Back training: what for?
There are many muscles in our back, superficial or deep: the trapezius (which maintain the neck and allow the tilt of the head), the long dorsal muscles (which ensure the verticality of the spine and allow us to raise the chest when we are leaning forward), the small and large rhomboid (which allow certain movements of the shoulder), the supraspinatus and the infraspinatus (which allow us to turn the arm)…
Why train your back? The answer of Adrien Ezine, osteopath: “in everyday life, most of our actions (carrying boxes, driving, moving the computer mouse) require the anterior muscles, that is to say those on the front of the body: pectorals, abdominals… ”
“The risk is that of imbalance: if the front muscles (those at the front) are more toned than the back muscles (those at the back), we no longer stand up straight and this can lead to numerous health problems. Muscling your back therefore allows you to keep your spine straight and maintain a correct posture. “In short, it’s good for your health!
Back training: 3 exercises to do at home
Equipment needed: a bench + 2 water bottles (about 1 L each) or 2 small dumbbells (1 to 2 kg each – buy in a sports store)
Lie flat on your stomach on a bench so that your arms hang down on either side of it. You may want to rest your head on a small flat cushion – be careful not to elevate it. Take a bottle of water in each hand. Breathe in deeply and then, as you exhale, bring the water bottles up to your chest, bending your elbows back over your back. Don’t forget to breathe deeply.
Instructions: each day, 3 sets of 15 repetitions with a 30-second break between each set – remember to drink during the breaks to avoid muscle pain!
Equipment needed: 2 water bottles (about 1 L each) or 2 small dumbbells (1 to 2 kg each – buy in a sports store)
Stand with your back straight, looking towards the horizon, feet flat on the ground and hip-width apart, and hold a bottle of water in each hand. Breathe in deeply and, as you exhale, cross your arms behind your back in a scissor-like motion. Remember to breathe deeply and do not lean back.
Instructions: each day, do 3 or 4 sets of 30 to 40 repetitions with a 30-second break between each set – remember to drink plenty of fluids during the breaks to avoid soreness!
Warning: this exercise is more intense than the two previous ones! If you feel a sharp pain, it is better to leave it alone.
Equipment needed: a floor mat (e.g. yoga mat)
Lying flat on your mat, stretch your arms out in front of you, palms facing the floor. Inhale deeply and then, on the exhale, lift your legs (ankles, calves and thighs) and arms (lift your shoulders off the floor). Look far ahead without raising your head too much – beware of neck pain.
The instruction: every day, do this exercise for 10 to 15 seconds. Increase the duration of the exercise (very) gradually as soon as you feel comfortable – no question of overdoing it, which could cause myalgia (muscle pain)