Diagnosis: Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Your lower abdomen protrudes forward and your lower back is arched.
Where pain strikes: Lower back
The problem: Tight hip flexors (muscles that allow you to move your thighs up to your abdomen)
Fix it: Perform this stretch: Kneel on one knee and tighten your butt muscles on your kneeling side until you feel the front of your hip stretching comfortably. Reach upward with the arm that’s on your kneeling side and stretch in the opposite direction. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side.
The problem: Weak glutes
Fix it: Lie on your back with your knees bent about 90 degrees. Squeeze your glutes together and push your hips upward until your body is straight from knees to shoulders. Hold for 5 seconds; complete 2 or 3 sets of 12 reps.
Diagnosis: Rounded Shoulders
Your shoulders are in front of your hips and ankles instead of aligned with them.
Where pain strikes: Neck, shoulders, or back
The problem: Tight chest muscles
Fix it: Place your arms against a doorjamb in the high-five position (that is, forming an L), your elbows bent 90 degrees. Step through the doorway until you feel the stretch in your chest and the front of your shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds for 1 set; do 4.
The problem: Weakness in the middle and lower parts of your chest
Fix it: Lying facedown on the floor, place each arm at a 90-degree angle in the high-five position. Without changing your elbow angle, raise both arms by pulling your shoulders back and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold for 5 seconds; do 2 or 3 sets of 12 reps.
Diagnosis: Hunched Back
Your shoulders are rounded forward and your chest is concave.
Where pain strikes: Neck, shoulders, back
The problem: Poor upper-back mobility
Fix it: Lie faceup on a foam roller placed about midback, perpendicular to your spine. Place your hands behind your head and arch your upper back over the roller 5 times. Adjust the roller and repeat for each segment of your upper back.
The problem: Weak muscles in your back
Fix it: Lie facedown with your arms at your sides, palms down. Lift your chest and hands slightly off the floor, and squeeze your shoulder blades together while keeping your chin down. Hold for 5 seconds; do 2 or 3 sets of 12 reps.
Excerpt and photo adapted from The Women’s Health Diet by Stephen Perrine. Shrink your belly and drop 15 pounds in six weeks — buy the book at womenshealthdietbook.com. And check back soon for an exclusive BettyConfidential giveaway!