- Why strengthen your back muscles
- Back Strengthening Exercises
- Back Stretching Exercises
- Expert advice
The text was checked and commented by Vladimir Zhaents-Zaitsev, elite coach of the World Class Tverskaya club
Why strengthen your back muscles
Strengthening your back has many benefits, the most important of which is to make your daily life easier. Even the most basic everyday movements, such as walking or lifting weights, involve the back, including several areas: the vertebral, scapular, subscapularis, sacral, and lumbar.
There are more than ten types of back muscles that can be worked out and strengthened. Exercise helps to correct posture, and this is not only aesthetics of the body, but also the well-coordinated functioning of internal organs and most processes, including breathing and the musculoskeletal system. Back exercises are included in complexes for normalizing weight, as they can be quite energy-intensive.
Doctors confirm that the degeneration of intervertebral discs, leading to disc protrusion, occurs not only due to injuries, but also as a result of insufficient muscle tone . The process often depends on genetic predisposition and lifestyle.
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Before doing the exercises, do a little warm-up, you can start with five minutes of light cardio: simple active exercises to raise the heart rate, such as jumping in place and overlaps. This warms up the muscles and prepares them for work with minimal risk of injury and sprains. Remember that any load should be increased gradually, it is better to start with a small number of repetitions, making the exercises more difficult over time. If you have back problems, talk to your doctor or physical therapist before beginning exercise.
Best back exercises
Slopes with and without weights
Exercise to work out the lower back. It is performed without weighing down or complicating it by picking up dumbbells or bottles of water. Put your hands on your shoulders and behind your head, place your feet shoulder-width apart. The knees are bent. With your back straight, tilt down, stopping parallel to the floor, and return to the starting position. Do three sets of ten reps.
Exercise with an expander
A great exercise to start your back workout, which requires an elastic band. Take it in your hands parallel to the floor, stretch them in front of you. Keep your back straight by bringing your shoulder blades together. Spread your arms in different directions and return them back. Perform two sets of 15-20 times.
Exercise for the back with an expander
Dumbbell Rows on All fours
The deadlift is shown not only for the biceps and triceps, but also for the back muscles. Insert on four points of support, take a dumbbell in your right hand. Make sure your back is straight, your lower back is not collapsed, your pelvis is fixed, your arms are directly under your shoulders, and your knees are exactly under your hips in relation to the floor. Raise your right hand up, raising the elbow and bringing the dumbbell closer to the armpit, and then straighten and return to its original position. Repeat ten times for each hand, the number of approaches is 3-6, depending on the preparation.
Row from a four-point position
Barbell Dumbbell Row
Complicated version of the previous exercise. Dumbbells are taken in both hands, they also become anchor points in the starting position. Legs are extended, knees are straight. Raise your right and left hand alternately, bringing them back. It is important to ensure that the lower back does not collapse, and the pelvis does not rise up; try to keep your body in one straight line.
Plank Dumbbell Row
Holding dumbbells in both hands, bend forward to a 45-degree angle with the floor, keeping your back straight. Bend your elbows slightly. Using the body, raise your arms up and to the sides, bringing the shoulder blades together. Slowly return your arms to their original position. Repeat the exercise 12 times, take a short break, and return to two more sets.
A ball or dumbbells will come in handy, but you can do without them. Exercise well pumps the muscles of the body, back and arms. Both hands hold dumbbells or a ball, alternatively an imaginary one. Lift it up on one side and diagonally up to the opposite side. A more complicated version is with a squat, picking up the ball from the floor. Remember to switch sides to create an even load on both body parts. Do ten reps on each side for two to three sets in total.
Exercise "Basketball player"
A seemingly simple exercise is most effective when increasing the number of repetitions. Stand up straight (you can close to the wall), lower your arms and bend them at the elbows perpendicular to the body. Slowly spread them apart and return them back. It is important to keep the body straight. In just a few seconds, you will feel the back muscles working. It is recommended to do the exercise for 30-40 seconds, then take a short break (you can alternate with body bends) and return to two or three repetitions.
