I wanted to go through the best protective exercises for your back.
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
I had Jenna demonstrate the exercises.
#1 – Full Front Plank
Get into the front-plank position. Prop yourself up while your shoulders, hips and legs are in straight line. Tighten the abdominal area and hold the position.
Full Front Plank
Modified: Short Front Plank Position With Knees Bent
If doing the full-front position is too much strain on your back, and you cannot maintain the curve on your back, you can do the exercise from your knees with short-front plank position.
Short Front Plank
In this exercise, we are looking for good contraction in the abdominal area. We do not want any stress in the low-back area. So, pick which option works best for you: the full-front plank or the short-front plank.
Perform one set of 5 reps with a 5-second hold for each step of the exercise.
#2 – Hip Hinge Exercise
Stand upright with your feet about hip-width apart. Grab some resistance like dumbbells or kettlebells. Tighten up the abdominal area. Keep your upper body as one unit and the lower body as another unit. Bring the hips back, bend the knees a bit, and then come back up, keeping the upper body in a straight alignment.
Hip Hinge Exercise
In the front plank, we attack the core from the anterior. With this hip-hinging movement, a common issue people have is that they have a difficult time separating the upper body from the lower body. They have all the movement happen in the lower back, which is something that we do not want that. We need to have the movement to happen in the hips as opposed to the movement happening in the back, so this exercise helps educate the body to do that. This exercise also helps strengthen the core when the trunk moves forward.
Perform one set of 5 reps in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end position.
#3 – Glute Bridge
Lie on the floor with knees bent, feet flat, arms are to the sides and relax the upper body. Push through the heel and tighten the abdominal area. Bring the hips up so that the knees, hips and shoulders are in straight line. Come back down, and then come back up.
In this exercise, we are targeting the glutes and hamstrings.
Perform one set of 5 reps in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the top position for a second.
#4 – Back Extensions
Stand nice and tall, with the legs are straight then toes are pointing ahead. Put your hands to your pelvis area. Arch back bending through the mid-back and bring the head back. Then, go back to the start position.
This is a light mobility exercise, loosening up the joints in the low-back area.
Perform one set of 5 reps in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end position for 1 second.
#5 – Cat-and-Cow Exercise
Move into a four-point position. Place hands underneath the shoulders with knees underneath the hips. Keep the head, shoulders and hips in good alignment. Drop the head and round out the mid-back and low back, and then hold it for 1 second. Go the other way by bringing the pelvis forward, drop the low back, bring the head back, rounding the other way. Repeat by moving back and forth.
In this exercise, we are focusing more on the mobility throughout the whole spine, including the pelvis, low back, mid-back area, neck and head areas.
Perform one set of 5 reps each way, alternating back and forth, in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the top position with a light intensity.
So, there you go, try these five excellent exercises to protect your back.
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Rick Kaselj, MS