When we think about fitness, most of us focus on our weight, body fat or muscle tone. Every time we look into the mirror, we typically study our biceps, our abs or our pectorals. What we don't study -- usually because we can't see it -- is our backs.
Few would argue that the back is one do the most important parts of the body, but it often doesn't get the attention it deserves, so we are providing you with some tips that you can follow to watch your back.
"As someone who occasionally experiences back pain, I know how important it is to have a healthy back," Brent Holten says. "Without a healthy back, it's hard to focus on our overall fitness, since when we have back pain, it's hard to run, lift weights or practice yoga. I can't tell you how important it is to take care of your back to avoid problems altogether."
Read on for some tips and tricks that you can follow to watch your back!
stretch it out
When we get to the gym, most of jump right onto a treadmill, hop onto the bench press or grab a set of dumb bells and pump that iron. But we all know better -- we've all heard about the importance of stretching to warm up the body again and again. This especially holds true for the back.
watch those crunches!
While crunches are a good way to tighten your abdominal muscles, it's important to realize that every time you crunch your abs you also are crunching your back.
Traditional sit-ups and crunches place a significant of stress on your neck and lower back, with one study finding that sit-ups placed more than 670 pounds of force on the lower spine.
when in doubt, rest
Even when we do everything right, we may strain our backs and experience pain. When this happens, it's important that we don't ignore the pain, pushing ourselves even further and making the situation even worse.