Wednesday, 14 October 2020

A Beginners Guide To Making Your Back More Flexible

Strong, flexible back
Photo credit: Unsplash - Strong back muscles

 

Your back is one of many crucial components of the body. Not only does it help with balance and posture, but it also connects various parts of the body such as the torso with the hips, the shoulders and neck, and the buttocks. 

Still, while the back is a very important muscle, it is often taken for granted and neglected. Strengthening your back has a multitude of benefits which I will mention a bit later on in this post. 

What causes back pain?

Photo credit: Unsplash - Back pain treatment


Bad posture is often a major culprit and the cause of back pain. Poor posture when sitting down, standing, or lifting things can lead to long-term chronic back pain. Strengthening the back muscles will not only enhance aesthetics, but also improve your wellness and reduce the chances of injury and strain. 

Why is a flexible back a good thing? 

Photo credit: Unsplash - Flexible back


Flexibility is essential for all muscles in the body, but for this post, I want to focus on the large back muscle. Daily poor posture can result in muscle strain. This includes sitting for long periods of time. The strain exerted on the back can cause shoulder and lower back pain. 

Reduced risk for injuries 

When your back is more flexible and you practice proper posture, then the chances of injuries to your back is reduced. 

It may speed up the healing time of back sprain

If you've hurt your back by straining it, it takes very long to heal and hampers your normal movement abilities. But, when it comes to a flexible back, you'll notice a faster healing time.   

Better posture and balance 

With a flexible back, it will help to improve your posture naturally as well as balance. This is good news and thus reducing the risk of falls especially in the elderly. 


Easy poses to help increase flexibility in your back: Beginners are  welcomed 

Photo credit: Unsplash - Improve balance 


Sphynx pose 

This gentle back pose is excellent for beginners and intermediates. To do the sphynx pose: 

Lie on your stomach 

Lift your arms up under your shoulders and rest your forearms on the ground (similar to a plank) 

Stay in the pose breathing 5 to 10 breaths 


Cat/Cow pose 

On all fours hands and knees get into this position

With an inhale flex your back towards the ground turning your gaze towards the ceiling

On the exhaled breath, arch your back extending it towards the ceiling 

Do this for 5 breaths 


Bow pose 

Lie on your stomach and bring your legs up at the back to grab your ankles 

With your chest lifted away from the ground make sure the knees are apart

Hold this pose for 5 breaths or longer if you can

Supported bridge 

While lying on your back, lift your hips and support your weight with your feet

The bridge pose with support should have a block underneath your hips to create support 

You can hold this pose for 5 to 10 breaths 



Senior yoga or chair yoga

Photo credit: Pexels - Senior yoga


Age is just a number and you can still take care of your wellness throughout your years. The wonderful practice of senior yoga is excellent and improves posture, balance and range for elderly folks. What's more is that there isn't strain and overexertion during the poses because it is low impact yet effective. 

Furthermore chair yoga can also:

Reduce muscle and joint stiffness

May help improve blood pressure

Improves blood circulation

Improve coordination

May help to reduce inflammation and arthritis pain 


The conclusion about why your back aught to be more flexible

Photo credit: Unsplash - exercise for back pain
Photo credit: Unsplash - Exercise for back pain


Sometimes when working an office job, sitting behind a desk is part of the process. But when you change your seating area and create a more ergonomically comfortable space, your posture and back will thank you later. 

If your regular exercise routine doesn't feature these back strengthening and flexible exercises,  then implementing it will help. You can add it to your routine along with the breathing techniques following through.





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