Posture

Strengthening the back for long-term standing

Strengthening your back will not only reduce aches, pains and discomfort caused by standing for long periods of time, it could also improve your posture and help prevent injury.

Our backs are at the core of our bodies, supporting and aiding movement in all other areas, including our arms, legs, and neck, so it’s important to keep the many muscles in our backs supple and strong.

If you have a lifestyle or job that requires you to be on your feet a lot, your body may begin to feel the strain of standing all day.  There are many simple exercises that can be performed to help relieve the pain caused by standing for long periods of time and strengthen the back so that it can provide support without discomfort in the future.

Back strengthening exercises

The Hip Lift

Hip lifts are excellent for strengthening the spinal muscles, particularly in the lower back, they also help to promote good core strength.

To perform a hip lift, lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your knees bent. Tighten your core muscles and push your lower back, tailbone and pelvis down towards the floor. With your lower back held in this position, slowly elevate your hips and hold for as long as you can, before lowering yourself back to the ground.

The Plank

The plank is an excellent exercise for improving your back’s strength and relieving lower back pain by gently stretching it.

To perform the plank, lie on your front in a press up position with your forearms touching the ground.  Lift your body off the ground with the support of your forearms, being careful to keep your body in a straight line.  Hold the pose for as long as you can, before lowering yourself back to the ground and repeating.

The Superman

When performed regularly, the superman stretch can help to increase your back’s flexibility, stability and overall strength, particularly the lower back, which is under pressure when standing for long periods.

To perform the superman, lie on your stomach on the floor with your arms stretched out in front of you and your toes pointing down. Raise your arms, legs and chest from the floor simultaneously (as though you’re flying) and hold the position for as long as you can, relax and then repeat.

Yoga and Pilates

Yoga and Pilates are both frequently recommended for people who suffer with back pain or wish to strengthen their back. Both forms of exercise use gentle stretches to build strength and improve flexibility, body alignment and posture over time.

Tips for preventing pain when standing for long periods

If you are required to stand for a long period of time, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the strain on your back and reduce the risk of discomfort.

  • Move around when possible rather than standing static.
  • Retain good posture.
  • Stretch to ease muscle tension.
  • Lean on something when possible to reduce fatigue.

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