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Back pain is a common ailment among people of all ages and the primary causes are stress, strain, injuries and simple overuse of the back muscles and spinal columns. While many people seek medical intervention to remedy this problem there is a much simpler way to alleviate the pain and prevent it from re-occurring.
Strengthening the muscles in the back is the best way to relieve stress, prevent injuries and build-up the ligaments, tendons and muscles supporting the spinal column. Top back strengthening exercises include:
1. The Hip Bridge
The hip bridge exercise is ideal to alleviate back pain associated with extended periods of remaining seated.
Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides. Bend your knees until your feet are flat against the floor and shoulder width apart. Lift your buttocks and lower back of the floor until only your shoulders remain in contact with the floor. Squeeze your buttocks tightly and hold this position for a couple of seconds before slowly lowering yourself to the floor again.
Be careful not to arch your back during this exercise as this could cause additional strain on the lower back. Repeat the process 10 times.
2. The Swan Dive
The swan dive works and builds strength along the entire spinal column.
Lie flat on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you. Simultaneously and slowly, raise your chest and legs off the ground, pointing your toes and rotating your arms until they are positioned beside your body with your palms facing inward. Hold the position for 2 to 3 seconds before slowly lowering yourself to the floor. Repeat the exercise 6 times.
3. The Step Lunge
Lunges are great not only to strengthen the back but give you an overall body workout.
Stand straight with your feet placed slightly apart and take a step forward. Bend the knee of the front leg until the upper leg is horizontal and parallel with the ground and the lower leg vertical. At the same time, stretch the back leg out. Step back into your starting pose and repeat the process with the other leg. Do 10 repetitions for each leg.
Make sure that your back remains straight throughout this exercise.
4. The Bird Dog
The bird dog exercise is great for stretching and strengthening the back muscles.
Start in the ‘dog’ position on all fours ensuring that your hands are placed under your shoulders and your knees directly beneath the hips. Crunch your abdominal muscles together while raising your left arm and right leg until they are parallel with the floor. Hold this ‘bird’ position for a couple of seconds before lowering your arm and leg back into the ‘dog’ position. Repeat with your right arm and left leg. Perform the entire process again on each side 5 times.
Be sure not to arch your back or raise your arm or leg to high during this exercise.
As your muscles becomes stronger, you can increase the amount of repetitions for each exercise to continue strengthening the back.