Bad Backs Need Stretching AND Exercise: The Medi-Dyne Corestretch Core Exerciser Does Both
Most adults have bad backs. We sit too much, stand in one position too much, or suffer from repetitive motion injuries to our backs. The common exercise wisdom is that to strengthen our backs, we need to strengthen our abdominal muscles, but actually we have to do both - and that means we have to exercise both. Until now, I had not found something suitable for back exercise, even in the gym, but the Medi-Dyne CoreStretch Core Body Exerciser works and works well.
The image below shows the basic stretching exercise one can perform with the CoreStretch Exerciser; this alone can perform wonders!
You have to start slowly with the CoreStretch, but there are a number of exercises that are possible with the device that stretch and strengthen almost every area of the back of your body - not just your lumbar region. Depending upon how you grip its handles, how you are seated, and which way you are leaning, the CoreStretch can stretch all your muscles from your heels to forearms. But get there slowly...
The Exerciser itself is simply designed. It has two light-weight bars that need to be adjusted to fit together so that the extension from your lap to your highest comfortable reach of your arms above you (high enough so that you feel the stretch in your arms, but low enough so that your grip is comfortable on the handle) is just right. Your arms will be outstretched for most of the exercises, elongating your upper and lower back.
As you can see in the instructions below, the positions of your hands (e.g., over the bar, under the bar, twisted, etc.) as well as the direction of your stretch (eg., forward, left, right, rotating, etc.) determine the muscles that get the workout.
The instruction sheet included with the CoreStretch is very preliminary though. The Medi-Dyne website has 9-10 minute instruction videos for beginners, intermediate, and advanced stretchers, which provide many more exercises, so you can definitely progress with the CoreStretch. The image below shows the main muscles that get limbered up with the CoreStretch. Having the equipment myself, I can say that you feel the stretch in even more areas of your body, like your arms and even your abdomen, when you use it.
I thought it was worth a try as my body strength was starting to be limited by the range of motion in my back. I was right about the CoreStretch. Who knows, maybe I'll pick up my golf clubs again!
The Medi-Dyne CoreStretch Core Body Exerciser is available at Amazon.com.
(If you're looking for a simple stretching tool for your back that does not involve exercise, check out 10 Best Low Budget Gifts To Help Friends With Back Pain.)
Keeping you posted....