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Chronic back pain can be incredibly annoying and inconvenient. Sitting for hours on end at a desk or in a car causes shortening (tightening) of muscles and lengthening (weakening) of others over time. These imbalances throw everything off and back pain starts to rear its ugly head.
The good news: You don’t have to live with the pain. The combination of exercise and stretching will drastically improve your body and bring you back into balance.
Here are our top five exercises that literally take less than five minutes a day.
The plank is a basic isometric exercise that strengthens your core. Enter into a prone (facedown) position, with your forearms on the ground. Lift your entire body off the ground until it forms a straight line from head to toe, resting on your forearms and toes. Hold for the desired length of time.
Lie supine (on back) on the floor, with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your toes shoulder-width apart and pointing straight ahead. Lift your pelvis off the floor until your knees, hips and shoulders are in line. Make sure you don’t lift too high because this can hyperextend your back and cause excess stress on the lumbar spine. Slowly lower your pelvis to the floor and repeat.
Kneeling Hip-Flexor Stretch
Get into a lunge position with one knee on the floor and your front and back legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Keeping your core tight, squeeze your glutes together and drop your hips forward.
World’s Greatest Stretch
Start in a lunge position with one leg forward, your foot flat on floor with your hands on the inside of your front leg. Extend your back leg behind you, and make sure your back is flat.
Single-Leg Hip-Flexor Foam Roll
Enter into a prone position with a foam roller under your hip flexor. Bend your opposite leg at a 90-degree angle. Slowly roll forward and backward 2 to 3 inches.