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Exercises to Strengthen Your Back

Using the Nubax therapeutic traction device can help you get back to doing what you love. Coupled with effective stretching and exercise, your results may improve dramatically. Discover how the exercises below can help you.

Superman demonstration1. Superman

Very few exercises are this subtle with such powerful results. Done properly this exercise directly strengthens the muscles around your lumbar spine or your “low back.” This is where most back injuries and pain occur. Modify this move by lifting just your right arm and left leg first, then left arm and right leg.

  • Lie down on stomach with arms and legs long. Draw abdominals up and away from the mat and pull shoulders down away from ears.
  • Squeeze abs, back muscles and glutes to lift arms and legs off the mat. Release to start position with control.
  • Perform 10-12 repetitions.

Midback Extenstion demonstration2. Mid-Back Extension

This is a sister exercise to the Superman listed above, but keeps the focus on the mid-back. It teaches you to relax your low back and isolate the mid-back muscles to do the work on their own. Too often our low back kicks in where it’s not needed.

  • Start lying face down on mat. Lift abs away from mat to engage them and slide the shoulders down the back. The head is lifted in a low hover. Your body is one long line. Using your back muscles and core, lift the chest away from the mat into extension as you exhale. Think of lengthening from the crown of the head.
  • Inhale and return back down to the mat slowly getting longer through the spine as you return.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Bird Dog Crunch Demonstration3. Bird Dog Crunch

This exercise strengthens the front and back side of the mid-section, both of which need to be strong to prevent low back pain. A balance challenge is presented with the leg and arm extended and the transverse abdominus is strengthened as it works to keep you from tipping to one side or another.

  • Kneel on the mat on all fours. Reach one arm long, draw in the abs, and extend the opposite leg long behind you.
  • Bring the elbow and knee in towards your center as you round your back remember to draw in your abs.
  • Repeat for 10 reps then switch sides.

Full Body Roll-Up Demonstration4. Full Body Roll-Up

A classic Pilates exercise, this move strengthens the mid-section and stretches the back and hamstrings all at the same time. In addition, the slow movement of one vertebrae at a time—or “articulation”—is important for developing a more flexible back less prone to pain and injury. This move can be done every day!

  • Start lying on mat with arms extended overhead, legs long, and feet flexed. Inhale as you lift arms up and begin curling chin and chest forward. Exhale as you roll the entire torso up and over legs keeping abs engaged and reaching for toes.
  • Inhale as you being rolling your spine back down one vertebrae at a time and exhale as the upper portion of the back lower and arms reach pack overhead. Repeat moving slowly and using the abdominals to lift and lower, not momentum.
  • Repeat for 10 reps then switch sides.

Downward Dog Demonstration5. Downward Dog

After any workout or even just waking up in the morning, the downward dog is going to open up your backside. It stretches you from your heels to your head. Remember, your body is a kinetic chain so a bad back isn’t isolated to the spot you feel it. Likely, the tightness or pain involves other parts. This stretch will cover a wide spectrum.

  • Begin in a kneeling position on your mat with hands directly under shoulders, fingers spread wide. Tuck your toes under and engage your abdominals as you push your body up off the mat so only your hands and feet are on the mat.
  • Press through your hands moving your chest gently toward your thighs and your heels gently toward the floor. Relax your head and neck and breathe fully. Hold as long as you like.

Note: Back Workouts by Kim Pieper – December 1, 2016

Exercises to Strengthen Your Back