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Want Good Health? ‘Superman’ and Your Chiropractor Are Your Best Friends

By Dr. Molly Casey

‘Superman’ and Your Chiropractor

Strength is the capacity of an object to withstand force or pressure. The body undergoes stress and strain throughout its lifetime. The different types of stress and strain vary throughout different phases in one’s life. However, the stronger the body is, the better opportunity it has to be optimally healthy.

Function and Importance of Back Muscles

The spine is the internal frame for the body. It houses and protects the central nervous system, which is the main communication system of the body. The better the spine functions, the better the opportunity the body has to be healthy. Muscles in the back of one’s body indirectly assist in overall health by promoting the proper function and motion of the spine. Many back muscles originate from different areas of the spine and insert into various bones in order to support and move the body in all ways it can: twisting, turning, bending, etc. Strengthening these muscles is an important and often overlooked aspect of the optimal health journey.

Back Muscles and Anatomy

The back is composed of many different muscles that are grouped in three different layers – superficial layer, intermediate layer, and deep layer. The superficial layer (closest to the skin) consists of the trapezius muscles, rhomboid muscles, levator scapulae, and latissimus dorsi. All of the muscles in this layer help move the shoulder/upper extremity and scapula in different directions. The intermediate layer (middle) consists of a muscle group called erector spinae, as well as serratus anterior and posterior muscles. This group moves the thoracic cage to help with inspiring and exhaling, as well as flexion of the head and upper vertebral column. The deepest layer of muscles -- closest to the vertebral bones -- are the semispinalis, multifidus, and rotatores, which move the vertebral column into flexion and extension.

Strengthening Exercises

It’s important to have a well-rounded, balanced approach to strengthening. The easiest way to do this with the back is to include one exercise for each layer of muscles that support and move the spine.

Superficial layer - Because this layer of muscles moves the shoulder/upper extremity and scapula, you can implement any exercise that uses the rowing motion in which you are bringing the elbows into/toward your spine. One of the best exercises is called a pulldown; check one version here and another here.

Intermediate layer - This layer is often overlooked. The exercise called push-up plus is a simple and effective exercise to integrate into your workouts.

Deep layer - Last but not least, the superman exercise is imperative for a strong healthy back you can check out one option here and another here.

The great part about these exercises is they are easy to work into your routines. Like anything else regarding health, it’s about consistency and integrating regular chiropractic care into your health routine. It helps to create a stronger, healthier spine because it improves the communication between the brain and the muscles of the back.

Remember, as you strengthen your back, your ability to withstand stress, strains, and events in life increases and you become healthier along the way! Get into the doctors at The Joint Chiropractic and let them help you on your journey of strengthening your back and your health.

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