Aerobic exercise is important for heart health. But regular stretching and strengthening exercises keep your muscles strong and prevent strain injuries.
Your lower back and abdominal muscles provide stability to your spine. They allow proper spinal movements, protect your spine while doing strenuous work, help you maintain good posture and act as an anchor for all other upper and lower extremity movements.
Hip and leg muscles are important too. To enable safe lifting of objects from floor level you should use your leg muscles and not your back. Strengthening exercises help you bulk up too. The bigger your muscles the higher you metabolism.
Here are 4 strengthening exercises that you can try for yourself.
Method: On your back, knees bent, feet flat on the mat and hip-width apart. Relax your arms by your sides. Lift your hips squeezing your glutes as you go. Make a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold for two seconds and lower down. Reps: 10-12
Benefits: This move is good for people who do a lot of sitting which puts pressure on your spine. Even if your job requires a lot of walking around your off time might include copious amounts of time on the couch which is just as bad. This exercise stretches the hip flexors. It strengthens the muscles involved in stabilizing the spine. These include hip muscles, abdominals and lower back muscles.
Method: Get down on all fours. Knees aligned with hips and hands flat, shoulder width apart. Engage your stomach muscles. Keep your spine relaxed. Don't arch your back or twist your hips. Extend your right leg back and your left arm straight ahead. Hold for a two seconds. Reps: 5-6 times each side.
Benefits: This exercise helps with muscle balance, core stability, and coordination. It makes it easier to stand straight. It also helps you keep stable while moving including walking, running, dancing or carrying heavy objects.
Method: Lie down on your side. Make a straight line head to toe. Lean on your forearm elbow under shoulder. Engage your abs and lift your hips up off the floor. Keep in line. Hold your hips square and your neck in line with your spine. Hold for as long as you can or up to 40 seconds and lower down. Reps: 2-3 times each side.
Benefits: Strengthens core muscles. A strong core protects your lower back and helps to stabilize your spine. It's especially useful for movements that involve the hips or back.
Method: Hands on hips. Engage your abs. Take a big stride forward. Lower down so your thigh is parallel to the floor. Straight away push back up to starting position. Reps: 8-12 times each side.
Benefits: This is about increasing whole body-control. Whole-body control is key to keeping your back healthy. It's most often used during walking, running, or climbing stairs.
Keeping yourself and your workers in good condition has many benefits. This includesreduction in repetitive strain injuries and faster return to work times.