Runners committed to their workouts on commercial treadmills and cyclists who truly enjoy riding commercial exercise bikes have serious strength in their leg muscles as well as great endurance and stamina. Whether you prefer to run or bike on commercial fitness equipment, it’s crucial to know how to build back muscles for better posture as having good posture can help you avoid injuries caused by improper form.
One way to ensure this is to strengthen your core muscles, which help keep you upright. A common mistake, however, is the idea that core muscles are the same as abdominal muscles. Your abs are a part of your core, but the core is the trunk of your body from your neck to your hips on both the front and back sides. This means that the back muscles are included as well, so they need to be strong to avoid overcompensating for unbalanced muscle strength.
Here are some excellent back exercises that will help you achieve better posture and improve your runs and bike rides:
Bridge: Lay on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground with your hands at your sides. Squeeze your ab muscles and slowly start to lift off the ground so your hips are in the air. Keep your leg muscles engaged so your knees stay above your ankles. Hold at the top for 5 to 10 seconds, then lower back down. Repeat the motion 10 to 12 times for three rounds.
Superman: Lie on your stomach with your hands and feet extended. Squeeze your ab muscles, then lift your arms and legs off the floor, engaging your back muscles. Hold for five seconds, then lower. Repeat 8 to 10 times for three rounds.
Lunge with row: Start in a lunge position with your right leg forward and left leg back, holding a dumbbell of 5 to 10 pounds in your left hand. Lower into a high lunge with your right knee bent and left leg straight – stay on your left toes if possible. Drop your right elbow onto your right knee for support, then pull the dumbbell in your left hand back toward your armpit, keeping your elbow close to the body. Repeat the motion 8 to 10 times, then switch sides. Perform three rounds on each side.
Opposite arm/leg reach: This is also known as bird-dog. Start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Tighten your ab muscles. Extend your right arm and left leg out straight and hold for five seconds, then return to the start position. Repeat on the opposite side. Alternate 8 to 10 times on each side for three rounds.
Strength/Fitness Machines: While doing static and dynamic exercises as mentioned above are great for strengthening and working back muscles, adding resistance can also build muscle and challenge your body. Machines like our SD1004 Ab Back Strength Machine are the perfect mix of working both your abdominals and your back muscles. To use this machine, simply adjust the weight to your preference, sit in, hold onto the overhead bars, and in a slow and controlled manner, push crunch your abs together and then push your back against the seat so your body is extended. Alternate between 8 to 10 repetitions for 4 sets.