While you can't actually strengthen your spine, you can strengthen the muscles that surround it, and this thick group of muscles is called the erector spinea. They extend from the base of your head all the way down to the bottom of your back, and are essential for even the simplest of daily tasks. Exercises such as a plank or bent-over row are easy to perform, and they will help you to develop the strength and support your spine needs.
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Man (or Woman) of Steel
The superman back exercise is a simple but effective way to build lower back strength while also helping to shape your hips and butt. Begin by lying flat on the floor, face down, with your arms and legs outstretched. Your head should be aligned with your spine. Hold in your abdominal muscles to support your spine and, breathing out, lift your arms and legs slowly off the floor. Make sure not to lift your head, and hold the position for as long as is comfortable. Inhale as you lower your limbs back to the starting position.
Walking the Plank
Another simple yet highly effective spine-strengthening exercise is the front plank. Lie on the floor, face down, elbows at your side and resting on your forearms. Have your hands facing away from your head and palms down. Hold in your abdominal muscles, and with your feet resting on your tiptoes, lift your body slowly off the floor. Keep your back straight, don’t bend your knees, and don’t shrug your shoulders as you lift. Hold this position for as long as possible, breathing normally. When ready, slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.
Rolling Your Way to a Stronger Back
A stability ball can give you extra support when performing exercises to strengthen your spine, and a simple stability ball exercise to try is the prone walkout. Begin by lying on the stability ball, stomach down. Steady yourself with your hands and feet on the floor, then while holding in your abdominal muscles, breathe out and lift your legs. Keeping your legs straight and heels pushed out, walk forward with your hands while you gently roll across the stability ball. Keep walking until your thighs are resting on the ball, then slowly walk backwards to the starting position.
A Little Help From Your Friends
Barbells and dumbbells can be used to perform bent-over or lying rows. These exercises involve bending over and pulling the weight up to your chest, and will engage a large number of back muscles as you do so. When using dumbbells, a bench is required for stability and support. A similar bending movement occurs when using cable machines to pull cables up to your chest during the incline, kneeling or lying row, and a wide variety of seated rows.
Always consult your doctor before performing any spine strengthening exercises. Always seek advice from a qualified trainer before using weights and cable machines.