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Exercises for a Healthy Spine

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been working out for years or just started yesterday, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. You start a workout program, get comfortable and forget to include new exercises or simply never learned them. The problem is, some of the moves you aren’t doing may be the most important ones. The good news is, it’s never too late to learn and incorporate them into your routine. Doing so will keep your workouts from getting stale and boring while challenging your body in new ways.

Exercises for a Healthy Spine

The Superman: This is one of those all-encompassing core exercises that seems to get ignored behind crunches and planks. By lying on your stomach and reaching your arms and legs out straight, then using your core to pull your shoulders and knees off the ground, you’ll be targeting your abs, back and hamstrings.

Lateral Band Walk Out: It’s so simple, it often gets overlooked. All you need is an exercise band and a little bit of room. Place the band around both of your legs, just above your ankles and then step laterally to one side. The focus will be on the side of your glutes, but the added benefits of mobility and strength will work wonders for overall performance.

Plyometrics: A cardio workout doesn’t always have to be just running or hopping on whatever machine is open at the gym. In fact, it’s more powerful if it isn’t. Plyometrics are a type of training that incorporate jumping or exploding off the ground. Jump squats, plyo pushups and broad jumps are all examples of ways to spike your heart rate while also using your muscles to propel you. Form is critical to avoid injury so if you haven’t done plyometrics before, be sure to talk to a trainer or coach first.

Deadlift: A classic that often gets lost in the world of quad extensions and hamstring curls. Deadlifting works the entire lower body at once, much like squats, only the weight isn’t on your back and you don’t need a spotter (although it never hurts to have one) because if the weight becomes too heavy you can just drop the bar. Form is critical, so if you’re unfamiliar with the exercise, start with a very light weight (or none at all) until you can safely lift more.

Stairs: We’ve all seen Rocky sprinting up a seemingly endless flight of stairs, only to finally raise his arms in triumph at the top. The good news is you don’t need to sprint that fast or climb that many to reap the rewards of this exercise, the bad news is, you do need some stairs. Not everyone will have access to stairs with enough room, but if you’re one of the ones fortunate enough to have an empty, accessible stadium or live near a public place with a solid set of stairs, running (or walking) up and down stairs is a great cardio workout that also develops your glutes, hamstrings, calves and core. It can also serve as a refreshing break from the treadmill or track.

As with any exercise, it’s important to make sure you’re doing it properly and your body is healthy enough and strong enough to handle it. If you’re just starting out, check with your doctor and if you’re learning something new, talk to a coach or certified personal trainer to make sure your form is correct and you’re exercising safely.

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About the author

discmdgroup DISC Sports and Spine Center (DISC) is one of America’s foremost providers of minimally invasive spine procedures and advanced arthroscopic techniques. Our individually picked, highly specialized physicians apply both established and innovative solutions to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate their patients in a one-stop, multi-disciplinary setting. With a wide range of specialists under one roof, the result is an unmatched continuity of care with more efficiency, less stress for the patient, and a zero MRSA infection rate. Read more articles by discmdgroup.

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