Back Anatomy & Strengthening Exercises for Firefighters Gallery
Maintaining a healthy back means understanding its make-up, as well as the many exercises that can ensure its strength Published Monday, December 17, 2012
In order to ensure success on the fireground, firefighters must always maintain their physical strength. One way to do this is to maintain a healthy, strong back. Photos show several ways to stretch and strengthen the back muscles.
The bent-over barbell row is done by once again maintaining strict lifting posture and bending at the waist until the back is parallel to the ground. The lifter extends their arms all the way down so the bar is away from the body. The lifter then raises the bar to just below the chest before returning the bar to the start position. Photo Monte Egherman
One of many yoga poses to strengthen the back is the Navasana or “boat pose”: To perform, form a V with the legs and torso, and keep your arms parallel to ground while holding at the knees. This position helps maintain a strong core, which maintains a healthy back. Photo Monte Egherman
To perform the Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or “bridge pose," lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Lift your hips off the ground while pressing your feet into the floor. Place one hand in the middle of your back for support. This pose helps maintain a flexible back. Photo Monte Egherman
To perform the double leg-over stretch, keep your legs straight and twist at the hips so that both legs go toward one direction and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite leg. Photo Monte Egherman
Here is the double leg-over stretch with knees bent. Photo Monte Egherman
To perform the leg over reach-through, lie on your back and bring your knees up, but keep your feet flat on the ground. Lift up one leg, cross it over the other. Then reach through the middle with one arm and clasp your hands around the uncrossed leg and pull. Hold this position for 30 seconds and release. Then repeat on the opposite side. Photo Monte Egherman
To perform the Salabhasana or “locust pose," lie face-down on the ground with your arms back and palms up. Lift your chest, arms and legs off the ground while keeping your head up and eyes facing forward. This pose is a total back strengthener.
The Caturanga Dandasana or “four-rod pose”: For this pose, you basically stay in the starting position of a standard push-up. Be sure to keep your head up and eyes forward. This is a good core strengthener. Photo Monte Egherman
Single knee to chest: This stretch is performed much the same way as with two knees, but this time, leave one leg stretched straight out or with a very slight bend in the knee. Hold the position for 30 seconds, then switch legs. Photo Monte Egherman
Knee-over twist: In the seated position, place one leg over the other. Then bring the elbow from the opposite side of your body and place it across the leg, so that your body twists a bit. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Photo Monte Egherman
The Urdhva Mukha Svanasana or “upward-facing dog pose”: Lie face-down with your hands facing forward and positioned at about the level of the lower ribs. Keep your feet together and laid out straight. Lift your body off the floor by pressing your hands into the ground and raising your shoulders while looking up. This stretch helps maintain a strong lower back. Photo Monte Egherman