Strengthening your back muscles with stretching exercises has many benefits. Stretches not only help build and tone our muscles, but stretches help to minimize and relieve pain. Our spinal muscles are the most over used muscles of our body. Additionally, this is one of the parts that many people forget to strengthen. If you have ever had pain along the spine, then you know just how painful this can be. As we age, this pain can intensify. When you strengthen your spine, you reduce the risk of injury and minimize pain. Although the lower spinal muscles tend to be the problem area when it comes to aches and pain, you want to ensure you strengthen the entire spine. You can strengthen your muscles through strengthening exercises as well as stretches. The stretching exercises help to keep your muscles loose and toned. This will help you do every day tasks, like twisting, lifting and walking, without feeling the stabbing pain. Here are several upper and lower back stretches you can do to strengthen your muscles.
Strengthening Stretch #1
This stretching exercise is great for waking up the spine and preparing it for the day ahead. This will stretch the lower back and help strengthen the lower spinal muscles.
How to do the Pelvic Tilt
- Start by lying on the ground, knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Place your arms out to your sides laying your palms flat to the floor.
- Starting with your spine flat to the floor, slowly arch the spine keeping your shoulders and buttocks on the floor.
- Slowly return to your starting position and contract your abdominal muscles slightly to help press the lower spine into the floor.
- Repeat this 5 to 10 times.
Strengthening Stretch #2
This is a great one to really stretch and strengthen the entire spine.
How to do the Spinal Twist
- Lie on the floor with both knees bent, feet on the floor and your spine flat to the floor.
- Place your arms out to your side.
- Now slowly drop both knees down to the floor to one side until you feel the stretch up the spine.
- Hold the stretch for a count of 30.
- Repeat to the other side.
- Repeat this strengthening stretch on each side for 5 to 10 stretches.
Strengthening Stretch #3
Swiss Ball Stretch
This one really stretches out the upper spine and feels great.
How to do the Swiss Ball Stretch
- Place your Swiss ball on the floor.
- Lie down on the ball with the center of your back on the top of the ball.
- Place your legs shoulder width apart with heels on the floor.
- Now place your arms behind you shoulder width apart and let your body sink into the ball. You should feel the stretch in the spine.
- Hold this stretch for a count of 30 to 60.
- Repeat this stretch several times.
These strengthening stretches will help keep your spine healthy and minimize pain. Remember, you use and abuse these muscles every day so treat your back to some relaxing and strengthening stretches. After all, you deserve it.
For even more ways to strengthen your back, check out these lower back exercises.
Author Julie Barros is the creator of Exercise 4 Weight Loss where you will find exercise and weight loss tips, weight loss reviews, weight loss tools and more.
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