Back-strengthening Fitness Routine: Part 1

This article is an excerpt from Dr. Tuchinsky's book Back Pain: It's All in Your Neck.

This article is part of a six-part series:

  1. General Back-saving Tips
  2. Strengthening Exercises for Back Pain
  3. Back-strengthening Fitness Routine: Part 1
  4. Back-strengthening Fitness Routine: Part 2
  5. Creative, Everyday Exercises to Strengthen Your Back
  6. Treating Back Pain at Home

The following program should be performed twice daily, taking less than fifteen minutes each time. These exercises, combined with aerobic exercises, proper nutrition, and good posture habits can dramatically improve your flexibility and overall health.

Spine Fit ManAlways check with a health care professional before embarking on an exercise program. The program should be started slowly, with an emphasis on maintaining control over the motions. If any exercise is painful, omit it from the routine. You may repeat any move as many times as desired.

  • Hamstring stretch: Lie on your back with knees slightly bent. Pull one knee toward your chest until you feel the hamstring stretch. Hold for 10 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat stretch with the other leg.
     
  • Adductor stretch: Lying on your back, bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to lower toward the floor until you feel a stretching in the adductors (the leg muscles that pull the legs toward the body rather than away). Hold this position for 10 seconds.
     
  • Back press: Lie on your back with your hands clasped behind your head. Tighten the buttock and abdominal muscles at the same time. Flatten your lower back to the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds, breathing normally.
     
  • Hip stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hands clasped behind your head. Cross your right leg over the left knee. Keeping your head and upper back flat, roll your hips to the right until you feel the right hip stretch. Hold for 10 seconds and return to starting position. Cross left leg over the right knee and repeat.
     
  • Two knee stretch: Lie on your back with knees slightly bent. Bring both knees toward the chest and pull both knees with your hands, raising your head off the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and return to starting position.
     
  • Head to toe stretch: Lie on your back with knees slightly bent. Bring your arms over your head to the floor and point your feet down, away from your body. Stretch and hold for 10 seconds and then relax.
     
  • Pelvic lift: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten the buttock and abdomen muscles together. Slowly raise your buttocks off the floor 4 to 6 inches. Hold for 2 seconds. Slowly lower the buttocks and repeat.
     
  • Low back press: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten the buttock and abdomen muscles together. Press the lower back to the floor and hold for 10 seconds while breathing normally.
     
  • Quadraceps press: Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent. Place your palms against the right knee and raise the knee toward the chest while applying resistance with your arms. Lower the leg and repeat with the other leg.
     
  • Pelvic crunch: Lie on your back with knees bent and arms crossed over chest. Flatten the lower back to the floor. Tuck your chin to your chest and curl up, raising your head and shoulders off the floor. Hold for 2 seconds and return to starting position.
Updated on: 09/01/15
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Back-strengthening Fitness Routine: Part 2
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Back-strengthening Fitness Routine: Part 2

This article is a part of the exercise program described in Back-strengthening Routine: Part 1. These exercises can improve your flexibility and overall spine health. For optimal results, they should be performed twice a day, 15 minutes at a time.
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