Resistance exercises you can do at home
Back pain can be debilitating. These resistance exercises will help you strengthen all the back muscles for pain relief and greater mobility.
Some situations are precursors to back problems. As a youth worker, I occasionally found myself in Family Court in support of a young offender. When one particular judge didn’t like my testimony, he would roar at me, “Bring your toothbrush the next time you make a remark like that. You’ll be going away for a long time.” When I heard those words, a sharp, disabling pain would shoot through my neck and upper back. It felt as if His Honour was stabbing me between my vertebrae. After one episode of judge-related back pain, I had to referee a hockey game that evening. During the game, I broke up a fight and the pain vanished. That day I learned that judges can be a pain in the neck—and the back—and sometimes a little exercise can be good therapy. The cost of back pain We put our backs through a lot of stress as we age, and back pain is an all-too-common result. In Canada, estimated costs of treatment for chronic back pain range from $6 billion to $12 billion per year. It is important to maintain back strength. As we age, we may lose bone mass in the vertebrae, and the discs between the vertebrae may lose fluid and flexibility. This can cause more chronic pain in the back, and also make us shorter. Resistance exercise Resistance exercise prevents bone loss and promotes a pain-free third age. Turn the page for four back maintenance exercises you can try at home using a 55 to 65 cm exercise ball and a resistance tube. Do 12 repetitions and 4 sets of each. Hyperextensions Area targeted: These target the erector spinae muscle that runs parallel to the spine.
Reverse Hyperextensions Area targeted: These work the lower (lumbar) back.
Tip: Afterward, stretch the back by moving from the prone to the supine (face up) position and doing some ball crunches. This is a good back stretch, as the abdominal muscles work in opposition to the erector spinae. Ball crunches are particularly effective because they combine balance and strength. Tip: Afterward, stretch the back by moving from the prone to the supine (face up) position and doing some ball crunches. This is a good back stretch, as the abdominal muscles work in opposition to the erector spinae. Ball crunches are particularly effective because they combine balance and strength. Rowing on the Ball Area targeted: This targets the middle and upper back: the rhomboids and the trapezius, as well as the rear deltoids.
Shoulder Shrugs Area targeted: These work the trapezius, or the “pain in the neck” muscle that originates at the skull and cervical vertebrae and inserts at the shoulder blades.
How often should I exercise? Exercise every second day because sore backs can be debilitating. They can interfere with all aspects of life, including mental health. Conversely, a pain-free body can lead to a positive outlook and good mental health. Walk off back pain Researchers have noted the positive therapeutic effects of walking programs for lower back pain sufferers. People who walked fared as well or better than those in muscle strengthening programs. Walking is an inexpensive activity that doesn’t require fancy gym equipment. It also gives your body a break from all the sitting it does at our desks, while driving, and in front of the television set. Walking strengthens the muscles of the core, including the back. Some research indicates that simply standing can reduce back and neck pain. Go for a brisk walk for 20 to 40 minutes, two to three times a week. If you suffer from back pain, start with a short walk and gradually increase the distance as your back gets stronger. Stretches for the back Hold these poses for about 30 seconds each at the end of your workout. Lower back