Did you know you can strengthen your back? With the advance of technology, computers have become a device we use every day, both at home and at work. Do you know how much time you spend sitting in front of one?
A study conducted by Mary Meeker (a prestigious new tech and internet consultant) helps to give us an idea. It reveals that in 2018 Americans spent 6.3 hours a day on average with digital media, a never-before-seen amount of time in the country. And the trend is repeated all over the world.
It is clear we spend a lot of time sitting in front of electronic devices. Staying in the same position for so long, coupled to a lack of physical activity, has a negative impact on your back. Fortunately, it is possible to do something about it and it is easier than you think.
How does strengthening your back benefit you?
Regular training produces very positive effects:
- It’ll help to reduce muscle tension
- It contributes to quick recovery from injuries
- It stimulates the production of endorphins, substances produced by our brain that act as analgesics. Additionally, these neurotransmitters stimulate the pleasure centres, creating the perfect conditions to ease ailments.
Specialists recommend strengthening the muscles around the spine and the lower back. The aim of this is to give our whole body stability. Another benefit of this physical activity is linked to its ability to slow the degeneration of discs and arthritis, conditions which can be brought on by muscle weakness.
Exercises to strengthen your back
We show you the most effective exercises for your back below. They are easy, do not require too much strength, and won’t take you too long either.
· Hamstring stretch
Lying on the floor, with your back straight, bend one leg without lifting your foot from the floor. Stretch the other leg upwards and pull with your hands and a resistance band. Count to 30 and repeat with your other leg.
· Spine Twist
Lie on your back with one leg stretched out and the other bent. Draw your bent leg to the other side using your arm whilst moving your head in the opposite direction. Hold for 30 seconds then return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
· Iliopsoas stretch
Place one foot and the opposite knee on the ground, keep your back straight and lightly tilt your body forward. Then, using your hand raise the heel that is behind you, whilst keeping your knee on the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat with your other leg.
· Cat pose
On all fours, arch your back out like a cat arching its back. Make sure your hands are under your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips. Stay in this position for a minute then relax your back for 30 seconds.
· Knee to chest stretch
Lie on your back and with both hands bring one knee towards your chest and stay in that position for 15 seconds. Repeat with your other leg.
· Downward dog pose
Get on all fours, just as in the cat pose. Make sure your hands are spread hip-width apart. With the soles of your feet on the floor, raise your glutes as high as you can. Stay in that position for 15 seconds then return to the starting position.
· Open leg stretch
Sit on the floor with your legs apart and your arms stretched above your head. Gradually, bring one arm down to the opposite leg, rolling your hip in the same direction. Try to touch your toes, whilst you place your other arm on the inside of your leg. Hold this position for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side.
Recommended routine for strengthening your back
As we said at the start, every day we force our back to be in the same position for a long time. That’s why a routine targeted at strengthening your back must be done as frequently, that means every day.
The ideal way is to do 3 sets of repetitions of each of the exercises mentioned above. Remember to leave an interval of 10 seconds between each routine and a 1 minute break between each set. We suggest this order for the workout:
- hamstring stretch
- spine twist
- iliopsoas stretch
- cat pose
- knee to chest stretch
- downward dog pose
- open leg stretch
Back pain is one of the conditions that most affect quality of life. Therefore, we need to do everything we can to avoid this type of discomfort. However, if you already suffer from some problem or condition that affects that area, you will have to consult your doctor before starting a training routine like the one we have suggested.