The spine supports our weight and posture. A healthy spine is essential for supporting our body weight. Poor lifestyle habits, such as faulty posture, constant sitting, bending over, being overweight, put stress on the back muscles. Hence, regular exercises and stretching are essential to maintain spine health.
The following are the exercises that can be done at home to strengthen the upper and lower back. It is advised to start these only after consulting a doctor. Stop immediately if the exercise gives sharp pains or cramps.
- Partial crunches:
Partial crunches can help strengthen your back and stomach muscles (core muscles). Lie with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Cross arms over your chest or put hands behind your neck. Now, tighten the stomach muscles and use your stomach muscles to raise your shoulders off the floor. Breathe out as you raise your shoulders. Hold for a second, then slowly lower back down. Repeat 8 to 12 times. Your feet, tailbone, and lower back should always remain in contact with the mat.
This is designed to help strengthen the muscles in your back, buttocks, and back of the thigh. Lie on your back with your knees bent and shoulder-width apart. Use your back and buttock muscles to gently raise your hips and keep your shoulders on the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds before returning to a resting position. Repeat these steps for three sets of 10 repetitions each.
- Press-up back extensions:
Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders. You can push your body up with your hands, so your shoulders begin to lift off the floor. You can also put your elbows on the floor directly under your shoulders and hold this position for several seconds.
- Bird dog:
Support your body on your hands and knees like a four-legged animal. Now, tighten your stomach muscles. Lift and extend your right leg behind you. Keep hips at a level. Hold for 5 seconds, and then switch to the left leg. Repeat 8 to 12 times for each leg and try to lengthen the time you hold with each lift. Try lifting and extending your opposite arm for each repetition. This exercise is a great way to learn how to stabilize the low back during movement of the arms and legs.
- Alternative squat:
This exercise will help you safely build core and leg strength that can protect your spine from unnecessary injuries. Sit on the edge of a suitable chair or bed. Now, cross your arms over your chest with your fingers touching your shoulders. Squeeze your buttocks and push on the floor with your legs as you rise to a standing position, all the while keeping your back and neck in line. Bring yourself back down to a sitting position again using the muscles in your legs and buttocks. Perform three sets of 10 squats each.
How long does it take to build muscles?
The time required to build muscles depends on:
- Gender: Men can build muscle faster than women.
- Protein intake in the diet
What should I consider before beginning any exercise program?
Before beginning any exercise program, you must follow the following things:
- Take a fitness test to determine if you are ready for it. Seek medical evaluation and clearance to engage in activities.
- All exercise programs may not be suitable for everyone and some may result in injury. Therefore, activities should be carried out at a pace that is comfortable for an individual.
- If you experience intolerable pain and discomfort during any exercise activity, you must discontinue the activity and must seek medical consultation immediately.
When intense work-out can be unsafe?
Intense work-out may not be safe if you:
- Have a heart condition.
- Feel pain in your chest during any physical activity.
- Had chest pain in the past month while performing other activities.
- Feel dizzy.
- Lose consciousness.
- Have a bone or joint problem.
- Are receiving drugs for your blood pressure or a heart condition.
- You are pregnant.
- You have muscle weakness.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
WebMD. Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain. https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/exercises-lower-back-pain
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