Strengthen Your Lower back
The lower back is one of the most fragile areas of your body. And if it doesn't get proper attention through strength training, serious pain and physical problems can leak through the entire muscular system.
People who sit for long periods of time typically have it the worst. Overactivity developed in their hips from being at the office desk all day or binge-watching Netflix for hours can lead to a natural breakdown of muscle that supports the lower back.
My goal as a trainer is to make sure that each client training with me never goes through that. During each training session we work on a series of different static core exercises — which are resistance exercises without movement — that make the core and lower back strong.
The muscles responsible for supporting the back are positioned so deeply inside your body that they don't directly respond to dynamic exercises, like sit-ups or squats.
Here are my top two movements that help keep your back strong.
Start in a push-up position with your back flat, tight abs and squeezed glutes. Lower your forearms to the ground. Your elbows should be directly below your shoulders, and your hands should be flat, palms down. Do several sets, holding the position for 30 seconds, then resting for 30 seconds. If you are unable to maintain that posture, remain in a push-up position or bring your knees to the ground (rather than just your toes) or do both.
These are great, because they target the sides of your stomach attached to the back that are often neglected. Lay on your side and prop yourself up, onto your elbow. Your hip should be off the ground, so your body forms a diagonal line. Do several sets, holding the position for 30 seconds, then resting for 30 seconds. Be sure to switch sides.
If you are overcoming an injury or a beginner, make sure your health professional gives you the OK to experiment with these exercises. It's always good to push yourself stronger, but safety and proper progression are always first. Keep working hard and have fun on your journey to better health and fitness.