Sit up and take note of proper posture says Siobhan Byrne
There are many causes of back pain. Strength training exercises can help
Last week we discussed how incorporating strength training into your exercise regime can assist in controlling back pain, by helping to strengthen weak muscles, which could be causing pain as a result of everything from bad posture to a previous injury.
Of course, there can be many factors that can result in back pain. Even if you have never suffered injury or damage to your back, poor posture can be a major cause of back problems. Strength training can really help with poor posture by developing weaker muscle groups and helping to support the spine.
Given the more sedentary lifestyle that we all tend to lead these days, it's easy to find ourselves more slumped over.
Continuing to do nothing about poor posture will, most definitely, lead to problems with other muscle groups pulling on already weak muscles and causing all sorts of issues with the alignment of the body later in life.
We discussed a few weeks ago how strength training helps improve bone strength and will help in the fight against osteoporosis. Increasing mobility and balance are one of the key things to look at. If you are restricted in these areas, then look at working to develop mobility and flexibility slowly while keeping track of your gains.
A good balanced strength training programme, followed by some stretching, will be a great way to start to develop good quality muscles to help improve the quality of life as we get older.
Remember, that it's never too late to start but make sure you get your doctor's go ahead before you take to the gym and always lift a weight that is suitable for your ability.
Here are some exercises that are great to help develop a strong body and back. Remember, to look at a complete, all-over body workout in your routine.
Week two: Strong back
Oblique back extension on BOSU
1/ Start in a lying down position with your abs over the BOSU and your hands at the side of your head and legs straight out, with toes touching the ground and balancing you.
2/ Lift your chest up and off the BOSU, twisting the body to one side. Lower back down to the start position and then repeat on the other side.
High pull with kettlebell
1/ Start in a squat position, holding a kettlebell in both hands between the legs, with your straight arms.
2/ Stand up to a straight position and raise the kettlebell to just under your chin, keeping your elbows high. Return to start position and then repeat 12-15 times.
Side bridge on BOSU with leg lift
1/ Start with one hand flat on the BOSU ball, with your body straight out and with one foot on top of the other.
2/ Then raise your top leg straight, while at the same time keeping your hand on the BOSU directly under your shoulder. Repeat 12-15 leg raises before completing on the other side.
Lunge and pass with kettlebell
1/ Stand upright holding a kettlebell in one hand by your side.
2/ Then step forward into a lunge position, passing the kettlebell behind your front foot to the other hand. Then push off the front foot with the kettlebell in the other hand. Repeat, alternating throughout.
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