Back Pain Exercise Video: All Fours Opposite Arm and Leg Extension

Purpose
The all fours opposite arm & leg extension is used to strengthen your abdominal and low back (lumbar spine) muscles.  It helps stabilize those areas.

Recommended exercise for the following spinal condition(s)
Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

Instructions
The all fours opposite arm & leg extension has two parts.
First, you should work on extending just your legs:

  • Start on your hands and knees.
  • Slowly extend one leg straight out behind you.
  • Hold 3-5 seconds.
  • Slowly bring your leg back down and repeat with the opposite leg, again holding 3-5 seconds.
  • Repeat 5-10 times on each side.

Then, when you can extend your legs with ease, you can add the arms:

  • Slowly extend your right leg and your left arm.
  • Hold 3-5 seconds.
  • Slowly bring your leg and arm back down and repeat with your left leg and right arm, again holding 3-5 seconds.
  • Repeat 5-10 times on each side.

Cautions
While doing the all fours opposite arm & leg extensions, your back shouldn’t arch.  Hold your abdominal muscles tight to keep your back from arching.

Disclaimer
Only do the exercise shown in this video if a qualified spine specialist has recommended it.  Only do the exercise within the limits that your spine specialist has advised.  Do not do the exercise without your spine specialist's approval; it could lead to serious injury.  Always contact your spine specialist if you have any questions regarding your back or neck condition or about the suitability of this specific exercise.

Updated on: 06/11/14
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