Physical fitness is the key to preventing lower back pain and injury (LBP), whether or not they are related to the workplace. Body and cardiovascular system conditioning are both a part of ""becoming in shape."" The development of strong, pain-free backs requires both aerobic training and core muscle strengthening (the muscles of the spine and abdomen that stabilize the spine).
What exercises are most useful for avoiding low back injuries?
Strong back and abdominal muscles alone protect the back and reduce LBP episodes, contrary to long-held beliefs among fitness professionals and even rehabilitation specialists, but neither study nor experience have ever supported this claim. It's time to disprove that rumor. Another myth seems to be the lumbar region's flexibility and mobility. That being said, having strong and flexible back muscles is not necessarily a bad thing. However, constructing them using activities typically recommended for a back that is strong and flexible might occasionally result in injury. So, what does ensure a healthy back if neither strength nor lumbar flexibility do so? Muscle endurance may be more protective than muscle strength, according to studies on the biomechanics of the spine. In his book Low Back Disorder, Evidence-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation (Human Kinetics, 2002), Stuart McGill, a renowned lecturer and specialist in spine function, injury prevention, and rehabilitation at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, proposes that stabilizing the spine appears to be the solution. Exercise the spine's main stabilizing muscles, including the back extensor abdominal muscles (sometimes known as the ""six pack""), to achieve and maintain spinal stability (the lateral obliques) Exercise each of these muscles separately, avoiding using your back. Sparing is the term for exercising with the spine straight and no added load. This document's main goal is to help you get fitter without hurting yourself by advising you on the best exercises to choose and how to perform them. You should ideally have a series of workouts that are customized to your unique goals and capabilities. We can only provide a pretty broad collection of exercises that we believe will help for the majority of working people because we are unable to meet everyone's demands. The other goal is to provide workouts that anyone can undertake, regardless of starting fitness level, and that will eventually benefit from being done regularly. Prior to starting any kind of fitness regimen, always speak with a doctor or other medical practitioner.
How should an exercise session begin?
starting to exercise
The ""Cat-Camel"" exercises should be done at the start of each session (Figures 1A, 1B, and 1C)
Image 1A Image 1B Image 1C Begin by kneeling down on the floor with your thighs parallel to it (Figure 1A). Breathe in gently and deeply while keeping your back as straight but relaxed as you can. Do not hold your breath when you exhale and lengthen your back by arching it upward (the ""arching cat position"") (Figure 1B). Taking a calm, deep breath, return to the beginning posture (Figure 1A). Exhale and bend your back into a swayback position (camel pose) (Figure 1C). Taking a calm, deep breath, return to the beginning posture (Figure 1A). 3 to 7 times should be added to the entire sequence (Figures 1A, 1B, and 1C).
Which workouts are best for strengthening the back extensors?
To strengthen the back extensor muscles without overworking or straining them, try the so-called ""Birddog"" exercise. This exercise's level of difficulty can be adjusted based on the person's initial skill level. A. For those whose backs are severely deconditioned: Start on your ""all fours"" position (Figure 1A). If you can, raise one hand off the ground and hold it there for a few seconds. Use the other hand to repeat the process. Lift one knee off the ground while remaining on ""all fours"" and, if you can, hold it there for a few seconds. With the other knee, repeat the process. If you are able to, repeat the entire movement three times: left and right knee, left and right hand. B. For a typical person: Breathe in deeply as you start in the ""all fours"" position (Figure 1A). Squeeze the muscles in your abdomen. Lift one arm in front of you till it is parallel to the floor while breathing; (Figure 2). Hold the arm extension for 4 to 7 seconds while breathing slowly. Return the arm to the beginning position while inhaling. With the opposite arm, repeat the process. Change arms as you go through the workout, and if you can, go through up to ten (five for each arm) repetitions. Figure 2 Since arm workouts are simpler and less difficult for maintaining your balance, we advise starting with them. Move on to the following level, which entails elevating a leg, after you can do it without difficulty. Step 2: Inhale while standing on all fours (Figure 1A). Squeeze the muscles in your abdomen. Exhale as you move one leg up and back until it is parallel to the floor, keeping the ankle in a relaxed position (Figure 3). Hold the leg extension for 4 to 7 seconds while slowly exhaling. Bring your leg back to the beginning position while inhaling. To keep the neck in alignment with the spine throughout this entire movement, look down at the floor. Use your other leg in the same manner. Alternate legs and repeat this exercise several times, up to ten (five for each leg) repetitions if you are able to do so. Figure 3 After mastering the alternate leg raises add another motion: As you are pushing your leg backwards, raise the opposite arm in front of you, until it is also parallel to the floor, without losing your balance (Figure 4). Hold this position while slowly exhaling over 4 to 7 seconds. Figure 4 Important points: Keep your abdominal muscles mildly squeezed while raising and holding the extension of your limbs. Keep your spine in a line to maintain neutral spine alignment; do not raise either leg or arm above the horizontal line.
What kinds of exercises are recommended for abdominal muscles?
A common exercise for abdominal muscles is the curl-up. However, there are many ways of performing this manouevre and some of them can be harmful and injurious, especially those which involve excessive bending and twisting. One example is the exercise where additional weights are used in order to speed up the development of the impressive so-called """"six pack"""". Based upon the concept of """"sparing the back"""" endorsed by Stuart McGill we suggest the following: Curl-up Starting position (Figure 5A) Lie on the floor with your hands placed under the lumbar area to preserve a neutral spine position (Figure 5A). Keeping one leg flat on the floor, flex the other knee, and raise the foot off the floor until your lower leg is parallel to the floor (Figure 5B). Repeat 4-7 times, then switch to the other leg. Repeat this exercise several times, up to ten (five for each leg) repetitions if you are able to do so. Figure 5A Figure 5B Without flattening or bending your lower back, curl up your upper body by raising your head and shoulders off the floor (Figure 6). If you feel any neck pain, try curling up without bending your neck. Otherwise, you can make the curl-up more challenging: by raising elbows off the floor as well by slightly squeezing your abdominal muscles before raising the torso Figure 6
What exercises are recommended for lateral and oblique abdominal, and lumbar muscles?
These muscles are also important in stabilizing the spine and thus preventing episodes of low back pain. The Side Bridge - a version for the deconditioned: Starting position (Figure 7A). While pivoting on the balls of your feet turn slowly toward the wall (Figure 7B), and keep turning (Figure 7C), until you acquire a position that is the mirror image of the starting one (Figure 7D). Figure 7A Figure 7B Figure 7C Figure 7DF igure 8A and Figure 8B show more challenging versions of the side bridge. Figure 8A Figure 8B
What is a final word to the wise?
Exercising every day, even if only for 15 -30 minutes, brings the most beneficial effects. Keep the effort and exertion within your own comfort zone. The phrase """"no pain, no gain"""" does not apply -- do not follow it. Do not exercise shortly after getting out of bed. Add to your back exercises by doing a gentle cardiovascular activity such walking (the best), cycling or swimming. Avoid exercising with additional weights. Instead, if you want to increase the intensity, increase the number of repetitions. Be patient and stick with it. It takes time to feel the benefits of exercising."""