Strengthen Your Back

by Erin Steiner | June 10th, 2008 | Exercises

When we talk about getting fit or making sure that we are “in shape” many of us forget that the muscles in our backs need to be worked out and taken care of just as much as the muscles in our legs, arms, chest and abdomen. Many of us think that a good stretch and “lifting with the knees” is enough to keep our backs healthy. This lack of care is probably why people have back problems!

Here are two exercises you can do to work the muscles in your back:

1. Lie down on your side (either side will do) and use your forearm to prop yourself up. The lower part of your arm should be positioned straight out from your body and your hand should be in a fist. Keep your body stiff, with your chest, pelvis and hips all in a straight line and held together. If you’re having trouble staying steady, use your free hand to grip the opposite shoulder and hold yourself in place. Hold yourself that way for ten seconds and then do the same on the other side. Do three reps of this and, if you need to add difficulty, increase the length of time you hold yourself in that position.

2. Lie down flat on your back and bend one knee. Put your hands under your lumbar curve and lift your elbows. Stiffen the muscles in your abdomen and then, making sure not to poke your chin forward, lift your neck and head as a single unit. You should be working everything from the breastbone up. Hold your head and neck up for seven or eight seconds, making sure to breathe calmly. Do this as many times as you can without losing your form.

These two exercises sound simple, but they will do quite a bit to help you keep your back in shape!

  1. jam says:

    Good post. In addition, avoiding strains on your back while sleeping can be avoided, if sleeping straight flat, facing ceiling, put pillow below your knees to avoid improper back posture and when sleeping sideways, coil upper leg while leaving the other straight to avoid strains when waking up

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.