Do you want to have a strong, healthy, and beautiful back? Let’s find out what are back muscles and great back exercises.
It’s good to know the muscles of your back and what movement they work in, to perform the back exercises correctly.
What are the main back muscles?
Your back consist of:
- Latissimus dorsi
- Erector spinae
- Levator scapulae
- Serratus posterior superior and inferior
The erector spinae is a deep muscle. It lies on the vertebrae and extends from the head to the pelvis. This muscle is most developed in the lumbar and cervical spine parts.
The erector spinae is involved in straightening, twisting, and laterally bending the spine. It is also the postural muscle (responsible for a straight body posture) together with the gluteus maximus. Therefore, I am not sure if you are aware of it, but your body posture shows the condition of your muscles! 🙂
The rhomboids lie under the trapezius and pull and lift the scapula upwards.
The levator scapulae also lies beneath the trapezius. This muscle raises the shoulder blade and bends the neck to the side.
The latissimus dorsi is one of the broadest muscles in the body. It covers the lower part of your back.
It is involved in adduction (bring the arm to the body), extension, internal rotation (turns inward), horizontal abduction (moves arm horizontally) of the shoulder joint.
Therefore, it works very intensively, for example during discus or javelin throw.
The trapezius muscle covers the rhomboids and levator scapulae.
This muscle tilts back and turns the head.
The serratus posterior superior is located under the rhomboids muscle, and the serratus posterior inferior is located under the latissimus dorsi and partially trapezius muscle.
Both muscles have mainly respiratory functions.
What are the examples of back exercises?
Start from a four-point kneeling position. Put your hands at the width of your shoulders, knees at the width of your hips. Look at the mat between your hands.
Lift alternately: the right hand and the left leg at the same time, then: the left hand and the right leg.
It is essential to keep your back straight and does not lean it while lifting your leg. Contracting your belly muscles will help you with it. It will also help you to flatten your belly.
Below is an exercise mainly for the erector spinae and the trapezius.
Lie down on your stomach. Put your hands on your neck. Slowly raise your head and a part of your chest and gently lower it down. Look at your mat below your head while raising your head.
Source: „Functional anatomy in the field of physical education and physiotherapy studies” – Bogusław Marecki