With back and hamstring pain on the rise, it’s important as ever to know how to combat it before it gets worse. Learning exercises to correct your posture and relieve hamstring tightness can help you to reverse a trend becoming all too common. To help, we’re going to tell you about the different exercises you can do to combat these pains. As the first of three blogs on the subject, we’ll focus here on weightlifting.
Why is It Important?
Most people sit for too long. If you’re one of those people, that eventually takes a toll on your back, hamstrings, and overall posture. Even back in 2018, the Center for Disease Control reported that roughly 1 in 4 Americans sit for more than eight hours a day. Similarly, back pain affects roughly 2 in 5 Americans according to the CDC in 2019. That pain can even be debilitating for 1 in 10 people.
With more people moving into the tech industry and offices going away from downtown and settling in your home, the numbers likely are growing in a bad way.
Workouts to keep your back and hamstrings healthy don’t necessarily have to involve a gym membership or a great deal of equipment. Flexibility and mobility is just as important to your posture and spinal health as strength is. For these particular movements, bearing weight is essential to strengthening the muscles that will help to correct your posture and and loosen up your back.
Here are 3 exercises that will help you with posture correction and help you relieve back pain and hamstring tightness. These exercises focus on weightlifting, and we’ll get to other kinds of exercises in our later blogs.
Like we said before, there are many exercises on this list that don’t require weights or any kind of added resistance—this isn’t one of them.
Deadlifts are very helpful in improving strength all the way through your back and hamstrings, which leads to better posture. You’re going to work the erector spinae muscles along the length of your spine. Strengthening these muscles can help improve posture by reducing slouching and rounding of the shoulders.
Form is extremely important with deadlifts. Do them wrong, and you might just be making your problem worse. Here’s a video using resistance bands on how to keep good form on deadlifting.
Squats can be done as a weightlifting exercise or as a body-weight one. Either way, the movement is essentially the same. Squats engage your core and hamstrings in a big way, and they really help with your entire lower body.
By strengthening your lower body, you’ll gain greater stability throughout your body, which will lead to better posture. Once again, you need to keep a focus on your form so that you don’t end up injured. Keep your back straight and square your shoulders. Make sure to avoid balancing weight on your neck, keeping the bar (if you are using one) behind your neck bone on the softer part of your traps.
3. Leg curls
Leg curls will specifically help you relieve tension in your hamstrings and strengthen the upper and lower leg muscles. The more flexible and mobile your hamstrings are, the less tension you’ll feel when sitting or bending. When the hamstrings are weak or tight, it can cause the pelvis to tilt forward and create an exaggerated arch in the lower back, which can lead to poor posture. Strengthening the hamstrings with leg curls can help bring the pelvis back into a neutral position, reducing the strain.
You’ll want to be nice and stretched before doing these lifts. The most common way of performing this exercise is with a cable machine or lifting machine. Resistance bands can work as well if you anchor them low and lay down.
Once again, you need to keep a focus on your form so that you don’t end up injured. Keep your back straight and square your shoulders. Make sure to avoid balancing weight on your neck, keeping the bar (if you are using one) behind your neck bone on the softer part of your traps.
Wrap It Up
With every exercise, keep a focus on your form and how you engage your muscles groups for the best result of your workout. Ultimately, your goal is to relieve pain, so if you’re feeling pain in your lower back during any of these exercises, stop immediately. Pain felt in any other muscle that doesn’t feel natural should also signal to you that you need to stop and change something. You may need to lessen the weight you’re working with or work with a trainer to help better your form.
This is the first part of the three part series on exercises to relieve back pain and hamstring tightness and correct posture. Let us know in the comments what more you want to see and follow our blog to learn more.