Three Easy Back Stretches
Elisabeth Halfpapp, co-creator of Exhale Apa's Core Fusion and Core Energy Flow class, suggests these moves to strengthen your back and keep it flexible and pain-free.
Curl Abdominal Strengthener
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat, and arms by your sides. Keeping your lower back on the floor, tuck your tailbone and curl your shoulder blades up, keeping your gaze forward and chin parallel to the floor. At the same time, reach with hands outside your knees. Hold 30 seconds. Lower your body and arms, and rest 30 seconds. Do 3 reps.
Prone Back Strengthener
Lie on your tummy with arms bent and forehead resting on forearms. With abs flexed and hips pressed into the floor, lift your right leg and do 20 small lifts, moving leg a few inches up and down without touching the floor. Repeat with the left leg. Next, keeping your legs slightly apart, repeat with both legs at once. Hold the last lift for 20 seconds.
Spine and Back-Muscle Stretch
Sit with abs tight, back straight, and legs bent; cross right over left, and place right foot on floor outside left knee. Twist torso to the right and place left elbow against the outside of your right knee. Place your right hand behind you for support. Look over your right shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side to complete the set. Do 3 sets.