Strengthen Your Back

Back pain is a common ailment for many adults. Usually mild back pain, such as an achy feeling or soreness, is caused by overuse of the muscles or muscle injury. Most back pain can be alleviated by staying active, exercising and stretching. More serious pain or numbness may be caused by bone, disk or nerve injury or  another condition that should be treated by a doctor. See your doctor to rule out a serious back injury before you start or continue exercising.

Photo Credit: LocalFitness.com.au
Hand-walk on a stability or exercise ball to strengthen your upper and lower back muscles as well as your arms and shoulders. Use a medium to large exercise ball. Lie across the ball on your stomach and stretch your arms out in front of your body. Place your hands on the floor underneath your shoulders. Make a straight line with your neck and back toward your feet. Tighten your stomach and slowly walk forward on your hands until your feet and legs are lifted off the floor. Continue walking forward until your thighs or knees are resting on the ball. Slowly walk back on your hands until the exercise ball is under your stomach again. Keep your body straight and rigid when hand walking forward and backward. 
Stay on the ball on your stomach and try some exercise ball push-ups. Place your hands on the ball under your shoulders and stretch your legs out straight and hold your lower body up with your toes.. Keep your body rigid and tighten your abdominal muscles. Push your upper body up from the ball, hold the position for 5 seconds and lower your chest back toward the ball. Try to do 10 to 15 push-ups.
Raise and lower your back while resting your weight on your hands and knees to strengthen your back muscles, as well as your biceps and rotator cuff. Begin on your knees and place your hands underneath your shoulders with your fingers pointed forward.  Look at the floor and make a straight line with your body from your head to your buttocks. Pull your shoulders back toward your hips and tighten your abdominal muscles. Breathe out and arch your back upward as far as you can. Keep your palms and knees on the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds and return to the starting position. Next, lift your hip bones toward the ceiling and arch your back so that your belly is drawn toward the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds and return to the start position. 
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About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

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