We have all heard that exercise is great for the heart, helps to lose weight and improves circulation. But did you know that you need exercise to keep your spine healthy too? Other than improving your overall fitness, studies have shown that exercises can help reduce back pain, prevent back injuries and keep the spine healthy. This post will cover four no-impact ad easy-to-learn exercises that will strengthen your spine and reduce the risk of back pain via the extension and flexion or your core muscles. Remember to consult your physical therapist before starting any new exercise regime.
- Abdominal Bracing
This is an exercise that systematically contracts your abdominal muscles. It helps to stabilize and stiffen the spine.Lie down on your back and ensure the knees are shoulder width apart and bent. Lift the right knee up so it meets the right hand and then start pushing as you provide resistance with your hand. Stay in that position for about five seconds and return to the initial position. Ensure you repeat the same process but with your left lend and hand. Alternate for 20 reps.
- Hip Crossover Stretch
With this workout, you will be able to stretch and release any kind of tightness in your piriformis muscle. This muscle is found on your hip and buttock area and it often contributes to low back pain.Lie on the ground with your face up and the knees bent (shoulder width apart.) Cross the right ankle over the left knee and use your hands to pull the right knee towards the left shoulder slowly. Hold the position for 30 seconds. The aim is to feel a stretch in the buttocks and hips. Consider repeating the process 3 times on every side.
- Bridge Exercise
This exercise will assist you to strengthen muscles in the buttocks, hamstrings, and back.Begin by lying on the back. Your knees should be spread, shoulder-width apart, and bent. Use the buttock and back muscles to raise your hips gently as you keep your shoulder on the ground. Stay for five seconds and rest. Repeat for 3 sets of ten reps each.
- Alternative Squat
Do you know the squats weightlifters do as they lift heavy barbells? Well, that’s not a safe activity for the spine. Instead, try the traditional squat since it can help build leg and core strength.Start by sitting on the edge of a bed or chair and cross your arms over the chest. Your fingers should touch the shoulders. Begin squeezing the buttocks and then push on the ground with the legs. Try to rise as if you are standing and ensure your neck and back are in-line. Repeat this 10 times.