Almost eighty percent of the population has experienced or will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. It is wise to warm up the spine thoroughly prior to doing anything strenuous in the gym. If you don’t understand some stretches and strengthening exercises for your back, talk to a personal trainer today!
There are many methods you can use to awaken and strengthen your back. In this article I will cover a few simple movements that you can incorporate into your routines! Another important thing to think about if you are experiencing back pain is your flexibility. Yoga can really aid in your ability to be flexible, stabolize your core (abs and back) muscles, and teach your muscles the importance of Contract-Relax.
1. Foam Roll Warm Up
Many of the top authors and master trainers of the world are now using the foam roller in the beginning of every workout to encourage relaxation and visualization of a positive and enhanced performance. You can use the foam roller for stretching, passive range of motion, decompressing stress, opening vertebrae space, and restoring normal spinal curvature (due to gravity). All of this considered, and I assume you already know how complete and correct range of motion increases strength by entire percentage points, it is obvious what the benefits can acheive.
2. NOT SITTING WHEN YOU WORKOUT!
How many of you sit all day at your job? Did you know that by sitting all day you are causing your nervous system, thus your physical body, to believe THAT is the position you are suppose to be in!? What this means is that walking becomes your secondary position and upright becomes secondary. How many of you slouch when you sit, or sit at work and then sit in the car and then sit all weekend? Think of your muscles and tendons as rubber bands. As they age they become less flexible and the more you use them, the more motion you get out of them. If you have a rubber band that you rarely stretch it becomes dry and stagnant, right? Now take note of how you walk. Do you feel as though it is difficult to stand up straight or maybe you notice that there is a 10 degree angle between your vertical legs and your tilted torso? This is directly related to sitting too much and shortening your hip flexion muscles. So be on your feet at the very minimum when you are in the gym.
3. Superman/Woman Exercise
This is the one where you lie on your tummy with your limbs outstretched from your body. Your fingers and toes should give you the sensation that you are trying to reach them away from eachother, while your BACK lifts your chest and limbs up off the floor. Start small with not alot of lift and make sure that you are not causing any pain. Occassionally with pinched nerves or ruptured discs in the spine, extension is not reccommended. Visually it looks like you are trying to fly in the superman position.
This is only the beginning, so have fun with it and progress when needed.