Keeping your back strong and in healthy working order will serve you well as you get older. Beyond helping you with everyday chores like lifting objects and carrying children, doing some simple back exercises can help keep you fit and maintain an attractive physique.
Working out doesn’t have to be costly, and you don’t need a chiropractor or a masseuse to feel better. Here are a few options that can really help your back.
1. Start your exercises by laying flat on the floor with your arms at your side and your legs bent, feet flat on the floor. Tighten your ab muscles and thrust your hips and back off of the floor. If this is uncomfortable, place a pillow beneath the small of your back. This exercise is great for people who spend too much time in an office chair. It stretches out your back muscles and helps take tension off of your spine. You can see a good example of the stretching pose in this video.
2. Start this next exercise in doggie style. Knees bent and on your hands and knees looking at the floor. Again, if this is uncomfortable you can place a cushion under your knees or lie on top of an exercise ball like this.
Tighten your abs and extend your left leg out behind you while extending your right arm. Hold for as long as you can, and then do the same exercise with the opposite arm and leg. This exercise improves balance and strengthens your abs. It will help take tension off of your back when doing every day chores like walking, running or carrying kids.
3. Start by laying on your side on the floor, using your arm as a brace. Your arm should come out from your body at a 90 degree angle. Put weight on your arm to lift your body off of the floor from your shoulder to your hips.Hold the position for up to thirty seconds, rest and repeat. This exercise strengthens your core so that you divert pressure on your lower back when doing things like moving furniture.
4. Start off with your feet shoulder width apart. Take one big step forward, leaving one foot in front of the other. Place your hands on your hips and lean forward, keeping your back straight. You should sink down to a 90 degree angle. See here for an example:
This exercise will strengthen all of your muscles and work on stability and control. Your back will thank you the next time you need to stand on one foot, or go for a run.
If you can incorporate even a couple of these exercises and tips into your daily routine, you should be well on your way to a healthy long-term relationship with your back. Don’t try all of them at once, or you might overdo it or not be able to keep up the pace!
About the Author: Allison Cooper is a writer and editor for www.beyondstores.com, an online furniture retailer which sells name brand pieces at a fraction of their original price. When she isn’t working, Allison loves to cook healthy recipes for her growing boys, Marcus and Noah, and research the latest in home decor trends