Nine Exercises that Strengthen the Back
As you all know, September was back month. We focused on strengthening, mobilizing and stretching the back muscles. Hopefully coming into October your back is feeling strong and pain-free from all the back mobility work we’ve done.
A strong back is the foundation of any balanced fitness regimen. Along with adding strength and power to your workouts, a strong back helps you bear day-to-day activities such as standing, sitting, and bending down a bit easier. The following stretches and exercises are designed to improve the strength, mobility, and flexibility of these important muscles.
- Hamstring/Lower Back Stretch
Sit down with your legs straight in front of you, leaning forward with your arms straight out towards your toes. This stretches your lower back, hamstrings and legs.
- Yoga Cat/Cow Stretch
Kneel on all fours with hands beneath shoulders and knees directly below hips. Gently arch your spine upwards and then downwards, like a cat.
- Cobra Stretch
Lie facedown on the floor with feet together and palms underneath your shoulders. Slowly raise your chest up off the floor – holding the pose for at least 30 seconds or longer.
- Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows using a bench
Place the right knee on top of the end of a bench, bend your torso forward from the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor, and place your right hand on the other end of the bench. Hold dumbbell in left hand, pull using your rhomboid muscles, bringing your elbow back and towards the spine, squeezing your shoulder blades; lower slowly with control.
- Child’s Pose
Kneel and sit your hips back toward your heels, forehead to the floor, with arms stretched overhead.
Begin in a dead hang from a bar, with your core centered and back straight. Pull yourself up using your lats and core muscles, squeezing your shoulder blades at the top of the movement. Keep your neck straight and guide your chin steadily above the bar.
- Scapular Push ups
Start out in plank position with your arms shoulder width apart. Keep your arms locked outward, drop your chest slightly and squeeze your shoulder blades together, isolating your scapula. Make sure to keep lower back neutral and avoid bending the elbows.
- Lower Back Extensions
Lie facedown on the floor with your body fully extended, arms above your head and legs together. Lift your arms and legs up off the floor, using your lower back and glute muscles, making sure not to bend the knees or elbows.
- Spinal Twist
Begin in seated staff pose. Bend your right knee over your left leg, placing your foot on the ground next to your left thigh. Your leg can be kept straight ahead or bent. Turn your torso towards the left.
Try these exercises out and let us know you feel. Looking forward to next month–get ready for the 10,000 rep challenge!! As always, if you’d like to set up a free consult with us, please fill out the contact form below.
Yours in health,
Fuse Fitness Team