We put a lot of pressure on our back when we lift heavy loads, carry babies or infants for long period of time, work physical jobs, and even sit all day in the office. To avoid any back pain or injury brought about these daily activities, here are some exercises that can strengthen the back.
Lying Lower Back Hyperextension
Lie flat on your tummy on a firm surface. Bend your arms and place your hands at either side of your head. Now, raise your head and shoulders slightly – not too much. Squeeze your butt slightly at the same time. Do not lift your feet or knees off the floor. Return to starting position.
You will feel this working your lower back towards the end of the first or second set. Remember, if you haven’t trained this area for a while, you will have sore lower back muscles when you first start doing this exercise as this is one of the body’s weakest areas.
Wide Grip / Lat Pulldown Exercise
Seated, facing the pulley machine, place a wide underhand grip on the bar about shoulder width apart. Pull the bar down to your upper chest, squeezing your upper back muscles together for a short pause.
Keep your midsection firm and your chest out, keep your head up. Slowly return the bar back towards the pulley stopping when you feel the stretch, then repeat the exercise until you have completed your reps.
Exercise Tips for the Back
- Keep your midsection firm, especially when performing your upper back exercises.
- When performing Lat Pulldowns (behind the neck) make sure you do not arch your back. Only pull the bar down until it reaches the base of your neck, in line with your shoulders.
- Keep your weights at a moderate resistance to ensure you keep good form while exercising. Training with weights that are too heavy will only encourage injuries.
- If you have neck problems, stay away from “behind the neck” Lat Pulldowns. Instead, use an underhand grip and pull the bar down to the front of your upper chest.
- If you suffer from back problems, go for exercises that provide more support. For instance, if you find that dumbbell rows are really uncomfortable for you to perform, use a Seated Supported Row Machine instead.
- Don’t forget to include your lower back in your “back workout”. You can’t expect to have a strong midsection if you forget about training the back half of it, can you?
- Once again, train according to your body type. You can make amazing changes to your back and the way it looks by using the correct exercises to enhance it.
- Allocate twice a week, maximum, for back training. When training your lower back, usually because it’s so easily forgotten about, the unused weak muscles will feel sore, so make sure you give them time to recover.
- Always perform a warm up before your workout, a cool down after, and then your stretches.
- Finally, always observe good posture when standing, walking, running, and even weight lifting.