Sitting on a chair all day or lying in bed for long periods can weaken the back and the surrounding muscles. However, there are a few exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine to ensure that your muscles stay healthy and active.
Here are a few back strengthening exercises:
The Gluteus maximus is the largest muscle of the buttocks. Performing bridges helps strengthen this muscle, usually engaged when people move their hips or bend into a squat position. The gluteus maximus is one of the most crucial muscles of the human body as it helps support the lower back.
Here’s how you can perform a bridge:
- Find a flat surface and lie down on the ground. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Make sure that they are hip-width apart.
- Put pressure on your feet, pressing them into the floor. Keep your arms by your sides.
- Slowly and carefully raise your buttocks off the floor. Keep going until your body is perpendicular and forms a straight line from the shoulders to the knees.
- When you get into this position, squeeze your buttocks, ensuring that the shoulders are flat against the floor.
- After a minute, lower your buttocks to the floor and take a small break.
- Repeat this set 10 to 15 times, and then rest for 1-minute.
- Try to do three sets of this exercise.
2. Lower Back Rotational Stretches
If you are facing some tension in your lower back and trunk area, the lower back rotational stretch is perfect as it helps work the core muscles in the body. Working these muscles also helps improve stability and overall posture.
Here’s how you can perform lower back rotational stretches:
- Lie down straight on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat.
- Your shoulders should be pressed firmly to the floor. Slowly and gently roll both bent knees to one side of the floor.
- Hold that position for 10 seconds.
- Come back to the starting position with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Slowly and gently roll both the bent knees on the opposite side of the floor.
- Repeat this posture on each side three times.
3. Cat Stretches
The cat stretch is known to make the back stronger and easy any form of tension in the muscles.
Here’s how you can perform a cat stretch:
- Get into the position of a cat with your hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are hip-width apart.
- Slowly arch your back and pull the belly button up towards the spine.
- Carefully relax your muscles, allowing the abdomen to face the floor.
- Come back to your starting cat position.
- Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times, twice a day.
4. Lying Lateral Leg Lifts
Lying lateral leg lifts are great for the hip abductor muscles. These muscles help reduce pressure on the back while supporting the pelvis. It is important to keep the hip abductor muscles strong as they are used to maintain mobility. If these muscles weaken, your mobility can be affected.
Here’s how you can perform lying lateral leg lifts:
- Lie on the floor on one side with your legs flat together
- Slightly bend the lower leg.
- Tuck in your belly button so that your core muscles are activated
- Slowly raise the top leg to a 35-degree angle, making sure to keep it straight and extended. Do not bend the knees.
- Hold your position for three seconds.
- Repeat ten times
- Slowly turn your body on the other side and repeat the same movement with your other leg.
- Repeat ten times.
To maintain good posture, strong back extensors are of utmost importance. You will find these muscles on either side of your spine. Having weak back extensors will lower spinal and pelvic support. However, performing a superman can help strengthen the spine.
Here’s how you can perform a superman:
- Bring yourself to the floor, face down, making sure to keep a mat underneath.
- Stretch out both your arms in front of your body as you lie on your stomach. Stretch out your legs are the same time, making sure that they are flat against the floor. Do not bend them.
- Slowly raise your arms and legs off the floor at the same time. Try to keep them 6-inches away from the floor.
- Pulling in the bellybutton when lifting your body off the floor will help tighten and engage the core muscles.
- To avoid neck injury, look down at the floor and keep your head straight. Avoid talking to anyone while you hold this pose.
- Try to stretch your hands and feet as far as possible.
- Hold this position for a few seconds. Do not overexert yourself.
- Come back to the starting position.
- Repeat this position ten times.
What are you waiting for? Include these exercises into your routine and notice the difference yourself!