Exercises that Strengthen back muscles - Raymond Neto

Exercises that Strengthen back muscles

In this blog “exercises that strengthen back muscles”. As your personal trainer I will be taking you on a journey to educate and inform you with my preferred selection of back strengthening exercises, these exercises contain in-depth descriptions of technique as well as advisable repetitions and sets. So why is it so important to strengthen your back? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and safe work Australia, back injuries account for one of every five injuries and illnesses in the workplace[1]. Eighty percent of these injuries occur to the lower back and are associated with manual materials handling tasks.[2]

 

As a result of this, one of the largest emerging trends is the development of ergonomically friendly furniture and lifestyle companies appearing around all the major cities. Now, the question has to be asked, is the issue of muscular weakness being addressed through appropriate exercise information? Or is it simply being avoided through costly temporary solutions that sustain continuous muscular weakness in the individual?

Regardless, we have a choice to get active, get mobile and get stronger. With the exercises I’m about to illustrate, you will have available an extensive archive of exercises to turn to at any time in your life. These exercises, if done correctly, will reduce back injuries, strengthen lower back for better quality of life and help you to further understand the crucial nature of incorporating back exercises into your training routine.

 Beginner level

 Exercise – Hyper extension

Exercises that Strengthen back muscles- Hyper extensionExercises that Strengthen back muscles - Hyper extension

This exercise is performed on the hyper-extension bench, hands crossed over and legs locked and pushing against the pads. Begin by pivoting  from the hips while pushing your gluteus out.

Recommended Reps x Sets x Rest

15 slow repetitions (4010) for 3 sets with 90-second recovery time.

Exercise – Hyper extension with upper thoracic retraction

DSC02298DSC02299

This exercise is performed with your arms straight, then as you extend upwards draw your elbows back and push your chest out while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Keep your legs straight and rigid, pivoting only at the hips.

Recommended Reps x Sets x Rest

15 repetitions (32X0) for 3 sets with 90-second recovery time

Exercise – Hyper extension with medicine ball

Exercises that Strengthen back muscles- Hyper extension with med ballExercises that Strengthen back muscles- Hyper extension with med ball

This exercise is performed with a medicine ball of whichever weight you are comfortable with. Grasping the medicine ball with arms outstretched, begin by extending upwards and drawing the medicine ball in to your sternum. The idea behind this is that the further extended your arms are the greater the recruitment in your lower back.

Recommended Reps x Sets x Rest

12 repetitions (4010) for 3 sets with 90-second recovery time.

Intermediate Level

Exercise – Hyper extension with dumbbell – retract and raise

Exercises that Strengthen back muscles- Hyper extension with dumbbell retract and raise  Exercises that Strengthen back muscles- Hyper extension with dumbbell retract and raiseExercises that Strengthen back muscles- Hyper extension with dumbbell retract and raise

This exercise is performed with a pair of dumbbells at a weight you are comfortable with. Grasp the dumbbells with straight arms at the bottom range as seen here on the right. Retract scapulae in one motion, then in the second draw your body up and rotate the dumbbells so that they are neutral at your waist at the point your back is fully extended upwards. Remember to keep your legs straight.

Recommended Reps x Sets x Rest

10 repetitions (6010) for 4 sets with 90-second recovery time.

 

Exercise – Hyper extension with barbell – retract and raise

Exercises that Strengthen back muscles- Hyper extension with barbell retract and raiseExercises that Strengthen back muscles- Hyper extension with barbell retract and raise

This exercise is performed with a straight bar at a weight you are comfortable with. Grasp the bar on the ground with your arms straight in a wide grip, pushing your glutes out and chest proud. Retract your scapulae then explode up engaging your lower back and glutes. Ensure you don’t engage your upper trapezius muscle and remember to keep your legs straight.

Recommended Reps x Sets x Rest

15  repetitions (30X0) for 4 sets with 90-second recovery time.

Exercise – Hyper extension with barbell

Exercises that Strengthen back muscles- Hyper extension with barbell Exercises that Strengthen back muscles- Hyper extension with barbell

This exercise is performed with a straight bar at a weight you are comfortable with. Place the bar on your middle trapezius, which is the thickest part of your upper back (make sure it is not resting on your vertebrae). With your chest proud, lower your trunk, focusing on pushing your glutes out. Your depth can be as low as possible without the bar riding onto your neck.

It is important to not let the bar rest on your neck – seek professional assistance for perfecting this technique if you are having difficulty

Recommended Reps x Sets x Rest

10  repetitions (4210) for 3 sets with 90-second recovery time.

 Advance Level

Exercise -Static Horizontal hold with retraction

Exercises that Strengthen back muscles-Static horizontal hold

This is a time-based exercise, requiring you to engage your glutes, push your calves into the pads and retract your shoulder blades. The machine in this image is known as the glute/ham machine .

Recommended Time x Sets x Rest

(60-second hold) for 3 sets with 60-second recovery time.

Exercise -Static Horizontal hold with retraction and thera band

 

Exercises that Strengthen back muscles-horizontal hold with retraction and thera bandExercises that Strengthen back muscles-horizontal hold with retraction and thera band

This is a time-based exercise, requiring you to engage your glutes, push your calves into the pads and retract your shoulder blades. Place the Theraband in the hooks provided or secure it down with weight plates. At the maximum set point hold and sustain the Theraband, squeezing all posterior muscles.

Recommended Time x Sets x Rest

(60-second hold) for 3 sets with 60-second recovery time.

 Exercise -Glute/ham machine with Barbell retract and raise

Exercises that Strengthen back muscles- Glute/ham machine with barbell retract and raise Exercises that Strengthen back muscles- Glute/ham machine with barbell retract and raise Exercises that Strengthen back muscles- Glute/ham machine with barbell retract and raise

Begin with the arms outstretched holding the barbell in as wide a grip as you can manage, retract your lower scapulae then extend up, squeezing all the posterior muscles.

Recommended Reps x Sets x Rest

 

15 reps 42X0 for 4 sets 60-seconds recovery .

For those that may need to begin first with lower back rehabilitation, or  haven’t the exercise equipment available.

Visit this link from Physio advisor

You can also listen to Peter O sullivan whom is a key note speaker about back pain.

 

[1] Safe work Australia (2012) http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/677/Key_Work_Health_and_Safety_Statistics_Australia_2012.pdf

[2] http://ehs.virginia.edu/ehs/ehs.ergo/ergo.back.html

 

2 Comments

  1. Joe | May 19, 2016 at 11:28 pm
     

    Hello Raymond,

    Can you please tell me if, during the hyper extension,
    Are the knees locked or bent ?
    My knees are locked straight, and they hurt a bit during this exercise.

    Thanks, joe

    Reply
    • Raymond Neto | December 10, 2016 at 7:45 am
       

      Hi Joe,

      I like to personally lock my knees! However, if your have hyper-mobile joints it can be quite painful and dangerous to full lock. You can discover if you are hyper-mobile thorough self-assessment of the full extended limb, that is the limb extends past extruding the muscle abnormally and for some it can look quite obvious. Another option is to seek the support of a physiotherapist to determine if you have joints that are hyper-mobile. I hope this helps mate.

      Ray

      Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *