Back exercises

Posted by Maria Lennartz on Monday, February 8, 2016

For those of you in need of a bit more work or having difficulty with back, neck, hamstring issues – these may help……..

Back extensions-

Stretches and mobilises the spine backwards

Start position: Lie on your stomach and prop yourself on your elbows, lengthening your spine. Keep your shoulders back and neck long.

Action: Keeping your neck long, arch your back up by pushing down on your hands. You should feel a gentle stretch in the stomach muscles as you arch backwards. Breathe and hold for five to 10 seconds. Return to the starting position.

Tips:  - Don't bend your neck backwards.   - Keep your hips grounded. 



Bend the knees, bringing the soles of the feet parallel on the mat close to the buttocks.    Lift the hips up towards the ceiling. Interlace the fingers behind your back and straighten the arms, pressing them down into the mat. Roll one shoulder under and then the other. Lift the hips higher. Draw the chest toward the chin, but do not move the chin toward the chest.

Hamstring Stretches-

Lying on your back, bend your right knee into your chest and place a strap or rolled-up towel around the ball of your foot. Straighten your leg toward the ceiling. Press out through both heels. If the lower back feels strained, bend the left knee and place the foot on the ground. Hold for 3-5 minutes and then switch to the left let for 3-5 minutes.


Deep abdominal strengthening-

Strengthens the deep supporting muscles around the spine

Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small, flat cushion or book under your head. Bend your knees and keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in.
Action: As you breathe out, draw up the muscles of your pelvis and lower abdominals, as though you were doing up an imaginary zip along your stomach. Hold this gentle contraction while breathing from your abdomen for five to 10 breaths and relax.

Repeat five times.


  • This is a slow, gentle tightening of the lower abdominal region. Don't pull these muscles in using more than 25% of your maximum strength.

  • Make sure you don't tense up through the neck, shoulders or legs.

Bird Dog -

     1.   Begin on hands and knees with the back straight and the abs pulled in.

2.   Lift the right arm up until it is level with the body and parallel to the floor.

3.   At the same time, lift the left leg up and straighten it until it is also parallel to the floor.

4.   Hold for a moment, lower and repeat on the other side, this time lifting the left arm and right leg. Continue alternating sides for 1-3 sets of 10-16 reps.

Keep the move slow and controlled and try to keep your body straight throughout the movement.