Sep 012010

Do you have any idea what the multifidus muscle is? It is rare to run into anyone who has ever heard of these muscles unless they are having back problems. The multifidus muscles are the tiny muscles running up and down the spinal column. These tiny muscles are considered among the most powerful muscles in your body and they better be. When the multifidus are not doing their job properly back pain is sure to follow. To keep these muscles in prime shape can be accomplished with a series of multifidus exercises.

There are two types of exercises you are going to want to use for your spinal column. The two types of multifidus exercises are strength conditioning and stretching. When used in combination these two forms of exercise can improve existing back problems or help ward off problems in the future.

One of the best exercises to strengthen the multifidus is the back extension. These can be performed using either a back extension machine in a fitness center or doing back extensions over an exercise ball at home. Back extensions are basically arching your back lifting your head and shoulders by using the muscles surrounding the spine.

Another strengthening exercise you may wish to add to your workout is the Dorsal raise. It is very similar to the back extension except you do not get any forward bend at the waist since you starting from lying flat on the floor. Put your hands to the side of your head and lift your head and shoulders from the floor while keeping your hips and legs flat to the floor.

To stretch the back and multifidus muscles you can first do a back slump. You are on your hands and knees on the floor and then you slump your back downwards letting your stomach go down while your shoulders and hips flex upwards. Do not flex hard, just let your back stretch out.

The second of the multifidus exercises for stretching your back is the back arch. This time arch your back upwards like a cat arching and hissing. This stretches the muscles from the other direction and helps to increase the flexibility and ability to move easily under stress.

While none of these exercises are difficult they are often completely ignored in workouts. Until we injure our back we tend to ignore these tiny supporting muscles. Our spine is the critical communication center of our entire body. When the back is hurting nothing else will work right in the rest of the body.

Adding multifidus exercises to your exercise routine helps to build up the strength and flexibility of your back. Your back will become stronger and able to handle work with ease. If you have suffered a back injury, or have persistent lower back pain, these exercises can help you develop the supporting muscles and ease the pain you have been suffering. Always ask your doctor about exercise if you have sustained a previous injury. Only 5 minutes a day of extra exercise can protect your back saving you days, weeks, or a lifetime of back pain.

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