Curls and superheroes: back-strength exercises

Strengthening your lower back and abdominal muscles should help ease any pain you experience while running. To minimise stress on the lower back, use an upright posture (ie no slouching) while sitting, standing, walking, and running. You can also protect your back by doing most of your runs on forgiving surfaces, such as grass, dirt, or cinder trails, and by replacing your running shoes regularly to maintain adequate cushioning (most last 300 to 500 miles). These strengthening exercises will also help:

Trunk Curl-Up

This provides full support for the back while isolating and strengthening the abdominal muscles. Lie on your back and place your feet up on a chair, with your hips and knees bent at 90-degree angles. Curl up slowly, six to 12 inches, then hold the “up” position for five to eight seconds before lowering. Do three to five sets of 10 repetitions.

Superhero

Balance strong abs with strong lower back muscles. Lie on your stomach, with legs and arms straight out, so your body forms a line from fingers to toes. Simultaneously lift your left leg and right arm six to 12 inches while contracting your buttocks’ muscles. Lower them and do the same with the other two limbs. Repeat 10 times on each side.

 

Backs: to the future. (Real-life solutions)