind your head, knees bent. Fix your feet under a heavy object that won't topple over (a chest of drawers, bed, or heavy object). Sit up, then lower yourself slowly to a lying position. You shoudl sit up gradually, starting by raising your head, then your shoulders, and then your chest and lower end of the spine. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times. If you cannot do this exercise with your hands behind your neck, try to do it with your hands at your side.






Exercise 13: Straight Leg Raise

With your leg perfectly straight, raise it as high as you can just short of the point of pain. Repeat with the other leg. Take this to the limit of the pain. Hold for 3 seconds. Reapeat 5 to 10 times.






Exercise 14: Straight Leg Swing

With your arms spread out on either side, raise one leg as high as possible, keeping it straight. Swing the leg in an arc from one side to the other. It is more important to swing the leg on the side of your back where you feel pain (if you have any). Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times.






Exercise 15: Pelvic Roll

You can get better results if someone pins your shoulders on the floor while you do this exercise. Lift your legs together in the air and roll them from side to side. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times.






Exercise 16: The Cat Back

Assume a kneeling position, resting on your hands and knees. Arch (hunch) your back like a cat and drop your head at the same time. Hold this position for about 7 seconds. Then reverse the arch by bringing your head and letting your back sag, as you form a U with your spine. Take a deep breath as you reverse the arch of your back.Arch and sag your back alternately several times.





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