Have You Got Your Own Back?

Credit: GQ

No matter what age you are, back aches are no fun.

Every movement we make involves engaging our back in some form, so a simple back injury can take you out of the game. You need to keep your back in good shape in order to prevent these types of injuries from happening and also to reinforce your entire body so it works smoothly during regular daily movements and exercise. 

The four primary areas of your back that you should focus on when working out should be your lats, rhomboids, traps, and the erector spinae (that’s the muscle group that runs down along your spine). Working these four areas will ensure a stronger back and a stronger body frame to help you work out other areas of your body. 

Before starting any type of exercise, it is important to start with at least 5 to 10 minutes of cardio to get your blood pumping and activate muscles that may have been dormant for a while. After the warmup, make sure to stretch and prepare your back muscles to avoid any unnecessary soreness post work-out. 

Here are two simple back exercises your can do at home without any heavy or expensive machinery or equipment: 

Pulling Resistance Bands 

Hold out a resistance band parallel to the ground in front of you with both hands. Make sure to keep your arms straight and start pulling the band toward your chest by moving your arms to the sides. Keep your spine straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Slowly return to the start position and repeat. Remember to inhale during the pull and exhale during the push. 

Quadruped Dumbbell Row 

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and get down on all fours. Straighten your back and make sure your hands are directly below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Pull up with your right arm, pulling the dumbbell all the way up to your armpit. Slowly return the dumbbell to the ground and repeat on the other side.