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3 simple exercises to relieve back pain

Back pain is one of the most common health complaints of people with an estimated 540 million people worldwide reporting low back pain. Adults bound to desk jobs 9-5 slouching over computers or driving long distances on two-wheelers are more susceptible to back pain.

The key to prevention as with most lifestyle aches and pains is regular physical exercise. While pain killers and physiotherapy provide temporary relief, the long-term solution is to incorporate regular exercises which build back strength, tighten the glutes (group of three muscles which make up the buttocks), and improve flexibility into your daily routine.

Here are three simple yet effective exercises to prevent and fight back pain.

back painCore strength
1. Lie flat on your back.
2. Lift your legs, and fold them towards your chest.
3. Release slowly until your legs touch the ground.
4. Raise your legs again and repeat.
5. Start with 10 reps and gradually increase to 20
6. Do three sets of 10-20 reps everyday.

Benefit: Builds lower back core strength.

back painGlute-tightening lifts
1. Lie on your back.
2. Bend knees until they are perpendicular to the ground.
3. Lift your hips off the floor and get into a position where your body forms a triangle.
4. Hold for 20 seconds.
5. Gradually increase to 30 seconds.
6. Do three sets of 20-30 seconds.

back painBenefit: It tightens your glutes, which support your back.

Stretch
1. Sit with your legs stretched forward. Or sit in a chair.
2. Bend forward and try to touch your knees with your chin.
3. Hold for 20 seconds.
4. Repeat five times. Gradually increase to 10 reps.

Cobra stretch
back pain1. Lie on your stomach.
2. Place your palms flat on the floor beside your chest, and lift your upper back.
3. Try to stretch your back as much as possible.
4. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat five times.

Benefit: Doing this stretching exercise 4-5 days a week will improve back muscle, glute and core strength.

(Monojit Ghosh is a former national level gymnast and fitness trainer/coach at Art Corner Gymnastics, Bangalore)

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