08 July, 2011
How to Exercise the Torso
Tweak your torso with targeted exercises that will stretch and strengthen the muscles in your abdomen and lower back. Having a strong, flexible core will increase your range of motion and lessen your susceptibility to lower back strain. Practice proper form and do as many reps as you comfortably can.
Tone and firm your waistline by performing waist twists. This easy exercise doesn't require gym equipment or weights. Stand or sit with your feet and hips facing forward, your feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart. Squat slightly and stretch your arms out to your sides at shoulder height. Place a broom handle over your shoulders and hold onto it to enhance focus on your form. Twist from side to side in a smooth, controlled manner. Twist 20 times to each side.
Work your rectus abdominis and obliques with the bicycle. Lie on your back on the floor. Place your hands behind your head, lift your feet off the floor and bend your knees toward your chest. Exhale, and while straightening your right leg, lift your head and shoulders off the floor and twist your torso slightly as you move your right elbow toward your left knee. Inhale and return to the start. Repeat on the other. Work your way up to 25 reps on each side over time.
Exercise your thoracic and lumbar back muscles and your lower and oblique abdominal muscle groups by performing hip rollers. Lie on your back on the floor in a situp position, knees bent and shoulders on the floor, hands behind your head. Lift your feet off the floor until your thighs are vertical to your hips and the floor. Slowly lower your legs to the right, then using only your abdominal muscles, lift the legs back to the upright position, knees still bent. Immediately lower the legs to your left. Keep your shoulders on the floor throughout this exercise. Do three to five on each side.
Stretch your upper and lower back muscles and relieve stress and tension by performing the cat stretch. Also known as the Cat pose in yoga, this exercise is effective as a warm up or a stretch before or after regular exercise. Get down on your hands and knees on the floor. Relax and allow your lower abs to lean downward to the floor with a slight inward curve in your back. Exhale and pull in your abdominal muscles while arching your back toward the ceiling. Slowly allow your back to return to the starting position. Repeat three to five times.
Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially if you have been diagnosed with a medical condition.
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