Lower Back: McGill Curlup
The benefit: This exercise works your core while keeping your lower back in its naturally arched position. So it minimizes stress on your spine while increasing the endurance of the muscles, which helps prevent lower-back pain.
How to do it: Lie on your back on the floor with your left leg straight and flat on the floor. Your right knee should be bent and your right foot flat. Place your hands palms-down on the floor underneath the natural arch in your lower back [A]. Slowly raise your head and shoulders off the floor, without bending your lower back or spine, and hold this position for 7 to 8 seconds, breathing deeply [B]. That's one rep. Do 4 to 5 reps, then switch legs and repeat.
Learn more about The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises and where to buy the book.
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