Top 10 to building a strong lower back


Top 10 to building a strong lower backThere are two common sources of a weak lower back. The first is frequent and prolonged sitting. Spending too much time sitting tends to weaken the muscles of the lower back and bend the spine out of its natural alignment. It also tends to weaken the lower abdominals, which are vital spinal stabilizers.


The second culprit is a biomechanical form of laziness that keeps the lower back from doing its fair share of the work, and thereby stunts its development. For example, it takes less energy to bend from the waist to pick an object off the floor than it does to bend from the hips and knees. But the more often you take the easy way out when lifting, the less your lower back is able to perform its stabilizing function properly.


Transforming your lower back from a weak link into a strong link in the kinetic chain of your body is not difficult, but it does require a disciplined effort. The first thing you need to do is perform all your lifts with correct posture from this day forward . In addition, you need to do some remedial exercises that will strengthen the lumbar-spine area and return it to its natural alignment.


LOWER BACK EXTENSION:

  • Lie facedown with your arms and legs outstretched.

  • Inhale and contract the muscles of your lower back and buttocks so that your head, arms, upper torso and legs come of the floor simultaneously.

  • Hold this position for a two-count, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

  • Perform 10 to 12 repetitions.


DEADLIFTS:

This exercise can be performed using either a barbell or a pair of dumbbells. You can go real heavy on this exercise.

  • Place a barbell loaded with weights in front of you.

  • Now grab the barbell using an underhand grip with one hand and overhand grip with the other hand. Remember to keep your back as straight as possible and contract your back and hamstrings.

  • Now raise the bar from the ground using your hamstrings and glutes. You should keep your legs slightly bent, back straight and head looking up. The initial movement is to be provided by your heels and not toes or elbows.

  • Raise it o the point where your body is erect. Do not hyper extend your body as the weight shifts to the lumbar spine. Hold the bar for a moment at the top of the lift and remember to lock out. Complete the lift and do not go only half way through.

  • Now lower the bar slowly at a steady slow pace by bending at the hips first and then at the knees and let the weight touch the ground for a moment before you begin the next rep.

  • Perform 3-5 sets of heavy deadlifts only once a week. Lower back muscles take long to recuperate and hence once a week heavy Deadlifts will do the job.


Top 10 to building a strong lower backHEEL PRESS

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended straight upward toward the ceiling and your arms relaxed at your sides.

  • Contract the muscles of your lower abdomen and try to reach toward the ceiling with your feet.

  • Your legs will barely move, but you'll feel your lower abs working.

  • Hold the contraction for a full second, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

  • Perform 15 to 20 repetitions.


 

 

 

 

 

SQUAT STRETCH

  • Hold on to a fixed object at waist-to-chest height with both hands.

  • Squat down and back until your arms are fully extended and you feel a stretch in your lower back.

  • Hold this position for 12 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position


HURDLER'S STRETCH

  • Sit on the floor in the hurdler's position, with your left leg extended in front of you and your right leg bent and flared out to the side.

  • Gently bend forward at the hips until you feel a good stretch in your right hamstring.

  • Avoid rounding your back excessively, as this will shift the stretch from your hamstrings to your back.

  • Hold this position for 12 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position and switching legs.


BALING HAY

  • Assume a wide stance with your right side facing a low-cable pulley, or a resistance band secured to a fixed object at ankle height. Put most of your weight on the inside foot.

  • With the handle at just below knee level, grasp it with both hands.

  • Using both arms, pull the cable upward and across your body, finishing above your left shoulder . Avoid rounding the back.

  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. After completing 10 to 12 repetitions, switch sides.



GOOD MORNING

  • Place a barbell on a squat rack at the same height you would use while performing the squat. Load the bar with the appropriate weight and step underneath it. Put your body directly in the center of the bar. Place your feet approximately shoulder width apart, directly under the bar. Maintain the lordotic curve in your low back with your chest up. Your head is pointed straight ahead or slightly upward. Do not look down. The body follows the head.

  • Once you are in position, take two to three small steps back.

  • Take a deep breath, and slightly flex your knees. Under control, start to bend forward, maintaining the normal curvature of your lower back. As you lower your torso, keep looking straight ahead. This will help keep your back in its proper position. Lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor and then reverse directions and raise your torso to the starting position.

HYPEREXTENSION

  • Top 10 to building a strong lower backLay face down on a hyperextension bench and tuck your ankles securely under the footpads. Fix the upper pad, to your upper thighs. Lay flat across the wide pad, leaving enough room for you to bend at the waist without any restriction.

  • Begin with your body in a straight line. You can put your arms in two different positions, either crossed in front of you or behind your head. Also, if you are wanting a little extra resistance, then you can hold onto a weight.

  • Slowly bend forward from the waist as far as you can while keeping your back extremely flat. It is EXTREMELY important that you DO NOT round your back.

  • To return to the starting point, slowly raise your torso until your legs and upper body are back in that straight line. Also, it is very important that you do not arch your back past a straight line either.


SEAL STRETCH

  • Lie facedown on the floor with your palms positioned just outside your shoulders.

  • Press upward and gently curl your spine backward until your arms are fully extended. You'll feel a stretch in your abdomen and hip flexors.


  • Hold this position for 12 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.


DOUBLE LEG PULL

  • sLie on your back with your legs extended. Gently raise both the knees up to your chest and grasp it with both hands.

  • Hold for 30-60 seconds, relax and repeat.



Below is a sample of a Lower Back Workout

Warm up on Cardio Machine - 5 mins.

2 sets of Forward Bends and 2 sets of Hamstring Stretches.

Deadlifts, 3 sets of 12,10,8 reps.

Barbell Rows, 3 sets of 12,10,8 reps.

Hyperextensions, 3 sets of 12,10,8 reps.

 

Dated 05 July 2012
 

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