[VIDEO] Osteoporosis Exercises for the Spine
Osteoporosis Exercises for Spine Strength and Posture
Watch this short and simple video that focuses on osteoporosis exercises for the spine.
Today I thought we do some exercises specifically for the middle part of your back: this region here. You might have had a DEXA Scan and been told that your back density is decreased. Now these are great exercises to try to help prevent fractures through that middle part of your spine and help to stop that slumping that can actually accompany those types of fractures.
So I’m going to show you three great middle back strength exercises that you can do simply using some dumbbells. I’m sitting on a stool today. You can use a fitball or a bench, whatever is comfortable, whatever you have access to at home. Remember that when you’re performing osteoporosis exercises, it’s really important that you don’t feel any discomfort during the exercise. You should feel muscles working, and so if you feel any pain during the exercise you need to stop straightaway.
Remember too that if you already have established osteoporosis, it’s important that you get your doctor’s approval before you perform some exercises, and the same case applies if you haven’t exercised previously. Remember these exercises are also for women who have pelvic floor issues, and when we have pelvic floor issues and osteoporosis, we can perform high- impact exercise which is often advocated to address biodensity.
This is where resistance training exercises are ideal to use the muscles that support and attach to that middle part of your spine, those muscles that support through here, and your core muscles as well that actually support your spine, these are the muscles that we are after. And doing these exercises, seated in the positions I showed you are very safe for your pelvic floor as well as safe exercises for your bones.
Let’s start with posture. Posture is very important in order to address or to prevent that slumpful posture that can occur. You need to start to use those muscles in the middle part of your back. How do you do that? I think I’ll sit side-on to demonstrate this first. So sitting side-on to you, when you sit, have your weight evenly balanced between your sit bones.
The action then is to lift your chest as if you’re being drawn up by a string from your sternum about 45 degrees. Your shoulders are backing down and so the action to bring your shoulders back isn’t correct because you’re using your neck muscles. Bring your shoulders back and down, draw your chest up. Also to think of a long, tall spine, as if being lifted up by a string to the crown of your head towards the ceiling. So you’re thinking tall, and you’re thinking chest is lifted.
That position front-on looks like this. It’s really worth practicing that posture regularly throughout the day whenever you’re sitting: shoulders back and down, chest lifted. spine nice and tall. That way you’ll be using the muscles in the middle of your back, and also you’ll be using your core muscles. Your core muscles can be used a lot more effectively, those muscles that support your trunk.
We are going to use that posture for our first exercise. This is called Rotator Cuff, but it’s also a great exercise not only for the back of your shoulders, but also for the middle part of your back. You’ll need two dumbbells, or two weights. You could use a couple of tins from out of the cupboard at home. I’m going to use a couple of one kilo dumbbells to start with.
Make sure when you start your bone density exercise for the first couple of weeks while you become accustomed to the exercise, that you are using a weight that feels really comfortable until you get some really good form. After that, you can start to increase the weight you’re lifting. Remember that research tells us that for bone health, we should be doing two lots of eight of a heavy weight to really stimulate that bone growth.
So here we go. I’m going to use the weights about navel height. My chest is lifted, my shoulder is back and down, my spine is nice and tall. Here is the action. The action is to take the weights back and bring the weights back together. Can you see I’m keeping my elbows into my waist? I’m not moving them, and back.
Now if you’re doing this exercise really well at home, you can look in the mirror and you can see your shoulders actually move down now as the weights go out. So no pressure on my neck and shoulders or upper part of my neck, and back together, and slow and steady.
I’m going to do three more squeezing my shoulder blades back together, as if I’m taking my shoulder blades toward the middle part of my spine; two more, slow and steady; and one more time, squeezing my shoulder blades together; and down.
Bring my weights down and give my shoulders a big roll, taking the tension out of my neck and shoulders, and if you’re at home and performing this exercise for your mid-back density, I’d repeat that exercise again, another load of eight repetitions for today. Remember you should be doing those two to three times a week on alternate days.
Next exercise is called a Low Dumbbell Roll. This is the way you do this exercise. You might like to use a slightly heavier weight for this exercise. I’m going to use a two kilo weight. So I’m getting my two kilo weight. Position is using your bench or using your chair, or you could do this on a fitball as well. I’m going to bring my knee up to support my back and bring my other hand forwards. So I’ve got a weight in my left hand, and I’ve got my right hand supported on the chair or the bench. I’m going to put a little bend in that elbow so there’s no undue pressure into that right shoulder and my neck.
Side-on to you, you can see that I’ve got an inward curve in my back. My back isn’t arched up. My curve is neutral inward. I’ll bring the weight down along my thigh. When you do this exercise correctly, you scoop the weight along the line of your thigh and back down. You’re really thinking about bringing your shoulder blades in towards your spine and taking it back down. So it’s a real scooping action.
Sometimes you’ll see the exercise done like this: lifting the weight up close. That exercise tends to use your neck and shoulders and often you’ll get sore neck and shoulders when doing those exercises incorrectly.
To do it really effectively and to do it pain-free for your neck and shoulders, scoop it along and down. If you’re checking in the mirror at home, side-on to the mirror so that you can just turn your head and then see what you’re doing again just to protect your neck. I think I’m up to about five repetitions here. Let’s try for three more, scooping up, lifting it, and down. Again, I’m really bringing that shoulder blade in towards my spine, and down, and one last time, and down.
Let’s try that on the other side, coming up slowly, move around to the other side so you could see what I’m doing. Again, check my position. My opposite knee, this time my left knee is up, my left hand is on my chair or my stool, weighting my right hand, and again I’m going to do that scooping action. Again I’ve got to bend in that left elbow.
Here we go. Scooping the weight along my thigh, and down, slow and steady, breathing out as I lift the weight. Again that is protecting my pelvic floor, breathing out as I lift the weight. I’m at a great position for my pelvic floor, no strain in that area while I’m doing this exercise. This is number five. I think it could be four or five, and down. We’ll call that six, lifting up, and slightly down.
Two to go, full range of movement bringing your elbow back, and down, and one last time, and down. And again, just taking some pressure off my neck and shoulders, do some shoulder circles, no pressure to your neck and shoulders. Once again, if you’re doing that at home, repeat the exercise again both sides.
The final exercise that we’re going to do for our mid-part of our back is called the Push Back Exercise, terrific exercise for posture, terrific exercise for the middle part of your back.
Now this exercise you would want to use a lighter set of weights. I’m going to use a couple sets of 500 grams, so two 500 gram weights. I’ll do this while kneeling so you can see what I’m doing. This exercise can be done both in kneeling and lying down on your tummy. Some of us don’t like to lie on our tummy. If you feel comfortable lying on your tummy, I’m going to show you the same exercise in that position.
First of all, let’s start this exercise in kneeling. So I’ve got my two 500 gram weights. Again, you could use two 500 gram tins, or even bags of sugar or flour, whatever you’d like to use. One leg comes forward, chest comes over that thigh, so my back is supported. Take the weights, take your palms towards the ceiling, make your arms really long. In that position, tuck your chin in, and you’re ready to press back.
The press back action is to take your hands back, push your chest out as you lift, and slowly down. So I’m really squeezing my shoulder blades together towards the spine, lifting up, squeezing it, and down, and again squeeze and lift.
If you’re doing this at home, it is wise to be side-on to the mirror to check what you’re doing, and turn your head sideways if you need to have a look. Lifting up, and down. Let’s do two more lift and squeeze, and down, and one more time, and down, and take a break.
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