Back Exercises: Sculpt a Healthy Back (cont.)


Opposite Arm & Leg Raise

1. Starting position: Position body with hands and knees on floor approximately shoulder-width apart. Hip should be flexed at 90°.

2. Raise right arm and left leg off floor level with the back while stabilizing with the back and abdominal muscles.

3. Lower and alternate sides. Repeat 10-15 on each side.

Note: Remember to keep head and back in a neutral position. Shoulders and hips should remain squared and stable throughout movement.

Prone Back Extension (Superman)

1. Starting position: Lie face down on floor with hands down at sides. You may place a rolled towel under forehead to clear face from floor.

2. Tighten the abdominals to support the back, then float chest and head off floor while keeping feet in contact with floor. Be sure the neck remains in line with the spine.

3. Return to starting position. Complete 10-15 repetitions.

4. To increase resistance, extend arms and place hands overhead.

Note: Do not raise head more than 8-12 inches -- excessive hyperextension may cause injury. To vary exercise, raise feet while raising trunk.

SOURCES: Kelli Calabrese, exercise physiologist; spokesperson, American Council on Exercise (ACE). Richard Cotton, exercise physiologist, spokesperson, ACE; chief exercise physiologist,

©1996-2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.
Last Editorial Review: 4/6/2005 9:39:45 PM


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