More and more people are having back problems, to be precise decreased back flexibility. Are you one of them? This article will give you the answers you most probably have – why this happens, how to increase back flexibility, exercises that will certainly help you – awesome exercises to help loosen tight backs and improve back flexibility.
Common Causes Of Decreased Back flexibility
- Poor Seated Posture
- Sitting For Long Periods Of Time
- Tight Hamstrings and/or Glutes
- Insufficient mobility exercises
Obviously sitting for long periods of time (for example, working on the computer) is our present reality. And let’s be honest, the majority of us are sitting with our back band. Therefore, back muscles weaken. But that’s my job! you might say. Yes, I know, but we can hold our back with regular exercises which won’t take you more than 10 minutes a day,
5 Back Exercises To Help Improve Back Flexibility
1. Cat-Cow Pose
This exercise is taken from the classic yoga textbook, and for a good reason. The Cat-Cow Pose helps stimulate and activate the spine and surrounding muscles, stretching the back, neck and shoulders. Here’s how to do it:
- Start kneeling down with your knees below your hips, and hands below your shoulders
- Form the ‘tabletop’ position, with a flat, straight back and neutral neck position
- As you inhale, lift your sitting bones allowing your belly to sink toward the floor. Lift your head to look straight forward.
- As you exhale, press the floor away with hands and knees, and round your spine, like an angry cat. That’s one breath cycle.
Do not rush, as you fully inhale hold that pose for 5seconds, slowly exhale and as you’ve exhaled all the air in your lungs, remain that pose for 5 seconds. Repeat at least 5 times.
2. Sphinx Pose
- Lie on your stomach, place elbows underneath shoulders, forearms on the ground.
- Pull your chest up as you press shoulders down and together while lengthening through your tailbone. Make sure all 10 toes are on the ground.
- Breathe length between each vertebra from the tailbone to the crown of your head.
- Hold this pose for five deep breaths. Short pause, then repeat.
3. Bridge Pose
This exercise is highly recommended by fitness instructors and physical therapists especially to people having lower back problems but it’s also great for abs and glutes.
- Lie on the back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground, arms extended by your side;
- Pushing through your feet and bracing your core, raise your bottom of the ground until your hips are fully extended, squeezing your glutes at the top;
- Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
4. Cobra Pose
- Lay flat on the mat with their stomach and place their hands under the shoulders at the same time ensuring that the thighs are parallel to each other and elbows placed near your body. Then ensure that the toes are firmly positioned on the ground so as to act as supporters.
- Press the tops of the feet and thighs and the pubis firmly into the floor.
- On an inhalation, begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor, going only to the height at which you can maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs. Press the tailbone toward the pubis and lift the pubis toward the navel. Narrow the hip points. Firm but don’t harden the buttocks.
- Firm the shoulder blades against the back, puffing the side ribs forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward, which only hardens the lower back. Distribute the backbend evenly throughout the entire spine.
- Hold the pose anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing easily. Release back to the floor with an exhalation.
5. Supine Spine Twist
- Lie down on a mat, facing to ceiling
- Place your arms directly to the side to help stabilize your body
- Bring your knees-up, creating a right angle with your legs
- Slowly lower both legs to one side, keeping your back flat on the ground and head facing upwards
- Relax the legs to the side, before slowly lifting back to the middle and repeating on the other side
How Often To Do These Exercise
Preferably every day. It’ll take you about 10-15 minute. If you can do them every day then do the complete series at least three times a week.
When it comes to the question of speed in performing these exercises keep in mind that quality, proper performing is essential. Do not rush. Stay focused.
Benefits Of Increased Back Flexibility
- Less pain
- Fewer injuries. Once you develop strength and flexibility in your body you’ll be able to withstand more physical stress.
- Improved posture and balance
- Greater strength
- Improved physical performance.
Unfortunately I can’t tell you that you’ll feel results after you do these exercises once. It wouldn’t be true. The truth is that it takes time, consistency and patience. But it’s worth it. Don’t give up!