Three Gentle Moves For a Stronger Back

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I can’t even count how many times a client has entered my studio and complained of back pain, whether from sitting too much or sleeping the wrong way. When this happens, one's instinct is usually to stretch—and in many cases, that is absolutely the right answer. But I have also found these three simple strengthening moves to be really effective in gently supporting the back. This quick routine has helped even my weakest clients to build a stronger foundation to live their lives ache-free.

So if this sounds like you, take less than five minutes out of your day and work your way to a stronger, healthier back!

Come onto your hands and knees. The knees should be underneath your hips and hip-width apart. Place your hands directly underneath your shoulders and shoulder-width apart. Find a neutral position of the spine. Extend your right arm forward in front of you as though you're going to shake someone’s hand. Keep the arm in line with your ear. Then extend the opposite leg (left leg) straight back behind you. Try to not to sink into your spine or tuck your chin. Keep the belly button pulled in. Hold for one full breath, then drop the arm and leg down. Switch sides.

Repeat this 10x each side. 

Lie on your back with your arms out to the side in a T shape, palms facing down. Extend your legs straight up into the sky, keeping your legs together. On an INHALE, slowly drop the legs to the right toward your right hand. Push into your hands and keep your ribcage connected to the ground. On an EXHALE, use your core to bring your legs back to center. Switch sides.

Repeat this 10x each side. 

Come onto your right side, and bring your right elbow directly underneath your shoulder. Bend your knees and stack your legs on top of each other. On an EXHALE, push into your elbows and knees and lift your right side of the body off the ground. Hold the lift. On an INHALE, bring the right hip toward the ground and then EXHALE, lift it back up towards the sky.

Repeat this 10x and then switch sides.

Kit Rich is Los Angeles-based fitness trainer with endless exercise and nutritional know-how. Hollywood's hottest stars are addicted to Kit's unique, multi-disciplined approach that combines cardio, yoga, Pilates, and weight training. Kit's clients are immediately taken by her funny and honest approach to health and fitness. She treats her clients as she treats herself, "with a hard challenge, sensibility, sensitively, and a good laugh." Follow Kit on Twitter @kitrichfitness.