Putting Strength BACK Into Your Life
We’ve all been there, waking up in the morning with that ache lingering in your lower back from who knows what. You wonder if it was from the way you fell asleep or something you did the prior day. In reality, your pain is most likely a culmination of poor posture carried through an extended period of time. Your posture isn’t just the way you are sitting in a chair, but also your body alignment while doing other activities such as gardening, house work, exercising, picking things up, playing with your children or grandchildren, or even getting dressed. These activities have an impact on your back health. Here, we will discuss three ways to help improve your back’s stability and strength, so you can maintain a healthy body in 2018.
- Plank – This exercise is a great core strengthening movement that can be done anywhere. The only equipment required is your body. There are so many benefits to movements like a plank, but a few are abdominal strength, back strength, hamstring, quadricep and hip strength. Most importantly, planks are great at practicing and reinforcing proper posture. When just starting out, it may be more beneficial to have someone help with your plank technique as to ensure you are in the correct position to get the benefits listed above.
- Pelvic Tilt – Although difficult to get correct, practicing a pelvic tilt and its variations can provide great benefit for back health. Not only do pelvic tilts help with posture and reinforcing normal curve into the lower spine, but it is a great and less invasive way of strengthening your abdominal muscles. On top of that, progressing with pelvic tilts will strengthen your pelvic floor; something that offers its own ballot of benefits.
- Stretches – Strengthening muscles like hamstrings, hip flexors, adductors and glutes is important; however, it is also just as important to make sure you are lengthening those tissues out through stretching. The stretches you see below are a great way to help take stress off your back. Although stretching is safe, take caution in how you perform each one. Postural integrity and making sure you are putting the stress on the intended muscle group is important.
Treigh Crouch has his master's degree in exercise physiology and is an exercise physiologist at Balance Wellspace in Roanoke, VA. He is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist and is a personal trainer at Balance Wellspace where he specializes in weight loss, high intensity interval training, cardiovascular conditioning, athletic and strength training.