When it comes to all of the muscles in your body, the muscles in your back sometimes get the short end of the stick when you’re exercising. Maybe you do work them, but are you giving them enough attention? It can be hard to tell sometimes.
It’s understandable that you want bigger, more muscular arms, and that you want toned legs. I even get the draw of the washboard abs. But did you know that your back muscles can look good, too? And that they should because it’s good for your overall health?
Why Your Back Muscles Matter
I’m sure you’ve all dealt with lower back pain. That nagging ache. The spasms. It can be a real drag and can keep you from working out, as well as from enjoying day-to-day life if it gets bad enough.
It should be no secret that exercise can help alleviate and possibly even stop back pain all together. How? Well, exercising your back muscles can play an important role in keeping your body developed for overall function.
Yes, your back muscles matter, too. Take a look at what they can do for you:
- Your lower back muscles provide spinal support and stabilization. Some of these muscles are considered to be part of your core, but regardless, when you exercise them, you’re working to make your body’s core that much stronger.
- Some of your lower back muscles are used in contact sports.Â Because this is true, your exercise routines should focus on injury prevention as well as muscle building. Your hip flexors and stomach muscles are responsible for increasing lower body power. Why wouldn’t you want to work them? Strengthened hip flexors and abs may also help prevent lower back injuries.
- Your lower back muscles support everyday activities.Â Those muscles in you lower back that you tend to ignore at the gym? They play vital roles in your abilities to sit and stand. Keeping them strong and healthy helps prevent back pain while sitting at your desk.
This Week’s Workout
Yes, you guessed it. This week’s workout involves your back muscles. With just four simple exercises, you can get on your way to healthier, stronger muscles. It may seem like a pain, but just remember: Stronger back muscles can mean less back pain!
For this first exercise, lie face down on your stomach. Rest on your forearms, with your hands palm-down. Push up off the floor and onto your toes, forearms and elbows. Make sure your back is straight from your head to your feet. Start with holding this for 30 seconds and gradually increase to 2 full minutes.
2.) Straight Leg Raise
Lie flat on your back. Keep your left knee bent and your left foot flat on the floor. Keep your right leg out straight. Tighten your stomach muscles and slowly raise your right leg until it’s about 6 inches from the floor, and hold it there for about 5 seconds. Lower your leg back to the floor. Be sure to do 10 to 15 reps with both legs.
3.) Opposite Arm & Leg Lift
Get on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees lined up under your hips. Reach your right arm straight out in front of you, while stretching your left leg straight back at the same time. Hold this pose for 5 seconds before releasing. Do the same with the your left arm and right leg.
4.) Tabletop Tap-Downs
For this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent to a 90-degree angle. Lower your right leg slowly and touch your toes to the floor before slowly pulling your leg back up. Do the same with your left leg.
Cool-Down & Recovery
For a quick cool-down this week, take a simple walk. Just 10 minutes will do. Walk up and down your driveway or up the road and back. Breathe in deeply as you walk to help slow your heart rate.
If you’re in need of a quality supplement to help your body recover, take a look at the ones listed below:
- fucoProtein High Protein Bar (Chocolate with Macadamia Nuts) by Garden of Life
- Protein Fusion Bars from Metagenics
- Tropical Tango Protein Smoothie by Vega
How are you taking care of your back muscles? Let us know if this workout helped. Leave us a comment below!