Just Do It: 5 Moves to Strengthen Your Back

The best exercises build both sets of muscles that support the spine -- large, superficial muscles and inner support ones. The exercises below, vetted by Sheila A. Dugan, MD, and Chicago physical therapist Vonna Karoghlanian, build both groups. Do them twice a day. (Always check with your doctor before beginning this or any other new exercise program.)
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Tummy Tuck

Targets: Deep abdominal and lower back muscles, pelvic floor

A. Begin on all fours, hands under shoulders, knees under hips, neck and lower back straight.

B. Slowly pull lower abs up toward spine. Hold 20 seconds, breathing easily, then let go, 3 times.
You're doing it wrong if... neck and lower back sag.

 
Continued on page 2:  Balance Builder

 

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