Back Routine: 8 Basic Exercises

Exercises to strengthen the back help reduce the risk of injury and illness. In turn, they increase balance and flexibility. Do you dare to practice them? Discover some options

Exercises for a back routine cannot be missed when doing a workout to strengthen muscles, bones and tissues. These not only help to stabilize the body but also promote posture and help prevent ailments.

Now, there are basic exercises that help take care of the vertebrae and muscles’ health just by practicing them regularly. Do you dare to do them? In the following space, we share them in detail.

Why is it important to exercise your back?

An exercise routine for the back has both cosmetic and health benefits. In particular, it contributes to the following:

  • Maintain the natural curvature of the spine.
  • Reduce body aches and back injuries.
  • Reduce muscle imbalances, that is, the weakening of the muscles and the loss of their ability to stretch, as mentioned in the International Journal of Medicine and Sciences of Physical Activity and Sports.
  • Maintain stability to lift objects and carry out movements.

Exercise routine for the back

The practice of a routine of exercises for the back is key to avoiding ailments in ​​the body’s area. A scientific article published in Ochsner Journal determined that strengthening the lumbar and cervical extensors reduce pain and improves life quality in people who often have low back discomfort. Start now!

1. Cobra pose

The cobra pose is known in yoga as ‘Bhujangasana.’ It consists of a slight backward bending that decreases tension on the back muscles while stretching and strengthening them.

How to do it?

  • To start, lie face down on a mat. Rest the palms of your hands under your shoulders. Your elbows should be bent. Avoid leaning or going out to the sides. They should be kept close to each side of the chest.
  • Next, press down on the ground with your hands and lift your head and chest. If you can, fully extend your arms.
  • Gently drop your head back to deepen the stretch.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position and complete 10 reps.

2. Dumbbell row

This rowing exercise is simple and ideal for working traps, lats, and rhomboids. Once you get the hang of it, you can try some of its variations. The ideal is to use a light weight dumbbell to stimulate the muscles’ contraction, strengthen them, and promote muscle mass.

How to do it?

  • On a mat, get into a four-point position, that is, hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Hold the dumbbell in one hand.
  • Contract your abdomen and make sure to keep your back straight.
  • The hand holding the dumbbell will start the exercise as it will bring the bent elbow back to bring the dumbbell closer to your chest.
  • Extend your arm and return it to the ground.
  • Repeat the exercise 15 more times with the same arm.
  • Follow these instructions with the opposite arm.

3. Pull down with resistance band

In the gym, you can find machines to perform this exercise with weights. However, you can also do it at home with an elastic resistance band. Through this, you can work your lats, biceps and forearms.

How to do it?

  • First, place the rubber band on tall support. The ends of the band should fall to each side.
  • Standing with your legs hip-width apart and your back straight, hold each end with your hands.
  • Pull the elastic band, bringing it towards your chest. The elbows should be bent on each side of the body towards the ground, approaching the waist.
  • Keeping your back straight at all times, extend your arms up again and repeat the exercise.
  • Perform three sets of 10 reps.

4. Deadlift on one leg

The deadlift is a good exercise to work your erector spine, lower back, and hamstring muscles. Also, it helps you improve balance. To make it easier, it is advisable to hold a dumbbell in each hand.

How to do it?

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your legs extended.
  • The arms should be extended on each side of the body and the back straight.
  • Lean your trunk forward while raising one of your legs back. Do it as far as you can without losing your balance.
  • The arms remain parallel to the leg resting on the floor.
  • Stand up and repeat the exercise 10 times with each leg.

5. Back curls

The back push-ups are aimed at strengthening the upper muscles, including the rhomboids and lats.

How to do it?

  • Lie on your back on a mat. Bend your knees and rest your feet on the ground.
  • The arms remain perpendicular to the body, bent, with the elbows resting on the ground and the hands up.
  • In this position, press your elbows toward the ground to lift your shoulders and upper back off the mat. As far as possible.
  • Lower your shoulders and back to return to the starting position.
  • Perform three sets of 10 reps.

