By the healthiergang writer , personal trainer with a degree in Exercise and Sports Sciences.
Back and Posture
For many years the postural gymnastics it was considered a boring activity suitable only for elderly people, children with scoliosis or other pathologies and in general for people who were not able to perform better performing activities.
Fortunately, science goes on, techniques evolve and more and more often we discover that what seemed useless until a few years ago, can now be a fundamental tool for our physical growth and our performance development.
As you surely know how to have a strong back is essential for posture, for the prevention of trauma and for the increase of strength performance; but what does it really mean to have a strong back?
A strong back is able to develop the necessary strength to perform a heavy deadlift, but it is also capable of making us maintain a correct posture when we are walking or standing upright; a strong back allows us to support the body while running a marathon or to spend hours bent over gardening.
Ma which exercises can we perform to improve back posture, thereby improving the quality of our activities (and consequently our life)?
Postural Exercises for the Back
As we said before, unlike a few years ago, postural gymnastics has become one of the most practiced disciplines in gyms all over the world, and this interest has contributed to the birth of various methods and variants, almost all very valid in reality, if approached in the right way; the list you will find below is a progression of 5 very simple and effective exercises, which can also be done at home and without the use of tools, which will surely help you to introduce yourself to this world.
#1 Good Morning a terra
You have certainly already done it dozens of times in the weight room as an exercise for the lower back, but it is also very effective for the upper back and for learning to hold the abducted shoulder blades.
From the position of prone decubitus, hands under the chin and elbows wide, when exhaling the upper part of the torso is lifted from the ground, keeping the shoulder blades as close as possible and being careful not to contract the buttocks and hamstrings, leaving the lower limbs completely relaxed; this exercise can be done by placing the hands back on the ground each time or by staying in suspension for the whole series.
#2 Good Morning inverso
From the same starting position as the previous one, on exhalation the buttocks and hamstrings contract (it is essential to learn to "squeeze" the hamstring) by lifting the feet as much as possible from the ground, but without flexing the knees.
This exercise is very effective for learning to work in synergy buttocks, lumbar e femoral, while the transverse abdominis works to stabilize the position; this exercise can also be done completely in suspension or by placing the feet back on the ground at each repetition.
# 3 Barchetta
That is the sum of the two previous exercises, the position is always prone with the hands under the chin, during the exhalation phase the entire posterior chain contracts, lifting hands and feet at the same time, and then returning.
This exercise, in addition to being very demanding from a physical point of view, lends itself to numerous variations, such as: keeping the arms stretched forward, or joining the heels with the toes out, or, once the series is finished, staying suspended in isometry by adding movements with the arms and legs.
Given the intensity of this exercise, I advise you to check the previous two perfectly before tackling it, especially in its variants.
# 4 Launch on quadruped
Another exercise that everyone does, but that hardly anyone does well.
From the four-legged position, arms straight and thighs perpendicular to the floor, back parallel to the floor and abdomen in traction, I extend one arm and the opposite leg parallel to the ground until it forms a single axis of work with the body, without arching the back and without lifting the hand and foot too much; if you have a good command, you can tackle the entire series without ever putting your hand and foot back on the ground, otherwise you will pass to the variant with support.
During the execution it is essential that the abdomen always remains contracted to prevent the spine from arching too much, while the arm and leg must never exceed the height of the shoulder and buttock, and must always be parallel to each other, as on a track.
Breathing should respect the rhythm of the exercise, exhaling when relaxing and inhaling when returning.
# 5 Sphinx
This more than an exercise is a position common to many disciplines, from yoga to pilates, and lends itself to many variations for each level.
The complete exercise consists of arching the back back from the prone position, extending the arms perpendicular to the floor and tilting the head back looking for the ceiling with the eyes and keeping the shoulders completely open, all breathing as deeply as possible. and maintaining this position for a time X, increasing over time.
Given the complexity of this position (hardly anyone can handle it the first few times), it is advisable to start with your elbows on the ground and your head straight in front of you, focusing only on the relaxation of the spine and on the breath, as you improve you can proceed with the gradual tilting of the head backwards, and then conclude with the extension of the arms, starting from a distance and bringing them closer and closer until they are positioned perpendicular to the ground .
As for the duration of the exercise, it is advisable to start from series of 30 seconds, going to lengthen the time frame more and more, when managing a position for at least 2 minutes, moving on to the next step, and so on.
With these 5 exercises you can begin to approach postural gymnastics and, if done regularly, you will begin to enjoy the benefits that a “really” strong back can give you.