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Are there massages or exercises that can strengthen lower back muscles and prevent lumbar strain? Halle on Dec 13, 2011 Yes, there are Pilates exercises that strengthen the lower back and there are Pilates exercises that may prevent lumbar strain. These are not necessarily the same exercises. When directly strengthening the back with exercises like the cobra (in yoga), prone leg lifts, or plank position, the most important tip is to make sure that the back isn’t going into hyperextension. Hyperextension (extreme arching) does contract the back muscles concentrically but may also create compression, pain and irritation in the lumbar spine. Exercises that prevent lumbar strain could be drawn from a large pool of Pilates exercises that aim to stabilize the spine so that the lumbar spine is not doing all the work, such as abdominal, leg, and upper back exercises. Of course if the lumbar strain is due to spine pathology such as stenosis or disc injury then additional contraindications would apply. To conclude, there is never one exercise that prevents back strain because the causes are too variable. Halle Clarke, NYC Mongoosebodyworks.com