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Exercises for Your Back

Research studies report that 75% of Americans are either currently experiencing back pains, or will experience back pain at some point in their lifetime. Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in America, and is rated as the number one reason Americans miss work. Exercises that strengthen and stretch your back can reduce your chances of back injury, and can decrease or even eliminate any back pain that you are experiencing now.

Before You Begin Back Exercises

If you are currently experiencing back pain, it is a good idea to talk with a doctor before you begin any back exercising program. An examination may help to determine why you are experiencing back pain and which exercises might be the most beneficial to you. If you begin exercises for your back and you experience any pain whatsoever, stop immediately. Start a back exercising program slowly; do not over do on your first day! Begin with stretches, and then gradually work up to more intense exercises. Do not forget to include a 5-10 minute cool down period at the end of your exercise routine.

The most important aspect of any exercise program for your back is to stay with it. Back exercises should be performed at least 5 days a week. Do not be tempted to stop your back exercises once your back starts to feel better; stay with the exercises to maintain the health of your back.


A Flexible Back Is a Healthy Back

Begin your back exercising program with exercises that will increase and maintain the flexibility in your back. The major muscle groups in your back are connected with muscles groups in your neck, shoulders, arms, and legs. Back stretching exercises should include neck rolls, shoulder rolls, lower back stretches and bends, and exercises which flex your legs.

Back Strengthening Exercises

Your back is only as strong as the rest of you. To strengthen your back you should concentrate on exercises which also strengthen your thighs, abdomen, shoulders, and upper arms. Some of these exercises can be intense and should never be performed without stretching first.

It is best to start your back strengthening routine with aerobic exercises. Walking and swimming are two effective aerobic exercises which will strengthen your back. More intense aerobic exercises like jogging and running can actually injure your back. When you begin a walking program, make sure that you are wearing comfortable, supportive, shoes.

Strength training exercises with weights is an essential component to any healthy back fitness routine. If you do not have experience exercising with weights it is best to begin your program with weight machines. These machines will help you to learn how to maintain proper body form and posture while you are working with weights. A personal fitness trainer can also guide you through your program and offer helpful tips and advice. Once you are able to maintain your posture during weight machine exercises, you can progress to a program that includes free weights.