The warmer weather is nearly here, and for many, that means getting back outside. After a long and cold winter, there is nothing quite like getting out into the warmth of the outdoors to move your body. You may be wondering what you can do to prepare your body for this new season. Read on for our tips on the best back strengthening exercises in preparation for getting back outside this spring and summer.
Lower Back Stretches
Lower back pain is a fairly common health concern. According to Healthline, lower back pain can be a side effect of a sedentary lifestyle or repetitive motions. Luckily, there are stretches you can do to provide relief for your lower back if you have been living with mild discomfort or stiffness. It’s also important to note that performing stretches can help reduce injuries.
It is important to note that as you perform these stretches, pay close attention to your breathing. Always use your breath as a guide to ensure you don’t overdo it or strain a muscle. And, as always, it’s best to talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise regime.
This traditional yoga pose will help relieve pain and tension along your spine, neck, and shoulders. It will also help loosen up tight lower back muscles, thus promoting flexibility and blood circulation along the spine.
- With your hands and knees on the ground, sink back through your hips to rest them on your heels.
- Hinge at your hips as you fold forward, walking your hands out in front of you.
- Rest your belly on your thighs.
- Extend your arms in front of or alongside your body with your palms facing up.
- Focus on breathing deeply and relaxing any areas of tension or tightness.
- Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.
Knee To Chest Stretch
This stretch will promote overall relaxation as it stretches your hips, thighs, and glutes.
- Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Keep your left knee bent or extend it straight out along the floor.
- Draw your right knee into your chest, clasping your hands behind your thigh or at the top of your shinbone.
- Lengthen your spine all the way down to your tailbone and avoid lifting your hips.
- Breathe deeply, releasing any tension.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Repeat with the other leg.
Best Exercises for Back Muscles
Because our backs are involved in every move we make, improving back strength can ultimately make daily activities easier. According to WebMD, at some point in their lives, “90% of adults will have back pain that interferes with their daily activities that lasts at least a few days.” Now that we’ve discussed a couple of stretches that help our lower backs, what are some good exercises to improve back strength?
Push-ups are great because they engage your entire body, especially the muscles in your core and back.
- Start in the plank position. Your arms should be straight and shoulder-width apart, with your palms flat just below the level of your shoulders. Your feet should be together or up to 12 inches apart with your weight on the balls of your feet.
- Keep your weight evenly distributed as you do the push-up. Look down at the floor.
- Lower your body until your elbows are at 90-degree angles.
- Push yourself back up to your starting position. This is one repetition.
Side planks work your back muscles and your obliques.
- Start on the floor on your side with your right hand below your right shoulder and your legs stacked.
- Lift your body to form a straight line.
- Keep your abdominal muscles engaged and your legs stacked on top of each other and hold.
- Lower back down and repeat on the other side.
- Place your bottom knee on the floor for more support if you need to modify this exercise.
This exercise will work your core, including your upper and lower back.
- Lie on your stomach with your arms extended over your head.
- Raise your arms and legs approximately 12 inches off the floor at the same time.
- Hold for 1 to 2 seconds.
- Return to your starting position.
- Keep your head closer to the floor if you feel any neck pain.
Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness Can Help
Exercise and fitness are crucial to keep your back healthy and to help prevent future back pain. Here at Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness, we encourage you to give us a visit and allow us to help you find relief if you feel you have back pain that does not go away. Contact us today at (631) 215-3825 or fill out our contact form.