Having great body muscle beside being slim and fit is the dream of many people. Having such a body not only means less chances for a lot of diseases but also makes a person look good and younger than their age. Have you ever wondered why you feel somehow tired even after walking? This can be more after an exercise or a workout. Just imagine, when you walk, you use at least 200 muscles just to take a single step forward. In this DoctorOnCall’s article, we will be learning about the back muscle and its workout.
First thing first, what is the back muscle? The back muscles are muscles involved in supporting the spine and trunk, making the back. These muscles help a person to move the body which includes movement of the head, neck, shoulder, arms and legs. The back muscles work in harmony and simultaneously to do many body movements such as bending over, twist, extend the back, turning head, sitting or standing and plays a role in breathing mechanism. Since the back muscles play many roles in the body movement and are considered to be responsible for supporting most of the body weight, the back muscle is easily damaged or hurt.
The muscle of the back is divided into 2 large groups. First are the extrinsic (superficial) back muscles or known as the immigrant as it represents the muscle of the upper limb that has migrated to the back during fetal development in the pregnancy. The second one is the intrinsic (deep) back muscles which is also known as the true back muscles. Extrinsic muscle of the back are muscles close to the surface of the skin which includes trapezius, latissimus dorsi, rhomboid major, rhomboid minor, levator scapulae, serratus posterior superior and serratus posterior inferior muscles. Intrinsic muscles of the back are muscles that sit deep under the skin which includes splenius, erector spinae, transversospinales, interspinales and intertransversarii muscles. It is understandable that the many muscle names can be confusing and tongue twisting but one thing for sure, these muscles are what makes a back muscle.
It is important to take care of the back muscles as it plays the many roles of the body movement and supporting the body. Do you know that most of the back pain is caused by the back muscles’ problems? Back pain is common with people who have bad posture or slumped over a desk for a long time. Muscle strain often involving the back muscle is common after an injury resulting from lifting heavy object or lifting with the wrong posture, exercise, overuse muscles or after an accident. These strains can lead to muscle cramps or muscle spasms. Chronic pain from the back muscle can lead to stiffness and body movement difficulty.
Hence, having a back workout can solve the many long list of medical issues relating to the back muscles such as poor posture, muscle imbalance, and back pain. Back workout can also prevent many health issues such as reducing risk for injury by having strong muscles. The question now is, what kind of workout can help improve the back muscles? There are many workouts that can be done to achieve this. Below are examples of a good workout for the back muscles:
1) Glute bridge- This exercise helps to support the glutes by stabilising the pelvis and hip. Stabilising these structures helps to put less strain on the lower back muscles. Start by lying flat on the floor with legs bent, push the hips upwards and squeeze the glutes while keeping the abs drawn in. Pause for 2 seconds and return to the start. Repeat these steps around 10 to 15 times.
2) Knee to chest stretches- This helps to stretch the lower back and stabilise the pelvis. Start by lying on the back with both legs extended, drawing both knees to the chest with fingers around the shins. Hold this position for 30 seconds before releasing. Repeat this stretch 5 times.
3) Child’s pose- Strengthening and stretching muscle around the spine. Kneel and sit on the knees with the knees slightly apart. Lean forwards, keeping the buttock on the heels and rest forehead on the floor. Move the arms and position it next to the legs, palms facing up. Allow the body to feel heavy as it begins to completely relax. Breath in and breathe out while stretching.
4) Superman exercise- Helps to improve the back muscles especially the mid-back muscles. Lie facedown on the mat while extending the arm and extended legs behind. Raise the arms, legs and chest off the floor. Hold the position for a few seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat this for 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetition.
5) Bird-dog exercise- Strengthening the muscle of the back of the spine. Point one arm out straight in front and extend the opposite leg behind. Hold this for a few seconds before returning to your hands and knees. Then switch to the other side. Complete five repetitions on each side.
6) Plank exercise- Provide good full-body stability exercise. Lie on the stomach with the elbow under the shoulders, hands flat on the floor. Keep the forearms and knees on the floor while tightening the tummy and hips muscles for 10 to 30 seconds before slowly return to the start position. Repeat this 5 times.
There are actually many other exercises that can be done for strong back muscles but the examples mentioned above are among the easiest to do and do not require specific equipment. Remember to be careful when doing exercise by doing warm up before a workout and stop being active when you start feeling dizzy, nauseated, out of breath or in pain when exercising. Make sure to always hydrate yourself during exercise even when you are not feeling thirsty.