Fitness Tip of the Day: Don’t Forget Back Exercises

Proper posture is more important than you think

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The average person who joins a gym does it for aesthetic reasons – he or she wants to look good naked. So the training routine consists of exercises working the legs, biceps, triceps, the abs, and the chest (mostly for men). Do you notice something missing?

Posture is not generally a criterion for beauty but it’s tremendously important.  Don’t forget to work your back. Standing up straight and not slumping your shoulders will keep you fitter in the long run. Otherwise, even though you don’t feel it right away, poor posture is taking a huge toll on your spine, shoulders, hips, and even knees. You are guaranteed to feel the effects of that later in life. They come in the form of chronic back pain, fatigue, stiffness, headaches.

Exercises for your lower back help prevent all kinds of workout-related injuries. Some fitness instructors even recommend you do twice as many backside exercises as those working out your front muscles.

Have you ever hear the expression “You are efficient as your worst movement”? The back is arguably the hardest part of the body to train. Exercises are more taxing, drain more of your energy and harder to perform properly.

Back exercises also help prevent and recover from back pain, a problem 31 million Americans have according to the American Chiropractic Association, and as many as 80 percent of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives. Back muscles have many “tasks,” many of which have to do with supporting everything you do when you’re not at the gym from maintaining good posture to carrying groceries. Getting you back in good shape will contribute tremendously towards the progress of your overall strength.

If that’s not enough, back pain can affect your workout even if it’s focusing on legs. Movement is essential to keep the discs, ligaments, and joints strong but how can you move when you’re in pain? Exercising helps the exchange of fluids in spinal structures and reduces inflammation when discs are inured.

You can strengthen your upper and middle back by adding rowing among your exercises. Some other helpful exercises that instructors often recommended when addressing back pain:

1. Kneeling Head Movement

2. Kneeling Side Bend and Rotation

3. Kneeling Leg Extensions

4. Cow Pose, Child's Pose, Cat Pose, and Cobra Pose

5. Kneeling Hamstring Hip Flexor Stretch (Right Side)

6. Kneeling Hamstring Hip Flexor Stretch (Left Side)

7. Hip Roll with Arm Reach

8. Crossed Leg Knee Roll

9. Alternating Superman