Your spine is responsible for supporting your entire body. Whenever you lift something, your back needs to make sure you don’t fall over from the weight. To support your spine, there are about 140 muscles. These muscles can be trained to make sure your spine doesn’t get hurt.
Here are some examples of exercises you can try to strengthen your spine.
Position yourself in a high plank with your hands shoulder-distance apart. Keep your hips square and your core engaged. Then lift your right hand off the ground with your right elbow tucked close to your ribs. Bring it back to the starting position and repeat with your left arm.
Bent-over reverse flys
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hinge forward at your hips. Place your arms at your sides with your palms facing in. Engage your back and shoulder muscles. Keep your chest up. Raise your arms so they are parallel to the floor with your elbows slightly bent. Bring your arms back to the starting position and repeat.
Position yourself in a high plank with your hands shoulder-distance apart. Keep your body in a straight line with your head in a neutral position. Pinch your shoulder blades together and slowly lower your body halfway to the floor. Raise your body back up and repeat.
Lie with your face down on an exercise mat and your forehead on the floor. Keep your toes pointed down. Bring your arms straight out in front of you with your palms on the floor. Engage your back, glutes and hamstrings, and lift your hands and feet a few centimetres off the ground. Bring it back to the floor and repeat.
You start this exercise the same as the superman exercise. Instead of lifting your arms and legs together, though, you will be lifting your right arm and left leg off the ground at the same time. Bring them back to the starting position and do the same with your left arm and right leg. Keep alternating.
Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Tightening your core muscles, lift your right arm and extend it forward. Then lift your left leg and extend it straight back. Keep your toes pointed down. Hold the position for about 10 seconds and return to starting position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg.
Exercising your back muscles will reduce the stress placed on your spine. When your muscles are strengthened, they are able to provide better support to your spine. You can also exercise your core muscles, which also supports your spine. By regularly exercising, you also increase the density of the vertebrae in your spine. This makes the bones less fragile and reduces the chances of getting injured.
Want to learn more about exercise? Have a look at our Personal Training Diploma for more information.