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Sep 20, 2009

How to Excercise your Back

You use your back muscles in almost every activity you do, so it is worth taking the time to exercise and strengthen them.
Exercising your back will improve your overall fitness and help you to add muscle to your upper body.
Exercising your back also helps to prevent lower back injury and pain, whether work-related or not. It's critical for having a healthy and pain-free back.

Steps


  1. Stretch before you start with the exercises. Stretching is an important way to improve your health and fitness. Follow proper stretching techniques:
    • Perform balanced stretching. This means you should always stretch the muscles on both sides of your body evenly. Don’t stretch one side more than the other side.
    • Avoid over-stretching. Never stretch to the point of pain or discomfort. You will feel slight tension or a pull on the muscle at the peak of the stretch.
    • Go slowly! Always stretch slowly and evenly. Hold the stretch for about fifteen seconds and release slowly as well.
    • Never bounce or jerk while stretching. This can cause injury as a muscle is pushed beyond its ability. All stretches should be smooth, and slow.
    • Don't forget to breathe. Flexibility exercises should be relaxing. Deep, easy, even breathing is key to relaxation. Never hold your breath while you stretch.[1]

  2. Start with proper posture before you do your exercises. A good posture means:
    • A straight line from your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.
    • Head is centered.
    • Shoulders, hips and knees are of equal height.[2]

  3. Start with your back exercises. Here are some easy exercises that you can do without the use of expensive fitness devices.
    • Knee to chest exercise:
      1. Lie on your back on an exercise mat or firm surface.
      2. Hold your hands behind the thighs and pull your thighs towards your chest.
      3. Keep the opposite leg flat on the surface of the mat and maintain the position for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

    • Pelvic Tilt:
      1. Lie on your back on a firm surface or an exercise mat. Keep your feet flat on the surface and your knees bent.
      2. Push the small of your back into the floor by pulling the lower abdominal muscles up and in.
      3. Hold your back flat while breathing easily in and out. Hold for five seconds. Do not hold your breath.

    • Hip rolling:
      1. Lie on your back on a firm surface or an exercise mat. Keep both of your knees bent, and keep your feet flat on the surface.
      2. Cross your arms over your chest. Turn your head to the right as you turn both of your knees to the left.
      3. Allow your knees to relax and go down without forcing. Bring your knees back up, head to center.
      4. Repeat in the opposite direction.

    • Lower abdominal exercise:
      1. Lie on your back on a firm surface or an exercise mat.
      2. Keep your knees bent and keep your feet flat on the surface.
      3. Flatten your back to the floor by pulling your abdominal muscles up and in.
      4. Bring one knee toward your chest. Hold this position for a couple of seconds.
      5. Lower your leg to the starting position. Then repeat on your opposite knee.
      6. Bring one knee toward your chest. Straighten your knee and hold for a couple of seconds. Slowly lower your leg to the starting position. Repeat it on your opposite leg.
      7. Raise your leg, keeping your knee straight. Hold for a couple of seconds. Slowly lower your leg to the floor. Repeat on your opposite leg.
      8. Maintain your pelvic tilt and keep your resting leg relaxed at all times. Do not hold your breath.

    • Curl Up:
      1. Lie on your back on a firm surface or on an exercise mat.
      2. Keep your feet flat on the surface and keep your knees bent. Maintain your pelvic tilt for the curl up exercises.
      3. Slowly reach your arms in front of you as much as possible, curling your trunk. Slowly keep the neck muscles relaxed. Breathe normally. Slowly return to the starting position.
      4. Fold your arms on your chest. Tuck your chin to your chest and slowly reach your elbows to your knees, curling your trunk. Keep your neck muscles relaxed and breathe normally and return to the starting position.
      5. Keep your hands behind your head, and slowly curl your head to your chest and then your trunk. Relax, breathe and then slowly return to the starting position.

    • Cat and camel:
      1. Kneel down on the floor and assume the "all-fours" position. Keep your head straight so that the gaze of your eyes is toward the floor.
      2. Slowly allow your trunk to sag as far as you can so that your back is arched. Do not pull it down, but let it relax as you lift up your face towards the ceiling.
      3. Round your back up at the waist as far as you can by contracting your lower abdominal muscles as you lower the top of your head toward the floor. All motion should be initiated from your lower back.

    • Tail Wagging:
      1. Kneel on a mat and assume the "all-fours" position. Keep your head in a neutral position, looking down at the floor.
      2. Keeping your shoulders still, move your right hip toward your right shoulder as far as you can.
      3. Slowly return to the starting position, then move your left hip toward your left shoulder as far as you can.

    • Hip extension:
      1. Assume the "all-fours" position. Bring one knee toward your head as you lower the head.
      2. Extend the head up and the leg out to a flat position, parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position.
      3. Repeat, with your other leg.

