10 Easy Spine Strengthening Exercises to Prevent Back Pain : Are you suffering from daily back pain? Let’s do something about that, shall we?
We’ve spoken before about why and when it’s a good idea to see a back pain chiropractor. But today, we’ll teach you some stretches and other spinal exercises to perform daily for better spine health.
These exercises will strengthen your spine and help you find your optimal alignment. Start doing these spine exercises today.
1. Achieving a Neutral Spine
We’ll start by finding your optimal spine alignment.
- Lie on your back with knees bent and feet placed flat on the floor. Your legs should be a hip distance apart. Your arms should rest at your sides.
- Completely relax your body.
- Breathe deeply. Feel your breath fill your body as fully as possible.
- Using your abs, push your lower spine flat onto the floor as you exhale.
- Relax your spine again as you inhale. This is the neutral spine position you should be using with the following exercises.
Make sure you perform this exercise first so you know how to keep a neutral spine for the other exercises.
2. Hip Crossover Stretch
Muscle tightness around the hip/butt area often contributes to lower back pain. This exercise will help you release this tightness.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet not touching the floor. Keep your knees shoulder-width apart.
- Cross your right ankle over your left knee.
- With your hands, gently pull your right knee toward your left shoulder.
- Hold for 30 seconds and feel the stretch in your hip/butt area.
Perform this exercise a total of 3 times on each side.
3. Bridge Exercise
This exercise will strengthen your back and buttocks muscles. It also works out your hamstrings.
- Lie on your back, knees bent, legs shoulder-width apart.
- Using your back and buttocks muscles, slowly raise your hips off the floor. Be sure to keep your arms and shoulders on the floor.
- Hold for five seconds, then slowly return to your starting position.
Do this for three sets of ten reps.
4. Abdominal Bracing
Your abs work together with your back muscles to provide additional support. Here’s a great exercise to strengthen this feature of your abs.
- Once again, start by lying on your back, knees bent, legs shoulder-width apart. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your arms at your sides.
- Raise your left hand and slowly raise your left knee up to meet it.
- Hold for five seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Keep your knee bent at the same angle while you raise and lower it.
- Now repeat this on the right side.
Alternate between both legs for a total of 20 reps. Remember to keep your spine in a neutral position while performing these exercises.
5. Alternative Squat
Done properly, this exercise will strengthen the spinal support muscles in your core and legs. Strengthening these will help you prevent future spinal injuries.
- Sit on a chair that’s a comfortable height with your feet on the ground.
- Cross your arms over your chest placing your hands on your shoulders.
- Keeping your spine aligned, squeeze your buttocks and stand up. Use your buttocks and leg muscles to stand. Your spine should not move; it should stay in the same position through the whole exercise.
- Slowly sit back down, still using your legs and buttocks, still keeping your spine aligned.
Perform three sets of ten reps.
6. Scapular Push Ups
This variation of the traditional push up gives your back more of a workout.
- Start in a plank position (push up position) with your arms straight out in front of you and only your hands and toes on the floor. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart. Your face should be toward the floor and your spine, leg, and neck should all be lined up.
- Pinch your shoulder blades together as if you were trying to hold a baseball with them.
- Continue the rest of the push up as you normally would. Keeping your back, legs, and neck lined up, slowly lower your body halfway to the floor. Then, slowly raise back up to position 1.
A good routine for scapular pushups is 10 reps per set. At first, though, you may only be able to do a few reps. But keep at it until you’re strong enough to do 10-15 per set.
7. Renegade Rows
This exercise works out several muscle groups in your upper body and core for added spinal support.
- Again, start in a pushup position, as before.
- This time, though, you aren’t lowering your body. Instead, raise your right hand straight up off the ground. Your arm should be tucked in tight right around your rib cage.
- Lower your right arm back where it started.
- Now repeat with your left hand.
Perform 10-12 reps for each side. Remember to keep your spine in the neutral position you learned in the first exercise.
Here’s another excellent multi-muscle-group workout for additional spinal support.
- Lie face down with your forehead on the exercise mat and your toes pointed down.
- Put your arms straight out past your head with palms on the mat.
- Use your glutes, back, and hamstrings to lift your hands up off the ground, a few inches up.
- Hold for 3 seconds.
- Return to the starting position.
Do this for ten reps at a time.
Add These Spine Exercises to Your Daily Routine
If you have an exercise routine, be sure to add these spinal exercises to them to reduce back pain and prevent later injuries. If you don’t have an exercise routine, now’s a good time to start!
For a healthy back, keep this list and perform these spine exercises each day.
Now, check out 6 Underlying Problems That May Be Causing Your Back Pain.
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