Back extension for your abdominals go figure

You see people every day who walk through life with rounded backs. You may even have this issue yourself. The back extension stretch is here to help you! This stretch is technically for the abdominals, but it's also great for the back muscles because it moves your spine in the opposite direction, giving the muscles a workout and increasing the mobility of your spine.

To do this stretch, follow these steps:

1. Lie on your belly and prop yourself up with your elbows.

Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders. Make sure that you lift yourself up out of your shoulders so that you aren't sinking into your shoulder blades.

2. Inhale and as you exhale, lengthen your spine and lift your chest as if you were going to move forward (see Figure 5-5).

While performing this stretch, imagine that you're trying to move forward but your elbows and hips are glued to the floor and the space between each vertebra is increasing, lengthening your spine.

3. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds or four to five slow, deep breaths.

You should feel this stretch in your abdominals.

4. Repeat the stretch for six to eight repetitions or whatever feels most comfortable to you.

Figure 5-5:

The back extension that stretches the abdominals.

Figure 5-5:

The back extension that stretches the abdominals.

A few do's and don'ts for this stretch:

i Do keep your neck long and in line with the rest of your spine.

i Do pull your belly in toward your spine.

i Don't compress your lower back.

i Don't lift your chest toward the ceiling; think of your chest moving forward and up.

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