Get Your Back to School

September is an excellent month to return to the gym and begin preparations for the winter season. While it is not quite time to work on ski-specific exercises, the “in-between” season is a great time to re-establish back health and proper posture.

Here are five great exercises you can do to “school your back.” Start with ten of each, two times and increase as tolerated. All exercises should be performed in a slow controlled manner without discomfort. For #1-3, to make it harder bring the ball closer to the wall.

  1. Ball back extensions:  On your stomach/high thigh, feet on the wall, hands at your head. Bring your elbows to the ball to start. Squeeze your glutes (buttocks) as you slowly raise your upper body and elbows as high as you can before slowly returning to your start position.
  2. Ball side crunch:  Outer hip on the ball, upper leg back, hands on your head, chest out. Slowly bring your elbows to the ball and then raise your body up to 45 degrees. Breathe out as you lift. Slowly return to start position.
  3. Ball back extension twist:  Get in the same start position as #1, but as you lift your body, twist to the adjacent wall. Return to your start position before twisting to the other wall.   
  4. Dead bug:  Lay on your back with your arms and legs to the roof, head on the floor. Bring your opposite arm and leg to the ground and then back up.  Alternate sides.
  5. Y-fly:  Lay on your stomach with straight arms at 10 and 2 and thumbs in the air. Keeping your head on the ground, lift your arms up and down off the ground.

While these exercises are all helpful for posture, the best thing you can do for your posture is become aware of it. Try to sit, stand and walk as tall as you can with your chest up and hopefully undo all of the forward leaning you did on your bike this summer! This should help you school your back rather than having your back school you this fall!