During our prime years, we may not understand or fully appreciate how much a healthy spine and back contribute to our well-being and quality of life. However, as we grow older, we will realize just how important our spine and back are to our body’s overall functioning. For many older adults, they may find themselves experiencing back pain on a regular basis, which prevents them from performing certain activities, such as bending forward and backward, sitting down, and taking part in sports. In fact, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, up to 85% of older adults aged 60 and above are reported to encounter back pain every once in a while.
Since back pain can negatively affect our lives and cause other mobility issues, it’s important to strengthen our bodies. Listed below are some back exercises for loved ones to relieve any discomfort and prevent further worsening of the back.
As the name suggests, this particular exercise targets the glutes, which are the largest muscles in our buttocks. You may also have seen Glute Bridge being performed in yoga and aerobic classes as this exercise helps to strengthen the core and glutes at the same time. Both of these muscles in our bodies are what allow us to stand and walk flexibly. Regarded as one of the simplest and most adaptable back exercises for older adults, all your loved ones are required to do is lay on a padded floor and lift their hips up as high as possible. Their hands should be by their side on the floor and their shoulders dropped away from the ears.
Over time, your loved ones may feel their core burning up. After about a minute, they can gently lower their hips back to the floor to rest. We recommend repeating this motion 10 to 12 times before switching to another back exercise.
Even if an older adult is not as physically mobile, they can perform arm raises as they can either sit against a wall or lie down on a comfortable mat. Your loved ones can even do arm raises while lying on their bed and resting against the bed frame. For this exercise, the individual should relax both hands at their sides before slowly raising one arm to their eye level. Once he or she feels a burn in their arm, they can lower it to their side and raise the other. This motion can be repeated for about eight times, up to a set of three.
Reverse Leg Lifts
Another exercise that engages both the glutes and lower back is the reverse leg lifts. As this is a more advanced exercise, we only recommend older adults who are more physically mobile and strong to do this. Your loved ones can find a chair or other sturdy objects for support during this exercise. As they hold onto this object, they should start by standing up straight before lifting one leg off the ground slightly. The foot should be pointed to their back. Hold for around five seconds before bringing the leg back and lifting the other leg up. What your loved ones should look for is their cores burning up. Repeat this movement five times on each leg.