How to Strengthen Back Muscles

Every year millions of people suffer from back pain and injuries. Strengthening your back muscles helps prevent back problems. To strengthen back muscles, focus not only on your back but also on the areas of the body that support the back such as your stomach, hip flexors and hamstrings. Strengthening the back helps people of all ages to live more vibrant and active lives. Learn how with these steps.

Stand in a runner's lunge with one foot in front of the other as if you where starting a running race. Bend the knee in front until it's directly over your ankle. Place your hands flat on the floor. Press your hips down toward the ground until your back knee is touching the floor. Repeat this exercise 10 times. Then stretch ten times with your left leg in front. Stretching your hip flexors like this helps alleviate stress on the spine.

Perform a chest lift. Lie face down with your hands on the floor. Your hands should be next to your chest. With your thighs and hips on the floor lift your chest off the floor. Work on this exercise until you are able to do this exercise in three sets of 10.

Do a figure-four stretch. Lay on your back with your head flat on the floor. Pull your right knee up across your body toward the left shoulder. Repeat with the left leg toward the right shoulder. Do 10 stretches with each leg. Keep your shoulders flat on the floor during this exercise.

Lie on the ground and pull both knees into your chest. Grab the back of your thighs and pull your knees as close to your body as is comfortable. Release your legs. Repeat the stretch 10 to 20 times.

Kneel with your hands on the ground in front of you. Place your shoulders directly above your wrists. Your hips should be directly above your knees. Sag your back and hold the stretch. Move back to a neutral position and then arch your back. Hold the stretch. Repeat the complete motion 10 times. This exercise stretches your back muscles.

Exercise your hamstrings by doing a straight leg raise. Lie on the ground, bend your knees and keep both feet flat on the ground. Lift and then straighten each leg one at a time without lifting your hips off the floor. Place your hands behind your knee and pull your leg toward your chest while keeping your leg as straight as possible. Do 10 leg raises with each leg.

Strengthen the muscles that support your lower back. Lay on your back with your knees bent and your hands placed behind your head. Do an abdominal crunch by pressing your lower back into the floor and lifting your upper back up toward your knees. Instead of pulling up on your head with your hands, simply rest your fingertips near your ears. Repeat 10 times. For best results, do the exercise slowly.