Back exercise #1
This is a great exercise to get started with as it does not compress your spine like many other exercises.  This exercise helps to recruit the deep stabilizers of your back, and with your focus on keeping your back stable, it can help lead to increased awareness of your low back posture.

Basic Instructions
  1. Start on your hands and knees.
  2. Put your spine in neutral.
  3. You can use either a stick or a small object (rolled up towel) and place it along your back.  When moving, your low back should not move, bend, or rotate.
  4. Attempt to straighten out one leg behind you without moving the back
  5. Then raise the opposite arm and hold this position for 5 seconds.
  6. Repeat on the other side, switching every 5 seconds.
  7. Perform 10x on each side, and then rest.
There are many advanced variations
Narrow Bird-dog: To increase the demand for stability, try the same exercise but start with your hands touching each other and your knees touching each other.
This will narrow your base of support and make you less stable.

Plank Bird-dog: To make your abs work more, you can try this exercise with your legs straight. Doing this with your arms extended will help you work on shoulder stability (instead of doing it from your elbows)

Plank Bird-dog
Plank Bird-dog
Other variations with equipment:
You can also use various equipment to make things harder including an elastic band or weights to give you resistance to push against, or a suspension trainer or BOSU ball under your hands or legs to make you less stable
More exercises later this week!
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