Exercises to keep your back healthy

Various factors conspire so that we do not always have a healthy back. From sedentary lifestyle and bad posture to age, the type of work and physical overexertion. Even sports activity.

There are multiple causes that can cause pain in the different lumbar areas. However, also there are ways to relieve and prevent pain and injury through the performance of various exercises. In this article we present you routines with which you can keep your back healthy.

Benefits of having a healthy back

We have ever suffered ailments in the cervical spine or low back pain. This is very common. Routine office work in front of the computer, little exercise, poor posture and undue effort are often causes of back problems.

To understand what the benefits of having a healthy back are, just think about what happens when you are not. In healthy states we can experience the following benefits:

  • We feel no pain when sitting or getting up in the morning.
  • We have a better posture at all times.
  • We protect the spine vertebral and we prevent ailments in the head, neck, shoulders, waist and extremities.
  • We feel energetic, avoiding chronic fatigue. This increases mobility and flexibility.
  • We breathe better, even with an improvement in circulation.
  • We save on health expenses, from therapies to analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Low back pain limits activities of daily life for a significant amount of time.

You may also be interested in: 8 tips to keep your spine healthy and strong

Exercises for a healthy back

Here we will explain some activities you can do to maintain a healthy back. The exercises are intended to help stretch and move this part of the body, strengthening it. This is very necessary when we spend many hours sitting or standing.

They are useful exercises to relieve or prevent pain, even to help correct posture when walking or sitting. Also to recover from any pain or injury, due to fatigue or overexertion.

There are different kinds of exercises to maintain a healthy back. These can be of three types:

  • Stretching: They are done to relax the spine and can help relieve pain.
  • Mobility: as their name implies, they help put muscles, tendons and joints in motion.
  • Strength: to tone muscles.

Next we will see an exercise routine that you can do combining the different types to maintain a healthy back. We start at the head and go down the neck and shoulders until we reach the lower back.

Keep reading on the topic: 7 stretches that will help you if you have low back pain

Shoulder stretch

Standing with your legs slightly apart so that your heels are hip-width apart, place your fingertips on your shoulders (right hand, right shoulder).

Make circles by moving your elbows. First forward, then backward, stretching as much as possible. Remember to stand upright and not move or rock your pelvis.

Trapezius stretch

With the right hand placed a little above the left ear we make an inclination and slight rotation, as if we were pulling the head.

It should be a deep movement, but smooth and slow. Hold the position for a few seconds and then switch hands. Repeats, but this time pulling back. It can be done sitting or standing.

Lateral stretch

It is done in the same position as the previous one. The right hand is raised pointing towards the ceiling and we lean the trunk toward the left. The other hand rests at the waist.

You will feel the muscles on the side tighten, from the waist to the last ribs. Hold that position for a few seconds making slight tilting movements to stretch more. Then switch and do the same with the other arm.

Erector muscle stretch

Sitting, in an upright position, preferably on a stool, we bend the trunk with the hands hanging down until the chest comes into contact with the thighs. In that position, we surround our feet with our hands, staying that way for a few seconds.

A variant of this exercise is standing, but you can only do it if you are flexible enough to touch your head to your knees. This also stretches the muscles in the back of the legs.

Cat-cow

This curiously named exercise is a yoga movement. To do it, you have to stand on all fours, hands aligned with shoulders and knees with hips.

From this position the head is dropped down, bringing the chin closer to the chest, while contracting the abdomen. Then the head is raised arching the waist, pulling the chest forward and the shoulders back.

It seems difficult to say, but it is something very simple to do. Of course, you have to perform the movement without abruptness so as not to injure yourself, especially when arching the waist. It is also important to coordinate breathing: inhale when lifting the neck, exhale when lowering the head.

The cobra

Now we move on to another animal. This time it's the cobra. This exercise done face down on a mat or mat, palms facing the ground on one side of the shoulders.

With the hands we push, stretching the arms, to detach the upper part of the trunk slowly. We keep the pelvis in contact with the mat. It is not necessary to fully stretch your arms. The position should be held for several seconds. You have to ensure that the neck is relaxed.

Elbow plank

Like the previous one, it is done face down, lying on the exercise mat. The forearms are parallel to the body. On them we support the weight of the body, in such a way that we are supported by the elbows and the tips of the feet, holding this position for fifteen seconds or a little longer.

Glute bridge

We stay on the mat, but this time lying on our back. Knees bent, heels close to glutes, hands to one side with palms facing down.

We raise the pelvis so that a straight line is formed from the back of the knees up to the shoulder blades. We remain in position for several seconds. This exercise strengthens the erector muscle, as well as the abs and glutes.

Side plank

Sideways, elbow under shoulder, we support ourselves on the forearm and feet, remaining in an inclined position. The floor should not be touched with the hips. The position is held for a few seconds. Then we change sides and support the other forearm.

The varieties of plank exercises are helpful for back health.

Knees to chest

We continue on the mat, lying on our back. With our hands on our knees we try to bring them closer to our chest, holding the position for several seconds. It can be done with both knees at the same time or alternately.

A healthy back is a healthy body too

Performing this routine will not take too much time; at most thirty minutes a couple of times a week. But the benefits that come with it are many.

All these exercises are very useful for a healthy back, relieving pain and tension, preventing contractures and maintaining correct postural hygiene. They can even be performed by a person with a herniated disc if they take precautions for slowness and progression.

Of course, physical activity should always be carried out appropriately, adapted to the age, health and condition of the people. The ideal is to have the supervision of a professional. You must observe some minimum rules so as not to hurt yourself. Remember that if it bothers you, hurts or you feel exhausted, you are not doing something right. Therefore, it is better to stop.