Back Strength and Injury Prevention Workout
Lower back pain and weakness are common. Why it happens and how to stop it.
Perform this routine 4x per week
Exercise 1: Cat Camel
Set up on your hands and knees, slowly arch your back towards the ceiling, then lower and dip your spine towards the floor. Perform 15 reps.
Exercise 2: Bird Dogs
Begin with 25 reps each leg, again no excessive hip motion, keep your abdominals tight, and kick back in a controlled manner. As it gets easier, you can strap ankle weights to your ankles (begin with 1 pound) or you can perform the exercise for duration of 1 minute. Note: You can also add your arms as well to challenge yourself more.
Exercise 3: Clam Shells
Lay on your side, with both legs bent. Place an ankle weight or resistance band around your thigh, just above the knee. Perform the exercise by keeping your feet together and lifting your upper knee to the ceiling. Perform 30 reps each side, contracting your glute. Then switch sides.
Exercise 4: Chin Tucks into Physioball
Lay on a bench on your back with just your head resting off onto a physioball. Keeping your head in a neutral position, perform a chin tuck (retract your head into the ball like a turtle pulling their head back). Pause for a 1 second hold, then relax and repeat for a series of 10 reps.
Exercise 5: Neck Isometrics
Take a face towel, fold it, and hold it against each side of your head, and forehead. Movements performed are side bending, flexion, and slight rotations right and left. In each position, push your head towards your hand for a gentle contraction of 5 seconds, and then relax. Perform for total of 10 reps in each position. Each movement is very subtle. I.e. Look to right, towel against your chin and gently look to the right against your resistance.
Exercise 6: Planks
Set up on your elbows and feet and keep your abdominals tight and spine completely straight. Perform 3 sets of 20 seconds holds. Note:Start with 20 seconds and add 10 seconds each week until you reach 3 sets of 60 seconds each