Cobra Exercises or McKenzie Low Back Extension Exercises
By Dr. George DeFranca
1. Lie face down as if you are going to do a push-up.
2. Breath in as you push up and straighten your arms, keeping your hips and legs on the floor (if you can).
3. Breath out, relax, but keep your elbows straight, and let your hips drop toward the floor and stretch your lower back. (“Let your belly drop.”)
4. Return to the floor position slowly and lie flat again.
5. Repeat 10x’s to make one set. If you are in pain or are sitting alot, do one set at least every 1-2 hours.
Good pain will feel achy and stiff and stay in the lower back. Bad pain, the kind you want to avoid, will be sharp and TRAVEL into the butte and leg. Any traveling pain, or increase in numbness or pins and needles in the leg means you should stop doing this exercise! A resting position on your elbows is also beneficial for several minutes.
A standing lower back extension exercise can also be done and is more portable! Place your hands on your back, simply bend backwards, and rest your upper body weight onto your hands. Do not push, just relax back and fully exhale. Return to the start position and repeat 10 times.