Exercises That Prevent Pain and Injury to the Lower Back, Wrists and Shins
As an avid exerciser, I would like to give you some advice on how to avoid injuries and get stronger. Usually we concentrate on the big, strong muscles when lifting weights. Many injuries occur when small muscles groups are ignored when exercising. These smaller muscle groups support the larger muscles and help them do their job. If they are weak the imbalance can lead to pain and injury.
I would like to show you some exercises to strengthen the muscles of the wrist, the lower back and the shins. You should work these areas at least twice a week. Gently stretch out the muscles you have worked for best results.
If you have any pain or discomfort performing these moves, stop the movement immediately. Wait a few days until the pain subsides or see your doctor for advice.
Most people neglect to exercise their lower back. Every one wants flat abs. People over work their abs and forget to work their lower back at all. You should work it every single time you work your abs.
Having a strong lower back will improve overall core strength. It will improve your posture. It will alleviate lower back pain. Lower back pain is a common complaint. In fact, 80% of Americans complain of back pain at some point in their lives. However, 90% of all back pain is preventable. Here are some exercises that can help:
Opposite Arm and Leg Raises: Get on the floor on your hands and knees. Then slowly raise your right arm and left leg, hold for a moment, then slowly lower down. Switch sides and repeat for one rep. If you are more advanced, try this one on a ball.
Lower Back Extension: Lie face down on the floor. Your legs are straight and your hands are resting under your chin. Now slowly curl your head, neck and shoulders up of the floor and lower back down again. Do not try to go too high, especially if you are feeling pain or discomfort.
Superman: This one is a little more advanced. Attempt it after you feel the lower back extension is getting easier. Lie flat face down on the floor. Your legs are straight and your arms are reaching up over your head. Now raise both your arms and your legs up off the ground and slowly lower down.
For all exercises, do one set of ten reps to start, then work up from there.
Now stretch it out a little with these stretches:
Cat-Cow Pose: Get on all fours in a table top position. Make sure your hands are aligned under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Now arch your back up and stretch like an angry cat. Hold, then arch the opposite way and lift your head. Repeat until you feel looser.
Child's Pose: Start on your hands and knees. Put your toes together and widen your knees. Stretch your butt back on to your heels and feel the stretch along your entire back.
Tip: You can work your lower back muscles every day. You should at least work them every time you work your ab muscles for best results.
Golfers, knitters and typists are especially prone to injury in the wrist area. Strengthening your wrist muscles will help to prevent repetitive strain injuries like carpel tunnel syndrome. It will also enable you to lift heavier weights. For example, when I am doing bicep curls, I tend to feel it in my wrists before my biceps are fatigued.
Here are some exercises that solve this problem:
Wrist Curls: Sit on a chair. Hold a 2 pound dumbbell in each hand and lay your arms on the top of your thighs so that your wrist is just beyond your knees. Start with your palms up and slowly curl your wrist up towards your forearm and back down. Repeat 8-10 times.
In the same position, face your thumb up and repeat curls.
Now, face your palm down and do the same thing.
And finally, slowly rotate your hand up and down, like you are turning a doorknob. Do one set of each variation, 8-10 times.
Shinsplints are common among people who perform high impact exercises, such as running or aerobics. This is because people who exercise regularly have calves that are much stronger than their tiny shin muscles. This imbalance can lead to shinsplints. So let's strengthen up those shins and avoid this problem:
Toe raises: You can do this one sitting or standing. With your feet flat on the floor, simply raise your toes up and down. Do this as many times as you can. To progress, lie an ankle weight over the top of your foot.
Towel shin work: Stand or sit and lay a towel out in front of you. With your bare feet on the towel, pull it towards you by curling your toes. Repeat 2-3 times.
So there are the exercise I recommend so that your entire body gets stronger. If you want to be your fittest self, you must work all your muscles, no matter how small. Remember, you are only as strong as your weakest muscle. These exercises I have described above will only take you about ten minutes to do, but they can save you hours of pain and discomfort if you were to injure yourself.