Back ExercisesApril 01, 2019
There are many back exercises one can do at home and at the gym that serve many different purposes: for relieving back pain, gaining back muscles, strengthening the lower back, improving posture, and so on. Back exercises also differ in impact and intensity, and it is advisable to consult a doctor before engaging in any of these exercises.
Back Exercises at Home
- Shoulder blade squeeze. Sit on an armless chair, keeping the spine straight. Pull the shoulder blades together, hold for five seconds, and relax. You can also rotate both shoulder blades before relaxing. Repeat 5 times, twice a day.
- Partial crunches. Do this by lying flat on the floor, knees bent, cross arms or put hands behind the neck. Then raise the shoulders off the floor while tightening the stomach muscles and breathing out. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
- Hamstring stretches. Lie on your back and bend one knee. On the other leg, loop a towel at the ball of the foot and straighten the knee, pulling back the towel and stretching the leg muscles. Repeat 2 to 4 times each leg.
- Bridge exercise. Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor, keeping the shoulders and neck relaxed. Slowly raise the hips, forming a straight line between the knees and the shoulders. Hold this position and take three deep breaths. Let go and resume to the original position. Repeat 5 times each day.
- Cat stretch. On the floor, position in all fours while keeping a straight spine. Arch the back slowly as if pulling the stomach towards the ceiling, then slowly sag toward the floor. Repeat 3 to 5 times, twice a day.
- Wall sits. Lean against the wall flat on your back, then slowly slide down until knees are slightly bent, pressing the lower back against the wall. Hold and count to 10, then carefully resume to the original position. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
Back Exercises at the Gym
Some back exercises at the gym require the use of tools and equipment. Seek guidance of a gym instructor how to use and the recommended intensity and repetition to achieve goals of muscle gain and avoid injury.
- Dumbbell row. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with feet aligned with both shoulders. Bend the knees and the waist over slightly, keeping the back straight. Straighten both arms and pull the dumbbells up to the rib cage, hold for one second then release.
- General pull-up. Using a pull-up bar, grab with both hands, arms straight over the shoulders and feet flat on the floor. Slowly pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar, the elbows pulling the muscles on your back. Lower the body and resume original position.
- Back extension. Using a back extension bench, place the lower part of the hips on the pad, both arms on the chest, and feet supporting the upper body. Bend the hips and lower the torso, extend as far as you can while keeping the spine straight. Squeeze the glutes as you extend the hips to raise the torso back to original position.
At Ubuntu Medical we also have Exercise Physiologists.