Back Alignment Exercises

Proper back alignment allows you to have good posture, which is necessary to put the least amount of strain on supporting muscles and ligaments while moving or performing weight-bearing activities. Back alignment exercises help your body maintain posture while standing upright against the forces of gravity. According to the Cleveland Clinic, proper back alignment prevents the spine from becoming permanently set in an abnormal position.

Neutral Spine Bend

A neutral spine has three curves in it, one at the neck, one in the middle and one in the lower back. To practice maintaining a neutral spine when bending and picking items up, use a long broom handle or other stick that is long enough to reach from the top of your head to your buttocks. First stand erect and hold the stick along your back, making sure that it touches the back of your head and your tailbone. Hold the stick in place as you bow at the waist. Keep the stick in place to know if you’re bending correctly. Next, bend your knees and squat as if you’re going to pick up something from the floor. Keep the stick in place and don’t let your knees go out farther than your toes. Practice this exercise until you know how it feels to bend correctly without the stick.

Reverse the Curve

After sitting at a desk or computer all day, the spine can become accustomed to bending forward in an unnatural pose, according to Spine Universe. Small postural exercises should be performed throughout the day to correct the back’s alignment. About once an hour, stand up and bend backward to orient your spine to another position. To counteract the forward tilt of the head that often happens after sitting for long periods of time, elongate the spine by tucking in your chin to your chest as hard as you can. Work on the upper back alignment by lowering your shoulders while pushing out your chest. Repeat several times throughout the day.

Cat-Camel Exercise

Exercises to strengthen the back muscles also are important to maintain proper back alignment. One exercise that’s commonly used to build and flex the back muscles is the cat-camel routine, reports the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Start by kneeling on the floor on all fours with your head down and your back straight. Inhale deeply and as you exhale, arch your back like a cat. Hold for a couple seconds and inhale as your lower your back. On the next exhalation, drop your back, pushing your abdomen down so that you look more like a camel. Inhale and return to the start position. Repeat the cat-camel sequence three to seven times.

About this Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist who\’s spent more than 20 years doing in-depth research and reporting on trends in health care and fitness for newspapers and magazines, including the “Greenville News,” “Success,” “Verve,” and “American City Business Journals.” In addition to sports and alternative therapies, Ray has extensive experience covering banking, commercial development and people. Ray has a bachelor\’s degree in journalism.