Strengthen your back

It would be a very lucky person to get through life without experiencing back pain at some stage.

The human back is an intricate yet fickle part of the body, and a whole range of other physiological problems can stem from not having your back in order.

Ultimately, the best way to combat and prevent back pain is by properly strengthening your back.

One needs to be very careful when strengthening the back through exercise, because it is a tentative area. For this reason, always focus on exercises that are within the appropriate range of motion and which will not put your back in further jeopardy.

If you come across any pain when doing back exercises, stop immediately. Stay away from sudden jerky movements; controlled, even movements will get you results.

Here is a couple of basic back strengthening exercises to get you started.

Dumbbell Rows

Use a light weight to begin with, maybe five or ten kilograms. Using a low bench, place your left knee and right hand on the bench, and make your back close to horizontal with the bench. Stabilise the position by planting your right leg firmly into the ground. Grasp the dumbbell with your right hand. Ensuring your shoulders remain parallel to the ground and stay still, pull the dumbbell vertically towards the right side of your ribcage. Do three sets of eight on each side of your body.

Chin ups

You will need a chin up bar – most gyms will have one or you can install one. Grasp the bar in an overhand position at about twice your shoulder width. Remain strong through the core and as still as possible, pull as though you want the bar to contact the top of your chest. Slowly lower yourself and repeat. Do as many as you can, three sets.

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