Mind your back
With these exercises, you can improve back strength and reduce pain, writes Siobhan Byrne
OVER the next few weeks our focus will be on back health — how training can be beneficial if you suffer with a weak back; the most important things to know, and how you can develop strength through proper training and good posture in order to be pain free.
As a personal trainer I have worked with people who have back issues. With appropriate training they begin to suffer less as their back gets stronger. But it’s not just about working out.
There is a big difference between working out and training. You may be a sweat junkie and end up working out in the gym doing whatever exercises you are able to and the higher the intensity the better. But when you are training, you should be developing strength or balance in the body, or both.
If you suffer with back issues it’s important to understand while training what you are doing and how you are going to go about it. Randomly doing exercises will not greatly improve your back issues and may even add to your problems.
What to avoid
Over the years some people may find their back health has deteriorated and this may be as a result of injury, bad posture, degenerative issues or even bad form, not just while exercising but on day-to-day tasks.
The first thing you must ascertain is how serious the issue is and if you haven’t been to a doctor I recommend that this is your first step.
Next up, stop doing the things that hurt. You would be surprised at the daily activities you’re doing that exacerbate your back issues, from bending instead of squatting when picking things up to lying in bed on your front instead of your back or side, which may put extra pressure on your lower back. Take note of daily tasks that irritate your back, such as sitting down for too long or slouching on the couch or at your desk.
The four exercises featured this week will help promote good back health.
Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one. When you have completed each exercise, that is one set. Catch your breath before moving on to the next set, and do three to four sets, three to four times