There has been a growing trend among fitness experts that focuses on back strengthening exercises to help prevent back pains, which is beneficial to people who spend long hours sitting at their office work desk. Prior to this trend, most fitness experts used to promote strengthening the core muscles alone, but focusing on building the back muscles to prevent back pain seems to make perfect sense. Building the muscles of your back combined with those of your front creates muscular balance so you avoid any injuries or pain.
Experts Talk About the Importance of Strengthening Back Muscles
In the book, Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move With Confidence, which was written by Dr. Eric Goodman and Peter Park, the authors discuss how strengthening the back muscles is important in preventing injury and reducing pain, as well as in supporting one’s overall fitness. Dr. Eric Goodman has established a career in training professional and Olympic athletes using Foundation principles, while Peter Park is a former world-class triathlete and ultra runner, and is currently the coach to numerous high profile athletes and personalities, including surfing champion Kelly Slater, the Los Angeles Lakers, the USA Cycling Team, and is the official strength and conditioning coach for Lance Armstrong.
Another expert in this topic, Professor Stuart McGill, who is a spine biomechanics professor of over 32 years, has also written several scientific journals and conducted countless seminars on back pain and the exercises that will help strengthen the back and prevent injuries and pain. When one’s middle and lower back muscles are weak, they are more likely to experience low back pain. By strengthening the deeper muscles of the back, specifically the erector spinae, multifidus, and quadratus lumborum, these develop strong support for your spine and pelvis, so actions or workouts performed like bench pressing a heavy barbell or moving furniture are safer and more stable.
The Ultimate Solution to Chronic Back Pain
In his seminars, Professor McGill discusses practical and insightful information about back pain, treatments, and exercise. His insights are valuable to physiotherapy professionals, as he talks about the latest scientific research in the area of chronic and recurrent back pain. One key takeaway from Professor McGill’s discussions is the fact that back pain is not a homogenous condition. There is no standard exercise for everyone, as it all depends on the individual and their circumstances.
However, Professor McGillshared that a walking program is beneficial for everyone who is experiencing low back pain. According to him, walking gently signals in the balance and stability muscles, which stimulates circulation and metabolism within the lower back region. He also enumerates the three primary exercises that help prevent back pain: The Slow Curl Up, The Side Plank, and The Bird Dog.
When it comes to addressing recurring back pain, it is important to visit a physiotherapist who can create an individualized program that would incorporate your unique needs and wellness profile. A qualified physio will provide an individual assessment and treatment so you can effectively strengthen your back and recover from pain or injury.
Tim Ellis is the Principal Physiotherapist at Excel Physiotherapy and Wellness in Mascot, New South Wales, Australia. He specialises in treating complex necks and backs and developing highly effective exercise programs for his patients. Tim is committed to integrative health, healthy eating, exercise, and life long learning which he shares through his blogs.