Back Muscle Stretching - Prevent Injury

Back Muscle Stretching - Prevent Injury

Why is Back muscle is prone to injury ?

The answer to this lies in the fact that the majority of, not only bodybuilders, but most people in general have weak abdominal or stomach muscles. If you picture a human skeleton from the side there is continuous support along the back (spine) and the rib cage in the upper front of the body, but no skeletal support in the abdominal area. This creates increased strain on the lower back and it is crucial that structural support, through strengthened abdominal muscles, be maintained to help minimize the risk of back pain or injury. 

To minimize the risk of back injuries it is firstly essential to develop and strengthen the relevant muscle groups which can provide support to the back region. Secondly, it is important to have a regular set of specific stretches which performed daily and before workout sessions, will help to minimize the risk of muscle strain. Stretches can also help to minimize muscle soreness in the lower back region.

A thorough warm up and cool down is essential before undertaking a practice session. Until warm, muscles are very fragile and on explosive action such as bodybuilding can easily trigger a muscle tear or strain. The following exercises should be done three times per week with preferably a rest day in between sessions. This is because the actual strengthening process occurs in the rest phase and not at the time of exercise. Stretches should be done immediately after each exercise and preferably daily as well. The more often the better, all to initiate improvements in muscle flexibility.

When first starting back strengthening exercises, begin with no or a very light weight and all additional increases in weight be very slight to avoid muscle soreness. If an exercise is painful to perform the weight maybe too heavy or bad technique may be responsible. The prevention of back injury in bodybuilding is a high priority and should be taken seriously by all bodybuilders.

Stretching - Spinal Twist

Sit on a chair and point both feet straight ahead. Slowly turn the upper body around and place both hands at waist-height on the back rest. Hold for 8 seconds. Release the grip and turn slowly back to a normal sitting position. Repeat on the opposite side.

Cat Stretch

Go down on all fours. Keep the back straight. Breathe in. Pull the head in, contract the stomach muscles and round the back as far as is comfortably possible and breathe out. Hold for 8 seconds and return to the original position.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

Sit down on the floor with one leg stretched and the other bent against your thigh, while keeping it as close to the floor as possible. Place your hands on the extended led and slide them down on the leg while inhaling. Breathe out when you reach your limit. You should feel the pull behind the knee. Work the other side. Repeat 6 times each. Note : do not force the head down.

Seated Back Stretch

Sit down with both legs stretched out. Cross one leg over the other. Sit up straight, breathe in and swivel the trunk, placing one arm on the floor beside your leg and the other arm on the floor behind your back. Breathe out and relax in that position. Hold for 8 seconds. Breathe in, turn forward slowly with the trunk and breathe out. Change leg and arm positions and repeat.

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