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Exercises to Treat Lordosis or Swayback

Two weeks ago I wrote an article about how to use a dowel or foam roller to check the alignment of your spine. One of the things you can determine quite easily from that test is a condition called "sway back." It's a pronounced overarch in the low back and technically called lordosis.

Click Here for the article on Neutral Spine.

If you're dealing with this condition, here are a few exercises you can try to help reduce or even eliminate it.

Standing Psoas Stretch (Corkscrew)

Stand in a lunge position, right leg in front, with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. The back leg is straight and the front knee is slightly bent. Place your right palm on the inside of your right thigh and the left hand up toward the ceiling. Squeeze your left glute, exhale and reach up and back (like a corkscrew) twisting the upper body. You should feel a stretch in the lower abdomen on the left side.

Reverse the instructions and stretch the lower abdomen on the right side.

Side Lying Quad Stretch

Lay on your side. Keeping your thighs together bend the knee of the top leg, pulling the foot behind you towards your butt. Squeeze the glutes and tighten the abdominals. If you are not flexible enough to grab your foot, wrap a towel around your foot and pull on the towel.

Side Lying Quad Stretch

Toe Touch Progression with Toe Raise and Heel Raise
(Help a Tight Low Back)

Stand with the toes and heels together, toes elevated on a 1 1/2 to 2-inch board or weight plate. Place a foam pad or rolled-up towel between the knees. Keeping your knees straight, reach for the ceiling and inhale. Exhale as you bend at the waist, reaching for your toes.

When you can't move any further, squeeze your knees together, continuing the exhale and reach. If you still can't touch your toes, bend your knees, grab your toes, exhale and try to straighten the knees.

Repeat this exercise 10 times.

After you finish, switch. Take your toes off and place your heels on the board or weight plate. Repeat the instructions for the rest of the exercise and do it 10 more times.

Toe Touch Progression with Toe Raise and Heel Raise

Dumping the Water
(Help with Pelvic Positioning)

Stand in a neutral position. Make an "L" with your thumb and fingers placing the fingers on top of your hip bones and the thumbs on the back of the hip bones. Imagine your pelvis as a bucket of water. Pull your tailbone behind you toward the back of your head as if you were dumping the water onto your toes.

Then pull your pelvic bone forward and up toward your nose as if you were dumping the water on your heels. Move back and forth between the two positions, dumping the water forward and backward, until it becomes fluid and easy.

Next, find the neutral point between the two positions where the water is level. This is your neutral pelvic position and it's essential for finding and maintaining a neutral spine. You will need to be able to find this position with every exercise you perform.

Hamstring Flex Swiss Ball

Lie face up on the ground and place the heels and lower calves on a swiss ball. Flex the ankles. Lift the hips off of the ground so that the body forms a straight line from the shoulders to the heels and inhale.

Exhale as you flex the hamstrings and glutes, while simultaneously pulling the heels and rolling the ball toward the body while lifting the hips. Maintain the straight line from the shoulders through the hips to the knees and then hold.

Inhale, slowly controlling the ball back to the starting position without locking the knees. For added stability, keep the arms extended out with the palms touching the ground.

Hamstring Flex Swiss Ball

Now you've got five exercises to deal with a sway back.

Click Here to learn how to deal with kyphosis.

Click Here to learn more about Core Activated Breathing.

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beginning any diet or exercise program.