Education

#BaptistHealthy In Motion: Exercises for Back Pain Prevention

Good posture is key to preventing chronic back pain and injuries. The “Big Three” exercises are meant to increase endurance of the muscles around your spine that support good posture.

“They are low-intensity, which means that they are easy and safe for most people,” says Chantis Mantilla, Ph.D., community health manager at Baptist Health South Florida. “The goal of the ‘Big Three’ is not necessarily to gain strength, but to build endurance and control of your spine.”

Tips:

  • Try adding these 3 exercises to your weeklyworkout or even your morning routine.
  • It is recommended you perform 2-3 rounds (sets) foreach of the Big Three exercises.

Curl-ups:

  • Thegoal of curl-ups is to train your abs without moving your upper or lower spine.
  • Tryto keep your neck still and gaze upwards, while you lift your head up.
  • Avoidtucking your chin into your chest, or try not to let your head fall back.
  • Holdat the top for 7-10 seconds, then lower and repeat 3-5 times each set.

Tips:

  • Neckstill
  • Gazeupwards
  • Don’ttuck chin

Bird-dog:

  • Kneelwith knees hip-width apart and your hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart.
  • Engageyour abdominals: Point one arm out straight in front and extend the oppositeleg behind you.
  • Goalis to form one straight line from your hand to your foot, while keeping hipssquared to the ground.
  • Holdfor a few seconds then return your hands and knees to the starting position.
  • Tryto complete 5-10 repetitions on each side, 10 repetitions total.
  • Addadditional sets of 10 exercises for a maximum of three sets of 10.

Tips:

  • Tryto keep your back flat
  • Activateyour back muscles by creating a engaged hand, finger spread wide, while raisingyour arm.

Side-bridge/sideplanks:

Abdominalendurance exercise strengthens muscles on the side of your torso.

  • Layon your side with your weight on your elbow.  An option is to straighten or bend the knees.
  • Straightenlegs, stack feet.
  • Liftyour pelvis off the floor and come into a side elbow plank.
  • Liftyour hips up while pulling, shoulders down and back, away from your ears.
  • Holdfor a few seconds then lower your pelvis back to the floor slowly and with controlto complete one rep.
  • Complete10-15 repetitions on each side.

Tips:

  • Try to maintain a straight line fromyour head down to your feet.
  • Make sure that your hips are in linewith the rest of your body.

For additional healthy lifestyle tips and information onfree exercise and wellness classes, please check out our Community Health pageat baptisthealth.net/wellness.

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