Chronic low back pain is an issue most of us have struggled with at some point in our lives. Blame it on a bad fall, poor posture, or according to The Peninsula Manila’s trainer Argie Samson, weak core muscles—the fact remains that low back ache can make our lives unpleasant. To help us manage the pain, he demonstrates two sets of exercises, namely: William’s Flexion Exercises, which strengthen abs and glutes, stretch the hamstring, hip flexors, and the lower back, and McKenzie’s Extension Exercises, which strengthen back extensors and stretch abdominal muscles.

William's Flexion Exercises

1.PELVIC TILT


Step 1: Lie down with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Push your lower back on the mat while keeping your abdominal muscles tight. Hold for seven seconds then repeat.

Difficulty Level: 3/10

2. SINGLE KNEE TO CHEST


Step 1: Lie down on the mat and pull one knee to your chest. Hold for 20 seconds then repeat or switch.

Difficulty Level: 2/10

3. DOUBLE KNEE TO CHEST


Step 1: Lie down on the mat and hug both knees to your chest. Hold for 20 seconds then relax and repeat.

Difficulty Level: 2/10

4. PARTIAL SIT-UPS


Step 1: Lie down with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Assume the Pelvic Tilt position. Keep your hands behind your head.


Step 2: Do a partial sit-up, but keep your neck and shoulders above the mat. Hold for seven seconds.

Difficulty Level: 6/10

5. LYING LEG RAISE


Step 1: Lie down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Step 2: Raise one leg up as straight as you can. Hold the position for a few seconds then switch.

Difficulty Level: 5/10

6. WALL SQUATS


Step 1: Stand with your head and back against the wall and with both feet shoulder-width apart. Extend them 18 inches away from the wall.

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Step 2: Lower your body into a squat position until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold then repeat.

Difficulty Level: 6/10

(All watermarked photos by Mike Dee, Flashbox photo from Bridesmaids courtesy of Solar Entertainment)

Mckenzie's Extension Exercises

1. PRONE LYING


Step 1: Simply lie down on your stomach to help relieve your sore back.

Difficulty Level: 1/10

2. PRONE LYING ON ELBOWS


Step 1: Start from the Prone Lying position.

Step 2: Raise your upper body with support from your elbow.

Difficulty Level: 4/10

3. PRONE PRESS-UP


Step 1: Coming from a Prone Lying on Elbows position, raise yourself higher by pushing yourself upward.

Difficulty Level: 6/10

4. PROGRESSIVE EXTENSION WITH PILLOWS


Step 1: Assume the Prone Lying on Elbows position but with one pillow below your chest.

Step 2: Add more pillows as you progress to increase your range of motion.

Difficulty Level: 5/10

5. STANDING EXTENSION


Step 1: Stand straight with your feet slightly apart.

Step 2: With hands at the small of your back, lean backward. Hold for 20 seconds then repeat.

Difficulty Level: 4/10

(All watermarked photos by Mike Dee, Flashbox photo from Bridesmaids courtesy of Solar Entertainment)

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