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If you suffer from low back problems (and who doesn't, from time to time?) performing stretches on an exercise ball can help relieve tension in the back.
If you are new to using an exercise ball, start with these simple stretches:
-Sit on an exercise ball with your feet flat on the floor, about shoulder width apart.
-Keep your head and shoulders in line with your spine—don't hunch or lean forward.
-Keep your knees still, and simply move your hips from side to side and pause for a second or two on each side to allow for an easy low back stretch.
-Next, place your hands on your knees and rotate your hips forward and backward, using only the hips, not the knees or chest. Again, pause for a second or two with each rotation.
-Repeat 8-12 times.
Be sure that your exercise ball isn't too big for you. Your knees should be at just greater than a 90-degree angle. And if you are an exercise ball beginner, start with a ball that's not fully inflated until you get used to keeping your balance.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|