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Basic Back Exercises Made Safe

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It seems the muscles that support the spine should be safe and easy to work out. I am driven to madness by the fact that it only takes about 5-10 minutes a week to keep these muscles strong and yet so few people invest this time. I get it, though. We look in the mirror and want to work on what is proofing and jiggling. The spinal column never seems that important…until it bites back. I am also saddened because those who do take strengthening postural muscles seriously are sometimes taught unsafe back exercises that over contract muscles that already tend to over contract. It seems to me people need knowledgable encouragement. I assure you, “the more you know, the less you need” for this issue. It’s really just laying on the floor and thinking about the right things. We have to learn and practice this concept: Growing Through The Spine. I hope to explain this simply…

GIVING THE VERTABRAE “BREATHING ROOM”

Try this now. Just sit up straight, start to float the crown of your head to the ceiling taking a deep breath. While doing this, engage your abs and pull your shoulder blades down your back.  Your chin should naturally tuck towards the chest. You’ll get the sensation of stretching the muscles between the vertabrae. It should feel so right. Take a few deep breaths and get acquainted with the idea of giving each vertabra breathing room, thus growing through the spine. Consciously do this Ten times a day until it becomes your unconscious healthy habit. It is important to treat your spine this way and a necessary practice in doing the following back exercises.

Back exercises

THE NOT-SO-SUPER SUPERMAN

  •  Grow through the spine first, then lift arms and thighs slightly off the floor for a mild contraction in the lower lumbar
  •  Just maintain growing through the spine in the position, softening the joints René’s Tip: Your gaze will be on the mat like your in love with the mat if your head is placed properly
  •  Emphasize how well your growing through the spine NOT HEIGHT OF THE CHEST AND THIGHS (the common mistake)
  •  HOLD FOR A MINUTE

 

THE ESSENTIAL: LEGS UP AND DOWN

  •  Maintain growing through the spine, bringing legs up and down slowly
  •  Try to use glutes and don’t bend at the knees, keep them soft
  •  3 SLOW, SMALL COUNTS OF 8
  •  Notice if one side of your lower back takes over. If so, practice lifting the other leg higher to help both sides work evenly, strengthening the weaker side of the low back. This will help you reclaim balance in the muscle group.

 

SWIMMING

  • Maintain growing through the spine while lifting opposite arm and leg simultaneously, hold for a breath and switch
  • Maintain symmetry and stabilization in the shoulders and hips. Focus on length, NOT HEIGHT
  • 2 SLOW COUNTS OF 8

 

Back exercises

ADVANCED TEST: ROCKING

I don’t view this move as essential, but it’s a great way to maintain a spine that is already flexible, strong and free of imbalances. Therefore, it is not for most people. But if those are your spinal circumstances…

  •  Push up with your hands to your best spine extension, grow through the spine in extension
  •  Maintain a determined ab engagement, stabilizing hips spine and shoulders
  •  Rock back and forth 8 TIMES
  •  Think of pulling your feet towards the wall then the ceiling
  •  Lead with your center, not the head
  •  Try to rock slower and bigger

 

These simple back exercises are as simple as lifting some limbs up intelligently from the floor. I told you the more you know, the less you need. I hope you have a floor, or your really in trouble. That’s all you really need. Most of my clients have no back pain at all. They maintain that situation by doing a routine like this just twice a week and increase their posture awareness everyday. I hope this gives you a well deserved, strong backbone.

 

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