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Article # 10112

Back to Basics

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1,000,000 workers have back injuries every year. Two of the most effective ways to combat the problem are to provide training on safe lifting techniques and to encourage regular conditioning of the back.

Here are some back exercises that you can cut out and post in a public area of your facility.

These back exercises can help alleviate minor back pain and condition the back. Do these exercises on a hard surface covered with a thin mat or heavy blanket. Put a pillow under your neck if it makes you more comfortable.

Always start your exercises slowly to allow muscles to loosen up gradually. In addition, heat treatments just before you start can help to relax tight muscles.

Lie on your back with your arms above your head and your knees bent. Now, move one knee as far as you can toward your chest and at the same time, straighten out the other leg. Go back to the original position with both knees bent, and repeat the movements, switching legs. Relax and repeat the exercise.

Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your knees bent. Now, bring your knees up to your chest, and with your hands clasped, pull your knees toward your chest. Hold for a count of 10, keeping your knees together and your shoulders flat on the mat. Repeat the pulling and holding movement three times. Relax and repeat the exercise.

Relax with your arms above your head and your knees bent. Now, tighten the muscles of your lower abdomen and your buttocks at the same time so as to flatten your back against the mat. This is the flat-back position. Hold the position for a count of 10. Relax and repeat the exercise.

Sit on a hard chair. Let your body drop until your head is down between your knees. Pull your body back up into a sitting position while tightening your abdominal muscles. Relax and repeat the exercise.

Stand erect while holding onto a table or chair. Squat down, straighten up again, relax and repeat the exercise.