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Thursday, September 01, 2016

If you’ve been suffering from cricks, aches and pains in your back more often than you should, you need to strengthen your back, spine and associated muscles. Jagruti Verma tells you about a few exercises you can try at home, and you don’t need any equipment

We’re quick to procrastinate when it comes to things that are difficult to finish or boring to do, but don’t let your health and fitness routine be one of them! We know that it’s tough to exercise regularly, balance a demanding job and still find the time to relax. But, with desk jobs and uncomfortable travel in the city, strengthening the muscles of your back should be your top priority. Don’t have time to hit the gym? Don’t worry, because we’re giving you a list of the best no-equipment exercises to get started with.

This is probably the most well-known exercise that, incidentally, is often done in the wrong way by amateurs. When in the push-up position, you must always keep the muscles of your core contracted and your arms perpendicular to the floor. And, don’t try to rush through a push-up; you could slip while doing it. Take your time and stretch properly to reap the benefits of the exercise and strengthen your back without straining it. It’s a good idea to ask someone to help you out the first time around. 

This pose will be a treat for the child in you. Mimicking the red-caped hero is easy. Simply lie flat on your stomach so that your hands and legs are touching the ground. Your hands can be spread out, but keep your legs close to each other. Slowly lift your hands and legs, ensuring that your midriff is glued to the ground. Your body should form a somewhat shallow ‘U’ shape. Hold this position for a few seconds, then relax, bringing your arms and legs to rest on the floor.

Here’s another superhero-inspired pose. The Aquaman is an easier version of the Superman. Here, while lying face down on the floor, you have to raise one hand and one leg. Lift your right hand and your left leg together, and vice versa. Doing this in quick succession will make you feel as though you’re swimming.

Similar to the Superman, this will take you down memory lane. If you’ve ever tried to make a snow angel on holiday, you know what we’re talking about. Lift your hands and legs off the floor when you’re lying on your stomach (just like with the Superman). But now, swing your arms and legs as if making a snow angel, only you’ll be on your belly instead of your back. Another version is where you move only your hands while keeping your legs still. Here, you can place your forehead on a towel on the ground to take the pressure off your head and neck. Make sure your head isn’t pressed against the ground or awkwardly suspended in the air in order to avoid injury.

A common exercise for beginners, burpees are good for your back. Start in the standing position and lower yourself into a squat. Position your hands below your chest and then do a push-up. Get back on your feet and jump up. Since this has to be performed rather quickly, we would advise you to first go through it slowly and figure it out, rather than doing a quick burpee workout with the wrong form.

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