When it comes to taking care of your body, your back should be on top of your priority list. Exercising your back regularly can reduce pain and improve your sleep and also help the rest of your body by strengthening your core muscles. Strong core muscles mean more control of your movements as well as the ability to perform more actions without causing your body harm.
The importance of your back means that you have to be careful when exercising it. Do your research and choose exercises that work for you and that are specifically designed for strengthening your back. Here are a few of them to get you started.
1. The Lower Back Rotational Stretch
If you spend a lot of time sitting then you are most likely putting a lot of stress on your lower back and spine as your whole upper body weight is being pressed against it. In order to relieve tension on your back as well as improve lower back mobility you should practice the lower back rotational stretch.
Instructions: Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Your hands should be flat on your side. Make sure your shoulders are flat against the floor – but don’t force it. Stretch your arms outwards and then roll your legs towards your right side with your face towards your left side. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds and then switch sides. Try to do two to 3 times a day.
2. The Knee-to-Chest Stretch
This stretch is great for elongating your back and stretching it out of a compressed state. It’s also a great way to reduce sacroiliac joint pain that can affect your lower back as well as your hips.
Instructions: Start by lying down flat on your back with both legs straight outward. Bend your right knee and then slowly pull your right leg up towards the left side of your chest. Be sure not to pull too hard – just enough to feel the stretch in your gluts. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, and then repeat on the opposite side. Repeat this exercise 2 to 3 times a day.
3. The Bridge
The bridge may seem hard to perform and it’s definitely something you shouldn’t try until you feel ready. This exercise helps to work out and strengthen a person’s gluteus maximus, which is an important muscle that needs to be strong in order to support your body while sitting or bending.
Instructions: Lie flat on the ground with your knees bent and arms flat at your side; your feet should be in line with your arms (or hip-width apart). While exhaling, begin to slowly lift your buttocks off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Squeeze your buttocks and hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat 15 times and then rest for a minute, then do 2 more sets.
Daily practice of these exercises will significantly strengthen your back and reduce any back or body pains you may experience. So be sure to make them a part of your daily rituals in order to see fast results.