Top Body Buffers

Lower Back

Big Bang:

"One of the best, and easiest, ways to strengthen the critical muscles of the low back is the back extension," says Harvey Newton, who heads Newton Sports, an Ormond Beach, Florida fitness firm, and has served as a national and Olympic coach for USA Weightlifting. "And we can all benefit from having a strong low back.

Lie chest down on the floor with a small rolled towel just below your hip bones. Keep your arms by your sides, the palms of your hands against the floor. Slowly raise your chest off the floor 4-6 inches. Slowly lower and repeat, building up to three sets of 12-15 repetitions.

To make them harder, imitate Superman, holding your arms out in front of you, then raising your feet, arms and chest off the floor.


Twisting as you raise up. When your back is arched, your vertebrae are touching. Twisting to one side or the other grinds those vertebrae together, much the same lift and twist effect that sends snow shovelers to their doctor.

Games to Play:

Kayaking, cross-country skiing, swimming, hockey, and in-line skating in a tuck position. "To maintain that low, crouched position really nails your lower back," says Trolon.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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