Eighty percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives, according to the latest available data from ABC News. And you are more likely to suffer from back pain as you age. Still, there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of getting back pain or injuries such as losing weight, purchasing a new mattress that doesn’t sag and bending you legs when you lift objects off the floor. You can also perform these five back exercises to improve your spinal health.
You can perform this exercise on a rug or carpet, but it’s best to use a hard floor surface. Lie on your back with your knees elevated and feet on the floor. Squeeze your buttocks and slowly press your lower back to the floor. Hold it there for five seconds, and then relax. Start with 10 repetitions and work your way up to 25. WikiHow recommends that you place your hands underneath your back when you first start performing this exercise so you can feel the movement of your lower back muscles.
Double Knee Lift
While on the floor, keep both feet planted with your knees bent. Grab both legs just below the knees and pull them toward your chest. Maintain that position for five seconds, and lower your feet to the floor. Again, start with 10 reps and increase to 25 as you get used to the movement.
Single Knee Lift
In a slight variation, with feet on floor, grab your right leg below the knee and pull it to your chest. Simultaneously straighten your left leg in front of you. Hold it for five seconds, and then bring both legs back to the starting position. Now, grab your left leg and pull it toward your chest while straightening your right leg. Each double movement counts as one rep.
If you’ve ever had neck pain, you know how annoying it is. To strengthen the muscles near your upper spine, sit in a chair and hold both arms up and out to each side, keeping the bottoms of your upper arms parallel to the floor. Your arms should look like a football goalpost. Move both forearms in front of you and touch them. Pull them back as far as you can and stretch your trapezius muscles. Hold it for five seconds and repeat.
While still seated in your chair, move your knees shoulder width apart. Lower your head and body forward and stretch both arms between your legs under the chair. Hold that position for several seconds, and then raise your body back up. Pull on the chair when you’re bending forward to get a better stretch.
These five exercises should only take you three to five minutes to complete. Never perform an exercise if it causes you undue pain.