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What exercise can I do at home to strengthen my back?

If you have access to something strong to pull yourself up on to, probably the single best back strengthening exercise is the pull up. Other exercises you can do are the cobra which is a great exercise for strengthening the muscles that stabilize and extend the spine. To perform cobras lie on the ground on your stomach arms at your sides with your palms down. Pull your body off the floor by contracting the muscles of your spine until your face and chest are off the ground and try and bring your arms off the ground and towards each other. Hold this for five seconds then relax, perform three sets of 12-15 repetitions.  The prone is ab hold will strengthen the low back and the muscles that stabilize the low back and pelvis. Lie flat on the ground with your elbows and forearms on the floor; lift yourself until your body is parallel with the floor spine straight, head looking down at the floor.  Hold for 10 seconds then relax, perform three sets of 12-15 repetitions.  If you can buy tubing that you can tie around a door knob or another secure place you can perform rows and reverse flies using the tubing, another option is to use jugs of water for resistance and perform rows and reverse flies and shrugs using them as resistance.  

The rickety table is an excellent exercise. It will strengthen more than just your back. You will strengthen your arm and butt as well.                                                       

Put your hands and knees flat on the floor with your fingers spread apart and pointing directly forward. Make sure your hands are below your shoulders and your knees are below your hips. Keep your back flat and parallel to the floor and your supporting elbow slightly bent.  Look down 6 inches above your fingertips.   Reach your right hand forward and your left foot back and stretch them as far away from each other as possible, keeping your right hand higher than your head. Now, bring your right hand and left big toe and tap the floor right below them and come back up so they are horizontal. Do 25 reps on this side, then alternate and do it with the other leg and arm. For more advanced tap your elbow to the opposite knee as opposed to the ground.

Once you are warmed up if you do have a hand weight you can use it in the up hand.



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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.