A Chiropractors Favorite Back Strengthening Exercises

As a Chiropractor in Mesa AZ, I am of course passionate about the power of the adjustment, but as is often the case, other modalities must be incorporated in the treatment to maximize the patient’s recovery. Along with modalities, such as massage, electric stimulation, cold laser, and traction, patients in my office are typically given exercises to support back adjustment and strengthen. Following are my favorite exercises.

My top five favorite back exercises:

1. Hoover/Plank- a fantastic exercise both for your back and your abdominal s, in fact more core strength is exerted in doing this exercise then in doing crunches. Here’s how you do it:

Lying face down on the floor, begin with your knees down. Pull in you abs and lift you hips about five inches off the floor. Do not lift too high or sag, keep hips in line with your body. Keep your elbows under your shoulders and you gaze to the floor. Hold you 15 seconds and gradually increase until you can hold it for two minutes and then see you doctor at this point to make it more challenging.

2. Q/L aka Quadratus Lumborum- There is one Q/L on each side of your lumbar spine and it is the main stabilizer of the lumbar spine. How to perform: Lie on your side, pain side up. Shoulders directly over your elbows and head in line with your spine. Keep your body straight and in line. Lift you hip, again keep in line with the rest of your body. Hold at the top for two seconds and lower slowly. Do six to ten and then roll over and do the other side. Do more on the side that is more difficult, weaker or shakier and always begin with pain side up.

3. Superman/Prone Back Extensions- Great for strengthening the back. I like to do it with opposite arm and leg lift. Lying on your stomach with your head down, pull in your belly as if you are lying on ice. Lift you arms, legs, arms and legs, or opposite arm and leg. Pretend you are trying to connect your shoulder blades to your buttocks. Hold at the top and lower slowly. Do four sets of 8-10.

4. Modified Cobra Stretch- is a great back stretch and great if you have a disc problem. Begin by lying on your stomach, with your toes in. Keep your butt and legs relaxed. With your hands next to your ribs, push you arms straight as if you were doing a push up. Only straighten arms as far as you can still keep your hips on the floor. Continue keeping your legs and hips relaxed. This is a stretch after all. If you have pain shooting into your buttocks or legs, discontinue and consult your doctor.

5. Balance work on a gym or bosu ball. This strengthens those teeny tiny muscles in your spine. The stronger these are the less likely you are to injure yourself. During your next work out consider doing all of your exercises sitting or lying on a gym ball. Chest, shoulder, and arm exercises are all easy to incorporate on a ball. Don’t be surprised that these are more challenging to do on the gym or bosu ball and you may need to decrease your weight. When your home watching TV or working on your computer, sit on the gym ball and just try lifting one leg slightly. Once that feels stable your can add on. Consult you chiropractor or give me a call and I’ll help you make it more challenging.

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