How to Keep Your Back Strong and Prevent Injuries

If there’s one thing trainers hear about often its hurting or sore backs. People don’t know it, but without proper posture and movements, your back is susceptible to injury.

So how do we have our back’s….well, back? Below we’ll go over some workouts and stretches you can do to keep your back strong.

You’ve probably done it before; twisted the wrong way, didn’t lift with your knees, maybe even slept wrong. Suddenly, your back is in pain and you don’t want to move from the couch for a few days. This is actually a big mistake.

When you hurt your back you need to get the muscles moving. Sitting around waiting for the pain to go away can actually cause the pain to last longer or even get worse. Now, don’t go doing back flips or riding a bull or anything. You still need to be careful not to further irritate the injury, but barring a statement from your doctor saying you need to sit still for a while, here are some ways to keep your back strong and flexible.

What Causes Back Pain

Back pain is normally triggered later in life as the bone strength, muscle tone and flexibility begin to decline. Suddenly the spinal cord, ligaments and discs between vertebrae don’t have as much support as they need to function correctly.

There are other ways to hurt your back than just age, however. One way is to have a weak core and back muscles. This may sound obvious, but many people don’t strengthen their core, and suddenly their spine and ligaments don’t have enough support. Even doing simple movements can pull something, and without a strong back, you can run into issues like slipped disks in your spine. Trust us, you don’t want that. It’s not fun.

Another way to hurt yourself is improper movement. People always say, “lift with your legs” for a reason. When you pick something heavy up using your back muscles you open yourself up to injury. Even while working out you need to be sure to listen to your trainer. If you’re prone to injuries in your lower back make sure to tell them so they can keep a close eye on what you’re doing. If you use the TRX or kettlebells incorrectly then you’ll just end up recovering in physical therapy instead of burning that fat you’ve been working at.

And speaking of fat, having too much extra weight on your body can hurt your back as well. Your spine is only meant to support so much weight, and if you have excess fat on your body it can push the pelvis forward to compensate which puts a strain on your back. At Fit Body Boot Camp we aim for rapid fat loss, which helps eliminate the possibility of chronic back pain in the future amongst other health issues.

Exercises

Here we are going to go over some exercises that will help to keep your back strong and prevent injury. These target important areas like upper legs, core and lower back muscles which are all important to a well-supported spine.

Bird Dogs 

Start on your hands and knees in the kneeling position. Extend your right leg behind you while simultaneously extending your left arm in front of you. Keep your core tight and move slowly. Alternate sides.

Flutter Kicks 

Lay on your back with your legs flat on the ground. Lift your legs up off the ground, keeping your core tight. Alternate legs as you kick them up and down, not letting your feet rest. Do this exercise for about 60 seconds. Repeat.

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Start with laying on your stomach, legs and arms extended out in front and behind you. Now, lift your legs and arms up off the ground, using your core muscles to support yourself. Keep your chest and knees off the ground for about 60 seconds. Relax back down onto the ground and repeat.

Rotational Toe Touches

Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and have your back straight. Hold your arms out to either side of you at shoulder height. Rotate your body so that your right arm reaches down towards your left leg, making sure to keep your back and arms straight the whole time. Stand up straight and alternate sides.

Toe Reaches

Start by laying on your back in a pre-sit up position. Extend your legs up so that they toetouchesgifare straight in the air with your knees slightly bent. Flex your feet so that the soles are towards the ceiling. Reach up for your toes with your arms extended, utilizing your core and stretching your hamstrings. Repeat.

Scissor Kicks

Like the Flutter Kicks, start by lying on your back. Lift your legs off of the ground, using your core to stay balanced. Keeping your legs straight, cross your right leg over your left leg, then return to starting position. Alternate legs back and forth for 60 seconds, rest and repeat.

Stretches

Let’s go over some stretches that can help alleviate back pain and prevent it in the future. Make sure to never overextend a stretch and stop if it feels like too much.

Knee to Chest

Lay flat on your back with your legs resting on the ground. Lift your right leg to bend your knee towards your chest, holding on to your thigh to help keep position. Hold and repeat with the other leg.

Lying Twist 

Lay flat on your back with your legs resting on the ground. Lift the right leg up and cross it over to the left side of your body. Try to keep both shoulders touching the ground as you do this. Find a position that stretches your back and glutes without strain and hold.

Cat Arch 

Start with your hands and knees on the ground in a kneeling position. Slowly arch your spine upwards, making sure to exhale. Then slowly lower yourself back down, arching your back down while inhaling. Move slowly between positions as you repeat this movement.

Sitting Twist

Sit with your legs out in front of you and your back straight. Cross your right leg over your left leg so that your right foot is resting near your left hip. Use your right leg to twist your body to the left, pushing off of the right knee with your arm, stretching the right lower back. Repeat on the other side.