9 Exercises Recommended by Chiropractors

Exercise has a number of health benefits. It can strengthen muscles, improve posture, and reduce back pain.

Performing core strengthening exercises like planks can help improve spinal flexibility and stability. Back stretches, such as the seated spinal twist, can also be beneficial.

Adding cardiovascular exercise to your routine is also important for spinal health. Exercises such as brisk walking and swimming can be beneficial.

Core Strengthening Exercises

Weak core muscles can lead to back pain and weakened abdominal, thigh and pelvic muscle function. The core is made up of many different muscles, including the abs, hip muscles and diaphragm. The core helps to stabilize the spine and is vital for overall health and movement.

By strengthening the core muscles, you can improve posture, balance and increase the power of your movements. Having strong core muscles will also reduce injuries and boost sporting performance.

To strengthen the side of the core, try the side bridge exercise (also known as plank). Begin by laying on your stomach, placing your hands/forearms on the floor underneath you and then lifting your hips to align with your shoulders. Hold this position for as long as you can, increasing your duration slowly with each daily session.

Nagging lower back pain is all too common, but it doesn’t have to be a part of your life. By incorporating these beginner core strengthening exercises into your everyday routine, you can alleviate your back pain and prevent it from coming back!

Upper Body Strengthening Exercises

While many people focus on workouts for the core and lower half of their body, a strong upper body is also crucial to balance and overall health. Exercises like push-ups and dumbbell rows can improve posture, prevent imbalances in the upper body muscles, and decrease injury risks.

Another great upper body strength-building exercise is the incline dumbbell bench press. This variation of a traditional barbell chest press targets the pectoralis major muscle and minor, as well as the shoulders without placing too much stress on the shoulder joints.

For an extra challenge, try doing the farmer’s walk. This exercise is a loaded carry that challenges the core, trains shoulder stability, and packs on additional strength to the traps. Lastly, the triceps kickbacks is an excellent exercise to target all three heads of the triceps muscle. To perform this exercise, sit on a bench and hold a weight in each hand with the palms facing each other. Then, slowly move the weight straight out in front of you and down to just above chest level (going too low will involve the shoulders, which can lead to injury).

Neck Stretches

Neck stretching exercises can improve posture and reduce tension, stiffness and pain in the neck. These simple exercises and stretches can be done while sitting or standing, and can alleviate discomfort from chronic neck pain due to poor posture, text neck (looking down at your phone constantly), or work-related pain.

One of the best neck stretches is the chin tuck stretch. This exercise is performed by gently lowering the chin towards the chest, which stretches the muscles in the back of the neck and shoulders. This stretch can help relieve neck pain and prevent future pain by improving posture and reducing strain on the neck muscles and shoulder joints.

Another recommended neck stretch is the lateral neck flexion. This exercise is performed by gently tilting the head to one side, such as bringing the left ear toward the right shoulder. This exercise stretches the lateral neck muscles and helps to relieve neck pain and improve flexibility.

Shoulder Stretches

Neck, back, and shoulder pain are common occurrences that can affect the quality of your daily life. With a proactive approach that includes stretching exercises and strengthening, these aches and pains can be alleviated quickly and you will be able to resume your day-to-day activities.

This exercise stretches the muscles in the front of your shoulder and chest. Stand up straight with your feet a bit apart and hold your hands by your sides. Slowly slide your arms up the wall as high as you can without losing the 90-degree bend in the elbows. Hold for a few seconds, and then lower your arms.

This is a great shoulder stretch to do periodically to keep the muscles loose. It helps prevent impingement syndrome, which happens when rotator cuff tendons become pinched or compressed with the shoulder space. This movement also helps drain old blood out of the shoulders and replenishes them with nutrient-filled blood.

Abdominal Exercises

Ab exercises, also referred to as core strengthening exercises, are a critical part of maintaining spinal stability. Core strengthening helps prevent back pain and may even help to heal from existing back injuries.

One of the most common core strengthening exercises is a simple plank exercise. This exercise starts with individuals lying flat on the floor and then tightening their abdominal muscles to lift their body into a straight position.

Another easy core strengthening exercise is a side bridge. This exercise is similar to a plank but involves bringing the top hand down to meet the bottom hand below your belly button. This stretch is also commonly referred to as the “bird dog” stretch.

This seated core stretching exercise is called the obliques stretch. Individuals start with their arms extended straight out in front of them, palms facing the thighs. Then, they will slowly bend at the hips, bringing their upper arm toward the lower leg until it is parallel with the ground.

Leg Exercises

Lower-body muscles help support the body’s core and upper-body. They also provide a foundation that enables you to perform all types of upper-body movements and exercises. Without a strong lower-body, these moves can put too much pressure on the spine, which can cause injury.

Chiropractors recommend lower-body strengthening exercises like squats and lunges. These exercises strengthen the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves and improve balance and stability. They also help prevent knee pain and improve posture and strength.

Other lower-body exercises are walking, swimming and cycling. These are low-impact exercises that do not place significant stress on the joints. They do, however, increase cardiovascular endurance, strengthen leg muscles and promote a healthy weight, and in addition, these kind of exercises are heavily endorsed by the Fort Wayne chiropractors as well.

Arm Exercises

Many arm injuries stem from overuse and strain. This often occurs from repetitive activities, such as typing or manual labor, putting too much stress on the shoulders and arm muscles. It can also result from sports-related incidents and accidents.

Arm exercises are important to promote overall wellness. A well-rounded routine includes exercises that target the triceps, biceps, and shoulder muscles. The key is to focus on moderate repetition ranges (around 8-12 reps per set) to stimulate muscle growth and strength.

The external rotation exercise focuses on the shoulder’s outer muscles, helping to stabilize the joint. It can be performed with a resistance band or dumbbells.

The neck exercises (cat-cow, wall stretches, plank) strengthen the spine’s core and support chiropractic adjustments. They also enhance spinal flexibility, reduce stiffness, and alleviate neck pain. These exercises should be performed several times a day, but not to the point of discomfort.

Leg Stretches

Tight leg muscles are common for people who spend a lot of time sitting and/or playing sports. These stretches help strengthen the quads, hip flexors, and calves to reduce muscle soreness after exercise or during daily activities.

Stand up straight with feet shoulder width apart. Keep your arms resting by your sides, and slowly tilt your upper body to the right until you feel a stretch in your left side. Hold this position for about ten seconds. Then, stand back upright and lower your arm to your side. Repeat this stretch five times for each side.

The knee-to-chest stretch targets the quads, hip flexors, lower back, and gluteal muscles. Lie on your back with one leg extended in front of you, keeping the other knee bent and positioned where it feels comfortable. Gently pull the leg toward your chest, until you feel a stretch along the front of your hip and top of your thigh.

Hip Stretches

Keeping the hips flexible is an important component in reducing back pain, knee pain, and other hip issues. The hip rotation exercise is a great way to open up the muscles in your hips and upper thighs, encouraging proper movement.

To perform the hip rotation stretch, lie flat on your back with your hands resting at your sides. Choose one leg to work with first and bend that knee so it’s flat on the ground. Once you feel the stretch in that side’s hip, hold for 20-30 seconds before switching to the other leg.

This hip-opening stretch targets the psoas muscle, which is a common contributor to lower back and hip pain. Sit with your right knee bent and left foot positioned in front, at about a 90-degree angle. Then, slowly lean forward until you feel the stretch in your left hip. Repeat this on both sides. To make it easier, you can use a chair or stool for support.