Everyone does exercises to build bigger biceps, abdominal muscles, and leg muscles, but what we should also be doing is preventative exercises for our spine and posture. Spinal health is very important because spine issues such as a disc herniation can have a devastating effect. An imbalance in the muscles affects what our posture is like. For example, if the muscles in the front of our neck are too tight it causes our heads to pull forward excessively.
Not only can people develop neck pain and headaches, but in the long term, this places an increased load on the joints in the neck. So, what you have is a faster development of arthritis in the neck and an increased risk of a disc herniation because now the load in the disc has increased. It’s the same issue for the low back. When the hips are too tight, or the hip flexors are pulling too much, it affects the low back the same way.
Time should be made to focus on flexibility of the muscles surrounding the spine, strengthening the muscles, and mobilizing the joints in the spine.
The first thing to do is increase flexibility of the muscles and mobility of the spine.
Exercises that help are neck stretches, low back stretches such as extension and spine rotation, Hip, quad and hamstring stretches. Chiropractic manipulations increase spinal mobility, and home exercises such as lying and rolling on a foam roller help to increase spinal mobility.
The next step is to increase the strength of these muscles. The following exercises help to strengthen the deep muscles that connect from one vertebra to another: “cat camel”, planks, side planks, bridges, and properly controlled squats.
When all of these things are done together, you have a strong and stable spine and are much less likely to experience an injury. If an injury were to occur, you would have a much faster recovery rate versus someone with a weak and unstable spine.