What are the best exercises and stretches for back pains? Have you been asking this question for quite some time?
No matter what your job, you use your back every day when you’re sitting, standing, lifting, and even lying down.
Take note that a back injury can result in pain, disability, and even loss of income if it prevents one from doing their jobs.
Together with proper lifting techniques, back exercises are one of the most important things you can do to strengthen your back and help protect it from accidental injury and sports injuries.
The right back exercises, when done on a daily basis, can help to keep your back fit at the best possible level.
Remember though, if you are experiencing back pain of any sort, check with a healthcare professional before doing this or any exercises.
And do the exercise according to the medical advice rendered by that professional.
Be wary of some consequences of improper exercise such as sciatica. Sciatica is the disease which affects nerves of the back.
To control the back pain due to the nerve disease you must undergo strength training in physiotherapy.
If you understand the concepts of how backs get injured by bad back exercise habits you can easily tell if you are moving in healthy ways, if an exercise will help or harm, or if you’re doing a good exercise in a bad way.
You’re not helping yourself if all you do is a “list” of exercises. Worse, many people are given a list of things to never do them again.
This list is often the favorite activities that made their lives worthwhile and fun.
Most people spend their lives doing activities with poor posture that rounds their lower back.
They sit, stand, walk, and exercise round-shouldered and round-backed.
This shortens chest and shoulder muscles in front, and over stretches and weakens your back.
Like squeezing a water balloon in front, when you round forward.It squeezes the front of your discs between your back bones (vertebrae) above and below the disc.
Below are several options of back exercises that you could do or you could choose to perform to relieve any back pain.
Back Exercise Stretches for Back Pain
Back exercise stretches the lower back muscles to help bring relief to back pain caused by over-stressed back muscles. Spine rehabilitation too is done through back exercise.
People suffering from back pain are put through an exercise regimen, as exercise stretches the back and promotes better blood circulation in the area.
You will hear many people complain of back pain occasionally. About 75% to 85% of the people experience back pain at some point in time in their life.
The most common area of back pain is the lumbar region of the spine. This is the region that bears most of the body weight. Sudden twisting and bending can cause injury to the back.
Back pain also occurs when the muscles get stiff because of poor posture. Back exercise stretches the stiff muscles to provide relief.
Back Exercise Stretches – For Back Pain Relief
Back exercise stretches need to be performed softly. You should treat your back gently and not subject it jerky and violent movement.
The exercise routine that you follow should start gently and gradually build over a period of a few weeks.
You could cause more harm than good if you do not follow the expert’s advice in matters of back exercise.
Warm up your body before you embark on the stretching routine. Exercise stretches the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the area surrounding the back.
The muscles and tendons associated with the spine are designed for movement. Hence, they need to be stretched daily to perform optimally.
The hamstring muscles are an important factor in back pain problems. Most people with back pain have stiff hamstring muscles.
Stand comfortably with your feet shoulder-width apart. Now slowly bend forward and try to touch your toes with your hands without bending your knees.
Your action should be smooth and not jerky. Be careful not to overdo the stretching part. Stop when you feel pain. This exercise stretches your hamstring muscles.
Your back pain will improve gradually as you continue with the exercise. The exercise can also be performed while lying down.
Basic Guidelines for Back Strengthening Exercises
Back exercises are one of the better ways to relieve yourself from back pain and lead a healthy life.
It is important to ensure that exercises are worked within a range of motion, so as not to further strain the painful back.
In case you experience pain while doing some stretching steps, stop exercising immediately. Avoid sudden movements and jerks when performing back exercises.
Even though it may be hard to perform the steps in a slow and controlled motion.
People suffering from lower back problems face various problems while working out. It is important to get into an exercise routine gradually and build muscle power.
Always perform back exercises after consulting your trainer. It is also important to understand that back pain doesn’t develop overnight and hence restoration of the back will also take time.
Check this back exercise that gently stretches your back muscles:
1. Lie on your back with knees bent.
2. Slowly raise your left knee to your chest, while pressing your lower back firmly against the floor.
3. Remain in position for 5 seconds.
4. Relax. Repeat the exercise with your right knee.
5. Repeat this exercise 10 times for each leg.
Best Exercises For A Healthy Back
Back pain plagues millions of people over the course of their lifetime.
Back pain can be due to repetitive strain on the back, an acute injury to the back, bone wear, and tear on the back or even from simple fatigue.
Some experience back pain because they work in a sitting job and the back is weakened due to lack of exercise.
Many cases of back pain can be avoided by exercising your back in a healthy way that strengthens the muscles and ligaments so that back pain will not be a problem again.
Strengthen The Core
The back is not the only thing that keeps your body upright. Your abdomen, together with your back, represents the “core” of your body.
Both parts need to be functioning in order for you to have the ability to stand, stretch, and bend appropriately.
Perhaps one of the best exercises for a healthy back includes abdominal exercises. A weak abdomen puts too much pressure on the back to take on functions the abdomen needs to participate in.
Abdominal exercises strengthen the overall core and will help you have a strong and healthy back.
What abdominal exercises work best?
Something as simple as sit ups can help strengthen the abdominal muscles so that the core is strengthened.
The exercises can be done in several ways to strengthen the upper, middle and body muscles.
Sit ups with your legs straight—this strengthens the upper abdominal muscles
Sit ups with your legs bent—this strengthens the middle abdominal muscles
Lying down and lifting your feet off the floor—this strengthens the lower abdominal muscles
Try to do these three kinds of sit-ups in different sets of ten at a time and you will have a strong core that will help your back keep your body strong.
