Expert explains why enjoying exercise is important
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It may not be the most glamorous group of muscles, but strengthening the lower back has a variety of benefits. Experts have identified a key exercise that can help with working the muscles to increase stability, decrease the chances of injury, improve function and mobility and can prevent recurring pain in that region.
It’s one they say is “underrated” by many people, but when paired with a slightly more popular movement, it can be the ultimate workout.
The stronger the lower back is the better your posture and athletic performance.
We use our lower back muscles for everything, including daily activities such as lifting or squatting down to pick up items.
“Learning how to properly pick things up from the floor and put them back down safely is a must-have life skill,” said Matt Bahen, a certified strength and conditioning coach.
Some people experience pain or muscle spasms during these kinds of movements, but by carrying out exercises specifically designed to help the back muscles, it can significantly decrease the chance of discomfort in the long run.
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While it can be a tricky area to train due to being surrounded by other “superficial” muscles, including the abs and glutes, there are exercises that you can add to build strength and endurance.
While some exercises may already be incorporated into a person’s workout regime, Physical therapist Grayson Wickham, identified another simple workout method that could help to engage their lower-back muscles in a more efficient way.
1.Single-hand farmers carry
Branded “underrated” by fitness experts, this movement sees a person walk in a straight line with their chest up and shoulders back, with their arm but close to the body.
While targeting the lower section, it also works the upper back, lats, traps, forearms, quads, hamstrings and glutes.
For a challenge, a person can raise their arm above their head, using a suitable weight.
“It’s an amazing exercise for creating a strong and stable midsection,” Wickham, explained.
“This will help you maintain a healthy and stable low back.”
He recommended to perform the exercise at least once a week.
2. Kettlebell swing
A less underrated exercise, the swinging motion uses a variety of muscle and incorporates everything.
When paired with the farmer’s carry, these two ensure a person gets a full body workout in a short space of time with limited equipment.
“This is the almighty kettlebell exercise,” Wickham said.
“It works your power, speed, strength, coordination and cardiovascular fitness all at the same time.”
But he noted people make a common mistake when carrying out the kettlebell swing.
“They treat the exercise like a squat, using the bending and straightening of their knees to drive the swinging motion.
“Instead, focus on initiating the movement with your hips,” he advised, while noting to keep the core muscles tight.
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