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Physical Exercise and Bodybuilding

Options for back pain sufferers.

Our bones and joints are designed to give our bodies strength and leverage, but they are not really what sustains us.

If you remove the muscle and ligaments, you just have a bunch of loose bones with no possibility of keeping them stacked properly. It's the wonderfully intricate sets of opposing muscles throughout our bodies that keep things in line. This is particularly true of the spine.

The long columns of vertebral bones that sway at the pelvic girdle and intertwine with fibrous discs seem like a recipe for disaster, given the amount of push-ups, twists, and twists we do each day. Most of the mobility of our spines is along the length of our pelvis to our rib cage and this is where maximum muscle strength and stabilization needs to occur.

Many of us have done the infamous “crunch” abdominal exercise, but other than the fact that it tends to stress the lower back, it's not really that helpful for stabilization and resistance to injury. There's a complex cradle of cats muscles running vertically and at angles to the front, back, and sides of our body core.

It is this network of muscles surrounding our core that are essential for the normal functioning and health of the back. The "Board" to the rescue. Almost anyone can do this simple exercise virtually anytime and anywhere, including in your bed.

Start on a padded surface lying on your stomach with your toes closer to your body than your heels. Lift yourself up until your body is resting on your toes and elbows. The elbows should be aligned directly under your shoulders and the shoulder blades should be pulled back and down as if you were trying to touch them in the middle of your back.

At the same time, contract your gluteal muscles or "glutes" and tuck your stomach. Work time to hold your position as you get stronger, until you can hold that position with your body in a straight line for sixty seconds at least twice.

After your first front board, turn to one side and then the other. Leaning on one shoulder, do the same until you can do at least two thirty-second reps on each side.

Don't worry if you can only do it for a few seconds, it doesn't matter where you are, but how much you improve. Not only will this develop greater resistance to injury in your lower back, but it will also improve your ability to perform a wide range of daily sports and tasks.

Try an Internet search using the keywords exercise, plank and exercise, side plank. You will see plenty of videos on how to make them and adapt them for those who are not yet strong enough for full planks.

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