    • Hand-knee rocking:
      1. Kneel on a mat in a child pose with your knees and ankles against the mat. Allow your buttocks to rest on your heels.
      2. Take your upper body over so you are in a crouched position with your arms stretched out in front of you.
      3. Relax in this position and then slowly move forward with your elbows, straight into a press-up position.

    • Lying prone in extension:
      1. Lie on your stomach on a mat with your weight on your forearms.
      2. Lean on your elbows and stay in this position for a couple of seconds, making sure that you relax your lower back completely.

    • Press up:
      1. Lie on your stomach on a mat. Place your hands, palms down, under your shoulders.
      2. Straighten your arms, and raise your upper torso off the floor.
      3. Keep your pelvis against the mat, allowing your lower back to arch. Hold for a couple of seconds. Return to your starting position and repeat.

    • Back extension:
      1. Lie on your stomach on a mat. Place your arms at your sides so that your hands are by your hips.
      2. Raise your head and shoulders off the mat as high as comfortably possible. Hold for a couple of seconds.
      3. Lower your head and your shoulders. Do not tense your shoulder muscles.

    • Arm lifts:
      1. Lie on your stomach on a mat. Stretch your arms over your head and go slightly out to the side (in a V position).
      2. Lift one arm, with your hand positioned so that the thumb points upward. Keep your thighs and your opposite arm relaxed.
      3. Slowly lower your arm, then raise your other arm in the same manner.

    • Hip extension:
      1. Lie on your stomach on a mat. Bend your knee to a 90 degree angle so that the sole of your foot faces the ceiling.
      2. Lift one thigh off the mat approximately 6 inches by raising your foot toward the ceiling. Make sure that your hip bones do not leave the mat as you lift your leg.
      3. Slowly lower your thigh back to the starting position.

    • Knee push up:
      1. Lie on your stomach on a mat. Place your hands with the palms down on the mat at the level of your shoulders.
      2. Push with your arms. Lift your trunk and thighs off the surface of the mat until your elbows are straight. Your knees should be bent, and your lower legs and feet should be on the mat.
      3. Keep your back straight and do not let your stomach sag.
      4. Slowly bend your elbows, lowering your trunk and thighs toward the surface of the mat. Push away from the mat again, and straighten your arms.

    • Push up:
      1. Lay on your stomach, and place your hands, with the palms down, on the floor at the level of your shoulders.
      2. Flex your toes so that the weight of your body is shared by your hands and the soles of your feet. Push with your arms and raise your trunk and legs off the floor.
      3. Keep your back straight and do not let your stomach sag.
      4. Bend your elbows to lower your body halfway toward the floor, then push your body back by straightening your arms.

    • Trunk rotation:
      1. Assume the "all-fours" position. Reach one arm under your body toward the opposite knee. Hold for a couple of seconds. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat, with alternating arms.
      2. With weight on both hands, bring one knee towards the opposite shoulder. Hold for a couple of seconds. Return to the starting position, repeat with alternating knees.

    • Full back release:
      1. Sit in a chair with your feet flat. Relax your shoulders and keep your head level. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your buttocks and your feet.
      2. Relax your neck. Curl your neck, upper back and low back slowly forward.
      3. Allow your hands to reach the floor so your palms are touching the floor. Hold for a couple of seconds. Go straight up slowly, so that you bring your head up last. Return to the starting position.

    • Upper back stretch:
      1. Sit on a stool with your back flat against a wall.
      2. Lift your arms overhead. Keep your head and back flat against the wall, and hold for a couple of seconds.
      3. Make sure that your shoulders can touch the wall while keeping your back flat. Hold for a couple of seconds, and lower your hands to the starting position.

    • Side bending:
      1. Stand up straight with your arms at your sides and your feet shoulder width apart.
      2. Bend your trunk to one side, by lowering your shoulder, run your hand down the outside of your thigh and hold for a couple of seconds.
      3. Slowly straighten up. Repeat to the opposite side.

    • Backward bending:
      1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart.
      2. Keep your knees as straight as possible. Place your hands on your back firmly at your waist level.
      3. Bend backwards at your waist keeping the knees as straight as possible. Hold for a couple of seconds. Return slowly to the upright position.

    • Pectoralis stretch:
      1. Stand with your legs together facing a corner. Extend your arms and place your palms against the opposite walls of the corner.
      2. Lean toward the corner. Keep your body and legs straight and your heels firmly on the floor and hold for a couple of seconds.
      3. Return to the starting position. Repeat, gradually increasing your distance from the corner.

Sources and Citations


  1. http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/flexibility/a/aa040703a.htm

  2. http://exercise.about.com/cs/abs/a/coreandposture_2.htm

nismat.org


Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Exercise Your Back. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

4 comments:

  1. very nice tips
    I will try this tips when my mood is good to exercise

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow i love you blog its awesome nice colors you must have did hard work on your blog. Keep up the good work. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. blog yg menarik dan smoga byk yg mengunjungi..:) terima kasih

    ReplyDelete