I have found the best back exercise for woman to be strengthening not only the muscles of the back, but also and more importantly the deeper abdominal muscles.
The deep, transverse abdominal muscles actually surround and protect the fragile vertebra of the spine.
As a woman who's had upper and lower back pain...
I have found no better exercise system than Pilates to work those deeper core muscles that support the back and, in effect, keep it pain free and healthy.
The pulling and stretching action of Pilates exercises has relieved not only my upper back and neck pain, but has also strengthened and stretched my lower back.
Some of the most effective back exercise for woman can be found in my newly revised Pilates ebook available here.
This is a great Pilates for women exercise as it helps the back in two ways; both stretching and strengthening.
On your back as shown with head and shoulders lifted.
Action: Pull one knee to your chest as you extend the other leg long and away breathing in and out as you repeat for 8-10 repetitions.
Lower the straight leg to get more ab work.
Lying face down with your arms and legs extended and abdominal muscles drawn up and in.
Alternate lifting or extending the opposite arm and leg while keeping the torso still.
Breathe in and out working the exercise for 10-30 seconds or as long as you can keep the abdominal muscles working to support the back in extension.
If you feel pressure or tension in the lower back then stop and rest before repositioning yourself.
Position yourself kneeling on your hands and knees.
Simultaneously extend one leg behind you and the opposite arm just parallel to the floor.
Hold the position keeping your back extended, eyes on the top of your mat, and abdominals drawn up and in.
Repeat for 4-6 repetitions.
See these last two examples in this great article about low back exercise for woman.
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