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Top 7 Tips To Strengthen Your Back Support Muscles
By Raymond Lee
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Not surprisingly, people with strong trunk muscles and well conditioned leg and hip muscles are less likely to develop back pain and injuries than people with weak or poorly conditioned muscles. Fortunately, your muscles will become stronger if you follow a regular exercise program that challenges your muscles to do slightly more than usual. If you are not already doing strengthening exercises, start with the exercises described here that you can consider to adopt, which focus on the spinal support muscles of the abdomen and back.
Lie fat on your back, bend your knees, and keep your feet flat on the floor. Find the neutral position by flattening your lower back against the floor, then arching it up toward the ceiling and finding the point halfway between. Place your fingers at your sides on the bony area of your pelvis just below your waist. Now tighten your stomach muscles as if you were about to get punched. Lift one foot a couple of inches off the ground while keeping your stomach tight and keeping your back in the neutral position. Then put your foot down and lift the other foot. Keep your hands on your pelvis to make sure that you are tilting your pelvis as you lift your feet. Alternate the feet for 20 repetitions while keeping your pelvis stable. As this gets easier, you can increase the difficulty by lifting your arms as well as legs off the floor.
Lie flat on your back, bend your knees, and keep your feet flat on the floor. Find the neutral position as illustrated above. After which, lift your hips off the ground, maintaining a neutral position in the lower back and keeping the spinal straight and your weight on your upper back. Life your hips up until you begin to find it difficult to maintain the neutral position. Keep your arms at your side, palms down on the floor to provide stability so your hips do not tilt side to side. Lower to the floor and lift up 20 times. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, do alternate arm and leg lifts while bridging. You can eventually add cuff weights to your ankles.
- Partial Sit-ups
Lie flat on your back, bend your knees, and keep your feet flat on the floor. Find the neutral position by following the above technique. You can roll up a towel and put it under the small of your back to help you maintain the neutral position. Stretch out your arms and place the palms of your hands on the top of your thighs. Curl up your torso until your fingers touch the top of your knees. Hold this position for a moment, then curl back down. Keep the lower back on the floor the entire time the upper back moves. Now follow the same procedure by stretching both arms straight toward the left knee, then both arms toward the right knee. Repeat 10 times in each direction.
- Alternate Arm And Leg Lifts
Lie on your stomach and find the neutral position. You can put a folded towel under your stomach to help maintain your alignment. Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift a straight left arm and right leg a few inches off the floor. Make sure that your back does not arch. Raise your arms and legs only as high as you are able to while maintaining the neutral position. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Do 20 repetitions.
- Quadruped Arm And Leg Lifts
Get on your hands and knees. Arch your back up toward the ceiling. Let it sag down so that it dips toward the floor, and then come back up halfway. This is your neutral position. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Raise your straight left arm and right leg while maintaining your spine in the neutral position. Hold this position for a moment and then put your arm and leg down. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Do 10 to 20 repetitions.
- Functional Squats
Stand upright and place your feet shoulder width apart. Find your neutral position and squat down while maintaining it. Your buttocks will move backward, your chest will move forward, and your center of gravity will drop straight down. Your weight should be balanced in the middle of your feet, not on the balls or heels. To avoid knee pain, do not bend your knees more than 90 degrees. Do 10 to 20 repetitions.
- Leg Lowering
Lie on your back and bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Use your abdominal muscles to keep your back in the neutral position, and slowly extend one leg at a time. Then slowly lower that led to the floor while keeping your abdominal muscles tight. Keep the other leg bent, and make sure that your back does not arch. Do 10 to 20 repetitions.
Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.
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Article Submitted On: November 10, 2007