Performing exercises to elongate and strengthen the support muscles of the spine can help prevent back pain and injury. When muscles in the legs and back are tight and/or weak it can cause lower back pain. Muscle strain (muscles that are torn or overstretched) is a problem that most adults experience at some point in their lives.
Another important step in injury prevention, and one that people don’t think of, is balance. Staying agile and stable on your feet can prevent a person from unintentional twisting or jerking in the muscles that can cause muscle strains or even ligament sprains (ligaments that are torn when there is a quick movement in the spine and the muscles cannot react quickly enough to stabilize).
This Stabilizer exercise is a quadruple threat in back maintenance – working the back, abdominal and leg muscles and balance at the same time:
On the floor in a hands and knees position place your knees shoulder width apart and align your hips so that your back and legs are at a right angle. Place your hands in front of you and make sure your shoulders are positioned so that your back and arms are also at a right angle. Your arms should be should width apart. Put your palms flat against the ground; your arms should be engaged to support your weight but don’t lock your elbows. Engage your abdominal muscles and make sure that there is very little arch or dip in your lower back. Lift your right arm and extend it in front of you imagining a level line from your back and along your arm. Hold the head up, but look directly down at the floor. On the opposite side, lift and straighten your left leg, also creating a level line. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds while breathing regularly. Slowly lower your arm and leg. Alternate sides by lifting the left arm and then the right leg. Don’t continue if you feel pain.