3. Side Planks
Why it works: This move teaches core muscles to do a natural bracing movement; the back and abs work together to prevent the spine from collapsing into a C-shape. According to Olson, analysis found it to be effective and spine-friendly.
How to do it: Lie on your left side with your left forearm on the floor perpendicular to your body and your right hand resting on your side. Stack your legs and hips and pull your bellybutton in towards your spine. Raise your body up by straightening and lengthening the waist so that you are balanced on your left forearm and the bottom of your left foot.
Hold that position for a slow count of 10. Repeat to the other side. As you get stronger, you can hold the position longer.
4. Yoga Beginner Boat
Why it works: “What’s nice about this one is that the obliques fire really strongly to support the effort of the main abdominal muscles,” Olson noted.
How to do it: Sit up tall on the floor with your legs out straight and palms down, fingertips pointing towards your feet. Maintain your tall and lifted spine as you lean back, balance on your sits-bones, and lift your legs up off the floor as high as you feel comfortable; use your fingertips to help balance and bend your knees as much as you need to accommodate for your level of strength and flexibility. Lift your arms up so your fingertips are alongside your knees.
Hold this pose for 10 slow counts as you focus on staying tall and keeping your chest lifted. As you get stronger, try to straighten your legs out.