GET A STRONG BACK FOR LIFE

Back strength is key to in­jury pre­ven­tion and over­all well­be­ing, but our seden­tary life­style isn’t! In­vest in your back’s health with this easy-to-do strength rou­tine

Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul - - B + S -

1 KNEEL­ING CORE AND BAL­ANCE

WHY: En­gages the front and back of the body equally, bal­anc­ing you in a strength and pos­tural po­si­tion.

HOW: From kneel­ing, stretch your right arm and left leg straight out. Squeeze the back of your body as you draw the front of your ribs and pelvis to­wards each other. Come back to kneel­ing and re­peat on the other side. This is 1 rep. Do 10 reps.

2 ROLLING BRIDGE

WHY: Ac­ti­vates your pos­te­rior chain mus­cles, es­pe­cially your glutes, which are pow­er­ful sta­bilis­ers that give your spine a strong foun­da­tion.

HOW: Lie on the floor with your feet slightly wider than hip width. Squeeze your butt and back mus­cles as you roll your spine off the ground un­til your body­weight is on the back of your shoul­ders. Hold this po­si­tion for 5 sec­onds, then roll back down. This is 1 rep. Do 8 reps.

3 SQUAT

WHY: This whole-body func­tional ex­er­cise re­cruits your spine sta­bilis­ers, as well as ma­jor and mi­nor mus­cles in your lower body.

HOW: Stand with your feet apart, chest up, core on and eyes on the hori­zon. Sit your butt back and down as low as you can while keep­ing your torso tall. Drive into your heels and squeeze your butt as you stand back up. Do 15 reps.

4 LO­CUST POSE

WHY: Works your pos­te­rior chain mus­cles and main­tains an open chest, which is great for your pos­ture.

HOW: Lie on your front with your arms by your sides and your gaze on the floor. Squeeze your butt and back as you lift your arms and legs off the ground and hold this el­e­va­tion for 10 sec­onds be­fore low­er­ing back down. This is 1 rep. Do 8 reps.

5 LAWN­MOWER

WHY: Im­proves strength and sta­bil­ity in your up­per back and shoul­ders.

HOW: Hold­ing a dumbbell in your left hand, stand with your feet shoul­der­width apart and core on. Tilt your up­per body for­ward to a 45-de­gree an­gle, let­ting the weight hang nat­u­rally be­low your shoul­der. Drive into your feet, and squeeze your butt and back mus­cles as you stand up, draw­ing your left arm back un­til that hand is up by your chest and your torso is ro­tated to that side. Re­turn to the start­ing po­si­tion, switch the dumbbell to your other hand and re­peat. This is 1 rep. Do 15 reps.

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