Similar to the previous exercise, but slightly more dynamic. Starting position - lying on your stomach, arms and legs extended. Raise your right arm and left leg at the same time and immediately repeat on the other side. Alternating movements, as if you are swimming in water. The buttocks are tense, the body must remain motionless. If it doesn't work, reduce the range of motion of the arms and legs.
Super efforts are not required, and the name of the exercise comes from the pose of a flying superhero. This is a complicated version of the technique from the previous block. You need to lift all limbs at the same time. Lie on your stomach, stretch your legs and arms in different directions. While inhaling, lift up and hold this position for a couple of seconds, then return to the starting position. The exercise is performed for a minute. It is important that there are no creases in the lower back.
Slopes against the wall
This exercise can be performed while standing in the middle of the room. But near the wall it is easier to rebuild the technique, keeping your back straight. Stretch out, raise your arms up and tilt to the right and left, each time returning to a straight body position. Repeat at least ten times on each side.
A good exercise to gently stretch your back muscles. Get on all fours, hands and knees at a 90-degree angle to the floor. While inhaling, slowly fall through the lower back, directing the pelvis and head to the ceiling, while exhaling, round your back, keeping the position of the arms and legs. Repeat for 30-40 seconds. Do not hold your breath, it should be even and calm.
The exercise is performed on four support points. As you inhale, extend your right arm and left leg, take them to opposite sides parallel to the floor and return them to their original position. Keep your back straight and fix your pelvis. Repeat ten times on both sides.
Spine traction from all fours
Vladimir Zhaents-Zaitsev, elite trainer of the World Class Tverskaya gym
Before starting training, a doctor's consultation is necessary: a person should be aware of individual contraindications. But if the doctor himself does not train, he cannot give specific recommendations for exercises - they are selected by the coach. For example, with osteochondrosis and even in cases where a healthy person has never played sports, it is important to systematically increase the load on the spine, including the axial one, to exclude running and jumping at the first stages. You can learn to do all this without harming your back, but only with the right technique and work with different muscle groups.
There is a myth that it is useful for the back to hang on a horizontal bar. In fact, this can be dangerous: there is a significant stretching of untrained muscles, and further inept jump without shock absorption can lead to injury. At the first stage of training, you should not do exercises with additional burdening with large weights, sudden movements and rotations. Not only will this not help correct posture, but rather will lead to the formation of hernias.
In the future, we turn on the weights, complicate the exercises. They must be combined with other complexes for the muscles of the whole body, as well as develop mobility and be sure to end the workout with stretching to relieve hypertension. It is important for flexible people to pay attention to muscle stabilization: to control and maintain static movements.
First - normalization of movements, study, memorization and control of technique. Then the exercises can be complicated. If a person does several repetitions within a minute without losing the quality of the technique, then you can move on to more complex options. When attending group classes, be sure to consult with the trainer in advance so that he can track and deliver the technique, replace the exercises if necessary. Problems can arise even during the warm-up process - depending on the health of the back, some people are contraindicated in circular head rotations, sharp high-amplitude movements, flexion / extension of the lower back. This does not mean that you will have to abandon them forever: over time, the level of fitness increases, and in most cases new exercises become available.
As for the effect, it is achieved at different rates depending on the goal. So, the painful sensations that often arise with a sedentary lifestyle can be alleviated after the first lesson. It is necessary to choose the right set of simple exercises by reducing muscle hypertonicity. But these are not profound changes. The effect of long-term restructuring is achieved after several months (on average from six months) with systematic exercises two to three times a week. At the same time, it is important to do not only back exercises, but also an additional set of three or four gymnastic techniques. Classes will help, first of all, to stop the deterioration of the spine, and secondly, to create conditions for improving posture and back health. It must be borne in mind that it depends not only on physical activity and training frequency, but also on lifestyle,thinking and even psychological factors, which are better to work on in a comprehensive manner.>