Working From Home? Here Are 5 Back-Strengthening Exercises for Those Who Sit All Day
Were you at your desk all day? Check out these back-strengthening exercises that will offset eight hours of sitting.
Sitting all day can have a drastic effect on your health, that much is known, but sometimes, it’s unavoidable. No matter how active you try to be, when you have a tight deadline or are slammed with back-to-back-to-back-to-back video calls, you just can’t get out of your chair. Fortunately, a British Journal of Medicine study has discovered the right amount of exercise to offset nine hours of sitting. Hit two birds with one stone with these back-strengthening exercises that will not only give you the prescribed 30 to 40 minutes of physical activity but also improve your ailing back.
Pretend You’re Superman
This exercise looks super simple when you’re watching from the sidelines, but it will challenge your entire core as well as your mid and upper back muscles. The best part is that you don’t need equipment except maybe a mat or a towel.
Lay on your stomach with your legs and arms stretched out. Then, gently lift your legs and your arms without bending them; keep your neck straight and don’t look forward. Make sure your upper back and glutes are fully engaged, and there is no pressure on your lower back. Hold this pose for three counts, then repeat thrice. Do five sets.
Perfect Your Kettlebell Swing
Kettlebells are incredibly versatile. You can use them to work on your core strength and balance as well as build muscle. Certain kettlebell exercises are also beneficial to strengthening your posterior chain and straightening your posture.
Stand up straight and position your legs a little wider than shoulder-width apart, toes slightly facing outward and the kettlebell in between. Without bending your spine, squat down to pick up the kettlebell with both hands. As you straighten your legs, lift the kettlebell further to your chin, bending your elbows to a V shape. Then, lower your knees as you bring the kettlebell back down to touch the floor. Do this continuously for 30 seconds, then take a 15-second break. Repeat four more times. As you get stronger, increase the weight or lengthen the time frame.
Bust Out Some Burpees
This difficult workout is explosive but effective in engaging your entire body without neglecting your back. From a standing position, squat down and place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs back into a straight-armed plank. Then, spring your legs back to the front and jump up with your arms raised. Do this continuously for 45 seconds, with a 15-second break. Repeat for a total of five minutes.
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Try the Aquaman
If you’re not a fan of Superman, then you might want to try this other Justice League character. The Aquaman exercise is similar to the Superman, except you don’t lift your limbs all at once. Start with one side, like the left arm and the right leg, then repeat on the opposite extremities. Do 10 reps (five for each side) for a total of five sets.
Put Your Back Against the Wall
In case you’re opting for something lighter, try performing some wall squats, which offer the same effect as a squat, but it’s easier on the back. This one is perfect for extra exhausting days. Stand a foot away from the wall. Carefully lean until your back is pressed flat against it. Slowly slide yourself down until your knees reach a squatting position. Then, gently slide yourself up again. Do this exercise 10 to 12 times.
It might seem counterintuitive to work out after a tiring day of sitting down. It’s even more ironic to learn that working out will allow you to sit better at work. However, fitness can affect your lifestyle in more ways than one. While sitting in front of your laptop will ensure that bills are taken care of, these back-strengthening exercises will definitely help you live longer.