When you begin your fitness journey, strengthening your back and core should be one of your top priorities. Both body parts are essential for quite a few exercises and routines, and the muscles comprising them should be well-developed.
Almost every exercise you do requires you to engage your core and keep your back straight. The reason being - keeping a straight back helps avoid spinal cord injuries - and a strong core helps with balance and stability too.
On that note, here're seven exercises to strengthen your back and core. They are a set of exercises that you don’t need to do every day, but having them spread over the week can help you massively.
Deadlifts are an exercise you must have in your workout routine. The idea of deadlifts is to make your lower body stronger.
However, whenever you do deadlifts, you’ll need to engage your core. It’s extremely important you maintain your balance during deadlifts.
There are various kinds of deadlifts such as stiff-legged and Romanian, among others. It’s advised that you start with only the barbell and fix your posture before adding weight.
#2 Half crunch on ball
Almost all gyms have balance balls or bosu balls. You’ll need to balance yourself on them, and have a sure footing before starting your crunches.
Keep in mind that you need to pull yourself upwards using your core muscles and not your hands or neck. If you shift pressure from the core muscles, the very reason for doing the exercise gets defeated.
This exercise is quite effective if you want to focus on strengthening your back and core at the same time.
Lie down on a mat on your belly, and pull your upper body (from the hips) and lower body upwards. Extend your hands forward, and hold the position. The position is known as Superman, as your end position is that of Superman.
While this exercise activates smaller back muscles, it also works on your core muscles. It’s the abdominal muscles that help you lift your upper body and hold that position.
4) Quadruped limb raises
This exercise works on core stabilisation while adding some pressure to the lower body.
You need to move to your palms and knees on the mat. Next, extend your right leg backwards from the hips and left arm forward from the shoulders.
Keep a straight and engaged back while doing this movement, which is how it helps your back and core.
#5 Beetle/dead bug
This is a core exercise that helps with focus, coordination and strengthening your abdominal muscles.
However, when you stretch your legs and arms, the mat muscles feel stretched due to the overall position. That activates the smaller back muscles, which are usually overlooked during the back days.
Planks are one of the top exercises to strengthen your back and core. Whether you do shoulder planks, elbow planks or any other variation, you will need to keep your back straight and core engaged.
Planks can be quite taxing for the abdominal muscles, and you shouldn’t push yourself to a point where the muscles cramp. Ideally, you should move slowly, such as starting with 20 seconds, moving to 30 seconds and so on.
#7 Leg raises
Leg raises work on strengthening the abdominal muscles along with the obliques.
However, when you push through and raise your legs and balance your shoulder blades, both the core muscles and back muscles come into play.
If you’ve never done this exercise before, hold onto something such as a machine or a heavy dumbbell when your leg raises. As you advance, you can begin keeping your arms on your sides instead of using them for additional support.