Banish back pain with these spine-strengthening exercises

The spine is one of the most integral parts of the human body. It’s connected to almost every movement we engage in, so it’s very important to keep it strong and healthy. Here are four exercises to maintain a healthy spine.

  1. Back extension. The erector spinae is the largest muscle group in the back and responsible for the extension. Practice lifting your head and chest upwards while laying on a Bosu ball, rolled up pillow, or just the ground. 
  2. Bird dog. This exercise has a funky name but is great for back strengthening. With both hands and knees on the ground in tabletop position, extend one leg back straight behind you while extending the opposite arm straight out in front of you. Hold for 10 seconds before switching sides. 
  3. Knee to chest hamstring stretch. This one is great for your back and your hamstrings, which is great because the pain in one is often associated with tightness in the other. Lay flat on the floor with one leg extended or bent so your foot rests on the floor. Pull the other leg into your chest, hugging your knee gently. 
  4. Figure four stretch. Hip flexors are also closely related to back health. Lay on your back with one leg bent, foot on the floor, and the other ankle crossed over your bent knee, forming a figure four with your legs. For a deeper stretch, reach behind the hamstring of your first leg and hug it into your chest. 

Back pain is one of the most common complaints, especially among older adults. Sitting in cars or at our desks, all day isn’t optimal for posture and back support. If you’re having twinges in your back, or just want to prevent injuries later in life, incorporate these easy exercises into your daily routine for a stronger spine in no time!

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