According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 75 to 85 percent of all Americans will experience some form of back pain during their lifetime. With the almost constant use of computers, handheld devices, and television, Americans are almost always sitting down. Due to this sedentary lifestyle, weak back muscles and poor posture are becoming more and more common. The easiest way to correct your posture and prevent back pain is to strengthen your back and core muscles. Here are five easy exercises to strengthen your back and correct your posture.
The iliopsoas (aka hip flexors) are responsible for hip flexion and external rotation as well as extending and rotating the lumbar spine. When your hips are in the flexed position for extended periods of time (for example, when you are sitting) they become tight. Tight hip flexors can contribute to back pain and postural problems. To stretch your hip flexors, kneel on the ground with your right leg bent to 90 degrees. Pull your bottom in, squeeze your buttocks and shift your hips forward. Slowly move your body forward until you feel the stretch in the front of your left hip. Raise your left arm and bend toward your right side slowly rotating backward. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on right side.
Having a tight chest can leave you with rounded shoulders. To stretch your chest, lie vertically on your foam roller, face up. Start with your arms at 90 degrees out to the side. Press your elbows, forearms, and wrists toward the floor. When you feel a stretch in your chest, maintain the position for 20-30 seconds.
Lay face down on the floor, feet shoulder-width apart. Push up to your forearms and toes, hands squeezed into a fist. Form a straight line with your body from head to toe. Pull your abs in, squeeze your buttocks, quads and abs. Avoid arching or swaying your back. Keeping your muscles flexed and abs drawn in will help to train your body to stabilize and support itself.
Lay face down on the floor. Your arms should be straight out to your sides, running perpendicular to your body. Squeeze your glutes, point your toes, squeeze your quads and then slowly raise your chest off of the ground. "Flap" your arms up and down 10-15 times, and slowly lower back down. Repeat.
Lay face down on the floor. Your palms should be facing the floor. Pull in your abs, squeeze your glutes, and raise your chest off the floor. Holding this position, raise your arms off of the floor in an effort to pinch your shoulder blades together. Repeat arm movement 10-15 times. Lower to floor. Repeat.
Lay face down on the floor. Bring your arms overhead, palms facing each other. While drawing your abs in and squeezing your glutes, slowly raise your arms and legs off the ground. Hold for 2-5 seconds. Repeat.
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!