As mentioned, you should do sets of ten of each of the three types of exercises and do about ten sets a day.
This involves about three hundred different exercises that may make your abdomen sore for a day or so.
Simple Back Exercises
You can strengthen the back alone although most exercises that strengthen the back also strengthen the abdominal muscles as well.
Either way, you have a healthier back as a result.
One simple back strengthening exercise involves lying prone (on your stomach) and lifting your leg straight up a few inches off the ground. Do one leg at a time.
Ideally, you should do sets of ten backward leg lifts at a time before switching legs. Do several sets each day to strengthen the back.
Back Exercise Machines
There are machines you can use at the health club that isolates the back muscles.
They involve sitting in a chair of sorts that bends backward when you straighten out your back so you are in a lying position.
Different weights can be added to the machine so that you can gradually increase your muscle strength with heavier and heavier weights.
Do ten repetitions at a time and several sets of repetitions as part of an overall muscle strengthening routine.
Upper Back Exercises for a Strong Back
The back supports the weight of the upper body and has to be strong to carry out its work unhindered.
People focus on strengthening their lower back, but upper back muscles too need toning up.
A well-toned back looks good and helps in maintaining correct posture. Upper back exercises are a good way of strengthening the upper back.
Some effective upper back exercises are mentioned below.
Women would rather have a well-toned upper body, whereas men prefer a muscular back. Dumbbell pullovers and dumbbell rows are effective upper back exercises.
You will need a narrow workout bench.
Lie with the workbench supporting the upper back and neck, and your head leaning over one end.
Place one leg each on either side of the bench with feet firmly placed on the ground.
Lift the dumbbell over your face with arms stretched out. Slowly lower the dumbbell over your head in an arc.
Hold, and bring it back to original position. Initially, do five repetitions and gradually raise the count to fifteen.
Another variation of this upper back exercise is to hold the dumbbell with bent arms. With elbows bent, slowly lower the dumbbell over your head in an arc.
And then gently pull back the dumbbell to the original position.Primarily, do five repetitions and gradually raise the count to fifteen.
Place the dumbbell on the right side of the bench, and your left leg on the bench with the right foot firmly placed on the floor.
While leaning forward, place the left hand on the bench in front of the body. Your back should be in horizontal position.
Pick up the dumbbell and raise your arm slowly upwards until your upper arm is in level with your upper body.
Hold, and take back your arm to the original position.
Initially, do five repetitions and gradually raise the count to fifteen.
Now, repeat the exercise with the left arm.
These upper back exercises are great ways to build a strong upper back that add to the ‘V’ shape of the body.
Pilates for Back Pain
The essential thing that those who suffer from back pain can learn is awareness of the neutral alignment of the spine and the strengthening of the postural muscles to support the alignment.
For those people with back pain caused by the degeneration of discs and joints, or poor posture, a Pilate’s exercise program can be beneficial to easing the problem.
Most back problems are caused by bad posture; this can be sitting, walking or standing.
This causes us to lose strength in our postural muscles over time and gets worse until eventually, you cannot even correct your posture if you want to.
Pilates is an excellent form of exercise to remedy this problem too.
What is Pilates?
The Pilates method is a form of exercise that focuses on using the core postural muscles to help keep the body balanced and support the spine.
It is a method that teaches awareness of breathing and alignment of the spine. In helping to prevent and alleviate back pain the system also strengthens the deep torso muscles.
While Pilates is a simple form of exercise you shouldn’t underestimate the impact that it can have, Pilates can help to develop support for the deep postural muscles of the trunk.
It brings an awareness of the importance of neutral alignment and leads to the shoulders and hips being suppler.
Pilates has roots in ballet and dance and as such, some of the movements used in the system can be particularly challenging and difficult.
However, there are some exercises that can be learned and practiced at home between guided sessions.
As when beginning any new form of exercise it is important that you seek the advice of your doctor before commencing, the instructor guiding the Pilates session should also be qualified.
One-on-one sessions may be the answer
For those who have significant back problems, it may be advisable to have a few one-on-one sessions with an instructor qualified in Pilates and especially in treating those with back pain.
While this is more expensive than attending a class it can be worth the extra expense to learn the exercise correctly by having one-on-one guidance.
While the exercises in the Pilates system should challenge you mentally and physically, they shouldn’t cause you to struggle with them.
If an exercise is causing you pain then it could be that you are not performing it correctly or it could be too difficult a position for you.
You should make sure that you never put too much excessive stress on the intervertebral discs and avoid mental or physical fatigue.
As a general rule, those suffering from back pain and attending Pilates should never perform any exercise that pushes the spine into extremes of extension or flexion.
Side bending movements and twisting of the spine should also be avoided. As with most forms of exercise, it will take perseverance and some time spent attending classes before you will see any major improvements.
A healthy back is all about core strength training. It includes not only exercises of the back but exercises of the stomach as well.
Flexibility exercises help your back as well and include things like bending from side to side to loosen the back stiffness and bending forward to touch your toes, which keeps your back from getting too tight.
Try some of the exercises mentioned above or share them with your acquaintance you know that might need it or you think would be helpful to them.
Be mindful of your posture as well and how you execute your day to day activities to avoid any back injuries in the future.
As you can see, back exercises are needed to maintain a healthy back or to recuperate an injured back.
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