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Easy Moves to Strengthen Your Back

September 16th, 2011 Healthy Living

Daily activities in the workplace, sports and at home can accumulate and strain your back. Without proper training, you can be especially prone to injuries. To avoid this, strengthen your back muscles with the following moves, which can prevent pain from developing.

Body bridge
This move requires you to lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent, feet planted hip-width apart and arms by your sides. Lift up your hips while squeezing your glutes, creating a straight line between your shoulders and knees. Hold this bridge for a couple of seconds, then slowly release. Repeat 10 to 12 times.

Pointing dog
For this exercise, get on your hands and knees - which should be hip-width apart, directly underneath your hips. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, squeeze your abdominal muscles and raise your left leg straight out behind you and lift your right arm in front of you. Hold this position for as long as you can, then let go before switching sides and repeating five or six more times.

Side plank
Lie on your side in a straight line, propped up on your forearm. Keep your elbow directly underneath your shoulder. Slowly lift your hips off of the floor, maintaining the line. Hold for about 30 seconds, then let go and change sides. Repeat two or three times for each side. If you're having trouble, start out with your knees bent.

Deep lunge
Standing up, put your hands on your hips and take a big step forward with your left foot. Lower yourself so that your left knee is at a 90-degree angle, then raise yourself up without pausing. Repeat eight to 12 times for each leg. Your muscles will get used to keeping you stable.