Saturday, May 12, 2012

Exercises for Back Health: 05/12/2012

Keep that Back Healthy

The back is probably one of the most injured parts of the human body, and many times there is not a good reason for why it is injured. Unlike ankle sprains and torn ACLs, individuals usually can't say what happened to cause their back pain. Here are just a few exercises that can help in maintaining back range of motion, spinal alignment, and help stretch out the back.

This is a great chart featuring the muscles of the back

The Prone Arm Raise

1. lay on your stomach and keep your legs and hips relaxed
2. place your arms up above your head
3. raise one arm off of the floor and then lower it
4. raise the other arm and then lower it
5. your upper back should remain as still as possible

The Old Horse and Cat

1. start on all fours
2. lead with your extremities, in this case your extremities are your head and tail bone
3. lift your head and tail bone up to the sky sinking your middle and lower back
4. return to neutral
5. drop your head and tail bone down to the floor creating an arch in your middle and lower back
6. return to neutral

Prone Back Extension

1. Lay on your stomach with your arms by your side and your palms facing down
2. lift your head and arch at your lower back lifting your chest of of the floor by a few inches
3. lower back down to the starting position

The Muslim into the Cobra

1. start on all fours
2. lead with your rear and pull yourself back onto your ankles, leave your hands where you started and lower your head
3. again lead with your rear and push yourself back up to all fours
4. drop your hips toward the ground creating an arch in your lower back.
5. Push your chest up to the sky and relax your head
6. lead again with your legs and rear and pull back onto all fours

Wag the Tail

1. start on all fours
2. shift your weight to the right side and bring your right hips toward your right shoulder
3. come back to neutral
4. shift your weight to the left side and bring your left hips toward your left shoulder
5. return to neutral  

Preforming several reps and sets of each exercise can aid in the maintenance of strength, ROM, and injury prevention for the upper, middle , and lower back. Don't be afraid to hold a position for several seconds before moving on to the next step. Remember, good health isn't a race. Take these exercises at a pace that is comfortable for you. Good luck in keeping your back healthy, and here's to your health.

For more exercises please visit NISMAT
All images are from 

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