Back strengthening exercises should aim to improve muscle tone if they aim to help people with back problems and back pain.
A lot of people feel, they only get a good workout, when “it hurts”. Short spurts of maximum intensity are perceived as more effective than medium intensity exercises over a longer period of time. Whether or not this is really the case is currently a source of hot debate in the science and research world. Some research suggests, the time a muscle is engaged has a better training effect than the actual strain intensity. My words of wisdom here are based on my experience working with people in my program and focusing on core and back strengthening exercises. There is no problem pushing the intensity level provided proper technique is maintained. So, while you can up the intensity level by using weights doing core and back strengthening exercises, at no point should the core stability or joint position be compromised. And you should spend time in the position itself.
You need a bit of both – medium to high intensity exercises which are performed slowly and in a controlled manner. The aim of any exercise program should be to improve your health and fitness. I encourage all my course participants to evaluate any back strengthening exercise program or other kind of activity themselves. Are the exercises controlled and are the movements done in a manner without compromising the joints or muscle capabilities? See our guidelines for more information.
Although weights can be a useful tool when exercising, they are not necessary for an exercise to be effective. By altering the body position and increasing the leverage, any of the back strengthening exercises we do, can be made sufficiently difficult, so that you get a training effect. However, when properly used, weights can make a back strengthening exercises program that little bit more varied and interesting with higher levels of intensity attained that little bit quicker.
The ball is a great tool when doing a back strengthening exercises program. There is an entire set of stability ball exercises which will strengthen your core and back. We also use a number of small weights and do a lot of resistance training using a Thera-Band.