Strengthening your back should be as important as strengthening other muscles in your body, but is often not given as much priority. The back tends to be more prone to injury, perhaps from being neglected. Whether you are looking to strengthen your back or help relieve sore muscles, there are a lot of great exercises you can do. Read on to find 10 of the best back-strengthening exercises.
- Bridge (Strengthens core muscles- buttocks, back, abs) Laying on your back, bend your knees at a 90-degree angle with feet flat on floor. Keep abs tight while raising buttocks off the floor. Tighten buttocks and keep shoulders to knees in a straight line. Count to five then slowly lower buttocks to floor. Repeat five to fifteen times.
- Wall Squat (Strengthens back, hips, and quads) Stand with back to a wall, heels about 18 inches from the wall with feet shoulder-width apart. Tighten abs and slide slowly down the wall into a sitting position (knees bent to about 90 degrees). If this is too difficult, bend knees at a 45 degree angle and build from there. Count to five and slide up the wall again to stand. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
- Plank (Strengthens back, abs, neck, arms and legs) Laying on your stomach, place elbows and forearms on floor. In push-up position, balance on your toes and elbows. Keep back and legs straight, like a plank. Tighten and hold for 10 seconds. Relax, repeat five to ten times. If this exercise is too hard, balance on your knees instead of toes.
- Side Plank (Strengthens the obliques- side abdominal muscles) Lay on your right side. Place right elbow and forearm on floor. Tighten abs and push up till shoulder is over elbow. Keep body in a straight line with feet, knees, hips, shoulders and head aligned. Only forearm and side of right foot are on floor. Hold for 10 seconds, relax. Repeat five times. Repeat on left side. If this exercise is too hard, balance on knees instead of feet.
- Lunge (Improves body control) Tighten abs. With hands on hips, take a wide step forward with right foot. Lower down till right knee is at a 90-degree angle. Push back to starting position and repeat 8 to 12 times. Switch legs and repeat.
- Leg and Arm Raises (Strengthens back and hips) Laying on stomach, reach arms out past head with palms and forehead on floor. Tighten abs and lift one arm, raising head and shoulders and the opposite leg at the same time. Hold for 5 seconds and switch sides. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
- Leg Lifts (Strengthens Quads) Laying flat on back, bend left knee at 90-degree angle with foot remaining flat on floor. Tighten abs and keep right leg straight. Slowly lift right foot to the height of left knee. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides and repeat.
- Bird Dog (Improves Muscle Balance and Coordination) Kneel on all fours with knees hip-width apart and hands flat and shoulder-width apart. Tighten abs by pulling belly toward spine. Keep spine neutral (avoid arching back or rotating hips), extend right leg back and left arm straight ahead. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat five to six times. Switch sides and repeat.
- Reverse Fly (Strengthens Upper Back, use dumbbells) Stand with knees slightly bent and bend forward at the waist. Keep back flat, dumbbells in hand hanging toward floor. Begin contracting muscles of upper back as you bend elbows up to shoulders, pause and slowly lower to starting position. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
- One-arm Dumbbell Raise (Strengthens back, legs and arms): Start with right knee on a flat bench. Bend at waist, resting on right hand. Straighten back and hold dumbbell in left hand. Place a dumbbell in your left hand. Gradually pull dumbbell toward abdomen. Pause and slowly lower dumbbell to starting position. Repeat 10 to 15 times, then switch sides and repeat.
Find local resources: Healthy Utah
Big Back Pain: Back Exercises
Web MD: Back Exercises. . .