Your core, the muscles of the abdominals, oblique’s and back, is the most important muscle group in your body. Whenever you use other muscles in your arms, legs, shoulders, and neck – anywhere – they are connected to your core. A strong core can help improve sports performance, posture, and even make you look slimmer! When most people work out however, they tend to ignore their back muscles, an important part of core strength. But by making a few small changes in your workout, you can easily engage your back muscles and strengthen them, helping your core in the process.
Working out, or sitting at home watching your favorite show, posture is important! Not only does it keep your back strong and safe, it helps to actually strengthen the core – the entire core! Great posture can also help protect your back from injury, and help you to maintain a strong back as you get older, preventing improper curvature of the spine.
When you’re working out, be sure to maintain proper posture during each exercise. Also be sure to add some extra back-strengthening moves to your regular workout. Here’s how:
- Planks: Doing planks is one of the best things you can do for your body. They work every part of your body from your neck to your toes! If a full plank is too difficult, try starting on your knees first. Begin with a 10 second plank, and add 5 seconds every other workout.
- Deadlights: This is one of the best strengthening exercises for your back, and it also works your abs and hamstrings! Hold either a dumbbell in each hand, or a weighted bar with both hands. Stand with feet hip width apart. Without bending your back, and keeping your shoulders back, lower the weight as low to the floor as you can go, then rise back up.
- Supermen: This exercise works your lower back by using your ab and back strength to lift your arms and legs. Start out by holding it 15 seconds, and work up to 60.
By adding some simple stretches to your day every morning and evening you can prevent injury to your back during the day.
- Reach your arms up and stretch down, vertebrae by vertebrae, bending your back until your touch your toes. Slowly roll back up and repeat.
- Now keep your arms up, but reach back behind your head as far as you can go without losing your balance. Slowly return to start.
- Finally, a great exercise to strengthen and massage your back at the same time that you can do every night. Sit on the ground on a mat or thick blankets. Wrap your legs in your arms, getting into ball position and balance in that position. Slowly roll back all the way, and then roll back up. Repeat 3 or more times.
Strengthening your back is integral to core strength, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Add these tips to your everyday routines and in just a month you’ll notice a great change in your overall strength!