Back Exercises: General Info
Doctors, chiropractors, and acupuncturists are constantly inundated with cases of back pain. Patients often seek medical assistance in treating conditions they could fix themselves, if they lost weight and performed some simple back exercises and stretches.
Before exercising, warm-up by slowly stretching out your spine
Before doing any exercises for your back, you should first stretch out by slowly flexing and extending your spine in small ranges of motion. An easy way that everyone can do this is by laying flat on your back, with knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Pull your left knee up to your chest, then hug it tighter to your chest to enhance the stretch, breathing throughout. Switch sides and repeat. After the knee-to-chest stretch, the cat stretch is great back exercise. Get down on the floor on your hands and knees, and place them about shoulder width apart. Slowly sag or drop your abdomen and back towards the floor while you raise and extend your neck forward and up. Then slowly arch your back away from the floor, pushing your back as high as you can towards the ceiling, while dropping your head towards the floor. Move with your breathing slowly through the position, and don’t force things at the end of your movement.
Followed by the actual back exercises
With some stretches out of the way, you should be warmed up to do more focused back exercises. The side bridge is a good one, where you lie on your left side, then prop yourself up on your left elbow and forearm. Placing your right hand on your left shoulder, raise your hips into the air until your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to the knees. Hold this position while breathing deeply, and repeat on the other side. You can also use leg lifts, lat pull down machines, or pull-ups to focus on different areas of the back. Don’t forget that it is important to strengthen your abs to in order to strengthen your back. If you are sitting for long periods and doing computer work, perform forward chair stretches and shoulder blade squeezes to loosen the back up.