Weightlifting can prove to be very dangerous, if weights are not lifted correctly. A lot of people complain mainly of back aches after lifting weights. The strain of weights also cause inflammation to the spine, sprained, strained or irritated muscles, etc. In such cases, it is always safe to perform back exercises without the use of weights. Given below are a few effective back exercises, without weights.
Achieving that perfect 'V' shape is not possible without shaping the muscles of your upper back. The upper back gains support from the lower, mid and upper trapezius muscles, latissimus dorsi and rhomboids. Working on these muscles enhances the strength of your upper body and defines your torso as well. Mostly, these muscles are trained by the use of weights like dumbbells. However, there are a few exercises that can be effective without such weights.
On the other hand, lower back exercises shape your hips, strengthen your back and spine, and eliminate back pain. Usually, to make the exercise more effective, exercisers tie weight bands around their ankles. However, most of them face pain due to these weights. Listed below are a few ways of working on your back at home without weight bands or dumbbells.
Pull-ups are one of the most common and most effective exercises, performed to strengthen and build the upper body. Extremely famous when it comes to military training, this exercise is otherwise performed incorrectly by many.
To perform this exercise, hang on a bar using your palms, with your hands apart (shoulder-width). Keep your legs crossed. With the strength of your hands, pull yourself upwards (towards the bar), till your chin and the bar are aligned. Then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Repeat the same, eight times in three sets.
The jumping squats is one of the best back exercises without equipment. It targets the back muscles and strengthens them. This mainly focuses on your back, abs and whole lower body.
To perform this exercise, come to a squatted position. Take one foot in front and jump into the air, as high as you can. Switch your legs in the air. While landing, you must be in a squatted position with the other foot in front. Without any break, jump back into the air again. Repeat the same 10 times in 3 sets or 15 times in 4 sets.
This exercise works on the trapezius muscle of the upper back and the erector spinae along the spine.
To perform this exercise, lie flat on an exercising mat, facing the ground. Keep your legs together and your hands stretched out, with palms facing the ground as well. Then slowly lift your legs, hands, head and chest, off the ground. Hold yourself in this position for about 5 seconds and relax. Repeat the same 10 to 12 times, thrice a week.
This exercise works on your lower back and helps in strengthening the spine.
To perform this exercise, lie on an exercising mat facing the ground. Keep your toes on the ground so that your heals are raised. Place your hands under your chest with palms touching the mat. Then gradually straighten your arms so your chest, shoulders and head are raised. Keep your hips touching the ground, so your back forms an arched shape. Hold yourself in this position for 5 seconds and relax. Repeat the same 8 to 10 times.
Opposite Arm and Leg Extension
This exercise is an overall back workout. It helps in strengthening and toning muscles of both lower and upper back.
To perform this exercise, be in a table-top position, facing the floor and palms, toes and knees touching the floor. Keep your back in normal position and palms in line, under your shoulders. Start by raising your right arm and left leg, to bring them in line with your body and hold this position for 5 seconds. Return to the initial position. Alternate the arm and leg, in the next rep. Repeat the same 20 to 30 times in 3 sets. Remember to keep your lower back stable and tight throughout the exercise.
Using a Stability Ball
This exercise will work on your upper back shoulders and arms.
To perform this exercise, you will need a stability ball. Kneel on the exercising mat, facing the ball. Place your elbows on the ball. With your elbows, keep pushing the ball ahead till your body drops towards the floor. Continue pushing the ball with your elbows, allowing yourself to stretch as far as possible. Hold yourself in the stretched position for 3 to 5 seconds. Then get back to the starting positing. Repeat the same 10 times in a set.
Back stretches are very effective when it comes to muscle toning and relieving back aches.
To perform this exercise, lie flat on your back. Gradually lift your legs at a 45 degree angle and bend your knees towards your chest. For support, use your hands to pull your knees towards your chest, by placing them just below your knees. On doing this, you would experience a stretch in your lower back. Hold yourself in this position for about 10 seconds or as long as you can, then relax. Repeat this about 8 times in sets of 2 or 3.
Stretching is always good for toning and shaping your muscles. Other than these exercises, you can also try side stretches, toe touch, etc. Here is how to do it.
- Stand straight with your legs spread (hip-width). Raise your hands and hold it up towards the ceiling. Keeping your hips firm, bend your upper body with your raised hands, towards the left and right, alternatively. Try touching your left hand to the left toe and right hand to the right toe.
You could also perform this exercise by folding your left palm under your left armpit and stretching towards your right, touching your right palm to your feet and vice versa. This exercise will loosen out your muscle and reduce stiffness. It will not only exercise your back, but also get your love handles in shape. This exercise is usually recommended as a warm-up technique before performing hardcore exercises.
- This exercise can be performed standing or by sitting down. To perform this exercise, raise your hands up to the ceiling, then bend over to touch your toes. Keep your legs together and knees straight. Make sure your back is in an erect posture. Don't hunch while performing any stretching exercises.
To perform this exercise in a sitting position; sit on an exercising mat. Keep your posture erect and stretch you legs forward, straight. Raise your hands towards the ceiling and bend forward in an attempt to touch your fingers to your toes. At first it might be difficult. Practice this daily to gradually increase flexibility.