6. Superman with arms back

As in the previous exercise, the ‘superman’ with arms backwards helps to strengthen the upper back muscles. Added to this, by promoting the extension of the spine, it activates and strengthens the lower back muscles, according to an article in the Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy.

How to do it?

  • Lie on your stomach, with your legs together and your arms extended to each side. The palms of the hands remain up.
  • Rest your head on the floor and squeeze your glutes.
  • Raise your head, back, legs, and arms at the same time, as much as you can.
  • Lengthen your neck and slightly drop your head back.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise two more times.

7. Back hyperextension

One of the exercises that cannot be missing in a back routine is hyperextension. It strengthens the erector spine and lower back muscles, a key muscle group for maintaining an upright posture and stability. You will need a Pilates ball.

How to do it?

  • Lie on the ball with your abdomen supported in the center.
  • To maintain balance, the balls of your feet remain on the ground.
  • Extend your arms to the front.
  • Squeeze your glutes and lift your arms, shoulders, and upper back above your abdomen.
  • Hold this position for a couple of seconds.
  • Lower carefully and return to the starting position.
  • Perform three sets of 10 reps.

8. Pull-ups

This exercise is a bit more intense than the previous ones. You can practice it in a nearby park where there are bars to hold onto. It is often included in routine back exercises because it works with the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and rhomboid. It is also common in routines to strengthen the abdomen.

How to do it?

  • First, grab the bar with both hands, keeping shoulder-width apart.
  • Your arms and elbows should be fully extended.
  • Contract your abdominal muscles and bend your arms to lift your entire body.
  • Once up, raise your chin on top of the bar.
  • Lower slowly until your arms are extended again.
  • Perform three sets of 10 reps.

Common mistakes when doing an exercise routine

While taking the initiative to exercise at home is important to keep your body physically active, mistakes can be made, in some cases leading to injury or fatigue.

Skipping stretching before and after exercise

study published in the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation points out the importance of stretching to prevent muscle stiffness and increase motion range. In the back, taking care of the flexibility of these muscles protects the spine from possible risks.

Before training, stretching helps prepare the muscles for the effort they are about to make. During the routine, it allows to improve physical performance. Also, when finished, it favors the recovery of the muscles and reduces tension.

Missing this step fails to activate blood circulation, relax muscles, or promote elasticity, thereby increasing injury risk.

Exceeding physical effort

Even if you want to see quick results, exceeding physical effort is often detrimental to health because the muscles are not prepared for the exercise’s intensity.

Remember that routines must be adapted to the physical state of each person. Once you have strengthened your muscles after a period of regular exercise, you can progressively include variations that require more effort, add weight, or do more repetitions.

Always perform the same routine

There are a variety of routines that will help you stay focused and motivated to exercise. Even if you find a specific workout that you like, go ahead and try different routines to avoid giving up the workout.

During the week, you can alternate routines for different muscle groups. Over time, look for modifications to these routines that continue to strengthen and tone your body.

Important precautions for exercising your back

To take care of the health of the spine, and make the most of the exercises for your back routine, keep the following precautions in mind:

  • Make sure to keep your back straight.
  • Warm-up and moderate stretching before training.
  • Follow the routine step by step consciously. There is no eagerness. The important thing is to do it well.
  • Know the limits of your body. If you feel pain, stop and see a doctor.
  • If you have a history of back injuries, seek the advice of a medical specialist.
  • After the routine, don’t forget to stretch.
  • Try to maintain proper body posture in your daily activities.

Be consistent, and you will see results

Keep in mind that the discipline and regularity with which you exercise your back are key to achieving your goal, toning it, strengthening its muscles or alleviating body aches. If you haven’t included an exercise routine for this part of the body in your daily physical activity, do it now!

Debbie Lentz

Accomplished Global Supply Chain executive with significant experience in the consumer products and retail industries with large brand name firms in the public and private sectors. Strategic and operational, drives change and creates efficiencies through integration of end to end process improvement focused on enhancing the customer experience and fostering company growth. Collaborative leader with high integrity who builds talented, results-oriented teams.

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