The word aerobics came about when the gym instructors got together and said, "If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it jumping up and down."
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Exercise Equipment for the Lower Back
When doing back training, each section of the back should be worked with specific exercises to get the most from your workouts. The lower back contains a collection of muscles that start up by the neck and run vertically down the spine. In anatomical terms, these muscles are known as the erector spinae. Exercise equipment to work these muscles comes in the form of free weights and machines.
A Roman chair has an adjustable padded support that you place your hips against, a foot stand to place your feet on and a lip on the edge of the stand to pin your heels against. Once your body is in this position, cross your arms over your chest and lower and lift your upper body by contracting your lower back muscles
A stability, or exercise, ball is large, round and inflated with air. This tool can be used multiple ways to work the lower back muscles. The shoulder bridge, for example, is performed by lying on your back, placing your heels on the ball and lifting your hips off the ground. Your lower back muscles contract to create this movement.
The back extension is another ball exercise that is done from the opposite direction. To do this, lower and lift your upper body while lying across the ball on your stomach with your feet braced into a wall and hands on the sides of your head.
Barbells and Weight Plates
Deadlifts are compound exercises that target the quads, hamstrings, glutes and lower back. These are executed with a barbell and weight plates attached. To do deadlifts, lift the bar off the ground, let it rest against the front of your thighs for a full second, lower it back down and repeat.
Another exercise that can be done with a barbell is the good morning. Hold the bar across your shoulders as you bend forward and lift yourself up by contracting your lower back muscles.
Dumbbells are free weights that can be easily moved in multiple directions and transported to different locations to do exercises. The stiff leg deadlift is a lower back exercise that can be done with dumbbells. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and the weights held in front of your thighs, bend forward as you lower the weights toward the ground. Once you feel a strong contraction in your lower back muscles, stand up and repeat.
Dumbbells can also be used for regular deadlifts, and you can hold them in your hands when doing a back extension exercise on the Roman chair.
Back Extension Machine
The back extension machine works your lower back from a seated position with your upper back pressed against a padded lever arm and your feet braced on a foot rest. Keeping your lower body still, push back on the padded lever as you arch your back and contract your lower back muscles.