Back-strengthening Fitness Routine: Part 2

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

Below is a continuation of the exercise program described in Back-strengthening Routine: Part 1. These back exercises, combined with aerobic exercises, proper nutrition, and good posture habits can dramatically improve your flexibility and overall spine health. For optimal results, they should be performed twice a day, for 15 minutes at a time.

Spine Fit ManThere are no standard guidelines for the number of repetitions and sets you should do. Talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program—he or she will help you develop a safe and effective program.

  • Abdominal reach: Lie on your back with knees bent and arms at your side. Flatten lower back against the floor and raise hands above and beyond the head. Slowly curl head and shoulders off the floor and reach upward. Hold for 2 seconds and then return to starting position.
     
  • Hip roll: Lie on back with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Take a breath and slowly exhale while gently rolling both knees to the right until both hips are off the floor. Return to starting position and repeat to the left side.
     
  • Hip slide: Lie on your left side with your knees and hips bent and head resting on the arm. Slide right knee upward and toward chest. Extend right leg until it is straight. Return to starting position and repeat the procedure on your right side.
     
  • Leg scissors: Lie on the right side with head resting on your hand and legs at a slight bend. Raise right leg toward ceiling, keeping the leg straight. Lower your leg to starting position and repeat. After set is complete, turn to left side and repeat.
     
  • Modified push-up: Lie on the floor face down with hands placed at shoulder level, palms down. Take a breath and slowly exhale as you push your upper body off the floor, arching your lower back. Hold for 2 seconds and return to starting position. Repeat as desired.
     
  • Low back extension: Lie on floor face down. Clasp hands behind your back and take a breath in. Exhale and simultaneously raise head, chest, and legs off floor. Hold for 2 seconds and return to the floor.
     
  • Pelvic tilt: Come to an all fours position. Allow your abdomen to droop toward the floor and hold for 2 seconds. Then slowly roll back upwards, arching the back. Hold arch for 2 seconds and return to starting position.
     
  • Shoulder shrug: Come up to a standing position. Take a deep breath and lift simultaneously both shoulders upward toward the ears. Exhale slowly and lower both shoulders. Relax and then repeat.
     
  • Forward press: Place your palms on your forehead. Try to push your chin toward your chest while resisting forward motion with your hands. Hold for 5 seconds and then repeat.
     
  • Backward press: Clasp hands behind your head. Try to push head back, looking upward while resisting the motion with your hands. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then relax.
     
  • Lateral press: Place you right palm at the side of your head. Try to move your head toward the right, with your hand resisting. Hold position for 5 seconds and then relax. Repeat for the left side.

Your back will work hard for you when you give it regular attention. However, since this exercise program is extensive, you may be unlikely to follow it completely. While we encourage you to practice the full program every day, doing something is better than doing nothing.

Updated on: 09/01/15
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Creative, Everyday Exercises to Strengthen Your Back
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Creative, Everyday Exercises to Strengthen Your Back

Exercises that increase the strength of abdomen and back muscles (both upper and lower) will make you more able to resist back injury. This article features alternative exercises that can be practiced throughout your day to strengthen your spine.
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