Did you know that spinal-strengthening exercises can help prevent back injuries AND reduce back pain that you already have? Your “core” muscles (the muscles in your abdomen and back) provide support for the spinal cord. By strengthening those muscles, you take some of the stress and pressure off of the discs and joints in your spine. Deterioration of these connecting tissues is a regular part of aging, so it’s important to have strong muscle support to prevent injury. Whether you’ve experienced a back muscle strain, herniated disc, or spinal stenosis, there are exercises you can do to improve your condition. If your spine is healthy, start incorporating core exercises into your daily routine to prevent back injury in the future.
Here are 3 spine-strengthening exercises you can do at home!
Get on your hands and knees. Place your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart. Lift one leg off the ground and fully extend it away from you, pointing your toes. Lift and extend the opposite arm at the same time, stopping it at eye-level. Hold the pose and then repeat on the other side. For a greater challenge, perform reps by pulling your elbow and knee into each other and then extending again. Keep your head down and your back straight while performing the bird dog exercise.
Get down on your hands and knees. Rest your elbows and forearms on the floor. Lift your knees up with your toes on the floor. Balance your weight on your forearms and toes while keeping your back as straight as possible; don’t arch up or slump inward. You should feel the burn in your abdomen if you are in the correct position. Hold it for 10 seconds on your first try. As you strengthen your core, you can add more time to your sets.
Swiss Ball Balance
Sitting on a Swiss ball (also known as a yoga ball or balance ball) activates your core muscles and burns calories. When you sit on a regular chair or couch, you don’t have to use any muscles to maintain balance and posture. When you sit on a balance ball, any movement you make (reaching for a drink, typing on a computer, etc.) forces you to keep your balance by engaging your core muscles. Try to sit up straight and avoid slouching when you use a balance ball.
Swiss Ball Rotations
This exercise targets the abdominals, lower back, glutes, and legs. Start by sitting on the ball and finding your balance. Once you’re ready, walk outwards, rolling your back down the ball until you’re being supported by your shoulders. Spread your feet apart to get greater balance from the legs, or bring them together to put the workload on the core. Extend your arms out in front of you and bring your palms together. Then, rotate slowly from side to side, engaging your core muscles.
With these tips, you can strengthen your core muscles, relieve back pain, and prevent spinal injuries. If you’re ready to start losing weight and living a healthier life, contact Sault Fitness at 508.207.6608 for a consultation. We create personalized diet and workout plans that cater to each client’s needs and goals. With a little help from us, you can find out what works for you to get the body you want!