5 Ways to Keep Your Back Strong

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5 Ways to Keep Your Back Strong

Back pain is one of the most common physical issues people face. But there are some holistic approaches to keep your back strong, which in turn improves your overall quality of life.

1. Posture

Correct posture plays a crucial role in reducing or eliminating back pain and developing a stronger back. Often we unknowingly go about our day with bad posture. This has a lot to do with our modern society’s sedentary lifestyle. Longer hours at work, sitting at a desk and less incentives to go out and be active due to technology has all inhibited our ability to keep our spines aligned and move with proper posture.

Maintaining a good posture is important. Not only does it make you look taller and slimmer, but it also helps us to work and move more efficiently, puts less stress on joints and muscles, whilst aiding in injury prevention. When you have proper posture, you are eliminating the risk of back pain by keeping your neck and spine aligned.

2. Sleep

Your sleep position can make all the difference in developing a stronger, healthier back. Try to sleep in a position that helps you to maintain the natural lumbar curve in your lower back. It has been shown that sleeping on your back helps to maintain good alignment of the head, neck and spine. Some people find sleeping on their back uncomfortable, so to help try placing a small pillow under the knees to provide support and maintain that natural curve in the back.

If you are a side sleeper, you can follow the same tip by placing a pillow between your knees and making sure your head and neck are being supported by your pillow. If you are suffering from back pain, then it is suggested to try sleeping on a lumbar roll or peanut pillow. Try to avoid sleeping on the stomach, as this can cause back and neck strain.

3. Stretching and flexibility

Regular stretching can make a world of difference to your back. Stretching is therapeutic to a range of back pains and muscle strains. Many stretches can be performed with relative ease in the comfort of your home. Stretching is a mind-body experience, allowing you to relax and to tune into your body. Gentle yoga such as hatha yoga or Pilates are perfect for stretching the body, increasing flexibility and calming the mind. Other stretches that contribute to a stronger back include:

Lying pelvic tilt

Lying on your back with knees bent and the soles of the feet planted on the floor, focus on tilting and flattening the lower back. Do this 10 times to help lengthen the TFL muscle which is responsible for a lot of low back pain complaints.

Cat & cow stretch

On the hands and knees maintaining a neutral position, begin by pulling the tummy in toward you and arching the back toward the sky as your head folds downwards. Then slowly transition so that you bring your tummy down to the floor as the chest and buttocks rises upward.

Knees to chest

Laying on the back, bring the knees to the chest and hug them in as comfortably as you can until you feel a slight stretch in the lower back. Hold for 30 seconds.

4. Exercise

Make these back strengthening exercises a part of your regular routine. Coupled with the stretches outlined above or a gentle yoga routine, this will help to improve back strength and improve overall health and well-being.

Bird dogs

The foundation to a strong back and proper alignment is a strong core. The abdominal muscles help to carry the body and support it during movement. Bird dog extensions help to strengthen the core and the stabilising muscles used for balance.  

Bridges

Lying on the back, feet on the floor, peel your back up off the ground and push your glutes upward. This exercise is great for glute strength which aids in better posture.

Yoga sit-up

Lying on the back, legs flat and straight out in front of you with arms overhead on the floor. Pull your navel in and focus on peeling up all the way to a seated position, using the abdominals to lift you up.

5. Trampolining

Jumping on a trampoline may seem counterintuitive to gaining a strong back and relieving back pain, but the act of trampolining is a wonderful way to engage the core muscles that support the spine.

A short session on a trampoline activates the muscles surrounding the spine and shoulder blades as well as the muscles in the hip flexors which contribute to good back health.

When we encounter back pain, it is usually the cause of muscles surrounding the spine being strained. This is generally due to weak muscles. Strengthening these muscles with a combination of resistance and balance training through trampolining can help improve back health.

Trampolining is beneficial for back flexibility, with the joints in the spine being stretched and compressed as you bounce. This leads to healthier cartilage between the joints and restored elasticity which all aids in preventing back pain.

Build a better back

Building a better, stronger back through mindful exercise is the fastest healthiest way in combatting back pain and improving posture and overall well-being. Incorporating back-friendly exercises through stretching and trampolining as well as being mindful of sleep position are the right steps to achieve a strong back and body.

Shayen De Silva

Since I’ve been able to put crayon to paper, there’s nothing I’ve loved more than telling a good story.

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