I frequently (constantly!) hear people complaining about back pain. I do a lot of stretching and I regularly go to a chiropractor, so I’m happy to say I don’t have that problem. But folks who won’t take either of those precautions often hurt – and badly. So here are four exercise types that just might help that aching back.
CHINUPS. This may actually be difficult for beginners, but they are a common part of the routine of seasoned athletes and regular gym goers. With palms facing the body, one has to hang up on a metal bar and lift the whole body up until the chin reaches past the metal bar. Chinups are best for strengthening the upper back.
DUMBBELLS. There are two options for dumbbell exercises. It is best to practice both. First is the dumbbell bent over row. For this, position yourself on a bench using one knee and one arm as support. Make sure the body is parallel with the ground. With the other hand, pull the dumbbell upwards until it reaches the chest and then fully stretch it downwards towards the floor.
Second is the Y-shoulder raise. For this, lie prone on the bench supported by the chest and the stomach with dumbbells on both hands. With palms facing inwards and keeping elbows straight, raise both arms until parallel with the ground. For both exercises, make sure to do repeatedly in several sets. Exercising with the use of dumbbells is best for strengthening the mid back.
BACK EXTENSIONS. In a prone position, lift and stretch your right arm and left leg about an inch off the ground. Count to 8 and lower them back down. Repeat for your other arm and leg. Repeat several times. Remember that while crutches work on your abs, back extensions are best for strengthening the lower back. This is most important for back injury prevention and also complements lower body exercises.
YOGA. As for other folks, perhaps mothers who need to carry around kids and groceries, yoga is also a good alternative. For starters, yoga focuses on improving breathing and flexibility. There are different poses that are specifically geared towards back strengthening.
As a parting note, remember to do these recommendations gradually and consistently. Quickly going into them too quickly or abruptly ending them may strain, instead of strengthening, the back.