Two of the best ways to prevent back pain are stretching and strengthening your spine. Regular spine stretches and weight-bearing exercises will increase the flexibility of your back and lower your risk of injury. Here are some chiropractor-approved ways to give your spine the love it deserves.
You don’t need any extra equipment to perform the following stretches, although you may add wrist or ankle weights if you would like a little more of a challenge. Depending upon your fitness level, try to complete 12 to 24 repetitions of the following stretches:
- Side bends- This is one of the simplest stretches you can perform. Stand with your arms stretched high over your head and hold your hands together. Lean as far as you can to one side and then return to your upright position before leaning to the other side. This stretch also works your abdominal muscles.
- Reverse sit ups- Lie down on your back and bend your knees as if you were going to perform a traditional sit up. However, instead of moving the top of your body, move the bottom. Bring both feet up off the floor and lift your pelvis as if you’re trying to touch your knees to your head.
- Upward facing hip twists- Lie flat on your back and then bend your right knee and move it over to your left side in a twisting motion. Keep both arms flat on the ground. Use slow, fluid motions to reduce the possibility of injury. After a few reps, switch sides and bend your left knee and move it over to your right side.
Core Strengthening Exercises
Although it’s important to stretch your spine regularly, if you really want to keep it healthy, you need to get those abdominals in shape. Here are some easy exercises to keep your center strong; again, try to do 12 to 24 reps for maximum benefits:
- Climbing invisible rope- Sit with your legs in a V position and point your toes. Contract your core muscles and then gently roll your spine forward. Lift arms and move them as if you were climbing a rope.
- Side balance crunch- Start with your right hand and knee on the floor, balancing the rest of your body. Raise your left hand up high and pull your left knee toward your torso for a few reps before switching sides.
- The circle plank- Start off in a plank position with your abs pulled in tightly. Raise one knee and circle it clockwise and then counterclockwise while keeping the rest of your body still. Repeat a few times and then switch legs and do the other side.
These are just a few of the stretches and exercises for a strong back that you can perform easily, with no additional equipment. If you find these exercises too difficult, or if you’re not accustomed to exercising, talk to your chiropractic team. They’ll be able to help you find the appropriate stretches and exercises that will pamper your spine, while keeping it strong and healthy.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.