A strong back has so many different practical applications.
The main one being it just feels good to walk around.
To make a strong back something practical, though, you also need the skills to:
- Hinge at the hip when bending down and performing other exercises; and
- The skill to relax your back muscles.
Actually, all of these work off and feed each other; that is, hinging at the hip and relaxation help to build a strong back.
Different Sections Of A Strong Back
There are 4 broad sections:
- Cervical (neck area)
- Thoracic (middle upper back)
- Lumbar (or lower back)
- Sacrum & coccyx (hips)
Any movement that involves bending or any stationary sitting position gains support from your hips rolled forward.
In this way, the rest of your spine rests on this support.
With that, if you are lifting or pulling something while bending down, you want to maintain the integrity of the structure of the spine; that is spine-extension.
It’s the opposite of rolling your spine forward.
And the forward rolling of the spine is what you see when
- Someone is lifting a weight incorrectly; or
- Someone is sitting with their shoulders slouched forward.
On the other hand, hinging at the hip and keeping your spine in extension builds a strong back.
Absence Of A Strong Back
I was a prime example for not having a strong back.
For many years, any activity that required even the slightest bending over would cause my back to tighten up and get sore.
Initially, the problem was not being able to relax the back.
Then, once I had developed the skill to relax, I still needed a way to maintain a strong back position while moving around and lifting things.
15 years ago I was helping a friend move. There was a moving company doing most of it but we were also helping.
Once of the professional movers pointed out to my friend, the house-owner, that I was lifting in an incorrect way and I could/would cause damage to my spine.
I kind of knew what he was referring to but had no practical way to teach my body the correct movement pattern.
That is, hinging at the hip.
Development Of A Strong Back
This afternoon I spent about 3 hours pulling weeds out of the garden. I was essentially in the same bent-over position from the waste the whole time.
In the past, my back would have started hurting, eventually, because I hadn’t learned how to hinge at the hip.
Today though, I feel no soreness or discomfort. It was actually a good dynamic stretching & strengthening session.
We will continue tomorrow, however, this is the progress so far…
What Can A Strong Back Do For You?
However, most of the time, someone will only make use of them if they have a reason. The reason might be back pain in general or restrictive movement that doesn’t allow them to do a particular activity the way they would like.
Whatever your particular situation is, give yourself a strong back!